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4-4-2 LongClaw // FM20 Tactic

442 tactic for FM2020 that helped me with Atalanta and gave awesome results with RB Leipzig. Made out by using elements from Knap's and Lisa's formations.

By Updated on Jul 20, 2020   32316 views   15 comments
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Downloads: 3588 / Size: 45.0 kB / Added: 2020-07-13
Football Manager 2020 Tactics - 4-4-2 LongClaw // FM20 Tactic
Hi there fellow FM Players,

Most of all, please excuse my English as I'm not a native. I'm Portuguese, so there you go.

Quick intro:
I'm a fan of the 442 formation. I don't like the tiki taka 4123 one-touch-sleepy-play.
I love the gegenpress controlled avalanche play like for example RB Leipzig does. And there's a difference between aggressive play and violent play.
Less fouls, more football. Elegant football.
I do agree that Guardiola's tiki taka had been effective, but what I enjoy in it is more the tactical movement, and less the constant one touch that keeps spectators sleeping.

Moving on.

I've been swapping from Knap's formation to Knap's formation. The guy is a master, but it seems that Knap's formations do more in terms of "match engine gaps" than the ball play itself.

I was facing hell with Atalanta. I couldn't make my wingers play well (at least being consistent), and if they did do play well my strikers did not.
A big mistake from my end in terms of the Atalanta season, was constantly changing formation after 2 or 3 games. I ended 5th first season:

I let the season end struggling to the end of it. Then I started to analyse and analyse, and created the "442 LongClaw":

It's based on the Knap's Venom & Faith 442 formation, but as you can see it's not the same one, but it has the same Set Pieces.
I kept most of the Defenders instructions, but the rest was tweaked.

I swapped to my RB Leipzig save to test it. I had been playing RB Leipzig with a 424 made out from Knap's and Lisa's Di@blo formations.
Just to say that Leipzig did not had Tactical Familiarity yet to the 442 LongClaw, and when I tested it I was blown away with it.
After 2 games with it, I won 7-1 to Mainz and Werner scored 6 goals (played on the AF left side).

Then, I went to Atalanta save again and started the new season.
No big signings, only a key ones:
Tonali » Haven't played yet
Cengiz Under » Nice deal for 22M Eur. Played one Serie A and came from the bench on Euro League. Then injured 3 to 6 weeks.
Hakon Evjen » came from AZ Alkmaar

Transfers 2nd season

So I played until the end of September 2020 as I had some tough games to test it. Although I lost 0-1 to AC Milan, the game was very close:

I conceded from a penalty confirmed by VAR, had more possession, 2 shots on woodwork, and most of my defence was on risk of injury (except Foyth that had been on the bench until this match).

Apart from the 0-1 loss, I have been very pleased so I decided to share this Tactic.

Atalanta 2nd season


- Use players that have the key attributes to the role no brainer);
- AP must be the more creative midfielder;
- BBM must be the more defensive midfielder (apart from all key attributes, Tackling is important also)
- Train your players to those roles;
- IW Right must be left footed, IW Left must be right footed (although Sabitzer is a natural IW Right and has right foot, and he does awesome on right side)
- Train IW's Traits to Cut Inside to opposite side and maybe Killer Balls;
- Fast strikers are a plus (Atalanta has normal and not speedy ones);
- If you have fast Central Defenders, you can raise the the Defensive Line to Much Higher;
- If you see that your players are shooting too much from outside the box with no shots at goal DURING GAME... change to Work Ball Into Box to avoid it a little or say your BBM to Shoot Less (he must be go at long shots);
- Rotate your squad. If you see that the Overall Risk of Injury is HIGH before a match, swap him. It can go well that game and maybe he does not get injured, bu if you do not rotate him you will see the performance drop after 2 games or so;
- Do not let players be complacent! Praise only when winning for 3 or more, and specially away. Do not praise them if they're training well! Only if they have low morale. Criticise the ones that are training bad!
- Keep morale up!

