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DavyDepuydt1

Struggling on lower mentalities

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Hi, I'm enjoying a save where for the first time in my FM career I don't use downloaded tactics.
In my current team I'm using a simple flat 4-4-2. My team is predicted to finish 11th, and so far I'm performing as expected. 

I'm having no issues with how my team is performing and the results I'm getting but... I want to fully understand why some things that I've tried are not working.

By default I'm playing on control, and my team plays very well.
When I switch to one of the lower mentalities (Counter, Defensive, or sometimes even just Standard), it's like my team just scores less, but isn't getting any better defensively, so in the end all my results are worse on lower mentalities then they are on Control. (The reason I wanted to try lower mentalities was during difficult away games I got results like 4-3, 3-3, and wanted to thighten up but still try to win/draw the game but with less goal galore)

How come those mentalities don't seem to fit my tactic? Are they more fit for other formations or roles/duties?

Is it because in those lower mentalities I will let the other teams come in our third to easily and don't have the right duties / team instructions to mean something in attack ourself when we win the ball back deep in our end? 
I've also read somewhere that FM18 seems to favour higher mentalities alltogether?

I know I can tweak the duties a bit to be more defensively solid and don't actually need to change my mentality, but I like to know why it's not so succesful when lowering it :)

TacticLuch.png

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Mentality is secondary to formation for me. 442, whilst it can be defensively sound with the right setup, is generally a more attacking formation. If your strengths are wingers and strikers you could just drop the cms to dms... Should have same attacking advantages but more defensively sound and primed to counter. 

If i think i want to defend or counter my first act is to employ a DM. I want men behind the ball and i want to outnumber the opponent in their attacking strata. 

Occasionaly i have tinkered with top heavy formations on defensive... Using a high block. Mostly in 4231 as it still provides the three cental midfielders. 

 

 

Edited by westy8chimp

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44 minutes ago, DavyDepuydt1 said:

How come those mentalities don't seem to fit my tactic? Are they more fit for other formations or roles/duties?

Is it because in those lower mentalities I will let the other teams come in our third to easily and don't have the right duties / team instructions to mean something in attack ourself when we win the ball back deep in our end? 
I've also read somewhere that FM18 seems to favour higher mentalities alltogether?

3

1) I think it's best to think of mentality as a style of play rather than notches in the defensive - attacking range that the tactical creator presents to you. The reason why a lower mentality doesn't fit your 4-4-2 as well is that they all encourage more passive defending such as standing off with less closing down and dropping the defensive line deeper. In a 4-4-2 (which is your defensive formation) there are inherent gaps between each stratum (Defenders, Midfielders, Forwards) so doing things which exacerbate the gaps (deeper defensive line) and that allows the opposition time and space in those gaps (less pressing) is going to make the tactic more vulnerable defensively rather than stronger.

2) Lower mentalities help to boost formations which are more defensive naturally and don't tend to do as well with a formation that is naturally more attacking although anything can be made to work given the right circumstances. The roles and duties you would select for a given mentality would all depend on how you want to play.  

3) The only aspects that are affected by mentality when the opposition has the ball are closing down and the defensive line. So yes, it is true that by only changing to a lower mentality in a 4-4-2 you are allowing the opponent to come into your final third more easily regardless of the roles and duties of your players. How you attack is tied to the roles and duties of your players regardless of the mentality, all that changes is the nature of how they go about it. For e.g. an attacking fullback on the counter mentality is going to be far more risk-averse than one playing on the control mentality.

4) When you say favour, do you mean that there is an inherent advantage of selecting higher mentalities over lower ones? 

Edited by pheelf

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41 minutes ago, DavyDepuydt1 said:

know I can tweak the duties a bit to be more defensively solid and don't actually need to change my mentality, but I like to know why it's not so succesful when lowering

Sorry didnt answer this bit directly. 

Lower mentality will by default give you a deeper dline... Lower tempo... Less pressing... 

In a 442 i see all of these as negatives. Most opponents will have a DM or AM... By not pressing them the opponent will dominate the ball in central areas. With deep line imagine the space an opponents number 10 will have right around your defensive third! I bet they are causing havoc. 

Then when you get the ball ideally to maximise a winger and two strikers youd want more direct fast play...but your instructions are curtailing this behaviour. 

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Thank you both for your answers, it gives me some new valuable insights, all of it sounds very logical.
I'm still learning and discovering these things with every match I play and these bits of information certainly make me understand these concepts of defending & mentality some more.

That's why I'm wasn't just happy with my tactic on control that was working, but I wanted to have a better understanding of things I've tried that did not work, because they will make me a better player in new situations/new teams/new formations.

So thanks again for the information you've shared :)

Edited by DavyDepuydt1

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For me things always start with the roles+duties.  You have a lot of simple roles who don't have a lot of built in risk taking such as WM-S, CM-D, CM-S, 2xFB and even TM-A and F9-S take less risks than say a CF.  This plus only having 2 attack duties probably moderates the resulting risk taking when on Control. 

Dropping mentality could end up very safe and whilst not possession style would lack some thrust.  Plus the TM is leading the line, with higher mentalities your team could be more pushed up and able to support him but on lower mentalities the team might launch the ball to the TM (as the role does cause more direct passes from other players to him) who could be isolated.

Secondly if defending deeper I'd look at the defensive formation and where I'm liable to give opponents space. In a 442 with two CM I'm more inclined to use two defend duties so they sit a bit deeper or just move them the DM.  A similar problem can be seen with 4231 or 433 DM Wide with lots of space between FB and wide forward, especially if the wide forward is on attack duty which could allow time J space to collect the ball and put a good cross in, dribble 1v1 at the FB or bringing ball inside.  

