Advice on managing squad players


Mar 28, 2013
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Managing Manchester City, and in Season 4. Having a few issues with keeping the rotation/back up players happy - and is having a knock-on effect come the end of the season.

I have a very strong starting 11, and then in every position 2 or 3 back up players - either players who were brought in as back up and in their mid/late-20's, or youngsters with high potential who I am introducing to First Team football gradually.

The problem is, by January a lot of them are unhappy with their playing time and want to go out on loan - and so I'm left with two options:

1) Say no - and they are unhappy, then some of the squad support them and become unhappy themselves

2) Send them out on loan

The issue I'm facing - and this is the second consecutive season I've had this issue - is that by end of March/beginning of April time, the players who are left at the club are absolutely exhausted, start picking up injuries and I'm down to the bare bones for the last two months or so of the season.

For example, last night I played the Champions League Quarter Final, Second Leg v Atalanta, and my bench was made up entirely of 16/17 year olds from academy because everybody else was injured or out on loan. The starting 11 I did put out are still exhausted from the Premier League game 3 days earlier, and I ended up losing the game 3-0. Fortunately, I won the First Leg 4-0 so I scraped through to the Semi's.

How does everybody manage the squad/backup players who get restless and want to go out on loan? Let them go? Or just play hard-ball and tell them they aren't leaving?
Not got far enough in FM24 yet, but in past games I tend to rotate throughout the season while keeping an eye on playing time happiness. Star Players and Important Players are the only players that get upset about not playing a game, every other type of player you can easily rotate in and out without it being an issue. So if i'm Man City at home to Burnley or whatever then most of my starting 11 will be made of of the backups or the hot prospects along with the Star Players that spit the dummy about being dropped. If i need to drop a Star Player because he is knackered then I will tell him he is being rested beforehand. The CL group stage is also a good place to rest a lot of your players because there tends to be a few easy games.

Overall though it does sound like you have a large squad. I dont think I ever have three players for one position. I usually go with a 23 man squad and even then a good percentage of that will be u21 players I have trying to bring through.