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The Mentality Ladder: Understanding Fluidity and Duty

This Football Manager guide analyzes a practical framework which will help you organize a tactic under different fluidity/mentality combinations and give you tips on applying specific tactical settings.

By on Apr 11, 2014   137964 views   2 comments
Football Manager Guides - The Mentality Ladder: Understanding Fluidity and Duty

Collective Responsibilities: Very Fluid Mentality Structures

Very fluid mentality structures cover the smallest range of tactical priorities with the team as a whole sharply focused on carrying out a highly specific strategic objective (e.g., completely negating the opposition's attack, controlling possession in midfield, overloading the opposition third, etc.). This represents systems in which all players are expected to help contribute to a general, collective function and in which, accordingly, there is significantly less differentiation between players based on position and role. While this demands a greater degree of versatility and tactical awareness from each of the players, it encourages the team to cooperate closely in carrying out specific tasks while promoting more movement between positional strata and, thus, greater variety and unpredictability in the team's play.

The Controller Effect

Certain very fluid mentality structures are subject to the Controller Effect. Essentially, under a more defensive team mentality, using a designated playmaker with a lower tactical priority than other roles in the same position will cause others on the team to become slightly more aggressive.
In practical terms, this represents a playmaker who stays deeper than other players in his position to focus on controlling the flow and tempo of the match. His non-controller teammates, accordingly, become slightly more aggressive to compensate for the controller-playmaker's more cautious orienation.

The Controller Effect applies to very fluid contain, defensive and counter mentality structures that use a Trequartista at ST, an Advanced Playmaker at AMC/L/R, a Deep-Lying Playmaker at CM or a Sweeper (that is, the role, not the position). In the following outlines, you should move each outfield player (with the exception of other sweepers, DLPs at MC, APs at AMLRC and trequartistas at ST) up one position on the mentality ladder for Counter/Defensive mentalities and up two positions for Contain if the mentality structure is subject to the Controller Effect. Keep in mind, the Controller Effect does not affect other controller-playmakers regardless of their position, and the alterations imposed by the Controller Effect are the same regardless of how many controller-playmakers are used.

CONTAIN

GK: Shield Goal

SW: Obstruct Shots

DC: Obstruct Shots
Stopper Duty (All Roles): Divert Attacking Movement

DL/R: Slow Attacking Movement

DMC: Contain Attacking Movement

WB: Divert Attacking Movement

MC: Restrict Space Cautiously

ML/R: Restrict Space

AMC: Restrict Space Aggressively
Shadow Striker: Disrupt Attacks

AML/R: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

ST (Lone Striker): Disrupt Attacks
Attack Duty with Multiple Strikers: Recover Possession

DEFENSIVE

GK: Limit Pressure

SW: Divert Attacking Movement
Libero (All Duties): Restrict Space Cautiously

DC: Restrict Space Cautiously
Cover Duty (All Roles): Divert Attacking Movement
Stopper Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

DL/R: Restrict Space

DMC: Restrict Space Aggressively
Halfback: Restrict Space

WB: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

MC: Disrupt Attacks
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

ML/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

AMC: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
Shadow Striker: Recover Possession Immediately

AML/R: Recover Possession
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

ST (Lone Striker): Recover Possession Immediately
Attack Duty with Multiple Strikers: Keep Possession Under Pressure
False Nine (Lone Striker): Recover Possession
Support/Defend Duty with Multiple Strikers: Recover Possession
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Recover Possession
Trequartista with Multiple Strikers: Keep Possession

COUNTER

GK: Distribute Safely

SW: Restrict Space Aggressively
Libero (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

DC: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
Cover Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space
Stopper Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

DL/R: Disrupt Attacks

DMC: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
Halfback: Disrupt Attacks

WBL/R: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

MC: Recover Possession
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

ML/R: Recover Possession Immediately

AMC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession Immediately
Shadow Striker: Keep Possession Under Pressure

AML/R: Keep Possession
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

ST (Lone Striker): Keep Possession Under Pressure
Attack Duty with Multiple Strikers: Shuttle Ball
False Nine (Lone Striker): Keep Possession
Support/Defend Duty with Multiple Strikers: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Keep Possession
Trequartista with Multiple Strikers: Shuttle Ball Into Space

STANDARD

GK: Cycle Possession

SW: Disrupt Attacks
Libero (All Duties): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

DC: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Cover Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks
Stopper Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession Immediately

DL/R: Recover Possession

DMC: Recover Possession Immediately
Halfback: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

WBL/R: Keep Possession Away From Pressure

MC: Keep Possession
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession Immediately

ML/R: Keep Possession Under Pressure

AMC: Shuttle Ball Into Space
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession
Shadow Striker: Shuttle Ball Through Defence

