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My understanding of the difference in concept between a fullback and a wingback (in real life, not FM) is basicly that a wingback is more offensive, and a fullback has more defensive responsibility.

But in FM, how do these two roles (or rather four roles, including the Complete wingback and the Limited fullback) compare, especially considering the different types of duties available?

In essence, what I mean is how does a Fullback Attack compare to a Wingback on Support or Defend Duty? Or, how does a Complete Wingback Support compare to a Wingback Attack?

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Honestly, the difference between some of these roles and their duties are so vague at the moment that it's hard to tell. For example, what does a CWB(S) do that a WB(S) or WB(A) doesn't do? There seems to be a lot of overlap. The way I like to think of it is exactly how you think of it: Full Backs more defensive than Wing Backs, Wing Backs more defensive than Complete Wing Backs. From there, you're delving into the tricky issues of duties and PIs, which can change the role completely. It's an issue that Sports Interactive have never really addressed, and have probably made worse recently by adding more and more roles in that area of the pitch with more and more duties. Recently, the CWB was given the option to go on Support duty, but I don't think I've ever seen anybody actually ask for this feature. It's about as vague of a topic as you can get, sadly.

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I do agree to an extent with Keith, and hopefully it is something which will improve with future patches and/or generations.

However you can get some insight just by looking at which PI are "active" by default for each type of role. So for example:

Fullback Attack - Cross more often, get further forward

Wingback Support - Get further forward

What, of course, that can't tell you, is things like what the relative mentality, passing range, closing down are set to (although for the later 2, the fact that both the "up" and "down" options are available as PI, suggests its relatively "neutral").

One rather painful option, but somewhat worth it, is to fire up FM13. This still allowed us to see what actually changed between roles and duties (because we could still see the sliders). Of course some things have changed since FM13, but i would be reasonably sure that fullback and wingback defaults probably have not?

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I see the wide defender roles in the following order, most defensive to most attacking:

Limited FB

FB(D, S, A)

WB (D, S, A)

CWB.

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Without knowing the exact "under the hood" settings, I feel pretty confident in saying that the wingback roles have a higher mentality than the fullback roles. There is probably some dribbling instructions built in as well based on the descriptions in game.

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To quote wwfan:

Basically, WB duties are progressively more attacking than FB duties. You can think of it like this (Cautious -> Aggressive):

LFB/D

FB/D

WB/D or FB/S (differences in on the ball play, but basic movement very similar)

WB/S or FB/A (differences in on the ball play, but basic movement very similar)

WB/A

CWB/A

Source: http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/387096-How-To-Create-A-Good-Tactic-For-Football-Manager-2014-Every-Time

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I assume that in this order, creativity goes up and crossing (generally) goes down as well.

FB > WB > CWB

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In essence, what I mean is how does a Fullback Attack compare to a Wingback on Support or Defend Duty?

In the absence of visible role instructions you should take in-game role description and match behavior into account. At first i too was against the hiding of the instructions but now im not so sure if knowing that wb(s) had "forward runs:often" and fb(a) had them "sometimes" really helped.

Wingbacks help in the transition game early - the decision attribute is highlighted in the role. Using them in a no winger formation is i think a given.

CWB(a) is positioned slightly lower from a WB(a) so maybe he has a bit less attacking drive (?)

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One rather painful option, but somewhat worth it, is to fire up FM13. This still allowed us to see what actually changed between roles and duties (because we could still see the sliders). Of course some things have changed since FM13, but i would be reasonably sure that fullback and wingback defaults probably have not?

I'd be very careful with that.

Surely the roles are becoming more and more specialized or having less and less shared code with other roles. That's what the current system allows SI to do and the half back role is testament to that.

It seems that you have two options. Trust the in-game descriptions or do some testing (but don't take anything from FM13 for granted).

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I also wonder why there isn't an IWB/A. I would like to pair that with a W/S or something out wide. I wonder if a CWB/A on cut inside / sit narrower duties will be like the same thing.

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I'd be very careful with that.

Surely the roles are becoming more and more specialized or having less and less shared code with other roles. That's what the current system allows SI to do and the half back role is testament to that.

It seems that you have two options. Trust the in-game descriptions or do some testing (but don't take anything from FM13 for granted).

I think is the case with "new roles", but fullback and wingback have been in the game a long time, and you would be hard pressed to say that much has changed in their behavior over those 2 years. One of the very best stickies on here was written last year, using FM13 as a guidepoint in that same way

I also wonder why there isn't an IWB/A. I would like to pair that with a W/S or something out wide. I wonder if a CWB/A on cut inside / sit narrower duties will be like the same thing.

