One of my favourite additions to Football Manager 2018 was one of the new player roles, the Segundo Volante. There has been a lot wrote about the role already but none of what has been written is that accurate and doesn’t really highlight what the role does and how it behaves. Hopefully this article can clear some of the misconceptions up.I actually wrote about the new roles briefly and what they did when Football Manager 18 was released.
The article can be found here;
Out of all the midfield roles we have available currently on the game, the Segundo Volante is probably the most complete role of them all. It’s a demanding role and takes a certain type of player to pull it off. The player must have the attributes similar to those of the Box to Box midfielder for attacking situations. Then when the ball is lost he needs the attributes that you’d expect to find in a Defensive Midfielder, hence why I class it as a complete midfielder role.In recent years players such as Ramires, Paulinho, Hernanes and Elias all played this role while still playing in the Brazilian leagues.
A more recent European player you might be familiar with, playing this role, would be Bastian Schweinsteiger.
In Game Description
The ‘Segundo Volante’ is different from the Deep Lying Playmaker in that their role is primarily a defensive one, and is also different from the Ball Winning Midfielder, in that they often run with the ball, or arrive with a late run, into the opposition area in much the same way a Box-to-Box Central Midfielder does. It’s a common role for those familiar with Brazilian football and team often field two of them or pair them with an anchorman. You can also only use the role from the outer defensive midfield positions i.e DMLC/DMRC and is unavailable from the DM spot.
- With a support duty, the Segundo Volante will look to support the attack whilst picking and choosing his opportunities to arrive late in the opposition’s penalty area.
- With an attack duty, the Segundo Volante will get further forward and frequently look to arrive late in the opposition’s penalty area as well as attempting more shots on goal.
You’d expect a Segundo Volante to help start and support attacks, while also chipping in with assists and scoring too. The role suits systems where you might lack central midfielders like in a deep 4-2-3-1. The player would play like a central midfielder in possession of the ball but should act like a defensive midfielder when out of possession. It’s worth noting that if you use this role on an attack duty the player might seem ‘reckless’ in a positional sense because he will be going very high into the final third of the pitch and taking up those kind of positions. So if you lose the ball, you could find him struggling to regain his natural position.
That’s the basic overview of the role. But the role is so much more than the above and is a very demanding role. If you use this role then you need to make sure you have a player who is fit above all else. Even the most fittest player will still get low condition at times due to the role being that demanding. In my own saves, I often find myself having to substitute the player in most games due to condition reaching -70% around the 70-75 minute mark.
People think the role is overpowered or superhuman but it’s not, those people don’t really understand the role and the drawbacks it brings both physically and from a tactical standpoint. If you use the wrong kind of player in this role then you might increase the risk of serious injury due to the high demanding nature of the role.
One thing to note about the Segundo Volante and it’s behaviour is that its different to any other role on the game. The weighting of the role underneath the hood are different, meaning it’s more ‘reckless’ and can’t be replicated via a different role with player instructions added, it’s unique. So let’s take a look at how the role actually works from an in-game perspective.
In case people are wondering what formation I am using, it’s the one that I’ve spoke about in the 4-2-3-1 Deep series I’ve been doing. This is actually the fifth article in that series. So if you want to know more about the tactic I’m using then check out the previous ones.
All of those should give you an insight into how I’m playing. It’s better to link those pieces rather than going over the tactical aspects again. This means I can focus solely on the role of the Segundo Volante in this article.
Before I jump into the examples, it’s worth having a look at a few individual stats from a game to see a quick snapshot of how he performs statistically and to see what kind of areas he is taking up.
Here we can see the area’s he receives the ball. Nothing sticks out here and it all looks how you’d expect it to be. 89 times he received the ball.
Here we can see that when he received the ball in deeper areas, he brought the ball forward before distributing it. You can see how forward thinking he is in regards to his passing. Again though, all this is expected and nothing sticks out as being out of the ordinary.
Looking back at these clips, all of these were silly interceptions and balls he’s shouldn’t have been playing in the first place. So it’s something to note and look at a little further in the article.
In this last screenshot we get a little glimpse into his defensive side of the game and can see the areas were he gained us possession of the ball.
In the first part of this move, we can see that the Segundo Volante (Victor Yan) makes an initial run from deep. But when Lucas Lima gets the ball, Victor’s marker leaves him free and goes to deal with the threat from Lucas. This means Victor is left free and he knows this, it’s why he stops his run to become a supporting passing option.
Then in the second part of the move he turns into provider once he received the ball from Lucas Lima. He passes it down the wing to the rampaging left back who is totally unmarked. Once the ball leave’s Victor’s foot he then turns into a supportive player again by becoming a runner. Just look at his run and how no-one at all is picking up his late run. Everyone is focused on the ball and not the runners from deep. It’s so simple yet effective, I love these kind of moves because it creates chaos for the opposition once they realise the player made a run.
Unfortunately he doesn’t get picked out with the ball again and the move falls flat. But already we have seen how he juggles being;
- Supportive player
The creator and running side of the things in this example happen because of each other. You don’t have to have the ball at your feet to become a creator. By making late runs after passing the ball he automatically becomes a runner which in turn created lots of space to run into. When I speak about having runners and support players from deep in past articles, this is the exact type of thing I am referring to.
Another short example of him becoming a runner from deep and going beyond the initial play so that when the ball is in higher positions he again becomes an option. He also checks his run again because he’s aware the attacking midfielder, is also running into the same area.
Once again he is in acres of space and has so much time and space. It’s nothing amazing he does here, it’s all simple basic stuff. But look how he attacks when the ball is more advanced than he is, he bursts a gut trying to get further afield to get involved with play again.
