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Thread: The Mentality Ladder: A Practical Framework for Understanding Fluidity and Duty

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    Default The Mentality Ladder: A Practical Framework for Understanding Fluidity and Duty

    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    1. The Mentality Ladder
    2. Collective Responsibilities: Very Fluid Mentality Structures
    3. Solid Foundations: Fluid Mentality Structures
    4. Asymmetric Shapes: Balanced Mentality Structures
    5. Gestalt Systems: Rigid Mentality Structures
    6. Production Lines: Very Rigid Mentality Structures
    7. The Mentality Ladder, Duty and Other Settings
    8. Tactical Priorities in Detail

    UPDATE

    I've added a step-by-step walkthrough outlining how I create tactics using this framework.

    FOREWORD

    Fluidity is a complex idea, and its effects on tactics are subtle and nuanced. Given the difficulty of succinctly and accurately defining it, some Football Manager players have justifiably questioned whether it should even be present in the game. While I don't share this view, I do agree that most Football Manager players don't really need to overly concern themselves with the effects of the setting. Simply, a change of fluidity will not make or break your tactical approach, and if you stick to the sort of reasonable principles of tactical design outlined in wwfan's excellent introductory guide and llama3's superb commentary on role combinations, you will have all the tools you need to be a successful manager. However, if you're interested in exploring ways to make full use of the powerful and versatile tools that FM14 provides, this project presents a new framework for understanding how the various team settings interact to promote specific behaviours on the pitch. The basic idea is that the different combinations of team mentality and fluidity settings can be interpreted in terms of telling individual players to prioritize specific responsibilities, and through this interpretation, I think fluidity can be presented in a way that more accurately reflects its impact on play.

    The idea of fluidity as a game mechanic for Football Manager has its roots in the Tactical Theorems & Frameworks series that preceded and informed the development of the Tactics Creator. This series incorporated a variety of different theoretical perspectives, from critical theory to Karl Popper's scientific epistemology, to approach the slider-based system of classic tactics and develop practical frameworks for tactical design. These frameworks were later refined in terms of concepts developed by the tactical historian Jonathan Wilson to form the basis of the Tactics Creator as we know it today. Since this project is largely an effort at reopening and reconsidering this dialogue from a different perspective, it inevitably addresses and assumes some degree of familiarity with Wilson's concepts, though when possible, I've made a conscious effort to explain the relevant terminology for those who are new to the debate.

    If you're looking for tips on applying specific tactical settings, I believe most players will find much of the advice in Section 7 immediately useful while the outlines of player responsibilities in Sections 2-6 will give you a sense of how a tactic will be organized under different fluidity/mentality combinations. Beyond that, some of the more theoretical content here may not be useful or even remotely interesting to a lot of players. Fortunately, as I noted above, a nuanced understanding of fluidity is not a prerequisite to enjoying the game, though I hope the advice and interpretations presented here will help lead to new ideas for making the game more enjoyable for everyone.


    INTRODUCTION

    Philosophy, style, fluidity.

    Among both new and experienced Football Manager players, this core concept of the Tactics Creator remains a persistent source of confusion and misconceptions. To some extent, this is an expected consequence of the abstract nature of the idea itself. Designed to provide a coherent framework for setting positions on the infamously vague mentality slider, it operates as an abstraction of an abstraction that circumvents the ambiguity of the parts by attempting to give a clear and accessible sense to the whole.

    Yet, as the persistent confusion suggests, important details are still missing from the picture. The organization is there, but there is still no clear sense as to what, exactly, is being organized and how this would translate into an instruction that a manager would actually give his players.

    In practice, fluidity is less of a tactical concept than a managerial concept. It does not represent the style of football actually produced by the players on the pitch so much as the way in which the manager goes about getting the players to produce it. In other words, it is not the team's style or philosophy of play but the manager's style and philosophy of management. Unsurprisingly, for many players, it remains unclear how the setting actually affects their team on the pitch while debate continues over the extent to which it should actually dictate the details of tactical design.

    The continuing debate itself seems to be an indication that, conceptually, fluidity was not quite rooted in firm ground from the outset. While the Tactics Creator retains a simplistic and misleading emphasis on positional contributions to the various phases of play, the more nuanced analysis of recent guides and discussions reflect considerable evolution in how the theory behind the setting is being interpreted.

    A key aspect of this is the scope of the universalist vs. specialist distinction in modern football. This divide between tactical systems that emphasize player versatility and tactical systems that emphasize player mastery of highly specific skill sets is central to the theory underlying the idea of fluidity, but in the broader historical sense, the debate has long been settled. The universalism pioneered by Michels and Lobanovskyi has permeated tactical thinking at virtual every level of play. As Jonathan Wilson recently noted in regards to the holding midfielder, even the nominal specialists are becoming universalists to ever greater degrees. Wilson describes this as "paradoxical," but in fact, it's a natural implication of the near total demise of the overly static, positionally fixed football of bygone eras.

    In this sense, the match engine itself has always been a step ahead of the Tactics Creator that set out to explain it, and the all-encompassing, intertwining influence of both universalism and role theory, in which position refers primarily to a vague set of defensive responsibilities, are now the norm in both football and, moreso with FM14 than ever, Football Manager. Accordingly, fluidity has never done exactly what it says on the tin. The effects are certainly significant and crucial to coherent tactical design, but they are subtle and, more importantly, thoroughly rooted in a match engine that seeks to represent the modern game of football in which the lines between the rigid and the fluid can often be imperceptible on the pitch.

    This is not to say that there is no distinction between universalism and specialism in either football or Football Manager. There most certainly is, but it is a historically relative distinction that exists within a more generally universalist paradigm. The current prominence of the 4-2-3-1, in which two midfielders are withdrawn to free up a pair of attacking defenders, is an ever present reminder of this, regardless of whether that midfield pair consists of a destroyer/creator partnership or a duo of hybrid controllers.

    From this perspective, I think there are reasonable grounds to revisit the foundations of the fluidity setting and reconsider the theory in terms of the relatively mundane managerial instructions being theorized. In other words, in order to better refine and utilize the theory behind the setting, the particular details underlying the setting must be brought into focus.

    What is needed, then, is a clear, practical interpretation of what fluidity actually does within the context and vernacular of the Tactics Creator itself. The following document is an exploratory and, hopefully, elucidating attempt at accomplishing this. Using an interpretative framework called the mentality ladder, I have attempted to illustrate the practical basis upon which the concept of fluidity is based.

    The fundamental assumption underlying this framework is that fluidity is not, in practice, a team instruction. Rather, it represents the principle by which a set of relatively simple individual instructions are organized. Accordingly, to understand fluidity, it's important to understand how this abstract concept translates into the clearly expressed instructions given to individual players.


    PART I. THE MENTALITY LADDER

    Below, you will find four versions of the mentality ladder: one for attack duty players (excluding advanced playmakers, trequartistas and enganches), one for support duty players and playmakers, one for defend/cover/stopper duty players (excluding deep lying playmakers) and one for goalkeepers.

    In each case, the mentality ladder represents a set of general tactical responsibilities listed in descending order from most attacking to most defensive. These responsibilities indicate which task a player will look to carry out when occupying a different position or rung on the mentality ladder.

    The rung or task that a player is primarily associated with is his tactical priority. A tactical priority indicates a player's main function and responsibility within a team's specific set of tactical instructions. While the relationship between role, duty and tactical priority will be discussed in detail further on, it should be noted here that the concepts are distinct yet closely connected.

    Basically, a role shapes the precise manner in which a player approaches his tactical priority while duty controls his willingness to deviate it from it to join the attack. In this sense, tactical priorities are both general and responsive to other tactical settings. This reflects, as discussed in the introduction, the underlying universalism of modern tactical systems.


    Image by NakS

    The Mentality Ladder for Attack Duty Players

    -----------------------------------------------ATTACKING RESPONSIBILITIES-----------------------------------------------
    - Bypass Last Defender
    - Challenge Defenders
    - Overload Defenders
    - Draw Off Defenders
    - Penetrate Gaps Persistently
    - Penetrate Gaps
    - Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    - Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    - Spearhead Attacking Moves
    - Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    ------------------------------------------------CONTROL RESPONSIBILITIES--------------------------------------------------
    - Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    - Shuttle Ball
    - Shuttle Ball Into Space
    - Keep Possession Under Pressure
    - Keep Possession
    - Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    - Recover Possession Immediately
    - Recover Possession
    - Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    -----------------------------------------------DEFENSIVE RESPONSIBILITIES-----------------------------------------------
    - Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    - Disrupt Attacks
    - Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    - Restrict Space Aggressively
    - Restrict Space
    - Restrict Space Cautiously
    - Divert Attacking Movement
    - Contain Attacking Movement
    - Slow Attacking Movement
    - Obstruct Shots
    The Mentality Ladder for Support Duty Players and Playmakers

    -----------------------------------------------ATTACKING RESPONSIBILITIES-----------------------------------------------
    - Surge Into Box
    - Rush Ball Forward
    - Test Defence With Power
    - Test Defence
    - Test Defence With Precision
    - Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
    - Force Half Chances
    - Force Half Chances When Necessary
    - Create Chances Urgently
    - Create Chances
    - Create Chances Patiently
    ------------------------------------------------CONTROL RESPONSIBILITIES--------------------------------------------------
    - Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    - Shuttle Ball
    - Shuttle Ball Into Space
    - Keep Possession Under Pressure
    - Keep Possession
    - Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    - Recover Possession Immediately
    - Recover Possession
    - Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    -----------------------------------------------DEFENSIVE RESPONSIBILITIES-----------------------------------------------
    - Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    - Disrupt Attacks
    - Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    - Restrict Space Aggressively
    - Restrict Space
    - Restrict Space Cautiously
    - Divert Attacking Movement
    - Contain Attacking Movement
    - Slow Attacking Movement
    - Obstruct Shots
    The Mentality Ladder for Defend Duty Players

    -----------------------------------------------ATTACKING RESPONSIBILITIES-----------------------------------------------
    - Join Attack
    - Force Clearance
    - Hassle Defenders Relentlessly
    - Hassle Defenders
    - Hassle Dawdling Defenders
    - Isolate Holding Midfielders
    - Isolate Midfielders
    - Isolate Advancing Midfielders
    - Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
    - Suppress Counterattacks
    - Suppress Counterattacking Options
    ------------------------------------------------CONTROL RESPONSIBILITIES--------------------------------------------------
    - Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    - Shuttle Ball
    - Shuttle Ball Into Space
    - Keep Possession Under Pressure
    - Keep Possession
    - Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    - Recover Possession Immediately
    - Recover Possession
    - Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    -----------------------------------------------DEFENSIVE RESPONSIBILITIES-----------------------------------------------
    - Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    - Disrupt Attacks
    - Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    - Restrict Space Aggressively
    - Restrict Space
    - Restrict Space Cautiously
    - Divert Attacking Movement
    - Contain Attacking Movement
    - Slow Attacking Movement
    - Obstruct Shots
    The Mentality Ladder for Goalkeepers

    - Support Attacks
    - Initiate Attacks
    - Cycle Possession
    - Distribute Safely
    - Limit Pressure
    - Shield Goal
    While the names of the tasks will hopefully give you a fairly clear sense of what they involve, detailed descriptions of each have been provided in "Part VIII: Tactical Priorities in Detail."

    One important aspect of the mentality ladder that should be noted is the duty-based division of priorities that occurs as players assume attacking responsibilities in the opposition half. While defensive and control responsibilities are the same for all outfield players, duty determines the nature of a player's attacking responsibilities as support and defend duty players are less likely to take up responsibilities that necessarily involve getting into the opposition area. This is why there are three, duty-based versions of the mentality ladder for outfield players, though in effect, each operates according to the same principles.

    Finally, it should be noted that duty does not affect playmaker roles in the same manner they affect other roles. All playmakers will look to stay behind the forefront of the attack and look for space from which to play dangerous balls forward. To reflect this, all playmaker roles (i.e., the Deep Lying Playmaker, Advanced Playmaker, Enganche and Trequartista), regardless of assigned duty, are interpreted as following the "Support Duty" path.


    TACTICAL PRIORITY AND THE TASK AT HAND

    As I will explain in more detail below, a player's effective position on the mentality ladder is dynamic and responsive to how play is developing. While a player's tactical priority certainly influences and informs the mentality and decision-making with which he approaches the task at hand, no player is ever constrained to just one task and all players respond in some manner to the current phase of play. In other words, a player's tactical priority represents what task the player will primarily be focused on carrying out as well as the point at which a player will typically look to get directly involved in play, but all outfield players will move up and down the ladder in response to what's actually happening on the pitch.

    Generally, players will attempt to find a balance between successfully carrying out the current task and carrying out that task in a way that serves their tactical priority. Again, a tactical priority is not a constraint but a guiding point of reference to which a player gravitates while taking up and carrying out a multitude of responsibilities during the match.

    Of course, much depends on how well your players play. When your players decisively outplay your opponent, they will spend much or most of their time carrying out their tactical priority, but if they struggle, they will spend more time being forced to carry out tasks further down the mentality ladder. Thus, a very fluid overload tactic may direct nearly all of your team to get into or around the opposition penalty area, but ultimately, they still need to play well enough to carry out such an ambitious objective. In this sense, outplaying your opponent or nullifying their tactics can be thought of as the extent to which you force them to deviate from their tactical priorities.

    Accordingly, it's important to keep in mind that a player's position on the mentality ladder does not necessarily correspond to a player's current physical location on the pitch. Rather, it represents a player's mental orientation, and while each position on the ladder does direct a player towards playing the ball in a certain area of the pitch, there will be points in a match where a player is focused on moving either himself or the ball into another area of the pitch. This may mean the player is simply out of position or transitioning to a new phase of play, but it could also mean that the player is setting himself up to quickly perform a task in anticipation of the progression of play or has been asked to play a tactical function that involves playing the ball back to teammates advancing from deeper positions.

    If you're not averse to mixing metaphors, you can think of players as having a sort of imaginary elastic cord that attaches them (in a mental sense) to the rung representing their tactical priority. Thus, while all players will move up and down the ladder (i.e., take up different responsibilities in response to the present situation), the further they stretch the cord, the more the cord will pull back and noticeably influence their decision-making.


    MENTALITY STRUCTURE

    A mentality structure is the way a team is organized by individual players' tactical priorities. It is shaped by a tactic's formation, fluidity, mentality, roles and duties, and it fundamentally determines how your team operates in attack and defence. In the following sections, I've listed the various fluidity/mentality combinations along with the tactical priorities for each position (and relevant roles and duties) under that combination. This will allow you to determine a given tactic's mentality structure and give you a better sense of how it will operate.


    FORMATION, POSITION AND TACTICAL PRIORITY

    A player's position also partially determines their tactical priority. Within the framework of the Tactics Creator, fluidity has mainly been thought of in terms of the team's overall strategic focus (or as it's now called, mentality), but here, the concept of a player's tactical priority makes a finer distinction on an individual level.

    Therefore, even in a very fluid system, a centreback and striker typically aren't going to share the exact same tactical priority. There is, rather, an inherent division of responsibilities established by the formation itself. This is plainly evident when watching a very fluid tactic in action. While a very fluid tactic will usually cause a team to collectively focus on a smaller number of tasks, the team doesn't all focus on the same task at once. Strikers will still tend to operate as the more advanced players while centrebacks will still be the ones holding the defensive line.

    With this in mind, a formation can be thought of as establishing a baseline mentality structure that fluidity modfies. In this baseline structure, players positioned further from their goal have a slightly more attacking orientation than those positioned directly behind them while wide players of a given positional stratum (e.g., defensive midfield, midfield, attacking midfield, etc.) have a slightly more attacking orientation than their central counterparts. In the following outlines of the various mentality structures, I've attempted to reflect this to provide a better sense of how the mentality structures actually operate in practice as well as emphasizing the effect of formation.


    ASYMMETRIC PRIORITY ARRANGEMENTS

    In some mentality structures, especially balanced mentality structures, a player in an advanced position may have a less aggressive tactical priority than a player in a deeper position. As noted above, a tactical priority does not necessarily correspond to a physical position on the pitch, so this asymmetry between formation and tactical priority does not mean your formation (or to be precise, your defensive formation) will be altered. However, it does mean that the advanced player with the lower tactical priority will be more likely to drop deep to help players positioned much lower on the pitch (including providing positional cover for their forward runs), more cautious in his general decision-making with a greater tendency to hold off on a risky pass or tackle, and notably for playmakers, less urgent in advancing up the pitch and attempting runs deep into the attacking third. For players in deeper positions with more aggressive tactical priorities, the reverse is also true.

    Certainly, this may have a significant effect on how your team's shape develops at various points in the match, particularly during the attacking phase, but as discussed above, it's a question of movement and tendencies in decision-making. Again, a player's effective position on the mentality ladder is dynamic in response to the movement of the rest of the team, and in these sort of asymmetric arrangements of tactical priority, it typically means the advanced player with the less aggressive tactical priority will serve as a sort of cautionary check on the urgency of your team's play and look to control the tempo while staving off rash decisions when necessary. Good examples of this include the advanced playmaker who looks to dictate tempo from the hole until midfielders get forward to support the attack and the more aggressively positioned ball-winner who consistently looks to play the ball back to a creative player who initiates attacks from deep.

    Accordingly, these asymmetric arrangements should not be seen as somehow counterproductive or contradictory to your formation. On the contrary, such arrangements can be highly effective and useful in modeling certain tactical systems.


    THE ORIENTING EFFECT OF TEAM MENTALITY AND FLUIDITY

    For all fluidity settings, the team mentality setting defines the core tactical priority around which the mentality structure is based while the fluidity setting determines the degree of differentation between the tactical priorities of individual players. As you will notice when examining the mentality structures, no mentality structure on any fluidity setting will have a massive difference in tactical focus between any two players. This is necessary to prevent the team from becoming overly disconnected and, in effect, having players working against one another's tactical priorities. Ultimately, all mentality structures will sensibly base the team around a core set of tactical priorities in a way that ensures even the most defensive and attacking players are contributing to the team's basic objective in some way.

    Of course, this means that much of the in-game descriptions of fluidity and team mentality settings is simply inaccurate. No fluidity setting necessarily restricts any one type of player to any one phase of play nor does a high level of fluidity mean that, for example, an attacker told to go all-out attack will be more inclined to help defend than a striker in a rigid system told to do the same. In fact, team mentality is far more relevant than fluidity in terms of determining a defender's willingness to get forward or an attacker's willingness to track back, and it is simply not true that more fluid settings always increase their willingness to do so while more rigid settings decrease it.

    As discussed above, all players respond dynamically to the development of play, and this is true on all mentality and fluidity settings. Fluidity settings merely establish the basic orientation of individual players relative to the team mentality, and the interaction between fluidity and mentality is much more nuanced than the Tactics Creator descriptions seem to suggest.


    OUTLINING THE MENTALITY STRUCTURES

    The following sections outline the anatomy of the various mentality structures. The outlines are grouped under fluidity settings and presented in order from most defensive to most attacking. The specific tactical priorities in each fluidity/mentality combination are listed by position with unique role or duty exceptions listed in italics under the position.

    Hopefully, these outlines will serve as a useful reference point as you set out to put your tactical vision into practice. However, keep in mind that these outlines only present the most basic underlying foundation of a tactic. Subsequent sections will delve into more detail regarding the interaction between tactical priority and duty in various phases of play. Simply, understanding this interaction is essential to understanding how and why a tactic operates in the way it does, so while these outlines are intended to provide a firm basis for tactical design, they merely represent the first step in that process.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 11-03-2014 at 16:05.

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    PART II. COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITIES: VERY FLUID MENTALITY STRUCTURES

    Very fluid mentality structures cover the smallest range of tactical priorities with the team as a whole sharply focused on carrying out a highly specific strategic objective (e.g., completely negating the opposition's attack, controlling possession in midfield, overloading the opposition third, etc.). This represents systems in which all players are expected to help contribute to a general, collective function and in which, accordingly, there is significantly less differentiation between players based on position and role. While this demands a greater degree of versatilty and tactical awareness from each of the players, it encourages the team to cooperate closely in carrying out specific tasks while promoting more movement between positional strata and, thus, greater variety and unpredictability in the team's play.

    The Controller Effect
    Certain very fluid mentality structures are subject to the Controller Effect. Essentially, under a more defensive team mentality, using a designated playmaker with a lower tactical priority than other roles in the same position will cause others on the team to become slightly more aggressive.
    In practical terms, this represents a playmaker who stays deeper than other players in his position to focus on controlling the flow and tempo of the match. His non-controller teammates, accordingly, become slightly more aggressive to compensate for the controller-playmaker's more cautious orienation.

    The Controller Effect applies to very fluid contain, defensive and counter mentality structures that use a Trequartista at ST, an Advanced Playmaker at AMC/L/R, a Deep-Lying Playmaker at CM or a Sweeper (that is, the role, not the position). In the following outlines, you should move each outfield player (with the exception of other sweepers, DLPs at MC, APs at AMLRC and trequartistas at ST) up one position on the mentality ladder for Counter/Defensive mentalities and up two positions for Contain if the mentality structure is subject to the Controller Effect. Keep in mind, the Controller Effect does not affect other controller-playmakers regardless of their position, and the alterations imposed by the Controller Effect are the same regardless of how many controller-playmakers are used.

