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Relentless 5-3-2 by tiotom92

A tactic initially based on how I used to play FIFA online. The aim is to press hard in the midfield area then counter from there, mainly through the two mezzalas and two wing-backs who charge at the opposition before playing the ball through to the strikers. The defensive midfielder remains further back whilst those four charge forward, and the three centre backs remain back to cover any counter-attacks.

It has been successful on every game for a number of years across drastically different divisions. Tweaks have consistently been made however this version is the one that I have settled on this year. It has only been tested in the Premier League on FM21. In my first season with Brighton I finished 8th and won the FA Cup using it, finished 6th the season after, and have finished in the Champions League places ever since.

The forwards tend to score a lot of goals, with the midfielders and wing-backs chipping in with a few. The centre backs also score a good number of goals from set pieces (see the set piece section below).


Player instructions

Forwards (complete forward - attack): Close down more, tackle harder.

Central midfielders (mezzala - support): Take more risks, dribble more, close down more, tackle harder.

Wing-backs (wing-back - attack): Stay wider, close down more, tackle harder.

Defensive midfielder (defensive midfielder - support): None.

Centre backs (ball playing defender - defend (outer) / cover (central): Outer - pass it shorter, dribble more, shoot less often, close down less, ease off tackles, mark tighter. Central - pass it shorter, shoot less often, close down more, tackle harder.

Goalkeeper (sweeper keeper - defend): Take fewer risks.


Notes on each position

Forwards: These need to be all rounders as they often get on the end of through balls but also often have the ball crossed in to them. Although I use low crosses, the wing-backs do sometimes cross the ball in the air. Stamina isn't a priority for the forwards as they rarely get tired. I use a right-footer on the right and a left-footer on the left.

Central midfielders: They get very tired and in most games at least one, if not both, will need to be subbed off. This is because they work very hard both on and off the ball. Make sure you have at least four first choice quality mezzalas and two further backups, all with high stamina, as they will need to be rotated a lot as they get fatigued quickly (particularly if you are in continental competitions). They regularly win the ball back in midfield so high tackling is required, although due to this they do occasionally get straight red cards. High offensive attributes and speed are also required as they charge through the middle with the ball. Essentially you need good all rounders. I use a right-footer on the right and a left-footer on the left when possible.

Wing-backs: They should ideally be better offensively that defensively, although they still need to be competent at defending. Pace, crossing and dribbling are important. The tactic is naturally defensive so you need to prioritise attacking attributes, especially if you're a team who is expected to win. Good stamina is required, however is less essential than for the mezzalas. I use a right-footer on the right and a left-footer on the left.

Defensive midfielder: He needs to be able to defend and have speed, in order to combat opposition counter attacks. However he also needs to be a good passer as he lurks outside the area ready to recycle possession if the team is camping in the opposition box. Long shots are also a bonus due to the position he takes up. I use a right-footer on the right and a left-footer on the left when possible.

Centre backs: They pass out from the back so need decent technical attributes, and also need some pace to cover the wing-backs. The tactic wins a lot of corners so good aerial ability is also advised to take advantage of this.

Goalkeeper: He needs to have good one-on-ones as most opposition chances end up being of this nature. Also he is sometimes involved in short passing with the defence so needs to be decent with the ball at his feet.


Notes on other tactical considerations

Set pieces: The tactic wins a lot of corners so I advise prioritising training corners and setting up a good corner routine to make use of the three centre backs. I score a lot of goals from corners by aiming at the near post and having two centre backs attack the near post whilst the other stands up the goalkeeper.

Mentality: I always leave the mentality on attacking as the formation is naturally defensive as it is. For example, since finishing in the Champions League places I have tended to concede the least amount of goals in the division.

Opposition instructions: I don't use any.


Other notes

Squad balance:

Currently I am in the Champions League and use the following squad set-up.

Starting XI

8 first choice backups who regularly rotate with the first XI (1 GK, 1 DC/DM, 1 DM, 1 RWB, 1 LWB, 2 CMs, 1 ST). All but the 1 DM get a place on the bench.

7 second choice backups (1 GK, 1 DC, 1 DM, 1 RWB/CM, 1 LWN/CM, 1 CM, 1 ST). They are all under 23 players who play a combination of under 23 games, cup games / easy continental games, and the occasional league game to cover injuries / fatigue. The goalkeeper is an under 21 player who has been at the club for two years so he can be play in all competitions despite being unregistered in them all.

