Oct 092011

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 :)

The formation

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

Important notes

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 here to watch my goals while using this FM 2012 Arsenal tactic

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′.

  331 Responses to “Football Manager 2012 best tactic – play like Arsenal”

  1. Looks good. Can’t wait for the next one :)

  2. Great post Darren and a great-looking tactic as well, the video shows a team that does play like Arsenal. Well, not today’s Arsenal… :)

    • Thanks Johnny, I was really happy with the outcome and didn’t expect to get it so close. It just needs using for a full season now to test its full effectiveness.

  3. Great post Darren, you have got it spot on. Hamsik seems to be good in that video, do you play him where Arteta is?

  4. Great article Darren to kick off FM 2012 and to increase the build up to the full product launch

  5. haha, this is the exact same tactic i’ve been using for almost a year now!!! :D i just love how it works for many different teams. arsenal, valencia, southampton… not very far away from your Manchelona one :)

    ps: glad to see you posting on the site

    • Yeah it would certainly work on many different levels, but this is riskier than my Manchelona and the difference in the wings is very visible in game. While the shape and team instructions are similar the player roles are very different and based purely around what I see Arsenal as doing. The biggest similarity from this to my manchelona is that you need a solid back four.

      Its good to be back posting mate and there’s more of these to come so stay tuned.

  6. Hey Darren,
    Nice looking tactic and good results too! Too bad Arsenal can’t emulate this sort of form in real life:) Can’t wait till the next one!

    • Thanks mate, it took some testing but I am happy with the results. The next one will be completely different so its a little weird shifting mind set so quickly ;)

  7. Nice post Darren. I like the tactic and the video is great and show how good the tactic is. I look forward to your next post.

  8. Great post Darren…yet again lol. I may have to use this tactic in my Anzhi FM12 story :)

  9. hey,
    Great tactic Darren…would the Barcelona tactic be something similar? Also, in your experience, is the 4-5-1 the best tactic? since i always see you use it, even in the Mancehlona :)

    • Thanks Malhar, a Barcelona tactic would be very similar to this indeed. I actually believe both clubs have the same tactics bar Barca use an AMC more. The difference comes with the execution in that Barcelona have the talent and Arsenal unfortunately don’t.

      • what about the 4-5-1? is it the best tactic to use in your opinion? with different duties for the 3 central midfielders? i use a 4-1-3-2..with one cm, an aml, amc, amr and the two up front….this usually works well enough, but its not as consistent as i would like…it gets a little lightweight in midfield..only thing is, when i tweaked it, results were worse! any suggestions?

        • Yeah the 4-5-1 is the best in my opinion. Its by far the most consistent I’ve ever used anyway, a part of this is having three CM’s with differing duties as well. They end up covering the middle of the pitch in any scenario this way. I’d suggest scrapping the 4-1-3-2, I wanted to use it but never found any consistency.

          • okay, thanks for the advice..i’ll try doing that..but i might started with the 4-2-2-2. i’m not sure about playing with one striker, seeing as i have Sanogo, Benzema, Babacar, Higuain and two really promising regens…have u ever played with the 4-2-2-2? coz there’s no way i can play the 4-5-1 and keep all my strikers happy at the same time.

          • I never really step away from a 4-5-1 and the only time I have has been for the flat 4-4-2. However, you have the quality to risk complacency and probably need to with that front line.

  10. great post as always…

    Im looking forward to the Stoke tactics lol…how to win ugly…with barely any possession and only one shot on goal…

    Keep em coming…this is only making the wait even more painful lol

    • Thanks Tom, you pretty much summed the Stoke tactic up lol :) Only kidding, its actually quite exciting with Pennant and Etherington bombing down the wings and Crouch winning everything in the air. I actually find myself hoping the keeper will save a shot or a deflection will result in a corner or throw-in. :)

  11. That’s a fantastic tactic!! I used almost the exact same tactic with Arsenal on FM10 and really dominated. Won 3 PL titles, 2 CL titles in 5 years. I think the best part of it is when one of the inside forwards cut towards the middle, plays the ball behind the defense and either the striker or other inside forward make a run on to the ball and score nearly every time. Pace makes a huge difference and was the reason for Walcott scoring 48 goals in my second season. Imagine if he did that in real life!!!

  12. Nice, an Arsenal tactic that keeps clean sheets, they could definitely use some help in that department, though Vermaelen seems to just get injured all the time these days

    Somehow, it looks similar to the Manchelona tactic, just the left winger role is different it seems
    , i think i’ll give it a go with Birmingham, unlike real life they seems to have a few million to spend on transfers and a decent wage budget……….

    • Yeah I reckon Mr Wenger needs to follow FMS :) This is similar to the Manchelona but both wingers are inside forwards, one CB is ball playing as opposed to limited, The advanced playmaker is instructed to attack as opposed to support and the CM support duty is in place from the deep lying playmaker. I also made some small player tweaks too.

  13. I feel like cheating …I deployed Manchelona on my LFC team and from that time I drew one match with City and the rest I won…that’s like 15 matches :)

    But will try to change to this to see how it works but it seems that it will work well too..

    • Sounds like a great record mate and avoid the temptation as you obviously don’t need to cheat. Hopefully this tactic will work for you too.

      • They just keep going…I’m using combination of your tactics…AMs are advanced playmaker and inside forward, striker is complete FW on support and CMs are the same as here…works well.

  14. good tactic Darren I will use it

  15. Wow! I don’t know where u get these ideas from. I just used it for my psv story in a friendly against Newcastle and we won 6-1. You. May have a future in the coaching business. Ha ha ha.

  16. quality looking tactic, although the download link for this and the Stoke one doesnt appear to be working!?

    also, really enjoyed your Newcastle story on fm11, hope you do a toon tactic for fm12

    • Thanks mate, I just tested both the links and they are fine. It may be a problem with your browser but I can view and use them no problem. Maybe try again later. I’ll be doing tactics throughout the year but find they are getting very similar so want to wait for something new to come up :)

      • yeah, it seems sky has blocked mediafire for some reason!

        Ha, aye once you’ve done a couple you just feel like you’re repeating youself.

  17. I am using this tactic for colwyn bay in the conference north and i am doing so well, Thanks for the help, Great tactic

  18. cannot download via mediafire. can someone email this file to me or upload it in different file host? thank you

  19. Hi Darren! can you please email me the tactic above? I can’t seem to get it to download using mediafire…Thank you in advance!! can’t wait to use this tactic since i’m a fanatic Arsenal fan!!

  20. It looks great.

    I’m still playing your “Mancelona” tactic in FM2011. And as soon as I start to play FM 2012 I will give this one a try.

    Looks very good.

    Thanks for sharing your work.

