From the Brazilian ‘Ginga’ and the hunt for the next Neymar to four Champions League trophies at a small Norwegian town least known for its football! Here are the 11 most epic Football Manager stories within the FM Community which I’ve truly enjoyed for FM20!
Everyone loves a good read. At Passion4FM we have promoted Youtubers and Streamers throughout the year with our PlayWithPassion partner program and the vision of sharing the passion for Football Manager around the world. Today I would like to set focus on some of the many FM bloggers and their fantastic writings, as we share with you 11 epic Football Manager 2020 stories within the FM Community.
My aim with this article is to give attention to some brilliant Football Manager content creators and their save stories throughout the FM20 cycle. The chosen 11 is just stories that have caught my attention as I’ve truly enjoyed the read.
Discover these great Football Manager bloggers and their epic stories of Football Manager 2020.
Most of these Football Manager 2020 stories not only talks about how the save is going on, but also let you see how the author approaches certain areas of Football Manager, giving you both a chance to learn from a different perspective as well as providing you with a new angle of how to look at Football Manager, whether it’s areas within training, scouting, squad building or tactics creation.
I hope you’ll enjoy these eleven epic Football Manager 2020 stories as much as I’ve done! If you’ve come across a great Football Manager blogger or a save story you’d like to recommend, please use the comment field below!
FM20 Achievement Hunter Challenge by Lutterworth Fox
From FK Haugesund in Norway to Stellenbosch FC in South Africa, @Lutterworth_Fox‘s FM20 Achievement Hunter Challenge is a joyful ride expanding across the world through four continents; Newcastle (England), Magdeburg (Germany), Xolos Tijuana (Mexico), Stellenbosch FC (South Africa), Athletico Paranaense (South America) and FK Haugesund (Norway).
Finishing the 2049/50 season(!) with Newcastle United in the end of May, Lutterworth Fox has put an exciting twist to his story by looking to achieve 46 achievements expanding from specific personal records he want to complete, such as managing to see a newgen record 100 goals, to specific awards and competition records, like aiming to complete the pentagon challenge on his way.
Add in the side mission of having a player from every UEFA Nations in your squad scoring a goal plus being awarded the man of the match, it’s no easy ride he has set out on.
With 30 seasons played … (so far), Lutterworth has broken down the writing to each season looking at how the seasons has passed by. Personally I enjoy how he assess new signings and how he did at specific tournaments.
Can he complete the pentagon challenge or record all 46 achievements he set out to complete? Find out by continue reading the story!
[FRA] FC Souchax – ‘The Kids from Montbéliard’ by DeRaamFM
Football Manager 2020 has been the year for France. Of the selected save stories I’ve enjoyed this year, three are managing in France. The first off is @DeRaamFM‘s magnificent The Kids from Montbéliard story focusing on youth development and producing the next French starlets. His aim of becoming the biggest supplier of talents to the French National Team and the top 5 leagues in Europe makes this story a great read. The save got one rule only; to not recruit youngsters or sign players from outside the club. This gives a nice little touch to the series, as he has to rely on what he receives from the youth intake.
What particular caught my attention and which I enjoyed with his youth development challenge was his case studies carefully assessing newgens coming through the annual youth intakes, looking both at how to develop and fit them into his tactics as well as reviewing how they have progressed in the past 12-15 months.
If you’re like me and enjoy a proper youth development save, DeRaamFM got you covered!
Cattolica Calcio San Marino – A Serene Rebirth by AlexParkin
Next in the line is @AlexParkin90‘s A Serene Rebirth where he has taken on the reputable San Marino challenge managing both the National team and the Cattolica Calcio San Marino.
Aiming to win an international trophy with the San Marino National Team by using the Cattolica Calcio S.M as a development base for producing better Sammarinese players, that can go into the future ranks of the national team, Alex Parkin takes on the journey with a long list of major milestones he wants to achieve. One of these challenges is to produce a player who records an appearance in the Serie A, another is to get the national team to qualify for a major tournament.
The author manages to balance well between the focus of the Cattolica Calcio in Serie D and the national team. You get a great insight to how the club progressed from amateur status to reaching the top of Italian football with an professional status achieving back to back promotions in five seasons, whilst also carefully looking at the performance of the national team in both UEFA Nations League and Euro and World Cup qualifications.
What caught my attention was his way of carefully addressing youth intakes, his top performers and other Sammarinese talents popping up, in additional to how he fares according to his goals. The highs and lows of the youth intakes and how he manages to develop his talents is carefully analyzed too!
The story gets better and better as he’s moving up the ranks! Discover the wonders of having to trust what the youth intake gives you in Stratmangamings San Marino journey.
[FRA] Stade Rennais: ‘Les Rouge et Noir’ by Oliver Jensen
Eight seasons in and still counting, Oliver Jensen’s Les Rouge et Noir story managing Stade Rennais combines tactical guides with short crisp break downs on how the save goes on. Using a statistical approach for player recruitment and a complete focus on youth development to extend on the amount of gems coming through Rennes’ Academy aka Henri Guérin Training Centre.
What I love about Oliver Jensen’s Stade Rennais save, apart from the beautiful titles in French, is how he shares his expertise and knowledge with going really in-depth – showcasing you how he approaches all aspects of Football Manager, from pre-season to scouting and talking about his tactical philosophy. His story hands not only tips and tricks about how he approaches certain areas in Football Manager, but also carefully asses the wonders of FM; the ups and downs with managing with a small and young squad.
Oliver Jensen aka @fmfutbolmanager is definitely one of the best Football Manager websites around for the moment, at least from my point of view, so make sure to check it out…if you’ve not already done so!
[BRA] Santástico – ‘The Hunt For The Next Neymar’ by MikalinhoFM
Finally you’ll be able to know what’s Ginga. Nothing is more Brazilian than Ginga and the beautiful game aka o jogo bonito. While ginga refers to the fundamental footwork of the capoeira, @MikaelinhoFM delves in the heart of the Brazilian culture with his youth development story; the hunt for the next Neymar.
The basic aim of the story is to create the new Pele or the next Neymar within Football Manager 2020 with attributes partly related to the Brazilian martial art dance; flair, technique and agility in additional to specific football skills Neymar and Pele is most known for; dribbling and acceleration.
With a 6 step strategy of identify, sign, nurture, develop and eventually sell talents, MikalinhoFM’s ultimate target is to see one of his newgens score 100 goals for his Santos.
It’s a top notch series looking at youth development and identifying wonderkids in detail. He carefully addresses player development through spreadsheets and compares player to player by the so-called ginga rating.
Throughout 15 episodes and still counting, he shares of his wisdom of developing youth, honestly writes about any new knowledge, arising issues and how he looks at solving them. The lesson learned episode was (perhaps) a game changer for his save, which shows you the importance of carefully addressing scouting, training and staff recruitment in order to reach new heights.
All in all, the Santastico journey is the best youth development story for Football Manager 2020 – and personally I could read it time and time again!
Comments From The Author
I’ve always been fascinated by Brazilian football and culture. After 5 seasons with Man Utd I felt an urge to go to South America for my next series. When I did my background/prep work for the new save I stumbled upon the Brazilian concept of “Ginga” which led me to the Neymar-Pelé-Santos connection.
I’ve enjoyed other creators’ attempts at focusing on individual players and I decided to try to create the next Neymar /Pelé. That fits well with my love for FM youth development and I’ve had great fun for all ten years of this series so far. I still haven’t been able to create a player good enough to be compared to the two guys above, but I’m working on it!
The closest one so far is my favourite newgen Willian 2.0. With the right nurturing and a large portion of luck he might actually get there!”
[RO] Farul Constanta – ‘Down the Danube’ by FM Athlete
Starting out with a Sunday league reputation and no coaching badges @FM_Athlete heads Down the Danube to manage in the countries along the Danube river. Kicking his journey off as an unemployed manager, he have to rely on getting called in on job interviews and scour the Job Centre for available positions. Once getting a managerial position at Farul Constanta in Romanian Liga II, the aim of attaining a Continental Pro coaching licence plus winning domestic league or cup trophies can begin!
