Wingers – FM20
Wingers are the lifeblood of any wide system that is looking to create goalscoring from an attacking mentality. Wingers come in Support and Attack mode and are found both at wide midfielders and wide attacking midfielders. Please see the guide to mentality for more information about how it affects player behavior.
What makes a good winger (attributes)?
Wingers require a few essential technical and physical attributes in order to create goalscoring opportunities. These are:
Crossing – moving the ball effectively across the pitch horizontally while moving vertically
Acceleration and Pace – combined to push your winger forward and past opponents
Dribbling – the important ability to maneuver the ball in a controlled fashion
Intelligent and creative wingers stand out amongst others. They will need some mental attributes like:
Decisions: Knowing when and if the ball should be distributed, and to whom it should be given.
Teamwork: Especially important for wingers who often are one on one with the keeper. This affects the winger’s willingness to pass the ball to a teammate in a more central position. Many FM managers experience frustration due to the fact that a winger will shoot from a tight angle although there is a better goalscoring opportunity if the ball is passed to another player. This is often because the winger has low teamwork.
Obviously, factors such as Vision and Flair help as well, but are secondary to decisions and teamwork.
When to use a winger in Football Manager
In general, you want to use wingers when your tactic has at least some emphasis on wing play as a part of your attacking plan. Wingers are most effective when they can get into positions parallel to the penalty spot on the wide ends of the pitch and can cross to a forward who has good anticipation and off the ball attributes in order to set himself up for a chance. Heading and jumping reach are also important for forwards who ideally should make the most of high crosses.
Typically, wingers star in formations such at the 4-1-2-2-1 and the 4-2-3-1. If you have wingers with good attributes for the role, use your team instructions to focus play along the wings or perhaps just one wing if you only have one very good winger. Some success may be had with asymmetrical formations if you only have one winger, but we would highly advise focusing play towards the side of the pitch with the winger and making sure other players on the pitch can cover the empty space left by asymmetry.