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4231 Defence Issues - NEED HELP!

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Having had a slow start in my second season, I switched to a 4231 (image below). It yielded some quick results, but my defence is leaking goals. I'm never quite sure if I should have my defenders closing down whilst playing an offside trap or not. I'm also open to switching tactics completely if there are some good ideas.

I like possession football, and ideally I would like to keep Iorfa on FB(A). I got Jonathan Viera in as well (his stats are awesome for a IF on the left). Any suggestions with these player roles in mind? Also, what would be some good opposition instructions?

 

General Instructions.JPG

Squad view.JPG

tactic.JPG

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What kind of goals are you conceding? - Balls over the top of ur back 4? Signs of a high line.

- Crosses? Need more cover for ur full backs. 

- Counter attacks? Maybe teams are wary of ur attackers after the quick reaults as u said and are starting to sit deep? Switch to a lower mentality to draw them out.

Also look at how was possession lost. Too much dribbling? Were your players dwelling with the ball too much?

Quick thoughts on ur team instructions:

- Retain possession + look for overlap + work ball into box. That's a lot of dwelling on the ball if u ask me. Plenty of time for ur opponents to get back into a decent defensive shape.

- This is especially more pronounced when u hv such an attacking formation, with 4 players in the opposition half. Maybe you should be more direct to capitalise on ur attacking players' starting position.

- Typically, in a 4231 wide, you will need the 2 CMs to have roles which holds position. This is actually quite crucial. This will also allow ur FBs to bomb forward.

- There may be a lack of width on ur left. With the IF cutting inside, which drags the opposition RB along with him, you need a overlapping LB to capitalise on the space created. Consider switching ur LB to a FB(a) or other roles which makes forward runs.

- You could have a FB(a) on the right with a Winger in front of him. Totally fine, but that may be a bit overkill cuz now u hv 2 players provding width on the right. Considering switching ur RB to a FB(s), or switch the Winger to another role which doesn't cross that often. IF, RD, WTM, etc.

Just opinions. Good luck!

Edited by harryleechinyeow

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@harryleechinyeow Thanks for the great feedback mate. I suppose I should have been a little more specific. A lot of the goals I am conceding are counter attacks through the centre of the pitch - strikers finding space in between my 2 CBs and just using their pace to finish me off. I'll switch the CM to hold position and give him a defend/support role and see how I go. I'll also implement your other advice - it all makes sense. Will post some results following a tactical change when I'm home. 

Once again, thanks!

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3 hours ago, tstbb said:

@harryleechinyeow Thanks for the great feedback mate. I suppose I should have been a little more specific. A lot of the goals I am conceding are counter attacks through the centre of the pitch - strikers finding space in between my 2 CBs and just using their pace to finish me off. I'll switch the CM to hold position and give him a defend/support role and see how I go. I'll also implement your other advice - it all makes sense. Will post some results following a tactical change when I'm home. 

Once again, thanks!

No worries mate. Yeah do let us know how it goes.

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I agree with @harryleechinyeow so good to see you've taken that on, i've just got a couple of points to add.

Think about how your formation, mentality and team shape will interact.  You have a formation with a lot of players in advanced positions, your then playing a more attacking mentality (control) and then bringing the team together more due to Fluid mentality.  Resulting in a pushed up team that is probably leaving space behind it even without telling them to push up the d-line.  Your also not encouraging any extra pressing from those advanced players so could be giving opponents time to pick out balls over your d-line or into the space in between your defence and midfield (especially on the flanks).  I like to encourage the 4 advanced players in a 4231 to press using PI rather than TI.

For similar reasons I would look at how Tight Marking is affecting your defending.  If you don't have enough numbers in the area and your player sticks tight to one player, a second free player could be in a lot of space.  My personal preference is to use this instruction more with formations that have numbers deeper.  With so many players in advanced positions it might be better to mark normally so players can cover passing lanes and close down a player rather than trying to prevent the pass.

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@summatsupeer and @harryleechinyeow. Your advice has really helped. Check out the results below. I implemented new tactics in the Newcastle game - I've gone from 16th in the league to 8th in that time - really helped me understand my tactics better. @summatsupeer - I realised this during the Watford game where I got slammed - chose to switch to counter (with fluid) and haven't looked back since. Only loss since then was United away (they are unbeaten in the league) so I can see why I lost there. I have been conceding some goals, but tighter defending and micromanagement has brought that number down a lot since. Once again, many thanks to both of you :p

 

 

Results.JPG

new tactic.JPG

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