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15 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


Actually, just one. Well technically two bids but only one went through as the other was scuppered by a near-season ending injury during pre-season :( Quite a few Harry Maguire-esq transfers though :lol:

Ah that's a shame hopefully you were able to find some suitable replacements. If not then I guess the only thing left to do is join the rest of us on FM19 finally :D 

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Posted (edited)
On 04/08/2019 at 12:03, zlatanera said:

I'm on FM19 and one thing that's really frustrated me is the removal of the mentality bars on the Player Instructions screen. Whereas on FM18 you have something like this:

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In FM19 we only get a word description, here's an example with my AM on both Control Positive and Attacking mentalities:

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Positive

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Attacking

Or is it the other way round? You have no way of knowing!

which means when I'm increasing my team's mentality sometimes it suggest the player mentality hasn't increased even though it must have done. I'm therefore left to just assuming that it still works similar to previous years where you get the bump to compensate for not fielding an Attack duty player, and that AML-Su will have a higher mentality on Attacking than on Control / Positive. 

I get that they wanted to make it simpler for new players, but its not great that when we want to go more advanced we're basically reduced to guessing that things still work like they did previously (I still got back to that FM18 mentality calculator, just leave it on Flexible and hope that's equivalent to how it works on FM19).


It's a shame. It's a real step backwards. I'm too much of a control freak to deal with the ambiguity. This is the first version of FM I have missed in as long as I can remember (..and I'm pretty sure it would have been called CM :lol:) and I'm not feeling particularly inclined to go for FM 2020 either unless there is major improvement in the mechanics and interface.

I understand there was a lot of confusion around Team Shape and Mentality in earlier FMs but despite it's complexity, it was possible to explain with absolute clarity. With FM 2019 I have followed a few threads - and there was one in particular about Team Shape - where even the mods and SI employees were giving contradictory accounts and nobody seemed clear about what was happening. Ultimately it seems now to be brushed over by asking, "does it really matter?" which it doesn't for the majority, but for me it does.

In my opinion they needed to make Individual Mentality more visible and transparent, not less. Represent it in some way on the main tactics screen, not hidden within the PI screen and described ambiguously. If you could see clearly how everybody is going to behave when you change Shape, Team Mentality or Duty then you'd have considerably less confusion.

Considering the speed in which SI have managed to resolve earlier issues, I'm not holding my breath. Until they do, I'm quite enjoying being detached from the series and still enjoying FM 2018 - although eventually I imagine the out of date database will get to me. Perhaps I'll try some saves in unchartered (for me) countries where the database will be less of an issue. Although I do still have aspirations for one final Arsenal save and I've always said I'd look at Simeone's Atleti so this might be my last chance.

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

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1 hour ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


It's a shame. It's a real step backwards. I'm too much of a control freak to deal with the ambiguity. This is the first version of FM I have missed in as long as I can remember (..and I'm pretty sure it would have been called CM :lol:) and I'm not feeling particularly inclined to go for FM 2020 either unless there is major improvement in the mechanics and interface.

I understand there was a lot of confusion around Team Shape and Mentality in earlier FMs but despite it's complexity, it was possible to explain with absolute clarity. With FM 2019 I have followed a few threads - and there was one in particular about Team Shape - where even the mods and SI employees were giving contradictory accounts and nobody seemed clear about what was happening. Ultimately it seems now to be brushed over by asking, "does it really matter?" which it doesn't for the majority, but for me it does.

In my opinion they needed to make Individual Mentality more visible and transparent, not less. Represent it in some way on the main tactics screen, not hidden within the PI screen and described ambiguously. If you could see clearly how everybody is going to behave when you change Shape, Team Mentality or Duty then you'd have considerably less confusion.

Considering the speed in which SI have managed to resolve earlier issues, I'm not holding my breath. Until they do, I'm quite enjoying being detached from the series and still enjoying FM 2018 - although eventually I imagine the out of date database will get to me. Perhaps I'll try some saves in unchartered (for me) countries where the database will be less of an issue. Although I do still have aspirations for one final Arsenal save and I've always said I'd look at Simeone's Atleti so this might be my last chance.

It's not like the confusion is just restricted to the likes of you diving deep into it to explain it for people, its affecting everyone:

I don't mind that we can't see mentality until we click into a player's instructions, but it does frustrate me that they have gone from slightly unreadable bars to something that is, in effect, lying to you by not disclosing the increased mentality. I can see why they'd want to "simplify" it in an effort to make things less like a puzzle to be beaten and more like the maddening but addictive real thing, but I agree it's arguably much more confusing than Team Shape ever was by virtue of it not being possible to explain it.

I've enjoyed FM19, but given how many bugs there were at the start its highly unlikely I'll buy the new one. Large periods where I just couldn't play the game means I've got a lot I still want to try. Might even go back to FM18 to have ago with this stacked Benfica academy you're making us all jealous of, or properly return AC Milan to the top of Europe (less fun on FM19 when they've got rid of Locatelli). I'll maybe wait until about March 2021 when FM21 should be at its best before buying a new one though, which given I've bought the last 5 the day they came out is a bit of a pivot from me. Atletico are always on my list of teams to manage too, but then I end up going back to my old fave Real Sociedad and building up too much of a rivalry with them to ever manage them. 

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New Look Benfica - 2024/25


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The first team has seen a fairly major overhaul; with 6 new faces and a new tactical approach. We have overhauled the defence and attack, whilst retaining our midfield. 

Spent most of the summer negotiating transfer deals to cash in and open new spaces within the squad whilst trying to retain some degree of pragmatism. Winning the league is non-negotiable and I wanted to remain competitive in the latter rounds of the Champions League.


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Despite the massive sales, we haven't had a massive drop off in quality of the first team. Particularly considering the striker change was forced.


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Transfers


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Squad


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By my calculations, we managed to open 6 places in the first team and another 6 in the broader squad; and indeed fill them all with players from within the club.

Some will be names that those following will recognise, others have been promoted from Benfica B, spent periods on loan or come directly from the academy.


Meet the New Faces..


There are 3 major new influences on our first team this year.


