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Hi I am trying to get a short passing (but not possession obsessed) 4-3-3 wide going.  What I am trying to achieve is to build up the play through a wide AP at AML and switch the play to my overloaded right flank or if that isn't on play in the attacking left back.  Anyway on the roles etc..

PF-s

AP-s                                W-a

CAR-s   CM-a

DM-d

FB-a    CD-d  BPD-d  IWB-s  

SK-s

Variations I also use: 

  • I have occasionally switched the DM to anchor man and the right full back to a defend duty when protecting a lead.
  • I am really not sure the best role for my striker and I have utilised him as PF-a and TQ occasionally.  I have also tried both DLF-s/a, however, I found this didn't really work, perhaps he got in the AP's way or was just too deep so the winger didn't have as many options when he was freed.
  • Occasionally tried the CM-a as Mez-a when facing 2DM opposition
  • Almost forgot, I have also switch the CAR to a standard CM-s with stay wider and hold position occasionally

 

Instructions: 

  • Possession: Shorter passing, Play out of defence, WBIB, Focus play down the left (as per the plan)
  • In transition: Take short Kicks, Distribute the CBs, Counter-Press (I turn this off against strong opposition if I don't feel it is working)
  • Out of possession: Higher defensive line, Higher LOE, More urgent pressing, prevent short distribution

Player instructions:

  • AP-s - sit narrower, roam, more direct passes (to allow him to complete the switch of play)
  • I have tried roaming and moving into channels on the CM-a but not often enough to know how much effect it has

Defensively I have been rock solid and going forward isn't terrible but could be better so I would appreciate it if anyone can give some advice on how to better execute my plan (one thing I do know is that I need to train my AP to have likes to switch to other flank).

 

Lastly, I would be interested in some suggestions for an alternative way to attack when the above plan A isn't working, which bears in mind the type of players I have, in other words ideal for plan a.  For example, I was thinking I might try something like this (perhaps set up with more counter attacking instructions):

PF-a

AP-a                                W-s

CAR-s   CM-a

DM-d

WB-s    CD-d  BPD-d  IWB-s  

SK-s

I welcome advice for either plan A or B

Edited by WhyMe

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2 hours ago, WhyMe said:

Instructions: 

  • Possession: Shorter passing, Play out of defence, WBIB, Focus play down the left (as per the plan)
  • In transition: Take short Kicks, Distribute the CBs, Counter-Press (I turn this off against strong opposition if I don't feel it is working)
  • Out of possession: Higher defensive line, Higher LOE, More urgent pressing, prevent short distribution

Which mentality?

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10 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Which mentality?

Duh sorry forgot, positive mentality for plan A.  Plan B is speculative at this point, never tried it so hadn't really decided, could stay positive but could also shift to balanced.

Edited by WhyMe

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6 hours ago, WhyMe said:

positive mentality for plan A.  Plan B is speculative at this point

Okay, let's for now focus on the plan A. Positive mentality is a reasonable choice for starters, so that's okay :thup: 

 

18 hours ago, WhyMe said:

PF-s

AP-s                                W-a

CAR-s   CM-a

DM-d

FB-a    CD-d  BPD-d  IWB-s  

SK-s

 

18 hours ago, WhyMe said:

I am trying to get a short passing (but not possession obsessed) 4-3-3 wide going.  What I am trying to achieve is to build up the play through a wide AP at AML and switch the play to my overloaded right flank or if that isn't on play in the attacking left back

In terms of what you want to achieve, the above setup of roles and duties does make sense in general. Can it be further improved? Most probably yes, just like anything btw. But let's leave that part for later. Now, I would first like to ask you about this: 

 

18 hours ago, WhyMe said:

I am really not sure the best role for my striker and I have utilised him as PF-a and TQ occasionally.  I have also tried both DLF-s/a, however, I found this didn't really work, perhaps he got in the AP's way or was just too deep so the winger didn't have as many options when he was freed

If I understood you correctly, the switch of play from the left to the right does work, the only problem is when the AMR winger receives the ball, he does not have passing or crossing options inside (or at the edge of) the box. Right? Also, where is the AMR usually located when the switch of play takes place?

If that's the case, my next questions is: where are the CM on attack and your striker usually at that point? Too far away from the winger, or relatively close but marked/covered by opponents?

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2 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

In terms of what you want to achieve, the above setup of roles and duties does make sense in general. Can it be further improved? Most probably yes, just like anything btw. But let's leave that part for later. Now, I would first like to ask you about this: 

If I understood you correctly, the switch of play from the left to the right does work, the only problem is when the AMR winger receives the ball, he does not have passing or crossing options inside (or at the edge of) the box. Right? Also, where is the AMR usually located when the switch of play takes place?

