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Difference between Balanced and Positive mentality


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I am playing a 4-3-3 and sometimes 4-2-3-1 usually as the dominant team in a league (top 4 level). I am a bit confused as to these 2 mentalities and the differences between them. How can I decide which mentality I want to play on?

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Look at the differences in possession, transition and out of possession when you switch between different mentality. If you want more detailed explanation post your tactics then ppl can explain to you individual mentalities.

Edited by zyfon5
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Mentality in FM can generally be interpreted as risk taking ranging from least risky (Very Defensive) to most risky (Very Attacking). Hence it is very important to know what type of playing style you want as mentality affects all your team instructions and the behavior of your players. Generally start from the middle ones (Cautious, Balanced, Positive) for beginners before you try out the more extreme mentality. Set your mentality before you even get started on the team instructions and player instructions. Team mentality in the team instructions affects the baseline of most of the team instructions like passing directness, tempo etc and also individual player mentality. 

On balanced mentality, players on attack duty is on attacking mentality which means they will try a through ball or try to dribble past players if there is an opportunity. On attacking mentality, they will be on very attacking mentality which is the most risky, they will rush forward immediately at every opportunity or try to dribble past multiple players.

On balanced mentality, players on defend duty is on defensive mentality which means they will prioritize defending over attacking. Defenders on defensive mentality will always hoof the ball long when pressured or play a safe pass when they are not pressured. Hence having a ball playing defender on defensive mentality is kind of useless as they will never try a risky pass due to their mentality and not too different from a normal defender. Meanwhile on attacking mentality, players on defend duty will be on balanced mentality which means they will try a risky pass when there is an opportunity. You will see a ball playing defender occasionally dribble out with the ball or try to make a short pass even when pressured.

When deciding which mentality is suitable decide on how much risk do you need to take and then work out the finer details using team instructions and player instructions. Always remember to look at the bigger picture regarding to mentality.

Edited by zyfon5
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Also have a look at the tactic and strategy guide pinned in this forum especially the series which talks about different styles of football from Cleon. I can guarantee you will learn more about team mentalities from there. There are also a few other discussion posts on mentality in the past which I hope some kind people can add on here but the pinned posts are a good place to start.

 

Edited by zyfon5
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To complement a bit what zyfon said. Mentality overall makes you more agressive (take higher risks) by shifting both TIs and individual player mentality.

Regarding TIs, every level of mentality you go up from balanced will "slightly" (much less that one notch of the specific instruction) increase your tempo, increase your passing directness, decrease your time wasting, increase your attacking width, up your LoE and LoD, and increase pressing urgency. Lower mentalities will have the opposite effect.

Regarding individual player mentality, you can check it on the place TIs are set. By default they are a result of the role, duty of the player and fluidity of the system. Mentality changes will usually increase or decrease it by one notch each from that default unless they are already at the extreme.

Zyfon already gave you more detail on what they entail in general play. Just to add something, forward movement its something that is affected a lot by it. A player with a very high individual mentality will rush forward as soon as your team recovers the ball. While on a low mentality it may only move into the opposition half after you have the ball in their final third. So you have to think a lot about what you want in your transitions when setting it too. Full backs are one of the positions where this differences in "urgency" and risk regarding movement is seen more clearly give they potentially move from one byline to the other.

Edited by Jervaj
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2 hours ago, zyfon5 said:

Mentality in FM can generally be interpreted as risk taking ranging from least risky (Very Defensive) to most risky (Very Attacking). Hence it is very important to know what type of playing style you want as mentality affects all your team instructions and the behavior of your players. Generally start from the middle ones (Cautious, Balanced, Positive) for beginners before you try out the more extreme mentality. Set your mentality before you even get started on the team instructions and player instructions. Team mentality in the team instructions affects the baseline of most of the team instructions like passing directness, tempo etc and also individual player mentality. 

On balanced mentality, players on attack duty is on balanced mentality which means they will not take too much risk but will still try a through ball or try to dribble past players if there is a rare opportunity. On attacking mentality, they will be on very attacking mentality which is the most risky, they will rush forward immediately at every opportunity or try to dribble past multiple players.

On balanced mentality, players on defend duty is on defensive mentality which means they will prioritize defending over attacking. Defenders on defensive mentality will always hoof the ball long when pressured or play a safe pass when they are not pressured. Hence having a ball playing defender on defensive mentality is kind of useless as they will never try a risky pass due to their mentality and not too different from a normal defender. Meanwhile on attacking mentality, players on defend duty will be on balanced mentality which means they will try a risky pass when there is an opportunity. You will see a ball playing defender occasionally dribble out with the ball or try to make a short pass even when pressured.

When deciding which mentality is suitable decide on how much risk do you need to take and then work out the finer details using team instructions and player instructions. Always remember to look at the bigger picture regarding to mentality.

That is not correct. Didn't you mean players on Attack duty on balanced team mentality are on attack individual mentality? Because you said they are on balanced individual mentality which makes no sense.

