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Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

Have the match-engine mechanics of the half-back changed recently?

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Hey everyone,

I was wondering whether someone at SI (or related) could tell me whether the match engine mechanics for the half-back role have changed recently?

It has been a while since I used the role, but I clearly remember the half-back dropping back between the two centre backs and the centre-backs fanning out wide creating a wide back three and good options in the deep build up.

I am experimenting with the role again - for the first time in a while - and the half-back is dropping between the two centre backs but the centre backs are not moving out wide so I've got 3 players right on top of each other clogging up the play. It's really not beneficial.

It's only an observation in 3-4 games but it's enough that I'd already consider switching to a back 3. If it is an issue, it'd be good to be fixed for FM2017.

Thank you.

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Maybe it's connected to having "playing out of the back" TI on/off or the GK having some "pass shorter"/"distribute to CBs" PI on/off?

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The CBs will only split wide if you're using Wing Backs in the more advanced Wing Back slot (in line with the HB)

I use this a lot.

It can lead to some scary defensive moments if caught on the break.  Using a Regista also splits the CBs but they don't seem to go as wide.  

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7 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Hey everyone,

I was wondering whether someone at SI (or related) could tell me whether the match engine mechanics for the half-back role have changed recently?

It has been a while since I used the role, but I clearly remember the half-back dropping back between the two centre backs and the centre-backs fanning out wide creating a wide back three and good options in the deep build up.

I am experimenting with the role again - for the first time in a while - and the half-back is dropping between the two centre backs but the centre backs are not moving out wide so I've got 3 players right on top of each other clogging up the play. It's really not beneficial.

It's only an observation in 3-4 games but it's enough that I'd already consider switching to a back 3. If it is an issue, it'd be good to be fixed for FM2017.

Thank you.

I had similar questions and tbh it seems as though the match engine couldn't provide what i was looking for.

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I'm using a HB for my Inter save and he does drop between the CDs and they do move wider to accommodate him. I do have my full backs in the advanced slots as per @Lordluap's post though.

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Can definitely say that the HB drops back and the rest accommodate him, of course how this happens is also affected by how many players there are in the defensive strata and their roles

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3 hours ago, Rashidi said:

Can definitely say that the HB drops back and the rest accommodate him, of course how this happens is also affected by how many players there are in the defensive strata and their roles

Is there a way to do this without moving the full backs into the wing-back strata?

I am using a pretty simple back four plus half-back setup:

PAlBPW0.png

As you can see, Busquets is dropping back but the centre backs are not fanning out and the wingbacks are not moving forward.

esLKiuJ.png

This same scenario repeated continually throughout the match.

When I move my wingbacks into the wingback strata, I get the centre backs moving correctly however the wingbacks are now waaay too aggressive and the defensive positioning is hopeless.

35SHTQ1.png

Ideas?

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Regarding the original question, I don't believe the Role has been tweaked since its inception. There was some debate in testing specifically about this Role and the much-maligned Inverted Wing Back, and I'm pretty sure I remember that it wasn't possible to directly tweak individual Roles for FM16 as there just wasn't time.

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10 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

That's good - the combination of the Half-Back and Inverted Wing-Back not working as they should basically kills the possibility of emulating anything Guardiola-based, which is rather a shame!

If you use a WB/S (in the WB slot) with Sit Narrower and Cut Inside with Ball, use a Half Back and instead of using CM's, push them up to AM's, use Wingers, giving a really attacking 4-1-4-1, you can almost get "Inverted Wing Backs" working... I have some pics - one i tagged Shrewnaldo in on Twitter.  It's close to being what you'd want.  Although I did use players like Georg Teigl who are in game Inverted Wing Backs with opposite feet to the flank they're on.  In build up from GK they do sit quite narrow (i believe due to the wide positioning of the CB's, and because there is space for them to sit in due to the HB dropping deep and the absence of CM's.  It seems its all about movement and space.  However, once we advance the attack they do tend to drift into the channels/wider before cutting in again.  Its not fully Guardiola but it does offer some interesting approaches in FM.

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Here are my pics - as i say, not perfect, but closer than a lot of "preset" FM attempts.  These are from another analysis I was doing.  Blue Lines indicate passing options, Yellow and Red indicate movement.

 

 

636076346572225594.jpg

636076346701774076.jpg

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16 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

When I move my wingbacks into the wingback strata, I get the centre backs moving correctly however the wingbacks are now waaay too aggressive and the defensive positioning is hopeless.

Ideas?

Did you keep them on an Attack duty when you moved them into the WB strata? I'm not sure how aggressive you want them to be, but have you considered changing their duty, maybe even to Defend?

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I'm not having any issues really defensively with my fullbacks in the WB strata and they are both WB(a) play with a HB and 2 x CD(d).

