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Care and Feeding of Roaming Playmakers

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The concept of a roaming playmaker is something I'm finding really exciting - a role I've tried and often failed to duplicate in previous FM incarnations (as well as the Ramdeuter, which I had more success duplicating, but that's another thread).

Let's discuss: How are you deploying roaming playmakers? How much success have you had with them? I've seen a lot of RPs as DMs, how many of you have tried to replicate the Xavi role as an MC?

Personally, my quest right now is to try and replicate the Iniesta-Xavi-Busquets triangle, which has always been a challenge. I tried deploying it as RP-RP-HB, but that doesn't seem to work because two roaming playmakers seem to always occupy the same spaces when both off the ball, making it hard to link with the rest of the team. Have others had more success, or found a way to use an RP effectively as a Xavi role?

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I have been playing my RP as 1 of a 3 man midfield in my 4 1 2 2 1

Anchor man, CM D/S and roaming playmaker,

I always put him up against the oppositions defensive midfielder as I want his mobility to disrupt their shape.

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Interesting. I've lately been trying an AP(S)-RP(S) pair backed by a HB(D). It's working pretty well with a small sample size (still tweaking a lot about the overall tactic). Totally agree on the "shape destroying demon" aspect of the RP.

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I've been using a RP from a DM position in my new Swansea save with moderate success. Playing a low tempo, patient possession game (or trying to) gives the player (Ki Sung Yeung usually) time to progress up the pitch and get on the ball often. Does a decent defensive job in terms of filling spaces.

Consistently gets the most passes with good completion percentage even with More Risky & More Direct selected (to override team instructions to keep it short and simple). Good average rating may be misleading case he's scored some penalties for me, but in watching games I quite like the shape with a more traditional DM-D or S next to him and an AM-S (roaming & move into channels) ahead. A little asymmetric cause the RP has some lateral movement the DM-D doesn't mirror but nothing major.

Attacking wingers in the midfield line give early passing options though I haven't got the wide play as I'd like it yet (game seems obsessed with balls over the top to usually offside players).

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I gave RP a go but one thing I noticed is they drift even when defending. I would probably be a bit cautious about using them as a second defensive option, but its early stages yet. I won't use it in my 4-3-3 (DM/IF) because I use a AP/DLP combo in the middle. I wonder if it would be effective in the place of the AP so; HB/DLP/RP with two IF and a f9. Might be worthwhile if the player is one of those 'all round' types.

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I am loathe to have more than 1 playmaking role in my side as I believe they take away something from each other.

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I am loathe to have more than 1 playmaking role in my side as I believe they take away something from each other.

A problem is that a lot of the actual settings for each role are hidden from us and we have to guess at what we're asking the players to do.

I assign playmakers when I want certain players to have some freedom of passing and movement. Others because they want to assign a focal point for a team's passing moves.

Using a target man makes the rest of the team switch to direct passing no matter what other settings are used. So much basic stuff is trial and error.

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Indeed. I do see evidence of what he's saying though, it's hard to get two "playmaker" types to function well together because they both look for the same pockets of space and end up crowding each other. In real life, Xavi and Iniesta know how to find space independent of each other so that they can pull apart the defense - this is really hard to simulate in FM and in fairness, probably a nightmare to program.

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Indeed. I do see evidence of what he's saying though, it's hard to get two "playmaker" types to function well together because they both look for the same pockets of space and end up crowding each other. In real life, Xavi and Iniesta know how to find space independent of each other so that they can pull apart the defense - this is really hard to simulate in FM and in fairness, probably a nightmare to program.

I disagree. I and many other of this forum have had great success having an AP and DLP together; within a 3 man midfield, it can lead to great football.

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I know, but so far a ROAMING playmaker in particular seems to crowd out an AP or another RP somewhat.

Ideally, I'd want a setup where two players act like a pivoting RP duo, but that's hard to achieve so far.

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I know, but so far a ROAMING playmaker in particular seems to crowd out an AP or another RP somewhat.

Ideally, I'd want a setup where two players act like a pivoting RP duo, but that's hard to achieve so far.

Isn't it the whole point of RP to go out of his way to be involved? If so, it's no wonder if two of them end up at the same place!

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Yes, and I think that is what is happening. It would be very complicated to program two roaming playmakers interchanging in effective ways. I am hoping to approximate that behavior.

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Not sure that Xavi-Iniesta-Busquets is RP-RP-HB.

I would consider their set-up to be more like RP-AP(A)-HB tbh. Iniesta is much more attacking, he gets into the box much more than Xavi does and he dribbles with the ball a lot more than anyone in the Barca side after the front three.

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There's truth to that, but even that is hard to get just right. Working on it though, seeing if a CM(S) with a few choice instructions can be a good approximation.

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I am loving the new RP, I'm playing as Liverpool currently and I'm setup in a 4-1-2-2-1.

My midfield triangle is as follows:

DM-D - Gerrard (been thinking about trying him as a halfback but the tactic is working too well at the moment)

B2B-S - Henderson

RP-S - Coutinho

I was originally concerned because in FM14 I used this same formation but always had one CM set to attack, with no true attacking CMs would my ST become isolated/not have enough options? Turns out the answer is absolutely not, Coutinho is decimating opponents, I just finished a match where i played Real Madrid in the Champions League...The match finished 4-2 and Coutinho had 1 assist and 1 goal with a 9.00 rating.

