Best FM 2015 Tactics: Tinkerman’s Fantastic 4-2-3-1

FM 2015 Tactics

written by The Tinkerman

Hi guys, welcome to the latest tactic in our best FM 2015 tactics series.  This tactic is based on the popular 4-2-3-1 with a flat back four, two central midfielders, two wide players and a no 10 behind the striker. You can see the team shape below with my first choice 11. Testing was completed with Spurs and we managed to win a quadruple of trophies during the first season. In the premier league we scored the most, conceded the least and had the highest average possession.

Best FM 2015 Tactics: Formation

spurs1

spurs2

The attacking mentality was maintained for all matches during the season including home, away, cup games etc. I opted for a team shape of very fluid to encourage for free flowing football and so all players would contribute to all phases of play.

The team shape 4-2-3-1 is a popular formation these days used by many clubs. Until now I found it a difficult formation to crack on this years game. I enjoy using this formation because it utilises the no 10 position very well and most clubs have good options in this position.

Best FM 2015 Tactics: Team Instructions

spurs3

Quite of lot of instructions here, in general the team tries to play good football by playing out from the back and working the ball into the box in forward areas. There is also emphasis on retaining possession and employing shorter passing. The majority of the play is intended to go through the middle of the pitch through the AMC and inside forwards who will cut inside. This allows space for the wingbacks to get forward and be very effective. Another feature of the play is the much higher tempo and closing down instruction which puts pressure on the opposition and often results in mistakes.

The much higher defensive line works well in tandem with using the offside trap and closes the space for the opposition to get in behind the two CM’s. I find that without a DM you can sometimes be undone in behind your CM’s and the high defensive line helps this a lot. However a word of caution here, this can be a high risk strategy for smaller clubs especially if you have slow defenders or are playing against very fast attackers.

Best FM 2015 Tactics: Player Roles

GK – goalkeeper (D) – Your typical goalkeeper

DR/DL – complete wing back (A) – I love this role on FM, these guys will create havoc, my four wing backs they managed 42 assists between them, throughout the season. Stamina, pace and crossing are key attributes.

DC – central defender (D) – Your typical central defender, as ever aerial ability will be important. However in this tactic I feel good attributes for pace, acceleration and positioning would be particularly useful due to the high defensive line.

MC – central midfielders – I would play your midfielder with the best defensive attributes such as tackling and positioning with the defend duty. For the support duty, this player needs to be able to control the game as well as defend and attack. It would be useful if he has good passing and carries a goal threat when arriving late in the box.

AML/AMR – inside forward (A) – You should aim to use a right footed player on the left and vice versa. These guys should have good pace dribbling and finishing ability.

AMC – advanced playmaker (A) – Important player, Eriksen managed 10 goals and 12 assists in 35 PL appearances. Dribbling, technique, passing and vision are key attributes.

ST – complete forward (S) – Ideally you will have an all-rounder for this role, a striker, who can score goals as well as create for others.

Best FM 2015 Tactics: Results

Capital One Cup

spurs4

Some very difficult cup draws including Chelsea, Man City, Everton and Man United in the final.

FA Cup

spurs5

A brilliant series of results in the FA cup scoring 22 goals in 6 matches.

Europa League

spurs6

Another trophy for Spurs, beating some good sides comfortably over two legs. I used this competition to field some second choice players as well.

Premier League

spurs7

spurs8

spurs9

A fantastic set of results winning the league by a 27 point margin, scoring the most goals in the league and conceding the fewest. The points total of 102 smashes the PL record points total. The only defeats we had came away at arsenal and man city, in which we were only beaten 1 nil. This suggests a strong tactic which will not be turned over easily and especially not by a large margin.

Best FM 2015 Tactics: Tinkerman’s Top Tips

  • Pre-season:  General training – team cohesion  with high intensity (alternate weeks), Match Preparation – match tactics (50%).
  • During Season: General Training – balanced, Match Preparation – attacking movement (10%).
  • Use left footed player as inside forward on right hand side and vice versa.
  • Keep corner instructions as they are with the download but set your LB’s to take right sided corners and your RB’s to take left sided corners.
  • Keep set piece instructions for free kicks and throws as they are with the download.
  • For opposition instructions use your assistant manager or coach with best tactical knowledge.
  • Try to get the tactic as fluid as possible during pre-season by organising more friendlies if necessary.

