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Diamonds are a man's best friend

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The 4-4-2 diamond has always been a formation I’ve been obsessed with. Milan, my favourite team used it with great effect for most of the Ancelotti period, winning a league title and 2 Champions League titles while playing a brilliantly exciting style in a defensive and ugly league. It took advantage supremely talented and good looking central playmakers in Andrea Pirlo and Kaka but still gave them two strikers to supply. However the diamond is rarely seen in modern times due to an innate weakness in wide areas, giving plenty of space to the most important opposition players – the fullbacks. The rise of 4-2-3-1/4-5-1/4-3-3 pits 2 opposition wide players against a single fullback, making it even more difficult to succeed with the diamond.

As with most strategies, the aim of my tactic is to:

1) Maximise strengths

2) Minimise weaknesses

Strengths:

• 4 man midfield. Narrow 4-man midfields generally outnumber any formations you’re likely to see in the modern game. Giving you at least 1 spare player in offense, and defence.

• Multiple passing triangles. Narrow shape innately promotes short, quick passing. Vertical movement from fullbacks increase options.

• 2 players ‘in the hole’. DM can play as a traditional DM, giving solidity at the back with 2 CBs, as you usually see with a 4-3-3/4-5-1. Or, can play as a playmaker a la Pirlo with 2 MCs in front. AMC operates in traditionally dangerous position. Lateral movement helps against opposition DMs. 3 narrow attacking players generally means opposition do not have spare man at back.

Weaknesses

• Lack of width leading to problems on offense and defence. On attack, opposition will funnel play down the centre, making passing moves harder to pull off. On defence, opposition will exploit flanks, particularly with tactics with 2 wide men, either fullback/winger or fullback/striker drifting wide.

The Tactic

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Roles and Duties

I see my midfield as the most crucial part of this setup, so I will start here. I prefer to pack my midfield with technical creators and 1 enforcer.

Defensive Mid

Regista is selected to give more roaming compared to a classic DLP. The role is not as solid defensively as a DLP, however I’m relying on superior midfield numbers and talent to compensate.

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My first choice DM sports impressive mental and technical attributes with no glaring weaknesses for his role. Though not particularly excellent at any one area, he’s above average defensively, creatively, and ball retention.

Center Mids

Supporting AP on the MC spot with roaming to give more ball retention options and a killer pass option from deep. Supporting ball-winning midfield to give steel and someone to do the dirty work but also another attacking option. Supporting role allows him to win the ball higher up in the pitch and provide a penetrating option from deep. My AP/BWM combo aims to fulfil the 3-man midfield roles of destroyer, passer, and attacker by using only 2 players.

Attacking Mid

APa is the role selected for AMC position, with instructions to roam and move into channels. This player aims to craft opportunities for the 2 forwards but also tries to find scoring opportunities. APa gives more penetration and defensive work than a TQ, more movement than an EG, and more creative responsibility than AMC, or SS.

nozms9.jpg

My first choice AM is technically gifted and hard working. Excellent off the ball and work-rate allows him to find scoring opportunities for himself and the team. Unfortunately decisions is low and not particularly impressive physically. In last few seasons, he’s contributed significantly in assists and goals scored. He’s my Kaka :).

Defence

Not much to talk about regarding defence.

One fullback more attack-minded than other. More attacking fullback on left side because my ball-winner is on left side. Left back provides significant attacking threat as he’s able to combine with at least 3 others on this side, resulting in 41% of goals from my last 50 games coming from the left wing. Right back is more disciplined, keeps position and offers passing options as opposed to penetration.

Forwards

My two forwards slightly more interesting.

I picked complete forwards both with roam and move into channels because I want them to link play, run onto through balls, and roam. Support duty on right side to help him drop deep or drift wide as more space on right flank. Attack duty on left side to make him the prima punta, he roams less, as LB takes that space, but will do if given opportunity. Defensively, each forward marks his corresponding fullback, for two reasons:

1) FM doesn’t simulate keeper distribution particularly well. In real games, CBs pull wide, allowing FBs to advance and a DM to drop deep if required. In FM, CBs stay central and FBs sit beside CBs.

2) I’ve packed the midfield, which should discourage passes from centre backs to opposition DMs and CMs.

This is reminiscent of how Mourinho played Barca when Thiago Motta got sent off when he was with Inter. Forwards marking fullbacks denies a passing outlet and discourages fullbacks from motoring forward and leaving space for a counter.

Team Instructions

Width, creative license and roaming to provide more passing options in a formation that can be quite rigid and narrow.

Higher defensive line and offside trap to restrict space for opposition. I originally didn’t have these instructions and it resulted in opposition holding the ball in wide areas for long periods, killing the game.

Retain possession to lower the tempo. This setup is my default tactic against teams I'm expected to win against. Holding the ball gives more time for playmakers to ping the ball around and look for openings.

In-game examples

On attack, this tactic aims to ping the ball around midfield until it founds my APa in a good position with space to make plays. With 2 strikers and a left side CWB ahead of him, a willing runner and plenty of passing outlets behind, it certainly makes the AP's job easier.

Against a 4-4-2

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In this screen, my regista's on the ball, while the 2 advanced playmakers move around trying to receive a pass.

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He eventually gets the ball to my right sided APs, who then gives it to my APa in between the lines. My CFa (19) makes a run and drags his defender with him, vacating a huge space for my CWB (4) to receive a through ball and score.

Against a narrow 4-2-3-1

Although my midfield is theoretically outnumbered, quick crisp passing can get the ball upfield, where I'm at a numerical advantage, or at least on equal footing.

53wg3r.jpg

The ball's pinged to the tip of the diamond where I've got a 4 v 3 advantage.

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The opposition RCB steps up to close down my AP, leaving my CF (19) a huge amount of space to move into. His RB is torn between whether to stick to my CWB, or move infield to cover the RCB. He ends up staying wide, giving my striker a clear-cut chance, but he fluffs his lines.

Against a DM

A DM tightly marking the APa is a good plan to shut my side down.

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In this screen, the opposition has tightly marked my midfield, both my strikers, and my CWB. The ball's passed through the diamond into my right sided CF. He gets tackled but the ball falls to my other forward who slips a through ball to my left back who crosses and we end up scoring. Without an adventurous fullback providing width, this opportunity would never have materialised.

