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

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

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

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

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

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. When printing. 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. and without a good dose of all of them. A note on formatting To improve the readability of this guide on computer screens.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. even the best tactical masterminds will come unstuck. Effectively. . tapping up transfer targets and playing mind games with the opposition. this may leave large white spaces at the bottom of each page. there are overlaps between all three.

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

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

Between close rivals. Of course. And probably at this point. anything else should be avoided. 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. Again. we have less to consider than any real-life manager. Toeing the fine line between defending your team’s honour and being seen as an unprofessional lunatic can be incredibly tricky. 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. just like in real life. 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. you may find yourself in a bad position if you get carried away by raw emotion when a rival coach challenges you this way. 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. Or you may see the opposite: big teams neglecting the favourite role. You may suddenly see key players rested for one or even more matches before.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. And. building up pressure on the opposition by playing down their own chances and showing public admiration of the opposition key players. on the other hand. you should start your preparation very early. Preparation If you are facing key games. . at least seven days ahead if you want to achieve the best results. Of course nobody can always take everything into account for every single game. this is a very basic and rough analogy since we find ourselves strongly restricted in our options by the game. the game is much easier than it is for our real-life counterparts.

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

You can back up these assertions. this option will cause less pressure and you will see your squad being more relaxed. if you are additionally playing away and if your players suffer from a lack of self-believe. even at the lower end of the table? To make things clear: good pre-match comments will not win a game for you. Useful. if your odds are looking good and if your players are determined and can handle pressure. too. the possible responses will follow a pretty regular pattern We have a really good chance (the most positive response). How many managers regularly go into games telling the press they expect to lose. . 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. If you really do not see many chances to get away with a result or a point. The option to go with if your team is having a good run. Can your team win? The exact wording of these questions can vary depending on the strength of the opposition. In general. it may also lose motivation. as it remains reasonably positive.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 do so. your recent results and the importance of the upcoming match. I can’t see us winning today. but giving the wrong comments can have catastrophic effects and giving the right comments can boost your morale strongly. If your form and odds are less brilliant. however. Takes the pressure off your players and most likely will result in a good morale despite taking a loss. Don’t underestimate your team though. We can win if we stick to the game plan.

Since these are questions of form rather than specific questions about your up-coming opponent. there seems nothing to be gained from being negative here. Although we have already said that overconfidence is rarely rewarded. On the other hand. this option is best avoided for one of the less negative or slightly positive responses. unbeaten streaks and. your last result. particularly if the team is doing reasonably well in the league. No comment/Neutral response. Usually. One to definitely leave for those cup games where you genuinely expect the team to get thrashed. Treat this much like you would any question about the upcoming game – confidence without naive optimism or arrogance. Again. and the frequency of fixtures. even in these circumstances your professional players are likely to be concerned at your lack of ambition. it is actually the case with these questions that there is often little negative effect to talking up the dressing room atmosphere. drew or lost your previous match. From time to time the media may want your opinion on your build-up of fixtures or your relatively long break. the press may ask you about your last encounter with today’s opponents. you will most likely get a series of questions related to your current form. Previous match: Whether you won. 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. 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. Current form Much like the comments on your chances of winning.Communication & Psychological Warfare 14 There’s no chance of us winning today (the most negative response). As with the form question. It pays to remain positive. Even if the odds really do look bleak. 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. if you have progressed deeper into the game. There is little to be gained from telling the team that you expect your winning run to end imminently. including winning streaks. Form: You are likely to get questions surrounding your form. 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. Fixture congestion: Or a lack thereof. . the press are bound to say something. losing streaks. Yet. if you’re unfortunate.

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

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

but also in a way that the player will accept.17 Increasing your match performance They may also quiz you on your preparation for the game. 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. there will also be comments about players who have been injured. less strong personalities will need the pressure to be taken off them. Once again. react slightly more favourably than you would in a normal player interaction situation. a neutral or no comment answer may spare the player’s feelings. this is down to player personality. . honesty seems the best policy. 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 say so. or will you get on fine without them? Again. confidence short of arrogance is the best approach. 43) and Team Talks (p. 23). In general. Individual form and injuries Some of your own players might get highlighted by the journalists for their recent performances. Occasionally. Judging the best way to do this is tricky at first. or those poor at handling pressure) will need a boost from you talking up their ability. both before and after games. be they positive or negative. 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. if a player genuinely has been awful. See the relevant sections in Player Interaction (p. senior players may crave praise here. As with other answers. you can be asked who will replace them or be asked how suitable a certain member of the squad would be as a replacement. it is best to react honestly. 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. be aware of the personality of the replacement. and similarly if a player has been performing well then let the world know that you’re happy. When in doubt. On the other hand. Similarly. since this is a public press conference. those who are prone to suffering from low confidence (unprofessional players. In general. Will they be missed. So. If the player is injured. Professional and determined players will react well to you saying they will slot right in. Overall.

