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My 4-5-1 - FM13 Patch 13.1.3


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Introduction

It’s been a long time since I posted a tactic on the forums (Supernova in 2005/2006 to be precise) as I prefer the actual tactical discussions rather than the ‘Come and look at my tactic’ threads.

However, this year I thought differently!

I was seeing too many threads about how difficult the game is and too many negative posts and criticism of the moderators for them saying the game isn’t as hard as people think so I thought I would release a tactic that works very well for me with the aim to maybe provide a starting point for those who are finding it tough and also to maybe prove the point of the moderators that, with a structurally sound tactic, the game really isn’t that hard.

This tactic is by no means a super tactic. So if you’re looking to win the title with Reading in season one then please move on. However, what this tactic does give you is a solid foundation to build on that SHOULD make your team punch above their weight and provide a good starting point.

The Tactic

Formation – 4-5-1

The shape I have gone for is a 4-5-1. I have played this exact same tactic ever since the introduction of the Tactics Creator and it has provided me with a solid base ever since.

formationo.jpg

I am a huge fan of this formation as I think it gives you a perfect balance between defence and attack. I also find it provides great flexibility with the wingers being able to act as forwards to provide 3 up top.

Philosophy - Rigid

I have opted for a rigid philosophy. The reason for this is that I have always preferred having individual mentality settings for each position ever since the introduction of the sliders. It has always worked for me and I just think that if it isn't broke, then don’t fix it. The rigid philosophy, to a certain degree, allows this mentality structure.

Strategy - Control

The strategy I have adopted is control. The reason for this is I don’t like my players to be too aggressive in attack and I don’t want to be too defensive either. My personal opinion is that control offers a good balance between defence and attack and I also think the football is better to watch as the build-up play is patient and probing. Again, I am not saying this is the best strategy, but it works for me and I've never had any issues with it.

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Player Roles and Duties

GK– Goalkeeper (Defend)

I have chosen a basic goalkeeper role for my ‘keeper. I just want to keep things as simple as possible for him. I don’t want him rushing off his line to sweep up play and risk being caught out so this is why I have chosen this role.

DL/R – Fullback (Support)

Again, I want my fullbacks to play a simple defensive game and provide support to the midfield when we are in the attacking phase of play and to provide crosses for the striker.

DC x 2 - Central Defender (Defend)

I don’t want my centre backs taking any risks. I want them to defend and play simple passes to the midfield players. You are by now probably spotting a theme with the fact I want to keep things simple. I just find simplicity works best. I don’t see the need to over complicate things.

DM – Defensive Midfielder (Defend)

In all honesty, you can either play this guy as a defensive midfielder, like I have, or as an anchor man. Both have their own benefits but my preference is the defensive midfielder. The reason for this is, even though he is defensive, he offers slightly more to the attacking play than the anchor man and this is why I have settled on this role.

MC x 2 – Advanced Playmaker (Support)

People may wonder why I have chosen two advanced playmakers. The reason for this is very simple. There aren’t too many differences between a central midfielder’s individual instructions and an advanced playmaker’s. However, the advanced playmaker has long shots set to rarely and has slightly more creative freedom and a better passing range. If you feel that you need a bit more bite in midfield then alter their roles accordingly.

AML/R – Winger (Attack)

I have always been a fan of wingers. The fact they add width to your team and an extra dimension to your game by providing crosses and running at defenders. A lot of people play with inside forwards, which is fine, but I have always found that wingers with a decent level of finishing will score a good amount of goals anyway.

SC – Poacher (Attack)

Some people have said poachers are not as effective in this version of FM but I disagree. With the correct service they can be as lethal as they always have been and provide you with a good 25-30 goals a season. I have chosen a poacher for this role as his individual instructions suit the style of play I want to see from my attacker. He gets the ball and runs at defenders and he doesn’t venture too far away from the box.

*All required attributes are contained within the role filters on the tactics screen or the player profile screen. There are no 'extra' attributes that I look for*.

Team Instructions

I haven’t made any manual adjustments to the sliders whatsoever. Everything has been pre-determined by the TC using the formation, philosophy and strategy I have selected. The only changes I have made is to set my passing to ‘shorter’ and my closing down to ‘press more’ and my crossing to ‘drill crosses’. The reasons for this are because I like to play possession football and I like my teams to get stuck in. The reason I drill crosses is because the type of player I have up front is generally someone shorter and faster so drilling crosses works easier for me as he is too small to have them aimed at his head!

