When it comes to tactics, I firmly believe there is no “one size fits all” approach to FM. You can create a framework that works, but you will constantly be tweaking, testing, analysing, rinsing and repeating to optimise the approach for your own team. For me, the main challenge in FM16 thus far lies in striking the right balance between order and laissez-aller. My FM15 tactics were characterised by free-flowing attacks and teams thundering through the opposing ranks with aesthetically pleasing football. I haven’t been able to replicate this style quite yet, instead coming up with a more gritty, counter-attacking style so far.
The overall formation hasn’t changed much.
The tactic has been set to a more defensive setting, which makes no sense at all initially, but just seems to work best. We tended to lose the ball quite often in advanced positions and got hit by lethal counter-attacks. The free-flowing football wasn’t working, so I instead dropped the team back around the own penalty area, speculating on fast dribblers upfront to hit the opposing team with counter-attacks. When we’re given more space instead of having to dominate, we do see glimpses of the traditional style like this.
If I had to try and explain why that works, I’d guess that the AI is not as easily overloaded as it was in FM15. By dropping back, we’re inviting the pressure onto us, which results in more space for break-away counter-attacks going forward. This tactic is mostly the result of three seasons of trial and error in the current Match Engine environment. It’s probably not perfect, but it’s the best I can do so far.