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 further modify player instructions in order to slightly refine how a player behaves in a way that cannot be achieved by simply giving him a different role or duty.

Some instructions are greyed out and so unavailable, 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 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.

When to Modify Instructions

You may want to modify player instructions 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 run with the ball less often, or you might want your wide players to stay closer to your central players to provide them with more support.

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

You may also want to modify player instructions so that they contrast with your overall team instructions, meaning that one or more players will be an exception to your team’s general tactical approach. For example, you may want your team to generally make shorter passes, but have one player who acts as a source of direct passes. This could be because you want a player with better passing ability to aim aerial balls to a strong attacker, but you do not want to encourage the through balls and creative freedom that a creative role would instruct.

Similarly, 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.

In addition, you may want to use specific player instructions as an alternative to related specific team instructions, as they will give you more control over which players are affected.

Generic Roles

You may want to use a generic role for a player so that you have more freedom to use specific player instructions to modify the role to suit your tactic or the player's abilities. 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.

Balancing Instructions

You should be careful when modifying 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.

Ensuring that your instructions are well balanced can be a difficult task. However, by using 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 too many changes or inappropriate changes.

Analysis of Instructions

Provided below is a description of each instruction and an analysis of when you may want to use it.

Swap Positions

This instruction is included separately on the Player Instructions screen. From the Swap positions with drop-down you can select one position for the player to swap with.

You player will occasionally interchange positions with the player in the selected position during a match in order to make attacking play more varied and unpredictable, which can therefore make defending more difficult for the opposition.

It can be especially useful to instruct central and/or wide attackers to swap positions so that they will be harder for opposition defenders to mark.

For swapping positions to be effective each player will need to be comfortable playing in the other’s position and role. You should also avoid asking too many of your players to swap positions to ensure that your team remains well organised.

Possession

The following instructions affect how a player should behave when he is on the ball.

Hold Up Ball

Your player will be more likely to stop and try to keep the ball at his feet while waiting for teammates to get forward or move into space to receive a pass, and so will be less likely to turn and dribble towards the opposition goal, make an early pass or shoot at goal. While holding up the ball he will attempt to shield it from any opposition players who attempt to tackle him.

It is only available for players in the striker, central attacking midfield and wide forward positions.

This can lead to a better decision being made by the player and therefore more effective build-up play with better chances being created. However, it can also slow down attacking play and cause opportunities for quick passes or shots, or direct dribbling at the opposition, to be missed.

It can be a useful instruction for more creative attackers such as number tens, as well as a number nine who you want to contribute more to build-up play and creating chances for others rather than purely focusing on goal-scoring and running at the opposition defence.

However, it is generally advisable not to instruct more than two attackers to hold up the ball so as not to slow down attacking play too much.

Useful Attributes - Strength (for shielding the ball)

Complementary Preferred Moves - Stops Play

Shoot More Often

Your player will be more likely to shoot when he believes there is a possible chance to score, and so will be less likely to pass, dribble or hold up the ball. He will be less likely to wait until he has a more clear-cut chance before shooting.

This can lead to more goals being scored by the player, more chances being created from rebounded shots and more corners being won. However, it will cause him to try more speculative efforts at goal which can waste possession, with better attacking options, or simple possession keeping passes, being overlooked more often.

It can be useful for a less creative number nine who your want to focus mainly on goal-scoring, or a less creative midfielder who plays centrally or cuts inside and is good at shooting from distance. It can also be useful in providing an alternative threat if your players on the whole do not attempt shots very frequently, perhaps because of their assigned roles or because you are using the Work Ball Into Box specific team instruction.

However, it is generally advisable not to instruct more than two or three players to shoot more often so that possession is not given away too frequently. Nonetheless, if you do want your team to take more shots at goal then this instruction is a better option than the Shoot On Sight specific team instruction as it gives you more control over which players are given the responsibility.

