Morale in Football Manager is one of those things that is hard to control. It's not a secret that a lot of FM-Players are having much trouble understanding the morale ladder of Football Manager and how this works. It's also not a secret that one of the most frequently asked questions on the internet are about this subject. 'How is it possible my team loses against a team much weaker than mine?' is just one of many examples of questions FM Players ask on our community and Social Media. In this guide we will try and explain how Morale works and how you can boost the morale of your team, simply by chatting with your players or giving the correct answers at Press Conferences.
At the end of the day, boosting morale is very easy and when you apply it correctly, you will win a lot more matches.
WHAT IS MORALE?
Morale is an indicator of the player’s current mood and mindset. The higher the morale, the more likely he is to perform well.
To sum up: it is your job to keep the morale of your squad as high as possible during a season. The higher the morale of your squad, the better the performances will be.
The personality of a player determines the way a player reacts in different situations. In Football Manager there are 36 different personalities, which either can be positive or negative. For example a player with an Ambitious Personality will always work hard to try and make the most out of his career. But there are also players who have a Slack Personality (Newgens only as no Real Player has a Negative Personality set). These players have almost no Determination and have a low Professionalism. If you ever have one of these players in your squad: get rid of them ASAP, they will only give you trouble.
Ideally all your players should have a Determined Personality.
CAUSES OF A MORALE DROP
Even squads with a lot of Ambitious Personalities have their moments when morale could drop to a low point. For example your squad can get overconfident after a series of good results and then get complacent expecting the next victory will come automatically. Or it can happen after a couple of bad results or declining form. And last but not least Morale Drops can be caused by individual players. Some examples for Individual Morale Drops are that a player:
- wants a better contract
- wants more playtime
- wants to move to a bigger club
- thinks the club is underachieving
There are some easy and simple ways to boost the morale of your players in Football Manager.
The best and easiest way to boost a players Morale is by having a private conversation with him. You can give a player praise for his Conduct, his Training or Match performances and that will boost his Morale. The best thing about these conversations is that you can have more than one talk with every player. That way you can Praise your captain for his conduct, then praise him for his training level and praise his current Match Form. If you apply this at the correct time, you can get his morale from Ok to Superb!
But a conversation can also be used to trigger players who seem a bit overconfident. If a player has a great form and scores goals like crazy, he could get a little complacent (you can check if a player is overconfident before match at your assistants feedback section). By giving him a negative feedback in a personal conversation, you can make him determined to prove you are wrong. Therefore; he will play his best in the next match.
To boost the Morale of your entire squad you can use the Team Meeting function in FM. It is very effective after a couple of bad results. This way you can tell the entire squad to get their heads up and keep on fighting. But you can also tell them to keep it up when you have a couple of good results in a row. And last but not least; you can trigger your squad by being very critical after a bad result.
NOTE: Be careful though with planning too many Team Meetings. Too much Meetings will irritate your players, making the Team Meeting ineffective.
Did a player make a mistake or did your team have a bad performance? I know you would want to burn that player or your team to the ground. But be smart and stay positive. There is no reason for you to lash out in public, so why risk the Morale Drop? Be positive, give players a compliment, even though sometimes it is hard to stay positive. If you want to be negative; talk to the player in private, it's more effective.
MORALE & MATCHES
By the time you are playing matches, motivating your team is the most important job you have as a manager. It is also a very difficult job, as you do not get that many information about the behavior of your squad. When applying team talks your only job is to 'out-motivate' your opponent, meaning your team will have to be more motivated that your opponent. Easier said then done.
Which Team Talk you choose before a match depends on a few things. You have to consider the status of your own team, the status of the opponent and your current form. Keep these things in mind and then decide when picking Team Talks:
You are the favorite - Expect more of your team (I expect a Win)
Teams are equal - Try to Challenge them (Assertive; Show me what you can do!)
You are the Underdog - Talk down Expectations (There is no Pressure or Good Luck)
Your job at half time is quite simple; your teams motivation and morale needs to be higher than your opponents motivation and morale. This is a rather difficult thing to do, as you don't know what the opposing manager is doing in the dressing room. But choosing the wrong Team Talk at half time could be the difference between winning or losing a game. Just keep in mind that your main job is to Motivate your team, so if you are in front; tell them not to get complacent or when in front by a small margin tell them you expect more and get mad if you are behind.
The Team Talk after a Match is mostly important for the days after the match working towards your next match. The thing you do not want to do is Drop Morale by picking the wrong Team Talk. So keep in mind that you have to make sure that Morale stays high. That means; be smart and do not get mad at them, especially if you lose an away match against an opponent of an equal or a higher status than your own. Off course there are situations you could be Aggressive, but do not push your luck. The dressing room could turn against you and in Football Manager, that could mean you get sacked.
ESSENTIAL FM GUIDES
Want to learn more about playing Football Manager? Use one of our Guides to widen your knowledge of the game. Check some of our Tactical Guides: