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Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

Playing Style, Structure & a modern 4-1-4-1 (Very Fluid)

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So as I've mentioned, I've been using a rather similar set up going back to FM16. The main differences are just a few different roles. Because of the squads I've had, I typically go with a DM or AM in the DM spot, a DLP in one MC spot and a CM-S or B2B in the midfield strata. Wide mids instead of wingers quite often as well. I kept meaning to try it with a DLP or Regista in the DM spot as it seems like it would be more attacking without sacrificing too much defensive stability. Started a save with Bournemouth and decided to try these roles. I have only played one match so the sample size is nothing, and it was a friendly against a really small side, but... I found my DLP only got about 40 touches thru 60 minutes in the DM spot. With the DLP in the MC spot, I often see close to 100 touches in a match by the playmaker. The CMs, wingers, etc, didn't have notably high touches so I think it was rather spread out. So I'm just curious - in a typical match against "normal" opposition, is the DLP or Regista in the DM spot seeing a lot of touches, or does it vary match to match?  

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I was wondering who your main goal scorers are in your formation? Does the lone striker makes lots of goals and does he get a nice average rating?

Because I've had lots of trouble to make my lone striker get a decent average rating and then suddenly he scores 3 goals in 1 game, and then I have to wait 5+ games before he scores again..really frustrating, because I want my striker as the main goal scorer!

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2 hours ago, Bigpapa42 said:

So as I've mentioned, I've been using a rather similar set up going back to FM16. The main differences are just a few different roles. Because of the squads I've had, I typically go with a DM or AM in the DM spot, a DLP in one MC spot and a CM-S or B2B in the midfield strata. Wide mids instead of wingers quite often as well. I kept meaning to try it with a DLP or Regista in the DM spot as it seems like it would be more attacking without sacrificing too much defensive stability. Started a save with Bournemouth and decided to try these roles. I have only played one match so the sample size is nothing, and it was a friendly against a really small side, but... I found my DLP only got about 40 touches thru 60 minutes in the DM spot. With the DLP in the MC spot, I often see close to 100 touches in a match by the playmaker. The CMs, wingers, etc, didn't have notably high touches so I think it was rather spread out. So I'm just curious - in a typical match against "normal" opposition, is the DLP or Regista in the DM spot seeing a lot of touches, or does it vary match to match?  

Sorry - please could you repeat the question? I don't understand how you can have an AM in the DM spot?

Regarding the DLP in the DM spot - yes, this is basically the point I was making about how the DLP is very static so can be taken out of the game by an opposition attacking midfielder.

The roaming playmaker gets into far better space and regularly hits 100+ touches per game.


 

41 minutes ago, BadAss88 said:

I was wondering who your main goal scorers are in your formation? Does the lone striker makes lots of goals and does he get a nice average rating?

Because I've had lots of trouble to make my lone striker get a decent average rating and then suddenly he scores 3 goals in 1 game, and then I have to wait 5+ games before he scores again..really frustrating, because I want my striker as the main goal scorer!


Dolberg has been top scorer every season so far. Klaassen, Ziyech and El Ghazi have all made double figures each season and in my latest season, so has Bazoer and Klaassen is on 17 with 6 games remaining.

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2 minutes ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Sorry - please could you repeat the question? I don't understand how you can have an AM in the DM spot?

Regarding the DLP in the DM spot - yes, this is basically the point I was making about how the DLP is very static so can be taken out of the game by an opposition attacking midfielder.

The roaming playmaker gets into far better space and regularly hits 100+ touches per game

Sorry, I meant Anchor Man with AM, not Attacking Mid. Apologies for lack of clarity. Just a bit more conservative. Having a defensive-focused DM also made me more comfortable having more aggressive roles and duties on the fullback positions.

I'll give it a try with the Roaming Playmaker. Good to know that the frequency with which they see the ball is similar. And can see how valuable adapting the specific roles to your opponent and their formation can be. That's something I've done but not frequently enough.

Another curiosity question - do you adjust roles and duties later on in a match to kill it off? Like if you have a 1-0 lead, do you drop the mentality of some of the players to be more conservative - attack becomes support, support becomes defend, etc? Swap in a typical defensive defensive mid into the DM role, etc? Or do you just trust the tactic and the players to finish the job?

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What training schedule do you use for your wide midfielders/wingers? Because you want to train all your players to allround players, but on their position isn't much choice or do you go for roaming playmaker (CM)? 

And what do you do with strikers who are still unsuited for the complete forward role but are more or less suited for a winger role (or another role in midfield)? Do you train (and use) them as complete forwards or as wingers?

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hey wanted to ask if somone knew a post where explains wich formation is strong against other formations?, i mean Ozil explains the OP he uses the DM variation againsts 4-2-3-1 and the RPM against 4-3-3 (DM) or the 3-4-3 its strong against 4-4-2, my point is has somone written about strong formations vs others? i wanted to create a base tactic that its easy to adapt vs others as ozil does. thanks in advance and hope i made my question clear as i dont dominate english.

Edited by Omaxo

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4 hours ago, Omaxo said:

hey wanted to ask if somone knew a post where explains wich formation is strong against other formations?, i mean Ozil explains the OP he uses the DM variation againsts 4-2-3-1 and the RPM against 4-3-3 (DM) or the 3-4-3 its strong against 4-4-2, my point is has somone written about strong formations vs others? i wanted to create a base tactic that its easy to adapt vs others as ozil does. thanks in advance and hope i made my question clear as i dont dominate english.