On defence

As mentioned previously, both forwards are set to mark their corresponding fullbacks, leaving centerbacks free. CBs in FM don't distribute the ball particularly well and sometimes you end up in situations like this:

9r51cj.jpg

The opposition GK has distributed to his RCB. His fullbacks are marked tightly by my forwards, removing them as passing options. His midfield 3 is either marked or passing lanes are closed. My APa (9) eventually dispossesses him, slips a ball to my left sided forward (13) and we snatch a nice goal.

Weaknesses

Defensive Midfielder

Any formation playing a defensive midfielder makes attacking moves difficult. This style focuses on channeling the ball through the middle of the pitch and eventually outnumbering the opposition defense. 1-2 midfields such as a 4-1-2-2-1 make it especially difficult as dropping deep isn't an option. However all formations have inherent weaknesses. I feel the areas marked in red in the next diagram are where you want to get the ball when attacking this formation.

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Getting the ball to the fullback in the wide red areas puts him in a 1v1 situation with the opposition fullback. If your fullback has good a good dribbling attribute, he can create chances like in this diagram:

14soyyw.jpg

Here's a screenshot in a game against a 4-1-4-1.

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My fullback beats the opposition counterpart (#3) which triggers a series of defensive rotations to cover. However rotations are a little slow and the ball is pinged to #10, then 21, then 8, who provides the assist to #19 (underneath blue #4).

Against formations with a DM, I tend to change my right fullback into a support wingback. WBs provide advanced positioning off-the-ball but won't force your player to dribble from deep into a dead end. Having 2 CWBs can work as well but I prefer to have variation on the flanks.

3-man backline

These formations are difficult to deal with in real life and it's no different in game. 3-man defenses give you the spare man against 2 forward formations, but doesn't leave you with a huge numbers deficit higher up the pitch. Though it sounds more defensive on paper, I find back 3 formations to be more dangerous offensively than DM formations that usually field a winger and fullback.

The only 3-man defenses I've come across while using a diamond so far in my save have been low quality teams and I just roll through them. However Conte has taken over as Juventus head coach and his shape perfectly counters mine: 1-2 midfield AND a back 3.

Despite not coming across strong competition, I have tried a couple things, though none were particularly effective.

1) Forwards marking opposition wingbacks. The most defensively sound option. Leaves all 3 opposition defenders free and leaves you with a big numerical advantage in defense. However since your forwards track back so much, you rarely get counterattacking opportunities.

2) Forwards marking right (my right) sided centerbacks. The idea here is to force the AI to attack down your left, where your BMW is stationed. However opposition WBs aren't marked so defensively less stable. Theoretically better on the counter as forwards are left up front, but they still have a spare man on D if you do.

3) 1 Forward on most right (your right) sided CB, other forward on DM. Terrible idea, achieves nothing.

4) Right side forward on WB, Left side forward on on most left (your left) sided CB. Works decently well. Your right side is bolstered by a forward and left side has a BWM to help out against their free WB. 1 forward up front to retain a slight counterattacking threat. Most promising option so far.

Conclusion

I've played the CM/FM franchises since I started high school with CM01-02 being my first. FM14 is probably the first iteration where I've found a 4-1-2-1-2 diamond to be viable. Particularly viable for possession or quick short passing teams due to its compact midfield. Also defensively tight due to how keeper distribution is simulated. In an era where fancy pants inverse forwards, false this and false that dominate the game, it's quite refreshing to have a very basic style that dominated 10 years ago to be viable in this game. The diamond is an incredibly versatile formation that can play very differently depending on how you set your midfield. I recommend everyone who's had enough of 1 striker + 2 winger formations to give this gem a go.

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Really nice write up :)

I can't see the images as they get blocked by a firewall at work, but you've described things so well that I don't need to see them.

This is the second successive thread I've seen where people are far braver than me with their set ups :(

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Nice write up. I've long been a big fan of the (narrow) diamond formation in FM. One thing I really like is that, as with your setup, you can be relatively aggressive with the midfield roles as the weight of numbers can make up for the lack of a dedicated holder. I must say, playing it in a 442 heavy league is always interesting, as each formation seems perfectly set up to exploit the other's weekness: the diamond puts players in the DM and AM strata, which the 442 has trouble covering, while the 442 has great strength in the wide areas where the diamond is weakest. So far, for the most part in FM14, my diamonds have been winning, but it does seem to tend more towards Keegan style "score more than them" :p

One thing I have been trying out recently is creating "pseudo-diamond" setups with either 4132 or 4312 (i.e. the formation doesn't literally line up as a diamond, but player roles/instructions create one, with a the central MC being more aggressive or defensive in the 4132 and 4312 respectively) and comparing them to the classic 41212. It's intersting how, despite being very similar one paper, even with pretty much the same instructions, all three have their own advanatges and disadvanatges and I've really seen an improvement since I started being flexible in which I'm using. The big thing about having a three MCs is that the outer two are pushed noticeably wider than in the conventional diamond, particularly in the defensive phase. This results in much better cover on the wings as the outer central midfields will move wide to help the fullbacks if the latter are being overloaded.

Of course, moving the player from either the DM or AM strata creates some weaknesses compared to the daimond, which it's why it's great to swap between them depending on the opposition's style. So, for example, I'll usually start with the 41212, but if I notice that the opposition is focusing their attacks down the flanks, and their central players are more defensive, I'll push my DMC into the MC© position (while keeping the role, usually DLP, similar). This does create some space in between my defense and midfield, but it significantly helps cover the flanks and if the latter are the focus of the oppostions attacks, this is a good tradeoff to make. The 4132 is my more defensive lineup, giving both the solidity of a DM and the width of the flat 3 midfield, although a well set up MC(a) in the centre of the three can still get forward very well.

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Those observations about "pseudo-diamonds" PhroX are good ones - I completely agree with what you see with the additional defensive width of the MC line in a 4-1-3-2 relative to the standard narrow diamond.

In some ways, this is an extension for diamonds of what people mean when they suggest that the 4-2-3-1 is better represented with a 4-4-1-1 in FM, or a 4-1-2-2-1 is better represented as a 4-1-4-1. The formation is merely the defensive shape of a system and it can look very different at the end of an attacking transition.

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I've been having remarkable success with a diamond in FM14, so much so that I've taken on a 2nd club to see if it's really my tactics or just my squad building that is making the difference.

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That all seems sound enough. Quite adventurous tactically, but not overly aggressive with the ball, as you use retain possession.

One rather interesting thing that I've been toying with might help to bring a little wide solidity for the diamond. I'm trying to use 3 central attackers with the central one dropping back and the other strikers moving wide to man-mark the opponent's full backs. This seems to disrupt their build-up moves, and when you regain possession the strikers will move back inside from wide.

