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Player Roles & Duties

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Central Defence Roles

All of the player roles and duties that can be used in central defence playing positions are analysed below.

Central Defender

Game description:

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 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.

Player Instructions

  • Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often
    • Defend duty – Hold Position
    • Stopper duty – increase pressing intensity
    • Cover duty – decrease pressing intensity

Hidden player instructions:

  • Stopper duty – Hold Position (but move into a more advanced position to close down)
  • Cover duty – Hold Position (but move into a deeper position to sit off)

Player Traits

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

Contrasting player traits: Brings Ball Out Of Defence, Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Likes To Beat Man Repeatedly, Plays One-Twos, Runs With Ball Often, Runs With Ball Through Centre, Shoots From Distance, Tries To Play Way Out Of Trouble, Tries Tricks

Detailed Analysis

DC Defend
Central Defender (CD) - DC Defend
InstructionsHold Position, Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often
Natural playing styles
Core
Attacking
Defensive
Balanced
Balanced
Balanced
Defensive football (0): (Hold Position, Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often)
Direct plays (0): (Hold Position)
Short plays (0): (Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often)
Positional responsibilities ...
... in central defence:
Performs / Contributes
Specialism level
Focus level
Providing attacking cover
Performs
Moderate
Higher
Direct instructions: Hold Position
Indirect instructions: Dribble Less
Providing defensive cover
Performs
Very low
Higher
Applying defensive pressure
Performs
Very low
Lower
Playing safe
Performs
Fairly low
Higher
Direct instructions: Dribble Less
Indirect instructions: Hold Position
DC Stopper
Central Defender (CD) - DC Stopper
InstructionsIncrease pressing intensity, Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often
Hidden instructions: Hold Position (but move into a more advanced position to close down)
Natural playing styles
Core
Attacking
Defensive
Balanced
Balanced
Balanced
Defensive football (0): (Hold Position, Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often)
Direct plays (0): (Hold Position)
Short plays (0): (Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often)
Positional responsibilities ...
... in central defence:
Performs / Contributes
Specialism level
Focus level
Providing attacking cover
Performs
Moderate
Higher
Direct instructions: Hold Position
Indirect instructions: Dribble Less
Applying defensive pressure
Performs
Fairly high (consider counterbalance)
Lower
Direct instructions: increase pressing intensity, move into a more advanced position to close down
Can be counterbalanced with: 2 players who provide defensive cover (e.g. 2 Defend duty DCs) or 1 player who does so with a higher specialism (e.g. 1 Cover duty DC or Libero Support)
Playing safe
Performs
Fairly low
Higher
Direct instructions: Dribble Less
Indirect instructions: Hold Position
DC Cover
Central Defender (CD) - DC Cover
InstructionsDecrease pressing intensity, Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often
Hidden instructions: Hold Position (but move into a deeper position to sit off)
Natural playing styles
Core
Attacking
Defensive
Balanced
Balanced
Balanced
Defensive football (0): (Hold Position, Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often)
Direct plays (0): (Hold Position)
Short plays (0): (Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often)
Positional responsibilities ...
... in central defence:
Performs / Contributes
Specialism level
Focus level
Providing attacking cover
Performs
Moderate
Higher
Direct instructions: Hold Position
Indirect instructions: Dribble Less
Providing defensive cover
Performs
Fairly high (consider counterbalance)
Higher
Direct instructions: decrease pressing intensity, move into a deeper position to close down
Can be counterbalanced with: 2 players who apply defensive pressure (e.g. 2 Defend duty DCs) or 1 player who does so with a higher specialism (e.g. 1 Stopper duty DC)
Playing safe
Performs
Fairly low
Higher
Direct instructions: Dribble Less
Indirect instructions: Hold Position

Libero

Game description:

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 teammates.

Player Instructions

  • Decrease pressing intensity, Take More Risks
    • Attack duty – Get Further Forward, Dribble More, Shoot More Often

Hidden player instructions:

  • Move into a deeper position to sit off, use more creative freedom
    • Support duty –  carry the ball more

Player Traits

Complementary player traits:

  • Brings Ball Out Of Defence, Dictates Tempo, Likes to Switch Ball To Other Flank, Runs With Ball Through Centre, Stops Play, Tries Killer Balls Often
    • Attack duty – Arrives Late In Opponents’ Area, Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Gets Into Opposition Area, Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Plays One-Twos, Runs With Ball Often, Shoots From Distance, Tries To Play Way Out Of Trouble, Tries Tricks

Contrasting player traits:

