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Test12

Balanced 4-1-4-1 Wide (help!)

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Hey lockdown people !

Needing some tactical help here. Second season in championship (FM19). After a terrific first season managing QPR, I am hired by Aston Villa.
Being one of the big clubs of the championship, I was expecting to roll over the league....but I am struggling. While usually having x3 the number of chances of the opposition, I have difficulties getting wins. I am late September and unbeaten...but my record is really disappointing (2 wins and 6 DRAWS!).


TACTIC :

                   DLF-S

W-A                                  IF-S

           BBM-S   DLP-S

                     A-D

FB-S   BPD-D   CD-D   WB-A

                    SK - S

TI :
-
POSITIVE
- Higher Tempo
- Distribute Quickly
- Counter
- Lower line of Engagement
- Get Stuck in.

Any help would be much welcomed !

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3 hours ago, Test12 said:

Hey lockdown people !

Needing some tactical help here. Second season in championship (FM19). After a terrific first season managing QPR, I am hired by Aston Villa.
Being one of the big clubs of the championship, I was expecting to roll over the league....but I am struggling. While usually having x3 the number of chances of the opposition, I have difficulties getting wins. I am late September and unbeaten...but my record is really disappointing (2 wins and 6 DRAWS!).


TACTIC :

                   DLF-S

W-A                                  IF-S

           BBM-S   DLP-S

                     A-D

FB-S   BPD-D   CD-D   WB-A

                    SK - S

TI :
-
POSITIVE
- Higher Tempo
- Distribute Quickly
- Counter
- Lower line of Engagement
- Get Stuck in.

Any help would be much welcomed !

Sometimes you need to sit things out. I have recently made the same experience. The system worked well but I got some bad late defeats or draws.

What about the quality of the chances? Do you have the better ones, like clear cuts or half chances?

Your tactic looks quite well.

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5 hours ago, Test12 said:

TACTIC :

                   DLF-S

W-A                                  IF-S

           BBM-S   DLP-S

                     A-D

FB-S   BPD-D   CD-D   WB-A

                    SK - S

TI :
-
POSITIVE
- Higher Tempo
- Distribute Quickly
- Counter
- Lower line of Engagement
- Get Stuck in.

Any help would be much welcomed !

Your instructions suggest you want to play counter-attacking football, but your setup of roles and duties is not optimal for a counter-attacking style. So my question for you - so that I could offer more meaningful advice - is what style of football do you want to play and why?

P.S: Keep in mind the reputation of your team relative to the league (including the media prediction and board expectations) when deciding on the style of play. I am emphasizing that because of this: 

5 hours ago, Test12 said:

Being one of the big clubs of the championship, I was expecting to roll over the league

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, HanziZoloman said:

Sometimes you need to sit things out. I have recently made the same experience. The system worked well but I got some bad late defeats or draws.

What about the quality of the chances? Do you have the better ones, like clear cuts or half chances?

Your tactic looks quite well.


Too be fair, my chances are not "great". I feel like the opposition defence is often too well positionned/structured to have good chance for the DLF and IF.
Last goals came : 
- with a corner
- with a mistake (failed header) from the opponent defense which left my DLF alone in the box
- with a long shot from the BBM
 

Edited by Test12

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26 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

Your instructions suggest you want to play counter-attacking football, but your setup of roles and duties is not optimal for a counter-attacking style. So my question for you - so that I could offer more meaningful advice - is what style of football do you want to play and why?

P.S: Keep in mind the reputation of your team relative to the league (including the media prediction and board expectations) when deciding on the style of play. I am emphasizing that because of this: 

 

Well, this is touché indeed. I "mastered" the counter-attacking style with most of my previous saves. But considering the players and the quality of the squad (+the level in comparison to most of the league), this is my first try at something else.

