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Weston

Thoughts on the Narrow Diamond (4-1-2-1-2)

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I normally favor a 4-1-2-1-2 with a narrow midfield diamond, trying to dominate possession and break down the opposition through short passing. I prefer this formation to wider ones as I find it's easier to build and rotate a squad with several narrow players who are more flexible/interchangeable than trying to stockpile a certain amount of left vs right sided players, for example. It's always nice to have a few guys who can comfortably rotate between DM/CM and CM/AM, etc. Ideally my bottom three include a DLP, BWM, and BTB, or perhaps even an anchor man if available.

My question is just a general poll of the community to see if there are any other players experienced with this formation and get a feel for what player roles they've utilize to positive or negative results. What player roles do you use for the AM position? Do you get better results with a DLP in the DM or CM position? What roles do you give the fullbacks to compensate for the lack of width in midfield? Best striker role partnership? And so on and so forth.

Edited by Weston

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7 hours ago, -Ironhide- said:

I use the diamond to counter against stronger teams.

Any particular setup? Do you not use it against equal or smaller sides?

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10 minutes ago, Weston said:

Any particular setup? Do you not use it against equal or smaller sides?

 Since I'm newly promoted I use it in away games and it works. Against any sort of side in my opinion.

 

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I love the formation and often gravitate back to it when I experience a drop in form. Like you said, I find it easiest to cover the positions of this formation, both with my subs and just transfers in general. I often select the following roles:

  • SK(d)
  • WB(a) - CD(d) - CD(d) - WB(s)
  • HB(d)
  • CM(s) - BBM(s)
  • AP(a)
  • DLF(s) - AF(a)

Some changes I might make: 

  • Adjust wingback mentalities...against easier opponents I will often use CWB roles, and when killing off a game I will use conservative roles there
  • I desire versatility from my central midfield pair...sometimes I want an RPM(s) there, sometimes I'll even use a CM(a) if I have a more immobile AMC on the pitch
  • Based on opponent formation, I might switch to a narrow 4-1-3-2 or a narrow 4-3-1-2. There isn't much difference, though. I do prefer having the one DMC on the field so I can use a HB(d).

My team instructions are typically: Work ball into box, Play out of defence, Close down more, Play wider, Play offside trap

I often use opposition instructions to close down the ML/MR and DL/DR positions, which seems to improve the lateral defensive coverage of my midfielders.

The one thing I very rarely change is the HB(d) role. I like having that security back there, especially since my wingbacks have to get forward to give my attack some support out wide. An anchorman role can do this, too, but I find the HB just a bit better positionally for what I want.

Edited by Overmars

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On 10/27/2016 at 12:30, Overmars said:

I love the formation and often gravitate back to it when I experience a drop in form. Like you said, I find it easiest to cover the positions of this formation, both with my subs and just transfers in general. I often select the following roles:

  • SK(d)
  • WB(a) - CD(d) - CD(d) - WB(s)
  • HB(d)
  • CM(s) - BBM(s)
  • AP(a)
  • DLF(s) - AF(a)

Some changes I might make: 

  • Adjust wingback mentalities...against easier opponents I will often use CWB roles, and when killing off a game I will use conservative roles there
  • I desire versatility from my central midfield pair...sometimes I want an RPM(s) there, sometimes I'll even use a CM(a) if I have a more immobile AMC on the pitch
  • Based on opponent formation, I might switch to a narrow 4-1-3-2 or a narrow 4-3-1-2. There isn't much difference, though. I do prefer having the one DMC on the field so I can use a HB(d).

My team instructions are typically: Work ball into box, Play out of defence, Close down more, Play wider, Play offside trap

I often use opposition instructions to close down the ML/MR and DL/DR positions, which seems to improve the lateral defensive coverage of my midfielders.

The one thing I very rarely change is the HB(d) role. I like having that security back there, especially since my wingbacks have to get forward to give my attack some support out wide. An anchorman role can do this, too, but I find the HB just a bit better positionally for what I want.

Thank you, very insightful!

One thing that most confuses me about the instructions of this game is redundancy vs compensation. For example, since I played a narrow formation I at first thought I needed, naturally, to tell them to play narrowly to fit their strengths and positions, but listening to (seemingly more experienced) people like you it now seems to me as if that's just unnecessarily restrictive since they're already in those positions, and it may be best to tell them to play a little wider like you say to compensate. I just worry this may force center mids to play a more winger-esque role when they're clearly stronger through the middle? Should I just not give any width instructions and let them figure it out themselves? I definitely agree with telling them to close down wide players regardless.

Also curious, why do you choose a sweeper keeper and what benefits does that have? Is that specific to this formation or just a general tactic you prefer?

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