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The Brendan Rodgers System for FM14

Brendan Rodgers' "Tiki-Taka" system at Liverpool

By on Feb 02, 2014   244613 views   48 comments
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Downloads: 41860 / Size: 980 B / Added: 2014-02-02
FM 2014 Tactics - The Brendan Rodgers System for FM14
“I like to control games. I like to be responsible for our own destiny. If you are better than your opponent with the ball you have a 79 per cent chance of winning the game…for me it is quite logical. It does not matter how big or small you are, if you don’t have the ball you can’t score.” (Rodgers, 2012)

The Brendan Rodgers System has returned! It has plenty of changes to fully define this year's version and to bring it closer to how it is in real life. This tactic is not an instant result-winning tactic, as those tactics well and truly do not exist, no matter what anybody says to you about a tactic. Games are won by the players who play on the pitch, not the tactic on the paper. This is Brendan Rodgers' style of football. Your team will try to emulate his philosophies, using this tactic. It is a style of play which is very unique, and it will help your team to play dazzling, heavenly football.

Brendan Rodgers' philosophy is one that is admired across the globe. His beliefs of how the game should be played has lead to some revolutionary football in the Premier League, first with Swansea, and currently with Liverpool. He believes in getting all the little things right. Keeping the ball is very important, and off-the-ball movement is clearly visible in this system. Defensively, he likes his team to put a lot of pressure on the opposing team. If you put your opponent under pressure, they have less time and space to work with, which may force them in to making mistakes. When his team has the ball, his players play a nice, flowing passing game with the ball always moving, making it impossible for the opposition to predict the next move. They try to keep all the basics as simple as possible, but if his players have the ability to make something happen, they will use these abilities to express themselves on the game, while sticking to the fundamentals of Rodgers' philosophy, his way of life.


As you can see, there are three different formations. You must be wondering, "why are there three different tactics? Surely they can't all be the same system!" Well the thing is, they can. I see formations as how your team sets up for matches. Your system, your style, is defined by your Team Instructions, which will be discussed next.

4-5-1: Brendan Rodgers' big-game set-up. He uses this formation when he plays bigger teams such as Man Utd, Man City, etc. However, this formation is ideal if you want to completely dominate possession and not allow the opposition to get any of the bal. This formation's main strength is it's three-man midfield system. It is a very good set-up for games where you just want to keep the ball and stay solid.

4-2-3-1: This is BR's set-up for playing similar/weaker teams. It's main strength is the midfield triangle again, but this time it provides more attacking movement for when you are looking to put pressure on your opponents, or if you are looking to exploit a gap in the opponent's midfield.

4-2-4: This is BR's set-up for playing games where you just need to score goals. Having two strikers and two advanced wide players provides great attacking threat and is a nice tactic to use against table-strugglers, or if you really need to score a lot of goals.

Team Instructions - The Playing Style

These are the team instructions, these are the settings which defines how your team plays it's football. This is where you create your style of football, where your master plan for success comes together. For each formation, these team instructions are the same. My belief is that you shouldn't play your style depending on who you play against, but how you set up (your formations). My opinion is that you should let your team play the football which they are used to and don't change it around (team instructions).

Philosophy: This is how your team acts through each phase of the game. You cannot see this in the screenshot above, but the Philosophy is set to Very Fluid. With a very fluid style, your attackers will help defend and your defenders will help attack. This helps with passing options, causing problems in your opposition's defence, and you have more players defending when needed too.

Strategy: This is how you take on your opponent. The 4-5-1 & 4-2-3-1 are both set to Control. With Control, your team will look to take control of the ball and move it around. This strategy is very good for a "passing team", which is what this entire system is looking to create. However, the 4-2-4 is set to Attacking. Due to the formation being attacking itself and the sole purpose of it is to score goals while remaining in the system, a slight change of mentality is required.

Passing Style + Tempo: This is how you pass the ball and how quickly you play your football. This system utilises a very high tempo, short passing in a way to keep possession of the ball, even from defence. The faster and more accurately your team can move the ball around, the easier it will become to keep possession and to create good attacking moves.

