Is Football Manager Scripted?

You have conceded a last minute winner in the 95th minute from a 40 yard screamer belted by the opposition fullback with a long shot rating of 6. His first goal for his club despite playing there consistently for the last five years. It is beyond imaginable, impossible in real life you say. Football Manager has to be scripted, there is no other explanation. But is the game really scripted? Were you bound to concede that goal no matter what?

The short answer is no, football manager is not scripted. Every action you take as a manager on and off the pitch influences the result in one way or another. Nothing on the game is written in stone.

For instance, if you have a more intensive training regime for your team, chances of your main man suffering an unfortunate injury before an important game is higher compared to teams on training regimes that are not as intensive.

Likewise, if your team mainly consists of players with poor mentalities and has no leaders on the pitch, chances of holding on to a slender lead in a critical game like a derby, play off game or cup final are greatly diminished. You will also from time to time give up goals towards the end of normal league matches when the nerves get to your team. 

Is football manager scripted

All these factors including but not limited to training intensity, rotation, mentality of the players are calculated by the game as you play it out. You might find your players rarely get injured, but once called up by the national team, they suffer an injury or two. 

This is not the game trying to screw you over, it is simply the result of the national team manager running your players to the ground with no sense of rotation. After all, not many national teams have the luxury of having world-class players in almost every position that they can juggle around to keep everyone fit and in good condition.

Football Manager Sudden Loss of Form in the Middle of the Season

Often you find a good tactic that suits your players, then you go on an impressive winning run that propels you up the table. Your strikers are scoring almost every game and everything seems all rosy, then suddenly it just stops.

The games become tighter, followed by a series of 1-0 and 2-1 losses. Teams you expect to comfortably beat somehow find a way to frustrate you with boring draws. 

Again, this is not the game switching the script on you. At the beginning of your run, the AI underestimated your team and most likely approached the game with more risky attacking tactics. Your team then managed to successfully exploit the spaces left by the opposition, resulting in your good form.

Once the AI recognizes you are a better team than first assumed, tactics that you will now face will be more defensive and cautious, leading to the number of goals you have been scoring to reduce significantly, while the AI will also try to find ways to break down your defence, leading to more losses and draws.

The onus will then be upon you, to tweak the tactic to break down more defensive sides that you are now facing, or to buy better players that will excel despite the limited space they will now be getting.

Same Things Happening In Different FM Saves

Once you have gone on holiday, the game will process at a much higher speed by not taking everything into account in game as it would while you are actively managing. This might lead to scenarios where things in game happen with very little variation.

You might consistently find that on a fresh new save, the teams that are relegated in the first season are largely the same. This is mostly down to these teams being weak in comparison to the others in the league and the transfer window being frozen at the start, therefore they have no way to improve their teams.

Loading the leagues in an unbalanced way might also make some transfers happen in the same way across different save games, just because a wide variety of talent to choose from in the transfer market does not exist. Players being too few in a save game will also lead to transfer fees rocketing because of the high competition.

Therefore, at the end of all this, your team having 20 shots on target with only 1 goal scored should not be a reason to call the game scripted. First try to study the nature of the shots, are they from close to the goal or are they being fired from 30 yards because the team is unable to break down a low block. Or is your striker inconsistent or maybe has poor morale because you denied him a new contract.

Once you have isolated the issue, whether it is the players or the tactic, make the necessary changes that will get your team firing again.