System Fluidity

Positional responsibilities can be shared between a team's players to a greater or lesser extent according to the team's system fluidity.

A team's system fluidity refers to the extent to which the team's playing system involves players in different playing positions sharing positional responsibilities.

A team implements its system fluidity by incorporating it into the tactical roles of its players using tactical instructions as appropriate.

Types of system fluidity include more structured, more fluid and balanced.

Each type of system fluidity requires different levels of role specialisation.

The level of role specialisation required by a team's system fluidity refers to the extent to which each tactical role assigned to a player should enable him to perform specific positional responsibilities, as opposed to varied positional responsibilities.

A team can achieve a higher level of role specialisation by assigning more specialist tactical roles, which include a greater number of attacking and defensive role types that enable a player to perform a positional responsibility to a greater extent. A team can achieve a lower level of role specialisation by assigning more generalist tactical roles, which include a lesser number of attacking and defensive role types that enable a player to perform a positional responsibility to a greater extent.

A team can also use bilateral roles to apply more fluid system fluidity to a particular part of its playing system, regardless of its use of system fluidity in its playing system as a whole.

A team's system fluidity typically affects how it implements its playing style, as explained in the Playing Styles guide.

More Structured Playing Systems

A more structured playing system is a playing system that involves players sharing positional responsibilities to a lesser extent.

A more structured playing system therefore requires a higher level of role specialisation. As such, a team that uses a more structured playing system is more likely to assign more specialist tactical roles.

A team can incorporate a more structured playing system into the tactical roles of its players by using the following tactical instructions:

Player Suitability

More Fluid Playing Systems

A more fluid playing system is a playing system that involves players sharing positional responsibilities to a greater extent.

A more fluid playing system therefore requires a lower level of role specialisation. As such, a team that uses a more fluid playing system is more likely to assign more generalist tactical roles.

A team can incorporate a more fluid playing system into the tactical roles of its players by using the following tactical instructions:

Player Suitability

Balanced Playing Systems

A balanced playing system is a playing system that involves players sharing positional responsibilities to a moderate extent.

A balanced playing system therefore requires a moderate level of role specialisation.

A team can incorporate a balanced playing system into the tactical roles of its players by using a balance between the tactical instructions used in a more structured playing system and those used in a more fluid playing system as detailed above.

Bilateral Roles

As an alternative to assigning tactical roles such that two opposing positional responsibilities are fulfilled to different extents by two players, a team may assign a pair of bilateral roles so that the two positional responsibilities are shared equally by the two players without adversely affecting tactical balance.

A pair of bilateral roles gives two players a similar subset of tactical instructions such that:

Therefore, two players with bilateral roles alternate the extent to which they fulfil two opposing positional responsibilities.

A particular example of the use of bilateral roles is a typical application of the double pivot.

The Double Pivot

A pivot is a player who retains solidity off the ball to a greater extent in central midfield. A double pivot is a pair of players who retain solidity off the ball to a greater extent in central midfield.

Since a double pivot may otherwise result in the penetrating space off the ball positional responsibility not being performed to a sufficient extent in central midfield or central attack, a pair of bilateral roles is typically assigned to the two pivots. This results in each player retaining solidity to a greater extent only when the other player is penetrating space off the ball to an average or greater extent, and vice versa.