FM16 – How do you choose a football club?

This has to be one of my questions of the year: “Who do I manage?”. It used to be such a simple decision 20 years ago, I’d pick up Liverpool or Wolves. Back then Wolves were a good challenge, no one expected anything from then. And Liverpool, well they were the yardstick and benchmark for me. If tactics worked with the Reds and failed with the rest, it was application.

So here I am again, its another save, and this time I want it to be different. I crave exploring the influences that drive my attachment to this strange digital game. Plenty of games have entered my life during the intervening years when I stayed a weekend at my friends place, only to fall hopelessly attached to a football game that would suck the life out of one marriage and become the excuse I’d use for every failed relationship thence. At least my current wife understands my obsession with writing, so much so, she asks my mother-in-law to stay over nowadays to look after my future Football Manager-in-waiting.

I wonder what my son will think if he ever happens across these words I toss out into the digital universe. My two son’s from my ex-wife don’t play Football Manager anymore, at least I should be taking some solace from the fact they don’t support Manchester United. I threatened never to see them again if they did, that probably played some part. That and a few nice trinkets worked. A threat and a carrot, how’s that for motivation?

Whenever I choose any club in the game, I need to feel a certain attachment. Probably my best memories come from Wolverhampton Wanderers, they were the originals, their tool – my first super tactic. An 8 nil mauling of Real Madrid was even used as a subject of a review in a local newspaper for the then Championship Manager, what a way to get my first paying writing gig. I was only 20. Over the years, I’ve managed clubs as small as Stafford Rangers and as glorious as Barcelona. Managing Sporting Lisbon from Portugal even inspired me to make one of my first Youtube videos, thus Bustthenet was born. It’s domain name oddly enough someone actually purchased, that wasn’t me. Sporting fired me up in a big way and probably were the driving force behind me doing Youtube videos.

Well now I’ve got to make a decision, where do I go, who will fire up my imagination? Its got to be a team, a team with history, a side with character. A cause even?

So far I’ve had recommendations on twitter from @Mr_Barnz who suggested Bristol City, now,  that’s a club with a cause. I am on the lookout for clubs that went bankrupt, and even though they did in the 80s, I need a more tragic story.  @gruellen suggested I look at Russia, that’s interesting, but somehow I kept considering Kiev for some reason, they are in the Ukraine.  And Spartak, well they are still a big fish in a small pond. My roving eye is looking at Europe, it stared long and hard at Hamburger SV and I’m even considering Kispet Honved from Hungary..home of the Mighty Magyars..but then people will ask for replications.  I could easily look at Santos, Boca, River Plate or even Venezuela’s Millonarios, but they are an ocean too far, someday I really need to manage in South America. That’s Cleons playground.

So who will it be? Who’s going to fire me up this time? I do have one more video promised about the match engine, and that will probably be my last look at it, cos I need to play FMT to make those match engine vids. So how do you guys choose a club? What stokes your imagination, what fires you up to keep hitting that continue button and missing your meals? Let me know. Such are the challenges we face whenever Sports Interactive releases another version of Football Manager



  1. I would love to see you take an important team from Eastern Europe. Dynamo Kiev would be a solid base to start with. A good balanced squad but not really built for a 4-3-1-2. More suited to play 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 (Yarmolenko!). Regardless of your choice, I will follow up your save closely 🙂

  2. Here is my suggestion:

    Why not pick Dynamo Dresden! The giant of East Germany.

    They were East German champions 8 times, East German cup champions 7 times, UEFA-cup semifinalists in 1989, European Clubs Champions Cup (pre – Champions League) quater finalists on several occations. Famous players like Jens Jeremies, Ulf Kirsten and Matthias Sammer have gone through their ranks. Since the glory days they have slumped into obscurity, now playing in the third tier in Germany.

    They play at Glücksgas Stadium with a capacity of 32.000 in the 2. Bundesliga and have a huge following in Germany. Playing Dresden gives you a realistic shot at playing top-tier football in one of “the big four leauges” with what really is a sleeping – and struggeling giant.

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