Developed it throughout the season and it really worked better than i ever though it would so decided to really put it up to the test in the premier league with a smaller team - Leeds, a team that nearly experienced european glory not so long ago and that i really enjoyed to play with in previous versions of this game.
We won the premier league and the fa cup in our first season and went on to win the champions league, premier league, fa cup and community shield second season, only losing the carabao cup to city on pens.
I've always been a massive fan of strikerless tactics since i developed one a few years ago with a friend from denmark that i met on fm-base that really gave the me a run for it's money. I actually stopped playing the game in previous years as i found it would take precious time away from many other beautiful things in life, as many of you may probably also know, however with these imposed quarantines, decided this was probably the best way to pass my time at home once more
The tactic is a very simple but very attacking 4123 with a standard line that looks to build up from the back with short passing but a very high tempo, focusing on underlaps and passing into space to players breaking the high lines of the opposition defense.
The whole team looks to soak up pressure and quickly break on the counter.
As this is a tactic that tends to play many through balls, the back 4 and anchor man have very simple duties trying to pass between themselves until they find the right opening, moving the ball up to the BBM's AM's and SS that mostly do the damage to the opposition.
Due to the high risk of passing that sometimes is undertaken, we try to hold on to posession as much as we can until that opening occurs.
Once it does, fast and objective forward players continuously break on to the opposition and overload them, leading to many goal opportunities.
For this to be effective, you need very fast players, with good passing, off the ball, flair, decisions and composure.
As we are playing with a very attacking mentality, we sometimes play on the edge, therefore you also need players that are effective at anticipating, tackling and positioning, in order to not be caught off guard too often - however this will sometimes occur and may be frustrating as you find that mosy of the goals you concede are simply hoofed balls up front from the opposition that happen to find a single player catching your whole defensive unit by surprise - but don't worry - you'll usually outscore them by quite a bit
The top performers in this tactic are definitely the front 3. Iv'e had seasons with the SS being the top scorer, but one of the AM's may sometimes surprise and come out on top too.
The SS is always pushing to break the defensive line looking for through balls form behind or crosses into the area, however they also provide a lot of assists as they operate in the middle of the two AM's and will unlock a lot of opportunities for them by drawing the opposition defenders and simply laying it off for the finish.
The front 3 should generate around 90 goals a season between them. On my last season with Leeds, the 6 players i rotated in these positions scored 146 goals between them and recorded 72 assists.
From my experience CM's are experiencing very low ratings in this version of FM, so i've tried to combine some instructions that will allow them to be as effective as possible, however sometimes youll see them having bad ratings simply because of their game stats. These need to be strong overall players , true BBM's that will defend but also support the attack accordingly. Although they won't have great avg rating, they will contribute with many goals and assists as they will also break through the lines often or shoot from range. Long shots and good finishing attributes are a definate plus.
FB's also sometimes have a bad time with ratings, but you'll find that they will also contribute greatly to finding openings in the attack.
The Anchor Man seems very defensive - this is simply for defensive balance and sounds like he won't contribute much going forward, however you should have a good all round DM that is capable of pasing long- you'll find they provide quite a few assists as your forward players are always looking for runs in behind. However, both them and the CB's will primarily look to circulate posession until the right opening is found to break and presure the opposition.
This tactic will take a toll physically on your players, therefore you need adequate backup for rotation. You are always looking to be quicker on the ball than your opposition, be it when defending or attacking, so take this into account when recruiting players. You also need players with good passing ability so you lose posesison as less as possible going forward and find the right openings - off the ball is also very important for this.
Slow CB's can be a liability as although we play a standard line, the very attacking mentality will push them up and they will sometimes be caught off guard with clearences from the opposition when under pressure as i mentioned before. I tried using a deeper defensive line, but don't think it works as well as the standard one.
Although i've had quite a bit of success with this tactic, i believe it can definitely be improved. I haven't played this game in a while, so not only am i looking to share this with all of you so you can have some fun, i also hope you can help me make this better, so any and all feedback is much appreciated! Just hope you have as much fun with it as i did.
If you have any questions, or if i've missed anything, let me know.