FM2011 - My First Glimpse


Get in the Van.
Sep 15, 2005
FM2011 – Middlesbrough FC

Not going to **** around and make some story up about how Strachan got hooked on drugs and jumped into the Humber, or got eaten by a horse. I’ve started my first game on Football Manager 2011; I am Middlesbrough manager – follow if you want a glimpse at the workings of Football Manager 2011.

It’s not a story; it’s just game updates so you can see what FM2011 will be like. I will try show off the new features with screenshots – so if you’d like to wait and see what they are like for yourself, leave.

Game Status

English leagues down to League 2 and Spanish to LIGA Adelante loaded, with a large database (Approx. 16,000 players).

Computer performance 3 stars, estimated game speed is 3.5 stars; this is playing in windowed mode, with Word, Steam, MSN, Firefox and mIRC open on a SONY Vaio laptop with 3.00GB RAM, 32bit Windows 7 OS, Intel Pentium Dual T3400 @ 2.16GHz so a decent speed on a pretty standard laptop.

See screenshot here

The game took 76 seconds from ‘Start game’ to get to the ‘Create Your Manager Profile’. So was quicker than FM2010 was for me and is a far cry from the 20 minutes I used to wait loading old Championship Manager Games on my pre-historic desktop back in the day.

As I say, I went for Middlesbrough as always.

Media prediction was 6th, which I thought was slightly odd as we were red hot favourites at the start of the season in real life. Maybe they saw our first few games before deciding on that one?

Getting Started

After being greeted by the FM2011 overview screen, I went through the obligatory ‘Meet the Staff’ (Dismissing most of the advice, adding freekick, penalty and throw in takers, scouting J Lloyd Samuel, Emmanuel Boakye, Diego Placente, Michael Ball amongst others). At this point I got my first interaction with the new agent feature.

I like to think I know the Middlesbrough squad, ish. I know that the only semi-left footed defender still at the club (and in the first team) is Matthew Kilgallon. He’s a centre back so I decided I would go for Michael Ball on a free as my new left back.

I liked this feature. It made negotiations slightly easier in that the contract wasn’t strung out over a number of ‘continue’ presses. If I didn’t offer what he wanted, the bits he did not like were highlighted and I had to improve them to continue until he liked them. Once he agreed he simply said thanks for the offer, I will think it over.

Though it’s a bit sad to think my first transfer on FM2011 would be Michael Ball on a free.

Back to the staff, I have been told that my squad are poor dribblers and are too short. Looks like I might invest in a new Adam Johnson and maybe a taller player – I don’t like having a short squad.

Steve Gibson tells me that I have a transfer budget of £2m and a wage budget of £300k (currently spending £286k). This is to achieve playoffs, I up it to promotion and get £2.6m and £350k.

I have also put in a loan offer for Tottenham full back Kyle Walker on loan. If I get him I will be looking to let Anthony McMahon leave for whatever I can re-coup.

I then met the media and faced the usual barrage of questions; dream job, deadwood, day-to-day running, transfer policy plus a couple about current staff and tactics.

I do prefer having to press buttons, rather than tick boxes and hitting confirm. After meeting the media I was approached by an agent, Vadim Chalenko who was “bringing to my attention” 33 year old Sundown DC Matthew Booth.



The agent feature looks pretty sound to be honest. Every time you are offering a contract to a player it will be the agent you are dealing with. Each agent has their own page, as shown with Vadim Chalenko’s page;

Each agent has a few stats, willingness to tout, agent fee demands and patience. Their page lists the players on his books, his favourite people and his disliked people (who are all managers in Chalenko’s case). According to Miles there are 5 different types of agent, in terms of what they will ask for (“blank canvas negotiations, to asking way too much).

There are now also agent fee’s included in contract negotiations and some agent’s are quite tight and unrealistic about their fee. On one of my contracts one agent asked for £245k for a fee, but I negotiated it to below £100k and I think I could have got it even lower to be honest.

I then set my assistant manager to do the pre-match preparation training, as I can never be bothered with training.

I passed up my invitation to trial day, although former Man Utd kid Febian Brandy was playing after his release.

Fixtures & Transfers

I have pre-season friendlies against: Gillingham, Brechin, Crusaders, Hamilton, Hartlepool and Darlington, before kicking off the Npower Championship season against Leicester at home and Hull away.

In the league cup first round I have got L2 side Burton.

Meanwhile, Fulham and Blackpool have both offered a contract to Michael Ball. I have also offered a contract to Darius Vassell after his release from Turkish side Ankaragucu although he is in discussions with EPL side Wolves.


The 3D pitch is looking good. I haven’t really noticed the added celebrations apart from a hand in the air and I’m sure that was on 2010 (I stopped using 3D soon after getting FM2010 though).

