Guide to Football
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  • The flanks = deep wide players + advanced wide players
  • Deep wide players = full backs (FB) + wing backs (WB)
  • Advanced wide players = wing midfielders (WM) + wing forwards (WF)

An appropriate responsibility distribution* on the flanks can be achieved by considering key tactical roles, counterbalancing combinations and the use of system-specific tactical roles.

The information provided for each of these considerations is explained in the Playing System Balance guide and the associated tactical theory* guides that it links to.

Example combinations of player roles and duties on the flanks are provided in the Role Combinations guide.

1. Key Tactical Roles

It is recommended to use attacking wide players*, shielding wide players*, pressuring wide players* and wide creators*, as detailed below.

1.1. Attacking Wide Players

Number of players: 1

Tactical roles:

Player Roles & Duties

  • 4.0 - Specialist - Complete Wing Back (FB/WB Support/Attack)
  • 3.0 - Specialist - Winger (WM/WF Attack)
  • 2.5 - Designated - Wing Back (FB/WB Attack)
  • 2.0 - Designated - Full Back (FB Attack)
  • 1.5 - Designated - Wing Back (FB/WB Support)
  • 1.5 - Designated - Wide Midfielder (WM Attack)

System-specific:

Atypical:

  • [if not used as system-specific] 2.0 - Designated - Wide Target Man (WF Attack) - restricted-dribbling player

Vacating:

  • 2.5 - Designated - Inverted Winger (WM Attack) - inverted wide player
  • 2.5 - Designated - Inside Forward (WF Attack) - inverted wide player

1.2. Shielding Wide Players

Number of players: 1

Tactical roles:

Player Roles & Duties

  • 5.5 - Supplementary - Inverted Wing Back (FB/WB Attack)
  • 5.0 - Designated - Defensive Full Back (FB Defend)
  • 4.5 - Supplementary - Inverted Wing Back (FB/WB Defend)
  • 4.0 - Supplementary - Complete Wing Back (FB/WB Support/Attack)
  • 3.0 - Supplementary - Inverted Wing Back (FB/WB Support)
  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Full Back (FB Defend)
  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Wing Back (FB/WB Defend)
  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Wing Back (FB/WB Attack)
  • 2.0 - Supplementary - Full Back (FB Attack)
  • 1.5 - Supplementary - Wing Back (FB/WB Support)
  • 0.5 - Supplementary - Full Back (FB Support)

Atypical:

  • 4.5 - Specialist - Trequartista (WF Attack) - advanced wide player

1.3. Pressuring Wide Players

Number of players: 1

Tactical roles:

Player Roles & Duties

  • 5.5 - Supplementary - Ball Winning Midfielder (Off-Centre CM Defend - auxiliary* narrow* WM)
  • 5.5 - Supplementary - Wide Playmaker (WM Attack)
  • 4.5 - Supplementary - Raumdeuter (WF Attack)
  • 4.0 - Supplementary - Wide Playmaker (WM Support)
  • 4.0 - Supplementary - Advanced Playmaker (WF Attack)
  • 3.5 - Specialist - Defensive Winger (WM Defend)
  • 3.5 - Supplementary - Advanced Playmaker (WF Support)
  • 3.0 - Supplementary - Winger (WM/WF Attack)
  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Ball Winning Midfielder (Off-Centre CM Support - auxiliary narrow WM)
  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Wide Midfielder (WM Defend)
  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Inverted Winger (WM Attack)
  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Inside Forward (WF Support/Attack)
  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Wide Target Man (WF Support)
  • 2.0 - Supplementary - Winger (WM/WF Support)
  • 2.0 - Specialist - Defensive Winger (WM Support)
  • 2.0 - Supplementary - Wide Target Man (WF Attack)
  • 1.5 - Supplementary - Wide Midfielder (WM Attack)
  • 1.5 - Supplementary - Inverted Winger (WM Support)
  • 0.5 - Supplementary - Wide Midfielder (WM Support)

Atypical:

