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dell19

Tactic Improvements

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As a brief background Lincoln are in the premiership and this is our 7th season in the top flight. At the start of the season we were predicted to finish 5th but with 10 games to go we're stuck in 8th, 6 points off 4th. Its not a disastrous situation however the team have conceded a lot of goals this season (46 whilst scoring 55) and there was a period where we failed to win a league match in 9 attempts. In cup competitions we've been much more successful.

I've been using a 4-5-1 formation each season and it worked wonders going up the league but it doesn't seem to be getting the same results in the Premiership so I'm looking for some help on how I could improve the tactics to help the club to the next level.

I don't have any individual player instructions so maybe I could try to add some to try and add some defensive solidity. I'm not sure if I should be going for a different level of fluidity.

QKHpiiM.jpg

If it makes a difference, the majority of my team are under 23. Also Cathalina is a young defender that I've been trying to develop this season which may be having an impact (has been 2.5 stars for most of the season)

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A few questions, I don't mind the overall set up, not a million miles away from a very successful tactic I created however I'll start with your team instructions.

Why play wider and pass shorter, personally if I was planning on playing counter attack I wouldn't want shorter passing, you want to make a quick transition, that isn't to say you should play more direct (although it's something to think about) Counter mentality will make your defenders play more direct and your attackers shorter by default, so I think it's worth seeing how it plays out to start with. I don't think you need to play wider, as you have two wingers to give you width, and playing counter staying quite narrow isn't a bad idea, although it's an attacking instruction, your team will be closer knit without it, you don't want to be to spread out. If it's what you want then fair enough but have it for a reason.

The DLP would be better off on the side you have your CWB (a) as he will cover that flank a little better when your CWB bombs on. Having said that I don't see a CWB working to well behind a W (s) as he will be trying to use the same space. It's worth mentioning that the B2B midfielder may be a bit adventurous in some games leaving you a little exposed in the center. I'd at least make sure you have a player with very good stamina and work rate who can do some defensive work.

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Excellent advice from Torskus.

Two questions:

1. Is there a pattern to the goals conceded, or are they coming from a number of sources?

2. Who scores your goals? It seems like you have relatively few players intent on attacking the box. It's not inconceivable that focusing a little more on your attacking setup could improve your defensive fortunes too. I'd consider changing one of your AML/R players.

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Thanks for the responses, will look into implementing some of the suggestions for the remainder of the season and then look to make further changes in the off season.

Traditionally some of my best players have been the wingers whilst a lot of the AI formations seem to crowd the middle of the pitch so it has seemed sensible to encourage the team to play wider. Short passing is something that the AM suggested and it seems somewhat sensible as the team has high passing although I have been wondering whether I should drop the instruction or remove the counter attack mentality.

It does make sense to move the DLP to the other side and from what you've both suggested perhaps keep the CWB (a) and change the Winger to an inside forward?

The striker position has scored 28 goals, attacking midfielder has 18 goals, Right Winger has 16 goals and the left Winger has 13 goals (roughly) and below is the breakdown of assists. To be honest I haven't looked at this page in detail before however it clearly indicates that I'm conceding lots of goals from one wing (not 100% sure which player of mine they are facing?) and that the goals from crosses seems quite high.

FBOqVKu.jpg

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I'm pretty sure that's your right side you are conceding all of your goals, which seems a tad odd looking at your tactic, you would think the left side would be a bit leaky. Is your right back a weak link ? That said, those stats can only tell you so much, what you see happening is more important. If you note, that only 6 of the goals came from crosses, which could mean that it isn't your right back at all, as balls are being played through from slightly further out. Really studying the game will help you see better where the problem is. If you are using young players in defence, you can obviously expect some mistakes, poor positioning etc.

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If you are using young players in defence, you can obviously expect some mistakes, poor positioning etc.

Was just going to say this part myself. It could be a case of the young defender, Cathalina, not dealing with the crosses well enough or he might not be marking the attacking players who enter the box in that zone well enough.

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My right back is a little worse than the left back and its the same for the understudies which I guess is compounded by playing the weaker central defender on that side. Will try and pay attention a bit more to how the goals are conceded although in recent games we've done a little better defensively.

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Sure I've posted their stats below. I tend to rely mostly on scouting reports to sign players.

