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Libero & The Invisible Wall

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Libero & The Invisible Wall

Over the past year I have fallen in love with the Libero and three at the back formations / tactics. The versatility that it offers is unparalleled, for me at least, with the option of keeping opposition one or two man strike partnerships nullified; a reactive back line that morphs and changes throughout the course of a football match. There is one problem (which is why I’m here) that is frustrating however; not frustrating enough to stop me using a three man defence, including a Libero, but annoying because it could be due to the Football Manager match engine limitations. I’m not sure if that is the case, hence this post / article. It is my hope that I can get possible reasons why this (problem will be outlined below) is happening, from wwfan, as he is very much involved with the Football Manager match engine, which hopefully includes future releases.

The Invisible Wall

“The aloneness. The invisible walls. Always the outsider looking in.” – Taylor Stevens.

The above quote sums up how I currently see the Libero inside of Football Manager. He advances forward in front of the other centre backs, but does not rampage towards the opposition’s penalty area. He is always the outsider looking in, when his role should work in very much the opposite way. He stands alone in and around the centre circle, when he should be sprinting towards the action as the play advances up the full length of the pitch. It seems to me that the defensive position halts any form of forward movement; the trouble that torments my mind.

Without going into the history of the Libero (not the intention of this thread), let me quickly inform you that that footballing role worked much the same as the sweeper system in defence, but far great freedom when in possession of the ball. The Libero could, and would, gallop forward from the back to be an attacking threat at the other end of the pitch, in and around the opponents goal. I have tried to replicate this movement from the sweeper / libero position inside of Football Manager, as well as my preferred position, centrally alongside two other centrebacks, but alas, he remains firmly positioned ahead of the other centre backs (so he has advanced slightly) in the attacking transitional phase, which isn’t ideal and in no way does not reflect the classic Libero role.

I have concluded that it must be because of the original starting position, but even that confuses me. Let me explain.

When setting up a tactic, that utilises fullbacks or indeed wingbacks with the forward runs option set to ‘often’, they will drop back in defence, but run the entire length of the field to join in with attacks just outside (right or left) of the opponents penalty area. That’s perfect. If we are to set the forward runs option to ‘often’ on any player outside of central defence, then the setting works as intended; so it confuses me that the Libero, or central defensive forward runner, does not function the same way.

If the forward runs option is set to ‘often’ on a central midfielder, he will burst into the opposition penalty area from deep. If the forward runs option is set to ‘often’ on an attacking midfielder, they will run forward within any available space. If the forward runs option is set to ‘often’ on a striker, they will run behind the opposition defensive line time and time again. The same goes for any outfield player except the Libero, or like I’ve said, a central defender who you want running from deep. In my experience at least, it simply does not happen, so I can only assume it’s heavily linked with the games coding, stopping central defensive players roaming too far forward. If this isn’t the case, then I would love to know how I could utilise my Libero to an even greater level, and why the Libero role is even included if the forward runs ‘often’ setting does not function the same as for any other outfield player.

The Libero in Football Manager

It’s all well and good me yapping on about what I believe is wrong with the role, but I need some sort of proof to back up my claims; not because this is an argument that needs more weight, but as a discussion where hopefully some of you will notice similarities within your own game.

First let me walk you through my basic settings. My Libero has:

  • Attacking Mentality.

  • High Creative Freedom.

  • Forward Runs ‘ Often’.

  • Run With Ball ‘Often’.

  • Through Balls ‘Often’.

  • Roam From Position.

  • Move Into Channels.

  • Loose Zonal Marking.

As well as various other settings, but I feel those are the crucial ones in freeing up a players movement. The most obvious setting is forward runs ‘often’, as that usually works on any outfield player.

I must also point out that my sweeper has a few excellent player preferred moves for the Libero role, such as ‘Gets Forward Whenever Possible’. This is a crucial player preferred move as it more often that not will override any forward run settings deployed by the manager. Yet even this preferred move does not effect vertical movement (in my testing) from the deep central position. He also has ‘Runs With Ball Often’ as another PPM.

