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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   140479 views   2 comments
Football Manager Guides - The Mentality Ladder: Understanding Fluidity and Duty

Solid Foundations: Fluid Mentality Structures

Fluid mentality structures divide the team into two separate units each focused closely on a small but distinct range of tactical priorities. In effect, this creates a divided structure with a more aggressive, fluid attack backed by a significantly more cautious defence. The idea is that the entrenched, disciplined defensive unit frees the attacking unit to get forward without being distracted by pressing defensive responsibilities, though the division between the units calls for a higher degree of attacking/defensive specialization to ensure both can cope with the increased demands resulting from their relative isolation from one another.

The Controller Effect

Certain fluid mentality structures are subject to the Controller Effect. Essentially, under a more defensive team mentality, using certain roles 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 player 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 fluid contain and defensive mentality structures that use 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 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 sweepers or CM-DLPs, and the alterations imposed by the Controller Effect are the same regardless of how many controller-playmakers are used.

CONTAIN

GK: Shield Goal
Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Limit Pressure

SW: Obstruct Shots
Libero (All Duties): Restrict Space Cautiously

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

DL/R: Slow Attacking Movement

DMC: Contain Attacking Movement

WBL/R: Divert Attacking Movement

MC: Disrupt Attacks
Box to Box Midfielder: Restrict Space Aggressively
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Restrict Space Cautiously
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Restrict Space Cautiously

ML/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

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

AML/R: Recover Possession
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

ST (Lone Striker): Recover Possession Immediately
Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession Under Pressure
False Nine (Lone Striker): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Support/Defend Duty (Multiple Strikers): Recover Possession
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

DEFENSIVE

GK: Limit Pressure
Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Distribute Safely

SW: Contain Attacking Movement
Libero (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

DC: Divert Attacking Movement
Cover Duty (All Roles): Contain Attacking Movement
Stopper Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Aggressively

DL/R: Restrict Space Cautiously

DMC: Restrict Space
Halfback: Restrict Space Cautiously

WBL/R: Restrict Space Aggressively

MC: Recover Possession
Box to Box Midfielder: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Restrict Space Aggressively
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

ML/R: Recover Possession Immediately

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

AML/R: Keep Possession
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession Immediately

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

COUNTER

GK: Limit Pressure
Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Cycle Possession

SW: Restrict Space Cautiously
Libero (All Duties): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

DC: Restrict Space Aggressively
Cover Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Cautiously
Stopper Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks

DL/R: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

DMC: Disrupt Attacks
Halfback: Restrict Space Aggressively

WBL/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

MC: Keep Possession
Box to Box Midfielder: Recover Possession Immediately
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

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

STANDARD

GK: Distribute Safely
Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Cycle Possession

SW: Restrict Space Aggressively
Libero (All Duties): Recover Possession Immediately

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

DL/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

DMC: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Halfback: Disrupt Attacks

WBL/R: Recover Possession

MC: Shuttle Ball Into Space
Box to Box Midfielder: Keep Possession
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession Immediately

ML/R: Shuttle Ball

AMC: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Into Space
Shadow Striker: Spearhead Attacking Moves

AML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball
Defensive Winger (Defend): Suppress Counterattacking Options
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Patiently

ST (Lone Striker): Spearhead Attacking Moves
Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
Defensive Forward (Defend - Lone Striker): Suppress Counterattacks
False Nine (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Support Duty (Lone Striker): Create Chances
Support/Defend Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances

CONTROL

GK: Cycle Possession
Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Initiate Attacks

SW: Disrupt Attacks
Libero (All Duties): Keep Possession

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: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Box to Box Midfielder: Shuttle Ball Into Space
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession Immediately
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession

ML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
Defend Duty (All Roles): Suppress Counterattacking Options
Support Duty (All Roles): Create Chances Patiently

AMC: Spearhead Attacking Moves
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances
Shadow Striker: Penetrate Gaps Intermittently

AML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Create Chances Patiently
Defensive Winger (Defend): Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Urgently

ST (Lone Striker): Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Penetrate Gaps Persistently
Defensive Forward (Defend - Lone Striker): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
Defensive Forward (Defend - Multiple Strikers): Suppress Counterattacks
False Nine (Lone Striker): Create Chances
Support Duty (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances When Necessary
Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Create Chances
Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Force Chances When Necessary

ATTACK

GK: Cycle Possession
Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Initiate Attacks

SW: Recover Possession
Libero (All Duties): Shuttle Ball

DC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Cover Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Stopper Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession

DL/R: Keep Possession

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

WBL/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space

MC: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
Box to Box Midfielder: Create Chances Patiently
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Under Pressure
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Urgently

ML/R: Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
Defend Duty (All Roles): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
Support Duty (All Roles): Force Half Chances When Necessary

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

AML/R: Penetrate Gaps Persistently
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances When Necessary
Defensive Winger (Defend): Isolate Holding Midfielders
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation

ST (Lone Striker): Draw Off Defenders
Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Overload Defenders
Defensive Forward (Defend - Lone Striker): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
Defensive Forward (Defend - Multiple Strikers): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
False Nine (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances
Support Duty (Lone Striker): Test Defence With Precision
Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Force Half Chances When Necessary
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances
Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation

OVERLOAD

GK: Initiate Attacks
Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Support Attacks

SW: Keep Possession
Libero (Attack Duty): Spearhead Attacking Moves
Libero (Support Duty): Create Chances

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: Penetrate Gaps Persistently
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
Box to Box Midfielder: Force Half Chances When Necessary
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Suppress Counterattacks
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 When Necessary
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 (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 (Multiple Strikers): Test Defence With Precision
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Test Defence
Trequartista (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.
    1
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