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difran8

How to choose the correct fluidity ?

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Well, your WB-A will still go forward and not form a back 6 while you are attacking to prevent a counter and keep that defensive shape, he will go forward even in Fluid. Movement, how you are going to attack, offensive shape are more about roles and duties selection, fine-tuning offensive transition and construction and define team tactical freedom is more related to fluidity.

I have made some diagrams using your 4231 Deep (based on FM13 fluidity) to help figure out how mentality is spread around your strategic choice with the base mentality X (standard, X=10; control, X=12, etc...)

First with Rigid

BEAoEXQ.jpg

Then with Fluid

xKJYk2S.jpg

So, rather than saying "my IF-S is 11 when I am playing standard strategy", it's more correct to say "My IF-S is slighty more adventurous than my overoll team risk-taking". Fluidity, regarding mentality spread, is a setting relative to the strategy you have chosen and I advice you to think in term of "how much this player is performing is role duty relative to team risk-taking, slightly more cautious or really more adventurous?".

Here, between Fluid and Rigid you'll notice the +2 difference between the AF-A and the AM Strata and the -2 difference between the CB zone and DM+WB/FB zones. The fluid has a +4 difference between back 6 and front 4 while rigid has a +6 difference between CB and AF-A with two intermediate strata. In other word, Rigid is a more structured Fluid.

Now, between the two, you will not see a big difference in the play within you back 6 and within your front 4. But, you may notice slight a slight difference for the interplay between the DM+FB and AM strata. With +4 difference instead of a a +2, you have to make sure your DM/FB strata is connecting to your AM-Strata since they may note take that pass forward if it's a bit too risky. The passing between DLP-D and Treq-A via the DM-S is something really important with the 4231 Deep with a Fluid setting. It will not broke your offensive play, but I your facing a tough game in DM zone shutting down passing lane through the center to reach the Treq-A, you may find it difficult and the fluidity may contribute a little to that.

--

A more radical change would have been going balanced

GpjSsrJ.jpg

Here, between a WB-A in Fluid and one in Balanced, the mentality difference (+5 for the same strategy) is huge and he will perform his role more adventurously and fluidity is really helping you in the design of your offensive transition and play. Compare to the fluid on the back 6 strata, it's almost like playing a counter strategy with a WB-A on attacking (+6).

In such particular case, fluidity is adding some flavor to your role distribution in how they will be performed by the player. :)

Thank you for that NakS, really easy to red diagrams :thup:

Your theory on Balanced is justified, I don't know if you've read all my comments on this thread but if you take a look at pst #31 you'll see that I did use Balanced for this exact theory. Would you argue that this would give a much more effective passing system?

Also If a Mentality is higher for a player, I understand that he will be more attack minded on the ball; but just to clarify, does this mean he'll get up the pitch more of the ball? Therefore does it tie in with 'Forward Runs'

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I do think it's important when evaluating a passing system to have in mind, at the same time, the fluidity (relative difference in risk-taking), passing lenght of the passers, transitions behaviors of obvious passing targets (ie forward run and relative mentality) and offensive shape (formation once attacking phase is established). In the 4231 Deep, what makes your team clicks is the play of the back 6 as a unit, the offensive play of the front 4 as a unit and how the transition strata of the back 6 (WB and DM) is linking and supporting the transtion strata of the front 4 (AM).

There are 3 obvious relations and passing triangles for the interplay. First transitions

I3jjM6D.jpg

Yellow triangle. The more direct one, depending on your passing setting for the FB-S (he should be mixed default) he may have a bit more difficulties reaching the W-A which may surge forward (FWR : often) if there is a big mentality difference (+2 is almost nothing, +4 could be trigger some occurence where the FB-S could not reach him because it's too risky, especially in mid-strategie like counter of standard). Moreover, the W-A is an AMR, not a WMR so he may not drop back in defending. That's a thing I would keep an eye one and correct by make his pass more direct (or maybe more risky pass he the WB-A has space) for example to work the vertical passing lane. The FB-S is not likely to bring the ball forward at feet either so that could be another solution to drive a counter down the right.

Red triangle.. I am not too concerned about this one for all fluidity, the DLP-D is deep, the DM-S will provide some angle in the center, FB-S and WB-A could help reaching the Treq-A which will more likely make himself available to a pass.

Blue triangle. The intricate one, I am not too concerned about this one as well. The IF-S should be in reach for the WB-A and DLP-S, the WB-A could carry the ball out of defence by dribbling which is fine.

Then, attacking phase where fluidity is less of potential problem, it's really transitions.

d7cEjrG.jpg

The more conservative unit (red triangle) is guarding the counter while provinding a deep recycling outlet with some creativity with the DLP-S. The FB-S is not far away and could combine with the DM-S and the W-A. On the left, the WB-A may be out of reach for the DLP-D for quick shift of point of attack. Maybe a more expansive passing game could help for him here but it has nothing to do with fluidity although a higher mentality DLP-D could obviously help like in rigid to pick out that pass down the left chanel. Or a Regista but the whole framework may need to be rework to fit him.

So, fluidity is not a big deal in itself regarding passing framework in transition, just keep in mind it influences timing of FWRs and that passing should be set in order to reach the target for quick counter.

--

Regarding mentality and off the ball movement, the most noticeable impact of mentality on players movements (Forward run) is the timing of those runs. Although a WB-A Balanced/Contain may decide to delay his run according to its with its risk-taking that long that he may not try it in some situation at all, thus making him bombing forward a bit less but he will do it nonetheless, just delayed. For regular movements (ie not attacking transition and timing of forward runs) it's really hard to pick any significative difference for a +2 or even +3 mentality difference so I would not argue he will get up the pitch more with such a small difference in attacking phase (not transition) positioning

Fluidity has not mot of an impact regarding defensive positioning and movement per se. Or as an indirect consequence from a higher-up the pitch risky forward run like a WB-A on balanced could do. I thing the mentality level (ie strategy) is more important when it comes to cautiouness or aggressivess of movement as well as tendency attributes.

