The number 10 in a wingerless formation
It's time for a wingerless challenge!
I have no experience with such kind of formations but I do love a good diamond in miedfield, my team (Porto) actually won a Champions League while using such a formation so, oh boy, it brings me back memories. Once again I resorted to @Rashidi - this time in FM 15:
Wait... 2 tactics? Well, this thread is about different options to achieve the same goal - give the AMC space to perform. I wrote about the different AMC's and what you can be expecting from them, so, once again this is a good framework to fiddle around with the AMC role and decide what do you want from him. For example, you can use a scorer role like SS and squeeze goals out of him if that's what you want your AMC to contribute.
I ended up using both tactics just to get acquainted with the formation itself as I am a rookie in wingerless formations. Perhaps I ended up playing the first one a little more than the second one.
These are the tactics revisited for FM 20:
Team instructions are again just to suit my personal tasting, and you can see that not many changes were made from the original tactic. If you look at the players behind and in front of the AMC you can see that I used the same principles I applied to the 4-4-1-1. I would love to see how other people are "creating space", so feel free to comment/criticize, I'm always eager to know more about the game.
Now... the 4-3-1-2 is actually tricky. There's much space on the flanks and between defense-midfield, so not every player is suited to these roles. It's kinda obvious that the full backs and midfielders will run a lot - with and without the ball - so if you don't have these kind of attributes in your squad, you're much better using a different formation. I've chosen Sampdoria for this challenge, and I did good (better than I was expecting) but I always felt my players were not good enough for these requirements. I really need to thank set pieces, and perhaps my Ass Man as I was holydaing through the season, for the position I ended up at the league table
The most interesting league stat for me was this, I liked my squad but I never felt they were capable of this:
Let's meet the number 10 ... ladies and gentlemen I give you Gaston Ramírez! Decent player traits, natural AMC, and fairly inconsistent if I might add. I don't know if it's player related, formation, the opponent's quality or the deep formations I faced.
He had a good season - to my standards at least - and here's more stats:
Even when not scoring/assisting, he was always there to spread our play and ended up getting higher ratings even in games with no direct influence in the result. These are not his best performances, but you can see he's heavily involved within our play to make an impact:
(Gotta love those 10 key passes )
I leave the rest to the FAQ's, and feel free to judge and comment 'cause I do believe this work can be fine tuned even further with your contribution.
Is it okay if I change some team instructions?
Yes, if you know what you are doing.
Can I change some player roles?
Yes, you can. On purpous I showed two different variations of the same formation just to show that it's possible to change player roles and even duties. @Rashidi used an AM instead of an AP to a great effect and there's no reason why that can't still work.
How were the goals spread up to your team?
Both my strikers were my top performers goals wise, seconded by the AMC. Full backs and midfielders also contributed.
Did the assists from the AMC came from set pieces?
Some did. I scored a lot from set pieces, mostly direct free kicks 'cause both Gabbiadini and Quagliarella were up to the task. But I did see Gaston Ramírez assisting from corners a few times.
Who's the most important player?
Believe it or not I would say everyone minus the front three. Sounds contradicting but this formation have heavy requirements and I did feel my players were not the most adequate for it. But if you can't have decent full backs and ball winning miedfielders you're front three won't be fed 'cause the ball won't get to them, simple as that. The downfall of this system relies on the flanks, so, attacking attributes are quite nice to have but the full backs need to be good defensively aswell, and you must pay attention to what is happening on the pitch and restrict your flanks to deal with the opposition attack, such as changing the roles to FB (S) - just an example - when the AI is throwing everything at you down on that flank.
Did you use OI's?
No I didn't. But this is the kind of formation where I probably should've used. Having obvious flaws in the flanks and no CDM I could use OI's to mitigate those risks.
Did you use any PI's?
Yes, the wider players on the MC strata have "Hold position" and "Stay wider". The strikers and the AMC have "Close down more" and "Tackle harder". If your AMC has good finishing and your strikers can dribble and cross it might pay off the tell your strikers to "Stay wider" aswell.
Why Sampdoria now?
Italy is the home of the Trequartista. The italian league gave me what the german league could not, teams that sat deep and usually lined up with deep formations, this time the challenge would be not to see if my AMC could perform while being harassed but instead see if he could perform when there are opponents parking the bus ahead of him.