Jul 07

What makes a good defensive midfielder?


162x90genlogo What makes a good defensive midfielder?I am of the belief that defensive midfielders are possibly the most important and underrated players in football. That probably translates to the Football Manager series too. Next time you watch a game (be it real or in FML), identify the defensive midfielder in a side and spot how involved he is in the team’s play. Their main job is to protect the back four. He will be the ‘middle-man’ between defence and midfield and is often given a role that encourages him to win back position.

Also, the DM is usually the player to start of attacks. He will allow the more attacking players to use their creative heads, safe in the knowledge that there is someone there acting as compensation.

So, you may be asking what attributes this kind of player would require. Well, an obvious one is tackling. The ability to cleanly win back the ball is a crucial aspect of their game. Also, it’s good to have Marking as high as possible, especially if your team plays with man marking or if your DM is set to mark a specific player. A good ‘engine’ is important too, so make sure the player in question has high attributes for Stamina, Strength, Work Rate and Team Work to allow them to do a lot of the hard work in midfield to a high level.

As mentioned, he will be the link between defence and midfield, so a player who is assured on the ball is vital. Attributes in this category would include Passing and First Touch as well as mental stats like Decisions, Positioning, Determination and Anticipation.

To summarise, important attributes and a good level to have them at are:

Tackling – 16
Work Rate – 16
Stamina – 16
Marking – 15
Team Work – 15
Positioning – 15
Strength – 14
Passing – 14
Decisions – 14
Determination – 14
Anticipation -13
First Touch – 13

Defensive midfield is a very specialist position so choose carefully. Also, take note of their natural position on the ‘Position’ tab on their profile. It’s always useful if they can play in defensive midfield as well as central midfield. This allows for easier variation in tactics etc.

Written By Tom Hales
Tom is a long-term FML player with an interest in scouting and finding great talent. You can follow the fortunes of his team at armchairamateurs.com, his FML side's official blog.
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  • Ugo

    Thanks a lot Tom, it is in fact a key position on the pitch.

    Thanks for the attributes for the filters as well :-)

  • Exactly right, G :) I think people have been made more aware of how vital a position it is through people like Makelélé.

  • Defensive Midfielders might be underestimated in terms of how football funs see them. I mean no DMC will sell massive kits or be fans' favourite.

    However during the last years we experienced massive amounts spending on DMCs (check Essien for example or Diarra) which proves actually the importance of a Class DMC in a top football side.

  • Fully agree Tom, the DM is the general in any good side, and the better the player in this role the better the whole team will function.

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