Aug 15, 2011
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To emulate this tactic, I chose a positive mentality because I want my team to dominate the game, control the ball and adopt an aggressive approach without conceding too much space to the opponent’s counter attacks.

Let’s now examine the team instructions.

  1. In possession

Attacking width: fairly wide

Despite the fact that under Flick Bayern Munich exploited the flanks more than the central areas, I chose a fairly wide attacking width because I don’t want my players to leave uncovered the central areas and to decide according to the situation.

Play out of defense

Thanks to a goalkeeper like Neuer who is great with the ball at his feet (maybe world’s best sweeper-keeper) and two ball-playing defenders like Alaba and Boateng, Bayern Munich was great at building from the back

Focus Play down the Left and Right + Overlap left and right

This explains why I chose a fairly wide attacking width, because we already have focus play on the flanks and overlaps as instruction for two wing-back like Pavard and Davies who always stayed wide when Bayern was in possession creating a 6 men attacking line, the other 4 players overloading the central areas.

Pass Into Spaces

This allows our team to play through balls and giving a more vertical approach

Run at Defense

With wingers who are great at dribbling like Sanè, Gnabry and Coman, this is a must have instruction

  1. In transition

Counter-press: counter-press or, in German, Gegenpressing is a clear mark in Flick’s approach, he wanted Bayern to press high in order to win the ball back immediately after losing it, this allows the players to create new chances with a smaller portion of the pitch to cover

Counter: after winning the ball back, Bayern launched fast counter-attacks from higher positions, thus resulting in many chances to score

Distribute quickly: this asks Neuer to pass the ball to the defenders quickly to build the play

Distribute to center backs: this asks Neuer to pass the ball to the two center backs

  1. Non in possession

High Press Line of Engagement

Bayern Munich under Flick pressed very high, so in Football Manager this is an important instruction

Higher Defensive Line

A higher defensive line allows our team to reduce the gap between the lines even if this may expose us to counter-attacks.

Trigger press much more often

Pressing is the key factor in Bayern Munich’s defensive approach to win the ball back as soon as possible, if the opponent can overcome the first 2 pressing lines, they will have great space towards Bayern’s box.

Prevent Short Gk distribution

This helps pressing also involving pressing the opponent team’s goalkeeper, forcing him to play long balls that can be easily controlled by our defenders

Step up more

This asks our players to use the off-side trap

Trap outside

This asks our players to force the opponent to the play near the touchline giving them less options

Stop crosses

This asks our players to stop the opponent to cross the ball into our box, conceding less goal chances.

Last but not least, let’s examine each players roles and instructions

The goalkeeper is Manuel Neuer, he has been considered for many years one of the world's best goalkeepers. He is great with the ball at his feet and in building from the back and also to cover the spaces left behind by the defenders.
His role can’t be any other than a sweeper-keeper with a support duty. I did not choose an attack duty because this would be a risky choice.
The right full-back in season 2019-2020 was Benjamin Pavard who moved to Inter Milan this season. In his position play the Moroccan national Mazraoui.
His role can be seen as a wing-back in support and I instructed him to mark tighter and tackle harder, run wide with the ball and stay wider, to ask him to hug the touch line in possession creating a 6 men attacking line.
For this reason, the same instructions are given to the Canadian wing-back Davies, also a wing-back in support.
The central defenders duo in this season Bayern Munich is made up of De Ligt and the former Naples defender Kim Min Jae, both great with the ball at their feet.
To emulate the ball-playing defenders duo Alaba-Boateng, their role can’t be any other than a ball-playing defender with a defend duty to avoid taking too many risks leaving space behind them.
The two defensive midfielders in season 2019-2020 were Kimmich and Goretzka, and luckily they are still at Bayern in this 2023-2024 season too.
At the beginning I wanted to give them two different roles, a segundo volante for Goretzka to let him move forwards straight into the box creating chances to score and a more defensive role for Kimmich, like a defensive midfielder or a deep-lying playmaker that would make him the core of our play. But after considering this option, to avoid our team conceding too many goals, I chose a defensive midfielder role with a support duty for both players.
Then I decided to give them different instructions, more defensive-cautious to Kimmich and more attacking to Goretzka, so that their positions are staggered like in reality.
For Goretzka, I instructed him to take more risks, get further forward and mark tighter, while for Kimmich, I instructed him to mark tighter, tackle harder, take fewer risks.
Now let’s examine the three attacking midfielders who play behind the striker.
In 2019-2020, they were Sanè on the right, Muller in the center, and Coman (or Gnabry) on the left.
For Coman and Sanè, I chose an inverted winger role with an attacking duty. I instructed both of them to tackle harder and mark tighter, but I instructed only Coman on the left to sit narrower. Why? Because Bayern Munich under Flick often tended to overload the left side to lure the opponent’s defense around and the finalize on the right side where Sanè was often left in a 1 vs 1 situation against the opponent’s player (usually the opponent’s left wing-back). While doing so, the left wing-back Davies always overlapped on the left side, and the left winger, Coman, had to sit narrower, closer to the striker to leave a free space for Davies.
The last player role we need to examine is Lewandowski’s role. In this season, Bayern Munich bought Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur.
In Football Manager 2024, you can see that also the game tells you the best role for Kane is a deep-lying forward role. Even if someone may argue that Lewandowski played more like a pressing forward, my opinion is that he dropped down to receive the ball and also to create spaces for the wingers as a deep-lying forward, so I chose this role with an attacking duty.
I instructed him to dribble less so that he will link the play with his teammates, shoot more often and roam from position to let him decide according to the situation how to move and find his place.

This is all for this tactic, as you can see from the stats I won the treble, scored 90 goals and conceded only 25 in the Bundesliga. Many players scored more than 10 goals in this season and gave many assists, so teamwork is great with this tactic there is not only one player who scores more than others and who is the center of the play, it is a tactic which allows all players to give free reins to their skills.

Tactics overview









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