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BlueAnderson

Traditional 4-3-3 Struggles (Long shots problems)

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Hi. 

I’ve created a quite successful 4-3-3 but after a while, now my team is fully used to the tactic; long shots seems to have gone up a lot in our game. I can’t quite figure out what it is without losing the complete essence of the tactic. 

GK

FB(A) CB BPD FB(S)

HB

CM(A) Mez(S)

AP(S) DLF(S) W(A)

TI: Short Passing, POTB, Lower Tempo, Offsides, WBIB, Slightly Higher Line, Roam From Position

Every midfielder and forward bar the CF have shoot less as a PI.

I’ve tried to put my FBs as WBs to get them further forward a bit to provide more options for example - but these options seem to be getting ignored; quite often a runner will be in a prime position to slide someone in but the player with the ball takes a long shot instead.

Any tips guys? 

I'll post some pictures of play up soon.

Edited by BlueAnderson

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Seens like most of your players are dropping off into the ten space or running into it. The only consistent forward movement will come from the singer who’ll run in behind and look to cross but your players aren’t really in good positions to attack a cross.

Additionally your instructions are probably stiffling attacking play as the combination of shorter passing, retain possession and WBIB means you’re telling players to play less risky passes, very short passes and cross less. Where will the penetration come from? Your players are in a crowded area and basically told to just pass the ball over very short distances and they’re most likely going to be pressured and out of options which leaves them the option of shooting 

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What mentality and shape are you using? I ask because you look to be making a more patient style, but then have a very attacking midfield pair.  Whilst the AP-S will come narrow and drop from his AMR position, if both the CM-A and MEZ-S push up there could be a lack of options with everyone up around the edge of the opponents area.

If you think they aren't taking valid options this could be due to the players mental attributes making him unable to see the option or lacks the composure and decision making to make the right decision.  It could also be how the player receives the ball preventing him seeing it and what foot he would have to use making it a poor option.

If you looking to play more patient then I would probably look at reducing the attack duties so they don't try to force things. I find this especially on higher mentalities where players on support are quite forward thinking so the attack duties really don't want to play backwards/simple.

I'd maybe try putting MEZ-S where the CM-A is then have a simple role like CM-S/BWM-S in MCL.  I think this gives the runner option on the right getting past the AP but adds a player in CM who gives variety including keeping it simple rather than focusing on getting forward.

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After playing that tactic for the last 7 or 8 FMs at least, i decided to change it this time around, instead of the DMC im using a AMC, that solved my long shots being 80% of all my attempts. Before that i tried for the hole beta to make it work, even playing 50 times the same match tweaking every little thing until i was satisfied. I did this with Barcelona, mind you. And it was impossible to get it right, i ended up the beta with 235 hrs and i didnt even finish a half a season, just trying to get it to work. If you ever find a way, let me know xD

Edited by nicobile

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I’ve found my best tactic so far is 4231. Using a midfield of BWM s DLp D, Wa (left) Am a IF s (right), CF s. All my other tactics use similar instructions but the roles don’t seem to complement each other in the same way to provide attacking options and I’ve seen quite a few attacks end disappointingly with snap shots. I’m gonna he tweaking by other 2 striker tactics to get some midfielders higher up the pitch to provide passing options. Looks like you might need that. As mentioned, your midfield two are both attacking, but maybe not in the way that you need here? 

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Its not thats better or not, its just that after trying every combination possible, i wasnt able to get the possession happen near or inside the opposition area, so the players decided to shot from anywhere, even if they had better passing options. FM normally has some issues with one or two tactics being hard to replicate, this time around i found that, at least in my case, its the 433 with DM. As i said, if he, or anyone can get the tactic to work, i would gladly switch back to my preferred formation ;)

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1 hour ago, summatsupeer said:

@nicobile @Ellandroadhero Whilst its great you both have 4231 working for you, that doesn't mean @BlueAnderson should switch and that 4231 Wide is better than 433 DM Wide.

That wasn’t my suggestion, I was just saying that I’ve found I’ve had the most attacking options with it and therefore less long shots. I’m still trying to tweak other formations so that they’re as effective as I want to use some different ones. By all means the OP shouls stick with 433, just perhaps with some role changes or duty changes to get more passing options in the final third. 

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I haven't fully solved the long shot problem but I have noticed a few things that have helped. What mentality and shape are you using? I would guess something along the lines of control or attacking with fluid/very fluid. If this is the case your team might be playing too aggressively and rushing into the final third without letting supporting players arrive in time and therefore shooting is the only option.

If you are going to use shorter passing, maybe consider taking off POTB, as that further reduces your passing distance. It could be your players have options, but they are too far away from them to play a short pass. Your defenders won't suddenly start lobbing the ball forward with shorter passing. 