Let me point out that I usually play my Libero centrally alongside two other defenders, not in the typical sweeper position, affording me slightly wider width.

Screenshots

Image-1.jpg

[screenshot 1]

In this first screenshot, we can see my Libero advancing slightly out of defence. While it looks like he's marking the opposition player (just looks like it from the timing of the screenshot), he hasn't made any attempt to get forward, totally ignoring his PPM and tactical instructions. Both wingbacks have the same instructions and they are attacking the corners of the oppositions penalty area, as expected.

[screenshot 2]

Here we have an attacking move that resulted in a goal. The attacking wingbacks at highlighted to show just how far they advance with the forward runs 'often' setting, yet my central defender (Libero) with the same forward run settings lurks alongside the other central defenders, albeit slightly advanced behind the central midfielders, in a typical anchor man position. Why hasn't he got forward? What is he afraid of? You might say that he's staying back in case of a counter, but then why have the wingbacks advanced so far forward, leaving the entire flank exposed for a counter?

Image-2.jpg

[screenshot 3]

This is his usual position when he advances from deep, slotting into the defensive midfield position. From a deeper central position he never advances past this invisible wall. Something seems to be stopping him.

You could suggest that the central midfielders are stopping him from running past them as the midfield is overcrowded. While this is a good initial theory it simply can't be true, as I will highlight in later screenshots / videos. There is always space ahead of him on numerous occasions, but he just doesn't venture forward.

[screenshot 4]

Again we see my Libero loitering at the back when every other forward runner has advanced, yet he has acres of space of which to run into.

A Slight Positional Change Works Wonders

Having become frustrated with the Libero and requiring some further points of discussion, I decided to keep my Libero's settings exactly the same, but move him to the defensive midfield position. While he's obviously not a Libero in this position, I simply needed to see if it was my player settings that were to blame; causing him to stop venturing forward. As soon as I made the change, the invisible wall had been shattered.

Image-3.jpg

[screenshot 5]

As Sylvestr goes after the ball down the right flank, my Libero (now moved to defensive midfield position with EXACTLY the same settings), starts his run forward.

[screenshot 6]

The ball is crossed centrally, which results in a goal, and the Libero has joined in with the attack, positioning himself ahead of the central midfielders. He can now be found lurking in and around the opposition penalty area, looking for any rebounds. How the Libero works!

As a test, I moved him to the sweeper / Libero position five minutes later, and he was stuck behind the invisible wall once again, not daring to run forward. How can a slight positional change effect a players movement that much, when the same settings were used on both occasions? A Libero is supposed to get forward; that's how the role works.

Image-4.jpg

[screenshot 7]

In this screenshot, I've again positioned him in the defensive midfield slot, and he has ventured forward to join in the attack, lurking outside the penalty area.

[screenshot 8]

He receives the ball in a deeper position here, and utilises his PPM's, by driving forward from deep for a shot at goal. Perfect Libero action! Shame about the starting position.

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Video

[video=youtube;j_R8C6HUUw0]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_R8C6HUUw0

Can be viewed in High Definition (recommended).

I’ve also included some video footage from a match to highlight how perfect he functions when he is moved forward some 5 – 10 metres into the defensive midfield position. In the first three clips, hopefully you’ll notice a central player with a bald head rampaging forward when we are in possession.

  • In the first of the three clips, he darts forward and positions himself in the opponents penalty area, supporting the attack. The second clip shows him receiving a pass just outside the penalty area, after roaming forward – the end result is a corner from his dribble into the box. The third clip shows the Libero (positioned in the defensive midfield position remember, while using the exact same settings) roaming forward when Sammir is advancing down the left flank. The Libero ends up on the edge of the oppositions penalty area.

  • In the fourth and final clip, I moved the player back to central defence while keeping every single setting the same. The result, as can be seen, is that during one of our attacks he only ventures slightly forward ahead of the two remaining central defenders, always keeping himself firmly behind the central midfielders. He doesn’t run forward to join in with the attack at all.

