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Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

Possible ME issue?: Giant Half-Spaces in a Highly Structured, Defensive 4-4-2

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Hey, everyone.

Seen as we're into the dying months of FM2017 I've decided to go outside of my very fluid and expansive football comfort zone and have a crack at a compact, disciplined defensive system but am hitting unexpected issues with the match engine.

The examples I am about to give are from a game against Real Madrid at the Bernabeau in the first season. In fact, just a couple of months in.


p68XvVD.png


Slight changes to the usual system countering the strengths of Real Madrid:

  • Fullbacks are in Support roles rather than Attacking (with overlap) to counter the threat of Bale and Ronaldo.
  • Wide Playmakers are in Support roles rather than Attack to maintain compactness.
  • Saul has moved wide from MCL to ML with Fernandez coming in for additional stability on the flank.
  • Griezmann has moved from Shadow Striker to Advanced Forward (Attack) to bypass Casemiro and get in behind Madrid's high defensive line.
  • Pratto takes a Defensive Forward (Defend) role - rather than Deeplying Forward (Support) - to press Casemiro now Griezmann is up front.


tFZf9fb.png


The plan is simple.

  • Defensive and highly structured.
  • Two deep, narrow, compact banks of four.
  • Wide Playmakers, Griezmann and set-pieces are the main goalscoring threats.


What is actually happening?

Sometimes the defensive shape is working according to plan.


RyJERvo.png


Very solid, compact and narrow defensive shape. Very happy with this. Extremely difficult to break down.

The key word here is sometimes.

More often than not, our central midfielders are pulling in extremely narrow and playing right on top of each other, whilst the Wide Playmakers remain wide.


Exhibit A
 

qpkGiUd.png


Real Madrid are attacking through the centre.

  • Solid positioning from the back four.
  • My two central midfielders are holding hands.
  • The wrong central midfielder is pressing.
  • My wide playmakers remain out in no-man's-land.
  • Massive holes in the half-spaces.
  • Central midfielders should simply be wider and the wide playmakers narrower.


Exhibit B


TrGhznX.png


Again, Real Madrid building up through the middle.

  • Copy & paste the issues above.


Exhibit C


3fe9Y65.png


Ok, it seems Madrid's build up play is always going through the middle..

  • This time Saul is in a decent position, covering Bale.
  • Other issues are still present.


Overall Defensive Shape


ErO70jg.png


"Half-Spaces" seems like an understatement! :D


Additional notes..

  • Wide Playmakers automatically have sit narrower as a PI.
  • Defensive mentality sets the base width to Narrow.
  • Saul & Koke have 16, 17, 15 and 15, 17, 15 respectively for Anticipation, Concentration and Positioning.


My Diagnosis

  • Appears to me that this is a match-engine issue that 'width' is only effecting the central midfielders. When the central midfielders come in - too narrow - and the wide midfielders stay wide it opens up huge half-spaces.
  • Having one midfielder pressing more than the other can mean the wrong midfielder presses.

Possible solution?

  • If I am correct, using a TI to increase the width should have the central midfielders take up correct position.
  • Selecting the same role for the two holding midfield players - either Central Midfielder or Ball Winning Midfielder - should hopefully eliminate the pressing confusion.

I am reluctant to use a TI to increase the width to resolve the issue with midfield positioning.

  1. It does not fit with how I want to play, overall.
  2. It is just papering over - what appears to be - an issue with the Match Engine.


Discuss!

What do you think? Has anyone else experienced the same thing? Does this seem like a realistic interpretation of a highly structured, defensive 4-4-2? Is there a work around?

Can we get it sorted out? Only kidding, of course not! :lol:

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

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I can't believe you are just noticing this now. This entire forum has been abuzz with this issue since the final patch. O.o 

Just don't let Svenc catch you though.., his voice is hoarse now from shouting from the rooftops about this all spring.

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2 minutes ago, samuelawachie said:

I can't believe you are just noticing this now. This entire forum has been abuzz with this issue since the final patch. O.o 

Just don't let Svenc catch you though.., his voice is hoarse now from shouting from the rooftops about this all spring.


