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Height issue. How tall must a defender be?


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I'm managing Ethiopia national team. Despite decent results, it's a tough job: apparently the nation lacks CB's who are good AND tall at the same time. Most of the players who I might otherwise consider ends with 179/180 and the Jumping Reach stat value of 8. Scary, especially when you play with three at the back.

What's your angle? How tall must a CB be?

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I usually shoot for the 185cm mark or higher with center backs but I wouldn't call it a golden rule. I'll happily play a Fabio Cannavaro-esque player there if his stats are good enough.

What's more important is how you're matching up against your opposition. For example, do you really need a 190cm CB if he's going to be marking a forward that's 170cm? Probably not. (Also factoring in attributes of course)

Edited by NotSoSpecialOne
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For me, I tend to do statistical analysis to find out who are the best defenders aerially which can be quite difficult when you are managing a national team. From my experience 184cm seems to be the cut off point where you get aerially strong defenders but there is always the possibility that a 185cm will outperform a 190cm defender aerially due to superior attributes. If you are playing a 3atb system, you could probably get away with one side defender to be 179/180cm depending on your set up.

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Lack of height (or aerial ability) can be made up for by good defense-related mental attributes (i.e. tactical intelligence) - positioning, anticipation, concentration and decisions as well as marking (as a technical defensive attribute). Bravery, determination and strength are also helpful. Keep also in mind that these attributes are relative to the competition you play in.

 

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4 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Lack of height (or aerial ability) can be made up for by good defense-related mental attributes (i.e. tactical intelligence) - positioning, anticipation, concentration and decisions as well as marking (as a technical defensive attribute). Bravery, determination and strength are also helpful. Keep also in mind that these attributes are relative to the competition you play in.

 

I've got pretty much all bases covered in open play, but there are games when the opposition can bring up extra man-mountain defenders for set plays and there's not a thing you can do about it.

But I'd advise, if Ethiopia is disadvantaged in defence physically, partially-compensate with extra manpower in defence - 5-at-the-back and as-tall-as-possible defensive midfield support. If you can get speedy defenders, use a high D-line and keep the oppo and the ball as far from your goal as you can. Mark/intimidate wingers to deter crosses too.

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Agree with 185cm | 6'1" being the 'acceptable' height, all things being equal. Playing a back 3, I do have one guy who is 180cm | 5' 11" and don't feel it hinders me in anyway. With a back 4 I wouldn't play him.

TBH, I am more concerned about my WB/FB height as some of those guys, while great going forward wouldn't be tall enough to get on rides at Disneyland. For me specifically, Lamptey was a weak link on open play crosses for that reason.

Having a beast of a center half 6'4" or taller is definitely an advantage in attack - especially if they have the balance, anticipation, and a few other attributes to go with it. I've managed to have 3 of them at the moment and they will chip in with a fair few goals over a season.

Edited by CaptCanuck
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I'm with CaptCanuk on this one. 

My defenders have to be tall and have good jumping reach.

As CC says the FBs are a bit of an issue. You have to really pay attention to what they're doing at set pieces.

I have a couple of converted cb man mountains at RB and a converted 6' 2" winger at LB. 

Lampety on my saves is one of the best fullbacks in world football. But I didn't take him to the world cup (I had a quick stint as England manager) because his jumping reach is 2!

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