I would imagine because the concept of the IWB, was a wingback/fullback who moved into the "pivote" position (which translates as the DM slot in reality). Therefor an attack duty would not make sense and would be a different role fundamental. OF course you could create what you are looking for just in the manner you described - CWB(a) with cut inside PI and perhaps teach the same PPM. You would then start to see some of the "under-lapping" movement.

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I know that the tactics screen has no meaning really although I suspect some could argue that it depicts your defensive shape, but if it does mean anything one thing is a bit odd and that is that a Complete Wing Backs starting position (either on support or attack) is deeper than that of a Wing Back on attack? So a WBA according to the tactic screen has a higher starting position than a WBA. Thought that was a bit odd.

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I know that the tactics screen has no meaning really although I suspect some could argue that it depicts your defensive shape, but if it does mean anything one thing is a bit odd and that is that a Complete Wing Backs starting position (either on support or attack) is deeper than that of a Wing Back on attack? So a WBA according to the tactic screen has a higher starting position than a WBA. Thought that was a bit odd.

Someone may have a better answer, but I take it to be a reflection of the fact that CWBs have more defensive responsibility than the WB(A).

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Someone may have a better answer, but I take it to be a reflection of the fact that CWBs have more defensive responsibility than the WB(A).

Possibly this. Same logic applies to BBM's vs CM(s). BBM's enter the opponent's box more than CM(s), but they also have more defensive responsibilities than CM(s). Their overall position on the tactic screen is more defensive than CM(s), even though they attack the opponent more. So, I am assuming that, just like BBM's, the CWB's are expected to run up and down like crazy, in order to be more attacking and more defensive at the same time than the regular WB's, if that makes any sense to y'all.

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Possibly this. Same logic applies to BBM's vs CM(s). BBM's enter the opponent's box more than CM(s), but they also have more defensive responsibilities than CM(s). Their overall position on the tactic screen is more defensive than CM(s), even though they attack the opponent more. So, I am assuming that, just like BBM's, the CWB's are expected to run up and down like crazy, in order to be more attacking and more defensive at the same time than the regular WB's, if that makes any sense to y'all.

So,,,,,, and obviously it's not as black and white as this but if that is the case then you could argue to play wing backs at home and Complete Wing Backs away because the CWB offers better defensive stability? Not thinking about other influences like fitness and stamina obviously, just a generalisation.

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So,,,,,, and obviously it's not as black and white as this but if that is the case then you could argue to play wing backs at home and Complete Wing Backs away because the CWB offers better defensive stability? Not thinking about other influences like fitness and stamina obviously, just a generalisation.

Think of the role of Complete Wing Back like that of the Complete Forward. Only a particularly skilled and multi-faceted player can player it. If they don't have all the skills necessary, they will fail in the role because it assumes and affords a huge creative license. I see a lot of tactics with Complete Forward included because it sounds the most dominant, like why wouldn't the best possible tactic include the best possible player doing the most things (answer: cheaters), but in the real world of FM, your average team needs to more specifically define the role for its forward. An unsuitable player with a specific skill-set that is forced into being a Complete Forward is a huge liability. It's the same with the Complete Wing Back. You would not want a player being a Complete Wing Back who doesn't have the extreme stamina, pace, and mental fortitude necessary to make very fluid attack/defend decisions. A regular wing back or full back is more confined and dedicated to behaving a particular way and doesn't require as high fitness (a WB tends to just stay wide and push up) or decision making abilities.

I almost never use Complete Wing Backs unless the formation really depends on lone-wide-men studs (3-5-2) or I happen to have an unusually gifted player and don't need the soundness of a fullback. Otherwise, why waste money on a luxury back when fullbacks are cheap and actual creative midfielders and forwards are not?

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Complete is exactly as it sounds, they need to be able to attack, defend and aid in the transition.

Full backs are more focused on defence, are more keen to overlap (in theory) and tend to need to be accomplished in defence and crossing.

Wing backs are the more offensive option (in theory), requiring higher levels of fitness, a greater capacity to defend on his own (note that these guys tend to play as lone wide men) and tend to be more 'flair' players, skillful and tricky.

That said, the whole dynamic changes depending on what you put in front of them. Nothing stops a wing back in FM from being an overlapping wide-defender. Someone posted a while back a great example of using a WB and FB to dictate how far up the pitch you want them to go. A WB in theory gets further forward than the FB on lower mentalities.

