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4 Things You Must Do When Starting A New Save In Football Manager

4 Things You Should Do When Starting New Save In Football Manager

Have you ever wondered what is the best way to start your new Football Manager career save? What should you do first? Or how you can get the best out of your players from the get-go?

Well, the following fm blog will take you through some areas which should help you get started; setting up shortlists, tactics, coaching team and your first/U21’s and youth squads.

There are certain habits you develop when starting a new save in Football Manager and you might not even realise you do the same things each time, or you may wonder why you’re not doing as well as you could do.

So I am going to take you through the process I go through of starting a new football manager game.

When starting a new football manager save, there is always the temptation to get on with the game and press ‘Continue’.

But I think to get off to the best start possible and maximise your pre-season, there are certain elements you need to look at. Especially if you want to achieve the highest fitness levels, have your team comfortable with the tactics you want to play and to not miss out on that key player who is going to improve your team.

1) Setup your shortlist

Setting your shortlist up as early as possible, identifying the targets you would like to pursue makes sure that you do not miss out on a club making a bid or being interested in them without you knowing.

Obviously, you can add players to your shortlist as the season goes on, and you will do with your scouts recommending players to you, but the main thing is to come up with a list of players you would like to monitor and potentially make a bid for.

The earlier you can make your signings the more time they have to settle in your club and get to know their teammates.

Imagine getting to the end of the summer window, and your main striker picks up a long-term injury, you need to find a new prolific goalscorer and are devastated to realise that Moussa Dembélé has already signed for your arch rivals for £15million.

Season over before it’s even begun.

At this stage, you could also assign your scouts to go out and find players for you, but I leave that responsibility to my chief scout to organise who goes where.

2) Setting up your tactics

I tend to set up two formations at the start of the game that are likely to be the main ones I use through the season. This enables your squad to start training on and becoming more comfortable with them immediately.

Once your team becomes used to the formations add the third tactic for them to train so that you have different options at your disposal if needed. This may not be until the season starts which is fine.

My preferred formations are a 4-2-3-1 with 2 holding midfielders protecting the back four, allowing your fullbacks to attack and overlap the attacking midfielders.

The second tactic I set up is a 4-5-1, this is a tactic I like to deploy against the bigger teams when you need to bolster the midfield and try to dominate possession.

3) Coaching team

Have a look at your coaching team and how many staff your board allows you for each staffing position. This helps you understand where you can expand and improve on.

The more high-quality coaches you have, the more your players will reap the rewards and make improvements to their attributes.

The coaching team’s workload should be 3½ stars/light workload, this allows more specialised coaching for your players from the youth team through to the first team.

The earlier in the game you set this up, the earlier you see improvements and developments in your players.

If you enjoy bringing youth team players through then make sure your youth team coaches are good enough to develop the players, if you don’t focus on this, then don’t worry too much about who you employ for your lower ranks.

4) Evaluate players from all the squads

Evaluating your first team, as well as U21’s and youth team is a good way to begin before deciding on which areas you need to improve on.

You may have a gem in your U18’s that you decide you would like to develop and introduce him them to the first team rather than spend your transfer budget on a proven player.

Your U21 squad may have a couple of fringe players, who you want to be more involved with the first team as squad players. You could put these players into your first team squad but make them available for the U21’s to allow them game time and match fitness.

Analyse each position and work out if you have enough cover or whether you need to dip into the transfer market. Make the players who you don’t see being involved in your first squad available for loan and offer them to clubs.

When offers come in make sure they are going to a club their current ability suits the most.

Evaluate players from all the squads
You can see which league they should be playing in by looking at the report for the player.

Also when the offers do come in for them, make sure they are getting a minimum of regular first-team football.


There are plenty of other parts of the game which you can do to set yourself up and have a great season, but the above points are a good start to get you up and running.

If you set your Football Manager up differently or have any other tips, then please leave a comment below.

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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.


FM20 Blog - Best Football Manager 2020 Content: 4 Things You Must Do When Starting A New Save In Football Manager
4 Things You Must Do When Starting A New Save In Football Manager
Football Manager guide appropriate for beginners on how to start your new career save on FM. Help with tactics, shortlist and more.
FM20 Blog - Best Football Manager 2020 Content
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