An easy way to choose the right tactic in football manager

Today, find a good tactic is not a big challenge. Why? Because we have google. It’s enough to type on “formation x download” and the problem is solved.

Of course, this can be of great help if you don’t have FM experience. I will explain …

I had used this method because I didn’t want to burden the brain with unnecessary information when I had been younger.

Simply, I apply the rule download – install – play. But … Usually, there is an obstacle on the way!

In most cases, these are the players at the club, whose qualities (attributes) don’t correspond to the tactic from the Internet. Then what to do?

Delete and move on … I am joking of course!

If you have a large transfer budget, you can buy players. Make a good atmosphere in the team and that’s it. But …

If you like the “lower league management”, then the only solution is to adjust tactic to the players. In this way, you start thinking like an FM manager because you are making the system.

That’s why I will try to show you my way of choosing a tactic that is very easy and not complicated.

Positions in the team

We have the following positions available:

  • Goalkeeper (GK);
  • Sweeper (SW), Defender Right (DR), Defender Centre (DC), Defender Left (DL);
  • Wing Back Right (WBR), Defensive Midfielder (DM), Wing Back Left (WBL);
  • Midfielder Right (MR), Midfielder Centre (MC), Midfielder Left (ML);
  • Attacking Midfielder Right (AMR), Attacking Midfielder Centre (AMC), Attacking Midfielder Left (AML);
  • Striker (ST).

The text above seems a little confusing, so I decided to upload graphics. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Choose a right role for your player

When you first play Football Manager this can be complicated. It is unlikely that you will find the right role for each player because you don’t have many FM working hours.

I speak from personal experience.

In the beginning, it’s best to experiment and keep in mind that this is just a game.



If you are trying to memorize the attributes for each role, you will lose valuable time on unimportant things.

There is no need! Instead, use associations for each position – max 5 attributes.

For example, I would define a player, who plays in the position of Defender Center (DC), in this way – heading, marking, tackling, jumping and strength.

If I want to determine the role of a player, I will use other options .

As you can see, my choice is Central Defender – Cover.

When a player does not meet the requirements, the options are as follows: B team, Under 19s, loan, and transfer list.

If you are looking for a detailed explanation of the “Roles and Duties”, I suggest you click here.

Dimensions of the pitch

This is a very important step when selecting the formation and tactics.

Where do our opponents play? Do they prefer 105×68 m (wider) or 100×68 m (narrow)?

The answers to these questions can easily be found by selecting the following option.

It’s hard for me to imagine that my team plays a 4-2-3-1, and opponent 3-4-3 on the pitch 90×55.

In any case, if you want to combine, there is a standard size – 102×65 m.

Remember that at the beginning of the season, you get an email “groundsman asks for pitch size alterations” to which you must have a ready answer!

Now that we have all the information we need (positions, player roles, and pitch dimensions), we can easily choose the primary formation and define the tactics. But before that …

Key players

Who deserves to have a squad status First Team or Key Player?

Each club has a large number of talented players fighting for the place in the first 11. But …

There are players with good attributes and additional qualities: a lot of international experience, playing in several positions, a “small” list of traits (preferred moves) and the like.

They deserve attention because they are the key to tactics!

You can see that my best players are in positions DL, ML/AML, CM, and ST. The fact is, I have to have 4 players in defense.

Some of them are very young, but it doesn’t matter. I recognized the quality! However, they have real competition in these positions.

Formation and tactic

It’s time to put together a mosaic. First things first. My team isn’t a favorite to win the title this season – media prediction 10th.

They are young (average age 23) so “inexperience” can be a problem. We concluded that most of the clubs play on the pitch 102×65 m.

Now there is only one question left: Which formation should be number 1?

I have decided for 4-4-2, but 4-2-3-1 is not a bad choice. Of course, there is always a backup option 3-4-3 as some away matches require changes.

When I want to defend the result there is 4-5-1.

I like to change formations during the match but only if the right moment. This is already another topic and inspiration for the new article …

That’s it. This was the introductory part of the Tactics (option)!

Otherwise, I’m not an expert when it comes to tactics. I connect things logically and I learn from my mistakes.

My vision comes through “player preferred moves”, so I don’t want to spend valuable time on “player instruction” (except the goalkeeper).

You have to go left-right, and you play short passes. I’m not in that story. I think that the role of a player defines the tasks on the pitch, and the team wins.



I chose 3 formations for my players, and you? I’d like to hear your opinion? Thank you for your attention and time.

Author: Alen Stefanovic     Game: Football Manager 2017

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