But as always with FM its difficult to give a clear and solid answer as it very much depends on the tactical set up and what is in front of them.

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I'm reading a lot of stuff here that is counter to my current thinking about CWBs. A lot of people are claiming that they are MORE of a WB than an actual WB, including the defensive phase. Whereas the in-game text highlights that the player "loves to attack". I've always interpreted it as basically a winger role that starts from a lot deeper, think along the lines of Alves or Roberto Carlos etc. Players who will come back and defend when absolutely necessary, but are much much happier motoring into the opposing teams area.

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"Complete" roles are for "complete" players. CF = Lewandowski and equivalents. CWB = Lahm and equivalents. Players that have the physical, mental and technical skills to cope with anything that's put in front of them, regardless of role/duty. Versatility. What a CWB is not, is what Marabak above writes; someone who is reluctant to defend other than if he really have to. That is simply not true, but it can perhaps be just like that if you give a player that role and he can't cope with it. Give someone like Lahm that role, and he will know when to take up a defensive position, and when to join the attack. Usually. Think of CWB's as WB's that is given more freedom of choice. Don't make a WB a CWB unless you are pretty sure he has the mental and physical skills necessary to be where he's supposed to be at any given time.

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Interesting thread, roles should make football concepts less abstract but at the end they only add more confusion.

Do we really need four roles for the DL/R spots? I don't think so.

Personally I'd love to have only one role that could be fully customizable, this way I could better understand what's going on under the hood and finely tune my own roles.

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Interesting thread, roles should make football concepts less abstract but at the end they only add more confusion.

Do we really need four roles for the DL/R spots? I don't think so.

Personally I'd love to have only one role that could be fully customizable, this way I could better understand what's going on under the hood and finely tune my own roles.

This is my preferred method for full backs too, half of the current roles are more or less the same with just the odd instruction different which isn't enough to warrant a new role.

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Interesting views on the meaning of "complete" as in CF or CWB.....

I have Enner Valencia up top for me as a Complete Forward and whilst he is far from the best all rounded player that's generally the role he actually performs best for me. As an Advanced Forward, TQ or Poacher he has been very poor so the CF role is the only one he seems to play well as. Personally I think a "Basic Forward" role is what is missing as you have Full Backs, Centre Backs, DM's, CM's and Attacking Midfielders yet all the forward roles are fairly specialist.

What role would you guys use in my formation a 4132? I have used wing backs but have recently started to defend better using CWB's?

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"Complete" roles are for "complete" players. CF = Lewandowski and equivalents. CWB = Lahm and equivalents. Players that have the physical, mental and technical skills to cope with anything that's put in front of them, regardless of role/duty. Versatility. What a CWB is not, is what Marabak above writes; someone who is reluctant to defend other than if he really have to. That is simply not true, but it can perhaps be just like that if you give a player that role and he can't cope with it. Give someone like Lahm that role, and he will know when to take up a defensive position, and when to join the attack. Usually. Think of CWB's as WB's that is given more freedom of choice. Don't make a WB a CWB unless you are pretty sure he has the mental and physical skills necessary to be where he's supposed to be at any given time.

If you read the in-game description you'll see that a CWB is described as:

"The Complete Wing Back loves to attack, and whilst he is capable of occupying his defensive duties, his natural inclination is to effect the game in the opposition's defensive third"

That definitely fits in with my definition of an Alves type attacking defender more than a Lahm type playmaking defender.

What makes you think that it is your definition? I'm happy to be proved wrong, but I just want to see why you think it is that way.

EDIT: This link also agrees with my thinking (http://www.passion4fm.com/new-football-manager-2014-player-roles/).

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If you read the in-game description you'll see that a CWB is described as:

"The Complete Wing Back loves to attack, and whilst he is capable of occupying his defensive duties, his natural inclination is to effect the game in the opposition's defensive third"

That definitely fits in with my definition of an Alves type attacking defender more than a Lahm type playmaking defender.

What makes you think that it is your definition? I'm happy to be proved wrong, but I just want to see why you think it is that way.

"Complete" is the key word for me. That says to me that I should look to put a "complete" player into that role. Then looking at the key attributes that is deemed important for this role, it only confirms this. The role is for a well rounded, "complete" player. From what I see on the pitch, a "complete" wing back does not neglect his defensive duties any more than a regular wing back does, or to put it in different words; he is not more absent from the defense than a regular wing back is. Provided you have a player in that role with the necessary mental and physical attributes. If he hasn't, you should expect him to be more often absent from the defense when he shouldn't be, and also more often absent from the attack when he shouldn't be. Because he can't cope with the demands of the role. It is a role that only a handful of players can perform really well in, and in my mind this role is something other than "just a wing back, only even more attacking".

