Thanks to FuSS for the kind permission to share his FM20 tactics here.
SynopsisAs always with my tactics I'm aiming for football which is both successful and beautiful.
The majority of decent tactics out there right now make use of very high lines, gengenpress, and extreme settings, while this works, it's not what I want to watch.
I'm a big believer in the passing game and this tactic is based on building passing triangles that advance up the two flanks, either cutting the ball back to an on-rushing central midfielder or whipping it across to the the far post for a tap in.
MentalityI've use the Positive mentality for nearly all games.
Team TalksDo them yourself, even the best Assistant Managers seem very poor at them.
Be harsh! Ask yourself what the stereotypical Sir Alex Ferguson would have done.
Before I match: I usually Aggressively "expect a result", followed by individually Calmly telling them "I have faith" only if they haven't responded positively already.
At half time: If most of my team have below 7 performance I will Aggressively tell them it's "not good enough", those that don't respond to that (or respond badly) I will individually tell they were "not good enough" Calmly.
At half time: If my team are performing well I'll use the Calm "don't get complacent" option, those that don't respond to that (or respond badly) I will individually tell they were "not good enough" Calmly.
Opposition InstructionsI only use them to resolve problems.
The best example is my recent game against Bournemouth. Who play direct counter-attacking football, with balls over the top to two very fast strikers - my tactic’s worst nightmare!
I started the game normally, but it became clear in the first 10 minutes that King and C. Wilson would be an issue.
Therefore, I used the OI’s to stem their supply.
I set their three creative midfield players to be closed down, marked tightly and shown onto their weaker foot.
Simple, logical, problem solved.
Team SelectionDo it yourself
Pre-SeasonUse your pre-season properly.
Tons of matches, double training, fitness/tactical focus, work those players HARD!
TipsThis tactic is all about passing and crossing.
As a rule of thumb, your pass completion rate should be around 90%
As a rule of thumb, your cross completion rate should be round 25%
If these two things are not happening then you need to get to the route of the issue - it's usually pretty easy to identify and remove a player causing these problems during a game.
ConditionThink of a players condition as the peak percentage of the players skill that you're going to get.
A player with slightly worse stats at 100% condition/match-fitness is probably going to perform better than a player with better stats at 80% condition/match-fitness.
Do not play tired/jaded/non-sharp players in important games, you're literally getting less of the player - and yes every tiny percentage makes a difference.
Rotation, Rotation, RotationI follow the famous advice of Jose Mourinho here.
Aim to have two experts for every position - ideally a first team squad of 22 players.
Personally I setup and save Team A and Team B and rotate them every single match - this guarantees player condition and keeps everyone happy with their playing time.
If someone doesn't like it, I sell them, nobody is bigger than the club.
ShoutsShouts are awesome once again - they are akin to a boost button.
During the match, I simply rotate these two repeatedly:
1st - "Demand more"
2nd - "Get creative"
If your team are winning and playing well then I add a third shout to the rotation:
1st - "Demand more"
2nd - "Get creative".
3rd - "Praise"
PlayersCF – Pressing Forward (Support)
Type of player: You actually need an Advanced Forward here!
Best stats: Finishing, Heading, Composure.
Good PPMs: "Likes To Beat Offside Trap", "Plays One-Twos".
Note 1: It may seem odd, but you need a complete forward type player here, someone with composure, who can finish, head, beat-the-trap. The PF setting create the movement needed from the rest of the team.
AML/R - Inside Forwards (Support)
Type of player: A traditional inside forward (think: Salah or Sterling).
Best stats: Dribbling, Acceleration, Finishing.
Good PPMs: "Cuts Inside", "Runs with Ball Often".
Note 1: SHOULD USE OPPOSITE FOOT
Note 2: Don't switch them to attack, they won't cover and you'll get smashed on counter attacked.
MCL - Advanced Playmaker (Attack)
Type of player: This is where you use your typical AMC superstar, he's really important, if he's not performing, sub him out! (think: Silva/Buendía).
Best stats: Vision, Flair, Passing, Technique.
Good PPMs: "Tries Killer Balls Often".
Note 1: "Curls Ball" seems a great trait here, but I've not had too many players with it. Young Andre Anderson has been a sensation for me here.
MCR - Mezzala (Attack)
Type of player: You want a good all-round attacking midfielder here (think: Frank Lampard)
Best stats: Anticipation, Decisions, and mental stats rule the roost here.
Good PPMs: "Shoots from Distance"
Note 1: I find the Mezzela shares the half-spaces with the IF(R) too often, but I'm yet to find a suitable alternative, watch this space.
DMC – Defensive Midfielder (Support)
Type of player: You're actually after a competent DMC first and foremost, if he can also pass and create then that's a great bonus.
Best stats: Tackling, Positioning, Anticipation.
FB – Full Back (Attack)
Type of player: The most important position in this tactic, you're asking a lot of your full-backs, they need to be great defensively, fast, dribble and cross (think: Trent or Trippier).
Best stats: Marking, Tackling, Crossing, Dribbling, Acceleration.
Good PPMs: "Runs With Ball Down The X".
Notes 1: This is the most important position in your team - get good players here, this is where to splash that cash!
CB – Ball Playing Defenders (Defend)
Type of player: Heading, Jumping and Positioning are vital as this tactic uses a high defensive line, so you'll need to win the ball in the air.
Best stats: Heading, Jumping, Marking, Tackling, Positioning.
Good PPMs: "Does Not Dive Into Tackles".
Note 1: Keep an eye on the defensive pass rate here, it should stay at least 80%, otherwise you haven't got good enough players to be your BPS, switch them to normal CBs
Note 2: This tactic uses a high-defensive line, that means you want your defenders to win the ball "in the air", there's a common misconception that acceleration is key, it certainly isn't bad, but you can be the faster player in the world, if you're facing the opposite direction from the attacker, you'll still loose the race.
GK - Sweep Keeper (Defender)
Type of player: Just the best keeper you can get hold of, being a sweeper keeper isn't a major part of this tactic.
Best stats: Handling, Reflexes, Arial Reach.
Change Logv1.0 > v1.1
Added "Move into channels" to striker.
v1.1 > v1.2 Changes
Lowered the Defensive Line.
v1.2 > v2.0
Removed "Work Ball Into Box".
Added "Be More Expressive".
Added "Get Stuck In".
Dropped "Defensive Line" to "Standard".
Raised "Line of Engagement" to "Much Higher".
v2.0 > v2.0.1
Switched "Focus Play Down Left/Right" to "Overlap Left/Right".
Switched "Advanced Playermaker (Attack)" to "Advanced Playermarker (Support)".