When in possession of the ball, outfield players in football manager get to choose between going on the counterattack or holding shape.
For the goalkeeper, these options are to distribute the ball quickly or to slow the pace down by holding on to the ball for a little longer.
To give you more flexibility regarding how your goalkeeper distributes the ball, football manager gives you a host of other options including which area you want the ball distributed to, or which player the goalkeeper should target with his distributions.
In this guide, I will be covering all these options, and show you how to get the best of them.
Distribute Quickly In FM
Distribute quickly in football manager will ask your goalkeeper to operate at a quicker tempo when in possession.
FM notes that this can be in a bid to increase urgency or to instigate counterattacks.
This instruction is very similar to the counter team instruction, and the two will work well together to ensure your players go on the counterattack as early as possible before the opposition reorganizes their defence.
Increasing urgency is crucial when chasing a goal in the latter stages of the match, with no time to waste.
In this scenario, your goalkeeper holding on to the ball for longer than necessary only hinders the chances of your team getting something out of the game before time runs out
Slow Pace Down In FM
Slow pace down in football manager asks the goalkeeper to operate at a slower tempo when in possession.
FM notes that this can be in a bid to control the game or to waste time.
We have all seen goalkeepers in all levels of the game take considerably more time to restart the game in the dying stages of the match when their team has a lead.
It is an effective method to waste time that is rarely punished by the referees, apart from the occasional yellow card that does not matter in the grand scheme of things.
Asking your keeper to slow the pace down also lowers the tempo of the game, giving your players a breather if the opponent was mounting increasing pressure that would have led to a goal sooner or later.
On the other side, a possession-based side can benefit by asking the keeper to slow the pace down so that they can start their slow, methodical build-up from the back without rushing things.
Ederson at Man City is a master of taking as much time as possible with the ball, inviting the opposing strikers to press him before playing the ball to either his wing backs or the ball playing defenders in front of him.
Once you have decided on how quickly you want your goalkeeper to distribute the ball, football manager gives you two options, to either distribute the ball to a particular position in your tactical setup or to a certain area of the pitch or a player.
Distribute To Position In FM
When you ask your keeper to distribute to a certain position, you will be provided with a view of your tactic, whereby you can select the position that you want your keeper to target.
You can only select one position from here.
This can be to the fullback position where you feel you have the best opportunity of playing out from the back, or to the defensive midfield position where you play a regista that will kickstart all your attacks.
Distribute to Area or Player
Distributing to an area works similarly to distributing to a position, however, with an area you get a bigger target to aim at.
You can set up your team to have more players concentrated in a certain area of the pitch, which you can then target with your goal kicks.
The areas which you can target are;
Distribute Over The Opposition Defence
When selected, distribute over opposition defence asks the goalkeeper to look to deliver the ball over the top of the opposition’s defence when distributing the ball from his possession.
This is effective if you have quick, agile players that will chase the ball before it gets to the opposition goalkeeper.
Your strikers in this case should have good movement and speed to be in the best position possible to take advantage of slower defenders.
Distribute to Target Man
When selected, distribute to target man asks the goalkeeper to primarily seek out the team’s designated target man when distributing the ball from his possession.
If your team is unable to comfortably build play from the back. Asking your goalkeeper to target your big no. 9 with long balls, who will then challenge for possession in the air, bring the ball under his control then bring his teammates into play can be an effective way of getting up the pitch.
Christian Benteke under Roy Hodgson at Crystal Palace used to effectively do this, contesting the high balls, and then playing in the likes of Jordan Ayew and Wilfred Zaha from the wide positions.
Distribute To Playmaker
Distribute to playmaker asks the goalkeeper to primarily seek out the team’s designated playmaker when distributing the ball from his possession.
FM notes that the playmaker will look to come short to receive the ball if he is close enough.
This means that if you have the playmaker in a close area like the defensive midfield position, he will look to come to receive the ball from the keeper as opposed to a playmaker in the attacking midfield position or the striker position like a trequartista.
Having the playmaker receive the ball means you immediately get the ball to a player who can create chances for your team, can easily kickstart an attack, or more effectively control the tempo that your team is playing at.
Distribute To Flanks
Distribute to flanks asks the goalkeeper to primarily seek out the wide areas when distributing the ball from his possession.
This makes sense if you have wide players that are comfortable with the ball, or when you want the ball channelled to the wider areas to quickly kickstart a counterattack through these areas.
Distribute To Full Backs.
Distribute to full backs asks the goalkeeper to primarily seek out his full-backs when distributing the ball from his possession.
This makes sense if you have fullbacks that are comfortable with the ball, or when you want the ball channelled to the fullback positions because it is easy for your team to build your attacks from there, or you have centre backs that are not comfortable on the ball.
Distribute To Centre Backs
Distribute to centre backs asks the goalkeeper to primarily seek out his centre backs when distributing the ball from his possession.
You might do this when you have centre backs that are comfortable on the ball, or when playing a system that has your fullbacks higher up on the pitch, which makes distributing the ball to them likely lead to your team losing possession.
Distribution Type In FM
Once you have settled on whom or which area to distribute the ball to, you also get to choose how you want your goalkeeper to do it.
Football manager gives you four choices when it comes to this;
- Roll it out – Asks the goalkeeper to roll the ball out to a nearby player when distributing from his possession.
- Throw it long – Instructs the goalkeepers to throw the ball over longer distances when distributing it from their possession.
- Take short kicks – Asks the goalkeeper to drop the ball at his feet and pass short when distributing the ball
- Take long kicks – Asks the goalkeepers to kick the ball as their primary means of distribution