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Counter-Attacking Devastation in Football Manager 2016


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Yes the diamond is a tough one. In my opinion, it is not a strong option for a counter attacking shape. The reason being that the flanks are so exposed in the defensive phase. The very nature of the counter mentality means you'll invite the opposition forward but this means you'll invite them forward AND give them lots of space. Midfielders or fullbacks will have to close down to compensate, leaving gaps all over.

In my opinion the diamond is better suited to a standard mentality and it's a more attacking shape. In fact, in FM2015 the diamond was the most effective attacking shape I used!

Its not ideal. But I think it can be done. I hope it can. I just feel like its the best compromise for the Hull starting squad. They have slower central defenders, good fullbacks, four similar central mids (not that creative or technical, but hard working), and not that much for quality strikers or wide players. So a more possession based approach doesn't seem ideal, especially if it means pushing the defensive line up. And a formation that uses wide midfielders of some type (whether defensive wingers, wingers, IF, etc) means some players are going to be somewhat out of position. That said, I might try to create a more attacking version of the diamond, and a similar counterattacking tactic with a different shape.

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You can actually build a 4-4-2 that defends flat, but attacks like a Diamond:

--------------P-A---CF-A--------------

------------------------------------------

WM-S-----AP-A----DLP-D------WM-S

----------------------------------------

WB-A-----CD-D----CD-D-------WB-A

----------------------------------------

---------------GK-D--------------------

Just ask the WM-S on both sides to sit narrower and hold position when in possession. Of course the AP-A can be caught out of position, but often when you lose the ball in attack the wm-s haven't transitioned back to the wings yet, and provide some sort of cover till the AP-A can get back.

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Excellent thread Ö-zil to the Arsenal. It inspired me to take a two tactic approach as well and since then I really am getting a grip on this 16.1.1 ME. It's really great to see that different mentalities can actually yield results in this FM and that having more than one good tactic isn't a waste of time.

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To your point on Ozil at AMC - I don't like AMCs. You'll notice I rarely / never use them. They're too easy to take out of the game, don't contribute enough defensively and crowd the attacking area.

I've only ever seen one "AMC" in FM15 and that was Spurs Eriksen, 50+ assist's pr. season. I think the "key" attribute is his off the ball and telling him to roam from position and his PPM's. He seems to be creating goals in FM16 when computer controlled, but I haven't tried him out yet.

AMC and central striker seems bad in FM16 though, they end up way to close to each other.

Back to 4-4-2 counter, it's as your run has shown, and my own experience, not working too badly, my only problem is lack of players that's up for switching position, so it takes 3 subs to switch. When I want to use it, it's usually because I enter a game, expecting to do okay and find out the other team has decided today is a good day to have a complete stormer and then it's really hard to switch out of 4-1-2-3 DM Wide or 4-3-3 Wide or...

Maybe a 4-5-1 instead? Usually AML/R's has some experience as ML/R, since that means you don't have a striker that need to be cross trained for MC. (Though Højbjerg and Yuri does work as Striker/MC's)

I'm not happy with lone strikers in FM16 (Edit: Because AML/R is too slow in running up to support the striker), but I just can't seem to find anything good in the idea of a 4-2-4 Wide, but it does easily convert into a 4-4-2.

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I have been using the 4-4-2 counter very effectively against any offensive minded managers or formation. The 2 tactical instructions I would avoid is prevent keeper from passing short out of the backfield and using a higher defensive line. You want to invite more pressure and have the opponent's players pushing up. Then the opponent will have to push the defensive line higher, which would leave a lot of space for my 2 fast forwards to exploit. Seems like the 2 wide midfielders are too slow in any role i play them in FM16, so I just make sure they can pass well enough to my 2 FAST forwards (AF/DLF). IMO the 2 forwards we the most important pieces to make this counter tactic effective for goal scoring opportunities, while the 2 banks of four provide great defensive shape. I see on this forum about people complaining about fullbacks pinching towards the middle too much, which leaves a lot of room for an attacking winger or fullback. I don't really see much of this with the 2 banks of four because the wide midfielders pick up the attackers (even when I don't instruct them to do it). Now my fullback can decide to help keep the defensive line and decide to help his CB against a striker or go pick to pick up an attacker in the wing.

Against attacking formation, the 4-4-2 has helped me limit the opponent's shot on goal and give me about 50% possession. I have been playing this counter formation in MLS (3 star league). Thanks Ozil for the idea.

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  • 8 months later...

In the 4-4-2 counter formation is the Wide Playmaker role set strictly because of Ozil or would you still use that role for other teams who don't have Ozil or a similar player. Also how does the combination of Deep Laying and Wide Playmakers work out? It seems to me that it creates an imbalanced and awkward formation where the ball is consistently pushed towards the left side where the Wide Playmaker sits and also has too much overlap between the 2 playmakers as they're pretty close to each other. Also what player preferred moves do you prefer to have on your players for both formations(hopefully the same ones)?

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Yes I'd say the 'playmaker' responsibility was selected due to the playmaking attributes of Ozil and Cazorla. In general I have no problem having multiple playmakers but I'd always be aware that it will reduce the playmaking responsibilities of the rest of the team.

Depending on the player I'd be tempted to select a Wide Midfielder (Support / Attack) or Central Midfielder (Support) role and a more fluid team shape.

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