The West Ham Way - Part One, Staff.


Written by FridayNightFM

The West Ham Way – Staff

What is ‘The West Ham Way’? – A question asked by Sir Alex Ferguson when defending Big Sam back in 2013. To be honest, there isn’t a definitive ‘way’ but as a lifelong supporter, who isn’t someone that calls for it, I believe The West Ham Way to be fairly simple; attacking football with a never say die attitude. In this series for I want to talk more about my personal approach to Football Manager rather than give you hard and fast facts. So, with that, let’s get cracking with the first week in the job!

This save came about after a discussion with @FM_Razz when we were getting the SortitoutSI real life fixtures mod working, he wanted a save and we spoke about West Ham which got my FM synapses firing. I decided to take over after the season had finished, West Ham finished 11th, 10 points behind 7th place so there will be plenty of opportunity to challenge for the Premier League B title, currently held by Watford.

On my first day in the job I decided to focus on a staff overhaul. West Ham aren’t blessed with a huge backroom team and on first look the backroom staff were way below standard. If you have listened to this week’s 5 Star Potential Podcast you will have heard us talk about DDM – Determination, Discipline & Motivation – these are the key attributes I (& nearly everyone) use for the basis of any staff recruitment. Before we start the recruitment stage, we must start the clear-out:


Before I start talking about my staff recruitment, I’ll point out that there are some excellent articles that can walk you through creating a 5 Star coaching team, FMFutbolManager’s FM18 article is up there with one of the best and will give you some great tips and a clever staff calculator: .

Director of Football

I’m 100% hands-on when it comes to incoming transfers, but over the last couple of iterations of Football Manager I’ve been more than happy to let me DoF offer first team players I’ve listed for transfer to other clubs, I’ve also become partial to allowing them to decide if all other staff should be given new contracts and handle the negotiations… risky, I know. For this save I’m also allowing the DoF to set assignments for the scouting team and I’ll let him handle the scouting meetings. The link above to FMFM’s website has a great DoF article that’s well worth a read if you haven’t already.

When it came to recruiting a Director of Football for West Ham I looked for the following attributes:

  • Determination

  • Level of Discipline

  • Motivating

  • Judging Player Potential

  • Judging Player Ability

  • Adaptability

It’s a personal preference, but when I’m managing in the Premier League I’ll start with a 15 attribute search and match 5/6. I’ll lower the range depending on the result. When I’ve found some suitable candidates I look at their World Knowledge and I prefer someone that’s well travelled but only if it’s to countries that are relevant to the save.

So after some deliberation I took a punt on FM favourite Lutz Pfannenstiel.


Compared to his predecessor and using my own criteria, this is how he stacks up:

My Assistant

What makes you chose your right-hand man, nostalgia, attributes, reputation? For me it’s always the best assistant available with good DDM mixed with a high tactical attribute & an assistant that matches my current preferred formation.

Why a high tactical attribute? Simple, I like my assistant to organise the opposition instructions from the offset and I’ll tweak them where I see fit. The tactical attribute description is ‘How tactically astute the staff member is. More tactically-astute personnel will not only be able to coach that side of the game more effectively but any advice they may offer is likely to be more accurate and informative.’.

My new assistant is former Sporting Lisbon assistant manager, Nuno Presume. His DDM is 38/60 which to some may be lower than they would like, but I’m a fan of his Adaptability attribute which matched with his Tactical attribute earned him the role as my number two.


Compared to his predecessor, Rubén Cousillas, there’s not a lot in it, but as Rubén is Pellegrini’s loyal assistant I wanted to keep it realistic.

The Coaching Team

Much like the above it’s all about knitting a coaching team together. At West Ham there are only 4 available ‘Coach’ positions so the staff I have chosen to bring in are specialists in Defending, Attacking & Technical.

  • Guiseppe Irrea – Defence

  • Torsten Frings – Defence

  • Martin Stranzl – Mental

  • Luca Pavoni – Attacking

  • Ricardo Dionisio – Fitness

  • Xavi Valero – Goalkeeping


What you’ll notice from these recruits is that their strong DDM attributes support the best available coaching attribute.


As the save progresses and I’m able to increase the size of the coaching team we will start to add more tactical and technical coaches to the team.  


So, there we have it, the first look at the team behind the team that will contest the 2019/20 season. If you want a link to my staff views, just send us an email request or ask on Twitter. As I mentioned at the start of this piece we discussed how we build our backroom team on Episode 90 of the 5 Star Potential Podcast which you can listen to here. If you are interested in finding out more about our styles of play, make sure to ask us by tweeting @5StarPod or in the #5StarPotential section of our Discord channel.

See you next time when we’ll be looking at the style of play.