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Tactics No Fear: a Wayne Rooney experiment at Birmingham


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Read an article on The Athletic about Wayne Rooney’s playing style at Birmingham, ‘No Fear’ football, and thought I’d try to replicate it.

In short: 

- wing backs push on to make a front five with the ball

- try to dominate possession

- attack!!!!

Screenshots below and will update as I go. Couple of free transfers to deepen the squad. No set piece hacks just common sense (mixed delivery and talk players attacking each post etc.).

Finding this years easier than 23 so far.







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On 11/11/2023 at 11:57, Harikeish said:

I will try this with my Leicester City save.

You’ll need to tweak some bits for games where oppositions sit very deep and defend, which will be often with Leicester in the championship.

Try normal or wide width, mixed passing instead of short, untick overlap. That’s what I try if I’m chasing a game or dominating a weaker side without scoring.

maybe change the DM to a shadow striker too if you’re desperate in a game.


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***Season 2 update***

As per normal with Birmingham on FMMs for the first season back in the Premier League the board give me a pitiful budget and an unreasonably high expectation of mid table. They are also very unforgiving of mixed (aka mid table!) form in the opening months.

The 4-3-3 that got me out of the championship leads to me getting over run by stronger sides and the chances dry up so I had three options:

1) carry on and get sacked then manage a club with a more reasonable board

2) try a 3 at the back system

3) tweak the current 4-3-3

Option 1 carries a high risk that I damage my phone in rage.

I experimented with three at the back tactics in pre season and we created almost zero chances. So paused option 2.

So I’ve tweaked the tactic. I’ve given the central midfielders and striker less demanding roles and adopted balanced or counter mentality depending on whether I’m home or away. The wing backs pushing on remains key to the whole system.

My job is safe for now and I was pleased to see that the fixture difficulty thing adjusted to say that Villa is relatively easy now 😂

Intensive training and mentoring has helped bring some of the original squad up to PL quality too which is nice. Examples below.









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***season three***

Although season two was a great success the form dipped off towards the end and we held on to a top four spot by the skin on our teeth. Liverpool finished 5th and dropped a lot of points in the run in despite being stronger than us on paper.

Season three: the quality of the squad is now good enough that I can use the original attacking mentality and roles in most matches. This simplified variant has been effective against the absolute top sides (Man City and Arsenal). DLP is BWM, BBM and CM but no AP and an AF up top. If I go two goals up in a match I tend to go very defensive and lock the game down.

I want to win a trophy. Out of the carabao on penalties so it will have to be the title, the FA cup or champions league.












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