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Steps for Success - A guide to FMM by SSolas

Good Evening all,

First of all, i would just like to acknowledge that this is not a special technique but just a method i use to logically assemble my club on Football Manager 2018 season by season. I also find that finding a process on this game is sometimes hard and this should help with those who are stuck.

I hope you enjoy and welcome any advice or comments.

My process has around 15 steps as seen below:


This really stems from Alex Fergusons 8 steps to success(http://www.businessinsider.com/sir-alex-ferguson-reveals-8-secrets-to-success-2013-9?IR=T)  . His first point is you should start with the foundations and build a club rather than being purely results driven. This is followed in my next two points as well. 


Same as the point above and vitally important, with teams who get relegated from the premiership and wonderhow to spend the high amount of money they have, they often opt for players than buildings but world class facilities will be there much longer than players and will help build up the players you already have leading to a win win situation, a bit like Burnley FC now.


This is last on the list to ask the board but if you get it right like Manchester city and united, your club can effectively run itself through the youth comming through, the first team players and the senior players leading from the front. A world club youth centre is essential. 


I always think with these two things that firstly, whoever you are with, you do not want to be a selling team. As soon as i start with a club, i am putting a stamp down that we are holding onto our best players and building to be the best rather than settling for second best. Also, i do not like anyone else buying players for my philosophy but me, its a waste of the wage budget and normally i find not the players i need most.


My thinking with this again comes from the great manager Sir Alex, he learnt as time went by that he needed to delagate his work load. This is the way i do it. Friendlies are mostly for fitness and if i choose the staff members, they should hold my vision of the youth players i want at the club. I think under 21 is a suitable age to make that judgement on whether they will cut it at the big club or not.


This step is quite self explanatory but taken greatly from Louis Van Gaal - he stresses in the presentation how he has a lot of staff who in his eyes are more important than the team. They control the day to day running of the club, from the assistant picking youth players, the scouts finding new talent to pyshios who can keep your best players playing, they are vital.



Again, self explanatory but for examples of bad management, take Portsmouth, Leeds etc who spent a bit extra looking for big returns and instead only found relegation and suffering to get back to the same level - please take note. For good management, take Arsenal who take the balance book seriously and still manager to find themselves winning cups etc.


I have used intensive training but find players become unhappy easily especially at a lower level so i normally still to the below:

* Every player placed on general with all apart from GK set as medium

* GK  are kept on the same training as default 


So with this one, i use my own specific tactic to do this one.

I both love the TIKI TAKA system and think with the right players and management, it can be massively successful and keep you in control of a league.

Of course, there are plenty of tactics on this website and if not a tactic on here, please model it on the players already in the squad.


So, this step us getting more connected with the formation and tactic to build a philosophy of the way you want to play - for example: Some managers might have had Messi as a target man or inside forward but the False 9 was chosen for a reason and to amazing effect.

My tactic incorporates the following as taken from this book.https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coaching-Tiki-Taka-Style-Play/dp/0957670540 

  • SWK
  • WBK
  • BPD
  • DM
  • DLP
  • APM
  • IF
  • T


I take this information from https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://mrdaniels.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/fm_handheld_hints_and_tips.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwi8pvaJkLPZAhVMKVAKHSiVAZIQFjAAegQIExAB&usg=AOvVaw1vk4Fscag3BOVYdUqvCR4D and https://community.sigames.com/manual/football-manager-mobile-2018/your-team-r315

Marc Vaughan in a previous game has marked out that world class teams can work by ths system:

  • 10- Good Attribute
  • 14- Very Good Attribute
  • 16-Excellent Attribute

I use this for every team as i always want to build them to a world class level so might as well use this template,

This information, along with the Key Atributes for each position outlined in the FMM 18 manual, makes for a good general standard for where players are at or if they are good enough. For example - a Left back with 14 for tackling and 15 stamina suggests in general he is a very good player.  In Contrary, if a centre back with heading 10 tackling 9 and positioning 15, i would look to offload them. Tackling is a key attribute and that player was not even classed as 'good' for it.

This is not an exact art form but a guide.


I normally weigh up whether it is best or quickest to transfer list and demote a player or release.

Sometimes, your club may really need the money,but other times you need to kick on with the redevelopment andthe wage budget is big, in which case releasing the player to open space and wage budget makes sense.


I like to be savy in the transfer market so i normally use this guide https://community.sigames.com/manual/football-manager-mobile-2018/your-team-r315 and check for players, first with 16 ratings, then 14 and then 10.

Once players appear, i usually chose the cheapest player which fits my need. 

The player develops more with training and no need paying over the odds for a flop!

I am trying to be smarter in the market to suit my team by getting treqartistas with AMC attributes and Inside forwards with Forwards attributes.


Soo, i am quite strict on myself as the manager in order to set the highest standards at the club.

In the book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Modern-Soccer-Coach-2014-Dimensional/dp/1909125326 it states that Man Utd once had a team goal not to go through the season losing two games in a row.

  • I set myself a goal to never lose 3 games in a row -If i do, i ask the board to allow me extra time.

This one is the most optional on this list but means im aiming high and wanting to be the best. Plus, if you dont lose 3 games in a row, you are normally by the top of the table and if you do lose 3 games in a row, its a strong lesson that the team needs changing ASAP!


I play matches a bit like Louis Van Gaal with little tinkering and happy to watch the match as a student, seing the trends and themes.

I make my changes at half time and they include:

Substitute any players who have their fitness in 60% or lower( below the level of fitness to perform at their best in the 2nd half)

☆ Substitue any players who have their rating at 5 or lower( below the level of performance i demand of the players)

i hope you have enjoyed this and feel free to comment etc on it.

