Roles & Duties

For each position in your formation you will need to select a player role and duty. There are several different roles to choose from, each with up to three available duties.

Each possible role and duty combination in a particular position gives a different set of player instructions to whichever player is selected in that position. These instructions are also affected by your team instructions, as well as any specific player instructions that you set to further refine the player's behaviour later.

The three main duties are defend, support and attack. These essentially indicate how defensive or attacking the player's instructions are. For some roles an automatic duty can be set, which will effectively assign one of these three duties according to how defensive or attacking the currently set mentality is. Two further duties, stopper and cover, are also available for roles in the central defender positions but these will be discussed later. Generally, to create a well balanced tactic, duties should be evenly mixed across all areas of the pitch.

Selecting Auto Assign Roles and Auto Assign Duties from the Tactic drop-down menu will automatically assign a set of generic roles with balanced duties. However, as discussed earlier, the more structured your team shape is, the more important it is to specifically define each player's responsibilities by choosing more specialist roles.

Roles and duties should be chosen by considering the following:

  • Which roles and duties suit your tactical style - this will also be discussed in each of the positional analyses.
  • Which roles and duties suit the abilities of your individual players - to help you with this the Overview of Player Roles & Duties below gives basic details for each role and duty combination including its description, key attributes, active player instructions and useful preferred moves.

Read Inverting the Pyramid to further improve your tactical knowledge and understanding.

The positional analyses will assume for simplicity that a flexible team shape is being used and that the only other tactical instructions set are those suggested for each tactical style (when tactical styles are specifically discussed). You will therefore have to consider the effects of your chosen team instructions and any specific player instructions set. For example, a Limited Defender will normally make more direct passes but these will be shortened if you are using the Play Out Of Defence team instruction.

Overview of Player Roles & Duties

Provided below are slides for each available player role. These contain the following information:

Role description - this is the description given for the role in the game. This should give you a basic idea of how a player is instructed to play when using a particular role and duty.

Active player instructions - these are the specific player instructions marked as already active for each role and duty combination as given in the game. This should give you a further understanding of how a player is instructed to play when using a particular role and duty.

Key attributes - these are the attributes considered to be the most important for each role and duty combination as given in the game. This should help you decide whether a player's attributes make him suitable for a particular role and duty.

Preferred moves - these include complementary preferred moves and potentially useful preferred moves. This should help you decide whether a player's preferred moves make him suitable for a particular role and duty. The complementary preferred moves are those that essentially replicate the instructions given by the role and duty. These are not moves that it would necessarily be beneficial for a player to learn, or moves that need to be unlearned. However, they will cause a player to be less tactically flexible as he may not be suitable for other roles and duties as a result. The moves may also become unsuitable as a result of your team instructions and specific player instructions. The useful preferred moves are those that you may wish to consider in particular for a player assigned that role to learn, either by training or tutoring. Preferred moves that can be essentially replicated by player instructions are not included. Further details of which types of players each preferred move can be useful for are provided in the Preferred Moves guide.

Goalkeepers

Goalkeeper

The Goalkeeper role focuses on simple and risk-free use of the ball, with the keeper simply looking to play the ball away from goal to an open player. If a player is not open, the keeper will play it long and safe.

The Goalkeeper will distribute the ball differently between match strategies. For more cautious tactics, he will aim to clear the ball deep whereas for more aggressive ones he will feed the defence in order to start off passing moves.

Active Player Instructions

Defend

Already active: none

Key Attributes

Defend

Goalkeeping: Aerial Ability, Command of Area, Communication, First Touch, Handling, Kicking, One On Ones, Reflexes, Throwing

Mental: Anticipation, Decisions, Positioning

Physical: Agility

Preferred Moves

Useful Preferred Moves

Uses Long Throw To Start Counter Attacks

Sweeper Keeper

The Sweeper Keeper aims to perform two roles, those of the standard Goalkeeper and the outfield Sweeper.

Alongside standard goalkeeping duties, he will sweep up balls in front of and wide of the penalty area and initiate counter-attacking moves with direct through balls to breaking players.

With a defend duty, the Sweeper Keeper will be a lot more cautious, but will still play counter-attacking balls when they are on.

With a support duty, the Sweeper Keeper will stray just outside the penalty box and look to play counter attacking passes.

With an attack duty, the Sweeper Keeper will travel some distance outside his area and be happy to move out with the ball at his feet.

Active Player Instructions

Defend

None

Support & Attack

More Risky Passes

Attack Only

Dribble More

Key Attributes

Defend, Support & Attack

Goalkeeping: Aerial Ability, Command of Area, First Touch, Handling, Kicking, One On Ones, Reflexes, Throwing

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Concentration, Positioning

Physical: Agility

Defend & Support Only

Mental: Decisions

Support & Attack Only

Goalkeeping: Rushing Out

Physical: Acceleration

Attack Only

Goalkeeping: Eccentricity

Preferred Moves

Useful Preferred Moves

Uses Long Throw To Start Counter Attacks

Read the analysis on goalkeepers

Central Defenders

Central Defender

The main job of the Central Defender is to stop the opposing attackers from playing and to clear the ball from danger when required.

However, especially for more aggressive tactics, he must also possess the technique and composure to be able to help the team maintain possession and lay off simple passes to more creative players.

With a defend duty, the Central Defender will stay in line with his defensive partner and look to break up attacks, mark opposing forwards and prevent the ball from getting into the box.

