As a “FIFA Pro Clubs” club manager with more than 9 years of experience, I have met with hundreds of players. In this post, I will try to describe the main problematic archetypes that I have seen throughout these years and actions on what could be done about them:
- Wannabe. Seen a few YoutTube videos, been drifting through myriads of clubs, mister know-it-all, seen-it-all. Knows everything about defense, offense, skills, shots, dribbling. Says he can play any position. Instantly recognizes other teammates weaknesses and PMs managers with detailed advices on this and that. At the same time, his favorite button is Sprint, which he holds all the time. He passes the ball the moment he gets it, forget build up. Always remembers goals he scored (which are not many, to be honest) and uses it to prove the value of his opinion. Advise: release and forget.
- Toxic star. The guy has skills. He does know how to pass, score and is mostly useful on the pitch. First few weeks he is positive, energetic and cheerful. Then suddenly everything turns to shit – passing is weak, tactics is far from perfect, nobody passes him on the pitch. In his mind. Team, basically, plays the same game it played from the moment he joined. First it starts with sarcastic remarks, then open claims in team chat. Then there will be hours of conversations with managers on how we should change the fundamentals of the team, who should we release immediately and who should be given some time to prove himself. And this drags on and on and on. Advise: if the guy is useful, spend some time in private talks keeping hope alive. If other teammates suffer – thank for the effort and release.
- Noisy mic. The one with a constant set of events on the background of his voice channel. Screaming girlfriend, music, broken dishes, howling animals – you name it. Distracts everyone on the pitch. Every goal is followed by a happy roar similar to a Mexican commentator. Advise: mute him for good. 😀
- Tactician. Guy with some level of skills that always looking for a better formation. Usually plays CDM or CB/LB/RB. Does his (YouTube) research and always blames the formation for the team’s failures. Is in a constant search of a perfect formation, which he loves to discuss with managers. “If we switch to 433 and move this guy here and that guy there, we will rooock!” – these kinds of conversations. To be fair, some of the ideas could be quite decent. But the search never stops. Advise: engage in the conversation and sometimes (SOMETIMES!) try and change things as per his suggestions. Maybe during practice matches.
- Show-offs. These guys were born for glory. During one match they dribble like 32798427 times. If its a pass – its a rabona, if its a shot – its a scorpion or a backheel. If your team attacks, this guy will try 5 to 7 dribbles prior to passing. If it’s a 1 on 1 vs GK, he needs to dribble through him, not just score the goal. Oh, and don’t forget the afro haircut. Ignores requests to be more team-oriented. Advise: such players are not staying in the club for long. Give it some time and the situation will resolve itself.
- Foreign One. Always in the chat or party or lobby, but his set of words is “hi”, “bye”, “thanks”, “ok”. Comes and goes without introductions. Might be useful on the pitch, but is really hard to communicate with. Mostly, of course, due to a language difference. Might leave a club without a notice. Advise: Google Translate him, engage into a discussion 🙂
- Someone’s Friend. “Hey mate, listen, I got a friend who wants to join. He tops. Scores, passes” – how many time did you have such a conversations? You give it a green light and suddenly a dum-dum joins who can’t do anything, basically. Random gameplay, passing direction is only to a friend, constantly losing the ball. And now you have a dilemma – kick him instantly and potentially loose both friends or try to make something out of this player. Advise: remove the guy, but before doing that, explain why to the one who brought him in.
- The Gang. Speaking of friends. At some point you might face a situation where you have 3-4-5 friends playing in your club. They know each other, getting noisy on the mike, sharing things only they care about. The same is on the pitch – they deliver the result with a decent chemistry, but it’s like having a team within a team as they mostly pass each other. As soon as you comment on someone from this gang, they team up against you either politely or even aggressively. “Hey man, it was not his fault he didn’t score 1v1. The pass from that other guy was awful”. Sounds familiar? Advise: There’s always a leader in this gang so talk to him one on one and explain the issues. There is a high risk the whole gang might leave, but…well… guests come and go, hotel stays.
- The Junior. “OMG ima top and whatever” . Usually 14-17 years old (saying he is at least 18 though), super enthusiastic both in chat and on the pitch. Always have crazy ideas “Lets starts our YT channel!!! Better yet – Insta with screens of our games!!! Lets apply to all the tourneys we find!!!!!” – that kind of enthusiasm. Which never transforms to something feasible. Within the team he is being treated like a padavan and is usually a subject of a numerous jokes. To be fair, some of these younglings do have skills and might be shaped into something decent. Advise: if he shows some good performance on the pitch, do some parenting and help him grow. Otherwise, gently remove with a proper explanation.
- The Lone Gunman. These guys mostly play ST. They do have godlike level of skill and might bring really good stats for your team. You can pass the ball to the guy and he will create a goal out of nothing. Like a crazy niner or a 40m shot. The only thing you can’t get from them is commitment. They know what they want from the game and usually drift between clubs, coming and going as they pleased. This might disrupt a team’s morale when a person joins for a few games, automatically gets ST (which he truly deserves based on the skill level) and then leaves again. Advise: useful as they are, you cannot stop such guys from leaving. They are usually looking for two things – competition and a good communication. Give them both – and they might stay for a bit longer.
- The Revolutionist. Ah, my favorite. So many sweet memories. 😀 Usually a guy with a decent skill level. Polite. Educated. As soon as you are aligned on a team vision, tactics and roster – might be your Santa’s Little Helper. Cheering up people, giving proper advises. The moment you suggest something that does not fit his paradigm – you get yourself a rebel. Being smart and educated enough, the guy will not oppose you directly. Instead, he will build a coalition, will share his own well-formulated vision of how the team should ACTUALLY evolve and what should everyone do to reach the Zen state. Basically, a club’s manager in disguise. Advise: listen, percept, exchange opinions, yet stand your ground. Eventually, the guy will leave, taking some of the members (inevitable) with him.
Of course there are more types out there, just listed the ones I have met the most. Feel free to share your experience and have fun managing 🙂
Piece written by sunset_jack.