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Fast Football, with crosses


Oct 6, 2017
Hello everyone! First of all I wanna say I am bored of all the possession / tiki taka football... I know is the best way to play FM, but...

I miss the old fast and direct play of football, with cross bombing etc. I wanna try to play like this but I am not good at creating tactics..

I suppose there are 3 things I need for that style:

1) Wingers with good crossing and dribbling, that hug the line and be able to make good crosses

2) get some strong and tall players into the area

3) Win the ball back fast, since I will not play with possession, I need to press a lot the opponent and be able to intercept.

I am think 3-5-2 for this style of play. 3 man in the middle will not let the opponent to keep possession too much, I will have 2 strikers + 1 attacking midfielder in the area for crosses and my Wing Backs can take the role of the crossing.

I guess I will need very good Wing Backs that will be able to dribble and cross the ball. On my league I am predicted for 3rd place, that means that I am a good team for my league and most teams will play defensive against me. So I cant play counter in most matches, to drag opposition on my half and hit him on the counter..

What team / individual instructions would you use? What roles in each position?

This is what I have in mind:

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Apr 26, 2014
Ive been trying a style of tactic like this myself but with very minimal success. Only thing I have really noted is how teams score against me from crosses and that's usually from early deep wide areas from full backs. Wingers crosses get blocked to often or are simply gathered by the keeper.

Ive tried tactics with two support complete forwards and thought that was a viable option for crosses. I think 2 AMs to sweep up scraps/lost headers would also be hugely beneficial. Sitting deeper could be a good idea?? Winning the ball high up the pitch wouldn't really created crossing opportunities so I can't see a high press working


Apr 5, 2011
I completed a World Cup qualifying stage with Norway with the highest completed crosses percentage overall. And I didn't even have a big striker or anything. I played a wide 4-3-3 and I think the key was being able to overload on the wings using the overlap. Far too often the opposing attacking wingers will be too lazy or bad at defending to keep up with your attacking full backs. For individual instructions I used "cross from byline" on all wingers except from an inside forward (who provided support for crosses coming from the other wing, and also made space for the fullback on his side). This is very important as when you cross from the byline, the opposing central defender will be playing with their back against the ball while your striker will be facing the ball. Big advantage right there.
I think your choice of formation will more likely make it so you outnumber the opponents in the center midfield, not the wing. This is not a problem of course, but for your experiment, without numerical advantage out wide, it may be hard to frequently get into a good crossing position.
I also think crossing is most effective with a controlling, high defensive line playing style. When done correctly, you will push your opponents to bunch up in front of and inside their box (parking the bus) and this will usually create a lane for your wing backs to overlap and run to the byline. This should be abused to the max as it will create very dangerous situations for their defense. Your team pushing so high will also mean your midfielders will be in a good position to catch "bounces" and create shooting opportunities. We'd probably like to use a holding midfielder who stays back to make sure we don't get too dominated on the counter.
If you were thinking of playing a more fast counter attacking game, crossing early from the deep may be better to take advantage of the mismatch with your faster strikers. You will more easily create crosses this way, but they will be much less effective and would require great playmakers.


Dec 16, 2014
I have done quite well with a 4-3-3 narrow formation. Using the FBs to bomb forward and cross into the box where there are three players waiting.

TIs - Look for Overlap, Very High Tempo, Pump Ball into Box, Overload

If I am honest, I only really used it when I was losing and desperate, but it would usually get me a goal or two.