Nov 092013

FM 2014 Tactics

Updated 19/12/13 to suit patch 14.2 – This post has not been changed, but the changelist for the updated tactic can be found near the bottom of this post, just before the download link. Minor tweaks and enhancements have been made so this will be just as effective with the new patch.

Hey guys and welcome to my latest Football Manager 2014 best tactic. Based around the flat 4-5-1, I wanted to design a system stable at the back and strong enough going forward. Like many, I was sick and tired of playing great Football, just to lose 1-0 against a team bottom of the table due to an own goal, which turned out to be there only chance in the entire match.

We’ve all been there and we can accept that once or twice a season, but for me, FM 2014 has seen this happening far too often while using free flowing tactics. That is what inspired my new Football Manager 2014 tactic. This system is all about results, yes I have built in settings and roles to create some pretty passing moves and ball retention, but you won’t truly dominate and play beautiful Football until you have great players and they have played the tactic for while, maybe half a season or more. This is all about keeping a clean sheet and leaving your team with a chance to win matches, as opposed to chasing a big scoreline just to lose by a frustrating margin.

It’s also worth mentioning that suitable teams for this tactic would be top half contenders and above, I would not recommend this tactic for a team that could potentially struggle and not even challenge the top 6 in any division. I tested this best FM 2014 tactic with Tottenham to great success, so have based my research around the north London club and their players.

Football Manager 2014 best tactic: formation

fm14 tactic, 4-5-1, formation

I originally wanted this tactic with the two wingers pushed up, but that caused too many upsets, which pissed me off. :) So I now have a flat five in midfield, the two wingers maraud forward but their starting position makes defending much more unified and forces them to work harder. Due to the striker been all alone I felt it vital he drop deep and drag the centre backs with him, that leaves room for the B2B midfielder and advanced playmaker to attack and work the space.

The instructions are very simple as always, but let me explain the important ones and any that need changing on a game to game basis.

  • Fluid philosophy helps counter attack the negative formation slightly, giving the players more freedom to get involved in different phases of play.
  • IMPORTANT! The strategy must be changed on a game to game basis for my Football Manager 2014 best tactic. If at home to a side you expect to beat use the control strategy. However, if you are at home to a side in great form or that you think could pose a threat, use counter strategy. And when away always use counter…I can’t stress how much difference it makes to get this right and it could vary marginally from team to team so you’ll have to be prepared to adapt in your own game.
  • I like my sides to press and hassle their opponents off the ball, hence that setting.
  • We have high tempo and shorter passing to retain the ball and zip it around the park, I often find its that or direct Football and this tactic definitely suits a shorter passing game.
  • I wanted my players to run at the defence and look for the overlap as this can convert a boring stable formation into something more extravagant when in possession.
  • I selected work ball into box for one reason, because this formation can lead to long range shooting, which is a waste of possession, its a common problem for any tactician to overcome in this years game. Please note this doesn’t completely stop long shots, so I have set all the players in attacking positions to ‘shoot less often’. This tactic naturally baits them into shooting anyway, so don’t be worried if you see that happening, your team will need time to adapt and as long as results are coming its working.
  • IMPORTANT! Out of place but match preperation during the season is important. If against a team you expect to beat then always prepare attacking movement, if against a tough opponent away and I mean tough, then use defensive positioning. If against a tough opponent at home let your form do the deciding, playing well then attacking, playing not so good then defensive.

Football Manager 2014 best tactic: roles

GK – goalkeeper, defend: No special requirements as the defensive line isn’t too high in this system, but you’ll still need a good keeper.

DR/DL – full back, support: These guys need to primarily defend but also get forward in support of the wingers. If the wingers cut inside for any reason the full backs tend to hover in line on the flanks to add a further passing option. You’ll want reasonable pace and acceleration, with good crossing and work rate. Here’s the key attributes.

DC - central defender, defend: Due to there been no DMC it helps to have aerial ability, so jumping and heading are required. The usual defensive attributes are needed and I also quite like defenders that don’t move like snails, but I wouldn’t say slow defenders are a deal breaker. Here’s the key attributes.

MR/ML – winger, attack: Due to there been only one striker and this system using short passing, you don’t have to have traditional wingers that hug the touchline. You could have someone who prefers to plays the attacking midfield position with inside forward role and train him in this position. If you have a traditional winger he’ll hug the line and often keep possession by passing infield or to the supporting full back. If you have a player that likes the inside forward role he’ll naturally cut inside and attack through the middle, which is what Lamela did for me. Either way pace, acceleration, dribbling, flair and the usual attributes for being creative will help. Key attributes for the role are here. But remember it depends on what type of player you want, just picture the options as a normal winger, or deep lying inside forward, both will work.

MCR – ball winning midfielder, defend: This guy tends to drop deeper than the other two MC’s, cleaning up and winning back possession. Tackling, marking, passing and work rate are good to have, but the more rounded he is the better. The general attributes required are here.

MC – advanced playmaker, attack: Now we have the spark, the man to make everything tick. This guy not only needs great creativity and general passing attributes, but he must be able to carry the ball. Due to the space in front of him, its vital that he dribble and attack the opposition. your playmaker will also get into shooting positions so long range shots and finishing can help, but not vital. I would recommend someone with pace and acceleration. The general attributes required are here.

MCL – box to box midfielder, support: As mentioned, this formation leaves lots of space to exploit in the middle, so we use this guy to carry the ball forward and make late bursts into the box for link up play. He will also do his bit defensively so the B2B midfielder should be your most versatile midfielder. I would really recommend some good physical attributes and again he does have the opportunity to shoot from range. The general attributes required are here.

ST – false nine, support: This guys is all on his own up top, he does drop off the defenders and link up play, so passing and technique are helpful. But he also needs to create his own chances so pace, acceleration, dribbling and creativity are very helpful. Like any forward he needs to be composed and finish, but also remember he’ll naturally be inclined to shoot from range despite the setting asking him not too, so the better his ability in this area the more screamers he’ll score. Due to dropping off and having to create room off the ball movement is vital. In general, this guy will manage a goal every other game or less and may not perform overly well, its a shame but makes the tactic work and is a good sacrifice to make for the sake of results. Please note all strikers will take a while before coming into form with this role and tactic, give it time. Here are the attributes a traditional false nine requires.

Football Manager 2014 best tactic: in action

This tactic holds a very good line and packs out your half of the pitch. As you can see below, almost every area of the pitch is covered and you can be very hard to break down. All your outfield players bar the false nine turn their thoughts to defence once the ball is lost, they fight as a unit to win it back. In the scenario below Man City were left with little choice but to pass down the right flank in order to move forward.

fm14 tactic, 4-5-1, defensive movement

Once that pass had been made, Navas was left stranded out wide to take on our full back. While the rest of my players had crowded our penalty area to mark. The two players nearest possession were primed to intercept any attempt the winger made at getting past my full back.

fm14 tactic, 4-5-1, defensive movement 2

Navas lost possession and we instantly launched a counter attack, in which all our attacking players got involved as a unit (this is what I call the transition phase.) As seen below we have the AP, B2B, full backs and both wingers flying forward, while the F9 is ready to receive the ball already out of this screenshot.

fm14 tactic, 4-5-1, transition

After passing to our ML who then dribbled the ball forward possession ended up with Eriksen (my AP.) Both the B2B and winger carried on their runs through the centre and down the flank, this drew the full back and a centre back out of position. The false nine had already dropped deep and this left City’s other centre back with a problem, when Soldado decided to turn and run through the middle the centre back followed which created a giant hole to be exploited by Eriksen as shown by the dotted line below.

As mentioned, this tactic is all about movement, on the face its very boring, with boring positions and roles, but its the players movement and exploitation of space that brings it all to life.

fm14 tactic, 4-5-1, attack, F9 movement loses defence

That is just one example of many great moves I witnessed with Spur’s, but below are some more, watch this short video to understand the movement and passing a little better.

My team didn’t start out this slick, believe me. It took a matter of months but eventually we played some really nice free flowing Football and for those games where it just didn’t happen, we still grinded out results…but you can see that below.

Results and key players

I’m sure its obvious by now, but I tested my Football Manager 2014 best tactic with Spur’s. I enjoyed great success, not always perfect Football, but almost always what I saw as the right result, which is what this tactic was created to achieve. Lets see how I got on.

Premier League table

fm14 tactic, 4-5-1, EPL table

FA Cup

fm14 tactic, 4-5-1, FA cup results

League Cup

fm14 tactic, 4-5-1, league cup results

Europa League

fm14 tactic, 4-5-1, europa league results

Key players

Roberto Soldado (ST) – 45 starts / 28 goals / 7.01 av. rating

Younes Kaboul (DC) – 42 starts / 6 goals / 3 assists / 7.43 av. rating

Nacer Chadli (ML) – 42 starts / 9 goals / 17 assists / 7.05 av. rating

Christian Eriksen (MC, adv. playmaker) – 39 starts / 10 goals / 15 assists / 6.99 av. rating

Mousa Dembele (MC, B2B midfielder) – 31 starts / 13 goals / 6 assists / 7.05 av. rating

As you can see, average ratings aren’t always going to be high, so don’t judge this tactic on the performance of individuals, judge it on the results gained as a team. The ratings will improve as your players get better and well adjusted to the system, I have enjoyed some wonderful performances with my Newcastle team in the third season.

Important notes

An advance apology, no one likes the “its not my fault if this tactic doesn’t work because…” bit, but I want to make sure you all know how to use and prepare it, so please read the notes below.

