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Atarin

Looking for some fresh ideas on 4-4-2

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I have started a new save in non-league (I always play non-league). I've developed a quite potent tactic for my limited Folkestone side, a narrow 4-4-2 diamond. We're doing quite well and scoring lots of goals and hardly conceding any. The problem is that I find the football really boring to watch. The truth is I'm just a traditionalist who loves his old school flat 4-4-2 with wingers.

I have a fairly reliable direct 4-4-2 that uses two AFs up front and we hit balls into the channels and behind the defence. It works quite well but I want some fresh ideas. The only limits are that it can't rely on great individuals because I only manage teams of complete donkeys.

Over to the brains trust.

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30 minutes ago, torehj said:

 

Thanks, I've seen it before. There's no way a non-league team is going to be able to play that way though. You might find an analogue of Bergkamp, Henry, Pires, Ljungberg & Gilberto but you're not going to find a box to box'er like Vieira or a rapid and mobile back four who can also defend.

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Have you tried moving the CMs out to the wings to form a wide diamond? With maybe either the DM moving up to CM to form a sort of 4312, or the AM dropping back to form a wide 4132.

Not something I've tried myself, but I've come across AI-managed teams who play that way and they've often given me a tough game, so it seems viable.

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I used the following and really enjoyed it: 

mSU9zkL.png

I know *technically* it's a 4411 but the way it played out was more like a 442 with the Shadow Striker always overlapping. I used it with Fulham in the prem with a terrible championship quality team and managed 12th, then 8th. I also used it with Hajduk Split and managed to win the league, predicted 3rd, and had a great run in europe.

I played on defensive most of the time, only instructions were to close down more and push up higher, but I'm sure you could play around with it and see what works for you. I personally found that the wingers, target man and SS linked up very well.

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Take a leaf out of dafuge's book and go 442 wide diamond.  Not a flat 442 I know, but you still have wingers.

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I'm managing York and I'm currently 1st in Vanarama National using a pretty simple flat 4-4-2 formation which I used in the previous season too. Here is how my formation looks like:

                GK (D)

FB(A)  CD(D)  CD(D)  DFB(D) 

W(S)  CM(S)  DLP (D)  W(A)

           P(A)   DF(S)

Mentality/Shape: Standard/Flexible  Instructions: Play out of Defence, Play Wider, Prevent GK distribution, Pass into Space.

The central roles are dependent on the players' style. The pairs that I've used so far are the following: DLP(D)/CM(S), BWM(D)/DLP(S), AP(S)/BWM(D). Many times I change the DF role to TM(S) especially when I want to besiege the opponent's defence.

Depending on the opponents and their formations I add some TIs. If the opponent uses formations like 3-5-2 or 4-2-3-1 I ask my players to exploit the flanks. At the moment I'm really content on what my team has achieved. I had some really great winning runs and the performance was really good. We are really good when the opponent pushes higher and we have space, but we respond pretty well when we need to be patient and keep the ball possession too. Of course we don't play fancy football all the time, but that's not possible on that level anyway. Our defence is solid, keeps enough to give us wins.

Edited by charis7

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18 hours ago, warlock said:

Have you tried moving the CMs out to the wings to form a wide diamond? With maybe either the DM moving up to CM to form a sort of 4312, or the AM dropping back to form a wide 4132.

Not something I've tried myself, but I've come across AI-managed teams who play that way and they've often given me a tough game, so it seems viable.

I often use the wide 4132 against a 4231.

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5 minutes ago, ajsr1982 said:

I often use the wide 4132 against a 4231.

How do you set up the two central midfielders? One behind the other, or offset? It's a formation I've often been tempted by but never found the time to experiment with.

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3 hours ago, warlock said:

How do you set up the two central midfielders? One behind the other, or offset? It's a formation I've often been tempted by but never found the time to experiment with.

One behind the other. I think it was set up something like...

IW/A   AP/S   W/A

            A/D

It wasn't a silver bullet, but it did a better job than my default 451.

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3 minutes ago, ajsr1982 said:

It wasn't a silver bullet, but it did a better job than my default 451.

Might give this a go. I'm playing a 4141 at the moment, which is solid enough defensively but we're struggling for goals. 

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I've always kind of wanted to try the "empty bucket" 4-4-2 on FM:

image.thumb.png.3cbe6ff2fe4d9fadd1bb13352a9df935.png

I would probably set it up with the MR and ML are on attack duty, sit narrower, and cut inside opening space for the fullbacks to get forward. One MC I'd have on defend duty and the other on support with "hold position" ticked, so that they both stayed back to protect the back line with the fullbacks bombing forward. Bob Bradley used that during most of his time with the USA, including the Confed Cup run in 09 and the World Cup in 10.

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10 minutes ago, Uncle_Sam said:

I've always kind of wanted to try the "empty bucket" 4-4-2 on FM:

image.thumb.png.3cbe6ff2fe4d9fadd1bb13352a9df935.png

I would probably set it up with the MR and ML are on attack duty, sit narrower, and cut inside opening space for the fullbacks to get forward. One MC I'd have on defend duty and the other on support with "hold position" ticked, so that they both stayed back to protect the back line with the fullbacks bombing forward. Bob Bradley used that during most of his time with the USA, including the Confed Cup run in 09 and the World Cup in 10.

 

This is almost my perfect system. My most successful 4-4-2 of the last three or four years has been Standard-Flexible, GK(d), FB(s), CB(d), CB(d), FB(s), W(s), DLP(s), CM(d), W(s), AF(a), AF(a). My inspiration was Graham Taylor's Watford. It worked by keeping things relatively tight and just having the wingers ping the ball in behind the opposition defence for the AF's to run on to, usually with the one who recieved the ball knocking it across the six yard box for his striker partner to tap in. Beautiful stuff.

What killed it was just that it was pretty one dimensional. To change things up I had to radically reshape the tactic which annoyed me.

I'm considering relaunching the tactic with a couple of minor alterations. First, I might change the DLP(s) to CM(s) and tell him to hold his position, I'm thinking of also changing the wingers to WM(s) and having them play through balls rather than crosses. It will also shore us up a bit defensively. Lastly there's a possibility that I try to change one of the AF's to a TM who could operate as a TM(s) against a high line and a TM(a) against a deep defence. I'd complement that by pairing my TM(s) with a P(a) and the TM(a) with a SS(a) or AM(a).

That said I'm giving myself the urge to try the original again, god I loved that tactic. I loved the football it played. Direct!. 

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7 hours ago, Atarin said:

 

This is almost my perfect system. My most successful 4-4-2 of the last three or four years has been Standard-Flexible, GK(d), FB(s), CB(d), CB(d), FB(s), W(s), DLP(s), CM(d), W(s), AF(a), AF(a). My inspiration was Graham Taylor's Watford. It worked by keeping things relatively tight and just having the wingers ping the ball in behind the opposition defence for the AF's to run on to, usually with the one who recieved the ball knocking it across the six yard box for his striker partner to tap in. Beautiful stuff.

What killed it was just that it was pretty one dimensional. To change things up I had to radically reshape the tactic which annoyed me.

I'm considering relaunching the tactic with a couple of minor alterations. First, I might change the DLP(s) to CM(s) and tell him to hold his position, I'm thinking of also changing the wingers to WM(s) and having them play through balls rather than crosses. It will also shore us up a bit defensively. Lastly there's a possibility that I try to change one of the AF's to a TM who could operate as a TM(s) against a high line and a TM(a) against a deep defence. I'd complement that by pairing my TM(s) with a P(a) and the TM(a) with a SS(a) or AM(a).

That said I'm giving myself the urge to try the original again, god I loved that tactic. I loved the football it played. Direct!. 

why not try a WM (or W ) + CWB.

make CWB underlap & overlap.

Edited by kpsia518

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Start experimenting with the roles: use one or even two inverted wingbacks
Or of course: go strikerless. There's a topic about playing strikerless on the first page. Makes things really different.

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3 hours ago, fmFutbolManager said:

Have a read of this post, it's an interesting slant of the 442 given that he uses no instructions at all, and is getting a lot of success and some might say overachieving. 

A little different as most tactical posts have a lot of team and player instructions.

https://occasionalfm.wordpress.com/2018/03/27/fm18-tactics-4-4-2/

He does customise his DLF into effectively a CF for some reason, rather than just using the role...but yeah, this tactic worked really well for me with Hamburg - sustained a title challenge in the first season until the 2nd last round, and Bayern didn't even do badly apart from losing to me. 

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10 hours ago, zlatanera said:

He does customise his DLF into effectively a CF for some reason, rather than just using the role...but yeah, this tactic worked really well for me with Hamburg - sustained a title challenge in the first season until the 2nd last round, and Bayern didn't even do badly apart from losing to me. 

The main reason at the time of creating the tactic was that I still had quite limited players, so wanted to keep it as simple as possible, alongside really liking the movement I was seeing from the role with the added PIs and I think the CF(S) has dribble more as a set PI, which I'd rather let the individual player decide on. 

Good to hear it worked well for you. It plays some lovely stuff, which is why I can't bring myself to move away from using it!

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7 hours ago, fmsamo said:

The main reason at the time of creating the tactic was that I still had quite limited players, so wanted to keep it as simple as possible, alongside really liking the movement I was seeing from the role with the added PIs and I think the CF(S) has dribble more as a set PI, which I'd rather let the individual player decide on. 

Good to hear it worked well for you. It plays some lovely stuff, which is why I can't bring myself to move away from using it!

Makes sense. Couldn't remember if it had all of them but knew it was close, can't imagine getting much out of Bobby Wood with "Dribble More" selected either. Yeah as a Manchester United fan I'm a sucker for a 442, I had a really deep counterattacking one that also played great going forward but just invited pressure too much, so was glad to find something less extreme. 

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On 21/07/2018 at 07:45, fmsamo said:

The main reason at the time of creating the tactic was that I still had quite limited players, so wanted to keep it as simple as possible, alongside really liking the movement I was seeing from the role with the added PIs and I think the CF(S) has dribble more as a set PI, which I'd rather let the individual player decide on. 

Good to hear it worked well for you. It plays some lovely stuff, which is why I can't bring myself to move away from using it!

This is reminiscent of a system I used a few versions ago, the only real difference was I had my left-back as attacking as I wanted each line's (A) duties to be asymmetric (if that makes sense). I've tweaked my National League South save to be similar to this and seen a real turnaround in results so thank you for the timely update on how simple a 4-4-2 setup can be and still work.

You're right about the DLP(D), it's particularly effective in this type of system.

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