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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Football Manager 2014 Player Instructions - How to improve individual player role performance

Football Manager 2014 Player Instructions - Refining Your FM14 Tactics

Football Manager 2014 Player Instructions

Welcome to this Football Manager guide to Player Instructions. Here we will take a closer look at how to refine your Football Manager tactics with the help of Football Manager player instructions, which will affect how the different player roles will act on an event-by-event basis during matches.

As you know, players are the only executors of your team instructions and tactical philosophy. These 11 individuals, with their unique strength and weaknesses, need to work according to your plan. Creating a successful tactic is very much about getting the best out of each, according to player and squad analysis.

However, if you have little experience with that, we suggest you just start with giving players the default player roles, before tweaking them gradually, as you see fit to adjust the player behaviour on the pitch. It is not given that player instructions are a must to be given, some tactics will even work without any. But it would be hugely beneficial, if you like to specify a given players role on the pitch, or play to his strenghts.

The Football Manager Player instructions are therefore needed. These are quite similar to the team instructions, which set some "boundaries" to how you want your team to play. Here we can give individual directions to players - some instructions might be set to utilize his strength while others are just set to make him work along with your preferred football philosophy and overall tactical instructions.

The Football Manager Player instructions can be altered to your preferences in the "Team Tactics" screen. You can assign player instructions for a specific position by clicking the sub-tab "Players". As you will notice, the player instructions will depend on player role used. Some instructions are pre-assigned to a role and cannot be altered, while others can add another dimension to their play.

Add Football Manager Player Instructions to positions

Comparing the different player roles and which instructions that are active will be important - in addition to understanding how each Football Manager player role will behave on the pitch compared to your preferred football playing style. As you will notice when setting up your formation and choosing player roles is that some player instructions will be unavailable to select. Greyed out instructions either conflict to his position or cannot be altered since they are default for the player role and duty.

There are four main categories and several Player Instructions, which we will hand you the definitions of below.

Football Manager 2014 Team Instructions - Adapt Your Match Tactics Quickly with Shouts

Player Instructions - Possession

Hold Up Ball

Hold up ball will instruct the player to spend more time on the ball than they normally would do. By holding on to the ball the player will automatically slow the tempo down, taking some extra seconds to get more perspective, which may help him to make a better decision, be more accurate and be able to retain possession. It will also let teammates get time to regain their natural positions and/or organize themselves for attacking movements for example if long balls are played to a winger/striker.

Letting players take extra time on the ball can be favourable in matches with high tempo. It can be a way of disrupting the opposition teams willingness for keeping a high pace in the match to tire you out, but it can also work quite opposite of what you intended, as it will affect the tempo of attacking build-up. This could be particularly beneficial for defensive midfielders in all roles(anchor man, defensive midfielder, deep lying playmaker, regista, half-back, ball winning midfielder, supporting and defensive central midfielders). It will in general help your team reorganise after periods of pressure.

Pros: If a player in the attacking third (striker or winger) is constantly is prone to errors, perhaps due to the high tempo of the game, it may be considerable to tick this player instruction.
Cons: These extra seconds will also let the opponents get time to close down, man mark him or restrict a players passing options by re-organizing themselves better (setting up a defence).

Required Player Attributes: Strength, first touch and anticipation
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Dwells on Ball, Stops Play

Shoot More often
Football Manager Player Instruction Shoot More often

Shoot more often will encourage the player to take more long shots when positioned outside the penalty area. It can be favoruable to assign this instruction to one of your players depending on your playing style. Since the player will decrease his amount of through balls, and instead shoot from long when posed with a potential chance, it will add an extra dimension when attacking.

By taking long shots the player will risk losing possession in order to score a goal. It's often best suited for players who are positioned deep or are coming deep to get the ball (for example deep lying forward, advanced playmaker or box to box midfielder in a counter attacking playing style). It can be a chance to break up play and create chances outside the area, as it will add more unpredictability to attacking situations.

Playing against an opposition who park the bus or are defensively stronger and compact, shooting more often may be a way of countering your squads weaknesses, such as lack of technique, vision, creativity and flair. Shoot more often could also be used for counter-attacking tactics where you have players who will hit the opponents on the break with their individual skills. It can also be proficient instructing one of your players positioned outside area in an attacking possession tactic to shoot from long/wide, since you'll often pressure the opposition team deep into their penalty area. Shoot more often can be favourable with player preferred moves "Tries first time shots", ''Curls Ball'' and "Shoots with power".

Pros: Increases the amount of shots on opponents goal. It's unpredictability can increase the amount of rebounds or be a way of threatening opposition team from longer distances too - not having to walk the ball into goal. Opponents will have to man mark or close down that player which may leave room behind when they push up.
Cons: Shoot more often requires very good individual skill. Mostly, you'll risk losing possession rather than taking advantage of movement and passes. Were there players who were better positioned? Risk versus reward.

To be realistic, there will be only a tiny percentage of long shots taken, that will find the back of the net. It will most often lead to wasting possession rather than creating some great clear cut chances.

Required Player Attributes: Long Shots, Technique, Decisions
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Shoots from Distance

Shoot Less Often
Football Manager Player Instruction Shoot More versus Shoot less often

This instruction is quite opposite from the above. Here you will encourage the player to look for a pass rather than attempting to score from long shots. The player will be asked to retain the ball, which is important for any possession tactic. The player will look to search for a better opportunity to shoot and instead follow his main player role duties; play short, play more through balls or whatever else is instructed.

Pros: By instructing the player to shoot less often you will look to take advantage of a players vision, creativity and ability to pass. While the player will refrain from wasting possession with long shots from outside the area, it may lead your team to getting the ball to far more dangerous positions on the field.
Cons: By playing a patient, passing game, it will be easier for the opposition team to defend against you. Your team may increase the amount of possession, but other tools must be considered in order to be more unpredictable in attacking situations (such as overlaps, more through balls and early crosses into the box. Playing patiently may not be the best when your behind and are hunting for goals late in game.

Required Player Attributes: Decisions, Anticipation, Creativity
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Looks for pass rather than attempt to score

Dribble More
Football Manager Player Instructions Dribble More

Dribble More will encourage the player to be more individual by running with the ball and attempting to dribble past opponents. For a counter-attacking tactic, dribble more may let you build-upon the pace of the game with individual skilled players.

Dribble More can be used to combat opposition teams man marking and may disrupt their strict formational lines. This instruction can also be favourable to create spaces for others to move into. For example an attacking midfielder who dribbles through the center may open up space for strikers or wingers, since the opponents have to decide whether to close him down or stand off (which may make him clear on goal). By instructing your players to dribble more, they will naturally make less passes.

Pros: A player who dribbles more can quickly advance to new areas of the field very quickly. His unpredictability may force the opposite marker to either tackle or stand off. It may also be a way of keeping possession (on the flanks). It aims to break down the opponents defensive shape by individuality rather than teamwork and passing their way around. With the right mix it can be very proficient.
Cons: Since the player will most certainly push out of the formational lines as he runs with the ball, perhaps by taking on opponents on a break, supporting players may be lacking. It may also be easier for the opposition team to catch your team on break as the player with the ball will leave huge spaces behind him and can easily be tackled. Against opponents who defend excellent, a player who dribbles often may often run into dead ends, where there's no where to pass or run (down to the corner flag or in the middle).

Required Player Attributes: Dribbling, Balance, Creativity, Flair
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Runs With Ball Often, Runs With Ball through Centre or down Left or Right Flank

Dribble Less

Dribble less will instruct the players to pass the ball around focusing on team unity and co-operation. This will decrease individual expressiveness in terms of direct runs and can benefit the team far more in the long run (depending on your football philosophy). While dribble more is often used to disrupt the defensive shape of the opposition team, dribble less will force the team to use other tools to penetrate the opposition team; such as passing, through balls and collective player movement, which can be far more dangerous as more players are involved.

Of course, dribble more can be used to a certain degree in all playing styles, but dribble less is personally recommended for more attacking tactics, where you want to move the ball around quickly with short passes and direct through balls in the final third rather than taking on your opponents by dribbling.

