Friday, 14 February 2014

6 tactical tips and hints, FM 2014

Hello dear readers,

My Dresden story is in progress but currently I would like to share some thoughts about tactics in FM 2014 based on my experience. The first thing I learned is about flanks.

1. Use flanks


In the real life we see most of teams use flanks very actively to attack. Formerly popular classic 4-4-2 formation yielded to the times and 4-3-2-1 with two inside forward rules now. It uses flanks even more actively than 4-4-2.

Football Manager 2014, as the best football world simulator, reflects the modern trend. In my opinion flanks work better and allow to create more efficient attacks than through a centre.

As a confirmation – my main tactic in Dresden story.



2. Be diverse creating backup tactics

Backup tactics in Football Manager 2014

Diversity is a good thing. Times when you could create one super tactic and win everything with it in Football Manager are gone. Now it’s more realistic, now you have to adapt how your team should play against that or another opponent.

Therefore I would advise to have 3 very different tactics. In particular, it seems important to me to have different formations.

Moreover, in this case AI opponent is always in question what tactic you will use next time.

3. Analyse opponent’s tactic before match

It’s a pretty understandable point. Analysis takes time but never hurts performance of your team.

How I analyse opponent tactics:

  • Firstly, I visit opponent’s head coach profile and check Preferred Formation, Playing Style, Playing Mentality, Marking Style.
  • After that I overlook latest matches trying to create some image of their tactical set and first eleven in my mind.
  • Then key actions go: I visit Team Report tab and view all tabs. The most significant of them are Tactics and Goals.

Team report tab in FM 14

4. Be responsive watching matches

It’s very significant not just to substitute players during match but also change tactics from time to time. It depends much on opponent and their playing style. They often does not use the same tactic during game and you should be attentive and don’t miss a moment when they switch.

Team instructions are helpful even if your players are not familiar with that or another instruction. I would give a tip to experiment when your team underperforms and enable some combinations.

As example, there’s a team instruction set useful during last 15-20 minutes to hold on the winning score. Switch to Contain mentality and enable Retain Possession + Play Narrower + Shorter Passing instructions to control the ball more.

Another hint:

Always react on yellow cards changing Tackling level to Easy or even better substituting a player fined by referee.

5. Reach maximal tactic familiarity as soon as possible

Match training in FM 2014

When new pre-season starts, your aim No.1 is to switch Match Training main focus to Tactics Only, arrange many friendlies, and do not touch the focus until familiarity levels for all you tactics reach maximum.

It’s crucial to make your team understand all tactical ideas and play together in a maximally efficient way.

Maximum level of tactic familiarity in FM 2014

6. Pay attention to corners and free kicks

The last but not least, corner and free kicks are always tend to be dangerous situations on a pitch.

My experience shows if you try to exploit flanks, it’s quite frequently attacks will complete with corner kicks.

So it’s important to use the following tips during set pieces:

  • Choose right players with high levels of Corners/Free Kicks, Passing, Technique to make accurate crosses from a corner flag.
  • Use strong in air players in the box who can really score using head.
  • Set up Match Training to Attacking/Defensive set pieces to increase percentage of good results during corners and free kicks.

By the way, I prefer to set up corner aiming to Mixed option. Trying to trust my corner takers.

Sharing ideas

OK, I think that’s enough for today. It might be I forgot to mention some tactical tips and hints I have in mind. For example, I didn’t write anything about player instructions. But anyway it’s seems you should like the blog post.

Share these tips with your friends:


It would also be great to hear your opinion and your ideas who to make efficient tactics. Dear friends, any tactic tricks, any thoughts are very welcomed below in the comments!

Excited to blog for you,

Vitaliy Mokosiy

Author: Vitaliy

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