Football Manager Guide to Staff Attributes and Non-Playing Tendencies
Welcome to a brand new Football Manager guide. This time I’ll explain the staff attributes and non-playing tendencies in Football Manager.
As you’ll discover, it’s not only the players who have their specific qualities and strengths. Similar to the player attributes of Football Manager you’ll discover that the backroom staff got their set of characteristics and skills too, also known as coaching attributes or non-playing attributes and tendencies.
By continuing reading you’ll learn more about the Football Manager staff attributes and non-playing tendencies, as I address each staff attribute, their description and how they may or may not influence each other. My aim is to let you get the information required to go out and find the best staff of Football Manager yourselves, either it’s to improve your scouting-, medical- or coaching team, compiling a competent backroom staff team with top qualifications.
This guide to staff attributes are provided as an additional resource to how to find the best coaches in Football Manager and should be understood in order to assign new coaches and backroom staff for your managing club.
Attributes vs Tendencies
Content of Index
The staff attributes are the equivalent of the player attributes and describes a particular staff’s competence within an area. The attributes relating to staff can be described as non-playing attributes as they focuses on specific coaching skills, knowledge areas and mental qualities.
In addition to a given number of attributes will some staff (most often staff suited for a manager, assistant manager or director position) have non-playing tendencies. These tendencies are the equivalent of the player traits or player preferred moves. These tendencies are more relating to tactical preferences, squad selection and recruitment, rather than what they tend to do on the training ground.
Attributes and tendencies have nothing in common per se as a staff may possess high levels of defending coaching but tends to use intense pressing. But what you’ll discover is that staff with higher attacking coaching may have tendencies who fits it, like allowing more creative freedom. Basically, the setup of tendencies and weighting of attributes are most often rather logical set.
In difference to staff attributes, these tendencies can not be search by, e.g. looking for an assistant manager with tendencies which fits your club vision, but the impact they may have on your recruitment and tactics is evident and should be understood before signing particular head of youth development, technical directors, loan managers and assistant managers.
Your setup of backroom staff plays a vital role in the daily management of the squad and its development of the player. Having competent backroom staff is one of the important steps to address on the road to success, either it’s setting up a coaching team of top coaches, a great scouting team or compile a medical team that reduces the amount of injuries.
The quality of the backroom staff relating to coaching and overall knowledge level, determines the accuracy in feedback and advices and should be considered more trustworthy. Not only will they develop players at a better rate, but how you set up your staff responsibilities will provide you with more useful information about tactics, training and player recruitment.
You can have tenths of world class players, but without excellent coaches or staff (according to the playing level), who will work with the players at a daily basis to keep morale, motivation and happiness high, you won’t get far.
Similar goes for scout reports of external players and teams. If the scout or data analyst have low levels of attributes, may the information about the player be misleading, as he might interpret the data wrong. If you should take advantage of these reports, you’ll need to take them with a pinch of salt.
You might say that the level of the attributes are basically vital for the overall success of the team.
One of the easiest ways to ensure you’ve got competent staff is to understand what the different Football Manager staff attributes mean for training, transfers, scouting and injury prevention. Having professional staff will make your job easier in the long run. This is where the definition to the non-playing attributes, or what we’ll refer to as the Football Manager staff attributes, comes in.
Football Manager Non-Playing attributes and Staff roles
The Football Manager staff attributes ranges from 1 to 20, similar to what we’re used to from the player profiles. As you will discover, different staff’s will have different sets of attributes attached to their role. Football Manager has 18 different roles in 3 different working areas of the game, that you will be introduced to, once you start a new save or at some point of your managing career, as you enhance the backroom staff team around you;
- Managers (for First Team, Under-23 / B- Team / Reserves, Under-21, Under-18)
- Assistant Managers (for First Team, Under-23 / B-Team, Under-21, Under-18)
- GK Coaches (Specialist role)
- Fitness Coaches (Specialist role)
- General Coaches (First Team, Under-23 / Reserves, Youth Coaches)
- Head of Youth Development
- Director of Football
- Technical Director
- Loan Manager
- Chief Data Analyst
- Data Analyst(s)
- Chief Scout
- Chief Sport Scientist
- Sports Scientist(s)
- Chief Physio
The main difference between the different backroom staff roles are their required set of staff attributes; their abilities to fulfill a specific job, as different roles requires different skills and abilities.
