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TheJanitor

Developing a 5-4-1/3-6-1 Box

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I was looking for a new tactical concept for my Liverpool save (FM 15, first season) and I've decided to attempt and combine two tactical concept that I rarely tried before- 3-at-back and the Brazilian Box midfield. I never got far with the former, and had decent success with the latter on one of the previous version, but it was fairly forgettable and uninteresting tactically. I love playing with advanced wide players and it made me overlook those tactical concepts. I don't think I have ever seen a 5-4-1/3-6-1 Box being applied for a lengthy period (although I do recall Liverpool playing something similar for a while under Dalglish's latest spell at the club) and I would love to see how it will be put into practice.

So, here is how the formation pans out:

5-4-1/3-6-1 Box

10xvlls.png

So, this is how it pans out in terms of roles:

Mignolet is playing as Sweeper Keeper- A and is instructed to distribute to the center backs, taking advantage of the fact that they will almost always out-number the other team in this area, hence always having a passing option. If we play high, Mignolet should come out of his line to sweep chances, and if we play deep, he should operate as a standard keeper. Our center-backs are three plain CD (D), fairly boring, but I would like them to hold their lines and not to be overly dedicated to pressing or covering. Ideally, my center backs should play to their favorite side. I tried to bring Nkoulou in the summer but he chose Inter over us (and Arsenal). He would have been the ideal sort of player for the DRC position, but sadly, I haven't found someone who would upgrade us in said position, so I remained with Skrtel and Kolo.

In front of the center backs are the CM (D) and CM (S). How the CM (D) plays is player-dependent. In matches were I want more composure, defensive cover and ball-retention I look for Lucas (PPMs: "Plays Short Simple Passes" and "Dictates Tempo"). If I want a better springboard for counter attacks and someone who could stretch play then I pick Gerrard (PPMs: "Tries Long Range Passes" and "Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank"). The CM-s is typically Henderson, and is someone who recycles possession well as well as sometimes joining attacks from deep.

The interesting area, for me at least, is the attacking trident and wing backs. Lets start from flank to flank- my right-sided wing back is Jon Flanagan, who offer little in offensive play, but he is a highly intelligent and good defensive player. Even so, he plays as WB (S), so he would still provide width on the right. On his side, Raheem Sterling is sort of an all rounder. Yes, his primary goal is to get into the box, but he can dribble wide, create and even defend occasionally. On the left side of the pitch I have Alberto Moreno- an excellent attacking full back. On his side, he has Coutinho- an outstanding play-maker. Coutinho should be the key man here, sort of the heart-beat of the team. He has the PPM "Plays One-Twos", and I hope it will aid for a better link-up with Moreno (who is learning "Hugs Touchline" to assure that he keeps width).

And eventually, upfront plays Sturridge (provided he will stay clean from injuries this season). I started him out as Advanced Forward and he did got a MoTM on the season opener, however, I wasn't fully convinced and changed it to Complete Forward (A). As AF, Sturridge always got the ball at central areas and just dribble wide, usually leading to absolute nothing. What I want him to do is to use his movement to drag defenders and open up chances for Sterling, and to find spaces for himself so Coutinho will be able to feed him with though-balls. Only tried him as CF (A) for 20 minutes or so, but I look encouraging. Balotelli did really well on that role, grabbing a goal and assist in a 25 minutes cameo.

I hope the way I want the team to function is clear. I'm playing Control/Fluid with two sets of shouts- one that looks to control possession more (Retain Possession, Shorter Passing, Play Out Of Defense*, Push Higher Up, Close Down Much More, Lower Tempo) and one that is more direct and counter-attacking (More Direct Passes, Pass Into Space, Much Deeper Defensive Line, Close Down Less and Higher Tempo**)

* Not all the time

** Sometimes Much Higher Tempo

Had 3 matches so far:

2-1 win against Crystal Palace (Away): A tricky match away from home, but a good win. Started with the Counter strategy and Led 2-0 until a 90+2 minute header from Chamakh. The second goal was beauty, Coutinho finding Sturridge on the counter with a fantastic killer ball, just the sort of play I want from those two. I will upload it later.

