Football Manager is the game we’d all love to be good at.
But while we might tell our mates we managed to get Curzon Ashton promoted five times using nothing but academy players before beating Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester City en route to the Champions League final, where we then turned over Real Madrid 4-1, we’re probably not that good at it.
Let’s face it, the game is tough – a reflection of the real world of football which requires know-how, hard work, money and a bit (a lot) of luck.
Fortunately for you, Mirror Football caught up with Sports Interactive studio director Miles Jacobson and picked his brains about the new game. We spoke about tactics, formations, training sessions, tutoring and shouts and it’s all here below. Enjoy!
1. Is it better to prioritise players over formation or vice vera?
That depends on the player and your philosophies. As with any tactic in football, you can either build it to suit your players, or build a tactic and bring in or train the players to suit it.
Some players are capable of playing in multiple roles, some will be capable of it with training and time playing in that position, but some won’t be capable of adapting.
Each player in the game is an individual built up of over 200 attributes, including mental attribute which drives their personality.
2. How easy is it to retrain players into new roles?
That purely depends on the player. Just like real life, some are adaptable and have the right attributes to play other roles. Some won’t.
3. How important is tutoring in the development of wonderkids?
Tutoring has been revamped for FM19.
It’s all about personalities and traits and is an important part of the new training module. Personalities are very important for a player reaching their potential – but so is playing time.
4. How much of an impact do touchline shouts have on a game?
Shouts have a short-term impact compared to player instructions, but then they are much more simple.
They have equal effectiveness if used at the right time, and equal negatives if used at the wrong time – and, like everything in the simulation, will affect different players in different ways.
With FM19, you’ll see body language changes when using the shouts, so you can see easily how each player has reacted.
5. Is there a ‘best formation’ to deploy or does it all come down to your XI?
If there was a best formation in football, then everyone would use it, and it would become less effective because everyone would know how to combat it.
What best for you might not be what’s best for another team due to players, pitch size, mentality and desire.
6. Some people leave training to their assistant, but is it more beneficial to take care of it yourself?
Football is a game where each marginal gain is very important. If you think you can do a better job than your assistant, then you should do it yourself.
If your assistant has better skills than you in this area, then leave it to them. Personally, I let the assistant do the basics, then tweak it from there.
7. Is there a way of keeping the dressing room happy?
It depends on your players’ personalities – every game of FM is different. There is no linear path to success because it’s all driven by artificial intelligence.
So, the question to ask in this situation is ‘how do you keep a back-up keeper from becoming unhappy at a lack of game time in real life?’
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The answer to that is that some are going to be okay with it, some aren’t. Some are happy just taking home their salary, some aren’t.
8. For you, what has been the most significant change from when the game started to now?
Going from a 2D match engine to 3D. Or if we’re going back to our CM days, going from having a game full of fake players to one with real players.
9. What is your go to team to manage?
My go to team is Watford, the team I’ve supported my whole life.
Although it hurts to take them over now as I have to replace Javi Gracia who is doing a great job in real life and comes across as a really nice guy!
Will you be buying FM19?
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