Football Manager Meets Moneyball

Football Manager Meets Moneyball

I found on reddit this great post on how to implement the practices from Moneyball the movie, to your Football Manager game. Credits to reddit user Fowlergod11.

I recently started posting some screenshots of my Celtic team and how I won every possible competition in under five years, these can be found here.

I'm guessing a lot of you have seen the movie Moneyball starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill which is inspired by true events, back in 2011, and you may have been inspired like me to accommodate the philosophies to your Football Manager experience.


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I used to play Football Manager with a buy to win approach. The better the player, the more I was happy to spend. My record transfer is standing at 80 million.

However, since Football Manager 2012 the highest fee I've ever spent on a player is 11 million pounds, on Marco Asensio.

In this post I'm going to tell you how I win at Football Manager, it's sometimes not pretty, but other times there are beautiful moments. Like a 6 foot 7 striker from an obscure Ghanian academy, joining on a free transfer, winning the Champions League and increasing his value from 22 thousand to 22 million.

These are six rules for success;

1. The formation never changes:

I don't care if it's home or away, Champions League or League Cup, your formation is your system, your system never changes.

2. Don't over complicate things:

Football Manager Tactics

My tactic is simple, 4-3-1-2. My instructions are even more straightforward, I use one, "Be more disciplined." Army life will tell you discipline wins wars, know what else it wins? Football games.

Flair and tricks are fun to watch, but they don't win games. People ask for help with tactics all the time and receive answers more in-depth than A Brief History of Time. 11 players don't need individual instructions, a team needs instruction, and my teams are instructed to keep everything basic.

3. Money is mine not yours:

If a player isn't transfer listed or out of contract, he's not joining my team. You can have hundreds of thousands of players in your database; there is absolutely no reason to spend 30 million pounds on a 7.5 million pound player when there is the same value of player going around for 2 million pounds.

I won the Champions League with a team I spent 13.275 million pounds to assemble. That very team is now worth 190 million pounds.

4. Sign nobody over 25:

If a player is over 25 years of age I will not sign him, and I don't care if you are Phillipe Coutinho, 26 years old and in the prime of your career, you are a fossil, stay away from my team.

The same goes for selling your players; if somebody bids for your players and your players are older than 25, there is somebody cheaper, younger and probably better looking that I can replace you with, goodbye.

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5. Keep it simple stupid:

Team-talks are not hard, I am always "Assertive," and I always pick the same choices, before the game: "Continue where you left off," halftime if I'm winning the game: "Don't get complacent." If I am losing: "That's not good enough" when I win: "Good job" when I lose: "I loathe you that's not good enough."

6. I want a star team, not a team of stars:

4 of my players didn't score a goal in my quintuple winning year, 2 of them were goalkeepers, all of my four strikers scored over ten goals, non more than 26. There are two players for each position; they will all have a go.

That is how I play Football Manager, my results speak for themselves I feel.

My finances, my yearly review for 2020-21, an example of my transfer policy, and my transfer history.

Finances in Football Manager

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And in the meantime, don't give up. Football wouldn't be football without the occasional setback

"Every defeat is a victory in itself" – Francisco Maturana, the first manager to lead a Colombian side to Copa Libertadores glory.


FM19 Blog - Best Football Manager 2019 Content: Football Manager Meets Moneyball
Football Manager Meets Moneyball
Football Manager played the way as it is shown in hit film Moneyball. Reddit user Fowlergod11 walks us through.
FM19 Blog - Best Football Manager 2019 Content
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