gm.4321-IXT.19.3.5 / NE - The Invincible Xmas Tree


Dec 23, 2018
gm.4321-IXT.19.3.5 / NE - The Invincible Xmas Tree

Tactic Download -
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(V2 - SS Tweak)

4321 – The Invincible Xmas Tree

A proven oldskool formation winning football’s most prestigious competitions. From the more graceful style of Ancelloti’s Milan to the more defensive approach of the French side of 98 that contained one Zinedine Zidane.

Wingless it might be and so a weak system in the modern day, it is probably my favourite classic formation that allows me to bring some of my favourite players from the late 1990s early 2000s.

You had Shevchenko in his prime, Kaka the Ballon D’or winner, and Pirlo the conductor of Milan’s midfield.

It’s probably my favourite creation this FM. This 4321 brings the modern day pressing game, it is smooth in possession and uses an offensive style that has the threat of the counter.

Key Roles

The trequartista with his movement and holding up of the ball will help with the control, overlapping of wing-backs and sourcing the creativity in the final third. Pairing with him is our shadow striker giving the more direct and counter attack option of a threat.

The advanced forward will not only score but help to create chances for these two AMs. Both the SS and AF will be very useful in implementing the higher press with our Treq always on hand as an outlet when possession is won.

Approach Play

Patiently playing from the back, the approach play is very similar to a 4312 diamond I’ve made, where the play is deliberately forced through the middle in order to allow space for our wing-backs to exploit both flanks in the later third of the opponent’s pitch. Their job is to deliver low and precise crosses for our front trio. The system uses the attacking mentality.

Our DLP is also more of the Pirlo rather than Deschamps mould, with the willingness to play more risky passes and distribute well from dropping deep in collecting the ball.

Our two workhorses in midfield are there to balance the offensiveness of the TQ, SS and marauding full-backs being the Carilleros.


Defensively, a more aggressive Stopper Cover combination is used which I find suitable when playing extremely high. We also implement an offside trap along with counter-pressing. Our team intensity just about falls into the high bracket.

Opposition Instructions

These are used to aid both in the direction of our high counter-pressing and the ability to counter-attack when defending our own third.

Use the following:

WBL/LB – Show to right foot
WBR/RB – Show to left foot
AML/ML – Show onto left foot
AMR/MR – Show onto right foot

Here’s a sample XI from the the two well known successful teams employing this system:

GK - Barthez
WB - Cafu
WB – Lizarazu
CB - Nesta
CB - Desailly
LMC - Petit
MC - Pirlo
RMC - Gattuso
TQ - Zidane
SS - Kaka
AF - Shevchenko

What You Need

-Quick Back Line
-Technical Players / Quality Squad
-Hard working Carilleros
-An Excellent Front Trio given the lack of width
-A deep lying playmaker defensively competent with an eye for a pass
-Wing-backs who can cross and dribble well

Training / Set Pieces

Set Pieces – Throw-ins by fullbacks, AMC set for Free Kicks and Corners.

Training – “Attacking” on FM Touch

*No Exploits


I’ve only tested it in Italy so far but it’s titled invincible because I went through the Serie A undefeated. Our advanced forward being a now 36 year old C Ronaldo still scored 42 goals in all competitions. Behind him were Firminho and Dybala scoring 19 and 20 respectively.

Likewise our strongest creators were both wing-backs in Sandro and Cancelo, with Dybala our Trequartista the other. All assisting between 14-17 times in the year.

We got 102 points consisting of 32 wins, 6 draws and no losses with a goal difference of +81. This points tally also equalled the top number of points in a Serie A season dating back to 2013.

For a narrow formation scoring 93 goals wasn’t a bad goal tally. We also had a mean defence. With De Ligt and Rugani at the heart of it we only let in 12 goals in the league.

Both the Coppa Italia and ECL cups were won. Both tight games, with an ET winner against Real in the final giving us the treble.


This is probably my most successful and rewarding system on this particular patch. It plays some nice and tidy football and has proven difficult to dismantle.

At times you’ll get to see some nice assists from our wing-backs finding one of our AMCs coming in late unmarked dispatching the ball into the back of the net. You’ll also get to see moments of brilliance, and some good strikes from outside the box from our carilleros.

If you’re an Italian and classic football lover and have a quality squad to play this 4321 well, it should be an enjoyable system to watch.
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