FM15 Wishlist for New Improvements And Features
Now it's time to take a step into the next versions of the game; first and foremost Football Manager 2015, but the features that aren't added could also feature on the Football Manager 2016 wishlist, FM17 or even FM18 as some features here could be described as very advanced. When writing this, there will still be around 10 to 11 months before Football Manager 2015 is released, but by taking up the discussion of what we like to see, regarding new features in FM15 this early on, we hope our community can help the developers of the game to provide an even more realistic Football Manager game.
Here is our Football Manager 2015 wishlist of new improvements and features. But you are free to share your opinions and feedback of what you like to see improved for FM15 and hand in your wishlist below.
It's around 2 months since Football Manager 2014 was released. While the astonishing amount of over 1000 new features and changes were introduced to us, there were only a handful major changes which influences the way you play FM14. From the looks of it, some of the new Football Manager 2014 features have been welcomed. Many of them will improve future versions of FM - like the removal of the sliders. Others seem to have been imported just to change the layout(?) (interface, news system and general training overview)... As the amount of bugs, and things that have not worked as intended, has been staggering (Steam workshop, cloud save, match engine and player roles at first), I can't do anything else than wonder; was Football Manager 2014 released as a FM15 "beta version"? (What are your thoughts about this matter?)
Some questions come to mind before we hand you our Football Manager 2015 wishlist:
- How can Sports Interactive improve FM15 to be even better?
- What will the wow-factor be in the next release? 1100 new features, where only two or three are major changes?
- Which new features of Football Manager 2015 will actually improve it?
- Which areas are left to improve to make the game as realistic as the current state of world football? And how will it evolve?
This is the third year doing this, so our FM15 wishlist will be a natural extension to the previous FM14 wishlist and FM13 wishlist thread. There were some improvements that weren't implemented to FM14, such as the ability to create youth academies that we still would find worthy to be implemented to FM2015.
Improvements and Changes to Backroom Staff in FM15
Change / Revamp to the amount of allowed backroom staff personnel
This is not as much a new features we wish for, but a change back to the FM13 version of the game. We have found the allowed amount of backroom staff by the board in Football Manager 2014 to be very restricted. While you could see how many goalkeeper coaches and fitness coaches you could have in FM13, we find the label "Other Backroom staff" too vague. The amount of "Other backroom staff" in FM14 complies to both physios and more specialized coaching roles such as goalkeeping coaches and fitness coaches. The change has often forced us to limit the amount of physios in order to increase the amount of coaches to improve coaching and player development.
When we know Arsenal has over 20 staff in additional to 14 youth academy staff, Football Manager may often be too restricted. By specifying the amount of backroom staff personnel in Football Manager for all staff roles it will be easier to set up a good backroom staff team for all areas of club - not only for the coaching team.
Add a Tactical Analyst
Everton was one of few English Premier League clubs which appointed a video analyst some years ago. His main task was to hand feedback to the manager - if he wanted - about players and their match performance. He could provide the manager with smaller video highlights about what the player did correct/wrong - which the player also could take home with him. Evertons video analyst was one of the major successor behind Evertons great performance with a limited squad of "average" players the years before 2010.
In Football Manager, I would love to see personal video analysis and highlights of a specific player. This would require a totally new camera view, which target one player. The tactical analyst could also provide you with next opposition reports about your upcoming teams; highlighting their strength and weaknesses, potential formations used and provide you with more valuable tactical feedback than your Football Manager scout, who solely looks on individual players strength and weaknesses.
The tactical analyst should be one of the key backroom staff in another idea we have to make the game more realistic - see improvements to FM15 tactics below.
Add a Groundskeeper
The groundskeeper has an important job making the turf as good as possible between matches. He will be in charge of watering the grass, lawn movering and making sure everything is ready for the match. His level of expertise could range from Amateur to Professional or Expert - his/hers educational level.
While some of you might feel the new backroom staff groundskeeper will be important to add, my idea will an impotant feature in terms of match preparations in Football Manager 2015. I would like the ability to:
- ask your groundskeeper to water the grass according to a scheduling bar from little to heavy, in terms of what suits your playing style or strength. As we have seen in the past years, some clubs water their turf heavy before facing opponents in the Champions League to make sure the ball goes quicker.
- ask your groundskeeper to cut the grass according to a scheduling bar from long to short grass, in terms of what suits your playing style and individual strength in order to combat opponents strength and target weaknesses.
- add the ability to ask the opponent team to water the pitch or give some specific referances to how you like the turf when facing a tema on away soil.
Improvements to Coaches
I guess we all can agree on the importance of having 5-star coaches. Currently, their preferred coaching style can have some impact on the player development. How much, is yet to be known for sure. The star rating of coaches works similarly to the ability/potential star rating of players. But, every 5-star player won't fit your preferred playing style, right?
