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FM19 imabearlol's Attacking 4411/442

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Hi all, I'd like to introduce the tactic I've been using to dominate in my current save with Arsenal. With this tactic I'm currently at 0 losses in 28 games in 2021, and still on track to win every competition I am in (won Club World Cup, European Super Cup, Community Shield and Carabao so far). I'll update the thread with my progress this season as I play through it.


I first started this tactic with Charlton, winning back-to-back promotions and winning the Prem + CL by 2023. Since then, it's gone through several evolutions to make it into what it is today.

The key principle I used when creating this tactic was to play attacking football with a high press. If the ball gets past my press, I want to fall back to two narrow banks of four to compress space. Once I win the ball back, I want to transition quickly with short passes from back to front. When the break is not on, I want the team to probe the opposition defence until a chance opens up.

In order to get this working, I had to encourage forward passing by keeping the spacing between players consistent while providing diagonal passing options wherever possible.



Here is the basic shape to achieve this:



Team Instructions:

Mentality Attacking - Since I want attacking football, I will use attacking mentality.

Slightly Shorter Passing and Slightly Lower Tempo - I use these to offset the natural directness of the Attacking mentality to get the probing effect when the break fails to materialise.

Play Out Of Defence - I want quick short passing rather than route one, so I want to play out from the back. However, I still want my Defenders to play killer balls when they are on, hence the BPDs.

Overlap Left - Encourages the IWB to overlap and go wide when we are passing the ball in the opposition half.

Overlap Right - Encourages the WB on the right side to get further forward than the IW for width.

Counter and Counter Press - I want to win the ball back and transition quickly.

High Press - I want to press high and contain the opposition. However, I don't increase pressing intensity here and instead use PIs to achieve this because I don't want my central players to press as much as my forwards/wide players.

Defend Narrower - If press is broken, defend with two narrow banks of four in a low block.


Player Instructions:

SK(s/a): none

I like ball-playing keepers who help to retain possession if needed, especially as we are pressing high.

Required Attributes: Shot stopping (Aerial Reach, Command of Area, Reflexes, One on Ones, Handling), Passing, Rushing out, Vision

Desired Attrributes: First touch, Kicking, Throwing, Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Positioning, Speed, Agility, Balance, Technique

Ideal Players: ter Stegen, Ederson, Alisson, Manuel Neuer

Realistic Players: Geronimo Rulli, Alban Lafont, Pau Lopez, David Raya


IWB(d): Close Down More

My left back helps the build-up by coming inside and providing a passing option for my DLP. Both my full backs have Close Down More to press opposing wingers and prevent crosses into the box.

Required Attributes: First Touch, Passing, Tackling, Decisions, Positioning

Desired Attributes: Dribbling, Marking, Technique, Anticipation, Composure, Concentration, Teamwork, Vision, Balance

Ideal Players: David Alaba, Lucas Hernandez, Joshua Kimmich

Realistic Players: There aren't many. You could go for Benjamin Henrichs/Pavard or convert a BPD/DM. I've used Tierney/Chilwell in this role and they can do a very good job.


BPDs: none

These can also be CDs if you don't have the right Centre Backs for the tactic. It doesn't change that much, but BPDs will sometimes pick out the CF with a long pass from the back. You won't see this as much with CDs.

Required Attributes: Marking, Passing, Tackling, Positioning, Speed, Balance, Jumping Reach, Strength

Desired Attributes: First Touch, Heading, Technique, Anticipation, Bravery, Composure, Concentration, Teamwork, Vision, Agility

Ideal Players: Matthijs De Ligt, VVD, Marquinhos, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte

Realistic Players: Ruben Dias, Marin Pongracic, Declan Rice, Lissandro Martinez, Nathan Ake, Kristoffer Ajer, Inigo Martinez, Jason Denayer


WB(s): Close Down More

My right back keeps the width on the right side as my IW(s) tucks inside.

