As you are well aware by now, my efforts to improve player personality types through mentoring has been an underwhelming endeavor so far. It’s been really tough to recruit mentors that are also good enough to play on a regular basis for the club, which in turn has made it very hard to change player personalities and create new mentors. We can’t create new Model Citizens if we don’t have any Model Citizens that can rub off their magic on the rest of the squad, right?
Things are not about to change, at least not based on our last player search. We tried once again to get Neymar back, he’d be the almost perfect mentor with a Perfectionist personality and 100+ games played for the club. PSG accepted our £10M bid (quite the difference from 2 years ago when they turned down a £120M bid…) but Neymar wasn’t even interested in discussing a contract. Except for him, the other interested guys; an Egyptian, a Peruvian and a couple of Brazilian Série B players, were nowhere near good enough to ever play for the club. No, we need to find another way to bring better personalities through the club. In between the 2025 and 2026 seasons I decided to do a coaching staff overhaul to approach this. Let’s see if we can make something happen through our coaches!?
A coaching staff overhaul
Let’s start with the current U20 coaching staff, are there any ones to keep there? Any great coaches with awesome personalities just waiting to influence our young players?
No, not really. Cristiano Nunes has a Professional personality, but that’s not good enough. Therefore, let’s get rid of all of them! You might think that I’m crazy and maybe I am, but a change is needed. Let’s take one step back and look at what our U20 coaching staff actually do.
The first insight is a bit counter-intuitive, but the fact is that they don’t contribute to actually training the players in our U20 squad. Below you find the overview of coach workload and lead coach rating for the U20s training.
The star ratings remain the same whether I use the U20 coaching staff or not, since our HoYD, the entire Reserves’ coaching staff and the manager, goalkeeping coaches and fitness coaches of the first team also participate in the U20s training. This means that without the U20 coaching staff I already have 18 people directly involved in the day-to-day training of the players.
The second piece of useful information is that, at least according to the brilliant work by SI Forum member _Ben_, most likely the HoYD is not the only staff member responsible for the personality types of youth intake players. There is also a link between the rest of the youth staff (and perhaps all other coaching staff, but let’s take this one step at a time) and the youth intake players.
I want to explore this and therefore I want to take advantage of that possible link by hiring a staff filled with members with desired personality types, pretty much completely disregarding how good they are at actually coaching.
So, what are the desired personality types in this case, then?
Best personalities for youth development
Well, this is not an entirely easy question to answer. A player’s FM20 personality consists of the attributes Determination and Leadership along with the hidden attributes Adaptability, Ambition, Loyalty, Pressure, Professionalism, Sportsmanship and Temperament. Determination, Ambition and Professionalism are the three attributes that are thought to have the biggest impact on a player’s training performance and development. Therefore we want to bring in coaches with high values in these attributes to hopefully produce players with similar personalities! Determination is the easy one out of these three since that’s a given. The other two attributes are hidden, and therefore you don’t know their actual values. However, by looking at the player’s actual Personality type you can get some clues at least!
There are six personality types that include a high Ambition, but not all of them are useful here, since we need a combination of high Professionalism as well! That rules out Fickle (Ambition 16-20) since it’s coupled with <17 Determination and <18 Professionalism. Driven looks promising, with 18-20 Determination and 12-20 Ambition, but it says nothing about the player’s Professionalism, so that doesn’t work either. Ambitious of course comes with high Ambition (16-19), but excludes the highest Determination (<18) and Professionalism (<19) and that’s no good. That rules out both Ambitious and Fairly Ambitious on the same grounds. This leaves us with two personality types:
- Determination 14-20
- Ambition 14-20
- Professionalism 14-20
- Model Citizen
- Determination 14-20
- Ambition 12-20
- Professionalism 15-20
The Model Citizen personality type also comes with other positive personality traits, such as high Loyalty, Pressure, Sportsmanship and Temperament and is considered “the best” personality type. Model Professional is usually also considered one of the best types, but since it says nothing about a players Ambition, we won’t be using that one. I’ll use Perfectionist and Model Citizen, since they appear to be the best two when it comes to player development, at least for me.
So, what happens when we put Personality type: Model Citizen OR Perfectionist into the staff search filter?
First of all, 123 at least potentially interested people are found. Since I decided to include my own staff in the search I found first team coaches Dennis Bergkamp and Jens Lehmann and Reserves coach Iarley in the search, which made me happy.
This meant that I “only” had to focus on replacing the U20 coaching staff in this first step.
Building an All star coaching staff
The staff search returned some cracking names in the form of former players, and of course I had to try to get an all star lineup of coaches in. Who could work as better guides for our young players than these former world class players? I was also primarily looking for coaches with good enough coaching attributes to actually contribute in training, but since there were basically none, instead I had to look for coaches with no or low level coaching badges, since these badges are the only way to improve a coach. I also considered Determination, the higher the better, when looking for my new coaches. To my surprise and joy, most of the guys I approached were also interested in joining us, even though some of them initially wanted other roles than U20 coach.
Above you see the new U20 coaching staff, basically an amazing list of former players that agreed to join the club. Zabaleta, Palacios and Falcao all return to the club and are joined by a quite dynamic group of characters. Imagine a training session involving all these guys as coaches! Cristiano Ronaldo carrying a sack of balls with Zlatan Ibrahimovic preparing an exercise on the other half of the pitch!
Two of the staff members on the list were not brought in by me, though. Pecka was the only contract termination that the board blocked and Carlos Roa was brought in the second after I had sacked all the original staff, since I had missed to set myself as responsible for U20 coaching staff recruiting, Well well, at least he’s a Model Professional…
Now our U20 coaching staff consists of 4 Model Citizens, 6 Perfectionists, 1 Model Professional and 1 Fairly Professional. It’s gonna be really exciting to see if this will have an impact on personality types in future youth intakes. I’ll track this in detail and if it looks promising I’ll swap out the Reserves coaching staff as well in the future! Of course I’ll also stay on the look out for better coaches with the desired personalities to upgrade our staff in the future.
This was a bit of a side track, but I wanted to explain my thought process and how I approach youth development as the series has gotten a couple of years into the save. I have a few more ideas and I’ll blog about them once in a while in future episodes to mix it up with the regular season reviews. The next episode will cover the 2026 season. Unless I get another crazy idea until then….