=================================== Championship Manager 01/02 & 02/03 Guide by fenix down aka Harry Shave email: firstname.lastname@example.org Specifically for XBox Version 1.0 =========== Contents. ========= A. Legal Stuff. B. Intro. C. Guide. 1. Picking Leagues. 1.2. Europe. 1.3. South America. 1.4. The Rest of the World. 2. Formation and Tactics. 2.1 Player Runs. 2.2 Match Tactics. 2.2.1. Style of Play. 2.2.2. Passing. 2.2.3. Tackling. 2.2.4. Pressing. 2.2.5. Men Behind the Ball. 2.2.6. Counter Attacking. 2.2.7. Offside Trap. 2.2.8. Other Tactics. 3. Training. 4. Non-Playing Staff. 4.1. Coaches. 4.2. Physiotherapists. 4.3. Scouts. 5. Playing Staff. 5.1. Manual Searching. 5.2. Goalkeepers. 5.3. Defenders. 5.4. Midfielders. 5.5. Forwards. 5.6. Favourite Line up. 6. Summary. D. Thanks. E. No Thanks. --------------- A. Legal Stuff. --------------- I couldn't care less what you do with this guide. If you think that it is helpful then please feel free to put it on your site, print off copies, email it to your mates or whatever. You hereby have my permission to carve it up in any way you see fit if you wish to add to it. My only request is a small acknowledgment in the credits section purely to massage my own ego. --------- B. Intro. --------- I would like to point out that this guide is specifically for the Xbox. You could use it for the PC version if you wanted to, but here I have tried to address the differences between the two games, so there are large sections of this FAQ that are not applicable. Don't you just hate the way some faq writers write pages and pages of rubbish before they get going in order to make their faq look more professional? Well, it doesn't, it's just annoying when you have to scroll through pages of stuff on controls, faq history, game background, the art of fighting without fighting etc, etc? Well it annoys me a lot! I don't want to have a go at anyone else who wrote a Faq on this Game but I could not find anything in either of them on Gamefaqs, or anywhere else that could not be found in the manual or deduced quickly by someone with moderate intelligence and, if you're like me, this stuff just gets cut and pasted the hell out of here when I go to print it out. If your in any doubt about the controls just press the white button. For any other probs regarding set up please just read the manual... please. So in summary I will not be covering any of the following: 1. What the attributes mean. This is in the manual, yet everyone insists on regurgitating it. Also, they're really obvious. 2. Contracts. This is in the manual, yet everyone insists on regurgitating it. Also they are really obvious. 3. Transfers. Ditto. 4. Player moods and discipline. *sighs*. 5. Board expectations. *murderous look appears in eyes*. -------- C. Guide -------- First things first, CM is not a science, and its sole resemblance to real footballing life is that there is more than one way to win. The tactics I present may not be the ones you use. I don't care. Please don't mail me about it, I'll just block you. The only thing I'll say about them is they have allowed me to win everything with whatever club I have chosen to manage in what ever league and in whatever country. However, you will still *gasps* lose a few games every now and then! ------------------- 1. Picking Leagues. ------------------- One of the most important things to remember is that the Xbox can only support three leagues whether they are background or not. Therefore I would say, if you are running the english league there is little point in running any non-EU leagues unless you intend to move there as you won't be able to sign the majority of players. Pick what you like, though I would always recommend running the Swedish league as they have lots of great players for medium sized clubs and even a few for great clubs (ie Kallstrom, Ibrahimovic, etc.). ------------------- 1.1 Personal Setup. ------------------- If you are only going to play for a few seasons then it is probably only worth setting up the one league. However, if you intend to move around over a long period of time, then personally I think the best set up is: 1. EU League you wish to manage in 2. Sweden 3. Either Spain or Italy. This gives you the best selection of players and a range of challenges and clubsfrom the great (Real) to the unknown (Cafe Opera) as well as the most number of players if you want to manage any of the European national teams. You will also suffer the fewest restrictions as to who you can sign in proportion to the nationalities of the players availible. Put those leagues you're not competing in to background for the game to run better. Don't worry, you can still manage in them by changing them to Full. If you are unsure as to what club to select then I suggest that you look at Colin's Team/League FAQ on Gamefaqs, which is excellent and provides all the information you will require to choose any team from any league in the game. ------------------ 1.2 South America. ------------------ The Brazilian and Argentinian leagues are great fun, and set up totally differently to the european leagues. However, they have major restrictions on the number of foreign players allowed. This is not the same as EU restrictions. Therefore, if you are running