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Using the Unusual


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There are many roles and formations that are commonplace in FM19. Reading through the forum however, there are also many roles that hardly get featured at all. This is why in this thread I attempt to take some of these roles and through some mild experimentation develop tactical barebones centred around them.

Seeing how the focus should be on the role, there need to be a few rules:

1) There will be no TIs or PIs selected in the initial process. The role should speak for itself!
2) I will refrain from using asymmetrical formations as they are one of many human privileges that can easily break the game
3) Similarly, while 'mirrored' formations might be used to demonstrate key concepts, they are not to be the final submission!

Part 1: Enganche and Raumdeuter
    --The Formation
    --Slight tweaks and the key roles

Part 2: Incoming?

If there are any unusual roles you want me to have a look at or there are aspects you want me to get more into detail about, just send a message!

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How this got started?

Shortly after the Winter update, I was not finding the right motivation to start my usual obligatory long-term save. I felt somewhat overwhelmed by the options and underwhelmed by the absurdity of crosses and long shots as main weapon despite every instruction telling my players to forego these as options. With my suicidal tactic also being too experimental for regular usage and having too high requirements for the fun build-up phases, I was essentially just starting games to think about how to edit the three key players I thought were underrated in the database, as well as my favourite who deserved some good years!

But then something magical happened: @herne79 posted his topic about the no-instruction way and I found some spark in me to play at least one full pre-season to see what I could come up with just with the roles as given by the game. There were still many I had hardly ever used (or even read about!) and why not combine these two motivations?

What was my chosen shape and first role distribution? [don't worry, I'll edit in a picture later!]
                        SKd
 CWBs    CDd        BPDd    IWBs    
               CMd       CARs
    Ws                EGs             RMD
                         CFa

Not much choice in the shape, actually. With an AMC and an offensive winger already chosen, there are only so many possibilities. With asymmetries and strikerless formations being forbidden by my rules, a 4231 is both the most normal and the most balanced approach.

Explanation of roles and combinations

Goalkeeper
I wanted to keep it pretty simple. Good support in the back, with a few good long balls and plenty of recycles to the backline. Thus no SKs or SKa -- the 'more risk' PI makes it far too aggressive in buildup.

Complete Wingback
On the right flank the CWB is a highly aggressive role that roams from position, perfect to either over- or underlap the Winger who, being Cristian Pavon, runs both wide and narrow depending on the opponent and opportunity. This results in a doubling-up on the flank and puts constant pressure on the opponents' left back.

Central Defender
 Just an inoffensive basic role that recycles deep balls. As before him is another deep Defensive duty, a more running and creative player would lack space.

Ball Playing Defender
In front of my left defender are two central players that (slowly) get forward and drift laterally to get into position. I envisioned him having the vision to set these two running and enforce their running by occupying their lower space.

Inverted Wingback
This was a pretty hard decision, actually! I was considering a WBd and a WBau before as I needed a role to cover for the RMD. The IWBs actually was a rather late idea -- I thought that a more central role has a shorter route back in position and better opportunities for long shots and through balls.     

Central Midfielder
Just a holder to secure the aggressive right side. No playmaker to keep the Enganche strong, no BWMd to keep him in position.

Carrilero
Even though the Carrilero will not work exactly as advertised due to the Raumdeuter on his side, he has a symbiotic relationship with the IWB: Already staying wider, the fullback will quickly infringe on his space and most likely underlap. To find a new pocket of space to operate in, the CAR then drifts into the deserted left, almost his usual spot!

Winger
The role most focussed on his inspiration: Cristian Pavon. He already had the traits to cut inside and move into channels and I decided why not to go all the way? I added One-Twos and Arriving late into the area through the editor and found myself a player who can both score and assist and constantly attacks the opponent's backline while opening up space for the Wingback behind!

Enganche
The EG is 'boxed in', surrounded on all sides by his teammates. Which makes him in narrow and contested games a perfect recycler to keep attacks alive  and in more open games a good focal point to send the three offensive men running

Raumdeuter
Nominally a wide Poacher, tests quickly revealed an individual with good Work Rate and decent Teamwork has a pretty large radius. He'll help recycle deep balls on his flank before rushing into the box to evade marking and tap in. The winger and Enganche both are players to feed him, through crosses or through balls, respectively.

Complete Forward
My first (and incidentally also final) pick because this role both adds another threat in the final third and also adds some good support.

False Nine
The Striker I switched to during the middle tests because my CFa was too isolated. Idea being that a dropping Striker would create rooms for the Raumdeuter. Spoiler alert: Did not exactly work -- it took away one threat and made the game more easily read by opponents.
 
