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Phil's SDS 4-3-2-1 Tactic. 4 seasons - 3 promotions!

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Phil's Support-Defend-Support 4-3-2-1 Tactic. 3 seasons - 3 promotions! - Testers!!

Phil's Support-Defend-Support (4-3-2-1) Tactic

View attachment 126161
I've decided to put this tactic up to see if it works for teams other than my own. (ie premier league teams) It's not an "invisible" tactic. What I have experienced is that it's worked great for my low rep York City team! 3 promotions in 4 seasons (first season I used a different tactic) and I'm really curious how it will fare for big teams! So I need some of you to test it with your big gun teams and let me know how it goes!
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The Tactic
My inspiration for this tactic was some-how-what the barca 4-3-3 tactic that practically everyone on this forum is trying to emulate. However mine is a little different. The other inspiration is Koflok's "goal galore" tactic which I've used in my first season in the BSP (this season is not included in this topic) after playing his tactic I realized that I didn't want to just use someone else's tactic and win everything win it- I wanted to create something myself.

This tactic is a little unusual as most people tend to use simple 4-4-2 formations in the Lower Leagues. My tactic is a "4-3-3" tactic but in reality it is a 4-3-2-1 tactic. My goal is to play an attacking game while maintaining possession (duh!) The difference with most tactics on here is that I use a block of 3 midfielders instead of a DM and 2 midfielders in front of him. Other than the 4 man block behind is not very different from other tactics. In my ideal tactic the CB's will be tall and strong with good mental attributes and the FB's need speed to work on the flanks and support attacks. The midfield will be the engine of this tactic. More about the midfielders later on. I have used direct passing in all seasons but simple passing might be a good next step to develop this tactic further. I don't use a lot of creativity in this tactic for two reasons. 1: There are not a lot of creative-gifted players in the lower leagues. 2: Creativity is a mighty tool that is to be used sparsely. (Right now only my Playmaker is allowed to be "more creative")
After the hard-working midfielders have played the ball up the pitch to the wingers they will make a move up front connect with the forward or the midfielders that quickly help in the attack. If there's no options available, the full back will use a simple pass to open up the play.

Triangles are the essence of football.
I believe that quick play in triangle forms are the essence of football and are the best way to get the ball into the opposition's box. My 3 block midfield makes for the most simple triangle in football, and this will ensure that possesion is kept. When the ball gets to the wingers the wingers will run up the pitch with the ball and the box to box midfielder will support him in this task, as well as the playmaker, supplying passing options for the winger if necessary. The deeplying-forward will link up play with the winger and make his way for goal. The wing-backs will always be a passing options for the wingers completing the backward triangle.

I've had a lot of fun developing this tactic and as you can see I've been promoted ever year that I've used this tactic and as I'm typing this update. I am on the verge of winning a promotion play-off place to the premier league(!) i could ramble on about this but let's keep it simple- take a look at the instructions, play with it and let me know what you think!

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Advanced Team instructions
Defensive Line: Normal you can experiment with using a high line if you have fast defenders.

Width: Wide

Tempo: Quick

Time Wasting: Rarely

Focus Passing: Mixed

Counter Attack: Yes

Play Offside: No



My "best" feat as of yet were my two cup matches against Arsenal (While being in the League 1)
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As you can see it's a 4-3-2-1 tactic, but with the team settings and individual settings it works out as a "4-5-1" formation.
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Player Requirements/Roles

Goalkeeper – Sweeper Keeper. I currently have a keeper in goal with high eccentricity and it seems to work well.

Full-backs – Set to wing-backs. I genebrally look for Speed and passing. I've found that I don't get a lot of succesful crosses in my games, so my tactic won't be really focusing on getting crosses into the box.
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They get a lot of passes per game and they need to be in top shape to cover the flanks
*Natural fitness a MUST for this position. They cover a lot of ground and if they don't have enough natural fitness + stamina they will only last 45 minutes or even less!

