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A lot of people seem to struggle with overlaps and underlaps in FM. They either employ them in a wrong way, or simply avoid using them because they aren't sure how the instruction(s) affect a tactic.

What both an overlap and underlap do is – slightly increase the mentality of the related wide defender (or wide „defensive midfielder“a.k.a. wing-back) and slightly reduce that of the wide midfielder (or wide forward) in front of that fullback/wing-back.

In case you do not use wide midfielders (MR/ML) and wide forwards (AMR/AML), overlap/underlap will only affect the mentality of the related FB/WB, making him a bit more attack-minded. An individual player mentality is determined by the combination of his duty and team mentality, but can be also affected by the team fludity.

The difference between overlaps and underlaps is obvious to everyone I guess. For those who may not be sure – both instructions encourage the FB/WB to move forward past his WM/WF, but the overlap means the FB/WB should do that by going around the WM/WF, while the underlap means he should move inwards. In both cases, the WM/WF is asked to hold up the ball for a moment so as to give the FB/WB some time to make the overlapping/underlapping run.

However, there are also so-called natural overlaps/underlaps, meaning they can be created without actually applying an overlap/underlap team instruction. How to do this? If you use an IW or IF, set his duty to support, and that of the FB/WB to attack, but bear in mind that the FB/WBs' role should not be an IWB. The natural underlap follows the same basic principle, only in the opposite way – the WM/WF should be a winger or WM on support, whereas the FB/WB should be an IWB on attack. Logically, you'll be less likely to see these natural overlaps/underlaps in systems where the distance between the FB/WB and WF is longer (e.g. 4141DM Wide or 4231Wide or 424Wide etc.) than when it's shorter (e.g. 442 or 4141 or 4411 etc.). And this in part also depends on players' traits.

People can of course have different approaches. Some will use an Overlap instruction even if they already have a natural overlap/underlap as part of a tactic. It logically increases defensive risk, but nothing can stop you from creating your own tactic in whatever way you believe is right. As long as you are aware of the risk(s) you ar taking, you are free to use any tactical tool you have at your disposal. And the better your team is, the less of a negative impact these risks are likely to have.

I personally prefer to avoid any overkills in my tactics, including in relation to overlaps and underlaps. So if my tactic contains a natural overlap/undelap, I in most cases am not going to use an overlap or underlap TI. When will I consider turning an overlap/underlap on then? Well, I'll do it hen I want to create more dynamic interplay between my players on a given flank by reducing the difference between an attack-minded WF/WM and his more conservative FB/WB partner.

The best way to explain what exactly I mean is to do it through concrete example. In the first example, I'll focus on my right flank in a 4141DM Wide system. Here is a setup in which I could consider the Overlap right as an option:

X

X                                     Wat

X          DLPsu

X

X          X          X          WBsu

So in the above example I want to make the WB on support and the winger on attack operating more closely on their flank, with a DLP as not only a playmaker but also a holding role that should help protect that flank by covering for the overlapping WBsu. If I wanted to be a bit more cautious, I would use a FB on support instead of WB.

Another example with the same formation, but slightly different roles:

X

X                                     Wat

X          BBM

X

X          X          X          IWBde

Here I no longer have a holding role in the MCR position, since a BBM has replaced the DLP, so my fullback needs to be a bit more defensive than in the previous example in order to reduce potential risks of using the Overlap right team instruction.

I hope these two examples should be enough for people to get the point.

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9 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

there are also so-called natural overlaps/underlaps, meaning they can be created without actually applying an overlap/underlap team instruction. How to do this? If you use an IW or IF, set his duty to support, and that of the FB/WB to attack

Just a quick note on this.  Natural overlaps/underlaps can occur with any given duty to the wingers or fullbacks - it'll just happen more often as you change up the set duties as you describe.  It's probably also worth mentioning player Traits such as "gets forward often" can help with these natural over/underlaps too.

imo these natural overlaps are really important to understand before applying the TI to a tactic.  Watch how your players behave without the TI first and only use it if you feel your players aren't over/underlapping enough for your chosen style.

Thanks for posting :thup:.

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So wait a minute. Both overlap and underlap TIs affect the same set of players, as in the wide midfielders and the fullbacks? For whatever reason I thought underlaps affect the central midfielders encouraging them to have more forward runs. Please, do continue these types of posts I think these things are very interesting and there were a handful of changes made in FM19 that are worth talking about, or just things that I totally misunderstand.