With a stopper duty, the Central Defender will push ahead of the defensive line and close down players before they get to the area.

With a cover duty, the Central Defender will drop a little deeper and sweep up through balls behind the defensive line.

Active Player Instructions

Defend, Stopper & Cover

Shoot Less Often, Dribble Less, Fewer Risky Passes

Defend Only

Hold Position

Key Attributes

Defend, Stopper & Cover

Technical: Heading, Marking, Tackling

Mental: Anticipation, Bravery, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Positioning

Physical: Jumping Reach, Strength

Defend & Stopper Only

Mental: Aggression

Cover Only

Physical: Acceleration

Preferred Moves

Defend, Stopper & Cover

Complementary: Plays No Through Balls, Refrains From Taking Long Shots, Runs With Ball Rarely, Stays Back At All Times

Ball-Playing Defender

The main job of the Ball-Playing Defender is to stop the opposing attackers from playing and to clear the ball from danger when required.

However, unlike standard Central Defenders the Ball-Playing Defender is encouraged to launch defence splitting through balls from deep to generate counter-attacking opportunities.

With a defend duty, the Ball-Playing Defender will stay in line with his defensive partner and look to break up attacks, mark opposing forwards and prevent the ball from getting into the box.

With a stopper duty, the Ball-Playing Defender will push ahead of the defensive line and close down players before they get to the area.

With a cover duty, the Ball-Playing Defender will drop a little deeper and sweep up through balls behind the defensive line.

Active Player Instructions

Defend, Stopper & Cover

More Risky Passes

Defend Only

Hold Position

Key Attributes

Defend, Stopper & Cover

Technical: First Touch, Heading, Marking, Passing, Tackling, Technique

Mental: Anticipation, Bravery, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Positioning, Vision

Physical: Jumping Reach, Strength

Defend & Stopper Only

Mental: Aggression

Cover Only

Physical: Acceleration

Preferred Moves

Defend, Stopper & Cover

Complementary: Tries Killer Balls Often, Stays Back At All Times

Limited Defender

The main job of the Limited Defender is to stop the opposing attackers from playing and to clear the ball from danger when required.

The aim is to win the ball without giving away a free kick and get it cleared safely up field in a no-nonsense manner.

With a defend duty, the Limited Defender will stay in line with his defensive partner and look to break up attacks, mark opposing forwards and prevent the ball from getting into the box.

With a stopper duty, the Limited Defender will push ahead of the defensive line and close down players before they get to the area.

With a cover duty, the Limited Defender will drop a little deeper and sweep up through balls behind the defensive line.

Active Player Instructions

Defend, Stopper & Cover

Shoot Less Often, Dribble Less, More Direct Passes, Fewer Risky Passes

Defend Only

Hold Position

Key Attributes

Defend, Stopper & Cover

Technical: Heading, Marking, Tackling

Mental: Determination, Positioning

Physical: Jumping Reach, Strength

Preferred Moves

Defend, Stopper & Cover

Complementary: Plays No Through Balls, Refrains From Taking Long Shots, Runs With Ball Rarely, Stays Back At All Times, Tries Long Range Passes

Sweeper

The Sweeper drops behind the defensive line, aiming to sweep up through balls, pick up extra attackers and make goal saving tackles, blocks and secure possession.

His exceptional athleticism and reading of the game enable him to cover for defensive errors, take possession of loose balls from a deep position and secure possession.

He rarely, if ever, ventures forward.

Active Player Instructions

Defend

Shoot Less Often, Dribble Less, Hold Position

Key Attributes

Defend

Technical: Heading, Marking, Tackling

Mental: Anticipation, Bravery, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Positioning

Physical: Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Jumping Reach, Strength

Preferred Moves

Defend

Complementary: Refrains From Taking Long Shots, Runs With Ball Rarely, Stays Back At All Times

Libero

The Libero drops behind the defensive line, aiming to sweep up through balls, pick up extra attackers and make goal saving tackles, blocks and interceptions.

His exceptional athleticism and reading of the game enable him to cover for defensive errors, take possession of loose balls from a deep position and secure possession. However, he will also roam forwards in support of the midfield when the team has possession.

With a support duty, the Libero will step into the midfield when possession is secured and look to play balls through to attacking teammates.

With an attack duty, the Libero ventures much higher up the pitch to provide a goal scoring threat from distance alongside looking to play in team mates.

Active Player Instructions

Support & Attack

More Risky Passes

Attack Only

Shoot More Often, Get Further Forward

Key Attributes

Support & Attack

Technical: Dribbling, Heading, Marking, Passing, Tackling

Mental: Anticipation, Bravery, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Positioning, Teamwork, Vision

Physical: Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Jumping Reach, Strength

Attack Only

Technical: Long Shots

Mental: Flair

Physical: Pace, Stamina

Preferred Moves

Support & Attack

Complementary: Tries Killer Balls Often

Attack Only

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Shoots From Distance

Read the analysis on central defenders

Central Midfielders

Defensive Midfielder

The Defensive Midfielder's main duties are to protect the defensive line from breaking attackers by closing them down quickly and to support the creative midfielders when in possession.

A key job of the Defensive Midfielder is to keep hold of the ball while the defence and attack are reorganising themselves after a period of opposition pressure.

With a defend duty, the Defensive Midfielder will hold his position between the midfield and defensive lines and recycle possession from a deep position.

