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llama3

The Regista - regulating a steady supply of Chances

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Introduction

Now anyone who knows anything about me and FM knows that I like 4-2-3-1's, I like Trequartista's and I like creative football that retains possession - well time to talk about the unsung hero of the system - the Deep-Lying Playmaker or the Regista.

Football Manager's Tactics Creator Defines the DLP (or Regista) as:

"The Deep-Lying Playmaker operates in the space between the defence and the midfield and aims to initiate attacking moves via pinpoint passes to players positioned higher up the pitch.

Although primarily a creative player, the Deep-Lying Playmaker also has to be competent in the art of defence.

In a support duty the Deep-Lying Playmaker will bring the ball out of defence and look for long shot opportunities as well as supplying through-balls.

In a defend duty the Deep-Lying Playmaker will fulfil extra defensive responsibilities by holding position in front of defence and will rarely look to support attacks."

instructionsb.jpg

So now with this in mind we have a greater idea of what the Deep-Lying Playmaker is all about. He is a player who sits in a slightly deeper position to a standard central midfielder, and is responsible for playing long passes to switch play to the other flank, or to play through balls directly through, or over the top of the opposition defence. Now through-balls are best linked with a forward who is reasonably pacy and has good off the ball movement, to enable them to get into a position to recieve the ball or run onto the pass in space. The Deep-Lying Playmaker also has defensive responsiblity, he does not charge forward much in support of attacks as he is needed to shield the defence and can do so as the only defensive midfielder, or as part of a pair comfortably.

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The Example - Mikel Arteta

Mikel Arteta plays as a Deep-Lying Playmaker (Support) in my current Arsenal side, here is Mikel with the key attributes for his role highlighted.

artetag.jpg

Now Mikel as you can see is creative, can play a good pass and recieve and control the ball easily and he appears good under pressure, and has a reasonable level of defensive nous. This is obvious by his match stats which show a steady if unspectacular player who completes a lot of passes, has a fairly good defensive set of statistics too, making good contributions with tackles and an impressive tally of interceptions in midfield too.

statsgf.jpg

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Now time for an example to show you how he plays during a match, my example here is my New Year's Eve game at home to Queen's Park Rangers in a convincing 4-0 win, and you can see that first of all he won 3 interceptions in very crucial areas of the pitch because of the defensive responsiblities he has.

artetaqprinterceptions.jpg

We can also see that he has completed an exceptional amount of passes, often choosing simple passes to retain the ball, but with a few more ambitious passes throughout which shows that when the opportunity presents he is capable of initiating attacking moves.

artetaqprpasses.jpg

Now we see the heatmap which shows just because Arteta is a player who is still capable of covering a large distance from box to box, which shows he truly is playing both a defensive and offensive game.

artetaqprheatmap.jpg

So therefore we see that the Deep-Lying Playmaker holds position and is defensively very important (judged by the numbers of tackles and interceptions made) yet has the technical skill to find offensive players with balls up front or over the top - as we see in this next example.

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In Action

So now we can see an example of the dangers of the Regista, this is from my early season 6-1 win at home to Swansea, and Arteta is holding a conservative position in the midfield alongside Alex Song, both players have close pressure from nearby central midfielders. The obvious and frankly safer passes are to Ramsey who is a simple ball just ahead of Arteta and Song, or back to Vermaelen who is in a little space.

examplemove1.jpg

Now we see that Theo Walcott has made a run (highlighted) in the wide-right position, and Arteta has a midfielder closing down rapidly upon him. Arteta though has seen the incoming opponent, and also seen the opportunity opening up, furthermore he has the passing skill to weight a ball perfectly into Walcott's path.

examplemove2.jpg

Theo Walcott is now clean through with just the goalkeeper to beat, and is too quick for any defender to catch him. Only a good save from Vorm denied him on this occasion.

examplemove3.jpg

Discussion and Limitations within a System

Now whilst we see that the Regista covers a lot of distance during a game, and retains the ball excellently, he is rarely in the thick of an attack, he tends to either supply breaking forwards with long-range passes, or he is retaining and moving the ball with other midfielders. I feel that in a 4-2-3-1 he is perfect in the 2-man central midfield part of the system, with a purely defensive partner. I think that the Regista does not make enough forward runs to be the more offensive player in a 4-4-2 and therefore is better in a 2-man midfield as the more defensive player. He can function well at DMC or MC and does need to be intelligent as a priority. Exclude players with PPM's that play simple passing games, as this will not allow you to see the quick countering aspect of a Deep-Lying Playmaker.

