Assistant managers in football manager can contribute greatly to your success if you hire the right man for the job, while also saving you from doing some mundane tasks that you might not particularly be a big fan of, like handling press conferences or setting individual training programs for your Under 18 and Under 23 players.
Choosing the right man for the job can however be a bit tricky depending on the kind of tasks you will be assigning him to do.
For those of us who are very much hands-on, you can pick an assistant manager with the best coaching attributes so that he can basically function as an extra coach, while if you want him to primarily give a second opinion on scouted players ensure that his Judging Player Ability and Judging Player Potential are up to par with the best in the league you are managing in. This should preferably be 15+ in both attributes if you are managing in one of the top five leagues.
I have put together a list of things I normally take a look-out for when I start a new save game before arriving at a candidate that I am happy with.
Identifying the Best Assistant Manager in Football Manager
The most important attribute you should keep an eye on. What use would an assistant manager have if he doesn’t know the tactical aspect of the game?
This rating will determine the quality of advice he gives you during an ongoing game, suggestions for opposition instructions before a game, and also when you ask him to quick select your squad for the next match or penalty takers before a shoot out.
You certainly do not want your assistant manager saying ‘you are being overrun in midfield’ while you are sitting pretty with a two goal lead and 65% possession.
Motivation refers to the ability to put belief in players minds and hearts. Particularly useful if you want to give a killer motivational talk at half-time to put your players in the right mind to turn a game around, or to keep their focus when having a slender lead away from home in a tricky knock out game.
Having an assistant manager who knows the right things to say to the players at all times will be crucial in keeping their’ morale high, while also keeping them grounded in the middle of an amazing run as complacency creeps in slowly without notice.
Contrary to players where the more media shy they are the better, you want an assistant manager whose media handling style is “Media Friendly”. He will gladly handle your press conferences diligently, leaving you to focus on managing the squad.
Having the media adore your assistant manager and the club will increase the chances of them writing positive articles around your management, depending on various scenarios in the game. You can check this on the specific journalist’s opinion of you.
Avoid assistant managers who are confrontational or at least do not assign them press conference duties, as they are more likely to storm out of the press conference at the first provocation.
Judging Player Ability and Player Potential
As already pointed out, if you need your assistant manager to supplement your scouting department, his rating on Judging PA and Player Potential are paramount.
You can take advantage of this when managing a smaller club where the number of scouts approved by the board are too small compared to the number of targets you are monitoring.
Having your assistant manager give an accurate quick report on a player could be the difference between spending $300k on him or shelling out $50m in a few years on the same player when he has already realized his potential.
Closely related to motivation, an assistant manager having a high rating in man management will more easily keep players happy when talking to them individually.
It increases the chances of getting a positive reaction out of a player. You can keep track of this in the player’s profile, where you will see “The player is pleased with how the recent chat went’’ or “the player is unhappy with how the previous chat went” if the chat did not turn out well
Preferred Formation and Playing Style
If you want to play a counter attacking 442 system, there is no need to appoint an assistant manager whose preferred formation is a 433 Gegenpressing system.
His opinion on what mentality and roles to use will most of the time be complete opposite as to what you expect from your team. Therefore, take time to find an assistant manager who closely shares your vision so that his suggestions will be more in line with what you want to achieve.
It might not be possible at all times to find an assistant manager who will share your exact style, but a 433 and a 4231 for example are closely related, and you can put up with him in that case.
If you are more hands on with all activities that the assistant manager can help you out with, relegate his duties to basically that of a regular coach.
Take a look at the weaknesses in your coaching staff, then appoint an assistant manager whose strength lie in there. Be it the attacking, defending or technical side that is lacking, you can improve it significantly as the assistant manager’s position generally has a higher wage budget than regular coaches therefore you will be able to appoint one who’s significantly better than the regular coaches.
While I am not 100% sure how an assistant manager’s personality affects his output, I like to think that the more professional or driven he is, the more effort he will put in his activities.
I therefore only appoint assistant managers who have the best personalities, like professional, resolute and driven, while staying clear of the neutral ones like balanced or temperamental.
Final Thoughts on Picking The Best Assistant Manager in Football Manager
The points discussed above should only guide you, as It would be near impossible to find an assistant manager who will tick all those boxes. Therefore, identify the roles that you want your assistant manager to perform in your team, then find one who will fit them perfectly. If not, make a compromise on one or two.
But it doesn’t have to be this serious, you can wait for your favourite player or the home-grown club captain of 15 years to hang up his boots, then offer him the job no matter how poor he is. Play football manager how you want to and have some fun.