I thought tweaking my usual 4-1-4-1 tactic to make it more "dominant" oriented would be enough, changing some TIs and changing most roles...but seems like I was wrong on that. :( 

My goal here would be to have a "balanced" philosphy, if that's a thing ? I don't wanted the full ultra gegenpress, I'm bored at tiki-taka, and I still want to take advantage of counter if there is a good opportunity....not that simple ? : 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Test12 said:


Too be fair, my chances are not "great". I feel like the opposition defence is often too well positionned/structured to have good chance for the DLF and IF.
Last goals came : 
- with a corner
- with a mistake (failed header) from the opponent defense which left my DLF alone in the box
- with a long shot from the BBM
 

well maybe then you have to switch something. @Experienced Defender said some things you may consider. As a strong team counter attacking football is difficult because everybody is parking a bus. What about switching to a controlled possession style? You don't have to change much:

counter

- distribute to CB & FB

The roles seem mostly ok. Maybe the Wa needs somebody to cross to. You can switch him in IWa and I would also give the IF the attacking duty for more penetration in the opponents final third. 

Playing with an A could be to cautious you can give him a regista role which is much fun or just the usual DMwith support duty. Of course you need a suitable player. 

Hope it helps

Edited by HanziZoloman

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2 hours ago, Test12 said:

My goal here would be to have a "balanced" philosphy, if that's a thing ? I don't wanted the full ultra gegenpress, I'm bored at tiki-taka, and I still want to take advantage of counter if there is a good opportunity....not that simple ?

Actually, such a style is the simplest, if you ask me. And I think is also a good choice, because it's balanced, so you can easily make it either a bit more defensive or a bit more attack-minded, depending on what you need in a given situation. 

If you want me to give you an example of how you can set up such type of tactic, please let me know :thup:

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9 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

If you want me to give you an example of how you can set up such type of tactic, please let me know :thup:

Oh well I would love that ! 🙏

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, HanziZoloman said:

well maybe then you have to switch something. @Experienced Defender said some things you may consider. As a strong team counter attacking football is difficult because everybody is parking a bus. What about switching to a controlled possession style? You don't have to change much:

counter

- distribute to CB & FB

The roles seem mostly ok. Maybe the Wa needs somebody to cross to. You can switch him in IWa and I would also give the IF the attacking duty for more penetration in the opponents final third. 

Playing with an A could be to cautious you can give him a regista role which is much fun or just the usual DMwith support duty. Of course you need a suitable player. 

Hope it helps


Thank Hanzi ! Already trying all your advices guys.

Btw, for this experiment, I won a game 1-0 the first try but I keep replaying it on a loop. I go with FULL MATCH highlights (but much faster pace) and try different things to know what works and what doesn't. I am in my 6th time replaying it and the last to tries ended with 3-0 and 4-0 ! But I keep tweaking it to see how it goes.

Below last tactic I used.

Little additionnal note : to my IMMENSE surprise, Defensive Striker on Defense is super neat ! Austin gets much more involved in the build-up while not doing any silly passes (his vision and passing aren't all that). And scoring a goal on the last two tries ! I would like him to get more opportunities but the overall display/dynamic upfront really improved so not sure if another role would work as good for him. I thought about F9 or Target Man Support but I have doubts (F9 = he is not good at dribling ; TM = break the dynamic of the team which may try to reach him to often).

image.thumb.png.a198b872e026cd58f555a8d0fe7a95e1.png


 

Edited by Test12

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6 minutes ago, Test12 said:

Oh well I would love that ! 🙏

Okay, so this is your current tactic: 

 

9 hours ago, Test12 said:

DLF-S

W-A                                  IF-S

           BBM-S   DLP-S

                     A-D

FB-S   BPD-D   CD-D   WB-A

                    SK - S

TI :
-
POSITIVE
- Higher Tempo
- Distribute Quickly
- Counter
- Lower line of Engagement
- Get Stuck in

And this is how I would change it based on how you described the style of play you want to achieve:

DLFat

Wsu                                     IFsu

CMat      DLPsu

A/DMde

FBsu  CD/BPDde  CDde  FBat

SKsu

As you can see, I tweaked only 3 roles/duties compared to your setup.

What about team instructions? 

When it comes to the mentality, you can start with the Balanced and then occasionally switch to Positive if necessary. This mentality change should not have a negative impact, because the tactic itself is simple and well-balanced both in terms of roles and duties and instructions, which would be the following:

In possession - shorter passing

In transition - distribute to CBs and FBs

Out of possession - nothing

This would be the basic starting tactic. When you need to make it a bit more attack-minded and aggressive - just switch the mentality from Balanced to Positive. When you need to make it a bit more defensive and at the same time counter-attacking, just add the following instructions: higher tempo, counter, lower LOE and get stuck in.

