The Manager Menu, located on the Sidebar, will largely be the main point of reference as your career develops in Football Manager™ 2018. The Menu contains the majority of the key items you’ll need to regularly address. The options are discussed in great detail throughout this section.
The menu can always be found on the left hand side of the screen and although it can change colour/context depending on the game object being viewed (particularly the case when viewing other teams), it remains your central hub for day-to-day management and activity.
The Home screen provides a quick look at the important things going on with your team at the current time. Concise and necessary information on your team, players, fixtures and finances is presented on this screen and updated whenever you visit, providing a general overview of your current situation. Many of the panels are also customisable, allowing you to change the information you see.
As a manager, you have a profile in the same way as all players and staff have a profile. Your managerial attributes and tendencies are displayed on the ‘Profile’ panel from the ‘My Profile’ tab. The ‘Information’ section details your personal biographical information.
Over the course of a career, a manager can accomplish many things. The ‘Milestones’ section details all of these, as well as a history of the career path taken.
Start a Coaching Course
Should you want to improve your managerial and coaching attributes, you can request that the board sanction you to go on a coaching course by clicking the appropriate option. During the time spent on it your overall effectiveness as a part of the training programme will be reduced. The option will disappear once you have reached the maximum attainable Continental Pro Licence.
You may have had enough of the football world and wish to remove yourself from it altogether. Retiring will remove you from your current job (if employed) and from the game world completely.
Go on Holiday
If you would like to leave your team in the capable (or otherwise) hands of your Assistant Manager for a period of time whilst you take care of other business away from Football Manager™ 2018 you can ‘Go on Holiday’. The pop-up for this option allows you to ‘tell’ your Assistant Manager what he can and cannot do in your absence, and you also set a return date, which will stop Football Manager™ processing and allow you to resume control of your team.
When you begin a new game in charge of a club for the first time you are given a standard one-year contract with the team. If you impress suitably in that period, you will be offered a new contract with terms you can negotiate as you see fit.
There may come a time when you’ve had enough of your job and want out. If this is the case and you want to tender your resignation, you need to click on ‘Resign’ from the ‘My Contract’ menu and confirm your decision. You will immediately become unemployed and may begin looking for another job, or indeed take up an offer if you’ve resigned for that reason initially.
As a part of your contract negotiations as a manager, you are able to attempt to impart your philosophies and strategies upon your board. Similarly, they may require you to attempt to implement a certain style or directive upon the club during your spell in charge, and will judge you on it accordingly.
From playing style to financial management to targeting particular players in the transfer market, these negotiations make up a healthy chunk of your discussions with your employers. If you’re taking over a new club, you’ll have little option but to agree to their demands, but once you’ve garnered something of a reputation, you can ask the board to look at things from your perspective.
Each philosophical agreement will have its own section within the ‘Board Confidence’ screen, so you’re always kept abreast of how your attempt at working towards success is going. When things aren’t going so well on the pitch, attempting to adhere to your promises may keep you in a job. If your team is succeeding and you’re keeping your end of the philosophical bargain, the board will become even more flexible towards you in the years to come.
Throughout the course of your career you will find yourself making a number of promises to both your players and to the board regarding your intentions of handling things. This screen offers an at-a-glance look at how things are progressing on each and every one, including those added as part of contract negotiations.
You will also develop relationships both good and bad with people in the footballing world as your career develops. Information on those can always be found here.
The ‘History’ section keeps a record of your key information and achievements throughout your career whilst also covering your managerial movements and activity in both conversations and in press conferences, as outlined below:
Conversations, Media and Interaction with the Game World
Being in your envious position as manager of a football club, the media will want their say. Managing the biggest clubs will see your actions come under constant scrutiny as the pressure on you builds from day one. Even managing smaller clubs is only just a little less forgiving – in short, you’re going to face the good and the bad sides of the media.
You are able to hold private discussions with any of your players from their Interaction sub-tab, but be aware that upsetting them could impact your squad, particularly if the disgruntled player decides to go public with his grievances. You can also discuss things with your entire squad should you deem it necessary, by calling a ‘Team Meeting’ from the squad screen.
As manager of a football club, you are prone to attention from the media. Journalists will want to gather as much information as they can, and at times won’t care how they go about obtaining it. The best source for them to piece together their stories is Press Conferences. Before and after every match you play, as well as at other select times (including the signing of a key new player), you will be invited to attend a Press Conference and answer a number of questions about everything pertaining to your stewardship of the club and your relationship with others in the football world, especially opposing managers.
Each question will be presented to you with information on the source and journalist asking the question, with a number of responses available to you. There is also the option to make additional comments in your reply, but watch what you say here…
Over the course of your career, you may build up relationships with journalists. Some may become more trusted, and some you might simply refuse to answer directly because of the spin placed on the resulting story. Equally, a more trusted writer might be a useful tool for you to get a point across to one of your players.
You can of course leave a Press Conference at any time, calling an end to questioning and moving on with your day. A more abrupt end to proceedings can happen should you ‘Storm out’ of the press room, although this also has consequences.
If, at times, you do not wish to attend the Press Conference, you can send a member of your backroom staff.
Every manager in the game has a ‘Press Conference’ section in their History tab, from which you can see what was said in any press conference and any particular reactions that stemmed from it.
From time to time, you will find yourself fielding an individual question straight into your Inbox, rather than in the Press Conference screen (In Football Manager™ Touch, this is the only form of question you will receive). This works in the exact same manner, but simply on a smaller scale.
The ‘Notebook’, located next to the ‘History’ tab, acts as your very own in-game ‘jotter pad’, allowing you to collate your thoughts and important news into one reference area. Notes are listed in the top half of the main screen area, and the specific details and body of the notes are presented in the lower half when a note has been selected.
To create a note, select the ‘Create Note’ button from the bottom of the top panel. The lower half of the screen then becomes a composition area, asking you to give your note a title and a body. Once you have notes you can edit them, duplicate them or delete them as you wish. You can also set a reminder date for notes so that they land in your Inbox on a convenient date to act as a reminder for you to do something.
Your Inbox is the main hub of your game world. All important and key information relating directly to you or any part of your club will arrive here in the form of a news item.
Items requiring an action
Often, news items will arrive in your Inbox which require a response. These items are indicated to you with red accents and you cannot continue the game without actioning them.
