2-3-2-3 | Zulia FC: Venezuela #2 | Football Manager Tactics

In the last part of our possession-based tactic guide, I wrote how I wanted to develop a newer tactic into a controlling formation. Rather than use a standard 4-2-3-1, I decided to try and adapt a 2-3-2-3 strikerless formation.

In addition to being a more interesting read, I also hope that using a funkier formation can provide a greater challenge, which in turn will make these posts more interesting to read. Read on for an in-depth guide to the 2-3-2-3 and how I want each player to play in my team.

Part One: Day One | Maracaibo Mission | Possession Football

The Strikerless 2-3-2-3


2-3-2-3 instructions

Here are the team instructions in which I wish my team to follow. I want to play wider. This will create spaces in the centre of the pitch and stretch our opponents.

Our tactic relies on making the opponents tired through keeping the ball and so playing wider enables our players to take advantage of spaces that open up over the pitch. We will aim to push higher up and close down much more.

As we want to keep the ball, our aim when in the defensive phase is to win the ball back as quick as possible. We need to press high up and often in order to do this.

When in our attacking phase I am looking for our wing-backs to push up and support. As we are playing two inside-forwards I want our wing-backs to overlap and create havoc in the wide areas.

Retaining possession and working the ball into the box are pretty self-explanatory. We won’t look to cross the ball, instead looking to break down opponents with patience.

The Players


Our goalkeeper is the only player I have added an individual instruction to so far. I have asked him to distribute to our centre back’s to ensure that we are not losing possession through long goal-kicks.

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Our centre-backs look to play short and simple passes into mid-field. As we are playing a high defensive line, ideally my central defenders will have high attributes in acceleration and concentration (as well as the standard tackling, marking, heading etc).


STAMINA. This attribute is crucial. Stamina and Work Rate. The wing-backs will be up and down the pitch all game and so I will need to ensure that I have subs able to play in these positions as well as very capable replacements should either first-choice defender get injured.


The half-back is a role I have seldom used in FM. Generally I prefer to play a ball-winning midfielder or simply a defensive midfielder. However with playing attacking wing-backs I felt that our defence needed a third defender during the defensive phase, especially when other teams look to counter.


The box-to-box midfielder will join our attack to our defence. Though perhaps not a key attribute for the B2B, I want him to be strong and able to be our rock in centre-mid. Playing alongside our more creative deep lying playmaker, I’m looking for the B2B to provide the dynamism that the DLP perhaps lacks.


I am already considering changing this role to either advanced playmaker or roaming playmaker. However as our B2B is a roamer, I want our DLP to hold his position and provide key passes whilst remaining responsible in defence.

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Here are the two players in which I am most eager to see in action, the inside-fowards. Messi and Neymar are so effective playing in these roles for Barcelona, cutting in from the wings to act as two extra strikers behind Suarez.


The shadow striker is the spearhead of our strikerless formation. He needs greater composure as he is playing without a striker ahead of him, as well as decision making skills.

Can our new tactic dominate possession?

I am hoping it can. With our instructions set to being very possession orientated, I am aiming to reach 60% and above on regular occasions. Whether this will be possible with Zulia FC I am not sure. But I will be trying my very best with our new 2-3-2-3.

My next post will focus on how we can set up our training and hire staff to help transform our team into a possession dominant club. Stay tuned for more.


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