Ah, really?

This is my first time playing anything close to a narrow width. Saying that, I did have to off-set my midfielders in my 3-3-1-3 in my Athletico save but this is more understandable.

 

LX5cQiy.png

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@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! Hi Özil, I had the exact same issues when using a counter, structured 4-4-2 in my Bournemouth save (ultimately got the sack but more due to my own managerial failings as opposed to ME issues but even so). What's worse is that you're seeing the same problems I did when using a vastly superior team to mine, and one that's built to play this type of defensive football. Unfortunately I didn't find a way to get around this, but in particular regard to your centre-midfield, I think it's worth increasing the width a notch, especially considering a defensive mentality comes with a narrow width anyway. That's my two cents anyway.. good luck! :D

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@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! someone mentioned something similar to this to you on Slack and you said that it wasn't an issue. There was a thread about this in the bugs forum from fairly early in the game.

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In the bugs forum there's been a thread on this since the beginning of the game. It seems like it's the hangover of poor defending against fullbacks from FM16.

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11 minutes ago, jeid2000 said:

@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! someone mentioned something similar to this to you on Slack and you said that it wasn't an issue. There was a thread about this in the bugs forum from fairly early in the game.


This is the first time I have observed an issue, however this is also the first time in a while I am playing a narrower shape. Doesn't seem to have an effect when playing:

  1. a mentality with more width
  2. a formation with an extra man in midfield

..but that doesn't matter.

You should be able to play a deep, narrow, compact 4-4-2. It's very common in real life with Atletico Madrid, Leicester and - at times - Juventus getting so much success using this as their defensive shape.

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


Ah, really?

Yes, really. It's also the case with three men midfield like 4-1-4-1, and it is somewhat mitigated when you play a line of 5 midfielders albeit still noticeable. WMs and AML/AMR can't help but man-mark the opposition's full backs/wing backs no matter what you do.

 

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2 minutes ago, BMNJohn said:

Yes, really. It's also the case with three men midfield like 4-1-4-1, and it is somewhat mitigated when you play a line of 5 midfielders albeit still noticeable. WMs and AML/AMR can't help but man-mark the opposition's full backs/wing backs no matter what you do.

 

Agreed..

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


This is the first time I have observed an issue, however this is also the first time in a while I am playing a narrower shape. Doesn't seem to have an effect when playing:

  1. a formation with an extra man in midfield

I feel like I'm frequently annoyed by how close my CMs are together when playing any sort of DM + 2 CM formation.  If the two bands are compressed at all then the DM and both CMs stand on top of one another.  It also feels too common - and I haven't examined this at all - for the left midfielder in a pair to press when it's more appropriate for the right one to do so and vice versa.  

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It does appear that there is (and has been since the start) a problem in the logic of what wide players do in these formations. They seem to stay too wide, and are concerned with marking the space out wide, even when not required to do so. I mean, in some of your examples I can see the logic in their covering the wide spaces, in others, no so much. It does make playing a compact 442 extremely difficult, if not impossible. 

I have never played much with these formations (when I do I tend to have a 3 man midfield in any case, CMx2, DM) so I do not mind as much that players stay wider, because we have cover inside more or less. I wonder if using OIs and setting never tightly mark wider players will result in better behaviour? I assume it has been tried, but it would be my first idea. 

The CM duo here both have close down more, I believe, which probably explains a little bit of the confusion in closing down, but they are definitely too narrow. However, it looks worse than it is, because of the wide players. 

Incidentally, how do the wide players work against teams that play narrow, with only FBs giving the width? Do they stay out wide marking space instead of players? 

