Football Manager 2021: Best Coaching Staff to Sign

Need to find the best backroom staff available? You’ll find the top coaching staff of FM 21 here.


At the heart of every successful football club is a top-notch coaching team, driving the side forward; from the assistant manager to the performance analysts, everybody plays a key part in the hunt for silverware.

This isn’t any different in Football Manager 21, with the coaching staff being vital to developing your players, keeping them fit, and drilling your tactics until they become second-nature to the squad.


In this article, you’ll find the best coaching staff available at the beginning of a new save. Some of the coachs’ stats may vary in your game, as they can change between saves to give a unique experience with each new career.

Choosing the best coaching staff in FM 21

The coaching staff selected on this page were chosen based on their high attribute ratings for their preferred job role. Others also feature due to an outstanding attribute in one specific area of their preferred job, to help to bring a more balanced backroom team for your club.

For example, the Performance Analyst role focuses on a person’s ability to analyse data and their tactical knowledge. If one person displays a high attribute at analysing data, then another with good tactical knowledge balances out the ability of your Performance Analysts team.

So here, every job role includes a table of the best possible candidates for you to sign from the off in FM 21.


Best Assistant Managers in FM 21

The right-hand man to every manager, the Assistant Manager in FM 21 is mainly responsible for giving you advice on a host of different areas within the club. They can also take responsibility for training sessions, friendlies, touchline instructions, and team talks.

The attributes that you need to focus on for an Assistant Manager include their man-management, judging player’s ability, and judging player’s potential. The man-management attribute affects how well an individual deals with the people around them; having a high rating depicts someone who excels at organisation and keeping people happy.

The judging player’s ability attribute directly impacts their ability to assess the current standard of a team or player. The judging player’s potential attribute represents their ability to appraise the future performance levels of teams and players, including several factors that can influence the outcome.

Below, you can find the table of all of the best available Assistant Managers at the start of your career in FM 21. The list sorts the coaches by their man-management attribute rating.

NameClubMan ManagementJudging Player AbilityJudging Player Potential
Javier GarcíaFree Agent181818
Richard KitzbichlerSouthampton171717
Holger GehrkeFree Agent171717
Dirk MackShandong Taishan171618
Germán BurgosFree Agent171716
Pep SeguraFree Agent161616
Peter HermannFree Agent151719

Best Head of Youth Development in FM 21

The Head of Youth Development plays a key part in getting the best out of your academy. Having one of the best FM21 coaches in this area can be priceless if they help to mould even a couple of first-team players at your club.

They oversee and judge the ability and potential of your academy players, providing vital feedback to the manager. You can delegate many responsibilities to them, such as providing reports on youth development or initiating signings for your under-18s side.

In the search for a top-class Head of Youth Development, three attributes come above all else: working with youngsters; judging player ability; and judging player potential. These ratings are paramount to growing a successful academy and nurturing your young talent.

The working with youngsters attribute impacts the coach’s ability to successfully work with players aged 18-years-old and under, in particular, increasing the chance of nurturing a first-team-ready player through the academy ranks. The judging player ability and potential are also key factors, enabling the Head of Youth Development to accurately assess a youth product’s current standard and future ability.

The table below features the best candidates for the Head of Youth Development position in a new game, arranged by their working with youngsters attribute.

NameClubWorking with YoungstersJudging Player AbilityJudging Player Potential
Bruno ContiRoma201920
Steve WeaverNorwich City201919
Ariel PaolorossiColo Colo201918
Mauro BianchessiLazio201819
Josep BoadaFree Agent201819
Jean-François VulliezLyon201818
Maurizio CostanziAtalanta171920

Best Performance Analysts and Head Performance Analysts in FM 21

Analysing data is such a massive part of the modern game, particularly for improving performances and fine-tuning the club’s tactics. This is still true in FM 21, with your team of Performance Analysts – led by the Head Performance Analyst – feeding key statistics for you to view, including a report that details the strengths and weaknesses of how your team have performed on the pitch.

For the standard Performance Analyst, the attributes that they rely on to deliver the best reports possible are analysing data and tactical knowledge.

The ability to analyse data is scored based on how well they can interpret data on a team or player and relay it in a useful manner to you. Tactical knowledge is calculated by their previous experience in football, ranging from the clubs that they’ve been at and the people that they’ve worked with previously.

Two more attributes come into play when appointing a Head Performance Analyst: judging a player’s ability and determination. Determination is classified as a person’s desire to succeed in their given role.

Below, you’ll find a table featuring some of the best Performance Analysts to sign at the start of a new save, sorted by their analysing data attribute.

NameClubAnalysing DataTactical KnowledgeJudging Player AbilityDetermination
Aldo DolcettiFree Agent18191911
Paul QuilterChelsea18121018
Michael EmmersonChelsea18121410
Peter KrawietzLiverpool17161615
Giovanni CerraTottenham16171716
Perico CamposFree Agent11161917

Best Attacking Coaches in FM 21

Your coaching staff are split into three different areas: general, fitness, and goalkeeping. It’s a good idea to hire defensively-minded coaches as well as attack-orientated staff in this area.

When looking for world-class Attacking Coaches, you’ll need one that specialises in tactical training and another for technical training. Finding a coach who excels in both is quite rare in FM 21.

Another key attribute to look for is their affinity toward coaching attacking play, which is represented in-game as the ‘attacking’ attribute.

