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Basic Passing Tactics (for Starters)


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Hi there my name is Kyle,

This thread is all about people who are just starting Football Manager 2013 and need some tactics to get their seasons up and running. I have tried this tactic with my favourite team 'Notts County' who are in League 1, in the Npower Football League.

So there not the best team in the game and I have managed to completed a full season with them and got them promoted into the Npower Championship (Not bad:)).

Okay enough about me and my team I want to help you do the same with any lower league team who you want to play short passing football with. It’s nice to watch and can help you win games throughout the season even if you don't have the quality to do so within your squad.

1) 4-4-2

The staple of my team is the 4-4-2 tactic and it should be yours, you don't need to play anything extravagant to get wins in Football Manager and is a good formation because of its defensive capability and going forward it's not too bad.

I will start with the team settings first before going into each player within the starting 11 so.....

Style: Fluid (This allows your players to be involved in both defending and attack so you can get the best out of them)

Strategy: Standard/Counter (Depending on the opposition and if you think you can beat them well, then you will want to use standard so you go forward and attack and also defend well. Counter if you think you’re less likely to win but you will catch them on the break and cause them a few problems going forward.)

Passing Style: Shorter (Main part of the tactic as is what this is all about, this will retain possession for you and wear the opposition down, this is good if you like to build play from the back.)

Creative Freedom: More Expressive (This allows your players to move over the pitch and be involved in the team going forward and defensively, if you are unsure about playing this way you can always set to default.

Closing Down: Press more (Essentially it's get in the oppositions faces and make the team harder to break down, less time on the ball for opposition means there likely to make a good scoring opportunity.)

Tackling: Default (Personally I don't want my players to get sent off in a match and leave me with 10 on the field but I don't want them to 'Not Tackle' because then the opposition will walk straight through you.)

Marking: Man Marking (Simple, but effective. Don't let you man get away from you and clear your lines if you have to.)

Crossing: Drill Crosses (Keep the cross on the ground and get a tap in, this is especially good if you don't have a 'Big Man' upfront to aim for and you prefer to play with 'Pacer' strikers.

Roaming: Default ( I don't like my Right back in the striker role so to say, keep the players in the position when you want them to play but it doesn't mean they can't push up and support each other.)

Now we get to the players individually, I know I talked a fair amount previously so this won't take too long and u won't have to do this again.

GK - Basically get yourself a good keeper for your level, it doesn’t really matter too much on the individuals stats; just really rate a keeper on one on ones and handling. The keeper just wants to role the ball out into defence and doesn't want to kick it long very often as you can lose the ball and take half your team out with just one pass so.

Mentality: Defensive (He knows his duty and needs to keep goals out.)

Creative freedom: Little (Same as mentality, don't expect him to go into attack now do we?)

Closing down: Own Area (He's a keeper, he doesn't need to be rushing out of his area rashly and giving them an open goal to score into, his one ones should cover most things in the box.)

Distribution Defender Collect (As I said he just needs to roll it out into defence and not kick it forward unnecessarily.)

Passing Style: Shorter (The whole point of the tactic to play short so make him play really short and hardly kick the ball past the penalty area.)

Anything that’s not been mentioned I’ve left to default as that’s all standard things to do with the keeper that don't need to be messed with if your new or struggling with your team. This will be the same for all the other positions in the team.

RB/LB- You can go two ways with this you can either have pace to burn or skill on the deck, either works fine I have more skill than pace personally.

Mentality: Normal (If he needs to attack then he can and if he needs to defend he can. Simple)

Creative freedom: Normal (As I said previously you want your team to be involved in both sets of play Attack and Defend so this is perfect for the full backs.)

Closing down: Own half (He doesn't need to be wasting energy running around up front closing down defenders.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Run From Deep: Sometimes (Same again if he needs to get forward he can do.)

Through Balls: Often (I like to have assists from all over the team so I get my players to cross and play through balls often.)

Cross Ball: Often (I like to have assists from all over the team so I get my players to cross and play through balls often.)

CB – For the Centre Back position if prefer to have pace rather than have slow players.

Mentality: Defensive (I don’t expect my CB to get very forward, I prefer them to be back and defend well)

Creative freedom: Little (They are one of only two parts of the team that doesn’t match , basically I don’t want them running forward out of position.)

