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andqui

Help with setting up a slow, possession-oriented attacking team survive back-to-back promotions

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I've just managed to get Recreativo promoted to La Liga with back-to-back promotions, and now I'm trying to figure out how to stay afloat in the new league.

The tactic I used for my two promotion seasons was essentially an attacking 4-3-3, relying on a high defensive line with fast defenders. However, I'm worried this approach won't work as well in the top flight where the opposition will be faster, their midfield will be better,  and I'll be less able to keep the ball. I'm trying to figure out how to structure my team and tactics to make a defensively sound tactic that still poses a goal threat during the first season.

 

My best players (rated as decent for Liga BBVA):

Mario Marin, right back

Adri Cuevas, MC/AMC

Manu Monlina, MC playmaker

Tasos Lagos, Ball Winning Mid

Matheus Carvalho, left winger/raumdeuter

 

My entire side isn't very fast, Carvalho is the only one with any decent amount of pace, which makes me concerned that relying on counter-attacking play might be difficult. In addition, most of my wide players favor the advanced winger roles and aren't the best in the deeper slots, which means counter attacks will be limited by not having as many behind the ball unless I try to play them deeper in roles that they aren't ideally suited for.

Does anyone have suggestions for how to set up a top-heavy formation without much pace into a solid defensive tactic that will still create chances at the other end? I can use my current tactic or a different attacking one if I'm against weaker opposition or I'm desperate for a goal, but I'd like something more solid for the main tactic, and I'm worried I don't have the players to pull that off while still threatening the opposition and not much room in the budget to sign a bunch of more suitable key players.

 

Thanks

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The most effective way to build patient, possession based tactics, I have found, is to use the defensive mentality. 

Im currently Burton Albion, in the Championship, and gained promotion from League One, and survived the following season (despite having the lowest budget in the league by a distance...the 2nd lowest budget, was still twice the amount of Burton's!) by playing a defensive mentality, whilst been in the top 3 for possession %'s over the course of the season. 

 

I dont tend to play with top heavy formations however. I have played with narrow 4-1-3-2, 4-3-1-2 & 4-4-2 Diamonds for the first two seasons. I'm now playing with 4-4-1-1, 4-1-4-1 & 4-4-2 formations. 

 

Get the roles right, and give your creative players the instructions to play more direct, risky passes, and you can create some astonishingly attractive football. To negate the totally defensive approach, I tend to have my most advanced players, instructed to close down much more, to prevent the opposition from dictating play too much. 

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23 minutes ago, andqui said:

I've just managed to get Recreativo promoted to La Liga with back-to-back promotions, and now I'm trying to figure out how to stay afloat in the new league.

The tactic I used for my two promotion seasons was essentially an attacking 4-3-3, relying on a high defensive line with fast defenders. However, I'm worried this approach won't work as well in the top flight where the opposition will be faster, their midfield will be better,  and I'll be less able to keep the ball. I'm trying to figure out how to structure my team and tactics to make a defensively sound tactic that still poses a goal threat during the first season.

 

My best players (rated as decent for Liga BBVA):

Mario Marin, right back

Adri Cuevas, MC/AMC

Manu Monlina, MC playmaker

Tasos Lagos, Ball Winning Mid

Matheus Carvalho, left winger/raumdeuter

 

My entire side isn't very fast, Carvalho is the only one with any decent amount of pace, which makes me concerned that relying on counter-attacking play might be difficult. In addition, most of my wide players favor the advanced winger roles and aren't the best in the deeper slots, which means counter attacks will be limited by not having as many behind the ball unless I try to play them deeper in roles that they aren't ideally suited for.

Does anyone have suggestions for how to set up a top-heavy formation without much pace into a solid defensive tactic that will still create chances at the other end? I can use my current tactic or a different attacking one if I'm against weaker opposition or I'm desperate for a goal, but I'd like something more solid for the main tactic, and I'm worried I don't have the players to pull that off while still threatening the opposition and not much room in the budget to sign a bunch of more suitable key players.

