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Getting the most from my AMC.

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I've just started a new save with Manchester United and I want to try a 4231 (deep), as I think the squad suits it quite well. I've got Cleverley, Rooney and Kagawa who can all play AMC (Rooney will be my first choice). I've got no idea how to get the most out of that position. I want the AMCs primary job to be scoring, my wingers should provide plenty of assists. Below are my tactics, I feel that the AML, AMC, AMR, ST have been given the wrong roles and duties.


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With this shape it is key the front four players are all very intricate and have a lot of fluidity in their movement - this comes down to their personal instructions.

Looking at your team instructions though I'd start there. Personally, I would untick your playmaker box. That tells your team to look and use this player more than others and look for them to dictate play. They may not be in the best position really and players may religiously try and play to them. I'd also change passing style to default. This doesn't cut out the option of that hollywood style pass - this is especially important with this formation as you have such a natural separation from your defensive players and attacking and at times you do need a more direct style of play as you might have 4 vs 4 in defence. Always favour your team in that position.

You specifically mentioned your front four though so I'll give you my thoughts. Not 100% right, just my opinions. You said you want your AMC, Rooney, to be your main goalscoring threat. I agree and feel that is a good choice for this side. One of the most important interactions in this formation is the relationship between AMC and FC. The movement there can create space for others to exploit and space for each other. It can really tear defences apart that aren't too smart - basically the False 9 and False 10 combination. The first stumbling block is your settings for AMC and FC. Just off the standard TC settings for those two players it's clear you're going to 'clog up' any space you have created. A poacher will play the width of the box really, on the last man and not much else. May link up some play (depending on your creative freedom) but overall they will just poach, poach and poach some more. With your AMC set to Attacking Midfielder attack setting he will be pushing forward - but where and into what space? He will want to use the space your Poacher wants to use and as a result you'll have a very static attack. Here are the roles i'd suggest:

*AMC - Attacking Midfielder (attack)

*FC - Complete Forward/Deep Lying Forward (support)

Consider the personal instructions here. You want your AMC, Rooney, to be very attacking. Push his mentality as high as you'd like. Give him enough creative freedom to do what Rooney does best. He is intelligent enough to do the job better than we can instruct him. Passing needs to be on the short side for me - simply lay it off to a nearby team mate and run forwards. Don't over complicate things with more direct passing. Pass and go! Runs From Deep needs to be often, Run With Ball sometimes/often depending on how you want him to play, Long Shots (only because its Rooney) sometimes, Through Balls sometimes in my opinion; he has the PPM comes deep to get ball so he will find himself in space and, due to his high relevant attributes he will, more often than not, make the right decision. I know you want him attacking and scoring but with Rooney's all around ability you'd be silly to ask him to not pass the ball or be creative when he has the space to exploit. Wide play is interesting. Cuts inside will mean that he will tuck in behind the FC a bit more and really be that second striker but to really exploit space, I'd ask him to move into channels. He will be running from deep so can easily see what is ahead of him and will always find space that way.

I'll let you decide on the FC settings. I think they are a lot more 'personal' than the AMC. An attacking, goal scoring AMC will have similar settings in most people's opinions I think. Not much deviation from that. The key is though how the FC responds. You have Berbatov though, a fantastic player who will give Rooney the space and time he needs. How are you going to use Hernandez though? He has such specialised attributes he can only suit one system really, a typical poacher style.

Your AML/AMR settings wouldn't compliment this system either really. You have players like Nani and Ashley Young who don't really suit that creative style of play. By all means keep one of them creative - Valencia, Cleverley and Kagawa all suit that well so perhaps use the AMR slot for creative players and the AML as much more attacking, like Nani. Cut inside, create space, use the creativity of Berbatov and Rooney well!

All my personal opinion though mate - best of luck :thup:

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Thanks for the reply.

I think I always knew that playing a Poacher wouldn't be best suited to this formation, but it's Hernandez. Someone I can rely on for 25+ goals a season, kinda has to be played to his best abilities. Any advice on how you would play such a prolific goal scorer in a 4231? I've changed my AML and AMR to inside forward attack (Nani, Young), and advanced playmaker support (Kagawa, Valencia). Not entirely sure how this is going to work but I've just won 5-0 vs Dortmund and 2-0 vs Benfica in pre-season friendlies. I also sold Berbatov to Malaga for £7.5m, which I now regret.

