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Asclepius

Changing Mentality vs Changing Tactical Instructions

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I usually start on attacking mentality and if I am up 2 goals I drop to balanced. In my understanding mentality correlates to the amount of risks my players will engage in, therefore I reduce the risk by going balanced so I can retain possession and not get caught on the counter. 

With that being said, would it be more effective if I change tactical instructions such as playing narrower, lowering tempo, using shorter passes, and having wasting time on sometimes, but still play on attacking mentality?

Lastly, has anyone found success doing both changing mentality and tactical instructions?

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1 hour ago, Asclepius said:

I usually start on attacking mentality and if I am up 2 goals I drop to balanced. In my understanding mentality correlates to the amount of risks my players will engage in, therefore I reduce the risk by going balanced so I can retain possession and not get caught on the counter. 

With that being said, would it be more effective if I change tactical instructions such as playing narrower, lowering tempo, using shorter passes, and having wasting time on sometimes, but still play on attacking mentality?

Lastly, has anyone found success doing both changing mentality and tactical instructions?

This is totally up to you and your system. I get the impression that you do it to achieve certain things and as long as it actually does what you ask of it you shouldn't worry. But if you are looking for a comprehensive writing about the topic, look no further than @Cleon's article. Quality stuff, anything from him!

 

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I have been known to do both in the past with varied success. The only issue with drastically changing mentalities (going up or down by more than one) is the hit you take to tactical familiarity which can prove counterproductive at times. Also reducing mentality doesn't necessarily correlate with being better defensively, far more important are the roles and duties you give to your players. All mentalities have defensive qualities to them it's just a matter of how it's carried out.

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I will first explain my opinion about tactical instructions then talk about my opinions about Mentalities.

Tactical instructions are going to tell the game how you going to build up your attack and construct your defense.

I am currently playing AC Milan and when i encounter Juventus in Serie A, if they start Mandzukic at the front, i will push my defend line out because he is slow in pace. Even I get hit by a through ball my central defender's pace can still catches up Mandzukic. 

I encounter Arsenal In Euro Cup and they got Aubameyang which is really quick at pace. If i let him go my central defenders can never catch him up therefore i drop my defense line.

Changing tactical instructions allow you to offset your Disad or to magnify your Ad but still keep the rest in the same way.

Another examples of Tactical Instructions is I sometimes face 41212 diamond in Serie A. That game i was testing my new tactics with a 3421. 3 CB, 2DM 2WB, AML and AMR and one striker. After i get in to the game i found the opponents are playing a 41212 which has 4 midfielders。 They will out numbered my 2Dm. I do not want to use my subs at first half to change my formation therefore i decided to  1. expand the attacking width to the largest 2.Put the Tempo Down and increase the passing distance to normal. After these changes, my players at AML and AMR position, my WB will carefully control the ball close to the edge of the pitch and my DM will go up to support the ball control. After the opponent's midfielders are drawn out of their midfielders position, my players will switch the ball to the other flank and there are lots of spaces there. The opponent can attack my weakness but i will still attack their weakness. I win that game 5-3 probably because i have a better CA.

 

Changing mentalities is much more difficult as it changes everything and you need to think about whether they are correct or not. However it can always be very easy like you said when i am in front i can just switch to defend and when i am behind i can switch to attack or overload. But in my opinion due to the mentalities change switch everything a little, if you are switching higher mentalities do not forget to lower your defense line or contract your attacking width if you are a ball control tactics etc.

 

 

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Yep OP, I do little TI changes rather than the whole team mentality shift. Changing mentalities changes a lot of things so if I'm doing well & want to keep a little, I'll slow it down, pass shorter or ask the team to dribble less

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6 hours ago, pheelf said:

hit you take to tactical familiarity which can prove counterproductive at times

The hit isn't that bad. I go from positive to very attacking in almost every game i play, and we are still solid. You need to think about your tactic in general and roles and duties. Team instructions can have major impacts. For example, say you opt to go pass into space without even observing how your team is doing with possession, it could prove to be a big mistake.

You just need to think about your changes.

People too often think of Tis and Mentality separately. Think of it this way, they are all linked. If you know what the Tis do, that's even better. On my youtube shows sometimes you will see me start a game on very attacking mentality, grab  a goal and then go positive with pass into space. It's about using the tools effectively.

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In my opinion, people should not change tactics according to the scores. We should only change mentality and tactic settings when it dose not work well. If the opposite change, we may change. If the opposite didnt change, and our tactics work well, dont change just because we are leading the score.

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5 hours ago, Dr.Y said:

If the opposite change, we may change. If the opposite didnt change, and our tactics work well, dont change just because we are leading the score.

