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On the search to develop a 3rd solid tactic, one which I can regularly start with that doesn't concede much because it's hard to break down, keeps the ball fairly well and creates many chances against most teams in the EPL I decided to try if I could make a 4-5-1.

Given that my team is strong for the division and that my flat formation needs to give time to my players to get in dangerous positions (and therefore needs a patient build up), my initial approach against most teams should be one of Control. If I need a goal desperately, I can switch to the more aggressive 4-4-2 which has an attacking mentality. If I want to play against the better teams in the league I have my counter attacking 4-3-3, which I may switch to 4-5-1 in the future if this formation performs well for me. I decided my team shape should be Fluid because I want to decrease the space between the lines to provide for greater unitary interaction and I want to see more vertical movement from deep.  I also believe my players are mentally strong and have good positioning, decisions, teamwork, work rate and off the ball movement, which should make them more successful in a fluid setup. I don't fully understand shape but I think I have this idea right. Tell me if not.

Anyway, the main point of the thread is to firstly offer my tactic as open for criticism and secondly to help me pick my forward's role. Bear in mind I have four options at the club - Ibra, Martial, Fellaini and Depay - two target strikers, one creative and physically gifted tricky dribbler who's only OK at finishing (Depay), and a fast striker who isn't very good at passing or creating but is probably the best finisher I have (Martial). I realise these might not be ideal players but I'm keen to learn how they could individually be made to fit in my setup to suit their strengths whilst preventing their isolation from the rest of the team.

I created his tactic mid season so my team's familiarity isn't great, and tested it in an away game against Swansea, a mid table team which defeated mine earlier in the season due to their high tempo short passing game. My team came away with not just a 2-0 win, but some very impressive match stats, unrivaled by my prior matches as I have been experimenting through the season. I suspect I may be onto a real winner here, but I did not get a good performance out of my striker, leading me to believe he had the wrong role. Hence the thread.

The tactic image you see was how I set up the team to play against Swansea.

Take a look at the tactic and
a) tell me your thoughts about my team instruction and roles and duties choices.
b) tell me what forward role you think is suitable. I will then use a team selection policy based on that role.

My overall idea for the tactic was to make sure it had decent possession, had high chance creation, low opponent chance and goal concession and a high number of shots and most of them on target. So basically: domination! My objective with the TI's was to give my team an edge in possession, help the team decrease the space between the lines, stretch opposition defences by making good use of my wide players and not waste chances.

Ideas for defensive phase:
GK distribution: slow, low risk and short to full backs
Back 4 provides solid base, nothing fancy
CM(D) plays a key role in screening with tackles and interceptions and providing a recycling outlet with short simple passing.
BBM and WM(S) offer additional support from midfield whilst a fast winger and very creative player are available for transitions and attacking movement during a turnover

Transitions and creative objectives:
Build from the back
Focus buildup down the flanks, moving ball infield for relief and switches of play
Ensure multiple potential runners from deep
Don't rush or waste possession unnecessarily but allow some tempered room for risky creative play

Attacks:
Goals and assists from almost anywhere in midfield and attack
Attack as a balanced unit
No players isolated

Finally I want to mention that I have not set any PI's except for the goalkeeper.
 

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Edited by permanentquandary

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Control might not me a suitable strategy for patient build up play, Counter might be more up your alley. This is not to say that you cant control possession in a Control mentality, but on Counter players take less risk and favour making simple passes to move opposition.

How your striker performance wasn't good? How do you want him to perform and how he actually did? Since you are using DF I assume you wanted more aggressive pressing from him? Not sure Depay is the right guy to constantly harass the opposition.

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I'd suggest playing the tactic for 3 or 4 matches before drawing conclusions about changes to make.  One decent result might be a fluke - 3 or 4 matches will show how strong the tactic is (or isn't).

Good write up, thanks for all the info.

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11 hours ago, herne79 said:

I'd suggest playing the tactic for 3 or 4 matches before drawing conclusions about changes to make.  One decent result might be a fluke - 3 or 4 matches will show how strong the tactic is (or isn't).

Good write up, thanks for all the info.

No worries.

 

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Here are some 12-game average match stats for you with some info on my strikers' efficiency with this tactic

Clear Cut Chances Per Game (PG): 1.916

Half Chances PG: 3.333

Goals PG: 1.666

Total Goals Scored: 20

Total Shots: 14.916

On Target: 6.583

Off Target: 5.500

Blocked: 2.750

Long: 2.416

Shots On Target: 44.133%

Goals Conceded PG: 0.416

Goals Conceded : 5

Clean Sheets: 9

Games in which Striker Scored:  5 games in 12

Quantity of goals scored by Strikers: 11

 

Edited by permanentquandary

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Hopefully that gives you a lot more info to evaluate this tactic and how well the forward is doing.

BTW I set custom roles for each striker:
Depay and Martial: False 9
Ibrahimovic and Fellaini: DLF(S)

No personal instructions

Edited by permanentquandary

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When you say "good output from the striker", do you mean goals?

If that's the case, and not wanting to sound like a press conference answer here, your lone striker in such a formation is about much more than scoring goals.  Indeed I'd even suggest that scoring goals is his secondary job - his primary job is one of support and team work to get the rest of the team scoring.  Therefore, so long as he is playing a full part in the team effort, he's doing what he needs to.