Some of the non-playing staff attributes is mainly important for coaches, while others is more linked to the administrative staff such as the director of football, the sport scientist or the data analysts. There are a wide range of different staff roles in Football Manager, all important for the daily running of the club. You can read more about the different Football Manager staff roles and their responsibilities here.
For every backroom staff of Football Manager their profile are split into different views featuring a set of attributes relating to their job role. Coaches and managers will possess a list of coaching and mental attributes, while the scouting and medical view includes attributes relating to analysis and medical. All staff will have an own list of attributes relating to knowledge. In the following article, I’ll split the content up by;
- Coaching incl. Goalkeeping
Below will we take a closer look on the different Football Manager staff attributes, how they influence the quality of a backroom staff member and how each attribute divides an average coaches from an excellent.
Coaching Staff Attributes – How they influence coaching in Football Manager
To find the best backroom staff in Football Manager it is vital to understand how the different staff attributes influence overall team management. By learning more about their definitions and how they are tied to each other you can setup an inferior group of backroom staff, where professionalism and the right coaching attributes will increase the player’s morale, weekly performances and finally their qualities; traits and skills. As we have mentioned earlier, the staff attributes are divided into two main categories; coaching attributes and mental attributes.
All of these staff attributes can be found under the ‘coaching attributes column’ within the profile of a backroom staff suitable as a coach, or any role associated with working on the training ground with players.
A coaching staffs level of expertise on training your players in the tactical side of the game. The tactical staff attribute indicates a person’s tactical intelligence and cleverness.
A coach with high ratings in tactical coaching will be better at coaching the tactical side of the game more effectively to the players relating to the chosen formation, with the aim to gel the squad together and have better interaction and communication between them in matches. Coaches with higher levels of tactical coaching will not only be better on teaching the tactical game more efficient, but also offer more accurate and informative advises.
The tactical coaching staff attribute is not only linked to tactical knowledge, but is also important for attacking coaches and defending coaches. In short this staff attribute will influence on how the players communicate, how they behave between each other (positioning), decision making and reading of the play (anticipation).
Your tactical coach is also the natural choice as responsible for backroom advice on tactical areas. You can choose any of your general coaches or assistant manager to be responsible for providing you advice on tactical areas. To setup your staff responsibilities go to;
Staff > Responsibilities > Staff > Advice & Reports
The coaching staffs ability to use his level of expertise on coaching your players in attacking football. A coach with good level of attacking will be more competent and have better interest of coaching attacking football. Compared to a coach with low defensive coaching, will the staff with high levels of attacking coaching be better at training your players in attacking movement, finishing, passing and creativity.
A manager with higher levels of attacking coaching will be more likely to adopt a suitable attacking approach from game to game and can determine how likely certain Player Traits are to be successful under their coaching. In the end, an attacking manager or assistant manager will tend to prefer more attacking general training and may emphasize backroom advice and player evaluations on an attacking intent.
On the Training Ground;
Attacking coaching is mainly tied to tactical and technical coaching. The staff will look to improve a players attributes relating to;
Key Attributes – Attacking Tactical:
Off the Ball
Key Attributes – Attacking Technical:
The coaching staffs level of expertise in coaching defensive football. A good level will indicate higher competence on training your players in the defensive side of the game. He will not only be more competent at coaching it, but also have more interest and better knowledge of that area.
Managers or coaching staff responsible for providing feedback and undertake match preparations with higher levels of defensive coaching will be more feeble to provide advice relating to playing defensive football and have the tendency to base their tactics, training and team selection towards an defensive intent.
The attacking coaching can in short be described as; How the players within your formation should interact and behave when they have possession of the ball (e.g. movements and unpredictability), and what to do with it when the ball is in the final third.
On the Training Ground;
Defending coaching is heavily linked to tactical and technical coaching and partly tactical knowledge.
Key Attributes – Defending Tactical:
Key Attributes – Defending Technical:
The defending coaching can in short be described as; How the players within your formation should interact and behave when they don’t have possession of the ball, and how they can protect the goal using the correct positioning and body shape to win possession.
