Having installed and launched Football Manager™ 2021, you’ll understandably want to get stuck right in to a new game. The very first thing you need to do, however, is create your Manager Profile.
Creating a Manager Profile
The very first thing you’ll do upon starting Football Manager™ 2021 is create your managerial profile.
The first section concerns your biographical details, then you’ll move on to tailoring your physical appearance. Don’t forget to add your social media credentials!
If you set yourself to be experienced, you do not receive the full benefit of the induction tutorials to some of the most important parts of the game. They are, however, still accessible should you want to brush up on the fundamentals of playing the game.
The ‘Appearance’ section allows you to create a custom 3D face model based on an uploaded photograph. Select a photo – the higher the quality, the better the end result – or use your webcam and then adjust the dots on the PhotoFit to align with your own facial features. Hit ‘Generate Model’ to watch it take effect on your managerial avatar.
Alternatively, you can opt for the manual approach and use the in-game settings to build your own facial features, or use a completely randomised creation. Having completed this stage, you can then move on to customising skin and eye colours, hair and facial hair colour and style, clothing and accessories.
Once you’re done, that managerial profile is available to you every time you start a new game (if you create multiple profiles you are given the option to select the one you wish to use).
It’s time to start a new game!
Starting a New Game
Once your profile is set up, you can get stuck in to management. The quickest way to do this is as follows:
1. Select ‘Career’ from the Start Screen.
2. Select your chosen nation, continent and team.
3. Select the ‘Quick Start’ button.
Your new saved game will take a few moments to set up and, before you know it, you’ll be welcomed to your new club!
What team should I manage?
By default, the teams you’re presented with as options to take charge of in the Quick Start mode are from the top division in your region. Managing a bigger team gives you a theoretically greater chance of experiencing success right from the off, as they tend to have better players and more money to spend, but they also come with loftier expectations that can be hard to maintain for a newcomer to Football Manager™.
If you want to start out lower down the leagues and take charge of a smaller team, you might find the Board to be a little more patient with their demands, but the depth and breadth of talent available to you might not be the same as it is at a higher level, and the resources at your disposal will almost certainly be more limited.
There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ team to pick at the end of the day. As long as you pay attention to the requirements of the job, and understand the tools you have to work with, you’ll be well placed to make a flying start to your managerial career.
How important is my level of experience?
An important part of creating your managerial profile is choosing your theoretical level of experience from your ‘playing career’. Football managers come from all types of backgrounds; from experienced international former footballers to having had minimal playing experience whatsoever. Football Manager™ allows you to tailor your background story to your own requirements, but how does each level of experience affect your day-to-day life as a manager?
In essence, a higher reputation attracts the attention of bigger clubs, and more prestigious signings, but it’s balanced out by coming with greater demands. The Board will want to see you achieve loftier targets in a shorter period of time, and will be less forgiving when things go wrong. Opting for a lower level of experience insulates you with more time and patience early in your career, but you might struggle to attract the same level of interest from prospective employers and employees.
Managers with a higher level of prior playing experience are also allocated more points when choosing their Managerial Style, as are those with higher qualifications in terms of Coaching Badges. If you’re unsure what to select, the ‘Suggest badge/experience based on’ option sets an appropriate option for the club you’ve chosen to manage and the level at which they’re currently playing.
What’s the difference between a tactical manager and a tracksuit manager?
A finely-tailored suit or more athletic attire? An individual’s sartorial choices aren’t necessarily a reflection of their approach to management, but there have been enough examples of a suited-and-booted manager adopting a smarter, more cerebral style, while the tracksuit manager tends to live and breathe every second of play with their players, as if they were out there on the pitch with them.
This is reflected in the way you get to distribute your managerial attribute points depending on your preferred style.
These attributes have a direct impact on your players. For example, a Tracksuit Manager who spends their points primarily on Attacking, Tactical and Working With Youngsters will see their teams become more comfortable with an attacking brand of football, be more versatile in learning and switching between various tactics, and will see young players develop better under their stewardship.
A Tactical Manager who invests in Adaptability, Determination and Motivating, on the other hand, will benefit from their approach being more easily integrated into different countries around the world, from players being more determined on a day-to-day and match-to-match basis, and they will see a tangible difference in the effectiveness of their team talks, team meetings and player conversations.
How you spend your points is entirely up to you; there are a few templates available from the Management Style Focus drop-down menu to help guide you if you need some assistance, but the real charm of this is that you get to be exactly who you want to be.
Can I change my manager appearance later?
You can! A small icon with a pencil appears next to your managerial profile avatar on the Profile screen and it allows you to amend all aspects of your appearance. There is also an option to do this on the Main Menu.