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Friday, March 28, 2014

Football Manager 2014 Attacking Tactic Cobra 3-6-1

A FM14 Tactic Based on the Football Philosophies of Jürgen Klopp and Antonio Conte

Football Manager 2014 Attacking Tactic Cobra
Football Manager Downloads

What is the best Football Manager 2014 tactic? The answer will of course depend on the available squad and your players. But what if you can download a good FM14 tactic which fits almost every squad and team for Football Manager 2014?

Say hello to my best Football Manager 2014 Attacking Tactic Cobra 3-6-1, a lethal tactic which focuses heavily on team work and work rate. The Cobra 3-6-1 got its name because of its shape. It looks like an aircraft. We found the name of this teamwork tactic reflecting the American fighter plane P-63 KingCobra, which is a lethal, effective and brutal machinery similar to the tactic. Cobra 3-6-1 is as deadly as the American fighter plane KingCobra, and this FM14 tactic relies alot on heavy workrate and teamwork.

This Football Manager 2014 Attacking Tactic will see you play beautiful passing combinations, as well as direct runs into space and solid defending! Assemble a team of hard working team players and take on the opposition with this great tactical system. Download our best FM14 Attacking Tactic Cobra 3-6-1 now!

Updated for FM 14.3

For many years I've been using other people's tactics. I've had various success, but I always felt like i wanted to create my own unique and winning tactic. I was tinkering, thinking, writing it up on a piece of paper, feeling like an evil scientist. Luckily, I managed to create a system that worked, and worked well!

I like creating tactics, based on principles from real life football. In recent times I've become a fan of defences consisting of 3 defenders, naturally inspired by the way Juventus plays under Antonio Conte. The principles of his playing style also struck home with me. The idea was simple – press, run and track back. Teamwork and work rate. No fixed build-ups, variation in the play and a great combination of fluidity and discipline. Another philosophy I like is Jurgen Klopp's words that in a way also reflect Conte's playing style: "If every player runs more than 12km in a game, you will win every game".

FM14 Cobra 3-6-1 - The Formation

FM14 Tactic Cobra Team Instructions FM14 Tactic Cobra Average Position

The formation is called 3-6-1, but technically it's a 3-1-4-1-1. It's an unusual but interesting shape, taking bits and pieces of different tactical systems. Apart from the 3 man defence, the most striking feature (and perhaps the most important) is the diamond shaping up in the middle. Diamond formations are often used (Fatih Terim's Galatasaray) to dominate the midfield area, and restrict space for the opposition. Natural passing triangles are created and the restricted space makes it hard for opposition to pass through the midfield area. The negative part of the system, is the natural lack of width, where the fullbacks are expected to venture forward in order to provide it. This gives away loads of space on the flanks to be exploited by the opposition.

FM14 Tactic Cobra Midfield Diamond

In order to balance that, the width in the tactic is created by two wingers positioned much higher up the pitch than fullbacks (Fatih Terim's diamond) or wingbacks (Conte's 3-5-2), that will rely on their work rate and stamina to run up and down the pitch, tracking back opposing wide players. Because you have 3 central defenders, the exposed flank is covered in a much better way, the defensive midfielder in the diamond providing extra protection for the middle central back.

In defence, the wingers will man-mark opposing wingers, harassing them and forcing them into mistakes. In attack, they will offer additional passing options for the midfielders, upset opposition with direct runs and cross the ball into the box.
FM14 Tactic Cobra Specific Marking

When in possession, the team will push higher up, the wingers will provide wide passing options, in order to stretch the opposition. Because of the diamond midfield, most of the opposition will be concentrated on dealing with it and restrict the midfielders space, the wingers will be left with acres of space on the wing.
FM14 Tactic Cobra Crossing from Wingers FM14 Tactic Cobra Wing space

Your attacking midfielder and striker will constantly drift around, making them difficult to mark. They will make themselves available for passes, and exchange quick one-twos with each other to either open up space for an on-rushing central midfielder or themselves.

While your team is attacking, your central defenders will patiently sit back, and intercept any cleared balls. Because you will have around 6-7 players around the opposition box, the space will be so restricted that the opposition will be forced into a long-ball clearance your central defenders are happy to intercept, thus making your team the attacking side again.

