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Football Manager Making The Most of Center Backs

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Football Manager Making The Most of Center Backs

What are the best attributes for center backs on football manager?

Center Back Key Responsibilities

Your center backs will have key responsibilities on the field of play. I will list some of the key responsibilities below.

Winning headers - Although not many teams play with long ball tactics these days, your defenders will need to be good in the air and they need to be winning a lot of headers. The traditional target man striker, in the mould of a Drogba is slowly being replaced by smaller, more skillful strikers, like Ag├╝ero. You can expect there to be crosses coming in from wingers on the opposition team, so your defenders need to deal with this efficiently.

Positional awareness - The sign of a great center back is someone who is in the right place at the right time. Many great defenders, like John Terry and Rio Ferdinand had/have great positional awareness and they are able to be in the right place to make sure they are able to make a tackle, win a header or make an important interception.

Marking - Your center backs will be expected to mark players on the other team. The movement of other players will vary, so your defenders need to be good at anticipating striker movements and they will need to be able to make good decisions. If you give the job of marking an opposition player, you need to make sure it does not pull your player out of position and that he is keeping your defensive structure solid.

Most Important Attributes For Center Backs

It is important for center backs to have some important attributes. Generally center backs are taller, they need to be brave for winning headers and going into tackles also.

Heading - In line with the key responsibilities above, heading is one of the first attributes I will look for when finding the best center backs on football manager. Make sure you look at the height of a players, his strength and his jumping reach also.

Marking - Generally I do not make my center backs mark specific players unless a player is causing me havoc, but if you do give a defender a job of marking a player he needs to be strong in this area. Taking into consideration a defenders positional attribute and his anticipation attribute will be key also.

Strength - When it comes to center backs, there can almost be nothing worse than a weak center back. If your player is going into tackles and they are being knocked over then this can cause you all sorts of defensive issues. For me strength is one of the key attributes for a center back. It might also be worth checking out a center backs stamina and pace to make sure they can keep up with play.

Positioning - I also like to make sure this attribute is high for my defenders. The positioning attributes accounts for what position a player will be when defending. For information the off the ball attribute is for when players are attacking and the positions they might be in.

Composure - Being able to keep cool under pressure and making sure that if the player has the ball at their feet, then can keep composed. This is where the composure attribute kicks in. The ability not to panic is key for defenders when they are under pressure and the composure attribute will determine how well a player copes with being under pressure. A player with lower composure might lose the ball more often and make more mistakes when under pressure. The anticipation and decision making attributes will be strongly linked with the composure attribute.

Key Stats For Center Backs

When trying to find good center backs for your team, or for accessing players that you already have. I will always look at some key stats to make sure my defenders are performing to a good level.

Headers won ratio - How many headers are your center backs winning when they go into a header? This is a very key stat for me, you might be surprised in some instances, for example if you don't have a tall defender but he is winning a lot of headers then you might not need to worry about replacing him for a bigger center back. Its always important to find out what is making your center back win a lot of headers or what is not allowing them to win headers they go in for.

Tackles won ratio - It is vital for defenders to win tackles, if they commit to making a tackle, then they should be winning their fair share of them. You might want to look at a defenders bravery, aggression and strength if they are not making too many tackles or not winning many that they are going into. I would be more interested in seeing the total number of tackles made verses the percentage of tackles won.

Interceptions made - if you have players who have good positioning then they are likely to be able to make more interceptions. The anticipation attribute will also play a part in the number of interceptions made. If your defenders are making interceptions it means they have been able to read the game well enough to cut out a through ball. The total number of interceptions is the thing to review here.

Mistakes - Generally younger players will make a lot of mistakes, which is why I tend to not use really young defenders if I can help it. Clearly you don't want your defenders to be making a lot of mistakes so if they are making mistakes you need to discover if its your tactics that are causing the mistakes or if the player is just not very good.

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