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undertheray's 4-2-2-2

undertheray

Member
Apr 8, 2010
279
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0
This is a 4-2-2-2 tactic that I have used with great success at Tottenham Hotspur, and the results can been seen in detail by looking at my story (link in my signature). In summary I have won the treble in two consecutive seasons while using this tactic. The following is a look at the basic setup of the my 4-2-2-2. The strikers are offset to the left, with the attack midfielders offset to the right, and the central midfielders remaining central.



The goal of this formation is to win the ball high up the pitch and keep it up there, with strong attacking play getting a lead and high tempo, aggressive defending keeping it. We have a rigid shape playing disciplined and controlling football. Individual players such as dos Santos and Modric are allowed freedom to give an unpredictable element on attack and make us more lethal, but coming back the rigid assignments and aggressive closing down restricts opposing attacks and forces them back.
I will use the numbers in the image above to describe the roles of the players, and what they do:

25: Poacher (Attack). This is usually Carlos Vela or Jermain Defoe for me, and they bag 10-20 goals a season with ease. Their main aim is to score goals, but if the attacking play comes up the left flank, they will float wide with the ball and go towards the byline, before cutting back and setting up the left back coming forward for a cross - or cutting inside for a chance at goal.

9: Complete Forward (Attack/Support). For me, this is Edin Dzeko or Romelu Lukaku. This player becomes the focus of the attack, and is instrumental in setting up other players for chances and taking them himself. In my previous season, Dzeko got 29 goals and 20 assists in 47 appearances.

11: Attacking Midfielder (Attack). Luka Modric, a player with excellent technical ability and even better mental to act as the creative brain of the attacking moves, while also making runs and finishing himself. This position is crucial in moving the ball forward and setting up the opportunities at goal, and Modric will often drive the team onwards to victory with inspirational performances from this position.

17: Inside Forward (Attack). This player aims to cut inside and cause havoc in the opposition defense with his silky running and skillful moves. Giovani Dos Santos does an outstanding job for me in this role, and is one of the crucial players in the offense. He draws defenders with dangerous running and opens up holes in the defense for Dzeko and Modric to operate with more space. dos Santos talent allows him to beat defenders and score goals for himself, and often will arrive in the box to finish off moves. Similar to the Poacher on the other side of the field, this player will drop wide to help create, but will look to lay it off quickly to the full back or playmaker and make a run into the box to try create attack.

7: Ball Winning Midfielder (Support). A crucial role, as the high pressure nature of this tactic relies on solid tackling to recycle the ball and start new attacks. Rodwell fills this role for me, and does a superb job in chasing the opposition attackers and winning the ball back. Must have high stamina to chase the ball all over the midfield, even pressuring wingers in some cases.

24: Deep-lying Playmaker (Support). Diogo (regen) plays this position superbly, and the role requires a central midfield player with good ball skills and sound defensive abilities. When attacking, this player will sit in front of the centrebacks, but behind Modric, and look to recycle failed attacking moves by making a new threatening pass. When possession is lost, he is back ready to help win the ball back.

14 & 3: Wing Back (Support). A critical role to the team, as these players have a lot of ground to cover, and must provide the attacking and defending presence on the wings. If Bale has a bad game, I usually will have to deal with more chances on goal, and will get less attacking support from wide play.

5: Central Defender (Defend). Must be a solid player, doesn't have to be outstanding, but must be settled and communicate with the team while being dominant in the air. Good tackling and marking always help, and will often have to clear a lot of aerial ball.
6: Limited Defender (Defend). Must be a solid player, doesn't have to be outstanding, but must be settled and communicate with the team while being dominant in the air to clear crosses.

_____________


The main aim of this tactic is to put pressure on up the pitch to win the ball back fast, then move the ball down the field to score goals. Possession is not generally classed as important, as the aim is to increase my teams chances, while reducing the opposition chances.

Here are some top results against good teams achieved with this tactic:
View attachment 67743View attachment 67742View attachment 67741View attachment 67740View attachment 67738View attachment 67739

As you can see this formation has been successful with me, and I have developed this to meet the strengths of my players.

I have not tried this with any other team or league, and am curious if anyone else will find it useful. Comments are appreciated :)
 

Tharros

Member
Nov 9, 2009
2,642
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0
Looks like a solid formation. You have built your team around it which is a good thing but people downloading this may not have immediate success IMO. It is an unorthodox formation and you have brought in some very good players with this formation and its require roles in mind I'm guessing. But in saying this, I think if you do have the players for it, It would be hard to play against because it is different.

