Guest writer Herne79 is back yet again with another update.
After watching 4 competitive matches, I can update the following:
1) The DLF is a very real issue. He is not dropping off towards the midfield anywhere near as much as I would expect. I don’t know why this may be (there are no PIs or PPMs getting in the way), so I need to make changes. Will swap this role to an F9 or Trequartista, and use a player with a PPM comes deep to get ball.
2) The left sided fullback support whilst ok is too often too far away from my left winger. This is reducing passing options and causing issues for my left winger. Will swap this to a wingback support to get the player a little further forward.
3) The Roaming Playmaker is trying to dribble too much and feels a little weak in defence, which puts too much pressure on the BWM. With a creative striker (TQ), I can afford to take away some of the creativity that is defined by the midfield role, and instead use a Box to Box midfielder.
4) Players are still, on occasion, making a few too many longer passes than I would wish for. The gap between defence and midfield especially also feels a little too big at times giving opposition players a bit too much freedom there. Fine when I am playing the likes of Shamrock Rovers, not so good when the opposition is Arsenal. I will add in the TI Shorter Passing to help reduce a little more space. Having this set by default could also help if I need to make changes during a match – for example, if I needed a little more creativity I could increase the Team Shape and remove Shorter Passing (as players would be closer in a more fluid team shape).
4) In terms of what is working well, the right flank is fine, players generally have good passing options (apart from perhaps the left winger) and the BWM is bossing the midfield. Easy to say these things against weak opposition, so I need to use a pinch of salt here, but promising all the same. Possession is good (around 58%) which for a 4-4-2 isn’t bad at all and perhaps help show that player positioning overall is alright.
After 2 more matches, there is a serious issue with my supposedly deep-dropping striker, as in he isn’t dropping deep often enough.
Here’s a fairly typical example:
We’ve just won the ball back, Ward-Prowse in possession. Instead of the STCR (who is set as F9 by this stage) dropping into all that space where there is nobody at all between him and Ward-Prowse, he keeps jogging along the defensive line in a slightly forward-looking diagonal run near the half way line. Ward-Prowse off loads the ball with an attempted long-range pass, and possession is lost.
It doesn’t matter whether I set this role as DLF(s), F9 or TQ, the results are pretty much the same, which is baffling. I chat this over with a friend of mine online, and we decide on a Plan B which I will come on to later.
That’s the bad stuff. On the good side things are looking much better.
The switch to a left wingback is excellent and provides much closer supporting play for the attacking winger on that flank. He remains solid in defence as well, and interacts very well with the:
Box to Box Midfielder instead of the RPM is also excellent. More solid in defence, energetic in getting forward in support. Helps to relieve some pressure from the BWM who was trying to do perhaps a little too much. I think as well that adding in the TI shorter passing has also perhaps helped here. With players a little closer together the BWM seems slightly less inclined to go chasing around as much as BWMs can sometimes do. Happy with this and if I can nail the problematic STCR role I have high hopes for the coming season.
The afore-mentioned Plan B follows next.