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FM 2011 tactics guide – how I beat every club in the Premier League

Hey guys, I have a special post for you today and one that you won’t want to miss. I have enjoyed some great success on Football Manager 2011 with my Newcastle side. Well today I will share with you how I did it, a complete FM 2011 tactics guide on how to beat everyone in the Premier League. Formations and tactics make all the difference in FM11 and sometimes the simplest ones work best. That is my philosophy and this Football Manager Premiership tactics guide should help you gain some of my success. I still use a lot of tweaks at half time and team talks always have an effect, but these tactical guides should help you get the formation and tactics right for kick-off. I will talk about each Premier League club in alphabetical order and list their weakness’, tactics and how to beat them.

Some of you may already have read my FM 2011 –  Newcastle tactics 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 post. It basically describes the formations shown in this post and offers the link to download them. My 4-5-1 and 4-4-2 formations are a base that should be tweaked for some matches to suit the opponents weakness’. Within each Premier League club I will describe which tactic to use and how to change it for the best effect. You can download my 4-4-2 tactic from here and my 4-5-1 tactic from here.

Arsenal

  • Tactic they use4-5-1 with defensive midfielder and two attacking wingers.
  • Tactic you should useMy 4-5-1.
  • Changes to my base formationNone.
  • StrategyCounter home and away.
  • NotesI found that Arsenal develop as the game goes on and you may need to use a slighty deep defensive line with very fast tempo and very wide width. This should only happen after two seasons though. Also use a team talk of ‘you can win this’ when away from home. Always tackle Arshavin hard and close down Fabregas.

Aston Villa

  • Tactics they use4-4-1-1 and 4-4-2.
  • Tactics you should useMy 4-5-1.
  • Changes to my base formationNone.
  • StrategyUse counter away from home and standard at home.
  • NotesVilla Park has a very narrow pitch and if your struggling to create chances then focus the passing through the middle. This should help if your wingers have unusually low ratings while away from home. Always tackle Ashley Young hard and put strikers onto their weaker foot.

Birmingham City

  • Tactics they use4-4-2.
  • Tactics you should useMy 4-5-1.
  • Changes to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Use standard strategy home and away.
  • Notes –  If you gain a two goal lead change to counter and touchline shout ‘hassle opponents’ and ‘pass into space’. If you are struggling early on just touchline shout ‘get ball forward’ and ‘get stuck in’. Use control strategy if still struggling in second half.

Blackburn Rovers

  • Tactics they use – 4-4-2.
  • Tactics you should use – My 4-5-1.
  • Change to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Use standard strategy at home and counter strategy away.
  • Notes – Blackburn are very tough to break down and a shout of  ‘get ball forward’ or ‘get stuck in’ may help. Use these shouts if you fear the opponent may score. If you go a goal up away from home, use shouts of ‘hassle opponents’ and ‘pass into space’.

Blackpool

  • Tactics they use – 4-4-2.
  • Tactics you should use – My 4-5-1.
  • Change to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Use standard strategy home and away.
  • Notes – You should be able to use more attacking formations against Blackpool. If your struggling I would recommend changing to a control strategy and shouting ‘get ball forward’.

Bolton Wanderers

  • Tactics they use – 4-2-3-1 narrow and 4-4-2
  • Tactics you should use – My 4-5-1.
  • Change to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Standard at home and away. Use counter away from home if you’re on a bad run of form.
  • Notes – Always put Elmander onto his weaker foot and tackle Petrov hard.

Chelsea

  • Tactics they use – 4-5-1 using defensive midfielder and 4-2-1-2-1.
  • Tactics you should use – 4-5-1 when opponent uses 4-5-1 with defensive midfielder and use a 4-4-2 when opponent uses 4-2-1-2-1. Your assistant should help with best formation to use.
  • Change to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Use a standard strategy when playing a 4-5-1 and counter with the 4-4-2.
  • Notes – If you are struggling at home with a counter strategy change to standard and use touchline shouts ‘get ball forward’ and ‘get stuck in’. Close down Lampard, put Drogba onto weaker foot and tackle Anelka hard.

Everton

  • Tactics they use – 4-4-1-1.
  • Tactic you should use – My 4-5-1.
  • Changes to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Use standard strategy at home and counter away.
  • Notes – If you go a goal down away from home change to standard strategy and shout ‘get ball forward’. If you’re struggling with the scores level at home shout ‘get stuck in’. Always tackle Fellaini hard, put Cahill onto weaker foot, close him down and tackle him hard.

Fulham

  • Tactics they use – 4-4-2 at Craven Cottage and 4-1-4-1 away.
  • Tactics you should use – My 4-5-1 away and my 4-4-2 at home.
  • Change to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Use a standard strategy home and away.
  • Notes – If you’re struggling to score at home change to control strategy and shout ‘get stuck in’. If you go a goal up away from home change to counter strategy and shout ‘pass into space’ and ‘hassle opponent’.