Technical determines a coaching staffs level of expertise on training your players in technical skills; how to control and work the ball. As important as having tactical intelligent players it is important to develop players who can take care of the ball when in possession. This can be one of the hardest areas to coach and it may be that a former player is particularly useful here.
The technical aspects of coaching will cover a player’s first touch, passing and technique, finishing and shooting technique, dribbling or set-piece taking.
Non-playing staff with high levels of technical coaching will provide recommendations relating to the individual attribute focus for player training, as well as the intensity of the training sessions they run.
On the Training Ground;
Technical coaching is heavily linked to mental coaching and secondary coaching the attacking and defending side of the game.
It’s important to note that despite a player may have the tactical abilities to see how the match may unfold and what may happen in certain situations, the player needs the technical abilities to do something about it. In my point of view, the technical coaching is as important as the tactical coaching.
Since the database lacks a good amount of coaches with higher ratings in technical coaching it’s one of the areas I look to style in my own managerial attributes, once setting up a new game.
A coaching staffs level of mental approach is beneficial for all general coaches. Can be described as the coaches level of mental approach, his ability to observe and act upon each individual’s state of mind and react accordingly. You might say that it’s his ability to provide the right help especially in assessing the players he works with. It’s a skill that’s particular important at backroom advice.
Mental coaching is tied to level of discipline and is one of the sub attributes to preserve and increase morale. A coach with good level of mental attribute will be more flexible in setting the training intensity and workload for your players, and do the required changes to a player’s workload and level of strictness to make sure the specific players morale and happiness is as good as required for a better player development.
This means that it’s a valuable attribute for assistant managers or managers of youth teams who are responsible for setting up individual training or match training for their department. You can assign a particular staff for running training under;
Staff > Responsibilities > Training
On the Training Ground;
Mental coaching is heavily linked to technical coaching as the players will work on the mental pressure and capabilities with being in possession of the ball.
Key Attributes – Possession Tactical:
Key Attributes – Defending Technical:
Personally, I tend to purchase at least one coach with higher ratings of mental for the youth team as I believe the coach is able to prepare the players for professional first team football by letting them know what’s required of them to make it.
A coaching staffs level of competence on training the players physical aspects of the game and preserve good level of fitness. It looks to improve players endurance to cope with playing full 90 minutes regularly – either it’s by preventing injuries to make the players stronger or improve their agility to move quicker around in minor areas and be more light on their feet when running with the ball or in possession with it. A good fitness coach will be better at recognizing potential issues before they arise during matches.
A fitness coach is a specialists role who will look to improve a players strength and quickness. This means that the staff is not eligible to work on other areas of a players game besides improving his natural fitness and pace.
Key Attributes – Strength:
Key Attributes – Quickness:
Goalkeeping Coaching Attributes
Goalkeeping coaching is a specialist role, and can in short be described as; teaching the goalkeeper how he shall act and behave to protect the goal or how to distribute the ball when getting possession of it.
The attributes linked to goalkeeping coaching are split up into three different abilities. Higher levels of the three goalkeeping attributes indicates that the staff has the competence to develop goalkeepers to a higher level, either they are experts in one area of the game or are well educated to coach goalkeepers in both shot stopping, handling and distribution.
Below we’ll provide an explanation of the three goalkeeping attributes;
GK Distribution – a particular staff’s expertise in coaching a goalkeepers abilities and effectiveness of their distribution. It looks to improve the goalkeepers abilities in throwing and kicking the ball.
The level of GK Distribution will influence the goalkeepers abilities to deliver the ball effectively and with success. It means picking the right distribution method of getting the ball out there on the pitch, to the right player or zone and ensure it won’t create any dangerous situations that failures into conceding. GK distribution is linked to the tactical coaching attribute.
GK Handling determines his abilities to coach a goalkeepers abilities in holding onto the ball for example from shots or manage situations occurring in front of him. First and foremost it coaches a goalkeeper’s competency in handling the ball but it will also influence on his abilities in aerial reach, command of area and communication. It requires a certain level of tactical knowledge in order to anticipate the ball’s path, but requires also the correct positioning and concentration to not concede. GK handling is linked to the tactical coaching attribute.