Such news items must be responded to before the game can be continued. Once the red indicator icon has left the news item header, that news item is considered to have been responded to in an appropriate manner.
In order to keep your Inbox as easy to use as possible, there are a number of Filters available to you. The ‘Search’ icon in the form of a magnifying glass at the top of the news item list allows a free text search, whilst the ‘hamburger’ menu (the icon with the three horizontal lines stacked on top of each other) to the right of it offers various filter options. Clicking one of them will edit your Inbox to display only the news items relevant to that filter, making it extremely easy to find something from an old news item, for example.
The social feed enables you to keep fully abreast of everything going on in the footballing world. Operating in a similar manner to the previous subscriptions system but now wholly tailored to function as a modern-day social network feed, any game object (player, competition, team etc.) you choose to ‘Follow’ will result in you receiving content about them in the form of a short message in the feed.
Content is delivered by a range of sources; teams, competitions, media sources, journalists, and supporters. A range of supporter reaction is delivered to you by way of the club’s supporter spokesperson and adds a distinct layer of colour to the feed, ensuring you know exactly how the fans feel about the news of the day.
Following an object allows you to see what you want, when you want, and perhaps more importantly ignore what you don't want. Along the right-hand side of the Social Feed screen is a list of suggested accounts to follow; click on ‘Manage’ at the bottom of this list to refine how you receive content. From here, a pop-up dialog appears with the ‘Following’ View Menu located towards the top left filtering objects by type.
Each object has a ‘Social Content’ and a ‘News’ tick-box; check the former to receive social content, the latter to have appropriate news stories delivered as a part of this feed. Select both to have the best of both worlds with social being generated alongside each story. The adjacent drop-down menu allows you to further configure the frequency with which this is delivered; choose from Minimal, Normal and Extensive in increasing amounts.
Finally, the ‘pen’ icon allows you to dig deeper into the specific types of news you want to receive. It is divided into sections by subject and within each is a comprehensive list of the sort of news items you can expect to receive. This extra level of management enables managers to really control their content.
Each social message contains a ‘settings’ icon which, when clicked on, indicates why you’re receiving it, and gives you the option to revise your following rules should you wish to.
The News tab displays a broader range of stories from around the world of football. Click on a story from the left side of the screen to view it in full in a pop-out panel.
Leagues in Focus
This screen provides news and league standings on a number of leagues and divisions depending on the window mode and resolution you’re running. Each panel is configurable and can be changed to the league and/or division of your choosing, allowing you to remain fully up-to-date with the latest goings-on.
Around the World
Similarly, this screen provides news and stories from the wider footballing world with a panel for each continent keeping you informed. Upcoming events are also included, leaving you no reason to ever be out of the loop.
This screen covers all of the pertinent information concerning the most recent/currently active transfer window.
‘Live’ Inbox Functionality
A significant number of important actions can be handled directly in your Inbox, rather than having to go to another panel to complete them. For example, season expectations, contract offers, scouting updates and calendar reminders are all possible to handle ‘live’ when the news is delivered, allowing you to address your affairs in a clearer and quicker fashion.
You’ll spend much of your time poring over the Squad screen as you look to develop and mould a group of individual players into a finely-tuned machine capable of success. It’s therefore worth familiarising yourself with this particular screen.
In addition to these options, you have a number of key items found in the tabs menu. These are explained in detail in this section.
There’s no getting away from the simple fact that, no matter what you do, your players will ultimately determine your fate as a manager. Each player may, at times, have an icon (or a stack of icons, see below) next to their name with a short one, two or three-letter abbreviation indicating an action or event relating directly to them. Move the mouse cursor over these icons for a summarised explanation of what they mean, or click them to go to the relevant page explaining in detail.
A stack of multiple status icons reflects that there is a series of pertinent information to be viewed. Select ‘Full Player Status’ from the ‘Views’ menu to display them fully, or click on a stack of icons to watch it expand and display in their entirety.
This section provides mores details on players in Football Manager™ 2018, their profiles, their attributes, and plenty more besides.
Whenever one of your players represents the club on international duty, information regarding their performance will be added to this screen. You will be informed of match details as well as the important stuff – how long your player featured for and how he fared.
From the ‘Int Friendly Availability’ screen you’ll be able to adjust instructions to international managers for your players when they’re called up for friendlies. You can allow them to play without restrictions, request they play 45 minutes at most, or withdraw them from selection altogether.
Players on Loan
You can keep up to date with all of the pertinent details of any loanees you might have out at other clubs from this screen. A detailed statistical breakdown of their performances is kept and recorded for your reference at any point.
If you’ve granted any leaves of absence to players in your squad, the details of those are kept here for your ease of reference.
Part of successful team-building is ensuring that your squad comes together in the right way, developing inter-personal relationships and having the right characters to pick the team up when they’re doing badly and to keep things going when doing well. The all-new Dynamics section for Football Manager™ 2018 provides a full and comprehensive insight into the network of relationships that exist within the squad that you have put together.
The Overview screen gives you a top-level look at what’s going on. The Match Cohesion section shows how the relationships amongst the players are affecting the team’s performance on the pitch, the Dressing Room Atmosphere section indicates how the group as a whole currently feel whilst the Managerial Support sub-panel keeps you abreast of current levels of support for your management amongst the players.
The majority of the screen is handed over to detailing any issues players might currently have whilst the club’s most influential players and social groups are also included, with links to dedicated sections providing further detail.
This screen presents the overall squad hierarchy to you in a rough pyramid system, although the exact nature of each squad might differ in terms of the number of players residing within each section. The manager oversees everything above the hierarchy; clicking on them will display their overall Managerial Support in a side panel as well as a visual indicator of each player’s support.
Team Leaders sit at the top of the pyramid and are the most influential players at the club. They typically have leadership and experience in abundance and other players will naturally gravitate towards them.
Highly Influential Players are next and exhibit many of the same hallmarks as the Team Leaders do. They provide stability and bring the core of the squad together, as they will typically be more leading players than team leaders, who are generally the few who emerge from this group and take the overall lead.
Influential Players have a voice that deserves to be heard and are powerful figures within the squad, but haven’t quite scaled the same heights as their more experienced, illustrious and longer-serving team-mates.