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

5-9.00 or above.5-10. things have changed slightly in the way we view our players. depending on his effect on the game. Morale comes on a sliding scale from very poor to superb.50 and we have a player who really is on fire. Depending on your player’s ambition.4 – outstanding 9. nervous and lazy ones.4 – bad 5.0-4. we want our players to perform at 7. A “6” would leave any player in danger of being dropped. the player is doing OK. It has six stages.5-8. we want all of our team to have superb morale. Anyone who played a “5” or below was a candidate for being fined for being so bad. And. Then.50 and serious questions need to be asked about this player’s commitment to the cause. In the 6.5-5. but not bad. Above 7. Not great. depending on the player.4 – average 6. But since the introduction of decimal places. confident and motivated players play far better than moody. Happy. but we really want him to perform better. . this can really affect his view on how well he is playing.19 Increasing your match performance player who played and did nothing of note would get a “6”.99 range.4 – abysmal 4. We still want our boys to go out there and play to a “7” standard. But morale is in itself a good indicator of a player’s mood and character. anyone who put in an “8” or above was to be commended and shown as an example to the rest of the squad.5-7.0 . Any team with any sort of ambition would want players to at least put in a “7” performance. Below 6. We now have far more information as to whether a player has put in a “high 7” or a “low 7”. Post-decimalisation.perfect Not much has changed. think of the performance bands slightly differently: 1.4 – good 7. the team’s expectations and so on.5-6. Very good is fine. solid performance should be in this area. but nothing beats a player who has superb morale. his rating would rise or fall.4 – very good 8.50-6. Morale This whole guide is about maintaining morale. but a good. This will not always happen. and certainly a couple in a row would indicate a player in very poor form. Ideally.

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

this might rectify itself. Your job will be to maintain that motivation by ensuring it doesn’t turn into complacency. Much like the nervous player. Or it could be that the player is doing fine but one blunder has blighted his game. It could be that the player is sufficiently motivated to correct his mistake and so needs no further encouragement. He may remedy this himself if the score line gets better or he puts in a good pass or a goal. you’ll need to remind him of his duty next time you get a chance to talk to him. Having a good game: The game is not giving you any specific feedback on the player’s mood but. Playing without confidence: Clearly your player doubts his own abilities. so he might get sloppy. no matter. Mistake led to goal: This is a complicated issue. however. Encouraging words or similar words to the last talk you gave him may well keep his motivation high. Much like the “mistake led to goal” feedback. It could be that the player is shaken by his mistake and his head has gone down. 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. Alternatively. 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. and this may manifest itself in a poor performance. he is playing well anyway. Positive Feedback Looking motivated: Great! Your player is up for this one and it’s having a positive effect on his performance. Try to get his mojo back by restoring his self-belief and improving 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. If it doesn’t. he may need some encouragement at half time. 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. 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. Clearly. you will need to use your previous knowledge of the player to judge the correct .21 Increasing your match performance and may need more strong words if his performance falls below the level required. Despite your words of encouragement. 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. Looking complacent: The player thinks this game is going to be a walk in the park.

