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FM 2017 Possession Tactic - Scholes Can't Tackle 4-3-3

A possession tactic for FM17. Ideal for teams playing Tiki-Taka style. Tactic designed to make average teams competitive while playing attractive football.

By Updated on Nov 04, 2016   235939 views   13 comments
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Downloads: 48669 / Size: 190.0 kB / Added: 2016-10-19
Football Manager 2017 Tactics - FM 2017 Possession Tactic - Scholes Can't Tackle 4-3-3
What you will find on the workshop and other hubs are tactics that offer the Barcelona Tiki-Taka style of play with every midfielder having over 100 passes and the team having over 70% of the ball. That's all well and good, but it has an issue for mid/low level teams trying to play ascetically pleasing football and actually producing results.

This tactic tries to address that and I have had success. So, I'm looking to share this with the community and develop the tactic and the theory over the course of this year's game.

This guide is a reworking of my famous iteration on FM14, FM15 and FM16 (which is still the most popular on the Workshop). And is the result of 8 years of refinement.

The theories and implementation are exactly the same regardless which version of Football Manager you are playing. The tactic is timeless, yet the subtleties change.

SCT 4-3-3 Possession - What to expect

As with standard Tiki-Taka tactics, High Possession, High Percentage pass completion, and 'Sexy Football'. But, what you will also see is that even with teams with the less than a perfect setup will be performing well and, most importantly for people playing possession football every week, creating enough goal scoring chances to justify the style.

  • High Pass completion in the Midfield (Average of 85%)
  • High Defensive Line.
  • WB able to bomb forward.
  • Low direct scoring from setplays
  • Football which is pleasing to look at and get results against teams of similar and lower quality.
  • Tough time outplaying really strong teams.

This is an Ideal Starter tactic for teams developing towards a Tiki-Taka style.

SCT 4-3-3 Possession - Team Makeup

As this is a tactic for the slightly less technically gifted teams that wish to play 'good' football it is important to recognise that you DON'T have world-class players at your club that will be able to play like Barcelona and produce results like Barcelona.

But there is one thing every team can generate to be the same as Barcelona. Tactical Familiarity. I suggest that you learn ONLY this tactic at the start of the Season and Training should be all about Team Cohesion and Teamwork until your team can play this with their eyes closed.

SCT - Key Attributes and PPM's per position

Again, I know you're not able to click your fingers and buy Xavi for your team but 'try' to get players who fit the roles with AT LEAST one of the required PPM's in each position and have them learn the missing ones asap.

First line is PPM's and second line is key stats.

GK: none
- First Touch, Composure, Rushing Out.

WB: Get forward Whenever Possible, Sticks to (correct) Side of pitch when dibbling.
-Natural Fitness, Stamina, Pace, Acceleration, Teamwork, Work rate.

BPD: Likes to switch ball to opposite flank
-Composure, Passing

CD: Marks opponent tightly.
-Strength, Aggression, Jumping Reach, Bravery, Tackling

DM: Stays back at all times. Plays no through balls (Ideal PPM's yet not essential)
-Decisions, Anticipation, Teamwork, Composure, First Touch.

APS: Comes Deep to get ball, Plays One-Twos, Tries Killer Balls Often
-Composure, First Touch, Passing, Creativity, Anticipation

APA: Moves Into Channels, Plays One-Twos, Arrives Late in Area, Tries killer balls often.
-Composure, First Touch, Passing, Creativity, Anticipation, Off the ball.

WG: (If extremely fast) Hugs Touchline and Knocksball Past Opponents)
-Acceleration, Pace, Dribbling, Agility.

IFA: Moves into Channels, Runs with ball often, Cuts Inside.
-Dribbling, Off the ball, Flair, Agility, Acceleration.

F9: If has excellent balance and composure, Dwells on Ball and Plays Killer Balls Often. (Yes, I realise that it is hard to get both of these, but it’s possible with correct regen and tutor after a few years) Runs with ball through Centre. Tries first time shots, Plays One-Twos
-Off the ball, Finishing, Passing, Technique. Composure

Remember, the above list is the IDEAL and you should aim for one or two of the PPM's at 'weaker' teams.

SCT 4-3-3 Possession - Player Instructions

SWK: Distribute to Full Backs. Distribute quickly. Roll it out.

CWB's (Attack): Get Further Forward, Stay Wider, Run Wide with Ball, Close Down More, Cross Aim Near Post, More Direct Passes.

