Essay gaming

A Few Thoughts about Playing Football Manager


The Football Manager game series is my all time favorite, but I don’t play it anymore. I used to play it a lot, and it got in the way of other, more important things in my life. At my worst, I would probably play up to 400 hours per year. A friend once told me, “You know, if you spend that time reading you would probably read over 100 books a year.” I was flabbergasted by that. And eventually I did end up doing that. But the post is not about that.

At times I get the itch and the craving to play FM once again, but I stop myself and watch other people play it online. It helps, enough. But, even with the best streamers, there are some obvious flaws as to how they play the game that it can drive me nuts. So this post is a few things I think people need to focus more while they play FM (and are almost never mentioned by the streamers).

The Hidden Attributes

There is always talk about stars, how good a player is, how much current or potential ability he does or might have. But, rarely does someone say, “Oh I know this is just a three star guy, but both is consistency and important matches are world class.”

If you want to be successful, both in the short-term and the long-term, you need players who will perform. Players who are high in consistency will do great on normal, non derby or non final match. On the other specter, if you want to win Cups, dominate your rivals and make your fans love you, players who have a high attribute in Important Matches are a must. The better your scouts and your coaches, the better your odds are of finding player who have 15+ in those two hidden attributes.

This video is the perfect example of how much difference consistency makes.

Your Staff

Improving your staff does not just mean getting great scouts and a great Head of Youth Development. You need a more overall approach. One think I often see is people struggling with Opposition Instructions. The best way to solve that problem is to get a coach or ass-man, who is high in both Judging Player Ability and Tactical Knowledge. Leave the Opposition Instructions to him and you will be conceding a lot less goals.

Determination is a very important attribute (as is work rate), but when you join a new club, especially if your funds are limited you will struggle to have a team that performs well. That is why a coach with high Determination and Motivation is key. Its always easier to have one coach his is great at pushing players towards heights that they don’t think they have in themselves, than to change the whole darn team.

When you have staff that is good at judging players, trust that staff. If your assistant thinks that a player who is a natural mc and an accomplished AMC is best suited to play as a Deep laying playmaker on support, don’t play him as a Terquartista. When they tell you that your weakness is at right back, don’t bring in two additional wonderkids that play as a striker or winger.

Improve Tactically

A lot of people don’t create their own tactics. They get something that is popular or tested well, build a team around that and proceed with the game. I think that is a huge mistake. Its an easy game, and with just a bit of learning you can master it as well. There are a lot of roles to learn, but after a year or two you can figure them out and construct a tactic that can take you to all the successes you wish out of your team.

There are some of the simple tactical principles that one can learn and apply. If your opponent plays without a AMC, and just two MCs, use a double pivot. If your opponent plays without an DMC, use a AMC in your tactics or a creative striker on support. When you face a tactic that has either only 1 pair of wide players or has wide forwards, play wider, overlap.

If you really want to master tactics I suggest you download or read the FM Manual Lines and Diamonds.

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