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Developing my 4-1-4-1 Further

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So i have had some relative success with a 4-1-4-1 tactic but my main problem is the goals conceded column. I am trying to make my tactic more defensive sound

Tactic

2rpv9es.jpg

Team Instructions

ebeomd.jpg

My thinking is to make sure there are players behind the ball hence the use of counter. I want them to keep shape, Stick to positions and be more disciplined

I want to be efficient in possession rather than needlessly give it away hence the Retain Possession and Shorter Passing shouts

My goalkeeper has distribute to full backs and the central defenders have a short passing PI

I did use to have a control mentality with just a DM-d, CM-s, CM-a setup in the midfield 3.

I use exploit middle if I outnumber the opposition in the middle or Exploit flanks if I outnumber them out wide. I dont use Play Wider as my team maybe too far away from each other.

Not sure its relevant my pitch size is minimum

First couple of games seemed to go well having kept 2 clean sheets but since then it hasn't been that good. I am a newly promoted team but can someone give it the once over and let me know where I might be going wrong

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The regista is probably your biggest defensive weakness, he won't provide much cover for your back 4. I am using pretty much the same tactic but with a defensive midfielder on defend duty and it's quite solid.

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The regista is probably your biggest defensive weakness, he won't provide much cover for your back 4. I am using pretty much the same tactic but with a defensive midfielder on defend duty and it's quite solid.
or half back

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The regista is probably your biggest defensive weakness, he won't provide much cover for your back 4. I am using pretty much the same tactic but with a defensive midfielder on defend duty and it's quite solid.

Just to add to this;

A midfield trio of a CM-A, an AP-S & a Regista aren't going to be the best defensive unit. The CM-A will be aggressive in the defensive phase, looking to close down the ball. The AP-S is a fairly lazy role defensively and the player your using may probably fit this as well? A Regista is also similar to the CM-A in the defensive phase, closing down the ball aggressively rather than 'screening' the back four. I would definitely use a more disciplined role in the DMC position.

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Thanks for the comments, I used to use a DMC(d) or a HB in previous seasons but my thinking with the Regista was for the CD's to play short passes to him in order to keep possession

I will try the suggested changes and see how I go

thanks again

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I find one of the best ways to keep defensive shape is to use the "close down less" TI, or close down much less if you really want to park the bus. If you combine this with stick to positions and be more disciplined, it will usually give you a solid defensive shape.

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Thanks for the comments, I used to use a DMC(d) and a HB in previous seasons but my thinking with the Regista was for the CD's to play short passes to him in order to keep possession

I will try the suggested changes and see how I go

thanks again

Sounds like you want a DLP(D) in the DM strata.

He'll look for the ball, be a deep creative influence (like a Regista) BUT screens the defence rather than go hunting.

A DM(D) is a good screening option, but will only keep things ticking offensively. He'll opt to play simple short passers, rather than be a deep creative influence like you're wanting from the Regista.

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Maybe use Lamb in DCL as Central Defender (Stopper)? It should close the gap between him and the attacking wingback and when the ball's won he'll hopefully have two options: lay it off to the Regista or send it down the flank to the wingback

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My thinking is to make sure there are players behind the ball hence the use of counter. I want them to keep shape, Stick to positions and be more disciplined

I want to be efficient in possession rather than needlessly give it away hence the Retain Possession and Shorter Passing shouts

Retain possesion shout + Counter mentality may cause your team waste good counter attack possibilities by prioritising keeping hold of the ball.

Counter mentality already applies slower tempo when your team is in the attack phase. Attack phase is not to be mistaken with the transition phase - this is when you should be aiming at being quick in order to exploit the possible gaps in the opposition shape and Counter attack mentality does exactly that. Retain possesion shout can be counterproductive here.

I'd go with a standard mentality + your shouts if you want to play possession football (with drop deeper and maybe close down less you should still keep a good shape behind the ball) or counter attack mentality without retain possession (and perhaps shorter passing) if you want to be quick on the counter.