The story is a fascinating read, splitting up each episode in a FM Feature Focus looking at some specific Football Manager features that has influenced his save, how the save progress and a Content Corner – looking at other FM content he’s enjoyed recently.
From talking about how Squad Numbering is an Art Form to scouting for core attributes, FM Athlete combines FM wisdom with long time experience of managing in the lower leagues.
His two latest installments looking particularly at youth development with CSKA Sofia in Bulgarian First League might tick your interest!
Comments From The Author
Down the Danube is a concept I came up with after delving a little deeper into my family history. My family lived in Vienna before moving to the UK and so the River Danube played a significant role in my ancestors lives.
I felt that provided a nice backdrop to my FM20 save where I could limit the countries loaded and have fun playing with some of the leagues that border the river. I’ve not been disappointed so far!
– FM Athlete
[BO] The Strongest – ‘The Lever of La Paz’ by FM Stag
If you’re like me and enjoys a great novel and literature, @FM_Stag‘s FM 2020 story The Lever of La Paz is well worth a read. Managing in the highest capital in the world, La Paz (Bolivia) roughly 3500meters above sea level, fictional manager, Fernando Teixidó, must fight both Bolívar and the altitude on their way to glory!
Laid out as an history giving you feel to the atmosphere in the mind and life of the manager, The Strongest journey in Bolivia begins. Written with enthusiasm and creativity, the story looks at everything from the tactical setup of the manager with Catalan decent but influenced by Italian football.
Compared to many other stories that focuses too much on results, FM Stag puts lots of attention to his tactics creation and utilization of player roles to get the style of play he wants, something I’ve enjoyed a lot! … And when he’s not talking about tactics and game models, he carefully assess the stats and performance of his players or the opponents.
Read the full Lever of La Paz story to find out how he did with The Strongest. It certainly brings me… and hopefully you motivation of managing in the minor nations of South America, such as Bolivia, Chile or Venezuela.
Comments From The Author
South America is always a daunting place to manage in Football Manager. The confusing opening and closing stages of tournaments. The often complete lack of transfer market value across players. The relentless pressure from clubs in the MLS, China and Europe, constantly trying to poach your promising youngsters. God only knows why I opted for Bolivia!
Bolivian clubs do have incredible names though; The Strongest, Always Ready, Destroyers, the list goes on. Like always in FM, I like to do things the hard way, so I downloaded a custom file for the Bolivian league, and took my fictitious manager Fernando Teixidó to a league with stadiums situated among the highest altitude locations in world football. Well they do say to work your way to the top. Don’t they?
Generally I love to play tactically with a focus on a midfield lever or classic ‘cinco’ in Argentinian football. I am staunchly wingerless, and love an elegant number 10. My aims for this save were to eventually make an impact in continental football, winning some silverware in the Sudamericana or Libertadores, something no Bolivian team has ever done. I wanted to do this while telling a story of a Peruvian manager constantly bombarded with irritations, from the lack of air to spiky football journalists. I hope you like it!
– FM Stag
[FRA] Toulouse FC: ‘Flying High’ by Score More FM
The final French save on my list of ones to read is the Flying High by @ScoreMoreFM who writes about building a club with Toulouse.
The story is laid out as a novel with communication between the manager and his assistant about the ponders of fitting players into a tactical setup and working with squad management using spreadsheets. The story aims to develop youth and become one of the biggest clubs in France.
His analysis of the players and his squad, and coming up with a tactics that suits his football philosophy of playing wingerless with a team ‘full’ of wingers goes into the heart of the matters with Football Manager – all those decisions you have to take, which ultimately should be strategic and planned out in detail.
[ENG] Notts County FC by DirigoFM
By combining his love for the struggles of an underdog, birds and a football club with a history (perhaps not the grandest history but at least the oldest!), American blogger @DirigoFM decided to start off his first ever Football Manager story with Notts County FC.
As a proper lower league management challenge, Dirigo FM kicks off his story with an clear objective; getting Notts County back into professional football within a season or facing the sack. Starting out as a Sunday league manager with no coaching badges, all Clive Huxley got when taking over the club is a clear vision and the highly unorthodox Huxley’s Halfback Heroes tactic (a 3-2-3-2 formation) which opts to surprise his opponents.
