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Example Tactics Starter Guides

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These example tactics starter guides provide a variety of example tactics and get you started with the process of creating your own tactics to suit your team.

There is a separate example tactics starter guide for each of several different playing styles, so you can focus on the type of football that you want your team to play. Each starter guide analyses suggested formations, player roles and duties, team instructions and player instructions for the playing style, as well as giving you an example tactic to try out or modify to suit your own players or preferences.

A description of each style, its important player attributes and its example tactic are given below to help you to decide which of the starter guides you want to use.

Further details on the different tactical options and how to use them are given in the subsequent guides in the Tactics section.

If you are new to Football Manager then you may want to use the in-game tutorial to familiarise yourself with the tactics screens and options before reading these starter guides or using the example tactics.

Once you have created your tactic, or modified one of the example tactics, you can check how well balanced it is and how suitable it is for your playing style at Rate My Tactic.

Attacking Football

With attacking football your team will take a high risk approach by playing in more advanced areas; proactively creating and penetrating space when in possession, and restricting space when out of possession, therefore applying more pressure to the opposition team and forcing mistakes from opposition players.

Attacks will be developed more progressively, with the earlier stages of build-up play involving relatively shorter passes from your more defensive-minded players in order to help your team to create space before penetrating from more advanced areas.

The following variants of attacking football have their own starter guides for you to use instead:

Important player attributes:

  • Good intelligence (Anticipation, Decisions, Flair, Teamwork, Vision) and passing ability (Passing, Technique) – for M/AM(C/R/L)s and STCs in particular
  • Good movement (Anticipation, Decisions, Teamwork), defensive positioning (Positioning) and tackling ability (Tackling) – for DCs and DM/M(C)s in particular
  • Good movement (Anticipation, Decisions, Teamwork) and mobility (Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Pace) – for D(C/R/L)s and WB(R/L)s in particular

Attacking Football Example Tactic

Modify this example tactic for your team or create your own. Then check your attacking football tactic at Rate My Tactic.

Team mentality: Positive

Formation:

  • 4-2-3-1 DM AM Wide – neutral
    • 4 Ds / 2 DMCs / 1 AMC / 2 AM(R/L)s / 1 STC

Player roles and duties:


Complete Forward (STC Support)
3.0 / 0.0 / 1.0
PIs:

Move Into Channels, Roam From Position, Hold Up Ball, Dribble More, Take More Risks, make more dribbles into channels, use more creative freedom


Winger (AML Support)
2.0 / 0.0 / 2.0
PIs:

Stay Wider, Run Wide With Ball, Cross More Often, Dribble More

Shadow Striker (AMC Attack)
3.0 / 0.0 / 1.0
PIs:

Get Further Forward, Move Into Channels, Dribble More, Take More More Risks, make more dribbles into channels


Inverted Winger (AMR Support)
2.0 / 0.0 / 2.0
PIs:

Cut Inside With Ball, Dribble More



Deep Lying Playmaker (DMCL Support)
0.0 / 2.5 / 1.5
PIs:

(Hold Position), Shoot Less Often, Take More Risks, collect the ball more, use more creative freedom, playmaker focal role

Segundo Volante (DMCR Attack)
1.0 / 1.0 / 3.0
PIs:

Get Further Forward, carry the ball more

Inverted Wing Back (DL Attack)
0.0 / 2.0 / 2.0
PIs:

Get Further Forward, Cut Inside With Ball, Cross Less Often, Dribble More, Take More Risks, use more creative freedom



Central Defender (DCL Defend)
0.0 / 4.0 / 0.0
PIs:

(Hold Position), (Dribble Less), (Shoot Less Often)



Ball Playing Defender (DCR Defend)
0.0 / 4.0 / 0.0
PIs:

(Hold Position), slightly increase passing directness, Take More Risks, carry the ball more, use more creative freedom


Full Back (DR Support)
0.0 / 3.0 / 1.0




Goalkeeper (GK Defend)

Forward movement scores:

  • Penetration score = 1.5 + target = moderate to high
    • Left side = 0.5 + target = low to moderate
    • Right side = 2.5 + target = high to very high
  • Solidity score = 1.0 + target = moderate
    • Left side = 1.5 + target = moderate to high
    • Right side = 0.5 + target = low to moderate
  • Support score = 1.0 + target = moderate
    • Left side = 0.5 + target = low to moderate
    • Right side = 1.5 + target = moderate to high

Other team instructions:

  • Use Offside Trap

Defensive Football

With defensive football your team will take a low risk approach by playing in deeper areas; patiently keeping possession and retaining solidity when in possession, and protecting space when out of possession, therefore inviting more pressure from the opposition team and allowing available space to open up behind opposition players which can then be penetrated.

Attacks will be developed more directly, with the earlier stages of build-up play involving relatively longer passes from your more defensive-minded players in order to help your team to penetrate the space behind the opposition before they re-organise.

The following variants of defensive football have their own starter guides for you to use instead:

Important player attributes:

  • Good mobility (Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Pace) – for M/AM(C/R/L)s and STCs in particular
  • Good physical presence (Strength) and aerial presence (Jumping Reach) – for D(C/R/L)s, DMCs and STCs in particular

Defensive Football Example Tactic

Modify this example tactic for your team or create your own. Then check your defensive football tactic at Rate My Tactic.