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Nice write up. I've long been a big fan of the (narrow) diamond formation in FM. One thing I really like is that, as with your setup, you can be relatively aggressive with the midfield roles as the weight of numbers can make up for the lack of a dedicated holder. I must say, playing it in a 442 heavy league is always interesting, as each formation seems perfectly set up to exploit the other's weekness: the diamond puts players in the DM and AM strata, which the 442 has trouble covering, while the 442 has great strength in the wide areas where the diamond is weakest. So far, for the most part in FM14, my diamonds have been winning, but it does seem to tend more towards Keegan style "score more than them" :p

The standard diamond can be great defensively in FM. See: http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/391083-The-School-of-the-Defensive-Arts

I use a defensive diamond as well with a different setup than Cleon. The big key for me defensively with the formation is using the defensive mentality with hassle opponents. I believe the conventional wisdom is that hassle pulls your defense out of shape, but it works well for me as I place an emphasis on defenders and midfielders who can tackle. Both units are the best in the Premier Division at tackling. It's difficult for teams with wingers to score when they have problems getting the ball past the midfield and into a dangerous position. If anyone does miss a tackle in the midfield, the deep defensive line is there to clean up mistakes. Obviously, if one of my central defenders misses a tackle, that causes issues. However, in the last full league season, my team only conceded 19 so I'm not terribly concerned and I would guess at least half of the AI's goals were off of corners.

4/5ths of the goals scored against me in my current season have come when the AI is in the 442. There is definitely some vulnerability there, but I also see it more than any other formation.

I love the diamond as I'm big on defensive football and controlling the middle. Adjusting the formation for when I need to attack, that's what drives me crazy.

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I play pretty similar to this apart from instead of having 2 strikers, I have 2 AMC's behind one striker. It's an interesting read because I seem to be drawing a lot of games at the moment, so I'm tempted to push one of the AM's forward because he can also play up top.

I've never been brave enough to have the DL and DR as CWB's though, I have them as just WB on automatic. Bit of a cop out, but as most people have mentioned with the diamond, the flanks are where this formation can be exposed, and I was wary of them being too far forward all of the time. I also have the DM as a BWM on defend and the two MC's as DLP support and B2B support.

The higher defensive line is something that I've tried with mixed results, though I never played it with the offside trap as well, which is where I might have been going wrong.

My big thing on using this formation (or my slight tweak) is that in theory you can overload the centre of the pitch, which seems to be how most of the successful real life teams play at the moment, and in theory control the game from there.

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One thing I have been trying out recently is creating "pseudo-diamond" setups with either 4132 or 4312 (i.e. the formation doesn't literally line up as a diamond, but player roles/instructions create one, with a the central MC being more aggressive or defensive in the 4132 and 4312 respectively) and comparing them to the classic 41212. It's intersting how, despite being very similar one paper, even with pretty much the same instructions, all three have their own advanatges and disadvanatges and I've really seen an improvement since I started being flexible in which I'm using. The big thing about having a three MCs is that the outer two are pushed noticeably wider than in the conventional diamond, particularly in the defensive phase. This results in much better cover on the wings as the outer central midfields will move wide to help the fullbacks if the latter are being overloaded.

There can be quite a difference between a 4-1-3-2, 4-3-1-2 and 4-1-2-1-2 but it all depends on the roles you select for the 2 middle players in your formation. You are correct about the outer midfielders being pushed out wide. In previous editions of FM this was required for the formation to be viable because you just couldn't get enough width in attack or defense. Isn't so much of an issue in FM14 though. I suppose if you play with a '3' in midfield you probably don't need the 'play wider' shout.

Another consideration is the roles available in the MC position compared to DM and AM. Regista is only available on the DM so it's a no-brainer if that's what you're into. The AM position gives you more specialised attacking roles that the MC position doesn't have, though if you have a Lampard-style player you might prefer the MC.

Last of all, perhaps the most important of all, personal preference. To me, a diamond is DMC, 2x MC, and AMC. Anything else is scandalous :lol:

I've never been brave enough to have the DL and DR as CWB's though, I have them as just WB on automatic. Bit of a cop out, but as most people have mentioned with the diamond, the flanks are where this formation can be exposed, and I was wary of them being too far forward all of the time. I also have the DM as a BWM on defend and the two MC's as DLP support and B2B support.

The higher defensive line is something that I've tried with mixed results, though I never played it with the offside trap as well, which is where I might have been going wrong.

The reason I like the CWB role in this tactic is he advances far enough to be considered a 3rd striker. My 2 left backs have scored 4 goals out of the 66 I've managed so far this season. Not fantastic but the threat they pose positionally is very real. If a WBs (assuming you're playing on control mentality) contributes the same then it's working out well.

High D-line and offside trap obviously depend on how quick your CBs and GK (for sweeping purposes) are.

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There can be quite a difference between a 4-1-3-2, 4-3-1-2 and 4-1-2-1-2 but it all depends on the roles you select for the 2 middle players in your formation. You are correct about the outer midfielders being pushed out wide. In previous editions of FM this was required for the formation to be viable because you just couldn't get enough width in attack or defense. Isn't so much of an issue in FM14 though. I suppose if you play with a '3' in midfield you probably don't need the 'play wider' shout.

I tend to use the exact same player roles for the players I don't move when changing formations, so the overall play is pretty similar. My two MCs (in the true diamond) are currently AP(s) and MC(s), althought I tend to vary it a bit as I've not completely settled on the best setup.

I find that using play wider doesn't really have much effect on how the central midfielders play in the defensive phase. They certainly don't cover the wings and help out my fullbacks nearly as much as I would like. Some of the experts might be able to confirm, but I suspect that play wider is an attacking only instruction.

Overall, in general, I do still use the 41212 the majority of the time. However since I've began to understand the impact of shifting either the DM or AM up or down a strata respectively and get an idea of when it's worth doing, my team's performance has benefited. Not saying by any means you should do it all the time, but it's a useful tool to have in your arsenal, particularly if you are finding your flanks overrun, that I haven't been able to recreate purely with player/team instructions.

Another consideration is the roles available in the MC position compared to DM and AM. Regista is only available on the DM so it's a no-brainer if that's what you're into. The AM position gives you more specialised attacking roles that the MC position doesn't have, though if you have a Lampard-style player you might prefer the MC.

