With a new Football Manager cycle on the horizon, it is only a matter of time before SI Games starts to reveal new, in-game mechanics and features. Which means that we’re all thinking about the features we would love to see added and/or improved.
In terms of what we here at Dictate the Game would like to see, we strongly considered tweeting hyperbolic demands at Miles, metaphorically shrieking about the importance of said demands to our continued enjoyment of the game. We also considered an impassioned, profanity-laced video recorded in the front seat of our DtG-issued ’92 Ford Escort, parked on the forecourt at the Emirates.
As one does…
However, we thought it best to instead summarize our thoughts, hopes and dreams in a calm, reasonable fashion.
Ryan: “Let Us Cultivate Our Garden”
There aren’t too much drastic changes that we need to elevate the game. However, some quality of life improvements would go a long way to making the game more enjoyable.
For one, I’d really like to see the ability to ask the board to increase the payments on a loan from the bank. Too many times users are stuck with debt which could be paid off. Take it out of the transfer budget – have media backlash to this, see what fans think etc. Something as simple as this would improve the sections of the game which don’t get as much attention.
I know Football Manager have announced that Women’s football will be coming to the game, but I would like to see more women coaches, scouts and managers in the game who are at bigger clubs or even that get newly generated as time goes on. This would be a fantastic way to slowly integrate women’s football into FM.
Ability to manage youth teams. I know this will be difficult to implement as no doubt the first team manager will take your best players and leave you in a pretty difficult situation. However, I think it would give users a different approach to the game, especially those who like to work their way up.
Further to youth teams, I would love it if you could allocate a budget properly to your youth team and essentially say “This is the budget you have, go and improve the squad.” Obviously, something like that would require a lot of thinking, especially considering it would come out of the first team budget. It does allow for a more organic growth, and less focus on the first team manager having to do this. I know in-game you can delegate, but a more refined way of doing it would be fantastic.
Fernando: “Don’t Go Sending Me Three Dozen Roses, Don’t You Know That Just One Rose Will Do?”
Consolidate the four wide positions into two. It may seem strange to ask for fewer possibilities when complaining about a system, but sometimes less truly is more. Having four different positions in the wide areas not only just makes signings a bit more frustrating, but it’s also increasingly at odds with reality.
The distinction between a wing-back and a full-back has long been blurred in the real sport and the current generation of wide defenders seem like they’ll eliminate it. Sure, some players are better on a back four than a back three, but isn’t that already represented by roles rather than positions?
But how will the game know where to position them according to the central defense, I hear you ask. Simple, whenever you play a back 3, the wide defenders move further forward and wider, and when you play a back 4, they tuck in. How do I know the game can do this? Because it already does, with the central defenders, midfielders and forwards.
For the wide midfielder and wide attacking midfielder positions, things are even clearer to me. The wide central midfielder position, as played by the likes of David Beckham, is a thing of the past. Game-wise, there would be even fewer repercussions in terms of positioning. Which takes me to…
Split defensive and offensive positioning in the tactics screen. Tactics historians will tell you this was always the case, but the divide between how a team stands with and without the ball is becoming ever more notorious. As players become more tactically aware and managers more astute, what you do with the ball is ever more unrelated to what you do without it.
FM currently manages this with the Roles/Positions dichotomy, but I think splitting the board between In Possession and Out of Possession (like the TIs currently are) would make it even more efficient, and clearer to understand for new players. Of course, roles would have to be adjusted, but the possibilities it would open are, well… limitless.
Tactical identity. This one is the least value for money of my suggestions, but I think it could prove useful for long term players. The way FM currently works, you have a main tactic, that is the focus during training and (depending on how you have it set up) all your teams play.
The problem is that that only works if you’re playing as a top side, where you can play whatever brand of football you like against most opponents and have your youth teams learn it from the moment they join the club. And that’s not every save.
During FM21 I encountered this problem as I wanted to have my youth sides learn a particular style of play, but also had to deal with my first team having to scrap in a relegation battle. I settled on just having one of the tactics slots devoted to my “team identity”, but that was a fix, not a solution. Depending on how many slots you like to use, it could even be a problem.
