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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   140083 views   2 comments
Football Manager Guides - The Mentality Ladder: Understanding Fluidity and Duty

Asymmetric Shapes: Balanced Mentality Structures

Balanced mentality structures divide the team into three units based on the duties assigned to individual players. As with fluid structures, a more cautious defensive unit provides a stable, structural core that frees a more adventurous attacking unit to get forward aggressively, though this is further balanced by a "supporting" unit that serves to provide a more consistent link between the two. However, since a player's respective unit is defined by his duty rather than position, this gives the manager greater flexibility in refining his defensive and attacking shape to fit the personnel at his disposal. Consequently, Balanced mentality structures can accommodate a high degree of either duty-based specialization or general versatility.

The Controller Effect

Certain balanced 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 balanced contain, defensive and counter 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 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 (Attack): Limit Pressure
Sweeper Keeper (Support): Limit Pressure

SW: Obstruct Shots
Libero (Attack): Restrict Space Aggressively
Libero (Support): Divert Attacking Movement

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

DL/R: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
Defend Duty (All Roles): Slow Attacking Movement
Support Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Cautiously

DMC: Contain Attacking Movement
Support Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space

WBL/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
Wingback (Defend): Divert Attacking Movement
Wingback (Support): Restrict Space Aggressively

MC: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Deep Lying Playmaker (Support): Restrict Space
Defend Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Cautiously
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

ML/R: Recover Possession
Defend Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space
Support Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks

AMC: Recover Possession Immediately
Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Advanced Playmaker (Support): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
Shadow Striker: Keep Possession
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

AML/R: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Recover Possession
Advanced Playmaker (Support): Disrupt Attacks
Defensive Winger (Defend): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

ST (Lone Striker): Keep Possession
Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball
Defensive Forward (Defend): Disrupt Attacks
False Nine (Lone Striker): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Support Duty (Lone Striker): Recover Possession
Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Recover Possession Immediately
Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession Under Pressure

DEFENSIVE

GK: Limit Pressure
Sweeper Keeper (Attack): Distribute Safely
Sweeper Keeper (Support): Limit Pressure

SW: Contain Attacking Movement
Libero (Attack): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
Libero (Support): Restrict Space Aggressively

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

DL/R: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Defend Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Cautiously
Support Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

DMC: Restrict Space
Halfback: Restrict Space Cautiously
Support Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks

WBL/R: Recover Possession Immediately
Wingback (Defend): Restrict Space Aggressively
Wingback (Support): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

MC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Deep Lying Playmaker (Defend): Restrict Space Aggressively
Deep Lying Playmaker (Support): Disrupt Attacks
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

ML/R: Keep Possession
Defend Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks
Support Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession

AMC: Keep Possession Under Pressure
Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Advanced Playmaker (Support): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Shadow Striker: Shuttle Ball
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession Immediately

AML/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space
Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Keep Possession
Advanced Playmaker (Support): Recover Possession
Defensive Winger (Defend): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

ST (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball
Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Spearhead Attacking Moves
Defensive Forward (Defend): Recover Possession
False Nine (Lone Striker): Recover Possession Immediately
Support Duty (Lone Striker): Keep Possession
Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Keep Possession Under Pressure
Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Through Defence

COUNTER

GK: Limit Pressure
Sweeper Keeper (Attack): Cycle Possession
Sweeper Keeper (Support): Distribute Safely

SW: Restrict Space Cautiously
Libero (Attack): Recover Possession
Libero (Support): Disrupt Attacks

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

DL/R: Recover Possession Immediately
Defend Duty (All Roles): Restrict Space Aggressively
Support Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Quickly

DMC: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
Halfback: Restrict Space
Support Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

WBL/R: Keep Possession
Wingback (Defend): Disrupt Attacks
Wingback (Support): Recover Possession

MC: Keep Possession Under Pressure
Deep Lying Playmaker (Defend): Disrupt Attacks
Deep Lying Playmaker (Support): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession Immediately

ML/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space
Defend Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Support Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

AMC: Shuttle Ball
Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Keep Possession Under Pressure
Advanced Playmaker (Support): Recover Possession Immediately
Shadow Striker: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession

AML/R: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Shuttle Ball Into Space
Advanced Playmaker (Support): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Defensive Winger (Defend): Recover Possession Immediately
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure

ST (Lone Striker): Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
Defensive Forward (Defend): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
False Nine (Lone Striker): Keep Possession
Support Duty (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Into Space
Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Keep Possession
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball
Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances Patiently

STANDARD

GK: Distribute Safely
Sweeper Keeper (Attack): Cycle Possession
Sweeper Keeper (Support): Cycle Possession

SW: Restrict Space
Libero (Attack): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Libero (Support): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

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

DL/R: Keep Possession
Defend Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks
Support Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession

DMC: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
Halfback: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
Support Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession Immediately

WBL/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space
Wingback (Defend): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Wingback (Support): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

MC: Shuttle Ball
Deep Lying Playmaker (Defend): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
Deep Lying Playmaker (Support): Recover Possession Immediately
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession

ML/R: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Defend Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession Immediately
Support Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure

AMC: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole
Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Shuttle Ball
Advanced Playmaker (Support): Keep Possession
Shadow Striker: Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball Into Space