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I wouldn't think retain possession, shorter passing and low(ish) mentality amounts to efficient use of possession. Have you tried to play without these instructions to see how it plays out? I think it's good to know exactly what the baseline is for passing. Then you know if you need to pass it shorter or not. The same applies to all TI's. You might exploit the middle (or flanks) naturally when the opponent leaves space in the middle (or flanks), so you may be already exploiting their weakness without ever instructing your team to do that.

Defensively you need to leave more players back if you want to be more solid. That shape in itself is pretty solid, but now you might see everyone but the centre backs wandering upfield.

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I am currently experimenting with a 5-1-2-2 WB and the smallest change that has made the biggest difference was changing the Regista to a Deep-Lying Playmaker. I went from conceding 1-2 goals per game to conceding 0-1. The description of the Regista seemed really appealing to me, but in practice it was a poor choice.

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Retain possesion shout + Counter mentality may cause your team waste good counter attack possibilities by prioritising keeping hold of the ball.

Counter mentality already applies slower tempo when your team is in the attack phase. Attack phase is not to be mistaken with the transition phase - this is when you should be aiming at being quick in order to exploit the possible gaps in the opposition shape and Counter attack mentality does exactly that. Retain possesion shout can be counterproductive here.

I'd go with a standard mentality + your shouts if you want to play possession football (with drop deeper and maybe close down less you should still keep a good shape behind the ball) or counter attack mentality without retain possession (and perhaps shorter passing) if you want to be quick on the counter.

I thought it had been said on here, and confirmed, that when a counter attack is on (I.e. An outnumbering of attacking players) the mentality, tempo and passing style is maxed out in order to maximise the counter effect.

Existing TI's only come into play when there is no counter attack available. So, in the case of the Retain Possession, it'll encourage the team to keep hold of possession in normal circumstances.

Obviously certain TI's could increase (or decrease) the likelihood of a counter attack occurring.

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oing for something like this need help to get some TI and mentality?

F9 (S)

WP (A) CM (D) AP (A) WM (S)

HB (D)

CWB (A) CB (D) CB (D) WB ( S)

GK (D)

at the moment i have play wider, shorter passing, much higher defensive line, close down more and higher tempo.

just not sure if that works and how to tweak individual instructions . as well as mentality probably lookking at fluid for now and starting on standard

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After taking on the Swansea managers role with 10 games already played I finished a respectable 13th in the Championship. Ahead of a full season, I tried to apply some of the ideas in this thread, I finished 5th and then won the play offs. I was predicted to finish mid table so have definitely overachieved here

My formation stayed true to my initial 4-1-4-1, which is at the top of this post but I changed from a Control Mentality to a Standard Mentality. TI's were set as follows

Close Down Less;

Short Passing;

Drop Deeper;

Play Narrower;

Be More Disciplined;

Depending on the opposition I deselected Drop Deeper and selected Exploit the Middle/Exploit the Flanks where appropriate.

I ended the season with one of the best defensive records in the league although we still conceded more than one a game so there is room for improvement in this area.

Thanks to all the contributors to my many threads your tips and advice have proved invaluable to me taking my playing experience forwards.

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I understand that a newly promoted team will struggle but my tactic seems to be getting picked off at will;

I close down less to make sure we don't get pulled out of position and I have selected be more disciplined to help with this

Should I be looking at dropping my mentality down to say counter?

