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Libero+Midfield Experiment Help

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Hi folks! So, I've returned to the FM series after a three year hiatus, and quite enjoying the new version. I've started a save with FC St. Pauli and am leading the 2. BuLi quite comfortably playing a 4-4-2 of my own design, but I've got one eye on how to take on the Bundesliga when and indeed if I do get promoted. It should be obvious that what works in the second league won't work against the likes of Dortmund, but at the same time there are a few other considerations for why I want to switch things up aside from wanting to do something funky:

- Christian Conteh, my supposed star wide man, is in my opinion rather crap. He is somehow effective, but I can't see that holding true with the big boys as he's reliant on his physicals and dribbling

- Waldemar Sobota, my other star wide man, is getting on a bit and isn't going to be quick anymore next year

- My left and right wingbacks seem decent in comparison to what's going in Germany, at least the starting ones, and they have heaps of pace and stamina

- My most interesting player, Marvin Knoll, looks like a rolls royce of a defender from a technical standpoint (okay, 2. BuLi, he's at least a nicely tuned Opel), but has 10/10 in jumping and heading. Aggression and bravery notwithstanding, he's going to get bullied as a Bundesliga BPD in a two; as it is our main weakness is aerial

- My midfielders seem quite run of the mill - not too much real ballwinning talent there, but they all seem to have decent passing, decent vision and work rate, average tackling, and the like. Nothing special, aside from Finn Becker who is on the higher end of all of that, but he's gotten his head turned by a bunch of big clubs and I hope to develop him next year while he sits and sulks this year

- I've not been able to do much in the transfer market yet, just made a couple of immediate term signings to ensure a good shot at promotion like Philip Haglund (free, both my other target men started with long term injuries), Morten Gamst Pedersen (free, when I need a big set piece late in the game, and for mentoring) and Curtis Jones on loan (just cuz.)

So, the plan: a little Guardiola inspiration here, absolutely overload the centre of the park to try and hog the ball, but ensure there's movement to make use of it. As such, we will line up in a 5-3-2 defensively, the flankers in the WB strata and with attack duty as they will stretch the field and provide that wide threat all the way up the pitch. Up top, a two-striker partnership, TBD but I don't anticipate problems there. And herein lies the rub: First thing, Marvin Knoll as a libero. To be fair, this is all probably going to fall through and I'll use him as a holding midfielder, but hey, a guy can dream. What I want is for him to, in possession, push in front of his centreback partners and try and dictate the game a little, like a DLP. Simply using him as a DLP is probably the way to go, but again, I'm a dreamer. What I need to figure out is what to do with the three centre mids to create the space for the libero to behave like I want.

My current thinking with the three is that the middle one gets CMa, effectively to both vacate the spinal space for the libero to thrive in and to provide a third presence in the box for the wingbacks to aim at. Alternately, APa to drive the team forward in the buildup and get around the D when the ball goes wide, either way vacating bunches of space for the libero. Likewise, I would like the two other centre mids to vacate the middle a bit, taking inspiration from Wijnaldum and Henderson from Liverpool - winning second balls, crunching counters dead, jumping into the press, offering an outlet for the wings, and recycling the ball - switching play, cutting in and having a pop or crossing from deep would be a bit much to hope for at the stage, but maybe one day or if Becker bucks up. The hell do I do here? Carillero, or CMs with instructions and traits? I considered BWM, but my fellows just seem a bit too stately for that, although if it's the way to make it work then I'll do it.

What I want, basically, is wingbacks, strikers and middle CM providing the real attacking threat, the other CM's linking, recycling and generally making themselves useful, while the libero functions as a DLP would, with the centre backs able to sit back and watch the fun, defensive shape being 5-3-2 but attacking shape being 2-3-5. Any advice on setting up, especially with player roles and instructions for the CM's and libero, would be appreciated. :)


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I read it all, but yes a screenshot is worth at least 250 words ;-)

I identify with your "to be fair..." I was too impatient to get my attempted back 3 working and instead used a HB in front of my back 4. Worked a charm as extra cover for my LWB who'd go forward and leave us as effectively a back 3 in possession... well charm enough for my limited expectations anyways

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5 hours ago, Druvi said:


Prevent short GKD does not make much sense in a formation with less than 3 players up front, so I personally would avoid using it.

Otherwise, the tactic does not look bad, provided you are willing to accept higher-than-necessary defensive risks. Anyway, test it and see if any changes might be needed :thup:

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Looks neat @Druvi  :-) Nice change from all the 4-1-2-3s.

I used a BWM(D) with the PI to get wide in possession on my left side to help cover for my LWB(A). But maybe that would result in a break of the shape you are going for with the horizontal shuttling?

Could a BBM be used instead of a CM(A)? Genuinely asking, not rhetorical. Maybe that role is too agricultural compared to the CM? I don't have FM up to compare the instructions of the two.

Edited by CaptCanuck
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I admittedly haven't used a Libero much. I like the idea, in theory, if for no other reason than it might make a back three feel more justifiable, but it seems no matter what I try, I end up pushing that third CB forward either into the midfield or the AM strata with better results.

That said, if you wanna go three at the back with a Libero, then I'd probably push that "attack" CM forward, either into a #10 or as part of a front three, especially if you're wanting to press, prevent short goal kicks, etc. 


Edited by XuluBak
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