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SamL94

Tactics for Liverpool 1st season- What would you do differently?

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Ok, so if you read a recent thread I made entitled 'I am sick of Football Manager' you will know that I have been having some issues recently, especially with tactics. I had a QPR save which I had spent many hours on which was ruined when I was relegated from the Premier League in my 2nd season (after obviously getting promoted in my 1st). Then I started a Man Utd save but found myself bottom half of the table in November and bottom of my Champions League group.

Anyway, I started a new save yesterday with Liverpool and I must say that things are looking up. It's still early days but these are my results so far:

Premier League:

Man City (A)- Lost 1-3

Arsenal (H)- Won 2-1

West Ham (A)- Won 2-0

West Brom (A)- Won 1-0

Sunderland (H)- Won 2-0

Europa League:

Rapid Wien (H)- Won 2-1

These results have put me 3rd in the league with 5 wins out of 6 in all competitions. I'm unsure though whether it's down to luck, or whether I am starting to understand the tactics more.

These are the tactics I have:

GK: Mignolet

RB: Clyne (Full back, Attack)

CB: Skrtel (Central defender, Defend)

CB: Sakho (Central defender, Defend)

LB: Moreno (Full back, Attack)

CM: Milner (Box to box midfielder, Support)

CM: Can (Deep lying playmaker, Defend)

RAM: Shaqiri (Inside forward, Support)

CAM: Firmino (Advanced playmaker, Attack)

LAM: Coutinho (Inside forward, Attack)

ST: Ings (Complete Forward, Attack)

Control

Fluid

Pass into space

Whipped crosses

I thought that fluid and pass into space would work together and would give the attacking players (Coutinho, Lallana, Firmino, Shaqiri) licence to play. I've gone for whipped crosses because Ings is better on the ground than in the air so rather them than floated crosses. I have Coutinho and Shaqiri as inside forwards as this is their best role, and I thought that this would work well if I had Clyne and Moreno attacking, as they can provide the width (I do not have look for overlap on though because I was informed that this works best with retain possession, not pass in to space). I was told by somebody (don't know how true it is) that in a 4-2-3-1 it's good to have a deep and an advanced playmaker, and I've also been told it's good to have 1 of the central midfielders as support, and one as defend, hence what I've done.

Does any of what I've just wrote regarding my tactics sound plausible, or does it sound like a load of rubbish? Have I gone on a winning run due to luck, or are these tactics working.

I'm just basically asking because I'm trying to understand the tactics more. Any feedback would be welcome, including what possible changes you would make.

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...

Anyway, I started a new save yesterday with Liverpool and I must say that things are looking up. It's still early days but these are my results so far:

Premier League:

Man City (A)- Lost 1-3

Arsenal (H)- Won 2-1

West Ham (A)- Won 2-0

West Brom (A)- Won 1-0

Sunderland (H)- Won 2-0

Europa League:

Rapid Wien (H)- Won 2-1

Good start.

...

These are the tactics I have:

GK: Mignolet

RB: Clyne (Full back, Attack)

CB: Skrtel (Central defender, Defend)

CB: Sakho (Central defender, Defend)

LB: Moreno (Full back, Attack)

CM: Milner (Box to box midfielder, Support)

CM: Can (Deep lying playmaker, Defend)

RAM: Shaqiri (Inside forward, Support)

CAM: Firmino (Advanced playmaker, Attack)

LAM: Coutinho (Inside forward, Attack)

ST: Ings (Complete Forward, Attack)

Control

Fluid

Pass into space

Whipped crosses

My thoughts on this is your overly attacking considering your playing Control. Both fullbacks are pushing up, your wide players are coming inside. One of your two CM's has Roam From Position, leaving just your CB's and a DLP to cover deep so open to counter attacks. I also think your a little light on support though Advance Playmaker - Attack will still drop deep you might end up with a lack of depth so will end up playing it out wide to your fullbacks to cross it.

Whats the defensive plan? You have a very attacking formation with lots of players forward, there's no "shielding" your defenders with this formation so the only way they can really help is pressing. Are they doing this enough with just Control mentality and no shouts?

I thought that fluid and pass into space would work together and would give the attacking players (Coutinho, Lallana, Firmino, Shaqiri) licence to play. I've gone for whipped crosses because Ings is better on the ground than in the air so rather them than floated crosses. I have Coutinho and Shaqiri as inside forwards as this is their best role, and I thought that this would work well if I had Clyne and Moreno attacking, as they can provide the width (I do not have look for overlap on though because I was informed that this works best with retain possession, not pass in to space). I was told by somebody (don't know how true it is) that in a 4-2-3-1 it's good to have a deep and an advanced playmaker, and I've also been told it's good to have 1 of the central midfielders as support, and one as defend, hence what I've done.

If Ings is better on the ground you might want Low Crosses rather than whipped.

Don't pick roles by what is best for the player, pick it for the tactic. Unless you are building the tactic around that player, but then all other roles should be setup to help that player/role and not just what the players your plugging in are best at.

