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Jamie's 4-2-3-1 Attacking Catenaccio with Set Pieces

There is no style of Football so notorious as Catenaccio. This FM 2019 tactic took my Dulwich side from National South to Championship, all streamed live on twitch.

By on Dec 07, 2018   59103 views   35 comments
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Football Manager 2019 Tactics - Jamie's 4-2-3-1 Attacking Catenaccio with Set Pieces

What is Catenaccio?

Catenaccio or The Chain is a tactical system in football with a strong emphasis on defence. In Italian, catenaccio means "door-bolt", which implies a highly organised and effective back-line defence focused on nullifying opponents' attacks and preventing goal-scoring opportunities.

The tactic

Influenced for my love of Italian style tactics this tactic has been incredible for me for Dulwich, starting in the National South and working my way to the Championship currently which is live streamed on This style of tactic I wouldn't use until I usually get to the Premier League but I decided to start using it from day one and bring a Italian emphasis to the club.

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Downloads: 19337 / Size: 44.6 kB / Added: 2018-12-07
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Discussion: Jamie's 4-2-3-1 Attacking Catenaccio with Set Pieces

35 comments have been posted so far.

  • Lillitsch's avatar
    I am the only one with the Problem to geh min. 5-6 yellow cards each Game?
  • mads1084's avatar
    Okay, I must abandon this tactic.... In my second save with Everton I seem to struggle a lot too. fighting for relegation was not part of the plan. In every match I concede between 1 to 4 goals (fixed the outruns by having quick defenders, but now they just play right throug them) and my team cant get it past the keeper. Don't what i am doing wrong - in all my games i get the "struggle to find possesion in opponents half". Have about 10-15 shots on goal though, but only 1-5 on target. I have fairly good players with suitable roles in all positions. I am playing Touch version19.2.1.

    I find it odd that all of you have such great success with this tactic - how much tweeking do you do (and is it different from game to game)? would love to get some advise.
  • mads1084's avatar
    @OohAhCantona, that might be the problem as the vast amount of conceding golas all happen exactly as you describe - especially Vestergaard with only 10 in acceleration (but 15 in pace).... however, stille struggle to score goals.. as some guys mentions here, the striker doesn't score and my wingers, AM, and BBM constantly just can't get it past the goalkeeper. I'm playing FM Touch - is there a difference in the engine compared to "normal"?
  • OohAhCantona's avatar
    @Mads - Do you have the right types of players based on the roles? Having slow defenders can hurt, I mainly get beat by long balls where their forward outruns my central defenders.
  • Macca0303's avatar
    Brilliant Tactic, in my second season with Leeds after winning the championship. Also seems a good tactic to use to bring through young talent!
  • mads1084's avatar
    Has anyone tried it in Premier League - lower to mid level teams? Currently half way in season one and doing terrible managing Southampton with only one game won and won draw - rest lost and some >4 goals. I have downloaded the tactic and not changed anything and assistant is handling everything. Game version is 19.2.1.
    dont mind if i ask - what, if any, tweeks are you making to this tactic - dont know what i am doing wrong?
  • RO-18's avatar
    This tactic is great!

    I played with Stade Rennais for 2 seasons, I've won the Ligue 1 twice, the French Cup & League Cup once.

    But I failed twice in semi-finals of european competition. The 1st season in Europa League against Arsenal (1-1 & 0-1) and the 2nd season in Champions League against Manchester City (1-1 & 2-2, with Aguero scoring the equalizer in injury time...).

  • rizkywingrove's avatar
    seems like a few commenters already know the best player for this tactic: Franck Kessié !!!

    Put him in the BBM position, and he's going to hammer every team with his long shots. I use Milan and Arsenal with this tactic, Kessié would put minimal 25 goals every freaking season (including few hattricks).
    Tonali and Torreira are another good choice.
  • ilyes92300's avatar
    hello this tactic work with 19.2.1 ? because i tested with man utd and i 6th position not works for me
  • OohAhCantona's avatar
    Speedy LB/RB that can cross well and a BBM that can shoot from distance puts this tactic on crack. Both of my starting outside backs lead the Bundesliga and Champions League in assists, and get tons of chances every game.

    BBM : Highly, HIGHLY, recommend Franck Kessié to anyone who is using this and has the cash to get him from Milan. It's almost too easy for him to score in this tactic and he's just a really good player. He literally won every individual award possible in my current season at 25.
  • Beric Donadarrion's avatar
    Dude, you broke the game. I led a team of RB Leipzig. In the first season won the Bundesliga, the German Cup and the Europa League. I showed brilliant results in the Europa League. Won Arsenal 5-0 at home, Chelsea 10-1. At the same time, in the winter I sold the leaders of the team Orban, Forsberg, Kampl. The average age of my team is 22 years old, the youngest in the whole Bundesliga.

