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Hey guys,

I'm currently finishing the 25/26 season, my first with a top a flight club in Europe. Before that, I had a very successful (and long) run in South America.

The formation that I was using there was a fluid 4-2-3-1. The goals were high possession and high passing rate, with plenty of shots and restricting the opposition as simple outcomes from this. All of this was achieved there and that's how I got this job.

The problem is that I simply cannot get the formation to work in the new club. I've done a lot of tweaking to get to the one you see attached, but I still see the following:

 

Current problems:

- The front 4 under perform in general and also don't really score a lot. (Note, depending on the player, the left winger can be an IW);

- Not too many chances created (we either get a lot of shots but not many chances against smaller clubs and not many shots against top clubs. (Note: I tend to vary from Balanced, Positive and Attacking depending on the opposition and home or away);

- The keeper gets too many touches. The keeper, the CBs and the CMs get more or less the same number of passes throughout a match. I constantly see the ball being sent back all the way from the midfield;

- The opposition is getting too many chances and shots;

- The team feels unreliable on attack and unsafe on defense.

 

Old problems (not happening now):

- Too many crosses (60-80 per match), even with WBiB;

 

Successes:

- It depends on the opposition, but in general we get high possession and high passing rates;

- The CMs generally perform well;

 

Questions:

- Do you see anything being done wrong or have any kind of suggestion?

- Are my comments compatible to what would be expected of this formation?

- Is there something that obviously have to be changed in my mindset when I move from a top south american club to a top european club?

 

Note: please don't say 4-2-3-1 or AMC is flawed in FM2020. I'm aware of this but I did have success before with it.

Note2: I'm open to any suggestion, granted I keep the 4-2-3-1 shape, including changing the formation.

Note3: the goal with having too many support duties was to increase possession and "fluidity". When I move up to Positive, I add one att duty and when I move up Attacking, I add another one.

 

Thanks in advance. 

 

 

 

Capture.PNG

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Posted (edited)

I don't really see much wrong with your tactic to be honest it looks well balanced.

Like me and most others you are struggling with this formation this year (I have previously played this formation for many years with no issues). I've moved on to a different formation but there was a fantastic thread about AP/AM and giving him space. The biggest take away I got from it was to move the CMs to the DM position, and to use wingers which I already did and you do to.

From my experience this year with this formation and looking at your tactic I'd change your Fwd to a PF-a and Am to a Treq. I'd also vary your wings more, given your CM-L is on Defend, I'd have a much more attacking/adventurous LB and a more attacking AM-R. I'd also remove shorter passing to try and get ball up top quicker (given that you have a "top heavy" formation), this may also stop backward passing to keeper you are referring to.

Thats about it, as I said it looks okay to me and certainly nothing else jumps out as "wrong"

 

Other advice would be to stop changing mentalities so much, especially as you are experimenting with roles etc, it changes every players attitude and how the roles work with each other, I'd stick to one mentality more and identify your issues from that. Usual advice is that a top heavy formation like this should shy away from attacking mentality to avoid squeezing space up top when you have the ball . Also I've fond that one tactic that works well in one country usually doesn't directly translate well into another.

Edited by scwiffy

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6 hours ago, thizaum said:

Hey guys,

I'm currently finishing the 25/26 season, my first with a top a flight club in Europe. Before that, I had a very successful (and long) run in South America.

The formation that I was using there was a fluid 4-2-3-1. The goals were high possession and high passing rate, with plenty of shots and restricting the opposition as simple outcomes from this. All of this was achieved there and that's how I got this job.

The problem is that I simply cannot get the formation to work in the new club. I've done a lot of tweaking to get to the one you see attached, but I still see the following:

 

Current problems:

- The front 4 under perform in general and also don't really score a lot. (Note, depending on the player, the left winger can be an IW);

- Not too many chances created (we either get a lot of shots but not many chances against smaller clubs and not many shots against top clubs. (Note: I tend to vary from Balanced, Positive and Attacking depending on the opposition and home or away);

- The keeper gets too many touches. The keeper, the CBs and the CMs get more or less the same number of passes throughout a match. I constantly see the ball being sent back all the way from the midfield;

- The opposition is getting too many chances and shots;

- The team feels unreliable on attack and unsafe on defense.

