Diamonds Are Forever / gm.4312 & 41212.drf.19.3.5


Dec 23, 2018
gm.4312/41212.DRF-.19.3.5 / NE

Tactic Downloads

4312 -
View attachment 4308
41212 -
View attachment 4133

Inspiration – Diamonds Are Forever

Narrow considered systems tend to not fair so well in the Premiership. Being naturally more defensive and the modern day favouring systems where pace down the flanks is a lot more successful makes formations reliant on wing-backs a lot less effective.

The diamond may nowadays be a weak system. But with my fav manager Mourinho winning a Champions League with Porto using a 4312 and Ancelotti the 41212 with Milan, I wanted to get these formations working… and considering the above, I’m happy with the results but more importantly the styles of football played.

How they work

Both are more grindy ways of winning because the diamond formation isn’t naturally an offensive one. You won’t be able to provide any real dangerous pace down the flanks.

So both systems rely on players who are intelligent both when choosing to counter-attack and also in dictating the play.

My 4312 operates by deliberately forcing the play through the middle to try and commit the opposition to defend the central areas of the pitch – leaving room for our attacking wing-backs the room to overlap and have the time to put in precise quality crosses for our strikers to feed on. The trequartista when drifting wide and instructed to regularly hold onto the ball aims to promote this.

The 41212 operates more situational. The regista will naturally receive the ball frequently and dictate the play from deep (Pirlo), but with the more attacking advanced playmaker dribbling at the opposition more directly and getting forward more frequently (like Kaka), our approach play although still goes through the middle, our full-backs will be more selective when choosing to overlap.

Given both are generally top-heavy formations with the regista roaming and pushing up close to the carrilero duo, I have decided to play extremely high, an offside trap with counter-pressing .

The 4312 is a more work-man like but an attempt at an offensive way of playing that uses the attacking mentality to try and provide this goal threat. This is combined with a very controlled slow tempo and short passing game that will help bring our star role into play, the Trequartista.

The 41212 uses a positive mentality and plays more gracefully compared to my 4312 with the regista being the focal point to help our side dictate the play, but offering the direct counter-attack threat when an opportunity arises. This is less attacking and less team-work orientated than the 4312 – but winning with style and individuality, using players of the highest quality is the satisfaction.

The Roles

The carilleros will work hard in the middle and cover our wing-backs with the deep-lying playmaker/regista and APA/trequartista controlling the game whilst providing the creativity either from deep or when teams are defending their own 18 yard box.

The two DM roles will therefore provide the intelligent counter-attacking threat by having the freedom to play riskier/direct passes whenever they see fit. Think of Carrick for the 4312 and Pirlo the 41212.

I’ve also gone with a Stopper Cover defensive combo given both are more top-heavy formations, and to help with trying to control the game.

A deep and advanced forward will bring fluidity, variety and effective pressing up top with such a high line and counter-press. The advanced forward will also give an outlet for the more direct/counter through ball.

Our wing-backs will be on the attack duty only, as I want them to hold their position as much as possible out wide where our through the middle approach play should give them the time to overlap or dribble into some space and provide quality balls into the box.

…Or with the 41212, stretch the play, feed the APA’s runs, and can be used as a decoy, so the APA when in possession has more space between the opponent CBs and full-backs to run into and cause havoc.

What You Need

-Quick Back Line
-Highly Technical Players
-Hard working Carilleros
-An Excellent Trequartista/Regista
-A deep lying playmaker defensively competent and with an eye for a pass
-Wing-backs who can cross and dribble well

Training / OIs/ Set Pieces

Set Pieces – Throw-ins by fullbacks, AMC set for Free Kicks and Corners.

Training – “Attacking” on FM Touch for 4312. "Possession" for 41212.

**No Exploits

Opposition Instructions –

WBR/RB – Show onto Left Foot
WBL/LB – Show onto Right Foot
AMR/MR – Show onto Right Foot
AML/ML – Show onto Left Foot

By defending wide, the purposes is to force the opponent’s full-backs to the middle where are carilleros and well positioned APA/Treq will be watching their respective positions and try win the ball high up.

With the opposing wide players, with no full-out DM in the DM strata, the purpose is to force predictable crosses into the box that our centre-backs can deal with. An opportunity for a counter-attack will then arise if the ball drops to our DLP / Regista, with the Advanced Forward alert to the situation.


Given the formations only really have two strikers and a trequartista/APA as the main goal threats, we scored a decent number of goals and it was enough to secure enough points and wins to win the leagues.


Defensively, we were always going to be exposed down the flanks through our offensive style, but we kept things fairly solid at the back which still happened to be the best in the league.

Our form was awesome first half of the year, but unfortunately with Firminho missing many weeks in the second half our form did drop off which definitely affected our total points at the end of the campaign. But we did win all 19 home league games and ended on a respectable 94 points.

We also won the FA Cup and won the ECL final vs Juventus in Extra-Time in a game we were the much better side.


Defensively this again was the best in the league conceding less than the 4312, though it did score less goals likely due to the mentality.

We secured the title with 5 or so games to spare, but probably the lack of incentive in those last games led to poor form at the end of the year. However we did end the year also again on 94 points and won the ECL against Man Utd 3-1.

There are very few that can play the regista role well in the modern day. However if you’re able to invest in a quality Regista then the positive mentality 41212 is the best formation to play with. You’ll have an extra match winner in your ranks and press higher up the pitch more effectively.

But if you don’t quite have that star player available in your squad, the 4312 is a good alternative where the team will have a more defensive minded and hard working midfield trio but will still have the X-factor although greater reliance on the Trequartista to dictate things. The attacking mentality should however help compensate for this.


So if you want to step back a little over a decade or two where your trequartista/regista will be the focal point to your side’s creativity and control of the game, then both formations should be enjoyable tactics to play and watch, seeing your teams play some intelligent, controlled, tidy wingless football – with moments of individual brilliance.
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Jan 23, 2013
Finally! I thought I would never see these 2 tactics again!

@BJT in your opinion which is the better tactic and which plays the most attractive football?


Dec 23, 2018
Finally! I thought I would never see these 2 tactics again!

@BJT in your opinion which is the better tactic and which plays the most attractive football?
Can never beat the oldskool classics :) I think it will really depend on the style and players you have...I would say if you can't get a Pirlo type quality player in that Regista role you'd want to use the 4312. It has a structured and deliberate plan to open teams up and the offence is good to watch as a result. It's always nice to see a game-plan come to fruition.

However if you want to play more imaginative and graceful in your style of football and have both an excellent regista and APA, then the 41212 is a highly technical one and probably more rewarding to watch, for the football purist :)

So I think both are nice in their own unique way. Pjanic at Regista and your set-piece taker will be the closest you'll get to a Pirlo I think in this FM.


Dec 23, 2018
Tactic Update - 41212 v2 / Offensive Counter Tweak

The idea of a regista and APA with the chosen PIs was to play a possession based game but be dangerous on the counter whilst playing through the middle to feed the APA promptly, who would hold the ball less frequently. However the engine seems to prefer having the team instruction "hold" unticked.

Version 2 unticks this TI, and as a result the offence should be more potent in this version with the APA performing more consistently and strikers scoring more goals as a result.