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Strikerless + long-term challenge

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Hi everybody

Just thought I'd share my strikerless 433 in FM21


I love it. It does exactly what I want. Defends in numbers and then breaks for amazingly beautiful counter-attacks. I can't stand keeping possession of the ball, I find it so boring. 

It's an iteration I made myself. I originally started it in FM20 with a standard 4-3-3 but it just didn't do what I wanted it to do and the striker was basically pointless. 

The striker has become the AM treq and that's transformed the tactic. Wow. Even with slow, unhappy, undetermined Özil he got 10 goals and 15 assists last year. Now replaced with Pedri. Toss-up between him and Joao Felix but Pedri is 2 years younger for the same fee, and very similar stats.

Currently in season 2 and the defence is just incredible. I have literally never had a better defence in any FM. Conceded 3 goals in 14 games so far. 2 of the goals were mistakes from younger players in the CL. 


I think defending very wide and forcing them inside has been a huge factor in the improvement this year. The defence was already good last year on standard defensive width, but I changed at the end of the season and wow this year.

Also doing a challenge I heard about a few years ago. 3 signings in your 1st transfer window, then only 1 a year. Really makes you think about the long-term and getting the best out of your youth prospects, I find it a lot of fun and it's interesting for me to think about what signings I need long-term. Giving massive thought to Lautaro Martinez at the moment. Determination 19 and a complete role model for younger players, but the agent wants a minimum fee release clause and I am EXTREMELY reluctant to give that! As I said, only one signing a year, no matter what. That could derail my long-term challenge right there and then. Nelson, Saka, Smith-Rowe, John-Jules and Martinelli all have great potential but their finishing stats aren't amazing, and my next highest determination stat is 17.

This was my first ever FM21 play and I didn't check online for wonderkids or good players first. Just went straight in. I think I made a mistake signing Kessie. No-one would pay for Lacazette, but Milan wanted him and I saw Kessie so did a swap deal. In hindsight perhaps should have done Bennacer. We'll never know, but Bennacer isn't dreadful in the air, and my defence now is unbelievable, so looks like it all worked out. Donnarumma was also an option but I don't need a GK right now. In around 5 years when Leno's 33 so I can use him as a back-up for a few years.


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PPMs; AM-As need to get forward whenever possible, play 1-2s, beat offside trap. Treq needs to play killer balls, 1-2s, run with ball through centre, look for pass rather than shot, get forward whenever possible.

PIs; DLP-D set to mark AMC tighter. CB-D set to take fewer risks.

I have Tierney set to cross more often cos his crossing is 15

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I've been experimenting a bit as well with a strikerless 4-3-3 but staying with the two wide players and just moving the striker down into AM strata as a Shadowstriker and while I quite like how it plays with the ball, i've been finding the formation quite bad at relieving pressure when the opponent pins you deep, because the shadowstriker will even defend inside his own penalty box at times. If a defender then heads the ball out from goal, the opponents backline can then usually pick up the second ball without issues and just keep up the pressure, as the formation has no one who stays a bit higher up the pitch to contest those balls or if we do win the ball deep, the ball carrier can get antsy from being pressured to hard and also boots it long, making it all too easy for the opposition to just restart their attack again.

Is this something you have also noticed with your tactic or do you manage to have one of your players stay higher up the pitch even while defending (at least halfway between your goal and the halfway line), so they can contest those balls or act as a release valve to relieve the pressure on the defense and to then transition from being pushed into defending deep into a successful attack?

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  • 1 year later...
Em 25/01/2021 em 14:33, jackane24 disse:

Quite OP this tactic I feel. I've got 2* Cirjan performing as a god as a treq. Even better than Pedri! Any kind of quick player with good off the ball performing as either AM-A gets crazy good results as well.

I've been successful with a strikerless tactic on my own as well. As a matter of fact, it's been the only tactic that is working for me, as I can finally get my ST to participate (works fine with both Ibra or Moukoko likes). Can you send your tactics so I can try it here?

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