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Can you clarify the situation a little more - what exactly is happening? How are you conceding goals? What instructions do you have? etc etc

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Formation is 4-1-4-1 playing Standard & Fluid

GK - GK(d)

LB - WB(a)

DC - CD(d)

DC - CD(d)

RB - WB(s)

DM - DM(d)

LM - WM(s)

CM - CM(a)

CM - BBM(s)

RM - WM(a)

ST - DF(s)

Team Instructions

Sit Narrower

Close Down Less

Drop Deeper

Be More Disciplined

The intention was to be difficult to beat and this served me well in the championship where i ended with the 3rd best defensive record

I want to remain difficult to beat so the plan is to try and keep players from needlessly roaming from positions, while keeping men behind the ball. I am getting beat by 2/3 goals each game, occasionally picking up the odd draw. Bases on the match stats I am not being out played and I do understand that I have the worst team, predicted to finish bottom. I accept that its going to be a struggle but anything I can do to "tighten things up" would be appreciated

I am thinking about dropping to a counter mentality which should get players behind the ball or maybe changing to short passing/retain possession. But I do want to avoid inviting too much pressure so its probably just minor tweaks that are needed

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Similar thing I have asked a few people recently - are you being too deep and compact, therefore, struggling to regain possession or keep the ball, or initiate a counter attack? Then the ball just keeps coming back at you, so a 2-3 goal defeat is normal. Are you adjusting your line etc to your opponents? For example, I beat Southampton 4-1 just now as Arsenal - Graziano Pelle is not particularly quick, and there is no AMC behind him, only Long and Mané to flank him. Therefore I could push up a little higher, knowing that Pelle is not going to run in behind, and I can get players back quickly to take care of Mané & Long.

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Thanks for the response, so maybe use a counter mentality but select Push Higher Up as team Instruction?

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Maybe, you may simply just leave the instruction off - so neither pushed up, nor dropped off - just at default level. Have a little experiment and see.

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I changed to a counter mentality, removed many of the TI's except Be More Disciplined and went on a decent run of form beating the likes of Arsenal away. I was lying in 13th place with a newly promoted team which had the lowest wage budget when Southampton approached me. Since moving to the Saints I have switched back to my usual tactic and results have been much better

Lesson Learned - Swansea was always going to be a tough gig, we were the worst team in the premier division and other teams just had better players. On reflection there was probably nothing wrong with my tactic, wholesale changes were not required but rather small minor tweaks needed to be made.

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I completed the season as Southampton and was somewhat disappointed. While I didn't lose too many I didn't win loads either and while drawing probably won't see me relegated it really isn't pushing me on.

With that in mind I have read some of the forum posts again and revisited my tactic. I generally like the way a 4-1-4-1 sets up so will be sticking with this shape.

11ipdv5.jpg

GK - GK(D) - I never normally change this from the default. There maybe a case to use a SK but at this stage I don't know if I am going to be pushing up.

DL - WB(s) - My Left sided WM is set to attack, so I need him to support the player in front of him

DC - CD(d)

DC - CD(d)

DR - WB(a) - With my right sided WM set to support, I want to see this player push forward, overlap and be a threat in the final third. May change to a CWB(a) against poorer opposition

DM - A(d) - I am really torn on this role. Ultimately I want him to help defend, thats it so Anchor Man seems a sensible duty. Have set a short passing PI to stop him just hoofing the ball

LM - WM(a) - one of my main attacking threats. Get forward cut inside and score goals. He won't be crossing or at least in many positions to cross as he should be more central. PI's of Cut Inside with Ball, Cross Less Often and shoot less often.

CM - CM(s) - Another position where I am not sure which duty/role is best here. He will have options around him so I have considered a DLP(s) or AP(s) here so this may change as we progress

CM - CM(a) - Get forward, score goals.

RM - WM(s) - Told to sit narrower for two reasons i) to cover for the more advanced CM(a) ii) allow room for the WB(a) behind to overlap and put crosses in

ST - DF(s) - Pressure the back line, this role seems to achieve what I need

My thinking is that while the defensive shape is quite structured there are quite a few players in advanced positions so I am looking at using a Defensive or Counter Mentality & Structured Philosophy which should keep the team disciplined.

Team Instructions

I haven't yet decided on which team instructions to use but I am considering

Play Narrower - In the attacking phase we are looking to be more 3-1-3-3 so want to keep it compact

Play out of defence - I want to avoid just hoofing the ball

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I wonder if the DF is the right role - it seems it doesn't suit your forward according to the rating circle. There are lots of roles which suit a lone forward well, and can encourage heavy pressing too. A DLF, CF, F9 can all do it too

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Hi llama3, ignore that player selection I completely messed that up, the player selected is an AML!!!