If that's the case, my next questions is: where are the CM on attack and your striker usually at that point? Too far away from the winger, or relatively close but marked/covered by opponents?

When I play my forward as one of the PF or TQ options it generally works ok.  The switch of play doesn't happen as often as I would like but I figure that will improve once I have an AP with the PPM likes to switch ball to the other flank (though to be fair sometimes the CAR does it instead).  When it does happen the winger is usually isolated one on one with his fullback or if really lucky the ball is played between the fullback and Centre back.  However, the CM-a lacks pace so isn't always up with play as the winger has blistering pace, so that might be having a fairly significant effect.  The striker when played with one of my usual roles is usually either up with the winger or arriving just behind the winger but close enough.  Nonetheless, both of your scenarios can happen a bit too often, as while not slow, the striker is a still 4 or 5 points slower than the winger and is occasionally alone in the box due to the slow CM.  Despite this the most common cause of the attack failing is the winger taking a shot from a ridiculous angle rather than attempting the cross/pass to either the forward or the CM.  Perhaps the key is getting a CM with more pace for the role so there is more support in the box.  Beyond that is there anything tactical you can suggest that might help to encourage the switch?

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2 hours ago, WhyMe said:

The switch of play doesn't happen as often as I would like but I figure that will improve once I have an AP with the PPM likes to switch ball to the other flank (though to be fair sometimes the CAR does it instead).  When it does happen the winger is usually isolated one on one with his fullback or if really lucky the ball is played between the fullback and Centre back.  However, the CM-a lacks pace so isn't always up with play as the winger has blistering pace, so that might be having a fairly significant effect.  The striker when played with one of my usual roles is usually either up with the winger or arriving just behind the winger but close enough.  Nonetheless, both of your scenarios can happen a bit too often, as while not slow, the striker is a still 4 or 5 points slower than the winger and is occasionally alone in the box due to the slow CM.  Despite this the most common cause of the attack failing is the winger taking a shot from a ridiculous angle rather than attempting the cross/pass to either the forward or the CM

Okay, I can now basically imagine what it looks like, and it makes sense. 

Before I tell you which small tweaks could help, it's important for you to know that:

- besides having roles and duties set up properly - which you have - you also need the right type of players so that these overloads would be executed (as) effectively (as possible). Those keeping the ball before the switch of play need not only good technical skills (passing and first touch in the first place), but also good mentals (such as off the ball, composure, decisions, anticipation, teamwork) and preferably also some good/decent balance. On the other hand, those that should take advantage from the switch on the opposite flank - led by the AMR winger - also need good off the ball and anticipation as well as (some) speed (which the winger obviously have, unlike the CM on attack)

- how often and how successful the overload(s) will be does not solely depend on your players and tactic, but also the opposition and their manner of defending

- while overloads can be a useful tactical tool for breaking down stubborn defenses, you should not be obsessed with creating an overload just for the sake of it. I personally do not incorporate overloads into my primary tactics (although such situations do happen occasionally even without my intention). Instead, I use them as an in-match strategy when I feel the need

3 hours ago, WhyMe said:

Perhaps the key is getting a CM with more pace for the role so there is more support in the box

It would probably help, but let's first see what could be done before you get such CM.

Here are some ideas you might consider, not necessarily applying all of them:

- change the AMR winger's duty to support instead of attack. This may sound counter-intuitive, but that can help reduce the distance between the winger and CM caused by the big difference in speed. A player does not necessarily need to be played on attack duty in order to be able to take advantage of a switch of play. Given his great speed, a slightly deeper starting position may even help the winger be potentially more dangerous by drawing his "marker" out of position, besides allowing the (slow) attacking CM to sort of catch up with him. After all, playing the winger on support duty does not prevent the overload/switch of play from being executed (or at least attempted) when an opportunity occurs. A similar approach works nicely for me with Man Utd, when I play (left-footed) Mata as AP on support in AMR, (right-footed and extremely fast) Marital as IF on support in AML and Pogba (or Fred) as a mezzala on attack in MCL. Last but not least, the support duty would likely discourage the winger from taking the speculative shots from ridiculous angles which you complained about (or at least reduce them somewhat)

- in case you decide to go with the right winger on support duty, then the lone striker should be on attack duty, so as to offer an early passing/crossing option in the box (I personally would prefer DLF on attack, but you said you didn't like how the role behaved, so I'm not going to insist)

- remove the Work ball into box from your team instructions, as this instruction can overcomplicate things and potentially reduce the number of the switch-of-play attempts. Alternatively, you can retain the WBiB, but add the Be more expressive to sort of offset the (complicating) effects of the WBiB (the WBiB/BME also works nicely for me at Utd most of the time)

- although I am generally opposed to having 2 PMs close to each other, in this particular case a DLP (on support) instead of the carrilero in MCL may not be a bad idea. Not necessary though, so just keep it in mind as a possible option 

On 09/01/2020 at 21:30, WhyMe said:

Player instructions:

  • AP-s - sit narrower, roam, more direct passes (to allow him to complete the switch of play)

I would advise you to remove the more direct passing for the AP. You don't need to additionally encourage him to attempt switches of play by increasing the length of his passes, because the nature of the role already does that (via the "take more risk" hard-coded PI). If your AP has the necessary attributes, he will switch the play whenever that's the most logical option anyway (shorter passing does not prevent a player, especially a PM from doing that). 