Well, you cannot know whether the opposition have changed their tactic after you took a lead, you can only see when they change the formation. And most teams tend to change tactics when they are a goal down, so it's not a bad idea to be proactive in such situations. It does not mean you need to change a lot, but just a couple of tweaks that will make you play a bit more cautiously in defense and keep possession of the ball as much as possible (e.g. change some attack duties to support, shorter passing, lower tempo a notch...)

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How about against big opposition. I generally drop my mentality to balanced when I am playing in the champions league. Is that something you guys do aswell?

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I also have had a lot of success changing mentality, Team Instructions, roles/duties for players, and even formations. I play a very oddball and adaptive system, so it might not be representitive, but it is definitely possible to have success making changes during the match.

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5 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

Well, you cannot know whether the opposition have changed their tactic after you took a lead, you can only see when they change the formation.

The commentary regularly mentions the opposition's tactical changes, eg 'they gone more creative', 'more attacking' and so on.

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7 hours ago, Asclepius said:

How about against big opposition. I generally drop my mentality to balanced when I am playing in the champions league. Is that something you guys do aswell?

Let's try and put things into perspective anecdotally.

When Liverpool trashed United 3-1 one could say that United were playing on a defensive mentality, maybe even standard. Everything was screaming for United to take more chances in attack, but they steadfastly refused to open up. Liverpool were taking plenty of risks going forward, each transition from defence to attack was a pass forward. Fabinho kept a holding position throughout the match but he was winning every 2nd ball in United's half. Here one could say LFC were on attacking and united were defensive. When people suggest United take more chances going forward, in FM parlance that's like going on a higher mentality.

When I play games away from home I usually hesitate making a defensive line change, why? Because that's a big shift. In one game I was being pinned back for the better part of the first half, I knew that my boys had to try and win the ball higher up the pitch and hopefully get a grip on midfield. I had several options, the simplest was actually just shifting mentality up. We did that came back to score two goals. Then I knew the opposition would start chasing the equaliser, they also changed to a 424, I changed the instructions on my fullbacks, dropped mentality to positive and passed into space.

The forum is awash with people who believe the AI should play to their tactic, but that can only happen if your team is good enough to play like that. Otherwise you are better off just sitting back and asking the attacking team to break you down. In previous incarnations of FM that was impossible. Today it's finally a realistic option to use. Now if I am a weaker side and playing away in Europe or even in the lower leagues I have two options.

I can come out like a house on fire and go very attacking, grab the goal and then sit back and hit into space. Or I can just sit back and hit into space all day long. Ultimately the decision will depend on what your players are good at doing. Changing mentalities, roles and duties and even instructions shouldn't be done lightly. You will fail if you don't understand how your system is playing, what it's strengths and weaknesses are. One simple example and I have seen a lot of saves where this is an issue

Some managers elect to play with narrow defensive widths, and then succumb to the inevitable deluge of crosses. Without having a plan to win the 2nd ball or even winning the header, such a decision can be suicidal. Ultimately the choice of making changes depends not on anything else, but whether you have chosen the right instructions for your team. It's part of the whole supersystem I alluded to for the last few years. If you know what your team can do, then you will know the options you have. Too often people get this part wrong. 

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16 minutes ago, Rashidi said:

Let's try and put things into perspective anecdotally.

When Liverpool trashed United 3-1 one could say that United were playing on a defensive mentality, maybe even standard. Everything was screaming for United to take more chances in attack, but they steadfastly refused to open up. Liverpool were taking plenty of risks going forward, each transition from defence to attack was a pass forward. Fabinho kept a holding position throughout the match but he was winning every 2nd ball in United's half. Here one could say LFC were on attacking and united were defensive. When people suggest United take more chances going forward, in FM parlance that's like going on a higher mentality.

When I play games away from home I usually hesitate making a defensive line change, why? Because that's a big shift. In one game I was being pinned back for the better part of the first half, I knew that my boys had to try and win the ball higher up the pitch and hopefully get a grip on midfield. I had several options, the simplest was actually just shifting mentality up. We did that came back to score two goals. Then I knew the opposition would start chasing the equaliser, they also changed to a 424, I changed the instructions on my fullbacks, dropped mentality to positive and passed into space.

The forum is awash with people who believe the AI should play to their tactic, but that can only happen if your team is good enough to play like that. Otherwise you are better off just sitting back and asking the attacking team to break you down. In previous incarnations of FM that was impossible. Today it's finally a realistic option to use. Now if I am a weaker side and playing away in Europe or even in the lower leagues I have two options.

