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FMM18 New Role: Anchorman


FMM18 New Role:

Anchorman

                            5a4e854092957_AcMtitle.jpg.5ee86fbd45c03cbd4c005fb563f38cf1.jpg

It's time to take a look at another one of the new roles in FMM18 and this time we move into defensive midfield (DM) and look at the Anchorman (AcM) role. I have been using this role a little bit myself in my DT challenge save with Barcelona and have been enjoying how it works for my team.

AvR

I think before we start I need to address the elephant in the room and that is ratings for players on DM roles and the fact that they are terrible and don’t reflect, in my opinion anyway, the importance that a good DM can make in the team as a whole. This applies to all the DM roles in the game, not just AcM and it is important that you don’t judge the roles and the player in that role completely by the match rating. If your DM doesn’t take any set pieces it is likely he will get an AvR of around 6.5 for the season and a good rule of thumb is that a 6 in a game is decent and a 7 means he has probably done his job almost perfectly. You really need to judge these roles on two things.

1.     Look at the player match stats. How many tackles, interceptions, and headers did he win?  Was he successful with most of his passes and in the case of the DLP how many key passes did he make?

2.     How is the team performing as a whole? Are you getting good results? Are you solid in the back? It is useful to look at the positives and negatives in the match report and see what they say. Here is an example of a match report from my Barca save in a game when I used an AcM. I have put a border around the positives that I think can be linked to the AcM doing his job well and you can see from the negatives that neither of them is linked to the AcM. In this game, my AcM had a rating of 7.

 Screenshot_2017-12-30-11-26-19.thumb.png.08acdab5bea12d82c105058afe34279d.pngScreenshot_2017-12-30-11-27-47.thumb.png.dcf5826237094fc1667005d858767c84.png

 

 

Anchorman

I think we need to start with what the AcM should do in the game and the best place to find that out is the role description. I want to look exclusively at the AcM role in this article but I will also show the description of the BWM role so we can look at the differences between what are the two most defensive roles in the midfield. I have already looked at the DLP role in the past and I don’t feel we need to compare with that or the basic DM either. I have yet to really use the DM role but I would imagine it should be more of a blank canvas and the player in that role should behave based on team instructions and his own abilities whereas the AcM and the BWM are very specific roles in the team with predefined jobs to do.

Screenshot_2017-12-30-11-38-18.thumb.png.dea36079464e17baac88f7e8356d5c41.png

The AcM will sit in quite a small pocket of space just ahead of the two CBs with the job to protect the CBs by intercepting passes and making tackles once he has the ball he will play the simplest passes to a nearby player who is in space. The term anchorman comes from the fact that he anchors the midfield to the defense and allows the more creative players ahead of him to do their jobs.

 Screenshot_2017-12-30-11-38-51.thumb.png.0929e94efd562c3ee51a2085cb0e7d37.png

The BWM is much more mobile and will chase the ball down almost anywhere within the midfield although if he is in the DM strata he doesn’t venture quite as far forward as he would in CM. He suits a team playing with a high press but because he is so mobile in his hunting of the ball he can leave gaps behind which teams can exploit.

Which role you decide to use really depends on the players you have and how you want your team to play.

Player attributes

I am now into the fourth season with Barcelona and my 1st choice AcM is 25-year-old Nicklas Stark. He is actually a natural CB but he has some knowledge of playing as a DM and I am training him in the position as well. I signed him to be a defensive utility player that I could use as a CB, DM or CM and part of that is to play the AcM role when I need him to. I am going to highlight the primary (gold) and secondary (silver) attributes needed for an AcM. You can find these for all roles in @PriZe A to Z Guide.

 Screenshot_2017-12-30-12-13-40.thumb.png.394ee4ac9d373fffaa796ef08da52702.png 

·        The tackling stat speaks for itself I think as the role is almost exclusively defensive.

