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

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Hey THOG, I'm also playing with Liverpool and was wondering if there was a way to push the wide midfielders into the AMR and AML positions without losing the shape of the team, or at least without being defensively suspect on the flanks as the two wide men won't track back as much? Perhaps playing a HB or Anchorman in the DM slot instead of a DM?

I'm not very confident with the ML and MR positions, and it's very difficult to actually find players in the game who are comfortable playing there.

The best thing to do is to stick to lower mentality settings, so they'll be more inclined to track runs from fullbacks and occasionally get back to double up on an opposition winger. This will still tend to leave some pretty big gaps in your defence when sitting inside your own half (and IMO, this is why I think it's not a shape that you really see IRL), but it should offer you decent enough protection from overlapping runs.

Another thing you can do is just to play with one MLR sitting deeper and covering space with one AMLR staying forward to initiate counters and target the opposition's weaker flank. This is actually something you will see more often IRL (for example, Barca will play with Neymar staying up front on the flank with Iniesta more inclined to drop back to cover space in an asymmetric 4-1-3-2).

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I've noticed, that if you play with very fluid style, your AMR/AML players are definitely more helpful in defence. They track back, often intercept poor passes to the wing etc. Since I've changed my style to very fluid, my team is second best defence in Bundesliga (I'm playing HSV).

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I've noticed, that if you play with very fluid style, your AMR/AML players are definitely more helpful in defence. They track back, often intercept poor passes to the wing etc. Since I've changed my style to very fluid, my team is second best defence in Bundesliga (I'm playing HSV).

Mentality is the most important factor, but Very Fluid will also help. From the baseline set by mentality, you can think of different fluidity settings as giving AMLR the following instructions:

Track Back Much More Often: Balanced-Defend Duty

Track Back More Often: Very Fluid/Balanced-Support Duty

Standard: Rigid/Very Rigid

Track Back Less Often: Fluid

Track Back Much Less Often: Balanced-Attack Duty

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So I play fluid, 4-2-3-1 and have a IF(A) and W(S). I get beaten down by the wings a lot(poor backs too).

So if I change from fluid to very fluid my players will track back more often? But I do have a DLP and AP and according to the wwfans guide I should be playing fluid or standard. Would it be better for me to change those playmakers role to something generic and change to very fluid or just keep what I have.

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So I play fluid, 4-2-3-1 and have a IF(A) and W(S). I get beaten down by the wings a lot(poor backs too).

So if I change from fluid to very fluid my players will track back more often? But I do have a DLP and AP and according to the wwfans guide I should be playing fluid or standard. Would it be better for me to change those playmakers role to something generic and change to very fluid or just keep what I have.

As wwfan himself has said, his recommendations are just basic guidelines mostly intended to help new players avoid common mistakes (one of which is to overload on specialist roles regardless of fluidity), and I personally think there's not really a problem with combining high creativity specialists like playmaker roles with the more fluid settings. IMO, you're more likely to encounter problems when combining what you might call limited specialists (for example, target man, poacher, ball-winner, etc.) with higher fluidity settings, as in that case, you'll be telling specific players to play a simple game on the ball while also telling them to try technically ambitious things when the opportunity arises. In that case, if you want to combine the specific build-up shape of Very Fluid with a lot of limited specialist roles, I would recommend using the "Be More Disciplined" TI.

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THOG - I just started reading this thread and so far my knowledge of the game has improve. I am playing with Arsenal and I want to play the 4-1-4-1 formation. The problem I have is what to do with Ozil. he has PPM comes deep to get ball, looks for pass rather than shoot also his natural position is AMC he can also play in Central Midfield and I think he can play in the ML/MR position. Could you give me some advice on how to play him in a 4-1-4-1 position.

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THOG - I just started reading this thread and so far my knowledge of the game has improve. I am playing with Arsenal and I want to play the 4-1-4-1 formation. The problem I have is what to do with Ozil. he has PPM comes deep to get ball, looks for pass rather than shoot also his natural position is AMC he can also play in Central Midfield and I think he can play in the ML/MR position. Could you give me some advice on how to play him in a 4-1-4-1 position.

His work rate, aggression and stamina aren't that great, so he might be a bit of a passenger defensively, especially later in the match. His lower stamina will also mean the extra workload from playing deeper will likely hinder his effectiveness going forward in the late stages of a match. Basically, it'll be a lot like Ozil when Wenger tried to play him out wide at times this season.

While there's a lot of debate about how AM players should perform defensively, I think the AM stratum was really designed for players Ozil. You don't necessarily want a player like that consistently getting back and dropping into shape. You want him conserving energy and maintaining a quick link to the striker.

With that said, if you are going to use him in a 4-1-4-1, a central role surrounded by a three hard working players would make the most sense. Advanced Playmaker (Attack) with PIs to Close Down Less, Roam and Run Wide with Ball will make him a bit more like a slightly more industrious trequartista.

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His work rate, aggression and stamina aren't that great, so he might be a bit of a passenger defensively, especially later in the match. His lower stamina will also mean the extra workload from playing deeper will likely hinder his effectiveness going forward in the late stages of a match. Basically, it'll be a lot like Ozil when Wenger tried to play him out wide at times this season.