Other Players make up the remainder of the group and haven’t generated enough leadership experience during their time at the club, or don’t have the requisite personality to lead, and tend to gravitate towards others at the current time.
Each player’s box can be selected to provide further information about them from a pop-up panel towards the right of the main screen area. It will also highlight the primary social group they are a part of as well as everyone else within that group. You can also select the different social groups from the section at the top of the screen.
Those social groups also have their own dedicated screen for further analysis. Each group has its own sub-panel arranging the players within it into a rough hierarchy based on the overall squad hierarchy. The panel to the side of the screen indicates whether the groups within the squad live harmoniously together or whether dissention factions are beginning to form.
Selected players can bring up a personalised pop-up panel regarding their information.
The squad happiness screen lists each player by hierarchy group and offers a visual indication of their happiness in several areas, allowing for a quick and easy reference as to who may have concerns, and who is developing issues. In turn, you’re able to identify and action these in order to resolve them before they become an issue for the social groups or the squad as a whole.
Promises represents the player’s satisfaction with any promises made towards him.
Training represents the overall level of satisfaction with training.
Treatment represents your actions towards the player with regards to praise, criticism, fines and discipline.
Morale represents the overall player morale.
Club represents the player’s feelings concerning the overall direction the club is heading in.
Playing Time represents their satisfaction with how much first-team football they’re receiving.
Management represents their feelings regarding your overall management, tactical decisions, team talks, and transfer market activity.
Each happiness ranges from Good to Satisfied to Concerned to Internal unhappiness to Public unhappiness and finally an Unresolvable unhappiness.
Team Meetings can be held for various reasons throughout the course of the season and will often be prompted as a suggestion by a member of your coaching staff. You’re able to get your thoughts across to your squad and gauge their feedback accordingly, with the overall aim to boost their morale and leave them in a positive frame of mind ahead of the coming fixtures.
It doesn’t always go to plan though, and a manager who views things differently from the players may find themselves alienated and causing frustration amongst the squad.
Configure your tactical approach and team instructions. For greater detail on Tactics and the various options available to you from this screen, please refer the Tactics section of this guide, as it contains considerably more detail.
The Team Report is a comprehensive breakdown of your squad from top to bottom, with your backroom staff presenting you with all the information you will need to know to prepare and build a successful team. It is broken down into a number of sections, with an Overview panel bringing together the most important statistics in one place.
The Overview screen presents an immediate and detailed look at the team’s Pros and Cons in the same style as the Coach and Scout report cards do for players elsewhere in the game. Information on squad depth, attributes, goalscoring trends and on-pitch production are gathered and presented accordingly, whilst a sub-panel towards the right of the screen gives a brief overview of your Squad Depth.
Your squad is broken down by formation and position, with each position box then displaying every player who can feature there, plus their competency in the form of a star rating. Scroll up and down the page to view the full length of the pitch and the depth available in every position.
Click on the numbered person icon to the top right of each positional box to bring up a dialog presenting the information in more detail. Each position has a hierarchy of capability and suitability as well as any information regarding players you are currently scouting to play there for ease of comparison. Should you not already be scouting, a handily-placed button exists at the top right of this pop-up dialog to enable you to do just that.
The ‘Filters’ button allows you to streamline or increase the number of players who appear in these lists (for example, you can include youth and reserve team players). The ‘Customisations’ toggle allows you to manually remove players from a position (if you would rather not consider a player in a given area of the team, for example) whilst the ‘Roles’ menu has four different options for the information being presented to you.
To change the member of staff who compiles this part of the report, navigate to the ‘Opinion of:’ drop-down menu and select accordingly from the list of available staff.
This section presents a breakdown of team statistics across a wide range of areas and also highlights the best and worst performers accordingly.
This section presents a breakdown of statistical leaders in your team – such as the youngest and oldest players – and compares them to the leaders within your league.
This section takes a number of statistics from your squad and compares them across the rest of the league to see how your charges compare. The ‘General’ tab takes miscellaneous information such as height and weight, whereas the positional breakdowns take an average of particular attributes to show strengths and weaknesses in your squad.
Your backroom staff will be vitally important to your success. The manager and players will get the adulation, but the people working with the players day in and day out play just as big a role. Surrounding yourself with competent Assistants, Coaches, Physiotherapists and Scouts will make your job considerably easier in the long run.
This section deals with your backroom staff and the wide-ranging ways in which they can make your life as manager a whole lot easier. The ‘Overview’ screen kicks things off with a visual depiction of the manner in which your entire backroom team – Coaching, Recruitment and Medical - is constructed. At the bottom of each panel is a chart displaying where they are considered to rank within the main league competition your team plays in.
From the ‘Overview’ dropdown you can view any one of these areas in greater detail. Each screen displays a full list of employees in that area whilst adding a visual breakdown of their collective attributes.
The Staff Responsibilities menu allows you to specify which members of your backroom staff are designated to carry out specific roles to do with the day-to-day running of your club.
The screen is broken down into ‘Areas’, such as ‘Board’, ‘Staff Recruitment’ and ‘Contract Renewals’. Each role and responsibility is described alongside the person currently occupying that position. You can select your desired member of staff from the appropriate dropdown list, but bear in mind that certain responsibilities may only be carried out by qualified individuals amongst the backroom team and therefore some names are omitted and are unavailable.
The ‘First Team’ sub-tab allows you to assign responsibility for press conferences, friendly matches and media handling to a member of your backroom team as well as other tactical and advice options.
The age-group specific sub-tabs allow you to dictate who takes charge of each of those teams on the pitch with options for tactics and friendly matches.
You are also able to designate areas of responsibility in the Backroom Advice section and ask particular staff amongst your ranks to deliver timely and appropriate information to you at each Backroom Meeting.
Finally, you can set a number of Transfer Options from the ‘Personal Assistant’ tab. You can select what type of players are offered to you by agents by selecting the checkboxes, and from the checkbox below it, you can automatically ensure that any players you offer to clubs are placed on the Transfer List and have their status changed to ‘Not Needed’. From the same section, you are able to pre-set negotiation values for players offered out on transfer or loan deals, and loan contributions to wages from interested parties.
If you are in the market to enhance your backroom staff, configure your search conditions accordingly to uncover suitable people elsewhere and then make a move to bring them to your club. For further guidance on using search conditions and offering contracts, click on the appropriate sections of this guide.
