The best Managers in PES 2020
Finding the perfect manager for your team can be a challenging task in PES - it will heavily depend on the players you have in your club and your playing style. For this reason, it can be pretty satisfying when you finally pick a good manager to stick to.
This year, counter-attacking managers seem to be a more popular option, as you can easily score a goal if you quickly find a quick succession of passes to your striker. However, I prefer possession-based football, so I will offer suggestions for both philosophies.
While this is a rather subjective matter, I believe this list of managers will provide some solid options to get started - but don't be afraid to keep experimenting with new formations (there are so many managers available) and tactics.
Fernando Santos (4-3-1-2)
The man responsible for bringing so much joy to the Portuguese people in the Euro 2016 was a very popular choice in PES 2019, and this year is no different.
This formation does not have wingers, so your best bet is to attack through the middle and rely on short passes.
If you have an AMF with good passing skills, you can quickly create chances with through balls to your 2 strikers. Maximum Support Range means you will find your team well spread out in the pitch, making it easy to surprise your opponent on the counter.
His high defensive line will keep your players pressing high up the pitch, which may make your team vulnerable to quick counters as well. To protect you from this, you can use the "Deep Defensive Line" defensive instruction, which will make your team drop deeper.
Alternatives to Fernando Santos
Fernando Santos is one of the game's top managers, so he will often be available in the database. However, if you're in a rush and he's not there, have a look at the following alternatives:
Niko Kovač (4-2-1-3)
After playing the demo, I quickly realized that Niko Kovač would be the first manager I would get in myClub - luckily, I got him on release day. To this day, he is my favorite manager, not only because he is a great fit for possession-based football, but also due to the team's behavior when defending.
I would recommend pacey wingers and a strong Centre Forward working as a target man, for link-up plays. If you enjoy 1-2s inside the box, you may struggle with this formation, as you won't have another striker for this action, but you can use an AMF with the "Hole Player" playing style to have more options in the box.
In the midfield, I would recommend a CMF that can work as an Orchestrator and a DMF that can play as an Anchor Man. Otherwise, you may feel that this team is lacking numbers on the defense, when you're out of possession.
The defensive line is set quite high, so I usually use the "Deep Defensive Line" advanced instruction with this manager, unless I find a big gap between my defenders and the opposition's attack.
I also use 2 full-backs with the "Defensive Full-back" playing style, or apply the "Defensive" advanced instruction to at least one of them.
Alternatives to Niko Kovač
Since Niko Kovač is no longer the manager of FC Bayern Munich, you won't find him in the game if you've just joined the party.
Luckily, there are some nice alternatives - here are some managers that share most of the same traits:
C. Valbuena (4-2-2-2)
C. Valbuena is an alias for Diego Simeone, the charismatic Argentinian who has made a name for himself for creating very aggressive, defensive-minded teams, that try to outwork the opposition and surprise them on the counter.
The high compactness will keep the team closer together no matter what, making it hard for the opposition to keep the ball and create chances.
This formation will ask its wingers to work as a second line of defense on the flanks, so if you notice your opponent relies on wide attacks, you can try to neutralize that threat.
If you enjoy quick 1-2s in the box, you can use a player as a Second Striker or opt for 2 CFs instead - usually combining a strong player with a pacey one works best.
Alternatives to C. Valbuena
C. Valbuena is often available as he is one of the top managers to choose from, but if you're not lucky enough to find his 4-2-2-2 formation, here are some similar solutions:
Ivo Vieira (4-1-2-3)
A very underrated manager in PES 2020, Ivo Vieira will make your team defend very aggressively and impose its possession-based football against pretty much any opposition.
If you take your time building up your plays with short passes, this manager can be a great fit for your team. With 2 CMFs that you can also use as AMFs, you can create many chances and explore long shots.
Defensively, you will need to pay attention to the manager's high defensive line - but this is part of his mentality, as he will attempt to choke the opposition when out of possession, much like Jürgen Klopp's "Gegenpress" (make sure you enable that Advanced Instruction and pick players with high stamina).
Alternatives to Ivo Vieira
In my experience, Ivo Vieira isn't a manager you will find that often in the database. For this reason, have a look at these alternatives:
J. Löw (3-2-2-3)
If you're looking for a more adventurous formation and don't mind having 3 at the back, there are some managers that you may like.
One of them is Joachim Löw. With only 3 at the back but also 3 up front, you're guaranteed to score many goals, but also to concede a fair share.
While attacking, I suggest using your Centre Forward as a target man, supplying through balls to the 2 Second Strikers (who should be pacey). I wouldn't pick very offensive-minded players for the LMF and RMF role, to add some consistency to the midfield, and they should have decent stamina.
Defending with 3 Centre Backs can be daunting, but if you play with an Orchestrator and/or an Anchor Man, I believe you will still have enough manpower on defense.
With this manager, players will always be closer together, making it hard for the opposition to find space. Playing with this sort of formation comes with a learning curve, but it can be pretty rewarding!
Alternatives to J. Löw
There are plenty of managers with a similar 3-2-2-3 approach, but these are the ones that share the most similarities with J. Löw: