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FM22 Antonio Conte 3-5-2 Pressing Tactic

Here's how you can emulate the famous winning 3-5-2 tactic of Antonio Conte in FM22. This is not a plug and play tactic for Football Manager 2022.
FM22 Antonio Conte 3-5-2 Pressing Tactic

Here's how you can emulate the famous winning 3-5-2 tactic of Antonio Conte in FM22. This is not a plug and play tactic so some tinkering around to suit your team is needed.


When you play Football Manager 2022, it is always good to have more tactical strings to your bow. In this latest set of tactical articles, we can help you to find the right formation and style for your team. In this article, we will cover a high-pressing, aggressive team that uses a modern take on the 3-5-2 system.

For many football fans, the return of the 3-5-2 as a popular tactic is down, in part to Antonio Conte. The current Tottenham coach has developed a bespoke system since his time as Juventus manager. A solid back-line that presses high up the pitch paired up with aggressive full-backs, a dominant six in midfield, and a pair of box to box or Mezzala midfielders can be hugely effective.
 

Why should I play this system?


This system is a great choice for, as Antonio Conte himself puts it, teams who are ‘not the protagonist’. This is a formation for teams with excellent athletic ability and one or two highly technical players. It allows you to punch above your weight and to hit teams with pressure, counter-attacking play, and excellent combinations in the key areas. For that reason, the 3-5-2 is the perfect system as it gives us excellent balance in every area of the pitch.

With that in mind, then, you should play a high-pressing system when you:

  • Want to give the big boys in your league a kick in the teeth with an aggressive tactic.
  • Intend to overwhelm the opposition with continual attacking and pressure in midfield.
  • Look to build a team that can make-up for some technical limits with athleticism.
  • Have a squad that is large enough to deal with rotation and requires lots of running power.
  • Require a system that can help you to outrun the opposition and win trophies using grit.

The shape of your team


FM22 Antonio Conte Tactic

For us, the 3-5-2 system can be laid out in quite a few ways. You could find success basing this on either a Positive or Attacking mentality, depending on what kind of players you have. For the most part, you want at least your main central defender to be on Cover duty, ideally, as a Ball Playing Defender. The two wide centre-halves work best either as Ball Playing Defenders on Defend, or as Wide Central Defenders (the new FM22 feature). It just depends on the attributes of your defenders, and how good you are versus the opposition.

For those who lack proper full/wing-backs, you could move your wing-backs into the same grouping as your central midfielders and play with outright wingers. This will obviously mean more gaps on the wings, but if your Mezzala pairing and/or your centre-halves on the wide areas have pace, you can negate this.

However, we think the best place is for the wing-backs to sit in line with your deep-lying playmaker. This allows for the best overall balance.

The rest of the team – your two Mezzala midfielders and your two strikers – should all be on Attack duty. The two midfielders could also be Box to Box midfielders, but the Mezzala setting makes them more likely to cover the spaces in the wide areas and to drop into the half spaces on attack.

Up front, you can find a pairing that works best for your two strikers. A Target Man and Deep Lying Forward can work, but you might find a Pressing Forward/DLF or Pressing Forward/TM combination can work better. Again, it just depends on the make-up of your strike pairing.


The instructions for your team


As you build this team and style, you want to try and focus on how your team is going to play.
 

When your team has possession


When your team begins to get the ball (it should have more of the ball than it does not) you want to see your team attack with gusto and verve. To do that, your main principles should include:

· Ball Control. Using a blend of Short Passing with Pass Into Space makes your team look to always find a teammate who is open, but not necessarily to hit the ball in behind. You also want to have Play Out Of Defence ticked, so your team do not waste passes and attacks.

· Creative Discipline. Make sure you have ticked the Be More Disciplined option, and then focus on using the Run At Defence option. You might also wish to tick Shoot on Sight if you feel like your team are wasting good attacking positions, but try to start without this aggressive instruction.

· Positional Dominance. By using an Extremely Wide attacking style and also then using Focus Play Through The Middle, you open the pitch up and give your central players far more space to play in. This can be risk-and-reward, as it opens up the pitch, but it creates more dominance.

FM22 Antonio Conte Tactic In Possesion

· Aggressive Tempo. Add in the Higher/Much Higher Tempo option, and make sure you tick both Counter and Counter Press as well as Distribute Quickly in the In Transition section. This forces your team to always look to create attacks from the spaces opening up across the pitch.

FM22 Antonio Conte Tactic In Transition

· Furious Defending. Like any Antonio Conte-inspired team, you should ensure you have Force Opposition Inside ticked to funnel attacks into your central areas. Get a Much Higher Line of Engagement, and ensure you have Get Stuck In ticked to really focus on high pressing.

FM22 Antonio Conte Tactic Out of Possesion


The main reason for these settings are quite simple:


  • This creates a team that looks to dominate the game by suffocating the opposition and forcing them into hurried and scared turnovers.
  • The style covers most areas of the pitch, and its balance allows for the spaces your team creates to be filled by an auxiliary defender.
  • You can utilise the running power of your team to fatigue the opposition and force them into giving you the ball back through sheer panic.
  • By having so many attack-minded players you tend to force the opposition into weird parts of the pitch where turnovers can be especially deadly.
  • Your team becomes a nightmare to play through simply because they pack the middle with so many bodies, and have three defenders to clean up crosses.

Closing thoughts


Overall, this Antonio Conte inspired formation is one of the most enjoyable to play. If you want to build a team that punches well ahead of its own weight, this allows you to do so without having to miss out on any real balance. The wing-backs can be exploited due to their high positioning, but you can easily make up for that by having a team that can press and cover.

Just make sure your team has a high natural balance of things like Stamina, Work Rate, and Bravery. Natural Fitness is useful, too, as is finding players with high injury durability. This is a demanding tactic, but if you can get it to work the results can be absolutely mind-blowing.


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FM Blog | FM23: FM22 Antonio Conte 3-5-2 Pressing Tactic
FM22 Antonio Conte 3-5-2 Pressing Tactic
Here's how you can emulate the famous winning 3-5-2 tactic of Antonio Conte in FM22. This is not a plug and play tactic for Football Manager 2022.
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