Communication & Psychological Warfare 2 Communication and Psychological Warfare ’10 – The Ultimate Media Guide for Virtual Football Managers Written by Matt vom Brocke (The next Diaby), with Gareth Millward (Millie) and Thomas Levin (Levo) Copyright © and the individual authors, 2010. Communication & Psychological Warfare '10 is an unofficial and unauthorized source for educational purposes. FM-Britain has composed this guide independently and it is not endorsed or authorized by SEGA or Sports Interactive Games in any shape or form. This site is not endorsed or supported by SEGA or Sports Interactive Games. Football Manager is a registered trademark of SEGA and Sports Interactive Games. We are not affiliated with Football Manager, SEGA or Sports Interactive Games. This product was created solely to inform/educate players of the game Football Manager to become a better player, owned and operated by SEGA and Sports Interactive Games. The contents of this information infringes no copyright laws. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, or transmitted in any form, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Distributed in the English language by No English language version of this guide is to be made available by any other website without the expressed permission of the copyright owners. If you have received this guide, in English, from any other source than, please notify the authors. Translation requests should be sent to the FM-B site via This version: 1.0, published 16 March 2010

3 Introduction

Introduction................................................................................................................................................. 5 Personality in FM2010 .......................................................................................................................... 6 How to use this guide ........................................................................................................................... 7 A note on formatting ............................................................................................................................ 8 Increasing your match performance ............................................................................................................. 9 The Match Build-Up ................................................................................................................................11 Preparation .........................................................................................................................................11 Pre-match press conference ................................................................................................................12 The Match ..............................................................................................................................................18 Player Ratings......................................................................................................................................18 Morale ................................................................................................................................................19 Motivation ..........................................................................................................................................20 Team Talks ..............................................................................................................................................23 Pre Match Talks ...................................................................................................................................24 Half-Time Talks ....................................................................................................................................25 Post-Match Talks .................................................................................................................................27 Individualising the talks .......................................................................................................................28 Using player reactions to judge player personality ...............................................................................32 Post-match Reactions ..............................................................................................................................36 Post-match press conference...............................................................................................................36 Fining players ......................................................................................................................................37 Fitness and form management ............................................................................................................41

.........................................................................................................................58 Player recommendations............................................................................77 Credits ...................................................................................................................................................................................75 Making Enemies ..............56 Tutoring ...................................Communication & Psychological Warfare 4 Squad Management....................................42 Commenting on a player’s form ...........................................................................................................................50 Selection policy ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................73 Declaring your interest ..66 Press conferences ............................49 Choosing your captain ...................................................................................................................................................................................................75 Making Friends ............................................................................................................76 Conclusion ...............................72 Admiring Players .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................67 Interaction with other players ........................................................................................................................................................................................44 Reactions (PR) ...........................................................................................................................................................................................46 Building harmony ....................................................62 Warfare ......................................61 Using and acting on staff feedback ..................................................................................................................................................................................52 Transfer Policy ..................74 Interaction with other managers ...................................................................77 ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................43 Options .......................................................46 Using this information to judge personality ..................................................................................................................................................

Suppose. Sure. must concede that there is a beautiful logic to this. There's so much crap talked about tactics by people who barely know how to win at dominoes. and proceed to tell us that spending time worrying about tactics is bunk. They tried harder. for a second. . The truth. we must admire the beauty in the tactics which allowed David to slay Goliath. The inferior team wanted it more. how do we avoid being on the receiving end? CPW is the complete guide to squad management in FM2010. has elements of both. Sun Tzu Even those like us at FM-Britain.” they say. this guide is designed to show you how to motivate your team to play at their very best in every game they play. as always. not tactics. but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved. but wars are built on strategy. through the game and on to longer term club concerns. Battles may be won by tactical decisions. “the coach got them fired up and playing their best”. Brian Clough Many a time have I seen Brian Clough used as the example of the manager who “played without tactics”. who analyse (or even over-analyse) tactics. All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer. How were the little team motivated to play better? Why were they fired up? What can we do to ensure this happens on a regular basis? And perhaps more importantly. They point to his famous dominoes quote as proof.5 Introduction Introduction Players lose you games. but we must also delve deeper to see the strategy out of which victory evolved. Players win matches. In a nutshell. How do teams with obviously inferior players get wins over better teams? “Ah. Taking you from the build-up to the match. that the sceptics are correct. They won the battle. this is what Communication and Psychological Warfare is about. And those that say different are over-complicating the beautiful game.

we can instil these traits in our youths and get them to reach as much of their potential as possible. Players who are prone to nerves. learn certain tricks to keep those with less favourable characters performing as efficiently as possible. This guide is about maximising the positive effects of strong personality traits and mitigating the negative effects of weaker ones. however. Effects on performance This guide will cover the ways in which you can get players to perform at their maximum in games. team talks and player interaction. they will perform far more consistently and far better than those with little determination and an amateurish mentality. for instance. we will describe how to judge each player’s individual needs and how to use this information to your advantage. our own experience and tutoring. To develop fully. train harder and develop quicker than flaky ones. It is also about learning to identify those players who are most likely to possess these strong traits and.Communication & Psychological Warfare 6 Personality in FM2010 Understanding of personality is a key part of management. Covering morale. spreading them throughout your squad from the captain right down to the teenagers in the youth team. if you can build a team of highly determined. You can. Effects on development Those same traits which inspire good. We will show you how. players need to train hard and to be determined to “make it” as professional footballers. It is therefore very important that you buy and develop players who are most likely to behave in this way. . in the real world as well as the virtual one. Players with strong personalities will perform better. crucially. Similarly. professional players. Those who are highly motivated will need encouragement to play even better. consistent performances on the pitch will inspire them off it. form. will need encouragement to take the pressure off them. By using our scout and coach reports. motivation.

40 or 50-game season then they remain useless. Of course. we will provide personalities. Similarly. Those with lots of high mental attributes. Thus. Understanding player personalities for the match is very important. We will also show you how to make the best out of a bad situation and how you can get the best possible reactions from those who need a good kick up the rear to achieve their potential. and that is the other aspect to Communication and Psychological Warfare. . there are immediate and long-term benefits to filling your squad with strong personalities. How to use this guide We will begin by taking people through the match day experience. This is. key information which highlights a particular paragraph in these helpful hint and how to make sure that the whole squad pulls in the same boxes. perhaps. but unless you can keep those fires burning over a 30. information and help when skim-reading the guide for extra help. Certainly. if your players fall into terminal decline in their late 20s. this appears to be the most talked about aspect of man management. On the forums. Again. as well as professionalism. In the second part of the guide. you will never be able to build a side that can win titles on a regular basis. your youths never progress beyond the U18s squad and your entire team hates each other – well. They will summarise important direction. how to engender these traits within your squad. during and after the match is important.7 Introduction Strong personality traits like this are also incredibly important later on in a player’s career. covering the pre-match build-up. not all of our players will be model professionals. Partly this is down to its immediate nature. team talks and the post-match post-mortem. will be able to perform at a higher level long after their legs have gone and their physical stats go into decline. knowing how to deal with your players before. we will move on to the longterm planning of your squad: how to spot players with strong Throughout the guide. the most important part of the guide. we will show you how. and partly because of its direct effect on results. and this will be covered in great detail.

there are overlaps between all three. When printing. and without a good dose of all of them. Effectively.Communication & Psychological Warfare 8 The third and final part of the guide will cover the other miscellany of the game’s media management through what we term warfare: press conferences outside the match day. this may leave large white spaces at the bottom of each page. . even the best tactical masterminds will come unstuck. tapping up transfer targets and playing mind games with the opposition. A note on formatting To improve the readability of this guide on computer screens. the size of the pages have been adjusted so that the text on each page should fit and be legible on a standard monitor at 75% zoom. This is intentional. this covers:    Team talks and player interaction – communication Personality management and moulding – psychological Using the media to affect other teams – warfare Obviously.

We want those in good form to maintain it. We want to see during the game if we can help a player by criticism or support. Much of this is common sense. This is exactly the same plan we have here: to learn how to improve our decision making. and those who have been dropped to be determined to prove us wrong. There is. a slight exception regarding the internal and external behaviour of a manager in the FM series.9 Increasing your match performance Increasing your match performance Managing your team on and around the big match We start Communication and Psychological Warfare ‘10 with these chapters because they are probably the most sought after. you may recognise that they are following their experience and intuition. A game can be won or lost in the dressing room or in the morning papers. Sadly. So. last but not least. this is the ideal which most managers strive for in real life. However. Certainly there is something missing here. we want to make our squad feel comfortable and motivated when going into every game. We want to have a highly motivated squad. during and immediately after a match can be just as important for winning a single match as your tactical skills and judgement. This does not mean any other chapter is any more or any less important. But in the long run. getting the right attitude before. They have an instant impact on match performance. and this is the dividing line between a good tactician and a great manager. You know the types – defend their players for the most inexcusable behaviour in front of the cameras while throwing cups of tea at them in the dressing room. While you may feel the advice given here seems to be a little bit “robotic” or even “gamey”. as you can see. lifted from the real world. And. by now. And if you really try to analyse how great managers handle themselves. The game's lack of internal player interaction is. we would not rate . however. He must handle (or even manipulate) the media perfectly. We want our players to have best morale. their players and the media before and after big matches. we can assure you it is not! It takes a lot of experimentation and a sharp eye to know how to react properly to the needs of your squad and your individual players. We want them to recover quickly after a loss and stay focussed after a good win or even a great win. obvious compared to the progress in realism made by other areas of the game engine. since you always should keep an eye on squad development and long-term perspectives. we cannot enjoy this kind of Jekyll and Hyde game some managers seem to enjoy.

with much more efficiency than our real-life counterparts would even dream of. this is a luxury we can ill afford. If you can afford to lose these extra points at the end of the season. And. at some points. though. We can download a tactic. but we can’t download that killer team talk. since it is totally down to us whether we turn a draw into a win or avoid defeat. back in the real world again. I am totally sure that getting praise from your players for the first time after you turned a game around with your fantastic half-time team talk is a great moment for any manager. I am sure this is one of the secrets behind the success of the biggest managers we know. since we are still able to achieve what we need to – and maybe. . this is what is left.Communication & Psychological Warfare 10 this as too serious a loss. After all tactical preparations are made and the last tactical changes are applied in the game. Whether you believe this is worth the effort or not. This is what can make the difference. then maybe you can avoid man management. these chapters describe the most exciting non-tactical parts of management. For the majority of us. In our opinion.

this is a very basic and rough analogy since we find ourselves strongly restricted in our options by the game. And probably at this point. So in fact there is only one really professional way to handle this quest – and most likely there is not the slightest difference between game and real life here – whatever helps your team to perform at the best level is good. Of course. but looking at the calendar at times and setting your eyes on these big dates can improve your performance massively. have a look at how these matches build up in real life and you will recognise how much emphasis cunning managers may put on this. you should start your preparation very early. And. Again. . on the other hand. You may suddenly see key players rested for one or even more matches before. building up pressure on the opposition by playing down their own chances and showing public admiration of the opposition key players. often enough this may result in a fierce and bitter battle and sometimes you really get the impression that one or both sides may lose control. Preparation If you are facing key games. we have less to consider than any real-life manager. Of course nobody can always take everything into account for every single game. anything else should be avoided.11 Increasing your match performance The Match Build-Up The Psychological Warfare Campaign Being well prepared for an important match and having your squad at the top of their morale and form for this match can be key in achieving your goals for the season and have massive impact on your results. at least seven days ahead if you want to achieve the best results. you may find yourself in a bad position if you get carried away by raw emotion when a rival coach challenges you this way. Toeing the fine line between defending your team’s honour and being seen as an unprofessional lunatic can be incredibly tricky. Or you may see the opposite: big teams neglecting the favourite role. Just ask Kevin Keegan how much he “would love it” or Rafa Benitez about such “facts”. You may see managers giving a series of positive remarks on his own players if he wants to put emphasis on the superiority of his team and if he is aiming at morale-boosting effects on his players. the game is much easier than it is for our real-life counterparts. Between close rivals. just like in real life.

. Also. even more so if you are a coach with rising reputation. determined and professional your players are. you may also make a comment on your next opponent about three days before the match. you may lead this reserve match and take your players off at a peak but early enough to recover easily. after so many preliminaries: the pre-match press conference. Check how your players react. 43) If you are playing a fierce rival. Unlike the press conferences. you should consider using the game’s media interaction to increase their morale. 75). if possible. And indeed it does take a while to get to know every new squad. If you are a perfectionist and very slow player (or just have the luxury of time). Now you can make up for anything you missed before. Since it is not always possible to give them anytime. See also the sections covering squad rotation (p. of course. Pre-match press conference Finally. Each and every one is different. The best-proven comment is to ‘expect a good rivalry’ as this will often take away pressure from your own players and occasionally build up pressure for the opposition. Good morale may make up for any loss in condition. you may already have looked ahead and saved it for this occasion. but again I feel that generally 80% of real “commenting on the opposition” through the manager and doing it through the life examples prove SI to be spot on here. facing a top match in seven days and know that you may need some rotation players or even key players who are currently in a bad mood.Communication & Psychological Warfare 12 If you are. This is another great example of the modest approach working best in FM2010. it does not help you much to play the strong guy in this game. you should consider giving them a morale-boosting reserve match on Wednesday. 52) and player interaction (p. and so each and every squad is different. The more ambitious. times. Also consider allowing occasional rests for key players before important matches – if you can afford to do so. the more you can stay on the positive side. It is not as easy to pre-match press conference. See succeed as 'the special one' in real life as it may seem to us at Interaction with other managers (p. for instance. This may be a slight lack of realism and a one-dimensional interpretation of There is a difference between interaction by SI games. and you can rest them for a day after the match. Never underestimate the effect of reserve matches for rebuilding the morale of underperforming first team players.