 

3 hours ago, WhyMe said:

The switch of play doesn't happen as often as I would like but I figure that will improve once I have an AP with the PPM likes to switch ball to the other flank

Yes, that is a good idea :thup: 

 

4 hours ago, WhyMe said:

though to be fair sometimes the CAR does it instead

Great. The more players you have who are able (and know when to) attempt the switch, the better :brock:

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33 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

Okay, I can now basically imagine what it looks like, and it makes sense. 

Before I tell you which small tweaks could help, it's important for you to know that:

- besides having roles and duties set up properly - which you have - you also need the right type of players so that these overloads would be executed (as) effectively (as possible). Those keeping the ball before the switch of play need not only good technical skills (passing and first touch in the first place), but also good mentals (such as off the ball, composure, decisions, anticipation, teamwork) and preferably also some good/decent balance. On the other hand, those that should take advantage from the switch on the opposite flank - led by the AMR winger - also need good off the ball and anticipation as well as (some) speed (which the winger obviously have, unlike the CM on attack)

- how often and how successful the overload(s) will be does not solely depend on your players and tactic, but also the opposition and their manner of defending

- while overloads can be a useful tactical tool for breaking down stubborn defenses, you should not be obsessed with creating an overload just for the sake of it. I personally do not incorporate overloads into my primary tactics (although such situations do happen occasionally even without my intention). Instead, I use them as an in-match strategy when I feel the need

It would probably help, but let's first see what could be done before you get such CM.

Here are some ideas you might consider, not necessarily applying all of them:

- change the AMR winger's duty to support instead of attack. This may sound counter-intuitive, but that can help reduce the distance between the winger and CM caused by the big difference in speed. A player does not necessarily need to be played on attack duty in order to be able to take advantage of a switch of play. Given his great speed, a slightly deeper starting position may even help the winger be potentially more dangerous by drawing his "marker" out of position, besides allowing the (slow) attacking CM to sort of catch up with him. After all, playing the winger on support duty does not prevent the overload/switch of play from being executed (or at least attempted) when an opportunity occurs. A similar approach works nicely for me with Man Utd, when I play (left-footed) Mata as AP on support in AMR, (right-footed and extremely fast) Marital as IF on support in AML and Pogba (or Fred) as a mezzala on attack in MCL. Last but not least, the support duty would likely discourage the winger from taking the speculative shots from ridiculous angles which you complained about (or at least reduce them somewhat)

- in case you decide to go with the right winger on support duty, then the lone striker should be on attack duty, so as to offer an early passing/crossing option in the box (I personally would prefer DLF on attack, but you said you didn't like how the role behaved, so I'm not going to insist)

- remove the Work ball into box from your team instructions, as this instruction can overcomplicate things and potentially reduce the number of the switch-of-play attempts. Alternatively, you can retain the WBiB, but add the Be more expressive to sort of offset the (complicating) effects of the WBiB (the WBiB/BME also works nicely for me at Utd most of the time)

- although I am generally opposed to having 2 PMs close to each other, in this particular case a DLP (on support) instead of the carrilero in MCL may not be a bad idea. Not necessary though, so just keep it in mind as a possible option 

I would advise you to remove the more direct passing for the AP. You don't need to additionally encourage him to attempt switches of play by increasing the length of his passes, because the nature of the role already does that (via the "take more risk" hard-coded PI). If your AP has the necessary attributes, he will switch the play whenever that's the most logical option anyway (shorter passing does not prevent a player, especially a PM from doing that). 

 

Yes, that is a good idea :thup: 

 

Great. The more players you have who are able (and know when to) attempt the switch, the better :brock:

Thank you for the ideas mate.  I think you might be right about the WBIB instruction, I probably don't really need it and it might be what is preventing my winger from making that risky cross/pass.  I am a bit reluctant to drop my winger to support in plan A as he is currently my second top goal scorer (7 goals in 10 games (+4 sub), but it is a good option if plan A isn't working.  

Speaking of plan B, if I drop my winger to support in plan B and flip my AP to an attack duty as in my original post, would it still be your suggestion to make my striker a DLF-a in a counter attacking system or would you stick to a PF-a as in my original idea.

