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I mean a proper Brazilian 4-2-2-2, you know using 4 central midfielders and 2 strikers. Like what Villarreal played above not a 4-4-2 with the wide men push forward playing as left/right attacking midfielder cutting inside or a narrow 4-2-3-1 where the central attacking midfielder is set to make forwards runs 'often' linking up with the central striker regularly... no I want to be able to field 4 central midfielders, with the goal of having the the 2 more advanced CM's set to roam often, be very creative and interchanging positions regularly during the match ... just generally be very hard to mark.

Here it is in action..... a very good description.

The now Malaga CF manager was a firm believer in his Brazilian style 4-2-2-2. The attacking midfielders, also known as the interiores, played very narrow and looked to form a creative spine in the middle of the field – while the full-backs provided the width. This blueprint changed under interim manager Ernesto Valverde who looked to press higher. The implementation of such strategy failed and Villarreal subsequently dropped to the terrifying depths of the Relegation zone. As the Blue Öyster Cult once sang, “Oh no, they say he’s got to go.”
In regards to marking, or should I say the problems I look to create for the opposition in regards to marking.

What was commonplace however was that the Atletico central midfielders attempted to close down Senna or Bruno, which left huge gaps in-front of the central defence for Cani and Cazorla to move in to. There was always an easy pass to play for them to link midfield with attack. This inevitably sucks in the full-backs, which then leaves acres of space open for the full-backs to wander into. The flexibility and ability to move the opposition defence around is what makes the interiores such a valuable position in this system. This space creation for the full-backs led to the second goal, a Giuseppe Rossi masterpiece, but founded in the forward-thinking left-back, Juan Capdevilla.

The success of this system relies fundamentally on the talents of the full-backs and the interiores. It is these players who are the ones who have the potential to change the dynamic of the attack and the organisation of the defence. The full-backs are fundamental space creators in this system, as they can stop the opposition defence becoming too narrow and restricting the space for the interiores and strikers to work with.
So is it a case of having quality attacking midfielders who high mental stats for decisions, off the ball and creativity and also have quality attacking fullbacks - to create spaces for your attacking central midfielders (they can stop the opposition defence becoming too narrow and restricting the space for the interiores and strikers to work with.) - that make this system really tick?

Right now the defensive side of things is pretty good, not fantastic because I've conceded 3 goals in 1 match twice but I've won a handful of matches 1-0 - so apart from those 2 games where I conceded 6 goals, my defensive record is pretty **** good ......... I'm struggling to score goals tho, is that because my fullbacks aren't doing their job in regards to stopping the opposition defence becoming too narrow and restricting the space for the interiores and strikers to work with? ..... that would make sense as keeping possession of the ball is a fight sometimes, is that because the opposition defence becoming too narrow and restricting the space for the interiores and strikers to work with? ..... or my attacking central midfield's stats in - decisions, off the ball and creativity - aren't high enough, in short they aren't good enough to work in tight areas of the pitch, make the right decisions etc etc?
 
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It's called a Box Formation :)

Posting some screenies will help. I general though, it'll come down to where you place the 4 midfielders. Do you use 2 x DMs with 2 x ACMs? 2 x DMs + 2 x CMs? Or 2 x CMs with 2 x ACMs?

Also as there are no wingers, I would favour classing the fullbacks as wingbacks instead.

That is all generalisations though, without knowing what philosophy you are aiming for it's hard to be more specific.
 
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I am actually working on something like this. Currently testing at home with Liverpool getting and getting some good results but I am only 3 games into the season. (had only 1 goal against in the pre-season though) I had one major loss in the actual season but that was because I won the first game in the Eurocup 4-0 and decided to go with all my young players in the second leg which resulted in a 4-1 loss but hey, still went through.


It's largely an extension of trying to get my 6-2-2-0 more offensive.

The formation is:

----CF A--P A----
----AP A--AP A--
-------- BWM D--
----DLP D-------
FB D-CD D-CD D-FB D

If that is what you are looking for then let me know here. I can send you the alpha version of the tactic through a PM when I come home from work. That might help comparing your version to mine and hopefully you can check some issues you might have.
 
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It's called a Box Formation :)

Posting some screenies will help. I general though, it'll come down to where you place the 4 midfielders. Do you use 2 x DMs with 2 x ACMs? 2 x DMs + 2 x CMs? Or 2 x CMs with 2 x ACMs?

Also as there are no wingers, I would favour classing the fullbacks as wingbacks instead.

That is all generalisations though, without knowing what philosophy you are aiming for it's hard to be more specific.
Ahh yeah, Magic Rectangle, Magic Box, Magic Cube etc etc ...... hahaha, but seriously I'm looking to use two DM's and two CM's - as that is what the Brazilian teams on FM 2013 often use .... can it be successfully implemented? ..... I don't know, I personally feel as tho your strikers have got to have clever movement - often drifting wide and creating space in the middle of the pitch and the same with your more attacking central midfielders - they got to know when to drop into deeper positions, drift out wide or play the ball directly through to a striker to run onto.
 
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It can be successfully implemented, but it's ****** hard to get right - especially against more modern 4231 or 451 formations with inside forwards and overlapping fullbacks etc.

With 2 DMs you will have a fairly deep defensive line by default, so I found a Counter attacking strategy worked best, especially if at least one of your wingbacks is very pacey. Set the keeper as quick throw to the pacey wingback. DM positioning will be important, especially if your wingbacks are getting forward a lot, you'll need the DMs to cover.

Anyway, you are right about the link between midfield and attack. Maybe have one of your mids as an AP attack, with your strikers as a DLF support along side a Poacher.
 
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I think I have got half way there, I have found a formation that gives me defensive strength but also attacking flexibility.

It's a similar formation AC Milan used when they had Pirlo, Gattuso, Seedorf and Kaka all in midfield. On paper it's 4-1-2 (2x CM's)-1-2 but when I have the ball one of the CM's is more attacking and is set to roam from position, he does a get job of pushing forward and linking up with the AMC. The other CM is more defensive minded and will drop deeper along side the pure DM -making it a more of a rectangle or box, rather than a diamond with AMC at the tip of it. Here it is at a break in play........... fullbacks are circled in blue.




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Here's a bit better one.......




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For me my next step is to get my players to keep possession of the ball, not rush passes etc etc - just keep it ticking over ... see right now I'm finding hard to create CCC, I'm creating lots of half chances and not really controlling tempo of the match .. there seems to be 3 gears, fast, faster and quickest ...
 
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