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I highlighted Ederson Mosquera when scouts uncovered him a few years ago and we immediately brought him to the club. He's since done half a season with Benfica B and a year on load at no less than Real Madrid where he was a first teamer and won La Liga.

He's a classic destructive centre back which is going to have large repercussions on our tactical approach later on.


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I must admit a fairly large degree of luck on this one. Very much a late developer and - until Real Madrid came in and took him on loan for a year - it had flown under my radar. I was essentially loaning him out, hoping to drive up his value and get a nice transfer fee but I'm delighted to have stumbled across a fantastic new first teamer.

When I look at Diego Batista's attributes, I am instantly reminded my of Koke. Batista did even play a season under Simeone at Atleti earlier on. He's physically and mentally strong, very well rounded and has a bit of a bite to his game which is another slightly new dimension for us.


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Lucas Aragón has been producing flashes of unsustained genius for what feels like forever. He's quick, creative, great dribbler and intelligent. As with any diminutive Argentinian winger/playmaker I've been hoping that he'd be our Leo Messi but he's never had that consistency or end product and I've always felt that he must have some issue with consistency or big games.

This year, I've partially built a system around him; providing him with space, passing options and good supply. Let's see if he can finally fulfil that early potential.


==========================================================


In the broader first team squad, we have promoted a few promising youngsters from within.


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José Carlos Monteiro Bessa is the first promotion from the Benfica B team which won the second division last year. JCMB is actually the first goalkeeper who is not Geronimo Rulli to play a league game for Benfica since I took over.


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Frederico Sousa was another key element of the title winning Benfica B team last season. A powerful, left-sided centre back who has been tutored to Model Citizen by the great Alex Pinto.


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Rui Soares is another from Benfica B's title winners and a solid left back with lots of potential to develop.


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Goncalo Osorio is a strong, hard working and intelligent defensive midfielder who's just returned from a successful loan period in La Liga with Espanyol.


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Luis Dias has been constantly recommended as a particularly high potential young left winger and will be playing understudy to Aragon.
 

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Carlos Pinto is the benefactor of Lautaro Martinez's unfortunate injury. He has come directly from the academy after a prolific year with the Under 19s.

 

Benfica B


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The Academy

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One of the more exciting aspects of this is that we've invested heavily in our Academy and Benfica B and have clear pathways into the first team squad as more established first teamers will need to move on in order to further their own careers.

This post is quite image heavy and I'm tired, so I'll follow up with an update about tactics.

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Posted (edited)

Hi @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! Absolutely loving this thread, it’s inspiring to see such a long term career based around youth development. I’ve started a career with arsenal on FM19 and am having trouble building a tactic suitable for the players I want to build a future around (like you have had to do many times). I have bellerin, torreira, Maitland-niles, willock, nelson and smith-Rowe that I would like to focus on but to fit those along with players like aubameyang, ozil etc seems tricky!

As an example, bellerin would be my first choice RB playing as a WBs, to then play nelson in front who seems like an ideal winger would seem unbalanced width wise whereas I want smith-rowe on the left as an IF cutting in and using his vision etc meaning I would probably play tierney as a left WB. 

I think the only signings I could justify are probably centre backs. Thanks for any help 👍🏻

Edited by leesmith90

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Posted (edited)

@leesmith90 there’s no law to say you can’t play the right-footed Nelson as an IF on the right. I’ve been doing it with Noah Okafor at Lyon most recently, he still scores and assists and gets inside. Nelson has decent finishing iirc as well. Traits can help. You can also train “Cuts Inside” and play that player as a Winger to get some nice varied movement. 

You could even have a Winger ahead of a Wing Back and double down on the one-dimensional element of it by training both of them to hug the line and run down that flank whilst also having players on the other side attack the box to get on the end of their crosses i.e. IF-At, your striker and perhaps even an AM. 

There’s no hard and fast rules is what I’m getting at. As long as you have a clear idea of what you expect your players to do, then if they’re not doing it you know you need to change something. 

Edited by zlatanera

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@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! kinda overlooked it before, but I see you've not chosen any TIs for your Fluid Control setup. Was there something about this particular set of players that made you not want to add the likes of Retain PossessionClose Down More or Pass Into Space? I understand not using Play Out Of Defence because the CDs aren't as technical as the previous bunch.

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On 11/08/2019 at 15:03, leesmith90 said:

Hi @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! Absolutely loving this thread, it’s inspiring to see such a long term career based around youth development. I’ve started a career with arsenal on FM19 and am having trouble building a tactic suitable for the players I want to build a future around (like you have had to do many times). I have bellerin, torreira, Maitland-niles, willock, nelson and smith-Rowe that I would like to focus on but to fit those along with players like aubameyang, ozil etc seems tricky!

As an example, bellerin would be my first choice RB playing as a WBs, to then play nelson in front who seems like an ideal winger would seem unbalanced width wise whereas I want smith-rowe on the left as an IF cutting in and using his vision etc meaning I would probably play tierney as a left WB. 

I think the only signings I could justify are probably centre backs. Thanks for any help 👍🏻


Thank you very much :thup: Arsenal seem to be in a permanent state of transition, but actually are one of the more interesting Premier League prospects for developing young players due to a sweet spot between having an academy, scouting network and reputation to attract good young players and having spaces up for grabs in the first team squad.

The first couple of seasons are also great fun to watch with Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil and Mkhitaryan but an extremely shaky defence. And saying that, the defence isn't quite as shaky in FM - 2018, at least - as it can be in real life.

I've had quite a fun save with them using the latest update but haven't really got far enough to comment on most of the youngsters, but I would agree about using Nelson cutting in from the right with Bellerin overlapping. Largely depends on your overall system.


 

On 13/08/2019 at 01:20, zlatanera said:

@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! kinda overlooked it before, but I see you've not chosen any TIs for your Fluid Control setup. Was there something about this particular set of players that made you not want to add the likes of Retain PossessionClose Down More or Pass Into Space? I understand not using Play Out Of Defence because the CDs aren't as technical as the previous bunch.