Conclusion

I would really like to know what seems to be forming this invisible wall and is it a common occurrence with the current match engine?

When a central defender is asked to run from deep ‘often’, he does not follow the commands. If you move him to the defensive midfield position, he rampages forward when in possession without a care n the world. The forward run ‘often’ setting works perfectly on every other outfield player, except actual defenders (fullbacks and wingbacks excluded). Is it built into the games code that central defenders (and this includes a Libero) need to stay back in order to deal with strikers?

I honestly don’t know the limitations of the match engine, but would assume that not all roles are perfect and work as 100% intended. The game is only made via coding after all; the developers can’t get everything working perfectly. Hopefully they will change this role come Football Manager 13, and add other roles for us to add to our tactics.

It’s odd that the exact same use of in game instructions dramatically effects a players forward movement depending on a slight positional change. Move a player from defence into a defensive midfield position, while utilising identical instructions, and the player gets into the oppositions penalty area. Move him back eight metres and he dare not venture forward. Is it my settings (if so how are they working as intended from the defensive midfield position)? Is it a well known ME limitation that I’m simply not aware of? Have you had similar experiences?

I’m sure a few more tests could be carried out, but it’s a recurring theme, at least for me. This isn’t a one off and is something I’ve noticed whenever I’ve used a forward running central defender, or Libero. I’m thinking of trying him in the defensive midfield position for his amazing attacking intent, but having his mentality lower than the two central defenders with a huge reduction on his closing down; hopefully he will drop back when in defence. I have my doubts on this however; we’ve all tried to replicate the Busquets role, and that’s not what I’m after. I simply want a rampaging Libero from central defence.

The Libero has always been a passion for me and is something I will keep including in my tactics; if only for defensive stability combined with the ability to be a reactive in game manager, searching for the spare man. It’s just a shame that the attacking part of the role seems to be restricted by an invisible wall.

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Your thoughts are correct. The sweeper position is incapble of producing the libero role as we understand, in the current ME.

Defenders movement is a real issue in the current ME.

Another example is the artificial significance of fullbacks during build-up play from the back because it is not possible to get your central defenders to go wide. If you were to play a flat back 3, you'll still need fullbacks/wingbacks/wide-midfielders to build up from the back, because the back-3 simply won't stretch wide enough to do this.

In conclusion, yes, it is an ME issue. One of the obvious ones.

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Your thoughts are correct. The sweeper position is incapble of producing the libero role as we understand, in the current ME.

Defenders movement is a real issue in the current ME.

I've known for a long time that playing a sweeper of Libero is troublesome, as it's widely known; I didn't know however that a simple instruction of 'run from deep', would be too complex for the match engine to handle. Other aspects of the role such as standing too close to central defenders, and the wider centrebacks not pushing out wide even with enhanced wide play instructions are also common knowledge, like you've suggested.

If I play three at the back then it's usually a wide three man defence (LB / CB / RB) giving me the width that is needed in defence, but I have developed a TC tactic that uses the Libero well and concedes very little (two goals in my last eleven games currently). What frustrates me is the attacking phase; a simple instruction for the player to run forward. Not spreading wider; not running down the channels; not cutting inside - merely running forward in a straight line.

Having known about the defender's incapabilities for a while now (usually width and roaming from position - one of my many gripes), I seemed to have missed this simple instruction, on a role that it's a part and parcel of; a requirement.

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I think it's fairly well known that the DC's don't really deviate much from their assigned formational position, I'm pretty sure you know this but wanted to start a discussion anyway! :)

I'm the 1st to defend the ME against some of the ludicrous slander aimed in it's direction but I've seen no evidence that contradicts your opinion that FM DC's just won't move very far. Your first couple of examples highlight this perfectly - as you say there is plenty of room for the Libero to step up beyond the MC's. In that instance he can act as a libero but quickly drop back to the backline as an attack develops (a Libero will naturally have great anticipation and smarts so is unlikely not to spot a potential counter early - he doesn't even need a great deal of pace as he is smart).

I'd love for someone to say this works but I've never found it does. I can get the right player to launch a cracking playmaker-style pass to launch an attack from DC but I've not been able to get him to move further forward with any regularity. I have occasionally seen a DC further forward but this is probably after a corner or free-kick when their position is altered anyway.

Have you tried it with a flat 4? I'd have thought they would move even less though.

Or a flat 5? FM players do have an appreciation of space, maybe he would move further forward with 3/4 guys left behind him? I doubt it but something to try.

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Brilliant post Tactikzz, Ill be watching intently as Im currently playing about with sweepers and more specifically a attacking center back built like a Liberio. Obviously its looking like a attacking DM is a much better option but do you not find that sacrifices a lot defensively. At least with a Liberio he gets forward a little, but still holds back enough to provide cover. Especially if playing against a two man striker force with three defenders. If one defender goes missing it could quickly turn ugly, thats my only concern with using a DM over a LIberio.

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I think it's fairly well known that the DC's don't really deviate much from their assigned formational position, I'm pretty sure you know this but wanted to start a discussion anyway! :)

I'm aware of the lack of movement from the central defenders in terms of them spreading wide to the flanks, as well as roaming out and further up field, but not so much in terms of simply running forward. I've created tactics that have a narrow flat three man defence, with the wider defenders with forward runs 'often' and roam from position ticked, in order to try and replicate the 3-4-3 Barcelona used against Villarreal, and they didn't rampage forward; it was merely to try and free them up, so to speak.

As for my current tactic, it's purely TC based, using the settings that are created for the Libero, but deployed in the centre of a narrow three man defence. As you can choose the Libero role, I at least expected him to get forward and act like a Libero, as the game gives you the option to choose the role in the first place. It's as if you're only allowed half of what the role should be. I can honestly say that I've never really messed around a great deal with defenders forward runs options, except for the wider centre backs. It's just something I thought would work regardless. Why would you really question a setting as simple as 'forward runs'? It's a basic setting; something that should work out of the box.

Like I say, it's not a problem as I do enjoy playing my three man defence, as I can face any opposition with ease knowing my defenders are actually doing the job asked. They defend well and I concede very little with a keeper who likes to come of his line; we're sold, very solid. I simply want my Libero to run forward, nothing else. Move him forward 10 metres or so to the defensive midfield slot and he rampages forward, no questions asked.

I can get the right player to launch a cracking playmaker-style pass to launch an attack from DC but I've not been able to get him to move further forward with any regularity. I have occasionally seen a DC further forward but this is probably after a corner or free-kick when their position is altered anyway.

You're right. it's not a problem to make him really creative. My Libero often runs with the ball along the defence, finding space to feed the wingbacks, or indeed launching defence splitting through balls from deep either to the flank, or the striker. I just wondered if there was any way to get him to run forward from deep, all the way to the oppositions penalty area. Perhaps there was something I wasn't doing right, even after god knows how many tactics that I've designed. It's never something I've questioned before, as I've often deployed a sweeper, or a defender with higher mentality, linking him with the midfield. I've never really tried to get someone to run all the way from a deep central position and thought the Libero role would work, as it's a role you can choose to deploy.

I guess you can't and the player won't. Like I say, I hope they correct this in future versions. If you want a player to run from a deep central defence, then you should be given the option to. While it's not ideal for new players as it may cause problems and leave gaping holes in defence, the 'run from deep' option should work for any player on the pitch. At present it seems that any central defensive role, including the goalkeeper is restricted to how far they can venture. While this obviously makes sense as it could harm your defensive stability if you don't know what it is you're doing, it leaves very little for real life tactical reconstruction.

It was my hope that perhaps someone worked something out; a way to force a defender to run forward to the edge of an opponents penalty area time and time again. I can only assume that they can't run forward. Maybe they have their legs developed wrongly; perhaps they are the wrong way round?! A visit to the physiotherapist should be on the cards.