In defence, the wingers will drop back to cover the flanks, nullifying the opposing wingers. With the added 3 central defenders, this will somewhat resemble a catenaccio style defence, with 5 defenders in line (2 central backs on tight marking, the 3rd offering support where needed). In addition the 3 midfielders in the centre of the park, will drop in front of the defence, making it extremly difficult to pass through the middle, often forcing the frustrated opposition into a hopeful long shot.
FM14 Tactic Cobra Result Real Madrid Valencia

To conclude – this tactic brought me huge success in FM13, and works equally well in Football Manager 2014 (as it is a successful system not a single tactic). I've had great results with the teams i've played with, dominating the opposition with 20+ shots per game, whereas the other teams had often less than 7 (most off target). This will of course differ and depend on the qualty of your own team. In general, we are happy to sit back and let the oppostition shoot from distance from lack of other options. They will in place receive quick and lethal attacks. I don't like tiki-taka, I like heavy metal:) Once this attacking tactic gets 100% fluid, you will see great runs from the central midfielders, beautiful pass exchanges in the diamond and solid defending.

Cobra 3-6-1 works even with players without any skills!
FM14 Cobra Tactic Gibraltarian League Winner

Player types needed

It is important for all players to have good work rate, teamwork, anticipation and stamina. In general, don't underestimate mental traits, they are important!

Goalkeeper – I chose the sweeper keeper, as he will be more comfortable with balls played in behind the defence. I also feel that's what modern football requires from goalkeepers nowadays and i chose it for my system as well. You want a regular good shot stopper, but it's important that he has good aerial stats in order to intercept crosses into the box.

Central Defenders – The 3 central defenders(2 on defend, one on cover in the middle) will clear any long balls, and through balls behind the defence. As such, they should all be aerially dominant, and the one in the middle should be quick(or at least the quickest of the three). Normally, for the covering the defender I try to get at least 11 acceleration, but the more the better. In the right-hand spot I put my best heading defender for set pieces.

Defensive Midfielder – He will protect the defensive line, offer support for the wingers and generally win the ball back, intercept passes and man mark any AMC to exclude him from the play. He will also fullfill some playmaking responsibilities, so the type of player you should look for is a deep-lying playmaker, with more epmhasis on defensive attributes. He should be able to pass the ball, as well as having good ratings for decisions, work rate, stamina, tackling, marking and determination. If he can in addition offer a physical presence it's a good bonus.

Central Midfielders – The box-to-box pair in the middle of the park is very important for the tactic to work. They run alot(up to 15km per game), and contribute to all phases of play. Stamina, work rate and teamwork is essential. In addition they should possess all the important techincal attributes to both attack, create and defend. Prime examples of such players can be Joao Moutinho, Jack Wilshere, Sami Khedira or Ilkay Gundogan. You can go with two equal midfielders, you can combine a more offensive one with a more defensive one too. It's up to you and maybe the strenght of your opposition. They will get lots of shot opportunities from around 14-15 metres.

Wingers – The wingers balance the team, as they act as a flank box-to-box type player. They will contribute in defence, the build up and offense. They notch up alot of interceptions and assists(Gareth Bale had 43 assists for me in a season). In addition they will contribute with goals. They require work rate, stamina(can run up to 15km per game), decisions and crossing. In addition they will benefit from acceleration, pace, dribbling(although not hugely important, as you can teach them to knock the ball past their opponents) and passing. In terms of the attributes they recquire defensively, it's good if they have decent tackling and marking(11 will do). However, I find that even regular wingers with poor defensive attributes can easily make up for it with work rate, as they will just harass the opposing winger into a mistake.

Attacking Midfielder – This is the player that will link the play, and if the central midfielders are the lungs, he should be considered the brain of this tactical system. The advanced playmaker will run around to find space, make himself available for passes and pass the ball on to other players, as well as supporting through balls for onrushing central midfielders, wingers or the striker. You want a creative player with good decisions, dribbling, passing, work rate and teamwork. He will also score some goals so finishing is a nice bonus.

Striker – The goalscorer. Drifting around, exchanging one-twos with other players and getting on the end of team-moves. He will pounce on through balls, finish crosses and sometimes create the goal himself. He will also take part in the build up, not only sitting in the box. Composure, finishing and off the ball is important, but the more complete the striker is the better for your team.

Setting up Training for better Tactical Familiarity

Setup of General Team Training:

In terms of team training I have the match preparation on 50% until the tactic is fully fluid. Other than that I have:

In pre-season: Fitness – Very High, Match Prep – Tactics only 50% (if it's fully fluid put Attacking Movement), no rest before or after match

In season: Balanced – High, Match Prep – Def. positioning 30%(although adjust it accordingly, depending on where you see any problems with your play), rest after match

Setup of Individual Player Role Training
I like to give my players role training, as I believe this gives best results and makes them more complete. This is of course up to you, in how you want to develop your players but this is what I do with this tactic for individual training.

