First off some caveats this is very much in testing and a work in progress. Additionally I didn't truly appreciate how complex tactically Atalanta were under Gian Piero Gasperini and previous attempts were canned because they just didn't work. This was mostly down to trying to accommodate the width with which Atalanta use from defence right through to attack. Gomez, the central centreback and Goalkeeper occupy the centre of the pitch with an emphasis on wing backs always being wide unless the forwards are wide. But then there is the central midfield engine room where the two in the middle peel wide to form passing options for the wingbacks, centrebacks and forwards. So I settled on the following approaches:
At home a 3-4-1-2 and away a 3-4-2-1
I created these formations because I got fed up of Tiki-Taka and possession footballing being utter pony for my Marseille team. I always struggle with Marseille on FM because I want to play champagne football with them but it always ends up being dishwater. I was using a standard 4-1-2-2-1 using control, narrow shape and short passing. I just kept giving the ball away. So this is where these came about.
So rhis is most definitely not a formation based on retaining possession or playing tiki-taka. Instead I tried to emulate the Atalanta gung-ho style of getting the ball forward, always having options out wide and having a hard working midfield.
Analysis 3-4-1-2: Initially I was utilising two Central Midfields in the Central Midfield, however I found with using a wide shape and direct passing focus they were almost entirely bypassed more often than not and at times got in the way of my playmaker. This is the formation I use at home. Two BBM's through the midfield centre, an AP (was using AM but found that they weren't contributing enough) one IF pushed wide (this was to accommodate the style of having a wide forward and make the most out of Thauvin). Dario Benedetto who I usually get about 12 goals a session out of, I've set him central as a TM and he can't stop scoring. Just going back to the IF, at home I'm scoring at least two goals a game with this setup and Thauvin is regularly dancing through defences scoring for fun.
Analysis 3-4-2-1: It's almost entirely the same setup barring a contradiction. Here I'm using two AM's despite dropping AM in the previous setup. In this setup they tend to stay apart from each other and dart into the half spaces as well as get into the area. With a BWM and DLP behind. I should note I usually loathe to use DLP's but here this helps create space in the midfield with them dropping deep and the BWM floating.
An unexpected side effect of these formations is that I'm conceding drastically less goals at the moment. I had expected to be shipping a few given I'm playing quite wide but in the last 4 matches I've conceded 1 and that was away to PSG who I beat 2-1.
I'll share the results once I've completed the season.
Testers most welcome.