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koimes

Tactical Advice for a 4-4-2 and Striker Positioning

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Hi All

Please see the screenshots attached. I am looking to play a style similar to Leicester's 2015/16 using Guido's tactic as a base https://strikerless.com/2016/02/10/a-leicester-city-inspired-4-4-2-0/. Fight hard for the ball between the middle of the pitch and the edge of my box, then work the ball up quickly on the counter. 

I feel it's working okay, I am getting narrow loses from bigger sides and I am beating bottom table clubs. My general match strategy might see me tweak it based on the match. If I go up against easier opponents, if I'm losing or if I'm getting harassed off the ball while playing out of defense, I switch the mentality to standard (mainly to shift tempo from Higher Tempo to Extremely High Tempo) and/or set my FB's to WB's to add more width going forward.  
 

Included PIs:

  • FBs - Sit Narrower but run wide with ball
  • Wingers - Roam from position, Tackle Harder and Mark Tighter (I have thought about using defensive wingers, but worried that their closing down will cause us to lose our shape and that they won't really get involved in the box.)
  • Mezzala - dribble more
  • BWM - More Direct Passing
  • PF - Dribble More
  • DLF - Roam from position, Tackle Harder and Mark Tighter



Questions:

  • Is my striker positioning preferable? e.g. the PF's left foot is strongest, but his preferred position in a striker duo is on the left. Should I place him on the right or left? I was always of the impression that the strikers position should be opposite to his preferred foot  i.e. left footed striker on right side. Same goes for the DLF
  • I definitely have a problem with the Mezalla, he's great in attack, but getting the ball to him is a problem as there's a gap between my defense and attack, I am going to switch him to a Roaming Playmaker with dribble more, so he gets the ball from deep and runs with it. Would this be a good option?
  • Any other pieces of advice would be great to understand ways in which I can improve the tactic 

20200509170422_1.jpg

20200509170438_1.jpg

20200509170433_1.jpg

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1 hour ago, koimes said:

I am looking to play a style similar to Leicester's 2015/16. Fight hard for the ball between the middle of the pitch and the edge of my box

With a much higher defensive line, extremely urgent pressing and a totally unbalanced setup of roles and duties ??? 

 

1 hour ago, koimes said:

Is my striker positioning preferable? e.g. the PF's left foot is strongest, but his preferred position in a striker duo is on the left

I would put him on the left if his stronger foot is left, given that he is the more attacking (advanced) of the 2 strikers. 

 

1 hour ago, koimes said:

Same goes for the DLF

You mean he is also left-footed? Or what? 

 

1 hour ago, koimes said:

20200509170422_1.jpg

 

1 hour ago, koimes said:

Any other pieces of advice would be great to understand ways in which I can improve the tactic 

The problem with this tactic is that it looks a lot more like a downloaded plug'n'play/exploit tactic than a normal one. It's definitely extremely unbalanced and full of overkill and contradictions. But if it's intended as an exploit tactic, then those overkills and contradictions are probably necessary (because exploit tactics are generally insensible as such).

However, if you want a normal tactic that really makes sense, then it needs a complete overhaul.

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The DLF is right footed

Ok fair enough, maybe I should explain what I want and then you can suggest amendments? Not everyone knows what "balanced" or "unbalanced" is, like you do, especially newer players. Here's my thinking

Roles:

  • Full backs staying back for the majority of the time, I don't want to lose shape as I find moving wingbacks up always results in a problem when the AI counter. 
  • BWM role is fine, I want him to play direct balls like a very aggressive and combatant DLP
  • For the mezzala's role, I want a player who can grab the ball from the defense and move it up while providing some attacking threat
  • Wingers providing width and acting like wide BWM but also assisting the Strikers in the box 
  • DLF to drop deep to receive the ball, assisting the more attacking CM while he is moving the ball up
  • PF is your typical Vardy, Runs in behind and hassles the opponents

