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The Barcelona Style: My Interpretation

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NB: I'm not uploading the tactic. It can be created in minutes using the TC.

I recreated it and made few tweaks:

-additional shout: play out of defense

-set pieces

still working very good in fm 13.

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Think I should re-title this "the thread that never dies"!

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Has anyone used this tactic on the latest patch? I love the football Barcelona play, and I'd like to try to play similiar to them on the lastest patch. It did not really work well. I have a very good team and would expect much better. The trequartista does not score, nor getting much involved in the game. The IFs are like meeh. Conceaded a lot of goals from like 5 meters, don't really know why. And it was not Barcelona style. I have tried several forms of the tactis, but none of them seemed to really work. I based it on the opening post, including other posts in this thread.

If anyone has had great success and slash or made changes, please let me know. Would like to use it more.

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With the current Barca team, a double pivot style will probably be more suitable. They have 2 attacking wingbacks as compared to only 1 in the past.

DR - Alves - WB(A)

DCR - Puyol - CB(D)

DCL - Pique - CB(D)

DL - Alba - WB(A)

DMR - Busquets - DLP(S)

DML - Mascherano - AM(D)

MC - Xavi - AP(S)

AML - Iniesta - AP(A)

AMR - Pedro - IF(A)

S - Messi - TQ(A)/CF(S)

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With the current Barca team, a double pivot style will probably be more suitable. They have 2 attacking wingbacks as compared to only 1 in the past.

DR - Alves - WB(A)

DCR - Puyol - CB(D)

DCL - Pique - CB(D)

DL - Alba - WB(A)

DMR - Busquets - DLP(S)

DML - Mascherano - AM(D)

MC - Xavi - AP(S)

AML - Iniesta - AP(A)

AMR - Pedro - IF(A)

S - Messi - TQ(A)/CF(S)

Not sure if that is applied unless you tweak a lot the player instructions. Neither Alves or Alba would be wing-backs attacking because that would mean that they would make RFD's frequently and if you watch Barcelona, no player does that. Instead it's all about support, movement and retaining possession.

I would go more like this: Alves - FB (support), Puyol - CB (Defend), Piqué - CB (Block), Alba - FB (support), Busquets (DM) - defend, Xavi - DLP (support), Iniesta - AP (support), Pedro - IF (attack), Villa (Neymar) - IF (attack), Messi (TQ) - attack. Some roles need tweaks and it is necessary to find the right balance between Tempo and TW.

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Not sure if that is applied unless you tweak a lot the player instructions. Neither Alves or Alba would be wing-backs attacking because that would mean that they would make RFD's frequently and if you watch Barcelona, no player does that. Instead it's all about support, movement and retaining possession.

I would go more like this: Alves - FB (support), Puyol - CB (Defend), Piqué - CB (Block), Alba - FB (support), Busquets (DM) - defend, Xavi - DLP (support), Iniesta - AP (support), Pedro - IF (attack), Villa (Neymar) - IF (attack), Messi (TQ) - attack. Some roles need tweaks and it is necessary to find the right balance between Tempo and TW.

I agree with your formation being closer to Barca in real life but we have seen how teams can overcome their physical weak midfield by fielding physical players in the middle just last night. And even though you have Alves and Alba on FB(S), they will still behave like WB because of their ppm, leaving Barca very vulnerable at the back.

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I agree with your formation being closer to Barca in real life but we have seen how teams can overcome their physical weak midfield by fielding physical players in the middle just last night. And even though you have Alves and Alba on FB(S), they will still behave like WB because of their ppm, leaving Barca very vulnerable at the back.

Indeed, but ppm's can always be trained :-)

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What are the changes to this for 14?

In terms of roles the dm would become a half back but in terms of team instructions what would be added in?

Maybe lower temper or much lower tempo?

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Limitations

There is one serious limitation in the ME (of FM13) that prevents the tactic being exactly like the Barcelona tactic, in that defensive midfielders do not have the flexibility to drop between the DCs when the team is in possession. There is also one override required in the TC, namely the choice of Primary Playmaker.

I'd like to know if this is still the same in FM14's ME?

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I'd like to know if this is still the same in FM14's ME?

No it's not. A player in the Halfback role will drop between the CB's. Unfortunately, I think there's an issue with the CB's splitting far too wide.

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It will never be possible to play in FM as Guardiola's Barcelona played until we have an instruction to press more the man with the ball

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It will never be possible to play in FM as Guardiola's Barcelona played until we have an instruction to press more the man with the ball

No one is talking about doing that, so give up spamming every thread with this.

