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Football Manager 2022 Jose Mourinho Park the Bus Tactic | FM22

This tactic guide will talk you through what a successful park the bus can look like, and how to implement this on FM22. This...
Football Manager 2022 Jose Mourinho Park the Bus Tactic | FM22

This tactic guide will talk you through what a successful park the bus can look like, and how to implement this on FM22.


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.

We’ve all been there. You’re seriously outmatched against a bigger opponent, or you’re trying to grind out a priceless 1-0 win with 10 minutes to go, there’s only one thing to do: park the bus. You need to shut the game down and completely nullify the opposition’s threat, almost completely giving up your own attacking threat to do so. 

What is Parking the Bus?


“They brought the bus and they left the bus in front of the goal.” said Jose Mourinho of Spurs in 2004 after a frustrating 0-0 against his Chelsea side. Ironically, Mourinho used this as an insult against Spurs, but later became one of the most prominent users of parking the bus. Most famously, his Inter side parked the bus for their second leg Champions League semi-final against Barcelona in 2010, after a 3-1 victory in the first leg. In many ways, Mourinho was the ultimate pragmatist and recognised that parking the bus was best for short spells to grind out a win from a tough game.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side are perhaps the most consistent side of the last decade who could be considered a park the bus side. Mainly using a 4-4-2, but of course, shifting to a 3-5-2 in the last two years, Simeone’s side frustrate opponents by prioritising defensive solidity above all else. The compactness of his side makes them an incredibly difficult side to play through, an important trait in La Liga and the Champions League, as the bigger sides they face will all have technically proficient playmakers. By keeping bodies behind the ball, Atletico are able to limit passing options and force opposition sides to resort to plan B.

How does this look on FM22?


Park the Bus Tactic | FM22


Rather than a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 like Simeone, I’ve opted for a 4-4-1-1. I’ve found this offers a more solid defensive shape, with your AM restricting space for the opposition’s DLP. In possession, we’re relying on direct passing and hitting early crosses, as we want the ball forward as quickly as possible to take advantage of space left by wandering defenders. I’ve also found success in setting your AM to roam from position, so he can occupy whichever spaces are available. This makes him hard for the opposition to mark, and helps to draw opposition defenders out of position and create space for supporting attackers.

In transition, you want your side to counter so as to get players forward at the opportune moment. In defensive transition, you want your side to regroup rather than counter-press. This is to ensure you can get men behind the ball as quickly as possible to achieve the defensive compactness that makes this system so difficult to play against. This is also helped by the lower line of engagement, allowing the opposition a certain amount of freedom in possession when further away from your goal. In short, you don’t mind their defence passing the ball among themselves, as they’re very unlikely to score from the halfway line, so why waste energy by pressing that far up the pitch? Instead, energy is preserved for pressing once they attempt to break through your defensive lines.

Final Thoughts


The dark arts of defensive football causes great debate among football fans. Critics will call you boring, anti-football, and accuse you of trying to avoid losing rather than winning games. But when you can have the successes of Mourinho and Simeone, why wouldn’t you at least consider the idea? I hope you enjoy using this tactic and have great fun with the swift counter-attacking football on offer.

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Football Manager 2022 Jose Mourinho Park the Bus Tactic | FM22
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