It’s that time of the year again for long-standing fans of the Football Manager franchise. This iconic franchise has been the number-one PC soccer sim for decades now but the team at Sports Interactive continues to push the boundaries and create new versions for each season that are more immersive than the last. Sports Interactive’s studio director Miles Jacobson has taken to social media to start teasing some of the newest features set to be included in Football Manager 2021, which is due for release at the end of November.
Sports Interactive is a well-established brand in the UK and has had long-standing ties with football in general. They have sponsored Watford FC since 2012, with the deal also granting them exclusive access to the Football Manager database. It didn’t do much good for the Hornets in 2019/20, as they were relegated from the English Premier League. However, they are one of the leading favorites for immediate promotion in the Championship futures markets at FOX Bet’s regulated sports betting site at the moment.
Jacobson, who has been a part of Sports Interactive since the mid-1990s having worked as an early tester on Championship Manager 2, is the best possible advocate for the Football Manager series, which has expanded onto mobile devices in recent years. His passion and excitement for every new release are there for all to see on his Twitter handle, where he has recently teased the following new features for FM 2021:
Enhanced press conferences
The team at Sports Interactive have made the press conference feature more engaging and interesting than ever before. This section has undergone a “radical” overhaul according to the bods at SI. Prior to any press conference, you will liaise with the club’s Press Officer, who will brief you on the likely topics of discussion and any subjects the club wants you to embellish or avoid. The new ‘Gestures’ functionality also enables you to set your body language when responding to questions from the media, helping the discussions to feel more “meaningful and realistic”, according to Tom Davidson, PR manager at Sports Interactive.
The arrival of xG
Arguably the biggest implementation of the new Football Manager 2021 is xG statistics. xG has been used widely in the football industry for several years now to determine the creativity and efficiency of a team’s offense. Sports Interactive has teamed up with SciSports to develop their own proprietary xG platform to give managers an xG summary of their team’s performance at half time and full time. It will be possible to see how the xG fluctuates mid-game to pinpoint trends in team selection and playing style to work on.
At the end of every season, you will be able to sit down with your Chief Scout or Director of Football to discuss future recruitment for the months ahead. Your colleagues will outline areas of the squad that can be improved upon in the transfer market and you can discuss pre-agreed transfers and set new transfer targets over the close season. Improved interaction with player agents also makes it possible to ascertain the availability of prospective recruits before making inquiries with their club directly.
The new Quick Chats feature will make it possible for managers to liaise with players, journalists and rival managers alike. Journalists will seek remote Quick Chats to get the inside scoop on a potential transfer story, while it’s possible to interact quickly one-to-one with players in your roster to discuss their performances in games and in training, using the Gestures functionality to set the tone for the conversation.
Jacobson teased his own new profile picture on Twitter, which was his new manager face made in-game. That was followed by a string of exciting newgen faces, which it’s hoped will improve the longevity of Football Manager 2021. Newgens, formerly known as regens, are new players added to the game as the seasons elapse, becoming new youth team players at teams throughout the FM 2021 database.
With Football Manager 2021 not due for release until the back end of November, a beta version is unlikely to be made available through Steam until early next month.