FM21 PLAYER ATTRIBUTES TIPSAcceleration is how quickly a player can reach top speed (pace) from a standing start. It therefore ties in very closely with the Pace attribute.
Agility reflects how well a player can start, stop, and move in different directions at varying levels of speed (pace). It ties in with the Pace, Acceleration and Balance attributes as they work together in the match engine, especially when a player is running with the ball.
Balance reflects simply how well a player can keep his balance in situations both with and without the ball. With the ball, it refers to how balanced he is running with it and evading opponents, without it, it refers to his balance when facing a player running at him, or his stability when turning/jumping.
Jumping Reach reflects how good a player is at reaching the ball in the air. It indicates the highest point an outfield player can reach with his head. It does not reflect how tall a player is but, when considering his jumping ability, height is considered. For example, a player of 200+cm will still possess a high reach even if he is a poor jumper, and a shorter player will struggle to compete at the same height.
Natural Fitness reflects how good the player's natural level of physical fitness is; how well he stays fit when injured or not training. This will help to determine how quickly players recover from injury, how well they retain their physical attributes as they go past their peak, and how fast they recover between matches.
Pace is a player's top speed. Whereas Acceleration reflects how quickly a player can attain their top speed, Pace is that top speed and together with Stamina and Natural Fitness, is how long they are able to maintain that pace in both short bursts and over the course of a match. A player will naturally be a shade quicker without the ball than with it.
Stamina is a player's ability to endure high-level physical activity for a long period of time. With the demands placed on a player over a nine-month season, players with high attribute ratings for Stamina will be able to perform at their top levels for longer. It ties in directly with Natural Fitness.
A player's Strength is his ability to exert his physical force on an opponent to his benefit. A player with a high Strength rating will be able to use it to his advantage against weaker opponents.
Aggression reflects a player's attitude in terms of playing mentality but is not necessarily a dirtiness indicator. A more aggressive player will look to involve himself in every incident and get stuck in, perhaps at the expense of a yellow card or two. A less aggressive player may shy away from situations and merely drop into his comfort zone, waiting for the play to find him.
Anticipation covers how well a player can predict and react to an event. If a player has a high attribute here he can read the game well and react to situations quicker than others. This attribute works well with Off the Ball.
Bravery primarily reflects how committed and indeed, brave, a player is. Braver players will risk injury more in situations a more cautious player may shy away from. They'll go in where it hurts and lay it on the line for the team.
Composure is the player's steadiness of mind and ability, particularly with the ball. When faced with a big goalscoring chance or heavy pressure defensively, a player with high Composure will be able to keep his head and more often than not make an intelligent decision which is beneficial to the team.
Concentration reflects a player's mental focus and attention to detail on an event-by-event basis. A high rating here will mean the player can keep a higher focus on proceedings for longer periods of time and be able to respond to incidents late in the game just as well as he did early on. Lower concentration will see players lose focus and perhaps become liable to mistakes at crucial times in the match.
Decisions governs the ability of a player to make a correct choice a majority of the time. This attribute is important in every position but perhaps more so for central defenders and midfielders, who will see a lot of the ball and have a number of options when in possession.
Determination is commitment to succeed. A determined player will give everything in order to win. This ties in with Bravery - players with a high attribute in one of these attributes may also be high in the other as the traits necessary are similar.
Flair is a natural talent for the creative and occasional unpredictability. A player with a lot of Flair will be one of the key attacking components in any team but at the same time may need tactical restraint to get the best out of him. Flair and Vision work well together.
Leadership is the player's ability to affect events or other players. Players with high Leadership will be influential on the pitch and team-mates will tend to rally around these players.
Off the Ball reflects a player's movement without the ball. Similar to Anticipation, this is how well players, particularly attacking ones, can assess a situation and then move off the ball, making themselves available to receive a pass in a dangerous position.
Positioning reflects how good the player is at keeping a good defensive position. For goalkeepers, this is how well they get into the correct position.
Teamwork is mainly how well the player follows tactical instructions and works for and alongside his team-mates. A team full of players with a high rating here will work better as a unit. Players with lower ratings will slack off and not 'buy in' to the team ethos.
Vision refers to a player's ability to see a potential opening, not necessarily exploit it. A player might be able to see something to take advantage of but also requires the technical proficiency to pull it off; this attribute governs how likely they are to visualise something developing or, in the case of a higher rating here, spot something that another player might not.
Work Rate reflects the player's mental drive to work to his full capacities. A high rating will ensure a player wants to work his socks off from start to finish, but he will need the necessary physical attributes to actually be able to pull it off. Nonetheless, it is an admirable trait to have in your team. It does not merely represent a willingness to run - something that would be inappropriate in many positions - but rather the willingness to go above and beyond the regulation call of duty.
The Corners attribute reflects how well the player takes a corner. Taking advantage of set-pieces is important, and having a capable corner taker to put the ball into key areas is useful.
Crossing indicates a player's proficiency at crossing the ball from wide areas into the penalty box.
Dribbling refers to the player's ability to run with the ball and manipulate it under close control. This is purely his proficiency with the ball at his feet - his Pace, Acceleration, Agility, and Balance will all aid his dribbling in different circumstances, and whilst a higher Dribbling attribute will also help him in different situations, Dribbling alone isn't enough to get by.
Finishing: The player's ability to put the ball in the back of the net when presented with a chance. A high Finishing attribute will put the shot on target a majority of the time as a bare minimum but, compared to a player with poorer Finishing, will find the places where the goalkeeper can't save it. This is purely the ability of the player to perform an accurate shot - Composure and Decisions will also impart on the ability of a player to score consistently.
First Touch: How good a player's first touch is when receiving possession. A higher rating will ensure that the player can corral the ball quicker and put it in a useful position to then act upon. Players with lower ratings here will struggle to control the ball as adeptly and may be prone to losing the ball if closed down quickly.
Free Kicks reflects how good at taking free kicks the player is. It applies to both direct shots at goal and deliveries into dangerous areas from wider or deeper positions. A player who is proficient in taking free kicks can be a valuable commodity - scoring five free kicks a season and adding five more assists from them can be a huge bonus.
Heading is a player's competence in aerial situations. Heading applies to all situations and is only about the player's ability to head the ball well. Jumping Reach, Height, and to a lesser extent Strength all play a part in combination with heading to utilise the attribute to greater effect.
Long Shots is the player's prowess at shooting from distance - from outside the penalty area. It is largely a stand-alone attribute but pay attention to any PPMs the player may have which complement their Long Shots rating.
Long Throws covers the ability of the player to perform a long throw, which can be taken advantage of in attacking situations.
Marking shows how well players, mainly defensive types, defend an opponent. Marking alone will see them do a good job if the attribute is high, but remember that other attributes - Strength, Positioning, Anticipation - will play a part in the effectiveness of the marking, as well as the comparable physical statures of the two players.
Passing: How good the player is at passing the ball. His Technique and passing ability will determine his success at passing over longer distances.
Penalties: The ability of the player from the penalty spot. A player with a high rating here will be more confident and capable from 12 yards.
Technique is the aesthetic quality of a player's technical game - how refined they appear to be with the ball. A player with high Technique will be more likely to pull off a tricky pass or a cross-field ball with greater ease than someone less technically able. This in turn affects a number of technical attributes - poorer Technique will let a player down.
Aerial Ability is the goalkeeper's physical ability in aerial situations. Taller goalkeepers will typically have a higher rating here as they are naturally pre-disposed to being able to reach areas shorter goalkeepers cannot, but there will be exceptions. This attribute works in connection with a number of other goalkeeping attributes in order to determine proficiency in dealing with the numerous aerial situations they will encounter during a match.
Command of Area affects how well the goalkeeper takes charge of his penalty area and works with his defensive line. A goalkeeper who commands his entire box (i.e. has a high rating) will be instinctive and look to take charge of situations, especially coming for crosses (therefore working in tandem with Aerial Reach). Do note, however, that a high rating only increases his penchant for coming for crosses and not necessarily claiming them all.
Communication: How well a goalkeeper communicates with his defensive line and organises the defensive side of the team. A higher rating reflects a better communicator and will allow your defence to work more efficiently together, ensuring greater overall stability.
The Eccentricity attribute represents the likelihood of the goalkeeper to do the unexpected and typically act completely unlike a goalkeeper. Things like dribbling out of his area will be commonplace if the Eccentricity attribute is high.
Handling: How securely the goalkeeper holds onto the ball when making a save or coming for a loose ball. Greater Handling will be beneficial in unfavourable weather conditions, but in general a goalkeeper who doesn't give up rebounds will be useful.
Kicking is the physical capability of a goalkeeper to kick the ball - this purely defines the distance he can reach with a kick from hand or from the ground. his Passing rating will define how accurate his kicks are.
One on Ones: The ability of the goalkeeper to do well when faced with an opponent in a one on one situation. Higher attributes will see goalkeepers attempt to impose themselves and win the ball with confidence.
Reflexes show how good the goalkeeper is at reacting to unpredictable events. If he has a high Reflexes rating, he will be able to respond to the unforeseen with more success and be able to pull off highlight reel saves, or clear the ball to safety.
Rushing Out: How good the goalkeeper is at coming off his line to react to through balls and similar situations. Goalkeepers will also benefit from having high Pace and Acceleration attributes in combination with Rushing Out.
Tendency to Punch determines whether a goalkeeper will catch the ball when he can, or whether he prefers to punch it clear. A higher rating reflects a tendency to punch most things clear, even when it may be possible to hold onto the ball.
Throwing: How good the goalkeeper's distribution is with his arms. A higher rating will increase the accuracy of his throws, although Strength imparts on the distance he is able to reach.
A goalkeeper's ability to save penalties is initially governed by his Anticipation, Reflexes, and Concentration in reacting to the moment the ball is struck. His Acceleration will help his immediate chances of reaching the ball successfully, whilst his Agility, Reflexes and Handling will ultimately determine whether or not he pulls off the save.
FM21 PLAYER INTERACTION TIPS
When resting a player, choose the length of rest carefully as many players don't enjoy being out of action for too long.