Team mentality: Cautious

Formation:

  • 4-4-1-1 – neutral
    • 4 Ds / 4 Ms / 1 AMC / 1 STC

Player roles and duties:


Pressing Forward (STC Support)
3.0 / 0.0 / 1.0
PIs:

Significantly increase pressing intensity, Tackle Harder, Hold Up Ball


Attacking Midfielder (AMC Support)
2.0 / 0.0 / 2.0


Winger (ML Attack)
2.0 / 0.0 / 2.0
PIs:

Get Further Forward, Stay Wider, Run Wide With Ball, Cross From Byline, Cross More Often, Dribble More



Deep Lying Playmaker (MCL Defend)
0.0 / 2.0 / 2.0
PIs:

Decrease pressing intensity, (Hold Position), Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often, collect the ball more, use more creative freedom, playmaker focal role


Central Midfielder (MCR Support)
1.0 / 1.0 / 3.0

Winger (MR Attack)
2.0 / 0.0 / 2.0
PIs:

Get Further Forward, Stay Wider, Run Wide With Ball, Cross From Byline, Cross More Often, Dribble More



Wing Back (DL Support)
0.0 / 2.0 / 2.0
PIs:

Get Further Forward, Run Wide With Ball, make more darting forward runs




Central Defender (DCL Cover)
0.0 / 4.0 / 0.0
PIs:

Decrease pressing intensity, (Dribble Less), (Shoot Less Often), (Hold Position (but move into a deeper position to sit off))


No-Nonsense Centre Back (DCR Stopper)
0.0 / 4.0 / 0.0
PIs:

Increase pressing intensity, (Dribble Less), (Shoot Less Often), Take Fewer Risks, (Hold Position (but move into a more advanced position to close down)), use more tactical discipline



Wing Back (DR Defend)
0.0 / 3.5 / 0.5
PIs:

Hold Position, Run Wide With Ball, Cross From Deep, Take Fewer Risks, make more darting forward runs



Goalkeeper (GK Defend)

Forward movement scores:

  • Penetration score = 0.5 + target = low to moderate
    • Left side = 0.5 – target = low to very low
    • Right side = 1.5 + target = moderate to high
    • Penetrating space in the attacking third may be difficult on the left-hand side. The STC could be moved to STCL and the AMC could be moved to AMCR to adjust these scores if necessary.
  • Solidity score = 1.0 + target = moderate
    • Left side = 0.5 + target = low to moderate
    • Right side = 1.5 + target = moderate to high
  • Support score = 2.0 + target = high
    • Left side = 2.5 + target = high to very high
    • Right side = 1.5 + target = moderate to high

Other team instructions:

  • Narrow attacking width
  • Play For Set Pieces
  • Counter
  • Defend Narrower

Direct Plays Attacking

With direct plays attacking your team, when in possession, will directly penetrate space, mainly creating space by using physical power and forcing defensive mistakes from opposition players.

The following variants of direct plays attacking have their own starter guides for you to use instead:

Important player attributes:

  • Good endeavour (Aggression, Bravery and Work Rate) – for M/AM(C/R/L)s and STCs in particular
  • Good physical presence (Strength), aerial presence (Jumping Reach) and mobility (Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Pace) – for M/AM(C/R/L)s and STCs in particular
  • Good crossing ability (Crossing) – for D/WB/M/AM(R/L)s in particular
  • Good dribbling ability (Dribbling) and heading ability (Heading) – for M/AM(C/R/L)s and STCs in particular

Direct Plays Attacking Example Tactic

Modify this example tactic for your team or create your own. Then check your direct plays attacking tactic at Rate My Tactic.

Team passing directness: More Direct Passing (one notch up)

Formation:

  • 5-1-2-2 DM WB – neutral
    • 3 DCs / 2 WBs / 1 DMC / 2 MCs / 2 STCs
    • Instruct MCs to Stay Wider to provide support to the flanks

Player roles and duties:


Target Man (STCL Support)
3.0 / 0.0 / 1.0
PIs:

Hold Up Ball, Dribble Less, target-man focal role

Advanced Forward (STCR Attack)
4.0 / 0.0 / 0.0
PIs:

Get Further Forward, Move Into Channels, make more dribbles into channels



Mezzala (MCL Support)
1.5 / 0.5 / 2.5
PIs:

Get Further Forward, (Stay Wider), Move Into Channels, Roam From Position, make more dribbles into channels


Ball Winning Midfielder (MCR Support)
1.0 / 1.0 / 3.0
PIs:

Significantly increase pressing intensity, Tackle Harder, (Stay Wider), use more tactical discipline

Wing Back (WBL Attack)
1.5 / 0.5 / 2.5
PIs:

Get Further Forward, Run Wide With Ball, Cross From Byline, Cross More Often, Dribble More, make more darting forward runs



Anchor Man (DMC Defend)
0.0 / 3.0 / 1.0
PIs:

Decrease pressing intensity, Hold Position, Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often, Take Fewer Risks