While there's a lot of debate about how AM players should perform defensively, I think the AM stratum was really designed for players Ozil. You don't necessarily want a player like that consistently getting back and dropping into shape. You want him conserving energy and maintaining a quick link to the striker.

With that said, if you are going to use him in a 4-1-4-1, a central role surrounded by a three hard working players would make the most sense. Advanced Playmaker (Attack) with PIs to Close Down Less, Roam and Run Wide with Ball will make him a bit more like a slightly more industrious trequartista.

Thanks THOG. It sounds like Ozil is going to be difficult to fit in my desired formation. Would you then recommend I switch from a 4-1-4-1 to a 4-4-1-1

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Thanks THOG. It sounds like Ozil is going to be difficult to fit in my desired formation. Would you then recommend I switch from a 4-1-4-1 to a 4-4-1-1

If you want to get the best out of Ozil, I think 4-4-1-1 is the way to go, but it's not absolutely necessary. In the save I did for this thread, I had Coutinho at MC and he did well there.

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If you want to get the best out of Ozil, I think 4-4-1-1 is the way to go, but it's not absolutely necessary. In the save I did for this thread, I had Coutinho at MC and he did well there.

I think Coutinho is a very similar player to Ozil if you dont mind me asking what role and PI did you give him when he played in central midfield. Also did you give Coutinho different roles in your Plan A, B, C tactics when he was in played in Central Midfield.

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I think Coutinho is a very similar player to Ozil if you dont mind me asking what role and PI did you give him when he played in central midfield. Also did you give Coutinho different roles in your Plan A, B, C tactics when he was in played in Central Midfield.

On Plan A, he was a Central Midfielder (Support) with a PI to "Dribble More." The "Roam More" TI also had him roaming.

On Plans B & C, he was a Box to Box Midfielder which pulled him a bit deeper and made him pass to feet more often but generally gave him more freedom to express himself on the ball.

The Central Midfielder, despite the tooltip saying its for players who aren't that great at any one thing, actually demands a high level of versatility, especially if roaming is active for the player. The Central Midfielder (Attack) is probably the most complete role in the game given the technical demands of the default instructions and the expectations to always get forward and always track back to defend. The Box to Box Midfielder is more of a jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none who is given more freedom in place of demanding technical instructions and expected to have the intelligence to do what he needs to do and be where he needs to be without necessarily being the creative, attacking or defensive core of the side. With Plans B & C, I did not want a player always trying to force chances and give away possession when there wasn't a break, so I used Coutinho as a B2B so he would just drift around, find pockets of space and help work the ball to the feet of the attackers.

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His work rate, aggression and stamina aren't that great, so he might be a bit of a passenger defensively, especially later in the match. His lower stamina will also mean the extra workload from playing deeper will likely hinder his effectiveness going forward in the late stages of a match. Basically, it'll be a lot like Ozil when Wenger tried to play him out wide at times this season.

While there's a lot of debate about how AM players should perform defensively, I think the AM stratum was really designed for players Ozil. You don't necessarily want a player like that consistently getting back and dropping into shape. You want him conserving energy and maintaining a quick link to the striker.

With that said, if you are going to use him in a 4-1-4-1, a central role surrounded by a three hard working players would make the most sense. Advanced Playmaker (Attack) with PIs to Close Down Less, Roam and Run Wide with Ball will make him a bit more like a slightly more industrious trequartista.

When you stated that I would need to surround with three hard workings do you mean the DMC + CM and one of the Wide Midfielders.

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When you stated that I would need to surround with three hard workings do you mean the DMC + CM and one of the Wide Midfielders.

Yes, they don't need to be defensive roles (aside from the holding mid), just decent aggression and work rate to pick up runners that may glide by Ozil. Against smaller sides that keep players back, this wouldn't be such a concern, but in tough matches, I wouldn't necessarily want Ozil next to Cazorla or Walcott as the DM may end up getting dragged wide to close down attackers.

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Yes, they don't need to be defensive roles (aside from the holding mid), just decent aggression and work rate to pick up runners that may glide by Ozil. Against smaller sides that keep players back, this wouldn't be such a concern, but in tough matches, I wouldn't necessarily want Ozil next to Cazorla or Walcott as the DM may end up getting dragged wide to close down attackers.

I was thinking of having Flamini as DMC - Defend - Arteta CM - Defend (Left Central Midfield) and Ozil as Central Midfielder - Support (do you think a Advance Playmaker role would suit him best). Cazorla Wide Midfielder - Attack - Left and Walcott or Oxlade - Chamberlain - Wide Midfielder - Right - Attack.

Could you give me some advice on if i need to make any changes to the midfield roles or duties. I am playing the 4-1-4-1

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THOG,

I think that you have been writing here about "false pressure" (when you give PI to press higher, usualu for attacking players), I did that usualy in FM13, but here I do not have that option. Could you tell me how to do that.

Thanks

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I was thinking of having Flamini as DMC - Defend - Arteta CM - Defend (Left Central Midfield) and Ozil as Central Midfielder - Support (do you think a Advance Playmaker role would suit him best). Cazorla Wide Midfielder - Attack - Left and Walcott or Oxlade - Chamberlain - Wide Midfielder - Right - Attack.

