The Five 10’s – Analysis Of The Advanced Playmaker Changes

In the last article you’ll remember that I was having issues with a couple of things, notably the advanced playmaker and trying to get them to stay narrow when defending (which was the easy part) but making them offer more width by going wide in attacks. I noted some changes that I could possibly make to try and recreate the Rivelino role and this article will be focusing on that to see if the changes made any difference or not. I wrote this in the last article I did about the role;

Advanced Playmaker – I need to tweak him with the use of PI’s to make him go wider more often, he is much more of a threat when he goes wide when attacking. So I’ll first try some player instructions to see if I can create the behaviour I am wanting from him. If not then a role change will be in order but at this time I have no idea what role I’d use instead, I’ll cross that bridge when it happens I guess. One thing I am sure of though is I won’t move him from AMC to AML as his positioning for the defensive side of things is already perfect which would be almost impossible to recreate from a wider position, it just wouldn’t be the same regardless of what role/instructions I used.

So I’ve made some changes and added a few player instructions to see how he gets on based on what I wrote above. He now has;

  • Dribble More
  • Roam From Position
  • Move Into Channels
  • Run With Ball Wide

I’m hoping these will make him play wider. The only one I’m not really sure about is the dribble more one as I don’t know if this will be overkill now if he is attempting to dribble more than he did in the first game. But at the same time I’m hoping it encourages him to spread out more and work in tandem with the others I selected. I need to see how it works in game though before making a final decision on whether it works like I expect or not.

My next game of the season was against Portuguesa so would be a relatively easy game.


Straight away I can see a difference in Giva’s positioning and play.

The screenshot shows;

  • A – Current position
  • B – Rough position last game

Already he is wider which is what I’m wanting so this is good to see. The above actually results in a goal inside the first thirty seconds of the game but I notice another problem now with the advanced playmaker.


The circled player is the advanced playmaker and I believe his lack of involvement in play in the final third is an issue in this instance. While I want him to be narrow and deep when defending, in attacking moves he should be aiming to get involved up and around the box. This suggest to me that his duty is wrong and I might try him on an attacking one for the next game to see if that pushes him higher up in the attacking phases. I think this is something I notice now and not in the last game because he now drifts more wide (at least in the opening minutes he does, not watched the rest yet) now so its took away from him slightly as play is no in front of him compared to when he didn’t go wide and he’d be in support or central forward moves. Now he seems a little isolated for a better word and can’t keep up with play due to being on a support role.

The downside of any changes I made could come at a cost though, let me show you;


The above image highlights his positioning and the areas he tends to take up in attacking scenarios. He really does act like a defensive midfielder at times and occupy the kind of area you’d expect from one of those. So if I give him an attack duty in the next game then it might be a bit unrealistic of me to expect him to still get into these kind of positions as quickly as he currently does due to the more attacking nature meaning he’ll be pushed further forward. That means he has more space to cover when we lose possession hence why it could be be a potential issue but it’ll not know this until I try it in the next game. This could end up a struggle and might end up being a balancing act between what I’m trying to create and what’s actually possible without compromising too much.

People often overlook what a player is doing in the defensive phases of play and over focus on the attacking side when in fact both should be treated equally because what a player does when attacking will determine what kind of positions he will be realistically able to pick up when you lose the ball. Higher up the field the player, the less likely he’ll get back into good positions in time or help defend deep in your own half. You’d be asking the player to do far too much let alone how this would impact his fitness and condition levels.

In the second half of the match the player was injured so I put Robinho in his position and subbed Giva. Straight away I saw Robinho was more attack minded and offered me the needed width. This is him about thirty seconds after being put in the advanced playmaker role;

It doesn’t look like much but this is exactly what I want, he goes outside after passing the ball to offer me width. The when ball goes to the other side he comes inwards in support. This is everything I need from the role. The movement is fine but you can see how hesitant he is to actually push on and support attacks due to his duty. You can see the exact moment he checks backs and comes down the pitch rather than pushing up.

Allowing him to roam from position might not be a good idea either as I’ve noticed on a few occasions he is positioned too far to the right hand side of the pitch which is no use at all.


Admittedly here the ball is out on the right and naturally he should shift across however this is a bit too extreme for me and he should be more centred towards the A icon instead.

When the ball is finally played you can see the issues I have due to how compact we’ve become when it shouldn’t be;


That’s the advanced playmaker circled there but he’s stood on top of the deep lying forward so this is a waste. If he was positioned further left he would have lots of space and quite a few options. He could drive wide and put a cross into the box or he could drive forward himself. Either way I don’t like how central he is here he really does need to be positioned more to the left and I believe the reason he isn’t is due to having the roaming from position shout active.

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