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

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. individual talks and media interaction: every player and every team is different and requires a different approach. you will still see that the AI standard choice is ‘for the fans’ and picked far too frequently. If you do have any doubts about this. there is a helpful option available which will make things easier for you: the 'Ask assistant' button. and make the overall game experience more sensitive and less predictable. Driven superstars will not need the same encouragement as unprofessional parttimers. 46). If you do not have much experience with giving team talks. Even if his attributes for motivation and man handling are very high. but then select your overall team talk for the remaining squad. Until you know your team very well. A general hint for all team talks. With little effort you can do it better! So. he still will not do the best possible job. 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. what happens in the cabin is probably the very heart of managing and the secret of both fantastic success and miserable failure. but in most cases these team talks are rather lousy if you look them up using the team talk feedback. What is more. you should play some games following these recommendations and see if there is a difference. Some players claim that they have fantastic assistant managers who do this perfectly. 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. as a tip: select ‘Ask assistant’ to single out some of the individual comments based on performance (not all are selected. I am totally sure that you will notice it once you get used to this. again). 32.23 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. . After all. The more determined and professional your squad the more demanding you can be of your players. you should always check your team talk feedback to find out the right way to handle them. However. This is especially helpful for selecting individual options for performance-based talks since it will remind you to spur those. almost match by match. Read more in Judging Player Personality (pp.

However. it seems that though the wording in the menu might differ. If you lack these kinds of players and/or are not favourites for the match you should steer clear of this choice. So you should not be too angry if you don’t get any more. 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. this can make your players buckle and succumb to the pressure. despite the advice to vary team talks given by the in-game hints.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. you should now make your personal choice how you want to send your squad into the game. Always add individual talks. Probably a good choice for most home games in which you are favourite. the end result is the same. a gelled squad and consistent performances. Tell the players they can win this game. the default assistant choice. but your team may be much more relaxed and eventually get a result. The message is simple: you do not have to win today. despite becoming the default you should look to vary your talks when the need arises. For some strange reason. we’re happy to take the single point. 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. But obviously. In fact. ambitious and professional squad. It can be helpful under these circumstances: you are clear favourites for the match and have a very determined. Your best alternatives will become: result will come and expect a victory. This should be your choice for away games or home games where odds are clearly against you. there is not too much room for variation if you have reached this state of stable performance. . especially if they are prone to nerves. A clear and simple statement and it will be understood as is. In certain circumstances. Tell the players to do this for the fans. the wording of these options may be a little different – however. Tell the players you expect them to win the match. also if the odds are in your favour for away games and you feel this is a realistic view of your team. 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!). Wish the team luck for the match ahead. In our extensive testing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

First. there are the calming options. do not dismiss them because they are powerful tools in your arsenal. it may be that you have missed a golden opportunity to encourage a big performance from a key player. Second. 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. designed to take the pressure off nervous players. 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. However. 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. but it runs the risk of him making rash decisions and giving away free kicks and cards in dangerous circumstances. Players who suffer from nerves. Use the team talk feedback to judge which players can benefit from the “none” option and in which circumstances it works best. Some managers like to use this for players who are having unremarkable performances and who do not need any special motivation or encouragement. saying nothing can backfire in two ways. However. Finally. and therefore less motivated. though. this might be an invitation to stand around and put in no effort for 90 minutes. There are other options which are designed to fire up the team and get them in the mood for battle. For others. The most obvious one is the “none” talk which effectively says nothing.31 Increasing your match performance Miscellaneous options Some options don’t quite fit this pattern. can be inspired once they know that they won’t be criticised too heavily if everything goes wrong. This depends on personal preference. Similarly. Others will try to say at least something to every member of the team. it can make the player confused and angry with you. and are used more sparingly. Firing a player up may get them playing well. especially when the game is going against them.

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

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

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

However. a player who always reacts well in the same situation may have great self-confidence. For instance. Also use the positive reactions to help your judgement.35 Increasing your match performance Pressure is off: This quite clearly has the possibility to backfire and make players complacent. If it does. Again. Later. . Players who regularly turn out the same reactions to the same interactions are likely to fit into one of the personality types highlighted here. Everything needs to be considered. Use this information as best you can. you might want to check if the player is unprofessional or unmotivated. while a nervous type player may react poorly to certain talks. 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. this is just one tool to judge your players by. we will discuss another which will help pin down your players’ characters even further.

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

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

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

0” must be considered. However. Sadly. the player and the context of the season and the match as to whether you believe a player has had an unacceptably poor match. it will be time to upgrade the punishment to a one week fine. . If you have just played a much bigger team and a number of players have performed badly. Be aware. It is best to have a united front to both the media in public and the player in private. This may not make you popular.5”) may need more drastic measures. but not necessarily all that surprising. Poor match It will be down to the manager. First offence: For a bad. performance a warning is usually enough. But much like with red cards. we cannot fine a player privately while backing him up in public like many real managers would do. but discipline in the long-run is much more important than keeping players happy in the short-term. 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. Similarly. lower than “4. that truly terrible performances (say. you are likely to get negative reactions if you use the press to support the player and then fine him anyway. if you know your player reacts badly to criticism.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. Players don’t tend to make a habit out of playing badly. and a reminder to them about their professional duty should be enough to elicit a positive response. 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. then it’s time to take the money back. any performance below “6.6 may be bad. you pay him to play well – if he doesn’t. 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. Second offence: If the player then goes and plays badly again within a few weeks of the previous warning. a performance of 5. though. For this reason. After all. but not especially bad. You must use your own judgement as to what constitutes “unacceptable” in any given circumstance.

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

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.

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

until we talk to a player.50 – below par 5. we will still be guessing. .50 – 10. what reactions can we get from our players – and in turn.85 is “acceptable”. there is a sizable minority that won’t.00 – 5.50 . the changes in severity of criticism or enthusiasm of praise work in roughly blocks of 0. The more we interact. This produces a rough guide like this:       7.pleased 6.00 – 6. they will not think that an average of 6. this is just the starting point for your interaction! Whilst a lot of players will fit into this scheme.00 – delighted 7. As we have seen before.00 – disappointing 1.50 – 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. Youths So.45 is pretty good.50 – 6.50. Similarly. the more Older and more mature players tend to we will learn about the player. be more responsive to criticism. you may have a very nervous player who thinks that a rating of 6. The rest of this chapter will go into more depth about how you should do this.45 Squad Management Given this information. However.e. 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. more professional players will demand more from themselves – i.00 – 7.00 – acceptable 6. We can make some generalisations from his performances and reactions in matches.50 – 7. 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). and will be unhappy if you tell him it is “below par”. Unfortunately. we won’t know what he likes. from his scout and coach reports and so on – but until we take the plunge and interact.

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

If. bear in mind that they may not react exactly how you might expect. in essence we have shifted our scale up by 0.86 – 6.86 . Next time.36 is acceptable because we know he reacted badly to us telling him we were pleased. Again.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.36 – acceptable 6. Modifying our approaches Let’s return to the guide we used before. Next time. however.36 average. He may be highly motivated or professional and will therefore expect his manager to push him harder to bigger and better things.00 – delighted 7. why don’t we use the following guide?       7. Make a note of what interaction you gave and what his form had been over the past 5 games. we know that he is more demanding. form we should be pleased with. next time. 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.86 – 10. we have a player who reacts badly to praise when he plays a 7.36 – 6.86 – 7. be slightly more critical of his performances. We said that 7.86 – deeply upset More recent performances appear to hold greater weight when judging which interaction to use in borderline cases.00-7. So if the player’s most recent performance has been exceptionally good or bad.00 – 5. we will say a performance of around 7.86 – below par 5.36 – 7.36 – disappointing 1. .36 because this player has higher expectations. 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.pleased 6.50 was good form. So. While we don’t have to be this exact. If the player feels you have been over-critical: This player may be unprofessional or egotistical and will expect more praise from you.

36 – below par 5. So.86 – 7.36 .36 – deeply upset Here. if you interact with a player and he reacts badly.Communication & Psychological Warfare 48 On the other hand. Over time. we can use the notes system to make a note when we “get it wrong”.86 – disappointing 1. This is the basic premise. you can check the notes and work out what changes you need to make to the scale. with more experience and more interactions with individuals. you will begin to realise which sorts of players need more criticism and which need more praise.86 – acceptable 5.36 – 10.36 because this player has lower expectations. what if we were pleased with a player who played 7. make a note in his profile. next time we will tell him we are delighted.00 – delighted 6. Since we know he reacted badly to only being lightly praised for a 7. .36 – 6.36. In the meantime. but that player got upset because he thought his form was much better than that? Well. along with the action taken and the form of the player at the time.pleased 6. Next time. the scale has shifted down by 0.36 performance.86 – 6.00 – 5.36 – 5. we can do the opposite:       7.