  21. Hi there, I followed your Newcastle tactic from the last game and would you say this is similar? I just started my first Newcastle game on 12 and I’m not great with tactics. I was looking at your Stoke tactic and don’t think the squad is set up for that one. It’s not ideal for this one either, but think it’s closer.

  22. Hi Im new to the FM12 and have to say its 10 times better then the FIFA one. But I was hoping for some help on a situation I find annoying. Everytime I save and finish and then quit the game, I go to play the saved game and I find matches have been played ect without me being on. How can I stop this from happing so that I as the manager play the games when Im logged on only? And great job on the tatics btw, helped my squad out better then the tatics I was trying :)

    • Sorry mate I have no idea what the problem is as I’ve never heard of that issue…when you save and quit the game that is it, you load the game again and its in the exact place you left it….can you clarify if I’m missing something as I don’t know how its possible to load the game back up and it have played games for you.

  23. Thanks for repliying Darren :) And yes that is how it seems to happen I save the game then quit. But when I reload and it ask me to for my password to resume the game I have loads of mail for days that I myself did not do. I spoke to a good friend of mine who has played most of the FM games and reakons I may not be quiting correctly?

  24. Thanks for the great tactic!
    I have tried playing Chicago Fire of the MLS a few times since FM12 came out, and couldn’t get anywhere with them. (Actually kept getting fired right around the same time their actual Manager did!)

    Since they use a 4-5-1 I thought I would give this a try. Not only did I make it all the way through the season, but we finished first and my team had the most goals in the league. We lost the MLS Cup Final to Seattle 1-2 in Extra time, but still quite happy how the season played out!

    One downside though. my team also lead the league in Red Cards! Many were straight. I have been using this team since FM 2010 came out and I have never seen Chicago get so many! Is this just a very aggressive tactic?

    • Thanks for the comment Jamie, always nice to know this tactic has helped. As for the red card issues I’ve also noticed my players flying into tackles with loads of aggression even though the tackling is set to default. I think because it is such an attacking tactic the players get fired up and make rash decisions if its not going their way…. :)

  25. when are you coming out with united tactic?

  26. Hi! Thank you for a great post. I was wondering if you could tell me how your match preperation is setup. Very high preperation on attacking movement? Do you use a different tactic when you play a one of the top teams away?

    • No problem mate, I don’t actually do my own match preparation as my assistant does a good enough job, I never use a different tactic but do change from attacking strategy to counter.

  27. thank bro…

  28. would it work for my forest green game as well then i see that someone plays as colwyn bay.

  29. Hi, about to test this on my third season with Peterhead. My current tactic has seen me get promoted two seasons on the bounce but after coming a cropper in cup games against SPL teams I’ve decided to try something new. Can you advise me what pitch dimensions you’d recommend with this tactic.

    • The pitch dimensions shouldn’t make a massive impact to be honest and I don’t really pay much attention to them but with any short passing tactic a smaller pitch may suit best only if you have the players to back that up of course.

  30. hi i have used your tactic for the last 4 games now and all seems very good played 4 won 3 lost scored 13 conceded 5 so good so far. how do i take screen shots of my results so far thanks.

  31. used a slightly different set up of 4-3-3 as man city, currently in second season and well on the way to a quaddie. Mid set up is a DLP with 2x BBM,s and 2 forward searching FB’s. Love ur set up just wanted to try a few tweaks

    • Thanks for the info Mike, sounds like you’ve adapted things to make a strong tactic for yourself and that is what the games all about, no tactic is just a plug in and play in my opinion.

  32. Hi loving your tactic, beat liverpool 3-0 with 38 shots and %67 possession, but was wondering what you do with your opposition instructions, thanks in advance.

  33. hi sir.. can u email me the tactic? i cant download it. tq

  34. Hello Darren, my existing possession tactic is already good IMO but yours is hell a lot better in terms of attacking threat and I must say that I like it so much. The only problem is, I started to conceded goals with your tactic which rarely happened to my existing one. Is there anything I can do to make my back 4 more solid?. My existing formation is 4-2(CM)-3(AM,AMC,AML)-1. Thanks in advance.

    • Are you using my tactic completely or have you tweaked it? My other question is how fast are your defenders and are they good. If not that is your main issue there. Otherwise try having your assistant manager do the ‘opposition instructions’ every match and see what happens.

  35. i have gotze, walcott, hamsik, arteta, song, and gervinho, and ramsey in my midfield. Was wondering what style gotze would play on the left wing and why not just push song back into the dm role.

    • Gotze should play as an inside forward in my opinion but having said that I have n’t used him before. This tactic becomes too negative when the defensive CM is dropped back so that’s why I left him in the middle.

  36. how about player instruction? u didnt set it? or will improved this tactic later? cant wait

    • What do you mean by player instructions sorry? I assume the individual player instructions and if so there aren’t any as you can over complicate a tactic very easily and that limits the tactic to specific players too.

  37. How do i put a screenshot of my forest green save game up to show you how your tactic is doing for me in BSP so far.

  38. will it work with any patch or is it for the original game.

    Doing ok lying in 6th in BSP at the moment 3 points off 3rd.

  39. Hi Darren,
    I have Hazard, Ganso, Sissoko, Mikel, Neymar, Cavani, Lampard & Essien in midfield and I’m using the tactics as per your post. Need your advice on which post should they fit in.
    Mikel seems like better playing on DM role, should I slightly change the tactics or remain him as BWM in CM role?

    Last, Torres is the alone striker and he is not performing…

    • Just because Mikel seems to play better as DMC doesn’t mean he should change to that…the amount that would change the tactic would mean the team suffers on a whole. Just check the players coaching report for what role they are best used in and go from there. Some players just don’t work as lone striker, I’d recommend considering selling him if he’s not working.

      • thanks Darren. I have tried your tactics on my Chelsea save, it’s brilliant. Mikel is having average rating, 7.07 on last 5 games. Ganso is highest rating player, average 8.30, Hazard and Cavani is doing well on both flanks as IF, keeps scoring but Hazard did miss a lot of chances.

        Yup, I’m going to release Torres, can Neymar suit in? Or I should look for someone else? I have Torres, Neymar, Lukaku, Fierro, Sanogo in my squad.

        • Yeah Neymar could slot straight in but seems to be more dangerous as an inside forward from the wing. I think Neymar would do well but if you can wait for him to develop go for Fierro.

          • Thanks Darren. I have Hazard on my left IF so i would probably train Neymar on right side. Im using Chelsea, currently is lack of homegrown player, just to check is pique available for transfer in future? how about iniesta?

          • I haven’t seen Pique nor Iniesta ever leave Barca so couldn’t say for sure but with enough cash and reputation you could get them.