  • Patch 14.1.3 tactic - This tactic was created and tested using patch 14.1.3, the game is well established now so I doubt any future patches would prevent it working, but then again I don’t know what SI might change in the future…safe to say it should work though.
  • Poor preperation, blah, blah - Ever heard the saying ‘poor preparation equals piss poor performance’? Well its true, if you don’t prepare this tactic throughout pre-season don’t expect an instant impact, even then it still takes time into the season before your players will perform.
  • Opposition instructions – Always ask your assistant to set the ‘opposition instructions’, they usually know best and with none set you stand little chance.
  • Team talks must be taken correctly in accordance with the opponents ability and current form. Get a great assistant with good motivation and ask him to do the team talks if not experienced.
  • Does it work in other countries – I have only tested this tactic in England, but had Johnny test it in Italy and he seemed happy with the results.
  • Player selection – You must have the correct players to use this system, if you don’t, do not waste your time. lots of pace and acceleration across the entire midfield will improve your counter attacks no end. While the striker is asked to shoot less often, good long range shooting will help his goals tally etc, etc.
  • Pick correct roles – Pick the right players for the right roles, if you don’t this tactic will not work at all…as is the same with any system.
  • Training and match prep – The myth of training and match preperation being appropriate to specific tactics is bollocks, they are not related. Of course a possession orientated tactic needs good ball control and you can train in that area, but that only sets to train your players attributes in that area, not make them better in the tactic, it helps marginally indirectly, but they are not directly linked at all. Having said that, like with any tactic, you should do pre-season with match prep as ‘tactic only’ and training as ‘team cohesion’ and a bit of ‘fitness’ before changing to balanced once the season is underway. Intensity is set to high during pre-season and average once the season is underway. Your match prep should be as I have already mentioned in the formation and instructions section of this post.
  • Pitch size makes such a small difference I wouldn’t waste your time on it.
  • Shouts in the match aren’t needed, unless to combat certain formations or your teams bad performance. Like ‘retain possession’ when required or taken the lead and ‘get stuck in’ if your boys look like fairy’s. I purposely didn’t use them while testing and the season turned out OK.

14.2 Tactic Changelist

As mentioned at the top of this post, I have adjusted and tweaked this tactic to suit the most recent patch, 14.2. Below are all the changes made to suit the new patch, while almost all the information above still applies in using this tactic, just note that the counter strategy is best to use in general.

  • Team instructions – Taken off ‘work ball into box’ and replaced it with ‘pass into space’.
  • Both DC’s have ‘mark tighter’ player instruction.
  • MR and ML have player instructions of ‘more direct passes’ and ‘get further forward’ instead of ‘shoot less often’.
  • MC has player instruction of ‘more direct passes’.
  • MCL has player instructions player instructions ‘shoot less often’ and ‘dribble more’ taken off.
  • ST now has a new player instruction of ‘more direct passes’.

The download below is for the new revised tactic.

FM 2014 tactic download for patch 14.2 and beyond

If you like what you see, then just click the download image below and download the file from mediafire. Then follow the instructions.

FM 2014 Download

  1. Once download is complete, move the file to the following folder documents>sports interactive>football manager 2014>tactics
  2. Now load the game as normal and enter the tactics screen.
  3. Click the button to add a tactic and look in ‘archived tactics’, then select ‘Darren’s untouchable 4-5-1 ver14.2′.

Well that is my Football Manager 2014 best tactic. I hope it works for you as well as it has for me, until next time thanks for reading and please do share this post on Facebook and Twitter…sharing our site will help us grow and I’d really appreciate it.

  359 Responses to “Football Manager 2014 Best Tactic: Untouchable 4-5-1 ver14.2”

  1. Great tactic to use on my Southampton save I`ll compare it to my on tactic with if and dlp.(4-5-1).

    • Hope it will work for you, word of warning though, read the post carefully before using as it will make a big difference.

    • I just finished 3rd in the first season with Southampton using this tactic – easily the best I’ve used in FM 14 so far. Retrain Ramirez as the false 9 up front and Luke shaw as a left winger and you’ve got one of the most solid but free flowing teams I’ve played with. It really is sublime to watch them grind out win after win.

  2. hi. Darren why You think is the best tactic for fm14… maybe we wait few mor weeks :-)

    • At which point within the post did I say its the best tactic for FM14? I said its my best tactic yes, which it is so far. The title is so to be search engine friendly…I assume you haven’t even tried it yet…so not sure what the point is in commenting.

      • Darren, what an ass of a reply.

        • I disagree, I think you may be misreading the readers comment, which was provocative and got the same level of response. I don’t appreciate sarcy comments when I’ve put the effort in to help people.

          Out of interest, why do you think its OK for a reader to be sarcy like that and try to make the writer out to be claiming something he isn’t, but then not OK for a writer to merely set the record straight? Sure I could have been more polite, but I don’t see why I should when someone approaches me like that. Let me put it this way, if you’d done a 1000 word plus post alongside a 2000 worded guide and pumped tonnes of effort into it, how would you respond to that comment? How would it make you feel? Baring in mind the post wasn’t out long enough before the comment for him to have even tried what was been written about…that was not a productive comment, it was one to cause trouble and we stamp that out straight away around here.

  3. Looks a great tactic Darren. I’m having incredible results in my recent save with wide midfielders in a flat midfield instead of wingers further up the pitch. Seems to offer much more defensive stabilty and doesn’t appear to hinder their attacking prowess.

    • That’s certainly what I found too, the advanced wingers just seemed to lead us into dodgy results.

      • So you have changed the wingers to WideMidfielders? The tactic loads them as Wingers, so im a bit in doubt what to do with them? :)

        Im currently playing with a bottom team, fighting for survival this season :)

        • No I never changed them, where did you get that from? Btw thats not me been awkward or shirty, its a genuine question to make sure something I have written isn’t misleading. :)

          • Wint11 just wrote he used widemidfielders in stead of wingers, and looked like you agreed with him, so was just curious.

            P.S I will never read you as awkward or shitty mate, just ignore those others who is flaming with no reason at all. I really enjoy your tactics and contribution to this game, and have done so for a long time. Keep it up :)

          • Sorry for the confusion Vader. My point is actually quite hard to make. I wrote and re-wrote that sentence many times! What I meant, and what Darren agreed with, was using players in the RM/LM postions instead of the RW/LW positions. Their role is still winger, not wide-midfielder. Sorry for causing any confusion… This has probably just made it worse!

          • I understand, yes we agreed that MR and ML are definitely better used than previous versions of the tactic, bit confusing looking in from the outside.

  4. Great post Darren, really interesting to see the tactic in action. I’m using a very similar 4-5-1 at the moment, except with a deep lying playmaker (Defend) and a poacher up top, with great effect. Great defensively but still packs a punch up front. Really cant recommend a flat midfield 5 enough.

  5. it is suitable for Arsenal ?

    • Yes it would be suitable for Arsenal, as it would for most teams with such great players. Because the wingers can either be a traditional winger or more of an inside forward it isn’t too limited like this formation can be sometimes.

  6. You don’t see a flat midfield 5 very often but this tactic you’ve come up with certainly demonstrates it’s worth with a very impressive season. Great job!

    • That’s true Kevin, you don’t. I have tried tonnes of different formations, the majority were written off straight away while a few were tested over 5-10 games but all felt too inconsistent. Then I finally landed on this and have tested it over two full seasons in separate games and had two other people do the same…due to its defending and fine margins getting a result I wanted to make sure it worked, hopefully it will for others too.

  7. Pretty much tested this all night haha with Newcastle and I only have one word… Brilliant! I do have a pretty good team but it just worked wonders, we must have won 15 games in 15, great work mate.

    You say to only use this with a top side so have you found anything to use for lesser sides or is that next on the agenda? ;)

    • Good to know its worked for you Gaurav…TBH I haven’t tested this with a lesser side, when I say lesser side I mean a team that would be an underdog in their respective leagues, ie relegation candidate. I just assume that due to the tight margins involved in this systems results it could esily be a struggle with a team that can’t control any of their fixtures.

      TBH I don’t have any ambitions to create a tactic for an underdog, but I think Johnny’s tactic which is coming soon will be worth reading about.

  8. cant import file…. why`?

  9. I need a advice: look at my squad (Premier league squad depth):

    My problem is that my best players are AMC, AML and AMR… can i put them up to AML and AMR? if so what instruction?

    Please help :)

    • As mentioned in the post I too had players that were best in the AM positions, but I just used them in the drawn back positions of this tactic and they worked fine. If you push those players up this tactic won’t work. Just play them in the positions and train them to adapt. The post explains that this worked for me.

  10. If you are going to play this tactic with a counter attacking mentality is it still best to play a short passing game or would a more direct approach be better? Or just not giving passing instructions at all? Cheers

    • I didn’t mention anything other than changing the strategy in the post, that’s what works best for me, I just change the strategy, I don’t touch any other settings. In my opinion there is a misconception that counter attacking Football has to be direct, it doesn’t…every player flies forward on the counter and they can pass between them, it doesn’t just have to be a long clearance to the flanks etc. This tactic is already set to run at defence and high tempo which should help with the short passing.

      • Thank you very much for the humble response, Darren :-)

        • Sarcasm? I guess I won’t offer any help next time if that’s the case. From how I read my comment I simply gave you your answer and then explained the answer in more detail and how I came to the conclusion, really can’t see what was wrong with it. Unless you’re reading something between the lines there…or of course anyone with an opinion is then somehow seen as not been humble?

          • Hi, I’m ten games into the season and struggling with Chelsea! Would it be wise to change to this now? Thanks!

          • If you are struggling anyway then its certainly worth a crack. The ideal preparation to any tactic is throughout pre-season, but if things aren’t going to plan then you need to make a switch and this tactic is stable so should be better than most at been thrown into a season without preparation.

  11. Currently trying this with Arsenal I lost against Spurs away 2-1 and i am out of the CL because i didnt qualifyed against PSV. also draw 0-0 at home against West Ham, beeing manager of Arsenal is a pain in the arse because i cannot find a tactic which allows me to win games…

    • I will keep you updated Darren, i just want to give you credits

      • I am struggeling atm, i am playing with Cazorla on the left and with Ozil on the right, first i played Ozil as the most advanced midfielder but he is very limited when it comes to defending so i have just played Wilshere in that position and played Ozil on the right.

        • And i am fired

          • Hi darren,

            I have just played 7 matches with Arsenal, but already conceded 12 goals, is there any possibility that there is a tactic which could work with Arsenal? I am already fired, so cannot change anything

          • I don’t think its Arsenal or the tactics that are the problem, you’ve tried far too many tactics without success when so many others have enjoyed them…there must be something else you are doing wrong somewhere, whether its the preparation of the tactic, your player selection, something isn’t right. For example send me this Arsenal save to download and I’ll see if I have more luck.