Best FM 2015 Tactics: Download

If you would like to give the tactic a try follow the instructions below:

FM 2014 Download

1. Click the download link above and download the file.

2. Once the file is downloaded move it to the following folder documents>sports interactive>football manager 2015>tactics

3. Now load the game as normal and enter the tactics screen.

4. In the tactics screen, click the tactic you currently have loaded then select manage tactics from the drop-down menu

5. Then Import and then load ‘Tinkerman’s 4-2-3-1’ into your game, then you will be able to select the tactic from the list.

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know how the tactic works for you. Hope you enjoy :)

The Tinkerman

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Poma
Guest
Poma

Alternate weeks what?

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

I just used high intensity every other or every second week instead of every week to try avoid injuries

Poma
Guest
Poma

During season: balanced and intensity?

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Yes balanced and average intensity, occasionally if we had a week off, I would set training to defence at high intensity.

Jake Guinness Joseph
Guest
Jake Guinness Joseph

mate Im playing on the new patch finished 4th with qpr in first season now in second season and keep getting slaughtered by teams 6-0 5-0 all sorts I have caulker garbutt alvarez balanta and isla in defence so its quite solid don’t understand what is going on

eightnight
Guest
eightnight

Do you consider this tactic or the 433 (2 F9 & AF) to be the best?

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

They are both very good. I think it depends on the make up of your squad, if you have better strikers or wingers and attacking midfielders. The one which suits your squad best will be the best for you.

FIlip G
Guest
FIlip G

Hi Tinkerman, I saw all your tactics, quite impressive I must say. But smt is very strange to me, how come on each tactics you are playing retain possession, short passing AND HIGH TEMPO? Can you please explain to me? I think you are winning because of your corners, you score a lot.

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Hi Fllip, There is nothing strange or startling about this. In fact out of my four base tactics if you like only two have these three team instructions you mention. These two are the goalscoring strikeforce and the 4-2-3-1. The domination and diamond tactic do not use this combination of team instructions.
With regard to the corners I would say firstly the tactics don’t solely depend on corners to win but they do help, we don’t score too many more than the average from corners you will find. Secondly, almost all decent tactics have a good number of goals from corners. Finally in real life teams that have success often score crucial goals from corners, therefore why not use them to your advantage in the game. Hope this answers your questions/comments :)

laxo
Guest
laxo

Have you tried this tactic with very low quality players, like in Conference N/S?

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Hi laxo, I haven’t myself, but a fellow FM player (Will1981) started with a conference north or south team (I can’t remember which club) and achieved four promotions in four successive seasons so it seems to work well :)

I was actually surprised as I didn’t expect such a good performance in the lower leagues.

BanDrown
Guest
BanDrown

Hey Tinkerman ! Any suggestion for an alternate role for the complete forward ? I don’t have one, but I have a very good poacher/false nine for the lone striker position.

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Try false 9 then and set similar individual player instructions as for the complete forward

Pedro Camino
Guest
Pedro Camino

Hey Tinkerman. I’ve been using this tactic in patch 15.1.1 and I have been leaking loads of goals. My defense is world class but goals are leaking. I’ve deselected the Much Higher Defensive Line but still no luck. How can I solve this problem? Thanks!

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Hi Pedro, Firstly how did you get Hazard to Man United? nice work
Well the testing which I carried out on this tactic was on the latest patch at the time 15.3, so the fact that you are using 15.1.1 could cause some issues. Also be careful with your defensive line if you are still playing offside trap.

Pedro Camino
Guest
Pedro Camino

Thanks! I will try and let you know.

Pedro Camino
Guest
Pedro Camino

The team was more solid at the back since ticking off the Offside trap option. Thanks¡

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Glad to hear it Pedro :)

Marijus Kulvietis
Guest

Hello, if i play against you with similar team class, me playing tinkermans 4231 vs tinkermans strikeforce-who will win :)?