GK Shot Stopping teaches a goalkeeper’s abilities to block shots, either it’s a powerful long shot from outside the area, a quick shot that bounces off another nearby player that requires great reflexes, a curved shot in the long corner which forces him to stretch out or he’s alone with the opposing player in an one on one situation and demands him to make the correct decision and stay calm in the situation by waiting for the opponent to make a move.
A goalkeeper coach with high ratings in shot stopping will most likely improve a goalkeepers reflexes and one on one abilities, but may also improve his composure in order to stay calm in such situations described above. The GK shot stopping attribute are linked to the technical coaching attribute.
Working with youngsters
Working with youngsters determines how successfully the individual is at working with younger players, particularly those aged 19 and under. If the youngsters have been given a youth team training assignment and the staff has high levels of working with youngsters will the players they work with improve more than if they had no assignment and a coach with lower ratings.
It’s desirable when caring for youth development and should be one of the main attributes when looking for a good youth manager/coach and/or Head of Youth Development. Since the quality of the youth intake is determined by the ratings of the person responsible for bringing them through, it’s an essential characteristics of the head of youth development, who are the default staff role for finding suitable youth candidates and report on the youngsters within the club inside the Development Centre.
Working with youngsters is linked to judging player potential and judging player ability as these staff members will be responsible for assessing the quality of the player and how far he can reach within the game.
Despite the coach with excellent ratings in working with youngsters may only be able to nurture one or two players into great prospects, the benefits and potential income, once swooped up from a bigger club, may be highly advantageous for a club with less financial abilities.
Besides the technical attributes heavily linked to general training and its training categories are the mental attributes, which determines the particular coaching staff’s mental abilities, either it’s his own desire to succeed, adapt to foreign countries or deal with others around him.
As mentioned earlier in our guide on how to find the best coaches, three mental attributes determines the star rating and the quality of coaching, either it’s a more general approach to several working areas or one specific training area. These three mental attributes are determination, level of discipline and motivation, which determines most of a backroom staff’s quality in coaching. Below you’ll find more about what these means for the staff’s.
A determine coach will have a higher mental drive and desire to succeed and improve his coaching skills by improving his coaching qualifications. It can be describes as his own drive to better himself and the players he work with.
A good coach with high determination will look to take coaching courses to improve himself, and will have better possibilities to succeed. The level of determination will also influence his mental drive to work in the best leagues in the football world as he often has the desire and ambitions to work with the best players. It’s not an coaching attribute that determines his quality of improving a player’s mental approach to the game.
Determination is linked to level of discipline and motivation, as these three attributes is vital for the level of coaching stars.
Level of Discipline
It reflects the level of discipline the coach is likely to take in their approach; strict -> relaxed. A high ratings in level of discipline will mean they will take up a harder line and be more strict in their approach, while the opposite means they are more relaxed. A strict coach will in turn discourage players from raising complaints in private chats and other similar aspects of managing players, but may as well upset the players as training becomes too hard, which may impact on their morale and eventually stresses them out, while a relaxed coach can lead the players to exert a little more power and influence over him.
Level of Discipline is tied to staff attribute mental, as a strict coach needs good level of mental attribute to make sure he can act and observe the level of stress and increase/decrease his strictness to keep the players happiness and preserve good morale.
This is linked to an individual’s ability to motivate the players before match and in every-day circumstances. High motivation will allow the coach to suitably pump his players up not only for a big match, but also in a every-day sense; keeping a squad motivated towards achieving their goals. In regard to training, a coach with high motivation will influence the players work rate and affect their determination to play better, train harder and do better. The players will take training and matches more seriously and not slack off.
Generally speaking, motivation describes a coach’s mental ability to motivate his players, which will impact in player interactions, team meetings, team talks and training.
Man Management describes how well the staff interacts and deals with those around and particular below him. A high attribute indicates someone who is capable of organizing and keeping people happy, with particular regard to interaction, morale, coach reports and backroom advice, as well as scheduling appropriate rest periods during training.