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

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

Similarly. be a player who regularly performs well. which will in turn inspire the rest of the side to play better. and can therefore inspire his teammates. Common wisdom in real football supports the idea of making a central player your captain. he won’t be leading by example. attributes and ability. 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. say. Besides. it may be time to strip the player of the captaincy. Position: This is more controversial. One or two of your player may feel they should have been captain. tended to make the best captains. Midfielders and centre backs have. 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). This is partly down to the determination and football intelligence needed to play the role well. 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. If the player’s performances appear to be dropping to an unacceptable level. As before. They may get annoyed and feel more senior or more deserving than the guy you have chosen to honour with the armband. The club captain should be (when fit) a regular starter and one of your better players. First. good players play more. better players tend to put in better performances. This is for two logical reasons. their friends may also disagree with your . Similarly. and partly because from these positions the player can see more of the pitch than. Performances: If your captain has a tendency to play badly. we have yet to see an advantage to putting your captain in one position or another. ideally. 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. 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. and can therefore lead on the pitch. Second. The original captain may become disillusioned as anyone would to effectively being “sacked”. historically. It also tends to be the case that players who play well get picked more often. a forward. which will cause issues. Your captain should. So this links in well with other factors such as seniority. In FM2010. but this is a factor to consider if you are looking for a captain and are unsure between a couple of players.51 Squad Management of. a settled and gelled player knows his team better and therefore can lead more effectively.

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

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

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

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

with their superior mental traits. you have five or six centre-backs. If you only have one or two senior players for key positions. They may also become coaches. then your defenders are likely to become concerned. Sometimes this is unavoidable. Offloading older players: Clearly. the players can get worried. Selling a key or well-liked player: If a very well-respected or talented footballer is sold on. 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. but in general it is best to avoid this situation in the first place. the rest of the team can get annoyed at the lack of ambition and the loss of a friend. are ideal tutors for your youngsters. ensure that you have a good 1824 senior players on hand and you shouldn’t have any issues with this type of complaint. 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. If. for example. We will not discuss how to bring in the right players for your tactics or league. although this is likely to happen only if you severely gut the side. 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. As far as possible. You can solve this by moving on your weaker players by loan or transfer. Selling too many players for a specific position: Of course the logical opposite is that the club loses all its depth.Communication & Psychological Warfare 56 Transfer Policy As a manager. what is important is to realise the potential effects of transfers on squad harmony. Potential Problems Buying too many players for a specific position: The more players you buy to fill a certain position. you and the club. which can be ideal replacements for current staff whose contracts are expiring. as well as which players in your team are not good enough or need to be moved on. be sure that you minimise the damage when dealing with key players or transfer-listing senior or well-respected members of the squad. Some may get disgruntled with your treatment of them. Nevertheless. Older players. However. you should know the type of player and quality of player you wish to bring into the squad. Keeping players at the club for a long time can build a big relationship between the player. However. the more the existing players at the squad will get nervous about their place at the club. and the tools at your disposal to minimise the damage of potentially unpopular decisions as well as maximising the impact of great mercantile cunning. Giving a player too high squad status: If you promise an average player first team football he’s likely to get .

this works the other way. 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. 69). this can be very important. To maximise or minimise the impact of buying in new players. Signing an aging star: Okay. Potential Assets Signing a player with a large (relative) reputation: Big reputation players not only sell shirts and get people through the turnstiles. especially youngsters. 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. Bringing in a player with great ability or reputation can really give the rest of the team a boost. 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. you can use the new signing press conference (p.57 Squad Management disenchanted very quickly if he doesn’t play. . If you have players who constantly play poorly. Unhappy players can breed unhappiness by getting into arguments and generally wrecking the dressing room atmosphere. The scout reports will help you work out what sort of man you are buying. 73). they inspire the rest of the squad. confrontational and who don’t perform in big matches is counter-productive. he may not be as good as he was. as well as the player. see scout and coach trying to build. especially if you handle the resultant press conference well. Their high mental stats are excellent for passing on to youths. reports (p. Of course. You may find the personality of your squad rubs off on them. 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. Other considerations With regard to squad management. but ex-internationals and top-level players can be massive assets to a team looking to build for the future. Bringing in lots of players who are unprofessional. and they can also act as good leaders on the pitch. but equally you don’t want the new signing to be a disruptive influence.