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Great post, I am a tactic tinkerer as well, but I have never got a central defender or libero to feel free to run anywhere much past the center circle and definitely not in an attack minded sense that you are looking to achieve. I have done the roaming and all out attack and still they get home sick 50 yards from the own goal. I think that whatever instructions are coded into the game for the FB's and WB's are what we are looking for here, even making a libero completely different form the sweeper option, as a new position altogether.

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First of all i just have to say that this post is brilliant, always tryed to understand the ME of this game but for some reason i don't, love playng games whit a Libero (SW-DC) but some times is complicated because of the complicity role that he plays (in my opinion).Every time i try playing a SW whit sweepers attributes the current ME is incapble of producing the libero role as we understand it, but then I tryed mixing it whit DM and Anchor man attributes and then the ME seems to ''like it'' more, still needs improvements!!!

Good post though!! :applause:

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Having grew up watching games every second week where everyone played with back three I can say that not once I've seen Libero playing as Beckenbauer did. Basically what was known here as Libero is in English known as Sweeper and it was usually position for the best and oldest defenders who would command defense.

I believe that Libero role in FM is just modification of Sweeper as I really don't know how many players in that position bombarded forward during the game.

Of course as a fan of back three I would love to see some flexibility within match engine so we can replicate some historical systems.

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This is one of my frustrations with the current ME. São Paulo FC currently plays a back 3 and in a lot of games one of these players bomb forward and join the attack, with or without the ball, usually surprising the oposition defence. It's impossible to replicate that in the current ME.

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This is one of my frustrations with the current ME. São Paulo FC currently plays a back 3 and in a lot of games one of these players bomb forward and join the attack, with or without the ball, usually surprising the oposition defence. It's impossible to replicate that in the current ME.

Agreed, it's a point that's been raised often, but I would love the tactical flexibility so that if my opponent put out a 1-striker formation, one of my DC's would be able to step up and join the attack, but sadly this isn't the case. On the OP, I've toyed with a libero and basically found exactly the same as you have, only you've explained it far better than I ever could, maybe this will be one of the things they change for fm13, we can hope right?

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There are real-life examples with a flat back 4 where one of the CB's rampages forward, off the top of my head I can think of Sol Campbell at Arsenal during the Invicibles period and Rio Ferdinand used to have a sortie forward quite often (not so much at Utd but definitely before that).

It's not so much that something in FM is different for wing-backs, it's just that the DC's are restricted in their movement. As Tactikzz has said, I hope someone can prove this is possible, but I don't think they will.

The problem is probably more complex than we're assuming and that from a coding point of view, allowing the CBs more freedom may well cause more problems than the desirable behaviour it may create. Sure, you could add some behaviour that allows 'Libero's' to break free from their restrictions but then you're adding hard-coded changes that are restricted to a specific clause, the game logic just doesn't work like that. I don't know why Runs From Deep doesn't work for CB's, maybe it will change in future editions of FM. If real-life tactics incorporate it more, which is possible as 3-man defences become more universally popular again, then you'll see it in FM for sure.

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At my old U-18's last season we had CB's who loved rampaging forward with the ball. It caused hell that there was suddenly another guy or two running at the defence. It usually meant we had 7 possibly 8 at times attacking their back 4. So we just overloaded their defence, and with being U-18's they didn't have the experience to deal with that amount of pressure.

Most of the time we had 3 back maybe also a CM dropping back if opposition were a pacey counter attacking team. Also once or twice, we've had both CB's running forwards (As both of them were converted from CM's so they had natural tendacies to run forward, leaving a LB/DM/RB in defence.)

Also if performed correctly, would a Libero run out after defending a corner and start a counter attack?

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At my old U-18's last season we had CB's who loved rampaging forward with the ball. It caused hell that there was suddenly another guy or two running at the defence. It usually meant we had 7 possibly 8 at times attacking their back 4. So we just overloaded their defence, and with being U-18's they didn't have the experience to deal with that amount of pressure.

