#FM16 | In love with Wide Playmaker

There are many variations of 4-2-3-1 formation around the FM Community during FM16 time. I played with it too during first seasons with Akademisk Boldklub but I changed it to 4-1-4-1 after ten years in charge of the club. 

It took some time when team played as I want. Especially some roles did not work and I tested it for more than one year when I was happy with that. One of the most important role is Wide Playmaker.

I never used tactic where wide playmakers were included but I really like this role because they are very versatile and they could play more in the centre of the picth but also as wingers.

What the game says:

“The Wide Playmaker will act as the team’s primary source of creativity, drifting inside to find space from which to play the killer ball and create chances. Coming in from the wing allows the Wide Playmaker to escape the hustle and bustle of central midfield and can result in him being unmarked by opposition players.

Defensively the Wide Playmaker will take up his position on the wing to provide cover for his full-back; however, his is not expected to make as many tackles but instead, he should take up good defensive positions and provide another body in the defensive line.”

Football Manager Wide Playmaker

This is our 4-1-4-1 formation with False Nine, Deep Lying Playmaker in DM position or Roaming Playmaker in central midfield.

There were some changes during the last seasons and it ended with Mentality and Team Shape change as we now play with Counter Mentality and High Structured Shape. Thanks to it we conceded a really low amount of goals as you can read there.

Football Manager Wide Playmaker

But let’s concentrate on Wide Playmaker role.

What player instructions we use?

Get Further Forward, More Direct Passes, Close Down Much More, Roar From Position, Dribble More, Cut Inside With Ball, Shoot Less Often, Cross Less Often.

Football Manager Wide Playmaker

This role was probably the most problematic for us because we have many typical wingers or inside forwards but it was not a problem in the end.

One of players who had to change his playing style was our regen Nichlas Meyer who is played mainly as a winger. But he played newly as Wide Playmaker and he had the best statistics from all our players.

I chose another midfielder – Martin Hansen – as a example for this post. He has decent attributes for this role but he does his job very good.

Football Manager Wide Playmaker

A typical movement

There is one of our most typical movement leading to scoring chance or goal.

Hansen has ball in the middle and our Wide Playmaker is upfront and Full Back is at right side.

Hansen pass ball to Dupuy (BBM) and Full Back move forward. The Wide Playmaker has two options – he could go to the centre or to the side. If he goes to right side he will wrongly fill the space and Full Back would have to go back with ball.

Dupuy passed ball to Full Back and Wide Playmaker stayed just around the penalty area. Full Back is attacked by two players and WP is free. There is one-two between them…

…and Full Back continued his move to the penalty area and he received pass from WP who continued to the penalty area as well between defenders.

As you can see Full Back very quickly passed ball to the WP who moved before the goal and then scored easily…

It’s important to say that Full Back is very important as well in this scenario. Both players have set Attack duty.

My Full Backs have very often the most assists per season because they very often go forward and have key passes to the goals or chances because WP sits narrower and cuts inside with or without ball.

Average positions

This is Average positions and Heat map of Martin Hansen in Champions League match against Leverkusen…

Football Manager Wide Playmaker

…and comparison between domestic league match and Champions League match against Dortmund.

Football Manager Wide Playmaker

Our regen Nichlas Meyer plays at the left side as Wide Playmaker and this is screen of his stats in 2030/2031 season and comparison (heat map & passes) of league match against FC Kobenhavn and Champions League match against Real Madrid.

Football Manager Wide Playmaker

Typical counter attack and goal by Meyer after assist from Full Back…

I’m also very happy with how Wide Playmaker defends in case of High Pressing mentality. He really good cooperate with central midfielders when we loose ball and he is able to get ball back very quickly thanks to his more central position.


As I wrote earlier I never used this role before this save with AB but I have to say it’s great if it works rightly in cooperation with Full Back. If you have some question, just let me know there or on Twitter as any feedback is appreciated…

Thanks for reading, @KeysiRensie.

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A Football Manager addict and lover for many years. You can follow me on Twitter or in Football Manager Slack – #fmrensie channel.

13 Replies to “#FM16 | In love with Wide Playmaker

      1. These roles do not make sense why? You need to think meaningful to know what exactly is to be done .. why you have two roles set up in the same wide playmaker attack, in your team you have 3 playmakers, you have attackers who play more in the middle than attacks and that’s F9, I do not know how to achieve goals? In formation you have 5 defender and 4 playmakers

  1. Nice analysis. In FM15, attacking 4-2-3-1 was my standard home mentality, and away we’d play a control variant, with a 4-1-2-2-1 for away games when teams possessed a threatening shadow striker at the AMC. But this year, Attacking 4-2-3-1 formations struggle mightily with counters. No 2 ways about it. Especially if you try to go full Klopp gegenpress with them like I do. I keep one fluent. But I only use it in games where I’m chasing for a goal, or we’re so much stronger than the opposition that giving up one breakaway shouldn’t kill us. Because we will give up at least 1 lame long ball break. Usually straight off a goal kick. 😛 I’ve tried 4-1-4-1 formations. But I can never get forward fast enough to support the lone striker. So the Mourinho 4-3-3 it is.

  2. Very interesting, I myself came to develop a 4-1-4-1 (seems the way to go in this edition of FM) in a long-term save I did with Athletic Bilbao, although I used wingers instead of WP. I will try to introduce this role and see how it goes.

    That said, let me congratulate with you for the amazing stuff you’ve done with AB and this blog in general. Keep it up mate!

  3. maybe fiorentina will rule the world. in fm 2016, I use fiorentina and train bernardeschi and soriano as wide playmaker and the result is amazing. Thanks mate. Greetings from Indonesia 🍺

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