The Santos Experience – First Things First

Over the next few days and weeks you’ll be seeing lots of posts from me and I begin to start playing Football Manager 2016. It’s been about six months since I last played the game so I’m raring to go and I’ll have lots of stuff to share with you about my save with Santos no doubt. This is just a short piece to ease back into writing.

The first day at the club is one of the most important throughout my stay at a club, it’s a time for setting the foundations for how I want the club to be and more importantly, setting up a playing philosophy and style. Now a lot of people might think this means focusing on the tactical side more but for me it’s not about that just yet and I have other steps that are more important to begin with. So I thought I’d do a quick post explaining my steps as soon as I’m made the manager.

Custom Views

The first thing I do on the game after being announced the manager is to create a set of custom views. I do this even before attending any board meeting or anything. It literally is the first thing I do because it takes a while to set up but it’s something I can benefit from straight away. I tend to use lots of these and I really do mean lots, maybe 30+ the deeper I get into a save. But to start off with I keep things simple and have three main ones at the beginning. I should also point out that I’m not saying these are the best ones to use but rather they suit my needs perfectly. I’m showing you these just as a guide to give you an idea of how you might want to set these up for you and your needs on the game.

Pre Season


That one allows me to see all the important information I need for pre season. Nothing else really matters for me at this point, this is the screen I will use for the majority of pre season. It shows me condition and match sharpness, morale, sharpness text description, injury, injured on, time out, natural fitness and stamina. This makes it easier to keep track on who needs game time to be fit for the season and allows me to keep track of fitness and injuries so I can have everyone in top shape come the first competitive game.



This one is just a very quick overview of my training custom view so I can easily train the players and add an additional focus. I know the training screen in-game also does this but I prefer to have it on my main squad screen instead, it’s just more accessible for me.

Match Day Overview


It gives me a simply overlay of all the stats that I think are important for me so I can make selection decisions on what I need for the particular game. This view shows me – appearances, assists, goals, shots, shots on target, key passes, passing accuracy, passes completed, passing percentage, key tackles, tackle completion ratio, tackles completed, mistakes, interceptions, dribbles, headers attempted, goals leading to mistakes, crosses attempted, average rating.

As the season goes on I will create more and more of these and I will make them available for download. But for now those three are the ones I must have to begin with before going into more specific ones.


Once those are out-of-the-way the next thing I do before attending any board or staff meetings is to arrange friendlies. Depending on how you approach or view pre season this part will vary for everyone. But for myself, I like to use it to get everyone fit before the very first competitive game and to build up morale and tactical familiarity. So to achieve this I play a lot of friendlies against weaker opposition. I personally don’t see the point of playing tough opposition instead I choose the steamroll options and select to play against the weakest teams possible. The results themselves are not that important but I want easy games as this helps with morale and means I can give everyone game time no matter what their ability is like.

I tend to select between ten and thirteen friendlies if time allows. The closer you can get to thirteen will mean that once the season starts then if you’ve selected the right match training (tactics) the tactical familiarity bar will be fluid once the season kicks off. Obviously if you bring in new faces this will take slightly longer. So I always try to use my time wisely when it comes to arranging friendlies. My current list of friendlies looks something like this;




Once I’ve arranged the friendlies the next step is to alter the training for pre season. I wont go into details here because I plan on doing an extensive post about this instead but for a simple overview it goes like this for me;

General/Match training slider – Set to the far left which means it’s a 50-50 split. This is vital if you want tactics to reach fluid.

Match training – Set it to tactics it’s all that is important. If you don’t want to get tactic familiarity fluid then you can select what you like here. But if you do want high tactic familiarity in the fastest way possible then this must be set to match tactics.

General training – I’ll start with fitness for 2 weeks. Then if I have new players in the squad it will be set to team cohesion for a few weeks. If I didn’t have any new players in the squad then I’d just leave it on balanced.


Then it’s onto one of the more important aspects of my save, the staff at the club. I’ll also be doing a detailed post on this in the next couple of days. But I look through the staff and try to identify where I need to strengthen and who I might need to get rid of.  This includes every single member of staff at the club as it’s important I can rely on them.

Board/Staff meetings

Then I attend the board and staff meetings to get a feel of everything and to see if I need to alter the board philosophies. If I’m being really lazy I can also instruct my staff to take control of the things I dislike like team talks etc. This isn’t something I will be doing though I don’t think but it is an option further down the line.


You should always have a tactical vision in your mind before starting as it will make things easier. Again this is something I will be expanding on in great detail. But in order to keep with what I do on the opening day, I select my shape and the settings I think I’ll be using. So I create a base of sorts so the team can be training it.

The Squads

Once all of the above is done I then look at every single player at the club and decide which squad they should be, what I see their future as and to decide how I’ll train them. I’ll also try to identify what areas I might need to bring reinforcements in for so I can sort them out. However I don’t bid for players on the first day as a rule because I like to use my scouts to identify players for the areas I need rather than me filtering through them via the scouting knowledge of the club.

That’s about it for the first day at the club I think although me being me, I’ll have missed something very important here!
I just wanted to get the boring stuff out-of-the-way before I dived straight into the more length posts to ease back in and just to get something on the clog so people know that I will be active again this year.

24 thoughts on “The Santos Experience – First Things First”

  1. Great little read. The custom view I’ll keep in mind for my saves.

    Something I have started doing as well and which I am interested to see if you do, is setup reserves and unders friendlies. I find they have a lot of wasted space and helps keeps fitness and development up. Thoughts?

    Look forward to how your save goes and for when 2016 starts.

    1. On FM16 you can actually set up friendlies via your staff for the youths and reserve. In your game go to staff > responsibilities > reserves/under’s > frequency of matches. It’s a great feature for things like you mention above and something I am currently using.

      1. Thanks for that. I will check it out when I can.

        One last question. About customising views. I have the view tab “Fitness” (I think) selected and all it shows is either a green or red arrow or nothing at all.
        I have searched for information about this of it actually shows something useful with selections (thinking like Pro Evo form arrows that boost or drop stats).

        Do you know anything about this one?

        I just assume it means something good and people with it should be picked if and when possible till it changes.

        Thanks, hope it was clear.

          1. No problem. Next time you are customising your views, look for Fitness and you’ll see what I mean. It just shows arrows but I don’t know if it’s something to help selection or training etc.

          2. Can you upload a screenshot and how me please? I’ve replaced my defaults so can’t check on my own save.

          3. Ah that is just the training performance arrow. It’s how well training has been going for that week/month

  2. I’m going to start my playing fm16 using some of your mehtods, and try and take it slow this time. I’ve been playing touch they last few years, but I’m going to try the full version this year. Could you be talked into uploading you views as we go along?

    1. I mentioned in the article I would upload them at a later date :), Not sure how helpful they’ll be for people though because they’ll be set up specifically for my games. But it is something I will upload when the full game is out as I will have all the rest made by then because hopefully I’ll be a few seasons into the game.

  3. no worries. Proprably for the best to do it myself anyway. Also hoping to resist the temptation to download tactics this year 🙂

  4. Waiting for the next parts (: Nice introduction.
    Custom views is something I never cared about before, but they actually help a lot – still, I haven’t given them so much thought, will probably organize everything better when i start playing on FM16.

  5. “As the season goes on I will create more and more of these and I will make them available for download.”

    Any chance of uploading the rest of these?

    1. It turns out I only played FM to write about it and because I no longer do that, I find myself not wanting to play it.

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