Schalker Kreisel FM21

Steam Workshop Schalker Kreisel FM21 1.0

this tactic is part of my personal goalminer challenge that i impose upon myself for about 4 years now.
(used and tested on the latest engine )


Its all about the shape!


Schalker Kreisel (Schalke roundabout) is part of the clubs history. It is what their playstyle was called during the clubs most successful time. This tactic is my personal interpretation of the name, not of the real tactic of what was played back then.
It had to be a circle to represent the roundabout - as symmetrical as possible.

I uploaded the same shape tactic on steam for previous 2 or 3 fm versions already. However it is usually constant work in progress.

This year i made sure not to use too many PIs. I kept it to a minimum. Less Mourinho, more creative freedom for my players.

example of goals scored (season 2 - Supercup vs Bayern)

its only the youth league and the opponent is not the strongest team of the league.
but man - 10 goals from my trequarista - and its not as if he was Moukoko


EDIT: Needs a rework for the entire set-pieces! already done it at home but will wait with an upload until i had some more testing done

Over the years, i fiddled a lot with different roles for the given positions.
As it had to be symmetrical, role combinations are limited.
i.e. this does work with a shadow striker too, but he would be too high up the pitch compared to the Libero on the other end and it looks out of place with the advanced playmakers. (no circle anymore)

the goalkeeper

sweeper keeper on support. should be at least good at 1-1, reading the game and reaction.
with a very high line and a lot of risky passing, he will be busy.
as we try to hit on the counter and pass into space often, we will be vulnerable to counters too.
thats why there are 3 (fast) defenders staying back


he is the heart of the defence. distributing balls, marking strikers, leading the team. (and i chose the role because the circle had to be round, too - but not just because ;) )
he is on support but (like all defenders) trains libero attack to get the speed training.
all defenders (wingers excluded) get the trait "stays back all time"

ball playing defenders

well.. i value technical skill on any players. i would rather choose a mediocre bpd than some outstanding defender who lacks technical ball handling skills. good first touch and decent passing is a must on my teams. ofc, positioning and man marking is impoortant too. as is decent heading and speed. over a season, a good header gives quite some extra goals on corner kicks and other set pieces.

the wingers

As the center is wide open inside a circle, i chose inverted wingers for both sides. they move inward while in possession and move back outwards when loosing possessions. While in transition, the close the center gap and be at least "in the way" of free opposition movement.

On attack one does find them around the box most of the time, but they also do use the wings and deliver some crossings, once in a while. Its just not their main, or one and only goal.
They make sure that there will always be as many players in and around the opponents box as possible.
Crosses are nice and can be effective. But clear cut chances are usually created in and around the box.

wide playmakers

i love them playmakers. on any position. technical skill and intelligence lead to entertainment.
for this tactic i chose them on the wings because... right... they move inward..
AND they help defend the wings.
with good anticipation and off the ball, they close the gap between defence and offensive midfield.
playmakers are clever enough to decide if they should move towards, or position themself more outward or inward.
they are less predictable as other roles.
as the system is meant to hit on counter attack as much as possible, their skill helps finding the proper killer ball.
once cramped up around the opponents box, it helps to "outplay" the opposition or find the unexpected move to break the lines (flair/vision).

advanced playmakers

yes, playmakers again. for more killer balls, more vision, more flair. they track back on defence, they are unpredictable.
i set them to move outward and play outwards. just to make sure the team stretches the lines and will be less cramped in the center.


unpredictable. you'll find him beating the offside trap (therefore he should be fast and dribble often) or on one of the wings, or even around the center of the pitch when needed.He is looking for free space to make himself useful.
And he will be - if you deliver the right support. (all other OMs do have support role and wingers are on automatic - so he should be ok)


personal playstyle

I manage Schalke 04 (almost) exclusively. Therefore i can only tell that this does work for a "better club" but am not sure about lower league. Guess i will have to find out on next years iteration =(

When i start a save, i do not only build a tactic and get going, but reshape the entire club.
I sell ALL players possible (with very few exceptions, even though i would be able to make use of them), then i sign the (affordable) players i need to make my tactics work. this goes for all 3 teams if possible.

I usually pay 1/3rd up front, then the other 2/3rds over 2 more years. That way i triple the money available. Could be difficult to put such a burden on a less wealthy team.