Useful Attributes - Long Shots, Finishing, Technique

Complementary Preferred Moves - Shoots From Distance

Shoot Less Often

Your player will be less likely to shoot when he believes there is a possible chance to score, and so will be more likely to pass, dribble or hold up the ball. He will be more likely to wait until he has a more clear-cut chance before shooting.

This can lead to possession being retained more often by the player which will give your team more opportunities to create potentially better chances. However, it can also cause him to miss good shooting opportunities.

It can be useful for a player with poorer shooting ability, especially if you are using the Shoot On Sight specific team instruction. It can also be particularly useful for a player who you want to be more creative, to encourage him to try more inventive options.

If you want your team to generally try to keep possession and create chances closer to goal then this instruction can be used instead of the Work Ball Into Box specific team instruction to give you more control over which players shoot less often.

Complementary Preferred Moves - Looks For Pass Rather Than Attempting To Score

Dribble More

Your player will be more likely to run with the ball and take opposition players on, and so will be less likely to pass, shoot or hold up the ball.

This can lead to more chances being created by the player for both himself and others, as a result of opposition players being beaten and also due to the general disruption it can cause to the shape of the opposition defence. However, it can also cause him to lose possession more often with options to build up play more patiently being less likely to be used.

It can be useful for an attacking player with good dribbling ability to make him more dangerous to the opposition. It can also be useful in providing an alternative threat if your players on the whole do not attempt dribbles very frequently, perhaps because of their assigned roles.

However it is generally advisable not to instruct more than three players to dribble more so that your team's attacking play is more varied and less predictable, and so possession is less likely to be given away as often. Nonetheless, if you do want your team to run with the ball at the opposition more then this instruction is a better option than the Run At Defence specific team instruction as it gives you more control over which players are given the responsibility.

Useful Attributes - Dribbling, Technique, Anticipation, Flair, Acceleration, Agility, Balance, Pace

Complementary Preferred Moves - Runs With Ball Often, Runs With Ball Down Left/Right, Runs With Ball Through Centre

Dribble Less

Your player will be less likely to run with the ball, and so will be more likely to pass, shoot or hold up the ball.

This can lead to more patient options being taken by the player which will give your team more opportunities to create potentially better chances. However, it can also cause him to miss opportunities to get past an opposition player or disrupt the opposition defence.

It can be useful for a player with poorer dribbling ability, especially if he is playing in a deeper position where giving the ball away can be more dangerous. It can also be useful for a player in a more advanced position if your attackers on the whole attempt dribbles more often, either because of their roles or because you are using the Run At Defence specific team instruction.

Complementary Preferred Moves - Runs Rarely With Ball

Run Wide With Ball

When dribbling, your player will be more likely to run towards and down the flank rather than taking the ball into central areas.

It is available for players in both wide and central positions.

It can be useful for a wide player with good crossing ability but perhaps poorer creativity and passing ability to instruct him to stay wide from where he can deliver crosses.

It can be useful for a central player, preferably with good dribbling ability but perhaps poorer creativity and passing ability, to instruct him to take the ball wide in order to disrupt the shape of the opposition and create more space for his teammates in the centre. This can be particularly useful when the opposition is using a narrow formation, while it can work well if you are using a wide player who has been given the Roam From Position instruction on the side nearest to the central player. It will be more effective if he is given the Dribble More instruction and will be ineffective if he is given the Dribble Less instruction.

However, it is not suitable for a more creative player who you want to act as a creator for your team.

Useful Attributes - Crossing

Complementary Preferred Moves - Runs With Ball Down Left/Right

Cut Inside With Ball

When dribbling, your player will take the ball into central areas rather than running down the flank.

It is only available for players in wide positions.

It can be useful for a wide player with good creativity and passing ability but perhaps poorer crossing ability, especially if he is playing on the side opposite to his stronger foot. It can also be useful for a wide player with good shooting ability.

However, it is advisable to give the player a wide partner who is not instructed to cut inside in order to provide him with a wide option and give your team natural width. For a more creative wide player it is advisable to ensure that he is not being instructed to cut inside into the territory of a creative central player, as this could potentially cause congestion and a poor utilisation of space.

