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A Guide written by Passion4FM

Shouts or Touchline instructions give you the ability to change your Football Manager 2013 tactics quickly during matches by doing some automatic changes to your player and team instructions. Along with the match development it may be important to react to the changing match situations and alter your tactic according to the opposition teams style of play. By using the shout instructions you don't need to do multiple adjustments to your tactic manually, which can change your tactic entirely. Everything is done with ease!

Touchline instructions is an important tool to counter specific opponents team instructions and tactical instructions; f.ex. width, passing style, defensive line, crossing and closing down setup (among others), but can also be used for taking advantage of weather conditions and pitch sizes. Touchline instructions affect your match tactics in a quick and easy way! Sometimes with a deadly outcome, so it should be used with care.

To counter a specific player or a specific player position, please read Passion for Football Manager guide to opposition instructions.

Playing style and Touchline instructions

Touchline instructions can be created along with your tactic; according to how you may imagine your team shall play in different match situations.  Shouts can be created pre-set matches by creating a group of touchline instructions in the main tactic sections, or elected one by one in matches.  By setting up different shouts you have the ability to modify your tactic in a quick way, instead of taking time to adjust your match tactic manually while the match progresses. Shouts can be set for a certain moment or employed for a whole match to counter different opponents strengths.  New to Football Manager 2013 is the ability to setup your shouts with a change of strategy. By changing the strategy you can easily change your teams defensive line, width, tempo and time wasting. By changing the strategy some specific changes will be done to the individual player mentality, passing style, creative freedom and closing down settings, amongst other.

Touchline instructions and shouts will not make changes to ticked player and team instructions in your Football Manager tactics. If you have a certain style of play, it may be advantageous to create an additional tactic according to how you want to play - similar to the touchline instructions. 'Shouts will, as doing manual adjustments to the match tactics, influence the tactics familiarity levels for your team, but may do the necessary changes to team performance and match result.

Tiki-taka-direct-shout

How Shout instructions influence the match tactic

To setup or take use of the shouts in Football Manager 2013 it could be wise to know what employing them actually does. By employing shouts you can change your entire tactic in one easy step. Here are the different shout categories in Football Manager.

Control Passing

Retain Possession - prioritize holding on to the ball. Shortens passing length and slows the tempo down for your players. A good shout if you want to hold onto a narrow lead, or want to keep possession of the ball.

Get ball forward - increases the players probability to get the ball into the final third. This instruction increases the individual players passing style (to be more direct), and the teams tempo. A good shout if you need more goals / chances.

Pass into space - increases the probability of making passes into space, and increases the players through ball instructions, f.ex. from sometimes to always. Recommended in counter-attacking tactics, but can be favorable when you want to create more space and are struggling to break down the opposite team. Linked to run from deep instructions, as more players will tend to run from deep.

Pass to feet - instructs the players to pass to the feet of the receiver, and reduce the players through ball instructions, f.ex. from sometimes to rarely. Recommended in an short-passing tactic, or if your players have misplaced most of their passes. Good shout if you possess slow attacking players. Could be tied to Retain possession.

Control Build-up

Play out of defense - instruct your defenders to pass their way out of defense instead of launching a long ball. Defenders and defensive midfielders will play shorter passes. Recommended if your defensive line gives possession away.


Hit early crosses - instruct your players to cross the ball early, more often from deep. The specific player instruction for "cross from" will be changed to mixed, and players will be instructed to run with the ball rarely. Recommended against opponents who employ a high defensive line, which leaves much space behind their back four. Can be favorable with counter-attacking play, where you possess a speedy striker who can break the opposite defensive-mark-up with quickness and creativity.

Pump ball into box - instruct your players to launch high long-range crossers into the penalty box. Increases the players cross ball instructions and passing style to long. The players through balls setting will be decreased. Fullbacks will tend to cross the ball earlier (should be set to "Cross from deep"). Strikers will run from deep more often. Recommended late in the game when you need goals, and if you possess some tall players with high heading attributes.

Clear Ball to flanks - clear the ball into wider areas so your attacking players could get the ball. It changes the tactical setup to wide width, more direct passes (read long) and changes focus passing to down the flanks. Recommended when counter-attacking. Can also be good if your opponent is dominating the central midfield.

Control Final Third

Run at defense - increase the players probability to run at the opponents. Increases the player instruction run from deep. Recommended if you want to take advantage of open areas and when the opposite team stands off the players or have poor tackling qualitites. Tied to player attribute Off the ball.

Play through defense - Play through a defense with passing and movement along the ground. Decreases the players run from deep instructions for the attacking-line and they will be instructed to run with the ball more rarely. Recommended if you struggle to break down the opponents defense, or your opponents are good in the air, but lack quickness.

