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Drunper

Help with 4-2-3-1 as Man Utd

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Hello everyone,
i'm  playing as Manchester United and i'm trying to create a tactic about fast attacking football.
Here is what i thought:

1513329442_tacticfm4-2-3-1.thumb.jpg.18a928b48fa367a8cb2633e7613bf253.jpg

I'm not really sure about everything, so i tried to not use many TIs, but what puzzles me is how to setup roles and duties.
I went for a CM(d) to give some cover to the defenders and a DLP(s) to give some help during the attacking phase.
I've tried to make some difference between the flanks, but the the right flank does not convince me. I thought about a IW/IF paired with a FB, but then it will be to similar to the left flank, making my attack more prevedible.
About the AMC, i did not have much fortune the last years. I don't really understand what role and duty is better to make him contribute more, both in terms of assists and goals. I thought of a shadow striker, but i do not think this does not pair well with the AF.
Sorry for any grammar mistake, english is not my main language, so i hope you understand anyway. Thanks in advance.

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If you want to use the 4231 formation (with any team), the first thing you need to make sure is that - both CMs are defensibly reliable players (besides being able to support attack). 

Now, let's analyze the tactic: 

3 hours ago, Drunper said:

1513329442_tacticfm4-2-3-1.thumb.jpg.18a928b48fa367a8cb2633e7613bf253.jpg

 

3 hours ago, Drunper said:

i'm  playing as Manchester United and i'm trying to create a tactic about fast attacking football

Fast attacking football is basically the style that Liverpool play under Klopp. You need to bear in mind that it's a very demanding type of football and requires really special players - in every respect (physically, mentally and technically). Don't get me wrong, but I fear that this current Man Utd squad can hardly implement such style of football without taking great defensive risks (especially in a system such as 4231).

But okay. I can analyze your tactic apart from that particular aspect.

First off, your roles and duties are more conducive to counter-attacking than fast attacking football.

On the right flank, with a DLP and IWB on defend duty, it's highly likely that you'll lack proper support in the later stages of your attacks. 

The left flank does not have that type of issue, but the problem is that WB on attack duty may prove too risky in a top-heavy system without a DM. Therefore, I would advise you to change him into FB on attack. You'll still have natural overlaps there, but in a more sensible and defensively safer fashion.

AF as a lone striker often tends to struggle in attack-minded and/or aggressive tactical styles (whether possession-based or fast attacking).

I am also not sure that you need a DLP in a fast attacking style (or any PM, except perhaps for trequartista or AP on attack duty). 

When it comes to instructions... given that you play on the Attacking mentality, you need to keep in mind that all instructions are automatically upped by default. So you may need to tone some of them down a bit.

Run at defence generally makes sense in a fast attacking style, but you need to be careful when you have players such as McTominay or Matic in the midfield, because neither looks like a particularly good dribbler (plus, Matic is very slow at that). 

Do you maybe have some more clear ideas following all these suggestions, or you want even more specific advice (with a concrete example)?

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Have you made any transfers or have any in mind?  Are you playing Pogba as DLP or SS?

Your front 4 already dribble often, who else do you want to dribble more to use that TI?

De gea isn't a good SK-Su.  Lacks rushing out ability and vision.  His passes aren't bad and is reliable though so I typically tell him to take short kicks.

I had good success with an AF (martial) with a AM-At. Had to use Gomes at end of s1 due to injuries and even he thrived to the point my assistant recommended he start there. This was a 4411 so slightly different.  Many of martial's goals were individual runs but also balls over the top.

The main issue with Utd at the start is the RB options are better in the final third than the LB but theres no LW options who will really keep width so theres a risk of everything ending up narrow.  My preference is for the RB to be the most attacking with the MCR holding.  LB supportive as Fb/WB-Su, do you need 4 holding players as it's against most of league?. MCL as a simple role with a good defensive player like CAR/BWM.  That should give a good base.

If want pogba in your CM pair I think a 4411 to give defensive help outside (rashford as the work rate to do it) and/or a holding LB (traits + attributes) to be able to defend well without a lot of help.

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10 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Do you maybe have some more clear ideas following all these suggestions, or you want even more specific advice (with a concrete example)?

Yes, i would like a concrete example. I thought that Man Utd could implement this kind of football, but to be honest i was more interested in how to implement it first, before finding the right players. What kind of attributes do players need to play fast attacking football? I can think of pace, stamina, off the ball, technique, dribbling and passing. Maybe decision and vision.

30 minutes ago, summatsupeer said:

Have you made any transfers or have any in mind?  Are you playing Pogba as DLP or SS?

Your front 4 already dribble often, who else do you want to dribble more to use that TI?

De gea isn't a good SK-Su.  Lacks rushing out ability and vision.  His passes aren't bad and is reliable though so I typically tell him to take short kicks.

