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The Brendan Rodgers System

Brendan Rodgers' "Tiki-Taka" system at Liverpool

By on Jun 07, 2013   139981 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
    @hastings7, I think the problem with Spurs is that their attackers are not as clinical as you would expect from a team challenging for Champions League places. I find it a bid odd that you would have so many shots but so few on target, as I usually do have quite a few shots on target. Have you been using the Touchline Instructions? I have found that they help to create more chances in or around the box rather than from distance. I hope your fortunes do improve, as my team's goalscoring exploits have been quite good.
  • hastings7's avatar
    Great tactics, love it. Currently using them with York city who are now in the championship and Spurs. Works great with york but for some reason really stuggling with spurs. My strikers just cant get into the games and dont score, had lewondoski in 44 games he got 9 goals, and havier hernandez was like 10 goals. My attacking players just are not effective they always seem to run with the ball beat a few players and then shoot from like 30 yards. its so annoying, also seem to have so much poession so many shots and like 3 or 4 on target?? any advice is more than welcome. Thanks for the tactics though really enjoying them. apart from attacking wise with spurs
  • Extinction's avatar
    ell my first impression is :WONDERFOUL tatics.....any other team are lose vs Dinamo and the minimun score is 2-0 :)
  • Justice's avatar
    @Extinction, great :) Just hit download and fire away :)
  • Extinction's avatar
    hello guys i want test it whit Dinamo Dresden :O
  • Tellak's avatar
    Great tactic! This is the way to play the game.:D
  • Robin0099's avatar
    Thanks man, now I don't have to worry about changing tactic! This tactic is amazing btw, currently sitting 3rd in the BPL with Liverpool, had a quite bad start, but it's working wonders for me right now. I haven't had this much fun in FM 2013 for a long time
  • Justice's avatar
    @Robin0099, not for Liverpool no. But I am using it for Vauxhall Motors who I have gotten promoted all the way from the Blue Square North to the Premier League and I can tell you it works a treat!
  • Robin0099's avatar
    Have you tried this tactic in the 2'nd season, if so, how did it work? I've experienced many great tactics becoming useless in the 2'nd season
  • Justice's avatar
    Yeah I rotated between the 3 for maximum effect, worked very well :)
  • RAzzzVY11's avatar
    and you used all 3 formations or only one?
  • Justice's avatar
    @Chris, I'd stick to just focusing on tactic until mid-end September and then change to focus on ball control.
  • Chrishs94's avatar
    @Justice Spilled water on my laptop and it kinda broke down. Got it restarted and hadn't saved. So restarted the save, went better even though I lost 1-0 to a shite team I beat them a whopping 7-1 in the return leg. PL has started, not going too bad, but what match prep should I use? I'm focusing on tactics at the moment, would you recommend changing that?
  • Justice's avatar
    @Chrishs94, that's not great to hear :( I suppose with every tactic though, it does take time for your squad to be accustomed to it. Hopefully you can stay in the job long enough for you to start getting good results on the board :)
  • Chrishs94's avatar
    Currently trying out this tactic, but so far no good. Lost 4-0 to Chelsea in the opening game and could barely scrape through against Servette. Lost 3-2 to Arsenal and 1-0 to AIK from Sweden. The squad is not farmiliar with the tactic yet though. Hopefully I can stay on the job long enough to not get sacked.
  • zens's avatar
  • CrazyNinja's avatar
    I've downloaded it to compare it to my tactics (which looks almost identical tbh)and try it out but must admit love the way Rodgers teams play football
  • JasonRM's avatar
    Brilliant tactic Justice, my team is playing very well with it so far! :D
  • Justice's avatar
    @nsabro, I don't but this article is something that will help you develop your players for this tactic. It is a training article which does explain each role very well (which might be what you need), aswell as the benefits of training a player in that role. I hope this helps:
    Individual Training Guide
  • nsabro's avatar
    Well I'm trying. Sold Tate, Dyer and Routledge. Bought: Wellington Nem (uses him as the front poacher), Matt Phillips, Shaun Maloney and Adem Ljalic. Played Arsenal in the first game, used the 4-5-1-formation and played 2-2.

    I'll let you know, how it works when I get a bit further in.

    In upcoming transferwindows will be Iago Aspas. I think the wingbacks are pretty good and my centre midfielders are pretty good aswell.

    Do you have a link for an article where I can see which players fit this playing style?
  • Justice's avatar
    @nsabro, tactics don't just work for specific clubs. Tactics work well if you have the right players in the right positions for the tactic. Of course, seeing as Brendan Rodgers did use this system at Swansea very successfully, I would expect it to work well there in FM too. Although perhaps you may want to look at improving the full backs and defensive mids too
  • nsabro's avatar
    Will this work for Swansea?
  • Justice's avatar
    @smokielufc, thanks very much mate. I hope it works very well for you :)

    @CookieMaker, thanks for the praise. I have to admit, this is my favourite type of football :)
  • CookieMaker's avatar
    Good job mate , I just love the way u set up The Brandon Rodgers Plan and is so simular , Big up . YNWA
  • smokielufc's avatar
    Cheers Justice, squad looks good. Thiago excellent purchase. Have downloaded and going to try tonight, going to replace a couple of players to suit the player roles. will let you know how i get on.

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