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Hey guys,

After releasing my Mourinho FM13 tactics some time ago, I have been working on imitating Tony Pulis at Stoke.
I have had this tactic for a long time but never got around to releasing it properly on here.
I will start writing this up tactic properly with images soon, however time is quite tight at the moment.

Long story short, this tactic won Champions League football with Stoke 2013 with no transfers.
It has also got me promotion from the Championship with Blackburn Rovers (with winning the title) and Europa League in the first season back in the prem.

There are two tactics, a home and an away. Self explanatory.



Here is the download link:
Download Tony Pulis' Hoof & Hope v1.6 by Kyanite.rar from Sendspace.com - send big files the easy way

Tony Pulis' Hoof & Hope v1.6 by Kyanite



Criticised by many, Tony Pulis' so-called negative tactics have always been under the spotlight ever since Stoke City's promotion to the Premier League. A good ol' 4-4-2 with the use of a target man, physical players & hoofball has been employed since day one at the Britannia Stadium and has allowed Tony Pulis to overachieve tremendously with the financially struggling midlands side.

Many football manager players have a phenomenon of achieving 100+ passes with playmakers and acquiring 70%+ possession over 90 minutes. Sure, scoring a goal with 30 passes is impressive... but why take 30 if you can do it in 1? A long ball up from Begovic, straight to Crouch who heads the ball in... easy, right?

This tactic was developed over a very long time and a lot of Stoke football was closely analysed. Most people see a Target Man as a player who is present for flick-ons, a player who acts as a pivoting role behind the main striker. Tony Pulis begs to differ as we repeatedly see Peter Crouch playing further up the field compared to his fellow striker partner Johnathan Walters. More than often, all Stoke players bar the main striker are behind the ball when defending and attempt to hit the opposition on the counter.

Shouts (you will get a lot of yellow cards & red cards, but chill you'll be fine):
- Get Stuck In
- Hassle Opponents
- Retain Possession (at home can be useful at times or when holding onto a lead home or away.)

Player Roles:
GK - Typical beast goalkeeper, self explanatory.
RB - He won't be looking to go forward much. You want high physical attributes, high tackling. Think of a RB trained CB.
CB - Another defensively physical beast, think Huth, Hanley, Shawcross, Vidic. Same for both, physical and height are the key. Your LCB will score A LOT from set pieces, so make sure he has the higher heading/jumping attributes.
LB - Same as RB.
RM - Physical attributes, particularly pace/acceleration for counter attacking, crossing, dribbling.
CM/BBM - Your most technically gifted player, has to be good at throw ins/corners, passing, etc just a general great box to box midfielder who is good at everything.
CM/BWM - Physical, tall, ball winning midfielder. Yaya Toure/Busquets type of player.
LM - Same as RM.
CF/S - Physical attributes MUST BE HIGH, TALL, your more technically gifted striker. He doesn't have to necessarily have high finishing/composure... this tactic will get them scoring nonetheless. If you wish, find similar players to Walters.
CF/A - Physical attributes MUST BE HIGH, STRENGTH, TALLEST STRIKER LANKY BEAST, this guy will score for fun, think Crouch/Carroll.

Training:
- Train tactics only until you have around 80% familiarity.
- Change to defensive positioning for the remainder of the season.

Summary:
- If you are in doubt of what players to purchase, go to the Stoke team and use the find similar players button.
- You will not score a lot of goals, you will get a lot of '1-0' wins. However I would rather a clean sheet over 3-1 any day.
- I will add to this gradually with images and so forth, very busy for the next week so bare with me.
View attachment 321126View attachment 321127View attachment 321128View attachment 321129View attachment 321130View attachment 321335
 
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I sort of adopt a long ball approach in some of my games as well :) I use my 433 DM and pump the ball up to my strikers either head or mixed to hold it up :) and it works well!

Nice layout and good luck, however, where is your league table? results? match prep?
 
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Really like the idea of this tactic.

Will definatly give this a go. You will get many tactical "snobs" as I like to call them who will be quick to dismiss this football but it is what it is and is probably alot more effective and result better than the "sexier" looking tactics out there.