In the same way as you can retain a shortlist of players to keep your eye on for the future, you can do the same for non-players. The search controls are the same as outlined in the Player Search section of this guide, and they allow you to refine your criteria for potential additions to your backroom team, either by adding them to a shortlist for reference in the future, or beginning negotiations to bring them in right now.
If you are released from your contract by the club, you’ll probably want to find your way back into management as soon as you can. The ‘Job Centre’ screen lists all available jobs which you may apply for by selecting the club and then clicking ‘Apply’. These jobs will also appear on your Managerial Overview screen for the duration of your unemployment.
You can also use the ‘Place Advert’ drop-down to find suitable candidates for vacant roles at your club. A few days after placing an advert, an Inbox item will generate with a list of applicants.
The Job Security screen details the current job status of every manager in the game. If your job isn’t listed as ‘Secure’ or ‘Stable’ then you’ve got a problem. If the board aren’t pleased with your job to date you may find your job becoming ‘Insecure’. If you still fail to improve then it might become ‘Very Insecure’ and at this stage you’re close to getting the sack.
The staff you surround yourself with are amongst the most vital people at the club. They are, to an extent, your eyes and ears on an everyday basis. Whilst you might not be privy to everything going on, they'll be able to fill in the gaps. Through the Backroom Advice module, they share this information with you, allowing you to action it accordingly.
When first taking charge of a team you will be asked how often, if at all, you wish the backroom staff to convene and present their advice to you.
Click on the ‘Reason’ button for each piece of advice to read a more detailed hypothesis for why that particular staff member believes he or she should be listened to. Applying the advice is as simple as clicking the ‘Apply All’ button should you wish to trust everything put forward, or by selecting each individual ‘tick’ icon in the ‘Apply’ column for those you want to approve. Taking no action will treat the advice as having been received but not something you want to move forward with at that point in time.
There are three ways to adjust the Backroom Advice settings. At the top of each delivered inbox item the Settings icon allows you to tailor whether or not you receive a message and how frequently it arrives, as well as whether contextual advice should be forwarded in between these periods where appropriate. You can then use the same Settings icon within each sub-section to determine whether that particular area of advice should be included or not, effecting a multi-tiered configuration system.
Finally, at the bottom of each message is a link to the overall Backroom Advice Settings screen. This is the all-encompassing hub of advice where you can choose who presents the information, how often and whether or not contextual advice should come along with it.
Backroom Advice may be viewed and/or actioned at any point from any screen in the game by clicking upon the icon on the Actions Menu just below the Continue button.
The following details and describes how the ratings model for non-players works in Football Manager™ 2018. All attributes work on the 1-20 scale where 20 is the very best whilst 1 is the lowest possible value.
Their competency at coaching attacking football. A higher attribute doesn’t necessarily indicate a preference for attacking football, merely that they’re quite good at it.
The ability of the staff member to coach the defensive side of the game. Higher ratings indicate a proficiency in working well on the defensive side of the game.
This reflects a coach’s ability to work on the fitness side of the game, and as such should be one of the key attributes to look at when hiring a Physio.
This reflects their ability to competently coach a goalkeeper in the quality and effectiveness of their distribution. Their technical attributes – Kicking and Throwing in particular - will govern the success of their delivery, this attribute primarily deals with identifying the right player to distribute to, and the method of getting the ball there.
This reflects their ability to coach a goalkeeper’s Handling attribute as well as impacting upon their Aerial Reach, Command of Area and Communication.
Goalkeeper Shot Stopping
This reflects their ability to coach a goalkeeper’s ability to stop all types of shots. A better coach will see improvements in a goalkeeper’s Reflexes and One on Ones in particular.
Their mental approach to players. A coach with a good mental approach will be able to observe each individual’s state of mind and react accordingly.
How tactically astute they are. More tactically astute coaches will not only be able to coach the tactical side of the game more effectively but any advice they may offer is likely to be more accurate and informative.
The ability of the coach to teach the technical side of the game; i.e. their work with the ball. This can be one of the hardest areas to coach and it may be that a former player is particularly useful here.
Working with Youngsters
How successful a coach is at working with younger players – those aged 18 and under in particular. Having a coach who is very good at nurturing young talent can be priceless if just one or two of them develop into useful players.
A high Adaptability attribute will enable the staff member to settle quickly in a new country but also will help a little in settling in at new clubs and new roles. The faster (i.e. higher rating) a member of staff can adapt to their new working environment, the quicker and better they can do their job.
The mental desire of the coach to succeed. This isn’t a coaching attribute in terms of coaching a player’s mental approach – this is the coach as an individual and their own innate drive to better themselves.
Level of Discipline
When employing a scout, these two attributes are the first things you should look at. High attribute ratings in these two areas will most likely result in more accurate scouting reports. Judging Ability is important if you have assigned a scout to watch players you intend to bring in or are scouting upcoming opponents. Judging Potential is more important for the scouts you intend to assign to identifying the next generation of footballing talent. At the very top levels, a rating of 15 in these attributes would be considered the minimum requirement, but as you go down the ladder, a good scout can be a highly valuable commodity.
This reflects the level of discipline the coach is likely to take in their approach. A higher attribute means that the coach will take up a harder line in his approach and keep things strict. A lower one means the coach is a little more relaxed.
How well the member of staff is able to deal with those around them and particularly below them. This is a mental aspect; a high attribute indicates a coach who is capable of organizing and keeping people happy.
The mental ability of a coach to motivate their players. High motivation will allow the coach to suitably pump the players up not only for a big match, but also in an every-day sense – keeping a squad motivated towards achieving their goals is imperative.
This attribute is predominantly for use with Physiotherapists. Having a Physio with a high rating in this attribute is something you should always look to have. Other members of staff will have ratings in this area too, perhaps demonstrating versatility useful to clubs operating under smaller budgets.
This attribute is also predominantly used by members of the medical team and governs the competency of the individual to accurately manage every player’s fitness level and injury risk in such a way that they are able to keep them in condition to play regular football.
