On FM Scout you can chat about Football Manager in real time since 2011. Here are 10 reasons to join!

Complete 4-2-3-1 Tactics

Three complete tactics for every situation with the same formation. Updated! v2 in the description.

By Updated on Feb 05, 2015   58215 views   18 comments
Download Now
Downloads: 12899 / Size: 120.0 kB / Added: 2015-01-20
FM 2015 Tactics - Complete 4-2-3-1 Tactics
Greetings to all fellow football managers.

This is a three tactic setup for all situations with the same formation (4-2-3-1).
I have improved them over 3 seasons and now I believe they are pretty much finished.
I have used them with Chelsea, and yes I know it's a top team, but we pretty much crushed everything.
I believe the tactics will also work on lower teams and will soon try them and post results.

The aim here is to play possession style with short passing and lower/higher tempo depending on the match, outpossessing most teams, but still if you do not get higher possession you can easily rely on the defence and counter attacks, because of the deeper defensive line.

  • The highest possession I have achieved is 68-70%, the average is 57% (#1 in the league) after a full season.

  • I have won matches with 9 man, due to injuries or red cards, scoring 1-2 goals with no wingers.

With the tactics I won all possible competitions in the 3 seasons, with 2 Champions Leagues, and the third one was lost in the final on penalties after 0-0 (very unlucky).

But lets get down to business:

The 3 tactics have different team instructions (see them ingame) and different mentality: Counter, Standart and Control

When to use each one is pretty intuitive but I'll give you some tips:
  • The Counter one is used mainly when trying to protect a lead, but if you play a lower team you might be using it against the top teams.

  • The Standart one is the one you will be using the most, starting the games, most short odds matches or in most away matches, where you want to start more cautiously and assess the situation. If its going good you just leave it for the whole match.

  • The Control one is your atacking style, it is used when you need a goal if you are trailing or going for a draw. Play it on in second halfs or late in the game if your standart tactic doesn't produce. It is also good for starting games against weaker teams or teams with defensive formations, or in second legs for cup competitions if u lost the first one.

*Pass it shorter can be removed, because player instructions are set for the passing range of every player. So i am not sure if it works at all, but if it does then you can still remove it for a more direct play.

The tactics all have the same set piece instructions for corners and throw ins. For free kicks I use the default one, because I think they are good enough. For defending corners if you find yourself conceding too many, move the AML to defend too.

Goalkeeper: Sweeper support
*Yes some may say sweeper is better for a high defensive line, but in a fluid formation a goalkeeper must also be good at footwork to be able to help the defenders. So good rushing out and kicking abilities are a bonus.

CBs: Defend
*Regular offside trap setup.

LB: Wing Back support
*The wing back here is needed, because we have an inside forward upfront and we need someone to stay wider and do crosses. Good crossing ability is essential.

RB: Full Back support
*The full back stays a little deeper and plays mostly short passes, and rarely crosses. This is because we got a winger on the right side. Good defensive stats is more important than crossing and dribbling here.

MC: CM defend
*This guy sits deeper and protects the defence, intercepting counter attacks and playing short lower risk passes to nearby players. The role can be changed to a BWM defend, if you player lacks the technical ability for a CM.

MC: AP attack
*The main playmaker of the team, controls the tempo, distributes the ball and tries some long shots when possible. Plays more direct and risky passes.

AMC: AM attack
*The attacking midfielder helps all aspects of the attack with passing, crossing or shooting.

AML: Inside Forward attack
*Cuts inside prior to shooting or passing, also plays through balls, dribbles more and rarely crosses.

AMR: Winger attack
*Dribbles more at the side and crosses, cuts in only when he finds open space to recieve a through ball or to shoot.

CF: Defensive Forward support
*Very important role for this tactic, when defending he goes back to help the midfield win the ball, puts pressure on the opposition and most times drops deeper of the AMC, leaving him in the more advanced position. But when attacking he goes to spearhead the attack and goes up to recieve crosses and to shoot.
The role here can be changed to DLF support or to False 9, but the player instructions are set for defensive forward.

A tip: If you get red cards always remove first the AML, then the AMR if you get 2 red cards or an injury. They do less work defensively than the other roles.

Screenshots and highlights:

*Trophies won:

*Season one league table:

*Season three league table:

*Season two league table:

*Players stats in the third season:

*Champions league finals:

*Highlights from all seasons:

*Season with Wolfsburg: I lost the league in the last damn game and nearly smashed my pc...

I tweaked a little the tactics for Wolfsburg, heres the link:

Please give me feedback on how it worked out for you.

Download Now
Downloads: 12899 / Size: 120.0 kB / Added: 2015-01-20
Your content on FM Scout

We are always looking for quality content creators, capable of producing insightful articles. Being published here means more exposure and recognition for you.

Do YOU have what it takes?
Like & Subscribe

Like our Facebook page & Subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Discussion: Complete 4-2-3-1 Tactics

18 comments have been posted so far.