If you really do not see many chances to get away with a result or a point. if your odds are looking good and if your players are determined and can handle pressure. Useful. . the possible responses will follow a pretty regular pattern We have a really good chance (the most positive response). however. I can’t see us winning today. too. You can back up these assertions. We can win if we stick to the game plan. this option will cause less pressure and you will see your squad being more relaxed. even at the lower end of the table? To make things clear: good pre-match comments will not win a game for you.13 Increasing your match performance Choose your options wisely and remember that being over-confident rarely is rewarded in the game – but it also pays to err on the side of gentle positivity to keep the squad confident in you and let them know your expectations. if you are additionally playing away and if your players suffer from a lack of self-believe. If your form and odds are less brilliant. and maybe even build a relationship (positive or negative) by making specific prematch comments to the opposition manager by clicking on “manager interaction” through the opponent’s squad screen and using the drop-down menu in the top right corner. it may also lose motivation. your recent results and the importance of the upcoming match. The option to go with if your team is having a good run. How many managers regularly go into games telling the press they expect to lose. if you do so. In general. but giving the wrong comments can have catastrophic effects and giving the right comments can boost your morale strongly. as it remains reasonably positive. Takes the pressure off your players and most likely will result in a good morale despite taking a loss. Can your team win? The exact wording of these questions can vary depending on the strength of the opposition. Don’t underestimate your team though.

we have yet to see a team react badly to being told that you’re enjoying their run or that you expect them to bounce back soon. the press are bound to say something. you will most likely get a series of questions related to your current form. this option is best avoided for one of the less negative or slightly positive responses. drew or lost your previous match. if you’re unfortunate. There is little to be gained from telling the team that you expect your winning run to end imminently. One to definitely leave for those cup games where you genuinely expect the team to get thrashed. the press may ask you about your last encounter with today’s opponents. On the other hand. unbeaten streaks and. Again. including winning streaks. it is actually the case with these questions that there is often little negative effect to talking up the dressing room atmosphere. particularly if the team is doing reasonably well in the league. Even if the odds really do look bleak. and the frequency of fixtures. even in these circumstances your professional players are likely to be concerned at your lack of ambition. your last result. if you have progressed deeper into the game. No comment/Neutral response. Since these are questions of form rather than specific questions about your up-coming opponent. Treat this much like you would any question about the upcoming game – confidence without naive optimism or arrogance. there seems nothing to be gained from being negative here. Usually. From time to time the media may want your opinion on your build-up of fixtures or your relatively long break. Although we have already said that overconfidence is rarely rewarded. . Only advisable if your morale already is superb across the board and you do not want to risk anything to gain the extra motivation tags. Yet. if you’ve waited over a week for a game or have to play again 2-4 days after your previous encounter you will get asked this. Form: You are likely to get questions surrounding your form. Current form Much like the comments on your chances of winning. it is often better to say that you want to bounce back or that the win has given you confidence than to play down your chances. As with the form question.Communication & Psychological Warfare 14 There’s no chance of us winning today (the most negative response). Fixture congestion: Or a lack thereof. It pays to remain positive. losing streaks. Previous match: Whether you won.

you may get the opportunity to commenting on a danger man via the press conference and via the scout comment on the opposition’s danger man. in which case you are likely to have to name who in your team is charged with countering the threat posed by the danger man. Players in a crisis and with less determined characters are more prone to buckle under the pressure than those who are on top of their form. younger players and ones who have low bravery will react badly to you heaping extra pressure on them. the media will occasionally identify what they see as the biggest threat to your side. whereas the press conference allows you to be more model professionals. You may get a good laugh for picking somebody from the youth team. This is as true for the opposition as it is for your own players. which may give you the opportunity to name a danger man of your own. and he said thank you with a brace… so be warned. opposition. driven or highly determined players. besides which. other than the ability to be able to try and shift the focus from one player to another. Identifying a new danger man can be entertaining during a press conference. negativity seems counter-productive here. chances are that the dressing room is a hotbed of positivity – praise them and their spirit.15 Increasing your match performance Team morale: If the dressing room atmosphere is good and your morale is high you might get asked about it. You can agree. if the team is confident enough to be noticeable to the press. If they are opposition player. You should always makes a direct comment to the look first at the form and personality of these players. . better manipulative with the entire squad of the stay away from commenting on them if they are not in a crisis. it is a report. One of the authors once tried it on Klose while he was playing for Manchester United. but we cannot say that we have seen significant effects by doing so. otherwise the game may get too easy. Danger man Not only during the press conference but also from your “next There is a difference between opponent” scout report. but certainly this is hardly worth the effort. Besides. During a press conference. Or you can strongly disagree. your players will not get the joke. But beware. so bear this in mind when nominating a player to “deal with the threat” of your identified danger man. Is the team playing with freedom because of their confidence? Do you feel a drop in morale is just around the corner? Once more. Maybe you could spend some time on another gamble and pick another key player having trouble and a more In general. Commenting via the scout report gamble.

Or will need it (i.e. When you do take the plunge and mention a part of the squad that you feel is better. this carries the usual risk/rewards of praising players. the press may ask you which area of your team you consider the strongest. And there’s always a chance that some of the other senior members of the squad will get annoyed that you didn’t mention them. . On the other hand. In any case. forwards can react badly if they think you are going to play very defensively). it can pay to be truth” by suggesting you will attack in honest. or if they feel their area of the pitch will be managerial style. The strongest area of your squad If you are confident about the up-coming game. And. There is no right or wrong answer here – you may prefer to say that all of your squad are up for the challenge. out of this strong area. but this will with you if you declare yourself to be over-attacking against depend on your own convictions and strong opposition. The neutral answer tends to get the journalist to push the point but will at least avoid a negative reaction from your squad. it may be the honest answer if you are the kind of manager who does not make wholesale changes to counter individual threats. it is also possible that you can get a positive reaction from some players if they like your intended style of play. if nothing else. but it could also unnerve him as he gets a public snub from you. This might get the opponent fired up to prove you wrong. Be aware that certain areas of the team can get annoyed order to boost the confidence of your forwards with low morale). Some love it. or maybe you prefer to let everyone know where your best players play. do you consider the best? This can be a good opportunity to talk up senior players with low confidence. you may get asked a further question – who. you may “stretch the something in between. Tactical approach The press may also be interested to hear how you intend to take on your opponents – whether you intend to go all out attack with It may well be useful to give an area of your squad a boost if you feel the game expansive football.. or just to continue to massage the ego of your biggest star.g. or whether you’re likely to park the bus. The one option that seems to get decent results on a regular basis is “I wouldn’t concentrate on just one player”.Communication & Psychological Warfare 16 favourable personality for being influenced. As with most questions.. neglected (e. some think you are putting too much pressure on them.

Once again. On the other hand. but also in a way that the player will accept. . you can be asked who will replace them or be asked how suitable a certain member of the squad would be as a replacement. or those poor at handling pressure) will need a boost from you talking up their ability. 23). less strong personalities will need the pressure to be taken off them. this is down to player personality. a neutral or no comment answer may spare the player’s feelings. it is best to say so.17 Increasing your match performance They may also quiz you on your preparation for the game. As with other answers. there will also be comments about players who have been injured. if a player genuinely has been awful. See the relevant sections in Player Interaction (p. but this guide will show you how to make distinctions between different personality types and how they react to praise and criticism. it is best to react honestly. since this is a public press conference. Professional and determined players will react well to you saying they will slot right in. 43) and Team Talks (p. react slightly more favourably than you would in a normal player interaction situation. or will you get on fine without them? Again. Will they be missed. How well do you know the opposition? Do you expect them to create any tactical surprises? Or have you got anything interesting up your sleeve? Again. confidence short of arrogance is the best approach. both before and after games. Overall. So. those who are prone to suffering from low confidence (unprofessional players. Occasionally. Individual form and injuries Some of your own players might get highlighted by the journalists for their recent performances. If the player is injured. be they positive or negative. professional players with a good team ethic will want you to concentrate on the rest of the team and may see your apparent reliance on him as a weakness of your management. Judging the best way to do this is tricky at first. In general. be aware of the personality of the replacement. although often have the authors said “I could name their starting eleven if you wanted” and not got any reaction at all from the squad. honesty seems the best policy. senior players may crave praise here. In general. Similarly. and similarly if a player has been performing well then let the world know that you’re happy. When in doubt.

we want to motivate our players and make sure that they play to the best of their abilities. It will also be a key tool in learning how to spot different personalities in your squad and how best to deal with them. interceptions. it is clear that the game takes them rather seriously. goals. while a striker won’t be criticised for not winning enough key tackles. Despite what we may think about the accuracy of the ratings (I’m sure we’ve all had a player go from a “4” to a “7” simply by scoring a penalty). The FM ratings are derived from how useful a player has been on the night: how many passes he completed. integer rating from 1-10. It is all very well saying that we want our team to play “well” or “better” – but until we know what a “good” performance actually is. how can we tell whether what we have said has had any effect? And how will we know which players need to be shouted at and which ones need an arm around their shoulder? This section is not just a manual to show you what each team talk does and how to use it. and great ratings can improve your assistant manager’s view of a player when giving advice on your best 11. These are modified slightly to reflect where the player is on the field.perfect . But. So. Player Ratings Player ratings are not an exact science. Similarly. in earlier versions of the game players were given a flat. But what do the ratings mean? Well. Any In the older versions of the game. again. the ratings roughly meant the following: 4 – abysmal 5 – bad 6 – average 7 – good 8 – very good 9 – outstanding 10 . Players lose confidence if their ratings aren’t high enough. it is important to know what our aims are. a defender isn’t going to get punished too hard for not scoring. assists and so on. either in the newspapers or in FM2010. FM2010 provides us with feedback on how well our players are playing and what they’re thinking out there on the football pitch.Communication & Psychological Warfare 18 The Match Understanding the tools at our disposal Before launching into team talks. headers he won. Thankfully. we would be wasting our time.

confident and motivated players play far better than moody.99 range. Then.0-4.5-7. this can really affect his view on how well he is playing. This will not always happen. things have changed slightly in the way we view our players.4 – good 7. Anyone who played a “5” or below was a candidate for being fined for being so bad. but a good. Post-decimalisation. Above 7.perfect Not much has changed.5-8. . Any team with any sort of ambition would want players to at least put in a “7” performance. think of the performance bands slightly differently: 1. nervous and lazy ones. Very good is fine.50 and we have a player who really is on fire. Ideally. Not great. We now have far more information as to whether a player has put in a “high 7” or a “low 7”.5-9. Morale comes on a sliding scale from very poor to superb. we want all of our team to have superb morale. It has six stages.00 or above. Morale This whole guide is about maintaining morale.5-5.4 – average 6. Depending on your player’s ambition. and certainly a couple in a row would indicate a player in very poor form. his rating would rise or fall.5-10. the team’s expectations and so on.4 – abysmal 4. solid performance should be in this area.4 – outstanding 9. But morale is in itself a good indicator of a player’s mood and character.50 and serious questions need to be asked about this player’s commitment to the cause. depending on his effect on the game. Below 6. anyone who put in an “8” or above was to be commended and shown as an example to the rest of the squad. And. we want our players to perform at 7. We still want our boys to go out there and play to a “7” standard. depending on the player. Happy. but nothing beats a player who has superb morale. but not bad.4 – very good 8. In the 6.4 – bad 5. but we really want him to perform better. the player is doing OK. A “6” would leave any player in danger of being dropped.5-6.50-6.0 .19 Increasing your match performance player who played and did nothing of note would get a “6”. But since the introduction of decimal places.

new contracts. This guide will be all about exaggerating the positive effects of these changes. and so forth to boost that morale and so ensure that as many of our team have superb morale as possible.Communication & Psychological Warfare 20 We can use changes in morale to judge how a player is reacting to our management. Check the player’s personal section of their profile to see what it is the player has reacted to. You can tell a player’s morale very easily either from the squad overview screen or from their profiles. However. Now. This is an incredibly useful resource out on the pitch. There are six indicators. If a player has a sudden change in morale. player interactions. For example. often there will be a “PR” indicator in the player’s full status. a relegation or promotion. a player who always seems to be motivated is likely to be very professional . match incidents and score line are getting into our players’ heads. Similarly. a player who is regularly “nervous” will need more encouragement from our team talks and possibly more praise in the press. and can be used to show a general trend in player behaviour. in the following order: Very poor Poor Okay Good Very Good Superb Other possible changes can come from an extraordinary result (positive or negative). we can also use team talks. On it we can see the mood of the players on the pitch. Take this as an extra consideration when judging how to deal with individual players. In general. even if his performances haven’t been that outstanding. It is usually best to be more encouraging and sympathetic to such players if they are playing slightly below the level you want than shouting and criticising them too heavily. and minimising the negative ones. Before this came along. we had to wait until after the match to be sure what effect (if any) our team talks had produced. or general concerns about the way the squad is being run. we know minute-by-minute how our talks. players with lower morale lack confidence. One of the best ways to improve it in the long run is to win games. This information can let us know how to treat our players during the particular match. Motivation One of the little “widgets” we can use on the TV view of the match screen is the motivation tab.

