Okay guys. Ive been playing FM for a while now, but this year ive struggled to find a succesful tactic on my own. Ive tried with a 4-1-2-3, 4-2-3-1 and 5-3-2 (WB). So if anyone has tips regardings these formations, i will greatly apreciate it. Thanks in advance
I'm not an expert in FM tactics, but I can share my experience from my tactical musings in a recent save with Olympiakos.
Initially, I struggled against opponents of similar strength or even slightly lesser. I was trying to be careful at the back and take it from there. That didn't work well for me at first. So I switched to a heavily aggressive approach, purely attacking formations while keeping a counter/standard philosophy with a structured/flexible shape. I don't think going fluid can really work against similar or stronger opponents.
My favorite formations are 4-1-5 DM with 3 strikers and 4-3-3 DM (or 4-2-1-3 DM) with 1 striker. My 3rd formation of choice is 4-2-4 DM. I kinda like to use DM because my squad has plenty of quality players for that spot.
I tend to utilize roles my players are most familiar with, but that's not some kind of rule really. Players can effectively perform in roles they're not familiar with, as long as they're suitable for (as in they possess the necessary key attributes for them).
I found that formation is best chosen to highlight the strengths of your players. Trying to force a formation and style of play that's beyond their strengths, you're likely to fail. However, you need a balance of roles regardless of formation. For example, using mostly defensive minded players (and most importantly, roles) in the central midfield won't help you generate many scoring chances.
I also found that using too many team instructions does more harm than good, so use that wisely. After 3 seasons, the only instruction I begin with is "work ball into box", and sometimes "exploit left/right flank" because I like to attack from the wings.
In terms of opposition instructions, I use "show onto weaker foot" with everyone, then close down everyone except their CB, and tight mark the striker and/or their creative mind(s) in the CM area (unless they're too explosive).
Oh, and with team talks I always try to calmly encourage my players and tell them "I have faith in you" or "there's a lot more you can do". Player morale can make a difference in matches I'm afraid.