I've tried everything imaginable with central midfield, believe me. I don't agree at all that there's a "remedy." You can merely mitigate the stupidity, not cure it.
I've basically started playing with a single anchor in every career mode now because any sort of midfield two will eventually end up mindlessly making forward runs whether it's Busquets or Fabregas, no matter what I'm telling them. Of course even with a 4-3-3 it's not perfect...the threshold for rotating positions in central midfield is so fucking loose that your anchor will invariably end up switching to one of the other spots and going forward.
This is all only scratching the surface of what I'm talking about with central midfield play though. Yeah the biggest issue is mindless forward runs, but even if you take steps to mitigate that issue, they still have no awareness of space at all FIFA 16 Ultimate Team Coins
. Playing PES really opened my eyes to how bad FIFA 15 midfield play is. Popping it around the center of the pitch in PES 15 is fucking glorious in comparison. The amount of micromanaging required to make FIFA central midfield not retarded is astonishing.
Agreed 100% about the central defender behavior. Doesn't matter how high you shove your line up or how aggressive you tell the team to press...if a striker drops off and wants the ball played to feet, no one will follow him. All you have to do is watch a real game of football to see how rare it is for a forward to receive his ball with back to goal and turn completely uncontested.
In my opinion this is probably because EA is so concerned with through balls being "OP" that they don't want the AI defenders getting too close to players off the ball.
I've found the remedy in the midfield for me is to tell both cms to 'hold back while attacking' in the instructions of the player tactics.
It helps have a guy sitting in the space that's there between the back line and midfeild, but I do feel player tendencies still affect how far up a player positions himself. Telling Matic to 'hold back while attacking' is much more effective than telling Fabregas to. What I do want to fix is CBs following the opposition strikers when they check to the damn ball.
I've got 3 CBs, there's only 1 opposing striker. the AI should know to follow the striker, or at least give me the option to have that as an immediate setting switch in all gameplays.