Pass and Move Football

This starter guide will take you through the process of creating pass and move football tactics for your team. It includes:

  • How pass and move football works – a brief description of the mechanics of pass and move football tactics, as well as important player attributes, to help you to decide whether pass and move football suits your team and your preferences.
  • Suggested formations for pass and move football – tips for choosing a formation to use with pass and move football tactics, along with a list of suitable formations. The formations are listed in order of how attacking they are, with more advanced playing positions being considered to be more attacking.
  • The recommended team instructions for pass and move football – these are the team instructions that are typically used in pass and move football tactics.
  • Other suggested team instructions for pass and move football – these are additional team instructions suitable for pass and move football tactics that you may want to use. However, it is recommended that you choose your player roles and duties before deciding upon additional team instructions.
  • Useful player instructions for pass and move football – these are player instructions suitable for pass and move football tactics that you may want to look for in the player roles and duties that you choose.
  • Balancing risk in pass and move football – advice on how to balance your use of team instructions and player instructions.
  • Suggested transition tactics for pass and move football – these are additional transition team instructions suitable for pass and move football tactics that you may want to use.
  • Suggested player roles and duties for pass and move football – these are player roles and duties suitable for pass and move football tactics that you can choose from. Different responsibilities in different positional areas are covered separately, with a list of roles/duties given that can be used to perform each responsibility. Selecting one or more appropriate roles/duties to perform each responsibility in each positional area should give you balanced combinations. Shown next to each role/duty is a brief description of its own natural playing style. The words “attacking” and “short” in these descriptions indicate suitability of the role/duty’s player instructions for pass and move football, and the roles/duties are grouped in order of how suitable they are in this respect.
  • Overall forward movement – this is an advised method for checking that the forward movement of your players is balanced. It involves adding up a few different scores for your roles/duties and checking that the totals meet suggested targets.
  • A pass and move football example tactic – this is a pass and move football tactic that applies the advice given in this starter guide to select team instructions and player roles and duties. You may want to use this tactic for your own team or modify it to suit your own players or your preferences. Reading the rest of the tactics guides can help you to do this.

How Pass and Move Football Works

Pass and move football is a combination of attacking football and short plays.

As 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.

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

As part of attacking football, 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.

Important player attributes:

  • Very good intelligence (Anticipation, Decisions, Flair, Teamwork, Vision) – for M/AM(C/R/L)s and STCs in particular
  • Very good control (First Touch) and passing ability (Passing, Technique) – for M/AM(C/R/L)s and STCs 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
  • Good defensive positioning (Positioning, Anticipation, Decisions, Teamwork) – for DCs and DM/M(C)s 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 tackling ability (Tackling) – for DCs and DM/M(C)s in particular

Suggested Formations for Pass and Move Football

Tips for choosing a formation:

  • More attacking formations make it easier to apply more pressure to the opposition team.
  • Formations with two MCs and an additional DM/M/AM(C) make it easier to cycle possession in central areas.
  • Formations with three or four AM/ST(C/R/L)s make it easier to cycle possession and apply pressure in more advanced areas.
  • Formations with D/WB(R/L)s and M/AM(R/L)s enable you to create overlapping movement between D/WB(R/L)s and M/AM(R/L)s or between AM(R/L)s and an STC (the former overlapping the latter in both cases by making more forward movement), which can create space more effectively. However, formations with only D/WB(R/L)s on the flanks can still enable off-centre M/AM(C)s to be overlapped, while also making it easier to cycle possession and apply pressure in central midfield and central attack, which are the two most useful areas to dominate in.
  • Formations with one DMC (especially if used as a Half Back) make it easier to use D(R/L)s that make more forward movement, such as Wing Back (D(R/L) Attack)s. However, this also makes it more difficult to cycle possession and apply pressure in more advanced central areas.

Suitable formations include:

  • 4-2-3-1 Wide – very attacking
    • 4 Ds / 2 MCs / 1 AMC / 2 AM(R/L)s / 1 STC
  • 5-3-2 WB – fairly attacking
    • 3 DCs / 2 WBs / 3 MCs / 2 STC
  • 4-3-3 Wide – fairly attacking
    • 4 Ds / 3 MCs / 2 AM(R/L)s / 1 STC
  • 4-4-2 Diamond Narrow – fairly attacking
    • 4 Ds / 1 DMC / 2 MCs / 1 AMC / 2 STCs
    • Instruct MCs to Stay Wider to provide support to the flanks
  • 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
  • 4-1-4-1 DM Wide – neutral
    • 4 Ds / 1 DMC / 2 MCs / 2 AM(R/L)s / 1 STC
  • 4-1-3-2 DM Narrow – neutral
    • 4 Ds / 1 DMC / 3 MCs / 2 STCs
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