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433 Kyle Ball - A Reimagination

The influences to make this tactic were both from real life football, and the FM game engine itself. The most common tactics in real football that use a 4 at the back are either a 433 or a 4231. On top of this, FM23 has seen a change in how tactics work, with the Defensive Midfielder being far more common than the Central Midfielder of previous editions. Knowing all of this, I tried to create a hybrid/reinvented 433 that used 2 DM's instead of 1.


The front three operate as a fairly standard FM front three. The striker works well in either a PF or AF role, which ever suits your players more. The wide players can play either IW or IF, depending on their passing and finishing. I've found using one of each, and one on support, one on attack creates the most difficulties for opposition defences. I also recomend swapping the roles every 30 minutes as well. If you use a PF, I'd make the IF play on the Attacking role, as with out the AF you won't have the obvious goalscorer.

The Midfield Trio all have very different roles. The CM plays the job of capatalising on trouble made by the front three. They arrive late on and offer a 4th option in attack, that the back line don't track. The RPM is a real workhorse, moving all over the field, passing and moving, creating chances, dribbling or even taking shots. However by using them in the DM spot, they make sure to get back whenever the team loses the ball. The final aspect of the three is the BWM. This is your no nonsense, go get the ball guy. They offer an extra layer of support to the back line and will go win a challenge in the midfield, when the other two might be more cautious, but don't worry, they aren't a red card machine either.

With the Back Line, the two CB's function either as CD or BPD's, depending on how comfortable you players are on the ball. I try and keep the LCB as a left footer and the RCB as a right footed player. I've only used them on the Defend Role though, so any other changes I can't speak for. With the LB/RB, use them as either FB or WB depending on attributes, but what is important is that one is on Attack, and one is on Defend. Have the Attacking player on the same side as the BWM, and that side CB with the PI of stay wider. This makes sure that your RPM and LB/RB don't occupy the same spaces, and it gives you defensive security if you get caught on the counter.

Player Instructions:
LW/RW - Mark The Opposition Fullbacks/Wingbacks
Midfield Three and Back Four - all Mark Tighter
CM(A) - Shoot More Often, Roam From Position, Move Into Channels
AF - Roam From Position

Opposition Instructions:
I just left to the AssMan, I don't know what I'm doing with them.

With Set Pieces, there isn't anything too specific I use, but when it comes to Attacking Corners, all you need to do is make sure your 4 tallest players are in the box, and that the corner is an inswinger to the Near Post. All other Set Pieces, just make sure your best taker is on them.

It doesn't keep as many cleansheets as I'd like, but in comparison to other teams in the divisions, my sides don't have high tackling attributes. When it comes to making late game changes to close out or grab a winner, there are a few simple changes to make.
Grab a Goal - Move the wide players to striker as AF's, move the CM to an AM on Support, and move the 2 DM's to CM, but keep the roles the same. Change mentality to Attacking.
Closing Out - Move the CM to DM on Defend, and change the RPM to a DLP. You can alos change the Attacking Fullback to support or defend too. Change Mentality to Balanced/Cautious depending on opponents skill.

It's a fairly intense tactic, so other than each roles recommended attributes, I'd also make sure that you either have a deep pool of players, or that you have players with high Stamina, Natural Fitness, Work Rate and Teamwork.

It is important that you make sure each player has individual training in their position and role. With team training, I left most of it to the assistants, but double check it each week. I made sure I trained Corners once a fortnight, and I trained Teamwork on a weekly basis. Make sure that the training isn't too intense, as it's an intense tactic and you'll want to manage fitness across the season. Don't be afraid to retrain a player into a different position if they have Player Traits that don't fit their current position in the tactic. Versitality never hurt anyone!

I tried this tactic first with Aberdeen in Scotland and guided them to a 2nd place finish in the first season, including wins over both Celtic and Rangers at various points of the season. (I performed poorly in both cups, but it's because I played my youth teams in them.) Second season saw me get off to a similar start, but included finishing top of a UEL group that featured Roma, Club Brugge and Ludogorets. I left in November to take the Borussia Mönchengladbach job. They were sat bottom of the Bundesliga when I arrived, and after 11 games I had 2 points, before going back to the tactic I used at Aberdeen. This saw an immediate uptick in form, as I guided them to survival. Since then, I have acheived consecutive 5th place finishes, won the DFB Pokal twice and the Supercup once.




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