Marijus Kulvietis
Guest

my friend played norwich with strikeforce against my southampton 4231 attack and beated me heavily 5-2.

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

You have answered that one for yourself then mate :)

It may not happen this way every time though

Atum
Guest
Atum

Nice tactic mate! Are this and the 4-1-2-3 the only tactics that work with patch 15.3 or some of the others will work too?

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Hi Atum, thanks for that! I think the others may work as well, I haven’t used them on latest patch to be honest though.

Danial Hasif
Guest
Danial Hasif

Best tactic Ever!!! Glad it worked out just seconds after i applied it. Thanks mate!

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Glad its working for you :)

Jimmy Tingström
Guest
Jimmy Tingström

do u change mentalety to hold on for a lead or so??

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

During this test with spurs I didn’t, I played with this tactic to the end no matter what the score. If you want to have a go at creating a tactic to protect a lead, have a look at my guide for creating a tactic to defend a lead, it may help:

http://www.footballmanagerstory.com/best-fm-2015-tactics-defending-lead/

Juraj Zovko
Guest
Juraj Zovko

I’m playing with Dinamo Zagreb from Croatia and its going great for now,but in Champions league im struggling.I cant score as many goals as my team can concede versus teams like CSKA,Basel,Real Madrid etc. Do you have any advice except changing mentality to defensive or counter? And i have another bigger problem and that is injuries. I currently have 9 first team players injured for 3-5 weeks. Half of them injured during match,other half on training,any help with that?

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Part of the problem may the quality of your players against tougher opposition. On the injuries, this will happen from time to time. Allow a days rest after matches and don’t train on very high or high intensity for a while until you get your players back from injury

Juraj Zovko
Guest
Juraj Zovko

Yeah it looks like they just needed more games with this tactic.In second season i managed to get to UEFA cup quarterfinals,lost to Monaco beacuse of away goal.I never set training on high or very high unless its preseason and they do get rest before and after matches I’d say it’s just bad luck

Matan Resnekov
Guest
Matan Resnekov

Man, this thing is NUTS!
I’m playing with Juventus and on the first season didn’t have much problem winning the Serie A & Italian Cup, but in the Champions League my 4-1-3-2 formation struggled against free-flowing 4-3-3 formations like Barca’s and Chelsea’s, and I was beaten by the latter in the semi-finals.

In January I had extra funds available (thx, Agnelli!) so I went for Eriksen + Dybala, both had a great second half-season, especially Eriksen. And then I saw this tactic and decided to force it as my strategy for my second season… and WOW.

To my surprise, Dybala makes an awesome AMR! He’s left-footed and has great pace and tecיnique. Alogside Eriksen & De Bruyne (Wolfsburg got relegated so I snatched him) my team looks unbeatable at the moment!
I tweaked it a little so Vidal is a Ball-winning Mid. and Pogba is roaming (and Scoring!) take a look in the pics.

Anyways, really well done there! :)

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

That looks like an awesome team, glad you are enjoying :)

haken
Guest
haken

Wow …thrashed MU by 6 goals. I will try this….

Nelle
Guest
Nelle

Why does it seem like too good to be true for me?? I’m playing Arsenal aon my 2nd season already and we keep on getting hit on the counter. Started the first few weeks on top of EPL then lost I think 3 straight and now I’m down to 4th. Very frustrating since (I think) I have a pretty strong lineup of Aboubakar – Alexis Ozil Ox – Romero Ramsey – Chambers Balanta Kosciely Silva. Does the defense really suck??

Grinch
Guest
Grinch

Hey mate, my players always get really tired after the games, do you have any suggestion? I already give them rest after matches.

Juraj Zovko
Guest
Juraj Zovko

I’m not an expert but i would try to rotate more players especially if you have match every 2 or 3 days,or maybe they just have low stamina ratings.

feylezofi
Guest
feylezofi

Hello Tinkerman,
I have been playing with this formation for four seasons, I am getting great results but I have a slightly annoying issue. Central Midfielders on defend duty are not performing well. I have tried Lucas Romero, Matias Kranevitter, Niklas Stark, Gaston Gil Romero, Yann M’Villa but they all perfomed btw 6.5 and 6.8, what do you think? Changing the player role to B2B or BWM did not solve the issue.