I have the opportunity to observe the differences in that I have Alex Sandro and Kieran Gibbs as left backs. I'm playing Alex Sandro as CWB, but Gibbs as "just" a WB. Why? Gibbs can't properly cope with the CWB role; Alex Sandro can. Given the CWB role, Gibbs is more often sorely missed from the action than Alex Sandro is, be it defense or attack. Alex Sandro has the attributes necessary to be much more aware of where he is needed at any given time. Gibbs copes much better as "just" a WB; he is then more often positioned where he should be, be it defense or attack. In short, he performs better at both ends of the pitch as a WB than as a CWB. And Alex Sandro is not neglecting his defensive duties any more than Gibbs does, despite being a CWB. In fact, he is even a little more reliable defensively as a CWB than Gibbs is as a WB. He's quite simply the better player, and more "complete". In FM, at least.

Btw; mentioning Lahm I should point out that I'm referring to Lahm from a few years back, when he actually was a wing back. He isn't (much) these days, he is more often used as something like a regista, in my view. But that only points out the versatility of the man, yes?

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I think the key would be to play the same player as both roles and compare their average position etc. There are too many variables between players, from decision making to PPMs etc to compare different players in different roles.

I find if I play my players as CWBs (admittedly in a 442 diamond-esque formation with lots of room in front), they are generally much further up the pitch than those same players playing as WBs (admittedly in a formation with a Winger (S or A) ahead of them. Combine this with the in-game descriptions and the general discussions on the Internet, and they all seem to indicate my line of thought.

Don't worry, I agree that Lahm is an amazing player, and would fit your definition of a CWB.

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Interesting debate being had on here.

I'm away from the computer at the moment so I'm not sure if it's still true, but I remember the blurb for "Complete Forward" a few versions ago said something about the player "transcending tactical instruction" and "being allowed to do his own thing". Now as already mentioned above, the roles may have been tweaked and old stuff may not apply, but that's how I have always viewed the CF role; as the most mentally demanding of the forward roles due to the player essentially making his own decisions.

To expand on the definition of "Complete", I would tend to place heavy emphasis on the mental stats that the role requires as they will be what determine the players position and reactions to the game around him, as well as his on the ball decision making.

I imagine the CWB to be the same scenario, but I think it's important that people always mention that the player must be a "complete player" in relation to those around him at his level. i.e. - it's not just 3-4 players that are able to play the role effectively, maybe just 3-4 at the very top level.

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Hmm this is how i see both roles playing out..and i am not looking at the ingame description at all.

Complete WB on attacking...is basically a flying back..priority get to the byeline, if there is space in front of him to drill a cross. He will never hit early crosses, but he does have the freedom to roam and look for pockets of space to get the space to receive a ball and make it to the byeline. He's always on an attacking mindset from the get go, looking for the earliest change to get forward if the team has the ball. this dude better be good with his first touch, acceleration and dribbling...have I got 2 gods playing for me :-)

The attacking fullback is slightly different, he doesn't have the creativity to look for pockets of space, instead, he waits for an opportune time to do overlapping runs. He can look for chances to cross early or late. He doesn't set off with an immediate notion to go dribble down the line, instead working with his supporting midfield players before he does his offensive role. Whilst the complete wingback is always sticking as far wide as the pitch can take him the attacking fullback on the other hand can adapt to the formation shape and go narrow or wide as the manager wants him to.

For me..there are clear and definite formations that both can be deployed in.

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Hmm this is how i see both roles playing out..and i am not looking at the ingame description at all.

Complete WB on attacking...is basically a flying back..priority get to the byeline, if there is space in front of him to drill a cross. He will never hit early crosses, but he does have the freedom to roam and look for pockets of space to get the space to receive a ball and make it to the byeline. He's always on an attacking mindset from the get go, looking for the earliest change to get forward if the team has the ball. this dude better be good with his first touch, acceleration and dribbling...have I got 2 gods playing for me :-)

The attacking fullback is slightly different, he doesn't have the creativity to look for pockets of space, instead, he waits for an opportune time to do overlapping runs. He can look for chances to cross early or late. He doesn't set off with an immediate notion to go dribble down the line, instead working with his supporting midfield players before he does his offensive role. Whilst the complete wingback is always sticking as far wide as the pitch can take him the attacking fullback on the other hand can adapt to the formation shape and go narrow or wide as the manager wants him to.