Could you give me some advice on if i need to make any changes to the midfield roles or duties. I am playing the 4-1-4-1

That looks reasonable and definitely very solid in the middle. Against smaller opponents that are giving you trouble, you might need to get more penetration down the middle. What I often do is set an MC to an attack duty and another to a support duty while giving the MC(S) a PI to "Hold Position." This will have him push up higher to support build-up before tracking back into a defensive position when more numbers get forward (you'll see examples of this in the Liverpool save I did for this thread).

As far as AP(S) vs. CM(S), it's really more of a question of how Ozil fits into the system than what role gets the best out of Ozil individually. If you want play focused through Ozil, use him as a playmaker. If you want the team circulating the ball around more freely, use him as a central midfielder. The difference between the roles in terms of on-the-ball instructions are otherwise just a slight difference in creative freedom.

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THOG,

I think that you have been writing here about "false pressure" (when you give PI to press higher, usualu for attacking players), I did that usualy in FM13, but here I do not have that option. Could you tell me how to do that.

Thanks

Yeah, the changes to "acceptable" closing down PIs makes it so you either have to use Defensive Forward/Winger roles (which now, for some reason, don't have an attack duty option) or combine Hassle with roles + PIs that override the Hassle closing down settings (except you then have to give everyone tighter marking). My understanding is that if you use "Hassle" then give a "Close Down More" PI, it will actually lower closing down (because the PI will override the TI and increase from the default closing down setting, not the hassle setting). Not very elegant but hopefully this is something that gets improved upon for FM15.

Personally, I think the Def. Forward/Winger defensive instructions should be a PI/TI that you can apply to any role in those positions.

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Yeah, the changes to "acceptable" closing down PIs makes it so you either have to use Defensive Forward/Winger roles (which now, for some reason, don't have an attack duty option) or combine Hassle with roles + PIs that override the Hassle closing down settings (except you then have to give everyone tighter marking). My understanding is that if you use "Hassle" then give a "Close Down More" PI, it will actually lower closing down (because the PI will override the TI and increase from the default closing down setting, not the hassle setting). Not very elegant but hopefully this is something that gets improved upon for FM15.

Personally, I think the Def. Forward/Winger defensive instructions should be a PI/TI that you can apply to any role in those positions.

hi THOG,

Im quiet intrigued by this "false pressure", and so if it would be possible to point me out in the right direction, if there is a post where its discussed in more detail or to elaborate a lilte bite about this concept...

Im thinking that by using this "false pressure" if one wanted to use the "hassle" shout to maximize the pressing up front, for example in a 4-4-2, also in a fluid mentality, putting the close down more in the defensive unit, would it be viable?

Also, i have a question about your thread, when you say if one use a "controller effect", one should move the others players one mentality ladder up, can you give a practical example, and if this has also been asked, could you tell me where.

Thanks in advance,

M83.

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I've been watching Atletico Madrid and the interesting way they play this season. I like it overall, but one aspect of their play has me curious and wondering how (or if) that can be replicated in FM. I'm talking about their pressing and shape when defending. It's even more impressive considering it is done within a 4-4-2 formation.

Based on my observations (painful I might add as I'm a Barca fan) they apply very aggressive early pressure in the opponents half but then retreat into their own half very quickly into a very narrow and compact defensive shape with very intelligent and well-organized pressure+cover and doubling up on the wings.

On the other hand, once they win the ball, their movement and passing combinations are very deadly. So all that has got me curious how can it be done, if it can at all, in FM - mentality, fluidity, roles, instructions.

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I've been watching Atletico Madrid and the interesting way they play this season. I like it overall, but one aspect of their play has me curious and wondering how (or if) that can be replicated in FM. I'm talking about their pressing and shape when defending. It's even more impressive considering it is done within a 4-4-2 formation.

Based on my observations (painful I might add as I'm a Barca fan) they apply very aggressive early pressure in the opponents half but then retreat into their own half very quickly into a very narrow and compact defensive shape with very intelligent and well-organized pressure+cover and doubling up on the wings.

On the other hand, once they win the ball, their movement and passing combinations are very deadly. So all that has got me curious how can it be done, if it can at all, in FM - mentality, fluidity, roles, instructions.

Im also fascinated abou there game play and overall work ethic, with and whitout the ball.

I think theres is a numerous ways that you can play this game, but the one that i fancy the most his trying to replicate whit the limitations of the game, real life tactics team, or the interpetation of one user.

Theres is a thread about diego simeone formation and one person, in particular has posted some interesting interpretation of there overall gameplan.

This his the name of the tread "An Exploration Into Diego Simeone's Counter-Attacking 442", but i also would like to read the opinion of mister THOG.

Thanks,

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hi THOG,

Im quiet intrigued by this "false pressure", and so if it would be possible to point me out in the right direction, if there is a post where its discussed in more detail or to elaborate a lilte bite about this concept...

Im thinking that by using this "false pressure" if one wanted to use the "hassle" shout to maximize the pressing up front, for example in a 4-4-2, also in a fluid mentality, putting the close down more in the defensive unit, would it be viable?

