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Advice needed for a promoted team

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How do you think this tactic could be made more adaptable for a newly promoted team to Serie A, we are predicted to finish in 20th place but were able to get promoted fairly comfortably despite being predicted to finish 12th in Serie B, however everything has fallen apart and now nothing is working, the team is mostly the same but I just can't figure it out.


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That's because AI is stronger than you and have better players. It's not always about the tactic, but in your case I will:

- Increase Tempo.
- SK Support since you have "Counter" enabled.
- Remove Tight Marking.
- Fix Set-Pieces.
- Add Play Out of Defense to decrease the passing range of defense.

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Others are infinitely better qualified to talk about your tactic and possible improvements than I am but, having recently been through what you're going through now (albeit in relation to a promotion from a third tier to second tier), I just had to accept that my players weren't good enough.

In my case, I won promotion via a play off against the team that finished third from bottom in the tier above. Hammered them 5-1 on aggregate and that gave me confidence that I could compete. That confidence soon disappeared and I was too stubborn to bring in loan players. What I should've done is everything I could (inc maxing out the number of loan players I could bring in from bigger clubs) just to avoid relegation in that first season. I'm too stubborn as I prefer to develop my own players rather than someone else's but that attitude cost me. Survive that first season at all costs (whether that be to, for example, your existing player's feelings or your preferred playing style) and then you can gradually go back to whatever your overriding philosophy is once you've consolidated your place in the higher division.

Not saying any of this applies to the OP's situation but the topic is generally about staying up so I thought I'd add my thoughts.

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My guess is your wide players never get much of a chance to show their stuff. I'd be strongly tempted to go with a 5-3-2 (with a DM) to play for quick counters and clog the centre of the pitch. But regardless of formation, the principles of newly promoted sides are usually:

  1. Sign free transfers.
  2. Look for loans -- especially at the close of a transfer window where loans are cheaper.
  3. Be gentle with player feedback so as not to crush morale.
  4. Look for pace and acceleration and make sure your countering players have it in abundance. Fast strikers can produce amazing results getting on the end of occasional long balls, and fast central midfielders can be dangerous arriving late in the box.
  5. If you are in terrible form, try to schedule a very easy friendly to bust out of it.
  6. Find one or two set piece takers with 15+ corners and free kicks. They are worth their weight in gold in both FM21 and FM22.
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I am not a big fan of the 433 for newly promoted sides.

The system requires you to use your fullbacks in attack. To do well you need to think of lone players who are good at either scoring on their own or you need to find players who are good at taking others on and getting behind them. So i would need a good striker and a fast winger. 

Issue when you are a weaker team is that you are playing against better defences and better players.

Personally I always prefer a 2 man strike force and have suggested several formations that are fantastic for newly promoted sides which include:

In this tactic you have 2 strikers and 2 defensive mids, they can protect you against teams with better central midfielders forcing them into areas which are more congested making it harder for you to concede. You can play with at least one fast winger and still have a threat in front. You can also may several combinations in attack including a TM/P combo which is easier to find.

Then you can mod this as you get better players, turning your fullbacks into IWB going for more central thrust and you can easily use wingers.

Anyone still remember how Gloucester City achieved rapid promotions to the top with me playing a 4132? This gives up flanks yes, but with strong central defenders you can be even deadlier in the counter

4222DM The box is fantastic against the 442, its almost unplayable. And since you have a box attack in front you can use strong central AMC, who are great in the air and play balls over the top all day long

These are just some of the formations I would recommend playing as a newly promoted side. While the 433 isn't a bad system, in nett xg terms I get a better return from the aforementioned systems.

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I recently got promoted to the German 2nd division having won the 3rd division by about 14 points. I was also using a 4-3-3 DM wide which might be the most effective tactic I'd ever utilised. We would control possession, lots of triangles and combinations all over the pitch from front to back, we'd progress the ball forward really quickly and score some really nice goals following intricate 1-2s on the edge of the box.

I assumed this would also work in the 2nd division. 4 points after 10 games suggested otherwise.

After some tinkering, I settled on what is effectively a more defensive version of the 433 by simply bringing the wingers back creating a 4-1-4-1. I was hesitant to do this having read @Rashidipost above (specifically in terms of the lone striker) but it has worked. I'm on course to finish about 8 - 10 points above the relegation zone and if I'd played this system from the start of the season (and assuming I picked up points at the same rate) I would have ended up finishing around 8th - 10th I reckon.

I play Touch on the Switch so posting images is a pain but I play the following:


IW(s)     MEZ(s)       CM(a)     W(s)


FB(s)     CD(d)      CD(d)    FB(s)

I use a positive mentality and short passing/standard tempo. I find that this allows us to have decent possession stats while allowing time for the midfielders (particularly the two CMs) to get up in support of the striker.  We tend to play narrow in terms of attacking width as we don't need to stretch opposition defences and it means my players are all that bit closer to each other.

I use counter obviously but either regroup or nothing at all for the counterpress option. I like my keeper to play it to my defenders (unless the opposition is trying to prevent that obviously which actually happens less than you'd imagine) and play out of defence.

I use standard LOE and DL (unless away to a top team in which case I drop the LOE to lower) and have a narrow back line. Having said that, defensively we're poor (only the bottom team has conceded more) and that's where I'll need to strengthen in the offseason. My full backs don't seem to be able to stop crosses and opposition strikers often find themselves unmarked in the penalty area. I might need to get a completely new back 4. This is obviously concerning for a promoted team but we seem to score enough to mitigate that.

I found that with overly defensive tactics, we were far too passive. I try to maintain a defensive shape as much as possible to try to mitigate against what appear to be relatively poor defenders.

None of this is perfect and I'm sure others could pick holes in it if they wanted to but the upturn in form since I implemented it has been season (and job) saving. I'll stay up and can then invest some of the tasty prize money coming my way with a view to eventually (maybe in a season or two) progressing back towards my awesome 4-3-3 DM wide tactic that got me promoted and I'm confident will be successful again once I have good enough players for this level.

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That’s a good tactic two support duties (Fb)to keep it safe and the DLF to allow for better buildup. It’s a good system, looks like it works with the players in ur system! And that’s what matters at the end of the day!

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12 hours ago, Rashidi said:

That’s a good tactic two support duties (Fb)to keep it safe and the DLF to allow for better buildup. It’s a good system, looks like it works with the players in ur system! And that’s what matters at the end of the day!


Having survived the first season, I'm now just over half way through the second season and find myself in 2nd place. I'm using the exact same system but with some of the TIs tweaked to make things a bit more aggressive (in terms of pressing mainly) now that I'm one of the better teams in the division. 

Got myself two new CBs in the close season who are much better than what I had before mainly in terms of mental attributes which has made a huge difference. 

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