  • 5.5 - Supplementary - Ball Winning Midfielder (Off-Centre DM Defend - auxiliary narrow WB) - deep wide player
  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Ball Winning Midfielder (Off-Centre DM Support - auxiliary narrow WB) - deep wide player
If using lone wide players
  • 5.5 - Specialist - Ball Winning Midfielder (Off-Centre CM Defend - auxiliary narrow WM)
  • 4.5 - Supplementary - Advanced Playmaker (Off-Centre AM Support - auxiliary narrow WF)
  • 4.0 - Supplementary - Mezzala (Off-Centre CM Attack - auxiliary narrow CM)
  • 4.0 - Designated - Shadow Striker (Off-Centre AM Attack - auxiliary narrow WF)
  • 3.5 - Supplementary - Advanced Playmaker (Off-Centre CM/AM Attack - auxiliary narrow WM/WF)
  • 3.0 - Supplementary - Advanced Playmaker (Off-Centre CM Support - auxiliary narrow WM)
  • 3.0 - Supplementary - Mezzala (Off-Centre CM Support - auxiliary narrow CM)
  • 2.5 - Specialist - Ball Winning Midfielder (Off-Centre CM Support - auxiliary narrow WM)
  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Roaming Playmaker (Off-Centre CM Support - auxiliary narrow WM)
  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Enganche (Off-Centre AM Attack - auxiliary narrow WF)
  • 1.5 - Supplementary - Box To Box Midfielder (Off-Centre CM Support - auxiliary narrow WM)
  • 1.5 - Supplementary - Attacking Midfielder (Off-Centre AM Attack - auxiliary narrow WF)
  • 0.5 - Supplementary - Attacking Midfielder (Off-Centre AM Support - auxiliary narrow WF)

Atypical:

  • 5.5 - Specialist - Ball Winning Midfielder (Off-Centre DM Defend - auxiliary narrow WB) - deep wide player
  • 2.5 - Specialist - Ball Winning Midfielder (Off-Centre DM Support - auxiliary narrow WB) - deep wide player
  • 0.5 - Supplementary - Defensive Midfielder (Off-Centre DM Support - auxiliary narrow WB) - deep wide player

1.4. Wide Creators

Number of players: 1

Tactical roles:

Player Roles & Duties

  • 4.5 - Specialist - Trequartista (WF Attack)
  • 4.0 - Specialist - Complete Wing Back (FB/WB Support/Attack)
  • 3.5 - Supplementary - Defensive Winger (WM Defend)
  • 3.0 - Specialist - Winger (WM/WF Attack)
  • 2.5 - Specialist - Wing Back (FB/WB Attack)
  • 2.0 - Designated - Full Back (FB Attack)
  • 2.0 - Specialist - Winger (WM/WF Support)
  • 2.0 - Supplementary - Defensive Winger (WM Support)
  • 1.5 - Supported - Wing Back (FB/WB Support)
  • 1.5 - Supported - Wide Midfielder (WM Attack)
  • 0.5 - Supported - Wide Midfielder (WM Support)
  • 0.5 - Supplementary - Full Back (FB Support)

System-specific:

  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Wide Target Man (WF Support) - restricted flank-target-man*
  • 2.0 - Supplementary - Wide Target Man (WF Attack) - restricted flank-target-man

Vacating:

  • 5.5 - Specialist - Inverted Wing Back (FB/WB Attack)
  • 5.5 - Supplementary - Wide Playmaker (WM Attack) - inverted wide player
  • 4.0 - Supplementary - Wide Playmaker (WM Support) - inverted wide player
  • 4.0 - Supplementary - Advanced Playmaker (WF Attack) - inverted wide player
  • 3.5 - Supplementary - Advanced Playmaker (WF Support) - inverted wide player
  • 3.0 - Supplementary - Inverted Wing Back (FB/WB Support) - inverted wide player
  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Inverted Winger (WM Attack) - inverted wide player
  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Inside Forward (WF Support/Attack) - inverted wide player
  • 1.5 - Supplementary - Inverted Winger (WM Support) - inverted wide player

