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JEinchy

My success with a 4-3-3/4-1-4-1 - and some general observations

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Very nice post! Liked the way you talked about your tactics!

In FM18 I couldn't make a 4-3-3 work, so I preferred a 4-2-3-1. But this post inspired me to give it another try in FM19! You convinced me to use the balanced mentality and you use some interesting roles in midfield. The only thing I'm disappointed about is the lack of goals from your striker (as your B2B is your topscorer). I really want to make a goalgetter, so not sure if these midfield roles would support this!

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Very nice post indeed. Well written and thought out. I like your thinking and how you explain your decisions. Good advices also.

It would be nice to see you follow up with more about the players you were looking for and found. What was your criteria for each position/role and why, etc.?

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5 hours ago, BadAss88 said:

Very nice post! Liked the way you talked about your tactics!

In FM18 I couldn't make a 4-3-3 work, so I preferred a 4-2-3-1. But this post inspired me to give it another try in FM19! You convinced me to use the balanced mentality and you use some interesting roles in midfield. The only thing I'm disappointed about is the lack of goals from your striker (as your B2B is your topscorer). I really want to make a goalgetter, so not sure if these midfield roles would support this!

It's true that my strikers tend not to score a lot, though I should also mention I haven't had a high quality striker yet. My first choice striker scored 18 goals last season, but 11 of them came in the Europa League against sub-par opposition. My B2B midfielder scored 14 n all comps, but 12 in the league and only one in Europe (which is an interesting contrast that perhaps shows PL defenders are better at limiting space for my striker, hence a larger reliance on midfielders for goals).

The striker role in this set-up is largely a unselfish one. His job is to create space and bring runners into play when we're in possession, and to run channels and be an outlet for counters in transition - neither are which put him positions to be prolific. It's a set-up designed with multiple scoring threats in mind. However, he does get chances, and I think a good player in this position will score. This season he has 3 in 7 while my IF(A) has 4 in 7. 

It's a balancing act. I reckon if I changed his role to Complete Forward (A) he'd probably score more, but I'd see less goals else where and become a little more one dimensional. I don't quite have the quality to pull that off just yet.

5 hours ago, yonko said:

Very nice post indeed. Well written and thought out. I like your thinking and how you explain your decisions. Good advices also.

It would be nice to see you follow up with more about the players you were looking for and found. What was your criteria for each position/role and why, etc.?

To begin with, my priority was simply signing better players that I had since we had one of the weakest squads in the Championship and then in the Premier League. I made an effort to improve the technical quality of the squad, but it wasn't easy with a £300,000 transfer budget and a low wage budget. It wasn't until we hit the Premier League that I was able to target more specific types of players. 

Goalkeeper: Preferably has good distribution, but not essential. 

Centre Backs: Again, preferably have good passing skills, but primarily need to be strong defenders as they'll be getting through a lot of work in games. As we don't play a high line, there's less importance on pace, which opens up my options. Finding a quick, strong, defender with good passing skills is tough for a club in our position.

Full Backs: Have to have an all-round skill-set with good pace and stamina. The Automatic duty means they'll be contributing to the attack, so having full backs with good Dribbling, Crossing and Passing is a big help.

Defensive Midfielder: Historically, I've preferred a DLP, but for this set-up a good old-fashioned destroyer is good enough. Needs good strength, stamina, positioning, anticipation, and tackling as a bare minimum. Good passing (anything in the 13-15 range) is also a plus.

B2B Midfielder: Strong physical attributes and work-rate make this role. Acceleration, Stamina, Work Rate, and Off The Ball are the main attributes. A decently rounded set of technical attributes helps, but deficiencies in some areas aren't necessarily crippling. I've discovered recently that this role can be very potent with a powerful dribbler in there (who I'll post a screenshot of later).

Roaming Playmaker: Acceleration, Dribbling and Work Rate + the usual playmaking attributes. The second most demanding role in the tactic and one of the hardest to buy for.