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No one is talking about doing that, so give up spamming every thread with this.

It's about Barcelona style, right ? It says Barcelona style at the title and it could be a good improvement, so i posted something similar at the wishlist post. Have a problem with that? Take an aspirine.

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It's about Barcelona style, right ? It says Barcelona style at the title and it could be a good improvement, so i posted something similar at the wishlist post. Have a problem with that? Take an aspirine.

The thread was created ages ago and even mentioned that accurately replicating Barcelona's style on FM was very difficult. But I'm going to guess you never even read that and just saw another thread about Barca and threw your nonsense into it about not being able to play like Guardiola's Barcelona.

The most recent post, (the one that I replied to), was merely asking about a DM dropping between the CB's. What you posted was totally irrelevant. We get it, you have a bee in your bonnet about how you think Barcelona play, but not everyone cares.

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No it's not. A player in the Halfback role will drop between the CB's. Unfortunately, I think there's an issue with the CB's splitting far too wide.

I think the half back role is an option. Busquets didn't always do it. As tomtuck1 says, it doesn't seem to be working perfectly at the moment.

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My new thinking is that certain Barca players IRL play dual roles depending on where the ball is and phase of play. This is impossible to replicate fully in FM as we can select only one role. And no matter how much you modify the role (on FM13 or FM14) it is still just one role. What do I mean?

Take Busquets for example. He plays as Halfback, DLP and even BWM at different moments of the game and during different games. It's like he switches between these 3 roles as needed. Xavi is another player for example. He plays as DLP or AP and switches between the two as needed in different moments of the game. Sanchez and Pedro are players who switch between a Winger and Inside Forward roles.

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The thread was created ages ago and even mentioned that accurately replicating Barcelona's style on FM was very difficult. But I'm going to guess you never even read that and just saw another thread about Barca and threw your nonsense into it about not being able to play like Guardiola's Barcelona.

The most recent post, (the one that I replied to), was merely asking about a DM dropping between the CB's. What you posted was totally irrelevant. We get it, you have a bee in your bonnet about how you think Barcelona play, but not everyone cares.

Get a grip dude, my comment wasn't even for you (if it was I had quoted you) so do us both a favour and stop guessing

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Get a grip dude, my comment wasn't even for you (if it was I had quoted you) so do us both a favour and stop guessing

The point is you've brought something into the thread that is completely irrelevant to what was asked. :D

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The point is you've brought something into the thread that is completely irrelevant to what was asked. :D

mate, the topic is a lot more about than your question, get it ? there's a lot more world than yourself... grow up

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mate, the topic is a lot more about than your question, get it ? there's a lot more world than yourself... grow up

I didn't ask a question. :confused:

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In short because that paradoxically reduces our chances of survival as species.

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Sorry to drag up an old thread but I'm looking to implement this in FM2014. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to update the player roles? I was thinking Messi's role as a Trequartista could be changed to False Nine for a start. Also Busquets as a Regista perhaps...

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Sorry to drag up an old thread but I'm looking to implement this in FM2014. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to update the player roles? I was thinking Messi's role as a Trequartista could be changed to False Nine for a start. Also Busquets as a Regista perhaps...

Messi would still be a Treq.

Busquests wouldn't be a Regista. Either still a DM or a Halfback.

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I think Liverpool have a decent enough squad to try this out, no? (FM14)

If I wanna have Suarez up front, would he best be used as a treq because of his excellent dribbling? Another concern is the plamaker ranking... I don't want Suarez to be my main playmaker. It would be Gerrard from a deep lying play maker position or the advanced playmaker position. Or maybe even Coutinho from the AML position. How do i choose my main playmaker in FM14?

Furthermore, I think with the options available, Lucas is a great DM or halfback (how do they differ I'm not completelu sure... Can someone explain to me?) however, there aren't any really good adv playmakers in the squad. However, Hendo and Allen seem like great box to box players and if i was to play a deep lying Gerrard and a box to box Hendo or Allen, would I be changing the tactic too much and make it unbalanced?

Thanks in advanced!

Joe

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I think Liverpool have a decent enough squad to try this out, no? (FM14)

If I wanna have Suarez up front, would he best be used as a treq because of his excellent dribbling? Another concern is the plamaker ranking... I don't want Suarez to be my main playmaker. It would be Gerrard from a deep lying play maker position or the advanced playmaker position. Or maybe even Coutinho from the AML position. How do i choose my main playmaker in FM14?

