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Tricky False 9 role in Strikerless variant

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Hi everyone!

I’m just starting my second season in charge of Arsenal, having just wrapped up a narrow premier league victory in my first season. The first few games have been alright…but I’m having some offensive problems and wanted to get some advice.

As you’ll see with the team below, I’ve sought to transform the team to fit a variant of StrikerlessGuido’s Retro FM17 tactic – you can read about it here. The guiding principles are movement, pressing, and cohesion. Compared to the original Strikerless version, my most meaningful change is switching one of the Shadow Strikers to a False 9 – mainly because I found it helped create space, but admittedly also because it’s a role I’ve always wanted to try (I know…not exactly Strikerless…). And Dybala fits great for it! My full tactics and team instructions are posted below

I’ve worked to transform the team to better suit the tactic, aiming to maximize the Teamwork and Work Rate attributes as well as bringing in some players to match the duties (e.g., ball-winning midfielders, false 9).

Now…where I could use some help. On offense, I’m finding that the False 9 isn’t playing exactly how I would like. Often, he does well – as we counter-attack with speed after winning the ball, he drops back and sets up the Shadow Striker and Advanced Playmaker for great plays. However, JUST as often, I find he receives the ball isolated way too far up the pitch, with the rest of the team running behind but too late to make a difference – he ends up settling for a bad long shot.

Any suggestions for what I could do here? A few ideas I’ve thought of below, but I’m not too convinced…

·         Change mentality to control? I’ve set it to standard right now because of the very high fluidity, but maybe control would help get players forward to support the F9? I worry though that the fluidity will mean I’ll have 4 david luiz’s on defense

·         Lower tempo? Might allow my players to get up in time to support Dybala, but this not complement my high press style

·         Further push up the D-line? I’ve got it set to slightly higher, I could push it up but worry about the defensive threat that implies…

·         Change F9 player instructions: Are there any changes I could make here?

I would super appreciate any advice or feedback! Thanks : )

Arsnenal tactics.png


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8 hours ago, Lordluap said:

second the PPM call.  PPMs are VITAL nowadays.  And a Shoot Less P.I

I haven't really focused on ppm, in fact when I choose players to play in my systems, I only look at ppms when things don't work. I haven't checked a players PPM since the first day I played FM17. 


I won't say they are critical, they are just a tweak.

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I've found that playing someone in the F9 role that has Comes Deep to get Ball, for example, plays the role so much better than someone who doesn't. Without the right PPM the player in the F9 role just plays like a DLF, for example. And that negates the point of the F9.

It's like the "Inverted" Wing Backs that I've been using in my Bielsa 3-3-1-3 tactic (see the thread) where I have different degrees of success depending on the PPMs of the players used when the PI's remain static.


These are just my findings though.


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