Wing Back (WBR Attack)
1.5 / 0.5 / 2.5
PIs:

Get Further Forward, Run Wide With Ball, Cross From Byline, Cross More Often, Dribble More, make more darting forward runs


Central Defender (DCL Stopper)
0.0 / 4.0 / 0.0
PIs:

Increase pressing intensity, (Dribble Less), (Shoot Less Often), (Hold Position (but move into a more advanced position to close down))




Central Defender (DC Cover)
0.0 / 4.0 / 0.0
PIs:

Increase pressing intensity, Dribble Less, (Shoot Less Often), (Hold Position (but move into a deeper position to sit off))


No Nonsense Centre Back (DCR Stopper)
0.0 / 4.0 / 0.0
PIs:

Increase pressing intensity, increase passing directness, (Dribble Less), (Shoot Less Often), Take Fewer Risks, (Hold Position (but move into a more advanced position to close down)), use more tactical discipline



Goalkeeper (GK Defend)

Forward movement scores:

  • Penetration score = 3.0 + target = very high
    • Left side = 2.5 + target = high to very high
    • Right side = 3.5 + target = very high to extremely high
  • Solidity score = 2.0 + target = high
    • Left side = 1.5 + target = moderate to high
    • Right side = 2.5 + target = high to very high
  • Support score = 1.0 + target = moderate
    • Left side = 1.5 + target = moderate to high
    • Right side = 0.5 + target = low to moderate

Other team instructions:

  • Hit Early Crosses
  • Run At Defence
  • Be More Disciplined
  • Lower Defensive Line

Short Plays Attacking

With short plays attacking your team, when in possession, will carefully penetrate space and keep possession by cycling possession, mainly creating space by drawing players out of position.

The following variants of short plays attacking have their own starter guides for you to use instead:

Important player attributes:

  • Good creativity (Anticipation, Decisions, Flair, Teamwork, Vision) – for M/AM(C/R/L)s and STCs in particular
  • Good off the ball movement (Off The Ball, Anticipation, Decisions, Teamwork) – for D/WB(R/L)s, M/AM(C/R/L)s and STCs in particular
  • Good control (First Touch) and passing ability (Passing, Technique) – for M/AM(C/R/L)s and STCs in particular

Short Plays Attacking Example Tactic

Modify this example tactic for your team or create your own. Then check your short plays attacking tactic at Rate My Tactic.

Team passing directness: Shorter Passing (one notch up)

Formation:

  • 4-1-4-1 DM Wide – neutral
    • 4 Ds / 1 DMC / 2 MCs / 2 AM(R/L)s / 1 STC

Player roles and duties:

Advanced Forward (STC Attack)
4.0 / 0.0 / 0.0
PIs:

Get Further Forward, Move Into Channels, make more dribbles into channels


Inside Forward (AML Support)
2.0 / 0.0 / 2.0
PIs:

Cut Inside With Ball, Cross Less Often, Dribble More, Take More Risks


Advanced Playmaker (AMR Support)
2.0 / 0.0 / 2.0
PIs:

Cut Inside With Ball, Cross Less Often, Shoot Less Often, Take More Risks, make more disciplined movement, collect the ball more, use more creative freedom, playmaker focal role


Roaming Playmaker (MCL Support)
1.5 / 0.5 / 2.5
PIs:

Roam From Position, Take More Risks, collect the ball more, carry the ball more, use more creative freedom, make more surging forward runs, track back more, playmaker focal role


Central Midfielder (MCR Support)
1.0 / 1.0 / 3.0




Half Back (DMC Defend)
0.0 / 3.5 / 0.5
PIs:

Decrease pressing intensity, (Hold Position), (Dribble Less), drop deep more

Wing Back (DL Attack)
0.5 / 1.5 / 2.5
PIs:

Get Further Forward, Run Wide With Ball, Cross From Byline, Cross More Often, Dribble More, make more darting forward runs



Central Defender (DCL Defend)
0.0 / 4.0 / 0.0
PIs:

(Hold Position), (Dribble Less), (Shoot Less Often)



Ball Playing Defender (DCR Defend)
0.0 / 4.0 / 0.0
PIs:

(Hold Position), slightly increase passing directness, Take More Risks, carry the ball more, use more creative freedom

Complete Wing Back (DR Attack)
0.5 / 1.5 / 2.5
PIs:

Get Further Forward, Stay Wider, Roam From Position, Run Wide With Ball, Cross From Byline, Cross More Often, Dribble More, make more darting forward runs, use more creative freedom


Sweeper Keeper (GK Support)
PIs:

Take More Risks, rush out more, use more creative freedom

Forward movement scores:

  • Penetration score = 2.0 + target = high
    • Left side = 2.5 + target = high to very high
    • Right side = 1.5 + target = moderate to high
  • Solidity score = 0.5 + target = low to moderate
    • Left side = 0.0 + target = low
    • Right side = 1.0 + target = moderate
  • Support score = 1.5 + target = moderate to high
    • Left side = 1.0 + target = moderate
    • Right side = 2.0 + target = high

Other team instructions:

  • Play Out Of Defence
  • Dribble Less
  • Higher Defensive Line
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