My FM21 Attacking Corner Routines

We all have some development as Football Manager players. I’m not an exception. I always wanted to score as many goals as possible from the set pieces. But I turned from the horny set piece creator to score a lot of goals to the patient player who is enjoying making small changes and tweaks. And every goal scored from some set piece routine is the best reward. These are my FM21 attacking corner routines

I like to watch the match on comprehensive highlights to be able to see my routines. It slowed my playing time down but I really like it. I don’t have to reach the far future, I rather follow the save slower and see the impact of my tweaks.

And the FM21 version is perfect for it because I knew before the save started it won’t last for too long. That means I don’t see a point to speed up just to progress.

Attacking corners – near post

It’s still one of my favourite type of routine/delivery. I usually see something like “just place here the best header and that’s enough”. In some way, yes, that’s right. You need a very strong player. But as I mentioned in the past, set pieces are about the off the ball movement in the current stance of the game.

I usually try to test what player will fit the best here. I also liked to placed the best possible player to Lurk Near Post rather than into Attack Near Post role because it was more dangerous at the beginning of the save.

When I signed Niklas Backman, he was a logical choice for the attacking routines as the main man. He is brave and his decisions are up to 15. Heading and Jumping Reach attributes are also very good.

But he didn’t deliver and his off the ball movement (6) during corners was a joke. Another prove of my theory. I really looked forward to using him as the focal point but I had to try another player.

The examples of goals by Markus Nakkim.

My FM21 attacking corner routines

My FM21 attacking corner routines
My FM21 attacking corner routines – near post

Sometimes, the ball can make it to the far post when players around the near post don’t hit it. And it can look like this, that’s why I have one player set to Lurk at Far Post.


Attacking corners – short

I started using the short routine straight after the start of the save. But I removed that routine during the first season because I realised I didn’t have good enough players for the key roles – the taker and the one who offers the short option.

No matter what I tried, it usually ended with the offside or with bad decision of the “come short” player who decided what to do late and the opponent took the ball. Or worse, he just hit the opponent and the same repeated three or four times in a row.

But I started using it again during the save when the quality of my players was higher and some of the players developed the key attributes.

I don’t know if my theory about the off the ball movement is right. But I will live with it. Especially as the striker, who is set to attack near post, is able to score from the far post area because he is able to find the space. And another player is able to find him unmarked with a well-placed cross (see more in the video below).

Time from time, I switch the Go Forward role to Attack Ball from Edge of Area. But I always try to keep two players with Lurk Outside Area role to protect the deflected or cleared balls.

My FM21 attacking corner routines
My FM21 attacking corner routines – Short


2020 vs 2023

I mentioned that I used the short corner routine at the beginning of the save. The routine looked slightly different but the main point was the same. Two players were set to lurk outside area to help with everything around the penalty area.

It worked well with the wing-back within these two players as he was helpful quite often with thanks to his speed and also crossing ability.

The biggest difference is that the players who should be the main threat for the opponent were set to attack the far post as I wanted to see the cross to this place or to offer enough space around the near post for the short option.

You can see how the routine looked like in 2020 HERE. As I already wrote, the same as the save, the club or the league developed through the four years, players also developed and their decisions are much better within the short routine. That’s why I decided to try it again with small tweaks and improvements. And I gave my players another opportunity to prove this routine can work.

Not working short routine in 2020 season

Thre examples from the recent time within my save with GAIS. I’m not playing too fast so it’s quite young examples.


Youth teams as the best testing

One of my favourite things for probably the last three FM editions is to check the highlights of my reserve/B or youth teams. All my squads play with the same tactic. That means all teams are using also the same routines.

I consider this as a fantastic testing option for how my routines work for other teams. And I always receive the info about the match to the mailbox with the simple Watch Highlights button so it’s easy to just watch the goals. I like to do it, especially if I see one of the defenders is in the scoresheet as it means a corner or free-kick goal.

But I like to check it also because of the throw-in goals because my U19s team is scoring quite a lot of goals thanks to the shrot throw-in routine.

And if I don’t have enough time to watch highlights, or I forgot to do it, I just check the youth team analyst report/scoring and assists screen. Unfortunately, and I have no idea why, but you can’t select more than the last 5 matches here within the youth team.

My FM21 attacking corner routines

Attacking set piece search filter

I wrote about it in the past (here) and I’m still using the same method. You can find some very good players, not only for set pieces, with the filter including the key attributes for roles like attack near post, mark keeper etc.

Most of these are useful also for the defensive routines as some of these attributes are the same for both attacking and defensive roles.

It’s mainly about playing with the values of the attributes within the filter. You can set all of these attributes to 15 but you can’t expect it will find some player when you play outside of the top nations/leagues. Or better worded, it won’t find players who are not interested in transfer/loan to your club. And the reasonable value/expected transfer fee/wage also play role in it.

I have set the attributes threshold to 13 in this FM21 save for the best attributes – bright green. So, I also set the default value for these key attributes to 13. If it finds some players, good. If not, I will lower all the values. Or only some of them.

In the example below, I lowered attributes to 10 except the Bravery and Off The Ball attributes. It found nine players. I can see the values of these 7 attributes straight thanks to the custom view. We can all spot that 19 years old Finnish striker Joni Kovanen looks promising and I started scouting him.

My FM21 attacking corner routines

Training?

As I shared in the post about the fourth season, this is my current training scheme. Set piece sessions have their place in it but usually only the delivery and attacking corners sessions prior to the match.

I don’t have more right now, also because I still remember what Oliver Jensen suggested some time ago during FM20.

You may or may not know this but the reason you didn’t notice any difference with more set piece training is because you can only get boosts once for a match from those sessions, so if you put three attacking corners sessions before a match, you get the same boost as you would just having one attacking corners session.

I asked SI when I wrote about training and they said that you can add many in the week but only one session will work. Doesn’t make sense that you can do more sessions. It should limit to one before each match.

One thing I will change probably in the future is the defending session on Thursday to attacking free kicks. But that’s not so important.


I just want to say that your main player for the corners doesn’t have to be the strongest defender just because of heading or jumping reach. It’s more about combining all the required attributes together. And just to think about simple things. It’s not as complicated as some FM players think and they rather ignore set pieces.

To be honest, leave the set pieces by default, especially the throw-ins is a really bad idea in FM21. But that’s a different story.


Latte Quarterly – OGC Nice: November 2020

I was recently asked to join the OGC Nice FM21 save by @LatteQuarterly to help them with set pieces within the save.

I couldn’t refuse. It’s always great to do something together with Matt, Tony and with other members of the Board of Directors of Latte Quarterly.

Feel free to read about how November 2020 went in the save. I’m not usually into sharing saves but this is really enjoyable. Mainly thanks to all involved around. Thank you.

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

3 Replies to “My FM21 Attacking Corner Routines

  1. Thank you very much, I use your free and corner kick routines with great success in FM. Keep up the excellent work!

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