          • Hi Darren,

            I know alot of people are enjoying, and i also want to give you credit for this tactic.

            I can show you how i am playing atm.

            I have tried this tactic already in pre-season. (So its not based on that i have already tried a few tactics.

            GK Sczech
            RB Sagna
            CB Mertesacker
            CB Koscielny
            LB Gibbs
            RM Ozil (the same in the tactic you posted)
            CM Bender as the destroyer
            AM Wilshere advanced playmaker just as your tactic
            CM Ramsey (Dynamic midfielder)
            LM Cazorla just as your tactic
            False 9 Giroud

          • But that doesn’t tell me anything other than your team which I could have guessed anyway, there’s so much to this game you may not be doing right. Also, are you playing Wilshere at AMC? If so I can’t really offer advice not knowing what you are doing in game and also based on a tactic that isn’t mine.

          • Hi Darren,

            I am playing Wilshere in the place you are playing Eriksen

          • OK, have you done everything you usually would before the season begins to set yourself up? If so please upload the save game file somewhere for me to download and I will take a look and see if I can’t spot things you are or aren’t doing.

          • Hi Darren,

            Thanks for your help, I will try a new game, and will have a closely look what i am doing wrong, maby its a small details, will read the instructions very clearly again, and i will let you know!

          • You don’t understand, I am trying to explain this game goes way beyond the instructions you will have for any tactic, if you are struggling with all these tactics then it must be something more than just that, unless we can see your game we cannot say what the problem is.

      • Hi Darren,

        Opposition instructions – Always ask your assistant to set the ‘opposition instructions’, they usually know best and with none set you stand little chance.

        I cannot find this in my game, i could be really stupid though.

        • If you are not setting opposition instructions then this could well be the problem as its a major part of winning matches. Every match you will be taken to a few screens, after clicking ‘submit team’ you will then see the formations, from there click ‘continue to pre-match analysis’, then click ‘continue to opposition instructions’, now in this screen you must click the ‘ask advice’ drop down button and select your assistant manager or best coach tactically. After doing so some stars should appear next to some of the opposition players names, this means they now have instruction set again them so your team know how to handle their threat better.

          • You can also change it in the staff responsibilities and he will do it every game, only your ass man can be selected though which is a pain when you have a coach with 20 tac knowledge (which i assume is the main factor)

  12. Well, did not trust it at first.. but I must say the approach works very well.. guess the key word is consistent results..only lost 1 game in 10 matches. I used your tactic as a base to create something more appropriate for my team.. in this years FM there are no Plug and Play tactics.. unless u have a Top Squad with flexible players.

    So here is what I did for my team: I dropped in CM to a Anchor Man (D) so it’s now a 4-1-4-1 with the AM and BBM in the middle.. the reason for this is that most of the opponents use an AM near their lone Striker.. so with the Anchor Man I can do Man Mark on their key playmaker without affecting shape and really destroy their creative force…. Since I don’t have Striker who would be good as a F9 I’m using a DLF(s). Other than that use same instructions, with minor tweaks depending on opponent.. for example I’m using a WM instead of W on left or right.. my wings and AM are scoring and assisting like crazy..

    It works like a charm if you slightly adapt to your current players, at least this is what worked for me, so thanks for this really good tactic.


    • Well glad it is working. TBH I don’t have players to suit most of these roles bar two or three myself but I know they can be at least effective, that is why I created it this way, so it can suit most scenarios. You should be able to get good results with most types of teams due to the flexibility of the positions (ie the wingers can be inside forward type players or natural wingers.) But for the full effect tweaking the tactic is best if you know what you are doing, which you obviously do. Hope the results keep coming.

  13. Great tactic this :)

    2 questions:

    1. When you play away and are huge favourites (like 1.10 – 1.40 pre match odds) what do you do? I normaly let my assistant do this, but ending up with draws almost always. Any tips :)?

    2. I have two really great DMC-s who have best position as anchor man. is it possible to put either the BWM or Box to box midtfielder down to the dmc position? Or would that destroy the tactic? Just wonder :)

    • For the first question, I was going to say I use control strategy, but not sure what you want me to answer there, what are you referring too when you say ‘what do I do’?

      You could move one of those down to DMC, but it would no longer be my tactic so I can’t tell you whether it would work or not.

  14. Seems like these tests is always shown with Top or sub Top teams, which imo doesnt really show much because of the high quality in the team. My point being that they usually play well in all formations/tactics with just a hint of sensability. Many maybe play these teams, which is why they might be on point, but I would like to see a tactic, or version of this for underdog teams. You know, the team that really fight for relegation.

    Im not looking for a tactic that makes me champion with such a team, but I would like to see a tactic which one can use, and get a good result in the mid table area.

    Anyway, love your tactics Darren, and looking forward to your next contribution to this great game :)

    Best regards

    • Got to disagree a bit there Vader, this year I don’t think any tactic will work just because you manage a good team….I have been testing furiously for the last few weeks and only found one tactic that I feel can provide consistent performances and results over a long term period with teams like Spur’s, who are predicted 5th at the start I believe. Could be my daftly high expectations for a tactic but this is the only one that has been acceptable out of lots and lots. I completely get what you are saying, of course its far easier to get top spot with a tactic if you’re Spur’s, but when making this tactic I wanted one that could get the reader winning trophies, so as you rightly mentioned testing with Spur’s was on point in this case.

      As Johnny mentioned he made one with Aston Villa, who are definitely an underdog and that was for attractive Football. We will test all sorts of tactics I’m sure but in all honesty the main reason we’ll pick someone like Spur’s is for their spread of versatility within the team…any tactic is destined to fail without the right players and smaller teams have less variety of player to test with.

      On a final note, I’d maybe try this tactic with an underdog, it may work, I was been very negative in the beginning saying it wouldn’t to avoid an influx of ‘this doesn’t work with Crappy United’ etc. I am not 100% certain as I haven’t tested it of course, but if not Johnny’s will be an option.

      Who knows, if I can muster the energy to start testing again soon I may look into a lesser team, but my style tends to point more towards the top half teams and its always best to make tactics for the teams you like managing…but as I said, I’ll see what I can do.

      • Thanks guys, for taking your time to explain, and for being part of this great community. I definite see what you mean Darren. I just have a soft spot for those teams who doesnt have the capital or players to do what the top half can do, and work my way up, so I would love to see what you can offer if you get the time.

        I would also like to say that I dont sit on my a** and wait for the good stuff, im testing and testing my self, and will post it here if I findt anything good :)

        P.S I will test both tacs with a lesser team and get back to you with results…

  15. awesome tactic, works great, i have used you tactics before, they are all great.. the things is, the player i have arent so familiard with so low position, especial gaston ramirez, i dont wanna lose him so i was wondering if you will ever do a 4-2-3-1 with the ofenssive midlefilders? thanks

    i’m portuguese, sorry if a write something wrong

  16. Hi Darren,
    First of all I want to say that this is an awesome tactic and even with teams that are in the 3rd Division in Portugal for exemple… I’ve tested in 3rd, 2nd and 1rst Division in Portugal and went very well!
    So great post and congratulations. This one is a work of art! It is not always easy to create such a tactic!

    By the way, the tactic did not worked in with the previous version, I dont know why…

    Thank you very much Darren!

  17. Hi.. how about you setting up with your players instruction??

  18. My Central defenders gets 5.2 – 5.8 almost every game, but they have really good stats. If i am huge favourite home, i can have 25-5 in shots and loose 1-0… any tips?

    • All the tips are in the post TBH, all I’d ask is have you read it properly? I know some who haven’t and later realized they weren’t doing certain aspects correctly.

  19. Would this tactic work well with Liverpool or Newcastle? Thanks :)

  20. did you tweak this tactic?if you did can you upload it..thanks

  21. Wow – what a find! I googled “Fm2014 set up if clear underdog” and found this page :) The transformation is pretty immediate. Suddenly my players are getting high 7′s or low 8′s in rating and remarks like “dominating the midfield” or “having an excellent game”. I’m still leaking goals but then.. oh I haven’t mentioned.. I’m managing Chesterfield FC haha – so it’s most likely their quality and need some more time to hone the particular skills as best they can. Anyway, thank you for submitting!

    • Glad its working for you Scott, I actually found that some players got quite poor av. ratings but we still notched up results, but if you have the right players for the right roles then they will get better ratings as you seem to be experiencing, hope it continues.

      • Continuing to have success with Chesterfield. They’re promotion contenders in L2 so it fits the opening criteria. But also having success against L1 clubs and top L2 teams in league/cup. High ratings still as well: 6.8 to 8.0.

        However, tried this tactic with Roma after after a dodgy start and despite a couple good games and similar good ratings, they’re still crap. They don’t seem to respect me!

        No one else seems to have that trouble suddenly starting as an unknown managing a top team, so it’s probably me and I’ll just stick to Chesterfield!

  22. In the short time I have used this tactic, I can unequivocally state that it works reasonably well for an underdog team.

    I was struggling in the Premier League with Shrewsbury and it certainly helped limit the amount of goals I conceded and even gained me a few credible draws and one or two decent wins.

    I truly believe that if I get back to the Premier League, this is the tactic that could grant me survival at the fifth time of asking (provided I can buy in two or three top quality players). It really is that good.

    As for the start to life in the Championship following my relegation, it’s gone down a treat. Putting aside a disappointing 1-1 away to a 24th-placed Huddersfield, I have won every game (albeit I am only about a month in).

    Congratulations on a solid tactic, Sir!

  23. Great tactic I’m using it with wigan and its got me promotion and im now sitting nicely in 8th in prem in my 1st season in prem

  24. Firstly, thanks Darren, I have been struggling to find a formation that did not want to make me rage quit after 5 games and this is it, playing as Arsenal for the 3rd time and they are starting to do well, I am not one that minds losing games etc but it was getting silly, now going into games with confidence that I will not let a 3 goal lead slip in the last 10 mins!
    Also, for those that are having trouble with strikers – I feel your pain, for my Arsenal side in this and other attempts I have signed Lewandowski who had been extremely average in previous saves but up top in this formation with the False9 instruction he is a beast, worth considering if people are playing as a bigger side advised at the top of the page
    Thanks again, great work

  25. We we got a player sent off, what sould we do? how much percentage of match prep do you use? And what about rest before and after games? Thanks!