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Like you I'd only been playing narrow shapes until recently, but I've come across this as well using an asymmetric 4-1-2-2-1 with the winger in the ML position often positioning himself very wide on defense.  This is fine if the opposition is playing a winger as well but against someone playing any sort of player that comes inside it can cause defensive issues.  Unfortunately, the only solution I have found to this is to tell my winger to man mark the opposing wide man.  It does work but it isn't ideal obviously but it might help you when you are having a similar issue.  It does break the 2 banks of four plan though :(

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This is a clear issue in the ME as far as I'm concerned. I'm a big fan of 442 and it's variations as well as counter attacking football. When I play 442 my midfield gets sliced open a lot due to to this issue. CB's will often start charging out due to the lack of numbers and positioning in the midfield. And as I said I like counter attacking football, the issue just gets even worse as I plan on spending a fair bit of time in my own half. Trying to replicate Ranieri's Leicester is virtually impossible imo. 

This issue could be fixed extremely easy tbh. Just need to have an option for team width without the ball - as we already do for with ball.

Edited by NabsKebabs

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1 hour ago, coach vahid said:

I know thats a TI with the ball but exploit the middle does affect the positioning without the ball ?

No, it doesn't.

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Ive been saying this for a while. Bugs like that makes a 442 shape unplayable. The wingers are way too wide in defense. That's okay if you're playing a man marking game but I want to play a zonal marking game

Edited by Jean0987654321

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

So it's all absolutely one-way traffic in the responses. Do we know if anything is being done about it?

Nope. Nick said they're looking into it but I guess we'll have to wait for FM18...

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

So it's all absolutely one-way traffic in the responses. Do we know if anything is being done about it?

do you think theyre doing anything about the halfback issue you raised? apply that to this, then youll have your answer. theyre 'looking into it'

 

do sweeper keepers work how people expect them to work? nope

 

its good they fixed Iwb but other roles, or how roles interact with certain roles like CB with HB arent being touched isnt good.

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10 hours ago, Jean0987654321 said:

Ive been saying this for a while. Bugs like that makes a 442 shape unplayable. The wingers are way too wide in attack. That's okay if you're playing a man marking game but I want to play a zonal marking game

 

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

So it's all absolutely one-way traffic in the responses. Do we know if anything is being done about it?

The 4-4-2 (and derivatives) is very far from being "unplayable".

Is there an issue?  Yes.  Have SI acknowledged this and working on a change?  Yes - although SI have also stated it's not unplayable.

On ‎25‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 19:03, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Is there a work around?

No.

But this doesn't make the formation unplayable.  In fact very far from it.

Yes the spacing between central and wide midfielders can look pretty odd at times, and I fully appreciate how this odd look can put people off playing the 4-4-2.  But if it's so "unplayable", how come:

1)  Plenty of people are successfully using the 4-4-2 (or derivative).

2)  AI managers can put up incredibly effective 4-4-2s.  Solid in defence and lethal in attack.  And if AI managers can do it, so can we.  Re-read that a couple of times and let it sink in.  It's important.

3)  I'm currently playing (and writing about) my 4-4-2 with Sevilla.  I've got about 2 months of the season left to play, we're top of the league, conceded the fewest goals and 3rd highest scorers (behind RM and Barca, surprise).  The system is 99% the same as the system I used in FM16.  And here's the thing - I have been completely ignoring the issue because other than looking a bit odd now and again it simply doesn't have a tangible negative impact on how the team performs.

I've written things like this before in previous threads on this topic, which some have found to be a bit contentious (to say the least), and that's fine.  We all have our opinions.  Finding the 4-4-2 themselves to be "unplayable" is one thing, but speaking in more general terms about the 4-4-2 being unplayable is something else entirely, and misleading.

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20 hours ago, coach vahid said:

Hi Ozil

Did you try to play with WM with TIs WP? And the two mcs in the DM strat.

I Hope someone find a issue.

I always use WMs with very high pressing instruction, and I am quite content with their position in the defensive phase. So high pressing could be the solution.

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10 hours ago, Jean0987654321 said:

Ive been saying this for a while. Bugs like that makes a 442 shape unplayable. The wingers are way too wide in attack. That's okay if you're playing a man marking game but I want to play a zonal marking game

If wingers are wide in attack you can change your Team Width. The problem is that they're wider than expected in defence.

