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Central attacker roles include all player roles in central attacker playing positions*, which are:

  • Attacking midfielder (AM)
  • Centre forward (CF)

The information provided for each role is explained in the Player Roles and Duties guide and the associated tactical theory* guides that it links to.

1. Attacking Midfielder

1.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Attacking midfielder

Duties:

  • Support
  • Attack

1.2. Game Description

The Attacking Midfielder operates higher up the pitch than a standard midfielder, so he cannot drive into space from deep in the manner of an attacking Central Midfielder.

Requiring excellent technical and mental skills, his role is to fashion chances for himself and others in the final third before the opposition defenders reduce the time and space he has to make the play.

With a Support duty the Attacking Midfielder is willing to help out with defence and tends to sit in the hole rather than get into the box.

With an Attack duty the Attacking Midfielder looks to craft out chances for his forwards alongside being a presence in the box to supplement the attack.

1.3. Default Player Instructions

Attack only:

  • Get Further Forward

1.4. Analysis

Attacking Midfielder (AM Support)

Description:

  • Supporting and fairly aggressive attacking midfielder

Penetration score: 0.50

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities
  • Supported responsibilities - providing attacking cover; stretching play; playing safe; creating chances; taking chances.
  • Supplementary responsibilities - applying defensive pressure.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - providing cover; providing defensive cover.

Focus level: 0.5

Role categories:

  • Linking central attacker
    • Supported - central attack creator
    • Supported - withdrawn central attacker
  • Ball-winning central attacker
    • Pressuring central attacker
      • Supplementary - pressing central attacker
    • Withdrawn central attacker
    • Supported - restricted central attacker
  • Supported - central attack runner
  • Supported - central attack goal-scorer

Attacking Midfielder (AM Attack)

Description:

  • Offensive and fairly aggressive attacking midfielder

Penetration score: 0.75

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - stretching play.
  • Supported responsibilities - playing safe; creating chances; taking chances.
  • Supplementary responsibilities - applying defensive pressure.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - providing defensive cover.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover.

Focus level: 1.5

Role categories:

  • Central attack predator
    • Number-nine central attacker => false-ten
      • Designated - central attack runner
    • Supported - central attack creator
    • Supported - central attack goal-scorer
  • Central attack poacher
    • Number-nine central attacker => false-ten
      • Central attack runner
    • Central attack goal-scorer
    • Supported - restricted central attacker
  • Pressuring central attacker
    • Supplementary - pressing central attacker

Role category implementations:

2. Advanced Playmaker

2.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Attacking midfielder

Duties:

  • Support
  • Attack

2.2. Game Description

The Advanced Playmaker aims to drop into holes between the opposition's midfield and defence, making himself available for his teammates' passes and aiming to turn defence into attack in an instant.

With a Support duty the Advanced Playmaker will stay in the hole and look to spray passes to support players and forwards.

With an Attack duty the Advanced Playmaker will look to run at the defensive line from deeper positions, aiming to craft out crossing or through ball opportunities as he moves into the final third.

2.3. Default Player Instructions

  • Shoot Less Often
  • More Risky Passes

Support only:

  • Hold Position

Attack only:

  • Dribble More

2.4. Analysis

Advanced Playmaker (AM Support)

Description:

  • Holding, ball-playing, restricted-shooting, creative and fairly aggressive attacking midfielder

Penetration score: 0.25

Solidity score: 0.25

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - providing attacking cover.
  • Specialist responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Supported responsibilities
  • Supplementary responsibilities - applying defensive pressure.
  • Weak-designated responsibilities - providing cover.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - providing defensive cover.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - stretching play; playing safe; taking chances.

Focus level: 4.5

Role categories:

  • Linking central attacker
    • Specialist - central attack creator
    • Designated - withdrawn central attacker
  • Number-ten central attacker
    • Central attack creator
  • Pressuring central attacker
    • Supplementary - pressing central attacker

Role category implementations:

Advanced Playmaker (AM Attack)

Description:

  • Supporting, dribbling, ball-playing, restricted-shooting, creative and fairly aggressive attacking midfielder

Penetration score: 0.50

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities
  • Specialist responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Supported responsibilities - stretching play.
    • Atypical - providing attacking cover (dribbling player).
  • Supplementary responsibilities - applying defensive pressure.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - providing cover; providing defensive cover.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - playing safe; taking chances.

