Jump to content
Sports Interactive Community
displaced_seagull

Stuttering with Stenhousemuir - Getting my 4-1-4-1 firing

Recommended Posts

Four years in, and it's time to admit I could do with another pair of eyes looking over my tactics.

Since I took over I have been playing a (flat) 4-1-4-1;

Shape

image.thumb.png.210599da346924d61dcdf3ee8325f8c6.png

Results/Analysis

This has worked well - first season promoted from League Two via the playoffs, second season finished 3rd in League One, missing out on promotion on penalties in the playoffs, third season won promotion again via the playoffs after finishing second. We are now coming up to the business end of the season in The Championship, second in the table and guaranteed a playoff place for a shot at the big time.

A glance at the League table however, reveals the problem...

image.thumb.png.9f5860fb889fb55f4e4ca9c4ec953362.png

It's goals - or more pertinently, lack of them. We began the season well, but got away with things at times. 

This cut from the fixture list tells a couple of stories;

image.thumb.png.c5b85b160e0b08aa2d71fe7bfc82167a.png

Firstly, it looks like we had a stellar January. Digging a bit deeper however;

Goal v St Johnstone - poked home after a throw by the corner flag

Goal v Ayr - Header from Corner

Goal v ICT - 90+3 goal poked home after a corner

Goal v Raith - Penalty

Goal 2 v Airdrie - Poked home from a free kick

The only goal from open play in an unbeaten month was the first in the win against Airdrie - a header from just inside the box after the lone striker pulled out to the left and crossed for the right winger. 

Then you look at February. Woeful. Again, the goal was a header from 2 yards out after a crossed free kick. The 5-0 reverse at St Johnstone was our heaviest defeat in my tenure.

 

Roles & Duties

Roles and duties have varied a little over the years - the majority have stayed the same, but the midfield roles have changed slightly. Below is the current iteration.

  • GK/D
  • DR/D (Stay Wider)
  • DC/D
  • DC/D
  • WBL/S (Stay Wider, Cross from Deep)
  • DLP/D (More Direct Passes)
  • W/A (Cross Aim Central)
  • CM/A (Roam from Position, Shoot Less)
  • BWM/S (Dribble Less, Shoot Less)
  • IW/S (Roam from Position)
  • DF/A (Roam from Position)

TI's are in the first screenshot

Plan/Idea

The idea is to hold onto the ball, control the midfield but break quickly especially on the counter, using the DLP and full backs to hit the runners - CM, Wide players and DF. There are a lot of players with 'Roaming' instructions to try and take advantage of this and also to try and cause confusion for the opposition. 

As you can see, it has been pretty successful over the years - the lone striker does, despite the perceived bias in FM20 against scoring one on ones (mine have never seemed to miss a ridiculous amount), generally take a lot of the chances - last season my Number 9 got 28 goals and this season so far he is again top scorer with 17 to date. His predecessor hit 23 in the first (promotion) season and 19 the year later when we just missed out.

image.thumb.png.1122508c4320e21d9bde47bf108656d0.png

The issue has always been that the midfield, particularly the more attacking of the two central midfielders, has never really been - or always looked like being - a consistent goalscorer, which I could do with - various roles, Mez S/A, CM/A, B2B/S with Get Further Forward - have been tried over the years.

In the grand scheme of things, I know that I have been successful, but this season in particular we have been inconsistent, and as I mentioned, goals from open play have been worryingly lacking, which has certainly cost us points. On several occasions this season we have been within touching distance of overtaking/pulling away from Partick at the top of the table, but our failure to convert chances and/or score more goals/kill off teams after taking a 1 goal lead has cost us. 

Thanks in advance.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m using a 4-1-4-1 with Real Sociedad at the moment. Details are in @crusadertsar‘s Bielsa thread if you want some ideas. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, displaced_seagull said:

image.thumb.png.29e6707732152a3bb308c499730e99ce.png

 

Switch your Cm(A) with Bwd so you can have some solutions on the left side on attack. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, displaced_seagull said:

image.thumb.png.29e6707732152a3bb308c499730e99ce.png

What I see here (among other things) is that you have both the RCM and RM on attack duties, whereas on the left side all 3 players are on support. What's the idea behind this? To try and create an overload or something else?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

What I see here (among other things) is that you have both the RCM and RM on attack duties, whereas on the left side all 3 players are on support. What's the idea behind this? To try and create an overload or something else?

It's a little more prosaic than that I'm afraid - I noticed that with both fullbacks on support roles, I was vulnerable to quick counters.

Example (conveniently taken from the game I'm playing at the moment!);

image.thumb.png.ea53d5ad156a3318f67cab7a0d62ad4f.png

My left fullback (wingback/S) has got down the line and will cross - but if we lose the ball, I will only have two defenders back to deal with the danger. I've noticed putting the opposite fullback on a defend duty means that he stays a bit deeper, giving a third player to cover a quick break. I've also been known to change him during matches to an IWB/D for opponents I feel are particularly threatening.