Leagues i have won so far:

  • South Korean
  • USA
  • Wales
  • N.Ireland
  • Ireland
  • Belgium
  • Turkish
  • Austrailian
  • Polish
  • German
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spain
  • French

Additional Information

As per FMM 11- The Barcelona team that invented TIKI TAKA:













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Steps for Success-A guide to FMM 18 by SSolas  

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  • Poll closed on 28/02/18 at 00:00

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Thank you all so much for your kind comments. I really do love this game and play it pretty much every day from the day it comes out to the day the new one starts. The detail is incredible, but also difficult to grasp if new to the game. I love having a strategy and knowing i can replicate it, a bit like guardiola or Mourinho.

Id also like to stress that its not a magic bullet but a place where those struggling can start. 

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It’s always nice to see how other people play the game! Love the fact that you have a well drilled system!

I do some of these things a bit different though, and I think it’s an interesting exercise to explore those differences:

Stadium and facilities - completely agree, fundamental stuff! I do forget to ask for a stadium expansion often enough! Will pay more attention to that!

Holidays - I don’t take holidays, unless when running experiments. I enjoy the transfer season and I look for youth bargains all the time.

Assistant friendlies - again, I like to play these games myself. I normally pick some players that I think could deserve a chance on the first team and see how they perform.

Training - I tend to spread my players in different types of training, not only general. Specially because in FMM18 your coaches have specialization, and they always create a connection with a couple of players each - it helps on their development. But I should try only hiring general managers and see if all of them get a couple of players.


TL,DR: Nice read :)

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This should be very helpful to many here. 

1. Re IT, I never bother trying this with lower division teams as the facilities and players aren't up to par to handle the intensity. Not worth the risk for me so I keep it on default. 

2. Re Players That Aren’t Good Enough, I try not to sell anyone under 21yo. I usually give them a loan spell of 1-3 years at that age before deciding their future at the club. 

3. Re Subs, agree with fitness levels, and sometimes even players on a yellow in a big match not wanting to risk red. AvRs are very deceiving tho. If half the team scores 5s then I know it's either my tactic or a very bad night for the lads. If I play a proven tactic tho it's the latter and subbing 3 + tweaks is the way to go. However, if only a single player scores low I ignore it and most of the times it jumps back to the expected standard in the 2nd half. 

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Good looking guide there dude, very impressive and insightful 

there are things I follow although I must admit I usually wait a season or two before asking about improving the stadium/facilities as I’ve not found many boards willing to do it early on in the game 

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Great read mate, good to see someone else’s perspective on the game.

I do struggle with players being unhappy with training so might try putting them all on general like you’ve mentioned.  

A question on holidaying, do you use the holiday to next match feature? I’ve always been scared incase I miss out on important stuff but with the speeds some people go through seasons I’d assume this is how they do it.


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Good afternoon, thank you for all of your comments and views.

I would love to know other peoples 'steps to success'. Especially as so many people on here are so good they complete harder and harder challenges.

Please can you all do replies with a top 10 list of actions you take season upon season to become so successful?

I am so excited to see the replies.

Also, please comment on if you've tried my steps and had similar success?



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Great article mate. I’m sure it will help a lot of people on here.

one of the things I do once a season is check out the happiness tab on the squad page and shift out everyone that’s considered an outcast. I find it helps morale which further increases performances 

Edited by NucleusNT
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Thanks @SSolas for your detailed explanation of how you play the game, plus insight on how everyone could improve their playing time, I personally never use Holiday as mentioned by @rafa due to wanting to work out if a player is good enough to remain at the club

One thing I have found with this version of FMM is that if you put a player up for Transfer, don't sell him to any offer given to you, I find that if you go to his contract page, then select Offer player to another club, and simply keep raising the value until somebody comes in with an offer, that way he might be worth a couple of Mil or thousand (depending on league and club), but if you keep raising the value, eventually you can settle with a club offering 10x his value

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One thing I always do is praise my players after they’ve played a great game, as in scored a 9 or 10. Either publicly or privately depending on my assistants recommendation. 

I feel this is particularly beneficial to a striker and keeps his scoring run going for a longer period of time. 

I do find it annoying however that you can’t praise a player that’s on loan at your club, unsure of the reasoning for this. 

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On 26/02/2018 at 18:27, forbes5 said:

One thing I always do is praise my players after they’ve played a great game, as in scored a 9 or 10. Either publicly or privately depending on my assistants recommendation. 

I feel this is particularly beneficial to a striker and keeps his scoring run going for a longer period of time. 

I do find it annoying however that you can’t praise a player that’s on loan at your club, unsure of the reasoning for this. 

I try to do that, but it has been hit and miss - specially with the 'public' ones. Also, be careful when praising to often, it usually backfires.

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12 hours ago, SSolas said:

Has anyone tried this process? Had any success or failures with it?

Some of these points could be presented better (like the upgrading of facilities - could have said that these are found under 'Board Confidence').

Good work though, they are helpful to the newer members. I don't agree with point 6 though, I'm using three Bronze physios in my BTS career and there is no negligible difference in injuries. Scouting is also not very reliable, even Gold Scouts try to recommend some bang average players.

Two suggestions I propose from my own experience are to:

1) Set new personal goals every season (e.g. getting your forward to break the Dixie Dean record), or even conduct some mini-experiments (Buying a player who has affinity for your club). That will keep things fresh.

2) Alternatively, keeping a core group of players together can also maintain interest in careers. 90% of players playing in top leagues are decent Champions League players, it doesn't matter if they are from Brighton or Manchester United.

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