Focus level: 3.5

Role categories:

  • Linking central attacker (atypical)
    • Specialist - central attack creator
    • Supported - withdrawn central attacker (atypical - dribbling player)
  • Supported - central attack runner
  • Number-ten central attacker
    • Central attack creator
  • Pressuring central attacker
    • Supplementary - pressing central attacker

Role category implementations:

3. Trequartista

3.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Attacking midfielder
  • Centre forward

Duties:

  • Attack

3.2. Game Description

While similar to the Advanced Playmaker in that he aims to drop into the holes between the opposition's midfield and defence, the Trequartista does far less defensively and simply drifts around looking for space when the team is not in possession.

As such, the rest of the team needs to carry him when defending, but use him as the main outlet when attacking.

3.3. Default Player Instructions

  • Ease Off Tackles
  • Move Into Channels
  • Roam From Position
  • Dribble More
  • More Risky Passes

3.4. Analysis

Trequartista (AM Attack)

Description:

  • Supporting, roaming, channel-running, dribbling, ball-playing, creative, cautious and easy-tackling attacking midfielder

Penetration score: 0.50

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities
  • Specialist responsibilities - providing defensive cover; creating chances.
  • Supported responsibilities - taking chances.
  • Supplementary responsibilities - stretching play.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover; applying defensive pressure; playing safe.

Focus level: 5.0

Role categories:

  • Luxury central attacker
    • Supplementary - central attack runner
    • Number-ten central attacker
      • Specialist - central attack creator
    • Specialist - relaxed central attacker
  • Supported - central attack goal-scorer

Role category implementations:

Trequartista (CF Attack)

Description:

  • Supporting, roaming, channel-running, dribbling, ball-playing, creative, cautious and easy-tackling centre forward

Penetration score: 0.75

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities
  • Specialist responsibilities - providing defensive cover; creating chances.
  • Supported responsibilities - taking chances.
  • Supplementary responsibilities - stretching play.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover; applying defensive pressure; playing safe.

Focus level: 5.0

Role categories:

  • Luxury central attacker
    • Supplementary - central attack runner => second-striker
    • Number-ten central attacker
      • Specialist - central attack creator => spearhead
    • Specialist - relaxed central attacker
  • Supported - central attack goal-scorer

Role category implementations:

4. Enganche

4.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Attacking midfielder

Duties:

  • Attack

4.2. Game Description

The Enganche is the side’s prime creator, a hook that joins midfield and attack and operates behind the strikers and a playmaker who sticks to his position and becomes a pivot to his team as they move around him. Unlike the Trequartista, it is a more stationary role as the Enganche acts as the focal point instead of moving around into larger areas of space.

4.3. Default Player Instructions

  • Dribble Less
  • More Risky Passes

4.4. Analysis

Enganche (AM Attack)

Description:

  • Supporting, restricted-dribbling, ball-playing, creative and fairly aggressive attacking midfielder

Penetration score: 0.50

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Supported responsibilities - providing attacking cover.
    • Atypical - stretching play (restricted-dribbling player); taking chances (restricted-dribbling player).
  • Supplementary responsibilities - applying defensive pressure.
  • Weak-designated responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - providing cover; providing defensive cover.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - playing safe.

Focus level: 2.5

Role categories:

  • Supported - central attack runner (atypical - restricted-dribbling player)
  • Number-ten central attacker (system-specific)
    • Specialist - central attack creator (system-specific - playmaking-hook)
  • Pressuring central attacker
    • Supplementary - pressing central attacker
  • Supported - central attack goal-scorer (atypical - restricted-dribbling player)
  • Supported - withdrawn central attacker

Role category implementations:

5. Shadow Striker

5.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Attacking midfielder

Duties:

  • Attack

5.2. Game Description

The Shadow Striker operates as the team’s main goalscoring threat. Usually coupled with a Deep Lying Forward, the shadow striker aggressively pushes forward into goalscoring positions as the ball moves into the final third and looks to close down opposing defenders when out of possession.

