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Undertaking every single task as boss in Football Manager can be difficult and can sometimes lead to focus being lead from one priority as you look to complete another task. A few weeks ago, we provided you with a beginner’s guide to FM23, which looks at some of the fundamentals in getting the most out of your experience in the game. This week we dive a little deeper, giving you some tips that aren’t necessarily essential for success in FM, but ones that will certainly boost your chances in several departments, looking at areas like training, squad dynamics and more!
FM Kit Creator
Those who have frequented FM over the years will know the frustration of managing a team and their kits not being in the game. Sure, there is always the option to download graphics packs and install the kits into the game, but what if that kit is just unsightly? Well, thanks to the amazing fmkitcreator.com, you can realise your vision in how you want your team to look on the pitch. There are countless editable factors, from the base colour to the general design, to kit sponsor marks, to custom creator designs – if you can picture it in your mind, you can bring it to life on this brilliant website.
Training – match boosts
Did you know that there is a way to boost certain aspects of your team’s game and ability for the next match? I discovered this incredible trick through FM Youtube legend Zealand, who provides countless amazing tips to improve at the game. Personally, I leave the general week-to-week training schedule to my assistant manager and sprinkle certain sessions into the appropriate training slots. So, what are these match boosts and how do they work?
If you head to the training screen and then view whichever week you are focusing on, you will see this screen. As you can see, general training takes place and flows as it should do, with rest periods designated quite frequently. These rest periods are usually where to stick these match boosts in. When editing the schedule, from the left-side menu, the sessions under match preparation are the ones you’re looking for. Notice underneath impacts in the session comments it states upcoming match, but really the impacts of these sessions last for seven days, meaning if you have more than one game in that period of seven days, these boosts will remain for them all. It is worth noting that the set pieces training from the menu also has next match impacts, so if you’re facing a team who struggles aerially, for example, training attacking free-kicks or corners would be a good idea.
There is a trick to using this to its full potential too. You may notice some improvement by slinging match prep sessions on at random, but selecting them based on your next opponent(s) is even more effective. For example, in the week above, I face Oliveirense away – they are currently 8th after 17 games and they have scored 23 goals, so my focus is on a boosted defensive performance. In the same week, we welcome relegation battlers Mafra so have added attacking movement training in slot three on Thursday and attacking corners in slot two on Friday. And of course, the defensive shape training will remain from Monday.
It is worth noting that these match prep sessions only give a very slight increase to fatigue and injury chances, so essentially, it’s a low risk method. It is important to keep in mind that players still rest sessions from time to time otherwise they will become too tired or injured.
Also, while you can add multiple different session in the space of a week, you cannot stack the same one. For example, if I added three sessions of defensive shape match prep training in the same week, it would only have the impact as having one session.
The final important training tip which is also viewable in the image above is the sessions you implement on the day after a match. While a recovery session is always automatically put in place, I also had a match review session – this improves tactical familiarity and team cohesion.
Utilise reports for match preparation
We just spoke about selecting training sessions that reflect the games you have coming up, but how are you to know what the opposition team brings to the table? Before each match, your staff will provide you with an opposition report, with the depth of research dependent on the level/facilities of your team.
This is the overview of an opposition report, which can also be accessed through the data hub. It gives you predicted lineups and formations based on previous fixtures, right down to the player roles! It also gives you some data analysis, showing you key findings first and foremost. While only some of this can influence your training, it is always good to have a clear idea of what to expect from your opponents.
If we take this polygon from the list of key findings, we can start to get an idea of what kind of player Jaiminho is, and where he could be dangerous. He has high averages for attempted dribbles and key passes, as well as xA, so this could be used in the instructions you set, either as a team or on an individual level. Asking someone to mark him tightly and stay on feet with tackles will be a good start in neutralising his threat.
Squad dynamics – is your team a happy one?
You can perfect your training schedule. You can perfect your dream tactic. But if your team is unhappy; if they don’t like you as a manager; if there’s a bad atmosphere around the club, then your results will likely reflect this.
Head over to the dynamics screen to see where you’re at. You can see an overview of key areas like team cohesion, club atmosphere, and managerial support – and you can impact all of these elements. Cohesion can be increased via unit training or team bonding training sessions, for example. Club atmosphere and managerial support have some overlapping qualities – the key to keeping both up includes the following:
- Not signing too many players as your current squad will worry about their role in the team.
- Not enough players as there will be concern about the direction and development of the club.
- Making promises you can’t keep – don’t give in to every player request just because you think they want to hear it.
- Selling too many high-profile/popular players as this will have a negative impact on the squad.
A high range of small details can also impact this area but getting the above right can put you in good stead. And of course, winning a good number of games and meeting expectations on the pitch is always a bonus.
Hopefully, these simple tricks can improve your time playing FM23. In terms of results, sometimes turning poor form around isn’t done by making a billion tactical tweaks, but can be achieved by keeping your squad happy and getting your training right with precision. Often, keeping a good balance within the club and getting the small details right can be key to achieving success.