#FM15 #Tactics – A Guide to Creating a Tactic by www.footballmanagercentral.com

Afternoon folks.  Whilst you are spending Valentine’s Day ignoring the other half and getting some valuable time in on FM15 you might be struggling a little to make a solid tactic.  Personally, I am a fan of the score four more than them approach but my good friend Paul at www.footballmanagercentral.com certainly knows how to make a team difficult to break down, as anyone that has watched his YouTube channel will know.  So check this post out!

Originally posted on www.footballmanagercentral.com

Playing Football Manager the first part is setting up a tactic but some people struggle, looking at how you set up tactics, how you organise your team, what should you look for when starting and playing your first pre season game, maybe your playing as Real Madrid or Manchester United, maybe your playing in League two and need a solid tactic?

No matter who or where you play I always find the first pre season game to be vital, a chance to see how the team lines up with the first tactic you have chosen.

Here I will be looking through how I set up tactics and how it all fits together before the opening friendly and the first chance to test it. I will show why I picked the formation then looking how it worked and why it did or did not work.

Step One

The first step in picking a tactic can be done in the squad list screen, the viewing.

Looking through and picking the best formation for your team. A lot of people come into our Facebook group and ask for a ‘plug and play’ formation which I feel is not possible. Some times I will see people create a tactic that works on other saves but a general rule is you need to pick a formation to suit your team.

Looking at my squad:

team list

Fist thing I notice is straight away the lack of strikers, this straight away points to a 1 striker formation so that is part 1:

One striker formation

Then looking at my wingers I can see that many are more natural as a ML or MR more than an AML or AMR so again that helps me see that I should be playing a formation with wingers playing in the deeper ML or MR more than the attacking winger role:

Play deeper wingers

The next thing is to look at how the middle should work, looking at the players available I think two central midfielders and a defensive midfielder as many of the midfielders are defensive minded but due to the deeper wingers and one striker I can not play two defensive midfielders.

Two CM’s and a DMC.

The defence seems very simple looking at it, a solid line of 4 is the way I will be playing

Playing a four in defence

Step Two

So after looking through that we can now go and create the tactic and slot the best players in for each role:


So now we have the team built, now to explain each section and why I have done it.

The defence was a tough decision on how to lay them out but I decided on playing with Defensive Full Backs with 2 Limited Defenders. The reason behind that is due to how deep the midfield is in a starting role we are lining up with a defensive formation so I feel playing with a solid 4 line was the best way to go.

The DMC I am playing as a support because of how defensive my back 4 is I do not want to have him sitting to deep as it would form a back 5 and leave to big of a gap.

The Wingers are set to attack due to starting in the deeper role I do want them to get forward. I have chosen a supporting CM to sit in the middle and pass and spread the play and to finish the midfield I have gone with a AP and the reason for this is that I want someone pushing forward with the wingers but someone who will pull the stings, I like to make sure someone in the team is the point of play, where you can play through.

Finally the striker will be playing as a DLF, the reason behind that was I needed him to be dropping to collect the ball, playing in the DLF means he will be available for the pass from midfield and he will spread out to the wingers before pushing up to get on the end of the cross. If I played a AF for example I feel there would be to much of a gap between midfield and attack.

Step Three

Now we move into the instructions, I like to keep it simple but decent if possible so lets see what I went with:


 Ok so from left to right I will explain the reasoning:

Playing retrain and short passing I feel is key due to the formation, playing with a DLF and a defensive looking formation it would not be advised to be playing long or direct.

Run at Defence is something I like to use, often in FM the players will like to kick it forward at the wrong time, I find this cuts out alot of that, often with this I find the wingers run alot more with the ball therefor cutting out the crazy long balls to the striker.

Exploit the flanks is mainly just to use my wingers more than basic, mainly as I have some good pace out there, if your wingers are slow it is often not a good idea to use that.

Playing Close down much more is something I want to use as I want the players to push the opposition as much as I can, not giving them time on the ball, work rate is key for this, if your team is poor with work rate then maybe skip this one out.

Get stuck in, this is something I like to use with close down more, if not using it I find that players chase the opposition then just stand looking at them.

Prevent short GK distribution, this goes with close down much more, again pushing them into mistakes all game. Forcing them to play long.

Finally, Be more disciplined, with this formation we are setting up defensively and looking to push from there, thus meaning I need to make sure we play with common sense and for this I have selected this option.

Once you have done this I always like to set some ‘Player Instructions’

I set for my goalkeeper to distribute short, again due to the formation I do not want long balls from the goalkeeper so I have him playing it to the FB’s for us to start the attack.

Step Four

Now we reach my final part, checking the match and reviewing how it went, am I happy to progress with the tactic and train them fully in it or do I want to decide on something else?


From the keeper


Attacking play


Flank attacking


Preventing the counter


The final decision

The final decision is upon us:

I have played my first game of pre season, a chance after only days at the club to see if my first instinct for a tactic was correct.

I am happy with how the game went, a couple of the key points I would pick are:


Passes Completed

Tackles Won

These show that the formation worked, we had a good amount of shots also, not enough on target but I can work on that. Apart from that I am delighted for the opening game how it has gone and I look forward to moving the team in the right direction with my created tactic.

When you set up your next game, follow the steps, check how you want to play with the players you have available but most of all, ENJOY FOOTBALL MANAGER

You can see more great stuff from Paul on http://www.footballmanagercentral.com and follow him on Twitter @fm_central

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