This tactic is an evolution of my HUSTLER tactic so very high scoring but with better defensive coverage down the flanks. Goals conceded from crosses is the achilles heel of 4 defender tactics in FM 17 so in order to combat this, there's now a half back who drops into central defence and both centre backs push out wide to provide cover for the advanced wing backs so in effect, the wing backs are auxilliary inside forwards and the centre backs morph into full backs to provide cover when they go forward. The net result being less goals conceded from crosses. It's a 2 set tactic. The main tactic is with an attacking mentality and you also have the more defensive version with a counter mentality.
MAIN TACTIC...... PSG PRE-MATCH FAVOURITES AFTER 18 LEAGUE GAMES WITH MEDIA PREDICTION 5TH
Wing Backs – These guys will get forward to provide the wide option but will mainly look to feed the midfielders in the central areas. Decent crossing ability is a bonus, although not an absolute must as with my previous tactics. High stamina and work rate is important though, as they'll be working the flanks tirelessly.
PPM to set (in order of importance)......... 1) gets forward whenever possible......... 2) cuts inside........ 3) does not dive into tackles.
Training focus - crossing.
Centre Backs - There's a regular centre back in both DCR and DCL positions. No specific requirements but pace is always a bonus.
PPM to set......... 1) runs with ball rarely......... 2) plays short simple passes (if passing ability is poor).
NOTE: The default setting is 'Central Defender' but you need to change that to 'Ball Playing Defender' for any centre back who is better in that role. It's okay two have two BPD's if need be.
Half Back – Drops into central defence, allowing both centre backs to push out wide to provide defensive cover down the flanks for the advanced wing backs. Also offers a passing option as he's always unmarked. When it's played to him, he's on the lookout to play it forward and get the attack going again. Needs to have a reasonably high work rate as he'll be doing a lot of closing down so a hard working player with decent passing/vision like Schneiderlin would be perfect.
PPM to set......... 1) stays back at all times........ 2) tries first time shots.
Training focus - 'passing' if less than 13, otherwise 'long shots'.
NOTE: The defensive dynamics of the tactic revolve around how the half back operates so you CAN'T use any other role for your DMC.
Box to Box Midfielder x 2 (right and left) - They play a triple role of controlling the middle of the park, getting forward to score and assist and thirdly, making decoy runs to take defenders out of the game, thus freeing up space for team mates. Will work relentlessly to help the team win the ball back so a high work rate is very important. From an attacking perspective, they'll be getting into goalscoring positions so good finishing and composure will also be helpful. Decent long shot ability for your BBM on the right will net your team many bonus goals throughout the course of a season.
PPM to set......... 1) gets into opposition area...... 2) gets forward whenever possible. If long shot attribute of 13+ then 'shoots from distance' and 'shoots with power' then 'tries first time shots'.
Training focus - finishing or composure, whichever is less.
NOTE: The better long shooter of the two BBMs should be on the RIGHT as set-pieces are designed to create long shot opportunities for him. If long shooting is fairly similar then the one with the best finishing/composure on the right as he will have more goalscoring opportunities. Again, if your BBMs have less than 8/10 in the green 'role suitability' circle, you can use them as BWMs or CMs if they are at least 2/10 better in either of those roles. Just make sure to retain the 'get further forward' player instruction.
Shadow Striker – Will support the strikers and get on the end of attacking plays so needs decent finishing and composure. Will also help if he has good passing and vision as he'll then play lots of through balls for the CF.
Training focus - finishing, composure or 'off the ball', whichever is less.
PPM to set........ 1) gets into opposition area...... 2) plays one-twos.
NOTE: If your SS has less than 8/10 in the green suitability circle then you can use him as an Enganche or Attacking Midfielder (attack) if he is at least 2/10 better in either of those roles.
Deep Lying Forward – Playing a dual role of creating chances for others and scoring himself, he must be a creative striker. Creativity (passing and vision) will mean many chances created for others. He'll be sitting fairly deep and will look to play in primarily his strike partner but also the Shadow Striker. This is a key feature of the tactic so if he lacks creativity, you'll be missing out big time.
PPM to set......... 1) if good passing and vision then 'tries killer balls often'...... 2) comes deep to get ball.
Training focus - passing.
NOTE: If your DLF has less than 8/10 in the green suitability circle for the DLF role, you can use him as a False 9 if he is at least 2/10 better in that role.
Complete Forward - The main goalscorer of the team. Aside from decent finishing, composure and 'off the ball' ability required for all strikers, must be quick as he'll be played through on goal by those behind him and his pace will allow him to get free of his marker.
Training focus - finishing, composure or 'off the ball', whichever is less.
PPM to set......... 1) moves into channels........ 2) likes to try to beat offside trap...... 3) knocks ball past opponent (if he is quick)........ 3) places shots........ 4) plays one-twos.