Centre-backs – Defend. Try and find them tall, strong, with good marking and heading attributes as he will also be up front in corners trying to head the ball home! One is set up as a zonal defender, one is a man-marker.

LCM – Box to Box. Make sure he has good dribbling attributes and long shots is always a plus. Stamina and natural fitness very important as he will be closing down over the whole pitch and supporting the attacks.

CM Ball Winning Midfielder - Very much the heart of the team. He will make simple passes rather than direct passes and he will need natural fitness marking tackling positioning and strength His tackling will be set to hard. Think of a Nigel de Jong / Mark van Bommel kind of player.

RCM – Deep Lying playmaker. Make sure to look for creativity and passing as he will serve as the primary playmaker. It is his goal to spray the balls around and make sure they end up forward.

(I have played around with this position a lot and I still can't manage to get this player to make the most passes of my team - this is a feat mostly achieved by my full backs - So if anyone of you willing to test my tactic and come up with a better role for this position, by all means feel free to do so! I've also tried playing an AMC instead of an MCR)

Left winger – Inside Forward. Make sure you look for pace, dribbling and finishing Passing and decisions also important but I've been working with minimal players here (BSP/L2/L1) He will cut inside and provide you with goals. (ever since i've minimalized the use of creativity this position has been killer!)

Right winger – Advanced Playmaker/Inside Forward
If you are going to use an Advanced playmaker make sure he has 15+ creativity, high passing/crossing etc.

Myself- I use the inside forward mainly because my squad lacks creativity for more than one playmaker. Limit his creativity and look for the same as the other inside forward.


STC - Deep-Lying forward. He will be trying to link up play but it's always a plus if he''s a striker that knows how to finish and stand alone: dribbling, positioning, Finishing, Off the ball and pace Natural fitness always a plus.


I strive to make it a tactic that doesn't focus on crossing, but rather on passing. As I think crossing is a part of football that relies too much on luck than skill. dominating the game cannot be done by using a lot of crosses.

Opposition instructions/team talk
Let your assistant manager handle the OI and set team talk to "you can win this!"

This tactic works both for away- and home games.

Let me know if you want to test this tactic for me or if you have any questions!

*UPDATE PATCH 11.2.1

Full-Backs roles changed to wing-backs with normal mentality
Made some zonal-man marking tweaks.
Made some creativy tweaks (only player with highest creativity is now set to the creativy - much. This means that the wingers are less creative and it has lead to more goals from my wingers. (yes!)
STC now set to deeplying forward to make sure the gap between midfield-forward is minimal.
Winger Roles changed to inside forwards
STC is now a deep-lying forward.


http://www.fm-base.co.uk/forum/downloads.php?do=file&id=4308

- New tactic has been attached.
 
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I need testers lads, is this tactic not "barca total football-y" enough for you lads!?
 
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Great :) Let me know how it goes :)

---------- Post added at 09:48 PM ---------- Previous post was yesterday at 06:19 AM ----------

Oh you bunch of ******* - I bet if I put " unbeatable barca tactic" in my OP it would've been raided!
 
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Super Brentford FC!!!! Promoted now that's a first

keep up the good work!!!!

now to win the championship!!!
 
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I dont use others tactics, however I do love my 3 man Cm midfield, I use this formation alot, I made a very successful one last year for my Everton team :) good luck :)
 
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Still looking for people to prove this tactic for me!
 
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Hello Mister Mourinho II,

I will try it with my German Premier League (Bundesliga) team Karlsruher SC. I had promoted before last season into Bundesliga and struggled hard with the famous Ghost Tactic to stay out of relegation. I lost 9 games in a row at the end of the season - and for the very last and most important game I tried your tactics in a state of despair.:O I got a draw in the end and survived on 15 ;)

For that my team is rather rubbish due to a small budget I will test your tactics in my second season. It will be interesting how my `little` squad will do against big boys like Bayern München and Dortmund with your creation.