It is not a matter of formation v formation, I don't think O-zil necessarily changes his formation when he comes across a formation that lends itself to have advantage against a 4141 (IE have players in spaces that can hurt a general 4141). Rather, look at an opposition formation and find it's strengths and weaknesses and neglect or exploit them accordingly. When the OP faced a 433, he explioted the space infront of the opposition midfielder by using a RPM in the DM strata, but if you play 442 it might not be so straightforward, but you are still able to exploit that space by playing a DLP/d for example? Or maybe exploiting the space on the wings could be better?

Many will tell you that a 433 is better than 442, due to the extra man in the middle, but a good 442 will beat a worse 433 most of the time.

My point is, there is no point of considering what formation is naturally better against yours, as rarely it will be the deciding factor in a match, but rather focus on building a solid system that fits your squad (or future vision) and try and find out where your opposition is leaving space to take advantage of.

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i have been using the tactics and advice you have given from this thread and it has been working ok. but i seem to come up against 4-3-3 narrow and it has become a struggle. i change my playmaker to the left midfield role as you do against the 4-2-3-1 formation. but i still struggle a lot. also i seem to get over run through the middle with through ball and one twos. do you have any advice. i have attached a screenshot of the formation 4-3-3 in case of any confusion.

Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 02.29.32.png

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O-zil, I'm curious why you don't use Offside Trap instruction if you're already using very high D-line and Closing Down much more? Or have you used it on occasion? If you used it, when and what are your observations?

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First of all, thanks for yet another great thread. Amazing!

Prior to the third season at Swedish second division team Enskede, I implented this tactical thinking. The in-game betting companies were sure to have us relegated but half way in we are at the top of the league. Very happy about that. Also came second in the national cup (in Sweden, the cup is more of a pre-season tournament) eliminating 3 teams from the first division.

This is some of the adjustments I made, which I feel is interesting to discuss
- It is really hard to find strikers that can play Complete Forward at this level so I changed it to DLF-S, basically the same I guess...?
- Bumped the the DLP to the MC strata because I felt he was creating a gap between my CBs (and also because none of my MCs were capable of playing DMC).
- Trained my striker to play with his back towards to goal and the results have been amazing, he holds up the ball while wingers & central midfielders make forward runs.

We have a very limited budget (by far the lowest in the division) and I guess it is just a matter of time before bigger clubs will try and snatch my players but very excited to see how far we can take this.
I love how the team attacks and create chances, interesting to see a tactic that offer so much freedom to the players work at such a low level.

Thanks again!
 

enskede1.PNG

enskede2.PNG

enskede3.PNG

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Just wanted to say a big 'thank you' to @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!. This (and your other threads) have made me want to play with a very fluid style, which is not something I've done before on FM.

To be honest, I've always found the playing styles to be really confusing, and your explanations have been the most helpful I've seen on this forum.

I have a question about 'very fluid' as a style - presumably it's more suited to a possession/pressing/attacking approach rather than a fast counter-attacking approach? Would this work say with a mid-table side against a top side, where you may not expect to have as much possession?

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Also a big thanks to @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! for this thread. I'm still playing FM16 in a long term save & I started implementing this tactic at Ajax (happened to be managing there when I found this thread). I had been playing a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-2-3-1 DM & whilst dominating the Eredivise I was struggling in Europe & wanted to change things, it wasn't too hard with my current squad to implement this. After 1 season using this tactic & finishing 3rd again in my CL group (drew both Juve & Dortmund) the bright lights of Chelsea came calling & with the massive transfer budget on offer I made the move.

I came up against a lot more 442 than I anticipated (was expecting loads of 4231) & at home this was no issue, finishing the season with a home record of P19 W15 D2 L2, away from home however was a completely different story. Can't remember the exact record now but it involves losing 11 games! The end result was a just squeaked 4th. I'd be fairly confident that almost all those losses came against a 442, even playing some poor teams struggling against the bottom of the division.

Sorry I'm at work so can't post screens but typically against 442 I would line up like this

GK - SK(A) roll ball out to CB's

DR - FB (A)

DC - CD(D)

DC - CD(D)

DL - FB(S)

DM - RPM(S)

MR -WM(A)

MC- CM(A) - more risky passes, move into channels

MC- CM(S) - less risky passes, hold position

ML- W(A)

CF - CF(s)

TI's - play out of defence, high line, close down much more, prevent short GK distribution, tighter marking

Mentality standard, very fluid shape.

As I said this is working great when we play at home & nowhere near as well away. Is it just too aggressive away? I have been on the wrong end of a few thrashings at Liverpool & both the Manchester clubs, but more typically I lose 2-1 or 1-0 in games that statistically appear quite even or sometimes when we appear to have the better of it but don't take our chances & they will.  A lot of goals conceded are from a ball over the top into the channels which a striker either runs onto himself & scores or holds it up & cuts back or crosses to a supporting runner who scores. I don't have the best group of CB's but they typically aren't slow, so I'm not sure it's the high line that is the issue though.

Should have seen it coming from day 1 of the season, as the defeat at Leicester stands out. A 2-0 defeat where they managed 3 shots & 2 on target to our 20-something shots.

I am tempted to come up with a counter attacking variant to use in away games that would be deeper & less aggressive but that feels like it could be too much, is there a more subtle tweak that I'm missing?

 

Edited by Old No7

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Having spent most of my day at work thinking about this I'm thinking of adapting the tactic for away matches by using these changes:

DM - change from RPM to DLP (D) - should add more defensive solidity whist still providing a playmaking option. Defend duty could be too conservative so need to watch this.