Judging Player Ability and Potential
When employing a scout, these two attributes are the first things you should look at. High attribute ratings in these two areas will most likely result in more accurate scouting reports. Judging Ability is important if you have assigned a scout to watch players you intend to bring in or are scouting upcoming opponents. Judging Potential is more important for the scouts you intend to assign to identifying the next generation of footballing talent. At the very top levels, a rating of 15 in these attributes would be considered the minimum requirement, but as you go down the ladder, a good scout can be a highly valuable commodity.
The tactical knowledge possessed by a coach. Their experiences in the game, where they’ve been and who they’ve worked with will affect the level of knowledge they have. When using this knowledge they may have ideas lesser coaches haven’t become familiar with, which is an advantage.
Judging Player Data
The ability of a Data Analyst to understand data concerning an individual player and interpret it in a manner useful to the manager.
Judging Team Data
The ability of a Data Analyst to understand data concerning a team and interpret it in a manner useful to the manager.
The ability of a Data Analyst to present their data in an efficient and easily digestible manner to the manager and to the players.
These attributes are displayed on every non-player’s profile page. In addition to this, the staff member will also have all possible roles he/she can perform, any notable tendencies they have, and their tactical preferences and contractual information displayed.
Every member of staff has a Scouting Knowledge section. For more information on staff Knowledge, please refer to the Scouting section of this manual.
The ‘Information’ screen displays similar biographical and personality-based information as found on the same screen for playing staff. A non-player’s tabs menu may also contain links to Scouting Assignments, Coach and Scout Reports, Team Reports and Feedback, and their Playing (if applicable) and Non-Playing career Histories.
You are able to get a report on any one of your own players from any coach employed on your staff at any time. On the Player Profile screen, select the ‘Coach Report’ option from their tabs menu. By default, you will be presented with a report compiled by your Assistant Manager on that player, from the dropdown to the top left of the main screen area (which holds the current staff member’s name) you can select any member of your backroom staff to make this report.
Players are evaluated in several areas split into Pros and Cons, and will receive a star rating from the coach submitting the report for Recommendation, Current and Potential Abilities. A player can receive up to five stars depending on the standard expected of their team and how good they are by comparison. A player who meets the basic average standard will receive three to three and a half stars – from there it can increase to five if the player exceeds standards or fall as far as one if he fails to meet them.
Some younger players may receive a silver star rating on the same scale. This will be the case where the player is not deemed comparable to more senior players and instead more fairly compares them to similarly aged players amongst a youth standard.
You can get information on these star ratings by holding the mouse pointer over a star wherever it appears in coaching or scouting reports to produce a tooltip.
The report also contains a complete display of the positions he can play in and an indication of where he currently stands in the squad’s overall depth within these positions.
Your Assistant Manager has a vitally important role to play in your managerial career. Essentially, the person you employ here is your link to your squad at all times, and is a source of vital information throughout your career. A good Assistant Manager is a valuable asset and a number of managers will endeavour to work alongside the same Assistant wherever they go in their career. Indeed, should you depart a role, there will be times when your backroom staff either follow you out of the door immediately or will be willing to join you in your next position.
As part of his/her duties, your Assistant provides you with feedback on your Team Talks. This can found in the ‘Team Talks’ section of the ‘Analysis’ sub-tab on the Tactics screen.
They will keep track of how your players react to your pre-match, half time, and full time team talks. The information is held from the most recent match played, as your assistant logs what you said to your players and how they reacted. This can be a useful tool for you to gauge how your players react to what you say and perhaps why their performance dropped off so much after half time. Your Assistant also reports on morale and level of understanding amongst the squad – when this is high your team will perform far better than when it is at a lower level, but at the same time they lend themselves to each other – good form will result in a higher level of morale.
Your Assistant Manager is also left in charge if you wish to take a leave of absence. Throughout Football Manager™ 2018, your Assistant will be available to you in a number of ways other than those detailed here, offering advice and help on your daily management of the club.
On a match day, your Assistant can be more vital than ever. You have so much to deal with that at times you may not notice things, but your Assistant, with fewer responsibilities, may be more aware of these things. Your Assistant Manager will offer you detailed feedback on how the match is going at 15 minute intervals, and advise on how to remedy any problems he or she has noticed.
Your team’s performances on the pitch are the product of the work put in on the training ground. Developing a style requires time and patience, and by working on various elements of your tactical approach in the build-up to a match, you can reap long-term rewards.
The Training Overview screen brings together all of the various areas of your training schedule and gives an at-a-glance review of how things have generally been going. It features a breakdown of time spent on each focus area, notable training performances, the squad’s relative happiness with the work being asked of them and their overall fitness.
The Backroom Advice icon will provide you with any pertinent notes your backroom staff feel you may need to act upon with regards to training.
The main Team Training screen is presented as below:
The immediate next three weeks are laid out day-by-day in calendar form, displaying what’s planned on a weekly basis and how your match schedule falls into place around your training schedule. From here, you’re able to set up exactly how you want to approach the short and medium term fixture list.
The entire focus is on the team as a group and how they work towards each match. Across the top of the screen are three main sections; General Training, Scheduling, and Match Preparation.
‘General Training’ allows you to set up a Main Focus and Intensity Level for how the team should work as a rule of thumb. Select one area for the team to generally work on, and determine how hard you want them to work at it.
The ‘Scheduling’ slider tweaks how much you want to adopt a match-by-match approach compared to an overall focus on your own team. In effect, this controls how concerned you are about matching the opposition and attempting to annul their strengths or exploit their weaknesses compared to how much you want to accentuate your own team’s positives and take the initiative.
Also in the 'Scheduling' section, there are checkboxes to set whether you want to include rest days before and after matches. The ‘Match Training’ section allows you to set a specific focus area to work on in the immediate days before each match.
Once you’ve set up your general approach, you can then delve into the more intricate details of the weekly approach. If you decide that a particular upcoming fixture requires special attention, then you can choose to alter the Focus for that week and override your default ‘General Training’ instructions. Each Focus has its own colour code on the calendar layout, providing visual confirmation of the changes you’ve made.
The day before each match (or the two days before if you move the ‘Scheduling’ slider towards ‘More Match Training’) is designated to Match Preparation. If you feel the need to deviate from your General and Weekly Focus in a bid to pay even greater attention to detail for a specific opponent, now’s the time to do so.
