Specific Player Instructions

As previously discussed, each player in your tactic is given a set of player instructions that are determined by your chosen team instructions, his position in your formation and the role and duty combination he has been assigned.

In some cases you may want to edit player instructions in order to slightly refine how a player in a particular position behaves, rather than using a different role and duty which can result in unwanted changes to other instructions. This is done by selecting specific player instructions.

Some instructions are greyed out and so not available, either because they are not suitable for the selected position, not suitable for the selected role and duty, or already active for the selected role and duty. Hovering over a greyed out instruction will reveal a tool-tip that explains which of these is the case.

Selecting an available instruction will highlight that instruction in green. Some instructions conflict with each other and therefore cannot be selected together. Any instructions that conflict with a selected instruction are highlighted in red.

Each specific player instruction is analysed below. Provided for each instruction is:

  • a description of how it affects a player's behaviour;
  • positions available for - the instruction can only be used for players in these positions, but availability of the instruction may also depend on the role and duty of a player;
  • a summary of its main advantages and disadvantages;
  • players who it can be useful for - more specifically, particular types of players it can be useful for, either as an active instruction for their role and duty or as a manually selected instruction;
  • related abilities - the instruction may also be useful for players with these attributes (either good or poor ratings as specified);
  • complementary team instructions - the instruction can be used as an alternative to (or possibly in combination with) these instructions as explained below;
  • contrasting team instructions - the instruction can be used in combination with these instructions as explained below;
  • complementary preferred moves - these are preferred moves which give a player a tendency to perform the same or similar actions as the instruction, as discussed in the Preferred Moves guide; and
  • constrasting preferred moves - these are preferred moves which give a player a tendency to perform directly contrasting actions, as discussed in the Preferred Moves guide.

When to Edit Player Instructions

To Adapt a Role to Suit a Player or Your Tactics

You may want to select a specific player instruction in order to adapt a role so that it suits a player's abilities better or suits your tactics better.

For example, you might want a player with poorer dribbling ability to dribble less often, or you might want your wide players to stay closer to your central players to provide them with more support.

For further examples for each instruction see the can be useful for and related abilities suggestions below.

If you are editing instructions to suit a player’s abilities then this is best done by applying instructions for that player only. If you are editing them to suit your tactics then you will want to ensure that the changes are applied for any player in the position.

You may want to use a generic role for a player so that you have more freedom to edit instructions as you desire. In particular, the following roles offer a larger selection of available instructions.

  • Defensive Midfielder
  • Central Midfielder
  • Attacking Midfielder
  • Full Back
  • Wing Back
  • Wide Midfielder
  • Deep-Lying Forward
  • Target Man
  • Advanced Forward.

The generic Central Defender role also allows you to gain more control over a central defender's passing range.

As an Alternative to Complementary Team Instructions

You may want to select a specific player instruction as an alternative to using a complementary specific team instruction, as this will give you more control over which players follow the instruction.

For example, using the Shoot More Often specific player instruction instead of the Shoot On Sight specific team instruction gives you more control over which players attempt more shots.

Combining a specific player instruction with a complementary team instruction is also an option if you want a player to perform an action to an even greater or even lesser extent, but this should be done with caution as it can exacerbate the potential disadvantages associated with the instruction.

In Combination With Contrasting Team Instructions

You may also want to select a specific player instruction that contrasts with your team instructions (or possibly with the player instructions given to other players by their roles and duties) so that one or more players will be an exception to your team’s general tactical approach.

For example, you might use the Shorter Passing specific team instruction because you want your team to generally make shorter passes, but also select the More Direct Passes specific player instruction for one or two players so that they act as the main source of direct passes.

Similarly, instructing one or two players to dribble or shoot more, or to make more creative, risky passes, can allow them to provide an alternative threat in order to make it harder for the opposition to defend against your team.

To provide a defensive example, you may want your team to generally be more aggressive by closing down earlier and making earlier tackles, but want a few of your players to be more cautious. This could be because you want them to hold their defensive position to help give your team a more solid structure, or simply because they have poorer fitness or tackling ability.

Balancing Instructions

You should be careful when selecting specific player instructions however, and ensure that your changes do not cause your tactic to become unbalanced. If you are making a lot of alterations then it may be the case that a different role and duty would be more suitable.

In particular, you should be careful not to instruct too many of your players to follow the same instruction, whether set through player instructions or a combination of team and player instructions, as this will exacerbate the potential disadvantages associated with the instruction.

Ensuring that your instructions are well balanced can be a difficult task. However, by reading the various roles and duties positional analyses earlier in this guide you can gain a good understanding of how each area of the pitch should be balanced and you will therefore be less likely to unbalance your tactic by making inappropriate changes.

FM 15- This guide has been updated for FM 2015

Tactics Resources

Inverting the Pyramid
Guaranteed to give you a greater overall tactical knowledge and understanding.

Soccer Strategies
Learn the advantages and disadvantages of using different formations in defence and attack.

Soccer Systems and Strategies
Teaches you about different tactical strategies.

Coaching the Tiki Taka
Learn about the tiki taka style in detail.

Transition and Counter Attacking
Find out how to play against different opposition systems.

Match Strategy and Tactics
Learn how to adapt your tactics to the opposition and different match scenarios.

Further Reading

The Manager: Inside the Minds of Football's Leaders
Learn how to think like a football manager.

Will You Manage?
Find out the skills needed to be a great manager and get essential tips for fantasy football success.

The Nowhere Men
Obtain a fascinating insight into the world of football scouts.

Scouting for Moyes
Read the inside story of the life of a football scout.

The Secret Player
Discover the hidden world of the professional footballer.

Other Links

FM Weekly - Articles tweeted in the past 7 days from some popular FM Twitter accounts

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