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Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14
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  1. Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14

    Introduction

    First of all a quick introduction to myself. I am a long time FM player since CM 01/02 and its pretty safe to say I'm an FM addict. I created the Sacchi tactic originally on FM13 and I have now just created it for FM14. It is very much a working progress still and I expect to be tweaking it as I get more into FM14. I like to base my tactics on philosophies that have worked in the real world; I am a professional football coach and the tactical elements of the game are what enthuse me in real life. So this tactic is based on the philosophy behind Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 approach. Sacchi played with high intensity and a high defensive line. This enabled him to squeeze the play in the middle of park, and ensured that the distance between his defensive and forward lines was never more than 25 metres. Essentially, this constituted naturally occurring pressing perhaps one of the first in football with such velocity. Sacchi reasoned that by squeezing the pitch, in order for his opponent to get through his side, they'd need to break down three lines of players in quick succession. Not many managed it. Attacking-wise, there was no one strict way to break down the opposition. Chances were created through build-up/passing play through the middle, crosses from wide and counter-attacks. Sacchi was a proponent of multi-purpose players. Not fond of the specialist, he looked for all of his players to be capable of every job on the field, which is why his interchanging 4-4-2 worked so well.The midfielders were well-rounded and functional in every area, his forwards chased and his defenders pushed up. Teamwork was what his side were predicated on, and it was teamwork that allowed them to become one of the greatest sides in footballing history.


    The tactic proved very successful in FM13, with great results, over 400,000 views and 25,000 downloads. The thread for FM13 can be found here:
    Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2: High Pressure, Attacking Tactic for Top Teams and Underdogs

    The Tactic
    Name:  Aston Villa_ Tactics Team.png
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    As you can see the tactic resembles a 4-4-2, however with a slight change of two DMs as opposed to MCs. This enabled the tactic to be a lot more solid defensively, bringing the lines of the players a lot closer. The Sweeper Keeper does his job sweeping up behind the back line, two FBs on support allowing them the licence to get forward, but not at the expense of their defensive duties. The two DCs act as ball playing defenders, able to pick out those quick counter passes once the ball is won. The DMs act as box-to-box players, supporting the attack and defence. The wingers provide the outlets for the attack, pushing forward once the ball is won, but also have defensive duties in winning the ball back. A complete striker supports the advanced forward, although both are equally important in both assisting and scoring goals. With the emphasis on fluid play and well-rounded, high pressing players a general basis of teamwork, work rate and determination are needed for this tactic to work. Lazy and/or selfish players will ruin the cogs in the machine. There is no target man or playmaker as individual creativity and decisions is important in this tactic.

    Player Attributes

    All Players
    As mentioned, there is a base of attributes that are important for a tactic such as this to work successfully and I look for all my players to have at least decent ratings. These attributes are: Composure, Decisions, Determination, Teamwork, Work Rate, Stamina.

    Goalkeepers
    Primary: Handling, One on Ones, Reflexes, Communication, Positioning, Jumping.
    Supporting: Command of Area, Anticipation, Rushing Out, Strength, Aerial Ability, First Touch.

    Full Backs
    Primary: Acceleration, Pace, Tackling, Positioning, Anticipation, Concentration, Crossing
    Supporting: Dribbling, Strength, Marking, Bravery, Off The Ball, First Touch

    Ball Playing Defenders
    Primary: Heading, Marking, Tackling, Anticipation, Bravery, Concentration, Positioning, Jumping, Strength
    Supporting: Passing, Creativity, Acceleration, Pace, First Touch

    Defensive Midfielders
    Primary: Passing, Tackling, First Touch, Anticipation, Positioning, Creativity
    Supporting: All other attributes! (They are real box-to-box type players so the more well rounded they are the better)

    Wingers
    Primary: Crossing, Dribbling, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Creativity, Off the Ball, Acceleration, Pace
    Supporting: Finishing, Tackling, Anticipation, Positioning, Agility, Balance, Flair

    Complete Forward
    Primary: Finishing, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Creativity, Off The Ball, Anticipation, Strength
    Supporting: Dribbling, Heading, Jumping, Pace, Acceleration, Flair.