Also, i have a question about your thread, when you say if one use a "controller effect", one should move the others players one mentality ladder up, can you give a practical example, and if this has also been asked, could you tell me where.

Thanks in advance,

M83.

I can't think of anything that really goes into a lot of detail. Basically, it just means you have just have a few players closing down high up the pitch while the rest of the team stands off and holds shape. The idea is that you keep the opposition from just passing the ball around the back without exposing gaps in front of your defence. It's less about trying to win possession back in a dangerous area and more about just provoking the opposition into getting on with their attack. This was the original idea behind the Defensive Forward and Defensive Winger roles but the attack duty versions of these roles was replaced with (IMO) useless defend duty versions.

The controller effect just comes into play when you use certain roles in specific positions on specific mentality/fluidity combinations. The basic idea is that it slightly pushes up the rest of the team while another player sits a bit deeper, but the effect is so negligible that I wouldn't worry about it.

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I've been watching Atletico Madrid and the interesting way they play this season. I like it overall, but one aspect of their play has me curious and wondering how (or if) that can be replicated in FM. I'm talking about their pressing and shape when defending. It's even more impressive considering it is done within a 4-4-2 formation.

Based on my observations (painful I might add as I'm a Barca fan) they apply very aggressive early pressure in the opponents half but then retreat into their own half very quickly into a very narrow and compact defensive shape with very intelligent and well-organized pressure+cover and doubling up on the wings.

On the other hand, once they win the ball, their movement and passing combinations are very deadly. So all that has got me curious how can it be done, if it can at all, in FM - mentality, fluidity, roles, instructions.

It's not really possible because you can't specify players to close down high up but not close down in deeper positions. Currently, the closing down setting works by increasing closing down tendencies from the player's own area onward whereas this would require working from the opposite direction. I've tried to see if I could get something like it by combining Stand-Off with a high line and OIs targeting the opposition defenders, but that had too many crazy knock-on effects when opposition attacks moved deeper. This is something that will have to wait for a future TI.

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Thanks for the quick reply,

Thats what i was trying to replicate but i also forget the idea and know im palying whit the scenario approach.

If i can just make one more question, if it was possible what his your thoughts on a 4-4-2, in terms of the best way to make it more balanced and play on the strenghts of the system.

I wondered if i could "take" some of your ideas on your approach whit liverpool and try to at least play whit differents formations, right know im kinda glued whit the 4-4-2.

Im more fan of counter-attacking type of style, not much about possession and tip tap passes.

Thanks,

M83

Thanks,

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The 4-4-2 is great, good defensive coverage and a guaranteed threat on the break. I probably would have played 4-4-2 as Plan A in that example save if I hadn't been trying to consciously replicate Rodger's early season 4-1-4-1 (which he appears to have abandoned against most opponents anyway). As I see it, rumours of the 4-4-2's demise were always greatly exaggerated, even before Simeone made it cool again.

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My save for World Cup thread is a 4-4-2 variant. It has been excellent so far.

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It's not really possible because you can't specify players to close down high up but not close down in deeper positions. Currently, the closing down setting works by increasing closing down tendencies from the player's own area onward whereas this would require working from the opposite direction. I've tried to see if I could get something like it by combining Stand-Off with a high line and OIs targeting the opposition defenders, but that had too many crazy knock-on effects when opposition attacks moved deeper. This is something that will have to wait for a future TI.

I thought so. It is always very difficult to replicate real life tactics into FM, though we can come close to some of them.

Still, out of the tools and options we currently have, what would be the closest set up in your opinion to how Simeone has Atletico Madrid playing?

I'm thinking classic 4-4-2 or even one with 2DMs, Counter mentality, Fluidity undecided yet and the following roles:

GK=G-D

DR=FB-S

DCs=CD-D

DL=FB-A

MR=WM-A

MCR=CM-S or DMCR=DM-S

MCL=CM-D or DMCL=DM-D

ML=WM-S

STCR=CF-A

STCL=CF-S

TIs: Push Higher Up, Play Narrower, Get Stuck In, Use Tighter Marking.

I don't think using Hassle Opponents will be correct, perhaps more suitable would be to use individual closing down kind of like your "false pressing".

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I've found on FM14 - particularly when using a 4-2-3-1 - that I've suffered greatly at the hands of the 4-4-2 as much as any formation and had to revert to a 4-3-3/4-1DM-2-2-1 variant to succed..

llama3 do you have a preferred CM partnership in play?

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llama3 do you have a preferred CM partnership in play?

If it is 2DM's then it is A(D) & DM(S) - for 2MC's then CM(D) & BBM/CM(S)

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Yeah, the changes to "acceptable" closing down PIs makes it so you either have to use Defensive Forward/Winger roles (which now, for some reason, don't have an attack duty option) or combine Hassle with roles + PIs that override the Hassle closing down settings (except you then have to give everyone tighter marking). My understanding is that if you use "Hassle" then give a "Close Down More" PI, it will actually lower closing down (because the PI will override the TI and increase from the default closing down setting, not the hassle setting). Not very elegant but hopefully this is something that gets improved upon for FM15.

Personally, I think the Def. Forward/Winger defensive instructions should be a PI/TI that you can apply to any role in those positions.