Look for Overlap doesn't really fit Retain Possession imo, not sure where you read that. Your creating a wide style of play and crossing is a low percentage option when your looking for high percentage options to create a good chance. Again not sure where you read 4231 is good to have two playmakers, it depends totally on what your trying to create which is more than your formation (which is your defensive positioning).

Yes Defend + Support is good for midfield duo, but you need to balance them with your fullbacks. Even with two support fullbacks I would be cautious in having a Roam From Position as one of my two midfielders. If you go both attacking fullbacks then really you want both midfielders to hold deep to cover them with two defend duties. Especially since Can and Milner/Henderson are not the best defensively, so asking a lot of Skrtel and Sakho who aren't the best defenders.

Does any of what I've just wrote regarding my tactics sound plausible, or does it sound like a load of rubbish? Have I gone on a winning run due to luck, or are these tactics working.

I'm just basically asking because I'm trying to understand the tactics more. Any feedback would be welcome, including what possible changes you would make.

I think when things are going good, you'll be fine. But if you come up against a team who can counter attack quickly or have some in form attackers you might struggle to defend them.

Luck? Have the goals you've scored come through good play rather than some "wonder goals" or gifted by mistakes? Have you conceded chances that weren't converted? Your the only one who can really say if its been luck.

I have plenty of things i'd change, but then thats my preference. Watch them over your next few games and see if you can find flaws in what you've asked your team to do as if you were looking for flaws to exploit an opponent.

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I wouldnt have both full backs on 'attack', I'd change Clyne to a 'support' duty.

Can from what I remember at game start isn't intelligent enough IMO to play as a playmaker.

Would also consider using a 4-4-1-1 to give your full backs more support from the wingers.

Personally I'd go something like this:

Mignolet

Clyne - FB/s

Skrtel - CD/d

Sakho - CD/d

Moreno - FB/a

Milner/Lallana - WM/a

Henderson/Can - CM/s

Lucas/Allen - CM/d

Coutinho - WP/a

Firmino - AM/a

Ings/Sturridge - CF/s

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Mignolet SK/s

Clyne - FB/a

Skrtel - LD/c

Sakho - LD/d

Moreno - FB/a

Lallana - WP/a

Henderson - CM/d

Can - DLP/s

Coutinho - WP/a

Firmino - AP/a

Ings/Sturridge - CF/a

The 2 centre mids are the key. When the FB attack the centre mids will cover the flank and protect the defence as they don't drift too far from position.

The wide playmakers are the main force in this set up. Loads of assists and loads of goals, they link up nicely with the advanced playmaker when get forward is selected.

The FB on attack will put in loads of crosses from out wide.

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Thanks guys for the feedback.

I suppose the answers I have received highlight the point I am making about finding it difficult to know what tactics to use. One of you said that Can is no good as a playmaker, while another has Can as a deep lying playmaker in his team. Also, one of you said not to have the two full-backs as attacking, but then another has both full backs as attackers. Again, one of you has the striker as support, while another has attack.

I noticed that 2 of you guys recommended 4-4-1-1 as the formation to go with. I was actually trying a couple of different formations last night to see how they worked out. First I tried 4-4-2 away to Crystal Palace and won 3-0. I also tried 4-4-1-1, like you guys recommend, at home to Watford, and won 2-0.

In terms of style I have fluid and control. Are these things you would still advise for 4-4-1-1. Like I say I used them for 4-2-3-1 and they worked ok, but I always thought that if you play a formation such as 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 it is better to play structured to keep the 2 banks of 4? Again, is this rubbish or do I have a point?

Again, thanks for any feedback. I'm currently 4th in the league in mid December, and won my Europa League group, so the save is going ok so far. Obviously any tips on how to improve are welcome though.

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Thanks guys for the feedback.

I suppose the answers I have received highlight the point I am making about finding it difficult to know what tactics to use. One of you said that Can is no good as a playmaker, while another has Can as a deep lying playmaker in his team. Also, one of you said not to have the two full-backs as attacking, but then another has both full backs as attackers. Again, one of you has the striker as support, while another has attack.

I noticed that 2 of you guys recommended 4-4-1-1 as the formation to go with. I was actually trying a couple of different formations last night to see how they worked out. First I tried 4-4-2 away to Crystal Palace and won 3-0. I also tried 4-4-1-1, like you guys recommend, at home to Watford, and won 2-0.

In terms of style I have fluid and control. Are these things you would still advise for 4-4-1-1. Like I say I used them for 4-2-3-1 and they worked ok, but I always thought that if you play a formation such as 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 it is better to play structured to keep the 2 banks of 4? Again, is this rubbish or do I have a point?

Again, thanks for any feedback. I'm currently 4th in the league in mid December, and won my Europa League group, so the save is going ok so far. Obviously any tips on how to improve are welcome though.

