A Defensive forward (DF) is a player with defensive order and with a particular combination of skill. It take advantage of Scoring, Passing and Playmaking to help boost midfield and contributes to attack ratings as well.
The thinking behind this is to help simulate the real-world option of the withdrawn forward (a central player between midfielders and forwards) who uses his sensitive foot to deliver great passes.
Defensive forward contribution
Depending on the skill levels of the player, a DF may produce more attack when outfielded defensively than when played normal.
|Defensive forwards (not technical) contribute:
You can see that you team gains roughly a midfield level every 2.5 Playmaking levels (2/5 of midfield level = 40% * 1 Playmaking level).
Even more interesting is the contribution to the attacks: the team gains one level in central attack every 1.7 passing or scoring levels, but the passing contribution is double in side attack, compared to scoring. This means that passing is the most important skill for a DF.
Technical Defensive Forward
A Technical Defensive Forward, commonly abbreviated TDF and also known as "trequartista", increases the contribution of his passing skill to the attack.
|The contributions are the same with the DF, with the difference that his Passing skill contributes:
Depending on the skill levels of the player, a TDF may produce more attack when played defensively than when played normal. This special bonus is only for a TDF. Non-technical players have a lesser bonus.
The best thing is to train a DF in passing, but since PM is a slower training than passing, is important to prepare PM and scoring when the player is still young. Every time the player gets 2.5 Playmaking levels more, the team grow 1 midfield level, but every 2.6 passing to player is 1.12 in central attack and 0.56 in side attack.
Put it this way: keeping playmaking training as reference, in the time you can give a defensive forward 1 PM level, you can give him 1.1 PS level. It may look like a small thing, but it will make the difference in the long period.
A classic workout could consist of the order:
- 4 seasons of Playmaking, at first the player would be a normal IM,
- 3 or 4 seasons of Passing, with it he could be occasionally outfielded as offensive IM,
- 1 or 2 seasons of Scoring, finally usable as DF.
Additionally you can train then Wing, with an improvement of 0.91 in side attack (2.6 x 0.3514) or, obviously, scoring as a normal forward.
The training is however very long, and the exceptional boost gained on match is not always worth the average sale price when divided by the weeks of training provided. Prices paid for a DF are high, more than satisfactory, but not comparable to a wild skill trading program income that remains the fastest and most effective way to make money.
Another aspect very important is wage, since this kind of multi-skilled player is useless when trained just in one single skill and with a balance between skills, the salary naturally remains low.
Having multi-skilled players with Playmaking skill will help you to have better midfield rating. DFs are the perfect tool to possess the midfield and they can do it manteining a high attack rate with lower wages!
To gain the same possession wiyhout DFs you need Defenders with PM, Wingers with PM, Inner Midfielders with Passing which will cost a lot of money to buy. Remember that a central defender offensive gives a lower contribution to the midfield than a DF (almost 20% less).
Tactically speaking, one DF can be used as additional forward in 3-4-3 (helping scoring without losing midfield) or as backing midfield booster in 3-5-2. These are the most suitable formations, but all formations with 5 IMs are good: 4-5-1 as well as 2-5-3.
|An example of 2-5-3 with 3 DF with worldclass passing and outstanding scoring (at every level PM, not important for the example maths). It contributes like 2 supernatural normal forwards and two titanic offensive wingers (monoskilled). Which is:
But in case of 2-5-3 this effects are added to the normal contribution of wingers and IMs passing!
Formations like 5-4-1 and 5-3-2 are instead not right: the only way to use a DF is to try to boost the midfield.
The Ercanto Strategy
|See for example: Hattrick Master semi-finals 2010|
This is a rare case of formation named after the hattrick manager that brought it to success, the spanish user ercanto. Basically is the perfect way to push to the limit all DF characteristics on a 3-5-2 formation: since two technical defensive forwards (better with wing skill) boost the side attacks and the midfield, you can totally give up central attack and play attack on wings.
At this point you can also play with IMs without passing or use winger with high playmaking skill as midfilders toward wing. Wing backs are offensive or normal, the only defender must have good playmaking too. The key player are the wingers, which must have high skills and keep the team together.
Defensive forwards were created when passing skill contribution of technical forward playing defensive was increased by 30% (but non-technical players gained any bonuses from passing at the time) to the contribution to central and wing attacks.
The interest in DFs grew after changes in training speed (08/10/2007) that make possible to build a real multi-skill player.
A further adjustment was made during the engine update (announced in the 2010 Editorials around March). The bonus was extended to all kind of defensive forwards while technical players who, that moment on, made less use out of their passing in the middle, were added an extra bonus on the wings.