Simply that the current team is not as tactically developed as that of recent seasons. The previous side had been playing together, training at the club and using gradual evolutions of that system for years where as this is quite a different side.

They're now controlling play through more physical players such as Batista, Mosquera, Florentino Luis and Gedson Fernandes and as such I want them to play roughly a medium block and attack a little more directly. It's more of a typical Bayern type set up, than Barcelona for example.


 

On 17/08/2019 at 13:25, axelmuller said:

very cool to see Diego Batista getting some love finally. what a fantastic player.


Yea I'm really enjoying having him in the side. I like that he's got a bit of bite to his game and it's something new for this save.

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We had an early wobble with 2 early defeats to Sporting in the league and Lazio in the Champions League but now we're on a nice run and looking like we'll be in contention for everything come the end of the season.


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Dantas has really taken the reigns a couple of times and been superb playing deeper from Regista with Florentino Luis alongside him giving him a platform to work from.


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Really enjoying this season. The squad has a much fresher feel and there's a lot going on beneath the first team, with some already putting their hand up for first team places next season.

We're showing flashes of brilliance, but not the sustained dominance of previous seasons.


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One highlight has been experimenting with the Regista role. I've always found two limitations with the Regista role. Firstly, it's the pre-set instructions are different to my own personal interpretation, which is fine but it means it doesn't often fit my systems. Secondly, the role is very expansive, which means that it creates a lot of congestion when used in a midfield 3, which is not a problem here as the entire system gives him a lot of space to play in.

This is shown in one of Dantas' highlights of the season so far.


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Here you can see Dantas picks the ball up deep and drives forward at the defence. Incidentally, you can also see the placement of Batista on the right creating a kind-of lopsided midfield 3 and has been particularly effective.


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Ultimately drives forward to the edge of the box and thumps the ball into the top corner. Needless to say, he's now got a freedom that we did not see in his previous role.

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Officially overtaken Sir Alex Ferguson in the Hall of Fame now. Only Guardiola ahead.


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As may have been expected João Felix took a clean sweep of the individual awards.


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The punta de lança experiment seems to have been a success.

Just drawn Bayern in the first Champions League knockout round.

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On 01/09/2019 at 21:45, zlatanera said:

I've not seen anyone else post about using Overload / Very Attacking set-ups, so I just thought I'd share mine which I developed with Lyon. Built a Balanced tactic 1st season then upped the mentality every season since, so Very Attacking came in season 4. 

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AML had Roam From Position whilst AMR had Cross Less OftenCut Inside With BallShoot Less Often and Sit Narrower. The use of a 4-2-3-1 was directly inspired by @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!'s switch to it, I used it to get the best out of Houssem Aouar whereas in previous years I'd only ever used him deeper, and hadn't really used this formation for about 3 years. One thing I noticed is that, perhaps due to the absence of team shape in FM19, there doesn't seem to be enough of a mentality boost when you use 0 At duties to get any penetration, hence I ended up with 3 At duties (2 reduced through use of Overlap TIs). I absolutely love a wide Trequartista now, used both the left-footed Nabil Fekir and right-footed Noah Okafor, whilst the Winger on the left was always right-footed (Memphis, Lenny Pintor) which gets a nice range of movement - sometimes he goes outside and the CWB gets up narrow to support, sometimes he cuts in to shoot and the CWB goes wide to offer an option. This isn't a tactic to get the best out of a striker though, of my two options only one hit double figures and that was inflated by penalties, but the AM trio are so deadly it doesn't matter. Of my 23 man squad, 15 were at the club in the start of the game which I'm quite happy with for a youth development save - check out Maxence Caqueret anyone looking for any sort of CM playmaker in FM19! - and I never broke the club's transfer record of ~£19m. Anyway, as this screenshot shows we scored a great amount of goals:

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As well as the unbeaten league season I won both cups whilst rotating my entire outfield X every game in order to maintain sharpness, and would probably have reached a second consecutive Champions League final were it not for Messi successfully rolling back the years and destroying us. 

Full exploits can be found here but this isn't a plug as much as a sharing of a tactic. 


Congratulations. I am glad you're finding success! :applause:

That trio in the AM-strata must be absolutely full-throttle in attack. I see you've also got a pretty good defensive record, which I also observed as a result of the press. Seems that it's extremely challenging to build a squad capable of the style, but once you're there it's extremely effective.

Interesting FM2019 calls that Flexible. Looks like a result of the attacking attackers :lol: but should offset the defensive structure somewhat.

Nice work :thup:

I'm quite interested to experiment with the deeper structure I've been using this season with that style, although it may have to be with Portugal now as the squad is going to continue it's transition for another 2-3 seasons and I'm not 100% sure what the end result is going to be yet.


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This was a really emotional one.

Florentino Luis is going to be going to Chelsea at the end of the season for £104m.

We're also getting £100m+ offers for Dantas (I rejected as I couldn't see him playing for Mourinho at Man Utd) and I am interested to see if anybody can actually afford João Felix as that's going to be a blockbuster when he moves on.

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he must certainly be a great character since Morata and co  praised him in public. Never seen that before.

Who gonna replace Florentino, is it someone from the conveyor belt?

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@Ö-zil to the Arsenal! 

Thanks!

Yeah they're relentless, Memphis in particular as the W-At is all over it - the new feature where if you praise them when they train well their Work Rate goes up has paid off, think I've got his up 3 points which helps with our playing style, he's less of a luxury player now, and yeah that press combined with the double De midfield seems to give us solidity. I was surprised that I couldn't get more out of a tactic with just one At duty but it just seems too passive - when I had a Control setup and the only At duty was AMR we ended up dependent on our central midfielder getting space and curling one in from range which isn't sustainable - so I guess more At duties is the way I'm going on FM19. And yes you definitely need the right squad - I looked at Roma and thought "well, the only weak point is CDs so we could probably get something playing like this" and it went pretty badly, lower mid-table in November. 

In FM19 Very Fluid is when you have all Su duties, Structured seems to be if I had my striker on At, and more Su duties in midfield, rather than De and Flexible seems to be just the game going "ok dude, play like that if you want, don't get angry at me though when it fails". 