Goalkeepers – Sweeper Keeper
Central Defenders – Ball Playing Defender
Defensive Midfielders – Deep Lying Playmaker
Central Midfielders – Box-to-Box Midfielder
Wingers – Defensive Winger
Attacking Midfielders – Advanced Playmaker
Strikers – Complete Forward

Player Preferred Moves (PPM)

I'm a fan of training players preferred moves, as I believe it helps them become better players and benefits my tactic. As such, I try to unlearn all negative PPMs (shoots from distance, dwells on ball etc.) or all that contradict my tactic (tries long passess, cuts inside etc.). Some Player preferred moves don't have to be unlearned (or unlearned and replaced) even though they're not listed and you should just make the judgement on it yourself. All players in my tactic benefit from PPMs except for the goalkeeper. The PPMs are listed in order from most to least important.

Central Defender
Plays short simple passes

Defensive Midfielder
Tries Killer Balls Often
Dictates Tempo
Comes Deep to Get the Ball
Shoots with Power

Box-to-Box Midfielder
Tries Killer Balls Often
Get Forward Whenever Possible
Shoots with Power
Plays one-twos

Runs with Ball Often
Knocks Ball Past Opponent(if quick or poor dribbling)
Tries Killer Balls Often
Plays One-Twos
Likes to Switch the Ball to the Other Flank

Advanced Playmaker
Tries Killer Balls Often
Runs with Ball Through Centre
Moves Into Channels
Plays One-Twos

Runs with Ball Through Centre
Places Shots
Moves Into Channels
Plays One-Twos

Setup of Opposition Instructions

Alot of varied opinions on this. People will tell you they don't help or that they do. I use them, I believe they do help your team, but it's up to you if you want to use them. The effect of them is hard to test as well.

If you want to use opposition instructions you can let one of your staff do it, given he has good ratings for tactical knowledge and defending. If you want to do them yourselves, here's how I set them up:

DCL - show onto right foot
DCR - show onto left foot
Tight marking always on: MR, ML, AMR, AML (or WBR, WBL/DR, DL if opposition don't use wingers)
Hard tackling on: STC, STCL, STCR, AMC, AMCL, AMCR
Show onto weaker foot: MR, ML, AMR, AML (or WBR, WBL/DR, DL if opposition don't use wingers)

The last opposition instrucion you will have to do, and that is very important for the tactic to work is to apply specific marking before every game. Always instruct your wingers to specifically man-mark opposition opposing wingers(or wingbacks/fullbacks if you encounter a wingless formation). In addition, if your opponent plays one AMC you should instruct your DM to specifically man mark him.

Pay attention to formation changes! If your opponent suddenly withdraws his wingers or AMC, and you dont alter your specific marking, your players will be marking completely wrong areas of the pitch and unbalance the formation (the change should include changing opposition instructions, if they go from ML/MR to AML/AMR the tight marking instruction will have to be reapplied).

Records and Achievements with Cobra 3-6-1 v2(14.1.4)

FM14 Tactic Cobra League Records Wimbledon Promotion

The records from the AFC Wimbledon save is where I play with our very own Football Manager Challenge Talent Factory. Here, no ingoing transfers are allowed. You will need to rely solely on youth development and what the annual youth intake brings you in order to hunt for success. A promotion here will be far more difficult but possibly more enjoyable than buying all the best wonderkids of Football Manager 2014.

FM14 Cobra records Wimbledon Leyton Orient FM14 Cobra records Wimbledon Carlisle FM14 Cobra records Wimbledon Coventry FM14 Cobra records Liverpool Tottenham
Former Records and Achievements with Cobra 3-6-1 v1 (14.1.3)
FM14 Attacking Tactic 8 Clear Cut Chances
FM14 Cobra Tactic Real Madrid Lyon FM14 Cobra Tactic Match Real Madrid Dortmund FM14 Cobra Tactic Match Real Madrid Arsenal

download button

DOWNLOAD PASSION4FM's FM14 Tactic Cobra 3-6-1

Published: 22.11.2013 20.00PM GMT
Updated: 28.03.2014 15.36PM GMT

How to Import the file?

Download above tactic and import it to this specific folder:
"Your Documents" > Sports Interactive > Football Manager 2014 > Tactics

Open Football Manager 2014 and go to Overview screen of Tactics. Click Manage Tactics and load "Passion4FM's FM14 Attacking Tactic Cobra 3-6-1"

This file is also available at Steam Workshop. You can subscribe and import it directly to your save here!

