Football Manager 2012 best tactic – play like Arsenal
written by Darren Smith
Hello, hello, hello! I told you guys I’d be back shortly with some posts and I’m keeping my promise. During FM 2012 I will be releasing a series of tactics, tips and player lists, but until then we have an awkward wait. You have the Football Manager 2012 demo, you want to play it constantly, but just get bored of doing 6 months before starting afresh. Well I have something to cheer you up, I have decided to create some club based tactics. Today’s is a Football Manager 2012 best tactic to play like Arsenal. This FM 2012 tactic will have you playing Arsenal’s silky passing game in no time and the beauty is it’s a plug in and play tactic. You don’t have to tweak this for any opponent, so just download this FM 2012 Arsenal tactic and concentrate on doing what Arsene Wenger couldn’t, signing some quality players :)
Arsene Wenger does mix his formations up a little but tends to favour some sort of a 4-5-1. The midfield three consists of Song winning the ball back, Ramsey pinging passes around and finding the gaps which leaves Arteta or Wilshere to bomb forward and act as an AMC at times. You can see the formation and player roles below.
Football Manager 2012 best tactic – Roles
GK (Role = Sweeper Goalkeeper, Duty = Defend) – Nothing special here, just a plain old Keeper but note a Sweeper Keeper will clean up behind your defence to make up for the high line. Therefore a bit of pace comes in handy.
DR, DL (Role = Full Back, Duty = Support) – Wenger doesn’t employ his left and right defenders as wing backs but he does expect them to get forward and support the attack. With this role and duty you should notice the likes of Sagna well up the pitch and they will need a lot of pace and stamina.
DCR (Role = Ball Playing Defender, Duty = Defend) – This role is set specifically for Vermaelen who tends to pass his way out of defence and look to play the ball as opposed to hoof it to safety. If you aren’t using Vermaelen make sure you have a defender that is composed and can pass the ball for this role.
DCL (Role = Central Defender, Duty = Defend) – Just your bog standard defender but be sure to use someone tall, that can jump and header the ball for this role. I have assigned this guy to attack the ball during corners and Mertesacker is perfect for this.
CM (Role = Ball Winning Midfielder, Duty = Defend) – Throughout the years Arsenal have always had one midfielder to do the dirty work and Alex Song seems to have picked up this role of late. This role requires good tackling, marking and passing. But pace is also important while using a high tempo game.
MCR (Role = Central Midfield, Duty = Support) – Aaron Ramsey is usually the midfielder to drift around midfield and fulfil many different roles. With a CM role and support duty he’ll do just this, picking out passes is the primary objective but holding a central position also requires some defending.
MCL (Role = Advanced Playmaker, Duty = Attack) – This was Samir Nasri’s old role and has been handed down to Arteta and Wilshere of late. While holding a central position this player is the heart of what makes the team tick. He must be able to get forward, pick a pass score goals and most importantly create magic. I signed Hamsik to rotate in this role and he works a treat fitting into the Arsenal side like a glove. :)
AMR, AML (Role = Inside Forward, Duty = Attack) – If you watch Arsenal play they rarely get down the flank to cross the ball. Their wingers usually cut inside and create havoc before teeing up oncoming midfielders or playing the 1-2. With the inside forward role I have created this feel and prevented both wide men from getting to the byline. After much testing I am happy to say Walcott and Gervinho play very much like in real life with these roles.
ST (Role = Complete Forward, Duty = Support) – This was the toughest role to assign, but I based it around RVP’s style of play. He tends to drop deep and run at defenders, while at the same time covers a multitude of differing roles. If not using Van Persie be sure to sign a technically gifted striker that can do almost anything. He needs to score as well as create.
Football Manager 2012 best tactic – Team Instructions
These weren’t too hard to pick, Arsenal obviously play a fluid and attacking style of play. You should never change this as Arsene Wenger never changes his game plan whether it be at home to Swinton or away to Manchester United. ;) Having said that you should expect far better results. Arsenal use a short passing style and I have selected zonal marking to compliment their attacking play. The only tough decision was whether or not to allow the team more expression on the creativity option. I decided to do so as Wenger’s team do have a certain freedom about them and I wanted to replicate that.
Playmaker: Arteta/Wilshere (advanced playmaker, CML)
Target man: Robin Van Persie (Complete Forward, ST)
Supply to target man: Mixed
I have already set up the set pieces and some of the positions have specific roles to certain players like Mertesacker. Be sure to check what they are doing in corners and free-kicks before switching things around. Like with any attacking tactic you need to be careful during team talks, never allow your side to get complacent as this will result in plenty of nice play but no goals. The key positions for this tactic to work are the same as real life. The ‘advanced playmaker’, ‘striker’ and ‘inside forwards’ must be fast and have the ability to cause havoc. Manage that and you’ll be playing Football the Arsenal way but winning at the same time. :)
If you are mid-game and the team don’t look up for it, do some the following touchline shouts. ‘Get ball forward’, ‘get stuck in’ and ‘run at defenders’. This should hopefully give your players the kick they need, but if not give them a dressing down at half-time.
My results and performances with this tactic
It’s all well and good creating a tactic that replicates Arsenal’s style of play, but is it successful? Well I have played around ten games already this season and drawn just once. Rather than show you all the results I’ll select two matches to demonstrate our performance and domination. The first was against Swansea, not the toughest opponent but look at our match stats. Not only did we dominate possession with 66% but we fired 25 shots off on goal. I think the ‘pass completion’ of 83% also demonstrates that this tactic is well balanced.
The second match was against FC Twente in our Champions League qualifier. Some amazing goals were scored but our possession of 67% and 32 shots really made the match seem one sided.
Now before you download this tactic I’d like you to watch a video, its very short and features a couple of goals I have scored while testing this tactic. Not only does it demonstrate the fluid and create style of play this Football Manager 2012 Arsenal tactic creates, but it represents Arsenal’s real life game as well. I strongly recommend watching the video in 720HD and in full screen.
Click the download image below to be redirected to the download page then follow the ‘how to install’ instructions.
How to Install
Download the file to Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2012 demo\tactics, obviously you will save the tactic into the official game when its released as opposed to the demo file. Then in the game go to the tactics screen and load it from the “archived tactics”. The tactic is named ‘Arsenal 4-5-1’.