    -------------------------------------CONTAIN-------------------------------------
    GK: Shield Goal

    SW: Obstruct Shots

    DC: Obstruct Shots
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Divert Attacking Movement

    DL/R: Slow Attacking Movement

    DMC: Contain Attacking Movement

    WB: Divert Attacking Movement

    MC: Restrict Space Cautiously

    ML/R: Restrict Space

    AMC: Restrict Space Aggressively
    Shadow Striker: Disrupt Attacks

    AML/R: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    ST (Lone Striker): Disrupt Attacks
    Attack Duty with Multiple Strikers: Recover Possession


    -------------------------------------DEFENSIVE-------------------------------------
    GK: Limit Pressure

    SW: Divert Attacking Movement
    Libero (All Duties): Restrict Space Cautiously

    DC: Restrict Space Cautiously
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Divert Attacking Movement
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    DL/R: Restrict Space

    DMC: Restrict Space Aggressively
    Halfback: Restrict Space

    WB: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    MC: Disrupt Attacks
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    ML/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    AMC: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Shadow Striker: Recover Possession Immediately

    AML/R: Recover Possession
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    ST (Lone Striker): Recover Possession Immediately
    Attack Duty with Multiple Strikers: Keep Possession Under Pressure
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Recover Possession
    Support/Defend Duty with Multiple Strikers: Recover Possession
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Recover Possession
    Trequartista with Multiple Strikers: Keep Possession


    -------------------------------------COUNTER-------------------------------------
    GK: Distribute Safely

    SW: Restrict Space Aggressively
    Libero (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    DC: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    DL/R: Disrupt Attacks

    DMC: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Halfback: Disrupt Attacks

    WBL/R: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    MC: Recover Possession
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    ML/R: Recover Possession Immediately

    AMC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession Immediately
    Shadow Striker: Keep Possession Under Pressure

    AML/R: Keep Possession
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    ST (Lone Striker): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Attack Duty with Multiple Strikers: Shuttle Ball
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Keep Possession
    Support/Defend Duty with Multiple Strikers: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Keep Possession
    Trequartista with Multiple Strikers: Shuttle Ball Into Space

    -------------------------------------STANDARD-------------------------------------
    GK: Cycle Possession

    SW: Disrupt Attacks
    Libero (All Duties): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    DC: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession Immediately

    DL/R: Recover Possession

    DMC: Recover Possession Immediately
    Halfback: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    WBL/R: Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    MC: Keep Possession
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession Immediately

    ML/R: Keep Possession Under Pressure

    AMC: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession
    Shadow Striker: Shuttle Ball Through Defence

    AML/R: Shuttle Ball
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Under Pressure

    ST (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Attack Duty with Multiple Strikers: Spearhead Attacking Moves
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Support/Defend Duty with Multiple Strikers: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Trequartista with Multiple Strikers: Shuttle Ball Through Defence

    -------------------------------------CONTROL-------------------------------------
    GK: Cycle Possession

    SW: Recover Possession
    Libero (All Duties): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    DC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure

    DL/R: Keep Possession

    DMC: Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Halfback: Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    WBL/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space

    MC: Shuttle Ball
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Under Pressure

    ML/R: Shuttle Ball Through Defence

    AMC: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball
    Shadow Striker: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Patiently

    AML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Suppress Counterattacks
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances

    ST (Lone Striker): Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    Attack Duty with Multiple Strikers: Penetrate Gaps
    Defensive Forward (Defend-Lone Striker): Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
    Defensive Forward (Defend-Multiple Strikers): Suppress Counterattacking Options
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Create Chances Patiently
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Create Chances Urgently
    Support Duty with Multiple Strikers: Create Chances Patiently
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Create Chances Patiently
    Trequartista with Multiple Strikers: Create Chances Urgently

    -------------------------------------ATTACKING-------------------------------------
    GK: Initiate Attacks

    SW: Keep Possession
    Libero (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Into Space

    DC: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Shuttle Ball

    DL/R: Shuttle Ball

    DMC: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Halfback: Shuttle Ball Into Space

    WBL/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Defend Duty: Suppress Counterattacking Options
    Support Duty: Create Chances Patiently

    MC: Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Suppress Counterattacks
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances

    ML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    Defend Duty: Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
    Support Duty: Create Chances Urgently

    AMC: Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Create Chances
    Enganche: Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Shadow Striker: Penetrate Gaps
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Trequartista: Force Half Chances When Necessary

    AML/R: Penetrate Gaps
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Create Chances Urgently
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Isolate Midfielders
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances

    ST (Lone Striker): Penetrate Gaps Persistently
    Attack Duty with Multiple Strikers: Draw Off Defenders
    Defensive Forward (Defend-Lone Striker): Isolate Holding Midfielders
    Defensive Forward (Defend-Multiple Strikers): Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Support Duty with Multiple Strikers: Create Chances Urgently
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Trequartista with Multiple Strikers: Force Half Chances

    -------------------------------------OVERLOAD-------------------------------------
    GK: Support Attacks

    SW: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Libero (Attack Duty): Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Libero (Support Duty): Create Chances

    DC: Suppress Counterattacks
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Shuttle Ball

    DL/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
    Support Duty (All Roles): Create Chances Urgently

    DMC: Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Defend Duty (All Roles Except DLP and HB): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
    Halfback: Suppress Counterattacks

    WBL/R: Penetrate Gaps
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Isolate Midfielders
    Support Duty (All Roles): Force Half Chances

    MC: Penetrate Gaps Persistently
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Isolate Holding Midfielders
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation

    ML/R: Draw Off Defenders
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
    Support Duty (All Roles): Test Defence With Precision

    AMC: Overload Defenders
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
    Enganche: Test Defence
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Test Defence
    Trequartista: Test Defence

    AML/R: Challenge Defenders
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Test Defence With Precision
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Hassle Defenders Relentlessly
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Test Defence With Power

    ST (Lone Striker): Bypass Last Defender
    Attack Duty with Multiple Strikers: Bypass Last Defender
    Defensive Forward (Defend-Lone Striker): Force Clearance
    Defensive Forward (Defend-Multiple Strikers): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Test Defence
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Rush Ball Forward
    Support Duty with Multiple Strikers: Draw Off Defenders
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Test Defence
    Trequartista with Multiple Strikers: Test Defence with Power

  3. #3
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    PART III. SOLID FOUNDATIONS: FLUID MENTALITY STRUCTURES

    Fluid mentality structures divide the team into two separate units each focused closely on a small but distinct range of tactical priorities. In effect, this creates a divided structure with a more aggressive, fluid attack backed by a significantly more cautious defence. The idea is that the entrenched, disciplined defensive unit frees the attacking unit to get forward without being distracted by pressing defensive responsibilities, though the division between the units calls for a higher degree of attacking/defensive specialization to ensure both can cope with the increased demands resulting from their relative isolation from one another.

    The Controller Effect
    Certain fluid mentality structures are subject to the Controller Effect. Essentially, under a more defensive team mentality, using certain roles with a lower tactical priority than other roles in the same position will cause others on the team to become slightly more aggressive.

    In practical terms, this represents a player who stays deeper than other players in his position to focus on controlling the flow and tempo of the match. His non-controller teammates, accordingly, become slightly more aggressive to compensate for the controller-playmaker's more cautious orienation.

    The Controller Effect applies to fluid contain and defensive mentality structures that use a Deep-Lying Playmaker at CM or a Sweeper (that is, the role, not the position). In the following outlines, you should move each outfield player (with the exception of other sweepers, DLPs at MC, APs at AMLRC and trequartistas at ST) up one position on the mentality ladder for Defensive mentalities and up two positions for Contain if the mentality structure is subject to the Controller Effect. Keep in mind, the Controller Effect does not affect other sweepers or CM-DLPs, and the alterations imposed by the Controller Effect are the same regardless of how many controller-playmakers are used.


    -------------------------------------CONTAIN-------------------------------------
    GK: Shield Goal
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Limit Pressure

    SW: Obstruct Shots
    Libero (All Duties): Restrict Space Cautiously

    DC: Obstruct Shots
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Divert Attacking Movement

    DL/R: Slow Attacking Movement

    DMC: Contain Attacking Movement

    WBL/R: Divert Attacking Movement

    MC: Disrupt Attacks
    Box to Box Midfielder: Restrict Space Aggressively
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Restrict Space Cautiously
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Restrict Space Cautiously

    ML/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    AMC: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks
    Shadow Striker: Recover Possession Immediately

    AML/R: Recover Possession
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    ST (Lone Striker): Recover Possession Immediately
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Support/Defend Duty (Multiple Strikers): Recover Possession
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession Away From Pressure


    -------------------------------------DEFENSIVE-------------------------------------
    GK: Limit Pressure
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Distribute Safely

    SW: Contain Attacking Movement
    Libero (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    DC: Divert Attacking Movement
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Contain Attacking Movement
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Aggressively

    DL/R: Restrict Space Cautiously

    DMC: Restrict Space
    Halfback: Restrict Space Cautiously

    WBL/R: Restrict Space Aggressively

    MC: Recover Possession
    Box to Box Midfielder: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Restrict Space Aggressively
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    ML/R: Recover Possession Immediately

    AMC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession
    Shadow Striker: Keep Possession Under Pressure

    AML/R: Keep Possession
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession Immediately

    ST (Lone Striker): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Support/Defend Duty (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Into Space


    -------------------------------------COUNTER-------------------------------------
    GK: Limit Pressure
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Cycle Possession

    SW: Restrict Space Cautiously
    Libero (All Duties): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    DC: Restrict Space Aggressively
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Cautiously
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks

    DL/R: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    DMC: Disrupt Attacks
    Halfback: Restrict Space Aggressively

    WBL/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    MC: Keep Possession
    Box to Box Midfielder: Recover Possession Immediately
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    ML/R: Keep Possession Under Pressure

    AMC: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession
    Shadow Striker: Shuttle Ball Through Defence

    AML/R: Shuttle Ball
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Under Pressure

    ST (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Spearhead Attacking Moves
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Support/Defend Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Through Defence


    -------------------------------------STANDARD-------------------------------------
    GK: Distribute Safely
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Cycle Possession

    SW: Restrict Space Aggressively
    Libero (All Duties): Recover Possession Immediately

    DC: Disrupt Attacks
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Aggressively
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    DL/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    DMC: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Halfback: Disrupt Attacks

    WBL/R: Recover Possession

    MC: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Box to Box Midfielder: Keep Possession
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession Immediately

    ML/R: Shuttle Ball

    AMC: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Shadow Striker: Spearhead Attacking Moves

    AML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Suppress Counterattacking Options
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Patiently

    ST (Lone Striker): Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Lone Striker): Suppress Counterattacks
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Create Chances
    Support/Defend Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances


    -------------------------------------CONTROL-------------------------------------
    GK: Cycle Possession
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Initiate Attacks

    SW: Disrupt Attacks
    Libero (All Duties): Keep Possession

    DC: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession Immediately

    DL/R: Recover Possession

    DMC: Recover Possession Immediately
    Halfback: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    WBL/R: Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    MC: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Box to Box Midfielder: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession Immediately
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession

    ML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Suppress Counterattacking Options
    Support Duty (All Roles): Create Chances Patiently

    AMC: Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances
    Shadow Striker: Penetrate Gaps Intermittently

    AML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Create Chances Patiently
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Urgently

    ST (Lone Striker): Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Penetrate Gaps Persistently
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Lone Striker): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Multiple Strikers): Suppress Counterattacks
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Create Chances
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Create Chances
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Force Chances When Necessary


    -------------------------------------ATTACK-------------------------------------
    GK: Cycle Possession
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Initiate Attacks

    SW: Recover Possession
    Libero (All Duties): Shuttle Ball

    DC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession

    DL/R: Keep Possession

    DMC: Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Halfback: Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    WBL/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space

    MC: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    Box to Box Midfielder: Create Chances Patiently
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Urgently

    ML/R: Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
    Support Duty (All Roles): Force Half Chances When Necessary

    AMC: Penetrate Gaps
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Create Chances Urgently
    Enganche: Force Half Chances
    Shadow Striker: Penetrate Gaps Persistently
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances
    Trequartista: Force Half Chances

    AML/R: Penetrate Gaps Persistently
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Isolate Holding Midfielders
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation

    ST (Lone Striker): Draw Off Defenders
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Overload Defenders
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Lone Striker): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Multiple Strikers): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Test Defence With Precision
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation


    -------------------------------------OVERLOAD-------------------------------------
    GK: Initiate Attacks
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Support Attacks

    SW: Keep Possession
    Libero (Attack Duty): Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Libero (Support Duty): Create Chances

    DC: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Shuttle Ball

    DL/R: Shuttle Ball

    DMC: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Halfback: Shuttle Ball Into Space

    WBL/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Defend Duty: Suppress Counterattacking Options
    Support Duty: Create Chances Patiently

    MC: Penetrate Gaps Persistently
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
    Box to Box Midfielder: Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Suppress Counterattacks
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation

    ML/R: Draw Off Defenders
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
    Support Duty (All Roles): Test Defence With Precision

    AMC: Overload Defenders
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Enganche: Test Defence
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Test Defence
    Trequartista: Test Defence

    AML/R: Challenge Defenders
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Test Defence With Precision
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Hassle Defenders Relentlessly
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Test Defence With Power

    ST (Lone Striker): Bypass Last Defender
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Bypass Last Defender
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Lone Striker): Force Clearance
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Multiple Strikers): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Test Defence
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Rush Ball Forward
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Test Defence With Precision
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Test Defence
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Test Defence with Power
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 07-02-2014 at 00:58.

  4. #4
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    23rd July 2011
    Posts
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    PART IV. ASYMMETRIC SHAPES: BALANCED MENTALITY STRUCTURES

    Balanced mentality structures divide the team into three units based on the duties assigned to individual players. As with fluid structures, a more cautious defensive unit provides a stable, structural core that frees a more adventurous attacking unit to get forward aggressively, though this is further balanced by a "supporting" unit that serves to provide a more consistent link between the two. However, since a player's respective unit is defined by his duty rather than position, this gives the manager greater flexibility in refining his defensive and attacking shape to fit the personnel at his disposal. Consequently, Balanced mentality structures can accommodate a high degree of either duty-based specialization or general versatility.

    The Controller Effect
    Certain balanced mentality structures are subject to the Controller Effect. Essentially, under a more defensive team mentality, using certain roles with a lower tactical priority than other roles in the same position will cause others on the team to become slightly more aggressive.
    In practical terms, this represents a player who stays deeper than other players in his position to focus on controlling the flow and tempo of the match. His non-controller teammates, accordingly, become slightly more aggressive to compensate for the controller-playmaker's more cautious orienation.

    The Controller Effect applies to balanced contain, defensive and counter mentality structures that use a Deep-Lying Playmaker at CM or a Sweeper (that is, the role, not the position). In the following outlines, you should move each outfield player (with the exception of sweepers, DLPs at MC, APs at AMLRC and trequartistas at ST) up one position on the mentality ladder for Defensive mentalities and up two positions for Contain if the mentality structure is subject to the Controller Effect. Keep in mind, the Controller Effect does not affect other sweepers or CM-DLPs, and the alterations imposed by the Controller Effect are the same regardless of how many controller-playmakers are used.

    -------------------------------------CONTAIN-------------------------------------
    GK: Shield Goal
    Sweeper Keeper (Attack): Limit Pressure
    Sweeper Keeper (Support): Limit Pressure

    SW: Obstruct Shots
    Libero (Attack): Restrict Space Aggressively
    Libero (Support): Divert Attacking Movement

    DC: Obstruct Shots
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Divert Attacking Movement

    DL/R: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Slow Attacking Movement
    Support Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Cautiously

    DMC: Contain Attacking Movement
    Support Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space

    WBL/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Wingback (Defend): Divert Attacking Movement
    Wingback (Support): Restrict Space Aggressively

    MC: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Deep Lying Playmaker (Support): Restrict Space
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Cautiously
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    ML/R: Recover Possession
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space
    Support Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks

    AMC: Recover Possession Immediately
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Advanced Playmaker (Support): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Shadow Striker: Keep Possession
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    AML/R: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Recover Possession
    Advanced Playmaker (Support): Disrupt Attacks
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    ST (Lone Striker): Keep Possession
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball
    Defensive Forward (Defend): Disrupt Attacks
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Recover Possession
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Recover Possession Immediately
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession Under Pressure


    -------------------------------------DEFENSIVE-------------------------------------
    GK: Limit Pressure
    Sweeper Keeper (Attack): Distribute Safely
    Sweeper Keeper (Support): Limit Pressure

    SW: Contain Attacking Movement
    Libero (Attack): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Libero (Support): Restrict Space Aggressively

    DC: Divert Attacking Movement
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Contain Attacking Movement
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Aggressively

    DL/R: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Cautiously
    Support Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    DMC: Restrict Space
    Halfback: Restrict Space Cautiously
    Support Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks

    WBL/R: Recover Possession Immediately
    Wingback (Defend): Restrict Space Aggressively
    Wingback (Support): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    MC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Deep Lying Playmaker (Defend): Restrict Space Aggressively
    Deep Lying Playmaker (Support): Disrupt Attacks
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    ML/R: Keep Possession
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks
    Support Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession

    AMC: Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Advanced Playmaker (Support): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Shadow Striker: Shuttle Ball
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession Immediately

    AML/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Keep Possession
    Advanced Playmaker (Support): Recover Possession
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    ST (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Defensive Forward (Defend): Recover Possession
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Recover Possession Immediately
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Keep Possession
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Through Defence


    -------------------------------------COUNTER-------------------------------------
    GK: Limit Pressure
    Sweeper Keeper (Attack): Cycle Possession
    Sweeper Keeper (Support): Distribute Safely

    SW: Restrict Space Cautiously
    Libero (Attack): Recover Possession
    Libero (Support): Disrupt Attacks

    DC: Restrict Space
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Divert Attacking Movement
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    DL/R: Recover Possession Immediately
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Aggressively
    Support Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    DMC: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Halfback: Restrict Space
    Support Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    WBL/R: Keep Possession
    Wingback (Defend): Disrupt Attacks
    Wingback (Support): Recover Possession

    MC: Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Deep Lying Playmaker (Defend): Disrupt Attacks
    Deep Lying Playmaker (Support): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession Immediately

    ML/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Support Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    AMC: Shuttle Ball
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Advanced Playmaker (Support): Recover Possession Immediately
    Shadow Striker: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession

    AML/R: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Advanced Playmaker (Support): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Recover Possession Immediately
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure

    ST (Lone Striker): Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    Defensive Forward (Defend): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Keep Possession
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances Patiently


    -------------------------------------STANDARD-------------------------------------
    GK: Distribute Safely
    Sweeper Keeper (Attack): Cycle Possession
    Sweeper Keeper (Support): Cycle Possession

    SW: Restrict Space
    Libero (Attack): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Libero (Support): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    DC: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    DL/R: Keep Possession
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks
    Support Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession

    DMC: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Halfback: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Support Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession Immediately

    WBL/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Wingback (Defend): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Wingback (Support): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    MC: Shuttle Ball
    Deep Lying Playmaker (Defend): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Deep Lying Playmaker (Support): Recover Possession Immediately
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession

    ML/R: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession Immediately
    Support Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure

    AMC: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Shuttle Ball
    Advanced Playmaker (Support): Keep Possession
    Shadow Striker: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball Into Space

    AML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Advanced Playmaker (Support): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Keep Possession
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball

    ST (Lone Striker): Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Penetrate Gaps
    Defensive Forward (Defend): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Create Chances Patiently
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances Urgently


    -------------------------------------CONTROL-------------------------------------
    GK: Distribute Safely
    Sweeper Keeper (Attack): Initiate Attacks
    Sweeper Keeper (Support): Cycle Possession

    SW: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Libero (Attack): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Libero (Support): Recover Possession Immediately

    DC: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession

    DL/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Support Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    DMC: Recover Possession
    Halfback: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Support Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession

    WBL/R: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Wingback (Defend): Recover Possession Immediately
    Wingback (Support): Keep Possession Under Pressure

    MC: Spearhead Attacks from the Hole
    Deep Lying Playmaker (Defend): Recover Possession
    Deep Lying Playmaker (Support): Keep Possession
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball Into Space

    ML/R: Spearhead Attacks
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession
    Support Duty (All Roles): Shuttle Ball

    AMC: Spearhead Attacks Closer to Defence
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Create Chances Patiently
    Advanced Playmaker (Support): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Shadow Striker: Penetrate Gaps
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball Through Defence

    AML/R: Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Create Chances
    Advanced Playmaker (Support): Shuttle Ball
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Patiently

    ST (Lone Striker): Penetrate Gaps
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Draw Off Defenders
    Defensive Forward (Defend): Shuttle Ball
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Create Chances
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Bal Aggressively
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Create Chances Urgently
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Force Half Chances


    -------------------------------------ATTACKING-------------------------------------
    GK: Cycle Possession
    Sweeper Keeper (Attack): Initiate Attacks
    Sweeper Keeper (Support): Initiate Attacks

    SW: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Libero (Attack): Shuttle Ball
    Libero (Support): Keep Possession

    DC: Recover Possession
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession Immediately

    DL/R: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession Immediately
    Support Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure

    DMC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Halfback: Recover Possession
    Support Duty (All Roles): Shuttle Ball Into Space

    WBL/R: Spearhead Attacks
    Wingback (Defend): Keep Possession
    Wingback (Support): Shuttle Ball

    MC: Spearhead Attacks Closer to Defence
    Deep Lying Playmaker (Defend): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Deep Lying Playmaker (Support): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball Through Defence

    ML/R: Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Support Duty (All Roles): Create Chances Patiently

    AMC: Penetrate Gaps
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Create Chances Urgently
    Advanced Playmaker (Support): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Enganche: Force Half Chances
    Shadow Striker: Penetrate Gaps Persistently
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances
    Trequartista: Force Half Chances

    AML/R: Penetrate Gaps Persistently
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Advanced Playmaker (Support): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Urgently

    ST (Lone Striker): Draw Off Defenders
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Overload Defenders
    Defensive Forward (Defend): Suppress Counterattacking Options
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Create Chances
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances Patiently
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation


    -------------------------------------OVERLOAD-------------------------------------
    GK: Initiate Attacks
    Sweeper Keeper (Attack): Support Attacks
    Sweeper Keeper (Support): Initiate Attacks

    SW: Recover Possession Immediately
    Libero (Attack): Spearhead Attacks
    Libero (Support): Shuttle Ball

    DC: Keep Possession
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure

    DL/R: Spearhead Attacks Closer to Defence
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Support Duty (All Roles): Shuttle Ball Through Defence

    DMC: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Halfback: Keep Possession
    Support Duty (All Roles): Create Chances Patiently

    WBL/R: Penetrate Gaps
    Wingback (Defend): Shuttle Ball
    Wingback (Support): Create Chances

    MC: Penetrate Gaps Persistently
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
    Deep Lying Playmaker (Defend): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Deep Lying Playmaker (Support): Create Chances Patiently
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Urgently

    ML/R: Draw Off Defenders
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Suppress Counterattacking Options
    Support Duty (All Roles): Create Chances Urgently

    AMC: Overload Defenders
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
    Advanced Playmaker (Support): Create Chances Urgently
    Enganche: Test Defence
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances
    Trequartista: Test Defence

    AML/R: Challenge Defenders
    Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Test Defence With Precision
    Advanced Playmaker (Support): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation

    ST (Lone Striker): Bypass Last Defender
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Bypass Last Defender
    Defensive Forward (Defend): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Test Defence With Precision
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Test Defence
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Test Defence With Power

  5. #5
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    PART V. GESTALT SYSTEMS: RIGID MENTALITY STRUCTURES

    Rigid mentality structures cover the broadest range of tactical priorities with roles sharply defining how players contribute to the team's strategic objective. While Balanced mentality structures can also cover a very wide range of tactical priorities, Rigid mentality structures organize tactical priorities according to position within the team's defensive shape regardless of duty (with a few exceptions). The idea is that each player has a more distinct and clearly defined function within the team compared to more fluid systems. The main purpose of this is to ensure a quick and well organized transition from defense to attack (and vice versa) with wide players moving up more readily to link the defence, support and attack. While this can make the team's approach somewhat predictable, it better enables players to play to their specific strengths while reducing the risk of the team getting bogged down in aimless, incoherent play.

    Previously, rigid mentality structures have been equated with archaic tactical systems in which specific positions are strictly limited to contributing to specific phases of play, but this is not an accurate depiction. Team mentality and duty are the primary factors in determining whether specific players get forward or drop back to defend. A rigid mentality structure merely causes players in different positions to be incrementally more cautious or adventurous to ensure a greater tactical distinction between positions and roles. This is quite different from limiting certain positions to a single phase of play.

    The Sweeper Effect
    Certain rigid mentality structures are subject to the Sweeper Effect. Essentially, under a more defensive team mentality, using a sweeper role will cause other players on the team to become slightly more aggressive.

    The Sweeper Effect applies to rigid contain, defensive and counter mentality structures that use a Sweeper (that is, the role, not the position). In the following outlines, you should move each outfield player (with the exception of other sweepers) up one position on the mentality ladder for Defensive mentalities and up two positions for Contain if the mentality structure is subject to the Sweeper Effect. Keep in mind, the alterations imposed by the Sweeper Effect are the same regardless of how many sweepers are used.

    The Trequartista Effect
    A similar effect occurs when a Trequartista is used as a lone striker in Control, Attack and Overload mentalities. In such situations, you should move every outfield player other than the Trequartista up one position on the mentality ladder for Control mentalities and up two positions for Attacking and Overload mentalities.