Edited by crusadertsar
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14 minutes ago, crusadertsar said:

That is not correct. Didn't you mean players on Attack duty on balanced team mentality are on attack individual mentality? Because you said they are on balanced individual mentality which makes no sense.

Yup a little bit of typo there.

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14 hours ago, dan0817 said:

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Your team instructions suggest you want to play possession-oriented football (PoD, short passing, high lines and counter-press). If so, then you need to make the setup of roles and duties more possession-friendly as well.

While the arrangement of roles and duties on the left side is perfectly suited to a possession style, the right side as well as the middle area could prove an issue. 

So either switch passing to standard instead of shorter or tweak the roles of the RB, MCR and AMR in a more possession-oriented fashion (although some of those potential tweaks may require a tweak or two elsewhere as well).

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44 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

Your team instructions suggest you want to play possession-oriented football (PoD, short passing, high lines and counter-press). If so, then you need to make the setup of roles and duties more possession-friendly as well.

While the arrangement of roles and duties on the left side is perfectly suited to a possession style, the right side as well as the middle area could prove an issue. 

So either switch passing to standard instead of shorter or tweak the roles of the RB, MCR and AMR in a more possession-oriented fashion (although some of those potential tweaks may require a tweak or two elsewhere as well).

I'm just curious how are BBM and FB (s) not possession-oriented roles? Just wanted to hear your reasoning.

Because to my knowledge and from personal experience with Possession tactics those should work just fine. Winger on attack duty for sure might need to be tweaked to IW on support or attack (with overlap) maybe. But honestly I don't see that many problems with his tactic.

In fact for your knowledge, FB can work very well with Possession tactics as they can be tweaked to stay closer to midfield or get further forward to act as a good passing outlet and not just cross all the time like wingbacks. Of course IWB would be even better for Possession overloads. But he might not have a player suitable for that role.

Edited by crusadertsar
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I had the idea that the right back can hold its position slightly to provide defensive cover for the box to box. The right winger can potentially provide width by himself in the final third, especially a player of Sancho's quality.

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11 minutes ago, dan0817 said:

I had the idea that the right back can hold its position slightly to provide defensive cover for the box to box. The right winger can potentially provide width by himself in the final third, especially a player of Sancho's quality.

That's good reasoning. Basically what I would do. But attacking wingers are not really suitable for shortpassing possesion game. Maybe switching Sancho to IW(s) with added PI of staying wider would give you what you want. BBM and IW can form a very nice partnership. In fact thats what I'm using in my current 3-4-3 "single centreback" system (emulating Cruyff's Barca) and we are getting very good possesion with intent. With Possession numbers being mostly in 60-70% range.

 

Edited by crusadertsar
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2 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

I'm just curious how are BBM and FB (s) not possession-oriented roles? Just wanted to hear your reasoning

I am not talking about individual roles but interaction between them in the context of a particular style of play. Although when it comes specifically to the FB on support, I personally tend to avoid the role in a possession-minded system and instead prefer WB on support (or automatic) as a role that can provide better support in the attacking third for his wide partner (in possession tactics IW or IF rather than winger). 

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2 hours ago, dan0817 said:

I had the idea that the right back can hold its position slightly to provide defensive cover for the box to box

It's not a fullback who is supposed to provide defensive cover for a midfielder, but vice versa (when the fullback is played in an attack-minded role, of course). 

 

2 hours ago, dan0817 said:

The right winger can potentially provide width by himself in the final third, especially a player of Sancho's quality

It's not a question of individual roles but what kind of setup suits which style of football. 

You seem to have misunderstood what I said.

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16 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

It's not a fullback who is supposed to provide defensive cover for a midfielder, but vice versa (when the fullback is played in an attack-minded role, of course). 

 

It's not a question of individual roles but what kind of setup suits which style of football. 

You seem to have misunderstood what I said.

Well then how do you provide cover for an attacking/runner role in midfield then? If not with a fullback or inverted fullback?

In my opinion to get the same service as wingback provides in a Possession tactic, simple fullback with a few added individual instructions is much better. Especially for playing a simple short passing game. Because they don't have more dribbling, run wide and cross more instructions hard-coded in the role.

Edited by crusadertsar
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17 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

Well then how do you provide cover for an attacking/runner role in midfield then?

Which attacking runner and in which system (formation)? 

 

17 hours ago, crusadertsar said:

In my opinion to get the same service as wingback provides in a Possession tactic, simple fullback with a few added individual instructions is much better. Especially for playing a simple short passing game. Because they don't have more dribbling, run wide and cross more instructions hard-coded in the role

I don't claim that it cannot work with a FB support. It clearly can. Just my personal preference is to use WB, because my impression is that it gives me smoother attacking play in that kind of tactical style. Provided of course that other roles are also set up properly.

Basically, if you create a tactic and you are satisfied how it works, it means the tactic is good, whereas everything else is a matter of nuances in personal preferences.