When it comes to player instructions, I would again look to keep it as simple as possible:

DL/FBsu - sit narrower

MCL/CMat - close down more

AMR/IFsu - sit narrower

ST/DLFat - roam from position, close down more

Other potential player instructions would depend on the type of a particular player you play in a certain position. For example, if you have a fullback who is poor (or not good enough) at dribbling, you can tell him to dribble less. Conversely, if you have a player in the midfield or attack who is a great dribbler, you can encourage him to dribble more. The same principle applies to other player instructions you may potentially use.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

P.S: do not assign roles to players on a random basis. Make sure each player has proper attributes for the role he plays.

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6 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

Okay, so this is your current tactic: 

 

And this is how I would change it based on how you described the style of play you want to achieve:

DLFat

Wsu                                     IFsu

CMat      DLPsu

A/DMde

FBsu  CD/BPDde  CDde  FBat

SKsu

As you can see, I tweaked only 3 roles/duties compared to your setup.

What about team instructions? 

When it comes to the mentality, you can start with the Balanced and then occasionally switch to Positive if necessary. This mentality change should not have a negative impact, because the tactic itself is simple and well-balanced both in terms of roles and duties and instructions, which would be the following:

In possession - shorter passing

In transition - distribute to CBs and FBs

Out of possession - nothing

This would be the basic starting tactic. When you need to make it a bit more attack-minded and aggressive - just switch the mentality from Balanced to Positive. When you need to make it a bit more defensive and at the same time counter-attacking, just add the following instructions: higher tempo, counter, lower LOE and get stuck in.

When it comes to player instructions, I would again look to keep it as simple as possible:

DL/FBsu - sit narrower

MCL/CMat - close down more

AMR/IFsu - sit narrower

ST/DLFat - roam from position, close down more

Other potential player instructions would depend on the type of a particular player you play in a certain position. For example, if you have a fullback who is poor (or not good enough) at dribbling, you can tell him to dribble less. Conversely, if you have a player in the midfield or attack who is a great dribbler, you can encourage him to dribble more. The same principle applies to other player instructions you may potentially use.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.

P.S: do not assign roles to players on a random basis. Make sure each player has proper attributes for the role he plays.

That is very nice ! thanks ED, trying it right away

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17 minutes ago, Test12 said:

That is very nice ! thanks ED, trying it right away

Watch matches and make small tweaks when needed. The tactic is not plug'n'play.

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29 minutes ago, xHoffefan said:

@Experienced Defender do you have any advice when playing against 3 at the back?

Been struggling really hard with the 4-1-4-1 Wide

I thought of changing to a 4-4-2 to have 2 strikers vs 3 defenders

A playmaking striker, two attacking inside winger/ forwards and overlapping Wingbacks could help 

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1 hour ago, xHoffefan said:

@Experienced Defender do you have any advice when playing against 3 at the back?

Been struggling really hard with the 4-1-4-1 Wide

I thought of changing to a 4-4-2 to have 2 strikers vs 3 defenders

If you need advice on your tactic, then please start a separate thread. This one belongs to another forum member, so it would not be fair to hijack it.

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Posted (edited)

So guys, I'm back after three games to test. Three victories (neat!) but still feel like something is lacking.
Started with the exact strategy @Experienced Defender shared, in positive mentality. Tweaks in and between games below + overall performance between each half.
Hope this post isn't too long/heavy. I really want the team to get more convincing victories so any help is welcomed guys. Hope the details may help ! I am taking a night break hoping to have something better to offer tomorrow.


BRISTOL 0 - 2 VILLA
Bristol is an average team this year, very mid table. They are playing a pretty defensive Deep 4231 (with 2 DM).

First Half :
8' - GOAL, we get advantage from a Throw-in
17' - GOAL, we double from open play.

20' - Changed DMd to BWMs (opposition really not threatening so the DM was useless)

image.thumb.png.b286cbfd6a616013115dc2b3863b6cdf.pngimage.thumb.png.e5bb1cc91ab16fb9cd634090e581f306.png

Second Half:
Change BWMs to DLPd

53 - MCR change to BBM
67' - IFs to IFa
73' - Changed LOE to lower (trying to bring the opponent out of them shell)


Overall a decent performance but lacking really good chance
image.thumb.png.74927ec902cb9485b9a178b0d5152816.pngimage.thumb.png.e7ba28f241aec4df2596f72510d9529c.png



VILLA 1 - 0 IPSWICH
Ipswich second half of the table. Not as bad as the previous year (made some OK recruitement) but should be hammering them. They are playing a pretty defensive 4141 DM.

