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scratchmonkey

[FM 20] 4-1-4-1 DM Wide, Roles/Instructions in the CM ahead of a Regista?

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Posted (edited)

Currently I'm in my 9th season in charge of Torino in the year 2032, and we're firmly established as the top team in Italy (mainly because all of the the traditionally big teams keep firing their coaches when they fail to win the league/qualify for the CL, so they never have a chance to build a settled squad). I have an Attacking 4-2-3-1 DM tactic that does very well against anybody outside of the top 20 teams in Europe; however, my recent record against these top teams is mixed, especially in the CL, where out of 7 qualifications, I've gone out at the group stage once, made the first knockout round 4 times, the quarter-finals twice, and made it all the way to the final once. My approach to the game is built around the Regista role, as I feel like it gives a particular flavor to being an Italian team, and both of my "world-class" players can play there.

Here's the base of the tactic that I'm working with so far (all the roles/mentalities/instructions except for the two CMs are exactly the same as my other tactic, which makes it easy to switch between the two without changing personnel):

1527080422_ToroTesting.thumb.PNG.095341d19bfe9c070d80592f9b31eede.PNG

PIs are:

  • The front three are set to Close Down More -- I will probably also apply this to at least one, and possibly both, of the CMs.
  • The Regista is sometimes set to Shoot More Often, depending on which of my Registas are playing.
  • The FB is sometimes set to More Direct Passes and Take More Risks, depending on which RB I'm using.
  • Both BPDs are set to Close Down Less, although this may be overkill with the default Pressing TI.
  • the SK is set to Take More Risks because their attributes broadly support this.

The primary goals for this tactic are, in order:

  • Being defensively sound against top competition. As the 4-1-4-1 DM Wide is a fairly bottom-heavy formation and I have good players, Balanced seems like the best choice for base mentality.
  • Making the most of our chances -- because at a high level, your best chances are going to happen when the other team is transitioning from Attack to Defense, we have Counter turned on.
  • A Higher Defensive Line combined with a default LoE has a number of positive knock-on effects -- we're more vertically compact, so harder to play through, our sweeper keeper helps negate the space behind the pushed-up line, and by not engaging the opposition until they've moved upfield, we hopefully have more space to attack into.
  • If the chance to hit them on the break has gone, we should try and hold on to the ball as possession is a good form of defense, so we instruct the players to try Shorter Passing and to Dribble Less.
  • Since our keepers are good at it, we want to Throw it Long and Distribute to Playmaker -- in practice, I've noticed that this often results in the Regista dropping deep and splitting the BPDs to receive the ball and if the opposition moves to cover that outlet, the keeper will play it to whoever is open on the flanks, and I like how this works.
  • All of our strikers come from the same mold -- relatively short, quick, great movement -- so we want to try and Hit Early Crosses to them before the defenders can mark up. This is the least important of all of our TIs and I'm pretty open to dropping it if people think it could impair our possession too much.

What I'm looking for the community to help with is exploring the roles and mentalities that you all think would work best for the two CMs. Initially I was using double Carrileros under the theory that they would provide extra defensive cover on either flank while still being conservative enough to work well with the Regista. However, the fact that nobody in central midfield would be holding their position, plus the possibility that having two of the same role would lead to the team being too predictable, has led me to wonder if there might be something better. I have a couple of configurations in mind; that said, I'd like to see what other people think without poisoning the well, so to speak.I've included attachments for every player that I would feel comfortable playing at the CM position.

Thanks in advance!

Spoiler

 

ARecchia.PNG

Baranauskas.PNG

Campari.PNG

Dieudonne.PNG

Fevre.PNG

Lorenzo.PNG

Mercier.PNG

Nunez.PNG

Tinello.PNG

 

 

Edited by scratchmonkey

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I would say Mezzela Attack on the right CM and Carrilero on the left CM. I also think you might wanna consider Attacking duty on the IW. Together with the Mezzala they will support the PF nicely upfront and the Regista will have some targets to aim for. 

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I don't think this is the right formation to use a regista in. As you say yourself: 
 

5 hours ago, scratchmonkey said:

nobody in central midfield would be holding their position

 

I'd opt for a holding DM next to him. 

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I was going to provide feedback on some of your TIs, like your use of the counter option, but you haven't actually asked for advice on those so I'll leave that and just focus on what you have asked for.

I think you need to release one of the 2 cms to be a bit more attacking. Someone who can reliably join the attack quickly and be a threat with the ball, so for that reasoning I think Ibon Nunez or Campari would be your best option for that role. Whether that's MEZ or AP depends on what you actually want from that CM. With the other one I'd be a fan of the B2B. Usually I'd consider a BWM, but the regista is going to roam so I'm not sure if having a closing down CM would be a wise choice, it might leave you weak in the centre. Someone like Tinello or Mercier could do that job. 

