This guide will give you some tips on how to end a losing streak in Football Manager.
Morale in Football Manager is one of the hardest things to control. It is not a secret that many FM players struggle to understand the morale ladder of the game and how it affects results. This guide will help you understand what morale is, why it drops, and how you can boost it to improve your results.
What is morale?
Morale is an indicator of a player's current mood and mindset. The higher the morale, the more likely the player is to perform well. It is your job as a manager to keep the morale of your squad as high as possible during a season.
However, your team will become complacent when the morale is too high for too long. This makes players overconfident, thinking that they only need to show up to win matches. As a manager, it is your duty to find the perfect balance between praising and criticizing your players during a season.
A player's personality determines their reactions in different situations. In Football Manager, there are 36 different personalities, which can be positive, neutral, or negative.
For example, a player with an ambitious personality will always work hard to make the most out of their 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 low professionalism. If you ever have one of these players in your squad, get rid of them ASAP, as they will only cause trouble. Ideally, all your players should have a determined or professional personality.
Causes of morale drop
Even squads with a lot of ambitious personalities have moments when morale can drop to a low point. For example, your squad can become overconfident after a series of good results and then become complacent, expecting the next victory to 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 of individual morale drops are:
- Results not being good
- Player playing poorly
- Player disliking training
- Player disliking teammate
- Player wanting a better contract
- Player wanting more playtime
- Player wanting to move to a bigger club
- Player thinking 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 player's morale is by having a private conversation with them. You can praise a player for their conduct, training, or match performances, and that will boost their 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 their conduct, then praise them for their training level and their current match form. If you apply this at the correct time, you can improve their morale from okay to superb!
Trigger the player(s)
But a conversation can also be used to trigger players who seem a bit overconfident. If a player has great form and scores goals like crazy, they could become a little complacent (you can check if a player is overconfident before a match in your assistant's feedback section). By giving them negative feedback in a personal conversation, you can make them determined to prove you wrong. Therefore, they will play their best in the next match.
Hold a team meeting
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 keep 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 many 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 criticize that player or your team harshly. But be smart and stay positive. There is no reason for you to lash out in public, so why risk a morale drop? Be positive, give players compliments, even though sometimes it is hard to stay positive. If you want to be negative, talk to the player in private, as 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 much information about the behavior of your squad. When giving team talks, your only job is to out-motivate your opponent, meaning your team needs to be more motivated than your opponent. Easier said than 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 from 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 halftime is quite simple: your team's motivation and morale need to be higher than your opponent's 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 halftime 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 if you are behind by a small margin, tell them you expect more and get mad.
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 being smart and not getting mad at them, especially if you lose an away match against an opponent of equal or higher status than your own. Of course, there are situations where 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.
In conclusion, morale management in Football Manager is a challenging aspect of the game that significantly impacts player performance. Understanding the concept of morale, its causes of drop, and strategies to boost it is crucial for success as a manager. Maintaining a balance between praise and criticism, considering player personalities, and utilizing various tools like private conversations, team meetings, and press conferences are effective ways to influence player morale.
It is important to recognize that high morale can lead to complacency, while low morale can hinder performance. Finding the right timing and approach for conversations and team talks is key to motivating the squad. Managers should aim to out-motivate their opponents during matches by delivering appropriate team talks before the game, at halftime, and after the match. Keeping morale high after a loss or in challenging situations is vital for maintaining team spirit and avoiding negative impacts on performance.
By implementing these strategies and understanding the nuances of morale management, Football Manager players can enhance their ability to control and influence the performance of their teams. Effective morale management can lead to improved results and success in the game.