Useful Attributes - Passing, Anticipation, Decisions, Vision

Complementary Preferred Moves - Cuts Inside, Runs With Ball Through Centre

Distribution

The following instructions affect how a player should pass the ball.

Pass It Shorter

Your player will be more likely to make shorter passes to teammates closer to him.

This can lead to the player making more successful passes that help your team to keep possession. However, it will also cause him to miss opportunities to attempt potentially effective longer passes to advanced teammates in dangerous positions and passes to the opposite flank which could help stretch play.

It can be useful for a player with poorer creativity or passing ability, especially if you are using the Go Route One, More Direct Passing, Pump Ball Into Box or Clear Ball To Flanks specific team instructions, to reduce the chances of him conceding possession and to encourage more penetrative passes to come from other players.

It can also be useful for a player with good creativity when using these team instructions as it will allow him to use his intelligence to decide whether to keep possession or attempt a more penetrative pass according to the options available. However, in general it is not suitable for a player with good creativity and passing ability as it will restrict his effectiveness.

It is advisable to avoid giving this instruction to too many players so as not to overly restrain your team’s passing. Although, if you want your team to generally make shorter passes then it can be a good alternative to the Retain Possession and Shorter Passing specific team instructions as it gives you more control over which players restrict their passing range and allows you to leave the passing of your more creative players unaffected.

Complementary Preferred Moves - Plays Short Simple Passes

More Direct Passes

Your player will be more likely to make longer passes to teammates further away from him.

This can lead to the player attempting longer passes to advanced teammates in dangerous positions and passes to the opposite flank which can help stretch play. However, it can also cause him to give the ball away more often due to the more difficult nature of such passes and the extra opportunity they provide for an opposition player to intercept the ball or win it in the air.

It can be useful for a player with good passing ability, and preferably also good creativity, especially if you are using the Retain Possession or Shorter Passing specific team instructions, so that he can help your team to penetrate the opposition defence. However, it can be less suitable for a player with good creativity if you are not using these instructions as it will make him less likely to use his intelligence to decide to keep possession when appropriate.

It is important to consider the instructions and abilities of those players who will try to receive direct passes when using this instruction, and how this fits in to your tactical style. For example, when using a more attacking mentality and focusing passing through the middle you will need a strong central attacker with good aerial ability to receive direct passes from a player in a deep position. When using a more defensive mentality and attacking on the break though, quicker attackers can be used to run on to direct passes into space.

It is advisable to avoid giving this instruction to too many players so as not to adversely affect your team's control of possession. Although, if you want your team to generally make more direct passes then it can be a good alternative to the Go Route One, More Direct Passing, Pump Ball Into Box and Clear Ball To Flanks specific team instructions as it gives you more control over which players increase their passing range.

Useful Attributes - Passing, Technique, Anticipation, Decisions, Vision

Complementary Preferred Moves - Tries Long Range Passes, Likes To Switch Ball To Other Flank

More Risky Passes

Your player will be more likely to attempt creative, risky passes, also called through balls, and less likely to make passes to feet. Through balls are forward passes played into space behind an opposition player for a teammate to run on to.

This can lead to the player making more passes that release a teammate in a dangerous position. However, it will also cause him to concede possession more often.

It can be useful for a player with good creativity and passing ability so that he can help your team to penetrate the opposition defence.

However, you should consider the instructions and abilities of the teammates around and ahead of any player given this instruction. For risky passes to be effective there should be sufficient players making off the ball runs ahead of the ball, particularly those with attack duties, and they should ideally have good off the ball movement or mobility.

It is advisable to avoid giving this instruction to too many players so as to ensure that sufficient patience is used in attacking play and to help prevent possession being conceded too often. Although, if you want your team to generally make more creative, risky passes then it is a good alternative to the Pass Into Space specific team instruction as it gives you more control over which players are given the responsibility.