@axelmuller perhaps its more common on FM19, or just because I play at bigger clubs, but in my save for example Real Madrid have half their squad praising Aouar publicly which seems quite realistic for how the do business. Its good to see the AI actually using the transfer strategies that players use, rather than just bombarding you with awful non-negotiable offers. 

Edited by zlatanera

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Only just found this post, been on a long sabbatical from football manager and just about to dip my toe back in. 

Strange seeing you move away from a 3-4-3 tactic I know you well for using. 

Are you on fm18 now as opposed to using fm19? I still struggle to stay off fm15 or fm16 which I felt where really good editions of football manager. 

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On 19/07/2019 at 11:31, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


:lol: They're really not that special:

Under 19s:


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B Team:


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This would be the next year's crop, but of a very similar level. Typically around 2 stars for ability and they've had 1-2 years in the academy already so have a reasonable technical ability and intelligence but nobody is banging on the door for the first team or even squad right now.


 


I'm edging toward this as a preference as well but I am not sure when and how to handle the transition. I've left it a little late for this season as clubs switching coach have already done so. Arsenal - I would say Spurs, if I wasn't biassed. But I'm not, so I won't - and Liverpool look like the most interesting propositions in the Premiership.

Manchester City and United have dominated the league in the past few years, although Chelsea won it last season. Premiership sides also dominate the later rounds of the Champions League so it's an interesting league, for sure.


 


Interesting question. Almost any thread about youth development winds up being Ajax, Barcelona, Santos or now Benfica. In an ideal world I'd find a feeder club with a similar style of play and loan players out there. More pragmatically, I'd probably rely on the most general loan system to take players from U-19 level to First Team. To be honest, I am anyway. The quality of our first team squad means that there's not many pathways directly through the club into the first team. Most positions are 2-3 deep with 4/5-star players plus a couple out on loan. The academy has been a victim of our own success.

Ultimately you've got to offer opportunities if you expect people to develop, and I think that one of the reasons we're seeing less coming through is lack of opportunity in the first team.


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Given that the squad has now largely peaked, I am erring toward a few major sales and then managing that transition.

Lautaro Martinez, João Felix and Embalo all have £100m+ offers floating around for them. We have ready made replacements in the squad and this would open up some serious pathways into the team. Others like Grimaldo and Lo Celso should probably be cashed in upon as well.

Aragon, for example, still strikes me as a huge potential, but could be given more opportunity:


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After a few years in limbo Diego Batista has returned from Real Madrid an absolute beast.


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As has Ederson Mosquera:


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The interesting thing is that these are all quite different players to the existing squad, shifting the 'DNA' somewhat.
 

Long shot but what are the chances of getting a copy of this save from you? To have a crack at a transition myself? 

I only ask because I could see it as a little short term challenge for myself until fm20 is released as I have no long term saves on fm18 or f19.

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Mission somewhat accomplished, maintained domestic dominance although slipped out of Europe earlier than I'd hoped.

Seems to be an issue accessing my imgur account so the update will follow shortly and the transition looks likely to step up a gear.

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@Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

When you are in the 4141 formation, with the two CM-S, do you play them same side/foot? So Left footed CM-s on the left and right footed on the right?

Thanks, love this thread!

Edited by 04texag

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1 hour ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


Where possible, yes. Same for centre backs.

Thanks, cheers!

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On 19/09/2019 at 00:29, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


Where possible, yes. Same for centre backs.

what would be the chances of getting a copy of your save mate? just to keep me occupied until fm20 comes out to see if i can kick on with the transition at the end of your last season. 

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On 10/08/2019 at 10:34, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Tactics


I've already given a spoiler with the team's new structure.


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The change in shape has been influenced by 3 main factors.

  1. Mosquera and Leite replacing Pinto and Bobsin.
  2. Diego Batista joining the midfield.
  3. Abundance of wingers and a shortage of strikers.

The end result could easily be described as a 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2 or even 4-2-4 - when watching the ME - however my thought process is essentially a skewed 4-4-2 diamond with Luis at the base, flanked by Dantas and Batista and João Felix as the Ponta de Lança.

Interesting facets of the system include:

  • Dantas is given carte blanche to play as a Regista - the team's primary playmaker with space ahead of him to drive forward and passing options galore.
  • Aragón flanks the diamond from the left wing; starting deep in the ML position then driving forward and cutting inside.
  • Diego Batista plays in a Koke-inspired role as a wide midfielder.

The collective principles are very simple.

  • Two compact banks of four in defence.
  • Passing options and quick transitions
  • 4-2-4 in attack.

Two Banks of Four


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Pockets of Space


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Facing a 4-1-2-3 - needless to say, an extremely common formation - we can exploit pockets of space.

  1. Dantas gets the ball deep, with space and freedom to advance and draw out midfield.
  2. Aragon and Diego Batista occupy the space behind the opposition winger and ahead of the fullback creating a one-on-one.


Passing Options


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We've so far trained two variants:

  1. Fluid Counter
    • To be used in bigger European ties and with the rotation squad in challenging league games.
  2. Fluid Control
    • To be used in most league games we're expected to dominate.


Fluid Counter


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The individual mentality structure breakdown is as follows:
 


    14
        12
12          12
    10  6   
12  6   6   12
      6


This is a good example for anyone still struggling to understand the relationship between Team Mentality, Shape, Duty and key Team Instructions.

  • Counter is a marginally more conservative overall mentality structure, between Standard and Defend.
  • Fluid team shape groups individual mentalities together as a unit, closely related to the team mentality so in this case also pretty conservative.
  • The Attack duties in the team balance this out and Exploit the Middle increases our DM & DCs increasing the compactness.

Key observations are that our playmaker has a neutral mentality, with most of the team having a positive yet balanced mentality and balanced by a defensive trio.

Fluid Control


XoRIb7X.png


Switching Team Mentality to Control and balancing this with Support duties, make the mentality structure very similar but a little more possession based.
 


    10
        12
12          12
    12  8   
12  8   8   12
      8


The largest difference between the two is the defensive block - we play a higher line in the control system.

