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Tactical Review #1 – JP Woody’s Wenger Tactic 12.2.2

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Sep 17, 2005
Tactical Review #1 – JP Woody’s Wenger Tactic 12.2.2


So for my first tactical review for FM-Base, I have decided to use our very own Super Moderator JP Woody's latest tactical release ‘JP Woody’s Wenger Tactic 12.2.2’

After loading up several of Europe’s top leagues, The random club selector landed kindly on Werder Bremen of the German Bundesliga. I have not signed any new players or tweaked the tactic in any way. The purpose is to test the tactic with the team as is and that is what I have done.

I have also taken JP’s other advice into consideration regarding the pitch size
Think more Highbury than Emirates and go for Small
I have set my match preparations to 'Attacking Movements' to comply with the name of the tactic and I will specifically ignore all shouts and instructions, leaving them to my Assistant Manager as JP puts it bluntly
As a Practicing lazy ******* I never use either
...good enough for me.

Last but not least, in true Wenger fashion, I can state right now that I did not see the incident and that any defeat in which occurred, it was someone else’s fault.

The Formation

Football Manager’s tactic engine is a fantastic tool which allows a lot of creative freedom for it’s players, however it is not the finished article and some styles and formations need to be altered to suit players in game ability and comply with their attributes. JP has altered the tactic enough that it still looks and in his opinion, plays like Wenger’s Arsenal. Of course, to quote the author again
Obviously everyone has different opinions on his style
The formations sets out as a 4-2-3-1, which may not be exactly how Arsene Wenger sets out his side, (past or present) but as JP explains himself
these are only based on Wenger's style and my own interpretation… bare in mind that I've had to copy his style but more importantly get them to actually work within the game so it can’t be an exact copy of Wenger's tactics, simply because we would get raped (sic) every game. Near as can be though
The Good

Goals, goals and more goals!

Looking at my squad initially, I feared for my ability to score goals as much as I did conceding them. Claudio Pizarro and Marcus Rosenberg are not exactly the most prolific strikers in the game. Luckily both make up for frailty in finishing with composure (Pizarro) and pace (Rosenberg) scoring a whopping 46 goals between them.Rosenberg's 20 goals was especially surprising considering his finishing stats are 10 and composure 8. Both left and right wingers Marin & Arnautovic marked up 21 goals and 32 assists between them, further adding to the tally. Forward play is exceptionally good with this tactic and the poacher excels using it.

The Bad

Not so much Tony Adams but Gilles Grimandi.

Immediately after checking my playing squad I knew the defence was going to cause problems. Bremen has a reliable keeper in Tim Wiese but aside from that, it’s worrying. Nando (remember him?) is still decent but a fan of the physio table, on loan Papastanthpoulos is great and the likes of Mikael Silvestre and on loan Affolter are no Tony Adams or Martin Keown. Meanwhile the full backs Fritz and Schmitz are not good enough or suited for the formation.

The biggest problem I encountered was my own players standing off the opposition, allowing them to move the ball around freely. In the screenshot below,where I took a hefty hiding from Hoffenheim, you can see that my defence is very deep, yet they have a great deal of space. My attacking midfield three are all very high up for a defensive situation, which is very ideal for counter attacking opportunities, however it caused problems in situations like the below.

The defensive problems could come down to Bremen's lack of depth. I rarely had my favoured partnership of Nando and Papastanthpoulos, the replacements are not good enough for the division they play in. This of course, has to be considered when looking into possible weaknesses. If you plan on using this tactic with a smaller side, or one with little depth then keep in mind that you may concede a lot of goals.

The Ugly

Studs showing!

The discipline issues are a major annoyance which I was unable to rectify. Fortunately you can still save face. Just remove the Trequartista with the position of the player that has been sent off and you may sneak a point or if you are very lucky, a win. As you can see from the screenshot below, my team received 6 red cards over the season and 5 of them were straight red! Yellow cards on the other hand were amongst the lowest in the league.

Also, be prepared for your team to take a beating or two, through out the season my side were subjected to a **** of a lot of professional fouls, which lead to red cards (most of the time) and my wingers especially, got doubled up on, taking a good bruising. Unfortunately this led to a lot of injuries and when you have a particularly small squad, can hinder your progress.


Overall this tactic lives up to it's name and delivers in all the key area's you expect it to. Highly entertaining if you enjoy watching your matches, quick and entertaining passing moves, great play down the wings with plenty of drilled crossing and a lot of goals to be scored. Most of the time you will find you dominate possession and have plenty of clear cut chances, which the poacher is willing to slot home.

In the end, despite the injuries and less than adequate squad, I still finished 6th in the league and won the German Cup, beating Bayern and Dortmund along the way.

I'd recommend this tactic for anyone who is managing a side with a very technical squad in attacking positions and a sturdy back line. Think Wenger.

If you wish to download the tactic, you can do so by clicking HERE. For more information on the tactic or if you wish to share your experiences using it, or just need to see a few more screenshots of the tactic in action then feel free to post on the THREAD. I am sure JP Woody will appreciate all polite and constructive feedback.

Thanks for reading.


Do you have a world beating formation? Want greater exposure for your tactic? Hoping to get your work on the FM-Base homepage?

PM me with a request to test your tactic with a link to the formation, it's thread and any instructions you want me to use and I will try it out for a season and write up a review for the homepage.

JP Woody

Jan 11, 2009
Good review. Sorry about your injury and disciplinary problems. Must be first season bad luck. I've not really encountered similar problems. Obviously if you have players with high aggression stats that could be a problem. Im going to give it a go in a harder league with a lesser team to see how it fares. Top review though. Thanks :wub:
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