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Wigan Tactic

Feb 1, 2006
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Hey, does anyone know a good tactic for Wigan to bust the prem ?
Dec 30, 2005
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Over at FM-Britain I'm helping asmodeus test is slider apethy theory, why don't you try it and see how you get on, this should explain how to set up you're tactic, formation will be dependent on what players you have I guess. ;)

asmodeus said:
Right. The whole thing is based on that solid defensive unit. If we’re theoretically keeping it simple then we can start with the following settings for the defenders:

The Defence.


All defenders set to 6 (6 clicks from the far left of the slider- description should be “normal”). The theory being they’re defenders- they should defend!

Creative Freedom

Defenders set to 6 again- “normal” (should be in line with mentality slider). As before- they’re defenders, they need to keep it simple.

Closing Down

Same again (don’t call it slider apathy for nothing!)- 6 (“mixed”- in line with the others). This so the defenders don’t get drawn out of position and leave gaps in the backline.

Individual instructions for defenders depend entirely on the players at your disposal. If you want attacking full-backs then you can implement this easily by giving them a forward arrow, or setting “forward runs” to “often.”

Defensive midfielders.

Bear it in mind that these don’t have to be a DMC in a tactical sense. They can be midfielders anywhere on the pitch that have defensively strong attributes. Most commonly MCs.

Mentality, Creative Freedom.

Set these up in an identical manner to the defenders. Yup, you guessed it, 6 (“normal”).

Closing Down.

Leave this set to team. As he is not part of the actual defence, the defence-minded midfielder is free to press and close down with the rest of the team, as he will not leave gaping holes in the last line.

The most crucial element of this theory. It’s up to you as manager to review the personnel at your disposal. The best starting point is to decide upon a starting eleven, which would logically be what you see as your eleven best players. Then, you pick your formation.

Defensive/Attacking Units.

Every side has players that are predominantly attack-minded, or defence-minded.

For example, Liverpool will sometimes play Xabi Alonso and Momo Sissoko as the defence-minded midfielders, with Steven Gerrard as the attacking foil. If you were to incorporate these factors into a 4-2-3-1 for example, you would have a basic six-man defensive unit, and a four man offensive one.

So, with the outlines above, you would set Alonso and Sissoko’s mentalities and creative freedom to 6- “normal”.

You could also then use this setup in a basic 4-5-1 or a 4-3-3, as you still have six defensive players and four offensive ones. The offensive players are all controlled by team instructions.

If you wanted to play more offensively, you could merely set up Sissoko with low mentality/creative freedom and leave Alonso’s settings on “team”. You now have a basic five-man defensive foundation, with the other five players attacking.

On the Offensive!

The monkey work is now done. You’ve set up your defence. You’ve built from the back- so now you have your canvas for those flambuoyant strikers to embellish with their flair and creativity. With your four, five or six (depending on your formation and players) defensive players set up, it’s time to assess the firepower.


Fitting in with the original apathetic premise of this thread- the advantage of this system is it easily implementable flexibility. Your attacking players will, in the most part, be controlled by the team sliders. So, you can switch from attacking to defensive, by adjusting the team sliders.

Defensive Line

This is the key area of this theory. Defensive Line must mirror team mentality at all times. So, if you begin with an attacking mentality of 15 on the slider (15 notches from the left), then you would start with the defensive line on roughly the same notch. There are 22 notches on the team mentality as opposed to 20 on the defensive line slider, but they should always be as close as is physically possible.

This is so your defensive and attacking units are synchronised on the pitch, and don’t leave enormous gaps between defence, midfield or attack.

Decide on the mentality you wish your team to begin playing at, and match your defensive line to it. During the game, you can now make your team play more defensively by lowering their mentality (and of course matching the defensive line to the new mentality).


By keeping both sets of defensive and attacking players on the same mentalities, I find that it keeps the team together, and more effective as a unit. This theory is very simplistic indeed, but it was my intention to provide a simple alternative to the approach of other tactical deep-thinkers that take the game to a level that I don’t really have the time to play it at. As much as I admire their multi-system methodologies, I don’t get the time to go that in-depth (although if I carry on typing up my forum contributions at work, I may have soon enough). With this system, I find that you can set it up pre-season, make a couple of individual instruction adjustments, sit back and play through games, without too many glaring tactical deficiencies that need amending. This works for me, as I only now get the time to play for an hour or less every day after work.

The other crucial element of success with this simplistic style is down to squad assessment. I touched on it earlier, but need to stress its importance. If you put together a 4-4-2 with a conference team in this way and attempt to play short passing and a high tempo then it probably won’t work. You have to be realistic with your footballing ambitions for your side. This of course, is down to you, the manager.

My next step here will be to post a few examples as templates, hopefully we could test a few and see if it works. It has done for me, so I hope it does for you guys too. If not, then never mind- it’s been interesting!