2-0 loss against Manchester United (Home): Gutted, as we deserved a point, but at least I actually learned from this- always have a plan B. Van Gaal fielded his usual, narrow 4-3-1-2, and I kept my 3-6-1 shape. We started good (with the possession strategy), but a ninth minute goal from Falcao, followed by a 20 minute free-kick from Mata killed the first half for me. For the second half I switched to a 4-1-4-1, took Lovren out for Gerrard who played as a Regista, in a bid to stretch Manchester. It worked lovely, but sadly, we just couldn't find the net. Shame, but encouraging.

4-0 win against Stoke (Home): Way to bounce back from a defeat, a delightful win with Sterling providing 2 goals. I actually started with the Counter strategy, as I figured that Stoke are likely to play deep against me, and it worked like a charm.

Overall, a decent first month with Sterling also winning Young Player of the Month and Moreno coming third. Next match is away against Tottenham, and I will analyze my tactic more from the first 3 matches.

Would love to hear if anyone has opinion on my system or had any experiences with this sort of formation.

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Sounds a nice idea, but as a brazilian, i tend to think the box midfield seems to be very arcaic and not good enough, as Argentinians always overrun brazilians playing a 4-4-2 flat or 4-4-Enganche-1.

Cheers,

Bitner

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I want to develop an alternative tactic based on this, but with a diamond midfield instead of a box.

Do you really need all those TIs? Sometimes the best way to have a good tactic is to keep things simple so it's easier to see what's working and what's not.

Especially in your counter-attcking set of TIs I don't see the logic. If you just switched the mentality to 'counter' wouldn't it be a lot simpler?

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I want to develop an alternative tactic based on this, but with a diamond midfield instead of a box.

Do you really need all those TIs? Sometimes the best way to have a good tactic is to keep things simple so it's easier to see what's working and what's not.

Especially in your counter-attcking set of TIs I don't see the logic. If you just switched the mentality to 'counter' wouldn't it be a lot simpler?

Thanks for the replay. I agree with you that keeping thing simple as possible is the best thing to do, ye I don't think 5-7 instructions is that excessive. Just a couple of instructions that achieved me a style of play that I wanted in the past.

As for the counter, often it's one of my favorite sort of tactics. Hard to get right, and I'm not a FM genius of any sort, but when you do get it right, it's wonderful. Anyway, I tends to work best for me on Control mentality. Attacking is too aggressive, but counter is just the opposite- even with Much Higher Tempo it seems like what I get is a slower version of what I get with Control.

Love the Diamond, you should definitely give it a try!

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You might want to head over to whoscored.com as Rodgers has deployed a box midfield against both Bournemouth and Arsenal while deploying 3 at the back.

MatchReport - http://www.whoscored.com/Matches/829684/MatchReport

I was interested in setting up similar but am enjoying another save. If I get around to it I will post my findings.

Something I noted from watching those matches (which appears to be backed up by the analysis) is how high Henderson & Markovic played.... I would suspect in fact that they would more accurately be replicated with Wide Mids than Wing Backs (although I'm not sure whether the OP wants to replicate this latest Rodgers plan). I also think that the IRL front 3 will include a Striker once Sturridge is fit, currently I see it more of a 3-7-0 with Sterling's role probably best replicated as a Shadow Striker.

Will be interested to see how this (and reality) develops.

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Rodgers' system at the weekend reminds me of Wigan under Martinez a few years ago, with that loose 3-4-3 system.

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Something I noted from watching those matches (which appears to be backed up by the analysis) is how high Henderson & Markovic played.... I would suspect in fact that they would more accurately be replicated with Wide Mids than Wing Backs (although I'm not sure whether the OP wants to replicate this latest Rodgers plan). I also think that the IRL front 3 will include a Striker once Sturridge is fit, currently I see it more of a 3-7-0 with Sterling's role probably best replicated as a Shadow Striker.

Will be interested to see how this (and reality) develops.

Agreed, I was leaning towards wide mids myself instead of wing backs. Sterling is more a F9 I was thinking, but the he does make a lot of runs in behind so a SS isn't a bad shout actually.

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Rodgers' system at the weekend reminds me of Wigan under Martinez a few years ago, with that loose 3-4-3 system.

I seem to recall Martinez played with 2 wide IF's cutting in rather than a box midfield (which MOTD analysis nicely highlighted).