The bugbear I do have is that the WBs and AML/Rs are almost sat on top of eachother from GK and CD distributions. I guess it's because I'm playing Control/Fluid and I can live with it but yeah, no problems defensively down the wings or in general either really.

Edited by davehibb

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My system is a simple 4-3-3 - the wingbacks provide the width in attack as the inside forwards cut inside so they really need an attack duty to get to the byline.

In the wingback-strata its a horrible shape. Way too far forward.

  1. They're right on top of the inside forwards.
  2. They completely take themselves out of all transition play meaning I have no width in the build up.

The main problem is that I am trying to play a possession game and every time I concede possession, the opposition just pump the ball into the gaping hole left by the wingbacks - we're basically giving them a "get out of jail free" card.

With the match engine the way it is, the only solution I see is scrapping the half-back role in favour of a) a back 3 and pushing the wingbacks forward or b) a different holding role and sticking with 4-3-3.

Frustrating.

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My half-back in Busquets. He's the stereotypical half-back. I'm pretty sure he's the reason they added the role in the first place!

It appears to me to be an issue with the match engine mechanism rather than a PPM or instruction. The difference is way too pronounced.

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It's your tactics mate.

Get good.

Busquets drops deep for me even with my fullbacks in the DR/DL Position. He executes the role perfectly. Its all about setting your team/tactics up properly.

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8 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

My half-back in Busquets. He's the stereotypical half-back. I'm pretty sure he's the reason they added the role in the first place!

It appears to me to be an issue with the match engine mechanism rather than a PPM or instruction. The difference is way too pronounced.

I used the role a lot in FM15 and it certainly doesn't seem to work as well in FM16 but I can't put my finger on exactly why.

As has been pointed out putting having players at WBL/R works better than DL/R but it still doesn't seem to work as I want even with players who look ideal for the role.

TBH I've kinda given up with it and have been using different DM roles in the last few months.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Ripason said:

It's your tactics mate.

Get good.

Busquets drops deep for me even with my fullbacks in the DR/DL Position. He executes the role perfectly. Its all about setting your team/tactics up properly.

This wasn't even the problem. If you actually read the OP then I think you may understand.

 

 

 

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The Half-Back role works as I would like it to when you push the wingbacks forward but the knock on effects of that are horrendous.

It's very frustrating as my team is very well equipped for a 4-3-3 with the half-back dropping deep in possession however it just doesn't happen.

Can anyone from SI or perhaps a moderator with privileged access to the match engine information chip in?

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Hey Ozil,

If you are using the half back role just so he drops into the defence gap, try just using a DLP (D) there. My DLP and even my Regista, regularly drop inbetween them to collect the ball, and in turn they do split out a bit. However this is not as much as you see Barca in real life, it still does a decent job though.

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A midfielder dropping between CB's who spread wide is a fundamental aspect of modern football. This is a regular occurrence in league 1. It should not need a specialist role to facilitate this let alone re-positioning the full backs. 

Any side at virtually any level of professional football who play from the back, will have their CB's wide of the 18 yard line from goal kicks. 

For me it should not be a matter of playing a half back or using wing backs. If 'play out of defence' is ticked, the wide CB split should happen automatically. 

If it was just a Pep side which does this then I could understand the engine not replicating. However, IRL even teams like Swindon split the CB's! 

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15 hours ago, AFCBeer said:

A midfielder dropping between CB's who spread wide is a fundamental aspect of modern football. This is a regular occurrence in league 1. It should not need a specialist role to facilitate this let alone re-positioning the full backs. 

Any side at virtually any level of professional football who play from the back, will have their CB's wide of the 18 yard line from goal kicks. 

For me it should not be a matter of playing a half back or using wing backs. If 'play out of defence' is ticked, the wide CB split should happen automatically. 

If it was just a Pep side which does this then I could understand the engine not replicating. However, IRL even teams like Swindon split the CB's! 

Agreed.

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I've used a half back and it does what it says on the tin, mainly in when in attacking possession. The split is far too wide for my liking though. I find a DLP/D to be much better and safer defensively.

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On 9/4/2016 at 17:32, jeid2000 said:

I've used a half back and it does what it says on the tin, mainly in when in attacking possession. The split is far too wide for my liking though. I find a DLP/D to be much better and safer defensively.

This has been my experience with it too- against a single striker formation I didn't find it overly troubling, but against 2 or 3 striker setups the split was too much. If I wanted the defensive safety, I used an anchorman role.

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On 5 September 2016 at 19:15, Dr. Hook said:

This has been my experience with it too- against a single striker formation I didn't find it overly troubling, but against 2 or 3 striker setups the split was too much. If I wanted the defensive safety, I used an anchorman role.

Are you talking about using a DL-DC-DC-DR or WBL-DC-DC-WBR?

Using a DL-DC-DC-DR the centre backs are barely moving wide at all. When the half-back drops deep, they're on top of each other. It's a mess, as illustrated in the screenshot above.