My first idea
    --Heavy overload on the right and in left half-spaces
    --EG both recycles and creates
    --CFA and RMD run spaces while the winger cuts inside late
      The two attack duties are meant to be the main threats who run after ball and receive the crosses. The winger does late cut-ins to both make room for the CWB and to either be another potential shooter or do these dangerous either-footed crosses from the edge of the box to the offensive men.

Trait these players!
CWBs
Flanking players always love to curl balls! This role in particular also loves to play one-twos with the CMd and sometimes the Ws. With right speed or dribbling, knocking the ball past opponents or running often also is worth a consideration!

BPDd
Brings Ball out of Defence is nice for some buildup from the back and to get the IWB and CAR into position but is by no means a must!

IWBs
This is a role to get creative with! If they have Strength and Long Shots however, I love 'Shoots with Power'

CMd
Coming Deep helps him receive balls in slower buildups and to recycle it either to the Enganche, his midfield partners, or the two wingers. When given good passing and vision, this also lets him better initiate counters, whatever the hardcoded PIs say!

CARs
Like the IWB, shooting with power can be helpful with the right attributes.

Ws
Like I said, Cristian Pavon was my inspiration, just taking even further! Cutting inside, moving into channels, playing one-twos – basically everything making him play more aggressive and cut inside without upping his starting position too much! The final goodie I found was Arrives Late in Area. This highly encourages the winger to attack the box but the front is already occupied by the relatively static Enganche which hinders him in early cut-ins and central breaches. However, this results in lateral breaches that are insanely hard to defend against!

EG
As a playmaker this role of course works well with dictating the tempo! Especially in his capacity as focal point, he needs to decide on his terms whether to send his mates running or to let them re-organise the attack. Another good pick might be Killer Balls as this increases his through balls, in particular to the CFa. Finally, it might be worth considering to either make him especially favour passing to scoring or to make his shots more dangerous -- The EG gets into many good positions due to his Off the Ball and Decision attributes. Personally I like the recycler more as it makes the game feel alive and fluid but with a good shot you quickly gain another threat.

RMD
My first idea was to make him focus on his wide Poacher duties: Avoiding the Offside Trap, Places Shots, Getting into the Area. These kind of things to make him run into open pockets and either score or play a back pass to the CFa. Then however I made an interesting golden mistake: Sleep-drunken I gave him the PPM to run rarely with the logic being "if he won't dribble, he'll either shoot or pass almost on sight". This interacted quite peculiar with his other traits however, making him a tap-in specialist inside the box while severely increasing his participation in buildup phases on the flank and unfortunately taking away all chances of deep counter runs which was another hope of mine at conception.

The second RMD I have is more, shall I say, conservative. Cutting inside and lobbing keepers. If he has it, also either knocking balls past opponents or dribbling more. An absolutely amazing counter striker who sadly will not do that much more...    

CFa
        Get creative! I let mine breathe but that is up to the player.

The first games
The tactic worked surprisingly well, confirming one of Herne's theses: When not tactically overwhelmed, players are more likely to find different ways to score and assist, spreading out the 'Goal Assist' tab and making for fun games to watch!

Most interesting however was how some partnerships emerged and threats developed:

  • The Winger is a true double danger, both scoring after late cut-ins and playing almost indefensible crosses to the RMD at the far post. Interestingly, the most dangerous ones are in-swingers whereas out-swinging ones often are directed at the Enganche who in turn quickly sends the CFa through.
  •  Speaking of: If not blessed (or cursed for the want of more diverse, beautiful plays...) good shooting, the Enganche loves to send through balls to the CFa if he decides to go dangerous himself. Otherwise he just sits in his pocket and sprays short balls to players around him, re-developing the attack to find new approaches
  • Another big part is how CAR and IWB act: They lurk around the Enganche and collect plenty of stray balls for dangerous shots from distance or through balls at the wingers (or more profane, short passes to the Enganche who directs the rest).

 

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Quick fixes and tweaks


1) CAR runs wide
With an AML before him, the CAR unfortunately will not act exactly as it should. That was already expected. However, staying already wider and with an in-cutting IWB behind him, he is already forced wide again. This PI enforces this behaviour even further, creating space in the middle for the Wingback and giving the CAR options to cross as otherwise the left flank is pretty deserted.
 
2) GK passes shorter
The passing accuracy is atrocious and too many hoofballs are taken. Therefore he will take a step back here and let the defence handle it. Unless there is a good counter opportunity – then he should still take a risk!

