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[FM21] A Complete Guide to Mentality


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What is your view on changing mentality during games according to situation though.  Do you keep the same mentality throughout or change based on what's happening in game, or is this simply a starting point?

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3 minutes ago, Aquaplex said:

Incredible read, thanks for sharing with the rest of us.  :)

Cheers mate, glad you like it!

Just now, Aquaplex said:

What is your view on changing mentality during games according to situation though.  Do you keep the same mentality throughout or change based on what's happening in game, or is this simply a starting point?

Defining the start point will allow you to know what and when to change. I am usually on positive as my play style is similar to the one in the example. For instance, against weaker teams, I might go on balanced or cautious and push the DL and LOE forward to normal (to balance the drop in mentality) in order to retain the ball more.

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Good read, I like the point on selecting a mentality for a desired attacking style and using contrasting instructions to create a specific style of play. I'm interested to know if you have had any success with high pressing/possession based tactics using lower mentalities since most of the time when you see those they're done with balanced mentality or higher, as I think the main worry is that you end up with possession for possession's sake rather than possession with intent to create chances.

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27 minutes ago, wixxi said:

Good read, I like the point on selecting a mentality for a desired attacking style and using contrasting instructions to create a specific style of play. I'm interested to know if you have had any success with high pressing/possession based tactics using lower mentalities since most of the time when you see those they're done with balanced mentality or higher, as I think the main worry is that you end up with possession for possession's sake rather than possession with intent to create chances.

Thank you!

I did not try this kind of systems for long periods, since it is not my cup of tea. I prefer more Atletico style. I remember doing ot once on FM15 which was very successful.

At any case, given the right roles, you could certainly pull it off. You need technical playmakers and good movement around them. On a cautious mentality, players with attack duty will do the damage, so I believe it will be heavily reliant on your roles and duties distribution.

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As I was reading the post I was thinking about the original tiki taka style and if you would use aggressive mentality and adjust with TIs or the other way around, and gladly we share the same thought.

A good, simple rule of thumb I use is that usually for possession based systems a balanced or lower mentality will do just fine as players will patiently wait for the right opportunity to break, which is the opposite of what an aggressive mentality stands for.

However, in some cases like Atlético's style I could go in both directions. Simeone's style focuses primarily on defensive solidity and their attacking processes are quite basic (compared to other top teams). Something like a Defensive mentality with attacking duties on advanced players could possibly be an option too.

Edited by kingjericho
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8 hours ago, kingjericho said:

As I was reading the post I was thinking about the original tiki taka style and if you would use aggressive mentality and adjust with TIs or the other way around, and gladly we share the same thought.

A good, simple rule of thumb I use is that usually for possession based systems a balanced or lower mentality will do just fine as players will patiently wait for the right opportunity to break, which is the opposite of what an aggressive mentality stands for.

However, in some cases like Atlético's style I could go in both directions. Simeone's style focuses primarily on defensive solidity and their attacking processes are quite basic (compared to other top teams). Something like a Defensive mentality with attacking duties on advanced players could possibly be an option too.

It is nice to share the same thought process :thup:

Sure Atleti style could be done on lower mentalities, but they are, more often than not, quite aggressive with their attacks, with no intention to hold the ball. Thats why I prefer the positive mentality for such style.

I am actually inspired to create a backup tactic in the cautious counter style, that keeps hold of the ball, similar to example 2 in the article.

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This is a fantastic write-up, you've done a great job detailing differences between playing styles. :thup:

Definitely covers most of the problems people tend to experience when creating counter-attacking systems. I'd say the "direct attacking deep block" is what most probably want, but end up getting dragged into low-risk Mentalities thinking it's the only way to be defensively solid.

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Awesome post :thup: I really like the idea of almost separating the attacking/defensive mentality. The more I think about it, the better this represents some of the most famous systems.

Pep's Barca - aggressive defending to win the ball back, but relatively cautious attack (focused on retaining possession) 

Klopp / Gegenpress - aggressive attacks and aggressive defence 

Alex Ferguson's United - aggressive, quick attacks but a more cautious defence/press

 

 

 

Edited by Manutd1999
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3 hours ago, dannyfc said:

Love these posts, top work.

Be interested to read your insights on Tempo, and whether you ever change it independently of mentality.

Thank you :)

I don't really dabble too much into tempo. When I do, I push it one tick down to retain possession more, or one tick up to quickly exploit spaces behind ultra aggressive teams (such as attacking 424).