Thank you Sir. It is unbelivable that you have time to respond to everyone here. Sometimes we have weird questions but you are full of understanding for everyone. After SFraser's threads few years ago this is first one that push me to play FM.

Thank you very much.

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I'm still not sure how to interpret the balanced philosophy and when to use it. Perhaps a few more words on it?

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Great stuff! Thoroughly enjoyed reading 3 pages of all this discussion and information, enlightening to say the least.

One thing I would ask @The Hand of God is how you would implement a counter-attacking/counter-pressing system, in the mould of Borussia Dortmund or simply achieving the kind of tenacious pressing achieved by Pochettino at Southampton. I took a look at your attacking system you created with Liverpool and that provided a good starting point, but I'm struggling to really achieve an intense pressing game.

Any thoughts on this? I've made a few attempts but to no avail.

EDIT: Including my theory for my fresh attempt at this using this framework as a baseline. Welcoming all criticism and advice.

Formation - 4-4-2/4-4-1-1. Standard defensive block, possibly sink CM to DM in order for solidarity. Will experiment with such.

Very Fluid - Promotes whole team working to achieve strategic aim of counter press and all out attack. More movement and variety via positional movement. Allows for unpredictability found with Klopp’s attacking play.

Attacking - Most aggressive mentality available. Should replicate high tempo movement, passing and pressing that the system promotes.

Goalkeeper - Goalkeeper (Defend) ‘Initiate Attacks’. Not ideal, but will alter distribution to be less risky with PI ‘Distribute to Defenders’.

Defender Right - Wing Back (Attack) ‘Shuttle Ball’. Direct priority, moves the ball into the attacking third before immediately joining the attack.

Central Defenders - Ball Playing Def. (Defend) ‘Shuttle Ball Into Space’. Safely moving ball vertically. Creates direct transition play. May supplement with ‘More Direct Passes’ to increase this.

Defender Left - Wing Back (Support) ‘Shuttle Ball’. Same as other flank, however, will be more cautious and wait for cover before becoming a part of the attack.

Midfield Left - Wide Mid (Attack) ‘Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer To Defence’. Aims to act as second striker. Gets forward and aims to manipulate defensive line with movement. Add PI of ‘Sit Narrower’, ‘Cut Inside With Ball’, ‘Dribble More’ to try and create desired movement inside the pitch.

Central Mid. Left - B2B (Support) ‘Create Chances’. Acts as pseudo playmaker, with free role to roam and combine with left mid. Priority of carving chances. Unsure of PI needs, will monitor key passes and distribution.

Central Mid. Right - Central Mid. (Defend) ‘Suppress Counterattacks’. Static partner to B2B to provide protection when attacks breakdown. Unsure of PI needs, ‘More Direct/Risky Passing’ may be added.

Midfield Right - Wide Mid. (Support) ‘Create Chances Urgently’. More conservative option out wide. Looks to create chances quickly. Adds to transition speed and offers cover for attacking full back behind. Add PI of ‘Sit Narrower’ and ‘More Risky Passes’.

*Attacking Mid. - Attacking Mid. (Support) ‘Force Half Chances When Necessary’. Priority is to carve out openings, will do so even if there is no clear opportunity to do so. Unsure of PI needs, may need to add ‘More Risky Passes’.

*Striker Left - Complete Fwd. (Support) ‘Create Chances Urgently’. Similar to Right Midfielder. Should drop deep and aim to link with midfield to supply strike partner. May add PI of ‘Roam to Position’ to increase variety of movement.

Striker Right - Advanced Fwd. (Attack) ‘Draw Off Defenders/Penetrate Gaps Persistently’. Priority depends on formation used. Acts as finisher, runner in behind to stretch and disturb the opposition defence. Add PI of ‘Move Into Channels’ to threaten any gaps left by defenders.

Team Instructions

Shorter Passing - Reduce width and passing range, encourages team to compact itself.

Much Higher Tempo - Negates negative effects of shorter passing. Keeps intensity of our play high.

Pass Into Space - Encourages attempts to play in behind, increases penetration.

Much Deeper Defensive Line - Create depth behind opposition defence, whilst allowing us to keep solid foundations.

Retain Possession* - Not sure about this, serves to further reduce passing range and bring play inside the pitch.

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I thought so. It is always very difficult to replicate real life tactics into FM, though we can come close to some of them.

Still, out of the tools and options we currently have, what would be the closest set up in your opinion to how Simeone has Atletico Madrid playing?

I'm thinking classic 4-4-2 or even one with 2DMs, Counter mentality, Fluidity undecided yet and the following roles:

GK=G-D

DR=FB-S

DCs=CD-D

DL=FB-A

MR=WM-A

MCR=CM-S or DMCR=DM-S

MCL=CM-D or DMCL=DM-D

ML=WM-S

STCR=CF-A

STCL=CF-S

TIs: Push Higher Up, Play Narrower, Get Stuck In, Use Tighter Marking.

I don't think using Hassle Opponents will be correct, perhaps more suitable would be to use individual closing down kind of like your "false pressing".

I would interpret it as a Very Fluid 4-4-2 with something like "Push Higher Up," "More Direct," "Higher Tempo," "Be More Disciplined" and "Stick to Positions." I wouldn't use Hassle as the team keeps shape really well. For the false press with a 4-4-2, you really just need a pair of aggressive strikers.

