Playing Styles

A team's playing style is a subjective concept that relates to the team's overall use of playing methods.

A playing style can be characterised by a team's style-defining methods, which are the playing methods that are used to a greater overall extent by the team. Style-defining methods include primary methods and secondary methods.

A team's primary methods are playing methods that the team uses to a particularly large overall extent in order to form the basis of its playing style. A team's secondary methods are playing methods that the team uses to a fairly large extent, but to a lesser extent than its primary methods.

Implementing a Playing Style

When implementing a playing style a team should consider player suitability and playing style balance, along with the manner of implementation.

Player Suitability

It is important that a team implements a playing style that is suitable for its players.

The player suitability of a particular playing style can be assessed largely from the playing method suitability of the associated style-defining methods.

Playing Style Balance

A team's playing style balance refers to the tactical balance in the team's playing style.

It is important for a team to achieve a good playing style balance in order for it to focus sufficiently on each of the primary tactical objectives. A team should therefore take on appropriate levels of tactical risk in its overall use of each playing method and its overall use of playing methods as a whole.

Manner of Implementation

A team implements a playing style by incorporating the overall use of particular playing methods as appropriate into its playing system.

A team can implement each of its style-defining methods using either or both of the following approaches:

Component Playing Styles

Playing styles can be analysed in terms of a small number of simplified component playing styles that can each be implemented to different extents.

A component playing style is an aspect of a playing style that relates to the overall use of a small number of complementary playing methods.

Complementary playing methods are groups of playing methods that can enable a team to more effectively achieve its tactical objectives when used together to a greater overall extent by the team.

Complementary playing methods include complementary attacking methods, which are complementary playing methods in the attacking phases, and complementary defensive methods, which are complementary playing methods in the defensive phases.

Component playing styles can be categorised into core styles, attacking styles and defensive styles.

The two main contrasting component playing styles in each of these categories are listed below. A team can implement either of the two component playing styles in each pair to any extent or alternatively it can implement neither (or equivalently, a balance between the two).

The extent to which a team implements each component playing style depends on player suitability and the preferences of the team’s manager.

Some common playing styles formed from combinations of the main component playing styles are also listed below.

Core Styles

A core style is a component playing style that relates to the overall use of a small number of complementary playing methods that include both complementary attacking and complementary defensive methods.

The main core styles are:

Attacking Styles

An attacking style is a component playing style that relates to the overall use of a small number of complementary attacking methods.

The main attacking styles are:

Defensive Styles

A defensive style is a component playing style that relates to the overall use of a small number of complementary defensive methods.

The main defensive styles are:

Common Playing Styles

There are several common playing styles that are formed from combinations of the main core styles, attacking styles and defensive styles.

Playing styles formed from combinations of the main core styles and attacking styles are:

Playing styles formed from combinations of the main core styles and defensive styles are:

Playing styles formed from combinations of the above are: