Manager Styles | Wednesday Wisdom
Wednesday Wisdom returns for FM20 and to kick things off with an in-depth look at how to get the best out of your manager attributes it's regular contributor, FM Grasshopper.
You’ve finally picked the league and the club you’ll manage in Football Manager 2020. You’ve spent hours researching teams and deliberating on the Choose A Club window, mesmerised by the multitude and variety of Club Visions at your fingertips.
You’re almost there, ready to embark on your next quest in football management and then you’re greeted by the Manager Profile screen.
While the temptation may be there to rush through this… don’t do it. This isn’t a screen to be overlooked or disregarded. Beyond picking the ideal hair style and deliberating whether your manager should wear an overcoat or a tracksuit, there is a screen where you pick your Managerial Style. If you’re micro-managing every detail of your save, or need every ounce of help to be a successful boss, then choosing your manager's attributes is essential.
Manager Attributes are split into two areas: Coaching and Mental. It’s worth noting how each one influences things in FM20, although most are fairly logical:
Attacking - the ability to coach attacking aspects in training
Defending - the ability to coach defending aspects in training
Fitness - the ability to coach fitness in training
GK Distribution - the ability to coach goalkeeper distribution in training
GK Handling - the ability to coach goalkeeper handling in training
GK Shot Stopping - the ability to coach goalkeeper shot stopping in training
Tactical - the ability to coach the tactical aspect in training
Mental - the ability to coach the mental aspect in training
Technical - the ability to coach the technical aspect in training
Working With Youngsters - the ability to work with younger players in training
Adaptability - the chances of a manager finding employment in a foreign league
Determination – the manager’s adeptness at getting their own way with the board; a less determined manager is more likely to have their requests turned down
Player Knowledge – the default knowledge of the attributes of individual senior players
Youngster Knowledge - the default knowledge of the attributes of individual youngsters
Man Management - the overall management of training and the nature of your interactions with players on an individual basis
Level of Discipline – the likelihood of players bringing their concerns to you; a strict manager will find players less likely to confront them with minor issues
Motivating - your ability to motivate your players as a group in team talks and meetings
Coaching Badges and Past Experience
The number of points you have available to invest in the aforementioned manager attributes is dictated by two things: (1) the coaching badges you give your manager and (2) their past experience as a player.
If you want a harder challenge in Football Manager 2020, or one that fits with a ‘started from the bottom’ narrative, it is possible to create a manager with no coaching badges at all. Similarly, it’s also possible to cap your playing experience at Sunday League level. By doing this, many clubs will simply overlook you if they have a vacancy, opting instead for a more experienced hand. The combination of no badges and the lowest form of playing experience will grant you a total of 23 manager points (out of a possible 340). It's still FM20… just that little bit harder.
If, like me, you want to make things slightly easier on yourself, you can opt for any of the available coaching badges, from National C all the way up to a Continental Pro license. The same changes can be made to your playing experience too, from Semi-Professional to an International Global Superstar. By selecting the two top-end options, you give yourself a massive 223 points to invest.
If you’re unsure of your narrative, or what skills your manager needs to succeed at the club you’ve chosen, let the game pick them for you. This auto-adjusts the badges and experience in line with the club's reputation.
Why is my Managerial Style Important?
Knowing what sort of manager you want to be, and what you want to do with your save, can have a huge impact on the importance of certain attributes. Therefore my first piece of advice is to really think about your save: Is it a one-club save? Are you going to be a journeyman? Do you want to bring through youth? Will you be managing the elite?
For example, you could be managing a huge club like Paris Saint-Germain, where an exceptional level of training already occurs. As such, it may be best to focus your manager attributes into areas away from coaching. On the other hand, if you decide to take the reins at cash-strapped Bolton Wanderers, then you may not have the finances to employ a full coaching team. In that instance, the onus would be on you to invest your points on coaching attributes in order to supplement the overall squad training.
The same thought process could be used for thinking about the 'Player Knowledge' and 'Youngster Knowledge' attributes, which you don’t need to worry about as much if you are managing clubs with higher reputations and extensive scouting networks.
Some players may dislike handling every team talk and press conference, often electing to delegate this to their Assistant. If this is you, then you could reduce your motivating attribute, providing you have a team around you with high skill values in these areas.
Management Style Focus
If you don’t want to spend time debating where each manager point should be spent, then you could use the 'Management Style Focus' dropdown. FM20 gives you six different managerial styles:
Disciplinarian - the points allocation will shift in favour of instilling a strong level of discipline, with high scores for the Man Management, Motivating, Mental and Tactical attributes.
Motivator – the points allocation will shift towards the Motivating and Mental attributes.
Youth Development – the points allocation will shift towards the Technical, Working with Youngsters and Youngster Knowledge attributes.
Knowledgeable – the points allocation will shift towards the Tactical, Player and Youngster Knowledge attributes.
Tactician - the points allocation will shift towards the Tactical, Mental, Player Knowledge and Motivating attributes.
Task Master - the points allocation will shift towards the Fitness, Mental and Determination attributes.
Once you hit that ‘Confirm’ button, you will be prompted to save your game before embarking on your FM20 managerial career. If you’ve spent time thinking about and acting on your managerial style, you may just have that extra edge needed to make a success of things.