  • haydock101's avatar
    going to try on my west brom save
  • NotAlanPardew's avatar
    Currently using this tactic with Newcastle United. Played 21, won 16, drawn 5 and lost 0 so far.
  • Svartovich's avatar
    Oh my god.. Do you really want us to believe that you are Jorge Jesus? Why would a real manager get a translator to translate comments on a Football Manager site? You're embarrassing yourself mate.
  • JorgeJesus's avatar
    Its ok,some people cannot understand what I wrote.My point of view was substantial and clear cut.The rest,are pointless impulsive attacks.I keep my dignity high and I dont continue the dialogue.My message was coaching and focusing on fm.God bless you.Some people see ghost and have big fantasy.My comments finish here.Good luck in your game.I wrote something from my experience,sorry if I hurted your rich imagination.In my life I work to help,the rest for democracies,freedom and blood are nonsense.I was very clear and honest on my initial message.The rest is up to you.Live as you want,nobody says ths opposite.However is a question how somebody can live when he doesnt realise what happens around him.
  • Wolfi's avatar
    Jorge Jesus, since you refer to me i might as well respond to you. First of all, FM 15 is a game. It does not reflect the real football. We all know how difficult is for big clubs to be managed in real football. Second, yes i still insist that in FM managing a bigger club always makes tactics more effective. The bigger the better... That's my opinion it doesn't mean that everybody has to agree with me. But, as i realise, you refer to the discussion with Roberto Mancini. The guy insulted me and others. The moment somebody shares his tactics (including me), has to accept the opinion of the others even if he doesn't like it. Freedom of the Speech Jorge Jesus is a right that people earned with blood. We might as well appreciate that we have that right. Like it or not, every person has it's own personal opinion.
  • JorgeJesus's avatar
    Asd74 and wolfie ,you always find something negative in every topic.Football has change radically and posession has become less important alongside with individual talent.Teams need immediate results and fire coaches right away.In this meaning this tactic is excellent and alongside with 4-2-3-1 of hitzfeld,rafa and lippi achieves perfection considering the advantages that gives you.Probably the silliest seperation is big and small teams.Because who actually define you what you will play ?Your players.So what you can do to take the maximum from them ?You will find a tactic according to their level of skills.For instance I find a great tactic which is suited to fulham and later on I win premier league.That doesnt mean that this tactic is a panacea or genius formula for every club.The key is to be flexible and to get adapted in every situation or roster.Its pointless to search around for magic packages and to seperate tactics for small or big clubs,because its quite rediculous.Focus instead on coaching principles in fm,ask some experienced coach or fm user who can make managment in coaching and dont throw out unlimited hours in front of your pc by investing money blindly on some certain tactic model.Dont waste your seasons by trying to imply guardiola,mourinho,bearzot,ancelotti and co.Nereo Rocco was playing 5-3-2,rehhagel the same and conte applied 3-5-2 in such a way that was even more impressive than Milan of sacchi.Sacchi himself comnented"Conte fascinates me,he uses 5 midfielders and despite his 3 stoppers,the football that he plays is impressive,gritty and vivid".Listen some experienced people around and try to gain some sustainable knowledge.Most of you are teenagers here and you want everything ready right away.I understand you but its impossible.I suggest you to make a save in fm and to manage a club without making any transfers or restarts,you will see then what you can do and how capable you are.

    *Special thanks to Joao Ferreira who corrected my comment and helped me in translation.
  • Den1s's avatar
    I am currently testing the tactics with Wolfsburg, right now in january in second place 5 points behind bayern with only 1 loss by Stuttgart at the beginning of the season. Will post some photos after the season.
  • asd74's avatar
    Any tactic is good when you play with Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern.
    With medium and small teams you will struggle. Create or adapte this tactic on your team.Sorry for my english!
  • Den1s's avatar
    tactical/fitness/team cohesion and tactics for match training, during the first 2 months u can rotate tactical, team cohesion and balanced, after that just go balanced.
    If you got good assistant manager you can also set him to do training, i use the assistant from Milan, i think hes the best one.
  • Skojardu's avatar
    preseason training for this??
  • n_pires's avatar
    Thanks for sharing your tactics, they are really good, i have made 3 home games and in 3 games i scored 21 goals with Sporting Clube de Portugal... But they doesn´t seem too much effective in away matches can you advise me one tactic to play away???
  • Matt07's avatar
    I downloaded the file but only the standard tactic came up
  • Den1s's avatar
    click on manage tactics then import and ok
  • madfrog77's avatar
    how to you open these .fmf files ?
  • Wolfi's avatar
    Looks impressive. I ll give it a go.
  • Den1s's avatar
    you can see the player stats after a season in one of the pictures
  • Wolfi's avatar
    I liked your idea about the Defensive Forward. To be honest i never used in my tactics a Defensive Forward. But as you described, probably a Defensive Forward is a must in modern football. Does he score a lot of goals?
  • GuiseleyFan00's avatar
    ill give it a go with my lower league and see what happens
FMS Chat

hey, just wanted to let you know that we have a fb style chat for our members. login or sign up to start chatting.