Investing in the right places: Manager attributes in FM

Sports Interactive have announced that Football Manager 2016 will offer players the chance to create how their manager looks on the touchline. I suspect many long time players will treat this new feature with a certain amount of apathy. There is also a danger that players new to FM16 may become too concerned about how their players appear and overlook the other parts of the manager creation set up. This week I argue the importance of thinking a bit deeper about setting the right manager attributes and how you ought to think about your new save prior to starting out. Knowing what kind of manager you want to be, and where you want to go, can have a huge impact on the importance of certain attributes.

When starting a new game on FM15 you are given a certain amount of manager points to invest in both coaching and mental attributes. The number of points allocated to you depends on your coaching badges and past playing experience, as below:



There is no right or wrong experience to choose, it depends on your save and whether you want realism or add a certain degree of role play to your manager. For instance, I only ever played to Sunday League level...but I always suit my past experience to the level of which I am managing at e.g. Bromley - Semi Pro, Exeter - Regional Pro and Man Utd - Intl footballer.

What kind of manager do you need to be from Day 1?

The first thing I would ask new FMers to think about is whether they are in a position to distance themselves from training. For instance you could be managing a huge club like Real Madrid, where an exceptional level of training already occurs. If your new save sees you managing a cash strapped Torquay Utd...then you may not be able to employ good coaches. The focus is then on you to invest some of your finite points on the green coaching attributes above.

Some FMers also consult the game editors or programmes such as FM Scout to see player current ability/potential ability as well as hidden stats and player sale values. (There is nothing wrong with taking this advantage, as long as your fictional FM world is played out where all human managers know that these are being used). If these are being used, then there is absolutely no need to invest in the Player Knowledge or Youngster Knowledge attributes. It can also be argued that those managing higher reputable clubs, with extensive scouting networks, OR those disabling attribute masking do not need such a high number in these attributes.

Some players (which sometimes include me depending on the save) dislike the repetitive nature of team talks and team meetings and thus delegate this work to the Assistant Manager. If you fit this mould then the motivating attribute can be reduced, providing your have a decent assistant manager and coaches who have high values in motivating.

Where do you want to go?

Some players adore the 'Journeyman save', where a number of leagues are loaded and players can drift from one challenge to the next in an existing FM Universe.  If this sounds fun to you (and it is), then you may want to consider investing in the Adaptability attribute. Being adaptable will increase your chances of being offered work abroad. However if you intend on being a 'One Club Man' like I do in FM16 with Grasshopper Club Zürich, consider reducing your investment in this attribute.

It is also worth noting that FM15 allowed managers to go on coaching courses to improve their manager attributes. Providing your club has (1) enough budget and (2) can temporarily compensate a reduced contribution from your coaching stats whilst you're at college, then you may consider reducing some attributes to around 16-17. This will then give you a chance to improve to 20 in the coming months/years.

I hope this week's blog will lead others to think about their attributes before diving head first into a save. I now leave you with a quick quiz of guessing the three managers below, solely from their attributes (the names of the managers are in binary below each image, to translate visit here). Clue: they all currently manage in the English Premier League as of 25 September 2015.

Good luck, FM Grasshopper

01000001 01110010 01110011 01100101 01101110 01100101 00100000 01010111 01100101 01101110 01100111 01100101 01110010 00001010

01110010 01101111 01100010 01100101 01110010 01110100 01101111 00100000 01101101 01100001 01110010 01110100 01101001 01101110 01100101 01111010 00001010

01010100 01101111 01101110 01111001 00100000 01010000 01110101 01101100 01101001 01110011 00001010