By the way, thanks for the tactics man.

Se7enStars
Guest
Se7enStars

feylezofi,

I have experienced the same issue, with Gil Romero having roughly 7 rating in my first two seasons with Arsenal. As he matured in the team, it seem to solve the problem, he started getting higher and higher ratings. In the third season he finished with 7.56 which i feel is superb for his position.
I suspect that improved marking stats are crucial tu high rating when having a defend duty.

trackback

[…] photo source: footballmanagerstory […]

Jeremy Williams
Guest
Jeremy Williams

I used this tactic with Everton and won the Premier League first season! A couple notes on my season: My only first-team addition was getting Lucas Romero for the midfield; Mirallas is a right-footed player playing right wing and ended up rated 4 1/2 stars and getting 20 goals, 17 assists, 7 player of the match awards, a 7.96 average rating, and the players’ player of the year award, making it seem that off-footedness isn’t necessary at the wings; Also, my WB(R) – Coleman – is terrible at corners so I had other right-footed players take the left corners and still ended up with 19 goals from corners in the League (it would seem that the corner instructions are one of the most effective aspects of this tactic); My players led the league in several key categories but one that I didn’t expect was Jagielka having the most key tackles in the league.

Se7enStars
Guest
Se7enStars

“off-footedness isn’t necessary at the wings;”
it is game changing, title winning
but if you have no way of setting up an if, then you have to play with what you have. Although Mirallas is right footed he is probably decent with his left also, so thats why you are getting those stats.

Cmi
Guest

I keep losing to like man utd, arsenal and man city I am using chelsea here is my team someone please help https://gyazo.com/21752aa9c5fae6a46a670159d926af5d

Se7enStars
Guest
Se7enStars

Set it to counter instead of attacking, it will solve your problem, especially with the team you are playing.

Rich Jouanny
Guest
Rich Jouanny

Does anyone else find you get loads of red cards with 75% of the team on “tackle harder” and also with the “Get stuck in” TI? I get a red card every 4 games nearly!

Se7enStars
Guest
Se7enStars

depends on who is getting the cards, you need discipline when you are commiting so many fauls. And also, try to use the subs to balance crucial yellow card situations.

Rich Jouanny
Guest
Rich Jouanny

Thanks Se7enStars – My whole team were fluid with tactic familiarity, but then after about another 3 months of matches the red cards almost stopped. I use this tactic when losing & Kallemannen’s 4231 to start games, and have won the EURO Cup with Hull, come 5th in the Premier League in my first season. Not bad! (I removed the corner bug/cheat as I don’t like to cheat the game like that).

Se7enStars
Guest
Se7enStars

I always feel like balancing some fines with some warning, and giving the team a bit of time like you said, can solve the problems. Also, keep in mind you are managing Hull, and they are not Bayern Munich. The lower quality of your players also influences the way they tackle.

Se7enStars
Guest
Se7enStars

Dear Thinkerman,

first of all, allow me to become one of the many to congratulate you for a spectacular tactic, a superb free flowing and solid piece of great footbal.

I have found that a counter instead of attacking stile, works better for most of my teams. It feels more solid, and gives me more confidence, especially with top teams, in tensionate derbies.
Do you have any idea why that may be? Honestly, logic tells me counter doesn’t really fit your philosophy very well. Also, have you tried using any other roles in the middle, except cm s and d?

Thanks!

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Hi Se7en Stars

Thanks for all your comments :)

What your doing is great, making adjustments which work well for you.
I did try other roles in this position, nothing else seemed to perform a lot better. However what I would say is just because the player rating isn’t very high, doesn’t mean the player isn’t carrying out an important role positionally for the stability of the tactic.

Tinkerman

Se7enStars
Guest
Se7enStars

Yes I felt so too for a while tbh – “However what I would say is just because the player rating isn’t very high, doesn’t mean the player isn’t carrying out an important role positionally for the stability of the tactic.” – Now that you said it too, I am sure it is true. Thats the case with players like Gil Romero, or Henderson. Thanks mate!

