The third stage of creating your tactic is to customise your tactical style by adding further team instructions and player instructions as appropriate for your playing style, your players and your personal preferences.
This involves first understanding playing styles, before then reviewing your tactical instructions and, if appropriate, setting further tactical instructions. It is also important to consider playing style risk when adding team and player instructions.
Understanding Playing Styles
Aim: to understand the relationships between tactical instructions and playing styles so that tactical instructions can be reviewed and added appropriately.
- Tactics > Overview tab
- In Possession panel
- Enables you to view and set team instructions for when your team has possession.
- Out Of Possession panel
- Enables you to view and set team instructions for when the opposition team has possession.
- In Transition panel
- Enables you to view and set team instructions for when possession changes from one team to the other, and to view and set goalkeeper distribution team instructions for when your goalkeeper has possession.
- In Possession panel
- Tactics > Player tab
- Enables you to view and set player instructions for each playing position and player.
Most team instructions and player instructions, including some of the hidden player instructions given by some player roles and duties, relate to particular style methods. The greater the extent to which such a tactical instruction is given, the greater the extent to which its related style method or methods are implemented.
Most style methods have a contrasting style method, with one being higher risk and the other being lower risk, and the two tend to be naturally suited to contrasting playing styles. For example, the player instructions Dribble More and Dribble Less relate to contrasting style methods. Dribble More (higher risk) tends to be naturally suited to attacking football and direct plays, while Dribble Less (lower risk) tends to be naturally suited to defensive football and short plays.
The risk associated with style methods will be discussed further later in this guide.
- Playing Styles – tactical theory guide.
- Core Styles – tactical theory guide including naturally suited style methods for attacking football and defensive football.
- Attacking Styles – tactical theory guide including naturally suited style methods for direct plays and short plays.
- Defensive Styles – tactical theory guide including naturally suited style methods for aggressive defending and cautious defending.
- Composite Styles – tactical theory guide including naturally suited style methods for direct attacking football, pass and move football, long ball football, possession football, high pressure football, cautious attacking football, aggressive defensive football and parking-the-bus football.
Playing Style Composition
The following “Playing Style Composition” table summarises pairs of contrasting style methods (“higher risk style methods” on the left / “lower risk style methods” on the right), along with the tactical instructions that implement them and the playing styles that they tend to be naturally suited to.
A few independent style methods (“balanced risk style methods”) are also included and analysed similarly.
You can use this table when reviewing your tactical instructions and setting further tactical instructions. You can also refer to the tactical theory guides linked to under further details above for a list of the naturally suited style methods for each playing style.
Reviewing Tactical Instructions
Aim: to analyse the playing style that has been implemented by the tactical instructions that you have previously set so that further tactical instructions can be set appropriately.
The team instructions that you set when choosing your playing style and the player instructions that you set when choosing your player roles and duties will have already implemented various style methods to various extents.
You can analyse the implementation of these style methods by:
- Listing each pair of contrasting style methods in the “Playing Style Composition” table above, while identifying which style method is ‘natural’ for your playing style and which is ‘contrasting’, or identifying both as ‘neutral’ where relevant;
- Listing below each style method its related player instructions;
- Noting next to each instruction the number of players who have been given the instruction and identifying the relevant roles/duties; and
- Similarly, noting the effects of your team instructions as appropriate (the effects of team instructions can outweigh the effects of any contrasting player instructions so this should be taken into account).
An example of such an analysis is given below.
Your analysis should show you clearly which style methods have been implemented to a greater extent than their contrasting style methods and how they have been implemented.
In particular, it should show you which ‘natural’ style methods have not currently been implemented to a greater extent than their contrasting style methods and, furthermore, which of these style methods have actually been implemented to a lesser extent than their contrasting style methods.
You can also review your individual players’ suitability for the style methods that have been implemented and consider your own personal preferences regarding which style methods may or may not be suitable for the way you want your team to play.