Attacking Play: This is how your team attacks the opposition, to state the obvious. Your defensive line will push very high up the pitch in an attempt to confine the game to the opposition's half. Your team will look to play narrower so that they aren't boxed off out wide, while your wing backs bomb down the flanks to overlap the wingers and cause havoc. Your most skilled players will look to express themselves on your attacking play to create a chance through flair or skill for either themselves or for a team mate.

Defensive Play: This is how your team defends against opposition attacks, sorry for stating the obvious again! The only real instruction in Team Instructions regarding defending is to Hassle Opponents, which just means to really let your opponents know that your defenders are ready to make big tackles on them and to make life hard for them. There are more specific instructions for the defenders themselves rather than the system.

4-5-1 - Player Roles

4-2-3-1 - Player Roles

4-2-4 - Player Roles

Typical Attacking Move (4-5-1)

This is a typical attacking move with the 4-5-1 formation, and this is also shows a good example of how your team will look to play.

Box No.1: As you can see above, the two central defenders are both pushed very high up the pitch (in relation to the ball), and the half back (defensive midfielder) is sitting just in front of them in order to protect them and to offer a reliable passing option to the player on the ball. As you can see, the opposition strikers do not have much of a chance against this defensive threesome.

Box No.2: In this box, you can see the Complete Wing Back pushing slightly up the pitch, but deep enough that he is still a good passing option for the man on the ball. The Advanced Playmaker (right winger) is sitting narrower in order to pick up the ball in a dangerous area. As soon as he gets the ball, the Complete Wing Back will run past him on the overlap in to the pocket of space behind the left side of our opponents defence.

Boc No.3: In this box, you can see that as he does not seemingly need to be any deeper, the Complete Wing Back has pushed very high up the pitch in order to cause havoc in the opposition's half. The Advances Playmaker (left winger) has dropped slightly deeper to cover and to give more passing options, should an opportunity arise to pass to him.

These are just three points about our attack which are visible to you above. You will notice plenty more if you choose to play with this system.


If you do decide to use this system, please take note that it may take several months for your team to become fully accustomed to this tactic, even if the familiarity bar is full. If your results at the start of the season are poor, this is not the tactic's fault. It is just that your players need to have more experience in this system in competitive matches. My recommended training approach would be on Ball Control, to get your team to be as good on the ball as possible, as you will have a lot of it. For match preparation, you can work on either attacking or defending set pieces, which is the norm for any team. If you are looking to train players for this system, train them in the roles which are included, so that they become familiar with them. Just remember, if you are patient with this system or any other system, it can succeed for you.

Installation Insrtuctions

Step One

Download the file.

Step Two

Extract the files using 7-zip/winRar to this folder:
Sports Interactive > Football Manager 2014 > tactics

Step Three

The 'Tactic' menu, located to the top right of the right panel, allows you to save and load different tactics. To Import or Export a particular tactic, select the 'Manage Tactics' option, which will display a dialog box. 'Import' will prompt you to select a tactic (.tac file) to import into the game, whilst 'Export' will prompt you to save it to a directory. The 'Delete', 'Copy', and 'Rename' options allow you further control over your physical tactics files.

Author's Note
I highly recommend this system to those looking to play an attractive style of football, while still controlling the play. Be warned, it may take a while for your team to get used to this system. Also, I cannot guarantee that this tactic will be the best possible tactic for you. A tactic's success depends on the players used in this tactic. This is just a different way of playing which will hopefully bring you success.I hope that you enjoy using this system and I hope you have success with it. Any criticisms you may have are welcome, I am always looking to learn where I can improve. Thank you!

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Downloads: 41860 / Size: 980 B / Added: 2014-02-02
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Discussion: The Brendan Rodgers System for FM14

48 comments have been posted so far.

