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Hello! I'll try to make this as quick as possible to stop anyone from getting bored. I've recently started a save on FM17 with Burton Albion in the English Championship. Now, to be honest, I haven't had much success this year on FM (sacked by Man City thanks to being 13th in the table in February) so I'm not the greatest of players. One thing I'm really bad for is changing my tactic as soon as it loses a game or two but this time has been different. Let me show you my setup...

59134187a1d18_ScreenShot2017-05-10at16_42_52.thumb.png.924417ab9c43760e1566b38b9e5bc17e.png

I know there have a lot of topics on 4-4-2 in the forum recently (and for years) which I have read so apologies for the same formation but I thought I would benefit more from some personal advice.

Couple of player instructions:

FBs - run wide with ball

Left WM - dribble more, cut inside with ball

Right WM - stay wider

59134188c74c5_ScreenShot2017-05-10at16_43_03.thumb.png.4dfead406e8ba873df4ca6ad08b7e52c.png

So here's what I'm trying to do. Since I'm Burton I don't have the strongest of squads for the Championship and I certainly do not have the budget other teams do. Because of this I'm looking for a quick, direct, counter attacking tactic. Again, I know so many people have asked for help with this recently but I would really like some help specific to my tactic.

My thinking is this:

Attacking - quick transitions and quick attacks as far as I'm aware, will probably switch between this and control

Flexible - did think about choosing fluid instead and I don't really have a reason not to but I'm not exactly sure what shape to go for

Deeper D Line - looking to draw teams forward and, hopefully, leave space in behind for us to exploit

Exploit Both Flanks - since I'm using 4-4-2 there's obviously a lack of players in the middle so I thought it would make more sense to use the wings as a means of attacking. Would it be better to take these off and allow the team to attack as they wish?

Pass Into Space - well I've dropped the d line to create space so it would make sense to pass it into that space, right?

Hit Early Crosses - links in with exploiting the flanks, since we're going to be using the wings I thought it would be smart to hit some crosses when the opportunities there!

I've messed about with More Direct Passing but to be honest I don't see a huge difference other than we lump it towards the Target Man more.

 

 

At the moment I'm rock bottom of the league after 10 games so things are not going too well. In my next post I'll upload screenshots of how it plays and what happens during a match. If you have any initial concerns about the setup then please, please let me know. Also if there's anything else you would like to see just let me know and I can upload screenshots.

Thanks in advanced! :)

Edited by Chip

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I can only help so much, but I've a couple of suggestions:

 

  1. If you want to use a fast, direct, counter type of football, attacking mentality is probably the right choice for you. What I would change is the team shape. @Rashidi could help you better here, but from what I learned watching his recent videos, you should try a structured team shape, as that makes your defence (mainly) give more focus to their defensive roles, improving your team balance;
  2. Just the old suggestion of using one FB-A and one FB-S/D with a WM-S and a WM-A. Maybe even try the Winger role. It's pretty good on counter attacking teams, and should provide a lot of crosses for your TM;

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Thanks @FMWolf, I'll definitely try a structured shape and using a winger! 

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My experience of 442 .... you should remove flexible and put either very fluid or very rigid since you do not have a European team top with top player I advise you to leave on very rigid after you can add more expressive then I would put controler (which is also a strategy of attack) then not to pass on the flanks leaves by default your team anyway will pass more on the sides of the share 442 then as said the top on the sides put winger And remove duplicate on the wings because your wingers lose percussion and they will "take the ball" on rarely instead of "often" so loss of percussion ..... here is my opinion

Edited by kad38

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Okay so this is a little awkward...

Before posting this topic I had been using a similar tactic which used counter and a normal d line with pump ball into box and more direct passing selected. Since posting I have played 2 games, won both and scored 8 goals :lol: using attacking and dropping the d line so deep has restricted the opposition to so many long shots it's unbelievable. The AF scored 4 of those goals (1 hat trick) and the TM links up really well with the wingers and AF. Some of the football when attacking is great to watch too! We're always hungry to win it back and when we do we're ruthless and attack unbelievably quickly. 

However there is one problem. Throw ins. When the opposition get a throw in, for some reason we leave a man left free to pick up the ball, dribble towards goal and take a shot. This ended up costing us 2 goals in the second game I played.

Does anyone have any suggestions or advice regarding defending throw ins? I'm assuming this will end up being a recurring theme in the next few matches I play.

Apologies for needing advice in the OP, you can maybe now try the tactic out if you're struggling instead! :lol::lol: 

Thanks 

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Okay so since the last time I posted about my success with the tactic I have played _ games and things have went downward. In typical Chip fashion I got ahead of myself after 2 games and thought I was invincible. Since the opening post we have won 2, lost 4, scored 13 and conceded 14. Nightmare.