Required Attributes: Crossing, Tackling, Off The Ball, Work Rate, Speed, Stamina

Desired Attributes: Dribbling, First Touch, Marking, Technique, Flair, Positioning, Balance, Natural Fitness

Ideal Players: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joao Cancelo, Hector Bellerin, Dani Carvajal

Realistic Players: Achraf Hakimi, Alvaro Odriozola, Ricardo Pereira, Max Aarons, Elseid Hysaj, Davide Calabria, Joao Pedro


IW(a): Close Down More, Mark Tighter, Stay Wider

Stay Wider to stretch the play. A direct player who likes to get high up the pitch to stretch play and create space for my half space player. My tactic naturally tends to create down the right side, so is often isolated and can take on dribbles 1-on-1 or is available at the far post for a simple tap in from a cross. Can create chances through dribbling before finishing or assisting. You can use a Winger here too, if you feel they are better crossing from the flank.

Required Attributes: Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Technique, Flair, Off The Ball, Speed, Agility

Desired Attributes:  Long Shots, Passing, Aggression, Anticipation, Work Rate, Balance, Stamina

Ideal Players: Neymar, Eden Hazard, Ousmane Dembele, Sadio Mane, Vinicius Junior, Leon Bailey, Leroy Sane, Jadon Sancho, Gelson Martins etc.

Realistic Players: Federico Chiesa, Cengiz Under, Willem Geubbels, Lee Kangin, Florian Thauvin, Shoya Nakajima, Justin Kluivert, Miguel Almiron


Mez(s): Mark Tighter

Move into the half space for optimal spacing. Can lean towards either a Creator or BBM type, but needs to be a complete midfielder for better balance.

Required Attributes: First Touch, Passing, Tackling, Decisions, Determination, Positioning, Off The Ball, Work Rate, Stamina, Strength

Desired Attributes: Dribbling, Finishing, Long Shots, Marking, Technique, Aggression, Anticipation, Bravery, Composure, Decisions, Flair, Teamwork, Balance, Natural Fitness

Ideal Players: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Arthur, Paul Pogba, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Rodrigo Bentancur

Realistic Players: Nicolo Barella, Gedson Fernandes, Tanguy Ndombele, Exequiel Palacios, Olivier Ntcham, Mikel Oyarzabal, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Matteo Guendouzi, Mikel Merino, Marcelo Brozovic


DLP(d): Mark Tighter

Bring the ball out from defence and form the base of attacks.

Required Attributes:  First Touch, Passing, Tackling, Technique, Composure, Decisions, Positioning, Teamwork, Vision, Balance

Desired Attributes:  Marking, Anticipation, Off The Ball, Work Rate, Agility, Stamina, Strength

Ideal Players: Marco Veratti, Saul, Jorginho, Ruben Neves, Frenkie De Jong

Realistic Players:  Sandro Tonali, Sergi Darder, Florentino Luis, Arne Maier, Rolando Mandragora, Matheus Henrique, Stanislav Lobotka, Lewis Cook


IW(s): Close Down More, Mark Tighter, Sit Narrower, Roam from Position

Move into half space for optimal spacing. A creator of the side, basically a WP without attracting the ball as much.

Required Attributes: Dribbling, First Touch, Long Shots, Technique, Flair, Off The Ball, Vision

Desired Attributes: Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Teamwork, Work Rate, Speed, Agility, Balance, Stamina

Ideal Players: Isco, Bernardo Silva, Kai Havertz, Thomas Lemar

Realistic Players:  Suso, Matias Vargas, Giovanni Lo Celso, Bruno Fernandes, Mickael Cuissance, Agustin Almendra


AM(a): Close Down More, Mark Tighter, Take More Risks, Dribble More, Move Into Channels

Second Striker or Main Creator. I don't use SS(a) because I don't want them to roam from position too much, the IW(s) is responsible for that. You can move this role up into the ST strata and use a DLF(s) or F9(s) if you have a Striker with the right attributes. I just happened to have a AM for this role. With a striker, they will help slightly less with the build up but you may see more direct transitions. If you use a creator here then you should have a good finisher up front.