Have you the screenshots of your Champions League win with Stoke? Not that I am doubting it, just want to see it as if you did that is amazing with any tactic.
 
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Wow, a Stoke tactic! This is interesting. I'm not a fan of Stoke's tactics in real life but I've always wanted to do a save with them but never managed to find a proper tactic to do one. I'll give this a go in my free time. BTW where would N'Zonzi fit in this tactic? He doesn't have the tackling to play BWM, nor the work rate to play BBM.

Edit: Love the name XD
 
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My players seem to be getting injured far too much. At the start Adam Huth and Pennant are already out a few months each, and every pre-season game I seem to be getting 2 injuries that last a few weeks as well. At this rate I won't even have 11 players fro my first game. :p

Edit: Just got beat 2-0 by Stevenage. They created 4 CCCs. :(
 
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Wow, a Stoke tactic! This is interesting. I'm not a fan of Stoke's tactics in real life but I've always wanted to do a save with them but never managed to find a proper tactic to do one. I'll give this a go in my free time. BTW where would N'Zonzi fit in this tactic? He doesn't have the tackling to play BWM, nor the work rate to play BBM.

Edit: Love the name XD
I used N'Zonzi as BWM and he worked fine.

My players seem to be getting injured far too much. At the start Adam Huth and Pennant are already out a few months each, and every pre-season game I seem to be getting 2 injuries that last a few weeks as well. At this rate I won't even have 11 players fro my first game. :p

Edit: Just got beat 2-0 by Stevenage. They created 4 CCCs. :(
Strange lol


I've uploaded pics of my successes with Stoke.
 
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This tactic is unbelievably effective!



Media prediction was 21st, but with this tactic I am dominating the league. I use the "retain possession", "hassle opponents" and "play wider" shouts. The football is a lot, lot better than the name of the tactic suggests, and it's pretty rare for me to have less than 55% of the possession.

Awesome tactic, thanks very much for posting it.
 
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This tactic is unbelievably effective!



Media prediction was 21st, but with this tactic I am dominating the league. I use the "retain possession", "hassle opponents" and "play wider" shouts. The football is a lot, lot better than the name of the tactic suggests, and it's pretty rare for me to have less than 55% of the possession.

Awesome tactic, thanks very much for posting it.
No problem mate.
However I shall warn you, that once you get into around season 3 using it after unbelievable success the tactic WILL fall to sleep and be less efficient.
I am yet to figure out why...
- a temporary fix is to up Standard to Attacking and use attacking both away and at home. But the tactic still doesn't perform as well as it should do. Reason is that your rep increases as a team and teams start playing a more defensive approach against you, but the direct style of football this tactic plays seems to struggle when you're up against a team who are parking the bus themselves... basically it doesn't work against itself too well (unless you're playing against Stoke where it works fine lol).

If you get the same issue after 2 seasons of using the tactic let me know.

EDIT: So far going 'Defensive' is working well for me. This is by counter initiating what opposing teams are doing. I am now a better side therefore teams come up more defensive against me and want to hit me on the counter. So I need to avoid falling into their trap by ATTACKING so that they can COUNTER so to do that I sit defensive, retain possession, control the game, forcing them to ATTACK meaning I remain in control. Then when the opposing team are 2/3-0 down they start going more attacking and that means you too upgrade from DEFENSIVE to STANDARD/CONTROL to keep at them. Tried it for one game so far, thrashed Swansea 5-0 on a DEFENSIVE strategy so will keep everyone updated.
 
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No problem mate.
However I shall warn you, that once you get into around season 3 using it after unbelievable success the tactic WILL fall to sleep and be less efficient.
I am yet to figure out why...
- a temporary fix is to up Standard to Attacking and use attacking both away and at home. But the tactic still doesn't perform as well as it should do. Reason is that your rep increases as a team and teams start playing a more defensive approach against you, but the direct style of football this tactic plays seems to struggle when you're up against a team who are parking the bus themselves... basically it doesn't work against itself too well (unless you're playing against Stoke where it works fine lol).

