Football Manager Guides: Key Goalkeeping Player Attributes and Requirements
What makes up for the best goalkeepers of Football Manager? How can I find good goalkeepers to my tactic and preferred player role? These questions are some of the important issues to discuss when buying a new goalkeeper. Scouting for a new goalkeeper is not only about looking at his current and potential ability. Like all the players in Football Manager the goalkeepers have different attributes and skills; strength and weaknesses summed up as the Football Manager Player Attributes.
The goalkeeper is a very specialized player, who requires a different sets of attributes than the outfield player. The Football Manager goalkeeper attributes will help you with understanding the GK roles match behavior and what’s required of him to perform.
Below will we hand you the definitions to the key Football Manager goalkeeper attributes, which will help you in your youth / player development and when purchasing your own world class keepers aimed to suit your Football Manager tactics and playing style.
Key Football Manager Goalkeeper Attributes – Requirements of the Keeper for the Different Match Situations
The goalkeeper has one of the key jobs in football, as he must prevent the other team from scoring. During every football match there are many different situations the goalkeeper needs to handle. These days in world football a good goalkeeper needs a huge variety of skills and attributes. In Football Manager, they have recreated this complexity through two goalkeeping player roles: modern day sweeper keeper (hereby shortened as SK), and the classic goalkeeper defend (hereby shortened as GKD).
In Football Manager there are three types of player attributes for keepers;
– Technical goalkeeping skills (specific for goalkeepers)
– Mental skills
– Physical skills
Even though the two different player roles for goalkeepers will act differently according to different match situations, will they require some of the same skills and attributes. Below have we broken up the required skills for a good goalkeeper according to match situation marked with key attributes according to player role Goalkeeper defend and Sweeper Keeper.
Basic Goalkeeper attributes – Shot-stopping and Handling
Imagine the opposition team puts pressure on your fabulous squad. The opposition team gives you a hard time by shooting from all ranges and you’re not able to win the ball back. The goalkeeper might be the only man to save you, and needs to step up as a traditional shot stopper (read: goalkeeper defend).
There are four important attributes the goalkeeper requires to prevent the opposition team from scoring:
Handling – Save the ball with safety (GK and SK)
During a match there will always be situations where the goalkeeper needs to pick up a loose ball or make a safe save, by gathering the ball in his hands, without wasting possession. The technical goalkeeper attribute Handling determine how well and securely he can gather the ball into his hands and make a safe save. Higher attribute equals fewer options to do mistakes by letting the ball rebound. Linked to weather conditions (wet and slippy balls).
Reflexes – Instinctive play based on great reactions (GK and SK)
A good goalkeeper needs the instinct and quick reaction ability to make an impossible save. How often have you not seen a goalkeeper make an incredible save, and you wondered how the hell did he manage that?! An excellent goalkeeper needs great reflexes, as the penalty area might be stuffed with players and no clear view for the ball. High ratings will increase his tendency to respond to the unpredictable and do the extraordinary. Great reflexes is also required on defensive set-pieces and penalties.
Positioning – right place on the right time (SK and GK)
To prevent the other team from scoring the goalkeeper must place himself in a position where he can be able to save the shot. A good goalkeeper needs to decide when and where he should position himself, and read the arising situation correct to be positioned on the right place at the right time. Tied to decisions and anticipation.
Agility – Movement in box (SK and GK)
A goalkeeper needs to have the speed to rush out and switch position inside the penalty area. Agility predict how well the goalkeeper is to start, stop and move in different directions at various levels of speed. Agility is tied to acceleration, pace and balance.
Key Goalkeeper Attributes for Defending Set-pieces
No matter who you encounter there will be options for the opposition team to score from set-pieces; f.ex corners, free-kicks or penalties. The goalkeeper needs technical and mental attributes to deal with such situations.