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So the main idea I had when 17 got released was to replicate Marcelino type of play with Villarreal in a lower league setting. To do this I first tried to get the 4-4-2 right with Villarreal itself. I can confirm this has been an issue since the release of the game. Now let me track back a little and tell you about my experiences and some idea's for SI to implement in the future. Also here are some threads from early on in release that confirm the same issue, not just with 4-4-2 structured, but with the wide positioning (and the central midfielder positioning) in general, regardless of instruction. This is not something that has been in this game from the last patch or recently at all. This has been here since launch.

From my own experience trying the 4-4-2 out I noticed that generally when the ball was in central midfield (exhibit A and B) this issue would occur. Then gradually when the balls goes forward there seems to be an areal trigger that causes everyone to suddenly move narrow and find their correct positioning, which is seen by the picture that shows the correct positioning, the ball clearly is more forward than ex A and B. But this is not the only problem I have encountered trying to implement as though what I call the spanish 4-4-2.

A general nuance of the 4-4-2 that Villarreal played under Marcelino and how they defend is the dynamicness of pressing of the wide midfielders, it is stuff like this that make the 4-4-2 relevant in modern football again. From the matches I analysed from Villarreals real life play I noticed a trend of forcing the long ball from the opponent. After that generally the wide midfielders would help swarm the central midfield to fight for the long ball with the central midfielders. Often causing a 3v2 or 3v1 situation in midfield. This was the biggest thing I noticed from them in defence. There seems to be an overlap of zones in defence in their play that sees some zones as higher priorities than others.

Partially due to the positioning 'bug' (or design decision to deal with the crosses in 16), which causes wide midfielders to be extremely static in their defensive positioning and the general limitness of pressing that FM currently has (you either press more or you press less), it is virtually impossible to deliberatly force a press that is more ball oriented or more man oriented. Actively forcing the closing down of passing lanes is not in the current game; you can sometimes kinda force it, but not deliberatly, let alone giving general preference to certain area's of the pitch per player. this is something that is vital in the modern day defence in football. With Villarreal wide midfielders actively abandon their wide man and press inside because that is what they see as the main danger. I think this is something SI should improve on in the future. There are so many different ways of pressing right now. The current match engine is extremely limited on how you can impact the general defensive organization. 

Now I understand that correctly implementing every single tactical nuance is impossible. But these are nuances that define the defensive play of certain teams, and therefore should get a priority in the engine. 

Also let me suggest another big thing that I think could really improve the game in the long run. A test server that runs the match engine during the release of the game. I understand that every single small thing can't be discovered by SI till release, therefore let us help you guys by trying out some stuff. The information that a test server can give SI could be vital. This way you will get information about different systems playing your game aswell as match engine issues, I think the lack of a test server is hurting you guys more than it is doing good right now. It could give a bit of transparancy towards the consumer.

I could go on about issues in the match engine, for example the half back role which Özil has mentioned in a thread before, but I see the limitless of defensive organization and the major issue of wide players as the biggest issue that the engine currently has. 

also the TI of width doesn't impact your defensive shape, it just impacts shape in possession. As a result you will be slightly wider in defence, when you have it on 'wider' and you lose the ball, but that shape resolves when the ball gets played more forward.

Edited by Tungsten93

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6 hours ago, herne79 said:

 

The 4-4-2 (and derivatives) is very far from being "unplayable".

Is there an issue?  Yes.  Have SI acknowledged this and working on a change?  Yes - although SI have also stated it's not unplayable.

No.

But this doesn't make the formation unplayable.  In fact very far from it.

Yes the spacing between central and wide midfielders can look pretty odd at times, and I fully appreciate how this odd look can put people off playing the 4-4-2.  But if it's so "unplayable", how come:

1)  Plenty of people are successfully using the 4-4-2 (or derivative).

2)  AI managers can put up incredibly effective 4-4-2s.  Solid in defence and lethal in attack.  And if AI managers can do it, so can we.  Re-read that a couple of times and let it sink in.  It's important.