Closing down: Own half (He doesn't need to be wasting energy running around up front closing down defenders.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Through Balls: Sometimes (I like to have assists from all over the team)

Cross Ball: Sometimes (I like to have assists from all over the team)

LM/RM – For the wide men I prefer them to be wingers so they are more focused on crossing than shooting, get good pace here as is essential to a good counter attack if you want to play one.

Mentality: Normal ( Just over the half way mark for this you want them to attack more than defend but not entirely.)

Creative freedom: Normal (You don’t just want them to attack you will need some cover for the full back)

Closing down: Whole pitch(I like this because it helps the strikers close down them opposition high up the pitch more likely to win it higher up and cause more problems.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Through Balls: Often(This I where your assist for your goals should come from, you want this to be your main focus in your attacks.)

Cross Ball: Often(This I where your assist for your goals should come from, you want this to be your main focus in your attacks.)

Run From Deep: Sometimes (They need to help the striker mainly but they must help defend as well.)

Run With Ball: Sometimes (You don’t want to lose possession with one player holding the ball for too long so he has to be able to pass it effectively.)

Long Shots: Sometimes ( if they have a chance to shoot then you want them to take it, obviously the better player will have better shots but that will improve as you get better players to play in position.)

CM – for the central midfielders I like them to stop the opposition playing through my team so I have them both as ball winning midfielders.

Mentality: Normal ( Just over the half way mark for this you want them to attack more than defend but not entirely.)

Creative freedom: Little (They are the other players of the team that don’t match , basically I don’t want them running forward out of position.)

Closing down: Whole pitch(I like this because it helps the strikers close down them opposition high up the pitch more likely to win the ball higher up and cause more problems.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Through Balls: Often(This I where your assist for your goals should come from, you want this to be your main focus in your attacks.)

Cross Ball: sometimes (They are central players so don’t expect them to get forward and cross as much as the wingers.)

Run From Deep: Sometimes (They need to help the striker mainly but they must help defend as well.)

Run With Ball: Sometimes (You don’t want to lose possession with one player holding the ball for too long so he has to be able to pass it effectively.)

Long Shots: Sometimes ( if they have a chance to shoot then you want them to take it, obviously the better player will have better shots but that will improve as you get better players to play in position.)

ST – Either one of your strikers can play Advanced Forward or the Deep Lying Forward it’s up to you which way round you want to play this.

I will simplify this by (DL) Deep lying and (AF) Advanced Forward.

DL- Mentality: Normal ( Just over the half way mark for this you want them to attack more than defend but not entirely.)

Creative freedom: Normal (You don’t just want them to attack you will need some cover for the midfield.)

Closing down: Whole pitch(I like this because it helps press the opposition high up the pitch more likely to win it higher up and cause more problems.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Through Balls: Often(This I where your assist for your goals should come from, you want this to be your main focus in your attacks.)

Cross Ball: Often(This I where your assist for your goals should come from, you want this to be your main focus in your attacks.)

Run From Deep: Often (You want this player to link your midfield to your other striker.)

Run With Ball: Sometimes (You don’t want to lose possession with one player holding the ball for too long so he has to be able to pass it effectively.)

Long Shots: Sometimes ( if they have a chance to shoot then you want them to take it, obviously the better player will have better shots but that will improve as you get better players to play in position.)

AF - Mentality: Attacking(This will be your main attacker in the team and always wants to be on the last man.)

Creative freedom: Normal (You don’t just want them to attack you will need some cover for the midfield.)

Closing down: Whole pitch(I like this because it helps press the opposition high up the pitch more likely to win it higher up and cause more problems.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Through Balls: Often(This I where your assist for your goals should come from, you want this to be your main focus in your attacks.)

Cross Ball: Often(This I where your assist for your goals should come from, you want this to be your main focus in your attacks.)

Run From Deep: Often (You want this player to link your midfield to your other striker.)

Run With Ball: Sometimes (You don’t want to lose possession with one player holding the ball for too long so he has to be able to pass it effectively.)

Long Shots: Sometimes ( if they have a chance to shoot then you want them to take it, obviously the better player will have better shots but that will improve as you get better players to play in position.)

