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Lower League Special - 3322 - Stockport County Predicted 24th - Result = 1st
This tactic was created by Mr U Rosler and the below text is copied from his thread on the SI forums.

Greetings,

I’ve been scratching around for something for my Stockport save, following promotion to the National League they are predicted to finish 24th, dead last. I’m not one for hanging around so I had expectations for something which could get me into the playoffs, which go down to the 7th place in the league these days.

Was pleasantly surprised to finish 1st securing the only automatic promotion spot with a creditable 90 points. Nice goal difference for such a poor side. I re-ran the season a couple of times to make sure it wasn’t a fluke and each time we were there or thereabouts.

This is with the original squad.

Out of curiosity I also ran it with the team predicted to finish 1st to see how it handled teams with high reputations who were favourites for most matches. Managed to secure top spot although the return was not much better than Stockport’s despite the better players. This can mean 1 of 2 things, or a perhaps a combination of both.



The Tactic is more suitable for underdogs

Its intrinsically easier to beat teams that ‘attack’ you, than those that sit in and defend, even though when dealing with teams sitting in you have better players warranting your higher reputation



Either way, I’m happy as I’ll be underdogs during most of my save as I push up the leagues.

Not tried this at Premier League level or leagues around the World so can’t comment on that, however attacking, semi direct, aggressive tackling & pressing, high up the pitch tactics like this tend to do well universally although only having 1 wide player on each flank hasn’t been a great way to go in recent years.

Not done a huge amount of work on set pieces but attacking and defensive corners are pretty solid.

Left Wingback to take left sided corners and throw in's

Right Wingback to take right sided corners and throw in's

Team Building

I follow a few universal rules aimed at ensuring we have no mental weaknesses in the team which can lead to inconsistent performances or long, avoidable runs of poor form.

Key attributes I look for before signing any player are Determination & Decisions.

Even with Stockport in the National League I’ll never sign any player with less than 10 Determination and 10 Decisions. By Championship Level I’d want a minimum of 12 in all players. Elite Premier League teams I’d push this to 13 or 14.

The thinking behind having a highly determined squad should be obvious, resilience to come back from setbacks both during individual games and for lessening the impact of low morale during any poor runs of form hopefully enabling you to break out of them earlier.

In terms of decisions, I saw some testing which indicated that Decisions was one of the KEY attributes underpinning all other attributes. A low Decisions attribute seem to negatively impact many elements of player performance in the match engine, to my mind that cannot be ignored and this is now key to my approach.

The Final pillar is consistency, although this is a hidden attribute and therefore invisible, I always check player weaknesses on the scout report and will never sign any player noted as ‘inconsistent’.

Having established a basic mental baseline for the types of players we will recruit, we can look in more detail at wider recruitment.

How much you can reasonably expect to get from a player depends on the level you operate. I work to the following priorities.



PHYSICAL > MENTAL > TECHNICAL



The thinking behind this is whilst you can find players with 19 or 20 in both Physical & Mental attributes in even non league players, you’re unlikely to find any players with 19 or 20 Technique at this level.

So in the lower leagues I look to ensure my team is highly Physical, being fitter, stronger and faster than your opponent is enough to get the job done here. As I move up the league and recruit replacement players I ensure that the Physical requirements are still being met but now I’m layering on strong Mental attributes, as well as the aforementioned Determination and Decisions I want high Work Rate in most positions and start to look for things like Teamwork and Off the Ball.

Once I hit Championship Level and I bring in new recruits, I’m now looking to add Technical skills onto our player recruitment profile delivering us complete footballers. Which technical skills will depend on player roles and tactics.



Tactic Specific

Pressing Forward/Attack

On a basic level we are looking for hardworking, highly mobile strikers who can harry the back line when out of possession and make runs into dangerous areas when we are in possession, pulling defenders out of position whilst seeking spaces where they are hard to pick up. On a higher level we are then looking for players who can make the most of the chances they get as well as being able to set up their strike partner and team mates.

Desirable Attributes

All Levels

Work Rate

Off the Ball

Acceleration



Top Levels – add

Finishing

Composure

Technique

Passing



Mezzala/Attack

Again, in simple terms we are looking for good athletes here with an appetite for hard work. When in possession they make a lot of runs, in to out as they move up the pitch. They will certainly rack up the KM in your data reports. Once you get to the top leagues the fun starts as you can layer in some nice technical skills to make them more effective in the attacking third.

Desirable Attributes

All Levels

Work Rate

Off the Ball

Stamina



Top Levels – add

Vision

Flair

Technique

Passing



Roaming Playmaker

This is our Joker in the pack, whilst our entire attacking system is built around movement, lateral much of the time following an ‘in to out’ pattern, our Roaming Playmaker breaks the lines vertically. To use NFL parlance, both a Quarter Back at times, pinging passes around, but also a Running Back marauding upfield both with and without the ball, extremely difficult to mark.

A genuine creative force in the team, whilst he will cover a lot of ground, employing 3 Centre Backs means he doesn’t have huge defensively responsibility and is free to roam.

Desirable Attributes

All Levels

Work Rate

Off the Ball

Passing



Top Levels – add

Vision

Flair

Technique

Composure



Complete Wingbacks

Monster athletes required here. Largely having sole responsibility for the flanks, in both attacking and defensive phases, they will be up and down the pitch all day long often covering 15km in a game. Once you have the basic physicals covered you can add rudimentary attacking and defensive attributes to enchance their contribution to the team.

Desirable Attributes

All Levels

Work Rate

Stamina

Natural Fitness



Top Levels – add

Crossing

Passing

Tackling

Marking



Central Defenders

3 is the magic number here, a solid foundation for our defence meaning that even when we are caught out of position with the rest of the team up the pitch, we still have 3 defenders in place at all times. Whilst they need the strength and aerial ability to do the basics, they need to have good positional sense and ideally the pace to recover from any errors.



Desirable Attributes

All Levels

Strength

Jumping Reach

Positioning



Top Levels – add

Acceleration

Heading

Marking

Tackling



Goalkeeper

The tactics weaknesses mean we need to focus mainly on dealing with balls over the top and set pieces. Outside of that we need someone who can remain focused when not involved in the game so they are ready to deal with things that do come their way.

All Levels

One on Ones

Concentration

Aerial Reach

Reflexes

Handling

Command of Area
Discussion
Here is the reason I'm to share the tactic here, I've looked at various tactics so far this year but this one has been hugely better than the rest as the pic below shows from my Colchester Utd save.

https://i.imgur.com/g3vZ7R8.png

http://www.liveonlineradio.net/wp-content/themes/Music_Covers/images/music2.gif -------- https://media.giphy.com/media/PdKTOwHgOASGY/giphy.gif -------- http://www.liveonlineradio.net/wp-content/themes/Music_Covers/images/music2.gif
you are a monster thanks!
I wanted to share my experience with this tactic.

I have adopted this tactic onto FM touch on the switch. I have been playing as Oldham in League 2, predicted mid table finish with 0 transfer budget. Obviously with no money, loan signings where the way to go, Sigining Howe from Reading and a young Left wing back from Leeds ( name escapes me at the minute, will check later ) Half way into the season and we where sat second in the table. Small dip in form in December but i stuck it out and by Jan we where back in form. Finished the season as champions ( 3rd round of the FA cup and Carabao Cup as well as 3rd of the Leasing. com Trophy)

End of the season and 90% off my players left the club, transfer budget of 100k ,meant it was time to bring in some free signings. New defence was brought in as was Howe on loan again, Ryan Gile on Loan. Kemunuzkov on Loan from Leeds has been outstanding up front with Kaylen Hinds also on loan. Pick of the bunch is Ben Sheaf who we got on a free after being release by Arsenal.

Objective of the season is to avoid relegation. Currently sat in first place in December, 3rd round of the FA cup, Knocked out of the Carabao in the second round by Brighton and also in to the 3rd round of the Leasing.com Trophy

I would strongly suggest anybody playing down the leagues to try this formation, it has been incredible for me so far!

Thanks for sharing this tactic!
The one problem I've found so far is it is virtually impossible to find a player in the lower leagues who can play roaming playmaker. Even more difficult who can play rpm in a dm position. I just changed to ball winning midfielder and the tactic has been decent.
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