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How do I get a SS to be a scoring threat?


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Hi Guys,

After successfully using a 4-4-2 in my current save I want to move to using a shadow striker. I've plumped for this shape:

image.thumb.png.0773fc8a3bce4b5cc225a90826aaf389.png

PI's:

SS - Shoot more often

AP-At - Stay wider (I was trying to draw players away from the centre of the pitch and SS)

CM-De - More risky passes (I wanted a passing threat on the right and the players I have to play here all have vision and passing)

 

My idea was that the SS would need space to work in. The description of the role says he closes down defenders when out of possession (I'm not sure if this is true compared to AM's). It also says he works best with someone on a support duty. This may be where my tactic doesn't work. In my thoughts of getting the SS space I have the striker on an attack duty (I have tried the AF, Poacher, all PF roles and all DLF roles) to try and keep the CB's away from him but in each case the opposition CM's pick him up and he is struggling to find space to work in. 

I don't have a big ratio of matches to check (I've played this twice in the last two league games of the season). I've scored three goals from open play - all by the AP with an assist from the RB. The AP is finding space due to overloads. The SS could find space when I asked him to roam from position but he became more of a support player rather than a goal threat.

Here is my current SS:

image.thumb.png.59944272b10aeade2919219fe689cdce.pngimage.thumb.png.37fdb398f46c181576f6944250108f25.png

(the goal he scored was a penalty)

The strikers have had 8 shots in the two matches they operated with a SS. the AP had 13 with 8 on target. Now, Fabio is a superstar so it is likely that the opposition is marking him tightly (and it does appear that way).

image.thumb.png.56028e3cdd843272c9b8198e38a26618.png

Here is Fabio's analysis of his two games (average position with the ball). Crystal Palace was the first game where I was still juggling things around. Wolves was the second. The Wolves game had 4 shots but one was a free kick from outside the box and the other was a penalty. The two shots against Palace were a free kick and a dribbling effort to the edge of the box before a shot.

 

If the lack of goalscoring opportunities is due to specific man marking I could try Fabio as the striker and someone else as the SS and that is probably the first thing I will try. Is there anything else I should look at? Is the tactic right for the SS to be used or should I be looking to change it somehow? Am I right in trying to create space for a SS or should I do as the game suggests and use a support striker?

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How do I get a SS to be a scoring threat?

Do not pair him with a poacher, to begin with. 

Of course, that's not the only thing I personally would change in your tactic, but is the most obvious in relation to your question from the thread title. 

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6 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

Do not pair him with a poacher, to begin with. 

Of course, that's not the only thing I personally would change in your tactic, but is the most obvious in relation to your question from the thread title. 

And a fair comment too. My theory was for the poacher to stay high and attract the CB's to leave the SS to try and find space. Unfortunately the midfielders picked him up (as I stated). I actually found an AF much better but the SS still couldn't find space.

 

So, to use a SS am I heading in the right direction in trying to create space for him to operate in or should I be trying something different?

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Creating space ahead is good. You can either have an AF lead the line to pull defenders back for the SS to receive in pocket of space and dribble forward. Or, you play a DLF, for striker to drop deep, possibly pulling CB's or otherwise occupying defenders and the SS to run beyond him.

I would change the AP to a support duty and switch the fb's attack and support.

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1 minute ago, nick1408 said:

And a fair comment too. I my theory was for the poacher to stay high and attract the CB's to leave the SS to try and find space. Unfortunately the midfielders picked him up (as I stated). I actually found an AF much better but the SS still couldn't find space.

 

So, to use a SS am I heading in the right direction in trying to create space for him to operate in or should I be trying something different?

That's generally not how you use a role like Shadow Striker. In general it's not a good idea to pair him with another striker that goes forward aggressively and pushes the opposition defence back. The shadow striker is a role that  pushes forward by itself but it needs another striker to occupy the defence by dropping back and bringing them with him. While the SS runs into the space liberated.

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2 minutes ago, 04texag said:

Creating space ahead is good. You can either have an AF lead the line to pull defenders back for the SS to receive in pocket of space and dribble forward. Or, you play a DLF, for striker to drop deep, possibly pulling CB's or otherwise occupying defenders and the SS to run beyond him.

I would change the AP to a support duty and switch the fb's attack and support.