DR - change from attack duty to support- again should add more defensive solidity might need to modify the MR from WM to W also but this is personnel dependent

MC - change from support duty to defend whilst leaving the other MC with attack duty. This change should provide a double pivot with the DM whilst still enabling the other CM to get forward

 

Edited by Old No7

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You have no defensive roles outside of your centre backs, it's no surprise you struggle defending away from home imo

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23 hours ago, Old No7 said:

Also a big thanks to @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! for this thread. I'm still playing FM16 in a long term save & I started implementing this tactic at Ajax (happened to be managing there when I found this thread). I had been playing a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-2-3-1 DM & whilst dominating the Eredivise I was struggling in Europe & wanted to change things, it wasn't too hard with my current squad to implement this. After 1 season using this tactic & finishing 3rd again in my CL group (drew both Juve & Dortmund) the bright lights of Chelsea came calling & with the massive transfer budget on offer I made the move.

I came up against a lot more 442 than I anticipated (was expecting loads of 4231) & at home this was no issue, finishing the season with a home record of P19 W15 D2 L2, away from home however was a completely different story. Can't remember the exact record now but it involves losing 11 games! The end result was a just squeaked 4th. I'd be fairly confident that almost all those losses came against a 442, even playing some poor teams struggling against the bottom of the division.

Sorry I'm at work so can't post screens but typically against 442 I would line up like this

GK - SK(A) roll ball out to CB's

DR - FB (A)

DC - CD(D)

DC - CD(D)

DL - FB(S)

DM - RPM(S)

MR -WM(A)

MC- CM(A) - more risky passes, move into channels

MC- CM(S) - less risky passes, hold position

ML- W(A)

CF - CF(s)

TI's - play out of defence, high line, close down much more, prevent short GK distribution, tighter marking

Mentality standard, very fluid shape.

As I said this is working great when we play at home & nowhere near as well away. Is it just too aggressive away? I have been on the wrong end of a few thrashings at Liverpool & both the Manchester clubs, but more typically I lose 2-1 or 1-0 in games that statistically appear quite even or sometimes when we appear to have the better of it but don't take our chances & they will.  A lot of goals conceded are from a ball over the top into the channels which a striker either runs onto himself & scores or holds it up & cuts back or crosses to a supporting runner who scores. I don't have the best group of CB's but they typically aren't slow, so I'm not sure it's the high line that is the issue though.

Should have seen it coming from day 1 of the season, as the defeat at Leicester stands out. A 2-0 defeat where they managed 3 shots & 2 on target to our 20-something shots.

I am tempted to come up with a counter attacking variant to use in away games that would be deeper & less aggressive but that feels like it could be too much, is there a more subtle tweak that I'm missing?

 

Drop the D-Line and use a DM role that protects the pocket.

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18 hours ago, masteR said:

You have no defensive roles outside of your centre backs, it's no surprise you struggle defending away from home imo

In hindsight what worked well at Ajax doesn't really apply to Chelsea as Ajax are so much better than anyone else in Eredivise that you probably get away with more

 

53 minutes ago, themadsheep2001 said:

Drop the D-Line and use a DM role that protects the pocket.

Wouldn't dropping negate the high press tactic? Or if I drop it to slightly higher from higher will that still provide an effective press? Also concerned that if I use a DM instead of a DLP then I have no playmaking influence in the side unless I make one of the CM's a DLP(D) & have a DM also, but again it might have a negative effect on the high press? Something to experiment with though, thanks

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2 minutes ago, Old No7 said:

In hindsight what worked well at Ajax doesn't really apply to Chelsea as Ajax are so much better than anyone else in Eredivise that you probably get away with more

 

Wouldn't dropping negate the high press tactic? Or if I drop it to slightly higher from higher will that still provide an effective press? Also concerned that if I use a DM instead of a DLP then I have no playmaking influence in the side unless I make one of the CM's a DLP(D) & have a DM also, but again it might have a negative effect on the high press? Something to experiment with though, thanks

They are bypassing your press with balls over the top. You either need to cut the pass off, or be in a position to recover from the pass.

Everything is a trade off at times.

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Apologies for the slow replies, all. Started a new job just over a week ago so been rather occupied!
 

On 25 November 2016 at 14:23, Bigpapa42 said:

Sorry, I meant Anchor Man with AM, not Attacking Mid. Apologies for lack of clarity. Just a bit more conservative. Having a defensive-focused DM also made me more comfortable having more aggressive roles and duties on the fullback positions.

I'll give it a try with the Roaming Playmaker. Good to know that the frequency with which they see the ball is similar. And can see how valuable adapting the specific roles to your opponent and their formation can be. That's something I've done but not frequently enough.

Another curiosity question - do you adjust roles and duties later on in a match to kill it off? Like if you have a 1-0 lead, do you drop the mentality of some of the players to be more conservative - attack becomes support, support becomes defend, etc? Swap in a typical defensive defensive mid into the DM role, etc? Or do you just trust the tactic and the players to finish the job?


Like bringing on Fellaini to defend a 1-0 win against Everton? :lol: No, I always prefer to keep going forward.

 

On 26 November 2016 at 15:53, BadAss88 said:

What training schedule do you use for your wide midfielders/wingers? Because you want to train all your players to allround players, but on their position isn't much choice or do you go for roaming playmaker (CM)? 

And what do you do with strikers who are still unsuited for the complete forward role but are more or less suited for a winger role (or another role in midfield)? Do you train (and use) them as complete forwards or as wingers?


Wide players - generally Defensive Wingers, if they have pace and Wide Midfielder / Playmaker if they don't.

