This Tottenham Hotspurs FM23 tactical recreation has been written for us by @insidefullbackk, they share with us their Spurs FM23 tactic

After just four months of being in the job, Nuno Espirito Santo lost his place as the Tottenham Hotspur manager to former Chelsea man, Antonio Conte. His famous 3 at back formations have seen him successful with Chelsea(3-4-3) and Inter Milan(3-5-2), winning them their first scudetto in a while. With a reputation of such magnitude, a lot of people definitely thought he was the man to change Tottenham’s fortunes, and rightfully so. At the end of his regime, most people defined his team as “boring”. Below I break down his tactics and how he played with the squad at his disposal.


Conte’s principles are simple. To be defensively solid, patient and able to exploit the opposition on the counter when the opportunity arises. A solid defensive base of three centre backs with a pivot in front of them and the wing backs ensuring each one of the five lanes in attack is covered shows how much of a foundation the 3-4-3 formation provides. Below I tried to break down my football manager’s replication of the tactic.

Tottenham Hotspurs FM23

In possession

Tottenham Hotspurs FM23
In possession, Spurs tend to play out of defence to create space behind the opposition. Then they tend to “Pass into space” to exploit these spaces. Ben Davies, the wide left centre back offers occasional attacking threat through overlaps. The lack of a creative midfielder in this team sees Kane drop deep and the wingers more centrally to stretch the opposition vertically. Kulusevski is also another creative option for Spurs which sees him take up these spaces in the middle and an overlap from Porro or even a bust forward from Bentacur.

Against a more defensive team, Spurs tend to play through the flanks and shift the low block with the aim of isolating the opposite winger/wingback. With a wide attacking width, spurs tend to play football on the flanks before sending in frequent crosses to the box.

In transition

Spurs play out from the back to lure the opposition to press, leaving space in behind them for Spurs to attack. This means we will set the instructions. They tend to have the wing-backs high and wide and wingers narrow to form a 3-2-5 in possession.

Out of possession

Out of possession, Spurs settle in a compact 5-4-1 low block. This means they regroup after possession is lost(as stated earlier) and they set a much lower defensive line in a low block. They don’t seem to press with as much intent to win the ball back which is why it’s on standard pressing. Conte likes to funnel the opposition out wide and close all the spaces in the middle making it harder for the opposition to get closer to the goal. Lastly, their tackles seem to be very aggressive in the low block, hence they get stuck in instruction.

Individual instructions

Both wingers “roam from position” to enable them to get closer to the striker zone. All three central defenders on mark tighter in the low block,

What would I do differently?

Personally, I don’t think “Conteball” is sustainable in football anymore. The best teams do not use the three-at-the-back system anymore. And the most recent ones that have been used, such as Nagelsmann’s Bayern and Conte’s Tottenham have dropped in levels and would have to adapt to keep up with the football world. With that being said, allow me to introduce you to what I think the future of Tottenham should look like, with their current players.

Without going into too much detail, this is quite similar to Brighton’s 4-4-2 buildup model. I personally think Richarlison and Danjuma are way too good to sit on the bench for an extra centre-back. So this gives Spurs another option in attack in games. The midfield pivot of one destroyer and one progressor who both like to play it simple. Hojberg(6) and Bissouma(8) are not really a set choice and I feel Hojberg(6) and Bentacur(8) and Bissouma(6) and Bentacur(8) can do the job to the same level.

I have Davies set on “stay narrow” to form a third cb in possession, with the midfield pivot and a front 5 of Son(holding width on the left), Kane, Richarlison central, Kulusevki and Porro). Other combinations I liked include Perisic holding width on the left in a winger/inverted winger role and Son holding width on the right, with Porro dropping out. The out-of-possession back 4 with this lineup will be dier rb Romero & Davies cb, Perisic lb. Another combination would be to replace Richarlison with Danjuma and play Son centrally with Danjuma out wide on the left.

This is where it differs from De Zerbi’s Brighton a bit. With Kane likely to leave, I would look to bring a more traditional number 10 to play a proper 4-2-3-1 formation. James Maddison is definitely one to look out for with Leicester in a relegation fight. Van de Beek, who seems to not have it going at United, is another one. Others include Enzo Le fee, Houssem Aouar, Eberechi Eze, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Mason Mount. And of course, my next Tottenham manager? Mauricio Pochettino.

Tactic links 




  • Daniel Gear

    Dan Gear is a vibrant member of the Football Manager (FM) community, renowned for his engaging content and insightful tutorials. He illuminates complex FM concepts on "View From The Touchline" and shares engaging narratives through his unique European Journeyman save reveals. Dan's collaborative spirit shines in partnerships with fellow creators like FM Stag, unraveling new FM features. He's a co-host of the engaging "Grass N Gear" podcast, making the FM experience more enjoyable for many. With a blend of humor, expertise, and a knack for community engagement, Dan Gear's contributions significantly enrich the Football Manager community, making him a cherished figure among enthusiasts.

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