:)

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Is there a fluidity reference diagram with the all different options depicted just like these nice images, Naks ? If not, i have to dig for my old FM13 steam account redownload and experiment

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I do think it's important when evaluating a passing system to have in mind, at the same time, the fluidity (relative difference in risk-taking), passing lenght of the passers, transitions behaviors of obvious passing targets (ie forward run and relative mentality) and offensive shape (formation once attacking phase is established). In the 4231 Deep, what makes your team clicks is the play of the back 6 as a unit, the offensive play of the front 4 as a unit and how the transition strata of the back 6 (WB and DM) is linking and supporting the transtion strata of the front 4 (AM).

There are 3 obvious relations and passing triangles for the interplay. First transitions

I3jjM6D.jpg

Yellow triangle. The more direct one, depending on your passing setting for the FB-S (he should be mixed default) he may have a bit more difficulties reaching the W-A which may surge forward (FWR : often) if there is a big mentality difference (+2 is almost nothing, +4 could be trigger some occurence where the FB-S could not reach him because it's too risky, especially in mid-strategie like counter of standard). Moreover, the W-A is an AMR, not a WMR so he may not drop back in defending. That's a thing I would keep an eye one and correct by make his pass more direct (or maybe more risky pass he the WB-A has space) for example to work the vertical passing lane. The FB-S is not likely to bring the ball forward at feet either so that could be another solution to drive a counter down the right.

Red triangle.. I am not too concerned about this one for all fluidity, the DLP-D is deep, the DM-S will provide some angle in the center, FB-S and WB-A could help reaching the Treq-A which will more likely make himself available to a pass.

Blue triangle. The intricate one, I am not too concerned about this one as well. The IF-S should be in reach for the WB-A and DLP-S, the WB-A could carry the ball out of defence by dribbling which is fine.

Then, attacking phase where fluidity is less of potential problem, it's really transitions.

d7cEjrG.jpg

The more conservative unit (red triangle) is guarding the counter while provinding a deep recycling outlet with some creativity with the DLP-S. The FB-S is not far away and could combine with the DM-S and the W-A. On the left, the WB-A may be out of reach for the DLP-D for quick shift of point of attack. Maybe a more expansive passing game could help for him here but it has nothing to do with fluidity although a higher mentality DLP-D could obviously help like in rigid to pick out that pass down the left chanel. Or a Regista but the whole framework may need to be rework to fit him.

So, fluidity is not a big deal in itself regarding passing framework in transition, just keep in mind it influences timing of FWRs and that passing should be set in order to reach the target for quick counter.

--

Regarding mentality and off the ball movement, the most noticeable impact of mentality on players movements (Forward run) is the timing of those runs. Although a WB-A Balanced/Contain may decide to delay his run according to its with its risk-taking that long that he may not try it in some situation at all, thus making him bombing forward a bit less but he will do it nonetheless, just delayed. For regular movements (ie not attacking transition and timing of forward runs) it's really hard to pick any significative difference for a +2 or even +3 mentality difference so I would not argue he will get up the pitch more with such a small difference in attacking phase (not transition) positioning

Fluidity has not mot of an impact regarding defensive positioning and movement per se. Or as an indirect consequence from a higher-up the pitch risky forward run like a WB-A on balanced could do. I thing the mentality level (ie strategy) is more important when it comes to cautiouness or aggressivess of movement as well as tendency attributes.

:)

Tried to get as much out of this as I could :thup:

• Are you saying that I perhaps need to instruct my FB (S) to be 'Direct' with his passing PI, in order to have more chance of finding the AMR?

• You seem to believe that a more Balanced philosophy suits this system more? The is due to the fact Fluid splits the mentality and furthers the gap between the back 6 and the front 4? - If so, then I would have to reconsider what WWFan had recommended earlier in the thread about having a more fluid philosophy in order to improve the creativity.

• If I do go to Balanced you feel that the DLP needs a more 'Direct' passing PI to bring the WB (A) into the game more?

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@difran

I have done something on that for FM13 with the different zone and the mentality logic behind each fluidity with an example as I showed here for a 433 formation. Something like this

BxEuABB.jpg

I am still looking for an idea to picture fluidity without any reference to mentality since it's gone for the user in FM14 and not gonna come back. Moreover, I don't know if something has been changed under the hood so I can not be accurate. Finally, I don't want to hold back users thinking in terms of mentality as a slider since no one can directely access it. :)

@Luizinho

1. I don't think you should beforehands set his passing to be more direct because it could be just fine with default settings. But, I think you should keep an eye of his passes towards the winger-A and maybe experiment a bit with a more direct passing if you feel it could be more efficient in some situation. As usual with experimentation, you should have an idea beforehand aiming to enhance a problematic situation and try to see if it's better.

2. Well, I don't think you should only choose a fluidity based on theory on passing/FWR/mentality structure, it's really finetuning and if you have a passing problem, I'd suggest first try to sort it out using PI like "more direct" "more/less risky" "shorter passing", a fluidity change is much more team related (CF wise) than an individual passing problem is.

I don't think either some fluidity are better suited to some formation and that should be your first criteria. Actually, your first criteria should be level of CF and your managing style. Then, if you want to keep a certain CF level but with a different mentality structure you could still use "more expressive" (+5CF) or "more disciplined" (-5CF) knwoing that the difference of the base CF between each fluidity is 2. So, CF-wise a fluid + "more disciplined" is equivalent to a Rigid but the mentality structure will be different.

Once I have chose roles-duties - set a strategy and a fluidity, my third layer of analysis is actually the relationship between the formation knowing its roles-duties and the strategic aim (quick or slow transition, direct or short) and the fluidity.

For example, I may choose to favor a very fluid set-up instead of a balance one in a flat 442 with "more disciplined" to restrict CF if I feel I don't need that much mentality difference (+7) between my front F9-S and Poacher-A striker partnership or between my CB-Cover and the FB-A (+8) or inbetween the lines. Instead I want some specialization (DLP-S + F9-S + Poacher-A) to fit with the CF-level I want (medium) but with a mentality structure that I feel will suit better what I am trying to achieve in that specific formation and players.