Never have any problem re-training someone if they fit in somewhere which isn't their natural position, or if they don't fit in at all I sell them.


 

On 27 November 2016 at 07:56, Omaxo said:

hey wanted to ask if somone knew a post where explains wich formation is strong against other formations?, i mean Ozil explains the OP he uses the DM variation againsts 4-2-3-1 and the RPM against 4-3-3 (DM) or the 3-4-3 its strong against 4-4-2, my point is has somone written about strong formations vs others? i wanted to create a base tactic that its easy to adapt vs others as ozil does. thanks in advance and hope i made my question clear as i dont dominate english.


What exactly are you looking for? This post explains how I approach 4-3-3 variants, 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 variants which accounts for 90% or so of the teams I face.


 

On 27 November 2016 at 23:34, Fox said:

i have been using the tactics and advice you have given from this thread and it has been working ok. but i seem to come up against 4-3-3 narrow and it has become a struggle. i change my playmaker to the left midfield role as you do against the 4-2-3-1 formation. but i still struggle a lot. also i seem to get over run through the middle with through ball and one twos. do you have any advice. i have attached a screenshot of the formation 4-3-3 in case of any confusion.

Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 02.29.32.png


I'd switch to a back 3 to create a 3 v 2 against the strikers then push wingbacks forward as they're completely free, the opposition can't press them.

Depending on the rest of my squad I'd go either Conti-esq 3-4-3, 3-5-2 or 3-6-1 depending on who I have available.

On 29 November 2016 at 07:35, ekstromlars said:

First of all, thanks for yet another great thread. Amazing!

Prior to the third season at Swedish second division team Enskede, I implented this tactical thinking. The in-game betting companies were sure to have us relegated but half way in we are at the top of the league. Very happy about that. Also came second in the national cup (in Sweden, the cup is more of a pre-season tournament) eliminating 3 teams from the first division.

This is some of the adjustments I made, which I feel is interesting to discuss
- It is really hard to find strikers that can play Complete Forward at this level so I changed it to DLF-S, basically the same I guess...?
- Bumped the the DLP to the MC strata because I felt he was creating a gap between my CBs (and also because none of my MCs were capable of playing DMC).
- Trained my striker to play with his back towards to goal and the results have been amazing, he holds up the ball while wingers & central midfielders make forward runs.

We have a very limited budget (by far the lowest in the division) and I guess it is just a matter of time before bigger clubs will try and snatch my players but very excited to see how far we can take this.
I love how the team attacks and create chances, interesting to see a tactic that offer so much freedom to the players work at such a low level.

Thanks again!
 

enskede1.PNG

enskede2.PNG

enskede3.PNG


Fantastic. Great work. Congratulations!


 

On 30 November 2016 at 18:42, howard moon said:

Just wanted to say a big 'thank you' to @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!. This (and your other threads) have made me want to play with a very fluid style, which is not something I've done before on FM.

To be honest, I've always found the playing styles to be really confusing, and your explanations have been the most helpful I've seen on this forum.

I have a question about 'very fluid' as a style - presumably it's more suited to a possession/pressing/attacking approach rather than a fast counter-attacking approach? Would this work say with a mid-table side against a top side, where you may not expect to have as much possession?


Yes, I believe Very Fluid is better suited to proactive football. Read the thread about Wales as that talks about some similar concepts playing counter-attacking football and explains why I'd prefer a different team shape.


 

On 8 December 2016 at 07:28, Old No7 said:

Also a big thanks to @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! for this thread. I'm still playing FM16 in a long term save & I started implementing this tactic at Ajax (happened to be managing there when I found this thread). I had been playing a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-2-3-1 DM & whilst dominating the Eredivise I was struggling in Europe & wanted to change things, it wasn't too hard with my current squad to implement this. After 1 season using this tactic & finishing 3rd again in my CL group (drew both Juve & Dortmund) the bright lights of Chelsea came calling & with the massive transfer budget on offer I made the move.

I came up against a lot more 442 than I anticipated (was expecting loads of 4231) & at home this was no issue, finishing the season with a home record of P19 W15 D2 L2, away from home however was a completely different story. Can't remember the exact record now but it involves losing 11 games! The end result was a just squeaked 4th. I'd be fairly confident that almost all those losses came against a 442, even playing some poor teams struggling against the bottom of the division.

Sorry I'm at work so can't post screens but typically against 442 I would line up like this

GK - SK(A) roll ball out to CB's

DR - FB (A)

DC - CD(D)

DC - CD(D)

DL - FB(S)

DM - RPM(S)

MR -WM(A)

MC- CM(A) - more risky passes, move into channels

MC- CM(S) - less risky passes, hold position

ML- W(A)

CF - CF(s)

TI's - play out of defence, high line, close down much more, prevent short GK distribution, tighter marking

Mentality standard, very fluid shape.

As I said this is working great when we play at home & nowhere near as well away. Is it just too aggressive away? I have been on the wrong end of a few thrashings at Liverpool & both the Manchester clubs, but more typically I lose 2-1 or 1-0 in games that statistically appear quite even or sometimes when we appear to have the better of it but don't take our chances & they will.  A lot of goals conceded are from a ball over the top into the channels which a striker either runs onto himself & scores or holds it up & cuts back or crosses to a supporting runner who scores. I don't have the best group of CB's but they typically aren't slow, so I'm not sure it's the high line that is the issue though.

Should have seen it coming from day 1 of the season, as the defeat at Leicester stands out. A 2-0 defeat where they managed 3 shots & 2 on target to our 20-something shots.