A dangerous cross from wide in front of the goal, for example on corners or wide free-kicks, can be a tricky situation for your goalkeeper and defensive line. Since the goalkeeper is the last player in the defensive line, he has unique supervision of the arising situation. His survey of the opposition teams player position can be valuable on defending corner set-ups. He must organize man marking on corners and free kicks and instruct the players to pay attentions to opposition threats. To handle these situations a good goalkeeper needs;
Communication – Organize the defense (GK and SK)
This attribute is also vital whenever the opposition team are in possession of the ball and is one of the basic goalkeeper attributes.
A good goalkeeper needs to instruct his team mates for good interaction with each other. A goalkeeper with good communication
will predict how well the defensive line works together. It is vital to have a good communicator as this may ensure better defensive stability in the long run.
The official Football Manager definition to this attribute is: How well a goalkeeper communicates with his defensive line and organizes the defensive side of the team.
Command of area – Claiming the ball (GK and SK)
A good goalkeeper needs often to take charge in the penalty box and claim high balls, or look to take charge of similar situations, and defend the goal. Higher ratings equals increased partiality to go out to claim the ball. To succeed he needs to work with his defensive line, so he gets the space and opportunity to reach the ball. It is also vital that he has the range and aerial ability to claim the ball.
Aerial Ability – GK range in box (GK and SK)
There will always be situations in a match where the goalkeeper would face high balls. The goalkeeper might often need to jump up and either catch the ball with his hands, or punch the ball away, before the opposite attacker gets to it. Aerial ability predicts how far the goalkeeper can reach the ball with his hands, when in air, and either hold the ball or punch the ball out of danger. A attribute above 15 could be regarded as world class, as he will tend to succeed in those situations.
You could say a taller goalkeeper can have an advantage in aerial situations, as he has better range, but that will also depend on his attributes in handling and command of area, as well as aerial ability.
Tendency to punch – Ball clearance (GK and SK)
Sometimes even the best goalkeepers may need to punch the ball away from dangerous situations, as it may be difficult or dangerous to try and hold the ball (read: handling)
This goalkeeping attribute predicts how likely the goalkeeper will punch the ball even when it’s favorable to hold it. A higher attribute basically means he will have a tendency to punch the ball clear. This attribute is linked to all aerial situations, but is covered in this section as free-kicks and corners have many similarities to crosses from wide.
It’s also vital that the goalkeeper have the decisions to know where it’s most favorable to punch the ball and in which areas to punch it to.
Goalkeeper attributes – Ball Distribution
When creating your Football Manager tactic you might have a certain playing style in mind, which you want your players to be limited by. No matter preferred playing style, the goalkeepers distribution methods is vital for the success of that particular playing style. If you prefer a possession tactic it would be ridiculous to let the goalkeeper launch the ball long and wide. No matter distribution method you prefer according to your playing style, the goalkeeper needs the attributes to perform and do what’s required.
There are three important goalkeeper attributes in regard to distribution:
First Touch – Take control of the ball (SK and GK)
A modern day goalkeeper must be great with his ball in his feet. He must accept back-passes from his team mates and deal with them in an effective manner. This attribute is one of the key attributes for a successful sweeper keeper. Like the outfield players this attribute determine how good he can take control of the ball when receiving possession of it, and how well he can put it in an useful position. Players with low ratings will struggle to control the ball as adeptly and may loose the ball quicker if closed down or put under pressure. Linked to decision.
Kicking – Pass or launch the ball (SK and GK)
When selecting passing style and distribution method in the player instructions for your goalkeeper it is important to look at his kicking skills. A good attribute in this area will determine his physical capability to kick the ball; how long he can kick the ball, but not how accurate he will be. A goalkeepers accuracy is determined by the hidden player attribute passing and the now visible attribute technique.
Kicking is linked to creativity and decisions, as he needs to know when it’s most effective to launch a long ball and “see” opportunities.
Throwing – Accuracy of throws (SK and GK)
Sometimes it’s most effective to throw the ball quickly to a teammate, who have spaces to exploit or can do something extraordinary. This attribute determine how accurate he is when throwing the ball. But remember he also needs the strength to distribute the ball with his arms, for the required distance. This means that a high rating in throwing makes him very accurate, but if he lacks strength he will not be able to throw it any far. Throwing is linked to decisions as he needs to know when and where it’s most effective to throw the ball.
The Defensive Counter-Attacking Situations for Goalkeepers
When referring to counter attacking situations we define these as all match situations where the oppositions team have an opportunity to score a goal, as they breaks your offside trap and comes towards your keeper either alone or are in majority.
Some teams have better capabilities to hurt your side on counter attacking moves than others. While some playing styles and tactical preference makes you vulnerable to being hit on the counter.
If playing a possession tactic with attacking strategy for example, you may use a high defensive line which leaves space behind to exploit for the opposition team. Your goalkeeper might be the only one to rescue you, as your defenders lacks the required quickness to catch up with the opposition teams speedy forward(s) or wingers.
The key attributes required of a good goalkeeper in these situations are:
Rushing out – Claim through balls (SK and GK)
If the opposition team tries to exploit the space behind the defensive line it may be vital for your modern day goalkeeper (read sweeper keeper) to push out of the penalty box and react to through balls and long balls by claiming the ball. This attribute determines how well the goalkeeper is to react to these situations by having the skills needed to come off the line and break the ball in front of / before the opposition threat gets to it. Rushing out is linked to decisions, balance, acceleration and pace, as he needs the quickness to reach to the event.
One on ones – deal with opposition threats (SK and GK)
If the opposition team have succeed to break the offside trap, the goalkeeper is the last person to prevent the other team from scoring. The opposite player may have excellent dribbling and technique, which makes him a real goalscorer threat.
A good goalkeeper needs great attributes in bravery and decision to deal with these situations in additional to one on ones.
The goalkeeper attribute one on ones predicts how well the goalkeeper is to deal with these situations, and is partially linked to rushing out. One part of this attribute is the goalkeepers ability to deny scoring opportunity but also his ability to read the arising situation and predict what the opposite player might do (read: anticipation).
High one on ones attribute will increase his tendency to attempt to win the ball with confidence and impose these types of situations to his benefit. The goalkeeper may need good reflexes and balance in these types of situations as the opposite target may be an excellent dribbler or quick on his feet.
With a deep defensive line, this attribute will not be as important than if you play with a high defensive line.
Eccentricity – be unpredictable (SK and GK)
This goalkeeper attribute is first of all mostly tied to player role sweeper keeper, as they will tend to play in a wider area of the pitch (push outside the penalty box).
This keeper attribute may be hated by some managers as a goalkeeper with high attributes in this area may end up doing “ridiculous” mistakes. Actually this attribute determines a goalkeepers tendency to do something unpredictable, and might be looked as the goalkeepers flair attribute.
A good sweeper keeper might often do the unpredictable to clear the ball effective, either by dribble away an opposition player who tries to close him down or rush out of the box to head the ball clear / wide. Eccentricity will determine his ability to act completely unlike every other goalkeepers. It’s tied to creativity, decisions and anticipation.
Some may find a goalkeeper with high attributes in this area a risky player, but it might be favorable in some situations to have a goalkeeper with average stats for this attribute.
Goalkeeper Technique Attribute
The technique attribute for goalkeeper determines how skilled the goalkeeper is. It’s related to their kicking, first touch, throwing, punching, free kick taking, handling, reflexes and creativity and eccentricity. A goalkeeper with excellent handling, reflexes, aerial ability and one on ones can be a very reliable goalkeeper who rarely concedes goals, but the level of technique determines how great they master; difficult shots which might require unorthodox saves, how accurate they passes the ball, how likely he can handle the ball in order to make a safe save with his body.
Key Mental Attributes for Goalkeepers
A short survey of the most important mental attributes. You can read more about their definition in our guide to the basic Football Manager player attributes.