Voila :thup:

this is superb man, it really bangs the drum about roles and mentalitys etc. 

 

 

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On 10/08/2019 at 11:34, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

The Attack duties in the team balance this out and Exploit the Middle increases our DM & DCs increasing the compactness.

I have a question about "balancing" different mentalities out, I'd love if someone could clarify this for me. What is the point of balancing them (eg. switching a WB to Attack instead of Support, when you change the mentality to Counter from Control)? What is the point of changing the team mentality, if you then balance the roles out anyway, so their individual mentalities stay almost the same?

Thanks!

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30 minutes ago, DiStru_ said:

I have a question about "balancing" different mentalities out, I'd love if someone could clarify this for me. What is the point of balancing them (eg. switching a WB to Attack instead of Support, when you change the mentality to Counter from Control)? What is the point of changing the team mentality, if you then balance the roles out anyway, so their individual mentalities stay almost the same?

Thanks!


Excellent question. Quite difficult to articulate an answer.

At a ridiculously high level, balance is important simply because you have to score more goals than you concede, so even if you're playing Overload you still want some defensive structure; likewise if you're Defensive you want some attacking threat.

Team Mentality outlines the collective strategy and then Duty determines individual mentality relative to the team. The common misconception is that Duty is absolute. For example, that Attack duty always means they're attacking or Support players are always balanced. Which is why you see comments like, "your attack may be rubbish if you've only got 1 player on Attack duty" or more generally comments about Roles (often tied to duties) without considering the context of the overall system. In reality, the DLP(D) in the system I used earlier will play with a more expansive mentality than a Support duty in most systems, and even some Attack duties.

This is demonstrated in any of the Attack or Overload systems in this, or any other thread going back to the Bielsa one. I find that an attacking team mentality with lots of players on support (which is relatively quite attacking) plays superb football.

In order to recreate a similar style without changing team mentality, I would need to have 5-6 players on an Attack duty. However, this would mean:

  1. A large gap between Defend duty players, and Attack duty players. Always greater than the gap between Defend duty and Support duty.
  2. I now need to use TIs if I want higher defensive line, pressing or tempo.

This is of course an extreme example. In more moderate systems, I wouldn't see an issue with finding an individual mentality structure which you like and then using Team Instructions to tweak the way you play.

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On 10/08/2019 at 10:34, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Tactics


I've already given a spoiler with the team's new structure.


vjdUZgv.png


The change in shape has been influenced by 3 main factors.

  1. Mosquera and Leite replacing Pinto and Bobsin.
  2. Diego Batista joining the midfield.
  3. Abundance of wingers and a shortage of strikers.

The end result could easily be described as a 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2 or even 4-2-4 - when watching the ME - however my thought process is essentially a skewed 4-4-2 diamond with Luis at the base, flanked by Dantas and Batista and João Felix as the Ponta de Lança.

Interesting facets of the system include:

  • Dantas is given carte blanche to play as a Regista - the team's primary playmaker with space ahead of him to drive forward and passing options galore.
  • Aragón flanks the diamond from the left wing; starting deep in the ML position then driving forward and cutting inside.
  • Diego Batista plays in a Koke-inspired role as a wide midfielder.

The collective principles are very simple.

  • Two compact banks of four in defence.
  • Passing options and quick transitions
  • 4-2-4 in attack.

Two Banks of Four


UWV4ITx.png


Pockets of Space


RomrvTi.png


Facing a 4-1-2-3 - needless to say, an extremely common formation - we can exploit pockets of space.

  1. Dantas gets the ball deep, with space and freedom to advance and draw out midfield.
  2. Aragon and Diego Batista occupy the space behind the opposition winger and ahead of the fullback creating a one-on-one.


Passing Options


J22IhDU.png


We've so far trained two variants:

  1. Fluid Counter
    • To be used in bigger European ties and with the rotation squad in challenging league games.
  2. Fluid Control
    • To be used in most league games we're expected to dominate.


Fluid Counter


EBFuQfz.png


The individual mentality structure breakdown is as follows:
 


    14
        12
12          12
    10  6   
12  6   6   12
      6


This is a good example for anyone still struggling to understand the relationship between Team Mentality, Shape, Duty and key Team Instructions.

  • Counter is a marginally more conservative overall mentality structure, between Standard and Defend.
  • Fluid team shape groups individual mentalities together as a unit, closely related to the team mentality so in this case also pretty conservative.
  • The Attack duties in the team balance this out and Exploit the Middle increases our DM & DCs increasing the compactness.

Key observations are that our playmaker has a neutral mentality, with most of the team having a positive yet balanced mentality and balanced by a defensive trio.

Fluid Control


XoRIb7X.png


Switching Team Mentality to Control and balancing this with Support duties, make the mentality structure very similar but a little more possession based.
 


    10
        12
12          12
    12  8   
12  8   8   12
      8


The largest difference between the two is the defensive block - we play a higher line in the control system.

Voila :thup:

Q for you - do you have any player instructions for these two setups? cheers

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11 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Team Mentality outlines the collective strategy and then Duty determines individual mentality relative to the team.

Thanks for your answer!

If individual mentalities are relative to team mentality, does that mean that your WBs will be more cautious in your Counter system than they are in the Control one, despite them having the same individual mentality of 12 in both?

That would explain my confusion, since I thought that individual mentalities always come first. That is why I saw no point in balancing them out (making them almost the same in both systems), since I thought that would make them behave in the same way (I thought there would be no difference between the two system, despite different team mentality).

Hope that makes sense.

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You're welcome :thup:
 

10 hours ago, DiStru_ said:

If individual mentalities are relative to team mentality, does that mean that your WBs will be more cautious in your Counter system than they are in the Control one, despite them having the same individual mentality of 12 in both?


Not quite. It's duty that's relative to team mentality, rather than mentality.

A players individual mentality is derived from both Team Mentality and Duty, plus a few other things which I'll ignore for the sake of simplicity. I find it useful to think of Duty directly alongside Team Mentality. For example, "an Support duty in an Attacking team" and you get a better idea of how the role will behave than simply Attack, Defend or Support. Going back to the earlier question, consider whether you want a Support duty in an Attacking team or an Attack duty in a Standard team? Individually players may behave similarly, but the team around them will be very different.