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I'll share my current tactical experience, because it's much closer to what I want:

With Barcelona...

RAM(A)-F9(S)-RAM(A)

CM(S)-RP(S)

HB(D)

FB(S)-CD(D)-CD(D)-FB(S)

SK(A)

This is played with a super high line, a super high tempo, and some shouts to support a pressing/possession style.

So far, the CM(S) is disappointing, but the RP(S) is bossing up the field and the tactic as a whole is amazing for me.

More to come when I can figure out the "Iniesta Role".

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Who are you playing in the RP role?

Usually Xavi, other times Iniesta or Rakitic. Depends on who is fit.

Xavi runs it brilliantly, the other two are also quite good.

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Usually Xavi, other times Iniesta or Rakitic. Depends on who is fit.

Xavi runs it brilliantly, the other two are also quite good.

Update: Iniesta as an AP(A) has just gone crazy, playing like IRL Iniesta. RP(S)-AP(A) might be the way to go.

The difference, why DLP-AP never seemed to work for me, is that the RP's movement links better with the AP.

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I've gotten Henderson to perform really well as a RP, he was a bit slow in the start of the season but is now averaging an 8 in form and is banging in goals as well as assists.

The formation I use:

GK(D) - Mignolet

LCWB - Moreno/Enrique

CD(D) - Sakho

CD(D) - Lovren

RFB(S) - Johnson

B2B(S) - Allen

CM(D) - Gerrard

RP(S) - Henderson

LAP(S) - Coutinho

Remdeuter(A) - Sterling

AF(A) - Sturridge

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what is the difference between B2B and RP then?

Offensively, the Roaming Playmaker moves into pockets of space, looks to spread the ball around, tries to play others in. Defensively I'm not 100% sure how the RP is intended to act, though.

Offensively, the Box to Box midfielder runs at players/defenders, tries to get into the box (either with or without the ball; without the ball it's usually a late/surging run), more of a goal threat than any other MC role available (bar CM/A). Defensively, the B2B will also track back and get stuck in.

Basically, one is about finding space and passing the ball around; the other is about getting into the box and scoring goals as well as winning the ball when he can.

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I believe B2B has RWB on mixed only. You can still select that option to often. RP has RWB on often. Can't select/deselect that option.

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I am loving the new RP, I'm playing as Liverpool currently and I'm setup in a 4-1-2-2-1.

My midfield triangle is as follows:

DM-D - Gerrard (been thinking about trying him as a halfback but the tactic is working too well at the moment)

B2B-S - Henderson

RP-S - Coutinho

I was originally concerned because in FM14 I used this same formation but always had one CM set to attack, with no true attacking CMs would my ST become isolated/not have enough options? Turns out the answer is absolutely not, Coutinho is decimating opponents, I just finished a match where i played Real Madrid in the Champions League...The match finished 4-2 and Coutinho had 1 assist and 1 goal with a 9.00 rating.

I've started an FMC save on FM15, just to give tactics a run out for a while. Pretty much the same midfield set up as you have except I changed Gerrard to a DLP (d) It just seems to work better, despite having another playmaker, it doesn't seem to affect the RP. I play (Structured) So I have the room for specialist roles. I've actually found Henderson to play the RP role pretty well too when needed. I've been surprised to read people saying Balotelli is useless for them, cos he has been awesome as a TQ for me in the lone striker role.

Borini has done surprisingly well as an Inside Forward too when Sturridge hasn't played, I think that the Inside Forward role has been tweaked quite a bit looking at how it's working, they seem to sit a lot narrower by default.

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Torskus,

I agree the Inside Forward role has been excellent for me, I use Balotelli as the IF-S and for smaller competitions i use Borini there. I have Sturridge as a CF-A, but if the opponent is parking the bus or uses a 5 on the back line setup, i've had more success with a CF-S. When Balotelli plays striker I use a TQ as well and he's been great there too. The only downside with Mario is that you need to keep an eye on his body language and address any problems (when he becomes 'very frustrated' I'll use a touchline team talk).

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I'll share my current tactical experience, because it's much closer to what I want:

With Barcelona...

RAM(A)-F9(S)-RAM(A)

CM(S)-RP(S)

HB(D)

FB(S)-CD(D)-CD(D)-FB(S)

SK(A)

This is played with a super high line, a super high tempo, and some shouts to support a pressing/possession style.

So far, the CM(S) is disappointing, but the RP(S) is bossing up the field and the tactic as a whole is amazing for me.

More to come when I can figure out the "Iniesta Role".

Any team and player instructions?

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A problem is that a lot of the actual settings for each role are hidden from us and we have to guess at what we're asking the players to do.

The consequence (which everyone predicted) of the brilliant design decision from last year.

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Any team and player instructions?

PIs mostly around pressing. TIs: Retain Possession, Play Out of Defence, Low Crosses, Much Higher Defensive Line, Use Offside Trap, Much Higher Tempo. Control/Flexible.

I also changed the CM(S) to an AP(A) to great effect. RP(S) is the PERFECT link-up with an AP(A).

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