Football Manager 2023: Understanding the objective ahead - Football Manager Daily (2023)

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Football Manager 2023: Understanding the objective ahead - Football Manager Daily (1)

The modern role of a striker has completely changed. Twenty years ago, a striker's job was simply to score goals. Today, they are the first line of defense and almost enablers for wingers. The roles were reversed. In addition to Erling Haaland, who I am convinced is inhumane, there is a real shortage of nine gunners.

Look at Liverpool in recent years, Roberto Firmino has been a favorite of Jurgen Klopp despite scoring just 15 goals in his most prolific season. Firmino is not a top scorer, but in Klopp's system his role was to open up space for Sadio Mané and Mo Salah, a role he performed to perfection. It is no coincidence that Darwin Núñez, a completely different profile from Firmino, entered and fought to play a similar role.

Even the third highest goalscorer in Premier League history, Harry Kane, has taken on a more creative role in recent years. Going down deep, supporting the midfield and taking the eye out of the needle runs through Heung Min Son, which has made them one of the most prolific partnerships of the Premier League era.

Football Manager 2023: Understanding the objective ahead - Football Manager Daily (2)

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This adaptive striker role has also been recognized by Football Manager as there are a huge number of different striker roles to choose from. Whether you're looking for a fox in the box (poacher) or a striker to chase down every loose ball (pressing forward), there's something for everyone in FM. As clichéd as it sounds, goals win games, so selecting the right system and features is key to creating plenty of opportunities.

Something of a dying art in the modern game, but in recent FMs, a quality striker has been a cheat code. I've had great success with the man-target tactic in the lower leagues and also with teams that compete in the Champions League. For those of you planning to complete a defense in FM23, you'll no doubt encounter some strikers during your reign.

In this article, I'll take a look at the Target Forward function in Football Manager 2023, describing its purpose, key attributes and some suggestions on how best to incorporate them into your tactics.

Destination forwarding description

I'm excited about strikers and the impact they can have in Football Manager 2023, but what is a striker? As with all in-game roles, Sports Interactive provide their own role description, which, considering they're the people responsible for coding the game, you should probably pay close attention to.

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An objective striker can turn an average team into a good one using sheer physical strength to disrupt the opposition's defense and open up space for an attacking partner and supporting midfielders. The targeted attacker uses strength and aerial presence to bring his teammates into play, rather than relying on technical skill.

Weird is not it? A striker's description does not mention anything to do with goals. This is because a striker's main role is to hold the ball and put other players into play. They'll be in and around the penalty area when the ball goes wide, but they're not players to run down the canals or go through the last line of defence.

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When I think of top scorers, I think of Olivier Giroud at the 2018 World Cup. We all know he finished with a winners' medal, but I bet you didn't know that he didn't manage to score a goal in the tournament, he didn't manage a single shot. on goal, as France's main striker. That's because he was an enabler, creating space for players like Mbappé, Griezmann and Dembele to exploit. A role he fulfilled to perfection.

In FM, target striker is available in both offense and support, although I've personally only had success with a target striker in support. I can't say I've experimented a lot with a target forward on attacking serves, but why change a winning formula?

attribute keys

I think there is a misperception in football that a target man is just a lanky idiot who plays forward. While height helps, the role requires a specific skill set. As with all positions, there are a variety of different attributes that help determine a player's suitability for the striker role in FM. Basically, you need Edin Dzeko.

Football Manager 2023: Understanding the objective ahead - Football Manager Daily (4)

Age is not necessarily on the Bosnian's side, but his FM22 attributes are perfect for the striker role. At 6'4", with excellent jumping range (17), force (17) and bravery (15), Dzeko has the necessary physical qualities to play as a support-back.

As the focal point of the attack, the target attacker's role is to open space for the players around him, causing them to get ahead (18) da bola (14) extremely important movement attributes. Those who don't rank high for movement off the ball are unlikely to be as effective as a striker, as they will create less space for teammates to take advantage of.

Because the role has a more creative approach than, say, a poacher, the ideal target attacker would also have good decisions (sixteen), first touch (sixteen) and teamwork (17). Premier League fans will need look no further than Brentford's Ivan Toney to see just how important the creative side of the role is. Toney is a natural goalscorer, but his creativity and link-up play are also exemplary, with Bryan Mbeumo often being the beneficiary.

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main features

In Football Manager, you have player attributes that indicate how good a player is at a specific skill, but you also have player traits. A player's traits are the actions he is likely to take in a match. They do not influence the player's skill, but they can improve a player's performance in a specific role. Every role in the game has complementary and conflicting player traits or tendencies, and the target striker is no different. Here are the main characteristics to look out for when looking for your next target man:

Play with your back to goal:As an outlet for his team when under pressure, the target striker must know how to play with his back to goal, hold the ball and put his teammates on the line.

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Runs with the ball rarely:What do the three players pictured above have in common, besides being six feet tall? They can't run! A target striker will never be a player that will push the crowd, so training him not to make him more effective in his assault game.

Play one-two:Having a target striker who tends to do one-twos ensures they become an integral part of the build game. Think of the excellent Giroud at Arsenal, with the ball drilled at his feet before delivering precise little touches around the corner to a running midfielder.

Advanced targeting tactics

Whether you choose to play route one football or a fast passing tiki-taka style, a good striker is capable of playing both systems. For a target striker to thrive in Football Manager, he needs three things: pace on and off the pitch, quality service and defending in midfield.

Here are three ways to configure the use of a destination forward on support.

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4-4-2

It's considered a very basic formation, but the 4-4-2 ticks all the boxes for the target striker to work best. On a flank, you have an inverted winger who will nestle inside, allowing the winger to maintain his width and deliver crosses into the area for the target striker to attack. A deep ace in the defensive serve, allowing the midfielder box by box to advance and enter the opposing area. Along with a striker, the target striker will have a striker to play the ball when in possession.

Football Manager 2023: Understanding the objective ahead - Football Manager Daily (7)5-2-2-1

Channeling my inner Antonio Conte here, a 5-2-2-1 or 5-2-3 as marked on FM, puts plenty of attacking players in and around the target without sacrificing width. Fullbacks will provide the breadth on offense, while inside forwards will cut inward and look to feed off the chaos caused by the target attacker. A defender who plays with the ball in the middle of the three, with good long passes to play direct passes to the goal forward to hold. Much like how Tottenham plays in real life, whether that's good or not I'll leave that to your imagination.

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I don't know what's up with the tight formations, but the game engine in recent editions has struggled to handle center overload. From the target's point of view, this is probably the formation that gives them the most options. The forward target and forward shadow combination has been extremely popular in the past, and aggressive runs towards goal positions are music to any target man's ears. The full-back on the opposite side of the pitch moves forward when in possession, while the breadth of the other flank is provided by a mezzala, another function that works in harmony with a forward striker.

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