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hi guys I'm having a right nightmare getting my 4-1-4-1 working consistently in a online save, 1 minute we are beating Arsenal  4-0 then we are losing to teams in the relegation zone. I have closing down much more but we don't close them down. we play some great stuff but my players fluff their lines and miss.

so is it crap players or my tactic is rubbish.20180505162231_1.thumb.jpg.fec33c63d450fd6b95d4387eed2132db.jpg

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Little more info 

Problem areas are the striker role, tried AF and DLFa.

The CMa gets forward sometimes lemina has 5 in 19 games he's my runner , van de beek has more risky passes and looking for him to be my creator.

Fekir is set to be like a inside forward from the WMa.

 

Edited by fmburchillfan

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It's hard to tell you what's wrong without seeing what is going wrong, but if I had to guess teams in the relegation zone are going to defend more, leaving your CF isolated and surrounded by defenders. On top of that you have 3 midfielders with attack duties and your one CM with a support duty is being told to play more risky passes, this is going to lead to lots of risky passes to an already isolated CF, leading to wasted possession. Because your midfielders are starting from deeper positions, the opposing team will then have time to pick up the loose ball and pick out a pass exploiting your high line. 

Teams like arsenal attack more, which leaves more room for your CF to exploit. You have essentially built a fairly effective counter attacking tactic against top opposition, the question you have to ask yourself is, is that how you want your team to play? If not then you will have to make some changes. 

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34 minutes ago, amil21 said:

It's hard to tell you what's wrong without seeing what is going wrong, but if I had to guess teams in the relegation zone are going to defend more, leaving your CF isolated and surrounded by defenders. On top of that you have 3 midfielders with attack duties and your one CM with a support duty is being told to play more risky passes, this is going to lead to lots of risky passes to an already isolated CF, leading to wasted possession. Because your midfielders are starting from deeper positions, the opposing team will then have time to pick up the loose ball and pick out a pass exploiting your high line. 

Teams like arsenal attack more, which leaves more room for your CF to exploit. You have essentially built a fairly effective counter attacking tactic against top opposition, the question you have to ask yourself is, is that how you want your team to play? If not then you will have to make some changes. 

Yeah that's what I've found my striker is isolated.

It's been that frustrating that I have lost what I want my team to be.

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Charlie Austin isn't really suitable to play that role. He just doesn't have the speed or skill to run with the ball or go past players. Try DLF(S) for a more catch-all role.


Too many attack duties in midfield.

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You striker here, unless he is absolutely immense as a player, is never going to be scoring 30 goals a season for you. Primarily, he needs to be able to get the ball, keep the ball, and bring the midfield into play when they get further up the pitch. He is going to be isolated a lot in this tactic, and there is nothing you can do without moving players around to stop that. You need to find the balance of roles around him to allow him to get the ball and use it sensibly (and as quick as possible). This will be harder against more defensive sides, as they will have more players around the striker, so he has less time and less space. It is the main problem with this kind of tactic.

I'd also take a look at the midfield roles here. Whilst I think the central pairing is fine (I love to use CM(A) in these kinds of tactics), I do not think you need to have attacking players on both wings. You will look like a 424 when you are attacking, and maybe that is what you want to achieve, but it is not always the best. Particularly, against the defensive sides you struggle to break down, you are throwing 4 players against a brick wall. Compact deep teams will leave little space close to their penalty area, and you are flinging 4 players into that zone. They will struggle to find passing options, to have space and to have time. The result of that is usually long shots from silly places, because it is actually the best option. For compact deep sides, you need to draw them out a bit more. The space is usually deeper in the pitch. You should be aiming to be able to probe their defense whilst maintaining a central area where you can recycle the ball if it does not work. In your setup, you can always have a DLP in the DM strata to be the focus of your build up play. He will naturally be deeper, and the AI will have to come out and close him down to deny him the time on the ball.

Alternatively, you can focus on creating overloads in certain areas of the pitch, particularly out wide. I find that using a W(S) with an attacking fullback or wingback behind him can often force a CB to move wider to deal with the threat. This can create some space in the centre, if your players are able to get the ball there. again, you will need to have the right roles in midfield to provide support to exploit that created space.

As a final alternative, just push the wide players further up the pitch when you play against more defensive sides. This will give you players who start in a more advanced position, and move them further away from any MR/L the AI may be utilising. Again, you need to find the correct balance of roles when doing this, because you are moving players into an area that is likely to be more congested when you are attacking, but it can help when you have an attacking transition. I play 4141 or 433 almost all the time, and I find that having a winger who is really good at crossing can also help immensely in creating goals against deeper sides. All he needs is the space on the flank to whip a ball in to the striker or the other wide player.

You do sometimes just have to accept that teams who come to defend can steal points from you, especially when you're players are not that much better than them. Good luck!

