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Unconventional Arsenal Tactic

Obscure shape but plays beautifully. Tested with Arsenal. Full explanation as to why it works and such.
Started on 30 December 2015 by juliusseizure
Latest Reply on 30 December 2015 by juliusseizure
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Hello chaps

As FM16 was released a tumultuous rollercoaster of emotions flooded through my veins. For me there is only one option - thrusting my fist into Arsenal and working them like a puppet to the very pinnacle of world football. This isn't going to be as much a story but a tactical aggrandisement which shows how "unconventional tactics" CAN get the job done. Due to issues with my computer I’m struggling to add screenshots. All things mentioned are true and no editor was used.

When looking at the Arsenal squad you can tell rather quickly you've got some serious stuff to work with. To not use Sanchez as that IF would be disgraceful and to keep Ozil out of that attacking game would be absolutely haram. The attacking force is so strong and one can so brutally abuse the 4-2-3-1 that it leads to victory. Now with an improved Coquelin you can simply slot him into that BWM defensive midfield role and ensure that Koscielny + Mertesacker are left alone to merely punt the ball away if it happens to make it past the Coq. Naturally one would go with the 4-2-3-1 for home games where you can shamelessly prostitute Ozil as that AP and the IF with Ozil to bang in goals with a rotating Walcott + Giroud. Away games simply go for the 4-1-2-2-1 with the CDM holding the position ensuring that the defenders have a quieter day. In my audacious attempts to create an even more dominant style which would attack + possess + get the best out of players I used three strikers rather than wingers/IF's.

My standard formation was as follows:

GK (D): Cech | Ospina

BPD (D): Laporte | Paulista | Koscielny | Mertesacker
CD (C | ST): Koscielny | Laporte | Paulista | Mertesacker
BPD (D): Paulista | Laporte |Koscielny | Mertesacker

CWBL (A): Gibbs | Monreal | Sanchez (Explain later)
CWBR (A): Bellerin | Chambers | Oxlade Chamberlain (Explain later)

DLP (D): Coquelin | Ramsay | Wilshere
AP (Su | A) Ozil | Cazorla | Gourcuff

T (A): Barbosa | Berardi | Sanchez | Iwobi
CF (Su): Morata | Giroud | Sanchez | Iwobi | Berardi
T (A): Berardi | Barbosa | Mayoral | Iwobi | Sanchez

Mentality: Standard (Then assess as to whether going “overload”, “control” or “defensive”) If you know you will win then go for overload, if you know you’re better but the other team might sneak in a goal then change to control. If you’re for example winning on aggregate or need a draw then set to defensive. The shape will also change as I will explain

Team shape: Very Fluid. Do not play with this as you need the team to travel back and forth. The wing-backs are by far the most important players on the team alongside the Trequartista's

Player instructions: Pass it shorter- individually ensure this is set. It makes sure that the ban gets to the obvious people in the easiest way possible. Additionally ensure that the wide players “shoot less often” as well as the central striker.

Players in: [Alvaro Morata - 45m] [Domenico Berardi - 20m] [Aymeric Laporte - 35m] [Gabriel Barbosa - 7.5m] [Borja Mayoral - 2m] [Thiago Maia + Yoann Gourcuff - Free]

Players out: [Theo Walcott - 32m] [Mathieu Flamini - 2m]

This is a very standard shape and shouldn’t necessarily be employed for all games. I will explain how to change the shape using examples from my save.

Arsenal 10 - 0 AC Ajaccio

Team shape was

GK (D): Cech

BPD (D): Koscielny (1 Assist)
BPD (D): Chambers (1 Assist)

CWBL (A): Gibbs
CWBR (A): Bellerin (2 Assists)

DLP (D): Cazorla (1 Assist)
AP (A) Chamberlain (2 Goals)

AP (A): Ozil (1 Assist)

T (A): Sanchez (3 Goals)
CF (Su): Berardi (2 Assists + 2 Goals)
T (A): Barbosa (3 Goals)

Mentality: Overload
The midfield trio changed completely and only two defenders played. Cazorla as the DLP was rather successful as he naturally pushes up the field and hence the assist. Chamberlain acted as the AP on Attack and he naturally drifted around the pitch which was matched by Ozil who was gliding around causing havoc. The two Trequartista’s did exactly what I wanted- pushed up the pitch during defensive situations and the balls just get cleared to them. Throughout the game I switch the two around so that the defenders get confused. Berardi as the CF was mesmerising and held the ball up at times when at other times the two Treq’s would lay the ball into open space which he could run onto.