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23 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

It's not a fullback who is supposed to provide defensive cover for a midfielder, but vice versa (when the fullback is played in an attack-minded role, of course). 

Not so sure that is totally correct, a more defensive full back offers protection for a more attack minded midfielder and vice versa, if the full back goes forward the midfielder can hold for him. 

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1 hour ago, Hilly1979 said:

Not so sure that is totally correct, a more defensive full back offers protection for a more attack minded midfielder

That's true. But the problem occurs - or is at least likely to occur - when the fullback is left to his own devices while covering for "his" attack-minded midfielder. Plus, in this particular case we were talking about a possession-oriented 4231 tactic, which is also a factor that needs to be taken into account. 

 

1 hour ago, Hilly1979 said:

and vice versa, if the full back goes forward the midfielder can hold for him

Exactly :thup:

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11 hours ago, KCHDD said:

Just gonna chip in here, is using a overlapping full back and holding double pivot midfield the only effective way to do things in such a system?

Not entirely sure what you mean but "such a system" as it implies that there is only one way to play a 4231. And I am sure you didnt mean that. 

You don't need to ask the fullback to overlap ( he is overlapping naturally atm when the IW moves inside, or if he does) and you can easily play a 4231 with fullbacks who hold their positions in midfield providing support to central midfielders and generally just protecting the flanks. Since the 4231 is top heavy you have more than enough players in the final third to unlock sides with various combinations. The difference in mentality between balanced and positive should have some effect, but the influence of the roles and duties will have a much more bigger impact than the mentality itself. For example you could just choose something basic like 2 Wingers one playmaker and a support/attack striker for the formation. And if you changed mentality while you might influence some of the individual mentalities of players, what you re doing is simply asking the individual players to take more risk. It does not make the tactic any better.

 

There are other things one can do to make it more effective but whether they are will depend on the style you really want. The wingback bombing down could be trying to beat players more than trying to look for early crosses to the other flank. With the right kind of players yes the winger on attack could stretch defences down that way. You could even create overloads with the focus left instruction encouraging more passes on the left side which in turn drags the opposition there, leaving more space on the right. Now the right role could be changed to an IW(A), RMD or IF to take advantage of the space.  In this case i wouldnt play with a wingback on the left flank

 

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12 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

That's true. But the problem occurs - or is at least likely to occur - when the fullback is left to his own devices while covering for "his" attack-minded midfielder. Plus, in this particular case we were talking about a possession-oriented 4231 tactic, which is also a factor that needs to be taken into account.

I'm not sure I follow much of what you've been saying in this thread, @Experienced Defender.

A lot of is it really ambiguous, especially the "when the fullback is left to his own devices" comment. What do you mean by this?

Edited by bibird.
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The way I see this fullback-midfielder covering combination, from my limited experience, is that those are different scenarios with yield different results but both can work.

When is the fullback the one that runs forward and the midfielder covers its a mroe direct cover, as the mifielder seems eager to quicky open wider and follow/press the wide attacker as he advances without need of extra steps. You don't even need the defender to be a purely defensive/holding oriented one. I have noticed several roles in support already do this great (include some considered runners like BBM), just have higher risk or been caught further up the pitch if the opposition transition is quick so you have to look at your whole defence to see if that can be a problem.

When the runner is the midfielder, the full back is unlikely to "cover" his space, as in come forward and start pressing the opposition from before they enter your half, unless you maybe give some specific instructions to make him very agressive in defence. But the thing in this case is that there isnt really a hole in your defence for the opposition to run through. Ddue to the fullback retaining position with the rest of the line it is covered by default. The space is in front of the defence, so it represents a more stand offish approach to your defensive transition. I personally like it less, but I wouldn't call it "a problem" on its own. Would depend on the whole tactic and how I see it playing in practice. And a high line or stopper CDs may easily negate the issue.

 

To be honest, after having achieved great defensive solidity in transitions without a dedicated holding midfielder Im much more sceptical to any must haves. You really need to look at the full picture and what its happening on the pitch instead of getting fixated on I need "X" role for this. Having in account that different players will behave different for the same role/instructions. My current save has been an eye opener.

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5 hours ago, bibird. said:

A lot of is it really ambiguous, especially the "when the fullback is left to his own devices" comment. What do you mean by this?

it means that he (the fullback) has to do too much of defensive work by himself (i.e. without sufficient help from his teammates, primarily his wide partner and nearby midfielder).

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  • 1 month later...
On 26/01/2021 at 14:15, woolymuffler said:

If you are more of a visual person, here is part of a spreadsheet I made that shows exactly what changes for each role and duty when team mentality changes (full disclosure, this was actually charted from FM2019, but I spot checked against FM21 and nothing seemed to have changed). Knowing this information to this level of detail is not necessary or even all that helpful, it just shows the pattern of duties vs mentality that is pretty consistent across the board:

 

 

 

Woolymuffler, are you willing to share your spreadsheet?

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