Most of the time we had 3 back maybe also a CM dropping back if opposition were a pacey counter attacking team. Also once or twice, we've had both CB's running forwards (As both of them were converted from CM's so they had natural tendacies to run forward, leaving a LB/DM/RB in defence.)

Also if performed correctly, would a Libero run out after defending a corner and start a counter attack?

Yes, that is correct if one of them gets the ball, they should freely be allowed to rampage forward and counter attack.

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Any comment to be had on this subject for FM13 - are the same restrictions in place upon attack minded defenders?

Currently working on a libero system, and finding the players attacking movements very sporadic - with their moves forward linked to no real rhyme or reason in relation to tactical instruction individually, or throughout the side.

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I've had a flat back system where my DC rampaged all the way up to score a goal..I just had me balls in me throat cos I was worried about my defensive shape. We were pressing in the opponents half and in all fairness the ball was up in the air near the halfway line...he just closed it down and took it all the way to the keeper giftwrapped as a goal. I keep playing him every week, same system hoping for the same..havent seen it happen again...tho glimpses of his maniacal need to close these balls down are clear.

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I'm experimenting with a Libero for the first time, inspired by posts by tommonufc and Cleon.

It isn't so much the Libero I'm interested in, moreso the development of a back three, which I've never done before.

Currently my setup looks a bit like an aeroplane (I'm at work so am working from memory), with:

GK (D)

L (S)

CBL (D)

CBR (D)

WBL (A)

WBR (A)

APL (A)

APR (S)

IFL (A)

WR (A)

DLF (S)

The gaping gaps between my CBs and APs is regularly filled by the Libero rampaging about, and one AP on (S) also compensates in that area.

The team plays a balanced style with counter strategy, passing short with high creative freedom and roaming.

In the few games I've played, I have found it to be very effective against narrow 4-2-3-1 tactics.

My pass completion, tackling and possession are noticeably higher than in my other tactics, but I've played so few games with this tactic that I'm yet to be convinced by its' forward movement.

Have also dabbled with a Christmas Tree formation with the Libero at the base, but this has proved less successful with pretty much zero attacking threat, albeit only tried in a couple of games:

GK (D)

L (A)

CBL (D)

CBR (D)

WBL (A)

A (D)

WBR (A)

APL (A)

APR (A)

IF (A)

DLF (S)

The IF is positioned directly behind the DLF, but I'm creating no width high up the pitch from the AMs or IF, so may go asymmetrical and hoik him into a sort of left sided AMC position.

Generally I'm training up a couple of suitable central defenders as Sweepers to increase their suitability. Weird AI squad building and transfer policy has enabled me to supplement Phil Jones (who has the some suitable physical attributes, but lacks the technical skills for the role) with Holger Badstuber and Inigo Martinez, both of whom look suited to develop into quality Libero's.

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any luck on this with fm13?

I have attempted it with Vertonghen at Spurs and have just booted up a Liverpool save with the new Transfer Update, thinking of trying Agger there. They still dont get forward as much as I would like but in defence he would sit behind the 2 DC's and when we had the ball he pushed on an almost became a DM. Ill try and get some screenshots later :)

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My defender charges forward and has actually dribbled the ball all the way to the pen box, twice in one match..was two seasons ago. He's now an old fart, but I do remember doing several things to encourage it and its all down to player instructions.

1. Your formation must allow for space to be exploited by the DC to go forward, so I usually had his mentality higher, and the MC must have the capability to drop and take over his slot..thats important.

2. If your DC has been trained as a MC, then if during that time you trained...lets to get forward and tutored him to "get into the opposition box" then he will run inselwhen the opportunity presents itself He won;t do it from deep in his own half there will be a greater chance he does it from near the opponents halfway line. I find its especially prevalent for me in matches where i camp.