  • Dwells On Ball, Plays No Through Balls, Plays Short Simple Passes, Runs With Ball Rarely
    • Attack duty – Comes Deep To Get Ball, Likes Ball Played Into Feet, Refrains From Taking Long Shots, Stays Back At All Times

Detailed Analysis

DC Support
Libero (L) - DC Support
(not available at DCL/DCR)
InstructionsDecrease pressing intensity, Take More Risks
Hidden instructions: move into a deeper position to sit off, carry the ball more, use more creative freedom
Natural playing styles
Core
Attacking
Defensive
Fairly attacking
Short
Balanced
Attacking football (2): Take More Risks, use more creative freedom
Short plays (3): Take More Risks, carry the ball more, use more creative freedom
Specific analysisTactical theory: central defence countering-playmaker, auxiliary defensive midfield countering-playmaker
Positional responsibilities ...
... in central defence:
Performs / Contributes
Specialism level
Focus level
Providing attacking cover
Contributes
Very low
Versatile
Can perform if instructed to Hold Position
Providing defensive cover
Performs
Fairly high (consider counterbalance)
Versatile
Direct instructions: decrease pressing intensity, move into a deeper position to sit off
Can be counterbalanced with: 2 players who apply defensive pressure (e.g. 2 Defend duty DCs) or 1 player who does so with a higher specialism (e.g. 1 Stopper duty DC)
Stretching play (not necessary)
Performs
Very low
Versatile
Creating chances (not necessary)
Performs
Fairly high
Versatile
Direct instructions: Take More Risks, use more creative freedom
... in central midfield (as an auxiliary sitting DMC):
Performs / Contributes
Specialism level
Focus level
Providing attacking cover
Contributes
Fairly low
Versatile
Direct instructions: auxiliary sitting player
Creating chances
Performs
Fairly high
Versatile
Direct instructions: Take More Risks, use more creative freedom
Taking chances (not necessary)
Performs atypically
Very low
Versatile
Atypical instructions: auxiliary sitting player
DC Attack
Libero (L) - DC Attack
(not available at DCL/DCR)
InstructionsDecrease pressing intensity, Get Further Forward, Dribble More, Shoot More Often, Take More Risks
Hidden instructions: move into a deeper position to sit off, use more creative freedom
Natural playing styles
Core
Attacking
Defensive
Very attacking
Mixed
Balanced
Attacking football (4): Dribble More, Shoot More Often, Take More Risks, use more creative freedom
Direct plays (2): Dribble More, Shoot More Often
Short plays (2): Take More Risks, use more creative freedom
Specific analysisTactical theory: central defence countering-playmaker, auxiliary defensive midfield countering-playmaker
Positional responsibilities ...
... in central defence:
Performs / Contributes
Specialism level
Focus level
Providing defensive cover
Performs atypically but vacates area
Fairly high (consider counterbalance)
Lower
Direct instructions: decrease pressing intensity, move into a deeper position to sit off
Atypical focus level - may not perform effectively due to a lower focus (providing cover as a whole is high importance)
Can be counterbalanced with: 2 players who apply defensive pressure (e.g. 2 Defend duty DCs) (or 1 player who does so with a higher specialism (e.g. 1 Stopper duty DC) - however, this may cause problems with reverse counterbalancing and symmetry)
Stretching play (not necessary)
Performs
Moderate
Higher
Direct instructions: Get Further Forward
Indirect instructions: Dribble More
Creating chances (not necessary)
Performs but vacates area
Very high
Higher
Direct instructions: Dribble More, Take More Risks, use more creative freedom
... in central midfield (as an auxiliary supporting DMC):
Performs / Contributes
Specialism level
Focus level
Stretching play
Performs
Very low
Higher
Indirect instructions: Dribble More
Creating chances
Performs atypically
Very high
Higher
Direct instructions: Dribble More, Take More Risks, use more creative freedom
Atypical instructions: Shoot More Often
Taking chances (not necessary)
Performs
Very high
Higher
Direct instructions: Shoot More Often
Indirect instructions: Dribble More

Ball Playing Defender

Game description:

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.