Your job will be to maintain that motivation by ensuring it doesn’t turn into complacency. It could be that the player is shaken by his mistake and his head has gone down. Playing without confidence: Clearly your player doubts his own abilities. Alternatively. Looking complacent: The player thinks this game is going to be a walk in the park. you’ll need to remind him of his duty next time you get a chance to talk to him. If it doesn’t. Encouraging words or similar words to the last talk you gave him may well keep his motivation high. Clearly. Having a good game: The game is not giving you any specific feedback on the player’s mood but. Much like the nervous player. Negative Feedback Playing nervously: Your player is being a little overawed by the occasion and is starting to worry that things might not go his way. however. Much like the “mistake led to goal” feedback. He may remedy this himself if the score line gets better or he puts in a good pass or a goal. this might rectify itself. It could be that the player is sufficiently motivated to correct his mistake and so needs no further encouragement. he is playing well anyway. you will need to use your previous knowledge of the player to judge the correct . Or it could be that the player is doing fine but one blunder has blighted his game. he may need some encouragement at half time. Mistake led to goal: This is a complicated issue. Players who are regularly nervous should be given more encouraging team talks before and during the match in order to take some of the pressure off them.21 Increasing your match performance and may need more strong words if his performance falls below the level required. Despite your words of encouragement. Positive Feedback Looking motivated: Great! Your player is up for this one and it’s having a positive effect on his performance. he needs some confidence from somewhere or he may start making mistakes or doing something stupid. he doesn’t believe that he can do what is required. so he might get sloppy. Try to get his mojo back by restoring his self-belief and improving his performance. It will be up to you to judge the player’s personality and whether this is a player who needs to be encouraged or shouted at. no matter. Use harsher words to make sure he knows that he needs to put in a performance if he is so right about the team winning this fixture. and this may manifest itself in a poor performance. Such a player may need a bit of a boost at half time to maintain his performance or he may need to be told he is doing well to get rid of any last remaining nerves.

but he isn’t complacent either. . This is a player who has scored and has a high match rating. you might want to calm him down with an encouraging talk or keep the fire going by telling him to go out there and get stuck in. let him know he’s doing well and keep him confident for the rest of the game. Once more. Again. consider a different approach. get one over the opposition or just get stuck into this game. but he isn’t nervous. Depending on the player. Don’t go overboard. He’s not playing particularly well. The player is doing fine. previous experience with the player should alert you to the correct response to his performance. this player will need to maintain this confidence. That could be a hindrance rather than a help. But you will need to use the rest of your knowledge about the player in order to truly get the best from him. Playing with confidence: This player is happy in himself and with the team.Communication & Psychological Warfare 22 response. Be aware. He will be more aggressive and far more motivated to play well than other players. but there are no further clues as to his state of mind. Playing Okay: This is pretty useless feedback in many ways. He’s not overly motivated. but he will also be prone to taking excessive risks with his tackling and other decisions. and if a player is regularly fired up and regularly getting into trouble with the referee or making bad decisions. a fired up player can be a blessing or a curse. Deserves his goal: The opposite to the “mistake led to goal” advice in many ways. This is useful in some ways – if you know his personality you can try to gee him up or let him know you expect more. So. but not that badly either. but also not specific. Questionable Feedback Looking fired up: A fired up player is angry at something someone has said. He’s not confident. Whether he’s determined to prove you wrong. however: we don’t want confidence to turn into complacency. He is playing well and this is because he believes that he has what is needed to win this game. encourage him.

but in most cases these team talks are rather lousy if you look them up using the team talk feedback. Even if his attributes for motivation and man handling are very high. What is more.23 Increasing your match performance Team Talks The dressing room is yours – now make the most of it Team talks are the key to influencing your team's performance and to giving you a good start to the game. you should always check your team talk feedback to find out the right way to handle them. as a tip: select ‘Ask assistant’ to single out some of the individual comments based on performance (not all are selected. what happens in the cabin is probably the very heart of managing and the secret of both fantastic success and miserable failure. there is a helpful option available which will make things easier for you: the 'Ask assistant' button. I am totally sure that you will notice it once you get used to this. . Please note that the quality of both individual and team recommendations given by your assistant differs strongly depending on his man management and motivating abilities. The half-time talks have even more impact on the final score and often decide whether you are giving away a comfortable lead or turning around a game if needed. With little effort you can do it better! So. However. After all. If you do not have much experience with giving team talks. it is difficult to understand how you can have a management game without this fundamental piece of man management! Team talks are one of the factors that add a little of the “human” element to the computer simulation. Read more in Judging Player Personality (pp. If you do have any doubts about this. 46). The more determined and professional your squad the more demanding you can be of your players. almost match by match. Until you know your team very well. you will still see that the AI standard choice is ‘for the fans’ and picked far too frequently. A general hint for all team talks. but then select your overall team talk for the remaining squad. This is especially helpful for selecting individual options for performance-based talks since it will remind you to spur those. Some players claim that they have fantastic assistant managers who do this perfectly. again). and make the overall game experience more sensitive and less predictable. he still will not do the best possible job. individual talks and media interaction: every player and every team is different and requires a different approach. you should play some games following these recommendations and see if there is a difference. 32. Driven superstars will not need the same encouragement as unprofessional parttimers.

In certain circumstances. The message is simple: you do not have to win today. but your team may be much more relaxed and eventually get a result. However. it seems that though the wording in the menu might differ. Wish the team luck for the match ahead. Probably a good choice for most home games in which you are favourite. the wording of these options may be a little different – however.Communication & Psychological Warfare 24 Pre Match Talks After hitting the ‘Ask assistant’ button and singling out some of the individual player talk suggestions he made. Tell the players they can win this game. despite the advice to vary team talks given by the in-game hints. Tell the players you expect them to win the match. A clear and simple statement and it will be understood as is. But obviously. there is not too much room for variation if you have reached this state of stable performance. For some strange reason. this can make your players buckle and succumb to the pressure. you should now make your personal choice how you want to send your squad into the game. But this should be reserved for the rather few games (depending on your league) against fierce rivals and occasionally for cup finals (get the trophy for the fans!). You will soon see that “Tell the players they can win this game” can become your standard team talk once you manage to assemble a combination of solid tactics. the default assistant choice. Tell the players to do this for the fans. . If you lack these kinds of players and/or are not favourites for the match you should steer clear of this choice. In fact. It can be helpful under these circumstances: you are clear favourites for the match and have a very determined. In our extensive testing. the end result is the same. So you should not be too angry if you don’t get any more. despite becoming the default you should look to vary your talks when the need arises. ambitious and professional squad. Always add individual talks. also if the odds are in your favour for away games and you feel this is a realistic view of your team. a gelled squad and consistent performances. especially if they are prone to nerves. it is usually quite clear that these options have an equivalent. You will see that these kinds of squads often react very positively and are delighted if your objectives are clear. we’re happy to take the single point. This should be your choice for away games or home games where odds are clearly against you. Your best alternatives will become: result will come and expect a victory.

I expect a performance or none. More then once I have seen a team recovering using this route. since you now have the chance to keep your team on its toes if they are already winning. but do not expect a resounding victory. no matter if you manage a top team or a relegation candidate. useful if you expect your team to lose anyway or to face one of the hardest games of the season. Usually. for more ambitious squads. Encourage your players in a positive way. In addition to the general half-time talks. Show your anger at the team/I expect nothing else then a win. When bringing on a sub. Demand more and you may get it. It seems to work equally well for highly determined squads. spur them on if they are behind and need to turn around the game or make them more focused if they are playing well but cannot score. bring on a new player. Use this route if Angry/Disappointed may be too harsh since you are playing strong teams. Make some tactical changes. it is now possible for you to give team talks to substitutes. But getting angry too often will make your players unhappy with you and will lessen the effect of shouting in the future as the lads will have heard it all before. which have started to dominate a league at will and have several leading members with high influence and determination on the field. Also useful if you’re still surprisingly holding onto a draw away . This is the most valuable team talk if your team is in a crisis and has lost its winning form for several games and now will play a seemingly small opponent at home. You are behind or drawing a game which you should clearly win without any doubt. Your players are generally putting in a pretty average performance and need to improve. In other words. no pressure. Disappointed/I want to see more from you. you are drawing against a quite good team at home or you are leading by only one scrappy goal. use the “team talks” tab in the tactics screen to give words of encouragement the incoming player. Wasting your half-time team talks can mean throwing away games and points and will definitely come back to hurt you. You are behind in a game you would like to be doing better in. Combine this with encouraging individual talks to all key players to achieve the best possible results. Or. An option if “wish luck” seems to be too much. Most likely you will be hailed by your players for turning around this game if you should succeed. you will only have the choice of you can make the difference. Treat these like you would any other player just about to start a match. Half-Time Talks The most important part of the match is the half-time talk.25 Increasing your match performance Tell the players there is no pressure on them today/result will come. You can win today. add individual talks and you should see a different second half.

If you are leading closely and feel your team is in control and dominating but has to stay focused to keep the lead. but see a good performance. Sympathise. Show encouragement to the team (if available). especially if you expect a more committed opposition in second half. See pre-match. These options are generally variations of the common talks and should be read similarly. Beware that unprofessional and inconsistent players may see this as an excuse to stop trying. or it could make them go to sleep and let in a further sack-load of goals. Also. If you are leading closely against strong opponents but your team is playing well and should maintain the performance to win. There are some very rare options e.g. This can banish any nerves and get the team to play freely in the second half. Thrilled. in finals like 'you’ve already got one hand on the cup'. For the fans. Don’t let your performance drop (if available). Pleased. For sustaining a good at least two goal lead against a good opponent. this is the way to go if you would have preferred Angry/Disappointed but your team has low morale. or when you are playing well after some poor performances and need to keep morale up. For a clear cut lead of three goals at half time. The way to go if you are unlucky to be behind or drawing. Whenever your teams performs above themselves (even if they do it every week). if there is not much left to win.Communication & Psychological Warfare 26 without being favourite and think you have potential to win. . Go out and enjoy the rest of the game/The pressure is off! For friendlies. Pleased at the performance (if available). Shows this: “you are outplaying them everywhere!” If you have dominated from first to last but have failed to score yet or just scored once and all you need is more luck with finishing. Only for fierce rivals or cup finals. or if you are already clearly behind and playing a team which is also clearly better than your own. or leading against a very strong opponent. or a good lead away. In this example it translates into 'don't let your performance drop'.

If your team has lost away but played well. the downside may be that your team will invest less into these games. and your players will let you know if this happens. handling of pre-match media. Can also be useful when with a big team and the performance was unremarkable. Only lay into the players if they have performed way below expectations or if you are running a top quality side. Don't say a word. Angry responses. since most of the time your players don’t listen anyway! The only bad mistake is not to give enough praise after good performances. Use the team talk feedback to judge whether your players can handle such a talk. however. Have a look at individual morale and praise those who are performances. Give some individual praise if someone deserves it. Youngsters and new This is a tricky issue. especially if your team is usually performing very well in the national competition. Sometimes the best you can do if you feel like showing your anger but your squad morale may already be down.27 Increasing your match performance Post-Match Talks The shortest and least important part of all. will react badly to being told nothing. used sparingly. characters and your still in bad mood after a win. repeated use of it diminishes its effect. be pleased or sympathise. this could be the way to say what you are thinking. But be aware of creating a really bad atmosphere in the dressing room and if you go on this way you will sooner or later see unsettled players and more bad results in return. be it a draw or even narrow win. However. If your overall squad morale and performance were fine. This may work once or twice. It is also an opportunity to acknowledge key performances and single out poor ones. or worse take no notice of yet another tongue lashing from their manager. such as a two-goal win at home against weak opposition. As with the half-time talk. can really let the players know that they have produced an unacceptable performance. The better way to go. You may make clear the result wasn't up to standard. even if you feel like showing your anger. You will know if you have judged the mood correctly if morale stays high. Disappointed. Show your anger at the team. Some players. However. . since morale after a players tend to listen more often and will be happy if you praise loss will also be influenced by individual them. morale loss may be less harsh. been playing down the chance of winning when facing a really hard match. be positive post-match. If you have Generally. so use this sparingly unless you want your words to sound hollow. used too often players can get annoyed with you.

Delighted. you should not be too reserved with your post-match comments. Why can’t you play like this every week. For now. this is a little trap! You are making a bad choice not to use this if available. individual players all have individual needs. all of this information. Beware now. Or your team dominated but simply failed to convert clear cut chances. You lost or didn't win but your team has shown a good effort in second half. or maybe conceded an unlucky goal to something out of their hands like a refereeing error. Watch out! Individualising the talks As with everything in life. Sympathise with the team/good effort. Fantastic. You have seen a convincing game. will help us determine our players’ personalities. there will always be certain players who are performing differently and will need different things from you to maximise their performances. These options are only available if the engine has clearly seen you outplaying your opponents. one size does not fit all. If you are able to praise individual players and the whole team with a 'fantastic' feedback. and your players will expect an according feedback. especially if you see a series of narrow games you used to win easily before. But it is not useful for a small team who have just won 6-0 away from home against Barcelona. . Later. maybe one notch more. It is good after a run of bad form for a title-chasing team who win 1-0 or 2-0 with an average-to-good performance. including the feedback we get from these individualised talks. Again. Pleased. Indeed. While the generic team options will help in most cases.Communication & Psychological Warfare 28 Warn against complacency in the next match. They have done what you asked for. Getting these correct is the key to perfect man-management. After very narrow wins. with a couple of exceptions. beware because this is a little trap too! You are effectively saying that you expect your team to play at least this well every single week. Nearly all the individual talks follow the same pattern as the team talks. Any other choice and you may be accused of not giving enough credit. We spoke earlier about player ratings and the motivation widget.

into three main categories: we can criticise a player. that players with low morale are likely to have less confidence. so shouting at them may just make things worse.29 Increasing your match performance though. though. or we can try to motivate them to keep playing as they are.5 and a really bad expectations. we can support a player. this motivated to perform better. which can add a little more spice to your talks in more specific circumstances. Criticism Criticism is most useful when a player is performing below In general a disappointing performance is one below 6. This can spur the player on to do better. Both. or we can praise a player. First of all. or it may just make him upset with you. Bear in mind. we will make some generalisations as to the sorts of approaches necessary for motivating your squad. but is a reasonably professional player who can be performance is below 5. Supporting a player There are really two types of support.5. Temper your criticism with low-confidence players in order to make sure you do not destroy whatever spirit they have left. performances. the player’s personality. particularly if they have been putting in average performances of late. Saying you are disappointed or depends on circumstances such as the angry with a player comes under this category. effectively. We can try to motivate our players to perform better. the team’s expectations and so on. How we do that boils down. This is say that you expect a performance from you today. or I want to only a rough guide to “good” and “bad” see more from you in order to criticise earlier poor performances. rely not on praise or criticism but on appealing to the player’s inner belief. However. used less often. Criticise players who you know will want to prove you wrong and who are most likely to become complacent. . players who are playing well need to be encouraged in such a way that they maintain their performance. Those who are playing badly need to be encouraged to improve. You should also be more demanding of senior players. though. You could even match. There are also some other options.