It could be your players don't have the technical or mental abilities required to play the way you want them to play. AKA trying to play like barcelona with a mid table prem side.

as others have mentioned, I would consider changing one midfielder to a plain support type role. Basically someone else to stay deeper and be an option to recycle possession. 

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On 18/11/2017 at 05:00, Fosse said:

Seens like most of your players are dropping off into the ten space or running into it. The only consistent forward movement will come from the singer who’ll run in behind and look to cross but your players aren’t really in good positions to attack a cross.

Additionally your instructions are probably stiffling attacking play as the combination of shorter passing, retain possession and WBIB means you’re telling players to play less risky passes, very short passes and cross less. Where will the penetration come from? Your players are in a crowded area and basically told to just pass the ball over very short distances and they’re most likely going to be pressured and out of options which leaves them the option of shooting 

I only have shorter passing and WBIB on. Not retain possession. I toggle WBIB off and on depending on the game. I understand that I’m getting my players into the 10 area but that’s by design.

My problem is that sometimes players will have clear options ahead but will often choose to shoot instead. I want to play short possession football with players having plenty of options around them - which they do - the tactic is kind of successful, but it doesn’t seem to be as effective as first. Long shots are a lot more frequent. I was just hoping someone who’s had this problem with the 4-3-3 could perhaps drop some pointers. 

On 18/11/2017 at 10:50, summatsupeer said:

What mentality and shape are you using? I ask because you look to be making a more patient style, but then have a very attacking midfield pair.  Whilst the AP-S will come narrow and drop from his AMR position, if both the CM-A and MEZ-S push up there could be a lack of options with everyone up around the edge of the opponents area.

If you think they aren't taking valid options this could be due to the players mental attributes making him unable to see the option or lacks the composure and decision making to make the right decision.  It could also be how the player receives the ball preventing him seeing it and what foot he would have to use making it a poor option.

If you looking to play more patient then I would probably look at reducing the attack duties so they don't try to force things. I find this especially on higher mentalities where players on support are quite forward thinking so the attack duties really don't want to play backwards/simple.

I'd maybe try putting MEZ-S where the CM-A is then have a simple role like CM-S/BWM-S in MCL.  I think this gives the runner option on the right getting past the AP but adds a player in CM who gives variety including keeping it simple rather than focusing on getting forward.

Completely forgot to add. I’m playing with a flexible shape on a control mentality - I have found that switching to a standard mentality makes the players a bit more patient in play though. I made the pair attacking in the sense so that the lone striker isn’t as isolated and that the wide players always have options to pass it inside.

I have found that the MEZ-S dictates the play in the middle of the park - his role is similar to that of Silva’s at City. I don’t feel like the spaces he occupies are bad - he’s actually one of the best players in my team. I don’t lack control in the team - but you definitely have given me some food for thought. I think I’ll play around with the AP - maybe make him a winger to make play a bit less congested. 

On 18/11/2017 at 16:04, Sticx said:

I haven't fully solved the long shot problem but I have noticed a few things that have helped. What mentality and shape are you using? I would guess something along the lines of control or attacking with fluid/very fluid. If this is the case your team might be playing too aggressively and rushing into the final third without letting supporting players arrive in time and therefore shooting is the only option.

If you are going to use shorter passing, maybe consider taking off POTB, as that further reduces your passing distance. It could be your players have options, but they are too far away from them to play a short pass. Your defenders won't suddenly start lobbing the ball forward with shorter passing. 

It could be your players don't have the technical or mental abilities required to play the way you want them to play. AKA trying to play like barcelona with a mid table prem side.

as others have mentioned, I would consider changing one midfielder to a plain support type role. Basically someone else to stay deeper and be an option to recycle possession. 

As mentioned above, I play on Control/Flexible. I don’t have problems with the first phase or 2nd phase of play tbh. It’s play in the final third that seems to be struggling. 

You may have a point that the players under my disposal might not have enough quality.

The thing about my midfield pair - they are currently both the highest rated players in the league. The CM(A) grabs a lot of goals, whilst the MEZ(S) regulates play excellently. 

Edited by BlueAnderson

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You may want to try going structured or very structured. I had a lot of problems with congestion, especially in the middle of the pitch. with my 4-2-3-1 before I swapped that around and it ended up in a lot of potshots because my players had less time on the ball and were rushed into taking them.

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I would actually switch your midfield around and play the CM(A) on the same side as your W(A). I can imagine your AP(S) and CM(A) trying to occupy similar space. You will get the same effect in terms of flooding the 10 position, but your players are more spread out. It may be more balanced, although I am absolutely unsure if you will sort your long shot issue with that.