  • Warsu_G's avatar
    Hi Justice. I just had to give feedback on your tactics. they work like a charm for me. I like how can adapt to the situation. like holding on to a lead 4-5-1 or just catch the home team unawares where we are the underdogs at away fixtures 4-2-4. I have/am enjoyed how my HB + DLP always have huge numbers of (successful passes) and the shots on target. Good mixture of finesse and steel as well because it more often than not; comes up in press conferences where opposition managers always have a "no comment" regards to our tackling. I got a great Trequartista who makes transition from 4-2-4 to 4-2-3-1 seamless. Now I'm training up a player who can also be a competent BBM when we transition through all the tactics in big matches. such a joy. By the way I'm managing University Of Pretoria. No one gave us a chance but we won all possible trophies this season including Club World where we beat ManU in the semi's.
    Pardon the composition. Just had to. Waiting for FM16 to drop on stores this side and I shall come looking for your FM16 Tactics. Cheers.
  • LFC_ACJ's avatar
    Hi i know im late but still hoping this question will be still answered. For the 4-2-3-1 i wanted to make it much more attacking and attractive style of play so i changed to two wide AM to IF, the AMC to T and the Poacher to a CF all with attacking duty and the HB to Regista. The passing excellent and tempo is good how ever they never seem to score put away their chances, sterling coutinho suarez and sturridge never dribble and beat their opponents like irl and i have a HUGE problem with Johnson he never ever crosses the ball like asked he always wait to a defender closes him down and then gets it put out for a thrown, ask him to cross from deep he doesnt, get to the byline he gets there and doesnt cross so im loss please tell me what i did wrong

    oh and suarez and sturridge arent scoring like they should Suarez finishing is at 20 and other striker stats are failry high and he cld play every thing at 4.5 star or higher with the exception of Defensive foward.

    Please help!!!!!!!
  • Justice's avatar
    @bane_eng, yeah sorry about that. It was a corner routine which I was using for Luton when I had some epic long-shooters and we'd score 15+ goals a season from them. I just forgot to change it back to a normal corner routine lol
  • bane_eng's avatar
    Hello again! Tactic is good if you are detailed, but i think big problem is corner taking. Every single time is the same, corner taker passes the ball to mcr and then mcr passes the ball to mcl and after that is always nothing. I think you should change it.

    All the best!
  • alihashem4's avatar
    hey justice I'm finding it hard at first but its going well for now I'm undefeated in first 5 games except chelsea in capital one but I'm having a problem with big teams like i got lucky with united it was 1-1 and i was losing bad versus man city very badly and from my temper which isn't so well i shut the laptop off.. so my question is do you have a way to beat this 5-4-1
  • jayrpl's avatar
    tactic just not working for me, at times I just manage to win by one goal and others its a bore draw or I get completely outplayed. I see most goals coming from over the top balls with horrible defending by the CBs and the half-back nowhere to be found. I have only done a season with it and admit I am impatient, but I was hoping someone would tell me why this is happening. I don't have bad players but teams at the bottom of the table will cruise past me with ease and my striker (sturridge or lambert) get a bad rating nearly every game with hardly any goals. desperate :(
  • Justice's avatar
    @keilso, your attackers make their runs too early. Teach them the Player Preferred Move "Beat Offside Trap"
  • keilso's avatar
    Hi Justice,

    Been using this tactic for two seasons with good results. However, I find that I score a lot of goals that are chopped of for offside, any ideas why this would be.
  • Roberto.Mancini's avatar
    I speak according to facts and not according to imaginary results .Rodgers must prove himself more and I think that the new season will be difficult for him .I doubt that he will have again such a big chance to win the league .We will see what will happen next season when Brendan will have much more tougher games because of Champions League .
  • Jer's avatar
    Someone's been watching Liverpool closely this season ;)! Top tactic, seems pretty accurate! Oh and Roberto.. you just got. OWNED!
  • Justice's avatar
    Roberto.Mancini, yes the style of play induced by Brendan Rodgers does lead to his players being out of energy during the final moments of the game. However, if Rodgers' team is leading the game and they have successfully crushed their opposition's confidence through the high-pressure defensive system and sharp, dreary possession passing system, one or two tired sets of legs will very rarely lead to a game being lost through a lapse in defence. Yes, it is risky, but if it can transform a team from being "mid-table" to becoming genuine title contenders with a defence more leaky than a burst pipe, the system must be working. I appreciate your input, but my opinion on football has not changed as a result.
  • Roberto.Mancini's avatar
    Brendan Rogers paid harshly his immature defensive philosophy and he made a huge risk by aiming to win a trophy like Premier based on attack .This is very dangerous because your team will be out of energy especially in the last rounds of the season .In the last 4 games of lfc we were sure that they can score a lot ,however after 65-70' it was impossible to follow the same tempo .Very good ideas and a nice football philosophy but too romantic ,far too childish for winning big trophies .Its sometimes simmilar with 4-3-3 zemaniano ,4-3-1-2 of allegri and so on .From my experience ,when brutality is absent the titles cannot come into your hands .You must be cynical ,rigid ,ruthless ,resolute and commanding .Thats why Lippi ,Trapattoni,Simeone,Capello and co have manage to win many major trophies without impressing in the pitch .Finally football is simmilar to life ,its a matter of character .I give my compliments for this project and its presentation but realism and pragmatism can help you many times to put your ideas on the right track .I dont understimate any coach or philosophy ,simply I try to add to every tactic or solution what is missing .Mancini and Cuper despite their top players opted in many cases to be very defensive minded .Conte made the same in a very progressive and sophisticated way which forced Sacchi to admit "Conte is modern and dynamic ,he has his own way by playing with 3 men in defence ,but at the same time he uses 5 midfielders and 2 strikers making a very explosive Mazino line in midfields which commands the game .That shows for me tactical superiority and mobility which advocates attacking play".
  • keilso's avatar
    Hi Justice
    Good looking tactics and I also a huge fan of Brendon Rogers football. However, will the tactis's still work if the player roles are changed.
    Foe example: Can the Half back be changed to Ball winiing midfielder to suit his attributes better.
    Same for Ball playing defender to Central midfielder or Deep playing midfielder to Central midfielder or Advanced playmaker to Enganche or Poacher to Advanced forward.
  • Justice's avatar
    calumwarren, it depends on your opposition players. Some players need attention, most players don't.

