Mar 1, 2012
Reaction score
After struggling with tactics for a few years on my save and getting beaten numerous times after I have scored first, I just had my ah-ha moment.

The tactical experts here know this but I only just realized that the AI managers are continuously adjusting tactics during the match even going to extreme formations if things aren't going their way. It became quite obvious when I was trying out an asymmetric formation in a friendly against a weak team and winning 5-0, the opposite team suddenly scored two goals out of nowhere. When I looked at their tactic it was literally a counter to my tactic - an odd tactic with players exactly at the weak points in my tactic.

How do you respond ? change tactic mid-game, play players out of position, change shouts ?

After cursing the ME I am actually quite impressed by it now.
I spent a whole season experimenting with adaptable tactics. I won the champs league, and came second in the premiership, but I was quite lucky to do so, and actually, I felt I underachieved in many ways.

My approach was, basically, that I had three set tactics that offered the range of tempo and width from narrow and slow to wide and fast. Before the match I would choose how I wanted to play in terms of width and tempo, and choose the appropriate tactic. Then, I would analyse the oppositions past formations, and choose my own; for example, creating a 4-5-1 if they are a good team using a 4-4-2, or if they're using three at the back, I'd play with attacking wingers and focus play down the sides.

During the match I would chance the shape of the team as often as they changed the style of play, to counteract the opposition and exploit weaknesses.

IMO, 90% of the time, it's not worth it. I'm having much better success by using one or two formations, and altering style and shape via shouts in match. Unless my shape is clearly not working and being repeatedly exploited by the opposition, I won't change.