Please like and subscribe to it as its freshly uploaded to Steam workshop. Old file has been deleted.

I hope you enjoy my first Football Manager 2014 Attacking Tactic, and have as much success with it as I've had.
Feel free to give me feedback or ask questions in the comment section below.


  1. Rafaela E Bruno11:00

    Thank you! I won the Bundesliga with Bayern 3 times in a row with this tactic in FM13. Can't wait to use it on FM14!

  2. masum sarker14:34

    If you are a
    player looking to improve yourself or if you're a coach looking for ways to
    better your strategies and instruction, we feel confident that this material
    will be well worth your time. Visit our site to find articles, tips and
    reports designed to help you improve your football skills.
    Football Training

  3. Daniel Hubner14:41

    let me know how you get on with this year's version

  4. masum sarker18:21

    If you are a
    player looking to improve yourself or if you're a coach looking for ways to
    better your strategies and instruction, we feel confident that this material
    will be well worth your time. Visit our site to find articles, tips and
    reports designed to help you improve your football skills.
    Football Training

  5. FMwhipped11:50

    FM is a cruel cruel mistress.

  6. masum sarker17:44

    If you are a
    player looking to improve yourself or if you're a coach looking for ways to
    better your strategies and instruction, we feel confident that this material
    will be well worth your time. Visit our site to find articles, tips and
    reports designed to help you improve your football skills.
    Football Training

  7. Ryan02:54

    Did you use any other tactics if the main 361 wasn't working?

  8. Daniel Hubner22:12

    not really, no. you can try playing more direct if chasing but i haven't tried it myself - take off work ball into box and retain possession and switch to attacking

  9. David Mendes14:11

    Could you post pics of the tactics pages because i tried downloading the tactics but the game crashes when I try to import tactics and I can't understand some things
    Thanks in advance ;)

  10. Daniel Hubner21:30

    looks like there might be something wrong with your game, i'd try contacting SI support forums first and hear about the issue

  11. David Mendes23:16

    It's solved now just needed to update to the newer version Thanks ;)
    Already having good results with the tactic, my team just took some time to learn it but now it's really good ;)

  12. Daniel Hubner10:54

    yeah, it does take some time before it's stable

  13. Maximiliano Petrone13:38

    Thanks! Im playing with a Small team from Argentina called Belgrano, and its really hard to make a winning team with such a small budget. I Always love playing with 3 defenders, and this tactic make my team a Killing machine! So Thank you!!!

    By the way, do you have some good 3 defenders counter tactic? Im not used to the new shout system yet to make a good one on my own.

  14. Daniel Hubner11:22

    its good to hear its working for you. im currently working on some tweaks to the tactic to make it more aggressive. i also tweak a counter-attacking version of it to hold onto leads etc

  15. Daniel Hubner15:20

    v2 is out!

  16. David Mendes19:32

    whats different in v2 ???

  17. Daniel Hubner20:41

    its more aggressive, more attacking and has less possession. i have much better results

  18. David Mendes21:10

    and what about the defense i noticed that u changed to wingers with no defensive duties, is it compensated by the attacking force ????
    Love this tactic by the way

  19. Daniel Hubner23:25

    the wingers must still track back(specific marking) so they will do their part in defence. also tweaked the middle CB to close down less, so he doesn't rush out and leave space behind him

  20. Flemming Rosenlyst13:12

    After the Update, I was a bit concerned, that it was to offensive. But after my promotion til Regionalliga-Nord with TSV Uetersen, the team was going to meet HSV i the 1. round of the DFB-Pokal. A early red card til HSV may also have being a good thing for my team, winning 4-2, with this 3-6-1 tactic. There is 3 divisions between HSV and TSV Uetersen.

  21. Daniel Hubner13:20

    not bad :) great work!

  22. Darlan ten Caten23:33

    Where is the v2? I can`t find that.

  23. Daniel Hubner12:21

    it should be the regular download

  24. Rene Klemens Thomhave07:55

    I have tried your tactic with great success with my world dominating Real Madrid side, but after the 4.1.4 patch everything falls to pieces and I get buy a win to save my life. Have others experienced this as well?

