In Football Manager 2019, I’ve predominantly focused on creating guides, instead of a story or tactical recreations. However, this article will be a combination of guides and tactics; a guide on tactics.
Now in my previous article on training (that can be found here:)
In Step 1, I talk about building your tactic first, and then your training. I decided to link a few articles from the site for good tactics to use, but what if you want something more creative? What if you wanted to create a new tactic or something unique?
In this article I’ll talk you through how to create a tactic from scratch, from player instructions to mentalities and hopefully it all ties in with the training article and everything becomes a bit easier!
I have been playing Football Manager since 2013 and year after year I still see the same questions pop up regarding Player Preferred Moves (PPMs or also known as Player Traits). Why do they not work how they should? My player has “Plays with back to the goal” but I never see him receiving passes and holding up the ball? How come my centreback with “Brings Ball out of Defence” does not dribble into the midfield? The game engine must be broken right? Wrong, what you see is the divergence between what his role is instructing him (including any idiosyncratic traits he possess) and the general team and/or individual player instructions. This guide will examine some popular Player Traits and explain how they can work together and be applied to a typical 4-2-3-1 tactic to enhance overall possession and scoring.
In my recent post about my Golden Generation at Red Bull Leipzig, I’m still churning through seasons at the club. I’m trying to make some progress but as a result of my endeavours, I’ve started to get to grips with the new training system implemented in this year’s Football Manager.
After winning the league in my second season, we’re looking confident to challenge for the title again. After losing Marcel Sabitzer and Péter Gulácsi we signed Jadon Sancho, Julian Weigl, Timo Horn and Serge Gnabry to pad out the squad for a good cup or champions league run.
As with lots of creative or inventory management games (in this case footballers) there is a ‘golden rule’ for success:
Input = Output
What I mean by this is that if you decide to plug in a tactic from a content creator, leave your assistant to run training and tactics and just meander through the season you’ll probably do alright. Perhaps you’ll do a bit better than expected or maybe a bit worse, but you’ll do alright.
If however you decide to fully invest into the save and create a detailed tactic, scour nation after nation to find the perfect player and micro-manage your imaginary staff to an infinite degree, you might find that results will tend to go your way, and the payoff is ecstatic. You might still do worse than if you coasted through, but you can safely say it was you doing it and can be proud of the commitment.
Training is definitely one of these ‘Input = Output’ scenarios. This year training was overhauled and is now heavily integrated into the tactics system, with the two overlapping constantly. Here are some top tips to bridge the gap and make more of the training features without being completely in over your head.
Like watching your wingers bomb up and down the touchline, getting crosses in? Or your full-back beguiling the entire opposition, manoeuvring his way into the box unmarked? Well stop reading right here.
We’re looking for passing and moving, people. No player can move without passing first.
That’s how I developed this spectacular tactical system.
It was a majestic sight. Go back 30 or 40 years and watch teams defend. The majority of them will feature a type of player that seems to have been lost from the modern game. You’ll see an elegant defender sitting behind the defensive line, picking up a stray through balls from an attacker. As he effortlessly brings it under his control, he marches forward with it, stepping past the other defenders and moving into the midfield zone. From there he acts as a modern-day deep-lying playmaker, initiating the play and spreading it out to the flanks, or playing it forward into midfield or attack. This is the Libero.
That passage could have been about any number of great players; the late Gaetano Scirea, Velibor Vasović, Ruud Krol, Matthias Sammer or the archetypal libero, Franz Beckenbauer.
In trying to create a tactic that showcased the Libero, I wanted to accomplish a few things:
Give the Libero room to work
Create diamonds to enable passing options
Make sure we have enough possession that the Libero can work his magic
To add a bit of context to this piece, I’m currently managing RB Leipzig and I’m in my second season. After finishing a respectable 4th place in the league and reaching the Europa league final (but losing to PSG) I made some good additions to the squad including a transfer listed Reuben Loftus-Cheek, Benjamin Henrichs from Monaco and Donny Van de Beek from Ajax.
After the summer we set out on another season in the Bundesliga and to my surprise, we’ve done incredibly well and found ourselves top of the league at the mid-way point. After signing Rafinha on a free-transfer come the summer I continued the save. I was originally thinking of uploading my tactic, showing off how brilliant my team was but then came 29th February, 2020: I struck gold.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a son before in Football Manager, but this feeling was completely different. I realised quickly how lucky this was. I received a youth academy team of young starlets. It completely restructured my youth set-up and made me realise how good this bunch of kids could be if I put my mind to it. So this series of articles will follow the lives of 8 youngsters, either from my youth academy or brought in for less than 300k. I’m not expecting all of them to become world class, but I’m hoping a fair few of them will become regulars at my title-challenging side.
It looks like you’ve got enough men back. The next thing you know, someone ends up ghosting behind your flabbergasted defence. Your first instinct is to blame your players, but the game’s animation often makes players look slower, or less alert, than they actually are.
Your next instinct might be to change your centre-backs; either in personnel or roles.
Nothing wrong with this at all. That said, without suitable protection, isolated centre-backs in a high line will always end up focusing primarily on the space behind them. To stop your enemies playing any football, the centre-backs must focus on keeping their positions! Continue reading →
Livin’ the Dream is the third and final installment following the journey of Mason Bradshaw’s football manager career. His most recent role was with Braintree Town FC, in the Vanarama South, where he managed to keep them up.
Following his first win as the boss, can he get his second win in as many games in the next round of the FFA Cup against Perth Glory and eventually lead The Sky Blues to cup glory? Could Bradshaw finally get some more signings too?