Welcome to the FM Newbie’s blog. I am the sort of person who struggles to find the time to read the excellent articles by the likes of Strikerless and Cleon. So I am going to attempt to write updates that are sorter in length to suit the people like myself who work a lot to give them their daily dose of FM. Having said that, this will be the only article that will be long because of backdating my save and how it’s progressed. So sit back and enjoy the musings of The FM Newbie….
So to begin, I’m not a newbie at Football Manager. My first game was Championship Manager 3 when my friend introduced it to me. It kind of disappeared from my life until Football Manager 06 suddenly appeared in my life. Sadly it caused me to lose a few friends and GCSE’s that i should have done better in, but my life was enriched by it. I played the games regularly but intermitantly until FM 11. In that game I had a save with Manchester United and England that continued until 2057. Screenshots are below if you’re interested and more can be provided.
Through 12, 13 and 14 I played FM religously (with the exception of 12, didn’t enjoy it very much). I pre-ordered every single version and was waiting at home on the day the full release came out. I managed to get Crystal Palace promoted after taking over in October with them fourth-from-bottom of the Championship table. I managed to save Aston Villa from relegation (sadly even I’m not that big of a miracle worker for this season) when they were bottom of the table and 5 points adrift. We finished 10th. I managed to take Crawley from the conference to the cusp of the Premier League in straight promotions before my Man Utd save came along. They were the good old days…
Then came along FM 15. Initially it was a struggle to get into the game. I tried Chelsea, Man Utd (twice), Crystal Palace, Luton, Wimbledon, Middlesborough, Aston Villa, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, England, Sutton Utd, a British Steel Challenge, a Scandavania challenge and an AC Milan fallen giant save. None of them really captured my attention. The on The FM Addicts website or @addictsFm I found an interesting database. On the database, all the Home nations youth ratings had been bumped up, all the professional clubs given the best Training and Youth facilities and, crucially, all the clubs had been given a transfer embargo until September 2nd 2018. However under the terms of the embargo, clubs where allowed to sign players under the age of 18. So it meant relying on the Regens coming through and your youth staff. The challenge was to win all the domestics cups with a team from only the British Isles. It’s a challenge I’m pleased to say that I have completed.
As I’ve said before, I am not a newbie to Football Manager. I am however a newbie to writing blogs or contents for anything online. I am not tactical mastermind, nor am I a wizard in the transfer market. I intend to take you through some of my star players later. For now, I’m going to concentrate on my tactics. I’m not the best at making my own tactics, so I prefer to download a style of football I want to play and then tweak it to adapt to my style. Equally I then train/buy players to play in that system. So I have three completely different tactics as my main three. Because of the love of different systems, all my players have to be versatile. No use having a player that only plays in one position. The first is a Tiki-Taka style of play:
The idea is to play completely on the front foot, not allowing teams to escape their half of the field. Sometimes it is left open to the counter-attack, but it is very rare. To prevent those counter-attacks, I have employed a half back, who slots inbetween the center-backs to make a back three. So it varies between being a 4-1-2-3 to being a 3-4-3 at times with the full-backs pushing up. The two midfield roles are fairly self-explanatory. The playmaker gets himself almost into an AM position, while the box-to-box midfielder makes late runs to make himself avaiable in the box. The forward role of Advanced Forward took some testing. I tried false 9, poacher, complete forward (on both support and attack) and eventually settled on Advanced Forward. It got the striker as far up the pitch as it could to mazimise his destructiviness. The two wide roles are equally effecient in any role, I just happen to like Inside Forwards and Wingers. I’m old school.
In a tip to @MerryGuido over at Strikerless, I used this system for two seasons. It was originally used to combat a system used by Arsenal in my save. After that, the system kind of took off and the league wasn’t sure how to handle it. For more tactical analysis on this formation, please visit the Strikerless website for some real in-depth analysis and quality content.
