Is your new year’s resolution to lead your team to a league victory? If so, then the classic Football Manager should be your first stop. With all the features you know and love, plus the addition of even more new control options, you could be adding to the trophy cabinet in the coming year.
If you want to know what the game has in store, then look no further. Below, we give our must-read guide to Football Manager 2021.
Football Manager 2021 New Match Analysis
One of the greatest upgrades from which the 2021 game has benefited is the match analysis. The first visual enhancement is the addition of heatmaps. This lets you look for weak parts of the play and exploit them by changing your formation and tactics.
Another feature is the expected goals analysis. This lets you check the quality of shots on a scale of 1 to 12. You can then use this to adapt your tactics and training schedules as you see fit. Substitutions have been made easier to implement, as has the matchday advice screen.
More enhanced features include more scope for individualism in management styles. You can decide how you engage with a player during a chat to enhance their performance. Recruitment meetings are now included, so you can chat with the team and decide together where improvement is required.
Another management feature, which could be a blessing or a curse, is how you choose to deal with the press. A new press conference environment can show how they perceive you, which can have a huge influence on team morale. You can use positive or negative gestures, which can, in turn, impact the player’s performance.
Detailed interactions with players, staff, and press are the key enhancement in this version of Football Manager. They help you extrapolate what you are saying and add much more depth than simply choosing from a list of commands. Get ready to slam your fist on tables and throw water bottles to show your anger!
Wagging fingers, open arms, warm smiles, and outstretched hands are just a few of the choices on offer. All of these will depend upon the situation you are in, from the press conference to the half-time team talk.
Talking to Players
In addition to gestures, communication has been enhanced with the addition of the option to have quick chats. This can be with journalists, other managers, or your own players. The quick chat starts with the option to choose a gesture, to set the tone as you meet them.
Don’t be surprised to get requests from journalists for a quick chat. They can often come to you to ask about transfer rumors or the performance of your team.
The quick chat method even goes so far as to allow you to check on players who are on loan. You can contact them to ask how they are feeling about their position in the loan team or speak to their temporary manager on how they are doing. You can even put in requests for them to have more hours of play or to try different positions.
Player recruitment and retention have also had a huge overhaul. There are a host of new features that can let you poach the players you really want. One of these, when acquiring new players, is the ability to go directly to their agents and enquire about availability.
This can bring back a range of requests, from players wanting to know the contract conditions, guarantees of first-team placements, and even the possibility of major European competitions. Building good relationships with agents can also help you secure better deals on players.
A new team member role is a recruitment analyst. They work with the scouts to give you a better understanding of a player’s strengths and weaknesses. This is shown on a diagram that compares their statistics against the league average.
The general controls and management systems inherent in the game have also been made much more user friendly. You still have the same amount of flexibility and range of options, but these are generally easier to find, utilize, and analyze. All of this is based on enhanced realism.
For example, a player’s fitness is no longer represented by a percentage but as a heart icon. This breaks down the various factors that are making your player fit or unfit. It also has an added fatigue characteristic, which you may find can be a problem if you start to ramp up the fixtures and don’t rest players.
Sharpness is also something you should be keeping an eye on in the new game. When you play Football Manager, fielding players with low sharpness levels can make costly mistakes, and they may get caught out on the pitch.
The matchday visuals look much better in Football Manager 2021. This is mainly down to the better light situations. Shadows are now cast on the pitch from players and stands, giving it a more realistic look.
The blending between animations has also been improved greatly. In previous versions, changes between animations sometimes looked less than smooth. In this version, they seamlessly integrate, giving enhanced realism.
To enhance the experience, the whole stadium generally just has more detail. From the crowd itself to pitchside furniture and different types of TV cameras, you will really feel like you really are pitchside on matchday.
Play To Win
In summary, Football Manager 2021 has managed to keep all the features you know and love from previous versions but add even more realism and playability. You will not lose any skills you amassed in previous versions, but it will require you to step up in the pursuit of greatness.
If you enjoyed our handy article, then visit the rest of our site. We have news on everything from gaming to brand new technology. Keep an eye on our features for more hints and tips, and let us guide you to managerial greatness in 2021!