Who deserves to be a key player and who is a backup? | Squad Status

A player’s squad status is an interesting indicator that tells us about his importance to the club and the fans. It can be changed in two ways: manually and by contract.

However, each of us has different criteria in the selection of the following options:

  • Key Player
  • First Team
  • Rotation
  • Backup
  • Hot Prospect
  • Youngster
  • Not Needed.

I’ll show you my way of selection of candidates, which is very simple.

When you play Football Manager for many years, you need 10 seconds to determine a player’s position in the team.

Attributes are important but not crucial for selecting the best 11 because a player must possess other qualities: international experience, player traits, playing in different positions and the like.

Media Prediction 3rd

I always start from the fact that my team is the best in the league and that we can become champions.

However, the media has a different opinion! That’s why I like to spy on opposing teams that are positioned high on the table, especially if I don’t know the league and its rules.

Why are they ahead of us? Is it a higher transfer/wage budget? Do they have more experienced or young talented players? Training facilities?



In this way, the collected information is used to form a criterion for determining a player’s squad status.

Perhaps I would like three players to have the status of “Key Player” but one will be enough if we are fighting for survival in the league.

Players must be motivated and also informed that the competition isn’t sleeping.

Basic Wage & Squad Status

I think that every player must be paid according to his status in the team.

Someone who is “Hot Prospect” can not have the same salary as a player with greater responsibilities on the pitch.

It is possible, but not good. On the other hand, players who have several seasons at the club (5+) deserve valuable prizes and wages that are above the average. But …

What to do when a player has a specific request when signing a contract? My suggestion is to use bonuses, and as the last option – Wage After Reaching Club League Games.

Player won’t sign contract?

The logical move is a conversation with a player and searching the cause of the problem – money, trophies or a weak league.

After that, I make a decision that is in the interest of the team because I don’t like to see unhappy next to the player’s name.

The most difficult situation is when more players want to leave the club at the same time.

It’s a nightmare because you know it’s hard to find adequate replacements for them.

The only smart solution is to buy time at a given moment, which means the realization of the transfer at the end of the season, the promise of winning the league/cup and bringing new players to certain positions.

If this doesn’t pass, I am sending the player to the transfer list.



My ideal squad size

The perfect number is 25, and the schedule is as follows: A Team (11) + B Team (11) + 3 Hot Prospects.

This is a formula of my success that hardly works without the proper rotation system.

In case of serious injuries, the young and talented players get a chance to justify their status in the team. The best of them expect a worthy reward Hot Prospect →  Backup → Rotation.

Those who want an invitation for the best 11 must progress from season to season.

It’s not fair that some kid, who is introduced as “wonderkid”, immediately be a highly ranked in the team.

What message is sent to other players?

Squad registration rules

If you ask me which league has the most complicated rules, I would say Major League Soccer (MLS)!

I don’t just mean the squad registration, but also on extensive explanations related to Salary Cap, Continental Qualification and Disciplinary Rules.

On the other hand, I believe this is a real challenge for me, and the word “Draft” associates me on the NBA, so I don’t have the impression that I’m playing Football Manager.

I am currently in the research stage and trying to put together pieces of the puzzle.

If you are in a similar situation as me or you don’t know where to start, I suggest you look at the pictures below.



That’s it. Choose your best 11 and let the adventure begin.

Don’t forget that the option DYNAMICS has a big impact on the realization of the set goals, and the wrong player’s squad status can open a Pandora’s box.

Why some are privileged and others are not? Higher salary – the same status in the team?

Thank you for your attention and time.

Author: Alen Stefanovic     Game: Football Manager 2019

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