Recently on my YouTube channel and in other communitites I have been asked for some tactical advice so I'm posting my special guide on how to create a good tactic for FM14. First of all I am no tactics genius such as Darren (who is a brilliant FM player) but I do find tactics one of the most enjoyable parts of the game so I thought I might share what I do with you.
Step 1: Take a Look At Your Players
Just so you know, for this guide I will be using my Eastleigh team as an example. I was already familiar with these players but whenever I create a new tactic I do this. Before you start messing around with your tactic look at your players, sort them by ability, and try to put anyone with 3 1/2 star ability and above into the team. Things can vary though, you might opt giving a wonderkid gametime who is slightly worse than your 36 year old, in other words also look out for potential.
Step 2: Choose Your Philosophy
After poking around your team for a while, choose what style of football you think these guys can play. You must also base things on the teams around you. If you recently were promoted and played attacking football last season keep in mind you probably won't be able to do the same again. I usually try to think of some of the best sides in football and try to replicate them (The good old Ajax, Milan 1998, Mou's Chelsea in 2002, Barcelona 2009-11, Bayern now). For my Eastleigh team I decided to replicate Bayern Munich and the way they are currently playing.
Step 3: Formation
I decided to go with a 4-1-4-1 as it fits with my players the best and also I think can help me replicate Bayern's playing style. Usually I go for a defensively stable formation and stay away from 4-3-3s and 3 at the back formations (nothing against those, just a personal preference.)
Step 4: Playing Style
This is extremely important when creating a tactic (no pressure ). Choosing the wrong one can mean being sacked in a couple months but choosing the right one can lead to heaps of success. I chose rigid because I want each person to have their one job, but very rigid would just be too much. Now this is something that people get wrong, they think the only way their team can play good football is if they have a fluid apporach. Fluid doesn't just mean the way your team passes, it will make your players contribute to more phases of play. That is something Barcelona do because you see Pique storm forward every once in a while as well as Messi tracking back. Bayern are a more disciplined and even though they move the ball around nicley it is in a different syle than the catalans.
Step 5: Mentality
Mentality isn't too complicated, and I usually change it based on the situation in games. I will approach most games with counter because I'm one of the weaker teams in the Premier League but as we get stronger I will choose control more, replicating how Bayern control games in the Bundesliga.
Step 5: Player Roles
The more rigid your formation is the more specialist roles you can choose. If specialist and generic roles confuse you I would reccomend you google them because they are a vital part of tactics. The specialists I've chosen are box to box midfielder, advanced playmaker, regista, and poahcer. My poacher is similar to Mandzukic in real life, although he is quicker. The advanced playmaker could be Mario Goetze, Thiago or Tony Kroos, although in my game he is a welsh regen I've signed. The box to box midfielder role I chose because it fits best with my team, and Bayern don't have too many great players for that role but Javi Martinez and Schweinsteiger would work. Scweinsteiger or Martinez would also both be perfect registas. If you go with a fluid tactic remember to choose more generic roles than this.
Step 6: Player Duties
I usually stay pretty simple with duties, look at the descriptions for each duty in each position and think about which one will that player best. But remember to try and balance out support, attack, and defend.
Step 7: Team Instructions
For the team instructions I have attempted to again to a Bayern-esque style. We will be more disciplined and play at a high tempo, hassling our opponents and winning the ball back quickly (a big time Guardiola philosophy). We will play with a high line as well and have a possesion based game. I always avoid playing out of defence as my players make mistakes and concede silly goals.
Step 8: Adjust
I will update you guys with my resluts on this topic as well, but remember everyone: tactics are not easy and it is very rare that you will switch tactics and start getting results instantly. You always must look and see what's wrong, and then change it. Eventually once you cover up the mistakes, your team will begin winning
Thanks for reading