Welcome to Guide to Football Manager, your comprehensive guide to FM. Learn how to become a top manager and master tactics, training and much more.

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The full contents of the guide are shown below.

1. Updates

11/12/2017: Made improvements to penetration, solidity and support score calculations in Attacking Structures guide (and the corresponding Tactical Theory guide).

03/12/2017: Added further details of tactical roles to Key Tactical Roles and Other Tactical Roles in Responsibility Distribution guides.

27/11/2017: Added default player instructions to Player Roles & Duties guides. Added further details of tactical roles to Key Tactical Roles in Responsibility Distribution guides.

20/11/2017: Added game descriptions to Tactical Instructions guides.

05/11/2017: Updated Team Instructions and Player Instructions guides for FM 2018.

01/11/2017: Updated Player Roles, System Fluidity, Playing Styles and Playing System Balance guides for FM 2018 with new players roles and changes to some existing player roles.

23/10/2017: New Playing System Balance guides added to the Tactics section.

02/10/2017: New Player Roles guides added to the Tactics section.

20/09/2017: Updated System Fluidity guide.

18/09/2017: Added composite styles to Playing Styles guide.

17/09/2017: Added number-tens and tactical structures to Playing Styles guide.

11/09/2017: Updated Playing Styles guide.

28/08/2017: Updated Tactical Instructions, Team Instructions and Player Instructions guides.

17/07/2017: Added central attack role categories to Role Categories guide.

12/07/2017: Added central midfield and the flanks role categories to Role Categories guide.

03/07/2017: New Role Categories guide added to Tactical Theory. Further analysis of central midfield, the flanks and central attack role categories to be added.

19/03/2017: New Responsibility Distribution guide added to Tactical Theory.

27/02/2017: Revised Positional Responsibilities guide in Tactical Theory.

View more updates

2. Tactics


2.1. Theory-Based Tactics Guides

These guides are based on the Tactical Theory analysis presented on GuideToFootball.com.

Tactical Instructions

An analysis of the tactical instructions that you can use to create your tactic, including:

System Fluidity

How to implement system fluidity for your team.

Playing Styles

How to create a suitable playing style for your team, including:

Playing System Balance

How to balance your team's playing system, including:

Theory-based tactics guides are based on the FM 2018 interface.

2.2. Other Tactics Guides


An introduction to creating tactics.

Assessing Your Team

How to evaluate your players so that you can create a suitable tactic.

Choosing a Formation

How to fit your players into a tactical framework.

Team Instructions

An explanation of Mentality, Team Shape and Specific Team Instructions to help you to create a suitable Tactical Style.

Player Instructions

How to refine your tactical style using appropriate Roles and Duties for your Goalkeeper, Central Defenders, Central Midfielders, Wide Players and Strikers, how to make use of Playmaker & Target Man roles and how to gain extra control over your players using Specific Player Instructions.

Set Pieces

How to prepare set pieces effectively to give your team an extra advantage.

Appointing a Captain

A complete list of points to consider when choosing your team's leader.

Other tactics guides are based on the FM 2015 interface.

3. Players


3.1. Player Ability & Performance

The important factors that determine current ability, potential ability and performance.

3.2. Player Attributes

Explanations of all attributes and details of Attribute Combinations needed for different abilities.

3.3. Player Personalities

Explanations of all personality attributes and advice on which personalities to look for in players.

3.4. Player Preferred Moves

Explanations of all the preferred moves and suggested types of player they can be useful for.

Players guides are based on the FM 2015 interface.

4. Staff


4.1. Introduction

An introduction to staff.

4.2. Staff Roles

Explanations of the responsibilities and required qualities of each role, including detailed analyses of the manager, coaches, scouts and physios.

4.3. Signing Staff

What to consider when hiring a backroom team.

Staff guides are based on the FM 2015 interface.

5. Training


5.1. Introduction

An introduction to training your players.

5.2. Team Training

How to use General Training and Match Training.

5.3. Individual Training

How to use Training Reports and improve your players with Individual Training Focus, New Position Training and Preferred Move Training.

5.4. Assigning Coaches

How to allocate training categories to your coaching staff.

Training guides are based on the FM 2015 interface.

6. Squad


6.1. Squad Building

How to put together and maintain a well balanced squad structure.

6.2. Player Wages

How and why to maintain a good wage structure and when to renew contracts.

6.3. Player Morale & Relationships

How to manage your squad's morale, build relationships and improve team cohesion.

6.4. Player Fitness

How to manage the fitness of your squad.

6.5. Pre-Season Preparation

How to prepare your squad effectively for the start of a new season using training and friendly matches.

6.6. Player Development

How to improve your young players to reach their potential ability through Youth Training, Player Tutoring and Match Experience.

6.7. Scouting

How to optimise your club's Scouting Knowledge, when and where to send your scouts on Scouting Assignments, how to use your Scout Reports to assess potential transfer targets and how to find players using Player Search.

6.8. Signing Players

How to sign players for your club, including advice on Making a Transfer Offer, Making a Loan Offer and Contract Negotiations.

6.9. Selling Players

When and how to sell players from your squad.

Squad guides are based on the FM 2015 interface, except for Signing Players and Selling Players which are based on the FM 2014 interface.

7. Match Day

Match Day

7.1. Preparing for the Match

How to prepare your team for each match and select your starting line-up, and how to make use of Tactical Planning to exploit opposition weaknesses and counter opposition strengths.

7.2. Team Talks

How to choose team talks in different scenarios, along with a reference guide for Types of Team Talk.

7.3. Opposition Instructions

Which instructions to use against which players.

7.4. During the Match

How to make tactical changes in response to different match scenarios.

Match Day guides are based on the FM 2015 interface.

More Info

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Guide to Football - A guide to tactical theory

FM Weekly - Articles tweeted in the past 7 days from some popular FM Twitter accounts.

Team Talk Guidelines - What team talks to use and when to use them. The old team talks guide for FM 2014.

FM 2017 Best Players

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