On FM Scout you can chat about Football Manager in real time since 2011. Here are 10 reasons to join!

The José Mourinho System for FM14

José Mourinho's "Anti-Football" system at Chelsea, including the infamous "Park The Bus" tactic.

By on Aug 24, 2014   118918 views   21 comments
Download Now
Downloads: 23171 / Size: 1.8 kB / Added: 2014-08-24
FM 2014 Tactics - The José Mourinho System for FM14
"Look, we’re not entertaining? I don’t care; we win." (Mourinho, 2006)

José Mourinho, 'The Special One', is possibly the most controversial managers of the twenty-first century, if not eternity. His antics on the pitch (where he usually ends up when unhappy with a refereeing decision), comments to the press and relationships with other managers often come under extreme amounts of scrutiny. And then there is his football philosophy. There are many critics of Mourinho's 'park the bus' system which he likes to utilise in games where his side would never ordinarily be able to match their opposition in possession play. His philosophy is considered to be ugly, unattractive and inhuman. However, it almost always earns valuable results when needed. His defence is organised and sturdy while his attack give the opposition no respite and usually finds a way through to goal. his system is not intended to capture the imagination 'tiki-taka' lovers; it's only objective is to obtain results.

This is my second system released, after my Brendan Rodgers System, which comes in to great contrast with this one. Before you download this tactic expecting to win every single game, please note that 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. If somebody tells you otherwise, he is lying. This is José Mourinho's 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 effective, opposition-frustrating football.


"Three tactics, this can't be the same system!?!?" - what some of you may be thinking. Well the thing is, they are all the same system. Not many managers use just one formation at all times and these are the three which Mourinho uses the most. The 4-2-3-1 and 4-5-1 have identical Philosophies and Strategies, with only the formation differing. The 4-3-3 is the 'bus' tactic which Mourinho used so successfully against the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City last season, where they claimed four wins from a possible four.

4-2-3-1: This is Mourinho's most used set-up. It makes use of a flat back-four with two central midfields in front of them. The two wide players will come inside looking for goals while the attacking midfielder sits just behind the lone striker. Creating chances is the aim of the game here as Mourinho looks for as big a win as possible with this set-up.

4-5-1: This set-up is very similar to the last. The only difference is that there is a defensive midfielder in the place of an attacking one. The player roles have been switched around slightly in midfield and the objective of this set-up is to make sure the midfield battle is won by your side.

4-3-3: Finally, the "Park The Bus" tactic used by José Mourinho. A very flat back-four protected by a deep midfield triangle ensures defensive security while the front three are rather isolated in attack. Mourinho uses this to grind out results in situations where Chelsea look, by far, the second-best team. A sound defensive combined by an effective attack makes this a formidable set-up.

Team Instructions - The Playing Styles

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. The Team Instructions are the exact same for the 4-5-1 and the 4-2-3-1, while the 4-3-3 (Bus) has different instructions. These instructions are set in a very specific way and are not really meant to be tampered with, as these define Mourinho's system.

Philosophy: This is how your team acts through each phase of the game. Mourinho likes his defence and attack to be quite separate from each other, so the 4-5-1 and 4-2-3-1 are set to rigid. The defence and attack are even more separate when he 'Parks The Bus', so it is set to Very Rigid there. This means that defenders won't attack much and attackers won't defend much, which helps keep the overall shape of the team.

Strategy: This is how you take on your opponent. The 4-5-1 & 4-2-3-1 are both set to Attacking. Mourinho usually likes to make his team look for many goals as his attackers are world-class (Hazard, Costa, etc). The 4-3-3 is set to Defensive in order to hold the fort and ensure that no goal-chances are conceded to the opposition, while using quick counter attacks to penetrate the hopefully-scarce defence.

Passing Style + Tempo: This is how you pass the ball and how quickly you play your football. The 4-2-3-1 and 4-5-1 uses a Higher Tempo in order to give the opposition no respite and to move the ball around very quickly. These two formations also look to use Shorter Passing and In To Space in order to Retain Possession of the ball while moving in to gaps left by the opposition. The 4-3-3 uses a Lower Tempo in order to slow down the play and kill time. Combined with Route One passing In To Space, a lot of time is wasted as the ball is Cleared To Flanks as often as possible.