As to whether the wingbacks with mentality of 12 will behave similarly.. to an extent. It's difficult to articulate, much easier to see in the ME so I suggest watch a few games. Their decision making, in particular attitude to risk, will be similar, but the team around them will be reasonably different. Not to mention wider, playing a higher line and closing down more in the Control system.

Hope that helps.

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13 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

I find it useful to think of Duty directly alongside Team Mentality. For example, "an Support duty in an Attacking team" and you get a better idea of how the role will behave than simply Attack, Defend or Support.

Thanks, that's actually very helpful. When I think about it that way, things start making much more sense and suddenly I see a few glaring issues in my tactic. :D

However, I must say the game itself does a really poor job explaining some of these things. I can see why someone new at the game would struggle, when you need to dive into each and every player's individual mentality (and do that every time you change Team Mentality--at the very least give us a better view, so we can see individual mentalities for all 11 players at the same time, on the same screen) to get some idea of how they will actually behave. CM on Defensive Team Mentality+Support Duty? He'll actually do more defending than supporting. The same Role and Duty on Attacking Team Mentality? Now you've got him running forward like a wild dog and should be vary of that, despite the "Support" Duty not sounding overly adventurous.

Since apparently FM20 will see some improvement when it comes to staff advice, it would be much more helpful to get advice like "Warning: our current combination of Defensive Team Mentality and players' Duties could make us struggle to keep hold of the ball or create chances--I advise you to increase the number of Attack and Support Duties on this Team Mentality", rather than the current "we're getting overrun in the middle" nonsense. But I'm not holding my breath, so instead I'm thankful we have tactical gurus like yourself sharing the advice with us. :thup:

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2 hours ago, DiStru_ said:

Thanks, that's actually very helpful. When I think about it that way, things start making much more sense and suddenly I see a few glaring issues in my tactic. :D

However, I must say the game itself does a really poor job explaining some of these things. I can see why someone new at the game would struggle, when you need to dive into each and every player's individual mentality (and do that every time you change Team Mentality--at the very least give us a better view, so we can see individual mentalities for all 11 players at the same time, on the same screen) to get some idea of how they will actually behave. CM on Defensive Team Mentality+Support Duty? He'll actually do more defending than supporting. The same Role and Duty on Attacking Team Mentality? Now you've got him running forward like a wild dog and should be vary of that, despite the "Support" Duty not sounding overly adventurous.

Since apparently FM20 will see some improvement when it comes to staff advice, it would be much more helpful to get advice like "Warning: our current combination of Defensive Team Mentality and players' Duties could make us struggle to keep hold of the ball or create chances--I advise you to increase the number of Attack and Support Duties on this Team Mentality", rather than the current "we're getting overrun in the middle" nonsense. But I'm not holding my breath, so instead I'm thankful we have tactical gurus like yourself sharing the advice with us. :thup:

Be careful taking the way you look at it too far. Mentality is about risk taking more than anything else, a CM on Defensive Team Mentality+Support Duty will take fewer risks with his passing, posistioning and forward movement, but as he is on a SU duty he will still do those things. E.g. When there is a clear counter on he will bomb forward if he is able and his own personal decsion making allows it.

The same midfielder on Attacking Mentality is more inclined to take risks and move forward and support the attack, taking risks on his positioning to try and hurt the opposition rather than just bombing forward. If you look back to the start of the thread this Benfica side didnt start off with a 100% Overload mentality, they were defensive and playing a structured system where needed until he could develop the mental attributes of his players to move to a more fluid and free flowing game, which is probably the biggest component for his tactics. Having players that make the right decisions at the right time in the right position.

But I do agree the game does a truly awful job at explaining these things.

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On 25/09/2019 at 00:42, FranGELP22 said:

Hi @Ö-zil to the Arsenal! i love this thread, and inspired me to start a save in fm 20 with Benfica or Ajax, are you considering to move to fm 20? would be awesome to see your tactics in the new me.

Greetings from Argentina


Greetings from London :thup:

I'm actually probably not, unfortunately. Unless there are serious changes then I think this might be the end of the line for me. The tactics creator and interface is such a mess it just feels like an arcade game and judging from recent history I fear improvements may not be forthcoming. Obviously I am interested in the tactical aspect of the game and this vertical tiki-taka stuff just makes me cringe, not to mention the interface (particularly individual mentality) being ambiguous at best.


 

On 25/09/2019 at 12:19, Garrlor said:

Be careful taking the way you look at it too far. Mentality is about risk taking more than anything else, a CM on Defensive Team Mentality+Support Duty will take fewer risks with his passing, posistioning and forward movement, but as he is on a SU duty he will still do those things. E.g. When there is a clear counter on he will bomb forward if he is able and his own personal decsion making allows it.

The same midfielder on Attacking Mentality is more inclined to take risks and move forward and support the attack, taking risks on his positioning to try and hurt the opposition rather than just bombing forward. If you look back to the start of the thread this Benfica side didnt start off with a 100% Overload mentality, they were defensive and playing a structured system where needed until he could develop the mental attributes of his players to move to a more fluid and free flowing game, which is probably the biggest component for his tactics. Having players that make the right decisions at the right time in the right position.

But I do agree the game does a truly awful job at explaining these things.


Agreed. The overall role profile is also particularly important.

Obviously mentality is difficult to articulate, but one interesting exercise would be to watch a couple of games with the same role, but with different mentalities.

One of the most obvious would be the Deep-lying Playmaker (Defend/Support).

  1. with a <10 individual mentality
  2. with a neutral 10-11 mentality
  3. with an expansive 14+ mentality

Then the difference in decision making should become more obvious. For me I it's around sideways and backwards passes at a lower mentality and my preferred style is an expansive mentality with the rest of the system engineered to have options ahead of him.

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OK.. sorry for the delayed update. There has been an issue with the website I use to upload images but seems to be back online now.

This may be a bit disjointed as I have actually gone well into the next season so am working from memory.
 

