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jordan_ye

[Discussion] CM or DM?

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First of all, Merry Christmas everyone!!

Tactical side of FM is always one of its feature that made so many player fall in love with this game and even delve into the real life football tactics. I am one of them. Then, I delve into the real life football tactics during I play in a youth team , I found something weird about tactics system in FM. The most confusing question is about central midfielder position and defensive midfielder position.

In football world, we know there are three position in midfield.

  • Attacking Midfielder, which is also called "No.10". example: Ozil, James Rodriguez, Dele Alli
  • Central Midfielder, which is also called "No.8". example: Pogba, De Bruyne, Kross and Xavi
  • Defensive Midfielder, which is also called No.6. example: Fabinho, Jorginho, Rodri.

We all know, No.8 is more like box-to-box and No.6 is usually the deepest player in midfield. Basically, all formation's midfield is made of at least 2 position above. (Source: Bielsa explain player position). 

Using 2 most common formation in real life as example.

  • 4-3-3 is made of 2*No.8 and 1*No.6.   
  • 4-2-3-1 is made of 2*No.6 and 1*No.10.

But in FM, 4-2-3-1 is usually made of 2*CM and 1*AMC, which is unrealistic and enological. Why? During my playing time in youth team, my coach once told us to play 4-2-3-1 and he told us "2" should be two DM because that could offer a solid base and protect for the No.10 and other player upfront. it is the logic behind using this formation: to offer a more solid base and protection. In real life football world, any double-pivot midfield is essentially 2*No.6 midfield, even in a 3 at the back formation. Here is how Julian Brandt said about his role in Dortmund's 3-4-3.

Quote

 Before the game against Hertha, he asked me if I could imagine the position on the double six next to Axel Witsel, because otherwise he always used me a little more aggressively. I told the trainer that I was ready for it, ”reports Brandt.

If playing 2*No.8 in 4-2-3-1, you can't offer any protection for players upfront because it is too offensive. Here is a video about Brendan Rodgers explain this principle. https://youtu.be/Dsd39roJzu4

In FM, playing 2 cm in 4-2-3-1 is common because you can use roles to solve the problem. Most of the player would use 1 dlp in their 4-2-3-1 2cm formation to offer a balance. But if we look at description of dlp, we will find it is basically the description of a No.6 player. Logically, it should be a role specifically in dm slot rather than cm slot. Because when we talk about no.8 role, we would label it more offensive than no.6. So does it make sense for SI to make a dlp role in cm slot??

In my opinion, this unrealistic formation and unrealistic arrangement of roles (dlp in cm) is causing problems in gameplay experience.

  • In game, lots of AI manager use 4-2-3-1 with 2 cm and they would play any player accomplished in cm slot play as a dlp. For example, in game there is one time AI manager play David Silva as dlp because David Silva is Accomplished in cm slot. But in real life, he can't play as a no.6 but could play as no.8. This also applies to Dele Alli. In my saves in fm19 and fm17, Dele Alli is used by AI to play dlp in a 4-2-3-1 only because he is accomplished in cm slot.
  • Therefore, lots of good no.8 player are all transformed as dlp in cm slot in game after a few years, which made the game less fun to play because they all being trained to the same roles regardless of their profile.
  • The another problem is the difference between CM and DM is diminishing in game because of this dlp role in cm. There should be a more patent difference between cm and dm in game. For example, we all remember the Pogba Dilemma in Jose's Man Utd. Pogba is a No.8 player but Jose Mourinho is playing 4-2-3-1 so Pogba has to play as one of the 2 dm (No.6) and it can't get the best out of him. But in FM, since the dlp could be used in cm slot, there are no difference for Pogba's position. This made game less realistic and less fun to play because No.6 and No.8 should be two distinct position and role. But in FM, there are not really difference between them... 

TLDR, in summary:

  1. FM's formation system is broken.
  2. There are not much difference between No.6 and No.8. Eg: In game, no matter Pogba play in cm or play in dm, he all play the same role.
  3. Position should be distinct to each other for more fun. If a player can play two position, there should be some apparent difference when he plays. Eg: Pogba play as No.8 vs. Pogba play as No.6

Discussion: What do you think of CM vs DM in game? Do you think the formation system should be update to keep up with the realism? Do you think there should be more distinction for players play in two different position?

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I believe modern football has made these numeric formations almost obsolete. No elite team stays rigidly in their defensive shape in possession anymore. I also think FM has kinda-sorta followed through this change.