 

Old problems (not happening now):

- Too many crosses (60-80 per match), even with WBiB;

 

Successes:

- It depends on the opposition, but in general we get high possession and high passing rates;

- The CMs generally perform well;

 

Questions:

- Do you see anything being done wrong or have any kind of suggestion?

- Are my comments compatible to what would be expected of this formation?

- Is there something that obviously have to be changed in my mindset when I move from a top south american club to a top european club?

 

Note: please don't say 4-2-3-1 or AMC is flawed in FM2020. I'm aware of this but I did have success before with it.

Note2: I'm open to any suggestion, granted I keep the 4-2-3-1 shape, including changing the formation.

Note3: the goal with having too many support duties was to increase possession and "fluidity". When I move up to Positive, I add one att duty and when I move up Attacking, I add another one.

 

Thanks in advance. 

 

 

 

Capture.PNG

Keeping the above setup intact as much as possible, I suggest trying the following changes (Balanced mentality only) to improve on your overall offence and defence:

thizaum.thumb.png.d85f8637a30c13f7512b13f6085e6ced.png

  • Add player instructions pressing intensity more urgent to AML, AMC, AMR, STC
  • If you must have a playmaker (I understand many users are obsessed with playmakers, and must have at least one or more for some reason), change AMC AMsu to APsu

Contrary to the beliefs of many other users, I do not feel that the AMC position is flawed or impossible to play well. It feels more difficult to make it work because it is very important to create space and have suitable player roles/duties around the AMC. Compared to other FM versions prior to FM20, it is absolutely less forgiving than other positions when not implemented well. Hence leading to the frustrations of many users with the 4231.

Hope this helps. :)

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, scwiffy said:

Like me and most others you are struggling with this formation this year (I have previously played this formation for many years with no issues).

 

3 hours ago, scwiffy said:

Also I've fond that one tactic that works well in one country usually doesn't directly translate well into another.

Hey there,

I mainly use 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1. The funny part is that I was having a lot of success with a similar tactic in the same Engine (last patch).

 

3 hours ago, scwiffy said:

The biggest take away I got from it was to move the CMs to the DM position

Do you think I should? This is the main reason for using a DLP-d paired with CM-d and also pushing the defense line higher.

 

3 hours ago, scwiffy said:

From my experience this year with this formation and looking at your tactic I'd change your Fwd to a PF-a and Am to a Treq.

I've never had a good experience with PF and maybe my striker isn't fit for it, but doesn't hurt to give it a try. The Treq, on the other hand, has been better than the AM-s the times I've used it.

 

3 hours ago, scwiffy said:

I'd also vary your wings more, given your CM-L is on Defend, I'd have a much more attacking/adventurous LB and a more attacking AM-R.

I do this when I move up to Positive, but...

 

3 hours ago, scwiffy said:

Other advice would be to stop changing mentalities so much, especially as you are experimenting with roles etc, it changes every players attitude and how the roles work with each other, I'd stick to one mentality more and identify your issues from that. Usual advice is that a top heavy formation like this should shy away from attacking mentality to avoid squeezing space up top when you have the ball .

This is an interesting take on it. If I'm managing Barcelona, shouldn't I play different mentalities when playing Oviedo at home or Real Madrid away? Perhaps the "right" mentality for me should be Positive with the left FB-a, but I cannot see myself playing Real Madrid away like that. How do you do it? Keep the mentality and tweak positions and duties?

 

Edit: also, interesting bit on removing Short Passes. I never thought of it that way and it doesn't happen with 4-3-3. I start to wonder if I shouldn't move to a 4-2DM-3-1, 4-4-1-1 or 4-2DM-2-1-1 with higher mentality.