Shoot on sight - instruct your players to shoot when an opportunity arises instead of waiting for a clear cut chance. Increases the players long shot settings from normal to often. Recommended if you need a goal and you have good central midfielders with high long shot attributes.

Work ball into box - Instructs your players to work hard for their opening, remaining patient and not forcing the issue. The players long shots instructions will be decreased, f.ex. from sometimes to rarely. Recommended if you want to hold on to possession or your players tend to shoot from long range without any good results.

Control Runs

Exploit the flanks - take full advantage of your wing play. Changes the teams focus passing settings to "Down both flanks". Instruct fullbacks and wingers to run from deep more often and cross the ball more often.  Recommended if your team are stronger on the flanks than your opponent, or if the central midfield is fully packed. Tied to width and can create spaces to exploit.

Exploit the middle - take full advantage of playing through the middle. Changes the teams focus passing settings to "Through the middle". Players will be instructed to run from deep more often, be more attacking and try more through balls. Recommended if your team is stronger in the central midfield than your opponent, and your team leaves much space between their central defense and central midfield.

Look for overlap - instruct your players to hold onto the ball and look for an overlapping player in support, f.ex an attacking fullback or wingback. Fullbacks and/or wingbacks will be instructed to "Run from deep" more often. There will be some changes in "Cross Ball" and "Cross from", as they will be changed to often and byline.  Recommended when you face opponents with little width and few wide players.

Take a breather - Increase holding on to the ball to recover physically before attacking again. Decreases the tactical instructions regarding tempo and forward runs.  Recommended to employ if your players lack stamina or the player condition has dropped considerably. Can help your team to hold on to a good lead.

Control Space

Play wider - Stretching the player positioning and the team will play wider. Changes the width instruction for your team, from normal to wider. Changes the focus passing to play down both flanks.  Recommended against defensive opponents where it's impossible to find spaces in the middle and you're being outnumbered.

Play narrower - narrowing the player positioning and the team will play in the middle of the pitch. Changes the width instruction for your team, from normal to narrower. Changes focus passing to down the middle.  Recommended if your opponent is strong in attacking.

Push higher up - pushes your defensive line higher up, and reduces the room and gaps between your team and the opposite team. Changes the defensive line settings in team instruction from normal to push higher up and increases the players closing down instructions. Recommended if you need goals, or want possession of the ball, as it reduces the space to the opponents playing area. Tied to attacking and win the ball.

Drop Deeper - retreat your players into their own half, and focus on defending. Changes the defensive line settings in team instruction from normal to deep and decreases the players closing down settings. Recommended if you want to hold on to a lead, or are struggling to find space in attack. Can also be favorable when facing speedy strikers.

Control Aggression

Hassle Opponents - Instructs your players to give the opposition little time and space on the ball, attempting to force a mistake. Increases the players closing down instructions. It reduces the space towards the opposite players and instructs your players to "tight man mark" which shortens the opposite players time on ball.  Recommended for an attacking tactical strategy. Players need high stamina to employ this over long periods of time.

Stand off opponents - give the opposition team more time on the ball, retreat into a defensive shape and minimize the risk of being opened up. Changes the teams marking style to zonal marking. In additional it reduces the players closing down instructions a lot. Recommended when you want to keep your teams defensive shape and won't leave gaps for the opposite team to exploit.

Get stuck in - let the players be more aggressive and strong in tackle. Increases the individual player instruction when tackling from normal to hard.  Players with high aggression, bravery and low tackling and composure could get many bookings with this shout setting. To employ this shout it is recommended that your players have high tackling attributes, high composure, average aggression and average to high bravery. Could be recommended if you need possession of the ball (win the ball more often).

Stay on feet - Instructs your players to stay on their feet when making tackles instead of going to the ground. Decreases the players tackling instructions to rarely, unless you use the player role; ball winning midfielder. Recommended when facing technical and speedy opponent players, as the team keeps its defensive shape.

Control Creativity and mentality

Play even safer - if you want to preserve a lead. Creativity and players who do the unexpected will be decreased. Reduces the players instruction for run from deep, run with ball, creativity and through balls setting.  Only available when employing Team Strategy; Contain.

Take more risks - If you are chasing a game, this option will instruct your players to take whatever risks necessary to get themselves back in it. Increases the players creative freedom, run from deep and run with ball instructions. Players will also tend to try through balls more often. Could be advantageous if you've got many players with high flair and creativity.  Only available when employing Team Strategy; Overload.


P.S. It is vital to remember that employing shout instructions is based on an event by event basis. When assigning a shout instruction the decision of shout type should be based on tactic analyse of match incidents and pre-match analysis of strength and weaknesses of the opponent team. Employing a pre-set shout instruction won't always give immediate success, as it depends on the opponents way of playing - their closing down instructions, width and passing style.

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