I am tempted to come up with a counter attacking variant to use in away games that would be deeper & less aggressive but that feels like it could be too much, is there a more subtle tweak that I'm missing?

 


Difficult to say based on this information but my first question would be what made you remove the holding midfielder? As I mention in the opening post, I always play with a holding midfielder ahead of the back-four.

Depending on your squad, a 3-man defence can be very effective against a 4-4-2 and gives you an additional man to use elsewhere.

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

Yes, I believe Very Fluid is better suited to proactive football. Read the thread about Wales as that talks about some similar concepts playing counter-attacking football and explains why I'd prefer a different team shape.

Thanks for getting back to me. 

I'm tempted to give this sort of set-up a go with my Athletic Bilbao side on FM17. Been playing a 4-4-1-1, standard/flexible to try and make use of the team's high work rate, determination and strength, but just cannot score. Aduriz has managed 1 in 10 and in our last 11 games we've only scored more than 1 once.

We don't have masses of technically gifted players (though Muniain, Benat and Iturraspe are all accomplished on the ball), but have the work rate to make a compact high press work. Previously I've been attempting more of a countering system.

Do you think this could work, even with less gifted players? Or is there a way to emulate the sort of high press, compact shape and attacking movement in a different way, without the excessive creative freedom? 

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6 hours ago, howard moon said:

Thanks for getting back to me. 

I'm tempted to give this sort of set-up a go with my Athletic Bilbao side on FM17. Been playing a 4-4-1-1, standard/flexible to try and make use of the team's high work rate, determination and strength, but just cannot score. Aduriz has managed 1 in 10 and in our last 11 games we've only scored more than 1 once.

We don't have masses of technically gifted players (though Muniain, Benat and Iturraspe are all accomplished on the ball), but have the work rate to make a compact high press work. Previously I've been attempting more of a countering system.

Do you think this could work, even with less gifted players? Or is there a way to emulate the sort of high press, compact shape and attacking movement in a different way, without the excessive creative freedom? 


You're welcome.

Depends. You could play a compact, aggressive shape and bash the ball forward quickly - very fluid / attack - or you could play something a bit more controlled, less-creative freedom so less aggressive Team Shape using more conservative formations / player roles to give you compactness. See, Wales - Euro 2006 as an example.

Sounds like you're somewhere in the middle. Don't want to ruin it for you. Good luck! ;) 

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On ‎09‎/‎12‎/‎2016 at 16:45, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Difficult to say based on this information but my first question would be what made you remove the holding midfielder? As I mention in the opening post, I always play with a holding midfielder ahead of the back-four.

Depending on your squad, a 3-man defence can be very effective against a 4-4-2 and gives you an additional man to use elsewhere.

I still have a player in the DM strata but with RPM role as I thought he would have a bit of freedom between the lines. As I said this seems to work well at home but not away so I've tweaked it to change the role to a DLP(D) & both fullbacks on support duty, with one of the CM's now on a (D) duty. I'll try & post some screenshots later & hopefully that will make it clearer.

Edited by Old No7

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So i had a base 4-1-4-1 setting up like with a roaming playmaker in the DM strata against a 4-4-2 which is what I encountered most often

20161212201451_1.jpg

I also use this against a 4-3-3 & against a 4-2-3-1 I line the playmaker up out wide.

20161212201454_1.jpg

When at Ajax I had used 3-5-1-1 (I started off on 3-4-3 diamond thread), reasonably successfully against 4-4-2 but I was struggling to implement this at Chelsea. The end results were great at home & pretty poor away as you can see from our record

20161212201520_1.jpg

20161212201524_1.jpg

 

So having had a rethink I have made some small adjustments & changed to this away from home for the new season, early days but won 3 drawn 1 so far including a 6-1 thrashing of Man City (who had won all 3) at home. In that match I started with the RPM in the DM strata took an early 2-0 lead before changing to the DLP variation after they pulled it back to 2-1

20161212201456_1.jpg

Edited by Old No7

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Anybody tried this out with an Inverted Wingback in the right-back spot, yet?

Unfortunately, I don't have the right player but I think the the Inverted Wingback should slot nicely into the space behind the MC(A) on the right hand side and - potentially - add a new dynamic in transition and attacking play.

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On 9/12/2016 at 16:45, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

What exactly are you looking for? This post explains how I approach 4-3-3 variants, 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 variants which accounts for 90% or so of the teams I face.


 

 

 

Yes  you clarified more or less my question by saying variants of the basics formations, but im facing a lot of those variants in La Liga Santander 4-1-4-1/4-4-1-1                  1. would you still use the same formation or it could be better by uppering the wingers and using a 4-1-2-2-1? if your answer is yes, would you prefer IF roles and changing the roles of fullback to wingback and ask them to say stay wider as the IF cuts inside? or, keep it with wingers, not asking the wingbacks to staywider?. 

2. i find using your cruyf tactic is quite usefull against 4-4-2 tactics, usually i do quite well against them untill halftime or untill i get the lead, then they change the 4-4-2 into a 4-2-2-2 and they comeback or even hammer me, my question is would you use then a 3-2(WB)-3-1-1, putting down the wingers?

3. Now the DM-(D) you cant ask him to close dow less, by default he will have close down much more, is this role still effective to cover and AMC?

4. what would you observe to conclude if the IWB is usefull?

i've tested a bit (don't know if the player that i use does well the role but he has good ratings at that position) actually he is having incredible match ratings being by far the best at the defense and a lot of time the best of the match, he is involucrated a lot in the passes at midfield but i've noticed one important thing, if i loose the ball in the midfield or in my court he leaves a quite important gap as he tends to be in the midfield sometimes not having time to get back quick, also the teams that plays Direct passes tend to exploit that weakness.

