5-4-1 – The Diamond – Tactic Talk

Welcome, back again with another tactical football manager 2019 article. You might have seen through my Twitter account that I have been playing a new save with Lazio. I wanted a save in Italy, somewhere I haven’t managed before. I created a tactic and it’s working a treat so I wanted to share it with you all.

5-4-1 The Diamond 

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The 5-4-1 Diamond has been working well with my Lazio squad, I believe a huge reason is the midfield diamond 4 I have. These 4 are the backbone of this tactic working, why? From defending to attacking these 4 players offer so many factors into scoring goals and stopping the opposition attacking threat. I will be going over what I expect on my 4 man diamond when we don’t have the ball and when we do.

Tactical Style – I want to quickly go over the style I use with this tactic. I will be using gegenpress, I want high tempo all game soon as we lose the ball to be on the opposition to win it back instantly and never letting them settle. This style suits the 4 in our diamond and you will see why shortly.

Let’s go over the roles of my 4 man diamond structure.

Deep Lying Playmaker (DLP) (Defend) – This role is key, he sits in front of our 3 centre backs and receives the ball whenever possible and starts attacks. I don’t want the DLP to be getting involved further up the field in attacking movements, rather he receives the ball deep and makes pinpoint passes to start attacks. When we attack he will be sitting deep to prevent counter attacks.


Lucas is our DLP in this game and receives the ball deep then picks out a great pass to start an attacking move as seen above. One accurate pass can turn defence to attack very quickly. I love getting the ball forward quickly and a player that is good in this role will do this for me.

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Just as important as having possession is making sure he is well placed when we are under attack. Lucas the DLP is sitting in the perfect position in this scenario. Passing and reading the game for DLP is so important when looking to choose a player to fit this role.

Box To Box Midfielder (BBM) (Support) – The box to box midfielder a physically demanding role that needs a player with great work rate and stamina. When defending you want him hassling the opposition midfielders and cutting out any threat they may cause us. Badeji our BBM is seen here hassling the opponent’s midfielder looking to cut out any threating pass. When we are under attack the BBM sits deeper than your usual CM. The deep-lying playmaker is grateful for the box to box midfielder reason being he will sit further back and help out on the defensive duties.

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When attacking the BBM will join attacking players but tend to sit on the edge of the box to create chances. I like to have a BBM with a good long-range shooting attribute, just so if a chance on the edge of the box comes across he is confident of taking it. The image below shows in the marked red box where I believe him to be most effective when attacking.

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Mezzala (MEZ) (Attack) –  The mezzala will be sitting next to the BBM he will be used in a more attacking sense. He will drift into wide areas when possible and get forward more often.  When defending he won’t be sitting as deep as your BBM so I like how the combination works. Here is an example of him when our team is attacking.

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The circled player is my MEZ and look how deep he is when we are attacking, playing on the shoulder of the AM and striker. Badeji (BBM) sitting deep to stop any threats on the counter. The black box shows the area you will find the mezzala on attacking situations. He will get a few goals through the season if you have the correct attributes to suit his role.

The MEZ doesn’t have too many defensive duties compared to the two we have already mentioned. When he does he will be sitting just in our own half ready for a loose ball or for us to win back possession and get the ball to him quickly.

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Defending deep as seen above looking to intercept any pass and close down the opposition midfielders when they’re in possession. He will more than likely look to go out wide to make a tackle or intercept. I would look for great teamwork and work rate in the player you choose for this role.

Trequartista (T) (ATTACK) – The most attacking role in the diamond is the trequartista. I won’t go into much detail on his defensive approach as he doesn’t have any, other than charging down defenders to put them under pressure in the opponents half.

His attacking role in the team is a huge part of this tactic, basically playing as a second striker. He will always look to drop into holes between the defence and the midfield of the opposition. Creating space for your striker is one of his strengths. Decision making, composure and passing are 3 main attributes I look for when selecting a player to this role. When he has the ball at his feet you want your striker to be his main outlet.

Below is a perfect example of him dropping on into space to receive the ball from out wide. A good passing attribute will see his rack up the assists, he will get even more when he gets into great positions like this.

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Now you have seen the set up for the 4 individual roles of the diamond played out, I want to show in certain scenarios how they should be set up.

Below is the opposition deep in their own half and we are looking to box them in. We are structured and well set up.

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We are blocking all options of a pass and pressing them high up the field, just as I want. This makes it hard for teams to play around us especially when we are giving them no space to settle on the ball. Football Manager 2019 has seen me trial a lot of different roles for my midfielders, this seems to be working by far the best for me. I get a great balance of defence and attack with this we are never short or outnumbered under pressure and we have great support going into attacks.

Hope you have enjoyed this quick article on my Lazio midfield and if you manage to try something similar please let me know on Twitter.

Thank you

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