  40. [...] to Darren’s Arsenal tactic from Football Manger Story ( if you have not seen it check it out http://www.footballmanagerstory.com/2011/10/football-manager-2012-arsenal-tactic-play-the-passing-ga… it is very good ) but I used to wingers and the two centre backs. Well in the Stade Malherbe [...]

  41. Match preparation? Pitch size? OI? Thank you!

  42. Team talk? Thank you…great tactic anyway.

  43. Hi Darren can u email me the tactic? i cant download it plz

  44. Dear Darren, thanx for an superb guide, solid work! I can’t download the tactic shown here, is it possible to mail it to me?;) looking forward from more good work from you! Cheers from scandinavia!

  45. Hi Darren I’m also unable to download. Can you send to my email? Really looking forward to try out thanks

  46. you have suggestions for other players except hamsik and arteta for the advance playmaker position??

  47. Darren,

    Fantastic tactic! I’m quite inept when it comes to this side of the game – and it’s wonderful to download a tactic that actually works! (I tend to download so-called “Super Tactics” a lot and have never really found one that worked since the old days of Championship Manager/early Football Manager games!)

    I’ve applied the tactic to my Villa team (the team is completely different, though – virtually every player is new) but it looks as though all of my team more or less match the attributes you’ve mentioned above in your write-up. I consider I have a team capable of top four, at least (finished 6th last season after an indifferent start – began using your tactic mid-way through the season).

    Problem is, I don’t seem to be able to score goals! I get 20-30 shots a game and come away with one goal, maybe two if I’m lucky. Defence is good but you’re always going to concede at least one goal every couple of games, so I’m drawing loads and find myself 11th after nine games.

    Do you have any suggestions? (My lone striker is Seydou Doumbia, who seems really good stats wise, but to be honest it doesn’t seem to matter who I put up front. I just don’t score despite loads of shots on goal).

    Thanks for making FM so much more enjoyable for me! It’s nice to have a tactic that I can actually tell is working (largely!)

    Many thanks,

    • Thanks for the kind words Alex.

      Your problem is common with very attacking tactics as the opposition tend to sit back making more difficult to score. My suggestions come with experimenting on team talks. Try not putting as much pressure on the players and maybe they won’t crumble in front of goal. Failing that maybe try touchline shouts of ‘get stuck in’, ‘retain possession’ and ‘play through defense.’

  48. Hi Darren, i am a BIG fan of your tactics. Been using your Stoke one with Wolves for a while now and i achieved unbelievable success. What impresses me most is they never seemed to get cracked by the AI + you dont feel like you are cheating the game like you do with the usual tactics around.

    Anyway, my question is, with the new patch by default this Arsenal tactic removes the counter attack, should we tick this so it does counter attack as originally or go along with the changes SI have made and play not on the counter?

    Secondly, is there any chance you could come up with a new winger/target man tactic which plays direct and on the counter please?

    I await your reply, cheers Darren.

    • Thanks Shaun, I’m happy to hear my tactics have helped. I would suggest keeping things as they are when using the attacking strategy but if need be tick the ‘counter’ box when using counter strategy as that is required.

      Unfortunately life is very hectic at the moment and I have no time for testing tactics as my priorities lie elsewhere, sorry but I won’t have time to fulfill your request.

  49. Te felicito por la tactica, pero tengo una duda el centro delantero convierte pocos goles, que caracteristicas deberia tener o bien debo modificar algo de la tactica?

  50. Hi Darren,

    Do you know of any good 4-2-3-1 formations?

    • I’m afraid not mate, I don’t use any tactics that include an AMC as they never seem to work for me.

      • I agree. I used to always play with an AMC. However, I found that those that play there are usually luxury players. It also tends to force your team to attack through this player, thus if the other team shut off your AMC they stop your team. When I want a player in that position I tend to get more success either playing a deep lying striker or a central midfielder who breaks forward.

  51. Congratulations for tactics, but I have a question becomes the front center a few goals, what features should be or should I change the tactic?

  52. Hi Darren, how can your tactic compare with the “Manchelona” one, also on this lovely website. How are your feelings about it? I ask this because untill now im having good success with the Manch on Toulouse FC. Your thoughts?


    • They are both very similar, but the Arsenal tactic focuses much more on a CM playmaker getting forward as well as two wingers cutting inside…the Manchelona is more of a blend and the players hold their positions a little more. I’d recommend sticking with the Manchelona if its working for you.

      • Thanks for the reply Darren, i always preferred a more solid tactic than a risky one. Im going to start a new save now on Sporting Clube da Covilha from Liga Orangina in Portugal and hope that everything goes for the best :) zero money for transfers… ouch…

  53. The only brand forward a few points, are usually the midfielders to become, as I make the only attacker or striker scores the most goals, what features should have or, should I change the tactic?

  54. Seriously where do I download this?? there is no link ?….. really want to try this

  55. never mind… haha sometimes I really need to learn to look before I start typing..

  56. brilliant tactic man, i have a question though, do i need to change the match preparation to high and attacking movement or do i leave it as it is until they adapt to it.

    • I actually leave my match preparation to the assistant and that hasn’t failed as yet. I would just say you need this tactic loaded so the players can learn it in pre-season.

  57. Darren could you email me the tactic, as i can’t download it.


  58. Looks a great tactic. Can I give this a go with my Celtic team please? Thanks

  59. could you send me through my mail? thanks!

  60. I’ve used this tactic in pre-season so far. Whilst it’s won me every game by 3 or 4 goals, I’m sorry to say that I haven’t dominated possession in any of the games and the passing was very sloppy (not much passes, and bad pass success rate). I used Fabregas as the advanced playmaker, Arteta as central mid and Song as BWM, yet teams like Schalke and Hammburg dominated possession by 55% to my 45% (although I won by lots of goals, with more attempts on goal).
    All I changed in the tactic was switching the position of the CM and AP (making the playmaker on the right), same with defenders (making Vermaelen [the bpd] on the left). Any idea what’s wrong?

    • Pre-season is always very misleading, you need to wait until the season starts before judging. If the possession persists I can only presume its a team talk problem or pre-match interview issue.

  61. This tactic works a treat just wondering when facing really good teams like Manchester United and Barcelona what would you change? I used this tactic against Man U and I was 3-0 up then lost 4-3 :/

  62. Hi Darren i would like to ask if aguero would be a good choice to replace RVP

  63. Hi Darren,

    Just been reading your recent update in Russia – well done sir! Brilliant post and very informative!

    Is the tactic available for download been tweaked at all for the current patch (12.1.1)?

    If not – is it still working as well in the most recent patch?