  25. Hey Thanks for testing it out. Unfortunately the 14.1.4 patch changed a lot to the tactic. Guess the v2 was released too soon! We will work to make the tactic back to how it shall be. Please give us some days and a new version will be released which solves any issues

  26. Daniel Hubner15:02

    i'm working on it, hopefully i'll have some tweaks ready for it, but give me time :)

  27. briben17:22

    Is it already good for 14.1.4? Nice work, btw ;)

  28. Daniel Hubner10:20

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  29. Anonymous20:39

    Using this tactic for 14.1.4, finding great success so far.Really love the pass into space plays being done by my team.Please release an update if you have one, I would love to try it.

  30. Are you working on an update for 14.2? Thanks I love this tactic.

  31. Nice tacktic I have won Real Madrid with Rubin Kazan in Euro league

  32. Anonymous16:27

    do you still have the 14.1.4 tactic?

  33. this tactic looks very interesting , think i will give it a go. After reading the coments was just wondering has it been tweaked for the newest update? Cheers

  34. Daniel Hubner17:06

    they exist, but you need a sufficient database for your save game in order for them to load

  35. Daniel Hubner17:07

    your database for your save game isn't big enough

  36. Daniel Hubner17:07

    if you only have UK loaded in, it won't help with a large database i'm afraid.more countries means more staff and players

  37. Amirul Van Persie21:44

    when i click download on the start screen it said "go to steam app and enable in game add ons"

  38. Hey, could you please give me something more information - dont understand what you are trying - what you are downloading or click

  39. Davor Mirkovic10:05

    Loaning out vs playing in U19 squad - which one is better?

  40. Daniel Hubner14:41

    New update! Improved defending! Make sure to re-download the file!

  41. Per Arne Andreassen00:52

    FM14 Manuel Pellegrini's 4-4-2 / 4-2-2-2 Tactic with Interiores by Passion4FM


    Cannot download the Manuel Pelligrini tactic on my Mac pro. Not even through FM 2014.

    Can someone help me out with this?

    Would appreciate if someone can send me the download on my email:

  42. In order to download this file - click this link:


    Save it to your computer and place it under your tactics folder - unzip the file with 7zip or Winrar and import it in FM14

  43. Michael14:10

    And what about a possession-based tactic ? Have you feel that it's more complicated to build one than in other FM versions ?

  44. Per Arne Andreassen15:06

    No chance, couldnt download it on my mac pro, there seems to be problem with the program VLC........almost giving up now, no success in download

  45. A possession tactic isnt any more difficult - its just harder to keep possession over a longer period. Seems like SI have become too much realistic - looking at RL stats more than letting us have the abilities to increase possession even higher than the 67% average

  46. the VLC program has nothing to do with the ability to download from our site - You only needs to click download - It would be useless of me providing you the direct link as you must click download there too. If I shall be able to help you further I would require that you upload a screenshot of your problem.

  47. Michael00:56

    Sorry for posting here about possession when this is off-topic, but you've done an excellent job with possession in fm13. Until this last patch I was able with FC Porto to have 65-75% possession, now I'm finding really difficult to get even to 65%. One issue that I've been dealing with is some poor hassling / pressing, players react too late or sometimes they even ignore opponents. Another issue is even when I'm playing against lower / weaker teams, after 65 minutes match and until then having a very good possession and winning let's say by 3 goals, that opponent team still have the ability to react, get further and pressing my players. Now, this shouldn't be possible because players that have to run after the ball become much more tired than the team that has the ball.

  48. Daniel Hubner09:23

    if by possession you mean averaging on more than your opposition, then no it's not

  49. The pressing and tight marking system of FM14 is really poor. Hopefully the new changes to the player and team instructions can open up new doors for FM15.

    Please remember to share your ideas for Football Manager 2015 here

  50. Michael11:06

    on more what ? percentage ? like 51-49% ?

  51. Michael11:07

    yes, finally someone that sees that also :-)

  52. Daniel Hubner11:30


  53. Michael11:55

    That could be anything but a possession-based style. It's more like the old Barcelona or FC Porto of last season, 65-75% possession.

  54. Tobi Hansson00:12

    started a game with Napoli with this tactics. thought this was a good choice because player seemed to fit pretty well in the roles. Reina - Zuniga, Albiol, Balanta, Alex Sandro - Behrami, Inler - Callejon, Hamsik - Insigne, Drogba. had pre season training, individual roles, ppm's all right setup, but tactic was like half fluid when season started (yes had 5 friendlys, too). after like 10 games in the league i had 2 draws and 8 losses. not just the results were really bad. the team played awful. teams like Sassuolo dominated me with lots more shots and clear cut chances per game. don't know what i did wrong or does this tactis just not work?