    -------------------------------------CONTAIN-------------------------------------
    GK: Shield Goal
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Limit Pressure

    SW: Obstruct Shots
    Libero (All Duties): Restrict Space Aggressively

    DC: Obstruct Shots
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Divert Attacking Movement

    DL/R: Divert Attacking Movement

    DMC: Restrict Space Cautiously
    Halfback: Divert Attacking Movement

    WBL/R: Restrict Space

    MC: Disrupt Attacks
    Box to Box Midfielder: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Restrict Space Cautiously
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Restrict Space Aggressively

    ML/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    AMC: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks
    Shadow Striker: Recover Possession Immediately

    AML/R: Recover Possession
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    ST (Lone Striker): Keep Possession
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball
    False NIne (Lone Striker): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Support/Defend Duty (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession Away From Pressure


    -------------------------------------DEFENSIVE-------------------------------------
    GK: Limit Pressure
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Distribute Safely

    SW: Contain Attacking Movement
    Libero (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    DC: Divert Attacking Movement
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Contain Attacking Movement
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Aggressively

    DL/R: Restrict Space Aggressively

    DMC: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Halfback: Restrict Space

    WBL/R: Disrupt Attacks

    MC: Recover Possession
    Box to Box Midfielder: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    ML/R: Recover Possession Immediately

    AMC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession
    Shadow Striker: Keep Possession Under Pressure

    AML/R: Keep Possession
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession Immediately

    ST (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Spearhead Attacks
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Support/Defend Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Into Space


    -------------------------------------COUNTER-------------------------------------
    GK: Limit Pressure
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Cycle Possession

    SW: Restrict Space Cautiously
    Libero (All Duties): Recover Possession

    DC: Restrict Space
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Divert Attacking Movement
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    DL/R: Disrupt Attacks

    DMC: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Halfback: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    WBL/R: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    MC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Box to Box Midfielder: Recover Possession Immediately
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession

    ML/R: Keep Possession

    AMC: Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Shadow Striker: Shuttle Ball

    AML/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession

    ST (Lone Striker): Spearhead Attacks from the Hole
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances Urgently
    Defensive Forward (Defend Duty - Lone Striker): Suppress Counterattacking Options
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Create Chances Patiently
    Support/Defend Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball


    -------------------------------------STANDARD-------------------------------------
    GK: Distribute Safely
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Cycle Possession

    SW: Restrict Space
    Libero (All Duties): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    DC: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    DL/R: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    DMC: Recover Possession
    Halfback: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    WBL/R: Recover Possession Immediately

    MC: Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Box to Box Midfielder: Keep Possession
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    ML/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space

    AMC: Shuttle Ball
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Shadow Striker: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole

    AML/R: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Into Space

    ST (Lone Striker): Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Penetrate Gaps
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Lone Striker): Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Multiple Strikers): Suppress Counterattacking Options
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Create Chances Urgently
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances Patiently
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances Patiently


    -------------------------------------CONTROL-------------------------------------
    GK: Distribute Safely
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Initiate Attacks

    SW: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Libero (All Duties): Keep Possession Under Pressure

    DC: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession

    DL/R: Recover Possession Immediately

    DMC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Halfback: Recover Possession

    WBL/R: Keep Possession

    MC: Shuttle Ball
    Box to Box Midfielder: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure

    ML/R: Shuttle Ball Through Defence

    AMC: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball
    Shadow Striker: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Patiently

    AML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Suppress Counterattacks
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances

    ST (Lone Striker): Penetrate Gaps
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Draw Off Defenders
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Lone Striker): Isolate Midfielders
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Multiple Strikers): Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Create Chances
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances Urgently
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Create Chances
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances Urgently


    -------------------------------------ATTACK-------------------------------------
    GK: Cycle Possession
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Initiate Attacks

    SW: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Libero (All Duties): Shuttle Ball

    DC: Recover Possession
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession Immediately

    DL/R: Keep Possession

    DMC: Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Halfback: Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    WBL/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space

    MC: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Box to Box Midfielder: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Patiently

    ML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Suppress Counterattacks
    Support Duty (All Roles): Create Chances

    AMC: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Create Chances Patiently
    Shadow Striker: Penetrate Gaps
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Urgently

    AML/R: Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Create Chances
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances When Necessary

    ST (Lone Striker): Draw Off Defenders
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Overload Defenders
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Lone Striker): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Multiple Strikers): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Test Defence With Precision
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Force Half Chances When Necessary


    -------------------------------------OVERLOAD-------------------------------------
    GK: Initiate Attacks
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Support Attacks

    SW: Recover Possession Immediately
    Libero (Attack Duty): Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Libero (Support Duty): Create Chances

    DC: Keep Possession
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession

    DL/R: Shuttle Ball

    DMC: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Halfback: Shuttle Ball Into Space

    WBL/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Defend Duty: Suppress Counterattacking Options
    Support Duty: Create Chances Patiently

    MC: Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Box to Box Midfielder: Create Chances Urgently
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Suppress Counterattacks
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances When Necessary

    ML/R: Penetrate Gaps
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Isolate Midfielders
    Support Duty (All Roles): Force Half Chances

    AMC: Penetrate Gaps Persistently
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Enganche: Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
    Shadow Striker: Draw Off Defenders
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
    Trequartista: Force Half Chances Without Hesitation

    AML/R: Draw Off Defenders
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Test Defence With Precision

    ST (Lone Striker): Bypass Last Defender
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Bypass Last Defender
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Lone Striker): Force Clearance
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Multiple Strikers): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Test Defence
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Rush Ball Forward
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Test Defence With Precision
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Test Defence
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Test Defence With Precision
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 24-01-2014 at 23:47.

  6. #6
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    PART VI. PRODUCTION LINES: VERY RIGID MENTALITY STRUCTURES

    Very rigid mentality structures actually cover a narrower range of tactical priorities than rigid (and, potentially, balanced) mentality structures. Like rigid mentality structures, very rigid mentality structures organizes tactical priorities according to position within the team's defensive shape, but unlike rigid mentality structures, there is less of a general tactical distinction between wide and central players. This means that wide players are not specifically relied upon to help quickly link the various parts of the team, though the team as a whole will look to prevent either the attack or defence from becoming isolated by maintaining a slightly more compact shape. In practice, this means the team will be slightly slower to break from its defensive shape going forward, though centrebacks and forwards will also be slightly more inclined to help support the midfield compared to a rigid system.

    Basically, very rigid mentality structures are intended to produce highly organized football in which the team can execute a focused, precise attacking approach while maintaining the ability to quickly transition back to its defensive shape at a moment's notice. As with rigid mentality structures, this means players have a distinct and clearly defined function within the team with defensive position having an even greater influence on the decion-making of wide players. Accordingly, this can make the team's approach very predictable, though this isn't necessarily a problem for managers looking to perfect a highly specfic style of play.

    Very rigid mentality structures should also not be equated with limiting specific position's contribution to a single phase of play. Again, team mentality and duty are the primary factors in determining whether specific players get forward or drop back to defend.

    The Sweeper Effect
    Certain very rigid mentality structures are subject to the Sweeper Effect. Essentially, under a more defensive team mentality, using a sweeper role will cause other players on the team to become slightly more aggressive.

    The Sweeper Effect applies to very rigid contain and defensive mentality structures that use a Sweeper (that is, the role, not the position). In the following outlines, you should move each outfield player (with the exception of other sweepers) up one position on the mentality ladder for Defensive mentalities and up two positions for Contain mentalities if the mentality structure is subject to the Sweeper Effect. Keep in mind, the alterations imposed by the Sweeper Effect are the same regardless of how many sweepers are used.

    The Deep Lying Playmaker Effect
    A similar effect occurs when a Deep Lying Playmaker is used as at CM in Contain and Defensive mentalities. In such situations, you should move every outfield player other than the Deep Lying Playmaker and sweepers up one position on the mentality ladder. Keep in mind, however, that the sweeper effect still applies to the DLP and the effects of using a CM DLP and sweeper are cumulative for all other players.

    The Trequartista Effect
    And again, a similar effect occurs when a Trequartista is used as a lone striker in Control, Attack and Overload mentalities . In such situations, you should move every outfield player other than the Trequartista up one position on the mentality ladder.

    -------------------------------------CONTAIN-------------------------------------
    GK: Shield Goal
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Limit Pressure

    SW: Obstruct Shots
    Libero (All Duties): Restrict Space Cautiiously

    DC: Obstruct Shots
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Contain Attacking Movement

    DL/R: Slow Attacking Movement

    DMC: Divert Attacking Movement
    Halfback: Contain Attacking Movement

    WBL/R: Divert Attacking Movement

    MC: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Box to Box Midfielder: Restrict Space Aggressively
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Restrict Space Cautiiously
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Restrict Space

    ML/R: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    AMC: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Shadow Striker: Recover Possession

    AML/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    ST (Lone Striker): Recover Possession Immediately
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Defend/Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Recover Possession
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Recover Possession Immediately


    -------------------------------------DEFENSIVE-------------------------------------
    GK: Limit Pressure
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Distribute Safely

    SW: Contain Attacking Movement
    Libero (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    DC: Divert Attacking Movement
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Contain Attacking Movement
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Aggressively

    DL/R: Restrict Space Cautiously

    DMC: Restrict Space Aggressively
    Halfback: Restrict Space

    WBL/R: Restrict Space Aggressively

    MC: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Box to Box Midfielder: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Disrupt Attacks

    ML/R: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    AMC: Recover Possession Immediately
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Shadow Striker: Keep Possession

    AML/R: Recover Possession Immediately
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession

    ST (Lone Striker): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Defend/Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Recover Possession Immediately
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Recover Possession Immediately
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession Under Pressure


    -------------------------------------COUNTER-------------------------------------
    GK: Limit Pressure
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Cycle Possession

    SW: Restrict Space Cautiiously
    Libero (All Duties): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    DC: Restrict Space Aggressively
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Cautiiously
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks

    DL/R: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    DMC: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Halfback: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

    WBL/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    MC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Box to Box Midfielder: Recover Possession Immediately
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession

    ML/R: Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    AMC: Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Shadow Striker: Shuttle Ball

    AML/R: Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    ST (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Defend/Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball


    -------------------------------------STANDARD-------------------------------------
    GK: Distribute Safely
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Cycle Possession

    SW: Restrict Space Aggressively
    Libero (All Duties): Recover Possession Immediately

    DC: Disrupt Attacks
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Aggressively
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

    DL/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    DMC: Recover Possession
    Halfback: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

    WBL/R: Recover Possession

    MC: Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Box to Box Midfielder: Keep Possession
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    ML/R: Keep Possession Under Pressure

    AMC: Shuttle Ball
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Shadow Striker: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole

    AML/R: Shuttle Ball
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Under Pressure

    ST (Lone Striker): Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    Defend/Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances Patiently


    -------------------------------------CONTROL-------------------------------------
    GK: Cycle Possession
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Initiate Attacks

    SW: Disrupt Attacks
    Libero (All Duties): Keep Possession

    DC: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession Immediately

    DL/R: Recover Possession

    DMC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Halfback: Recover Possession

    WBL/R: Keep Possession Away From Pressure

    MC: Shuttle Ball
    Box to Box Midfielder: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure

    ML/R: Shuttle Ball

    AMC: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball
    Shadow Striker: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Patiently

    AML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Suppress Counterattacking Options
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Patiently

    ST (Lone Striker): Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Penetrate Gaps Persistently
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Lone Striker): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Multiple Strikers): Suppress Counterattacks
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Create Chances
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Create Chances
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances Urgently


    -------------------------------------ATTACKING-------------------------------------
    GK: Cycle Possession
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Initiate Attacks

    SW: Recover Possession
    Libero (All Duties): Shuttle Ball

    DC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession

    DL/R: Keep Possession

    DMC: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Halfback: Keep Possession

    WBL/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space

    MC: Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Box to Box Midfielder: Create Chances Patiently
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances

    ML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Suppress Counterattacks
    Support Duty (All Roles): Create Chances

    AMC: Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Create Chances
    Enganche: Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Shadow Striker: Penetrate Gaps
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Trequartista: Force Half Chances When Necessary

    AML/R: Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Create Chances Urgently
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances When Necessary

    ST (Lone Striker): Draw Off Defenders
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Overload Defenders
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Lone Striker): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Multiple Strikers): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Test Defence With Precision
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Force Half Chances


    -------------------------------------OVERLOAD-------------------------------------
    GK: Initiate Attacks
    Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Support Attacks

    SW: Keep Possession
    Libero (Attack Duty): Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Libero (Support Duty): Create Chances

    DC: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    Cover Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    Stopper Duty (All Roles): Shuttle Ball

    DL/R: Shuttle Ball

    DMC: Create Chances Patiently
    Defend Duty (All Roles Except Deep Lying Playmaker): Suppress Counterattacking Options
    Halfback: Shuttle Ball

    WBL/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Suppress Counterattacking Options
    Support Duty (All Roles): Create Chances Patiently

    MC: Penetrate Gaps
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances
    Box to Box Midfielder: Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Create Chances Patiently
    Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances

    ML/R: Penetrate Gaps
    Defend Duty (All Roles): Isolate Midfielders
    Support Duty (All Roles): Force Half Chances

    AMC: Draw Off Defenders
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances
    Enganche: Test Defence With Precision
    Shadow Striker: Overload Defenders
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Test Defence With Precision
    Trequartista: Test Defence With Precision

    AML/R: Draw Off Defenders
    Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
    Defensive Winger (Defend): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
    Support Duty (All Other Roles): Test Defence With Precision

    ST (Lone Striker): Bypass Last Defender
    Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Bypass Last Defender
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Lone Striker): Force Clearance
    Defensive Forward (Defend - Multiple Strikers): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
    False Nine (Lone Striker): Test Defence
    Support Duty (Lone Striker): Rush Ball Forward
    Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Test Defence With Precision
    Trequartista (Lone Striker): Test Defence
    Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Test Defence

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    PART VII. THE MENTALITY LADDER, DUTY AND OTHER SETTINGS

    DUTY, THE ATTACKING PHASE AND THE TASK AT HAND

    As attacking play progresses into the opposition half, players will climb up the mentality ladder. As previously noted, duty determines what sort of responsibilities a player takes up as attacking play moves into the final third, and it also determines how quickly they will do this relative to the rest of the team and the likelihood that they will take up responsibilities that necessarily involve making runs into and around the opposition area (i.e., attack duty attacking responsibilities).

    Defend, Stopper and Cover duty players are the most reluctant to climb the mentality ladder. As the team enters the attacking phase, these players will initially look to move to and hold their position in the mentality structure to focus on their tactical priority, but as attacking play progresses and more opposition players track back to help defend, they will climb the mentality ladder to cover space and assume responsibilities left behind by advancing support and attack duty players.

    When play advances deep into the opposition half, there is a chance that these players will briefly take up support or, on rare occasions, attack duty responsibilities when it is both safe and opportune to do so. This possibility is represented by the "Join Attack" task at the top of the Defend duty mentality ladder. "Join Attack," essentially, represents all the various support and attack duty attacking responsibilities. As such, it is not actually available as a tactical priority (as a player with such a priority would then cease to be a Defend duty player), and given Defend duty players' general hesitancy to move up the mentality ladder during the attacking phase, the responsibility is typically only taken up by players who have very aggressive tactical priorities.

    Support duty players will move up and down the ladder as necessary to prevent the attack from becoming too isolated. As the attacking phase begins, support duty players will attempt to quickly move into an area where they can receive the ball and focus on their tactical priority. From there, they will either look to circulate possession among nearby players or, depending on the risk involved and the player's tactical instructions, play the ball forward to an advancing teammate. As attack duty players and more advanced support duty players push the opposition defence deeper, a support duty player will readily move up behind them to prevent the attack from becoming isolated.

    When play advances deep into the opposition half, there is a chance that these players will briefly take up attack duty responsibilities when it is both safe and opportune to do so. This possibility is represented by the "Surge Into Box" task at the top of the Support duty and playmaker mentality ladder. As with "Join Attack," "Surge Into Box" represents all the various attack duty attacking responsibilities, and as noted above, this means it is not actually available as a tactical priority. However, given support duty players' greater tendency to move up the ladder compared to defend duty players, most such players with attacking or control-oriented tactical priorities will typically attempt forward runs periodically throughout the match, though as with defend duty players, it is contingent on the availability of defensive cover and teammates willing to take up their current attacking responsibilities.

    Whereas other players will tend to focus more heavily on their specified tactical priority in the attacking phase and be more hesitant to move forward once their main responsibilities have been securely carried out, attack duty players will rapidly climb the mentality ladder as soon as supporting teammates are available to help take up the attack duty player's main responsibility. In this sense, attack duty players view themselves as the vanguard of the team's progression, and while they may stay deep to help carry out a defensive or control-oriented responsibility, they will only look to initiate the task in question before pushing forward to create room for teammates to advance.

    Thus, just as support duty players with attack-oriented tactical priorities have a greater tendency to get forward themselves, attack duty players with control or defend-oriented tactical priorities will have a greater tendency to wait to receive the ball ahead of the defensive line and look for support before taking on the defence. However, unlike defend and support duty players, attack duty players will readily advance deep into the attacking third with minimal regard for the amount of defensive cover available. In this sense, when it comes to attack duty players, it is the manager's responsibility to ensure the structure is in place to ensure they get forward without compromising the team's ability to defend against counterattacks.


    ASSIGNING DUTIES

    The specific assignment of duties in a mentality structure will greatly affect how the team's shape develops in attack. In most situations, it's wise to keep a balanced arrangement of duties to ensure no one part of the team finds itself isolated and overwhelmed, and if circumstances demand a reorientation of the team's tactical priorities, altering the team mentality setting (and thus, mentality structure) is the most balanced and prudent option.

    Though different arrangements of team mentality, roles, formation and playing style may call for different arrangements to achieve an effective balance, all mentality structures should have at least two support duties, two attack duties and three defend/cover/stopper duties among the outfield players. Moreover, these duties should be spread out among the strikers, midfielders and defenders to ensure some degree of movement and stability between the lines. Of course, assigning two attack, two support and three defend leaves three outfield players without a duty.

    Traditionally, the general recommendation has been that these spare duties should be assigned in accordance with the team's mentality setting with more defensive team mentalities having more defend duties, more control-oriented team mentalities having more support duties and more attack-oriented team mentalities having more attack duties.

    However, there may be circumstances where simply assigning more of one type of duty may prove a better option for refocusing the team's attacking shape to serve a highly specific objective. This should only be done with careful consideration of what you're trying to achieve, and unbalanced mentality structures should never be indiscriminately taken into every match with no regard for the opposition. Unbalanced structures inherently lack versatility (this is what makes them unbalanced), and they all contain glaring weaknesses that will be readily exploited by most opponents.

    In terms of the mentality ladder, assigning more defend duties will lead to significantly less deviation from the mentality structure as much of the team's defensive shape will remain intact during the attacking phase. Predictably, this will reduce the risk of counter attacks, but it will also severely blunt the team's attacking momentum and make it difficult for the team to advance the ball up the pitch.

    Assigning more support duties will cause more of the team to gradually climb the mentality ladder as attacking play progress. This will give the team more avenues through which to advance the ball ahead of the attacking third, but this will cause either the defence to be more exposed or the attack to be more isolated. If a support duty is assigned in place of a defend duty, the team will be more vulnerable to counter attacks, and if a support duty is assigned in place of attack duty, the team will be presented with less opportunities to successfully play the ball into and around the opposition area, even if there are now more players looking for such opportunities.

    Assigning more attack duties will cause the team's shape to deviate dramatically from the mentality structure during the attacking phase (and keep in mind, this doesn't just apply to the player with the attack duty as any drastic movement on the mentality ladder from any one player will have a domino effect on the rest of the team). This will create more options for successfully playing the ball deep into the attacking third, but it will greatly increase the risk of counter attacks and leave less players looking for the best option to play the ball forward as the creative burden of linking the attack is shifted onto a smaller group of players.

    Finally, as previously noted, playmaker roles (i.e., the Advanced Playmaker, Deep Lying Playmaker, Enganche, Regista and Trequartista) are considered support duty players for the purposes of the mentality ladder since they all have the tendency to stay deep and support play rather than actually getting forward. WIth this in mind, you should consider assigning an additional attack duty when using a playmaker role with a nominal attack duty, as this will prevent being presented with a dearth of options going forward. Moreover, the specialized nature of the playmaker himself means too many additional support roles may end up being redundant.


    DUTY, FORMATION AND ATTACKING SHAPE

    An implicit, yet important, concept in all this is the distinction between formation and attacking shape. A mentality structure can be thought of as a combination of the two, and while the football punditry often glosses over this distinction in tactical discussions, it is crucial to understanding how and why your team attacks and defends as it does.

    Unless you follow the inadvisable route of simply assigning defend duties to defenders, support duties to midfielders and attack duties to strikers, your team will not attack in the shape of your assigned formation. A common misconception is that a rigid or very rigid fluidity will cause this to happen, but that is not the case. While these fluidity settings will cause your attack to be more regimented by affecting the fine margins of how attack and support duty players prioritize tasks, they will not prevent attack duty players from attempting to get forward or support duty players from following up behind the attack.

    Visualizing exactly how your formation transforms into its attacking shape is one of the more challenging aspects of designing a tactic, and in fact, there is no simple way to do this. Much will depend on how your attack shapes around the structure and quality of the opposition's defence, but duty can give you an imperfect sense of how to translate your attacking shape into the nomenclature of formation. In general, attack duties will add more numbers to the striker and attacking midfield strata, support duties will add more numbers to the central midfield stratum and defend duties will add more numbers to the defensive midfield and defender strata. Again, this is a highly imperfect method, but if you're having trouble sorting out how a mentality structure will operate, it may prove helpful.

    It is also important to remember that you do not need to set your formation to your desired attacking shape. For example, playing a 4-2-3-1 does not require playing three attacking midfielders behind the striker. The attacking shape usually associated with the 4-2-3-1 formation can be accomplished with numerous formations given the appropriate assignment of duties, roles and personal instructions. Many real world 4-2-3-1s are better interpreted as 4411s, 451s or even 442s in Football Manager.

    RECYCLING POSSESSION

    When attacking play breaks down and your players are forced to play the ball back to keep possession, all players will begin to move back down the ladder with defend and support duty players being more inclined to quickly gravitate back towards their tactical priority. Usually, only players with the most attack-oriented tactical priorities will simply drift around looking for space in the box while possession is being recycled, and of course, even they will drop deeper if play is pulled back deep enough to allow the opposition's defensive line to push up.

    In general, when off the ball with a teammate in possession well inside the opposition's half, attack duty players with tactical priorities that call for them to be beyond the current position of the opposition's defensive line will either sit on the shoulder of the last defender or drift into available space ahead of the defence.


    CENTREBACKS AND THE DEFENSIVE LINE

    For centrebacks, your defensive line instructions will also have an effect. For the most part, centrebacks will be highly reluctant to deviate from a position that enables them to maintain a focus on their tactical priority. Therefore, your most cautious centreback's tactical priority will give you a good sense of where your default defensive line will be positioned while your defensive line instruction will control how far they deviate from this position.

    A lower defensive line will strictly limit how high your centrebacks will climb up the ladder whereas a higher defensive line will allow them to climb higher than normal, though even on the most aggressive settings, centrebacks generally won't position themselves to do much more than suppress counterattacks. Accordingly, the defensive line instruction has less significance for centrebacks with more aggressive tactical priorities as there is less "space" between the upper limit to which they may push up and the tactical priority towards which they are inclined to drop.

    In the defensive phase, much of the above applies in defensive terms. For the most part, centrebacks will gravitate with the rest of the team towards their tactical priority in reconstituting their defensive posture, though your defensive line instructions will determine how likely they are to push up from their default position to collectively press with a high block intended to compress the space in which the opposition can play the ball.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 26-01-2014 at 19:45.

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    THE DEFENSIVE PHASE

    When your opponent regains possession, your team will transition to the defensive phase by reorganizing into its basic defensive shape. In other words, players will descend back down the mentality ladder to their tactical priority with more defensively oriented players typically doing so with more urgency.

    However, it's important to keep in mind that your mentality structure mainly determines how and where your players will first attempt to win the ball, but as the opposition's attacking play progresses into your half, your team will respond by climbing down the mentality ladder accordingly. For players with a more attacking mentality, their tactical priority will determine how soon they'll stop waiting to break forward and start tracking back to defend with the rest of the team.

    For the most part, the fundamental organization of your mentality structure will hold as this defensive descent down the ladder occurs, so even if your tactic is operating on a more aggressive mentality setting, the structures for the lower mentality settings will provide an indication of how your fluidity setting will affect your defensive shape as it drops deeper.

    It's important to note that this means players with aggressive tactical priorities won't be in any hurry to track back into the defensive third. With certain style and mentality combinations, this means your strikers and attacking midfielders will generally stay forward with the intention of initiating counterattacks from recovered clearances or intercepted back passes. Additionally, strikers and attacking midfielders aren't going to be inclined to help central and defensive midfielders cover space behind the ball, so using an abundance of attacking players will naturally increase the likelihood that your defensive shape will contain glaring gaps for the opposition to exploit.


    RISK TAKING AND TACTICAL PRIORITY

    While the pace and directness with which attacking play develops is determined by several different settings and instructions, a player's tactical priority largely determines the amount of risk they're willing to take to either create a chance or just simply move the ball into a more advanced position. For the most part, a player with a more aggressive tactical priority will take more risks to impose offensive pressure on the opposition and play through defensive pressure imposed by the opposition in order to ensure play advances to an area of the pitch where he will be able to carry out his priority's associated task.

    This tendency remains consistent regardless of where a player happens to actually be on the mentality ladder. In other words, even as players move up and down the mentality ladder to carry out different tasks, they will still persistently gravitate towards their tactical priority via higher or lower risk decision-making. Thus, for example, players with attack-oriented tactical priorities will look to play the ball out from a precarious defensive position rather than simply hoofing it clear while players with defend or control-oriented tactical priorities will be more inclined to pass the ball around in the opposition half rather than attempt to force a half-chance.