    Advanced Forward
    Primary: Finishing, Dribbling, First Touch, Technique, Anticipation, Off the Ball, Pace, Acceleration.
    Supporting: Heading, Jumping, Flair, Passing, Creativity, Agility, Balance.
    General Player Tips
    The above attributes are what I would look for in my players. If I was managing a mid-table standard Premier League side I would look for the Primary Attributes to average out at 15 and Supporting Attributes at 12/13. In terms of the base attributes, I would not sign a player who is weak in 2 or more of those areas (less than 10) and ideally will all be 14+. Certain players will not fit the system. An Ibrahimovic or Balotelli will struggle, think more along the lines of a Rooney or Tevez. Hard working players, determined to succeed and put the team before their own ego. A big tip that I give is to use your personnel in your squad wisely by picking the right players in the right games. For example, I have 4 strong wingers for my San Marino (club) team. 2 of which are much more attacking / creativity orientated and two that can put more of a shift in defensively. Against the big teams i.e. Juventus I will often favour the more defensive wingers, whereas go with the attacking wingers against the bottom teams. Also during the games, if I am chasing a win I will bring on the attack-minded winger or looking to hold onto a lead bring on the defensive winger. Same goes for the defensive midfielders. Versatile players are a great asset to have in a squad using this tactic. For example players who can play at full back and the wing, centre back and defensive mid, forward and wing.

    Training
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    During Pre-season the focus should be completely match-based and tactics only, until the tactic is about 80% fluid. Once this is achieved, the above is how I set out my training until fluidity is 100%, so I drop the match training down 2 notches. Arrigo Sacchi was well known for his 'Shadow Play' training methods, which is essentially defensive positioning training.


    Opposition Instructions



    Ideally you'd have an assistant manager that you can trust to set this up for you (16+ tactical knowledge + good defensive coach). However if you don't feel they're up to it, here's a few tips:
    Close down always - slow players in midfield or attack and players with poor composure/concentration/decisions in defence or midfield.
    Tight Mark - midfielders or attackers with poor pace.
    Hard Tackling - any players with Bravery under 10.
    Show onto weaker foot - any player who has reasonable or less for their weaker foot ability.

    Results

    User: SeanHRFC
    Team: Aston Villa
    Season: 2013/14
    Position: 7th in English Premier Division
    Other: League Cup Semi Final
    Link: Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14

    User: SeanHRFC
    Team: Boreham Wood
    Season: 2013/14
    Position: 1st in Skrill South
    Other: Broke League Points and Scoring records, 4th Round FA Cup
    Link: Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14

    User: SeanHRFC
    Team: Boreham Wood
    Season: 2014/15
    Position: 1st in Skrill Premier
    Other: Skrill Premier, FA Trophy and FA Cup Treble!
    Link: Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14

    User: SeanHRFC
    Team: Boreham Wood
    Seasons: 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19
    Position: 3rd, 1st, 2nd, 9th
    Other: Straight Promotions to Premier League
    Link: Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14

    User: StephenSmith84
    Team: Newcastle
    Season: 2013/14 & 2014/15
    Position: 3rd and 4th
    Other: FA Cup & League Cup winners (2014) Champions League QF (2015)
    Link: Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14

    User: WendoX
    Team: Liverpool
    Season: 2013/14
    Position: 1st (Champions)
    Link: Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14

    User: sjaarti
    Team: Everton
    Season: 2013/14
    Position: 1st (Champions)
    Link: Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14


    Anyone who would like their results included on the OP, please provide screen shots of at least a completed season and I will link it. Many thanks.

    **Version 2 Released**


    Attached Files
    Last edited by seanhrfc; 05/11/2013 at 05:33 PM.

