Do you prepare for success in Football Manager best when you are; picking away at the AI trying to find endless amounts of flaws? Or maybe you enjoy it best when you take the role of a scout, trying to find that one player that will turn your club around, or even one of them players that is shit 99% of the time, but this particular time he’s a god. Maybe you enjoy it for other features, but whatever way you enjoy playing Football Manager, you can forget about it. As I am about to tell you, the ‘Real Way’ to enjoy it.

Playing Football Manager is not only about; tactics, players, goals and so on. It stems much further than that and takes more planning than the average gamer first realises. Here are five key things that any successful manager needs to do:

  • Prepare for success
  • Strengthening
  • The Set-Up
  • Tactics
  • Strategy

As you can see, I have broken it down into 5 basic steps that any manager should follow. Now I’ve broken it down though, to some simple steps I know a fair few will turn away from this article. Because they now know how to enjoy the game, but for the few left reading this, here is how I prepare when playing Football Manager.

Prepare For Success

This is the bit that takes some real thought, don’t rush this process though or you might not get the full effects in a few hours’ time. I suggest if you know you are going to have a good session on FM, that you try and plan it a few days in advance. Writing a list down on a bit of paper is always a good idea too, here is what I normally include:


  • A multipack of crisps
  • Alcohol (If you are 18 or can send someone to the shop for you who is)
  • A loaf of Bread or Breadcakes (breadcackes is the correct term, none of this bun, roll, bap bollocks), depending on which you prefer.
  • 6 Litres of Pop (Juice etc.. whatever you call it) [IT’S NOT FUCKING POP!!!! -Caleyjag 2006]
  • A Pound of Meat from the deli counter (I always play safe and go Ham)
  • Sausage Rolls (always a good backup, for when you are a bit hungry)
  • Pepperami
  • Beetroot
  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Cling Film
  • Tin Foil

*Note – The above is for a 24-hour session of FM and you will need £25+ depending on how much alcohol you want.

That is what my preparation normally includes, but sometimes I live wild and take pork pies or scotch eggs instead of sausage rolls.

You can order a takeaway but then it requires moving to answer the door and then plate the food up. The only time this is really a viable option is if you have someone in the house to do this for you. You want to maximise your time playing the game or at the very least, sat down.


The music bit of the preparation is always time-consuming, especially if you have many albums you enjoy on your preferred streaming platform. Chances are your music taste will be shit if you are a spotty teenager, who wears a hoodie and skinny jeans or are from Bristol. Try and keep the music up-tempo, as a slow-tempo album can be very depressing. I won’t give you a full rundown of the music I use, because I’ll be here most of the night. However, here are a few ideas;

  • Oasis – Definitely Maybe
  • Dirty Pretty Things – Waterloo to Anywhere
  • 30 Seconds to Mars – A Beautiful Life
  • The Notorious B.I.G., ‘Ready to Die
  • Jay-Z, ‘The Blueprint
  • Public Enemy, ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
  • Wu-Tang Clan, ‘Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)

Now we have most of the preparation done, let’s take a look at the next stage;


Once you have the essentials from the preparation part of the post in your little shopping basket or trolley, don’t do what most people do and rush to the counter. Have a think and see if you have everything you need. This is the bit I realise I have left something out, so I often tend to add more items to my shopping. These sometimes include;

  • Boiled Sweets (Cherry Balsams or Werther’s Originals get my vote)
  • Chocolate
  • Red bull
  • Lucozade

I always end up with boiled sweets because I like something to suck (I know what you dirty twats are thinking here but you’d be wrong unless it’s your mams titties) now and again. The chocolate is added because I’m fat and what fat person doesn’t eat chocolate? Red bull is because I will need to stay awake, especially after a few beers.

(That bit is all made up, I don’t drink anything other than water) I don’t want to find myself drifting off in that all-important moment. As for the Lucozade, I find that it gives me a nice energy boost throughout the 24 hours if drunk correctly.

Next up is the tricky bit, that people always struggle with:

The Set Up

For me, this is the part that takes up most of my time. This is mainly due to the fact that I can never make up my mind about what to have on my sandwich. Do I have tomatoes or beetroot? In the end, I end up making several variations of the ham sandwich, so I can have the best of both worlds. However, I still stand in the kitchen thinking it over for around 40 minutes.

What I do here is make up enough sandwiches for a few snacks throughout the day. This is why we needed the cling film, to keep them fresh, or you could find yourself in trouble a little later in the night. So make all your sandwiches up now, and put the crisps in bowls (if you want to do it like a tea party style). Honestly, make sure everything is done now, as you don’t want to be pissing around, later on, wasting valuable FM time.

Once you are happy you got everything made up for what you needed, then it’s time to arrange how you want to do things.


For the tactics for the evening, you want to try and plan as much as possible to not move from the desk. Unless it’s to get more food, refreshments or the all-important bathroom breaks. Anything else like a stereo remote control(some of us are old skool, fuck you), TV remote control (in case you fancy a change) and Mobile phone.

Ensure you have all the items on a chair at the side of you, or on the desk. There is nothing worse than having to get up because you need to turn the tv up, or someone rings and the phone is on the other side of the room. I would also like to advise that you check all the TV listings (we have no dodgy fire stick here, no sir), to see if any sport will be on.

If so you could have a break in the music and have sport on in the background on the TV (For all you Welsh/Britsolian/Burtonian’s, who still don’t have TVs, carry on as normal). Once you are happy you have everything set in your mind, then it’s time for the next step.


There is only one real option here, that is if you want the full effects of FM and have one of the best games ever. That would be to get ‘pissed’, yup it’s that simple. Playing Football Manager while under the influence of alcohol, shows it to you in a whole different light. Often towards the end of my session, when I’m a bit worse for wear, I have done some of the best transfer deals ever.

In fact, in one of the last games I did this on, I sold my 19-year-old wonderkid goalkeeper for £1 million. As I transfer listed the wrong player and never realised until the morning after when I’d sobered up. It’s pretty common to do good business deals like this, when slightly drunk., well for me it is anyway.

So if you have the cash to burn, time to waste and fancy something different, then try the above. But if you are loaded, like takeaways and don’t drink beer, then this article is probably not worth reading. I should have put this at the top in all honesty, ah well.

Prepare For Success For Real

If you really want to prepare for success then you should check out The Football Manager Playbook Part 1;

Football Manager Playbook Out Now!


  • Cleon

    Cleon is a distinguished figure in the Football Manager community, known for his tactical acumen and profound understanding of the game's intricacies. With a penchant for sharing knowledge, Cleon has authored "The Football Manager Playbook," offering a deep dive into crafting effective tactics. He's the brains behind the well-regarded blog "View From The Touchline," where he elucidates on football philosophies, game strategies, and more. Beyond the written word, Cleon engages with enthusiasts through social media, making complex football management concepts accessible to many.

    View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *