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Overhaul United - How would you run a flat 4-4-2?


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I've managed to get United over $400m USD in transfer money and a butt-ton of payroll.  To this end, I'm going to get at least three players - Mauro Icardi, Paulo Dybala and Alex Sandro.

With these three additions (and the selling off of Mata, Fellaini, Darmian and Blind), how would you run a 4-4-2?

This is what I've come up with thus far.

Icardi will play the AF, Dybala the CF(S).  Sanchez will play the W(A) on the right and Sandro will be the WB(A) on the left.  Matic with DLP(D) and Pogba as BBM(S).

Keeper is rolling out, distribute quickly and to Center Backs.  BBM(S) has "Get Farther Fowrard".

Any glaring issues you folks see?

Thanks!

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4 hours ago, CybrSlydr said:

Any glaring issues you folks see?

May not be a glaring issue, but I always think one strength of the 442 is out wide. So I'm puzzled about the 'play narrower' and 'exploit the middle' PIs.

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Was trying to keep the formation compact and minimize lanes that the opposing players could run through or pass.

EDIT:  Excellent call on the wider option.  I set it back to balanced width, exploit both flanks and have the keeper distributing to the L/R backs instead of central and saw an immediate difference.  Scored 3 goals against Leicester and then won 4-0 against West Brom.  

Edited by CybrSlydr
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There are a couple of glaring issues to me:

1. Why do you have a WB(A) and a W(S) on the same side of the pitch? It seems redundant and defensively suspect to me, particularly when the midfielder on that side of the pitch is Pogba AND is told to get further forward.

2. Related to 1.: You're making an absolutely ridiculous ask of Matic, who is lumbering at his swiftest. 3- and 4-man midfields are going to run riot, particularly in the transitional phase where your entire left side including Pogba is miles up the pitch. I would honestly expect your tactic to get completely destroyed through the middle against any half-decent team. There's so much space there that NASA is building a telescope to study it as we speak. You have taken the biggest weakness of a 4-4-2 by far and made it a million times worse with this setup. Kanté couldn't fix it.

3. Pogba is the most creative of your midfielders, and yet you have Matic in a playmaking role. I definitely think you should consider DLP(S)/AP(S) with Matic as a CM(D) instead. Pogba is your star and the guy you want on the ball.

I also think you need to seriously consider your transfer strategy. Alex Sandro makes sense, but the two other prospective purchases don't make sense to me. What exactly is Icardi going to do for you when the opposition has 11 men behind the ball because you're Manchester United, and basically all of your players are packed in the final third because you're pushing higher up on an Attacking mentality?

Edited by Sneaky Pete
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1 hour ago, Sneaky Pete said:

There are a couple of glaring issues to me:

1. Why do you have a WB(A) and a W(S) on the same side of the pitch? It seems redundant and defensively suspect to me, particularly when the midfielder on that side of the pitch is Pogba AND is told to get further forward.

2. Related to 1.: You're making an absolutely ridiculous ask of Matic, who is lumbering at his swiftest. 3- and 4-man midfields are going to run riot, particularly in the transitional phase where your entire left side including Pogba is miles up the pitch. I would honestly expect your tactic to get completely destroyed through the middle against any half-decent team. There's so much space there that NASA is building a telescope to study it as we speak. You have taken the biggest weakness of a 4-4-2 by far and made it a million times worse with this setup. Kanté couldn't fix it.

3. Pogba is the most creative of your midfielders, and yet you have Matic in a playmaking role. I definitely think you should consider DLP(S)/AP(S) with Matic as a CM(D) instead. Pogba is your star and the guy you want on the ball.

I also think you need to seriously consider your transfer strategy. Alex Sandro makes sense, but the two other prospective purchases don't make sense to me. What exactly is Icardi going to do for you when the opposition has 11 men behind the ball because you're Manchester United, and basically all of your players are packed in the final third because you're pushing higher up on an Attacking mentality?

1.  Well, I got Sandro (immense upgrade over what they currently have) and his best role is a (C)WB/A, so I figured I'd play the W(S) in front so I wouldn't be completely exposed (or so I thought) when he overlapped.  However, he can also play as a LM - so I was considering trying him out there as well.

2.  Because Matic is a natural as a DLP(D) while Pogba is not?  I thought using Pogba as my roaming carrier it would better utilize his abilities while keeping Matic as more of a holding mid protecting the back four.  I had contemplated using Pogba as an AP(S) and Matic/someone else as an CM(D).

As for the transfer strategy - I've never really liked Lukaku (didn't want United to get him IRL) and I've always wondered what it would be like to have two of the most dangerous and clinical Strikers in the game playing for the same team.  That's purely it - not because I think United need them, but because I wanted to see what they were capable of (initial results are very positive).

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Matic and Pogba aren't great options for a two man midfield. Matic is very slow and Pogba has terrible positioning. I expect good sides to smash this tactic, especially down your left flank. 

Edited by NabsKebabs
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6 hours ago, CybrSlydr said:

1.  Well, I got Sandro (immense upgrade over what they currently have) and his best role is a (C)WB/A, so I figured I'd play the W(S) in front so I wouldn't be completely exposed (or so I thought) when he overlapped.  However, he can also play as a LM - so I was considering trying him out there as well.

2.  Because Matic is a natural as a DLP(D) while Pogba is not?  I thought using Pogba as my roaming carrier it would better utilize his abilities while keeping Matic as more of a holding mid protecting the back four.  I had contemplated using Pogba as an AP(S) and Matic/someone else as an CM(D).

As for the transfer strategy - I've never really liked Lukaku (didn't want United to get him IRL) and I've always wondered what it would be like to have two of the most dangerous and clinical Strikers in the game playing for the same team.  That's purely it - not because I think United need them, but because I wanted to see what they were capable of (initial results are very positive).

Don't bother looking what the player's best role is, look at the attributes that are needed for the role along with PPM's. 

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3 hours ago, NabsKebabs said:

Matic and Pogba aren't great options for a two man midfield. Matic is very slow and Pogba has terrible positioning. I expect good sides to smash this tactic, especially down your left flank. 

 

8 hours ago, Sneaky Pete said:

I would honestly expect your tactic to get completely destroyed through the middle against any half-decent team.

The problems with theory rather than practice. Here's my United tactic (currently in season 3):

wUqf4QIh.png?1

Matic plays the DLP-D role, Pogba the CM-S (with get further forward instructions). I can assure you, not even the best teams in the world 'smash this tactic'. Nobody destroys us through the middle, especially not 'half-decent' teams.

Obviously, a simple CM-S role doesn't get the best out of Pogba. But he hasn't done badly:

NLQ5MTKh.png?1

I opted for the 4411 because I didn't have enough strikers for a 442 - Mata and Lingard rotated the AM role until Mata moved to Real Madrid and Dybala was brought in to replace him. The tactic works so well I didn't see any need to change.

@CybrSlydr Martial made that IW role his own, even though he's another who isn't best suited to it and it's a better choice than W-S, I think.

The point of any tactic is not to make stars of individuals, it's to bring success to the team. I think 11 trophies in two-and-a-bit seasons is pretty successful:

HMDhTXOh.png?1

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9 minutes ago, NabsKebabs said:

Your roles and duties have better balance. 

This really can't be understated. You have a DLP(D) (a role I still don't think is the best fit for Matic) on the very aggressive left flank, and you don't have Pogba playing a BBM with a Get Further Forward PI. You also have an AM in front of the two as opposed to an out-and-out striker, which makes it even less likely that Pogba will spend half the game in the opposition box. While Dybala is no Griezmann in terms of his defensive work from that position, he'll certainly do more of it from the AM position than the CF position - particularly so given that striker in the FM ME basically do not ever drop behind the ball in the defensive phase.

The reason we're lambasting OP's tactic is because the left side of his tactic is an incoherent mess. It has players getting in each other's way and absolutely inadequate defensive cover. Your tactic, while still exploitable through the middle by the truly elite teams, is far more balanced.

Edited by Sneaky Pete
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4 minutes ago, NabsKebabs said:

Your roles and duties have better balance. 

Don't see it myself - I have occasionally, especially in the first season, used Fellaini as a B2B alongside the DLP-D and didn't see any difference. Also used Pogba as a B2B and he's a bit more dynamic but tends to fire in shots from all over.

But the specifics were about Matic and Pogba as a midfield two. They're fine. They're better than fine.

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5 minutes ago, Sneaky Pete said:

The reason we're lambasting OP's tactic is because the left side of his tactic is an incoherent mess.

Then you should have emphasised that, rather than all the nonsense about 'lumbering' Matic and the 'ridiculous' space in the middle. Matic doesn't have great accelertion, but he does have 14 pace and - more importantly - 16/17 for anticipation, concentration, positioning, vision and passing.

As to the rest of your points, Pogba *has* the get further forward PI. I have also played Pogba as a B2B and he was fine apart from his long-shot PPM. Dybala doesn't defend from anywhere. And, once again, my tactic is not exploitable through the middle, elite teams or otherwise.

I definitely think OP should switch the two midfield roles, and personally I wouldn't play an attacking mentality - I'm usually standard or control.

But I have to ask, how much experience do you actually have playing Matic and Pogba in a midfield two?

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Well, I could go get Fabinho and have him play alongside Pogba rather than Matic and still get Dybala and Sandro.

Originally I was trying to make Ozils Cryuff 3511 work (hence my desire for Dybala originally) and couldn'make it work well.  So I went to a 4411.  That's when I got the idea to see what Dybala/Icardi pairing could do.

I'll go get Sandro, Fabinho and maybe Icardi and have Lukaku play as a TM(S) next to Icardi AF.  Pogs as an AP(S) and Fabinho as a CM(D).

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1 hour ago, warlock said:

 

The problems with theory rather than practice. Here's my United tactic (currently in season 3):

wUqf4QIh.png?1

Matic plays the DLP-D role, Pogba the CM-S (with get further forward instructions). I can assure you, not even the best teams in the world 'smash this tactic'. Nobody destroys us through the middle, especially not 'half-decent' teams.

Obviously, a simple CM-S role doesn't get the best out of Pogba. But he hasn't done badly:

NLQ5MTKh.png?1

I opted for the 4411 because I didn't have enough strikers for a 442 - Mata and Lingard rotated the AM role until Mata moved to Real Madrid and Dybala was brought in to replace him. The tactic works so well I didn't see any need to change.

@CybrSlydr Martial made that IW role his own, even though he's another who isn't best suited to it and it's a better choice than W-S, I think.

The point of any tactic is not to make stars of individuals, it's to bring success to the team. I think 11 trophies in two-and-a-bit seasons is pretty successful:

HMDhTXOh.png?1

Do you mind mentioning mentality/teamshape/team instructions and maybe other PI's?

I'm trying to set up a 4-4-1-1 for a while but I still have to learn a lot, so a succesful base-tactic would be very nice!

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7 minutes ago, CybrSlydr said:

Well, I could go get Fabinho

Good player - brilliant for me in a Monaco save - but (IMHO) wasted as a CM-D. He's much better in a much more dynamic role.

I wouldn't be talked out of Matic as a DLP-D in a midfield two. In season 1 there aren't many better. The more important question is who do you bring in as understudy and long-term replacement. I signed Manuel Locatelli - cost me £20m from Milan in the first window (now worth £51m in October 2019) but there are plenty more.

As has been pointed out in this thread, the midfield pair in a 442/4411 is a potential weakness because you typically want central midfield to do three things: 1) defensive cover/break up play; 2) be a creative force; 3) support and join the attack from deep. With a midfield two, you need one or both to do more than one job. Matic is a good defensive option but also has good vision and passing. Pogba is dynamic and creative, can get in the box, and can score from anywhere. So Matic does jobs 1&2, Pogba does jobs 2&3. If you bring in a CM-D, you need his midfield partner to do three jobs (or move one of them somewhere else).

When I've had to play Fellaini for Pogba, he still does well but collectively we're not as good. If I have to play TFM as DLP or CM-D, he does well, but collectively we're not as good.

Interesting that you started with O-zil's Cruyff 3511 - my tactic is essentially O-zil's Sacchi 442 with a few changes - mostly PIs and dropping shape to fluid for the first season. I've been using the same formation with Bristol City to great effect. Give it a go.

 

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1 minute ago, warlock said:

Good player - brilliant for me in a Monaco save - but (IMHO) wasted as a CM-D. He's much better in a much more dynamic role.

I wouldn't be talked out of Matic as a DLP-D in a midfield two. In season 1 there aren't many better. The more important question is who do you bring in as understudy and long-term replacement. I signed Manuel Locatelli - cost me £20m from Milan in the first window (now worth £51m in October 2019) but there are plenty more.

As has been pointed out in this thread, the midfield pair in a 442/4411 is a potential weakness because you typically want central midfield to do three things: 1) defensive cover/break up play; 2) be a creative force; 3) support and join the attack from deep. With a midfield two, you need one or both to do more than one job. Matic is a good defensive option but also has good vision and passing. Pogba is dynamic and creative, can get in the box, and can score from anywhere. So Matic does jobs 1&2, Pogba does jobs 2&3. If you bring in a CM-D, you need his midfield partner to do three jobs (or move one of them somewhere else).

When I've had to play Fellaini for Pogba, he still does well but collectively we're not as good. If I have to play TFM as DLP or CM-D, he does well, but collectively we're not as good.

Interesting that you started with O-zil's Cruyff 3511 - my tactic is essentially O-zil's Sacchi 442 with a few changes - mostly PIs and dropping shape to fluid for the first season. I've been using the same formation with Bristol City to great effect. Give it a go.

 

I actually did use Ozil's Sacchi but found the extreme pressing it required was not something I could make work.  CDs would come up into the midfield and leave gaping holes for AMs and FWs to exploit.  So I tried to tone down the closing down or remove the Tight Marking but it just wasn't working well.

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18 minutes ago, JoOSTAR said:

Do you mind mentioning mentality/teamshape/team instructions and maybe other PI's?

It's essentially this:

If you read the whole thread you'll see how he applies it to other (lesser?) teams. In season 1, even Man Utd weren't good enough to play the essential tactic with a 'very fluid' shape. In particular, we needed strengthening across the defence, and in midfield. But - as I noted just above - I've been using it at Bristol City and it's been great.

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Wait - I think I was talking about the Simeone 4-4-2, not O-zils.

EDIT:  Nope, that's the tactic I was thinking of.  lol  So many quality tactics I can get them confused.  lol

Edited by CybrSlydr
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2 minutes ago, CybrSlydr said:

I actually did use Ozil's Sacchi but found the extreme pressing it required was not something I could make work.

Good point and one I'd forgotten. I just dropped the closing down and higher line TIs to normal. Challenge the AI to play through two solid banks of four.

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2 minutes ago, CybrSlydr said:

Wait - I think I was talking about the Simeone 4-4-2, not O-zils.

Ah, not tried that one. I generally don't like tactics that rely on the high line and intense press. Don't like 'em in real life, don't like 'em in FM - players tearing around like maniacs. I know it's the current meta, but it's the very opposite of the beautiful game.

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Just like to second @warlock assertion that Matic-Pogba will work fine. I mentioned I use a 442 in your other thread - that was also just Ozil's Sacchi tactic but I moved the CF-Su to one side and moved the AM-At up to be a TM-At. Matic was DLP, Pogba CM-Su with Goretzka and occasionally Andreas Pereira backing them up and they played fine. Pogba wasn't outstanding - a 442 naturally brings the best out of the strike partnership - but he was good and we had the best defensive record in the league. 

Have you played much more with the tactic since removing the Play Narrower instruction? @CybrSlydr

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1 minute ago, zlatanera said:

Just like to second @warlock assertion that Matic-Pogba will work fine. I mentioned I use a 442 in your other thread - that was also just Ozil's Sacchi tactic but I moved the CF-Su to one side and moved the AM-At up to be a TM-At. Matic was DLP, Pogba CM-Su with Goretzka and occasionally Andreas Pereira backing them up and they played fine. Pogba wasn't outstanding - a 442 naturally brings the best out of the strike partnership - but he was good and we had the best defensive record in the league. 

Have you played much more with the tactic since removing the Play Narrower instruction? @CybrSlydr

Playing wider (Balanced width, exploit left/right flanks) it worked much, much better in some of the games..

However...  I played Man City at City and was annihilated 7-3.  It was 4-0 in the first half.  Some players had ratings as low as 5.1.  So...

Yeah.  That was embarrassing.

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13 minutes ago, CybrSlydr said:

So, if I'm going for an AM(A), who should I look at if I don't go after Dybala?

First season, Mata is excellent, Lingard is a good backup, Sanchez should be great (but wasn't for me). Longer term there aren't many better than Dybala but Havertz is a good prospect.

Do you want us to come over there and play the save for you? :p

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41 minutes ago, warlock said:

First season, Mata is excellent, Lingard is a good backup, Sanchez should be great (but wasn't for me). Longer term there aren't many better than Dybala but Havertz is a good prospect.

Do you want us to come over there and play the save for you? :p

Not quite, but if I can save some time in searching, I'll do so.  I thought I'd pretty much scoured the DB for AM(A) and those who could do it and found very few (Dybala, maybe James Rodriguez but he's on a long loan, and I usually play Sanchez on the M(R) since he's a right footed winger, Goetze is a bit slow for my tastes, etc).

Wanted to make sure I wasn't overlooking anyone.  Maybe in season one I'll give Mata a go (he's usually my first sale of the save, $45m to Real), should make picking up Dybala next time around cheaper than $180m!

Edited by CybrSlydr
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1 hour ago, CybrSlydr said:

So, if I'm going for an AM(A), who should I look at if I don't go after Dybala?

Havertz turns into the best non regen AM in the game most of the time. Bruno Fernandes of Sporting is cheaper and very good.

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@CybrSlydr i quite like your roles and duties (id just change wb on the left to fb-s). I agree with the first response that your instructions or odd to say the least (use the width damn you! You have two wingers!!)

I did a very successful 442...detailed here https://community.sigames.com/topic/438323-leverkusen-season-6-challenge-1-442/

Some of the posts talk about creating more balance... I think a lot of people on this forum look for theoretical perfection... And the idea of balance seems top of the agenda... Its not a bad thing... But nor should the power of imbalance be overlooked. Sometimes if you have a specific way of playing... Go all out with it and hammer down the door... Forget balance. My entire leverkusen series is about that... And none more so than the 442... Its openly one dimensional... "we will play fast and direct... Stop us if you can". 

442 isnt subtle... It can do one or two jobs very well. If you want perfect balance with plan b and plan c... Try try try again with runs from deep wide and central... Probably go with a 4123/4231/4141 etc. 

Tweak the TI and i think your initial instinct was good. For what its worth.... I think Icardi can easily bag 30+ as your AF

:thup:

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1 hour ago, westy8chimp said:

I think a lot of people on this forum look for theoretical perfection

Oh, don't they just. I've already cited O-zil's Sacchi thread as an influence in my Bristol City save; your Leverkusen 442 was the other one. Just got Bristol City promoted to the Premiership, with a team predicted to finish mid-table at best. 442 is very strong this year... and why not?!?

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Read this thread last night and simply couldn't add a thing.  This is a wonderful mish-mash of opposing arguments and at times just disregarding the questions at hand.

Example being.  I loved this post by Westy and thought yeah, dig it.

20 hours ago, westy8chimp said:

Some of the posts talk about creating more balance... I think a lot of people on this forum look for theoretical perfection... And the idea of balance seems top of the agenda... Its not a bad thing... But nor should the power of imbalance be overlooked. Sometimes if you have a specific way of playing... Go all out with it and hammer down the door... Forget balance.

………..Then again I couldn't help but like Sneaky Pete smashing the amplifier as well...

On ‎16‎/‎07‎/‎2018 at 11:50, Sneaky Pete said:

The reason we're lambasting OP's tactic is because the left side of his tactic is an incoherent mess. It has players getting in each other's way and absolutely inadequate defensive cover.

Simply a thread with the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I'm on the fence btw...just great stuff.

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Its good... I may be wrong, just my opinion, but when i read a comment like sneaky petes that you just quoted i think... 

On paper...agree 100% its logical, sensible etc

Then i think but in practice... 

1) its man utd, not salford city...you can be aggressive as teams will sit back

2) attack duty looks more risky than it is... When you watch the game if the opposition build out from back there's really not a vast difference between a fb on attack or support. Yes in transition they might be caught high up the field (on paper) my experience is very few ai teams really exploit space quickly... 

3) even if you set up a seemingly sound defence, a lot of users are finding it difficult to deal with the direct ball anyway (so in practice, why bother setting up for something that you cant prevent?) 

It's just my view, my style and i find success, especially with a strong team like utd, by focussing on what i do with the ball... Not what the opposition do

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10 minutes ago, westy8chimp said:

It's just my view, my style and i find success, especially with a strong team like utd, by focussing on what i do with the ball... Not what the opposition do

Yeah I get it pal, not one issue with what you said believe me.  Just enjoying the to and fro of the topic tbh. :thup:

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So, I went and read @herne79 and @Cleon works on the 4-4-2 and the theorycrafting of how to build said formation.

I don't think I can really do it with United.

I mean, yeah, Lingard can work as a Wide Midfielder and other players can play as other than their naturals, but it feels like half-measures covering for an inability to put the right players in the right positions.  The roster just isn't built for a 4-4-2.

