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BlairNo.1

Dropped the 4-1-2-3 for the 4-2-3-1 deep

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Evening fellow FMers.

 

I've been playing FM for as long as I remember, but in recent years I seem to struggle when the game is first released until I settle upon a tactic I'm happy with. I'm not saying I don't make changes and tweaks here and there but I want a pretty solid tactic as a base to build from.

My preferred formation and one that I can't seem to pull myself away from is the 4-1-2-3. I like to play with players in the wing positions and like the protection offered by a DM. My main problem always seems to be creating decent chances and getting goals consistently from my centre forward. I admit that one of my main problems is not being able to forget what once worked for me and figure out something new. I'm far from a tactical genius but I do understand the basics, or at least I think I do.

The team I always start with is Liverpool and I think this formation suits them well, as does the 4-2-3-1, but that formation doesn't protect my back 4 enough and I'm not a fan of the 2 DMC's.

I'm not trying to create something where I'm going to get 65% possession, 25 shots, 5 CCC's and keep lots of clean sheets as I'm not unrealistic. My basic principle is I want to play attractive, attacking football whilst also being solid at the back. Possession is not a major thing I'm after like days gone by. 

How do I want team to work - I want my fullbacks to help from the back without being too attacking. My DM should protect the back 4 when going forward. My midfield trio should provide passing options and one of the CM's offer a bit more in attack. My wide right player I plan on using as a winger and providing plenty of assists. My main goal threat should come from my AML and my ST.

Hopefully my end goal is pretty clear but any feedback is welcome. 

I'll be perfectly honest and say that I'm not the best at assessing my tactic mid way through a match. I see a lot of posts from @Cleon and others who post screenshots of the game and are able to analyse and make changes on the go. I accept that is why I may be having as much difficulty as I am.

Previous attempts have found my games to be extremely low on action. Very few shots and even less on target. I struggle to get Coutinho playing well as an inside forward despite it being his preferred role. I believe this is due to the overall tactic just not quite working. I get very few goals from my striker. 

Roles I have selected and reasons

WB attack in the RB position. I have select this as I want him to get forward and support the winger so he does not get isolated on the right wing. I tend to play an attack and support player on the wings to provide movement and variation. This was based on something I read a couple of versions ago.

WB support in the LB position. This is so the WB will help fill the void left by the IF and provide a bit more width whilst the IF is attacking.

Anchor man. This is self explanatory. I want this player to protect the defensive line and drop in to cover my fullbacks when they get forward. This may be a role I need to change.

Advance playmaker and attack. This player provide late support and looks to play through balls to my forward players.

B2B. I want this player to get up and down the pitch, perfect role for Henderson. Not too attacking so can get back and help defend.

Inside forward attack. This is hopefully going to be one of my main goal threats, cutting inside and linking up with the centre forward.

Winger support. I want this play to be up and down the wing, linking up with the RB and provide assists from wide positions. Hopefully the IF and ST can feed off the crosses.

Complete forward support. I also want this player to score goals. I haven't selected an attack duty as I think he will be too high up the pitch and be isolated. I want him to link my play together. Maybe I want too much from one position.

I have selected a control strategy as I expect to be a the dominant team in a lot of games this season. Flexible team shape because I didn't have a genuine reason for selecting any other shape. I have selected more closing down because I want to win the ball back quickly and start quick attacks. My team has the work rate to be able to do this. I always select work ball into box as I don't like my teams having 10 long shots per game. I have read things about the positioning of the AML and AMR and the lack of defending they do. Someone suggested setting these players to man marking the opposing fullback so that they help out in defence a bit more so that's what I've gone for.

I have posted my initial tactic and I plan on making suggested changes on the go as I get into discussions with you guys (hopefully). I would like you to, if possible, point out anything I may be missing or suggest what I may need to look for. I don't want to resort to downloading a tactic because that makes the whole game pointless imo. Please don't tear me or my tactic to pieces, just looking for some constructive feedback and suggestions on how it can be improved. Thanks in advance.