A backroom staff with good level of man management will be more competent on preserving and increasing a good level of morale within your squad and can alert you on morale problems.
Man Management is an essential feature for managers and assistant managers, as high ratings means they are more likely to keep people within his ‘organization’ happy. It can be a worthy attribute to look at for your chief scout, as he needs to keep the scouts happy and set up a plan according to your scouting focuses.
It is partly linked to motivating and level of discipline.
It determines how quickly a scout, coach or director of football will settle in a new country apart from his scouting knowledge and home nation. A high adaptability will make it easier for the backroom staff to adapt to cultural differences and produce quicker results in a new region or a new nation, either in training or in scouting. A high adaptability level will also affect their interest in moving to another country too.
The faster a backroom staff are able to settle in a new culture or environment the quicker and better they will do their job and provide results, either it’s on the training ground, or provide reports of teams, players or tactics.
This attribute simply describes the tactical knowledge possessed by a staff (or non-player). It shows the level of experience in different tactics and formations and estimates their knowledge and experience in the game.
A particular staff’s ratings in tactical knowledge will have many uses; From opposition and team scouting to training and match preparation focus, in additional to backroom advice, where a staff with high ratings will provide not only more accurate reports of your players and the opposition, but also compile more detailed information which is being passed back to you.
Where they’ve been and who they’ve worked with will affect the level of tactical knowledge they have. An older backroom staff member will often have a higher tactical knowledge than a younger. This is of advantage as the more experienced coaches will use his level of expertise on providing more accurate tips and tactical feedback.
A staff member with excellent ratings in tactical knowledge in additional to tactical coaching is perfect fit for providing advice about tactical topics.
You can select the person in charge of providing advice about tactics in;
Staff > Responsibilities > Staff > Advice & Reports > Tactical (Misc)
This attribute describes how skilled negotiator he is and quite simply comments on how successfully they negotiate transfer and contract deals. A higher rating will mean he will go about his business by seeking better financial deals if he’s involved with transfers and contract negotiations, than a person with lower ratings, as they are more likely to agree to less favorable packages.
Put simply, high ratings equals strong dealings – a lower one less so.
It’s an essential feature for anyone initiating, negotiating and finalizing player and staff sales and signings.
Scouting Knowledge Attributes
Scouting attributes in this instance relates to essential attributes for the scouts and data analysts. These attributes looks at assessing data about teams, players and staff looking at judging individuals ability, potential and analyzing their statistics and performances.
The staff profile comes with one view entitled scouting, which is more directed at data analysts and scouts featuring their knowledge level, which we will look at below.
Judging Player Ability
Judging player ability, or JPA in short, relates to his abilities to estimate the current standard of a player or a team. A higher level of judging player ability indicates that the backroom staff member will provide better and more accurate report cards. JPA determines how accurate a scout, assistant manager, head of youth development or director of football can predict a certain player’s current level of ability. A high level is needed when scouting for first team players that can add depth to your squad. Judging player ability equals to how good the player/team is at the moment.
Judging Player Potential (JPP) – indicates the staff members abilities to estimate the future levels of performance of a given team or a player whilst taking into account several factors that may hinders the potential outcome.
A higher level of judging player potential indicates that the backroom staff member will provide better and more accurate report cards about a player’s future playing level. JPA determines how accurate a scout, assistant manager, head of youth development or director of football can predict a certain players potential in the future. A high level is needed when scouting for new talents to predict more accurately how far the player can progress and which level of football he may end up at compared to your current crop of players.
Judging player potential and ability is two of the most important attributes for scouts. A rating of at least 14 is the minimum requirement for an accurate scouting report card. You can read more about how to find the best scouts in Football Manager here.
For a good head of youth development and youth manager it is important to have a decent level of judging player potential paired with a good level of working with the youth, while the perfect director of football may have high ratings in JPA and JPP combined with great negotiation to find suitable targets that will improve the current squad.
Data Analyst Attributes
These attributes are linked to the staff role data analyst and describes their accuracy to provide analyst reports about players or teams.
Judging Player Data
Judging Player Data or Jud PD in short, indicates how well the staff member is able to interpret data about a player and translate it into a useful manner for the manager. It can be the data analysts abilities to understand data about an individual player, such as transferring data from statistics or performances into a human-readable form.