Oh, certainly. I'm OK in the DM position, as I mainly use a DLP(d), who works fantastically as the central man in a 4312, dropping back pretty much into the DM position. I have to make some tweaks when I change to a 4132 though, as in the diamond, like you, I prefer the AP(a) role for my AMC. When I pull him back, although the role is still there at MC, I tend to switch to a MC(a), usually with "Gets further forward", to encourage him to make attacking runs into the box and properly support my strikers (in many ways, my diamond is almost a 4-3-3, with the AMC more part of my "forwards" than "midfield").

Last of all, perhaps the most important of all, personal preference. To me, a diamond is DMC, 2x MC, and AMC. Anything else is scandalous :lol:

I used to be like that, but I'm starting to be a little more pragmatic. As long as it looks like a diamond while playing, I can accept that it is one :p

edit: Another nice option to have with the diamond is that it's pretty easy to switch to a back three without having to make major reorganisations. Drop the DMC back, maybe make one of your MCs more defensive (so, in my setup, my AP(s) becomes a DLP(d) - in terms of the on field positioning that is, the AP(s) is the actual player replaced with a DC) and push your FBs up to WB. Depending on the opposition and the players you have, it's another useful tool that still retains the central essence of how you're playing.

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I've never been brave enough to have the DL and DR as CWB's though, I have them as just WB on automatic. Bit of a cop out, but as most people have mentioned with the diamond, the flanks are where this formation can be exposed, and I was wary of them being too far forward all of the time. I also have the DM as a BWM on defend and the two MC's as DLP support and B2B support.

Do it. The extra threat they provide going forward more than makes up for anything defensively. In fact, I've found my defence has been better since changing. To cover defensively, you need a HB in the DM slot and I'd recommend one of your MCs to be on a defend duty too, I use a CM (d). The HB will drop between your DCs when you have possession in your own half, they will split to form a back three and your CWBs will get into advanced positions.

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I tried a 4-4-2 Diamond once, I had a moderate amount of succes with it. The defence was quite sollid but I had trouble scoring as my strikers were unable to finish the 1 on 1's my tactic was relying on. This was quite frustrating for me so I decided to go back to the 4-2-3-1 formation as I had no trouble scoring with that. I still wonder if the problem lies with my strikers or the match engine. It may well have been the latter as my strikers had pretty good finishing and composure stats, then again maybe it was just my tactics...

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Forwards

Defensively, each forward marks his corresponding fullback, for two reasons:

1) FM doesn’t simulate keeper distribution particularly well. In real games, CBs pull wide, allowing FBs to advance and a DM to drop deep if required. In FM, CBs stay central and FBs sit beside CBs.

2) I’ve packed the midfield, which should discourage passes from centre backs to opposition DMs and CMs.

This is reminiscent of how Mourinho played Barca when Thiago Motta got sent off when he was with Inter. Forwards marking fullbacks denies a passing outlet and discourages fullbacks from motoring forward and leaving space for a counter.

I love this formation and have used various iterations of it this season.

I have never actually tried using the strikers to cover the opposition wide backs though. If the opposition is playing a narrow formation as well, where the wingbacks will be pressing forward, do you still have the strikers mark them?

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Do it. The extra threat they provide going forward more than makes up for anything defensively. In fact, I've found my defence has been better since changing. To cover defensively, you need a HB in the DM slot and I'd recommend one of your MCs to be on a defend duty too, I use a CM (d). The HB will drop between your DCs when you have possession in your own half, they will split to form a back three and your CWBs will get into advanced positions.

My DM is a ball winning midfielder at the moment, that's his best description. I do have a good anchor man coming through though, so I may change to him shortly. On WB automatic, the don't seem to score many, but they do get forward a lot and provide the width that I don't have.

As I mentioned, I have 2 AMC's and 1 STC rather than 2 STC's and 1 AMC. Last night I experimented with telling my 2 AMC's to specifically mark the opposition full backs, and it made me a lot more solid defensively. Could be a slight adaption for this diamond if you are playing a team who are higher ranked? I didn't lose any of the goal threat either, one is AP attack and the other is AM attack.

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I love this formation and have used various iterations of it this season.

I have never actually tried using the strikers to cover the opposition wide backs though. If the opposition is playing a narrow formation as well, where the wingbacks will be pressing forward, do you still have the strikers mark them?

For sure, if they're narrow and if you mark their fullbacks out of the game then all their activity is down the middle, where you've a 4 man midfield and 2 centerbacks with 2 fullbacks able to tuck in if you need.

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My DM is a ball winning midfielder at the moment, that's his best description. I do have a good anchor man coming through though, so I may change to him shortly. On WB automatic, the don't seem to score many, but they do get forward a lot and provide the width that I don't have.

As I mentioned, I have 2 AMC's and 1 STC rather than 2 STC's and 1 AMC. Last night I experimented with telling my 2 AMC's to specifically mark the opposition full backs, and it made me a lot more solid defensively. Could be a slight adaption for this diamond if you are playing a team who are higher ranked? I didn't lose any of the goal threat either, one is AP attack and the other is AM attack.

I wouldn't take this as gospel. You should pick the correct role to suit your tactics. There is not a huge difference between the roles so although he may be best at BWM he may only be 0.01% less adept as a HB or A.

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I wouldn't take this as gospel. You should pick the correct role to suit your tactics. There is not a huge difference between the roles so although he may be best at BWM he may only be 0.01% less adept as a HB or A.

I think it was the difference between being a 3.5 Star and a 3 Star. I have a young Anchor Man coming through and interest in the Ball Winning Midfielder so may make the switch anyway.

This thread has been a bit of an eye-opener, I've rarely played with wingers on any format of the game, and actually stopped playing for over a year. So to see how to work in a diamond formation on the new tactics has been a great help.

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Switched to this in my last game against a team with a 4-4-2 as i've always struggled against that for and I won. Changed to it for the first full game next and i'm 4-0 after 8 mins! Definitely going to be an option for me against teams who try and park the bus as it seems to create space everywhere

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very good analysis etcetera .

Did you ever tried to play with a DLPsup, in front of the defence, and the MCs both as BWMsupport, to give coverage to your flanks?

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I was inspired by this thread to fiddle about with a diamond.

The simplest way I've found to cover the flanks is to instruct my MCs to pick up the opposition (A)ML/R.

It makes a tangible impact straight away, and I'm happy to leave my full backs one on one with their full backs - if they get that far up field.

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I was inspired by this thread to fiddle about with a diamond.

