The Ultimate Tactic: 5-4-1 Diamond

“Hi everyone and welcome my first Football Manager 2015 Guide for quite some time! Today, I’ll be walking you through the tactic that has been giving me so much joy with Lech Poznan; it’ll teach you a thing or two as well, but you can also download the strategy at the bottom of this post!

The Shape

The best teams, the best footballing dynasty’s were (and are) built upon a firm idea, a belief; my focus was to produce a tactic that allowed my team to defend well, but also offer attacking prowess – mainly from the wings – and my 5-4-1 Diamond has achieved that perfectly!

I decided to keep the roles in this formation as standardised as possible, due to the fact that it’ll enable a team to adapt to the tactic more easily…

541 (Passing)

The most important position(s) to this formation are the Complete Wing Backs because they are the main attacking outlet in the team – yes, that probably does sound daft!


Even the best formations need a system behind them; this is mine:

541 I

As I’ve already said, a key ethos of mine is being strong at the back; this formation certainly is!

By instructing your team to “Push Higher Up”, “Close Down More” and “Get Stuck In” your side will be able to hold up most of what the other team can chuck at you! The most important instruction – in my opinion – is “Get Stuck In”, because without it the BPD’s would be mere third wheels…

A real life example of how my back 3/5 works would be Juventus: notice how the two “side centre-backs” constantly come across to mop up long, diagonal balls; the “coverer” just sits in the middle….

The key men – the Complete Wing Backs – are made so effective by two specific TEAM instructions:

  1. “Roam From Positions”
  2. “Exploit The Flanks”

Now, you may be wondering why those two, seemingly vague instructions are so important; here’s the reason…

Just like in real life your wide-men will be able to run the flanks; also roam inside and occasionally knick a few goals! By “Roaming” your “Complete Wing Backs” are given the ultimate freedom to reek havoc!

The others…

However, you shouldn’t forget the importance of the remainder of your team!

Your two “Box-To-Box Midfielders” do an awful lot of running; will also look to provide the “Complete Wing Backs” with sneaky through balls…

The teams “Anchor Man” holds the key to success because he’s no nonsense ways. Claude Makelele championed the role at Chelsea – while under Jose Mourhino – and the role hasn’t changed a jot on FM15: he’ll get the ball and slide it to “more able players”…

The “front two” of an “Attacking Midfielder” and Advanced Forward will provide your side with a presence in the box; will also work hard for the team – what more could you want?

The results.

I’ve been using this tactic for about two months on my Lech Poznan (journeyman save) and we are yet to drop a point, we’ve been brilliant!

541 II

The two highlights of clearly come at home against Genk and away at Shakhtar in the Europa League: below are some key stats…

Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass

Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass


Not bad in the tackle either!













The tactic is solid; not to be messed with; the reason behind that is the average position it holds…

Compact, eh?

Compact, eh?

So, if you want to try out my 5-4-1 Diamond please do; let me know what you think!


In order to be able to use my tactic, download the database by following the link and instructions below…

  1. Follow the link to MediaFire – a brilliant data sharing site.
  2. Download the file and then click “save as”.
  3. Save the file in: Libraries – Documents – Sports Interactive – Football Manager 2015 – tactics
  4. Then just load it up in your save!


Thank you for reading my latest blog! I’ll be back soon with more FM hints, tips and stories but if you want me to talk about something in particular let me know either in the comments or on our page…


There are 17 comments left Go To Comment

  1. Bill /

    Pretty sexy I must say

    1. Luke / Post Author

      Cheers Bill 🙂

  2. Ayman /

    Top notch stuff !

    1. Luke / Post Author

      Cheers mate!

  3. tim murphy /

    What team instructions do you use, e.g. control and structured. Thanks

    1. Luke / Post Author

      Control, very fluid 🙂

  4. tim murphy /

    Thanks Luke, going to try it out in new save

    1. Luke / Post Author

      🙂 Nice one mate!

  5. comeontheoviedo /

    Have you had any further success with this tactic?

    1. Luke / Post Author

      I most certainly have! I’m currently using it on my West Ham save – where we’re top of the league – although I alternate between two others to keep it fresh.

  6. Muza /

    Does this tactic work with big English clubs like Manchester United mate?

    1. Luke / Post Author

      Yep, I used it worth Dortmund and a CL winning West Ham team!

  7. Petter Wilhelmsen /

    What are the two other tactics you alternate with?

    1. Lord Chris /

      Hi mate, when I used this formation while at Poznan: it was my main formation, it just clicked!

      I believe in having one main tactic and one defensive one, this was my main one! If you want to rotate it was another formation keep these instructions but change the shape – perhaps to a 433?

      I hope this was hopefully

      1. Petter Wilhelmsen /

        Thanks 🙂

  8. Chen /

    Sorry for bringing up an old post, but I wanted to ask what do you think about changing the attacking midfielder to AP-S? I hope it would make the 2 B2Bs more involved when attacking and give them space to enter the box.
    I’m not that good at tactics and was thinking about using this system in my fm17 Tottenham career. Thanks, and sorry for English mistakes!

    1. Luke / Post Author

      Sure, but make sure you still have men in the midfield on more defensive duties: you need to balance it 🙂

      I’m glad people are still looking at the post!

      And you’re English is fine 🙂 Cheers!

Leave a Reply