Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Football Manager 2010 Tactics

If you are searching for Football Manager 2013 tactics, please take a look at 3 efficient FM 2013 tactics used in Forest story.

Many of you, dear readers, have been asking about Football Manager 2010 tactics I use in my Leeds United story game. Well, today I share it with you! Here the tactics of my Leeds in the Championship in the 2nd season in FM 2010:


First of all I would like to say that I love attacking tactics most of all! So the formation looks truly attacking and dangerous:
Formation of FM 2010 Leeds tactics
I come to this asymmetric formation from classic 3-5-2 used in the first season. I decided to tune it for more efficiency during attacks moving right wide midfielder to AMR position.

Team instructions

Team instructions of my FM 2010 tactics
The main features of this FM2010 tactics are:
  • Fluid philosophy
  • Pretty high defensive line
  • Persistent closing down and aggressive tackling
  • Rare time wasting

Strategies and touchline shouts

Don’t think that it’s enough to install this tactics to win all matches! Every new opponent team demands attention and some changes of strategy, player instructions and even formation Light bulb I want to describe my most common match scenario explaining what tactical changes I perform depending on match score and opponent’s strength.

Match start

Normally I start a match with Standard strategy. In very rare cases it can Counter Attack when playing away and opponent has better players.


Playing home match

Most often I do tactical changes if my team creates low amount of chances. There are several tips from me:
  1. Use touchline shout Look for Overlap – your players will start to perform more quickly and move into channels more often. Wide players will receive more passing options.
  2. Set Attacking strategy.
  3. If match referee is not strict with yellow and red cards, then it always helpful to set Hassle Opponents and Get Stuck In. It will result in better tackling and will help to throttle your opponent Light bulb
  4. If you have players with good Long Shots – set Shoot on Sight in case of wet weather.
  5. If you cannot penetrate opponent’s defence set Get Ball Forward. It will increase tempo, passing length and pressure. More useful on large pitches!
  6. Determine the weakest players in opponent’s formation. Flanks or middle? Set Exploit The Flanks or Exploit The Middle depending on your analysis.

If you want to retain winning score against dangerous team follow the next tips:
  1. The most useful is Drop Deeper touchline shout. It helps often when you need your defence play safer.
  2. Set Retain Possession and Pass to Feet touchline shouts – more accurate, less risking passing.
  3. In the very end of any winning match Contain strategy may help much! If you set this strategy Play Even Safer touchline shout becomes available. You can use it as well.

Playing away match

Away matches are usually more complicated because opponent’s fans presence help perceptibly. So there I use somewhat different tactical approaches. Let’s imagine that my team scored a goal:
  1. Set Counter Attack strategy + touchline shout Pass Into Space. It’s absolutely the best counter attacking style I have ever seen in Football Manager 2010! Very efficient if you have quick strikers (at least one) Star
  2. Set Drop Deeper and Pass Into Feet. As a result you’ll get more accurate performance for you team.
  3. Change your formation by moving AMR to MR position and feel yourself safer in defence!

In case if opponent team scored a goal and you start loosing a match follow these instructions:
  1. Use touchline shout Look for Overlap and Work Ball Into Box together. Sometimes I see Arsenal styled combinations with these 2 touchline shouts turned on.
  2. Use Exploit The Flanks and Play Wider if your have good wingers.
  3. Hassle Opponents and Get Stuck In – in case if match referee is not harsh. Or in the very end of the match when result is more important than yellow/red cards for your players.
  4. In the match end you can set Attacking or even Overload strategy if you need to equalize very much and ready to risk.

Players by position

It’s very important to get right players for concrete positions. If you select a player (chosen to the main squad) in tactical screen of Football Manager 2010 you’ll see marked attributes that are most important for this position. This FM 2010 feature is really helpful and can even be enough to create a suitable squad for any tactics.


 Goalkeeper role and duty

My tactical approach include idea that GK should cover balls missed by 3 central defenders.  So due to sweeper keeper role Acceleration, Pace, Agility and Rushing Out are additional important attributes for goalkeeper in this tactics scheme.

Central defenders

Central defender is the most important in this trio. He is the last defensive instance before your goalkeeper. Set the best DC of your team to this position. Remember that high Strength, Positioning, Jumping, Marking, Anticipation, Decisions are very important for him.
DC role and duty
Role and duty of central defender in FM tactics
DLC and DRC role and duties:
Role and duty of other defenders in FM 2010 tactics
Looking to the pictures above I think you should understand the difference between DC and DRC/DLC in my FM10 tactics.
Hint due to asymmetric formation: You have to use the most quick defenders on DRC and DC positions because DLC is supported by left midfielder in defence! Light bulb



Left central and right central midfielders of my Football Manager 2010 tactics perform classic role of Ball Winning Midfielder with the only individual instruction change: Through balls is set to Often. It makes the more dangerous in attack!

Central attacking midfielder

Attacking midfielder, playmaker in my Football Manager 2010 tactics
He should be main creative mind in a team. He should be a playmaker who doesn’t disdain to press opponent’s players and tackle a ball. Of course, mental attributes are very important in this case. I would also advise to use player with high dribbling and technique skills. That will allow to perform Run From Deep instruction efficiently.
So you need to be ready that central attacking midfielder will produce a lot of dangerous, keen passes and run with the ball through the middle constantly.

Left wide midfielder

Left wide midfielder in Football Manager 2010 tactics: Role and Duty
Crossing options of left wide midfielder
Now we come up to 2 positions that are asymmetric in my formation. I will try to explain you why it can be efficient in two paragraphs.
Nevertheless Duty of left midfielder is Attack he can be seen as 4th defender often. When opponent starts up new attack ML flattens himself to defensive line. From the other hand during attacking move of your team left midfielder supports it moving forward and trying to perform cross to Near Post. So obviously ML must be a real good team worker with fine tackling, passing and crossing skills.

Right winger (inside forward)

Inside forward in FM 2010 tactics
Crossing settings of inside forward in FM10 tactics
Asymmetric position of right attacking winger is used only for attack. Player possesses Inside Forward role and becomes 3rd forward during attack as a result. Dangerous dribbling, lightning speed, good crossing, accurate shooting are the main features of AMR. Please, pay attention to his crossing settings - AMR aimed to cross the ball to the same position of left central forward as ML Light bulb
Remember that in case if you need more strong defensive force at the right flank you can always move AMR to MR position (but I advise you to use player with better tackling and bravery attributes for that).


Very different combinations of forward types may be used in this Football Manager 2010 tactics. But I insist right central striker has to perform Poacher role. He should be quick, consistent finisher that moves into channels and tries to beat offside line.
 Poacher, FM 2010 tactics
Left central forward receives the most of crosses from flanks (remember crossing settings of ML and AMR?) so it’s great if you find a right player to be used as Target Man or Complete Forward. I use Advanced Forward currently because I have no good physically strong strikers with great heading skills in the squad. But Dawid Janczyk shows great performance on this position anyway!
 Advanced Forward, Football Manager 2010 tactics


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Author: Vitaliy

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