    • *when

      • The sending off depends completely on who walked TBH, but use the rule you want to have four at the back and four across midfield in that scenario. I had the mix as one notch towards match prep from the middle and I rest after the match but not before.

        • So you use 20% of especific training in match preparation right? And what about individual training? Thanks.

          • Sorry you’ve lost me there, in the training where there is a slider for more match preparation I have it slightly pulled past the halfway mark towards more match prep. Individual training is completely your choice, that is for the player not the tactic, but I try to train in whatever I feel they are weakest or relevant to a role or position I want them to learn.

          • Ok thanks! Do you think it’s good idea do let staff take control of individual training?

          • I haven’t tried that yet, if you can afford the time its better done yourself IMO.

  26. WOW…..just wow. What a tactic!!!!!!!!! Darren you are a tactics god sent from heaven!!

    I was bottom of table 10 points from safety, 10 games left and I used your tactic instead of my rigid defensive 4-1-4-1.

    what a change! now i just scored 15 goals in 6 games, 4wins from 6 games for the little old yeovil. wow

  27. hey im a beginner here and im not able to attend any matches.. the match just skipped and the final score is displayed..any way to change this?

  28. Thank you for the tactic, its helping me a lot …. I do have a wee problem which I am not sure if I can address but playing with Ipswich I have conceded 5 penalties in the last 6 games. It may just be a coincidence but it its cost me points on every occasion.

    cheers Dave

    • I haven’t really noticed such a problem, all you can do is narrow down who is giving away the penalties and ask them to not go so hard into tackles in their player instructions I guess.

  29. This is a very interesting formation indeed. I’m almost finished pre-season with Arsenal and it’s nowhere near fluid yet, but I’m determined not to be my fickle self and stick it out to give it a proper test.

    As an aside, for everyone that is desperately seeking the FM holy grail of a 4-2-3-1, I suggest you give this a go. Consult the positional heat map and you’ll see the player roles make this essentially a 4-2-3-1 in practice in games where you dominate. It has for me so far anyway. As the writer Jonathan Wilson says, formations are essentially neutral. This year’s FM tactics really allows the manager and the players to create shapes on the pitch rather than the tactics board.

    • Very interesting you should say that, I have actually started composing a guide to player movement and its all based around what you are saying there, pretty much to the tee…should be published in the next week.

  30. darren could you give me a good tactic for southampton!its too hard to manage…

  31. did you use this tactic all in all of the matches?

  32. The worst tactic i have ever used, hope this isn’t your day job

    • So I guess the thousands that shared this through social media are idiots and the many that have told me stories of their success are too and I am considering I have enjoyed success in every single save. I tend to listen to the majority, not the minority. You can make any tactic look bad with poor management and lack of knowledge for how to use it.

      But at the end of the day, just don’t use it if you don’t like it, simple.

  33. I read some of your comments,and i have only 1 thing to say!
    THIS THE BEST TACTIC IN THE WEB!!!Thank you so much Darren!
    You made me understand the game much better.
    Really you should charge this one… ;)

  34. Want use this tactic as celtic but just wondering about Tom Rogic? He is only an AMC but I’m assuming can be trained as a CM or ST as he is yellow for CM and olive green for ST?

    What do you recommend, training him up in another position or playing with an AMC as ADV PLYM….


    • I would never change the positions, always make the player adapt. Whether you push him forward to ST or back to MC will be your choice though based on what players you already have.

  35. Hi Darren , what do you think the best formation for arsenal is ?

    • I don’t know, because I have never tried to create a tactic for them in FM14. No team has a best formation though, of course they have players that have preferred positions but its the tactic as a whole that matters. Just the shape the players are in is irrelevant as the roles and instructions transform the tactic and what roles and instructions you need to use may dictate the formation you use. It goes in round-a-bouts so there isn’t a right answer to the question is what I’m trying to say I guess.

  36. In previous years I have basically rejected any tactic that isn’t a 4-2-3-1 as soon as I see the picture of the formation. But as yourself and many have stated it just isn’t a balanced enough tactic in this years iteration of the game. I found this tactic to have most of the benefits with the standard 4-2-3-1 used to have. So, as with everything related to this site, great work!

    Do you believe the 14.1.4 update caused any disturbances with the tactic? If so, will you be updating it?

    Once again, great work!


    • Well I haven’t been able to test the tactic in 14.1.4 enough to know for sure, but seeing the list of changes I can’t see there being any issues, nothing mentioned should effect the tactic in a negative way.

  37. Been using this tactic on my Dagenham & Redbridge game. Started off with a couple of dodgy results while the team was adapting but after the first 5 or so games the team really picked up and started winning the majority of my games taking me to top of the league. Hit a bad patch of form after that and lost 4 in a row and went a while without a win. Stuck with it and the team are playing better again, 6 games left in the season and I’m 3 points of automatic promotion. The problem I’m having at the moment is that the team aren’t creating chances. They tend to have 55-65% of the possession (unless the opponents are particularly strong) but they only ever tend to create 5 or 6 chances with 1 or 2 on target (unless the opponents are particularly weak). I’ve tried changing the instructions for the wingers and striker to shoot less often but this didn’t work. Tried pushing the wingers forward but they didn’t really create any extra chances and as you state it effects the defensive side of the team too much. Also tried turning off the work ball into the box option which didn’t work. Then tried replacing it with shoot on sight which also didn’t work. Any ideas for what I could try to get some extra chances created?

    Also wanted to add, getting a fair few goals from corners at the near post.

    • TBH your media prediction is just 15th so I’d say that you are performing as I’d expect. You are in theory not one of the favourites and in the lower leagues this can lead to lack of chances created. I’m afraid the only way to sort that is to find better players for the attacking positions. Maybe also try using the counter strategy more often.

      • Just tried a couple of games using counter and got a couple of wins and a draw away at top of the league.

        I’ve got League 1 quality players with Murphy up front and Hines on the right and Bingham who is playing the advanced playmaker role is top of the assists charts for the League.

        • When player quality is ruled out it only leaves player suitability for the role you play them in and also if you signed too many players at once, hence the team can’t settle.

          • To be honest that probably is the issue. Had about 5 injuries and my centre backs just love getting sent off so I had to bring in quite a few loans.

          • Yeah it can be tough to dim down expectations when you look at your key stars, but we all have to account for injuries and bad luck unfortunately.

          • Also forgot to mention, getting some really solid defensive performances in the team. Lost a couple of games 4-0 in a row when we had the bad patch but still have the joint best defense in the league and went 5 games without conceding at one point.

  38. Worked with my Rijeka.. with a little bit of change… (4-4-1-1)

  39. Good tactic but effectiveness can vary from team to team depending on their strengths and weeknesses

  40. Hey, i tried this tactic after I had very bad results with Southampton at middle of last season.After I tried it i finished 6th which is very good.This season I bought better players for this tactic but this time it isnt working.Now im 9th and close to get sacked :(.I dont know where is the problem.BTW can you recomend me something for match preparation ? Thanks in advance

    • Match prep is mentioned in the post, please find it there and as for the issue I think there’s a chance you may be playing too many of the new recruits at the same time before they’ve settled. Or you got lucky last season and maybe are missing a tip or two from the post above like match prep which you’ve asked about?

      • Thanks for the quick answer, Darren.My match preparation is: pre-season General training on Main focus is team cohesion on very high intesity level and after few first games i set it to balance on average intensity level.Match training – teamwork.Now after last season which i nearly got sacked I’m challenging for CL which is very good.I also beat Chelsea 4:0 but problem is my team struggles against small teams, and there is lot of matches like this – I hope this season i will manage to qualify for CL and next season i will buy 2-3 world class players and attack PRM :D

  41. Great tactic, I have tried 30 different tactics created by myself and downloaded and this has to be the best one I’ve found, great work!!! And everyone who is moaning, work on other factors such match preparation and team morale.

    • Thanks Dan, glad you enjoyed it. Generally people prefer to comment when they don’t like something as opposed to when they do like it, as you can see here. So thanks for the comment, appreciate it.

  42. The thought process that went into this tactic is insightful. Currently experimenting with my Liverpool side with devastating effect. End of January, Top of the league, final of Capital One and looking strong in the FA Cup. Board has already offered new contract at the start of January.

    Strength of this tactic I’ve discovered is consistency. Defensive discipline of the whole team as a unit makes my side very hard to beat. Have conceded the least number of goals in the league.

    However, it is in attack that this tactic really explodes to life when movement of players transforms it into a 4-2-3-1 with attackers flying forward. Have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at the start because it appeared too negative to the eye, but I’m being proven wrong.

    Great work Darren! It was your piece explaining movement of players in this tactic that really pushed me to try.

    • Thanks Ian, great to see you are enjoying so much success. I thought that there’d be a lot of sceptics for this and that is why I spent so long explaining it including the additional post…as you said its deceiving really.

  43. I always try to make the tactic myself because like you wrote in your guide you did recently, that’s kinda the fun of the game. However, I’m pretty horrible at the game, whatever I try fails, so I gave in and decided to try this tactic. Simply put, it’s fantastic, and it even has the team play the way my ideal team would play. (quick attacks, not a lot of wasted possession, frequently less possession than the other team but doing a lot more with it, and fluidity) So thanks for coming up with this, after being sacked by Villa i needed something to jump start my career, and this tactic seems like it’s done that so far. Great job.

    • Thanks mate, glad you are enjoying this. If you have the urge to make your own tactic trying out others can really help make light bulbs go off and ideas flood in while tiding you over at the same time so hope you can make one at some point.

      • I’m going to give this tactic a try Darren, I was a HUGE fan of your tactic last year with the inside forwards. I’ve tried to create several tactics this season using AMR and AML, but I just ultimately get caught out on the counter so I think your tactic with a flat 5 in midfield will be sturdy. This looks fantastic.

        • Hope it works for you Ian, this was made to be close to the tactic from last year but with defensive stability that just doesn’t seem possible this year when using AMR and AML.