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I'm still not sure how to interpret the balanced philosophy and when to use it. Perhaps a few more words on it?

You are using duty to encourage more movement between the lines when the team attacks. So, for example, a support duty striker will tend to drop deeper than he would on other settings while an attack duty fullback will push higher and surge forward more quickly. Similarly, an attack duty midfielder will move up to join the attack more quickly while a defend duty midfielder will be much more inclined to sit deeper and screen the defence. On the other settings, the details of this sort of movement are dictated more by position than duty (though in different ways depending on the duty).

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I'd interpret both Dortmund as Fluid so you get really aggressive behaviour from the four most attacking players. Southampton is probably closer to Balanced. At the moment, I think the key to replicating their style at the moment is simply to use very high Aggression players up front. If you have sufficiently high Aggression, you can play someone as a trequartista and they will still hound defenders relentlessly.

I'm not sure "Much Deeper" is the way to go for this style, at least if you're going for Dortmund, as it will cause the defence to drop back when possession is lost instead of immediately pushing up to compress the playing area. Liverpool and Dortmund are really two very different teams when it comes to defending. While they're both counterattacking styles, the way they look to create space is very different. Liverpool are fairly traditional in this sense. They invite pressure into the centre, aggressively win the ball back and then use pace to attack depth. Counterpressing has less emphasis on creating depth and more emphasis on creating chaos. The playing area is compressed and defenders are harried into a mistake with the attacking players not even really leaving the attacking third.

It would also be helpful if we had more control over width, both on a team and individual level, so higher mentalities don't push wide midfielders to the flanks when you're utilizing fullbacks for width. Not a fan of how the play wider/narrower TIs alter passing focus, to be honest.

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I'd interpret both Dortmund as Fluid so you get really aggressive behaviour from the four most attacking players. Southampton is probably closer to Balanced. At the moment, I think the key to replicating their style at the moment is simply to use very high Aggression players up front. If you have sufficiently high Aggression, you can play someone as a trequartista and they will still hound defenders relentlessly.

I'm not sure "Much Deeper" is the way to go for this style, at least if you're going for Dortmund, as it will cause the defence to drop back when possession is lost instead of immediately pushing up to compress the playing area. Liverpool and Dortmund are really two very different teams when it comes to defending. While they're both counterattacking styles, the way they look to create space is very different. Liverpool are fairly traditional in this sense. They invite pressure into the centre, aggressively win the ball back and then use pace to attack depth. Counterpressing has less emphasis on creating depth and more emphasis on creating chaos. The playing area is compressed and defenders are harried into a mistake with the attacking players not even really leaving the attacking third.

It would also be helpful if we had more control over width, both on a team and individual level, so higher mentalities don't push wide midfielders to the flanks when you're utilizing fullbacks for width. Not a fan of how the play wider/narrower TIs alter passing focus, to be honest.

Thank you, that's actually really helpful. Been struggling to get the pressing to work effectively higher up the pitch. Also, would you consider 'Tighter Marking' in order to compensate for the fact 'Hassle Opponents' is too extreme and ruins a teams defensive shape? If using higher aggression players combined with this, it should create a similarly effective press?

I changed to 'Push Higher Up' after posting as I realised that it was completely the wrong way of approaching the style. I do have some issues with increasing the speed of transition as we don't really seem to 'counter' all that much. I'm sure whether to set the TI as 'More Direct Passing' whilst setting PIs to 'Pass Shorter' or use it the other way round? 'Much Higher Tempo' is a given to get the team playing as quickly as possible.

Width is an issue, as Klopp keeps his team very compact in order to make pressing and moving the ball vertically more efficient - but I don't see a way of doing this in FM, unless you have any methods of achieving this? Also like you I'm reluctant to used the play wider or narrower TI but I'm having difficulty in getting the WMs to sit inside how I would like them too. I don't want to alter the 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 shape but I feel I may have to in order to get WMs further forward and narrower in attacking play.

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I would interpret it as a Very Fluid 4-4-2 with something like "Push Higher Up," "More Direct," "Higher Tempo," "Be More Disciplined" and "Stick to Positions." I wouldn't use Hassle as the team keeps shape really well. For the false press with a 4-4-2, you really just need a pair of aggressive strikers.

Hi thog,

When you say agressive forwards, are you talking about about The agressive atribute of mental players, right?

Or one whit a defensive forwards to put pressure no The defense?

I read somewhere that whit a very fluid mentality The strategies could be choosen via The scenarios, ege, tricky away games counter, etc...

Whats your opinion about The strategies in a very fluid mentality?

Tanks,

M83

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I would interpret it as a Very Fluid 4-4-2 with something like "Push Higher Up," "More Direct," "Higher Tempo," "Be More Disciplined" and "Stick to Positions." I wouldn't use Hassle as the team keeps shape really well. For the false press with a 4-4-2, you really just need a pair of aggressive strikers.

Would you use 2 DMs or 2 MCs? Counter Mentality, yes? What about Play Narrower, Get Stuck In and Use Tighter Marking? I agree that Hassle Opponents won't be appropriate. What do you mean by "aggressive strikers"?

