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Football Manager 2022 - Jurgen Klopp Gegenpress Tactic | FM22

This article will talk you through the basics of Jurgen Klopp's gegenpress tactic and how it can lead your FM22 side to succ...
Football Manager 2022 - Jurgen Klopp Gegenpress FM22 Tactic

This article will talk you through the basics of Jurgen Klopp's gegenpress tactic and how it can lead your FM22 side to success.


This article is part of a series on famous tactical styles. While this tactic can work successfully as a plug-and-play tactic, it is recommended that players use this as a basic form of a certain style. Some slight adjustments may be necessary to play to your side’s strengths.

When Jurgen Klopp was unveiled as Liverpool manager in 2016, he promised to bring his brand of “heavy metal football” to Merseyside. Of course, we all know he meant gegenpressing: the German-invented counter-pressing regimen sweeping through Europe. Everyone in the FM community knows how overpowered gegenpressing has been for years, so its no surprise when FM players look to replicate the high-tempo and high-energy style. 

What is Gegenpressing?


Literally, gegenpressing means counter-pressing. Pioneered by Ralf Rangnik - who was himself influenced by Wolfgang Frank, Arrigo Sacchi and Valeriy Lobanovskyi - gegenpressing can be primarily described as quickly trying to regain possession after a turnover and relentlessly hassling the opposition. There’s a number of reasons for this: Lobanovskyi wanted to force the opposition into bad decisions and giving the ball away; Klopp points to the advantages of winning the ball back in the opposition’s half, making it far easier to create good opportunities quickly. Ultimately, constant pressure and quick transitions are the defining characteristics of gegenpressing, and rely on hard-working players with the athletic prowess necessary to maintain such a high energy system.

How does Gegenpress tactic look on FM22?


FM22 Gegenpress Tactic Jurgen Klopp


Gegenpressing can be used with a number of formations, but for the purposes of this tactic, we’ll be basing our style on Klopp’s 4-3-3 with Liverpool. Arguably the most famous disciple of the Gegenpress, Klopp’s tactics have evolved over his Liverpool tenure, particularly the roles of his front three. This particular tactic is based on 2018/19 Liverpool, which I believe was the purest form of gegenpressing we’ve seen from Klopp since his arrival in England.

The pressing forward is essential to gegenpressing on FM22. The rest of the team looks to the central striker to trigger the press and lead by example, and that’s exactly the role Roberto Firmino performed for Klopp’s Liverpool of 18/19. Despite playing as a sole number 9, Firmino drew criticism from opposition fans for his apparent lack of contribution in front of goal, but it was Firmino’s work rate and defensive tenacity that made him so crucial to Klopp’s side, as was his decision-making which allowed Mane and Salah to flourish. To that end, this tactic features a pressing forward with support duty, which better reflects Firmino’s link-up play while maintaining his defensive responsibilities. The two wingers are listed as inside forwards on attack and operate as the primary goal threats for this tactic.

In midfield, the two CMs are primarily old-fashioned workers, doing much of the dirty work to allow the press to function properly. Out of possession, they operate as the second wave of a press, looking to intercept misplaced passes that somehow sneak through the forward line, or to pressure the opposition if they manage to break through the front three. In attack, they largely play a supporting role, offering a short option to the ball carrier and keeping play moving. Contrary to some gegenpress systems, the DM is not listed as a deep-lying playmaker, as Klopp doesn’t rely on any one player to handle the creative burden. Instead, Klopp believes the tactic itself is the best playmaker, as the opportunities created by winning the ball back quickly are far better than those any individual could craft for the team. I also prefer the DM to hold their position rather than joining the press. This way, they act as a safety net to the midfielders in front, while protecting the defence from being outnumbered on the counter.

Your defence has two jobs: your full backs contribute to the attack; while your centre-backs largely provide safety. In real life, Robertson and Alexander-Arnold were two of Liverpool’s greatest creative weapons in 18/19, racking up a staggering number of assists. Van Dijk and Gomez - together with Fabinho at the base of the midfield - provide a strong central defensive bedrock to ensure the most important part of the pitch is protected at all times.

Player Specifications


You need hard-working players with good stamina. To execute a proper gegenpress, your players need to be able and willing to cover every blade of grass for 90 minutes. You’re also looking for good decision making and technique, as everyone has to be capable with the ball at their feet. Protecting yourself against turnovers is crucial, as you’ll be vulnerable to swift counters if the opposition can disrupt your attack while your players aren’t in position.

Final Thoughts


You don’t need me to tell you how successful a good gegenpressing tactic can be on FM. Despite SI’s best efforts to limit your ability to press at full speed for 90 minutes every match, it can still be a highly effective way to win football matches. While this is essentially a fairly basic gegenpress, I hope you find it effective and helpful in building your own pressing identity on your save.

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FM Blog | FM23: Football Manager 2022 - Jurgen Klopp Gegenpress Tactic | FM22
Football Manager 2022 - Jurgen Klopp Gegenpress Tactic | FM22
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