I had good success with an AF (martial) with a AM-At. Had to use Gomes at end of s1 due to injuries and even he thrived to the point my assistant recommended he start there. This was a 4411 so slightly different.  Many of martial's goals were individual runs but also balls over the top.

The main issue with Utd at the start is the RB options are better in the final third than the LB but theres no LW options who will really keep width so theres a risk of everything ending up narrow.  My preference is for the RB to be the most attacking with the MCR holding.  LB supportive as Fb/WB-Su, do you need 4 holding players as it's against most of league?. MCL as a simple role with a good defensive player like CAR/BWM.  That should give a good base.

If want pogba in your CM pair I think a 4411 to give defensive help outside (rashford as the work rate to do it) and/or a holding LB (traits + attributes) to be able to defend well without a lot of help.

Thanks for your advices, expecially thouse about De Gea and the midfield. Usually i play Pogba as DLP, but i was not sure of that. He has many attributes that could go waste if i played him in that position. Before looking for a 4231 i thought of a 4411 to be more solid in the defense phase, but since i always used that in the past years, i tried to change a bit, but maybe it's more suited to Man Utd.

 

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I've been playing with Man Utd this version, what's your typical starting XI? I'll assume you're using the default team for now.

  • IWB(D) at Right Back is extremely conservative. I appreciate Wan-Bissaka's strengths aren't in his attacking contributions, but he's still serviceable. You essentially have two holding midfielders, do you need someone else coming in there? I'd change him to a FB(S) to give your winger at bit of support. 
  • I'd drop your left back to WB(S) for a bit of extra stability. 
  • You have your BPD on the right. I've typically used Maguire in this role, who I've found to be more suited to the left of the pairing. 
  • Midfield pairing is fine. I've always found Pogba to run games in the DLP(S) role so you should be okay there. 
  • I would think your SS and AF pairing would get a bit isolated as they're both roles that look to get beyond a defence. Your midfield is conservative so you're going to struggle to find them without always looking wide. I'd try a AM(S) to help link your midfield with either a PF(S) or DLF(A).

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6 hours ago, Drunper said:

What kind of attributes do players need to play fast attacking football? I can think of pace, stamina, off the ball, technique, dribbling and passing. Maybe decision and vision

Yes - all these you mentioned. But they pertain solely to the attacking phase of play. What about defending? 

The reason Liverpool can play this style so successfully is not (only) their world-class front 3 but - even more importantly - the bunch of tenacious workhorses in the midfield and the defense led by the incredible VVD. Without all that - the pure attacking quality of Salah, Firmino and Mane would mean little.

I managed Man Utd in FM19 and they really were a good team in my save. However, their current squad is weaker than that from FM19. Especially the midfield is problematic following the departure of Herrera - the most important player in the whole team - who the club has failed to find a proper replacement for. 

6 hours ago, Drunper said:

i would like a concrete example

Okay... So if were to try to implement a fast attacking style of football with this current Man Utd team using the 4231 formation, this is what my starting (basic) tactic would probably look like:

F9

IFat               AMat             IWsu

BBM/MEZsu  CMde

IWBde    CDde   BPDde    FBat

GKde*

GKde - only because de Gea unfortunately lacks a proper set of attributes for a SK role

Player selection (with possible PIs) for these specific roles/duties:

GK - de Gea

DL/IWBde - Shaw

DR/FBat - Bissaka

MCL/BBM (or MEZsu) - Fred/Pogba

MCR/CMde - McTominay/Matic - dribble less

AML/IFat - Rashford/Martial/Lingard

AMR/IWsu - Lingard/Mata/James/Perreira - sit narrower

AMC/AMat - Pogba/Lingard/Mata/Perreira

STC/F9 - Martial/Rashford - roam from position

Starting team instructions:

Mentality - Attacking

In possession - play out of defence, slightly shorter passing, run at defence, hit early crosses (and occasionally - overlap left)

In transition - counter (and occasionally counter-press, but with a degree of cautiousness)

Out of possession - higher DL, Prevent short GKD (and probably  offside trap)

That's the tactic I would start with and then I may make small gradual tweaks based on what I observe watching matches

But once again - this particular style of football could well prove a bit too ambitious for this current Utd team, so be careful. Especially in a 4231.

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I have a few questions, just to be sure i understand everything:

  • About the attributes of other players, i think they need to be really good in: tackling, position, anticipation, composure, strength and work rate. Did i miss something?
  • DL as IWB(de) is to give stability on the left flank? I don't think the IF(at) can help much during the defensive phase.
  • Sit narrower PI on AMR is to allow an easier overlap on the right?
  • Normally i use counter-press against weaker sides, and only if i'm losing. Am i wrong?
  • If not this style of football, what style would you use with Man Utd? I thought of counter-attack, but i could struggle against weaker sides.