I usually sign 40-50 new players for my teams. Invite about 50-100 for trials (the latter mainly for my youth and second team)

Once i get my hands on a new fm iteration, i do play 1 pre-season to get the hang of the changes and the new team. See who i will be able to sell for what amount of money, do some scouting asf.
I make screenshots from all interesting players i find.. for later use.

Then i start all over again and tweak my tactics and build a first first team. I play half a season until winter break. Do more scouting.
Start all over again.
Now do the same again but add the second team and youth and set-pieces adjustments...
play one season...
Start all over again.
This time i build my team outside the game with all my scouting knowledge (screenshots i made during the previous runs).
now its time for a long-time save...

to me its all about the quality of a season, not the quantity of seasons
so if you fail to make use of this tactic: don't blame me - rinse and repeat! ;)

additional information


the tactic does look weak in the center, but both wingers are inverted, the OMs will track back and the wide playmakers also do move inwards. In fact it is meant to hit with counter attacks and, while not defending or counter attacking, overloading the center around the opponents box and break through with skill, not force
its a risk-reward game... we give opportunities due to risky passing, but to create even more for our team.
Beware of very fast players.

We attack with 7, we defend with 9-10.
In fact its kinda 5-5-0-0 on defence, 3-7 on attack.
We give away possession often. Once again Quality over Quantity. This is true for possession too.

team handling and composition:

i have uploaded my basic filters i do use to search for proper players.
i make compromises. but technical skill, and intelligence is valued more than physical attributes.
to act as team, we need good teamwork, anticipation, positioning and off the ball.
to beat the oppent with fast counter attacks and killer balls, we need good technical skills and creativity (flair).
A certain minimum of speed is needed to execute fast counter attacks.
This tactic is demanding. Match sharpness for all players and constant rotation is a must.
Don't forget to give those dark reds a break of 1 or 2 days, once in a while...
Otherwise you might be hunted by injuries.
We speak about full attacking for 90 minutes during each match for the entire season.
Keep moral up.
Don't make promises you can't keep (about playing position, playing time etc..)
Check training every 1st of a month. Praise all with 8.0 and up, criticize all below 7.0.
Kick troublemakers. no matter what skill.
Don't sign "injury prone" players.
Don't sign those players that fear important matches.
I would avoid too many inconsistent players. However, my Trequariste i.e. had that trait and still scored around 30 goals each season despite that... but he was the only one and i had a decent replacement.

All offensive players do own or train the "tries killer balls often" and "plays one-twos" traits if possible. This is true from wide-playmakers upward.
All defenders train "marks opponent tightly" if possible, all central defenders train "stays back all the time".
Wingers train "get forward whenever possible".

OM's try to learn "beat the offside trap" afterwards or "moves into channels"

Its good to have 2 wingers with long throws and 2 or more good corner kickers.
At least 2 defenders should be good headers.. place them at long post or short post during corners and throw ins (look at the target of the ball distribution to find the proper place)
On wingbacks, I value man marking and positioning worthier as speed.
Flair is a must for offense players.
First touch and passing is important for ALL players.

Better to have bi-footed players - on any position.

Wide playmakers got the opposite strong foot on my team (most of the time) or be bi-footed.
I prefer players who are able to play on more than one position.
The skills for advanced playmakers, wide playmakers and Trequarista are almost the same.
So one should be able to get away with a few less signings.

I train my Trequaristas as Advanced playmakers too.. because of the teamwork. Finishing skill is not that important as one might think.
All my defenders train Libero... for the training in additional skills i value.

I added the training schedules as a picture.
I am too busy doing other things to bother creating those myself.
Credits for those go to Daljit ( bustthenet).

I still need to work on free-kicks. Those settings are from last years iteration. Can't be bothered with those atm.

Most money i am willing to put on good wingbacks and a good Libero. If possible, the Libero should be my captain too.
I am willing to compromise for that. Chose a model-professional as a captain although ball handling was below my cap.
(sadly in my final save, he suddenly was only professional instead of model professional.)
Vice captain i try to have on my goalkeeper... You know.. one who is on the pitch most of the games (remember.. constant rotation of field-players to keep them players healthy)

I check match performance after each match. 6.4 gets a warning, 6.3 a one day fine, 6.2 half a week, 6.1 a week, below that 2 weeks fine. Once i am angry.. i raise the fines! i can be very hot-headed, once in a while.
every 2 or 3 months i check the players over all performance during last matches and talk to them about it.
Its either criticism or praise...
i strongly believe that these tasks, even though they can be wearisome, are an important part to make a team perform properly. So maybe one should not ignore them.