  2. Hey Sean, I loved your Sacchi tactic on 13. I'll give this one a bash now. Any particular team you'd like me to test with?

  3. nice to see you remake this for fm14 mate, never tried it on 13 but seen that it had alot of success

    good luck with this 1 mate

  4. Quote Originally Posted by Comad View Post
    Hey Sean, I loved your Sacchi tactic on 13. I'll give this one a bash now. Any particular team you'd like me to test with?
    Cheers, whichever team you fancy mate. keep me posted!

    Quote Originally Posted by StueyRob View Post
    nice to see you remake this for fm14 mate, never tried it on 13 but seen that it had alot of success

    good luck with this 1 mate
    Cheers, going well so far, may need a few tweaks here and there.
    filke likes this.

  5. first game roma-milan 0-3 fantastic!
    seanhrfc likes this.

  6. Gonna use this for my Spurs side, think they have the players to fit it, Dembele/Paulinho/Sandro/Townsend/Lennon.

    Plugged it in for the first time against Arsenal, it was eventful to say the least..

    Cerci got injured in the 34th minute, I brought on Dembele to replace him, 45th minute, Dembele gets injured, so I bring on Danny Rose to replace him, 66th minute, Danny Rose gets injured! Sagna just loved crippling my left wingers! Damiao also went off injured, think they were playing Red Card! Then in the 86th minute, Ralf decides to get himself sent off so I'm playing with 10 men, then to top it off, in the 90th minute.. Aaron Lennon pops up with a mazy run from just inside their half and puts it past Szczesny and gives me the win

    Unfortunately Rose is out for 4 months, Cerci 3 weeks, Damiao out for 4 weeks, Demeble 8 days. My squad is well and truly knackered, so even if I get terrible results with this, it's not a fair representation as Arsenal decided to eliminate my main players.
    seanhrfc and SpursFan96 like this.

  7. Hi mate. Gonna give this a blast with Newcastle just now. I'll let you know how it goes.
    seanhrfc likes this.

  8. I've just annoyingly lost to rivals West Brom 1-0, despite dominating the game! Albrighton got himself sent off early for a two-footed challenge...idiot

    Other than that its still going pretty well, regularly create 5+ CCC in games.

  9. Next game? Man Utd away, lovely.

    Just lost 2-0, barely had an attack, not surprising considering I had 2 u21 players playing! Oh well.

  10. second game milan chievo 2-1

  11. If this is as succesful as it were on FM13 then you have a bloody happy man.

  12. Sitting in 6th place at the half way point with Villa, not too bad!

  13. bayern monaco milan 1-2

  14. do you know if its possible to move the Dm's into central midfield? change them to ball winning midfielder and the other to deeplying or avanced playmaker? as i am planning on using players like will hughes and James Ward-Prowse i think they would be wasted in the dm slots

  15. I've gone for Everton. They have a decent EPL side, so will be looking to push the top 4/5

  16. I haven't tried it on fm14 but on fm13 playing with MCs was ultimately unsuccessful.

  17. hey mate,
    Was a huge fan of the tactic on fm13, had actually recreated it for my first save on the 14 beta with newcastle and came 3rd winning the FA cup with the basic squad.
    It is very much the same as you have posted in OP so wish u well this time too
    seanhrfc likes this.

  18. Sean, have you thought about changing one of the dmc's to a half-back, a la Ancelotti

  19. id also like to know if you have any tactics that can use a CAM player, im doing an everton save just used this tactic and won 3-0 but i really want to use barkley :/ obviously this tactic i cant

  20. Quote Originally Posted by Pezz96 View Post
    Sean, have you thought about changing one of the dmc's to a half-back, a la Ancelotti
    Good idea, will look into it

    Quote Originally Posted by twelly2712 View Post
    id also like to know if you have any tactics that can use a CAM player, im doing an everton save just used this tactic and won 3-0 but i really want to use barkley :/ obviously this tactic i cant
    On FM I had a 4-4-1-1 version, using an AMC trequartista, not sure if it will work on 14 but I will look at tweaks once I find my stride. Oh and when I've had barkley before I re-trained him to MR

  21. i did just look to see where he could play and i think i might re train him like you say, obviously he can be a massive player for everton so dont want to miss out on him i will keep an eye out for more tactics of yours if your going to post loved this one dominated west brom better game then any others all season first clean sheet for 10 games aswell
    seanhrfc likes this.

