Complete Guide on Advanced Forward in Football Manager

Picture Haland or Mbappe. Two of the best players of this generation, breathing down the neck of the defenders, sniffing for runs behind the defensive line, and scoring goals.

Yes, that’s the life of an Advanced Forward.

The Advanced Forward in Football Manager is a striker role that primarily looks to chase down long balls and score goals. Aside from scoring goals, the advanced forwards also create scoring chances for teammates waiting in a better goalscoring position. They use their exceptional pace to exploit high defensive lines and slow defenders. 

Preferred in a high-tempo play with lots of direct balls, the advanced forward can really charge up your attack and punish high defensive lines in Football Manager.

Let’s find out what the role has to offer. 

What is an Advanced Forward

The Advanced Forward role is a massively overpowered striker role in Football Manager. 

According to Football Manager, the main duty of an advanced forward is to lead the attacking line and spearhead attacking moves. The advanced forward is the focal point of attacking moves, requiring to both score and create goalscoring opportunities. 

Their playing styles make them more likely to face one-on-one situations with the goalkeeper than any other role in the game. 

While Erling Haland and Kylian Mbappe are not proper advanced forwards, they do tend to play like one most of the time. 

A rather accurate example for the role will be Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa. 

The characteristics of an Advanced Forward in Football Manager.

How Advanced Forwards Work in Football Manager

The Advanced forward chases long balls near the attacking third of the pitch, either shooting to score goals or dishing out crosses/ passes to players in a more suitable goalscoring position. 

For that, he needs to be a well-rounded player capable of dealing with any attacking scenario.

What makes the role different from that of a Poacher is its involvement in build-up play in the final third instead of acting as a “fox in the box”. 

Unlike a Target Forward, the Advanced Forward does not hold on to the ball for too long. Neither does he drop too deep like a DLP or Complete Forward. 

Advanced Forwards are at their best when allowed a ton of space to run towards. This gives them enough time to get past marking defenders and get into the final third. 

Quality playmakers are utilized in the tactic to find the forwards into advanced positions, creating goalscoring chances. 

A certain level of attacking width and the use of wide players help to draw opponents and stretch the defense, creating more space for the striker.

The advanced forward will look to exploit the defensive line’s lack of speed to his advantage. Additionally, they will prefer whipped or low crosses as these types of crosses are easier to reach with a superior pace. 

Advanced Forward vs Pressing Forward

The closest role to the Advanced Forward in Football Manager is the Pressing Forward role

In fact, the Pressing Forward does all the things an Advanced Forward does. 

In addition to that, the Pressing forward also closes down opposition from building from the back with high pressing intensity. 

Advanced Forward vs Complete Forward

Complete forwards tend to possess the technical qualities of a Deep Lying Forward along with the goalscoring qualities of a Poacher, and the physical strength of a Target Man.

That makes complete forwards a hybrid role that needs to fill different roles up front. Like Harry Kane, for example. 

Compared to advanced forwards, complete forwards don’t make runs behind the defensive line. They rather drop deep and hold on to the ball in the final third for supporting teammates to join in. 

Advanced Forwards: Attributes

When you think about the Advanced Forward role, it all boils down to pace, ability on the ball, and shooting. 

Let’s take a look at what attributes should an Advanced Forward possess. 

Technical Attributes

  • Dribbling
  • Finishing
  • First Touch
  • Technique

Mental Attributes

  • Anticipation
  • Composure
  • Decisions
  • Off the Ball
  • Work Rate

Physical Attributes

  • Acceleration
  • Agility
  • Balance
  • Pace
  • Stamina

In addition to all the mentioned attributes, the Advanced Forward can also benefit from a good level of Strength, Jumping Reach, Bravery, Heading, and Aggression.

Advanced Forward: Player Instructions

Football Manager allows a good amount of flexibility to the Advanced Forward role, making it easier for the role to fit in most tactical styles. 

You can impose the freedom of Dribbling, Shooting, and Passing Directness for the Advanced Forward to suit your team’s style of play.

On the other hand, the role has some preset instructions that dictate how the forward will primarily operate. 

For instance, the Advance Forward will always look to make runs into the channels to unlock the defense. 

Similarly, he’ll refrain from holding up the ball, which can slow down the play. 

The Advanced Forward role will maintain a positive mentality even in the most defensive setups. 

When Team Has The BallMove into Channels
Dribbling FreedomFlexible
Shooting FreedomFlexible
Passing DirectnessFlexible
Freedom of MovementRoam from Position
Trigger PressStandard
Role MentalityPositive

Best Player Traits for Advanced Forward in Football Manager

Advanced Forwards can benefit from some of the best traits for a striker in the Football Manager game. These traits helps to increase the frequency of certain movements and actions of the player, making them more effective for particular style of play.

Moves Into Channel

Advanced Forwards enjoy the freedom to make runs into the channels, which are the spaces between the opposing team’s defenders. 

These runs are made to exploit gaps in the defensive line or to stretch the opposition’s defense by moving into wider areas of the field.

To make dynamic runs into channels, the player must have good off-the-ball movement as well as Anticipation and Decisions to help him find opportunities. 

They look for opportunities to receive passes or through balls in these channel areas, which can create goal-scoring opportunities or open up space for their teammates.

Knocks Ball Past Opponent

This trait is an absolute cheat code for Advanced Forwards and I’ll explain why. 

Knocking the ball past the opponent gives him a headstart over the opposition defenders, getting out of tight spaces and edging towards the penalty area.

In one-on-one situations with defenders, an Advanced Forward can effectively bypass the defender by simply knocking the ball past them. This makes them a great asset against high-pressing opposition.

This trait can be particularly effective during quick counter-attacks. If the team wins back possession and looks to launch a rapid counter, the player can quickly knock the ball past any nearby opponents and drive forward, catching the opposition off guard.

Places Shot

Advanced Forwards with High Composure, Finishing, Decisions, and Technique should master the trait to place their shot in the final third.

Placing shots helps them to shoot more accurately, leading to more on-target shots and success rates. 

However, players who struggle to stay composed in goalscoring situations should be discouraged from placing shots as they’re more likely to panic and miss. 

Likes to Lob Keeper

This one is a handy trait for Advanced Forwards who are extremely fast and technical, making them more likely to encounter one-on-one situations with the goalkeeper. 

Goalkeepers with poor anticipation, positioning, and one-on-ones will suffer the most against such a trait as they will end up conceding more lobbed shots. 

But you need an equally technically gifted forward with good finishing, technique, and flair to pull out those lob shots. 

Likes to Try To Beat The Offside Trap

Advanced Forwards with this trait will tend to position themselves closer to the opponent’s defensive line, sometimes even at the risk of being caught offside. They actively seek opportunities to make runs behind the defenders, anticipating through balls from their teammates.

The trait reflects a player’s ability to time their forward runs precisely. They aim to break the defensive line just as the ball is played, staying level with or slightly ahead of the last defender to remain onside.

For that, the forward needs a good level of Anticipation, Off the Ball, Work Rate, Acceleration, Pace, and Agility. 

By staying on the shoulder of the last defender and looking to beat the offside trap, the player forces the defensive line to push deeper, potentially opening up gaps for other attackers.

Likes to Round Keeper

Advanced Forwards with extreme flair, dribbling, agility, and pace can adopt this trait to dribble past the goalkeeper to open up space for easier goalscoring opportunities.

Instead of trying to shoot immediately, or trying lob shots, the striker will take his time to round the keeper, beating him before taking a shot at the empty goalpost. 

It can be a real eye candy if the forward can pull it off. But keep in mind that this trick can give the opposition defenders enough time to get back to their position and make a clearance. 

Traits To Discourage For An Advanced Forward

Now, just like some of those beneficial traits, there are certain traits that can hugely restrict an Advanced Forward in the way they operate. 

So you need to make sure to prune those out as soon as possible.

Here are some of the traits that you should discourage your Advanced Forward

  • Dwells on Ball
  • Comes Deep to Get the Ball
  • Likes ball played at feet
  • Does Not Move Into Channels
  • Plays With Back To Goal

How To Stop An Advanced Forward in Football Manager

Playing an Advanced Forward is fun and all…until your opposition plays with one. 

Despite being massively overpowered, there are some clever tactical tweaks that can render any striker role ineffective throughout the 90 minutes. 

There are two ways you can stop an Advanced Forward from being a massive threat.

  1. Stopping the Playmakers
  2. Stopping the Player. 

Stopping The Playmakers

This will make sure that the Advanced Forward won’t get quality ball supply from his teammates. 

For that, you need to carefully inspect:

  1. The players who are making those passes.
  2. The area of the pitch from where the passes are being made. 

From my experience, there are four areas of the pitch from where the passes will be made.

  1. The Final Third
  2. Crosses From Deep(Wide)
  3. Crosses From  Byline
  4. Through Balls from Center

Go to Opposition Team Report > Scoring > Assist and you’ll find out what types of passes are creating the most goals for the opposition. Football Manager will also show you the areas from which the assists are being made.

Opposition team reports showing the assist map in Football Manager

This will give you a clear idea about where you should put your focus to stop those playmakers. 

Once you know the source of the assists, identify the players responsible for making those passes and make sure to high-press them to restrict their playmaking abilities. 

If the chances are being created from the final third, adopt a compact, narrow team shape to restrict space. This will force the play wide.

For teams that are constantly dishing out through balls from the midfield, try a mid-block, or high line of engagement to press them. It’ll restrict the opposition midfield from passing the ball into space

Look to stop crosses if the passing threats are coming from wide areas by tightly marking the opposition wingers and wingbacks. Press the full-backs if they are playing the ball from deep. 

Stopping The Player

Depending on your team’s defensive strength, there are a few ways you can cope with an explosive Advanced Forward. 

Slow defenses can adopt a lower defensive line to clear out any oncoming through balls. It also leaves very little space for the Advanced Forward to exploit behind the defense. 

In contrast, you can adopt a higher defensive line if your squad has quick and agile defenders. They can easily catch up to the player and win the ball back. 

You can also play your slower center backs in a high defensive line if they have good Marking, Positioning, Anticipation, Teamwork, Workrate, and Concentration. Defenders who excel in these attributes can read the runs of the Advanced Forward well and act quickly. 

Goalkeepers who’re good at one-on-ones, positioning, and quick at rushing out also have a better chance to stop shots from the striker.  

Showing the player to his weaker foot can greatly reduce his effectiveness inside the final third. 

It’s best to instruct your best center back to always tightly mark the Advanced Forward. This alleviates most of the forward’s attacking threat, keeping him in check throughout the game. 

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