Liverpool

  • Tactics they use – 4-2-3-1 with wingers.
  • Tactic you should use – My 4-5-1.
  • Change to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Use standard strategy at home and counter away.
  • Notes – Before kick-off always go into opposition instructions, tackle Gerrard hard and put him onto the weaker foot, do same with Torres. If you score two goals at home change to counter, then shout ‘hassle opponents’ and ‘pass into space’.

Manchester City

  • Tactics they use – 4-4-2.
  • Tactic you should use – My 4-5-1.
  • Change to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Counter both at home and away.
  • Notes – If you are under great pressure at home, don’t wait for City to score…change to a standard strategy and shout ‘get ball forward’ and ‘hassle opponents’. Always put Tevez onto weaker foot and tackle him hard. Close Milner down and be sure to tackle Silva hard.

Manchester United

  • Tactics they use – 4-4-2.
  • Tactic you should use – My 4-5-1.
  • Changes to my base formation – None. However always check assistants advice…when he recommends a slightly wide width and slightly fast tempo, change it.
  • Strategy – Use counter both at home and away. Use standard in cup finals though.
  • Notes – Always keep your striker as a poacher, if struggling at home early on change to standard strategy before they score. Also shout ‘get stuck in’. If you do go a goal up and are still using counter strategy, shout ‘pass into space’ and ‘hassle opponents’. Put Rooney and Berbatov onto weaker foot, tackle Nani and Hernandez hard.

Newcastle United

  • Tactics they use – I would assume 4-4-1-1 but not sure because I manage them.
  • Tactics you should use – 4-4-1-1 or 4-5-1.
  • Changes to my base formation – Not sure because I manage them and have no experience against the toon.
  • Strategy – I have experienced counter attacking sides do best against me so maybe use counter away and standard at home.
  • Notes – Mark Andy Carroll tightly and put Nolan onto his weaker foot.

Stoke City

  • Tactics they use – 4-1-4-1.
  • Tactic you should use – My 4-5-1.
  • Changes to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Use standard at home and counter away.
  • Notes – Using a poacher upfront works best as Stoke are too strong in the air. If struggling for possession away from home change to standard strategy and shout ‘get stuck in’. Don’t go too attacking at home as you may get caught out. Make sure their forward are been put onto the weaker foot through opposition instructions.

Sunderland

  • Tactics they use – 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 with defensive midfielder.
  • Tactics you should use – My 4-5-1 against their 4-4-2, or my 4-4-2 against their 4-5-1 with DMC.
  • Changes to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Standard at home or counter away.
  • Notes – Always use a poacher upfront and tackle Gyan hard. If you gain a two goal lead change to counter startegy, shout ‘pass ball into space’ and ‘hassle opponents’. If you’re struggling at all shout ‘get stuck in’ and ‘get ball forward’.

Tottenham Hotspurs

  • Tactics they use – 4-4-1-1.
  • Tactics you should use – 4-4-1-1, or 4-1-4-1. Both tactics I do not use and this is why I struggle against Spurs.
  • Changes to my base formation – N/A, however using slightly high defensive line, slightly narrow width and slightly slow tempo should work best with the above formations.
  • Strategy – Counter at home and away.
  • Notes – If you go a goal down change to standard strategy, then shout ‘get ball forward’ and ‘get stuck in’. Be sure to tackle Van Der Vaart hard, put him onto weaker foot and close him down. Crouch needs marking tightly and Bale along with Lennon should be tackled hard.

West Bromwich Albion

  • Tactics they use – 4-2-3-1 with wingers.
  • Tactic you should use – My 4-5-1.
  • Changes to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Standard at home and counter away.
  • Notes – Put Brunt onto his weaker foot in opposition instruction.

West Ham United

  • Tactics they use – 4-4-2.
  • Tactics you should use – My 4-4-2 when playing at home and my 4-5-1 when away.
  • Changes to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Use a standard strategy at home and away.
  • Notes – Carlton Cole should be put onto weaker foot and Scott Parker should be closed down. If you gain a two goal lead change to counter strategy and shout ‘hassle opponents’ and ‘pass into space’.

Wigan Athletic

  • Tactics they use – 4-2-1-2-1 and 4-4-2.
  • Tactics you should use – My 4-5-1 against their 4-2-1-2-1 or my 4-4-2 against their 4-4-2.
  • Changes to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Use standard strategy both home and away.
  • Notes – Make sure you tackle Boselli hard and put N’Zogbia onto his weaker foot. If you are struggling shout ‘get ball forward’ and ‘get stuck in’.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • Tactics they use – 4-1-4-1 and 4-4-2.
  • Tactics you should use – My 4-4-2.
  • Changes to my base formation – None.
  • Strategy – Standard both home and away.
  • Notes – Tackle Fletcher hard and change to control strategy if struggling at home.

Please remember that this Football Manager 2011 tactics guide is based on my 4-5-1 and 4-4-2 tactics, a previous post lists them and offers the link for download. You can see that here. This FM 2011 Premier League guide is also based on the clubs with their current manager, a new manager would require different tactics. Equally David Moyes took charge of Man Utd in my game so when I came up against them I just applied my tactics for Everton instead. These tactics are specific to my team and style of managing so hopefully you can use them for yourself. Even if you only get one useful tip from this post I will be happy. :)

Things to remember before kick-off

  • Start by checking your assistants pre-match advice. If he recommends a formation use it, if he says to use a certain tempo use it etc.
  • Pick your side according to the opponents. For instance, if you have a good attacking full back with little pace and a fast full back that defends better than attacks. Then you would use the pacey one against fast sides like Tottenham and the more attacking one against sides with less of an attacking threat.
  • Always listen to your assistants advice about the opposition. He will tell you which players are dangerous and how best to handle them. Make sure you do what he says in the opposition instructions. ie tackle hard and close down options for the opposition players.
  • If it isn’t working on the pitch, don’t wait for a miracle, change it. For example, in the Champions League semi-final I was losing away from home to Arsenal 3-0. I changed my strategy from counter to control, brought on Araujo and Dudu, then did a couple of touchline shouts like ‘get stuck in’ and ‘get ball forward’. We still lost 4-3, but those three goals saw us through to the Champions League final.
  • When you are getting close to the full time whistle and hanging onto a lead. It is worth changing to counter strategy and using touchline shouts ‘pass into space’ and ‘hassle opponents’. During extreme cases you could use a containstrategy with touchline shouts of ‘hassle opponents’, ‘play safer’ and ‘drop deeper’ (but only use the contain strategy option when in the last 7 or so minutes.)
  • The team talks are very important. Before kick-off I generally use ‘do it for the fans’ if we’re the favourites, or ‘you can win this’ if we’re underdogs. However, if you’re the favourite but not confident of the win away from home I would use ‘you can win this’.

Well if I keep going this article will exceed 2100 words which is too long, so we’ll leave it there. I really hope this comes in handy and if you have any questions I’m more than happy to help. Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments.

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Daniel
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Daniel

i dont really use my assitants advice apar tfrom formation as he is wrong alot of the time

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Daniel, thats really strange as my assistant is almost always right. Maybe it varies for different tactics…as in some are quite flexible but some only work with certain settings.

Ana Garcia
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Ana Garcia

Really fantastic guide Darren, well done.

I myself dont usually use team instructions but having read this I may try and include them in the future.

A thing about team talks I have found is if your assistant says something like player x is looking complacent etc you can say ‘expect a performance’ on him and that will usually re-focus him to a good performance.

I tend to always listen to my assistant and always try to get the best one I can, I too find he is usually correct at least 90% of the time and I find his advice at times invaluable.

Again well done Darren, very insightful and a really good read.

Darren Smith
Guest

I’m glad you like the guide Ana. I find using the opposition instructions help a lot but shouldn’t be over done or your side may hardly attack. Thats an interesting point about players getting complacent before a game. I may try using that tip more often…sometimes it backfires on me but I will definitely look at it in more detail now. You gotta love the assistant, he makes life a lot easier :)

Sears
Guest

Hey Darren, wonderful post. These tactics works well for you, and me too. For my Liverpool game I’ve started taking the opposition for seriously and my assistants advice. There’s a few teams I don’t beat to often, especially Man Utd. Actually, in 6 attempts I’m yet to beat them with Liverpool. I don’t know why but tactical I seem to make a mess of things. In the Charity Shield final, my assistant told me they struggle against a 4-4-1-1 tactic so I applied that tactic. They scored and dominated until I switched to a 4-5-1, then we dominated and should have won. The assistants advice is great though. Although he may be wrong sometimes, the majority of the time he’s correct. I never use touch line shouts as I watch the game in ”only commentary”. I’m just beginning to get the confidence to start using my own tactics so I’m still adjusting. Before I always used a downloaded tactic, but I must admit, you gain more satisfaction if you when a title or Champions League with your own tactics than one you downloaded. I also don’t use the counter strategy much anymore, only for big Champions League games when I… Read more »

Darren Smith
Guest

Glad this will help mate, thats why I made it. Found it very hard to put my thinking into words but this is the best I could do. About your assistant telling you to use a 4-4-1-1, he does the same to me sometimes and that is the only time I ignore him. When a 4-4-1-1 is suggested I always use a 4-5-1. With a side like Liverpool the standard strategy is probably best for most games as you’ll be expecting to dominate. I enjoy success with lesser sides because I can grind out games…like the Champions League final, we got an early goal and grinded out the victory. Im not so good with tactics to completely dominate any opponent. As my side grows Ill have to adapt though. Thanks Sears, its aways nice to know a post has helped someone. This was 2200 words long so took a lot of research and time to write :)

Laxeyman
Guest
Laxeyman

Great guide Darren, I’m sure this will come in useful, so thanks. I can understand why you beat so many sides because you really know how to play against each and every one of them. Cheers :)

Darren Smith
Guest

I hope it does help Laxeyman. Its all my opinion and what helps me win matches really, so could be tough to interpret into other managers styles but I thought it would make for a food guide to new comers and anyone whos struggling.