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Hi Mike, the story you mentioned is actually Martin’s who is a writer on this site also so I can’t take any credit for that one I’m afraid :)

      As for the tactic, it does work just as well on the latest patch though I always recommend changing stuff to suit your style and team.

  64. Hey Darren i’m having so much trouble using this with my Newcastle team, even Sunderland have beaten me 2-0, got any tips for me, i’ll list my team.
    GK – Krul
    DR- Simpson
    DL – Bridge/Santon
    DC – Taylor/Collicini/Williamson
    BWM – Tiote/Darron Gibson
    CM – Cabaye/Gibson
    AP- Brahimi/Cabaye/Maybe Chris Brunt
    LW – Gutierrez/Brahimi
    RW – Chris Brunt/Ben Arfa (Injured)
    ST – Demba Ba/Sturridge

    That’s my starting 11, players get moved around slightly.
    When I have possesion there’s seems to be no cutting edge leading to goals and when I don’t my defence seems to fall apart. This is my first season with the tactic but I’ve had the match prep on very high so there used to it but so far the performances have been dismal. Would love to hear any suggestions you may have because it’s probably me not the tactic haha :)


    • Well I find that half the time a bad performance comes as a result of bad team talks so you may want to review those and your approach to them. The other half is as a result of the wrong players been used and I think you lack quality in that squad. Gibson, Brahimi and Brunt aren’t really the best signings for such a tactic. I think you need to be looking for new players if I’m honest with pace, technique and bags of potential.

      • Brahimi is class in the advanced playmaker role and plays decent in the Inside forward role. Gibson is average but his rating is high because he scores a few screamers which makes me biased towards him and Brunt was a panic buy due to Ben Arfa’s injury at the start of a newcastle save, Brunt is under-performing big style which is my fault for playing him where he’s not suited. As for team talks I let my assistant take care of them and he’s doing a poor job to say the least. He has 16+ stats for motivating, discipline and the other thing thats good haha Might have to wait and see what money I get in January of the generous Mike Ashley…..

        • Yeah I think a little investment is required to be honest, and as for relying on your assistant, I’d recommend trying the team talks yourself and just use common sense really.

  65. Darren I’ve been using this tactic with great success so far with Liverpool but in the last 8 games results have been poor. e.g 0-0 vs Stoke and Swansea at home and 1-0 loss to united away. My team is:

    Jose Enrique
    Suarez (Been very poor in 2nd season)

    What do you think this is a result of and should Cavani be Complete Fw – S or Poacher?

    Thanks and sorry for the long comment.

    • Could be a result of your reputation going up resulting in other teams sitting deeper and putting more men behind the ball therefore making it tougher to score…I’d suggest a change of match day squad to surprise the opponents and also rethink your team talks as they can be the problem sometimes.

  66. Nice tatic using tottenham havn’t really got a defensive midfieldier so have put hamsik where song is and modric where arteta is seems to work, Cavani up front (definately one of the best forwards on the game very consistent) also Eden Hazard great player and also Hulk

  67. Hi :) the tactic worked great for me with Leicester the first few matches of the season where i scored a lot of goals, especially when i won 6-0 over hull. But after i let my assistant manager lead the club through a league cup match against Carlisle where i lost 0-1, the performance have been very bad. very many draws, and i seem to have trouble even creating chances. I have won two matches in row now, but i didn’t perform very well in those matches and was quite lucky.

    I’m just wondering if there is something im might doing wrong? :P

    • Without the right players the tactic won’t work consistently…I’d suggest you don’t have the right players as this is usually the issue.

      • but it still started very well :P

        • Yeah but anyone can have a false start, that’s just football and a part of which FM has captured well. Its the run of results that shows how your team can perform and looking at that team, they definitely will struggle with this tactic. I’ve used it on many teams and you need one that is quick, skillful and can move the ball better than the teams around you.

  68. hey Darren i have been wondering, will this tactic be constant for a whole season with arsenal.

  69. hi Darren can you email me the tactic it wont download for me grrrr

  70. so do u handle the team talks yourself or do u leave ur assistant to it

    • I handle my own yes, I generally look at what the assistant is recommending, take that into consideration and then choose from there, but I always like to select the tone its said in even if I do say what the assistant suggests.

  71. can u show us pic of all ur result in a season plz? and how many goals RVP scores?

    • Sorry mate but I didn’t complete that much with Arsenal, I just did as much as I needed to see the tactic worked with them and on a general level before using it in other saves.

  72. Here’s an update on my team, would like to know your opinion.
    DR – Walker/Simpson
    DL – Santon/Didac (Loan)
    DC – Kaboul/Vorsah/Taylor
    CM – Gago/Kranjcar/Granero
    BWM – Gibson/Tiote/Dupuis (Regen)
    CM (AP) – Brahimi/Kranjcar/Granero
    RW (IF) – Gaitan/Kagawa/Ben Arfa
    LW (IF) – Weiss/Kagawa/Gutierrez
    CF – Sturridge/Sanogo/Macheda

    Team is playing well, beat Real Madrid in my champions league group. Any tips on positions? Can Weiss play RW (IF) if I wanted to play Kagawa LW (IF)? If you have time could you recommend the best possible team out of those players, Cheers :)

    • I say the best out of those player should be

      DR – Walker
      DL – Santon
      DC – Kaboul, Taylor
      CM – Granero
      BWM – Tiote
      AP – Brahimi
      RW – Weiss
      LW – Kagawa
      CF – Sanogo (depending on if he’s developed well.)

      I personally think Kagawa is best on left and Weiss on the right anyway, thats how I used them.

      • Cheers Darren, thanks for your input always appreciated. Unfortunately Sanogo hasn’t developed as well as planned, he’s 20 atm and nothing like the goal machine he usually is, I’ve given him game experience but he’s let me down, I’ll be more patient. Defence is my priority to improve.

  73. Hey Darren,
    Just thought I’d let you know how I got on using this tactic. I got offered the Man United job in 2013 and took it. In my first season we won the Premier League comfortably and the league cup. We also got beaten narrowly in the Champions League semi final (after a terrible first leg away to Milan) and then VERY narrowly in the FA Cup final (should have won it, Liverpool scored a late goal to win). All in all, we did pretty well :)

    We did suffer a few heavy defeats away in the Champions League though (0-5 to Fiorentina, 2-4 to Milan). But the start of the season we won our first 12 or so league games on the trot. Re-trained Rooney to AML, which was really easy, to accommodate him and Hernandez. Vidic scored 12 goals in the season from corners and free kicks in the CB role. He was one of my top scorers! Haha.

    Thanks for the awesome tactic. Using it again this season.


  74. Hi Darren,

    The download link is showing error. Can you please mail me the file?


  75. As some additional feedback, I do find I get heavily beaten away in the Champions League more than once. Just had A. Madrid beat me 4-0, and they were down to 10 men! Any tips for fixing this?