It is also useful to support players who are prone to getting nervous or have little experience. The time to do this is with players who you need to encourage and let them Again. and know that they are doing just what you expected.Communication & Psychological Warfare 30 If our players need to improve. or the I have faith talk. in general most player will see any performance above 7. be that impressed with a player. they get too much praise. However. Use this for players who are doing okay. those players who tend to become nervous easily. Let the player know this by telling them don’t get complacent or don’t let your performance drop. though. You might be anything above 8. expectations and the match they are playing in. if we want to maintain our player’s level of performance we need to make sure they don’t get complacent. this is relative to the player’s therefore want them to go out and give you more of the same. But once pleased or delighted with their performance so far. It may also be more useful for players with low morale in order to keep their spirits up. Similarly. Both will appeal to the player’s professionalism to keep going. but need to step it up a little to move onto the next level. Use your knowledge of the player to judge whether they will need more stern words to encourage them to maintain their performance or whether praising them will work best. sometimes getting the old hairdryer treatment won’t work – and it certainly will not always be necessary. privately. as is the you can win today. . ability. but they might respond very well to being told how brilliant they are. The encourage and sympathy options are good in this regard. who have lower morale or who tend to react poorly to criticism will need more praise than others. As a general rule. you may not. and they will become complacent. and should be used as a Beware. This can be helpful if praising the player tends to make him complacent. and more. Praise For a brief moment you may stop being the joyless school master and you might want to offer some grudging praise. Some players may think that their job is done if rough guide only.5 as fantastic. or for players doing poorly for whom criticism seems to seldom work. We should support our players who are doing pretty well and we would like them to do slightly better or maintain their performance.5 as good.

this might be an invitation to stand around and put in no effort for 90 minutes. it may be that you have missed a golden opportunity to encourage a big performance from a key player. Similarly. and therefore less motivated. Finally. However. though. There are other options which are designed to fire up the team and get them in the mood for battle. Some managers like to use this for players who are having unremarkable performances and who do not need any special motivation or encouragement. it can make the player confused and angry with you. Use the team talk feedback to judge which players can benefit from the “none” option and in which circumstances it works best. but it runs the risk of him making rash decisions and giving away free kicks and cards in dangerous circumstances.31 Increasing your match performance Miscellaneous options Some options don’t quite fit this pattern. Do it for the fans and prove a point! are clearly there to get the players up for the occasion and to elicit a performance from players who need to show the world that their previous average performances have been put behind them. Players who suffer from nerves. First. For others. The no pressure or the pressure is off talks can be effective in giving the player the freedom to do his own thing without worrying too much on the final result. there are the calming options. Second. This depends on personal preference. designed to take the pressure off nervous players. saying nothing can backfire in two ways. do not dismiss them because they are powerful tools in your arsenal. . especially when the game is going against them. new players or players who have spent a long time out of the squad. players with low morale may thrive once the pressure is off and gain in confidence. The most obvious one is the “none” talk which effectively says nothing. Firing a player up may get them playing well. can be inspired once they know that they won’t be criticised too heavily if everything goes wrong. However. and are used more sparingly. Others will try to say at least something to every member of the team.

Communication & Psychological Warfare 32 Using player reactions to judge player personality Once the game is over and the feedback has been absorbed. . Judging Reactions to Criticism If the player becomes angry: Some players cannot take criticism too much. As we will explain later. did we encourage them. Other times we will get it right. you may have been too harsh. Getting angry with average performances is likely to provoke this reaction. and cataloguing them all will be a difficult task. However. or alternatively he may have low ambition or low determination and therefore expects less of himself than you do of him. we have to use our interactions with them to understand who they are and what their needs are. or was there no visible effect at all? We also know what we said to them: did we praise them. Sometimes we won’t get any reaction. did we try to take the pressure off or did we get angry with them? Given all of this information. On the other hand. and what does it tell us? There are many combinations of actions and reactions. did they get motivated. were they complacent. especially the one in Player Interaction (p. and in reality the player’s performance was not as bad as you suggested. and this is partly useful because we can note what the player likes. There are many factors in personalities in FM2010. though. which does not help. since we cannot employ sports psychologists or sit down and have a nice chat and a beer with our squads. for the team talks aspect of interaction we can certainly begin to sketch out how players of different personalities react. that we begin to see the inner personalities of our players. just like there are in real life. If the team talk feedback suggests this player has become unhappy. we can begin to make some judgements about our players’ personalities. Unfortunately. They believe they have been more than acceptable and object to being shouted at. Bear this in mind before giving too much or too little praise. dealing with players is about getting the right mix between what they need to hear and what they want to hear. We know the rough reactions of our players: did they get nervous. 43). It is when we don’t get the desired reaction. then how do we process it. This information should be used in conjunction with the other “judging personality” sections. then perhaps he is egotistical and needs more praise.

In these situations. Not every player is playing badly because they feedback should be used to gauge the reaction of your players. . the player hasn’t taken any notice. or he needs more The motivation widget and the team talk encouragement. and it will be necessary to be more harsh with them. Expecting them to play better than they believe they can is likely to have a negative effect on the squad’s confidence. so this is general advice to be aware of. perhaps the player actually needed to be told “don’t let your performance drop”. Some players can become confused about the talk you have given. indicating the player is a bit of an egotistical sort. When we do this. If the player becomes complacent: Despite our words. Judging Reactions to Supporting Comments We will encourage a player to a better performance or to maintain his performance sometimes not through praise or criticism but through encouraging words such as “don’t get complacent” or “I have faith”. we hope to let the player know that his performance isn’t perfect and that we still expect more from him. if you “encouraged”. and that actually this player’s performance and mood needed criticism for not being good enough or a different type of support.33 Increasing your match performance If the player becomes nervous/plays without confidence: The player thinks you are asking too much of him. Players can get confused about any type of talk. If the player thinks this. Alternatively. there might be a mistake in your own talk. Such players will need to be constantly reminded of their duty. However. They may actually need praise or some form of support to get them playing better. it could be that all the player wants to hear is great words from his coach. you may just be too ambitious for the squad. Players with low self-confidence or nervous players are likely to think like this. On the other hand. He has become complacent anyway and cannot motivate himself to keep playing. This might suggest the player is unprofessional or unmotivated and that he has low ambition and low determination. then he is likely to become nervous. For instance. are not trying. it is very likely that you gave an inappropriate talk. Remember this for the future and try a different approach next time.

On the other hand. since you are saying nothing it is difficult to pin down what a negative reaction says about the player in question. Other negative reactions “No talk”: If a player gets angry. he may be too aggressive and will need to be calmed down. though. Conversely. confused or de-motivated from your silence.Communication & Psychological Warfare 34 If the player becomes nervous: The player may have thought that they were playing quite well and is now unsure why he has not been praised. This has made him nervous because he is not sure he can keep playing this well. we believe that the player has performed exceptionally well. some players may be angry or upset with you despite the praise. if the player gets too fired up. However. any professional player should be able to motivate himself. if we are pleased. If the player gets nervous. If the player becomes complacent: Clearly. These sorts of players may well require more support than praise in the future. suggesting a nervous or low self-confidence type of player. Again. Do it for the fans!/Prove a point!: If you get a player nervous from this talk. Judging Reactions to Praise The effect we want from praise is to encourage the player to continue playing at this level. then they may need more encouraging and supporting words than this. it may be your fault for not praising what was actually a very good performance in the circumstances. In these circumstances. or they may be egotistical. then we want the player to play like this again on a regular basis. it is clear that this is someone who needs someone to give them guidance. Unfortunately. Your attempts to get them fired up have just got them more scared of the situation. then it is probably best in future to say something to him. If the player becomes upset: In the team talk feedback. clearly they expected more. such as a young or nervous player. This could be the sign of an unprofessional or unmotivated player. praising this player has caused him to think his work is done and that he no longer has to try as hard. . so perhaps you have an unprofessional guy on your hands. this might be due to an unprofessional outlook. If we are delighted. or it could be that you gave too much praise for a performance which did not deserve it. This can indicate a nervous player with low self-confidence who needs more praise for his performances.

while a nervous type player may react poorly to certain talks. . a player who always reacts well in the same situation may have great self-confidence. If it does. we will discuss another which will help pin down your players’ characters even further.35 Increasing your match performance Pressure is off: This quite clearly has the possibility to backfire and make players complacent. this is difficult to judge because you have deliberately tried to remove the nerves and the fear from the player so we cannot be surprised when this happens. Also use the positive reactions to help your judgement. this is just one tool to judge your players by. For instance. Players who regularly turn out the same reactions to the same interactions are likely to fit into one of the personality types highlighted here. you might want to check if the player is unprofessional or unmotivated. Later. However. Everything needs to be considered. Again. Use this information as best you can.

but you should not waste this opportunity to maintain your relationship with the press and with the players. When commenting on your own player. players on the transfer list: there are many reasons. but with a team with high expectations and professional players a public admonishment may well ensure that a bad result remains a one-off. How acceptable is the result? If you won. it pays to be a little more positive about the team. Players who scored a goal. The following questions are likely to come up depending on what went on during the match. How did a specific individual perform? Sometimes the press will want to know about certain players on your team. it’s time to take stock of where you and the team stand. new signings. to ignore it would be foolish. or how good was their player. how bad was it? Essentially this is an extension of the post-match team talk. As this is more public. How good was the man of the match? This comes in two varieties – how good was your player. Treat this much the same as you would an individual team talk. see the Press Conferences chapter of the Warfare section (p. For more specific questions and how to generally attack press conferences. since often you will have time to make up for any mistakes before the next match. For the opposition. change the nature of the question. However. If you feel that your team will not benefit from a tongue-lashing. a neutral or no comment response will stop your players reacting badly to giving too much credit to another club’s employee. it is best to be full of praise. naturally. unless he is a player you know to react poorly to too many kind words. but are not in a position to praise them. but err towards praise when talking about These two sections cover the general match day-related questions you are likely to hear on a regular basis. and good answers here will help you to continue to build a good relationship with your squad and the club. Post-match press conference Good answers post-match can help maintain good morale or give players a boost if they are in a bit of a rut. . then a “no comment” or neutral response will dismiss the question.Communication & Psychological Warfare 36 Post-match Reactions Once the players have left the ground and the dust has settled. how good was it? If you lost. The pre-match conferences have more direct effect on match performance. Whoever gets the man of the match will. Handling the media in the direct aftermath of the game is not as important as the build up. 67).

Will you be dropping this player? If one of your players performs particularly poorly or gets himself sent off. Again. clearly the individual has made the previous game much harder to win. do not offer too much praise to guys you know react poorly to it. be defiant and suggest the most positive response: either we will get out of this slump or we are determined to continue this run. Will this run of form continue? Again. this is not directly related to the match day. avoid losing. However. you will be informed via a news item. erring towards criticism is best. and if they do it will suggest a very nervous or unmotivated player. There are two main reasons why you would wish to fine a player after a game:   They performed well below expectations They received a red card If either of these occurs. the player has forced you to play with fewer men than the opposition – again. other . this can be positive or negative. the player has made life much easier for the opposition. you will probably be This is also related to the fining system which you can use to discipline players.37 Increasing your match performance your own players. making life much easier for them. Dealing with red cards Dismissals are contagious in FM2010. the game provides us with the ability to warn or fine our players depending on the severity of the offence. Fining players In certain circumstances. By being sent off. There is a third type of fine – missing training. it’s best to fine the player heavily for unprofessional behaviour. It will depend on the player’s personality and your own convictions as to whether you publicly drop him or support him. though. If you allow one player to walk free from a red card situation. Very few. Will you keep winning. asked about his short-term future in the team. if any. In these circumstances. By playing very badly. However. players will react badly to such confidence. If a player misses training. For these circumstances. especially if you have or are planning to fine the player for his behaviour. or just keep on being defeated? In nearly all circumstances. a player will have such an exceptionally bad performance that you may wish to hit them where it hurts – their pay packets.

How you deal with the individual will be down to your own personal tastes. then jack it up to two weeks. For more professional players from whom you expect more. a one week fine should also keep him in line and send a message to the rest of the team. Anyone forced. It is important to nip it in the bud as soon as possible.Communication & Psychological Warfare 38 players will consider it acceptable to make dangerous tackles. So. how fussy the player is with regard to criticism and how bad you feel the offence was. For the first offence with a team with good discipline or a player who takes criticism badly. for example. First offence by the team: If this is the first player in your squad for a while (say. then it is best not to go in too heavy-handed straight away. but in most circumstances the authorities will side with the referee. an official warning may be enough to stop it happening again. through their positioning or instructions. a few months) to get sent off. If you gave a one week fine. give a one week fine. continue to foul players when on a yellow card and generally lose their discipline too. If the player threw a punch. it is best to ramp up the fine from the one you gave to the first offender. In general. Also check you tactics if players are prone to being sent off. it may be coincidence – but it is far more likely to be the beginnings of a loss of discipline. You can avoid red cards by substituting players who are continuing to foul on a yellow card or ones who you see are too “fired up” to last the 90 minutes. You may get lucky and have the ban overturned. It is important to let the team know that red cards are unacceptable. Appeal against decision: If you genuinely believe the player has been hard done by then you can choose to appeal against the red card. . In these situations you shift the blame from the player to the referee and will be unable to fine the player. are likely to pick up far more cards than those who are not. especially those on heavy tackling or with a high aggression stat. Second offence by the team: If your team gets a second red card within a few weeks of the first. It is often the best practice to nip it in the bud early so as to stop one red card multiplying throughout the team. if you only gave a warning. to make last-ditch tackles. you may want to treat that far more severely than a second cautionable offence. Use this option only if you genuinely have reason to feel aggrieved.

0” must be considered. but discipline in the long-run is much more important than keeping players happy in the short-term. a performance of 5. It is best to have a united front to both the media in public and the player in private. You must use your own judgement as to what constitutes “unacceptable” in any given circumstance. But much like with red cards. For this reason. This may not make you popular. a graduated system of fines will allow you to punish the player as well as giving you room to make harsher judgements should the situation demand it. it will be time to upgrade the punishment to a one week fine. we cannot fine a player privately while backing him up in public like many real managers would do.39 Increasing your match performance Further offenses by the same player or by the team: The only real recourse is to max out the fines and slap a two week fine on any further dismissals. Second offence: If the player then goes and plays badly again within a few weeks of the previous warning. However. If you have just played a much bigger team and a number of players have performed badly.6 may be bad. and a reminder to them about their professional duty should be enough to elicit a positive response. Sadly. that truly terrible performances (say. Players don’t tend to make a habit out of playing badly. Poor match It will be down to the manager. Any professional player will accept your decisions and why you made them – and at the end of the day these are the sorts of people you want in your squad anyway. performance a warning is usually enough. Be aware. First offence: For a bad. but not especially bad. lower than “4. Similarly. you pay him to play well – if he doesn’t. you are likely to get negative reactions if you use the press to support the player and then fine him anyway. the player and the context of the season and the match as to whether you believe a player has had an unacceptably poor match. After all. though.5”) may need more drastic measures. if you know your player reacts badly to criticism. fining or warning him for such a performance may not inspire him to play better but is more likely to inspire him to hand in a transfer request. any performance below “6. then it’s time to take the money back. but not necessarily all that surprising. .

this is a longer-term problem. But if you find that their grievances continue longer than a week or so. you want a happy squad who are motivated. it will not take long for them to accept your decision. Individuals may get upset over individual incidents. However. However. and unprofessional players perform less consistently. Providing your players don’t make a habit of protesting or start making transfer requests left. You can make a note of the reaction of the team and perhaps deal with such players differently in the future. For players who are consistently a bother to you in this regard. it may be down to a few reasons:    The player was well-liked in the dressing room and his friends are showing solidarity You have a number of unprofessional players who cannot accept discipline You genuinely were too harsh and will have to re-think your strategy In the case of the first. In many circumstances. In the case of the second. the third may be true and you may have completely misread the situation. perhaps the problem is more deep rooted than a lack of motivation. He is also very likely to be unprofessional. Such continued poor form is unacceptable and should be punished. A player who cannot handle being disciplined or who reacts vehemently to the disciplining of others is likely to cause more problems than he can solve. Dealing with negative reactions Providing you are firm but fair there should be no long-term problems with such a system. right and centre. but at least there is enough camaraderie in the camp to make your squad stand up for one another. They will argue that you have unfairly treated a certain player and will get angry themselves as a result. on occasion you may see that a disgruntled player gets support from his teammates. if the player has genuinely played that badly three or more times within a few months. so stay firm. develop slower and decline quicker in their attributes. but you also want a squad who can accept when they have behaved inappropriately. try to maintain discipline by holding firm to your principles. do not worry too much. and such a player should either be a candidate for the transfer list or should be employed in a different role within your squad. you may want to place them as candidates for a transfer away from the club.Communication & Psychological Warfare 40 Further offences: Throw the book at him and give him a two week fine. Always make a note of . Of course. Yes. but they will often quickly get over them.

