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The Brendan Rodgers System

Brendan Rodgers' "Tiki-Taka" system at Liverpool

By on Jun 07, 2013   139982 views   53 comments
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Downloads: 20820 / Size: 1 B / Added: 2013-06-07
FM 2013 Tactics - The Brendan Rodgers System
“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)

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. A master tactic in creation!


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,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. 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.

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.

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).

Philosophy: This is how your team acts through each phase of the game. 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. With Control, you 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.

Passing Style + Tempo: This is how you pass the ball and how quickly you play your football. Short passing is good for keeping possession and creating "passing triangles" to get around your opposition. A high tempo means you move the ball around very quickly, making it impossible for the opposition to get anywhere near it.

Creative Freedom: This is how free your players are to do their own thing. A more expressive creative freedom means that your creative, flair players will look to spark something special and do something extraordinary.

Closing Down: This system uses high pressure to close down opponents. This gives the opposition players less time and space on the ball and forces them in to making mistakes.

Marking + Tackling: Zonal marking is important to keep your defensive shape. This means your defense will always look strong and stable. Default tackling means your players will tackle as they are used to. This means they will still go to win the ball, but they won't do many reckless, leg breaking challenges.

Defensive Line + Width: The defensive line and width are pretty normal to keep your defense in shape. Your defense will look solid and in line, with no gaps.

4-5-1 - Player Roles

4-2-3-1 - Player Roles

4-2-4 - Player Roles

Touchline Instructions

These Touchline Instructions aren't necessary but I like using them to emphasis our style of play.


As you can see, our results with this system have been fantastic. Our four best results of the season are highlighted. Needless to say, we won all four competitions we were entered in this year. There were some nervy moments but we went undefeated through the whole season, which is not easy. We played some fantastic football, as you can see in the screenshots below.

20/3/2013 1-0 Win vs Chelsea (H)

20/4/2013 3-0 Win vs Everton (H)

11/5/2013 7-0 Win vs Crystal Palace (N)

Installation Insrtuctions

Step One

Download the file.

Step Two

Extract the files using 7-zip/winRar to this folder:
Sports Interactive > Football Manager 2013 > 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: 20820 / Size: 1 B / Added: 2013-06-07
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Discussion: The Brendan Rodgers System

53 comments have been posted so far.

  • Justice's avatar
    And the FM14 version of this tactic has arrived! :)
    The Brendan Rodgers System (FM14)
  • Justice's avatar
    Guys, big announcement regarding the FM14 version of this tactic. Up until now, I have been tinkering with the new tactical system introduced by SI in the new game, and I finally believe that I have an in-depth knowledge of how tactics work in the new game now. I have created a base version of the "Brendan Rodgers System" for FM14, and I am currently in the midst of fine-tuning it in the shape which I would like it to take. It will be slightly different to this system, but I believe that the changes involved will be beneficiary and could really help the tactic. Over the next while, I will be finishing my fine-tuning of the new tactic and then once I believe that it is complete, I will upload it here and make it available for download. Thank you for your patience guys! :)
  • debaoholic's avatar
    i won 6 titles 3 fa cup 2 champions league with west brom and top hall of fame with newcastle. enough said. struggling in FM 2014, i hope u come out with a tactic soon. i tried replicating in fm 2014 but lost most.
  • bane_eng's avatar
    Tactic is very good for some teams, Chelsea for sure and AFC Wimbledon. But you have to be very patient! More than a half of first season you have to wait till tactic become familiary and then results will be great. The best of theese 3 is 4-5-1! Always, no matter who is your rival.
    Thanks, Justice!
  • FMkhan's avatar
    Tactics worked first 6 games(5 wins and draw with Arsenal,victory vs City) but now i can't win,6(so 12 games with first 6)games 1 win,5draws.Last game i lost to Everton 3-0 and i was better! My team plays good evry game,but strikers just can't score,they played good until now,i rotated these 3 tactics so i think it is diffrent problem.Suarez and Sturridge get in so many chances but they can't score,Suarez-finishing-14,he can through 11 players but he can't score 1v1,Sturridge can run like rabbit but can't score 1v1,i dont know what to do...Help pls
  • dani818e's avatar
    It okay :) fm 14 soon
  • Justice's avatar
    @dani818e, unfortunately my FM13 is broken beyond repair, so I can't make another formation for it :(
  • dani818e's avatar
    Can u make one with the 3-5-2 system :)
  • MRCWARREN's avatar
    Hi Justice

