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. 


Playing FM


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 Passion4FMhere: https://www.passion4fm.com/football-manager-guide-squad-analysis/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Managing a save

Planning for success: neat advice from @FMfutbolManager  https://mrkeysirensie.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/planning-for-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/

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/

Reflective learning

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

Club management


How to appoint staff:

How to use a Director of Football:

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/

Youth development

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/


Set pieces

See the set pieces section on the FM Rensie, especially the posts on near-post corners and throw-ins.  

Advice from the Gaming Dad on How to properly defend corners.

Formations/team tactics

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/

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/

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/

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/






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