Jump to content
Sports Interactive Community
AHighLine2

Entering 4th season with Arsenal, have hit a tactical wall, help!

Recommended Posts

Hi, a brief backstory, I have been playing FM since FM15 so I am not as experienced as some of you but I have put many hours into each installation of FM since then. Usually with each new game I do a few journeyman saves then I manage my favorite club Arsenal because don't we all think we know what's best for our club? Anyway I am entering my 4th season and the results have been meh, I won the Premier League in my second season but besides that I only have a community shield to my name and that don't really count. In my 3rd season our title defense was weak, we spent most of the season 6-8 points off the top until we lost steam and dropped to 4th. I'll tell you what I've seen from the eye test and then how the stats basically back that much. My team creates chances however we struggled to convert. Tactically I think I have hit a wall, my set up is doing a decent job of creating chances, so why can't they finish? I'll post screenshots of stats and my tactics and let you all tell me what I can do to improve and what I'm doing wrong. 

I have attached stats that show we create chances, but the conversion stats worry me. While we dominated possession this year, I also have a nagging worry some of it was meaningless against sides that sit deep. Also note my tactics screen, that is based off my preferred shape and while I changed formations a few times during the season, the instructions more or less remained the same. So, where can I improve? 

English Premier Division_ Stats Team Overview.png

English Premier Division_ Stats Team Detailed-2.png

English Premier Division_ Stats Team Detailed-5.png

English Premier Division_ Stats Team Detailed-6.png

Arsenal_  Overview.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

A few things you might want to question as you seek to make improvements.

1) Your central midfield pairing

In a 4-2-3-1, it is vitally important that you have a solid base in your midfield that is capable of doing a lot of defensive work as they are the last line of defence in front of your central defenders. The combination of a BBM (S) and a DLP (S) for me doesn't strike the right balance. Personally, I would put the DLP on a defend duty and change the role of the BBM. I don't think you need a player running from deep into the opposition box when you have 4 players ahead of him. What I would want from the support duty player is someone who helps contribute to the buildup play and controlling the central midfield while offering an option to recycle possession rather than a player who seeks to run forward and finish chances off.

2) Using Wingbacks without a player in the DM position

This is a high-risk strategy in my opinion. When you add in the fact that nobody is hanging back in your central midfield to cover for when they bomb forward you are leaving yourself vulnerable to counter attacks. 

3) Playing a wingback behind a winger

This can be problematic as both players want to occupy the same space and perform the same actions when they receive the ball. For me, that does not constitute a good partnership on the flank. Ideally, you want the players to be creating space for each other with their movement. For e.g., if you have the AML as a winger running wide then using your DL as an inverted wing back could achieve that. The winger movement would be pulling defenders wider and the IWB could then look to exploit the space it creates. Alternatively, you could play with a wingback behind an IF who sits narrower facilitating regular overlaps.

4) Your choices of team instructions

There appears to be a number of issues here, I'll quickly summarize.

- Shorter Passing

This does not look like a particularly good tactic to try and play a patient passing style given your allocation of roles and duties, the mentality you have chosen and the fact that you have decided to play with more width.

- Play Out Of Defence

I feel you could struggle to pull this off given how few passing options your central defenders are likely to have on receiving the ball.

- Work Ball Into Box

This reduces the tendency to take long shots and deliver crosses but why would you want to do that when playing wingbacks? You also lack players in the attacking third who are going to be patient enough to do this consistently as their individual mentalities will be very attacking.

- Focus Play Down The Right

Using this instruction increases the mentality of the players on this flank but they are probably about as attacking as possible anyway without this instruction given the Positive team mentality and attack duty they both have.

- Lower Tempo

Again, your tactic isn't patient in any way so I don't understand this shout.

- Regroup

The formation you have chosen isn't defensive in nature so I don't see why you would want to do this. Remember this instructs how you are going to set up to defend when you lose the ball. In my view, such an offensive formation needs to attempt to defend from the front given the fragility of the defence. That means pressing high and hard in an attempt to force a turnover of possession before the opposition has the opportunity to work the ball into my defensive third where I'm vulnerable especially if my wingbacks are caught up the pitch.

- Prevent Short GK Distribution

I've never understood why players seem to like this instruction so much when playing with lone striker formations. The only way to try and prevent the GK from distributing it short to his central defenders is to mark the central defenders. You can't do this effectively with only one player, you need to match their numbers to pull this off. Otherwise what happens is that your striker goes and closes down one of the central defenders and the other is completely free to receive a pass.

I would also pay some attention to the negatives listed on the recent matches analysis as they can give some important clues as to what is going wrong.

Good luck and hopefully you will see some improvement soon

Edited by pheelf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speed, speed, speed.

Drop lower tempo and work into box.  Distribute quickly, maybe throw it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree with most of what Pheelf has said, some good tips there.

Just looking at your formation it feels like its more of a counter tactic in some ways. Your front three are racing forward into the box (attack duties), and your midfield is kind of hanging outside the box (support duties). That is a very basic way of looking at it but I think it holds up. That to me sounds like that would be a real lack of movement and interchange in your tactic, which means that you would find it harder to break down deeper sides and you'd just hit a wall.

Your poacher is a kind of unambitious type of striker, he doesn't take many risks, and taking risks is more important against defensive sides. 