AML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves
Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Advanced Playmaker (Support): Keep Possession Under Pressure
Defensive Winger (Defend): Keep Possession
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball

ST (Lone Striker): Spearhead Attacking Moves Closer to Defence
Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Penetrate Gaps
Defensive Forward (Defend): Keep Possession Under Pressure
False Nine (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Into Space
Support Duty (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Ball Into Space
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Create Chances Patiently
Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances Urgently

CONTROL

GK: Distribute Safely
Sweeper Keeper (Attack): Initiate Attacks
Sweeper Keeper (Support): Cycle Possession

SW: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
Libero (Attack): Keep Possession Under Pressure
Libero (Support): Recover Possession Immediately

DC: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
Cover Duty (All Roles): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
Stopper Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession

DL/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space
Defend Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession After Defensive Transition
Support Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

DMC: Recover Possession
Halfback: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
Support Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession

WBL/R: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Wingback (Defend): Recover Possession Immediately
Wingback (Support): Keep Possession Under Pressure

MC: Spearhead Attacks from the Hole
Deep Lying Playmaker (Defend): Recover Possession
Deep Lying Playmaker (Support): Keep Possession
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball Into Space

ML/R: Spearhead Attacks
Defend Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession
Support Duty (All Roles): Shuttle Ball

AMC: Spearhead Attacks Closer to Defence
Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Create Chances Patiently
Advanced Playmaker (Support): Shuttle Ball Into Space
Shadow Striker: Penetrate Gaps
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball Through Defence

AML/R: Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Create Chances
Advanced Playmaker (Support): Shuttle Ball
Defensive Winger (Defend): Shuttle Ball Into Space
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Patiently

ST (Lone Striker): Penetrate Gaps
Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Draw Off Defenders
Defensive Forward (Defend): Shuttle Ball
False Nine (Lone Striker): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Support Duty (Lone Striker): Create Chances
Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Shuttle Bal Aggressively
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Create Chances Urgently
Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Force Half Chances

ATTACKING

GK: Cycle Possession
Sweeper Keeper (Attack): Initiate Attacks
Sweeper Keeper (Support): Initiate Attacks

SW: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
Libero (Attack): Shuttle Ball
Libero (Support): Keep Possession

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

DL/R: Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Defend Duty (All Roles): Recover Possession Immediately
Support Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure

DMC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Halfback: Recover Possession
Support Duty (All Roles): Shuttle Ball Into Space

WBL/R: Spearhead Attacks
Wingback (Defend): Keep Possession
Wingback (Support): Shuttle Ball

MC: Spearhead Attacks Closer to Defence
Deep Lying Playmaker (Defend): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Deep Lying Playmaker (Support): Shuttle Ball Into Space
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball Through Defence

ML/R: Penetrate Gaps Intermittently
Defend Duty (All Roles): Shuttle Ball Into Space
Support Duty (All Roles): Create Chances Patiently

AMC: Penetrate Gaps
Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Create Chances Urgently
Advanced Playmaker (Support): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Enganche: Force Half Chances
Shadow Striker: Penetrate Gaps Persistently
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances
Trequartista: Force Half Chances

AML/R: Penetrate Gaps Persistently
Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Force Half Chances When Necessary
Advanced Playmaker (Support): Shuttle Ball Into Space
Defensive Winger (Defend): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Urgently

ST (Lone Striker): Draw Off Defenders
Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Overload Defenders
Defensive Forward (Defend): Suppress Counterattacking Options
False Nine (Lone Striker): Create Chances
Support Duty (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances When Necessary
Support Duty (Multiple Strikers): Create Chances Patiently
Trequartista (Lone Striker): Force Half Chances
Trequartista (Multiple Strikers): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation

OVERLOAD

GK: Initiate Attacks
Sweeper Keeper (Attack): Support Attacks
Sweeper Keeper (Support): Initiate Attacks

SW: Recover Possession Immediately
Libero (Attack): Spearhead Attacks
Libero (Support): Shuttle Ball

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

DL/R: Spearhead Attacks Closer to Defence
Defend Duty (All Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure
Support Duty (All Roles): Shuttle Ball Through Defence

DMC: Shuttle Ball Into Space
Halfback: Keep Possession
Support Duty (All Roles): Create Chances Patiently

WBL/R: Penetrate Gaps
Wingback (Defend): Shuttle Ball
Wingback (Support): Create Chances

MC: Penetrate Gaps Persistently
Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
Deep Lying Playmaker (Defend): Shuttle Ball Into Space
Deep Lying Playmaker (Support): Create Chances Patiently
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Urgently

ML/R: Draw Off Defenders
Defend Duty (All Roles): Suppress Counterattacking Options
Support Duty (All Roles): Create Chances Urgently

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

AML/R: Challenge Defenders
Advanced Playmaker (Attack): Test Defence With Precision
Advanced Playmaker (Support): Force Half Chances When Necessary
Defensive Winger (Defend): Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation

ST (Lone Striker): Bypass Last Defender
Attack Duty (Multiple Strikers): Bypass Last Defender
Defensive Forward (Defend): 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): 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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