 

 

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My first suggestion would be to change the AP-A to CM-A because that will give you another body in the box. Second suggestion is to switch the duties on the Wingbacks. You do not need another player charging up the wing when you have a Winger there already, plus your attacking duty CM is on that side also. You need to balance it out with a support or even defend duty WB role. On the other side an Attack duty WB will provide width when IF-A moves inside and into the box. This way you have supply from both sides.

Work Ball into Box also reduces crosses into the penalty area which blunts your attacks. If you want to reduce the long shots just go with PIs for each player. Another way is to play with slower tempo. But that make have other effects that you don't necessarily want.

If you have your AMR/L mark specific position, this takes away from their attacking game. There is always sacrifice that needs to be made. You have enough protection with the Anchor man to afford more attacking options further up field. I like that you keep it simple with the Team Instructions. That's wise. You're almost there. 

Good luck

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2 minutes ago, yonko said:

My first suggestion would be to change the AP-A to CM-A because that will give you another body in the box. Second suggestion is to switch the duties on the Wingbacks. You do not need another player charging up the wing when you have a Winger there already, plus your attacking duty CM is on that side also. You need to balance it out with a support or even defend duty WB role. On the other side an Attack duty WB will provide width when IF-A moves inside and into the box. This way you have supply from both sides.

Work Ball into Box also reduces crosses into the penalty area which blunts your attacks. If you want to reduce the long shots just go with PIs for each player. Another way is to play with slower tempo. But that make have other effects that you don't necessarily want.

If you have your AMR/L mark specific position, this takes away from their attacking game. There is always sacrifice that needs to be made. You have enough protection with the Anchor man to afford more attacking options further up field. I like that you keep it simple with the Team Instructions. That's wise. You're almost there. 

Good luck

Thanks Yonko.

I was torn between the AP-A and the CM-A but chose the AP as it seemed to suit my players better. I used the CM-A alot in last years version and I know they chip in with plenty of goals themselves so I will give that a try. So are you saying you would go with 2 attacking duties down the left? I've always been reluctant to do that in case it leaves me exposes but never actually tried it.

I didn't realise the work the ball into box reduced the crosses. This may explain why I don't get much out of the AML because I was wanting him to get goals at the back post from the wingers crosses. 

 

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Yonko pretty much summed up everything I was going to say, the only thing I’d add is just think carefully about the personnel you use, and in what role you use them. Personally, I’d use Coutinho as a playmaker of some sorts, or even an inside-forward  on a support duty. I don’t think attacking the box is his strong point, that’s more of a Mane/Salah type player.

Secondly, if you were to switch Moreno to a WB-A, then it could be wise to change Hendo to a Carrillo or CM-S with hold position. He will definitely have a lot of work to do depending on how much possession of the ball you have, so could be worth bringing in a back-up.

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9 minutes ago, jc577 said:

Yonko pretty much summed up everything I was going to say, the only thing I’d add is just think carefully about the personnel you use, and in what role you use them. Personally, I’d use Coutinho as a playmaker of some sorts, or even an inside-forward  on a support duty. I don’t think attacking the box is his strong point, that’s more of a Mane/Salah type player.

Secondly, if you were to switch Moreno to a WB-A, then it could be wise to change Hendo to a Carrillo or CM-S with hold position. He will definitely have a lot of work to do depending on how much possession of the ball you have, so could be worth bringing in a back-up.

Thanks jc577.

I'm inclined to leave Coutinho as an IF-A at the minute to see how it goes as I'm reluctant to have my front 3 all on support duties. What you say about Henderson makes sense though as a Carrillo. The B2B role has roam from position on and with 2 players on the left with attacking duties he can provide extra cover. I have the extra man in the box now anyway with the CM-A. I'll try these changes tomorrow and see how I get on 

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I'll definitely be interested in the outcome of this to see how you get on. I also prefer the same formation and am determined to get it to work in fm18. I've got a similar setup to you but with a CM-A and I've used full backs instead of wing backs because I was so exposed on either wing. 

