I wrote about mentoring very briefly when Football Manager 2019 was first released and explained how it worked. But it still seems people are confused by it or don’t quite understand how they should use it. The main thing to remember is any changes you see will be a lot slower than previous versions of the game under the tutoring module. Tutoring was overpowered and really overturned making it easy to beat the ‘system’ and get amazing results in such a short space of time. Mentoring is a lot different in this regard, it’s not about min and maxing and it’s more of a slow burner in general.
So How Does It Work?
While the old tutoring system was more focused on a fixed set of rules, the new mentoring options are more organic and realistic. This is reflected in-game with suggestions via hints and tips. The game gives you much better feedback as to what affects personality adjustments and displays it to the user in a clear manner.
Players need to be training together to mentor one another, as well as spending time together off the training pitch. This means the players need to be in the same squad. You can no longer have a first team player, mentor a U18 player unless they are in the first team.
When trying to influence the players the game looks at the following things;
- Age of the potential influenced player
- Career first team appearances of the potential influenced player
- Difference in the club hierarchy between the two players
- Social group standing between the two players (i.e how compatible they are)
There isn't a specific age limit on mentoring. Age works in the same way as the other factors, they will impact how likely the player is to be influenced at that time.
If a player fills the criteria above, the more likely the influenced player is to have their personality skewed towards that of the mentoring player. If the player who is being mentored doesn’t fulfil any of the criteria at all, then there's no chance of a personality adjustment occurring. If there is a chance of a personality adjustment occurring then this chance is further boosted if they're in the same mentoring group and training unit.
Players can still be influenced by the team personality and by the personality of others in their social groups, just like on Football Manager 2018. You should take a look at the social groups and see which players are in the groups as you could find them being influenced positively or negatively by different personalities. It's unlikely your captain is going to be dragged down by other players at the club, but it's not impossible if the combination of scoring factors suggested the captain should be influenced by others.
Also new in Football Manager 2019 is the 'Welcome to club' function also now serves as a way of setting a piece of short-term one-on-one mentoring between a new signing and an established player.
Players can still pass Player Traits on as well, if the individual shares a similar position to those in the mentoring unit.
Mentoring is slower than the previous tutoring system. You should not expect to see an unprofessional player become professional overnight, or even over the course of a few short months.
If I signed Messi for Bournemouth, would he become a team leader or have a significant influence on training, for example?
There's no guarantee but under the right circumstances then yes he could. You’d be signing a world-class player and a genuine superstar, even if he is ageing.
It’s also worth noting that if a big named player returns to a club he started at and was at for many years then it's not impossible for him to likely have a bigger reputation than most at the club, meaning he could also have an immediate influence over training and dynamics.
If i have a young player with a resolute personality and he is in a mentoring group with older players that have a balanced or fairly professional personality can his personality become worse. For example could the player drop from resolute to balanced because of the players they are in a mentoring unit with?
Yes they can. It's more likely the influential players drag down the other players personalities. But again it comes down to the conditions of the mentoring unit, the influence the players have and so on. Size of the mentoring unit can also a play a part. So if you have good personality on some players but they don’t have an influential impact in a mentoring unit, you might want to think twice before adding him to it with undesired personality types.
This also applies to determination too.
If I make a mistake assigning mentoring groups, can I quickly haul someone out or disband the group (in previous FMs you couldn't break a tutoring relationship if you changed your mind).
Just click the red - next to the mentoring unit and it will disband the unit.
My players personality/determination has changed but the influential people in the mentoring units, all have much better personality/determination than the player who has been impacted. What would this be down to?
It could be down to the overall squad personality or it could be because of the social groups the players are in. All of those things will have a direct impact on personality attributes and its possible they can be altered by these methods. Mentoring isn’t the only way we can see personality changes.
Wait, so players can improve personality without mentoring? Just by having a more professional and/or ambitious squad for example?
That is correct yes. It can be altered either by the clubs dynamics or the welcome to the club feature.
Do I have control of Player Traits still and how they’re passed on via mentoring units?
You still can have control over Player Traits if that's what you want. Just put players who share the same positions in the same mentoring group and then you have a better chance of them being passed on, if the player has influence over the group.
It’s also worth noting Player Traits depend on a player's attributes and sometimes position. A player without suitable attributes will not be able to learn a certain Player Trait and some are only available in certain positions.
So it works the same way as learning a Player Trait via training? For example if I ask my defender to learn the ‘dictates tempo’ Player Trait my staff might tell me it's a bad idea and won’t work. But I can still learn it and the chances are it might fail. Mentoring units work the same and that the chances are, the Player Trait wouldn’t be passed on because of having attributes not suited for the trait and/or because of positions they play in on the pitch?