Birdy
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Birdy

Hey Darren awesome guide that would really help me when i hopefully get promoted to the Premier League this will help me avoid relegation straight away. Very helpful

Thanks Birdy

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Birdy, it took a long time to research and write but I thought it would help a few people. Hopefully you’ll make some use of it.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Hi Darren
Very detailed report and will be very useful for a lot of people. Thanks for taking the time to put this together for us all.

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Kevin, even if half the readers gain something from 10% of the post Ill be happy. Hopefully some newcomers will understand the game a little better after reading.

Herman
Guest
Herman

Is there any good assistants you’d recommend? I’ve hired Steve Clarke at Newcastle.

Darren Smith
Guest

Steve Clarke is probably the best assistant willing to join the toon I reckon…Ive stuck by Beardsley and he’s been spot on with advice and press conferences so Im sticking with the toon legend.

trackback

[…] always my 4-5-1 was to be used in this fixture, like mentioned in my Premier League tactics guide a standard strategy tends to work best against United in any cup final. I also used my slightly […]

CsAtlantis
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CsAtlantis

Turning on first window transfer budgets made some clubs get some pretty interesting players, Chelsea signed Afellay and Man City signed Rakitic and Baines(16.5 million pounds!), Fulham bought Gary Cahill and sold Hangeland to Chelsea for a profit to name some interesting happenings in the market

Did the signings made by other clubs affect your approach against them?

Interesting tips on hanging on to a lead, I normally use contain with touchline shouts retain possession and pass to feet

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey CsAtlantis, I have noticed that the players entering a club do not change their tactics too much its all down to who manages the club. The only thing to watch for is handling these new signings by assigning opposition instruction before kick-off. So to answer your question players signed don’t effect my tactics unless they turn a mediocre side into a good one in which case I may change the starting strategy to counter.

Alex
Guest

Hi all, Could someone help me? I m playing a lot of years this game but in the last releases i played few. I m playing with 2 friends in Spanish League. I took manage of Villarreal and the others took Sevilla and At. Madrid as “equals” teams to play. I made some wrong decisions but i didnt know what will happen. I sold in the beggining 3 excellent players and i baught only 2 players to improve my Midfield. G. Rossi, Cani, Ruben were the players that i sold. I. Affelay, K. Ledesma the players that i bought We are in November, we player around 9 games. I m in the 17th position with only one win ( I gained 3!!!penalties) 3 draws and around 5 losses. My team playing extremely horrible. The GK do a lot of terrible decisions, my defense mark with eyes ( the opposite players run without any problem to score) My miedfields, they dont know what to do with the ball, they loose the ball so easily the dont tackle, they dont make crosses or few shoots. My strikers ok they try but with also a poor help. I tried different tactics to achieve… Read more »

Darren Smith
Guest

Hi Alex, unfortionately I am yet to manage in Spain so may not be able to help you. Its very tough to get your side out of bad form and all I can recommend is listening to your assistants advice and maybe trying a simpler formation like my 4-5-1 or 4-4-2 found here http://allthatisfootballmanager.com/2010/12/fm-2011-newcastle-tactics-4-4-2-and-4-5-1/ These formations and designed to grind out results when your struggling and also work to beat easy sides convincingly. Also maybe try using more encouraging team talks before kick-off. Goodluck mate and I hope this helps a little.

Jim
Guest
Jim

Hi Darren, can you recommend any signings for Newcastle in the first transfer window with their limited budget? Or suggest what areas I should look to strenghen? I believe Newcastle already have a good midfield at least centrally, a decent defence and a couple of good target men up front. Maybe I could do with a playmaker or another winger? I’ve got quite a bit experience on FM and have always managed to do well with the bigger clubs but tend to struggle with Newcastle who I like to use being a fan. The squad of 2 years ago I managed quite well but then they had the pace of Martins and creativity and presence of Viduka up front. Maybe a pacey AM/ST to partner Carroll would best benefit the squad? Cheers

Darren Smith
Guest

Hi Jim, I can certainly try and help with some cheap signings. In my Newcastle game I got Enyeama in GK and Araujo to play upfront. I don’t think its realistic to bring in quality players as the money available really restricts you. Araujo is a top talent and great way to build for the future, he now gets 25 goals a season for me and Enyeama has been voted European Goalkeeper of the year.

I used Jonas and Ben Arfa on the wings, with Routledge and Lovenkrands as backup so decided to leave them a season. I also felt like there was enough strength in central midfield to last the season. The defence is great and the only area to improve on is right back I think. However I would seriously recommend finding a Striker as Carroll is the only decent one left. Hope this helps a little and if you have anymore questions I’m happy to help.

ps definitely get a pacey ST, thats what Newcastle lack the most. In my second season I signed Paloschi and the difference was immense!

Stuart Clapham
Guest
Stuart Clapham

Hi Darren.

Thanks for this, it works very well for me with West Ham. I use the real fixtures and won the first Four games (inc. Manchester Utd and Chelsea) in convincing fashion.
The assistant was a good help too.
Thanks for all you work and time putting this together.