    Again, though numerous team and personal instructions can affect the details of a player's decision-making, a player's tactical priority will give you a very general indication of how they'll behave at various points along the mentality ladder. Defensive-oriented players will mainly focus on keeping the ball well clear of the defensive third and minimizing the risk of being hit on the break. Control-oriented players will mainly focus on keeping the ball circulating through a certain area of the pitch until they see a clear opportunity to play it forward (assuming, of course, this opportunity conforms with their tactical instructions or, failing that, personal tendencies as a player). Attack-oriented players will show significantly less regard for maintaining possession as they focus on simply moving the ball up the pitch and into the attacking third (again, in accordance with their other tactical instructions and personal playing tendencies) .

    This relationship is largely what makes a particular task or responsibility that player's priority. While I have so far emphasized that mentality structures are dynamic with players shifting up and down the ladder to take up different tasks when appropriate, this does not mean a player simply loses sight of what he's primarily supposed to do when circumstance demands that he does something else. Players with different tactical priorities will play differently even if they happen to be on the same rung of the mentality ladder.

    The influence of tactical priority applies to duty as well. Though attack duty players will all attempt to push play into the opposition area, their tactical priority will influence how they go about doing this. Thus, for example, an attack duty player with a lower tactical priority will be more risk-averse than another attack-duty player with a higher tactical priority, even if they are both currently attempting to, for example, penetrate gaps or overload a defender.


    ROLE, FLAIR, AGGRESSION AND TACTICAL PRIORITY

    Again, in the most practical terms, a player's tactical priority reflects the degree of risk they're willing to take to perform any given action on the pitch. This includes getting forward, passing, dribbling, shooting, tackling, basic positioning and basically every conscious act that a footballer might perform. The attacking priorities in the upper third of the ladder will, thus, lead a player to take more risks to move the ball up the pitch, create chances and promptly regain possession. The control priorities in the middle third of the ladder will lead a player to try to balance risks in various aspects of play. In general, this will lead him to emphasize maintaining possession, as he will neither be too wasteful with his passing in the opposition half nor too hasty to clear the ball from danger in his own. The defensive priorities in the lower third of the ladder will lead a player to limit risk with a greater emphasis on simply preventing opposition chances and holding onto the ball when not under pressure.

    Role mainly functions by increasing a player's preference for performing certain actions over others, so in terms of tactical priority, it can be thought of as modifying the acceptable level of risk that a player is willing to take to perform a specific action (e.g., dribbling, passing, tackling, shooting from distance, etc.). Of course, no setting will make a player a mere robot. Players will deviate from their role's instruction if the action in question appears to have the highest potential benefit and the risk is low enough. However, as risk naturally escalates with a phase of play culminating in an attacking move, the collective effects of tactical priority and role will become more pronounced.

    The basic level of risk-taking established by a player's tactical priority is further modified by a player's expressiveness. A player's level of expressiveness is controlled both by their flair attribute and tactical instructions. A higher degree of expressiveness will raise the maximum risk a player is willing to accept to perform specific types of actions when in possession. In effect, it will primarily make the player more likely to attempt ambitious, higher risk actions to achieve greater benefits in attacking play.

    Notably, by counteracting the more restrictive tactical instructions imposed by roles, it will also cause a player to be more likely to deviate from their role when they perceive it as beneficial.
    A team's fluidity setting has a significant influence on the expressiveness of players. More fluid settings will encourage players to be more expressive while more rigid settings will encourage players to be less expressive. Thus, in more fluid settings, players will generally be more ambitious in how they choose to carry out their tactical priority and will deviate more readily from the confines of their role (especially if the role imposes numerous restrictions on how the player plays), whereas players in more rigid settings will be more disciplined and methodical in how they choose to carry out their tactical priority with less deviation from any restrictions imposed by their role.

    Aggression can be thought of as the defensive counterpart of flair. While flair modifies a player's tendency to attempt more ambitious actions in possession, aggression will increase a player's tendency to take risks when out of possession. Specifically, a highly aggressive player will look to get directly involved in defensive play at every opportunity with a greater willingness to get stuck in and risk fouls. On the other hand, a more passive player will tend to sit back and help the team maintain its shape while waiting for clear cut opportunities to dispossess opposition attackers.

    As tendency attributes, neither flair nor aggression are necessarily good or bad, though you should carefully consider how they might affect the system you are attempting to put in place. Players with high ratings in these attributes are often a poor fit for roles that demand a high level of tactical discipline while players with low ratings may prove too cautious for roles that call for a player to take charge and improvise when necessary.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 23-01-2014 at 14:24.

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    ROAMING, FREE ROLES AND MENTALITY STRUCTURES

    The roaming instruction controls what is often referred to as positional fluidity, so not surprisingly, roaming and fluidity are often confused with one another. However, though the distinction between the two may appear subtle on the first glance, they are quite different. As noted in the introduction, team fluidity represents more of a general principle of tactical organization that controls how many players will focus on a given task at one time and how closely players in different positional strata will work together to carry out their individual responsibilities.

    However, while fluidity is largely a managerial concept that serves as an abstract and somewhat esoteric representation of a set of more mundane instructions, roaming is a much more simple footballing concept that applies to an individual player. In short, the roaming instruction gives a player more freedom to break from the team's basic shape to open up play or provide positional support for a teammate.

    To a great extent, this will cause a player's lateral movement to be much more dynamic, though in terms of the mentality ladder, roaming can be thought of as also making a player's movement up and down the ladder much more eratic and unpredictable in relation to the rest of the team and, by extension, the mentality structure. Thus, a roaming player will be much more likely to take up responsibilities well outside the basic organizational framework specified by the team's mentality, fluidity and duty settings.

    Notably, the team fluidity setting does not affect how many players are permitted to roam. The amount of roaming permitted is primarily determined by the mentality setting, though certain roles will always be permitted to roam by default. Thus, both very rigid and very fluid systems can accomodate high levels of positional "fluidity."


    FLUIDITY, SHAPE AND EXPANSIVENESS

    As you may have noticed in the prior sections, more fluid settings do not necessarily equate to a greater gap between the tactical priority of forwards and the tactical priority of the deepest defender, only the number and degree of the distinctions in tactical priority between various roles and positions. While fluidity will affect how "vertically" expansive or compact your team's shape will be at various points in attacking and defensive play, both sides of the continuum give you options.

    In fact, the fluid and rigid settings are actually mirror images of one another with "Very Rigid" and "Very Fluid" resulting in a generally more compact shape while "Rigid" and "Fluid" result in a generally more expansive shape ("Balanced," on the other hand, offers more flexibility).

    But again, fluidity merely modifies other tactical settings at the most abstract level. In terms of defining the team's shape for the various phases of play, fluidity is only one component along with formation, duty assignment, role, etc.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 11-03-2014 at 18:39.

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    FLUIDITY, GENERALISM AND SPECIALISM

    Ultimately, no matter how compact or expansive the shape, all teams attack and defend as a whole to the extent that the entire team will collectively climb up and down the mentality ladder in accordance with a specific organizational framework (or rather, mentality structure). In other words, no player ever wholly disconnects from the broader activity of the team, and even the striker who discourages overlapping runs by roaming into gaps in the defensive line or the defender who cautiously recycles possession from deep within his own half can be said to contribute to defence or attack to some degree.

    Fluidity, in this sense, is not a question of whether a team coheres as a single, cooperative unit during a given phase of play. Fluidity simply determines how many different tasks the team will usually be focused on carrying out at any given moment, or in terms of the mentality ladder, it determines how many positions or rungs the players occupy at any given moment. A more fluid system will usually have the team focused on less tasks as a whole with more players focused on carrying out a specific task. A more rigid system will have the team as a whole focused on more tasks with less players focused on carrying out a specific task. In both cases, the team will be structured around a group of core tasks of a certain type (i.e., defensive, controlling, attacking as defined by the team's mentality setting), but more rigid teams will typically have a greater degree of stratification between different positions and roles.

    Accordingly, fluid systems are associated with generalism (also referred to as universalism), the idea that players should be more versatile and intuitive in their play while cooperating closely to carry out specific tasks. The greater number of players focused on or closely supporting specific tasks means the team has more options available for successfully carrying out each task. However, it also means the team may progress up the ladder in a slower, more disorganized fashion while the players themselves are more likely to be called upon to carry out a broader range of tactical responsibilities during a single phase of play. This is why it's recommended that managers who prefer a more fluid system make more use of the more generic roles that are designed to carry out multiple tasks.

    In contrast, rigid systems are associated with specialism, the idea that players should focus on a more refined set of skills and tactical instructions to optimize their ability to carry out specific tasks. The smaller number of players focused on or closely supporting specific tasks means the team can typically progress up the ladder in a faster, more efficient manner with players less likely to deviate too far from their tactical comfort zone, but reversing the benefits and drawbacks of a fluid system, it also means the team has fewer immediately options available for successfully carrying out each task and can become disjointed if one link in the chain is effectively targeted by the opposition or just simply underperforms. And this is why it's recommended that managers who prefer a more rigid system make more use of the specialist roles that are designed to optimize their ability to individually carry out specific tasks.

    Expressiveness, as discussed above, is also an important aspect of this distinction. More fluidity promotes more expressiveness which, in turn, encourages players to take the initiative with higher risk actions and deviate more from restrictions imposed by their roles. On the other hand, more rigidity promotes less expressiveness which encourages players to adhere to the restrictions imposed by their roles and stick with the plan set forth by the manager.

    In this sense, rigid structures promote a system-oriented approach to the game. Players adhere to a more restrictive style of play with the assumption being that the aggregate effect of adhering to a more coherent plan will ultimately prove more beneficial than the aggregate effect of simply letting players follow their intuitions on a moment-by-moment basis. In other words, the rigid, system-oriented approach asserts that the whole is greater than its parts with the best possible sequence of play not always resulting from the "best" option in an individual moment of play.

    In contrast, fluid structures promote a more player-oriented, intuitive approach to the game. Players adhere less to the restrictions imposed by the system with the assumption being that the aggregate effect of players intuitively responding to dynamic situations will ultimately prove more beneficial than the aggregate effect of expecting a strictly defined system to adequately adapt to every possible context. In other words, the fluid, player-oriented approach asserts that the collective depends on the ingenuity of the individual to effectively adapt to the chaos of a football match with the best possible sequence of play rarely resulting from attempting to impose order on what is essentially an exercise in disorder.

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    THE COUNTER ATTACK PHASE AND THE MENTALITY LADDER

    A counter attack phase is initiated when your team gains possession and the opposition has left itself exposed or overextended with a lack of defenders between the ball and goal.

    The counter attack phase effectively overrides your mentality structure by causing all players to assume the highest position on their respective mentality ladders and temporarily focus on overloading the opposition defence. All players will immediately begin climbing the mentality ladder with an extreme level of urgency, and only defend duty players will hold off from attacking the opposition's third (though even they will be to do so if there are sufficient number of teammates behind them). This temporary alteration of the mentality structure will continue until the opposition regains possession or gets an adequate number of players back between the ball and goal.

    All teams, regardless of style and mentality, will enter the counter attack phase when the aforementioned conditions are met. The frequency of counter attacks will mainly be determined by the way your tactical settings interact with those of the opposition, though some team mentality settings encourage players to enter the phase more readily.

    On the Defensive, Counter and Overload mentalities, teams will be more inclined to enter the counter attack phase when there are a slightly greater number of defenders between the ball and the goal. In the case of Defensive and Counter mentalities, this better enables these more defensive mentalities to alternate between more cautious build-up plays and fast breaks without needlessly giving away possession. Moreover, since more defensive mentalities allow the opposition to come deeper, counter attacks will usually have more depth to work with going forward. Thus, even if the opposition has slightly greater numbers behind the ball, there is a good chance their defenders will be scrambling to cover a large expanse of space ahead of their goal.

    In the case of Overload mentalities, this merely ensures that your players break forward at every opening.

    On a Contain mentality, the team will be more inclined to keep possession and hold up the ball in advanced positions when possible, so counter attacks are less likely to occur.

    On a Standard, Control and Attack mentality, counter attacks are less likely to occur after winning the ball in a deep position. Since these mentalities already encourage relatively quick build-up play, the players will be more inclined to carry out a more elaborate build-up at a faster pace, though the counter attack phase will still be initiated if the opposition has left its defence badly exposed. Additionally, since you will typically go up against more cautious opponents when using these mentalities, it ensures your side won't simply bomb forward directly into an entrenched, well organized defence when a more considered approach is necessary.

    On these more aggressive mentalities, the counter attack phase will be more likely occur when an attacker manages to win the ball in an advanced position or if you happen to be playing an open game against another aggressive opponent. As such, if you want to facilitate more quick breaks on these settings, you will need to ensure you have attackers pressing the opposition's deep-lying midfielders and defenders.


    PRESSING AND THE MENTALITY LADDER

    Closing down settings function by modifying a player's willingness to break from the defensive shape to press an opponent on the ball. For the most part, it determines how quickly and how far a player is willing to venture forward to close down the opposition, but as with other settings, this is relative to the risk and reward involved. A player's tactical priority will give you a good sense of the default point in the defensive phase at which a player will start pressing the opposition as well as the manner in which they go about closing down the opponent (e.g., promptly diving into a tackle or methodically restricting space from a comfortable distance... or any degree in between).

    Accordingly, there is no fixed location on the pitch which will always prompt a player to immediately close down the opposition. There are always limits to how far a player will venture from their defensive position, even if they have an aggressive tactical priority and are assigned to press higher. Generally, a player won't venture too far beyond the zone defined by the team's defensive shape unless there is both sufficient positional cover behind him and a sizable, undefended gap between himself and the player with the ball.


    PASSING AND THE MENTALITY LADDER

    Various instructions and settings will also have an effect on how quickly players move up the mentality ladder. More direct and riskier passing will cause the ball to move up the pitch more quickly, often causing the midfield to be bypassed altogether. This, consequently, will cause players to move up the mentality ladder more quickly.

    In previous versions, passing risk was controlled by the "through balls" instruction, but this name often created the misconception that it only referred to attempts to play the ball behind the defensive line. Now, this instruction is referred to as the more appropriately general "risky passing." Telling a player to attempt riskier passing increases their tendency to attempt passes behind or between defenders with the intent of getting the intended recipient beyond his marker. Thus, less risky passing will encourage players on the ball to wait for options to drop back and make themselves available for a pass while more risky passing will encourage players to play the ball through gaps in the defence (though not necessarily beyond the defence as a whole).


    PRIORITY ALTERING TEAM INSTRUCTIONS

    Some team instructions will have a direct effect on your mentality structure.

    "Exploit the Flanks" will increase the tactical priority of your fullbacks or wingbacks while effectively giving them all an attack duty. While the alteration of tactical priority is variable depending on your team mentality, the idea is that it will essentially encourage your fullbacks or wingbacks to operate more like wide midfielders.

    "Exploit the Middle" will give a more aggressive duty to all central players other than keepers, sweepers and centrebacks while giving a more cautious duty to all wide players. Thus, defend duty central players take up a support duty, support duty central players take up an attack duty, attack duty wide players take up a support duty, and support duty wide players take up a defend duty.

    "Look for Overlap" works much like "Exploit the Flanks" with the added effect of wingers and wide forwards being given a more cautious duty to cover for the more aggressive fullbacks and wingbacks.

    "Take a Breather" effectively instructs everyone to drop down to a more cautious duty (i.e., attack duty players become support duty players while support duty players become defend duty players). In practical terms, this encourages your team to just sit back and avoid moving play into the attacking third.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 24-01-2014 at 04:47.

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    PART VIII. TACTICAL PRIORITIES IN DETAIL

    In this final section, you will find a brief description of the various tactical priorities for both outfield players and goalkeepers. Each tactical priority serves as a general point of reference that clarifies how a player is supposed to function within a broader tactical system. However, again, it is important to distinguish between tactical priority and role. While a tactical priority tells a player what he's supposed to focus on doing within a given system, the exact details regarding how a player goes about doing it is further refined by role and duty.

    Accordingly, effectively putting the mentality ladder into practice requires considering a player's tactical priority in relation to his role. For example, while a trequartista can be given a "defensive" tactical priority, the particular instructions of the role will typically cause him to emphasize more passive aspects of defending like hunting down clearances, denying passing angles, discouraging forward runs from defenders, etc. Similarly, a ball-winning midfielder told to sit deep and help contain incoming attacks will be much more defensively aggressive relative to teammates with the same priority and more inclined to break from the defensive shape to do what he's been told to do.

    The relationship between duty and tactical priority is less nuanced and more easily outlined in broad terms. Simply, as discussed in the prior section, it controls the willingness and urgency with which a player progresses beyond his tactical priority during attacking play. To this extent, the following duty descriptions can be appended to any tactical priority description. Note, again, that the playmaker roles (i.e., the Regista, Deep Lying Playmaker, Advanced Playmaker, Enganche and Trequartista) should all, in practice, use the Support Duty description.

    Attack Duty
    With an attack duty, the player will look to immediately advance into an attacking position after helping to carry out his tactical priority.

    Support Duty
    With a support duty, the player will aim to securely carry out his tactical priority and wait for sufficient defensive cover before advancing forward to provide close support to players in attacking positions.

    Defend/Cover/Stopper Duty
    With a defend/cover/stopper duty, the player will mainly stick to his defensive position during the attacking phase and only advance forward when there is minimal risk involved.

    And now, the outfield tactical priorities:

    Obstruct Shots
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will be inclined to position himself very deep with an aim towards simply blocking passing and shooting angles in and around his penalty area.

    Slow Attacking Movement
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on containing runs into the defensive third with a greater emphasis on simply impeding the momentum of the attack until there is enough defensive support to safely deal with the threat.

    Contain Attacking Movement
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on containing runs into the defensive third by impeding the momentum of the attack and, if enough defensive support is available, diverting attackers into areas where they will pose less of a threat.

    Divert Attacking Movement
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on containing runs into the defensive third with a greater willingness to hold his ground ahead of the penalty area to force attackers into areas where they will pose less of a threat.

    Restrict Space Cautiously
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on denying opposition attackers space in which to play the ball with a greater emphasis on attempting to simply force technical errors without giving away a foul.

    Restrict Space
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on denying opposition attackers space in which to receive and play the ball while being careful not to give away a foul in a dangerous area.

    Restrict Space Aggressively
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on denying opposition attackers space in which to receive and play the ball with a slightly greater willingness to challenge for the ball when the opportunity presents itself.

    Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on challenging opposition attackers as they venture deep into the defensive half and promptly clearing the ball from dangerous areas.

    Disrupt Attacks
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on challenging opposition attackers as they venture into the defensive half and, if no safe passing options are available, promptly clearing the ball from dangerous areas.

    Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on promptly challenging advancing opposition attackers and carefully getting the ball forward without needlessly compromising the team's defensive shape.

    Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on venturing forward and challenging for possession in the centre of the park once the team has securely transitioned into a cohesive defensive shape.

    Recover Possession
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on venturing forward and regaining possession in the centre of the park when sufficient defensive cover is available.

    Recover Possession Immediately
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on venturing forward and regaining possession in the centre of the park before the opposition can coordinate its attack.

    Keep Possession Away from Pressure
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on winning and holding onto the ball in the centre of the park with a greater inclination to securely play it back deep into his own half in order to draw out the opposition defence.

    Keep Possession
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on winning and holding onto the ball in the centre of the park until it can be securely moved into a more advanced area.

    Keep Possession Under Pressure
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, this player will focus on winning and holding onto the ball in the centre of the park with a greater emphasis on luring nearby defenders out of position in order to create space for advancing teammates.

    Shuttle Ball into Space
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on taking possession of the ball near or inside the opposition half and promptly moving it into the attacking third while being careful not to needlessly play it into the path of a defender.

    Shuttle Ball
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on taking possession of the ball near or inside the opposition half and promptly moving it into the attacking third.

    Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on taking possession of the ball inside the opposition half and promptly moving it into the attacking third with a greater willingness to take on or thread the ball between defenders.

    Suppress Counterattacking Options
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on sitting behind the attack in the opposition half before moving to aggressively deny space to opposition forwards looking to break forward on the counter.

    Suppress Counterattacks
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on sitting behind the attack in the opposition half before moving to aggressively mark or close down opposition forwards and attacking midfielders looking to initiate a quick counterattack.

    Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on sitting behind the attack in the opposition half before aggressively moving to close down opposition players attempting to receive passes or recover clearances in the hole between the midfield and defence.

    Isolate Advancing Midfielders
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on sitting behind the attack in the opposition half before quickly moving to disrupt the opposition's build-up play by aggressively marking and closing down opposition midfielders attempting to get forward to support a counterattack.

    Isolate Midfielders
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on sitting behind the attack in the opposition half before quickly moving to disrupt the opposition's build-up play by aggressively marking and closing down opposition midfielders attempting to advance play out of their own third.

    Isolate Holding Midfielders
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on sitting behind the attack in the opposition half before quickly moving to disrupt the opposition's build-up play by aggressively closing opposition midfielders attempting to hold onto or play the ball from within their own third.

    Hassle Dawdling Defenders
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on sitting behind the attack in the opposition half before quickly moving to disrupt the opposition's build-up play and initiate counterattacking opportunities by closing down defenders who either appear hesitant to move the ball forward or are purposefully attempting to waste time by passing it around in the defensive third.

    Hassle Defenders
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on sitting behind the attack in the opposition half before quickly moving to disrupt the opposition's build-up play and initiate counterattacking opportunities by aggressively closing down defenders attempting to play the ball out from the back.

    Hassle Defenders Relentlessly
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on sitting behind the attack in the opposition half before quickly moving to disrupt the opposition's build-up play and initiate immediate counterattacking opportunities by aggressively closing down defenders attempting to get the ball out of their own third.

    Force Clearance
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on sitting behind the attack in the opposition half before quickly moving to force either the defender or the goalkeeper into a hasty clearance.

    Join Attack
    This task is not available as a tactical priority in any mentality structure. If teammates take up the player's responsibilities and provide sufficient defensive cover, a defend duty player will momentarily assume support duty attacking responsibilities or, on rare occasions, attack duty attacking responsibilities if a good opportunity presents itself.

    Create Chances Patiently
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on finding space ahead of the defence from which he can receive the ball and, if possible, wait for a clear opportunity to craft a chance before he is closed down by opposition defenders.

    Create Chances
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on finding space ahead of the defence from which he can receive the ball and look for an opportunity to craft a chance before he is he closed down by opposition defenders.

    Create Chances Urgently
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on finding space ahead of the defence from which he can receive the ball and look to quickly craft a chance as soon as a credible opportunity emerges.

    Force Half Chances When Necessary
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on getting onto the ball in advanced areas and crafting chances with a greater willingness to attempt to force a chance when support is lacking and no clear opportunities appear likely to emerge.

    Force Half Chances
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on getting onto the ball in advanced areas and crafting chances, though rather than patiently probe a stubborn defence, he will be more inclined to attempt to force a chance to sustain the momentum of the attack.

    Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on getting onto the ball in advanced areas and attempting to craft a chance at the first possible opportunity.

    Test Defence with Precision
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on finding occasional opportunities to test the opposition defence's concentration and discipline with carefully placed shots and precise passes intended to cause panic and indecision.

    Test Defence
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on testing the opposition defence's concentration and discipline by periodically taking a shot on goal or playing a hopeful ball into the area with the intent of provoking panic and indecision.

    Test Defence with Power
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on testing the opposition defence's concentration and discipline with a much greater willingness to simply blast the ball goalwards or lob it into the area when other options appear limited.

    Rush Ball Forward
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on simply overwhelming the opposition defence by playing hopeful balls into the area at every opportunity.

    Surge Into Box
    This task is not available as a tactical priority in any mentality structure. If teammates take up the player's responsibilities and provide sufficient defensive cover, a support duty player will momentarily assume attack duty attacking responsibilities if a good opportunity presents itself.

    Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on utilizing space between the opposition midfield and defence to make himself available for passes before either running at the defence or attempting to quickly link up with another advancing attacker.

    Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on finding space near the opposition defence to make himself available for passes before either running at the defence or attempting to quickly link up with another advancing attacker.

    Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on persistently pushing up against and dropping back from the opposition defensive line to both lure defenders out of position and make himself available for passes before either running at the defence or attempting to quickly link up with another advancing attacker.

    Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on staying forward and, when not needed to help link up the attack, looking for openings to run deep into the attacking third.

    Penetrate Gaps
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on staying forward and, when sufficient support is available, moving deep into the attacking third to either stretch the defence or get on the end of chances.

    Penetrate Gaps Persistently
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on staying forward and immediately exploiting any defensive gaps that open up in the attacking third.

    Draw Off Defenders
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on staying forward and pushing up against the opposition defensive line while looking to either immediately break forward on the counter or drag defenders out of position to create space for teammates' runs and passes.

    Overload Defenders
    Under the current team meantlity and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on staying forward and pushing up against the opposition defensive line while looking to either break forward on the counter, drag defenders out of position or simply provide a physical presence to occupy and obstruct them as teammates look overload the opposition penalty area.

    Challenge Defenders
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on staying forward and pushing up against the opposition defensive line while looking to either break forward on the counter or provoke panic among opposition defenders by providing a persistent, aggressive presence poised to get on the end of any balls played into the opposition penalty area.

    Bypass Last Defender
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the player will focus on simply sitting on the shoulder of the last defender at all times with the intention of pinning back the opposition defence and breaking forward into space at every opportunity.

    And finally, the goalkeeper tactical priorities:

    Shield Goal
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the goalkeeper will mainly rely on his defenders to obstruct shooting angles as he focuses on stopping shots from the line and claiming balls played across the six yard box.

    Limit Pressure
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the goalkeeper will focus on minimizing the risk of being exposed by defensive errors with a strong tendency to dwell on claimed balls and kick it long after his teammates have assumed attacking positions higher up the pitch.

    Distribute Safely
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the goalkeeper will focus on securely distributing the ball to defenders as soon as possible, though he will still kick it long if the defence finds itself under pressure.

    Cycle Possession
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the goalkeeper will focus on securely distributing the ball to the defence and helping them keep possession when under pressure from opposition forwards.

    Initiate Attacks
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the goalkeeper will focus on quickly distributing the ball to facilitiate rapid counterattacks and offering a deep outlet for possession passes to help his team keep hold of the ball during elaborate build-up plays.

    Support Attacks
    Under the current team mentality and fluidity instructions, the goalkeeper will focus on quickly distributing the ball to open teammates across the pitch with a much greater willingness to leave his area to help sustain offensive pressure.


    CONCLUSION

    Philosophy, style, fluidity.

    My intention in creating the mentality ladder was to provide a more accessible foundation for understanding and utilizing the common concept to which these terms refer. Hopefully, if you were totally confused before, this guide has provided you with a greater degree of clarity and a useful tool for getting what you want out of your tactics. If you were already comfortable with the fluidity setting, then at the very least, I hope this guide has inspired a few ideas for using them in new and novel ways.

    However, as I said in the introduction, this guide is only an initial, exploratory attempt at outlining and clarifying the practical foundations of fluidity in terms of the ordinary language used between coach and player. While the mentality ladder is rooted in my experiences playing the game and testing various tactical settings within the confines of the Tactics Creator, it will undoubtedly need to be further adjusted and refined (certainly, it has already undergone multiple revisions prior to this initial publication).

    With that said, even in this early state, I hope it will prove to be an accessible and entertaining heuristic framework that will better enable you to avoid unnecessary guesswork and just have more fun with the game.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 08-02-2014 at 21:45.

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    Phew! I'm going to go drink some coffee now.

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    Holy ****.

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    What? I don't even..

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    To reiterate the best response ever on this forum:

    Mind. Blown.

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    Brilliant, simply brilliant and easily the best post I've ever read on here.

    I'll sticky this with the other guides

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    Can i ask, how long did that take to write? i'll be reading this over the course of the next few months..

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    sat down with my coffee intent on reading the new sticky.........
    skimmed it, and Cleon's hit the nail on the head with the brilliant and best,
    take a bow

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    Omg, I think this is what people need!

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    My head hurts and I just scrolled through this thread

    It will take a few weeks to read this properly...

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    Wow, just wow!

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    Jose...?

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    I am blown away! Whenever I start thinking I'm getting to grips with the tactical aspect I am brought back down to earth with a bang by articles like this. This will take some time to properly digest - I can't wait to apply this!

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    Amazing post, I've read the first half and quickly wanted to ask a quick question before I forget it. I'm sure I will come back as I read through the rest, but for now:

    Could you explain how you came about the tactical priorities of each position? Was it a case of interpreting the slider settings of each duty in the previous iteration? One useful addition could be the attacking roles in the AML/R strata - e.g. IF(a)/W(a), but as I understand it their main concern is just getting into the box.

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    This is pretty much the book on mentality. Nothing further needs to be written. Absolutely stunning job!

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    Masterpiece. The Louvre should just withdraw Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and expose this instead.

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    Another point I am concerned with is that assigning duties in this way tends to lend your team to following specific patterns of play rather than fluidity based on the current situation.

    For example: it's easy for me to setup in a way that says "Advanced Forward, you move into channels and try to drag defenders with you to free up space for the Shadow Striker to surge into". However, real football is not based on one such example to create space - indeed, a manager may instruct the forward to act in multiple ways such as sitting on the shoulder of the last defender to create space in the hole in addition to the above depending on circumstance. If a defender is tightly marking him, he may choose movement to drag him out of position, and if they are defending deep and standing off he may use the space in the hole or use his physical presence close to them to pin them back. In each case, the way players act behind that forward would be different - the SS may become more of a playmaker temporarily while space is available to him.

    Sure, we as managers can change the player instruction of the forward if we see a specific tendency in the opposition defence emerge, but I find this tedious and unrealistic. The forward should have been instructed beforehand how to act in each circumstance, and in turn the players behind him based on how he acts. Thus the only approach I can think of to simulate autonomous movement in this way is increasing creative freedom - but as this seems to be a flair modifier more than anything else, and as you describe acts more to release the player from certain tactical priorities it won't necessarily do what you want it to.

    This came to me when watching this video on "Interpretation of 4-3-3 with Rotational Movement": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXWq34XByjc In this video an example is the movement of the #4 and #10 when the #4 is tightly marked (~2:00min).

    Simply clicking "More Roaming" does not simulate smart rotation in this way and I am not convinced implementing systems in this much detail is possible right now. Having read more into your post I believe creating a specific pattern of play is possible, but not specific patterns. This is one part where I believe the Rigid/Very Rigid systems break down - as you are relying on the system to carry you through games but you cannot implement that system in a way that does not rely on player intuition without becoming too one-dimensional.
    Last edited by imabearlol; 23-01-2014 at 18:07.

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    It just took me 2 hours to read, digest, and break it down into chunks within notepad capturing some key elements which I often overlook.

    Thank you for this outstanding post and the amount of work/thought that went into it.

    Simply amazing writing.

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    Do you have this work on pdf format by any chance? Im very interested in printing it so i can read it on the bus on my way to work.

    Thanks in advance.

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    This is very well written! I question whether is making anything more accessible though. In fact I find it to be prone to over-analyzing here and there, over-analyzing what "under the hood" is in some cases rather basic game mechanics. That is no problem for the theorist, but it is sometimes implying crucial nuances of micro-control that aren't met by neither the tactical tools nor the match play in my opinion, possibly leading people to worry too much themselves. Theorems are fun, but remember the game was perfectly playable if people understood the basic implications of the most important settings (mentality/runs from deep being arguably those) long before. But as analyzing the match action has always been a bit subjective, and I have more recently questioned some of the "mentality frameworks" that form half the base behind the fluidities in the philosophy thread, you might see this differently.

    Don't get me wong, as a research, scientific and philosophy piece about the tactical instructions, it is a terrific read. As said, I just don't see it as something that will help people more easily get to grips with the implications of their choices. The length alone will prevent this, and some of the concepts like the "mentality ladder" are abstract in nature and reasonably complicated in an on itself. That is like putting another abstract layer on what already is an abstract layer (the fluidities), with the mechanical core often not providing the influences on match action that justifies either. There is a reason why SI themselves struggle to cover the fluidities in-game, as you also pointed out. wwfan's 12 step guide does provide quick understanding to a small degree, but often it is just giving basic guidelines without explaining their reasoning. For instance, it says it is advisable to have one "attack" duty player in defence and midfield, but it doesn't say why, for instance. If you know what the duties represent and how they're set up (a quick glance over the text descriptions should give you the vital clue), you'd know why such is advisable though. But it is what is is, and it delivers what it promises on the tin.

    This fully deserves to be featured prominently. This is for the advanced theorist, and those that like to theorize not only about about tactics and how they are implemented into FM, but analyze in every small nuance and detail the tools they're given – even if those theories won't necessarily manifest themselves much in the game itself, as the game in my opinion is in many cases much more simple than the theories it spawns. Some of those have made it officially into the game, the aforementioned handful of distinct (or not so distinct) mentality theorems in the form of the fluidites/philsophies.

    Still, it is those advanced theories that triggered a shift in development for SI, a crass one: abstract sliders and instructions that had been in the game for more than a decade have now been completely replaced. Not only that, but SI aren't limited to those anymore, as is evident if you watch the behavior of certain roles, such as the half back dropping in between the centre backs, something impossible to do with the instructions of old. That is progress, as firstly there was no such thing as a role in FM before, in the "worst case" a human player would give all his starters instructions that would best fit their attributes as he saw fit, individually. Tactics could be without coherence, shape, and form (they still can be to a big degree, naturally). And secondly, I'm personally convinced that it was those elaborate community efforts that had shown SI the game was more capable of doing than they thought it could. In that sense, again, thumbs up. But somewhere along those tricky lines, it mitht become easy to over-complicate too.
    Last edited by Svenc; 23-01-2014 at 20:04.

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    Thanks for the positive feedback, everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spireheart View Post
    Can i ask, how long did that take to write? i'll be reading this over the course of the next few months..
    I had an initial draft in November, but it had to be completely revised several times.

    Quote Originally Posted by imabearlol View Post
    Amazing post, I've read the first half and quickly wanted to ask a quick question before I forget it. I'm sure I will come back as I read through the rest, but for now:

    Could you explain how you came about the tactical priorities of each position? Was it a case of interpreting the slider settings of each duty in the previous iteration? One useful addition could be the attacking roles in the AML/R strata - e.g. IF(a)/W(a), but as I understand it their main concern is just getting into the box.
    Originally, I had a section discussing this, but I didn't want to draw too much attention to the sliders since I felt that would detract from the whole point of an FM14-friendly guide. The tactical priorities don't correspond directly to slider settings. They reflect the settings in terms of the broader logic of the TC's approach to assigning the settings which became apparent when I was first mapping out mentality structures for the initial draft (and was the first thing to prompt a major revision).

    In the mentality structure outlines, any role in the position will have the default tactical priority unless an exception is listed. I will try to make that a bit more clear when I have some time to revise the OP.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 23-01-2014 at 23:16.

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    I don't really know what to say about this thread other than, I am totally floored by it. Wow.

    Incredibly well done THOG, this is brilliance. Just brilliance.

    Cheers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by imabearlol View Post
    Simply clicking "More Roaming" does not simulate smart rotation in this way and I am not convinced implementing systems in this much detail is possible right now. Having read more into your post I believe creating a specific pattern of play is possible, but not specific patterns. This is one part where I believe the Rigid/Very Rigid systems break down - as you are relying on the system to carry you through games but you cannot implement that system in a way that does not rely on player intuition without becoming too one-dimensional.
    This is why I heavily emphasized the idea of tactical priorities being guidelines as opposed to emphatic demands that a player do X at all times. They're a point of reference intended to outline the most basic game plan in terms of something a manager would actually say to his players, but the idea of the mentality ladder as a whole was to illustrate how players do adapt.

    In broader terms, the problem with being too general is that you then have no real, practical idea as to what you're doing. This was the whole issue with the old settings anyway. What does "8" translate to? What does "attacking" even translate to, especially when you're talking about a centreback or defensive midfielder. Of course, the danger of this level of specificity is that it may create the impression of a restriction and that things are too mechanized. Ultimately, I decided the most accessible and realistic compromise in terms of translating a football game system to real world actions was to be very specific but to heavily qualify it with the idea that the point of reference is more of an anchor that guides and restrains the player's voyage through a very fluid bowl of tactics soup.

    To some extent, this gets to the unusual nature of the management genre itself. In most games, you have absolute control over the people on the screen. You control their every movement, and there is an assumption that what you command will be faithfully obeyed without question. However, a management game completely turns this on its head. The fundamental idea of the game is that you're asking someone you don't directly control to do something, and then you see how they actually go about doing it assuming they have the skill and intelligence needed to do it at all. Going back to what you were saying about modeling the autonomy and ingenuity of players in real life, representing actual coaching to that level of detail is a long way off in both technical and design terms. This requires that things operate in broad concepts, but at the same time, IMO, those concepts still have to be situated in something more specific to avoid the sense that you're just pressing unmarked buttons on a black box.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 23-01-2014 at 23:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svenc View Post
    This is very well written! I question whether is making anything more accessible though. In fact I find it to be prone to over-analyzing here and there, over-analyzing what "under the hood" is in some cases rather basic game mechanics. That is no problem for the theorist, but it is sometimes implying crucial nuances of micro-control that aren't met by neither the tactical tools nor the match play in my opinion, possibly leading people to worry too much themselves. Theorems are fun, but remember the game was perfectly playable if people understood the basic implications of the most important settings (mentality/runs from deep being arguably those) long before. But as analyzing the match action has always been a bit subjective, and I have more recently questioned some of the "mentality frameworks" that form half the base behind the fluidities in the philosophy thread, you might see this differently.

    Don't get me wong, as a research, scientific and philosophy piece about the tactical instructions, it is a terrific read. As said, I just don't see it as something that will help people more easily get to grips with the implications of their choices. The length alone will prevent this, and some of the concepts like the "mentality ladder" are abstract in nature and reasonably complicated in an on itself. That is like putting another abstract layer on what already is an abstract layer (the fluidities), with the mechanical core often not providing the influences on match action that justifies either. There is a reason why SI themselves struggle to cover the fluidities in-game, as you also pointed out. wwfan's 12 step guide does provide quick understanding to a small degree, but often it is just giving basic guidelines without explaining their reasoning. For instance, it says it is advisable to have one "attack" duty player in defence and midfield, but it doesn't say why, for instance. If you know what the duties represent and how they're set up (a quick glance over the text descriptions should give you the vital clue), you'd know why such is advisable though. But it is what is is, and it delivers what it promises on the tin.

    This fully deserves to be featured prominently. This is for the advanced theorist, and those that like to theorize not only about about tactics and how they are implemented into FM, but analyze in every small nuance and detail the tools they're given – even if those theories won't necessarily manifest themselves much in the game itself, as the game in my opinion is in many cases much more simple than the theories it spawns. Some of those have made it officially into the game, the aforementioned handful of distinct (or not so distinct) mentality theorems in the form of the fluidites/philsophies.

    Still, it is those advanced theories that triggered a shift in development for SI, a crass one: abstract sliders and instructions that had been in the game for more than a decade have now been completely replaced. Not only that, but SI aren't limited to those anymore, as is evident if you watch the behavior of certain roles, such as the half back dropping in between the centre backs, something impossible to do with the instructions of old. That is progress, as firstly there was no such thing as a role in FM before, in the "worst case" a human player would give all his starters instructions that would best fit their attributes as he saw fit, individually. Tactics could be without coherence, shape, and form (they still can be to a big degree, naturally). And secondly, I'm personally convinced that it was those elaborate community efforts that had shown SI the game was more capable of doing than they thought it could. In that sense, again, thumbs up. But somewhere along those tricky lines, it mitht become easy to over-complicate too.
    I certainly understand where you're coming from, and it's fair to point out that not everyone is going to like this way of looking at things. I wouldn't throw this down at the feet of someone just starting the game, but I wouldn't say it's only for the advanced theorist. The mentality ladder itself is, admittedly, pretty far removed from actual tactical terminology, but it was intended as more of a corrective to previous ways of interpreting TC mechanisms. Ideally, it wouldn't be necessary to explain that player responsibilities respond dynamically to context, and certainly, you can argue that the same point could be made more intuitively. On the other hand, I think the idea of tactical priorities is reasonably accessible and not terribly worrisome as long as it's recognized as a general reference point or central tendency as opposed to a hard rule (which could be said for roles and nearly every other instruction as well).

    Beyond that, on its own, I think/hope section 7 would help even relatively new players clear up a lot of common misconceptions, and I think just looking at the mentality structure outlines should help a lot of newer players get a better sense of what a lot of the more general settings do. In that regard, this project was intended to serve two, somewhat separate purposes: a critical examination of the idea of fluidity in terms of its actual function and a more simple reference guide for figuring out who will generally be doing what on a specific mentality/fluidity combination. I think the latter should be of use even to those who have absolutely zero interest in the nuts & bolts, theoretical aspect.

    I would say, however, that I wouldn't expect a new player to read this and be a master football manager and I wouldn't bill this as a guide to playing football manager. Rather, it's a supplementary reference for those already playing it. What I hope, then, is that it will clear up misconceptions about specific settings and get people thinking about the settings in a way that reflects their actual function (and even if this goes, as you say, a bit too far under the hood at times, the way things work under the hood is still more like actual tactics than what many [myself included] often assume). Of course, ultimately, actually playing the game is the only way to really learn it, and to that extent, any guide will only be one curve in the hermeneutic circle.

    EDIT: After reading your comment a second time, I don't think there's really too much of an area of disagreement. In fact, one of the key points (as stated in the introduction) is that there isn't that much difference between the fluidity settings in terms of broadly defining the team's actual style of play. As I said, the differences are often imperceptible on the pitch unless you are focusing on very specific, fine details. The feature itself is a reflection of methods of micromanagement while the idea of the mentality ladder is to illustrate that all player behaviour is still highly dynamic and bound within a common framework. Moreover, even if you disregard that, the differences between the tactical priorities themselves are marginal and not at all reflective of the erroneous notion that moving one click on the mentality slider will massively disrupt the effectiveness of the tactic. Indirectly, this entire guide could be read as an extended argument against that misconception.

    So with that said, I suppose the main difference is that rather than say that fluidity doesn't matter because it doesn't have a massive, instantly recognizable effect, I see it as a tool for achieving specific effects (and indeed, it does that in practice).

    In terms of the game being playable for those who don't have any interest in the tactical aspect, I would never suggest otherwise and I hope that never ceases to be the case.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 24-01-2014 at 21:50.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sebaz View Post
    Do you have this work on pdf format by any chance? Im very interested in printing it so i can read it on the bus on my way to work.

    Thanks in advance.
    Sorry, all I have at the moment is a lot of plain text covered in vBulletin code.

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    Just seen this pop up as a sticky, and I just want to doff my hat and say, like I'm sure many others will, that this is just a simply stunning piece of work, and leaves me with my jaw hanging open.

    I had an initial draft in November, but it had to be completely revised several times.
    Yeah, you can tell, everything is presented crisp and effectively. Brevity is key.

    The sliderless era has a masterwork.
    Last edited by ModernLefty; 24-01-2014 at 01:58.

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    That's basically amazing. Just wow. To echo what was said earlier; Mind. Blown.

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    Mama mia! I solute the effort put into this. However, I can't help but think that this is too much explanation for a simple game, both in real life and as simulation. I read it all and I can honestly say that this raised more questions in my head than made things clear or understandable. So I rather not think about that at all and just keep playing FM.

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    Always happy to read any thread with "framework" in the title.

    Takes me back.

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    There's going to be a "For Dummies..." version right?

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    Admittedly I haven't read the whole piece yet, but the irony in what I have read is astounding.

    Discussing the "confusion and misconceptions" with the tactic creator but then going on with the business-jargon and deliberately excessive use of long words will massively see the majority of FM players bypassing this.

    But then maybe I'm not the target audience for this? Maybe I see FM as more of a game than a business case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paolo WillentÚ View Post
    Admittedly I haven't read the whole piece yet, but the irony in what I have read is astounding.

    Discussing the "confusion and misconceptions" with the tactic creator but then going on with the business-jargon and deliberately excessive use of long words will massively see the majority of FM players bypassing this.

    But then maybe I'm not the target audience for this? Maybe I see FM as more of a game than a business case.
    Why bother with a comment like this? What does it add? Apart from sarcastic vitriol, that is.

    If you can think of a way to reduce the info into short nuggets that convey an equal ammount, why wouldn't you?

    And if your struggling with long words, the internet can always provide a dictionary.

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    Breathtaking

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    Quote Originally Posted by ModernLefty View Post
    Why bother with a comment like this? What does it add? Apart from sarcastic vitriol, that is.

    If you can think of a way to reduce the info into short nuggets that convey an equal ammount, why wouldn't you?

    And if your struggling with long words, the internet can always provide a dictionary.
    It's just interesting to see where people are taking the game. I'm studying for an ITIL qualification at the moment, so I get my fill of long words there.

    My point is that writing styles are prevalent throughout the forum for a reason (to keep the reader interested), maybe the author of this thread will see a rise in interest if the language wasn't just to appeal to a specific type of FM player/Forum Member.

    No doubt, the content is cracking but the application may be trying too hard to appeal to the higher level of forum member.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sebaz View Post
    Do you have this work on pdf format by any chance? Im very interested in printing it so i can read it on the bus on my way to work.

    Thanks in advance.
    This is an incredible, incredible post and on first read (many more are needed) certain things are already becoming clearer.

    I would also like to echo Sebaz's question and wonder if there is a PDF? The information certainly lends itself to multiple reads away from a PC screen.

    Edit: whoops, I see that question has already been answered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paolo WillentÚ View Post
    It's just interesting to see where people are taking the game. I'm studying for an ITIL qualification at the moment, so I get my fill of long words there.

    My point is that writing styles are prevalent throughout the forum for a reason (to keep the reader interested), maybe the author of this thread will see a rise in interest if the language wasn't just to appeal to a specific type of FM player/Forum Member.

    No doubt, the content is cracking but the application may be trying too hard to appeal to the higher level of forum member.
    I appreciate and welcome the stylistic feedback. My goal in initially presenting this was to be as precise and exhaustive as possible in laying out my reasoning while carefully guarding against what I anticipated as potential misinterpretations. However, the heart of the project since its inception was always the tactical priorities which are, I believe, fairly simple and straight forward and, along with the mentality structure outlines, available here for players of any skill level to use as a quick way of determining what their players are likely to be focused on doing under a given setting.

    I certainly understand that a more general release version of this would need to cut this down to basics which is something I plan on doing, though I would add that developing the idea in this much detail was as much for my benefit as that of any potential reader.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 24-01-2014 at 14:22.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paolo WillentÚ View Post
    It's just interesting to see where people are taking the game. I'm studying for an ITIL qualification at the moment, so I get my fill of long words there.

    My point is that writing styles are prevalent throughout the forum for a reason (to keep the reader interested), maybe the author of this thread will see a rise in interest if the language wasn't just to appeal to a specific type of FM player/Forum Member.

    No doubt, the content is cracking but the application may be trying too hard to appeal to the higher level of forum member.
    For what it's worth, I don't think he tried to show off or overcomplicate things at all, quite the opposite. We all work differently, and I'm the kind of person who wants theories and models for everything, rather than relying on anecdotal evidence or "try it and see if it works". Thus, for me it reinforced and formalized a lot of the concepts that I already sort of knew but couldn't really pin down. It has already helped me understand some of the aspects that've previously caused me confusion, so I'm pretty sure I'll have great use of this thread now and in the future.

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    Wow. Just wow. Bravo!

    This is one more perfect example that proves the need of a total revamp of the descriptions of Instructions/Mentalities/Fluidity Settings.
    With the descriptions being so "vague", we end up with these (awesome) guides/frameworks in order to actually know what is going on when we use certain settings.

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    Wow this is amazig. I signed up for this forum because I wanted some advice with my tactics & I certainly got it. I am going to have to start a new game and worth this through from the beginning. If it's OK I will likely post some practical examples later as I am sure I will need some advice!

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    Great post and my hat off to you for all the work you put into this.

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    i just fainted..

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    Hand of God: Totally see your point too. I think I misunderstood your intentions a bit. For advanced players that want to delve deeper, this provides a mind-boggingly exhaustive groundwork for tinkering. It's just that for the average player this has the danger of making a game more complicated than it truly is. But then he likely won't bother reading anyway.
    Last edited by Cleon; 25-01-2014 at 19:29.