One of the issues I find too vague is the coaches main strength (if we look away from the coaching star rating you'll get once you sign them). His preferences regarding tactics is not something that defines his strength to the better either. Even though a coach prefers to play with a 4-3-3 formation it doesn't say anything specific of what he's capable of. The coaching style can give you some tips about his skills, but are the staff attributes enough? So how can Football Manager 2015 utilize the importance of signing coaches with unique skills/strengths?
Coaching Tendencies Added
Similar to the manager tendencies and player preferred moves, it could be coaching tendencies which is pointed to how each coach will attain training with unique coaching drills. For example Coach X prefers to use the training drill "The Rondo" which looks to improve decision making, creativity and passing, while coach Y prefers 4v4. The coach tendencies or preferred training practice drills should make you aware of which coaches you sign to your coaching team. For experienced coaches, the amount for drills will be far more than for one with no coaching qualifications.. This idea is also the background for our ideas to training improvements in Football Manager 2015, which you can read more about further below.
Football Manager 2015 Scouting Improvements
Improvements to scouting team
- As we know, Ajax Amsterdam - one of the best clubs in regard to youth development - has over 20 scouts just roaming Holland! In FM14 the maximum allowed scouts roaming the world are 20. I would hope the number of scouts allowed will be increased for all clubs above 2nd tier in order to be able to spot more players.
- By letting the scouts also compile a video highlights within the scout report about the targetted player, it will make you able to see an analysis of strength and weaknesses, just like a real manager, rather than base your judgement on star rating and player attributes alone. A little more in-depth scout report about his training personality and more visiual ability of what he can bring to your tactic might be good.
- Football Manager 2015 should set the ability to scout youth tournaments when it's on-going inside a region. This means that the scout will automatically see the benefits of heading to the tournament instead of roaming 'aimlessly' around without the need of setting up screenflow or assigning him to that country.
This can also be applied to the amount of highly reputated youth academy clubs around the world. The scout will see it beneficial to head to the most reputated areas within his scouting regions / nations first.
Improvements / Changes and Overhaul to FM15 Tactic Creation
Even though the biggest change, and the most distinguished improvements was made in the tactical overhaul in Football Manager 2014 with 8 new player roles, we feel that these changes are only a step on the road to make tactical creation more intuitive and far better than ever! We hope the removal of the sliders will give us more opportunities in the future to expand the amount of team and player instructions - which will give you unique ways to employ your ideas and tactical understanding over the more plug and play (try and fail) version of how tactical creation is laid out today.
The areas we think the new tactical creation tool (from FM14) can impact Football Manager 2015 - and what we think it should offer in terms of changes is:
As we see it, the Football Manager 2014 Team Instructions are currently laid out as on / off instructions - either the players will do it or not. From FM13 we had 20 levels of setting closing down - in additional to the different strategies and player roles which either decreased or increased level of closing down. The situation today is far too limited in our point of view. We don't have any clear solutions to how they should improve and import the different pressing styles in world football, as we have very limited (no) knowledge of behind the scenes of the match engine.
But perhaps one idea would be to set closing down similar to tempo (from team instructions) in FM15 player instructions? One idea could be an easy pitch map, where you specify areas and different zones of closing down - how much each players shall push out of their zones. How close the players shall stay to the opponents can, as we know from FM14, be specified by setting level of defensive line (drop deeper / push higher up), so the closing down areas will therefore increase / decrease this further - making the new improvements more similar to how the old-fashioned sliders worked, but yet again more intuitive and hopefully add more realism to pressing - not like the current system of either very very close or let opponents get 5 meters of space to run in.
Ability to Influence Player Behaviours far more
One of the great improvements to FM14 was how the team instructions were set up. You were handed an easy way of seeing which have been selected, which conflict with the selected ones and which is default for a given player role. By making greyed out player instructions available for other player positioning too, and adding several more instructions for all roles, we think you should be able to make far more minor tweaks to player positioning and let you influence the player in far more situations than today:
- Add opportunity to tell all players to run with the ball less often
- Make "Stay wider" and "Sit narrower" available for all roles in order to increase / decrease space between players
- Add opportunity to tell players to drop deeper. PPM's have often too much importance. Not only does it take long time to train them (often as long as 6 months), but sometimes players fail to add them to their football vocabulary. More player instructions are needed.
- Add opportunities to tell players to try different passing options: pass in front of receiver (close to him but in space), pass into space (force the players to run onto the ball) and pass to feet (even when direct - more like how Bayern plays)
- Add opportunity to tell players to "Make room for others" by instructing him to run more vertical - similar to cut inside just without running with the ball.
