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BJT’s DOUBLE-D 442 / Defensive Hoofball, Starring Tony Pulis

A Pulis-esque 442 of Stoke pre Crouch, using the long ball with a defensive mentality & defensive roles. An attempt to create boring and effective football.

By on Jun 20, 2020   23716 views   3 comments
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Downloads: 2474 / Size: 45.0 kB / Added: 2020-06-20
Football Manager 2020 Tactics - BJT’s DOUBLE-D 442 / Defensive Hoofball, Starring Tony Pulis
BJT’s DOUBLE-D 442 / Defensive Hoofball, Starring Tony Pulis

Important Please Note – given the tactical mentality and design, it’s not going to be the most consistent system. The ME is not the most receptive to negative tactics. So it won’t be the most successful / trophy system out there.

However I am a big Tony Pulis fan, and I recognise there are a few out there. With that in mind I have eventually decided to upload my system.

So if you want to try and shithouse your way to victory in Tony Pulis fashion – then you may enjoy trying to use this tactic.


Hello all,

This is my second extremely direct / long-ball tactic for release. Yes, I am a huge long-ball fanatic. My previous was based on the Crazy Gang, a more offensive styled 442 that launched it to target man Fashanu. However this is playing skyball the more modern way – Yes people, influenced by one of my idols Tony Pulis, it is highly based on his Stoke side pre Crouch.

So the roles chosen, mentality and extremely direct football playing for set-pieces were must have’s in this system – no compromise. All set pieces are also set to be launched into the danger-zones and Delap throws – so it should give a real Pulis Stoke feel to the play.

Defensive Mentality / Very Cautious Route 1

There’s no target man in this one. It also uses the Defensive Mentality, which was absolutely key for me in creating this system, along with supplementing defensive roles.

FM also describes this tactic as a Very Cautious Route 1 approach.

(If you’re after a Target Man based long-ball/extremely direct system, my BJT THE LAUNCH one will cater for this, that is based on Wimbledon FC in an offensive hoof-ball style.)

Pulis Ball - Boring Football at it’s best

On screen this is a 442, but defensively it reverts to a classic Pulis defensive 4411 structure.

It uses a pressing forward on defend to drop back and mark the opponents defensive midfielder, it will aim to help prevent teams from playing it easily out from the back, especially against a 3 man midfield which a 442 gets outnumbered in.

The system plays extremely narrow both in the attacking and defensive thirds. Like Stoke, using two pressing forwards we’ll be pressuring the opponents up high supported by the defensive wingers looking to try and win it quick.

Failing this our centre midfield and defence will drop back to a more deeper standard line at the back where the opponents will be met by our centre mids and solid back 4 with our defensive wide players retreating to make up our double decker bus.

Other Key Roles Utilised

The defensive wingers utilised most certainly won’t have the flair and dribbling skills of the Robbens or Sterlings. This is more for the James Milner / Chris Brunt calibre of player. Not very fancy, but can be effective. So these players will need to put a shift in but with a degree of ability to whip in a quick and dangerous cross into the box.

Behind them I’ve gone with a two supporting full-backs. We aren’t playing Liverpool every week, so to have a degree of offensive support capability down the flanks to me was important to try and achieve a degree of consistency, so these are the roles I’ve gone for.

The central midfield slots are filled by two solid hard working centre midfielders on defend and support duty.

Opposition Instructions

-Show all opposition wide players feet to touchline
-Show central striker onto weaker foot


Liverpool (EPL/ECL/CC – Treble)

Quite amazingly playing the Pulis way snapped up a well earned. The EPL with 92 points, the ECL humiliating Real Madrid 6-2, and the Carabao Cup.

So irrespective of inconsistencies, winning 3 trophies indicates it is a capable defensive system.

Leeds (Championship Winners – 100 points)

Notching up top spot and playing defensively throughout the season I think isn’t a bad achievement at all in such a competitive league. Just suffering 4 defeats all season.

Chester (Vanerama North Winners – 90 points)

No surprises here that the long-ball is a capable one at the lower levels too.


Well I guess this tactic isn't going to Blitz teams and likely won't be a very competent trophy hoarder - but designed for those wanting to watch or try something a little different to the normal, or for those fellow long-ball fanatics / Tony Pulis fans.

So if you want to see your side scrap hard, press and make the opponents feel bored, challenging for every 50/50 ball and win in a long ball / ugly style - whilst wearing a TP baseball cap, then you may enjoy trying this highly defensive tactic out – and enjoy FM’ing FM for once =)

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Downloads: 2474 / Size: 45.0 kB / Added: 2020-06-20
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Discussion: BJT’s DOUBLE-D 442 / Defensive Hoofball, Starring Tony Pulis

3 comments have been posted so far.

  • Victorhugo4222's avatar
    This works a treat for lower league Scotish clubs. Consecutive promotions with Edinburgh City
  • BJT's avatar
    =D I did try that route as Crouch is well known for his time at Stoke. But he never really suited their style of football - and so it doesn't work on FM either. Target men generally aren't effective at pressing solo and slow to work the channels.

    My The.Launch system caters for the target man in long-ball Wimbledon style. With close support in a 424, launching it to him allows him to cause havoc in the opponents box - with close wide forward support to press very effectively high up that covers for that deficiency.
  • gogheu's avatar
    love it. any way a target man can work with this? as in, would replacing the left pressing forward with a support target man work?
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