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Football Manager 2022 Kick and Rush Tactic | FM22

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Football Manager 2022 Kick and Rush Tactic | FM22

This guide will talk you through what a successful Kick and Rush tactic 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.

I’m sure the words “long ball” and “statistical analysis” seem to be an odd combination to many modern football fans. One refers to a tactical system long-dead at the elite level, saved for weaker and less gifted sides (or Burnley); the other conjures up the image of forward-thinking nerds obsessed with xG and other stats that don’t show up on a scoreboard. However, the reality is quite different. The advent of long ball football in England can largely be attributed to the analysis of Wing Commander Charles Reep, an amateur statistician from the 1950s. Reep’s two main theories were: that most goals were scored in the penalty box, and most goals were scored after three passes or less. Ergo: the quicker a team can get the ball into the penalty box, the better their chances of scoring. While Reep’s analysis was flawed and has been widely panned by modern analysts, it was the beginning of an era for English football.

Reep’s analysis was noticed by Jackie Gibbons of Brentford, and was brought in as a part-time assistant for the second half of the 1950-1951 season. After Reep’s ideas helped steer Brentford away from relegation, long ball - or kick and rush - football started to take hold of English football. Suddenly, clubs all over the country were embracing the ideas to get the ball forward with as few touches as possible. This article will discuss what makes kick and rush work, and how to successfully implement it on FM22.

What is kick and rush?


Another name for long ball, kick and rush football is based on one long pass up the pitch - ideally to a target man - and supporting players picking up the second ball. In some cases, this is achieved by a narrow shape positioning supporting players around the target man; in others, by aggressively counter-pressing when the opposition wins the second ball. As the object of the tactic is to move the ball goalward with as few passes as possible, all passing is extremely direct, with crosses coming early to catch defenders off guard. While this is sometimes regarded as old-fashioned, there are some prominent examples of teams continuing to enjoy success using a target man and a long ball. Burnley are arguably the most high profile example in English football, but this is also a regular feature at Athletic Bilbao throughout their history.

READ ALSO: Football Manager 2022 Pep Guardiola Tiki-Taka Tactic | FM22

How does this look on FM22?


FM22 Kick and Rush Tactic


Obviously, you’ll be deploying a target forward with much more direct passing. This tactic also uses a wide shape and traditional wingers, however you may choose inverted wingers and a more narrow shape to crowd your target forward and make it easier to pick up the second ball. In this example though, I trust the target forward to win the header and be able to control the flick on to a winger. In the event he isn’t able to control the flick on, the pressing forward’s job is to close down the centre back and win the ball back high up the pitch.

This tactic also deliberately has no designated playmaker. This is because we want to bypass the midfield in the build up and go directly to the target forward. The purpose of the midfield is to provide support to other phases of play. Again, this is a little old-fashioned, but with the right mix of physicality and teamwork, these midfielders can play a crucial role.

This tactic also deploys a high defensive line and an offside trap. This isn’t necessarily common in long ball football, but has been done for two reasons: firstly, so as not to leave too much space when pressing high to win back the second ball; and secondly, to prevent the opposition from being able to do the same long ball tactic to you. With a high defensive line, the opposition will still have a long way to go to your goal after the long ball to a target forward.

Final thoughts


You want Brexit ball? You’ve got Brexit ball. This is old-school, unfashionable, and hard-working, but by god is it effective when done right. You won’t win any awards for attractive football, but you might just win enough games to keep your relegation candidates safe from the drop.

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FM Blog: Football Manager 2022 Kick and Rush Tactic | FM22
Football Manager 2022 Kick and Rush Tactic | FM22
This guide will talk you through what a successful Kick and Rush tactic can look like and how to implement this on FM22.
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