I have also ticked the ‘playmaker’ option and set it to ‘none’ as I don’t want to focus my play through one player. As I have got two playmakers in my team the TC selected one of them to be the default playmaker so I cancelled this.

teamhb.jpg

Training and Team Talks

Not much of a science here for me. I usually just go with a ‘balanced’ general focus and a match day focus of ‘teamwork’. Feel free to experiment here as you wish. Also, if I have an Assistant Manager with good motivation I will get him to do the team talks.

Opposition Instructions and Shouts

Again, I don’t pay much attention to these. You can experiment as you wish. The reason I don’t use shouts is because I have already specified how I want my team to play using the TC. This isn't to say not to use them but I can’t offer any specific advice on these. I may switch to attacking or defensive depending on the situation but its horses for courses.

Set Pieces

I usually just leave the default set piece settings but please feel free to experiment with different set ups.

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Results

I have used this tactic on FM13 in 4 career games (Although 3 of which were in holiday mode).

The careers in holiday mode were Barcelona, Tottenham and Anzhi Makhachkala. The reason for this was that I wanted to see how the tactic fared with different teams in different countries. I haven’t tested the tactic in the Blue Square leagues yet so please feel free to try it out. I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work.

As you can see, the results from the holiday games have been solid. League titles for Tottenham, Barcelona and Anzhi.

englishpremierdivisionoz.png

ligabbvaoverviewstagesz.png

russianpremierdivisiono.png

The save that I tested the tactic fully was in my Southampton save. We were predicted to finish 18th at the start of the season and we finished 4th and qualified for the Champions League. What made this even more impressive is that I didn’t sign a single player all season and just used the default squad.

englishpremierdivisionos.png

southamptonsquadplayers.png

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Summary

So as you can see, it is possible to succeed on the game with a weaker team just by applying a simple tactic with logical instructions. I hope that many of you find this useful and are influenced by it in some way. My aim here isn't to create a super tactic but to provide a solid foundation for those who may need a little helping hand. I must advise now that I will not be trying to develop this tactic further as that wasn't my intention so I won’t be bringing out any other versions of the tactic. The development of this tactic is down to you guys.

Feel free to change it in any way you want and experiment with it :)

Kind regards,

Noel

http://www.sendspace.com/file/h5uyoh

PS. This tactic is for patch 13.1.3

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Hello Noel - good to see one of the old guard back sharing their tactical wisdom (still remember Supernova was the bomb!)

Do you do anything with Set Piece instructions or did you just leave them as default too?

I have to say I agree with your approach as its simple and its common sense. The part about the "drilled crosses" is exactly the kind of common sense thinking a lot of managers just overlook and then wonder why their instructions don't suit their players.

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Looks very effective mate.

Gonna give a try with my Liverpool save.

Do you know how many games are needed for the tactic to work 100% ?

Thanks !

Good question.

I usually play this tactic from the very start of a new season so that my players can become fluid in all elements of the tactic.

However, I would expect it would take about 5-10 games if employed mid season for it to become effective.

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Hello Noel - good to see one of the old guard back sharing their tactical wisdom (still remember Supernova was the bomb!)

Do you do anything with Set Piece instructions or did you just leave them as default too?

I have to say I agree with your approach as its simple and its common sense. The part about the "drilled crosses" is exactly the kind of common sense thinking a lot of managers just overlook and then wonder why their instructions don't suit their players.

Another good question and I can't believe I missed it out of my OP. I will add it to it tonight when I get home from work.

However, as a rule, I leave the default set piece instructions.

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Do you use the tactic constantly, Is the tactic as effective against harder teams or away from home?

Thanks

Keith

Once I have selected the tactic I don't use any other. The only things I might do are switch from control to a more defensive strategy if only winning narrowly against a bigger team to close out the final stages of the match.

It appears to be as effective against the bigger teams as well as the smaller teams and my away record is generally very good. I will post a screenshot of my away record with Southampton this evening when I get home from work so you can see :)

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I have the same approach, not the same tactic, but the same approach. I'm playing a flat 4-4-2, but i've adjusted the playing style and i've set individual player instructions. Worked like a charm, once the team learned it. Then i'm buying players who fit's in the playing style, and it's going really good. My results getting better and better, and now i'm competitive, both in the league and in europe.