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I seem to recall Martinez played with 2 wide IF's cutting in rather than a box midfield (which MOTD analysis nicely highlighted).

Martinez's side had Jean Beausejour on the left, sitting as a high wing back and wide mid, but then had Gomez coming in from the left and Moses from the right ahead of Boyce to join Di Santo up top. McCarthy & McArthur holding in the middle. So the wing back's started high, with wide men starting just ahead, but needing no excuse to drift inside. Slightly unusual system. Rodgers had Gerrard and Lucas in the centre, in the same roles as McCarthy & McArthur - with Lallana and Coutinho sitting in those advanced positions, coming from wide into advanced central areas. Phil Neville described how they came inside to drag Flamini all over the place "like a windscreen wiper"

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Martinez's side had Jean Beausejour on the left, sitting as a high wing back and wide mid, but then had Gomez coming in from the left and Moses from the right ahead of Boyce to join Di Santo up top. McCarthy & McArthur holding in the middle. So the wing back's started high, with wide men starting just ahead, but needing no excuse to drift inside. Slightly unusual system. Rodgers had Gerrard and Lucas in the centre, in the same roles as McCarthy & McArthur - with Lallana and Coutinho sitting in those advanced positions, coming from wide into advanced central areas. Phil Neville described how they came inside to drag Flamini all over the place "like a windscreen wiper"

Sorry, but Lallana & Coutinho did not start wide - their starting point was very much central.

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Yup my reading of the Liverpool set up would be that its a flat back 3, 2 x DMC (Lucas and Gerrard), 2 wide men in the midfield strata (Markovic and Henderson), 2 AMC (Coutinho and Lallana) with one striker (Sterling).

for a rough stab at role/duty, i would go for

GK (d) - The work "keeper" barely applies to Jones or Miglonet, but they are certainly not playing like sweeper keepers currently

DC (d) x 3 - I dont see anything in terms of depth or aggresiveness differences across the 3, and none of the current 3 are trusted enough to "ball play".

DM(s) - Quite hard to define in the LFC set up, but Lucas is nominally the most "defensive" of the middle 6. He does not sit deep at all times though and is more dynamic than you might think, hence my view of the support duty

DLP(s) - Gerrard seems to be back to a sort of "quarter back" who comes deep to pick the ball up, but was also getting forward enough to suggest a support duty

WM(s) - On the right, Henderson got forward much less than Markovic but was still playing ahead of the 2 DM as a passing option. Could possibly go DW(s) here

W(s) - Markovic got forward a reasonable amount, but did still over some defensive cover

AM(a) - Lallana would need some PI to make it function like he did, but had more dribbling and movement than Coutinho i would say

AP(s) - Coutinho was more passing based, dropped off a bit, and still more than capable of going round his man and driving into this box, so either PPM or PI would need to balance this

F9(s) - Sterling was defo a F9 who comes deep but also turns and runs

Thats just a rough stab at how it was in real life, would need lots of work around how it all comes together, which TI bind it an how the roles support each other.

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I probably wouldn't be to different, although I'd be more inclined to have 2 sitting CM's than DM's with Sterling at AMC as an SS.

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I wonder if you'd get more out of Coutinho as an AP(S) - playing in Sterling & Lallana - he could use his vision and passing to release someone as quick as Sterling in behind repeatedly if he was encouraged to.

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I wonder if you'd get more out of Coutinho as an AP(S) - playing in Sterling & Lallana - he could use his vision and passing to release someone as quick as Sterling in behind repeatedly if he was encouraged to.

To a degree, the AM(S) should do that anyway, however I'm more inclined to change the role to a playmaker (and conversely, the MCL to a CM(S)) to encourage the team to play through him.

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Made above change... first friendly Willem II Away

p80d2dg.png?1

Result - Won 2-0

Some stats...

fIk21UC.png?1

plus heat map

CjGACzP.png?1

I have guests round now, so will leave this for today. Any observations appreciated :)

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The gap the left between Alberto & Sakho could be exploited by opponents - Allen is more advanced than Henderson is in this system, which causes the imbalance. Large number of long shots - how close are Lallana, Coutinho & Sterling getting to goal before letting fly?

Promising start though.

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bearing in mind the oft missed fact that your formation is your defensive shape only, i think there is very little chance that your shape mirrors liverpool in the last 3 games alinp, but that said good luck with it - If you have considered how all those roles will work together then hope it comes together, but sadly i cant see it.