Its not impossible, but mine does appear to have the "wall" in the penalty box, however thats understandable. Its not impossible to have him venture forward, mine used to. Not in every game but occassionally against sides who were far worse than me.

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I have attempted it with Vertonghen at Spurs and have just booted up a Liverpool save with the new Transfer Update, thinking of trying Agger there. They still dont get forward as much as I would like but in defence he would sit behind the 2 DC's and when we had the ball he pushed on an almost became a DM. Ill try and get some screenshots later :)

It works great with-in the right set up and with the correct PPM's. Mine scores some screamers and is involved heavily in attacking play at times.

My defender charges forward and has actually dribbled the ball all the way to the pen box, twice in one match..was two seasons ago. He's now an old fart, but I do remember doing several things to encourage it and its all down to player instructions.

1. Your formation must allow for space to be exploited by the DC to go forward, so I usually had his mentality higher, and the MC must have the capability to drop and take over his slot..thats important.

2. If your DC has been trained as a MC, then if during that time you trained...lets to get forward and tutored him to "get into the opposition box" then he will run inselwhen the opportunity presents itself He won;t do it from deep in his own half there will be a greater chance he does it from near the opponents halfway line. I find its especially prevalent for me in matches where i camp.

Its not impossible, but mine does appear to have the "wall" in the penalty box, however thats understandable. Its not impossible to have him venture forward, mine used to. Not in every game but occassionally against sides who were far worse than me.

To add to the 1 that Rashidi put, don't use a DLP or DMC either when trying to use an attack minded Libero. It takes away from the Libero's game and he isn't nowhere near as effective or fluid in attacking moves if you use either of those. A DLP makes his be the focal point for passes etc and the Libero gets forgotten about. A DMC also pushes the Libero back and makes him more restrained because the DMC occupies the space the Libero needs to attack.

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I tried a Libero in a tactic with no wide defenders, and two DMC positioned players to compensate for the lack of width. It was a stupid idea and after a few games, I realised that it utterly negated the point of a Libero.

Are Libero's only ever successfully deployed in a back 5 (full backs or wingbacks)?

I'm wondering if you could get away with a trio at the back of a Libero and two standard DC position roles, with two defensive wingers in the MC strata tracking up and down the pitch to cover the flanks.

Instinctively I'd want some sort of DMC role (perhaps an Anchor in view of comments above) to offer a defensive screen, but I wonder if you can get away with something a bit more suicidal.

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One thing though i should add my player venturing forward was a DC, i just realized but the principles of how to get him to move up apply equally

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It works great with-in the right set up and with the correct PPM's. Mine scores some screamers and is involved heavily in attacking play at times.

Yeah thinking of developing one of my younger center backs to be the perfect player for this role. A very useful position if it works correctly.

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Anybody who has seen their libero move beyond the centre circle when attacking, could you please post your formation and team instructions? I've tried several formations, currently playing with two wingers and two inside forwards, one DLF, and two midfields- one BBM and one BWM (S). My libero (I have two, Verthongen and a young regen I'm developping) simply will not venture beyond the centre circle.

I've tried changing my team width and line, and playing with a control formation - successfully creating tons of space in front of my libero. He simply won't venture out, whether he's playing against a one man or two man attack.

I'm lost. My regen could be a new Scirea, but it looks like I'll fail him.

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Anybody who has seen their libero move beyond the centre circle when attacking, could you please post your formation and team instructions? I've tried several formations, currently playing with two wingers and two inside forwards, one DLF, and two midfields- one BBM and one BWM (S). My libero (I have two, Verthongen and a young regen I'm developping) simply will not venture beyond the centre circle.

I've tried changing my team width and line, and playing with a control formation - successfully creating tons of space in front of my libero. He simply won't venture out, whether he's playing against a one man or two man attack.

I'm lost. My regen could be a new Scirea, but it looks like I'll fail him.

What formation are you trying the libero in? Are you using a DMC or a DLP in the team? I found that if you do then it takes away from the libero and makes him less effective due to them normally taking up a similar position to the Libero.

