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noikeee

Arsenal tactical experiments, FM17

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Hello, I have been thinking of what to do with the FM17 Beta and have decided, rather unimaginatively, to take over Arsenal for a season or two to get used to the game, like I've done for most versions of FM. In the past I've opened threads here at this stage to unleash my tactic ramblings, most notably Özil + 10, a tactical exercise on FM14 with Arsenal, and this should be the FM17 version of this, basically. Although I want to keep my writing much shorter this time.

Please notice THIS IS NOT A GUIDE, this is not meant to teach anyone how to play the game, in fact I'm routinely pretty unsuccessful whenever I attempt these short careers with big teams. This is more like a brainstorming exercise to trade some ideas with other people either also managing this club, or attempting to play similar systems.

 

For now as I'm writing this I don't have access to the Beta yet, but I think I have a pretty good idea of what Arsenal are like and don't expect to be massively surprised by how the players are like in the database. I've identified the following strenghts and weaknesses in the side:

 

Strenghts
- Excellent creative ability, technique, ability to keep ball and operate in tight spaces
- 2 particular world class players in Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez
- Generally highly complete players throughout the squad, capable of performing more than a specific role
- Quality players at rushing from deep in Aaron Ramsey and Hector Bellerin
- Pace upfront, specially in rotational players like Theo Walcott, albeit it should be difficult to use this pace as we'll have many matches where the opposition park the bus
- A quality forward for holding up the ball and creating space for others in Olivier Giroud

 

Weaknesses
- General lack of aggression, physicality, height which could be highly problematic in a highly physical league
- Lack of reliable goalscorer and clear penetration outlets in the area
- Some older players at the back that, whilst it's a stretch to call them "slow", might be unable to operate a high line at a truly world class level

 

Therefore, my initial idea for a system is this rather standard 4-2-3-1:

GK - GK/D: Cech
DL - FB/S: Monreal
DC - CB/D: Koscielny
DC - CB/D: Mustafi
DR - WB/S: Bellerin
DMCL - DM/S: Xhaka
MCR - BBM/S: Ramsey
AML - IF/A: Alexis
AMC - T/A: Ozil
AMR - WP/S: Cazorla
ST - DLF/S: Giroud

Control
Very Fluid

 


Reasons:

- I want to maximize my strenghts as much as possible by playing Alexis and Ozil in their preferred positions and building the team around them.

- Likewise I just want to play my better players as much as possible, and I see this as the best way to fit in all 3 of Ramsey, Cazorla and Xhaka whom I believe should be my 3 strongest midfielders (although I will need to go through player profiles in a bit more detail when I get the game).

- "Very Fluid" is something I haven't tried in a very long time and generally stay away from, but considering just how complete all my players are (all offensive players are both capable of creating and scoring, defensive players like Xhaka and the fullbacks are very capable at attacking) it seems to fit. Also I've been inspired by @LPQR's success with Stuttgart with a very fluid 3-4-1-2.

- Alexis, Ozil, Cazorla and Giroud, all being highly gifted players, should be able to play in the demanding, adventurous, high-ish-tempo game of the Control mentality, in the tight spaces around the area.

- Different roles and dynamics between each wing to encourage variety, stretch the pitch, and open up different angles of attack.

- No TIs or PIs at the beginning to start with a simple base, and then add things as I react to what I see happening on the pitch.


Possible problems and tweaks:

- This is a very attacking setup and I need to be extremely careful to be sure I'm not overcommiting players forward. Depending on how this plays out, if Bellerin and Ramsey both run forward and Cazorla is too high up, I could be caught out on the counter with a 4-6 split, only 4 players remaining in defensive position which can be too few.

- If the opposition decides not to go for the counter but to try to pin us back by pressing aggressively and beating us at our own possession game, we don't have a good defensive shape to deal with this with the wingers high up (depending on whether on FM17 AMR/AMLs still don't track back to MR/ML positions). This may necessitate a change of formation for these matches, whether a 4-3-3 with Ozil shoved to the right wing and Cazorla pulled back into MC, a 4-3-1-2/narrow diamond with Ozil behind a Alexis/Giroud striker partnership, or a flat 4-4-2 to defend with 2 banks of four.

- I'm undecided whether the more cautious Xhaka is most needed on the centre-left to cover for Alexis' attacking role, or on the centre-right to cover for Bellerin's runs - I may need to switch my DM/MC's left-to-right. I went for this initial option as I see us creating some serious overloads down the right wing with Bellerin, Cazorla, Ramsey and Ozil; we'd lose this if I move Ramsey centre-left (also he'd probably run into Alexis' space).

- There may not be enough attacking outlets for goalscoring, beyond Alexis (my intended primary threat), the odd goal by Giroud and rare late runs from Ramsey. A possible solution might be to move aside Ozil to the wing, and introduce another runner from AMC.

- Conversely, whilst I trust the superb creativity of my players, it may prove to be too much to ask from them to break down packed defences from such advanced positions. "Drop deeper" looks a very good TI to add (beyond opening up space to playmake in, this would also aid with our slow-ish defence, and to help us unleash our pacey attackers); possibly I could also lower the tempo or mentality.

- I'm intentionally starting without any possession-oriented TIs, to avoid our team becoming too addicted to sideways passing, but our best game is obviously with the ball on our feet and I will watch closely to see if we're not too direct. Very good odds I'll add "play out of defence", if not enough then also "pass shorter".

- This initial gameplan isn't great to take the best out of my squad depth, as I see Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Welbeck, Iwobi, mostly all as best fitting for alternatives to Alexis' role, and there's no clear Cazorla substitute as WP. I'll need to either readjust my plan to all these players, or hit the transfer market to sort this out.

- Beyond Giroud and the CBs we don't have much aerial threat on set pieces - I might consider a short corner routine if I feel we're wasteful on them.

 

Ideas and comments are welcome. :)

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I'm not sure how much you'll notice your specialist roles doing that much different compared to the standard roles due to the amount of creative freedom given.  Can you afford to let Ozil press less and track back less when you've created a gap in CM behind him by dropping a CM to DM?

I don't like dropping just one player to DM when using a 4231 Wide.  I think it makes it easier to play around rather than having a pairing, I had to use a DM, MC and AMC in a challenge and it was so hard as it opened so many passing lanes.  Having so many players in advance positions needs effective pressing, dropping a player to "shield" the DCs reduces the pressure your forwards can create and isn't really committing to that pressing style.  It creates space for easier shorter passes to bypass the press rather than harder longer balls past your MC's.  I think when people do that they really should be using a 433 DM Wide or 4231 DM Wide.

Looks very risky as you mention it could leave you quite open.  I think you might get a bit congested in CM with a WP coming inside with the BBM and DM, it could force Ozil wider a lot of the time to find space.  Sanchez will also be looking to cut inside plus Giroud dropping deeper.  Remember that using Very Fluid will still make Defend duties quite supportive and attack duties won't take that many more risks so could help make them play in slightly different areas.

I agree with the size issue, I like having a big FB as my more conservative FB, usually a converted mobile-CB

Edited by summatsupeer

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1 hour ago, summatsupeer said:

I'm not sure how much you'll notice your specialist roles doing that much different compared to the standard roles due to the amount of creative freedom given. 

That is kind of the point... I'm not choosing any of the roles for their specialization particularly. Ramsey's a BBM instead of a CM/S because I don't want him to be that static but it's not a huge difference. Cazorla can contribute more than just be a static playmaker. Ozil's role I'm a little undecided on, I reckon Treq is best so he can roam around and create overloads on the wings, but I want him to be free to do whatever he wants to do. The rest are standard roles.

Quote

 

Can you afford to let Ozil press less and track back less when you've created a gap in CM behind him by dropping a CM to DM?

