Recommendation of Top 10 Football Manager 2018 Clubs to Manage
With the Football Manager 2018 beta released hopefully next week we thought it would be a great idea to look at some of the many clubs to start with for Football Manager 2018. Football Manager 2018 is set to be the most realistic game ever made, and for once the game looks more complete than it ever has. With thousands of clubs to manage from over 52 nations, it’s not an easy decision to pick your first FM18 saves, or the club to choose once the fun of managing in the top divisions and buying the best players of FM18 has ended. To assist you, we’ve done some perhaps unconventional recommendations of the top 10 Football Manager 2018 clubs to manage.
This list of the top 10 clubs to manage in Football Manager 2018 will let you discover new and attractive clubs from all over the world. While we have limited this list to 10 clubs, there will come more club recommendations for FM18, once the game hit the shelves.
How To Find Your Preferred Club?
We constantly receives questions about if we got any recommendations of clubs to start with in Football Manager. While there are definitely not a valid answer to the question, as the recommendations will be subjective, I’d like to give you a helping hand in the process of choosing a new club to manage as there are some specific criteria you may sort by.
It all depends on the challenge you’d like, and the type of manager you consider yourself being. Shall you hunt for promotions to the top leagues by selecting a club in the tier below the premier division, or do you consider yourself a tracksuit manager where youth and player development are in focus, meaning your desire is only to see the talents at the club blossom into world stars in a distant future.
Are you ready to test your managerial abilities in the toughest challenges within Football Manager? I’m of course talking about a lower league management save where you go for a zero to hero challenge as you take on a club from the bottom tier of the nations league pyramid.
Or do you simply want to restore the history of one of your favorite clubs or any other former legendary clubs with a pride history that hasn’t won anything for the past years or even decades.
Here you’ll find our recommendations of Football Manager 2018 clubs to manage as we hand pick clubs with different challenges and for different types of managers.
Win the Copa Libertadores… once more!
Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield – Argentine Premier Division
For Europeans, the UEFA Champions League have the highest prestige, but in South America it’s the Copa Libertadores in companion with the Copa Sudamericana that are the most prestigious club competitions. These two competitions have both Argentine clubs as the most successful in the tournament. When Independiente has recorded 7 Copa Libertadores titles, Boca Juniors have won the Copa Sudamericana twice.
The Argentine Primera División features a range of highly recommended clubs for Football Manager 2018, but I’ve set my eyes on Velez Sarsfield, a club that has won the Copa Libertadores back in 1994. The club finished 19th in the last campaign and seems to have problems getting their rather decent squad to perform. Within their 107 year long club history, they’ve won the domestic title ten times.
From the youth ranks of Velez Sarsfield, icons like current Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, Manchester City defender Nicolás Otamendi and current Sampdoria winger Ricky Álvarez, have erupted.
Nicknamed ‘El Fortín’ or the Fort in English, it’s your task to make the home soil of Estadio José Amalfitani to a fortress that will let you qualify for the Copa Libertadores once more! You will need to compete against a number of better clubs involving River Plate, Newell’s and Lanus, but the excellent training and youth facilities will benefit you.
Luckily, you’ll have the rising star Maximiliano Romero (18) at your disposal. If you manage to let him form a fruitful partnership with talented winger Nicolás Delgadillo (19), who’s capable of crossing and the playmaking abilities of Matías Vargas (20) you got a trio for the years to come that may turn the favours of CA Velez for the next campaigns.
On The Road For Success(?)
Wolverhampton – English Sky Bet Championship
If we look at the table of the most successful clubs in England there are some clubs that stands out. Here we could have mentioned Nottingham Forrest, Leeds United or Sheffield Wednesday, as the Championship is full of former clubs with lots of major trophies from the past, but there is something about Wolverhampton Wanderers that entice me.
Not only will the club celebrate a 144 year anniversary this year as it was established in 1877, but the club plays on the legendary Molineux, the first stadium built for the Football League in 1889. While the history of Moulineux will have to stand for itself this time, the idea of capturing the tenth major trophy in the entire club history excites me, as we need to go back to the 1950s to find their best era. Their latest addition to the trophy cabinet were winning the Sky Bet League One in the 2013-2014 season, but we have to move back to the 1958-59 to find their last Premier League trophy and 1960 for their last FA Cup trophy.
