New FM 2013 Tactic: Balanced 4-4-2, solid defence plus goals scored
written by Johnny Karp
Some of you have enjoyed success with my first FM 2013 tactic, the Spurs 4-5-1, but now I think I have an even better tactic: a 4-4-2 that I have been testing with the same team, Tottenham. This tactic is more attacking but it also keeps a very well-organised defence, which allowed me to have the best defence in the Premier League at the end of the first season. But more about the results later, now let’s see what this FM 2013 tactic is about.
FM 2013 Tactic Formation
It’s a plain 4-4-2, I guess there’s nothing special there. The flanks are pretty important in this tactic, both in defence and upfront. The fullbacks are set to automatic duty, which sees them push up the field when we have the ball and move back in defence when we’re under attack. The two wide midfielders are on attack duty, they will often play on the same line as the two strikers, which allows the team to put pressure on the opposition defence.
The two midfielders will mostly play on the same line, but the one on the right side will be a bit more attacking. The right side striker will be the one to form the link with the midfield while the left hand side striker will bang in most of the goals.
FM 2013 Tactic team instructions
The style and strategy are pretty common, balanced and standard, that will give your team a pretty organised aspect. The passing is set to direct, which means the team will try to get the ball forward as quickly as possible, but they will do that in a sensible manner, not with random long balls forward. As you can see the team is instructed to press and be aggressive, trying to get the ball back in the opposition half.
Please note: there is no designated playmaker and no designated target men. I am against those two tasks, since they would base the team’s play on two individual players, and if those two are blocked you can find yourself screwed.
The average positions analysis shows a fairly compact set up, with no major gaps between the lines.
FM 2013 tactic illustrations
First I want to show you how the pressing works. In the image below you can see the opposition left back having the ball in their own half, and he is closed down by our right midfielder. Since most of his team mates are under pressure as well, he has just two options: a risky back pass to he keeper or some sort of diagonal to move the ball to the other flank. He chose an unlikely diagonal towards their right midfielder, and we intercepted that pass.
But don’t be too happy, most teams will be able to get out of that pressing, so they will come with the ball into your own half. But when that happens, the defence will be pretty well organised. In the picture below you can see how the defence is set up when receiving a positional attack: one of the CMs is pressing the man with the ball, while the rest of the midfielders plus the defenders form a double wall.
The man with the ball doesn’t have any dangerous options, even though they outnumber us 3 to 2 in central midfield. As you can see our two wide midfielders are covering the flanks but are also ready to chase the ball and the opponent in more central areas, while the two strikers will keep the opposition centre backs pinned into their own half.
This tactic works very well on counter attacks, as proven by the screen shot below. We got the ball back through one of our centre backs, who quickly passed it to one of the CMs, who spotted the left winger wide open on that flank. And when you have Gareth Bale on that flank, it’s a pretty dangerous situation for any opposition ;)
I mentioned earlier that the wingers are playing an important part in this tactic. In the screen shot below you can see why. The left winger has entered the penalty area with the ball, went to the byline and opened up two options for himself: back pass to the left back, who was unmarked, or a pass back to the left CM, also unmarked. In this case the pass went to Livermore, the CM, who took the shot, which got parried, and then right midfielder Lennon, who also was in the box, tucked away on the rebound.
What I like about this tactic is that you get quite a few men forward when attacking, and that gives the players quite a few options. And that can result in beautiful goals, like the one I’m going to show you now. Left winger Townsend cut infield with the ball, and since almost everybody was marking everybody, CM Dembele made a great run off the ball, right through the heart of the defence to receive the pass. And then he scored :)
Here’s the video:
FM 2013 Tactic results
First I’m going to say that we went out early from both the FA Cup and the Carling Cup, because I experimented heavily in those games, both with tactics and line ups. So I’m only going to show you the Premier League results first and then the Europa League campaign.
The first half of the Premier League season was pretty good overall, we got wins against Arsenal, Man City, Man United and Chelsea, but we suffered shocking defeats at the hands of weaker teams. All three defeats were quite weird to be honest, but I guess that’s normal since that part of the season was played while FM 2013 was still in beta.
The second half of the season was a bit better, we managed to get a few consecutive wins, even though we got beaten by West Brom again.
And, overall, we nearly won the title! We got 83 points, just two short of the title, and had the best defence in the whole league. We did score a few goals though, not the best attack but not very far off either.
The best part of the season was the Europa League campaign, we won that after beating moneybags PSG in the final.
FM 2013 Tactic player stats
Most goals scored: Adebayor – 23 goals, Defoe – 20 goals, Demba Ba (backup striker) – 9 goals, Gareth Bale (injured for 3 months) – 9 goals
Most assists: Adebayor – 12, Bale – 11, Huddlestone – 11
Highest average ratings: Kaboul – 7.39, Adebayor – 7.33, Bale – 7.24
Bottom line: this is a solid FM 2013 tactic, it will keep an organised defence and you will also score a decent amount of goals. What you won’t have is good possession, and that is because the team will always try to get the ball forward quickly instead of passing it around inside your own half.
You can download this Football Manager 2013 tactic by clicking the image link below.
How to install the tactic in FM 2013
1. Put the downloaded file into this folder: Documents/Sports Interactive/Football Manager 2013/tactics
2. Start your game and go to your team’s tactics screen.
3. Click on the little arrow located to the right of your starting tactic name, move your mouse cursor over “archived tactics” and select “The_4-4-2_direct_v2″ from the menu.
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If you have questions or comments, you know where to write them, I’ll be here to answer.