So I'm going to bite the bullet and just say no to the 4-4-2 with United.  I'm just not skilled enough to make it work.  So I'm going to experiment with a 4-1-2-3 Wide DM since that appears much more suited to their personnel.

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2 hours ago, CybrSlydr said:

So, I went and read @herne79 and @Cleon works on the 4-4-2 and the theorycrafting of how to build said formation.

I don't think I can really do it with United.

I mean, yeah, Lingard can work as a Wide Midfielder and other players can play as other than their naturals, but it feels like half-measures covering for an inability to put the right players in the right positions.  The roster just isn't built for a 4-4-2.

So I'm going to bite the bullet and just say no to the 4-4-2 with United.  I'm just not skilled enough to make it work.  So I'm going to experiment with a 4-1-2-3 Wide DM since that appears much more suited to their personnel.

You could easily set up a 442 with Man Utd (or pretty much any formation).  Choose from: Lingard, Sanchez, Martial, Mata, Rashford, Young, Valencia out wide; Fellaini, Pogba, Herrera, Matic, Lingard, Mata through the centre; Lukaku, Rashford, Martial, Mata up top.  The only real weakness is cover for Lukaku, but with Utd's transfer kitty that's easily sorted.

Don't get so caught up in what player's "natural" positions might be - concentrate on the roles you want your system to have and the attributes the players will need to perform them.

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10 hours ago, herne79 said:

You could easily set up a 442 with Man Utd (or pretty much any formation).  Choose from: Lingard, Sanchez, Martial, Mata, Rashford, Young, Valencia out wide; Fellaini, Pogba, Herrera, Matic, Lingard, Mata through the centre; Lukaku, Rashford, Martial, Mata up top.  The only real weakness is cover for Lukaku, but with Utd's transfer kitty that's easily sorted.

Don't get so caught up in what player's "natural" positions might be - concentrate on the roles you want your system to have and the attributes the players will need to perform them.

The versatility of the Utd squad makes them a really good choice for a 442, they have lots of attacking talent who could be wingers, wide midfielders, inverted wingers etc. There are many versions of a 442 you could make. 

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I agree... I developed my successful 442 with utd... To me they are perfect for it. Lukaku tm with rashford poacher was my choice of weapon... Martial as wm(a) /iw(a) down the left and i signed fed chiesa as w(s) on the right. Matic dlp pogba cm im the middle. 

This was in the first release pre-sanchez who could play on either flank or as a striker role! 

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I dont think i can run a flat 4-4-2 but my sao paulo team comes close...looks terribly odd but i won the pulista cup and im 3rd in the national league currently. Its a system that requires experience in key areas such as the midfield especially. Depending on how my save goes, ill try run a flat 4-4-2 and see how it works.

499435173_Screenshot(2).thumb.png.816ac63932f4a64cd81de541c6dcb5df.png

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Well, this is my first time checking this thread since I posted I was going to try the 4-1-2-3 Wide DM.

It's been working quite well for me thus far.

28700207907_fa440a2193_o.png

28700213867_6f9bde965a_o.png

Fabinho, Sanchez and Sandro have been excellent - Pogba as well.  I was very happy with our 5-0 drubbing of Tottenham at home.

41779934060_4236816312_o.png

28700243597_ecca533e22_o.png

41779935090_4b5e4bc66d_o.png

One thing I'm liking is that while Sanchez is leading in goals (3), I'm getting scoring from everyone.  Couple from defenders on set pieces, one from Matic, etc.

I also picked up Angel Correa from Athletico Madrid who I have training/playing as an AMR W(S).

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On 16/07/2018 at 13:13, warlock said:

Then you should have emphasised that, rather than all the nonsense about 'lumbering' Matic and the 'ridiculous' space in the middle. Matic doesn't have great accelertion, but he does have 14 pace and - more importantly - 16/17 for anticipation, concentration, positioning, vision and passing.

As to the rest of your points, Pogba *has* the get further forward PI. I have also played Pogba as a B2B and he was fine apart from his long-shot PPM. Dybala doesn't defend from anywhere. And, once again, my tactic is not exploitable through the middle, elite teams or otherwise.

I definitely think OP should switch the two midfield roles, and personally I wouldn't play an attacking mentality - I'm usually standard or control.

 But I have to ask, how much experience do you actually have playing Matic and Pogba in a midfield two?

All 442s can be exploited down the middle, A 3 man midfield with two high work rate players to severely harry the two midfielders and the third to roam around unmarked would do it. Having two of the best midfielders in the world will make it more difficult, and the AI is certainly not so complex in its thinking. I have never played a 442 that I could not overrun in the midfield. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok, I'm giving this another go, but as a 4-4-1-1 (kinda a 4-4-2).

Decided I wanted to use the most current transfers and go with that (and make a few of my own) so here's the formation I came up with.  I tried to plan things out using what Herne and Cleon have posted in their threads.

Here's my thoughts...

I use the AF with an AM(S) behind him.  AM(S) is holding up the ball and moving into channels so they can help be a threat in the box.  The IW(S) will cut in and create overloads or pull a defender off the line to open a spot for either the ST or AM.  The CM(D) is purely defensive and AP(S) also has the hold position instruction to try and help out with defense through the middle.  The W(A) is going to scream down the flank and whip in crosses for the LM, ST, and AM as well as be a threat himself if the LM has the ball.

The CWB(S) will occupy the space vacated by the LM to offer width and a passing outlet as well as crosses, the CM(D) will help cover that side as well.  The FB(S) will do what supporting Fullbacks do.

Central Defenders are just central defenders.  GK has instructions to throw long, distribute to CBs, distribute quickly and fewer risky passes.   

Instruction wise, I'm trying to utilize the wide players by playing wider.  Playing out of the back supports the Play Deeper and Distribute to CBs.  Exploiting the right flank utilizes the fast winger on the right to get down the field and put in crosses.  Working the ball into the box hopefully means we take more higher-percentage shots and gives our players with high dribbling ratings a chance to work their magic.

Whipped crosses gives my speedy striker a chance to beat his man for the cross and put shots on frame.  Finally, Be More Expressive gives my talented players the freedom to express their abilities.

---------------

So - is my rationale off-base here or am I thinking this through right?

Manchester United_  Overview.png

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I like the general look of the roles and duties, and I think more fluid mentalities are definitely one way of combating the issue of space between the defense and the midfield proper that systems without a DM often face.

My only real issue is with the number of TIs you have, but that may be as much a question of taste as anything else. I think RP and WBiB are almost always overkill when used together, and liable to lead to the exact opposite of the intended effect. I also think Exploit the Right Flank is unnecessary when the interplay of your roles will naturally create that exact pattern, in much the same way that I think "Look for Overlap" is largely pointless if you already have attacking-duty backs behind support-duty wide men. I would play around with those instructions in particular if you feel like the system isn't working as intended.

The only change I would consider is making your AM an AM(A) - Icardi will run the channels a lot, and with an AM(S) you risk Rashford crossing it to nobody.

Other than that I think it looks like a well-thought-out and solid system.

Edited by Sneaky Pete
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6 hours ago, Sneaky Pete said:

I like the general look of the roles and duties, and I think more fluid mentalities are definitely one way of combating the issue of space between the defense and the midfield proper that systems without a DM often face.

My only real issue is with the number of TIs you have, but that may be as much a question of taste as anything else. I think RP and WBiB are almost always overkill when used together, and liable to lead to the exact opposite of the intended effect. I also think Exploit the Right Flank is unnecessary when the interplay of your roles will naturally create that exact pattern, in much the same way that I think "Look for Overlap" is largely pointless if you already have attacking-duty backs behind support-duty wide men. I would play around with those instructions in particular if you feel like the system isn't working as intended.

The only change I would consider is making your AM an AM(A) - Icardi will run the channels a lot, and with an AM(S) you risk Rashford crossing it to nobody.

Other than that I think it looks like a well-thought-out and solid system.

Thank you.  I'll give your suggestions a shot later.

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No problem. I really do think it has the makings of a pretty solid supersystem as soon as you find a stable, consistent base from which to work.

One tweak to the system I would definitely experiment with against teams that park it against you is dropping your CMs to the DM strata and playing a DMD (or a DM(S) with Hold Position) alongside a Regista. Your current system can be hit on the break in the space between the CMs and the CBs, and may end up congesting the play too much against deep blocks, but dropping your CMs to the DM strata while maintaining fairly similar roles may help.

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9 hours ago, kpsia518 said:

 

united play like this in fergie era.

Wow, that's really good.  How did they get those two central midfielders to stay that deep?  Are they both DMs on DM(D) or something?  Do they also utilize man-marking in their instructions?  The wingers and fullbacks do a great job.

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