TLDR; Download-links

I have debated whether or not to post this article. Should I offer a downloadable version of my tactics, just for people to generally ignore why they work in a specific way and complain to yours truly about their perceived lack of progress or success? Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to approach things with FM. If you’re getting more success from downloadable tactics and that feels fulfilling enough, then crack on. This article contains links to the latest formation of my “Riders (on the storm)” series of tactics, using both a deep and middle block in defence.

My Throw-In Setups For FM23

Set pieces in football, and thus in Football Manager, have received much attention and study. But what about the innocuous throw-in? Apart from when a team develops a long throw-in programme (see Delap, Rory, or last year’s trebuchet-styled throw-ins), it is largely ignored. This doesn’t do the humble throw-in justice, as they are essential to your Football Manager game.

Just throwing the ball somewhere willy-nilly not only robs you of a potential goalscoring opportunity (depending on your location, of course), but it also increases your risk of losing the ball and ending up on the wrong side of a devastating counter-attack. So again, throw-ins are far more important than you might think.

Defensive Football; Applying The Principles

The following article regarding the application of defensive principles has the potential to become cluttered because a number of different ideas fit together pretty nicely in theory, but I am not quite sure if they translate well. In my head, everything makes a lot of sense, but if my mental gymnastics turn out to be incomprehensible, I would appreciate it if you would ask for clarification. Enjoy!

Defensive Football; The Principles

I am not someone who is willing to walk blindly into the unknown. I make an effort to read up on the possibilities as well as the potential problems, I make every attempt to plan, and I strive to figure out a strategy for the long term in ahead of time. How then do I go about playing this game? Which fundamental princples will be the core of my setup, which is so unlike traditional strikerless?

Defensive Football; the intro

Attacking complete football is rooted in Dutch culture and national spirit, according to the British author David Winner, who wrote the book ‘Brilliant Orange’ several years ago. By analogy, defensive football is not a part of the Dutch national identity.

The statement contains a grain of truth; the Dutch despise the often business-like hardness with which teams from Southern Europe, as well as Germany, are able to win a game. Shutting up shop at the back (or at times, even parking the bus), playing to keep a clean sheet first and foremost, and delivering an unexpected knockout to the opponent with a few rapid counterattacks; this is something that happens quite often to Dutch teams rather than adopting a similar plan themselves.

It goes without saying that Football Manager is no exception to the rule in this sense. Generally speaking, a Dutch manager will opt for a somewhat offensive style of play in the vast majority of circumstances. As a result, scoring goals is more important than preventing goals from being scored against you.