The simplest way I've found to cover the flanks is to instruct my MCs to pick up the opposition (A)ML/R.

It makes a tangible impact straight away, and I'm happy to leave my full backs one on one with their full backs - if they get that far up field.

Doesn't that basically turn it into a wide diamond without the ball and leave the center unmanned?

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I've had great success with a 4-1-2-1-2 narrow diamond shape. I've overacheived coming 5th in the EPL With Wolves in my first try. I had a 6-1 win over Chelsea at home, a 3-0 win over Liverpool away and a 3-1 win over Manchester United at home.

The key for me is to; as RT has referred to and had been mentioned earlier, creating extra players on the flanks in the defensive phase. I have achieved this my having my two strikers man mark the opposition fullbacks. It can pull them out of shape a little bit and stamina is key as these guys WILL be covering a lot of ground; but it has proven to be very, very good going forward and somewhat stable at the back.

The only trouble I have had is with the traditional 4-5-1/4-1-2-2-1 formation when a team can put extra pressure on my attacking midfielder (I usually give this player roam from position against a DM which helps, but not always, especially if they are specifically marked) However I'm not complaining with only one formation giving me a lot of trouble. I can work through that.

Bottom line; The 4-1-2-1-2 is a very deadly formation when used going forward, and if you can morph into essentially a 4-1-2-3(Strikerless) defensively to create additional width and avoid the 2 v 1 on the flanks you can get the best of both worlds.

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Doesn't that basically turn it into a wide diamond without the ball and leave the center unmanned?

Yes, but the use of appropriate Roles makes the AMC and DMC closer than you'd ordinarily expect.

Also, you need to consider the function of the AI central midfield. Against a 4-4-2, you face two MCs whose main purpose is to supply the wingers and shield the defence. More often than not, they fail to recognise the space they have and then concede possession. Same applies with the 4-2-3-1.

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Switched to this in my last game against a team with a 4-4-2 as i've always struggled against that for and I won. Changed to it for the first full game next and i'm 4-0 after 8 mins! Definitely going to be an option for me against teams who try and park the bus as it seems to create space everywhere

Glad you've found success with this shape :)

very good analysis etcetera .

Did you ever tried to play with a DLPsup, in front of the defence, and the MCs both as BWMsupport, to give coverage to your flanks?

I haven't, though it does sound like a good idea against the top 1-2 teams away in the CL.

What I have done is use a more defensively sound midfielder in the right AP slot. He's got pretty decent creative/passing attributes but is a real monster defensively, and I've found that to be sufficient against most difficult opposition.

This tactic started out using a DLP at the DM slot but I always find him to be too static in position. Sometimes the ball gets channeled down a particular side of the pitch but the more advanced players get marked out. A regista will move towards the ball to offer a back pass option that I found DLPs don't usually do. That alone sold me really.

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Great thread, I love my narrow formations me I tend to use a 4-3-1-2 & 4-1-3-2 but I have been struggling with them on FM14 unfortunately.

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"Width, creative license and roaming to provide more passing options in a formation that can be quite rigid and narrow.

Higher defensive line and offside trap to restrict space for opposition. I originally didn’t have these instructions and it resulted in opposition holding the ball in wide areas for long periods, killing the game.

Retain possession to lower the tempo. This setup is my default tactic against teams I'm expected to win against. Holding the ball gives more time for playmakers to ping the ball around and look for openings."

Do you set up differently against more difficult opposition.

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I'm going to elaborate on this now:

I was inspired by this thread to fiddle about with a diamond.

The simplest way I've found to cover the flanks is to instruct my MCs to pick up the opposition (A)ML/R.

It makes a tangible impact straight away, and I'm happy to leave my full backs one on one with their full backs - if they get that far up field.

I've published this elsewhere, but I'll shove an abridged version below.

Essentially, I was inspired by this thread to revert to a standard narrow diamond on my save, which is now in the 2026/7 season:

manchester-united_-tactics-team.png?w=990

Not much to write home about in terms of shape – it’s “just” a narrow 4-4-2 diamond. A diamond has clear pros and cons. On the upside, there is a probable numerical advantage centrally. It has a DM to cut out through balls behind the MC line and to marshal any roving AMCs. It also includes an AMC, to take advantage of any absence of a DM in the AI system. In contrast, it has a distinct absence of width, which requires bold decisions at full back.

The system depicted above has a couple of areas of note, so I’ll elaborate on them below:

i) Four playmakers and yet a Balanced Fluidity? Four playmakers as I want complete control over the centre of the pitch. I want capable ball players who are prepared to move around to create angles for passes and I want to take full advantage of our (likely) numerical advantage in the middle.

The Regista will roam around at the back, dropping into the defensive line for goal kicks, whilst advancing into the MC line when we attack. The APs will tend to remain within the MC line whilst the wing backs bomb past. They create natural passing triangles as play progresses up the flanks, and their higher positioning than DLPs better fits the style of play I’m trying to promote. Having said that, on occasions, the MCL switches to a Deep Lying Playmaker on Support, to help bridge the gap to the Regista when we play less accommodating sides. This often results in a sort of 2-2-3-3 formation when in possession.

At the tip of the diamond, an Attacking Advanced Playmaker adds incision and craft at the top end of the team, as well as offering yet another body at that end of the pitch. When an attack is fully mature, we should expect to see both forwards, the AP (A) and one (or two) Complete Wing Backs giving the AI food for thought.

Fluidity? It’s one of those things I don’t really give a monkey’s about. I generally adhere to the suggestions of the Twelve Step Guide, but it remains just a GUIDE, and not a set of hard and fast rules. Could this system potentially function better if I fully subscribed to the specialist / generalist Role theory? Quite possibly. In this instance, I elected for Balanced Fluidity as that allows your Duties to do the talking. This will ensure I have a strong central core with mobility up the flanks and in attacking areas.

ii) Width is provided by two Complete Wing Backs. This is a Role which effectively makes this system a 2-1-4-1-2. Whilst they will track back very well into their nominal DL/R position when defending, they principally aim to influence things at the other end of the field. Ordinarily, you see these Roles deployed singularly, or in a system employing a Half Back to split the central defenders wide in order to cover the width of the pitch when defending (which itself remains a hot topic of conversation in Football Manager circles!)

iii) So, the offensive width is provided by the CWBs. What about defensive width? Do the CWBs have to carry out both defensive and offensive responsibilities? No. And that, dear readers, is the purpose of this thread.

Width

As with anything I do, this is simple stuff, but perhaps so simple that people either don’t consider it, or they read too much into potential repercussions of the system that they just give it a wide berth from the off.

