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DouLou

Is 4-4-2 dead in this game?

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After a whole season with Gainsborough I finished 18th, avoiding relegation but having a horrible run of results. My tactic was a basic 4-4-2. I figured since I was in Conference South I'd play a very limited style based around retaining possession. It failed a lot. I experimented with different team instructions, player instructions, player roles. But it seemed like the basic 4-4-2 was always destined to fail. However now I'm using a 4-3-3 and having much more joy.

I know that the common theory is pick a formation based around your best players, and also to pick formations based on your opponents, but to be honest in my experience some tactics are simply more effective than others. So I'm wondering if 4-4-2 is a tactic to avoid or not, has anyone had success with it?

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I'd say it is absolutely not dead. I've seen on other forums people having great success with it, but I don't use it myself as I have an irrational hatred for the 4-4-2.

It would be like me saying the 4-2-3-1 is dead because my 3rd division Norway side doesn't have success with it.

Now if you really want help with your 4-4-2, I'm sure if you posted your tactic you would get some help from the great minds of the forum!

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It's absolutely not dead. The way some Role / Duty player moves around now actually enables flat formations to work better, in my opinion.

If you post the setup you have used, we can suggest areas that it could potentially improve.

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First time ever I'm using a 442 and I'm liking it. With 5 "first team quality" strikers and lack of depth in central midfield it was basically my only option. Sitting 6th with Newcastle 15 games into the season (changed to 442 after the season started fearing injuries to my central midfielders and a mutiny from my strikers).

Defensive/counter/direct style.

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I'd say it is absolutely not dead. I've seen on other forums people having great success with it, but I don't use it myself as I have an irrational hatred for the 4-4-2.

It would be like me saying the 4-2-3-1 is dead because my 3rd division Norway side doesn't have success with it.

Now if you really want help with your 4-4-2, I'm sure if you posted your tactic you would get some help from the great minds of the forum!

Yeah, it's a bit ignorant to say that cause it didn't work for me it wouldn't work for anyone. I'm sure that's not the case with any tactic. It's just that it constantly failed me so often and trying different formations always yielded something better!

I'm at work at the moment so I can't screen shot but my tactic was as follow -

4-4-2

Goalkeeper (Defend)

Limited full Back (automatic)

Limited Defender (automatic)

Limited Defender (automatic)

Limited Full Back (automatic)

Defensive winger (support)

Ball winning midfielder (Defend)

Advanced playmaker (Attack)

Defensive winger (support)

Target Striker (support)

Poacher (Attack)

Team instructions -

Retain possession

Short passing

Work ball into box

Play out of defence

Low crosses (cause my poacher is fast so I thought it might benefit him for space)

Stick to positions

Close down less

Lower tempo

More Disciplined

Prevent short GK distributions

Style - Structured

Default mentality - Standard

Individual player instructions were set to pass short and take less risk were applicable, but mostly left untouched.

So yeah my basic tactic was designed with the idea in mind to keep possession, and play a patient game. I expected to have more possession but less chances but what irked me was that I ended up with less possession and chances. My team was predicted to finish 20th so it's expected I would get outplayed a lot, but the run of bad results was something like I've never had before! (Been playing FM for years).

I guess I don't have enough information on 4-4-2 (it was only one season after all). But switching to 4-3-3 has had a noticeable impact (once again, only 10 games, so not a lot of information yet).

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It's absolutely not dead. The way some Role / Duty player moves around now actually enables flat formations to work better, in my opinion.

If you post the setup you have used, we can suggest areas that it could potentially improve.

Just posted it! Looking at it it does look very negative :lol:

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It always depends on the players you have but to me that 442 is a little too defensive. When I manage my real life team on a 442 I would tend to go something like this: -

Goalkeeper (Def)

Full Back (Support)*#

Full Back (Support)*#

Central Defender (Cover)

Central Defender (Stopper)

Ball Winning Midfielder (defend)

Box to Box Midfielder (Support)#

Winger (Attack)#

Winger (Attack)#

Poacher (Attack)

Target Man (Support)

*If I come up against a weaker side or a defensive side I go Full Backs (Attack)

# If I come up against toughr opposition I'll go Full Backs (Defend), 2 BWM (Def) and Wide Midfielders (Support)

I also find that 442 is a good tactic for English clubs because we all know it and generally understand it when we play in. The complicated you make that tactic away from 442 in this country, I believe the less players can play in the tactic.

In Spain it's different. It's the 4231. Again variations on this are OK but get a Spanish side to play a radically different tactic than this and they will struggle. In fact I would say that the English struggle with 4231 about the same as the Spanish do with 442.

I'm surprised that SI have not introduced tactics ratings that players are more comfortable with just like they do with Roles.

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Ya, I think having defensive wingers in front of fullbacks seems like you would have trouble moving forward, although I've never tried it. Most of the time I see defensive wingers when you are playing with a back 3. Maybe if your fullbacks are much better offensively than your wingers and you wanted them to overlap? Not sure how that would work.

I'd start by making them regular wingers or even wide midfielders. Maybe one on attack and one on support and see how it plays out.

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After a whole season with Gainsborough I finished 18th, avoiding relegation but having a horrible run of results. My tactic was a basic 4-4-2. I figured since I was in Conference South I'd play a very limited style based around retaining possession. It failed a lot. I experimented with different team instructions, player instructions, player roles. But it seemed like the basic 4-4-2 was always destined to fail. However now I'm using a 4-3-3 and having much more joy.

4-4-2 can work, but it's strength lies not in retaining possession.

As Mourinho said when he first came to England, where most teams were still playing 4-4-2:

“Look, if I have a triangle in midfield – Claude Makelele behind and two others just in front – I will always have an advantage against a pure 4-4-2 where the central midfielders are side by side. That’s because I will always have an extra man. It starts with Makelele, who is between the lines. If nobody comes to him he can see the whole pitch and has time. If he gets closed down it means one of the two other central midfielders is open. If they are closed down and the other team’s wingers come inside to help, it means there is space now for us on the flank, either for our own wingers or for our full-backs. There is nothing a pure 4-4-2 can do to stop things.”

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It's absolutely not dead. The way some Role / Duty player moves around now actually enables flat formations to work better, in my opinion.

This is damned true. The first time I played Man City on this game I was amazed how their 4-4-1-1 looked like a 3-1-4-2/3-1-3-3 hybrid when they were in possession. It was a think of beauty. They kicked my ass too.

To the OP, I do not like the negativity of your back line. You can have defensive stability without needing such defensive players. In particular, I would look to get the full backs forward to provide support and attacking movement for your attack, especially if you are going to have 2 defensive wingers. I would have two attacking wing backs in that case. You could rework this; keep one defensive winger if you wish and have an offensive fullback behind him. Use a winger or wide midfielder on support on the other side, with a more defensive full back. Play around with it, see what works.

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I'm no expert but I've been reading this forum for years and I'm having success with 4-4-2. Predicted 16th but currently top of the Championship with a third of the season left

Control, Structured

GK d

FB-s CB-d Cb-d WB-s

W-a DLP-d BWM-s WM-a

F9 AF

More Direct

Work ball into box

Clear ball to flanks

Run at defence

Get stuck in

Higher Tempo

Both strikers on close down much more

Works brilliantly on the counter but you need pace in the wingers and strikers.

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I always played a 4-4-2 in FM13 but now I'm using a 4-5-1 with the 4-4-2 as a backup formation

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442 absolutely not dead. Using it in a separate save, as Arsenal, trying to replicate the Wenger system from the late 90's/early 00's. So far very encouraging.

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