AF will not pull defenders back, it's not a role that drops back. Not naturally and without specific traits. If you have both AF and Shadow Striker they will operate in same area and congest it.

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4 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

AF will not pull defenders back, it's not a role that drops back. Not naturally and without specific traits. If you have both AF and Shadow Striker they will operate in same area and congest it.

I used the wrong term, af will try to make runs beyond the back line like a poacher, but he will also drift wide and look to play in other attackers.

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5 minutes ago, 04texag said:

I used the wrong term, af will try to make runs beyond the back line like a poacher, but he will also drift wide and look to play in other attackers.

It might work I guess. But IMO ideal set-up for SS is still with False9 or DLF.

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I agree that is better, but some will want a SS to receive the ball deeper and then drive forward aggressively, for that to happen you need the striker to create space for him to receive it deeper. It would be good to alternate between both to confuse the defense by mixing things up imo

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Once the new season starts I'll try the opposite of what I was trying. I'm sort of picturing both the striker and SS being more or less level with the striker dropping, receiving the ball and playing a through ball to the SS who is advancing. Obviously I need a support striker for this rather than the original plan I was attempting which was more like what @04texag described.

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Check out my Brazil 424 tactic. I'm doing what you described with two strikers, one dropping and playing through to the advancing one. It's been working really well. 

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1 hour ago, nick1408 said:

I actually found an AF much better but the SS still couldn't find space

AF is a better choice than poacher simply due to being a more mobile role, but is still not an ideal choice if making the SS more of a goal threat is your primary intention. In any case, you should never consider any role or role partnership in isolation (among other things, of course). 

 

1 hour ago, nick1408 said:

So, to use a SS am I heading in the right direction in trying to create space for him to operate in or should I be trying something different?

This really depends on the style of play you want to implement. In a more counterattack-oriented tactic, pairing a SS with a role such as AF or PF on attack duty would make sense (SS/TQ and SS/TM can also be nice combos in such style, depending on the type of players). In a more control or possession-minded tactics, I'd rather go with an F9 or DLF on support. Your tactic looks somewhat undefined to me in that regard, so I think you first need to sort that out before deciding on how and with whom to pair your SS. 

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image.thumb.png.909b28ed7f6179cf3b6d4b430c06b6fc.pngimage.thumb.png.71d733d2290a110c8def5a5b2d8fa5a1.pngimage.thumb.png.238c8c88bbcb41a12cdf65a5ce4c5724.png

 

The striker is set as a F9 here. As the SS advances the two CM's collapse centrally to both pick him up. Here is where I'm struggling to find him space. I'm sure he is getting man marked by the AI.

image.thumb.png.572f56400691acf55e2ca40846033a7c.png

The opposition is playing narrow but look at how they surround the SS

image.thumb.png.d8bbe1f44ca1034053524c6c2b31eed4.png

I have now swapped Fabio into the striker spot and Krekovic is the SS. First thing I notice is the space he has. Again, I am thinking to opposition are targeting a key player.

 

1 hour ago, crusadertsar said:

AF will not pull defenders back, it's not a role that drops back. Not naturally and without specific traits. If you have both AF and Shadow Striker they will operate in same area and congest it.

image.thumb.png.1bab90db76bd9d88078bd41a0a0060f0.png

Here the SS and F9 are crowding the same spot - pretty much what we are trying to avoid. With the amount of attacking players vs defensive players they both had heaps of room to operate in.

image.thumb.png.19a03eeac7b6495dad8d4c6ae3f80033.png

The F9 hasn't dropped as I would expect. while the SS is attacking as expected.

image.thumb.png.cf668c961b012ed22ce72d6775ac3a07.pngimage.thumb.png.c5a6d1dc528105d091791df5c96dac43.png

Fabio is now an AF while Smith is the SS. The AF has the ball on the edge of the box while Smith has made his attacking run. The SS (Smith) then receives the ball and has a good shot at goal (didn't score).

 

Now, I understand Team Wellington are really poor compared to my team that just won the EPL. I dictated this game but their formation didn't lend itself to me playing through the middle to bring the best out of a SS. What I could do is watch the movement. As I indicated I do see issues with movement and opposition marking but it does open up with Fabio as a striker instead of a SS.