I also thought that the CM/A would get in the way of the IW/S if they were on the same side. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, displaced_seagull said:

It's a little more prosaic than that I'm afraid - I noticed that with both fullbacks on support roles, I was vulnerable to quick counters

 

4 minutes ago, displaced_seagull said:

My left fullback (wingback/S) has got down the line and will cross - but if we lose the ball, I will only have two defenders back to deal with the danger. I've noticed putting the opposite fullback on a defend duty means that he stays a bit deeper, giving a third player to cover a quick break. I've also been known to change him during matches to an IWB/D for opponents I feel are particularly threatening.

I also thought that the CM/A would get in the way of the IW/S if they were on the same side

Bearing all the above in mind, would you mind trying something like this:

PFat

 

IWsu   DLPsu    CMat    WMsu

DMde

WBsu/FBat   CDde  CDde  FBsu

GK

That would make your setup of roles and duties better balanced IMHO.

When it comes to out-of-possession instructions, you need to improve your vertical compactness. With your current combo of standard DL and higher LOE, the compactness is reduced. In order to improve it, you can consider the following DL/LOE combos:

- standard DL/standard LOE (probably the best starting point)

- standard DL/lower LOE (good for counter-attacking styles)

- higher DL/higher LOE

- higher DL/standard LOE

The last two can cause issues with balls over the top though if your defense is not good enough to play on a higher DL (which probably is the case given that you manage a lower-league side). 

As for the more urgent pressing, I think it's not necessary (and can be risky btw), unless you use the combo of standard DL and lower LOE (in which case you may also consider the hard tackling a.k.a. get stuck in).

In terms of in-possession instructions, I am not sure that TIs such as pass into space and work ball into box make much sense in your setup.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m really interested in the advice to avoid pass into space. As a counter tactic wouldn’t that TI be really helpful? I’m slightly biased here as I’m trying to achieve a similar approach with my Accrington Stanley side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

 

Bearing all the above in mind, would you mind trying something like this:

PFat

 

IWsu   DLPsu    CMat    WMsu

DMde

WBsu/FBat   CDde  CDde  FBsu

GK

That would make your setup of roles and duties better balanced IMHO.

When it comes to out-of-possession instructions, you need to improve your vertical compactness. With your current combo of standard DL and higher LOE, the compactness is reduced. In order to improve it, you can consider the following DL/LOE combos:

- standard DL/standard LOE (probably the best starting point)

- standard DL/lower LOE (good for counter-attacking styles)

- higher DL/higher LOE

- higher DL/standard LOE

The last two can cause issues with balls over the top though if your defense is not good enough to play on a higher DL (which probably is the case given that you manage a lower-league side). 

As for the more urgent pressing, I think it's not necessary (and can be risky btw), unless you use the combo of standard DL and lower LOE (in which case you may also consider the hard tackling a.k.a. get stuck in).

In terms of in-possession instructions, I am not sure that TIs such as pass into space and work ball into box make much sense in your setup.

 

Thanks, I'll give it a go.

This is actually pretty much the same style I played (very successfully) on FM19, with the only change being the DL - on 19 it was higher to match the LOE, but this time I quickly found myself getting caught out so changed it very early in the first season. As per @Dannygreen below, I'm intrigued by your recommendation to lose Pass Into Space? (Work ball into box I agree could probably go, it's been a virtual default for me for years and it's a bad habit I should probably try to break this year!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, displaced_seagull said:

As per @Dannygreen below, I'm intrigued by your recommendation to lose Pass Into Space?

 

28 minutes ago, Dannygreen said:

I’m really interested in the advice to avoid pass into space. As a counter tactic wouldn’t that TI be really helpful? I’m slightly biased here as I’m trying to achieve a similar approach with my Accrington Stanley side

First off, why do you think that his tactic is counter-attacking? Using the Counter TI in transition does not automatically make a tactic counter-attack-based, it just encourages players to attempt counter-attacks more frequently than they otherwise would. But you can use this TI in different styles of play, including even some possession-oriented ones.

But even if you want to create a tactic that is primarily counter-oriented, the pass into space TI is still not necessary. Basically, it's an instruction that should be used situationally, rather than as part of a basic tactic. 

Btw, for a counter-attacking tactic, the wide 4132 formation would be more suitable than flat 4141, because the latter is too much bottom-heavy, meaning the striker will often be left on his own as the only player up front when the ball is hit directly to him from deep. 

14 minutes ago, displaced_seagull said:

Work ball into box I agree could probably go, it's been a virtual default for me for years and it's a bad habit I should probably try to break this year!)

