“An action or strategy carefully planned to achieve a specific end. In a football context, tactics can be described as how a team manages space, time, and individual actions to win a game.”
Tactics in PES play a vital role in implementing a particular style or game plan to get the most out of your players. PES 2021, in all its glory, can get a little overbearing when it comes to tactics. When to apply them, what to apply, and so on are all questions you’ll ask yourself over the course of a match. Hopefully this series of articles helps you when it comes to the tactical side of the game.
For this third article (again, you can find false winger here and anchoring here), we’re going to tackle the advanced instructions menu. For those unaware of what advanced instructions are, they are a set of preset tactics found on the “gameplan” screen. These preset tactics help to execute strategies on both attack and defense. With roughly 15 options to choose from, you can select up to four at a time (two for both attack and defense) while also mapping them to the D-pad. Activating these in the match is as simple as pressing “L2 + D-pad direction,” and by doing so you’ll see a small text notification when they’re activated.
Now that we’ve got that sorted, let’s jump right into the focus of this blog: wing rotation
PES 2021 Wing Rotation Strategy Guide
What Is It?
“Wingers (or wide midfielders when no wingers are present) who stray from their traditional wide positions to play more centrally. When a false winger comes inside, the full back on the same side will move into advanced positions.”
Wing Rotation In Action
Pros Of Wing Rotation
The primary benefit of the wing rotation is that creates a lot of movement for your defender to account for during critical moments. Whether it’s the AI or another human, wing rotation forces defenses to choose between:
- Closing the ball down
- Closing down passing angles
- Marking the most forward run
As shown in the video above, wing rotation gives your attack layered options from safe short passes to riskier longer attempts. Depending on what your defense chooses (three options mentioned above), you have enough options to combat even the most aggressive of Gegenpresses. On the other end of the spectrum, it also gives you enough time to pick your pass against teams sitting a lot of men behind the ball and not actively pressing.
Cons Of Wing Rotation
There are a couple cons to wing rotation, but the main one is that you push your midfielders further up the field. This leaves a lot of space in behind them if you lose possession. To make matters worse, you often have the ball wide with one teammate coming towards the touchline and another making a run towards it (diagonally). So, you leave the middle of the pitch wide open for a quick counter. You also really need to get your personnel right. You need players who fit this tactic, but we’ll touch on this more later.
What Formations Work Well With Wing Rotation
Really, any formation with wide players — whether they be midfielders, wingers, or even wing backs — works well. 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 work well because you have naturally wide players (wingers in a 4-3-3 or wing backs in a 3-5-2) coming short and wide to allow you to advance the ball with your center backs. This allows your midfielder (center mid in a 4-3-3 or wide midfielder in a 3-5-2) to make that diagonal run in behind. Having a striker in a 4-3-3 drop deep (false 9) would also give you another option in the 4-3-3, or provide another cover or short option in a 3-5-2. Basically, it’s a good advanced instruction for a lot of formations.
What Happens When You Combine This With Other Advanced Tactics?
I briefly mentioned the benefit of combining it with the false 9, but I prefer to pair it with attacking fullbacks for a couple reasons. Inverted (a player whose stronger foot is inside to the touchline) wide players are all the rage these days. Being able to cut in on the strong foot and try to curl it into the top far corner is the stuff of YouTube highlights. There’s also less emphasis on whipping in crosses as good aerial center forwards are more of a rarity these days (bless you Mitrovic and Giroud).
So, when you have a good dribbling winger and inevitably cut it back, the fullback will overlap and force the defense’s left back to either mark the attacking fullback’s run or step up to stop your wide player who now has the ball.
It’s also helpful to change your attacking area to “wide” with this instruction. This will not only help your AI teammates to get further in more wide areas, it also helps with combination plays (one-two passing, passing triangles, etc.) as your wide players will be closer together.
What Players (Playing Styles) Work Well With Hug The Touchline?
No player is more important to wing rotation than the central midfielder whose job it is to make runs behind the defense. For this purpose, you would do well to look for midfielders with the “hole player” player trait:
|A player who looks to make runs into the opposition goal area when the team is on the attack.|
A player like Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes would excel in this role, both as an advanced midfielder or your deeper playmaker, because he possesses the ability to make runs and pick passes out from deep.
Defenders who are both comfortable on the ball and can pass are also highly sought after to get the best out of wing rotation.
Wing rotation is a go-to of mine when faced with defenses that are content to sit behind the ball and keep everything in front of them. Since it creates a lot of movement, wing rotation — in conjunction with an aggressive attack/defense level — can push the numbers forward and stretch defenses to the touchline to give you some much needed space. As always when it comes to footy, balance is key, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your players getting too far forward and leaving you open to the possibility of a quick counter.
Mastering this PES 2021 wing rotation strategy guide, and pairing it with the right complement of players, can lead to some very nice attacks as you’ll start to know where your players will be or what movements they’ll make.
What are your experiences with Wing Rotation?