The jump to a new club, but you’re confused about everything? This guide prepares you for success in every new club you lead!

Introduction

With the release of FM 21, we are all going to make new savings for the various clubs, whether they are football giants or untitled clubs that want to reach the top of the world.

This guide will take you through what you need to do on your first working day in your new team. It’s all about finance, tactics, scouting and more, hoping to give you, as a manager, the best start of your journey.

I’ve focused it on new and advanced players, so it can also be used as a kind of training manual. If you think I need to add something, leave it in the comments, and I’ll do it as soon as I can.

Finance

The finances form the basis of your association: You decide if you can make transfers, improve your conditions and keep your players. For these reasons, the first thing I do when I’m responsible for a new club is to check the Finance tab. We don’t have to make imaginative calculations, we just need to have an overview of the club’s financial situation.

Let’s look at the start-up funding for Borussia in Dortmund.


We see that things are going well in Dortmund, with the bank having just over $100 million (~78 million pounds). The $11 million transfer budget is a bit restrictive for a club of our size, but we’ll see later that it’s not really a big problem. As far as salaries are concerned, we have about 4 million r/year, which again is not a lot of money.

Now most clubs won’t have a budget like in Dortmund. Mainly because of the coronavirus, many clubs will have much worse finances. If your club is in this situation, don’t forget that we will talk about transfers later.

It would be a good idea to look at all the points (which can be found in the Transfers tab) to which the club has committed itself. If you urgently need money, consider a sale.

Group report

Then we want to take a good look at our team. Go to the Command Report tab and then click on the Command Depth tab. Make sure that the transmission changes into a position overview (current capacity). I prefer that point of view, although you can use whatever you want. The team’s depth map should look like this:

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Here we can start by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your management team. If you lead a team that you know well in real life, you may already know this, but if not, such an analysis is very useful.

Let’s start looking for strengths. In Dortmund I see that many names are considered big players, such as Haaland, Witsel, Delaney and Hummels. It’s all fantastic information, because now I can see how I can build a team and tactics around these star players.

You can do the same with your team, but don’t rely too much on the star ratings you see. This is only a general guide to the quality of a player, the real information is in the player attributes.

Once you’ve found your strengths, we’ll look for your weaknesses. If you don’t form a good team in the coming years, every team has its weaknesses, whether it’s the quality of the players or the depth of the team. To find them, we go deep into every position shown in the diagram. If you click on a position (in this case, forward), you will see a pop-up window with all the players who could play on that position.

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In the leading position Khaland is definitely my first option, but after that I have to rely on Reus and Hazard. Although they are well able to play on the wings, in most cases they are much better and more natural. The first weakness of the team is the lack of depth in the rush hour, which I will remember when I go exploring.

Let’s keep looking. The midfield and offensive midfield seem complex, as does the complete defense, with many quality players in these positions. But if we look at the central defenders, we have another problem with the jag.

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I see four half-baked: Hummels, Zagadu and Akanji and Emre Kan, but I prefer him to play in midfield. Since I only have three real halfbacks, I would like to find a fourth option in case one of the starters gets hurt.

Do the same for your team and identify the main areas where you lack quality or depth of unit. We will use this information when we move on to the next step, which is tactics.

Tactical

Tactics is the flesh of the football manager, and the right tactics can bring you victory for a long time. So let’s start with the Tactics tab, where you’ll be asked to choose a tactic at the beginning of the game.

If you’re new to the game, I recommend that you choose one of the proposed tactics and adjust based on your own thoughts until you understand the game a little better. If instead you want to do your own thing, you can scroll down to create your own style, which I will use for this guide.

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I quickly put together some tactics for my team in Dortmund. I don’t want to dwell too much on the tactical side of things, because there are a lot of videos and more in-depth guides on the internet, but there is a starting point.

As you may have noticed, I’ve tried to play with the strengths I’ve emphasized before. I submitted the only preliminary design in Haaland because I know I don’t have the required depth for more than one preliminary design. I have added many other players to my midfield because I know I have many qualities in the offensive and defensive half of the field, including names like Witsel and Reus.

In the end I kept the 4 standard seats and used my strength in the Hummels and Guerreiro. Again, it would be a mistake to possibly play on a system with 3 central defenders, because I only have 3-4 central defenders in the first team and if one of them got injured, I would have problems.

Develop your tactics this way, using your strengths and star players and minimizing the pressure on your weaknesses. If you don’t know what these roles mean (e.g. leader or inverted wings), you can always stop by them and read a description of what they mean.

If you’re a strong team, you’ll naturally look for a more aggressive tactic, but if you’re expected at the bottom, you could opt for defence, a counter-attack and a targeted attack.

Okay, we’ve done a framework analysis and we’re ready to move to the transfer market, but first.

Development centre

It’s easy to overlook the development center, but experienced players know that it can be the golden home of young players. Click on the Development Centre tab and consult the sections Loans and Youth Units. It is quite possible that you will find a potential jewel, or perhaps a worthy player who can serve as a reserve for the first team.

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I could for example look at the long term development of Bynoe-Gittens, which seems to be an exciting prospect for the future.

If you’ve researched the club and haven’t found the right player for you, the next step is to jump into the deep end of the transfer market.

