Calm or Aggressive? Team Talks in Football Manager

It’s not only about good tactic, set pieces or big stars in your team. The very important part of our beloved Football Manager are Team Talks and your communication with team in overall and with each player individually.

In every my saves there are some players who ignore everything what I say to them. I always ask myself „why?“. There are several reasons. My reputation is not too high at the start of the game or their personality is bad for any type of conversation.

This is article about Team Talks in Football Manager but this is not guide „how you have to do that“. Everyone of you have your own style and I only want to write something about my experiences with this part of the game.

No Team Talks and Press Conferences by Assistant Manager

Team Talks are one of the most important ways how to affect morale of your team and I never let my assistant handle Team Talks or Touchline Team Talks and Press Conferences. The reason is pretty easy.

The right tone during press conferences and right pre-match team talk could ensure your players will play much better than without it or after bad approach by your assistant who can has different personality, bad Motivation attribute, different favorite formation and different style of play. He also could has different view of some players or opponents.

Inbox_  Inbox-14

There were press conference during which my assistant said some player will leave but I didn’t want to sell him. And the morale of whole squad was decreased. Another example is when my team lost important match and my assistant said that it was a good performance = some players were unhappy with assistant’s comments after match and morale was decreased again.

Simon Svoboda_ Overview Information

I know press conferences are very boring after a short time of play but I’m sure it is very important to attend them for your success.

My (Your) status and reputation

This is something what I have to deal with every time I start a new save because I play in lower leagues and I always start a new save with the lowest reputation and with the lowest attributes. That means I have not big respect from my own players during first months. This could become better if my team win as many matches as possible or we win some trophy. This is not an issue for you when you set your attributes to high values and you have a good or very good Motivation attribute.

The more matches and trophies you won the more respectable person you will be for your own players and your Team Talks will be more effective and you will get much better response from your players. It does not apply only for Team Talks but for individual interviews, criticism & praise as well.

When I played in Serbian third tier my players were not too respectable to me and they hated every my word but when we were growing as a club and we were promoted to the top flight and won trophies, this situation changed rapidly. Many players were attracted by bigger clubs from whole Europe but they wanted to stay because of me. But this is different story for another article, maybe…

Home_ My Profile Profile-2

The Right Tone

The essential of Team Talks are Tones. You are able to choose from Assertive, Aggressive, Cautious, Reluctant, Calm and Passionate. I have never used Cautios and Reluctant. I always choose between the rest of Assertive, Aggressive, Calm and Passionate.

The most used Tone by me is Assertive because I have very good experience with this but every time we make a (very) bad performance I use Aggressive tone. Some players are „demotivated“ or „confused“ but this depends on expectations by all of us (more bellow).

AB v Randers FC_ Tactics_ Team Talk

A Calm Tone is good when you want to talk to your players after average game. I use it when I do not want to „hype“ morale to much instead of win because our performance was not 100%.

The choice of your Tone could affect all your players in good and bad way. Very important thing is what type of your squad is and which personalities you have in your squad. It’s not very useful when you have an experienced player in your squad, your status is low and you will talk to him aggresively. It was not worth to me several times…

Match importance – rivalry vs. ordinary match

I’m sure 9/10 football fans love big matches and it is normal that there are differencies between ordinary league/cup match against smaller club and derby match with your biggest rival.

Pre-Match Team Talk – What I use?

  • Friendly match: Assertive„Go out there and impress me.“
  • League/Cup match: Assertive„Come on lads, show me what you can do!“ + Individual Talks – „I think there’s a lot more to come from you and I completely believe you’ve got what it takes.“ or „I have faith in you, get out there and make a difference.“
  • Big match/derby: Passionate„Let’s give the fans a performance they are expecting of us here.“ or „Let’s give the fans a good performance despite the odds being against us here.“ (I use the second option when my team plays against bigger club in cup or some rival who plays in higher division).
AB v Randers FC_ Tactics Team Talk
Pre-Match Team Talk

Half-Time Team Talk – What I use?

  • When loosing: Assertive or Aggressive„I am not happy with your performance out there.“ or „You are much better than this, but you are not playing like it. Stop letting yourselves down and sort it out.“
  • Draw: Assertive or Passionate„We can still win this. Keep working hard and it will come.“
  • Winning: Assertive„You have played well so far but there is still room for improvement.“ or „I’m pleased with how things are going, keep it up.“ (The second one when you are ahead by more than two goals).
FC Křbenhavn v AB_ Tactics_ Team Talk
Half-Time Team Talk

Full-Time Team Talk – What I use?

  • Lost: Assertive or Aggressive„That was not good enough. We should won that match.“„I am not happy with your performance out there.“
  • Draw: Assertive„I am far from pleased with that result.“ (after match with worse team). – „Well done lads, you’re just proved a lot of people wrond in avoiding defeat out there.“ (after match with bigger club).
  • Win: Assertive or Calm„A good win boys, well done.“ (after win against smaller club) – „I’m very happy with the result and the way you played.“„You’ve done brilliantly to come back and win that. I’m proud of you.“ (after come back win).
FC Křbenhavn v AB_ Tactics Team Talk
Full-Time Team Talk

I have learned to use two Individual Talks before every league or cup match – „I think there’s a lot more to come from you and I completely believe you’ve got what it takes.“ or „I have faith in you, get out there and make a difference.“ It’s very very useful in every game I play.