  76. Hi Darren. I was wondering if it is wise to switch the CM (BWM) to DM (Anchor Man) role as my team has a few decent DMs. Thank you for this tactic and your input! Cheers

  77. please could you e mail me the tactic darren mma2000@hotmail.co.uk thanks man.

  78. can you email me the tactic please? mattshawspireite@hotmail.co.uk

  79. Can you email me this tactic please? Pat_harley123@hotmail.com

  80. alright mate how long does it take all areas to become fluid?

  81. Hello darren, first of all, thanks for your tactics that you create for fm fans.ı’m a football addict and ofcourse fm.ı’m playıng this game almost everyday and ı closely look up your manchelona and ı can say ıt ıs really piece of art for me.the point is my starting line for manu is evra-phil jones-vidic-rafael the third mid aps-anderson,bwd-fletcher,dlp- gigs still ;) on the left wıng ap- nani,on the right wıng ıf- valencia and cs-rooney. can you give me prefered moves for manu players to get best wiev of play.because tactic is great but ı do not know how to train the squad to play best for the system.Example,every barcelona playersknow what to do when they are on the pitch when to run when to cut when to dribble and on the other hand players are ıbdıvıdıual role for example alves messi iniesta wvery players have dimensions threat for rivals.hope to find me good prefered moves for manu players and send me a swift answer cant wait to play thanks for all darren

    • meanwhile my mail boransonmez@hotmail.com ı do not know how ıt works here ı just write in case.

      • Thanks Boran, as for the tactic it has been arranged and assigned roles etc to work in a system so the roles shouldn’t be changed to suit players, players should be bought to suit the roles though I don’t think that is what you were trying to say. I think you meant like preferred moves training and match preparation. To be honest there is nothing to be done in this area. I leave my match preparation to my assistant and never teach a player preferred moves. I made the tactic to be low in maintenance so there is nothing I do in that area.

        • first thanx for swift answer.but ı now a little bit suprise cose each player on the pitch according to their position must knowledge about what they are doing so prefered moves are very key for being a team.What ı really mean is if you set a player’s instruction to dribble a lot he tries but if you train him how to dribble than he success.Anyway ı ‘m trying now with manu manchelona and also prefered moves to everysingle player and the results are perfect ı will post soon thanks for your geniue manchelona take care ;)

  82. Hi Darren great tactic. Was tryin a 4-3-3 with 3 strikers and two dm, and wasn’t getting the results. But change to this tactic and straight away won 3-0. Then went on a 6 game winning strike. The lost two on the bounce but back to winning next 3 games. Shame I only used it is jan so the highest I can finish now is 7th.

  83. I started a save game with Torino and I am planning on using this tactic since most of my players would are capable of fulfilling the requirements. However, I do not have a RVP style of forward, instead I have Rolando Bianchi and Soukouna who I plan to play as Poachers. Do I still make them my team’s designated target men or do I leave that box unticked?

    • I actually ended up developing this tactic to suit a more poacher like striker….just change the forward role to striker and keep him as the target and put the supply to through balls.

  84. Good tactic, but I had problem with getting the goals. I bought Hazard which is a good player but I managed to lose the last stage of CL so im in Europe League instead :(

    What players did you buy/use? Email me some tip!


    • In my Malaga side I had a front three of Hazard, Fierro and Weiss. I also had Kovacic, Camacho and Badelj in midfield.Only tips I can offer is to stick with it and maybe reconsider how you approach team talks as half the time they can be the problem.

  85. Brilliant tactic. Got it for Hibernian in the SPL. Only lost once in four games but i can really see a change in the way my team plays. Let’s hope it works and I win the cup!

    Keep me posted on other tactics you have configured and I will try them mate.

  86. Thank you very much, yours formation can work well for my team and my team has won against liverpool.

  87. with this tactic do you you score alot from set plays

    • It is set up to provide goals if the squad selection is right. You’ll need to check the positioning of the players though and make sure your best headers and jumpers are in the right place. Also you need players with good freekick/long shot ability and crossing/corner ability.

  88. can i change my centre midfielder – aaron ramsey to a more experinced centre midfielder and better one and the tactic still to work.

  89. I started with Arsenal cuz this tactic couldnt work with Newcastle… but why is my whole team morale absymale?? How can i fix that or i just must win a few games..?!

  90. Yeah I thought that was the problem and I tried a team meeting but it didnt work out very well .. Thanks

  91. Hi Darren,
    Pls email me the tactics file. Thanks. Really interested in giving this tactic a try.

    • I have checked the download link and its working so you should be able to download it by pressing the download image. But I’ve sent it to your email too.

  92. Its not working for me and I dont know why.. for example: on the halftime i was leading 4:2 against Man.City and i lost 4:5 although I told them to keep focused and put counter style and now I am losing against Leicester 2:1..Advice please..

    • There are so many different things that can contribute to the outcome of a game, tactics are just 40% You need to get the team talks, roles and player selection right too.

  93. I am a bit confused. Do you check the “Specific Instructions” things for your games, like temp etc. Or not? If not why?

    • No because setting the philosophy and strategy does all that fr you…if you changed those specific instructions then there’s no point in looking at the philosophy and strategy as that is what they’re there for.

  94. is this a good tactic to use in lower leagues? it doesnt really seem to work for me. i control the matches and score goals, but still i get a lot of goals behind.. can you give me some tips? :P

    • It is but only if you adapt it to your team or buy the players to suit the tactic. You need a team capable of dominating possession and making chances, and pace at the back is important. Its like Tony Pulis asking Stoke to play like Barcelona, it just wouldn’t happen…and while Swansea don’t have the best players they have the right TYPE of players to play that way.

      • i feel that most of the players are capable of this playing style except the wingers… its difficult to find any when you are in the Blue square bet south.

  95. Great tactic there Darren Smith !!

    1 question though regarding the inside forwards: what works best when cutting inside, opposite foot on each side, meaning right-footed on left and vice versa ?? What do u reckon ??

    I have Hazard on left IF-position (thought him to “cut inside” and “place shots”) and Gaitán on right.

    Looking forward to your response.

    Many thx !!!

    • To be honest I just put the player on whichever side is his strongest in terms of positional strength because they need to cross also, but my common sense would say if both sides are the same then a right footed player cutting in from the left would be best.

  96. With this formation does it make a difference if you change the role of the striker from something other to poacher ?

    • This tactic works best with a poacher actually, it only shows complete forward because that is what seemed to make RVP play most like he does IRL.