Useful Attributes - Passing, Technique, Anticipation, Decisions, Flair, Teamwork, Vision

Fewer Risky Passes

Your player will be less likely to attempt creative, risky passes and more likely to make passes to feet.

This will lead to the player keeping possession more often with simple passes, or aiming direct passes mainly to the head, chest, thigh or feet of teammates, depending on his passing range instructions. However, it will also cause him to miss opportunities to play teammates into dangerous positions and can slow down attacking play as a result.

It can be useful for a player with poorer creativity and passing ability to reduce the chances of him conceding possession, especially if you have a lot of players instructed to attempt more creative passes, either because of their roles or because you are using the Pass Into Space specific team instruction.

It is generally advisable to avoid giving this instruction to too many players so as not to overly restrain your team’s passing.

Cross More Often

Your player will be more likely to cross the ball into the opposition penalty area (when he is in the area he has been instructed to cross from) and so will be less likely to pass, dribble, shoot or hold up the ball.

It is only available for players in wide positions, the off-centre central and central attacking midfield positions, and the striker position.

It can be useful for a player with good crossing ability, but perhaps poorer creative and passing ability, to make him more effective at creating chances.

If you are using a wide partnership then you should consider the affects of this instruction on the mechanics of the partnership. For example, if the player with less attacking responsibility is given this instruction then he will be less likely to use the more attacking player and the byline will therefore be attacked less frequently. This may or may not be desirable for your tactical style.

Depending on your tactical style, crosses can provide a main or alternative attacking threat. However, you should consider how many players are likely to be in the opposition penalty area to receive crosses and also the abilities of these players to meet crosses effectively. In particular, it is advisable to have at least two attackers who are in either the striker position or are making regular off the ball runs (typically players with an attack duty) from central attacking midfield.

Useful Attributes - Crossing, Technique

Cross Less Often

Your player will be less likely to cross and so will be more likely to pass, dribble, shoot or hold up the ball (even when he is in the area he has been instructed to cross from).

It is only available for players in wide positions, the off-centre central and central attacking midfield positions, and the striker position.

It can be useful for a player with poorer crossing ability, and perhaps good creative and passing ability, to make his use of the ball more effective.

If you are using a wide partnership then this can be used to encourage crosses to be made from the other player in the partnership.

Cross From Deep

Your player will make his crosses from deeper positions, before he gets level with the opposition penalty area. He will therefore make more crosses than if he is instructed to get to the byline before crossing.

It is only available for players in wide positions and the off-centre central and central attacking midfield positions.

It can be useful for a player who you want to make early crosses rather than taking the ball higher up the pitch. In a wide partnership this is more likely to be the case for the player with less attacking responsibility. Although, you may want to instruct a player to both cross from deep and dribble more, in which case his attacking play will be more varied and unpredictable.

If early crosses are made fairly frequently then it would be beneficial to use a strong central attacker with good aerial ability so that they will be effective.

This instruction can be used instead of the Hit Early Crosses specific team instruction to give you more control over which players attempt early crosses.

Useful Attributes - Crossing, Technique

Cross From Byline

Your wide player will make his crosses from close to the byline, tending not to cross the ball until he has reached this area. The byline is the extension of the goal line from the posts to the corner flags on each side of the pitch.

Generally a wide player will be instructed to cross from an area that is appropriate for his role and duty. In some circumstances though, you may want to use this instruction to encourage a wide player to only cross once he has reached the byline.

For example, it can be used for a wide player with poorer crossing ability to discourage him from making crosses until he is close to the opposition penalty area.

Alternatively, it can be used as part of instructing a wide player with good dribbling ability to get forward when on the ball but to hold back more when off the ball, perhaps while his wide partner overlaps.

Cross Aim Near Post

Your wide player will target his crosses into the area by the post closest to him. Such crosses tend to be of lower height.

Relevant crossing aim instructions for your wide players will already have been set if you are using the Float Crosses or Drill Crosses specific team instructions. If you have central attackers with less aerial ability you will probably want to use Drill Crosses.