BPD (Cover): Ease off Tackles

CD (Stopper): Close Down More, Tackle Harder

DM (Defend/Support depending on the quality of your best player): Pass Shorter, Mark Tighter

AP (Support): Close Down More, More Direct Passes

AP (Attack): More Direct Passes, Roam From Position, Close Down More.

WG (Attack): Roam from Position, Shoot Less Often, Cross Aim Near Post, More Direct Passes.

IF (Attack): Roam from Position, Dribble More, Stay Wider, Cross Aim Near Post, Fewer Risky Passes.

FN: None

SCT 4-3-3 Possession - Tactical Tips

If your looking to hold onto a lead or counter a powerful team. Don't change the formation or roles unless needed but switch Strategy to Attack, Drop Deeper, Pass into space and More Direct Passing and Run at Defence.

To play out the last minutes in a bit more safety, hit More Disciplined. Nothing more.

If you find yourself having 'too much' possession and struggling to score, have the team Express Themselves more.
Note: EXPRESS THEMSELVES is set to default in the workshop version. Having trouble at the back? Click it off.

If the other team is camping on their 18 yard line blocking shot after shot, SLOW DOWN the play. Draw them out of position and make one good chance.

Less than 55% possession? Click "Retain Possession".

More than 66% possession? Click "More Direct Passes" and "Slightly Deeper". This means the other team isn't pressing you.

Other team hitting you on the counter? Click play "Slightly Wider".

SCT 4-3-3 Possession - Set Pieces

My set pieces are set to short with strong emphasis on ball retention.
So, CB stay back at all times and corners will be short to a supporting wide player.
Keep it.

SCT 4-3-3 Possession - My Results

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Downloads: 48669 / Size: 190.0 kB / Added: 2016-10-19
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Discussion: FM 2017 Possession Tactic - Scholes Can't Tackle 4-3-3

13 comments have been posted so far.

  • KingBuzzo15's avatar
    This works on FM18 by the way. I just imported it over, works pretty well as well, I am top of the league with Man Utd. 1st for goals scored and best defensive record. 15 games into the season
  • drjonze's avatar
    My favourite tactic. I like it so much that I recreated it in the 2018 beta. Going well so far but it's too early to say. Hope we see a 2018 version. Thanks for your hard work!
  • Khorne's avatar
    Came back to your tactics after some trials with others... still impressive !
  • arantesl's avatar
    on the tactic downloaded there is no Winger, should I change it?
  • jackbshim's avatar
    It seems to lose calibre in 11.2
  • Afterlife's avatar
    Dude. Look this result in CL Match.
    AMAZING tactic.
  • Valis669's avatar
    I tried the tactic with arsenal unfortunaly it doesnt seem to work
  • Khorne's avatar
    I compared 8 tactics (with 4-3-3) on 5 matchs (repeated the same 5 matchs each time) with the same team, it is the best tactics so far ! (It is the only one with 5 on 5 wins)

    Except the fact that it has a False Nine, I love it ! Possession, goals in, cleansheets : Great job !
  • pw75's avatar
    Loved your FM16 tactic but for FM17 it is really not working at all.

    FM16 went 33 games unbeaten with Portsmouth and had a very good career at low and high level clubs but this tactic for FM17 is getting trashed by really poor teams. As Portsmouth again and about 1 win in 11 with 10 defeats out of that 11! Terrible!!!
  • jemo81's avatar
    what about opposition instructions?
  • actorrr's avatar
    I am a fan of your tactic from FM16. I played with your tactic against any opponent, weaker or stronger, following what to do in case of powerful sides or parking the bus sides and it was a complete success bringer. I have to admit the sides I played with a bit better than the side I play with now. I am trying this new one for FM17 with Fenerbahçe now and I thought it would fit as your tactic was not meant for the highest quality teams.

    I realized that it is not as competetive as the last year. No success against stronger teams and too low a success even against similar or lower teams. I concede a lot even though I believe I have high quality back 4 and DM with Skrtel-Kjaer as CB, Wiel-Şener-Kaldırım-Köybaşı WB, Topal-Tufan DM for Turkish Super League.

    Don't you also think it is not equavalent to FM16 Scholes Can't Tackle? I dont know if you do but if you do, is because of the changing match engine or the reactions of the players? A lot more to ask but I am not sure the same mentality or free time to work on it creating the previous tactic created this one.
  • king.j's avatar
    I recreated this same tactic yesterday taking a lot of points from your FM16 tactic. 6-1-0 so far,
    Will try this one now.
  • The_Reckonist's avatar
    Taking questions or comments. Want to reach me directly? I'm on Twitter @IForgotToPlay
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