Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Football Manager 2008 Tactics - The Best I Created!

If you are searching for Football Manager 2013 tactics, please take a look at FM 2013 tactics used in Nottingham Forest story.

Hey, my dear readers! Today I want to share with you my Football Manager 2008 tactics... It's really my best one! This is the tactics that brought my Southampton to the 2nd position of English Premiership overtaking Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea! Hot
My tactical approach consists of the two distinct variants: for Home matches and for Away matches. Both have the same formation as shown below:

Formation of my FM 2008 tactics for Premier League

Home Tactics: Team Instructions

Away team instructions of Football Manager 2008 tactics
It's home attacking variant with maximal Closing Down, Short Passing and Tight Marking. Actually, these three components are used in the away tactical instructions as well. Tempo is quite low here that allows to loose the ball rarely and have a good ball control. Average value of Defensive Line increases the intention of attacking force in this case. It give effect of closing an opponent on its side of a pitch. Time Wasting has the lowest value because I don't like to waste the time :). Normally I change it if there is need to hold up ball in the end of a game.
Settings of individual instructions are very important in this home tactics (as well as the one for away matches).


I use standard instructions from Set To menu with Distribution=Quick Throw. Nothing special here.

Wing Backs (Right and Left Defenders)

DRL individual instructions of Football Manager 2008 tactics
They are the players that not just for defending. They can always support attack through the flanks (it's a large advantage of this FM tactics! Star).  Therefore they have all 5 first settings inherited attacking team instructions here. Plus Forwards Runs=Often and Crossing Ball=Often.

Central Defenders

DRC instructions for Football Manager 2008
Central defender instructions for Football Manager 2008
My central backs appear near in attack only during corners, free kicks. In all other cases their work is to prevent opponent's forwards score goals. I wasn't inventing wheel with their instructions and used the standard 'Centre back' set available from 'Set To' menu. There were just few changes Marking = Team and my own combination of Set Pieces settings shown on the picture above. My DLC (Federico Fazio) scores goals quite often from corners and freekicks due to Challenge Gk setting.

Defensive Midfielder

DMC instructions for Football Manager 2008
A tough guy should be used on this position because of Tackling=Hard. I would also advice if DMC is rather creative person - that allows to make good passes through the centre what his Through Balls=Often is set for. From my personal experience I can say that DMC should quite quick: Speed > 13.
He tackles the ball and tries to deliver it forward. More often DMC passes it to 2 MC that go to attack through the centre. Moreover, he comes up to opponent's box for ball rebounds when my team attacks! Light bulb

Centre Midfielders

Central midfielder instructions for Football Manager 2008
MLC (difference with MRC)
 MC instructions for Football Manager 2008
Central half-backs are probably the most important part of my Football Manager 2008 tactics. They really rule the game making performance. What's interesting - MLC is more offensive than MRC having Run With Ball=Often and Long Shots=Often. You understand that for MLC position in this tactics you need a guy with good technique, dribbling, pace, long shots and creativity.
Pay attention to Mentality setting - both MC are aimed at attack independently of team instruction changes during match. Hard Tackling is a significant factor as well because when MC tackles the ball good and quick counter attack comes out. And, of course, Passing and Creativity of midfielders have to be on the highest level! Soccer Ball


Instructions for wingers for Football Manager 2008
The main attacking flank force are my wingers. Classically, they should be fast, brilliantly technical, with good passing, crossing, creativity (Creative Freedom=15). But there is another requirement in this tactics for Football Manager 2008: good Finishing and Composure are really necessary to allow to score goals more often Light bulb. Actually, wingers act as 2 forwards in my tactical scheme moving from the flank closer to the centre of opponent's area (look at their arrows on the formation screen shot in the beginning of the post!).
Free Role setting is also one of major things here. It allows to make attacking moves of wingers more unpredictable and dangerous.


Striker instructions for Football Manager 2008
My tactics demands having the only striker ahead. He can be of two types (it was found out on the real experience): 1) quick striker with good composure (Jelle Vossen); 2) average speed forward with preferred move Shoots Ball With Power (Marius Niculae).

Away Tactics: Team Instructions

Away tactics for Football Manager 2008
Actually the difference between home and away tactics is concluded in the team instructions. For away matches I have the following differences:
- normal Mentality (not attacking)
- more low Tempo
- Defensive Line is more close to goalkeeper
- Target Man usage. Striker is set as Target Man. Target Mans Supply=To Feet.
- Counter Attacks!
These 5 features make Away tactics very distinct from its Home prototype. Away tactics can be used for Home matches against very strong teams but I haven't been do it in such way during the last championship. Just because Home variant allows to score more goals and provide offensive style of playing.

Links to download

 4-1-4-1 Southampton Home Tactics
 4-1-4-1 Southampton Away Tactics

In the end I need to tell that the above described Football Manager 2008 tactics was not created from scratch. It evolved from previous ones used in Premier League and Coca-Cola Championship:
- Download of my defensive 4-1-4-1 tactics for Football Manager 2008
- My Southampton attacking tactics in FM 08 - 4-3-3 TFM Quick

Author: Vitaliy

Playing Football Manager since 1996. Blogging about it since 2007.