Taking over a club usually means that people will leave the club. Players are usually most at risk, but a new manager usually has his own coaching team in mind. I rarely have a backroom setup in mind when I join a club, but I know the characteristics I want them to possess.
In this post, I look at the staff members currently working for the club, assess them and look at potential replacements. I’m incredibly ruthless when it comes to getting rid of staff. In the past, I’ve been trigger happy and made mistakes. Hopefully I’ll be able to control myself instead of acting like Alan Sugar on an episode of The Apprentice.
First thing to check on is the number of staff I’m allowed to employ. My priority is always the coaching team as we need to work with the players right away. Good staff produce good results on the training pitch which can lead to good results in games. Getting my coaching staff right is an ongoing concern. I rarely stick with the same coaching team for several seasons as it’s always something I’m looking to improve.
Something I see people doing a lot is signing staff that they recognise the names of over staff who suit the footballing vision you have for your club.
“Oh look, Teddy Sheringham is available as a coach, sign him up.. I know him!”
Looking at his coaching attributes, he’s great at attacking coaching. That’s fine. But it’s not that one attribute that defines his ability as a coach. There’s the mental side of things, which I see a lot of people not paying attention to. On top of that, not many people look to see if staff fit with their own footballing vision. Sheringham’s preferred tactical style is Catenaccio. His preferred formation is a Diamond 442 and his playing style is standard. Without sounding preachy, ideally, you want him to have a similar style of play as you want to implement. It seems mad to have an expansive passing game setup with a 433 when your coaching team prefers to bolt the door with a 442. It’s very much a round hole, square peg situation.
I will say that it’s not always possible to get the right man for the job, so compromises have to be made. When you’re all going in the same direction, it can enhance things.
Looking at my current team, this is what I’ve got to work with.
It’s pretty basic to break them down like this, but you can see that mentally, they’re not the best. I’m aiming to have that populated with good personalities and strong mentalities. The Data Analyst on this list doubles up as a coach. After assessing their coaching abilities, I decided that there were better options available. YOU’RE FIRED!
(I wasn’t that harsh, they got a pay-off.)
With that information in mind, I can start to look at building a coaching team. I’ve got five coaching spaces, plus my assistant manager. That’s enough coaches to assign one to each category with the assistant and myself usually being the guys who double up on the categories to lighten the workload. I prefer a coach for each category and sub-category (attacking technical, attacking tactical etc) as coaches tend to have specialist areas, so straight away I have to make a compromise. It’s a bit of a balancing act to get the right team in place.
This is where search views can speed things up. When I go to search for my coaching staff, I apply a filter that roughly works in with the type of football I’d like to play. I want my teams to press and control games. I’ve included three styles of play that are closely linked to that, I could add Tiki-Taka, but I’ve just gone with these three. You can add in preferred formations as well if you like, I try not to let that bog me down too much as formations are just numbers, stylistically, you want to be going down the same path. I don’t see too much difference between a 4231 and 433 in certain phases of the game, but I’d maybe skip over a coach who prefers a back 3 or 5, that’s my preference though.
I will also add in the training categories that I’m looking for and then make my decisions based on this view I setup. It shows their mental attributes, preferred job and their mentality. You could take out man management and put something like adaptability in there, but it’s down to you really. This is just the one I’ve setup for coaches, I’ve also got views setup for all other staff roles. Remember, the key attributes are important, but there are other attributes that might be important to you as well.
I’ll not go into the signing of every single coach as that seems a bit excessive, but I will look at the two most important members of my coaching team. The assistant manager is someone I rely on a lot for providing me with feedback on training and assessing my players. At this time, I’ve signed Carlos Corberán from Leeds United.
It was surprisingly difficult to find an assistant manager that fitted my tactical preferences. Corberán is a good versatile coach with a lot of experience who will hopefully help us in the short-term until I can find a better suited assistant. Being Spanish helped him over the alternatives I had in mind. His wages are quite expensive, so I may have to wait until his contract ends before replacing him.
As mentioned above, it’s great when you can get all of your staff to be on the same page as you, but I had to go for coaching quality over coaching preferences on this occasion.