5.3. Default Player Instructions

  • Get Further Forward
  • Move Into Channels
  • Dribble More
  • More Risky Passes

5.4. Analysis

Shadow Striker (AM Attack)

Description:

  • Offensive, channel-running, dribbling and ball-playing attacking midfield aggressor
  • Attacking midfield aggressor (if off-centre) => defensive phase auxiliary narrow wing forward

Penetration score: 0.75

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - applying defensive pressure.
  • Specialist responsibilities - stretching play.
  • Supported responsibilities - taking chances.
    • On the flank (if off-centre) - applying defensive pressure.
  • Supplementary responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover; providing defensive cover; playing safe.

Focus level: 4.0

Role categories:

  • Central attack predator
    • Number-nine central attacker => false-ten
      • Specialist - central attack runner
    • Supplementary - central attack creator
    • Supported - central attack goal-scorer
  • Pressuring central attacker
    • Designated - pressing central attacker
  • Supported - auxiliary pressing wide player (if off-centre)

6. Deep Lying Forward

6.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Centre forward

Duties:

  • Support
  • Attack

6.2. Game Description

The Deep Lying Forward's main function is to link the attack to the midfield.

He aims to drop deep into space and hold up the ball before supplying linking passes to teammates, moving the ball back to midfield support, spreading it wide to the flanks and, if he has time to turn, playing in his strike partner.

With a Support duty the Deep Lying Forward will largely aim to bring teammates into play before attacking the box from deep.

With an Attack duty the Deep Lying Forward will look to fashion chances for himself in addition to playing others in.

6.3. Default Player Instructions

  • Hold Up Ball

Support only:

  • More Risky Passes

Attack only:

  • Get Further Forward
  • Move Into Channels

6.4. Analysis

Deep Lying Forward (CF Support)

Description:

  • Supporting, hold-up, ball-playing and fairly aggressive centre forward

Penetration score: 0.75

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities
  • Specialist responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Supported responsibilities - providing attacking cover; stretching play.
    • Atypical - taking chances (hold-up player).
  • Supplementary responsibilities - applying defensive pressure.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - providing cover; providing defensive cover.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - playing safe.

Focus level: 1.5

Role categories:

  • Linking central attacker
    • Specialist - central attack creator => spearhead
    • Supported - withdrawn central attacker
  • Supported - central attack runner => second-striker
  • Number-ten central attacker
    • Central attack creator => spearhead
  • Pressuring central attacker
    • Supplementary - pressing central attacker
  • Supported - central attack goal-scorer (atypical - hold-up player)

Role category implementations:

Deep Lying Forward (CF Attack)

Description:

  • Offensive, channel-running, hold-up and fairly aggressive centre forward

Penetration score: 1.00

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Specialist responsibilities - stretching play.
  • Supported responsibilities
    • Atypical - playing safe (channel-running player); taking chances (hold-up player).
  • Supplementary responsibilities - applying defensive pressure.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - providing defensive cover.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover.

Focus level: 2.0

Role categories:

  • Central attack predator (atypical)
    • Number-nine central attacker => out-and-out-striker
      • Specialist - central attack runner
    • Designated - central attack creator => spearhead
    • Supported - central attack goal-scorer (atypical - hold-up player)
  • Central attack poacher (atypical)
    • Number-nine central attacker => out-and-out-striker
      • Central attack runner
    • Central attack goal-scorer (atypical)
    • Supported - restricted central attacker (atypical - channel-running player)
  • Number-ten central attacker
    • Central attack creator => spearhead
  • Pressuring central attacker
    • Supplementary - pressing central attacker

Role category implementations:

7. Advanced Forward

7.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Centre forward

Duties:

  • Attack

7.2. Game Description

The Advanced Forward's main role is to lead the line and look to spearhead attacking moves.

His primary duty is to be the focal point of attacking moves and he is required to both score and create goals.

His secondary role is to chase down misplaced through balls or clearances from deep, win possession and lay off passes or crosses to his teammates.

7.3. Default Player Instructions

  • Get Further Forward
  • Move Into Channels
  • Dribble More

7.4. Analysis

Advanced Forward (CF Attack)

Description:

  • Offensive, channel-running, dribbling and fairly aggressive centre forward

Penetration score: 1.00

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities
  • Specialist responsibilities - stretching play.
  • Supported responsibilities - taking chances.
  • Supplementary responsibilities - applying defensive pressure; creating chances.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - providing defensive cover; playing safe.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover.