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The gap the left between Alberto & Sakho could be exploited by opponents - Allen is more advanced than Henderson is in this system, which causes the imbalance. Large number of long shots - how close are Lallana, Coutinho & Sterling getting to goal before letting fly?

Promising start though.

If you look at the positional report on whoscored.com for the Bournemouth game then Lovren is pushed right up behind Markovic (Sakho and Alberto here). It looks like a stopper role for Lovren and Markovic looks like a support role. Skrtel in the centre of the three is quiet clearly deeper ( cover? ) with Toure a little advanced like Lovren.

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bearing in mind the oft missed fact that your formation is your defensive shape only, i think there is very little chance that your shape mirrors liverpool in the last 3 games alinp, but that said good luck with it - If you have considered how all those roles will work together then hope it comes together, but sadly i cant see it.

Gerrard should be deeper role like a DLPs, From the Arsenal positional report its actually not a million miles away believe it or not! Sterling looks to be in a channel to the left however.

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The note of caution about positional reports, are that they are based on average position.

Remember, your formation does not govern your average position - Role and duty play a huge part in that.

That said, i agree that Gerrard should be DLP in the DM slot :)

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The note of caution about positional reports, are that they are based on average position.

Remember, your formation does not govern your average position - Role and duty play a huge part in that.

That said, i agree that Gerrard should be DLP in the DM slot :)

Well said actually and it's something I should have taken into account. Given what my eyes have seen and the deepness of Markovic average position would suggest to me that it may well be Wingbacks not WM's for Henderson and Markovic.

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I agree, although there is certainly a difference between how each played. Markovic was much more willing to go beyond the ball and dribble than Hendo.

Its also not the first time Liverpool have experimented with this formation. A couple of years back i recall a Europa league game in Russia (i dont remember the opponent, but i am reasonably sure that Lacina Traore was playing for, and scored for them). Rodgers played 3 at the back with no one up front that night. Jonjo Shelvey was the false 9 that day. Interesting that after so long, with such different personnel, he has gone back to the concept.

All of that said, we have undeniably dragged this away from the OP :) In fairness to the OP, as i now read his post back, he didnt specifically say he was trying to recreate the current LFC set up. He stated it was his own concept of combining 3 at the back and a box midfield. I think there is some great exploring that could come out of that concept.

One observation from me, is that a brazilian box midfield is usually made up of 2 x DM and 2 x MC, rather than how the OP is set up. Of course, the traditional box also operates behind 2 strikers where as this can only ever operate behind one. That may necessitate the change to the starting position of "the box"

My main concern with this system (in the OP), would be the lack of a "sitting" midfielder. As you go forward, the CB will split, the wingbacks will advance. Because the only defensive midfield is set as CM(d), this role by default has high closing down. This could see him drawn to the ball, and you could end up with huge gaps between the CB on a quick counter, with no defensive player to cover. Would be great to hear how you are getting on with this TheJanitor, whether you have this issue defensively and also interested in how you are creating and using space offensively?

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The note of caution about positional reports, are that they are based on average position.

Remember, your formation does not govern your average position - Role and duty play a huge part in that.

That said, i agree that Gerrard should be DLP in the DM slot :)

The recovery shape was 541, usually settling into a medium block with the wide players quick to drop back (this is typical of Rodgers whose defensive style is often mischaracterised as far more aggressive than it actually is). The attacking shape was somewhere between a WM or 3-1-2-4 (albeit with lots of mobility which meant Lallana and Coutinho were more central if they pressed immediately). Their roles were similar to how Silva operates when playing "wide" for City.

Unfortunately, you can't really recreate the system in FM as you can't get the early lateral off the ball movement from the wide players.

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A 541 box is an interesting idea, and while unorthodox, it certainly could work. The key players will be the wing backs who, due to the box channeling play wide, will need to be hard working and defensively strong as they will often be called upon to balance the midfield which can leave space exposed behind if the back three remain concentrated. The other danger is that, if the wing backs are pinned back early, the midfield can be dragged into the channels which could expose the defence if the play is switched behind the AMs (which would explain the vulnerability against Utd's aggressive diamond system).

