FM20 – How do you choose yours?

Welcome to my first post of the new game. How are you finding it? And more importantly who did you choose for your save? Also, why did you choose your team you now manage?

Me? For the first time in years I found the whole process a little frustrating. I have just not clicked with a single save idea. I generally steer clear of the teams who are being used by the community or at least I try to, just so I do not find myself morphing my game into somebody else’s. Also, I never choose the team I support for fear that I am no better than David Moyes. (Big clue dropped there.)

How have I gone about things this year?

After chatting online about picking a team to manage I was given the big club domestically little club continentally challenge idea. And to throw into that mix to be at the helm of the international side of that nation to develop football in that country on a wider scale. The club idea was FC Kobenhavn. With the idea to do go double Danish, to steer the club towards European dominance and a national aim to emulate the squad of 1992. The idea of the Football Manager save in Danmark would be to export more than just bacon. To develop a golden generation and show that Danmark is bigger than Lord Bendtner’s ego.

This then got my mind ticking over……

The next idea came from a simple tagline….. How do you get to ‘oldem? That’s right. The team fallen from the top tier challenge. In this case it would be to negotiate the English Football League in a bid to push Oldham Athletic back into the Premier League. Well before Oldham became a team who only Paul Scholes supports. Oldham Athletic were in the top tier of the Football League pushing fellow Greater Manchester team, Manchester Red (I have not used their name just in case they do read this post and ask me to delete their existence just for the sake of their trademark.) to a close encounter in the FA Cup Semi Final back in the early 1990’s. They also got to the League Cup final in 1990 and lost to Nottingham Forest. So, this team surely screams pick me and help me gain glory. Yes it does, considering back in their former glory days they boasted of such playing talent as Earl Barrett, Graeme Sharp and not forgetting Denis Irwin who would go on to be a Manchester Red legend.

This then led to another fallen from the top tier challenge idea. Still in England, I looked at Championship side Sheffield Wednesday. Wednesday were also cup specialists of sorts in the early 1990’s. Beating Manchester Red in the 1991 League Cup final, and then doing the double defeat of losing both the League Cup final and FA Cup final to Arsenal in 1993. The team were made up of the likes of Nigel Worthington, Mark Bright, John Sheridan and David Hirst. Not only that the club has a very extensive history and still have Hillsborough as their home. Another personal factor for me to select Sheffield Wednesday was one of their old shirt sponsors bearing the same surname.

03 April 1993 FA Cup semi-final. Sheffield United v Sheffield Wednesday – Chris Waddle and Mark Bright celebrate victory for Wednesday. Photo: Mark Leech.

It was then through looking at history where my next idea came from. The save because of a tenuous personal link. I looked within, within my own family that is and decided on Arsenal. Arsenal! How am I linked to Arsenal I hear you ask? My father was born in the North East (no where near North London) and raised for the first seven years of his life in an old mining village outside of Sunderland. During that time Sunderland went from top tier to second tier football but due to finance irregularities and spending money on the future (floodlights). Supporters’ memorabilia for the normal man, woman and child on the street were expensive. And I recall the story of how my dad had asked for the 1956 Sunderland FA Cup shirt, which was worn when they beat Newcastle in the quarter final of the FA Cup, for a combined Birthday/Christmas present. He ended up with an Arsenal home shirt. I know… How sad to think a Sunderland shirt was more expensive than an Arsenal Shirt!

This then got me looking into more history. Herbert Chapman (Arsenal Manager from 1925 to 1934) and his WM tactic, yes, I used it in the last game. But my though was to push this onto the current crop (crap) and then suddenly realised there is no way Mustafi would ever get to grips with being on his own at the back. This save idea would then be a slight twist to combine the history books and ye olde tactical ideas into modern football or at least try and play an unusual formation in FM with some success.  

I then looked at a monstrous save idea of Rags to Riches by sticking initially with the last team as a link. Arsenal (Woolwich Arsenal) back to the North East. To West Auckland FC. In 1909 Sir Thomas Lipton (yes, he of the Tea and the grocery shops in Scotland) wanted to compile a European competition involving Italy, Switzerland Germany and England. However, the English FA would not nominate a club. This led to Lipton to pluck West Auckland into a competition that was held in Turin, putting them up against Juventus, Fc Winterthur and Sportfreunde Stuttgart. I can hear the cogs going…Arsenal, West Auckland. Still no link. It is thought Lipton had left a message to his secretary to contact W.A for the competition. With the secretary (allegedly) mistakenly selecting West Auckland an amateur club from the North East rather than Woolwich Arsenal, who at the time were new to the Second Division. West Auckland would beat the Swiss side Winterthur 2-0 in the first match (Semi Final) and go on to beat Sportfreunde Stuttgart by the same score in the final to win what has been dubbed the first World Cup. Two years later they were invited as holders to again represent England. Where they went on to win the competition for a second time and in doing so got to keep the Famous Lipton Trophy. They beat Juventus 6-1 in the final. Now you see the challenge…..Yes, to take this level 9 club from local level competition all the way up to continental success. I know they can’t be eligible for the World Cup but the Champions League is as near as damn it in the realms of club football, isn’t it?

I know I am still narrowing my list. I hope this little melange of ideas helps you in your quest to select the correct club/save idea for FM20 if you have not already.

Join me next time when hopefully I will reveal my save plans for FM20.