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Thank you, that's actually really helpful. Been struggling to get the pressing to work effectively higher up the pitch. Also, would you consider 'Tighter Marking' in order to compensate for the fact 'Hassle Opponents' is too extreme and ruins a teams defensive shape? If using higher aggression players combined with this, it should create a similarly effective press?

I changed to 'Push Higher Up' after posting as I realised that it was completely the wrong way of approaching the style. I do have some issues with increasing the speed of transition as we don't really seem to 'counter' all that much. I'm sure whether to set the TI as 'More Direct Passing' whilst setting PIs to 'Pass Shorter' or use it the other way round? 'Much Higher Tempo' is a given to get the team playing as quickly as possible.

Width is an issue, as Klopp keeps his team very compact in order to make pressing and moving the ball vertically more efficient - but I don't see a way of doing this in FM, unless you have any methods of achieving this? Also like you I'm reluctant to used the play wider or narrower TI but I'm having difficulty in getting the WMs to sit inside how I would like them too. I don't want to alter the 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 shape but I feel I may have to in order to get WMs further forward and narrower in attacking play.

You might try giving "Mark Tighter" PIs to individual attacking players first as you don't necessarily want your fullbacks sitting right next to a faster winger when the team is pressing high up the pitch.

I agree that there should be more control over individual width (or at least, a more obvious difference in the off the ball movement of different roles), but there's no obvious way around it. If you play a very high mentality, your wide players typically won't be quick to come inside.

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Hi thog,

When you say agressive forwards, are you talking about about The agressive atribute of mental players, right?

Or one whit a defensive forwards to put pressure no The defense?

I read somewhere that whit a very fluid mentality The strategies could be choosen via The scenarios, ege, tricky away games counter, etc...

Whats your opinion about The strategies in a very fluid mentality?

Tanks,

M83

Yes, I mean players with a high Aggression attribute.

I think any fluidity setting can be matched with any playing style. Some people like to stick with one strategy and just use different TIs to adjust for different situations. wwfan plays this way, for example. Cleon, iirc, will switch strategies for different match situations. I tinker with everything between and during matches. There are no rules you have to follow and different playing styles correspond to different management styles in real life.

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Would you use 2 DMs or 2 MCs? Counter Mentality, yes? What about Play Narrower, Get Stuck In and Use Tighter Marking? I agree that Hassle Opponents won't be appropriate. What do you mean by "aggressive strikers"?

I mean strikers with high Aggression attributes.

As far as DMs and MCs, two MCs will play more true to life but two DMs can work fine if you're more concerned with holding shape.

Counter with TIs to discourage too much possession play is a good approximation, I think. "Tighter Marking" can pull players out of shape while "Play Narrower" will cause the wide players to be bypassed whereas, with Atletico, Koke and Turan should be more involved in build-up play.

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You might try giving "Mark Tighter" PIs to individual attacking players first as you don't necessarily want your fullbacks sitting right next to a faster winger when the team is pressing high up the pitch.

I agree that there should be more control over individual width (or at least, a more obvious difference in the off the ball movement of different roles), but there's no obvious way around it. If you play a very high mentality, your wide players typically won't be quick to come inside.

I agree with your comments about using 'Mark Tighter' as I can see that only increasing the issues with centre halves being dragged out position in order to press/mark players who don't necessarily need to be closed down.

I've noticed that whilst playing on 'Attacking', I think the obvious solution would be to maintain the same TIs but use the 'Counter' mentality to get the wide players inside and initiate more actual counter attacks. I'll just need to tweak roles/duties in order to avoid possession play priorities to increase the speed of transition.

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Yes, I mean players with a high Aggression attribute.

I think any fluidity setting can be matched with any playing style. Some people like to stick with one strategy and just use different TIs to adjust for different situations. wwfan plays this way, for example. Cleon, iirc, will switch strategies for different match situations. I tinker with everything between and during matches. There are no rules you have to follow and different playing styles correspond to different management styles in real life.

Thanks THOG,

Im really struggling right know in settling for one style of play, i mean, if you use only one strategie the mentaly will be the same even when you play against a team that is happy to seet deep and defend, and i know one can change almost everything whit the shouts, but im reaaly struggling whit thoose.

Right know its my main problem.

Im also intrigue whit your last commment that whit atléti the wingers/wide mifielders schould be more involved, bescause im not a big fan also of the shouts that temper whit the widht and change the focus of play, may be whit PI to sit narrower, or to cut inside,? i really like the definiton of "interiores", as wide playmakers but im having a hard time to make them work in the MR/ML position.

Im must say that this as been a very helpful thread for me, and im very impressed about your ability to "understand" this game.

Thanks,

M83

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I have a small question concerning mentalities

A 4-4-1-1 with Control or Attacking mentality will put the wingers in advanced positions to have it act almost like a 4-2-3-1 Denmark but slightly less aggressive

A 4-2-3-1 denmark with Defensive or Counter will allow the wingers to track back therefore acting more like a 4-4-1-1

Is that correct ?

One other question concerning 4-4-1-1.. The AM needs to be on support duty in order to improve the compactness and decrease space between lines by allowing the central midfielders to drop off slightly with safe knowledge that the AM is covering space infront of them , is that correct ?