With a support duty, the Defensive Midfielder will step into the midfield line and support attacking moves.

Active Player Instructions

Defend Only

Dribble Less, Hold Position, Close Down More

Support Only

Tackle Harder

Key Attributes

Defend & Support

Technical: Marking, Passing, Tackling

Mental: Aggression, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Positioning, Teamwork, Work Rate

Physical: Acceleration, Stamina, Strength

Preferred Moves

Defend & Support

Useful: Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank, Stops Play

Defend Only

Complementary: Runs With Ball Rarely, Stays Back At All Times

Support Only

Complementary: Dives Into Tackles

Deep-Lying Playmaker

The Deep-Lying Playmaker operates in the space between the defence and the midfield and aims to initiate attacking moves via pinpoint passes to players positioned higher up the pitch.

Although primarily a creative player, the Deep-Lying Playmaker also has to be competent in the art of defence.

With a defend duty, the Deep-Lying Playmaker will fulfil extra defensive responsibilities by holding position in front of the defence and will rarely look to support attacks.

With a support duty, the Deep-Lying Playmaker will bring the ball out of defence and look for long shot opportunities as well as supplying through balls.

Active Player Instructions

Defend & Support

Shoot Less Often, More Risky Passes, Hold Position

Key Attributes

Defend & Support

Technical: First Touch, Passing, Technique

Mental: Composure, Decisions, Teamwork, Vision

Physical: Balance

Defend Only

Mental: Positioning

Support Only

Mental: Off The Ball

Preferred Moves

Defend & Support

Complementary: Refrains From Taking Long Shots, Tries Killer Balls Often, Stays Back At All Times

Useful: Comes Deep To Get Ball, Curls Ball, Dictates Tempo, Stops Play

Ball-Winning Midfielder

Playing in central midfield the Ball-Winning Midfielder's main function is to close down the opposition and win the ball.

However, he also needs the technical skills to help the team keep possession and fashion out chances for players with attacking roles.

With a defend duty, the Ball-Winning Midfielder looks to win the ball in the centre of midfield and quickly lay it off to a more creative player.

With a support duty, the Ball-Winning Midfielder aims to win the ball back high up the pitch and support resulting counter attacking opportunities.

Active Player Instructions

Defend & Support

Close Down Much More, Tackle Harder

Defend Only

Dribble Less, Fewer Risky Passes, Hold Position

Key Attributes

Defend & Support

Technical: Marking, Tackling

Mental: Aggression, Bravery, Determination, Positioning, Teamwork, Work Rate

Physical: Acceleration, Stamina, Strength

Preferred Moves

Defend & Support

Complementary: Dives Into Tackles

Useful: Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank, Stops Play

Defend Only

Complementary: Plays No Through Balls, Runs With Ball Rarely, Stays Back At All Times

Support Only

Useful: Arrives Late In Opposition Area, Shoots With Power

Anchor Man

Sometimes referred to as the 'Water Carrier', the Anchor Man's main duty is to sit in the hole between the defence and the midfield, intercepting moves, winning the ball and laying off simple passes to his more creative teammates.

Since his key job is to anchor the defence he doesn't venture too far from his position either to close down the opposition or to support the more advanced players.

Active Player Instructions

Defend

Shoot Less Often, Dribble Less, Fewer Risky Passes, Hold Position

Key Attributes

Defend

Technical: Heading, Marking, Passing, Tackling

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Positioning

Physical: Strength

Preferred Moves

Defend

Complementary: Plays No Through Balls, Refrains From Taking Long Shots, Runs With Ball Rarely, Stays Back At All Times

Useful: Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank, Stops Play

Half Back

The Half Back looks to serve a role somewhere between that of an aggressive sweeper and a defensive midfielder. With a Half Back, the central defenders themselves will push higher up the pitch while the Half Back drops deeper than a standard defensive midfielder and, in addition to his defensive duties, looks to offer an outlet for quickly recycling possession when the team's attacking play breaks down.

Active Player Instructions

Defend

Dribble Less, Hold Position

Key Attributes

Defend

Technical: First Touch, Heading, Marking, Passing, Tackling, Technique

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Positioning, Teamwork, Vision

Physical: Acceleration, Balance, Stamina, Strength

Preferred Moves

Defend

Complementary: Runs With Ball Rarely, Stays Back At All Times

Useful: Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank, Stops Play

Regista

The Regista is a more aggressive version of the deep-lying playmaker suitable for possession-orientated systems that press high up the pitch. Given complete freedom to dictate play from deep positions, the Regista offers a dynamic and unpredictable creative outlet from behind the attack who seeks to maintain intense pressure by constantly looking for new chances as his more advanced teammates get into goalscoring positions.

Active Player Instructions

Support

More Risky Passes, Roam From Position

Key Attributes

Support

Technical: First Touch, Passing, Technique

Mental: Aggression, Anticipation, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Off The Ball, Positioning, Teamwork, Vision

Physical: Balance

Preferred Moves

Support

Complementary: Tries Killer Balls Often

Useful: Comes Deep To Get Ball, Curls Ball, Dictates Tempo

Roaming Playmaker

The Roaming Playmaker is the heartbeat of his team, driving forward with the ball to spearhead attacks as well as tracking back to cover defensively. Always offering a passing option to teammates, the Roaming Playmaker must have the physical attributes to maintain a high intensity as well as the technical attributes to stamp his authority on the game.