Inside Forward (S): Dribbling, First Touch, Technique, Passing, Flair, Vision, Acceleration and Agility are the most important attributes. If you can find someone with good shooting as well, then great, but this role is closer to a wide playmaker role than it is to a wide forward role, in practice. 

Inside Forward (A): The second striker of the team. Less emphasis on passing and vision, more on finishing, anticipation, off the ball and composure. 

Complete Forward (S): The most demanding role and the hardest to buy for without some major cash. Needs to be strong, decently quick, have a good first touch, decent vision and work rate plus the usual striker skills. 

Although we have "Get Stuck In" on, good tacklers aren't essential. Work Rate and Stamina are more important for an aggressive defence. The BBM and RPM will be doing a lot of tracking back and countering on top of their usual duties, so they need to be strong runners. 

 

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Here are some screenshots of some key players and stats.

B2B Mid:

Aleix-Febas.png

One of my backup mids for both CM positions:

Lee-Jae-Sung.png

Inside Forward (S):

Callum-Gribbin.png

Complete Forward:

Renat-Dadasov.png

Goal Assist types:

Goal-Assists.png

Assist Locations:

Assist-Locations.png

Edited by JEinchy

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Great post and this is just what I've been working towards.  I like my team to play a "lethal touch" style of football.  Great read and you've given me plenty to think about.

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6 hours ago, JEinchy said:

Goalkeeper: Preferably has good distribution, but not essential. 

Centre Backs: Again, preferably have good passing skills, but primarily need to be strong defenders as they'll be getting through a lot of work in games. As we don't play a high line, there's less importance on pace, which opens up my options. Finding a quick, strong, defender with good passing skills is tough for a club in our position.

Full Backs: Have to have an all-round skill-set with good pace and stamina. The Automatic duty means they'll be contributing to the attack, so having full backs with good Dribbling, Crossing and Passing is a big help.

Defensive Midfielder: Historically, I've preferred a DLP, but for this set-up a good old-fashioned destroyer is good enough. Needs good strength, stamina, positioning, anticipation, and tackling as a bare minimum. Good passing (anything in the 13-15 range) is also a plus.

B2B Midfielder: Strong physical attributes and work-rate make this role. Acceleration, Stamina, Work Rate, and Off The Ball are the main attributes. A decently rounded set of technical attributes helps, but deficiencies in some areas aren't necessarily crippling. I've discovered recently that this role can be very potent with a powerful dribbler in there (who I'll post a screenshot of later).

Roaming Playmaker: Acceleration, Dribbling and Work Rate + the usual playmaking attributes. The second most demanding role in the tactic and one of the hardest to buy for.

Inside Forward (S): Dribbling, First Touch, Technique, Passing, Flair, Vision, Acceleration and Agility are the most important attributes. If you can find someone with good shooting as well, then great, but this role is closer to a wide playmaker role than it is to a wide forward role, in practice. 

Inside Forward (A): The second striker of the team. Less emphasis on passing and vision, more on finishing, anticipation, off the ball and composure. 

Complete Forward (S): The most demanding role and the hardest to buy for without some major cash. Needs to be strong, decently quick, have a good first touch, decent vision and work rate plus the usual striker skills. 

Although we have "Get Stuck In" on, good tacklers aren't essential. Work Rate and Stamina are more important for an aggressive defence. The BBM and RPM will be doing a lot of tracking back and countering on top of their usual duties, so they need to be strong runners. 

 

I notice a trend in your criteria. In defense (back 5) you want strong players. In attack (front 5) you want quick players. Makes sense to me.

Who is your primary RPM and what does he look like? Who gets the most goals in your team? IF-A?

RPM is MCL and BBM is MCR? Or the opposite?

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I'm going to try this in my Valladolid save.

What individual player instructions are you using if any?

Also what duty do you have the sweeper keeper on defend, support or attack?

 

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Hello. Thanks for tactic , my team is playing a lovely football with good movement and enjoying them game when i arrive home from work. What do you suggest when playing big teams like tottenham ? 3 of their goals come from corners but my team was so desperate on home game. Thanks in advance.