          • I’m going to try it now mate, one quick question, is it still working well after the update? Cheers dude

          • I haven’t been able to play with any of my normal saves due to my laptop packing in hence losing everything. But I have started with North Ferriby and seems to be working there. I don’t see any changes to the patch that would effect it in a negative way thats for sure.

  44. Hi Darren I’m huge fan of your tactics from previous fms.

    I’d like to use this tactic for arsenal but I have doubts whether the players are suitable. Do you think Giroud is capable of playing a false nine? Thinking of playing Ozil as the false nine instead because he is useless at defending anyway but he is awkward in that position.

    What do you recommend?

  45. hey pal, I’m trying to find the best tactic for liverpool… is this a wise option with both suarez and sturridge? left and right midfielders are scarce in lfc as they are predominantly AML/R e.g. countinho sturridge.

  46. wow all you people copying this ‘unbeatable’ tactic what is the point in playing the game knowing that you dont deserve any of the credit for your clubs success?

  47. Awesome tactic!! Without match preparation or time to get used to this formation, i just started it off for my Real Madrid squad against Atletico Madrid.

    And mind you, Benzema, Ronaldo, Isco, Illaramendi, Alonso were all with long-term injuries so they were totally out. So you can safely rule out that my team was under-par, with the likes of only bale & modric in this equation that were considered stars on the front.

    And.. The final result, 6-2 :) A grand win.
    Didnt mess with much. And just changed the Full Back strat on yours to a CWB as my defence was a crazy strong one, that could afford more on offense.

    Nice tactic :) Might change to your 4-5-1 permanently in the future :)

  48. Hi, great tactic here!
    Noticed a lot of people wondering if it worked with a relegation battle/bottom of the table kind of team so i thought id pip in with my experience of using it with Cardiff City.
    Completed 3 seasons and finished 12th, 9th and 7th (just missed out on EURO!). So, yeah it has been working well. Seem to suffer against that no10 player who plays in the whole however and my bwm picks up way too many yellows and reds. Other than that, this has produced some fantastic results and I would definately recommend it

  49. Playing as Shalke and having no success with this tactic at all. Almost smashed my computer. Just lost 3-1 to bremen and to United. It’s november and already i have lost 4 matches. Nothing is going well. My team’s familiarity with the tactic in counter and control is full bar. I have set everything out as you have explained..

    • Someone has anger issues lmao

      • When are you using the counter and control strategy? And where does it seem to be going wrong? Small losses, silly defeats, players not taking chances…

        • Control only at home. Counter at home against big teams and always away. No small losses, all seem to be quite heavy. Prone to conceding 3 goals in the space of 5 mins.

          The recent game vs Man United i played control at home. Was 1-0 at half time, but in the second everything fell to pieces and lost 3-1. Against Bremen we were totally outclassed. It’s the attacking I’m worried about it’s the defense. All my players in the starting 11 are accomplished in their positions. It’s a very young team, and Huntelaar should be fine in the false nine position. I guess some of the players arnt taking their chances. We are losing the ball too easily as well.

          We are capable of the good performance. Ran over wolfsburg 5-1 and stutgart 2-0 away from home. Good results. Just so inconsistent

          May start a new one with liverpool and see how it goes. Just annoying how many useless players Brendan signed in the summer. aspas,alberto etc will likely sell sturridge.

          • Well going off what you said I can see that in my opinion the united game should have started with counter strategy…in fact to start with I would probably use counter strategy every game until you get on a winning streak. Problem is the run you’ve experienced will seriously hinder your performances anyway now so it may be best starting again and using the counter strategy more often. Could also be that German Football just isn’t suited to this shape and style.

          • Started as Liverpool. Got Cabaye. Playing with counter at the start as you said. First game lost to PSG 2-1 Cabaye missed a pen..

            Not a good start

          • You can’t judge any tactic on one game, especially not pre-season. You need to give it time. I know you already have in Germany, but I don’t know what to say, it works for me and a lot of others. Without more info or seeing what you are doing I can’t help much more.

  50. Trequartista(A) Shadow Striker(A) Attacking Mid(S)

    Centre Mid(S) Centre Mid(A)


    Fullback(Aut) Defend(D) Defend(D) Fullback(Aut)


  51. 4-6-0.. try this, i bet u, u wont regret :)

    • A tactic won’t work without any team or player instructions etc, just expecting to throw a shape and some roles together is a recipe for disaster. But I may have a play around with this.

  52. Great tactic! I play with Liverpool and I’m pretty satisfied with the outcome. It’s hard for opponents to break me and my losses is not so heavy as before (only Arsenal managed to beat me 3-0 and fully dominate the game). I lost three games in first half of the season, two of them are from better opponents (MU and Arsenal). I won other games (and draw only one against Swansea).

    My only concern is flank game in attacking phase with Coutinho at ML and Sturridge at MR (I set up them to train new positions). Those players almost never cut inside, they only hug the touchline which lead to losing possession often in those positions. Maybe they need time to adapt for new position and role. But, I’m delighted with defensive stability of this system.

    In a nutshell – great tactic, well done!

    • Thanks Ian, as for the wing play it could be that due to the new patch players abide by their roles more, so if set to winger they will play winger and not cut inside. I noticed less long shots since the new patch so its obviously improved in that area. While I have noticed more runs sticking to the flank, I too have seen them cut inside to support the striker when off the ball so it swings in round a bouts I guess.

  53. hey i just wanted to say thanks for this great tactic. got promoted to skybet league 1 in my first season with scunthorpe with this. Struggled in my second season though, barely avoided relegation. but that’s more to do with the lack of quality in my line-up than the tactic.

  54. jus a quick question, how long does it take to re- train a players position, I know it is different for different players, but I have been training a guy for over a year and still not natural…also his stats have not been improving as quick is this the result of that position training? is an am to a rm for haililovic

  55. Hello. I just found this tactic on a link from a Greek FM Fansite :) I will try this tactic once I finish my first season cause I am middle season now and don’t wanna change since I am doing fine. I wanna say that my current tactic is very similar to yours. I use the exact same roles/duties but instead, I use my defensive midfielder on the DMC position and my 2 wingers up on AML/AMR. Also the difference is that I use rigid philosophy and slow tempo.

    I see great football. My false 9 drops down and keeps the ball until one of my wingers do a run and then my false nine does a killer ball to my winger and he scores. Almost 80% of my goals is like this and I am very happy cause this is how I imagined it. I am sure your tactic will have the same style too :). The only problem I have is against teams that I should beat easily and they keep the ball too much on their own half but especially against good teams when they score first and then play a probing/possession style. What do you do on these situations with your tactic? Do you have a set of shouts to win back the ball?

    My team is pretty decent on Teamwork, Work rate and Determination as these are the stats I look first for all positions, so in theory a hard working – Determined team should hassle opponents effectively and win ball back, but it doesn’t :(.

    Anyway, I ll load this tactic on one of the 3 tactical slots to start getting fluid and also I ll use it on some easy matches too, but I will definitely use it on my next season!

    • I don’t do much to the tactic, only if we are real underdogs and against a team that could thrash us, then I move the B2B MC back to DMC as a regista for extra cover.

  56. Worked GREAT on Brazilian 3rd league! And so far working pretty good on the 2nd league too, I only lost 2 times to very similar teams.

  57. Absolutely brilliant tactic! I used the 4-5-1 you created for FM 2013 and that was also brilliant. I made one minor tweak to this one, I pushed the wingers up to AML and AMR and it’s brought me great sucsess! I’m currently 3rd in the Premier League with stoke after 36 games. This is definitely the best tactic for FM 2014! Fantastic work Darren.

  58. You Legend! I have been looking for a decent tactic like this for ages and this is awesome. One thing that has helped me with southampton is pushing the wingers on slightly so the midfield 5 is a bit more of a horseshoe shape, gives the striker more service. I also use IF rather than Wingers. But other then that, kept to your tactic and Im top of the league in January.

    • Glad it works, I wanted to create a tactic with the shape you mention but it didn’t work consistently enough in previous patches. Mainly due to IF’s not been as powerful as in previous versions and the fact that committing forward can lead to the odd frustrating result against easier opposition. But good to hear that option is getting you some success.

  59. Cara vc é muito foda, sou seu fã.
    Man you’re the best, I’m your fan.

  60. Hi Darren,

    Planning on testing one of your tactics! Wich one is your flagship? :) And, does they work on the 14.2 patch?


    • I’d say this 4-5-1 is my best, not had time to test it with the new patch though I don’t see too many changes that would effect it. Like with everything you’ll probably need to adapt it marginally for your players.

      • Okey, then will give this one a go! Will it work even with a lower ranked team? Or a underdog? Anything to switch from home-away?


        • All of that is discussed within the post, if you’re asking that then you can’t have read it which I strongly suggest you do as there are some vital pieces of information to be read.

  61. This has worked brilliantly in my Derby save, finished 1st in 1st season now halfway through my 2nd 6th place in the premier league

  62. Hi managing Arsenal… wanna know if its possible to use podolski on the left & walcott on the right? Will it be good?

  63. Hello again, last season I won Europa league ( managed to beat Inter and Real Madrid ).This season i won the super cup against PSG, my team (Southampton) was performing brilliant ( )and was 1st for more than half of season until February..I have no idea what the f…. happened. – I dont have injured players.This sh… performances are only in PRM.I even won Capital Cup ( which i played with reserves and u18s ).This season im performing very well in Eurpa league again, but in PRM i dont know what happened..Last season was almost the same – in the beggining very good performances and wins but in February all went to hell. I hope there is explonation for this cuz im getting very pissed off.BTW last lost against WBA i had 23 shots and 14 on targed and WBA 2 shots and 1 on targed.

    • You’ll know what the problem is better than me as I can’t see your game there are numerous things that could be the problem. Seen as the tactic worked before I’d say its your team talks or squad rotation that’s the issue. Or maybe you are using the counter and control strategy at the wrong time maybe during that poor run.

  64. Wanted to thank you for this awesome tactic! I played AFC Wimbledon. First season started slowly but then picked up and I won the title! Second season seemed to carry on the same and I won league 2, next season started off tough but built up until I got third in the Championship & won the play-offs. I never excepted much in the premier league and it started not so good but again I got on a run December-February and I just about clinched third place! Also I won the league cup! But since this new patch update the season fell away and my players can’t control the ball, pass to opposition, run into each other and don’t do much running or chasing. Can’t figure it out! But all the same your tactics were top draw!