WBiB can be a problem because it requires better players, who can keep the ball in smaller areas of space for an extended period of time. Plus, your flat 4141 formation is not ideal for such style of play, even if your players were good enough (not to say that it cannot work, but is more difficult - and potentially defensively risky - to be implemented effectively). WBiB is usually used by teams that play a more "extreme" sort of control-possession football (not to be confused with the homonymous preset tactic), although it can also be used in more sophisticated counter-attacking styles (like the fluid counter). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Experienced Defender said:

 

First off, why do you think that his tactic is counter-attacking? Using the Counter TI in transition does not automatically make a tactic counter-attack-based, it just encourages players to attempt counter-attacks more frequently than they otherwise would. But you can use this TI in different styles of play, including even some possession-oriented ones.

But even if you want to create a tactic that is primarily counter-oriented, the pass into space TI is still not necessary. Basically, it's an instruction that should be used situationally, rather than as part of a basic tactic. 

Btw, for a counter-attacking tactic, the wide 4132 formation would be more suitable than flat 4141, because the latter is too much bottom-heavy, meaning the striker will often be left on his own as the only player up front when the ball is hit directly to him from deep. 

WBiB can be a problem because it requires better players, who can keep the ball in smaller areas of space for an extended period of time. Plus, your flat 4141 formation is not ideal for such style of play, even if your players were good enough (not to say that it cannot work, but is more difficult - and potentially defensively risky - to be implemented effectively). WBiB is usually used by teams that play a more "extreme" sort of control-possession football (not to be confused with the homonymous preset tactic), although it can also be used in more sophisticated counter-attacking styles (like the fluid counter). 

Cheers, that makes sense. I would clarify that I'm not trying a 'pure' counter tactic here, as per my initial post, I want to control possession as well, rather than inviting opponents on. WBiB used to be the 'go to' instruction to stop players constantly trying million to one shots from everywhere, which used to be a real problem many years ago! - it's continuing presence in my tactics is a hangover from those days.

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello guys,

how did the changes workout? I’m also a beginner to this magnificent game and still working on my tactics.

I am trying to use the space created by my creative players WPM/ RPM/ RMD and DLF with my Hearts side, so using Pass into space had been always a no thinker for me to click. Maybe it isn’t necessary? And Work into Box also? 
My problem is that my strikers have 5-6 clear cuts per game but missing nearly all of them. Then I lose the games by the counter end of the game. Sorry to dig in with that here.

Share this post


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

I would clarify that I'm not trying a 'pure' counter tactic here, as per my initial post, I want to control possession as well, rather than inviting opponents on

The primary reason why your tactic is not a counter-attacking one is very simple - the high LOE :) 

Share this post


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

I am trying to use the space created by my creative players WPM/ RPM/ RMD and DLF

RMD is not a creative role. Although you can play a creative player in that role.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

sure .. he should use the created space.

@stutter: how did the changes work out?

Edited by HanziZoloman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, HanziZoloman said:

Hello guys,

how did the changes workout? I’m also a beginner to this magnificent game and still working on my tactics.

Not tried yet - with four games to go until the end of the season and the playoffs guaranteed, I felt that I would need to give them a proper preseason. I have made a slight alteration to my original setup, adding 'Higher Tempo' as a TI. This has had a reasonable impact, with two wins (1-0 and 4-1), a draw away to champions Partick and a 1-0 defeat to long-term bogie team Morton (who play a 5-3-2 formation and we who we have only beaten once in 14 attempts across the save).

Will see what happens in the playoffs, then implement the changes ahead of next season (whatever division we are in).

Edited by displaced_seagull

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sounds great man! Hope you can grab promotion. For me it's very difficult to get a tactic working and I'm digging through this forum. Right now my Hearts are playing better still the same formation (Cleons 442) and still watching the whole games searching for space and trying to use it. My strikers miss much chances even good ones and I'm getting many draws because of those missed ones. Could grab a win over Rangers :D as a personal highlight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, HanziZoloman said:

sounds great man! Hope you can grab promotion. For me it's very difficult to get a tactic working and I'm digging through this forum. Right now my Hearts are playing better still the same formation (Cleons 442) and still watching the whole games searching for space and trying to use it. My strikers miss much chances even good ones and I'm getting many draws because of those missed ones. Could grab a win over Rangers :D as a personal highlight.