He will look to pick the ball up in deep positions and work the ball forwards with urgency, all the while keeping up with play. The Roaming Playmaker will often camp on the edge of the penalty area looking for room to shoot or to try that killer ball which creates a goalscoring opportunity.

Active Player Instructions

Support

Dribble More, Roam From Position

Key Attributes

Support

Technical: Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Long Shots, Passing, Technique

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Off The Ball, Positioning, Vision, Work Rate

Physical: Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Natural Fitness, Pace, Stamina, Strength

Preferred Moves

Support

Complementary: Runs With Ball Often

Useful: Arrives Late In Opposition Area, Comes Deep To Get Ball, Curls Ball, Dictates Tempo, Plays One-Twos, Shoots With Power

Central Midfielder

The Central Midfielder has the technical ability to play attacking, support or defensive roles, but tends to lack the stamina, vision and drive to perform more than one simultaneously.

With a defend duty, the Central Midfielder stays back in front of the defence and plays a simple supporting game for those playing further up the pitch.

With a support duty, the Central Midfielder looks to hold his position in the middle of the park and play balls into the players ahead of him.

With an attack duty, the Central Midfielder looks to get into the box to support the forwards, drift wide to support the flanks in the final third and play in men ahead of him.

With an automatic duty, the Central Midfielder will switch automatically between defend, support and attack duties according to your team mentality.

Active Player Instructions

Defend Only

Hold Position, Close Down More

Support

None

Attack Only

Get Further Forward

Key Attributes

Defend, Support & Attack

Technical: First Touch, Passing

Mental: Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Teamwork, Work Rate

Physical: Stamina

Defend Only

Technical: Heading

Defend & Support Only

Technical: Marking, Tackling

Mental: Positioning

Support & Attack Only

Mental: Off The Ball

Attack Only

Technical: Finishing, Long Shots

Physical: Acceleration

Preferred Moves

Defend, Support & Attack

Useful: Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank

Defend Only

Complementary: Stays Back At All Times

Useful: Stops Play

Support Only

Useful: Arrives Late In Opposition Area

Support & Attack Only

Useful: Shoots With Power

Attack Only

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible

Useful: Gets Into Opposition Area

Box-to-Box Midfielder

The non-stop dynamism of the Box-to-Box Midfielder enables him to contribute greatly to both defending and attacking.

In attack, he pushes up to support the forwards, often surging late into the box to get on the end of crosses and pullbacks as well as providing a threat from distance.

In defence, he harries attacking midfielders and helps protect the defensive line.

Active Player Instructions

Support

Roam From Position

Key Attributes

Support

Technical: Finishing, First Touch, Long Shots, Passing, Tackling

Mental: Anticipation, Bravery, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Off The Ball, Positioning, Work Rate

Physical: Acceleration, Balance, Natural Fitness, Stamina, Strength

Preferred Moves

Support

Useful: Arrives Late In Opposition Area or Gets Into Opposition Area, Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank, Shoots With Power

Advanced Playmaker

The Advanced Playmaker can operate in the central midfield, attacking midfield or wide forward positions.

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.

Active Player Instructions

Support & Attack (MC)

Shoot Less Often, More Risky Passes

Attack Only (MC)

Dribble More

Support & Attack (AMC)

Shoot Less Often, More Risky Passes

Support Only (AMC)

Hold Position

Attack Only (AMC)

Dribble More

Support & Attack (AML/AMR)

Shoot Less Often, Cut Inside With Ball, More Risky Passes, Cross Left Often

Attack Only (AML/AMR)

Dribble More

Key Attributes

Support & Attack

Technical: First Touch, Passing, Technique

Mental: Composure, Decisions, Flair, Teamwork, Vision

Attack Only

Technical: Dribbling

Mental: Anticipation, Off The Ball

Preferred Moves

Support & Attack

Complementary: Cuts Inside, Refrains From Taking Long Shots, Tries Killer Balls Often

Useful: Arrives Late In Opposition Area, Comes Deep To Get Ball, Curls Ball, Dictates Tempo, Plays One-Twos

Attack Only

Complementary: Runs With Ball Often, Runs With Ball Through Centre

Useful: Knocks Ball Past Opponent

Attacking Midfielder

The Attacking Midfielder operates higher up the pitch than the 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.

Active Player Instructions

Support

None

Attack Only

Get Further Forward

Key Attributes

Support & Attack

Technical: First Touch, Long Shots, Passing, Technique

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Off The Ball, Teamwork, Vision

Support Only

Mental: Positioning

Attack Only

Technical: Finishing

Mental: Concentration

Preferred Moves

Support & Attack

Useful: Curls Ball, Shoots With Power

Attack Only

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Gets Into Opposition Area

Useful: Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Plays One-Twos

Trequartista

The Trequartista can operate in the attacking midfield or centre forward positions.

While similar to the Advanced Playmaker in that he aims to drop into 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.

Active Player Instructions

Attack

Dribble More, More Risky Passes, Hold Position, Move Into Channels, Roam From Position, Close Down Much Less, Ease Off Tackles

Key Attributes

Attack

Technical: Finishing, First Touch, Passing, Technique

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Flair, Off The Ball, Vision

Physical: Agility

Preferred Moves

Attack

Complementary: Moves Into Channels, Runs With Ball Often, Runs With Ball Through Centre, Tries Killer Balls Often, Does Not Dive Into Tackles

Useful: Arrives Late In Opposition Area, Curls Ball, Dictates Tempo, Plays One-Twos, Shoots With Power

Enganche

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. It differs to Trequartista, who likes to roam from his position, drifting around and looking for space between the lines.

