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FM2008 Hints important Player Skills

Knowing and understanding what skills are required for a player to be good at a position is such a vital skill of a manager, in FM2008 its no different. Below we will go over every position and what skills you need to pay very close attention to.


Full backs
Central Defenders
Defensive Midfielders
Attacking Midfielders


First up is goalkeepers. Goalkeepers are pretty obviously vitally important to any football team and this applies in football manager (err). So lets have a look at whats really important and why in layman's terms.
Positioning Don't think it will suprise you to think positioning will be a vital stat of a keeper but this does apply in the game. Positioning applies in terms and general, corner kicks and freekicks, low positioning could mean you conceed more from set pieces, how high a stat would you give David James?
Handling Do you really want your keeper to drop the ball so to speak? Hard long shots and corner kicks are where this is important.
Command of area A few example keepers, Peter Schmeichel could command an area like no one else, screamed in their faces! Knowing how to setup the wall and get defenders to position well for corners.
Agility This applies for those hard to reach shots, top corner, nooo somehow he saves it. Gordon banks oh yeah!
Jumping Being 4" and not being able to jump would mean you can't be a keeper. Common sense here.
Strength Im not convinced this stat comes into play but if it where, surely this would be linked to the rocket shots that come in and somehow the keeper is able to save it with a strong finger?
Decisions I call this the common sense stat, very important stat for keepers so keep an eye on this one.
Aerial ability Can a white man jump? Important stuff
A few stats are very important but there is a fair few to keep an eye on, whats also left out is influence, could this be linked to command of the area?

Full Backs

A good wingback, I actually remember the days when really it wasn't an important position. But these days its become once because it can give you that extra bit of attacking power. These stats are straight forward when you think of the role they have, they run a lot, and pass a lot. In case of Roberto Carlos, he can shoot and take free kicks too.
Tackling If we forget the Roberto Carlos example tackling is important. He is a defender after all, although he attacks a lot having a full/wing back that can tackle as well, YOUR ON TO A WINNER.
Pace This isn't key to a good full back but depends what style you're team is going to play. If you want a fast full back you need to consider of the other stats as well, such as positioning and anticipation.
Positioning Vital stat for a full back, he needs to know where he should be, whether it be after he has lost the ball or after he has got it. When defending he needs to know where to stay, who to mark etc.
Heading Is this important? Well it depends I found on FM Live wingbacks needed to header well because they did a lot, will this fall into FM2009 im unsure.
Marking This is important for all defenders and if you don't know why, shame on you.
Strength Body strength, holding off those pacing wingers is important so this can apply, strength will work again you if you face Ronaldo I guess, he will just fall over.
Full backs are a big back of football and Football Manager now, you need to have good full backs to be a big team these days and in Football Manger, this is no different.

Central Defenders

How do you see a good central defender? I think of Tony Adams, tall strong and if he breaks his nose he just gets on with it, a real man. Or on the other hand you can be a fast defender who can slide tackle anyone.
Tackling See full backs, dont need to explain this one really?
Positioning Very important for things like set pieces, you rely on these guys for set pieces so a bad positioning stat will see poor showings here.
Heading Show me a good central defender that cannot header well? Enough said.
Marking Keeping close to that striker is obviously their main job apart from generally tackling people. Im guessing that this stat is really called into play when you do man marking but I don't program the game.
Strength This is important for central defenders as they get involved in the real hussle and bussle of the box in set pieces and tolding off defenders maybe forcing them wide.
Aggression This is a very important stat when you think about yellow and red cards. You want a low value for this stat, the higher the more chance they will get red cards on a regular basis. As a general rule I wont have a defender with aggression over 10.
Bravery Tony Adams. Stuart Pearce. These guys went in for the hard tackles, rough headers everytime, you need you defenders to go for everything and their bravery stat reflects how much of a wuss they are.
Jumping This goes with heading, they might be a good header of the ball but maybe they cant reach it!
Part of the spine of a team your two or more central defenders need to be good to stop your team conceeding many goals. Look at the above areas and make sure they hit the spot on every stat listed and you should have someone half decent.

