Du Malone writes: The bulk of links below refer to content about FM20. I have, however, included some links to content about:
- other editions of FM (on the grounds that though editions vary, there are continuities too)
- football in the real world (ITRW), where it seems to me the lessons for FM are obvious.
I should say that this is, unapologetically, a personal selection.
Starting a save
What to do when you start a save: Passion4FM has provided a very helpful 11-point plan here: https://www.passion4fm.com/11-tasks-to-do-when-starting-a-new-save/
How to assess your squad at the start of a save: FM-Life provides guidance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V52gNgrUggk
A step-by-step guide to initial squad analysis available from Passion4FM here: https://www.passion4fm.com/football-manager-guide-squad-analysis/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
FM Catenaccio uses the process of moving house as an extended metaphor for developing tactics: Making the move.
Dictate the Game puts the case for playing FM on Touch: https://dictatethegame.com/2020/02/03/why-fm-touch-might-be-the-game-for-you/
Old Lady Plays introduces the Canadian league: https://dictatethegame.com/2020/04/24/canadian-premier-league-an-fm20-guide/
Episode 17 of The Technical Area introduces the league of Ireland: https://anchor.fm/the-technical-area/episodes/Ep17-Lets-Be-The-Community-eblvs5
Managing a save
Planning for success: neat advice from @FMfutbolManager: https://t.co/s6bB6lV2IN?amp=1
Season-long planning: https://fmathlete.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/down-the-danube-4-mapping-a-path-to-success/
Du Malone on keeping your players fit and free from injury: https://blackseafm.com/2020/02/23/how-to-keep-your-players-fit-and-free-from-injury/
Purdz provides wide-ranging practical advice on managing in the lower leagues: https://www.westreamfm.com/news-blog/2020/6/3/lower-league-management
Simon Kean identifies 30 ways not to lose: https://dictatethegame.com/2020/02/19/red-star-alliance-resultism-30-ways-to-not-lose/
Grigor Pasha on how to handle agents: https://blackseafm.com/2019/11/27/youve-probably-been-thinking-about-agents-all-wrong/
There are suggestions on how to use nicknames, from FMheathen https://fmheathen.com/2018/04/02/why-you-should-consider-using-acronym-nicknames-in-football-manager/ and Du Malone https://blackseafm.com/2019/11/07/on-the-usefulness-of-nicknames/
Tifo Football explains shirt numbering ITW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFtXAGVJr20&feature=youtu.be
The Tactical Annals (Jonathon Aspey) on what to do when you’re struggling: https://thetacticalannals.wordpress.com/2020/03/28/when-it-just-isnt-working/
Gaffer Graemo develops the parallel between reflective learning in professional practice and on FM: https://thefmtechnicalarea.wordpress.com/2019/07/24/management-self-evaluation/
How to turn round a save: by According to FM
Reflective learning on set pieces by Keysie Rensie
How to appoint staff:
- FM-Life provides helpful guidance on appointing staff on the first day of your save: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR0MrmSnISU
- @FMPressure outlines an approach to staff recruitment here: https://fmpressure.com/2019/11/18/fm20-staff-recruitment-responsibilities/
How to use a Director of Football:
- FoxInTheBoxFM outlines his approach here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62DEPbVrOZY
- @fmFutbolManager outlines his approach here: https://theresonlyoneball.com/2018/05/15/my-approach-to-utilising-a-director-of-football-in-football-manager-2018/
Toby Lacey provides an introductory treatment of data analysts: https://dictatethegame.com/2020/01/22/data-analysts-how-important-are-they/
@FMfutbolManager’s guidance on training: https://theresonlyoneball.com/2018/10/28/my-approach-to-training-in-football-manager-2019/
@FMfutbolManager also deals with pre-season training in an extensive post here: https://theresonlyoneball.com/2020/05/23/my-approach-to-preseason-training-in-football-manager-2020-part-i/
Gaffer Graemo on training and youth development: https://thefmtechnicalarea.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/teaching-the-tango-training-youth-development/
Integrating tactics and youth development — reflection from LPQR: https://asymmetric-football.com/2017/01/03/sparta-a-tactical-identity-journey-part-ii-integrating-youth-development-tactic-design/
Fuller FM provides a rounded treatment of youth intakes: https://fullerfm.wordpress.com/2020/04/10/fm-mythbusting-youth-intakes/
Score More FM explains how to discover good newgens: https://scoremorefm.wordpress.com/2019/01/16/how-to-be-the-first-to-find-the-best-newgens/#more-331
Jonathon Aspey and Guido Merry on solutions when your strikers keep failing to convert chances: https://strikerless.com/2015/02/24/finishing-chances-how-can-i-stop-my-forward-finishing-like-torres-at-chelsea/.
