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ermant

4-2-3-1 Wide Tactic of AI

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Exactly like in FM17, playing against 4-2-3-1 Wide is still cracking my nerves this year. No matter who or how strong the opposition is, if they use this tactic, they manage to create problems for me. Not i lose many games, as my team is much stronger in the league, but my team's performance significantly decrease against 4-2-3-1 wide. I usually outclass all the tactics except this one with full domination and around 25-30 chances created. No other tactic, including full defensive ones, cause this dropdown in my performance. I watched full matches to solve this problem and tried many variations but not many things change.

I play possesion based 4-3-3 and opposition press higher up the pitch to interrupt my build up. If i manage to get out of the press, they run back and hold their defensive line deeper again. The difference against this tactic is, my quality players act like idiots and can't move the ball up the field easily (they normally do it so easy) and all opposition's below avarage players suddenly become N'golo Kante. They get stuck in and get the ball. When they have the ball, they play anti-football, keep the ball and suddenly play a perfect cross field ball to the wingers. Wingers go to the byline and cross the ball. Sometimes they score.

I tried direct tactics but my passing again gets ugly if i play more direct. Opposition gets the ball easier. Their defensive line is deeper. If i try to dribble against this well organised shape they get the ball again like world class defenders.

Anyway this is not the tactics forum but i wonder if you also feel this way against this tactic or is this just the negative of my possession based tactic? If so, why my performance always drops without exception.

It of course doesn't make sense but it feels like AI gets extra bonus with this tactic and my performance drops by default.

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i use that tactic myself and as far i have noticed, the weakness of that formation is the counter attack if they are not using DM, the wingers and wing backs cant get back fast enough and that leaves 2 or 3 of your players against the 2 full backs + 1 CMF, im not tactics genius but that what i have seem using that formation

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I actually enjoy playing against the 4231, it rarely causes me any issues in the game. I also play a 433 (of the DMC and two wide player kind, I do not know if yours is the same), and we match up against them very well. I do not, however, play a hugely possession oriented tactic, I am happy to be quite direct. I really hate playing against the 4213 version of the 4231 where the midfield is moved back one notch. Defensively stable and can be devastating on the counter. I adopted it as my "crap we might get killed here" tactic against bigger sides. The one 4231 variant I did struggle against was Inter Milans. As they play with super attacking fullbacks and can easily overload you all over the pitch. Then I had to adapt how I played a lot to exploit the gaps they left by committing men forward.

The real weakness of the 4231 is the gap between midfield and defense. This is what you need to exploit, and it is often best to do so quickly. If you can get the ball to attackers against the defense without any shield after an AI attack breaks down, you can cause all kinds of problems. Depending on what their wide players are doing, they can also be vulnerable down the flanks if you can double up the fullback and force someone to come across and help, this creates central space.

If a team is pressing me aggresively and stopping me build up from the back, I simply stop playing out of defense and try to get the ball forward quicker. Not route one, but I take their pressing out of the equation in my third of the field.

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- Use your wingers to mark the RB and LB.

- Always close down, tight mark and tackle hard the AMC. Also close down and tackle hard any playmaking MCL or MCR. If they are playing with a DM instead of an AMC then use your AMC to mark him.

- Make sure your LB and RB have high pace and acceleration. Ideally your CB's too if you have a high defensive line.

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I am talking about something else here. Worthless players exceeding their limits and they never can in any other tactic except this one. Also my passing gets ridiculous for no reason. When i watch the full match, my players are like paralysed and they seem like they don't know what to do, making wrong decisions unlike against any other tactic. I totally dominate all but not this one.

Edited by ermant

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1 ora fa, ermant ha scritto:

I am talking about something else here. Worthless players exceeding their limits and they never can in any other tactic except this one. Also my passing gets ridiculous for no reason. When i watch the full match, my players are like paralysed and they seem like they don't know what to do, making wrong decisions unlike against any other tactic. I totally dominate all but not this one.

 

I've noticed that too in my Serie A save.

That tactic apparently works too well with otherwise quite limited players. Don't really know why.

I can see "it's your tactic" to an extent, but it's simply weird how weak sides on paper can be much more tricky to face compared to expectations and real-life comparisons. Maybe that 4-2-3-1 "exploits" some of the ME's weaknesses thus giving your opponents a chance they wouldn't have, say, with a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1?