Focus level: 2.5

Role categories:

  • Central attack predator
    • Number-nine central attacker => out-and-out-striker
      • Specialist - central attack runner
    • Supplementary - central attack creator => spearhead
    • Supported - central attack goal-scorer
  • Pressuring central attacker
    • Supplementary - pressing central attacker

8. Target Man

8.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Centre forward

Duties:

  • Support
  • Attack

8.2. Game Description

A Target Man can transform an average team into a good one by using his sheer physicality to disrupt the opposition's defence and open up space for his strike partner and supporting midfielders.

The Target Man uses his strength and aerial presence to bring teammates into play rather than relying on technical ability.

With a Support duty the Target Man will look to win flick-ons and play simple possession passes to his teammates to bring them into play.

With an Attack duty the Target Man will lead the line and open space for teammates to move into.

8.3. Default Player Instructions

  • Hold Up Ball
  • Dribble Less

Attack only:

  • Get Further Forward

8.4. Analysis

Target Man (CF Support)

Description:

  • Supporting, hold-up, restricted-dribbling and fairly aggressive centre forward

Penetration score: 0.75

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Supported responsibilities - providing attacking cover.
    • Atypical - stretching play (restricted-dribbling player); taking chances (restricted-dribbling and hold-up player).
  • Supplementary responsibilities - applying defensive pressure; playing safe.
  • Weak-designated responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - providing cover; providing defensive cover.

Focus level: 1.0

Role categories:

  • Ball-winning central attacker
    • Pressuring central attacker
      • Supplementary - pressing central attacker
    • Supported - withdrawn central attacker
    • Supplementary - restricted central attacker
  • Supported - central attack runner (atypical/system-specific - restricted-dribbling player / restricted target-man) => second-striker
  • Number-ten central attacker (system-specific)
    • Designated - central attack creator (system-specific - restricted target-man) => spearhead
  • Supported - central attack goal-scorer (atypical - restricted-dribbling and hold-up player)

Role category implementations:

Target Man (CF Attack)

Description:

  • Offensive, hold-up, restricted-dribbling and fairly aggressive centre forward

Penetration score: 1.00

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities
    • Atypical - stretching play (restricted-dribbling player).
  • Supported responsibilities
    • Atypical - taking chances (restricted-dribbling and hold-up player).
  • Supplementary responsibilities - applying defensive pressure; playing safe.
  • Weak-designated responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - providing defensive cover.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover.

Focus level: 2.0

Role categories:

  • Central attack poacher (atypical/system-specific)
    • Number-nine central attacker (atypical/system-specific) => out-and-out-striker
      • Designated - central attack runner (atypical/system-specific - restricted-dribbling player / restricted target-man)
    • Supported - central attack goal-scorer (atypical - restricted-dribbling and hold-up player)
    • Supplementary - restricted central attacker
  • Number-ten central attacker (system-specific)
    • Designated - central attack creator (system-specific - restricted target-man) => spearhead
  • Pressuring central attacker
    • Supplementary - pressing central attacker

Role category implementations:

9. Poacher

9.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Centre forward

Duties:

  • Attack

9.2. Game Description

The Poacher sits on the shoulder of the last defender looking to break the defensive line and run onto through balls from midfield.

Although the Poacher is always ready to run at his marker and is happy to cross the ball when required, his main aim is trying to put the ball in the back of the net.

His focus on scoring goals is so extreme that he rarely offers much help in constructing moves, preferring instead to remain central and sniff out opportunities in and around the box.

9.3. Default Player Instructions

  • Get Further Forward
  • Fewer Risky Passes

9.4. Analysis

Poacher (CF Attack)

Description:

  • Offensive, safe-passing, disciplined and fairly aggressive centre forward

Penetration score: 1.00

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - stretching play.
  • Specialist responsibilities - playing safe.
  • Supported responsibilities - taking chances.
  • Supplementary responsibilities - applying defensive pressure.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - providing defensive cover; creating chances.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover.

Focus level: 2.5

Role categories:

  • Central attack poacher
    • Number-nine central attacker => out-and-out-striker
      • Designated - central attack runner
    • Supported - central attack goal-scorer
    • Specialist - restricted central attacker
  • Pressuring central attacker
    • Supplementary - pressing central attacker

Role category implementations:

10. Complete Forward

10.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Centre forward

Duties:

  • Support
  • Attack

10.2. Game Description

A Complete Forward possesses all the technical attributes of a Deep Lying Forward, the goal scoring ability of a Poacher and the strength and power of a Target Man.