Thanks in advance :)

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Great work. THOG, you are helping people with their tactics and I appreciate it but Im wondering can you build famous tactics like Guardiola's Barca, Mourinho's Inter or Simeone's Madrid for us and explain your mentality ladder on those tactics? It would be beneficial and easy to understand I think.

I`m looking forward to this :D, especially Guardiola's Barca. I hope you`ll find that time soon THOG :D

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THOG, Help me!!

I think real arsenal is a balanced 4-4-1-1. But, I can't decide Ramsey,Cazorla Role.

I want Double pivot+Real Ramsey,Cazorla. Is it possible?

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THOG: just spotted something you might want to have a look at?

Post 228:

1) I tell the right wide midfielder not to cut inside on both Plans B & C.

2) I remove "Dribble More" from the left wide midfielder on Plan B.

But in post 177 you state:

Wide Midfield Left: Wide Midfielder (Attack) - "Shuttle Ball"

The more peripheral wide midfielder will retain his role as a player expected to drift in at the far post and poach the occasional goal.

Wide Midfield Right: Wide Midfielder (Support) - "Shuttle Ball" with PIs "Dribble More," "Cut Inside," "Cross from Byline" and "Shoot Less Often"

The second wide mifielder, however, will be pulled into a more creative role as he will take on some of the more attacking responsibilities of the CM-S. "Dribble More" will encourage him to take the ball forward while "Cross from Byline" and "Shoot Less Often" encourages him to wait before attempting a final ball. The use of a free-roaming Box to Box Midfielder nearby should also see a player ready to move into a wider position should the wide midfielder move inside with the wingback still sitting deep.

Do you mean to say you tell the left mid not to cut inside, and the right mid not to dribble more?

I like you favour the 4-1-4-1 for maintain possession (indeed our set up is near identical, except that i allow my wingbacks to play the risky passes, my, wide attack and support roles are mirrored, my wide direct threat uses Reus and Welbeck from the left, with the creative role utilised by Mata and Januzaj on the right, I use a CM support along side my BBM, and the CF has both roaming and moves into channels). I actually wanted to use a regista, but I dont like the way he automatically drops into the D-line to pick up the ball, so I use a modified CM-D (that dropping deep behaviour of the DMC playmakers is actually something I would like to see changed)

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A 4-4-1-1 with Control or Attacking mentality will put the wingers in advanced positions to have it act almost like a 4-2-3-1 Denmark but slightly less aggressive

A 4-2-3-1 denmark with Defensive or Counter will allow the wingers to track back therefore acting more like a 4-4-1-1

You don't need to have a high mentality for ML/R to push up in attack. Their initial position will be slightly deeper on any mentality, but you would use either Fluid or Balance with an attack duty to get them to advance quickly.

AML/R will track back more on lower mentalities. I wouldn't say they act more like a 4-4-1-1 since they won't sit deep and maintain shape, but they will help double up on opposition wingers and the like.

One other question concerning 4-4-1-1.. The AM needs to be on support duty in order to improve the compactness and decrease space between lines by allowing the central midfielders to drop off slightly with safe knowledge that the AM is covering space infront of them , is that correct ?

Thanks in advance :)

Do you mean in defence? It's not necessary. The shape will be the same regardless of duty.

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THOG, Help me!!

I think real arsenal is a balanced 4-4-1-1. But, I can't decide Ramsey,Cazorla Role.

I want Double pivot+Real Ramsey,Cazorla. Is it possible?

As with City's interiores, you can't really get the right amount of free roaming movement for Cazorla. Ramsey plays more like a box-to-box midfielder, IMO.

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Do you mean to say you tell the left mid not to cut inside, and the right mid not to dribble more?

I've moved on from that save, but I think so.

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THOG,

Fluidity is what confuses me the most. I want to play a game based on Capello, Trapattoni, Mourinho and Simeone ideas. From what I've learned, and other stuff, they play a very compact game, very difficult to break down, where every player knows exactly his role. This seemed to be ideal for rigid or even very rigid philosophies. However teams play like a solid unit where the team is the main thing (from what I've seen and learned there aren't many specialist roles, if any) and everyone plays for that and players need to have a strong collective responsibility. This will point me to fluid or very fluid.

With this in mind, my questions are:

1- If I set Very Rigid or Rigid, where everyone have their role and stick to that, can I play without specialist roles? With these in mind, if I select more generic roles like BBM/CM/BBM/DM(S), will my players be too static and don't offer much movement between the lines? I learned that, if this systems work (like others ofc), 1/2 players moving between the lines are essential (supporting DMC, winger cutting inside, etc). Will this happen if I pick that fluidity?

2- On the other hand, if I select Fluid or Very Fluid, will the team keep the shape? I mean this is perfect, I guess, to remain compact and make everyone attack and defend which is one of the points of the approach I want. But I don't see Mourinho, Trap or Capello in the dressing room say'in: "just go out there and play on your own. You don't have any tactical responsibility". Lol

Could you point me in some direction? I've read your guide about this but would like to read your opinion. Want to understand the "why's". And fluidity confuses me.

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