Scouting and transfers

The transfer market is the most satisfying part of the football manager’s job; there is nothing better than finding a phenomenal player for a company. But before we do, we need to remember the actors we’re looking for.

In the previous sections I was looking for a second striker and a replacement center. Remember the positions you are looking for and then click on the Scouting tab.

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The first section is the Scouting Centre. Here your scouts offer your players based on what they were doing. You can customize these tasks (via the Tasks section), for example, send your Scouts to South America or leave them to your Scout Leader.

In any case, you can see the players they recommend on this screen – here my scout recommends the registration of Upamecano. Although the Scout thinks it’s a good idea, as his evaluation of 81 Scouts shows, we know it’s probably not feasible because of our limited budget and salary. Keep an eye on this screen, however, as scouts occasionally find interesting players to pick up.

The second part we have to think about are the players. Here, you’re essentially becoming a Scout. You can select the desired positions and attributes so that you can filter the qualifications automatically.

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For example, I’m looking for a backup of the center, so I filtered my search only for the backup of the center on the loan list. There are many good options, the best known of which is Eric Garcia’s.

With these two sections you can find the players you want to see in your positions. Make sure that the players have studied the game well and make sure that the players do not get injured or mate. Be sure to use the drop-down function, as it makes it easier to choose between players or keep track of goals over time.

A common mistake of new players is to exceed the number of their signatures. Therefore, use the above team report as a guide to make it more meaningful. Think of the vision of the club! If you sign a group of 35-year-old players and your vision for the club is to sign players under the age of 23, you may have a statement to the board of directors.

Personnel

You have the tactics and all the players you want, but who’s going to teach the players the tactics? Yeah, let’s go to the club staff. Click on the Staff tab to see an overview of your club’s staff. That’s the situation in Dortmund:

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The bar charts below show how we compare ourselves to other competitions and that we have highly qualified personnel. You can also see how many members have a team of trainers, doctors and scouts.

Let’s just say I want to hire a CTO because I don’t have one at the club. I can either post a job by simply clicking on the employee icon and then selecting the option to post a job. A few days later I got a list of people interested in working as a technical director.

However, a much better way to hire employees is to use the Recruitment tab. It is almost identical to the player search section and allows you to filter employees on their tasks and attributes. For example, if I needed a CTO with 19 negotiators, I could add these filters and hire the best people in the industry.

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If you hover your mouse over the Overview chapter, you will see teams of individual coaches, doctors and scouts. Go through the staff here, and if the employee is of very poor quality, I will not hesitate to terminate the mutual contract to make room for other employees.

If you are interested, you can even choose a coach that suits your personality and your favourite training and playing styles. It really affects the way teams train, so it’s worth paying attention to. Again, you need to keep an eye on your finances: don’t break the bank just to get a better employee.

Training

Now that we have all the necessary staff for the club, let’s continue the training. Click on the Training tab for a complete overview of the status of the club training. This may seem a bit overwhelming, so let’s focus on the important parts.

There are two main types of FM training: general training and individual training. It is self-learning, general training refers to what the team does together, and individual training is a specific training assigned to an individual.

You can view the entire team training via the calendar section and from there you can customize the training. You can even leave them to the assistant coach who plans them, based on what he thinks the team should work on.

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As far as the individual training is concerned, I strongly advise you to follow it yourself. You can go to the individual section where you can see each player and what position he/she is training for. From here you can determine what each player will train individually, as well as any extra turns.

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In this case I would like Haaland to be trained as an advanced vanguard, with extra emphasis on improving his passing skills to make him a more complete player. I think it’s a great way to train young players according to your system or to change their role, while of course it has less impact on older players.

We can then move on to another aspect of learning: mentoring. This replaced the mentoring system a few years ago, now you make mentoring groups where players learn from each other.

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From the first group of coaches we can see that experienced players like Pischek influence younger players like Zagadu and improve the mental qualities of these players considerably.

So if you have a young player with weak mental characteristics, make sure you put him in a mentoring group with an older player with better mental characteristics. Mentoring groups also help club members develop player skills.

Articles

When we get to the end of this guide, we take a look in the club rooms. You will find them in the Club Information tab and in the Services section. Usually you want to focus on educational institutions, youth facilities, youth guidance and youth recruitment. Let’s take a look at the articles from Dortmund.

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As you would expect from a club of this size, Dortmund offers fantastic opportunities in every respect. In general, I would like to improve each of them in the field of art, but it certainly costs a lot of time and money.

For your convenience, you can request your whiteboard under the Club Vision tab by clicking on the whiteboard request form below. It is a good idea to try to improve these facilities if you have a budget for them. Especially in the long term, the savings, the best conditions go a long way.

What now?

That’s all I can say about your first day at work. It is quite long, but it should allow you to move comfortably during the season. I even recommend repeating this cycle at the beginning of each season until you have a better understanding of the game.

Explore other tabs I haven’t mentioned in this guide. In the bookmarks, for example, the spokesperson and the medical centre provide interesting information about the team’s condition, while the club’s vision is what the board and fans expect from you.

There are hundreds of online guides that cover all aspects of the game I have mentioned. So if you know the game, you should definitely check it out.

If you would like us to cover other guides for the football manager game 2021 in addition to this guide, please let us know in the Comment section. We like to do this for our readers.

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