TI's

  • We need to win the ball back between the edge of our box and the midfield line no matter the cost. I feel once the AI has got passed the edge of my box, it turns into goals rather than if I never let the opponent get there in the first place. Extremely high pressing and harder tackling on the midfield and forwards provide this. 
  • When we lose the ball we need to regroup and prepare to press as mentioned in the bullet above
  • Higher defensive line allows us to compress the space if we've worked the ball up (when the play isn't a counter). Gives an easy passing option for the midfielders/wingers if they can't find a good cross near the box
  • Run at defense, we're not particularly waiting for overlaps and I think this shout suits a counter attacking style 
  • Counter mentality as we want to reduce out risk against the majority of sides we'll face in the prem (who are all better than us)



 

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3 hours ago, koimes said:

Not everyone knows what "balanced" or "unbalanced" is, like you do, especially newer players

I'll try to explain the difference between Balanced and Unbalanced through a very simple example:

This is Balanced:

PFat

IWsu                             Wat

DLPsu   MEZsu

DMde

FBat   CDde  BPDde   FBsu

And this is Unbalanced:

PFat

IWsu                              Wat

MEZsu   DLPsu

DMde

FBat    CDde   BPDde  FBsu

Both these setups consist of literally the same roles and duties. The only difference is their distribution (arrangement) within the system (setup). 

In case you want an example pertaining specifically to the 442 formation, here it is:

A Balanced 442:

DLFsu   PFat

WMat       CMde      BBM      Wsu

WBsu  CDde  CD/BPDde   FBsu

Now compare this to your 442 setup and note the (huge) difference. 

 

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3 hours ago, koimes said:

Full backs staying back for the majority of the time, I don't want to lose shape as I find moving wingbacks up always results in a problem when the AI counter

AI will have plenty of space to counter, regardless of your fullbacks, given how your midfield is set up - 3 attack duties out of possible 4 (not to mention that one of those is given to a mezzala, which is the most attack-minded CM role already). Defending is not a responsibility of defenders only, but the entire team. 

 

4 hours ago, koimes said:

BWM role is fine, I want him to play direct balls like a very aggressive and combatant DLP

Sorry, but I really don't understand the meaning of this statement at all :idiot: 

 

4 hours ago, koimes said:

Counter mentality as we want to reduce out risk against the majority of sides we'll face in the prem (who are all better than us)

It's not the "counter" mentality, but the Cautious mentality (the counter mentality does not exist in FM as of FM19). Low team mentalities (such as cautious or defensive) do not reduce defensive risks nor do they make you defensively solid or stable on their own. The only risk those lower mentalities reduce is passing risk (less appetite for adventurous passes forward), along with slowing your attacking transitions. 

You can be very solid defensively under the Positive or even Attacking team mentality. Conversely, you can be be extremely vulnerable under the cautious or defensive. 

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1 hour ago, Experienced Defender said:

And this is Unbalanced:

PFat

IWsu                              Wat

MEZsu   DLPsu

DMde

FBat    CDde   BPDde  FBsu

Am I right that this system is unbalanced because on the left flank we have MEZsu (Mostly attacking role), FBat and IWsu, who will exploit the same territory as the MEZsu? 

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32 minutes ago, olegmelnikov said:

Am I right that this system is unbalanced because on the left flank we have MEZsu (Mostly attacking role), FBat

Yes :thup: 

Because when you use an attack-minded fullback or wing-back, you need someone to provide defensive cover for him. And mezzala is certainly not such type of role. 

 

32 minutes ago, olegmelnikov said:

and IWsu, who will exploit the same territory as the MEZsu? 

Again yes :thup:

But on the other hand, IW/IF on support and mezzala on attack can be a very nice combination.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, koimes said:

Hi All

Please see the screenshots attached. I am looking to play a style similar to Leicester's 2015/16 using Guido's tactic as a base https://strikerless.com/2016/02/10/a-leicester-city-inspired-4-4-2-0/. Fight hard for the ball between the middle of the pitch and the edge of my box, then work the ball up quickly on the counter. 