NOTE: If your CF has less than 8/10 in the green suitability circle, you can use him as an Advanced Forward, Poacher, DLF or F9 (in that order of priority) if he is at least 2/10 better in any of those roles.
To get the best out of the HUSTLER tactic, use the formula detailed below according to the match situation and your objectives. There will be 6 scenarios you will face so I advise the following............
Scenario 1. Pre match favourite (home and away) - start with the main tactic.
2. Opponent is favourite - start with the COUNTER tactic.
3. Need to score - main tactic.
4. Don't need to score and just want to see out the game - counter tactic.
5. Pre match favourites, are leading and certain the opposition are unlikely to get back into the game and want to score more goals to boost your goal difference - main tactic.
Although not set in stone, I advise not to make any changes until half-time as knee jerk reactions can often prove counter productive. If you start with the COUNTER tactic and go behind, stick it out til half-time and then switch to the main tactic. However, if you go 2 goals down then make the change immediately as no point waiting any longer.
IMPORTANT: When you are ahead, there are a few teams that will stick three strikers up front in the STC, STCL and STCR positions. You'll be extremely vulnerable from attacking throw-ins when this happens as you'll be outnumbered on the counter. To safeguard against this, you need to change your set piece instructions by setting BOTH wing backs to stay back at throw-ins.
NOTE: You'll get the odd game away from home where you get taken apart by superior opposition but don't let that put you off as the 'fight fire with fire' approach will win you more points over the course of a season than a more cautious, safety first approach.
My run in the Premier League with a media prediction of 5th (17 wins and 3 draws from the first 20 games) was using the following OIs...............
All strikers and wide players (i.e. STC/STCR/STCL, WBR/WBL, MR/ML, AMR/AML).......... closing down - always.
Make sure to monitor the opponent's formation so if they change, you can maintain the OIs.
IN GAME CHANGES
Other than the tactic usage and OI instructions mentioned above, there is one more important change that you need to make. The attacking play is set to exploit the the central areas by outnumbering and overwhelming the opposition there with your three attackers and two BBMs. Basically, 'exploit the middle' works best when the opposition do NOT have a DMC. However, whenever your opponents play with a DMC (or two DMCs), he can act as a brick wall that your attacks keep running into, not to mention the fact that a DMC is a ball magnet for attacks through the middle. This will mean it's generally more difficult to break down your opponents. To avoid this and bypass the DMC, you need to remove the 'exploit the middle' team instruction. Your players will then be more encouraged in the final third to go wide to the wing backs, who will get crosses in from the byline. Their 'cut inside' PI won't affect this as that mostly applies to when they have space in front of them. Just remember to reset the 'exploit the middle' TI if your opponents decide to do away with the DMC during the game.
I let the assistant manager deal with team talks as I'm playing the Touch version of the game where you can't do team talks yourself. Just make sure to have a decent assistant manager who has high attributes for Tactical Knowledge, Judging Player Ability and Motivating. Obviously, if you know what you're doing then would be better to do team talks yourself.
I leave all team training to the assistant manager but take care of all the individual player training myself, which is detailed for each position in the 'PLAYERS REQUIRED' section above.
MOULDING THE PLAYERS TO FIT THE TACTIC (VERY IMPORTANT)
The main tactic is set to an ATTACKING mentality so your players will be itching to shoot at every opportunity but if they don't have decent long shot or finishing ability then they will be extremely wasteful, possibly rendering the tactic ineffective. Therefore, the following 3 pieces of advice are absolutely vital and will dictate how effective the tactic is for your team.........
1) Every player that has less than 13 (in the top division) for long shots should be trained to 'refrain from taking long shots'. For the strikers and AMC, this is a priority as they're most prone to wasting good passing opportunities by taking ridiculous shots from distance....... this PPM will help to minimize that.
2) ALL players with a finishing attribute of less than 12 (in the top division) should be trained to 'looks for pass rather than attempting to score'. Again, this is in order to minimize the amount of wasted efforts on goal. They will still take shots at goal but only from decent scoring opportunities.
3) For each division down, lower the number by 1 but only to a minimum of 10 for both long shots and finishing so..........
PREMIER LEAGUE - every player that has less than 12 for long shots (except CF, DLF and SS, see note below) and 12 for finishing.
CHAMPIONSHIP - 12 for long shots and 11 for finishing.
LEAGUE ONE - 11 for long shots and 10 for finishing.
LEAGUE TWO AND BELOW - 10 for long shots and 10 for finishing.
