Botafogo 4-1-2-3


Jul 21, 2018
Hello everyone! I'm on a save with Brazilian Série A's Botafogo, about halfway into my first season now. After fiddling around a lot with the tactics, I eventually settled on this 4-1-2-3, which I usually tweak a bit depending on the match:

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PIs are "Shoot Less Often" for the IF and the Carrilero, "Stay Wider" for the left wingback, "Fewer Risky Passes", "Roll It Out" and "Distribute to Full Backs/Centre Backs" (depends on the opposition) for the goalkeeper.

I've had decent results so far -- Palmeiras are leading the competition by a 10-point margin, but I'm keeping up with the other so-called "title challengers" (Botafogo was expected to get a top half finish). However, I'm not entirely satisfied with some details of my team's play, and unsure about some of my tactical decisions. I guess the post would get a bit too long if I listed them all in detail right here, so, if possible, I'd like to have you guys take a basic look at this tactic and tell me what you think, considering:

- The 2 players I use on the striker slot usually waste some good chances, including 1-on-1s with the goalkeeper, no matter what role I assign them. The stats aren't so terrible -- Brenner, who's a pretty average guy (about 12-13 in most attributes, well-suited to the Complete Forward role according to the game) scored 13 goals in 21 apps (6 from the bench), 2 of these from penalties. Marcos Vinícius (shorter, quicker, better dibbler, more creative, suited to playing as AMC or MC as well) usually *feels* more useful, as his running allows him to get to through/long balls and wide clearances, but seems to be worse at goalscoring -- 4 in 12 matches (9 from the bench). Both have over 50% shots on target, but I still feel like I lose or draw games because of those wasted chances. Is this a tactical problem, or do I just need better players?

- My wingers aren't particularly quick, but are pretty creative. One is good at crossing, the other not so much. I'm currently using a Mezzala because I found that helped with the problem of the wingers getting too isolated and ending up trying to cross due to a lack of better options (instead of crossing *because* it was the best option), but I'm not sure if that's a good choice. I tried turning the winger into and advanced playmaker and it was alright, but made things a bit too crowded in the opposition's box, and, once I switched the MCR to Mezzala, I found that they often occupied the same space. Any ideas?

- My IFs aren't great players overall, and don't have very good finishing. Both are moderately quick, nothing too impressive. They're also caught offside quite often (as do the strikers). I found that turning the IF into a Raumdeuter made them less likely to run with the ball and more likely to pass it around, which seemed nice because my CMs are probably my best players and have good passing and vision, so I like the idea of getting them involved instead of just having my below average IFs trying to dribble their way to the goal. But eventually I found that they got a bit too isolated and, most importantly, didn't help out enough with defense. What would you suggest?

I'll leave it at that for now, but I'm open to any kind of suggestions. Thanks a ton!