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FM19 Tactic: 4-1-4-1 LLM Counter Attack

When in doubt just go with Counter Attack, tested in LLM with Colchester United going unbeaten in League 2 and League 1. Stability, chance creation, entertaining play.

By on Feb 23, 2019   92861 views   3 comments
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Downloads: 18890 / Size: 43.3 kB / Added: 2019-02-23
Football Manager 2019 Tactics - FM19 Tactic: 4-1-4-1 LLM Counter Attack
I object the opinion of you need to keep it simple at Lower League Club, otherwise we need to make the detailed approach at team instruction to finer the competitive edge.

What you can expect
1) Stability: While it's hard getting big comfortable win, you will snatch one or two goal margin from your opposition
2) Chance Creation: Poor Finishing? Don't worry, create more chance and you will get some goal sooner or later
3) Entertaining Match: Attacking Mentality and combination of passing play in the midfield and overlap attack is the core of this tactic

What you need to bear
1) Stamina drain: Intensity of this tactics pretty high, you need decent squad depth to balance it out
2) No Top Scorer in the League: Don't lay all the gold within same basket. I mean don't bet all the score making to your LLM Forward (effect of frequent rotation also another factor)
3) Losing against Much Higher Profile Team: When is still possible win against Fulham (PRM) , I still can't make it when facing Manchester United or Liverpool so the tactic are not invincible and still need major tweaking

Context in The U's (Colchester United)

Our squad is pretty average, but average in LLM mean an opportunity to exploit to your heart content.

(+) Good Depth and Quality at Midfield
(+) Good Pacey Winger
(+) Potential Ability of Starting Player are Pretty Good

(-) Goalkeeper stat for mental attribute poor and can’t command the area well
(-) No Playmaker ready to use from the start of the season, but in the later half young Diaz Wright become more mature
(-) Lack Depth in Left and Right Back Department
(-) Injury Prone limit Physical approach in training

In first transfer window I brought new Goalie with SK role (free), MC with DLP role (free), AML (free - w/ compensation) DL and DR (Loan)


More cautious or defensive play mean we need to soak up more in pressure made by the opponent. So when possible just stick it to positive/attacking play.


Shorter Passing + Narrow Width + Run at Defence
The core for this tactic to work is combination of MC (DLP), MC (BBM) and DM (BWM). DLP become station to distribute pass, BBM working the ball into the box and BWM as the guardian who look to recover the ball when DLP and BBM lost the ball.

So in order to this tactic to work, we play narrower then wing department exploit more space at the side. Work ball into box and Hit Early Crosses can be used according to the enemy faced. For crossing, I prefer to keep it low to prevent wild crossing, simply because our crosser is not good enough.
When we have limited option in crossing department we need to make use other means, such as using run at defence instruction. More Run equal more chance creation.

Work Ball into Box or Hit Early Crosses?
In order to maximize the midfield passing play, I prefer to work the ball into the box, but if you found it hard to break in because of opponent play narrower, more defensive and had lower defensive line. Just switch to early crosses to make more chance. Don’t expect your forward to score regularly, main duty of Forward in this tactic is to distract Opponent Central Defender.

Overlap Right and Left
The element of surprise given by wing department, short passing combination by the midfield just a pretence to overlap play by the wingback. But when opponent switch focus to defend flank the middle exploit the space simply by shooting when arrive inside or around the box.

Slightly Higher Tempo
In order to have effective counter higher tempo is a must. Higher tempo have another forte to exploit space. In the first friendly I try to control possession but failed miserably because of low passing completion. So I change my approach to play counter attacking in higher tempo.


Take Long Kicks - Distribute Quickly – Counter - Counter Press

I need to underline that don’t let the player playing the ball in defence area. Don’t give your opponent to regroup. This need us to counter when able, hassle and recover the possession ASAP - Steal and Kill!


Defend Narrower - Lower Defensive Line - Higher Line of Engagement
Defend Narrower (can be switched to wider when needed like in the screenshot) used to restrict chance creation of the opponent to long shot. Lower Defensive line used to close the space, engage higher to maximize element of surprise in fast break. To nullify gap when use Lower Defensive Line - Higher Line of Engagement. Limit the CD in open play (set piece involvement is okay) and Set All the Midfield role to Support.

More Urgent - Get Stuck In
Urge Pressing Play, Press! Press! And Press! Then disrupt opponent rhythm with aggressive and strong tackle.


I leave it to default in the file, you should experiment because the need of every team is different. (The only tweaking so far I only use it at Wing Department to make the flow of overlap smoother)


SEASON 1 RESULT: League 2 Champion

SEASON 2 RESULT: League 1 Champion

SEASON 2 RESULT: Championship League Champion


1) Result can be vary, still unstable against stronger team
2) Be flexible, adjust tactic accordingly to the enemy, even slight adjustment matter
3) Set Piece Instruction: I always build up my corner play with short passing
4) When crossing department is poor, low crossing can maximize result, in the end of the season we got great statistic for crossing

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Downloads: 18890 / Size: 43.3 kB / Added: 2019-02-23
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Discussion: FM19 Tactic: 4-1-4-1 LLM Counter Attack

3 comments have been posted so far.

  • Zenyatta's avatar
    Has anyone tried this? I love 4-1-4-1 formation, gonna start a save a try this. maybe moving moving aml/r to ml/r. I made my own 4-1-4-1 but seemed to never get midfield 3 setup right this looks perfect.
  • samarkhan's avatar
    @rapydystu Maybe the file was the older version, thanks for mentioning it, expect the revision soon...
  • rapydystu's avatar
    download tactic is a lot different than from your screen shots..
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