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2 hours ago, Experienced Defender said:

An individual player mentality is determined by the combination of his duty and team mentality, but can be also affected by the team fludity.

Well they removed team shape/fluidity in FM19, so do you mean something else? If so, please elaborate

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They changed fluidity, u can still manipulate it with your Roles/Duties & mentality

It is now shown as a result of your Roles/Duties rather than a selectable.

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8 hours ago, robot_skeleton said:

So wait a minute. Both overlap and underlap TIs affect the same set of players, as in the wide midfielders and the fullbacks? For whatever reason I thought underlaps affect the central midfielders encouraging them to have more forward runs. Please, do continue these types of posts I think these things are very interesting and there were a handful of changes made in FM19 that are worth talking about, or just things that I totally misunderstand.

This as well as a few other nuggets of information can be found in the FAQs section of the forum found under the "Please Read" thread pinned at the top of the forum.  Always good to see people such as @Experienced Defender going into more detail and giving examples :).

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10 hours ago, zlatanera said:

Well they removed team shape/fluidity in FM19, so do you mean something else? If so, please elaborate

As @Snorks explained: 

5 hours ago, Snorks said:

u can still manipulate it with your Roles/Duties & mentality

It is now shown as a result of your Roles/Duties rather than a selectable

You cannot manually change team shape (or fluidity) like before, but when your team fluidity becomes either more structured or more fluid as a result of how you set up duties, you will see a slight change in individual mentalities of some roles (I think those with defend and/or attack duties) when you go into the "Edit player instructions". Though I have to admit I am not 100% sure if this is not a UI bug.

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11 hours ago, robot_skeleton said:

So wait a minute. Both overlap and underlap TIs affect the same set of players, as in the wide midfielders and the fullbacks?

Yes, both affect exclusively wide players, not central ones.

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9 minutes ago, Experienced Defender said:

As @Snorks explained: 

You cannot manually change team shape (or fluidity) like before, but when your team fluidity becomes either more structured or more fluid as a result of how you set up duties, you will see a slight change in individual mentalities of some roles (I think those with defend and/or attack duties) when you go into the "Edit player instructions". Though I have to admit I am not 100% sure if this is not a UI bug.

Oh really? We maybe need to get someone in the know to confirm whether that is a UI bug, because according to the tactical changes thread from when the game was released:

On 16/10/2018 at 15:57, herne79 said:

Lots of changes this year to get our teeth into, so with help from Rashidi, Cleon and review by Jack from SI this is a brief overview.  Do note we're not covering everything here, just the key highlights.  We don't want to spoil all the surprises :).

Team Shape

Team Shape has been removed and has not been replaced.  There has been a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about this tactical setting for a long time now, so it’s been removed.  Any functions it used to perform, such as adjusting player mentality or creative freedom can still be utilised but now we’ll be adjusting team instructions or player settings instead. Which we could always do anyway.

Team Fluidity

Team Fluidity is nothing more than a label attached to describe how we set up our players.  It has nothing to do with Team Shape and should not be confused with it – despite using the same naming conventions.  The way Team Fluidity works is essentially as a guide on how to structure our teams in a way we desire.  Prior to this there was nothing to help us set up our roles.  So for example – if you set all your attackers to attack and all your defenders to defend you’ll be playing in a very “structured” manner: defenders defend, attackers attack.  Now change everyone to a support duty and your team will be playing with a more “fluid” style; everybody supports each other.

As mentioned, don’t confuse this with the old Team Shape naming conventions, despite their similarities.

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Without wanting to cover old ground yet again, I'll just say this.  Whether or not people believe SI when they say Team Shape is gone (that quote from me above was reviewed by SI before posting) or whether or not there is a UI bug (there are several), one thing to consider - anyone who believes that changing a player's duty would have any discernible impact during gameplay on another player's mentality is bonkers :p.  Any such change (if it existed) would not produce any noticeable difference in how a player behaves. 

And in cases where you do want your fullback (for example) to have a higher mentality, change his role or duty - not somebody else's.  Or change your team Mentality.  Or use "Look for Overlap" (topical...).  Or use a player with a Trait to get further forward.  Or some/all of the above.  But don't change somebody else's duty.

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