For me..there are clear and definite formations that both can be deployed in.

I think that is fairly similar to how i see it, although perhaps have you contradict yourself in the last sentence of the penultimate paragraph? I think the CWB doesnt always stick wide, for the reason you mentioned in the first para - They seem to have the freedom to find pockets of space, which are often found inside rather than outside.

Couple of examples from my formation with 2 x CWB(a) in the WB slots:

First screenshot - Mario is my right wingback, he is about to run beyond and inside the CB and Do Santos is playing a pass inside the CB for Mario to run onto. This puts him clear on goal and not from a wide angle. He finishes for a nice CWB goal

690A1007774DFAD4E9AECEBEA38BBAB10CE23FA4

Second Screenshots - This time its CWB to CWB. The left one, Costa, has just delivered a cross and look who is arriving at the back stick, inline with the far post so quite far infield - Mario again.

B58FEFA729A2C8EED39979D276C2D8309462109A

Overall, this is some of the behaviour i did not achieve when playing with WB(a) in the same role. They still got up the park a lot, but provided more crosses and stayed wider. I also agree with the point that the WB dribbles less. The CWB looks to run with the ball as soon as he receives it.

I still have no explanation for why the ingame tactics screen always places the WB further forward than the CWB by default, i can only think this is maybe just part of the TC which needs tweaked.

In terms of needing top top players, its tricky to say. At the moment i have 2 fairly good, but not international players in those slots, and i am a team challenging for the top 4 in Spain, so that is probably a reasonably "low" standard compared to teams around me. My CWB have 3 goals and 11 assist between them so far, and i am just under mid way through the season.

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Yeah but cwb has been defaulted to stay wide in his PI as a default instruction, so any chance he gets to cut inside once he doesn't need to cross....he does..like coming in late to score When I said God like..i meant to say my average fullbacks are playing like gods on the flanks..they have good acceleration and first touch...and the number of assists..the number !!!

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Yeah the defaults actually show a few interesting things. For CWB(a) versus WB(a), played in the WB slots:

  • CWB has "roam from positions" selected by default - that is almost certainly the key to some of the movements i have shown above. WB doesnt have this selected by default, and indeed it cannot be selected
  • CWB has "stay wider" and "Get further forward" selected by default, WB only has "get further forward". So this will be your point about the WB not necessarily always being as wide.
  • WB has "run wide with the ball" set by default, where as CWB does not. In someways this, combined with the point above, suggests that WB might give more "in to out" behaviour, whilst CWB more "out to in".
  • Both have "dribble more" and "cross more often" and "cross from byline" selected by default. I am slightly surprised that CWB has "Cross more often", as i dont necessarily see that, but then perhaps its down to the other instructions puting them in places where they are less likely to cross.

Overall, based on those defaults, i can see no reason why i would benefit from WB over CWB. In theory perhaps for central midfield support, but in practice i do not find that happens.

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Overall, based on those defaults, i can see no reason why i would benefit from WB over CWB. In theory perhaps for central midfield support, but in practice i do not find that happens.

Having tried both as part of the community formation experiment I can say that CWBs are much more defensively minded and provide a lot more cover against opposition wingers in the AMC strata. WBs seem to push further forward and leave more space behind, dragging a back 3 wider and providing more space for central attackers to exploit in the middle. So maybe you'd employ CWB vs. wingers and WB vs. wide midfielders?

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Limited Fullback one effect of using that role, is the players gets the ball, then no matter his passing and stuff delivers perfect balls to the striker, again and again.

Mostly that result in the striker getting eaten, but with a super fast poacher, you can actually end up with the limited full back constantly delivering long balls to him, that breaks the offside trap and result in one on one goal opportunities for the striker.

I have one 2ish star regen back, thats crap offensively, far to young, has less than 10 passing and keeps delivering key long balls, to the super fast poacher.

Seems broken to me, like the 3 longshots players, that keeps scoring amazing long shots, but I wanted to mention what the limited fullback is compared to the others. a 4-#-2+ with fast strikers and Limited Defenders in all positions, seems like a quite viable playstyle.

Why is there no skill check to see if the player can deliver the ball to the intended target, same if the striker is a targetman, then everyone gets magic powers to shoot the ball to him perfectly.

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