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Too many draws away from home

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I developed an attacking 4-4-3 tactic while at Leicester which saw me finish 5th a couple of years in a row, along with an FA Cup and a Europa league win. I was then offered the United job on the back of this. I decided to stick with the tactic which had done me so well, and buy players to fit the mould. 

The tactic is great at home, free-flowing football, high-intensity pressing, plenty of goals. It's my away form which leaves a lot to be desired. In to my second season, and my league form looks like this: Home - P5 W5, Away P6 W1 D5.  My first season was much the same (Home - P19, W16, D3. Away - P19, W7, D10, L2).






All I tend to change for away matches is mentality, which isusually positive when home, and when away i've changed between cautious, balanced and positive, to no avail.

Id appreciate if anybody could give me some guidance as to why my form is so poor away from home, and how I can adjust my tactic to get more positive results (or whether I just need to start from scratch and avoid gegenpressing away from home).


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I would imagine you will struggle against anybody who actually bothers to attack you properly, unless that go gung-ho and leave space for those 3 strikers.

Think about your team's shape when you are attacking. You have 3 strikers (who will always sit high). Two Mezzala in midfield, who will move forward and laterally when you attack, and two wingbacks who push high up the pitch. That is 7 of your 10 outfield players pushing high in attack. With a much higher line the rest of your team will be close to the half way line. With the counter press and much higher pressing, those advance players are going to stay high and press the ball when you lose it (at least the ones on the same as where you lose the ball, if you lose on the left flank, the right FB will likely retreat etc.) So you have 3 defenders and huge amounts of space for the AI to exploit. This is a recipe for disaster. Any time the AI has two strikers you will struggle to contain long balls over the defense or to the flanks. Teams are more likely to try to attack you when they are at home. I imagine many teams just park the bus when they play away to your side, which is why you score easier victories. They are not trying to attack you in any way other than long balls or counters.

How can you change this? I mean I would change the formation for away games. You look like you play with a modified 442 diamond narrow (given the roles and duties of your strikers). So you could drop the central striker to attacking midfield. This will give more bodies to defend. It will also allow you to change one of the midfielders to a less roaming type of player. Almost certainly I would change the left CM to a DLP or CAR or CM(s) or something that actually does not bomb up the pitch (your left is so attacking that I imagine it is your biggest weakness). Then you have to look why you are conceding goals, what type of goals you concede, and change your TIs to stop them. If it is long balls over the top, drop your defensive line. If your team is constantly out of position and vulnerable to a counter attack, use a split block (where you us PIs on specific players to close down, rather than TIs). This is not something I can answer for you without knowing the types of goals. You could also use a 433 with wingers, depends what you prefer and what your players can do.

If you do not want to change formation? The left midfielder still needs to be something less attacking and more static. And you would just follow the advice about working out what goals you concede and why you concede them (just watch replays of the goals you concede and see what leads to them) and make changes accordingly. This is a tactic that is always going to be defensively vulnerable and always going to concede goals however.

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18 hours ago, ibis_rules said:


I am scratching my head trying to figure out how a tactic like this is supposed to work at all, even if only in home games :idiot:

Actually, you should be delighted with your results. Because in my book - this kind of tactic is a recipe for disaster, primarily in the defensive sense (who and how is supposed to protect your left flank in the first place ???)

Good luck, anyway :thup:

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Thank you @sporadicsmiles. Appreciate your constructive comments.

You're right about analysing goals. I've found a fair amount come from my left flank, and loads resulting from set pieces. 

You've made me realise some fundamental flaws in the tactic (both away and home). So I've dropped the DLF back into AMC with an AP (S). Dropped the LCM to CAR (S), left sided striker back to DLF (s), and WBL flicks between WB(a) and WB(s) depending on opposition.

Also tried re-jigging my defensive set pieces and extra set piece training.

Positive results so far, hopefully it continues!

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