The teaser trailer that Sports Interactive recently released introduced us to a very cool new player role in the Football Manager series: The Wide Centre-Back.
Let's delve into what makes this new player role unique and let's explore how it can revolutionise your FM22 tactics and take your team to the next level.
What does a Wide Centre-Back do?
When I think about the wide centre-back in FM22, what I envision is someone like Kyle Walker playing in a back three for Pep Guardiola, so when I first saw the role announced I instantly imagined the role would function like a cross between a box-to-box midfielder and a ball-playing defender. It turns out, I was mostly right.
The role has three functions like many other roles in the game, which are defend, support and attack.
With a defensive mentality, the Wide Centre-Back will drift wide and look to provide an extra body in midfield. This could be really useful for possession tactics, or tactics where you overload the flanks.
With a supportive mentality your Wide Centre-Back will look to move forward to create 2v1 situations that could lead to goal-scoring opportunities. This will benefit managers who like to transition quickly from defence to attack and will also benefit managers who like to play a more patient game and need that special moment of creativity and an extra overlapping run.
On an attacking mentality the Wide Centre-Back will look to dribble more frequently which will potentially create more openings as they carry the ball further forward creating space for your midfielders and attackers. This will likely benefit managers who prefer a counter attacking game, or as a tactical change in the dying stages of a game you're losing.
Here is the official description from Sports Interactive:
The main job of the Wide Centre-Back is to stop the opposing attackers from playing and to clear the ball from danger when required. However, unlike standard central defenders, the Wide Centre-Back is encouraged to stay wide in possession and support the midfield more like a fullback.
Three defender formations only?
The Wide Centre-Back is supposed to function primarily as an attacking role, we know that much for sure, but will it only suit three defender formations? I don't think it will. The role will almost certainly create some defensive vulnerabilities but perhaps we will be able to mitigate these using roles like Anchor Man, Sweeper-Keeper or a Defensive Full-back.
A real life example of a Wide Centre-Back would be Ben White, who recently transferred to Arsenal from Brighton for a £50m fee. Ben White often plays with a lot of freedom and creativity and his attacking output is often mitigated by the defensive work of Takehiro Tomiyasu, another new signing at the Emirates. Arsenal tend to play with a back 4.
What we know for sure is that some FM21 tactics such as Clout's 3ATB would have really benefitted from this brand new Football Manager 2022 player role.
What do you think about this new player role in Football Manager 2022? Let us know on Twitter by tweeting @fmbase.