A player can play like a No.6 at CM. Can play like a No.10. at CM. Hell, a player can be a No.10 at DM (see: Pirlo, Andrea) or AML (see: Gomez at Atalanta). A player can be a true No.8 but start at right midfield (Koke). You can set all these up in the game.

The AI or you or me, we can play Delle Ali as a DLP at CM all we want, but it won't go smoothly because of his defensive attributes, no matter how accomplished the game says he is. You play him as a CM(a) for example and cover for his shortcomings, it will work, because that's what Delle Ali does, that's what his attributes dictate.

There actually is a big difference between a No.6 and a No.8 player in the game. That is, if you play a No.8 guy in the role of a No.6, he's likely gonna suck. 

Roles and movement are what matter, not initial position.

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13 hours ago, jordan_ye said:

Discussion: What do you think of CM vs DM in game? Do you think the formation system should be update to keep up with the realism? Do you think there should be more distinction for players play in two different position?

Though I understand and agree with what @Enzo_Francescoli is saying, I’m with the OP. I’ve even expressed something similar here before.

I think this is a result of the way the formations and the engine were created. And, as he said, the 4-2-3-1 is affected by it, but the 4-3-3 isn’t.

Without knowing how hard this would be to be implemented, I’d like to see one of the below in the future:

- the number of equidistant lines (strati) is a consequence of the formation, instead of a rigid frame. 4-2-3-1 would have 4 lines and 4-3-3, 3. The rest would be fine tuned with roles and duties.

- it’s great that the sweeper strata is gone, but another option would be to have only 3 strati, and everything else done by the roles and duties. In this case, the 6, the 8 and the 10 would all be “center midfielders” and the 4-2-3-1 would be a 4-5-1. 

 

The matter of having David Silva playing as a 6 is probably something that the engine sorts it out with the attributes (as Enzo said). He can, perhaps, work well as a DLP or Reg, but won’t as an Anchorman or CM-d.

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9 minutes ago, thizaum said:

Though I understand and agree with what @Enzo_Francescoli is saying, I’m with the OP. I’ve even expressed something similar here before.

I think this is a result of the way the formations and the engine were created. And, as he said, the 4-2-3-1 is affected by it, but the 4-3-3 isn’t.

Without knowing how hard this would be to be implemented, I’d like to see one of the below in the future:

- the number of equidistant lines (strati) is a consequence of the formation, instead of a rigid frame. 4-2-3-1 would have 4 lines and 4-3-3, 3. The rest would be fine tuned with roles and duties.

- it’s great that the sweeper strata is gone, but another option would be to have only 3 strati, and everything else done by the roles and duties. In this case, the 6, the 8 and the 10 would all be “center midfielders” and the 4-2-3-1 would be a 4-5-1. 

 

The matter of having David Silva playing as a 6 is probably something that the engine sorts it out with the attributes (as Enzo said). He can, perhaps, work well as a DLP or Reg, but won’t as an Anchorman or CM-d.

Exactly it’s possible it works out as a deeplying playmaker. Wenger played Cazorla and coquelin behind Ozil and cazorla is more like a 10 but plays as a deeplying player in the “6” role. 

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4 hours ago, Enzo_Francescoli said:

I believe modern football has made these numeric formations almost obsolete. No elite team stays rigidly in their defensive shape in possession anymore. I also think FM has kinda-sorta followed through this change.

A player can play like a No.6 at CM. Can play like a No.10. at CM. Hell, a player can be a No.10 at DM (see: Pirlo, Andrea) or AML (see: Gomez at Atalanta). A player can be a true No.8 but start at right midfield (Koke). You can set all these up in the game.

The AI or you or me, we can play Delle Ali as a DLP at CM all we want, but it won't go smoothly because of his defensive attributes, no matter how accomplished the game says he is. You play him as a CM(a) for example and cover for his shortcomings, it will work, because that's what Delle Ali does, that's what his attributes dictate.

There actually is a big difference between a No.6 and a No.8 player in the game. That is, if you play a No.8 guy in the role of a No.6, he's likely gonna suck. 

Hey !@Enzo_Francescoli Thanks for your reply!

I agree with the fluidity of player roles in modern football, but I think it should be complied within a football logic principle. 

You sure can play a No.10 player in cm and that's how Pep use David Silva and KDB in their "free 8 roles". Or you can play a No.10 in dm. There is nothing wrong to play any player in different position. But there should be difference when they play in different position. Even for Pirlo play in dm, he is not playing like a no.10, right??

Taking KDB and David Silva as example again, we know they used to be seen as No.10 player before Pep change their position. When they act as no.8, their task is slightly different than playing as no.10. From the football logic sense, playing no.8 is deeper than no.10, and they will have more touches on the ball while need to contribute more on the defense because there is only 1*No.6 behind them to offer protection.

