Football Manager 2020: 7 tips to kick off your managerial campaign

Taking down the league can be a daunting task, but if you utilise these FM features you can win.

Julian-Sims by Julian Sims

Getting into the flow of a new season in Football Manager is a daunting task, but this piece will get you off to a winning start whether you’re starting in the Premier League or in the bottom tier.

The world-renowned football simulator has evolved considerably over the past decade, and some much-needed changes have been added to Football Manager this year to keep it moving forward.


Delegate responsibilities 

If you’re a veteran of the franchise, you’ll notice that Sports Interactive has made the “Staff Responsibilities” section much more detailed this year. 

USE YOUR STAFF: The backroom staff are there for a reason, use their talents!

There are over 100 different responsibilities you can assign. If you want to be in charge of U18 friendly matches and individual player training, go for it!

READ MORE: Best 10 clubs to manage in FM20

Alternatively, if you want to be in charge of transfers, tactics, and first-team games, you can customise your responsibilities however you see fit.

The fewer responsibilities you take on personally the quicker you can roll through your season, but the bigger risk you have of decisions being made that you don’t like!

Utilise the medical centre

Make sure you keep a close eye on the medical centre, because there will be risk assessments in there that help decide your team selection.

RED FLAG: Your medical centre will highlight those at risk of getting hurt, so be sure to check in and protect your stars

It’s important not to overwork your players and stick them on the pitch when they’re at high risk of injury.

While your staff will highlight players who are especially at risk, you will need to use some common sense too.

Get the board to pay for your qualifications

If you fancy a low league challenge for yourself and you haven’t started with the highest qualifications, do everything in your power to get the board to pay for your coaching badges.

UPWARD MOBILITY: If you don’t ask… you don’t get

Regardless of where you are, make a board request to acquire the next set of coaching qualifications. Worst case scenario is they say no.

Set short-term scouting assignments

When you get started, chances are that it will be at the very start of the transfer window, so you’ll want to identify the weak areas of your squad in the first set of friendly matches.

SPECIFIC SCOUTING: Let your scouts know exactly what to look for

After this, set some short-term scouting assignments to find players that meet your specific parameters. 

READ MORE: Football Manager 2020: Every feature in this year’s game

This year you can select the position, role, age, ability, and so much more.

Keep it simple, stupid

Unless you’re playing in the top division, you’ll want to keep things simple with your tactics.

SENSIBLE TACTICS: You should put consistency ahead of ambition

You can’t take the helm at Fulham and force them to play like Man City, because quite simply they’re not good enough to pull it off.

Go back to basics and keep clean sheets for the best results.

Pay attention to player roles

While a player will have his best position, they’ll also have favoured player roles. 

NEW FOR FM20: Player roles have a new importance this year

For example, John Stones at Manchester City is obviously a centre back, but his best role is as a ball-playing defender with cover duty, rather than a no-nonsense central defender.

READ MORE: Football Manager 2020: All the best players ahead of release

You want to avoid having too many players in the same position with the same role, otherwise they’ll be trying to do the same thing in-game rather than complimenting each other.

Avoid tactical U-turns

If you’re trying out a new tactic with your team and get absolutely smashed, stay the course.

PREPARATION MATTERS: It takes time for your squad to become comfortable with a new style

Making your squad familiar with new tactics is an enormous undertaking and you can’t expect them to pick it up overnight. 

On a side note, if you are in the midst of a nine-game losing streak it might be the time to switch it up.

Julian Sims