    Just wanted to say thanks for these 3 tactics, I've always been one for trying different tactics, never managing a full season because I like starting new ones with different tactics. But this time I have started properly with me favourite team Liverpool and over 10 games have passed and only lost once @Home to Cardiff :/

    To anyone who is having any difficulties with this tactic I would suggest you just give it time! When I first loaded it my team looked really uncomfortable at times misplacing EASY passes and looking lost, but now we're getting familiar with it they look like a whole different team, laser like passing, clinical finishing and solid defending.

    So, just be patient with it and you can soon reap the rewards, also follow the training guide, set Training to Tactics on Very High until familiar, then Ball Control on average after. For Match Training I used Defensive Positioning for a while because my team looked pretty good in the final third so wanted to concentrate in defending well.

    I also have stuck mainly with the 4-5-1 formation so I don't have to worry about that gap in between the Midfield and Defence. I have used the 4-2-3-1 in weak cup matches.

  • Justice's avatar
    @ArdlZ, just because this tactic doesn't work for you doesn't mean it doesn't work for others, mate. I've used this tactic with Vauxhall Motors, Ireland, South Africa, Spain, Manchester United, and several other teams, and it has still worked for me.

    Accuse me of cheating? Feel free, I don't care. I know I didn't cheat at all, and if you don't want to believe me, it doesn't bother me in the slightest. I think you should look at your own management ability before you criticise this tactic. It has worked for me and many others, so there must be a problem with your management skills.

    And just a word of advice. Don't make a comment just to flame a download or a topic, especially without any constructive criticism! If you can't help or be positive, don't comment! Either way, you're the only person who is going to look bad coming out of this. Nobody likes a hater.
  • ArdlZ's avatar
    This Tactic is terrible I do not know what you did but u must of cheated twice I have started with Liverpool trying this and twice it has failed terribly cant even beat unknown teams at home I mean come on
  •'s avatar
    I like the way I play with this tactic. But one thing I don't like is the fact that the players are taking so many long-shoots! And I don't create that many CCC.

    Does anyone else experience the same thing? And if so, has anyone some ideas on tweeks?

  • Justice's avatar
    @kingofkop7, I honestly don't know much about Classic mode as I have never played it, but I suppose the match engine is still the same so it should work, provided you bring in the right players :)
  • kingofkop7's avatar
    Hello Justice, as u can see from my name I'm an LFC fan too
    I'm wondering if these 3 tactics can have the same impact if in classic version
    Because I like to use classic version so I don't hv to do much to change tactics or finding the right players. I'm excited about these tactics, but help me to apply em in classic if u don't mind. Thx
  • Justice's avatar
    Well I'd say it is because it is not fluid yet. Otherwise, I honestly would stick to the 4-5-1 unless you are playing weaker teams at home. The 4-5-1 seems like the best of the 3 for handling this year's match engine.
  •'s avatar
    Thanks alot!
    It's pretty much how I set up the team apart from playing Suarez in the striker-roll. Do you Think he's better as a winger?

    Before I saw your answet I acctully bought Will Hughes. :)
    He looks promising.

    I've played 7 matches (EL and PL) so far this season.
    4 wins - 2 draw - 1 lost. Goals (16-8)

    I've stuck to the 4-2-3-1 because Ive played teams that I should be better then. Some games has been great! But others looks like crap.