Subbstitute Individual Talk

I use this mainly when I’m loosing and forward goes to the pitch. In this moment I use Passionate or Assertive „You have faith“.

FC Křbenhavn v AB_ Tactics Overview


I wrote about different expectations above and they are very important for your Team Talk as well because it could affect morale of your team. When you not expect a good result before match and you tell it to your players, it will be very bad if you will criticise them after full-time.

It’s same when you expecting a win but you lost and you will praise players after the game or you will say them „You were unlucky.“ It will affect morale of most of them.

Gordon Strachan about Half-Time Team Talks: „Pre-match team-talks can be nicely planned and theatrical but at half-time try to stick with what is happening in front of you.  It’s all about the players staying focused and staying organised – they don’t need some Shakespearian monologue at this stage. Just instill confidence quietly by telling them how well they’re doing.“

Touchline Team Talks

Of course, there are Touchline Team Talks from FM15 as well so you’re able to increase or decrease morale of your players during match. There you can choose from more Tones but I have to say that I use only two of them.

When my team is up in the match I use Calm and „Concetrate“ or „Calm down“. When my team is loosing or match is tight I always use Passionate and „Ecourage“, „Show more passion“ and „Demand more“.

AB v Randers FC_ Pitch Full-2

I tried to find views of users around FMCommunity about Touchline Team Talks and very much of them do not use Touchline Team Talks because „I dont think they have a massive effect on the game, often wondered if like the general team talks if its just a placebo effect.“ or „No obvious feedback as to what (if any) effect these touchline team talks actually do so I don’t bother.“

But that is a feedback about Team Touchline Team Talks.

You are able to make individual Touchline Team Talk for just only one player and I have an experience that this is very useful when one of your players is nervous for example. You can instruct your offensive players „Get creative“ if you need to score. I use it sometimes and it pays off.

„Get forward! –> Conceded another goal in a minute.“

„Concentrate after goal –> Conceded another goal in a minute.“

We all know it… 🙂

Rez Remes on „Sometimes it happens that your team scores right after a shout and instantly feel it was the shout that did it, other times you may end up wondering if your shouting makes any difference if things don’t go down well on the pitch. Just like in real life. 

And no, you are not punished for not using them. You can either help your team by doing them or you can cause a negative effect with some choices. The AI managers use touchline talks as well depending on the situation, so it all depends on a lot of factors. Sometimes it can be the final thing that clinches that crucial performance for your team, sometimes you can get by without shouting any abuse from the touchline.“

Body Language

This is related to Touchline Team Talks because it’s very helpful if you check Body Language of your players during match. When players are nervous you can calm down them. You can of course encourage them to better performance.

AB v Randers FC_ Pitch Full

Team Meeting

Another way how to talk with your players/team in overall are is Team Meeting. If you have a bad run of results there is possibility that your assistant will arrange team meeting and you will have a chance to improve morale of your team.

It’s also good to arrange team meeting when you have a good serie of results and you can praise your players. Team Meeting  is also a good way how to handle problems like unhappy players or declined transfers or unhappy squad after some player departure etc.

It can also be counterproductive or malicious. During my FM16 save with Akademisk Boldklub I had a Team Meeting before season and I had only one option what to say my players and it was that our team is cappable to play around in top half table. My players were very angered because we have a youngest squad in the league, the lowest transfer and wage budget, the worst training facilities and Board have “Don’t be outclassed too often” expectations, so it was very conterproductive and squad was unhappy…

Squad_  Team Meeting-2
Positive reaction during Team Meeting
Squad_  Team Meeting
Bad reaction during Team Meeting

Your opinion

I created two polls on Twitter in recent days and I wanted to know which Team Talks Tone you used most and if Touchline Team Talks are usefull or useless. Results say there are many „Passionate“ players and Touchline Team Talks are useless for  69% of players.

Thanks for reading, @KeysiRensie


A Football Manager addict and lover for many years. You can follow me on Twitter or in Football Manager Slack – #fmrensie channel.

3 Replies to “Calm or Aggressive? Team Talks in Football Manager

  1. Coming from an admin of FM Central, this is a fantastic piece. A very undervalued topic on FM due to it’s minimalist value and lack of available responses. However, I like how you have reviewed the differences between the tone of the responses.

  2. I’m really struggling with FM17 teamtalks at the moment. In FM15 (which I’ve come from) I would always be aggressive before games and at half time if we were losing, drawing or winning by a slim margin. Passionate for winning and then passionate for winning at full time, aggressive for drawing or losing at full time.

    On FM17 I get the same green bars in the teamtalk screen but performance is awful and the squad go into revolt after a few weeks. Instead I have to calmly speak before, during and after matches to keep them onside, even then the results are sporadic at best.

    So far used Man Utd, St Etienne, Betis, Fulham, Leeds and Liverpool, all exactly the same.

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