The Head of Youth Development is very important if you want to get the right players into your youth team. A better rated HOYD will not guarantee you the best newgens, that’s a whole other post, but, as mentioned above, his tactical preferences do impact the types of players you are likely to get in. Youth intakes are still a lottery, regardless of your facilities etc. Having the best possible fit for this role won’t do you any harm either.
I have signed a newgen called Asdrúbal Torres to be my Head of Youth Development. Torres is 48 and has a great personality type (resolute). He’s almost a perfect fit tactically, but he prefers a slightly different tactical style to me. He is also a very good coach, so that will be helpful when training the youngsters.
Here’s a new look at my upgraded coaching team. It’s not perfect, but according the the coaching team comparison, we have the highest average for eight out of the ten coaching categories. As you can see, Marco Alvarez is the only staff member to survive from the original setup.
Director of Football
This is the only other staff member I’ll go into detail about signing. This role, historically, gets a hard time in the UK due to the media stirring the pot about who has control. That’s a pretty dated outlook now. The Daily Mail did an article on Liverpool Sporting Director, Michael Edwards that is quite laughable, especially when you consider the success that Liverpool have had with their recent signings. My DoF can have all the laptops and air conditioning that he wants if he helps me get the right players in.
I don’t currently have a DoF, so it’s just about getting the best man I can in. Interestingly, SI added the negotiating attribute into this years game, which is great. I am not interested in negotiating contracts for players unless I really have to step in. Managers don’t do that these days, you wouldn’t have the office manager doing accounts, there’s an accounting department for that. The DoF is the guy that will be doing about 90% of my contract negotiations for players and staff.
This is the man I think fits the role best.
I think it’s pretty clear to see why I snapped up Eugene Krasnikov, he has outstanding attributes for a Director of Football. He was the top rated DoF when I did my search. His knowledge isn’t the best, but he’s not here to scout players, he’s here to negotiate and to oversee the scouting department. He’ll hopefully link up well with my new Chief Scout, Keke Durán. I imagine he will be here for the long-term, it will be very difficult to find a better suited DoF.
Being able to delegate tasks to different staff members is a contentious issue amongst FM players. I find nothing funnier than seeing people moaning about others relying on their assistant managers for certain tasks.
Sorry to keep referencing Liverpool, but I support them and I only really pay attention to what gets said by them.
“I don’t know everything but I am a good listener” – Jurgen Klopp
This is quite an important statement for me. What Klopp means is that, he doesn’t know everything about scouting, so why would he try to tell people about scouting when they know best?
FM players want to micro manage every part of the game. It is a game after all and you want to give yourself the best chance at everything, so doing everything seems like the best way to go. I’m not really into that, so I’ll be delegating some tasks out to others.
With the addition of the Technical Director to FM20, I’ll be giving him a lot of contractual responsibilities, more specifically for my U19/B teams. I’ll likely still hire a large portion of the staff as I want them to follow on from my coaching ideas, but I’m ok with him hiring the medical/analysis staff for those sides.
My Director of Football will take care of scouting for me and co-ordinate the searches. I’ll obviously be throwing my own opinions of players in the mix by asking them to scout possible targets, but I’m aiming to look at players they’ve already scouted and recommended. I’ll not limit myself, but the scouted players list will be my first port of call for any possible transfers.
I had intended to have my assistant quite heavily involved in my training setup, but I now plan to oversee all of that myself. I’ll take advice from him, but I think I know enough about training now that I can make the right decisions with that.
There’s no right or wrong way to use your staff, this is merely an overview of how I recruit, who I’ve recruited and some reasoning behind those decisions. You can sort your backroom team out however you like, whatever works for you is the best way.
Why didn’t you sign Phil Cannon as your HOYD?
Is this FM12? He’s shite.
You said to sign staff that match your philosophy, wtf?
I know what I said. It’s not always possible, compromise mate!
Your DoF doesn’t have a lot of scouting knowledge, is that going to be a problem?
That is a good question, an important question and one that requires a well thought out answer, but what we should be asking is, do we all have enough scouting knowledge? I know I want more, but do you?
Answer the last question properly please.
Ok, I don’t know. Hopefully not as he’s not doing any actual scouting. I suspect it’ll be alright.
Are you using #hackz by signing a newgen HOYD?
No, he’s available in game, so I’m signing him.