3)  I'm currently playing (and writing about) my 4-4-2 with Sevilla.  I've got about 2 months of the season left to play, we're top of the league, conceded the fewest goals and 3rd highest scorers (behind RM and Barca, surprise).  The system is 99% the same as the system I used in FM16.  And here's the thing - I have been completely ignoring the issue because other than looking a bit odd now and again it simply doesn't have a tangible negative impact on how the team performs.

I've written things like this before in previous threads on this topic, which some have found to be a bit contentious (to say the least), and that's fine.  We all have our opinions.  Finding the 4-4-2 themselves to be "unplayable" is one thing, but speaking in more general terms about the 4-4-2 being unplayable is something else entirely, and misleading.

 

Cheers, @herne79. Happy to see they're doing something about it.

Totally agree with you that you can still get success with a 4-4-2 - and in-fact almost any other shape - in the right conditions. The issue for me is that I am more interested in how the team is actually playing in the match engine and why, rather than winning matches / titles.

This in itself is a huge testimony to how far the match engine has come.

That said, a structured, low-block two banks of four is one of the most common defensive set-ups in real football so functioning properly in the match engine is non-negotiable.

On a more general note this is my second 'moaning' thread about things not working properly but you could easily read every tactical thread I write as a positive recommendation of things working correctly :thup: For FM 2018 I would love to see the Tactics Creator allow users to simply and logically implement their tactical systems and clearly see that being played out in the Match Engine. It's almost there, but still a few things off..

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1 minute ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

 

Cheers, @herne79. Happy to see they're doing something about it.

Totally agree with you that you can still get success with a 4-4-2 - and in-fact almost any other shape - in the right conditions. The issue for me is that I am more interested in how the team is actually playing in the match engine and why, rather than winning matches / titles.

This in itself is a huge testimony to how far the match engine has come.

That said, a structured, low-block two banks of four is one of the most common defensive set-ups in real football so functioning properly in the match engine is non-negotiable.

On a more general note this is my second 'moaning' thread about things not working properly but you could easily read every tactical thread I write as a positive recommendation of things working correctly :thup: For FM 2018 I would love to see the Tactics Creator allow users to simply and logically implement their tactical systems and clearly see that being played out in the Match Engine. It's almost there, but still a few things off..

100% agree.

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This is just a wild guess, but could it have something to do with the fact that you have selected "Use Tigher Marking" which would keep wide midfielders out wide glued to the men in their zones?

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Honestly, I wonder if it's not part of the reason that the Central Winger doesn't exist anymore. I can't recall if the instructions to create it were available or not on FM16. I believe that this role would've been cruel on this year's ME; the "new" IWB already upsets teams quite well, and the Wide Playmaker also works quite fine if they don't run into dead ends. Attacking those half-spaces from deep works pretty well this year.

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20 hours ago, herne79 said:

 

The 4-4-2 (and derivatives) is very far from being "unplayable".

Is there an issue?  Yes.  Have SI acknowledged this and working on a change?  Yes - although SI have also stated it's not unplayable.

No.

But this doesn't make the formation unplayable.  In fact very far from it.

Yes the spacing between central and wide midfielders can look pretty odd at times, and I fully appreciate how this odd look can put people off playing the 4-4-2.  But if it's so "unplayable", how come:

1)  Plenty of people are successfully using the 4-4-2 (or derivative).

2)  AI managers can put up incredibly effective 4-4-2s.  Solid in defence and lethal in attack.  And if AI managers can do it, so can we.  Re-read that a couple of times and let it sink in.  It's important.

3)  I'm currently playing (and writing about) my 4-4-2 with Sevilla.  I've got about 2 months of the season left to play, we're top of the league, conceded the fewest goals and 3rd highest scorers (behind RM and Barca, surprise).  The system is 99% the same as the system I used in FM16.  And here's the thing - I have been completely ignoring the issue because other than looking a bit odd now and again it simply doesn't have a tangible negative impact on how the team performs.