one of these leagues, it is probably best not to run any other leagues, as you will not be able to bring many players to your club from these leagues. One further problem that arises from these leagues is some major fixture congestion. It is easy to find yourself in a situation where you are in two continental tournaments, the national cup as well as having to play your regular league fixtures. This is not such a problem in Argentina, but it can decimate you squad in Brazil. You should play at least one game here to get a good idea of the sort players availible, which will save you a lot of time when you come to play in European leagues don't insist on work permits. ----------- 1.3 Europe. ----------- Aside from the English, Spanish and Italian Leagues, there is only one other I would really recommend and that is the Scottish league. Though generally recognised as one of the worlds most boring leagues, it is an ideal place to gain initial experience at the game by playing as one of the Old Firm. The challenge is minimal, though Rangers or Celtic (which ever one you aren't!) will push you all the way every season, but you can still progress in European competition and it is quite easy to increase the club's and your reputation to the point where you can attract some of the world's best players. Although I have recommended running the Swedish league, I would not recommend playing it as the standard is very low and all the good players will be bought by the major european sides. I think that it is far better to use this league merely as a breeding ground for future stars. The Polish league is worth a brief look, if only for the insane setup of it's lower teir. -------------------------- 1.4 The Rest of the World. -------------------------- There is very little of interest here. You may well want to play the Australian league, but there is very little to do. There is no domestic cup championship, just a small league and a continental cup competition, which is of pitifully low standard. Not too bad if you want a quick game that still contains some challenge, as most of the teams are in a lot ofdebt. The Japanese League is not too bad. You can get some quite good players and it is the only way into the Asian Club competitions, except on 02/03 where you can also use the Korean K-League (which is poo). The Russian League is not too bad either (I know it is technically in Europe), but it is important to remember that they have a policy on foreigners similar to the Brazilian league (cos Russia are not part of the EU). This is doubly bad as The Russian FA class foreigners as not only non-Russians, but also those people who are nationals of the former Russian states (such as Uzbekistan, Ukraine, etc). This is very annoying. ------------------------- 2. Formation and tactics. ------------------------- Clearly key. The formation you want is 4-1-3-2, it's the bottom one of the preset formations. Apparently this is the one that the designers of the game use, and if it is good enough for them then it is good enough for you and me. It doesn't really provide an accurate representation of league football, as the emphasis is very much on attack, and simply trying to outscore your opponents. However, it doesgive you a decent four man defence backed up with a central defensive midfielder. Constricting the midfielders down the middle just swamps the opposition defence, and any half decent pairing up front will be able to score (much like the narrow formation favoured by many on CM2). I always stick with this default formation, though you might want to switch the Defensive Midfielder so that he is now an attacking midfielder in the centre. This will give you a greater number of goal scoring opportunities, but will leave you exposed at the back against the better sides. ---------------- 2.1 Player Runs. ---------------- Once you have picked it you will want to tweak it just a bit. Firstly get rid of the run lines (the dotted ones) from the left and right backs, you don't need them, and these preset runs will cause the players to tire more readily. You might want to have the Defensive Midfielder running back level with the defence but this is entirely optional. Personally I only have the Defensive Midfelder running back when I am under a lot of pressure as I try to avoid creating a gap between defence and midfield where the ball might be lost easily. The three central midfielders should all have run lines set up so they are running forward as far as the positions that would be occupied by the attacking midfielders. You could have the central midfielder running further forward but you should bear in mind that this will cause the player to tire more quickly. This won't make a difference at the start of the season, but when you reach the end you may well find that this player is struggling with fitness. This may sound fiddly, but when you realise this affects the whole squad, it will enable you to run a successful team on a much smaller squad, which means less expenditure and also you will be able to utilise players who are on form at the end of the season much more. If you have made the Defensive midfielder an attacking midfielder, you may also like to have him run forward to provide the strikers with greater