  97. This is WORKING! just an introduction in my save….
    Im in 2 season with Tottenham .In 2011/12 i bought Willian £7.75mil , ter Stegen for £14mil,and N.Oliveira £3.8mil. I finished third in PL and also won league cup. ter Stegen and Willian proved me that they are worth every penny but Nelson didnt impressed me.In second season i bought Niang £13.5mil and Hazard for £22mil and they are beasts.I only have one problem.. too many wingers… on right side I have Lennon,Wilian,Van der Vaart on left Bale,Hazard and Modric sometimes, and I already sold Kranjcar,Pavljuchenko,Pienaar.Any advice?

    Thank again!

  98. Having trouble instaling the tactics? i downloaded it and saved the file into the SI FM 12 program, but the tactic doesnt come up when i attempt to search the formation etc in the tactics, so i tried to re create your tactics, but failed awfully haha, any help appreciated :)

  99. Yeah its working now thanks! but the tactic isnt really working for me? i started the season well, winning the first 5 prem games and conceding very few… but have been on a abysmal run of late. with 1 win in 6/7, not to mention a 6-1 hammering by man utd, the only difference to my team and yours is that i have Willian in the AML position instead of gervihno, and hamsik/arteta rotating in MCL… any help appreciated.. stumped :(

    • You can’t just plugin a tactic and play, theres team talks, team selection and in game changes to consider…unfortunately most of the time its not just the tactic and if the gamer doesn’t suit a certain style sometimes they won’t be able to make the right decisions in other areas. Maybe try this deviation of the tactic http://www.mediafire.com/?pqu0aera2ipb9zi Its a little more conservative.

  100. tried the tactic with barca my team were in good form then when i put that tactic on i got beat off a team 2nd bottom and i was 1st i think al just stick to the tactics i use

    • If you’re top I’m not sure why you’d want to change tactic in the first place…I never recommend switching through a season as it rarely has a positive effect. You need pre-season to make this work.

  101. Darren, have to say brilliant… Being playing as Sheffield Wednesday in the championship and half way through the season i was struggling to break through teams, came across this tactic and i managed to finish in the playoffs (got promoted) and to the semi final of the FA cup, i destroyed teams with this tactic! Brilliant, Thankyou!

  102. Hey

    Sorry for beeing a nooby but i dont see any download button up there :X
    Do i have to be registred to download it?


  103. Just above How to install there is a white box saying download where an image should be, click that.

  104. Ow i see :)


  105. Hi been reading a few of ur posts and u obv no wat ur doing! I used to play championship manager but thought I’d try football manager I’m impressed with the game itself but find it seriously hard! I wanna be Leeds as I support them and am finding it very very hard, so hard as in I’m considering just packing it in n not bothering playing the game at all! I’m just wondering if u have been Leeds or if u could take a look at there team and suggest a strong tactic and team! I kno there’s alot more to the game than the tactic n I’m looking at all ur posts to gimme a better chance of understanding how the game works just need abit of a helping hand! Newayz cheers in advance!

  106. Cheers for reply I’ll have a look n give it another go!

  107. Using the arsenal tactics n set pieces doing well after 32 games battling for 1st with Southampton! Great help cheers

  108. Finished 2nd but got the promotion needed got 10 m and a 350k wage budget so hopefully can get few players! Is there a more defensive set up for this formation for bigger teams as my 1st few games got man u Chelsea arsenal n man city lol! Gr8 Start! Cheers!

    • Just to use counter attack rather than attack strategy, its more in the team talks that you can aid the team…try telling them calmly that theres no pressure against really good sides.

  109. Hi,
    The download won’t work so do you have an alternative i could use? :P

  110. WHAT A TACTIC!! It even works with Blue Square teams, only lost 3 games on bloody season. My team was playing silky football at Semi Pro level.

    Who ever created this, I LOVE YOU!

    • I’m glad its worked for you mate.

    • This comment has made me want to try it out with my second tier Danish semi-pro team. I have tried a bunch of tactics that other people have had success with that haven’t worked, so lets hope this one gets it done.

      • Yeah it comes down to the tactic that suits you and your team…there really us no real plug in and play tactic, they all require your own research and tweaks unless you get lucky.

        • For sure, so far i’ve assigned DCr as a central defender instead of a ball playing one, and changed the striker to an advanced forward. My players are a bit limited, as one might expect.

          Thanks for uploading!

  111. I have played this tactic for a quite long now and its working sometimes pretty good, but i do get shots lika 25 per game but only about 4 on goal how can i fix this problem. On your match against Swansea you also get 25 shots but only 6 on goal so whats wrong? Only 1 CC like Swansea did same amount of CCs with six shots, a high amount of goals become from set-pieces and many of chances come from long shots but most of them go off the net. Is there anything to do? Please

    • Buy better players, ones that will suit the style more…the other thing to do is change striker to poacher and sign someone with a lot of pace as they will get themselves in a better shooting position…failing that its a problem with team talks, your players are probably complacent.

      • But what about your game agianst swansea, you got good players for each position but still get 25 shots but most of them were just poor chances. It must be something wrong with the tactic not the players.

        • It does say ‘play like Arsenal’ does it not?…

          • I will not answer your questions if you continue to post comments under duel names, I am not stupid I can see exactly where you are commenting from Cilo/Pat! All I can say is that I used this tactic with Malaga winning the Champions League more than 4 times and took Scarborough to the EPL including numerous titles and European trophies…don’t ask a question if you are going to then question the answer!

            Every tactic must be tweaked to each gamers style and players, if you think its possible to plug in and play another gamers tactics then you may be the problem.

            You asked me what the problem may be, and based on my own experiences with the tactic I gave you an educated answer, if thats not enough try another tactic.

          • You dont need to be mad to us, come on. Chill

          • There is no us, you are one person…I don’t appreciate people trying to trick the readers into thinking other people are agreeing with a misguided opinion, and that is what you just tried to do! You posted a comment under another name to make it seem as though someone else was agreeing with you, that does not wash with me! Its childish and a waste of my time on a Sunday evening.

          • I have posted below Darren if you haven’t already saw, bit of a mix up with the comments…I have posted on this site before with this name and email… Definitely not that Celo chap, don’t quite understand him.

          • All I will say is that you are posting from the exact same location as Celo, ip Addresses don’t lye and its interesting that your first comment was on his side and the next few on mine, all I can assume is you’ve been caught out, realized it and then decided to back track…IP address’ don’t lie, so stop the rubbish now, I have no time for childish games…you are Cilo, and no lie will cover that up, don’t make me bring out the proof and start saying where you are commenting from. I’d rather you left it here and we’ll forget about it.

