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heisenburglar

[FM 15] 4-4-2 Wide Counter Attacking Help

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Hi guys,

I'm trying to restore my beloved Birmingham City to the promised land but it's proving pretty tough with no money and a predicted final position of 22nd in the Championship.

In terms of personnel, there's no money available at all, but I can summarise the squad as follows

Strengths

-Fast wingers, hard working, defensive MCs

-Relatively high work rate, strength, teamwork, first touch

Weaknesses

-No AMCs or creative MCs, slow strikers

-Defenders weak in the air

As many a manager has found out, we like to see 2 up top at our club. As I have the worst passers in the league, a possession game is out of the question, and so to make use of my strengths, I've decided to try a Counter Pressing 442

Metality - Control

Fluidity - Structured

Formation

left to right

GK(d)

FB(s)

LD(d)

LD(d)

FB(s)

-----------

WM(a) - I have a couple of MLs with good shooting ability

AP(s)

DLP(d) - My thinking here was that this was get faster transitions to attack if they win it back

W(s)

--------------

AF(a)

DF(s)

Instructions

-Work ball into box - Trying to avoid long shots

-Play out of defence - The hoof and hope wasn't working out, so this was an attempt to get them to play it along the floor

-Run at defence - An essential for wide

-Close down more - High work rate team, playing to my strengths

-Get stuck in - Tried it out and haven't picked up many cards so why not

The problem

I'm only a point away from the relegation zone with 18 games to go. I keep dropping points against teams around me, although I'm doing well against the better teams

For example - I've beaten Norwich, Cardiff, Derby, but lose to the bottom 3 e.g. Blackpool, Rotherham. It's not even close, usually by 2 or 3 goals, which has dragged me back into the dogfight. I find in these games I dominate possession but I'm wary of going direct in case it all breaks down

I'm conceding slightly more than I'm scoring, although I know with the Adventurous mentality it's inevitable given my low standing. Any way to concede less (particularly from wide) without losing the intensity/attacking threat?

It's been hit and miss so far and it's game over if I go down, so any help would be greatly appreciated!

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I'm about to start using 442 with a counter strategy in my Newcastle save.

why not close down with both strikers (using instructions), but "stand-off" with the rest of the team?

Also could it be possible that getting stuck in makes your players commit too much and leave pockets of space? Especially using a dlp/ap combo in midfield. The use of an AP may also slow down your counter attacks.

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The more attacking MC is a tricky one, the description of the AP(s) sounds like what I'm looking for, although he does seem to hold it up sometimes on the break. Perhaps a BWM(s)?

Regarding the TIs, I interpret Work Ball into box to just reduce long shots, when I take it off the players shoot when they're too far from the goal, when a pass into space to the flanks would work better.

For Play out of defence, when I take it off the defenders hoof it and it comes straight back as none of my strikers have particularly good aerial ability, maybe there's a better way to achieve what I'm looking for?

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if you have poor passing why go with playmakers in midfield you would be better off using them as just defensive minded players.

you said u have fast wingers so why not play narrow but have your wingers wide and have instructions to get the ball out to them as quick as possible as the opposition would become slightly more narrow in that they are marking players which would then open up space for your wingers out wide to run into.

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Regarding the TIs, I interpret Work Ball into box to just reduce long shots, when I take it off the players shoot when they're too far from the goal, when a pass into space to the flanks would work better.

For Play out of defence, when I take it off the defenders hoof it and it comes straight back as none of my strikers have particularly good aerial ability, maybe there's a better way to achieve what I'm looking for?

You're using Limited Defenders, who are supposed to just hoof the ball to safety. Changing them to Central Defenders should reduce that behavior a little bit, without going to the other extreme of trying to build from the back, which I don't think suits your team or style.

If the DCs are still kicking it long too much, you could maybe use a Pass It Shorter PI.

Clear Ball to Flanks might also be worth trying. I've found that to be helpful for playing a counter attacking game when you're an underdog team, especially if your attack is focused out wide.

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'Play out of Defense' seems conflicting with counter attck. That TI instructs defenders and defensive mids to adopt a short passing game.

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