I have to say, I don't think your side is particularly set up to soak and counter. I think you could have great success in europe if you just tweaked your main tactic slightly (whatever that may be). You have a midfield where your holding role is one of your main creative outlets, to me I'd be looking to control the game. 

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8 hours ago, GianniM said:

I don't think this is the right formation to use a regista in.

Why not? Do you think having both other players directly in front of him take up space that he potentially could be using? It's interesting that you bring up using a holding DM next to him, because that's what I use in my regular tactic:

1517531020_ToroTette.thumb.PNG.16b58678b8361b520d558abc5b1fd644.PNG

6 hours ago, WelshMourinho said:

I was going to provide feedback on some of your TIs, like your use of the counter option, but you haven't actually asked for advice on those so I'll leave that and just focus on what you have asked for.

I would welcome any feedback that you would have about other aspects of the tactic, including the Counter. I'm guessing that from the rest of your post, you think that I'd be better off trying to dominate the game by pressing and then holding possession?

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There's nothing wrong with using a regista in a 433. You could even argue that's it's best fit. However, it seems out of place in a "balanced" counter-attacking setup. That better suits a standard DLP. Registas are intended for sides dominating the ball, defending through possession. 

Struggling with providing suggestions for your midfield because your entire setup is so counter to how I'd employ a regista. 

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Posted (edited)

Well, I decided to try out what I'd been thinking of for our next match, a CL Group stage game away to Marseille, which seemed like a pretty perfect testing ground, in that it was a potentially tricky away game against a team that I'm reasonably confident that we're better than.

I went with the following selection/roles:

trio.PNG.041e127b5b447f84f5bfe87de755ff90.PNG

There were no PIs on the CM(D) and the Regista had Shoot More Often. The CM(A) had Take More Risks, Shoot More Often, and Stay Wider, which I realize now is kind of a ersatz Mez(A). I picked the individual players for the roles not only because their attributes fit well, also because they all have plenty of experience working together.

So, time for a grinding, defensive masterclass! An object lesson in grafting to an ideal one-nil victory!

lom.thumb.PNG.b92a86bef4301fae7500f52310085366.PNG

Hang on...

Edited by scratchmonkey

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14 hours ago, scratchmonkey said:

Why not?

A Regista drifts forward aggressively, leaving his DM position unmarked. So without a holding DM next to him, you're creating a big open area between your midfield and defense for the opposition to exploit. 

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Although this here proves that it can work: 

 

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15 hours ago, scratchmonkey said:

I would welcome any feedback that you would have about other aspects of the tactic, including the Counter. I'm guessing that from the rest of your post, you think that I'd be better off trying to dominate the game by pressing and then holding possession?

Yeah I think a lot of your midfielders are more suited to being on the ball rather than defending off it. The first two midfielders you shared are absolutely great more defensive minded midfielders, but the rest are in the playmaking mould. If I look at your main tactic you're playing with attacking mentality - that's a lot of risk to be taking in big European games. You've combated that with some more cautious roles, but your team is still going to be tempted to play extremely fast and direct football. Like I think you could do very weel in European games just be toning that down a tad, I mean you could even drop your LOE in that tactic to encourage blitzing attacks too. 

If you still want to use the 4-3-3 as a more defensive tactic then there are things I'd change. I really don't think a regista suits. It's a more aggressive playmaker who's going to push foeward. But if your plan is to soak up and then break you have to consider a few things.  The first is how the opposition attack. If they use an IF or god forbid two IF's, you won't have a static DM there to defend that space as effectively. The second is that if you win the ball back, and presumably you win it back deep, how do you expect the regista to be effective? His main job is creating chances from behind the attack with the freedom to dictate the game. He's going to be crowded out by the time you win the ball and won't be effective at moving it forward. This plays into your tick of counter then. Ticking counter basically means your team is going to burst forward the second the ball is won (I think the screen itself shows you forward arrows to show you who exactly will be running forward when you win the ball back), but this also means your regista isn't really going to get the chance to dictate the game. You're looking for someone to hit the wingers fast (or at least it appears that way), not someone to drive your team forward and camp in the opposition half. 

The other thing is the gap between the wingers and the fbs. You've already acknowledged this so I'm sure you're aware of he difficulties of managing passes played into this space. For myself, I play a more positive mentality with the 4-3-3 and had higher LOE and higher DL, and it was still so easy for balls to be played into that space and that's where teams hurt us the most. It was far too easy for teams to get it to the defender, one of my wingers goes to press due to higher LOE and even with the higher D line, the ball gets played wide just as the winger follows the press to the CB.  I've dropped my LOE to standard now to make us press a little deeper but to stay a bit more compact on that side. So definitely watch what happens down that side of the pitch. Some of the AI managers absolutely LOVE overlaps, and that's what'll kill you if you look to soak with the 4-3-3.

