Welcome, to start I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who wished me well and congratulated me and my wife on the birth of our twins, they’re settling in well and the wife is doing fantastic.
I haven’t managed to get anything out content wise for weeks due to obvious reasons but with us trying to get the boys in a routine and I’m hoping I can get some time to do what I love.
Today I will be going over in-depth on how I use my wing-backs and why I love using this position in my tactics when I have the opportunity too. People hear wing-back and think defensive, I personally think of them with an attacking mindset, if used correctly you can add some real attacking threat from these wide areas. Wing-backs still need to do some defensive roles of course but for me, it’s all about how I can get them up the pitch in attack scenarios.
I will use my current save with Lazio that I’m doing for a bit of fun while waiting to get into writing and playing my Velez save. Before we get into this please note I don’t think I’m a tactical god or anything as such but love writing about my Football Manager experiences, if it helps 1 person then that’s brilliant. This is not an in-depth article but something I thought may help some people. I will be planning my next piece right after this on the tactic I’m using for Lazio which seems to be working well, that piece will be a lot more in-depth.
Above is my tactic with Italian side Lazio and as you can see I have the wing-backs on an attacking role and I have 3 centre backs covering them. The overall tactic has to be able to help the wing backs create space down the wings. I use a defensive midfielder just behind two central midfielders, this creates more space down the wings for the wing-backs to get forward whenever possible. When any of my central players have the ball the attacking wing-backs will get forward and look for an overlap to spread the play out wide.
These are the instructions I use for my attacking wing-backs, I want them to get forward as soon as we win the ball back and go out wide offering themselves to receive the ball. When they do have the ball I want them to get to the byline quickly and get a cross into the box ready for my striker to attack.
The photo above shows how your 3 defenders and your two wing-backs should be doing when we are on the attack with the ball at the feet of a wing-back.
The right-sided win-back has the ball and charging forward into bags of space ready to put a ball in the box. The left-sided player is seen again running into a lot of free space ready for a deep cross or any parry from the goalkeeper ready for a tap in. the 3 defenders are disciplined sitting perfectly on the halfway line and we should be well structured for a counter attack coming our way.
The wing-backs in my experience, when used correctly in a tactic, will score you a few goals throughout the season also gain some assists.
Above you can see my striker has had a shot parried away and my right wing-back was there to tap it in. I know it will look very strange having 2 defenders this high up on attacks but with the right tactic cover will be there for this to work. Please don’t expect to follow my instructions and for it to magically work, you need a tactic overall that will create space on the flanks. I have a deep-lying playmaker (DLP) in front on my back three that has great passing and vision and told him whenever possible to get the ball out wide. The great thing I love about tactics on Football Manager is working out how to get the best out of your players and playing to your strengths which for me at Lazio is my 2 young quality wing-backs.
Look at my 2 wing-backs here making brilliant runs that will scare the opposition defence, one is getting ready for a cross in and the other arriving late hoping to get a rebound or even the cross reaching him to head home. This image is a perfect set up ready for a goal scoring chance.
I would take into consideration a few small things when looking on who to pick for the 2 wing-backs apart from having the correct attributes which I will touch on shortly. Age is something I really take a look into for these 2 demanding positions, I want a young player with a great engine to get up and down the field. A 29+-year-old won’t last throughout a season and you will get better results long-term introducing youth in these areas.
Well, everything we have covered will only work if the players in the 2 positions have the correct qualities to do their job.
Natural fitness, work rate and teamwork – Three hugely important attributes, this position is very demanding with non-stop running for 90 minutes the player you choose has to be fit and be able to cope with high physical demand.
Acceleration, pace and Agility – Having 2 speedy players that are quick off the mark to turn defence into attack is very important. You want them to be dribbling past their marker and beating them to the byline to create chances.
Crossing and Dribbling – Pretty obvious that if you’re looking to get the ball in the box from a wide position then make sure he can cross a ball, give the people in the box half a chance with a good delivery. Dribbling is another big ask from the role again obvious reasons he needs to run with the ball more than anyone else in the team.
We need to remember that these players do need a couple of good defensive attributes as much as I use them to create goals for the team they do have a job to do when we don’t have the ball as well. Marking and Tackling are two good ones to have in their locker. Marking is mainly for defending set pieces something all your defenders need to have.
I hope this short article will help you start to manage to get some positive impact from your two wing-backs in your team. I know this isn’t as in-depth as I usually like to do but with my given time it felt right to showcase this little piece, especially with how well I’m getting on with it in my Lazio save. I’m putting some twitter updates here and there on the Lazio venture and how my tactic is working, so please head over and give me a follow.
Twitter – @DazzaFM