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An experiment to surpass fear... of changing approach

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Hello everyone,

I'm writing this thread with the objective of findind new ideas to adopt into my tactic, in which for the first time I am using a 4231 with deep positions instead of the traditional 4231 with AMR/AMC/AML.

In my journeyman save after getting sacked by Bordeaux I found myself managing a struggling ManUtd and after a 2nd place and a 4th place in a very tight Premier League this year I am 1st for now, using this tactic for half the matches.


                                                    Sweeper Keeper (Def)
                                     FB (Att)    CB (Def)     BPD (Def)     FB (sup)

                                                 BWM(Sup)      DLP (Sup)

                                   W(sup)            CM (ATT)             WM(Att)
                                                            CF( ATT)                   

TI:  Positive, Shorter passing, Play out of defence, Bring ball into the box, Fairly narrow
Pass it long, Distribute to fullbacks, Counter, Counter Press
High Line, Much Higher line of engagement, Prevent GK distribution, offside trap                              

PI: Mark tighter, press more, tackle harder on to all midfielders and the stiker except the the DMs

The Left midfielder is supposed to be an inside forward, so he has dribble more, cut inside, tries risky passes
Right winger has get further forward
MC on attack has dribble more, tries risky passes, roaming and moves into channels

The idea is to use deeper positions to mimic a realistic 4231, following the tips from Cleon 4231 thread, where he argues that it is possible push players as high as you want with roles and tactical instructions.

I have to say i like the defensive positioning with this tactic, i'm seeing VERY satisfying counters where my RM intercepts the balls between CB and FB.

However, while the movement and the pressing of the tactic seems okay, i find that in some games, especialli against defensive 5-3-2/5-4-1 our possession goes down the drain, even if we still manage to create chances. I'm seeing 35% possession with 10/15 shots against their 0. My guess is that since i have a deep formation the opposing defensive teams tend to play out from the back and keeps the ball for a long time before committing to midfield, with our high pressing being less efficient than it could be.

Another problem that i am findind is that the MC bombs forward whenever we have the ball, getting much further away from the defence. I want him to basically play like a trequartista, getting back to get the ball and then assist or go into the box, while at the same time press a lot with the forwards, for this reason i chose the CM(attack) role, but it seems to me that even with the PI I gave the role is more of a runner than a creator. Do you suggest other roles or maybe pushing him in the AMC slot?

Lastly, while I really like the counters that we are getting, sometimes I feel we should be able to "camp" in the opposition area, I figured that i could switch some roles to support to do so but I am afraid that doing so would make my players too deep. Do you agree?

I am sorry for the screenshot in Italian, I just realized that i should have switched to english to make it easier for the forums, later i will update my post.

Anyway, how would you set up an offensive 4231 with deeper positions? I would love to hear your thoughts, this the first time that I am straying from my usual 4231 and I have to say it has been fun to see different movement patterns than the usual!


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