Thursday, 20 December 2012

Football Manager 2013 Tactics

FM2013 Tactics

Finally I am ready to present my Football Manager 2013 tactics which helped me to take the 3rd Championship position with Nottingham Forest and promote to the Premier League in the first FM 13 season.

I called it Triple C because it consists of 3 very different tactics:

  • Control (4-2-3-1)
  • Counter-attacking (4-1-2-1-2)
  • Classic (4-4-2)

So now you should see why I selected the name for my tactical approach in FM 2013.


Main idea

3 different tactics to be ready against any opponent.

In Football Manager  2012 I tried to use the same formation with 3 variations of strategy and slight changes of player instructions + often touchline shouts use. Nevertheless, I decided to inverse my approach in FM 2013: 3 totally different formations became a base of Triple C tactical approach.

Now I have 3 tactics each of which works well in certain cases. I think it’s very difficult for opponents to adapt to my variety of tactical styles. They never know which one will be used in the next game. Moreover, I tend to change tactics right in the match when things are going wrong.

Disadvantages: The only serious restriction is that you have to have several versatile players in the squad who can placed on different positions. Another slightly negative side of the Triple C tactical approach is more long blending into tactics in the season start due to differences between in formations and team instructions.

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Blending into all 3 tactics

Season preparation for Football Manager 2013 tactics

It’s important to get the maximal levels of tactic familiarity for all 3 tactics as soon as possible. For that in summer, when you players return from vacations, you have to set up Scheduling and Match Training like it shown on the picture. Then arrange as many friendlies as you can. Normally I make my team to play a friendly game every 3 days during pre-season. Thus, I accelerate a tactic blending process.

By the way, General Training should be focused on Fitness with Very High intensity during pre-season period. It helps to achieve good physical conditions before starting matches.

I would also recommend to enable Allow rest after match before the first official game to avoid tired players in future.

Usually my players achieve top levels of tactic familiarity for all tactics in October.

After that I change Default Focus of Match Training and move Scheduling slider to the middle or even closer to ‘Less Match Training’

Touchline instructions

Touchline instructions are not that important in my FM 2013 tactics. Thus, using Triple C tactical approach, I limit myself with:

  • Hassle opponents + Get Stuck In. When opponent has too much of ball control, then harder and quicker ball tackling is necessary.
  • Counter Attack strategy + Pass into space + Play Wider + Get Ball Forward. Used to widen and leverage counter-attacking moves.
  • Pass to Feet + Play Narrower + Work Ball To Box + Retain Possession. Helps when I need my team to hold the ball carefully and increase ball possession percentage as a result.
  • Control strategy + Push Higher Up + Look for Overlap + Hassle Opponents. I called it ‘Rule the Match’. It works well when opponent is weaker, or lacks one player on a pitch, or you just need to score a goal and want to take some risks.
  • Contain strategy + Take a Breather + Drop Deeper + Pass to Feet + Play Narrower + Work Ball Into Box + Retain Possession. For “parking the bus” when there’s no better option than to hold a score.

Control tactics. 4-2-3-1 formation.

Football Manager 2013 Tacticsimage

The control tactics is aimed to arrange an effective attacking force when your opponent is equal and weaker or if you are loosing the match at home. So this one is more comfortable in home matches.

Features of the tactics:

  • If your opponent is parking the bus, you will have 8 players in attack including ball-winning MC who is responsible for interceptions/rebounds and further attack beginning.
  • The attacking square of 3 AMC + 1 ST may crush any defence! Defenders often react on AMCs pushing higher and opening space for my striker.
  • The tactics works great against slow central defenders of opposition.
  • Inside forward role for central attacking midfielder (yes, unusual setting!) instructs him to run with the ball as often as he can. The best dribbler has to be used at this position.
  • Time wasting set to Rarely. Attacks, just attacks!

Negative effects: Wing backs run upwards their flanks making holes for counter-attacks. You should be careful using the tactics against fast opposing wingers who may seize on that. There may also be problems when your opponent uses quick central attacking midfielder, some good trequartista for example.

Download the Control tactics for FM 2013

Counter-attacking tactics. Narrow 4-1-2-1-2 formation.

FM 13 TacticsFM 2013 Tactics - Team instructions

The most versatile of all Triple C tactics. It can be used when you either try to defend or attack almost independently of opposing team.

Features of the tactics:

  • Excellent speed of attacks due to quick Tempo.
  • A robust pair of Box-to-Box midfielders who join both attack and defence phases.
  • Here I have a dangerous counter-attacking triangle: 2 strikers + 1 supporting AMC. By the way, fast players have to be used on these positions.
  • Good defensive performance is shown due to:
    • 4 defenders + 1 DMC at back joined by 2 box-to-box midfielders;
    • Deep defensive line.

Negative effects: Pay attention to the weather conditions. A bad dampy weather may hinder the quick tempo tactics fork fine. You should also be careful against strong flanks when opponents looks to overlap them using wing backs.

Download the Counter-attacking tactics for FM 2013

Classic tactics. 4-2-2 formation

Football Manager 2013 TacticsFootball Manager 2013 Tactics - Team Instructions

A classic variant of formation which has come out of fashion several years ago. However, I deem it’s still efficient in certain cases. In my case it’s the most customized tactics: all players have short passing and hard tackling settings.

Features of the tactics:

  • Good to use against strong flanks.
  • Unexpectedly high ball possession for 4-4-2 which is actually not ball-possessive tactical scheme.
  • Wide midfielders doesn’t have to be fast. In spite of this they join attacks, make crosses and score goals.
  • Advanced playmaker is a brain. He needs high Passing, Decision, Teamwork, Creativity skills.
  • Central defenders sit very deeply because of the individual instructions:

       Instructions of central backs

Negative effects: Gaps between midfield and two other lines. Therefore 4-4-2 doesn’t work against formations with very attacking central triangles:

  • 2 ST + 1 AMC;
  • 1 ST + 2 AMC;

Download the Classic tactics for FM 2013

10 advises for your tactics in FM 2013.

I am proud of you if you managed to read my post so far :-) I believe you deserve to get some additional tactical advises which may dramatically increase your level of tactical success in Football Manager 2013.

  1. Pay much attention to analyse your opponent: team report tab, squad overview, latest matches. It’s crucial!
  2. When the weather is really bad, try to prefer more short passing style and slower tempo.  It will help you to keep the ball possession.
  3. Know how you want to play. You should keep in mind you tactical approach.
  4. If you don’t feel your tactics working well, try to find watch matches in Full mode. You will understand better how your players work together, “feel” your tactics.
  5. It’s easier to hold the ball possession using 3 midfielders in the centre. It can be 1 DMC + 2 MC, 1 AMC + 2 MC, or simply 3 MC.
  6. Counter-attacking style is one of the most versatile and efficient in Football Manager 2013.
  7. Keeping formation is possible when you disable roaming, decrease closing down, use Rigid philosophy.
  8. Use shouts with caution. They are great only if your team is familiar with the tactical changes made by concrete shouts.
  9. Drill crosses are more efficient than float crosses in FM 2013.
  10. Try to analyse the most dangerous opposition players. It’s always awesome when you find a way how to neutralize them. Opposition instructions may help you with that.

So that’s all folks.

Hope you liked my Football Manager 2013 tactics and decided to use it. But I would be even more glad if you creat your own one!!!

Excited to blog for you,

Vitaliy Mokosiy

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Author: Vitaliy

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