This should help get the base of your team going, you can add your own set pieces into this as I know players have good tactics for this and I wouldn’t want to ruin that with a plain attacking for defending piece.

If you want any other formations which I recommend using this tactic for which would be 4-4-1-1 and 4-2-3-1 if you want to know about these tactics and how to set them up and get yourself going just send me a message for find me on twitter it’s @kyle_sadler.

Any suggestions are welcome hopefully we can build this up into a nice start thread for beginners and people wanting to play passing football but just can’t quite get it to work on Football Manager 2013.

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Cheers to the OP, I'm an old FM head and I've never really had any need to seek help on the forums but creating a decent 4-4-2 has stumped me for years.

Anything else I've been happy with and had as much success in the game as you can get but a good old-fashioned 4-4-2 has always stumped me.

I've taken on board your post and I'm starting to see how I 'should' be playing, rather than what I 'think' is right.

Some of it seems contradictive, 'short-passing game' with my 'Target man' being a big tall 18/20 heading regen but it's working, somehow...?!

Cheers.

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Hi yaşar,

For your request for a 4-2-3-1 passing tactic so here goes......

Okay, simply I keep the same team settings as my 4-4-2 formation so you can either look at the original post or I have copied below.

Style: Fluid (This allows your players to be involved in both defending and attack so you can get the best out of them)

Strategy: Standard/Counter (Depending on the opposition and if you think you can beat them well, then you will want to use standard so you go forward and attack and also defend well. Counter if you think you’re less likely to win but you will catch them on the break and cause them a few problems going forward.)

Passing Style: Shorter (Main part of the tactic as is what this is all about, this will retain possession for you and wear the opposition down, this is good if you like to build play from the back.)

Creative Freedom: More Expressive (This allows your players to move over the pitch and be involved in the team going forward and defensively, if you are unsure about playing this way you can always set to default.

Closing Down: Press more (Essentially it's get in the oppositions faces and make the team harder to break down, less time on the ball for opposition means there likely to make a good scoring opportunity.)

Tackling: Default (Personally I don't want my players to get sent off in a match and leave me with 10 on the field but I don't want them to 'Not Tackle' because then the opposition will walk straight through you.)

Marking: Man Marking (Simple, but effective. Don't let you man get away from you and clear your lines if you have to.)

Crossing: Drill Crosses (Keep the cross on the ground and get a tap in, this is especially good if you don't have a 'Big Man' upfront to aim for and you prefer to play with 'Pacer' strikers.

Roaming: Default (I don't like my Right back in the striker role so to say, keep the players in the position when you want them to play but it doesn't mean they can't push up and support each other.)

So the team settings match the 4-4-2 and so do most of the rest of the team other than the 3am's /wingers.

GK- As before, I only make him kick as a last resort and make him roll the ball out to the defence.

Mentality: Defensive (He knows his duty and needs to keep goals out.)

Creative freedom: Little (Same as mentality, don't expect him to go into attack now do we?)

Closing down: Own Area (He's a keeper, he doesn't need to be rushing out of his area rashly and giving them an open goal to score into, his one ones should cover most things in the box.)

Distribution Defender Collect (As I said he just needs to roll it out into defence and not kick it forward unnecessarily.)

Passing Style: Shorter (The whole point of the tactic to play short so make him play really short and hardly kick the ball past the penalty area.)

RB/LB- You can go two ways with this you can either have pace to burn or skill on the deck, either works fine I have more skill than pace personally.

Mentality: Normal (If he needs to attack then he can and if he needs to defend he can. Simple)

Creative freedom: Normal (As I said previously you want your team to be involved in both sets of play Attack and Defend so this is perfect for the full backs.)

Closing down: Own half (He doesn't need to be wasting energy running around up front closing down defenders.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Run From Deep: Sometimes (Same again if he needs to get forward he can do.)

Through Balls: Often (I like to have assists from all over the team so I get my players to cross and play through balls often.)

Cross Ball: Often (I like to have assists from all over the team so I get my players to cross and play through balls often.)

CB – For the Centre Back position if prefer to have pace rather than have slow players.