I will try some of the other roles though thanks for the response

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I tried a couple of different philosophies during the friendlies, with Flexible selected I scored lots but also conceded lots but when using structured we seemed to be more disciplined and concede less goals. I will keep an eye on this throughout

Middlesborough appear to line up in a narrow 4-1-2-1-2 formation and I consider us to be fairly evenly matched so will be starting this game with a Standard Mentality.

2e0pv1h.jpg

I have chosen the following Team Instructions as I want to try and keep the ball and create good chances rather than needlessly give it away. Again this may change based on the opposition.

Retain Possession

Short Passing

Work Ball Into Box

Play out from defence

I removed the short passing PI from my Anchor Man.

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I won the game 1-0 below are the match stats

i1wck7.jpg

A steady performance, I would have probably liked to have created/scored a few more chances but a 1-0 win away from home is a good start.

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Completed my first 6 games and I'm delighted to report that I've notched up 6 wins scoring 13 goals whilst conceding just once

I am yet to play the top teams but the advice provided by the many ITK's really is worth digesting

I will try and put my thinking for each game up later/tomorrow

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My unbeaten start came to an abrupt end. I lined up to face Manchester United at Old Trafford who had finished runners up the previous season.

They played a narrow 4-3-1-2 formation

29lihvm.jpg

I started with my normal 4-1-4-1 Standard/Structured setup but it was obvious quite early on that something wasn't working. As Man Utd were completely dominating play and I was struggling to get out of my half. was 1-0 after 28 minutes.

I didn't want to soak up any more pressure so felt changing to counter wouldn't help so went from Structured to Control. This, I believe, pushed my defensive line up and increased my tempo. I also removed retain possession and short passing and selected More Direct Passing as I wanted to exploit the space behind the FB's

2mxlgup.jpg

I also noticed that their FB were playing very high so changed my FB's to FB(s) to counter this.

I equalised twelve minutes later and went 2-1 up on 15 minutes into the second half.

Man Utd then changed a 4-4-2, I felt my changes wouldn't probably work against the 4-4-2 so quickly changed back to my standard formation in order to spot what was going on but conceded 2 goals to lose 3-2

Whilst I am disappointed to lose the game I had a number of key players missing and the match stats tell their own story

2r4o2z4.jpg

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I have been happy with my progress, 2 away defeats to Man Utd & Liverpool both ending 3-2 and a 1-0 home defeat to Nottm Forest courtesy of an apparent wordly. (according the post match press conference!!)

Next up was Man City who started off playing a 4-4-1-1 at half time they switched to 4-4-2 Narrow

Match Stats

2i8dnrl.jpg

No matter what I tried I just couldn't get the ball out of my half.

In the first half their full backs were very attacking so changed to a direct passing style and dropped from control to counter. I managed to get to 0-0 at half time

2nd half i reset my changes and viewed the match, changed to direct passing again and play wider.

I thought about removing play out of defence but we were already conceding a lot of possession

I ended up losing 3-0

Just wonder in anyone has any thoughts about this type of game?

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This is something I have to deal with all the time as well, against the 'top' teams where I am not really very far behind them quality wise I often get totally dominated and switching mentalities etc seems to have almost no effect at all on proceedings.

I tend to look at the speed of their forward(s) compared to my CB's, if they are faster then I will likely go Counter strat with 'Stay on Feet' selected, or maybe even Defensive and always have a DM present to shield the backline.

If I have a faster backline then I will switch to a Sweeper Keeper on support duty and use a higher line with high pressing with either standard or Control and try and take it to them, by condensing the field you can usually break up the massively high passing % they usually have

Good luck :thup:

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This is my 4-1-4-1 that I created for matches where I'm outclassed when playing as Frankfurt (my main tactic is an attacking 4-2-3-1):

Mentality: Counter

Structure: Flexible

................DF/S.................