In the passes the IWB just gets involved as much as any of the 3 of the midfield having more than 92%accuracy of passes in 3 matches having more than 70 passes with succes in all of 3 matches. the defensive stats are similar to the other fullback. Is like having another CM(S) more, but at the wing (actually he sits at the DFC vertically but horizonal at the height of the CM(S))

 

thanks in advance, you really have helped me improve and enjoy much more the game.

 

Edited by Omaxo

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

Anybody tried this out with an Inverted Wingback in the right-back spot, yet?

Unfortunately, I don't have the right player but I think the the Inverted Wingback should slot nicely into the space behind the MC(A) on the right hand side and - potentially - add a new dynamic in transition and attacking play.

I played around with it in some friendlies with good results. But too few games to come to any conclusion so far..

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O-zil, I've read all your threads & they are all fantastic. I've definitely learnt something from each of them.

Have you considered looking at replicating Klopp or Guardiola? 

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15 hours ago, Omaxo said:

3. Now the DM-(D) you cant ask him to close dow less, by default he will have close down much more, is this role still effective to cover and AMC?

 

 

i wanna know this too. before for me when i clicked close down much less, in the PI it would say it also closes down more, so i never knew which one got priority. now its just more. ive had to use a DLP D to get the close down much less, not sure if that changes how the tactic should play but its the next best thing

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On 23-11-2016 at 16:08, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Roaming Playmaker

  • Supporting mentality so more of a midfielder.
  • Lateral movement - roams from position but can't move forward and has the option to move into the channels.
    • My observation in the match engine is he starts deep, then joins midfield. Does move forward, but not aggressively.
    • Movement makes him a very good passing option when teammates are in possession.
  • Dribbles more so will bring the ball out of defence himself.

 

I'm guessing by "can't move forward" you mean won't get in the opponent's penalty area, since he is moving forward quite a bit as you show with your screenshots.

Further more, I assume, this is the behaviour from DM and from MC he could move forward or is that not the case?

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First of all, I'm not sure if I should raise this issue on this thread, but I'm seeing good discussions, so here I go. And oh, sorry for my english.

I'm having some problems trying to use a 4-1-4-1. I started this career with Istra 1961 from Croatia before seeing this thread, but already using 4-1-4-1 due to Tite's system used in Corinthians (2015 Brasileirão winners) and now with the Brazilian National Team.

My problem is: I'm playing with two "fake inside forwards" and an False 9, and my False 9 doesn't seem to link into my tactics. Here's my current setup:

Quote

 

Mentality: Counter
Team Shape: Balanced
Team Instructions: 
Fairly Wide Width, Normal Tempo | Slightly Deeper Defensive Line, Close Down Much More, Prevent Short GK Distribution | Play Out of Defense, Exploit Left and Right Flanks, Mixed Passes, Retain Possession, Be More Expressive | Look for Overlap, Low Crosses, Dribble Less  

GK) Goalkeeper - Defend | Pass It Shorter, Distribute to DM, Slow Pace Down
DR) Full Back - Attack
DL) Full Back - Attack
DC) Central Defender - Defend
DC) Central Defender - Defend
DM) Deep Lying Playmaker - Defend | Close Down Less
CM) Box to Box Midfielder - Support | Get Further Forward, Move Into Channels
CM) Advanced Playmaker - Support
LM) Wide Midfielder - Support | More Risky Passes, Cut Inside With Ball, Cross Less Often
RM) Wide Midfielder - Support | More Risky Passes, Cut Inside With Ball, Cross Less Often
ST) False 9 - Support | Close Down Less, Mark Tighter

 

Ok, some of you will say that my team is too defensive, specially because there isn't an attacking role in advanced positions. I'm managing one of the weakest teams in the league and my players lack physical attributes like acceleration. So, my aim is to press higher, win the ball and when with the possession, be patient and look for my FBs to overlap and search for an CM/RM/LM/ST to finish our offensive moves.

So, what's happening?

I'm in the preseason and our team played against two lower league teams and against Slovan Bratislava. We beat both lower league teams away from home by 1-0 and drew (1-1) against Slovan, but the thing that is annoying me is that my team create chances, but my ST doesn't drop deeper enough to build-up play and look things easier.

In the match against Slovan, I had 68% of possession and 90% of completed passes, but only 9 shots (7 from distance). Our heat map clearly explains with images what I'm talking about. My striker only got a 7.0 rating because he scored in the last minute, but he only passed 34 times. 

I would like to hear some suggestions and to know what should I change? Maybe change my BBM (S) to an CM (A)? My F9 to an DLF (S) - it's hard to find CF in this league, so it would be a option. Change something in my mentality? 

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An update after my slight tweak a week or so ago. Made two expensive acquisitions in the summer, a new centre back who better suited playing a high line & a playmaking central midfielder also capable of playing a CM(A) role. It all went rather well!

Won the league without losing a game, So that troublesome away record was obviously much improved:

20161218081707_1.jpg

20161218081655_1.jpg

And we won the champions league too:

20161218081252_1.jpg

 

 

 

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Firstly, a great thread with plenty of information to engage the grey matter. 

I noted a query on one of the earlier replies, but wasn't able to spot a response. As I'm having a similar issue, I thought I would raise it again (though I apologise if I have simply missed the answer).

1) How do you find your teams dealing with through balls when you're playing a higher defensive line? I seem to be undone more often than I would like. Is it as simple as dropping the defensive line, or would this disrupt the flow without other tweaks to complement?