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    Can we make sure we keep this about the OP please, if you are providing feedback about the game in general or its faults then that belongs in the feedback thread in the general section of the forums and not in here. All posts that are not about the OP will be deleted from this point on because if not it ruins the thread and turns it into a feedback thread and that's not the purpose of the thread.

    Thanks.

    If anyone disagrees then PM me, this thread is not the place to carry on this debate.

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    Right OK so I have spent a hungover Saturday afternoon trying to put this into practice and I was wondering if you could sanity check the results...

    Plan A: Dominate possession



    Quite simply the aim of this tactic is to dominate possession, sit reasonably deep and draw the opposition out leaving space behind for Theo to run into or to simply pass through them.

    Went with a 4-2-3-1 and chose Very Fluid & Control which gives me players with the following priorities.

    GK/D: Cycle Possession
    DR/S: Keep Possession
    DC/D: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    DC/D: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
    DL/S: Keep Possession
    MC/S: Shuttle Ball
    DLP/S: Keep Possession Under Pressure
    IF/A: Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Treq/A: Create Chances Patiently
    Wing/S: Create Chances
    TM/S: Create Chances Urgently

    By my logic, this gives me a back 4 and midfield who will control possession with Ozil, Cazorla and Giroud creating chances for Theo. I added Hassle Opponents so we close down as a team and Roam from Position take advantage of good Off the Ball and Decision stats.

    Plan B: Sit Deep & Counter

    OK so the objective here is to for a solid back 4 and double pivot to sit deep and invite the opposition to attack. When we gain possession of the ball I want a lightning quick counter and to get the ball in the net ASAP. Think Real Madrid under Mourinho.

    This is the approach I have changed the most having read your guide. Initially I looked at Very Rigid because I wanted a nice compact defence. I looked at Counter but I found the attacking players to be too low on the mentality ladder and the play was too slow. I then looked at Attack having read an article on CCC but I think the defence was too possession focused. In the end I went for this:



    I found Standard & Balanced gave me the best mixture of solid defence and quick attack. I then use Team Instructions to modify the defence and transition. It gives me players with the following focus:

    GK: Distribute Safely
    DR/S: Recover Possession
    DC: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    DC: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    DL/S: Recover Possession
    DMC: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    MC: Shuttle Ball
    IFR/A: Spearhead Attacking Moves
    Treq/A: Shuttle Ball Into Space
    AP/L: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    TM/S: Shuttle Ball Through Defence

    Hopefully my shouts have the following effects:
    1. Sit Deep reduces my DCs to Restrict Space Aggressively and DR/L to Recover Possession
    2. More freedom for AML, AMC, and FC increase their mentality to Create Chances
    3. Get Forward for MC increases his mentality to Spearhead Attacking Moves

    Shouts to create the Counter Attacking effect:
    1. Sit Deep
    2. Stand Off Opponents
    3. Play the ball out of Defence
    4. Very Direct Passing
    5. Very High Tempo


    What do you think? Is this a sensible approach?

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    Thanks for stepping forward and offering such a detailed example, OttA. This is very helpful in identifying some areas that may need clarification and also interesting to finally see this project from someone else's perspective.

    I'm not able to write out a proper reply at the moment, but I will get back to you with a detailed response by tomorrow evening.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 26-01-2014 at 01:10.

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    Interestingly enough, your idea about setting up a fast, counterattacking system was one of the first things that occurred to me when I started putting this into practice. The Counter team mentality refers to one approach to counterattacking (sitting deep and waiting patiently for clear opportunities to break forward in numbers), but obviously, the idea of counterattacking football encompasses a lot more than that. And like you, when setting up what you might call "an elaborate counterattack approach" (as opposed to a simple approach involving sitting deep and usually just relying on 1-3 players to get forward in most cases), I settled on Standard with defensive TI's and a higher tempo.

    One thing I would note here though is that I personally wouldn't think of the TI's and PI's as changing a player's tactical priority (with the exception of those I specifically mentioned like Exploit the Flanks). Think of them, rather, as slight adjustments to role which define how a player carries out his tactical priority and how quickly and dramatically he deviates from it to do something more defensive/attacking when his teammates need support doing something else.

    The defensive line instructions, specifically, are a little ambiguous. I like that you called it "Sit Deeper" rather than "Drop Deeper" as this is probably a more accurate way to think of it in relation to a player's tactical priority. In terms of the TC as it stands now, "Drop Deeper" basically achieves what you assume it will in terms of on the pitch action, but I would really think of the d-line instructions as being more of a team counterpart to closing down (that is, pressing in formation as opposed to pressing individually out of formation). So think of it more in terms of "Push Up More" and "Push Up Less" with the instruction controlling how frequently your d-line will push forward from a comfortable defensive position to help more advanced teammates carry out their more aggressive defensive responsibilities by compressing the playing area.

    So, in this example, telling a defender to "Push Up Less" won't alter his tactical priority (i.e., his general focus and disposition); instead, it will have the defender adhering to it more stubbornly. With that said, I like how you're using it here and it's very close to the general set-up I'm experimenting with at the moment.

    "Get Forward" is going to modify how quickly a player joins the attack, so by assigning it to Ramsey on Plan B, you're giving him what might be thought of as a "Super Attack" duty that will have him blasting forward on the ball (or, if he gets bypassed, when it's already ahead of him), but it won't change his tactical priority and, thus, won't necessarily leave you without a dedicated "shuttler" in midfield.

    In regards to both your plans, I should clarify that "Create Chances" is very aggressive for a main responsibility, and I actually considered calling it "Stay Forward and Create Chances." Now, it's important to again emphasize here that players respond dynamically to what needs to be done, and while a tactical priority centres and orients a player's approach, a player will naturally be spending a lot of time carrying out tasks that are "close" to his tactical priority. So, a support duty player told to Shuttle the Ball is still going to be looking to create chances fairly frequently once the ball gets near the area, but he's always first going to focus on making absolutely sure the ball gets there and, certainly, when he gets around the area, he will be slightly more inclined to work the ball around a bit if there isn't quite such a clear cut opportunity to play it in and he's not quickly running out of options.

    By comparison, a player told to focus on "Creating Chances" is really going to operate as a fairly traditional #10: looking for space between the midfield and defence from which he can quickly play the final ball (if a chance is on) but less inclined to drop back, make himself available for easy passes and do the unheralded grunt work of early build up play (in part because doing so will draw defenders' attention to him more quickly... thus, potentially, compromising his ability to quickly create a chance). Now, maybe this is what you want, but I thought I should clarify just in case (and I'll look to clarify the "in detail" description accordingly).

    Beyond that, I would make a few more fairly general comments:

    In Plan A, you could really use another attack duty even if you're going for a slower build-up, possession approach. Remember, I consider the playmaker roles to all be on a sort of "Super Support" duty, so with Ozil as a treq, you should have another player getting forward to give your creative players options. I would also suggest putting Gibbs on an attack duty to ensure you've got the option of getting up to the byline on the left (and if you find this results in a few too many crosses for the build-up style you want, you can adjust his PIs accordingly). As wwfan recommends in his twelve step guide, it's always good to have one attack duty defender on non-defensive approaches to prevent your defensive-to-attacking transition from being overly static and predictable. Going into matches, if you're finding the opposition hard to break down, don't hesitate to commit more players to an attack duty.

    Finally, deviating a little from the mentality ladder, I would add that I'm not a big fan of this variety of 4-2-3-1 formation. This is partially because I'm a "defence first" kind of manager, but I interpret this formation as a variation on a 4-2-4. It's inherently very attacking, and as you can see, it leaves your two CMs covering a massive amount of space between the attack and defence. This isn't to say it can't work. It can be very effective against sides that keep numbers back and don't press (which is how the AI will often play against sides like Arsenal), especially if they have cautious fullbacks who will be inclined to stay back to mark your wide forwards, but it lacks versatility and will typically leave you very exposed against more aggressive sides.

    I don't want to say don't use it, but against tougher opponents, you may want to mix it up and go for a 451, 4411 or 4-2DM-1CM-2AMLR-1. These are all different ways of producing what's generally thought of as a 4-2-3-1 which, IMO, is a common modification on several different systems (that is, it's a way of setting up a 442, 424, 451 or 433) as opposed to an altogether separate family of systems. And on that note, I should point out that positional familiarity is probably the most overthought aspect of tactics. SI themselves have said it doesn't matter that much, and while my personal opinion is that a lot of researchers are far too hesitant to give familiarity at ML/R, you'll benefit from training your wingers to be more comfortable there as opposed to using wide forwards (i.e., AMLR) at all times.

    EDIT: I would also add that "Stand Off Opponents" lowers your tempo. I'm not convinced that it should since this has an effect on build-up play, but it may be better to individually lower closing down for players (as cumbersome as that is).
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 26-01-2014 at 16:31.

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    Now in my opinion, OttA - by trying to adhere to the framework, I can see a lot of (certainly in my opinion, cannot speak for everyone else), some illogical decisions, as well as some choices that neglect the inherent abilities of the system. For example:
    • Your full backs are far too reserved - in both systems you need them to offer more offensively. To form combination play with Cazorla on your possession system, and to overlap Walcott on both systems.
    • You have neglected the main strength of the 4-2-3-1 in your 2nd system - the lack of a solid defensive block between the DC's and DM/MC's. Ramsey as a CM(A) will simply not provide it. The lack of a distributing role in these parts of the field will inevitably see Arteta and the defence isolated. To be blunt, a DLP in that system would be far more important as otherwise you have no transitional passers.
    • On top of the lack of width, you have a highly congested central attacking area with players coming inside, and only a single man trying to break the lines in your entire attack (Walcott).
    • A TM(S) rarely provides the playmakers with a man to combine with. They tend to recieve and offer opposite forms of deliver. The TM will rely on flick ons from long balls, crosses etc, as well as having a partner to play with. The T(A), AP(S) & DLP(D) all require more forward runs, moves into channels etc.
    • Finally the amount of specialist roles in that team is huge. In your very fluid possession system you play 3 specialist roles, and in your balanced, counter-attacking system you play 4! They contradict the point of specialism and universality.

    Sorry mate, I don't mean to pull you apart, it is kind of because you are the first main example to be posted here, and I haven't really had the chance to express what I mean until now. I feel while this is a massive piece of work, I find it hard to see how this framework actually guides tactical decision making, as most decisions can be made simply by adding logical instructions and combinations together, providing a framework of general rules. This is also extremely hard to follow and very wordy. I feel bad for criticizing such a large piece of work, and did not want to unless I had an excellent example to clearly illustrate my point, but with people complaining FM is harder and you need a degree in management to play it, I feel this is totally the wrong step/pattern/message to provide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by llama3 View Post
    Now in my opinion, OttA - by trying to adhere to the framework, I can see a lot of (certainly in my opinion, cannot speak for everyone else), some illogical decisions, as well as some choices that neglect the inherent abilities of the system. For example:
    • Your full backs are far too reserved - in both systems you need them to offer more offensively. To form combination play with Cazorla on your possession system, and to overlap Walcott on both systems.
    • You have neglected the main strength of the 4-2-3-1 in your 2nd system - the lack of a solid defensive block between the DC's and DM/MC's. Ramsey as a CM(A) will simply not provide it. The lack of a distributing role in these parts of the field will inevitably see Arteta and the defence isolated. To be blunt, a DLP in that system would be far more important as otherwise you have no transitional passers.
    • On top of the lack of width, you have a highly congested central attacking area with players coming inside, and only a single man trying to break the lines in your entire attack (Walcott).
    • A TM(S) rarely provides the playmakers with a man to combine with. They tend to recieve and offer opposite forms of deliver. The TM will rely on flick ons from long balls, crosses etc, as well as having a partner to play with. The T(A), AP(S) & DLP(D) all require more forward runs, moves into channels etc.
    • Finally the amount of specialist roles in that team is huge. In your very fluid possession system you play 3 specialist roles, and in your balanced, counter-attacking system you play 4! They contradict the point of specialism and universality.

    Sorry mate, I don't mean to pull you apart, it is kind of because you are the first main example to be posted here, and I haven't really had the chance to express what I mean until now. I feel while this is a massive piece of work, I find it hard to see how this framework actually guides tactical decision making, as most decisions can be made simply by adding logical instructions and combinations together, providing a framework of general rules. This is also extremely hard to follow and very wordy. I feel bad for criticizing such a large piece of work, and did not want to unless I had an excellent example to clearly illustrate my point, but with people complaining FM is harder and you need a degree in management to play it, I feel this is totally the wrong step/pattern/message to provide.
    As I said to Svenc, I completely understand and respect that not everyone will like this approach. If you asked me if I thought this framework should be slapped onto the game itself, my response would be a big, emphatic "No!" However, I do maintain that it's useful as both a way of clarifying ideas and identifying confusing and misleading aspects of the game that could use some refinement and clarification.

    In terms of OttA's post, I actually disagree with you that the framework led to the illogical decisions. The decisions he made are fairly common problems you see among tactics created with the basic TC, and I thought the explicit mentality structure outline successfully helps identify and pinpoint many of the problems you mention, especially in terms of the excessively attacking nature of the whole set-up, the lack of options in the box in Plan A, the likely excess of players performing support tasks in the attacking third, the very thin link between defence and attack, and the paucity of defensive cover in front of the defence in Plan B. Moreover, taking such advice, the framework then provides a set of comparative reference points to ensure similar mistakes aren't made on different settings.

    Yes, further consideration needs to be given to the specific interaction between roles, but I never suggested that the mentality structure outlines and tactical priorities were a substitute for roles, far from it. This framework also obviously isn't a substitute for learning the ins and outs of tactics but a reference for helping to put existing tactical knowledge into practice and identifying problem areas in the transition from idea to specific TC settings.

    And again, I absolutely agree that the TC provides all you need for a general approach to the game and that someone with a good understanding of tactical principles won't have any problem setting up a functioning tactic, but even then, you're assuming both that the player is bringing a fairly in-depth, intuitive grasp of tactics to the game and that they will have played long enough to learn how the more vague concepts of the TC translate onto the pitch. What may seem like basic tactical logic to you may actually be a revelation to the player who plays with 4 attack duty attackers and a single, box-to-box midfielder in front of a static defence. And even then, I feel that some aspects of the TC are misleading and while this initial presentation is obviously way too in depth to be a beginner's guide, its purpose as a theoretical endeavor is to identify more accurate, intuitive applications and interpretations of various settings.

    EDIT: And the reason people joke that FM14 requires you to have a coaching badge to play has more to do with the fact that recent improvements do require you to have a stronger understanding of basic tactical principles. Obviously, the TC itself is vastly simplified compared to what previously existed.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 26-01-2014 at 15:31.

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    Now, in response to your specific advice, I would like to make a few points to clarify a few things:

    Quote Originally Posted by llama3 View Post
    * Your full backs are far too reserved - in both systems you need them to offer more offensively. To form combination play with Cazorla on your possession system, and to overlap Walcott on both systems.
    *On top of the lack of width, you have a highly congested central attacking area with players coming inside, and only a single man trying to break the lines in your entire attack (Walcott).
    *A TM(S) rarely provides the playmakers with a man to combine with. They tend to recieve and offer opposite forms of deliver. The TM will rely on flick ons from long balls, crosses etc, as well as having a partner to play with. The T(A), AP(S) & DLP(D) all require more forward runs, moves into channels etc.
    I agree with this, and on top of my comment above, I would point out that this is all addressed in the section on assigning duties. In fact, I took the standard advice a step further by suggesting that the Enganche, Treq and AP-A be treated as support roles. Looking at a lot of threads on here, you'll see a common problem people have even if they follow the twelve step guide to the letter is that they go and end up assigning all their attack duties to playmaker roles who don't actually make many forward runs.

    I generally agree on the fullbacks, but with Plan B, OttA specifically said he wanted a solid, conservative back four with build-up being based around a very direct, rapid attack that attempts to overload the middle before the opposition can transition back into shape. You are correct to point out a potential danger in this, but I wouldn't say that advice should be such a hard rule. There are teams that do play with both fullbacks in a support capacity, and there are big sides, especially outside of England, that do try to overload and overpower the middle. It has its limitations and a manager should be prepared to recognize when it's not working against a specific opponent, but it's a valid approach and I think sometimes the advice given on here tends to ignore context (and I include myself in this). Part of this is because tactical design is still biased towards setting up a single, general tactic that will serve you from match to match against every conceivable opponent, but this doesn't mean that set-ups that are too unbalanced for general, match-to-match use are totally useless or not reflective of actual real world tactics.

    The use of the 4-2CM-3-1 is a good example of this. I think both you and I would agree that it's not the most balanced defensive shape, but a lot of players have success with it, mainly because they play big sides and the AI sits deep, doesn't press their midfield and doesn't commit a lot of players to the attack. That's obviously one area where the AI could be improved a bit, but in the context of a big side vs. smaller sides, a system with four forwards can work.

    Quote Originally Posted by llama3 View Post
    [*]You have neglected the main strength of the 4-2-3-1 in your 2nd system - the lack of a solid defensive block between the DC's and DM/MC's. Ramsey as a CM(A) will simply not provide it. The lack of a distributing role in these parts of the field will inevitably see Arteta and the defence isolated. To be blunt, a DLP in that system would be far more important as otherwise you have no transitional passers.
    Again, as I said in my response to OttA, I basically agree with this and I'm not a fan of this kind of 4-2CM-3-1 since it leaves the defence so exposed. For the most part, I would recommend just using a more standard defensive shape as opposed to using an asymmetric shape on a fluidity setting that already promotes positional asymmetry.

    I agree that playing Arteta as an anchor man puts too many restrictions on the early build-up. However, I wouldn't say Arteta will inevitably get isolated. This is an instance where it is important to have a more specific idea of how role interacts with your fluidity/mentality settings. In this case, Ramsey and Cazorla will actually go deep enough to provide outlets for transition play while, since it's a balanced system, the fullbacks will be pushing ahead of Arteta to offer more options out wide. I agree that Ramsey getting forward will leave the defence vulnerable to counterattacks (though he will still be perfectly willing to help defend and press after tracking back), though this is more of a question of how aggressive his opponent will actually be.

    This is one limitation of the way roles are presented in the current system. Roles are very sensitive to your fluidity/mentality settings, and I don't think this is adequately reflected in the TC.

    Quote Originally Posted by llama3 View Post
    Finally the amount of specialist roles in that team is huge. In your very fluid possession system you play 3 specialist roles, and in your balanced, counter-attacking system you play 4! They contradict the point of specialism and universality.
    I partially agree with Svenc here in that I don't put too much importance on getting the number of generalist/specialist roles just right. It's a good guideline if you're new and looking to avoid a lot of basic mistakes, but I think wwfan would agree that it's just a guideline for getting started and not a commandment. I agree that there are some issues with the balance of roles here, but the specific numbers are less important than the actual roles used. In this case, it's the limited roles (target man and anchor man) that stand out as problematic.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 26-01-2014 at 23:02.

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    Silly none constructive/rude posts will be deleted I've already stated that in the thread. The next one will result in a ban because I'm tired of ungrateful people on this forum posting utter nonsense in threads. That's the 3rd comment I've had to delete in the last half hour, anymore and its a ban, enough is enough.

    No wonder people don't post or help anyone any more when the idiots come out and mock people who are trying to help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    Finally, deviating a little from the mentality ladder, I would add that I'm not a big fan of this variety of 4-2-3-1 formation. This is partially because I'm a "defence first" kind of manager, but I interpret this formation as a variation on a 4-2-4. It's inherently very attacking, and as you can see, it leaves your two CMs covering a massive amount of space between the attack and defence. This isn't to say it can't work. It can be very effective against sides that keep numbers back and don't press (which is how the AI will often play against sides like Arsenal), especially if they have cautious fullbacks who will be inclined to stay back to mark your wide forwards, but it lacks versatility and will typically leave you very exposed against more aggressive sides.

    I don't want to say don't use it, but against tougher opponents, you may want to mix it up and go for a 451, 4411 or 4-2DM-1CM-2AMLR-1. These are all different ways of producing what's generally thought of as a 4-2-3-1 which, IMO, is a common modification on several different systems (that is, it's a way of setting up a 442, 424, 451 or 433) as opposed to an altogether separate family of systems. And on that note, I should point out that positional familiarity is probably the most overthought aspect of tactics. SI themselves have said it doesn't matter that much, and while my personal opinion is that a lot of researchers are far too hesitant to give familiarity at ML/R, you'll benefit from training your wingers to be more comfortable there as opposed to using wide forwards (i.e., AMLR) at all times.
    Wow - firstly, thank you so much for the help!

    I have taken your advice and made a few modifications. Plan A, Possession now looks like this:



    Major changes:
    1. Changed shape to 4-2-3-1 Assymetric
    2. Changed Fluidity to Balanced
    3. Made Gibbs CWB-A
    4. Made Giroud a DLF-S

    By my logic, my team should look something like this:

    -------------------------------------CONTROL-------------------------------------
    GK: GK/D (Szczesny): Distribute Safely
    DR: FB/S (Sagna): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    DC: DC/D (Mertesaker): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    DC: DC/D (Koscielny): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
    DL: FB/S (Gibbs): Shuttle Ball Into Space
    DMC: DLP/S (Arteta): Keep Possession
    MC: MC/S (Ramsey): Spearhead Attacks from the Hole
    ML: W/S (Cazorla): Shuttle Ball
    AMC: Treq/A (Ozil): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
    AMR: IF/A (Walcott): Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
    FC: DLP/S (Giroud): Create Chances

    I like the change in shape, agree with what you are saying there. Seems to reduce the gaps. Also creates a nice diamond between Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla and Ozil.

    I felt the change in fluidity gave me 3 main benefits:
    1. Mertesaker & Koscielny are better suited to Disrupting Attacks than Keeping Possession.
    2. Cazorla & Ozil's roles have been watered down. Shuttling Ball rather than creating chances means they should be more involved.
    3. Aaron Ramsey is Spearheading Attacks from the Hole so I should have an additional attacking runner. Hopefully like he does in real life.

    Do you think that Balanced / Control (as above) would be a good choice for a Counter Attack System with high tempo, longer passing lower closing down etc?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    As I said to Svenc, I completely understand and respect that not everyone will like this approach. If you asked me if I thought this framework should be slapped onto the game itself, my response would be a big, emphatic "No!" However, I do maintain that it's useful as both a way of clarifying ideas and identifying confusing and misleading aspects of the game that could use some refinement and clarification.
    Ok

    In terms of OttA's post, I actually disagree with you that the framework led to the illogical decisions. The decisions he made are fairly common problems you see among tactics created with the basic TC, and I thought the explicit mentality structure outline successfully helps identify and pinpoint many of the problems you mention, especially in terms of the excessively attacking nature of the whole set-up, the lack of options in the box in Plan A, the likely excess of players performing support tasks in the attacking third, the very thin link between defence and attack, and the paucity of defensive cover in front of the defence in Plan B. Moreover, taking such advice, the framework then provides a set of comparative reference points to ensure similar mistakes aren't made on different settings.
    This is a point I stand my ground on, the framework was followed to the letter (which I am under the impression is not the intention of it's use), and as such it created what we saw. I also feel the most basic and solid tactics are created with the TC. I think an issue is that the advice for each position depends hugely on formation, you may not want a certain position/role to "shuttle the ball" if he is the most defensive player in the team, so I think formation needs to be taken into account quite significantly.

    Yes, further consideration needs to be given to the specific interaction between roles, but I never suggested that the mentality structure outlines and tactical priorities were a substitute for roles, far from it. This framework also obviously isn't a substitute for learning the ins and outs of tactics but a reference for helping to put existing tactical knowledge into practice and identifying problem areas in the transition from idea to specific TC settings.

    And again, I absolutely agree that the TC provides all you need for a general approach to the game and that someone with a good understanding of tactical principles won't have any problem setting up a functioning tactic, but even then, you're assuming both that the player is bringing a fairly in-depth, intuitive grasp of tactics to the game and that they will have played long enough to learn how the more vague concepts of the TC translate onto the pitch. What may seem like basic tactical logic to you may actually be a revelation to the player who plays with 4 attack duty attackers and a single, box-to-box midfielder in front of a static defence. And even then, I feel that some aspects of the TC are misleading and while this initial presentation is obviously way too in depth to be a beginner's guide, its purpose as a theoretical endeavor is to identify more accurate, intuitive applications and interpretations of various settings.
    Agreed on the level this guide suits/applies to.