 

 

fm1.jpg

fm2.jpg

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A quick update on my progress with this. We're in December in 2022, having only played 15 league games because of the World Cup. My side sit 3rd, having only lost once all season (a 3-0 hammering away to Arsenal). Apart from that defeat, we haven't conceded much, been dangerous on counters and have found various ways to goal. So this approach is still ticking a lot of boxes.

That said, there are areas I want to improve. My IF(A) and centre forward are bother averaging between 6.8 and 6.9, which is okay, but not outstanding. The IF(A) has seven goals in the league, while the striker has 5. At their current rates, they might breach double figures, but I'm not expecting anything amazing. As the two main goal threats in the team, I feel like they should be scoring more. 

I'm not entirely sure why they're not posing more of a threat yet. In general, it seems quite difficult to get an IF(A) scoring at a high rate. I looked around at the best in the position, and only the truly world class players were putting up good numbers. Even guys like Salah have poor scoring records. It's making me question if sacrificing my striker is worth it in the long run. I think him being on a support role is probably the main reason why he's not scoring at a better rate. That, and the set-up encourages narrow play and relies on the full backs as the only source of crosses.

So, I'm debating changing one of the IF roles to a winger and seeing if that helps.

On 08/11/2018 at 17:23, yonko said:

I notice a trend in your criteria. In defense (back 5) you want strong players. In attack (front 5) you want quick players. Makes sense to me.

Who is your primary RPM and what does he look like? Who gets the most goals in your team? IF-A?

RPM is MCL and BBM is MCR? Or the opposite?

My RPM at the moment is Morgan Sanson, who I got from Marseille for a modest price. Not the perfect fit for the role, but he's a mobile midfielder with strong work rate and creative skills. He's doing a decent job in the role.

Currently, my IF(A) is my top scorer, closely followed by the CF(S). The rest of the midfield contribute a decent amount as well. 

I haven't seen any noticeable difference in which way round I play the RPM and BBM.

23 hours ago, AidanH96 said:

I'm going to try this in my Valladolid save.

What individual player instructions are you using if any?

Also what duty do you have the sweeper keeper on defend, support or attack?

 

No PIs. Sweeper Keeper current has a defend duty. 

 

5 hours ago, fikintiki1 said:

Hello. Thanks for tactic , my team is playing a lovely football with good movement and enjoying them game when i arrive home from work. What do you suggest when playing big teams like tottenham ? 3 of their goals come from corners but my team was so desperate on home game. Thanks in advance.

 

 

fm1.jpg

fm2.jpg

I've found games against the top English sides very difficult, even at home. I wish I could tell you what the solution is, but I'm still finding it myself. Sometimes, the talent gap is too big to overcome. However, I'll at least share some ideas. 

A couple of times, I've been fined for picking up too many yellow cards. "Get Stuck In" doesn't seem as useful against top sides, so next time I may remove it. That could encourage the team to stay on their feet and keep their shape more, which in turn might stiffen the defence up. 

I've had decent success in flipping the midfield triangle when trying to create more chances. The DM(d) can be limiting, so either changing his role or bringing on another creator might help.

I don't have the players to do this, but changing one of the IF roles to a winger role might also help. 

Apart from those ideas, don't be afraid to drop the mentality down to Cautious if you're coming under pressure. Sometimes you just need to ride out a storm and Cautious can improve ball retention.

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i have a similar tactic to this one... why do u like to attack narrow and defend stantard? ... u are defending wider that when u attack .. maybe this can work against similar or lower oppositions but not against better teams ( premier )

 

can u share some stats on posesion, created chances and etc? .. maybe i can help you out playing against top teams in the premier ... my current save is with arsenal

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image.thumb.png.3c96b46f33cabc108a68cacb756a00c8.png

Great post.. very similiar experience as you when I sat down to create the 1958 Brazil World Cup team.  Only thing I did was go with a medium block as it represented how they played a bit more.  In my opinion balanced does a much better job of determining when to counter vs. keep the ball.  Reminds me very much like playing on Attacking with the Retain Possession TI in FM 18.

 

Cheers!