 

I've always struggled to get the right DM role and also the striker role combining with the AMR/L. I tend to have an AP-S in AML position with an overlapping full back as well as it causes havoc during a quick transition. It's just finishing the move that I have problems with! 

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2 minutes ago, alanfishead said:

I'll definitely be interested in the outcome of this to see how you get on. I also prefer the same formation and am determined to get it to work in fm18. I've got a similar setup to you but with a CM-A and I've used full backs instead of wing backs because I was so exposed on either wing. 

 

I've always struggled to get the right DM role and also the striker role combining with the AMR/L. I tend to have an AP-S in AML position with an overlapping full back as well as it causes havoc during a quick transition. It's just finishing the move that I have problems with! 

I've made a couple of the suggested changes above and played a couple of games on a test save I have. It's certainly provided more attacking play and creating more chances but I need to start a proper save and load the tactic for preseason so I can try it fully. That will be tomorrow night's job 😀.

I may try using full backs as opposed to being backs in games where I'm not as confident. There seems to be a big difference in how a team performs in home and away matches. What may work at home may completely fail away

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Do you ever have trouble with your defenders or gk turning the ball over with long clearances since you don't have play out of the back instruction? This is my favorite formation also and I seem to be in the same boat as you. I do pretty well at home, but my away form is terrible. 

One thing I am trying to get to work this year is using a F9 instead of a CF. in previous versions of the game it never seemed to work out too great but I'm trying to change that. In theory he should drop deep to allow your IF to make runs inside. I also really like a HB in the DM position. He is petty solid defensively but I think he contributes a little more to the offensive side of things than an anchorman.

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4 hours ago, Sticx said:

Do you ever have trouble with your defenders or gk turning the ball over with long clearances since you don't have play out of the back instruction? This is my favorite formation also and I seem to be in the same boat as you. I do pretty well at home, but my away form is terrible. 

One thing I am trying to get to work this year is using a F9 instead of a CF. in previous versions of the game it never seemed to work out too great but I'm trying to change that. In theory he should drop deep to allow your IF to make runs inside. I also really like a HB in the DM position. He is petty solid defensively but I think he contributes a little more to the offensive side of things than an anchorman.

I previously had the play out of defence instruction on, but that was in use when I was having the struggles with my tactics. I like the idea of playing out from the back but I think it may contribute towards missed attacking opportunities. Your team would naturally be slower getting the ball from back to front which would give the opposition more time to get back in shape. Someone may correct me on this but for now I'm not using it. I'd rather sacrifice a bit of possession if it helps my attacking game.

Again, I have used the false 9 but as I want my striker to be one of my main goal threats I think the complete forward would be better. He offers more and will stay higher up the pitch than the false 9.

The half back looks like quite a good role for when you're playing really attacking full backs as he will sit in between your centre backs to make a back 3. I'm using the anchor man as I want him to cover the space between the defence and the midfield rather than form part of the defence. I also want him to be able to move across the pitch and cover gaps left by my fullbacks.

These are just my opinions on the roles and someone may correct me if I'm wrong 😀

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I was struggling for the whole FM17-period with this tactic and getting my forward to be the main goalscorer in this formation. I'm now using a poacher upfront with 2 wingers on support on the flanks, with my fullbacks on attack-duty, so i expect lots of crosses for my poacher to score from. In front of my back 4 I have a deeplying playmaker on defend and in front of him a box-to-box midfielder next to a central midfielder on attack (was doubting the advanced playmaker would get forward enough to get in the box on time). Curious to see if I can get this to work in FM18..

