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FM 2013 Tactics Review: David’s 3-1-2-3-1

It’s time to analyse and download FM 2013 Tactics again, this time we take a look at a rather unusually shaped tactic that was submitted for review by David, aka MRNDRA as he is known in our forum (you should check out his lower league FM 13 story). Before starting the autopsy the  actual FM 2013 tactics review, let’s recap the testing procedure for those of you who don’t know all about it by now:

We install the tactic and use it through pre-season plus six league matches with Spurs. Then we watch each match closely, see what happens and come up with the best review we’re capable of. We will also keep track of various statistics in order to be able to compare the essential numbers between this and other tactics that have been or will be analysed. It is more or less like a benchmarking tool for FM 2013 tactics.

Now let’s see what David’s FM 2013 tactic is all about.

Formation

1 fm 2013 tactic formation

As you can see the formation is rather unusual. There are no full backs and no wing backs either, just three central defenders, an anchor man in front of them, two central midfielders with different roles (a CM with support duty and a ball winning midfielder), an attacking midfielder flanked by two defensive wingers and a poacher.

Team Instructions

2 fm 2013 team instructions

The tactic uses balanced style with a control strategy, the only altered parameter concerning the other instructions is in the creative freedom area, telling the players to be more expressive. And that is a wise choice in my view because this tactic doesn’t bring too many bodies forward, and when you have just four players in attack the only thing that they can do to break the opposition defence is be creative. The tactic uses man marking, no offside trap, and no designated playmaker or target man.

Average Positions

3 fm 2013 tactic average positions

The average positions show a solid compact setup, especially in midfield. The three men right in the middle of the midfield circle will more or less guarantee control of that area, with some help from the two wingers and from the attacking midfielder. The wide centre backs will often support the midfielders when building play. As you can see the left side CM, which is the ball winning midfielder, takes a slightly more defensive position than the right side CM.

Defending

4 fm 2013 tactic defending

My main worry when looking at the formation was that we’d have trouble on the flanks but it wasn’t the case in the vast majority of the situations. The screen shot above shows how the team usually dealt with attacks on the flanks: the DMC chasing the ball carrier while the MC on that side also goes back to help and the AMR chases the opposition left back. The three central defenders form a tight wall in the middle of the area, most crosses did bounce back to safety off that wall.

Attacking

5 fm 2013 tactic attacking

The attacking side of business was quite exciting as well even though, as I already said, you won’t be getting too many bodies forward. The most fun comes when playing against teams that use a high defensive line, as happened against Swansea in the screen shot above. The striker sits just below the offside line, waiting for a pass from the MC, who also had the option to deliver a diagonal towards the AML (that did happen in quite a few matches). In this case Huddlestone plays it behind the defence to Adebayor who then squandered a clear cut chance.

This doesn’t happen against teams that defend deep but those will have to withstand quite a bit of pressure which also led to goals in most games.

Results

8 fm 2013 tactic results

The results speak for themselves, nothing but wins! Moreover, we dominated all those games, including the first half against the mighty Manchester United. Just two goals conceded, one on a corner kick, and plenty scored. Do I need to say more? Probably not.

Statistics

Goals scored: 13 (2.16 per game)

Goals conceded: 2 (0.33 per game)

Shots on target for: 7 per game

Shots on target against: 1.5 per game

Clear cut chances for: 1.83 per game

Clear cut chances against: 0.66 per game

Half chances for: 2.16 per game

Half chances against: 0.83 per game

Ball possession average: 55.16%

The numbers are outstanding, especially on the defensive side. Just two goals conceded and just 1.5 shots on target for the opponents on average (the most in a match was 3 shots by Manchester United). The possession stats were also pretty good, the control strategy and the solid midfield will give you possession dominance in most games. Our FM 13 Tactics Index shows that this is the first FM 2013 tactic we’ve tested that brought us six straight wins and as far as goals conceded are concerned it is second best only to Karl’s 5-3-2.

+

Excellent results.

Rock-solid defence overall.

The AMC often finds space between the lines and that is a great advantage in most matches. (screen shot below) In fact, Gylfi Sigurdsson, the man I’ve employed in this position, scored 4 goals and added 4 assists in six appearances, average rating of 7.53. Imagine having Jack Wilshere or Erik Lamela as your AMC!

6 fm 2013 tactic attacking midfielder

Can struggle to create chances against teams that employ a deep defensive line.

Sometimes the flanks can be left quite exposed, as shown in the screen shot below. None of our players is placed wrong here, the left side DC tries to keep the optimal distance between him and the central DC while the AML sticks with the opposition right back. But this left a man completely unmarked on our left flank and that led to one of the two goals we conceded. However, this didn’t happen often, so I guess it depends on the opposition approach.