Defensive width in this system is achieved by asking the MCs to specific man mark the AI (A)ML/R players. In systems where no (A)ML/R exists, I do nothing.

The question that has just entered your mind is:

“Doesn’t that basically turn it into a wide diamond without the ball and leave the centre unmanned?”

Yes, it does. And no, it does not:

“Yes, but the use of appropriate Roles makes the AMC and DMC closer than you’d ordinarily expect.

Also, you need to consider the function of the AI central midfield. Against a 4-4-2, you face two MCs whose main purpose is to supply the wingers and shield the defence. More often than not, they fail to recognise the space they have and then concede possession. Same applies with the 4-2-3-1.”

In fact, the same also applies in many ways to the 4-1-2-2-1 (which you may think of as a 4-5-1 or 4-3-3). In that system, you typically have a defence orientated DM, a fairly stationary ball playing MC and a more adventurous, running MC. In this instance, that latter player would be dealt with by the DM in my system.

Let’s explore this marking system further, and see how it influences our shape with and without the ball against differing formations.

4-1-2-2-1

Liverpool remain a significant club in 2026/7 and have favoured the 4-1-2-2-1 for a number of seasons:

liverpool-v-man-utd_-preview-match-analysis.png?w=990

The approach for this match was to ask Draband to specific man mark Lozano, whilst Matonense picked up Dodds. This resulted in this sort of shape when we were out of possession:

liverpool-v-man-utd_-pitch.png?w=990

This is a typical example of the defensive shape of the team. The MCs become the widest men on the pitch, which allows the CWBs to sit a bit tighter and create a solid bank of four at the back. Liverpool have #19 and #26 ahead of my #30, but when you consider their wide men are covered and we have 2 DCs and a DM in position, PLUS the CWBs, there is a clear numerical advantage at the back. As is common with this set up, the Liverpool attacking phase ends as they run out of viable passing lanes:

liverpool-v-man-utd_-pitch-2.png?w=660

Matonense has followed his man all the way back to the DR position and intercepted a pass from #26. You can also see here how relatively deep the Liverpool #19 and #26 sit. There is no real intent to advance from them, which allows a system where your MCs split wide to mark, to work.

What happens next? When we have the ball, do the MCs remain wide, conscious of their marking detail on the wide men? Lets look to see how this phase of play evolves.

liverpool-v-man-utd_-pitch-3.png?w=660

No, and the reason is simply because when the team is in possession, they drop their man marking responsibilities and revert to their central playmaking task. The images above and below successfully depict the mature attacking shape of this system – they highlight the 2-1-4-1-2 shape I referred to earlier. In this instance, Matonense threads a ball through to Tasdemir, who flashes a shot wide. The key point is that the shape has evolved from one where we have one man in and around the Liverpool defence, to five. A back four can be a back six when defending, or a back two when attacking.

liverpool-v-man-utd_-pitch1.png?w=660

In this final image from the same match, just before Pfeiffer scores a flicked header, I want to show why the Advanced Playmakers have been set to Support in the MC line. There is a tendency with FM to want to pillage the box with wave upon wave of attackers hounding the AI defence. Even this system is somewhat gung-ho with five players in and around that area, However, it has become apparent to me that recycling the ball from deep to keep the pressure up is a really important consideration, hence my pleasure at witnessing this sort of positioning. Remember – these highlighted chaps are the same ones who are prepared to track all the way back to the DL/R slots. You don’t get that without specific man marking jobs:

liverpool-v-man-utd_-pitch-21.png?w=660

The main reason I want to post this is to show this as a method of achieving great lateral movement in a Match Engine that doesn’t generally offer much of it. Granted, it may be a sort of “false” lateral movement in the sense that it only occurs in the transition between attacking and defending, but I hope people will realise / be reminded that it offers a new way to get new and significant types of movement on and off the ball in central areas.

4-4-2

These images come from the Capital One Cup Final in 2027, against a resurgent Nottingham Forest who used a 4-4-2. As you might expect, I elected to mark their ML and MR players. So, Menard picks up Franciso, whilst Adenauer is responsible for shadowing Aubert.

nottm-forest-v-man-utd_-preview-match-analysis-2.png?w=990

Whilst I haven’t actually used a 4-4-2 for an awfully long time, it is reasonable to assume that the Forest MCs will not be overly concerned with supplementing attacks. It is certain that one will have a Defend Duty and I’d be surprised if the other is on anything more than Support. Their main threat will come down the flanks and if I manage that as well as in the Liverpool match, then we should do well.

Here’s as example of the width of the MCs when defending:

nottm-forest-v-man-utd_-pitch-2.png?w=990

What I like here is that the back four is nice and narrow. The Forest #8 is pressed by our False Nine, which results in a rushed pass to nobody in particular. Note also that the Forest MC duo are deep and unadventurous (as is the rest of their set up, to be fair), as predicted. This is a common state of play against a 4-4-2 – no fears of the wide split causing the potential to be overrun in the middle.

In contrast, let’s have a look at how we line up when in possession:

nottm-forest-v-man-utd_-pitch.png?w=660

Once again, the MC pairing has narrowed and the team assumes a sort of 2-1-2 at the back when the Complete Wing Backs career up the flanks (they are #4 and #31). This image does a reasonable job of revealing the effectiveness of Complete Wing Backs in exploiting the channel of space between the DC and full back which is too effective in FM14. #31 is ultimately slipped through by Diego, which allows him the option of a first time shot across the ‘keeper, or a square ball into the path of an onrushing teammate.

4-2-3-1

I waited an eternity for a 4-2-3-1 playing side to turn up to provide examples for this final piece of analysis and it was Forest again! Clearly Tim Sherwood (their manager in 2027) isn’t the inflexible tactical dinosaur we all assumed….. The English Premier League, in my save, has stepped back to the era of the 4-4-2, so it was a relief to finally see the formation which is commonplace in the real world at the moment.

The 4-2-3-1 differs to the 4-1-2-2-1 in an obvious way – there is now an AMC who is capable of supplying the AML/R from a more advanced position. This not only test the marking capabilities of my MC couplet, but also tests the defensive prowess of my Regista. However, it lacks the DM that the former tactic includes, and so permits my AP (A) some room to influence the game at the other end.

