Ideally, I set out to create the best tactic in the world every new edition of Football Manager. I reckon everyone starts out that way. “In the world.” The admiration and adoration clinging to that suffix entices and beguiles. There is, by its very definition, nothing better. It is the best, the apex, the ne plus ultra. And of course, it is endless fodder for argument.

I admit I am a sucker for the “greatest tactic/style ever” debate. Or rather, I’m a sucker for reading other peoples’ take on the matter and then disagreeing with them stridently. As the whole debate is rather subjective, reading other peoples’ take, even if you disagree with them, broadens your horizon and keeps things lively.

For FM21, I decided to up the ante. Instead of merely creating a tactic, I set out to create my own style, consisting of a defined playing style that can be applied to multiple formations or tactics. I tried to be as thorough as possible in concocting a style I would like to call my own. The principles of this style are as follows.

I want to apply this style to the following three formations.

In what was intended as a longread but turned into a series, I aim to explain the choices I have made and add performance indicators to check.

Performance indicators will act as a gauge to determine whether my team or players perform in accordance with the style I devised. Results are nice and important but not always the best way to tell if your style is working as intended. A performance indicator focusses on an aspect of a match and indicates if an action was successful or not.

The series will entail four parts:

  1. The defensive principles;
  2. The transition from defence to attack;
  3. The offensive principles;
  4. The transition from attack to defence.

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.


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