Nov 23, 2009
Reaction score
Hi everyone. For some reason this message won't let me use my enter key (to put paragraphs in) so I am afraid it will all have to be 1 endless stream - if an admin wants to add paragraph breaks then feel free to :). I have 2 main tactics (and 1 shut-up shop tactic) all in a 4-1-2-2-1 formation. The first tactic uses inside forwards and the 2 CM's as a deep-lying mid and an advanced playmaker in a fluid playing style with short passing and counter-attack whereas the second tactic uses wingers and the 2 CM's as central midfielders in a balanced playing style with default passing and no counter. Both of the tactics seem to be equally effective on trial runs that I have done so I want to know: 'Which tactic do I use and when?'. I can obviously go off my available players and see which tactic is more suitable for that game but I am more interested in what type of teams which tactic would work best against and why? I'm a massive tactical nerd but I don't seem to be able to pick the right tactic for the right match. Thank-you and best wishes, Chris
Well what are the aims of each tactic? You have 1 that seems adventurous and attacking but plays on the counter too, and another that is more balanced but doesn't counter. You need to decide what the goals of each tactic are, before you can even think about deciding when to utilise them.

For example, if you had one tactic that was based off the principles of a high tempo, attacking game, with emphasis put on high pressing and winning the ball up the field; you'd know that this could be a tactic to be used when you are chasing a game or against weaker opposition.

Of course, that doesn't mean to say that all tactics which utilise lots of pressing and quick play are attacking strategies. There are no wrong tactics. But you do need a clear concept to be working towards: then your results will be proof (or disprove) of concept.
Hi zorak, thank-you for your reply. Both tactics are aggressive, quickish tempo, narrow, average defensive line and zonal marking - they differentiate a bit for the sake of not being too predictable. Both tactics are identical defensively and, as you can see, very similar in a lot of other ways as these are the systems I have found to be most effective (also analysing the more successful tactics on the forum they tend to have very similar set-ups). The way I look at the two tactics is that the inside forwards are best when the opposition has quick but technically weak full-backs so that I can pass my way through the centre however wingers are best when the full-backs can be abused by pace and their centre backs are too small/bad at jumping or heading to deal with a tall forward etc. There are more things that I consider than this but these are some of the methods behind the madness. However I have found that when I save and reload for the sake of working on my tactics that my predictions on which tactic is more effective are wrong as often as they are right - hence why I am asking here :).
I wouldn't get into the habit of reloading saves and repeating games; I don't think it can actually teach you much because things always turn out differently, no matter what you do or don't do. and you'll never know what the outcome would have been for that specific match if you'd used the alternative tactic. That is what economics students, among others, know as Game Theory.

I personally prefer to concentrate on what my players can do, and how they are best utilised, rather than adapting my strategies to an opponent. By no means am I right. That's just me.
For example, I would use the same tactic, but if I felt I would benefit more from Inside forwards than wingers, instead of changing their role, I'd use shouts to widen the play, exploit the flanks, pump ball into box etc
Aye, I would never use saving/loading in an actual game, just for testing tactics otherwise there is no point to the game at all. Thank-you for the advice on focusing on my strengths rather than the opponents weaknesses, I already do that to some extent like I say with 'picking the tactic based on the players available to me that match' however I still don't seem to get the right 1. I can be absolutely certain that I should use wingers as they have slow full-backs and I have very fast wingers and after trial and error I'll find that the inside forward tactic is more effective, or vice versa... I'll have no chance of getting down the wings and logically should be cutting inside but the winger tactic will still be just as effective :S. It gets to a point where it feels like the outcome of the game is entirely luck or scripted but I know this cannot be the case otherwise it wouldn't have the likes of ourselves so massively addicted to it lol.
I'm still none the wiser tactically as to which tactic would work best and when? For example wingers working well against 2-5-3 or inside forwards working best when the opposition has no CDM and things like that?