Why does my tactic work and how can it work better?

barcelonic

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Jul 4, 2010
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I've been using same tactic now since like FM10/11 I think. It's a 4-2-3-1 with no wide players ('cept fullbacks).
I’ll run through the tactic first:
Fluid / Control
Depth: Pushing up
Width: Narrow-to-average
Tempo: Slow
Offside Trap: On
2x Central Def - Defend
2x Full Backs - Auto
1x Box-to-box - Support
1x Ball-Winning - Defend
3x AMC (roles change based on players)
1x Poacher - Attack
No checked/ticked Playmaker or TargetMan.
SHOUTS: ‘Work Ball Into Box’
Other changes i make in-game:
If opposition formation has Wide Midfielders or Wing backs - i set my FullBacks to Man Marking... if they have wingers i set to Specific.
Ball-Winning Midfielder set to Specific marking if opposition have a solo AMC.
Centre-backs have Man Marking if there are two opposition strikers. Zonal if one. (I used to have these on zonal all the time, i’m not sure which is better)
 
 
 
Can someone help explain why this works so often for me? It’s replaced all my other tactics because it’s the most reliable tactic i’ve had, but there is also definite room for improvement.
My hope is that I can make this effective enough to use even in away games against tough opposition. At the moment there are some flaws. For example, when playing away at a wider pitch than my narrow home surface.
Any advice and/or tactical explanations would be good. It seems my fullbacks often play a crucial role in recycling possession but not quite sure why - when they play well the team plays well, when the team doesn’t play well they often played particularly bad.
NB.. just so you know my squads never have wide players so changing the formation isn’t what i’m looking to do - i just want to understand this tactic better so i can know what to try in specific games when i struggle.
Thanks all :)
 

toonarmy0511

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Feb 5, 2013
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Well from looking at your forum name I'd think your tactic work because you are playing Barca. You know, arguably the best team in the world right now.
 

barcelonic

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Jul 4, 2010
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lol actually that's just coincidence and nothing to do with FC Barcelona. Im playing as Cartagena in Liga Adelante but didn't mention it because they're all regen players anyway. The year is 2023. The team is young though, avg age around 22. Also, this tactic has been working for me whenever I play with a good team , for years now so its not just this save or this game either. hope that helps :)
 

drinkmixer84

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Jul 18, 2011
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Alright so without knowing what your typical amc's roles or duties are I can't help improve your attacking really, but I can help your defense out a lot...

1) change your FBs roles to WBs. Wingbacks are built for this exact tactic. They are designed to be the only options down the flank. Also I prefer my WBs to have high workrate.

2) never man mark when your opponents have two options out wide (ie: W + FB). If they overlap your defense will be easily exploited.

3) Get rid of the Ball winning mid, he's the worst role possible in a 4-2-3-1. Your B2B mid is already going to get forward so you need a role that is going to sit deeper and (the 4-2-3-1's biggest weakness is the space between midfield and defense. A BWM is going to aggressively pursue the ball and INCREASE this space.) You can go with a CM-d but I really recommend a DLP-s or d.

4) Leave the CDs on zone marking all the time, if you put them on man marking all it takes is a CM/AM getting forward and past his man, he's going to be unmarked and have a clean shot on goal.

Lastly...a Poacher typically isn't the best option up front in a 4-2-3-1 but because you have 3 AMCs its not terrible but you could greatly improve it with an AF or CF while having 1 or even 2 of the AMCs in attack duty.

Hope this helps! I've done a ton of research into the 4-2-3-1 (my formation of choice) and I've had a lot of success with it as well.
 
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barcelonic

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Jul 4, 2010
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thanks drinkmixer84 I actually agree the poacher's not the best up front but in recent years it seems all the best strikers tend to be speed-merchants, and therefore, usually poachers. They don't break many records but a good player will hassle the defence enough to allow the three AMCs to really dig ini didn't kno about the BWM tho that's good to know I shall try DLP I think. I actually haven't played in a while and am kind busy atm but I actually saved that game cus I felt bad leaving it after going so far and getting half way to my ultimate target of winning the top league. thanks again :)
 

barcelonic

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my mids usually have good creativity so I think the dlp will work best over the CM but i'll give both a shot. And change to wingbacks, although I usually rely on them to defend and keep the offside trap so we'll see how I get on next time I play :)
 

drinkmixer84

Member
Jul 18, 2011
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I actually think the poacher is dying off. Think of a Jermaine Defoe type as a typical poacher and Emmanuel Adebayor as a typical Advanced Forward, a speed merchant would be best suited as an advanced forward so that he pushes the d line back and let's your AMCs set up shop. If u want to post a screenshot of your striker I can give you my recommendation.

Also with WBs they can still be defensive they're just going to work their butts off on offense and defense. The reason why you use WBs in a standard 4-2-3-1 is if you use an IF AMC on one side, then on that same side you want to use a WB so that he'll stay wide and cover the flank and stretch the defense when attacking.

Let me know how your results turn out!
 
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