Max
Guest
Max

Two things that’s not mentioned in the guide is;
1. Should the mentality always be set to offensive? (or should this be changed, depending on what team your up against?)
2. Should you use the match tips that your assisting coach is telling you during a game?

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Hi Max
1. read guide again
2. I just ignored in this tactic test with spurs

Max
Guest
Max

Thanks for the answer!
Regarding my first question. Why I’m asking (I know it says “offensive was used during all matches”). But Spurs is a team that is a lot better then the one i’m playing with (AIK – Sweden).
The thing is: I keep winning the Swedish league without any problems, but when it comes to CL & EL I get steamrolled.

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Hi Max
Well done on your league success. I would imagine the quality of players you are able to attract to the AIK in the Swedish league are probably not good enough to compete with the best teams in europe which could be a large part of your problem in EL & CL.If you want success in CL I suggest moving to one of the top European leagues. Hope this helps.
Tinkerman

Se7enStars
Guest
Se7enStars

I wouldn’t ever listen to the Assistant Coach. Not when using one of Thinkerman’s tactics I mean.

Dave Hunt
Guest
Dave Hunt

Just wanna say i’ve really enjoyed this tactic thought i’d use it with man united won the Prem by like 20+ points won the FA Cup, Capital one Cup, Champs League and dominated The Prem and also won Super Cup etc looking forward to seeing more of these tactics in FM 2016 keep up the good work :D

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Hi Dave
Thanks for your comment and feedback. Glad you enjoyed the tactic :)

Stuart Beetlestone
Guest
Stuart Beetlestone

Tinkerman will you be sinking your teeth into FM16? Are you on twitter so I can follow you. Last season’s Strikeforce still the best I have used.
Thanks

Kreizie Bee
Guest
Kreizie Bee

is this tastic so susceptible with counter attck?
how to solve it? pls help thinkerman
and 1 more , i dont understand how to manage the training , this is my first play fm2015
ty

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Great guide on training on this site written by Darren, you can access it from the website homepage :)

James Buckley
Guest
James Buckley

great great tactic… so far best tactic ive used on fm15

James Buckley
Guest
James Buckley

perfect also with liverpool and the youngsters thats coming through

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Thanks mate

Jorda1971
Guest
Jorda1971

Great tactics i scored to much goals my winners are 7:2,4:2,5:2 etc…But i have problems with defence to much goals received…

TheTinkerman
Guest
TheTinkerman

Yes my friend, that the type of tactic it is, high risk – high reward

Cyanide29
Guest
Cyanide29

I have been using your tactic for a while now and I gotta say “great job” man! It is a high risk – high reward tactic and it’s sometimes too risky when facing tougher opponents or similar opponents(away from home), however, i’ve found that this tactic also works wonders when played on “counter” instead of “attacking”. I have won all games in which i have used this tactic on “counter” while playing with Everton. I’ve managed to beat ManU, Chelsea, Liverpool and so on, congratulations on creating this great tactic dude.

Cody736
Guest
Cody736

Does the instruction “run at defense” do well in this tactic?

Cody736
Guest
Cody736

Also, I have Eriksen and Depay in my team, they seem to shoot for goal on Free Kicks despite your instructions. Not that I’m complaining, they’re really good at them.

Brainstorm
Guest
Brainstorm

Hello Tinkerman, i dont know if you still watch this, i hope you will.
Well i used your tactic with a mediocre english league 2 team (Exeter). I am leading the table now, at about halfway of the season (my 1st season it is).
My concern is this : obviously it is a winning tactic, since i lead the table, but at about 80% of my victories are kind of 1-0, 2-0 etc. My team does not seem to create a lot of clear chances, of course the boys know how to score on these few clear cut chances, so i keep winning.
but eventually games go a little boring. I have seen whole halftimes passing with only one key chance or even none.
Do you suspect that my players lower quality, has to do with this? I play your tactic, completely unchanged.
Thank you!

Poma
Guest
Poma

Will you create a simular tactic for FM16?

Harshit
Guest
Harshit

hi tinkerman, can i use this tactic in fm 15.3.2 ?