    And the reason people joke that FM14 requires you to have a coaching badge to play has more to do with the fact that recent improvements do require you to have a stronger understanding of basic tactical principles. Obviously, the TC itself is vastly simplified compared to what previously existed.
    I think the other demands of the game have gone up, and the game is less forgiving - meaning you have to have the concepts already, or the inclination to learn them.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    Now, in response to your specific advice, I would like to make a few points to clarify a few things:
    I'm all ears...

    I agree with this, and on top of my comment above, I would point out that this is all addressed in the section on assigning duties. In fact, I took the standard advice a step further by suggesting that the Enganche, Treq and AP-A be treated as support roles. Looking at a lot of threads on here, you'll see a common problem people have even if they follow the twelve step guide to the letter is that they go and end up assigning all their attack duties to playmaker roles who don't actually make many forward runs.
    Fully agree about mis-use of playmaker roles.

    I generally agree on the fullbacks, but with Plan B, OttA specifically said he wanted a solid, conservative back four with build-up being based around a very direct, rapid attack that attempts to overload the middle before the opposition can transition back into shape. You are correct to point out a potential danger in this, but I wouldn't say that advice should be such a hard rule. There are teams that do play with both fullbacks in a support capacity, and there are big sides, especially outside of England, that do try to overload and overpower the middle. It has its limitations and a manager should be prepared to recognize when it's not working against a specific opponent, but it's a valid approach and I think sometimes the advice given on here tends to ignore context (and I include myself in this). Part of this is because tactical design is still biased towards setting up a single, general tactic that will serve you from match to match against every conceivable opponent, but this doesn't mean that set-ups that are too unbalanced for general, match-to-match use are totally useless or not reflective of actual real world tactics.
    Without a flexible base tactic, or adapted set of tactics it is hard to make some systems work against each other. A well constructed tactic offering the varieties of movement and chances should always offer chances, but can be adapted more easily. e.g. Making your IF(S) a W(A) to provide more width. A single change but drastically changing the way the team approaches creating chances. A lack of movement is a fundamental issue, not a specific tactical plan. Accept the points on the narrow attacking design & mentality structure that tries to compensate the lack of width. A perfect example, Spain in South Africa 2010 - matchday 1, lost to Switzerland because they were far too narrow, they switched to Jesus Navas wide right to offer width in the remaining games, and they benefitted immensely, as Navas offering width was enough to alter the opposing defensive shapes, drag them wider and create more room to exploit in the middle - sometimes exploiting the middle means dragging play wider.

    The use of the 4-2CM-3-1 is a good example of this. I think both you and I would agree that it's not the most balanced defensive shape, but a lot of players have success with it, mainly because they play big sides and the AI sits deep, doesn't press their midfield and doesn't commit a lot of players to the attack. That's obviously one area where the AI could be improved a bit, but in the context of a big side vs. smaller sides, a system with four forwards can work.
    If applied well it is excellent defensively in my opinion. Not as superb at keeping shape as the DM variant, but offers more pressing and ball retention - alternative defensive strategies - therefore it suits different defensive strategies in different variants.

    Again, as I said in my response to OttA, I basically agree with this and I'm not a fan of this kind of 4-2CM-3-1 since it leaves the defence so exposed. For the most part, I would recommend just using a more standard defensive shape as opposed to using an asymmetric shape on a fluidity setting that already promotes positional asymmetry.

    I agree that playing Arteta as an anchor man puts too many restrictions on the early build-up. However, I wouldn't say Arteta will inevitably get isolated. This is an instance where it is important to have a more specific idea of how role interacts with your fluidity/mentality settings. In this case, Ramsey and Cazorla will actually go deep enough to provide outlets for transition play while, since it's a balanced system, the fullbacks will be pushing ahead of Arteta to offer more options out wide. I agree that Ramsey getting forward will leave the defence vulnerable to counterattacks (though he will still be perfectly willing to help defend and press after tracking back), though this is more of a question of how aggressive his opponent will actually be.
    Absolutely categorically disagree, Arteta WILL be isolated. He does not have the freedom the spread the ball or passing range save to the nearest safe player(s) - these are only ever his defenders behind him, he is easy to isolate, as there is not enough linking runs or players dropping into space to offer the outball. Cazorla is far too far away to be able be considered a genuine passing option for an Anchorman (a DLP or Regista yes, an Anchorman, no chance), and in fact his most likely outball is Ozil dropping deep, looking for the ball vacating space overcrowded by Ramsey, Cazorla, Walcott & Giroud.

    This is one limitation of the way roles are presented in the current system. Roles are very sensitive to your fluidity/mentality settings, and I don't think this is adequately reflected in the TC.
    Agreed.

    I partially agree with Svenc here in that I don't put too much importance on getting the number of generalist/specialist roles just right. It's a good guideline if you're new and looking to avoid a lot of basic mistakes, but I think wwfan would agree that it's just a guideline for getting started and not a commandment. I agree that there are some issues with the balance of roles here, but the specific numbers are less important than the actual roles used. In this case, it's the limited roles (target man and anchor man) that stand out as problematic.
    I believe that the creative roles carry their limitations too (forward runs mainly, movement and wideplay too), which makes them just as difficult to integrate. Although accept it cannot be a set in stone rule, but I feel the guideline is there for a reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by llama3 View Post
    This is a point I stand my ground on, the framework was followed to the letter (which I am under the impression is not the intention of it's use), and as such it created what we saw. I also feel the most basic and solid tactics are created with the TC. I think an issue is that the advice for each position depends hugely on formation, you may not want a certain position/role to "shuttle the ball" if he is the most defensive player in the team, so I think formation needs to be taken into account quite significantly.
    Well, it's simply and demonstrably incorrect to say the whole guide was followed strictly to the letter. That's understandable, as there's a lot of information here, but numerous recommendations and guidelines weren't incorporated, particularly in terms of the whole section on duty assignment. That's fine. People don't pick up on every bit of advice with most guides, and they will occasionally make decisions that reflect inexperience with the game as opposed to plainly illogical tactical decisions (for example, a lot of players don't realize the Advanced Playmaker will cut inside and crowd the centre). In both your thread and the Twelve Step Guide, there are numerous examples of players reading the thread and then posting tactics much more flawed and problematic than those from OttA's initial post.

    By your reasoning, then, your thread created that narrow 4231 with 7 attack duties with TI's to play narrower, exploit the middle, retain possession, etc. And how about the 4-3-3 with no defend duty in midfield and only the striker on attack? Is that a damning indictment of your guide as well?

    Of course, it's not, and your argument here is silly. It just so happens that people who are less familiar with the game and tactics in general won't absorb every bit of advice and will still make mistakes. That's why it's important for the more experienced users on this forum to continue to provide personal feedback on top of writing guides and developing theories. You've done a great job in your thread in that regard.

    As far as the rest of the above quote, I'm not quite sure what you're trying to express. I agree that the TC is great for developing tactics, and nothing in the above suggests otherwise. This project only outlines and interprets what the TC produces on certain settings. The tactical priorities listed in the mentality structure outlines are not recommendations of how to use a player but indications of how aggressive the team will be and, accordingly, how responsibilities will end up being distributed throughout the formation to serve the team mentality. Combined with general tactical knowledge, this can be used (as I use it) to inform formation changes or role choice.

    Thus, if you have technically poor DMs or defenders who are only suitable to limited roles, you can use the outlines to recognize which fluidity and mentality combinations may have them carrying out responsibilities that will require more positional support/cover or just simply ask too much of them (on top of indicating that, perhaps, the choice of mentality is far too aggressive for general, match-to-match use). In the case of having defenders shuttling (which I define somewhat liberally here as picking up/winning the ball in midfield and getting it, via dribbling or passing, to a player near or in the attacking third), the outlines are telling you that you're asking your players to compress play so high up that your defenders will often be operating as de facto midfielders. In this case, the manager might say, "That's exactly what I'm looking for" or "Hmmm, wait a minute, maybe overload is just too aggressive after all."

    Again, like the TC itself, this framework is not a substitute for understanding tactics. It's a tool to be used in conjunction with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by llama3 View Post
    Without a flexible base tactic, or adapted set of tactics it is hard to make some systems work against each other. A well constructed tactic offering the varieties of movement and chances should always offer chances, but can be adapted more easily.
    It was my understanding that OttA was developing a set of tactics to alternate between based on the situation. One a more general, possession tactic and a Plan B that involves sitting back and hitting the opposition fast down the middle. I agree that both needed some refinement (which I'm in the process of advising), though it seemed obvious that we were already beyond the "you need more than one tactic to work with" stage. Obviously, all tactics require mid-match adjustments to be employed optimally, but IMO, this is something that comes with experience and can't be summed up with a few handy tips.

    Quote Originally Posted by llama3 View Post
    If applied well it is excellent defensively in my opinion. Not as superb at keeping shape as the DM variant, but offers more pressing and ball retention - alternative defensive strategies - therefore it suits different defensive strategies in different variants.
    I agree that it works well enough now because the AI doesn't recognize when to press a bigger side or exploit the space it leaves around the midfield. For the same reason, you can find insane 4-2-4's with two support duty CMs that will absolutely dominate the league. IMO, it's not reflective of any system that sees a lot of general use at the moment, though a lack of roles in the ML/R position makes the more common, real world variants on what's generally called a "4231" difficult to implement.

    Quote Originally Posted by llama3 View Post
    Absolutely categorically disagree, Arteta WILL be isolated. He does not have the freedom the spread the ball or passing range save to the nearest safe player(s) - these are only ever his defenders behind him, he is easy to isolate, as there is not enough linking runs or players dropping into space to offer the outball. Cazorla is far too far away to be able be considered a genuine passing option for an Anchorman (a DLP or Regista yes, an Anchorman, no chance), and in fact his most likely outball is Ozil dropping deep, looking for the ball vacating space overcrowded by Ramsey, Cazorla, Walcott & Giroud.
    Well, there was a problem (that I didn't catch at first), but it was not really the choice of role. It was the "Play Out of Defence" instruction which would have also reduced a DLP's passing range to the minimum. Without that instruction, with all the other team settings OttA used, an anchor man is actually going to have a direct passing range, and given the tempo and d-line settings, the whole point was that the ball would be played and moved into an attacking position before the wide players would even begin cutting inside. For such a quick transition with a team dropping back deep into shape, you don't particularly need a DLP. The tactic wasn't based around possession football. I actually tested the tactic (without Play Out of Defence) against Barca (using Schalke), and despite the relatively aggressive pressing, getting the ball out of defence wasn't a problem. Certainly, other problems were evident, but distribution options for the DM wasn't one of them. Against a smaller that will sit back and largely leave Arteta to himself, an Anchor Man in that particular set-up was not facing a huge risk of being isolated, especially given how the mentality/fluidity affected the early build-up contribution of the AML and CM(A).

    With that said, I would still prefer a more versatile role, especially given the personnel available, but this is a good example of how the various complexities and interactions of different settings are poorly understood, even by experienced players. And that's precisely the sort of problem this project is intended to address.

    Quote Originally Posted by llama3 View Post
    I believe that the creative roles carry their limitations too (forward runs mainly, movement and wideplay too), which makes them just as difficult to integrate. Although accept it cannot be a set in stone rule, but I feel the guideline is there for a reason.
    In both cases, he was one specialist over wwfan's recommended limit. In my opinion, that's negligible.

    Anyway, as a fan of your guide, I certainly respect and understand your reservations about some of the ideas I've presented, but to be honest, I think your attempt to make some sort of example out of OttA was a tad too hasty and not particularly well thought out. I realize this is the internet, but I would appreciate being given the opportunity to demonstrate how this framework can be applied.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 28-01-2014 at 13:47.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Í-zil to the Arsenal! View Post
    This looks fairly reasonable. A few notes:

    I would be concerned about giving Gibbs a CWB role. Keep an eye on his passing and crossing choices. If he's trying the spectacular too often, it might be advisable to tone him down to a standard WB.

    Is Ramsey on a support or attack duty? On an attack duty in a Balanced/Control system, he may not stay back long enough or drop back consistently enough to give Arteta the outlets you'll need for a possession-oriented system (i.e., everything will tend to be channeled up the left). You might also consider giving him a B2B Midfielder role so he'll make more use of the wide space between Sagna and Walcott (and also give Ozil more breathing room).

    Again, the asymmetric defensive shape on Balanced gives me pause. I understand using Walcott there as he's intended to be more of a second forward, but I would pull Arteta up to CML in order to tighten up your shape. As a DLP(S), he will not only be inclined to run with the ball, but it will have him pushing up a bit into midfield despite the use of a DM lowering your DC's tendency to push up the d-line. A Central Midfielder (Defend) told to play riskier passes will get you a similar effect as a DLP without so much of a risk of exposing your central defenders.

    EDIT: And just because it can't be emphasized enough, remember that you don't have to micro-manage the tactical priorities to ensure your players will take up more attacking responsibilities when appropriate. That is what duties/roles are for. Balanced is a good option if you're specifically looking for a pronounced pivot or a more asymmetric shape in all phases (which I think is what you're going for here), but even with a defensive tactical priority, an attack/support duty is still going to move up and help get the ball forward, he will just be more cautious about doing it while ensuring he doesn't sprint forward off the ball when the defence is under pressure and needs an escape route.

    Quote Originally Posted by Í-zil to the Arsenal! View Post
    Do you think that Balanced / Control (as above) would be a good choice for a Counter Attack System with high tempo, longer passing lower closing down etc?
    For that particular approach, I would say that Balanced might not be the best choice if you're really going to emphasize keeping shape, and on a Control mentality, you'll want to carefully distribute your roles/duties in more attacking positions to ensure they're not inclined to just stay forward with a focus on attacking responsibilities. It can work, but it needs to be carefully, ahem, balanced.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 28-01-2014 at 13:32.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    This project only outlines and interprets what the TC produces on certain settings. The tactical priorities listed in the mentality structure outlines are not recommendations of how to use a player but indications of how aggressive the team will be and, accordingly, how responsibilities will end up being distributed throughout the formation to serve the team mentality. Combined with general tactical knowledge, this can be used (as I use it) to inform formation changes or role choice. Thus, if you have technically poor DMs or defenders who are only suitable to limited roles, you can use the outlines to recognize which fluidity and mentality combinations may have them carrying out responsibilities that will ask too much of them (on top of indicating that, perhaps, the choice of mentality is far too aggressive for general, match-to-match use).
    Exactly, that's how I've used it so far, and it's been an eye opener. Since I have a tendency to be very impatient during matches and blast through them too quickly to pick up on the details, this has helped me identify potential problems immensely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabian Jonsson View Post
    Exactly, that's how I've used it so far, and it's been an eye opener. Since I have a tendency to be very impatient during matches and blast through them too quickly to pick up on the details, this has helped me identify potential problems immensely.
    Glad to hear you're finding it useful, Fabian.

    For those interested, in the next week or two, I will be putting together detailed examples of how I use and interpret the framework in specific situations. This will hopefully clarify some things and provide some ideas as to how it can be used to guide tactical decisions.

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    I'll bite the bullet next and submit a tactic for discussion here and examine the roles and priorities. I'm consistently fiddling with different tactics, probably to my detriment, but I like trying to get different ideas to work, but anyways, this is my most recent iteration of a counter attacking deep 4-2-3-1 (2 DM's). I thought it'd be a good idea to examine it from this angle, because I think this thread has been fantastic so far.



    An examination of the priorities as explained in this thread.

    GK - (SK/s) Distribute Safely
    RB - (FB/a) Recover Possession Immediately
    CD - (CD/d) Restrict Space
    LB - (WB/s) Disrupt Attacks Quickly (or Recover Possession?) For this one I'm not entirely sure which one would apply since I'm using the WB role in the LB position.
    DM - (DM/d) Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
    DM - (RG/s) Recover Possession after Defensive Transition
    AMR - (W/a) Shuttle Ball Through Defense
    AML - (IF/a) Shuttle Ball Through Defense
    AMC - (AP/s) Recover Possession Immediately
    ST - (P/a) Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole (not sure I agree with this one, I haven't noticed the poacher dropping away from the defensive line very often)

    Team Instructions:
    Play out of Defense
    Stay on Feet
    Work Ball into Box
    Hassle Opponents
    More Direct Passing

    Thought process - The team will hassle without over-committing to risky tackles, the CD's will play simpler passes to the Regista and the DM who will then look to get the ball quickly forward (I think Play out of Defense and More Direct accomplish this) and I despise long shots, so that should be self explanatory.

    As a whole, it looks pretty good on paper, at least to me. So far from an average position standpoint, it plays kind of like a 3-3-3-1 with the 2 DM's and the RB in a sort of line (the DMR is a little deeper and shaded to the right a bit, covering for the attacking RB). Last game had a couple opportunities from the AMR/L that I thought they should've finished, but they're young and still growing, but the ball is getting in to good positions.

    This tactic wasn't originally set up with this guide in mind, but I thought it would be interesting to examine it from the principles presented here.

    EDIT: I wasn't pleased after a hammering at home to Atletico in the CL, so I made a couple changes.



    Changes:

    W/a - W/s - Keep Possession Under Pressure
    AP/s - SS/a - Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
    P/a - CF/s - Shuttle Ball into Space

    The ST and AMC link up a lot better. Had a spectacular play where the ST had dropped deep and pulled both DC's to him and played a ball through to the AMC, who unfortunately missed, but I really liked the link-up play and movement they created with this role selection.

    Simplified some of the team instructions since I wanted to see how the role changes would work without being modified by a bunch of TI's. Still felt like I needed to push up a little higher since I don't have any CM's, and I don't like long shots, even if the player thinks it's a good option.
    Last edited by TwinsFan86; 29-01-2014 at 01:25.

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    I have now read through all of this three times today. Am I the only person who can't understand it? Is there a layman's version which is printed in plain English? I'm impressed with the amount of time and effort all of this must have taken but it goes way over my head. Maybe this is why my tactics end up failing, except for two seasons when I had some good success. Now I am back to square one and seriously thinking of never trying to make my own tactic again. I'm not sure whether or not the game is now beginning to get far too deep. I now seem to be trying to make a successful tactic more than I am playing the game itself.

    The Hand of God, you have my full admiration for this work and it deserves better than the likes of me to comment upon it. I ask only this of you. Don't forget those like myself who still struggle with FM tactics after thinking that I had the thing under some control.

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    OESCUS - He laid out and did all the groundwork for each mentality fused with the philosphy for each role type and where "in the mentality ladder" that role is expected to perform ....so looking at the previous post by TWINSFAN he shows you each role and where it falls in the ladder for his tactic ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brick_Tamland View Post
    OESCUS - He laid out and did all the groundwork for each mentality fused with the philosphy for each role type and where "in the mentality ladder" that role is expected to perform ....so looking at the previous post by TWINSFAN he shows you each role and where it falls in the ladder for his tactic ....
    Brick_Tamland, I've gone over the two examples but it is beyond me. I shall keep trying but I'm not very hopeful of understanding it all. Not to worry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oescus View Post
    I have now read through all of this three times today. Am I the only person who can't understand it? Is there a layman's version which is printed in plain English? I'm impressed with the amount of time and effort all of this must have taken but it goes way over my head. Maybe this is why my tactics end up failing, except for two seasons when I had some good success. Now I am back to square one and seriously thinking of never trying to make my own tactic again. I'm not sure whether or not the game is now beginning to get far too deep. I now seem to be trying to make a successful tactic more than I am playing the game itself.

    The Hand of God, you have my full admiration for this work and it deserves better than the likes of me to comment upon it. I ask only this of you. Don't forget those like myself who still struggle with FM tactics after thinking that I had the thing under some control.
    You absolutely do not need to use the ideas here to be successful at the game. I will definitely be looking to make the writing for future revisions more accessible and I think more concrete examples would also have helped in that regard, but even then, this is not required reading and I don't think it reflects any increasing complexity in the game. Basically, everything here could have been written about the game 5 or 6 years ago. In fact, the things that were being written about the game 5 or 6 years ago still often boggle my mind when I go back to read them.

    Anyway, to try to sum it up in a few points:

    (a) I reinterpreted the different combinations of mentality and fluidity settings as a set of basic, individual instructions telling players to focus on specific responsibilities. These responsibilities aren't the only thing a player will do, just what he's mainly concerned with under that tactical setting.

    (b) These responsibilities will give you a basic sense of where and when the player will mainly be looking to get involved in play and how cautious they are going forward.

    (c) Duty then tells you how stubbornly a player will stick to his main responsibility and how quickly he will get forward to participate in the attack when play progresses beyond a point where his main responsibility is a pressing issue.

    (d) Role then tells you how he goes about carrying out both his main responsibility and his duty. For example, role tells you how he will move around the pitch; how he likes to play the ball; how much he relies on his physical, mental or technical attributes to do things, etc. One important idea here is that the roles are all a bit more flexible than the in-game descriptions sometimes suggest.

    (e) I then listed what main responsibilities are assigned to each role for every combination of fluidity and mentality.

    (f) The idea is that this will better enable people to fine tune tactics to achieve very specific effects and styles of play, but again, this is absolutely unnecessary if you're just looking to get a basic, functioning set of tactics that you can carry over from match to match.

    (g) There is also a more general, theoretical argument that the effects of fluidity are a lot more subtle and flexible than the in-game descriptions suggest.

    The conclusion I would hope people draw from this is not that the TC is too complicated but that the TC is very flexible. It's very easy to set up basic tactics that work, but contrary to a lot of the criticism directed at FM14, you're not limited to only a few ways of playing. So again, if you're just wanting to get going with a set-up that isn't broken, you don't need to be too concerned with this.

    Of course, you're welcome to post any tactics you're having trouble with and I will see if I can give you any advice that you can put to use right away.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 29-01-2014 at 02:57.

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    TwinsFan86, I will try to respond to your post in detail tomorrow. Very busy day ahead, but I should be able to get to it in the evening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    Glad to hear you're finding it useful, Fabian.

    For those interested, in the next week or two, I will be putting together detailed examples of how I use and interpret the framework in specific situations. This will hopefully clarify some things and provide some ideas as to how it can be used to guide tactical decisions.
    Don't misunderstand my intentions or preconceptions THoG - I don't want to reply further to most of your above points (some I agree, some I disagree) because I don't want to derail this thread off course - I will be interested to see these examples, they may clear the waters somewhat as to my understanding of the application of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post
    You absolutely do not need to use the ideas here to be successful at the game. I will definitely be looking to make the writing for future revisions more accessible and I think more concrete examples would also have helped in that regard, but even then, this is not required reading and I don't think it reflects any increasing complexity in the game. Basically, everything here could have been written about the game 5 or 6 years ago. In fact, the things that were being written about the game 5 or 6 years ago still often boggle my mind when I go back to read them.

    Anyway, to try to sum it up in a few points:

    (a) I reinterpreted the different combinations of mentality and fluidity settings as a set of basic, individual instructions telling players to focus on specific responsibilities. These responsibilities aren't the only thing a player will do, just what he's mainly concerned with under that tactical setting.

    (b) These responsibilities will give you a basic sense of where and when the player will mainly be looking to get involved in play and how cautious they are going forward.

    (c) Duty then tells you how stubbornly a player will stick to his main responsibility and how quickly he will get forward to participate in the attack when play progresses beyond a point where his main responsibility is a pressing issue.

    (d) Role then tells you how he goes about carrying out both his main responsibility and his duty. For example, role tells you how he will move around the pitch; how he likes to play the ball; how much he relies on his physical, mental or technical attributes to do things, etc. One important idea here is that the roles are all a bit more flexible than the in-game descriptions sometimes suggest.

    (e) I then listed what main responsibilities are assigned to each role for every combination of fluidity and mentality.

    (f) The idea is that this will better enable people to fine tune tactics to achieve very specific effects and styles of play, but again, this is absolutely unnecessary if you're just looking to get a basic, functioning set of tactics that you can carry over from match to match.

    (g) There is also a more general, theoretical argument that the effects of fluidity are a lot more subtle and flexible than the in-game descriptions suggest.