As you’ll be seeing, he is very much the one making the entire team tick so far just by picking the ball up in deeper areas then passing it further forward and putting the opposition on the back foot. He is also running around a lot and moving around into empty space.
To get the most out of a Segundo Volante it’s imperative you allow him to thrive. This means the shape you use and the roles around him will all impact what he does. In the above examples I am using the deep 4-2-3-1 meaning he has lots of space to run into which helps. In other shapes his movement might be more restricted based on the roles around him. You’d also notice a big difference if you use a playmaker of any kind in the same side too, as that can possibly take the ball away from him as the play, is more channeled through the playmaker instead. In this current setup that I use, he is a natural playmaker and making things tick all on his own.
The Segundo Volante doesn’t actually dribble with the ball much in the system I am using, he’s more focused on using space and running which is what I want from him. He does get in the box though and score goals as well as assisting people.
You can see that he is very good in and around the oppositions box and all his threatening play happens here. The opposition just don’t know how to handle him because he runs from deep and joins the attacks at the very last possible opportunity. Scoring goals and getting assists are a big part of his game. The clips above show the types of things he does in those situations better than I could have explained in words myself.
The player still does all the usual defensive work of a defensive midfielder when attacking. So he will close down, chase balls and help protect the defence if he is able to drop back to his natural position quickly enough. It can be risky at times though especially if he doesn’t get back in time, which is rare, but it does happen.
That’s why you should pair him with someone who is more positional strict than he is, so you aren’t totally exposed. On the flip side though if you use an aggressive tactic then you could use two of them to dominate the middle and really take the game to the opposition. It’s risky but if your side is one of the strongest in the league and expected to win most games, then it is possible to use two Segundo Volante’s.
The Segundo Volante is a player who will be heavily PPM based. The ones he will eventually have are;
- Gets forward whenever possible.
- Dictates tempo.
- Plays one twos
- Runs with ball through the centre
The reason behind this is, I want the player to be aggressive and his role already allows this. However if I use a support Segundo Volante instead of the current attack duty I use, I shouldn’t lose any of this natural attacking ability. Another reason behind these PPM’s are that I want him to slow or speed play up when he sees fit.This will add another dimension to the role and allow the player to decide when he thinks play needs to be quickly or slower. It can be a really good counter attacking player trait. By allowing the player to also play one twos this will give me a quick change of pace at times and hopefully create space and movement, just by playing one twos.
I was fortunate enough to have a player in the youth ranks of Santos who would become my long-term project for the Segundo Volante role. This was him at the very start of the season;
He is a bit weak in places but being only 15 years old, this is not an issue at all. Due to his age he could realistically be moulded into any role that I wanted him to play. One of the first things I do is work on his personality type, as he was only a balanced one himself at the start of the game. So I had him tutored with Renato who was fairly determined. As for the rest of his training he was just placed on the Segundo Volante training schedule and nothing more.
By the end of season one he had made a remarkable progress on his personality and with his attributes.
His personality type had gone from balanced to a fairly determined one due to a successful tutoring session. And he’d also picked up a players preferred move during the process too, which was another reason I had selected Ranato to the tutor in the hope he picked it up. This means he has saved me six months trying to teach it him. As for his attributes, you can see almost everyone has changed by at least one attribute gain but a lot of them have seen an increase of two or more attribute point gains.
During the second half of the season he also found himself getting a lot of game time. I’d have liked to play him earlier but I can’t until he reaches 16 years old due to the league rules. However that wouldn’t have made much difference to his development as training is the driving force for attribute development for players under the age of 17 years old. It’s only once a player reaches 17 that game time becomes one of the main factors. Below that age it all comes from training.
By the end of the second season Victor Yan had shown he was developing extremely well and surprisingly, at a very fast rate. During this season I had gave him the following individual training;
- Strength for 2 months
- Stamina for 2 months
- Passing for 2 months
The reason behind this was, I felt being more powerful and working on his strength would help with those surging runs he makes. It would also help his defensive side of the game too and allow him not to be bullied around. I feel for the Segundo Volante, a little bit of strength makes a huge difference as you want him to be able to hold his own and shrug off challenges.
Working on his stamina was also needed and it’s already at a good standing but long-term it’ll likely be the most important attribute he has. Especially if you don’t want to substitute him half-way through every single game you play.
In the game examples above you’ve seen how important he is and the positions he takes up. That’s why I also worked on his passing so he can take advantage of that. There’s nothing worse than seeing a player take up great positions time and time again yet lack the technical skills to make the most of it. By working on his passing and trying to bring it up to a higher standard, it will hopefully benefit his team mates.
His season overall was really good and he grabbed a few goals and assists which is always good to see. Even at such a young age he is showing how important he is becoming to the team and he is only going to get better in the next couple of years.
This season he made massive strides in his development and is showing signs of being a top player. His improvements have been remarkable in the three years since I’ve took over the club. He still doesn’t have all the player preferred moves I’d like him to have though. But that is down to me not teaching him them yet due to focusing on his attribute development first. During this season I gave him yet more individual focuses.
- Stamina for 2 months
- Technique for 2 months
- Passing for 2 months
- Speed for 2 months
And during the next season which will be the fourth, I will be finally teaching him the player preferred moves that I still would like him to have. The reason for not doing them now is I didn’t want to give the player too much to do in terms of his workload. I didn’t want to increase the risk of injury while he was working on developing with all the different individual focuses. As I find a heavy workload and playing the amount of games he is currently playing can be very taxing and significantly hamper his development. Any type of injury would see him have a set back and while injuries do happen, you can actually try to limit them by being a bit smarter with how you train them and play them.