.......................................

..WM/A..AP/S...CM/A..WM/S..

..........................................

..............HB/D...................

..........................................

..WB/S..BPD/D..CD/D..CWB/A..

...........................................

.............SK/D........................

The left WM/A is set to cut inside and sit narrower and the WB/S is set to stay wide and run wide with the ball. The WM/S and CWB/A are set to do the opposite.

TI: Shorter Passing, Pass Into Space, Work Ball Into Box, Run At Defense, Drop Deeper, Close Down More, Prevent Short GK Distribution, Much Higher Tempo, Be More Expressive

*Sometimes add in Play Wider and Exploit The Middle if I want to stretch out the defense and give more holes for central attack, but I rarely start a match with these set because it can disrupt my team's shape and the whole point of this tactic is to survive tougher opponents.

There are various player instructions regarding movement and distribution, but I think they're obvious enough that I am not going to go into detail about them here.

This tactic allows the fewest shots on goal compared to any I've tried for my team, but it doesn't have the offensive punch that my team is more suited for when playing more even odds.

EDIT: Overall, I'm not entirely happy with the tactic. I don't think I have the best players for it, my team instructions are set for a swift counter because I have fast, high-stamina players, and I'm not satisfied with my instructions set or player roles. It just sort of works better than other things I have tried when I'm outclassed and I'm not totally sure why.

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I am making decent progress, currently 5th in the Premier Division and have a Carling Cup Semi final to play.

16iwqj9.jpg

I lost the first leg 2-1, to the team that are quickly becoming my Bogey Team, Manchester City. I am yet to beat them in my last 5 games and got beat 3-0 last time out in a game where I had just a single shot!

The second leg came, I picked my strongest team and set up with a Control/Structured approach.

On Clicking Play Match, I immediately pressed pause to see how they are set up

2zeect1.jpg

So no changes at the moment, I press play and watch the first 5 minutes. I notice that the full backs are playing really high, like wingers. i change my setup and push my ML & MR to AML & AMR to push their full backs backwards, I also change to More Direct passing to get the ball forward more quickly. This seems to have an immediate impact and I score within 1 minute of the change. I am 2-0 up by half time

My teamtalk is "Don' get complacent" which seems to demotivate a couple of the players so I am nervy going into the 2nd half.

I expect Man C to change their tactic to get more men forward but they don't although it does seem like they are now playing a more aggressive mentality.

Midway through the second half they get a man sent off and they revert to three at the back, they are now setup in a 3-1-3-1-1 formation so I add Play Wider into the TI's.

The game ends 2-0 and while I have won it does feel a little "lucky"

Match Stats

34rakj8.jpg

Watching the game back I notice that once they go to a 3-1-3-1-1 there is lots of space down the flanks especially in the full back positions, I could have set my WB from Support to Attack as this may have helped exploit it.

I also conclude that they were playing an aggressive pressing setup which meant I often lost the ball in dangerous areas especially around the edge of the penalty area.

I am in the final and have learnt so more, but I have the same team in the FA Cup 5th Round

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I don't think you need feel lucky about this win, it is a far cry from you only have 4 shots and 1 on target for 2 goals or something. You had as many shots on target and created better quality chances, nearly a third of their shots were long range as well. I'd say thats a good solid performance!

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Half way through the season and things are still going well; I am still concerned about my performances against this formation

29lihvm.jpg

Man United, Liverpool and Man City have all used it against me and the end result has been 3 defeats. They are not narrow defeats either they are comprehensive defeats with lots of possession being conceded to the opposition.

In my mind I am superior on the flanks so want to play out there as much as possible. In the case of the players shown, Aaberg is very attacking and is often found starting in the MR position leaving space behind him which is what I want to exploit.