However, in game, when those two play in cm slot and act as AP, there are no difference to playing AP in No.10 slot. AP in cm slot and AP in amc slot have the same required attribute set and same instruction, so what's the difference to players to play in different position if they just playing the same role.

4 hours ago, Enzo_Francescoli said:

Roles and movement are what matter, not initial position.

 

That's correct. The thing haunting me most is that DLP role does not make any sense in cm slot, because according to its description, it should be a role specific in dm slot.

My point is that role should be distributed logically in position in game. No.6 position should only have No.6 role while No.8 position should have logical no.8 roles. You can ask a no.8 player to play in no.6 position but the way he perform in that position should be comes from his profile and ability rather than the role.

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1 hour ago, thizaum said:

Though I understand and agree with what @Enzo_Francescoli is saying, I’m with the OP. I’ve even expressed something similar here before.

I think this is a result of the way the formations and the engine were created. And, as he said, the 4-2-3-1 is affected by it, but the 4-3-3 isn’t.

Without knowing how hard this would be to be implemented, I’d like to see one of the below in the future:

- the number of equidistant lines (strati) is a consequence of the formation, instead of a rigid frame. 4-2-3-1 would have 4 lines and 4-3-3, 3. The rest would be fine tuned with roles and duties.

- it’s great that the sweeper strata is gone, but another option would be to have only 3 strati, and everything else done by the roles and duties. In this case, the 6, the 8 and the 10 would all be “center midfielders” and the 4-2-3-1 would be a 4-5-1. 

 

The matter of having David Silva playing as a 6 is probably something that the engine sorts it out with the attributes (as Enzo said). He can, perhaps, work well as a DLP or Reg, but won’t as an Anchorman or CM-d.

I like your idea and this could be fun and more logical to set up tactics. From my perspective, I do hope SI could review those preset formations and delete some unrealistic one. Only leave with those logical formation that we can find real life counterpart. I don't see any real life team play with 2*No.8 and 1*No.10 in their 4-2-3-1.

Can set up formation by this order:

  1. When we select a formation, we first need to choose how many defender to play. Are we playing 4 at the back? 3 at the back? 5 at the back?
  2. Then comes to midfield area. How many midfielders we want to play.
    1. If we want to play 3 midfielders, the structure would be 1*No.6 + 2*No.8
    2. If we want to play 2 midfielder, there would be a double-pivot like 2*No.6
    3. If play 4 midfielders, could be a diamond
  3. Then we decide how many forwards we want to play.

If we want to be creative about formation, we also could select to design a self-made one (just like the "blank sheet" option in Tactical Style)

Taking it to further discussion, in my way of thinking, how to define a player's position could be done by this order,

  1. Every player have 2 or 3 preferred position.
  2. When a pre-season begins, manager could ask a player what position he would love to play. (That's what exactly happen in my youth team playing experience, my coach come to me and ask what position I could play or like to play)
  3. Then, manager decide to what position he would use that player in. (in current game, even we train a player in a position for a couple years, he still can't be "Natural" in that position, which is super confusing to me.)

By doing so, a player's position could be more dynamic during the game. So if I want to David Silva play a six, I can talk to him and put him in dm slot rather than ask him to play as six in a eight position.

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1 hour ago, Amazingortega said:

Exactly it’s possible it works out as a deeplying playmaker. Wenger played Cazorla and coquelin behind Ozil and cazorla is more like a 10 but plays as a deeplying player in the “6” role. 

Yes, it's correct, but Carzola is being used as a dm in that double-pivot with coquelin.

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10 hours ago, jordan_ye said:

However, in game, when those two play in cm slot and act as AP, there are no difference to playing AP in No.10 slot. AP in cm slot and AP in amc slot have the same required attribute set and same instruction, so what's the difference to players to play in different position if they just playing the same role.

You have to design your system differently if your No.10. is at central midfield compared to when he's an AM. Probably have to go with different formations in most cases. That's because, like you said, he will do his work between the opposition midfield and defence either way. Remember, the formation you set in the game is your defensive shape, which means if your AP is a CM, he will get back more. How efficiently is a different question, his attributes determine that. Going with your example, Manchester City's "free 8's" do push up in possession, but contribute more on defense if you play them at the CM strata. If you were only be able to put them to AM (where they actually are when City have the ball in the oppostion half, no doubt about that), it would result in a borderline unworkable, lopsided defensive shape, or, alternatively, you would have to pull the wingers back, which is not what Guardiola does, because he defends in a 4-1-2-3.