First Half :
Swapped Hourihane and McGinn on this game, and changed the DMd to DMs hoping he gets more involved in the build-up.


20' - Not much happing. Change IFs to IFa, Move LOE and LD to lower
27' - GOAL, terrific strike from Houri from 27m
42' - DLFa is not taking chances, I add "Shoot more Often" to his PIs ; left Winger is useless, I add him PI "Roam from position" hoping he gets more involved

image.thumb.png.65d0e8285d982e3ceede0bd8c59b053e.pngimage.thumb.png.c472cdb805e1fd9983c5eb15c5e6cb37.png

Second Half:
Change DMs to BWMs (0 threat from Ipswich > need him to help us more up the field) ; right back changed from FBa to WBs

67' - BWMs changed to A ; left back changed from FBs to WBs


A bit of a disappointing win. Really solid defensively but once again I feel like we are to slow in attack/not dynamic enough.
image.thumb.png.31981059abddf03f3dd9def90c1eb537.pngimage.thumb.png.d222670f63699388dfb7f590376b2960.png



VILLA 1 - 0 SWANSEA
Swansea may not a top team in the league but not bad still. Expected to be in playoff this year, they play with a balanced 4231

First Half :
Following the tactic changes pre-Ipswich, I am here lowering the LOE & DL ; the DLPs is changed into APs ; the DMs to a DLPd ; I swap Hourihane and McGinn position again.

For the first half I decide to change nothing during the first half to let the tactic play. It's not great though, boring half and bad grades :

image.thumb.png.f11fa8ae7c863e5105f58d58479276f3.pngimage.thumb.png.829bddac5b23226864bd9995f6277ef6.png

Second Half:
IFs changed into IFa ; FBa into WBs ; DLF who did F*** ALL gets PI "Shoot more often" added ; Swap Houri and McGinn position again ; Useless Winger gets "Roam from position" PI
I am adding "Work ball into Box" too

89' - GOAL from open play


Not a much better second half nor a good game. Hardly had a very good chance overall and my DLFa still was not good enough. I get that he is slow, but goalscorer (balance, finishing, technique, composure, off the ball) attributes are really good, I am pissed that I can't help him having better chances

image.thumb.png.e3894b908b64df00acc34ea33ada7bb7.pngimage.thumb.png.9783114d975059c4f2e108f54ae42516.png

Edited by Test12
clearer post

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Hee Dude! 
congrats to the nine points! I just add what’s going on in my mind when I read this:

- first all, three victories are three victories, maybe the basic is set

- you seem very stable in your defense so I would add a Regista in the DM slot because I‘m having a good experience whit this role in a similar system. The Regista pulls the strings from the back and is also more aggressive in defending as a DLP. 
- as the winger seems out of play I would try him as a IWa/s. Especially if you have a pacy player who can get a longshot (IWa) if it’s just passing and crossing (IWs).

- that’s it: the players need to get familiar with the style of play and I would not change much as the results are good. Most teams will play defensively or cautiously against Villa, which should still be a Prem side.

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5 hours ago, HanziZoloman said:

as the winger seems out of play I would try him as a IWa/s. Especially if you have a pacy player who can get a longshot (IWa) if it’s just passing and crossing (IWs).

What do you look at for such conclusion? Number of passes, dribblings, shots... everything? 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Test12 said:

1) My left winger has goog flair and dribbling, but mediocre left foot. Wouldn't he struggle to play as IW ?

I play my wingers as IWa/s sometimes on their (footed) side sometimes on the inverted side. My observations of the games has been, that both is working well. If played inverted (left foot/ right wing) the IW goes from the wing inside towards the box to play the final pass or shot himself. If played on the foot side (left/left) the IW seems to dribble in the box for a final crossing. I stwich it during a match if it seems right. 

 

17 hours ago, Test12 said:

2) My Forward is rather useless and struggles to get free/in good position despite having decent decision making and very good OTB.
My bet is it has to do with the movement around him but I'm not sure what to do.