I have tried pushing my ML & MR to the AML & AMR positions, the expectation here is that they are higher up the pitch in a position to exploit the space vacated by the advancing full backs. I have also tried using

* More Direct Passing

* Play Wider

* Higher Tempo

The trouble I have is that I can't seem to retrieve the ball once I lose it, if i do manage to get it then I am quickly closed down and end up losing possession in dangerous areas. I tried Dropping to Counter but this just resulted in me getting pinned back further, I tried upping to Control but this saw the opposition exploit the spaces I was leaving due to not having enough players behind the ball.

Any tips or pointers on how to counter this tactic?

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I am no expert, but I think it's because against that formation you've lost the midfield, I don't know how to counter this without a formation change, I have to give up my wingers when this happens - In fact I intentionally train them for central positions because of this.

I’m in my second season of a save at a much, much lower level (South African Premiership) and normally play a variation of a 4-5-1 (it's more of a 4-4-1-1), but had a similar problem right from game one of the season when the team I was playing switched to a narrow 4-3-3 as soon as we took the lead (they cut us open for a 5-1 final, and since then it seems that the 4-3-3 is the ‘come from behind’ strategy for the whole league) The adjustment that finally worked, very well, for me was to change to a narrow 4-2-2-2 with a box midfield and attacking wing-backs. I have started switching to my ‘box’ formation as soon as I see the opposition go to the 4-3-3 and it usually completely neutralizes the advantage - actually we usually outscore the 4-3-3 now.

Just food for thought.

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I have made a couple of changes since the last update.

Changed to an Attacking Mentality and a Fluid Philosophy

The following TI's have been removed

* Retain Possession

* Shorter Passing

* Work Ball Into Box

* Play out of defence

Following TI's have been added

* Push Much Higher Up

* Close Down More

* Lower Tempo

* Stick to Positions

* Be More Disciplined

Added the following PI's

DC - Pass it Shorter & Close Down Less

The result is I am now dominating games against better opposition. Against weaker opposition I add Drop Deeper and remove Close Down More and remove the PI Close Down from the DC

Depending on player availability I either use a DF(s) or CF(s) and either a CM(s) or BBM.

Results seem much better, clean sheets in 6 games winning all 6. Then played Chelsea and Man United away and while i lost both Chelsea was due to my CWB being destroyed by the striker who scored a hattrick, once I changed this we pulled 2 goals back and should have probably drawn and man united away was a tight 1-0 defeat in an even game that could have gone either way.

Sitting 3rd in the premier league having conceded only 16 goals in around 23 games, 5 of those came in the 2 games. I am through the group stages of the Champions League too.

Its not perfect, as my recent performance away against Bradford PA in the FA Cup 4th Round proved. 2-0 at half time, made some player changes to give some young players some playing time and extended the lead to 3-0 on the hour mark. BPA soon pulled one back and then another and were level after 3 goals in 8 minutes.

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Using a CWB(a) or WB(a) in the left full back position I decided to change my Left sided WM(s) to a DW(s), as I felt my left side was a little exposed.

Since making this change the tactic has really tightened up

PLD 23 W16 D4 L3 F45 A15 Clean Sheets 14

I still need to use a variant of this tactic for much lesser opposition, one that is more patient in its approach and build up.

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Do you mind showing what you tactic now looks like, as I am finding it a bit difficult to follow, but that may just be me! Thanks

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After playing around with the 4-1-4-1 for the last month, I have decided that the following setup is the most successful for my team. The biggest difference in defensive solidarity was changing WB to FB and HB to BWD. I've come to think that central defenders are the weak link in this version of the match engine and they're particularly vulnerable when one makes a bone-headed closure that opens up space for an attacker and easy score. Since a HB will drop in between the CB and the CB themselves will be more involved in the first contacts, I realized that the HB may not be the best option even though it is a great role in most respects. Changing the HB to a BWD keeps the CB back and you sort of have this aggressive pit bull making all the first contacts while the CBs hold positions. The problem is that they also sit in the default narrower stance without a HB coming in, so then the flanks are weaker. To give them some relief on the flanks and preserve the shape of the defense, I changed the WB to FB. This transformation of the back five has made the most dramatic improvements. Please try this arrangement out and let me know what you think!

