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Megalo's 4-2-3-1 Counter v2.0

Used for 5 seasons so far with great success. Finished in the top 3 every season with Granada and won the Champions League! Also tested with Sport Recife, Almere City (Thanks to Andrej1972) and Wolfsburg (Thanks to scorpy95) with very good results.

By Updated on Jun 18, 2014   42422 views   25 comments
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Downloads: 9416 / Size: 970 B / Added: 2014-06-17
FM 2014 Tactics - Megalo's 4-2-3-1 Counter v2.0

The Tactic

I wanted to create a counter formation that was attractive, it's almost attacking really. You won't get many clean sheets but you will score goals, maybe you'll get those cleans sheets that eluded me if you try this tactic with a big team. I find the midfield moves the ball around well and the CWB provide a natural width and are vital in many attacks. So you'll often see you two centre backs all alone in their half when your team attacks, like I said this formation is counter but really its based around fast, short passing attacks, getting as many men forward as possible, while hassling the opposition when you don't have the ball.



The Players

GK - someone solid, doesn't need to be good on the ball or at passing.

CWB/L/R - Will mostly attack and need great stamina. Decent crossing and shooting will help in the final third.

CB - Strong, good in the air, 6ft or over, half decent pace as they will be left to cover the CWB often.

BWM - The anchor in the midfield, will sit back mostly so pure defensive attributes and decent passing needed.

DLP - Will both defend and link up with attack. Good creativity and passing, but also needs decent defending attributes.

AMC - All need to be good creative players. The middle of the three will sit back more and tend to be the main creative outlet. The two outer midfielders will get into more scoring positions so need to be good finishers.

DLF - The striker will support the midfield, dropping back and allowing the two attacking mids to run past him. So a mix of finishing and creative attributes will be needed. In the first season El Arabi scored 18 league goals, but in his second season he only managed 6 (due to injury and the African Cup of Nations) so I loaned Robinho who managed 8 in 19 games.

League Tables

1st Season



2nd Season



3rd Season



4th Season



5th Season



During my 5th season I finally ended my trophy draught when I took the Champions League back to little Granada!




This formation is the best I have ever created, it's so consistent as 5 consecutive top 3 finishes with Granada suggests. My most recent season saw me come as close as I've been to the title, finishing on joint point with Barcelona, but this season would not be yet another without silverware. Finally I did it, I won a trophy and what a trophy it was, the Champions League, unbelievable, tight 0-0 draw ended with an epic penalty shoot out win for my Granada boys.

Why not give this formation a go, perhaps with a bigger and better side or maybe even try it in non-league and let me know how you get on, good luck fellow FMers

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Downloads: 9416 / Size: 970 B / Added: 2014-06-17
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Discussion: Megalo's 4-2-3-1 Counter v2.0

25 comments have been posted so far.

  • Andrej1972's avatar
    I would think the flat one, but th wb version can he an alternative.
  • Megalo's avatar
    I'll give the classic 442 a go sure, 541 flat or wing backs? Yeah Rangers are making their way back up, next champ could be interesting with them, Hearts and Hibs all in the championship together.
  • Andrej1972's avatar
    What about a "standard" 4-4-2 or 5-4-1?

    BTW beside my Feyenoord save I am also testing this tactic on my Glasgow Rangers team. My aim is to get the 55th Premiership title, and qualify for Champions League. :-) As you probably know Gers is in League 1 in FM2014.
  • Megalo's avatar
    Ok guys no rush, just glad to hear your both having some decent success. Think I'm going to try and develop some tactics. you got any formations you like me to develop?
  • scorpy95's avatar
    Megalo so far I haven't had really much time to play becouse of work, but I managed to get through pre-season tour and 3 matches in the season, so far Pandev performed with overall performance rating 7.57 scoring 5 goals, so I am first on the league table so far but the game will have to wait for another 2 weeks or so becouse I am too busy, I got time for maximum 2 games a days and thats not enough so I better not start it becouse if I start it I can't exit the game :P
  • Andrej1972's avatar
    Hi Megalo, the Almere testing is over. After a series of bad results (3 draws, 3 losses) Feyenoord fired Fred Rutten, and I was hired to guide them to Champions League. Tough task, but I am confident. In fact I was surprised that Rutten was not fired earlier, as Feyenoord barely avoided relegation playoff last season.

