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Cpt_Short

4-3-3 Non-League - The way to go?

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I made a thread ages ago about the differences between a Wide and Narrow 4-3-3, with the aim of developing my own as I wasn't yet sure how I wanted to go with it. For a fortnight or so i've been quietly grafting away with it.

My tactical knowledge has been always been reasonably good but i've never been able to have my ideas translate smoothly from my notepad into the game, so the aim here was to really nail my vision down and create exactly what I was looking for. I went with a wide 4-3-3 with a flat midfield. The Results... well they are devastating.

Here's what I came up with:

http://puu.sh/gjMeU/54125b6e72.jpg (Control Mentality, Structured Shape)

The idea was pretty rudimentary. The big issue I've had this year is getting my defence to concentrate and be secure. So often I was blaming the defenders for this, but really it was a combination of what I was asking them to do, and them not getting cover from midfield. the 4-2-3-1 has been relatively successful for me, though not amazing, so I thought about how I could make this more defence-friendly (Without making the CM's into DM's). What I came up with was simple. I brought the AM back to sit in the heart of midfield with the two behind him, adjusted their roles so I had a nice variety that suited the players at the club, and then had one winger swap into a support role to allow one of my fullbacks to overlap, as having identical wing-play on both sides really wan't working out for me (I chose the side for this purely based on the abilities of my full-backs. Hinshelwood is good on the ball and can really whip a ball, so the right-sided winger got the short straw).

So now my midfield is very tight and competent in passing thanks to some pre-season emphasis on cohesion and teamwork, and the variety of wingers and fullbacks on the flanks creates plenty of avenues for the mids to shift it forward (Including the BBM's bursting runs and the CM (A)'s tendency to float around at the edge of the area). The only thing left was sorting out my defence.

Previously i'd been very conservative here, playing a deep line at all times. But I decided that with such a competent and structured midfield, I could risk a bit more aggression from the back. I set my TI's to have lots of closing down, as well as a high work-rate (since the start of the season we've been on fitness training so i didn't burn anyone out). So now the team is complete, and oh my, is it effective.

The gist of it is as follows:

> The Defence is confident and works hard to harass and niggle attacking players on the ball, with the CM (D) and BBM (S) dropping back to give a helping hand when it's appropriate. While we make a few mistakes in this way (especially after a poorly cleared set-piece), 99% of the time we can snuff out opposition attacks and win the ball back, before handing the job over to the midfield to instigate an attack of our own.

> With the control mentality + High tempo, the midfielders get about their business quickly. The CM (A) works to utilise the 2 men on his right as a pass out, the BBM (S) will hare around the centre circle picking out whoever he feels like picking out (The uncertainty tends to throw the oppositions set-up, with Jake Thompson particularly effective at running riot), while the CM (D) [often the man who won the ball back] tends to contribute only in the early build-up play, letting his colleagues in midfield do the dirty work while he sits back and watches for a counter attack.

>The wingers vary. Attacks on the left aren't as common, but they tend to involve some passing at the edge of the area, at which point the AML while burst through from the left, receive a through-pass before weighing up his options.

>The right is a much better hunting ground. The AMR picks it up from midfield, and has 3 options.

1) Cut inside and have a go, or pick out the striker with a ground pass.

2) Hold it up, before find the DR on the overlap who will whip in a cross

3) Play it flat across the edge of the box for either the BBM (S) or CM (A) to run onto and slot home.

The result is a truly devastating attack force in front of competent defence, And you can see for yourselves what it has done the the Isthmian league:

http://puu.sh/gjOfd/822a41c85b.jpg

http://puu.sh/gjOj9/5086d5c37a.jpg

So far we've never conceded more than 2 goals in the league, and only one poor spell has blighted the season in any way shape or form.

I'd be interested to know what you guys make of this. I'm personally proud and rather delighted at how good this is. I've tried it in the Prem, and it works there too! I think the 4-3-3 is the perfect formation for a new player looking to get their foot in the door. What do you guys think of this?

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I think any formation can be used successfully at any level, if it's well planned and executed, as yours seems to be.

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I am trying similar with Tottenham, do you have any problems with your striker ? Is he scoring enough and does he not get too isolated with advanced fwd role ? Another thing I noticed, you set your cm(d) on the side where fb(s) do you not think its better to have him on the other side to cover fb(a) ?

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I am trying similar with Tottenham, do you have any problems with your striker ? Is he scoring enough and does he not get too isolated with advanced fwd role ? Another thing I noticed, you set your cm(d) on the side where fb(s) do you not think its better to have him on the other side to cover fb(a) ?

I probably will move the CM (d) as we just hit a slightly bumpy patch. Usually when we start to struggle i just tweak here and there to stay ahead of the curve.