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3 hours ago, JEinchy said:

My RPM at the moment is Morgan Sanson, who I got from Marseille for a modest price. Not the perfect fit for the role, but he's a mobile midfielder with strong work rate and creative skills. He's doing a decent job in the role.

Currently, my IF(A) is my top scorer, closely followed by the CF(S). The rest of the midfield contribute a decent amount as well. 

I haven't seen any noticeable difference in which way round I play the RPM and BBM.

I have no idea who Morgan Sanson is and what he looks like attribute-wise. Can you post a screenshot of him?

What do you do with training?

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Inspired by this thread I decided to take closer look to my tactics yesterday. As a background I started save with Catania. For first season I picked up gegenpress  4-1-4-1 and did only minor tweaks to it based on my assistant manager's instructions. It worked pretty well as Catania have great roster but the tactic generated lots of wasted opportunities and not so many real chances. My strikers were almost useless there and my top scorer was midfield player with nice long shots attribute. I promoted easily but at the second season in Serie B everything changed. Old tactic was still decent but I usually ended up losing or getting draw with no chances or lots of half opportunities. I won only 2 matches which wouldn't be enough to avoid relegation.

 

I started from player roles and ended up to the following:

 

Sweeper keeper -> Goalkeeper

Complete wingback(S)

Complete wingback(S)

Ballplaying defender -> CB defend

Ballplaying defender

Deep lying playmaker (D)

BBM

CM(S)

IFL(A)->IF(S)

IFR(A)->Winger(A)

Pressing forward(S) -> Poacher

 

Even though first match after changes ended up 1-1 I saw lots of positive. Team created much better chances but many times they still ended up to rushy shot when passing would have been an option. Also the team was pressing up too much up leaving gaps to midfield and opponent scored from counter-attack.

 

Next I slowed up tempo little bit and lowered defensive and attacking lines few notches. The idea was to start pressing in the midfield and not in opponent area while keeping defenders more aware of counter attacks.

 

After the latest changes I have 4 impressive wins (4-1, 4-1, 3-2 and 1-0). In fact in many games opponents don't even have many chances. Now our team is playing a football I wanted them to play in the first place. The philosophy is still the same but things are just done differently. It's not beautiful but it's effective and I am pretty sure that I will avoid relegation this season!

Edited by silverboot81

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On 09/11/2018 at 18:10, JEinchy said:

A quick update on my progress with this. We're in December in 2022, having only played 15 league games because of the World Cup. My side sit 3rd, having only lost once all season (a 3-0 hammering away to Arsenal). Apart from that defeat, we haven't conceded much, been dangerous on counters and have found various ways to goal. So this approach is still ticking a lot of boxes.

That said, there are areas I want to improve. My IF(A) and centre forward are bother averaging between 6.8 and 6.9, which is okay, but not outstanding. The IF(A) has seven goals in the league, while the striker has 5. At their current rates, they might breach double figures, but I'm not expecting anything amazing. As the two main goal threats in the team, I feel like they should be scoring more. 

I'm not entirely sure why they're not posing more of a threat yet. In general, it seems quite difficult to get an IF(A) scoring at a high rate. I looked around at the best in the position, and only the truly world class players were putting up good numbers. Even guys like Salah have poor scoring records. It's making me question if sacrificing my striker is worth it in the long run. I think him being on a support role is probably the main reason why he's not scoring at a better rate. That, and the set-up encourages narrow play and relies on the full backs as the only source of crosses.

So, I'm debating changing one of the IF roles to a winger and seeing if that helps.

My RPM at the moment is Morgan Sanson, who I got from Marseille for a modest price. Not the perfect fit for the role, but he's a mobile midfielder with strong work rate and creative skills. He's doing a decent job in the role.

Currently, my IF(A) is my top scorer, closely followed by the CF(S). The rest of the midfield contribute a decent amount as well. 

I haven't seen any noticeable difference in which way round I play the RPM and BBM.

No PIs. Sweeper Keeper current has a defend duty. 

 

I've found games against the top English sides very difficult, even at home. I wish I could tell you what the solution is, but I'm still finding it myself. Sometimes, the talent gap is too big to overcome. However, I'll at least share some ideas. 