It could be interesting to add a “club identity” part to the tactics, where you can define a number of principles you want your sides to aim to adhere, and not have it tied to whatever tactics you’re currently playing. It could even be tied to the Club Vision, so as to add more elements to that feature.
Luke: I, For One, Welcome Our New MLS Overlords
Let’s put on the thinking cap. What can improve this already great game? I’ll leave out the obvious one that everything mentions – improved graphics – I don’t believe improving the graphics is needed in order to make FM22 better than its predecessors.
Therefore, I will also omit the other common request from the FM community. “Let us spend our earnings to build a stadium, or buy a football team.” Sure, this would be kind of cool but a football manager wouldn’t do this in real life so I don’t see this happening being added to the game anytime soon.
The one feature I’d really love to see introduced into the game is an authentic, growing MLS. The MLS is growing all the time, and the league’s commissioner, Don Garber, recently announced plans to expand the league into 40 teams. Currently in FM, MLS adds the confirmed the expansion teams (e.g., Charlotte FC in 2022), but the league doesn’t expand any further.
This feels like a tad strange when MLS ever-growing, yet the in-game MLS world is at a standstill. Of course, there could be reasons why this isn’t possible, but in an ideal world, this would really improve my enjoyment of managing across the pond!
Whilst I’m on the topic on MLS, I’d also love to see more MLS functions in the game, such as incorporating the use of special team jerseys for events, better ways and understanding of GAM/TAM and just general quality of life improvements.
Seattle Red: “Touch Me, Babe, Can’t You See That I Am Not Afraid?”
Let’s be honest. Ever since I managed to get my hands on a copy of Championship Manager in the 90s, I’ve been hooked. I’ve put more hours into the game than I should admit.
With the passage of time, however, real life responsibilities have added up. From school, to work, to family, there are simply not enough hours in the day. Yet, year after year, I continue to feed my Football Manager addiction.
As one does…
Thus, when the Classic mode was added to FM 13, I was intrigued. A streamlined version of the game was music to my ears. Only, it did not quite satisfy me in the way that a “full fat” save did.
Each year, the Classic mode — renamed Touch — has come closer to scratching that itch for me, as features were added and improved. FMT 21 was, in my opinion, the best version of Classic/Touch to-date. And, while I will always be tempted to stick with “full fat” for my saves, there are two massive changes that would tempt me if SI were to implement them for FM Touch.
Add the ability to use edited leagues in Touch mode. Sometimes, in life and in FM, you have to shake things up. Do something different.
The depth and breadth of available leagues has come a long ways since I first picked up the series, but who among us doesn’t enjoy an occasional jaunt to some remote corner of the footballing planet? Whether it is the 10th tier in England, a fantasy Scottish pyramid, or the Georgian Regional Leagues, the freedom found in such a save is endlessly unique.
With the addition to FMT, I’d be hard-pressed to go back to “full fat.”
Increase the regen pool in Touch mode. Let’s get one thing straight. I accept that my use of the term “regen” dates me, and perhaps triggers others. But I just can’t bring myself to say “newgen” in a non-sarcastic tone. (I giggle, every single time.)
Credit where credit is due. Youth intakes and youth development is one aspect of Classic/Touch where I feel — anecdotally — that SI has made great strides over the years. The intakes seem larger and more varied. Less predictable. The world feels less stagnant.
I don’t need 2 reserves sides, filled with players that aren’t ever going to be good enough to lace up their boots for Arsenal’s U8 reserves. But I do need enough players coming through to make me feel like my Academy is on the verge of becoming a conveyor belt of talent — La Masia, but on a rocky pitch in Falkirk’s trendy meat-packing district instead of Catalonia.
After all, if the footballing world doesn’t feel vibrant and alive, with competition and hunting for youth players and transfers…are you really playing Football Manager?
It’s probably too late for any of our suggestions to move the needle at SI headquarters, but we’ll never know unless we ask.
Besides, Fernando won’t let the bunny go free until release day. But that’s a different story altogether.