On the contrary, I may favor a balanced + "more expressive" set-up in a 433 with a DLF-S up top instead of a very fluid because I want the defensive triangle (CB-D + CB-D + DM-D) to be cautious, the WB-A and WB-S down the wing to be more adventurous, he CM-A in the CM spot to link-up as early as possible with the lone striker and the IF-A and Wing-A down the wing to work the space in behind the DLF-S agressively because that's the way I am planning to attack. If I wanted something more gradual, I would have chosen a Rigid + More expressive to keep the striker with the highest mentality and something less gung-ho for the WB-A.

3. Same as 1, start with default setting and if you feel you encounter a problem with this passing relation (the WB-A is in space, the DLP-D has time but don't it him and you think and could more dangerous if he would have) test out the hypothesis "more direct passing".

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I am still looking for an idea to picture fluidity without any reference to mentality since it's gone for the user in FM14 and not gonna come back. Moreover, I don't know if something has been changed under the hood so I can not be accurate. Finally, I don't want to hold back users thinking in terms of mentality as a slider since no one can directely access it.

I was under the impression we were going to get more graphical / UI info on the backbone of TC in this year's version. But i don't keep up with new news so i may be mistaken.

I really like this explanation of yours

So, rather than saying "my IF-S is 11 when I am playing standard strategy", it's more correct to say "My IF-S is slighty more adventurous than my overoll team risk-taking". Fluidity, regarding mentality spread, is a setting relative to the strategy you have chosen and I advice you to think in term of "how much this player is performing is role duty relative to team risk-taking, slightly more cautious or really more adventurous?".
and i can't see why you can't use your different-colors idea here as well. Something like red colored dots on the more cautious side and green ones on those dots that are more adventure inclined. Just like the game has it with the position suitability coloration, without the X+abc numbers. Or maybe pick a color to represent the base mentality and choose 3-4 of its gradients to represent the attacking and defensive ends

Also, two questions:

  1. How do you think passing works? If the fullback (s) in your example is given the instruction "pass more direct" will he prefer to pass long or this increase in passing length will just allow him to pass longer if he decides so?

  2. In your last image on "very rigid" you have the defensive line set on the base X mentality and then add up. Yet on the #50post you have players on minus. Do you imply a base X team mentality in the middle strata?

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I had the same problem, but having played when we had the sliders I can relate the words to settings. I will try not to repeat what each setting does specifically as there lots of information about that, instead look at how I link all the settings together.

Hopefully my wording will help, this is about the 5th re-write trying to keep it simple but accurate.

- Mentality is how aggressive / defensive your team plays. Defines the "default" setting for players which can be modified by fluidity and instructions. It does not affect how players interact with each other.

- Formation and player role+duty are the main settings that affect player interaction.

- Fluidity changes the player mentality and creative freedom which affects the interactions.

The most difficult thing I think people struggle to understand due to the naming of the fluidity types, it is not a scale of fluidity. It is a mentality/creative freedom modifier and changes depending on different factors (position/role/duty) for each fluidity which the text doesn't explain enough.

I also don't agree with "the more specialists you have the more rigid you should play" theory as each role has a different combination of instructions and adds to the "scale" confusion of fluidity. Fluidity doesn't affect instructions like "through balls", "dribbling", "crossing", "cut inside/wider/channels" etc which defines the style of play, although a more aggressive mentality means they are more likely to attempt these instructions than a more negative mentality which is what I think the theory is based on. But you might want those specialized advanced players to play less aggressive and your deeper players to play more aggressive, hence fluid would still be valid and doesn't require changing a SS to AM just because "i want to use fluid", that would change how that player plays individually and not just how he interacts.

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Also, two questions:

  1. How do you think passing works? If the fullback (s) in your example is given the instruction "pass more direct" will he prefer to pass long or this increase in passing length will just allow him to pass longer if he decides so?

  2. In your last image on "very rigid" you have the defensive line set on the base X mentality and then add up. Yet on the #50post you have players on minus. Do you imply a base X team mentality in the middle strata?

1. It's a preference rather than a pure limit, with "mixed" meaning the player has not been instructed to have an emphasis on short or direct. So, a FB-S with "more direct" will be instructed to look for more direct pass.

2. You are right, I started to think of team mentality starting from the GK then add (band of two, rule of one, etc...) then I realize I'd better go with the team mentality (strategy) as a starting point and decrease or increase mentality to have more cautious or more adventurous behavior.

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fact is, FM14 is not very intuitive. i don't get it anymore. they have really done a bad job when it comes to the tactics settings. a casual player, even an experienced one don't understand it. i have played FM for the last 7-8 versions a lot. but FM14 is by far the one i've played the least. this is the same for every fm player i know.

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I decided to pitch in on this mainly because I have a similar tactic and probably having some of the same problems. Of course, I was reading this thread so I tweaked the tactic a little bit after taking some things into account. I was curios if the OP managed to get it right eventually

My tactic looks like this : GK -CWB DC DC CWB - A(D) Regista - W(S) on the midfielder strata - Trequartista - IF(S) on the AM strata - AF(A)

The reason why I added the W(S) in the midfielder strata is to get more options when getting the ball from my defense to the offensive players and also have someone to come in late, as I've read that's good. The team is pretty solid in defense, the problems are when going forward. I noticed my Trequartista trying a lot of long balls to the flanks or my AF and missing them. Same thing goes for my W(S) who tries the same thing. Could it be down to my Pass into Space TI?

Mentality: Counter Fluidity:Balanced

TI: Drop Deep, Pass Into Space, Retain Possession < - As I felt I was giving away possession too easily, but would this also ruin some of my counter attacks at times?

This is a great thread, learned a lot from it so far. Hope you can help me with these problems as well, thanks

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Well, your WB-A will still go forward and not form a back 6 while you are attacking to prevent a counter and keep that defensive shape, he will go forward even in Fluid. Movement, how you are going to attack, offensive shape are more about roles and duties selection, fine-tuning offensive transition and construction and define team tactical freedom is more related to fluidity.