·         You want your player to be able to pass the ball to teammates but as they will be short simple passes this is only a secondary attribute so you don’t need a huge number here although the bigger the better. The 15 Stark has is perfectly acceptable even in my Barcelona team and he rarely gives the ball away.  Usually, you would look for good creativity to go alongside the passing stat but the AcM is only going to pass to the easiest and nearest teammate so you don’t need to worry too much about that.

·        You want an intelligent footballer in the role who can read the game and make timely interceptions to stop dangerous through balls or not lose an attacking midfielder that he is marking. This is where you want great stats in decisions and positioning.

·        You want your AcM to work well with the players around him and especially the CBs. This is why I have put teamwork as an important attribute.

·        Having good stamina will prevent him from getting tired in games which can lead to mistakes.

·        You want your AcM to have good strength so he can out muscle attacking players and win the ball back.

Sometimes you may want more from your player and look for extra abilities that aren’t essential to the role but mean the player can help the team in other ways as well. In the case of Stark, I also like the fact that he has good aerial ability and I have seen him use this especially from opposition freekicks and goal kicks and he has started a few counter attacks for me by winning a header on the edge of our box. He also has great pace which again isn’t essential because the AcM is quite a static role but pace is great in any player in any position, with the pace Stark has he would be equally suited to play BWM.

Tactics

How and when you use an AcM is really up to you and what you are trying to achieve with your tactics. You might want to use one to counter a specific threat from an opposition player E.G. the opposition has a very strong AM and you want the AcM to mark him out of the game. Your team may be the underdog and you are looking to park the bus. The AcM is used in my team for my Barca save when I take on teams with similar ability players to my own as he enables other more attacking players to do their thing whilst helping to provide a solid base that enables us to win games.

I am doing a specific challenge namely the DT challenge where I need my front two to score as many goals as they can. This creates the problem that I need my strikers to get plenty of chances so we go and attack in every game but I don’t want other players stealing too many goals. I found that with wingers they would score too many goals compared to how many they set up so I have used attacking wing-backs to provide the width in my team instead. The AcM enables my WBs to bomb up the pitch and get crosses in whilst the AcM helps provide a solid base in front of my two CBs and helps prevent counter attacks.

 Screenshot_2017-12-30-16-00-25.thumb.png.60f02c8ab7e14be6659991f3a59e51ff.png

This isn’t my only tactic in this save and I use it most when I play teams of similar ability to my side. The theory behind the use of the AcM is that he guards the area just in front and between the two CBs that I have shaded in red. This provides a base for my two WBs to bomb forwards and occupy the space that I have shaded blue and also for the three creative players to push forwards and create chances for our strikers. The DLP will help out in defense as well but he is primarily a link between the defence and the APs. When the WBs are forward and we lose possession the idea is that the AcM will help plug the gap if one of the CBs is pulled out wide. It also helps that I have quick CBs and WBs who can make quick recovery runs when we lose possession. 

This tactic is set up for a specific challenge with a good team and I’m certainly not saying this is how you should play or that if you use a similar tactic you will achieve great things. This is simply a demonstration as to how I am using the role to hopefully help achieve my goals.

In Game Situations

I have a number of screenshots that I hope will demonstrate the positions that the AcM will take up on the field. I took screenshots from a Champions League game at home to Liverpool and an away game versus our great rivals Real Madrid.

 Screenshot_2018-01-01-21-38-12.thumb.png.e15dd2eecede14f164ebcaed4b6575e5.png

We are building from the back and you can see our AcM Stark is in the area of the pitch we would expect him to be. My two WBs are starting to move up the wings as I want them to. Liverpool are playing a 442 and sitting very deep so except for their two strikers they are putting no pressure on the ball. As you can see by the commentary the ball is being passed to Stark who as we know from the role description will play short simple passes. This is where the DLP will link the play as he will be the man on the end of Stark’s simple pass.

Screenshot_2018-01-01-21-38-25.thumb.png.77879c1d325b561c9e66619c881ef149.png

This is the same move as the previous screenshot but 16 seconds later. We have worked the ball forwards and got beyond the Liverpool midfield but on this occasion De Bruyne plays the pass to Rashford who is offside (as usual) and the move breaks down. Stark has moved further from our CBs because the Liverpool striker has dropped deep so he is happy to leave a 1v2 situation behind him. This means he is a passing option but more importantly if our move breaks down he is in a good position to intercept a clearance or pass from the opposition and stop any chance of a counter. You can see the downfall of the DLP in this set up as he is still far deeper than I would like and is now not contributing to the attack or defence in any meaningful way.

 Screenshot_2018-01-01-21-40-29.thumb.png.0ee3d5ba0c6d33564f37660733aa270a.png

Liverpool are now with the ball and again Stark is in that area in front of the CBs. Liverpool don’t have an AMC but he is still screening the CBs and making it very difficult for Liverpool to play direct into there strikers. If they play the ball wide to the wingers then he will be able to drop into the back line and cover if one of our CBs have to move out wide and help his WB.

 Screenshot_2018-01-02-20-35-11.thumb.png.6854884d611067146a12b2ee94fb4f50.png

This screenshot shows just what I said above even though it is us on the attack. You can see our right CB has moved out wider to cover the space vacated by our attacking WB and Stark is in a CB position. He is having to cover two opposition players but with the pace that he and my CBs have I am fairly comfortable with this situation.

 Screenshot_2018-01-02-20-43-23.thumb.png.5edf27339109d8e2701e435f8d2df3b5.png

We have gone a goal down but we are pushing hard to try and get an equaliser. Real have been pushed right back and have only left one player upfront which our CBs can handle. Stark is about as far forward as you will ever see him except at corners. If the ball is cleared away he is well placed to pick it up and recycle possession. This screenshot shows that our WBs do get well forward into winger areas but the advantage of using them is shown by our RB at the bottom of the screen. If he was a winger he would be in the box at the back post looking to score which is ok in a standard save but not so much in a DT.

If we take a look at the player match stats for the Liverpool game we can see that he saw a lot of the ball and completed 25 of his 27 passes although that’s to be expected because as we know they will mostly be simple passes but he did manage a shot on goal! He had very little to do without the ball as he made no tackles, only one interception and one completed header. I think this is due to Liverpool and their negative tactics and this was a game that I really didn’t need to use an AcM in. This shows that there are a time and a place for many player roles and why I don’t use it in every game in this save. 

 Screenshot_2018-01-02-21-26-46.thumb.png.8f4efe241e5f9cd004d0f915aa7000e1.png

 He was a little more involved defensively in the Real game as he made and won 3 tackles and headers although he surprisingly had no interceptions. 

Screenshot_2018-01-02-21-25-06.thumb.png.41e535aafb1f031df736912c944b15f8.png                           

                                                                                         Conclusion

I like the AcM role and what he does on the pitch. He is disciplined and holds position well in front of the CBs and doesn’t dive into tackles and pick up a lot of bookings (3 in 11 games) and sending’s off (0 in 11 games) like a BWM does. It really is a case of using him in the correct situations. As we saw above he was of little use against Liverpool and if I hadn’t been writing this article I would have used a different formation in that game. In other games I have played he has made as many as eight interceptions in one game and averages around 5-or six per game and although I haven’t seen more than four tackles from the role in FMM that is a good amount.

The formation I used on this article has started to become redundant in this save and I have since moved on but I will probably be using the AcM role again soon in a little project that I have planned and hope to get off the ground for you all to enjoy.

I hope you have enjoyed this look at the AcM role. It would be great to hear your thoughts and whether you have tried the role or perhaps you might give it a go after reading this. It may be you have read this and thought ‘no way will I ever use an AcM’ I would still like to hear from you.

Thank you for reading.

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Nice read mate. I havent used the anchorman yet as havent had need to but Ive been toying with experimenting with him so thanks for saving me the effort.

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Great article. Love the screenshots highlighting the player positioning. I wonder how much difference in position you would see between a player with high positional intelligence and a player with lower positional intelligence. 

