Set pieces are one of those things in Football Manager 2023 that a majority of players just forget to touch. Now that's not awful, as the default settings for most set pieces are pretty good. But when it comes to attacking corners you can dominate with a custom routine.
Our corner routines will have you scoring extra goals that can make all the difference over a season and even bag you some major wins in cup compeitions. If done right, you can see a player score more than 20 goals a year with it.
Let's run you through the BEST Football Manager 2023 corners tactic you've seen!
Football Manager 2023 corners
If you have never touched the corner routines before then you can find them by going to the Tactics tab, hovering over the Set Pieces dropdown menu and then selecting corners.
This will give you a rather basic pitch view with your defending and attacking routines. Make sure to click "Attack" under the scenario toggle on the top right, and then you can start to set up your routine. There are two that we use, one for each side of the pitch.
Attacking left corner routine
On the left side we are trying to hit an in-swinging corner to the back post, which means a right-foot corner taker is needed. But there is some magic to the setup that we need to use to make this work properly.
The first thing to do is bring a player short. This should be a centre midfielder or defensive midfielder, but whoever it is they will attract a defender out of the box to help free up some space for your players.
Then we want to position our best aerial centre back at the far post. At the elite level we are looking for someone at least 6'2" but ideally taller and with at least 15+ in Jumping Reach, Strength, and Heading. High Bravery is a nice thing to have too. At lower levels you just want your centre back with the highest rating in those key attributes.
In this Barcelona example, our go-to-player is Ronald Araujo. He's not exactly known for being an overpowering physical centre back, but he has bagged 18+ goals in back-to-back seasons using these routines!
With those key players set you want to then set your striker on the penalty spot with "mark keeper" as their instruction. Your other centre back should be at the front post, with one player at the near post set to "Lurk at near post".
Your full backs or wingbacks should be staying back at all times. The other two players should be lurking on the edge of the area to mop up any loose balls.
Attacking right corner routine
On the right side it is a little different, but with the same end result, more goals! This time we want an out-swinging corner to the near post which again means you want a right-foot taker. Once more, we are lining up a player short to bring a defender out of the box.
Now we position our go-to centre back at the near post, again with the striker on the penalty spot to mop up any balls that drop. Your other centre back should be at the far post with "lurk at far post" as their instructions, and another player at the far post too just in case a defensive flip on falls there.
Away from the box we again want the fullbacks or wing backs staying back at all times and the remaining two players lurking outside the area.
Things to check before key games
Football Manager 2023's corner system is pretty outdated, and some flaws can occur with the system that mean suddenly you will find players aren't where you want them.
The first thing to do is to save these routines so that you can quickly load them up in other saves, but you will also need to select them for every tactic. You should have multiple tactics set up for your team, but the corner routines are bound to specific ones, so you will need to set them for each one. That way if you adjust tactic mid-game your routines will still be in place.
When you do make subs and position changes on the fly, like pulling a midfielder for an extra striker, it can mess up your routines too. So you should always check that they are still set right before going back into the game after you make a substitution.
The final thing is to check that the correct centre back is actually the one you are targeting. When you rotate players you can easily end up with your strongest aerial threat on the wrong side of the formation and this can cost you goals.
They can also go awry when your usual corner taker isn't playing. This will force someone else to take the corner, again changing where your players will line up for corners.
When it comes to big games like cup ties or European clashes you absolutely must keep an eye on the corner routines and make sure they are right! We are really hoping Sports Interactive make some sweeping changes to set pieces to avoid some of these issues in future games, but in FM23 you want to make sure you follow these tips if you want to add 20+ goals to your team every season!