I have made some diagrams using your 4231 Deep (based on FM13 fluidity) to help figure out how mentality is spread around your strategic choice with the base mentality X (standard, X=10; control, X=12, etc...)

First with Rigid

BEAoEXQ.jpg

Then with Fluid

xKJYk2S.jpg

So, rather than saying "my IF-S is 11 when I am playing standard strategy", it's more correct to say "My IF-S is slighty more adventurous than my overoll team risk-taking". Fluidity, regarding mentality spread, is a setting relative to the strategy you have chosen and I advice you to think in term of "how much this player is performing is role duty relative to team risk-taking, slightly more cautious or really more adventurous?".

Here, between Fluid and Rigid you'll notice the +2 difference between the AF-A and the AM Strata and the -2 difference between the CB zone and DM+WB/FB zones. The fluid has a +4 difference between back 6 and front 4 while rigid has a +6 difference between CB and AF-A with two intermediate strata. In other word, Rigid is a more structured Fluid.

Now, between the two, you will not see a big difference in the play within you back 6 and within your front 4. But, you may notice slight a slight difference for the interplay between the DM+FB and AM strata. With +4 difference instead of a a +2, you have to make sure your DM/FB strata is connecting to your AM-Strata since they may note take that pass forward if it's a bit too risky. The passing between DLP-D and Treq-A via the DM-S is something really important with the 4231 Deep with a Fluid setting. It will not broke your offensive play, but I your facing a tough game in DM zone shutting down passing lane through the center to reach the Treq-A, you may find it difficult and the fluidity may contribute a little to that.

--

A more radical change would have been going balanced

GpjSsrJ.jpg

Here, between a WB-A in Fluid and one in Balanced, the mentality difference (+5 for the same strategy) is huge and he will perform his role more adventurously and fluidity is really helping you in the design of your offensive transition and play. Compare to the fluid on the back 6 strata, it's almost like playing a counter strategy with a WB-A on attacking (+6).

In such particular case, fluidity is adding some flavor to your role distribution in how they will be performed by the player. :)

Interesting read an I am trying to understand and I Think that im about to get it soon but one question

How would this look like in very fluid philosophy where players sholud contribute to Avery aspect of game?

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Here you go, in the same set-up

kNrOYGA.jpg

As you can see, everyone is on the same page regarding mentality. In Very Fluid and in others fluidity as well as in all strategies, all players contribute to defense, attacking transition, attack, defensive transition. But, depending on role, duties, fluidity, strategy they are not going to contribute in the same way.

If you compare the VF set-up with the Balanced one, the WB-A will obvisiously be taking more risky decision than the one in VF. Each fluidity is a different flavour of your set-up (role-duties) and overall strategic choice (strategy).

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Superb explanations there NakS.

Fluidity is my weakest area. I am normally quite sharp on role and duty combinations (obvious to anyone familiar with this forum), but Fluidity is an area I struggle with a little. I know how Balanced suits my system, but I don't always find it easy to swap around though, and this is very helpful.

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Very interesting.

I have always felt that how you set your roles up in balanced is critical, because there is such a shift in mentality depending on the role and duty you choose. It can leave huge gaps, and all kinds of link up problems. If you get it right it can be beautiful though.

For a system with a lot of movement between the lines Balanced seems the way to go, if you want your wing back bombing forward, your striker dropping deep for your attacking midfielders to get beyond them, that kind of thing. Where as a more rigid set up seems to favour a more precise approach, feeding your goalscoring forward (s) the effects of a support duty in attack, and an attack duty in midfield are going to have a less dramatic affect.

That's just my take on it, may be complete nonsense of course :-) I know little about Fluid set ups, they seem to rely heavily on creative freedom, and I have always liked a little more control over what my team does.

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I'm reading a paper on psychology and suddenly had a FM epiphany.

Fluidity relates to how much you are willing to let your players do their own thing.

Very rigid - they will execute your instructions down to a tee, with no creative freedom

Rigid - they will execute your instructions down to less of a tee, with a bit of creative freedom

Balanced - they will execute your instructions, but work as more of a team

Fluid - they will work as more of a team first and foremost, but still with your TIs in mind

Very fluid - the team comes first, the TIs second

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I'm reading a paper on psychology and suddenly had a FM epiphany.

Fluidity relates to how much you are willing to let your players do their own thing.

Very rigid - they will execute your instructions down to a tee, with no creative freedom

Rigid - they will execute your instructions down to less of a tee, with a bit of creative freedom

Balanced - they will execute your instructions, but work as more of a team

Fluid - they will work as more of a team first and foremost, but still with your TIs in mind

Very fluid - the team comes first, the TIs second

Not really because how well they execute the instructions given is down to their attributes not any individual or team instructions set. It has nothing to do with TI's or PI's.The easiest and simplest way is to understand philosophy is like this;

Do you want your playmakers to be the creative players in your side or would you like everyone to have more creative freedom? If you want playmakers to be the main creative force then you'd use

  • Very Rigid
  • Rigid

If you wanted everyone to be a little bit more creative then you'd select

  • Fluid
  • Very Fluid

If you just want to play normal then you'd choose balance. Remember though that how much creative freedom someone has depends on the role too. It comes down to how much you trust your players to be creative. That is how simple philosophy is, not sure why everyone gets hung up on it or over thinks it.

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The trouble with your interpretation centered on creative freedom is that you can modify creative freedom separatly with the disciplined/expressive TIs. The impact of these were pretty big in the FMs that still showed the sliders. Very rigid/be more expressive actually gave your players more creative freedom than balanced/default for instance.

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Not really because how well they execute the instructions given is down to their attributes not any individual or team instructions set. It has nothing to do with TI's or PI's.The easiest and simplest way is to understand philosophy is like this;

Do you want your playmakers to be the creative players in your side or would you like everyone to have more creative freedom? If you want playmakers to be the main creative force then you'd use

  • Very Rigid
  • Rigid

If you wanted everyone to be a little bit more creative then you'd select

  • Fluid
  • Very Fluid

If you just want to play normal then you'd choose balance. Remember though that how much creative freedom someone has depends on the role too. It comes down to how much you trust your players to be creative. That is how simple philosophy is, not sure why everyone gets hung up on it or over thinks it.

