One of the key aspects of building a winning tactic is coordinating who does what on the pitch. With 11 players, managing each player’s individual instructions requires a lot of thought. Soccer Manager 2022 offers a range of different pre-set instructions (tactics) for each position in the form of Player Roles.
Each of them is unique in their own way and offer different uses of in-match tactics. It is best practice to define suitable roles as early as possible since players naturally need time to adapt to them. This article will go through all the available roles detailing what they translate to in-game, and the best-suited attributes.
- Goalkeeping Roles
- Defending Roles
- Midfield Roles
- Attacking Roles
The Keeper Role instructs just one purpose – defend the net as best as possible. This essentially resembles the traditional keeper, acting as the last line of defense, making saves, collecting crosses, etc. Despite having a simple focus, the Keeper may still attempt long distribution depending on their individual attributes. However, they are not expected to do so, and will usually just opt for the safer decision. This is the most common Goalkeeper role in the game and usually doesn’t need changing.
2. Modern Keeper
The Modern Keeper is essentially an idea similar to the Sweeper Keeper. Whilst also doing the basics of goalkeeping that the Keeper Role would do, the Modern Keeper is also prompted to take more risks. It enables them to come further out of the area and contribute to the build-up.
Many teams nowadays opt to build play from the back, and with the keeper taking part as well, the increased man makes this process much easier. The disadvantages are of course, that this is a lot riskier. A good pick for this role requires a high level of composure and concentration to cope with the elevated pressure.
1. General Defender
This is the default option and involves a mix between the two other roles. According to the player’s mentality, the decisions a General Defender makes can vary, and they will usually adapt as a game goes on. For more control over these decisions, the other two roles are much better.
The Stopper functions like the classic No-Nonsense center-back. They’ve only got one focus, which is to stop attacks and get rid of the ball as soon as possible. With the ball at their feet, the Stopper will usually try to play the simple pass, and when under pressure, will look to offload quickly. They are useful to cover certain areas of the pitch which would either be left too open, but the fact that they offload so quickly and randomly means they are very limiting for possession-based football.
3. Ball-Playing Defender (BPD)
This is the more common role seen in modern football. The BPD will obviously defend as normal, but functions as the polar opposite to the Stopper when with the ball. Rather than playing safe, a BPD takes is encouraged to take more risks in possession. They’ll attempt to push forward with the ball looking for long balls and splitting passes. As most teams nowadays are usually very well trained in defense, it’s often difficult to find ways to break them up. One of the common ways to do so is through fast-paced transitions, and a BPD is almost a necessity for this.
The fullback remains primarily as a defensive player, holding to their position and combating attacks. However, on the attack, they may still move forward to provide a bit of width. Usually, though, the fullback will take fewer risks and play in a support position rather than fully bombarding forward. Some opposition sides like to lob long balls over the defense and into the path of wingers, and so a fullback in place can effectively cover those areas.
The wingback generally has a lot of work to do throughout the 90 minutes. Whilst also doing the defensive work of a fullback, they also take up the attacking duties of a winger as well. They are very useful outlets to have in the lineup, however, there are a couple of risks.
It is a high-intensity position requiring a lot of running up and down the flank, which can impact fitness and increase injury risk. Furthermore, a quick counter from the opposition can cause serious issues, where the wingback is caught out of position. Despite that, a good wingback has the ability to cause serious problems, by stretching opposition outwards and playing dangerous crosses and passes as well.
1. Wide Midfielder (WM)
The responsibility for the wide midfielder is similar to that of a wingback, however, there is less focus on the defending side. Put simply, they do what a wingback does, without the defending part. The WM will hang around on the edges of the midfield, and any defending they do will be quite high up the pitch. Whilst on the ball, they’ll keep it wide and aim to play it infield through crosses and passes. Whilst they bring the attacking pros of the wingback as well as the reduced intensity, their defending is limited and so they require good cover behind.
2. Ball-Winning Midfielder
The most defensive out of the midfield strata is the Ball Winning Midfielder. They are encouraged to hold their position and simply recycle possession for the team. Whilst in possession, they’ll generally look for the simple passes in an attempt to conserve the ball. The best players in this position require a strong physique and good defending, whilst also having decent on-the-ball attributes, as the midfield is a technical place to be.