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3 of your 4 midfielders are on attack duty so will take risks and get forward.  Against teams who attack you those deep runs could work to attack space.  Against teams who are more defensive they could be crowding the ST a bit resulting in him not being able to do much. Defensively it could also make you a bit open after you lose the ball with a front 4, CM-S and DM-D in middle plus a FB-A also pushing forward so sometimes having a front 5.

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Hi again 

Cheers for all the helpful reply's, I normally play with DLP in the dm slot and a rms , but I reading some others post on the 4-1-4-1 that u need more attacking rolls because it being defensive tactic.

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RMS?

Yes it has players behind the ball when you defend but that doesn't mean you need lots of attack duties to attack well.  Yes you need to get support to the lone forward but it depends how you transition the ball and how you want to attack, faster less patient attacks or more possession patient or other plans of attack.  Depending how focused/varied your style and how well it fits your team you could play into the oppositions plan or it might not matter what they do.

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46 minutes ago, summatsupeer said:

RMS?

Yes it has players behind the ball when you defend but that doesn't mean you need lots of attack duties to attack well.  Yes you need to get support to the lone forward but it depends how you transition the ball and how you want to attack, faster less patient attacks or more possession patient or other plans of attack.  Depending how focused/varied your style and how well it fits your team you could play into the oppositions plan or it might not matter what they do.

Rms, lol my winger on the right was normally support with a FBa behind him.

And I did started with a DLFs which worked quite well with the CMa but lost patience coz the CMa would get into the box and hit his shot wide or straight at the keep. Which is more down to the player then the tactic I know.

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I will just say that your side looks like its set up to hit on the break, being a 4141. A team like arsenal is leaving space at the back which your attacking players are running in to.

Smaller sides are not allowing that space and so your wingers etc will be running into a brick wall, and you striker is going to be isolated in a crowded defence, unable to really do much. 

I'd say against smaller sides you need a more patient style of play , with players breaking from deep. Maybe your wingers are more support and your fullbacks are more attacking for instance.

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Echo other people here ... 4141 is a fairly safe tactic .. you are likely to catch the more attacking teams out (like Arsenal) and struggle to break down similar or lower teams.

Do you tweak in match? i.e. if 0-0 at home to Stoke at HT do you push up? go attacking?

It's an ok tactic and roles... but very much a tactic, to my mind, that would need tweaking throughout a match depending on the score line.

Personally I wouldn't have Fekir on the left cutting in ... I'd have a right footer. Redmond still available? Boufal?

I also wouldn't have Lemina as your attacking central midfield... as a more defence minded player I imagine his PPMs aren't conducive to the role? Nor his attributes.

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2 hours ago, D_LO_ said:

I read you've 'lost' some direction with the style you wanted to play. First and foremost I would encourage you figure that out first. I've seen suggestions that currently you're employing more of a counter-attacking style, etc. but that doesn't sound like a recipe for success with only one advanced player. You would really need to nail your tactic to get such a formation to consistently click with such quick transitions otherwise lack of support would be a constant theme and even then I'm still not convinced. Surely such a style is better suited to other formations anyway. 

 

One of the natural strengths of the 4-1-4-1 formation and why you'll see RL teams employ it is the ball retention it encourages. So a possession strategy could be a viable and more consistent option. Despite the strength on the flanks this formation provides, I've never really found it to be one of the biggest benefits when there's only one upfront, more often than not, to receive crosses. Another reason why a possession strategy makes sense.

With this in mind, I agree with the above re. a central play-maker. This would encourage a more central/balanced approached as opposed to a wide one and more recycling of the ball, in-line with a possession strategy. 

I also agree with there being too many attack duties, especially on the wide midfielders, there's a lack of variation whilst you also lose some of the natural defensive benefit and also the DLFs suggestion, preferably someone strong, decent in the air but with a really good first touch. I think I'd forgo composure, finishing and maybe even some off the ball as long as they can keep hold of the ball and bring others into the game as some isolation is inevitable. To aid the possession strategy this would be my role of choice and is probably one of the better options to reduce isolation. A more advanced role wouldn't be needed if the build-up was more methodical. 

 

One thing which really gave this tactic a new lease of life last year for me was the use of the inverted wing-back and the overloads it helped enable (I've barely tested this year due to struggling to find the right type of player for the role, i.e. off the ball, decisions, passing, first touch. I also have reservations about the defensive aspects of this year's ME, so I've lacked the confidence this year to give 4-1-4-1 a serious go, attack is the best form defence blah blah..). Last year though I used the role behind the most offensively aggressive CM. This year it seems ready made to be utilised behind a Mezzala which looks anatural for creating overloads already. This could release an attack duty on the opposite flank, be it in midfield or full back. 

I've read the Mezzala is also somewhat of a diluted play-making type role so again would be in-keeping with the overall strategy although if you use such roles the third CM/DM would need to be conservative. 

 

This was more something to get you thinking, you might not even want to employ a possession based style but there's certainly some styles more favourable to this formation and this is an example of how I'd go thinking through the roles which is probably a decent starting point before looking at everything else. 