I have noticed a couple of other points as well:

2) I find my teams (using any of the set-ups) seem to be a little sluggish out of the gates. My opposition (regardless of who) always seem to have 1-2 decent chances / goals in the first 5 minutes. Have you come across the problem and, if so, have you found an effective counter?

3) When playing with a DM and WP, I have found (though not always) that the opposition fullback has far too much time and space to get forward. Again, have you found this to be an issue when deploying a WP (I'm thinking against the better sides as the most noticeable incident for me was against Arsenal when I led 2-0 inside the first 20 minutes, only to have Bellerin provide 3 assists before the end of the game).

 

I should point out that I play as Spurs and am using 2016 rather than 2017.

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On 12/21/2016 at 08:53, Jorsin said:

Firstly, a great thread with plenty of information to engage the grey matter. 

I noted a query on one of the earlier replies, but wasn't able to spot a response. As I'm having a similar issue, I thought I would raise it again (though I apologise if I have simply missed the answer).

1) How do you find your teams dealing with through balls when you're playing a higher defensive line? I seem to be undone more often than I would like. Is it as simple as dropping the defensive line, or would this disrupt the flow without other tweaks to complement?

I have noticed a couple of other points as well:

2) I find my teams (using any of the set-ups) seem to be a little sluggish out of the gates. My opposition (regardless of who) always seem to have 1-2 decent chances / goals in the first 5 minutes. Have you come across the problem and, if so, have you found an effective counter?

3) When playing with a DM and WP, I have found (though not always) that the opposition fullback has far too much time and space to get forward. Again, have you found this to be an issue when deploying a WP (I'm thinking against the better sides as the most noticeable incident for me was against Arsenal when I led 2-0 inside the first 20 minutes, only to have Bellerin provide 3 assists before the end of the game).

 

I should point out that I play as Spurs and am using 2016 rather than 2017.

1. Dealing with the through balls issue taken from the Jogo Bonito thread:

On 12/14/2016 at 06:36, alinp said:

Options....

  1. get better, faster CB's
  2. stop the through ball in the first place
  3. drop your d-line

2. Are your team talks having any effect? I haven't noticed this; quite the opposite, actually, in that my team pounces on the opposition early. I don't know what else would affect this issue of the team sluggishly starting matches.

3. I have a system at Ajax, in the right midfield slot, having either a Winger-Attack or Wide Playmaker-Support. Depending on what I use, this affects the mentality of the Fullback behind them. If I have that Winger-Attack, there's no sense in doubling up that area along the touchline, so I use FB-Support. Then, if my Wide Playmaker is in, cutting inside, not running at defenses, I use the FB-Attack to provide the width, but also go at the opponent's fullback.

Edited by ronaldo1026

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I've started getting my feet wet with the very fluid tactics according to this thread and I really like what I'm seeing. It really is the total football as my entire team seems to get high ratings, unlike with my less fluid tactics where only a handful of players would get high ratings. Further more the interaction of the midfield with the striker seems to be much more... well.. fluid. I like this 4-1-4-1 a lot more than the Cruijff 3-4-3 you did before as that feels way more ambitious (too ambitious for me at least). I hope I can have some fun with it and I hope you can keep doing these cause they are definitely inspiring.

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On 15/12/2016 at 14:21, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Anybody tried this out with an Inverted Wingback in the right-back spot, yet?

Unfortunately, I don't have the right player but I think the the Inverted Wingback should slot nicely into the space behind the MC(A) on the right hand side and - potentially - add a new dynamic in transition and attacking play.

I've played around with the IWB and there's some great movement into the space the CM(A) vacates, he's usually the free man in possession and with a player more suited to it, I can see them being involved in lots of goals 

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On 21/12/2016 at 15:53, Jorsin said:

2) I find my teams (using any of the set-ups) seem to be a little sluggish out of the gates. My opposition (regardless of who) always seem to have 1-2 decent chances / goals in the first 5 minutes. Have you come across the problem and, if so, have you found an effective counter?

This isn't necessarily a tactical problem IMO. I have found this to be a recurring theme in various versions of FM, including this year's version. And while I do think these occurrences are a little on the high side, I would also say it's not always one-way traffic; sometimes the early big chance or goal falls to my team too.

Ö-zil, congrats on another stonking write-up.

7inkrxe.gif

I only got FM17 on Christmas Day, and immediately started a save with my beloved Southampton, with a ton of ideas in my head. I tried a Conte-style 3-4-3 and a 4-1-2-1-2, but results (and individual players) were inconsistent, and I started to suffer from 'tactician's block' but after reading this bit in your OP, I had a 'light-bulb moment':

On 22/11/2016 at 17:33, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:
  • If you're playing a quick attacking system then you need numbers in advanced positions, in order to attack quickly.
  • If you prefer a controlled build-up then presence in midfield is essential and you'll need players making attacking runs.

My board want me to play a possession style (as do I) and both of the formations I was experimenting with had 3 players in the AM strata or further forward. So I started again using your 4-1-4-1 as a base and tweaking it here and there. Instead of an RPM(s) and a CM(d) I use a DLP(d) and a CM(s) as I feel this suits my players better. I also changed the winger to a WM just to keep the number of crosses in check. I also dropped the d-line a notch, because Van Dijk is the only CB I've got with any pace.

Results have been, erm, quite good!

2017-01-02 06.05.05 pm.png

We are scoring goals for fun. Charlie Austin has 13 in 10 and my CM's are scoring too, something I could never quite get to happen consistently on last year's version.

