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UPDATE: Finally got round to adding screen shots to make it easier for everyone to follow! 


Inspired by @Cleon and @Rashidi's guides and blog entries and more recently @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! series of fluid and very fluid tactical posts:

1) https://community.sigames.com/topic/352148-universality-in-football-manager-2015-very-fluid/

2) https://community.sigames.com/topic/373859-arsene-wengers-invincibles/#comment-440604

3) https://community.sigames.com/topic/373361-arrigo-sacchis-4-4-2-very-fluid/

4) https://community.sigames.com/topic/372887-johan-cruyffs-3-4-3-diamond-very-fluid/

and particularly this one:

5) https://community.sigames.com/topic/390163-playing-style-structure-a-modern-4-1-4-1-very-fluid/ (updated version of 1 above)

I set out to convert my very structured/structured 4-1-2-3 Chelsea playing possession football based on Cleon's "Art of Possession Football" guide to a very fluid version of the same style of football. I've been trying to seriously take Cleon and Rashidi's advice in just watching the match and trying to figure out what's not working and what's working and how to create or attack space but haven't really come to any conclusions about where my tactic is working/not working. So after resisting for 2 weeks and watching half of my season's matches in full, I have come to these forums to seek enlightenment! 

I would like to show you how I set up initially based on Cleon's "Art of Possession". 


Shape: Structure/Very Structured 

Mentality: Control 




IF(A)                 AP (S)

Hazard             Willian


Tielemans---Lewis Cook







TIs: Lower tempo, Wider, Higher defensive line, Close down more, Tight Marking, Prevent Short GK distribution, Shorter passing, Play out of defence, Roam from position. 


Shape: Very Fluid

Mentality: Standard 

FW: CF(S)/DLF(S)/F9 - Costa/Embolo/Luan

AML: IF(S/A) - Hazard or Raum(A) - Pedro or W(S) - Malcom

AMR: W(S) - Willian/Cuadrado or IF(A) - Kenedy

MCL: AP(A) - Tielemans/Fabregas/Oscar

MCR: BBM - Cook/Hojbjerg/Oscar

DMC: DM(S/D) - Matic/Thiago Maia

LB: WB(S/A) opposite duty of the AML - Rahman/Targett

RB: WB(S/A) opposite duty of the AMR - Azpilicueta/Mayke

DCx2: Ball playing defs x 2

TIs: Normal tempo, balanced with, slightly higher defensive line (lower to normal vs fast teams), Use Offside Trap, Max closing down, Tight Marking, Prevent Short GK distribution, Mixed passing, Play out of defence.


FW: Move into channels, Close down much more. 

IFs: Sit Narrower, Close down much more. 

BBM: Get Further Forward

WBs: Sit narrower, Run wide with ball based on Guido's defending vs crosses guide (https://strikerless.com/2015/12/23/dealing-with-crosses-in-the-fm16-me/)

DCs: Close down less

Comments and observations:

- The style of football I am trying to play is total football/gegenpressing and possession football. 

- I was tempted to emulate @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!'s 4-1-4-1 but then I felt that Hazard suits the higher up AML positions as an Inside Fwd (and Kenedy on the AMR side) and to save me from having to retrain him into a wide left midfield position. 

- From watching matches, I felt that my final 3 attacking players were often isolated from the midfield duo of my AP and BBM hence why I have the 'Get Further Forward' PI on my BBM.

- I've feel that when I play Cook/Hojbjerg as CMs instead of BBMs they tend to play better and get more on the ends of attacking moves and passes more. Why is this the case? But I've seen people play and post tactics on here with an AP-BBM-DLP/DM trio in the 433 midfield with success. I've read somewhere in one of Ozil's tactical guides that the BBM is just the same as  CM but with roaming as a PI on. Is this a possible reason why?

- Willian was my best player and played consistently better than Hazard as a right wide AP(S) in my structured control system before I made the switch. Hazard was often underperforming no matter whether I tried him as IF(A) or (S). 

- I got rid of Willian as an AP(S) in the new very fluid system as such fluid systems should have 0-1 specialist roles according to @wwfan (I know, I know... I have read the numerous debates on how the generalist/specialist debate is just a myth and @wwfan came up with it to help newer players understand the TC and how it works and he did disclaim that not every thing is hard and fast rule but it does make sense: more specialists in structured systems, more generalists roles in fluid systems as the efficacy of specialist roles in more fluid systems are lessened). I have switched him to a Winger on Support duty now but I feel that it makes no sense since my striker is a deep playing one (see below) and won't be in the box to receive his crosses. Am I wrong to play Willian as a Winger then? Inside Fwd doesnt suit him because he is right footed. 

- I'm not sure what to put my roles and duties for my midfield trio and final third attacking trio anymore as they no longer perform as consistently or in the way I would expect them to compared to my structured system. Could it be that my players dont have the right mentality to play a "Very Fluid" system and I should take it down a notch to "Fluid"? The reason I am adamant about it being able to work is because my team is the highest ranked team in the Premier League for "Decisions" and thus should be able to play intelligent and possession football. 

- My FW is usually a supporting striker role. F9 works beautifully with Luan but neither Costa or Embolo have performed consistently either with DLF or CF(S). I tend to play them as DLF(S) when AMR and AML are both Inside Fwds and as a CF(S) when at least one AMR or AML is playing as a winger. 

- As my FW is usually a supporting/creative striker role, I thought it would make sense to exploit the space he creates when dragging out the opposition's defenders with him by setting Hazard on IF with an attacking duty. However, I find that he is often not doing much to contribute to the match and hardly getting any touches in. 

- I am holding most of possession with many shots taken but less than half on target usually and I concede at least a goal a game on average due to being hit on the counter with my high defensive line and playing the offside trap. During half time of course, I select to work into box if I see that I have low shots on target and long shots making a fair share of my total shots. 

That's all I can think of right now in terms of comments and observations. Please let me know what other information you require in order to help you suggest where I could improve or tinker with and see if it makes a positive difference. 

Thank you! 

@Cleon, @Rashidi and @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! I am particularly looking forward to your responses! 




Club DNA.jpg

CM PI.jpg

Hazard PI.jpg


team instructions.jpg


Edited by gordo179

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