That’s it yeah.
Does mentoring affect social groups and the team hierarchy?
Indeed it does. Mentoring can influence Dynamics and on occasion social groups can have a similar impact on a player as Mentoring, although to a less degree.
I’ve probably missed a few other common questions but those are the ones I see on the forums or on social media regular.
How I use Mentoring
Every player that I sign, I always have a look at which player gets to ‘welcome’ them to the club. This is an important stage for me because I want to know if the person welcoming to the club, is a good fit for mentoring them via the welcoming feature.
Rafael and Fernando were both welcomed to the club by my striker, who is one of the clubs team leaders. I get these kind of messages quite often, showing its been a success. This is why it’s important to know the player who welcomes them to the club and the player coming into the club, to determine if it's a good match up or not.
Now on to creating actual mentoring units. There’s a lot of stuff I’ve seen flying around on social media and the forums were people think they must mentor everyone going. This isn’t true at all, in fact, I’d say I don’t mentor people that often really. At least not for the amount of players I have at the club, the actual number of people I put into mentoring units is limited as I’ll highlight below.
Another thing I see mentioned is people wanting to promote entire youth teams to the first team, just for the benefit of mentoring. Don’t do this, it’s a bit silly. Mentoring isn’t that powerful and it’s something that is considered long-term compared to tutoring. Before tutoring was this powerful tool that unrealistically allowed you to change personality in a few short months. Allowing you to turn unambitious players into model professionals in a very short amount of time. Forget this mindset and think of mentoring as part of everything overall and not the governing factor in everything.
Promoting everyone to the first team to be mentored is also very unrealistic and does have some implications. One of those implications is the training they get in the youth squads is actually more demanding from a workload perspective as the players can do more due to playing fewer games. This is reflected in the sessions and schedules. So technically the players would be doing less training by promoting them, as the game would think you planned on actually using them. This is why you should only promote those who you plan on using and giving game time to, or to take a closer look at specific players in general.
Another reason for not promoting everyone is actual match days. The youth team match days would likely be out of sync with the first team. Meaning they’d be losing training days because they’re on the first teams training schedule but still playing youth games (if you made them available that is) on a youth schedule. So any training that would take place on a youth game day wouldn’t happen for those playing in the youth game. Then on the senior teams match day, you don’t have training so the players wouldn’t be making up for it there either. So think wisely and weigh up the benefits of everything before being hasty and thinking promoting everyone would be a good idea and strategy. Because in truth, it wouldn’t and you’d be wasting possible training days.
When it comes to creating my mentoring units, I like to keep it really simple. There’s no big secret here or formula to try to figure out. Just do what feels right and logical for you. This might differ from what I do and that’s fair enough. All that matters is you are doing what suits you for the way you think about the game. And obviously understand what mentoring does, which is explained above.
I tend to keep to this system;
- Each unit consists of a maximum of 4 players.
- Each group has at least 1 player who has significant influence in the unit.
- Each group share similar positions to each other.
This allows me to control mentoring units more efficiently, as players in these groups are all similar and there is always someone they can learn off. Here is an example of a standard mentoring unit;
In this unit we can see that we have two significant influencers in the group and two players who have a light influence. What this should mean is, the two people with light influence shouldn’t impact the personality type of the significant ones. They also shouldn’t pass player traits onto them either. So in theory, unless something really drastic happens the only players who will be impacted in this unit are Didi and Renato.
Creating units requires careful planning though because if undesired personality types have a significant influence over a unit, then there's every chance they’ll drag players down to their level rather than making them better.
This one actually isn’t a unit I use, it’s one that I’ve just created to show you as an example. In this group there is no one with any real influence over the group. What this would mean is that most of the unit are all equal with the exception of the first player. I wouldn’t have high hopes for a unit like this because of the lack of a real influence. It would mean there would be barely any benefit to mentoring because no one is strong enough to take control of the unit.
Or it could mean one of the average players might be able to influence all the other ones.That can be a dangerous thing if the players have undesired player traits or personality types. Those would be the likely two scenarios from creating a mentoring group similar to this.
Check the personality type of the players who have the most influence inside a unit. If it doesn’t look like there is not much benefit to creating a unit based on personality then don’t do it. Don’t mentor people just because you think you have to. Also take note of any player traits a player has because there’s a high chance these could also be passed on. Again if you add players to this unit who perhaps these player traits would be a bad thing, don’t do it.
If anyone has any further questions, I’d be happy to answer them.