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Great 4-2-3-1 Tactic for Football Manager 2009

Hello folks! As I promised I’m going to reveal the tactic that brought me to some unexpected triumphs with my Chester City team in FM 2009. You already know that I won the Europa League, European SuperCup, Carling Cup, Premier League title and, last but not least, the Champions League using these tactics, so I can say that it really worked for me.

The tactic was not made by me, I only added a few tweaks here and there. It was made by a nice Romanian user down at The Dugout Forums, his nickname is Steeler. Here is the thread that he opened to describe the tactic, I guess nobody can do that better than him.

I’m using two versions of the tactic, depending on the opponent that I have to face. The one that I use the most is the counter attack tactic, which I used in the Champions League final against Barcelona.



The second version of the tactic is more attacking, with the full backs getting more forward runs and with the striker set up as target man. I used this version mostly for home games and for games against weaker opponents that use very defensive tactics.



The thing that I like about this tactic is that it produces a very good attacking play, if you have good creative players in midfield you will be amazed of the plays that they will produce. The wingers are essential to the success of this tactic, you will need fast wingers with good dribbling and good shooting also. If your midfielders have good long shots they will score a lot of goals too.

The other great thing about this tactic is the set pieces, specially the corners. If you have good corner takers and players with good heading you will score loads from corners.

About the opposition instructions, most times I don’t set specific instructions, I do that only if I see during the game that one or two of the opposition players are giving me a hard time. For instance, in the game against Barcelona I chose to hard tackle and show to the weaker foot their two central midfielders because they were dictating play and giving their team a lot of great passes. 

That’s about it, you can download the two tactics by clicking on the download badge below. This has been the best FM 2009 tactic I’ve used so far, and I’ve used it only with patch 9.3.


If you have questions about the tactic just leave a comment, I’ll try to answer as soon as possible.



  1. Dave

    July 17, 2009 at 18:32

    Have to say that this tactic is very good. I have slightly modified it to suit my team and instead of 2 in the middle I have 1 DMC pulling back with no forward running and play another striker. Have used this tactic for about 5 seasons now and it has done wonders for my team. Find that as long as you have a good back four and an equally good DMC then the opposition has real problems once you hit them on the attack.

    • JohnnyKarp

      July 17, 2009 at 18:49

      Dave, I’m happy that the tactic is working for you. I’m testing a new tactic right now, a 4-4-2 tactic, and it seems to be quite good so far.

  2. joe

    September 26, 2009 at 01:14

    mate just outta interest did this tactic work in the lower leagues, im playing as walsall currently and my tactic is good but nothing special, we dont get thrashed or anything but we dont dominate. i just want to know if in your opinion this will work with walsall

  3. joe

    September 26, 2009 at 03:28

    sorry to keep bothering u but i got off to a good start with this tactic and beat rotherham 4-1, i was over the moon wish me luck!!!

    • JohnnyKarp

      October 11, 2009 at 23:21

      Sorry for the late reply Joe, is the tactic still working well for you? Best of luck!

  4. Masoud salum

    March 10, 2011 at 20:14

    Thank for our tactic

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