Jun 19, 2010
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So, the results after reading a huge tonne of things about football tactics are down below. I will post my tactic below this text, and here I will explain everything that led to creating it. I haven't tested it much in fm, so this is more like theory, although the final product is available if you are willing to test it, or recreate something similar. I was always impressed at how Barcelona played, so some of their play is here. I am also a fan of 4-5-1 formation, so my tactic is based around it, although the things that I will explain below, can be used by more then one tactic.

Explaining my reasoning:

So, I was reading a text from a Croatian legend, Tomislav Ivić, about pressing. I beleive the text is public, so there are no copyright issues. He stated some rules about pressing. For one thing, he said the team must move as one, whether it is attack or defense. If one player moves to fast or to slow, it's over. Converted into fm game, I beleive we should use very fluid philosophy, as it sets the mentalities to same to all team. If you use playmakers, that changes though, so there will be no playmakers in my tactic. He also stated that offside trap shoud be used by teams that want the maximum benefeits of pressure, so that is something that I ticked. Another thing he stated is that teams that want to play a pressing game, must use a shallow formation, and play narrow. I'm not into manually moving sliders, so I will just use what the game suggest, in this case standard strategy with play narrow shout. With the play narrow shout, and short passing, the creator sets my tactic to exactly highest narrow as possible, and I'm fine with that. So why standard? I was reading again somewhere, maybe here, or on some blog or website, about how it is best to let your players decide when to go defensive, and when to attack, so leaving the mentality on absolute middle and giving them creativity to make up their minds is suggested as the best solution to get the maximum out of players. I want high possesion, and high passing completion, and as suggested the key to that is to play narrow and have little space between the lines to keep your team a compact unit. Of course, it wouldn't be good to keep it to narrow, as you need some width to stretch the opposition in order to score goals as suggested by guidetofootballmanager.com. I have googled 4-5-1 formation, and read all I could about it, and the web suggest s the striker is a false 9, or deep lying forward, but if that is the case, you must have at least two players supporting him by making runs from deep often. One site suggest I use roam more on all attacking players in order to mask where the next attack is coming from. The creator with more roaming in team instructions already sets that, except the striker, so I manually ticked that on for him. The websites also suggest box to box midfielders in CM postions, and one holding player in charge of breaking up attacks, so I have used 2 box to box in CM, and anchor man in DM position. The wings are supposed to cut inside, and have runs from deep on often, so I have set them as two inside forwards on attack, as the creator sets both things needed that way. Of course, as suggested by great many sites, you need someone to provide width, and wing backs are great for possesion game, so I have set two wing backs with attack duty. Central defenders must have short passing, man marking is required for offside trap, so I havent touched that, just left it as creator suggest. Sweeper Keeper can be used, but since the tactic has defensive line on normal, a regular keeper is also ok.

Now, zonal marking is recommended for guarding great players, but I think zonal marking actually keeps your players in their place, and I want them to go chasing the ball agressively, all of my team is set to man marking and tight marking. It is also the best marking for defending set pieces, it is easy to employ, and goes along with hassle opponents shout. I have also used the push higher up shout which compacts the team further, and makes it easier to score. Now, as suggested on guidetofootballmanager.com, the pass into space shout is needed if you want to dominate game and create chances, so a big pitch is required for that to have effect. That is also how Barcelona plays, I think. To fit things even better, I have also used the work ball into box shout, which lowers all players long shots to rarely, and makes sure the team is looking for chances.

So here it is. I have used all the shouts in my tactic, and afterwards just marked the sliders as they were, so don't think I changed something on my own other then this. You have a plug'n'play tactic.

In addition, you could set one winger as an orthodox winger with attack duty, and the other as inside forward attack. That way you can have more versatile attack. If you do that, make sure the winger has support behind him, in case he runs into trouble. Also, stay clear of wing play shouts and midfield distribution shouts, as they change mentalities.