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Top 5 Underrated Attributes in Football Manager

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Top 5 Underrated Attributes in Football Manager

List of top five underrated attributes you need to stop overlooking when scouting for players on Football Manager.


It’s happened to everyone. You sign a striker, discover his finishing is off the charts but can’t figure out why he’s missing chance after chance. You sign a midfielder with great passing and vision, but he’s not the creative force you envisioned. You sign a defender with incredible heading stats, but he’s beaten in the air by 160cm strikers. I am constantly struck by many attributes that I have previously underappreciated and overlooked while scouting a player and their importance to a player’s overall ability. These are my top five attributes that you shouldn’t be underrating any longer.

1. Off the Ball


The in-game description of Off the Ball really says it all; it’s the player’s ability to cause the opposition defence headaches while not in possession of the ball. This dictates how well your players can find pockets of space away from the opposition to receive the ball. While this is obviously crucial if you want your team to make a lot of passes, playing liquid football and carving open the defence, but it’s particularly key to your strikers in any system. No matter how your team plays, you need your strikers to be able to shake off a marker and receive the ball in space, whether that’s to turn and take on their defender or a target forward trying to get on the end of a cross. With a low Off the Ball, you’ll find your team becoming static and wasteful in possession, and your creative players will have very few options.

2. Teamwork


Those who prefer a lower league save will be very familiar with the effects of low teamwork. Low teamwork across your squad means your players will not work for each other and the good of the team, which affects their tactical understanding. The most obvious example of low teamwork is also something we’ve seen plenty from multiple match engines: players who don’t square the ball to a teammate and take on a shot from difficult angles. If your players have good teamwork, it’s much easier to build team cohesion, and everyone understands the need to sacrifice for the common goal.

3. Bravery


Simply: a brave defender wins headers. Players who lack bravery are less likely to put their body on the line to make a play, meaning they’re less likely to win 50/50s and aerial battles. In my opinion, bravery is almost as desirable as determination, as it impacts players of all positions. It compliments aggression well, and completes tough-tackling midfielders and defenders.

4. Natural Fitness


One that has become increasingly important in FM22, natural fitness is a player’s ability to maintain match sharpness and conditioning when out of the team. In a game where rotation is an absolute necessity, natural fitness ensures two things: that your backups will stay ready, and your first-choice players will stay fresh for longer. Win-win. You get to keep your best players on the pitch for longer, and your reserves are more effective when called upon. It also has the added bonus of indicating whether your older players will lose their physical attributes quickly, or whether they’ll see a steadier decline.

5. Anticipation


This one might be cheating because everyone knows how important anticipation is to a striker, particularly an advanced forward or poacher who needs to react to opportunities developing quickly. However, it took me longer than I’d like to admit to understand how important anticipation is to a defender. How often have you seen a defender caught out of position, or they go one way to clear a loose ball or make a challenge only to be left in the dust by a striker who beats them to it? Poor anticipation means your defenders aren’t reading the game properly and aren’t reacting to situations as they happen. With higher anticipation, they can make better split-second decisions, and prevent situations from arising.

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FM Blog: Top 5 Underrated Attributes in Football Manager
Top 5 Underrated Attributes in Football Manager
List of top five underrated attributes that you need to stop overlooking when scouting for players on Football Manager.
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