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FM15 – Adapting your way to a successful run

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Can you take one tactic and win every single match all season long? Unlikely. What you can do is take one single tactic and adapt to the conditions of the game and try to win every single match, the chances of going on a massive winning run? A lot more likely. In my case I usually have a win ratio of 75% in all competitions.

Last season for the first time in a long time, we fell behind a rampant Chelsea, they only lost 1 match, drew 2 and won the rest. It was such a blistering pace we fell apart because I played like an experimental manager, willing to try different kinds of systems all season long. We did get revenge on Chelsea in the Champions League final, but it was a narrow win. I am hell bent on exacting my revenge on Chelsea. They beat us to the title by a whopping 10 points eradicating our points record, its time to dish it out…they are our next opponent.

A post on the forums made me think. Someone asked me for my Team Instructions and a list of OI’s. Now I know I’ve said these are important, but these in isolation do not make your tactic better, and neither does a magical combination of PPMs. Yes you need a system but without a strategy to USE the system its half as good. What one needs is a plan to handle what the AI throws at you. You need to know what to expect and then you change to adapt. Now I will admit its really hard to spot from the 2D screen, but there is a way to make it easier. I don’t consider this a cheat of sorts but I do reckon that the information is already visible on the 2D screen, you just need to spot how the dot behaves in FULL MATCH mode. The problem is very few people have the patience. The reality is that in modern football you could probably spot who the playmaker was or which fullback was more attacking if you were watching the whole game from the stands. So in all fairness I think this approach is quite helpful. What you need is skin that shows you the opponents ROLES, like Scorpio.

Time to run through another game and go through each step, I won’t be doing this very often because its intensely time consuming, and personal commitments are straining me at the seams, but here’s what I can offer for now. This post alone took me almost 3 hrs to do. The game was played in like less than 10 minutes.

I typically start each match like this, but we are going to be against Chelsea, and I can’t field my top 2 strikers, fatigued after Europe, which is a bummer.



Chelsea are set out interestingly, the plan will be simple: isolate their defensive group from their attackers. Since they are playing a support styled play, they need to be in my half to be a threat, so if I switch to an attacking mode then i can press the game and deny them the space and time to threaten me. So I elect to minimise OIs, by just doing this.






My TI’s are set up for me to press higher up the pitch, the idea is to deny them any space to build anything of import. Its a simple plan. I choose work into box, because I want to minimise crosses. We will play a high tempo match, but again, I will be wary of fatigue.



12 minutes in and I am a happy bunny, everything is working as planned, their defense is under pressure, Chelsea have hardly left their half and we’ve already blown one gilt-edged opportunity. I check on their formation and there aren’t any major changes. We wait, something should happen.



30 minutes in we score, Chelsea have only managed one shot on goal thus far. I spend a few seconds admiring our goal which as expected begins from a loss of possession and a quick thrusting move through the middle to score. I immediately turn to look at the oppositions tactical screen, it should change, but it doesn’t…we keep this going till the end of the half. I go into half time thinking they will change their tactic, so I set my match to full match mode, to buy me time. Right at the start of kick off, I spot Chelsea’s change.

Chelsea 8


They’ve gone mental with a 424, against a 4312 it can be a problem with the way I am set up. I immediately make what I deem to be key OI changes. The goal now is to completely isolate their two defenders and the 2 central midfielders. By closing them down and hard tackling them, I can remove their influence on the game. The defense needs to punt the ball up, so I know we need to change things around ourself in terms of our shape.

chelsea11I go counter and my two fullbacks are put on support. The goal now is to contain, so no more high pressing from everyone, only the strikers do the high pressing, and with the OI changes we are set to play a different kind of game.



A rapid counter attack from us following a failed Chelsea attack produces our second goal. not too long after the restart. It slowly becomes a match we dominate.




They manage to score one goal, but with 6 clear cut chances, I know we should have scored more while winning it 4-1. The counter attacking strategy worked when they hopped to an attacking 424.

Chelsea16The boxed players are the ones I was aiming at. Reducing their influence on the game was my priority. And nothing absolutely nothing, beats getting one over on Mourinho.


So there you go, in a nutshell with a lot of screenies, showing you how one should adapt to changes in a game. If you can learn how to see what the AI is trying to do then it makes it really easy. And once again the skin I use is called Scorpio.

Oh and I have time for one more addition…into the next match, an away Champions League tie to Wolfsburg. Fewer screenies now. They are set up as a 442 with an overlapping fullback on the right flank. I expect him to overlap because the midfielder is on a support duty. So I instruct my fullback to go play as a fullback on support. The whole 442 is set up with quite a few support roles and this tells me that in order for it to do well against me, it needs time to build up play. They are at home as well, so I do expect this team to play a lot better than Chelsea did. We stick to an attacking framework apart from that one small change to the fullback who’s set to cover for the opposing fullbacks overlapping runs. My shouts are simply the attacking ones I used earlier against Chelsea.


2 minutes in I am forced to bring on a 19 year old player for his ECL debut, replacing my key player Nathan, who’s stretchered off, but I am not upset cos M. Perkovic has a blinder.

Once again the only thing I do is adapt my system to the one the opposing team is using. I change mentalities and make some minimal OI sets, that only focus on wrong footing their strikers and we are off…for a 4-0 away win.










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About BusttheNet - Rashidi (177 Articles)
Rashidi is an mod from the SI forums who began this site as a way to collate all the information and guides he's written for Football Manager over the years.

5 Comments on FM15 – Adapting your way to a successful run

  1. With regards to the Scorpio skin . Please use older version as version 1.9 no longer displays tactic roles

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