The wide striker experiment – emulating Arjen Robben in World Cup 2014

Apologies and welcome back

I APOLOGISE I haven’t posted a lot over the past couple of months but I started a new full-time job as a graduate copy editor in South Wales at the end of May, so with work and moving out of my parents’ house, I’ve barely had time to think let alone muse on my FM experiences.

Now I’ve settled in to my new home and worked out what goes where, I think I’ll be able to make time to write at least one article a week, I think consistency is paramount for a blog and want to keep FM Scrapbook growing.

This time, I wanted to make a comeback with something special and original, something that makes every second you spend reading worthwhile.


J L Aspey wrote an article a few months ago about using a ‘central winger’ and it certainly stands out as imaginative and memorable.

It and Arjen Robben’s performances at the 2014 World Cup inspired me to write this article about a wide striker. Robben is only inspiration, remember. I’m not planning to replicate his role for Netherlands exactly.

The main aspects of Robben’s role I want to reproduce but might be impossible in FM14 (but that’s why we experiment) are:

  • Positional freedom, sometimes appear to be part of a two-man strike partnership, sometimes out wide cutting in or heading to by-line to cross (depending on preferred foot)
  • Either impressive strength to be able to take the ball down in wide positions or impeccable first touch to make up for lack of physicality
  • Eye for goal – although not an out-and-out striker if he doesn’t score the experiment has failed and it’d be difficult to argue he is a wide striker rather than a simple winger. If he becomes an assist machine though, I’ll still be satisfied.


You might ask what will make this attempted duty any different to the already available inside forward. It’s the idea that he will stay up front for the most part like a traditional striker. Alexis Sanchez is possibly another example of a player who executes this role. Cristiano Ronaldo’s another.

Something that makes this sort of player different to what I see as a typical modern inside forward is a wide striker would be more direct whereas an IF, such as Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and even Chelsea’s Willian, tends to play a role in slowly-worked attacks.

I plan to use my chosen player in a wide target man role and adjust instructions from there. Once again, he will hopefully be more than a regular WTM though due to his dynamic movement and superior skill and/ or pace.

I want my wide striker to pick up the ball and power towards goal to shoot or put the ball on a plate for a teammate to do so.

Experimenting in a fresh laboratory 

To conduct this FM test I wanted to start with a new club but only using newgens so I quit Real Madrid in November 2036 and I’ve bagged the West Ham job.

They don’t have nearly the money Madrid do so it’s going to be a challenge and I’ll have to decide on my preferred attributes for my wide striker intelligently if I have to buy someone. Unless we already have someone who is perfect for the role. Possible candidates include Australian striker Peter Dowling. He’s tall, strong and can already play up front or on either flank.


Another prospect is Thierry ‘Henry’ Yenga who seems to have all the skills to fulfill the role. The only thing letting him down is he cannot cut inside to shoot at the moment as he’s a left footer who can only play on the left.


So what I’ll do first is tailor my wide striker’s instructions and see how it affects his game in the match engine. I think this is the best way to see if this idea is doable.

I hope you’ve got an idea of what I’m attempting and I’ll be back with an update soon.

@FMScrapbook (James)

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