3) Second, different RMD as joker
Ironically, the hyper-aggressive RMD does a lot of defensive work. Running rarely, he does help back defensively while running into positions up front. This is amazing against deeper opponents as that forces them out and make him somewhat unpredictable but against fast teams playing high up, he can easily get frustrated. Which is why one needs alternatives! I grew to love a low Teamwork RMD with 'Places Shots' and 'Cuts inside' or 'runs centre' -- during counter opportunities those really act like classical Poachers that can outrun many defenders

General notes
This tactic already makes plenty of fun without adding into any further PI and does not need much big changes to stay successful. Therefore I opted to discontinue this as an example of tweaking and will instead focus more on the three key roles: the narrow W(s), RMD, and EGs

If I wanted to write it up further and go into the gritty-gritty, the first two changes would be playing out of the defence and – with a good Sweeper Keeper – playing slighter higher. In possession this tactics looks good but there is somewhat too little. With that an offside trap suddenly also looks like a good plan.

Maybe once my 4123 turns too boring, I'll start a more honest save with this tactic and add to it here!

The Key Roles

Winger (Support)

Probably the most interesting role because even with a playmaker right next to him, he usually gathers the most touches and gives the most assists.

As a refresher, these are the PPM I play with:
--Cuts inside from both wings
--Moves into Channels
--Plays One-Twos
--Arrives Late in Area
--Places Shots
--[If possible] Curls Ball

The contradictions in PI and PPM work quite well in creating a more versatile role that incorporates the danger of a W(a) inside the box with the movements of an IW(s) and W(s).

When played right-footed, the player often attempts cut-ins relatively early but when pressured pivots quickly back to the line. If he doesn't do a relatively early cross there, he'll try to run down the flank for a bit before entering the box somewhat diagonally if not even laterally [illustration].

As a left footed player, the cut-ins happen earlier and more consequently. In a way this role then plays as a IW(a) but with more focus on in-swinging crosses and from a higher starting position.

As for attributes, orientate yourself on the IWa but with a higher focus on general mental stats. Movement (Acceleration, Pace, Off the Ball, Work Rate, Decisions) and ball handling (First Touch, Dribbling, Balance, Agility) are a good basis with general bulk (strength, primarily) being a nice bonus and technical prowess (Technique, Crossing, Finishing, Long Shots, Passing) deciding what the player does in the danger zone.

The Raumdeuter (Attack)

A hybrid between a Poacher in attack and a wide midfielder in defense, the RMD always is good for the unexpected goal and in building up the game by letting the IWBs One-Two and ultimately funnelling the game to the EG (who in turn sends the CFa or patiently builds the game anew further up the pitch) or Ws (who in turn creates plenty of chaos and often sends the RMD loose on the far post.

The PPM for my main guy
    -Tries to beat offside trap
    -Places Shots
    -Runs rarely
    -Gets into Area

I think his defensive contribution comes from another contradiction arising from the deserted flank, him running rarely, and his high values for Team Work and Work Rate.

Originally I wanted him to stay on level with the defenders and burst through, either running a 1-v-1 against the keeper or passing back to the CFa running in. But instead I found him often lurking at the flanks around the midfield line, holding the ball so that the IWBs could underlap and generally forming a nice little triangle with IWBs and CAR. But once the IWBs has passed him or the ball is with more offensive players (i.e. EG, Ws or CFa), the Raumdeuter bursts forward at the defense and positions himself at the post, often catching crosses from the Ws or stray clearances.  

The PPM for my replacement
    -Cuts inside
    -Places Shots

In comparison, this guy right here really acts like the Poacher role, positioning himself somewhat narrow and waiting for long balls from the back which he tries to carry right to the goalkeeper. Had I had the foresight, I'd also have given him the ability to lob keeper with the many 1-v-1 he get into but alas, I forgot about it!

Defensively, he does far less, probably because when trapped deeper down, he tries to play himself out instead of passing and running. e works particularly well if I change my striker to a support duty or even a F9 as they harass the defenders more.

In general I'd say key attributes for this role are in roughly descending order: Off The Ball, Decisions, Acceleration, [Speed when played deeper or as counter specialist], First Touch, Technique, Composure, Finishing.

The key for this role is to find open pockets of space and for this it primarily needs movement! After the movement is cleared and the player gets into position, the next key is to reach and control the balls played to him. No need for a good shot if the ball bounces a few meters of the leg or kicks on belly-height are constantly missed! Only then the actual act of scoring becomes important.

Agility also shouldn't be underestimated as the role does lots of running, often between two defenders.
        
Supporting attributes come in many flavours and are often question of preference.