Instructions wise I was leaning in the direction of the following for plan B (balanced):

  • Possession:  Pass into space higher tempo
  • In transition: Throw it long, Distribute to left back (probably need to change this as it just got my left back marked on goal kicks lol), Counter and distribute quickly
  • Out of possession: Lower line of engagement and get stuck in (added more urgent pressing in the second game as I was a bit too passive and had gone a goal down to a free kick)

I tested these in a couple of games with the formation and roles/duties in my original post for plan B.  Other than the distribution issue is there anything that leaps out at you as needing adding/removing?  It is a bit trickier to tell if this sort of tactic is working with the current match engine as it is primarily trying to free the central striker for a good chance on goal, easy to do at the moment, but chances are he will miss it :-).

I won both my test games, the first after missing a hat full of glorious chances with a late free kick (1-0) and the second 3-1 with a goal each for my front 3 and my CM-a missed a sitter!  Therefore, it can't be too daft, which makes a nice change for my tactics (unless I just got lucky).  However, possession numbers were VERY low (35%), not hugely unexpected for counter type system, but the risk is I have gone too far?

Again I appreciate your thoughts.

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19 minutes ago, WhyMe said:

I think you might be right about the WBIB instruction, I probably don't really need it and it might be what is preventing my winger from making that risky cross/pass

Not only that, but potentially also reduces the number of attempts by the AP (and those around him) to switch the play to the opposite flank. 

 

On 09/01/2020 at 21:30, WhyMe said:

PF-a

AP-a                                W-s

CAR-s   CM-a

DM-d

WB-s    CD-d  BPD-d  IWB-s  

SK-s

 

23 minutes ago, WhyMe said:

Speaking of plan B, if I drop my winger to support in plan B and flip my AP to an attack duty as in my original post, would it still be your suggestion to make my striker a DLF-a in a counter attacking system or would you stick to a PF-a as in my original idea

Speaking solely about the above setup of roles and duties (plan B), it already makes sense for a counter-attacking style. However, instructions are also important (keeping the mentality in mind when selecting them). And of course, make sure your players are capable of carrying out your tactical ideas.

And yes - in this particular setup, I would rather have the striker as PF on attack (as he already is) than DLF (which does not necessarily mean that the DLF wouldn't work). 

29 minutes ago, WhyMe said:

Instructions wise I was leaning in the direction of the following for plan B (balanced)

I'll assume the "(balanced)" refers to the Balanced team mentality. If so, then: 

 

30 minutes ago, WhyMe said:

Possession:  Pass into space higher tempo

Higher tempo is okay. Pass into space is not necessary as part of a starting tactic. Instead, use it situationally. 

 

31 minutes ago, WhyMe said:

In transition: Throw it long, Distribute to left back (probably need to change this as it just got my left back marked on goal kicks lol), Counter and distribute quickly

Counter logically makes sense. Distribute quickly is okay, although not always necessary. Distribution to the LB - or any specific distribution, for that matter - is a surplus (let the keeper decide where and how to distribute the ball, especially as he is played as a SK). 

 

35 minutes ago, WhyMe said:

Out of possession: Lower line of engagement and get stuck in (added more urgent pressing in the second game as I was a bit too passive and had gone a goal down to a free kick)

Lower LOE and Get stuck in - yes. More urgent pressing - situationally (just as you did) :thup: 

 

36 minutes ago, WhyMe said:

I tested these in a couple of games with the formation and roles/duties in my original post for plan B.  Other than the distribution issue is there anything that leaps out at you as needing adding/removing?

Already discussed. For a counter-attacking style, that's a good starting point. Whether you'll need to make a tweak here and there - really depends on what you see in a particular match (impossible to tell you anything in advance, especially since I don't know your team/players).

Bear also in mind that there are different ways of playing counter-attacking football. Yours is just one of them. 

42 minutes ago, WhyMe said:

I won both my test games, the first after missing a hat full of glorious chances with a late free kick (1-0) and the second 3-1 with a goal each for my front 3 and my CM-a missed a sitter!  Therefore, it can't be too daft, which makes a nice change for my tactics (unless I just got lucky)

That's a good sign, clearly :thup: 

 

43 minutes ago, WhyMe said:

However, possession numbers were VERY low (35%), not hugely unexpected for counter type system, but the risk is I have gone too far?

For a counter style, possession is of secondary importance. As long as you are pleased with results and overall performance, everything else is irrelevant. And try to be realistic - when you lose to a clear favorite, don't take it as a disaster. Just make sure you are either meeting or (preferably) exceeding board expectations. 

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@Experienced Defender thank you again for the advice.  Congratulations on your promotion to moderator btw mate, very well deserved!  You are always polite and helpful even when the tactic is a disaster!

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