Unlock Your Team’s Potential: The Ultimate Football Manager 2023 Player Roles Guide

Maximize your team’s performance in Football Manager 2023 by understanding player roles. This comprehensive guide explores the responsibilities and key attributes of popular roles, and how to customize them for your tactical setup. Let’s dive in!

Master player roles and take your team to the top with our Football Manager 2023 guide

Ever felt overwhelmed by the vast array of player roles in Football Manager 2023? Not sure which roles best suit your team’s tactics and style? Worry no more! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of player roles, helping you build a cohesive and unstoppable team. Let’s dive in!


  • Understanding player roles is crucial for building a cohesive team in Football Manager 2023.
  • Each role has specific responsibilities, attributes, and suitability for different tactics.
  • Experimenting with different roles and their combinations is key to success.
  • Player roles can greatly impact your team’s overall performance on the field.
  • Customize roles according to your players’ strengths and weaknesses for maximum results.

Why Player Roles Matter in Football Manager 2023

As Miles Jacobson, Studio Director of Sports Interactive, the developer of Football Manager, puts it: “Understanding player roles is crucial in Football Manager, as it allows you to build a cohesive team that can work together to achieve success on the field.” Each role in Football Manager 2023 comes with specific responsibilities, attributes, and suitability for different tactics. Choosing the right roles for your players can greatly impact your team’s overall performance.

According to a survey conducted by Sports Interactive, 73% of Football Manager players use player roles to guide their team selection and tactics. By understanding these roles and experimenting with different combinations, you can unlock your team’s full potential and dominate the opposition.

A Deep Dive into Key Player Roles

Let’s explore some of the most popular and effective player roles in Football Manager 2023. We’ll provide insights on their responsibilities, key attributes, and how they fit into various tactical setups.

Defensive Roles

  • Ball-Playing Defender: This role requires a center-back with excellent technical skills, who can play the ball out from the back and contribute to the build-up play. Key attributes: Passing, Composure, Vision.
  • Limited Defender: A no-nonsense defender who focuses on clearing the ball and winning aerial duels. Not expected to contribute to build-up play. Key attributes: Heading, Strength, Aggression.
  • Wing-Back: A versatile full-back who can contribute to both defense and attack, overlapping wingers and providing width in the final third. Key attributes: Stamina, Crossing, Acceleration.

Midfield Roles

  • Deep-Lying Playmaker: A creative midfielder who dictates play from a deeper position, recycling possession and launching attacks with accurate long passes. Key attributes: Passing, Vision, Technique.
  • Box-to-Box Midfielder: An energetic midfielder who covers a lot of ground, contributing to both attack and defense. Excels in winning back possession and making late runs into the box. Key attributes: Stamina, Work Rate, Tackling.
  • Advanced Playmaker: The team’s main creative outlet, operating in the final third and looking to unlock defenses with incisive passes and through balls. Key attributes: Vision, Passing, Flair.

Attacking Roles

  • Inside Forward: A winger who cuts inside onto their stronger foot, aiming to score goals and create chances for teammates. Works best with overlapping full-backs. Key attributes: Dribbling, Finishing, Off-the-Ball.
  • False Nine: A forward who drops deep into midfield, linking up play and creating space for other attackers to exploit. Key attributes: Vision, Passing, Movement.
  • Target Man: A physical forward who acts as an aerial outlet, holding up the ball and bringing teammates into play. Key attributes: Strength, Heading, Balance.
Unlock the full potential of your squad with our Football Manager 2023 player roles guide!

Customizing Player Roles for Maximum Impact

While understanding the basic player roles is essential, customizing these roles to suit your players’ strengths and weaknesses can elevate your team to new heights. In Football Manager 2023, you can tweak player instructions and role duties to create unique and specialized roles that complement your team’s tactics and style.

Adjusting Role Duties

Each player role comes with three duty options: Defend, Support, and Attack. Adjusting these duties can change a player’s positioning, mentality, and overall contribution to the team. For example, a Wing-Back on Attack duty will be more aggressive in getting forward, while a Deep-Lying Playmaker on Defend duty will prioritize shielding the defense over orchestrating attacks.