NOTE: The three attackers (CF, DLF and SS) will regularly receive the ball in advanced positions with no passing option ahead of them and due to the team's attacking mentality, they will instinctively want to shoot on sight so for them, the long shot rule must be stricter by 10% or 2/20. Their long shot filters are...... PL - less than 14, CH - less than 14, L1 - less than 13, L2 and below - less than 12. Very important: 'Refrains from taking long shots' and 'looks for pass rather than attempting to score' should be the very first PPMs you train all players that fall within the above mentioned filters with the exception of wing backs, who's first priority should be 'gets forward whenever possible', irrespective of their long shot/finishing ability.
ACHIEVING DEFENSIVE SOLIDITY (VERY IMPORTANT)
You have three attackers up top, defensively helping out very little in your own half. They stay high up the pitch majority of the time so your team is able to hit the opposition on the counter, which means you will score bucket loads of goals. While that's all good and well from an attacking perspective, it can leave you defensively short of numbers and with many other tactics adopting a one up top approach with nine outfield players helping out defensively, MARAUDER only has seven, thus putting a lot of physical stress on five of the seven. That's your three midfielders and both wing backs. They have to compensate for the lack of defensive bodies by running around like madmen, marking/tackling and closing opponents down to minimize the amount of space they have to exploit, thus limiting the chances they can create. For this reason it's absolutely imperative that these five players are workhorses and also defensively sound. Even one of these guys not having the correct attributes can destabilize the tactic defensively and mean your team will leak goals. For this reason, make sure to adhere to the following rule that applies to both BBMs, HB and both WBs..........
All five MUST have an absolute minimum of 13 (in the top division) for 'work rate' and a combined minimum of 22 for marking/tackling. There are other attributes that come into play but these three are the ones you need to make sure are not compromised.
Apply the following filters for the relevant divisions..........
PREMIER LEAGUE - work rate - minimum 13.......................... marking/tackling - minimum combined total of 22
CHAMPIONSHIP - work rate - minimum 13............................ marking/tackling - minimum combined total of 21
LEAGUE ONE - work rate - minimum 12................................. marking/tackling - minimum combined total of 20
LEAGUE TWO AND BELOW - work rate - minimum 12......... marking/tackling - minimum combined total of 19
Please note: The above mentioned numbers are the absolute minimum requirements. The higher the numbers, the more effective the player(s) will be at helping your team achieve defensive solidity and as already mentioned, even one of the five players not fulfilling the above criteria can mean the tactic will become like a pack of cards that collapses due to one card falling out of place.
Also, I haven't just picked the above numbers at random, rather it's down to experience. I had a perfectly functioning team where the five relevant players fulfilled the minimum requirements, then replaced two of them with players who were overall superior but fell below the minimum requirements for just marking and tackling....... we started conceding goals like there's no tomorrow and it became a case of trying to outscore the opposition with defensive solidity flushed down the toilet!!...... it's really not what you want and to avoid it happening to your team, make sure your 5 players fulfill the minimum requirements for marking, tackling and work rate.
Leave ALL set-piece takers to the AI. It usually makes the best decision.
As soon as a player picks up a booking, manually remove his 'tackle harder' player instruction in order to lower the risk of a second yellow. Front 3 are set to this by default.
For your best free-kick takers, set their PPM to 'tries long range free kicks' as the default setting is to float the ball into the box, even when there's a clear scoring opportunity with a direct shot. Once this PPM is acquired, they won't waste such opportunities.
Any player with a 'passing' and 'vision' combined total of 28+ in the top division, set his PPM to 'tries killer balls often' and 'tries long range passes'. Once acquired, these guys will more often look to play the ball over the top for one of the attackers to run onto.
If you get a red card, remove one of the strikers and resit the other one directly in front of the SS. Also, lower the team mentality to 'contain' if the priority is to avoid conceding.
This is optional but will help. If your best long shooter has 'shoots from distance' as one of his PPMs, set him to 'lurk outside area' from attacking corners so just switch him with the BBM (right) who is in that position by default.
Last but not least (and this is a biggie), make sure to NOT have a pitch that is wider than regulation length so 68m should be the maximum width. Reason being that your centre backs push out wide to cover the wing backs but when your opponents attack through the middle, they need to be able to quickly drop back into their regular central positions. A wide pitch means they have to cover more ground to do this, making the task more difficult with the net result being a massive gap in front of the keeper that can easily be exploited by a quick striker. In my Wycombe game, I have a huge pitch that's 78m wide and have conceded lots of goals due to it..... you DO NOT want to do the same!!
As already mentioned, this is an evolution of my HUSTLER tactic and in the testing phase, it's been more dominant than HUSTLER.... scoring more and conceding less. My best tactic to date!!
If you use it, please leave feedback.... thanks
Franky's MARAUDER Tactic for FM 17 (17.3.1) plug & play!!_C906C2A5-9991-4B01-A25D-819639A4DAD5.fmf