in , ,

How to make your team a goal-scoring machine around a false nine in FM19

False nine FM19

You want to know how to score goals with a false nine in FM19?

Most people would show you their 4-3-3, spearheaded by an advanced forward or poacher. Those guys don’t get in my team. I don’t know about you, but if I try using a tactic that I would never set up manually, it never works. It might work for a few games, but then problems arise. I don’t know how to fix them.

In other words, when taking advice or looking at another tactic with proven results, try to work out why it works. Also work out how to implement those ideas into your approach. If you end up copying everything, you’ll also end up copying the flaws, with detrimental long-term results. This summarises it well:

False nine FM19

I’m going to give you a way of scoring lots of goals. It’s purely mine. As a result, I’ve done my job if you can learn something good along the way. If you spot any flaws, please let me know in the comments below.

Getting strikers to score with a false nine

The FM19 online community are bemoaning that their strikers can’t score. It’s quite funny.

These people openly try cheating and still face the same problems.

People like to pin their issues on match engine problems. To me, though, these issues are a sign of how much better FM19 is than the previous versions. You have more control over your defence, for instance, as does the AI. In addition, tactics are more realistic. As a result, the AI is better at adapting to your tactic and implementing theirs.

This means more opponents have playing philosophies. Have you noticed, for instance, how every big team doesn’t sack Pep Guardiola for failing miserably?

Real-life teams struggle to involve their strikers. Why else would there be so many different variations in an attacking setup?

My system with a false nine

False nine FM19

While people are expecting this to be easier than it is, I have a system and some strategies that work!

Results with a false nine

Here are the results of this system:

False nine FM19
False nine fm19

Statistical breakdown

Let’s break these figures down, to work out how my WBA side score so much with a false nine!

False nine FM19
False nine FM19
False nine FM19
False nine FM19
False nine FM19

We’re also aggressive with tackles, fouls and cards. However, I don’t need to screenshot everything. Essentially, these statistics show that having more shots and shots on target doesn’t always lead to more goals.

False nine FM19

My WBA side only had the fifth most shots on target in the division; 38 less than Man Utd, the only side to have scored more than us. However, we’ve scored six more than Tottenham, who’ve had 18 more shots on target. We’ve created significantly more chances than both.

Therefore, these raw numbers show that we monopolise the ball, move it quickly enough to draw fouls, and have a lot of success from crosses. Let’s have a closer look!

False nine FM19

Therefore, out of our last 93 goals scored in all competitions, 31 have been assisted by a cross; exactly one in three. The other consistent assist-types are corners and through balls. It might be surprising that more of goals are not headers. Placed shots constitute 60 of our 93 goals; we even score more overhead kicks than headers!

How to implement this with a false nine


Some good advice is covered in how to harness wide players in your ball-hogging side.

I focus my setup on switches of play, when most possession setups focus excessively on the centre of the pitch. The setup asks players to run beyond the false nine. This enables him to be a playmaker, positioned upfront. Also, having players on one side behaving more cautiously than their counterparts on the opposite flank creates a balance. It enables your side to keep possession extremely well, while releasing players into space at just the right moments.

In that piece, I also advised on having a midfield three comprising a sitter, a supporter and a shuttler. That alliteration took all day to think of.

Attacking duties with a false nine

Attacking duties.png

Especially with midfielders, players on attacking duties are most effective at breaking into the final third. Their duty tells them to make late runs forward on a consistent basis.

I’ve felt the benefits of surrounding my false nine with out-and-out attackers on both sides, along with an attacker from midfield. While each player should have heir own specific role tailored to your system, too many of us fall into a trap of having too many supporting players that don’t make the necessary runs.

I like having three players on attacking duties, because I also have three outfielders on defensive duties. Having two on the right and one on the left also makes sense in my system; chances are often created by switches of play, and my Raumdeuter is on the left wing.

To create space for him, my false nine will hopefully withdraw himself back to the number 10 role, while others overtake him. If the opposition isn’t allowing any space down my right, my inside forward will blitz further inside from his narrow starting position. My mezzala will pop up unexpectedly in half-spaces and be my prime creator.

Combinations with a false nine


My tactic is based on considering the players’ combinations and how that enables the team to progress up the pitch and create chances. The two centre-backs, by default, defend. My wing-backs progress up the pitch, but neither consistently make bombarding runs. One is on defend; the other is on support. My central midfielders are expected to be more adventurous is making runs and picking out my attackers; one is on support and the other is on attack. My two wide attacking midfielders are both on attack, supporting my false nine.

Besides that, it’s the other end of the spectrum from both centre-backs having defensive duties. Your false nine won’t be able to drop deep and penetrate the opposition defence without the attackers around him making runs from the outset. Just as your wing-backs wouldn’t be able to get forward without the support provided by your centre-backs covering,



How does all this lead to my WBA side being so effective from crosses?

It’s a natural result of the setup; our attackers make runs from wide positions. We have a lack of width to enable nominated players to make runs out wide more effectively, and to get more players in goalscoring positions. Our low crosses to the far post, from both sides, result in numerous tap-ins.

If you ever have any questions about any of this, or anything you want to discuss, feel free to start the discussion below, or contact us on our social media channels!

Other articles you may enjoy:

Written by Ben


Leave a Reply
  1. Beautiful tactic to use in the fm21 beta. I tried a lot with a false 9 cause i preffered attacking wide. It surprises me that attacking on very narrow is still pretty wide. Anyhow, im seeing beautiful football and thats what i want so thanks for that!

One Ping

  1. Pingback:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

wide players

Wide players in FM19: How to harness them in your ball-hogging side

The Experiment League: FM Statistics Lab

Professionalism in FM19: Welcome to the FM Stats Lab!