AML/R: Shuttle Ball
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Under Pressure

ST (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Attack Duty with Multiple Strikers: Spearhead Attacking Moves
False Nine (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Into Space
Support/Defend Duty with Multiple Strikers: Shuttle Ball Into Space
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Into Space
Trequartista with Multiple Strikers: Shuttle Ball Through Defence

CONTROL

GK: Cycle Possession

SW: Recover Possession
Libero (All Duties): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

DC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Cover Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession
Stopper Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure

DL/R: Keep Possession

DMC: Keep Possession Under Pressure
Halfback: Keep Possession Away From Pressure

WBL/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space

MC: Shuttle Ball
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Under Pressure

ML/R: Shuttle Ball Through Defence

AMC: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball
Shadow Striker: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Patiently

AML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Defensive Winger (Defend): Suppress Counterattacks
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances

ST (Lone Striker): Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
Attack Duty with Multiple Strikers: Penetrate Gaps
Defensive Forward (Defend-Lone Striker): Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
Defensive Forward (Defend-Multiple Strikers): Suppress Counterattacking Options
False Nine (Lone Striker): Create Chances Patiently
Support Duty (Lone Striker): Create Chances Urgently
Support Duty with Multiple Strikers: Create Chances Patiently
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Create Chances Patiently
Trequartista with Multiple Strikers: Create Chances Urgently

ATTACKING

GK: Initiate Attacks

SW: Keep Possession
Libero (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Into Space

DC: Shuttle Ball Into Space
Cover Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Stopper Duty (All Roles): Shuttle Ball

DL/R: Shuttle Ball

DMC: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Halfback: Shuttle Ball Into Space

WBL/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
Defend Duty: Suppress Counterattacking Options
Support Duty: Create Chances Patiently

MC: Spearhead Attacking Moves
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Suppress Counterattacks
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances

ML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
Defend Duty: Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
Support Duty: Create Chances Urgently

AMC: Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Create Chances
Enganche: Force Half Chances When Necessary
Shadow Striker: Penetrate Gaps
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances When Necessary
Trequartista: Force Half Chances When Necessary

AML/R: Penetrate Gaps
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Create Chances Urgently
Defensive Winger (Defend): Isolate Midfielders
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances

ST (Lone Striker): Penetrate Gaps Persistently
Attack Duty with Multiple Strikers: Draw Off Defenders
Defensive Forward (Defend-Lone Striker): Isolate Holding Midfielders
Defensive Forward (Defend-Multiple Strikers): Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
False Nine (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances When Necessary
Support Duty with Multiple Strikers: Create Chances Urgently
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances When Necessary
Trequartista with Multiple Strikers: Force Half Chances

OVERLOAD

GK: Support Attacks

SW: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Libero (Attack Duty): Spearhead Attacking Moves
Libero (Support Duty): Create Chances

DC: Suppress Counterattacks
Cover Duty (All Roles): Shuttle Ball

DL/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
Defend Duty (All Roles): Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
Support Duty (All Roles): Create Chances Urgently

DMC: Force Half Chances When Necessary
Defend Duty (All Roles Except DLP and HB): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
Halfback: Suppress Counterattacks

WBL/R: Penetrate Gaps
Defend Duty (All Roles): Isolate Midfielders
Support Duty (All Roles): Force Half Chances

MC: Penetrate Gaps Persistently
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances When Necessary
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Isolate Holding Midfielders
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation

ML/R: Draw Off Defenders
Defend Duty (All Roles): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
Support Duty (All Roles): Test Defence With Precision

AMC: Overload Defenders
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
Enganche: Test Defence
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Test Defence
Trequartista: Test Defence

AML/R: Challenge Defenders
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Test Defence With Precision
Defensive Winger (Defend): Hassle Defenders Relentlessly
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Test Defence With Power

ST (Lone Striker): Bypass Last Defender
Attack Duty with Multiple Strikers: Bypass Last Defender
Defensive Forward (Defend-Lone Striker): Force Clearance
Defensive Forward (Defend-Multiple Strikers): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
False Nine (Lone Striker): Test Defence
Support Duty (Lone Striker): Rush Ball Forward
Support Duty with Multiple Strikers: Draw Off Defenders
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Test Defence
Trequartista with Multiple Strikers: Test Defence with Power



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Discussion: The Mentality Ladder: Understanding Fluidity and Duty

2 comments have been posted so far.

  • paolope83's avatar
    Great job Stam. A useful and perfectly written and shaped guide. Kudos
  • Ziechael's avatar
    As per usual, a world class summary(/detailed breakdown!) of one of FM's vaguer areas.
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