At the start of each season you play on Football Manager you receive a message in your inbox about the status of your captain. You then have the choice to either pick a new one or stick with the current selection. You will also get this message when joining a new club, which gives you the opportunity to pick your own if you feel the previous selection wasn’t appropriate.
In this guide we will give you some advice about picking a suitable captain and/or vice-captain.
Responsibilities of a captain
The captain is the head of your team, the one that will stand tall when he is needed. His main job is to be the leader of your team when you go out onto the field. He is also considered to be a role-model for your other players off the pitch. He will also be your eyes and ears in the team, as he’s a player you can talk to if you need to figure out certain issues within your squad.
It is very important that your captain and you have a good relationship. Having a bad relationship could be the difference between keeping or losing your job.
Also, having you can have a personal chat with him. You can ask about:
- His opinion on the current morale in your squad. This could help you to decide whether to hold a team meeting.
- To talk to a teammate who is unhappy or has some concerns. This option also appears in your inbox when a player wants to have a chat with you.
- To try and resolve a conflict between teammates that don’t like each other.
- To help settle new signings at your club.
Captains and Dynamics
Introduced in Football Manager 2018: the dynamics system. This system shows the hierarchy of your team and shows you social groups of players that have similar interests or backgrounds (players from the same nation). The dynamics are key when you want to select a captain.
On the Hierarchy screen you can see that the team is divided in Team Leaders, Highly influential players, Influential players and other players. Ideally your captain would be in one of the core groups: League leaders & highly influential players.
You could and should also take a look at the Social Groups screen. It is advised to look at a player that is one of the core social groups or at least the largest social group (except the group ‘Others’).
Essential attributes for a captain
When you are picking a new captain, there certain factors you need to consider first:
One of the first things you will look at is a players age. Although there are some examples of young players that wear the band, most captains are at least 25 years of age. Yours should at the very least be one of the more senior players in your squad.
There are a few crucial attributes you should pay attention to when picking a captain. Ones you should definitely look at are Leadership and Determination. Other important attributes are Teamwork and Work Rate. Attributes like Bravery could be useful, as you do not want a skipper to avoid tackles.
Reputation and Status
It’s good to choose a player that has a high reputation. You can see a player’s reputation in his profile under the information tab. A player with a high reputation will earn more respect from his teammates. It is also advised to pick a captain that is popular with the rest of your squad. A player that is considered Favored Personnel by members of your squad will be a good choice.
Replacing your captain
Each year you receive a message in your inbox asking you if you would like to change your current captain. This option will also be available when joining a new club. Be careful when picking a new leader, as your squad may become unhappy about the choice you have made.
This is also linked to Dynamics in Football Manager. If your captain is a Team Leader and is part of the Core Social group, players could turn against you. If you lose their confidence, you could lose their job.
Don’t change captains
It may be a wiser choice to leave the currently selected captain alone when joining a new club. Squad morale is important, especially when a new face is taking over, so if you start off on the wrong foot by coming in and changing the skipper right away, it may go downhill from there.
Pick a vice-captain
A good tip for a slower, gradual replacement of a captain is picking a new vice-captain first. Pick the player you would eventually like to be your team leader. If later on you then decide to sell or demote your current one , the vice-captain will receive the armband automatically. Keep in mind that if your currently selected captain isn’t selected in the starting lineup for a match, your vice-captain will be chosen to wear the armband for your side (provided the vice-captain has been selected as a starter).
You can also create a list of players that are considered to be stand-ins when your captain and vice-captain are not available. On that list you can pick your future choices, and those will move up automatically if your captain leaves the club.