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41212 Overload - anti-possession tactic

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It all started since I wanted to play Sampdoria, but I wanted to do it closer to the way they play in reality. They pretty much play a straight-forward 41212, without any crazy things going on. First few seasons I really struggled to get anything going on. I was fooling around with instructions, with players, some things were working fine, others were not. In the end, I've decided to go all-in, and that's what you can see below. 



The tactic is a 41212 (or 442 Diamond Narrow), but with Overload mentality and Very Fluid shape. 

The way it works on the field is pretty simple. The main purpose of midfielders (BWM and Mezzala) is to close down and try to win balls in the middle. Once they do that, they pass to APs. Wingers get up and create space on the wings. The attacks are as fast and as direct as possible. If they don't score, they get back to what they did before. Win the ball, throw it forward, try to score. 


Individual instructions are as follows:

- GK - Fewer risky passes. I don't want him to distribute to the backs, but I don't want him to shoot when he can pass. I have a basic goalkeeper, nothing specific, it's Alban Lafont in my team, but any will do. 
- CD-Cover - Over here, I decided to go with cover, as I have a very quick central defender. He is really good at catching balls from behind the defensive line. His instructions are: Fewer risky passes, close down much less. I don't want him to get out of position to close down. CD-Defender works fine too, it does not matter too much. 
- CD-Defender - Same instructions as before, fewer risky passes, close down much less. Over here I also have a faster than average CD. I want them to be fast enough to keep up with fast strikers, especially in CL games. 
- FB-Attack - Shot less often, Close down less, Sit narrower, Mark (AMR/L). Fullbacks are crucial for this tactic. They require a lot of stamina, they work the most, as they need to take part in the attack, but then get back and defend too. They don't require great technical skills, crossing, passing, but they should have decent pace and acceleration, very good stamina. These guys will have a great collection of yellow cards, so I suggest having some backups available. Always go for speed and anticipation instead of crossing and passing. 
- BWM-D (DLP-D works just fine too) - He's your main guy. You want good tackling, good balance, tackling, aggression, decision, anticipation, work rate. His main role is to run around and catch balls. You want him to tackle, get the ball, pass it to teammates with better vision. As BWM-D, I add "Mark tighter", and as DLP, I add "Tackle Harder, Mark Tighter, Close Down Much More. 
- Mezzala - I have Shoot Less Often, Tackle Harder, Mark Tighter. You can also use another BWM over here, or a CM (A). I think that a Mezalla with good finishing and long shots would be nice, but I never had one. 
- AP-Su - No instructions on him, I have a player with good passing and vision. I want him to get the ball and pass it forward, through balls or to the flanks. 
- AP-At (AMC) - No specific instructions, you want someone with decent dribbling, passing, vision, speed. He will act as an achor, but he will also find opportunities of going sideways and pass to the strikers. On counter-attacks, he can act as a third striker, hence the "At". 
- AF, CF - No instructions, I personally look for speed on these roles. I don't care too much about heading or strenght. Many goals will come from long balls from the back, that will be chased by your strikers. 

It's rather important to have your Team Cohersion above "Very Good", and links between players. It really makes a difference for this tactic. 


This tactic will gather a lot of yellow cards. Make sure that you instruct your players to ease off tackles during the game. I have around 3-4 games per season where I get a red card. 


This is not a possession tactic, is quite the opposite. You will lose ball a lot, I have one of the lowest passing rate from the competitition. Nevertheless, I have the most goals scored and the least goals conceded. 


It's not the kind of tactic that will win you the title when you are fighting for relegation, though. You need rather good attributes for it to work. Your players will make mistakes, as they will try to "Overload". But the difference is in how many mistakes do they make, and how good can they regain the possession of the ball. You will have matches with under 40% possession, it's perfectly normal, also you will shoot a lot, most of the times off target. You shouldn't try to "fix" these things, it's just the nature of this direct approach. 


Stamina levels are fine through the season, despite the "Overload" mentality. The only players that suffer from this are the Full-backs, but they manage to play 90 minutes without dropping under 40% condition. 

This tactic does not work great against teams that play a direct, attacking style too. In those, is all about the individual players. Teams with two IF + ST might also get behind your defensive line, the same for 3 Strikers setups. Anyway, the thing is that against attacking teams, the tactic works great for fast counter-attacks. It can be a bit of a gamble sometimes though. But against possession-based tactics, is superb. Basically against all the teams, once you start winning games. As your odds get up, the opposite teams will play more defensive. So that's when this tactic really shines. 

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I don't think they do, I'll have to try. The whole idea is that you want those heads stuck in the middle of the field, and you don't care too much about wings. Carrieros might go too wide. Mezzalla moves more forward, less sideways, same AP. But I'll try it out. 

Edited by Gojira

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