My 424

ChivuStoica

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May 31, 2012
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Too many TIs, including some that undermine your purpose. Presumably this is a relatively direct, borderline-route-one tactic. If not, 4-2-4 is honestly kind of suicidal. But assuming that you're wanting direct play with quick penetration, remove the "work ball into box" and "shorter passing" and probably "dribble less" TIs.

Also maybe pick some roles that suit your attacking players better...
 

Atarin

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Feb 11, 2009
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I'm no tactical genius but I'd possibly start from scratch. The system you're using doesn't really make sense to me. The 4-2-4 leaves a lot of space for the opposition to escape your press. Personally I'd begin by looking at my players. Do City even have the players for this system? Are Iheanacho, Sane, David Silva & Gabriel Jesus the kind of players that are going to give me that non-stop pressure style? Not really. Even players like De Bruyne, Aguero & Sterling aren't ideal. The high press is a system that everyone commits to completely or it fails. Every player needs to put their own instincts on hold and play the system. If one forward goes to sleep then the whole thing breaks down.

You also seem to be playing a very high-press. Is that what you were going for? A high press means the whole team near enough camps in the opposition's half and pens them in. The opposite would be a low-press where you play more compact and deep and nick the ball of them in your half before exploding up the pitch in the break. The high-press means you need Roles and Duties that can handle a very possession oriented, short passing game because you've shrunk the pitch so much and when you have the ball you have to be able to keep it because there is so much exploitable space behind you. You need width to be able to create space, so wide formations are good. You need to fill as many gaps as possible so 4-4-2's & 4-2-4's are completely out.

Movement is important because static players are too easy to mark in those tight spaces you've created. Your forward/s need Roles that are constantly on the move (up and back, side to side). Your wide roles probably won't need to hug the line or get crosses in because there won't be the room for the ball to reach its target, so think in terms of ball retention and combination play. Your CD's need to be very quick, both at attacking anything that gets loose and rushing back towards goal if a ball does get sent over their heads. Your fullbacks need to have Roles that engage early, you don't want them risking having the ball knocked past them. Your midfielders need Roles that can recycle and spread the play. You also want someone testing the lines and threatening the channels.

For your attacker/s I'd avoid TM, P, T, F9, AF & DF. I don't think these offer enough mobility and/or support and/or variety and/or penetration. So I'd look to DLF or CF.

You don't really want your CMs breaking the lines and leaving gaps so I'd avoid Roles like BBM or Attack Duties. Personally, and this is just a personal choice I'd be far happier with CM(s).

My FBs are an interesting one. I'd probably opt for WB(d). They engage early but don't get forward, which will be a plus because we don't want too many players trying to carve out a chance or we risk congestion.

My CBs could afford to be just plain old CD(d) as I wouldn't need them to much more than play simple recycle passes to the CMs or FBs.

That leaves your AM strata. Remember we want plenty of spread, so I'd be looking at AP(s)s and/or IF(s)s.




So something like this View attachment 86669 or this View attachment 86668

I'd probably set them up like this View attachment 86667

All really simple stuff. Control to give us the width we're looking for. Structured to make sure our back six stay nice and solid and that there is space for us to work, congestion will be our enemy. If the opposition were proving a very tough nut to crack then I'd consider moving up to Overload. Structured would still keep us nice and solid but our attacking 4 would get an extra mentality boost. The only tweaks I've made are to boost the Closing Down, instruct to Get Stuck In & Close Down Keeper. We want to ensure once we've got the opposition where we want them they don't get out. The Offside Trap speaks for itself. I've asked them to Dribble Less because I don't imagine there will be the room to do that safely and dribbling increases the chances of us turning over possession.

One shout I didn't select but thought about was Roam From Position. This shout encourages the players to pass and move and stay moving. They won't abandon their defensive shape but they will make themselves available for passes whilst also making themselves difficult to mark. In the end I thought we would be better doing that through PIs to selected players or just simply relying on the Roles. Another was Shorter Passing and this was because, as I've said, I didn't want to restrict my players too much. If there are players we want to restrain when it comes to passing we should just give them a Shorter Passing PI.

I didn't select Shorter Passing or Work Ball into Box because I want to give them the maximum freedom to work the ball around. If they see a long pass to the other flank I want them to take it. I haven't selected Exploit the middle, because, again, Variety and unpredictability will be our friend. You could select Play Out Of Defence if you wanted but I felt that our system encourages that anyway, no need to over-complicate things. We definitely don't want Pass Into Space, Retain Possession or Be More Disciplined. The first one is a licence to give the ball away. The last two completely restrict our ability to be unpredictable and varied.

I've already mentioned some PIs already, but our rule should be only selected where it helps the player do their job. Our Roles & Duties should have given them the best shot at doing that already. If one of our attacking four is hopeless at Long Shots then just tell them not to try Long Shots. If one of our defensive six are hopeless at long passes just tell them to pass it shorter.




As I said at the beginning, I'm no tactical master & I can't remember ever playing a high-press system but if I was going to try it this is probably how I would start. Of course, once the matches start we will see problems and things that could work better. That's where we tweak.

Hope this is at least a little bit helpful.
 

GoldenIron

Member
Feb 13, 2017
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I see, TBH Just want a tactic that includes 2 wingers, 2 strikers and an am with a short passing style of play. 4-2-4 was the closes thing I can get to
 

ChivuStoica

Member
May 31, 2012
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Two strikers and two wingers isn't a great choice for a short passing style unless you're thinking of moving the ball very quickly front to back with short, quick passes. It's not a good choice for a more patient, ball-retaining tactic because you're giving up numbers in the center of midfield to load up the front line and wings, so you'll have a harder time retaining possession and be in a lot of trouble when you do turn it over without much protection for your back line. if you want to play a shorter passing game, a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 is probably a better bet because it gives you more balance in midfield and more natural support for the player who's on the ball. 4-2-4 is really only suited to an aggressive, attacking strategy and even then, honestly, only if you're chasing a goal or have a significant talent advantage over your opponent.
 
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