Football Manager 2014 Best Tactic: Untouchable 4-5-1 ver14.2

FM 2014 Downloads

written by Darren Smith

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.

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363 Comments on "Football Manager 2014 Best Tactic: Untouchable 4-5-1 ver14.2"

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Abdirisaq Osman

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


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.


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


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.


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.

Muhamad Aidiel

it is suitable for Arsenal ?


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!

Gaurav Chaddah

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? ;)

Why Me

cant import file…. why`?


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 :)


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


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


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


Hi Darren,

I am playing Wilshere in the place you are playing Eriksen


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!


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.

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… Read more »
tips please

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 :)


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

Johnny Karp

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

João Castelo-Branco

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!

Smashing Labu

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


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?

Alexander the Great

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


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


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!


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!


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


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

João Pena

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!

João Pena



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

Alan Jozf Pallath

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?

Dave Frost

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


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.

Dimitri vegas (@dimisof)

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

FPL_Alltheway (@FPL_Alltheway)

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

Seb Holmes

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


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… ;)


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….



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


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!


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… Read more »

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

Conor Paterson

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


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


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.

Ian Agate (@IanAgate)

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.


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.


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?


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.


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?




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 :)


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


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

Trequartista(A) Shadow Striker(A) Attacking Mid(S) Centre Mid(S) Centre Mid(A) Anchor(D) Fullback(Aut) Defend(D) Defend(D) Fullback(Aut) GK(D)