The tactical attribute represents a coach’s ability to improve players’ attacking ability. It also shows the quality of any advice that they lend you, with a higher rating making advice more astute and informative. The technical attribute indicates a coach’s ability to improve a player’s technical stats, such as their dribbling or passing.

Other attributes that contribute to a brilliant offensive coach are their mental, motivating, determination, and discipline ratings. Each of these helps to ensure that you get the best out of your forwards in training sessions. The mental attribute represents a staff member’s ability to observe a player’s mental state and react accordingly. The motivating rating shows how well a coach can inspire players and prepare them for a variety of situations.

The level of discipline that a coach has is reflected by how strictly or leniently they will run the training sessions that they are assigned. Determination shows a coach’s desire to succeed in the job role that they’re given.

Below is the table featuring the best available Attacking Coaches in FM 21, displaying all of their relevant attributes for this job role. The Attacking Coaches are organised by their attacking attribute.

NameClubAttackingTactical / TechnicalMentalDeterminationDisciplineMotivating
Raúl JoséFree Agent196 / 1915141518
Maurizio TrombettaFree Agent1912 / 1914171314
Zeljko BuvacDinamo Moscow1820 / 161815138
Dirk MackShandong Taishan1816 / 1412131015
Jeffrey TalanHeerenveen1813 / 1815131413
Seppo EichkornSchalke 041616 / 1516131215
Pepijn LjindersLiverpool1615 / 1715151717

Best Defensive Coaches in FM 21

Just as crucial as the Attacking Coaches are the Defensive Coaches, who are tasked with keeping your defence organised and playing to the best of their abilities.

The defensive attribute, in this case, represents the coach’s ability to train players in the art of defending. The technical and tactical abilities dictate the type of training that they excel at coaching.

A Defensive Coach will rarely have good stats in both tactical and technical areas, so signing a coach who is adept in each of these will bring a good balance to your training sessions. It will also help to get the very best from your squad.

The mental, determination, discipline, and motivating attributes further help to increase a coach’s ability to successfully improve your squad.

Below, you can find the best available Defensive Coaches at the start of a new save, organised by their defending attribute.

NameClubDefendingTactical / TechnicalMentalDeterminationDisciplineMotivating
Paul McGuinnessFree Agent199 / 1816141514
Miguel QuaresmaFree Agent195 / 1818151617
Danny McGrainCeltic1818 / 1011201316
ChiquinhoFree Agent1713 / 1614131413
Zeljko BuvacDinamo Moscow1620 / 161815138
Craig FlemingSouthampton1616 / 1011161613

Best Goalkeeping Coaches in FM 21

Your Goalkeeping Coaches spend their days drilling your goalkeepers, keeping them sharp and ready for those big games. There are two types of training sessions that goalkeepers can undertake: shot-stopping plus handling and distribution. Hiring two coaches to take each of these sessions will keep their workload balanced and ensure the best performances from your goalkeepers.

GK Distribution will focus on how well your goalkeepers can play out from the back or the accuracy of their kicks and throws further upfield, as well as their judgement for passing decisions. The higher your Goalkeeper Coach’s attribute is, the more progress you’ll see from your goalies.

Paired with GK Distribution in training is GK Handling, which trains your goalkeepers’ ability to keep hold of the ball. This also impacts their ability to command their area, aerial reach, and their communication.

GK Shot Stopping training focuses more on your goalkeeper’s ability to protect your goal and their efficiency at making saves. The better the coach’s rating in this area, the more improvements you’ll see in your goalkeepers’ reflexes and one-on-one attributes.

Below, you’ll find the table of the best Goalkeeping Coaches that we found available at the start of any new save on FM 21, arranged by their GK Distribution attribute.

NameClubGK DistributionGK HandlingGK Shot-stoppingMotivationDeterminationDiscipline
Carlos Navarro MontoyaFree Agent19171811138
Diego BernalFree Agent1818187711
Krzysztof DowhańLegia Warszawa181818141417
Flávio TêniusBOT181818181718
Juan Carlos HenaoFree Agent1717179129
Alex BrunnerUdinese171717151416
Joël BatsFree Agent171717161418

Best Fitness Coaches in FM 21

Rounding out our list of the best FM 21 coaches is the Fitness Coach section, dedicated to keeping your players fit and their engines running at full capacity.

Employing just one Fitness Coach can lead to them being overworked and the training sessions themselves suffering as a result. Two coaches should be plenty to effectively balance the workload placed on them throughout the season.

The fitness attribute is key to finding the best coach to keep your squad healthy and prepared for a challenging season; it ensures that your coach can maintain and develop your squad’s fitness. A coach’s determination, motivation, and discipline also help contribute to their ability to run effective training sessions and succeed within their role.

You can find all of the top Fitness Coaches available at the start of a new save on FM 21 below. They’re arranged by their fitness attribute.

NameClubFitnessDeterminationMotivationDiscipline
Oliver BartlettVfB Stuttgart20151415
Roberto SassiFree Agent19161817
Anthony ColbertFree Agent19151818
Edu PonsFree Agent18171619
Rui FariaFree Agent18161720
Darlen SchneiderFree Agent18181518
Raúl RianchoFree Agent16161618

Now you know the best coach of FM 21 to target and make your coaching team the best in the league. So, who’s going to make it to your backroom staff?


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Dan Plummer

Dan has had a passion for gaming since an early age; when he's not gaming, you'll find him out with his dog.
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