I'll post back as I progress through my first season.

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Nah don't regret it. They are just my thoughts - you clearly felt you didn't need Berbatov for this system so for you it is the right decision. I wouldn't have personally but I'm not an authority and haven't ever managed Berbatov on FM either so maybe not his best judge of character :D

It's the old question of whether you make a tactic to suit the players or the players adjust to your tactics. If it is working, you're finding Rooney has the space to move into and Hernandez can still do what he does best then stick with it. Perhaps, just as another dimension, look to invest in a striker in a different mould to Hernandez. If a team does manage to stifle your attack mid season you might need a different approach to fall back on - to keep them guessing. Damiao I can't recommend enough - so much about him (14/15m first season). Perhaps look to an intelligent striker that Rooney and Nani (who will always make good runs for you) can use as a pivot. You have that creative winger that will probably look to drop deeper so you will have a nice depth in attack. I feel lots of creative freedom given to the right people is so important - Rooney, Nani etc.

Are you watching the friendlies at all? If so, try and get a grasp of how the team is gelling. If they are playing as you want. Tweak as you go, really experiment! Try different players in different roles - perhaps they will thrive in an unexpected role.

Your FBs are set to support - have you thought of pushing them up? Try pushing your FB up on the side of the Inside Forward. In England on FM you'll come across a few 442s or 4411s or similar so extra width might really help break down those two banks of four you are likely to encounter. A 5-0 against Dortmund is a good sign - I assume they used a 4231. Varients of 451 vs each other are often high scoring games - they both have the same frailties and strengths.

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Put valenica as the right winger for he will mostly cross the ball as a winger for he has the right ppms for this. Hernandez as a complete forward or the deep-lying forawrd would still score goals because of he pm beat offside trap. The left winger will have to be young over nani for nani will always waste position,while young waste less based on ppms and flair. Or you put giggs there over young for he you pass more than shoot because of his ppms but he does lack pace but you could maybe play him as an advance playmaker as support and he would spread passes for hernandez and rooney. I think you should as teach rooney and hernandez to play one twos for most of rooney passes will be between hernandez and vice-versa for rooney will be technical playing as a striker for they will be very close to each other.

I play the same for formation as you the only difference for me is that I have my AMC and AML swapping so the it is hard to mark rooney. I play with wing back to get alot of width and my DMs are in the CM slots for I dont have each DM's yet.

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Hernandez is best used on the shoulder of the last defender, so he needs to be a forward with an Attacking role and without "roaming".

You then have a choice how to set up the three players behind him. What you ideally want, is them to be fluid, so I'd have them on Attacking roles, but with mixed forward runs. A problem here is that Rooney has the "drops deep" PPM, so he'll drop deeper, I give him Often forward runs to counteract this.

If you want to get the most from Rooney, he needs space, he needs options, and he needs the ball.


To ensure Rooney has space, ensure your ST doesn't drop deep. Hernandez won't do this, so no problem there.

You also have to ensure other midfielders don't encroach into his zone. At the most I'd only have one of your wide players with an instruction to "Cut inside". Make this Nani and have Valencia hugging the touchline. This'll see Rooney shift to the right, so if one of your DMs is set to make forward runs, make sure it's the left hand one, or he'll take Rooney's position.


You already have Hernandez making forward runs, and you have the wide players doing it sometimes too, so Hernandez will be his first choice for a through ball, but if that's not on, you want him to look to the wide men. If he still can't find a ball, you want him to pass it back to the two DMs to recycle possession. To increase how long Rooney waits to play the ball when there's nothing obvious, tell him the Hold Up Ball.

The Ball

Something I've been experimenting with recently is severely restricting throughballs from anyone BUT the AM. So have everyone else on Rarely (or mixed if they're good) through balls, and give Rooney Often. This has the effect of making Rooney your playmaker, without making everyone bias their passes towards him. The combination with this, and Rooney holding the ball up can be quite devastating with 1-2s all over the place. All made more dangerous by the constant threat of Hernandez to the opposition's backline.

The only thing you then have to be wary about is teams who play DMs against Rooney. A better choice here may be to allow Rooney to drop deeper by giving him a support role and/or reducing his runs from deep, this should drag the DM up the pitch, and you could then having the wide-men cut inside more and make more runs into the space the DM leaves behind him. Or have one or more of your DMs overlap with Rooney.

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