Do "top heavy formations" and "control possession" make sense together?

 

Thanks.

Edited by thizaum

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51 minutes ago, Starsurfer said:

Keeping the above setup intact as much as possible, I suggest trying the following changes (Balanced mentality only) to improve on your overall offence and defence:

Hi there,

Well, as I said, I'm open to changing pretty much anything (so no real need to keep it intact). How would your suggestions allow the team to control possession? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this moves the team to playing in a neutral manner.

 

53 minutes ago, Starsurfer said:

Add player instructions pressing intensity more urgent to AML, AMC, AMR, STC

This is what people call split block?

 

54 minutes ago, Starsurfer said:

If you must have a playmaker (I understand many users are obsessed with playmakers, and must have at least one or more for some reason), change AMC AMsu to APsu

I'm not obsessed with it. Actually, I think the better the team, the more players are capable of handling playmaking. If you concentrate all of it at one players, you are wasting others' skill to do so.

 

55 minutes ago, Starsurfer said:

Contrary to the beliefs of many other users, I do not feel that the AMC position is flawed or impossible to play well. It feels more difficult to make it work because it is very important to create space and have suitable player roles/duties around the AMC. Compared to other FM versions prior to FM20, it is absolutely less forgiving than other positions when not implemented well. Hence leading to the frustrations of many users with the 4231.

And you create this by pretty much "spacing out" as far as possible every adjacent role, right? It makes sense.

It's a shame that we cannot have 4 equally spaced strati. The 4 different 4-2-3-1s will always be a point of discussion here... =)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, thizaum said:

Do you think I should? This is the main reason for using a DLP-d paired with CM-d and also pushing the defense line higher.

100% that was my biggest take away from the thread. Its here... 

1 hour ago, thizaum said:

This is an interesting take on it. If I'm managing Barcelona, shouldn't I play different mentalities when playing Oviedo at home or Real Madrid away? Perhaps the "right" mentality for me should be Positive with the left FB-a, but I cannot see myself playing Real Madrid away like that. How do you do it? Keep the mentality and tweak positions and duties?

I think you should read up a bit on Mentalities or have a bit of a refresher. I very very rarely change mentalities, I only do it if I want a role to perform more extremely (eg pushing a CM further up the pitch), then consequently changing the mentality of each role to counter it. But my main reason for recommending it is purely for you to identify issues you have, if you spot 1 issue then change the mentality you might fix that issue but create other elsewhere, you'd just go round in circles. Keeping mentality and only changing roles is how i do it 90% of the time when trying to create a tactic.

1 hour ago, thizaum said:

Edit: also, interesting bit on removing Short Passes. I never thought of it that way and it doesn't happen with 4-3-3. I start to wonder if I shouldn't move to a 4-2DM-3-1, 4-4-1-1 or 4-2DM-2-1-1 with higher mentality.

Do "top heavy formations" and "control possession" make sense together?

If your player is set to make short passes and a short pass isn't on, they will either gamble with a launched ball forward (which your receiving players won't be expecting due to the team instruction), a long shot or play a safe ball back to keeper (as you are describing). Here, I think you need to decide what you want. As by the sounds of it you want to play possession football but aren't happy with passes backwards - that is kinda counter intuitive.

You can make almost any style of play fit any formation, but very generally a 4321 will work better with possession play than a 4231. Again I think you need to decide what you want to see and how you want to play and make sure those things aren't counter intuitive (eg possession but no backward passes)

Edited by scwiffy

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9 hours ago, thizaum said:

Capture.PNG

With both conservative fullbacks and both holding CMs, your flanks have insufficient attacking support, which is even more pronounced given your heavily possession-oriented instructions (short pass + low tempo + PoD + balanced mentality). 

As the only player on attack-duty, your lone striker is also lacking proper support + there is overall lack of penetration. Your tactic looks like possession for the sake of possession, which is pretty sterile attacking-wise (even though playing a winger role on both flanks is not quite possession-friendly). 

