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.
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.
New tactical tweaks seem to be coming in.
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.
CONTROL: Negotiating sponsorship deals would be a great move
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.
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.
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.
UPSETTING THE BALANCE: Making changes to training currently feels like playing with a house of cards
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.
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.
EVOLVE OR DIE: The game is changing, and FM is lagging behind tactically
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!
Another section on the perifery of the game that could be improved is the 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.