I don't like dropping just one player to DM when using a 4231 Wide.  I think it makes it easier to play around rather than having a pairing, I had to use a DM, MC and AMC in a challenge and it was so hard as it opened so many passing lanes.  Having so many players in advance positions needs effective pressing, dropping a player to "shield" the DCs reduces the pressure your forwards can create and isn't really committing to that pressing style.  It creates space for easier shorter passes to bypass the press rather than harder longer balls past your MC's.  I think when people do that they really should be using a 433 DM Wide or 4231 DM Wide.

 


Interesting, that could indeed prove to be a problem. I've been playing a formation exactly like this in FM15 lately with great success, but FM15 is very different because the AI doesn't really exploit space in front of your defence that well as in FM16 (and presumably '17). 

My thinking of pulling Xhaka back to DMCL was:

a) To provide further cover for the DCs as the rest of the formation is so attacking
b) To open up space in midfield on purpose but for ourselves - with everyone else so far forward we need a deeper passing outlet

If I need to put them in line, I think moving Xhaka ahead makes more sense than pulling Ramsey back (I need Ramsey to contribute going forward which he won't from a DM position), but I'm not sure about a role for him as I need him to mostly hold station but he isn't a playmaker. CM/D with less closing down?

Quote

Looks very risky as you mention it could leave you quite open.  I think you might get a bit congested in CM with a WP coming inside with the BBM and DM, it could force Ozil wider a lot of the time to find space.  Sanchez will also be looking to cut inside plus Giroud dropping deeper.  Remember that using Very Fluid will still make Defend duties quite supportive and attack duties won't take that many more risks so could help make them play in slightly different areas.


I kind of want Ozil to drift wide and create overloads on the wings, but play being too congested could well be a real concern yes. I was expecting Bellerin's runs out wide to create horizontal space; and hopefully the Drop Deeper TI also opens up vertical space if needed.

If this still isn't enough then I'll have to readjust roles indeed. What would you suggest? I don't really want to introduce a classic winger as I don't have decent outlets for crossing other than Giroud. Raumdeuter for Alexis so he doesn't cut inside as pronounced as a IF?

Quote

I agree with the size issue, I like having a big FB as my more conservative FB, usually a converted mobile-CB

I personally don't really like big fullbacks, but I'll keep an eye on Monreal to see if I need a rougher type to deal with aerial balls and physical bullying.

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55 minutes ago, noikeee said:

That is kind of the point... I'm not choosing any of the roles for their specialization particularly. Ramsey's a BBM instead of a CM/S because I don't want him to be that static but it's not a huge difference. Cazorla can contribute more than just be a static playmaker. Ozil's role I'm a little undecided on, I reckon Treq is best so he can roam around and create overloads on the wings, but I want him to be free to do whatever he wants to do. The rest are standard roles.

I was thinking because of the creative freedom he will have on any Attack duty on Very Fluid he will be free to do what he wants with the ball without needing the TQ role.  Roaming and Move Into Channels etc could be added but I think Ozil has Move Into Channels PPM so would expect him to decide to go there anyway.  Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Quote

Interesting, that could indeed prove to be a problem. I've been playing a formation exactly like this in FM15 lately with great success, but FM15 is very different because the AI doesn't really exploit space in front of your defence that well as in FM16 (and presumably '17). 

My thinking of pulling Xhaka back to DMCL was:

a) To provide further cover for the DCs as the rest of the formation is so attacking
b) To open up space in midfield on purpose but for ourselves - with everyone else so far forward we need a deeper passing outlet

If I need to put them in line, I think moving Xhaka ahead makes more sense than pulling Ramsey back (I need Ramsey to contribute going forward which he won't from a DM position), but I'm not sure about a role for him as I need him to mostly hold station but he isn't a playmaker. CM/D with less closing down?

Another issue is when a player is put in the DM strata the defence will drop a bit since they have a shielding player so don't need to cover the DC->MC space as much.  But this can make even more space between the FB->AM players, and if the DM is offset to one side the DM can't cover the other side as well.

Very Fluid should see a lot of players help with transitioning from defence to attack.  You will need good ball playing defenders anyway due to the mentality+creative freedom they will have on Control + Very Fluid so should be able to find one of the players in midfield without needing someone coming to collect it from them. A players position when in position isn't really there position in the formation, its more due to the duty.  A deeper player on support duty will step up closer and provide support in the final third around the box compared to a defend duty who would typically sit deeper (1/3 to halfway line).  In possession you shouldn't notice much difference between a CM-D and DM-D, then when the ball is lost the DM-D just runs deeper and sits closer to the DC's.

If you want him to "hold station" then CM-D makes sense since he will be instructed to "Hold Position" :brock:.  I would just see how he plays the role before giving him Less Closing Down.

You mentioned earlier about who does the holding player need to cover for, my initial thought is the WB-S rather than the FB-S, typically the deepest players are the furthest from there defensive position so need the most time to get back.  But i'm not sure how a BBM and IF-A will combine on Very Fluid.  I  think I prefer having FB-S, BBM-S and IF-A on the left with the WB-S, CM-D and WP-S on the right rather than BBM, WP-S and WB-S.  Will be interesting to see.  

FYI on FM16 in the AML/R its an AP not WP, its only WP in ML/R but I don't think there's anything different except the name.

Quote


I kind of want Ozil to drift wide and create overloads on the wings, but play being too congested could well be a real concern yes. I was expecting Bellerin's runs out wide to create horizontal space; and hopefully the Drop Deeper TI also opens up vertical space if needed.

If this still isn't enough then I'll have to readjust roles indeed. What would you suggest? I don't really want to introduce a classic winger as I don't have decent outlets for crossing other than Giroud. Raumdeuter for Alexis so he doesn't cut inside as pronounced as a IF?

I think DLF-A would suit Giroud, he's a goal scorer more than a creator so you get him on the shoulder in the area more but will still use his strength to hold up the ball and shouldn't try as many risk passes.  I've used IF-A + DLF-A before and it worked well but was different players, different mentality and different team shape so no guarantee it they will combine well.  With a TQ + WP/AP + BBM who can play around the box I think an attack duty up front will help more as those players draw defenders out.

Quote

I personally don't really like big fullbacks, but I'll keep an eye on Monreal to see if I need a rougher type to deal with aerial balls and physical bullying.

Rather than short corners you could try something like:

DCR - Mark GK.  DCL - Front Post.  Giroud - Attack Ball From Deep.   Then focus balls to the front post with a smaller forward standing on back post for any goal mouth scrambles and Ozil/Carzola lurking outside.  Your just lacking the big "attack front post" player but if the ball doesn't go into the front post it won't make a huge difference.

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good thread, should definitely spark some interesting debate!

I've personally experienced the 4-2-3-1 work much better with the wide players drawn back to WM's with specific player instructions to act as wingers/inside forwards/playmakers. It enables your team to defend space much better, and since you've mentioned that you can't specifically rely on your team's physical/combative duties to make the difference, I'd think that should be the main area of focus: how you create, attack and defend space. I still don't get a clear idea of how you want your team to do that, do you want them to play with a high d-line and congest space upfront, relying on player movement and passing to open up the defense or do you want to sit a bit deeper to force the opposition to leave space behind? player's choice of roles, duties and team shape will depend heavily on either style of play

Edited by LPQR

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Arsenal's squad is interesting. To me, it is almost capable of a huge range of style but no slam-dunk fit.

I'm particularly interested in the effect of the combination of shape and mentality on tactics - in FM2016 I've experimented a lot with different styles ranging from Very Fluid & Standard to Fluid & Attack. Not a massive range but I know this area pretty well.

Very Fluid & Control is of particular interest to me, at the moment. To me, this is the Guardiola philosophy at it's best.

