Strikers in football manager have different traits which influence their behaviour on the pitch, both with the ball and without it.
You want your strikers to have player traits that will complement their finishing and off the ball movement, while staying clear of negative traits for a striker like ‘’comes deep to get ball’ though this can also be a positive trait in some tactics.
I will be using PPMs, Player Preferred Moves and Player Traits interchangeably since they mean one and the same thing.
It is important to note that one positive trait for one striker, can be negative in another one, therefore you should keenly analyse your striker before you get started on training him on a new PPM.
How to Identify the Best PPMs to Train your Striker in Football Manager
Just as in the real world, different strikers play differently while achieving the same goal, though admittedly with varying success, your Football Manager strikers will also excel in different ways.
Think of Jaime Vardy of Leicester who will always play at the shoulder of the last defender ready to break the offside trap, Karim Benzema of Real Madrid who will be more than happy to drop into midfield to link up play with the central midfielders and play in his wingers and Christian Benteke who is more comfortable receiving long balls from midfield and laying it off to his teammates.
All these strikers excel in what they do, and having a blanket list of player traits that will suit all of them equally is not possible. I have thus categorized the player traits below that will suit different strikers according to their physicality, finishing and team tactics.
It is important to note that the role you put your striker on, can be in conflict with his PPMs. An example is playing your striker in the Target Man or Deep Lying Forward role, while he has the “Likes to Try To Beat the Offside Trap” trait.
The Best Player Traits for Strikers with High Pace and Acceleration
Speed merchants as they are sometimes called are always a headache for any defence, and they can also be trained to play on the wing if they have decent dribbling and agility. The following player traits will suit strikers with high pace;
- Likes to try to beat offside trap
Good agility and high anticipation will complement the striker’s high top speed and also minimize the amount of times that he is caught offside while trying to make runs in behind the defence.
Playing the striker as an Advanced Forward or Poacher will complement this player trait nicely.
- Knocks ball past opponent
Suitable for strikers with high acceleration and pace but poor dribbling, the striker will kick the ball past his opponent and then back on his top speed to leave his marker in the dust. This PPM can also be assigned to your wide players who lack good dribbling skills but have the necessary pace.
The Best PPMs for Strikers with Good Passing, Technique and Vision
Strikers with good passing, technique and vision are always a good candidate to be put in a Deep Lying Forward role, False 9 or as a Complete Forward depending on their other attributes such as Strength, Dribbling and Work Rate. The Following PPMs will suit strikers with good passing, technique and vision;
- Plays one-twos
The player having this PPM will pass the ball, move into a more advanced position and make himself available for the returning pass.
It is helpful for possession based tactics and forms a good way to unsettle the defense. You generally want this trait when playing your striker a deep lying forward, false 9 or the complete forward.
- Tries Killer Balls Often
While this trait is most of the time suitable for Attacking Midfielders and creative Central Midfielders like the mezzala, your striker can also benefit from it, especially when using him as a false 9 or a Complete Forward on support duty. He will look to play in his strike partner, runners from midfield or the wide men.
- Plays with back to goal
This works well if your striker also has high enough strength to avoid being bullied and hurried by the opposition. The striker will receive the ball as his teammates play off him and make runs behind him. It is very effective in the Deep Lying Forward role and the Complete Forward role on support duty.
The Best Player Traits for Strikers to Improve Finishing Chances in Football Manager
- Places Shots. Suitable for strikers with high technique, the striker will sacrifice power and try to put the ball in the net accurately as possible.
- Shoots with Power. Suitable for strikers with high strength and low finishing. Rather than being cute with his shots, the striker will more often hit them strongly, hoping the raw pace of the ball beats the goalkeeper.
- Tries First Time Shots. Suitable for players with high finishing. Rather than trying to control the ball first, the striker will attempt a shot immediately, therefore increasing chances of the goalkeeper being caught napping or having very little time to react before the ball ends up at the back of the net.
- Likes to Lob Keeper. Suitable for strikers with high composure and won’t crumble under pressure when put through on goal.
- Likes to Round Keeper. Suitable for strikers with good dribbling and flair. It increases the chance that they will find the net, especially if they have poor finishing. Successfully dribbling past the keeper will leave the attacker with an open goal.