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Football Manager

12 Oct 2020

*UPDATED* Football Manager 2021 New Features: Sports Interactive reveal key additions to FM21

*UPDATED* Football Manager 2021 New Features: Sports Interactive reveal key additions to FM21

SI's new managerial sim promises to bring fresh challenges to players. What additions will they make?

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Latest news - Features trailer shows off what players can expect

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New recruitment features

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Tactics

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Brand new features we want

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Improvements & tweaks we want

A new football season brings with it a new Football Manager game.

FM21 has a tough job to follow the success of last year's title.

Sports Interactive has promised new features this year, albeit slightly different from those they wanted due to covid. So what can fans expect this year?

Latest news - Features trailer shows off what players can expect

FM21 is set to bring a lot of new features to the franchise. A new trailer has shown some of them off.

Let's get into what's new, and what we want.

New recruitment features

While only hinted at, it looks like there will be new ways to look for players and sign them.

It looks like SI will be streamlining your search for talent, by highlighting positions and selecting roles, it looks like your scouts will have a clearer idea of what you want.

FM21 as agent new feature

BACK ROOM DEALS: Fans may not like agents, but they are a key part of transfers

It's another way of approaching players, and it will surely then help for you to keep up good relationships with agents too.

Tactics

New tactical tweaks seem to be coming in.

FM21 perfect your tactics 1

GAME CHANGER: Your tactics might not be a copy & paste job this year

From improved and enhanced analysis to better player interactions it looks like there will be plenty of ways to rack up goals and win leagues this year.

What else would we like to see this year?

Brand new features we want

It's hard to look at FM20 and see any glaring holes where a new feature could slot in.

However, there are some areas that could be added to this year...

Finances & negotiations

While this isn't necessarily something the manager does in real life, finances are such a key part of success in the game that the ability to deal more closely with finances would be good.

fm21 finances sponsorship

CONTROL: Negotiating sponsorship deals would be a great move

fm21 new features club vision

GOALS: It would help managers meet the Club Vision too!

Be that negotiating sponsorship deals, or setting season ticket prices, it would be nice for a more hands-on option. That could of course be handed over to a "Head of Finance" staff role for bigger teams, similar to how Loan Managers and other roles come in.

Adding a "negotiating" attribute to coaches would help.

Women's football

The WSL and Women's International football keeps growing, and yet they have no place in Football Manager yet even as they make their mark in FIFA 21.

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While the FM database is ridiculously extensive, adding on a Women's football database would be amazing. Give us the chance to topple the USWNT at the next World Cup or conquer the WSL!

Set piece coaches

Set pieces in FM20 are a little OP, especially long throws. However, you have to set up the routines yourself and add their practice to your training schedules manually.

fm20 long throw

DELAP SPECIAL: The long throw is very dangerous in FM20

Having a set piece coach, or delegating to your assistant, could help develop that area and have it included in your schedules automatically.

Improvements & tweaks we want

Those are the new features we want, but what about other improvements or refreshes to areas of the game?

Training & coaches

One area that can be really tricky to navigate and balance is what your players are doing on the training pitch, and what your coaches are doing.

FM21 training calendar

UPSETTING THE BALANCE: Making changes to training currently feels like playing with a house of cards

fm21 new features coaching assignments

WHAT DO YOU DO 'ROUND HERE?: Your coaching assignments are buried in menus

Training isn't really an area that casual players even touch, while coaches (and especially their training assignments) are hidden away.

Making these sections more accessible and impactful would be a terrific step.

Tactical updates

You can do a lot with the tactics in FM20, however most people fall into the ultra-press systems and a classic 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation.

Football keeps moving though, and more flexible and fluid systems are coming in.

fm21 new features defender roles

EVOLVE OR DIE: The game is changing, and FM is lagging behind tactically

Just look at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta with their 3-4-3 that morphs and moves when in and out of possession or the "positional play" that is sweeping across the game.

These systems are undoubtedly hard to understand for the lay player and even trickier to code into a game, but it would be great to see FM tactics evolve with the real life sport.

Oh, and don't forget the overlapping centre backs!

Medical centre

Another section on the perifery of the game that could be improved is the Medical Centre.

fm21 medical centre

RISKY BUSINESS: More medical information would help you avoid those injury bugs

While risk assessments for players are nice, it would be good to get reports on the regularity of player injuries, who has missed how many days and from what.

Understanding if players really are injury-prone or just unlucky would be good.