7 fm 2013 tactic exposed flanks

Suggested Tweaks

There are way too many shots from distance from the midfielders, I’d chance the long shots instruction to rarely at least for some of them.

Changing the marking to zonal might be worth a shot even though I generally say you shouldn’t change something that works.

FM 2013 Tactic Download

Download this FM 2013 tactic by clicking on the image below:

download link

After downloading the tactic follow these simple steps to install it in FM 2013:

1. Put the downloaded file into this folder: Documents>Sports Interactive>Football Manager 2013>tactics

2. Start your game and go to your team’s tactics screen.

3. Click on the little arrow located to the right of your starting tactic name, move your mouse cursor over “archived tactics” and select this tactic from the menu.

I hope you enjoyed this review and I’m looking forward to your comments. We won’t be taking any more entries from you at this point because we already have plenty of tactics on the waiting list (enough for two months). Here’s what’s coming up in the next weeks:

1. Torgnyson

2. Ryan Daly

3. Aleksandar Kiselinov

4. Bigmac

5. Vinay

6. Mantorras77

7. Paris

8. Deano

52 Comments
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Goh Jun Ling
9 years ago

I used this tactic as well. the only problem I find it is to get a good ball winning midfielder. The bwm will need to have very good teamwork and positioning, as well as decent acceleration and stamina to be effective. CB will also need to be effective In the air.

Im using this tactic on Liverpool, and the available cb isn’t particularly impressive in the air, when against team like west ham, it’s gonna get nailed a lil.

Switching the AMC to advanced playmaker or the CM to deeplying playmaker/box to box will yield better result. I actually tried a slightly tweaked version of this formation by having a Libero and 2 cb instead of 3 cb (got a wonderkid with libero as natural position, sigh), and it work like a charm as I pick up his passing and let him play throughball more often.

Other than that, this formation is a solid formation, despite the concern of people that never use this formation before on its flank defending

Darren Smith
Admin
9 years ago

Nice review Johnny and finally our first tactic to win 6 from 6. I think those stats do all the talking. As for the rare issues down the flanks, I might suggest starting the game and if your opponents seem to be causing problems in that area, assign your AMR and AML to man mark their opposite number, so MR/ML or AMR/AML. Yes this will take away slightly from their attacking intentions but it could also be a quick fix.

mn
mn
9 years ago

The first 18 point tactic, I believe! Very well done David!

ssjmaz
ssjmaz
9 years ago

The tactic looks promosing but it’s requires are rare breed of players in the AMR/AML Defensive Wingers, the selection pool isn’t that good here compared to other positions. And most likely you will need to retrains some Wing Backs to this position. Which might impact the results.

Going to try this tactic with Inter.

Darren Smith
Admin
9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

I agree with Johnny, while the winger will track back to defend, he’s not constantly faced with defensive duties, more covering I’d say. His ability going forward is more important as he’ll start quite deep and need to dribble his way down the flank.

saltwater
saltwater
9 years ago

The tactic is quite incredible, covering a lot of areas on the field. I actually counted to make sure it was only 11 players just in case :).
It seems as though you really should control midfield and have many passing oppotunites. May look into this as I am seriously impressed.

kevin
kevin
9 years ago

Hi guys, I use a formation that’s kinda similar. 3 CB, 1 CM, 1 AMC, AML, AMR, 3 ST. This works great for me so long as my CM has good team work etc. And my central CBis good in the air. I’ve used this tactic to great effect since 2008 if memory serves.

MRDNRA
MRDNRA
9 years ago

I must admit I’m surprised by the results myself, given my first season in my story I struggled defensively as well especially from crosses, but I suppose that really does show that it can work with the right quality players.

Gaurav Chaddah
Gaurav Chaddah
9 years ago

Nice review Johnny, this seems a very good tactic covering all areas of the pitch and the roles I think all link well.

It’s interesting that the two best tactics reviewed so far (this one and Karl’s) are both sort of unusual formations with the 3 at the back ect ect.

kevin
kevin
9 years ago

Really great tactic which is surprising considering the lack of traditional full backs. Well done David!!

matt
matt
9 years ago

i was just wondering if the ai ever “learns” your tactics and how to pla against you? i only ask cause teams have started playing 4-4-2 against me all of a sudden and rarely having one up front, could be coincidence…. would be a good addition to the game if you had to keep evolving your formation instead of sticking with the same way for ten years+

Miles Smith
9 years ago
Reply to  matt

The save has changed. This is most disquieting!

Miles Smith
9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

The previous save you were using had Chelsea in it, I seem to remember.