FM Catenaccio explains how he responds to the opposition in Analysing your opponent.
Jim G FM provides a worked example here (from about 06:40): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Stwjo4UiMUs&feature=youtu.be.
Advice from the Gaming Dad on How to properly defend corners.
FM Catenaccio provides great analysis of long throws, from attacking and defensive points of view: Do you even Delap?
A worked example, from According to FM, on how to review one’s tactics: https://accordingtofm.wordpress.com/2019/12/04/fm20-tactics-attempting-to-beat-the-low-block/
How to play route-one football: FM Tahiti provides a guide here: https://dictatethegame.com/2019/11/10/hoofball-fm20/
Madd FM explains how to play counter-attacking: https://maddfm.home.blog/counter-attack-fm-style/
FM Catenaccio synthesises several factors to help his team play from the back: Painting a picture from the back.
FM Eadster has published a series of posts on how to develop 4-4-2 tactics based on the historical thinking of Valeriy Lobanovskiy: https://fmeadster.wordpress.com/
FM Grasshopper shows how to use a River Plate-inspired 4-1-3-2 here https://fmgrasshopper.com/blog/2020/1/17/football-manager-tactics-gallardos-4-1-3-2-river-plate-fm20 and a San Jose-inspired 4-2-3-1 here https://fmgrasshopper.com/blog/2019/7/16/football-manager-tactics-almeydas-4-2-3-1-san-jose-earthquakes-fm19.
A 5-4-1 system, based on the tactics of Maurizio Sarri, is explained by Luke James: https://firsttouchfm.home.blog/2019/09/28/5-4-1-sarriball-tactic-football-manager-2019/
Alex Parkin develops a 3-3-2-0-2 formation based on Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United: https://stratmangaming.wordpress.com/2020/03/14/tactics-through-time-sheffield-united-5-3-2/.
On strikerless, three authors outline 3-6-1(-0) formations: https://strikerless.com/2020/02/20/the-dirty-half-dozen/
Positions and roles
How to utilise a sweeper keeper: advice from Jonathon Aspey: https://thetacticalannals.wordpress.com/2018/03/03/how-to-utilise-the-sweeper-keeper-effectively-on-football-manager/
FM Pressure focuses on full backs here https://fmpressure.com/2020/05/21/modern-full-backs-part-1/ and here https://fmpressure.com/2020/05/28/modern-full-backs-part-2/
Advocacy, from Dictate the Game, for using an anchorman: https://dictatethegame.com/2019/12/04/anchorman-fm20-the-unsung-hero-of-player-roles/
MaddFM outlines the deployment of deep midfielders: https://maddfm.home.blog/dmc-or-not-dmc-that-is-the-question/
Whilst we’re on the subject of defensive midfielders, here’s a podcast episode about a defensive midfielder (namely Makalele) ITRW: https://podfollow.com/1488523269/episode/3272112721ae5a5dc02c20f1f9f685f1710a3455/view
Guido Merry examines the inverted winger role here https://strikerless.com/2019/11/08/the-inverted-winger-our-new-wide-option/
More from Dictate the Game, here on target men and their deployment: https://dictatethegame.com/2020/01/15/targetman-superhero-striker-for-fm20/
A post from real-world football on target men, especially wide target men, that I find can readily be applied to FM comes from Sportslens: https://sportslens.com/the-evolution-of-the-target-man/66361/
MaddFM, writing on WeStreamFM, explores the use of utility men: https://www.westreamfm.com/news-blog/the-underutilised-utility-man
- crusaderstar on the Fantasista: https://dictatethegame.com/2019/05/08/italian-footall-in-fm19-fantasista-quest/
- Guido Merry and Seattle Red on the Shadowganche: https://strikerless.com/2019/12/04/rise-of-the-shadowganche/
- Du Malone on the Sherwood https://blackseafm.com/2019/10/17/a-new-role-for-football-manager-the-sherwood-substitute/
- and on the Shadow https://blackseafm.com/2019/10/20/another-role-for-football-manager-the-shadow-substitute/
Facci Sognare, focusing on the case of Brandley Kuwas, raises the intriguing question, Why do bad players do well? The first of the posts tracking Kuwas’s progress is here: https://faccisognare.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/going-dutch-season-1-early-days-or-the-mysteries-of-fm-why-do-bad-players-play-well/.
From time to time FM throws up some good comic writing. My favourite example is from fmhotseat: https://www.thehighertempopress.com/2016/12/fm17-hot-seat-1-2-pressing-issues/.
One of my favourite posts is @FMrambling’s account of how an FM infatuation led to a real world visit: https://thefmramblings.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/fm-v-real-world/.