Strikers CAN be an issue, but my main man Alex Parsons is on 15 goals this season (I'm in January) and that's with a significant injury over the christmas period. Ever other player has struggled as an ST though. I think if you have someone who's naturally quite mobile and has good stamina you'll be fine. What role would you use instead of AF (A)?

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I have been trying IF(A) on the left, CF(S) upfront and W(S) on right.. seeing some really nice football ! :) and by the way i use the same midfield combo as you and WB(S) and WB(A) instead of fullbacks.

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Hey Mate,

Any chance you could upload the tactic or update any TI's and PI's would like to give this one a whirl....

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Hey Mate,

Any chance you could upload the tactic or update any TI's and PI's would like to give this one a whirl....

No as this is the discussion forum, if you want a tactic then look in the download section at the top of the forum.

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I have been trying IF(A) on the left, CF(S) upfront and W(S) on right.. seeing some really nice football ! :) and by the way i use the same midfield combo as you and WB(S) and WB(A) instead of fullbacks.

I actually just switched the Left to a IF (A) too! I had an AMR on the bench but i hadn't realised he could play on the left too, so i let him practice in the reserves for a bit and now he's natural so he can do that role for me now.

I'm tentative about using a CF. Aren't CF's difficult to pull off when you are at a low level? I always though of it as a role only for the best strikers around.

I haven't played with wing-backs before. I don't really know how to utilise them properly. I play Right-Back IRL and i'm a very defensive Fullback typically. As I don't go forward a lot i don't know a lot about it and so it's hard for me to know what a wingback does because i'm so accustomed to the defensive role (Difficult to explain but hopefully i got my point across)

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Hey Mate,

Any chance you could upload the tactic or update any TI's and PI's would like to give this one a whirl....

TI's and PI's are pretty optional to be honest. That'll depend on what you want your team to do, not what i do. Copying people directly only rarely pays off in my experience.

The midfield roles are also up to you. If you were going to do this system you should probably adjust the roles slightly to suit your squad. (Though I would tend to stick with 1 defend, 1 support, 1 attack. It's seems to be a good balance)

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Thanks,

Its more that I wanted to see how it was set up, and why it was working so well

But thanks anyway

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Thanks,

Its more that I wanted to see how it was set up, and why it was working so well

But thanks anyway

It's nothing special anyway. I didn't even use any PI's :p

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I gave this setup a shot and it produced some nice passing. There are lots of midfield options but I didn't have much success with the B2B midfielder but that's a personnel issue (I tried an older playmaker type). I did have 90% passing for awhile which hopefully tired the defense out a bit. The CM (d) was very effective at shutting down the opponent.

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I gave this setup a shot and it produced some nice passing. There are lots of midfield options but I didn't have much success with the B2B midfielder but that's a personnel issue (I tried an older playmaker type). I did have 90% passing for awhile which hopefully tired the defense out a bit. The CM (d) was very effective at shutting down the opponent.

I agree with you on the CM (d). last year i leaned towards a BWM instead but i always find them a bit too unpredictable. I like to think of the CM (d) as a less effective but more disciplined version of the BWM

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I have made very few changes to it since then, except for toying with an IF (A) on the left and tweaking the roles in midfield when appropriate. And over time I'm noticing we're scoring fewer and fewer goals. At the start of the season we couldn't stop scoring if we'd tried, but now the opposite is becoming true. We haven't scored a goal from open play in our last 3 games, shocking frankly for a team almost guaranteed to win the title. This worries me because we're guaranteed promotion so we're going to be facing off against tougher opposition very soon and if we can't score against Wingate & Finchley, we haven't got a hope in hell against Bishops Stortford.

It's weird because i'm searching to see what's wrong and i keep coming up empty. Morale is good, we don't have any particular worries on the injury front, form for the majority of the squad is still good and our chance CREATION is as good as it always has been. We just can't seem to get the ball to go in the net. This has been the case for about 3 months now and it's getting worse with every game so I can only assume there's a flaw in the tactics as i can find no other explanation. 10 Internet points to whoever can spot the cause because this is really concerning me now.

Here are the details on the tactics, recent form and some examples of the games i'm referring too.

Formation: http://puu.sh/gmlkH/446c7215ea.jpg (Control Mentality, Structured Shape)

Team Instructions: http://puu.sh/gmlmV/5f882a18df.png

Recent result/upcoming fixtures: http://puu.sh/gmlie/0a7cb38382.jpg

A few examples;

(1st) Bognor 0-3 Margate (6th) :http://puu.sh/gmlWb/9c91a2fd29.jpg

(13th) Wingate & Finchley 1-0 Bognor (1st):http://puu.sh/gmltU/217c377120.jpg

(1st) Bognor 2-0 Maidstone (3rd) :http://puu.sh/gmlxl/815c322fe4.jpg (I know what you're thinking, but they were 2 very cheap penalties)

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