Attacking Play: This is how your team attacks the opposition, to state the obvious. In the 4-2-3-1 and 4-5-1, your defensive line will look to stay Deep in order to cancel out any quick counter attacks through pacey attackers. Your team will look to play Wider football and Exploit The Flanks, Drilling Crosses in to the box for the striker and other attackers. Mourinho loves his wide play, especially at Chelsea where his biggest threats are on the wing. In the 4-3-3 (Bus), your defensive line will stay Much Deeper than usual. Wide Play is still used and your wide players will Swap Positions in order to evade marking. Your players, otherwise, will stick to positions to keep their shape.

Defensive Play: This is how your team defends against opposition attacks, sorry for stating the obvious again! In the 4-2-3-1 and 4-5-1, your defenders will mark tightly while not committing to tackle an opponent too quickly. However, when they do commit to a challenge, they make sure their opponent feels it through very hard tackling. In the 4-3-3, your defenders will also mark tightly while not committing but will also take very good care not to foul an opposing player when they challenge for the ball.

4-2-3-1 - Player Roles

4-5-1 - Player Roles

4-3-3 (Bus) - Player Roles

Typical Defensive Scenario (The Bus Tactic)

This is a typical defensive play using the 'bus' tactic, showing you how your defence will set up to nullify your opposition's attacks.

The Back Four: As you can see, the back four are playing very deep and standing off the opponents in order to keep their shape and not allow the opposition to find a gap to run in to. The only gap which is visible is between the left back and the other defenders. However, this is because he is marking a winger and if an opposition player were to look to run in to that gap, the Anchor Man would slot in there.

The Midfield Triangle: As you can see, the Ball Winning Midfielder is closing down the ball. The Anchor Man is sitting deep marking the attacker while the Box To Box Midfielder is ready to move around the pitch when required, while keeping an eye on number eight (he doesn't need to close down a player when somebody is already doing so). The three midfielders will do the exact same throughout the entire game.

The Attacking Trio: These leaves the two Inside Forwards and the Target Man. They won't do much defending as they are not required to do so and their only role is to take the ball up the pitch and look to fashion chances between them.


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 Defending or Fitness, to get your team to be as able to nullify attacks as possible, as you will be looking to do so every game. 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 Instructions

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 a style of football which is defensive but lethal in attack. 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!

Download Now
Downloads: 23171 / Size: 1.8 kB / Added: 2014-08-24
Your content on FM Scout

We are always looking for quality content creators, capable of producing insightful articles. Being published here means more exposure and recognition for you.

Do YOU have what it takes?

Discussion: The José Mourinho System for FM14

21 comments have been posted so far.

  • jonathanc2015's avatar
    what do you use for training on this tactic and he uses 4-5-1 for park the bus
  • Vashti's avatar
    I love the bus version! Used it a lot in FM14 when I'm up by at least 1 goal with less than 30 mins left and it's still very effective in FM15! Thanks!!!
  • Iconic's avatar
    Don't have FM 15 yet so really found this helpful you took a lot of time and effort to make this thank you.
  • pro_17's avatar
    I think the 4-2-3-1 attacking should be Control with High Tempo Overlaping Backs like Ivanovic and Azpilicueta and not Full Backs!And not Rigid maybe Balanced.
  • shaunwwfc's avatar
    I think for a "Jose Mourinho" system to work, in needs to work well defensively. Unfortunately this doesnt. I am Wolves in League One sitting in 4th place with 4 games to go (I really should have walked this league as Wolves did IRL) and 12 sides have a better defensive record than me. Apart from the park the bus system (potentially) it just isnt robust enough for me. Thanks for uploading though.
  • RichB17's avatar
    Do you use opposition instructions?
  • Justice's avatar
    @Azzerlee95, I do have one more tactical system which I have already made and I will be looking yo upload when I have time but I'm afraid I don't have enough time to make any more for FM14. Perhaps FM15 though :)
  • Azzerlee95's avatar
    I am a big fan of your work, your Brendan Rodgers system was great fun to play with and your Poetry in Motion add on and Jose Mourinho systems have also been class! I was wondering if you would consider making a Luis Enrique system for FM15? I have always found his tactical approach fascinating and I think that it would be great for somebody to create his system for Football Manager since he is now Barcelona manager. I have given it a few goes myself but you seem to be much better at designing tactics than I am, and I think I would have a lot more fun playing with one of your designed tactics.

