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Pressure Makes Diamonds FM18 Tactic

A 433 gegen press tactic for FM 2018 that is based on aspects from the Mentality Ladder guide. Play great football, quick press, dynamic organized chaos!

By on Dec 22, 2017   49976 views   6 comments
Direct Download Steam Workshop
Downloads: 6613 / Size: 41.5 kB / Added: 2017-12-22
Football Manager 2018 Tactics - Pressure Makes Diamonds FM18 Tactic
The flavor for the last decade has been possession possession possession like the '09 & '11 Barcelona teams but that has changed with the wannabe be managers new obsession being a Bielsa press, a Klopp Gegen Press or even Spurs Pochettino press.

Let me show you what formation, instructions and roles I gave my team (Newcastle United) to create organized pressing mayhem.

As you can see above I have used a 433 formation (3 strikers). Later I will explain the roles and why I have used them alter but for not you can assume the formation is compact and very mobile with the width coming from the AF (Advanced Forwards) and to a lesser extent the wing backs.

The biggest factor in how a team plays is from one its mentality and two team shapes. When I first started to make a press tactic I used very fluid not really understanding what this does.

After reading Mentality Ladder (link under this paragraph) he states in the ridged (now known as structured) part on page 6 that "The main purpose of this is to ensure a quick and well-organized transition from defense to attack (and vice versa) with wide players moving up more readily to link the defense, support and attack. While this can make the team's approach somewhat predictable, it better enables players to play to their specific strengths while reducing the risk of the team getting bogged down in aimless, incoherent play."

Matching that with on page 7 about very rigid "In practice, this means the team will be slightly slower to break from its defensive shape going forward, though center backs and forwards will also be slightly more inclined to help support the midfield compared to a rigid system."

I knew I had the team shape and the mentality for quick methodical movement using their strength coupled with everyone supporting each other especially with only having 3 midfielders I knew this was the mentality for a whole team press. This long-winded explanation is only because it’s so important I won’t break everything down like this.

The Mentality Ladder

Now why attacking? As it says above "ensure a quick and well-organized transition from defense to attack" this is perfect but what will ensure it's as quick as possible without leaving ourselves open I decided attacking. As it says above it aims to exploit space in or behind the defensive line coupled with the high structure it allows our strikers to attack without fear of being caught out defensively. It also ensures that they press hard even with the press more instruction given.

The high tempo and narrow formation ensures we play fast and compact to make sure no one gets isolated. The Defensive phase of play is a normal line (you could use a high line given the right high caliber player) with an offside trap and close down much more. I also ran with tight mark and prevent gk distribution.

The PSGKD with the 3 strikers really clogs the space between the CB and their WB isolating them resulting in a hoof up field or losing the ball high up the pitch. The buildup is simple with short passing out of defense and looking to pass into space for one of our strikers to break the offside trap. In attack I only really want to limit long shots so I asked them to work it into the box.

Opposition instructions are left to my assistant (or whoever is best) or if I really want a play maker closed down in particular or a striker marked I'll make those changes.

Roles and Their Personal Instructions

In this picture there are each player's role and their instruction (anything that has doubles were left out like CM, WB, AF). They're all told to Tackle Hard, Close Down More (when it's an option) and mark tight.

The defense is quite solid the Wb are told to sit narrow to stay compact, the CB are as they were with the BPD helping to recycle the ball when needed. Remember the team works to not let anyone get isolated in defense or attack.

The CM's is quite interesting with all looking to give a risky ball let's remember we want them to look for a quick sharp attacking ball after the recovery it high up the pitch and within the a highly structure formation I want a little bit of creativity from the right people. They're also asked to get further forward either to support the attack or pushing through the D line looking for a goal either way chaos it's with these two and of course shoot less otherwise they would shoot whenever possible driving me nuts XD.

RPM is the motor of the team always looking to keep the ball moving and ensuring no one is isolated in attack. Now the attacking players are where I tinkered a lot at first, at first I had a DLF in the middle and two CF on each side but there was just no penetration past their D line and DLP aren't that common same with CF for a team like Newcastle, so I went to two AF and a False 9.

As you can see they don't get breaks they are told to press like the rest and as I said above we weren't scoring, there was no penetration so I told the AF to run wide with the ball and roam from position a weird request for a structured mentality but as with the CM I want the right people at the right time to move use some creativity.

This also created space for the false 9 to drop and move around and the CM's to move further forward into space not occupied by one of us or usually them as they are following the AF. This has created a Frankenstein IF that has the ability and want to sit in the space between the CB and his WB and just sprint forward creating leaks everywhere along the back line once again creating organized chaos in the right places at the right time.

Now the REAL star of the show the GK this guy is the real surprise of the tactic his passes really kick off lightning attacks from either catching a slow CB come back after the corner or from an unorganized mid not following a cm who is getting a pass from a AF after he (the GK) hoofed to him creating space for the cm to ping the ball to another forward with ease as he runs off the shoulder of the last defender.

There is a time and places for this tactic I wouldn’t run this against a team better then yourself or at their home ground but at your home ground or at small team’s home ground I would use this tactic all day long (mind you as you will see below I used it against Man United in the FA cup and won so its up to you guys to pick and choose where to use this tactic).

Players to buy

For everyone just team work and work rate and for AF speed. Speed kills and in this tactic, you need fast AF to really stretch the line in my save Andre Grey and Dwight Gayle are great examples of a players who can rip any team apart.


In the first season I came 5th and won the FA cup so pretty good result for a team they thought would be fighting to stay up. Here's the table-

And the results from that season-

Apart from the FA cup in the win against United on the 12/1 was a relief I kept getting spanked, by bigger teams and this win was so gratifying.

This season has gone well after 10 league games I'm 6 within a win of fourth. First after 4 games in my Europa Cup group but knocked out of the league cup.

This was one of my favorite tactics I've made in the last 5 years. It's great football quick press dynamic organized chaos!

Let me know your experiences if you run this tactic I'm really interested to see if it's a good universal tactic that can be employed at any level in any country.

Direct Download Steam Workshop
Downloads: 6613 / Size: 41.5 kB / Added: 2017-12-22
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