Category Archives: FM Tactical Posts

The Danubian Whirl’s Perfect Goal

Pomposity in the extreme but we just scored a goal that is almost exactly what I’ve been trying to do with the tactic for the last 18 months of game time so I thought that it would be worth highlighting briefly to put much of my other posts about individuals, attributes and striker problems into context.

If that interests you at all, read on! (It’s just a short one) If not, sod off somewhere else 🙂

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FM15 – time to revisit the tactical vision that failed?

It’s been a long time since I wrote anything for this blog so apologies to anyone who has been disappointed by the lack of activity. My absence was caused by a number of factors – a new arrival in the shape of our second child and the need to campaign for a No vote in the recent Scottish referendum on independence, but primarily because I really didn’t like FM14 at all. It was a bad game.

Towards the end of my attempts to make FM14 enjoyable, I tried to implement a truly pompous sounding “Tactical Vision” with my Alavés side. My attempts to do so failed spectacularly, hampered, I believe, by the restrictions inherent in the FM14 engine. However, shining through the usual detritus, filler and sales-pitch bullcrap of the FM15 “new feature” announcements was news of four new “roles” – one of which might actually make my vision workable.

So, ahead of FM15, and because I’m bored waiting to give the new child a late night feed, I thought I’d sketch out what exactly I hope to be able to do in the new match engine. This, for me, is likely to be the yardstick by which I gauge whether FM15 is an improvement on its scandalously poor predecessor. And by god I hope it is.

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A tactical vision to re-ignite my joy of FM

"What do you mean I can't ask my team to play any wider" "You already used that shout, André. Doesn't get wider than that" "You what? Just 3 width settings?! Madness!"

I’ve been in a bit of a grump with the game recently. I’ve just finished writing a fairly extensive piece for Clear Cut Chance, the burgeoning Football Manager quarterly, which is largely negative about the game and the direction that the match engine is taking. I’m entirely un-enamoured with the new tactical interface, the removal of sliders and what I see as an inexorable removal of the human player’s control on the pitch.

Therefore, when I was reading my latest football book (“The Coaching Philosophies of Louis van Gaal and the Ajax Coaches“), and my mind inevitably wandered to re-creating some of the concepts within Football Manager, my mindset was immediately negative. The match engine is too restrictive, I thought, to even bother trying to implement my idea(s). I’d be the new Michels, Kovacs, Happel, Sacchi and Guardiola all rolled into one if only the sodding game wasn’t so hell-bent on stopping me…

… but then, thankfully, I stopped myself and realised that I may be prejudicing myself out of a challenge. How do I know it won’t work if I don’t even try? Well, here’s me trying…

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Analysing your tactic and spotting problems


Something which I often see asked around the FM sites and forums is how do people analyse their tactics? How do you spot the strengths and weaknesses of your own system? How to you see what is wrong and how do you fix it? What changes do you make during games and why?

It’s probably the most basic set of questions pertinent to the most fundamental area of the game and, understandably, I think that it’s something which many people struggle with.

I think that the reason it is so difficult for people to grasp is not only that it is a difficult skill; but that everyone has their own methods – none of which are right or wrong. Couple that with a perceived stigma that you might not “know what you’re talking about” and the massively arrogant and ignorant approach of many posters on FM or football websites, and you can understand why people have difficulty in identifying where they are going wrong.

This post, therefore, is going to try and put across a few of the methods that I use in trying to spot issues with my tactics. I’m not the best FM player in the world but I think I do pretty well so whilst I’m not suggesting that I have all the answers or that my way of doing things is “the best”, I hope that anyone who is struggling with their tactics in FM can take a little something from this post… and maybe the rest of you can just laugh at my efforts!!

So, as an example – here’s my effort at a strikerless libero tactic and a friendly against Anderlecht as the case study.

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Using Space: The Inverse Wingback (by Eds)

Please note that this is not my work, it has been kindly contributed to FM Veteran by Eds from Supports Interactive – available on Twitter here and worth a follow. The original post can be found here.

So massive thanks to Eds – hopefully not the last guest post on FM Veteran – particularly if they are as good as this one.

Creating and exploiting space is the key to any successful football tactic. Be it via keeping the ball and stretching the opposition until holes appear, or immediately counter-attacking into the open space, every single successful tactic exploits space in different ways. Over the past few months, I’ve been focusing on something I’d previously never even thought about – the Inverse Wing Back.

The full-back is an often neglected position in football, particularly in a four-man defense. Because of this, I’ve always been interested in tactics that bring the full-backs into play more effectively. So when this thread popped up, I accepted the challenge.

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Protecting “the pocket” – Part 1 – Using a DMC

I made a post a short time ago advocating the use of “the pocket” in FM, exploiting the space between defence and midfield to bring you scoring chances and causing the opposition defence as much problem as possible. In these articles (there will be several parts), I’ll look at the exact opposite – how to defend this zone and prevent the opposition from doing the same to you.

In an effort to do so, I’ll look at a few different ideas that you can employ within your own tactics. Rather than do this in the course of my own game and potentially cause myself some problems, I’ve started a new game and taken over both Lazio and Udinese – two Italian sides of similar ability. I’ll be replaying a friendly between the two on several occasions and employing various formations in an effort to illustrate my recommendations. I’ll be using, where possible, default formations within the game and asking my assistant to pick the team, take teamtalks, etc so that I am only showing the changes that particular recommended tweaks can make.

Typical example of a player “in the pocket”

In direct contrast to the first post, the situation above is exactly what we’ll be trying to avoid and I hope the following will help you to decide which method of doing so will be most profitable for your own team.

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Toulouse – The 4-3-3 in detail

I was going to do a piece on Rapid Wien’s real-life tactics today but after they put in a quite depressing performance against Admira Wacker I’m no longer in the mood. Instead, I’ve had a few questions over Twitter on the tactic that I’ve been using with Toulouse so I’ve decided to make a detailed post on how it works, why I’ve set the various instructions within the tactics and the type of players that are required. I’ll also attach the tactic to the end of the post for anyone who wishes to try it out for themselves.

The tactic, as can be seen to the right, is a 4-3-3 of sorts although we utilise a deep midfield of 3 DMC’s and the front 3 is split into a targetman striker and inside forwards out wide in the winger positions. If you want to read through the development of the tactic then you can read through the game updates by clicking on this link and starting from the bottom up. If you’re just interested in knowing about the tactic, then read on.

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