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Your 442 can be a solid defensive formation if used properly. I apporach the Mentality setting think of it as a ladder of risk - the higher you go, the more risks you take. 

Stepping it back to Counter and you take less risks, will see an increase in possession as passes are safer options, more likely possession in deeper areas than Control (should be obvious if you compare the heat maps).

So the formation you set here is your defensive formation, the 442 is/should be a solid 'double wall' for your opponent to break through - the first wall being your midfield four, but you have left the gate unlocked on your right side with the Winger on Attack - once they get into that space between the lines it's much harder to defend. As has been said, opponents with AMs will exploit that space, if you are sitting deeper already, they are exploiting space that is closer to your goal.

Now one of my thoughts/philosophies, when on any Mentality below standard, I never have more than one player on Attack duty. I want players behind the ball in Counter and Defend (I rarely ever use Contain) and I want them nice and tight supporting each other - more Fluid shape. Fluid will also compress the space between Defense and Midfield - restricted their AM

Up top now, look at a creator and a scorer partnership - the TM will attract the ball, but needs to either hold it up or lay it off - in this formation he should be the creator, with his partner looking to feed off knock-downs, flick-ons etc. TM-S and Poacher perhaps? 

So to  play a more defensive style, I would look to lock down the right side better, close the space between the defense and midfield, and have a pairing up front that can receive the ball, create chances and score for themselves or at least, keep possession until the rest of the team have moved up in support. One out-and-out goalscorer, a partner for him to feed off.

Hope that helps. So many ways to play the 4-4-2.

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This is an interesting post as i am looking to see how to make counter tactics more effective.

Edited by Jyuan83

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6 hours ago, Snorks said:

 I apporach the Mentality setting think of it as a ladder of risk - the higher you go, the more risks you take. 

Stepping it back to Counter and you take less risks, will see an increase in possession as passes are safer options, more likely possession in deeper areas than Control.

I cannot agree more.

I would just like to add that, possesion doesnt help defense a lot. More possesion reduces the time the opponent has the ball, but it does not reduce the quality of the opponent's attack. If their attacks are dangerous, it is still dangerous when you have more posesion. It only helps reducing the amount of chances the opponent can have, but lets try to think about it - if your opponent's possesion goes from 55% to 45%, how many shots would they loss? I certainly would not say it is alot.

18 hours ago, DavyDepuydt1 said:

(The reason I wanted to try lower mentalities was during difficult away games I got results like 4-3, 3-3, and wanted to thighten up but still try to win/draw the game but with less goal galore)

I dont agree with this (no offense), to the point where I almost think this is a misconception.

Does taking less risk make you more likely to win/draw games against strong oppositions? My answer is no.

When you are the underdog, you are having a disadvantage on less quality in both build up and chances. If you tune down the risk you take, you get an more guaranteed build up at the cost of less dangerous chances created (since atient build up give time for opponent to set up defense), but you could not have exceeded the opponent by a huge margin since the opponent is stronger. This is a bad trade off.

When the opponent is stronger, the underdog could not afford to not take risk; if the underdog does not take risk, less goals scored. You know that there will be less goals as you have said in you post, but how could you afford that as an underdog? Should you be the one to be afriad of being hit by a counter attack?

 

Edited by moolochicken
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Very interesting, I've learned a lot by posting my simple issue here, I'm very grateful for the detailed answers.
I knew that the mentality was often referred to as "risk", but I had a total wrong idea of what lower/more risk really meant and in what situations it's more / less applicable.

I will go over this when I go back to the game and review my thinking about how I set up my team in different situations (against better or worse teams) both formation, duty and mentality wise.

Thank you all very much 

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16 hours ago, moolochicken said:

 

I dont agree with this (no offense), to the point where I almost think this is a misconception.

Does taking less risk make you more likely to win/draw games against strong oppositions? My answer is no.

When you are the underdog, you are having a disadvantage on less quality in both build up and chances. If you tune down the risk you take, you get an more guaranteed build up at the cost of less dangerous chances created (since atient build up give time for opponent to set up defense), but you could not have exceeded the opponent by a huge margin since the opponent is stronger. This is a bad trade off.

When the opponent is stronger, the underdog could not afford to not take risk; if the underdog does not take risk, less goals scored. You know that there will be less goals as you have said in you post, but how could you afford that as an underdog? Should you be the one to be afriad of being hit by a counter attack?

 

I don;t want to over-complicate things for the OP, and I agree with the first section of your post, but I wanted to try and explain the way I understand the concept of Risk.

You talk about 'More' or 'Less' risk taking, whereas my intention was to suggest 'Higher' or 'Lower' risk - yes you need to take risks as an underdog to score, or win games and the 'More' you do it, the more likely you are to grab a goal. But when you do take that risk - how vulnerable are you leaving yourself. Lower mentalities such as Counter or Defensive simply mean you attack when it is safer to do so, which might, in fact, be more often than higher mentalities because the opposition are being drawn out and hopefully leaving space to exploit.

A tactic, lets say, that relies on attacking Wing Backs for width in the attack, will be more vulnerable to counter attacks from an opposition with pacey Wingers - so there is a 'Higher' risk element than using Full Backs on defend and midfielders for the width. The higher up the mentality ladder you go, the more times you will be exposed to this risk - in general. 

Apologies if I hadn't explained clearly earlier. 

Edited by Snorks

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@Snorks That entire 2nd section is quoting OP's original post, so you dont need to use your post earlier than mine to reply ^^.

And judging from OP's response he has got it already so dont worry, everything is clear here.

 

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