The premise of strikerless football is seared into the way I play this game and think about football in general. Yet on occasion, sometimes coming upon me suddenly, but coming without fail every month or so, as rituallistically as the prayers children say on their knees before tumbling into bed; the very act of turning on the laptop and booting up the game presents me with visions of improving my earlier work.

Whilst the whole process of testing my ideas and refining the concept was time-consuming and at times frustrating, I feel I have found ways to further improve upon the Strikerless 2.0 tactic I released a while back. I hereby proudly present Strikerless 3.0.


Role- and formation-wise, I haven’t really changed much, apart from the introduction of the Withdrawn Targetman Mk. II, the Fellaini-role introduced to the Strikerless game to replace the old Targetganche. I do feel the new role adds some extra dynamic power to the mix, as opposed to the more static nature of the Targetganche. Besides that little change, why would I change a formation which is decently balanced out?

I did change a number of the team instructions, just because I felt the original strikerless style was proving a bit indecisive at times and the high paced passing and pressing were not always working because of players’ decreased first touch since the last patch.


In order to combat the indecisiveness that sometimes holds back the team, with forwards faltering in good positions, like a child in a candyshop after being told he can pick only one sweet, I decided to lose the shorter passing. I still want the ball and the possession, but this leaves room for a more direct approach when possible.

The higher tempo also had to go, because it tired my players out quite severely. Towards the end of tight matches, I always found my lads on the defensive because they were to knackered to sustain the high energy pressing and passing game for ninety minutes. That isn’t a problem when the opposition is trailing by several goals, but you don’t such situations to arise in tight matches.

In order to improve defensive stability, I changed the be more expressive instruction to be more disciplined. Whilst this impacts the offensive stage of the game as well, I do find my players get found out less when transitioning from offence to defence, so it’s all about finding the right balance. We score slightly less goals, but we concede a lot less goals. Balance…

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Guido is the founding father of Strikerless and main nutjob running the show.


Guido is the founding father of Strikerless and main nutjob running the show.


laxo · April 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm

It’s here! 🙂
I know it’s a dreaded term, but, in your opinion, how much of a “plug and play” this tactic really is?
In other words, do you make changes before games or in the middle of them if things aren’t going well or if you want to preserve a lead? If so, what do you do?

I know most believe it’s a thing of the past, but I’d still like a tactic which I can just plug in and focus on squad building, knowing the tactic will serve me reliably, relative to the quality of my team.

    strikerlessGuido · April 4, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    It’s Plug & Play in the sense that I never ever use OI’s. I do tend to play with instructions and mentality when it’s needed in-game. Playing more defensive when needed or using a more direct approach when I have to.

laxo · April 4, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Ah, ok.
Do you have any pointers as to what exactly “more defensive” and “more direct” mean, relative to the tactic itself?

    strikerlessGuido · April 4, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    More direct generally means just that, select more direct in team instructions. Sometimes I go route one, especially when my guys can dominate in the air.

    More defensive is mostly a control or counter mentality, depending on the circumstances.

El-Mano · April 4, 2015 at 8:02 pm

Great work Guido, shall try this over a longer period (10 games=10 win). Seems like a bit of a challenge to limit the amount of long shots from my team (even whit limit longshot ticked)

    strikerlessGuido · April 5, 2015 at 6:09 am

    Yeah, but with so many shots, you’re bound to score. The weird thing is that the opposition is often completely stifled and not shooting at all.

MANUMAD · April 5, 2015 at 10:48 am


Extremely excited about this and been waiting for it for what seems ages. Ill get test driving it asap as well as doing stuff to it as always.

doublef93 · April 5, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Hi Guido! Good work as always

I have a question. How do your defence deal with pressing and tighter marking? I always have thought that this two TIs tend to create some hesitation and indecisiveness to the team, especially to defenders.

    strikerlessGuido · April 5, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    They tend to go in rather fast to try and win the ball, which can lead to the defence being out of position.

The FM-Father · May 13, 2015 at 1:12 am

Hey mate! Love your page, much good reading that warms an old FM heart. So I have to ask you, is there any chance that you are going to publish your strikerless 4.0 that gave you so much success with Benfica? If there are only a few small changes, they may be divided on this thread? It will be interesting to hear how the career goes on for Benfica. Keep up the good work

PeeDub · June 26, 2015 at 1:11 am

What attributes do you look for for the TM? Same as for typical TM? Wide TM? Mix?

Chrissy Ross · September 5, 2015 at 4:35 pm

I absolutely love this article. Come back to it again and again for inspiration.

Andhy_MiLan · November 4, 2015 at 5:16 pm

hi…from indonesia…thanks for ur article…i love the concept of strikerless and wanna try it..but i dont know how to start until found ur article..thanks…

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