    • I’ve just added the update and it seems to have helped with the strange lose of football skills so that’s pleased me. Thanks. I was trying to many combinations but none seemed to do much.

      One question that I can’t seem to find anyone mention anywhere is the majority of goals I’d conceded in the past were how to stop the overlap. So many I let in were someone holding up the ball and my defender being drawn out even if someone else was already there then when the defender came close enough they’d play a ball to the forward who was in the clear and they’d run in and score.

      • Thanks, glad this worked. I found similar issues to yourself with the new patch and that is why I created this version, it seems to fix most of the problems.

        As for the question, I see what your problem is but I can’t see an actual question in there. Can you just clarify for me please.

        • Ha sorry. You might have actually answered the issue within your new version for the patch. I just found that many of the goals I concede are through an overlapping pass where my defender continues to be drawn out to an attacking midfielder leaving a space behind him with an unmarked attacker waiting for a pass. Obviously it would take something drastic in the tactics so I’m not sure really how it could be solved without affecting the team set up. The question is how to stop my defenders being drawn out to the attackers & leaving a massive gap behind with a striker waiting completely unmarked. But like I said I doubt that’s a simple question to answer without messing a lot with the current set up.

          • It really isn’t a simple question to answer. No matter what you’d have to change a setting that would effect the team in a different negative way…ie pull one of the MC’s back to DMC so he can be the one drawn to the ball leaving the CB’s with a bit more cover, but that would effect the attacking play.

  65. Started using this 15 games into my first season when I was struggling.

    Ended up finishing 2nd and got to the FA Cup final.


  66. Hello from TURKEY/FENERBAHÇE
    My question is; I’ll try this tactic on Fenerbahçe is it suitable for this squad?
    i need a wright winger (cheap but explosive), can i use Dirk Kuyt as MR?
    Also i have Emenike and Moussa Sow as SC. Moussa seems quite good fake striker but is emenike suitable for this role?

    • Yes you can use Dirk Kuyt as an MR.
      He played on Liverpool’s wing many times.
      And I know that, because i’m a Liverpool supporter ;)

      • thanx man,

      • TBH I’m not sure he’d be a best choice, yes he used to play on the wing and has the mental stats to do it but his dribbling crossing are a real worry, for me anyway. I’d actually buy Rodrigo Gomez for that position. Either could do a good job, I personally like Sow’s lethal touch but Emenike can also shoot from range.

        • thanx, one more question;
          all players positions and roles is clear but did you change any player instructions? if u are, what are they? for example mcr shoot less or dr cross early… etc.
          PS; if u answer detail i am glad

  67. Does it work with Chelsea?

  68. i lost to stoke in my first premier game but i did all the other things right?

  69. nah ive had 5 games and I’ve lost 3 won 2

    • Well without any info or seeing what you’re doing in game I couldn’t say what the problem is. Like I said there are so many other factors to success bar the tactic. Team talks, player selection your general squad, use of subs etc etc.

      • yea i know I’m playing as tottenham with the same selection as you, have my assistant doing opposition instructions and my team talks have all had at least 5 green reactions

  70. all my matches have been away and i have used counter each time, i lost to stoke olympique lyonnais 1-0, schalke 3-1, stoke 4-1 and just then feyenoord1-0 i prepared the tactic throughout preseason aswell

    • Really don’t know what the problem is then, I didn’t have anywhere near that bad of a run. But like I said there are many many factors that contribute to results.

      • ah alright, and how do you create a good tactic in the first place?

        • Well again its not something I could explain without making a full on guide and even then everything wouldn’t be covered. But all I’d be teaching is common sense to be fair, so follow that. I’d start by picking a team and making a tactic based on the strengths of their players, then go from there. Its more about finding the right balance between defence and attack, but as I said its very hard to tell someone how to create a tactic, it won’t happen without lots of testing so you can see what works and what doesn’t.

  71. hi guys…i’m playing with this tactic this season with totennham..after 14 games..and my team stars to play very the end i’m finished 2d with 76points, 6 less than champions man united..!!!
    i win the FA cup…and i continue… :))))

  72. I was actually looking for a tactic to try on a new Southampton – and this looks quite awesome.
    One thing I have been wondering though. I am not a huge fan of the Ball Winning Midfielder, as he seems to hunt the ball up the field in some instances, leaving room for the oppositions AMC and deep lying attackers. With no stationary players on your deep midfield (both B2B and AP are centered higher), it seems like the BWM will leave open space between your midfield and defense?

    I have never tried this combination – it might work great with a B2B to cover the spot, when the BWM rushes forward. I will try different combinations for this BWM – regular CM-D, and DLP, who are more stationary.

    Let me finish off by saying, that it was an exciting reading – I am looking much forward to try this tactic in my new game. Thank you.

    • I haven’t really noticed the BWM causing problem like that but I can see the logic behind it. I guess my recommendation would be to try it as it is, then see where you think problems will arise and adjust it from there. Hope it works for you.

  73. hello i have been playing this tactic for fenerbahçe this season(13-14). the team are doing very well (12W-3D-0L). if u have problems about scoring make your ML or MR to AML/AMR position with inside forward role and say your fullback (only one) attack.
    thanx again darren, really good tactic.

  74. I’ve noticed that since the update & since I changed to the updated version of the 451 that overlapping has almost stopped. maybe not so much in the middle of the park but i found it great using it when a player was put through on goal and despite the overlapping option still being used i find if a player is one on one with a defender and one of my players it to the left or right they won’t make a run so an overlapping ball can be played, they literally stand side by side with my attacker and that’s been ending in the player being crowded out and losing possession.

    I’ve found this new update from SI to have too many players bumping into each other.

    • I agree, since the most recent patch it has been very tough to get the overlap working properly in the final third, not sure what the solution is really but will continue testing.

  75. Since the update I’ve been having problems with getting this tactic to work. Before the update I won the Euro Cup and even won against Real Madrid the year before in CL but since the update I’ve been struggling even against poor domestic teams. Any tips on what I could change?

    • Quick question, since which update is this? Roughly when did you download the tactic as there has been an updated download link from about a week or two ago. If you have the most recent version of the tactic then I’m not sure what you can do really other than try to work out if maybe you are not using the right strategy at the right time for your teams ability. Also there is a comment further up suggesting you move one of the wingers up to AMR or AML and adjust duty to inside forward and put the same sided full back on attack duty if struggling to score, you could try that.

    • This tactic makes miracles happen! Thanks to this tactic I’ve managed to achieve the impossible and won the CL with my beloved Lech Poznan. I’ve tried doing this every year since FM12 but never succeded, until now :)

  76. I just played 1 year with Tottenham using this tactic. Won the premier league and the Euro Cup. One important note for me was that I played counter in almost every single match. I had no luck using a control strategy at all. As for signings I had Contreao, Honda, and Leandro Dimiao. This is a great tactic!!!

  77. anyway to improve strikers? my strikers has been missing loads of chances. mostly clear cut

    • TBH you need a suitable striker for the position really, can be tough to find. If you have only given them around 8 games then they need a bit more time to fully settle into the tactic, thats how I found it.

      • thanks for the prompt reply Darren, i wonder beside false 9 is there any chance of other role when they miss alot? i changed my team instructions to work into box and run with ball more often for my striker as he seems to strike and waste alot of chances.

        • Unfortunately that is one of the down falls of the tactic, I did find though that my main striker grabbed 20 plus goals a season, he did miss a lot of opportunities but that is because of the job he does. His movement tends to distract the CB’s and that is very important not to mention if you use another role he seems to be left adrift from the team and marked out of the game.

  78. Alright bud, what instructions have you got on your players if any? Read all your post looks good so fat and looking forward to try it!!

    • There are very very few, the main ones are shoot less often but if you download the tactic you’ll be able to see them easily.

      • Thanks mate. Fancied doing a save with Monaco, you got any tips?

        • Give your striker time, don’t expect him start breaking the scoring books just because he’s Falcao, this tactic uses the striker in a very different way to others, but he will start scoring eventually, just takes time. Also use counter strategy pretty much all the time and finally if you are struggling to score, maybe push one of the wingers up to AMR or AML and assign inside forward role, on the same side change the full back to attack duty, only do this for one side though, not both.

  79. Hey, thanks for updating it to the newest patch, before I updated I suddenly went from a good win ratio to losing pretty all my games. The only problem I’m finding now is that when the team break on a counter the midfield get the ball to my striker really early, pretty much on the half way line. So then that leads the biggest problem I now have, overlapping or rather lack of. My striker gets the ball on the half way line and no one wants to run past for an overlap so he’s the most advance player at all times. So I’ve found now my striker will hit a shot if he gets that far advance from about 40 yards, rarely ever scoring.

    • Yeah I’ve also noticed it can be tough to get the overlap. Maybe try taking off the individual instructions for ‘more direct passing’, that might help stop it.

  80. So i tried this tactic with tottenham,,, and i got stomped by Vittese in LE 0-6….AT HOME!

  81. If i change my strike not to be F9 would it help? ‘couse Soldado is more of a Deep lying forward or complete forward…

    • I don’t think so, this works best with the F9 as he tends to drop deepest and draw defenders out of position…no idea why you lost by that scoreline to such a team, never seen a result that bad while I’ve used it.

  82. yeah…. Maybe it was couse i use more of the subs for that match , but even than 0-6… terrible . I managed to win 1-3 , but not g ood enough after 0-6 :) So i beat Man City twice in a row in 4 days. Both at home. So 8 played 7 wins and 1 draw…. pretty good so far , but Soldado is aweful. So i put Defoe up front and he is supurb 5 goals in 3 matches. I put my money on Ben Davies and 10 new 5 star coaches , so i hope i do well in the league , and get some more cash in next season. I will offload defoe , soldado and adebayor , and try so sign someone who can play F9… Soldado i think is weak as F9 couse he is not fast. His pace and acc are very loll for this kind of a player :) Will keep you updated as how it goes :)

  83. ohh… And one other thing. I think when you start as Tottenham its just says SCREWED for the capital one cup. First man city , second leg man utd away… This is nice…for the game :D:D:D

  84. Ohhh maaannnn….. It was so good… 14 matches 12 wins and 2 draws…. AND THAN , the game showed me that nothing depends on me in FM14. Before Chelsea(away) , Man Utd(home) i got raped by SI , the random engine of this game , and the foureyed motherf**ker who made this engine!!! Soldado , Defoe , Lamela , Sigurnosson , Lennon , Paulinho INJURED !!!

