There are at least four new roles in Football Manager 18: Carrilero, Inverted Winger, Mezzala and Segundo Volante.
In this post, I explain what I’ve found out about these roles, how I think these roles might be represented in the game, and how to use them.
Carrilero already exists as the Wing Back role in the Spanish translation of the game. Assuming the Wing Back role is back in FM18, this update may end up confusing some Spanish-speaking players if this role is sufficiently different from what is already in the game.
If I had to guess, the Carrilero will be a very aggressive role and therefore might only be available with an Attack duty. The exact nuances of this role are hard to imagine as it does, as mentioned, technically already exist in the game.
What will make the Inverted Winger interesting is its distinctions from the Inside Forward (IF) and Winger roles.
Currently, an IF looks to cut inside from a wider position onto their stronger foot, meaning a left-footed IF will play on the right, à la Robben, the King of cutting inside. From here they will seek to work into and towards the box to shoot. As such, the role requires good dribbling and technique to allow the player to move into a more threatening position, as well as the ability to finish chances through good finishing and long shots – the crossing attribute is currently only key for IF with and Attack duty, and an IF cannot be instructed to Cross More.
As for a Winger, their role is a little simpler and relies more on speed than technique, although the ability to put in a good cross is obviously important. A Winger looks to burst down the wing, staying wider than an IF and using their dribbling as well as acceleration to get past defenders.
The Inverted Winger role will most likely be a hybrid of the two – an opposite-footed player who looks to stay wide and make in-swinging crosses from a slightly deeper position. Think Zaha at Palace or Lemar at Monaco when played on the right.
I would imagine this role will be available for both the LW/RW and LM/RM positions, although the latter already contain the Wide Midfielder role which could be seen as a similar role. Maybe I’ve got this totally wrong and it will actually be available in the AM position, but I don’t think that would make as much sense.
Mezzala or Mezz’ala literally means “half winger” (Ala being the name for a winger in Italy). This role will probably be available on the wings but might be available in central positions too, depending on how SI want to play this one.
A Mezzala is somewhat of a false winger – they work nearer the edges of the field but their job isn’t like a winger in that they burst down the wing and place crosses in. They join the attack in the centre much like a False 9 drops back into the midfield – it can maybe be seen as a hybrid between an Advanced Playmaker (on the wing) and a Wide Playmaker.
Traditionally, this role was more used when a player didn’t quite fit into the usual winger mould, but SI clearly want to see us building tactics around this. Aaron Ramsey, when deployed on the right-wing at Arsenal, plays a role similar to this.
The Segundo Volante is the “second wheel” or the “second pivot”. It’s a Brazilian role and they are paired with a Primeira Volante, which is a role not included in FM18. They serve as somewhat of a ball-winning box-to-box – they are aggressive in tackles and quick to combine defence to attack. They will not serve as much of a role in attack as a traditional B2B and can instead be seen as more of a defensively-minded Regista.
The role will most likely require high work rate and stamina (much like a B2B) paired with good tackling and acceleration (much like a BWM) but will probably ask for good passing as to help start attacks from deep. This defensive box-to-box midfielder will, if their attributes are right, work very well paired with a deep-lying or advanced playmaker – the legendary Gennaro Gattuso is a classic example of a Segundo Volante, most well known for his pairing with Andrea Pirlo.