Player Instructions

  • Slightly increase passing directness, Take More Risks
    • Defend duty – Hold Position
    • Stopper duty – increase pressing intensity
    • Cover duty – decrease pressing intensity

Hidden player instructions:

  • Carry the ball more, use more creative freedom
    • Stopper duty – Hold Position (but move into a more advanced position to close down)
    • Cover duty – Hold Position (but move into a deeper position to sit off)

Player Traits

Complementary player traits: Brings Ball Out Of Defence, Dictates Tempo, Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank, Runs With Ball Through Centre, Stays Back At All Times, Stops Play, Tries Killer Balls Often, Tries Long Range Passes

Contrasting player traits: Dwells On Ball, Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Plays No Through Balls, Plays One-Twos, Plays Short Simple Passes, Runs With Ball Rarely

Detailed Analysis

DC Defend
Ball Playing Defender (BPD) - DC Defend
InstructionsHold Position, slightly increase passing directness, Take More Risks
Hidden instructions: carry the ball more, use more creative freedom
Natural playing styles
Core
Attacking
Defensive
Fairly attacking
Short
Balanced
Attacking football (2): Take More Risks, use more creative freedom
Defensive football (0): (Hold Position)
Direct plays (0): (Hold Position)
Short plays (3): Take More Risks, carry the ball more, use more creative freedom
Specific analysisTactical theory: central defence countering-playmaker
Positional responsibilities ...
... in central defence:
Performs / Contributes
Specialism level
Focus level
Providing attacking cover
Performs
Moderate
Higher
Direct instructions: Hold Position
Providing defensive cover
Performs
Very low
Higher
Applying defensive pressure
Performs
Very low
Lower
Creating chances
Performs
Fairly high
Lower
Direct instructions: slightly increase passing directness, Take More Risks, use more creative freedom
DC Stopper
Ball Playing Defender (BPD) - DC Stopper
InstructionsIncrease pressing intensity, slightly increase passing directness, Take More Risks
Hidden instructions: Hold Position (but move into a more advanced position to close down), carry the ball more, use more creative freedom
Natural playing styles
Core
Attacking
Defensive
Fairly attacking
Short
Balanced
Attacking football (2): Take More Risks, use more creative freedom
Defensive football (0): (Hold Position)
Direct plays (0): (Hold Position)
Short plays (3): Take More Risks, carry the ball more, use more creative freedom
Specific analysisTactical theory: central defence countering-playmaker
Positional responsibilities ...
... in central defence:
Performs / Contributes
Specialism level
Focus level
Providing attacking cover
Performs
Moderate
Higher
Direct instructions: Hold Position
Applying defensive pressure
Performs
Fairly high (consider counterbalance)
Lower
Direct instructions: increase pressing intensity, move into a more advanced position to close down
Can be counterbalanced with: 2 players who provide defensive cover (e.g. 2 Defend duty DCs) or 1 player who does so with a higher specialism (e.g. 1 Cover duty DC or Libero Support)
Creating chances
Performs
Fairly high
Lower
Direct instructions: slightly increase passing directness, Take More Risks, use more creative freedom
DC Cover
Ball Playing Defender (BPD) - DC Cover
InstructionsDecrease pressing intensity, slightly increase passing directness, Take More Risks
Hidden instructions: Hold Position (but move into a deeper position to sit off), carry the ball more, use more creative freedom
Natural playing styles
Core
Attacking
Defensive
Fairly attacking
Short
Balanced
Attacking football (2): Take More Risks, use more creative freedom
Defensive football (0): (Hold Position)
Direct plays (0): (Hold Position)
Short plays (3): Take More Risks, carry the ball more, use more creative freedom
Specific analysisTactical theory: central defence countering-playmaker
Positional responsibilities ...
... in central defence:
Performs / Contributes
Specialism level
Focus level
Providing attacking cover
Performs
Moderate
Higher
Direct instructions: Hold Position
Providing defensive cover
Performs
Fairly high (consider counterbalance)
Higher
Direct instructions: decrease pressing intensity, move into a deeper position to close down
Can be counterbalanced with: 2 players who apply defensive pressure (e.g. 2 Defend duty DCs) or 1 player who does so with a higher specialism (e.g. 1 Stopper duty DC)
Creating chances
Performs
Fairly high
Lower
Direct instructions: slightly increase passing directness, Take More Risks, use more creative freedom

No-Nonsense Centre Back

Game description:

The main job of the No-Nonsense Centre Back is to stop the opposing attackers from playing and to clear the ball from danger when required.

The aim is to win the ball and get it cleared safely up field in a simple and efficient manner, taking few risks with the ball.

With a Defend duty
the No-Nonsense Centre Back 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 No-Nonsense Centre Back will push ahead of the defensive line and close down players before they get to the area.
With a Cover duty
the No-Nonsense Centre Back will drop a little lower and sweep up through balls behind the defensive line.

Player Instructions

  • Increase passing directness, Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often, Take Fewer Risks
    • Defend duty – Hold Position
    • Stopper duty – increase pressing intensity
    • Cover duty – decrease pressing intensity

Hidden player instructions:

  • Use more tactical discipline
    • Stopper duty – Hold Position (but move into a more advanced position to close down)
    • Cover duty – Hold Position (but move into a deeper position to sit off)

Player Traits

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

Contrasting player traits: Brings Ball Out Of Defence, Dictates Tempo, Gets Forward Whenever Possible, Knocks Ball Past Opponent, Likes To Beat Man Repeatedly, Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank, Plays One-Twos, Plays Short Simple Passes, Runs With Ball Often, Runs With Ball Through Centre, Shoots From Distance, Tries Killer Balls Often, Tries To Play Way Out Of Trouble, Tries Tricks

Detailed Analysis

DC Defend
No-Nonsense Centre-Back (NCB) - DC Defend
InstructionsHold Position, increase passing directness, Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often, Take Fewer Risks
Hidden instructions: use more tactical discipline
Natural playing styles
Core
Attacking
Defensive
Fairly defensive
Fairly direct
Balanced
Defensive football (2): Take Fewer Risks, use more tactical discipline, (Hold Position, Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often)
Direct plays (2): Take Fewer Risks, use more tactical discipline, (Hold Position)
Short plays (0): (Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often)
Positional responsibilities ...
... in central defence:
Performs / Contributes
Specialism level
Focus level
Providing attacking cover
Performs
Moderate
Higher
Direct instructions: Hold Position
Indirect instructions: Dribble Less
Providing defensive cover
Performs
Very low
Higher
Applying defensive pressure
Performs
Very low
Lower
Playing safe
Performs
Very high
Higher
Direct instructions: increase passing directness (due to lack of attacking cover), Dribble Less, Take Fewer Risks, use more tactical discipline
Indirect instructions: Hold Position
DC Stopper
No-Nonsense Centre-Back (NCB) - DC Stopper
InstructionsIncrease pressing intensity, increase passing directness, Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often, Take Fewer Risks
Hidden instructions: Hold Position (but move into a more advanced position to close down), use more tactical discipline
Natural playing styles
Core
Attacking
Defensive
Fairly defensive
Fairly direct
Balanced
Defensive football (2): Take Fewer Risks, use more tactical discipline, (Hold Position, Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often)
Direct plays (2): Take Fewer Risks, use more tactical discipline, (Hold Position)
Short plays (0): (Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often)
Positional responsibilities ...
... in central defence:
Performs / Contributes
Specialism level
Focus level
Providing attacking cover
Performs
Moderate
Higher
Direct instructions: Hold Position
Indirect instructions: Dribble Less
Applying defensive pressure
Performs
Fairly high (consider counterbalance)
Lower
Direct instructions: increase pressing intensity, move into a more advanced position to close down
Can be counterbalanced with: 2 players who provide defensive cover (e.g. 2 Defend duty DCs) or 1 player who does so with a higher specialism (e.g. 1 Cover duty DC or Libero Support)
Playing safe
Performs
Very high
Higher
Direct instructions: increase passing directness (due to lack of attacking cover), Dribble Less, Take Fewer Risks, use more tactical discipline
Indirect instructions: Hold Position
DC Cover
No-Nonsense Centre-Back (NCB) - DC Cover
InstructionsDecrease pressing intensity, increase passing directness, Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often, Take Fewer Risks
Hidden instructions: Hold Position (but move into a deeper position to sit off), use more tactical discipline
Natural playing styles
Core
Attacking
Defensive
Fairly defensive
Fairly direct
Balanced
Defensive football (2): Take Fewer Risks, use more tactical discipline, (Hold Position, Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often)
Direct plays (2): Take Fewer Risks, use more tactical discipline, (Hold Position)
Short plays (0): (Dribble Less, Shoot Less Often)
Positional responsibilities ...
... in central defence:
Performs / Contributes
Specialism level
Focus level
Providing attacking cover
Performs
Moderate
Higher
Direct instructions: Hold Position
Indirect instructions: Dribble Less
Providing defensive cover
Performs
Fairly high (consider counterbalance)
Higher
Direct instructions: decrease pressing intensity, move into a deeper position to close down
Can be counterbalanced with: 2 players who apply defensive pressure (e.g. 2 Defend duty DCs) or 1 player who does so with a higher specialism (e.g. 1 Stopper duty DC)
Playing safe
Performs
Very high
Higher
Direct instructions: increase passing directness (due to lack of attacking cover), Dribble Less, Take Fewer Risks, use more tactical discipline
Indirect instructions: Hold Position
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