FM16: 4-1-4-1 High pressing tactic

High pressing tactic with a lot of space for Full Backs and stability in the central midfield thanks to a three different roles and variation of 4-4-2 formation.

Maybe some of you know my blog and they read about my save with Spartans FC during FM15 or with Akademisk Boldklub during FM16.

Same as in the FM15 with Spartans FC I played the first nine seasons with AB with 4-2-3-1 formation with Standard mentality and Structured shape and it was focused mainly on “Hit early crosses” and “shoot on sight”. It was not uncommon that we had 25 and more shots during match.

But I wanted to change something and I wanted to change it back to some variation of 4-4-2.

Firstly, I wanted to play with 4-4-1-1 with Deep Lying Forward and Andvanced Playmaker but it did not take long time and I changed it again.

The final version of our new tactic is 4-1-4-1 with Attacking mentality and Structured shape.


Player roles:

  • Full Back‘s with Attack Duty | Instructions – Close Down Less, Pass It Shorter, Cross From Byline, Sit Narrower, Run Wide With Ball, Cross More Often & Get Further Forward.
  • CB’s with Cover Duty | Instructions – Pass It Shorter, Shoot Less Often, Dribble Less, Fewer Risky Passes.
  • Deep Lying Playmaker with Defend Duty | Instructions –  Tackle Harder, More Direct Passes, Close Down Much Less, Shoot Less Often, Hold Position.
  • Wide Playmaker’s with Attacking Duty | Instructions – Get Further Forward, More Direct Passes, Close Down Much More, Roar From Position, Dribble More, Cut Inside With Ball, Shoot Less Often, Cross Less Often.
  • Box To Box Midfielder with Support Duty | Instructions – Shoot Less Often, Close Down More, Tackle Harder, More Direct Passes, Roar From Position.
  • Roaming Playmaker with Support Duty | Instructions – More Direct Passes, Close Down Much More, Dribble More, Roar From Position.
  • False Nine with Support Duty | Instructions – Roar From Position, Pass It Shorter, Close Down Much More, Dribble More, More Risky Passes, Move Into Channels.

Team Instructions:

More Direct Passing, Exploit The Left & Right Flank, Play Narrower, Higher Tempo, Close Down Much More, Dribble Less.
Thanks to a Deep Lying Playmaker position in DM we have a good cover when both central midfielders are trying to get ball.
With Close Down Much More instruction there were many moments when opponent’s players were desperate to not loose ball. Thanks to 3 players in central midfield and wide playmakers we are able to make very intesive pressing and take ball. We don’t want to have a high possession percentage but after this formation change we have very often the better numbers at the end of the match.

I never used tactic where wide playmakers were included but I really like this role because they are very versatile and they could play more in the centre of the picth but also as wingers.
This role was probably the most problematic for us because we have many typical wingers or inside forwards but it was not a problem in the end. One of players who had to change his playing style was our regen Nichlas Meyer who is played mainly as a winger. But he played newly as wide playmaker and he had the best statistics from all our players.

Nichlas Meyer’s Positional Heat Map + Average Positions + Key Passes


I really like the Fullback’s role with attacking mentality because they are able to make many assists. Lars Sorrensen had 9 assists in 14 matches.

This is how our formation looks when the opponent’s goalkeeper has a goal kick…
…and this is when our goalkeeper has the ball…
…and this is an attacking movement. Central players plays in the middle, Eremenko (Roaming Playmaker) to Kristensen (Box-to-Box Midfielder) and Jenssen (Wide Playmaker) cuts inside while our Fullback move forward…
…Fullback collects the ball and make cross to the penalty area where are a minimum of three players. In this movement it was not a goal but it was a good attack in case of style of play we want.


I play with this tactic for more than one calendar year so far in this save and I really like it. I love the pressure from the central midfield trio when the team loose the ball and I’m happy how Fullbacks are very dangerous every time when we go forward.
If I have to select one role which I like the most it would be the Wide Playmaker. Try it in your saves, it could work very well :) But I have to say the formation work very well in overall in my eyes and that’s the most important for me.
Do you want to try it? Just download it and import to the C:\Users\Documents\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2016\tactics or Subscribe via Steam Workshop.
[Download ##download##] File Size: 40,9 kB / Date Added: 3. 5. 2016. [Steam workshop ##download##]




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Football Manager 2017 Blog: FM16: 4-1-4-1 High pressing tactic
FM16: 4-1-4-1 High pressing tactic
High pressing tactic with a lot of space for Full Backs and stability in the central midfield thanks to a three different roles and variation of 4-4-2 formation.
Football Manager 2017 Blog
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