Active Player Instructions

Attack

Dribble Less, More Risky Passes, Close Down Much Less

Key Attributes

Attack

Technical: First Touch, Passing, Technique

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Flair, Off The Ball, Vision

Preferred Moves

Attack

Complementary: Runs With Ball Rarely, Tries Killer Balls Often

Useful: Arrives Late In Opposition Area, Curls Ball, Dictates Tempo, Plays One-Twos, Shoots With Power

Shadow Striker

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.

Active Player Instructions

Attack

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

Key Attributes

Attack

Technical: Finishing, First Touch, Long Shots, Passing, Technique

Mental: Aggression, Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Determination, Off The Ball, Work Rate

Physical: Acceleration, Agility, Pace, Stamina, Strength

Preferred Moves

Attack

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Gets Into Opposition Area, Moves Into Channels, Runs With Ball Often, Runs With Ball Through Centre, Tries Killer Balls Often

Useful: Curls Ball, Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Likes To Try To Beat Offside Trap, Likes To Lob Keeper, Likes To Round Keeper, Places Shots, Plays One-Twos, Tries First Time Shots

Read the analysis on central midfielders

Wide Players

Full Back

The Full Back is a key player in modern football, having to supplement his traditional defensive duties with overlapping runs down the wing to support forward play and help attacks overload the final third.

Although primarily a defensive player, he must be prepared to get forward when the team needs extra width.

With a defend duty, the Full Back will stay back with the defensive line and make simple possession passes down the flanks or into central midfield.

With a support duty, the Full Back will support the midfield by providing extra width and will look for crosses and through balls when the opportunity for each arises.

With an attack duty, the Full Back supplements his defensive responsibilities by overlapping the midfield and providing first time crosses into the area.

With an automatic duty, the Full Back will switch automatically between defend, support and attack duties according to your team mentality.

Active Player Instructions

Defend Only

Fewer Risky Passes, Hold Position

Defend & Support Only

Cross From Deep

Attack Only

Cross More Often, Get Further Forward

Key Attributes

Defend, Support & Attack

Technical: Marking, Tackling

Mental: Anticipation, Concentration, Positioning, Teamwork

Physical: Acceleration, Stamina

Support Only

Technical: Passing

Suport & Attack Only

Technical: Crossing

Mental: Work Rate

Attack Only

Technical: Dribbling, First Touch

Mental: Off The Ball

Physical: Pace

Preferred Moves

Defend, Support & Attack

Useful: Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank

Defend Only

Complementary: Plays No Through Balls, Stays Back At All Times

Attack Only

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible

Useful: Curls Ball, Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Plays One-Twos

Wing Back

Usually playing out wide with no wing support, the Wing Back must fulfil all the attacking and defensive duties of wingers and full backs.

In attack he must be prepared to run at his man and put in aggressive crosses, in midfield to help win the possession battle and in defence to close down opponents, block crosses and win back the ball when possible.

With a defend duty, the Wing Back mainly stays deep, but will still cross the ball when in space to do so.

With a support duty, the Wing Back aims to provide angled through balls from out wide, although still crosses when the opportunity arises.

With an attack duty, the Wing Back aims to overlap down the flank to provide wide support for attacks, run at his man and get crosses in from the byline.

With an automatic duty, the Wing Back will switch automatically between defend, support and attack duties according to your team mentality.

Active Player Instructions

Defend Only

Fewer Risky Passes, Cross From Deep, Hold Position

Support & Attack Only

Get Further Forward

Attack Only

Dribble More, Run Wide With Ball, Cross More Often, Cross From Byline

Key Attributes

Defend, Support & Attack

Technical: Marking, Tackling

Mental: Concentration, Decisions, Positioning, Teamwork, Work Rate

Physical: Stamina

Support & Attack Only

Technical: Crossing, Dribbling, Passing

Physical: Acceleration

Attack Only

Mental: Flair, Off The Ball

Physical: Pace

Preferred Moves

Defend, Support & Attack

Useful: Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank

Defend Only

Complementary: Plays No Through Balls, Stays Back At All Times

Support & Attack Only

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible

Useful: Curls Ball, Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Plays One-Twos

Attack Only

Complementary: Runs With Ball Often, Runs With Ball Down Left/Right

Limited Full Back

The Limited Full Back knows his strengths and weaknesses and focuses predominantly on his defensive duties, scarcely going forward into a more attacking role.

Active Player Instructions

Defend

Shoot Less Often, Dribble Less, More Direct Passes, Fewer Risky Passes, Cross Less Often, Hold Position

Key Attributes

Defend

Technical: Marking, Tackling

Mental: Anticipation, Concentration, Decisions, Positioning, Teamwork

Physical: Stamina

Preferred Moves

Defend

Complementary: Plays No Through Balls, Refrains From Taking Long Shots, Runs With Ball Rarely, Stays Back At All Times, Tries Long Range Passes

Useful: Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank

Complete Wing Back

The Complete Wing Back loves to attack, and whilst he is capable of occupying his defensive duties, his natural inclination is to affect the game in the opposition’s defensive third.

