Central Attacker Roles

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

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

For a general analysis of all player roles and duties see the Player Roles & Duties guide.

Provided below is an analysis of how tactical theory* concepts relate to each central attacker role (including all of the variations for each role), if used with its default player instructions. This information will be used in subsequent guides as part of the framework for creating tactics.

Detailed for each central attacker role, where relevant, are:

  • Penetration score – the number that the role adds to the team’s penetration score*. This is based on the role’s use of the Get Further Forward and Hold Position player instructions.
  • Solidity score – the number that the role adds to the team’s solidity score*. This is also based on the role’s use of the Get Further Forward and Hold Position player instructions.
  • Focus level* – the extent to which the role concentrates on performing particular positional responsibilities. This determines how appropriate the role is for your team’s system fluidity, as detailed in the System Fluidity guide. Focus levels are calculated as 1.0 multiplied by the number of conflicting role types* plus 0.5 multiplied by the number of adverse role types*.
  • Role categories* – the groups that the role can be categorised in according to its role specialisation.
  • Role category implementations – any implementations that apply to the role. These are explained in the tactical theory Role Categories* guide.

Attacking Midfielder

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    • Supported – withdrawn central attacker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    • Withdrawn central attacker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:

Advanced Playmaker

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:

Trequartista

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:

Enganche

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:

Shadow Striker

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)

Deep Lying Forward

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:

Advanced Forward

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

Target Man

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:

Poacher

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:

Complete Forward

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:

Defensive Forward

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:

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

Focus level: 2.5

Role categories:

  • Ball-winning central attacker
    • Pressuring central attacker
      • Specialist – pressing central attacker
    • Supported – withdrawn central attacker
    • Designated – restricted central attacker
  • Supported – central attack runner => second-striker
  • Supported – central attack goal-scorer (atypical – hold-up player)

Role category implementations:

False Nine

False Nine (CF Support)

Description:

  • Supporting, deep-dropping, channel-running, ball-playing, creative and fairly aggressive centre forward

Penetration score: 0.50

Solidity score: 0.00

Role specialisation:

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

Focus level: 3.0

Role categories:

  • Supplementary – central attack runner (system-specific – false-nine) => second-striker
  • Number-ten central attacker
    • Specialist – central attack creator => spearhead
  • Pressuring central attacker
    • Supplementary – pressing central attacker
  • Supported – central attack goal-scorer (atypical – deep-dropping player)

Role category implementations:

  • False-nine* (supporting and deep-dropping centre forward runner and creator)