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Thanks again for all the suggestions that have been posted so far, I've read and considered them.

First, I'll touch a little on what happened with that crazy l'OM game that I posted the stat line from, as my somewhat hyperbolic text indicates, I went into the match hoping that playing a 4-3-3 with a CM(D) ahead of the Regista on Balanced mentality would help us be more solid. Well, what happened was there was a poor clearance from a corner and the Regista was slow to close down a striker lurking outside the D, who popped a first-time shot into the upper corner. We managed to scramble an equalizer from a corner of our own; however, shortly afterward, they played a long ball in behind our LB and the same striker from the first goal beat his marker to a low drilled cross at the near post. Down at halftime, I told my team the pressure was off and ticked the mentality up to Positive, as I felt like we hadn't been creating enough chances in the first half. Cue my Regista burying two 25-yard shots off of cutbacks from the wing, followed by my own near-post finish and then a final long shot into the side netting from my left winger in injury-time. Watching that game, as well as an away game to Inter shortly thereafter, as well as reading through this thread, convinced me that I was approaching this from the wrong way.

Specifically, what @WelshMourinho said rings true -- using the Team Report Comparison tool, I have an extremely technically competent team back to front (my Defenders, Midfielders, and Strikers are all the best in Serie A in terms of Passing, Vision, and Decisions, on average), yet am only above-average for many important aspects -- Marking and Tackling, Aggressiveness and Bravery, lack of physicality from my strikers...so, why am I expecting my team to suddenly turned into hardened counter-punchers. I've built a squad that's far more in the mold of Guardiola than Simeone, and I should be modifying my tactics to reflect that.

With that in mind, here's what I've been using in the last few big games:

new_hotness.thumb.PNG.2e03b117b147a57584ee1032e1300a45.PNG

The two wingers and the mezzala are set to Close Down More, with the PF and the BWM doing it on their own. Even though none of the central midfield are holding players, this hasn't been a huge issue yet, probably because two of them move out of position during the offensive phase and the other moves out of position in the defensive phase, which means they naturally cover each other to a degree. The addition of the IWB at the RB spot also helps with putting another body in this zone while in possession. Additionally, with the greater focus on retaining possession, when we do turn the ball over, it tends to be much further upfield, which makes it easier for us to get back into our defensive positions.

With an eye on positions with the ball, here's how we looked, moving right-to-left, against l'OM with the old tactic:

lom_positions.thumb.PNG.399c8f650274479e4bfe1a43cdfe32e3.PNG

And here's how we looked, moving left-to-right, on the road against Napoli (at the time, 5th in the table) with the new tactic:

napoli.thumb.PNG.379d522f74594498c56319319024a517.PNG

My scribbles here are as follows: Blue Lines are the (general) strata of attacking lines, Red square-ish areas is something that I've noticed that concerns me, and black circles are...well, I've just noticed that I've used it for two different things in the two diagrams -- for the old tactic, it's something that I like, and for the new tactic, something that I would like to change.

What's most interesting to me is that without changing mentality, you can see that everybody except my CBs and the Regista[1] have an average position further upfield in the new tactic than they did under the old tactic. Given, these are two different games, and l'OM could have been defending more aggressively than Napoli; however, I do think that holding onto the ball more with the same overall menality/same or very similar roles, that this enables the players to, on average, get into more advanced positions more regularly. More specifically, my two wingers are now far enough forward that they're forming an attacking line with the PF, instead of leaving the striker completely isolated out in front.

Another problem that came up a lot with the old tactic is that the more defensive CM and the Regista were stepping on each other's toes continually, which you can see from the average positions. This problem disappears with the new approach; however, a different problem appears as the IWB and the Mez are competing for the same space. There are a couple possible solutions for this, one is having the IWB be on a defensive duty, which should see them drop deeper in possession. The one I'd prefer though is to get the more attacking CM both further upfield and potentially operating more centrally. I'm not yet sure whether this is something that would be better handled with a role switch to CM(A) or AP(A), or something that I could try and address via PPMs. I'd also like to get the left wingback higher up and potentially part of that first attacking line, although I'm somewhat leery of having a WB(A) and a IW(A) on the same saide.

[1] Instead, the Regista is the one of the few players who is now deeper than they were in the old tactic (the other being the more attacking CM, which as I said above, is something I'd like to tweak). This is fine with me as it fits with the Regista as the quarterback of the team, sitting back and assessing the options in front of them.

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