I’ll not challenge you intelligence by detailing the marking assignments – you get the gist by now:

man-utd-v-nottm-forest_-preview-match-analysis.png?w=990

Our shape in possession of the ball is shown below. For this match, I decided to set the MCL Escobar to a DLP (S) Role / Duty combination (instead of the usual Advanced Playmaker Support set up), just to demonstrate the staggered positioning that this simple tweak would create:

man-utd-v-nottm-forest_-pitch.png?w=660

Escobar is clearly a bit deeper than Matonense, in spite of the ball being on his side of the pitch. I’ve found that staggering the positioning of the playmakers like this opens up more passing angles.

Defensively, the team lines up as below. This image is shortly after Forest seize possession, and shows how quickly the MCs split to pick up their marking targets. It also demonstrates the positioning of the Regista, Juninho, who is covering AMC Campos, which allows my DCs to focus on worrying about the lone Forest striker:

man-utd-v-nottm-forest_-pitch-2.png?w=660

Summary

My intention here was to remind people of the effectiveness of specific man marking when used appropriately. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that it is an extreme instruction and you need to keep an eye on the AI shape because they can and will change it! If a wide man is suddenly moved to a more central position, you need to act or be prepared for a world of pain.

In my set up, the APs are primarily creative players and their defensive aptitude falls some way short of their playmaking quality. In FMC, I have little control over a players’ development, so I can’t train their attributes in a controlled manner like in Simulation mode. Fortunately for me, my habitual tactical tomfoolery means that my MCs are multifunctional, having been deployed as Half Backs in earlier tactics.

The point being: things aren’t always as they appear. You can create very effective defensive players in apparently sexy playmaking Roles. My Regista options were signed as central defenders, trained as Ball Playing Defenders, redeployed as Anchor Men, reinvented as Registas. You get the picture!

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That's an interesting read RTH and I may well try to deploy the man-marking MCs in some of my tougher matches though generally my CWBs seem to do a good job.

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I'm playing a diamond at my current team, but have it setup very differently to the OP.

I decided I wanted a patient approach with and without the ball, so selected counter mentality, and often use the drop deeper TI. That means we keep our shape and frustrate without the ball, and wait for the right opportunity with the ball.

I have my full backs set to WBa (although in some situations I switch one or both to support), an anchor man, 2 box to box midfielders, a trequartista and then a DLF and AF.

The main struggles with width come about when the opposing full backs overlap, but I'm finding that the AI only tends to do that when it desperately needs a goal, so it's not really been a major issue. The high mentality of the FB's means the wide midfielders get shut down early enough.

I've been massively successful in 2 seasons. I'm managing in a Georgian league system I created, and have earned one dominant promotion, and have stormed to the top of the next division almost immediately (Halfway through the season). I've handed out a fair few thrashings along the way, and the system works exactly how I intended. I don't have a squad which is better than the others in the division either.

Maybe the width issue will become more pressing if we get promoted again, but so far I'm finding this to be the most effective diamond midfield I've put together on FM.

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I'm going to elaborate on this now:

snipped for brevity

I had to replay a few games after a crash and decided to test out your man marking idea. However, I'm not playing at a high level. I'm in the Belfast Telegraph C1 with a team of mostly amateurs who make the level of play in the Conference North/South look top notch by comparison. The league is 4-4-2 heavy and that's what I saw in the games I replayed. Even at this low level, the idea basically works. My team was winning anyway, and the results stayed the same. Two things were interesting, however. 1) Possession for my team greatly increased as the AI just didn't really know where it wanted to go with the ball. 2) My central mids expended less energy than they had without the man marking. This seemed a bit counter intuitive to me, but previously the CMs were often the most tired players on the squad after the game. That was not the case with this change. I haven't figure out why that it is as of yet.

Anyway, small sample size and all, but just wanted to let you know that it appears that your idea works not just at the highest levels of the game, but also with crap players in a crap league.

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1) Possession for my team greatly increased as the AI just didn't really know where it wanted to go with the ball.

This is key to the whole thing really. Wide men are very often the outlets for a team, so if you can starve the supply to them, then the options available to the AI decrease.

Furthermore, the presence of a DM means that any "Plan B" they have of using an AMC is also largely mitigated. It's quite a win-win situation.

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Do you set up differently against more difficult opposition.

Yes, I do. Though I have to stress that it's more setting up different against different managers rather than different sides.

The base tactic is:

Standard - Fluid

-Use offside trap

-Push higher up

-Shorter passing

-Hassle

-Get stuck in

-Use tighter marking

BWM on D,

CWB changed to FBa.

It's slightly more defensive in the sense that I really want to disrupt the opposition. It was developed mainly to counter Klopp's Juventus side that was ridiculously strong, but it works quite well against other aggressive managers.

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Really interesting thread. I see OP dealt with wide threat by using forwards to mark full backs thus leaving wingers one on one with the full backs, whilst RTH has put the midfielders on the wingers, leaving the full backs against eachother. Has anyone tried both together, or would that be too defensive?

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Really interesting thread. I see OP dealt with wide threat by using forwards to mark full backs thus leaving wingers one on one with the full backs, whilst RTH has put the midfielders on the wingers, leaving the full backs against eachother. Has anyone tried both together, or would that be too defensive?

For my approach, I get the MCs marking the (A)ML/R because they will be the most immediate threat. If I can nullify them, then the passing options for the full backs are lessened too.

As for marking both the full backs and the wide midfielders, I think that would be too much of a concession to the AI. Specific man marking is pretty extreme as shown by some of the images in here - it can make your shape dramatically different when in / out of possession - and that's why it appeals to me :)

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For my approach, I get the MCs marking the (A)ML/R because they will be the most immediate threat. If I can nullify them, then the passing options for the full backs are lessened too.

As for marking both the full backs and the wide midfielders, I think that would be too much of a concession to the AI. Specific man marking is pretty extreme as shown by some of the images in here - it can make your shape dramatically different when in / out of possession - and that's why it appeals to me :)

I think the bold bit is really important. I had't thought to use the Central Midfielders to mark wide in my Montpellier save, but seeing as I face a huge amount of 4-4-2 formations it has proven very useful defensively.

HOWEVER. I am actually finding it has improved my attack a lot as well. I use a Treq (Cabella) and by having my CMs starting wide when transitioning from Defense to Attack, it gives him a lot of space early on, and then runners joining him as the move progresses (I use a CMa and BBM)

Fun stuff :)

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Any chance you would be willing to share the tactic file?

No he won't as then the thread would be moved. You can see all his settings in the opening posts don't be lazy.

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No he won't as then the thread would be moved. You can see all his settings in the opening posts don't be lazy.