With the WBL-DC-DC-WBR the centre back / half back combination works perfectly. Great for building possession from the back and very difficult to press. The issue is that the Wingbacks are now too advanced. They're on top of my wide-forwards and they leave a gaping hole behind them.

Since then, I've tweaked the system and do have a 4-3-3 with wingbacks which is working but it's far from optimal and yet to be tested in any really big games.

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Sorry, it was with the WBL, WBR- should have clarified. While it seemed okay at times, I didn't care for the split width with it. With the flat 4 at the back, yes I observed the same mess as you did. All in all, I didn't feel the role was doing quite what I wanted it to do (nor probably what is was intended to do for that matter). I liked the introduction of it in principle, and it has potential to be uber useful, but I ultimately didn't care for it when all was said and done. I am hopeful that FM17 will produce a better halfback.

 

EDIT: I wanted to add what I was trying to do and why I didn't like it. Initially I hoped to have a flat back four with the outside backs in wingback roles for attack width, and the halfback supporting the attack from the DM position. Once we lose the ball, I wanted the halfback to drop between the CDs, my FBs track back and I get a flat-ish back four. I wanted to use this against teams that had wide threats as I played a narrow diamond type of formation.  If I pushed the fullbacks to wingbacks, they didn't track back as far as I wanted and when the HB dropped into the d-line, it shoved the 2 CBs too far apart for my liking. With FBs, they dropped back as I wanted, but as you discovered the HB dropping into the line didn't create enough space between the CBs and became a jumbled mess. Here is what frustrated me the most- If you set a flat back 5 in your initial setup, it works fine, so I hoped it would replicate that with the HB. I ended up using an anchorman- I could have used the flat back five, but I didn't want to lose the midfield role as you just can't get a CB to push forward to act like a DM in possession.

Something else I could have tried but didn't was to set a flat back 5, put the Central CD into the SW spot and make him a Libero. That has its own set of problems but it could have answered? I didn't bother.

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6 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:
On September 3, 2016 at 18:07, AFCBeer said:

A midfielder dropping between CB's who spread wide is a fundamental aspect of modern football. This is a regular occurrence in league 1. It should not need a specialist role to facilitate this let alone re-positioning the full backs. 

Any side at virtually any level of professional football who play from the back, will have their CB's wide of the 18 yard line from goal kicks. 

For me it should not be a matter of playing a half back or using wing backs. If 'play out of defence' is ticked, the wide CB split should happen automatically. 

If it was just a Pep side which does this then I could understand the engine not replicating. However, IRL even teams like Swindon split the CB's! 

It all started with Pep Guardiola introducing it in 2008-09 season with Barca. And since then pretty much every team is using it when building up from the back to the point that it's becoming normal. Therefore I agree with you and think it's a good call to make it happen automatically when selecting the TI "Play Out of Defense". But perhaps it's too late for FM17 at this point or at least in the initial release.  

6 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Are you talking about using a DL-DC-DC-DR or WBL-DC-DC-WBR?

Using a DL-DC-DC-DR the centre backs are barely moving wide at all. When the half-back drops deep, they're on top of each other. It's a mess, as illustrated in the screenshot above.

With the WBL-DC-DC-WBR the centre back / half back combination works perfectly. Great for building possession from the back and very difficult to press. The issue is that the Wingbacks are now too advanced. They're on top of my wide-forwards and they leave a gaping hole behind them.

Since then, I've tweaked the system and do have a 4-3-3 with wingbacks which is working but it's far from optimal and yet to be tested in any really big games.

Have you tried the Wingback at WB position with Support and/or Defend Duties? What have you observed then?

 

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After two editions, this is more  of the same. Since the FM17 thread got closed I'll post this comment here. With FBs, the HB is just another holding midfielder and an alternative to DLP(D) or Anchor Man. It's main advantage is that unlike some other options, he sits a bit lower on the pitch but almost never sits between the two centre backs. However with WBs, the HB works as his description suggest: mainly as a third defender while the two CBs stretch out to give the HB the space to sit properly between them when the team has the ball.

 

EDIT: Even though you should really just play and watch matches to see the difference, here's two screenshots. I played with FBs during the first half and with WBs in the second. The HB as a result sat significantly lower during the second half than he did during the first half.

fm_2018-08-02_17-36-09.png

fm_2018-08-02_17-36-23.png

Edited by BMNJohn

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@BMNJohn when you say that you played with WBs in the second half, did you move the players into the WB strata or leave them in the FB strata and simply amend their role?

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12 minutes ago, Chevie said:

@BMNJohn when you say that you played with WBs in the second half, did you move the players into the WB strata or leave them in the FB strata and simply amend their role?

I mean that I moved them from the FB to the WB strata. I didn't change their role or duty: it was CWB(S) regardless of the strata. FWIW I also moved my ML/R up a strata to AML/R as well to compensate the change in strata of the FBs.

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