Hmmm, ok. I've been giving it some thought and after finding myself re-trawling through the tactics guides again after a break from the game I've come up with the idea of a 'tutorial mode'. It wouldn't be mandatory, but rather than a little box popping up to tell you what does what I believe this would be an excellent way to introduce tactics etc to players old and new and so I give you...
The Football Manager Coaching Badge System
When the user starts a new game, they can choose whether they'd like to study Coaching Badges or not - or, if they've previously completed them, they're already assumed to have gained them.
These badges would take place in the period shortly before pre-Season and would combine a talk through of how tactics affect games and highlight, with examples, all the options available to a player. They would also be interactive and maybe even include an exam at the end - to show you were paying attention. This would allow the player 'risk free' time to play around and experiment with the match engine and learn the very basics of the game at least in an 'encouraging' environment.
There would be different ranks dealing with differing levels of tactical subtlety but would be an immersive way of drawing the player in to the game and making them feel as though they're learning as they go. It wouldn't need to be a massive section of the game, maybe 10 mins per badge, 3/4 badges, each one just finessing what's been learnt previously.
Just a thought anyway.