Don't get me wrong I think it is good you are putting it out there but I think it is a pretty specialised formation and not every team is going to be able to just pick it up and use it well. Eg it looks like you are going to need some extremely good fullbacks to get this formation to work well.
 

undertheray

Member
Apr 8, 2010
279
0
0
Looks like a solid formation. You have built your team around it which is a good thing but people downloading this may not have immediate success IMO. It is an unorthodox formation and you have brought in some very good players with this formation and its require roles in mind I'm guessing. But in saying this, I think if you do have the players for it, It would be hard to play against because it is different.

Don't get me wrong I think it is good you are putting it out there but I think it is a pretty specialised formation and not every team is going to be able to just pick it up and use it well. Eg it looks like you are going to need some extremely good fullbacks to get this formation to work well.
Thanks for the comments. I would agree that it is an unorthodox formation that is difficult for opposition to play against, but I am unsure of whether or not it could be implemented effectively. I am sure a successful team can be built on a budget using this formation, you just need some intelligent players in some positions and some athletic players in others.

To break down an attacking sequence, I am using a recent game against Everton in my Tottenham save (2016) where we attacked down both channels in one possession.

The opening sequence:
Here, Defoe (green) has the ball, running towards the corner flag. Notice the positioning of the players as they set up - Dos Santos (red) at Inside Forward sneaking into space on the far post, Vela (pink) up front in the Complete Forward position with Modric (pink) joining the attack and Rodwell (pink) also moving up from midfield. Naughton (yellow) aims to provide support to the ball carrier, while on the other side, Corchia (yellow) is holding back but ready to pounce on a clearance. Just outside the box is Diogo (orange) the deep lying playmaker who is ready to recycle the attack if need be. Staying back always is Evans and Diakite (blue) and this provides a solid defensive base to prevent counter attacking moves.
View attachment 67961




In the next sequence we see that Defoe has decided to cut back up field, and now has 5 options with the ball.
1) He can lay it off to Naughton to set up a cross.
2) Pass back to Evans if he is in trouble
3) Switch the attack by crossing to the wide open Corchia
4) Pass inside to the moving Rodwell
5) Continue his run and make a move into the box.
Shown in the picture are the runs of Dos Santos and Modric. Dos Santos is preparing to move wider and attack the far post, depending on what Defoe does. Since he has cut back, Modric is moving deeper to create more options and create more space.




In the next image we can see that Defoe has decided to play in Rodwell, who has moved well and taken a shot on target. The poacher Defoe has made a run into the area to support the attack. Vela holds his central position ready for a rebound, while Modric attacks from deep. Dos Santos has read the game well and is moving wider to collect the ball, unfortunately a defender will clear in front of him.
The wing backs control the flanks, with no challenge at all on their area. Evans and Diakite hold the wall at the back and any counter attack would be outnumbered.


As the move progresses, we can see that the ball has been cleared by the Everton defender, but has gone straight to Evans in plenty of time and space. Evans sends the play through Diogo, who in turn redirects the ball out wide for Corchia and Diogo then follows the path of the ball to provide cover for Corchia's run forward.
Dos Santos moves wider to provide options, but as Corchia decides to run to the byline, he cuts back inside to attack the cross.
Naughton has stayed wide on the far side to pick up any ball, and Defoe is sneaking into a hole in the defensive line ready to attack.




Next, Corchia has made his run to the byline and sends in a dangerous cross. Modric, Vela, Defoe and Rodwell are central and ready to attack the ball, with Rodwell curling back after the cross is dealt with. As the cross comes in, Diogo floats back to the middle to assume his usual position and cover Everton's man outside the box. Dos Santos has delayed his run in case Corchia makes enough space to play it short, but will now look to attack the ball.
Naughton out wide on the left is operating defensively now in cover, but will be ready to pounce if the cross is cleared in his direction.
This play ended with Everton just clearing the ball behind for a corner, and the pressure continued.
View attachment 67965



This is just a small example of the attacking dominance of this tactic, and how difficult it can be to shake the pressure once it is applied. Their is little counter attacking threat as the defenders out number the potential attackers, and everyone knows their role in both offensive and defensive aspects of the gameplan.

Hopefully someone can try this tactic in a lower tier league and see if they can have success with smart recruitment and man management to get a squad that is capable of operating in this system effectively!

Comments are much appreciated :)
 

gener4

Member
May 17, 2010
172
0
16
Nice - and very well thought out - i think my Arsenal boys may work well in this set up.
 

undertheray

Member
Apr 8, 2010
279
0
0
Nice - and very well thought out - i think my Arsenal boys may work well in this set up.
Thanks bro, let me know how you get on with it!

I'm working on some detailed analysis of how the system shuts down opposition attacks next.
 
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