Yeah, so very rigid will execute your tactics to a tee - therefore the playmakers will be the playmakers, exactly as you said. Conversely very fluid makes everybody a 'playmaker'.

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Yeah, so very rigid will execute your tactics to a tee - therefore the playmakers will be the playmakers, exactly as you said. Conversely very fluid makes everybody a 'playmaker'.

No, how well a player executes (or listens for a better word) is down to attributes. All you do with TI's and PI's is instruct them to do something, but if they actually listen or how well they follow them through is down to attributes, so saying things like 'will execute your tactics to a tee' is incorrect. I'm not trying to be an arse btw, I just want to simplify things for you so there is no confusion.

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To add to that, as fluidity is an element of a tactic, the player will try to execute that to a tee as well. They will be told to express themselves so will try to express themselves.

Heavy structure = less expression

Light structure = more expression

How well the players achieve either depends on their ability and attributes.

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I keep it as simple as possible, haven't had any problems this way..

the more specialist roles I use the more structured the shape. The fewer specialist roles I use, the more fluid the shape.

I usually say 2 or more and I go flexible / structured (or very structured if I have 4-5), and then vice versa.

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1.....I played around with a few roles in a 4132 and I can't remember if the midfield three had an attacking duty in it on one occasion or if I was experimenting with one support with get further forward but with fluid all was well but if I played with balanced or below ie structured or very structured I was told by my assistant (yes I know ignore him) that the gap was too big between the midfield and forwards. One forward had a support duty. Fluidity therefore affects maybe positioning as well?

2....If you play fluid or very fluid is there much point then in using a playmaker?

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1.....I played around with a few roles in a 4132 and I can't remember if the midfield three had an attacking duty in it on one occasion or if I was experimenting with one support with get further forward but with fluid all was well but if I played with balanced or below ie structured or very structured I was told by my assistant (yes I know ignore him) that the gap was too big between the midfield and forwards. One forward had a support duty. Fluidity therefore affects maybe positioning as well?

2....If you play fluid or very fluid is there much point then in using a playmaker?

Yes there is, if you want to funnel the ball through a certain player, they can still be very useful even in fluid set ups in my opinion. The use of multiple playmaker's may be more suited to a more structured set up, but I still don't believe there are any rules set in stone here. Playmaker roles play differently to more generic roles, and can still have their uses in a fluid set up in my opinion.

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To the OP: There's no such thing as a "correct fluidity". It is more a choice on how you want your team to function within your tactical framework, and your "style" of managing. Want to dictate minutely what your players should be attempting to do at any given phase of play, and with creative and positional freedom given only to a select few players (Mourinho style)? - Choose a more rigid shape. Want to let your players "do their thing" as much as possible within your tactical framework (Wenger style)? - Choose a more fluid shape. The first needs to have very defined roles and duties, well chosen, and if you get it wrong you will easily end up with a less effective tactical setup than you thought you had. The latter is not that dependent on having very defined roles, as roles/duties will automatically become less defined in a more fluid shape, due to the higher level of individual freedom. The drawback to fluid shapes is that they can more easily get "out of shape" ... If enough of the players have a bad day, it can quickly get ineffective and flawed, both in defense and attack, and fluid shapes are of course more prone to being caught out. If you give your players more freedom to do what they want, and to be where they want to be, you also give them more freedom to be where they shouldn't be, and to do what they shouldn't. As with everything else, fluidity is a trade-off.

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Yeah, so very rigid will execute your tactics to a tee - therefore the playmakers will be the playmakers, exactly as you said. Conversely very fluid makes everybody a 'playmaker'.

I wouldn't think of it in terms of following your tactical instructions, at least not directly. As wwfan said, creative freedom/expressiveness is itself a tactical instruction that will influence your team's style of play in a very specific way. Basically, it's a question of whether you want an attack that tries to be as precise as possible or an attack that tries to be difficult for defenders to read.

The point of being expressive on the ball is to make it as hard as possible for the opposition defence to force an attacker into a predictable rhythm where his decisions are easily anticipated. This can encourage a player to play a direct pass or attempt a shot from distance sometimes, but it's not a significant factor compared to the main team instructions that set your style of play. In most cases where players are flagrantly and repeatedly ignoring the team's style of play, it's a consequence of some flaw in the system or the opposition simply stifling the team's style. Expressiveness is not supposed to make players ignore instructions; it just encourages them to play with flair and use every possible trick at their disposal to test defenders' concentration, even if that means making more mistakes in the process.

In a real world context, encouraging creative expression in players involves relying on more loosely structured training sessions with a greater emphasis on individual duels and maximising touches on the ball. In practice, this usually means you have activities where you give two small groups of players some specific objective but they're free to devise their own solutions about how to go about it, and as they do so, a manager would coach them on why the decisions they made did or did not work. In this case, there's still tactical instruction and an expected style of play ("Try to play it shorter, don't snatch at the long shot"), but the instruction is more general/less specific and the emphasis is on developing the player's vision and decision-making.

On the other hand, an approach that doesn't encourage creative expression would involve coaching more to a specific system of play with an emphasis on perfecting specific movement patterns and on-the-ball techniques. In this case, the training activities would model specific tactical scenarios more closely, and the coach would be less concerned with refining players' spur-of-the-moment decision-making and more concerned with whether the movement/positioning is good and the right techniques are being applied. The goal typically isn't to stifle player creativity but to develop players so they're able to pull off specific patterns of play with optimal efficiency. On top of that, the manager who adopts this approach is typically looking to promote better understanding between the players and avoid things like a play breaking down because the winger decided to quickly turn and square the ball with a rabona when his teammates are expecting him to accelerate to the byline and place a simple cross to the far post.

With both approaches, players are expected to follow the manager's other instructions, but there's a big difference in how they do that. The manager who coaches expressiveness wants his players to play with panache, attempt more ambitious moves and value throwing defenders off guard over being too precise. The manager who takes a more disciplined approach wants his players to keep it simple, be precise in their play and avoid wasting opportunities by overcomplicating matters. Both approaches could be compatible with, for example, a strict short passing style, but the way the players will carry out the basic style is going to be very different.