There is really no "right" answer, only some common principles, you will probably never find an identical tactic suggested. Neither suggestion mentioned the mentality, shape or instructions which will affect how these roles combine. You can't just take bits a pieces from people and plug them all together, sometimes it might work but many times it won't. You need to highlight the issues you have and what you want your team to do. For example I use something similar to DBurns but I have Standard + Very Fluid, if you played my roles+duties without my mentality, team shape and instructions you'll get very different results. I initially had Control + Very Fluid and it wasn't too good, a single change to mentality not only made my team better defensively but also made us better in attack.

I used Can as a DLP-D in my first season, he under-performed but the role+duty fitted my tactic better. He lacks the mental attributes (decisions, off the ball etc) to consistently do the right thing with the ball.

I play 4411 with Very Fluid, I still have two banks of four when defending as that's my formation. Think of Flexible as the "default". Going more structured will reduce creative freedom and create more depth as defenders will be more defensive and attackers more attacking. Going more fluid increases creative freedom and makes the defenders more attacking and the forwards more defensive (link up more etc).

Your obviously not doing badly (4th!), what does your current tactic (4411?) look like?

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Having both fullbacks with attack duty without playing with a player in a defensive midfield position is very risky.

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thats why both centre mids cover the back line because their positional discipline is strong

I was talking about the OP.

In your case, and because you play with two wideplaymakers that tend to sit narrower, you will have more support in the midfield.

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There is really no "right" answer, only some common principles, you will probably never find an identical tactic suggested. Neither suggestion mentioned the mentality, shape or instructions which will affect how these roles combine. You can't just take bits a pieces from people and plug them all together, sometimes it might work but many times it won't. You need to highlight the issues you have and what you want your team to do. For example I use something similar to DBurns but I have Standard + Very Fluid, if you played my roles+duties without my mentality, team shape and instructions you'll get very different results. I initially had Control + Very Fluid and it wasn't too good, a single change to mentality not only made my team better defensively but also made us better in attack.

I used Can as a DLP-D in my first season, he under-performed but the role+duty fitted my tactic better. He lacks the mental attributes (decisions, off the ball etc) to consistently do the right thing with the ball.

I play 4411 with Very Fluid, I still have two banks of four when defending as that's my formation. Think of Flexible as the "default". Going more structured will reduce creative freedom and create more depth as defenders will be more defensive and attackers more attacking. Going more fluid increases creative freedom and makes the defenders more attacking and the forwards more defensive (link up more etc).

Your obviously not doing badly (4th!), what does your current tactic (4411?) look like?

Well the tactics I've been using for most of the season has been the 4-2-3-1 that I put in the 1st post.

Like I say only played 1 game with the 4-4-1-1 (a 2-0 win against Watford). In that game this is what I played:

GK: Mignolet

RB: Clyne (Full back, Automatic)

CB: Emre Can (Central defender, Defend)

CB: Sakho (Central defender, Defend)

LB: Moreno (Full back, Automatic)

RM: Milner (Wideman, Automatic)

CM: Henderson (Box to box, Support)

CM: Allen (Centre mid, Defend)

LM: Shaqiri (Winger, Support)

CAM: Firmino (Advanced playmaker, Support)

ST: Sturridge (Complete forward, Attack)

I played Control, fluid, and pass into space.

How does this sound. The only thing I was mainly thinking is to change one of my wide players in to a wide playmaker? Also would 'look for overlap' work here or better to leave it off?

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Why switch so many roles to Automatic? You do understand its just Support duty when using Control mentality?

Look For Overlap will make the advanced wide players hold up the ball to give the deeper players time to make forward runs, which this instruction encourages them to do. If this is what you want then sure, but holding up the ball will slow your play through these players down a little and maybe miss chances for quicker forward balls. My main issue with the instruction is it affects both wings. Personally I prefer to encourage overlapping by using combinations such as WB Support or Attack + WM Support. The WB-S has Get Forward instruction but is a little more flexible in what they do with the ball rather than focusing on crossing like a FB. This allows one fullback to be more attacking and one to sit a bit more and offer different ways of attacking and doesn't focus too much on overlapping and crossing from both flanks.

For Liverpool season 1 I think Moreno is more WB-S or WB-A whilst Clyne is more a FB-S. If using this combo I would look to have a LM who doesn't focus on staying wide so a WM (maybe with PI's) or WP. On the right i'd have a player who offers a bit more width so a WM (with PI's) or Winger with the FB-S offering support behind them. Duties depend on if you want to be more patient or faster. Support will make them less forward thinking but should help possession and draw players out but might need some TI's, attack duties would make them more forward thinking and probably suits Pass Into Space as you want players making runs into that space.

If you go for the more reserved DR and more attacking DL its best to have your most defensive central midfielder on that side to cover him as thats where the most immediate danger will be for counter attacks.

Remember Playmakers will make less forward runs as they look to collect the ball to there feet and play in other players. The more playmakers you use, the less runs there will be for the playmaker with the ball, so you need to balance this with the style your playing.

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