As you may know, I am a very big fan of 4-4-2 formation. I have used it in previous football manager versions. There are managers who know how to use this power formation, but I most prefer Diego Simeone’s style. For me, he’s the best 4-4-2 master. I always like to implement his style in football manager. Here in this post, I am going to share a powerful FM19 counter attacking 4-4-2 tactic I created with the influence of Diego Simeone’s philosophy. This tactic tends to adopt Atletico Madrid’s style.
Actually, it was really a challenge for me to get a 4-4-2 tactic work so well in FM19. It was not this challenging in the previous versions of football manager. However, so far, I managed to arrive at this one; the best classic 4-4-2 tactic I have created yet in FM19. Though, I am still exploring some options in order to create another classic 4-4-2 that should be better than this one. But before then, let me present this one.
Please have in mind that this is not 100% exactly Diego Simeone’s tactic at Atletico Madrid. I had to make some changes to get it to work very well in FM19. And here, I used Bayer Leverkusen and Wolverhampton to test the strength of this tactic.
Tactic: The Classic 4-4-2 Formation
Let me just go ahead and write about the three aspects of this tactic. But first, you have to know that this tactic works with any mentality. It depends on the nature of the game and the opposition.
This section is also set in accordance to Simeone’s style. ATM like to counter press the opposition and always try to convert to counter attack once they win the ball. Their transitioning can be really quick and effective.
Out of Possession
The defensive width of ATM is always narrow, forcing the opposition to go wide. Besides that, the line of engagement and defensive line stay lower – part of the reasons why Atletico is so good in defending.
Roles and Duties
Keeper: Sweeper Keeper (Support)
The SK role is now more common in modern football. This is because goalkeepers now help in defending and maintaining possession. Jan Oblak does this job at ATM. But I have Lukás Hradecký at Leverkusen, who’s also good at this role.
Central Defence: Two Central Defenders (Both on Defend)
I prefer the Central Defender role in this tactic. But sometimes, Simeone uses the ball playing defender role at ATM. Sven Bender was my best CD in my Leverkusen save. He surprisingly made my defence well coordinated.
Side Backs: Complete Wingback (Support) and Fullback (Support)
From the left back, the complete wingback role is mostly what I think Filipe Luis plays. He loves to attack and dribbles down the flank. However, I signed Jetro Williams to do the same job for me at Bayer 04.
On the other hand, the fullback role with the support duty is also an asset for this tactic. The reason of installing a fullback here is that it defends better than any other role in the DL position in FM19. This has been the role of the well-experienced Juanfran.
Central Midfield: Two Deep Lying Playmakers (Defend and Support)
This midfield setup hasn’t change in Diego’s tactic; always installing two Deep lying playmakers. You can see the same thing in FM18 Diego Simeone’s tactic.
Sometimes, in this 2019 ATM squad, Thomas Partey plays as a box-to-box midfielder while Rodri takes up the defensive deep lying playmaker. So, you can do the same thing in this tactic. Just change the supporting DLP to BBM and leave the defensive DLP as it is.
Side Midfield: Two Inverted Wingers (Support and Attack)
As I said in Simeone’s FM18 4-4-2, his side midfielders do drift inside to create chances and open up spaces for the side backs. Previously, the side midfield was occupied by the wide playmaker and inverted winger roles. This can also work in this FM19 4-4-2. But I find setting up two inverted wingers more effective.
Central Forward: Complete Forward (Attack) and Pressing Forward (Attack)
The Atletico Madrid boss kind of gives Griezmann the roaming deep lying forward role more often. And Diego Costa acts like the attacking pressing forward. But in FM19, the combination of DLF and PF didn’t work well for me at Leverkusen and Wolves. Therefore, I used CF instead.
Diego Simeone’s marking style is mixed-marking. I also employ mixed marking in this tactic, but sometimes I use zonal marking.
Challenges and the Tweaking I Made
Like I said earlier in this post, creating a good working 4-4-2 tactic is very challenging in FM19. I don’t really know why, but that’s just my experience. When I tried this tactic at Wolves and Leverkusen, it was difficult to beat 4-2-3-1 formation in both home and away games; playing against 4-4-2 proved tough also. To win an opposition on away was very tough.
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