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Best Football Manager 2020 Tactic Patch 20.4: Knap’s BEOWULF 4-4-2

Welcome to our best Football Manager 2020 Tactic for patch 20.4, labelled an FM20 lower league tactic Knap’s BEOWULF also works in the Premier League. Originally posted on the SIGames Forum, its a flat 4-4-2 featuring attacking, high pressing Football. Built on a high line of engagement and high defensive line BEOWULF creates beautiful Football and is my go to tactic at every level.

This post is coupled with a Youtube video explaining how to use Knap’s best FM20 tactic from player roles, to tweaks and even some gameplay but for those who prefer our written reviews, keep scrolling.

Best Football Manager 2020 Tactic — Video

Best FM20 Tactic patch 20.4 — Formation

A simple system with two Advanced Forwards stretching the pitch, a pair of wingers who can either hug the line or cut inside (yes inverted wingers will work) and central midfielders to link up play.

This is an attacking, pressing system and can leave you exposed so two inverted wing backs are used to sit narrow and try to solidify the defence.

Please note, this system does require small tweaks for big games and certain scenarios. That is all explained in the video and this post further down, keep reading.

Best FM20 tactic patch 20.4 formation

Best FM20 Tactic patch 20.4 — Instructions

We use a slightly more dirct style of play, this helps find those searching passes over the top and works a treat against attacking teams who like a possession based game. Higher tempo compliments this and fiarly wide width with the overlap on helps get those wingers involved.

Best FM20 tactic patch 20.4 in possession instructions

The counter and counter-press work well but nothing out of the norm here.

Best FM20 tactic patch 20.4 in transition instructions

That very high line of engagement can be seen in the match engine but these instructions are standard. The player instructions and roles are where the magic happens. There are times you may need to knock off ‘get stuck in’. Namely against the very top teams away from home but also other away games you feel maybe in the balance as red cards can be an issue.

Best Football Manager 2020 Tactic patch 20.4 — Player Roles

I have listed each player role below, followed by a description of the ideal player. This tactic does use custom set pieces which I will not upload. You really do need to download this tactic for it to work to its best.

GK — sweeper keeper (defend) — Due to the amount of one on ones in this years game I’d look at attributes in this area for any keeper.

DC’s — ball playing defender (defend) — I look for a towering presence, someone who is not a calamity on the ball (they will give away possession) and speed can be helpful.

DR/DL — inverted wing backs (support) — Fast, forward thinking wing backs will do very well in this system and passing ability should not be overlooked

MCR — box to box midfielder (support) — The engine room this MC will trace play effecting your defence and offence. Find all rounders with good physical attributes but more technical if you can. Passing is very important and the box to box midfielder can score from range so long shots would help.

MCL — deep lying playmaker (support) — The maestro, your Iniesta. The deep lying playmaker can go unnoticed unless a poor selection, they make passes you rarely see until misplaced. Obviously a great passer is important but good all round mental ability and technique are vital.

MR/ML — winger (attack) — I chose to use a right footed winger from the left with Scarborough and it worked a treat scoring goals galore. You should not change the role when doing this and any player preferring the opposite foot to his wing must be a class act for the level you play. Otherwise use standard wingers to cross the ball. Speed and skill are a must plus crossing and if cutting inside long shots will make a big difference.

ST’s — advanced forward (attack) — The main goal threat good finishers are a must but speed is even more important. If you can find an all round striker with good aerial ability, great, but don’t let this sacrifice speed and finishing.

When to tweak

Knap’s BEOWULF is a great base system and can be used for most matches but there are times you should look to tweak. Below is a tweaked download for big away games and other small changes you can make when needed.

  • When away from home in even affair take ‘get stuck in’ instruction off if you are seeing too many yellow cards. Ensure get stuck in is off for all ‘player instructions’ also.
  • If away from home against very big opposition (I’m talking United, Barcelona and Man City etc) use my cautious version (download here.) The changes are deeper defensive line, get stuck in off, cautious mentality and narrow attacking width. Credit to RDF for the idea here.
  • If holding a slender lead and worried about conceding, try cautious mentality with instructions ‘regroup’ and ‘hold position’.
  • In game, tell every player with a yellow to ‘ease off tackles’. Not doing so could lead to a second booking.

Best Football Manager 2020 Tactic Results

Simply amazing results, this was York Cities second season in the Premier League and while we have good players they’re all 22 or under and predicted to finish 7th.

We won the quadruple this season beating Man Utd in the Champions League final and FA Cup 5th round before Liverpool and Man City in the following rounds.

For those wondering about the lower leagues, we set a new record in the seventh tier of English Football while lifting the FA Trophy beating four National League sides…the National League is two divisions higher than tier seven.

Why not get a head start on the new game and read our best FM 2021 wonderkids to watch?

Best FM20 Tactic: Top Tips

  • Take notice of the ‘when to tweak’ instructions already mentioned.
  • If using right footed ML or left footed MR they must be high class for your level and capable of shooting from range.
  • Be wary of slow defenders and don’t buy DC’s with terrible passing and technique.
  • As with any tactic it needs loading at the start of pre-season and avoid signing a whole new team unless you are experienced doing so.
  • Read this guide for training schedules which will help create chances.
  • You must get fast forwards who can finish, attacking wing backs and fast, technical wingers.
  • Be aware you need a decent size squad. Two players per position to allow for injuries and bans if you are in Europe.
  • You MUST download this tactic, do not try and copy it. There are many individual player instructions and set pieces are vital.
  • Finally ensure you use my cautious version (download here) against the very big teams away from home.

Best FM20 Tactic: Download

If you would like to give the tactic a try, follow the instructions below:

FM 2020 Download

Download default attacking version here — Use as default for most games

Download cautious version here — Use when playing very top teams away

1. Click the download link above and download the file.

2. For Windows put the downloaded file in this folder: Documents/Sports Interactive/Football Manager 2020/tactics. If the «tactics» folder doesn’t exist you will have to create it. Windows users skip to step 2, Mac users read below.

Mac users put file in this folder: Users/YOUR Mac USERNAME/Documents/Sports Interactive/Football Manager 2020/tactics. To access your files on Mac open ‘Finder’, click ‘Go’ from the menubar, press and hold the ‘alt’ key to show ‘library’ in your menu, while still holding ‘alt’ click it, then go to ‘Application Support’ > ‘Sports Interactive’ > ‘Football Manager 2020’

3. Now load the game as normal and enter the tactics screen.

4. In the tactics screen, click the tactic you currently have loaded then select ‘load’ from the drop-down menu

5. Select the tactic and click load.

Thanks for reading, any social shares would be much appreciated. Follow us on social media for future posts in the series.


38 комментариев


  1. Andy

    3 мая, 2020 at 20:15

    Hello! Thanks for the great tactic. I have two questions as a FM-Newbie:

    «When away from home in even affair take ‘get stuck in’ instruction off. Ensure get stuck in is off for all ‘player instructions’ also.»

    Sorry, but I don’t understand this with my bad english. Do I have to disable the setting «get stuck in» for every away match?

    When you’re using the attacking version of this tactic (not the cautios version), Do you change the mentality (defense, control, balance, attacking etc.) dynamically depending on the situation during the match OR do you play the whole game with the mentality «Attacking» (Except for a high lead in the last minutes = Cautious)?

    Thank you and best regards,

    • Darren Smith

      3 мая, 2020 at 20:31

      Hi thanks for the comment let me try answer your queries

      1. You missed an important part to that…take get stook in off WHEN A PLAYER GETS BOOKED. Only adjust the setting when your player is booked…and during the very very hard away games you are changing tactic to the cautious system which already has those settings taken off.

      2. No change of the mentality when using the attacking version. Just to defend the lead follow the instructions I shared. Its all in the post.