He is equally adept at playing in others, fashioning chances for himself and getting on the end of team moves. Such a player transcends tactical instruction and should simply be allowed to do his own thing.

With a Support duty the Complete Forward will look to drop into space, run at the defence, take long shots, drive to the flanks or play balls through the defensive line.

With an Attack duty the Complete Forward will lead the line, spearheading attacks and crafting out chances for himself and others.

10.3. Default Player Instructions

  • Roam From Position
  • Hold Up Ball
  • Dribble More
  • More Risky Passes

Attack only:

  • Get Further Forward
  • Move Into Channels

10.4. Analysis

Complete Forward (CF Support)

Description:

  • Supporting, roaming, dribbling, hold-up, ball-playing, creative and fairly aggressive centre forward

Penetration score: 0.75

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities
  • Specialist responsibilities - creating chances.
  • Supported responsibilities
    • Atypical - taking chances (hold-up player).
  • Supplementary responsibilities - applying defensive pressure; stretching play.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - providing defensive cover.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover; playing safe.

Focus level: 3.5

Role categories:

  • Supplementary - central attack runner => second-striker
  • Number-ten central attacker
    • Specialist - central attack creator => spearhead
  • Pressuring central attacker
    • Supplementary - pressing central attacker
  • Supported - central attack goal-scorer (atypical - hold-up player)

Role category implementations:

Complete Forward (CF Attack)

Description:

  • Offensive, roaming, channel-running, dribbling, hold-up, ball-playing, creative and fairly aggressive centre forward

Penetration score: 1.00

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities
  • Specialist responsibilities - stretching play; creating chances.
  • Supported responsibilities
    • Atypical - taking chances (hold-up player).
  • Supplementary responsibilities - applying defensive pressure.
  • Weak-supported responsibilities - providing defensive cover.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing cover; providing attacking cover; playing safe.

Focus level: 5.0

Role categories:

  • Central attack predator (atypical)
    • Number-nine central attacker => out-and-out-striker
      • Specialist - central attack runner
    • Specialist - central attack creator => spearhead
    • Supported - central attack goal-scorer (atypical - hold-up player)
  • Number-ten central attacker
    • Central attack creator => spearhead
  • Pressuring central attacker
    • Supplementary - pressing central attacker

Role category implementations:

11. Defensive Forward

11.1. Variations

Positions:

  • Centre forward

Duties:

  • Defend
  • Support

11.2. Game Description

The Defensive Forward is becoming more and more important in the modern game.

His main duty is to put pressure on the defensive line, chase down the man in possession and loose balls and generally stop the opposing defence having any time on the ball. In an attacking sense he keeps things as simple as possible, preferring to bring other players into the game than create his own chances.

With a Defend duty the Defensive Forward will stay a little deeper and put pressure on defensive midfielders.

With a Support duty the Defensive Forward will press the back line and put pressure on the central defenders.

11.3. Default Player Instructions

  • Tackle Harder
  • Hold Up Ball
  • Fewer Risky Passes

Defend only:

  • Hold Position

11.4. Analysis

Defensive Forward (CF Defend)

Description:

  • Holding, hold-up, safe-passing and hard-tackling centre forward aggressor

Penetration score: 0.50

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

  • Designated responsibilities - providing attacking cover; playing safe.
  • Specialist responsibilities - applying defensive pressure.
  • Supported responsibilities
    • Atypical - taking chances (holding and hold-up player).
  • Weak-designated responsibilities - providing cover.
  • Non-contributive responsibilities - providing defensive cover; stretching play; creating chances.

Focus level: 4.0

Role categories:

  • Ball-winning central attacker (atypical)
    • Pressuring central attacker
      • Specialist - pressing central attacker
    • Designated - withdrawn central attacker
    • Designated - restricted central attacker (atypical - as atypical central attack goal-scorer and not a central attack creator)
  • Supported - central attack goal-scorer (atypical - holding and hold-up player)

Role category implementations:

Defensive Forward (CF Support)

Description:

  • Supporting, hold-up, safe-passing and hard-tackling centre forward aggressor

Penetration score: 0.75

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation: