Strikerless 2.0 For FM17; Balancing The Midfield

In the past few weeks since the release of my first FM17 tactic, I have received a fair bit of feedback regarding the initial tactic. Most of it was regarding the defensive frailties of the tactic, the susceptibility of the tactic to quick counter-attacks down the flanks. Whilst I did not experience these problems in a manner similar to the experiences of others, I was nevertheless not entirely happy with the setup I was using.

The balance between the various lines was not quite the way I want it to be. The reason why the setup with two ball-winning midfielders worked for me was probably because I had two world-class midfielders in Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan. As I progressed in the Roma save, I noticed the same defensive frailties others mentioned when one or both were absent from the line-up through injury or suspension. Some of these changes may or may not be the direct result of another SI patch, we’ll not discuss that any further in this article.

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Strikerless’ Classic Revival

Yeah, let’s just get this one out of the way. I’m honest enough to admit that no matter how much I try to look at things objectively, I am a human being and I bring my biases to the table. As a child of the late 80’s and early 90’s, I grew up in a golden age of gaming. While these classics are awesome and have stood the test of time far better than I suspect most modern games will, I fully admit that part of the appeal is that I grew up with them. After all, you never forget your first love. Strikerless Sexy Football…


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A Leicester City-Inspired 4-4-2-0

Over the past decade, people have fallen out of love with the humble 4-4-2 formation. It’s a shame really, as it’s a beautiful and effective tactic. Its beauty is also part of the reason why people tend to snub their noses at it, since it’s a rather straight-forward and simple tactic. Ranieri and his marauding Leicester City team are proving quite how effective a humble 4-4-2 formation can be. So here’s my take on a Leicester City-inspired 4-4-2-0.


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The Triple Pivot Download

As I mentioned earlier in a more theoretic post about the Triple Pivot concept, a triple pivot is the deployment of three defensive midfielders, who may be used to protect the defence in a deep block, to prevent the opposition space for counter-attacks, to keep possession by overloading in the first phase, the reasons are almost endless, the triple pivot can be very useful at times.

The pivoting system is extremely effective, as it helps break up a man marking system. With the Very Fluid settings I use, the players are constantly switching positions, which is extremely useful for recycling possession and keeping lots of passing options open. This is a basic line-up which should be most effective to create a pivoting system.


In this post, I am not going to tell you a whole lot of extra information. It’s basically just a brief post containing a download-link for the concepts described earlier. I can however promise a more spectacular evolution of the concept for next week.



Strikerless; The Triple Pivot

There is no such thing as overkill. When you’re playing around with abstract concepts like say… not fielding any actual forwards during a game of football, that’s not a bad code to live by. This got me thinking, especially after being inspired by a post by Chris Darwen… What kind of tactics do real-life teams use to be successful and how can I convert/pervert (cross out the option you deem suitable) those into strikerless ideas. During the last few World Cups, 7 of the last 8 semi-finalists have used a double pivot, but they also fielded a forward. So what would happen if we were to remove the forward and instead slot him into the defensive midfield. That’s right, it’s the birth of the triple pivot system!

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Strikerless 3.0 – Introducing The Withdrawn Targetman Mk. II

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.

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Dominating The Central Areas; The Box-Formation

The centre is vital to success in the majority of sports. In chess, controlling the central area is considered a strategy that allows you the the best possible access to the board and can reach the entirety of the widthm as you can easily maximise the potential spaces which your pieces can move into. When you stick to a side, you have 180 degrees of possible movement. When you stick to the centre, you have 360 degrees.

When you think of the football pitch as a chess board you can easily see that this idea makes sense. Earlier, we mentioned why the wing-backs are not exactly ideal for build-up play from the back, and the same principle applies to your creative men. You want the players with the best passing range to be in positions where they can make the most of their skill-set, to utilise their full potential. You want your players to dominate the central areas. When you’re talking about dominating the central areas, you’re talking about the box-formation.

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