This is gold. The 4-1-4-1 might be one of the best formations to use with possesion football and it is also a quite flexible shape that can be really attacking. Depends on a lot of things of course. But I can only recommend the advice given here. I've used the 4-4-1-4-1 a lot in many saves in this edition as I love Its pressing shape it can make. One of my favourite combos this year is to use a IWB behind a Mezzala that has an attacking role beside him that stays wide. It creates a lot of superiority. You can have fun with mixing around the duties but it also depends on the rest of the team. 

the big issue in the 4-1-4-1 is the striker needs to be quite good at hold on to the ball and plays other in. I even went so far at using a 4-1-4-1-0 strikerless with a Shadow Striker ahead of two Mezzalas and two wide attackers who stays really wide. Behind them? Two IWBS and DM(D). With the right instructions you get 5(!) attackers who pushes between the lines. Its quite fun to watch though you do need players suited for possesion football. :)

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Cheers for all the reply's 

I'm taking a lot on board , first off a DLP in dm which I do normally have. I will stick with the CMa coz he's been linking up well with the DLFs who drops deep and plays through balls , only problem is the CMa not finishing off the chance's

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so I've given up on the 4-1-4-1 and trying this and so far had a 2-2 with spurs but I'd love to get the best out of van beek

20180512193559_1.thumb.jpg.118d7b0ae08c7d36940da1ca597a94e2.jpg

 

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yeah i'll have a look at that vid.

also I think you are right about finding an overall strategy , I wouldn't mind making a counter strategy just don't know where to start

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7 hours ago, D_LO_ said:
  • Pay attention to your D-line. Counter attacking strategies tend to be positioned deeper, think Leicester. 
  • Coupled with the above, despite the 4-3-3 being effective at high blocks, you will probably want to adopt a low or at least a middle block instead if you want to play counter attacking, otherwise your shape could be really stretched. You will want to win the ball back deeper anyway to hit teams on the break.
  • Shape can be important to help stretch the opposition. Structured or at least flexible are largely considered effective. That's not to say fluid is impossible.  
  • Roles will be even more important to not only stretch play but exploit space generated so you will need advanced attack duties. 
  • Off the ball, composure and finishing are fairly obvious attributes you need for those you are looking to get into attacking positions. Anticipation, first touch and decisions are some secondary considerations. Speed is massive though. 
  • These players will need supply so direct passing PIs and risky passes PIs need to be considered for the deeper lying players. Or alternatively consider the roles of your deeper players. DCB & DFB have direct passing wired in so you have options from the back. A DLP should also be strongly considered. I opt for at least 2 or 3 who can release the forward players will long balls. 

 

  • Probably the most important defensive aspect however is being comfortable or at least able to cope with a certain degree of pressure that this strategy will invite. You will need good defensive players in defence (obviously) but also midfield. Positioning, concentration, tackling, bravery, etc, etc. You will want the defensive base full of these qualities. I include the CMs in this. 

 

 

thanks again for taking time to reply

I've implemented your advice on counter strategy with my red star save because my mate can't play our online save

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so far I'm only in preseason but I'm liking how we are playing, this is my set up.20180513061807_1.thumb.jpg.c8a2920365f39f9f94694a1fffae9d96.jpg

I did change the LB to FBs .

I added more risky passes and more direct passing to the DLP20180513061851_1.thumb.jpg.7240b93e288e6aecdd9f0f8661b751d2.jpg

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only played 2 games but won both, first against CSKA Moscow. 20180513061717_1.thumb.jpg.c87d41f20001e6b80c5e6c371d988cee.jpg

I think counter will be a good plan going into my champions league.

my 2nd game was just as good with 2 great goals, this 1 was great it started with the keeper rolling out to my DCB who plays a long ball over the top for my AF to beat the offside trap and finish well.20180513064354_1.thumb.jpg.abe1749533918c05ffcaaa703c72ba87.jpg20180513064439_1.thumb.jpg.3b860c5a0d2b8414df8ebe4ba47a5180.jpg

same with the 4th goal , my LB wins the ball back and plays a direct ball into the left channel for my forward to run onto and score20180513064408_1.thumb.jpg.4581a2f3323c7b0307d09493c2cdbb27.jpg

Only thing I'm going to have to get used to is the low block, its so weird watching my player backing right off once the other team gets the ball.

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2 hours ago, D_LO_ said:

Unless you have individual closing down PIs on the deeper players you're not really applying a low block though. The TI suggests you are just completely backing off. Your formation naturally gives up space out wide. Sooner or later, with your current strategy, expect to give up plenty of crosses and balls in the box. If you're going to play this way make sure you have the defenders to deal with such an aerial threat. 

gone back to the 4-1-4-1 , yeah the cross out wide are one thing I'm seeing but luckily I have some big defenders who are doing ok so far, but if becomes a problem what do you think would be the best way to deal with that, 

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