support, but this is not really necessary. This makes your team even more attacking, but can leave you rather shorthanded at the back. ------------------ 2.2 Match Tactics. ------------------ Even though there are only a few areas to alter, these have a profound effect on the way your team plays and getting these wrong can spell disaster. ------------------ 2.2.1 Style of Play. ------------------ One of the major dilemmas here is whether to play Normal or Attacking football. You should never really start a game in a defensive frame of mind, even if you think you will lose the game, as this mode of play results in very few shots on goal and it is easy to get overwhelmed. Attacking play will get you a lot more goal scoring opportunities, however it will tire your players out much more quickly. This can be extremely inconvenient if you have, say, a game on saturday, then a cup gae midweek followed by another saturday fixture! I played attacking football for a long time, but have recently changed to normal style as the stamina it saves your players means that you can afford to have a much smaller squad, which is great if you are a lower league team, or a team with little in the bank. ------------ 2.2.2 Passing. ------------ You should set passing to short. This will mean that you hold onto the ball for longer. Mixed is rather pointless, and it is hard to tell what is going on and whether your players are being effective. Direct is equally pointless as it is a sure fire way of losing the ball. It is not worth switching to long ball, even if you are losing as you will spend a lot less time in possession. It's as simple as that. ------------- 2.2.3 Tackling. ------------- This should be set to Hard. I'll admit that this will cause you to pick up a few more cards, but I honestly can't say that I have ever noticed a negative effect on my side in terms of suspensions. Nor have I ever noticed that I have been giving away more penalties or free kicks at all. It instructs your defenders to go in for all challenges, even if they are only 50/50. This enables you to win the ball back more easily and prevents the opposition from getting a foothold on the edge of your penalty area. ------------- 2.2.4 Pressing. ------------- This is vital for any successful side, as it affects both the manner in which your side attacks and defends. When attacking this will put pressure on the defence if you lose the ball preventing them from building up a decent attack. When defending this will put extra pressure on their attackers. Coupled with hard tackling, this allows you a much greater chance of clearing your lines. Always have this on. The only disadvantage to this is that pressing tires your players more quickly If you go more than two goals up I would turn it off to save energy. ------------------------ 2.2.5 Men Behind the Ball. ------------------------ Not a good tactic to use. Generally only of use in the closing minutes of a match when you are trying to protect a slender lead. Your players don't tire as quickly, but you have much fewer attacking opportunities. ---------------------- 2.2.6 Counter attacking. ---------------------- See 2.2.5 Can be of benefit when coupled with direct passing so that your team is not swamped by the opposition. Not recommended for general play. ----------------- 2.2.7 Offside Trap. ----------------- Makes little difference. You can utilise it if you think that your team will play better, but you should avoid it if your back four are lacking in intelligence. to be honest, I've found that more than enough goals are disallowed for offside already. ------------------ 2.2.8 Other Tactics. ------------------ Regarding the other list of options such as crossing and running, leave them alone. The only one you want to touch for now is marking. Have your central defenders man mark and the wing backs, defensive midfielder and central midfielder zonally mark. Save this setup so you can load it up quickly when you move clubs. With this setup you can just set the commentary to Very Fast, as you will have little need to change any tactics other than to make the odd substitution. If you are confident you are going to win once you have taken a big enough lead, it is perhaps worth having a couple of back up tactics such as an ultra defensive triangle, with everyone except a striker crammed in your own half, and the tactics set to defensive men-behind-the-ball and counter attack and all run lines turned off to conserve as much energy as possible, so you can sit back on a late goal if you want. Save these as well so you can quickly switch. Set up to two players (no more than two) to yes for long shots, but only if they have great skill in that area (+18). It is also useful to give one of your midfielders a free role. Generally this should just be your best one and it's up to you to compare stats on that. ------------ 3. Training. ------------ Use the blank training regime slots to set up the following routines: Defenders: Skill - intensive. Fitness - intensive. Tactics - medium. Shooting - light. Gk - none. Midfielders: Skill - intensive. Fitness - intensive. Tactics - light. Shooting - medium. Gk - none. Attackers: Skill - intensive. Fitness - medium. Tactics - light. Shooting - Intensive. Gk - none. Don't forget to alter the Gk training session too, because they basically live the life of Riley unless you do, since they are automatically set only to do goalkeeping training. Make it look like this: Gk: Skill - intensive. Fitness - medium. Tactics - intensive. Shooting - none. Gk - intensive. It's quite tough but they can cope with it, it's not like they need great fitness in a match. Also you could set up a specific youth training regime if you are confident you'll never need to play them in a match and set everything to intensive. It'll totally knacker them out, but it encourages development. It is imortant at this point to explain how players' stats improve, and how this relates to training. Up to the age of 23 a player is still considered young or a prospect. It is up to this age that he can make the biggest improvements in relation to his actual ability versus his potential ability. Once he has reached this age, it is highly unlikely that you will see him gain or lose stats markedly (unless he is injured for a long time). Once over 23 each staistic of a player can go up or down by roughly 3 points. Because of this it is really not worth continually changing your training schedules and having different ones depending upon which part of the season you are in. Your training is now set up. These regimes apply to any club at any level. You should save them and then you can set up training in a matter of minutes every time you move. --------------------- 4. Non-Playing Staff. --------------------- If you are a lower league side, ensure that you're non-playing staff are on the longest possible contracts. This will ensure you get the maximum cash for them when a big club comes in for them. This is a win-win situation for you as you don't pay any signing on fee and you can cancel contracts for nothing. This is not so important for higher league clubs and when you have a good reputation as these factors will be enough to scare off clubs. There are a few non-players listed on websites that are supposed to be great, but just ignore them, they're nowhere near the best. Also on the Xbox there are near the same number of coaches as on the PC version, so many won't be in the game. However, the best take time to mature and to want to come to you. I suggest scanning staff search for a few coaches to tide you over if you absolutely have to. Then set the filters so all except physio, judging player potential and judging player ability are set to a minimum of 15 (make it 12 if you are a lower league club). Then just check it every so often, you'd be surprised the number of red hot coaches at lower / non-league clubs there are after you have played a few seasons and had some degree of success. ------------ 4.1 Coaches. ------------ You should ensure that your coaches are strong in the following areas: 1. Coaching Outfield Players. 2. Coaching Goalkeepers. 3. Tactics. These are the most important. Even if you are in a lower league, you should never employ a coach who does not have at least 12 in these areas (17 if you are in a higher league). If you can attract better coaches, you should also look for high levels in: 4. Motivation. 5. Discipline. 6. Determination. 7. Man Management. There is no need to match coaches's preferred formations, playing styles or other preferred tactics to those you are running as manager. I have never noticed any difference or conflict arising from this. It does not matter anyway if you are playing a 4-1-3-2 formation as this is not one of the preferred formations a coach can have. Don't bother setting special roles for the coaches, it doesn't matter. They should coach everything unless they are noticably worse than everyone else at a particular discipline. I generally allow coaches to work in any area that they have more than fifteen in, but it really doesn't make that much difference. Always try to have as many coaches as you can. Before you start hiring and firing, check the contracts of your coaches. Often for some reason, the contract screen will simply say 'n/a' rather than giving any details. If this is so then you will need to have this coach sign a contract before you can get rid of him. Alternatively, if you want to keep him you can do so without having to pay him any cash. However, if you have a full compliment of coaches, you will have to get rid of one before you can sign him. Annoying. --------------------- 4.2 Physiotherapists. --------------------- It is vital that your Physios all have a Physiotherapy score of 20. I know this sounds stupid, but if you are managing a very low league club, then the normal player/staff search might not reveal any, so it is important that you do this manually. Always ensure you have three Physios. It doesn't matter if a couple of them are pretty awful, three will shorten the amount of time a player spends injured, two won't. As well as Physiotherapy you should ideally search for staff who have high scores in: 1. Motivation. 