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Setting up a 4-4-2 diamond [FM16]


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I'm in the 2nd season of my FM16 game that I started on the Beta. I'm Wolves, in the Premier League after we won the Championship title at a canter (largely thanks to Benik Afobe plundering 35 league goals).

In the Championship I played 4-2-3-1, but decided to change that for the Prem. My wingers were James Henry and Christian Santos (an £875k buy from NEC) both were decent Championship wingers but not really good enough at the highest level. Lacking the money to go out and buy substantial upgrades, I decided I would instead play without wingers, making the most of a few good centre mids that I have (and to enable me to play both Afobe and summer signing Charlie Austin).

My plan has been to play a 4-4-2 diamond, I was wondering what you guys think in terms of the best roles/instructions to use for this? Initially I started out with my DM as a BMW (defend), my MC on the left as a DLP (support) and the right MC as a CM (attack), with a Trequartista in front of them supporting the two front men. The width would be mostly provided by two attacking full backs, with the trequartista also moving into the channels to find any space that might be there.

This has only worked in fits and starts. I have found that teams can exploit gaps in the middle, partly, I think, because my BWM often charges around and can get caught out of position. Likewise, my Trequartista tends to drift in and out of games (which I suppose is to be expected).

I changed things recently against West Ham (who also play a diamond). I switched by BMW to a half back, with the idea that it would allow my full backs to push on into the space in front of them without getting caught out. I brought the Trequartista back into the central midfield area and made him a CM (attack), flanked either side by a DLP (support) and an Advanced Playmaker (support). I changed it slightly for the next game, so now I play this:

GK

CWB (A) - CD (D) - CD (D) - CWB (S)

HB (D)

DLP (S) - BWM (D) - AP (A)

AF (A) - CF (S)

In my first full game with these tweaks I drew 2-2 with Newcastle, but should have won as we dominated the game.

What do you guys think, how would/have you set up a successful 4-4-2 diamond?

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Is there any way to prevent that? I was considering having them as an ordinary full back with either support or even defend duty, but they offer a good "out ball" when they go forward when the middle of the park gets (inevitably) congested.

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There is no way to 100% prevent it, as this is the tradeoff for using the formation. Depending on what you are facing, though, you can try setting your MCR/L to man mark a wide player, probably an opposition fullback. This has a downside of course, but that is tactics- risk v reward. I used this formation a lot, even recently, and if I was overly concerned about the wide threat, that is what I did.

Edit: I did this while leaving my Fbs on attack duty as you have to have that width.

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I am now playing a 4-1-3-2 more than a diamond, but struggling with the roles for my midfield 3. My original thinking was one attack minded midfielder (say, an AP) combined with 2 supporting (DLP and BWM or BBM) but it doesn't seem to work. They get in each other's way and no one seems to support the front two. I guess I'll have to keep experimenting but I'm finding it hard to get the balance right.

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The 4-1-3-2 is the easier one to balance arguably, because you have the security of a DM (as long as you chose the right Role / Duty). You just need an attack minded guy like a CM (A) in the middle (he'll represent the tip of the diamond) to split the outer two and you shouldn't really get much issue with them getting in each others' way.

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4-4-2 diamonds can be made and be successful, I've used the same tactic for three iterations of FM now and it has done the job very well. The trick is widening the diamond in possession and keeping it compact when you don't have the ball. Fullback postition will always be the weakness defensivley, but going the other way they will probably be your best outlet. BBM imo don't work in a narrow midfield especially if you have marauding WB's you'll just end up with a massive gap. Your CM's need to be more generalised, I use CMs/CMa combo with personal instructins and it works a treat. The HB is vital as he widens a the defence and helps combat being picked off in behind a WB on the break.

Other tips i've sort of happened upon with a narrow diamond is having an Enganche at the tip as he offers a focal point that attacks can go through, a DLFs and a AFa combo with both men moving into channels also helps create width, and potential overloads in wide areas.

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Took that all on board Moose-Stuff-For-Money, but it didn't seem to help, in fact since implementing the enganche, CMs and the half back we lost 4 on the bounce. Maybe I will try something else, clearly the diamond is successful for some people but it just hasn't been working for me at all, sadly.

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Well I've been tinkering with a few different things (which probably hasn't helped my players!). I was about to load up the game to show you my team instructions only to find that the save game has corrupted and can't load :(. So I've lost the damn thing.

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If you play with three across the midfield, I would be reluctant to use two playmakers in there. They'll just get in each other's way and both will want the ball. Try a box to box midfielder with a deep lying or advanced playmaker support. Also, if I was playing that formation I would put my full backs on WB/A. A bit less aggressive than the CWB but still offering the out ball.

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I got my diamond to work last year ok.

WB(a)

CD

CD

WB(a)

DM(d)

RPM(s)

RPM(s)

AP(a)

DLP(s)

AF(a)

Don't have CWB's far too attacking, WB's on attack mode will get forward but only when the situation arises. The roaming play makers work because they drop deep, go wide, stay central etc they cover a lot ground and work.

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