Football Manager Diary – Setting up the game

SFootball Manager 2014 Logoo much like Scotsman over on his blog I’m starting a game of Football Manager 2014, and am going to do a couple of updates on how I do till I either get bored or annoyed.

I’m starting the game with a lot of leagues included. The full English league down to League 2 along the top 2 divisions in Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain are active and able to be managed in, and the MLS, Belgian, Argentinian, Dutch and Brazilian leagues are active but unplayable.

I set myself as a ex international player, and start up the game and select my team.

Football Manager Taff

Yep, its a cheeky West Ham game. They’ve always been one of my favorite teams to play on FM, and Im sure that I can do a better job than Sam Allardyce (but maybe not as good as twitters Big Sam)

First up the board want to meet and go through their expectations. The options are

Board Expectations
Board Expectations

Given the teams performance in real life I’m tempted to hit avoid relegation straight away and take the easy route, but lets have a quick look at the side first.


I’m going to go through by position and order them by my assistant managers overall ratings


Choices : Adrian, Jaaskelainen, Henderson

Insanely weak. Has to be one of the first positions I look to strengthen. Jaaskelainens best years look behind him, Henderson isnt good enough and Adrian looks only as good as my OAP Jaaskelainen.


Choices : Tomkins (C), Joey O’Brien (RL), Reid (C), Rat (L) Collins (C), Demel (RC), McCartney (L) Spence (RC)

Surprisingly solid. At the very least I’ve got a back four of Rat – Tomkins – Reid – O’Brien. Collins looks an able deputy, but I’d probably get rid of Demel and McCartney given their ages.


Choices : Diame (DM, MC), Noble (DM, MC), Jarvis (ML AMRL), Downing (M/AM RL), Nolan (MC AMC), Joe Cole (MC AMRLC),  Taylor (M/AM L), Diarra (DM), Morrison (MC AMRLC), Collisson (MC), Vaz Te (M/AM RL), Turgott (M/AM RL)

Diame is the undoubted star, but there’s a solid midfield around him. Downing and Jarvis make a good pair of wingers which makes it inevitable that 2 of my 3 tactics will have wide players. Morrison is a real prospect for the future, but Collison has a lot of potential as well. It looks as though Diarra just isn’t good enough for the wages hes on.


Choices : Petric, Carroll, Maiga, Vaz Te, Maguire, Lee

Andy Carroll is out for 6-7 months, which puts all plans for him on hold. Petric looks an OK choice for now. Maguire and Lee are both showing real potential but Vaz Te and Maiga could be on their way out. With only one real striker it looks like we really desperately need another option.

After looking at the squad I’m quite confident I can get to mid table in the 1st season, so I select that, and the extra 75k wages it brings.

I go sign some coaches and scouts, which is boring so I wont go into that. Tony Carrs also gets offered a new role as my Assistant, purely because I love his judging stats.

Straight away Adrian, Henderson, Demel, McCartney, Diarra, Maiga, and Vaz Te go on the transfer list. Of those there’s no real value, but a lot of them are on large wages.

I go sort out my tactics. They’re all sexy

Tactic 1 : 4-4-1-1

FM 4411

This should, in theory be my main tactic.

The defense are solid, Central Defenders on a defensive leaning, Full backs on auto. Two wide midfielders as wingers, a Ball winning midfielder and a Box to Box in the center. Behind the striker a Enganche, a position Ive never used before. Its described as a Trequartista role, which is a completely free role, but the Engarche acts more as a pivot linking midfield and the striker and is more rigid in positioning. Up top I’m using Petric as a Poacher, tho this will change to a Target Man once (if) Andy Carrol gets fit.

The mentality is standard, with a balanced fluidity. The players will also be told to retain possession and stick to positions.

Tactic 2 : 4-2-3-1

FM 41221

This is my attacking tactic.

The full backs switch to complete wing backs on an attack, Central Defenders are the same. The two CM’s are again a BBM and a BWM. The wingers are pushed up, and both playing as Inside forwards. The AMC and ST are the same as above.

The mentality is Control, with a fluid fluidity. The players will also be told to go more direct with passing.

Tactic 3 : 4-1-2-2-1

FM 4231

This is planned to be a more defensive formation.

It is as the above formation, with two changes. The Ball winning Midfielder drops back into a DM position, and the AM drops into CM with an advanced playmaker tactic.

The mentality is Counter, with a Rigid fluidity. The players will also be told to go more direct with passing.

My first team meeting with the players, and not all of them share my confidence

Team Meeting


With that done, the season is ready to start.

Coming next time : Preseason!

  • DealerDan