Suitable Midfield Set Ups

The Deep-Lying Playmaker could be used in central midfield in the following ways for maximum effectiveness:

Example 1 - 4-2-3-1

MRC - Ball-Winning Midfielder - Defend

MLC - Deep-Lying Playmaker - Support

AMC - Trequartista - Attack

Example 2 - 4-4-2

MRC - Deep-Lying Playmaker - Defend

MLC - Box-to-Box Midfielder - Support

Example 3 - Deep 4-2-3-1

DMRC - Anchorman - Defend

DMLC - Deep-Lying Playmaker - Support

AMC - Attacking Midfielder - Attack

Example 4 - Diamond Midfield

DMC - Deep-Lying Playmaker - Support

MRC - Ball-Winning Midfielder - Defend

MLC - Central Midfielder - Attack

AMC - Advanced Playmaker - Attack

Example 5 - Modern 4-3-3/4-5-1 Variant

DMC - Deep-Lying Playmaker - Defend

MRC - Ball-Winning Midfielder - Support

MLC - Central Midfielder - Attack

I hope this guide has given you some help to understand how the Regista works, and how you can set up the role in your FM side.

Please read my other guides on theawaystand.co.uk - tactical forum or on Sports Interactive tactics and training forums.

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Great write up! Really well done.

I think the through ball on walcott really shows the importance of composure for a deep lying playmaker. Especially in difficult games where you come under a lot of pressure having someone who can make the great pass into the space the opposition inevitably leaves behind in their pressing game is invaluable. If Arteta wouldn't have been as composed as he was he would have likely passed back to vermaelen instead of exposing the weakness in the opponents game.

The regista is also a really interesting position because what it does is instead of playing the creative player in a more aggressive position and the more defensive player in a defensive position (song) you switch them around. This puts the creative player in space allowing him more time on the ball and less pressure to make the move. The downside is that the creative player is often less defensively solid which can be a problem from time to time.

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Very good read. Been struggling with the partnership for midfield to get the best out of my DLP. Will give your suggestions a try. ta much.

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I love the 4-2-3-1 and it has taken me a while (over FM11 and 12) to get the balance I'm looking for, and I've got the best results with the following midfield trio which I'd like to volunteer for your approval/debate:

MCl: DLP Support

MCr: CM Defend

AMC: ADP Support

Offers good protection for the defence and the ADP provides a nice link between the central pair and the front three. The main struggle I've had is getting my centre forward role working properly - particularly getting him to score goals! - and looks like an accidental change to Trequartista has finally made everything click into place (and helped my right hand side Inside Fwd exploit the space he leaves).

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Good post. The only problem I find with a Regista/Ballwinner CM partnership is that if the DLP is playing a Defend role, you lose his technical abilities around the box, relying on your (assumedly) weaker (technically) ballwinner when a ball bobbles loose. Instead I prefer to bring the ball winner slightly deeper (much as Edinton has above with the CM(d)) and allow the DLP to get forward just that little more. Often I'll keep him on a defensive role, and just allow him to make forward runs, or I'll make him support and ensure forward runs stays low. This should see the more technically effective player still playing in space, but also attacking the box when his presence is needed. This may be counteracted by a bit of a loss of defensive rigidity, because you're now relying on a CM to cover to backfour, who is likely to be the ballwinner type and chase the ball. Having a DLP in front of the defense is a nice touch because he won't do that, he'll hold position, make interceptions and recycle the ball. It's a balancing act.

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Great thread, I set up my 4-2-3-1's in the same way. One question, how do you have Walcott set up?

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Great write up.

Has anyone else found that there is a real lack of quality DPL available in the game? I mean players with Composure, Passing and Creativity greater than 15 and are available without having to spend loads of money.

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That's probably because every team who has one, doesn't want to get rid of them, so you have to spend lots of money to buy them,

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Great write up.

Has anyone else found that there is a real lack of quality DPL available in the game? I mean players with Composure, Passing and Creativity greater than 15 and are available without having to spend loads of money.

This is the real problem. I am always struggling to find player decent player for DLP-role in formations without DMC/Anchorman (Example 1 and 2). Without "defensive triangle" I would like to have DLP with decent defensive capabilities but those stats with creativity/passing is hard to find. Great thread and examples gives you ideas how to set up your midfield for further modifications based on your match experience.

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Very nice post.

I'm currently using the combination of DLP (support) and BWM (defend) in 4-4-2. I was lucky that I had one DLP with nice stats (for Slovak First Division) when I came to the club. He is still young (early 22) and he has still big room for improvement (CA around 3/4.5). I'm giving him as much playtime as I can so I hope he will develop nicely.