I can come out like a house on fire and go very attacking, grab the goal and then sit back and hit into space. Or I can just sit back and hit into space all day long. Ultimately the decision will depend on what your players are good at doing. Changing mentalities, roles and duties and even instructions shouldn't be done lightly. You will fail if you don't understand how your system is playing, what it's strengths and weaknesses are. One simple example and I have seen a lot of saves where this is an issue

Some managers elect to play with narrow defensive widths, and then succumb to the inevitable deluge of crosses. Without having a plan to win the 2nd ball or even winning the header, such a decision can be suicidal. Ultimately the choice of making changes depends not on anything else, but whether you have chosen the right instructions for your team. It's part of the whole supersystem I alluded to for the last few years. If you know what your team can do, then you will know the options you have. Too often people get this part wrong. 

So what would you recommend if you were going up against a champions league team like Real/Barca/PSG in an away game? Would it be better to stick with the default mentality (for me  I set my training mentality to attacking), rather than dropping to cautious or balanced? From my understanding also from other past posts about going against strong opposition, people tend to drop their mentalities but keep their Tactical instructions with maybe 1 or 2 change. They said that dropping mentality would reduce risks therefore again like my other post they would retain possession and be defensively sound. However from what you are saying there are moments especially being down a goal where you want to go on the front foot. 

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Like I said before, whether you can change mentality or team instructions depends ultimately on how well you know your team. If you were to play on an attacking mentality, your play is going to be a lot more direct, players will take more risks. Does your system allow you to win the 2nd ball well? Can your midfield control the ball well enough in the opponents third so they don't get opened up on a counter?

Mentality is an option just like team instructions, but whether you can exercise that option well depends on how well you know your own tactical system - its strengths and weaknesses. 

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I see... And yes as Dortmund I can get the second ball really well because my center  midfielders are pacey which means they can cover more ground as well have good first touch.

 

 

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10 小时前, Experienced Defender说:

Well, you cannot know whether the opposition have changed their tactic after you took a lead, you can only see when they change the formation. And most teams tend to change tactics when they are a goal down, so it's not a bad idea to be proactive in such situations. It does not mean you need to change a lot, but just a couple of tweaks that will make you play a bit more cautiously in defense and keep possession of the ball as much as possible (e.g. change some attack duties to support, shorter passing, lower tempo a notch...)

Well, we can not directly know the opposite tactical change of course, despite the formation change, but we can know if we are lost control of the game, or if any new threat emerges. And what we have to do is to deal with new threats if any happened. I think it is important because it is about the tactical philosophy everyone need to think about. So how we decide how to play? I think it is important to consider the opposite tactical choice instead of just what we want to do. 

With my current Man Utd save, I have won all the 20+ season games in current season without conceding a single goal. I do not have a fixed tactical approach but always adjust during different opposite and match situations. Sometimes pressing or marking, sometimes not. Also with different attacking choices. So I think it is important to make adjustment according to the match situation instead of depending on the scores, and it really works well if one understand how to make adjustments.

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5 hours ago, Rashidi said:

Mentality is an option just like team instructions, but whether you can exercise that option well depends on how well you know your own tactical system - its strengths and weaknesses. 

This is really the crux of the idea. Mentality changes can be effective, but you need to know how they effect your team.

For example, my current team only plays on the balanced, positive, and attack mentalities. Any lower or higher mentalities cause my tactic to fall apart because the players don't move well together and the support doesn't get forward like I need it to. Additionally, my defense largely works on using pressure to force bad passes. So, depending on whether I'm protecting a lead or looking to catch them on the counter, I may actually play in my more defensive shape, but with a positive or attacking mentality. This will get my guys higher up the pitch to be more aggressive on the press (which generally helps my defenders) and also when we get the ball, we move it forward with more urgency to try to catch them out.

Similarly, because of the way I use space, my tactics cannot use shorter passing. My players are simply too far away from one another to support that kind of game. So if/when I play my possession game, I control the ball by slowing down the tempo and reduce the risk on the long passes by giving my guys more time to pick out the best pass. It has the same effect -- I get 60-80% possession on the ball and snuff out the opposing attack -- but because of my tactics I can't rely on the default short passing possession game that people like to play. 

Lower mentalities are not automatically more defensive, nor do higher mentalities automatically make your players too attacking. It's how it interacts with the rest of your tactic and the players that matters. And unfortunately that just takes time to watch matches and figure out what does or doesn't work for your tactic/team/playstyle.

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8 hours ago, Rashidi said:

If you know what your team can do, then you will know the options you have

I think this is the essence of all tactical philosophy :thup:

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