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It doesnt exploit anything, its just a naturally aggressive formation by virtue of 4 high band attacking players, as opposed to the 2 in a 4-4-2. Which means its a little easier for teams to be a threat further up the pitch

It's also naturally suited to pressing a 4-3-3. It also gives up space behind the CM's. and that is the area that should always be targeted

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Nope. From my experience of 20++ saves from LLM to highest level league, 4231 is actually rather weak. Only very strong teams like Man U, Arsenal and etc has success with it.
Other teams uses 4231 always under perform. The real and proven overpower formations are 3 strikers formations like 523, 433 narrow and etc. Any human players or AI team that uses that always massively overachieve.

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I disagree Russell -  got Portsmouth promoted from L1 to the Premiership in 2 consecutive seasons playing 4-2-3-1 with a relatively weak side

As madsheep says it can be prone between defence and CM's so sometimes I play one DM and 1 CM

 

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3 ore fa, russell9 ha scritto:

Nope. From my experience of 20++ saves from LLM to highest level league, 4231 is actually rather weak.


In my Italy save Benevento have managed comfortable mid-table finishes by playing that 4-2-3-1 Wide, often beating much stronger teams and generally being a tough side to play against. Way, way, way past a level justified by the quality of the players.

And that goes for AI v AI, where I had no input on the matches, so it's not a case "you struggle because you suck".

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1 hour ago, MrPompey said:

I disagree Russell -  got Portsmouth promoted from L1 to the Premiership in 2 consecutive seasons playing 4-2-3-1 with a relatively weak side

As madsheep says it can be prone between defence and CM's so sometimes I play one DM and 1 CM

 

The thing is 3 strikers formation can even win L1 and Championship easily with Portsmouth with 100s of points. Not only promotion.
If you run a tactic test among 523, 433, 442 and 4231. 4231 will always show worst results.

Edited by russell9

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I think much of it is AI tactics and AI player selection. Like all games its hard to match the human intelligence (well for most :) )

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Seriously, playing against this formation will drive me crazy. Just locks the game. No highlight, no chances, match time flows away. My team suddenly become juniors trying to get the ball from seniors up high. Even when the opposition is 10 men. Nothing in tactic even changes things a little bit. This is the special weapon of the AI.

Exploit the middle, wide shape, look for underlap, get stuck in, using AMC seem to work for me sometimes but next time i face against this formation, it probably won't work again.

Edited by ermant

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The game has improved a lot recently in how it responds to what we do.

It's still very formulaic (which lets the smarter players do really well all the time) but it's much better than anything from the old CM days.

 

I've noticed every time there's a significant event in a match the 'updating tactics' message appears, sometimes it's with the 'xyz appear to be playing more/less aggressively' message as well.

The game doesn't cheat, it's just more reactive than it used to be

it often seems to pick just the right combination of formation, shape, mentality, ti's/pi's and roles & duties to get the job done 

all those choices often jest confuse the hell out of me :)

 

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Just an update. This is exactly the same in FM19. You can't get past a man, opposition gets stuck in, makes lots of successfull sliding tackles, systematic fouls and not punished by the referee. You can't exploit spaces, as opposition defender gets the ball first. You can't hold on to the ball, again sliding tackles. You can't go to the byline and cross, all blocked. Your world class players run to the opponent and then suddenly stop, oppositon defenders bump the ball forward.

Wide or narrow, with amc or without, stuck in or stay on feet, direct or patient... It doesn't make any difference. Especially if it heavy rains, i get no chance. Very limited games with no real highlights. It's like a battle rather than a football match. 

Thinking of how possesion based teams suffer against defensive play, especially in recent years, i have to accept it as it is. But i have no problem opening the park the bus defences but this 4-2-3-1 Wide and 4-2-3-1DM Wide. Anyway, it happens. Not this frequent and obvious but it happens.

Edited by ermant

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I actually prefer playing against a 4231 Wide, especially the DM version. The thing with these setups is that they leave a lot of space in between midfield and defence. I play a system with a WPsu on the right, who just utilises the space left by their formation. 

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If you want some more directed help, you may want to create a thread on the tactics board, and let people have a look at how you play to see if they can spot any way to improve. I personally love playing against the 4231. All the delicious space between defense and midfield to have my way with. Without knowing what you are doing, it is really quite difficult to give anymore directed advice to you though.

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