On the tactical side, he plays really well. Mostly he does only short passes, but from time to time he launches long pass behind the defence to my poacher. The other forward is a Trequartista, so he is linking the poacher with the midfield. The results are good for the team that I have (mostly youngsters with great potential - I've been lucky with the regens), so we are sitting away from relegation.

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Good post. The only problem I find with a Regista/Ballwinner CM partnership is that if the DLP is playing a Defend role, you lose his technical abilities around the box, relying on your (assumedly) weaker (technically) ballwinner when a ball bobbles loose. Instead I prefer to bring the ball winner slightly deeper (much as Edinton has above with the CM(d)) and allow the DLP to get forward just that little more. Often I'll keep him on a defensive role, and just allow him to make forward runs, or I'll make him support and ensure forward runs stays low. This should see the more technically effective player still playing in space, but also attacking the box when his presence is needed. This may be counteracted by a bit of a loss of defensive rigidity, because you're now relying on a CM to cover to backfour, who is likely to be the ballwinner type and chase the ball. Having a DLP in front of the defense is a nice touch because he won't do that, he'll hold position, make interceptions and recycle the ball. It's a balancing act.

I do something similar, I play the more technical player in a box to box role (with through balls set to often) so he gets forward a little more and is allowed to roam. The more defensive player is actually played as deep lying playmaker (defend) because I like my defensive midfielders to be good on the ball (song and fellaini in this case). It's been very successful so far but for tougher games against big opponents who put on more pressure I sometimes play the more technical player (ramsey and arteta in my case) in the deep role so they get the ball in space while I play the defensive player in a hybrid box to box/ball winning midfielder role to put pressure back on them and defend the deep lying playmaker.

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Great write up.

Has anyone else found that there is a real lack of quality DPL available in the game? I mean players with Composure, Passing and Creativity greater than 15 and are available without having to spend loads of money.

This is the real problem. I am always struggling to find player decent player for DLP-role in formations without DMC/Anchorman (Example 1 and 2). Without "defensive triangle" I would like to have DLP with decent defensive capabilities but those stats with creativity/passing is hard to find. Great thread and examples gives you ideas how to set up your midfield for further modifications based on your match experience.

I have played passing based teams/tactics a fair bit on fm, so if anyone is intrested I could make and upload a shortlist for low/midtable teams in one of the reasonably big leauges (epl, serie a, la liga....etc)

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Good post. The only problem I find with a Regista/Ballwinner CM partnership is that if the DLP is playing a Defend role, you lose his technical abilities around the box, relying on your (assumedly) weaker (technically) ballwinner when a ball bobbles loose. Instead I prefer to bring the ball winner slightly deeper (much as Edinton has above with the CM(d)) and allow the DLP to get forward just that little more. Often I'll keep him on a defensive role, and just allow him to make forward runs, or I'll make him support and ensure forward runs stays low. This should see the more technically effective player still playing in space, but also attacking the box when his presence is needed. This may be counteracted by a bit of a loss of defensive rigidity, because you're now relying on a CM to cover to backfour, who is likely to be the ballwinner type and chase the ball. Having a DLP in front of the defense is a nice touch because he won't do that, he'll hold position, make interceptions and recycle the ball. It's a balancing act.

My DLP at the moment tends to be a natural DMC who my assistant recommends can play as a DLP, and it seems to work well. Gives me a good shield for my defence and because they're quite close to the ADP in the AMC position they link up well and regularly. Will have to actually have a proper look at the analysis of my last game (a surprisingly comfortable away win with 65% possession) to see how it works in more detail.

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A quality thread, I was going to do something simliar for the SI Sports Centre thread, but you get the info across great so I'll not bother now and just refer people to this if that's okay?

My DLP at the moment tends to be a natural DMC who my assistant recommends can play as a DLP, and it seems to work well. Gives me a good shield for my defence and because they're quite close to the ADP in the AMC position they link up well and regularly. Will have to actually have a proper look at the analysis of my last game (a surprisingly comfortable away win with 65% possession) to see how it works in more detail.

That's very simliar to how I play but the other way around. My MRC is the DLP and I have a DMCR who provides the cover if the DLP wants to be more creative and move forward.

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A quality thread, I was going to do something simliar for the SI Sports Centre thread, but you get the info across great so I'll not bother now and just refer people to this if that's okay?

Sure thats no problem, always happy for people to refer to my threads

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