Mentality: Defensive (I don’t expect my CB to get very forward, I prefer them to be back and defend well)

Creative freedom: Little (They are one of only two parts of the team that doesn’t match, basically I don’t want them running forward out of position.)

Closing down: Own half (He doesn't need to be wasting energy running around up front closing down defenders.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Through Balls: Sometimes (I like to have assists from all over the team)

Cross Ball: Sometimes (I like to have assists from all over the team)

CM – for the central midfielders I like them to stop the opposition playing through my team so I have one as a Ball Winning midfielder and the other as a 'Supporting' midfielder.

So for the Ball Winning midfielder (BWM):

Mentality: Defensive (This guy must defend!!, this is an essential part of the team structure so he has to know what he is doing, if he is to far forward it will leave your Centre Back's exposed and you will concede goals.)

Creative freedom: Little (You don't need this guy running out of position.)

Closing down: Whole pitch (I like this because it helps the strikers close down them opposition high up the pitch more likely to win the ball higher up and cause more problems.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Through Balls: Sometimes (I try and not lose possession to much with this guy; if he loses the ball often enough it could cost you a goal.)

Cross Ball: sometimes (They are central players so don’t expect them to get forward and cross as much as the wingers.)

Run From Deep: Rarely (He needs to stay back and cover the back four and break up any opposition.)

Run With Ball: Rarely (You don’t want to lose possession with the holding player; he needs again to pass it effectively.)

Long Shots: Rarely (He doesn't need to get forward often so he won't need to shot very often.)

So for the (CM):

Mentality: Normal (Have this setting so you want can get them to attack and defend.)

Creative Normal: (They want to support the more attacking players in the side and recycle the ball if they lose the ball high up the pitch.)

Closing down: Whole pitch (I like this because it helps the strikers close down them opposition high up the pitch more likely to win the ball higher up and cause more problems.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Through Balls: Often (This I where your assist for your goals should come from, you want this to be your main focus in your attacks.)

Cross Ball: sometimes (They are central players so don’t expect them to get forward and cross as much as the wingers.)

Run From Deep: Sometimes (To help the forward thinking players in the team mainly but they must help defend as well.)

Run With Ball: Sometimes (You don’t want to lose possession with one player holding the ball for too long so he has to be able to pass it effectively.)

Long Shots: Sometimes ( if they have a chance to shoot then you want them to take it, obviously the better player will have better shots but that will improve as you get better players to play in position.)

For the next part I will split the formation between 3AMc's and AMC, AML and AMR.

(AMC's)

These are 3 KEY! Players within the side, I personally don't play like this I prefer more width but if you like then here you are.

AMC (left/right)

Mentality: Normal (Have this setting so you want can get them to attack and defend.)

Creative Normal: (So they can push up and attack and drop deep if they need to cover the midfielders.)

Closing down: Whole pitch (I like this because it helps the strikers close down them opposition high up the pitch more likely to win the ball higher up and cause more problems.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Through Balls: Often (This I where your assist for your goals should come from, you want this to be your main focus in your attacks.)

Cross Ball: Often (These have to be the 'wingers' of the team and need to have good crosses within them.)

Run From Deep: Sometimes (To help be one of the more forward thinking players but they must help defend as well.)

Run With Ball: Sometimes (You don’t want to lose possession with one player holding the ball for too long so he has to be able to pass it effectively.)

Long Shots: Sometimes ( if they have a chance to shoot then you want them to take it, obviously the better player will have better shots but that will improve as you get better players to play in position.)

AMC (Centre)

Mentality: Attacking (They want to support the striker as much as possible so he is not left isolated up front.)

Creative Normal: (So they can push up and attack and drop deep if they need to cover the midfielders.)

Closing down: Whole pitch (I like this because it helps the strikers close down them opposition high up the pitch more likely to win the ball higher up and cause more problems.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Through Balls: Often (This I where your assist for your goals should come from, you want this to be your main focus in your attacks.)

Cross Ball: Often (These have to be the 'wingers' of the team and need to have good crosses within them.)

Run From Deep: Often (To create the most chances through this player, he has to be fairly good player and possibly be your key player for the side if you are going to make this work.)