A couple of times, I've been fined for picking up too many yellow cards. "Get Stuck In" doesn't seem as useful against top sides, so next time I may remove it. That could encourage the team to stay on their feet and keep their shape more, which in turn might stiffen the defence up. 

I've had decent success in flipping the midfield triangle when trying to create more chances. The DM(d) can be limiting, so either changing his role or bringing on another creator might help.

I don't have the players to do this, but changing one of the IF roles to a winger role might also help. 

Apart from those ideas, don't be afraid to drop the mentality down to Cautious if you're coming under pressure. Sometimes you just need to ride out a storm and Cautious can improve ball retention.

This is a great tactic, thanks!  I've only conceded 13 goals in my first 34 Premiership games, and sit 2 points ahead of Celtic at the top of the table.  I don't have a true inside forward for the right side, so I use a winger there on support, and he's had a good year.  I've gotten more from my single striker using him as a CF (A) than I have from any other single striker tactic that I've tried thus far in FM19.

I'm still having a bit of trouble scoring, though.  I flip the midfield triangle for most games to try and put the pressure on.  My question is what role do you use for your AMC?  And do you change any of the other players' roles?  Thanks.

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11 hours ago, StatboySpurs said:

This is a great tactic, thanks!  I've only conceded 13 goals in my first 34 Premiership games, and sit 2 points ahead of Celtic at the top of the table.  I don't have a true inside forward for the right side, so I use a winger there on support, and he's had a good year.  I've gotten more from my single striker using him as a CF (A) than I have from any other single striker tactic that I've tried thus far in FM19.

I'm still having a bit of trouble scoring, though.  I flip the midfield triangle for most games to try and put the pressure on.  My question is what role do you use for your AMC?  And do you change any of the other players' roles?  Thanks.

I'm pleased that it's working out for you.

As for what role I use for AMC: it depends on the match situation and what players are available to me, but my objective usually is to avoid that classic 4-2-3-1 issue of having four players crowd the same space. I typically go with Attacking Midfielder (S) while changing my IF(S) or CF(S) into an attack role. However, sometimes I like to move my IF(A) into an AMC spot (since he's accomplished there) and play him as a Attacking Midfielder (A) or even Shadow Striker, while changing the IF(A) to an IF(S). This effectively makes a 4-4-2 without playing two out-right strikers (which I've always been reluctant to do because it gives up midfield numbers).

On a related note: I've poked around the bugs forum and have seen that this ME is having issues with the movement of strikers and inside forwards. While I'm not certain about this, it's possible that some of the goalscoring issues are being caused by that, rather than anything tactical. 

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12 hours ago, JEinchy said:

I'm pleased that it's working out for you.

As for what role I use for AMC: it depends on the match situation and what players are available to me, but my objective usually is to avoid that classic 4-2-3-1 issue of having four players crowd the same space. I typically go with Attacking Midfielder (S) while changing my IF(S) or CF(S) into an attack role. However, sometimes I like to move my IF(A) into an AMC spot (since he's accomplished there) and play him as a Attacking Midfielder (A) or even Shadow Striker, while changing the IF(A) to an IF(S). This effectively makes a 4-4-2 without playing two out-right strikers (which I've always been reluctant to do because it gives up midfield numbers).

On a related note: I've poked around the bugs forum and have seen that this ME is having issues with the movement of strikers and inside forwards. While I'm not certain about this, it's possible that some of the goalscoring issues are being caused by that, rather than anything tactical. 

Good stuff, thanks.  I finished my season last night and won the Premiership by 4 points.  I'm thinking about going after a true inside forward for the right side, so I don't have to use a winger.  My striker ended up having a good year.  I believe he had 18 or 20 league goals, and he went through a big slump when he broke his lower arm and I played him with protective gear.  He would probably have had more if not for that injury.

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@JEinchy What do you do with training?

Btw, there is definitely a problem in the ME with movement of attacking players in the final third. Hopefully SI are working to resolve some of the issues.

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