Manchester City 2 - 2 Arsenal

GK (D): Cech

BPD (D): Koscielny
BPD (D): Mertesacker

CWBL (A): Gibbs (1 Assist)
CWBR (A): Bellerin

BWM (D): Coquelin

DLP (D) Ramsay (1 Assist)
AP (S): Ozil

T (A): Sanchez
DLF (Su): Iwobi (1Goals)
T (A): Berardi (1 Goals)

Mentality Standard (then to overload + in the last 15 minutes control)
This time playing with the Coq slap bang in the middle ensured that the defence would be relatively solid. Ramsay sat slightly deeper but did push forward at times. The formation ended up being a 3-3-1-3. Attackers did what they should which led to them having two goals between the three. The difference here is that even though it was against an arguably tougher opponent, the CWB’s stay on Attack because if they support then I fear they won’t push up and assist as much as they should. Ozil was a big disappointment and looked pretty confused. We went down in the 15th minute but then Iwobi took one back in the 18th and from then on we controlled the game. We got our goal in the 37th minute. We played well but were far to cautious. Ultimately I realised we weren’t going to produce anything so took off Sanchez for AOC and set the mentality to control. Then comes the 88th minute. An excruciatingly slow pass from Mertesacker was intercepted by Aguero who then chipped it over Cech. My insides slowly shrivelled up and I could feel the rage flowing through. Mertesacker is obviously not going to be able to perform throughout the season so I dropped him. His lack of physicals and lack of technical ability showed in this game and slowly introduced Gabriel more and more.

The Atletico Madrid Saga

I took a whole new approach as this was a foreign game and Atletico have a devastating duo of Vietto + Martinez. I knew Mertesacker wasn’t good enough and Gabriel was injured so Laportes debut would come up here. I played aggressively defensive. For the first leg I played as followed.

GK (D): Cech

BPD (C): Koscielny
BPD (D): Laporte (1 Goal)

WBL (A): Gibbs
WBR (A): Bellerin (1 Assist)

BWM (D): Coquelin
DLP (D) Arteta

AP (S): Cazorla (subbed for Ozil who assisted)

T (A): Sanchez
F9 (Su): Morata (1 Assist)
T (A): Berardi (2 Goals)

Mentality: Control throughout
It may look marvellous that we scored three goals. Problem was, Atletico scored 6 goals. Yes - 6 goals. That little rodent Vietto with a 9.8 rating got two goals and two assists. Diego Godin with his immense 10 Finishing for a defender scored twice too. They weren’t even headers. Overall it was a great game. We went down 3-0 at half time. By the 88th minute I knew it was over. Berardi did well but the support was only okay. Arteta was a huge liability and although he wasn’t responsible, I held him responsible.

Next game I found out Bellerin was suspended for too many yellows. Which made me change my whole shape. I anticipated Atletico playing super defensive to keep their lead but I retaliated with an aggressive propulsion of attack. I was right - they played a 4-2-2-1 with two DM’s, two wide mids and one attacking midfielder. I countered with a super aggressive 3-4-3 as follows:

GK (D): Cech | Ospina

BPD (D): Laporte
CD (C): Koscielny (1 Assist)
BPD (D): Mertesacker

W (Su): Sanchez (Subbed for Gibbs who scored 1)
DLP (Su): Ramsay
W (Su): Chamberlain

AP (A) Ozil (1 Goal and 1 Assist)

T (A): Barbosa (1 Goal)
CF (A): Morata (1 Goal)
T (A): Berardi

Mentality: Overload throughout
We won 4 - 0 which took us on aggregate to 7-6. A great game where we played very wide and very quickly. Ozil shone and the three strikers played incredibly well. Ass soon as we went 2-0 up Atletico tried to play more defensive which in turn sacrificed their attack. Subsequently every long ball they cleared ended up at the trusty feet of Mertesacker.

My final example of tweaking a tactic is using my biggest “loss” as per se. Following our victory at Atletico we were playing Bayern. Following our win I was hoping to carry on some momentum. I noted that Bayern play a 4-1-4-1 DM which means that they may struggle to control the space behind Lewandowski. I played the same 3-4-3 with wide midfielders on Automatic.

GK (D): Ospina

BPD (D): Laporte
CD (C): Koscielny
BPD (D): Mertesacker

W (Su): Gibbs (1 Assist and 1 Goal)
DLP (Su): Cazorla
AP (A) Ozil
W (Su): Chamberlain

T (A): Barbosa
CF (A): Morata (1 Assist)
T (A): Berardi (1 goal)

Long story short - it went absolutely tits up. We drew 2-2 at home whilst conceding stupid goals by Vidal.

This for me is the biggest example of how you can’t expect one tactic to flow throughout the entire season - especially if it is unconventional. You need to tweak and ensure your players are versatile enough to switch around. Every 20 minutes I would switch the Trequartistas which would in turn mess up the defenders. Ultimately it was almost an unbeatable trio strike force. I loved my three strikers so regardless how defensive or attacking I need to be abIe adjust the midfield and defence.

The formation and shape are two very different things. When attacking you get a 3-2-5 and when defending either a 5-2-3 or a 3-4-3. I’m not saying this is an exploit or anything but Has so far yielded incredible results:

Premier League: Won | 10 Points clear on top | 58 Goal Difference | 89 Total goals scored.
FA Cup: Won
Champions League: Knocked out in Semi Final vs Bayern - down to my stupid assumptions
Capital One Cup: Knocked out by Burnley - fielded my youth team due to cockiness and pure arrogance
Community Shield: Won

Not too sure what I’m expecting back but i would love for people to try this out and see if they think of anything to add. Furthermore, the idea of two trequartistas often makes people shiver as it leaves the team to vulnerable but I thought it was pretty awesome- I’d suggest people give it a try. I apologise for no screenshots but I tried to make it as simple to understand as possible.

My advice: If you’re going to try this tactic, implement my standard formation and then work around it. Change the midfield roles around and if you want to change the CB’s then go for it.
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