Pros: By ticking this instructions you will ask the player to work for the team. It will be easier to keep shape as the player will hold his position rather than dribble out from his designated position.
Cons: Dribble less will encourage the player to be less direct in terms of movement. Instead of dribbling he will rely on passes to penetrate the opposition team, which requires better concentration and anticipation as it may be easier to intercept passes.

Required Player Attributes: Passing, Technique, Anticipation
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Runs With Ball Rarely

Run Wide With Ball
Football Manager Player Instruction Run wide with ball

Keeping shape is not everything. Sometimes it may aid your football philosophy to have players who looks to break out of their normal position making it easier for others to get more space. Run wide with ball will instruct the player to move to wider areas of the pitch, perhaps to exploit their lack of width. As the player runs wide, it will force the opposition team to decide if they shall let him move to the touchline making it easier to get in a crosser, or stretch their formation and disrupt their shape.

Letting central midfielders run wide with ball can add an extra dimension and more unpredictability when attacking. By encouraging your complete wing back or wide midfielder to run wide when in possession of the ball, you can increase even more width letting them take on their marker on the outside

Pros: It will increase the spaces to exploit and can be a great option for attacking tactics where inside forwards cuts inside and letting your central midfielders run wide with ball which gives the DM (regista or deep lying midfielder) more space. It will link up play between those two wider players better, making the opposition team have to deal with two or even three wide players.
Cons: It may also disrupt your shape and leave much space in the central (if used on CM). It will also increase the space to exploit for the opposition team and catch you on the break when unbalanced.

Required Player Attributes: Dribbling, Flair, Creativity
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Runs With Ball Often + Dribble down the flanks

Cuts Inside With Ball
Football Manager Player Instruction Cuts inside with ball

While the run wide with ball doesn't set any requirements to the player preferred foot, the cuts inside with ball player instruction will be most successful to use when player has their strongest foot on the opposite side of where they are positioned. This means that a player positioned as right winger should have a stronger left foot in order to be a threat.

Cuts inside with ball will instruct the player to make diagonal runs from wider positions to more central areas of the pitch. This kind of movement will leave more space for other players to run into. The player will use dribbling and direct runs at opponents to head towards the goal forcing the opposition team to deal with yet another central threat. Opposite marker will need to either push out to close him down, stay or going to the ground (tackle him). Most often it will either lead to a shot on goal, a through ball in to the space behind defense (since they most often push out) or a supporting back pass.

Cuts inside with ball can also give space for an overlapping player in support such as a wingback who might be capable of crossing the ball to a tall striker. It will create a 2 on 1 situation if the wingback is not marked by a tracking back wide midfielder of the opposition team.

Pros: It will give the team the chance to involve more players in attack by overlapping wingbacks. It will decrease available space in the middle but make it harder for the opposition team to defend against you as it leaves more space on the flanks.
Cons: Cuts inside can make the middle of the pitch too crowded and even harder to penetrate when playing against a tight defense. Depending on the opponents formation and mentality, cuts inside can also lead to player running into a dead end. It will be easier for the opponents to regain possession as the player is outnumbered with no clear alternatives to retain possession.

Required Player Attributes: Dribbling, Decisions, Creativity
Other Requirements: Opposite Player preferred foot from player positioning
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Cuts Inside

Player Instructions - Distributions

Pass it Shorter
Football Manager Player Instruction Pass Shorter

Pass it shorter will instruct the player to decrease his length of passing looking to retain possession and play more patient than utilizing direct passes. The player will refrain from making through balls but instead deliver accurate passes to a player nearby.

This instruction is mostly used for possession tactics such as tiki taka or attacking tactics where you'll want to build-up play one pass at the time. It can be used on player roles that tends to play more directly such as a deep lying playmaker. Pass it shorter can be instructed for defenders when you're looking to play out of defence rather than long balls and quick direct counter attacking passing style. Passing shorter works best when two or more players are close connected, for example when playing with a midfield triangle or utilizing a diamond shape.

