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[FM14] Arsenal 4-2-3-1 (League & Cup Double Winners)

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Long-time reader, infrequent poster. I thought I ought to share this league and cup double winning tactic having benefited from the insight of so many people on here. 

I built this tactic having taken the Arsenal job two years into the save following Wenger's retirement. (I started the save unemployed before getting the job at Swansea City and winning the Europa League and European Super Cup) Fortunately, the squad was pretty much in tact with only Monreal sold by the time I took over. I wanted to play a controlling style of football with emphasis on possession, pressing and fluidity - an attempt at emulating the 'Total Football' utilised by Michels/Cruyff

PS - I'm posting this tactic a season after I won the double. Since winning those pieces of silverware I also bagged the League Cup before losing the Premier League to Chelsea on goal difference last season - three goals, to be precise. *sob* 

arsenal tactic4.jpg

arsenal tactic5.JPG

I set my team up as follows:

arsenal tactic1.jpg
I find that when my team attacks and reaches the final third it becomes a 3-2-4-1 of sorts with my left back often overlapping the inside forward. The combination has proved fruitful and that is shown by the number of assists from the left wing area. The most common types of goal I score tend to be through balls from Ozil, WIlshere and Coutinho to Giroud and Oxlade-Chamberlain or crosses from Davies headed in by Giroud or finished by Ozil. Obviously there are several other types but these two seem to crop up quite a lot. I rarely score from outside the area though and would like to add that as another string to my team's bow. 
arsenal tactic3.jpg

I haven't tweaked the Fluidity setting at all so far but do vary my side's mentality quite frequently in matches. I start most games with Control but have sometimes used Counter when playing difficult opponents, particularly away from home. If I'm looking to shut out a match, having secured a lead, I will switch to Counter or Defensive and adjust my other TIs accordingly. Usually I do this by adding Retain possession, Much lower tempo and Waste time. When I'm chasing goals I switch to Attacking and employ Higher tempo and Much higher defensive line to try and compress the opposition's space further and use the ball more urgently. If I'm really desperate and in the last 15 minutes I'll go to Overload and use Much higher tempo, Get stuck in and Shoot on sight. (I'm still tweaking my tactics for chasing goals and try different combinations as I play more of the save)

Team instructions:

arsenal tactic2.jpg

I settled on these TIs quite quickly having read through a series of really useful posts (linked to below) but some variations that I've used in the past, with differing success, are Pass into space and Use offside trap. The latter requires a change in PIs for my centre backs from Stopper and Cover to Defend and Defend.  

Player instructions:

GK: Goalkeeper (Defend) - Pass it shorter // Default role for the tactic which I use for Szczęsny and Mannone. However, when I use ter Stegen I employe him as a Sweeper keeper (Support) because of his unique skill set. I have found there isn't too much difference between the two roles but there are moments when an SK is particularly useful in a team playing with a high defensive live. This includes intercepting long balls sent over the top of your defence and instigating counter-attacks.

DR: Full back (Support) - Run wide with ball // I used Sagna here until he got a bit too old and then switched to Stones last season. I prefer tallish full backs in this position as they don't get forward as much as the left back and often deal with aerial clearances from the opposition.  

DRC: Central defender (Stopper) - Mark tighter // I use Koscielny and Vermaelen here who are getting on a bit but have great mental stats, useful for tutoring younger players, and can still get the job done. 

DLC: Central defender (Cover) - Mark tighter // Eventually I'm hoping to make Dier a Ball playing defender with Cover duty as he has the required skills and gives me another creative option from deep. My first choice until recently was Nkoulou but he's upset I rejected an offer from Monaco and his performances started to drop. 

DL: Full back (Attack) - Run wide with ball // A really important attacking outlet for this tactic, as odd as it seems to say for a defender. Constantly provides overlaps and crosses into the box for Giroud and Kane. I use Davies and Gibbs presently but used to have Bernat who was one of the best performing players in the Premier League for the two seasons I had him. Average rating was 7.38 in his final season with us before Real Madrid bought him for £36.5m - kerching! 

MCR: Central midfielder (Support) // I try not to have more than one PI for each position as I have quite a lot of TIs for this tactic and don't need any in this position. Wilshere is really good from deep and gets further forward to support the attack when I use Attacking or Overload mentality - has scored some crucial goals at the death. Ramsey is the other player I use here and he brings distance shooting and long range passing qualities I otherwise don't have. I'd like to be able to play both at the same time. 

