International Management; A Missed Opportunity In FM17

Winning international silverware is considered an honour. In fact, some would argue it’s the crowning achievement of one’s career. Carrying a team to a World Cup, European Championship or Copa América can propel one’s career to legendary status. Just ask people like Maradona, Van Basten or Zidane, all of them were great players, who will always be remembered for their international exploits.

So why then is the international management aspect of Football Manager as flawed as it apparently is? Winning a World Cup or any international trophy should be the pinnacle of your managerial career but in FM, managing a national team always feels like a chore. It’s not fun because there are some obvious flaws and shortcomings in the way the game approaches international football.

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The Northman Does Moneyball

 

Welcome to 2023 and Darlington 1883, I have been at the club since the 2016/2017 season, and the fans love me, the board think I can walk on water but I am yet to bring glory to the club. Yes, I have secured us as a National League North club, but let’s be honest, this is nothing special so why are they so happy? Maybe finances, maybe our promotion to the National League Premier in 2018/2019 via the playoffs? I doubt it because that was followed with a relegation the season after, thus me mentioning that we are a secure National League North club. I can only assume it is due to me spending most of this journey refusing to spend money, refusing to give out wages to anyone who comes through the door… Making Darlington 1883 one of few clubs actually financially safe, well, -189k at the minute but with us being able to balance the books during pre-season and cup runs each season whilst others must be struggling, surely, they are spending a lot more than me as we will see in the image below.

Darlington Salary 2023

The starting point is here. We are spending less than everyone else, but we are still losing money each month, so it is now time to dive into what we are taking from Brad Pitt’s club and what we…. Wait, I have just been informed that this is a real story and it’s not about Brad Pitt, and he is really an actor… well, it seems I must delete all the quotes I had from him then.

Romantic about Football

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What We Look For In New Players; Limiting Chances Of A Transfer Debacle

He was once labelled as the “next Pele” after turning pro at age 14, yet his career so far can only be described as an underwhelming fiasco. Freddy Adu was supposed to become a phenomenon, he was destined to become Lionel Messi before there was a Lionel Messi. That is the best way to describe the level of nonsensical hype that surrounded Adu when he began his professional career surprisingly many years ago at the age of 14. An MLS-driven marketing machine proclaimed him their American saviour, and the magazine covers and TV commercials alongside Pele helped make him a household name before he ever became a professional starter.

Fast forward to 2016 and rather than saviour, Adu is seen as a cautionary tale. And he knows all too well what his name has become in the world of soccer, if not all sports. It has become synonymous with failure and unrealized potential. You seemingly can’t go a few months without someone trotting out Adu’s name when discussing sports busts and unmet expectations. But could this all have been prevented somehow? Could this bust have been averted by either player or the various clubs?

From a Football Manager perspective, the choices a player makes off the pitch, while certainly a factor of importance in Adu’s tale, are negligible to us since we cannot influence them. There are other factors we can influence though, factors that could, in an advanced stage of looking for new players warn us to stay away from a certain player.

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Planning Your Money

Football is just like the rest of the world. It is all about money. Crazy amounts of money, mostly, when football is involved. In the real world, you should plan your money wisely. I advise doing the same in FM.

In this article, I will talk about my planning. Feel free to use it as you see fit.

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The Process Of Surgically Signing New Players

When you’re signing new players there are multiple approaches to the matter. I admit that I am generally a firm proponent of the hoarding approach. When you bring in 30 new players every season one of them is bound to succeed or develop into a player who can prove useful to the cause of subjugating the domestic league or Europe.

On the other side of the spectrum, there’s the art of surgically signing new assets through methodical analysis and thorough scouting. While it’s not my general modus operandi, it is an art I have mastered along those many years of playing FM. Last week, I showed you a case study of such a surgical signing.

Again, not quite standard operating procedure. Normally, a case study is preceded by a post detailing the thought process behind the case study. As I was writing this case study, I noticed that a lot of steps had become a routine for me and as such I did not question what I was doing and why. This article is an effort to further explain the steps I have taken.

