Picking a Football Manager save one of the most talked-about topics each year. People have their own ways of choosing a new save and it’s great hearing everybody’s thought process behind it.
I am not someone who likes the top-5 team to manage. I am not saying it’s wrong, but finding a more unique save, in my opinion, would be a lot more fun.
I always look for clubs from leagues under the radar. I stay away from top tier clubs and leagues 90% of the time. Finding a small club from the likes of Denmark, and Sweden, and making them a world force is something I love to do.
Making the club a prominent figure in the global scene Is not the only fun part of this but making the league you are in, rise in the rankings due to your club is a bonus.
History of a club is another huge thing for me. Doing a small piece of research on a club can give you a connection to a club along with the extra motivation to manage them in FM. Has the club been through a rough patch? Are they underachieving? Are they a new club looking to make a quick rise to the top? These are the sort of questions I look at when researching. A short pop into Google will really give you a good background on the club you’re looking to take over.
I have great admiration for people who like to switch teams in their saves, but for me, I like staying at the team I have first chosen and very rarely get my head turned by other clubs. If I had won everything with that club and took them as far as possible, I then tend to look more at international vacancies rather than a new club.
Rarely do I get through a huge number of seasons in FM, basically because I play in-depth and very slowly analyzing all aspects of my team for positive results. A huge reason why we all love Football manager is due to getting the choice to play as quickly or as slowly as we wish.
The last thing I tend to look for in a future save is, of course, youth. A club with good young talent is something that will always pull me in. Anyone that has read my guides or stories in the past know I always go with you. It is a must for me in a save.
Bringing through top young players to become world beaters or selling them for an outrageous price always gets the FM juices flowing.
FM19 was a make or break time for me regarding blogging about the game. It was a struggle for me to feel connected with my saves long-term. Upon release, however, it rekindled my love of both the game and blogging.
My normal choice of club in Football Manager tends to be based in Italy, and usually, it’s a club that – at best – is challenging for a European spot or languishing around mid-table.
When the news about FM19 dropped, I decided that I would change my choice of club and opted with managing in the 3.Bundesliga with Kaiserslautern. However, after I aired my choice, I soon realized that it was not right and decided to stay on the Peninsula due to my love of Italian football.
I wanted to manage a club that was iconic but not dropping in silverware. A club who has a storied past, and one who I myself can express my footballing beliefs. I thought about a few clubs; Genoa (Italy’s oldest club), Sampdoria (English connections and the iconic side of the early ’90s), Torino (one of the countries finest clubs from days gone by with their tragic past), and then the club I settled on, AFC Fiorentina.
La Viola has a strong bond with South America considering a few of the iconic players that have donned the shirt; Daniel Passarella, Ramon Diaz, Socrates, Dunga, Edmundo, Gonzalo Rodriguez, and the one and only Gabriel Batistuta. This ticked a lot of boxes for me.
I have already expressed my desire to manage another iconic club on FM20, this time in Argentina with Argentinos Juniors. However, I have had a fair few requests from followers of my blog to stay in Italy.
Argentinos Juniors gives me the chance to manage a club who finished rock bottom of the Superliga but who have a long history of youth development. The club avoided relegation on the 3-year points per game average, so they will remain in the top tier next season.
Argentinos are the Ajax of Argentina in terms of developing players, so much so that they have had a product of the youth system in their starting XI since July 1979.
- Iconic status within the football world
- History of developing their own
- A club with limited silverware
- A club who I have an attachment to
At this moment in time, Argentinos Juniors remain my chosen club on FM20, however, if I decided against managing them, I would most definitely rock up at a club in Italy.
Football Manager has been a wonderful addition to the gaming world. Despite the longer established FIFA and Pro Evo franchises, FM has always been something different…better.
In a world where no other sport is more widely adored than football, FM gives us our fix when we peel ourselves away from our televisions, iPad’s, and mobile devices after the clubs we adore reach full-time.
The beauty of Football Manager, beyond all other aspects of It, is our ability to find a bit of ourselves in its alternate, fact-based timeline. We take our knowledge of the exiting footballing world, turn on our systems, and do things our way. Shape the footballing landscape how we wish it could be on some level.
For me, I bring my two big passions – history and football – together each time I look to a new save, no matter which edition has been released. As an Arsenal supporter, I always gravitated towards them when I first started playing FM in 2006. Eventually, my appreciation of Dutch football and my enduring love of German football led me to other avenues such as Feyenoord, Borussia Dortmund, and VfB Stuttgart. How do I pick a club now? Historical precedent.
Naturally, giving a historic football club a new lease on life after the doldrums is always a fun save to take on. In that same light, creating a new narrative and building a small club into a juggernaut also has its merits, but I now find myself looking at a cities history away from football to find my reasons for creating history on the pitch.
My recent story save with Dynamo Dresden is a prime example. While Dresden has never made a true mark on German football in terms of titles or a plethora of top players – despite claiming both Matthias Sammer and Ulf Kirsten – the city itself was at the forefront of Europe for centuries.
A centre for art, culture, and advancement during its rise to prominence under Polish dominion, Dresden became one of the most important cities in central Europe. No good thing lasts forever, however, and it was during the Second World War where Dresden was – quite literally – reduced to ashes by the American Air Force and British Bomber Command.
But even amongst the ashes, Dresden inspired others; Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, which propelled him into prominence, drew inspiration from his experiences as a POW in the city during its destruction.
As the city has found rebirth off the football pitch as a centre of technology and medical research, Dynamo, a club desperate for legitimate success to mirror the achievements of its home, made perfect sense for me.
My next save? Genoa C.F.C. And if you know your history, you can guess why I have chosen them.
Perhaps the most agonizing decision I face every time I fire up a new edition of Football Manager is a fundamental one, namely which bloody side do I choose out of the hundreds available.
Way back when in the days of FM14 and before I would always lean towards simply picking either Rotherham United or Sheffield United. Sheffield is the team I support and I always enjoyed building them up from the Championship or League 1 and propelling them to the top of the English football pyramid while using a solid academy to boost the national team. On the other hand, Rotherham has had their fair share of major financial and footballing challenges and represented a huge challenge on some of the previous games have gone through points deductions, administration and a very elongated move to a brand-new ground. I would then take them over and…….propel them to the top of the English game. There was a bit of a common theme in my earlier ventures into the FM series.
Eventually, I decided to expand my horizons beyond South Yorkshire and whilst I still prefer to manage in Europe (maybe I should explore further afield in the near future) I prefer to create alternate history within the game by managing a club that has very little history at the top level. I really struggle to enjoy a game playing as a team such as Real Madrid or Manchester United who have won it all before and have the funds to continue to do so forever.
With this in mind I try to look for long term challenges that span a decade or more in the game such as taking Vauxhall Motors into the Premiership, The San Marino challenge (one that I may revisit next year) or my current save where I have created a whole new club from scratch in French football. All of these gave me plenty of chances to totally rewrite the club’s history and records screen, something which I always find extremely satisfying.
Finally, and much like Dazza I do enjoy youth development. While I have never found enjoyment in academy only challenges there is nothing better than seeing your top youth prospect go on to thrive at international level or break a club’s goalscoring record, especially in the San Marino challenge where they can develop and push a tiny country up in the global football standings.
All in all, I enjoy a slightly relaxed but long term save that I can get my teeth into so I can escape the real world for a few hours, after all, that’s what the game is all about surely?
Let us know on Twitter what makes you pick an FM save.