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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   140500 views   2 comments
Football Manager Guides - The Mentality Ladder: Understanding Fluidity and Duty

Production Lines: Very Rigid Mentality Structures

Very rigid mentality structures actually cover a narrower range of tactical priorities than rigid (and, potentially, balanced) mentality structures. Like rigid mentality structures, very rigid mentality structures organizes tactical priorities according to position within the team's defensive shape, but unlike rigid mentality structures, there is less of a general tactical distinction between wide and central players. This means that wide players are not specifically relied upon to help quickly link the various parts of the team, though the team as a whole will look to prevent either the attack or defence from becoming isolated by maintaining a slightly more compact shape. In practice, this means the team will be slightly slower to break from its defensive shape going forward, though centrebacks and forwards will also be slightly more inclined to help support the midfield compared to a rigid system.

Basically, very rigid mentality structures are intended to produce highly organized football in which the team can execute a focused, precise attacking approach while maintaining the ability to quickly transition back to its defensive shape at a moment's notice. As with rigid mentality structures, this means players have a distinct and clearly defined function within the team with defensive position having an even greater influence on the decion-making of wide players. Accordingly, this can make the team's approach very predictable, though this isn't necessarily a problem for managers looking to perfect a highly specfic style of play.

Very rigid mentality structures should also not be equated with limiting specific position's contribution to a single phase of play. Again, team mentality and duty are the primary factors in determining whether specific players get forward or drop back to defend.

The Sweeper Effect

Certain very rigid mentality structures are subject to the Sweeper Effect. Essentially, under a more defensive team mentality, using a sweeper role will cause other players on the team to become slightly more aggressive.

The Sweeper Effect applies to very rigid contain and defensive mentality structures that use 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) up one position on the mentality ladder for Defensive mentalities and up two positions for Contain mentalities if the mentality structure is subject to the Sweeper Effect. Keep in mind, the alterations imposed by the Sweeper Effect are the same regardless of how many sweepers are used.

The Deep Lying Playmaker Effect

A similar effect occurs when a Deep Lying Playmaker is used as at CM in Contain and Defensive mentalities. In such situations, you should move every outfield player other than the Deep Lying Playmaker and sweepers up one position on the mentality ladder. Keep in mind, however, that the sweeper effect still applies to the DLP and the effects of using a CM DLP and sweeper are cumulative for all other players.

The Trequartista Effect

And again, a similar effect occurs when a Trequartista is used as a lone striker in Control, Attack and Overload mentalities . In such situations, you should move every outfield player other than the Trequartista up one position on the mentality ladder.

CONTAIN

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

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

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

DL/R: Slow Attacking Movement

DMC: Divert Attacking Movement
Halfback: Contain Attacking Movement

WBL/R: Divert Attacking Movement

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

ML/R: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

AMC: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Judiciously
Shadow Striker: Recover Possession

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

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

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 Aggressively
Halfback: Restrict Space

WBL/R: Restrict Space Aggressively

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

ML/R: Recover Possession After Defensive Transition

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

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

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

COUNTER

q[uote]
GK: Limit Pressure
Sweeper Keeper (All Duties): Cycle Possession

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

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

DL/R: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

DMC: Disrupt Attacks Quickly
Halfback: Disrupt Attacks Judiciously

WBL/R: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

MC: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Box to Box Midfielder: Recover Possession Immediately
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Disrupt Attacks Quickly
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Recover Possession

ML/R: Keep Possession Away From Pressure

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

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

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

STANDARD

q[uote]
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
Halfback: Disrupt Attacks Quickly

WBL/R: Recover Possession

MC: Keep Possession Under Pressure
Box to Box Midfielder: Keep Possession
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Recover Possession
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession Away From Pressure

ML/R: Keep Possession Under Pressure

AMC: Shuttle Ball
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Under Pressure
Shadow Striker: Spearhead Attacking Moves from the Hole

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

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

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: Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Halfback: Recover Possession

WBL/R: Keep Possession Away From Pressure

MC: Shuttle Ball
Box to Box Midfielder: Shuttle Ball Into Space
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Keep Possession Away From Pressure
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Keep Possession Under Pressure

ML/R: Shuttle Ball

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 from the Hole
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Defensive Winger (Defend): Suppress Counterattacking Options
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances Patiently

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): Create Chances Urgently

ATTACKING

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: Shuttle Ball Into Space
Halfback: Keep Possession

WBL/R: Shuttle Ball Into Space

MC: Spearhead Attacking Moves
Box to Box Midfielder: Create Chances Patiently
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Shuttle Ball Into Space
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Shuttle Ball Through Defence
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Create Chances

ML/R: Spearhead Attacking Moves
Defend Duty (All Roles): Suppress Counterattacks
Support Duty (All Roles): Create Chances

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 Intermittently
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Create Chances Urgently
Defensive Winger (Defend): Isolate Advancing Midfielders
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances When Necessary

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

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: Create Chances Patiently
Defend Duty (All Roles Except Deep Lying Playmaker): Suppress Counterattacking Options
Halfback: Shuttle Ball

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

MC: Penetrate Gaps
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances
Box to Box Midfielder: Force Half Chances When Necessary
Deep Lying Playmaker (All Duties): Create Chances Patiently
Defend Duty (All Other Roles): Suppress Counterattacking Outlets
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Force Half Chances

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

AMC: Draw Off Defenders
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances
Enganche: Test Defence With Precision
Shadow Striker: Overload Defenders
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Test Defence With Precision
Trequartista: Test Defence With Precision

AML/R: Draw Off Defenders
Advanced Playmaker (All Duties): Force Half Chances Without Hesitation
Defensive Winger (Defend): Hassle Dawdling Defenders
Support Duty (All Other Roles): Test Defence With Precision

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



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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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