Darren Smith
Guest

Hi Stuart, I am really glad this guide helped you. Its really difficult to put everything I do into words but you seem to have grasped it. Thanks for commenting as well mate, its nice to hear this has helped. :)

Syd Geary
Guest
Syd Geary

Sorry Darren

I give up I just don’t win using these tactics. I playing with Liverpool even Sunderland beat me 3 times now. Back to the drawing board for me old chap.

Darren Smith
Guest

I’m sorry to hear that Syd, I assume you did download both my 4-5-1 and 4-4-2 to use for this guide? If so, I guess the tactic just doesn’t suit your style mate…I myself have tried some very successful tactics for other players but had next to no success with them. Hope you find one that works for you mate.

roman
Guest
roman

hi darren, im your biggest fans. thanks for advice

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks for the kind words Roman, its always nice to know people enjoy the site. I love FM and writing is one of my passions too, so making these guides and writing my stories is a real hobby. Glad to know everyone gets something from them. :)

Syd Geary
Guest
Syd Geary

Sorry Darren, I have downloaded both tactics, funny thing is after I wrote the above I tried them with Newcastle and QPR (Championship) and they work. Go figure.

Be well

Syd

Darren Smith
Guest

I guess certain teams have preset best formations or something…just glad you’ve found success with some of your games so well done mate.

Timmy
Guest
Timmy

Hey Darren,
this guide is working well to me,but i have some question
in premier league,im draw with everton(2-2)and win from arsenal and fulham(1-0 for both)
but when im play the stoke in league cup,im lose 2-1
can you tell me what happen(btw,using this guide with resting player one day before match was very working!)im use newcastle :)

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Timmy, glad to hear this guide has helped. All it is, is my personal experience against each side. The one flaw with this tactic and guide is its based on scraping through some games and you may find you lose or draw the odd match that you’d expect to win. Also, it depends on what team talk you used. If you use the wrong team talk your players will not play at maximum potential. I usually say’do it for the fans’ when Im the favourite to win and ‘you can win this’ when Im the underdog. But use your assistants advice as well. Hope this helps a bit.

TT15
Guest
TT15

Well, Stoke is 4-4-2 at home actually, but does that work the same?

Darren Smith
Guest

Hi TT15, I’m afraid you’ll have to be more specific…what do you mean ‘Stoke is 4-4-2 at home actually’. As in they use that tactic or you think its the best to use against them . Either way in my experience Stokes main tactic at the start is a 4-4-1-1 and I have always enjoyed my best results using a 4-5-1 against them. Obviously the game can be different for every new load, plus new players can effect an oppositions formation along with new managers.

Sam
Guest
Sam

Hey Darren I picked up Walsall in league one. I mainly use 451, I started well abc was in promotion spot but dropped right off towards the end. I think my forwards were too slow and gk to average. I ended up finishing 11th. Hopefully with some good signings and cleaning out the dead wood il improve. I found a lot of the time I would go a goal up but they would always equalize. Plus any tips on signings for league one

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Sam, good to hear from you. League One is quite tricky, but once you bring in a few players it will get easier. I am useless without pacey forwards and swear by them. Loan signings could be the way forward. Vuckic and Donaldson of Newcastle did wonders for Warren in his Hartlepool game if their available. I’m afraid I’ve not done lower league yet and can’t offer much advice. If I fear my side could throw the lead away, I always switch to counter then shout ‘hassle opponents’ and ‘pass into space’. Maybe this will help. :)

harrry
Guest
harrry

how come i use you tactics and i lose 3-0 to liverpool ?

Darren Smith
Guest

Football Manager takes far more factors into account for the outcome of a game other than tactics. For instance if you got the team talk wrong, this result would happen. The same as if you didn’t respond right to going a goal behind. Also your players may not suit this tactic, you should maybe check their attributes to see if they have the right ones for their roles.

Kakamal
Guest
Kakamal

Errr.. may I say it is because Liverpool are the king of Europe?

stephen douglas
Guest
stephen douglas

Had to play without your guidance last night, Liverpool 3rd game in 2011 v Blackpool went with 442, 3 up and half time, 3 up at the end. They were not very good

Darren Smith
Guest

Hi Stephen, thankfully you won’t need to play without guidance any more. I have fixed the site and we shouldn’t go off line again. :)

Timmy
Guest
Timmy

Hello,i use this tactic and it’s work very well.for people who argue this guide maybe you can heard to your assistant advice before match,it’s work!
But,Darren i have some question too
If the manager went to the other team,so i have to apply the guide to his new club?
ex:Redknapp went to Man City,McCarthy go to Fulham.So what i have to do?

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks for the vote of confidence Timmy, glad the tactic and guide help. :)

In answer to your question, yes. If a manager moves club you should apply my tactics to the new club. For instance Moyes took over Man Utd and I started using the same tactics as I did against Everton. Basically the manager will use the same tactics where ever he goes. Just be careful though as the new players can make a difference. :) To confirm…if a manager moves club he WILL take the same tactics with him.

boppy
Guest
boppy

hello Darren, thx for the guidance, i’ve just had enough of losing and loading the game too many times to find a good tactic, :p
so from what i read, my player low abilities should not be a problem to win a game with a big club (like MU or chelsea) as long as i follow the guide,right?
lots of thx, btw :D

Darren Smith
Guest

Hi Boppy, you’re welcome and I hope this will help.

