PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X
November 6, 2023
How often have you watched a football game and gotten upset because you didn’t agree with the club’s strategy? Do you find yourself disagreeing with a club’s decision to loan or sell a player? With Football Manager 2024, you get to make the managerial decisions that you believe will lead your club to glory. Or you learn the hard way that just because you think a decision is right for the club, doesn’t mean it will be.
Being a manager and taking on the responsibilities is a daunting challenge, but you have a robust tutorial to guide you. You’ll compete with other managers to claim the best talent, come up with winning strategies, and motivate your players. Bringing accomplishments to your club will take time and it’s not the easiest game to learn if you aren’t familiar with football’s managerial aspects. But when you see your team succeeding because of your strategy, it’s an exhilarating feeling that’s hard to match.
Football Manager 2024 doesn’t have an overarching storyline. You choose to be a manager of a football club and promise to bring them success. Unlike other management games, your goals aren’t set in stone. You have almost every football club in the world available to you and each club has their own goals. Whether you want to pursue the Premier League Championship or just qualify for La Liga, that’s up to the clubs you choose.
While no club would say no to regional and international championships, it’s great to see that not every club is uniform. There’s a difference in players, objectives, and reputation with each club. That affects how players view your ambitions, whether you are pushing them too hard, and how valuable your talent is. Ignoring these factors severely hurts morale or makes you look ridiculous which has long-term repercussions.
This forces you to be tactful about your goals and set realistic expectations. Every club is different and has their own challenges. Assuming every club fits into the same mould is a recipe for disaster, resulting in quick failure. Knowing that you must be realistic and develop a club’s expectations immerses you in the management role.
You can’t be in the backseat when it comes to your club’s success either. In-game managers of other clubs are working towards their objectives as well; they compete with you for upcoming youth talent, players on loan, and even trying to tempt your players to leave. It’s not a malicious strategy as it is promising players they can and will succeed at their club.
Your players are not unfeeling individuals that you move around a field. They have their own desires, goals, and ambitions. If you don’t train them properly or utilise their potential, they will leave you. Some players will express a desire to go to other teams and explore new careers, making it easier to tempt them.
“As a manager, you must decide how you will utilise your team’s potential. “
As a manager, you must decide how you will utilise your team’s potential. Work with coaches to design set pieces which are strategies that include players best suited for the roles. Hire new staff for training, recovery, and development. Talk to players and motivate or scold them depending on what you think is effective.
You aren’t managing a team just for a season; you are the permanent coach. Players and staff won’t stay forever and you must keep an eye on the future. Balancing short and long-term demands is crucial, which is something you won’t see right away. Giving into a player’s demands or making the right loan decisions are just some of the choices whose payoff isn’t seen until later seasons.
On one hand, this resembles actual decision-making in football clubs. You must believe in your club’s future potential and sometimes decisions that hurt you now pay off during later seasons. On the other, that also means you often don’t know why a decision did or didn’t work out. Since playthroughs are rarely the same, it’s hard to pinpoint areas where you should have chosen differently.
There’s a lot of information to digest and thankfully there are several tutorials to help you learn the systems. Whenever you select a managerial duty for the first time, you get a tutorial to help you explain the concepts. If you forget something, it’s easy to revisit the tutorials and refresh your knowledge before a big decision.
If you are genuinely stumped, recommended options sometimes appear to help you make a better decision. You aren’t expected to be a perfect manager from the start and early mistakes are forgiving. Knowing that your team isn’t just words on a screen but people who give you advice is genuinely reassuring. You can also leave decisions up to your team who often make the right call. If you genuinely know better after getting more experience, you can call the shots and decide how your team performs.
The variety of information is a double-edged sword because as immersive as the systems are, they are confusing. If you aren’t experienced with football management, most of the strategies and player trading will fly over your head. This goes beyond being a football fan and knowing basic football strategies. You must be familiar with player value, strategic fit, board decisions, and other managerial decisions. That’s not easy knowledge to acquire even with the tutorials. It’s a high bar for entry and you don’t truly enjoy the game until you grasp the intricacies.
You aren’t an active participant during football games which also means you are hoping your strategies pay off. Winning matches is integral to your success and it’s easy for unfortunate accidents or bad luck to stall your plans. Even the best strategies come down to luck which can make you feel like your situation will never improve.
As challenging as the game can be, nothing beats the feeling of seeing your players score a goal or win a game. Knowing that your strategies have come together to create a win for your club is one of the best feelings you can experience. While the road to success is bumpy and filled with struggles, achieving your goals is a grand accomplishment. It represents mastery over the game’s systems and understanding how hard it is to be a football manager.
- Gameplay systems immerse you in the role of manager
- Good balance of short and long term decisions
- Situations are dynamic and different for every club
- Difficult if you aren't familiar with football club management
- Hard to tell if your decisions paid off in your favour
Football Manager 2024 gives you more control over a football club’s operations than ever before. You’ll talk to players individually, plan game strategies, and snap up talent while retaining your own. Every club is different and it’s up to you to figure out the best path forward. There are a lot of systems to learn which can be intimidating if you aren’t familiar with club management. You also won’t see the outcome of your decisions until a good amount of time has passed. But nothing beats the feeling of everything coming together when your team holds the championship cup.