However, you might want to use this specific player instruction for a wide player if the intended target attacker is playing closer to his side of the pitch, either left or right of centre, or for particular wide player who has poorer crossing ability.

Cross Aim Centre

Your wide player will target his crosses into the middle of the penalty area.

Relevant crossing aim instructions for your wide players will already have been set if you are using the Float Crosses or Drill Crosses specific team instructions. If you have at least one central attacker with good aerial ability you may want to use Float Crosses.

However, you might want to use this specific player instruction for a wide player if the intended target attacker is playing closer to his side of the pitch, either left or right of centre, so that crosses are still aimed to his head, but are not aimed beyond him, or if the target attacker is playing in the centre.

Useful Attributes - Crossing, Technique

Cross Aim Far Post

Your wide player will target his crosses into the area by the post furthest from him. Such crosses tend to be higher.

Relevant crossing aim instructions for your wide players will already have been set if you are using the Float Crosses or Drill Crosses specific team instructions. If you have at least one central attacker with good aerial ability you may want to use Float Crosses.

However, you might want to use this specific player instruction for a wide player if the intended target attacker is not playing closer to his side of the pitch, either left or right of centre, especially if you are not using the Float Crosses specific team instruction.

Useful Attributes - Crossing, Technique

Cross Aim Target Man

Your wide player will target his crosses towards your target man if you are using such a player.

This can be useful to ensure a wide player is aiming crosses to your target man.

Useful Attributes - Crossing, Technique

GK Distribution

The following instructions affect how a goalkeeper should distribute the ball when it is in his hands or when he is taking a goal kick. The usage of these instructions is discussed in the Goalkeepers guide.

Roll It Out

Your goalkeeper will roll the ball from his hands to a teammate nearby.

Throw It Long

Your goalkeeper will attempt to throw the ball to a teammate further away.

Take Short Kicks

Your goalkeeper will kick the ball to a teammate nearby.

Take Long Kicks

Your goalkeeper will kick the ball up the pitch.

Distribute To Specific

Your goalkeeper will aim for a specified player. If one of the above four distribution type instructions is selected then it should be appropriate for this player's position. For example, Roll It Out or Take Short Kicks for a defender, or Throw It Long or Take Long Kicks for an advanced wide player.

Distribute to Full Backs

Your goalkeeper will aim for either of your full backs.

Distribute to Centre Backs

Your goalkeeper will aim for any of your central defenders.

Distribute to Playmaker

Your goalkeeper will aim for a player in a playmaker role.

Distribute to Flanks

Your goalkeeper will aim for either of your advanced wide players in the wide midfield or winger positions.

Distribute to Target Man

Your goalkeeper will aim for a player in a target man role.

Distribute Over Opposition Defence

Your goalkeeper will aim for the area behind the opposition defence.

Slow Pace Down

Your goalkeeper will be more patient and take his time before throwing or kicking the ball.

Distribute Quickly

Your goalkeeper will be more urgent and quickly throw or kick the ball.

Movement

The following instructions affect how a player should position himself off the ball when your team is in possession.

Get Further Forward

Your player will take up more advanced positions off the ball where he can receive passes in more dangerous areas closer to the opposition defence. As such, he will be less likely to come deep and make himself available for a simple pass to feet.

This can be useful for a more attacking player. However, you should ensure that your tactic remains well balanced. In particular, you should not give this instruction to the less attacking player in a partnership, for example a wide partnership or two players next to each other in central midfield.

You should also ensure that you do not isolate players from their supporting teammates and that you do not instruct too many players to get further forward at the expense of defensive stability.

Useful Attributes - Anticipation, Decisions, Off The Ball and general attacking attributes depending on position

Hold Position

Your player will stick to his position where he can make himself available for a simple pass to feet, either as a more stationery supporting player for teammates who have overlapped his position and are attacking just ahead of him, or to collect the ball from players behind him in order for him to start attacks. He will also be better placed to protect your defence if your team loses possession.