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Transfers: Using League Reputation To Your Advantage

When you’re dealing in the transfer market, you are always looking for the best possible offer. Regardless if you’re intention is to buy or to sell, you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. At this point, you really ought to take the reputation of the various leagues into consideration. Why, you ask?

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That’s a fairly decent transfer window, isn’t it? All these players were bought cheap and sold for far more than their actual worth at the time. So besides shrewd negotiating, what’s the secret ingredient here? Why does the market work the way it does? The answer to that question is fairly simple; league reputation…

I intend to show you how you can use it to your adventure when you are navigating the transfer market. It can help you get players cheap and sell them far more expensively than you had ever imagined. All you have to do is factor league reputation into the equation.

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The Juventus Gambit; Why Hoarding Players Can Pay Off

The title “Juventus gambit” is bound to raise questions. Before I explain, let me illustrate a point upfront. How many transfers do you think Juventus has done this season? Transfermarkt has the answer; 74 in, 79 out, which includes youth players. This isn’t incidental, last season the grand Old Lady of Italian football had 75 incoming players compared to 81 players leaving Juventus. The season before that, the numbers were at 59 incoming, 63 outgoing.

These are staggering numbers, to say the least, mindboggling would come closer to an accurate description of the status quo. When you look at these figures more closely, you can see that they are somewhat inflated by the sheer number of loan deals Juventus does. The Bianconeri seem to loan a tonne of players away every season, despite most of these never reaching first team status. This raises the question regarding the motives of the Turin club in doing so.

This rather straightforward question yields an equally uncomplicated answer; it’s a lucrative business to loan away youngsters like that, with the added side-effect that those who develop spectacularly can be integrated into the first team squad. Let’s take a look at an example taken from real life.

vykintas_slivka_wordt_opnieuw_gehuurd_van_juventus_foto_fc_den_bosch

The dashing youngster above is Vykintas Slivka, a Lithuanian midfielder. Juventus signed him from Lithuanian top side Ekranas, before loaning him away to Modena, NK Gorica, FC Den Bosch and Ascoli. Presumably, most of these clubs paid for his wages on top of a small loan fee. Another example of such a player is Dutch-Moroccan Ajax midfielder Ouasim Bouy, bought by Juventus but loaned to the likes of Panathinaikos, FC Zwolle, HSV, Brescia and Palermo. While we’re dealing with relatively small numbers here, many small numbers will still add up to a rather hefty sum. This strategy is what I have dubbed the Juventus gambit, and in this article, I will show you how to replicate this strategy in FM.

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How To Produce 100 Elite players?

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This is one of my historical feats in FM, something I am really proud of. My academy has seen 100 players bleed into the first team squad before, but in FM16 that took me until 2033 to reach this milestone. I have never ever reached the 100 player milestone so early in a game. So what is my secret, how did I get to the astronomical value of 100 as quickly as I did?

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The Life of Youth Developer

Youth development is such a favourite hobby for me in FM17. Just imagine the excitement you get when you get a youth from the academy youth intake, and then you congratulate your Head of Youth Development for a good job. All the prayers you done has been answered , and with a huge luck , you will be grateful for the youth candidates. And then you decide where can he be, your u18 or is he good enough for u21 or even crazier talent who deserves to be in first team squad.

europe_-clubs-list-3

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Brexit Happened; What Now?

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new”

-Socrates

Socrates believed that in order to change, one has to accept it. He emphasised that instead of harping on lost time, a change should inspire us to build something new, which leads us nicely to the whole drama that has become Brexit.

Unless you have been living under a rock the past year, you will have heard about Brexit, one of the biggest political decisions taken in the UK since the Second World War. Before the EU referendum, debate raged about what the impact would be of a vote to leave the EU. Now the country has backed Brexit, the consequences and ramifications of this decision are still somewhat murky.

While the rest of the world holds its breath to see what happens when (and if) Article 50 is triggered, Football Manager 2017 features several Brexit scenarios, which model some of the consequences of the UK leaving Europe. In this article, we want to look at these scenarios and what to do if one of these occurs in your save-game.

One of the more radical scenarios

One of the radical Brexit scenarios

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