One of the few features I loved about FM13 was the ability to utilize different shouts for different matches and match strategies. They should give you the same feelings as a real-life manager with the ability to make small adjustments quicker. As team instructions were introduced, the shouts were abandoned. The ability to save presets should be the new thing... (anybody tried to make it work lately..?)
As change of team instructions will change your playing style massively, I guess many of you are sticking to your preferred instructions rather than making major adjustments. Often we are forced to set many instructions (which is somewhat natural as they impact on different situations of the game from passing to crossing), and the only thing you adjust might be defensive line and width and crossing types.
Adapting match tactics is vital in order to counter the opposition team. It would not only be great to have these saved presets available, but also the ability to add instructions and change strategies, which finetunes currently selected team instructions without removing those that are mandatory for your playing style. Similar to Football Manager 2013 were you could add different shouts setups and make small adjustments to your teams playing style would be great for FM15 - adding the ability to create match-situation-based instructions.
This could be arranged by making the team instructions laid out as default. In match, you will then have match instructions which gives you the ability to finetune your instructions or add new match instructions. For example if "shorter passing" have been selected in TI, "play more direct" will increase the passing length a bit instead of switching from 2-3 meter passes to perhaps 20 meter passes, but make you see an average of 10 metres in passing length.
These match instructions would also help you to finetune defensive line and add more levels to basic team instructions.
Improve Match analysts and Tactical Analysis Center of FM15
By adding individual player analysis center to this current version, Football Manager took a step further to make the game better. Regardless, I think there are some features that could be changed. I guess many of you are familiar with the in-depth statistics of Squawka. Here, you can see everything from passing accuracy to amount of shots to assists recorded. Football Manager can provide you with a massive amount of statistics, but still there are some areas I feel they could have improved further, and perhaps make the analyst center more similar to the Squawka stats:
- See Average Passing length and/or length of each passes
- See players amount of successful and unsuccessful passes by types of passing - See an example here
- Ability to find out what types of assists the players have done; through balls, rebounds, crosses or headers
- Ability to see specific match highlights of mistakes or a composition of highlights on assists, goals or tackles
- Ability to split the tactical analysis centre between full-time and half-time analysis in order to be able to analyze the outcome of changes you've done in half-time. Any changes should be labelled with the name of the tactic being used.
Revamp to Football Manager 2015 Training - NEW Training-Engine
As you might know, one of the areas which didn't see many improvements in Football Manager 2014 was Training. We believe the removal of sliders for tactics will make new ways on other areas of the game as well and that training will be one area looked at for FM15.
There are several changes I'd like to see in Football Manager 2015 in regard to receiving more feedback and improving the way you set up your team training according to the playing style you prefer - making you able to style a general football philosophy for managing club - the basic of team management.
First of, here is some of the minor improvements I'd like from the current setup of Football Manager training;
- Add ability to see which players are happy with the current setup and who's not from the squad training happiness - not have to click through all players - by adding links or new windows which expands when mouse hovers over Happy, Content or Unhappy.
- Same as above concerns also Squad fitness - making it easier to spot players who needs more / less training, match experience and an individual setup to play at his best.
- From the training overview, we can all see the schedule bar. This bar should also be able to work as a planner giving you the opportunity to setup training exercises at specific days (which we will discuss further below).
Training Practices Added
I think we have finally come to the time when the level of expertise within the Football Manager community is good enough to import football training practices and drills. I remember that similar training practices were part of FM some versions ago, where we had the opportunity to select 5-a-side and more, and set up daily schedules. This was of course abandoned for a more plug and play version.
The current team training doesn't show which areas of the game they improve. We are left to imagine which player attributes attacking training covers. The detail level the Football Manager series has been famous for, lacks very much in the current training department. I don't know if a new training-engine (a similar one as the match engine) should be something to employ as the bug rates of the current system is astonishingly high, but I feel there will come a time when this is needed to take a closer step to realism.
By being able to set up training drills and specific practices for both first team and youth team, which are also based on the coaches experience and knowledge (specific training tendencies), it will provide you with the ability to develop some of the most important player attributes: decisions, anticipation and creativity far better than just individual player role training. In addition training specific areas of mental and physical traits would be good.
Training Practices and Drills which could be added are:
- Ability to determine X vs Y training practices, such as 4 vs 4, 2 vs 1, 1 vs 1 to improve technical and tactical attributes such as running with the ball, tackling and passing.
- Abilty to select more specific training schedules such as shooting drills or running with the ball drills both to improve composure of strikers and dribbling for midfielders for instance.
- Add specific passing technique drills which also improves decision-making and reaction time.
- Add the ability to let new players get specific tactical training sessions to make him understand the formation - 9 vs 7, shadow play or other drills which improve tactical awareness in one on one situations or to increase knowledge of covering and closing down
- Specific fitness and conditioning exercises such as former Juventus assistant manager Jens Bangsbo's speed endurance training and recovery practices.