41 Increasing your match performance negative reactions – if the same action causes the same reaction again, then a change of approach may well be necessary. Every squad is different and reacts in different ways. It is up to you how much you bend to their will and how much you impose your discipline on the squad. Fitness and form management The whole point of management in the post-match arena is to make sure that the players are in the best possible position to do well in the next match they play. With that in mind, it is important that you keep all your players fit and available for the next fixture. If you have another match within the next week or so, it may be necessary to look at the squad and see who might be rested and who will be needed. Ideally, this decision will have been made prior to the game you have just played but, as we all know, injuries and suspensions can cause a change to even the best laid plans of mice and men. If you have a player who you want to play in the next match but whose condition has dipped below around 75%, you might want to consider resting them from training. One or two days should be enough to at least get the player to a state where they can start the next match unless they have chronically poor stamina, injuries, or are just exhausted from the amount of fixtures they have played recently. Take a note of players who cannot cope with this sort of regime and either look to substitute them earlier the next time you have fixture congestion or simply look to only play them once a week. You should also take a mental or physical note of those who played poorly in the last match or whose morale has dipped. You should also see the selection policy These players should be prime candidates for some sort of chapter which deals with these issues (p. 52). morale management when the next match comes along. This can come in the form of player interaction, or in the form of prematch team talks such as “I expect a performance” or “The pressure is off”. By dealing with individuals in this way, you can hopefully nip any potential run of bad form in the bud before it becomes an issue.

Communication & Psychological Warfare 42

Squad Management
Day-to-day morale maintenance
Unfortunately, the last few FMs have not introduced a feature many players have been hoping for: internal player interaction. It still seems to be quite strange that you need to criticise all of your players in public through the media rather than just calling them into your office. On the other hand, it may explain just why player interaction has such an effect on individuals, and why it is the most powerful morale boosting tool in your psychological arsenal. Just imagine reading your boss’s statements about you in the morning paper. It does happen in this business, of course, but there should be other steps first and in fact I think most coaches are very cautious regarding explicit comments to media. As we have said before, there are plenty of managers famous for backing their players 100% in the public arena while slamming their behaviour behind closed doors. But this is a game development issue which we cannot circumvent in FM2010, so we will work with what we have been given. At this point, it may be helpful to draw some real-world parallels by taking a quick look at some of the more interesting users of the media and man-management in football. Men like the self-styled 'special one', José Mourinho, are brilliant examples for this type of manager. Despite showing an arrogant and often confrontational attitude in public, he is worshipped beyond any normal measure by his players. Therefore, he must have some kind of knowledge and skill in handling (or, dare we say, manipulating) the media in public and his squad in private. We cannot do this in FM2010, but we can be just as loved as the special one. When interacting with your players, you should always think about how you would want to be treated as a player. You can build up and you can destroy players, and, for some players, their inability to get motivated for their club and play well must be, in some part, down to their manager. If you use your options wisely, you will gain more consistent performances, fewer cards and fewer game-changing errors. This section is all about such consistency: boosting morale and managing your players so that they remain motivated and ready to go in every game, no matter how big or how small.

43 Squad Management

Commenting on a player’s form
The easiest way to superb morale
The most obvious way to boost morale throughout the season is to make comments on your players’ form. By praising and criticising at the right moments, you can keep your squad in almost perpetual high morale, which in turn will produce better performances, more wins and higher morale. Furthermore, it gives you the opportunity to become one of the player’s “favourite staff”. Players who respect you are much more likely to take what you have to say on board in a positive light. Commenting on form can usually be started if the player has been playing in your last 5 games or has played reasonably regularly in the side. Certainly, they will need to have played recently (in the previous game or within the last week or so). This is one benefit to keeping a settled starting eleven, although we will come to this in the later sections. Unfortunately, this cannot be done for players who are on loan at your club. You should be looking to comment on a player’s form whenever you can. Even those players who already have superb morale can become more motivated for the next match if you use the right words. It is also a good opportunity to build an even better relationship with the player. The best time to comment is around 24-48 hours before kick-off. In FM2010, that is usually around the time of the pre-match press conference and the announcement of the betting odds for the up-coming fixture. Commenting directly after the press conference gives you the chance to make up for any negative reactions your answers there may have provoked. How you react to a player’s form will depend on two main issues: 1) What the player wants to hear 2) What the player needs to hear This may sound obvious, but some players will expect far harsher criticism of average performances than others. Similarly, although you know a player likes to hear praise all the time, his performances may not merit it. So, the trick is to find a balance between the two – let the player know how well he is performing to your expectations, but do it in a way that elicits a positive reaction.

18). The best guide for your normal reactions to form is the player’s average rating. Also check the chapter on player ratings (p. At the simplest level. Below that and the player needs to improve. but he could do better. performing at a good standard and helping the team. This is a cross between praise and criticism. Delighted: The player is in the form of his life. Pleased: The player is doing well. Below-par: Recent performances have been below the minimum you would expect. is down to individual players and down to the standards of the club.Communication & Psychological Warfare 44 Options There are six options to choose from which will be available from the player interaction menu. consistently putting in performances well above that which you would normally expect. . Nervous players with little confidence will need more praise than professional players who are highly motivated. very poor over recent weeks and his form is absolutely unacceptable. Deeply Upset: The player has been very. but not by too much. What constitutes an “acceptable level”. above and they are performing well. And clubs going for the top-level championships will be expected to put in much better average ratings than those involved in a relegation dog-fight. however. Acceptable: The player is performing at the level you would expect. Disappointed: The player has played poorly over the past few games and needs to seriously improve his game to stay in the team. an average performance of “7” is acceptable.

50 .50.50 – deeply upset This will not apply to all teams! You will need to modify the scale according to the expectations of your team and the expectations of individual players.00 – delighted 7. we will still be guessing. As we have seen before. until we talk to a player.50 – 6.00 – disappointing 1. This produces a rough guide like this:       7. Youths So. The more we interact. what reactions can we get from our players – and in turn. this is just the starting point for your interaction! Whilst a lot of players will fit into this scheme. there is a sizable minority that won’t. And it is up to you as the manager to understand which players and clubs expect more or less from themselves (what they want to hear) and what level of performance you expect them to turn out (what they need to hear).85 is “acceptable”.45 Squad Management Given this information. how can we use that information to improve our interaction performance the next time we comment on them? tend to be less mature and therefore need more kind words so that they do not lose confidence. . the changes in severity of criticism or enthusiasm of praise work in roughly blocks of 0.50 – 10. However. We can make some generalisations from his performances and reactions in matches. and will be unhappy if you tell him it is “below par”.00 – 6. Similarly.50 – below par 5. The rest of this chapter will go into more depth about how you should do this.e. from his scout and coach reports and so on – but until we take the plunge and interact.pleased 6.00 – 5.45 is pretty good. you may have a very nervous player who thinks that a rating of 6. Unfortunately. more professional players will demand more from themselves – i.00 – acceptable 6. they will not think that an average of 6.50 – 7. we won’t know what he likes.00 – 7. the more Older and more mature players tend to we will learn about the player. be more responsive to criticism.

you will get three types of reaction.. but getting it wrong teaches us far more about his inner personality. Click on the “PR” and you will be taken to the player’s information screen where it will say exactly what the player has reacted to. Being too harsh with a player may get them angry that you are not giving them the credit they deserve. Do this often enough. Using this information to judge personality Just like with the team talks. Over-criticise: Again. you can over-praise a player. or your words may have been just right. they will get a “PR” icon in their full player status. Essentially. over-criticising a player may involve only being “pleased” with the player when he thinks you should be “delighted”. the PR icon with a decrease in morale shows that your words didn’t have the desired effect. They will feel that getting praise from you is too easy or that they do not have to play very well to impress you. . Over-criticism can also come from not praising a player enough. which will make it much easier to handle the player in the future. you say that the player is “below par” when he thinks his performances are completely unacceptable). If a player regularly thinks you are too harsh or too accommodating.Communication & Psychological Warfare 46 Reactions (PR) When a player reacts to something you say in a press conference or a media interaction. however. Similarly. This will make them lose respect and will de-motivate them. or do not criticise them heavily enough. a positive PR icon and respect from your players. although the exact wording will differ slightly from player to player. you’ve got your words spot-on. If you have commented on a player’s form. over-criticise a player. Just Right: If. the players will lose respect for your leadership. you will be rewarded by a big morale boost. and you may see yourself become one of the player’s “favoured personnel”. then this gives us clues as to how to handle him best. you know that something has gone wrong. Over-praising can mean not giving enough criticism (i.e. Over-praise: If you give a player too much credit. or they may just get de-motivated by your excessive expectations. it’s great to get it right with a player. Either way. If you get a PR icon and their morale decreases. they are likely to get unhappy.

86 – deeply upset More recent performances appear to hold greater weight when judging which interaction to use in borderline cases. be slightly more critical of his performances.86 – 10.36 – acceptable 6.pleased 6. If the player feels you have been over-critical: This player may be unprofessional or egotistical and will expect more praise from you. Modifying our approaches Let’s return to the guide we used before.86 – below par 5. Again.00 – delighted 7. next time.36 – 7.86 – 7.00 – 5. So. He may also have low expectations or low confidence and will therefore need to be praised even if his performances are slightly below what you would normally expect. Next time.50 was good form. make a note of the interaction and form and use this information so that next time you can give the player a little more praise. however. If.86 – 6. we have a player who reacts badly to praise when he plays a 7. Make a note of what interaction you gave and what his form had been over the past 5 games.36 average. we will say a performance of around 7.36 – 6. So if the player’s most recent performance has been exceptionally good or bad.00-7. While we don’t have to be this exact. He may be highly motivated or professional and will therefore expect his manager to push him harder to bigger and better things. form we should be pleased with. bear in mind that they may not react exactly how you might expect.86 . in essence we have shifted our scale up by 0.47 Squad Management If the player feels he has been over-praised: This player is clearly driven to put in higher performances than you would normally expect. We said that 7. why don’t we use the following guide?       7. . we know that he is more demanding.36 because this player has higher expectations.36 is acceptable because we know he reacted badly to us telling him we were pleased. Next time.36 – disappointing 1.

86 – 7. we can use the notes system to make a note when we “get it wrong”. make a note in his profile. along with the action taken and the form of the player at the time.86 – acceptable 5. Next time. Since we know he reacted badly to only being lightly praised for a 7. you will begin to realise which sorts of players need more criticism and which need more praise. but that player got upset because he thought his form was much better than that? Well.36 – 5.pleased 6. you can check the notes and work out what changes you need to make to the scale.86 – 6.36 performance.00 – delighted 6.36 – 6. next time we will tell him we are delighted.36 – 10. what if we were pleased with a player who played 7.00 – 5.86 – disappointing 1.36 because this player has lower expectations.36 – below par 5. with more experience and more interactions with individuals.36 – deeply upset Here. In the meantime. . if you interact with a player and he reacts badly. we can do the opposite:       7.Communication & Psychological Warfare 48 On the other hand.36 . the scale has shifted down by 0. So. This is the basic premise.36. Over time.

since you are the boss. In this section. you will need longevity. lies not just in their transfer policies but in the loyalty they engender in their players. we begin to delve into strategies which can create this long-term harmony. Loyalty cannot be bought. not until his next pay cheque? The answer lies in your overall management strategy. How do you build a team that can stay happy for years.49 Squad Management Building harmony A gelled squad is a happy squad So far. and there is no button to “leave respect to the assistant”. who have built more than one team at their respective clubs over the past decades. There’s also a reason why certain players and staff seem to follow their manager from club to club. though. we’ve dealt with more immediate issues – direct interactions with direct consequences designed to build their full effect over anything from 45 minutes to a week. not days? How do you keep a player loyal to you for life. To be a truly successful manager. How can we treat players in a more effective way? What positive and negative effects can our management decisions have? And how do we emphasise the positives while mitigating the effect of the negatives? . it is perhaps these long-term policies which will decide how successful you will be throughout your career. This begins from a young age. works towards a common goal. While the previous chapters may cover the “frequently asked questions” type issues. and. “Long-term” planning can be anything from around a season or two to a decade or two. The real strength of men like Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger. Keeping an eye on the future is always important if you hope to achieve sustained success. It is important to make sure that your entire club has harmony. respects your opinion.

which will help unite the players. though. professional players will be naturally more driven to play well but also less prone to getting nervous or upset if things on the pitch are not going as well as they would hope. this is the As you learn more about your squad. will become clear who the more professional players are. In general. but in general it is better to give the captaincy to an older player who will more effectively handle the pressure. Choosing the right man. Just as importantly. he is simply the best player. many of which are inter-related: Attributes: All captains need high influence so that they command the respect of their teammates – indeed. he is a proxy for the manager. Those with good team work will also play better as part of the team unit. the captain can be an important tool. commanding the team from within the pitch while the manager shouts instructions from without. team work and hidden stats such as professionalism. seniority reflects experience. time at the club and ability relative to his team mates. It is not a requirement that the player be over a certain age before you give him the armband (Rio Ferdinand and Nigel Reo-Coker were both captains in their early twenties). For some. it attribute most highly recommended by the game for a captain. They also have better mental stats and therefore are likely to perform better individually as well as lead better as the head of the team. the choice of captain can have a positive effect on the rest of the squad. Further. Seniority: Not quite the same as age. As well as this. you will want good levels of determination. For others. players can get a morale boost if their preferred candidate gets made skipper.Communication & Psychological Warfare 50 Choosing your captain Different countries and different managers look on the captain of the side in different ways. Picking a player to captain the side who has next to no first team experience is almost unheard . In FM2010. is a decision that shouldn’t be overlooked. The reasons for these attributes are pretty self-explanatory. then. Determined players will play better and be more driven to make sure the team plays better too. less likely to be unnerved by letting in goals and will be more determined to win games. Teams with effective skippers will be more motivated. There are a number of factors to consider. Age: Older players have more experience. or the most experienced. When you make the decision. those with good mental stats across the board should definitely be candidates for the job.