Defensive Midfielders

A defensive midfielders role is to be the heart of a team in most cases, look at Vieira or Roy Keane, when Arsenal and Manchester United didn't have these players their team was affected by their absense. A good defensive midfielder is one massive asset.
Tackling A good defensive midfielder can tackle well 100% of the time, yeah maybe the odd miss timed tackle but they're reliable in this area.
Strength Roy Keane? Tough as well as being technically good he was a tough git, good defensive midfielders need to be able to hold of other players.
Aggression Low aggression is very important, same with central defenders the lower the stat the better or they will spend most of their time in the stands suspended.
Marking One of the big tactical advantages of defensive midfielders is you can use them to man mark someone without having to use up a defender. They need to be able to stick to their opponent.
Stamina These guys are work horses, they run a lot and dictate a lot of a teams play, they aren't playmakers but they are in the sense that if they have a very bad game it will cost you big time. Thesefore they need to keep up with the pace until the very end.
Work rate In stamina i mentioned their work horses, they must continue to try hard for 90 minutes, work rate reflects this.
teamwork Defensive midfielders, tackle, hold up play, lead, pass, mark and generally dicate play so team work is vital, they're the leaders.
Decisions Know when to pass, know when to slow the pace down, know when to rally the guys, he is the heart of the team so his decisions are vital.
Strong, clever, fit and talented = great defensive midfielder. The stats as above are easy to understand so it should help you find the right player for this position.

Attacking Midfielders

I have found attacking midfielders have a much bigger role in FM Live and I suspect this will be reflected in FM2009. Look at Gerrard, Lampard and Kaka, how important are these guys to their teams, the reason why? They score a lot and provide a lot.
Creativity Skill is one thing but creativity can set one player apart from another. Brazilians are famous for their creativity, pick a pass from no where. They see things others dont see and this is important if your team is attacking.
Passing Come on passing is pretty important for all midfielders, or all players!
Off ball Can they get themselves into those positions that you just wouldnt think they would think about? Think of those replays where a player starts off a move and ends up finishing it.
Technique English players arent famous for this but arent bad these days. I would say this is simply what they can do with the ball which links in very well with creativity and flair.
Finishing A good attacking midfielder can add at least 10 goals in a season, a real good one will produce 20+ so they really need to know how to put the ball in the net.
Work rate Gerrard sums this up completely.
Decisions Know when to shoot or to pass is a good sign of a world class player, self or do it for the team.
Flair Kaka, this guy has tones of flair, skills that 99.9% of the world can only dream of having.
Not having good attacking midfielders will mean less goals unless you have a goal machine of a striker. Support the strikers with great players behind them, to one provide them with chances and secondly to help them with the scoring.


Fowards, the goal guys. Without a good forward you gotta rely on your attacking midfielders and they wont get Ronaldo like stats. In my opinion FM is all about pace and acceleration, in FM Live its certainly about that.
Finishing What really world class striker cannot finish well?
Off the ball A fox in the box as it where has great off the ball ability. They know where to run at the right time and thats why they score a lot.
Flair Knowing how to get around that defender is all too important, someone with good flair can use their skill to do just that.
Creativity If you cannot rely on flair then creativity will mean strikers can find alternative ways of getting past defenders.
Dribbling A good player in Football manager that is a forward will have a good dribbling stat im pretty sure, this is how they really get past good defenders.
Pace Pace pace pace pace, I live by it and I will never say otherwise. Pace is incredibly important in Football Manager. If you can mix it with acceleration then just add a few more stats and you got a good forward.
Acceleration As above pace and acceleration are so important in this game, they really are. In FM live if both of these stats were good they would score a decent amount, same in FM.
If you have a bad forward then just give up now as you will just quit through frustration, but its finding the balance in small teams. Maybe in a lower division a lower rating that 20 is acceptable but with forwards pace and acceleration are vital in any situation.

This is a general guide intented to highlight the areas you should look at with each position, if you feel someone was missed out voice it and make a comment below.


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