          • Mate it’s no skin of my back what you think to be honest, you can ‘reveal’ from where i am posting from because i no that i am not this ‘Celo’ haha. My original comment was not siding with him, if you read my post which is below this one then you will see the explanation for my original post which was aimed at Celo but whatever mate…Like i said it’s no skin of my back, i don’t really care if you believe me or not, I’m not lying about anything, you have no Ip address information because if you did you would see that i am not ‘Celo’.

          • This screenshot is all the evidence I need, note the highlighted red bits! http://www.footballmanagerstory.com/wp-content/uploads/imgs/2012/06/ip.png

          • Congratulations sir, done a great job in editing or photo shopping whatever you have done…You clearly have not read the posts below have you? I don’t really care mate, if you have gone through that trouble to edit some crap then you are sad because i have no problems with you, i come on this site regularly, you have got my original comment mixed up and now you are accusing me of being childish, imitating ‘Celo’, the boy doesn’t even talk good English, I’m a bit offended to be honest.

  112. Darren…You have it wrong mate, I’m not Celo and my comment was not at you it was at him…He wanted too know why his team was having 25 shots on goal and not getting a lot on target and i was stating the fact that Arsenal play that way, have a lot of possession and shots but a lot of the time come short and this page is instructing how to play like them so he is getting what he came for really and that was my original point…

    Sorry for the mix up.

    • BTW used this tactic a couple of months ago with Arsenal, did the double on my first season, won the Premier league and FA cup the season after, was unbeaten until the 36th game in the Premier league on my second season…Awesome tactic if you have the right players, you definitely get the best out of Van Persie.

  113. It is Cilo

    • There was no editing involved, that is what appears in the admin area…I’m bored of this now so any further comments will be spammed, after that I will contact Johnny and pass the issue over to him. I have read the posts below and the first comment from ‘Pat’ could be taken as either negative or positive, you’re just trying to cover your tracks…its funny how this post only gets a comment on average once a week or fortnight and yet two comments are made within minutes of each other by two separate people both commenting from the same IP address! Drop it before Johnny is contacted as I’m getting annoyed now.

    • Your previous comment was spammed due to foul language and comments that could be seen as offensive too other readers (this is what I meant by spamming your comment, its got nothing to do with your email and for that matter this site has nothing to do with spam appearing there either!) All I can say is that the site tells me you’re writing from the same place as ‘Cilo’, not sure what else you want from me, I can only go by what the site says and have no reason to trick you or anyone else.

      • Darren you are a joke to be honest, I no who i am, and I’m not Clio so you must have some serious issues if you are still banging on about that, you know full well that we are not posting from the same address. I regularly come on this site, posted here before, used this tactic, i made a sarcastic comment to that Clio chap and then you start this vendetta against me? You took my first content way out of context, i have no idea how old you are but you don’t seem right to be honest mate because the way you act is hilarious. But it’s okay i think you are a rude and weird, i won’t be coming back on here again…could you tell me how to stop emails coming threw on my phone every time someone posts?

        • Look mate, you could see clearly from the screenhsot I shared that the site shows you as posting from the same IP address as Clio (again that image is not doctored), I have no vendetta against anyone and I don’t know who you are to call me weird as you most certainly don’t know me and I have not made this personal towards you. All I can do is use the information the site provides me and that is what it said…if the site said you are posting from the same place as Clio what was I meant to assume?? By your continued reaction I am starting to ponder whether there is a problem with the sites tracking of comments and if there is I apologize refusely, the site has never been wrong before when we have called people out for this sort of thing…but lets be honest here, your reaction to the whole thing hasn’t exactly helped, swearing, calling people ‘foreign douches’ and weird (all of which you said in the comment I had to delete) is no way to talk and get people to believe what you trying to say. I will take the higher ground and say sorry if the site was wrong, I was acting on what it told me and maybe that was wrong, we receive bad comments due to the size of the site and they tend to receive a poor response, but again I am sorry if the site was wrong on this occasion but you didn’t have to act in such a manner…all I did was explain what the site was saying and that I do not like readers posting as two people (again, I am wondering if the site is incorrect this time before you say anything) but there was no need to start swearing and been offensive towards people, that crossed the line a little.

          As for the posts coming to your email, the only reason they do that is when you subscribe to the site by entering your email address for future posts, you signed up for that and requested it, it isn’t something that is randomly sent to you. you can unsubscribe to all that in your email.

          P.S. I have looked under your email address and name on the comments and can only find you commenting once before this when you asked for the download to the game…so what name and email address have you commented on before as I want to check this IP address thing to see if the site is wrong with the address its showing me, seeing your previous IP address’ will show that and then I can apologize properly, I am a fair guy and have no problem with saying I’m wrong when I am and offering my apologies.

          • Okay, fair enough i may have got a little aggressive but was frustrated a little as i can assure you i am not that Clio guy.

            I have only posted once on here and that was too get this tactic mate, don’t normally comment, just read the site now and then…If your website says that my IP address is the same as the other guys then that’s not your fault to be honest so i apologize for the way i acted, i do like this site you do a good job, this tactic is also awesome and i was initially trying to correct that Clio with my first comment to him.

            We can just leave it there now, carry on doing what you do best.

          • Just taken a look into the IP address’ and there does seem to be some irregularities, enough to make me far less confident when using that feature in the future anyway. So it would appear I owe you a huge apology. Feel like an ass for accusing you consistently despite your efforts to correct me when you were actually standing up for the tactic as well. All I can do is apologize and just hope this won’t effect your thoughts towards the site and its writers in the future.

          • No worries mate, like i said this Arsenal tactic was awesome for me, got me lot’s of success with them and used aspects of it with other teams so thanks for that. I’ll continue using this site, you guys do a good job, no hard feelings mate.

  114. Hello mate love your tactic,helped me to a 3 promotions on the bounce with afc wimbledon.Just a quick one. what dya reckon on marco reus as an inside forward and retraining kagawa as the advanced playmaker in centre mid! cheers paul

    • Glad its worked for you mate, Reus should work well as inside forward and while Kagawa could do well in the middle I don’t think he’d ever be as good as on the wings.

  115. Cheers mate, in your Malaga story you play a 424 formation . Do you play the same philophsy and style? Cheers

  116. Love you and Johnny’s tactics.

    Are you or johnny working on any other tactics?

  117. I’m playing as Blyth Spartans, in my first season, I’m sitting mid table to far, I’ve scored the most goals in the league but conceded about the same that’s my problem. I’m using this tactic but I’ve tweaked it just a little to make it more suitable for the lower league, the passing is fluid and the goals are flowing but my defence just concedes. Any tips at all? Apart from signing better players haha I have a fairly decent squad for the Blue Square North.