2. Other Tactical Roles

2.1. Wide Runners

Player Roles & Duties

  • All of the attacking wide players listed separately above
  • 4.5 - Supplementary - Trequartista (WF Attack)
  • 2.0 - Supplementary - Winger (WM/WF Support)
  • 2.0 - Supported - Defensive Winger (WM Support)
  • 0.5 - Supported - Full Back (FB Support)
  • 0.5 - Supported - Wide Midfielder (WM Support)

Vacating:

  • 4.0 - Supported - Advanced Playmaker (WF Attack) - inverted wide player
  • 3.5 - Supported - Advanced Playmaker (WF Support) - inverted wide player
  • 2.5 - Supported - Inside Forward (WF Support) - inverted wide player
  • 1.5 - Supported - Inverted Winger (WM Support) - inverted wide player

2.2. Protecting Wide Players

Player Roles & Duties

  • All of the shielding wide players listed separately above

2.3. Pressing Wide Players

Player Roles & Duties

  • All of the pressuring wide players listed separately above
  • 4.0 - Supported - Shadow Striker (Off-Centre AM Attack - auxiliary* narrow* WF)

2.4. Withdrawn Wide Players

Player Roles & Duties

  • 5.0 - Designated - Defensive Full Back (FB Defend)
  • 2.5 - Designated - Full Back (FB Defend)
  • 2.5 - Designated - Wing Back (FB/WB Defend)
  • 2.5 - Designated - Wide Midfielder (WM Defend)
  • 2.5 - Designated - Wide Target Man (WF Support)
  • 0.5 - Supported - Full Back (FB Support)
  • 0.5 - Supported - Wide Midfielder (WM Support)

Atypical:

  • 3.5 - Designated - Defensive Winger (WM Defend) - dribbling player
  • 2.0 - Supported - Defensive Winger (WM Support) - dribbling player

Atypical and vacating:

  • 4.0 - Supported - Advanced Playmaker (WF Attack) - dribbling and inverted wide player
  • 3.5 - Supported - Advanced Playmaker (WF Support) - inverted wide player
  • 2.5 - Supported - Inside Forward (WF Support) - dribbling and inverted wide player
  • 1.5 - Supported - Inverted Winger (WM Support) - dribbling and inverted wide player

2.5. Restricted Wide Players

Player Roles & Duties

  • 5.0 - Specialist - Defensive Full Back (FB Defend)
  • 2.5 - Designated - Full Back (FB Defend)
  • 2.5 - Designated - Wing Back (FB/WB Defend)
  • 2.5 - Designated - Wide Midfielder (WM Defend)
  • 2.5 - Supplementary - Wide Target Man (WF Support)
  • 2.0 - Supplementary - Wide Target Man (WF Attack)
  • 1.5 - Supported - Wing Back (FB/WB Support)
  • 1.5 - Supported - Wide Midfielder (WM Attack)
  • 0.5 - Supported - Full Back (FB Support)
  • 0.5 - Supported - Wide Midfielder (WM Support)

System-specific:

  • 3.5 - Supported - Defensive Winger (WM Defend) - defensive wide player*
  • 2.0 - Supported - Defensive Winger (WM Support) - defensive wide player

Atypical:

  • 4.5 - Supplementary - Raumdeuter (WF Attack) - roaming and channel-running player

3. Counterbalancing Combinations

It is recommended to assign appropriate counterbalancing* tactical roles* when using particular types of withdrawn wide player.

3.1. Withdrawn Wide Players

A withdrawn wide player who focuses more on providing attacking cover*, such as ...

  • ... Full Back (FB Defend),
  • Wing Back (FB/WB Defend),
  • Defensive Full Back (FB Defend),
  • Wide Midfielder (WM Defend), or
  • Wide Target Man (WF Defend) ...

... Can be balanced with a wide runner and creator on the same flank who focuses more on stretching play* and creating chances* in more advanced areas on the flank, such as ...

  • Wing Back (FB/WB Attack),
  • Complete Wing Back (FB/WB Support/Attack),
  • Winger (WM/WF Attack), or
  • Trequartista (WF Attack).

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