    The conclusion I would hope people draw from this is not that the TC is too complicated but that the TC is very flexible. It's very easy to set up basic tactics that work, but contrary to a lot of the criticism directed at FM14, you're not limited to only a few ways of playing. So again, if you're just wanting to get going with a set-up that isn't broken, you don't need to be too concerned with this.

    Of course, you're welcome to post any tactics you're having trouble with and I will see if I can give you any advice that you can put to use right away.
    Many thanks for your welcome and comforting response to my concerns. I can only speak for myself, of course, I may well be the only person have a little trouble understanding your ideas but I would welcome simple to understand examples showing how and why I should go about aligning my tactics and player instructions with your system. Anything that might improve my tactics is most welcome.

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    @The Hand of God
    If i want to line up a 4-2-3-1 assymetrical with my Liverpool side, what sort of fluidity do you think i should use based on the formation itself?

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    This post has made such a difference for my understanding of how to implement what I desire into FM14, very grateful, thanks. Looking forward to reading through it again presently.

    I do though have a question... A players tactical priority, does he just have the one? or would he have a tactical priority for each phase of play ie, Def, Control and Attacking?

    Your explanation of Roles and their effect on shape inspired me to create this... A 14.2.2 Defensive monster,
    Last edited by Beest4ever; 29-01-2014 at 20:33.

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    Here is the set of the tactics...


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    Also wondered if your ideas explain somewhat the really bad defending of corners after the initial header has been won/lost. It seems as though, if the defensive team wins that initial header their team mates situated around the edge of the box and ignore defensive duties. Almost as if they feel possession has been won and that they can solely focus on their attacking priority of making space etc.... Maybe because play is restarted via the set play, players haven't climbed far enough down the mentality ladder by default

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinsFan86 View Post
    This looks a lot stronger than your initial tactic. I gave your earlier one a go and managed to beat Leverkusen away (1-2) using no changes, though there were some problems. "Play Out of Defence" restricted the passing of your Regista and wingback too much, but with the Advanced Playmaker having a borderline defensive/control priority, he was back deep enough to effectively do the job the Regista should have been doing. This still left your build-up options fairly limited which would have been a problem if the AP had been more effectively targeted or the DMs more aggressively pressed, though in my case, Draxler had the dribbling ability to work the ball out from deep positions.

    Still, it was far too one-dimensional for my liking, and with three attack duties across the forward line, it obviously wasn't going to be well suited for picking apart a smaller opponent (as you probably saw, the poacher and wide forwards would all just tend to hang on the shoulder of the defensive line once the attack got into the opposition third and they redirected their attention to penetration/overload-type tasks).

    Anyway, on to your second tactic. Here is what your basic build-up shape will probably look like:



    As you can see, the mobility of your regista and complete forward means they will be the heart of your attack with both able to shift side to side in a way that creates passing diamonds utilizing both flanks. The main potential weakness is your shadow striker pushing up to create more of a 2-4-1-3 in attack. This means a packed midfield will probably cut off direct links between your regista and complete forward, so you may need to play wider against 3-man midfields to avoid needless passing down the middle that might give away a lot of counterattacking opportunities.

    Your complete forward will really need to have excellent passing and creativity, as he will be taking the ball forward and distributing it to your two attacking forwards. Your shadow striker will obviously need to be your best finisher while your inside forward will need superb dribbling to drop off his defender, pick up the ball and take it inside. So you may want to identify your opponent's weakest fullback and "flip" your formation accordingly.

    Your winger should be fairly conservative. With a possession-oriented priority, I would expect him to hold off on risky runs and passes to mainly provide a link-up hub on the right. That's fine. This player may not get good ratings, but you can see how he and his counterpart (the wingback) provide balance relative to their flank partner. With a more defensive tactical priority, the wingback will probably tend to sit back until play moves up a bit, after which he should cover space vacated by the inside forward to serve basically the same function as your winger.

    The fullback is obviously the main man providing width and mixing up the attack if your shadow striker and inside forward hit a wall. He should overlap a lot and he'll need good crossing/pace/stamina to do it. The DM and winger should provide enough cover to let him do his thing, though pulling the winger back to MR should help if a wide forward keeps pinning him back to a defensive posture (which he will be fairly sensitive to on a mid-control priority).

    Again, the biggest potential stumbling block will be a loss of control in midfield. The shadow striker will press high, but he won't help provide defensive structure in front of your midfield, so your Regista typically won't have the option of forming a 1-2 in defence. If he moves forward to press, your DM won't be able to cover all the angles. If that happens and you find yourself getting pushed deep, a Central Midfielder instructed to roam and an Advanced Forward will preserve the fundamentals of your attack while adding a bit more defensive solidity in midfield. However, the above set-up will probably be more effective against less aggressive opponents.

    Overall, on paper, this looks like a good starting point.

    Speaking generally, it's usually a good idea to add TI's slowly after seeing your basic tactic in action. The interactions between different instructions don't always quite pan out how you'd expect. Hopefully, this lack of detailed information in the interface will be addressed in FM15.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 30-01-2014 at 01:33.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sneek View Post
    @The Hand of God
    If i want to line up a 4-2-3-1 assymetrical with my Liverpool side, what sort of fluidity do you think i should use based on the formation itself?
    It depends on the roles you want to use and the style of play you want to implement. Personally, I avoid asymmetric formations unless I'm targeting/countering a specific feature of my opponent's system. It's more efficient to just retrain players rather than trying to fit them all into a weird formation. Combining Balanced with a standard defensive shape will give you the benefits of more dynamic attacking movement without sacrificing a solid defensive structure.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 30-01-2014 at 03:17.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oescus View Post
    Many thanks for your welcome and comforting response to my concerns. I can only speak for myself, of course, I may well be the only person have a little trouble understanding your ideas but I would welcome simple to understand examples showing how and why I should go about aligning my tactics and player instructions with your system. Anything that might improve my tactics is most welcome.
    Just think of yourself as a Very Fluid manager. You like to set up a basic framework, tell your players what you basically want and trust them to have the quality to see the match through. A more rigid manager, on the other hand, will want to organize things more meticulously to carry out a highly specific plan. Both are valid playing styles that have their counterparts among managers in real life.

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    Great Post!. but i have problems with understanding what some responsibilities mean.

    I've tried to find some hints on google but failed.

    I'm not good at English because English is not my first language

    So I'll appreciate it if you guys help me to understand these things.




    1. What is the difference between 'challenge defenders' and 'overload defenders'???. Actually, i can't understand both.....


    2. What does 'Spearhead Attacking Moves' mean??. And how things be changed with ' Closer to Defence. ' or ' from the hole.'


    3. Isn't 'Disrupt attack' conclude 'Divert Attacking Movement, Contain Attacking Movement, Slow Attacking Movement'???. what does it mean?


    4. What does 'Test Defence' mean???? I just have no idea.


    5. Is it right that 'shuttle balls' means passing?


    6. What does 'limit pressure' means?





    Thanks!

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    Yeah, describing the different tactical priorities was something I was very conflicted about. Basically, there are only 11 clearly distinct tactical priorities (or, it might be better to call them "primary responsibilities") with the middle 9 having more adventurous/aggressive and less adventurous/aggressive variants. I wanted to include these more/less aggressive margins because those minor differences are important to seeing how the more rigid settings subtly affect your midfield set-up, but I also wanted to illustrate what "more adventurous/aggressive" or "less adventurous/aggressive" would actually involve in practice. At the same time, I was concerned that people might get a bit too fixated on the specifics of how I described those more/less aggressive differences when everything is a question of tendencies or preferences instead of hard rules. In that case, it might be easier for some to think of the tactical priorities in terms of more general categories. So, the mentality ladder, from most to least aggressive:

    PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES
    ------ATTACKING------
    - Break (try to immediately get yourself or the ball beyond the defence at every opportunity, zero interest in keeping possession)

    - Overload (try to overwhelm defence with numbers and fast, desperate passes/shots to force a mistake - defensively, press and win the ball rapidly in the attacking third)

    - Penetration (quickly move into or play the ball into openings to exploit every possible half chance - defensively, press and win the ball rapidly even deeper in the opposition half)

    - Creation (pick up the ball deep in the opposition area and move it forward with an eye towards creating a clear chance if possible and keeping the ball moving around the opposition third if not - defensively, press and win the ball rapidly inside the opposition half)

    ------CONTROL------
    - Shuttling (win/pick up the ball near or just inside the opposition half and move/pass it deep into the opposition area, then moving into the attacking third if there's plentiful space or attacking support)

    - Possession (win the ball in the middle of the park and keep it circulating around the middle until it can be safely moved or played higher up)

    - Recovery (win the ball as it enters your half and keep it circulating in deep positions until it can be safely moved out of your half)

    ------DEFENSIVE------
    - Disruption (break up attacks as they approach the defensive third and just clear the ball forward if under pressure)

    - Restriction (close down opponents moving into the defensive third and try to force a mistake without risking a foul)

    - Containment (stay in the path of opponents moving into the defensive third to try to simply slow their advance or divert them into a safe area without risking needless tackles or giving them the slightest opportunity to beat you and break into the box)

    - Obstruction (stay near or in your penalty area to simply intercept passes and block shots)

    Then, duties tell your players to do the following:

    - Attack (take the initiative in assuming more attacking responsibilities when you've carried out your main responsibility)
    - Support (focus on your main responsibility and then, when play moves forward and there's defensive support behind you, assume more attacking responsibilities to prevent the attack from getting isolated)
    - Defend (focus strictly on your main responsibility unless it is safe/necessary to move up behind the support players to prevent the team from getting too stretched/fractured)

    The goalkeeper priorities are mostly a question of defining distribution preferences and involvement in build-up play. As you may have noticed, keepers on lower team mentalities will frequently ignore your distribution instructions when it conflicts with what you've indirectly defined as their primary responsibility. So:

    ------KEEPER------
    - Support Attacks (gets even further off line to offer a backpass option and attempts high risk passes to help get the ball into the area quickly)

    - Initiate Attacks (gets off line to offer a deep backpass option and, if possible, looks to play the ball to open teammates in the opposition half)

    - Cycle Possession (when not under pressure, gets off line to offer a deep backpass option and looks to play the ball back to defenders)

    - Distribute Safely (typically plays it very safe in terms of positioning, will hold onto ball if it comes to him and there's no pressure before looking to get it to a safely open defender)

    - Limit Pressure (cautious in terms of leaving his line, looks for close support from defenders to deal with balls played into the area, not interested in helping keep possession, will hoof it if it comes to him, will clear it if there's any chance of a forward knicking the ball off a defender)

    - Shield Goal (very hesitant to get off his line unless absolutely necessary, focused entirely on shot stopping and hoofing the ball away at every opportunity)

    Is this easier to understand? Would it be simpler and easier to understand to just put them in more general terms and add something like (More Aggressively/Less Aggressively) to the middle 9? I'm very open to feedback for change in this regard, as again, I was a bit conflicted on how to present the marginal differences.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 31-01-2014 at 20:43.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Hand of God View Post

    Is this easier to understand? Would it be simpler and easier to understand to just put them in more general terms and add something like (More Aggressively/Less Aggressively) to the middle 9? I'm very open to feedback for change in this regard, as again, I was a bit conflicted on how to present the marginal differences.
    Totally understand where you are coming from... But, with perseverance I (and I guess like many others are) am slowly understanding your concepts, so in general, I think you have done a very good job of making the language easy enough to comprehend... Obviously the most effective way for you to tutor all of the different priorities with regard to how they are actually implemented within the GE, would be to video capture a selection of in match footage and provide commentary in which you outline the relevant roles and highlight certain players that are behaving in the way in which you are describing... Thus you could physically show us the subtle details (which are somewhat awkward to describe in lay mans terms) in action... This would require a lot of work though, mind you, looking at what you have already pitched I suspect that is something you would relish!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beest4ever View Post
    Totally understand where you are coming from... But, with perseverance I (and I guess like many others are) am slowly understanding your concepts, so in general, I think you have done a very good job of making the language easy enough to comprehend... Obviously the most effective way for you to tutor all of the different priorities with regard to how they are actually implemented within the GE, would be to video capture a selection of in match footage and provide commentary in which you outline the relevant roles and highlight certain players that are behaving in the way in which you are describing... Thus you could physically show us the subtle details (which are somewhat awkward to describe in lay mans terms) in action... This would require a lot of work though, mind you, looking at what you have already pitched I suspect that is something you would relish!!!
    In future posts, I will be going through my design process and looking at specific matches, and I expect that will clear a lot up for people who prefer to learn from concrete examples.

    Another thing I would point out is that these tendencies are more apparent when you watch a full match. This isn't to say you have to watch the full match to play the game or identify tactical problems during a match, but if you watch extended or key highlights, you're typically going to be seeing moments where your players break from their normal tendencies to do something more exciting out of necessity or desperation.

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    I'm slowly trying to get to grips with the tactical stuff in FM14. I last played FM12 and this version seems to be a huge step forward, and massively more detailed.

    Not sure what work will think about my printing out you whole posts above. Reckon it would be well over 50 pages in word. Good job I don't like my work, and don't care what they think...

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    Quote Originally Posted by looking busy View Post
    I'm slowly trying to get to grips with the tactical stuff in FM14. I last played FM12 and this version seems to be a huge step forward, and massively more detailed.

    Not sure what work will think about my printing out you whole posts above. Reckon it would be well over 50 pages in word. Good job I don't like my work, and don't care what they think...
    FM13 brought a big change in collision detection. Previously, players would "ghost walk" through one another, so you could set up a team to channel through balls down the middle and have a bunch of forwards who would literally run through the defensive line to get onto them. You can't do this now, so unless you're playing a smaller, smash & grab team, you have to be more careful how you set up your side. If you're having trouble with the basics, I would strongly recommend reading wwfan and llama's stickies first, as this guide is less about tactical fundamentals and more figuring out how to translate a specific plan into the TC.

    Anyway, because of collision detection demanding more elaborate build-up strategies, it's now harder to play as a big side and totally dominate. At the same time, since defenders can actually use their bodies to defend now, it's actually a little easier to play as a smaller side than before as long as you remember to take a more defensive approach and adjust your expectations. This is also likely why the AI has had a tendency to over-perform with teams like Stoke and Wolves since FM13.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 30-01-2014 at 17:09.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beest4ever View Post
    This post has made such a difference for my understanding of how to implement what I desire into FM14, very grateful, thanks. Looking forward to reading through it again presently.

    I do though have a question... A players tactical priority, does he just have the one? or would he have a tactical priority for each phase of play ie, Def, Control and Attacking?

    Your explanation of Roles and their effect on shape inspired me to create this... A 14.2.2 Defensive monster,
    Happy to hear your players are doing what you want. This kind of makes me want to go on a cup run with a plucky gang of thugs.

    Keep an eye out on how your league opponents respond to your form though. If they start sitting back, you will need to vary your build-up approach.

    To answer your question, players only have one tactical priority, but the phase of play it corresponds to (attack, control/transition, defend) will give you a sense of how quick they are to contribute to other phases of play and how much risk they take when doing it. So a very defensive player will be slower going forward and more likely to work the ball around the box to carve out a credible chance while a very attacking player will look to force a chance quickly but may not be so diligent about tracking back and providing an extra bit of support for his defenders (as he may think staying forward will improve his chances of hitting the opponent on the break). At the same time, when defending, attack and control-oriented players will risk fouls and breakaways to try to win back possession quickly while increasingly defensive players will be more patient and rely on defensive structure and cooperation to neutralize attacks.

    But as noted above, attacking and defensive aggressiveness will be occasionally influenced by, respectively, flair and aggression while roles will also make a player more or less likely to perform specific actions to achieve their objectives.

    In terms of attack/support duty attacking priorities and defensive play, the corresponding defend duty priorities will give you an indication of how the attack and support duty players will defend, though often, play will have already progressed beyond that point by the time they get back into their defensive positions.

    But again, for the sake of much needed simplicity, players only have one tactical priority.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 30-01-2014 at 18:26.

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    The Hand of God - this looks amazing. I have only skim read as at work but have printed it out and will read it all later.

    As others have done can you look at my formation and do a critique? I am not one to build my own, but have done so, with limited success in the last 2 versions. I usually play 451/433 but this came about due to injuries to 3 of my 4 wingers so had to think of something different. Anyway I liked it immediately and had some great success - won my first 9 games scoring 34 and conceding just 8. Since then it has been good and I have messed around with roles. players etc but still good enough to take me to Serie C1 play offs with an un-fancied side - Foggia. I have done some research about the formation and I think this is what I want to build for the future of this save and try and get Foggia to Serie A and win the league and Champs League with it.

    This is the tactic and roles etc.

    http://imageshack.com/a/img89/1033/tfqp.png

    I want to play deep, draw the opposition and then hit them with fast quick attacks. I have placed the 2 CM there but really I want to give them both free roles to go where they want and create space and chances. I am a bif fan of David Silva who doesn't seem to have a set position just floats around - that is what I want to create with 1 of the CM.

    The strengths as I see it
    Strong in the middle
    I have the two strikers to move into channels to the CM can run through the gap
    The FB bomb forward and score and create a lot - scored 11 assist 8 between them
    We score a lot - top scorers with 92 goals in 38 games.

    Weaknesses
    We do tend to get 'overlapped' and a lot of goals conceded do come from the wings. I need a way of defending the wide areas better.
    The attacking mentality leaves us open
    Conceded a lot - 59 in 38

    What do I change?
    I was thinking of moving one of the DM to a HB to push the CB wider to support the FB but this seemed to leave us a bit exposed in the middle
    How do I get the CM to be totally free spirits?

    Anyone got any help, feedback, criticism (it doesn't even have to be constructive).

    I want to keep playing this way an need help perfecting the formation.
    Thanks
    Last edited by kstoyle; 30-01-2014 at 21:05.

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    Thank you!. Helped a lot!

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    THOG,

    As I've written above this post is completely mind-blowing and has me floored. I'm trying to read through it again and get a better understanding however there is something that I have to ask:

    As someone who began playing FM a bit late in the series (FM12), I've found the new tactics to be incredibly intuitive and I don't have that desire for sliders that many still do.
    However, it can be difficult to translate what I want to see into the actual tactical framework, especially when it comes to choosing shouts and determining whether or not they are necessary.
    This is directly linked to mentality, IMO, because if for instance I play as Arsenal, and I want the boys to really control games in the other half, push up, retain the ball, etc I COULD have the mentality set to "control" or I suppose I could set the mentality to something like.. Standard or Counter, and then add shouts to tweak it, right? To me that process is a bit weird. It's like there are a million ways to do things, which can be really confusing / daunting.

    It's sort of like, wwfan did that post on Barcelona and he used a Counter mentality. If you do a bit of google searching you'd be hard pressed to find an FM tactic for Barca that isn't using "Control."
    Am I putting too much stock into the mentality names? And what is a good way to determine if I'm overdoing it with the shouts?

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    THOG I just want to thank you again for a great post and analysis. You have definitely 110% improved my enjoyment of this version of this game as I was really struggling to link things up. The ladder and your breakdown of each fluidity/mentality has been fabulous.


    B

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    Quote Originally Posted by kstoyle View Post
    ...
    I don't want to propose too many changes as you seem to like how things are working. I would say a Halfback shouldn't push your CBs wider unless they're pressing high up. If you're staying deep, your CBs are going to stay narrow out of necessity and you will need to rely on your DMs to help stop overload situations. I would suggest changing your BWM to a standard DM or, if he's really just terrible on the ball, an Anchor Man. Your CMs are going to be doing the pressing, so you don't need a BWM who will come forward to close down opponents. You want someone to provide structure next to your DLP. If I had to guess, I'd say a lot of situations where you're hit from the flanks result from the BWM coming forward unnecessarily to help close down midfielders, leaving the wingback on his own.

    It sounds like you want something like an Interiores role (defends wide then drifts around the middle in attack) which, unfortunately, doesn't exist. It doesn't seem quite possible to get a CM to act in a "free role" manner. The closest would be to tell your team to be more expressive and switch both CMs to "Central Midfielder" Attack with instructions to roam and get further forward, but they will still mainly work through the middle and not cross over into one another's halves very often.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 01-02-2014 at 02:41.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bababooey View Post
    THOG,

    As I've written above this post is completely mind-blowing and has me floored. I'm trying to read through it again and get a better understanding however there is something that I have to ask:

    As someone who began playing FM a bit late in the series (FM12), I've found the new tactics to be incredibly intuitive and I don't have that desire for sliders that many still do.
    However, it can be difficult to translate what I want to see into the actual tactical framework, especially when it comes to choosing shouts and determining whether or not they are necessary.
    This is directly linked to mentality, IMO, because if for instance I play as Arsenal, and I want the boys to really control games in the other half, push up, retain the ball, etc I COULD have the mentality set to "control" or I suppose I could set the mentality to something like.. Standard or Counter, and then add shouts to tweak it, right? To me that process is a bit weird. It's like there are a million ways to do things, which can be really confusing / daunting.

    It's sort of like, wwfan did that post on Barcelona and he used a Counter mentality. If you do a bit of google searching you'd be hard pressed to find an FM tactic for Barca that isn't using "Control."
    Am I putting too much stock into the mentality names? And what is a good way to determine if I'm overdoing it with the shouts?
    IMO, the interface needs to include more detailed information so people can see how everything interacts. There's just too many ways to interpret what different settings mean. Of course, it needs to be a descriptive system rather than a bunch of abstract numbers, and looking at tactics from people who are struggling, it's clear that one of the biggest issues with FM14 is that a lot players just have no idea how things actually add up, even if they know a lot about actual football tactics apart from FM.

    Then again, the same could be said for earlier FMs as it doesn't seem like many people really took a very close look at the sliders other than the odd adjustment here and there. And classic tactics people, obviously, weren't the least bit interested in what the TC was doing. So everyone tends to just look at the TC and read their own biases/assumptions into it, and for me, the process of actually sitting down and meticulously looking at setting after setting really underlined how you can't expect a one or two sentence tooltip to help people see how the pieces actually fit together. To use your Barca tactic example, I didn't know that using Shorter Passing on Control with a DLP would still have all my attackers on the direct side of the mixed passing range.

    As far as the mentality names go, wwfan himself said you should view them as being more "plastic" than the names suggest, but then, if you change the names to something more general, you're just leaving them open to another round of misinterpretations. That's why I think the game would really benefit from systematizing all the details in a more cohesive, descriptive way. But obviously, that is easier said than done.

    As far as avoiding unwanted interactions, I would suggest avoiding most TIs and PIs until you've actually seen your tactic in action against a few opponents of varying ability level. I know most people like to breeze through the game and I do the same once I'm comfortable with my options, but when you are first starting a save or when you hit a bad patch of form, it does pay to watch at least one full match and make adjustments based on what you see there.
    Last edited by The Hand of God; 01-02-2014 at 16:15.

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    THOG,

    I would set up a link to this post on the OP if I were you, under something like "Tactical priorities summary": http://community.sigames.com/showthr...=1#post9397923

    I found it unbelievably helpful, much like the rest of your guide, but being able to categorize each of the tactical priorities under those general priorities more easily does add a lot in my opinion.

    Thanks

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    Thanks for your response, I will have a play around with the roles later. I did read in another thread that avoiding the overload down the wings might be prevented by stopping the supply, so that is something I am going to look at next.

    Just out of interest, would you say that any formation (within reason, not 9 up front) can work if you get the roles, player instructions and mentality?

    Your guide is excellent btw. Lots of people who moan about the game should take the time to read it rather than moan on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kstoyle View Post
    Just out of interest, would you say that any formation (within reason, not 9 up front) can work if you get the roles, player instructions and mentality?
    Yes, but I think some popular formations are too attacking for smaller sides and that's a big source of trouble for a lot of players.

    Quote Originally Posted by kstoyle View Post
    Your guide is excellent btw. Lots of people who moan about the game should take the time to read it rather than moan on.
    But then they'll just moan about the guide!

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    Gonna try out using "lower" mentalities with big clubs. I've got an Arsenal save loaded and we're gonna go with "standard" and see what happens. I've almost exclusively used "control" for my entire FM career...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bababooey View Post
    Gonna try out using "lower" mentalities with big clubs. I've got an Arsenal save loaded and we're gonna go with "standard" and see what happens. I've almost exclusively used "control" for my entire FM career...
    I won the Prem/champs league 3 times in a row playing defensive

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