By presenting three weeks of the schedule at a time, you’re able to keep abreast of the nuances in your fixture list and how it might affect your players. A light schedule of one match per week or fewer might invite an opportunity to work on one area with a greater intensity and can provide great progress in a short period of time.
However, if you’re faced with a backlog of matches with as many as three per week, you might not have the time nor the physical capability within the squad to do anything other than work on your own game and attempt to preserve the squad’s fitness as best possible.
Whilst the focus on individual schedules has gone, you can still work on areas of individual players’ games and attempt to refine their profiles. Professional players tend to train together in groups – either as a whole team or within their general positions – on a day to day basis and work to refine a particular aspect of their game outside of this time; either scheduled by the coaches or of their own volition.
The ‘Individual’ sub-tab presents your squad; select a player’s table row to bring up his Training Report on the right hand side of the screen.
From here, you can set up a new Individual Training Focus, Player Trait, or begin training them in a New Position/Role. Advice and updates from your coaching staff are offered on the player’s training.
The ‘Additional Focus’ aspect of development allows you to target a specific area of a player’s attribute profile and focus extra work on it. For example, you may have a talented defender who is lacking a bit in the heading department. In order to try and address this, you can select ‘Heading’ as an individual focus.
You can keep track of the effect this is having, if any, on the player’s training screen in his ‘Development’ section.
You also have the option to ask any of your coaching staff to discuss a player adopting a specific Player Trait to add to their arsenal. Perhaps you have a player with a high Free Kick Taking rating, and would like to encourage him to take these free kicks from long range. Similarly, you might have another player who has good pace and anticipation, ideal for springing the offside trap, and would like him to focus on this during training.
Player Traits can also be removed; another player might have a preference for running down the left flank, but hasn’t got particularly good dribbling skills and is right footed. Therefore, it makes sense to try and remove this from his game, which can be done in the same manner as outlined above.
Over the course of a few months, these players will do their best to adapt to your request and eventually you will receive an indication of success or failure in their task.
The ‘Coaches’ tab controls how your coaching staff handles training. Each coach is able to work in every aspect of training, unless they are of a specific type (i.e. goalkeeping or fitness), in which case they are restricted to that area only.
Each member of your backroom staff is likely to be particularly proficient in a particular aspect of training. If this is the case, it is worthwhile to assign them to this/these area(s) only. Proficiency in an aspect of training is graded on a star rating, one star being poor whilst five stars are excellent. A higher number of stars will increase the effectiveness of the training schedules on your players. A coach with high attributes in key areas who is only assigned to coach categories he/she is strong in will result in a much better training schedule.
You can also assign yourself to areas of training in line with the managerial attributes chosen when creating your profile.
In order for your coaches to be as useful as possible to you in your training schedules, you should endeavour to find the correct attributes required for more stars in their area of training.
Strength: Coaches should have a high Fitness rating.
Aerobic: Coaches should have a high Fitness rating.
Tactics: Coaches should have a high Tactical rating.
Ball Control: Coaches should have high ratings in Technical and Mental.
Defending: Coaches should have high ratings in Defending and Tactical.
Attacking: Coaches should have high ratings in Attacking and Tactical.
Shooting: Coaches should have high ratings in Attacking and Technical.
Shot Stopping: Coaches should have a high rating for Goalkeeper Shot Stopping.
Handling: Coaches should have a high rating for Goalkeeper Handling.
Distribution: Coaches should have a high rating for Goalkeeper Distribution.
Everything in this section applies to Youth Training. Your youth team players will train together, but bear in mind that as younger players who are still physically developing, intensities will behave differently and you may have to balance and fine-tune things a bit more accurately to get the best out of them. Your senior coaches may work with the youth team in addition to youth team coaches if you wish to give them the benefit of their strengths and experience, whilst youth players may be invited to train with the first team should you wish them to do so (by promoting them into a squad above the youth team).
You have the option to delegate various elements of training to a member of your coaching staff. To do so, visit the Staff Responsibilities screen.
This section is dedicated to all things concerning the physical well-being of your players, from injury prevention to rehabilitation, and everything in between.
The Overview mainly provides a breakdown of players in the squad who are at risk of injury. The Head of Sports Science (where employed, else an alternative member of staff provides this information) details the work load and injury proneness of each at-risk individual and summarises how likely they might be to pick up an injury in the immediate future. The risks are colour-coded, with players in the ‘red zone’ highly likely to encounter problems unless immediate preventative action is taken.
The Risk Assessment sub-panel has its own dedicated screen where you can action all of the above. It features much of the same content but instead covers your entire squad whilst informing you of the upcoming fixtures and the team’s overall training workload for additional context.
This Season’s Injuries
This screen details every injury suffered by a player in your squad during the current season. The bar traversing the top of the main screen area provides additional information to place these injuries into context; the middle section comparing them to the rest of the league is perhaps the most important, whilst the comparison to your own injury record last season will also offer insight into whether things are getting better or getting worse.
The Season Summary section lists every player in the squad alongside the number of injuries and time spent on the sidelines as an overall summary.
Each player will also have an injury overview page accessible via their player profile from the ‘Reports’ menu. This report provides a visual overview of their current injury status, risk assessment and injury history.
The schedule section contains key information about your club’s fixtures and any important dates by way of the calendar system.
Football Manager™ 2018’s calendar is a crucial point of reference for you to plan your future actions. By clicking on the date displayed on the Menu Bar, you will be presented with the next few days and anything pertinent to your stewardship of the team. Scroll back and forth in time using the directional arrows.
The full calendar itself is displayed and laid out in a traditional day-by-day format. Important dates are indicated to you in either a Weekly, Monthly, or Yearly view (configurable from the ‘Views’ menu). Whichever you choose, you will have key information at your fingertips and very little excuse for forgetting to prepare for a fixture or renew a contract.
The Events screen is identical to the Calendar but displays all non-matchday event types like contract expiries, transfer window opening and closing dates, registration deadlines and competition draw notices.
If you want to Create a Note on a player, team or any appropriate game object, you have the option to set a reminder date for it too. This screen will detail all set reminders.
The Fixtures screen details all of your match commitments for the current season, be it for the senior team or one of the B Teams or youth teams at your particular club. Clicking on the left hand side of a table row will select a fixture. If it’s a match that has already been played you will see details of that match, and if it’s a forthcoming fixture you will be given information ahead of that fixture.