historically. Your captain should.51 Squad Management of. One or two of your player may feel they should have been captain. They may get annoyed and feel more senior or more deserving than the guy you have chosen to honour with the armband. For realism’s sake if nothing else! Potential negative reactions Some players may react badly to you changing the captain and vice-captain of the club. The club captain should be (when fit) a regular starter and one of your better players. good players play more. and partly because from these positions the player can see more of the pitch than. So this links in well with other factors such as seniority. Players who are considered “favoured personnel” of many other squad members should also be considered candidates for the role as they already have the respect of their peers. Common wisdom in real football supports the idea of making a central player your captain. This is partly down to the determination and football intelligence needed to play the role well. Second. he won’t be leading by example. and can therefore inspire his teammates. This is for two logical reasons. The original captain may become disillusioned as anyone would to effectively being “sacked”. a settled and gelled player knows his team better and therefore can lead more effectively. ideally. the friends of the original captain may choose to stand behind their ex-skipper and become annoyed that you have unfairly (in their eyes) replaced him with someone else. Position: This is more controversial. First. it may be time to strip the player of the captaincy. a forward. Similarly. Midfielders and centre backs have. better players tend to put in better performances. In FM2010. be a player who regularly performs well. Ability: If you are going to make a player who will never get near the starting eleven your captain then you are wasting your captaincy. Performances: If your captain has a tendency to play badly. attributes and ability. which will in turn inspire the rest of the side to play better. Besides. their friends may also disagree with your . buying a player and immediately making him captain is likely to annoy the other senior members of the club (unless he comes with a massive reputation relative to the rest of your players). but this is a factor to consider if you are looking for a captain and are unsure between a couple of players. If the player’s performances appear to be dropping to an unacceptable level. which will cause issues. It also tends to be the case that players who play well get picked more often. say. tended to make the best captains. and can therefore lead on the pitch. we have yet to see an advantage to putting your captain in one position or another. As before. Similarly.

Players respond well to playing – if you keep playing the same players regularly. they have built relative levels of success by keeping a very settled first eleven. On the whole. they will not get annoyed by sitting on the bench. it is often argued that teams with lower squad gelling should be looking to play with less expansive tactics. In most cases you will also be changing captains in the close season. That is open to debate. Because of this. the quicker they get to understand each other. if you make a logical choice as captain most of the squad will react well. but what is for sure is that playing intricate. Squad Rotation Policies Your selection policy can help in this regard. . like each other will pull in the same direction.Communication & Psychological Warfare 52 choice and believe that their friend deserves more respect. or at the very least won’t hold a grudge for much longer than a week or so. flair-based tactics is much easier with a gelled squad than with a fractured one. more importantly. it is much more likely that you will be able to use player interactions on them to comment on their form. however. following your tactics much better and being far more aware of their team mates’ movements. Players who know each other and. If a player plays regularly. The more a player plays in a particular position or in a particular role. If you keep a reasonably settled side. keeping the same starting eleven as much as possible. the quicker he will learn it and become comfortable with it. changing only one or two players a match. meaning there will be plenty of time to rectify any morale dips and give the new captain time to establish himself and win over his doubters. or Birmingham in 2009/10. the team will gel much quicker than if you employ a heavy rotation policy. Looking at Aston Villa over recent seasons. This is for a number of reasons:     The more players play with one another. relying more on solid individual performances than flair play and intricate passing. Selection policy Squad gelling is an important factor in getting your players to play as a team.

and most of these positive outcomes from a settled eleven are also turned into negatives. then:     The subs will not get chance to understand their team mates and will look lost if they have to be thrown into a pressure match. it is much easier to keep the side settled. the less effective he will be when he finally gets to play. request transfers. If you do not rotate enough and get your substitutes and reserves into the first team enough. or. Partly this is because of Manchester United’s transfer policy. worse. It is also possible to get a gelled side despite heavy rotation. Manchester United over recent years have been notable for how often they can change their starting eleven and have players slot in as if they had never left. Juggling the need to get a settled. this is not always possible. . If a player never plays. where you may only play 22 matches. Aston Villa are famed for fading at the end of seasons as the number of matches takes its toll. In a country such as England. however. Players respond badly to never playing and are likely to get disgruntled. It is very important to note: settled and gelled squads can get away with much more rotation than un-gelled squads with a high recent turnover of players. They rarely see lots of players leave and bring in lots of players from other clubs. gelled squad with the need to keep all of your squad happy is difficult. where teams can play between 40 and upwards of 55 games a season. Similarly. The less chance a player gets to play in a particular role. it becomes much more difficult to boost their morale through player interactions. annoy their team mates with their complaints. it will be impossible to field certain players in every game. In somewhere like Uruguay.53 Squad Management Of course.

we can give some general advice:     Try to keep changes to a minimum. but is the same true if that player gets a “6. to rotate effectively it is important to know which players need to be rested and which players need to be dropped. try to keep a player on the team sheet in consecutive matches. In normal circumstances.5” is a bad enough performance to consider dropping the player. It’s a difficult decision to get right because every player is different and every situation is different.4” against a team three divisions above you in the cup? Once again. we need to be aware of specific circumstances. Following a promotion or relegation this might not be possible. using the media and team talks to try to prevent a run of bad form occurring. Others will simply drop the player and give someone from the bench the opportunity to out-perform him. Dropping a player: If a player performs below the acceptable standard. In the early days of trying to build gelling. but it is possible to begin to make some broad points about players. as always. anything below “6.4” in a match against the worst side in the league may deserve to be dropped. be a little more lenient with a player before you drop him. Resting and Dropping Players Obviously. A striker who plays a “6. If possible. Although these can only be rough guidelines which individual managers will mould to their needs. Try to keep turnover of first team players to a minimum. but keeping the majority of a squad together gives you a base from which to work in building gelling for the following season. Every manager has his own personal style. But the “acceptable standard” will vary from game to game. and teams at the lower levels tend to suffer far more turmoil than those at the top. he becomes a candidate for the bench. but obviously if the player makes a habit of playing poorly he will need to be dropped. the best policy is one of balance. .Communication & Psychological Warfare 54 So. One poor performance should be taken on the chin in order to keep a settled side. changing more than 2 or 3 players in the starting eleven with an unsettled squad will slow down the rate of gelling. For the majority of teams. Some will look to give a couple of chances to a player. creating competition within the squad. providing their condition is in the 90s.

This should keep him fit enough for the next game. Through player interaction. if you are looking to keep the player in a settled first team. However. if they do play a large chunk of the game (say. Consider. or it can be a forward-planning decisions (i. Any player whose condition is below 90% is unlikely to last the full ninety minutes. and keeps the squad rotated and. It also gives the chance for another player to prove themselves. Much more interesting would be the ability to let a player know he has been dropped – but for now we do not have that tool at our disposal. then. or he plays in a “less intensive” position in terms of stamina (such as goalkeeper or centre-back) you may choose to keep the player in the team. we can let a player know that he is being rested and for how long. Either it can be an immediate decision (i. poor performances need to be punished. over an hour). you might give the player another chance to prove himself. the player is rested because he is not fit enough for the upcoming game). if you are trying to build some stability at the club. in our experience this seems hardly necessary. If a more important game is coming up within the next 7 days. resting a player whose condition is below 95%. since most players will accept missing the odd game here and there. perhaps commenting on his recent form to give him a morale and motivation boost (if possible).e. Whichever route you decide to take. Certainly. . fit.55 Squad Management One poor game for a team with plenty of quality cover could be enough to drop the player. However. the player is rested because a game within the next few days is considered more important for him to play in). Resting a player: There are two ways to consider resting a player. therefore.e. On the other hand. it is important to know what games you have over the next 7 to 10 days. Especially for teams chasing silverware. they will be unlikely to be fit for a game three or four days later. you may want to rest the player or at least make sure he plays an hour or less.

However. if the wage budget can accommodate them and they are willing to play a more minor role you can gain a lot of positives by keeping older players on board. If you only have one or two senior players for key positions. for example. be sure that you minimise the damage when dealing with key players or transfer-listing senior or well-respected members of the squad. you have five or six centre-backs. Selling too many players for a specific position: Of course the logical opposite is that the club loses all its depth. As far as possible. but in general it is best to avoid this situation in the first place. as well as which players in your team are not good enough or need to be moved on. what is important is to realise the potential effects of transfers on squad harmony. We will not discuss how to bring in the right players for your tactics or league. and the tools at your disposal to minimise the damage of potentially unpopular decisions as well as maximising the impact of great mercantile cunning. although this is likely to happen only if you severely gut the side. then your defenders are likely to become concerned. If. They may also become coaches. Offloading older players: Clearly.Communication & Psychological Warfare 56 Transfer Policy As a manager. none of whom are youth players. such as when a player has been unsettled by speculation or has been sold over your head by the board. Selling a key or well-liked player: If a very well-respected or talented footballer is sold on. you and the club. the players can get worried. Keeping players at the club for a long time can build a big relationship between the player. you should know the type of player and quality of player you wish to bring into the squad. ensure that you have a good 1824 senior players on hand and you shouldn’t have any issues with this type of complaint. which can be ideal replacements for current staff whose contracts are expiring. Older players. the more the existing players at the squad will get nervous about their place at the club. the rest of the team can get annoyed at the lack of ambition and the loss of a friend. You can solve this by moving on your weaker players by loan or transfer. However. Nevertheless. are ideal tutors for your youngsters. Giving a player too high squad status: If you promise an average player first team football he’s likely to get . the time will come with all players where budget and talent constraints mean that you will have to sell on players of a certain age. Sometimes this is unavoidable. Some may get disgruntled with your treatment of them. with their superior mental traits. Potential Problems Buying too many players for a specific position: The more players you buy to fill a certain position.

Signing an aging star: Okay. Other considerations With regard to squad management. it can also be very useful to For more information about how you can spot the sorts of players who will fit in bring in players who fit in with the personality and ethic you are well at the club. Bringing in a player with great ability or reputation can really give the rest of the team a boost. Their high mental stats are excellent for passing on to youths. 73). reports (p. Potential Assets Signing a player with a large (relative) reputation: Big reputation players not only sell shirts and get people through the turnstiles. but equally you don’t want the new signing to be a disruptive influence. and they can also act as good leaders on the pitch. as well as the player. this works the other way. confrontational and who don’t perform in big matches is counter-productive. Be careful about promising too much and be mindful when you sign a player where you intend to play him and how you intend to use him. Bringing in lots of players who are unprofessional. see scout and coach trying to build. they inspire the rest of the squad. . Unhappy players can breed unhappiness by getting into arguments and generally wrecking the dressing room atmosphere. You may find the personality of your squad rubs off on them.57 Squad Management disenchanted very quickly if he doesn’t play. especially youngsters. he may not be as good as he was. this can be very important. The scout reports will help you work out what sort of man you are buying. question your authority and generally make the dressing room a less pleasant place then listing them may be for the greater benefit of the club as a whole. Of course. There is also a chance you may be able to use them as staff members later on as they come closer to hanging up their boots. To maximise or minimise the impact of buying in new players. If you have players who constantly play poorly. you can use the new signing press conference (p. 69). but ex-internationals and top-level players can be massive assets to a team looking to build for the future. especially if you handle the resultant press conference well.

youth players will never get near their potential. This can lead to either or both the younger and older player having the other as “favoured personnel”. and has the added advantage of potentially creating a long-term bond between the two in the future. It can create long-term harmony by creating “favoured personnel” status between the tutor and tutee. It can create short-term harmony by giving a morale boost to both the tutor and the tutee. for example. for some reason. you are unable to comment on a player’s form but need their morale to improve. Without determination and professionalism. you like your wingers to hug the touchline It cannot be understated how important mental attributes are to player development. Determined and professional players train harder. however. Tactical and mental: Taking on traits such as determination. that it also has the potential to backfire – some young players may object to you trying to tell them how to play. helping you mould the development of a youngster. there is a chance that the tutor and tutee will build a friendship. It is another reason why you want to build your own reputations with players. professionalism and motivation is vital to building a strong club. you can look to use tutoring. Players are happier playing at clubs with their friends. passing on preferred moves can give you a tactical edge: if. The boost may be given to both players. as they may seek a move away from any club that has people he detests working for them. Long-term harmony: After successful tuition. But tutoring in this sense is not always advantageous – players can fall out. It is vital that you pass on these positive traits to your youth players via tutoring. It is an advantage to have as many of the team respecting other members as possible – this creates a gelled and harmonious atmosphere. progress quicker and are much more likely to achieve their potential.Communication & Psychological Warfare 58 Tutoring Tutoring can serve three purposes:    It can pass on mental traits and preferred moves from a more senior player to a youth player. Similarly. leading to rifts in the dressing room. Bear in mind. This can affect both shortterm morale and a player’s long-term plans. By instilling these traits early on in a youngster’s career you can keep a fresh supply of motivated players coming through the ranks. . Short-term morale boosts: If. and some older players may be more concerned with their own game than trying to develop someone else’s.

