Jump to content

International Management: A Redesign


Recommended Posts

Firstly, I do apologise, it's a long read...

I am currently playing as England on FM23 because, y’know, world cup, and have been woefully neglected world of international management on the game. I noticed yesterday Doctor Benjy put up something about training in international Management, which is something that I've been discussing with fellow players for some time now. Following encouragement to streamline this into one trail of thought, I've decided to have a go. So this is how (in my opinion) Sports Interactive can fix Football Manager's International management problem.

I'm going to look at international football over the period of 2 years, assuming you have been appointed or started the save just after an international tournament. So for the purpose of relating, let’s start by presuming you have taken the England job after a summer European Championships, with a World Cup in 2 years time. 

On arrival

Similarly to club football, you have your opening meeting with the FA, who take the role of your chairman and board, and this should be the same as your opening board meeting at a club. Each FA should have their own preferences on style, and youth development, and these expectations should not merely be limited to tournament performances. Different levels of nation should prioritize different competitions too. Whereas England would not be concerned about the Nations league, and treat this similarly to how elite premier league sides treat the league cup, nations such as Armenia, for example, may prioritize the Nations league, and have a greater focus on this, as being realistically a great opportunity to qualify for a major international tournament. 

Nations’ Football Associations should also have a patience/longevity rating (hidden) that determines how much time they are willing to give you and how much of the process they are willing to trust. Some of the African nations in the past for example, have been notoriously volatile with 1 or 2 poor performances when other nations, such as Germany and more recently England, have trusted managers in a more long-winded process to gain success. There should be time limit weighted objectives in 2, 4, and 6 (maybe) year cycles, depending on the nation you are employed by.

After your board meeting, you have your introduction to your backroom staff. In this meeting you should be made aware that you have access to an International Squad Planner, allowing you to play your 23 man squads at tournaments in 2,4 and 6 years time. Adding players you think should be in the squad in 6 years, based on your opinions of them and the scouts early assessments from the national pool. For young players in your squad planner (e.g. Harvey Elliott, who you'd think would be in the england set up in a few years), your scouting team should give you the option to have a permanent focus, and have monthly, 3 monthly, or 6 monthly updates on their progress, and will watch them regularly to assess their progress, nullifying the need to constantly scout the player for 5 games at a time. You should be able to set the reports to come in more pressingly if a change in potential or current ability occurs, resulting in your plans being affected. For all the stats heavy players, analysts should be allowed to be employed who place all the data into your International Data Hub, which similarly to club level streamlines all data into easy to read graphs, but based on your squad and anyone that you have permanent focuses on, allowing you to compare Harvey Elliott's performances with Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden, to see if they're doing what you want them to do. 

Squad selections

One week before your squad selections, there should be a meeting with your backroom, identifying factors relating to your potential squad selection. Which members of your current squad are underperforming at club level, which players on the national pool are knocking on the door, and which players might become upset or volatile if they are not included repeatedly (We will come back to these guys later). This would remove the “recommended squad” which is frankly lazy and has no weighting because no-one actually uses that squad, and if you are you’re in the wrong game altogether. Approaching squad selection day you should have a press conference which discusses the media articles you've already read about, where Kyle Walker deserves a recall and Tammy Abraham is in poor form so shouldn't be selected. These would be formulaic in terms of answering but that doesn't mean it shouldn't happen. it's a simulation after all. 

After squad selection you should have the option to speak to players you have not included proactively, as oppose to waiting for them to come to you. This should not be limited to the 5 copy and paste reasons given as the standard in-game interaction (age, form, ability etc.) For this example I’m going to use Noni Madueke, who, whilst getting a good rating for PSV on save, is not showing the end product that I require to be seriously considered for the squad. I don’t include Madueke and I go speak to Madueke and want to tell him to keep his head up. Madueke asks me what he needs to do, and I can tell him that I need him to improve his game in the final third. Noni can (depending on personality) go away and work on this, or can dismiss this, and can be dealt with as appropriate. That being said, players are not fools, and if the players make the improvements and I continue to not select them, this should be noted by the player and potentially instigate a more hostile meeting in future.

You should have a meeting with your coaches and set up your training camp, which can be stylised as at current club level. Coaches should also provide you with a squad dynamic, with high influence and highly capped players at the top, and low influence and new squad members at the bottom (again we will come back to this later.)

At this stage nothing really changes until you get to a major tournament, the format I have earlier mentioned stays largely the same, until we reach the provisional squad stage. This would be different in a summer tournament, whereby the provisional squad tends to get together and train before it is cut down to a team of 23. 

Major Tournaments

After your provisional squad is announced, you should have a meeting with your backroom where you define how many players from each position you want to take, and then identifying your certainties to go. As an example, I know that I want to take Harry Kane to the world cup, and that I want to take 3 out and out strikers, but I have DCL, Wilson, Tammy, and Wartkins to choose from as the second and third choice respectively. My coaches should then focus on the uncertain spaces, and work more with the players competing for those spots. Realistically this will be what happens at major tournaments, where of the 55 players in a provisional squad, 17/18 players are guaranteed to be going to the tournament if fit, and 38 players are realistically competing for 5 places. You should be able to dictate the regularity of reports from your coaches, using their squad harmony levels, ability and training statistics to give a more in depth overview of who should be getting on the plane. 

You should be allowed to arrange up to 2 friendlies in the time building up to the tournament after your final squad announcement, and should be factor this in when completing your training meeting with your coaches. 

After squad announcement, speaking to players not included and press conference around selection, you should then have a meeting with the FA detailing their expectations for the tournament. This should factor in the tournament tree, and potential opponents. As an example, the England board should explain to you that should you get to the QFs and face an elite opponent (France) then that is acceptable, but losing to Iceland for example, would be considered an embarrassment. 

Remember our upset or volatile players from earlier? And remember the previous reference to squad harmony? Well you’ve been a clown and decided to take a volatile player (who I won't name) to your tournament. The player has played 50+ times for their country and are a high profile player, so are influential in the dressing room, but not necessarily good enough to play anything more than sparingly. After you lose your opening game, where the player did not feature, this player may come to you particularly unhappy with the situation. Obviously I understand that it is but one game in the tournament, however due to the nature of tournaments this "lack of first team football" issue would need to be accelerated, and we know historically that these things can happen at international tournaments. This potentially throws your whole tournament into disarray, as the player is highly influential and can influence players around him, affecting the morale and tanking form in tow. It is up to you whether you attempt to give in to the players demands, refuse, or even send the player home. If you send the player home of course you should be prepared for a press conference and for the player to go to the media.

England set you the expectations of reaching the Semi-Finals, but you get to the quarter finals and get knocked out by France. The day after the defeat, the FA arrange a meeting with you to go over the tournament. The board are more understanding of your loss considering the opposition, and are trusting of the process given you have brought through youth players like Bellingham, and have played their preferred style of football, as well as taking into account the fans reactions. Other countries, that historically are more demanding of their managers (Brazil, Argentina) may be more cut throat about your removal. 

That's it basically, this is my first one of these so I'm keen to know any thoughts. I will say, that international management is still fun, and i do enjoy it within the game. But because of the plastic, watered down mode, it feels like playing FM 2004. The real shame is that the majority of the features needed to make international management more in-depth, and to potentially stop the need to be on holiday for 9 months of the year, are already in game, which baffles me further as to why they haven't been utilized to capacity. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...