You can also arrange friendly fixtures from this screen. Click the ‘Arrange Friendly’ button and you will be taken to the appropriate screen listing potential fixture dates on the left, and the configuration panel on the right. Select the date from the left by clicking on an ‘Available’ option, and then choose the type of match, venue, rules and opponent from the right.
The ‘Past Meetings’ link at the bottom of the information panel allows you to see all of your in-game previous meetings with your opponent. This can be done for any fixture.
This screen provides an overview of the current state of affairs of all competitions your team is currently involved in. For more detail on competitions in Football Manager™ 2018 overall, please click here.
Your scouts are your eyes and ears in the footballing world. Whilst you’re taking control of the day-to-day management of your club, these guys are putting in the hours and the miles so you can have as much information at your disposal as possible.
Please refer to the Scouting section of this manual for a detailed look at this module.
This section offers you all the necessary possibilities and information for you to operate successfully in the transfer market.
The ‘Transfer Centre’ is a screen that allows you to see all of your transfer activity in one place and act upon any item quickly and easily. The majority of the main screen area lists all currently active or pending deals. Selecting a player by clicking on their table row gives a list of all current offers for them, allowing you to respond as you see fit, and expands in the case of multiple offers.
Any active transfer clauses you’re in a position to action, either by buying or selling them for a fixed price rather than waiting it out for their conclusion, are also detailed at the top of the screen.
Director of Football
There are a number of areas on this screen which are to be used with regard to a Director of Football and an assignment of certain responsibilities to them. ‘Transfer Targets’ is your main working list for players you may be targeting for immediate or short-term purposes and wish to have brought in to improve the current first team squad. The ‘Unwanted List’ will feature any players you have deemed to be surplus to requirements at the club and, once the player is on here, their departure will be handled by the member of staff assigned that responsibility.
The final list, the ‘Development List’, is for young players at your club who you want to be loaned out. Once on this list, the responsible person will seek to find them suitable temporary homes.
‘Suggest Transfer Targets’ will ask them to come up with a list of realistic players to target based on the criteria you choose when setting this up. The Director of Football will return with his preferred options.
Any player assigned to those lists will automatically appear with the relevant reference alongside their name in the Transfer Centre to signify that the DoF has actioned that particular deal.
If you have any players away on loan or if you’ve brought players in on temporary arrangements, details of those deals are stored here.
This section deals exclusively with financial extras involved in any transfer dealings your club has had. If, for example, you are paying for a player in instalments, the terms will be held here until such time as all payments have been met. Future percentage fees and incentive-based add-ons for both players bought and sold by the club are also found here. It can be useful to check this screen at times to remind yourself that you may still be paying for a deal you made 18 months ago and that’s where your unexplained missing £100k per month has gone.
Here you’ll be able to find a complete history of your activity in the transfer market on a season-by-season basis. If you’re interested in reading about where some of the players of yesterday are now, click on the ‘Where Are They Now?’ button to generate a report.
Trades and Draft Allocations
In leagues where specific transfer dealings take place, such as the trade system in Major League Soccer, details of any such transactions are kept on appropriate screens for your reference.
This section deals with anything and everything pertaining to the club (or in the case of international management, team) you’re in charge of.
The Club Profile screen gives you a simple and quick look at their key information. Club Details, League History, Staff, recent Results, Kits, Stadium information and Club information are all present and displayed for your perusal.
The General view takes the Profile screen and expands upon it with more detail – such as rival teams and favoured members of staff - and greater depth in each area.
A dedicated news feed with items only relating to the club or team.
The ‘Facilities’ sub-tab displays all of the information about the club’s stadium and training ground, and any other facilities they may have, such as a youth academy.
Training Facilities, Youth Facilities and Data Analysis Facilities all operate on a scale of ten as follows, from best to worst (if the facilities are rented, this will be displayed in parentheses):
State of the Art, Excellent, Superb, Great, Good, Average, Adequate, Below Average, Basic, Poor
The Stadium Condition and Pitch Condition fields exist on a scale of six…
Perfect, Very Good, Good, Average, Poor, Very Poor
…whilst there is a seven-level scale for Corporate Facilities:
Top, Good, Average, Adequate, Fairly basic, Basic, None
Junior Coaching has a scale of eight, which runs:
Exceptional, Excellent, Good, Average, Adequate, Basic, Minimal, None
And, finally, Youth Recruitment uses a nine-tier system:
Extensive, Well-Established, Established, Above-average, Average, Fairly basic, Basic, Limited, None
There are also five types of ‘Youth Level’, with 1 being the highest, 4 the lowest, and 0 representing that the club holds no audited status. Improving the Youth Level will result in your developmental teams being allowed to play against other teams attaining that grade as well as increasing the likelihood of being able to develop more talented youngsters and bring them through the academy ranks.
Teams are increasingly seeking arrangements with others in order to create mutually beneficial situations both on and off the pitch. From local relationships to international partnerships and corporate groups, the footballing world is connected like never before, and affiliations are a major part of that.
Any club affiliated with yours are displayed on this screen and you are also able to begin the process of a new affiliation from here, as well as from the Board Requests screen by selecting ‘Networking -> Affiliate Club’. Depending on the size of your team, you may also request that the board ‘Look for Senior Affiliate’ to which you will act as an affiliate and benefit accordingly; primarily from the ability to receive players on loan from them, but also potentially through shared scouting, finances and facilities.
Any proposed affiliations will appear under the ‘Proposed Affiliates’ option.
There are a number of types of affiliation which each have their own benefits.
- A local partnership in which players are loaned.
- A local partnership in which facilities are shared.
- A national partnership in which players are loaned.
- Financial benefits for both teams.
- Benefits for the youth setup for both teams.
- The senior affiliate has first option on the affiliate club’s players.
- An international partnership in which players are loaned.
- To avoid work permit regulations.
- The senior affiliate will send youth players to the affiliate club to gain experience.
- The senior affiliate will send reserve players to the affiliate club to put them in the shop window.
- The affiliate club will receive players from the senior affiliate to aid them in their bid for promotion.
- The affiliate club will receive players from the senior affiliate to aid them in their bid to avoid relegation.
- A mutually beneficial relationship.