I didn't ask because of laziness, I was curious about the individual player instructions he was using

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I use to SWEAR by this formation, around 2006 - 2008 or so I didn't play any other formation. Had particular success in one version, taking Hayes from the Blue Square N/S level (whatever it was called then) and got to the EPL in around 6 or 7 seasons.

Haven't used it for years as I assumed it was too vulnerable down the wings, although saying it I've had some bogey teams who've played it recently so it's been on my mind to use as an alternative to my 4231. Been looking for something to use away from home against the likes of Man City/Utd/Chelsea's 4231's (it's 2019/20 season and I'm Arsenal) and this may just fit well.

My squad isn't blessed with too many amazing defensive midfielders but does have lots of good ball-retainers / box-to-boxers so this diamond might be a good fit. Got the Community Shield against City coming up so could be a good place to start...

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RTH, thats a lot of playmakers in your side, it seems to be effective though. Do you find any one of the 4 playmaking roles (3 APs and the Regista) takes more control of the game than others at times? Additionally, do you find the AI attempts to counter your man marking by switching their formation as well? I've seen a few times if i'm getting a lot of joy that the opposition will attempt to vary theirs, moving from a 4-4-2 to a narrow diamond or 4-3-3 instead. You know you're gaining the upper hand if you're making them change their game for you.

As an aside I'm finding in my latest game that the 4-2-3-1 has almost vanished as well, replaced entirely by either 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 (which in the AI setup seems to play more like a 4-2-3-1 anyway).

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...and yes it worked well against City in the Community Shield. I went with similar roles to the OP but stuck with Counter / Fluid as per my 4231 to keep that consistent with the only TIs as Push Higher Up and Play Wider.

The strikers man-marking the full-backs works perfectly, especially against AVB's City whose full-backs bomb forward constantly. My AP(A) scored the goal in a relatively comfortable 1-0 win, with City not creating much until the last 5 when they threw men forward. In fact it was easily the most comfortable performance I've had against them and I wasn't at full-strength either.

Lots of food for thought and a good strategy to have up my sleeve for these away games to the 'big' teams and their attacking 4231s...

edit: something I meant to mention, I played with two regular WBs because the left-back I was playing was old and low but the RB always plays as WB(S). The RB was actually one of the most prominent players in the game, got lots of space on his flank and regularly contributed to the attacks. Was a very interesting experiment!

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Whether IRL or on FM, I think the diamond is a great formation, however (IMO) it works best when up against a 2 man midfield (i.e. 4-4-2, 4-4-1-1, 4-2-3-1, 4-2-2-2), the key point being that the AMC can operate in pretty much free space behind the oppo's 2 CM's and has options of 2 strikers ahead of him (as well as CM's running past and the occasional wing back overlapping). It even made Hodge's England look semi decent on Monday although (again IMO) it requires the DM to stay deep and not cramp the space the AM has to work in.

By contrast, I'm not sure it's so effective where the oppo has a DM sitting in the hole your AM wants to work in.

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By contrast, I'm not sure it's so effective where the oppo has a DM sitting in the hole your AM wants to work in.

...but in the same regard the AMC can be used to shut down the oppo's DMC so he doesn't have time and space to dictate play. It should just mean the extra man advantage shifts to the base of the diamond, i.e. your DMC...

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...but in the same regard the AMC can be used to shut down the oppo's DMC so he doesn't have time and space to dictate play. It should just mean the extra man advantage shifts to the base of the diamond, i.e. your DMC...

Or..... you could gain advantage by creating overloads out wide (I.e. Not using said diamond - but that's not the thread :-) )

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RTH, thats a lot of playmakers in your side, it seems to be effective though. Do you find any one of the 4 playmaking roles (3 APs and the Regista) takes more control of the game than others at times? Additionally, do you find the AI attempts to counter your man marking by switching their formation as well? I've seen a few times if i'm getting a lot of joy that the opposition will attempt to vary theirs, moving from a 4-4-2 to a narrow diamond or 4-3-3 instead. You know you're gaining the upper hand if you're making them change their game for you.

It is a lot of playmakers, but it effectively just acts like having no playmakers really. When you have more than one playmaker, the passing focus of the team is equally distributed among the playmakers (though obviously weighted by who has the ball and in what context, and where and how the playmakers are placed).

If I had no playmakers, there would be equal focus among those players too. By having a bunch of them, I just wanted to create a central passing hub which would help to control our possession of the ball.

I didn't especially notice the AI making that many fundamental changes in games. I'm sure they may have mixed up Roles and Duties now and then, plus the odd PI and TI change, but I find it relatively rare to see regular wholesale changes in system employed by the AI. I always have the AI formation widget open though, so as and when a significant change of shape kicks in, I'll always consider whether the man marking is still required.

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Great write up, I've actually recently started playing this in my Arsenal save, I think Arsenal have almost the perfect personnel to play a diamond I've had some very good results away to big sides but at times struggled a bit to break teams down at home. My width comes from my full backs as I have them as complete wing backs. Very good flexible formation.

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Fantastic. I just came here to ask for help in getting my diamond to score more goals. I'm consistently among the best teams in the league defensively, but just need some more balls in the back of the net! I'll try some of your tips out!

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but at times struggled a bit to break teams down at home.

Yes, this can be a problem in that they will sit deeper and pack the middle where your play is necessarily focused. What I have done in these cases with some success is tinker with my roles and duties. The idea is to spread out the defense which is hard to do in this situation. For example, I started using my AMC as a Treq even though he isn't really suited attribute-wise. I didn't care, I wanted him cruising around all over. I also changed the TI for my two CMs so their wide play was more pronounced, and lastly, I put my DM into a support role. At a slight risk of getting popped on the counter, I effectively get as many as five men going forward in different areas of the final third with at least two men out wide. Generally that is enough to cause problems and create chances.

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Great write up, I've actually recently started playing this in my Arsenal save, I think Arsenal have almost the perfect personnel to play a diamond I've had some very good results away to big sides but at times struggled a bit to break teams down at home. My width comes from my full backs as I have them as complete wing backs. Very good flexible formation.

what roles and duties do you give your players with Arsenal. i am playing with an updated database so I have Sanchez and Welbeck. The problem I have is what to do with Oxlade Chamberlain

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what roles and duties do you give your players with Arsenal. i am playing with an updated database so I have Sanchez and Welbeck. The problem I have is what to do with Oxlade Chamberlain

You can always rotate between 2 formations.

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