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

” As far as possible. In all cases. are far easier to deal with than young tear-aways. By creating a tight-knit “family” in this way. The difference between the options is how the tutor will react. these options do not affect the amount the tutee will learn. 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 [. The difference between the three options is how the tutor will react to the request. If the player is very senior and a key player at the club. you should be looking to call him an “ideal role model” so that you do not undermine his position at the club. the younger player will attempt to take on some of the mental attributes and player preferred moves (PPMs) of his tutor. as has been shown through team talks and player interaction. 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. It also has the added bonus of proliferating PPMs and high morale throughout the squad. For example. 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). Passing on determination. When attempting to engage a tutoring relationship. . motivation.]. professionalism and other characteristics is incredibly important to a youth player’s development and will create a much stronger player. 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... They are simply different methods of trying to get the tutoring process to start. mentally. As the youngsters take on PPMs from one or more tutors they can also become friends with more and more of their squad members.59 Squad Management and a senior player possesses this “move”. your best prospects should be tutored as much as you can. in the future. Choose the option which best reflects the tutor’s position in the club. Professional players. you can pass it on to his tutee without having to increase the youth’s training workload. They also perform better in training and develop attributes much quicker.

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

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. though. but also their personality and ability to settle quickly. they may recommend players that your scouts have not yet seen. You can either ask the player to recommend a general staff member who he knows from his own career and experience. Sometimes it will happen at the end of the tutoring relationship. If you then go and buy the player. or you can ask for a staff member at the player’s former club. 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. 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. this can also lead to the players disliking each other. he may be even more grateful. Recommendations can come on both playing and backroom staff. and second. and even though the mental traits and PPMs may have been passed on. On the whole. he will tell you within a couple of days. at least you know there is no bad blood between the potential new arrival and your current squad member. Be aware of such risks. though. Player recommendations When building up a club. it always helps if you know that the players you are going to bring in are going to fit into the existing setup. 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. While this can be useful every now and again for boosting your scouting knowledge and gaining little morale boosts. the benefits of tutoring will outweigh the risks. before trying to initiate a tutoring system. Again. both parties can come away from the experience disappointed and therefore with low morale. This does not only concern their attributes and abilities to learn your tactical approach.61 Squad Management Tutoring can also break down. He may even get a morale boost as he will feel honoured that you respect him enough to take his recommendations seriously. 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. Be aware. it isn’t the sort .

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

We have other less expensive and more effective methods of achieving that goal. We have not covered this as a motivational tool much in this guide simply because it overlaps too much with general transfer policy. as well as providing a morale boost. 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. for instance. as well as keeping track of large youth squads. What is more. they may encourage you to develop your youths. This can help you build for the future so that you do not waste time trying to develop players who. Some may feel that the player is not worth hanging on to – others will suggest that you tie them down as soon as possible. If you have great facilities. they might think your best chance for improvement comes from the open market. Very helpful for those border-line reserve players who you do not know too well but who keep the squad running. 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. PPM Training: Some coaches will give you advice on training certain moves to certain players. So.63 Squad Management Reputation Analysis: Although tactically related. we would never offer a new contract for the sole purpose of boosting morale. This can be useful as you can give tutoring priority to the most important youth players. are Offering a new contract to a player will unlikely to “make it”. the coaches in your side may chip in with some ideas as to the best course of action. 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. the decision is up to you and your own tactical master plan. the coaches will give you some feedback about the general attitude of your players when confronting certain types of opponents. with your facilities. 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. if not. Youth team strategy recommendations: At the beginning of the season. also make him more settled at the club Contracts: When a player’s contract is running low. In the end. Similarly. . 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. 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.

especially if their morale is already superb and you were not considering interacting with them. it can be a good starting point for identifying candidates for praise. because not only does it let you know how your players really felt about the way you spoke to them. 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. if the player has any professional integrity you should know in private before they go public. However. Should a player feel they are not getting enough football. We have already covered team talks earlier in the guide. it is unlikely that you will need this advice too often. such as positions where he feels you don’t have adequate cover or a good enough first choice. form and the team. Praise/Criticism: Given that this guide covers praising and criticising players in detail. Team Talk Feedback The team talk feedback page is a very important tool. 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. The Assistant’s Team Report The assistant can be very useful to you in a number of ways.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. the motivation widget and the coach reports. First. However. Second. The assistant can also be asked to . general performances for the club. or it can give you the opportunity to transfer list him before he starts to kick up a fuss and ruin team harmony. 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. in conjunction with the reactions to player interaction. as well as a best eleven for the youth team. This can give you the chance to loan the player out or to give him a run of games to keep him happy. 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. he can give you transfer recommendations for problem areas in the squad. Using this information. 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.