By creating a tight-knit “family” in this way. In all cases. your best prospects should be tutored as much as you can. these options do not affect the amount the tutee will learn. They are simply different methods of trying to get the tutoring process to start. . you have three options:    State that the older player is an ideal role model for the younger player Say that the younger player could benefit from adopting the older player’s approach to the game Tell the youngster that he can learn from the more senior player Contrary to previous advice in older versions of Communication and Psychological Warfare. As the youngsters take on PPMs from one or more tutors they can also become friends with more and more of their squad members. mentally. If the player is very senior and a key player at the club. motivation. John Schofield at Sports Interactive has confirmed this position on the official forums: “The short answer is that all three options have the same outcome [. as has been shown through team talks and player interaction.” As far as possible. The difference between the options is how the tutor will react. professionalism and other characteristics is incredibly important to a youth player’s development and will create a much stronger player. For example. you can pass it on to his tutee without having to increase the youth’s training workload. When attempting to engage a tutoring relationship. if you use the middle option with a tutor who sees themselves as a key player then they might react badly as you are undermining his role (as the tutor thinks he'll be that player’s ideal role model). the younger player will attempt to take on some of the mental attributes and player preferred moves (PPMs) of his tutor.]. They also perform better in training and develop attributes much quicker. squad gelling ceases to be an issue and players will be much more likely to stay at the club in the face of interest from elsewhere and remain motivated. Choose the option which best reflects the tutor’s position in the club.59 Squad Management and a senior player possesses this “move”. The difference between the three options is how the tutor will react to the request.. Professional players. in the future. are far easier to deal with than young tear-aways. It also has the added bonus of proliferating PPMs and high morale throughout the squad. you should be looking to call him an “ideal role model” so that you do not undermine his position at the club.. Passing on determination.

so be aware that the player may need a new training schedule to stop him being over-worked. this is an important tactical tool which should not be overlooked. but the effects can be permanent. Tutoring lasts six months (if successful). . With those factors in mind. which is a circumstantial indicator of a strong personality One with advantageous PPMs for the role you want the tutee to play in the future This is another reason why older players are advantageous to the team: they usually have good mental abilities to pass on to your youngsters. for example. giving him this sort of PPM could really increase his efficiency. or others will play the “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” card and politely decline your request. For a more in-depth discussion on tactics and how these PPMs may affect the way your team plays. Player Preferred Moves (PPMs) We can also use interaction to learn or forget PPMs in the player profile. This can be useful if a player is “born” with certain traits that you want to remove. Training or removing a PPM through this method will increase the player’s training workload. be sure to read Tactical Theorems ’10 from the FMBritain website. or if you have passed something on in the tutoring process that you wish you hadn’t.Communication & Psychological Warfare 60 A good tutor will be:    A senior player. try to tutor as many youths as you can. Potential Negative Effects As with everything in FM2010 there is no reward without risk. If. In the short term. players may get annoyed either because you haven’t given them enough credit for their squad status or simply because they refuse to tutor or be tutored. However. Bear in mind that some players may get annoyed with you for telling them how they should play the game (which indicates the player is unprofessional). you have an attacking midfielder who you want to penetrate the box. one who already has an air of respectability within the squad A player with a high “determination” stat.

Player recommendations When building up a club. the benefits of tutoring will outweigh the risks. Sometimes it will happen at the end of the tutoring relationship. or you can ask for a staff member at the player’s former club. but also their personality and ability to settle quickly. Be aware. This does not only concern their attributes and abilities to learn your tactical approach. and even though the mental traits and PPMs may have been passed on. One way to find players who you know will get on with certain members of your club is to directly ask your own teammates for their recommendations. both parties can come away from the experience disappointed and therefore with low morale. Be aware of such risks. it always helps if you know that the players you are going to bring in are going to fit into the existing setup. If you then go and buy the player. On the whole. and second. he will tell you within a couple of days. Sometimes this will happen early meaning that only some or even none of the mental attributes and PPMs will be passed on to the younger player.61 Squad Management Tutoring can also break down. though. While this can be useful every now and again for boosting your scouting knowledge and gaining little morale boosts. If the player has a recommendation. The types of personalities prone to falling out over tutoring relationships are not the sorts that you want at the club in the long-term anyway. before trying to initiate a tutoring system. He may even get a morale boost as he will feel honoured that you respect him enough to take his recommendations seriously. this can also lead to the players disliking each other. This can also lead to a mutual antagonism between the tutor and tutee which may end up becoming a rift in the squad further down the line. though. that some players will see it as a sign of weakness that you don’t know who your transfer targets are and have to resort to asking your players to do your scouting for you. This has a double advantage: first. he may be even more grateful. it isn’t the sort . You can either ask the player to recommend a general staff member who he knows from his own career and experience. Recommendations can come on both playing and backroom staff. Again. at least you know there is no bad blood between the potential new arrival and your current squad member. they may recommend players that your scouts have not yet seen.

On top of that. You might also want to consider the board room confidence screens which will also give you an indication of how well your signings have impacted on the squad. though. Captain Suitability: If you are having trouble deciding who to make captain. Bear in mind that their recommendations are not always the definitive answer. This information shouldn’t be ignored. where our coaches let us know what is going on around the club and offering suggestions for what you should do about it. the coaches might be able to tell you. changing a captain is a risky decision which can unsettle the dressing room so use this advice with caution. but there are a few key ones that you should keep an eye out for in terms of squad management. from time to time. about players who might be available to buy for the club in key positions. Backroom advice There are loads of little nuggets of information coming from your coaches and scouts. Using this advice can be very important in developing strong ties with your playing staff as well as your coaches and scouts. As they will point out. whether our teenagers deserve a new contract and much more besides. especially if you have only just joined the club and/or have very few scouts employed. . and you can scout them from this page. Recommended player/prospects: The staff may let you know. There are plenty of places to ask for help in FM2010. New to FM2010. especially when it comes to squad management.Communication & Psychological Warfare 62 of thing that should be used as a replacement for good overall player interaction and a well-run scouting network. we have the classic feedback on things such as the strength of our first eleven. Our coaches will be able to tell us if players are getting annoyed at a lack of first-team football. and is a great tool for recruiting the right sorts of people into the club and building for the future. They will often give you a list. our youth team and our team talks. we have backroom advice. as well as the players the fans think are playing particularly well. This can be very useful. but if a number of them agree it might be worth listening to them. We cannot list all of them here. Using and acting on staff feedback Your staff can be of great use to you.

We have not covered this as a motivational tool much in this guide simply because it overlaps too much with general transfer policy. Youth prospects: The coaches at the beginning of the year will let you know what the quality of your youth team is and point out the potential stars in the academy. we would never offer a new contract for the sole purpose of boosting morale. as well as providing a morale boost. Similarly. PPM Training: Some coaches will give you advice on training certain moves to certain players. . with your facilities. the coaches in your side may chip in with some ideas as to the best course of action. the coaches will give you some feedback about the general attitude of your players when confronting certain types of opponents. If you have great facilities. if not. are Offering a new contract to a player will unlikely to “make it”. they will comment as soon as a youth player becomes eligible for a professional contract so that you can offer pro terms to them and keep them at the club. So. This can be useful as you can give tutoring priority to the most important youth players. they might think your best chance for improvement comes from the open market. for instance. the staff will apprise you of the quality of the club’s training facilities and advise you as to the best transfer strategy in the short-to-midterm. also make him more settled at the club Contracts: When a player’s contract is running low. as well as giving you clues to who should be loaned out for first-team experience or given full-time contracts in the near future. What is more. We have other less expensive and more effective methods of achieving that goal. Bear in mind that not only can players get unhappy with you asking to adapt their game (especially if they are old or stubborn) but it will also increase the player’s training workload. This can help you build for the future so that you do not waste time trying to develop players who. do the players get complacent when they think they should win easily? Or do they get fired up for the big games? Use this information to gauge your team talks – be harsher on the team from an earlier point if they tend to get complacent or more sympathetic if they get over-awed. Very helpful for those border-line reserve players who you do not know too well but who keep the squad running. they may encourage you to develop your youths. In the end.63 Squad Management Reputation Analysis: Although tactically related. Some may feel that the player is not worth hanging on to – others will suggest that you tie them down as soon as possible. Youth team strategy recommendations: At the beginning of the season. as well as keeping track of large youth squads. the decision is up to you and your own tactical master plan.

if the player has any professional integrity you should know in private before they go public. Using this information. It is also a good indicator of who the coaches think are playing well and badly within your team. it also tells you the extent of team gelling and the general level of team morale. Should a player feel they are not getting enough football. such as positions where he feels you don’t have adequate cover or a good enough first choice. general performances for the club. after a particularly good or bad performance following a talk it can always be useful to double check this page to make sure how the players did or didn’t react. it can be a good starting point for identifying candidates for praise. it is likely that the coaches will let you know before they start mouthing off to the press – at least. Both of these factors are vital to running a good club and what this guide is all about. can build up a wealth of evidence for what sort of players you have at the club and how best to treat them in the future. However. because not only does it let you know how your players really felt about the way you spoke to them.Communication & Psychological Warfare 64 Player wants first team football: Always important to know is if a player is starting to get disillusioned at the club. First. especially if their morale is already superb and you were not considering interacting with them. The assistant can also be asked to . as well as a best eleven for the youth team. The Assistant’s Team Report The assistant can be very useful to you in a number of ways. the motivation widget and the coach reports. provide a loan report for any position he can identify (based on the formation chosen) the best eleven you choose – giving you a shortlist from which to select a potential candidate for out of the players you have available based on ability. We have already covered team talks earlier in the guide. form and the team. However. he can give you transfer recommendations for problem areas in the squad. it is unlikely that you will need this advice too often. Praise/Criticism: Given that this guide covers praising and criticising players in detail. or it can give you the opportunity to transfer list him before he starts to kick up a fuss and ruin team harmony. Team Talk Feedback The team talk feedback page is a very important tool. Second. This can give you the chance to loan the player out or to give him a run of games to keep him happy. in conjunction with the reactions to player interaction.

You can see where you have good enough players and where you need to bring people in. anyone who performs well in the big matches or is a consistent performer should also be considered as a potential employee. But there are some traits which may or may not be positive or negative. You will be able to be more critical of these players in team talks and player interaction as well. Scout reports will get more accurate the more times a player gets watched. This is incredibly useful for analysing your own players as well as potential recruits from other clubs. and these traits should be passed on via tutoring to your youth players as soon as possible. if the player has other positive traits he may be able to pass those on to the rest of the team. meaning that you should get far more consistent performances at a far higher level. However. Finally. and so on. Yes. Traits such as run-of-the-mill type person. inconsistent. especially if you make a few purchases of the same type. This information can often give little more than an indication about the personality of the player. as well as getting information on who you should bring in. On the other hand. and coach reports will be more accurate the longer the coach and the player remain at the club. You might want to avoid anyone who possesses the antonyms of these. Coach and Scout Reports By viewing a player’s profile you can see what your coaches or your scouts think about his personality. they hint at players who are either unremarkable (run-of-the-mill) or who have the potential to be flaky. The players are ideal for any squad looking to win trophies. By planning ahead. you can build a stable and well-gelled squad from the ground up. or a born leader. but in some ways it can be a key tool in transfer policy and man-management. spirited and light-hearted are not bad in themselves. such as unprofessional. For this reason. the coaches and the scouts will give an indication of how easily a player will fit or is fitting into the squad. doesn’t perform well in the big matches. determined. Positive reviews can include anything which indicates that the player is professional. . dragging the whole performance of the club up with him. a spirited or light-hearted person is unlikely to suffer from nerves. This should not be taken lightly – if a player’s personality is likely to be at odds with the rest of the team it is important to recognise the potential problems that can bring to the dressing room.65 Squad Management This can be useful for long-term squad planning. but at the same time you must question how driven they are to succeed when the going gets tough.

Managers who are able to manipulate the media for their own devices will be able to influence the game away from their own club. We all need friends and having them in high places will reap benefits when you are looking to bring in players to your own squad or trying to negotiate a player transfer deal away from the club. Used at pivotal points in the season it can have massive effects on winning games. . Doing so can force opposition into mistakes or make it easier to attract and sign those players that have never even heard of you in the first place.Communication & Psychological Warfare 66 Warfare Changing the landscape around you Psychological warfare has long been played out in football. The media battleground should not only be used to fight the opposition. worried the opposition and forced the hand of other managers to derail title challenges. It is evident to see in so many ways where managers’ comments have spurred sides on. but to befriend players and managers. but used incorrectly and history will show how it can throw away a season.

One of the weaknesses and also the strengths of the press conference module in FM2010 is its repetitiveness.and post-match interviews. However. and can put your point across if you object to the line of questioning. build loyalty with your club. and will sometimes make the journalists press you for an answer. we will assume that you will not be storming out of press conferences. or that it has no merits in the game. the conferences take a very simple format. these are not the only situations where you are likely to have to deal with reporters. then. but since this is a section on how to answer press conference questions it is probably best we stick to answering them – even if we only give vague . We cannot cover all the questions that are likely to come your way. There are too many. Nor does it cover all the available questions depending on the events that go on throughout your simulated football world. most of which we have already covered in the match day sections. For the purposes of this guide. and that you will want to at least give a neutral/no comment answer to the media. but it can also make the more professional among your players see you as a volatile and unprofessional figure. This is not to say you should never storm out. Apart from some questions. The “storm out” option is often good for a laugh (especially if you enter some choice words into the text box alongside it). there are some basic rules which we can outline so that you can maximise the effectiveness of your answers. However. or simply give you the chance to declare war on those who stand in your way. You have 7 possible answers:        Strongly agree Somewhat agree Neutral Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree No comment Storm out “Neutral” is essentially a more polite “no comment”. Reacting in the right way to these questions can help settle new players.67 Warfare Press conferences Asserting you personality through the assembled media We have covered the day-to-day running of press conferences through the pre.