    So, I am testing the tactic at a higher level, and I will come back soon.
  • Megalo's avatar
    Nicely done Andrej, it's always tough when you get promoted to the top league but it sounds like your managing to stay competitive. I'm interested to see if you survive and then how you strengthen so keep me posted. Same to you Scorpy,how did Pandev do and have you replaced him yet?
  • Andrej1972's avatar
    New results.

    We have won the Jupiler League with Almere City FC. We have managed to streghen the team on vital positions (goalie, center-back, midfield, striker). The first match against Feyenoord (H) looked encouraging, 0-0 final score, but we were slightly better. Then we went to AZ Alkmaar (A), and after leading 3-0, we "managed achieve" 3-3. :-( Third match against Roda JC (A), after leading 2-0, Roda JC scored 3 goals in a row, and following a fantastic comback we won 4-3 in the 90th minute. I started to train defense immediantely, because 6 goals in two matches look too much to me. Let us see the further results. :-)
  • scorpy95's avatar
    I decided to buy Goran Pandev as he is very good in DLF role and he came cheap. He is 30 years old but I think he should be good for two seasons, but i'll try to find a decent replacement after this season and then I'll drop him to be my second choice or a super-sub.
    I've spend only 2 million on him with an option to extend his one-year deal for a further year. I think I got a decent player here.
    Thanks for help Megalo!
  • Megalo's avatar
    Scorpy95 - Congrats on a really good first season with Wolfsburg. I definitely do have advice for you on your strikers and it does not surprise me that Olic and Dost didnt really deliver. With my Granada team I spent big on Adem Ljajić from Roma. He only managed 3 goals for Roma but he had all the qualities I was looking for in my loan creative striker, you almost want to buy someone whose stats almost like that of a creative midfielder because as you have seen the forward will drop back and allow midfielders to run past him. Obviously he should be a decent finisher too, search for Ljajić on your save and then either search for similar player (theres a button for this) or just get an idea of the type of forward I mean and start searching. Let me know who you sign.
  • scorpy95's avatar
    My predicted finish at the start was 7th in the league. With Wolfsburg and this tactics I managed to get them to champions cup with reaching 3rd position, also I was runner-up in German Cup, where only Bayern managed to beat me (after I've beaten them at Alianz Arena in the league and holded up for a draw at home) by whopping 3:0, mostly becouse my finishing sucked at that game and my goalkeeper somehow got easy goals.

    My team scored 45 goals which meaned we were 4th top scoring team and they conceded 28 goals for 3rd best defence in the league.
    I am happy with this kind of results, but I have second guessing about my strikers (Olić and Dost) as they managed to score 7 goals combined.

    Maybe you have any advice on which striker I should buy during the summer?

    Thanks in advance for the advice and thanks for this tactis :D
  • Andrej1972's avatar
    Thanks Megalo. I will also make extensive testing with my beloved Black Sheeps ( Almere City FC). I am bit fed up with Brazilian stars, who who always want to earn more, and more...and with the crazy board. Almere City is predicted to 19th position in the 20-team Jupiler League...after 25 matches we are leading the league 9 points ahead the second placed team with only one loss. I'll come back after the season is finished.
  • Megalo's avatar
    Andrej1972 - I didn't change any team instructions at all. Maybe the points im going to tell scorpy95 below will help you too.

