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Football Manager – What makes a good goalkeeper?

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It’s pretty imperative that you possess a decent goalkeeper in FM if you are to have the makings of a successful team. The ‘keeper is always the very last line of defence and knowing that you have a decent stopper between the sticks will improve the confidence you have in your team tenfold.

You obviously don’t need me to tell you that keeping clean sheets will inevitably win you matches but even as manager of a Manchester United or Barcelona, you still need a goalkeeper you can rely on when your usually water tight defence is occasionally breached.

5 Key Attributes


It’s difficult to pick out the exact attributes that make a good goalkeeper as there are so many but handling is certainly up there with the most essential. Handling on FM refers to how well a goalkeeper holds onto the ball. A low handling rating will see your ‘keeper spill shots which is definitely something you will want to avoid.


A goalkeeper who has decent reflexes is always a positive. With the ability to make reflex saves, your number 1 will react to the unpredictable with more success and he will be more capable of making quick reaction saves.

Aerial Ability

If a team is looking to play the long-ball system or pepper crosses at your team left, right and centre then a goalkeeper with a high ‘Aerial Ability’ attribute will come in very handy. Whether a strong punch or safe catch is required, a goalkeeper with ability in the air will know exactly what to do.

One On Ones

One on one situations are inevitable in FM. You know, when the opposition striker is clean through on goal and with just your goalkeeper to beat. A low ‘One On Ones’ attribute will mean your goalkeeper is quaking in their boots at such a situation – not good at all. A high ‘One On Ones’ attribute will denote a ‘keeper with presence and the confidence to believe he will come out on top and make the crucial save – now that’s more like it!


Remember that rock solid Manchester United defence of the 90’s? Well much of their success was undoubtedly attributed to one Peter Schmeichel and he certainly knew how to communicate. The communication attribute on FM is associated with your goalkeeper’s ability to open his mouth and instruct his defence. A goalkeeper who is a good communicator tends to mean that he works well with his defence.

For more on goalkeeper attributes, head over to the ‘FM Player Attributes’ post.

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