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5 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

AF is a better choice than poacher simply due to being a more mobile role, but is still not an ideal choice if making the SS more of a goal threat is your primary intention. In any case, you should never consider any role or role partnership in isolation (among other things, of course). 

 

This really depends on the style of play you want to implement. In a more counterattack-oriented tactic, pairing a SS with a role such as AF or PF on attack duty would make sense (SS/TQ and SS/TM can also be nice combos in such style, depending on the type of players). In a more control or possession-minded tactics, I'd rather go with an F9 or DLF on support. Your tactic looks somewhat undefined to me in that regard, so I think you first need to sort that out before deciding on how and with whom to pair your SS. 

I do agree the tactic is undefined. I'm trying to work out what works I guess. As I was going for space I guess I am leaning towards a possession orientated tactic. I had the AP-At wide and high to try and open up the middle while drawing players and then creating an overload. I could potentially ask him to hold up the ball nut I'm not sure yet.

What I cannot see happening is the SS going past the striker. My feeling is this may be due to my wide width (again, trying to create space) thus not a lot of ball going through the middle. Maybe I should try and put a playmaker in the middle rather than the wing?

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I like that you are thinking about the space, and who is generating space for whom. That is exactly the way to look at things. Your reasoning with the striker is also sound here based on your observations. There is no point dropping him into a crowded midfield, he will not help. Pushing him forward actually will decongest the midfield somewhat. So your thought process is spot on in general, so I say trust your instincts.

So let's take it a step further. You have noticed that the SS is getting picked up by the midfielders. And you suspect this could be because they are targeting him in particular. How can we remedy or exploit this situation? 

There are two ways to go about this. The first is to think how we can force those midfielders to go elsewhere on the pitch. The second is how we can exploit the fact that the midfielders are focusing too much on one player. 

How can we force the midfielders to leave your SS alone? Overload them. Give them multiple threats and force them to choose which they deal with. There are a couple of ways you could do this. Flood the midfield with players who are running past the midfield, for example. Or you could try to get your deeper midfielders to drop off and keep the ball a bit in order to force the AI to come chase to actually try to win the ball back. Or you could send overloads down the flanks to try to divert them to help cover those areas. So many different ways to try to do this. I'll leave it to your creativity if you want to play with this. 

However I would personally go for option number two. So the opposition want to stick two men on one of mine do they? Well that leaves them short elsewhere so lets punish them for it. This is not really going to help the SS, but it is going to make use of him in a different way. Since teams want to flood the midfield to deny your SS space, I would be going for their flanks. And I would be going hard for their flanks. I am thinking 3 player overloads on one side, using the wide attacker, the fullback, and the CM on that side. Now we really force the issue. This is absolutely going to force the AI out of shape, because otherwise they are constantly having a 3v2 on one of their flanks. So this will either draw a CB or will force one of the midfielders away from man marking duties to help out. Perhaps both at times. This creates space for the striker, it creates space in the middle, and it creates space on the opposite flank. Making sure you have a pivot midfielder who can quickly switch play for you, and boom. Punish the opposition for their mistakes. 

Either you will constantly harass them with these overloads, or they will be forced to change how they are defending and you can go back to focusing on getting your SS to be the main man. 

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53 minutes ago, nick1408 said:

As I was going for space I guess I am leaning towards a possession orientated tactic. I had the AP-At wide

If you are leaning more towards a possession style, then your AP would make a lot more sense on support duty (including in relation to the SS). 

 

53 minutes ago, nick1408 said:

Maybe I should try and put a playmaker in the middle rather than the wing?

I don't think there is anything wrong with the AP being out wide. To the contrary, I personally would also prefer him in a wide position (as opposed to the middle). A bigger problem in this particular case IMHO is his duty (attack), rather than position on the pitch (which I already mentioned above). 

On top of that, if you move the PM to the middle, it means you can no longer use a SS (unless you change the entire formation into one with more AMCs). 

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For a possession based system with a central playmaker could something like the following work?

                     F9

   W-a         SS-a         AP-s

          RPM-s    CM-d

IWB-d  CD-d  CD-d   CWB-s

 

The idea is that the SS is your primary goal scorer with the W-a and F9 chipping in as well.