MCL: Central midfielder (Defend) - Mark tighter // I like tall players here as I've noticed a lot of what they do is dealing with aerial clearances from the opposition's defence when I have them under the cosh. Enriquez and Rodwell work well in winning the ball in the air and laying it off to one of the attacking players to start another attack and keep the pressure on. However, I got Bender in this year as he was available for a good price and he brings a more physical defensive presence - a couple of times his challenges high up the pitch have led to quickly taken goals. I play him as a Ball winning midfielder with Defend duty.

AMR: Winger (Attack) - Get further forward // Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott give me width, pace and crosses from the right hand side but their main threat is running in behind defences and finishing in the corner. Ox scored 28 goals (all competitions) in the season I won the double. I instruct them to Stay forward in Set pieces and they have picked up a good few goals, corners and free kicks by attacking on the break.

AMC: Advanced playmaker (Attack) - Roam from position // I have Ozil - the Kings of Assists. Basically, he's brilliant and scores goals as well as creating them. In the last two seasons his average rating has been 7.67 and 7.41 with Cazorla relieving him when he's rested. 

AML: Inside forward (Support) - Sit narrower // Coutinho and Rotariu are becoming really good in this position and it's fun to see them pick the ball up in the final third with lots of options available. Davies running down the left, Ozil and Giroud in front of him, Ox to the right and Wilshere square. One of the main strength's of this tactic is the consistent overload it creates down the left hand side and, touch wood, will continue to be a reliable supply of goal-scoring opportunities. 

ST: Advanced forward (Attack) - Shoot more often // Default role for the tactic but I always put Giroud and Kane as Target man (Attack) because of their skill set and it's really useful to have an aerial threat up top. Giroud has scored 29 and 24 goals in the last two seasons with Podolski also banging in a few before he was sold. (Got old and fell out with me) The added height also gives me extra protection at defensive set pieces which is useful in a team with quite a few short players and particularly when playing the likes of Pulis / Alladyce. 

Thanks for reading and I hope I've included everything that's needed. Feel free to ask any questions about the tactic or pass on some advice, best of luck! :)

Recommended reading:

How to Play FM14: A Twelve Step Guide

How to Play FM14: A Twelve Step Guide [Ext]

Shouting Strategies: Defensive

Counter-pressing; Or Why Aggressive Is An Absolute Pre-Requisite In FM14

Football Manager 2014 Staff Requirements

Youth In FM14: Getting 5 star regens

How To Develop Youth In FM 2014

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8 hours ago, hawkgg said:

Does it work on fm 17?

I don't know if it does as I haven't played it but I'm sure it would with some tweaking of the TIs and PIs. 

This episode of the Deep Lying Podcast talks a little about how to construct a 4-2-3-1 so it might be worth a listen:

After a quick browse I thought these looked like ones worth considering:

https://community.sigames.com/topic/395776-arsenal-69-unbeaten/

https://community.sigames.com/topic/394724-wing-play-4-2-3-1/

http://www.fmscout.com/a-porto-controlling-4231-fm17-tactic.html

Good luck! 

 

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Hey I know this thread has been dead for awhile but I just started playing fm14 again in an online game with my brothers, nothing like family bonding over so football manager. 

I did a quick search on here for FM14 to get some refreshers on it as I haven't played for awhile. Found this thread and it matches the styles I have been playing in FM games lately. Was wondering if you could recall if you used OI's at all? I am not a fan of them but I wanted to get your take. 

Thanks!!

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On 29/03/2017 at 02:03, Leedsutd12 said:

Hey I know this thread has been dead for awhile but I just started playing fm14 again in an online game with my brothers, nothing like family bonding over so football manager. 

I did a quick search on here for FM14 to get some refreshers on it as I haven't played for awhile. Found this thread and it matches the styles I have been playing in FM games lately. Was wondering if you could recall if you used OI's at all? I am not a fan of them but I wanted to get your take. 

Thanks!!

Apologies it's taken me so long to reply but I do use OIs in a very basic way.

I selecte 'tighter marking' for the strikers and 'closing down' for the wingers or wing backs. In theory I wouldn't need to do these things as they are covered by the TIs and Pis but I do to make sure / out our superstition.  

However, I've lost quite a few games to big rivals (Chelesa / Bayern) and am thinking about how I can combat them better using OIs so it may be worth you giving them more attention then I do at the moment. For example, replacing Ozil at AP(A) with Ramsey, who has better tackling skills, and getting him to man mark Schweinsteiger who plays DLP(D) in a 4-1-4-1.

Hope this helps a bit and good luck against your brothers!  

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