2024/25 Season Update

2024/25 was always going to be a season of huge transition. We maintained domestic dominance but disappointed in the Champions League.


Bspyv94.png


We lost out to Antonio Conte's Bayern who are a particularly good fit for his 3-4-3.


mrAB4D3.png


PSG going on to take the Champions League for the first time.


BTDSH90.png


Throughout most of the season it looked like a final season at the club for legends João Felix and Dantas. Both having superb seasons and attracting major interest from across Europe. Including a league-sealing hattrick.


huNc4TQ.png

 

Tactically we were OK, but not great. Could have done better in Europe but things didn't quite click.

The issues were:

  1. Being too conservative
  2. Conceding too much space in midfield

A positive was that I did like the pressing in the 4-4-2 shape a lot.

In addition to the squad transition, the club is looking much healthier off the field. The stadium upgrade is complete:


0QrBBoT.png


We are maybe 1-2 seasons away from running at a profit even before transfer fees. By the end of the squad transition, I am expecting transfer fees to help the club reach £1bn and reduced wage costs meaning we run at a monthly profit.


YYkc9Hw.png

 

The challenge is doing that whilst staying right at the top in the Champions League.

Key to that is - as it has been through out the thread - the academy.


6V0XnSV.png


:cool:

Academy intake looking a bit healthier.


hRbS2QQ.png


Huge summer transfer updates to follow :cool:

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

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On 25/09/2019 at 12:19, Garrlor said:

If you look back to the start of the thread this Benfica side didnt start off with a 100% Overload mentality, they were defensive and playing a structured system where needed until he could develop the mental attributes of his players to move to a more fluid and free flowing game, which is probably the biggest component for his tactics. Having players that make the right decisions at the right time in the right position.

So good @Garrlor I thought I'd frame it again.

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10 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

Greetings from London :thup:

I'm actually probably not, unfortunately. Unless there are serious changes then I think this might be the end of the line for me. The tactics creator and interface is such a mess it just feels like an arcade game and judging from recent history I fear improvements may not be forthcoming. Obviously I am interested in the tactical aspect of the game and this vertical tiki-taka stuff just makes me cringe, not to mention the interface (particularly individual mentality) being ambiguous at best.

The vertical tiki taka is a set of Team Instructions, like a preset, there a few more, i think they added it to make it easier for new people to the game to understand differents styles of football and also so they dont choose contradictory TI, but you don't have to use this presets, you can choose a blank one, and add all the Team Instructions that you like.

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@Ö-zil to the Arsenal!this is such a lovely thread, enjoying your new look benfica side with positive attacking football! Keep us posted! I personally would love to read in depth analysis on the latter stages of the CL, but developing youngsters can also be very very informative!

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On 01/09/2019 at 21:45, zlatanera said:

I've not seen anyone else post about using Overload / Very Attacking set-ups, so I just thought I'd share mine which I developed with Lyon. Built a Balanced tactic 1st season then upped the mentality every season since, so Very Attacking came in season 4. 

1143670763_Screenshot2019-08-19at00_46_32.png.5c5377b09d55df75c89115bcfe79a786.thumb.png.28e700b9552e9977843b16a058b8477a.png

AML had Roam From Position whilst AMR had Cross Less OftenCut Inside With BallShoot Less Often and Sit Narrower. The use of a 4-2-3-1 was directly inspired by @Ö-zil to the Arsenal!'s switch to it, I used it to get the best out of Houssem Aouar whereas in previous years I'd only ever used him deeper, and hadn't really used this formation for about 3 years. One thing I noticed is that, perhaps due to the absence of team shape in FM19, there doesn't seem to be enough of a mentality boost when you use 0 At duties to get any penetration, hence I ended up with 3 At duties (2 reduced through use of Overlap TIs). I absolutely love a wide Trequartista now, used both the left-footed Nabil Fekir and right-footed Noah Okafor, whilst the Winger on the left was always right-footed (Memphis, Lenny Pintor) which gets a nice range of movement - sometimes he goes outside and the CWB gets up narrow to support, sometimes he cuts in to shoot and the CWB goes wide to offer an option. This isn't a tactic to get the best out of a striker though, of my two options only one hit double figures and that was inflated by penalties, but the AM trio are so deadly it doesn't matter. Of my 23 man squad, 15 were at the club in the start of the game which I'm quite happy with for a youth development save - check out Maxence Caqueret anyone looking for any sort of CM playmaker in FM19! - and I never broke the club's transfer record of ~£19m. Anyway, as this screenshot shows we scored a great amount of goals:

552581116_leaguetable.png.326e1b273c3fa75cb68ffe220f743140.thumb.png.5ef55f4974f974bf12bb6dedfdb1ffb7.png

As well as the unbeaten league season I won both cups whilst rotating my entire outfield X every game in order to maintain sharpness, and would probably have reached a second consecutive Champions League final were it not for Messi successfully rolling back the years and destroying us. 

Full exploits can be found here but this isn't a plug as much as a sharing of a tactic. 

Don't mean to be mean, & i love your entire thread. But i don't agree that you necessarily need At duties to achieve penetration. Presently use a 4-4-1-1 that is all support duties but with modified TI, PI & ppms, I'm really cruising. I bet others have had similar results with su & de duties

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46 minutes ago, denen123 said:

Don't mean to be mean, & i love your entire thread. But i don't agree that you necessarily need At duties to achieve penetration. Presently use a 4-4-1-1 that is all support duties but with modified TI, PI & ppms, I'm really cruising. I bet others have had similar results with su & de duties

Alright, well good to see other people are succeeding in slightly different manners! I'd had some success with a team full of Su duties with Ajax, but that was back when long shots were OP and I was still unhappy with it. I imagine player traits even play a role too. I had perhaps too many on some of my players - a large proportion of my midfield picked up Knocks Ball Past Opponent from Tanguy Ndombele which was irritating, particularly in the case of Maxence Caqueret who'd become one of the best playmakers on the planet. Perhaps you'd considering sharing yours (if you haven't already in a thread somewhere), so we can all see a different way to go about winning? 

