So, you’ve decided to invest a big chunk of your time and talents into the world of Football Manager. You’ve read the reviews, talked to your mates, and decided that you have what it takes to steer your club (and yourself) to fame and fortune.

First of all, we admire your pluck. But confidence alone will never turn your dreams into reality.

That’s because Football Manager is light-years beyond those joystick-driven video games you or your parents remember from the past. It mirrors the flesh-and-blood world so well that it’s often hard to tell the difference.

Sound intimidating?  Never fear. In this post, we’ll share seven proven tips from long-time players for navigating your way through the real world of virtual football management. Use these tips to claim your share of the glory.

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Tip #1: Keep Your Key People Happy

Talent, like common sense, is a rare and precious thing these days. Success in any endeavour requires keeping your top producers on your good side.

In the world of Football Manager, this principle plays out in the way you treat your team leaders and star players. Keep them happy, even if it means adjusting your strategy or swallowing your pride. Otherwise, they may create ripples of discontent that will torpedo your club’s prospects altogether.

Tip # 2: Build Trust, Even if it Takes Time

As club manager, you’re tasked with crafting winning strategies. But you must also bring your team on board with your vision.

This requires instilling trust in your players, which takes time. Use the team report screen to gauge their mood as you lead them in your chosen direction. Otherwise, you may push them too far too fast.

Tip #3: Listen to Your Scouts

Playing ability is one thing. The ability to blend into your club’s culture is quite another. Your scouts will advise you on which players are most likely to make a good fit. You’ll find their input in the social groups screen. Weigh it carefully before adding names to the roster.

Tip #4: Offer Praise When It’s Deserved

Trying to manage through fear and intimidation may produce short-term results, but only at the cost of long-term damage. It’s far better to catch your players doing something right than to keep them in perpetual fear of fouling up.

At the same time, you should never dispense compliments for middling performance. Like fine wine, your praise should be reserved for those occasions that call for it. Keep this in mind and your players will not only follow your lead, they’ll respect you as well.

Tip #5: Learn from the Mistakes of the Romans

Take a lesson from ancient history – Roman history, to be exact. Rome’s empire collapsed because it grew too large and unwieldy for one person to manage. There are no supermen, either in the real world or the Football Manager universe.

This means you must pick your backroom people and assistant managers wisely. Having done so, you should heed their advice before making major decisions. Their counsel will prove invaluable as you guide your club through the days to come.

Tip #6: Use Your Reserves

Your starting 11 are the cream of your particular crop. That being said, they’re only human (sort of). Keep a reserve player in mind for each position. This is especially important for FM 2019, where injuries and other setbacks can leave you scrambling to shore up your layout.

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Tip #7: Know How to Negotiate

Football players are like automobile salespeople. Their first offer is rarely their best. You should never hesitate to haggle for a better deal, lest you exceed your budget.

Taking it to the Real World

Football Manager is more than a simulation. It’s also an education. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you can approach the high-stakes world of actual play with confidence in your abilities.

A world of enrichment and excitement waits you with Football Manager. So give it a go. We wish you all the best as you rise to the challenge.