Struggling to get to grips with the new Football Manager game? The new options available in Football Manager always give some problems when starting a new career. So are you more Paul Dickov then Pep Guardiola? Or more Alan Shearer than Arsene Wenger? Well don't worry. We've got six tips to help you become a Football manager master, from the man who makes the game. Use these tips to improve your way of playing the game and in time the trophies will keep coming and coming!
Miles Jacobson is the director of FM and given us this helpful guide full of great tips to ensure you reach your managerial potential. The original Interview with Miles can be read on Mirror.co.uk.
Concentrate on Player Roles
In recent years, football has seen a dramatic shift in focus away from team shape and formation towards individual player roles and duties. This shift in mentality is something which has also evolved in the latest editions of Football Manager. So, when building your team’s tactics, take the time to assess which player roles best suit each individual player.
For instance, a wide player with excellent finishing attributes, but less vision and flair would be more effective playing as an inside forward than as an out-and-out winger.
At the same time, make sure you have the right balance of duties set. A team with too many players assigned to the attack duty may be good going forward, but will most likely also be horribly exposed to counter attacks. Finding the right balance between attack, support and defending duties can be crucial to finding on-field success.
Adapt your Tactics throughout the season
Think of all the best managers in the modern game – they never stick to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to matches.
Likewise, the best Football Manager players pay attention to match preparation and ensure their team is comfortable with a variety of approaches and tactics. That way teams can set out differently for each individual opponent, with the players fully prepared to carry out the instructions given to them by their manager.
Use your Scouting Network
In FM16, scouting is more realistic than ever, allowing you to really make the most of your scouting network. When you request a report card on a player, your scout will give you a top line review of a player, but won’t be able to give you the full run-down of his strengths and weaknesses until they’ve seen him play a few times. Once you’ve found a player you may be interested in signing, assign one of your scouts to watch him play for up to three matches or three months. This will allow them to completely evaluate the player and more accurately report on his attributes, thus minimizing any risk for you should you decide to sign him.
Keep abreast on squad harmony
An important - but often overlooked - aspect of management is keeping your players happy and together. Countless managerial regimes have been undermined by splits in the dressing room so make sure your on-field performances don’t become negatively affected by off-field unhappiness.
For instance, it takes time for players to settle into a new club. Avoid bringing too many new faces in at once – it will only lengthen the time it takes for the squad to become settled.
It’s not just new signings you have to consider though. However many players you have in your squad, you’ve got to keep them all happy. Failing to keep a promise to a player will almost certainly anger them, but may also upset their locker room allies, leading to a group of unhappy players knocking on your door to complain. If you let things get really out of hand, you may even find you have a mutiny on your hands with the whole team confronting you about your behavior.
Don't try to do too much too fast
It can be tempting, when joining a new club, to try to completely reinvent the wheel and get started straight away on imposing your philosophy and playing style on the team. However, this can cause some teething problems, dragging out how long it takes you to settle into your new job.
When joining a new club, one of the first things you should do is fully assess the strengths and weaknesses of the current players. To begin with, play a style and formation which suits them. Then, gradually impose your ideals and start to bring in your own players. Making these changes steadily will reduce the risk of a slow start to your tenure because players are struggling to understand your methods.
Use Statistics to improve your tactics
Sports Interactive’s partnership with the leading sports statistics provider, Prozone, has seen a wide-reaching revamp of the in-game match analysis tool, adding lots of useful functionality whilst also providing managers with more detailed statistical information than ever before.
This means that, whether you subscribe to a 'Moneyball'-like philosophy or not, there is plenty of information to be gleaned from analyzing your team’s performances. Keeping tabs on at least a few key statistics could shed light on that final tactical tweak you need to either turn your fortunes around or refine a title-challenging formation.