Pros: Ensures that player will look to pass short no matter circumstances, and are not being stressed out, but play a methodical build-up passing their way behind opposition team rather than counter them quickly and direct. It will be more difficult for the opposition team to intercept ball movement.
Cons: The attacking build-up may be too predictable making it easier for the opposition team to close down player and use their physic to regain possession. Since short passing play often relies on little space between the players it may become a lack of direct passes (read risky) which can open up the entire defense - the opposite players can just stick to their positions.

Required Player Attributes: Passing, Anticipation
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Plays Short Simple Passes
Requirements of Fellow Teammates: first Touch, Positioning

More Direct Passes
Football Manager Player Instruction More Direct Passes

As pass it shorter is utilized best for possession tactics, the player instruction more direct passes will encourage your players to get the ball quicker to areas in front of them by playing vertical passes over longer distance. It will immediately add more risks to passing play as there is a bigger chance of opposition team intercepts them. It fits formations that often becomes stretched and uses a higher tempo in passing play.

Pros: Passing more direct could be favourable for central midfielders or wide defenders in order to get the ball quicker to the attacking third. By good vision, more direct passes can easily unlock the most stubborn and tight defense.
Cons: The risk of being caught on the break by interceptions from an opposition team who uses counter-attack as main threat are more likely. The individual skills and use of player roles are even more important

Required Player Attributes: Passing, Technique, Decisions
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Tries Long Range Passes
Requirements of Fellow Teammates: Off the ball, Anticipation, Decisions, First Touch

More Risky Passes

For a player who likes to play short simple passes or a striker who tends to drop deep to get the ball, more risky passes can be favourable in order to unlock stubborn defenses. The player will be encouraged to play more low-percentage passes in order to utilize his creativity and get the ball into open space or areas of the field you can exploit.

By playing more risky passes you will look to waste possession in order to get one or two key passes which can be decisive for the outcome of the match. It's personally recommended for attacking tactics, possession tactics and counter-attacking tactics in order to raise the level of unpredictability to a certain degree. Be vary that passes will be send both vertically and horisontal in order to get the ball into more dangerous areas of the pitch. The player will look to make passes in the space in front of the player instead of to his feet, which will decrease the passing completion ratio.

Required Player Attributes: Decisions, Creativity, Passing, Technique
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Plays through balls often
Requirements of Fellow Teammates: Off the ball, Anticipation

Fewer Risky Passes

When using a possession tactic, relying on less risky passes might be more favourable in order to enter the final third with a good attacking shape. Fewer risky passes will encourage the player to retain possession first and foremost. His passing play will rely on patience and sensible passes to close connected players. He will play few key passes and won't waste possession when the team is in balance.

By playing fewer risky passes positioning will be more important than creativity. Player will look to play passes to a players feet which increases the passing completion ratio.

Required Player Attributes: Decisions, Creativity, Passing, Technique
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Plays no through balls
Requirements of Fellow Teammates: Positioning
NOTE! It can be favourable to use both short and direct passes between players for all tactics - some that retain possession and some that takes more risks getting the ball into dangerous areas of the pitch.

Together with level of passing risk and style of passing, it can be the main tools in order to get the ball into the side of the area where you're strongest - for example if you prefer to attack down one flank rather than the order.
Cross More Often

Primarily an instruction worthy for wide players. Cross more often will encourage players to cross the ball from wide positions into penalty area on a regular basis. For a tactic focusing on longer passes and get the ball quickly into final third from anywhere on the pitch. This means that it will let wingbacks cross more often when they got the chance for it, or see an opportunity to get the ball quickly into the penalty area (similar to the team instruction "go route one"). For wingers and wide midfielders they can cross both from byline or deep depending on if specific crossing instruction have been set. Without players strong in aerial situations or more than one player inside the box, this instructions can be regarded as wasting possession and changes.

I would recommend to use this option together with cross from deep in order to surprise (bombard) the opposition team with floating crosses. Normally this instruction would fit a more defensive minded playing style, but can also work for wide formations such as 3-5-2/5-3-2, which are often resembled as counter-attacking tactics.

Required Player Attributes: Crossing, Technique, Anticipation
Similar Player Preferred Moves: None
Requirements of Fellow Teammates: Heading, Jumping Reach, Height

Football Manager Player Instructions Crossing
    Cross from deep will encourage players such as fullbacks or defensive minded wingers who are positioned deep to take the opportunity to cross the ball from deeper areas of the pitch. This means that you can threat the opposition team without the need to pass your way into final third. Cross from deep can be a good solution for players who regains possession on flanks. I like to couple this instruction with "Cross aim far post" in order to switch possession to the opposite winger.

    Cross from byline will encourage players such as inside forward, winger or even complete wingback to take the opportunity to drive to the byline and cross it into penalty area. Here you will have more options; either use drill crosses if possessing quick strikers with great off the ball or float crosses if possessing tall and (heavy) forwards with good heading and jumping reach. Cross from byline can be used no matter playing style but requires far better technique as the angle will be tighter.

    Cross Aim Near Post will instruct the player to deliver crosses to the near post. It works best together with team instruction drill crosses.
    Cross Aim Far Post will instruct the player to deliver crosses to the far past. It might work best with floating crosses.
    Cross Aim Center will instruct the player to deliver crosses into the center of the penalty area, right in front of the goalkeeper. Cross aim center works best when you got at least two forwards and are packing the penalty area with many players (such as an shadow striker or attacking midfielder behind the two strikers).
    Cross Aim Target Man will instruct the player to deliver his crosses towards your target man.
    Since the option to set specific target man is removed for FM14, this only works if you've selected player roles such as Flank Target Man, Target Man or Complete Forward. The distribution method will depend on where the player is positioned at the specific moment.

Goalkeeper Distributions

You can ask the goalkeeper to distribute the ball in numerious ways, but only one option can be ticked. You can read more about the difference between the two GK player rolesgoalkeeper defend versus sweeper keeper here.

Take Quick Throws

Take Quick Throws will instruct the goalkeeper to get the ball quickly moving to a well-positioned player. By throwing the ball quickly either short or long (to most often a wide player), it will create an counter-attacking opportunity for your side. It means that the goalkeeper can effectively exploit weaknesses such as poor re-organizating when opposition team looses the ball. It's normally used for wider tactics who looks to hit opposition team on counter.

Required Player Attributes: Throwing, Anticipation

Take Long Kicks

Take Long Kicks will instruct the goalkeeper to kick the ball high upfield in order to enter the final third quicker. It's most suited for defensive tactics where you got a lone striker and central midfielders in support. Long kicks can also be used as an attacking threat when facing an opposition team with stronger midfield than yours. It's normally used when facing an opposition team who pressurize your defensive line or when you prefer to play with a deep defensive line.

Required Player Attributes: Kicking, Technique, Decisions

Distribute to Defenders

Distribute to defenders is primarly an option when playing with a high defensive line - attacking possession tactics or when you want to play out of defence. This instruction will encourage the goalkeeper to play short simple passes to the players in defensive line. This option might be unsuccessful when facing an opposition who pressures high up.

Required Player Attributes: Anticipation, Decisions

Distribute to Specific Teammate

Distribute to Specific Teammate will instruct the goalkeeper to deliver the ball to one specific player in the team. The goalkeeper will play it short or long depending on where the player is positioned. The player should have good first touch in order to not waste possession. Many would prefer to use this option for deliver long passes to your lone striker or player positioned wide in order to increase the probability of keeping possession.

Player Instruction - Movement

Creating a successful tactic is much about exploiting space versus rejecting space for the opposition team, which we looked briefly on in our tactical discussion about how to win possession quicker. The player instructions in regard to movement can be very important. They will dictate the shape of your formation and impact defensive as well as attacking situations.

Get Further Forward

Get further forward will ask the player to retain a position higher up the pitch by changing to an attacking mentality. The player will look to seek impact in the advanced areas of the pitch. It doesn't mean he will not trackback if used on box to box midfielder, but as you see from the images below, that he will stay higher up the pitch until the defensive fase happens. He will be in better position to support in transition face as he seeks to get forward. The player will look to make more runs off the ball forward.