OIs and PIs

i have my assistant coach setting up the OIs but do add some myself if i feel the need to.
I admit, that i overdo on those quite often and probably ruined some matches this way.
Therefore i try to discipline myself to "not set" any until i really think i need to.

Basically i do press almost all players that are chance creators... OML/OMR, MR/ML, WBL/WBR or MZL/MZR... depending upon the system we face.
Those on the wings get tight marking.

I do set PI's every single match for the wingers and the Libero. (instant result matches excluded)
Wingers do manmark the most forward wing-player of the opposition (or the position itself )
The Libero manmarks the opposing striker, or the most threatening, if there are 2 of them.
For a few matches i had my 2 ballplaying defenders mark the two strikers of a 2 striker system and kept the Libero for security defending. However, i had the impression, that the first option was good enough, if not better.

I might add PIs for manmarking other players during the match when i feel the need to.
This is mainly to steer the players towards the right direction once i feel they leave too much open space for the opposition to play around. Its about denying passing options.

Its hard to explain. One has to watch some matches and get a feeling for it oneself.

anyways... enough of that...
i might add some details later.. but for now it should be enough (if not too much of it)

played 3 entire seasons. first one was on positive only to see how it works out.
the other 2 (always entire restart) were on full attacking.



one additon: remember... i swapped all players. thats why i carefully managed early matches. No team hierarchy, no cohesion, no tactical familarity. It took until the very last day of the transfer window until i had my teams complete.
It takes some time and nursing until it really gets going that way.

Let them score.
Just score more! ;)


another addition: i had to know - thats why i started a lower league save.
despite my expectations to perform worse, it does quite well.

i started with a tier 7 team, but gave up on it. not because of the tactics but because of "appearance contracts only" - after searching half a day for players, i was signing players
only to see them walk away one or two weeks later because a bigger club offered them a real contract. Couldn't be bothered to go further just to test a tactic. Therefore i went to a tier 5 team that allowed part-time contracts. (Trier-german 5th tier)

We won the league and the lower leagu cup in our first season. Currently, first season in tier 4, we were expected to end up 19th.
At matchday 23 we are on top of the league with a 6 point lead and one game less than the 4 behind us. For the lower league cup - we made the semi-final, which has to be played away vs the 4th of the league.

It is different in lower leagues. As expected, we shoot less goals. However, the same applies for our opponents. Even the boards complains about too many goals given has been disappeared and we are still the best goal scoring team of the league.
Possession has gone up quite some. (also unexpected)

I will post results at the end of this or next season. Might take some days to get it done.

lower league management is a bit different. here is, what i have done:
no transfer budget, only 300 or 400 wage budget.

i got rid of all expensive players. i.e.: my best player earned 1.5k/week.
for that amount of money in this tier, i could sign up to 15 players.
loaned him out for a big percentage as i could not get rid of him first season.

i asked the director of sports for free transfer targets on each position, over and over again,
so that i had constantly around max 30 trial players in my squad for scouting.
(during the entire season, not only during the transfer window)

i reduced the scouting budget to a minimum. its not worth the money. can make better use of it on the wage budget.

i signed the best players i could find on free transfers (all below 27)

there were not many assistant coaches, nor was i allowed to sign more:
i signed scouts with training licence on a scout/assistant coach contract to aid the training. I had the impression that it also decreased the time to entirely scout the trial candidates, but its only an impression, i got no numbers to proof it.

i went on demanding more scouts and coaches, however, only after the first season was done, and we had moved up a tier, i was allowed to sign more. i used the same methds during the second season, constantly improving the squad and (training/scouting)staff.

i kept the squad at a minimum size during the first season.
for the second season i got a U23 team (weirdly it got no own section and just uses players out of the first squad - but i guess thats due to the lower league database i am using)

for the second season, i now had 3 teams to feed and therefore could make use of more players.

friendlies do almost nothing for match sharpness on these tiers. Due to that, its harder to keep a balance in match readiness. Never got to a point where the enterie squad had match sharpness during the first season. On the second season, i am still not there, but getting closer because of the added U23.

anyways... should be enough input now. Can't think of anything else important right now.

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