This tactic may not be suited to all players but is the most versatile I’ve managed to create. You have to remember that there’s more to winning games than the tactics. You also need to get the team talks right as players with bad morale or motivation will play badly no matter how good the tactic is. I think you should see an improvement using this tactic and guide though…I found it very effective in the second season after bringing in players that suit the tactic best like fast strikers and wingers.

I’m happy to answer any questions if its not working mate. :)

Chris Milk
Guest
Chris Milk

Thanks Darren, I too am a geordie and a big toon fan, so you can understand my frustration when I couldnt get the right team or tactics when playing with Newcastle, I find it so much easier with bigger clubs, but not with the toon. But now thanks to this guide and your other posts, I find it much easier. I am eternally grateful mate thanks!

P.S. Do you recommend signing Ben Arfa on a permanent deal, or is there any othe cheapish wingers that you can think of?

Darren Smith
Guest

Hi Chris, always happy to hear from a fellow Geordie. Newcastle have been such a great team for me on FM…my tactics and style of managing just suit them for some reason. I’m glad you’ve also found some success because of the site.

To answer the Ben Arfa question he is very good as an inside forward from the left wing, but not worth more than £4-5 mill. I would look into Gaitan from Benfica, he’s been a beast for me. Let me know if you need anything mate. :)

Shane
Guest
Shane

Not very helpful tbh, plus the info was probably gathered from reloading the same match over and over again, anyone can make themselves appear to be a great manager that way! Gee. Full of adverts as well.

Darren Smith
Guest

Everyone has their own opinion. I respect yours but not sure why you bothered commenting if there wasn’t anything constructive to say. And don’t say I reloaded to get this info as you can’t even know such a thing. What’s the point in belittling someone and their efforts to help others when you don’t even know them? This guide has helped a lot of beginners and is the audience its aimed at. You seem a little immature and out to slander me, therefore, any future comments of this nature will be deleted. I’m bored of listening to people be plain mean…if you have an opinion and want to share it to help others, great! If you have an opinion and want to voice it in order to make people feel bad, stay away from this site!

Shane
Guest
Shane

Well if you want something constructive then I’d suggest managers develop their own tactics. We have the tactic wizard, it does a pretty good job for setting up individual instructions for each role requested, once setup, it’s just a case of doing some minor tweeks. Want more direct, then just use the drop down menu for more direct, shorter then use shorter drop down. In years past I’d have said guides were certainly needed when we didn’t have the wizard, nowadays I’d say it’s better to learn some of the little details. Details like having a conversation with a player you want to rest, I think a lot of new players or even the more experienced would just swap a player in or out of the starting lineup without telling them why. Granted it is a pain to go through the conversation route for simply dropping a player for a match but all these little things help, like having conversation after a player played well. There arent too many guides around about those kinds of things. Anyway, if the site is for newbies then I guess I wont visit, so good luck.

Darren Smith
Guest

I agree with that, and I do not seek tactical advise myself. However, before doing this post I recieved at least twenty requests for it and what should I have done…let those readers down just because you don’t find it helpful?? I understand that a lot of managers do not need this info, but it doesn’t mean the information is useless and that no one else needs it. Like I said, this post was done through demand like most of my posts. I did not say this SITE is only for newbies, merely this POST. I do posts for the readers and to try and help them, so I don’t appreciate sarky and mean comments when all I’m doing is giving people what they ask for. I really get where you’re coming from and your obviously too advanced fr this sort of info, but you shouldn’t assume every player is like you. I haven’t created this site for one type of manager but all. Any help people want I try my best to offer it. It just drains me seeing comments like your first one and makes me consider just shutting the site. I feel like for every one person… Read more »

Sam
Guest
Sam

Well it works for me darren. Just got promoted to the championship with Walsall. I’m looking to jump ship at the earliest opp but your advice to show interest in shaky positions just gets me fired. My wage budget sucks and have no budget. I have a good team but I want a better job. Surely someone will see my class and offer

Darren Smith
Guest

Thanks Sam, glad you’ve gained something from the post. I’m sure someone from the Premier League or an underachieving but high profile Championship club will come calling. Good luck mate. :)

Sam
Guest
Sam

Darren I keep forgetting to ask what dimensions work best with youR tactics. Plus do you have any Training drill advice

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Sam, when you say dimensions do you mean def line, width and tempo? If so it depends on the opponent but generally a slightly high defensive line, slightly narrow width and slightly slow tempo. Let me know if I’ve misunderstood the question mate. :)

As for training drills I don’t have much advice. Mainly to assign each coach one training area suited to their attributes I guess.

TT15
Guest
TT15

What i need to do when like a striker gets an red card?

