With the introduction of Custom Tactics in FIFA 09, you can dictate your style of play without having to play much with your formation. However, for the true footballing wizard who wants to tweak every aspect of his team, learning how to edit formations is a must.
When you enter into Team Management, you will have the option to edit your formation. This feature allows you to move players into new positions and change their roles on your team. You have three options for each player that you can adjust: Player Base Position, Player Work Rate, and Player Positioning.
For purposes of this break down, we are going to make a couple of adjustments to Manchester United’s trademark 4-4-2. Let’s start things off with Carrick. We select him and then move his icon further back and into the center of the pitch.
Since we have moved him into a new position, his role is going to change as well. We can choose to make him a Right Defensive Midfielder or a Center Defensive Midfielder based on his new location on the pitch.
Next, we click on Paul Scholes and choose to adjust his Work Rate. We are going to ramp up his attacking rate and decrease his defending rate. We want him to surge into the attack at the expense of his defensive responsibilities. We have Carrick in the hole now to cover things.
Attacking Work Rate influences how often the player considers making forward runs. Defensive Work Rate affects the amount of importance the player places on getting back to defence. Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, has a low defensive work rate, as his primary focus is to attack. A Defensive Midfielder, however, will have a high defensive work rate and a low offensive one. Be careful of giving a player both a high attacking and high defensive work rate as they will fatigue very quickly.
We are going to make one final adjustment to our team. We take Wayne Rooney and give him a defensive position adjustment backward. We want him to drop a bit more when the other team has the ball so that he can lead the charge back down the field. Many FIFA gamers confuse this positional adjustment with runs. These are not runs. They merely instruct the player to favour adjusting his position in a direction when the team is either on offense or defence. Be careful when moving this around too much as you will create holes in your squad.
You can also use these adjustments to help cover the field when defenders go forward. Patrice Evra will make overlapping runs and his positional adjustment on the attack is to move forward. Carrick has a positional adjustment to shade back towards Evra’s position, so he can pick up the counter attack.
When you match up different Formations, Player Positioning, Work Rates, and Custom Tactics, you have a game that is ever-changing and never runs out of replay value.