The testing procedure is quite simple: I will install the tactic and use it through pre-season plus six league matches with Spurs. Then I’ll watch each match closely, see what happens and come up with the best review I am capable of. I will also keep track of various statistics in order to be able to compare the essential numbers between this and other tactics that have been or will be analysed. It will be more or less like a benchmarking tool for FM 2013 tactics.
Today’s FM 2013 tactic review is on Jayshamji’s 4-2-4, lets see what its all about.
The formation is a 4-2-4, but a slight play on the positioning means we have a flat back four, one DM, one MC, two wide AM’s and two strikers.
All the roles are pretty standard and close to what you’d expect the CPU to set as default. We have full backs that defend and attack according to the team instructions alongside two central defenders. The DM is an anchor man to chase down possession while the MC is an advanced playmaker, so he’ll more likely link up with the attack. Both wide AM’s are wingers, one has attack duty and the other support (though I can’t see a logical reason for that other than the individuals players.) We then have a deep lying forward to link up play and a poacher to get on the end of through balls.
We have virtually no team instructions, in my opinion that is not wise. While I love simplicity its tough to call a tactic your own unless it has some form of direction or purpose. There doesn’t seem to be any direction with this tactic, no end goal, its more of a shape to suit players and an idea but that’s it, no instructions or player instructions and I couldn’t label this tactic with some form of approach or style.
I think the average positions demonstrate that the keeper should be a sweeper keeper, the gap between defence and GK is large. However, I didn’t see this create too many issues with Spurs. My main concern is in the most important part of the pitch, central midfield. The space is covered brilliantly everywhere else, but where the ball can be won and lost is no mans land…this will be our theme for the review.
Let me start by saying this tactic is by no means bad, despite how my review may come across. It is excellent at forming a wall in front of your opponent as shown above, the back four and DMC just sit there, its so tough to break through. Then you have four forward thinking players just waiting to pounce in the opponents half.
However, I have circled a major flaw in the screenshot above. The advanced playmaker may start as an MC, but due to the role and attack duty he becomes more of an AMC while attacking, and because he has no one alongside for support, he can be dragged all across the width of the pitch. This leaves an unbelievable amount of space.
We’ll start with a positive again, the four attacking players offer a threat, both wingers can really hurt the opposition weaving in and out. However, the threat lacks enough direction, its all very one dimensional due to the problem in central midfield. See the screenshot above, the DMC sits far too deep, meaning he can’t reach the wide AM’s or the ST’s (unless the wide AM’s drop back deep), most of the time he’s relying on the MC, just for the MC to receive the ball and have a lot of work to do surrounded by players.
While the problem in midfield doesn’t result in tonnes of goals conceded against easier opposition it certainly does against the more talented sides. Take Chelsea for instance, they have creative AM’s that drop deep (in the hole so to speak) and have a field day, they can ponder around the midfield and then just pick their moment to strike, see the video goal we conceded below.
People say results don’t lye, well they are liars ;) As mentioned, this tactic does a good job of leaving a wall between your goal and the opposition, which stops lesser sides, but it doesn’t work against the talented players, as demonstrated by a few scraped wins and an utter thrashing against Chelsea.
The first little remark was due to the amount of fortunate set pieces my Spurs side converted from. In total we scored 7 goals from set pieces. Counting goals from open play alone, Spurs would have lost to West Ham, drawn against Wigan and lost to Aston Villa. That is something worth noting and proof for what I said while reviewing the team instructions near the start of this post.
Goals scored: 11 (1.83 per game)
Goals conceded: 7 (1.17 per game)
Shots on target for: 7.17 per game
Shots on target against: 2.5 per game
Clear cut chances for: 2 per game
Clear cut chances against: 0.83 per game
Half chances for: 2.67 per game
Half chances against: 1.17 per game
Ball possession average: 55%
We have some very standard statistics here, nothing really jumps out bar the fact it retained 55% possession and created 2 CCC per match, that was a surprise after what was seen through the match engine. You can compare these stats to other tactics in the FM13 Tactics Index table, this is used to compare the stats from all our reviews. Now lets analyse the main pro’s and con’s of Jayshamji’s 4-2-4.
Solid back four, well covered by anchor man.
Wide AM’s seem dangerous on the attack.
Tactic has very little direction, its not direct, but its not short and crisp. its not hard hitting nor sitting back. This leads to some boring build up play
It relies far too heavily on converting set pieces, this would prove flawed with a lesser technical side.
There’s far too much space to exploit in the middle (see image below, black circle is my two midfielders, all red circles are the opponents.)
To be honest I would change the shape myself. But thats not what this suggestion part is all about. So if we were to keep the shape, I’d change the MC from advanced playmaker to MC support and change the anchor man to more of a deep lying playmaker. This would bring them closer together and offer each other a way out form the back, whether they would over crowd each other remains to be seen. Again, this is an example of how the shape really restricts what you can do.
I’d take a long hard look at the team instructions, pick what style I want to play and change them accordingly, until this tactic has some form of proper direction its quite tough to tweak and change, as there is very little form nor shape to play with.
FM 2013 Tactic Download
Download the 4-2-4 FM 2013 tactic by clicking on the image below:
After downloading the tactic follow these simple steps to install it in FM 2013:
1. Put the downloaded file into this folder: Documents>Sports Interactive>Football Manager 2013>tactics
2. Start your game and go to your team’s tactics screen.
3. Click on the little arrow located to the right of your starting tactic name, move your mouse cursor over “archived tactics” and select this tactic from the menu.
Again I am not slating this tactic or saying it is bad, in fact its quite interesting, in theory it shouldn’t retain possession and doesn’t seem to create chances in the match engine, but the stats we shared tell a completely different story. I just think the tactic feels and looks unfinished…meaning there are holes to pick at that can’t be sorted until there is some shape to the system. Anyway, until next time I’m looking forward to your comments, so please feel free to ask any questions below. Please note that due to an excessive amount of tactics posted for review we will not be taking further entries for the time being, at least until we have dwindled down the backlog.