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A sweet read! The Anchorman, the one and only true unsung hero in any successful team. 

I've used the AcM a few times to test things out when the game was released and as you correctly pointed out, ratings aren't pretty but it's all about performances and results. I'm at a point where I, perhaps not completely ignore AvR but place very little significance on it, when evaluating my players and/or choosing the sub(bed) in-game. 

Great to see lesser used player roles receive some Fox love. 

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Another fantastic article dude and it’s given me some great insight into a position I have really not thought about using if I’m honest.

But I think like the others it’s something I definitely will be looking at in the future 

Shakespeare Fox strikes again

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15 hours ago, phila said:

Nice read mate. I havent used the anchorman yet as havent had need to but Ive been toying with experimenting with him so thanks for saving me the effort.

Glad to be of service;)

15 hours ago, PriZe said:

Jawdropping article!

Image result for shucks gif

15 hours ago, Prevalence said:

Great article. I love the mix of theory and evidence you use.

 

15 hours ago, Prevalence said:

Great article. I love the mix of theory and evidence you use.

Glad you guys enjoyed it:)

 

15 hours ago, McDonaI said:

I wonder how much difference in position you would see between a player with high positional intelligence and a player with lower positional intelligence. 

That is a very good question and one I can't answer as I always go for high positioning in my DMs and CBs

 

8 hours ago, BatiGoal said:

The Anchorman, the one and only true unsung hero in any successful team

I like looking at these types of roles as these are the guys who do the donkey work for all the glamour players up front.

7 hours ago, Taff said:

Shakespeare Fox strikes again

Thank mate but who is this Shakespeare Fox your talking about?;)

Spoiler

5a4f7dee859da_ShakeFF.png.f86c7b9bf9238d890750d3be33450a76.png

 

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Wonderful work mate, as you know I love my defensive players so I really enjoyed this :). 

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24 minutes ago, Ashez said:

Wonderful work mate, as you know I love my defensive players so I really enjoyed this :). 

Thanks mate. Will you be trying an AcM instead of your favoured BWM at some point?

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39 minutes ago, FuddledFox said:

Thanks mate. Will you be trying an AcM instead of your favoured BWM at some point?

Potentially but of late I've just ignored the defensive roles and instead I put defensive stated players in balanced roles like CM/BBM.

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10 minutes ago, Ashez said:

Potentially but of late I've just ignored the defensive roles and instead I put defensive stated players in balanced roles like CM/BBM.

Makes sense. That is why the CM role can be good as you can almost make it into what ever you want by using different types of players and TI's

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10 minutes ago, FuddledFox said:

Makes sense. That is why the CM role can be good as you can almost make it into what ever you want by using different types of players and TI's

Still get poor ratings though :@

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Been useful for me, but only when I have a player with good highlighted attributes (the ones you shown above).:)

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The DMs are quite important to be getting such low ratings. I actually prefer them to AM positions. Tried out the AcM role initially but quickly reverted to BWM as it seemed to suit my favoured 4-1-2-2-1

But this piece is awesomely tempting.

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7 minutes ago, DesChyko0 said:

The DMs are quite important to be getting such low ratings. I actually prefer them to AM positions. Tried out the AcM role initially but quickly reverted to BWM as it seemed to suit my favoured 4-1-2-2-1

But this piece is awesomely tempting.

I agree DMs are too important to be getting such low ratings. If a BWM works for you in your formation  then that is great. The good thing is we are getting more roles and more options with how we set up our teams.

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10 hours ago, FuddledFox said:

You will have to wait and see....

Ok not a problem. Just that a majority of matches I've had them being 'very effective' and 'having a lot of joy on the wings'. Sometimes I'm playing both IWBs with only 2 LD and it still works well defensively with the IWB getting a decent amount of shots on target and high ratings. 

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I have been using an anchor man in one of the  challenges with Scunthorpe and found them to be very effective.They don't seem to get booked as many times as a BWM even though they have a high aggression attribute.

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