So what does that mean in FM terms?

Well, you would use settings that encourage expressiveness if:

a) You want players to try more tricks and flair moves.

b) You think you have a better chance of creating chances by outwitting defenders and prompting defensive errors.

c) You're not so concerned with attacking plays breaking down from players attempting something difficult or unusual.

And you would use settings that discourage expressiveness if:

a) You want players to rely more on tried and tested techniques to move the ball efficiently.

b) You think you have a better chance of creating chances by simply looking to outplay opposition defenders (via pure technical ability, physical ability or countering their approach tactically).

c) You're worried about players squandering opportunities by trying to be Neymar when it would be more sensible to be Matt Jarvis.

For the same reasons, the point of a playmaker role is not to have someone who ignores tactical instructions. It's to have someone who has more freedom to push himself technically and attempt more ambitious options, and presumably, this is a player the manager trusts enough to build the entire attacking system around.

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So what does that mean in FM terms?

Well, you would use settings that encourage expressiveness if:

a) You want players to try more tricks and flair moves.

b) You think you have a better chance of creating chances by outwitting defenders and prompting defensive errors.

c) You're not so concerned with attacking plays breaking down from players attempting something difficult or unusual.

And you would use settings that discourage expressiveness if:

a) You want players to rely more on tried and tested techniques to move the ball efficiently.

b) You think you have a better chance of creating chances by simply looking to outplay opposition defenders (via pure technical ability, physical ability or countering their approach tactically).

c) You're worried about players squandering opportunities by trying to be Neymar when it would be more sensible to be Matt Jarvis.

For the same reasons, the point of a playmaker role is not to have someone who ignores tactical instructions. It's to have someone who has more freedom to push himself technically and attempt more ambitious options, and presumably, this is a player the manager trusts enough to build the entire attacking system around.

We might be getting somewhere here for me, this has been one of the hardest concepts for me in FM, but reading this got me thinking.

Would I be wrong to look at it like this: In a kind of risk vs reward view, a more rigid (or structured, whatever...) approach wants the players to trust the system and 'just do their job' while in a more fluid approach the players kind of use the system to put them in a position to take some chances to try to 'make something happen'?

Am I in the neighborhood here, or is that still way off?

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Would I be wrong to look at it like this: In a kind of risk vs reward view, a more rigid (or structured, whatever...) approach wants the players to trust the system and 'just do their job' while in a more fluid approach the players kind of use the system to put them in a position to take some chances to try to 'make something happen'?

Am I in the neighborhood here, or is that still way off?

This is basically how I've always interpreted it. If I have a side with a lot of vision and flair, I'll play more fluid (you can always restrain the less adequate players with PIs). In my current save, as a small club always expected to lose and with low creativity and comparative skills, I play structured. I just want them to play basic, sensible football.

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That makes a lot of sense, if I look at it that way I can understand for the first time why the setting exists - it's always been a thorn in my side before.

I currently have two saves going, in one I'm in Nice and the other in Fylde, and both tactics are set to fluid (because I could never figure out what I wanted it at). Now I'm thinking the poor fellas in Fylde might need some more structure in their lives....

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I currently have two saves going, in one I'm in Nice and the other in Fylde, and both tactics are set to fluid (because I could never figure out what I wanted it at). Now I'm thinking the poor fellas in Fylde might need some more structure in their lives....

It could work in Fylde, if only for the fact that they are not going to be facing players any better than they are. The flair moves and creative attempts might stand a chance of coming off. I would probably go more structured myself, but if your side is better than the league average in those areas, it might be worth seeing what they can do.

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We might be getting somewhere here for me, this has been one of the hardest concepts for me in FM, but reading this got me thinking.

Would I be wrong to look at it like this: In a kind of risk vs reward view, a more rigid (or structured, whatever...) approach wants the players to trust the system and 'just do their job' while in a more fluid approach the players kind of use the system to put them in a position to take some chances to try to 'make something happen'?

Am I in the neighborhood here, or is that still way off?

That's one way to look at it. The one point I would clarify is that mentality sets the basic amount of risk that players take to move the attack forward (and this is why we recommend using more defensive mentalities to play keep-ball) whereas creative freedom/expressiveness is more about what kind of risks you're taking to do that and what kind of rewards you're look to get out of it.

A manager who favours an expressive style of play would see a predictable play as being the greater risk, so he's less concerned with the play resulting in a technically "successful" final pass and more concerned with forcing defenders to make difficult decisions. His view would be along the lines of "Yes, you could just play the simple ball into the box and play the percentages, but in all likelihood, it's going to be cleared/intercepted/blocked. So why not try to make the opportunity count?"

A manager who favours what FM calls a disciplined style would have the opposite perspective, so he just wants the play to come off and trusts that the players are good enough to tip things in their favour even if defenders are reading their intentions (and by extension, he will be looking to set up the system to play to the players' specific strengths). His view would be along the lines of "Yes, you could try to put defenders on the wrong foot or lure them into silly challenges, but in all likelihood, you're going to miscontrol it or get tackled. So why not just get the ball where it needs to be with minimal fuss and trust that we'll eventually get it in the back of the net?"

Neither perspective is necessarily wrong, but it leads to a lot of questions regarding what kind of players you want, how important it is for the system and style of play to work to specific player strengths/weaknesses, etc.

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I wouldn't think of it in terms of following your tactical instructions, at least not directly. As wwfan said, creative freedom/expressiveness is itself a tactical instruction that will influence your team's style of play in a very specific way. Basically, it's a question of whether you want an attack that tries to be as precise as possible or an attack that tries to be difficult for defenders to read.

The point of being expressive on the ball is to make it as hard as possible for the opposition defence to force an attacker into a predictable rhythm where his decisions are easily anticipated. This can encourage a player to play a direct pass or attempt a shot from distance sometimes, but it's not a significant factor compared to the main team instructions that set your style of play. In most cases where players are flagrantly and repeatedly ignoring the team's style of play, it's a consequence of some flaw in the system or the opposition simply stifling the team's style. Expressiveness is not supposed to make players ignore instructions; it just encourages them to play with flair and use every possible trick at their disposal to test defenders' concentration, even if that means making more mistakes in the process.