In the past I have always used standard/flexible for my tactics, and this is the first time I've ever used very fluid and I like it. We play as a unit, and the use of generic player roles means I have more options when it comes to transfers and using players from my academy.

This thread has got my brain bubbling so now I want to start a couple of different saves and experiment more. Top work!

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There is always someone every year who is able to explain a method and capture my imagination, that makes this game worth playing for another year. Thank you O-zil, this year it is you.

I look at the opposition, I place my creator in the space left (usually DM or AML/R), nominate my midfield (DM, M or AM strata) holding player (defensive role) and runner (attacking role), keep very faithful to the principles of genariism and fluidity and although not easy, the game becomes a puzzle you can unlock with a bit of persistence, trial and error.

Although I am not using a 4-5-1, (usually 4-1-2-3DM Wide) the method is entirely yours, or at least my interpretation of it.

I was even able to dispense with the team instructions most of the time, although this is definitely an area where I can further improve. Arguably using two runners, or maybe changing to fluid and having two creators (in the space provided by the opposition) are experiments that may be worth running once I have stopped enjoying the simplicity of the current tactic.

Once again, thank you.

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Hi there O-Zil, 

I just wanted to say thank you very much for this thread, I am quite a late arrival to FM17 and was struggling on my third version of a save game with Arsenal. I had tried all manner of set ups but nothing was working very well at all unfortunately and so I gave this a punt. 

This was my last game before I switched tactics:

20170102144525_1.jpg

I then decided enough was enough, followed the advice here and settled  on the below:

20170104192232_1.jpg

I am not convinced it is the right spot for Ozil, so in a tighter game I may well try him on one of the flanks. I also notice you usually place a DM in front of the back four so that is something to consider going forward. 

These are a couple of the games I have faced so far. Granted, not the strongest opposition but the difference in performance is amazing and I am hopeful we are back on the right track. 

20170104192600_1.jpg

20170104192612_1.jpg

20170104192621_1.jpg

I don't think Arsenal are suited to a flat midfield 4 but it might be something to try going forward.

Thanks again and if you have any thoughts on Ozil and a flat midfield 4 then welcome them!

Cheers!!

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On 12/23/2016 at 20:28, ronaldo1026 said:

1. Dealing with the through balls issue taken from the Jogo Bonito thread:

2. Are your team talks having any effect? I haven't noticed this; quite the opposite, actually, in that my team pounces on the opposition early. I don't know what else would affect this issue of the team sluggishly starting matches.

3. I have a system at Ajax, in the right midfield slot, having either a Winger-Attack or Wide Playmaker-Support. Depending on what I use, this affects the mentality of the Fullback behind them. If I have that Winger-Attack, there's no sense in doubling up that area along the touchline, so I use FB-Support. Then, if my Wide Playmaker is in, cutting inside, not running at defenses, I use the FB-Attack to provide the width, but also go at the opponent's fullback.

Thanks for the input.

I think Spurs have pretty decent CBs....though points 2 & 3 are valid. I was wondering if simply dropping the D-Line, without any other mods, would have a negative impact on the rest of the set-up...something to test.

I find the reaction to the team talks to be hit-n-miss, That said, I have now switched to FM17 and have not (as yet) seen the same issue with the sluggish starts.

 I use the left side of midfield as my playmaker to allow me to use Erikson (though I don't think it's an ideal position for him). Despite all the reading I have done on tactics recently, I didn't see the obvious issue of ensuring that my FBs complement my W / WP. Thank you for helping me see the wood through the trees!

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Once again, absolutely top drawer stuff.

This thread also brought your Wales thread to my attention too which was just brilliant.

Probably doesn't need saying again, but your clear writing style and logical progression make your threads helpful and full of insight - particularly how you tweaked things against Barca and BVB. 

I think something many of us struggle with is how to change things up against different styles and formations... When it just isn't working I tend to either freeze like a rabbit in the headlights or change formation/style altogether, before having a moment of realisation and switching back. You show us here how it's really done: enhancing strengths, mitigating weaknesses. Sounds so simple but many of us make it so complex!

I hope your threads keep coming, mate! 

P.S. - Are you gonna change your username when Özil leaves? :p

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More likely Ö-zil to the Guizhou Hengfeng Zhichent!, or something similar.

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Hola, from Barcelona!

Been a bit quiet lately. Busy with work and lacking a bit of inspiration after my Ajax academy turned into attack of the clones due to the regen face issue and spoilt the realism somewhat.

Being in Barcelona, it proved impossible to avoid the temptation of a Barcelona save. It's been interesting to implement and adapt this playing style for an even more advanced group of players.

In this and previous threads I've come across quite a few questions about playing accommodating superstars into this style of play. Things like wide forwards, an attacking spear-head, multiple playmakers and this has even given me the opportunity to make progress with the much maligned half-back role.

That said, it's not the biggest challenge. I could probably stick a banana up front and win most games 3-0 :lol: I've also had a few feedbacks asking to move into different styles of play, or work with lower-quality sides and this would certainly be a further evolution and more advanced concepts of the same theme, rather than anything particularly new. With that in mind, I thought I'd put it out there to the community to see if this would be something people would be interested in hearing about?

I've put together a preview video of how I've got Messi performing in a more central role and - spoiler alert - it's not a False 9 ;)

Feedback on interest levels and suggestions etc very welcome.

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Advanced forward or maybe Poacher, sitting most of the times on the shoulder of the last defence

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Messi is a natural target man IMO. Just loft in the long balls and let him work his 6'5" magic.

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Attacking midfielder on attack or shadow striker I reckon

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