FM21 : TSV 1860 München (1)


Welcome to a somewhat unplanned opening to what will be my FM21 save with TSV 1860 München. My original plan was to manage FC St.Pauli in the Bundesliga 2 however after starting a save with them on the Beta I realised that I needed to drop down to a 3.Liga club to make the save a little more challenging.

München IST BLAU (Munich Is Blue) 

Like the title suggests my plan is to make Munich Blue but to that it will require us to topple a Super Club called Bayern Munich, oh and by the way we are currently in the 3rd tier and we don’t have much money. The last time the club was in the top tier was 17 years ago and since then the club have  suffered severe financial troubles. A perfect scenario to to take the reigns of the club.

My manager Michael Van Skidder is a 40 year old Dutch born Football Fanatic whose first managerial job was on the English Riviera where he spent 11 seasons at the helm of Torquay United winning both the EFL League 2 and EFL League 1 titles whilst taking the Devon based club up to the 2nd tier of the pyramid (EFL Championship) winning both the FA Trophy and the trophy along the way. At 1860 I want build my own tactical system based on certain concepts from the managers who have inspired me over the years and there is a few but some standout more than others.

The club are over €50m in debt but the repayments don’t start until the club are established in the top tier so not a lot of money around meaning that a lot of effort will be put in to developing our own for both the 1st team squad and to sell on for profit.

Ariggo Sacchi is one of my favourite managers to study after his time at Milan with his compact 442 that changed the thinking in Italy. Like Sacchi I am looking to use my very own system here with 1860 with the following principles in mind :

  • 442 Formation 
  • Control the Space / Attack Space 
  • Attacking Dynamic 
  • Play Out From The Back 
  • Shorter Passing 
  • Use Offside Trap 
  • Use Different Variations To Create Chances ( I remember reading a couple  of articles on the forums on having variations of how your team creates chances) and this makes perfect sense to me to give the AI more variables to deal with making us less predictable. Sacchi’s Milan had various options to create chances and different scoring options from Van-Basten an all round scoring machine leading the line with a complete footballer in Ruud Gullit in support flanked by a Wide Playmaker in Roberto Donadoni who in my opinion was very underrated and Colombo on the opposite flank who would drift inside and allow Carlo Ancelotti and Frank Rijkaard licence to join the attack. All built on a solid back 5 that included Franco Baresi, Mauro Tassotti and Paulo Maldini. 
Sacchi’s Milan

Building The System 

First things first I am not looking to recreate Sacchi’s Milan system but I want to create a system that gives us multiple options to create chances instead of just one set way of playing . So let’s have a look at our squad depth in the basic 442 shape and the first thing that hits you in the face is the multi functionality of the squad with a number of players capable of playing in a number of positions that gives me an opportunity to mix things up when tinkering with my set up. 

Below I will go through each of the roles for our starting XI to give you a picture of what I am trying to achieve. 

The Back 5

Starting at the back I want to create the backbone of our system and to start I will look at the Goalkeeper : I will look to have the modern day Sweeper Keeper role set on a Defend duty, this will give my man between the sticks an opportunity to play counter attacking balls whilst keeping a degree of caution.

Central Defender Right : The first of our 2 central defenders and I am looking to play a Ball Playing Defender on a Defend Duty which will give my BPD instruction to hold his position but give him the licence to play a little more direct with his passing taking a few more risks in possession. If you think of Baresi at Milan who would carry the ball out of the backline looking for a positive pass without neglecting his defensive duties.

Central Defender Left : To compliment our BPD I want to use a Central Defender on a Defend Duty which will see him hold position and dribble less whilst clearing our lines and laying the ball off to one of our more technical players in the build up.

Full Back Left : I want my left back to play the Full Back role with an Attack Duty which should see him overlap our left midfielder to create overloads on the left side whilst hitting first time crosses.

Full Back Right : So our right back will play the Full Back role with a Support duty creating extra width to our midfield whilst looking for crossing and through ball opportunities.

The Super 6

We now move to the Midfield strata where we will see how the roles will link our defence and attack, starting with our Left Midfielder which will take on the role of a Inverted Winger with a Support duty. The IW will look to move insid allowing our Left Full Back to move in to the space created by the movement of the IW creating an overlap scenario.

On the opposite flank the Right Midfielder will be a Winger set on a Attack duty. The Winger will look to stay out wide whilst looking to beat his man hugging the touchline looking to drive in to space that opens up giving him the opportunity for a shot or crossing situation.

I have decided that our Central Midfield Left will be a Deep Lying Playmaker on a Defend duty playing in front of our defence with extra defensive responsibility the DLP will look to feed our more advanced players with pin point passing.

The Central Midfield Right position will be a Box To Box Midfielder who will add dynamism to our attacking play and help protect the back line in defensive transition. I am a big fan of the BBM and look forward to seeing how the role performs in my tactic.

We move to the front two and after toying with a couple of combinations I have decided to go with an Advanced Forward on the left side of our top two. The AF will lead the line looking to both score and create goals as the focal point of our attack. He will also look to run in to the channels creating space for our runners.

Last but not least the second of our Forwards will be a Pressing Forward on a Support duty looking to close the opposition down in line with our line of engagement and will take more risks when bringing our players in to play.

Team Instructions

Mentality Positive

In Possession

Play Out Of Defence / Shorter Passing

In Transition

Distribute To Centre Backs

Out Of Possession

Higher Defensive Line / More Urgent / Use Offside Trap

Opposition Instructions

Show all wide players on to weaker foot

Set Piece Instructions


I will cover the training schedules in a future post

Testing The System 

In no way am I saying that this is going to be a succesful tactical system for anyone to use but it is the system that I will be using in my save. I will look to analyse and tinker to evolve the system over time. I have already introduced the system to our Under 19 squad by taking full control of them with the following results.

München 1860 Under 19 Results 20-21
München 1860 Under 19 Squad Statistics
Valdrin Konjuhi 24 Goals in 15 Games
Lorenz Knöferl 15 Goals in 15 Games

You can see that the Under 19 squad have hit the ground running using the 442 leading the Bavaria Under 19 table and eliminating Bayer Leverkusen U19’S out of the U19 Youth Cup. Our two Forwards nicknamed The Special K Konjuhi and Knöferl are on fire. (I have added the faces to both players instead of having a blank face until their faces are updated in the cutout face pack.

The next phase of testing will be with the 1st team squad as we attempt to gain promotion to Bundesliga 2.

Thank you for reading and good luck with your saves on FM21


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s