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey mate, when a striker goes off it depends on your formation. But for a 4-4-2, I would just move your remaining striker to the centre and go 4-4-1. Its trickier for a 4-5-1, you would need to take a central midfielder off for a new striker or move a central midfielder upfront to play a 4-4-1. Also move the AMR and AML back to ML and MR. Hope this makes sense. Theres many things you could do but this is what I’d do.

Sam
Guest
Sam

I meant pitch size.

Darren Smith
Guest

Ah I see. Sorry for the confusion. Because the wingers are pushed up in my 4-5-1 and play wide due to a crowded centre, a narrow pitch would have a bad effect. My 4-5-1 needs good performances from the wings or the forward won’t get much support therefore the wider the pitch the better. Also a long pitch would suit the direct style of football better too. But be careful as a high defensive line with slow defenders spells out trouble. :)

Timmy
Guest
Timmy

hey,don’t hear the worse post,hear the good one
and if this bad guide,why i can number 4 in my second season without any big transfer(except Lucas)this is help me,even im using my tactic or another tactic :)
and where is that bad user,i want to try my desert eagle :P

Darren Smith
Guest

Nice to see someone sticking up for me and my posts, cheers Timmy. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but unfortunately some people just enjoy been spiteful and I’ll never take notice of someone who comments such things without leaving their real name or email address. A little cowardly in my opinion…but at least there’s still readers like you around to even the balance mate. Anyway I’m glad this helped Timmy and thanks again for the support.

Alex
Guest

my newcastle side have recntly headed 4 the worst and ly in 17th! any help from any1 plz

sorry i put the wrong email in!
:)

Darren Smith
Guest

I have relied to your comment in the 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 post Alex. :)

Alex
Guest

1)on my city account will the likes of balotelli,neymar lukaku still develop without 1st team action?
2)wud gaitan be a good 1st team siging 4 city?
3)is there any player(s) that have a long range abiity of 20 under the price range of 24m?
sorryy 4 the long question lol :)

Alex
Guest

4) who is the best asistnt manager?
p.s ur guide is immence!

Darren Smith
Guest

Glad you like the guide mate, I have seen a lot out there that just tell you how to play attractive football or what means what within the game…but not many people will put their neck out and say ‘this is how I beat a, b and c’. A lot of people criticise this guide saying anyone could write it, but I just wanted to give the readers direct answers on how I win. Its much easier for anyone who is struggling. Anyway, let me try and answer your questions. :) 1) I would say that no player over the age of 20 will develop without 1st team football. However, you can use them against easier opponents in the cup matches and this will be enough to help them develop. Balotelli is one player that definitely needs game time as he has a bad attitude and wont work too hard in training. 2) Gaitan would be a good signing for any side. Though Man City could afford someone even better and theres no point in buying a player you don’t intend playing after 2 seasons. I think you could find someone better ie Eden Hazard. 3) I am afraid I… Read more »

Timmy
Guest
Timmy

with the new patch out,will you update this info and guide?
ex:hodgson in west brom,dalglish in liverpool,tactical change from all manager

Darren Smith
Guest

Hey Timmy, unfortunately I am not managing a team in the top flight for the new patch, so my tips wouldn’t be based on experience. There won’t be too much thats changed, but if I ever do return to the Prem for the new patch I’ll do an update to this post. Sorry to not of been more help mate. :)

Benjamin
Guest
Benjamin

Hey, I used this with WBA, I only played like half a season, and I nearly lost all my games, exept i won against Man Utd. Am I doing something wrong?

Darren Smith
Guest

Sorry to hear this hasn’t helped you Benjamin. Without seeing your game I can’t know for sure where its going wrong. I assume you have downloaded my tactics? Other than that it will be the players not suiting the formation (slow wingers and striker?) or could even be you using the wrong team talks maybe. I’d be happy to help if you have any specific areas where you think it may be going wrong?

Benjamin
Guest
Benjamin

dosn’t matter anymore, I deleted the game and made a new one with Newcastle. You got any special tips for me maybe? :)

Darren Smith
Guest

Well I would recommend signing a fast striker to be used as a poacher. Also look for pacey wingers like Gaitan from Porto, he did well for me. Other than that just be sure not to use very slow defenders as my formation features a high defensive line and that could show the slower defenders up.

Timmy
Guest
Timmy

Hey Benjamin
Use the guide and Darren tactic,recomended,especially for 11.2 patch
with this tactic and guide if you manage well,at least you will win one cup and premier league at least one time.
this is my current achievement with this guide and tactic
Community Shield:2012 and 2013
FA Cup:2012
League Cup:2013
Premier League:2013
went to quarter final on Champions League for first time join the competition
tips:sign kadlec(i got just 975 k)
sign Gaitan
sign babacar after one or two season,he is beast scored 15 from 16 apperance in league
sign new defender!(the most important)

George
Guest
George

I have to say thankyou for this. I found myself in a situation where my forwards (Dzeko and Rooney) were scoring infrequently and the midfield and the defense were getting the majority.

Now Rooney is scoring at ease and Dzeko seems to be taking up the slack when he is misfiring.