Player Instruction Get furter forward Average position Player Instruction Get furter forward
Hold Position

Hold position will ask the player to be more stationary. The player will remain in their assigned position and rarely deviate from it. similar to the enganche, a player asked to hold position will stay in his position and will not look to roam around, look for space or swap positions with others. This means that when used a very fluid playing style, others will roam and cover eachother while this player will make few runs off the ball.

Stay Wider
Football Manager Player Instructions Stay Wider vs Sit Narrower

Stay wider ask wider players to position themselves closer to the touchline in order to create more space between your players. This can be a great tool for counter attacking tactics where you look to exploit space down the flanks. By instructing players to move further away from each other, it will stretch the game over the full width of playing surface making it easier to play more direct / pass into space.

This instruction is most often used on each player on each side, but can also be used on one side in order to increase space between two or more players. It can be used for wide players when playing with a 3-5-2, 3-6-1 or in formations with at least 3 central midfielders where you want your wingbacks to increase space / exploit flanks.

Similar Player Preferred Moves: Hugs line
Sit Narrower

Sit narrower will ask wide players to stay closer to the center. It will decrease space between players but increase space to exploit on flanks. By asking the player to sit narrower to his central team mates it will make your formation defensively stronger. Players will naturally become closer connected which increases the opportunities to retain possession.

I personally prefer to use this player instructions for player roles such as inside forward or defensive winger in order to exploit weaknesses in the central area of the pitch. I prefer this solution in order to close down passing area between DCR or DCL and the fullbacks. The player will also be better connected with the AMC or lone striker when playing a 4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3 and will make it easier for the (complete) wingbacks to overlap from behind as they gets more space.

Move Into Channels
Football Manager Player Instructions Move into channels

Moves into channel will ask players in the final third of the pitch to find vertical space between opposite defenders. The player will run against the space between them before pulling away in order to draw the defender out of position. By moving into channel it will create more passing opportunities behind the opponents defensive line. You will need to stay deeper in order to let the striker get the chance to move into channel.

Required Player Attributes: Off the ball, Acceleration, Anticipation, Decisions
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Moves into Channel
Roam From Position

Opposite of the hold position is the ability for the player to roam from position. This will encourage the player to look for space and leave his designated position within the teams basic formation. The player will look for pockets of space to exploit and roam around when not in possession of the ball in order to receive it and be more effective when your side has possession of the ball.

The player will be more unpredictable for the opposite defenders and will make it more difficult to defend against. It will enccourage the player to always make themselves available for a pass, forcing them to move all the time. Since you give the players more freedom when not in possession of the ball, they may also disrupt attacking shape and should be considered for only the players with most creativity. It won't suit all playing styles, but can give add something special to an attacking tactic.

The Roam from position player instructions is default for the Trequartista as it's his main signature movement and can therefore not be altered.

Required Player Attributes: Creativity, Positioning, Decisions

Player Instructions - Defending

Close Down More

One of the main tools for winning possession is the use of close down more. It encourages players to move closer to their opponents and harass them. It's similar to the Team Instruction Hassle Opponents, but will let specific players close down opponents to a higher degree rather than the whole team. It will look to force mistakes by marking players more tightly. It will be smart to assign it to fit players with high stamina and match fitness in order to regain possession quicklier.

Close down more will ensure that players push up, gives the opponents little time on the ball and less time to pick out the right pass or get overview of the situation. The tempo will be higher and it can be used for playing styles where high pressing is mandiatory. Close down more will often drag players out of their position while defending, which can be very risky, as it often leaves space behind them. The available space will increase the opportunities for other opponents to move into, eventually dragging other players out of their position as they need step in and cover.

Close down more can be used to combat opponents who are good passers but lacks first touch and decisions. Closing down a player with good dribbling and acceleration may not be too smart. Normally I let my defensive line don't close down in order to maintain a strict back line, while all my midfielders close down - making it possible to push up with my whole squad and press with all lines (as defensive line will follow), rather than letting one player harass several opponents (which makes him only run back and forth and eventually tiring him out).