.................DF/S...................

..........................................

..WM/A...AP/S..CM/A...WM/S..

..........................................

...............BWM/D................

.........................................

...FB/S...CD/D..CD/D...FB/A...

.........................................

...............SK/D....................

Mentality: Control

Shape: Flexible

TI: Shorter Passing, Pass Into Space, Work Ball Into Box, Play Out Of Defense, Run At Defense, Play Wider, Push Higher Up, Close Down More, Prevent Short GK Distribution, Higher Tempo, Be More Expressive

PI: (I use SLO a lot because players are too quick to take long shots in general - the WM/A is usually my highest scorer even with this setting) (The WM/S flank does not have sitting instructions like the other flank, but does have running instructions)

FB/S: Stay Wider, Run Wide With Ball, Shoot Less Often

WM/A: Sit Narrower, Cut Inside With Ball, Shoot Less Often

FB/A: Cut Inside With Ball, Shoot Less Often

WM/S: Run Wide With Ball, Shoot Less Often

CM/A: Roam From Position, Move Into Channels, Shoot Less Often

DF/S: Shoot Less Often

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After playing around with the 4-1-4-1 for the last month, I have decided that the following setup is the most successful for my team. The biggest difference in defensive solidarity was changing WB to FB and HB to BWD. I've come to think that central defenders are the weak link in this version of the match engine and they're particularly vulnerable when one makes a bone-headed closure that opens up space for an attacker and easy score. Since a HB will drop in between the CB and the CB themselves will be more involved in the first contacts, I realized that the HB may not be the best option even though it is a great role in most respects. Changing the HB to a BWD keeps the CB back and you sort of have this aggressive pit bull making all the first contacts while the CBs hold positions. The problem is that they also sit in the default narrower stance without a HB coming in, so then the flanks are weaker. To give them some relief on the flanks and preserve the shape of the defense, I changed the WB to FB. This transformation of the back five has made the most dramatic improvements. Please try this arrangement out and let me know what you think!

.................DF/S...................

..........................................

..WM/A...AP/S..CM/A...WM/S..

..........................................

...............BWM/D................

.........................................

...FB/S...CD/D..CD/D...FB/A...

.........................................

...............SK/D....................

Mentality: Control

Shape: Flexible

TI: Shorter Passing, Pass Into Space, Work Ball Into Box, Play Out Of Defense, Run At Defense, Play Wider, Push Higher Up, Close Down More, Prevent Short GK Distribution, Higher Tempo, Be More Expressive

PI: (I use SLO a lot because players are too quick to take long shots in general - the WM/A is usually my highest scorer even with this setting) (The WM/S flank does not have sitting instructions like the other flank, but does have running instructions)

FB/S: Stay Wider, Run Wide With Ball, Shoot Less Often

WM/A: Sit Narrower, Cut Inside With Ball, Shoot Less Often

FB/A: Cut Inside With Ball, Shoot Less Often

WM/S: Run Wide With Ball, Shoot Less Often

CM/A: Roam From Position, Move Into Channels, Shoot Less Often

DF/S: Shoot Less Often

I will give it a test now

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I should also note that the "Control" mentality is variable. Against most opposition I do Control + Push Higher Up, but against really tough opponents I'll drop to standard or counter and remove PHU.

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I'm going to give this a try. I'm desperate getting some points. I made back to back promotions all the way from the Vanarama North to the Championship. This has caused some issues, my squad isn't good enough for the level I'm playing at and I can hardly sign any players that are good enough. I hope this tactic will give me some more defensive solidity, I concede about 3 goals per match. Most of them are half chances where a forwards shoots, but the shot gets blocked right into another striker who only has to push it in.

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So progress has been slow and steady, currently 2nd in the Premier League, unbeaten at home and only 3 defeats in 24 games. Defensively I am pretty happy with just 22 goals conceded.