I've written things like this before in previous threads on this topic, which some have found to be a bit contentious (to say the least), and that's fine.  We all have our opinions.  Finding the 4-4-2 themselves to be "unplayable" is one thing, but speaking in more general terms about the 4-4-2 being unplayable is something else entirely, and misleading.

Agree that many people have had success with a 442 (including myself).

But the fact is, not being to have a solid compact bank of  in front of the defence is a major issue and if you want to replicate Atletico, Leicester etc then is it unplayable. I really think this issue should have been sorted out because it's not at all a small one. 

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On ‎26‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 14:53, NabsKebabs said:

This issue could be fixed extremely easy tbh. Just need to have an option for team width without the ball - as we already do for with ball.

Totally agree. Would love to see various options for team with & without possession. Would be extremely useful.

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Is it also a team shape issue? 

Because you mention 'Highly structured' in the subject. 

Or can I assume the same happens with Flexibel, Fluid etc?

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On July 27, 2017 at 05:12, nightwalker22 said:

If wingers are wide in attack you can change your Team Width. The problem is that they're wider than expected in defence.

Yea that's what I meant

 

@herne79 I know you can make a good 442 but it's tough to make a good zonal marking 442. Man marking 442 is a bit easy, tho

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1 hour ago, Jean0987654321 said:

Yea that's what I meant

 

@herne79 I know you can make a good 442 but it's tough to make a good zonal marking 442. Man marking 442 is a bit easy, tho


Is there an easier way of man-marking than manually setting it in the pre-match for each game these days? I am just too forgetful. I like to give my manic aggressive team talk, passionately tell Mesut Ozil that I love him and hit play.

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Yes...in the previous version when you saved during the match your tactic with the man marking.... it was the way to do it.

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6 hours ago, coach vahid said:

Yes...in the previous version when you saved during the match your tactic with the man marking.... it was the way to do it.

pretty sure thats still the case. while in game and youve set man marking, save the tactic then after the game load it and itll have the marking as you set. dont know how it works if the positions you marked arent used in the next game, like you mark MR but they have AMR

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


Is there an easier way of man-marking than manually setting it in the pre-match for each game these days? I am just too forgetful. I like to give my manic aggressive team talk, passionately tell Mesut Ozil that I love him and hit play.

Used to be back in the old slider days but I think that man marking was equivalent to the Tighter Marking PI

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Is the 442 perfect in the game, I doubt it was ever meant to be. Can the WP tuck inside and attack, In this screenshot, my WP is no 7, note how my striker has gone wide to pull a FB out of position. 

597d6a38ee749_442a.thumb.jpg.5d955e49eadd9bb0f5e849900410c1b7.jpg

442c.thumb.jpg.1ef27c950dfddb6d1d9b185b3cdba1d5.jpg

As the team attacks into the box, the space opens up and later the WP actually enters unmarked to take a shot at goal

442d.thumb.jpg.a16fe16ed1b93d6bf41f579adc22ee0a.jpg

When defending note how my WP is tight on the MR on the left flank. The relative positioning of most of the players, I can't really complain cos thats what I wanted. And this was done on Highly Structured. Is it possible in this current match engine, yes, but its a heckuva lot of effort. It takes a lot to get this done right, and perhaps the amount is too much for the casual player. Tbh, I used no PIs to get this effect.  This was done entirely by matching the correct role to the position and finding the players with the right attributes for it.

Did I use man marking? No. Did I use TIs? No. Gotta admit this is the first time I am really playing the 442 but I had to abandon some of the archaic notions of the classic 442 being competitive in the modern game.

Can defensive positioning be better, yes. The thing I see in the game is that the AI's 442s ain't half bad, so all I am trying to do is mimic some of them in my own game, the better ones that is.

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1 hour ago, Rashidi said:

Is the 442 perfect in the game, I doubt it was ever meant to be. Can the WP tuck inside and attack, In this screenshot, my WP is no 7, note how my striker has gone wide to pull a FB out of position. 

