I have been struggling with finding the right tactics in FM20 and settled with a very strange formation which turned out to be very successful at every club I managed. I call it a 4-5-1 but it is basically a 4-4-2 Diamond with a tweak, withdrawing one of the strikers to operate as an AM. So it looks like a very narrow 4-5-1 with not much attacking width but a high percentage of goals come from wide positions. Also, using this tactics there is a very useful side effect: your DM will get very high average ratings, often winning individual prizes and constantly raising his value while reaching his max. potential. It is very useful if you are a selling club as you can easily replace your DM every season. My last 2 saves using this tactics were with Famalicao, a small Portuguese club with a sugar-daddy to break the country's big three's domination - won the league twice, and Champions League in 7 seasons - and Wrexham whom I took from Conference to Premier League in 5 years, spending virtually nothing on the way.

To be successful with this tactic, it is very important to choose and train your players according to their role in the team. Here are some guidelines for key attributes for each positions (in order of importance) with some useful Player Traits to train.

GK (Sweeper Keeper - Support): One on Ones, Reflexes, Aerial Reach, Handling - Extra: Passing
D R (Complete wing-back - Support): Dribbling, Tackling, Stamina, Pace - Knocks ball past opponent, Runs with ball down right - Extra: Finishing, Crossing, Passing
D RC (Ball Playing Defender - Stopper): Jumping, Heading, Marking, Tackling, Strength - Marks opponent tightly - Extra: Passing, Anticipation, Concentration
D LC (Ball Playing Defender - Defend): Positioning, Pace, Tackling, Passing, Strength - Extra: Passing, Anticipation, Concentration
D L (Complete wing-back - Support): Dribbling, Tackling, Stamina, Pace - Knocks ball past opponent, Runs with ball down left - Extra: Finishing, Crossing, Passing
DM C (Deep-lying Playmaker - Support): Passing, Vision, Long shots, First touch - Tries killer balls, Dictates tempo - Extra: Teamwork, Work rate, any set pieces attribute
M RC (Mezzala - Support): Passing, Long shots, First touch, Technique - Plays one-twos, Shoots from distance - Extra: Team work, Work rate, Vision
M LC (Box-to-box Midfielder - Support): Team work, Work rate, Passing, Anticipation - Plays one-twos, Gets forward whenever possible - Extra: Long shots, Tackling, Technique
AM RC (Attacking Midfielder - Attack): Dribbling, Finishing, Off the ball, Long shots - Runs with ball often, Plays one-twos - Extra: Jumping/Heading, Technique, Anticipation
AM LC (Attacking Midfielder - Support): Passing, Corners, Free Kicks, Crossing - Plays one-twos, Places shots - Extra: Long shots, Technique, Vision
ST C (Advanced forward - Attack): Finishing, Composure, Technique, Off the ball - Moves into channels, Likes to break offside trap, Places shots - Extra: Pace, Dribbling, Acceleration

Team instructions: change Tempo to lower and use Time wasting when trying to keep the lead, also handy to change Defensive line to Standard when facing pacey or world-class strikers of stronger oppositions

Opposition instructions: VERY IMPORTANT to do this yourself, ALWAYS tick Closing down and Show to weaker foot on opposition Full-backs or Wing-backs and if there is a lone striker you are facing, make sure you ALWAYS mark him tight and use HARD tackling.

Set pieces: Adjust it to your team members, especially if you have a set-piece taker of an unusual position or there is someone who is good in the air but not a central defender. It is pretty basic, nothing too fancy but still good enough if your board wants you to make the most of your set-pieces.

Shouts: Get Creative when level or Demand more when losing, every 10 minutes after 15th minute

Do not worry if results won't come immediately just make sure you keep training your players to master their role and to get 100% familiarity with this tactics. Synergy (or what the heck are those green lines called) between your midfield and attacking trio are helping too. Results and winning streaks will come, as well as high bids for your Wing-backs, Striker and first of all, your Deep-lying Playmaker. Also, if you change Match highlights to Extended, you will have a good understanding of the principles of this tactics while enjoying some good football.

Enjoy, and send some feedback if you get any success with this weird tactics.
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