 

10 hours ago, jordan_ye said:

My point is that role should be distributed logically in position in game. No.6 position should only have No.6 role while No.8 position should have logical no.8 roles. You can ask a no.8 player to play in no.6 position but the way he perform in that position should be comes from his profile and ability rather than the role.

That would be a huge step back to the tactics creator. There are simply no no.6. or no.8 positions in football anymore. You could categorize each player as a traditional No.6. or No.8 or No.10 by playing style, but they can play anywhere on the field. If your No.10 is a regista and he plays at what you call the No.6 position, he'll still go up and be an attacking midfielder when you have the ball, but gets the hell back when you lose it. Whereas a traditional trequartista will not. They require different systems and different CM's entirely. Liverpool's right back plays like a No.8 these days, almost like a No.10 some games. I, personally, want to have that freedom in the game. You can't assign a Kevin de Bruyne to the anchor man role and expect to be your primary playmaker, beacause that's not what anchormen do. He would make an excellent regista though. In that case, if you were unable to put a holding player (a No.6. type) to CM (the "No. 8. position"), your system would probably fail.

All that being said, I believe we should be able to set our attacking and defensive formations separately, complete with the ability to assign players to them. I actually made a feature request along these lines, but I doubt SI implements this in the near future.

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I agree with a lot that's been said. Perhaps the easiest solution would be if SI set the "default" 4231 to the "4231 dm wide" instead of the "4231 wide". I feel like this is a better representation of the formation irl.

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8 hours ago, Enzo_Francescoli said:

That would be a huge step back to the tactics creator. There are simply no no.6. or no.8 positions in football anymore. You could categorize each player as a traditional No.6. or No.8 or No.10 by playing style, but they can play anywhere on the field. If your No.10 is a regista and he plays at what you call the No.6 position, he'll still go up and be an attacking midfielder when you have the ball, but gets the hell back when you lose it. Whereas a traditional trequartista will not. They require different systems and different CM's entirely. Liverpool's right back plays like a No.8 these days, almost like a No.10 some games. I, personally, want to have that freedom in the game. You can't assign a Kevin de Bruyne to the anchor man role and expect to be your primary playmaker, beacause that's not what anchormen do. He would make an excellent regista though. In that case, if you were unable to put a holding player (a No.6. type) to CM (the "No. 8. position"), your system would probably fail.

All that being said, I believe we should be able to set our attacking and defensive formations separately, complete with the ability to assign players to them. I actually made a feature request along these lines, but I doubt SI implements this in the near future.

I see what you are saying. But I hold a different opinion about the position in football nowadays. 

I believe the concept of position still exist in football, just the way they carry out is evolving. If you follow any manager or coach talk about their tactics or formation in the public, you'll hear them using terms like No.6 position, No.8 position, No.10 a lot. Here in discussion, position itself should be separated from the role concept in game. In a simple sense, when a lot of player talk about their position in interview, they would still say something like "I preferred playing no.8 position" or "I could play both No.6 and No,8 position". So I believe the position concept is still here. 

Position is still there, but it could be played in a different way. Using another real life example, Liverpool and Man City both using 4-3-3 formation, which means they have a same set up of 1*No.6 + 2*No.8 in position wise. But the job they ask their No.8 to do in the pitch is different. Here, if we are using an FM term, is they were playing a different role. That's how we normally see football: playing a same position but doing different job.

What I trying to say is the position in FM's formation system is not right. There should be 2*DM in 4-2-3-1 rather than 2*CM.  (ps: in any version of 4-2-3-1)

Liverpool's right back can play like a No.8 is just the way he play is different to another right back. In a sense of position, he is still a right back but with different job with another right back in another team. 

I'm not a English native speaker so there might be ambiguity in my expression, when I'm saying No.6 position should only have No.6 role, it does not mean they all have to be in defensive role. There still could be a more offensive role in that position like Segundo Volante or RPM. You can ask your No.6 play a little bit attacking, a little bit box-to-box, but in a position wise, he still plays a No.6 in the formation, just with more attacking sense.

I do agree with your idea of setting attacking and defensive shape separately, it's something pretty common in real life football and i believe it would make the game more fun to play, Cheers!

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6 hours ago, Boydo said:

I agree with a lot that's been said. Perhaps the easiest solution would be if SI set the "default" 4231 to the "4231 dm wide" instead of the "4231 wide". I feel like this is a better representation of the formation irl.

Yes, and that might be the easiest solution so fat. Not only 4-2-3-1 but a lot of formations with double pivot should be reviewed as well.

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