Concerning Arsenal, there are 2 key questions for me. Firstly the attributes of Xhaka - is he going to be suitable for the 'pivot' role. Secondly, Koscielny & Mustafa - are they comfortable enough on the ball for Very Fluid?

If the above are positive - then Very Fluid is on. The next question is building a balanced system. If the above is negative, or requires work - something more conservative is required.

I prefer a DM-MC-MC midfield triangle to MC-MC-AMC for this reason - http://www.fantasista10.co.uk/cruyff-the-misuse-of-the-number-10/.

The idea of Cazorla and Ozil - one in a fixed role, one roaming free, rotating positions and causing havoc with a fluid attack lead by Sanchez in a false nine making runs ahead appeals to me.

I suspect the squad will be best suited for flexible / fluid with control, and develop towards a very fluid system.

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1 hour ago, summatsupeer said:

I was thinking because of the creative freedom he will have on any Attack duty on Very Fluid he will be free to do what he wants with the ball without needing the TQ role.  Roaming and Move Into Channels etc could be added but I think Ozil has Move Into Channels PPM so would expect him to decide to go there anyway.  Will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Perhaps it could prove to be too over the top. To be honest what I really want from him is to drift out to the wings and cause overloads, to use his dribbling skills, and to be one of the focal points of my side hence a "playmaker" role. I don't really need the "attack" duty, I don't expect him to be one of my main goalscorers but one of the main creators. This would all lead to AP/S role, but that's just the same thing Cazorla does anyway. Hence TQ/A.

Quote

 

Another issue is when a player is put in the DM strata the defence will drop a bit since they have a shielding player so don't need to cover the DC->MC space as much.  But this can make even more space between the FB->AM players, and if the DM is offset to one side the DM can't cover the other side as well.

Very Fluid should see a lot of players help with transitioning from defence to attack.  You will need good ball playing defenders anyway due to the mentality+creative freedom they will have on Control + Very Fluid so should be able to find one of the players in midfield without needing someone coming to collect it from them. A players position when in position isn't really there position in the formation, its more due to the duty.  A deeper player on support duty will step up closer and provide support in the final third around the box compared to a defend duty who would typically sit deeper (1/3 to halfway line).  In possession you shouldn't notice much difference between a CM-D and DM-D, then when the ball is lost the DM-D just runs deeper and sits closer to the DC's.

If you want him to "hold station" then CM-D makes sense since he will be instructed to "Hold Position" :brock:.  I would just see how he plays the role before giving him Less Closing Down.

 


Yeah when put that way it does sound like there's more to lose than to win by dragging him back to DM.

Quote

You mentioned earlier about who does the holding player need to cover for, my initial thought is the WB-S rather than the FB-S, typically the deepest players are the furthest from there defensive position so need the most time to get back.  But i'm not sure how a BBM and IF-A will combine on Very Fluid.  I  think I prefer having FB-S, BBM-S and IF-A on the left with the WB-S, CM-D and WP-S on the right rather than BBM, WP-S and WB-S.  Will be interesting to see.  


Yeah neither seems a perfect fit. BBM and IF/A could get in each others way. But so could the BBM and the WP/S. I guess I need to try it and watch how it plays on the pitch.

Quote

I think DLF-A would suit Giroud, he's a goal scorer more than a creator so you get him on the shoulder in the area more but will still use his strength to hold up the ball and shouldn't try as many risk passes.  I've used IF-A + DLF-A before and it worked well but was different players, different mentality and different team shape so no guarantee it they will combine well.  With a TQ + WP/AP + BBM who can play around the box I think an attack duty up front will help more as those players draw defenders out.


I think I'll take your advice on that. Perhaps I'm still a little too attached to my FM15 setup - I have a DLF/S creating loads of space for my IF/A and my SS/A. This works great but I won't have a SS/A in here, I'll have Ozil - a creator not a scorer. I can compensate on that with the striker's role.

Quote

 

Rather than short corners you could try something like:

DCR - Mark GK.  DCL - Front Post.  Giroud - Attack Ball From Deep.   Then focus balls to the front post with a smaller forward standing on back post for any goal mouth scrambles and Ozil/Carzola lurking outside.  Your just lacking the big "attack front post" player but if the ball doesn't go into the front post it won't make a huge difference.

 

Personally I've never really messed with set piece settings and tend to leave them at default, so it was just a random idea to play them short. I might try that to see what happens.

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1 hour ago, LPQR said:

good thread, should definitely spark some interesting debate!

I've personally experienced the 4-2-3-1 work much better with the wide players drawn back to WM's with specific player instructions to act as wingers/inside forwards/playmakers. It enables your team to defend space much better, and since you've mentioned that you can't specifically rely on your team's physical/combative duties to make the difference, I'd think that should be the main area of focus: how you create, attack and defend space.

I get that, but I think I just have too many talented advanced players to pull them back like that. I considered pulling AML/R to ML/R but for me that's way too far back for Alexis who's essentially a forward. Or any of his substitutes like Walcott and Welbeck. Or pulling Ozil to other positions.

Although, who I'm seriously considering pulling back is Cazorla, from AMR to MR, effectively making this a lopsided formation.

On FM16 who punished overly attacking formations much more severely than FM15, I've noticed a lot of people still managed to make a 4-2-3-1 work, on a "this is risky but let's outscore the opposition" vibe. So unless it proves to be a fatal mistake in FM17, I'll commit to leaving at least one winger and the AMC high up in the AM strata.

 

Quote

I still don't get a clear idea of how you want your team to do that, do you want them to play with a high d-line and congest space upfront, relying on player movement and passing to open up the defense or do you want to sit a bit deeper to force the opposition to leave space behind? player's choice of roles, duties and team shape will depend heavily on either style of play


I want to rely on player movement and passing, but I don't see the point in congesting space upfront. I am considering to drop slightly deeper and/or to drop mentality slighter to open up space for us to play in.

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41 minutes ago, noikeee said:

On FM16 who punished overly attacking formations much more severely than FM15, I've noticed a lot of people still managed to make a 4-2-3-1 work, on a "this is risky but let's outscore the opposition" vibe. So unless it proves to be a fatal mistake in FM17, I'll commit to leaving at least one winger and the AMC high up in the AM strata.

that's interesting, I used a 'very fluid' system on 'standard' mentality for most matches and 'control' for when i want to attack more in a save with Gladbach and I've had great success with it, basically something that looks like this:

0fef483e166ee00b7411711b6f72335a.png
 

basically a system designed to create and exploit space

- roles like the raumdeuter, shadow striker always drifting around looking to make a run into space

-wide playmaker drifts inside and supports the three attacking players

-two pivots in midfield, with the CM slightly more mobile than the DLP(also used on defensive duty for more stability) providing cover in front of the defense

-two complete wingbacks to provide width

-slightly higher defensive line due to fast centre-backs available, however not too high so our player have space to explore upfront

-slightly wider team shape to create space

it's a very attacking set-up but extremely efficient if your players are intelligent

Edited by LPQR

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3 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Arsenal's squad is interesting. To me, it is almost capable of a huge range of style but no slam-dunk fit.

I'm particularly interested in the effect of the combination of shape and mentality on tactics - in FM2016 I've experimented a lot with different styles ranging from Very Fluid & Standard to Fluid & Attack. Not a massive range but I know this area pretty well.

Very Fluid & Control is of particular interest to me, at the moment. To me, this is the Guardiola philosophy at it's best.

Concerning Arsenal, there are 2 key questions for me. Firstly the attributes of Xhaka - is he going to be suitable for the 'pivot' role. Secondly, Koscielny & Mustafa - are they comfortable enough on the ball for Very Fluid?

If the above are positive - then Very Fluid is on. The next question is building a balanced system. If the above is negative, or requires work - something more conservative is required.