I feel it's working okay, I am getting narrow loses from bigger sides and I am beating bottom table clubs. My general match strategy might see me tweak it based on the match. If I go up against easier opponents, if I'm losing or if I'm getting harassed off the ball while playing out of defense, I switch the mentality to standard (mainly to shift tempo from Higher Tempo to Extremely High Tempo) and/or set my FB's to WB's to add more width going forward.  
 

Included PIs:

  • FBs - Sit Narrower but run wide with ball
  • Wingers - Roam from position, Tackle Harder and Mark Tighter (I have thought about using defensive wingers, but worried that their closing down will cause us to lose our shape and that they won't really get involved in the box.)
  • Mezzala - dribble more
  • BWM - More Direct Passing
  • PF - Dribble More
  • DLF - Roam from position, Tackle Harder and Mark Tighter



Questions:

  • Is my striker positioning preferable? e.g. the PF's left foot is strongest, but his preferred position in a striker duo is on the left. Should I place him on the right or left? I was always of the impression that the strikers position should be opposite to his preferred foot  i.e. left footed striker on right side. Same goes for the DLF
  • I definitely have a problem with the Mezalla, he's great in attack, but getting the ball to him is a problem as there's a gap between my defense and attack, I am going to switch him to a Roaming Playmaker with dribble more, so he gets the ball from deep and runs with it. Would this be a good option?
  • Any other pieces of advice would be great to understand ways in which I can improve the tactic 

20200509170422_1.jpg

 

8 hours ago, koimes said:

The DLF is right footed

Ok fair enough, maybe I should explain what I want and then you can suggest amendments? Not everyone knows what "balanced" or "unbalanced" is, like you do, especially newer players. Here's my thinking

Roles:

  • Full backs staying back for the majority of the time, I don't want to lose shape as I find moving wingbacks up always results in a problem when the AI counter. 
  • BWM role is fine, I want him to play direct balls like a very aggressive and combatant DLP
  • For the mezzala's role, I want a player who can grab the ball from the defense and move it up while providing some attacking threat
  • Wingers providing width and acting like wide BWM but also assisting the Strikers in the box 
  • DLF to drop deep to receive the ball, assisting the more attacking CM while he is moving the ball up
  • PF is your typical Vardy, Runs in behind and hassles the opponents

TI's

  • We need to win the ball back between the edge of our box and the midfield line no matter the cost. I feel once the AI has got passed the edge of my box, it turns into goals rather than if I never let the opponent get there in the first place. Extremely high pressing and harder tackling on the midfield and forwards provide this. 
  • When we lose the ball we need to regroup and prepare to press as mentioned in the bullet above
  • Higher defensive line allows us to compress the space if we've worked the ball up (when the play isn't a counter). Gives an easy passing option for the midfielders/wingers if they can't find a good cross near the box
  • Run at defense, we're not particularly waiting for overlaps and I think this shout suits a counter attacking style 
  • Counter mentality as we want to reduce out risk against the majority of sides we'll face in the prem (who are all better than us)

Your setup is full of conflicts. To achieve the description of your style of play, I'd try the following changes:

  • Remove all the PIs you added
  • Change mentality to positive
  • Remove run at defence
  • Remove focus play down the left and right
  • Remove higher tempo
  • Remove regroup
  • Change defensive line to higher
  • Remove extremely urgent pressing (use a split block pressing with STCL, STCR, MEZat instead)
  • Remove tighter marking
  • Add use offside trap
  • Change both ML and MR to Wsu
  • Change BWMde to BWMsu

Hope this helps. :)

Edited by Starsurfer

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5 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Sorry, but I really don't understand the meaning of this statement at all :idiot: 

 

I was referring to a the player instruction of more direct passing that I've set on the BWM. I didn't fancy a DLP because Kante was more of a BWM but was licensed to more direct passing during his spell at Leceister. DLP's are more static and less aggressive. 
 

  • When would you (if ever) use FB on defend duties in a system? I feel my fullbacks aren't fast enough to Full backs who work up the pitch
  • Why do you set the Left Full back to Wing Back in the 4-4-2 but keep him as a FB Attack in the 4-3-3?

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It does help thanks. 

 

2 hours ago, Starsurfer said:

Remove extremely urgent pressing (use a split block pressing with STCL, STCR, MEZat instead)

So, set these individual players PI's to higher pressing?

 

2 hours ago, Starsurfer said:

Change BWMde to BWMsu

Are you setting the BWM to a higher role here due to the rest of the team (especially the wingers) being less aggressive? 

 

2 hours ago, Starsurfer said:
  • Remove all the PIs you added
  • Change mentality to positive
  • Remove run at defence
  • Remove focus play down the left and right
  • Remove higher tempo
  • Remove regroup
  • Change defensive line to higher
  • Remove extremely urgent pressing (use a split block pressing with STCL, STCR, MEZat instead)
  • Remove tighter marking
  • Add use offside trap
  • Change both ML and MR to Wsu
  • Change BWMde to BWMsu

 

Can you please explain why you suggested removing run at defense (I don't want the players to dwell on the ball at all) and tighter marking? 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, koimes said:

It does help thanks. 

 

So, set these individual players PI's to higher pressing?

Yup.

 

28 minutes ago, koimes said:

Are you setting the BWM to a higher role here due to the rest of the team (especially the wingers) being less aggressive? 

Mainly because you wish the BWM to be more direct. With a positive mentality the rest of the team are not really less aggressive. If BWMsu is too aggressive or position too high for your liking, feel free to keep as BWMde.

 

28 minutes ago, koimes said:

Can you please explain why you suggested removing run at defense (I don't want the players to dwell on the ball at all) and tighter marking? 

These are to prevent the players from losing their defensive shape, especially on a positive mentality. The Wsu and MEZsu roles already likes to dribble the ball. Furthermore you also have be more expressive enabled.

Edited by Starsurfer

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7 hours ago, koimes said:

When would you (if ever) use FB on defend duties in a system?

As with any other role - when it fits logically with the rest of the setup (other roles and duties) and when it makes sense in relation to the style of football I want to play. Both conditions need to be satisfied. 

 

7 hours ago, koimes said:

Why do you set the Left Full back to Wing Back in the 4-4-2 but keep him as a FB Attack in the 4-3-3?

I assume you are referring to the examples of balanced and unbalanced setups I sketched out in an earlier comment. 

Because I never select roles and duties in isolation from the rest of the setup. Instead, I always pay attention to how roles/duties interact with one another within the system as a whole, both from attacking and defensive perspectives. And of course, the formation is also an important factor to consider (is it top-heavy or bottom-heavy or balanced; does it employ a DM or not; is it a narrow or wide type of system etc.).

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@Experienced Defender I appreciate you replying but your answers aren't giving me any help in understanding how to improve with my system, why you select certain roles in your balanced formation or when a FB on defend would be a good/bad option for example. Given, things can't work in isolation, but then it would help to explain or give an example of what you mean in the context of the question rather than cancelling out the question

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1 hour ago, koimes said:

when a FB on defend would be a good/bad option for example

Can be a good option in a hoofball style for example. But only if other roles and duties are set up in a balanced way that ensures both attacking penetration and defensive stability. An example:

TMat    AFat

Wsu      BWMde   CMsu    WMsu

NFBde     CDde    NCBde    FBde

The next step is to select the instructions and mentality so that they logically correspond with the given setup of roles and duties. In the case of the above setup, instructions that would make sense can be:

Mentality - Balanced

In possession - extremely direct passing, hit early crosses and slightly narrower width

In transition - counter, slow pace down and distribute to target-man

Out of possession - lower line of engagement and get stuck in

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