Player roles and duties act as tactical instruction templates for your players by automatically giving them player instructions. Various player roles can be assigned and each role can be used with one or more player duties.
Each player role/duty combination in each of the main positional areas is detailed individually in the following guides:
You can also generate an automatic tactical analysis of any role/duty, including custom roles/duties, by using the Role Analyser below.
The player duties, in order from higher risk to lower risk, are:
- Defend / Stopper / Cover
The Support duty provides a balance between the Attack and Defend duties. The Stopper and Cover duties can only be used for players in centre back playing positions.
In addition, with some roles an Automatic duty can be used. An Automatic duty essentially acts as an Attack duty when using more attacking team mentalities and a Defend duty when using more defensive team mentalities.
Use the Role Analyser to select any player role/duty for automatic tactical analysis. You can also create your own role/duty for analysis by adding custom instructions.
The Role Analyser displays the player instructions of your role/duty and calculates its forward movement scores, its natural playing styles, the positional responsibilities it carries out and the forward movement partnerships it can form.
These concepts are introduced and explained below. The Choosing Roles & Duties guide provides more details of how you can use them to form balanced role combinations that suit your desired tactical style.
Explanation of Analysis
Forward Movement Scores
Forward movement scores include the penetration score, solidity score and support score. They assess how well the off the ball vertical movement of your players, when your team is in possession, may help them to penetrate space, retain solidity and provide attacking support.
The scores for your role/duty are determined by the playing position selected and the forward movement instructions shown. You can therefore change them by using roles/duties in different playing positions and with different forward movement instructions.
Suggested minimum total scores (for ten outfield players) are:
- Penetration score – 9.5
- Solidity score – 15.5
- Support score – 12.5 (or 13.5 for short plays playing styles and 11.5 for direct plays playing styles)
Natural Playing Styles
Natural playing styles give an indication of how the player instructions of your players suit your desired playing style. However, roles/duties can still be used effectively in ‘contrasting’ playing styles and player instructions used for particular positional responsibilities can influence the natural playing styles shown.
The natural playing styles of your role/duty are determined by how its player instructions relate to the different core styles, attacking styles and defensive styles, as explained in the Adding Team & Player Instructions guide.
Each positional area has positional responsibilities of varying importance that can be carried out by your players.
Your role/duty is considered to carry out a responsibility if it does not have player instructions which contrast with the responsibility, in which case it either ‘performs’ or ‘contributes’. ‘Contributes’ applies only to ‘high’ and greater importance responsibilities in cases where a particular player instruction is needed to ‘perform’ the responsibility. ‘Contributes fluidly’ applies to Support duty roles that ‘contribute’.
Suggested use of roles/duties to carry out responsibilities is:
- Performs => one such role can be used to carry out the responsibility to a sufficient extent (or two such roles in the case of essential importance responsibilities like providing attacking cover in central defence).
- Contributes fluidly => two such roles can be used to work together to carry out the responsibility to a sufficient extent.
- Contributes => one such role can be used to carry out the responsibility but may not do so to a sufficient extent.
Suitable playing attributes, traits and positional familiarity are also needed for a responsibility to be performed well.
Forward Movement Partnerships
Forward movement partnerships analyse how the relative vertical movement off the ball of pairs of players may help them to create space when your team is in possession.
The possible forward movement partnerships for your role/duty are determined by the playing position selected and the forward movement instructions shown. You can therefore change the possible partnership types and partner types by using roles/duties in different playing positions and with different forward movement instructions.
Types of partner include:
- Attacking partner – the player makes the most forward movement in the partnership.
- Ancillary partner – the player makes the least forward movement in the partnership.
- Overloading partner – the player and his partner both make forward movement to a large extent.
- Interchanging partner – the player alternates his forward movement with his partner.
In overlapping partnerships the attacking partner is assigned a playing position behind the ancillary partner and moves forward to overlap them. In direct partnerships the attacking partner is assigned a playing position ahead of or level with the ancillary partner who provides support from behind them. Interchanging partnerships involve two Support duty roles with similar forward movement, which can enable the players to alternate their movement such that one player provides attacking cover while the other stretches play.
Partnership types and partner types are based largely on whether the role/duty is instructed to Get Further Forward (higher risk partnership types and attacking/overloading partner type movement) or Hold Position (lower risk partnership types and ancillary partner type movement). Medium risk partnership types include both of these player instructions (one for each partner), while balanced partnership types include neither player instruction for either player.
Suggested forward movement partnerships are:
- For attacking football and short plays playing styles – overlapping partnerships.
- In attacking football overlapping partnerships help to create space in congested advanced areas.
- In short plays overlapping partnerships help to create space when cycling possession.
- For defensive football and direct plays playing styles – direct partnerships.
- In defensive football direct partnerships help to penetrate space quickly from deeper areas.
- In direct plays direct partnerships help to penetrate space directly.
- For more fluid system fluidity – interchanging partnerships.
- Interchanging partnerships allow fluid movement between players.
- In central midfield – a low risk direct or balanced partnership, or any type of medium risk partnership.
- Lower risk partnerships help your team to provide attacking cover, which is particularly important in central midfield.
- On the flanks – overloading, high risk, medium risk or balanced partnerships.
- Higher risk partnerships help your team to stretch play, which is particularly important on the flanks and can also create space in central midfield and central attack by drawing opposition players out of position towards the flanks.
- In central attack – overloading, high risk, medium risk or balanced partnerships, but not overloading direct partnerships
- Higher risk partnerships help your team to stretch play, which is particularly important in central attack. However, overloading direct partnerships can be less effective at creating space by drawing opposition central defenders out of position.
Other Player Roles & Duties Guides
Related Tactics Guides
- Role Combinations – to choose player roles and duties that suit your playing style and carry out positional responsibilities appropriately.
- Player Instructions – analysis of player instructions, including hidden player instructions.
- Positional Responsibilities – tactical theory guide.
- Role Specifications – tactical theory guide including responsibility specialism levels and responsibility focus levels.
- Responsibility Distribution – tactical theory guide including the counterbalancing of roles.
- Role Categories – tactical theory guide analysing types of roles.