 

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2 hours ago, Zemahh said:

This is a fantastic write-up, you've done a great job detailing differences between playing styles. :thup:

Definitely covers most of the problems people tend to experience when creating counter-attacking systems. I'd say the "direct attacking deep block" is what most probably want, but end up getting dragged into low-risk Mentalities thinking it's the only way to be defensively solid.

Thank you! :)

I full agree, and that is why I wanted to show the differences between them. I like to differentiate between these two styles as "counter attacking / quick transitions" (like example 1) and "playing on the counter" (like example 2). Once you decide that your team is attacking in its intent, it becomes simple to create that style of play.

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2 hours ago, Manutd1999 said:

Awesome post :thup: I really like the idea of almost separating the attacking/defensive mentality separately. The more I think about it, the better this represents some of the most famous systems.

Pep's Barca - aggressive defending to win the ball back, but relatively cautious attack (focused on retaining possession) 

Klopp / Gegenpress - aggressive attacks and aggressive defence 

Alex Ferguson's United - aggressive, quick attacks but a more cautious defence/press

 

 

 

Thank you! :)

I find that this structure of thinking makes it very easy to create any style, and helps in the long run, as you know exactly what you can change and tweak, and what effects these tweaks will have.

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Ty for a great post @engamohd, as someone that admittedly struggles to get their head around team mentality informative writing has been greatly appreciated. I'm gonna quickly summarised some of the key points to check that I've understood correctly

  1. Mentality is basically a risk modifier, it affects certain Team Instructions causing more risky behaviour (more urgent closing down) or causing less risky behaviour (shorter passing)
  2. As per your recommendation, it's best to decide if you want a risky or less risky attacking style if you want to work out what team mentality to choose for your system
  3. You can then use Team Instructions as an extra layer on top of team mentality, almost like an eraser for unwanted instructions team mentality has given

This guide reminds me of a FM17 thread by Ozil to the Arsenal. He walked us through his thought process when creating a Bielsa tactic and used only a few team instructions because he knew how to make the team mentality work in his favour. I never quite understood what he meant at the time but hopefully after reading this thread I can

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7 hours ago, coach vahid said:

Great post. :applause:

Simple but very instructive. 

You have to explain the duties now.. 

Thank you! Am preparing a new part in the series ;)

6 hours ago, camoulton21 said:

Ty for a great post @engamohd, as someone that admittedly struggles to get their head around team mentality informative writing has been greatly appreciated. I'm gonna quickly summarised some of the key points to check that I've understood correctly

  1. Mentality is basically a risk modifier, it affects certain Team Instructions causing more risky behaviour (more urgent closing down) or causing less risky behaviour (shorter passing)
  2. As per your recommendation, it's best to decide if you want a risky or less risky attacking style if you want to work out what team mentality to choose for your system
  3. You can then use Team Instructions as an extra layer on top of team mentality, almost like an eraser for unwanted instructions team mentality has given

This guide reminds me of a FM17 thread by Ozil to the Arsenal. He walked us through his thought process when creating a Bielsa tactic and used only a few team instructions because he knew how to make the team mentality work in his favour. I never quite understood what he meant at the time but hopefully after reading this thread I can

Thank you! I am glad it is of help.

1. Yes mentality can be seen as a risk modifier, affecting also affecting certain TIs and PIs.

2. Yes, that is the way I see the game.

3. Exactly. That layer of TIs could either balance out or emphasize the style set by mentality

Ozil to the Arsenal created some really great threads, I remember loving the Wales one before I join the forums. Comparing this thread to OttA great threads is flattering, thank you!

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Your post came just in time because I was try to work out a style where I was aggressive in defense, but ball possession in attack. So I used your third example to setup my tactic and it works like a dream.

 

Now to my question. So my Mentality is Cautious as you recommend. That is my standard.

So do I adjust for weaker and stronger opponents or just leave mentality alone?

Example, my next game is against a much weaker opponent. I am way the favorite. Normally I would just adjust my Mentality to Positive or Attacking. I am worried though that this will mess up my tactic and end up with players hoofing the ball.

Should I adjust Mentality?

If I do not adjust Mentality what do I adjust?

 

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2 minutes ago, Herolover said:

Your post came just in time because I was try to work out a style where I was aggressive in defense, but ball possession in attack. So I used your third example to setup my tactic and it works like a dream.

