My FM 2020 Vision: Features we’d like to see.

With any annual sports game; the Football Manager franchise always seems to hit a slight dip around this time. And usually over the summer interest is restored due to lots of people having time off of work and/or school. However it’s usually around this time that we start to review the current game after a fair amount of game time. As the 7th most played game on steam with around 60,000 players daily; we’ve definitely had a chance to enjoy this edition of FM.

Steam Charts for Football Manager 2018

And why wouldn’t we? This year we got a bucket-load of new features: From the training overhaul and VAR to new tactical screens and the Bundesliga license, it was Christmas come early. Whilst we still have lots of time before Football Manager 2020, we’re taking an early-bird look at what we’d like to see.

Get it? Football Manager?

Women’s Football

Women’s Football has definitely improved in stature over the past few years. With Phil Neville being appointed as the current England Women’s Manager to the recent media advertising including their squad announcement on Twitter. The game is growing more popular by the week and its great to see for the game. I’m not sure how possible it would be to actually implement and reworking the coding of players. This includes generating players and allowing certain players to play for certain teams. I’m not sure the Women’s game will ever reach or come close to the popularity of the Men’s sport, however bold steps such as implementing Women’s Football into the Football Manager games would really increase interest.

Half Time Team Talks

Jimmy Bullard celebrates a goal by imitating a half time team talk on the pitch.
Make full use of the 15 minutes!

I’d love to see this featured in game and we talked about this on our Podcast over the weekend. When you go into the dressing room sometimes its easy to just send the players out without making any changes, but what if you didn’t realise that you could make a change then and win the game? Having a better interaction system at half time between the players, other staff and yourself could help you make changes you didn’t think of. This could be a feature with an on/off feature to allow for a more streamlined and casual game, but for veterans of the video game it could be a nice addition to a ‘the more you put in the more you get out of it’ style game.

Community Challenges

A lot of games have recently created community inspired modes in which users add to the game themselves for other players to attempt to complete. This is very similar to the steam workshop for Football Manager and if that was re-worked I could see a lot of people trying other players challenges.

A community based challenge system.. for Football Manager?

For example; I could enter the Football Manager Editor, create a database and limit the user to managing a certain team(s) with a goal to achieve by the end of the season. Things could include:

  • Manage (x) with no budget and achieve your media predicted finish.
  • Manage a national team with this many players out injured and get to a certain stage in a world cup.
  • Manage at a certain point in a season with a specific set of results to achieve a certain goal.

This could also include things like director of football challenges or free contract challenges and make those things easier for players to try. Football Manager is a difficult game for newer players and this arcade-style challenge mode could encourage people to try the game.

Manage Youth Teams

Nicky Butt has been Manchester United’s Head of Youth Coaching

Managing B teams or Second teams is currently in the game, and managing youth national teams is also possible in game. So why not include club youth teams? Lots of football managers come into the game by managing at a youth level rather than going straight into senior management. Lots of the fans have asked for this for a few years but licensing and coding may be an issue. I think this is a much-needed feature to add to the realism of the game. There isn’t much that hasn’t already been said about this feature as its been covered for many years. Will FM20 be the year it’s introduced?

Improve Data Analytic role

After gaining the man advantage, I made a sub who scored two goals! Tactical Genius?

The Data Analyst role was added a few years ago but with the recent interest in Moneyball, the ever-growing need for statistics to justify decision-making and the small margins between the top clubs; data is the new scout. Expected goals are now a thing and I think should be implemented in game. Expected goals is a stat generated per game which takes the chances you have and assigns a value based on where the chance was. For example you’re more likely to score from shooting in the 6 yard box than outside the box, so therefore more shots inside the 6 yard box should give you more goals. This will tell you how many goals you should expect to score in a given match which is great knowledge for a manager to see if his team is under or over performing. Our recent money ball piece is a great insight into using statistics (not attributes) to find great players.


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