Furthermore, I think with the options available, Lucas is a great DM or halfback (how do they differ I'm not completelu sure... Can someone explain to me?) however, there aren't any really good adv playmakers in the squad. However, Hendo and Allen seem like great box to box players and if i was to play a deep lying Gerrard and a box to box Hendo or Allen, would I be changing the tactic too much and make it unbalanced?

Thanks in advanced!

Joe

Only way to do that now is to set them as a "playmaker" role such as Advanced Playmaker or Deep-Lying Playmaker I think.

As for how the roles differ, if you hover your mouse over the role in-game, it will give you a description.

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Messi would still be a Treq.

Busquests wouldn't be a Regista. Either still a DM or a Halfback.

Exactly. DM when playing a 433 or an HB if we want the team to behave like a 343 (although the tactic would also be set a 433)

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WWFAN, great thread btw. I'm assuming in the new FM engine, that to implement the Barcelona template you would have Busquets as a half back, alba and Alves as complete wing backs, Messi as a False nine, with Neymar as inside forward, and Pedro /sanchez as winger?

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Hi WWFan quick question.

You set the zonal marking in TC but then use the shout Hassle Opponents. This sets every player to tight man marking and max closing down when in game. So wouldn't this really affect the side's familiarity with marking and closing down?

Also does the "move into channels" instruction have any effect on the IFs or does it only affect central players' movement? It would seem more appropriate as in real life, (especially before Neymar arrived) the wide forwards often made outside to inside runs into the channel inside the fullback before recieving a through ball. This to me is different to "cut-inside", which seems to involve recieving the ball wide and trying to dribble infield. I get that you were trying to use the tactics creator for this Barca style approach, but I'm just wondering if move into channels has an effect on wide players or is it like telling your DC to hug touchline.

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After using and tweaking this set up in every version of the game since wwfan posted it, I've finally settled on a version of the tactic that I think seems to work the way it should. I thought I had perfected it on FM13, however the minor transition to FM14 sent that out of the window.

Anyway,

Formation: 4-5-1 (4-3-3, 4-1-2-2-1, whatever you see it as)

Mentality: Counter (This is one of the things I have struggled most with. Having gone through almost all of them as a starting mentality, this is the one I've settled on. Control was also an option, but it just seemed too fast and played more like Arsenal than Barca)

Fluidity: Balanced (Honestly I never tried anything except for balanced, as this has always been my favourite and allowed me to create the right team shape)

GK: Sweeper Keeper (Support) - I haven't noticed any difference between the goalkeeping roles other than distribution. I prefer the short distribution of the standard goalkeeper, but we can control this with PIs, and I may as well go for a sweeper for the odd time he does rush out.

Player Instructions: Distribute to defenders.

Key PPMs: Tries to play way out of trouble.

DR: Complete Wing Back (Attack) - The wing backs need to be as attacking as possible in order to provide width and stretch the opposition. I'm sure a normal wing back on attack would do just as good though.

Key PPMs: Gets forward whenever possible, Runs with ball down right, Hugs line.

DCR: Ball Playing Defender (Defend) - Only use this role if you someone who can do it well enough, otherwise just go for a standard centre back as detailed below. This is the only player given licence to play long balls in order to start a counter attack.

Key PPMs: Tries to play way out of trouble, Marks opponent tightly, Tries long range passes.

DCL: Central Defender (Defend) - Unlike his partner, he is there just to win the ball and keep possession with safe passes.

Key PPMs: Marks opponent tightly, Plays short simple passes.

DL: Complete Wing Back (Attack) - Same as the one on the other side of the pitch.

Key PPMs: Gets forward whenever possible, Runs with ball down left, Hugs line.

DM: Half Back (Defend) - The role that this tactic has been crying out for, allowing him to drop back between the centre backs.

Key PPMs: Stays back at all times, Plays short simple passes, Runs with ball rarely, Tries to play way out of trouble.

MCR: Advanced Playmaker (Support) - A case can be made for a DLP, and if you could select Regista for the MC position I probably would've gone for that, but I see Xavi as being more advanced and dictating play a bit closer to the attack, whilst still being deep enough to always be available for a pass.

Key PPMs: Plays short simple passes/Plays one-twos, Tries killer balls often, Comes deep to collect ball, Dictates tempo.