We won 1-0 in the first leg of the Semi Final, away to Inverness Caley Thistle, but were beaten 2-0 at home in the second leg, so another year of Championship football it is. To be fair, we were predicted to finish 9th, so second (by 10 points) is still a significant over-achievement.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great man! A man has to keep in mind where he comes from. Hopefully next year it's one step further. How did you established all these player-relationships?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Experienced Defender

I made some of the changes you suggested;

TI's;

Pass into Space Removed

LOE ----> Now Standard

Roles;

Now, here I have made a couple of amendments; 

image.thumb.png.0f2ed006cdc46bd9b1096c0c10218831.png

Basically, these came down to personnel. I don't have a player comfortable as a DLP in Central Midfield, so I've given a CM Support the 'Hold Position' instruction as a sitting central midfielder, and reverted to a DLP/Defend in the DM position. On the right of midfield, Elliott is too good to leave out and his PPM's of 'Likes Ball Played Into Feet', 'Runs with ball down right' and 'Knocks ball past opponent' are naturally suited to a winger. The Right FB though has been given a Support role. 

So what's happened?

In Scotland the League Cup groups take up most of preseason, and with mass changes over the summer (I had to replace both central defenders after bigger clubs came in for them, as well as my right back, and my goalkeeper needed replacing - Board accepted a bid for my regular 'keeper in January and the hastily-signed replacement on the last day of the window wasn't as good as I'd hoped). With that in mind, I wasn't too worried about it - so to go unbeaten (the two defeats on penalties) was a pleasant surprise. Playing wise, we looked a lot sharper, with more cohesive play in midfield and a better goal threat.

image.thumb.png.f1d88a28f5ea3d1e7906054274585206.png

So then we come to the first game of the League season.

12 seconds in we take the lead - Raith kick off, ball knocked back to central midfielder, who pings one into the left hand channel. Picked up by debutant right back, immediate ball forward, new centre forward bursts on, brings it down and slots past the advancing 'keeper. By 9 minutes in, we are 3-0 up! - we eventually win 5-1, with three goals from open play. This is only the second time that we have scored more than 4 goals in a competitive game since the start of the game.

image.thumb.png.f0393bd34015093e486f0a19415116e3.png

Certainly a positive start!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, displaced_seagull said:

I don't have a player comfortable as a DLP in Central Midfield

What about Thomas? You play him as DLP in DM. Why can't you play him as a DLP in a CM position? 

I don't say that you must play him in CM - nor that you have to use a DLP role as such - just curious to know what's the problem about playing him in central midfield. 

 

7 minutes ago, displaced_seagull said:

In Scotland the League Cup groups take up most of preseason, and with mass changes over the summer (I had to replace both central defenders after bigger clubs came in for them, as well as my right back, and my goalkeeper needed replacing - Board accepted a bid for my regular 'keeper in January and the hastily-signed replacement on the last day of the window wasn't as good as I'd hoped). With that in mind, I wasn't too worried about it - so to go unbeaten (the two defeats on penalties) was a pleasant surprise. Playing wise, we looked a lot sharper, with more cohesive play in midfield and a better goal threat.

image.thumb.png.f1d88a28f5ea3d1e7906054274585206.png

So then we come to the first game of the League season.

12 seconds in we take the lead - Raith kick off, ball knocked back to central midfielder, who pings one into the left hand channel. Picked up by debutant right back, immediate ball forward, new centre forward bursts on, brings it down and slots past the advancing 'keeper. By 9 minutes in, we are 3-0 up! - we eventually win 5-1, with three goals from open play. This is only the second time that we have scored more than 4 goals in a competitive game since the start of the game.

image.thumb.png.f0393bd34015093e486f0a19415116e3.png

Certainly a positive start!

Great! Keep it up :thup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

What about Thomas? You play him as DLP in DM. Why can't you play him as a DLP in a CM position? 

I don't say that you must play him in CM - nor that you have to use a DLP role as such - just curious to know what's the problem about playing him in central midfield. 

Again, it's down to personnel really; These three are my best options for a holding midfielder. 

Thomas;

image.thumb.png.80e0210121b9a8caf2072e8b4e8be6a2.png

Robson;

image.thumb.png.27ea28355f2956593f51c059d030d9e7.png

Rollo;

image.thumb.png.65773c0a0bbf8ba05d3825d2be091187.png

Despite his position suitability, Thomas seems to play best in the DM strata. When I've had to slot him in in the centre of midfield before, the game has always seemed to bypass him, yet when I put him as a DLP in the DM strata, he plays much better - though statistically he only had 5 assists last season, I have often found that he is the one 'assisting the assister' - playing the initial ball (usually out wide) for someone to create the chance. He only has a Yellow rating for a Defensive Midfielder (DM/D) role. Robson (a new signing) isn't the quickest, but is well suited to a holding CM role (again, despite his media description as a Defensive Midfielder, he also has a yellow rating for DM/D). Rollo is one of those oddball players who despite being able to play in the two positions either side, does not seem to have mastered the DM role at all. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, displaced_seagull said:

statistically he only had 5 assists last season, I have often found that he is the one 'assisting the assister' - playing the initial ball (usually out wide) for someone to create the chance

Well, that actually is what a playmaker usually does, espeically a DLP. He is rarely the direct assister. 

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...