Soccer formation tactics on a blackboard

Roles And Duties – How I Think They’ll Work

For this part I thought I’d discuss the roles and duties in a bit more depth to give you an idea of how I see the roles interacting with each other. It’ll also be a good reference point for when I actually see how it works in game because remember so far this is all just theory and something that I aim to put into practise. You hear people all the time talk about logic and look how the roles compliment each other etc, so hopefully this shows how I THINK something might work. It could all turn out to total crap though and it could fail once the games actually start. But nonetheless I still think its good to put this down on paper for people to see my thinking and the reasons behind them.

The Complete Wing Back’s should provide me with width down the flanks and put crosses into the box for the strikers. As I’m wanting these to cross then this influences the roles I used on the strikers, this is why one of them needs to stay higher up the pitch. If not, then who realistically would be getting on the end of the crosses? The answer is no-one if both the strikers dropped deeper. Someone might arrive late from midfield to get on the end of them but that isn’t going to be that beneficial long term. It might work every now and again but it isn’t a reliable way of creating a tactic imo.

Even though I’m planning on using two complete wing backs I expect them both to play very differently due to the players they have in front of them. On the left side I don’t expect to see many overlaps as the Raumdeuter is very advanced so realistically my wing back has little chance of overlapping him unless he comes deeper. So what I’m hoping here is that on the left, the wing back pushes up to reduce the space the Raumdeuter has behind him when he’s wandering about the pitch looking for space. The main reason for this is when I lose possession it could become problematic should the Raumdeuter not track back (which I don’t expect him to do tbh) it would mean there would be huge amounts of space in the area behind the Raumdeuter and in front of the wing back.

Doing this can still be risky as it means they could get in behind me by a direct ball or a ball over the top/through ball etc. But I’d rather have that than allow players to run at my wing back. I’ve always thought that its hard for defenders to deal with people who can run at them, you risk giving away fouls. So by reducing the space I’m hoping this won’t happen as frequent as the opposition players should have less time to run at their man.

One the right side I’m hoping overlaps do occur when the wide play-maker has the ball. Even though he’s on an attacking duty I’m hopefully the wing back will still go beyond him. If not then I might change the wide play-maker to a support role but this is something I need to see in game myself to gauge how he is actually working. I actually think this side will link up better and be a lot more involved than the left side due to how the WB/MR and striker should all link up.

The central midfield pairing should offer me runners from deep as well as stability in the centre of the pitch and protection for the back four. I see the CM defend dropping deeper and acting as the covering player who isn’t too adventurous when it comes to attacking play and can track back and help out the defence is needed. I see the roaming playmaker as the player who will contribute in all aspects of play and link the midfield to attack from central positions. Not only that but I also expect him to provide late surging runs and be a threat in the final third of the pitch.

The Raumdeuter I’m hoping will roam the field in search of space and always be available for a pass. I also expect him to receive the ball and be a threat in very dangerous positions. In theory he should see lots of the ball and have space around him as the DLF should open up space for him to run into as well.

Up front these are the two roles I’m not that convinced by just yet and really need to watch how they interact when the game starts. However what I expect is for the deep-lying forward to drop deep, this will hopefully make the opposition commit a player to following him which will mean space has appeared. If they don’t then it will mean the player is free and unmarked which isn’t a bad thing as it’ll allow him to see lots of the ball.

The complete forward should be involved with everything. He should link up play, push forward, drop off the front, move into the channels and so on. I’m not sure if this is a good thing yet or not though as he might move around a lot more than I actually need. Sometimes someone less involved in all aspects of play can be better suited depending on what the team is actually doing with the ball in the final third.

That’s my thinking so far and the reason for choosing the roles that I did. Whether this all works in practise is another thing but I think for most parts it should as it seems balanced and I seem to have players who are runners, players who are creative and players capable of scoring those chances created. In a future part we’ll discuss how it all actually works in a game and give you an idea of if worked like I thought it would or not.

13 thoughts on “Roles And Duties – How I Think They’ll Work”

  1. Just want thank you for all the hard work you put in to enlighten casual players like myself in the difficult world of tactics. Been following your work over at SI-forums for a long time and learned alot from it. Cant wait for next article in this series:)

  2. Sorry if you have stated this before, do you only create one tactic per save that you manipulate through shouts and role changes or do you have several tactics for different situations?

    1. I might use a different tactic at some stage but that normally comes because of being bored playing the same way. But yeah, I tend to use the same shape for the full season without any position changes 🙂

      1. Thanks for the reply, food for thought… I’ve purchased fm15 today and read pretty much everything on here.. looking forward to a new save and new tactic…. what could possibly go wrong? 😉

  3. The other thing that interests me (and follows on quite nicely from the question above) is that at no point so far have you discussed how well the tactic suits your squad and the individual players themselves. I noticed you did this with The School of the Defensive Arts too. As far as I can see, you’ve chosen a style of play, selected a formation, and then chosen the roles and duties without ever seeming to consider whether you’ve got the personnel to play this system. Have you even selected your club before deciding on the system you want to play? (Sorry if you’ve already mentioned who you’re managing – it’s a couple of days since I read the first post thoroughly).

    Are you confident that any group of players can be successful in a well-thought-out system, or is it just that you have already considered this and just haven’t mentioned it in the post?

  4. I’ve not got around to that bit yet, that will be the next installment but won’t likely be posted until next weekend as I’m away at the minute. I’ll be managing the club I support, Sheffield United 🙂

    I think its a bit of both really. If you have a well thought out system then most teams should be able to play that way to some extent. But long term you have to squad build correctly to take it to the next level. All of this will be discussed though 🙂

  5. I’m also interested to know how firmly you stick to your roles and duties once your tactic has been tweaked to near-perfection. For example, (looking at the tactic above) if your left-back got injured and your back-up options were limited to the below, would you:

    a) play a right-footed full-back as a CWB knowing he wouldn’t do as good a job?
    b) promote the best left-footed left back from your youth team even if he wasn’t actually up to first team standard?
    c) play the right-footed full-back, but change his role, even though this would potentially mean changing the role of the players around him (left-midfielder, possibly MCL, maybe even the striker…)?

    Or is there yet another option you would go for?

  6. I’d play whoever I had to cover that position. By that I mean, I always have 2 players for each position so if one player is injured/tired then I’d play the other player. It wouldn’t matter is he was left /right footed, 16 years old etc I’d play them as that’s why they’re part of the squad.

    I wouldn’t consider changing the role though just because I’m using a different player. I only change roles if I want something different to what the current role offers and not because of who plays there 🙂

  7. As I see you playing two playmakers (which I usually do too): Is there something like a playmaker hierarchy? Is an Advanced PM more likely to receive the ball from a team mate than a DLP or Trequartista (and so on)?

Leave a Reply