MCL: Advanced Playmaker (Attack) - Like Iniesta, he gets a bit further forward than the other midfielder, but isn't always trying to make runs into the box like a CM(A) would.

Key PPMs: Plays short simple passes/Plays one-twos, Tries killer balls often, Dictates tempo.

AMR: Inside Forward (Attack) - I'm not completely happy with any of the roles for this position, but IF is obviously the best of the ones we have. The main problem is that, in my opinion, the game sees the IF as an inverted winger (think Arjen Robben) and I wish we could select the Advanced Forward role for this position instead.

Key PPMs: Gets into opposition area/Gets further forward/Likes to beat offside trap, Cuts inside, Runs with ball often, Places shots, Likes to round keeper, Runs with ball through centre.

AML: Inside Forward (Attack) - Same as above. My favourite incarnation of the team was in 2010/2011 with David Villa and Pedro. Obviously they are different types of player, however I remember reading an interview with Villa where he said he had no idea how to play the role when he first got put there, so he basically just copied Pedro who was the ideal player for it.

Key PPMs: Gets into opposition area/Gets further forward/Likes to beat offside trap, Cuts inside, Runs with ball often, Places shots, Likes to round keeper, Runs with ball through centre.

STC: Complete Forward (Support) - This was a real pain the backside to choose. There are so many roles that could be used as a false 9 previously, and the addition of that specific role this year only complicated the matter. I find that the F9 role itself is too concerned with creating chances and taking long shots, but the CF strikes the balance between dropping deep to create chances for others and pushing on and trying to score himself. Plus if you take away the target man bit, the description fits Messi perfectly.

EDIT - As explained later in the thread I have changed this to Trequartista (Attack) and seem to be getting much better results, however, this may be due to playing God (Messi) there rather than the role itself.

Key PPMs: Comes deep to get ball, Tries killer balls often, Runs with ball often, Places shots, Plays one-twos, Likes to lob keeper.

Team Instructions: Retain Possession, Shorter Passing, Work Ball Into Box, Play Out Of Defence, Much Higher Defensive Line, Roam From Positions, Hassle Opponents, Stay On Feet, Be More Expressive.

As you can see, the team is geared towards winning the ball back as quickly as possible high up the pitch, and then keeping it once we have it. This may lead to lots of 'boring' possession which doesn't seem to go anywhere, but be patient and this will work some good openings where you can strike with scalpel like accuracy. If you have doubts, see Spain at Euro 2012.

I have developed this with Newcastle rather than Barcelona, and I can see that the basic principles of the tactic are working. As in real life however, you do need top level creative players in order to fully reap the benefits of Tika-Taka.

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After using and tweaking this set up in every version of the game since wwfan posted it, I've finally settled on a version of the tactic that I think seems to work the way it should. I thought I had perfected it on FM13, however the minor transition to FM14 sent that out of the window.

Anyway,

Formation: 4-5-1 (4-3-3, 4-1-2-2-1, whatever you see it as)

Mentality: Counter (This is one of the things I have struggled most with. Having gone through almost all of them as a starting mentality, this is the one I've settled on. Control was also an option, but it just seemed too fast and played more like Arsenal than Barca)

Fluidity: Balanced (Honestly I never tried anything except for balanced, as this has always been my favourite and allowed me to create the right team shape)

GK: Sweeper Keeper (Support) - I haven't noticed any difference between the goalkeeping roles other than distribution. I prefer the short distribution of the standard goalkeeper, but we can control this with PIs, and I may as well go for a sweeper for the odd time he does rush out.

Player Instructions: Distribute to defenders.

Key PPMs: Tries to play way out of trouble.

DR: Complete Wing Back (Attack) - The wing backs need to be as attacking as possible in order to provide width and stretch the opposition. I'm sure a normal wing back on attack would do just as good though.

Key PPMs: Gets forward whenever possible, Runs with ball down right, Hugs line.

DCR: Ball Playing Defender (Defend) - Only use this role if you someone who can do it well enough, otherwise just go for a standard centre back as detailed below. This is the only player given licence to play long balls in order to start a counter attack.

Key PPMs: Tries to play way out of trouble, Marks opponent tightly, Tries long range passes.

DCL: Central Defender (Defend) - Unlike his partner, he is there just to win the ball and keep possession with safe passes.

Key PPMs: Marks opponent tightly, Plays short simple passes.

DL: Complete Wing Back (Attack) - Same as the one on the other side of the pitch.