A head of Football Manager 2018, Wolves made perhaps two of the most exciting transfer this summer, getting former FM17 wonderkid Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota to sign for the club. The club features currently a great mix of both hot prospects, established players such as Portuguese winger Ivan Cavaleiro, Helder Costa, Matt Doherty and captain Danny Batth leading the rather Portuguese affected troop.
Under your guidance, with the help of funding’s from the Chinese owners and getting the rather international squad to go in the same direction, a promotion to Premier League might not be very far away.
Did you know Wolverhampton Wanderers were runners-up at the UEFA Cup 1972 loosing to Tottenham Hotspur?
Take on Europe!
FCSB aka FC Steaua Bucuresti – Romanian Liga I
When I should recommend a former club that you can restore to past glories in Football Manager 2018 I could have mentioned Liverpool, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forrest or AC Milan, as they have all won the prestigious UEFA Champions League trophy. But since I want this article to show you some new regions and nations to manage in, I decided to focus on Romania and FCSB.
NOTE! The club had to change their name to an acronym a head of 2017 season, as the Romanian army claimed the name of Steaua as theirs, which means you will most likely know it as FCSB in Football Manager 2018.
With 26 domestic league trophies, 22 domestic cup trophies, FCSB aka Steaua Bucuresti are the most successful club in the entire history of Romanian football. They won the UEFA Champions League trophy back in 1985/86 and provided a real shock in Europe as giants FC Barcelona were beaten, a team managed by Terry Venables and featuring Bernd Schuster and Víctor Muñoz as some of the star players. While the result proved to be one of the biggest upsets in the European Cup history, as they won 2-0 on penalties, it proves that with the right tactic, a squad full of players that works for the team and a manager who can analyze the opponent and the proceedings of the match, anything is possible.
Formerly notable players of its 70 years pride history consists of Romanian national stars such as Dan Petrescu, Gheorghe Hagi, Marius Lăcătuș and Tudorel Stoica.
In Football Manager 2018, you will have a number of international experienced players at your disposal in additional to some rising stars of Romanian football. Build your tactic around attacking midfielder Constantin Budescu, profit from the defensive abilities of Romario Benzar and Mihai Pintilii or focus on getting the most out of highly rated youngster Florinel Coman, Dragos Nedelcu or promising talent Dennis Man.
Can you tip FC Viitorul Constanta down as the reigning champions of Romania and lead the club to new European glories?
Recover the Reputation of…
U.S. Lecce – Italian Serie C/C
In order to take up on the threads about the Wolves, time has come to put focus on the faith of U.S Lecce, an Italian club which has spend most of its history bouncing back and forth between the Serie A and the bottom of the Italian professional league, as they have never been capable of settling in the top division more than for a couple of seasons in row.
Founded in 1908, the club will celebrate a 110 year anniversary next year. After a wide ranging match fixing scandal came to light, which the former president of U.S. Lecce were involved in, the club were among two clubs to be relegated to the Lega Pro Prima Divisione, or the fourth division, and had to fight their way back to the professional league.
Since then, the club has managed to climb their way back to Serie C and a 3rd and second position of the Serie C division C in the last two campaigns are led to believe the club are among the predicted favorite to promote to Serie B after this season. At the moment they finds themselves in first position, one point ahead of Catania.
By managing Lecce it’s perhaps the timing of re-creating the traditional 3-5-2 formation or follow in the path of Antonio Conte, who started his footballing career at the club.
In Football Manager 2018 Lecce will feature a squad mixed with experience and the ambitious of youths. For the average Football Manager gamer, the 22 year old defensive midfielder Radoslav Tsonev might be a familiar name, which you can regard as the backbone of your tactics.
Other important players in your squad is forward Salvatore Caturano and Pedro Costa Ferreira. What’s certain is that the current squad has little experience playing in the top division, but an highly balanced one.
Managing Lecce will certainly test your managerial abilities. Here you will need to come up with your best FM18 tactic. You can’t rely on an high transfer budget or much budget to scouting.
Can you establish Lecce among the top clubs of Italy in Football Manager 2018?