Juan Arguello (4 stars)

ZO2MtFT.jpg

Aad Eveleens: (4 stars)

QN0bp25.jpg

Gerson Cathalina: (3 stars)

Trying to play him as much as possible to help him reach his potential.

jkQVFcQ.jpg

Dario Ibanez: (3.5 stars as fullback, 4 stars as complete wing back)

Is a natural left back and centre back as well. I actually signed him as a backup left back for Arguello but he progressed a lot last season.

DtoYea3.jpg

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Full Backs look useful.

Your young center back though, problem with him he is very small and his jumping reach wont ever get nearly good enough for a center back. I'd only ever really play a center back that short in a back 3 as a spare man to be honest. I'd have probably re-trained him as a defensive midfielder. I am taking a guess a lot of balls are going over your center backs head, not headers in particular.

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Yeah you are probably right although maybe his positioning skill will help to offset that a bit. I'm sort of stuck with him for the time being as I think his low valuation would stop me from receiving acceptable bids for him.

This is the tactic I'm considering playing in the new season. The instructions are mostly down to what other people seem to be using on CA tactics (drop deeper, pass into space) whilst be more disciplined should help defensively. Not sure if the work into box instruction is contradictory however when we are dominating I don't want the team to take too many long range efforts.

MRMnSKG.jpg

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If I were to guess the original tactic sees a lot of diagonal balls from the defensive right wing to the left wing. Makes sense since the right wing should be fairly well defended when a player tries to run down and whip in a cross. However a FB(s) is vulnerable to staying too deep too long and the W(s) might be a bit slow helping out from up front, so a deeper winger on that side or a full back leaking out might find a lot of space to pick out the long ball to switch flanks, where your CWB will be out of position, your B2B probably too far away to cover, too and your winger only tracking back when it's too late.

Might be worth switching the right winger to a DW, either support or even defend duty to make sure there' no gap in the middle. Alternatively make your right flank more conservative (which would not hurt even if you get the supply problem under control...).

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I'd suggest retraining Cathalina to a RB and investing in a new CB, or even simply swapping him with Ibanez.

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The defensive problems of 4-2-3-1 (or 4-2-1-3 as I prefer to call that formation) usually come from two things.

1. Mistakes. The front 4 don't offer much defensively so when one of the more defensive players make a mistake, it will usually lead to a dangerous situation straight away.

2. Wide space. You see that space in the formation out wide? In between the wide forward and full back? If the ball can be played there to a player of some guile he will have a lot of time and can do damage.

This is what I think of the formation, which is why I don't use it very often. ;)

Seeing that you concede most of your goals from your right flank, I'd drop the wide forward to wide midfield on that side. You'll still have 2 counter attacking outlets. The Wide midfielder will be quick enough to join them from a deeper initial position.

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Dude your defenders are simply world class. If the rest of your team is of similar quality you should be winning the league or at least top 3.

Here's my advice.

1) review what your tactical plan is. You said you've used he first tactic for a long time, climbing through the lower leagues and doing OK in the prem. However as you climb the prem you're going to have teams parking the bus against you, and teams trying to dominate you, so you'll need tactics in both circumstances. Your tactic is pretty hum ho in my opinion, it doesn't fill the shoes of a bus parker or a relegation bully. Playing a counter strategy doesn't mean your team plays on the counterattack. It's actually quite a good possession orientated strategy since your attacking players shorten passing range. So let us know how you want to play first.

2) Small CBs aren't useless at all. They are however less useful in a low-block backs to the wall counter strategy. I would push your defensive line higher up to take advantage of their speed. Your players are young, and generally young players have superb athleticism, so take advantage of it with hassling and higher defensive lines to smother opponents.

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Your young center back though, problem with him he is very small and his jumping reach wont ever get nearly good enough for a center back. I'd only ever really play a center back that short in a back 3 as a spare man to be honest. I'd have probably re-trained him as a defensive midfielder. I am taking a guess a lot of balls are going over your center backs head, not headers in particular.

I would use one (and do currently) but I think the shortcomings you point are very real and potentially problematic. I only do so when I can pair him with large, strong partner. His short guy has pretty decent mentals, and that can compensate for a lack of size and strength even in a center back. At least that is my experience with them. There will always be the danger as you point out, but I wouldn't necessarily toss him out on the basis of height alone.

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