Active Player Instructions

Attack

Dribble More, Cross More Often, Cross From Byline, Get Further Forward, Stay Wider, Roam From Position

Key Attributes

Attack

Technical: Crossing, Dribbling, First Touch, Marking, Passing, Tackling, Technique

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Flair, Off The Ball, Positioning, Teamwork, Work Rate

Physical: Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Pace, Stamina

Preferred Moves

Attack

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Hugs Line, Runs With Ball Often

Useful: Curls Ball, Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank, Plays One-Twos

Inverted Wing Back

The Inverted Wing Back will function defensively much like a standard Full Back or Wing Back. However, while a normal Wing Back will offer width to an attack, the Inverted Wing Back will cut inside and make runs through the centre of the pitch, creating space for players around him.

Acting primarily as a central midfielder when attacking, this role is generally although not exclusively used to facilitate wide play from more advanced wingers.

Active Player Instructions

Support

Dribble More, Cut Inside With Ball, More Risky Passes, Cross Less Often, Sit Narrower, Roam From Position

Key Attributes

Support

Technical: Dribbling, Marking, Passing, Tackling

Mental: Anticipation, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Off The Ball, Positioning, Work Rate

Physical: Acceleration, Pace, Stamina

Preferred Moves

Support

Complementary: Cuts Inside, Runs With Ball Often, Tries Killer Balls Often

Useful: Curls Ball, Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank

Wide Midfielder

The Wide Midfielder performs defensive and attacking duties on the flanks, supporting the forwards, midfield and defence when required.

Generally lacking either the explosive pace or exciting dribbling skills of an out and out Winger, the Wide Midfielder relies on Teamwork and Work Rate to get into dangerous attacking positions without compromising defensive responsibilities.

With a defend duty, the Wide Midfielder will sit back and launch crosses from deep.

With a support duty, the Wide Midfielder will stay deeper and play angled through balls into the box from wide positions, although he will still cross when it is on.

With an attack duty, the Wide Midfielder looks to play quick crosses in from the final third.

With an automatic duty, the Wide Midfielder will switch automatically between defend, support and attack duties according to your team mentality.

Active Player Instructions

Defend Only

Fewer Risky Passes, Cross From Deep, Hold Position, Close Down More

Support

None

Attack Only

More Risky Passes, Get Further Forward

Key Attributes

Defend, Support & Attack

Technical: Crossing, Passing, Tackling

Mental: Anticipation, Decisions, Determination, Positioning, Teamwork, Work Rate

Physical: Stamina

Support Only

Mental: Vision

Support & Attack Only

Technical: First Touch

Attack Only

Mental: Off The Ball

Preferred Moves

Defend, Support & Attack

Useful: Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank

Defend Only

Complementary: Plays No Through Balls, Stays Back At All Times

Support & Attack Only

Useful: Curls Ball

Attack Only

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Tries Killer Balls Often

Useful: Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Plays One-Twos

Winger

The Winger aims to beat his man on the outside and needs to be technically proficient as well as quick in order to do so.

The Winger hugs the touchline when the team is going forward, ready to surge into space and attack the byline.

With a support duty, the Winger’s job is to try to quickly get past his man and get in an early cross for the forwards.

With an attack duty, the Winger will try and run at the defence in the final third, aiming to cause panic and indecision prior to shooting or attempting to make a through ball/cross to a team mate.

Active Player Instructions

Support & Attack

Dribble More, Run Wide With Ball, Cross More Often, Stay Wider

Attack Only

Cross From Byline, Get Further Forward

Key Attributes

Support & Attack

Technical: Crossing, Dribbling, First Touch, Passing, Technique

Mental: Work Rate

Physical: Acceleration, Pace, Stamina

Attack Only

Mental: Flair, Off The Ball

Preferred Moves

Support & Attack

Complementary: Hugs Line, Runs With Ball Often, Runs With Ball Down Left/Right

Useful: Curls Ball, Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank, Plays One-Twos

Attack Only

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible

Useful: Likes To Try To Beat Offside Trap, Gets Into Opposition Area

Defensive Winger

The Defensive Winger aims to press the opposing full backs, win back the ball high up the pitch and either hold it up for the rest of the team, drive to the byline or get in a quick cross or through ball for the forwards.

With a defend duty, the Defensive Winger's job is to primarily provide insurance for the defenders behind him, working diligently to reduce the threat posed by opponents in his area of the pitch and to break up attacks higher up the pitch.

With a support duty, the Defensive Winger’s job is to try to win the ball, get past his man and get in an early cross for the forwards.

Active Player Instructions

Defend & Support

Dribble More, Close Down More, Tackle Harder

Defend Only

Hold Position

Key Attributes

Defend & Support

Technical: Crossing, Dribbling, Marking, Passing, Tackling

Mental: Aggression, Anticipation, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Positioning, Teamwork, Work Rate

Physical: Acceleration, Stamina

Preferred Moves

Defend & Support

Complementary: Dives Into Tackles, Runs With Ball Often

Useful: Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank

Defend Only

Complementary: Stays Back At All Times

Useful: Stops Play

Support Only

Useful: Curls Ball, Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Plays One-Twos

Wide Playmaker

The Wide Playmaker will act as the team's primary source of creativity, drifiting inside to find space from which to play the killer ball and create chances. Coming in from the wing allows the Wide Playmaker to escape the hustle and bustle of central midfield and can result in him being unmarked by opposition players.

Defensively the Wide Playmaker will take up his position on the wing to provide cover for his full-back; however, he is not expected to make too many tackles but instead he should take up good defensive positions and provide another body in the defensive line.