Key PPMs: Gets forward whenever possible, Runs with ball down left, Hugs line.

DM: Half Back (Defend) - The role that this tactic has been crying out for, allowing him to drop back between the centre backs.

Key PPMs: Stays back at all times, Plays short simple passes, Runs with ball rarely, Tries to play way out of trouble.

MCR: Advanced Playmaker (Support) - A case can be made for a DLP, and if you could select Regista for the MC position I probably would've gone for that, but I see Xavi as being more advanced and dictating play a bit closer to the attack, whilst still being deep enough to always be available for a pass.

Key PPMs: Plays short simple passes, Tries killer balls often, Comes deep to collect ball, Dictates tempo.

MCL: Advanced Playmaker (Attack) - Like Iniesta, he gets a bit further forward than the other midfielder, but isn't always trying to make runs into the box like a CM(A) would.

Key PPMs: Plays short simple passes, Tries killer balls often, Dictates tempo.

AMR: Inside Forward (Attack) - I'm not completely happy with any of the roles for this position, but IF is obviously the best of the ones we have. The main problem is that, in my opinion, the game sees the IF as an inverted winger (think Arjen Robben) and I wish we could select the Advanced Forward role for this position instead.

Key PPMs: Gets into opposition area, Cuts inside, Runs with ball often, Places shots.

AML: Inside Forward (Attack) - Same as above. My favourite incarnation of the team was in 2010/2011 with David Villa and Pedro. Obviously they are different types of player, however I remember reading an interview with Villa where he said he had no idea how to play the role when he first got put there, so he basically just copied Pedro who was the ideal player for it.

Key PPMs: Gets into opposition area, Cuts inside, Runs with ball often, Places shots.

STC: Complete Forward (Support) - This was a real pain the backside to choose. There are so many roles that could be used as a false 9 previously, and the addition of that specific role this year only complicated the matter. I find that the F9 role itself is too concerned with creating chances and taking long shots, but the CF strikes the balance between dropping deep to create chances for others and pushing on and trying to score himself. Plus if you take away the target man bit, the description fits Messi perfectly.

Key PPMs: Comes deep to get ball, Tries killer balls often, Runs with ball often, Places shots, Plays one-twos.

Team Instructions: Retain Possession, Shorter Passing, Work Ball Into Box, Play Out Of Defence, Much Higher Defensive Line, Roam From Positions, Hassle Opponents, Stay On Feet, Be More Expressive.

As you can see, the team is geared towards winning the ball back as quickly as possible high up the pitch, and then keeping it once we have it. This may lead to lots of 'boring' possession which doesn't seem to go anywhere, but be patient and this will work some good openings where you can strike with scalpel like accuracy. If you have doubts, see Spain at Euro 2012.

I have developed this with Newcastle rather than Barcelona, and I can see that the basic principles of the tactic are working. As in real life however, you do need top level creative players in order to fully reap the benefits of Tika-Taka.

so you have no player instructions? i see that only the goalkeeper has instructions

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Correct. Everything that I want is covered by the team instructions and player roles, especially if they have the right PPMs. The only other one I considered adding was Sits Narrower for the IFs, but they do a good enough job as it is.

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...

That looks good, IMO.

The F9 gives you what you might call "the false nine effect" without having to use Balanced, so I agree it's not necessary here. On Balanced, the F9 is just taken to an even further extreme. Any Support CF between two attack duty wide forwards will act as a false nine in the most general sense of the term.

As far as getting a CM Regista, you should try playing Xavi as a Box to Box Midfielder with a PI to play more risky passes. The B2B is supposed to be the CM "free role."

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It could well be worth a try, but would a B2B not try and push forward too much and make late runs into the box instead of sitting a bit deeper in the hole?

My other concern would be with it not being a playmaker role. I've got no real idea of how the playmaker is selected now you can't do it manually, but going off the assumption of how it used to assign it automatically would this not force the play to go through the AP(A) Iniesta role more?

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It could well be worth a try, but would a B2B not try and push forward too much and make late runs into the box instead of sitting a bit deeper in the hole?

B2B is understandably misinterpreted, but it's really more of a halfway role between DM and CM, not CM and AM.

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B2B is understandably misinterpreted, but it's really more of a halfway role between DM and CM, not CM and AM.