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

The media battleground should not only be used to fight the opposition. It is evident to see in so many ways where managers’ comments have spurred sides on.Communication & Psychological Warfare 66 Warfare Changing the landscape around you Psychological warfare has long been played out in football. Managers who are able to manipulate the media for their own devices will be able to influence the game away from their own club. . worried the opposition and forced the hand of other managers to derail title challenges. but to befriend players and managers. Used at pivotal points in the season it can have massive effects on winning games. 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. 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. but used incorrectly and history will show how it can throw away a season.

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

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

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

Miscellaneous questions. It makes little sense to tell your 17-year-old prospect that he’s going to set the world on fire tomorrow. Similarly.Communication & Psychological Warfare 70 It is best to be enthusiastic about the signing itself. However. This can be tricky. 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. or can you afford to keep people onboard? Saying that nobody needs to be sold will please the current players and the fans. but err either towards saying that the club will not need to sell or making a neutral comment. Who will win the league? Every so often the press will want your tip for the title. it can be beneficial to back either your own players or a player you covet from another club. It is important that you make sure that your expectations are in-line with the players. Who will win the award? This can be a bizarre one. pre-match Sometimes you will get asked some pretty random questions which don’t fit in with the usual pre-match routine. but may annoy more established players. Bear in mind. but if the new lad thinks he has a good chance of establishing himself as a first-team player he may get disgruntled. similar to the 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. once you reach the higher echelons of the game. being too enthusiastic can make nervous players worried that you are expecting too much too soon. Will you need to balance the books? This is another balancing act – will you be selling players to keep the team solvent. 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. the club’s financial status and what his potential impact will be. As with all questions. but an element of positivity goes a long way. It makes sense to be honest with the squad. You may be able to keep other players happy by saying that your new signing is a prospect for the future. 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. however. honesty is usually rewarded. Potential impact: Again. but more subtle answers may be needed regarding the player’s position within the club. but admitting financial problems is likely to make those on the fringes of the first team nervous. because .

A shame. but something to watch out for. which will also count as a job application. Similarly. don’t try to be clever or humorous. the ambitious players will love it.71 Warfare it really seems to affect your players – they obviously care a lot about your punditry skills. Links with another job If you have the good fortune to be linked with another job. you have three options in the resulting news item. the opposite is true if you back another team. Even if you do think you will win the league. Backing Burnley to win the Premier League title will see players becoming “confused” and losing morale. denying the rumours may placate your players but might also lose the opportunity to sign your target. This has .. Player missed training Not technically a press conference. A firm line should be taken. and in most cases a two week fine is not out of the question. more a news item. If you tip your side for the title. This is also affected by your predicted position. if you’re predicted to finish in the bottom half of the table (or are a fair few points behind the leaders). However. you have a choice to make. 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. If you declare your interest. or you can try to put the pressure on your rivals. 37). You can back your team for glory. You can release a statement saying you are interested. Are you looking to sign. you may goad a reaction from the player in question and at least make your intentions clear. As a final note. but this might upset the players at your club likely to lose out with his arrival. 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. See also fining players (p. If your side is likely to be there-or-there-about at the end of the year. Any player who reacts badly to this is the kind of player who you don’t want around long-term anyway. that players in FM don’t have a sense of humour.. with low squad status or who are transfer listed). definitely. but the less ambitious players will feel there is too much pressure. This should never be taken lightly. ? Occasionally the rumour mill will go into overdrive and you will be asked about whether you intend to sign a particular player.

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

Reputations of the people involved will dictate how much effort you need to make to persuade a player. Your reputation doesn’t entice the player to respect your opinion.73 Warfare But if there is a realistic target out there that will take some persuading. 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. Therefore it may be a right that you will have to earn. Negative or nonchalant remarks demonstrate that the player doesn’t really see your praise as valuable. Admiring Players Inflating a player’s ego is often one way that you can catch a player’s attention. Positive comments in the media suggest that the player has some interest in your club and respects what you have to say. The younger 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. the less loyalty he will have formed to his current club. 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. Praise too much and you will begin to bore the player. . You will have to do less work when it comes to touting him in the transfer window. not enough and it will lack any effect on the player. judging the reaction. Throughout the season you will want to look to flatter the player every couple of weeks. You may wish to start young: players under 21 will give you the option of commenting on their potential ability. Depending on who the player is and how much you want to impress them. 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. The ultimate feedback will be that you or your club will be named as a favourite personnel or club. player interaction will be a longterm game played with patience and timing. even when a scout tells you they are uninterested. 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. which will let you know the level of interest the player has in your club.

