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The 3-1-4-2 like you've never seen it before

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When I was hired by Arsenal in 2015 the only decent full-back they had left was Bacary Sagna, and instead of going out buying to the left and right, I thought; why not make a new tactic with 3 central defenders instead?

So I came up with a 3-1-4-2 formation, but with a twist. As much as I admire the way Juventus play the 3-5-2, there is no way around that it is a formation that is very direct in its play, and with little creative freedom for each player. That's not a bad thing, that is just how it works. I, however wanted a more creative formation, and aimed to get a Barcelona (even Arsenal if you want) style of passing with lots of creativity and short passes, but with the defensive solidity of the Juventus-way of playing the formation.

I have played the formation for 4 seasons now, so all of my players are players fitting into the roles in the formation, while being used to the formation itself. I have had nothing but fantastic results using it, so hopefully you will have the same. Here are my results using it: Results - Imgur

So on to the formation itself, and for the player-roles:

View attachment 313282

The goalkeeper: Nothing special here - a good goalkeeper is important in any team, this one is no different.

The back 3: I have a more technical player in the middle to help keep possesion more easily, and keep the passes flowing - a player like Bartra, Piqué, Vermaelen could do the job, just a good defender with decent technical stats. If you're cheeky you convert a DM or a FB to play it. Around him is 2 good all-round defenders - again, they are also okay technically.

The defensive midfielder: This guy is the heartbeat of the team. You can either have a DM with great all-round stats play this role or convert a CM with good defensive stats to play it, but he needs to be able to pass the ball, tackle and have great mental stats as well. If you are a side lacking a deep-lying playmaker with good defensive stats (or generally a side lacking quality) playing a true DM (or a CB) as an anchorman could be a solution.
To give an example of the player you are looking for, here is my DM: http://i.imgur.com/kgfd0KS.png

The central midfielders: An advanced playmaker paired with a box to box midfielder. I like having very creative players play these two roles, both with okay defensive stats (marking+tackling around 11-12). If you think Wilshere in real life driving the ball forward that is the advanced playmaker, while the box-to-box midfielder is a bit like Fabregas in his younger days with lots of dribbles, lots of goals and lots of assists.

The wide-midfielders: Surprisingly, this position is a bit up to you. I play wide-midfielders with a support duty to make sure they don't overcommit offensively, but the type of player you want to use is up to you. I have used players like Sterling, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain without any huge defensive problems, so that is an option. I also like playing with wing-backs converted to WM's as they have loads of stamina usually, and can really charge up and down the wings helping the team out both offensively and defensively. A third option is to use creative central midfielders with decent work-rate (as Wilshere or Ramsey) on the wings to strengthen your passing game, and help you control the match. I tend to rotate between all the types of players, and it really is up to you what you want to do. You can be lucky and find the perfect wide-midfielder, but mostly players tend to be either wingers or defensive wide-midfielders or wing-backs. I was lucky enough to find a perfect one! http://i.imgur.com/WEZ8xUM.jpg

The strikers:
I play a deep-lying forward along with a poacher, and it really works out great. The deep-lying player has to be a physically strong player who can win you headers and duels, but who at the same time can score goals and set up (think Olivier Giroud) your poacher who will be your main goal getter. The poacher has to be speedy and sharp in front of goal.

That is the basics of the formation - I have fiddled a bit more with the player instructions, but generally it's not a very complicated formation - I just tried to create a mixture between defensive solidity and offensive flair and it worked out pretty well. One thing I would be aware of, though, would be the player roles if the quality of your team isn't that good. You might need to be a tad more conservative regarding the player-roles and the mentality of your team.

All response is very appreciated - let me know if you have made any tweaks or changes. This is only my version of it, remember. Enjoy!

DL LINK: http://www.mediafire.com/?jj346ivy0u9k920
 
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Looks alot similar to JP Woody's Conte Style 3-5-2, which I am using just now, ironically I've changed roles of certain players and its ended up looking like this. It's a nicely made tactic right enough!
 
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Looks a decent tactic, but 39 goals conceded in the Premiership is a **** of a lot for a title winning team :S
 
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