  2. Oliver

    4 мая, 2020 at 03:28

    Great post. Having a lot of fun with this. Taken Chesterfield from National League to top of the Championship in 4 years. Very consistent system.

    The only (major) issue I seem to have with it is when I’m chasing a game. If I go a goal down or I’m drawing in the second half, it seems almost impossible to get a goal back, never mind win. Teams will just sit back and soak up the pressure. It’s almost a given that I’ll get nothing out of the game if that happens.

    Any suggestions?

    • Darren Smith

      4 мая, 2020 at 06:15

      To be honest a lot of that comes down to your teams personality as well and the overall quality of your team. I’ve actually been OK with this but as your teams standard drops going through the leagues this will get harder as it does with any system…if you are losing it is generally because you’re coming up against a system or team that plays into your weaknesses…ie they are using a possession based, defensive mentality system. Unfortunately when you go down it is hard to regroup but substitutions with good team talk generally do the trick for me.

  3. MrJon

    20 мая, 2020 at 14:49

    Hi Darren,

    Thanks for this guide. I’m an old school CM player and back to FM2020 after quite a time off. I must say that the game definitely seems harder, or perhaps I just had more time back then?

    A bit of background on where I’m at: I started a new game as manager of Plymouth Argyle. I got off to a poor start and was warned by the board that results must improve. I tinkered with the tactics and landed on 4-1-2-2-1 or 4-3-2-1 (control possession and high pressing) which won us 10 games in a row and pushed us into the play-offs.However the season ended relatively poorly, opposition seemed to figure us out, and many draws or narrow victories followed. I missed out on 3rd place by 1 point and then lost to Walsall in the playoffs.

    At the end of the season I found this guide and followed instructions. Pre season went well- won all games by a huge margin other than Spurs who beat me 0-1 (I also had a goal disallowed). I’m 3 games into the new season and top of the league with 3 wins from 3.At this point I have a few minor questions which are bugging me!

    1)Do you ever listen to your assistant and make minor,tactical changes during the match (other than changes that you have mentioned)

    2.)Your wing backs and wingers: Is it important that left footed players are playing on the right and vice versa or does this just depend on what you can muster? Would you make signing these type of players a priority?

    3>) I’m having trouble fielding x2 AF’s. I have a TM as back up. He is slow but very finisher (got me 22 goals last season). would you make him play as an AF or keep as a TM? (until I can afford to buy a better AF).

    Thanks again for your guide and any comments you can make.


    • Darren Smith

      20 мая, 2020 at 16:16

      Yes what you have described is a consistent irritation with older FMers as the AI now does adapt to your system so it is virtually impossible to remain rigid long term while playing in the same Division. Onto your questions:

      1) Never, ever listen to my Assistant other than when he says ‘x’ player has been booked and should be told to ease off tackles…booking and red cards can be an issue.

      2) Footedness does not matter. I have a left footed player on the right wing who plays excellent and left footed on the left wing who bags loads of assist. Priority is getting quick, skillful players and if they cut inside they should have good technique and long shots if possible.

      3) Never ever change the roles, you will mess with the balance of the tactic. You need to find a faster striker in all honesty but use him as AF for now and see how you get on. Speed in behind is important but they can do well in the air also.

      Hope this helps.

  4. Kai

    27 мая, 2020 at 04:42

    if i find that a team comes up with a defensive/possession based tactic what should I do to brace for that?

    • Darren Smith

      27 мая, 2020 at 07:05

      I personally carry on as normal but then I tend to manage this via players…having good options off the bench and through team talks.

  5. Rafito

    27 мая, 2020 at 22:36

    Hey! Do you combine this tactic with that training schedules you posted here also?

    • Darren Smith

      28 мая, 2020 at 09:05

      Yes but it only works with professional teams.

      • MrJon

        27 июня, 2020 at 16:31

        Is this why some of my Plymouth players are unhappy with training? they say that they feel they need more quickness or strength training (about 4-5 players)

        • Darren Smith

          27 июня, 2020 at 20:19

          Plymouth are a professional team so no it isn’t that. There are always players who don’t like training you can’t please everyone and the training is optimised for chance creation and making the most of this system, there may be better approaches for actual player development, in fact there certainlt will be.

  6. Lee

    8 июня, 2020 at 21:01

    The inverted wing backs, would you recommend using left footed RB an a right footed LB, or training fullbacks to play on the opposite flank etc. As inverted wingbacks they cut inside?

    • Darren Smith

      9 июня, 2020 at 06:30

      The preffered foot of the inverted wing back does not matter at all. If antything I would stick with the traditional left for left. The inverted wing back role is used for defensive purposes and positional reasons not for what they do in the attack.

  7. Lee

    15 июня, 2020 at 20:10

    Had a full season with this tactic, with the training as well, just could not get the results like in your screenshots, came 8th in the league after coming between 6th-8th every season anyway so no improvement. Do you need a world class team for this to work? Does every player need to be fully comfortable (full green circle) in every role? I will stick with it as I did score a lot of goals so hopefully works out for me this season! Cheers

    • Darren Smith

      16 июня, 2020 at 07:02

      You do nt need a worldclass team for this to work just suitable players as shown in the post and video. I have a good team with York but we’re only into our second season in the EPL so its impossible to have a high class team…what we do have is suitable players for each role. The more comfortable a player is in each role the better they will perform, if you have say four players in orange for familiarity or a couple not familiar at all you will struggle as you will in any system. Sounds like you may need to improve the defence possibly?

  8. lfcfan1892

    23 июня, 2020 at 21:28

    Hi mate, thanks for the tactic, started off very well. When I use a tactic I seem to find that after about a season or so it starts to not work as well as it did at the start were I eventually have to abandon it and look for a new tactic. How long would you say that this tactic would be able to work for? I’ve only used it for a few games so far. Thank you

    • Darren Smith

      24 июня, 2020 at 19:08

      That is a common problem and applies to all systems, it is nott he tactic its the opposition learning how to adapt over time to your system and also adjusted for your reputation increase in some cases. You need to be rotating the team and using more than one system to prevent this unless oyu have a very good squad of course.

  9. Mr Pindol

    23 июля, 2020 at 15:06

    This tactic is almost like a cheat. I won back-to-back promotions in my first two seasons with Ebro with no transfer budget and only a couple of worthy loans. Before that I won Bundesliga with Karlsruhe in 2023/24. This tactic is brilliant but be warned — the game will no longer be a challenge once you start using it.

    • Darren Smith

      23 июля, 2020 at 20:30

      Yes partially why I switched to my own system in the end I wanted that sense of accomplishment back.

  10. Jarek

    31 июля, 2020 at 09:51

    Hi Darren,

    Currently I’m playing my first season Leeds United in Championship. I’m on the first place but loosing a lot of goals for example a have 112-51 when second place have
    82-41 .
    Second question what is the best attributes for BPD and AF

    Thanks mate and good work :D

    • Darren Smith

      31 июля, 2020 at 16:03

      Sorry don’t understand what the first question is. If you are conceding a lot then the defence probably needs improving as it is a very attacking system. As for attributes, the Dc should be a good aerially but speed is important also, you can see the important attributes highlighted on your players profile which is a good indicator. The advanced forward needs speed and very good finishing, composure type attributes. again, I would recommend checking he highlighted attributes on the players profile when the role is selected for more guidance.

  11. Peanuth O'Toole

    20 августа, 2020 at 11:36

    Thanks for this wonderful tactic. It has restored my faith in FM somewhat. Seems it’s become less RNG than I experienced.

    Still feels like cheating though: all I needed was some players and my lower league club sky rocketed with this tactic.

    • Darren Smith

      20 августа, 2020 at 12:27

      No problem. I think downloading any tactic can feel like cheating in the knowledge its not your own but some don’t have the time to develop their own so I think its good they are available.

  12. James

    21 августа, 2020 at 13:15

    Downloaded and started using this recently, works really well. Thanks for putting in on.

  13. Max

    26 августа, 2020 at 09:59

    Started using this with my altrincham side in confence north, worked wonders for less than half a season and now, even though my team got better in terms of players and morale is sky high, the games have reverted do classic fm where i miss 25 clear cut chances and the oppositon score 3 out of 3 attempts… my 14 finishing striker cannot score a single one on one situation, he always passes it to the keeper, so frustrating! I feel like I will never escape this «unfair» aspect of FM

    • Darren Smith

      26 августа, 2020 at 10:50

      No matter how good the system if you don’t switch things up either with team selection or tactic you will be found out by the opposition. You can no longer just plug and play a tactic I am afraid. I found squad rotation is a good work around though, I generally have an A team and b team choosing between the two based on fitness and opposition strength. However, the best solution is to have two systems and work out when best to use each one…every tactic has a weakness and the opposition will just learn how to exploit it.

      • Max

        27 августа, 2020 at 15:09

        Thanks for the tips! I have since had better fortune, made a few changes to the squad which seemed to yield better results

  14. urugwaj

    27 августа, 2020 at 19:31

    Hi, I don’t get it why you advice using your cautious version of this tactic away home. I am winnig everything with the original tactic but when i use cautious version it’s like suicide match. Mostly I am loosing or almost loosing.

    • Darren Smith

      28 августа, 2020 at 06:34

      When did I say use it away from home? I said only use it against the very best teams like City and Barcelona away from home…and by this if you’re one of the very best teams already clearly it is not required. If you are a weaker side then this tactic leaves gaps in behind which will be exploited by superior opposition. When using tactics you also need to apply to your own game and use your own common sense mate, so if it doesn’t work for you then don’t use the cautious version. It will vary from save to save.

      • urugwaj

        30 августа, 2020 at 13:17

        Thx, generally great tactic and great work ;)

  15. Bighodge

    27 августа, 2020 at 23:30

    Hi this is the best tactic I have used on FM for years, I am currently doing a AFC Telford save I’ve taken them from the Conference North to the Premier League in 5 seasons without spending a penny, definitely having the right players for the right roles helps massively, aswell as having pace in the squad I always try to sign players with at least 10 rating on Decisions and Determination, I’ve tried to keep a settled squad and players start to build up partnerships, with this tactic you don’t have to have the best players in the league and a few loan signings help in the lower leagues I always get the max 5.

    Keep up the good work

    • Darren Smith

      28 августа, 2020 at 06:36

      Glad its worked for you, thats great going getting to the Prem in five seasons.

  16. Johnny

    28 августа, 2020 at 08:30

    Hi,any opposition instructions? I like the style of this tactic and all the details, training schedule is amazing also. :)

  17. Big playa

    18 октября, 2020 at 15:59

    Great tactic. Im having good results so far. A lot more goals and chance creating.

    I let the assistant manager give the opposition instructions. Should I disable?

    And what ppm’s should I apply to players? Asking especialy for the midfielders

    I do these:
    Gk. dont use weaker foot

    Lb and rb. run with ball at the respective side, go up when possible, knocks ball past oponent

    Cb. Mark opponent tightly

    Wingers. Run with the ball on the respective side, go forward when possible, if they got 15+ crossing hug the line.

    Strikers. If they are strong shoot with power, if they are technical place shots ( if they are both, I choose power)

    Midfilders. Dictate tempo, Killer balls

    This are the ppm’s I normally use. Wich ones should I stop and wich ones should I continue or start using. Thanks

    • Darren Smith

      19 октября, 2020 at 14:17

      As mentioned in the post there should be no opposition instructions and as for PPM’s there is no specific advice on that side.

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