The amount of football training drills available on internet are massive, but I believe it would be a big step backwards in regard to player development, if training practices are not implemented in Football Manager in either 2015 or 2016 version. You can find a collection of training practices within football here.
Add new Player- and Staff Attributes
Today many of the player and staff attributes are somewhat coupled. If player and staff attributes would be expanded, there are some attributes I'd like to see added.
In regard to players, you will need to analyse three or four attributes to determine how good the player is in a specific situation, such as running with the ball. Why not add the player attribute Running with ball? Also ball control and vision are others that could be added. Lastly, tactical awareness(or on-pitch intelligence) could be an important player attribute for players also, perhaps supported by their best experienced formations - which formations they have knowledge of.
The introduction of Football Manager Director of Football gave us a sneak peek of the administrative choirs in todays football. His main job is to handle transfers and contract negotiations. One of the non-player data in the FM14 editor is the ability to handle businesses. Why not make this staff attribute visible, similar to how manager tendencies became visible for FM14 (it was not a new feature, but has been hidden inside the database for years). Another staff attribute worthy to have would be Negotiations - the ability to convince.
Other staff- and player attributes I like to see added are:
- Conversation in order to provide valuable and accurate feedback
- Administration in order to plan and organisate marketing strategies, set up scouting assignements and training exercises.
FM15 Improvements to Match Circumstances and Match-Engine
Where should I start? Okay, we can all agree on the many bugs of the FM14 match engine. It may have hit your motivation of playing Football Manager hard. Still, there should be some updates before FM14 is close or even better than FM13. Here we won't talk about the need to correct bugs BEFORE releasing the final product, but about some new improvements which can add more realism to matches. These features came originally to my mind when writing the Football Manager 2014 Wishlist but was saved to a time were they are more likely to be featured. I know some of these ideas still may be way out, and will be less likely for FM15. But I do think some of them are very realistic in terms of future versions.
Ability to Set Level of Warm-up and Employ Certain Drills
Similar to the ability to select match preparation and specific training drills mentioned above, we should have the ability to set level of pre-match / half-time warm up for starters and substitutes. Here you can also select certain warm-up practices or drills such as the "The Rondo". The level of warm-up could reach from light to heavy and from 10 minutes to 30 minutes.
In matches, you will be able to select when players on the bench shall begin warming-up, which should make the players on the pitch more focused.
Interactive Dressing Room (Pre-Match / Half-Time / Full-Match)
The main idea behind the interactive dressing room is being able to monitor your players better and provide an improved match feeling for you as the manager - making pre-match team talk, adapting match tactics during half time and influence your players far more. Here are some of the main ideas - but you can come with your own suggestions in the comments section below.
- # Abiliy to let respected players (for example captains), assistant manager or others who have something on their heart give the team talk or come into the conversation after team talk to share their opinion. This feature will be something like a live communication (similar to live transfer negotiations and team meetings) where team talks are done with interaction between you and your squad.
- # Ability to order players to the physio bench to retain fitness in half-time / pre-match before/after warm-up. This will increase the importance of having a good physio setup and should increase the amount of physios you attach.
Interactive Match Communication with Players
As of today you may be used to the feedback from your Assistant Manager. You might understand he sits right beside you and is watching the same match as you. But are these feedbacks very valuable? What about if you could communicate with the players on the pitch - like call your captain or specific players to you when ball is out of play? Those could be players you trust to give you different feedback on what they feel the situation is.
The "live match communication" will make you able to hand out specific instructions by approaching the captain or goalkeeper or other specific players who have great vision of the game. His level of tactical knowledge (new player attribute) will be of importance. You would now be able to see players level of understanding his new instructions. This feature will also increase the importance of the Football Manager captain and make him more of a link between you and the squad for all areas of team management.
Feedback from the players could be their opinion about certain matters;
- "I get no support by player Y, which makes opponent A get too much space".
- "we should increase the defensive line to minimize the space for the opponents midfield".
Other Minor Features For The Next Football Manager Games
- Detailed Market Value Graph and its Development from seasons to season and transfer to transfer
- Ability to talk to agents about how much he shall have for his percentage share of one of his clients
- Ability to negotiate demanded agents fees for players under third party ownerships.
- New Analysis stats: Add Average player speed (of total amount of runs in first / second half and after full time) and average ball speed in the first half / second half and in overall.
The photo, used in article, "Cardiff substitutes Warm up" is made available under Creative Commons licence Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Image courtesy of Jon Candy via Flickr.
The photo, used in article, "AC Milan dressing room" is made available under Creative Commons licence Attribution Generic 2.0 Unported. Image courtesy of Robin Bos via Flickr.