With a support duty the Wide Playmaker will come inside to sit in a central midfield position when his team have the ball. From here he will act as the main creator for his side.

With an attack duty the Wide Playmaker will come inside to sit in an advanced midfield position between the opposition's defence and midfield. From here he will act as the main creator for his side. This may result in the Wide Playmaker being caught upfield and unable to get back into position for the defensive phase.

Active Player Instructions

Support & Attack

Shoot Less Often, Cut Inside With Ball, More Risky Passes, Cross Less Often, Sit Narrower, Roam From Position

Attack Only

Dribble More

Key Attributes

Support & Attack

Technical: First Touch, Passing, Technique

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Positioning, Teamwork, Vision

Attack Only

Technical: Dribbling

Mental: Off The Ball

Preferred Moves

Support & Attack

Complementary: Cuts Inside, Refrains From Taking Long Shots, Tries Killer Balls Often

Useful: Comes Deep To Get Ball, Curls Ball, Dictates Tempo, Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank, Plays One-Twos

Attack Only

Complementary: Runs With Ball Often, Runs With Ball Through Centre

Inside Forward

The Inside Forward aims to cut inside from the flanks and run directly at the centre of the opposition's defence and works best when the player's strongest foot is opposite to the flank he is playing on.

This movement can open up space for overlapping Full Backs as well as overloading a retreating defender, although it can also end up with the player running into cul-de-sacs.

With a support duty, the Inside Forward will cut diagonally into the space behind the defence and play through balls or take long shots if the opportunity arises.

With an attack duty, the Inside Forward will run directly at the defence with the options of shooting, passing or crossing as he moves into the final third.

Active Player Instructions

Support & Attack

Dribble More, Cut Inside With Ball, Cross Less Often

Support Only

More Risky Passes

Attack Only

Get Further Forward

Key Attributes

Support & Attack

Technical: Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Long Shots, Passing, Technique

Mental: Composure, Decisions, Flair, Off The Ball, Vision

Physical: Acceleration, Pace

Attack Only

Technical: Crossing

Preferred Moves

Support & Attack

Complementary: Cuts Inside, Runs With Ball Often, Runs With Ball Through Centre

Useful: Curls Ball, Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank, Plays One-Twos, Shoots With Power

Support Only

Complementary: Tries Killer Balls Often

Useful: Comes Deep To Get Ball

Attack Only

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Gets Into Opposition Area, Likes To Try To Beat Offside Trap

Wide Target Man

The Wide Target Man will be the main outlet for clearances and long balls from the back. Ideally positioned against a smaller and weaker full-back, he will be asked to get hold of the ball and keep it before recycling it to a teammate.

With a support duty, the Wide Target Man is best used for relocating a tall and powerful target man to bully a small and weaker full back, offering knockdowns and opportunities to onrushing central players.

With an attack duty, the Wide Target Man will be the main focal point for his team and the outlet for the majority of their attacking play. Ideally positioned against a smaller and weaker full back, he will be asked to receive the ball in attacking areas and make his presence felt as he brings teammates into the attacking third.

Active Player Instructions

Support & Attack

Hold Up Ball, Dribble Less

Support Only

Hold Position

Attack Only

Get Further Forward

Key Attributes

Support & Attack

Technical: First Touch, Heading

Mental: Anticipation, Decisions, Off The Ball, Teamwork

Physical: Agility, Balance, Jumping Reach, Strength

Attack Only

Technical: Passing

Preferred Moves

Support & Attack

Complementary: Runs With Ball Rarely, Stops Play

Useful: Plays With Back To Goal

Attack Only

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible

Useful: Gets Into Opposition Area

Raumdeuter

The Raumdeuter literally translated from German means 'space investigator'. His main role is to find pockets of space in which to operate. Essentially a wide poacher, the Raumdeuter takes up seemingly harmless positions out wide, waiting for the opportune moment to burst through the defensive line for that telling shot or cross.

He is difficult for defenders to pick up as he will often drift from his assigned position looking for any opportunity to exploit. This can result in quiet periods during which the Raumdeuter may neglect his defensive duties, therefore adequate cover and a strong team shape are key in order to fully utilise his attacking prowess in the final third.

Active Player Instructions

Attack

Pass It Shorter, Cross Less Often, Get Further Forward, Sit Narrower, Move Into Channels, Roam From Position

Key Attributes

Attack

Technical: Finishing, First Touch

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Off The Ball, Work Rate

Physical: Acceleration, Balance, Stamina

Preferred Moves

Attack

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Moves Into Channels

Useful: Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Likes To Try To Beat Offside Trap, Plays One-Twos

Read the analysis on wide players

Strikers

Deep-Lying Forward

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

Active Player Instructions

Support & Attack

Hold Up Ball

Support Only

More Risky Passes

Attack Only

Get Further Forward, Move Into Channels

Key Attributes

Support & Attack

Technical: Dribbling, First Touch, Passing, Technique

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Off The Ball, Teamwork, Vision

Physical: Balance, Strength

Attack Only

Technical: Finishing

Preferred Moves

Support & Attack

Complementary: Stops Play

Useful: Curls Ball, Likes To Lob Keeper, Plays One-Twos

Support Only

Complementary: Tries Killer Balls Often

Useful: Comes Deep To Get Ball, Plays With Back To Goal, Shoots With Power

Attack Only

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Gets Into Opposition Area, Moves Into Channels

Useful: Likes To Try To Beat Offside Trap, Likes to Round Keeper, Penalty Box Player, Places Shots, Tries First Time Shots

Advanced Forward

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.