9 hours ago, thizaum said:

The opposition is getting too many chances and shots

Where are those opposition chances mostly coming from and how? Balls over the top? Crosses? Intercepting your attacks in dangerous areas and then launching a quick counter? Or else?

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2 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

With both conservative fullbacks and both holding CMs, your flanks have insufficient attacking support, which is even more pronounced given your heavily possession-oriented instructions (short pass + low tempo + PoD + balanced mentality). 

As the only player on attack-duty, your lone striker is also lacking proper support + there is overall lack of penetration. Your tactic looks like possession for the sake of possession, which is pretty sterile attacking-wise (even though playing a winger role on both flanks is not quite possession-friendly). 

That all makes a lot of sense.

 

2 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Where are those opposition chances mostly coming from and how? Balls over the top? Crosses? Intercepting your attacks in dangerous areas and then launching a quick counter? Or else?

Mostly counter, I'd say. Especially in matches that I have the majority of possession. Balls over the top as well.

In matches where the possession is more even, pretty much in anyway and always more opportunities than my team.

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Okay, guys. After thinking about the comments, I wanted to run the same test with 2 alternatives.

Granted, this is a very difficult match, but I'm not really worrying about the result and actually more about the data and the way the team plays.

I've gone with 4-2DM-3-1, changed the left FB to attack role, Positive mentality and some other changes.

The stats that you see below are all from the 1st half of the match.

We failed to create a single shot on goal, while they had 8 (7 on target, 2 half chances and 2 goals).

The passing rate decreased to some 85%, and number of passes and possession are pretty much even.

The heat map shows the DMs closer to the AM than the ST. And we can see that the opposition had most of their attacks behind the FB-a.

4-2dm-3-1.PNG

heatmap1.PNG

Stats1.PNG

FoA1.PNG

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Now the second test.

From the OP, changed the supporting CM to defensive role, left FB to attack role, striker to AF, and removed PoD (instead of removing Short Passing).

I got the exact same result (losing 2-0), but one goal was out of set pieces and the other an own goal.

Up until 30, 35', each team had 2 shots on goal and 1 ccc. Yes, we had 1 ccc. =)

And it was out of a very nice and patient play.

The possession did lower a bit, but I think it is still acceptable for this kind of match.

What did concern me is that the striker is still pretty far from the AM, and that 4% of my attacks came from central areas.

Thoughts?

 

4-2-3-1.PNG

FoA2.PNG

Stats2.PNG

heatmap2.PNG

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1 hour ago, thizaum said:

Mostly counter, I'd say. Especially in matches that I have the majority of possession. Balls over the top as well

It probably means that your team is not good enough to play with a higher defensive line and/or counter-press. Either one or the other (or even both). Another potential reason could also be that your players are not capable of keeping possession of the ball under pressure. If so, you should probably reconsider your style of play, possibly including the 4231 as a formation. 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, thizaum said:

Hi there,

Well, as I said, I'm open to changing pretty much anything (so no real need to keep it intact). How would your suggestions allow the team to control possession? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this moves the team to playing in a neutral manner.

I used Balanced mentality only because your original setup was on Balanced. Every mentality can play possession football, it all depends on how the tactic is setup. Mentality is merely how much risk the team or player is told to take or avoid. Less risk on defensive mentality, more risk on attacking mentality, and respectively in between. Most importantly, different mentalities require the players' roles/duties/instructions to be setup differently if you wish to achieve results.

13 hours ago, thizaum said:

This is what people call split block?

Yup.

13 hours ago, thizaum said:

And you create this by pretty much "spacing out" as far as possible every adjacent role, right? It makes sense.

Yes you got half the concept right. The respective positions and movements that the other players will take according to their roles/duties/instructions are important too. And this is why your 2 latest setups are still not performing optimally.

Hope this clarifies and help your tactic creations. :)

Edited by Starsurfer

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