FM18 | Watch and learn

It’s not a secret my favourite formation in Football Manager is 4-1-4-1. As I wrote in one previous post I switched back to this formation in my main save with BFC Siófok. I decided to use the one I used in FM17. It’s a very simple formation with fewer team instructions and it was very effective. 

I spent a week in Liverpool recently due to working duties and because I wrongly copied the saved file of my Siófok save to a working laptop I played with Werder Bremen, the save from FM18 Beta.

This is not a tactical analysis or guide how to do it, I just only made some notes during the matches and decided to put it together in the post.

1st Match

The first match in this post was home league game against Augsburg. I started with these roles and team instructions were Play Out Of Defence, Mixed Passing, Prever Short GK Distribution. The mentality was Standard and we used Fluid Team Shape.

Football Manager Tactics

First issue – mixed passing. As we played with balanced width I saw many wrong passes. There was a lot of misplaced passes from DM/D or CM/S to sides as our players in WM/A and WP/A positions were too far from the central player(s) and opponent’s players were able to steal the ball very easily.

Football Manager Tactics

We were 1-0 ahead thanks to a goal just before the half-time we conceded a goal in the 89th minute and the match ended with a 1-1 draw.

We conceded this goal after we won the ball back after the long ball from opponent’s goalkeeper but our CM/S misplaced another very easy pass in the middle and Augsburg sent the ball behind our defensive line and Dong-Won scored with a precise strike.

Football Manager Tactics

2nd match

The second match was an away league game against Hertha. I made a couple of changes.

We started with DLF/S instead of CF/S, DM/S instead of DM/D with Hold position instruction and FB/A instead of WB/A (on the left side) and FB/S instead of WB/S (on the right side).

Football Manager Tactics
Football Manager Tactics

As I wrote about misplaced passes and a lot of interceptions I decided to change the width to fairly narrow and we used short passing. We also get rid of Play Out Of Defence instructions and Team Shape was changed to Flexible.

Hertha played this match with only 10 players from the 8th minute after the red card and they went to compact defensive shape. It resulted in many more intercepted passes from our side and we doubled the number of misplaced passes in this match.

The most passes combination was between CM/S and WP/A and between our FB/A and WP/A. We had 16 shots in this match and 9 of them were long shots. Six of these long shots were by our CM/S and CM/A.

It was a very ineffective performance by our side and it resulted in the winning goal in the 88th minute by Hertha after the set piece.

Football Manager Tactics

3rd match

The third match of this short analysis of my thoughts was the last Europa League Group Stage match against Galatasaray. What I changed?

  • Sweeper Keeper/Defend
  • DM/S – Hold Position & Close Down Much Less
  • CM/A – Shoot Less Often instruction added
  • CM/S – Shoot Less Often, Close Down Less and Hold Position instructions added
  • WP/A changed to Inverted Winger/Attack
  • DLF/S changed to DLF/A during the first half of the match
  • Mentality remained Standard, Team Shape changed to Structured.
  • Team Instructions – Shorter Passing, Play Narrower, Use Tighter Marking and Prevent Short GK Distribution.
Football Manager Tactics

These changes resulted in a very comfortable 3-0 win over strong Galatasaray side thanks to two goals by Deep Lying Forward Johannes Eggestein and one goal by Full Back Ludwig Augustinsson.

We had 18 less intercepted passes than in the previous match against Hertha. Five of them were by our CM/A and three of them by DM/S. When I changed Sáček to Llorente in the second half Llorente had also 3 intercepted passes during the last 17 minutes.

The second goal by Eggenstein was very nice as both full-backs, both wide midfielders and all three central midfielders participated in this play same as Eggeinstein as DLF/A was included in the pre-final phase at the opponents’ half.

Football Manager Tactics

During the next matches of this save I played some other matches and made some other changes and I ended with this set-up and it resulted in these results…

Both wide players have “Cross Aim Near Post” instructions. As you maybe saw in your own games there are many crosses by wide players aimed straight to keeper or in the wrong direction. I tried to reduce these wrong passes with this instruction and it seems it was better.

I removed narrow width as with short passes and standard mentality is it good enough to pass my expectations.

This is one of my favourite goal from the second season of this save. Despite it was scored before these changes I really like it so I wanted to share it…

But now, back to my BFC Siófok save…

Thanks for reading as always. If you are interested in something let me know there in the comments section, on Twitter or in my #mrkeysirensie channel in FMSlack.

What is Slack? Read this or ask me and others on Twitter for example.

Take care and enjoy Football Manager 2018.


A Football Manager addict and lover for many years. You can follow me on Twitter or in Football Manager Slack – #fmrensie channel.

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