I find the position of the B2B midfielder largely depends on where the ball is (sounds obvious I guess) they tend to follow the ball rather than look for space, they never seem to get ahead of the ball, but will attempt to get in to the box to get on the end of crosses, and very occasionally advance past someone on the ball on to a through ball, but mostly they will stay behind the ball,

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Personally, I'm not that happy with the STC position coming deep in FM14. In last year's edition it was much better. Therefore I have settled for a striker-less formation like this:

IF-A___________Treq___________IF-A

__________AP-A_____AP-S__________

______________DLP-D______________

WB-A_____CD-D_____CD-D_____WB-A

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One of the things that is really interesting about this thread that wasn't brought up enough was that wwfan went with "counter" for Barcelona. I totally agree.

This is something that really messed with my head for a long time, picking a mentality that accurately reflect how I want to have the team play. "Control" was what I used almost exclusively for FM13 and a few of my early saves in FM14, thinking that this would be a great probing tactic with lots of possession and through balls. Not the case really! I've seen much better, and more controlled football played on the lower mentalities, and it DOES make sense. The thing is just that the names of the mentalities are perhaps off.

If you think about it, the term "defensive" for instance, doesn't really make any sense. If I'm playing a deep possession oriented approach, am I playing defensive football? Are we just containing and denying as much space as possible (or even parking the bus) ? Or, are we keeping possession and playing a patient game? It's easy to confuse those two things, IMO. Perhaps the reason being is that you still need to win the ball back, and if you're on a lower mentality it is crucial to use the right instructions. Hassle opponents is a must for winning possession back, it seems. If I'm playing on "defensive" but hassling the AI, while also keeping the ball, am I really being "defensive" ?

The other mentality names have similar issues. Control is a very quick paced mentality with decently direct passing and pressing. I believe that most people, as I used to, believe that selecting this mentality = playing like the top clubs in the world that we see probe and hit through balls for beautiful goals (arsenal, city, barca, bayern, etc.) But it is perhaps more like David Moyes, and less like Arsene Wenger ;)

Attacking is pretty straightforward I'd say, but then again people may be discouraged from selecting it when it actually really fits their team. If you're using a team that is predicted to struggle, and has to rely on physicality rather than technical skill, then going attacking would be perfect. Would you want your technically inferior team to just soak up pressure for 90 minutes? Probably not. So, going attacking would basically encourage the team to get their asses forward and play quickly. They would be aggressive and direct, and they would be very physical. The problem of course is the space left behind, but you could definitely make up for this with proper instructions. So if I were playing as Stoke City, perhaps I would go "attacking" and add in "drop deeper" or "stand off" so as to not press too much and get caught on the counter. This would allow us to sit deeper, while still putting on pressure, and then quickly get the ball forward when we have it.

What do you all think about this?

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One of the things that is really interesting about this thread that wasn't brought up enough was that wwfan went with "counter" for Barcelona. I totally agree.

This is something that really messed with my head for a long time, picking a mentality that accurately reflect how I want to have the team play. "Control" was what I used almost exclusively for FM13 and a few of my early saves in FM14, thinking that this would be a great probing tactic with lots of possession and through balls. Not the case really! I've seen much better, and more controlled football played on the lower mentalities, and it DOES make sense. The thing is just that the names of the mentalities are perhaps off.

If you think about it, the term "defensive" for instance, doesn't really make any sense. If I'm playing a deep possession oriented approach, am I playing defensive football? Are we just containing and denying as much space as possible (or even parking the bus) ? Or, are we keeping possession and playing a patient game? It's easy to confuse those two things, IMO. Perhaps the reason being is that you still need to win the ball back, and if you're on a lower mentality it is crucial to use the right instructions. Hassle opponents is a must for winning possession back, it seems. If I'm playing on "defensive" but hassling the AI, while also keeping the ball, am I really being "defensive" ?

The other mentality names have similar issues. Control is a very quick paced mentality with decently direct passing and pressing. I believe that most people, as I used to, believe that selecting this mentality = playing like the top clubs in the world that we see probe and hit through balls for beautiful goals (arsenal, city, barca, bayern, etc.) But it is perhaps more like David Moyes, and less like Arsene Wenger ;)

Attacking is pretty straightforward I'd say, but then again people may be discouraged from selecting it when it actually really fits their team. If you're using a team that is predicted to struggle, and has to rely on physicality rather than technical skill, then going attacking would be perfect. Would you want your technically inferior team to just soak up pressure for 90 minutes? Probably not. So, going attacking would basically encourage the team to get their asses forward and play quickly. They would be aggressive and direct, and they would be very physical. The problem of course is the space left behind, but you could definitely make up for this with proper instructions. So if I were playing as Stoke City, perhaps I would go "attacking" and add in "drop deeper" or "stand off" so as to not press too much and get caught on the counter. This would allow us to sit deeper, while still putting on pressure, and then quickly get the ball forward when we have it.