Physically there are Strength and Balance. This makes the role stronger against opposing tackles and gives them a slight edge against faster defenders that might be able to keep up with him. There also are Jumping Reach and Heading. While not as important as usual as a good Raumdeuter comes from his movement and technique, catching many balls with his leg, it is an amazing help for corners and free kicks because said movement makes him often run at the right position.

As support, Vision and Passing are a nice supplement because sometimes crosses or through balls go astray or a well-behaved defender forces him aside. As the RMD then often still is inside the box or close to the byline, these stats help in making him see the players arriving late in the box or camping at the penalty spot.

Finally, defensively there are aforementioned Work Rate and Team Work that make him help a lot more defensively and creates the RMD-IWBs-CAR triangle.

 

The Enganche (Support)

Have I ever mentioned how much I love that this role is now designated Support instead of Attack? Erm, sorry! What I meant to say is: A truly marvellous role that does not necessarily excel in ratings but can completely change the shape of the game!

The way the Enganche works, imagine a bubble around the player. Inside this bubble he will move freely (and much! So, so much!) and look for the best piece of free space to occupy and direct the game from there.

Usually the EG is meant to play in rather narrow formations and the classical South American 4312 with hyper-mobile and -aggressive fullbacks that cover the flanks by themselves and at least one fast and agile striker. In these capacities the Enganche can send the striker(s) running with a through ball or hold onto the ball and find the right second to pass into the space the wingbacks will run into. When playing the role in these settings, he'll get to play plenty of through balls at all sides in front of him and will necessarily have a lot of responsibilities as THE focal player in attack.

What was this little excursion good for? In this 4231 the Enganche is far more surrounded and boxed in and less the main focus to funnel attacks through. As a playmaker he is still attracting a good amount of balls but the changed environment and players breaking into his bubble results in a lot of short  passes and offensive recycling if something went rather badly. He is an expert in saving attacks and giving the other offensive players more liberties because he'll always be there to rescue their backsides if they overdid it. Sometimes he'll hold onto the ball until everyone is repositioned. Sometimes he'll quickly dispatch it to the other side, and sometimes he'll do the through ball to the striker.

To bring in heavy-handed metaphors, the classical Enganche is a bottleneck whereas mine is more of a check valve.

I don't know whether or not that was intended because in more true-to-life usages Enganches are masters of holding the ball when needed and then spraying them wild in any direction, mine is somewhat apathetic in the spraying department but completely lives the 'hold ball' and 'wait for teammates to get into position' rules. As such he is the best support I could ever have wished for!

About their stats, in my opinion there are just four key attributes: Off the Ball, Passing, Decision, Anticipation. First Touch and Technique also shouldn't be *too* low. With these an Enganche will find his pockets of space and be able to play good and accurate short passes. [However, in more free-flowing, run-intensive systems Vision is also key!]

Another thing that makes an Enganche so special is that there are so many ways to specialise this role!

Specialisation Physical: Balance, Strength, Jumping Reach.

With this specialisation the Enganche gains two more venues to attack:
    1) He can reach more balls and better shield them to create more time and thus space for his team mates to run into. He is harder to bring down and so gains an extra second or two to recycle the balls given to him or to dare a dangerous through ball himself
    2) Especially with some decent Work Rate (10-12 suffices) he will be far more comfortable using his bodies to get into tacklings and do some pressing. Together with his OTB attributes this creates some nice counter opportunities!

How to increase: Cross-train as (Wide) Target Man or the focuses Strength or Agility.

Specialisation Attack: Finishing, Long Shots, [Acceleration]

With this specialisation the Enganche creates some synergy with his good movement. Inside his bubble the Enganche tends to be pretty mobile (In fact, he regularly is my player with the most distance covered!) to find an unmarked second to regain control of the match. Instinctively this means he gains the ball and tries to recycles it to another attacking team mate. However, often he finds an open path to the goal in front of him and this specialisation makes these chances far, far more dangerous!

Be aware though that having these stats alone sometimes makes this player shoot almost too often, particularly if he has high flair. Effective? Often. Nice to watch? Hardly ever. That also makes the CFa and RMD less effective.

How to train? Training focus Finishing.

Specialisation Speed: Acceleration

While looking counter-intuitive as the Enganche is portrayed as a relatively static role, it moves quite a lot inside the restricted radius and is always looking to evade marking opponents. His OTB movement and decisions already give him good chances in this department and Acceleration makes it even better!

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Cracking post! I don't have much to add about the Enganche role, as I haven't played it before, but the Raumdeuter is one of my favorites. I always got a save going with Liverpool and Mo Salah is the ideal player for this role (attributes + PPM). I'm now playing as Fiorentina, and I want to play Chiesa in this role. He looks great as well.

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