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Different countries, different tactics...


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Something I've found on my current career that's spanned over 15 seasons and 4 countries is that a tactic that works in one country, might not necessarily work in another.

Example, a narrow 4-1-2-1-2 in Holland reigned supreme. However, now I am in Germany, a lot of my ass man reports say that German teams do well against narrow formations and 4-2-2-2 formations, forcing me to look at using wingers for the first time in near on 7 years.

Do people agree? Or am I just useless?

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I would agree to a certain extent.

Some tactical systems could be considered fairly universal and appear in many different countries. Others however, can tend to be more common or specific in certain countries. For example, both the narrow and wide 4-2-3-1 tends to be quite popular with many Spanish clubs. I actually use a narrow 4-2-3-1 myself at the moment.

Obviously there's also different climate conditions to consider as well. In the midst of a hot an humid environment, it's hard to imagine a high tempo tactic working well for the full 90 minutes, though it might be effective in short bursts.

Ultimately though, I think the key ingredient will be the suitability of the players you have at your disposal. If they are better suited to their roles and positions in your preferred tactic, than your opponents are within their tactical system, then your team will likely be the stronger performer.

Moving between countries and encountering different opponents tactically, can be both fun and challenging. Do you stick to your guns, or do you look to adapt your own tactical approach to that of your new country? Personally, I like to adapt and explore new possibilities.

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I have played different formations in each team.

A 4-5-1 with Ajaccio, a 4-2-4 with Albacete, a 5-3-2/3-5-2 with Atalanta and most recently 4-1-2-1-2 with Sparta.

I like to try something a little different each time I play with a club

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It's perhaps also worth noting, that certain players are actually more suited to certain common tactical systems used in different countries.

For example, the narrow 4-2-3-1 I'm using (which I actually feel plays more like a 4-3-3 with two inside-forwards and a striker) is working wonderfully well for my team at the moment in Spain. There's quite a few other clubs use the same formation in Spain. In FM09, FM08 and FM07, Real Betis were always a bogey team of mine when they used the same sort of formation against whatever 4-4-2 variant I was using at the time. I just couldn't figure out a way to contain it's attacking nature with my own framework.

Most of my best players are Spanish players in this system. Most of them have also played in the same or similar systems, therefore their attributes and PPM's already suit the roles I'm giving them at my club. I've tried using this system in England and although it still works well, it doesn't work as well, unless I have exactly the right players to suit the system. Add to that the fact that you're then using it against different tactics than you would commonly face whilst using it in Spain, you have a different set of circumstances and potential outcomes.

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