Fantastic reading, really is. Well thought out combos and you definitely sound like you know what you're talking about. The theory sounds excellent, but I'm curious about one thing, how do the combos translate into match ratings for the players? I'm going to guess that the FM engine will largely recognise your wingbacks endeavours as he bombs up and down covers large distances and probably gains assists, but what about the defensive winger?
Anyway, great work once again, I look forward to reading more.
The Deep-Lying Playmaker/Advanced Playmaker Partnership
The playmaker is one of the most vital roles in every team, every successful team has one, and teams who don't will struggle greatly in goal scoring. There are two main types of playmaker, one is the deep-lying, holding regista (e.g. Pirlo pictured above) who plays long through balls from deep or keeps it simple to maintain possession. The other is a more attacking player in the form of an advanced playmaker who makes runs forward to support the attack and looks to receive the ball already in an attacking position, usually in between the lines of defence and midfield. The flaw in this however is that the opposition can simply play a player who's job is to mark the playmaker, effectively lessening his influence by stopping him from receiving passes.
A Combination to Fix the Problem
By playing both roles together, it not only gives your midfield double the amount of creativity, but it also means that the opposition would have to sacrifice 2 players to mark them, and since that is too big of a risk, they won't do it and therefore one playmaker will always be available. Even if they do choose to mark both players, that will mean that the rest of the team will find it easier to get into space so it's a lose-lose situation for them.
In my system, the advanced playmaker is more of a 'box to box playmaker'. He will look to get into attacking positions as often as possible, and make late runs into the box but when we lose possession, he quickly hurries back to the midfield to help out.
On the other hand the deep-lying playmaker stays deep and rarely, if ever, moves into attacking position. This allows him to dictate play and send through balls to the attackers ahead of him.
Because of how they're both set up, when defending the team creates a 4-3-3 formation, but when in possession of the ball, the box to box midfielder joins the attack to create a 4-2-3-1 system.