Judging Team Data
Judging Team Data (Jud TD) describes how well the data analysts interprets data about a team and can translate it into a useful manner for the manager. It indicates how well the staff member can understand statistical information about a specific team, such as the opponent and review the team’s latest performances and use of tactics and systems, and provide you with reports about how they played, pinpoint strength and weaknesses within their formation. It may also indicate how well he’s able to address analysis of recent performances of your own team and the opponent, and the negatives and positives the selected formation and playing style may have for the outcome.
Presenting Data (Prs D) – describes their ability to present their data efficiently and easily digestible for the players and the manager. It’s an important attribute to search for once assigning a data analyst as it helps you get human-readable reports that may consist of huge amount of data and statistical information from a large number of matches. It lets you easily understand the strength and weaknesses about your opposition as well as your own team and tactics and arising issues and problems with your shape or tactical instructions.
In fact, it does not help having a high rating in judging player data and team data without a higher ratings in presenting data. It’s like knowing all the words in Italian but not being able to use them in a sentence by putting all the information you possess together.
You can also use the data analyst to get an analysis report of a player you’re interested in. When the analysis report is finished you will get a report card delivered. The accuracy of it are influenced by the judging player data attribute and the presenting data attribute.
Medical Attributes – Non-Playing Attributes for Physios & Sport Scientists
Within the medical centre will the sport scientists and physios address injuries, provide risk assessments and do what they can to prevent future injuries occurring by delivering their feedback of match load, training workload and show you who got an higher risk of receiving an injury in the nearby future.
There are two attributes within the Medical section of a suitable staff members profile.
It shows the competency of the staff member relating to the quality of the physiotherapist. A high rating indicated that the physio will ensure your players receive high-quality treatment to both prevent and rehabilitate injuries. He will be able to predict more accurately the injury length and set a correct diagnose of the injury.
The rating is also used for fitness tests, player transfer medicals, and assessing injury proneness.
You should look to have at least three physios with high ratings in physiotherapy.
Sports science relates to the staff member’s competency to accurately manage every player’s fitness level and injury risk. Higher ratings reveals a non-players competence in accurately manage every player’s fitness level and injury risk.
The rating of sports science dictates how well the sport scientists are able to keep players in condition to play regular football as well as providing feedback about a player’s potential risk of picking up an injury – perhaps due to their past injury history, their level of injury proneness according to your use of training intensity and the current match load. A higher training intensity and match load may result in fatigue and an higher injury susceptibility.
While the players have traits or player preferred moves, coaches or manager’s have tendencies. These tendencies ranges from 1 to 20, similar to the attributes above, but instead of showing you their competence within an area of the game they determine how likely something is to happen. A non-playing staff may tend to do something specific or be not tend to.
Tendencies are split up into two main categories; Managers / Coaches and persons responsible for transfer activity.
Some of the tendencies for non-playing staff described below will fit specific club visions, while others may inflict. Therefore it may be far more beneficial to approach certain reserves managers, assistant managers, director of football, loan managers or technical directors with tendencies that fits the club vision and culture rather than being too spontaneous with your staff signings.
1. Managers, Coaches etc.
- Operate without an Assistant Manager
- Fit players into preferred tactic
- Have a large senior squad
- Make early tactical changes
- Rely on set pieces
- Select domestic players for National Team
- Use counter-attacks
- Use Target Man
- Use young players in low priority cups
- Use zonal marking for set pieces
- Select a substitute Goalkeeper
- Have a willingness to work in the lower leagues
- Use non-first team goalkeeper for domestic cup games
- Use non-first team goalkeeper for continental cup games
- Doesn’t use Data Analysts
2. Person responsible for transfer activity
- Sign domestic-based players
- Sign lower league players
- Sign many youth players
- Spend on youth signings
- Use budget on one player
- Use loan market
- Offer high Promotion wage percentage increases
- Offer high Relegation wage percentage decreases
- Pay fees upfront
- Target high-profile signings
- Sign many young players to make a profit
- Sign U22 players for the first team
- Sign U24 players for the first team