I prefer a DM-MC-MC midfield triangle to MC-MC-AMC for this reason - http://www.fantasista10.co.uk/cruyff-the-misuse-of-the-number-10/.

The idea of Cazorla and Ozil - one in a fixed role, one roaming free, rotating positions and causing havoc with a fluid attack lead by Sanchez in a false nine making runs ahead appeals to me.

I suspect the squad will be best suited for flexible / fluid with control, and develop towards a very fluid system.

I agree, I really like playing Arsenal due to the number of things you can do with there squad for a quick season or two of experimentation.

I think they have two issues, the balance on the flanks and the balance of the midfield.  On the right you have Bellerin who you want to use his pace to overlap from deep, but there's no players who naturally fit in front of him to open up the flank.  On the left you have Sanchez who does come inside but that means you need someone to provide width, if both wide defenders are playing more as wingbacks then you need balance from the midfield, but with two of the star players in Ramsey and Ozil that only realistically leaves one midfielder to cover for both wingbacks.  It's interesting if Xhaka will have the defensive ability to play the holding pivot role on his own.  I think he lacks the athleticism so will need to read the game well to make up for it.

3 hours ago, noikeee said:

I get that, but I think I just have too many talented advanced players to pull them back like that. I considered pulling AML/R to ML/R but for me that's way too far back for Alexis who's essentially a forward. Or any of his substitutes like Walcott and Welbeck. Or pulling Ozil to other positions.

Although, who I'm seriously considering pulling back is Cazorla, from AMR to MR, effectively making this a lopsided formation.

On FM16 who punished overly attacking formations much more severely than FM15, I've noticed a lot of people still managed to make a 4-2-3-1 work, on a "this is risky but let's outscore the opposition" vibe. So unless it proves to be a fatal mistake in FM17, I'll commit to leaving at least one winger and the AMC high up in the AM strata.

 


I want to rely on player movement and passing, but I don't see the point in congesting space upfront. I am considering to drop slightly deeper and/or to drop mentality slighter to open up space for us to play in.

Why do you think pulling them back is bad?  The way I think of it is if I use a AML/AMR I am happy for them to stay forward and not track back (especially if attack duty), if there marker leaves them to get forward they will be in space but I need defensive balance to cover for this.  If I need them to contribute more defensively then i'll use ML/MR so the opposing FB gets less free runs, plus it might draw the FB forward and leave space to run into.

I have to admit I seem to always have a 5 man midfield either with a flat back 4 or back 3 (3142, 352, 3511, 3412, 4141, 451, 4411) in FM16.  I prefer my runners like Sanchez to come from deep rather than starting high up and my advanced players to drop to create space for the runners.  I've always had more success like this at big clubs than having my runners playing on the shoulder.  At a smaller club who is given space in behind to counter attack then playing on the shoulder straight away can have more success.

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19 minutes ago, summatsupeer said:

I agree, I really like playing Arsenal due to the number of things you can do with there squad for a quick season or two of experimentation.

I think they have two issues, the balance on the flanks and the balance of the midfield.  On the right you have Bellerin who you want to use his pace to overlap from deep, but there's no players who naturally fit in front of him to open up the flank.  On the left you have Sanchez who does come inside but that means you need someone to provide width, if both wide defenders are playing more as wingbacks then you need balance from the midfield, but with two of the star players in Ramsey and Ozil that only realistically leaves one midfielder to cover for both wingbacks.  It's interesting if Xhaka will have the defensive ability to play the holding pivot role on his own.  I think he lacks the athleticism so will need to read the game well to make up for it.

Why do you think pulling them back is bad?  The way I think of it is if I use a AML/AMR I am happy for them to stay forward and not track back (especially if attack duty), if there marker leaves them to get forward they will be in space but I need defensive balance to cover for this.  If I need them to contribute more defensively then i'll use ML/MR so the opposing FB gets less free runs, plus it might draw the FB forward and leave space to run into.

I have to admit I seem to always have a 5 man midfield either with a flat back 4 or back 3 (3142, 352, 3511, 3412, 4141, 451, 4411) in FM16.  I prefer my runners like Sanchez to come from deep rather than starting high up and my advanced players to drop to create space for the runners.  I've always had more success like this at big clubs than having my runners playing on the shoulder.  At a smaller club who is given space in behind to counter attack then playing on the shoulder straight away can have more success.

With FM17 around the corner I am hoping that Xhaka is updated. I have been experimenting with a 4231 deep of some sort on FM16 which has been fun. But now I feel like I need to get back to either the 4141 or 433. I like the idea of having that security in the DMC position.  Like Ozil to the Arsenal I am not a big fan of the number 10 position for the reasons mentioned by Cruyff. If Xhaka can play the single pivot role well and Ozil can adopt to the MC role then we it could work. I think Ramsey is a B2B midfielder so he should be fine to fit in the 4141 system. 

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1 hour ago, summatsupeer said:

Why do you think pulling them back is bad?  The way I think of it is if I use a AML/AMR I am happy for them to stay forward and not track back (especially if attack duty), if there marker leaves them to get forward they will be in space but I need defensive balance to cover for this.  If I need them to contribute more defensively then i'll use ML/MR so the opposing FB gets less free runs, plus it might draw the FB forward and leave space to run into.

I have to admit I seem to always have a 5 man midfield either with a flat back 4 or back 3 (3142, 352, 3511, 3412, 4141, 451, 4411) in FM16.  I prefer my runners like Sanchez to come from deep rather than starting high up and my advanced players to drop to create space for the runners.  I've always had more success like this at big clubs than having my runners playing on the shoulder.  At a smaller club who is given space in behind to counter attack then playing on the shoulder straight away can have more success.

I think Alexis and Ozil are more suited to playing more advanced. Alexis is an excellent finisher, with excellent pace and off the ball movement (and I want him to be our primary attacking outlet), and Ozil has superb ability to play in the tighter spaces higher up the pitch.

 

First impressions from actually looking at the team:

- Xhaka isn't as good at defending as I expected and I'm starting to think Coquelin is the best option there with some seriously good defensive abilities. Xhaka is more of a playmaker than I imagined.

- With both Monreal and Gibbs having "gets forward whenever possible" PPM, we could get seriously opened down the fullback positions as I've got enough other players going forward in my imagined system and I wanted the left-back to stay relatively cautious

- Everyone and their moms has the "moves into channels" PPM (Alexis, Ozil, Cazorla), they might all be superb at reading space but this could be an issue if they all try to make the same movement into those channels

- The defence is all around much quicker than I expected and can comfortably run a higher line

 

I'm going to start with something similar to the OP but I do need a little re-think...

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1 minute ago, noikeee said:

I think Alexis and Ozil are more suited to playing more advanced. Alexis is an excellent finisher, with excellent pace and off the ball movement (and I want him to be our primary attacking outlet), and Ozil has superb ability to play in the tighter spaces higher up the pitch.

The role and duty are the major setting to how they play in the attacking phase, there position in the defensive formation has little to do with it except how they transition.  

An AP-A in MC will play almost identically to a AP-A in AMC during the attacking phase.

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28 minutes ago, noikeee said:

I think Alexis and Ozil are more suited to playing more advanced. Alexis is an excellent finisher, with excellent pace and off the ball movement (and I want him to be our primary attacking outlet), and Ozil has superb ability to play in the tighter spaces higher up the pitch.

 

28 minutes ago, noikeee said:

- Everyone and their moms has the "moves into channels" PPM (Alexis, Ozil, Cazorla), they might all be superb at reading space but this could be an issue if they all try to make the same movement into those channels

why not try Alexis as a raumdeuter? he's tailor-made for that role. work rate, speed, finishing, off the ball, he's got it all

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I've also been messing around with Arsenal recently, and the addition of Xhaka is creating a challenge.