Enjoy!
Relentless 5-3-2 by tiotom92

A tactic initially based on how I used to play FIFA online. The aim is to press hard in the midfield area then counter from there, mainly through the two mezzalas and two wing-backs who charge at the opposition before playing the ball through to the strikers. The defensive midfielder remains further back whilst those four charge forward, and the three centre backs remain back to cover any counter-attacks.

It has been successful on every game for a number of years across drastically different divisions. Tweaks have consistently been made however this version is the one that I have settled on this year. It has only been tested in the Premier League on FM21. In my first season with Brighton I finished 8th and won the FA Cup using it, finished 6th the season after, and have finished in the Champions League places ever since.

The forwards tend to score a lot of goals, with the midfielders and wing-backs chipping in with a few. The centre backs also score a good number of goals from set pieces (see the set piece section below).


Player instructions

Forwards (complete forward - attack): Close down more, tackle harder.

Central midfielders (mezzala - support): Take more risks, dribble more, close down more, tackle harder.

Wing-backs (wing-back - attack): Stay wider, close down more, tackle harder.

Defensive midfielder (defensive midfielder - support): None.

Centre backs (ball playing defender - defend (outer) / cover (central): Outer - pass it shorter, dribble more, shoot less often, close down less, ease off tackles, mark tighter. Central - pass it shorter, shoot less often, close down more, tackle harder.

Goalkeeper (sweeper keeper - defend): Take fewer risks.


Notes on each position

Forwards: These need to be all rounders as they often get on the end of through balls but also often have the ball crossed in to them. Although I use low crosses, the wing-backs do sometimes cross the ball in the air. Stamina isn't a priority for the forwards as they rarely get tired. I use a right-footer on the right and a left-footer on the left.

Central midfielders: They get very tired and in most games at least one, if not both, will need to be subbed off. This is because they work very hard both on and off the ball. Make sure you have at least four first choice quality mezzalas and two further backups, all with high stamina, as they will need to be rotated a lot as they get fatigued quickly (particularly if you are in continental competitions). They regularly win the ball back in midfield so high tackling is required, although due to this they do occasionally get straight red cards. High offensive attributes and speed are also required as they charge through the middle with the ball. Essentially you need good all rounders. I use a right-footer on the right and a left-footer on the left when possible.

Wing-backs: They should ideally be better offensively that defensively, although they still need to be competent at defending. Pace, crossing and dribbling are important. The tactic is naturally defensive so you need to prioritise attacking attributes, especially if you're a team who is expected to win. Good stamina is required, however is less essential than for the mezzalas. I use a right-footer on the right and a left-footer on the left.

Defensive midfielder: He needs to be able to defend and have speed, in order to combat opposition counter attacks. However he also needs to be a good passer as he lurks outside the area ready to recycle possession if the team is camping in the opposition box. Long shots are also a bonus due to the position he takes up. I use a right-footer on the right and a left-footer on the left when possible.

Centre backs: They pass out from the back so need decent technical attributes, and also need some pace to cover the wing-backs. The tactic wins a lot of corners so good aerial ability is also advised to take advantage of this.

Goalkeeper: He needs to have good one-on-ones as most opposition chances end up being of this nature. Also he is sometimes involved in short passing with the defence so needs to be decent with the ball at his feet.


Notes on other tactical considerations

Set pieces: The tactic wins a lot of corners so I advise prioritising training corners and setting up a good corner routine to make use of the three centre backs. I score a lot of goals from corners by aiming at the near post and having two centre backs attack the near post whilst the other stands up the goalkeeper.

Mentality: I always leave the mentality on attacking as the formation is naturally defensive as it is. For example, since finishing in the Champions League places I have tended to concede the least amount of goals in the division.

Opposition instructions: I don't use any.


Other notes

Squad balance:

Currently I am in the Champions League and use the following squad set-up.

Starting XI

8 first choice backups who regularly rotate with the first XI (1 GK, 1 DC/DM, 1 DM, 1 RWB, 1 LWB, 2 CMs, 1 ST). All but the 1 DM get a place on the bench.

7 second choice backups (1 GK, 1 DC, 1 DM, 1 RWB/CM, 1 LWN/CM, 1 CM, 1 ST). They are all under 23 players who play a combination of under 23 games, cup games / easy continental games, and the occasional league game to cover injuries / fatigue. The goalkeeper is an under 21 player who has been at the club for two years so he can be play in all competitions despite being unregistered in them all.

Enjoy!
Author
tiotom92
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