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3 minutes ago, herne79 said:

When you say "good output from the striker", do you mean goals?

If that's the case, and not wanting to sound like a press conference answer here, your lone striker in such a formation is about much more than scoring goals.  Indeed I'd even suggest that scoring goals is his secondary job - his primary job is one of support and team work to get the rest of the team scoring.  Therefore, so long as he is playing a full part in the team effort, he's doing what he needs to.

OK. I am starting to think a player that holds up the ball will be essential.

What do you think of the 4-5-1 to 4-2-3-1 idea i have?

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It could be sound.  Only one way to find out :brock:.

This is the thing with "formations" and why you hear a lot around here about your formation being your defensive formation.  The formation you set in the tactic creator is just your chalk board defensive formation.  What happens on the pitch is far more important, so shaping your "4-5-1" into something else when attacking can be a good way to go.

Here's a great thread on the 4-5-1, the "Swiss Army Knife" of formations, because you can shape it how you like. https://community.sigames.com/topic/336369-the-4-5-1-the-swiss-army-knife-of-formations/

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11 minutes ago, permanentquandary said:

I'm really excited because I think it's going to work like a charm.

I love this stage of creating a tactic, but when I hit continue to start the first match with it, the game invariably turns back into Frustration Manager for me. :(

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Pics show it's ALMOST how I want it but I'm not sure the match engine will let me do exactly what I want.

Needless to say, a team which should've given me a good fight got completely outplayed.

I ended up switching
-from WP(S) to WM(S) (with sit narrower instruction) to WM(D). Reason: in the first two cases the players left their assigned positions.

-gradually increased the FB role and mentality from FB(S) all the way up to CWB(A). Reason: FB's were not pushing up far enough and kept sitting too deep and too close to my WM(D)'s. You can see the MR and DR sitting too close in the last match pic.

-CMA's instruction to move into channels off. This instruction was leading them to run into the space i wanted my full backs to occupy

-DLF(S) to F9 again. Reason: the forward got in the way of the MC(A)s too often. May experiment with changing this role to Enganche as I do envisage this role to be the pivot of the team.

Unfortunately:
-The MR and ML do not sit nearly narrow enough.
-Even WM(D)'s run wide with the ball (may need to instruct Dribble Less). This actually led to one of them scoring one of the two goals.
-the two CM(A)s whilst performing immensely in the match often did not spread out between opposition full backs and centre backs, leading to a small triangle of them and the forward between the centre backs.
-CM(A)s did not run into the box enough beyond the forward as he held it up
-Didn't create as many chances as I would have liked, although it may be because I was against a top team.

Positives:
-Dominated possession
-Defence never looked troubled. You can see all but 1 of Tottenham's shots were long shots. The usage of WM(D)'s massively bolstered the flanks and they often intercepted long balls, which were Tottenham's only play the whole match. Suited my team fine.
-High shots on target ratio
-Created good chances
-CM(A)s did run at the defence and cause havoc as desired
-Striker scored!

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I think the reason ur WMs are not narrow enough is because u hv a flat 5 man midfield. That is a lot of width if u line them up in a straight line. Maybe u could move the CMd into the DM strata and use a DMd instead. That would create more space for ur WMs to stay narrow.

Or, u could of course move one of ur CMa into the AM strata and use a AM role with attack duty, or support duty with PI get further forward. Again, that'll create space for ur WMs to stay narrower.

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16 hours ago, herne79 said:

When you say "good output from the striker", do you mean goals?

If that's the case, and not wanting to sound like a press conference answer here, your lone striker in such a formation is about much more than scoring goals.  Indeed I'd even suggest that scoring goals is his secondary job - his primary job is one of support and team work to get the rest of the team scoring.  Therefore, so long as he is playing a full part in the team effort, he's doing what he needs to.

That depends on the idea of the manager :p

I'm using a similar tactic and playing possession and my forward is on fire, having more goals than games played. He doesn't add up much to the game in terms of building, but he is always on the brink (way to many times over being offside) the defensive line and is a real threat.

 

But this works because I'm in a top team in my league, although the forward has been scoring in Champions League as well. ;)

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13 hours ago, harryleechinyeow said:

I think the reason ur WMs are not narrow enough is because u hv a flat 5 man midfield. That is a lot of width if u line them up in a straight line. Maybe u could move the CMd into the DM strata and use a DMd instead. That would create more space for ur WMs to stay narrow.

Or, u could of course move one of ur CMa into the AM strata and use a AM role with attack duty, or support duty with PI get further forward. Again, that'll create space for ur WMs to stay narrower.

may end up trying that. 4-1-4-1 using 2 CM(A)'s and a DM(D)

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IMO, when you play a system with a lone striker with no one in the AM, RAM/LAM stratas to directly support him, the roles you can choose from are basically F9, Treq, and DF. The DLF and TM may work as well, but you may see a lot of hoofing directly to him in those cases.

 
I play a possession 4-1-4-1 in my save. If my striker is good in passing, I'll put him as a F9. If I rotate to his understudy, or if he has a bad day, I'll switch to a DF(d) with PI move into channels, that's it.
 
I like the DF(d). He just lays off these simple passes which goes well if you want to keep possession.

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Does a Treq drop as deep as DF(D as he has an attack duty? I'm currently using DF(D) in a 4-1-4-1 and I kinda of like his positioning when defending.

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