FM24 Vertical Tiki Taka vs Tiki Taka: What’s the Difference?

Both Vertical Tiki Taka and Tiki Taka emerged as progressive playing styles, challenging traditional approaches to the game. 

Tiki Taka, often associated with the mesmerizing Barcelona team under Pep Guardiola, gained prominence in the late 2000s. Its emphasis on quick, short passes and positional interchanges revolutionized the way teams approached possession and control.

On the other hand, Vertical Tiki Taka is a modern adaptation of Tiki Taka, characterized by its verticality and incisive forward movement. This style puts a greater emphasis on penetrating passes and rapid transitions, aiming to create scoring opportunities in a more direct manner.

Information about Vertical Tiki taka and Tiki taka in football manager 24.

While both styles share a commitment to possession and intelligent movement, their approaches diverge in significant ways.

And we’re going to talk about that today. 

FM24 Vertical Tiki Taka vs Tiki Taka: Key Differences

While vertical tiki-taka has its roots originated from the classic tiki-taka, it diverged into an entirely new playing style with unique sets of instructions. 

In Football Manager 24, you’ll notice the following differences between vertical tiki-taka and Tiki-taka:

Vertical Tiki TakaTiki Taka
BuildupFast BuildupSlow Buildup
Passing DirectnessShortMuch Shorter
Attacking TransitionCounterHold Shape
Attacking WidthFairly NarrowFairly Wide
DribblingRun into DefenseDefense Less
Trigger PressMuch More OftenMore Often
WeaknessesHigh Defensive LineLow Defensive Line
Teams Associated withBarcelona(mid 2000s)Ajax, Manchester City

Doesn’t look identical if you present it that way!

Let’s dive into the details to fully understand how the two playing style differs from each other. 

FM24 Vertical Tiki Taka vs Tiki Taka: Detailed Differences

We’ll start off by comparing the two playing styles based on the three different stages of team instruction in FM24. After that, we’ll weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the two tactics before reaching a conclusion. 

Let’s begin.

Vertical Tiki Taka vs Tiki Taka: In Possession

The concept is simple.

Tiki-taka heavily emphasizes holding the ball and patiently reaching toward the final third with sideway passes. 

Compared to standard tiki-taka, the vertical tiki-taka looks to progress the ball into the final third in an urgent manner with more direct, vertical passes.

This means that the tempo is slightly higher for vertical tiki-taka in contrast to tiki-taka football. 

In possession, the Vertical Tiki-taka adopts a very narrow width to focus the attack through the center. This creates a decent amount of chances from both through balls and crosses. 

Vertical Tiki taka tactical overview in FM24.

Tiki-taka football on the other hand looks to play wide to draw the opponents and create passing space. 

Passing into Space is exclusively restricted in the tiki-taka system as it increases the frequency of risky passes and possession turnover. 

However, Vertical tiki-taka allows passes into space to complement the verticality and incisive forward movement.

Vertical Tiki-takaTiki-taka
Attacking WidthNarrowFairly Narrow
Pass into SpaceYesNo
Passing DirectnessShortMuch Shorter
DribblingRun at DefenseDribble Less
Creative FreedomBe More ExpressiveStandard
CrossingMixed CrossesLow Crosses

Players are discouraged to attempt dribbles in a tiki-taka tactic. They are instructed to rather focus on a pass-first mentality. 

Tiki taka tactical overview in Football Manager 24.

Emphasis on ball progression allows the teams playing a vertical tiki-taka system to dribble more.

Vertical Tiki Taka vs Tiki Taka: In Transition

During the attacking transition in a Vertical tiki-taka system, there’s a slight level of urgency compared to tiki-taka football to quickly transition from defense to attack. 

Players are encouraged to counter instead of holding shape. The goalkeeper is also often instructed to distribute the ball quickly to give the opposition as less time as possible to regroup. 

Vertical Tiki-TakaTiki-Taka
When Possession Has Been WonCounterHold Shape
Goalkeeper In PossessionDistribute QuicklySlow Pace Down

Vertical Tiki Taka vs Tiki Taka: Out of Possession

Without the ball, both tactical style plays somewhat identical to each other. 

But Tiki-taka looks to press with extremely higher intensity compared to Vertical Tiki-taka to win back possession.

It also aims to press with a much higher defensive line to win the ball way up the pitch to assert its dominance over the game. 

Vertical Tiki-takaTiki-taka
Trigger PressMore OftenMuch More Often
Defensive LineHigher Defensive LineMuch Higher Defensive Line

Vertical Tiki Taka vs Tiki Taka: Player Attributes

Teams preferring a vertical tiki-taka require players who’re fast, tremendously technical, and can compete in a high-intensity environment.

A vertical tiki-taka system prefers players with high levels of:

  • Dribbling
  • Technique
  • Flair
  • Vision
  • Anticipation
  • Off the Ball
  • Workrate
  • Agility
  • Pace
  • Acceleration
  • Stamina
  • Natural Fitness

In contrast, Standard tiki-taka focuses on the following attributes:

  • Passing
  • Vision
  • Anticipation
  • Concentration
  • Off the Ball
  • Agility
  • Aggression
  • Positioning

Vertical Tiki Taka vs Tiki Taka: Formations

Standard 4-3-3 DM Wide and 4-2-3-1 DM AM Wide are both popular formations for both tactical style. 

However, you can also implement the Diamond Narrow 4-4-2 formation for a Vertical Tiki-taka play. 

Best formations to play vertical tiki taka

On the other hand, the 5-2-3 effectively uses the width of a standard tiki-taka system.

Vertical Tiki TakaTiki Taka
4-3-3 DM Wide4-3-3 DM Wide
4-2-3-1 DM AM Wide4-2-3-1 DM AM Wide
4-4-2 Diamond Narrow5-2-3 DM Wide

Vertical Tiki Taka vs Tiki Taka: Strength

Vertical Tiki TakaTiki-Taka
Directness Ball Possession
CounterattackingBuild-up play
Vertical MovementSideways Passing
Quick TransitionSlow Progression
Aggressive Final Third PlayPatient Final Third Play

Vertical Tiki Taka vs Tiki Taka: Weaknesses

Vertical Tiki TakaTiki Taka
Vulnerable to Counter AttacksLacks Directness
RiskyPredictable build-up
Hard to break a high defensive lineDifficult breaking compact defense
Requires fast players with immense workrate and natural fitnessRequires players with good positioning and teamwork
Reliant on individual brillianceReliant on team cohesion

Parting Words

That’s pretty much everything there is about Vertical Tiki-taka and Tiki-taka.

I would have loved to explore the two tactical styles in much more depth…but it would end up making it more complicated. 

You can explore various settings with the two distinct styles by following my other tactical guides. 

Hope you enjoyed it so far. If you want more tactical comparisons like this, please let me know!

Until next time then. 

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