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That's a good point on the wing back's especially in a defensive phase, they will be vitally important. Offensively, I think that movement up front and unpredictability is going to be really important. How does the Shadow Striker role suit Sterling? I wonder if it discourages a little creativity in him instead?

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The gap the left between Alberto & Sakho could be exploited by opponents - Allen is more advanced than Henderson is in this system, which causes the imbalance. Large number of long shots - how close are Lallana, Coutinho & Sterling getting to goal before letting fly?

Promising start though.

Not over worried about the long shots atm, as only 1 friendly in and I think it's too early to make any assumptions in this area, however my initial thought is that this may be a lack of in the box options.

If you look at the positional report on whoscored.com for the Bournemouth game then Lovren is pushed right up behind Markovic (Sakho and Alberto here). It looks like a stopper role for Lovren and Markovic looks like a support role. Skrtel in the centre of the three is quiet clearly deeper ( cover? ) with Toure a little advanced like Lovren.

I have my version of the tactic set at DCD as you describe, however I note I played Lovren in the middle, hence his natural stopper tendencies may have contributed to his slightly higher position. That said, an XCX back 3 may be an option that could be explored at some point. Early days tho'

Gerrard should be deeper role like a DLPs, From the Arsenal positional report its actually not a million miles away believe it or not! Sterling looks to be in a channel to the left however.

I think you're probably right here, although I remain unconvinced this should be in the DM line - see no reason why the to CM's can't play more of a sitting role from the CM line. They (in theory) have the security of a back 3 behind them. The Arsenal report linked earlier is a little misleading re. Sterling as he was moved to the left when Borini came on. The Bournemouth one is actually quite interesting in that Sterling, Coutinho & Lallana all have roughly the same average position - clearly a lot of swapping going on + highlight that Sterling played very much with the 2 AM's and not so much in front of them (as say you'd expect Sturridge to when he gets back in action)

Given what my eyes have seen and the deepness of Markovic average position would suggest to me that it may well be Wingbacks not WM's for Henderson and Markovic.

For me, the IRL version had an emphasis on the wing element of wing back, and tbh, I didn't see Markovic doing much of the back element. I'm of the opinion that if Rodgers had wanted wingbacks, he's have tried to make it work with the likes of Moreno, Manquillo, & Enrique, however I think he's coming to the conclusion that as his defenders are pants, the less of them he has on the pitch, the better. Added to this, he spent good money on attacking players, so he needs to find a system where he can use as many as possible. We could be seeing the re-emergence of the "we'll score more than you" philospohy from last season. Therefore, WM's for me... although left side could be a Winger - but M line still.

I agree, although there is certainly a difference between how each played. Markovic was much more willing to go beyond the ball and dribble than Hendo.

...

All of that said, we have undeniably dragged this away from the OP :) In fairness to the OP, as i now read his post back, he didnt specifically say he was trying to recreate the current LFC set up. He stated it was his own concept of combining 3 at the back and a box midfield. I think there is some great exploring that could come out of that concept.

One observation from me, is that a brazilian box midfield is usually made up of 2 x DM and 2 x MC, rather than how the OP is set up. Of course, the traditional box also operates behind 2 strikers where as this can only ever operate behind one. That may necessitate the change to the starting position of "the box"

...

Yep - hence above comment that Winger may be more appropriate.

I agree, OP didn't, and I'm pretty sure I said this in an earlier post, however it's no coincidence that he's using Liverpool and Rodgers has used something akin in his last 3 games ;)

As for the box, I think we all agree that it has 2 AMC's, the question therefore is whether it can effectively operate with 2 DMC's or should have 2 MC's - both I and the OP went for 2 MC's with more conservative roles, so will stick with them for now.

The recovery shape was 541, usually settling into a medium block with the wide players quick to drop back (this is typical of Rodgers whose defensive style is often mischaracterised as far more aggressive than it actually is). The attacking shape was somewhere between a WM or 3-1-2-4 (albeit with lots of mobility which meant Lallana and Coutinho were more central if they pressed immediately). Their roles were similar to how Silva operates when playing "wide" for City.

Unfortunately, you can't really recreate the system in FM as you can't get the early lateral off the ball movement from the wide players.