Finally, a three center-back system. It was originally designed to work with Bayern, but I’ve adapted it to work in England. It’s mainly used against teams playing a similar system. The crucial part of the formation is the False 9. He drops into the midfield to provide an important link between the midfield and the front line. This is a formation that is vulnerable to counter-attacks, so we had to wary who to play the system against. Whilst the idea was to squeeze the opposition in their own half like the first tactic, it didn’t quite close the gaps like the original tactic. I’m sure with a few tweaks that it would work just as well, but with the other two tactics working so well, it didn’t seem neccesary.
Now we come to, for me, the most important section. The people that make it all worth while. In the first season, I signed a deluge of new players, all under 18 of course. I’m not going to post the entire transfer history list, there were too many that didn’t make the cut. So I’m going to concentrate on the players that were a success. Also if anyone wants information on some of the nicknames, I’ll gladly explain them. However I’ll start with my captain:
Declan Willibye is my Captain Marvel. He is the one who drives our team forward when he’s playing well. He always seems to be the one who pops up with important goals or inteceptions to start a move off. To begin with, he was exclusive box-to-box midfielder. Now with other injuries, he moved into the Advanced Playmaker role. And he played each role with equal adequacy. His attitude towards the club has always been first class and he will be the captain for a long time to come.
his is Gareth Townsend. He is our goalscorer and as you can see has scored 64 goals for the club this season. Playing as an Advanced Forward, he gets himself into awkward positions for defenders, and has a geat long shot for a striker. He scores a number of goals with his head and has two great feet. I run out of compliments for Townsend as he is the most complete striker I have ever dealt with in Football Manager.
Playing on the left side of our attacking three, Graham Brock is our most brilliant player… But also sometimes our most frustrating. 8 times out of 10, Brocky will come up with the goods. But on those two occasions, Brock will be utter shite. However I am thankful for his performances, such as single-handely destroying Real Madrid in the Champions League Final by scoring a hattrick inside 20 minutes. Brock can really turn on the style when he wants to.
These player descriptions will get shorter now. David Collins is our primary playmaker. However he does struggle with injuries. Collins is easily our most injury-prone player. But he is still a top quality player.
Graham McCarthy is our vice-captain and our no. 1 defensive midfielder. Whenever he plays, McCarthy is a calming influence in our midfield and helps marshall the defence well. He also takes penalties for Man Utd and England to the point that he’s missed one in nearly ten years.
Leonidas Triantafyllidas was born in Greece (you might have guessed) but always wanted to be English. He plays on the right of our attacking three and is always the most under-rated of our attaking three.
Fraser Alston has only just rejoined the club having originally joined in 2014. However when we couldnt provide the football he needed, he was sold to Arsenal for an eventual fee of £52million. However we cleverly inserted a buy-back clause of £40million so we brought him back. Alston is a natural finisher, and is now England’s second-choice striker.
Aaron Nugent has only just burst into the first team this season. It took a season on loan at Dundee and then another one at Nottingham Forest before he broke through. A great box-to-box midfielder, he provides a great deal of energy to the midfield.
I seem to give more credit to my midfield and attackers so I have included one defender. Rob Tomkins joined us from Southampton and has been our number one left back for six years now. His style is very similar to Luke Shaw in that he bombs forward and gets back quickly in an all action style.
Every good team has a good goalkeeper behind them. Harry McPike is that goalkeeper. As you can see from the stats, McPike only conceeded 14 goals in the Premier League last season. Some of the saves he makes are unbelievable at times and he has kept us in games when we havent been on top. He is Man Utd’s and England number 1 keeper and will be for a long time.
I have rambled on for a long time now. So just to quickly sum up, my Man Utd side has won the Premier League since 2017/18 season. We’re now in 2024/25 season. We’ve missed out on the occasional FA Cup and League Cup, but otherwise we have won the competitions we have entered. We’re currently on an 86 unbeaten run in the league and have gone two seasons unbeaten. I’ve enjoyed this save so much that I haven’t moved on to FM 16 yet. I just haven’t found a save that I’m committed to. And due to the fact that my laptop is crap and can’t run it for too long. But for now I will continue this save with Manchester United. And from now on, the posts will be a lot shorter!!! That I promise. There will be some new names coming forward in the next few weeks as I rotate the squad. But for now I will sign off. I hope you have enjoyed the first post.
The FM Newbie