And there is also the quick tactics, which I like;

Here are a few more screenshots of the match day process;

Private Player Chats

I like these; they give feedback from what you ask them quicker and allow you to ask multiple things quickly. Gives you a better gauge of the type of player you have as well. Here I’m me asking Justin Hoyte to improve his training.

Here’s another when Tony McMahon got angry because I rejected a £0m upfront and £1.3m over 48 months from Wigan.

Pretty cool!


Results from pre-season friendlies:

Gillingham 1 – 3 Middlesbrough (Boyd, Robson (p), Flood)
Brechin 0 – 1 Middlesbrough (Kink)
Crusaders 0 – 2 Middlesbrough (Vassell, McDonald)
Hamilton 1 – 2 Middlesbrough (Thomson, McDonald)
Hartlepool 2 – 1 Middlesbrough (Robson (p))
Darlington 0 – 5 Middlesbrough (Boyd 2, McDonald, Bailey, Vassell)

The Npower Championship begins

Here are my transfer in and outs up until the first game of the season (07/08/2010).

Middlesbrough 0 – 0 Leicester

I drew the first game despite having 18 shots and giving Boyd, McDonald, Lita and Vassell game time. Think I may invest in another striker or a goalscoring midfielder.

Middlesbrough 3 – 1 Burton (McDonald (p), Bailey, Boyd)

Comfortable win with a slightly weakened side out, Burton scored through a Stephen McManus own goal. Anyway, I caught Nicky Baileys goal and subsequent celebration. Hope you can see it well enough I know the quality isn’t great.

Transfer News

After the unsuccessful start to the campaign I moved to bring in Blackburn’s 20 year old striker David Hoilett.

Also signing is Peterborough’s George Boyd for £2m.

Npower Championship

Hull 1 – 1 Middlesbrough (Barmby o.g)

Another fairly disappointing draw, and Kris Boyd seems hacked off I subbed him at half time (try scoring a goal!).

Middlesbrough 2 – 0 Burnley (Boyd (p), Sankháre)

Good result against a decent team. Got a lucky break with the penalty in the first half but controlled the second really.

League Cup 2nd Round

Middlesbrough 1 – 0 Tranmere (Collister o.g) Thomson S/O

We’re through that’s all that matters. Thomson got two yellows and therefore will be suspended for one match.

In the third round I will play Everton at home.

Npower Championship

Portsmouth 2 – 0 Middlesbrough

Kris Boyd missed TWO penalties in the first half at 1-0 down. Awful result and undeserved, three points dropped. Kitson and Lawrence got the goals, hope they haven’t overrated them two just because they are on loan from an EPL side.

Current league standings;

Languishing in a disappointing 14th after 4 games, a pretty poor start!

Middlesbrough 1 – 0 Preston North End (K Boyd)

Brought Kris Boyd on to replace G Boyd at half time at 0-0 and he scored with 25minutes remaining.

Cardiff 1 – 0 Middlesbrough

Had 2 disallowed goals before Koumas scored in the 83rd minute to give them the win. Bailey (few days) and Robson (2-3 months) both injured by the dirty bastards as well.

Tactics and Set Piece Instructions

Before my next match I thought I would tinker with my tactics. I hadn’t changed any team instructions before now.

I then noticed the new set piece instructions feature, so had a play with that. To be honest it looks pretty good, and seems to cut out some of the corner cheats (I.e. it seems only one person can do a certain thing, like attack near post, rather than having 4 people challenging the GK). Here are some screenshots;

Seems pretty useful, though in game I didn’t really notice my players following my instructions!

Npower Championship

Derby 0 – 2 Middlesbrough (K Boyd, Sankharé)

Two early goals gave me the win over 7th placed Derby. Hoping it was my changes in the tactics that did it as things could start to look up. I’m now 8th in the league, with Cardiff running away with it.

After the game I took a quick look at the match analysis screens. To be honest with you I don’t particularly mess around with the tactical or training sides of the game. So to me these are pretty useless (I just don’t get what to change from looking at them).


Another feature you are probably wondering about is the social networking side, the YouTube uploading and the Twitter updater.

The highlight uploading looks pretty simple, choose which highlight, select camera and hit upload video. You can change the resolution of the video in preferences and this also gives you the option to save to your computer the videos you upload.

Then it uploads it to youtube, this ones at 360p, it can go to 1080p although I couldn’t seem to get higher than 360p working.

Handy feature but I imagine all stories will now have video highlights and probably often poor quality like the above.

I've not yet used the Twitter part, I don't want to post FM2011 things on my Twitter to be honest. However you can set it to manual rather than automatic and it will ask you if you want to publish things rather than just randomly spamming your page.