This can also reduce the risk of trying to compete for a signature by offering a better contract. but don’t worry about this. . Unsettled players in a squad will command lower prices.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. Once you have unsettled him. Ultimately. 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. Making a bid that you feel is reasonable may still get rejected. putting themselves in the shop window. 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. Once you have made your interest known in a player. Hopefully by doing all the ground work before hand. negotiations with the player will become much easier and the player will begin to force a transfer through as your interest grows strong. If the player is interested in joining your club. even better. 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 once you have been able to sway the player in your favour it is then time to tempt him away from his 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. but an unsettled player will now be looking for the move. 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. it can drive these players to play better football in order to impress a prospective manager. Teams won’t want unhappy players upsetting the dressing room. hand in his transfer request. All of these actions may cause a buzz and encourage other clubs to become interested and enter the race. Again this unsettles the player.

Having top managers as friends can make it much easier to negotiate transfer fees.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. If the team isn’t in your league or country. Whenever Sir Alex Ferguson pays attention to another manager in the media. Arsène Wenger. 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. you will learn how your comments on other managers will affect them. Kevin Keegan and Rafael Benitez all have been baited by Sir Alex and his psychology and all have lost. . you then know that he expects the opposition to be a cause for concern. Making Friends Finding friendships with other managers across the FM2010 game. especially if you are a manager who likes to travel. Your players will react differently depending on their personality and their understanding of the media. 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. There are two ways in which you can interact with managers. Through trial and error and getting to know your players’ reactions. The same would apply to being able to loan players that you might not get otherwise. The acceptance of lower transfer fees could happen much more easily just because a manager likes you. 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. Professional football has long seen its fair share of feuds. Target the teams with which you want to gain good relationships by making positive comments each time you play. You can either come out in the media at any point to give praise or negative comments. the use of a friendly could act as chance to interact with another manager. Secondly you can make contextual comments before a game responding to any comments that may be made by your opposition. can be a benefit.

and are far less likely to try to stir discontent amongst your squad. 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. Be warned. 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. This will be reflected in the top tiers of the football league where your side is expected to be more professional. Friendly managers are much more likely to support your players by making comments about them in the media. and we don’t care” attitude (with the Wimbledon and Leeds sides of the 1980s and 1970s being prime examples). that this is a very risky strategy and has the potential to motivate the other side as much as it might encourage your own. With so many personalities to deal with. 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.Communication & Psychological Warfare 76 Some of your players may not take kindly to the fact that you are praising other managers. Although much of this can be achieved through the natural rivalries that are set up in the game. accepting transfer and loan bids. though. Making contextual comments before a game about your fierce rivals will be aimed to get a response out of your players. creating enemies deliberately is considered unprofessional. 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. Deflecting the media attention elsewhere can benefit players who are less able to handle pressure. 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. on the other hand. . these sorts of comments can really get your players fired up for the campaign. If. Building a network of friends can really help your long-term strategy in your simulated world. Many a manager has built squad harmony with the “nobody likes us. you have a squad of players who thrive in such an openly hostile environment.

on the possible networks you can build between managers using the “warfare” element of the game. all the different hidden mental attributes and their effects on the match engine and the workings of your squad. we hope you can now appreciate the complexity of the manmanagement systems in FM2010. Hopefully. We’ve mentioned. And we could talk much. the implications of player personality on player development and bringing through the next set of wonderkids. but not explored deeply.77 Conclusion Conclusion Where to go from here? Having read through these pages. For others. While it may seem tedious or even unrealistic at the outset. for example. short of a brief introduction to the sorts of relationships possible. We’ve barely touched. 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. when you begin to investigate the whole structure properly it brings out some intriguing possibilities. 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. 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 . much more about the relationship between different player personalities. 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.

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