I don’t intend to make a habit out of this, but people have been asking me for downloads of my tactics or at the very least a screenshot of the style and settings I use. I’ll oblige, but I’d rather have a discussion on how to achieve a good strikerless style, rather than people just accepting my word as some sort of absolute truth. The style my teams play is my take on how a strikerless style should function and is very much open to debate.



This is the style I am currently using. For more info on the how’s and why’s of certain settings, either keep an eye out for the next installment of Clear Cut Chance, or keep an eye on my blog, because more elaborate posts will follow.

For those who are not really arsed about the specifics but just want to try the tactic (or for those who are interested but want to have a look at the settings in-game), I will include a few download-links as well. The style is virtually the same in every tactic, it’s the player roles and individual player settings I keep tinkering with.

Download 1 – an experimental strikerless version with a libero.

Download 2 – the version used in the two match-clips I posted earlier this week, a more “traditional” (if there even is such a thing) formation.

Download 3 – one of the older versions, still effective with the right players. It may help to showcase the progress we’ve made.

Download 4 – the first strikerless version I was content with for FM14, one that still features four attacking midfielders.

I hope this helps. As I said before, stay tuned for more updates!

Table of Contents


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.


Deivid · April 2, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Hi. Love your blog and the way you think about strikerless formations and style of play. Because strikerless doesn’t mean the same as tiki taka, and the motion of the more advanced players is the way to go, to disrupt the enemy’s game and kill them using counter-pressure. Bravo!
But… mind i ask you some questions regarding the “download 2” tactic?
1- Who’s supposed to be more attacking, the MC or the B2B?
2- Why did the MC play on the left and the B2B on the right? Is it random or has something to do with the player roles on the wings (IF on left and W on right)?
3- To put more pressure on the opposite side, have you tried a defensive miedelfer instead of the anchor man, or ticking the pressure more player instruction on the 2 MC’s slot?
4- Why the stopper-cover combo instead of 2 central defenders (defend duty) with or without playing the off-side trap?
5- Who is supposed to be your best goalscorer? The trequartista or the goals are spreaded beetween the front three?

By the way, been playing with this tactic with good results, despite not having the right players for it. Just wanna discuss this issues ’cause this is really fascinating. Keep up with the good work!

    strikerlessguido · April 2, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks David. Let me try to answer those questions one by one.

    (1.) The B2B player was supposed to be the runner, the other one the passer.

    (2.) That was actually determined by the player I had at the time. I had a left footed play-maker and a right-footed runner. I did adjust the wingers to match the central midfield pairing. The IF could cut inside because the passing midfielder held back, whilst the winger on the right maintained a wide shape to create space for the runner.

    (3.) Actually, I sort of came to the same conclusion you have reached and have replaced the Anchor-man with a half-back in combination with a new midfield pairing to create more pressure going forward.

    (4.) Mostly something I wanted to try to see if it worked. In later version, I have resorted back to two “normal” defenders. We’ll call it a failed experiment.

    (5.) The front three all bag their fair share of goals, but the trequartista usually scores a few goals more.

    You’ll really love the newest update, which offers more stability. For a sneak-peak.


      Deivid · April 3, 2014 at 10:47 am

      Thanks! Still didn’t have the time to give it a spin, but you are you finding the results so far regarding pressure and scoring? I look at the tactic, and it seems balanced. I presume that the stretching is made through the complete wingbacks instead of the winger, am i right? Regarding the half-back, i find it controversial sometimes… are you having good results with it? I personally like the thrid man on defence, and i like the pressure he puts on, but it stretches my own defense in width, creating more open space beetween the back 2 (or 3), and in a poor team, when the ball is lost in our own transition, he’s caught out of position transitioning beetween sweeper-def center and the midfield and leave the space wide open… or perhaps it’s just my poor half-back – tymoschuck.
      But i will give it a decent spin and report later.
      Thanks in advance!

      strikerlessguido · April 3, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      Even though it’s an older build, I was fairly happy with the consistency throughout a season in terms of pressure and scoring. I do feel that the pressing becomes harder to achieve towards the end of the season, when players are tired.

      Regarding the CWB’s, yes, they are mostly responsible for the stretching of a defence because they bomb forward on the wings and overlap the wingers.

      The half-back used to be a disaster before the last patch, but seems to work sort of alright nowadays. He drops back into defence to form a 3-man defence on offence and aggressive charges forwards to close down when we lose the ball, allowing the other players time to re-group.

      The wide stretching with the half-back is an issue, but with the aggressive pressing through-out, the midfielders are generally able to prevent a through-ball from being played, so the AI is generally unable to exploit this. When you’re managing a team further down the table, this could be an issue, I agree.

      Do test the tactic and report back any findings, I like criticism, mostly because I’m constantly trying to improve the idea.