Required Player Attributes: Aggression, Decisions, Tackling, Stamina
Close Down Less

Close Down Less can be the main tool when creating a tactic based on a stubborn and tight defensive line. By instructing players to close down less they will stick to their position, let opponents get space and resist from tight marking players so closely. By keeping the defensive shape, there will be less space to exploit (when players push out) and makes it harder for the opposition team to penetrate you. The group will automatically play more collective which forces the opposition team to use their creativity rather than get off the ball capabilities. Close down less is often used when using a playing style similar to the parking the bus. This is said because you can't set the level of closing down that good, as you could with the sliders.

While close down more is better against teams who play a lower tempo style with more technical players, close down less is better suited against teams who play with much tempo, quickness and have the qualities to dribble by your players. By ensuring the opponents get space, they will need to run by you giving your players the ability to pick out the best moment to tackle. It will also let your players to retain match fitness for a longer time, which may come in handy in the final 15 minutes of the match.

Required Player Attributes: Positioning, Concentration, Composure, Anticipation
Tackle Harder

Tackle harder will instruct players to be more forceful when tackling. He will dive to the ground in the hope to win possession of the ball. Tackling harder may result in more fouls, which can be used to scare specific players or eliminate specific threats. While the player will be more combative, it will also ensure that possession can be regained faster.

Required Player Attributes: Tackling, Aggression, Bravery, Decisions
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Dives into tackles

Discover the best tacklers of Football Europe - Have you signed them to your Football Manager save?
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Ease off Tackles

While tackle harder can be favourable against opponents who lacks pace and balance, the ease off tackles ensures that you can retain a defensive solid shape. Players with ease off tackles will be more considered when tackling and instead pick their moments more timely. This ensures that players stand on their feet rather than diving to the ground. Ease off tackles can be very advantegous against quick opponents who can easily ease past your players with marvellous dribbles and good vision.

Letting players stand on their feet will make them more mobile, harder to penetrate but might give possession away more easily, if they also stand off opponents.

Required Player Attributes: Anticipation, Concentration, Tackling
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Does not dive into tackles
Tight Marking

While closing down will encourage players to move out on the opponent with the ball making it harder for him to pass and shoot, the player instruction Tight Marking will ensure that the player uses a man-zonal marking. This means that the player will be instructed to follow his opponents in the area of where he's positioned. They will stick particular tight to assigned opponents in defensive situations, making it harder for them to receive passes and come into play.

If the player who is tighted marked leaves the area of the tight marker he will not follow but retreat to a zonal marking situation, if no other opponent get into his area. Tight marking can be a great tool to counter specific threats:

    Football Manager Player Instruction Specific Marking
    Tight Mark Specific
    For some tactics, such as our Football Manager 2014 attacking tactic cobra 3-6-1 specific marking is very important in order to get success. It may combat the lack of width or make sure you counter specific positional threats.

    Specific tight marking can only be assigned when in match and instruct the player to man mark a specific player both in defending situations and defensive set-pieces. This will drag the player out of position if the player roams around, or when assigned on a player not directly opposite of the marker, for example letting your MCL man mark DR.

Required Player Attributes: Marking, Strength, Concentration
Similar Player Preferred Moves: Marks opponents tightly

Do remember that the Football Manager Team instructions will impact the player instructions as well. Greyed out player instructions in matches will conflict from team instructions chosen, while similar instructions will impact on the level of behaviour.

This completes our guide to Football Manager 2014 Player Instructions. We will delve deeper into some of them in the months to come as we looks at different Football Manager tactics and player roles. If you haven't read part 1 in our series of Creating a successful Football Manager 2014 Tactics, you can catch upon it here.

How do you like to use player instructions in Football Manager 2014? Do you go by the "less is more" philosophy in order to create a successful tactic, or do you like to give many instructions which focus solely on to build on a players main strength?


  1. Manish kumar verma06:58

    Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post.

    Ormskirk Tutors

  2. Always great posts!!! A couple of questions:

    - when using hassle opponents and tighter marking on team instructions and close down more and mark tighter in player instructions, is it still needed to set these instructions on opponent instructions ???

    - do you think is useful to set the more attacking players with both close down more and mark tighter ???