In a real world context, encouraging creative expression in players involves relying on more loosely structured training sessions with a greater emphasis on individual duels and maximising touches on the ball. In practice, this usually means you have activities where you give two small groups of players some specific objective but they're free to devise their own solutions about how to go about it, and as they do so, a manager would coach them on why the decisions they made did or did not work. In this case, there's still tactical instruction and an expected style of play ("Try to play it shorter, don't snatch at the long shot"), but the instruction is more general/less specific and the emphasis is on developing the player's vision and decision-making.

On the other hand, an approach that doesn't encourage creative expression would involve coaching more to a specific system of play with an emphasis on perfecting specific movement patterns and on-the-ball techniques. In this case, the training activities would model specific tactical scenarios more closely, and the coach would be less concerned with refining players' spur-of-the-moment decision-making and more concerned with whether the movement/positioning is good and the right techniques are being applied. The goal typically isn't to stifle player creativity but to develop players so they're able to pull off specific patterns of play with optimal efficiency. On top of that, the manager who adopts this approach is typically looking to promote better understanding between the players and avoid things like a play breaking down because the winger decided to quickly turn and square the ball with a rabona when his teammates are expecting him to accelerate to the byline and place a simple cross to the far post.

With both approaches, players are expected to follow the manager's other instructions, but there's a big difference in how they do that. The manager who coaches expressiveness wants his players to play with panache, attempt more ambitious moves and value throwing defenders off guard over being too precise. The manager who takes a more disciplined approach wants his players to keep it simple, be precise in their play and avoid wasting opportunities by overcomplicating matters. Both approaches could be compatible with, for example, a strict short passing style, but the way the players will carry out the basic style is going to be very different.

So what does that mean in FM terms?

Well, you would use settings that encourage expressiveness if:

a) You want players to try more tricks and flair moves.

b) You think you have a better chance of creating chances by outwitting defenders and prompting defensive errors.

c) You're not so concerned with attacking plays breaking down from players attempting something difficult or unusual.

And you would use settings that discourage expressiveness if:

a) You want players to rely more on tried and tested techniques to move the ball efficiently.

b) You think you have a better chance of creating chances by simply looking to outplay opposition defenders (via pure technical ability, physical ability or countering their approach tactically).

c) You're worried about players squandering opportunities by trying to be Neymar when it would be more sensible to be Matt Jarvis.

For the same reasons, the point of a playmaker role is not to have someone who ignores tactical instructions. It's to have someone who has more freedom to push himself technically and attempt more ambitious options, and presumably, this is a player the manager trusts enough to build the entire attacking system around.

Great post! Recently, I searched through the in-game commentary from the match_events data file to see if I could find any clues about creative freedom and what I found basically agrees with your thinking. Below are all the phrases relating to a team's creative freedom setting.

[%team#1] seem to be doing what they like out there.

There's no structure or order to their play.

[%team#1] seemed to be doing what they liked with no order to their play.

[%team#1] appear to be playing amongst themselves.

There doesn't seem to be much by way of tactical instruction.

[%team#1] appeared to be playing on their own terms without any tactical direction.

[%team#1] are playing some wonderful football.

Their play is flowing with freedom.

[%team#1] were playing wonderful football with complete freedom.

[%team#1]{s} football is a joy to behold.

Their instinctive creativity is working perfectly.

[%team#1]{s} football was working incredibly well.

Just to add, I wish the "Be More Expressive / Be More Disciplined" team instruction could be an individual player instruction as well.

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Not sure I totally understand fluidity, after reading so many posts about it, I get the jist of it and I think that is enough. I have stopped myself thinking in terms of sliders and so on and that has been a big break through for me and my game. It literally does your head in to over analyse everything.

I have found a lot of love for flexible in FM15, It places a lot of emphasis on the roles and you can make your tactic rigid or fluid dependent on your set up.

I have in the past had my teams playing some beautiful football using a rigid/structured set up, so I don't think playing a more structured set up stops you playing attractive football.

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This is basically how I've always interpreted it. If I have a side with a lot of vision and flair, I'll play more fluid (you can always restrain the less adequate players with PIs). In my current save, as a small club always expected to lose and with low creativity and comparative skills, I play structured. I just want them to play basic, sensible football.

Could you give an example to what these may be? Are you referring to Less Risky Passes, Dribble Less, etc?

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Could you give an example to what these may be? Are you referring to Less Risky Passes, Dribble Less, etc?

Yes, those are exactly the things, since it is no longer possible to set individual freedom levels. Essentially, it is what you would probably do to customize for specific players anyway, but anything I can do to simplify the play for a player who is not really a flair type is helpful.

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Not sure I totally understand fluidity, after reading so many posts about it, I get the jist of it and I think that is enough. I have stopped myself thinking in terms of sliders and so on and that has been a big break through for me and my game. It literally does your head in to over analyse everything.

I have found a lot of love for flexible in FM15, It places a lot of emphasis on the roles and you can make your tactic rigid or fluid dependent on your set up.

I have in the past had my teams playing some beautiful football using a rigid/structured set up, so I don't think playing a more structured set up stops you playing attractive football.

Which is why I am in favor of doing away with it. If I want creativity, I should be able to select roles for each player to reflect it and manage the "fluidity" levels that way as well as through team and player instructions. This is frankly not a helpful tactical thing as evidenced by so many posts.

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Which is why I am in favor of doing away with it. If I want creativity, I should be able to select roles for each player to reflect it and manage the "fluidity" levels that way as well as through team and player instructions. This is frankly not a helpful tactical thing as evidenced by so many posts.

I agree, all we need to do is have more PIs, there should be a generic role for each position that has all PIs unlocked, and then we remove the shape settings.

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there should be a generic role for each position that has all PIs unlocked, and then we remove the shape settings.

