The 4411 is easily my most successful formation to-date in FM. These are some of the basic points people need to bear in mind when they make the formation:
a. Defending your flanks
My preferred combination on the flanks are either the Defensive Winger or just the Wide Midfielder. Reasons simple : they defend more than the Winger. The defensive winger has higher closing down instructions than a pure winger who is skewed to attack more than he is to defend.
I do prefer having great dribbers as WM, and these almost always have high acceleration, OTB. If the player can be trained, getting him to learn these preferred moves will help: Get forward, run down flank, knock ball past opponent, and place shot. If you want him to cut inside, then add that too. My WM typically destroys most defenses singlehandedly and creates chances by the dozen. Good choices for these positions are retrained forwards. Supporting him is a less adventurous fullback, who is on support.
When the WM makes his run for goal, chances are you want the FB to be able to cover the flank. And if he has the get forward ppm he will overlap, without you having to choose that shout.
b. Defending your centre
This is where it gets important. You need to have two great ball-winners in the centre of the park. I am a heatmap junkie, so I spend a fair bit of time looking at their areas of influence. You can combine a DLP with a DLP. The one one the right is a DLP on support duty with HUB removed.
The one on the left is a DLP on defend duty. Whenever I want to be a bit more defensive I use DLPs on the left, since their positional heatmap suggests they don’t venture forward as much as a central midfielder on defend duty would. I typically change that role depending on how hard the game is. A hard game = twin DLPs, if its not that hard, then its a CM(D) and a DLP(S) combination.
The reason why I look at heat maps and tackling patterns is to make sure my two central midfielder don’t cross flanks. This way they lend support to the flanks they cover. Furthermore playing with an AMC instead of a TQ allows my AMC to drop back into the central midfield position to intercept balls whenever the MC goes to lend support.
And that forms and important piece of my defensive structure.