In a 4231 for example, trying to shoe horn him into a midfield pairing with Ramsey is a bit of a non-starter.  Changing to a 4123DM is ok with Ramsey at MC, but then you give yourself the conundrum of what to do with Ozil (who I'd prefer at MC to Xhaka anyway as an AP).

The only satisfactory solution so far, if wanting to play all, is a 4312 narrow with Sanchez up top.  That set up is actually pretty good if you're prepared to forego wingers.

tbh I'd probably look to sell Xhaka as soon as poss as he feels a bit of a bad fit.

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I've just played the first friendly and whilst it's early days, I'm a little disappointed.

 

b7x3Fne.jpg

 

 

The good:

- Cazorla and Ramsey don't play on top of each other, they actually work rather well to create a few triangles between them and Ozil or Coquelin

vL4g4cP.jpg

 

- I think Alexis tracks back just about enough from the AML position for what I want, there is a gap if we're suddenly caught out, but when the opposition comes forward, he's eager to return to his own half

 

 

The bad:

- Alexis and Ozil lost a ton of balls attempting very individualistic dribbles, I wonder if this is the result of Very Fluid? They both have high teamwork so this is bizarre. Sometimes Alexis was isolated so there's a reason there, but it's concerning.

- Bellerin is involved very little, my best outlet to stretch the play horizontally was the supposedly more cautious Monreal. I even added "Exploit Right Wing" midway through the first half to try to unleash Bellerin more, but it still doesn't happen much. I believe the playmaker magnets given to Cazorla and Ozil are taking away the focus from Bellerin, and Cazorla just doesn't seem to see him and hardly ever passes to him.

- Giroud+Alexis+Ozil all on attack roles I don't think is working. They just run too far forward too early, all of them. Our shot quality is very, very poor because of this. I'm going to try Giroud on DLF/S next friendly, let's see if he runs into the path of Ozil.

- I wish there was a player instruction option for Ozil to "drift out to wings" like I suggested recently in GD, because whilst he makes a bit of movement, it's mostly deeper, he doesn't actually go way out there into the AML/AMR positions like I'd have wished and stays too central.

- Our lesser but very patient opponents manage to slowly create danger and pull our defence out of position. I wonder if that's what we should be doing when we have the ball, maybe with a lower mentality like Standard instead of Control...

- We punt the ball up occasionally which I don't like, I need to add "Play Out of Defence" and tell the keeper to pass it to the defenders. We actually lost the possession battle which is ridiculous against a Chinese club, even if it's a good Chinese club.

Edited by noikeee

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Arsenal are primed for a 4123DM.

The interesting thing with Arsenal selections/threads is the almost-obsessive desire to move Ozil into that central area. To me, he is so multifunctional that you can use him just about anywhere across the pitch. My particular favourite is to use him as a right-sided inside forward, and had great success with this on FM15 (having skipped FM16). The tactic is set up as below (sample screenshot from FM15, best I could find as it is an old save). The treble playmaker in midfield looks incongruous, but the schemata is a short passing game that focuses on freeing up space for the raiding fullback. Bellerin is set to run wide with ball, stretching the field. Whilst Ozil is set to sit narrower and hold up ball. The chief tenet is the interplay between complete wingback, deep-lying playmaker (s) and inside forward. The fullback raids with abandon, often untracked, whilst the deep-lying playmaker helps to protect the space he leaves, on the chance possession is lost and a counter is initiated. Ozil, sitting narrower, acts almost as a hybrid inside forward/attacking midfielder - often drifting infield, dumping the ball back to the playmaker, who then chips the ball over to the advancing wingback in acres of space.

The combination works beautifully with a pacey fullback adept at crossing (Hiroki Sakai is another great proponent here) and a suitable deep playmaker with the vision to take advantage of the space created for the wingback. At the advanced level, Ozil's off the ball running causes havoc in the opposing defence, and he has free range to either play in the wingback himself, try to set up the centre forward or ghosting inside forward, and with enough capability to also finish potshots at goal. With a drifting Ozil pulling an opposing fullback out of position, the freedom afforded to the untracked wingback is incredible. Teamed up with Bellerin set to cross to far post, the combination trio is a potent source of goals.

With the upgrade to Bellerin for FM17, I will undoubtedly be trying this formation again in my invariable Arsenal file at some point. Xhaka at the DLP(d), Ramsey as the DLP(s) and - in the interim - Cazorla as the AP(a).

 

 

4123DM.jpg

Edited by AndySummers

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I tend to agree with Arsenal in a 4123DM  set up. Ozil on the wings cutting side would open space up for Bellerin. The main concern is can Ozil actually play well on the Wing as a Inside Forward. Playing Xhaka as a single pivot is risky because he is not athletic enough.  I think someone like William Carvalho would be better as the single pivot. I prefer to have a couple of quick players on the wings. I am keen to see what Iwobi looks like on this version and if they have updated Sanchez. Also Xhaka is really going to make or break this Arsenal team this year on FM17. 

 

I like Ozil as the AP Attack plYing in the MC position. I might find myself rotating Xhaka and Ozil in the AP position in central midfield. It all depends on Xhaka attributes.

You could give Theo the instruction to sit narrow which might open up the right flank for Bellerin. 

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given that i've tried a similar set-up in a million combinations of roles and instructions before, i'd like to point out a few things i notice in your current tactic and how i see it could work better:

 

1 hour ago, noikeee said:

- Alexis and Ozil lost a ton of balls attempting very individualistic dribbles, I wonder if this is the result of Very Fluid? They both have high teamwork so this is bizarre. Sometimes Alexis was isolated so there's a reason there, but it's concerning.

- both of them are on attack duty in a control+very fluid system, which makes them both very aggressive in their attacking intentions. The striker is on attack duty as well, so they won't be looking to link up between the three of them as much as they try to break through individually. Ideally I'd use a F9 for such a passing oriented system, but a DLF(s) or CF(S) could work as well with Giroud. He will drop a bit deeper and create space for the Inside forward and the Treq to run into

- I believe the distribution of attack and support roles to be the main fault for their isolation or/and individual mistakes. you have three attacking players on the left side of the pitch with virtually no one supporting them. I would switch Ramsey and Coquelin's places, this way the CM(d) will drop deeper on the right and create more space for your WP to drift inside, and thus more space open on the right for your right wingback, who I would use on attack duty.

- Alternatively, I have found a FB(a) with a 'stay wider' instruction along a WP(s) on the same side of the pitch to work much better in both defense and attack. A WP(a) with a complete wingback supporting could also be successful, but then you'd need a supporting player in the AM strata

- your left full back and inside forward seem to be the most isolated players on the pitch. Look at that massive gap on the left in your last screenshot. that would be partially solved by changing the cm roles around as mentioned earlier, as the BBM 'roams from position' more than the CM(D) and he would also be  supporting both, your left full back and the inside forward by moving up and down the pitch. On the right side of the pitch, that vertical movement would be done by your wing-back and the supporting role by your wide playmaker

-the second idea would be to make the left back a WB(S) with a 'sit narrower' instruction. this way he will still venture forward on line-hugging sprints, however he will also step into midfield and help cover that empty space with useful passes and man-marking

- the Ozil issue:

1 hour ago, noikeee said:

- I wish there was a player instruction option for Ozil to "drift out to wings" like I suggested recently in GD, because whilst he makes a bit of movement, it's mostly deeper, he doesn't actually go way out there into the AML/AMR positions like I'd have wished and stays too central.

mainly because the Treq is a role that doesn't make the player actively cover space or make runs. He mainly 'drifts' into space, and that's kind of hard-coded into this role. If you still want him to be your main creator why not try using him as an AP(A) with 'move into channels' and 'roam from position' instructions, this way he will still explore space to pick up and distribute passes, as much as he will make runs and exploit space in the final third. Personally, though, I'd be tempted to try Ozil in a shadow striker role. If he already has the 'comes deep to get the ball' ppm he could be amazing in that role, as the SS role exploits a players attacking intent and workrate much more than a playmaker's however that doesn't limit his creative responsibilities too much

Again, this is how I visualize your current formation and players working in a system, so if you have something entirely different in mind fair play. Anyways, hope this helps :) 

Edited by LPQR

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I just kept on changing things and playing instead of going to bed like a responsible adult:

Lwu5CWq.jpg

 

 

... which was rewarded by this on the 4th friendly, I can sleep happy now. :D

 

iUqhyAJ.jpg

 

Walcott was rather randomly upfront as that was my assistant manager's idea, but his pace and Pass Into Space worked beautifully against an aggressive Barcelona. And Ozil and Alexis in space? Woof.