I then meet Man Utd who are top, 4 points ahead although I have a game in hand, I lose 9-2 and I am 6-0 down at half time. this is quite a common theme, I was knocked out of the Champions Cup after losing to PSG and Barcelona, 4-1 and 3-0 respectively.

It seems the big teams are really giving me grief.

20jmnom.jpg

Here is the video of the Man United game

Some of the things I did in the game

* Changed from Control to Counter (Keep people behind the ball)

* Change my DM to HB to counter the player in the AM position

* Lowered Tempo to try and stop giving away possession

* Removed Short Passing

* Removed Close Down More to stop players being pulled out of position

* Removed Push High Up couple of balls over the top

Any tips, suggestions or pointers would be great

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Highlights

Finished 2nd in the Premier League

Won the Carling Cup

Development of one of the youth team into a key player

1 home league defeat all season

Lowlights

Losing 2-0 to lower league Plymouth in the FA Cup 5th Round

Not progressing from the Champions League group after losing 2 of my 3 home games

Losing 3-2 on aggregate to Roma after winning the away leg 2-0

Thoughts

A season of over achievement but it still felt like I could have done more. An injury to my main striker which put him out for a long period didn't help, he scored just 14 goals with my backup striker scoring just 8 so certainly one area to improve. I offloaded some fringe players which allowed me to progress some of the youth team which reaped rewards.

My 9-2 defeat to Man United, while unique to me, was a common theme through the division as they finished with a +75 goal difference. Europe had its own challenges but I am certain this is a player quality issue rather than a tactical one but at what point would one consider that it is a player quality issue rather than a tactic one?

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A wider question, I have been using a DM(d), CM(a) and CM(s) in my midfield triangle and it has been relatively successful. Through squad building and youth development I now have players who are capable of playing in different positions.

my CM(a) is one of my main goal threats so don't want to lose this if possible but what is the general consensus to changing the following:

DM(d) to DLP(d)

CM(s) to BWM(s) or BBM(s)

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Without the ball we should be a 4-1-4-1 but with the ball i am trying to get us to become a 3-4-3

Been having a play with the formation and have made some small modifications

19085x.jpg

Left Wide Midfielder is now a WP(s). i want him to come inside for two reasons, the first to populate the space left by the advancing midfielder and second to vacate the space out wide for advancing full back.

CM(a) changed to AP(a) although this one is open for debate. I need this player to be a goal threat and get forward. The CM(a) really gives me what I need in terms of goals but the AP(a) does also have its plus points. I guess I need to watch a couple of games here but with a HB(d) being included a DLP(s) might be better

CM(s) changed to BWM(s). this is one of the roles I just can't seem to pinpoint down enough, the CM(s) didn't seem to be doing what was intended but as I want to win the ball high up the field, the BWM(s) maybe more suitable here

Right wide Midfielder, no changes here. he has PI's to cut inside with ball, cross less often and shoot less often. He plays like an inside forward and is getting goals, doing exactly what i want. This in turn frees up space for the right hand WB(a) / WB(s) to use

DM(d) changed to HB(d) with my wing backs bombing forward I need this player to become a third centre back

My CB's have PI's of Close Down Much Less and Tackle Harder. They were being pulled out of position, I want them to be as rigid as possible and make strong tackles. also added these PI's to the HB

Current TI's are:-

* Work ball into Box - I don't want to give away possession or waste opportunities so these two instructions seem to give me what I need

* Play out of defence

* Push Higher Up - win the ball high up the field

* Close Down More - win the ball high up the field

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Fascinating read Bob, all of your changes are well thought out & explained & nice one on your success last season!

I think with the bigger teams is that player for player, they're a better team & it would take a lot to out do them, maybe watch back the matches in which they lost to see some of their short comings?

Just referring back to Post #32, how do you have Man City's roles or is that something you put together yourself?

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Johnny Ace - ref your point about Post #32, it was just a screenshot taken during the match

Oh, cool, I'll have to have a look for that, never seen my opponent's roles before

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