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Football Manager 2022 Pep Guardiola Tiki-Taka Tactic | FM22

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Football Manager 2022 Pep Guardiola Tiki-Taka Tactic | FM22

This guide will talk you through what a successful Pep Guardiola tiki-taka 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.

Take The Ball, Pass The Ball isn’t just the title of a documentary based on arguably the world’s greatest ever club side. It’s also the simplest description of the tactics they used to dominate European football. Guardiola’s revolutionary approach to passing, movement and spacing allowed Barcelona to dominate their opponents like never before and swept the continent with copycat attempts to out-pass and out-possess the opposition. This article looks at the key principles of tiki-taka and how best to replicate it on FM22.

What is tiki-taka?


It’s a common mistake that tiki-taka’s primary function is to control possession. This is actually a side-benefit of the true principle: to dominate the space on a football pitch. By starting everything with a high defensive line and often an offside trap, you limit the space available to the opposition. This forces them to rely on technical ability to control the ball in small spaces, largely negating any physical advantages. This, of course, lends itself to intense pressing: with less ground to cover, players, can commit to winning the ball back quickly. By suffocating opposition possession like this - not unlike a Gegenpress - you naturally give your own players more time on the ball.

In possession, players are spread out to make the pitch as wide as possible, making it harder for defenders to mark them without leaving gaps elsewhere. Guardiola famously achieved this intelligent spacing by dividing the training pitch into zones, and training his players in the optimum way to use these zones. This included two rules about the shape: no more than two players occupy the same vertical line, and no more than three players occupy the same horizontal line.

How does this look on FM22?


FM22 Tiki Taka Pep Guardiola Tactic Football Manager 2022


Naturally, you’re looking for short passing and patient build-up, working the ball into the box deliberately and precisely to ensure the chances you’re creating are the best possible. In terms of shape, it’s crucial to follow Guardiola’s guidance on vertical and horizontal lines, which makes a 4-4-2 unsuitable, for example. Guardiola has almost exclusively used a 4-3-3 to achieve the correct spacing, and it makes the most sense to follow that lead.

Regarding player roles, you should be looking for roles that encourage movement between the lines. It’s the off-ball movement that creates space, as opposing defences are forced to either follow and leave space, or stay in position and allow their man the space to collect the ball. Support duties are also crucial, as this encourages players to balance their responsibilities between attacking and defensive duties, thus providing the fluidity to make this tactic work. This is especially true in midfield, where you’re asking your midfield to use their technical ability to their advantage in all phases of play: being available as a passing option at all times to recycle possession; but also providing much of the defensive leadership.

If I had to pin the success of this tactic on one position, it would be the false 9. This was the role that Messi made his own, and Guardiola wisely created his tactic around the talents of the best player in the world. The movement of a false 9, paired with creativity and an eye for goal, perfectly encapsulates the attacking philosophy of this tactic. His dropping into midfield makes him available for an outlet pass, while simultaneously exploiting the available space in front of the midfield three and making space behind him for the wide players to attack. This deeper positioning also makes him harder to mark when he makes a late surge into the box, while also crowding the midfield even further if possession is lost.

Final Thoughts


Tiki Taka is so often thought of as a possession at all costs strategy, but the reality is so different. If you fall into that trap, you run the risk of a flat, predictable and easily stopped tactic. Using this tactic, your possession will be deliberate, incisive and will score you goals, with the movement and space creation that came to define Guardiola’s great Barcelona side.

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FM Blog: Football Manager 2022 Pep Guardiola Tiki-Taka Tactic | FM22
Football Manager 2022 Pep Guardiola Tiki-Taka Tactic | FM22
This guide will talk you through what a successful Pep Guardiola tiki-taka tactic can look like, and how to implement this on FM22.
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