    bane_eng, obviously selling your best players is going to have a massive effect on your squad. Have you been rotating formations? If I find that my team has fallen in to a rut or a bad spell of form, I rotate formations in order to deceive my opponents and catch them out.
  • bane_eng's avatar
    Hello Mr. Justice! I want to thank you for BR System for FM14. I want to tell you that this system was perfectly worked for FM 13, i hope that will be work with succes again.
    I managed Coventry City and in my first season i stayed in league 1 beside -10 points from the beginning. I was pleased with that result but problems start in my 2nd season. I expected much better results but results were much worse than in my 1st season. I sold my best player Fleck but i think that is no matter. What do you think?
  • damdroid's avatar
  • calumwarren's avatar
    Should I use Opposition Instructions for this system?

  • gggfunk's avatar
    The tactic looks great, I'll definitely give it a try. Has anyone used this with Southampton?
  • BaggiesJames's avatar
    This tactic is beast! Using it with Everton and Mirallas, Distin and Baines are beast in these roles.
  • stemac92's avatar
    Great tactic, once the team gets used to the system. I mostly use 4-5-1 no matter the opposition, but if i'm chasing a goal, i'll change it to 4-2-4.

    I found I was leaking a considerable amount of goals early on in the season because the ball was being played in behind the defence, so tweaked it so that the team doesn't play with a high defensive line and have seen a great change.

    All in all, top tactic!
  • Justice's avatar
    @ben_bcfc, all this tactic is a style of play, it can be tweaked to fit one team or another, there are no set rules to making a tactic for your team :) Truth be told, I often tweak this tactic slightly to suit my players, as that as how you get the best results

    @mgriffin2012, well if you are dominating possession but your players aren't taking their chances in front of goal, surely the problem is a lack in quality of firepower?

    @Rumblefish1312, it depends on which formation you use, but seeing as 4-5-1 is the most popular one of the three, I would play Suarez as an AML in that formation and Henderson as an MCL in that formation. The player roles for those two positions suit them quite well :)

    @nicky.k88, I'm glad it is working for you and yes, Sandro is quite the beast at Half Back :P

    @Radium22, I'm not quite sure what you mean with this question :/ If you are wondering whether the file itself actually works, then yes it does. If you are wondering whether the tactic is effective, I actually think that it has become even more effective with the 14.3 patch :)
  • nicky.k88's avatar
    Yeah it works on the latest update I won the league with spurs in my first season using this system...well impressed!
  • Radium22's avatar
    Does this work with the latest update?
  • nicky.k88's avatar
    I started to use this tactic with spurs and the difference is unreal..sandro is a beast in the HB role
  • Rumblefish1312's avatar
    which position for suarez and henderson???thanx!

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