2. Determination. ----------- 4.3 Scouts. ----------- Don't bother with scouts, you don't need them on the Xbox, and they're rubbish anyway. If you're loaded they can look nice, but that's about it. You're better off locating players manually. If you're new to a specific league then keep one to have a quick scan for you but you're better off saving the money The Xbox database is quite small compared to the PC one, running only to about 500 pages when you have three leagues running. This is compared with over 2000 pages of players for the PC version with a maxmimum database running. With this in mind, it is perfectly practical to look through each page for free transfer players. For players attatched to clubs I would recommend physically trawling through the various club pages with the players ranked by average rating. This can be done extremely quickly by using the button in the top left corner to change the team, and to be honest, you will get results quicker than you would if you sent out a scout. If you are too lazy to do this and really want to have scouts then you should look for staff with good ratings in the following areas: 1. Judging player potential. (Obvious - accept nothing less than 20). 2. Judging plyaer ability. (Ditto). Also useful are: 3. Motivation. 4. Determination. However these are not essential. One thing to look out for are Scouts who could double up as coaches, ie scouts who have good stats across the board. There are numerous people like this, many of them developing as the game goes on. They are particularly useful for several reasons. Firstly, they will be on less money than coaches. Therefore if you sign them from a club you will have to pay less than you would if a person with the same stats were a coach. Secondly, when you offer him a contract, it is exceedingly rare that they will want more to be a coach than a scout, and so you will be able to sign them for an awful lot less than dedicated coaches. Finally, if you do find someone better, then the scout who is now a coach will be happy to revert back to the role of scout. ----------------- 5. Playing Staff. ----------------- You know all those lists you've seen? Ignore them. I'm not saying they are totally wrong, but they fundamentally misunderstand a key paradox about football: namely that promise and skill on the training field (ie, the stats you see on the screen, do not always equate to good performances come match day). For example some time ago, people started going on about the glut of great Swedish players in the game. One of these was Mikael Dorsin. On the face of things he was awesome, possessing excellent stats in all the vital areas. There was a problem however... he played like s***! As you can see, whilst what people were saying was generally true it is by no means universally applicable. This underlines the main flaw with these lists, people see a player with good or great stats in one game and stick him on their list, or use a program like CM Scout. The problem with this is that every player has two abilities: potential and actual. Therefore just because someone shines in one game does mean he will in the next. Also there are far more hidden stats in the game that affect a players performance beyond what you see on the screen. I could go into more detail but it's irrelevant, the key to getting great players is not through any list or any scout, but manually trawling through the find player section. After all, how do you think real life managers and scouts locate players, particularly in the lower leagues? Also the vast difference in size between the Xbox and PC databases is such that the majority of players on PC lists will not feature in the game. --------------------- 5.1 Manual Searching. --------------------- Normally this would be impractical on the PC, but the limited number of leagues on the Xbox makes it possible. Although a tactic of little use at the start, where anyone with even a modicum of football knowledge and the ability to locate and read the average rating can get decent players. However, after eight or so seasons when players retire, something strange happens, the 'reborn' players start having some really strange, non EU nationalities. Once you notice this is happening you should move from GB as soon as possible as you won't be able to buy them for UK league teams, cos they won't get work permits because CMs traditionally appalling handling of international football minnows means that the smaller non EU / South American teams rarely play any games at all. Furthermore, if they do then there is still every chance that these guys might not be selected anyway, even though they may well be the only real player of that nation in the game and signed to an indigenous club. Crazy! Here is where manual search comes in to its own. Admittedly, awesome scouts may find a few, but I have players from Maldives, Bhutan, Mongolia, Guam, etc. who are all great, but would naturally never be found by a scout because of the woefully poor geographical areas you are given to scout outside of the EU. Just set aside an hour or two every couple of seasons to search for these gems as no other club will go in for them until you shortlist them. If you are managing an English club you could put a bid in for them anyway. Though you won't be able to sign them, this action often awakens the CPU to what you are doing and you could well find another club putting in a bid. From this you could hope that they'll gain dual nationality, but I think you will agree that it is a rather a long shot! It is also