    • Glad the tactic has been working for you then, just a shame about the injuries, but if you look around the Premier League at the moment you might find those quite realistic…still annoying though.

  85. its working ,but i found that after the 25th match in the league the AI learns your tactic ,and screw you over and over. I’m first at the moment ,30 matches gone , but i cant get e clean win against weak teams at home ( swansea , cardiff exc. ) Do you have any suggestion how to make this tactic work against those teams at Home. If i win it will be 2-1 , and score a goal in 80+min. Painfull to watch :( Only thing that is working for me is when i chenge the BBM to avd. pl. A , and than i get more attacking , but still no goals , only CCC’s :(

    • TBH I think that is the case across most tactics this year, I think you need to change tactic for a bit after that happens to throw them off the scent so to speak.

  86. I’ve won the league ,and capitol one cup , but still my players fail to improve their play :( Lamela and Lennon are missing so wide of the target that is almost funny at some point… I had them train individualy finishing , still doesn’t help :( And other thing … If i’m down 1-0 away at the half time what should i do ?? Ohhh and i’m still of 14.1.4 patch , is that a problem ,couse now i see that the tactic is for 14.2 ?

    • Shouldn’t be a problem as I think the tactic was updated during the 14.1.4 patch. Also, I can’t tell you what to do when going one nil down, it will vary from opponent to opponent.

  87. So… I’ve one league ,and capitol one cup and…. THEY GIVE ME 25mln. Euro FOR TRANSFER BUDGET !!!! WHO DOES THAT? How i’m i supposed to attack CL with 25mil ???????

  88. here i am again..:)
    now in the 2nd season…i’m the champion..with 91 points..(71-24,the goals..)best attack..the best defence in the premier league..!!!and i win capital one cup..
    i want to ask you..if you have any ideas for false 9..i have soldado..and leandro damiao,but i have a problem sometimes..can you suggest me any player..??!!
    thank you again for this fantastic tactic..keep working..;)

  89. i’m in the start of the second season…managed to get sharwy , and he scored 9 goals in 4 matches , but those r in friendlies only… i hope can provide when matters most , so my suggestion for F9 is him :)

  90. thank for the suggestion BUT12TRAS…but he is on man unit.. :/
    someone else..??!!! :))

  91. i’m playing aguero on F9 possition,but performing worst with avg.5.62 after 10 games,all the time wasting chances with long shots. MR,ML position players doing wonderful. Not being able to win against team playing 4-2-3-1. winning games narrowly. played 10= w4 d4 l2 . Any tweaks for man city,how to use Ngredo , Dzeko who are not good for F9 possition .

    • If its not working fully for you then its probably not suited to Man City maybe and another tactic would be better. But to adjust the tactic would take testing with the team which I haven’t done so would suggest seeing where the problems are and try to fix them with logic.

  92. Hey there,
    Thank you for the tactic. I tested it with Everton.
    Before the patch I was using 4231 Attacking and in my first season I finished 2nd in the Premier League and I won the League Cup.

    After the patch I was in the verge of getting fired on the 9th week after losing 7 of 12 matches.
    I decided to use your tactic and even if the team was not familiar with it, I was quite successful.

    I tweaked the verison a little bit and I changed the positions & roles of some players. The tactic is working really well. Sitting 1st in the Premier League 5 points clear of the 2nd placed team. I only struggle against underdog small teams. 1-0, 2-1 most of the times.

    Here are the changes:
    1. Advance Forward instead of False Nine. My striker scores %50 of the whole goals.
    Player instructions: Move into Channels, Direct passes, shoot less often, mark Tighter, tackle harder.
    2. In all the matched without any coincedence, Assistant Manager feedback is: “there is too much space between Midfield and Offence.” Thus I changed my MR to AMR, role as winger again. Player Instructions: More direct passes, Shoot less often, Mark Tighter, Tackle harder.
    3. ML stays at the same place but role is defensive Winger. Player Instructions: Short passes, Shoot less often, Mark Tighter, Tackle harder.
    4. CWBL instead of FBL, as soon as I score a goal I change it to FB Support.
    5. Player Instructions for both Full Backs: Run wide with the ball, Shorter Passing, Close down more, tackle harder.
    6. If there is snow or Rain, I am using more direct passes & Get Stuck in otherwise I am using 6 instructions as you suggested.

    7. I am using a different Set Pieces setup. Freekicks Far Post. Corners 6 Yards Box.

    Regarding the training, Team Focus, Balanced Training High, Match Preparation Def. Positioning.

    I hope this helps.

    Best Regards
    Ginola 133

  93. This tactic is amazing! I’m playing as Man City, first season, and decided to try this tactic as nothing has worked previously, and I’ve always ended up terminating the game. This time, I’m 17 games into my save, 7 friendlies, 7 league games, 2 Champions League and a Capital One Cup game, and my record is W16 L1. The defeat was in a preseason friendly. This tactic is so good it feels like cheating!

  94. Very nice! Thank you. I’ve been training this formation, and as a second tactic a slight modification where I’ve moved the AP up to CAM and setting him with the Shadow Striker role, changing the striker’s role to deep lying forward, and the mentality to Standard.

    That second tactic gives up a few more goals but scores quite a few more and plays a really pretty game, at least with Sheffield United.

    I’ll switch between the tactics based on opponent, halftime score etc.

    Just wrapped up a winning Championship season with Jose Baxter mostly playing that CAM role and Darren Mattocks in that striker role… 23 goals / 15 assists for Baxter, 25 / 13 for Mattocks.

  95. Just thought I’d pass on what I achieved with AFC Wimbledon using your tactics…
    2013/2014 Champions of League Two
    2014/2015 Champions Of League One, Area Semi-Final of Johnstone’s Paint Trophy
    2015/2016 Finished 3rd in Championship (won play-offs)
    2016/2017 Finished 3rd in Premiership, won League Cup
    2017/2018 Finished 3rd in Premiership, won League Cup, Champions League Semi Defeat
    2018/2019 Won Premiership, won League Cup, Champions League Final Defeat
    2019/2020 Won Premiership, won FA Cup, Won Champions League

    Each season in a new league and first year group stage of CL I struggled but then seasons would pick up and a great run would see me through. The year I won the champions league I actually lost all the home legs in knock out phase but away wins/goals got me through. I have no real idea how I achieved all this. I prefer managing lower league but just went a long with the ride of all this success. Not sure if I’ll do another season yet. I pretty have gone as far as I can go. Until the last two season a large percentage of the squad was the original squad from league two & a few signing in the lower leagues.

  96. Hi Darren

    Did you buy any players for spurs? If so who mate? Great tactic, works a treat!

    • No signings with Spur’s, glad it works for you.

      • I did mine as Huddersfield! Kept your tactics thru season and won the league on last day of season. Now played 10 games in prem, currently 3rd beating spurs and man utd on the way! Would recommend this to anyone! If you find anything else out let me know bud!

        • Well done, good to hear. I’m almost done with a 4-2-3-1 that everyone wants so bad, so will be posting that in the next week I think for the masses to tear apart :)

          • Well this ones worked a treat mate so I’m sure that one will too! Don’t understand people that are obviously searching for new tactics but moan about the tactics people give to them or that may not work for them! Seen some peoples sarcy comments n it’s pathetic! All the best mate and look forward to your next tactic!

  97. hi Darren,
    here i’m in the 3d season…again i am the winner in premier league..with 92 points..yes…and i win the FA cup..i want to tell you that i brough salomon rondon from rubin for 14 millions…my god…he is amazing for false 31 games he scores 19 goals 6 assists 4 mvp give him a try..!!!
    and also i went into final the champios league…but i lost for paris germain..!!! :(..
    thanks again my mate..!!!

  98. This tactic, has appeared to have saved my job, I was second up until Christmas with Chelsea and i slowly started to slip down the table, losing at home to average sides, Brought in a few decent signing, Neymar, Varane, and Benzema seeing as Aguero was struggling to find the net and they didn’t make a difference. Since using this tactic I’ve flown back up the table and i am currently sat top of the league and Aguero has started scoring again! Thanks for the help!

  99. Hey Darren This tactic is great. It has stabilize my team’s defence and makes my midfielder score many goals but not my strikers. I don’t know what is wrong but they just won’t score but they did a good job from pulling the CBs away from their position though. Any suggestion?

    • Maybe they just don’t suit the tactic, also depends how long you have given it, if the answer is just 5-8 games then that isn’t long enough as the strikers do take time to settle into the tactic.

  100. I must admit,I tried many tactics and just one I made myself with Arsenal worked well.This year Fm,dunno if it`s harder or maybe bugged but some things I cant understand…and i mean tactics.Now I tried yours with my Southampton team,2nd match of the 1 season,First match vs Full Ham was a loss 1-2 away.Look what I managed to do with your tactic.Cheers :D

  101. Hi Darren,

    Great post – well done!

    Regardless of opponent, do you always start with ‘Counter’?

    Also, do you ever change mid-game?

    Just want to make sure I get the strategy correct because it does seem that this is a critical to this tactics success.

    • Thanks. I used counter regardless of the opponent but with the recent patches you may need to judge that on the results you are getting. I didn’t really change mid game either.

  102. Would this tactic work the same in classic mode?

    • There is no difference from the classic to the full version match engine, so it should.

      • Thanks Darren! I played this tactic in FM Full and loved it, saved my season with Atletic Club, but found Full took too long so started a new FMC season, wanted to make sure this works the same because there is no tactic familiarity in FMC!

        • While I haven’t actually played the classic version myself as far as I’m aware the match engine is the same, so the tactic should still play the same in theory. Classic is just like the full version but with some features taken away to make it faster to play but the core of the game won’t be different.