Active Player Instructions

Attack

Dribble More, Get Further Forward, Move Into Channels

Key Attributes

Attack

Technical: Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Heading, Passing

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Determination, Off The Ball, Work Rate

Physical: Acceleration, Balance

Preferred Moves

Attack

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Gets Into Opposition Area, Moves Into Channels, Runs With Ball Often, Runs With Ball Through Centre

Useful: Curls Ball, Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Likes To Try To Beat Offside Trap, Likes To Lob Keeper, Likes To Round Keeper, Moves Into Channels, Penalty Box Player, Places Shots, Plays One-Twos, Tries First Time Shots

Target Man

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 space for his striker 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.

Active Player Instructions

Support & Attack

Hold Up Ball, Dribble Less

Attack Only

Get Further Forward

Key Attributes

Support & Attack

Technical: First Touch, Heading, Passing

Mental: Aggression, Anticipation, Bravery, Decisions, Determination, Teamwork, Work Rate

Physical: Jumping Reach, Strength

Attack Only

Technical: Finishing

Preferred Moves

Support & Attack

Complementary: Runs With Ball Rarely, Stops Play

Useful: Likes To Lob Keeper, Plays With Back To Goal, Shoots With Power

Attack Only

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Gets Into Opposition Area

Useful: Penalty Box Player, Tries First Time Shots

Poacher

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.

Active Player Instructions

Attack

Fewer Risky Passes, Get Further Forward

Key Attributes

Attack

Technical: Finishing, First Touch

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Concentration, Off The Ball

Physical: Acceleration, Agility

Preferred Moves

Attack

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Gets Into Opposition Area, Plays No Through Balls

Useful: Curls Ball, Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Likes To Try To Beat Offside Trap, Likes to Lob Keeper, Likes To Round Keeper, Penalty Box Player, Places Shots, Plays One-Twos, Tries First Time Shots

Complete Forward

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.

Active Player Instructions

Support & Attack

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

Attack Only

Get Further Forward, Move Into Channels

Key Attributes

Support & Attack

Technical: Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Heading, Long Shots, Passing, Technique

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Concentration, Decisions, Determination, Off The Ball, Teamwork, Vision, Work Rate

Physical: Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Jumping Reach, Pace, Strength

Preferred Moves

Support & Attack

Complementary: Runs With Ball Often, Runs With Ball Through Centre, Stops Play, Tries Killer Balls Often

Useful: Curls Ball, Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Likes To Lob Keeper, Plays One-Twos

Support Only

Useful: Comes Deep To Get Ball, Plays With Back To Goal, Shoots With Power

Attack Only

Complementary: Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Gets Into Opposition Area, Moves Into Channels

Useful: Likes To Try To Beat Offside Trap, Likes To Round Keeper, Penalty Box Player, Places Shots

Defensive Forward

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

Active Player Instructions

Defend & Support

Fewer Risky Passes, Close Down More, Tackle Harder

Defend Only

Hold Position

Key Attributes

Defend & Support

Mental: Aggression, Anticipation, Bravery, Concentration, Determination, Positioning, Teamwork, Work Rate

Physical: Acceleration, Stamina, Strength

Preferred Moves

Defend & Support

Complementary: Dives Into Tackles, Plays No Through Balls

Useful: Likes To Lob Keeper, Plays With Back To Goal, Shoots With Power, Stops Play

False Nine

The False Nine, in some ways similar to a more advanced attacking midfielder/playmaker role, is an unconventional lone striker or centre-forward who drops deep into midfield. The purpose of this is that it creates a problem for opposing central defenders who can either follow him – leaving space behind them for onrushing midfielders, forwards or wingers to exploit – or leave him to have time and space to dribble or pick out a pass.

Active Player Instructions

Support

Dribble More, More Risky Passes, Move Into Channels

Key Attributes

Support

Technical: Dribbling, Finishing, First Touch, Passing, Technique

Mental: Anticipation, Composure, Decisions, Off The Ball, Teamwork, Vision

Physical: Agility, Balance

Preferred Moves

Support Duty

Complementary: Comes Deep To Get Ball, Moves Into Channels, Runs With Ball Often, Tries Killer Balls Often

Useful: Arrives Late In Opposition Area, Curls Ball, Dictates Tempo, Plays One-Twos, Shoots With Power

Read the analysis on strikers

Further Reading

Inverting the Pyramid - guaranteed to give you a greater tactical knowledge and understanding.

Coaching the Tiki Taka - learn about the tiki taka style in detail.

The Manager: Inside the Minds of Football's Leaders - learn how to think like a football manager.

FM 2015

This guide has been updated for FM 2015.

Is your team suffering from an injury crisis? The Player Fitness guide has now been updated to help you improve your fitness management.

Tactics Resources

Inverting the Pyramid - guaranteed to give you a greater overall tactical knowledge and understanding.

Soccer Strategies - learn the advantages and disadvantages of using different formations in defence and attack.

Soccer Systems and Strategies - teaches you about different tactical strategies.

Coaching the Tiki Taka - learn about the tiki taka style in detail.

Transition and Counter Attacking - find out how to play against different opposition systems.

Match Strategy and Tactics - learn how to adapt your tactics to the opposition and different match scenarios.

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FM 2015

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