Could you share what you came up with? I was thinking of setting something up similar, but couldn't get around to do it. 

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29 minutes ago, Herolover said:

Your post came just in time because I was try to work out a style where I was aggressive in defense, but ball possession in attack. So I used your third example to setup my tactic and it works like a dream.

 

Now to my question. So my Mentality is Cautious as you recommend. That is my standard.

So do I adjust for weaker and stronger opponents or just leave mentality alone?

Example, my next game is against a much weaker opponent. I am way the favorite. Normally I would just adjust my Mentality to Positive or Attacking. I am worried though that this will mess up my tactic and end up with players hoofing the ball.

Should I adjust Mentality?

If I do not adjust Mentality what do I adjust?

 

It will all depend on how you want to use possession. My example was based around patient possession, focusing on holding the ball with no urgent attacking intent.

If that is how you want to play then you could (while watching the game carefully) increase the mentality to Balanced while decreasing passing length, tempo and dribbles. You could pull the LOE and DL one tick down to compensate the increase in mentality.

If you are looking to hold the ball aggressively with attacking intent, you could go on Positive, while decreasing tempo, passing and dribbles.

You also need to consider the effect of mentality change on the roles. A CM-S will surge into the box often on Positive, but not on Cautious. So if you need him to have the same behaviour on Cautious you need to give him an attack duty.

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1 hour ago, aritra14 said:

I was thinking of setting something up similar, but couldn't get around to do it. 

This is what I came up with. Any suggestions?

1.png

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On 10/01/2021 at 19:39, engamohd said:
Passing Directness

On more attacking mentalities:

deeper players will pass shorter, to hold possession and feed the advanced attackers.

advanced players will pass more direct, to stretch the opponent and penetrate quickly.

On more defensive mentalities, it is the other way round:

deeper players will pass more direct, to exploit space behind opponents, and to get the ball away from the goal.

advanced players will pass shorter, to retain possession, and avoid needless turnover in possession.

Although this seems logical, it is completely new to me. If this is how it works, it may explain some of my frustration when the players are not doing what I want.

Great post, thank you!

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On 10/01/2021 at 19:39, engamohd said:

Passing Directness

On more attacking mentalities:

deeper players will pass shorter, to hold possession and feed the advanced attackers.

advanced players will pass more direct, to stretch the opponent and penetrate quickly.

On more defensive mentalities, it is the other way round:

deeper players will pass more direct, to exploit space behind opponents, and to get the ball away from the goal.

advanced players will pass shorter, to retain possession, and avoid needless turnover in possession.

 

Can you confirm that this is 100% the case in FM21? I remember clearly that this was the case in older FMs, this effect was visible on the Player Instructions panel, for example in FM17. But now, when looking at the PIs, while changing mentalities, this effect is not visible. So there are 2 cases: either the UI for this is flawed (at least it was more straightforward in older FMs) or this effect does not apply anymore.

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I'm not sure it is the case, at least not entirely.

A CB, for example, on more defensive mentalities will have shorter passing but on attacking mentalities this becomes standard (ie: inherit whatever the default directness for mentality is: Slightly More Direct in the case of Attacking). Fullbacks are the same.

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2 hours ago, NotSoSpecialOne said:

I'm not sure it is the case, at least not entirely.

A CB, for example, on more defensive mentalities will have shorter passing but on attacking mentalities this becomes standard (ie: inherit whatever the default directness for mentality is: Slightly More Direct in the case of Attacking). Fullbacks are the same.

 

2 hours ago, cocoadavid said:

Can you confirm that this is 100% the case in FM21? I remember clearly that this was the case in older FMs, this effect was visible on the Player Instructions panel, for example in FM17. But now, when looking at the PIs, while changing mentalities, this effect is not visible. So there are 2 cases: either the UI for this is flawed (at least it was more straightforward in older FMs) or this effect does not apply anymore.

It is literally written in the Mentality description:

Positive:

TEjJ0xA.jpg

Cautious:

CDF3HVc.jpg

Defensive:

uUv5RcU.jpeg

Attacking:

OWDP9GH.jpeg

I personally believe that this passing behaviour is more related to risk for reasons stated above.

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@right_winger my bro, you've put so much effort in to this post... start your own thread. i came here to read about mentality like everyone else per it's title. you rob yourself of possible responses putting your situation here.

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