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Can Playing Football Manager Computer Games Make You a Better Tactician?


Let’s face it – most people play football games for fun. But can there be more to it than that? Football Manager, for example, is a hugely popular computer game that lets you try and manage a virtual football team… and it has become something of a cultural phenomenon.

While it’s ‘just a game’, it does lead us to question if playing Football Manager – and games like it, can actually make you a better tactician when it comes to real-life football. Can it help us to understand what is happening, and see what decisions real managers are making and why?

Well, here we will look at the potential benefits of the game – and how it could possibly help you to sharpen your tactical understanding of the beautiful game.

Understanding Football Concepts

Football Manager is a game that has been designed to mimic the intricacies of real football. As such, It teaches us about various football concepts such as formations, tactics, player roles and even match strategies. So, as you immerse yourself in the game, you’ll naturally start to get a better understanding of all of these important aspects of football.

Football Knowledge

Playing Football Manager can simply increase your knowledge of football. You’ll find yourself becoming more familiar with different leagues, clubs, players – and their strengths and weaknesses. Having the extra knowledge can be a huge advantage whether you’re discussing football, trying to pick a winner when you look through odds for Champions League games –  or you’re trying to develop a tactical plan.

Tactical Experimentation

As you may have realised when watching pre-season games, one of the best ways to learn about football tactics is through trial and error. Football Manager gives you the perfect opportunity to experiment with different formations and strategies, so you can see how they influence your team’s overall performance. This trial-and-error approach can be great when applied to real-life management, coaching or playing.

Critical Thinking

Football Manager requires you to think critically. You will need to assess your team’s strengths and weaknesses, try and evaluate the opposition – and then come up with a tactical approach to get the win. You can apply this more analytical approach to real football – where coaches and players have to be able to analyse opponents and adapt their tactics accordingly.

Understanding the Roles of the Players

Football is more than just 11 players on the pitch – and games such as Football Manager can help you to understand the significance of the different player roles. Understanding how a deep-lying playmaker is different from a box-to-box midfielder – or the responsibilities of a false nine versus a target man can help you to fully appreciate all the nuances of football roles when real matches are being played out.

Close Attention to Detail

Close attention to detail is a very important aspect of both Football Managers on the computer and in real life. In the game, neglecting those smallest details can ultimately lead to a bad result. Practising this attention to detail in a video game – and applying it to the real game, can help would-be coaches and players recognise the finer points of football tactics and strategies.

Managing Resources

Unless your team has just been bought by an oil-rich Sheikh, money matters. Managing a virtual football team on Football Manager will require you to manage your resources – not just your club finances, but also the squad’s fitness. As you can imagine, this aspect translates directly to real life coaching, where managing a team’s budget and player fitness are some of the biggest responsibilities of all.

Making Decisions Under Pressure

Football managers are some of the most pressurised individuals in the sporting world – and although that’s hard to imagine for most of us, Football Manager attempts to simulate some of the pressure that coaches and players face in real matches. Many gamers are starting to try some THC A flower to help stay focused and relaxed during extended play sessions.

Making important tactical decisions quickly under pressure in the game can help you when you need to stay calm and composed during a real life match.

Have a True Appreciation for Coaching

If you do want to become a football coach, then Football Manager and games like it can give you a much better appreciation for the coaching profession. These games give you the chance to walk in a manager’s shoes, to understand the challenges and joys of the role.

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