  22. Really happy with how this has went in my Newcastle save. I'm 3rd after 23 games...3 points off top. Nosebleed territory for the Toon Army!!!

    Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-english-premier-division_-overview-stages.pngArrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-newcastle-united_-fixtures-schedule.pngArrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-newcastle-united_-tactics-overview.png

    Newcastle are well endowed in the DMC area, but I was struggling for ML and MR talent. Retrained Ben Arfa as ML and Sissoko as MR. Both have been great.

    Not only that but we've sauntered into the Capital One Cup Final. I'll be a geordie legend if I win a trophy.

    Might even get to motorboat that redhead from Geordie Shore.

    Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-4512_sneak_peek_11.jpg

  23. Great been waiting for this tactic had a load of success with it in 13



  24. the tactic is very very good
    seanhrfc and Pezz96 like this.

  25. First game as Man City vs Man City U21's = 5-0
    seanhrfc likes this.

  26. This tactic working great with Liverpool.
    Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-english-premier-division_-overview-stages.pngArrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-liverpool_-fixtures-schedule.png

  27. Finished my season at Newcastle. Capital Cup & FA Cup winners!!!!

    3rd in the league, only 4 points behind winners Man Utd. Straight into Champions League. Average players values have inflated, letting me sell and improve squad.

  28. Quote Originally Posted by stephensmith84 View Post
    Finished my season at Newcastle. Capital Cup & FA Cup winners!!!!

    3rd in the league, only 4 points behind winners Man Utd. Straight into Champions League. Average players values have inflated, letting me sell and improve squad.
    That's a great season well done mate! I'm currently 6th with Villa, no signings. Can't see myself breaking into the top 5 but pretty happy with 6th.

  29. Used this tactic and unbeaten so far, loving it 0-0 with Barca at home and good away against the bigger clubs!

    Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-23b5f68ebca228a7fe8489718f2b80b2.png
    seanhrfc likes this.

  30. Name:  Aston Villa_ Squad Players.png
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    Name:  English Premier Division_ Overview Profile.png
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    Just finished my season with Villa. Finished a very respectable 7th place and managed to qualify for the Europa League. As you can see from the player ratings, the DMs are key making a lot of crucial tackles. Though its best to take into account:

    • This is my first game on FM14 after buying it yesterday, so I am still learning the ropes (player interactions seem to have different consequences to FM13 and I managed to make enemies with Vlaar and Benteke, destoying my best 2 players morale)
    • I made no signings
    • Its a BETA version of the game, so the tactic is probably not running as smoothly as it would on the full version (lots of bugs).

  31. Anyone who would like their results included on the OP, please provide screen shots of at least a completed season and I will link it. Many thanks.

  32. I am now thinking of testing it in the lower leagues. Will starts as a Skrill North/South team as I would like to complete the English Hero challenge early doors

  33. In fairness Sean I don't think the overall game will be changed once officially released. It is well noted over at SI that this is pretty well the final product.

  34. Just about to finish Newcastle season 2. Will provide a detailed post with screenshots very soon.

  35. Quote Originally Posted by stephensmith84 View Post
    Just about to finish Newcastle season 2. Will provide a detailed post with screenshots very soon.
    Quality, I'm just starting a game with Boreham Wood (picked at random)

  36. Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-english-premier-division_-overview-stages.pngArrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-english-premier-division_-overview-stages-2.pngArrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-facundo-ferreyra_-overview-attributes.pngArrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-newcastle_-transfers-transfer-history.pngArrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-capital-one-cup_-overview-stages.pngArrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-english-fa-cup_-overview-stages.pngArrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-newcastle-united_-fixtures-schedule.png

    Currently finished the second season.