If you have managed a club for a successful period of time your board may allow you to request a specific type of affiliation to benefit your own needs, and over an even longer period of time the board will be willing to allow you to specify a club to approach for a link-up. These options will become available to you as part of your conversations with the Board.
This section contains a comprehensive historical overview of the club, detailing their honours, league history, competition performance, key landmarks, records, managers, notes and a ‘best eleven’ for each season as well as all-time.
Visit the Boardroom to interact with your employers.
The Overview screen displays an overview of your current situation at the club, but also gives an overall sense of the direction in which affairs are headed.
Alongside your current confidence and the feelings and thoughts of the chairman, you receive information on any Board Requests you may have made, and can check on the maximum number of staff you’re allowed to hire by role.
Wage and Transfer budgets may also be adjusted from the Overview screen. Should you have enough excess in either area, and assuming you are in generally good standing with the Board, you will be afforded the flexibility to move money from one budget to the other in order to perhaps facilitate a contract renewal or the arrival of a new signing. Move the slider bar towards either extreme to raise the appropriate budget whilst reducing the other, but note, this will always be affected by the number of ongoing negotiations.
The ability to adjust these funds is limited when there are ongoing transfer negotiations or the club is in the middle of a potential takeover.
If you’re going to be successful in your job, it’s imperative that you satisfy the demands of the Board and the Fans – and they can be quite demanding. The Confidence bar reflects the overall reaction to each facet of your management of the club. The Board and supporters will give you their current thoughts on your progress in competitions, your financial control, individual match feedback, your transfer activity and current squad, any promises you may have made during contract negotiations, the overall dressing room atmosphere and support levels amongst the players, your tactical decisions, and an overall summary with a major highlight and criticism throw in for good measure.
Confidence in your performances in these areas can be gauged by the bar displayed on the Overview screen.
The bar displayed in the screenshot is a neutral opinion and is at the midway marker. As confidence in your performance grows, this bar will fill up towards the right end. If confidence disappears and people start questioning your actions, the bar will decrease towards the left. You naturally want to be aiming to have as much of every bar filled as possible.
Fan opinion will be presented to you by a spokesperson from a team supporters group. They are more concerned with the on-field product as well as transfer activity, whilst the Board are more concerned with the long-term security of the club off the pitch, but will not ignore what happens on the pitch.
The Confidence sub-tab goes into far greater detail in every area of your job. ‘Club Issues’ deals with agreed philosophies, playing styles and general approaches, whilst Competition and Match Performance respectively will cover your team’s on-field performances. Transfer Activity presents a look at how you’ve fared wheeling and dealing in the transfer market.
You will find yourself holding meetings with your employers fairly often throughout the course of your career. After all, they’re ultimately the people who will determine your managerial fate and they also control the all-important funds with which you invariably aim to improve the team on and off the field.
Meeting subjects are split into six main areas; Facilities, Finances, Networking, Personal, Stadium and Staff. Your performance and your adherence to any agreed philosophies will weigh heavily in any requests made but you can also attempt to seek the upper hand in any conversation with your superiors in an effort to get your way. The ultimate trump card is the ultimatum but use it sparingly; some boards will call your bluff and expect a resignation if they’re unwilling to budge on your demands.
Good financial management is imperative. Your board will expect and demand it. You can be successful on the pitch but if your finances are in a perilous state you’ll be heading down a troublesome road that many teams struggle to come back from. Furthermore, with ‘fair play’ rules and restrictions coming into effect in more and more competitions, it is imperative to have a firm grasp on the club’s fiscal responsibilities.
These options largely deal with the day-to-day financial status of your club. The Summary screen gives you a quick and informative overview of how the club is doing; paying particular attention to any rules and regulations you are obliged to adhere to. The Income and Expenditure screens display a detailed breakdown of the money coming in and going out on a monthly and seasonal basis. The Wages screen gives an indication of where your money is being spent throughout the squad – not an individual list but an analysis by squad status, whilst the FFP tab provides a full breakdown of all relevant Financial Fair Play rules and numbers.
The Debt and Loans tab contains information on all outstanding payments the club is required to make; the Sponsors and Other tab shows where and what is coming in from sponsorship streams, and finally the Projection tab offers a three-season forecast of the club’s financial situation.
It is very much worth taking some time throughout the season to check this section thoroughly to make sure you’re fiscally responsible. Some football league authorities will punish teams who enter administration with a points deduction, and if things get really bad, creditors may take control of your team and accept any bids made on your players to alleviate the financial problems you are in.
Managing Wage and Transfer Budgets
You also have the option of managing your wage and transfer budgets so that you may, for example, move some funds from one area to another to maximize the benefits you are able to make from your balance. To do this, navigate to the Boardroom Overview screen and the ‘Budget Adjustment’ panel. Your board will indicate their thoughts on the matter and indicate any changes they are willing to allow you to make. Depending on the financial situation at the club, these changes may be restricted somewhat.
Financial Fair Play
An increasing number of competitions across the footballing spectrum are implementing ‘financial fair play’ rules in a bid to retain/bring back some degree of parity to their competition. If you’re involved in one, you will find regulations detailed in news items, on rule pages and on your finances screen so you can be fully abreast of the situation as it pertains to your club. It’s important to be on top of your club’s financial position as failure to adhere to rules in some leagues can lead to rather heavy punishments.
Reserve, Development and Youth Squads
You’ve got to look after the future of your club. Your Reserve (or junior age equivalent, e.g. U21) and Youth teams are always available for viewing and for interaction from the tabs menu. Your Youth Team will typically contain teenage players on youth contracts training and trying to earn a professional deal. The Reserve Team typically may contain a mixture of young professionals and older, ‘washed-up’ players who no longer cut it at the senior level, depending on the country you’re managing in. How you manage these two teams is completely up to you.
At the start of each season (following the first season, where you are automatically enrolled) you will be asked by the governing football association if you wish to continue entering/enter the competitions for these teams.
B Teams, however, often exist as almost separate entities and are teams competing in professional competition in their own right. As first-team manager, you of course reserve the right to be able to move players about as you see fit but they will often have their own budgets, their own transfer policy, and the rules governing when and how you can move players between squads may be different from league to league.
You can designate a member of your backroom staff to control these teams in your Staff Responsibilities. For more information on how to do this please refer to the Staff Responsibilities section of this manual.
Edited by Philip Rolfe