Sitting down and double clicking that Football Manager (FM) icon, what do you plan, what do you hope to achieve… for myself, it is about realism, looking to push the game to the limit, taking it as close as I can to ‘the real world’.
This post is by @TN_TheNorthman
Use the staff, the message I give out to myself upon loading FM every time. I intend not to inform you ‘how’ to play the game, more of how I play the game.
This is all based around transfers and how I go from first contact to them signing the contract. In FM you have the simple options for signing players, before even loading the game, you can chose to have attribute masking on or off, making scouting not necessary at all to view all you need to know about a player. Once inside your save, your journey to many, you can access the ‘all known players’ tab (shown below) and enter searches such as ‘International Caps’ ‘Based’ ‘Wages’ and more, these can aid your search to pin point the exact player you desire, finding an International who is currently based outside of England and is at the moment of search earning a wage you can better at your club.
But where is the fun in that… surely these searches should be in the ‘classic’ version, the version that is there for the ‘amateurs’ or the people without much time?
So it leads to the question and my explanation… how do I do it???
The first stage is scouting, all my potential signings at some point need to be scouted, now scouting can take place inside or out of your club. By this, I mean you can get players on trail after their agents offer them to you for you to take a closer look at, making visible more attributes as well as pro’s and con’s of the player, can he handle big games, does he have the potential his agent thinks he does, these are questions I ask of the player. This requires the opening stage of using your staff. My Scouts are always busy with my assignment screens always in use. The Assignments screen can be found in the above image, selecting ‘Assignments’ along the top or the box to the right labeled ‘Create new assignment’.
Below you can see the three steps of setting an assignment, from the initial selection of the value of the player, are you looking for a first team player, a rotation or maybe the next superstar? Once you have decided that, your next decision is where on the field you want that player, are you looking for a certain position or is it a general scouting mission? The final part of the assignment decision, selecting the finer details, everything from the age range, the location of scouting, the scout you want to send to the importance of the scouting, Normal or Urgent which will determine how quickly your scout reports back.
Once my scout reports back, the next stage of the player hunt is for me to look through the players they have suggested, looking at the ‘scouted’ list I can see players that they have suggested before I move the ones I like over to the shortlist, this I check monthly to update depending on if players have moved, developed in value or even dropped in value.
Once I have found and decided on targets, players that I want to bring in to either help me in the first team or come in with the hope they can develop into future first team players. I select to add them as a transfer target. This hands over the dealings to a member of staff, normally a director of football (DOF) or in my case for this example, my assistant manager. For me, the planning is to hand the responsibility to someone I trust within my staff more than anyone else. Someone who has been with me the longest. Now, there is an option to tell the negotiator, the DOF how much they can spend, be that on wages or the transfer but I find that an ‘aid’ on the screen that should not be used. The manager would not be the one negotiating the wages or the transfer value of the player, he would however be discussing with his scouts who he does and does not like within the scouted list provided. Now I hear you asking, why have I shown the transfer dealing ending in failure… well, get used to it, I have found that you miss out on many players, often to larger clubs which would happen in the real world. I often have 40 to 50 people found over a summer by my scouts added into the list to find me only signing 2 or 3.
Now one thing I recommend is getting in a director of football, reasoning is, in the real world, your assistant manager is not going to be the one offering the deals, arranging the transfers. I am currently looking for a new one due to poor transfer dealings, this being the reason in the screenshots provided I am using my assistant as the example man.
Remember, Football Manager is a game designed for your enjoyment. Do not set these boundaries, rules and plans if you do not enjoy the challenge it presents. The first thing you should always be doing when playing FM is enjoying yourself and this helps me do that, the challenge of dealing with your staff, finding people to work alongside you to help improve the club, people you learn to trust and form bonds with.