The CM-d and IWB-d provide possession recycling options and defensive cover.  While the RPM and AP create key passes and through balls from different angles and the CWB-s overlaps the AP for a crossing option (also provided by the W-a on the other flank).

Obviously you would need team instructions as well to create the passing system you want and probably should give the RPM and AP more direct passing to allow them greater freedom to create.  But in principle would be a decent basis for a balanced system in your view @Experienced Defender?  I know 2 playmakers is frowned upon, but it seems reasonably solid though I am by no means an expert.

 

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The false 9 is trying to act like a playmaker as well depending on the player, so no you have 3, and a 4th exotic role with the SS. I've found the regular roles on support duty work better in conjunction with 1 or 2 exotic roles max.

This idea goes back to an Ozil thread that he mentioned from some other past FM legend, Cleon I think. 

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1 hour ago, WhyMe said:

F9

   W-a         SS-a         AP-s

          RPM-s    CM-d

IWB-d  CD-d  CD-d   CWB-s

 

The idea is that the SS is your primary goal scorer with the W-a and F9 chipping in as well.

The CM-d and IWB-d provide possession recycling options and defensive cover.  While the RPM and AP create key passes and through balls from different angles and the CWB-s overlaps the AP for a crossing option (also provided by the W-a on the other flank).

Obviously you would need team instructions as well to create the passing system you want and probably should give the RPM and AP more direct passing to allow them greater freedom to create.  But in principle would be a decent basis for a balanced system in your view @Experienced Defender?  I know 2 playmakers is frowned upon, but it seems reasonably solid though I am by no means an expert

2 playmakers need not necessarily be a problem when set up in this way (far enough from each other), although I personally would be reluctant to use a RPM in a 4231. 

By the same token, I would also avoid a CWB in a non-narrow system and instead go with either FB on attack or WB on support. 

But that's just me and my approach.

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9 hours ago, sporadicsmiles said:

I like that you are thinking about the space, and who is generating space for whom. That is exactly the way to look at things. Your reasoning with the striker is also sound here based on your observations. There is no point dropping him into a crowded midfield, he will not help. Pushing him forward actually will decongest the midfield somewhat. So your thought process is spot on in general, so I say trust your instincts.

So let's take it a step further. You have noticed that the SS is getting picked up by the midfielders. And you suspect this could be because they are targeting him in particular. How can we remedy or exploit this situation? 

There are two ways to go about this. The first is to think how we can force those midfielders to go elsewhere on the pitch. The second is how we can exploit the fact that the midfielders are focusing too much on one player. 

How can we force the midfielders to leave your SS alone? Overload them. Give them multiple threats and force them to choose which they deal with. There are a couple of ways you could do this. Flood the midfield with players who are running past the midfield, for example. Or you could try to get your deeper midfielders to drop off and keep the ball a bit in order to force the AI to come chase to actually try to win the ball back. Or you could send overloads down the flanks to try to divert them to help cover those areas. So many different ways to try to do this. I'll leave it to your creativity if you want to play with this. 

However I would personally go for option number two. So the opposition want to stick two men on one of mine do they? Well that leaves them short elsewhere so lets punish them for it. This is not really going to help the SS, but it is going to make use of him in a different way. Since teams want to flood the midfield to deny your SS space, I would be going for their flanks. And I would be going hard for their flanks. I am thinking 3 player overloads on one side, using the wide attacker, the fullback, and the CM on that side. Now we really force the issue. This is absolutely going to force the AI out of shape, because otherwise they are constantly having a 3v2 on one of their flanks. So this will either draw a CB or will force one of the midfielders away from man marking duties to help out. Perhaps both at times. This creates space for the striker, it creates space in the middle, and it creates space on the opposite flank. Making sure you have a pivot midfielder who can quickly switch play for you, and boom. Punish the opposition for their mistakes. 

Either you will constantly harass them with these overloads, or they will be forced to change how they are defending and you can go back to focusing on getting your SS to be the main man. 

I did consider just sticking with what you suggest - letting the SS be overloaded and use the free space wide to attack. I didn't need to change anything - my players did this automatically as there weren't passing options in the middle. What it did was draw opposition away from the opposite wing and allowed that winger to score from a cross as he got into the box unmarked. It certainly isn't out of the question to leave it as it is and score from elsewhere but the learning experience of getting a particular player to score will be valuable I think.

