So you’ve now picked the Formation and set the Team Instructions, but what roles do I pick for the players? I hear you ask. So here is a follow-up guide which continues what I started in my Making Your First Tactic guide.
I always start from the back and work my way forward, and it’ll be no different here. Most of the choices regarding role will be based on three variables – formation, team instructions and player ability.
Also, this will be heavily biased towards a flat four defensive system, as it is the safest and easiest beginner setup to learn.
You have two options here, Goalkeeper and Sweeper Keeper
A regular Goalkeeper role is preferable most of the time, but if playing a high defensive line and possess an intelligent, fast ‘keeper, the Sweeper Keeper will mop up loose balls and aim to recycle possession from the edge of his box and beyond.
Your choice of setup here will more-than-likely be more biased towards player ability than tactical choice initially.
The Central Defender role is your all round, general Centreback, and will more often than not be the default choice for many managers. In regards to duty, there are a few possible combinations that work well depending on the type of player available. A Covering CB will sit deeper and mop up through balls and other loose balls, whereas a Stopper will look to step forward and intercept the ball before it becomes a danger. The Stopper/Cover can be used together with two intelligent defenders to form a very solid partnership. When not using a Stopper, I like to use a covering defender alongside a regular ‘Defend’ CB, though two regular defenders is also a sound tactical choice too.
The Limited Defender role is for less-able defenders who have limited concentration, composure and decision-making. Generally, this role is best limited to the Defend duty and lower-league defenders.
Ball-Playing Defenders will look to play the ball out of defence and are more technically and creatively gifted than regular defenders. They will recycle possession effectively and look to start counter-attacks. This role is most effective with a Stopper duty, winning the ball early and moving it on. Continue reading How-To: Understand and use Player Roles and Duties