How I Play #1 – Player Profile (Defence)

Welcome to a new series on The Long Ball’s FM site entitled How I Play. This is not a guide nor an expert opinion but just how I play and approach the game. In the inaugural edition, I look at what I want from a defensive player on the game…

Defences are the foundation upon which success is built in football. You can have the best attacking unit in the world but concede too many and they count for naught. Therefore, in FM, defences are critical and getting the right players can be difficult. 

It’s about building a solid unit and over my FM life span I have built a few very good defensive units. I’ve also had some shocking ones but through them all I have built up a profile for the types of players I want for each role. 

So, let’s see what I look for in my defensive players.

Centre Back

Centre back is the least fancy position in any of my sides. They simply need to defend and be able to kick a ball a bit. Obviously, I will look at the standard attributes – marking, tackling, heading, strength etc. – but for me a successful centre back is 90% mental. 

What this means is that I have a way to weed out CBs after I’m happy with their standard attributes mentioned before. I look at these mental attributes to determine if I’m interested in a player (listed in a very particular order):

  • Positioning 
  • Concentration
  • Composure
  • Anticipation 
  • Teamwork

Positioning is an absolute essential attribute for my centre backs. Having the best tackler or marker is great but if they are incapable of being in position then they are frankly useless.

Concentration and composure are also important for me. I want my defenders to be switched on and calm at all times because that is when I think they work at their best. Aggression is good but I feel like it can lead to more mistakes in the long run. 

Anticipation and Teamwork are fairly self explanatory points as a centre back that can’t read the game or work with his team mates is not going to be in a job for long. 

Full Back

One of the tougher positions for me to fill is full back because I need well rounded footballers for the role. I want my full back to be solid defensively as well as competent going forward. 

So what attributes am I looking for? Plenty. So in no particular order:

  • Crossing
  • Technique
  • Dribbling
  • Work Rate
  • Stamina
  • Passing
  • Tackling
  • Pace
  • Determination

A fair old list then. I’m not as stringent about this list as I am for centre backs because I have found great success with full backs that are not great going forward attribute wise but I prefer to get good numbers in those areas if I can. 


I have only one rule for goalkeepers – high Eccentricity is an instant no. There’s no rhyme or reason for it. I just don’t want an eccentric keeper. 

So that is my preferred player profile when I’m buying my defensive players. Do you agree with me? What do you look for? Let me know here or over on Twitter. 

Next time: I’ll share my midfield player profiles. 



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