Interested in what you see as the make up of the 3-1-2-4. I'm assuming, one of the CM's would push up to join an AM to make the 2, with the other AM breaking into the box along with Sterling, with the 2 wide men flanking them to make a 4?

I agree regarding Rodgers defensive style - I think it's more a case of trying to win the ball back quickly (hence it appears a high press), but if that fails, he would prefer them to get back into shape. Not sure IRL the players get that...

A 541 box is an interesting idea, and while unorthodox, it certainly could work. The key players will be the wing backs who, due to the box channeling play wide, will need to be hard working and defensively strong as they will often be called upon to balance the midfield which can leave space exposed behind if the back three remain concentrated. The other danger is that, if the wing backs are pinned back early, the midfield can be dragged into the channels which could expose the defence if the play is switched behind the AMs (which would explain the vulnerability against Utd's aggressive diamond system).

Not sure how much of their vulnerability is down to the formation or the inability to get some basic defending right.

That's a good point on the wing back's especially in a defensive phase, they will be vitally important. Offensively, I think that movement up front and unpredictability is going to be really important. How does the Shadow Striker role suit Sterling? I wonder if it discourages a little creativity in him instead?

Hard to say yet as only played the one game... going to persevere with it for now :)

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So... taking all that into account (+ I notice from the Arsenal report that actually Coutinho was more right side) I've made the following changes for the next friendly...

MCL now DLP(S)

ML now W(A)

MR now WM(A)... seems a little deep for me atm and should be part of the attacking 5 imo.

AMCR now AP(S)

AMCL now AM(A)

Still Attacking/Fluid with no TI's or PI's yet.

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So... a fairly comfortable win there. The 2 CM's relative positioning looks much better and I'm happier with the wide men also. However there is a glaring concern - the 2 AMC's are miles apart.

Options... both Support or both Attack duty - any opinions?

BTW - as a side note, all goals so far have been scored by the 2 wide men!

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So... a fairly comfortable win there. The 2 CM's relative positioning looks much better and I'm happier with the wide men also. However there is a glaring concern - the 2 AMC's are miles apart.

Options... both Support or both Attack duty - any opinions?

BTW - as a side note, all goals so far have been scored by the 2 wide men!

If you want them closer together, and on the same duty - I would say support duties - as Sterling needs to be getting direct and in behind - all of them on Attack duties would probably get them quite disconnected from the midfield behind. Nothing wrong with the variety though. Do they link up well in the highlights?

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If you want them closer together, and on the same duty - I would say support duties - as Sterling needs to be getting direct and in behind - all of them on Attack duties would probably get them quite disconnected from the midfield behind. Nothing wrong with the variety though. Do they link up well in the highlights?

Not particularly tbh... key players definitely seem to be the wide men at the moment. Wondering however whether changing to an AM(S)/Treq combo would work - theoretically, the Treq would come back looking for the ball?

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Not particularly tbh... key players definitely seem to be the wide men at the moment. Wondering however whether changing to an AM(S)/Treq combo would work - theoretically, the Treq would come back looking for the ball?

Didn't!!

3rd friendly - easy 5-1 win v Danubio (URU). Same issue with the more attacking AM. In defence, actually looks more of a 3-1-4-2. First goals for the front 3 in this match - 2 each for Sterling (SS) & Markovic (AMs).

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Glad this turned into a lively discussion. As a fan I'm of course familiar with Rodgers 3-6-1/3-7-0 he fielded in the last two matches, and it did sparked the idea in me, but what made me change direction eventually is the fact that I'm worried of getting totally dominated in the which-ever flank Markovic is playing in. Looking the above poster's line-up, against a stronger side surely the left flank could be caught fairly easily?

Haven't been able to play the game too much lately and give a sincere update, but as a whole, my 3-6-1 is getting solid. Won against Tottenham away 2-0 and Aston Villa at home 3-1, and added a CL win against Dinamo 1-0 away.

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After trying a couple of different combinations, settled on this...

MXWEjH2.png?1

still using Attacking/Fluid with no TI's or PI's

Competitive results so far...

PRshcFN.png?1

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Good results so far. Keep us updated. It's an intruiging system, and frankly I feel that many systems over the next few years might continue going this way, with more midfielders in the team, then specialist forwards.