Dirigo’s FM20 Notts County story is a great read giving you insight to the wonders of lower league management. Most of the story is written as it’s taken from the personal journal of the manager, Clive Huxley, and as the month roll by, you’ll be able to follow the progress of the club to League Two … and beyond?!
What I personally like is the break down of News happening in the save along with how he progress each period in terms of Board Confidence and shaping the squad. And if there are any important matches or groundbreaking results, the matches are attended to.
Without spoiling the events of the story, Dirigo FM manage a remarkable feat with Notts County, going from zero to quint…. *oops!* Nevermind! Just read it to find out!
Check out DirigoFM’s Notts County save or his newest Awjizirbu Kaduqni FC save where he manage in the fictional country of Aswijan!
[URU] Club Atlético Peñarol – ‘Rio de la Plata’ by FM Grasshopper
By combining FM knowledge with a well written and thoroughly planned storyline, @FM_Grasshopper‘s FM20 save story about Peñarol really captivates you and is definitely a must-read!
Here you’ll be following the fictional character Ángel Bastardo – described by the author as a flawed persona who’s neither good nor bad, just a mythical legend who is out on his own, on a quest for fame and glory?!
Should you truly understand and learn the character of Bastardo, you should read up on his past journeys from Estudiantes LP (FM17/FM18) to Middle-East, Japan and Inter Milan before moving back to South America for FM20, but this post will give you an introduction of him.
The Río de la Plata storyline, just like any other stories from FM Grasshopper could as well been a book. Each chapter has a theme that blends the exciting story of Bastardo; his hunt for silverware and life as an criminal being the head of a Caporegime, with how FM Grasshopper handles the different areas of Football Manager through the mind and eyes of Bastardo.
Through creative writing, the storyline of Río de La Plata and its side mission of managing the Uruguayan Under-20 national side includes references to other FM bloggers fictional characters and stories, going beyond the normal FM story by making a unique Football Manager world that you immediately get drawn into.
If this story will not bring you any inspiration, nothing will!
Comments From The Author
FM20 represents the third year of Bastardo (after FM17 & FM18). His persona is probably the one I can’t move away from… and as mentioned above, the term ‘flawed’ is probably the best way to describe him. Like any true anti-hero, you need to accept the dark as well as the light.
During the Río de la Plata series we see Bastardo get another crack at football management with one of South America’s most prestigious clubs: Club Atlético Peñarol. The story arc is structurally sound: a rise, a plateau and then a far from gracious fall…all with the right amounts of foreshadowing throughout.
Without spoiling too much, “The Fall” Epilogue intentionally unravels the Bastardo Universe as a way to open up the story for even more absurdity going forward. I hope you enjoy!
– FM Grasshopper
Bonus & Honorable Mentions
[NOR] Arendal Fotball by FMCatenaccio
For the final chosen save story to recommend I had to include FMCatenaccio’s brilliant ‘story’ with Arendal Fotball. Unlike the ten other bloggers, FMCatenaccio has strictly shared updates from his save on Twitter. In order to follow the progress you’ll need to scour his twitter feed at @FmCatenaccio.
Managing in my home nation, FMCatenaccio has managed to move the club up from the 2nd Division of Norway (third tier – PostNord ligaen avd. 1) to Eliteserien and Champions League football. The minor semi-professional club, Arendal Fotball, where established in 2010 and have no huge merits to talk about.
Under the managerial position of FMCatenaccio they have won 4 Champions League trophies, 16th(!) Eliteserien trophies (surpassing Nils Arne Eggen and Rosenborg records (who only managed 13 in row), one Europa League, 9 NM trophies, 2 years in the row with 100% win ratio – scoring 128 goals, conceding just 3, FMCatenaccio has basically rounded FM20. He has recorded 2125 goals scored in the entire career, only 416 conceded, and won 686 matches only losing 68 out of 853 matches played. Click here for an overview of trophies won.
Through tweets he brings you his selected tactics, while talking about his intention with the setup and lovely goals and movements that has come out of it.
And that my friend is truly what’s Football Manager is about – creating long living memories and becoming a true club legend!
Website Link: FMCatenaccio on WordPress