I have a F9 as lone striker too. The idea behind this is that the F9 drops deep to play as a Playmaker, a #10. The IWa, IFa and even RMD on the flanks cut into the space the F9 creates by dropping deep (thats why both are on attack duty in my setup). The F9 can play the killerball himself or shot from outside the box or even get inside the box late to recieve a final pass.

Your Forward has good mental attributes to play as a Raumdeuter on the wing (?). As for the F9 I take playmakers. It's a very demanding role so the attributes have to be good (first touch, vision, decisions, off the ball, shooting etc)

15 hours ago, Nikola75 said:

What do you look at for such conclusion? Number of passes, dribblings, shots... everything? 

I watch the matches and read much stuff in the internet :D sometimes I ask @Experienced Defender for help

But mostly I watch the matches and try to understand the beauty of the game.

edit: and of course I check match statistics in general, clear cuts, half chances, shots on target, passing percentage. I always want to have the better chances than the opponent and I want my team to have high percentage in passing performance. If that’s so and I lose the game by a late winner, I don’t change anything except players or so. If I have much chances but always the bad ones and the opponent has criticals, then something is going wrong.

How do you do it?

Edited by HanziZoloman

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Hey guys,

So a little feedback after 4 days of gaming and one season over : I found the way !

After testing a lot of combination of roles and TIs, this is the tactic (with some little tweaks, this is not plug and play) that unlock the full potential for my team :

90637093_554246462130918_664839819066605568_n.png?_nc_cat=104&_nc_sid=b96e70&_nc_ohc=1LalQ485omgAX-xXAX8&_nc_ht=scontent-cdg2-1.xx&oh=a5a45dda5837ee59658e9bfa0b7767a3&oe=5EA0196E

The main lesson learned here was that, as a top club in the league, being agressive is mandatory. Not meaning to "tackle harder" but more trying to suffocate the opposition.
I am rather a "defensive/counter attacking manager" and thrive at counter-attacking football. As much as I wanted to try something else with Villa, I realised down the line that I had to much bias towards my usual mindset/tactic (my comfort zone) !

The essentials core change of my mindset were :
- switch to Higher LOE and DL (despite fearing for counter-attacks)
- more urgent pressing (despite losing team shape)
- counter-pressing (just like pressing, I feared losing team shape and exposing the team)

The rest of the TIs helped moulding the tactic, but these three were real revelation for a noobie "Possession" manager like me. 

I've started tweaking around tactics in mid November and the results really started to show in December: 

90505706_585198308873540_9155028842203578368_n.png?_nc_cat=104&_nc_sid=b96e70&_nc_ohc=sf2TPBMwczQAX-HRxu4&_nc_ht=scontent-cdg2-1.xx&oh=26224a535511b0e3c742c669bf7eaf3c&oe=5E9D8F1A

Role-wise, I am pretty as it is. Only role still uncertain for me is the Mezzala in MCL, but that may be down to the players used there. Maybe switching to a CM-A or B2B second season would prove better results (I am open to suggestions here !).
Changing the striker role to PF-S was a real REVELATION for me. Too slow enough to set up is own goals and not creative enough to be a DLF or F9, the PF-s role was perfect for Austin. It turned him into both a ball wining/hassling presence upfront, an easy outlet when building up the attack, while remaining the main finisher in the opposition 18yd box.

One other thing : to my surprise, the defensive record with this tactic is very good ! I ended up best defense in the league (24 conceded in 46 games!) while being not bad at all in attack (3d best attack of the league). Oh and we won the league 4 games before the end of the season despite super in form Brentford and Stoke.

Next year back to PREMIER LEAGUE ! I guess this tactic will be to adventurous for the PL, so I may go back to my usual counter(comfort)zone but I am pretty happy with this experience with possession football and feel like a learned a lot ! 

Special thanks to @HanziZoloman and @Experienced Defender for the support and putting me on the right path ! 🙏

 

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4 hours ago, Test12 said:

Next year back to PREMIER LEAGUE ! I guess this tactic will be to adventurous for the PL, so I may go back to my usual counter(comfort)zone but I am pretty happy with this experience with possession football and feel like a learned a lot ! 

Great man! I am really happy for you and wish you a steady start in PS! Hope you keep us on line, want to know about working on your counter tactic 

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