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2 hours ago, BadAss88 said:

I was struggling for the whole FM17-period with this tactic and getting my forward to be the main goalscorer in this formation. I'm now using a poacher upfront with 2 wingers on support on the flanks, with my fullbacks on attack-duty, so i expect lots of crosses for my poacher to score from. In front of my back 4 I have a deeplying playmaker on defend and in front of him a box-to-box midfielder next to a central midfielder on attack (was doubting the advanced playmaker would get forward enough to get in the box on time). Curious to see if I can get this to work in FM18..

I'm not sure that 2 wingers and a poacher would be a good combo. I'd have thought that a target man type player would be better if playing 2 wingers who will be banging crosses into the box regularly.

Wouldn't the DLP be dictating play from a deep position too? Maybe your poacher will be too isolated as there won't be much around him. That's my initial thoughts. On that basis it will probably work perfectly 😂😂

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8 minutes ago, BlairNo.1 said:

I'm not sure that 2 wingers and a poacher would be a good combo. I'd have thought that a target man type player would be better if playing 2 wingers who will be banging crosses into the box regularly.

Wouldn't the DLP be dictating play from a deep position too? Maybe your poacher will be too isolated as there won't be much around him. That's my initial thoughts. On that basis it will probably work perfectly 😂😂

In the past I used a target man as my lone forward but since FM16 I found that not working too well, too many hoof balls from the back which I don't like. But maybe I'll give it a try, haven't played any matches yet.

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13 minutes ago, BadAss88 said:

In the past I used a target man as my lone forward but since FM16 I found that not working too well, too many hoof balls from the back which I don't like. But maybe I'll give it a try, haven't played any matches yet.

You could always try and restrict any long ball with player instructions. Certain players with shorter passing or fewer risky passes

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I think for liverpool when fit a lot of the goals come from mane and salah so id have them on the inside forward duties attacking the box while a striker (likely firmino) drops deep in the false 9 role.

Then imo id have wijnaldum set to central midfielder (attack) to get past him for forward options.

Id balance this out with a sitting midfielder like henderson as a supporting central midfielder and even consider can as the half back to pick the ball up off the back 4 and initiate short passes to build from the back

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Just now, BlairNo.1 said:

You could always try and restrict any long ball with player instructions. Certain players with shorter passing or fewer risky passes

Makes sense! I've changed my lone forward to a TM(a) and then I'll see how it goes and change TI/PI's to get the desired style I want!

Thx for the feedback!

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4 minutes ago, FMunderachiever said:

I think for liverpool when fit a lot of the goals come from mane and salah so id have them on the inside forward duties attacking the box while a striker (likely firmino) drops deep in the false 9 role.

Then imo id have wijnaldum set to central midfielder (attack) to get past him for forward options.

Id balance this out with a sitting midfielder like henderson as a supporting central midfielder and even consider can as the half back to pick the ball up off the back 4 and initiate short passes to build from the back

This is missing out the main man in Coutinho. He will occupy the AML but then i will rotate Mane and Salah. I can always change the AMR role to IF when Salah is playing

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Just now, BlairNo.1 said:

This is missing out the main man in Coutinho. He will occupy the AML but then i will rotate Mane and Salah. I can always change the AMR role to IF when Salah is playing

Problem is though i dont really see him as attacking the box in the way salah and mane do and in this kind of tactical shape im not sure he is well utilised.

The game thinks he is an inside forward? Id be playing him as an attacking midfielder if using him.

 

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2 minutes ago, FMunderachiever said:

Problem is though i dont really see him as attacking the box in the way salah and mane do and in this kind of tactical shape im not sure he is well utilised.

The game thinks he is an inside forward? Id be playing him as an attacking midfielder if using him.

 

Yeah I get that part. I have previously had success retraining him to be a CM-A. Perhaps that could be an option. Wijnaldum would have to be backup. I've got to play an IF on the left as that's the position I eventually want Ben Woodburn to fill

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4 hours ago, BlairNo.1 said:

This is missing out the main man in Coutinho. He will occupy the AML but then i will rotate Mane and Salah. I can always change the AMR role to IF when Salah is playing

If you really want Coutinho to be the main goal scoring threat then I think you have to back Mane/Salah off into a support role, and when I look at Liverpool I see the opposite. In FM terms, I would see Coutinho as more of an AP-S in the aml slot. He will still cut inside with the ball and serve as a main playmaker and still contribute a fair amount of goals.  I guess we all see the game a little differently. 

