You can call me a massive virgin for this and you know what, that’s fine. But I spend so much time playing around with tactics and watching how they play out on the field. It’s one of the things I enjoy most about Football Manager. Spending time planning defensive plays, attacking plays, player movements, positions. Then watching it come together in game. Fucking hell. I am a virgin, aren’t I?

Anyway, I don’t expect any of you are as sad as me, so I made this article.

So, I was messing around on my Vanløse save with tactics. I was sick of conceding set pieces . While trying to crack defending set pieces, I observed two things:

  1. I was conceding so often at the back post. Deep crosses are overpowered on Football Manager.
  2. Height is EVERYTHING.
  3. Long throws result in goals so often.

My 6’2 centre backs weren’t cutting. I needed taller.

So, I jumped into the transfer market. Forget ratings. I’m not looking for VIrgil Van Dijk. I just wanted a big oaf at the back who was just so big that the ball would bounce off his head and not the opposition’s. Simple really. Football isn’t a complicated game, and neither is Football Manager.

In came the Belgian Beast Yorick Matthys.

Listen. There’s no denying he’s rank average at defending. But let’s look at what matters. 17 jumping reach. 13 heading. And most importantly. He’s 6’6″. He’s a mountain.

And his partner.

And now for the tactics.

Defending Set Pieces:

This has worked a treat for me. I went from conceding at least one goal per game to not conceding a single corner or indirect free kick in 10 games so far.

The key is getting your two big men zonally marking the six yard box. For me, at least, they’ve just smashed everything out of the box.

Attacking set pieces

You probably guessed it. Send the monsters to the back sticks and loft it in. Let them do the rest. And they do.

Throw ins:

Free kicks:


I told you didn’t I. Football is a simple game. Don’t overcomplicate it.

And I know this all sounds very Pulis-ball, but my actual tactics haven’t really changed much. I play for set pieces now. But still try to play pressing attacking football when we’re not lumping long throws at big clumsy fellas. Playing out of the back is trickier. But still possible.

And as for the results, I’m currently 10 games into the season and my defenders have scored a combined 7 goals in those 10 games. And Matthys has been fouled 4 times to earn penalties for the team too. So that’s a total of 11 goal contributions from centre back in 10 games.

Our fortunes have changed too. The league minnows Vanløse are 1st in the Danish Superliga after 10 games. A huge change in fortunes just by kicking the ball to the heads of big men.

Don’t overcomplicate it, lads.