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5 hours ago, zlatanera said:

Alright, well good to see other people are succeeding in slightly different manners! I'd had some success with a team full of Su duties with Ajax, but that was back when long shots were OP and I was still unhappy with it. I imagine player traits even play a role too. I had perhaps too many on some of my players - a large proportion of my midfield picked up Knocks Ball Past Opponent from Tanguy Ndombele which was irritating, particularly in the case of Maxence Caqueret who'd become one of the best playmakers on the planet. Perhaps you'd considering sharing yours (if you haven't already in a thread somewhere), so we can all see a different way to go about winning? 

I would've shared, but i don't know how to upload(I've actually never, on this forum, which is sad). As for the long shots, i encounter them, a lot, to be fair(i had almost 41 shots to 9 against FCP and FCP lost only 2-1. So annoying, i had to watch it on 'Key'). But i make sure I avoid the 'overlap' TI's and use more of the 'run at defense' + 'Counter' to encourage more runners. Fabinho having 'get forward' ppm also helps. Fouls are also my issues. I don't want to go on, like i said, your tactic is good, i just noticed that everyone seems to agree that without an at duty to help push further forward or exploit spaces. But essentially all it does is give the player a higher position, increase his mentality & encourage more runs(these can all be done, bar mentality, by using a su duty with some instructions). 

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13 hours ago, FranGELP22 said:

The vertical tiki taka is a set of Team Instructions, like a preset, there a few more, i think they added it to make it easier for new people to the game to understand differents styles of football and also so they dont choose contradictory TI, but you don't have to use this presets, you can choose a blank one, and add all the Team Instructions that you like.


Yes, I do appreciate that :thup: My bigger disappointment is the control forfeited through the automatic designation of Team Shape based on duty and the resulting confusion as to whether shape is now just a label or still influences individual mentalities. One earlier thread saw SI staff and Moderators saying it is just a label but evidence from the Tactics Creator to the contrary. It's very sloppy.
 

4 hours ago, denen123 said:

I would've shared, but i don't know how to upload(I've actually never, on this forum, which is sad). As for the long shots, i encounter them, a lot, to be fair(i had almost 41 shots to 9 against FCP and FCP lost only 2-1. So annoying, i had to watch it on 'Key'). But i make sure I avoid the 'overlap' TI's and use more of the 'run at defense' + 'Counter' to encourage more runners. Fabinho having 'get forward' ppm also helps. Fouls are also my issues. I don't want to go on, like i said, your tactic is good, i just noticed that everyone seems to agree that without an at duty to help push further forward or exploit spaces. But essentially all it does is give the player a higher position, increase his mentality & encourage more runs(these can all be done, bar mentality, by using a su duty with some instructions). 


This is an interesting discussion.

My only comment would be to view it subjectively i.e. what is an individual's mentality within your system rather than getting hung up on whether a player is Attack, Defend or Support duty as that does not tell the full story.

A Support role in an Attacking mentality will be more expansive than Attack/Support roles in more reserved mentalities. At the same time it's all about balance as - to me - an Attack duty in an Overload system is too kamikaze, but others like it and have had success with it. It's all subjective and about finding what you prefer.

I highly recommend using a note pad and jotting out your individual mentalities. If you're in FM2019 you'll only be able to see loose labels rather than exact values however should still give an idea.

Edited by Ö-zil to the Arsenal!

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7 hours ago, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:


Yes, I do appreciate that :thup: My bigger disappointment is the control forfeited through the automatic designation of Team Shape based on duty and the resulting confusion as to whether shape is now just a label or still influences individual mentalities. One earlier thread saw SI staff and Moderators saying it is just a label but evidence from the Tactics Creator to the contrary. It's very sloppy.
 


This is an interesting discussion.

My only comment would be to view it subjectively i.e. what is an individual's mentality within your system rather than getting hung up on whether a player is Attack, Defend or Support duty as that does not tell the full story.

A Support role in an Attacking mentality will be more expansive than Attack/Support roles in more reserved mentalities. At the same time it's all about balance as - to me - an Attack duty in an Overload system is too kamikaze, but others like it and have had success with it. It's all subjective and about finding what you prefer.

I highly recommend using a note pad and jotting out your individual mentalities. If you're in FM2019 you'll only be able to see loose labels rather than exact values however should still give an idea.

I actually agree. I also jot down combination and steal some ideas from a lot of threads. I use at attack duties, too, but according to how my system plays out.

I presently use this(i cannot upload, sorry, but i can snap and send). It's an idea from your Sacchi and this  thread. Just a few tweaks. It gets me a lot of goals. What i wanted to point out that you don't really need the at duty. It's not a must, is what i mean.

15697772912037612625285732801686.jpg

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On 29/09/2019 at 11:13, Ö-zil to the Arsenal! said:

This is an interesting discussion.

My only comment would be to view it subjectively i.e. what is an individual's mentality within your system rather than getting hung up on whether a player is Attack, Defend or Support duty as that does not tell the full story.

A Support role in an Attacking mentality will be more expansive than Attack/Support roles in more reserved mentalities. At the same time it's all about balance as - to me - an Attack duty in an Overload system is too kamikaze, but others like it and have had success with it. It's all subjective and about finding what you prefer.

I highly recommend using a note pad and jotting out your individual mentalities. If you're in FM2019 you'll only be able to see loose labels rather than exact values however should still give an idea.

I think the bolded bit is important. Its good that the three of us can achieve success in slightly different ways despite approaching it from similar angles, if there was only one way to play I doubt the game would have stuck around so long. 

I initially felt At duties even on Attacking was too aggressive for a possession system, but then just watching the games I found myself bored. Part of it is just down to the players at my disposal - I had the likes of Memphis and Fekir who have traits telling them to run just sprinting at the opponent whilst all my Su duties lagged a bit behind, so the absolute last thing I would do is use Run At Defence - instead the At duties encouraged the off-the-ball runs that meant we could get some interplay. Whereas in @denen123's system I imagine the players in general have better Teamwork, so that TI can be a lot more useful. Formation may play a part as well - the players are generally closer together in a 4-4-x formation than in a 4-2-3-1.

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