597d6a38ee749_442a.thumb.jpg.5d955e49eadd9bb0f5e849900410c1b7.jpg

442c.thumb.jpg.1ef27c950dfddb6d1d9b185b3cdba1d5.jpg

As the team attacks into the box, the space opens up and later the WP actually enters unmarked to take a shot at goal

442d.thumb.jpg.a16fe16ed1b93d6bf41f579adc22ee0a.jpg

When defending note how my WP is tight on the MR on the left flank. The relative positioning of most of the players, I can't really complain cos thats what I wanted. And this was done on Highly Structured. Is it possible in this current match engine, yes, but its a heckuva lot of effort. It takes a lot to get this done right, and perhaps the amount is too much for the casual player. Tbh, I used no PIs to get this effect.  This was done entirely by matching the correct role to the position and finding the players with the right attributes for it.

Did I use man marking? No. Did I use TIs? No. Gotta admit this is the first time I am really playing the 442 but I had to abandon some of the archaic notions of the classic 442 being competitive in the modern game.

Can defensive positioning be better, yes. The thing I see in the game is that the AI's 442s ain't half bad, so all I am trying to do is mimic some of them in my own game, the better ones that is.

I'd be much more interested in seeing the average positions map. One screenshot where your wide man tucks in doesn't mean much (more interested in without ball, than with). I'd be very surprised not to see your central midfielders extremely close together and the wide players very wide because I have played 442 a lot in this game and that's my experience. 

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11 minutes ago, NabsKebabs said:

I'd be much more interested in seeing the average positions map. One screenshot where your wide man tucks in doesn't mean much (more interested in without ball, than with). I'd be very surprised not to see your central midfielders extremely close together and the wide players very wide because I have played 442 a lot in this game and that's my experience. 

 

442Av Positions.jpg

 

Without ball. For me its simple, choose the right roles. If the AI can do it, I can do it. Highly Structured as well.

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Just now, Rashidi said:

 

That's the best I've seen so far, it could be a little more compact (it's not really as tight as the likes of Atletico, Leicester etc would play) but pretty impressive. Would roles really make that big a difference though, considering defensive width is set by SI? Sure support duties would get into position faster than an attack duty but still doesn't make much of a difference for me. What is your secret to success? Even on Nic Madden's 442 on your youtube channel, his defensive positioning of his middle 4 was absolutely terrible.

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This match engine problem is precisely why I uninstalled FM17 many months ago as such a glaring tactical issue made the game unplayable for me personally.

Looking forward to trying FM18 in a few months, when hopefully this flaw will be fixed. To be honest, though, I'll be trying the official Demo/Beta first, before making an actual purchase of the new game. If the defensive positioning hasn't improved significantly, it's unlikely I'll follow through and buy the game. That would mark the first ever full version of CM/FM that I won't have bought - just to highlight how significant of an issue this is for me.

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"Match Engine's fine, must be yer tactics, mate."

I've wanted to do this for ages.

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11 hours ago, Rashidi said:

Did I use man marking? No. Did I use TIs? No. Gotta admit this is the first time I am really playing the 442 but I had to abandon some of the archaic notions of the classic 442 being competitive in the modern game

First off: I can only admire how anybody can make his strikers track back. But at the expense of what? It seems to me that you need to build all your tactic arround your defensive positioning. What are your strikers doing? What if anyone wanted them to do something different and still track back? What if I wanted to use a winger? Would they track back?

 

 

 

Edited by looping

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24 minutes ago, D_LO_ said:

I might be missing something but I don't see where @Rashidi suggests his strikers track back, that he wants that or even illustrates it (no. 9 &10 remain in attacking positions throughout the screen-shots, one drifts wide but that's in possession) Trying to get attackers involved defensively has been discussed plenty before, I suggest searching the threads already out there on this. It's widely accepted as being 'difficult' to implement but there are suggestions, threads like the 4-4-2 Atletico one springs to mind. Whilst wanting to avoid side-tracking this thread further, wingers can track-back, particularly on a support duty, they will arrive earlier but as ever it's going to be dependent on attributes. 

