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How Might A Ten Hag Man Utd Tactic Look?

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Hi Everyone, just looking for advice.

I think im already leaning towards a Man Utd rebuild for FM23. Id like to test this a bit in FM22.

Im not that familiar with Ten Hag's style, but I know some basic principles that he has favoured at Ajax.

Just wondering on what peoples thoughts were on how to interpret Ten Hag's style into FM?

Things that stand out as basics:


  • He likes to press high and counter press, so gegenpress and higher lines would be necessary


  • The build up is very fluid. When playing from the back, the build up starts with a back 3, but this could be done any number of ways, it could be a DM dropping between the centre backs as wing backs push up, it could be one wingback moving into midfield whilst the other full back shuffles over, but there is a Guardiola influence to the build up.


  • Using width to open up half spaces, and utilising either an out an out forward in the middle of the pitch, or a forward that likes to come deep and join in with the build up.


Now im going to be honest, I dont know if this even comes close to what Ten Hag's ambition would be, but I was thinking these roles might get close to what he might do, and Ive picked a few of the roles out to clarify whether these are suitable:



RONALDO - Im thinking either Trequartista (because he doesnt press, but then will look to get into space and his team mates will look to get the ball to him as the main outlet) so he may have SOME target man type behaviour, or maybe to use him as a target man like Haller might be used, a sort of focal point type central striker that might come deep a little.

SANCHO - Needs to be like Antony so im thinking IW/S, want him to hold the width and play one twos/link up with players inside him, but also to come inside too and thread passes.

WHOEVER PLAYS DM (MAYBE DE JONG???) - Want a creative player that will sometimes come towards the defenders to be an extra man in the build up, but then also be a presence in the midfield too. Thinking RPM is a possible role if the PPMs could work, things like comes deep for ball and maybe runs through centre of pitch for example. But also think that Regista could be a good role to use.

DALOT - I dont think its possible to create a tactic where the build up from the back can be made up of any combination of players, so im thinking of just getting the most attack minded full back to under and overlap the right winger. At least this could mean theoretically either  De Jong can drop in between the two centrebacks to make a three, or De Jong can stay ahead whilst the left back comes narrow to make a back three with the other two centrebacks. I believe Daley Blind would do this quite a bit for Ajax?


The interaction of the players too is to create a more creative formation on the right side, to release Ronaldo through the middle and Rashford as goal scorers with a quick switch of play.


This might not be anywhere CLOSE to what Ten Hag does for real so just looking for some guidance and thoughts on roles, before moving on to team instructions.


Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

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If he gets de Jong, our initial build up phase will likely be close to the CL semi-final side, which would make 4231 my go to, probably with 2 DMs. I'd lean towards Regista for de Jong as they seem to collect the ball deeper and sit a little more behind the play. Wont exactly give you a back 3, but I'd personally rather recreate the on-ball play we saw from de Jong and I don't think any defend duty role will give him the freedom to dribble and roam around. Schone probably goes in as a DM(s) and van de Beek could be in the MF or AM strata, maybe as a CM(a) or an AM(s).

If we don't get a de Jong, maybe he gets a Daley Blind instead - a fullback who can step into midfield. In that instance I'd go with an IWB, and a 433 based off the season gone would look more likely. The duty depends how much you want a back 3 or if you prefer to replicate the creative aspect of the role. The midfield there is probably something like DM(d/s) with Gravenberch a BBM/RPM and Berghuis as a Mezalla - close to what you've got actually.

As to the forward 3, a pair of inverted wingers is likely, but Ronaldo's role is anyone's guess. He did loads of roaming around last season, but maybe under Ten Hag he gets him more up against defenders, or maybe he has him float around the pitch. I'd probably start with CF(a), but it could just as easily be TF(a) or a poacher - Ten Hag has used all types in his career.

If you're looking to create an overload for Ronaldo to exploit btw, I'm not sure trequartista is the way to go, because it will probably lead to him engaging with your right side too much. I've had a lot of joy with a poacher in a 433, as it very much exploits the central space when you get a flank overload. The tradeoff (for me anyway) is that you're unlikely to see the team dominating possession game to game if your only striker is always looking to break the defensive line, but it leads to a lot of goals. Team instructions can help balance that if it bothers you though.

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