If you get the same issue after 2 seasons of using the tactic let me know.

EDIT: So far going 'Defensive' is working well for me. This is by counter initiating what opposing teams are doing. I am now a better side therefore teams come up more defensive against me and want to hit me on the counter. So I need to avoid falling into their trap by ATTACKING so that they can COUNTER so to do that I sit defensive, retain possession, control the game, forcing them to ATTACK meaning I remain in control. Then when the opposing team are 2/3-0 down they start going more attacking and that means you too upgrade from DEFENSIVE to STANDARD/CONTROL to keep at them. Tried it for one game so far, thrashed Swansea 5-0 on a DEFENSIVE strategy so will keep everyone updated.
Forgot to mention, I've actually been using it on "Attacking" home and away from the start - best form of defence and all that. Nearly finished the first season of using the tactic, still top of the league by miles. Will let you know how it gets on in the Championship! Thanks again.
 
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Did you say you won the Champions League with Stoke?

Few questions before I start a test

1) Have you thought about letting each full backs have through balls and crosses at often? I just think it would be a good outlet to play forward to the front men and also on counters more crosses into the penalty area as even on defend with a standard+ mentality and on counter they will break forward.

2) Would Very Rigid or Rigid not be a better fit?

3) Do you see there being any problems having the two central midfield players swapped sides? Only I have a kind of OCD of having my defensive ball winner on the right and my more creative outlet on the left.

4) wouldn't the touchline shout, 'retain possession' be completely ineffective? Especially given that each player has had there passing manually set to long.

5) when you are changing the strategy, are you making any change whatsoever to the defensive line, width, tempo etc? I know you haven't with the away version but I'm not sure what you are doing on defensive or attacking for example.

you also mentioned about this tactic hitting a wall. I think your not being very fair on the tactic tbh. I think that is the same with any team that has continued success. Teams double up on players, sit deeper, hit you on the counter - now finding a way to get past this is the tricky bit to a tactic.
 
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Did you say you won the Champions League with Stoke?

Few questions before I start a test

1) Have you thought about letting each full backs have through balls and crosses at often? I just think it would be a good outlet to play forward to the front men and also on counters more crosses into the penalty area as even on defend with a standard+ mentality and on counter they will break forward.

2) Would Very Rigid or Rigid not be a better fit?

3) Do you see there being any problems having the two central midfield players swapped sides? Only I have a kind of OCD of having my defensive ball winner on the right and my more creative outlet on the left.

4) wouldn't the touchline shout, 'retain possession' be completely ineffective? Especially given that each player has had there passing manually set to long.

5) when you are changing the strategy, are you making any change whatsoever to the defensive line, width, tempo etc? I know you haven't with the away version but I'm not sure what you are doing on defensive or attacking for example.

you also mentioned about this tactic hitting a wall. I think your not being very fair on the tactic tbh. I think that is the same with any team that has continued success. Teams double up on players, sit deeper, hit you on the counter - now finding a way to get past this is the tricky bit to a tactic.
Never said it won the CL with Stoke, said it got CL Football with Stoke if you read the OP.

1) No. This is a Stoke tactic, Stoke don't consistantly have full backs running up and down creating space for the opposition... If you think it's a good outlet then go ahead, but a) Stoke don't have the players for this. b) Tactic is arguably wee bit narrow for that. c) It wouldn't be a Stoke imitation but if you want to make changes go ahead, I can't stop you lol

2) Nope

3) Shouldn't be any problem. Pick it so that your BBM/More creative midfielder is horizontal to your target man (CF/A) that way he has more space to get the ball to him.

5) Don't worry about any strategies, just DL the ZIP file and just plug and play away with the home & away tactic. Only difference between them is the strategies. Any attacking/defensive stuff is just me adapting changes for 3-4 seasons in.
I also said that it isn't the tactic and that the rep of the team increases if you had read... " Reason is that your rep increases as a team and teams start playing a more defensive approach against you, but the direct style of football this tactic plays seems to struggle when you're up against a team who are parking the bus themselves... basically it doesn't work against itself too well (unless you're playing against Stoke where it works fine lol)."

Hence why now 3 seasons in I am trying to make changes and adapt this style of football for an overdog rather than an underdog.
 
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Long story short, this tactic won Champions League football with Stoke 2013 with no transfers.

I did take this as my reason for asking about winning the Champions League, as it does borderline come across as that here ;)

i would certainly argue that Stoke a) are set to rigid b) despite there full backs not being your every day full back that gets forward still pump crosses in, particularly from deep and that Pulis doesn't instruct them to retain possession. Just my take on it that's all.
 
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[/CENTER]

I did take this as my reason for asking about winning the Champions League, as it does borderline come across as that here ;)

i would certainly argue that Stoke a) are set to rigid b) despite there full backs not being your every day full back that gets forward still pump crosses in, particularly from deep and that Pulis doesn't instruct them to retain possession. Just my take on it that's all.
Where I'm from "winning CL football" means qualification.

If you think it should be rigid then go for it. However rigid, standard, fluid only dictates a very minor part of the game. Team instructions and player instructions override this. I tinkered a lot with this tactic so I don't care really as long as it produces the goods and immitates Stoke according to what is reflected in the ME.

As for full backs getting forward, they do get forward even when on defence. Watch the tactic and you'll see that happen. Again, player instructions have been played around with, don't judge merely on the 'FB-D'.

As for retaining possession, are you seriously telling me that when Stoke are 2-0 up at home or something along those lines they don't retain possession? Every team retains possession more and looks to frustrate the opposition more when hanging onto the lead, it's only natural. When they have the lead they don't continue pumping the ball up to the danger zones...

But yeah, I appreciate your take on things :D
 
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I'm not trying to come across a smart **** btw pal, just debating things.

My point about the retain possession was that every player has long passing manually inputted, therefore the shout of 'retain possession' will prove ineffective - I agree with the concept, I'm just comvinced although shouted it won't appear in the passing settings of each player.

Out of interest (probably doing you head in now I realise!) what did you do with a striker like Owen? I am starting a game with Wolves and wondering what I would do with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who is our best chance of goals but in theory wouldn't work with either of the attacking roles.

starting a save soon as I get in from work!

Will update with progress.
 
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I'm not trying to come across a smart **** btw pal, just debating things.

My point about the retain possession was that every player has long passing manually inputted, therefore the shout of 'retain possession' will prove ineffective - I agree with the concept, I'm just comvinced although shouted it won't appear in the passing settings of each player.

Out of interest (probably doing you head in now I realise!) what did you do with a striker like Owen? I am starting a game with Wolves and wondering what I would do with Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who is our best chance of goals but in theory wouldn't work with either of the attacking roles.

starting a save soon as I get in from work!

Will update with progress.
Nah dw I get it all the time on my tactics :p

Retain possession I have found forces the players to play shorter and less killer balls, thus improving possession of the ball by using it smarter. I haven't seen whether it actually makes any variations to sliders, but from watching the ME you can tell it's definitely there.

I would highly recommend to make sure your CF-A is really tall... adds the real dimension of the tactic to the game. Owen was just a super sub for me but players would then aim to the CF-S as target man. Now, in the Championship with a team like Wolves you don't necessarily need your target man to be tall as defenders are weaker, just make sure they have high physical attributes (I used Colin Kazim Richards for season 1 in chship and season 2 in prem and put in a good shift). I highly recommend Lee Novak with this tactic... even if your scout gives him 1.5* potential! Does well (before jan patch though, so try your luck, will cost u 750k).


Will be interesting to see how you do with Wolves. Karl Henry will be a great BWM, Doyle will boss the CF-S and Sakho should do well on the left. Feel free to give ebanks blake a shot though, won't be very tall but he will cut it in chship and premier league lower half level with his high strength. But like I said, if he was 10-20cm taller it would add a new dimension to the football!
 
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Hi Kyanite.

Sadly, this tactic just hasn't produced the goods for me in a season I had high hopes for with Wolves. I had an 11th finish and at no point ever really looked like getting into the top 6. Very upsetting, just like Wolves in real life!

Thanks anyway though.
 
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