Villarreal: Laying The Foundations

Now that I’ve chosen a club, got a bit of a plan and set out some guidelines for transfer policy, I’ll get stuck into the nitty gritty of shaping the club behind the scenes and assessing what areas of the squad I need to reinforce.


I mentioned in my opening post that I like to have as many positive personality types in my staff as possible. I guess I feel it adds a winning mentality and if the staff are committed to improving, then it will hopefully rub off on the team. I’m not sure if it has any effect on squad personality though, would be interested to find that out.

With Villarreal, there are seven coaching slots to fill plus the assistant manager. I usually prefer nine as it gives me enough to cover all slots and a spare, but seven is fine. I’ll go for two fitness coaches, one goalkeeping coach and then one for each of technical, defending, attacking and shooting. Tactics is usually covered by me and my assistant manager.

This time round, I’m figuring in the mental attributes of the coaches as well as their coaching attributes. It’s a bit of a balancing act. I think I’ve done pretty well with this group, especially considering Villarreal aren’t a huge club with unlimited resources.

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I’ve not managed to get all personalities that I’d like, but these ain’t bad. The mental attributes are pretty decent on most of them as well.


Faith is something I rarely have in my scouts. I tend to look at their recommendations and dismiss it, unless they tell me a guy is amazing and then their word is gospel! So this time, I’m going to trust my scouting department a bit more, I’ll take on what they’ve said about a player and then obviously, they have to fit the profile of player I’m looking for. I’ve only signed four scouts out of a possible fourteen right now, but I’ll expand on that next summer when more become available and we can maybe attract a better level of scout. Scout personalities are something I’m less bothered about.

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I’ve got myself some statistical views that I’ll be using for different positions so I can pick players with the best stats for the previous season. The only downside with this, is that after the season resets, all the information is gone, so I need to conduct my business early enough for that info to still be available. I’m still trying to improve these views with more or better details, but it’s a start. Here’s my current central defender/defensive minded midfielder view.

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I’ve got other search views for different positions, but there’s some good data to be harvested in there. Common sense has to be used as for example, a player for a team that got relegated will obviously defend more and as a result, put in more tackles. I’m not going to use the stats to make a decision, but if they back up what I already think about a player, then that’s cool with me. The AI managers never seem to get the best out of players, so you need to use sensible numbers to get good search results.


I’ve been setting my training up the same for ages. Balanced with a focus on training individual roles. Looking at the attributes I want my players to be good at, I’m opting to put an emphasis on tactical training this time round. You can check what different training methods impact here.

I’ll be using the senior players in the team to tutor my youngsters which will have an effect on their determination and personality types. I don’t often transfers player preferred moves, but if there are some I want on the youngster, I’ll do that too.

For individual training, I always used to set my players to the roles they’ll be used in. I’ve changed my stance on this lately and now I find a role that improves some of the attributes I want to effect. I might have a striker that is quite good physically, but he needs some brushing up on some of his technical attributes to be a Complete Forward. Usually I’d set him to train in that role, but now I’d maybe set him to train as a False Nine as it can impact some of the attributes that the Complete Forward uses. No point on working on his physical attributes if they’re already good. There are many other roles that can work in a similar way, you’ve just got to find the right one.

Each player will be looked at and assessed so they’re concentrating on something that they need to be working on rather than just attributes based on their role.


I don’t really know what everyone else does during pre-season, but I use it for two things. One, obviously being fitness. The second is for morale. Some people will organise glamour friendlies against big teams to make a few quid. Not me. I play against all the rubbish little teams nearby and get all players to play. Winning 12-0 gives you a false sense of security about your tactic, but it does really boost morale going into the season. Everybody gets a game and you don’t have them thinking about that time they lost 4-1 to Roma before the real games have commenced.

I tend to organise eight or nine friendlies against local teams and smash them. I do occasionally do tours to the far east, but these are only really worthwhile when you need the money or your reputation is high enough for you to fill stadiums.

Training at this time is set to Fitness with Match Preparation set to Match Tactics. I allow no rest before or after games. The little scheduling marker is set all the way left to give the team maximum amount of time to focus on our tactic.

Thanks again for reading. Should have a post up about the first season fairly soon.

One comment

  1. I’m generally in the “Find Teams We Can Thrash” camp for preseason as well. I like to start with the minnows, build up to a couple (modest) testers, and then end with a couple more teams we can throttle. The higher quality ones give me enough of a look to judge the tactic. The rest build up morale and fitness so we’re flying when the season kicks off. Realistic or not, in FM it does no good to have your tactics sorted if your lineup is “OK” morale when the 1st game is played.

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