 

Thanks

You could try sticking to your style (especially if it suits your players) but lower the risks they take (mentality).  If your defenders are better defending a high line and aren't as good at defending in the box then making your defensive plan to defend in the box might not be a good idea.  If you were using Control you could lower it to Counter but then increase your line and closing down settings so they press almost like they did before but they'll not take as many risks.

Don't worry about players moving from AM to Midfield, there decision making will suffer but they should learn the position.  They won't suddenly run slower or stop being able to pass/cross as well just because they've moved to less familiar position.

Edited by summatsupeer

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18 minutes ago, fras said:

I dont tend to play with top heavy formations however. I have played with narrow 4-1-3-2, 4-3-1-2 & 4-4-2 Diamonds for the first two seasons. I'm now playing with 4-4-1-1, 4-1-4-1 & 4-4-2 formations.

Could you elaborate on your 4-4-1-1? I think I could get the players to fit with that.

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1 hour ago, andqui said:

Could you elaborate on your 4-4-1-1? I think I could get the players to fit with that.

It's still a work in progress, but it's shown some promising signs so far. And I'm by no means a tactical genius, or guru. I have really struggled to be successful in FM16, and this is the first save that I feel like I have some control over my tactics, and how i want to set up, and my team to play. 

I tend to almost entirely stick to the Defensive mentality, and Structured shape. I fear that by going fluid, I could end up getting camped into my own half, and struggle to get out. By going structured, it ensures that my team is compact from a defensive point of view, but offers enough stretch vertically, to ensure we've always got options in an attacking sense. 

GK - Standard Goalkeeper. Instructions to Slow Pace Down, and Distribute to Full Backs. In League One when playing the narrow formations, I had poor defenders technically (McCrory aside), and I actually asked the Goalkeeper to Distribute Over Defenders. I had a tall striker, but also I had 3 or 4 midfielders sat centrally to pick up 2nd balls. In this side though, I want to encourage us to play from the back.

DR - Full back (Support) - No additional instructions.

DC 's - Both Defend - Only PI - Pass It Shorter - Defensive mentalities, increase defenders passing length, and shortens attacking players. Wanting to encourage patient possession play, I instruct both to pass shorter.

DL - Full Back or Wing Back (Attack) - Dependant on formation, whether I go with FB or WB. Against formations with AMR's (4-2-3-1, 4-1-2-2-1) I tend to opt for FB, against more 4-4-2 like formations, I may go WB. Only instruction is to play Wider. My ML sits narrow, so this just ensures we have some width down that side. 

Central Midfield. I was very keen to have a double pivot in there, and with a CM (D) and a DLP (S), that provides it nicely. The CM (D) has no added instructions, and the DLP (S), has More Direct Passing & Play Risky Passes. This pairing, can change dependant on the situation of the match or opposition. Occasionally, I opt for a RPM (S) instead of a DLP (S), or in games where were dominating, and struggling to break teams down, a DLP(D) RPM(S) combo has been very effective. 

MR - Just a bog standard Winger on Attack on the right. Only PI - Increased Closing Down. 

ML - Wide Playmaker (S) - I did initially have this as a WM(S), with instructions to mimic an inside forward. But this has evolved into a Wide Playmaker. Because the attacking players have short passing by default in Defensive mentalities, I've made his passing more direct, and instructed him to play riskier passes. Also asked to Close Down More. 

AM - AP (S) - It's the one role I'm not totally happy with at present. Maybe it's Playmaker overdrive. Again, because of what the mentality does to the passing length, I've asked him to be more direct, and play risky passes. Also ask him to Close Down More. 

S - Poacher at present. Has been a DLF (A). The only instruction is Close Down More.

 

It's no wonder tactic, but it's a steady one that, as part of a trio (the others been the 4-4-2 and 4-1-4-1) has helped me consolidate nicely in the 2nd season after nearly 20 games. There's probably better or more cohesive roles to be had (the Striker/AMC combo can definitely be improved), but it plays the sort of football that seemed to be the type you are wanting to implement. 

Certainly a mentality & approach to consider. 

 

Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 17.42.01.png

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Thanks. Torino offered me a job two weeks before the start of the season, but I'll definitely keep this as a reference for a defensive 4-4-1-1

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