One thinh I have noticed is that the two forwards noted above usually score in fits and spurts, they get 2 goals every 2 or 3 games. This averages out at just under 1 a game but ith 2 world class forwards you can pretty much guarantee one of them will score.

Btw, I noticed we both have Mussaccio. He’s pretty average at the start but he becomes awesome after a few seasons! 2 other players that happens to are Rodwell and Jonny Evans

Alex
Guest
Alex

who is better in a central attacking role: David Silva or Eden Hazard
:)

Sears
Member

Obviously David Silva. Although I did read on a particular forum that Hazard plays excellent in the attacking midfield position as well, but I would rather exploit Hazards pace on the wing.

Rob H
Guest
Rob H

Eden Hazard in my experience plays best as a left winger told to cut in and score, run with the ball high and almost full on attack, he scored 27 goals for me at Man City in his second season in 44 appearances!!

Alex
Guest
Alex

thanks 4 the reply! :D

Alex
Guest
Alex

who is better: Joe Hart or in my opinion wonderkid matej delac? :)

Sears
Guest

Delac by a country mile!!!

Alex
Guest
Alex

thanks this will really help!! :)

Alex
Guest
Alex

can anyone help me buy some players too make my man city squad better?
GK:JOE HART
DL:JACK ROBINSON*
DR:DARIJO SRNA
DCL:JOLEON LESCOTT
DCR:KOLO TOURE
MCR:JAMES MILNER
MCL:YAYA TOURE
AMR:JEFFERSON FARFAN
AMC:EDEN HAZARD* / DAVIDSILVA
AML:MARIO BALOTELLI
STC:CARLOS TEVEZ / EDIN DZEKO
Key
* = Don’t wan’t too sell (because they look like good prospects for the future) ;)

Alex
Guest

Jack Robinson becomes a brilliant player, good shout on not selling him. Balotelli isn’t that good, I would play Silva on the left, he is amazing when played there. In MC Yaya and Milner are not the best, try and get Fabregas (probably can’t), Hamsik, Sissoko and Vidal. Pick two of those, they are young and good, you want to create a young squad for the future. Buy Serge Aurier as a long term replacement for Srna and replace Lescott with either Simon Kjaer or Danny Wilson. Other than that your squad is brilliant, you can easily win the league in the season that you’re playing in (I guess the first one?) :)

Alex
Guest
Alex

brilliant answer!!!! just whati needed! thankssssssss
(yes its my 1 season)

Alex
Guest

No problem, happy to help :D

Alex
Guest
Alex

can anyone suggest anymore players?? (dont worry alex great answer im just scouting all the players and picking the best) ;)

Arian
Guest
Arian

Hey Darren, I’ve been managing Liverpool for 9 seasons and won every single league, champions league, and other cup matches. None drawn, none lost, and I’ve won every possible cup there is to be won for 9 consecutive years. The tactic I uses is 4-1-2-1-2 and always standard at home and counter away. Also, “Work ball into box” is the touchline shout that I use and it works perfectly. I tried your tactics and they were good so I continued to win but I was conceding far too many goals. I’m guessing that since you’re managing Newcastle, Carroll is great, and for me Torres was brilliant as a poacher, but after only a season I decided to buy young players such as Paulo Henrique, Neymar, Hazard, Coutinho, Canales, Alvaro Morata, Thiago Alcantara, etc. If you buy all of these players (I suggest that you buy Neymar first, he’s the best), you’ll win every single game no matter what tactic you use. Neymar and Henrique are the most expensive because each one costs about 30 million euros each, but Hazard is 20 million, Coutinho is 15 million, same goes for Canales, and Morata with Thiago Alcantara are fairly cheap (each around… Read more »

Mike M
Guest
Mike M

Just started using these tactics, played 6 won 6 as Liverpool. Going well so far, only just got the Liverpool job as they poached me from Southampton, but couldn’t have gotten off to a better start.

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[…] appreciate it Tactics really aren't that difficult Try something like this to help you out: FM 2011 tactics guide – how to beat every club in the Premier League | Football Manager 2011 Stories He's Just as good as Hoddle, He's better than Chris Waddle, His Mrs is a Model, He's Rafael […]

mikyl
Guest
mikyl

any one know the formation to beat 4-5-1 with attacking wide men and 3 flat in the middle???

Yoyo
Guest
Yoyo

Thanks mate, worked a charm against Chelsea in my Champions League match.

Grant
Guest
Grant

Just got promoted to the prem with Reading so this should be quite useful thanks

Xerrek
Guest
Xerrek

Seriously I just cannot beat Spurs. I’ve tried the 4-5-1, I’ve tried 4-4-1-1, 4-4-2, counter, standard, different shouts. Nothing works for me, the 4-5-1 has been great against pretty much everyone else and I have Newcastle 3rd in the league right now, but Spurs are just unbeatable for me. Usually I’ll score early on, then they’ll peg me back straight away, and dominate the game from then on. Its really frustrating me now and I’ve taken to restarting the game over and over just to try and figure out a way of beating them.

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