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What formation are you trying the libero in? Are you using a DMC or a DLP in the team? I found that if you do then it takes away from the libero and makes him less effective due to them normally taking up a similar position to the Libero.

Not using a DMC or DLP at MC - having read this thread I steered away from the latter, and I could see the former stymied my libero.

When I posted, I was using a 1-2-2 (wingbacks)- 2 (MC) - 2 (IFs)-1 DLF.

I've now switched to something that looks like this:

----------------------------------------------DLF(S)------------------------------------------

--------------------------------AdvP (S) --------------------------------------IF(A)-----------

--------------DW(S)------------CM(s)---------------------BBM(S)-------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------WB(S)-----------

---------------------------------DC(d)----------------------DC(d)------------------------------

--------------------------------------------L(A)------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------SK(S)-----------------------------------------------

I tried playing a control strategy, and an attacking strategy. I succeeded in making more central space for the libero, but he would not move into it. What's more, my overall play was less tight, and the rest of the players suffered. So the above tactic is played once more in a counter-attacking base. Only one adjustment to sliders: my libero is set bang on "normal" mentality, three notches up from the default.

My keeper is set to let my libero collect the ball.

My team instructions make my libero the playmaker.

Finally my libero will now go on forward runs, especially in matches where I am dominating and my RWB sits just outside the area on the right wing. My libero will now go on runs into the space on the right wing, effectively acting as a substute right wingback.

Sadly though, Verthongen is ill suited for the role and my regen - I keep saying he's a regen but he's not, he's a youth signing (El Mouden) who my Assistant rates but is clearly not equipped to play in central defence so was redevelopped to play SW - just doesn't have the crossing ability. I concentrated on passing, technique, dribbling, first touch, composure, and off the ball. His crossing hasn't budged and is stuck at 8. I don't really want to add that to the list, stamina's next, and then back to dribbling, composure, passing and off the ball.

I'm developping this guy to be my long term libero for when I play that position. He should be a good candidate for the role in two or three years time, but his crossing will never be more than average. I want him to rampage into central positions, and there to make critical passes having disrupted the opposition.

There's acres of space in front of the Libero in central positions but the invisible wall stops him moving forward to support. He'll start running forward on breaks but stops at the halfway line.

So, I know the libero will venture forward. Two weird conclusions:

1. He only moves on the right. This is weird because I have only one wide left player. Perhaps I should set that player to an Attack duty, to make more space there for my libero to attack.

2. He moves forward where he has a chance to be the most advanced player in the area. If my RWB tucks into the area, and we've enjoyed a good 10 secs of possession outside the opponent's area, he will move right in that empty space. He will not move into acres of space in the central area between the 18 yard box and the halfway line, presumably because there is a large congestion of players in front of him. Quite often, the reason that space is there is because my DLF, IF and two midfielders are in advanced position in or just outside the box. My libero sees no opportunity to be the most advanced central player, and so does not drive forward.

Don't know what I can do about that. I could try to adjust the two MC's and the DLF's sliders to make sure they are more prone to take up wide areas, and set my team to play down both wings? Perhaps if I do that, I will create opportunities for my libero to move into a "critical" central position, so it's not just space in front of him but a clear goalscoring or goalmaking position.

Overall, this is not a bad formation. Ball retention is strong, and although I get a bit nervous with a young libero getting so much ball so close to my own goal, I do feel like we're tic-tacing at times, and opposition chances are minimal to nil. This is based on pre-season games in season 2. Not sure I have the nerve to play my young libero in competitive matches in the EPL when the time comes. He's only a 1.5 star rating, despite all my efforts. He's 3.5 star potential.

I will continue to try and change things. If I could buy a ready made sweeper, I would, but fat chance.

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The only way ive sucessfully employed a Libero style SW is with the old match engine 4-5 versions back.

When that forward and back arrows meant that a player would move into that position and then AFTER that consider its FWR setting.

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