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Hi people, I'm new here. I've got somewhat "obsessed" with the issue of Team Shape. I've read a number of useful posts and articles and I now understand that, in general, more fluid shapes offer more compactness due to relatively less differences in players' mentalities, while the opposite is true for more structured systems. I also understand that even within a more structured system you can still make the team be more compact by using formations in which players are deployed in at least three successive strata (i.e. defense, defensive midfield and midfield), as well as by appropriately assigning roles and duties to the players. 

Now, let's imagine, purely hypothetically, that I simply have to use the 4-4-2 flat formation because I don't have (enough) players who can occupy DM or WB positions. My team is playing against a far stronger opponent, so I logically choose the Defensive Team Mentality. My primary goal is not to concede (rather than to score). I want my players to sit back as much as possible and defend as a compact unit. But in a flat 4-4-2 combined with a more structured system, even if I put all my four midfielders on Defend duty, the team still wouldn't be compact enough and there will be the space between the defensive and midfield lines that the opposition could exploit - something I certainly want to avoid. And so I decide to switch to a more fluid shape. Now I have the compactness, but on the other hand, my players are given too much creative freedom, and the problem is that they are neither tactically (mentally) nor technically proficient enough for such a style of play. Consequently, I go to Team Instructions and select the Be More Disciplined instruction (plus, optionally, Stick to Positions) in order to reduce the players' overall tendency to be more "creative" than I want them to be. 

Therefore, we now have this situation:

Team Mentality - Defensive

Formation - 4-4-2 flat

Team Shape - (very) Fluid + Be More Disciplined (and, perhaps, Stick to Positions)

My question is: to what extent the Be More Disciplined TI would affect/reduce the players' creative freedom in a more fluid system? Has anyone of you tried to play this way, and if yes, how did it work?

Thanks everybody in advance :)

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I'm not 100% sure how everything works under the hood, but how you've set it out woukd be exactly my interpretation of it. I guess the big question revolves more around how much the freedom is limited. Does Fluid become Flexible,  Flexible becomes structured et al.

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2 hours ago, khodder said:

I guess the big question revolves more around how much the freedom is limited. Does Fluid become Flexible,  Flexible becomes structured et al.

Yes mate, that's exactly what I am trying to find out. Of course, I can experiment and employ such approach in the game to see myself how it will work, which I am certainly going to do, but I would also like more experienced players to tell me about their experience with this way of playing defensively.

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The big question is ... what is this "creative freedom" ? In-game definitions are not clear at all. For some people "creative freedom" means ... "a player will make more runs with ball, will try more risky passes, will be more will be more willing to  roam form his position and so on". But all of this are more related to risk (=mentality) than to creativity. From my point of view ( may be wrong !) creative freedom is the tendency of a player to follow his instructions. Not only TI's and PI's. All intructions, including mentality, shape, OI's and even his default PI's and mentality defined by role and duty. What means "a player is not following his instruction" ? Is he doing only what he wants ? No.  A large part of its behavior is based on the instructions received. But some decisions are based on his attributes (vision, decisions, flair and others) and his traits (PPM's) even if his instructions are different.  In reverse, if a player is strictly following his instructions does not mean that he is not able to make some choices based on his attributes and traits.  Difference is relared to proportion. There are more personal decisions using fluid shape compared with structured shape and there are more personal decisions if the player is instructed to de "more expressive" compared to "be more disciplined".  What is better ? Some players are well suited for more creativity and others are less suited. There are moments during a match when is better to use "less freedom" for players and there are moments when more freedom is required.  Depends on available players, formation used, roles, duties, opponent approach and more other factors. We can not talk about how much the freedom is (not)limited because there are different levels of limitation between two teams even if they use the same tactical configuration.

 

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@GreenTriangle

Here I mean CF given to all players via TI Be more expressive or Disciplined. In more fluid systems, the players are given more CF by default. I want to reduce their CF because my team overall is not good enough to be given higher levels of CF. Of course, I can always give a couple of my better players more CF through their PIs (such as more risky passes, roam from position), but not the team in general. I want most of them to stick to my instructions all the time. That's why I asked if it's a good combination to mix fluid shape with more disciplined TI.

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1 hour ago, GreenTriangle said:

The big question is ... what is this "creative freedom" ?

At the top of the forum is a pinned thread titled "Please Read".  Linked in there are FAQs, one of which covers Creative Freedom.

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