Edited by noikeee

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Okay here's a bit of reasoning behind all the changes I made:

- dropping mentality to Standard was to try to tone down just how quickly marked all my advanced players were becoming. I felt the likes of Giroud, Alexis and Ozil were too eager to run into the area and become inoffensive in a sea of defenders. Also to try to make us a little more patient and improve quality of shots.

- Giroud becoming a DLF/S instead of DLF/A was much for the same reason, 3 attack duties around the area was too much. I can happily report dropping him to a support duty doesn't make him occupy the same positions as Ozil or the midfielders, and I felt this was a success when Giroud assisted Ozil on an unrushing run from deep, as if he was a Shadow Striker, in my 2nd friendly.

- Alexis to RMD/A instead of IF/A, as per @LPQR's suggestion, was a first attempt to try to have him hog the ball less and stop cutting inside every single time, even from too deep positions (this was often completely useless as he'd run into positions without any passing options), he has "cut inside" PPM anyway so won't play too differently.

- "Play Out of Defence" was to have our defenders punt the ball out less, Cech was also given "Roll It Out" to the fullbacks. I need to keep an eye on this as I've now seen the defenders be surprisingly committed to passing even under pressure, but the keeper move was absolutely necessary as he was very wasteful on default settings.

- "Close Down More" was because I felt the opposition were too easily passing their way into our half and our area, I was actually outplayed this way by both another Chinese club and by Club Brugge in both the 2nd and 3rd friendlies, which is unacceptable. Our defensive shape with a AML is dodgy anyway, and our defenders are much quicker than I expected (and good at reading the game), so I decided it made more sense to chase opponents than trying to soak up pressure. I further added "Push Higher Up" to increase this effect as I felt it still wasn't enough.

- Bellerin not being involved anywhere near enough was still a problem, so I made Bellerin even more attacking from WB/S to WB/A, and to my surprise, it worked, he went further forward and the WP actually started noticing his runs! However this sparked a new problem here, particularly when Debuchy was playing standing in for Bellerin, he'd win the byline a lot of times but would be too eager to cross, I don't mind the odd cross but we only have Giroud as a decent target. I then added "Work Ball Into Box" to try to tone this down, whilst also hopefully further increasing the quality of our shots.

- There still remained a problem with the often overly isolated Alexis who'd still run with ball too often, too early, with RMD/A role. I briefly added "Dribble Less" TI for the Club Brugge match, to try to tone this down for him and for others like Ozil (making our entire game all about pass-and-move), but I was unconvinced by the effects, and for the Barcelona match I removed it, and decided instead to run with @LPQR's suggestion and switched the CM roles to provide a closer passing line to Alexis. That seemed to work better.

- "Pass Into Space" was something I had added along with "Dribble Less", the idea is if we're going to make our game all about passing and on a relatively cautious Standard mentality, we need some verticalness otherwise it's going to be a very passive way of playing football. I left it on and it actually worked brilliantly against Barcelona as they gave us so much space to run into, I have to see if this was a one-off or if it can still be effective against deeper defences (might be - we're exceptional at passing, and we're doing a lot of movement with late runners into the box).

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I'm happy the changes worked for you, that's an impressive result, for sure!

regarding this

2 hours ago, noikeee said:

"Pass Into Space" was something I had added along with "Dribble Less", the idea is if we're going to make our game all about passing and on a relatively cautious Standard mentality, we need some verticalness otherwise it's going to be a very passive way of playing football. I left it on and it actually worked brilliantly against Barcelona as they gave us so much space to run into, I have to see if this was a one-off or if it can still be effective against deeper defences (might be - we're exceptional at passing, and we're doing a lot of movement with late runners into the box).

this is one of the most trickiest aspects I've encountered in a passing/fluid system - vertical direction of play and general issues regarding players' freedom of decision-making

the automatic assumption is that you want to exclude from the equation everything that doesn't fit your philosophy (i.e. dribbling when that counter-acts with your idea to play a passing/fluid football) and that makes sense... or does it? If you think about it, that specific pass&move type of football will be executed in specific phases of play, for example when your team has the ball in the opposition half and is initiating an attacking move, or when you're camped outside the opposition box looking for a way in. How about the other phases of play though? Your team and player instructions apply to all the phases of play, including when you're absorbing pressure, when you're hit on the counter or when you break on the counter from deep. so this is why I think it's tricky :) by employing a lot of TI's and PI's you both explore a specific style of play and limit another, which could be much more useful in a different situation in the game.

This is especially valid in a 'very fluid' system. Given that you've mentioned yourself that you have a great bunch of all-rounded players, and when we are talking about players like Ozil or Sanchez, there's no doubt about their tactical intelligence and their ability to make the right decision in specific phases of play. And this might be something that surprises you, as a manager: a defence-splitting pass, a series of intelligent movements off the ball, taking a player on when he believes that to be the best decision, after all you can not control everything about how your team plays, not in a very fluid system. There's structured shape for that. 

So you've changed to standard mentality, which means that, as a team, your players will not look to take on other players too aggressively unless their role (a trequartista for example) implies that in their responsibilities. there could also be the tempo issue, as that influences how quick your players need to make a decision (i.e. dribble or pass in this situation)

In my experience, having a player acting as a deep-lying playmaker with a 'mixed passing' instruction as well as with the 'pass into space' TI helps solve the issue of verticality pretty much on its own. this could be especially effective when you have the raumdeuter in your system, a role specifically designed to exploit space. Speaking about verticality though, this is the 'passing side of verticality'. The other would be creating verticality through player runs - here comes the wing back, the box-to-box cm and the raumdeuter, however all of them need space in front of them to exploit in order to create that dimension of the game. Restricting dribbling as a team would harm their chances of achieving that same verticality you are aiming to achieve. Afterall, they are not heavily attacking roles(bar the raumdeuter) in a heavily attacking mentality so you can rely on them to make the appropriate decision when it comes to dribbling. I would analyze if there are players consistently trying to taking a man on and failing and if that isn't more of a individual role problem, or a support-attack distribution problem. And then again, there's the issue of how much space they have in front of them to explore and how high you have your defensive line. I usually adopt a normal defensive line - this enables you to move up the pitch as a team anyway when you have the ball as well as break on the counter when the opportunity arises

I believe all of the above is a achieving a sort of balance in your system. It's very tempting to exploit a specific phase of play that particularly values your player's best abilities, I agree, but in doing that you could potentially limit other ways in which your team can attack or defend that are more appropriate in other situations created on the pitch.

p.s. apologies for monopolizing your thread, it's just that I've worked with pretty much the exact system for so long and in so many variations that i know it like the back of my hand. Hope this is useful :) 

Edited by LPQR

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I've gone in almost the exact opposite direction on my Arsenal save!