Required Attributes: Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Technique, Flair, Off The Ball, Vision, Speed, Agility, Balance

Desired Attributes: Long Shots, Aggression, Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Teamwork, Work Rate, Stamina

Ideal Players: Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Mohammed Salah, Paulo Dybala, Christian Eriksen, Philippe Coutinho, Dele Alli, Marco Asensio

Realistic Players:  Nabil Fekir, Joao Felix, Lucas Paqueta, Diogo Jota, Luis Alberto, Oliver, Dani Olmo


CF(s): Close Down More, Mark Tighter

This role is flexible. A CF(s) has to be able to score, assist and create space for my other players. If they are more limited, I've used other options depending on the players I have available. AF(a) is good for fast strikers who like to break the offside trap and PF(a) is good for hard workers like Belotti.

Required Attributes: Finishing, First Touch, Anticipation, Composure, Flair, Off The Ball, Work Rate, Speed, Agility, Balance

Desired Attributes:  Dribbling, Passing, Technique, Aggression, Concentration, Teamwork, Vision

Ideal Players: Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Robert Lewandowski, Roberto Firmino, Harry Kane

Realistic Players: Krzysztof Piatek, Andrea Belotti, Luca Jovic, Lincoln, Pietro Pellegri, Kasper Dolberg


Hopefully the tactic works just as well for you as it does for me. I would love to hear any feedback from you guys.


Downloads links:




Edited by imabearlol
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4 hours ago, imabearlol said:


This setup looks pretty reasonable, including most of the team instructions :thup:

Just one correction though: 

4 hours ago, imabearlol said:

Defend Narrower - If press is broken, defend with two narrow banks of four in a low block

Low block - as well as any defensive block - is not about defensive width, but the DL and LOE. With much higher DL and LOE, you are actually playing with a high block.

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On 30/05/2019 at 22:28, imabearlol said:

Do you mean PPMs? I've added PIs to the OP, take a look.

I'll add suggested PPMs as well shortly.

Nah I meant the Pi's but the ppm's could be useful as well. 

Gonna start a new save now. Will let you know how it goes.

Edited by Sinbad7104
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I've tweaked the tactic a little since we're winning everything, the AI is basically sitting back with 10 men for 90 minutes.

The tweaks help to open them up by lowering mentality to Positive and taking more time to find the right chances. I've added the new link to the OP.

Edited by imabearlol
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Thank you very much or sharing. Haven’t tried yet but will give it a go at some stage. 

It is always great to see tactics laid out with details behind the thought process and the types of players and attributes  that make it most effective. 

It seems to fit in with many other successful tactics that employ an attacking mentality with a high press (albeit through pi). It also appears to utilise the sensible choice of playing a riskier mentality with lower tempo and passing length which works well in my experience. 

The one thing I am always interested in from those who write up the more successful tactics is how they modify them in certain circumstances. I feel that is the part I can really learn from.

For instance if you were being overwhelmed by an opponent do you do something different? Lower mentality but increase tempo and passing length for example? Do you change any roles?

Knowing how you adapt would be of most interest to me. 

In any of my own tactics I have    a base I would use to probe the opposition, a version that is more expansive and one that is more cautious allowing opponent to come on to me before hopefully countering them. This tends to work really well. However, that is just me and how I play. It may be that you just play this one way and have them always adapt to you. 

Anyway just interested in your thoughts  

thanks again for sharing  




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Hi mate, thanks for the comment.


Everyone has their own way of doing things and I think you can be successful using different methods. I myself do sometimes change things in-game but only if I feel I need to.

For example, if I feel play is rushed, then I might drop tempo down, or if my wide players are not getting enough space I might play wider.

Defensively, I might drop the D-line and press if I feel the opposition is getting a lot of balls in behind and creating good chances.

You mentioned being overwhelmed - in that case I would probably drop the press and make sure we are defending narrow. I would also remove play out of defence and have an outlet to aim to which would be a fast winger or attacker to counter quickly. However, it would all depend on what exactly I am seeing and how I feel might work at the time. I don't have any set rules or presets to go to myself.


In general, I find the better my team gets the less tweaking I need to do because they become good enough to impose our own playstyle. In lower divisions I do find myself making changes more often.

Edited by imabearlol
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