9 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

If you are leaning more towards a possession style, then your AP would make a lot more sense on support duty (including in relation to the SS). 

 

I don't think there is anything wrong with the AP being out wide. To the contrary, I personally would also prefer him in a wide position (as opposed to the middle). A bigger problem in this particular case IMHO is his duty (attack), rather than position on the pitch (which I already mentioned above). 

I understand support will make more sense. Could the attack with hold Up Ball or Hold Position create a pseudo-support duty? Right now since the SS is occupied with two players the AP is the outlet that is attacking the box with little opposition to deal with. The blurb on the support duty does say "... will stay in the hole and look to spray passes to support players and forwards." while the attack duty says "... will look to run at defensive lines from deeper positions, aiming to craft out crossing and through ball opportunities as he moves through the final third"

If I ask the attack duty to hold up ball will he not limit the movement through the final third and only attack the box wen he doesn't have the ball rather than carry it himself with his Dribble More instruction? By adding Hold Position as well I feel he will play a lot more like a support duty but from higher up the pitch. Is this a valid expectation?

9 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

On top of that, if you move the PM to the middle, it means you can no longer use a SS (unless you change the entire formation into one with more AMCs). 

That's what I suspected but sort of got thinking too deeply about it last night I think.

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image.thumb.png.1d6e59129e3e068b5ade9e9e133b3835.png

Is this the sort of attacking positioning I should be looking for? My feeling is I will get told the AML is too advanced but I'm just not sure. Also, Is a trequartista an option for the AML spot or is he just way too attacking?

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14 hours ago, sporadicsmiles said:

I like that you are thinking about the space, and who is generating space for whom. That is exactly the way to look at things. Your reasoning with the striker is also sound here based on your observations. There is no point dropping him into a crowded midfield, he will not help. Pushing him forward actually will decongest the midfield somewhat. So your thought process is spot on in general, so I say trust your instincts.

So let's take it a step further. You have noticed that the SS is getting picked up by the midfielders. And you suspect this could be because they are targeting him in particular. How can we remedy or exploit this situation? 

There are two ways to go about this. The first is to think how we can force those midfielders to go elsewhere on the pitch. The second is how we can exploit the fact that the midfielders are focusing too much on one player. 

So I had another revelation that is possibly a third option - if the SS is getting heavily marked I can set him to swap with the striker. I am currently testing this out now

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3 hours ago, nick1408 said:

Is this the sort of attacking positioning I should be looking for? My feeling is I will get told the AML is too advanced but I'm just not sure. Also, Is a trequartista an option for the AML spot or is he just way too attacking?

Well you are 4v3 in the box, which is always a sign that you are bringing enough pressure. Enough situations like that will lead to goals because the AI simply cannot manage the threats (hell, a human would struggle to manage those threats). The only thing I would watch for in general is what actually happens, because there is not much options for recycling possession or switching play in that screenshot.

1 hour ago, nick1408 said:

So I had another revelation that is possibly a third option - if the SS is getting heavily marked I can set him to swap with the striker. I am currently testing this out now

That could work, but it depends if the AI is marking a specific player or the specific position (you can set it either way with OIs). But is is also a good option, because either way you are going to create space for someone. 

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4 minutes ago, sporadicsmiles said:

Well you are 4v3 in the box, which is always a sign that you are bringing enough pressure. Enough situations like that will lead to goals because the AI simply cannot manage the threats (hell, a human would struggle to manage those threats). The only thing I would watch for in general is what actually happens, because there is not much options for recycling possession or switching play in that screenshot.

I hadn't noticed that - thanks for pointing it out. Seems the carrilero is well out of position (that's him just ahead of Mohr with the ball). I guess you'll never get perfection but I do like good signs.

Also, as @Experienced Defender suggested; the AP on support may have held back and been that recycling option.

4 minutes ago, sporadicsmiles said:

That could work, but it depends if the AI is marking a specific player or the specific position (you can set it either way with OIs). But is is also a good option, because either way you are going to create space for someone. 

I'm pretty sure it's the man. When I moved him into the striker position the new SS didn't attract the same attention

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Game crashed so I got the joy of playing Chelsea again.