I tend to like my strikers in a 4231 to come deep to allow my midfield to break past them and confuse defenders. I know Aub is really not that kind of player, so if you wanted to use him I would have him as an IF or give him a strike partner ( I know he tends to play better with Lacazette in real life for a reason) 

So yeah my overall advice would be to try and create a more dynamic team shape by having front players moving back, deeper players making runs forward, wide players coming in, central players moving wide. That kind of thing, you need more movement. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@AHighLine2 Immediately upon taking a look at your tactic, I saw a few issues, both defensively and attacking-wise. I don't have enough time at the moment to give you a more detailed explanation. So I am now just going to describe what my tactic would look like (roles, duties, instructions), and then I can explain it later in detail (if you want me to).

So...

PO

Wat             AMsu             IFsu

BBM    DLPde

 

IWBde    BPDde    CDde    FBat

SKde

Positive

- shorter passing, play out of defence, higher tempo, work ball into box, be more expressive, overlap left (and default or slightly narrower width)

- counter, distribute quickly to CBs and FBs (optional instruction - counter-press)

- higher DL, standard LOE, prevent short GK distribution (optional instruction - use offside trap)

Player instructions:

- DCR/CDde - stay wider

- MCR/DLPde - mark tighter, close down less

- MCL/BBM - mark tighter

- AML/Wat - close down more

- AMR/IFsu - close down more

- ST/PO - move into channels, close down more

- AMC/AMsu - roam from position, mark tighter (optional PI - take more risks)

An optional instruction for both CBs - close down less

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Experienced Defender As always has you covered for a good in-depth breakdown of an example of changes to your tactic.

One thing that is worth keeping in mind (it's something that has become very apparent in this years FM) is that passing directness and width are important to get right. The wider your tactic, the further your players are positioned from each other, and thus players have to pass in a more direct fashion to reach the same players as you would in a narrow tactic. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check your Teams Decision making, if its average or even above change tempo to standard / higher.

As you have a lot of attack duty players who usually try to occupy space in front of them you could try our more risky passes.

properbly change BBM to CMs

Dont make too many changes at time, it might only be bad luck for now, but properbly it can help you to create even better chances.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, pheelf said:

A few things you might want to question as you seek to make improvements.

1) Your central midfield pairing

In a 4-2-3-1, it is vitally important that you have a solid base in your midfield that is capable of doing a lot of defensive work as they are the last line of defence in front of your central defenders. The combination of a BBM (S) and a DLP (S) for me doesn't strike the right balance. Personally, I would put the DLP on a defend duty and change the role of the BBM. I don't think you need a player running from deep into the opposition box when you have 4 players ahead of him. What I would want from the support duty player is someone who helps contribute to the buildup play and controlling the central midfield while offering an option to recycle possession rather than a player who seeks to run forward and finish chances off.

2) Using Wingbacks without a player in the DM position

This is a high-risk strategy in my opinion. When you add in the fact that nobody is hanging back in your central midfield to cover for when they bomb forward you are leaving yourself vulnerable to counter attacks. 

3) Playing a wingback behind a winger

This can be problematic as both players want to occupy the same space and perform the same actions when they receive the ball. For me, that does not constitute a good partnership on the flank. Ideally, you want the players to be creating space for each other with their movement. For e.g., if you have the AML as a winger running wide then using your DL as an inverted wing back could achieve that. The winger movement would be pulling defenders wider and the IWB could then look to exploit the space it creates. Alternatively, you could play with a wingback behind an IF who sits narrower facilitating regular overlaps.

4) Your choices of team instructions

There appears to be a number of issues here, I'll quickly summarize.

- Shorter Passing

This does not look like a particularly good tactic to try and play a patient passing style given your allocation of roles and duties, the mentality you have chosen and the fact that you have decided to play with more width.

- Play Out Of Defence

I feel you could struggle to pull this off given how few passing options your central defenders are likely to have on receiving the ball.

- Work Ball Into Box

This reduces the tendency to take long shots and deliver crosses but why would you want to do that when playing wingbacks? You also lack players in the attacking third who are going to be patient enough to do this consistently as their individual mentalities will be very attacking.

- Focus Play Down The Right

Using this instruction increases the mentality of the players on this flank but they are probably about as attacking as possible anyway without this instruction given the Positive team mentality and attack duty they both have.

- Lower Tempo

Again, your tactic isn't patient in any way so I don't understand this shout.

- Regroup

The formation you have chosen isn't defensive in nature so I don't see why you would want to do this. Remember this instructs how you are going to set up to defend when you lose the ball. In my view, such an offensive formation needs to attempt to defend from the front given the fragility of the defence. That means pressing high and hard in an attempt to force a turnover of possession before the opposition has the opportunity to work the ball into my defensive third where I'm vulnerable especially if my wingbacks are caught up the pitch.

- Prevent Short GK Distribution

I've never understood why players seem to like this instruction so much when playing with lone striker formations. The only way to try and prevent the GK from distributing it short to his central defenders is to mark the central defenders. You can't do this effectively with only one player, you need to match their numbers to pull this off. Otherwise what happens is that your striker goes and closes down one of the central defenders and the other is completely free to receive a pass.

I would also pay some attention to the negatives listed on the recent matches analysis as they can give some important clues as to what is going wrong.

Good luck and hopefully you will see some improvement soon

I like your advice it made me seriously think how I want my team to play and how to balance that with the instructions and roles. I'm going to make a post shortly on my tactical changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

DCR/CDde - stay wider

The CB stays wide to offer a passing option?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, AHighLine2 said:

The CB stays wide to offer a passing option?

 

Primarily to cover the space left by the attacking FB, but in part also as a passing option. But that particular PI is not necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...