Picking up from where we left of with the first 5 Top Tips for Success in FML, here’s another five tips that can help you become one of the best managers in your game world.
The financial aspects of football manager live are just as important as the tactical areas, and getting a good financial plan can make a huge difference to your long term ambitions.
1. Try to turn a healthy profit and have a healthy bank balance.
Obviously this isn’t always possible, but if you keep your wages realistic in comparison with your income then it’s just a matter of time. Once you have a healthy bank balance then you are holding an ace up your sleeve. You will be able to pick up bargain players on transfer auction should they become available, or speculate on the wage auctions as players come out of contract.
Quite simply, having money means having options, having no money means having very limited options. This also extends to making good finance decisions. Do not overpay for players, be it on wages or transfer fees.
2. All players have their price.
Repeat after me: ‘There is no such thing as my players not being for sale at any price’. If someone enquires about how much for one of your players, and you don’t want to sell them, then quote a very high price. Understanding ‘real’ market values for players is the key here, if you can sell a player for £2million and buy a better player for £1million then this is exactly the kind of business that is required in order to become a top team.
The amount of times I’ve enquired about a player and got some response like ’sorry mate he’s not available at any price’ is more than I can remember. Rather than saying this you should say, ‘I’m not looking to sell him but I would be willing to part with him for £X million’. More often than not the potential buyer will walk away understanding that you have overvalued your player when they were looking for a bargain. But occasionally someone might be desperate enough to pay this money, and you should never turn your back on such opportunities.
3. Get to know your players.
Understand the match engine, and take advantage of the fact that you can now play limitless friendly matches without risk of injury against CPU Clubs. This will really help you understand your tactics and players. ‘Knowing’ your players is very important. You need to understand how to get the most out of them. What you can expect from them in certain positions with certain instructions. Normally this can only be learned over time, but the more attention you pay the less time it will take.
Pay attention to your players and understand what they can do (and what they like to try and do). A simple example of this is that a specific striker will tend to score from certain types of chances (they also tend to miss certain types of chances). Understanding this and providing them with the chances they thrive from (rather than those they struggle with) are the types of things you should be paying attention to. If you’ve got a wing back always crossing the ball from deep straight out of play for goal kicks pay attention to this and try to restrict it.
Understand that many aspects of what players do isn’t limited to just their individual instructions, it also heavily involves the team and team mates instructions and encouraging or restricting certain situations arising in the first place. Just because a player is good at long shots doesn’t necessarily mean you want them to take long shots more often, you are more likely to want to provide them with better quality chances / situations where quality long shots are possible. Pay attention to the match view and get to know your players.
4. Be a great decision maker.
Understand that every decision you make doesn’t have to be a great one in order for you to be a great decision maker. A good example of this is buying youth players. If you can sign 20 youth players on £200 wages, 15 of them become nothing and eventually free transferred, but 5 of them become quality first team players (or sold for £1million each when they are 21) it’s excellent business and an excellent overall result. Effectively you made 5 good decisions and 15 bad ones, but the net result, is overwhelmingly positive.
Being a great decision maker also extends to understanding when these 15 bad ones are actually bad choices and getting rid of the players that have not made the grade, rather than sticking by your initial decision indefinitely.
5. Recognise your mistakes and learn from them.
Recognising mistakes is a very hard skill in Football Manager Live. It’s all too easy for most people to blame everyone but themselves. Player sales and purchases are always difficult, as there are so many things to factor in. Remember that your team is a unit and losing one component or adding another (however weak or good they may appear individually) can have a quite profound affect on the team unit has a whole. In match tactical decisions (or the lack of them) is another area where people often fail to recognise mistakes.
Yes there are lots of issues in the game that people can point the finger of blame to, but I believe without any doubt, that if you are very good at FML, you will achieve more than those who aren’t. It is not completely random. Making the correct decisions at all levels of the game, far more consistently than others, will lead to far more success than others. I often hear stories like ‘I won 20 matches in a row then lost 5 in a row, the game is broken’. Yes there is always room for improvement in the match engine, but the fact remains if they are a very good manager they will probably win the league that season! Make good decisions, recognise bad decisions and learn from your mistakes.
Hopefully some of the tips given over these articles will help you create a solid foundation that will see your club rise amongst the greats in your game world, they work for me. If there was one more tip to give to help you become a better FML player, no matter how good you think you are, then this is it.
Recognise your weaknesses in FML and improve.
In Football Manager Live there are so many different aspects that it’s quite possible to be successful whilst being very average or even bad at some parts of the game. I don’t consider myself to be great at any individual aspect of the game, rather just solid across the board. I spent a lot of time learning and improving my understanding of tactics and the match engine. The financial side of the game is generally just common sense combined with good judgement (understanding how things work) and I’ve always done very well on this side of the game (although I have made many mistakes that have been learned from).
In recent seasons I’ve spent a lot of time on improving what I considered to be my key weakness within the game (youth management / development) and as a result made the Game World Youth Cup Final last season with an U21 squad that had a combined wage less than most other top youth teams are paying individual players. I’ve also made many millions of pounds of net profit from the sale of youth players. There are so many aspects to FMLive I couldn’t possibly list them all. But I would very much doubt, that even the best of FML managers are highly skilled in all aspects of the game.
You can always (quite easily) find ways to try and improve yourself.
|Written By Nick Kakoschke
Nick is the infamous Little Badger on the SI forums and manager of the Little Badgers in the Clough game world. A very successful manager in his time on FML he now aims to pass his knowledge on to others.