I’ve wanted to do a lot more short length pieces for the blog and have a few ideas on what I can do and as a result this is one of the new things I’ll be trying out and getting feedback for to see if it’s worthwhile. The idea is I take a random tactical question or use a common one asked on the forums and try to answer it without going overboard with the details. After a while, I hope it would become like a hints and tips of sorts with snippets of valuable information. It might not work but it’s worth a try. Also not all questions will be about tactics they’ll be about everything Football Manager related. So please post below in the comments section and let me know if you want to see more of these types of articles or not, then I’ll know if it’s worth carrying on or not.
I see this question asked an awful lot;
Why does my winger not pass the ball and cross like he should? Or why doesn’t he pick out my striker in the box?
So what it boils down to is, why doesn’t the winger do what he should be doing?
It could be a number of reasons why this happens really, BUT the most common issues would be;
- You use the wrong role
- Lack of support
- No-one in the box to cross too
- Being forced into making a quick decision
- The winger being too advanced up the pitch
The bread and butter of the winger role is him taking people on and crossing. Those are the two main factors of a winger’s job. A lot of people use a winger but then expect him to do something he doesn’t really do. So if you don’t want him staying out wide majority of the time, attempting to beat his marker and putting crosses into the box then this is not the role you want.
Lack of Support
If the player has a lack of support then realistically his options are limited. This then means the winger needs passing options that are either alongside of him or in front of him, if he doesn’t have this then his crosses could be a bit erratic. So what you need to do is pause the game when the winger first receives the ball and have a look around at what kind of area he picked the ball up in and to see what your players around him are doing. Then watch the move and see what he does with the ball, again pausing it and looking around just before he releases it. This will tell you everything you need to know about what type of supply he is doing and who to.
Lack of Crossing Options
This is one issue that I must see ten times a day. I see people create tactics that utilises wingers then use striker roles that focus on the player not playing in the box. I’m not saying strikers who drop back never get into the box but you need to realise than if a striker is dropping deep then he’s moving away from the box. The same can also be said if he is starting in a deeper position due to being on a defensive or supportive role, he might not be able to keep up with play and get into the box. So it’s worth looking out for this. It might also be worth noting that you need several bodies in and around the box to make use of crosses, if not, then the opposition can easily defend against one person in the box nine times out of ten due to the numbers advantage they have.
Being Forced Into Making a Quick Decision
If a player is being closed down heavily or forced into a blind alley then they’ll always struggle and it’s not uncommon to see them make a bad decision. Instead of taking their man on you might see them attempt a pass or even a cross from deep. So if you think the winger isn’t doing what he should be then go into the analysis tab and look back at one of the games he struggled in and have a look at what he is doing when he gets the ball and what the opposition are making him do.
Player positioning is everything, so if he is high up the pitch then this relies on someone getting the ball to him, to stop him becoming isolated. The higher he is the less likely he can influence the game by running at people and putting crosses into the box as it can make him way ahead of everyone else. This can actually be an issue for fast players when they run with the ball if the players in the supporting roles are slower than him. They can struggle to keep up with him or they struggle to get in and around the box. So keep an eye out for where he is positioned on the pitch and ask yourself if he is too advanced? If so try using a support roles. If he’s not high enough then use an attacking one. But also be aware that it’s also the players around him you need to keep an eye and make sure they are linking up exactly how you expect them too.