3. General Midfielder
The default role promotes safe and simple football. They are not great options in SM22, as their functionality is limited and often uncontrollable too. Players with this role as their preferred can usually be used in a few others (according to their stats) without any serious problems.
4. Deep-Lying Playmaker (DLP)
The DLP is an important role in Soccer Manager 2022. They are the ones best at managing a transition from defense into attack. By holding their position in front of the defense, they pick up the ball deep, then look to play forward passes and move the team forward. Having one of these in can greatly improve the team’s transitions and also open the opportunity for quick counters as well.
5. Box-to-Box Midfielder (B2B)
The B2B midfielder is a highly dynamic role involving a lot of running up and down the pitch. As the name suggests, this role encourages the player to keep moving from their own box to the opposition’s, helping out in defense and also contributing to attack. They aren’t expected to be creative but will be darting about, constantly trying to be a threat all over the pitch. Obviously, stamina levels must be really high for this.
The playmaker in midfield prompts a lot of creativity and movement in midfield. They’ll constantly be roaming about in spaces, spraying passes, and looking to create opportunities going forward. Whilst not venturing deep into the final third, the playmaker will try to instead bridge the midfield and attack to start the build-up of chances. Defensively, this role does not provide much cover, and the space behind them will often be left empty. Ideally, the Playmaker should be positioned in an area where there is a decent cover.
7. Advanced Playmaker (AP)
The advanced playmaker is literally a more advanced version of the previous playmaker role. Rather than roaming about in midfield, the advanced playmaker will aim to push forward instead. This role is usually best deployed into the attacking midfield area, but they can also be used in midfield. For the latter, the AP will join the attack from deep, but the intention of joining the attack will remain. When this role is used from the AML or the AMR positions, the AP will again, look to create chances and will often cut inside as well.
8. Support Striker
The Support Striker shares some similarities with the Advanced Playmaker role. It can be deployed in the AMC area and essentially functions as a second striker, but a little deeper. Unlike the AP, a Support Striker looks to shoot more than to play the pass. They’ll position themselves between the midfield and the forward line, kind of like how a False-9 would when dropping deep. Good support strikers require high shooting stats, as well as good positioning, in addition to other useful attacking stats.
The Winger is one of the most common roles in wide areas. Their duties are to try and pin back opposing defenders with dribbling and pace, then look to create an opportunity. Depending on the team instruction settings, the decision-making can be varied from going for shots to aiming for passes into the box.
Also, depending on their preferred foot, the winger may move onto their best side by either cutting inwards or keeping out wide. A two-footed winger often has the potential to be the most dangerous because of that. When out of possession, again based on the team instructions, the winger may trackback and also press the opposition defence as well.
2. Wide Forward
The Wide Forward is a much more goal-focused version of the winger. Whilst the winger receives the ball then looks to move towards an offensive position, the wide forward moves into an offensive position before receiving the ball. This allows them to find much better space by making runs without the ball, which they can then use to cause further problems, with shots and dangerous passes. A minor downside is that a wide forward requires support behind him, with players good enough to pick out the correct passes.
3. Deep-Lying Forward
The deep-lying forward kind of emulates the false-9 type of striker in SM22. They aim to drift a little deeper than their usual position in an attempt to help out the under opposition midfield. When they receive the ball, they’ll try to take on the defensive line with dribbles or passes. This role works best when the player is surrounded by a strong attacking threat – teammates that can get into close shooting positions.
The finisher prompts the player to break through the defensive line and find good shooting positions in and around the box. Unlike the Deep-lying forward, the finisher has little participation in the build-up but is a strong focus of the attack. They’ll put their focus into finding spaces through the defense to eventually pull a shot off, or create a chance for a teammate.
5. Target Man
The target man is essentially the classic, heavy goal-scorer that hangs around the box. They use their height and physique to win ground and aerial duels against defenders. Whilst in possession, a target man aims to hold the ball and lay it off to teammates, focusing less on dribbling. This type of striker works best in long ball tactics, which have a focus on delivering the ball into the box at height.
6. General Forward
This is the basic type of attacker that can operate in all the other roles of the position. Depending on their ability and instinct, they may try and win aerial, break the line, or drop deep for link-up play. For more control over what the player does, it is better to pick the other striker roles.
Liked our article? Check our below suggestions on youth players and make your dream team in Soccer Manager 2022 now!
Did you find our Soccer Manager 2022 Tactics Guide helpful? Do let us know in the comments section below!