League Cup 3rd Round

Middlesbrough 1 – 0 Everton (McManus)

Good result, won with a Stephen McManus goal from a corner. The corner was swung to the back where Wheater headed it; this was saved but fell to McManus who scored. Best result so far!

I will face Stoke at the Britannia in the next round, a toughie!

Npower Championship

Middlesbrough 1 – 1 Leeds United (Collins o.g)

Kris Boyd missed another penalty (he has 16 penalty taking, finishing and composure). Collins scored for me via an own goal but Leeds equalised through a Ross McCormack penalty late on in the game, disappointed and changing my penalty taker!

Middlesbrough 2 – 1 Scunthorpe (G Boyd 2) Gary O’Neill S/O

George Boyd’s first two goals for the club after I dropped Kris Boyd and played him up top with McDonald, Gary O’Neill was sent off just before half time with the scores at 0-0. Starting to notice that it seems very difficult to score one on one’s and that a lot of my goals are coming from crosses that deflect around the box or rebounds off the goalkeeper

Oh, and my new penalty taker Willo Flood missed ANOTHER penalty. That’s 4/6 missed, a bug or **** penalty takers? Scunthorpe’s goal was also a penalty. That’s 4 penalties in 2 games, both mine missed, both the opponents scored.

Crystal Palace 3 – 1 Middlesbrough (Tavares)

No idea what happened here. Conceded within a minute and then again before half time. Was 3-0 by the hour and pulled one back 2minutes before the end, very poor.

I’ve put a £1.4m bid in for Peterborough goalkeeper Joe Lewis as Coyne and Steele just aren’t good enough and I’ve mutually terminated my assistant managers’ contact for a fee of £110k and have brought in ex Reading assistant manager Nigel Gibbs after he left Reading following Brian McDermott’s sacking.

Here is the league table thus far;

8th after 10 games, not too bad but would have preferred to be in the top 6. Better than we are doing in real life anyway. Not scoring enough goals which is worrying, might change formation soon to have two wingers, though this is something Middlesbrough don’t really have at the moment.

English Premier League

Thought I would see what’s happening elsewhere.

Quite shocked at the transfers:

And the top scorer:

However I think I must have found a bug:

Npower Championship

Middlesbrough 3 – 1 Norwich (McDonald 2, G Boyd)

A comfortable win and a great performance, against an average Norwich side though and finally McDonald getting a couple of goals in probably the best team performance yet.

It seems I am regularly having 20+ shots a game but not really putting many away.

Coventry 1 – 0 Middlesbrough

Own goal from Matthew Kilgallon in the 81st minute, probably deserved to lose overall which was disappointing after the Norwich game.

Middlesbrough 1 – 0 Barnsley

A penalty from Scott McDonald quite late on won it, was sure he was going to miss though. That’s 3/7 scored now for the season and I am up to 5th in the Championship

Random Musings

After the Barnsley match I got more good news, apparently I am about to get £500k as part of the Downing deal to Villa.

I know in previous games you were able to see this by going into your transfers>clauses screen but I like how it comes up in your news. I think this is new?

League Cup 4th Round

Stoke 2 – 1 Middlesbrough (K Boyd) Ritchie De Laet S/O

Ritchie De Laet gave away a second half penalty, earning himself a second yellow in the process. Had a goal disallowed in the first half and was the better team until the sending off (1-1 at the time).

End of first update.

Feel free to ask any questions regarding the game and if you would like something more indepth on a certain part then feel free to ask, however I'm not big on tactics or training but I will try my best.

So far I am liking the agents, the match engine, the youtube uploader. I'm not liking the number of one on ones and penalties missed.

Remember it's not a story as such - i'm not looking for messages of good luck or any followers. Just wanted to have a run through of the game and thought I'd share what I came across in terms of new features and match engine.
Last edited:


Staff member
Feb 15, 2009
will be interested to hear what you think of the training and the match preparation stuff,


Get in the Van.
Sep 15, 2005
I really loved what they did with the private chats! (H)
Btw - Good Luck! :)
Yes I like the private chats as well, including the button pressing rather than the tick box and confirm.

will be interested to hear what you think of the training and the match preparation stuff,
Never touch training, ever. Did do the first couple of match preperation trainings but I'm just not useful with it, so left it to the assistant manager.

I'm sure those who like to play around with the training will appreciate it though.


Jan 19, 2010
Good luck, I'll follow! (A)

Being serious, would it be possible to show us a bit of the dynamic league reputation? It's one of the features I'm interested in as I like managing in smaller countries. Cheers for showing the rest of the new stuff and the general layout of the game and how it's played.


Jan 3, 2009
Looks good, thanks for posting it. I cant wait for it now :)

Not going to **** around and make some story up about how Strachan got hooked on drugs and jumped into the Humber, or got eaten by a horse.
Haha loved the start bit.