Whenever I start a new save, I follow certain steps religiously. Be it a setting up a good backroom team or be it setting up a training routine, there are a few things every manager, who wishes to be successful, must do in order to have a good save in FM 17. Below are a few tips for beginners on what to do after starting a save.

Set up a good Coaching team

Assessment of current coaching staff is very important. You might be managing a huge club and the coach handling tactical coaching might have a rating of 12 for tactics. But, when you search for staff, you might find a lot of coaches with tactic coaching ability of 16+ who are unemployed. So it does not make any sense to keep the current coach in our side. This is the first check I usually make. I start replacing the current coaches with better ones who are available. These are the steps to be held in mind while hiring them.

  1. Make sure that a coach has a rating of at least 16 for the category they coach.

    Example: Paul Scholes has a rating of 18 for technical coaching. Hence, I will put him in charge of Ball control or shooting which are technical attributes.

  2. If you do not have enough coaches, request the board to increase the number of coaches.

    Usually they agree. If not, one coach can be assigned to more categories but it will reduce his/her efficiency.

  3. Workload is the next parameter. Make sure that the workload is average for each category. If it is heavy or very heavy, then the efficiency of coaching will be less.

  4. In some clubs, coaches coach both the first team and the Under 23 team. You will find that the workload is heavy if this is the case. Hire coaches for the reserve team in order to reduce the load on coaches in this case.

  5. Try to add club legends or popular ex-players. They will be models to look up to for the younger players.

Finally, I make sure that each category has at least 3.5 to 4 stars for Lead coach rating and the workload is at most Average. Below is the screenshot of the coaches I have. Here, the coaches coach both the first team as well as the reserve team. Hence, I hired coaches for both categories. You can see the assistant manager Rui Faria handling multiple areas. This is fine. Why? The lead coach dictates the overall rating for a particular area. Let’s look at the tactic category. Owen Hargreaves, the manager, is the lead coach and he has a rating of 4.5. Rui Faria just helps out. So he need not give his 100 percent.

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Set up a top Scouting network

A top scouting network can save you a lot of money. Imagine the money that Barcelona would have spent to buy Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and the others if they had not signed these players for their academy. This is why it would be wise to invest on scouts. A great article has already been published by Smiff on this topic. It covers all you need to know. The link is below.

Scouting in Football Manager 2017

I usually play in Europe. So I make sure I have good scouts who have knowledge of England, Italy, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and France. These nations tend to produce a lot of quality footballers. I am not saying that other countries do not. But these countries produce more. So it makes sense to keep tabs on these nations. I also try to hire scouts from Argentina and Brazil if they are available to join my team. Next is the region level scouting. A good start would be to have scouts with knowledge of South America. Although as the game progresses, it would be wise to hire separate ones for Argentina and Brazil alone. Eastern Europe is the next area I try to cover. There are a lot of top young footballers in Croatia, Russia and other countries in that region. Nowadays, a lot of good players go to China and the Middle-East. It would make sense to build up the knowledge of players there after the first or second season. Finally, let’s go to MLS. Although it is dubbed as a retirement home for stars, there are some good players there. Players in their prime might join the rapidly growing MLS franchise in the near future. Hence, the USA would be another good place to hunt for talents. Apart from this, you can try out what is best for your team. This is not a hard and fast rule. But it will be excellent to have good knowledge of the footballing world. Below is a screenshot of my scouts and the knowledge that my scouting team possesses.

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Training Sessions

Training is where you mould players into superstars. It will be worth spending some time to allocate proper sessions for your side.

Pre-season

Pre-season is when you will make a few signings and you will want to try out some new tactics. Hence, it will be good to have sessions which make the team gel well and which make them familiar to the new tactic. So the general training can be ‘Team Cohesion’. The match preparation can be ‘Match Tactic’. I move the slider completely to the left to focus more on tactics before every match. Since it is only the pre-season, the intensity can be ‘Very High’. The objective must be to have the team working well with each other and have the tactic familiarity as ‘Fluid’ before the season starts.

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During the season

When the season has started, change the intensity to Average. The general training can be ‘Balanced’ in order for the team to cover all areas of training. The important step would be to select the Match Preparation. It can be done in many ways depending on the tactic you use and the opposition in question.

If you use a very attacking minded tactic, it is better to use ‘Defensive Positioning’ in all the matches as the team will be naturally inclined to attack.

Mr. L's tactics have been very attack-minded. Hence, I have used the below training for all his tactics released until now for FM 17.

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If you use a tactic which has a balanced defense and attack, the following Match Preparation can be used.

Against strong teams, always use ‘Defensive Positioning’.

Against equal teams, use ‘Attacking movement’ at home and ‘Defensive Positioning’ away.

Against weaker teams, always use ‘Attacking movement’.

These are very general rules. Of course, these can be changed based upon specific opponents. There will be an opposition report before every match. If they have conceded a lot of goals at set-plays, it will be good to exploit that. Hence, it will be sensible to use ‘Attacking Set Pieces’ in that case. Some opponents score a large portion of goals using set-pieces when compared to open play. In that case, use ‘Defending Set Pieces’.

Player Training

The player training is very simple. Select a training regimen which will benefit them for the position they play for. Generally, I use the below. Some are role specific, others are irrespective of roles.

Goalkeeper – Goalkeeper

Central Defenders - Ball-playing defenders

Full-backs (Attack/support duty) – Complete Wing-Backs

Full-backs (Defend duty) – Defensive full-back

Defensive midfielder - Defensive Midfielder/Deep lying playmaker depending upon his role in the tactic

Central midfielder (Defend duty) – Ball-Winning Midfielder

Central midfielder (Support duty) – Box-to-Box Midfielder

Central midfielder (Attack duty) – Advanced playmaker

Wide Midfielders (Left/Right) – Winger

Wide Midfielders (Left/Right) – Inside-Forward, if their role is Inside-Forward

Attacking Midfielders (Left/Right) – Winger

Attacking Midfielders (Left/Right) – Inside-Forward, if their role is Inside-Forward

Attacking Midfielder (Center) – Advanced playmaker, in case of support duty and shadow striker/Attacking midfielder in case of Attack duty and based on the tactic.

Striker – False Nine, if his role is a False Nine. Complete Forward for all other roles.

Here is the player training I use for Mr L 4-1-3-2 Accelerated Dragon

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These are, again, general. If you want the player training sessions for a specific tactic, please let me know.