I'm running a pure 4-4-1-1, Structured and Counter.  I'm not wedded to the idea of structured yet, but i like the fact it created clearly defined banks of 4, this coupled with playmakers allows some really nice movement between the lines,

Formation as below (i'll post a screenshot later but i'm at work atm)

--------------GK/d-------------

FB/a---CD/d---CD/d---WB/s

WP/s--CM/d--AP/s--WM/a

--------------AM/s-------------

-------------DLF/a-------------

TI's are play out of defense, retain possession, work ball into box

I am not setting closing down instructions because with the counter mentality my plan is to get players back behind the ball then win the ball back before countering.

The biggest impact of WBIB i noticed was that instead of a lot of crosses i am seeing a lot of goals from cut-backs to a player arriving late.

I have set PI's to turn the WM/a into more of an Inside Forward/Ramdeuter role, with Walcott normally playing there.  I have also set the CM/d and AP/s to close down less so they provide a solid pair in the center of midfield with more movement on the flanks.  Ozil obviously plays behind the striker with playing Sanchez/Giroud up front.  I particularly like Sanchez as a DLF/a because he is so well rounded that he has the ability to take players on, play a killer pass, score a screamer or give and go to get on a return pass in the box, but didn't want to play him as a complete forward as i wanted him to start by coming deep, creating space for Walcott on the flank.

I've played 8 pre-season friendlies against terrible Singaporean/Belgian teams, and scored buckets of goals and only conceded 4 (3 of them in one game), so when i get back tonight it's going to get put to the test against tougher opposition.  I'll probably find out I've got it all wrong!

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I actually decidednot to play Cazorla and Ramsey at the same time, with the exception of Caz filling in for Özil in the AMC spot. I so far settled on two different CM pairs: Xhaka (DLPd) and Ramsey (BBM) or Coquelin (BMWd) and Cazorla (DLPs, thinking about RPM though). Works alright in pre-season at least, and i don't have to drop Walcott/Ox/Iwobi, as Alexis starts on the left. I like Giroud and want to give Lucas a chance.

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I was thinking what if you play Xhaka and Coquelin in midfield. It has been identified that Xhaka is not the best defensively especially if he is playing in a double pivot. I was thinking about having Couquelin so he could at some steal to the midfield. The other option would be to by William Carvalho from Sporting Lisbon. He is a bit more atheletic than Xhaka and Coquelin. Then my midfield duo could be Xhaka and Carvalho. 

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10 hours ago, James9 said:

I was thinking what if you play Xhaka and Coquelin in midfield. It has been identified that Xhaka is not the best defensively especially if he is playing in a double pivot. I was thinking about having Couquelin so he could at some steal to the midfield. The other option would be to by William Carvalho from Sporting Lisbon. He is a bit more atheletic than Xhaka and Coquelin. Then my midfield duo could be Xhaka and Carvalho. 

Xhaka should work nicely as a DLPs, so a Xhacoq pivot could do great. What to do with Cazorla/Ramsey though?

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I played another 3 matches yesterday, keeping the same tactical settings.

Friendly - Brescia (A) - 4-0 win
Brescia lined up in a 4-3-3 wide (4-1-2-2-1) and clearly set out to defend and do little else. 3 of our 4 goals came out of set pieces, but we did have the odd occasional chance from open play, and restricted our opponent to very little danger. I'm gonna call this a success.

Friendly - Shenhua (A) - 2-0 win
Again the opposition clearly weren't concerned with attacking, they set out in a 3-5-2 formation and sat very deep. Whilst there wasn't any space for our through balls into the area, Shenhua's defence fell apart down the wings as their narrow formation resulted in Bellerin finding acres of space again and again. Both of our goals were copies of each other - cutback crosses from Bellerin to an unrushing Ramsey. Shenhua created nothing.

Premier League - Crystal Palace (A) - 3-1 win
This is the most interesting match. For a start Cazorla was injured and whilst I hired Bernardeschi from Fiorentina to cover for him, in the 2 previous friendlies I was disappointed with him as his "runs with ball" PPM made him hog the ball far too much for what I want in the WP role (keep in mind we have plenty of other dribblers in our side). So I fielded Xhaka on the WP role instead, who I believe, after a little retraining, might be an excellent alternative for Cazorla.

Palace set out in a 4-2-3-1 Wide with 2 DMs, not as deep as our previous opponents but not giving us the sea of space Barcelona gave us before neither. I suspect they were on Standard mentality. Nevertheless our through ball game proved extremely effective as it gave us 2 goals within the first 15 minutes, Alexis, Ozil and Giroud combining extremely well in relatively limited space.

This was an excellent start, however in the 2nd half Palace started getting better and better, we were getting tired and they scored on a direct throughball from an unmarked Cabaye to Remy. I switched my midfielders whose legs weren't fresh enough to give us cover anymore, and I noticed for the final 20 minutes Palace were now playing very attacking and keeping their wingers very high up. This made us vulnerable down the wings so I made my fullbacks more defensive (FB/D and WB/S). I also introduced Walcott for Giroud to exploit all that space upfront, in the hope this would work out like it did vs Barcelona. And it did as he scored the final goal assisted by another throughball by Alexis.


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

I'm starting getting confident now that this system is robust enough for us - it has beaten parked buses (Brescia, Shenhua), superior but open opponents (Barcelona), and direct opponents on a medium block (Palace). It's however only a small sample, and I needed adjustments midmatch vs Palace - the real, true test would come in the following fixtures in the calendar: Leicester and Man Utd were next.

But this was never meant to be a long-term thing and I now have a new idea for a "real career" in the Career Updates forum, so I think I'll drop this for now. The thread can remain open for more debate around Arsenal, this system and similar systems.

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In the fm16 winter update I used a flat central midfield 3 of elneny, coq and ramsey.  Used ozil on right as AP in that tactic.  Xhaka should be a upgrade on elneny.  Both fullbacks provided the width with the double pivot letting the 4 star players do there stuff.

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On 20/10/2016 at 10:04, summatsupeer said:

In the fm16 winter update I used a flat central midfield 3 of elneny, coq and ramsey.  Used ozil on right as AP in that tactic.  Xhaka should be a upgrade on elneny.  Both fullbacks provided the width with the double pivot letting the 4 star players do there stuff.

What roles did you give your midfield 

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Decided to try out a 3-4-1-2 for the beta. So far 10 wins 3 draws (7 friendlys/5 PL/1 UCL), 24 GF/5 GA and have beaten Man U, Liverpool, Chelsea in the league, and Dortmund, Juventus in friendlies.

 

Using Control/Flexible with Push Higher Up, Play Wider, Higher Tempo, Shorter Passing, Retain Possession, Stay on Feet. Only PI is for keeper to distribute to Centerbacks. 

	DLF/S		DLF/A
		AP/S
	DLP/D		BWM/D
CWB/S				CWB/A
	CB/D	CB/D	CB/D

Arsenal3412.jpg

At times have used Cazorla/Ramsey as either a DLP/S instead of Xhaka, or as CM/S in place of Coq.

I may need to play around with striker roles, seems like one of the two will always have a sub-par game.

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I started a save with Arsenal on the BETA as I normally like to ease myself into things. I'm 2nd in February and just beat Juventus 3-1 at home in the first leg of my knockout Champions League tie.

I've been playing a pretty bog standard Control/Fluid 4-2-3-1, although for whatever reason I'm still not quite feeling the tactic. Even though I'm winning quite a bit it just isn't quite doing it for me so I'm thinking of mixing things up.

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7 hours ago, YankeeDeuce said:

Decided to try out a 3-4-1-2 for the beta. So far 10 wins 3 draws (7 friendlys/5 PL/1 UCL), 24 GF/5 GA and have beaten Man U, Liverpool, Chelsea in the league, and Dortmund, Juventus in friendlies.

 

Using Control/Flexible with Push Higher Up, Play Wider, Higher Tempo, Shorter Passing, Retain Possession, Stay on Feet. Only PI is for keeper to distribute to Centerbacks. 