What do you all think about this?

I think your thoughts are really interesting. I hav to admit I haven't regarded control in the way you mention here. Absolutely food for thought.

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Good, thought-provoking stuff there, bababooey.

One further thing to keep in mind is that your opposition will always be the first thing that defines how your tactic actually plays out. In FM, there's a lot of emphasis on getting that one tactic that just works, but often, you actually need to mix things up to maintain a consistent style of play. This may seem counter-intuitive on first glance, but the way Counter works is a good example of this.

If you're a small side playing against a heavy pressing attacking side that throws numbers forward, Counter will tend be very aggressive going forward as your team will be given lots of opportunities to burst forward on the break. On the other hand, if you're a giant like Barcelona, it will produce a much more methodical approach as those clear cut counterattacking opportunities will be few and far between. So in the case of a team like Stoke (or at least, Pulis's Stoke), Counter/Defensive may be the right choice against the big teams, but to keep that same directness in attack against smaller or more evenly matched sides, you may then want to switch to Control or Attack.

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Good, thought-provoking stuff there, bababooey.

One further thing to keep in mind is that your opposition will always be the first thing that defines how your tactic actually plays out. In FM, there's a lot of emphasis on getting that one tactic that just works, but often, you actually need to mix things up to maintain a consistent style of play. This may seem counter-intuitive on first glance, but the way Counter works is a good example of this.

If you're a small side playing against a heavy pressing attacking side that throws numbers forward, Counter will tend be very aggressive going forward as your team will be given lots of opportunities to burst forward on the break. On the other hand, if you're a giant like Barcelona, it will produce a much more methodical approach as those clear cut counterattacking opportunities will be few and far between. So in the case of a team like Stoke (or at least, Pulis's Stoke), Counter/Defensive may be the right choice against the big teams, but to keep that same directness in attack against smaller or more evenly matched sides, you may then want to switch to Control or Attack.

This is going even deeper and I am totally in agreement with you here. I've noticed this, almost by accident really. For example, I thrashed Liverpool 6-0 with basically the same tactic that struggled to draw 0-0 with Chelsea. The key being that Liverpool at the time were a complete mess and fired Rogers, while hiring Arsene Wenger (boy it was fun to thrash Wenger!) Liverpool were aggressive but they were such a mess defensively that it was incredibly easy to exploit them. I switched from "standard" to "defensive" for the last.. I don't know 20 minutes or so, and still scored another 2 goals!

Then I had a match against Swansea, who play a very possession based system, and I really needed to amp up the pressure / tempo to win the ball back. Which does go a bit against our overall philosophy of being patient, but in reality it didn't change our emphasis of short passing and not taking pot shots / a direct route to the box.

I hope more people contribute to this end of the discussion because I think this topic is so absolutely vital.

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One of the things that is really interesting about this thread that wasn't brought up enough was that wwfan went with "counter" for Barcelona. I totally agree.

This is something that really messed with my head for a long time, picking a mentality that accurately reflect how I want to have the team play. "Control" was what I used almost exclusively for FM13 and a few of my early saves in FM14, thinking that this would be a great probing tactic with lots of possession and through balls. Not the case really! I've seen much better, and more controlled football played on the lower mentalities, and it DOES make sense. The thing is just that the names of the mentalities are perhaps off.

Agree with this. And it's not just the names, the in-game descriptions are also confusing. The game tells us that counter "is best employed for matches in which you expect to lose the battle for possession". Who's going to read that and decide that's the best mentality for playing like Barca?

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Agree with this. And it's not just the names, the in-game descriptions are also confusing. The game tells us that counter "is best employed for matches in which you expect to lose the battle for possession". Who's going to read that and decide that's the best mentality for playing like Barca?

Exactly, thanks for pointing that out because I totally left it out of my post! 100% agree.

The descriptions are incredibly misleading. Defensive, control, and counter are perhaps the worst offenders in this case. I would argue standard isn't that accurate either.

Basically the mentalities shouldn't really take into account whether or not your team should win the match or the most of possession. It should instead be about how you want to play.

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