Sorry then I understood it wrong.

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10 hours ago, Rashidi said:

 

442Av Positions.jpg

 

Without ball. For me its simple, choose the right roles. If the AI can do it, I can do it. Highly Structured as well.

But that's not that narrow, is it? Still a large gap in the half space between RCM and RM. But since I almost play exclusively with a flat midfield 4 myself, I understand it's as narrow as is possible in FM 17.

Biggest problem for me is that LM and RM are automaticaly looking out for defending the wingers (more or less they opt by default for a semi man marking move), whereas that should be a tactical decision of the manager. Some teams close the middle and start pressing the flanks when the ball is there.

The criticism on FM 16 was that the wingers weren't marked enough and that it was too easy to launch crosses and score after a cross. The criticism on FM 17 is that the middle isn't blocked enough, that the midfielders on the flank defend too widely. Both defending moves can be fine; they should both be able to be recreated by a defensive width team instruction. "Narrow" defending should emulate positioning like a 4-4-2 in FM 16, whereas "wide" defending should emultate the default 4-4-2 in FM 17. In the first option, the flanks are left unmarked when the ball is in the middle (a narrow form of zonal defending), in the second option, the passing lines to the wingers  are blocked (more of a man marking move). "Very narrow" should be the extreme setting, emulating Atlético's or Leicester's defending, "narrow" should look like what Juve does, "balanced" something like what Marcelino's Villareal did etc.

With lots of hope looking forward to FM 18.

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For sure, there should be more tactical options for positioning. An example is a midfield 4 where the wide players tuck in defensively, almost like 4 CMs, but go very wide as wingers during attack. That should be possible if you have the players for it, but it is not, currently.

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13 hours ago, D_LO_ said:

I might be missing something but I don't see where @Rashidi suggests his strikers track back, that he wants that or even illustrates it (no. 9 &10 remain in attacking positions throughout the screen-shots, one drifts wide but that's in possession) Trying to get attackers involved defensively has been discussed plenty before, I suggest searching the threads already out there on this. It's widely accepted as being 'difficult' to implement but there are suggestions, threads like the 4-4-2 Atletico one springs to mind. Whilst wanting to avoid side-tracking this thread further, wingers can track-back, particularly on a support duty, they will arrive earlier but as ever it's going to be dependent on attributes. 

I don't want my strikers tracking back, at least one may put in challenges near the middle of the pitch, but that's as far back as I want them to go. I don't want them to be in my defensive third, otherwise every time I try to clear the ball it will come back to us.  I am not suggesting that the 442 is easy, in order for me to get my 2 midfielders ruling the middle and playing off each other which they are doing, its taking absolutely near perfect player selection. And even then, it all depends on what we are faciing.

I do expect my wingers and my wide players to track back and defend, so yes, they get back into their defensive positions.

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in 442 wide midfielders should offer defensive support to central midfield duo, like it was possible on fm16.  there was nothing wrong about defensive positioning of wide midfielders in fm16. two flat banks of four, even strikers on support reached opposition MCd (on more defensive mentalities) and managed to close them down once the ball enters your half. does positioning improve on Very Fluid since 442 asks for more fluidity by its nature?

 

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@Mitja I would either play it on flexible or on very fluid. In one I can expect a bit more adherence to my overall tactical shape in the other, well, its a bit more risky, but you can still get the same effect.  The point you raise is interesting. How much do you want the WMs to come in to support the 2 central mids?  If they step in too early or too much, you run the risk of opening up space too easily. So I rather use a combination of defensive line, and OIs to specifically target players on the pitch.

The issue I think most people have currently is working a way to get the 2 central mids to be wide enough that they cover the area defending, which is possible. The challenge i feel is finding the two right CMs, then there is the other problem of finding wide players who can also put in a challenge.  In days past when the 442 was effective, you would hardly ever find wingers who tackled well.  So if you choose a WM who can't really tackle or doesnt even want to put in a challenge, then its fair to expect the central mids to come and support them, and that is what I usually aim to do.

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