	DLF/S		DLF/A
		AP/S
	DLP/D		BWM/D
CWB/S				CWB/A
	CB/D	CB/D	CB/D

Arsenal3412.jpg

At times have used Cazorla/Ramsey as either a DLP/S instead of Xhaka, or as CM/S in place of Coq.

I may need to play around with striker roles, seems like one of the two will always have a sub-par game.

I like this idea, lets you play players in their best positions. Bellerin as a WB is a exciting prospect also

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Anyone having trouble getting the most out of Ozil?

I play him as a free roaming playmaker in the AM position of a 4-2-3-1 Wide formation (control/standard and fluid/flexible, depending on quality of opponent, and fairly high press, retain possession, and pass into space instructions). Unfortunately, he only has average a rating of 7.1-7.2 after a little over a season. In my first season, I liked to play both Sanchez and Ox as an IFs on the left and right, respectively, so the outside backs (wing-backs) can provide support out wide. The IF roles were very sucessful with Sanchez winning the EPL player of the year with an 8.* rating and Ox averaged around a 7.4-7.5. Also, my center mids typically player a DLP and ball winner combo to provide balance, and I had Walcott as a poacher or Welbeck as advanced forward as strikers. While this setup was largely successful as I went on to win the league, I am still troubled by the under-utilization of my best player (along with Sanchez). I don't want to sell him as he's a hallmark of Arsenal at this point, but if I can't get the most out of him I think I'll have off-load him while he can demand a huge fee.  

So, what's going on here? Am I crowding out the middle with the IFs? Is it my striker role? While I suspect the IFs are the reason for his under-performance, I am a little hesitant to give up those roles as I have offloaded Welbeck, Walcott, and Giroud and replaced them with Berardi, Gabriel Barbosa, and Anthony Martial (total transfer fees < 100M pounds!), all of whom are best in the IF position (though one of them usually plays complete or advanced forward role up top). Is there some other remedy here besides changing the wing roles? Should I change the striker role?

Edited by russianorphan7

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On 18/10/2016 at 15:04, noikeee said:

That is kind of the point... I'm not choosing any of the roles for their specialization particularly. Ramsey's a BBM instead of a CM/S because I don't want him to be that static but it's not a huge difference. Cazorla can contribute more than just be a static playmaker. Ozil's role I'm a little undecided on, I reckon Treq is best so he can roam around and create overloads on the wings, but I want him to be free to do whatever he wants to do. The rest are standard roles.


Interesting, that could indeed prove to be a problem. I've been playing a formation exactly like this in FM15 lately with great success, but FM15 is very different because the AI doesn't really exploit space in front of your defence that well as in FM16 (and presumably '17). 

My thinking of pulling Xhaka back to DMCL was:

a) To provide further cover for the DCs as the rest of the formation is so attacking
b) To open up space in midfield on purpose but for ourselves - with everyone else so far forward we need a deeper passing outlet

If I need to put them in line, I think moving Xhaka ahead makes more sense than pulling Ramsey back (I need Ramsey to contribute going forward which he won't from a DM position), but I'm not sure about a role for him as I need him to mostly hold station but he isn't a playmaker. CM/D with less closing down?


I kind of want Ozil to drift wide and create overloads on the wings, but play being too congested could well be a real concern yes. I was expecting Bellerin's runs out wide to create horizontal space; and hopefully the Drop Deeper TI also opens up vertical space if needed.

If this still isn't enough then I'll have to readjust roles indeed. What would you suggest? I don't really want to introduce a classic winger as I don't have decent outlets for crossing other than Giroud. Raumdeuter for Alexis so he doesn't cut inside as pronounced as a IF?

I personally don't really like big fullbacks, but I'll keep an eye on Monreal to see if I need a rougher type to deal with aerial balls and physical bullying.

Just a note on winger's on the game so far, it's a huge improvement in my opinion from last year for players in wide areas to put intelligent balls into the box and into different areas for players arriving late etc. If you were to instruct a winger to hit low crosses early with Sanchez being good off the ball he would definitely get some joy with this approach when you spot an opportunity to do so 

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On 10/24/2016 at 09:56, russianorphan7 said:

Anyone having trouble getting the most out of Ozil?

I play him as a free roaming playmaker in the AM position of a 4-2-3-1 Wide formation (control/standard and fluid/flexible, depending on quality of opponent, and fairly high press, retain possession, and pass into space instructions). Unfortunately, he only has average a rating of 7.1-7.2 after a little over a season. In my first season, I liked to play both Sanchez and Ox as an IFs on the left and right, respectively, so the outside backs (wing-backs) can provide support out wide. The IF roles were very sucessful with Sanchez winning the EPL player of the year with an 8.* rating and Ox averaged around a 7.4-7.5. Also, my center mids typically player a DLP and ball winner combo to provide balance, and I had Walcott as a poacher or Welbeck as advanced forward as strikers. While this setup was largely successful as I went on to win the league, I am still troubled by the under-utilization of my best player (along with Sanchez). I don't want to sell him as he's a hallmark of Arsenal at this point, but if I can't get the most out of him I think I'll have off-load him while he can demand a huge fee.  

So, what's going on here? Am I crowding out the middle with the IFs? Is it my striker role? While I suspect the IFs are the reason for his under-performance, I am a little hesitant to give up those roles as I have offloaded Welbeck, Walcott, and Giroud and replaced them with Berardi, Gabriel Barbosa, and Anthony Martial (total transfer fees < 100M pounds!), all of whom are best in the IF position (though one of them usually plays complete or advanced forward role up top). Is there some other remedy here besides changing the wing roles? Should I change the striker role?

 

From the amount of assist and goals, I use him very well. Playing him as amc (AM(A) in 4-2-3-1.  

However, the average rating is not good and consistent.  If he cant get any goals and assist in a match, his rating may be only 6.5 something.

It is the only 5th highest average rating in premier league.

482730_screenshots_20161026182603_1.jpg

Edited by keithfc

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Nice stuff there keithfc. I am also playing as Arsenal on the Beta. Tactically I have no real problems, entering february now and only lost one match. But getting the best out of Ozil is a whole different story, no matter what I try he keeps preforming way below his actual qualities. Now has like 2 goals and 7 assists in 30 matches I believe (av 7.1). I am willing to give it another go next season, otherwise maybe sell him on. Cazorla is class on the AMC, also looking to get another (younger) playmaker in maybe.

Btw, anyone thinking about opening an Arsenal thread?

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Not transitioned to FM 17 yet, but in FM 16 I've gone back to my favourite formation, the 4123DM, after playing with variants of the 4231 Wide in the last couple of FM's. Managing Arsenal as always.

My midfield trio normally consists of a DM/defend behind a RPM and a CM/attack. I use Özil or Cazorla as RPM's, Ramsey or Wilshere as CM/attack and Coquelin as DM. At the back there's a WB/attack on the left, two CD/defend in the middle and a WB/support on the right. Up front I have IF/support on the left, CF/support in the middle (TM/support if it's Giroud) and a Roamdaughter on the right.

In a system of Control/Fluid with shorter passing, more closing down and low or whipped crosses (depending on who's up front). When in desperate need of a goal I change mentality from Control to Attacking. That's about it, neat and simple. For securing a lead at the end of matches I keep the Control/fluid setup but change a couple of the roles, e.g. WB/attack changes to support, and eventually the CM/attack changes to support also, and the GK is told to slow things down. That's really all the "tweaking" I will do during a match.

 

How does Özil perform as a RPM in central midfield? Extraordinary, is the simple answer. Cazorla destined to play second fiddle in that position, but when he plays he does pretty darn good as well. Their defensive shortcomings are more than offset by their offensive prowess, creativity and pinpoint passing. And with a second CM beside them and a DM behind, their defense is not that important anyway.

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