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Football Manager Tips: Playing out from the back


The art of playing out from the back on Football Manager

The art of playing out from the back on FM 2016
The art of playing out from the back on Football Manager

When playing football manager, you may decide that it is a good idea to try and retain possession of the ball and play out from the back. This can be a good tactic to try and use if you are looking to keep hold of the ball and then give players higher up the field more time to move around and find good positions. How exactly do you set up your team to play out from the back?

You need to make sure you have defenders who are comfortable on the ball. Making sure that your defenders have good anticipation and decision making is key. They need to also have decent vision, passing and technique attributes. If you find that your players do not have these key attributes then you can teach them the player preferred move of "plays simple passes" I have been doing this recently and I have found that this is helping my defenders to keep hold of the ball better and they tend to not just hoof the ball up the field.

It is also a good idea to make sure that your team is playing with a lower tempo. When playing with a lower tempo your players will take their time on the ball and they will make sure that they are not rushed into making a decision when they have the ball. I have found my pass success rate is much higher when I get my players to play with a lower tempo, even on normal tempo your players will feel they need to move the ball on pretty quickly.

It is a good idea to make sure you have a holding midfielder, with my Charlton team, I have a ball winning midfielder who is comfortable on the ball and he is always in a good position to receive the ball and to do something with it. Whether that be to lay it off for a more creative player or hold onto the ball and bring it forward. If your team has options and other players to pass to then it’s easier to move the ball around and to play out from the back. The amount of space between the midfield and the defense needs to be reduced as much as possible.

I would also make sure that you develop your players to play in a tactic where they feel comfortable passing the ball around. If your team is not fluid with the tactic you are asking them to play then you can’t expect them to produce good football. During preseason is the best time to introduce your team to a new way of playing and to get them used to a change in tactics. I have also found that if you put your full backs narrower when your team has the ball when your defenders have someone closer to them to be able to pass the ball to, rather than looking for a longer pass up the field. It is a good idea to try and have players close enough so someone is available to pass to, but not too close that they would be in trouble with a misplaced pass.