Deivid · April 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Yeah, thanks! It’s criticism, but the constructive one, ’cause you’ve made some groundwork way better than mine and i’m glad i’ve found this blog. Will test and mix some ideas, ’cause improving is what keeps me going regarding playing fm 😉
The mid-three are positions-player roles-duties that keep me wondering… I like the flat back four, I like both front three, and in reality, i like both midfields, but i think that’s where most improvements can be done. The anchor man in the first version will hold more his position, which is a good thing, but it lacks pressure. The halfback i’ve talked about it before but will give a go once more, perhaps will experiment with the defensive miedfielder, the pressure is there and he will hold more his position than a ball winning miedfielder, altough less than the anchor man.

abir · April 9, 2014 at 4:41 am

How much do you think your strikerless tactics will be effective in lower leagues, for example in tier 7 and 8? I guess the tactic needs to be tuned a bit, as lower league players can’t do high pressing like that.

    strikerlessguido · April 9, 2014 at 6:58 am

    To be fair, I reckon that you only need relative superiority to make it work. You don’t need world class players, but just players that are at least on par and preferably slightly better than the ones most of your opponents are fielding.

    For instance, if you’re playing in a league where a 10+ rating for any mental attribute is deemed good, you need players at around such a level. I do believe the high pressing game can work in lower leagues, you just have to find the right players to make it work.

Deivid · April 23, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Well… I’m back with a lot of baggage regarding my findings.
I’m gonna give it to you, you’re right about the half-back. I’ve tried all the roles for that position, and the half-back is the most solid one defensively. Using tymoschuk in zenit or javi martinez in bayern, sometimes they’re caught out of position, or the team loses the ball when the half-back is transitioning from libero to defensive miedfielder, and i don’t like that, but my number of clean sheets is way poorer when i change that player role.
On the other aspects, i’m using a combination of player roles and team instructions of your two 41230 (with wingers) and been doing perfect, both on some test saves and on my real deal. What do you do, when playing thougher opponents away from home? I’m using a three tactical set, both equal on everything except mentality (one attacking, one control and one normal), and im playing them all on the same game (score goals, control later and normal to lock up my defense in the final minutes).
So far so good, so, thank you for the debate that lead me to this point 😉

    strikerlessguido · April 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    That’s one of the parts SI definitely got right with their last patch, the half-back. Defensively, he acts as an aggressive screener ahead of the defence, buying time for my wing-backs to retain their defensive positions, whilst offensively he sits between the two centre-backs and offers an extra passing outlet as well as helping out with the transition from defence to attack.

    When playing tough opposition away from home, I tend to just see how the game develops. If we get an early lead, we shut up shop by going to a counter mentality. If we fall behind, we just keep playing as we do. If I need to force something, I try a more direct style, employing my Targetganche.

Alessandro · April 28, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Hello Guido, I am pleased alessandro
I’m an Italian boy who follows the world of pleasure with FM outside Italy ….
Forgive me for my bad english but I hope to be able to understand me too ….
Since some time I follow your blog, as well as what you Shwrenaldo in the past and I loved a lot of the post Cleon ….
Of course I’ve read Clear Cut Chance and now I am passionate about your saga “Strikerless”

I very much agree with your article on “Cohesion” and I would have some questions for you:

Uses a single tactic or save it in your set 3 different? (If you could show me an example?)

If you have a strong striker to play on the train line trocar or sell it?

    strikerlessguido · April 28, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    Hey Alessandro, thanks for following my blog and taking a liking to my strikerless ramblings.

    To answer your questions, I have three tactics set up. All three have the same formation, but each one has a different mentality setting. Version 1 is always attacking, version 2 is control and version 3 is counter. This means I can get tactical familiarity for every style of play I generally use.

    If I get a strong striker through my academy, I generally re-train him to AMC. My Target-Enganche needs to be strong, so I can always use a player like that.

Alessandro · April 29, 2014 at 9:38 am

Thanks for the replies!

I saw on the dugout in the topic that you have opened on the topic you have posted a tactic the newgen6 …. what stage is it? is the last you’re working on? I’d like to work on and get deeper into your ideas, putting my ideas ….

    strikerlessguido · April 29, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I’m currently on v8, experimenting with the central midfield roles.

Alessandro · April 29, 2014 at 10:45 am


Wait for the publication of a new link updated

    strikerlessguido · April 29, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I’ll try and get it sorted sometime next week, an update on my tweaked central midfield.

Alessandro · April 29, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Guido …. Thanks for your kindness and availability

Alessandro · May 5, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Hello guido, I’m back ….

Version 6 of your tactic is something amazing, once learned at the most I’ve won a lot, trying in 3 roles of frontline offensive players many different, and the results were exceptional ….

If you want I can show you some screens, tell me where to post ….

    strikerlessguido · May 5, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Just post the gyazo links on my blog mate, I always like some feedback 🙂

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