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4-1-4-1 Lacking Goals

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Hi All,

I've got a save using Lucena in the Spanish Second Division B4. Having looked through the team I noticed that they have good decisions, teamwork, and workrate. I decided to try to build a tactic with focus on maintaining possession and pressing in defense. I typically line up in a 4-1-4-1 like this:

Control/Highly Structured

Left Back - FB/a

Center Backs - CD/d

Right Back - CWB/a

Defensive Midfielder - Anchor Man/d

Left Midfielder - WM/a - Roam From Position, sit narrower, cut inside with ball

Center Midfielder Left - RPM/s - More risky passes

Center Midfielder Right - CM/a - Close down more, roam, move into channels

Right Midfielder - Wide Playmaker/s

Striker - Complete Forward/s - Close down more

Team Instructions -

retain possession

play out of defense

float crosses

shoot on sight

push higher up

My idea is that the anchorman, RPM, and WP should see a lot of the ball with goals coming from the WM/a, CM/a and CF/s. The CWB on the right side provides an overlap while the FB/a on the left should do so rarely.

This tactic actually defends quite well but I see very few goals. In my last 5 games, 4 of them were 0-0 draws! I tend to have a lot of possession and in those games I was probably a little unlucky not to win outright. I'm trying to see what changes I can make to get more goals without opening myself up too much.

Any thoughts?

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First thing I would like to know is are you creating a lot of chances? Seeing you have Shoot On Sight in your TIs it might be that you are just shooting too much and not getting too many "real" chances, so first thing I would check if I were you is how many Clear Cut Chances and Half Chances you are getting in a match.

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If you are looking to play a possession based style of football perhaps you could try with just a structured or even flexible philosophy. Also the "retain possession" TI is not always necessary as I find this is more useful for using possession to protect a lead late on rather than creating meaningful possession in the attacking third.

Of course, as Repsalty suggests above, really it depends on how many chances you are creating. If you are creating chances it might just be down to the fault of the players rather than tactic that you can't finish....

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First thing I would like to know is are you creating a lot of chances? Seeing you have Shoot On Sight in your TIs it might be that you are just shooting too much and not getting too many "real" chances, so first thing I would check if I were you is how many Clear Cut Chances and Half Chances you are getting in a match.

I get very few chances and if I do they come from set pieces. The shoot on sight instruction is a recent addition, I saw very little difference when adding it. The problem is that while I have a lot of possession, it's all too deep to be threatening. Some games I'm thrilled to see a 0-0 draw where the other team has no chances and I get 1 or 2 half-chances, but other games I expect to really dominate and see the same thing.

I'm experimenting with removing the Retain Possession instruction and changing the RPM/s to an AP/A. I'm trying to get the ball forward into more threatening positions to play in the WM/A or CF/S.

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I'm experimenting with removing the Retain Possession instruction and changing the RPM/s to an AP/A. I'm trying to get the ball forward into more threatening positions to play in the WM/A or CF/S.

A Box-to-Box Midfielder might be better than a AP/A. The player maker roles tend to be quite static and since you already have plenty of the ball, a midfielder arriving late in the box might give the opposition defence a different option to defend against?

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A Box-to-Box Midfielder might be better than a AP/A. The player maker roles tend to be quite static and since you already have plenty of the ball, a midfielder arriving late in the box might give the opposition defence a different option to defend against?

I'll definitely try that. My hope was that the CM/A would fulfill that role - I figured he would be a good attacking target but he seems to sit deeper than I would like when in posession. Would the B2B help this?

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Push higher up and retain possession are killing chance creation. It's made even worse by shoot on sight ( an extreme shout, that should be used when 1-0 down in the champs league final with 30 seconds left... Maybe :lol:). Your playing negative boring passes( retain possession)in very little space( control,push up) and panic shooting(shoot on sight). Why would you be creating much?

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Hi All,

I've got a save using Lucena in the Spanish Second Division B4. Having looked through the team I noticed that they have good decisions, teamwork, and workrate. I decided to try to build a tactic with focus on maintaining possession and pressing in defense. I typically line up in a 4-1-4-1 like this:

Control/Highly Structured

Left Back - FB/a

Center Backs - CD/d

Right Back - CWB/a

Defensive Midfielder - Anchor Man/d

Left Midfielder - WM/a - Roam From Position, sit narrower, cut inside with ball

Center Midfielder Left - RPM/s - More risky passes

Center Midfielder Right - CM/a - Close down more, roam, move into channels

Right Midfielder - Wide Playmaker/s

Striker - Complete Forward/s - Close down more

Team Instructions -

retain possession

play out of defense

float crosses

shoot on sight

push higher up

My idea is that the anchorman, RPM, and WP should see a lot of the ball with goals coming from the WM/a, CM/a and CF/s. The CWB on the right side provides an overlap while the FB/a on the left should do so rarely.