Will report soon 8-|
 
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Hello Mister Mourinho II,

I will try it with my German Premier League (Bundesliga) team Karlsruher SC. I had promoted before last season into Bundesliga and struggled hard with the famous Ghost Tactic to stay out of relegation. I lost 9 games in a row at the end of the season - and for the very last and most important game I tried your tactics in a state of despair.:O I got a draw in the end and survived on 15 ;)

For that my team is rather rubbish due to a small budget I will test your tactics in my second season. It will be interesting how my `little` squad will do against big boys like Bayern München and Dortmund with your creation.

Will report soon 8-|
Hello Wolfen,

Thanks for the feedback and great that your team survived! Be sure to read the instructions thoroughly. It is very important to restrict creative freedom! and the use of passing (direct/short) leaves space to experiment with!
 
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Hello Wolfen,
It is very important to restrict creative freedom!
I think you get a point here which is relevant for the whole game ! Even with best stuffed squads in the likes of CF Palermo with many creative players ( like Pastore / Balzaretti) you struggle in FM 2011. The creativity gets pointless - and the more under patch 11.2 that`s my opinion.

Isn`t it so that these `creative` players wander around before the box like ghosts not knowing how to play the ball 8-| ?
 
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I think you get a point here which is relevant for the whole game ! Even with best stuffed squads in the likes of CF Palermo with many creative players ( like Pastore / Balzaretti) you struggle in FM 2011. The creativity gets pointless - and the more under patch 11.2 that`s my opinion.

Isn`t it so that these `creative` players wander around before the box like ghosts not knowing how to play the ball 8-| ?
I think - i'm not an expert! - that when players use their creativity a lot when their skills aren't up for it they are very ineffective. At the beginning I thought I'd give my wingers a lot of creativity (Y'know, because it sounds appealing and in real life, it's awesome!) but they didn't score at all and didnt seem to focus on what they were supposed to do. Then I changed it and instantly they started to bag goals in. Especially because I play with York and this is hardly a world class team. Now I only let one player (Danny Drinkwater) use his creativity (17) and it seems to be working! :)
 
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Yeah, I absolutely agree. You found the better words for this `issue `.

My team has also only one creative player like Drinkwater in the team (Porcello) - so I`m up for the quest with your tactics in new season :D . Seems that the tactics could stick well to my team 8-|
 
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I'm really curious! If it's not going like you want it to go - I'll try and tweak your settings a bit to improve the system!
 
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Hi Church89,

I am just in pre-season with your tactics and it is going very well so far with my average quality squad in German Bundesliga. Playing friendlies and EURO Cup matches so far. I have won everything up to now.

What is sensational: my defence which was formerly a wrack is now rock solid like a fortress - I have conceded 0 goals so far !!!!!!!!! in about 9 games !!! Overall the movements look nice and effective and the players seem to fulfill their roles well so far especially defence-wise... ^^)

Just one recommendation: If your team plays solid and save the first quarter or so into a match it is better to switch to attacking as a shout. Sometimes `work ball into box` also may help to get to a result.

I will report again after a few games into the new season (H)

---------- Post added at 04:32 AM ---------- Previous post was yesterday at 05:52 PM ----------

......... but now I am 8 games into the season and I have to change tactics completely meaning I have to try another approach with another system. :O

I lost 5 in a row, got 2 draws and only 1 victory. Players behave inconsistently again like last season - and I am at the bottom of the ranks. :'(

I liked your tacticts very much - because of your philosphy of getting not to scores with luck but instead with avoiding unpreddictible moves e.g. blind crossings and the beauty of movements. :(

But your tactics seem to work not for an low class team struggling with high class teams in First League. Everything was alright in preason, as I wrote above I didn`t concede 1 goal - now my defence seems again wracked. I either didn`t help to change players or training regimes. The opposing sides simply cover the lone striker completely and destroy the triangle system in offense - so there is no chance left for non-worldclass players in the likes of Messi or Ronaldo to survive in the league. Therefore I am seeking for a system with to strikers up front. Which is the only way I think to merge to unconsistent strikers to one offensive block...

What a pity ? But I will try your tactics with another team more high class in future I promise. It is worth for !!!
 
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