Football Manager 2020 tips: 8 things to know before starting your managerial career

Football Manager 2020 tips
(Image credit: Sports Interactive)

If you're jumping in to the prestigious soccer simulator, whether it's your first time or you're a returning player, make sure you take a look at our Football Manager 2020 tips. The game has gone free-to-play for a week at the time of writing so to ensure you get off to a flying start in charge of your chosen club, our Football Manager 2020 tips are here to help. 

1. Delegate responsibilities

Football Manager 2020 tips: Staff responsibilities

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Whether this is your first Football Manager game or you're a veteran of the franchise, Football Manager 2020 has made the "Staff Responsibilities" section much more detailed now. There's over 100 different responsibilities you can assign so whether you want to be in charge of everything from under-18 friendly matches to individual player training, or you simply want to be in charge of transfers, tactics, and matches for the first team, you can customise your responsibilities however you see fit.

2. Use the medical centre

Football Manager 2020 tips: Medical centre

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Make sure you keep a close eye on the medical centre, because there will be risk assessments in here that can help decide your team selection for you. It's important not to overwork your players and stick them on the pitch when they're at high risk of injury. Your staff will give you a general assessment too, highlight those players who are especially at risk.

3. Get the board to pay for your coaching badges

Football Manager 2020 tips: Board request

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If you fancy a low league challenge and you don't start the game with the highest qualifications – or even if you're doing a journeyman save – do your utmost to get the board to pay for your coaching badges no matter which club you're at. Even if you're playing in the Kazakhstani fourth tier, make a board request to acquire the next set of coaching qualifications. The worst they'll say is no, they can't afford it.

4. Set some short term scouting assignments

Football Manager 2020 tips: Scouting assignments

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When you get started, chances are it'll be the very start of the transfer window. One of the first things you'll want to do is identify the weak areas of your squad via the first couple of friendly matches, then set some short term scouting assignments to find players that meet your custom parameters. You can select the position, role, age, ability, and more.

5. Keep things simple at the lower levels

Football Manager 2020 tips: Keep things simple

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Unless you're playing in the top division in each country, you'll want to keep things simple with your tactics. You can't take the helm at York City and force them to play a vertical tiki-taka with overlapping wing backs and a complete forward, because quite simply, they're not good enough. Go back to basics, don't put on too many instructions, and keep it tight at the back.

6. Player roles are crucial

Football Manager 2020 tips:

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While a player will have his best position, they'll also have favoured player roles. For example, Victor Lindelof at Manchester United is obviously a centre back, but his best role by far is as a ball playing defender with a cover duty, rather than a no-nonsense centre back or standard central defender. You want to avoid having too many players in the same position with the same role, otherwise they'll be trying to do the same thing in-game and counteract one another instead of complimenting.

7. Don't break your promises

Football Manager 2020 tips: Don't break promises

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Sometimes, a player will come to you with a request or concern, and it's up to you to handle the situation. Paul Pogba, for example, is always frustrated at the start of the game because United don't have Champions League football. There's plenty of dialogue options to take, but you need to try to maintain the morale for your team, and ensure you don't break any promises like selling a player if you don't achieve your targets.

8. Avoid knee-jerk reactions

Football Manager 2020 tips: Don't change tactics quickly

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If you're trying out a new tactic with your team and you lose the first game 4-0, don't panic! Making your squad familiar with new tactics is an enormous undertaking and you can't expect them to pick it up straight away. Stick with the tactic and have faith in your abilities as a manager, but if you go on a 10 game losing streak, that might be the time to change it up.

Ford James

Give me a game and I will write every "how to" I possibly can or die trying. When I'm not knee-deep in a game to write guides on, you'll find me hurtling round the track in F1, flinging balls on my phone in Pokemon Go, pretending to know what I'm doing in Football Manager, or clicking on heads in Valorant.