Run With Ball: Often (To create the most chances through this player, he has to be fairly good player and possibly be your key player for the side if you are going to make this work.)

Long Shots: Sometimes ( if they have a chance to shoot then you want them to take it, obviously the better player will have better shots but that will improve as you get better players to play in position.)

AML/AMR (Wider formation I prefer to play this way.)

Mentality: Normal (Have this setting so you want can get them to attack and defend.)

Creative Normal: (So they can push up and attack and drop deep if they need to cover the midfielders.)

Closing down: Whole pitch (I like this because it helps the strikers close down them opposition high up the pitch more likely to win the ball higher up and cause more problems.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Through Balls: Often (This I where your assist for your goals should come from, you want this to be your main focus in your attacks.)

Cross Ball: Often (These have to be the 'wingers' of the team and need to have good crosses within them.)

Run From Deep: Sometimes (To help be one of the more forward thinking players but they must help defend as well.)

Run With Ball: Sometimes (You don’t want to lose possession with one player holding the ball for too long so he has to be able to pass it effectively.)

Long Shots: Sometimes ( if they have a chance to shoot then you want them to take it, obviously the better player will have better shots but that will improve as you get better players to play in position.)

AMC (Wider formation)

Mentality: Attacking (They want to support the striker as much as possible so he is not left isolated up front.)

Creative Normal: (So they can push up and attack and drop deep if they need to cover the midfielders.)

Closing down: Whole pitch (I like this because it helps the strikers close down them opposition high up the pitch more likely to win the ball higher up and cause more problems.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Through Balls: Often (This I where your assist for your goals should come from, you want this to be your main focus in your attacks.)

Cross Ball: Often (These have to be the 'wingers' of the team and need to have good crosses within them.)

Run From Deep: Often (To create the most chances through this player, he has to be fairly good player and possibly be your key player for the side if you are going to make this work.)

Run With Ball: Often (To create the most chances through this player, he has to be fairly good player and possibly be your key player for the side if you are going to make this work.)

Long Shots: Sometimes ( if they have a chance to shoot then you want them to take it, obviously the better player will have better shots but that will improve as you get better players to play in position.)

So there you go, the two variations on the 3 attacking midfielders enjoy :)

Then finally there was one....

The striker in the team is very important for this formation, he needs to be good or he'll get swamped by the opposition defence. I would make sure he is fairly physically good and can cope under pressure well.

AF - Mentality: Attacking (This will be your main attacker in the team and always wants to be on the last man.)

Creative freedom: Normal (You don’t just want them to attack you will need some cover for the midfield.)

Closing down: Whole pitch (I like this because it helps press the opposition high up the pitch more likely to win it higher up and cause more problems.)

Tackling: Normal (As I said I don't like players being sent off)

Passing Style: Shorter (Whole point of the tactic)

Through Balls: Often (This I where your assist for your goals should come from, you want this to be your main focus in your attacks.)

Cross Ball: Often (This I where your assist for your goals should come from, you want this to be your main focus in your attacks.)

Run From Deep: Often (You want this player to link your midfield to your other striker.)

Run With Ball: Sometimes (You don’t want to lose possession with one player holding the ball for too long so he has to be able to pass it effectively.)

Long Shots: Sometimes ( if they have a chance to shoot then you want them to take it, obviously the better player will have better shots but that will improve as you get better players to play in position.)

So there you go that my shot at the formation you requested hope this helps and good luck.

Thanks,

Kyle

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Thanks for the explanations, it helps makes things clearer in my mind. Have you any thoughts on D-Line, Width and Tempo? I'm guessing tempo would be fairly slow as we're knocking it around awaiting openings. Width... fairly narrow to reduce spaces bewteen players? D-line, no idea :)

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Hi Shevchenko,

Sorry if i have not included this im my orginial post if you want to know i play D-line (defensive line) as Normal, Width as wide and Tempo as quick. I think this helps spread the ball quicky and provides support for the whole team if the defence are fair pushed up.

Also, thanks for your comment :)

Thanks,

Kyle

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Hi Mate

Can you please run through the roles that you have for each player e.g. BWM - Support or Defend, and do you have both CM set up exactly the same or do you have one on support one on defend? If you can post some screen shots it would be great.

Cheers

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