    scorpy95 - I know how you feel this tactic does concede goals at first but I think that once you get quality centre backs and a solid BWM you should see improvements. I even trained my DLP and BWM to drop deep to get the ball, this helped me defensively. Also if you notice your team is conceding just change your training to defence and defensive positioning until you see an improvement.
  • scorpy95's avatar
    I am trying this tactics with my Wolfsburg tema, season 1 and a half a season gone. I am currently sitting fifth on the league table, 3 points behind second team (Bayern), also I got my team to quarter finals of German Cup without any problems, although I tend to concede to much, I got 19 goals in 17 matches and scored 25 goals.
  • Andrej1972's avatar
    I may also give a try to the alternative version, although I do not have real wingers in my Sport Recife team. When you are using wingers do you change anything in team or player instructions? A very, very solid tactic. I expect to conceed even less goal, when my new Argentinian goalie (capped once :-)) arrives. Magrao the club legend is a good keeper, but he is 36 already, and his backup Saulo is reliable, but without those fantastic reflex saves Magrao has. I hope the new goalie will be a good successsor of the club legend.
  • Megalo's avatar
    Thats good going Andre. I only changed to defensive and ridged when I wanted to keep a lead, usually in legged games. I would also switch the CWB to FB defend just to keep things tight. I have adjusted this tactic two times, with England I pushed the two outside AMC to the wing and it worked really well. With Arsenal I pushed the AMC to the wings again and put the central AMC upfront in a 442 (more like a 424 really) and won the champions league with this system.
  • Andrej1972's avatar
    Oh...the title was in the second division.
  • Andrej1972's avatar
    BTW, have you used any alternative tactic during these five seasons with Granada, or only this one. Do you alter sometimes mentality during matches?
  • Andrej1972's avatar
    So, I finished my first season with Sport Recife using this tactic. In fact it was only a half season, because I was hired in July 2013, and the season in Brazil starts in January. We have won the title in a close competition with Palmeiras. We have not lost a single match, and only 3-4 draws from the 24 matches at helm. We reached the final of Copa Sudamericana, where we lost against Velez in a penalty shootout after a 2-2 aggregate score. With this tactic we lost only two away games in Copa Sudamericana against Colo Colo (2-3) and Universidad Catolica (1-2), but we have beaten them on aggregates.

    Let us see how this tactic works in the top division, where we are predicted to 13th position. We managed to keep the squad together, which is good. Neto Baiano had a very good season scoring over 30 goals, and left and right running backs (Patric and Marcelo Cordeiro) with tonns of assists.
  • Megalo's avatar
    I didn't have any philosophy requests but you will create a lot and score so something attacking based will be achievable and please the board. Looking forward to hearing about your save Andrej1972
  • Andrej1972's avatar
    So far so good, but I still have 9 matches till the season's end. I'll give my detailed comment after the first season. What philosophy should I tell next time to the board with this tactic? Defensive? Possesion based?
  • Megalo's avatar
    The assistant does mine and he does team talks
  • Andrej1972's avatar
    Thanks. Obviously I will come back with the results. Are there any specific opposition instruction to be given, or I can leave it to the assistant?
  • Megalo's avatar
    I always go High/Fitness 50% until first friendly then High/Team Cohesion 50% until first league game. As for match training keep it as Tactic Only during pre season and until your team is at least 90% fluid with the formation. Then if the formation is almost fully fluid you can change to 30% and Balanced/High and match training can be changed each game on the advice of your assistants reports or if your not scoring put it to attacking and if your leaking goals (as I did at the start) then defensive positioning. If its nowhere near being fluid then keep it at 50% Balanced and Tactics Only during the league games until its 90% fluid. I have also always rest before and after matches so keep them ticked. Remember to let me know how you get on as I'd like to know if this formation works with a range of teams, I will try it myself with other teams but I like to do one champ at a time. Won the European super cup and World club championship in my 6th season and still in CL, Spanish Cup and title race.
  • Andrej1972's avatar
    This tactic looks interesting, I will give it a try. What kind of training would you suggest?
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