Searching the right club in Football Manager

I’m not an easy person when it comes to searching for the right club in the Football Manager. And this year is one of the worst in a very long time. I can’t choose some club to play within FM21. Not even the continent or nation. The more I’m thinking about it, the more I’m sure it’s because of the need to find something even more obscure or not too traditional as the year ago. I realised I talked about it even with my small son who’s reply is usually “huu” or “hmm”. I think it’s time for some change…

If you don’t remember my post before FM19 (logically, it’s very far away in some ways), I wrote the post about named Time for a change. I tried to express why I decided to move from the typical saves in Europe to unknown (for me) places in different continents.

I moved to Chile but I realised it’s almost the same due to the same league system with 30 rounds, playing each team twice. That was the right time to move to Argentina with more complicated league system. And to Mexico for FM20 with play-off, apertura and clausura etc.

It was refreshing in many ways, for sure. I usually ended far in the future in the previous editions but I played “only” ten seasons in FM20 and I spent also much less time with the game in overall.

But that was not because of the club selection. That was due to the game itself.

The map above shows destinations of my saves since the Football Manager 2015 when I started this blog. Scotland, Denmark, England, Hungary, Chile, Argentina and Mexico.

All these saves were different but also the same in some way.

Known vs. unknown nation/league/club

One thing I mentioned in the three years old post was when I play the beta version of the game with the known club. By the word known I mean mainly known to me.

I made a big mistake recently when I downloaded the edited and updated database and started the FM20 save with Sparta Prague. The club I know from the bottom to the top.

That save last around 5 or 6 days before I realised what I did again. Picked the club, added around 10 players to the transfer list, promoted young players from reserve or youth team and was winning everything. Mainly domestically.

Well, it’s always fun at the beginning but when I started talking about that save with @FM_Athlete recently in FMSlack, I immediately found out how boring is it.

To be honest, this is the best example of the save I started to hate two years ago and why I went to Chile/Argentina and Mexico in the last two editions. I knew 1 or 2 players in the team. I made it to the end of August now in this save with Sparta and I hate it in some way because it really is easy

This realisation is the best for me because it put me off from playing with Sparta during the beta because it would be the same and I would be bored very soon.

I decided I will use the Beta mainly to find the right nation and club for the main save.

My own vs. club in-game philoshopy

This is something that I’m considering the most right now probably. The thing is that I was able to make it on my own in the previous editions. I mean, when I decided to play with young players, I played with them. All the restrictions were usually only in my head. Or in some writing form.

But since the Club Vision is part of the game, I can’t think about every club because I don’t know what the club visions/philosophies will be in the game.

I can expect some specific things within the club vision but it all depends on what the developers will set in the game.

Searching the right club in Football Manager
Searching the right club in Football Manager

The save with Celaya in FM20 was a good example. I had to sign Colombian players at the beginning, the same as it was recommended to not sign players over the age of 30. If I would know about the sign Colombian players vision I would probably think about that club more because I would not know how long it can take me to get rid of this part of the club vision.

The truth is it took me 5 season before the club board removed it from the club culture.

(Ask FEO about the scoring from set pieces club vision and the fact he was not able to get rid of it despite it was enough to score a couple of goals during the pre-season)

I like to play with the domestic-based squad. I like to develop my own players and I’m very boring in terms of transfers.

It’s clear I can’t play with the club if there will be opposite or different visions. It means I have to consider possible clubs because of this feature in the game as well.

Club Vision Meeting example in FM

What to choose?

It’s the beginning of November. The month of the new FM edition release. And it’s for the first time in about 10 years I don’t know what continent/nation/league/club to play with.

I usually had some plan or at least a small idea about the next save. Nothing similar this year. Probably too many other more important things in the way to think about it.

I wrote the above to FMSamo some time ago on Twitter when we talked about the new edition and save ideas for the beta version or the main save.

The save with BFC Siófok was probably the peak of my planning. All the things connected to the “Around The Lake” policy was too good. Nothing like that interested me since this save.

It doesn’t matter how much I read, what I read or what kind of inspiration I’m trying to find around the game or even in the real life.

I think I had a list with around 25 – 30 clubs for FM21. Every time I started searching something about one of these clubs and the nations/leagues they are in, something always took me off.

  • The size of the stadium – it had the too big capacity for the type of the club and the challenge. Should I change it in the editor?
  • Too easy league system.
  • No ambitions in FM20 – what can be different in the next edition? (Mainly because it’s not a big league so the improvements and changes will be limited).
  • And many more…

Time for another change?

TedRedwood recently wrote in his great post “Der Kult : Bonus : The best of a bad bunch? this about me:

Ondrej Rensie oft takes teams from vaguely less-fancied nations and makes them into giants…

And he is right. I always try to find some big challenge. Something that will ensure I will be interested in one save for the whole edition because I’m not a big fan of changing clubs.

Maybe it’s my biggest problem. When I think about it, maybe I don’t need to find some obscure team in the third tier somewhere. Especially as I know I won’t be able to reach 2040+ same as in the past because of much less time for FM.

I started thinking about it even more when MaddFM published his post about objectives and aims within his FM21 save in France with Angers.

He has some similar aims and visions as I like to follow and he is not afraid to play in one of the top nations/leagues.

I usually try to find some outsider in obscure league with everything below average to ensure it will take a lot of time to build the club.

Not needed now as I need to change my own FM perception. It’s the only game. The game I love so I want to enjoy playing it.

I don’t want to say I will take over Manchester City, that’s not likely. But in combination with all the real-life circumstances, I need to play the game just because I like it. Not because I have enough obscure save.

I wrote this post on Wednesday, November 4, 2020. I still don’t know where I will play in FM21.

But I’m glad I put these words together as they are some kind of stamp on my thoughts.

I hope you will all enjoy the new Football Manager edition. Or you will enjoy your current save in some different FM edition. Stay safe and take care of yourself and your families.

Don’t forget, you can join FMSlack via THIS link. My channel is #fmrensie but there are many other interesting channels to talk about FM.


A Football Manager addict and lover for many years. You can follow me on Twitter or in Football Manager Slack – #fmrensie channel.

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