I've been using the same tactic as the one in the opening post. Let me take you through our last game...

5916e83fb5ab5_ScreenShot2017-05-13at11_50_25.thumb.png.2adda2e1ed84ac9a1f0a392aed4497b1.png 

5916e87c43d84_ScreenShot2017-05-13at11_50_39.thumb.png.61711b6ce58438cf77208051c1112778.png

Probably not the best game to analyse but we conceded 5 so there's lots for you to know about. We also had a man sent off after 75 minutes but even then the defence was a shambles throughout.

As you can see we created a good number of chances (1 CCC and 4 half chances) so the attacking intent was there, however when you look at Barnsley's chances they created 3 clear cut chances and 4 half chances which is simply not good enough for us. Here's what happened...

5916eab74ab77_ScreenShot2017-05-13at12_14_36.thumb.png.c597fa4c02eeae79cb8d02557dab6269.png

This is the picture not long before Barnsley's first goal. Their CM (James) has come deep to receive the ball from a freek kick. Our TM (30) has went to close him down. But notice the gap between out two strikers and our midfield line. As you can see our midfield and defence are really compact - which is what I want - but theres so much room for Barnsley's no. 6 to get on the ball and take his time. 

5916ebcd391e3_ScreenShot2017-05-13at12_18_27.thumb.png.7e31c3e2e2f8fb2a5599caa1919759a8.png

The ball moved out to their right fullback (29) who knocks it first time into Kent (right midfield) who takes it for a run inside. At the moment I don't see a huge threat.

5916ec66433b4_ScreenShot2017-05-13at12_20_57.thumb.png.01fb8056d29e86609115271f9c17e540.png

Remember their no. 6 (Scowen) who had all that space earlier? He receives the ball with acres around him. Our no. 36 is our BWM and 14 is our left FB. No idea why our BWM is deeper than our FB but this would only be a problem if the ball got played to Barnsley's right FB who's pushing forward.

5916ed0880ca8_ScreenShot2017-05-13at12_24_35.thumb.png.24622e390fa2db8dd45499fa634a2175.png

Scowen (6) played it to Riera (RM) and he knocked it first time into Marley Watkins (ST)

5916ed6a1f595_ScreenShot2017-05-13at12_26_17.thumb.png.eb28080794ec85faa9e0e71a622538dc.png

Watkins slides it through for Bradshaw (ST) who my CBs just decide to leave. 

So there's how we conceded the first goal. I don't have time to post the other goals right now but I will upload them later tonight or tomorrow.

In the meantime I would love for someone to have a look at these screenshots, maybe let me know what they think is going on in terms of my structure, shape etc. and suggest improvements. 

Are my strikers to far apart from the rest of the team? Do I need a DM? Should I change to 5 in the middle? I really don't know so I need your help!

Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)

 

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After playing around with it for a while I can say that the 4-4-2 doesn't really "work" properly in FM. As you can see from your screenshot, your strikers are in la-la-land and opening up a big hole in the middle. Here is how a nice defensive shape in the 4-4-2 looks, courtesy of Atletico:

3-4-4-2-Atleticos.png?x34335

Unfortunately the only way to get this shape in FM is to drop the strikers to the AM strata and play 4-4-2-0. I've found this formation works much better in the FM match engine. The caveat to that is that the 2 AM's don't really act like strikers in the attack. It would be the perfect compromise if you could defend like a 4-4-2-0 and attack like 4-4-2. I haven't found a way to replicate this in the match engine and have now moved on to other things.

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Been playing with a 4-4-2 myself and yes, it doesn't really work like Atletico's p.e. And it's not only the strikers defensive movement that it's hard to replicate. The line of 4 in the midfield it's impossible to do aswell. Your WM's will always be way to wide when defending, leaving to much room for your pair of CM's to cover. This makes creating a line in the midfield a bit to hard.  Now, this doesn't means that a 4-4-2 can't work in FM. You just have to kinda play around this limitations. Looking at your tactic again, I can recommend switching your BWM-D for a CM-D or DLP-D and, since you are using attacking mentality (that has a high pressing by default), try to give the close down less shout a try

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Thanks for your suggestions guys.

Nothing I do seems to work with this game though which is disappointing because I love playing it. I've now lost 5 in a row and won 2 games in the last 14. It's not the game's fault, I'm clearly just a terrible player!

I've not had success on this game yet, unfortunately. No matter what team I try.

I'm watching games but not knowing what to look for, nothing I change (formations, roles, TIs) ever seem to work. 