Since your holding midfielder should already be holding his position, the main use of this instruction is for a creative player in a more advanced position so he will be in deeper areas to receive the ball and create chances. However, the use of this instruction will prevent you from telling him to Roam From Position in order to find more space.

For your other players it can be best to leave this instruction to be decided by role and duty so as not to unbalance your tactic.

It can be considered a better alternative to the Stick To Positions specific team instruction as it gives you more control which players hold their position.

Stay Wider

Your wide player will position himself close to the touchline at the side of the pitch.

This can be useful for the more attacking player in a wide partnership (which can be either the defender or the more advanced player), so that he will be in more space to receive the ball, regardless of whether he is instructed to run wide or cut inside. This can make him an excellent passing option when central alternatives are restricted.

It is particularly useful for the more advanced player in a wide partnership when using counter attacking tactics or more attacking mentalities.

In addition, it can open up space in central areas if an opposition player moves wide to cover or close down.

If you want your team as a whole to take up wider positions then you can use the Play Wider specific team instruction.

Sit Narrower

Your wide player will position himself close to the centre of the pitch.

This can be useful for a less attacking wide player (which in a wide partnership can be either the defender or the more advanced player). He will be able to contribute more in build-up play and provide greater support for your central players, whilst also being better placed to move into a defensive position when possession is lost.

When used for the more advanced player in a wide partnership then this will give his deeper partner more room to overlap. This setup can be particularly useful when using a patient, short passing tactic.

If you want your team as a whole to take up narrower positions then you can use the Play Narrower specific team instruction.

Move Into Channels

Your striker, Shadow Striker or Advanced Playmaker will move into space between opposition players, such as between a central and wide defender.

This can be useful for your number nine so that he moves into more space to receive the ball in dangerous positions. This in turn is likely to drag a defender out of position, creating space for a teammate to exploit. It is less useful for your number ten who should stay in a position to link play and create chances.

Useful Attributes - Off The Ball

Roam From Position

Your player will stray from his position into nearby areas where he can find space.

This can be useful for a very intelligent player with very good creative and technical ability. He will need the intelligence to move into the best position in order to find space, and the intelligence, creative ability and technical ability to still be effective after receiving the ball in a different position. For example, a central number ten might move wide to receive the ball, where typically it will be more difficult for him to have an impact.

It is advisable to restrict this instruction to just one or two players so that your team does not lose its structure.

It can be considered a better alternative to the Roam From Positions specific team instruction as it gives you more control which players roam.

Useful Attributes - Dribbling, First Touch, Passing, Technique, Anticipation, Decisions, Flair, Off The Ball, Teamwork, Vision

Defending

The following instructions affect how a player should behave when your team is not in possession.

Close Down Much More

Your player will close down the opposition player on the ball much earlier.

This is a more extreme version of Close Down More, discussed in detail below, and can be used if even earlier closing down is desired.

Close Down More

Your player will close down the opposition player on the ball earlier in an attempt to hassle him and restrict his space and options, rather than staying in his defensive position. Closing down means that your player will move forward towards the opposition player when they are in proximity of each other.

This instruction can generally be left alone, but you may want to use it for one or two hard working and fit players who can more effectively hassle opponents than their teammates and are not required to hold their position, such as a midfield aggressor.

In particular, this can be used instead of the Hassle Opponents specific team instruction to instruct your team to restrict time and space for the opposition using those players who are best suited to this task, without tiring out your less fit players or causing your team to lose its defensive structure too much.

If you are using the Stand Off Opponents specific team instruction then it can be useful to help prevent the opposition being given too much time and space on the ball by your whole team.

Alternatively, you may want to use it to instruct your more attacking players to put pressure on the opposition defence in an attempt to force mistakes, without instructing your more defensive players to stray from their protective positions.

You should be careful not to instruct too many of your defensive and supporting players to close down more as this can cause your team to lose its defensive shape.