The tactic i'm using, i've used since CM, and it still works.

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Once I have selected the tactic I don't use any other. The only things I might do are switch from control to a more defensive strategy if only winning narrowly against a bigger team to close out the final stages of the match.

It appears to be as effective against the bigger teams as well as the smaller teams and my away record is generally very good. I will post a screenshot of my away record with Southampton this evening when I get home from work so you can see :)

Good think i def going to give this a go. roll on 5 o'clock LOL

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Hey Noel,

How is it doing in 2nd season? Any tweaks you can recommend when the AI starts breaking it down? I've found with my dortmund side, where i use the pretty much same approach, changing the passing to direct counteracted the very defensive tactics the AI will adopt when they find out you're playing a possesive game

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I'm having great results with this tactics, like incredibly good considering my team. I might post results later if I think about it, thanks a lot man, this tactics produces beautiful football, I only lowered my defensive line a bit since my defenders are kinda slow + my wingers and poacher are ultra fast

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I'm having great results with this tactics, like incredibly good considering my team. I might post results later if I think about it, thanks a lot man, this tactics produces beautiful football, I only lowered my defensive line a bit since my defenders are kinda slow + my wingers and poacher are ultra fast

Glad to hear that you are having success :)

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I have the same approach, not the same tactic, but the same approach. I'm playing a flat 4-4-2, but i've adjusted the playing style and i've set individual player instructions. Worked like a charm, once the team learned it. Then i'm buying players who fit's in the playing style, and it's going really good. My results getting better and better, and now i'm competitive, both in the league and in europe.

The tactic i'm using, i've used since CM, and it still works.

In my opinion this is exactly how the game should be played

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As promised earlier, here is a screenshot of my away record;

englishpremierdivisionoa.png

Not the best but I think the 5th best away record and Champions League qualification with Southampton is still a good achievement.

For the record, the away defeats were to the following teams; Liverpool (0-3), Newcastle (0-1), Man City (0-2), Tottenham (0-1), Sunderland (0-1), Man Utd (0-1), Reading (0-2), Stoke (0-1)

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Do you use shouts ?

I did put this in my 2nd post but, to answer your question, no I don't.

I don't have an issue with shouts, they have their benefits I'm sure, but they're not something I have used much and I have had plenty of enjoyment out of the game without them

It all depends on how much micro-managing you want to do I guess.

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Just took over a relegated stoke side (season 2) so going to give this a whirl. In the cm role, you have them set as advanced playmakers, do you use regular mc's or amc's?

As long as they have the required attributes for the playmaker role then you can use either. As long as they're comfortable playing in central midfield (which most AMC's should be)

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A very frustrating tactic so far with my Newcastle save. Clear that it had potential but team still getting used to it. Humped Man City 4-0 at St. James' but in every other match we struggle to take even a point at times. Will keep plugging away as its obviously my team needing to adapt further.

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A very frustrating tactic so far with my Newcastle save. Clear that it had potential but team still getting used to it. Humped Man City 4-0 at St. James' but in every other match we struggle to take even a point at times. Will keep plugging away as its obviously my team needing to adapt further.

Keep match prep on 50% with tactics only and training at very high on team cohesion. Your team will get there!

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I too remember Supernova fondly.

I think this tactic is great - some tactics I download from here may get a striker to score 100 goals a season, 50 of which come from a near post header at a corner but this is exactly what alot of people need I think, a decent solid tactic, which you can use as a starting point to build your squad.

I had become very frustrated with the match engine, not because I couldn't find a super tactic that could win everything, but because I felt even a realistic Tactic Creator tactic had my teams underperforming (despite players reacting well to teamtalks etc).

However I'm pleased to say I just completed my first season with this tactic to great success, getting promoted with Crystal Palace after finishing 6th in the championship. Perhaps not a huge achievement given how they are doing in real life, but considering their prediction in-game I (and the board) are happy.