MRDNRA
MRDNRA
9 years ago
Reply to  Miles Smith

That might be the one that Darren uses.

mark
mark
9 years ago

Hello Johnny

Im cheking this page now for a while and must say that is amazing.Its really have scientific approach :)
The reason is that i cant make a good tactic for my team.Im playing FM 10 yrs now,and i was never struggle so much as with FM13.Im ussually starting witl low league teams and promote them to higher lever…
So for the first time i decide to download this tactic and see the how its managed.Total noob :) And here is my question :)
How is with individual player instructions ?Are they set up?

Thanks
Mark

mark
mark
9 years ago
Reply to  mark

I dnl now the last tactis DEEPFRIED CHICKEN :) And here are all individual player instructions expressed.From passing,crosing,closing…to the free kicks,corners
But in this one David”s 3-1-2-3-1 individual instructions are just “not marked”.

Mark
Mark
9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

Thanks for answer!

Cheers

Steve
Steve
9 years ago

Hi Johnny
Would moving the DW’s back alongside the CM’s and changing them to attacking help counter that problem with the opposition wingers having loads of space on the flanks?
Cheers

Steve
Steve
9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

Would changing the roles of the outer CBs to stopper help with this instead?

Steve
Steve
9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

How can you tell if a team employs a deep defensive line before the match starts?

SJAB
SJAB
9 years ago

This tactic seems to be almost a recreation of Ajax in 1995 –

Van der Sar

Reiziger Blind F de Boer

Rijkaard

R de Boer Davids

George Litmanen Overmars

Kluivert

Welsho
Welsho
9 years ago

Such a good formation! Been using attacking 442 with Brighton in the Premier League and we’re only 11th; switched to this formation and comfortably beat Chelsea 3-1 and Arsenal 2-0. Seems particularly effective against teams that play narrow or have no pace on the wing.

Switched the AM to AP and the player (Kevin de Bruyne) is frequently rated 8 and above. Top scorer since changing is my right-sided DW (best player in the team, to be fair), but the lone striker always has a hand in goals.

It does leave gaps on the flank which means plenty of crosses coming in. Not usually a problem with three CBs with good jumping/heading – and unless the opposition’s wingers are top class, they usually drift into the channel and run out of ideas. For that reason, I’ll sometimes switch to counter instead of control.

This is the third or fourth formation I’ve tried from FMStories and it’s definitely the most consistent so far, especially for my hit-and-miss Brighton team. Only defeat I’ve had was because my anchor man (and captain) was sent off after just 15 mins.

Tim Van Den Bremt
Tim Van Den Bremt
9 years ago

Could someone put the player instructions up please? I have trouble downloading the tactic.

Tim Van Den Bremt
Tim Van Den Bremt
9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

You are right. My .tac extension doesent work.

Tim Van Den Bremt
Tim Van Den Bremt
9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

Sorry I diden’t think of that before. Thanks for helping me.

ddevil
ddevil
9 years ago

Hi, Thanks for this wonderful tactics!
I am playing Bayern and in 14/15 season. I was with liverpool the previous season and I used the 3-5-2 of West Germany with sweeper tactic to good effect and got them a CL spot and a win in Europa league which helped me landed in Bayern.

When I signed for Bayern the management wanted me to play attacking football and to sign young players.
I sold Ribery and Robben and brought in Gotze and Lamela.
They already had Ozil, Hernandez and Falcao playing for them from a season before.

This is my current team!

GK – Neuer
DCR(CD) – Boetang
DC(CD) – Badstuber / Kirchoff
DCL(CD) – Alderweireld / Astori
DMC(A) – Javi Martinez / Phil Lahm (I trained him in this position, he’s progressing well and remarkably doing a good job if Martinez is injured)
MCL(BWM) – Schweinsteiger / Emre Can
MCR(CM) – Toni Kroos / Inler
AMR(DW) – Lamela / Almeida
AMC(AM) – Ozil / Mueller
AML(DW) – Gotze / Gomez
FC(P) – Falcao / Hernandez

So far I am unbeaten in the CL and in the Bundesliga.

Team is playing good and my only concern is I am having trouble using a suitable AMC as both Gotze and Mueller is struggling to play as AMC in my team. Ozil plays good in AML and Mueller as AMR! I tried Gotze as well, he’s also having average of 6.8-7.0 if playing as AMC and 7.7-8.1 if plays as AML! :(

Can you suggest any other player in my team to be used as a good AMC or any new signings? Finance is thin with the signing of Gotze and Lamela but I can stretch it in the next season!

Thank You

ddevil
ddevil
9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

Yeah I know! Call me a sucker for perfection :)
Which tactics would you suggest for my team to go Gung Ho? I do not mind leaking goals ;)

trackback

[…] kaynak: http://www.footballmanagerstory.com/2013/05/fm-2013-tactics-review-davids-3-1-2-3-1/ […]

Mike Dodgson
Mike Dodgson
9 years ago

Hi Johnny,

Were any Opposition Instructions used when testing this tactic out?

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