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
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)
Step OneDownload the file.
Step TwoExtract the files using 7-zip/winRar to this folder:
Sports Interactive > Football Manager 2013 > tactics