    Either way keep up the great work, and I am looking forward to playing with your tactics on the new FM15 game (y)
  • Hekdah's avatar
    Player Instructions???? for 4-5-1 form
    ation ...and for 4-3-3 if possible ..
  • Justice's avatar
    @Veedubvr6, like I said before, I don't mind negative comments as long as it is explained how and why this tactic hasn't worked for you. Your comment lacks any substance at all and I just can't take it seriously because of that. Come back with facts, figures and proof and I will respect your comment.

    @mantorras77, it's really just a personal decision, to be honest. Use whatever you think will be the best set-up for your match.
  • Veedubvr6's avatar
    This tactic has turned my Europa League, fa cup European super cup charity shield winning side into total dog mess.
  • mantorras77's avatar
    @Justice - How do you know when to use each tactic?
  • Veedubvr6's avatar
    Mixed results so far. Good pre season then lost opening game away to Watford. Followed up by a 4-0 win vs Everton. Not sure about the park the bus tactic but I've not yet tried it against a side I'd expect to struggle against. It's still early days but so far it's looking good
  • lukecrompton92's avatar
    brilliant set of tactics .. I sometimes switch the attacking tactics to counter if im getting hammered particularly the 4-2-3-1!! KEEP GOING WITH THESE TACTICS :)
  • Justice's avatar
    @Veedubvr6, I do have Player Instructions for each and every player but uploading 33 screenshots (11 for each formation) is quite ludicrous so I explained each player's role in the systems in the article briefly (click the spoilers).

    @3RH4N, as I said in the article, "My recommended training approach would be on Defending or Fitness, to get your team to be as able to nullify attacks as possible, as you will be looking to do so every game"
  • Veedubvr6's avatar
    Have you got any player instructions for this tactic?
  • Walter's avatar
    I'll be sure to try this out as I'm actually a big fan of Mourinho! :D
  • 3RH4N's avatar
    thanks for the tactic bro,it superbly works for my chelsea 14.3.0 patch.Well,could you tell me about team training
  • dark_boy's avatar
    I am using the BUS and 4-2-3-1 tactics on my Wolfsburg squad.
    For 4-2-3-1, the tactics is getting better in every match. some passing error is happening but I think it wont happen when the squad is more familiar with the tactics. I really like the way my squad counter attack. strikers are scoring which is a great relief for me. Defending seems to be ok right now but I am conceding goals more than the past games.defenders sometimes dont tackle at the right time and gathers in the box without marking anyone. so long shots are a big threat. another problem is ball position. its normally 40-60 which I think is not good. at least 50% is needed. The tactics allows my players to create some wonderful attacking moves so I am hopeful that it will work out nicely soon.
    For BUS tactics, I am disappointed. The defending is pathetic right now and still the right time tackling and positioning problems. its like my players are inviting the opponent to score and let them have it. the counter attacking is good but didnt scored a goal. No clean sheets so far. But I am not complaining or giving up hope because its still early to judge the tactics. Its not properly familiar to the squad, specially the mentality. But if these problems continues after being familiar then I will think about some changes.
    My squad is balanced, specially done excellent defending in the league so far but they are not doing well in defence using these tactics. I am going to use them for the rest of the season. I will let you know what happens after a few months in the game.
    Thanks, keep up the good work.
    P.S. I used your BR tactics and have to say it was excellent. It works nicely on different teams and gives a nice result.
  • Justice's avatar
    @Mangaz, I appreciate negative comments but you didn't even support your negative comment at all and it isn't fair to say that this won't work for anybody else because I know for fact that it has worked for others who I have spoken to. Okay, so it didn't work for you but some tactics work for people and others don't.

    EDIT: Also, if you actually read the article which I spent quite a while typing up, you would see that I said that this tactic would never guarantee results so call my tactic what you want, I never broke any promises for it.
  • Mangaz's avatar
    This setup of tactics is complete shit. Tested it out with Dynamo Moscow, ended up with me getting sacked after 7 games which resulted in 6 losses and 1 draw. I was also eliminated by Cuckaricki Stankom in the 3rd qualifying round of EL. Keep in mind that I also signed Samuel Etoo, Victor Valdes and Roman Eremenko.

    I am aware of the fact that the players needs time to adapt to a tactic, but taking in consideration what a strong squad I had the results speaks for themselves. Bottom line:

FMS Chat

hey, just wanted to let you know that we have a fb style chat for our members. login or sign up to start chatting.