This tactic actually defends quite well but I see very few goals. In my last 5 games, 4 of them were 0-0 draws! I tend to have a lot of possession and in those games I was probably a little unlucky not to win outright. I'm trying to see what changes I can make to get more goals without opening myself up too much.

Any thoughts?

I reckon you set up is quite good actually i use something extremely similar myself - just might require some minor tweaking!

I would think that you would mostly crowd the middle of the pitch for large parts of the game as :

- the WM is set for 'roam' and 'cut inside'

- you have WP who activity looks to drifts inside

- the CM (A) pushes up to where the WP is\

- the RPM gets everywhere but can frequently push forward as well

So as you can see there is lots of players in a tight space - meaning that the defenders can cover multiple people.

I will suggest that you think about allowing your players some overall freedom, maybe a flexible team shape? This would still allow you to be defensively solid but give your attack minded players some freedom to make decisions based on what they see (and you mentioned that they had good decision making stats)

As your tactic is very narrow, i would look at providing some width somehow - there would be two obvious ways to do it either by setting your LB to a more attacking role so he gets forward more - this will still give you 3 designated defenders with your anchor man. The other way would be to set you WM to a winger (if you have a player that can fill the role) to a winger.

Also of note is that the HB will often sit deep in attack - meaning that he is often not available to recycle possession in the midfield.

Just some thoughts for you to mull over :)

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I play similarly, but I generally do not lack for goals. I feel the midfield you have is a little bit unbalanced; you are not really exploiting width as you could to stretch defences and give your inside players more support. Although the CWB will do this on one side, you do not have a wide threat on the other. When I am playing, my side looks like;

DF(S)

W(A) -- CM(S) -- CM(A) -- WPM(S)

DLP(S)/(D)

WB(S)/(D) - CD(D) - CD(D) - CWB(A)

With Attacking/Fluid mentality and TIs:

- play out of defense

- shorter passing

- work ball into box

With this, I can exploit space very well. All the width on the right hand side is supplied by the CWB. This means that attacking MR/AMR has to track him back to deal with him, or their RB must be aware. What you often see is that he makes runs down the flank when there is space to be exploited and is tricky to pick up. Similarly, the WPM cuts inside to sit in the space that has been vacated by the CM(A). This gives the opposition a two-fold problem; Who picks up the CM(A) and who picks up the WPM(S). If their midfield tracks the CM(A) then there is space for the WPM to exploit. If the opposition midfield keeps it's shape, then there is a midfielder roaming between the lines and being picked up by defence, which is risky.

Finally, the left side the width is provided by the W(A) and supported by the WB(S). This is bog standard in terms of wideplay, not so much fancy positional play. You notice I have two roles for left back and defensive midfielder. I set these positions depending on where I think the space will be to exploit my opponent. Are they weak down the flanks and strong in the middle? WB(S) and DLP(D). Are they outnumbered in the middle? WB(D) and DLP(S). Am I expecting to get killed by a strong team? Both defend. Am I expecting to dominate? Both support. This can be changed during the match as I see fit. I will often try to retain possesion if I have a 2 goal lead, for example.

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I would think and observe about space - How are you creating it. You are pushing up higher, you have a lot of players focussing on the middle of the pitch (as others have noted) and at the level you are playing at, your players are not likely to be technically good enough to work through tight situations. They need space to operate.

Try dropping deeper perhaps for a game and see if space opens up, and try freeing up more space in the midfield. Maybe change the WM to a W who will stay wide on that side. Maybe also consider changing one of the fullbacks to be more defensive. Although you might say that defending isnt your issue, again with both fullbacks bombed on you have so many players in the same area of the pitch. Perhaps the fullback on the side of the WM could change to a support duty, which would give the HB more passing options if possession comes back to him.

Most off, watch periods of the game in some detail and note why you are not managing to get into the opposition area. Do you often end up with 5 players in a static line across the opposition area whilst your "retain possesion" instruction has you passing the ball around deeper than them?

I think if you want to push as high up as you are (remember that Control already makes the D-line higher, which you then double up with the TI) then you need to be pressing as well. A high Dline with no pressing tends to lead to AVB type issues.....

Lastly, i would say the shoot on sight TI is not a bad idea at your level. I have used it to some success in the lower leagues as keepers tend to be poor and long shots have a good chance of going in if they are on target.

Good luck :)

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