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8 hours ago, summatsupeer said:

Many of martial's goals were individual runs but also balls over the top

Exactly as in my Man Utd save in FM19. And he was my top scorer btw :brock:

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1 hour ago, Drunper said:

About the attributes of other players, i think they need to be really good in: tackling, position, anticipation, composure, strength and work rate. Did i miss something?

When you say "other players", are you referring only to defenders or to the midfielders as well? 

 

1 hour ago, Drunper said:

DL as IWB(de) is to give stability on the left flank? I don't think the IF(at) can help much during the defensive phase

Yes, and to help reinforce the midfield area, because the CM on his side is not a holding/covering one in terms of role. Shaw is a reliable player defense-wise, so he should be able to do the job properly. But a fullback of lower quality would most probably struggle. The attacking team mentality also needs to be taken into account here. 

 

1 hour ago, Drunper said:

Sit narrower PI on AMR is to allow an easier overlap on the right?

Not just that but also to potentially take advantage of space left by the attacking AMC when he pushes forward to attack the box. Instructions are not set in stone and hence should not be taken literally, Rather, they just serve to encourage certain types of behavior by players. Which means that - in this particular case - the IW will not "sit narrow" all the time, but only when it makes sense within general play. 

 

1 hour ago, Drunper said:

Normally i use counter-press against weaker sides, and only if i'm losing. Am i wrong?

You are not wrong. Just keep in mind that counter-press as such is a potentially risky instruction and there is always a degree of risk that it can leave your defense more exposed than it can handle. That risk is compounded here by the fact that you play in a top-heavy formation (4231), which inherently has some weaknesses defense-wise. 

 

1 hour ago, Drunper said:

If not this style of football, what style would you use with Man Utd? I thought of counter-attack, but i could struggle against weaker sides

When I managed them in FM19 - and that team was better than this one - I played what I call "progressive possession" football. That's generally my preferred style when I manage top teams. I did not use the 4231 though, but you can play progressive possession in a 4231 as well. 

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10 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

When you say "other players", are you referring only to defenders or to the midfielders as well? 

I thought of both but maybe midfielders need to have a mix of both offensive and defensive attributes, as they need to contribute in every phase.

18 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

When I managed them in FM19 - and that team was better than this one - I played what I call "progressive possession" football. That's generally my preferred style when I manage top teams. I did not use the 4231 though, but you can play progressive possession in a 4231 as well. 

I read of it in other topics around here. It looks interesting, so i would try to implement it with Man Utd, maybe with a 41221.

Thanks everyone for the advices, not only about tactics but also about player selection and attributes. I could not think of anything that make sense before, but now i understand everything a little bit more. Now i will try these things in game and see how it goes.

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3 hours ago, Drunper said:

I thought of both but maybe midfielders need to have a mix of both offensive and defensive attributes, as they need to contribute in every phase

Yes :thup: 

 

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16 hours ago, Drunper said:

If not this style of football, what style would you use with Man Utd?

I use what I call a "transition" style.  Rather than sitting in the defensive or attacking phase most of the game is played in the transition phase.

Instead of defending deep in a counter style or pressing high in a possession/gengenpress style you want to win the ball in that middle third.

Attacks are then quick looking for penetration (through balls / direct runs) to enter the opponents final third quickly before opponents can drop deep and get organized.

For a club like utd to do this you defensively need to think where is the space naturally in your formation plus roles&duties.  Try to encourage opponents to attempt to transition into that space by cutting off the safe short passes between there defenders. With quick players who read the game well you can win the ball back and those same players who were preventing opponents defenders from playing safe passes then become early threats.  Risk vs reward.

I personally think this is what liverpool have done more often compared to a while ago when they struggled to break teams down due to pinning them in.  It's also what i think Ole is trying to implement with his vertical style and leaving multiple players high up the pitch.

Have a play and dont worry about the "style" or labels on the instructions.  Have a defensive and offensive plan and change whatever is needed to implement it.

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48 minutes ago, summatsupeer said:

For a club like utd to do this you defensively need to think where is the space naturally in your formation plus roles&duties.  Try to encourage opponents to attempt to transition into that space by cutting off the safe short passes between there defenders.

Are you referring to using OI’s here?

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4 hours ago, jc577 said:

Are you referring to using OI’s here?

OI are an option as well as PIs.  The position, role, duty and TIs need to give the right basis though.

Want to make those deep options riskier through marking, positioning for interception or quick pressure. A 4141 dm with flat midfield is likely too deep naturally. moving dm to am pressures higher and makes it harder gor them to pass from one side of field to other reducing option for FBs. A better basis to the add PI/OI to.

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