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For some reason I can't post pics using the thingie (error :undefined?). Anyway I promised to post results so here is my 1st season results, also my team suckt and bookmakers thought we were going to struggle not to be relegated. I mean the medias predicted we were going to be 18th or 19th :applause:

http://www.noelshack.com/2012-48-1354269835-results2.png

http://www.noelshack.com/2012-48-1354269830-results.png

http://www.noelshack.com/2012-48-1354271959-league2standing.png

Against weaker and equal sides, we just dominated all game long and the DM acted like an anchorman (I think thats the word, my english is not the best), but in these kind of games he did look like an anchor to my team really so that must be it. the MCS recycled? our possession like crazy, the only danger came from counter attacks mainly from the opponent (pacy) wingers or loooong balls deep in the back of my central defenders again with fast opponent striker(s), so I lowered my defensive line a bit.

Against stronger sides, we sometimes had more possession despite my players technical stats being lower than the opponent's... In these cases counter attacks were again the main threats. Most of the time of course we didn't have possession against these teams, but they usually got stuck in (again not sure about the word), I mean they were very high on the pitch trying to outnumber us and flank us. In these games, fast wingers and a fast and good finisher striker were keys to launch very very deadly counter attacks.

Here is our most successful game probably, on our second season with this :

http://www.noelshack.com/2012-48-1354271062-againstpsg.png

Obviously, we had a very good goals/shots ratio on this one, but I think it illustrates what this tactic is capable of. And this was against a 2024 PSG side, using a team which was just promoted to the top division.

Just for the records, in the second season with the tactic (again our 1st season in L1), we finished mid table while bookmakers gave us 2000-1 chances to win the title. In this season we also won the "Coupe de la ligue", beating PSG, OM and Monaco in the finales...

Anyway, I've always been a fan of this formation since I play FM, but in this one I wasn't very successful using it. To me, this tactic, although being very simple (I mean there is not even one player with specific instruction?!) is just the perfect example of what this 451/433 setup is supposed to play like.

Sorry again for my not so perfect english and thanks a lot Noel for this!

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these are awesome results you posted mate, especially being holidays, and your southampton save ofcourse! im particularly impressed by the solid defense, which i've had a hard time to try and achieve, although appart from the barcelona save, you could do with a bit more goals up front! i'll give this a go when i get home from work and post some feedback. cheers!

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these are awesome results you posted mate, especially being holidays, and your southampton save ofcourse! im particularly impressed by the solid defense, which i've had a hard time to try and achieve, although appart from the barcelona save, you could do with a bit more goals up front! i'll give this a go when i get home from work and post some feedback. cheers!

Yeah that's the main issue I have with the tactic. It's solid enough and wins enough games, but doesn't score enough goals.

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Dortmund. Won the Bundesliga by 3 points on the last day. Seems good with good wingers and central defenders.

Glad to hear it brought you success :)

How did the likes of Goetze perform?

Has anyone made any tweaks to the tactic that have brought better / worse performances?

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Looked like I was going to get relegated with Crystal Palace after not really being given the funds to improve the squad, but luckily when things were looking bleak West Ham offered me a job (they were 14th or so). Stabilized them and finished 11th which was in line with my expectations when I took the job.

My centre backs constantly get massively rave ratings, (9s even, especially Tomkins). I've reworked the squad for my first full season in charge of West Ham. I'm doing decently, defense seems very solid but as we've seen above, when I win it does tend to be the odd goal, and the board and fans don't much like the 0-0 that seem to happen quite often as well, which sometimes consist of 4-5 shots for each team only, (and no CCCs). To be fair although my central midfielders are good, my wingers and strikers could do with improving.

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As a little aside, I've found the tactic even better when I make the defensive midfielder more defensive and with less creative freedom, and also by moving the mentality of both wingers up one notch so that they are now 'attacking'.

The defensive midfielder has made a lot of difference to conceding goals down the middle, especially from through balls and the wingers seem to be getting slightly closer to my lone striker which I occasionally found to be an issue. It also seems to negate the issue of not being able to break weaker teams down.

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Over the last few days I've been playing around with a few tweaks here and there to try and improve the amount of goals we score. I must stress that I have been doing this with Tottenham.

I have made the following changes and we appear to be scoring between 2 and 4 goals a game on average. Defensively we are sound and have only conceded 3 in the last 8 games.

· Changed ‘Poacher’ to ‘Deep Lying Forward’ with an ‘Attack’ duty

. Changed 'Defensive Midfielder' to 'Anchor Man'

· Changed both ‘Advanced Playmaker’s to ‘Central Midfielder’ with 'Support' duty

I just thought I would post this for anyone still using this tactic who was struggling with goals.

Hope this helps :)

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