‘We play catchup to Pep Guardiola’: Football Manager 2024 creators admit Manchester City manager is almost too good for FM

‘We play catchup to Pep Guardiola’: Football Manager 2024 creators admit Manchester City manager is almost too good for FM
(Image credit: George Wood/Getty Images)

The makers of Football Manager 2024 are constantly watching Pep Guardiola and trying to copy his work.

That's according to studio director Miles Jacobson, who says that the Manchester City boss used to be a source of frustration for him – but has now become an inspiration, as the team behind FM look to recreate some of Guardiola's more intricate tactics.

On the new iteration of the game – out on November 6 – inverted full-backs can be set to a defensive role, meaning that roaming Libero centre-backs can be employed, similar to that of John Stones in the current City side. It's one such tactical tweak that Jacobson has had to note down and reflect in Football Manager from the real world.


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"Yes, [we play catchup]," Jacobson says. "I’m resigned to it now: I wasn’t comfortable with it, for a while. Pep is both annoying and a genius at the same time. He is the only person in football that I’m going to say, ‘Yes, we play catchup to him’.

"You sit there and think, ‘That’s genius, why didn’t we think of this?’ And the answer has to be, ‘We’re not geniuses when it comes to tactics!’ We don’t have the talent that he does. Pep does something: we try and replicate it in-game.

John Stones of Manchester City celebrates with the Champions League Trophy during the UEFA Champions League 2022/23 final match between FC Internazionale and Manchester City FC at Ataturk Olympic Stadium on June 10, 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The John Stones Role: available in FM24 (Image credit: Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)

"I think we’ve been really clear with that in our match engine blog this year. We’ve spoken about Pep, we’ve spoken about the John Stones role. Because he does just do things that are unique: he’s so clever and so special that everyone takes his ideas pretty damn quickly at other clubs. I’m sure that Watford had an inverted full-back the other day?

"He also isn’t scared to explain what he’s doing and give detailed answers in press conferences to help people understand it. And that’s great for us!"

More Football Manager 2024 stories

Football Manager 2024 drops on November 6, with new features teased ahead of the game's drop. Netflix is set to carry the game, while FFT's list of the wonderkids to watch out for is also out already.

Miles Jacobson of Sports Interactive, the team behind FM, has spoken to FFT about the introduction of the Japanese J-League, how realistic the Saudi Pro League is in the new game and how set pieces have improved.

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