FM17 A Crossover Event – The Wolves Experiment

The Wolves Experiment – Crossover

So if you’ve been following my Torino Diaries lately, I have been talking about Counter Pressing. I don’t claim that we can produce or replicate the 3 styles entirely, but I do believe we can capture the essence of the systems in tactics that we make. I do believe that these systems need to be well thought out and we need to give a lot of thought to who plays. So I decided wouldn’t it be interesting to cross over to a club in the Championship, that isn’t a favorite for promotion and try and see if the principles worked? So the goal of the experiment is to find out how a side would do after being set up to follow these principles, the assistant manager will be in charge of all games while this game is run on holiday mode.

Counter Pressing Principles

  1. Prevent Counter attacks
  2. Dominate games
  3. Fluidity of roles
  4. Working together as a unit

How do you Counter Press?

Wolves 451, 2 IFs, 3 CMs
Wolves 451, 2 IFs, 3 CMs

We will be using a 451, this system plays with 2 Inside Forwards and 1 Striker

  1. Attributes (Teamwork, Work-rate)
    Players need these attributes otherwise, they don’t have the quality needed to have positional fluidity. By positional fluidity I am only explicitly expecting them to support transitions. They need to work as a unit.
  2. Fluidity 
    We need to play on Very Fluid mentality, to allow for more players to participate in transitions
  3. High Block/Medium Block 
    Players in the forward strata are given close down much more. Depending on the grid you want closed down, selected players in midfield strata are given close down much more
  4. Short Passing
    To dominate games, Wolves need to ensure they don’t give the ball unnecessarily, so selected players will be given short passing, these include those that don’t have roles that explicitly require them to create. These positions will also be told to play less risky passes. 
  5. Roles
    Attack roles increased since we will be playing Very Fluid, I need a bit more movement to generate chances.  3 Attack Roles, 4 Support Roles. Each strata placed with one attack role to allow dynamic movement. This is to ensure that even with very fluid, we get more movement vertically across the pitch. I require this for some positional flexibility. Right roles are vital, we need pivots in every area we want our attacking thrusts to come from. For example if I plan to drive through the middle and come in late from midfield there must be an Attack Duty in midfield and a Support/Defend duty in attack to encourage vertical movement. 
  6. Defensive Line
    For this experiment the Asst Manager will run the whole season, while I watch television. To encourage the High Block we will play on a pushed up defensive line.
  7. Tempo will be increased slightly
  8. To encourage lateral movement around the final third we will use the Work Ball into Box instruction
  9. Prevent GK short distribution – this shout seems extraneous because we are not operating with a narrow attack and 3 in the box, we will still leave it in



I will play the first season match with the tactic, assure myself of the squad that will play the whole season, and then HOLIDAY till 8th May, hopefully I don’t get fired.

  •  Asst Manager attributes:
     Determination 15, Tactical 16, Man Management 17, Motivating 18, Judging PA 7

Since his PA is low, I really can’t give him too many options in the squad, we shall leave the squad strength at 28 players. That should be enough to cover injuries and allow for sufficient rotation.

So how will the side do? What do you guys think is going to happen?



  1. Hi Rashidi,
    I play with exact thew same formation in Spain in Secunda B as an unterdog. So not all of my players have high workrate and teamwork. But it works very well, I’m in the midfield of the table, preventing relegation. What roles do you use exactly for the midfielders?
    How do you measure the success of your counter pressing? I’m looking at interceptions, but I’m no sure if they are good or not.

  2. Im no where near knowledgeable enough to comment but i think the assistant will struggle with the high line against better teams in the division. Wonder how much support the left back will get as LCM and IF look very offensive.

    Have a feeling they’ll make the play offs, certainly cant see them running away with the league.

    1. The ass man did struggle. In matches where he should have increased mentality he didn’t.He also failed to make near perfect player selections. Overall he picked the right players as a screen with some surprising choices.

  3. To me it looks like

    —————– P(a) —————

    IF(s) ————————- IF(s)

    —– CM(a) – CM(d) – CM(s) —-

    FB(s) – CD(d) – CD (d) – FB(a)

    Probably all wrong, thats how it looks at least.

  4. I think the ability to make in game adjustments is important, and I don’t trust the AI in that aspect. Maybe the tactical rating of 15 is a good sign.

  5. Here’s what I think the formation was:


    as you said in the video and in the previous article PI’s will play a major part. Both IF’s will get close down much more, maybe even sit narrower so the FB’s can provide the width.

    The CMa and B2B (CMs) also close down more while the DLPd holds a deeper position acting as a screen for the defense.

    With the counter mentality the defensive line will have a little bit more direct passing so i would give both CD’s a pass shorter PI. Not sure about passing instructions for both FB’s though. In the midfield I’d maybe enable more direct passing for the DLPd as he’ll be recycling possession and unlocking defense from deep.

    That’s how I’d try to replicate it but I’m a tactical noob xD I achieve no succes with Anderlecht which is the top side in Belgium with a similar formation bar the pressing. I think I might just give it a go in the next couple of games.

    1. I too would like to the answer to this, or are you going to put the tactic in the downloads section like you have done previously?

  6. You’re amazing mate! I’m doing a Wolves save atm as well but I wasn’t doing well like you. Then I decided to implement your tactics and they work amazingly! I managed to beat Everton & Bournemouth in the League Cup as well and they didn’t even play a rotated team. We’ve won 7 games in the last ten(D2 W1). Bodvadsson plays as a deep-lying forward and scored 13 goals and he’s top scorer in the league!

    1. And what about instructions for defenders? Should I leave them as they are? And sometimes my inside forwards tries their luck from 30-40 yards out lol. Should I tell them shoot less often?

  7. Thanks. So I’m thinking of using this system but in a 4231. I’m guessing the most sensible way to go about it is to get the lone striker and the 3 behind him to do the pressing? I would leave the 2 CM’s alone as that would leave me vulnerable. I want to try it with Schalke but if you look at their squad 1st season, they don’t have many hard working attacking players. I like Max Meyer for example but he only has 10 for work rate. I tried it in a few FMT test games and my players weren’t making many interceptions, probably due to the low attribute numbers in the required areas? I may have to compromise and play a less pressing style 1st season or try a different team. Monaco look good for it.

Leave a Reply