There are no adverse effects by being positive here. You shouldn’t really be telling everyone how you expect to lose every match and how you hate the club. apparently. over-confidence is rarely rewarded in the game. that the morale boosts you may or may not get from this conference are very likely to have worn off by the time you play your first game. positive or negative. we will take a few scenarios which will help you to understand the system and hopefully extrapolate a general strategy for dealing with the press in all situations. These press conferences tend to be pretty formulaic. a positive answer (i. What will be your tactical approach? Honesty is the best policy. but these approaches should stand you in good stead. Since there are many different questions. a gentle positivity tends to gain respect from your players. don’t have the choice to send your assistant. so take your . Inevitably.e. Promising free-flowing football when you intend to park the bus is illogical. How do you feel about your new job? It seems illogical to think that anything other than enthusiasm is the right approach here. an inclination towards attacking football) often produces more positive responses than a more defensive mindset. and only something to lose by admitting that you hate the club already and will be looking for a move. I have yet to see any reactions. Of course this is your dream job: whether it’s Brazil or Basingstoke. but promising the FA Cup to an amateur side isn’t the right way to go about things either. from whatever I say here. However. what you think your chances are of success and what your overall tactical approach might be. New job Congratulations on becoming the new manager of the club. with the usual questions about how you feel to take over. Do not worry too much about getting things wrong at this stage. Bear in mind. some questions will be missed. the board have assembled the local media and you. How will you run the club? Do you intend to be hands on. it pays to be honest. or pass the buck to your assistant? Again. unless you join a club mid-season. though. However. To celebrate.Communication & Psychological Warfare 68 platitudes! As we said in the earlier sections.

win the title. Will you be clearing out the staff? You might want to impose yourself early and clear out deadwood.. Perhaps it gets lost in translation. Est-ce qu’il y a un problème? If you’ve decided to manage in a foreign country but you do not speak the language (in your profile). then tell everyone you expect him to stay. . Are you a wheeler-dealer. again you should aim to be positive without being arrogant. Player signing When you sign a player. you may be asked if you can avoid relegation.69 Warfare pick. especially as you do not really know the player in question. a bargain-hunter or a youth specialist? Let the press know. Promising too much can put too much pressure on some players. letting the staff know your intentions is a positive here. Again. then the press may quiz you on this. or you might be satisfied with the resources at your disposal. the press may ask you about him. There are obviously pros and cons to this approach. Do you think you can hang on to your star player? If there is speculation over the future of one of your better players. regardless of whether you are positive or negative about the language barrier. This can be tricky. The point of such conferences is to endear yourself to the player from an early date. or whether following last season’s relegation you can bounce back at the first attempt. I’ve yet to find a positive or negative response from this question. so be honest.. boost his confidence and integrate him into the side. Whichever. but once again honesty may be the best policy. It may boost the side if they feel you have the ambition to keep the best players at the club but it may also annoy the player if he feels you might block a dream move away from the club. If you feel you can hang onto him and want to show ambition. How do you see the season going? This question can come in various forms depending on the club’s expectations and last season’s performance. you can choose to call a press conference. How do you use the transfer market? Once more. there appear to be no reactions to this question from the players. not enough confidence can de-motivate and disenchant your more determined squad members. For instance. It is a familiar refrain. Based on the expectations of the board.

once you reach the higher echelons of the game. similar to the position within the club. but admitting financial problems is likely to make those on the fringes of the first team nervous. Who will win the league? Every so often the press will want your tip for the title. but may annoy more established players. Miscellaneous questions. You may be able to keep other players happy by saying that your new signing is a prospect for the future. Similarly. being too enthusiastic can make nervous players worried that you are expecting too much too soon. but an element of positivity goes a long way. but if the new lad thinks he has a good chance of establishing himself as a first-team player he may get disgruntled.Communication & Psychological Warfare 70 It is best to be enthusiastic about the signing itself. pre-match Sometimes you will get asked some pretty random questions which don’t fit in with the usual pre-match routine. but more subtle answers may be needed regarding the player’s position within the club. the key is to make sure you are confident enough to boost the player’s ego without heaping on too much pressure. Who will win the award? This can be a bizarre one. it can be beneficial to back either your own players or a player you covet from another club. the club’s financial status and what his potential impact will be. Sometimes as a part-time manager in the deepest back waters of the football world you will get asked “who do you think will win world player of the year?” In these cases you can pretty much answer whatever you like – it doesn’t make any difference to your team or the player you tip for the gong. honesty is usually rewarded. because . that unless you have a massive reputation it is incredibly unlikely that anybody you mention or fail to mention is going to care one iota. As with all questions. Will you need to balance the books? This is another balancing act – will you be selling players to keep the team solvent. It makes little sense to tell your 17-year-old prospect that he’s going to set the world on fire tomorrow. Potential impact: Again. or can you afford to keep people onboard? Saying that nobody needs to be sold will please the current players and the fans. Position within the club: Declaring that the player is key to your plans and a first-team player is likely to make the player himself happy. It is important that you make sure that your expectations are in-line with the players. However. This can be tricky. Bear in mind. but err either towards saying that the club will not need to sell or making a neutral comment. It makes sense to be honest with the squad. however.

or you can try to put the pressure on your rivals. You can release a statement saying you are interested. 37). As a final note.. if you’re predicted to finish in the bottom half of the table (or are a fair few points behind the leaders). Backing Burnley to win the Premier League title will see players becoming “confused” and losing morale. If you tip your side for the title. It is more likely with players who are unprofessional and feel that they have no real future at the club (such as those with contracts running out.. If your side is likely to be there-or-there-about at the end of the year. If you declare your interest. but the less ambitious players will feel there is too much pressure. the opposite is true if you back another team. that players in FM don’t have a sense of humour. This should never be taken lightly. A shame. This is also affected by your predicted position. definitely. Even if you do think you will win the league. with low squad status or who are transfer listed). However.71 Warfare it really seems to affect your players – they obviously care a lot about your punditry skills. you have three options in the resulting news item. Any player who reacts badly to this is the kind of player who you don’t want around long-term anyway. you may goad a reaction from the player in question and at least make your intentions clear. but something to watch out for. ? Occasionally the rumour mill will go into overdrive and you will be asked about whether you intend to sign a particular player. the ambitious players will love it. You can back your team for glory. This has . Links with another job If you have the good fortune to be linked with another job. don’t try to be clever or humorous. but this might upset the players at your club likely to lose out with his arrival. Similarly. Player missed training Not technically a press conference. and in most cases a two week fine is not out of the question. Are you looking to sign. A firm line should be taken. See also fining players (p. you have a choice to make. denying the rumours may placate your players but might also lose the opportunity to sign your target. more a news item. Sometimes a player will just get lazy and not be bothered to turn up to training. chances are your team will not take kindly to you saying that you expect your side to win the league. which will also count as a job application.

worse. because you may shut the door on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. you stand little chance of being sacked by your current employers either. their personality and squad status. The way you approach player interaction will depend on the player that you are targeting. If you’re really heavily fancied for a job. you are never going to be able to persuade a loyal player from a ‘Champions League’ side to come and play for relegation candidates. Or you can keep quiet and say nothing. but unfortunately can dent you chances of getting the job. This gives you both the short-term advantage of a morale boost at the club and the advantage of being able to take a better job. Your reputation and that of your club will also make a difference. Be careful. as the option implies. does nothing. Some boards will be happy and take your silence as commitment to the team. on the other hand. you also risk alienating your playing staff. If you do end up staying at the club. though. This option should only be used both if you really want the job available and you believe that you will get it. You can release a statement denying your involvement. reducing your chances of getting the job. so be very careful.Communication & Psychological Warfare 72 the potential to anger the board who may then force your resignation or. it will all depend on your individual circumstances. As useful as this feature is. . This goes down very well with the players and the board. though. sack you. Interaction with other players Persuading players that your club is the best place for them Interacting with players outside of your squad can have huge benefits in luring a player to your club. The speculation does not guarantee that you will even be offered the role. you can deny any interest and then take the job when it’s offered anyway. The safest option. which. no doubt. You also lose the opportunity to make your candidacy known to the new club. Here is a great opportunity to play politics. Making the right comments at the right time can change the player from not wanting to join your club to handing in a transfer request. You will be looking to butter up players making you stand out from the crowd when you make a bid for a player. but maybe not the best. Other more paranoid boards may get annoyed that you have not pledged your loyalty to them.

Reputations of the people involved will dictate how much effort you need to make to persuade a player.73 Warfare But if there is a realistic target out there that will take some persuading. Negative or nonchalant remarks demonstrate that the player doesn’t really see your praise as valuable. The ultimate feedback will be that you or your club will be named as a favourite personnel or club. which will let you know the level of interest the player has in your club. Depending on who the player is and how much you want to impress them. judging the reaction. not enough and it will lack any effect on the player. Praise too much and you will begin to bore the player. . Building up the praise over time as you gain reputation yourself will make the praise more hard hitting and favourable with the player. Judging reaction to comments The feedback you will get from players within the media will allow you to know how interested a player is in your club and what they think of you. which will stand you more chance of you becoming a favoured personnel. your response will vary from simply admiring his talent to being in awe. Admiring Players Inflating a player’s ego is often one way that you can catch a player’s attention. Your reputation doesn’t entice the player to respect your opinion. Positive comments in the media suggest that the player has some interest in your club and respects what you have to say. player interaction will be a longterm game played with patience and timing. Throughout the season you will want to look to flatter the player every couple of weeks. The younger the player. Therefore it may be a right that you will have to earn. The aim of admiring a player is to make sure that you’re the side they choose when it comes to make a transfer bid. It would make sense that a player who has been playing professional football for some time isn’t going to respect a manager with a Sunday League Footballer reputation. The comments that are available are ranked in terms of how much praise you are giving. even when a scout tells you they are uninterested. You will have to do less work when it comes to touting him in the transfer window. You may wish to start young: players under 21 will give you the option of commenting on their potential ability. the less loyalty he will have formed to his current club.

. the relationship should be strong enough by now and you will be sure of the interest he has in your team by his reaction. Teams won’t want unhappy players upsetting the dressing room. you will hold the advantage when it comes to the player picking a club to sign for. Making your offer The final step is to make the bid or enquiry formal and concrete. but an unsettled player will now be looking for the move. Again this unsettles the player. but don’t worry about this. Also when a player wants to leave a club it can help force down a selling price that has been over-inflated. Rejected bids could prompt a response from the player to complain that he is being denied the choice to go elsewhere or. negotiations with the player will become much easier and the player will begin to force a transfer through as your interest grows strong. hand in his transfer request. Declaring your interest Declaring your intent is an attempt to try and put your opposition club into a position where they are forced to sell the player due to his own demands. it can drive these players to play better football in order to impress a prospective manager. even better. Once you have unsettled him. But once you have been able to sway the player in your favour it is then time to tempt him away from his club. Once you have made your interest known in a player. putting themselves in the shop window. Hopefully by doing all the ground work before hand. Unsettled players in a squad will command lower prices. Ultimately. Making a bid that you feel is reasonable may still get rejected. you want to use your sway to unsettle your potential targets and make those players who are content and happy at their current club start considering a change. If the player is interested in joining your club.Communication & Psychological Warfare 74 It will depend on the player and your reputation as to how long it will take to turn a nonchalant response into a positive one. All of these actions may cause a buzz and encourage other clubs to become interested and enter the race. This can also reduce the risk of trying to compete for a signature by offering a better contract.

. especially if you are a manager who likes to travel. Making Friends Finding friendships with other managers across the FM2010 game. Kevin Keegan and Rafael Benitez all have been baited by Sir Alex and his psychology and all have lost. Through trial and error and getting to know your players’ reactions. The acceptance of lower transfer fees could happen much more easily just because a manager likes you. Professional football has long seen its fair share of feuds. But it is also important to have friends within the game: managers who you admire and can form friendships with in order to build networks and connections within the game that will later on prove fruitful when you need a helping hand. But if you are friends with these managers it will be more likely that you can loan these players out for less of a wage percentage. you then know that he expects the opposition to be a cause for concern. Your players will react differently depending on their personality and their understanding of the media. Having top managers as friends can make it much easier to negotiate transfer fees. If the team isn’t in your league or country. There are two ways in which you can interact with managers. The same would apply to being able to loan players that you might not get otherwise. Secondly you can make contextual comments before a game responding to any comments that may be made by your opposition. can be a benefit. you will learn how your comments on other managers will affect them. the use of a friendly could act as chance to interact with another manager. Target the teams with which you want to gain good relationships by making positive comments each time you play. When you choose to comment on a manager will depend on the eventual outcome you are aiming for. Managers will often want to keep hold of young reserve players who have had some first-team experience. Whenever Sir Alex Ferguson pays attention to another manager in the media. Arsène Wenger. You can either come out in the media at any point to give praise or negative comments.75 Warfare Interaction with other managers Friends and enemies on the battlefield Interaction with other managers has always been a device that has been used in the media to disrupt opposition.

Friendly managers are much more likely to support your players by making comments about them in the media. . Although much of this can be achieved through the natural rivalries that are set up in the game. Making Enemies Fierce rivalries in football are the most newsworthy type of relationships within the media and the ones that are most likely to grab your attention. Making contextual comments before a game about your fierce rivals will be aimed to get a response out of your players. these sorts of comments can really get your players fired up for the campaign. and are far less likely to try to stir discontent amongst your squad. though. Creating enemies in the game can be a way to galvanize your team against rivals and spur them on to perform with more passion on the field. Building a network of friends can really help your long-term strategy in your simulated world. you have a squad of players who thrive in such an openly hostile environment.Communication & Psychological Warfare 76 Some of your players may not take kindly to the fact that you are praising other managers. accepting transfer and loan bids. making the right decision to either praise or criticise managers is your responsibility and much success will come with trial and error depending on what works with your squad. on the other hand. that this is a very risky strategy and has the potential to motivate the other side as much as it might encourage your own. Many a manager has built squad harmony with the “nobody likes us. Be warned. If. This will be reflected in the top tiers of the football league where your side is expected to be more professional. But praising other managers can be a tactic that takes the pressure off your players before big games or towards the end of the season as you challenge for a title or just to stay up. and we don’t care” attitude (with the Wimbledon and Leeds sides of the 1980s and 1970s being prime examples). With so many personalities to deal with. creating enemies deliberately is considered unprofessional. Firing up the rivalry between managers can see a rally from your players that may prove the difference against sides that you see as a possible threat. Deflecting the media attention elsewhere can benefit players who are less able to handle pressure.

Hopefully. we hope this guide has given you the tools to learn how to effectively manipulate the game’s media for your own purposes and your own goals. for his discussions on player personality within the game Emma and Helen for their proof reading and patience All our affiliates for supporting our first premium release around the FM Community Everyone who has purchased and read everything we have posted at FM-Britain over the past 5 years . And we could talk much. For others. for example. all the different hidden mental attributes and their effects on the match engine and the workings of your squad. Credits Author and CPW concept – Matt vom Brocke (The next Diaby) Writing and editing – Gareth Millward (Millie) and Thomas Levin (Levo) General thanks also go to: The Tactical Think Tank and staff at FM-Britain Jordan Cooper for his support as publisher and Stalinist work policy crazy gra for his continued feedback and contributions to both the ’08 and ’10 versions of CPW SFraser. we hope you can now appreciate the complexity of the manmanagement systems in FM2010. We’ve mentioned. but not explored deeply. the implications of player personality on player development and bringing through the next set of wonderkids. when you begin to investigate the whole structure properly it brings out some intriguing possibilities. While it may seem tedious or even unrealistic at the outset. on the possible networks you can build between managers using the “warfare” element of the game. short of a brief introduction to the sorts of relationships possible. much more about the relationship between different player personalities.77 Conclusion Conclusion Where to go from here? Having read through these pages. We’ve barely touched. this guide will inspire those who are interested in these game mechanics to go forth and experiment with such things. and also understand how to use them.

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