Useful Attributes - Anticipation, Decisions, Determination, Work Rate, Acceleration, Pace, Stamina

Close Down Less

Your player will close down the opposition player on the ball later, preferring to stay in his defensive position and mark another opposition player so as to reduce passing options.

This can be useful for a less hard working and fit player to help preserve his fitness so he can be effective for longer during matches.

It can also be useful to instruct a particular player, such as a holding midfielder, to hold his position even more when defending in order to protect your defence more effectively.

In both cases, it can be especially useful if you are using the Hassle Opponents specific team instruction.

You may want to use it instead of the Stand Off Opponents specific team instruction which can cause the opposition to be given too much time and space by your whole team, as it enables you to specify which players should close down less.

Close Down Much Less

Your player will close down the opposition player on the ball much later.

This is a more extreme version of Close Down Less, discussed in detail above, and can be used if even later closing down is desired.

Tackle Harder

Your player will attempt earlier and more risky tackles when with an opposition player who is on the ball in an attempt to win the ball back quickly.

This can be useful for a player with good tackling ability so that he will be more aggressive in his tackles, especially if you are using the Stay On Feet specific team instruction. It can also be used in combination with Close Down More, perhaps to instruct an attacking player to be more aggressive.

It can be used instead of the Get Stuck In specific team instruction to help you to remove some of the risk from a more aggressive approach by enabling you to select the most appropriate players to tackle earlier.

It is advisable not to use this instruction for your central defenders, as an unsuccessful tackle will be more costly, potentially conceding a free kick in a dangerous area, a sending off, or a free run at goal for an opposition attacker.

Useful Attributes - Tackling, Anticipation, Bravery, Concentration, Decisions

Ease Off Tackles

Your player will attempt later and less risky tackles when with an opposition player who is on the ball, preferring to stay on his feet and force the opponent to try to dribble or pass through him, or else pass the ball backwards.

This can be useful for a player with poorer tackling ability, particularly if he has high Aggression or if you are using the Get Stuck In specific team instruction.

It can also be useful for your central defenders if you want to make sure that they stay on their feet and do not commit themselves to tackles too early.

You may want to use it instead of the Stay On Feet specific team instruction which can cause your team as a whole to be too cautious and not try to win back possession quickly enough, as it enables you to specify which players should tackle later.

Mark Tighter

Your player will stay very close to an opposition player who is not on the ball when marking him.

Tight marking for a player can generally be left as set by his role and duty.

It can be especially risky to use this for a defensive player as he can end up being dragged out of his position by an opponent, creating space for other opposition players. Instead, it can be more effective to use tight marking opposition instructions for particular opposition threats so that the marking responsibility is shared between players.

However, it can be useful for a more aggressive player who is not required to hold his position, such as a midfield aggressor, particularly when combined with Close Down More and Tackle Harder.

It is also not advisable to use this instruction for your more attacking players as you will want them to be in space after your team wins possession.

However, it can be useful for a number ten with good Strength and Aerial ability, as by positioning himself close to an opposition defender he can attempt to take him out the game by winning aerial challenges and getting the ball to a teammate.

It is more useful than the Use Tighter Marking specific team instruction as it gives you control over which players mark more tightly.

Useful Attributes - Marking, Tackling, Anticipation, Concentration, Decisions, Positioning, Acceleration, Jumping Reach, Pace

Further Reading

Inverting the Pyramid - guaranteed to give you a greater tactical knowledge and understanding.

Coaching the Tiki Taka - learn about the tiki taka style in detail.

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

FM 2015

This guide has not yet been updated to reflect new features and changes in FM 2015.

Is your team suffering from an injury crisis? The Player Fitness guide has now been updated to help you improve your fitness management.

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.

Buy FM 2015

FM 2015

FM 2015 is the most realistic, in-depth and immersive simulation of football management available. Buy it now and see what thousands of other virtual managers are experiencing.

Popular FM Sites

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