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Good results so far. Keep us updated. It's an intruiging system, and frankly I feel that many systems over the next few years might continue going this way, with more midfielders in the team, then specialist forwards.

Thank you

Took a day off yesterday (seemed right ;-) ), but will try and get a few more matches in today.

What I think is most interesting about this is the NO PI/TI element that has proven reasonably successful so far.

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Thank you

Took a day off yesterday (seemed right ;-) ), but will try and get a few more matches in today.

What I think is most interesting about this is the NO PI/TI element that has proven reasonably successful so far.

I think sometimes it's tempting to add lots of PI's and TI's to try and get a certain style - but it is easier to start with a more basic set up and tweak it depending on what we see. It's an interesting style you have going there, so it's interesting to see.

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made 1 minor adjustment which goes back to the first time Rodgers put this formation out this season, when as I recall he started with Johnson as the right CB with the intention of having more of a footballing defender who could bring the ball out of defence, hence now have BPD(D) at DCR.

so.. after 10 league matches, table looks like this...

4ZLiBYN.png?1

Competitive results...

0oh9ruH.png?1

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You don't seem to score as many goals - having problems breaking sides down at all?

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You don't seem to score as many goals - having problems breaking sides down at all?

with the exception of the Burnley game, goals seem to be coming later in the game recently and I do agree that persistence seems to be key, rather than forcing the issue.

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Season finished... not as well as would have liked so think I need to go back to the drawing board (will probably start a new save). Finished 6th in the end and although the tactic was relatively successful going forward (71 goals - 3rd best in league), never really got the feeling it was as dominant as I hoped. I often found that other than the SS, no-one was really getting into the box. The wide mids would turn up now and then and the 2 AMC's tended to take shots from the edge of the box (which generally don't count as "long").

At the back, not very solid - conceded 44 (6th best) and needs to be better to challenge for top spots.

In conclusion, I think the AM's do need to be on Attack duty and hence play higher up the pitch and am coming round to the idea that someone needs to be in the FC position, as what though will probably need some work - possibly F9 or CF(S). The earlier suggestion that the 2 CM's actually play in the DM line with Support duty is worth pursuing also. At the back.... God knows (which is probably what Rodger's thinks every match)!

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I must say the thought about the MC's came into my head too. I am wondering if pushing your Wide Midfielders into Wing Backs would help too!

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It might be worthwhile for you to read the following: http://whenseagullsfollowthetrawler.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/a-change-of-course-4-1-4-1-to-5-3-2/#more-1688 written by RTHerringbone. It doesn't use a box midfield which you are but contains some interesting concepts you may wish to incorporate into your tactic.

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I must say the thought about the MC's came into my head too. I am wondering if pushing your Wide Midfielders into Wing Backs would help too!

Happy with the wide mids, but what is of concern is the AM's. Neither track back to help out with the defence when on Attack duty which leaves a gap between defence and attack that I'm not comfortable with and could lead to too many long balls trying to hit the front men quickly, so I've changed them back to Support duties, which now looks much better.

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Made a couple of adjustments.

Having brought the AM's back to Support duty, I noticed that there was now a lack of support for the front man. Adding the PI of Get Further Forward to the AM with Roam from Position for the AP has seemed to help with getting support up front and better movement in attack, in fact I really like the way both roles are playing and they look very similar to how Lallana & Coutinho have been operating recently.

I also noticed that the DM(S) was pushing up a little higher than I liked and getting in Coutinho's way, so I switched him to the RHS (behind the AM(S)) and added the Hold Position PI. His DM partner is now a DLP(D) as likewise, the DLP(S) was pushing a little too high for my liking. However, having watched last night's match against Swansea, Brendan through in a wee curve-ball by playing Henderson alongside Lucas as was certainly the more progressive of the 2. What do people see his role as? If he was in the CM line, I'd go for a BBM (or possibly even a CM(A)), but in the DM line, arguably he could have been a DM(S) with Get Further Forward or possibly a Roaming Playmaker.

Up top at the moment I have either a CF(S) with Move Into Channels or an SS with Roam from Position.

In addition, I've now added a handful of TI's - Retain Possession, Shorter Passing, Push Higher Up, Close Down More & Higher Tempo (which is only there to offset the tempo reduction that comes with Retain Possession). I am considering Exploit the Middle as this really is where the strength of the team lies.

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