worth doing this at the beginning of a game, especially if you are managing a lower league club, as the player/staff search does not highlight all of the unattatched players and there are always one or two that can help out. However, there is also a lot of rubbish. For example, don't bother checking the last few pages of the manual search, as though those players are all frees, they are also all rubbish, all the time. I know that it sounds cheap, but when you're £500k in debt it's your only option! Aside from those players from obscure countries, I will mention a few players that I have had who have served me well. I offer no apologies if you think they are blatently obvious because they are famous or disagree. These players are all the ones I have bought in my time managing Celtic, which is now into its fifteenth glorious season. I know the Scottish league is not exactly the most challenging, but I have been able to win the Champions League on numerous occasions with various combinations of these guys. N.B. Obviously I won't include all the Celtic players that were there originally, just those I feel could have an impact at another top club. -------- 5.2 GKs. -------- Oscar Cordoba - Boca Juniors - All round good keeper. Sebastien Frey - Parma - Excellent keeper, one of the best in the game. Andreas Isaksson - Djurgardens - Excellent stats, doesn't quite live up to them. -------------- 5.3 Defenders. -------------- Joos Valgaeren - Celtic - Not world class but still excellent. Cheaper than say Samuel. Fabrizio Coloccini - Alaves - Outstanding. Settles straight away. Always in good form. Julio Arca - Sunderland - Great left back. Expensive, but holds his value well. Christian Chivu - Ajax - Not as good as Arca. Still great back up. Rio Ferdinand - Manchester United - Expensive but extremely consistent. ---------------- 5.4 Midfielders. ---------------- Kim Kallstrom - BK Hacken - Very Promising youngster. Tonton Zola Mokouko - Derby - One of the best midfielders in the game. Great Average rating. Julius Aghahowa - Shakhtar Donetsk - Great left winger, scores lots of goals. Andres D'Allessandro - River Plate - Outstanding young central midfielder. Pablo Aimar - Valencia - Older version of D'Allessandro. Rafael van der Vaart - Ajax - Hugely promising youngster. Great deputy to Agahowa. Bojan Djordjic - Manchester United - Promising youngster. Utility midfielder. Good backup. Stilian Petrov - Celtic - Great defensive midfielder. Still young. Civard Sprokel - Feyenoord - Another good young Defensive Midfielder. Diego - Santos - Excellent prospect. One of the best players in the game. Kennedy Bakicioglu - Hammarby - Excellent midfielder. Scores goals. Can also play up front. ------------- 5.5 Forwards. ------------- Cherno Samba - Millwall - Awesome prospect. CM01/02's Sigtorsson! Can be played from c.17yo. Maxi Lopez - River Plate - Good Prospect. Prone to being a bit poor sometimes though. Carlos Tevez - Boca Juniors - Excellent prospect. One of the rising stars of Argentinian football. Jardel - Porto - Great striker - still useful into his mid-thirties Johnny Allan - Carlisle - Great prospect. Stats not that great but he performs. Scores lots. Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Ajax - Great young striker. Shaun Maloney - Celtic - Quality prospect. Can be sold for c.£10m. To be honest with you, with the exception of a handful of lesser players purchased solely for the sake of back up, and a few other superstars who I won't list because you will already be familiar with them, these are about the only real players that I have ever bought. I bought them all in one game in which I am managing Celtic and I have managed to the league every season except one (and you do get pushed by Rangers), The Champions League four or five times in about ten seasons as well as the uefa cup and the World Club Championship. Not only do these players make a very skilled team, but they are also very hard working and play great as a team. ---------------------- 5.6 Favourite Line Up. ---------------------- Frey Arca Ferdinand Coloccini Thuram Keane Aghahowa Aimar Moukoko Vieri Saviola ------------ Isaksson Nesta Chivu D'Allessandro Samba ---------- 6. Summary ---------- I hope I have persuaded you to avoid all the lists and tactics that appear on the web and to try an experiment, at least with players. Clearly this is a strategy for long term gamers and I won't deny that I had a few big names (Aimar, Vieri, Frey) in my team and I also had a load of up and coming players (Aghahowa, D'Alessandro, Van Der Vaart), but other than that the whole squad was made up of those I has searched for myself. --------- D. Thanks --------- To Me for getting off my arse and doing this guide. Eidos / SI Games, for releasing an Xbox version so I didn't have to continue with my PC game which was running at about 1 mph. Sarah for buying me my Xbox and saving me from my sloth of a PC CM game. ------------ E. No Thanks ------------ All the people who post people like Buffon or Zidane or Ronaldo on the 'Great Players' section of CM sites, thanks a lot eagle eye, wouldn't have seen that myself. People who simply reprint the manual, stick down a couple players and call it a FAQ - I hope you are pleased with yourselves! Fin.