  103. Hello :) I use your tactic with Newcastle. First season just ended and i finished 3rd with same points as Chelsea but worse goal difference… 1 goal :) Of what i saw tactic is quite good, not very attractive football with many goal situations but successful one :) Dont know if its coz the new patch but it seem not normal top teams to lose so many matches.I have question about that false 9 , is it good idea to use false 9 where he is alone and couldn do much… i had papis sisse trained as false 9 he scored 13 goals but 3-4 penalties and 3-4 by opponent’s mistakes… and my inside forwards doest score alot they both had like 10 goals both.. Anyway thanks for the tactic :)

    • Sounds like the tactic did the job it was made for. It is designed to get results and while the false nine can be a little stranded he serves a job I don’t think any other role could. Currently working on another tactic which is much more attacking, should be published in the next week.

      • It does , yes but almost all teams has more than 15 shots against me and only some luck saves me not to lose but win 1-0 most of the time.And against top teams i lose 80 % :)
        But with time things will get better for sure… anyway 3rd place with Newcastle is very very good result imo. Thanks again and keep up the good work :)

  104. Using this with QPR but not really doing well in 19th and its beginning of November. will results pick up and does it look like this formation isnt for QPR

    • Not really sure why QPR would struggle so bad with any tactic but there is no reason why it shouldn’t work with them. Having said that its obviously not working so might be time for a change. New tactic will be published on the homepage tomorrow so might be worth trying that.

      • too late got sacked a couple of games later lol. however they seem to be hard to team manage i have tried so many tactics with them before it was my 4th attempt being them. hopefully the new tactic might work with them

  105. Hey pal, I’m using your tactics with Liverpool since day 1. Im using attacking match prep with weaker opponents, defending with stronger ones and im mostly using tactics, teamwork and ball control training at high level. I let opposition instructions to the assistant as well as the match pep talks. I think I use the players in their right positions, although the players I have for the wings are more attackers than midfielders, like Sturridge, Moses etc. I use counter in all away and difficult home matches and control in easy ones. So far Im 8th in the Premier League, lost to Everton in the 3rd round of the League Cup and although I was holding the qualification in my hands against Man Utd in the FA Cup semifinal I conceded an own goal in the added time and failed to go to the final. Its really hot n cold for me, I can beat a good opponent one week and lose or draw to a weak one the week after… In most cases I use Mignolet, Cissokho, Agger, Skrtel, Johnson, Coutinho ML, Lucas MLC, Gerrard MC, Javi Garcia MRC and Eduardio Salvio MR, with Suarez in front. Is there anything that seems wrong to you?

  106. What do you do when you get behind? You’re down 1-0 and it’s the 70th minute and you need to a goal. Do you change tactics, or do you tinker with shouts, player instructions, etc.?

  107. Had a similar experience Karagian using this tactic with Arsenal, after 11 games I’m languishing in 12th although dominating most games am not scoring enough goals and conceding too many. Am a huge Arsenal fan and finding FM14 soo frustrating with them and struggling to find a suitable tactic. I’ve followed your instructions to a T but just isn’t clicking for me :(

  108. Love it mate! Won championship with Huddersfield. 2 seasons later, I finish 3rd in prem! Has to be the best formation and tactics I’ve used mate! Nice work!

  109. Does this still works in 14.2.2?

  110. Hi Darren,

    Thank you for sharing your tactic.

    I have good success with successive promotions from League 1 to the Premier.

    Now with 14.3, the tactic seems to be ineffective. Conceding many goals, especially from overlaps or through balls targeting the full backs.

    Will you be tweaking the tactic for 14.3?

    • I haven’t tested this with the new patch yet, but I’m not surprised it may have stopped working. Usually the flat 4-5-1 can be boring and unimaginative, but to a poor match engine this worked previously, in truth it was creating working with the match engine bugs, so now the match engine is sorted it is exposed. I don’t think I’ll be revisiting this anytime soon…we’ll have a different tactic published next week which will be worth a look and my 4-3-2-1 which can be found in the tactics tab is worth a look.

  111. I have just modified the wingers to defensive wingers, full backs to complete wing backs and advanced playmaker to deep lying playmaker with few modified team instructions.

    It works like a charm for me so far. Defensively brilliant and not much lacking in offense as well. :)

    Thanks Darren for the idea of 4-5-1 flat

    • Interesting that works better offensively, seen as the offensive side is the most difficult part in recent patches and all those changes are even more conservative…well done though, out of interest who you managing Diimaan?

      • I have two saves running the same tactics. One with the reds and other with magpies.

        The above mentioned settings work flawlessly with Liverpool. For Newcastle I have to tweak them a bit but it’s not very lethal offensively. I have Vietto/Papiss Cisse upfront. With Hahn providing support from Wide midfieild position and Ben Arfa as attacking Winger. With Cana/Tiote as BWM. Sissokko/Marveux shuffles between box to box and DLP.
        And I reverted back to Fullbacks with Santon and Debuchy.

        I just finished outside the European qualification with my Newcastle save. It was a very difficult season and we lost some crucial games and injuries didn’t help either. Four teams separated by 1 points between them from positions 3-6. :)
        I used this save as a model for my Liverpool tactics.

        But with my Liverpool save I am running away in the BPL, In the Liverpool save I use DW’s and CWB’s. Mignolet is making impossible saves and leads the shutout chart :P

        With this tactic to work offensively you need a very good striker.

        Screenshots from both my saves.

      • I think my previous post didn’t get through the moderation!

  112. Ive tried it with wigan and it does not work

  113. It did work eventually. Keep up the good work darren!

  114. hello i’m currently playing with spurs with patch 14.3 and the only change that i made is setting the mentality to control in every game.

    Now i’m forth in the league and i’ll let you update

  115. hi darren are you working on a new 451 for the 14.3 patch or not?

    I’m currently 5th on the league with good result and bad result especially away with lower team..

    • No plans too yet as there are other tactics I’m looking at.

      • Hi Darren .
        Thanks for a great tactic. You have put a lot of Work into it and are spending a lot of time answering peoples questions.
        I have been using your tactics with great succes for 2 seasons with man utd.
        My question is? How much inspired were you by tiki taka and Barcelona, when designing your tactic? It seems a lot with a false nine, short passing, 5 midfielders etc. Do you have any suggestions how to tweak your tactics to resemble tiki taka even more? Or maybe I just don´t have that much possesion because I´m prioriticing the development of wonderkids in my team selection. Ha ha. Thanks

        • Hi Ace, I wasn’t inspired by Tiki Taka football when making this, I just wanted to create something that was stable at the back and could attack with intent, retaining reasonable possession was just a part of that. I wouldn’t try and change this to a Tiki Taka tactic as thats not what it is really. It may just act that way due to the player close proximity on the pitch.

  116. Hello thank’s for the tactic but when I’m on the game, I can’t find the tactics, documents>sports interactive>football manager 2014>tactics BUT nothing… ( On my computer I can actually see the tactic but not on the Game )

    • If you have move the file to the destination you mentioned and you can see it within that ‘tactics folder then it will be in game. Are you looking for it in the ‘archived tactics within your game?

  117. hi…where can I find the 14.1.3 version?

  118. it is 14.2 version not 14.1.3

  119. i downloaded the tactic, and when i want to add tactic and i selecet it, program stops and dont react, i must end program. Do you know where´s problem?

  120. Hi Darren, I’ve just seen the latest link you provided. I’m a little confused now but it might be nothing lol. The first one I downloaded is saved as Darrens Untouchable 4-5-1 ver14.2.tac
    I then download the 2nd link that you provided for Dimitrie which saved as Darrens Untouchable 4-5-1.tac Are both downloads exactly the same mate?

    • No, you need the one that is provided in the post, not the comments as the one in the comments is an older version, don’t know why Dimitrie asked for it TBH. So to clarify you need to use ver14.2 as per the post.

  121. yes it is cracked

  122. Hi Darren, great tactic :)

    I was wondering if you made any transfers with spurs that season?

  123. Looks suitable for my Eastleigh side so want to give it a go. On Vita version so can’t download, could you let me know what the player instructions are for each position??

    • CB’s both mark tighter, both wingers get further forward and pass more direct, MC more direct passing and MCR shoots less often while the ST passes more direct and shoots less often.

  124. What do you think will work better with spurs, this or your 4-2-3-1?

  125. and is it working even if i dont download this tactic but i set up the same in the game?

  126. This tactic suitable for

  127. I think im missing something obvious, but what specific player instructions do you put on?

  128. This tactic has worked for me on a few games but my current game with Swansea I have really hit a glass ceiling and plateaued. I started off the new season well (2016-2017) winning nearly all games in the first 8 and usually not conceding, since then though it is the total reverse and I find myself loitering in the familiar position of lower top-half (7th, 8th, 9th where I usually finish the season) in January. I have good players, my usual line up this season is Butland; Serge Aurier, Jordi Amat, Davide Astori, Ben Davies; Menez, Michael Bradley, Sergio Canales, James Ward-Prowse (or Shelvey), Eljero Elia (or Ryan Gauld) and Wilfried Bony upfront. I have strength in depth and have no injuries anyway but I just can’t break in to the top 4. Any advice? I have not downloaded the latest file for the new patch, could this help?

    • As far as I was aware this tactic hasn’t worked well since the previous two updates, I put it down to the formation and its predictability so moved onto using the 4-2-3-1.

  129. Ah that’s interesting I thought the 4-2-3-1 formations didn’t work in the earlier patches because they left it too open at the back which is why the 4-5-1 was favoured…. This shows the inconsistencies in their in game programme and why it’s so hard to create your own tactics, I’ll download the 4-2-3-1 and see if I have a change in luck, pretty sure the players I have could adapt. Cheers anyway.

    • The 4-2-3-1 could be too attacking but it depends on its setup, just to confirm that tactic mention will work best in the recent or patch before last, but maybe not before as I haven’t tested it before that.

  130. I’m running version 14.1.3 and noticed immediately a MASSIVE difference using this tactic. The tactic appears to be common sense so i’m a little pisd off with the developers that this tactic works so well but my tactics resulted in total pish results. Thanks for this.

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