Whether as a powerful attacking tactic or a crucial defensive force, set pieces are key in every football match and a core part of every manager's tactical setup.
In recent seasons, many top clubs have been recruiting set piece specialists into their coaching teams, hoping to find that extra 1% of power to help them defeat strong competitors.
Many players on our forum and social platforms have suggested upgrading the set piece system in "FM".
Now, with the arrival of "FM24", the most complete version in the series, thanks to expert opinions from key industry figures, set piece coaches make their debut and will contribute to revitalizing set piece design.
A strong new voice joins the team
In "FM24", set piece coaches have become professional staff roles. To achieve this, we have added set piece attributes for all coaches in the database to indicate their ability to train players in set piece tactics.
As a result, the profiles of set piece coaches will differ slightly from previous versions of "FM". The right-hand side of the scouting information panel is used to clearly display the coach's set piece preferences. These preferences cover their preferred passing style and defensive tactical inclinations.
If your club does not have a set piece coach and there is a vacancy, you are very welcome to hire one at the staff meeting.
The new coach will have an immediate and significant impact on your career, and they are also a key part of the revitalized set-piece design.
Compared to previous versions of FM, the set-piece design today is very different. Now, every tactic and strategy focuses on the most suitable player attributes, rather than the player's position in the tactical setup.
Whether you import a save file from FM23 or embark on creating a new football legend, your set-piece coach will ask you six core questions about defensive and offensive preferences in dead ball situations.
In the first question, you need to choose whether the team defends using zonal marking, mixed marking, or man marking. Each option will provide corresponding explanations and visual demonstrations, along with prompts to showcase the advantages and disadvantages of each tactic. We have also added icons to indicate your set-piece coach's preferences.
Next, you will further answer: the aggressiveness of countering opponent's set-piece, whether you prefer the penalty taker to aim at the near post, far post, or the center of the penalty area, and whether you tend to use an inside curve pass or an outside curve pass.
More flexible and intelligent tactics
The set-piece coach will devise initial corner and free-kick tactics for each scenario based on your answers.
Once the tactics are created, you will be able to see specific roles assigned to each set-piece. For example, during a corner kick, key roles other than the taker include:
· Aerial threat
· Penalty area executioner
· Counter-blocking defender
· Long-range shooter
You do not need to manually assign tactical instructions to specific positions, as the backroom team will automatically allocate instructions to the four categories mentioned above. For instance, you don't have to command the right-sided center-back to attack the far post; the instruction will be automatically given to your most potent aerial threat. Each role category is arranged in descending order of suitability, and the instructions will be assigned to the player who best matches the requirements on match day.
There is also a newly added priority list that complements the player rankings. You and your set-piece coach can use this to decide which role is most important in each set-piece. If a player's attributes rank first in multiple roles, they will be assigned to the role with the highest priority in the priority list.
We have introduced a new concept called "set piece familiarity" in FM24, which reflects the players' proficiency in various tactics during training. With a deeper understanding of set pieces and a smarter way to identify threats, it will surely help you neutralize the opponent's defense and better showcase your set piece philosophy.
When adding new attacking corner and free-kick tactics, you can choose to replicate the tactics initially created by the set-piece coach or select an alternative set. Adding any new tactics will trigger a pop-up window, allowing you to adjust the frequency of using each tactic in matches, providing you with another tool to adjust offensive threats.
When viewing free-kick tactics, you will notice that we have added some new instructions to better reflect the team's real-life operations. These include an instruction regarding the defensive line height for direct free-kicks on the flanks and a "set up a wall if necessary" instruction decided by the goalkeeper.
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