  • jambo14's avatar
    How do I use this in fm19?
  • Nate82's avatar
    Any suggestions on how to get the main attacker to score more goals? Are you keeping the mentality attacking even for away games when facing a much stronger opposition. Currently Southampton and have started well scoring a fair few goals but none from the forward. Any tips, cheers
  • eshaw123's avatar
    I am using this tactic with Lazio in my first 4 games I have one draw with Roma and I beat Inter scoring 4 goals against them and my top scorer is my center back always scores from corners. Beautiful tactic
  • ilyes92300's avatar
    hello she works with any team ?
  • Andrei Bhn's avatar
    No, only team talk handled by assistant... I don't know what is might be my poor striker's concentration? Bailey, Brandt 9 , Havertz 8...
  • OohAhCantona's avatar
    @Andrei - Do you make in game tactical changes based on your assistants recommendations?

    I have had a few games where the assistant says something like "man mark this guy" and a few seconds later I get a "Player X is being drawn out of position because he's man marking that guy I told you to man mark..." and I think stuff like that can mess up the tactic.
  • Andrei Bhn's avatar
    Your tactic is good... Creating chances, shooting a lot but most of the game they score from the only chance they have or like it happened in the last game, me playing Bayer 04, them Lazio, they score 3 goals from 3 shots/shots on target. My team 21 shots/10 shots on target scored once. Am i doing something wrong?
  • OohAhCantona's avatar
    Has anyone using this noticed a formation that causes them issues? In the early going (before I improved my team in Year 3) the 4-1-4-1 DM Wide seemed to be an issue, especially with a better team (Bayern Munich, PSG, etc.)

    I had some trouble with an inferior team using the 4-1-4-1, they were keeping up with me on shots/on target where I normally hold teams to single digits. Not sure if it was a formation issue.
  • RepsakFM's avatar
    Love this tactic, works great even in the latest FM19 build. Been using this tactic for Liverpool for 1 and a half season. 1st season ended up 2nd only 1 point behind Chelsea. sadly team failed in the very end. Last 3 matches needed only not to loss, to win league but lost veil Chelsea won. Lost FA final to Arsenal, and Champions league semi final to Barca. Idk what went wrong, maybe players got cold feet idk. :( But I have stuck with the tactic, bought a few more top tier players for the 2nd season, seems to have given me that extra level of top notch play and more stability. Currently number 1 with(little over halfway through the season) 10+ points to number 3 in the league 4 points ahead of Tottenham on 2nd place(that by the way my friend is controlling) And so far 0 losses 2 draws (league). 50+ goal in my favor. Only thing I seem to struggle a little with like others, is getting the top striker to score consistently many goals. But instead lots of my players score goals, so not to big of a deal. Most games no matter if I play home or away or against the other top teams i often end up with like around 60-40% in possession. lots of attempts on opponents end, and barely any chances given away to the Opponents. It is often insanely low like around 5 chances, 10 at max with only a few on goal.
  • OohAhCantona's avatar
    @GingerNinja - Could be your level of competition, plus to be fair I use a heavy rotation to manage three competitions (Bundesliga, Pokal & UCL) so I don't have any players that are getting close to 40+ appearances. I'm almost done with the league season (32 games played) and Marco Reus has made 28 appearances (in all competitions) and scored 19 goals with 19 assists from the LW to lead BVB in both. My strikers are 5th (14) and 6th (12) on the team. I bet if I played one team in 34 league games with no cups someone would challenge for most goals, but my goals come from a lot of different guys so I'm still not relying on a single player.
  • GingerNinja2107's avatar
    IMO this tactic is amazing. Been using with Crewe in League Two, and predicted 22nd and have won the league. I was worried as some said that the striker didn't score that often, but then Jordan Bowery nets 42 in 43 apps (8 sub) and wins the Golden Boot and player of the year. I have scored 113 goals with 68 conceded, which seems unusual as this tactic is supposed to be good defensively, but for me just seems to make sure I put score my opponents. Bring on League One!
  • OohAhCantona's avatar
    After fully committing to this and making some roster upgrades, this tactic is fantastic. I'm currently enjoying a Year 3 season with a 41 game unbeaten run with a single draw. Most common result is a shut out, last 21 games I have allowed 4 goals. Once your team is in a groove you will just completely dominate Shots : Shots on Target, sometimes allowing 3 or less and piling up 20+ for yourself... hard not to win with that.

    Still only "negative" is that scoring comes from all over the place. Unless you use the same starting lineup in every single game you aren't likely to have anyone win a goal scoring title, but my starting IF are incredible G-AST machines with double digits in both. My BBM in this tactic is a BEAST, they get easy scoring opportunities when working the ball around the opponent's box by coming in late and getting a free run to / near the penalty spot. Both of my BBM (Franck Kessié, Mahmoud Dahoud) score regularly with Kessié passing double digits recently. Defenders score a lot on corners, this tactic seems to have the best corners.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I'm loving this tactic. If you have the right players it cuts through your opponents like a hot knife through butter, even better teams.
  • ROBBO44444444's avatar
    ill give it a go
  • torjek's avatar
    This Tactic is so great, tried it with Liverpool and Sunderland and it is so efficient

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