Another thing would be to try to up the tempo a little bit. If you are playing slow you are letting the opposition get back into position easier and faster. This is detrimental to splitting the defense open, as all their players will be in good positions to anticipate passes and through balls. What you may lose in possession, you can gain in goals (and I am a Mourinho rather than a Pep, goals > possession). It could also be the shorter passing that is causing your players to not consider longer, more dangerous balls even when they are on. Instead, they cannot see a good short passing option and so they decide to shoot instead. These are the two things I would play with first, one at a time.

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Lots of food for thought here - thanks guys  for the input and feedback. So I was Birmingham manager, leading the table and suddenly we hear that West Brom have just sacked Pulis as they were languishing in 18th. Their board thought they’d be cheeky by trying to steal a rival’s manager in me - and I fell for it. It’s January so I have space to somewhat rebuild the squad.

I’ve had two days to prepare my team for a game against Puel’s Leicester - and made some changes. 

I have now got this setup going on:

Standard/Flexible.

SK(D)

FB(A) CB(D) BPD(D) WB(S)

BWM(D)

CM(A) MEZ(S)

IF(S) T(A) IF (S)

TI: POTB, Roam From Position, Shorter Passing, Push Higher Up. 

I’ve taken in some of your advice and simplified the tactic a bit... and result from the Leicester game was extremely promising.

We won 6-0! This is with a side extremely low on confidence, having only won two of their last thirteen games. I’m guessing new manager syndrome has something to do with the result though. I’ll play more games and let you all know how the tactic is developing. I’ll shortly upload a video of some good moves from the Leicester game for those interested. 

Edited by BlueAnderson

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HiI had this problem with my Rb Salzburg save.and the problem is there aren't any passing options or movments in the box. Most if not all are  inclined on making chances other than  scoring them. I solved mine by switching to a high defensive line using direct passing,high tempo which resulted to overloads that allowed for runs into the box .But your problem seems to be the fact that you no real goal threat. Your winger would incline more to creating chances through crosses, and your AP would more or less do kinda the same thing the DLF will also focus more on linking play that scoring. So i suggest putting more goal threats like an inside forward or using a complete forward to offer movement. Or I could share you my tactic I used to overcome this difficulty. But then again I play in a league where I'm the dominant force and most teams prefer to sit deep.

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I play the same formation, and judging from your TIs I play a style similar to what you're trying to create. What I've generally found though is that TIs generally just fine-tune what's already set up through Mentality, Duties, Shape, Positions and Roles. The way my team plays now is through relatively patient short passing play, working the ball into the box, with a lot of movement. But without using any TI that implicitly addresses that (Other than, to an extent, Play out of Defense). The mentality (Standard), shape (Fluid), duties (5 Support, 2 Attack, 3 Defend) and roles (Not many roles that prioritize dribbling over passing and moving, few "extreme" roles) tends to create situations where the players are fairly close to eachother, and are on the same page mentality-wise. That tends to lead to more short passing options. 

So you posted two rather different setups, with different issues, but I think that one thing they both have in common is that they have a lot of players who in attack will end up between the opposition defense and midfield, but not really much in the way of players who will either push their defense back, or sit back to recycle the ball or switch it to the flanks and such. Sometimes an attack bogs down, and you need to reset a bit. Who's there to do that? The HB/BWM and the FB on support might be the only options for a back pass, and they might not even be available. Or lack the creative abilities to do anything useful with the ball. Most of the other players will be in, or on the edge of, the box. And similarly, who provides a threat for the through ball? The three forwards in both versions all look to drop deep, or in the case of the W(A) who doesn't, he might instead be rather isolated wide and high up the pitch. So you're faced with little in the way of forward passes available, and little in the way of backwards passes. So fairly often there's nothing to do except shoot. 

Two simple things to do would be to make one of the two CM players more of a "sitter" than a "runner". Such as a DLP(s), CM(s) or such. Basically create a fulcrum in the center of the pitch who can switch the ball between flanks, who can (with the right player and right PPMs) control the tempo of the game etc. And to have one of the forwards be someone who pushes the defensive line back. I'm a big fan of the F9/DLF types of players so I have it be a Raumdeuter/IF(A) instead; my current Raumdeuter has the PPM to try to beat the offside trap, which works great. It could be the central striker too, but I've yet to find much success with that. 

Not to say that I've found the ideal setup or anything, but the following is working well for me right now:

WB(S) - CD(D) - CD(D) - FB(S)

DM (D)

CM(A) - DLP(S)

W/IF(S) - F9(S) - RMD/IF(A)

The two wing roles depends on the players selected but it doesn't play very differently either way which surprised me. There is a lot of interplay between the three forwards, they frequently play through balls to eachother, play one-twos, provide cutbacks etc. 

Edited by Lathund

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