Football Manager is set to land on November 9 - and there are exciting new features. Sports Interactive and SEGA have been chatting about the new Data Hub and animation engine, which are the headline changes to this game.
But that's not all - in a trailer released recently, there are tweaks to the transfer market and new positional roles.
If you're looking out for women's football on this version of the game though, you may be disappointed - studio director Miles Jacobson confirmed to FFT in an interview earlier on this year that it won't be coming just yet. But here's what is...
Pass maps have now been added to FM. You can see which players in your team are receiving possession the most and where you should be channelling your players to carry the ball.
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2022 Everything we know about the brand-new game, out on November 9
There's also more expansion on xG, with the ability to see how your team fared in its last game. Data is becoming ever-more important in the real-world sport and SI have often reiterated the importance of it from within FM - so expect to use it more than you ever have this year.
"The Data Hub is a brand-new section on the sidebar in FM22 that is the go-to destination for everything related to data and performance analysis," SI says.
"From here managers can delve into team performance metrics to analyse where things are going right over the course of the 90 minutes of match action and where there is room for improvement. There’s also the ability to view analysis on individual players from within your squad, allowing you to identify strengths to build around and weaknesses to develop on the training ground.
"New data visualisations such as momentum graphs and zone maps alongside reworked pass maps make it clearer and easier than ever for managers to see how their decision-making affects their chances of success, to diagnose problem areas and to judge the most effective contribution from squad members.
"Real clubs are using the same metrics and reporting methods to power their performance on the pitch, now FM players can too."
Philosophy of what kind of players you sign has been a staple of FM for a while now - but it seems as though FM22 is introducing specific plans of attack for targeting players during windows. Your Director of Football can now tell you whether you're light in a certain area or whether you particularly need to go out and target someone.
It seems as though deadline day has been tweaked, too. From the trailer, it looks like any big deals that are being done during the closing hours of the window can be hijacked - so you can look to outbid your rivals for the players that matter, such as Manchester United trumping Cristiano Ronaldo's move to local rivals, City.
When we spoke to Miles Jacobson last year, he indicated that the then-newly added recruitment meetings were going to form the basis of a much bigger transfer strategy - and that certainly seems to ring true with this new update on the game.
New match engine
The graphics within FM are continually improving, with SI trying to get more and more realistic by the year.
Well good news - it's getting even better in this new version.
"A new animation engine delivers an even greater level of on-pitch authenticity than was previously possible in the series," SI says. "Player movements now look far more realistic and natural due to the implementation of root motion while on-the-ball dribbles and touches have been reworked to ensure that players have a much greater range of movement, including the ability to pivot on the ball and perform Cruyff turns.
"Significant AI enhancements lead to a more lifelike flow to the passage of play over the course of a match. A reworked pressing system means that players now have the concept of their sprint capacity and know when they can and can’t press their opponent and accuracy has been refined to ensure that player condition has a greater impact on the accuracy of a passes, shots and first touches."
You can now set players as wide centre-backs in FM. According to SI, this is an aggressive kind of defender who can be used in a back three.
"New for FM22 is the Wide Centre-Back player role that allows managers to have greater flexibility when operating with a back three," SI says. "Wide Centre-Backs can be deployed in a defence, support or attack duty with an increasing willingness to overlap and create two vs one situations the more attacking the manager sets their duty."
It makes sense that as the game evolves tactically, Football Manager moves with the times, so it's good to see this new role get added. We haven't seen any other new roles in the trailer but it could be a possibility. False nines more like the ones that Manchester City used last season, perhaps? Wing-backs that pop up with goals like Marcos Alonso, maybe?
For now, it's just conjecture - but this brand-new look at FM22 has given us plenty to get excited about...
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