    • TBH Ross, I’d say its a problem with players, maybe not your defense specifically but players in general…you need pace for this tactic to work. My only other recommendation is to switch to this http://www.mediafire.com/?pqu0aera2ipb9zi its modified for the lower leagues…but I still think you have the wrong type of players, or if you have tried implementing the tactic half way through the season (as opposed to pre-season) then that will be the problem.

  118. Hey Darren,

    Just thought I’d give you some feedback as I’ve been using this tactic for a while. It’s proven very successful, I won 7 Premier League titles in a row and a host of other trophy’s, including a Champions League.

    Then something strange happened at the end of last season; I finished 2nd in the league, losing out by a single goal on goal difference, and lost the F.A Cup and Champions League finals! Pure bad luck but I also think the team talks I gave were poor (I’ve since started using your guide to team talks).

    I also noticed during a lot of games, I would have a ton of shots but not always score a great deal. During pre-season I changed the CF to a poacher and it’s worked brilliantly! I’ve scored 93 goals in 28 games in the league alone, with plenty of 5, 6, 7, 8 – nil wins at home, including beating Zenit 10-0 in the Champions League! I’d be clear at the top by some way if it weren’t for the fact both Arsenal and West Ham have great sides and are in great form and I hadn’t just lost a silly game to Liverpool at home 1-2. It helps having two of the best generated forwards in the game to play in the poacher roll (one of them wanted £300,000 a week when I tried to renew his contract!)

    Right, sorry for the long post mate, I did go on a bit of a ramble but thought you might like to know that your tactic is doing wonders for me and I hope it continues to do so :) (I’m also managing France, haven’t lost a game in 2 years with this tactic)

    All the best and I think the next tactic you should try and emulate should be the Spanish ‘play with no strikers’ tactic hahah

    • OK Chip well thanks for the update and I’m glad to hear the tactics been working for you, I too found that switching the striker to poacher worked best.

  119. sweaty people :L

  120. darren this tactic sometimes works for me but its iconsistent, im arsenal and i can only get results at home, but when away i use counter and i get destroyed by teams like wigan and wolves! what would u recommend ?

    • I know Darren would be best at answering this but I find the counter attacking version doesn’t really work for me, I play attacking even when away against the top sides

      • I varies on a number of different things, without knowing your save I can’t offer proper advice but would recommend starting by changing the creative freedom to be more restrictive away from home and change the striker to poacher role.

  121. thankyou for this mate doing amazing with arsenal and the possesion and passing completion is unreal!

  122. [...] I was undefeated. It's a fantastic tactic and give it 5 games, you'll notice a huge difference. Football Manager 2012 best tactic – play like Arsenal To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 20 or greater. You currently [...]

  123. This tactic works great and i really enjoy using it. Could you please tell me if you use any touchline instructions during the team talk?

  124. hi. im using this tactic. can you help me with shouts?

    • Yeah what help do you need?

      • i coaching southampton. when i used this tactic i kept getting 10 to 15 place in championship. how can i get promoted?

        • I’d suggest the problem goes way beyond team talks then, maybe try changing the striker to poacher role, making the creative freedom more normal and look at your squad to see if its good enough. Nine times out of ten your players aren’t right for the tactic when there’s a problem.

          You need pace and good technique.

  125. Hey Darren, first of all, I just wanna say that this tactic is really awesome. I played a club in Singapore where the team was in 6th and finished off 2nd because the team that finished in 1st place was already leading for more than 10 points than the 2nd place when I started but I defeated the team that was in first place 2 – 0 :). Can you make a tactic for Liverpool? I tried it, but it didn’t turn out well with Suarez up front, Craig at the left, Kuyt at the right, Adam, Gerrard, and Lucas at the middle. Enrique, Coates, Agger, and Johnson as defender but they haven’t played really well. Out of 8 games, I have won 3, drew 4, and lost 1. That includes friendly with low league teams like Beijing for example. Is there something wrong that I did or does this tactic really doesn’t fit Liverpool?

  126. This tactic has worked great for me. In most games I play with 4.4.2 similar to the invincibles, but I’ve been using this is more difficult games (against man city or man utd) and tend to get better results. I do change the CM support to a BBM. Thanks for this!

  127. would this work with a target man instead of a complete forward?

  128. Hi Darren, this is a really good tactic mate, really works well. I had a season with Malaga a while back and used this and won me the champions league, it is really good with pacy wingers and a good all round poacher upfront. ;) I’ve been doing my own tactic creations however and really like sticking to this formation but in recent times I’ve found that instead of a 3 man flat line center midfield a man in front of the back four works just as well if not better. check out my tactic – http://footballmanagerstory.com/forum/index.php?topic=1641.0

    Thanks mate and I hope you can read my tactic post :D Also sorry for commenting on this, know it’s ages ago but was just doing some exploring along the site ;)

    • Thanks mate, I personally have toyed with the DMC but it just doesn’t suit me unfortunately. I’m really busy at the moment and that is why I don’t get around the forums too often but I’ll read it at some point.

  129. Do you set ur team to counter attack in the attacking version of this tactic! Leandro damiao works a treat in this tactic If u set him as a poacher and run onto balls! Scored over 100 goals in 2 seasons for me

  130. hi i am starting a new season as liverpool, could i play suarez up front in a trequista role or would you recomend signing another striker and play him as an IF?

  131. Hi i wanted to know is your pre and post interviews really important? I dont think i ever gave a team talk where everyone was happy. For example i signed Podolski and even though he scored 25+ goals for me, he never liked my teamtalks. And for the inside forwards can i play them as Wingers? would it make a diff?

    • There not that important unless you seriously screw them up…obviously saying the wrong thing can damage morale which has a knock on effect….but TBH I always leave those to my assistant as he gets it right 9 times out of 10. As for the inside forwards, you could change them but the tactic would change drastically so I wouldn’t recommend it as this is all tested around two players cutting inside as well as using the wings.

  132. Sorry, can anyone point me in the direction of the link to download the tactic? It isn’t immediately obvious.


  133. Where is the download for the badges and player pictures? P.s I am using this tactic for my Wigan team and am currently 10th after 26 games defying the expectation of finishing 20th.

  134. Cheers. gonna try this formation now. i had a really frustrating 1st season with liverpool finishing 5th. I used a 4-4-2 then 4-1-2-1-2 and could not score. suppose it never helped the fact i only had 1.5mil to spend but gonna give ur tactic a whirl now.

  135. Anyone tried this with Arsenal current squad? Or do you know another “arsenal style tactic” (with the current squad).

  136. thanks this is a brilliant attacking tactic. I would like to know if there are any tweaks to aid in its effectiveness for example i tend to switch between moving the BWN to a DM support role or pushing the AP just behind the striker ive used this to some succes against weak teams in pre-season and i’m wondering wether it would have any adverse effect when i play more decent teams when the season gets underway

Leave a Reply