The carrilero and SS are in the centre here. not a lot of movement (sort of expected from the CAR). The AP is extremely high

The SS is picked up by three players. It does leave a lot of players open. The CM-De is the outlet man here (as I expect him to be hence the Take More Risks) . He takes a risk and finds the offside RB but I think there is still a little bit to take from this. AP is high and central.

AP receives the ball and goes for an audacious run. He feeds the ball off to the RB while he makes himself a really good shooting option in the box. SS has been picked up by the DM and all the defenders are looking after the AF. I think this is promising again

SS gets a good shot away from a good cross while finding space himself in the box - just didn't score. AP deeper and does make himself a passing option even if he isn't used.

The opposition being busy tracking the striker (AF) and SS (Smith in this match) while leaving space for the carrilero to take a good shot with no pressure and score. AP makes a run and pass to start the attack. He then drops off before making himself a secondary option in the box. I liked this movement (and obviously the goal).

SS isn't picked up at all by Liverpool players. He floats into the box and is keeping defenders occupied to allow the AP to come in and score.

 

There were a couple of changes here:

  1. Both matches I had set the tempo to much higher. Initially, I went much lower with the thought that my players would control possession and eventually find space. This was wrong (hence why all the Chelsea videos are from 30+ minutes) as all it did was give the opposition time to man up. By going much higher the opposition are still trying to regain position while I am already attacking space.
  2. In the Chelsea game the AP was on attack. I did fiddle with Hold Up Ball  and Hold Position but eventually gave up. The attack isn't a bad option in certain situations I think (e.g. when I need another person attacking the box) but as you can see from two really good attacks against Liverpool the AP-Su actually helps provide space by holding off a bit more. The DCL also changed from a BPD against Chelsea to a regular CD against Liverpool. This was due to the player employed here, not a tactical decision.

One thing I don't know where to go from here is how to get the SS scoring. He is playing an excellent decoy role here but I have a feeling I either have instructions wrong or formation wrong.  I'm not sure where to look next.

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I have a guy who I thought would make a fantastic SS. 

image.thumb.png.1fa17178ea8dd50b08b8183d169860e2.png

But then there's that player trait "Comes deep to get ball." Is this at odds with what the SS is supposed to do?  Should I be training him not to do that?

Second related question -- if I pair him with an AF, maybe that trait would actually complement the AF?

Finally, my AF has "Moves into channels" so I thought that paired with a SS who would drive into the created space could be pretty deadly. Is this a reasonable assumption?

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18 minutes ago, fivetwelvepony said:

I have a guy who I thought would make a fantastic SS. 

image.thumb.png.1fa17178ea8dd50b08b8183d169860e2.png

But then there's that player trait "Comes deep to get ball." Is this at odds with what the SS is supposed to do?  Should I be training him not to do that?

Second related question -- if I pair him with an AF, maybe that trait would actually complement the AF?

Finally, my AF has "Moves into channels" so I thought that paired with a SS who would drive into the created space could be pretty deadly. Is this a reasonable assumption?

Honestly, if he's got room to grow, he's way too good to be a SS. Looks like a beastly TQ in the making.

But to answer your question, yes, "comes deep to get ball" is at odds with a SS. I think his other (open play) traits probably are as well. 

Edited by XuluBak
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1 hour ago, XuluBak said:

Honestly, if he's got room to grow, he's way too good to be a SS. Looks like a beastly TQ in the making.

But to answer your question, yes, "comes deep to get ball" is at odds with a SS. I think his other (open play) traits probably are as well. 

Thanks for the suggestion, that's really interesting. I've always been reluctant to use the TQ because of the high press I use, but I think I'll give it a try.

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I'm using a SS in 

On 11/08/2020 at 06:26, nick1408 said:

And a fair comment too. My theory was for the poacher to stay high and attract the CB's to leave the SS to try and find space. Unfortunately the midfielders picked him up (as I stated). I actually found an AF much better but the SS still couldn't find space.

 

So, to use a SS am I heading in the right direction in trying to create space for him to operate in or should I be trying something different?

I'm using an SS right now in this set-up:

                CF-S

IF-S                SS-A            W-A


        DLP-D            CM-S


FB-A        CD-D            CD-D        FB-S

 

It creates a lot of chances and goals, but most of the scoring is coming from the IF and W, so not sure if that would fit what you're looking for. 

 

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