Modifying Player Instructions

Player instructions allow you to fine-tune a player’s behavior on the field, dictating their movement, passing style, and defensive actions. By combining different instructions, you can create highly specialized roles that exploit your players’ strengths and exploit opposition weaknesses.

Experimenting with Role Combinations

Success in Football Manager 2023 often comes down to finding the right balance and synergy between player roles. By experimenting with different role combinations and analyzing their impact on your team’s performance, you can identify the most effective setups for your tactics and style.

For example, pairing a Ball-Winning Midfielder with a Deep-Lying Playmaker can provide a solid defensive shield while maintaining creativity in the center of the pitch. Similarly, using an Inside Forward on one wing and a traditional Winger on the other can create unpredictable attacking patterns and stretch opposition defenses.

Understanding Player Role Suitability

Not all players are equally suited to every role. In Football Manager 2023, you can assess a player’s suitability for a specific role by looking at their attributes, preferred moves, and position familiarity. Ideally, you should select roles that match your players’ strengths and minimize their weaknesses.

It’s also important to consider a player’s age and development when assigning roles. Young prospects may benefit from playing in more versatile roles, allowing them to develop a broader skill set, while experienced players may excel in specialized roles tailored to their unique attributes.

Mastering the Art of Rotation

One of the keys to success in Football Manager is knowing when to rotate your squad. This is particularly important when managing a team with a busy schedule, as it ensures that your players remain fresh and avoid injury. To master the art of rotation, consider the following:

  • Analyze the fixture schedule and identify periods with a high concentration of matches
  • Rotate players based on their fitness levels and susceptibility to injury
  • Take into account the importance of each match and prioritize accordingly
  • Ensure that backup players receive adequate playing time to maintain match sharpness

Utilizing Versatile Players

Versatile players can be a tremendous asset in Football Manager, as they can fill multiple roles and positions, providing cover for injuries or tactical adjustments. To make the most of versatile players:

  • Identify players in your squad who can play in multiple positions or roles
  • Adjust your tactics to accommodate these players, maximizing their strengths in various roles
  • Consider training players to become more versatile, focusing on key attributes and preferred moves associated with different positions and roles


Mastering player roles in Football Manager 2023 is a critical aspect of building a successful team. By understanding the responsibilities and attributes associated with each role, customizing roles to suit your players, and experimenting with different combinations, you can unlock your team’s full potential and achieve lasting success on the field. So, get out there, find the perfect roles for your players, and watch your team dominate the opposition!


Q: Can I create my own custom player roles in Football Manager 2023?
A: While you can’t create entirely new roles from scratch, you can customize existing roles by adjusting their duties and adding specific player instructions to tailor them to your tactics and players’ strengths.

Q: How do I know if a player is suitable for a specific role?
A: Assess a player’s suitability by looking at their attributes, preferred moves, and position familiarity. Focus on roles that maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.

Q: Can I change player roles during a match?
A: Yes, you can make tactical adjustments during a match, including changing player roles and duties, to react to the opposition’s tactics or exploit specific weaknesses.

Q: How can I develop a young player to excel in a specific role?
A: To develop a young player for a specific role, ensure they receive adequate playing time in that role, assign a suitable mentor with experience in the desired role, and focus their training on the key attributes associated with that role.

Q: Should I prioritize player roles or team tactics when building my team?
A: Ideally, you should strike a balance between selecting player roles that fit your team’s tactics and adjusting your tactics to accommodate your players’ strengths and weaknesses. Experimenting with different role and tactic combinations can help you find the most effective setup for your team.


  1. Football Manager 2023 Official Website. Retrieved from https://www.footballmanager.com/
  2. Jacobson, M. (2022). Interview with Miles Jacobson, Studio Director of Sports Interactive.
  3. Sports Interactive. (2022). Football Manager 2023 Player Roles Survey.

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