    Season 1 Highlights

    FA Cup - Winners
    Capital Cup - Winners
    3rd in Premier League (73 points)
    Sold Sissoko to Monaco for 30m

    Season 2 Highlights

    4th in Premier League (70 points)
    Quarter Final of Champions League (KO'd by Real Madrid 2-1 on agg)
    Sold Yanga-Mbiwa to Man Utd for 40m
    seanhrfc likes this.

  37. Nice results, have added to the OP. Did you find it more difficult this season with all the European games on top of the domestic season? I found that a lot on FM13, particularly if I had a tight budget meaning I didn't have great squad depth.

  38. Yeah, I had a bad start to season 2 because I made a few signings and no doubt they needed to gel. It's tempting to accept the huge bids for my starting players, but I don't want to rebuild so fast.

    That said, the likes of Obertan, Shane Ferguson & Marveaux all did well in CL games when I had to rotate. We finished the season well, and the transfer market looks tasty for the start of season 3.
    seanhrfc likes this.

  39. amazing tactic

    Started as Arsenal lost to Norwich and drew with Southampton and had an awful pre-season trying to recreate my FM 13 tactic. Conceded some awful goals. Stuck this tactic n and have not lost since. Beat Dortmund 3-0 at home.
    seanhrfc likes this.

  40. Liverpool. First season. Won the league, but lost in all cups to Arsenal.

    Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-english-premier-division_-overview-stages-3.pngArrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-liverpool_-fixtures-schedule-4.pngArrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-liverpool_-fixtures-schedule-5.png

    Only one transfer

    Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-liverpool_-transfers-transfer-history.png

    To those who interested in squad. First team/Second team.

    Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-liverpool_-tactics-overview.pngArrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-liverpool_-tactics-overview-2.png

    Obviously, Luis Alberto is not good in CF role, so it is better to use him as rarely as possible.
    Last edited by WendoX; 22/10/2013 at 03:36 AM.
    seanhrfc and Jabravn like this.

  41. Quote Originally Posted by WendoX View Post
    Liverpool. First season. Won the league, but lost in all cups to Arsenal.

    Attachment 398562Attachment 398564Attachment 398567

    Only one transfer.

    Attachment 398570
    Excellent results, winning the league first season by 10 points is good going well done!

  42. which did you play upfront ?

  43. Wondering if Any of the new roles introduced could benefit this tactic?

  44. iNtoz
    Reserve
    Could give this a go with At. Madrid
    seanhrfc likes this.

  45. Pretty good preseason with Everton:
    Arrigo Sacchi's 4-4-2 for FM14-everton_-fixtures-schedule.png
    +16 goal difference.

    Also made quite a few signings, so tactic has taken a while to become fluid
    seanhrfc likes this.

  46. Quote Originally Posted by pala View Post
    Wondering if Any of the new roles introduced could benefit this tactic?
    Worth looking into, I reckon the half back role may be good in DM (as mentioned by Pezza)

  47. Hi seanhrfc

    I will try this tactic with RB Leipzig from Germany and see if I can get them to perform again as I didt in FM13 with your tactic.
    seanhrfc likes this.

  48. You could score quite alot from near post corners in 13.

    Is it the same with this routine on 14?

  49. Quote Originally Posted by Rods Fanni View Post
    You could score quite alot from near post corners in 13.

    Is it the same with this routine on 14?
    My centre back has 8 from 19 so far, think another one or two from corners as well so pretty much every other game.

    This is with Boreham Wood.

  50. First season with Milan (with some transfer to improve the defense) and third place in Serie A. Not so good in CL but it's a great result for this Milan.

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