    Could this be down to the fact that the tactic isn't fluid yet?
    Or should I play 4-5-1 away from home?
  • Justice's avatar
    @[email protected], thanks pal :)

    I'd personally have Match Training set to maximum until the tactics are completely familiar.

    I liked to change it up a little depending on who I was playing, but I mostly stuck to the 4-5-1.

    My team was:
    GK: Reina; DR: Johnson, DCR: Kelly, DCL: Agger, DL: Enrique; DM: Lucas, MCR: Gerrard, MCL: Shelvey; AMR: Suarez, ST: Sturridge, AML: Borini/Coutinho.

    In terms of transfers, you can always sell Henderson and Downing for somewhat reasonable fees. I did bring in two players in the January transfer window, Lars Bender and Will Hughes. They both fitted in to the system very well. Second season I signed Dede, Thiago and Cavani, and they were all super signings. So I guess I recommend these five players, if you are looking to sign anybody. After I signed these, this is how my team looked like:
    GK: Reina; DR: Kelly, DCR: Dede, DCL: Agger, DL: Enrique; DM: Bender, MCR: Gerrard, MCL: Thiago; AMR: Cavani, ST: Sturridge, AML: Suarez
  •'s avatar
    Great work! Beeing a Liverpoolsupporter I got to give this a go.

    Some questions...

    When geting to know the tactic, how do I set up training?

    And should I stick to just one version in the beginging or shift depending on with team Im playing?

    How do you set up the team? Coutinho on the left wing? Sturridge on the right? Best line-up?

    Are there any players I should try to sell? Buy?
  • managerhall's avatar
    hey this kinnda like how i play really free flowing formation
  • Justice's avatar
    @123hello, I have Match Prep set to Attacking Movement and training set to Ball Control
  • 123hello's avatar
    WHat MAtch prep do you use? and for what training?

    I'm Nottingham Forest; doing OK. THe football really good, and my team isn't really suited to it. Just having trouble with consistency...

    any OIs you prefer???
  • debaoholic's avatar
    I must say, i created an account here to encourage anyone to download this tactics. I wonder champions league with almost the same players as newcastle ( i am using newcastle without much signings). I didnt use any of the touchline shouts etc. The only negative is that the score are normally low like 1-0. But i am more than happy to grind out results! a big thank you to the creator. Anyway, i am a liverpool fan.
  • Justice's avatar
    @hastings7, I suppose that there are no real "plug n' play" tactics for FM 13. Tactics don't win games like they did in FM12. I suppose the most important thing to take in to consideration isn't the tactic, but perhaps the players you have. I'm not criticising your attack, as they are very good players. Although I do think that the attacking players you have listed are all trained to play in different playing styles. The likes of Isco is used to "tiki-taka", while the likes of Bale and Leandro are used to more direct football. It would take a while for your players to gel in, I believe. After all, its the players who play the games, not the tactics. I think that if you were to gel them in that they would begin to start playing their best football after a couple of seasons. When they are brought together at first, they will all be thinking about making different runs or different passes in attack, they won't be able to link up as well as they could. Give that time and you will begin to see some smart moves being created. I think the only thing you can do really is to just continue to develop your players in the way you want to play and have patience, you will begin to see the results :)
  • jorginio's avatar
    Good tactics.Works nice for me with Inter Milan.
    I just made a small change and use direct quick passing instead of short.
    Thanx mate :)
  • hastings7's avatar
    Yeah im using the touchline instructions. Just seem to be so bad at creating chances, thats all my assistant keeps saying "we need to improve in creating chances" but when we do never seem to finsh them. Also my attackers are class, Bale, shaqiri, Isco, James Rodriquez, Leandro damiao, Wilfried Bony ???? just dont know what else to try?? The players also just are never motivated? Ive never had this problem on FM just this year if im ever a big team in the PL just cant seem to get them to gel. Sorry for moaning really appreciate any help. Also love the idea of these tactics and want it to work so much

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