Yes, yes, yes! :thup: By all means keep the template roles, but give us a "tabula rasa" role also and let us customize it!

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I think Expressiveness settings are important since that's a key tactical concept IRL, but I agree that, at this point, the mentality structure aspect could be discarded and replaced by further differentiating the roles (which seems to be the direction that FM15 is moving towards anyway).

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I agree that it is a key concept, now that I (mostly) understand it. I also like the idea of doing it though PI's as that would allow the manager more leeway to encourage some key players to use their 'creativity' while other, less skilled players on the same team could be encouraged to 'KISS'. While I suppose we can do that to some degree now there's definitely some possibilities there....

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hey guys quick question does fluidity have any impact on like general stragey. for example is if i choose counter would very rigid and very fluid work similar or is there a correct way for each?
they will work differently, very rigid and your team will have 3 or 4 distinct groups of players following specific instructions modified only by PIs, very fluid will make one distinct group across the pitch, the only modifier being the PIs.

Depending on how you have set up your roles, if I were managing a very talented set of players but wanted play to strictly go through a specific set of players, then i would go rigid or structured, depending on how many "gods" i want on the pitch. If I were managing a poor side I may even go fluid since it in my mind at least tells up to three groups too to take a more creative approach to attacking, since these players were low on creativity already, and may not be able to play super well as individual components.

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thanx for that makes alot more sense now. so basically the mentality counter or attacking or defensive could and should work regardless of fluid or rigid? it has more to do with the specific role of players in the team? thanx alot

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I wouldn't think of it in terms of following your tactical instructions, at least not directly. As wwfan said, creative freedom/expressiveness is itself a tactical instruction that will influence your team's style of play in a very specific way. Basically, it's a question of whether you want an attack that tries to be as precise as possible or an attack that tries to be difficult for defenders to read.

The point of being expressive on the ball is to make it as hard as possible for the opposition defence to force an attacker into a predictable rhythm where his decisions are easily anticipated. This can encourage a player to play a direct pass or attempt a shot from distance sometimes, but it's not a significant factor compared to the main team instructions that set your style of play. In most cases where players are flagrantly and repeatedly ignoring the team's style of play, it's a consequence of some flaw in the system or the opposition simply stifling the team's style. Expressiveness is not supposed to make players ignore instructions; it just encourages them to play with flair and use every possible trick at their disposal to test defenders' concentration, even if that means making more mistakes in the process.

What you say about creative freedom sounds sensible enough, but I'm not sure I understand then why more expressiveness implies universalism and restricted expressiveness implies specialisation.

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What you say about creative freedom sounds sensible enough, but I'm not sure I understand then why more expressiveness implies universalism and restricted expressiveness implies specialisation.

The reasoning is:

1) If you play a disciplined style, your attack can be too predictable unless you delegate more freedom to a playmaker or free role (Complete Forward, Box to Box Midfielder, etc.) who can provide a spark of creativity and flair.

2) If you give a player a role with a lot of technical limitations and the expectation that he just focus on being a bit player in possession, it's counterproductive to tell him to push himself technically and attempt ambitious techniques when he gets on the ball.

Of course, these are just stylistic guidelines, not rules, and if the above is not a concern for you, you shouldn't feel compelled to follow them.

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That reasoning sounds sensible enough as well, it's easy to see why using a role such as a playmaker is advisable with a disciplined style and why it'd be redundant in an expressive style, but it's harder to see why this extends to other specialist roles, such as anchor man, BWM or target man.

I once read a theory on this forum that you should give at least one player a creative role when you're using a rigid style and you should give at least one player a role that keeps it simple in a fluid style. With your description of expressiveness, that seems a lot more intuitive than a general need for specialist roles vs a general need for generic roles.

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The concept behind the roles is that they are mainly intended for players relatively limited in their technical ability who are expected to keep it simple when they get on the ball, so these are roles where you would not want to see players taking the technically ambitious option. For example, let's say an aerial ball is approaching your lumbering target man. Do you want him looking for the simple knock down (the simple move likely to come off here, albeit the one defenders are expecting) or the overhead bicycle kick? Let's say your anchor man wins the ball. Do you want to make sure he just turns and plays it out to the open fullback, or do you want him to consider trying to play it through the legs or chipping it over the head of the pressuring opposition AM to get it to the feet of the advanced playmaker?

Now, there's not a right or wrong answer here, and if you play a technically skilled player in a target man role for whatever reason, it's not going to be an issue. But beyond just the question of creative freedom, this setting is about how you organise the team to get the best out of your players. The premise of structured is that you're setting up the system to play to each individual's specific strengths, and an aspect of that is that you lower the expectations on the less technically and tactically capable players by encouraging them to make simple decisions and worry more about delivering the ball accurately than unlocking the defence with unpredictable play. Now, if you want to play an ultra-disciplined style, you can just use generalists and limited roles in a structured style, but the playmaker roles and free roles give you the option of delegating a bit more freedom to certain players that you trust. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with using a playmaker in a more fluid style other than that your strikers will be more inclined to drop off to offer support instead of just providing the playmaker with a target for ambitious passes.

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That's why I've never subscribed to this "use x amount of specialists if you're playing fluid, and y amount if you're playing rigid". Let's take the anchorman as an example. If I need an anchorman in the DM position, I would choose the anchorman role rather than the "generic" DM role, whether I'm playing fluid or not. Wouldn't you?

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That's why I've never subscribed to this "use x amount of specialists if you're playing fluid, and y amount if you're playing rigid". Let's take the anchorman as an example. If I need an anchorman in the DM position, I would choose the anchorman role rather than the "generic" DM role, whether I'm playing fluid or not. Wouldn't you?

I don't subscribe to the idea that you must use X roles of Y type with Z team shape, but wwfan's guide was mainly intended for new and casual players looking for some basic rules to help them find their footing. In that case, hard and unambiguous guidelines are helpful and the generalist/specialist guidelines ease new players into an understanding of what separates the various roles. However, if you've ever conversed with wwfan on here, you'll know he's more inclined to go Socratic on your tactical questions than insist that you dogmatically follow the twelve steps.

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