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So, I've been trying my best to get some results with this tactic. I have had good results but no consistency whatsoever. My midfield trio seems to struggle with their passing and they lose the ball often. I struggled for my striker to get in on the goals. The only position I seemed to get working was Mo Salah as the right inside forward. He ended up with 24 goals in 42 games. 

Anyway, I've decided to scrap this tactic as the more I look at it the more I like the 4231. This tactic has always come with problems for me defensively so I have opted for the 4-2-3-1 deep. I am in my 2 season with Liverpool and the players I have purchased are not ideal for my system but I will change this over the coming transfer windows. Initial results have been perfect. Despite not being familiar with the tactic I have won every game since I changed. My system is below. I would like your thoughts and like you to point out any problems you see.

 

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Personally, I wouldn't play Salah or Mane on attack duty with control mentality and structured shape. It pushes them too far forward from the rest of their teammates. Keep both of them on Support and occasionally have them switch sides and play as Winger on Support when on their stronger foot.

How is Coutinho playing in this set up? How is the interplay in midfield in general? 

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I have been slightly concerned about the 3 AM. The AMR on attack seems to work pretty well but the AML isn't setting the world a light. When I've checked the heat map with the ball the AML seems to be far too deep for him to get involved, which is strange because that seems to be opposite to what you were expecting? 

Coutinho in the AMC role is ok, but again I would expect better from someone of his quality. 

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Im quite liking Countinho in MC as a mezzala.  Seems to be quite influencial in the centre of the pitch, and leaves the wings for Mane/Salah who have the pace to cause trouble, especially with countinhos passes.

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19 minutes ago, Siven said:

Im quite liking Countinho in MC as a mezzala.  Seems to be quite influencial in the centre of the pitch, and leaves the wings for Mane/Salah who have the pace to cause trouble, especially with countinhos passes.

Doesn't the Mezzala operate centrally and wide also? Doesn't fit into my tactic as it stands anyway, I need to improve his performances in the AMC position 

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2 hours ago, Siven said:

Im quite liking Countinho in MC as a mezzala.  Seems to be quite influencial in the centre of the pitch, and leaves the wings for Mane/Salah who have the pace to cause trouble, especially with countinhos passes.

On support or attack?

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On November 20, 2017 at 15:57, Siven said:

Im quite liking Countinho in MC as a mezzala.  Seems to be quite influencial in the centre of the pitch, and leaves the wings for Mane/Salah who have the pace to cause trouble, especially with countinhos passes.

Try him as RPM. He's very dangerous. Runs the show.

 

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Just an observation. On control your players will in general look to be more direct and try to get the ball forward quite quickly, and this can lead to your midfield not retaining the ball very well (it depends on if your forward/wingers are actually winning and keeping the ball when it is played to them quicker). When I want to exhibit more control of possession, or if I am getting the ball forward and losing it quickly, I tend to switch to counter. The tempo and directness of the passing is lower on this mentality (I think, anyway) so my buildup play is in general slower. I usually raise my defensive line to compensate so I can still pressure the other team and not drop in too deep. Something to consider if you continue to struggle with the midfield. I would suggest that you ignore what the mentality is actually called, and instead look at how it affects the default TIs, and pick the one that looks like it best suits how you want to play.

I actually also find that a two man defensive midfield allows to play really aggressive counter attacking football where I am to get the ball forward quickly, especially if I have 3 attacking players (AMR, STC, AML) who are quick and good at running at the defense. I have ripped teams apart using such tactics if they come to attack me. Something else to consider when you come up against bigger sides!

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