Maybe it's time I just gave up. The game isn't working for me at all :( 

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Don't give up Chip! Try a different formation. I'm not sure what Burton's team is suited to, but if you want two strikers a 4-4-2 Narrow Diamond or some sort of 5-3-2 WB system works well. Otherwise, the old tried and true formation that works with almost any style is the 4-3-3 DM Wide.

I'm hoping for greater control over how your team lines up in future FM versions. This will make developing systems like the flat 4-4-2 easier.

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I'd just give up, you can't play 4-4-2 anymore on FM because they have over complicated the entire game and its completely ridiculous these days, the game used to be fun, now its just torture.

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Ok a few things, because I know for a fact that 442 works absolutely fine and has in every version of FM.

- firstly, you are not a good team in the championship and you should temper your expectations somewhat as to what you can achieve with not great players.

- secondly as you are not one of the best teams in the league I would be very careful about trying to use attacking mentalities. You can do it but you need to have a good understanding about why you are doing it.

- your tactic feels like it's trying to create a style but going overkill to achieve it, and it leaves your side very vulnerable. With all the TIs emphasising wide play you have forgotten your centre and will mostly get creamed by teams who control he centre of the pitch. Look at just how wide your players are in the screenshot ( as well as giving the opposition a lot of space apparently)

- my recommendation would be to turn the 442 into more of a counter attacking / defensive tactic than it is now, concentrating on keeping it tight and hitting teams on the break. 

Search this forum for Cleons counter thread, as well as the Leicester city thread and the atletico thread. They all achieve what you want. Leicester city is a good style to aim for as it keeps things very tight but hits teams on the real at speed. I used a tactic with 2 defensive forwards who come back to help out much more than your strikers would, but still were big threats.

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My favorite all time formation 4-4-2.

- Firstly the space between the lines in a 4-4-2 and the two man midfield has to be your number one priority when creating the tactic. So for shape I would choose fluid to reduce the lines between the stratas. 

- Mentality I would say Standard since you don't have quality players, and on the wings I would recommend aggressive roles like wingers to support the two strikers more especially since you using an advanced forward. For the second striker I would recommend a more creative striker like a Deeplying Forward if you have a player capable of playing the role.

- The crucial part, the two man midfield with what I have mentions above I would advice a deeplying Midfielder on Defend and a Box to Box midfielder. The DLP will create and run the show from deep and hold off to protect your defence while the BBM will support your attack. 

- Instructions wise I wouldn't go as far as using exploits the flanks as I think that should only be used if there's any weakness with your opposition's tactic. Tempo wise I would recommend slower since you are a weaker side remember increasing the tempo means your players decision making must be fast so they move the quickly, think (Attacking Mentality) so slower means they will take time to think of the best way to use the ball. 

Remember don't tell your players to do something that they are not capable of I mean since you are one of the weaker sides in the leageu, Attacking mentality is out of the question for think Counter or Standard even Defensive would do for your side and playing a Target man you need players making runs so when he's holding the ball there's always someone nearby for him to pass the ball to. 

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On 2017-5-17 at 20:47, djsmiley said:

My favorite all time formation 4-4-2.

- Firstly the space between the lines in a 4-4-2 and the two man midfield has to be your number one priority when creating the tactic. So for shape I would choose fluid to reduce the lines between the stratas. 

- Mentality I would say Standard since you don't have quality players, and on the wings I would recommend aggressive roles like wingers to support the two strikers more especially since you using an advanced forward. For the second striker I would recommend a more creative striker like a Deeplying Forward if you have a player capable of playing the role.

- The crucial part, the two man midfield with what I have mentions above I would advice a deeplying Midfielder on Defend and a Box to Box midfielder. The DLP will create and run the show from deep and hold off to protect your defence while the BBM will support your attack. 

- Instructions wise I wouldn't go as far as using exploits the flanks as I think that should only be used if there's any weakness with your opposition's tactic. Tempo wise I would recommend slower since you are a weaker side remember increasing the tempo means your players decision making must be fast so they move the quickly, think (Attacking Mentality) so slower means they will take time to think of the best way to use the ball. 

Remember don't tell your players to do something that they are not capable of I mean since you are one of the weaker sides in the leageu, Attacking mentality is out of the question for think Counter or Standard even Defensive would do for your side and playing a Target man you need players making runs so when he's holding the ball there's always someone nearby for him to pass the ball to. 

Thanks for the advice mate (and everyone else). I'm going to give these chances a shot as they seem logical, however I also think a problem I may have is not slightly altering my tactic depending on the opposition. I keep forgetting that FM is the most realistic version yet and if a team plays with an AM, for example, I have to counter and react to that.

Thanks again, I'll update with my progress soon.

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