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4-5-1 Light Press // FM20 Tactic

A regroup and much less urgent pressing tactic for FM 2020. Frustrate opponents by sitting deep before countering with lightning pace.

By on Nov 02, 2020   36820 views   17 comments
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Downloads: 4932 / Size: 44.1 kB / Added: 2020-11-02
Football Manager 2020 Tactics - 4-5-1 Light Press // FM20 Tactic


I often hear and read people saying the only way to be successful in this game is to play with a gegenpress. This tactic is built with the sole purpose of showing people other styles of play are viable.

The Tactic

The shape is a 4-1-4-1 or 4-5-1 however you prefer to categorise your systems. The heartbeat of the team is the Regista he is responsible for driving the team forward being the creative force in midfield. To get the best out of the Regista he is shielded by a BBM and BWM who look to create time and space on the ball for the Regista.

When the ball has been the lost the team will look to get back into a defensively strong shape and make it difficult for the opponents to play through them, The aim is to frustrate the opponents by limiting their passing options forcing them to make high risk passes with little chance of being successful. When the ball has been won back the team will counter at pace to expose the space left behind the opponent's backline due to them being drawn out to help break down the defensive shape.

Without the ball, the team holds a high line of engagement and defensive line limiting the space in which the opponents have to play between the lines. The pressing intensity is the least you can do as the aim is to hold a shape and make it difficult for teams to play through a shape without opening gaps.


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Downloads: 4932 / Size: 44.1 kB / Added: 2020-11-02
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Discussion: 4-5-1 Light Press // FM20 Tactic

17 comments have been posted so far.

  • peterbolam78's avatar
    doing well for my Newcastle side, 1-0 pre season win against Lyon, and 3-0 against Anderlecht, neither of those teams had a CCC over both games, I think this may be a case of a tactic that works well in game but may not in real life, personally as I am not a Football Professional in real life, I am just glad ot see it doing well early on for me, I'll try to keep updating results
  • YAMS's avatar
    @Boroboy116 - The line appears deeper because you aren't pressing at all. Hence me saying static. All you line of engagement is is your line where your team will press from, if you aren't pressing then your line is static so will appear deeper. This isn't sitting deep, it's sitting static.

    A combination of high lines and no pressing with an offside trap is extremely risky as you are instructing no one to pressure the passer of the through ball.
    This is high lines without the actual press taking place. Absolutely no one in real football plays this way. It's tactical suicide.

    But as mentioned before on FM it may work as no matter what anyone says FM is not a tactical representation of real football in any correct form, particularly from the defensive standpoint.

    To set up a counter attacking tactic where you will concede possession 'safely' but be effective on the counter I would have standard or lower than standard lines, regroup, pass in to space and high pressing activated. This is a classic 'low block' counter set up. The press is initiated only when the lower line of engagement is reached.

    As we've both mentioned though on FM it is very difficult to replicate due the OP of the GG Press tactical style.
  • HurkaDurk69's avatar
    Another masterpiece from you. Tested with Man City and it simmed well(1st with only 1 loss, but only simmed the first 6 months because PC bad). I know it is Man City but that atleast proves that it works for a team that is aiming for 1st place.

    Was questioning your decision to put a RB as 'Mark Tall Player' since you know, they are usually not as good in the air as a CB but I conceded 0 goals from corners so what do I know.

    Would personally like to see you put more stats, and stats that speaks what the tactic won't do. As an example, when I simmed I got 42% possession which for me low(lowest in the league). That one should be obvious but for me it is a big difference between that and the 46% which I thought I was gonna get. Also noticed that there were few fouls and cards.
  • Boroboy116's avatar
    Lol well I experimented with different roles and combinations and these were the best but yes clearly wrong because you said so. I know the lines are high but I also know how it plays in game and the line is deeper.

    Haha that’s a silver lining then and I’ve never claimed to be a tactic expert the only person who’s claimed to be an expert is yourself.

    As for you helping to people to create a low block counter tactic you stated in your previous comments that it doesn’t work. I’m more than happy to engage in a discussion you however not so much as you clearly think you know better than everybody else.
  • YAMS's avatar
    It's easy to dish it our when there are so many clear mistakes in your design, yes.

    For the record I'm now finished with commentating on other peoples tactics. The majority of 'tactics experts' are far from the title suggests as you've nicely illustrated here. You're also a sensitive bunch when challenged which says more than enough.

    Suffice to say if anyone wants help with a low block counter tactic I'm available in pm.
  • Boroboy116's avatar
    Lol it’s so easy to dish it out rather than actually post a tactic yourself, I suspect there would be a long list of people waiting to see a tactical wizard like you self to show us the error in our ways.
  • YAMS's avatar
    Yep I sure do. As no doubt you understand that a high line of engagement and a high defensive line is not a description of 'sitting deep'.

    I haven't even started on work ball in to box being the wrong choice, offside trap being the wrong choice, a BWM being the wrong choice & not highlighting pass in to space to help the counter being a wrong choice.

    Other than those.... Nice tactic.

    I'm done.
  • Boroboy116's avatar
    I built and played with the tactic I understand how it plays thank you. You keep talking about using a low block which is impossible on this game the AI just batters you. As a tactic guru, you would already know this though.
  • YAMS's avatar
    You do understand that you aren't sitting deep as suggested in your tactic title with both high lines of defence and engagement...??

    Your sitting high just not counter pressing or pressing at all which in real football would never work. On FM though maybe.
  • Boroboy116's avatar
    People complain about tactics having no variety, you then post a tactic that does and people still complain you can't win.
  • YAMS's avatar
    I certainly wouldn't encourage it in the real World... No. On FM though where real life tactics have little to no bearing maybe. A low block/lines with high press is very doable... As Leicester City proved to Leeds last night.

    Actually reading this tactic it isn't actually sitting deep as the initial blurb suggests, it's sitting static... Which is interesting to say the least & pretty impossible in real football. I don't know of any teams that sit with high lines but don't press in real football, it's suicide. In FM though, maybe.

    I would have thought lower block lines with higher pressing would be a better plan, you could build a nice counter attacking style from this.
  • kapiten22's avatar
    High line and no press, well that's the worst idea ever.
  • YAMS's avatar
    Agreed it's tricky & can't be done with a low block/no press combo. You can pull off a low block with high pressing if you push your midfield up a line/strata. DM's on low block are completely ineffective.
  • Boroboy116's avatar
    Using a low block is suicidal in this game, coupling that with no pressing and regroup and I suspect the AI would have a field day. I already have a tactic that uses the formation your referring too, I was just showcasing you don’t need to play a meta style to be successful.
  • YAMS's avatar
    It works as you lower your lines to a low block system. Your don't use high lines of engagement/defence, you lower the whole system instead. You still press aggressively when your engagement line is encountered as your midfield block are sitting in a higher line naturally. It actually works very well & enables you to use more attacking midfielders in those positions.

    So pressing is high but engagement is low, this means you have more space to counter as opposed to a low pressure press with higher lines.
  • Boroboy116's avatar
    @Si49- No the whole point is to retain a defensive structure, shifting the midfield up a strata would be counter productive in drawing the opponent’s out IMO.
  • YAMS's avatar
    Have you tried this with your entire midfield up one line/strata?

    So your DM at CM & your four midfielders as attacking midfielders?

    Give it a go for a Regroup system, you can afford to lower your line of engagement for this as well.
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