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Help with 4-1-4-1/getting players forward to support forward.


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Any tips on a 4-1-4-1 this year? I've had some luck with the below, with the focus on keeping the ball and passing it around the opposition box waiting for an opening, but can't seem to get players forward quickly enough, and my defenders often clear forward to my lone striker, who loses it.

GK:

FB: S

CB: D

CB: D

WB: S

DLP: D

WM: A

CM: S

CM: A

WP: S

CF: S

Control, Flexible, Get Stuck In, Retain Posession, Work Ball Into box, Run At Defence, Whipped Crosses, Slightly Narrow.

I thought about going fluid, due to only really having one specialist role. My CM:A doesn't seem to get forward enough, but when i've tried a 4-4-1-1, I don't get enough defensive coverage in the DM area from the DLP: D.

I've tried most support roles for the lone striker (except Target Man which doesn't fit what I want), a DLF:S never seems to work, a F9 seems to drop too deep and doesn't get players running beyond.

Any thoughts?

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Using an attack duty for the striker may not be a bad idea. I know it looks like he will become isolated, and usually lone forwards are used in support duties. But in the case of the 4-1-4-1, the striker is the only player who can push the opposition defense, thus leaving more space for the midfielders behind him. Why don't you try using him as a DLF/a or CF/a ? Also, you can also give an attack duty to your WB, since his front partner is also on a support duty.

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You could try structured/highly structured as those strategies now add more natural depth to your team? I found in my 4-1-4-1 save that becoming more structured helped my attack duties in midfield get support quicker to my striker, however I was playing a counter attacking style of play

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I'm playing something similar, and support to the forward isn't too much of an issue. The problem(?) with the formation is that you need to build up play slowly. If you lump it forward, your striker is going to be isolated, which it looks like you're experiencing.

My first tip would be to play with a Counter mentality. It just seems a more natural fit to the system, and Control encourages quicker ball forward.

Your CM/A and your WP/S will occupy the same space. It may well be that your CM/A isn't getting forward to support because his run is blocked by your own player.

I'd be tempted to get your WB on an Attack duty as well, to offer a better outlet for your CBs.

Maybe try losing a couple of the TIs. Get Stuck In and Whipped Crosses don't seem as though they're needed, especially as, with those roles, most of the crosses will come from the full backs.

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How about control + shorter passing + lower tempo ? whats your opinion

Well it depends what you're trying to achieve. What does control do in relation to counter?

- Higher tempo

- Play wider

- Higher defensive line

- More direct passing

- More closing down

Probably a few others that I can't remember as well. You need to think about how all of those things will impact your style of play and how the opposition will play against it. You can temper some of those by scaling them back, like shorter passing and lower tempo, as you suggested. But what does that leave you with?

With a 4-1-4-1, the idea is that you're making yourself very difficult to play through, which suits a low defensive block. Without midfielders in the AM positions, supporting the lone forward, it can be difficult to press high up the pitch - you're asking players to run 20-30 yards to close down instead of 10-15. But if you're not pressing high up the pitch, you're giving their midfielders all the time they need to drop a ball over your (high) defence. In other words, if they can't play through you, then they try to play around you, or over you. By sitting deep, you mitigate the latter. Then, the main threat you have to deal with is crosses, and you can get a very specific type of defender to deal with that (good heading, marking, jumping reach, anticipation, positioning, concentration but they don't need to be quick).

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