These tips helped me maintaining consistency and gaining respect and support from players. The rest is made by the formation.

Please test it out and let me know.
Also, if you tweak it with good results, please share with us so we can also improve.

Thank you, and enjoy!

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Downloads: 3588 / Size: 45.0 kB / Added: 2020-07-13
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Discussion: 4-4-2 LongClaw // FM20 Tactic

15 comments have been posted so far.

  • YAMS's avatar
    All tactics of this ilk have the same effect in the game. You will overwhelm the AI for a period of time until they adjust to your success. From that point your results will depend more upon the strength of your team relative to the AI's adjustments.

    All 'ME breaking' tactics work this way. They overachieve & then the AI's adjustments can sink them.

    If you are playing in a league where you are the best team or have the best squad then you will be fine with this. But others could overachieve for their status & then struggle.

    It's a good tactic, it will dominate for most teams I suspect.
  • Horus_Alive's avatar
    @Si49 I appreciate your thoughts. It would be helpfull if you take the time to download and test it, and then review it. Maybe tweak it. In the end, if what you state is correct, then we'll need a different tactic for every 2 seasons. I must disagree, but will respect it.
  • YAMS's avatar
    Ok, so very heavily influenced by Knap's tactics & as previously stated will be very successful for a season or maybe two but IF your reputation changes drastically & the AI adjust to a more defensive set up as often happens then you will need more tactical & player type variety to break down defensive AI set ups.

    As far as a 'winning tactic' goes though it is bound to work. Especially initially.
  • Stam's avatar
    Formation changed on the thumb. I mean, still 4-4-2 but different. :P
  • Horus_Alive's avatar
    Already asked Stam for the tumbnail edit. Help on the way :)
  • YAMS's avatar
    Haven't a clue matey, no.

    Maybe Stam or Rober can advise.
  • Horus_Alive's avatar
    @Si49 I updated the images inside the post (that's why I had to wait so many days until it was aproved). Inside the post it's right now, but I don't know how to change the tumbnail and update it... Can you help? Thank you.
  • Horus_Alive's avatar
    @Lewis07 Thank you for the feedback. The CF role is very demanding, but if you have a forward that fits in the role, that might be a good idea. I've take your advise and added "Roam From Position" on the Right PF so he can come a little more back. Regarding changing the WB to AU, it might not be a bad ideia... but at the same time please not the the WB's mentality will change from Attacking to More Attacking (please confirm) and I don't know if I would want it. Thank you so much for trying my tactic. It's the first one, and the first time I ever posted one. Cheers!
  • YAMS's avatar
    No biggie HA, look forward to the update thumb(s).
  • Horus_Alive's avatar
    @Si49 and @Lewis07 The prints were wrong. Don't know why, but I must have printed previous tactics with IWB and W. The tumbnail is incorrect. As soon as I saw your coments, I run to amend it and had to wait several days. Still not correct in the tumbnail. I apologize.
  • YAMS's avatar
    It's basically a plug n play tactic so it will be successful until the AI adjusts to your success & then you potentially won't have the quality to break the defensive AI down.
  • Lewis07's avatar
    so just payed my first game with it, it looks solid, Beat Leeds 4-0 but a few small tweaks while watching it on full match, I am lucky to have a striker who likes the CF role so he was switched to CF/support on the right, and my Left striker was changed to AF/Attack... the idea was to create a link or use the CF to move defenders, also I removed get further forward from both WB and they were set to Auto as I tend to change mentality as a game goes on, all 11 players finished with green ratings. will carry on with it and see where we go
  • Lewis07's avatar
    Downloaded it, so wanted to post a correction, the actual Tactic does indeed have WB and IW also you have PF in the tactic not AF so it's the OP pic that is incorrect, also wanted to ask about OI do you set any, or did you let assistant/coach deal with them?
  • Lewis07's avatar
    You say IW must use opposite foot, so left for right, and vice versa, but in the pic, they are both Wingers
  • YAMS's avatar
    During the attacking transition do you find the left IWB playing more as a left back?
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