Build on Youth in South America
Envigado F.C. – Colombian Liga Águila
We leave Europe for now and instead make our way over the Atlantic ocean to the wealth of technical talents playing with flair and agility. Here it’s only natural to think of Argentine or Brazilian players who have dazzled us with producing some of the best players of the world. Instead we’ll head to Colombia and a bit different playing style and what’s common over there, as power, strength and a more intensified style of play exists, which the Colombian national team entertained us with in the FIFA World Cup 2014.
Even thought there are a number of other higher rated clubs in Colombia to recommend, such as the most successful club Atlético Nacional, I’d like to focus on Envigado, a club that has never won the domestic league, as the club has bounced up and down between the two professional leagues. Mostly due to their young age as they were established only 27 years ago! (God I feel old now!)
Despite their young age, they have received praise and high esteem for their youth development program as they have invested in youth facilities. From its rank, stars like James Rodríguez, Fredy Guarín and Juan Quintero have erupted.
According to Transfermarkt, 16 of the 24 man squad are either 23 year old or younger, something that’s evident in the current league position of Envigado FC, as they find themselves rock bottom of the premier division of Colombia.
If you are as interested in wonderkids and promising talents as us, perhaps the idea of developing Colombian Under-17 national Yadir Meneses can excite you.
Your challenge may be to develop one or two of these highly rated Colombian talents into international stars that are sold to any of the top clubs of Europe.
Rebuild The Club of…
Karlsruher SC – German 3.Liga
We head back to Europe and to the nation of gegenpressing as it’s time to look at some clubs to rebuild according to your vision about how a top club shall be. Here the idea is to let your football philosophy influence on the running of the club by being responsible for all departments of the club, either its handling training, scouting, transfers or hiring staff.
While the German lower leagues features a number of interesting clubs, such as Fortuna Köln, Rostock and Chemnitz, I’d like to focus on Karlsruher SC, a club that has excited in 123 years but have spend the last 9 years in the lower tiers of the German football league system. The clubs finest achievements were the two successive DFB-Pokal trophies recorded in 1955 and 1956.
By rebuilding the club into higher achievements, more trophies and an higher league position, you will need to focus on getting the income to improve your facilities as it was rather average for FM17.
At your disposal, the squad will consist of current German U20 national player Matthias Bader, a 20 year old wingback in the same mould as Joshua Kimmich, Polish target man Oskar Zawada and defensive midfielder Marcel Mehlem.
From Zero To Hero
Havant & Waterlooville – English Vanarama National League South
When you’ve finally settled for Football Manager 2018 it’s time to take on a proper lower league challenge and take a club from zero to hero. For such a challenge it’s normal to select the English lower leagues as the amount of tiers and divisions you have to promote from provides you with the toughest challenge.
Newly promoted to English Vanarama National League South from the Isthmian League Premier Division ahead of the 2017-2018 season we find Havant & Waterlooville. Nicknamed the Hawks, the club were established only 19 years ago and might be one of the youngest clubs in the professional league system of England, even though I have not valid that.
Residing to the south coast of England, the club forms rivalries against Bognor Regis, Eastleigh and local derbies against Gosport Borough. Their close location to Portsmouth may let you use that profilic club to loan players from their academy. Of course, managing Havant & Waterlooville will mean that you will have no transfer budget at disposal, meanwhile the facilities are as poor as they gets.
Led by former Portsmouth and Bournemouth player Lee Bradbury, the Havant and Waterlooville manager received the Manager of the Year award following their excellent performance. Key player of your squad may be Jason Prior, who have bagged 23 goals in 53 matches or in the last campaign.
The club is no stranger to the playing level of National League South as they featured in the National League also known as the Football Conference of a period of 10 years between 2004 and 2014. In their short history, their proudest achievement have been reaching the semi final of the FA Trophy in 2014 and reaching the fourth round of the FA Cup in 2008.
Take on the toughest(?) challenge of Football Manager 2018 – hunt for promotion with Havant & Waterlooville!
Youth Development Challenge
AJ Auxerre – French Ligue 2
Personally, there are something special with France and their way of constantly develop some of the best players in the world. I’ve always been fond of the way French clubs and the national team emphasize youth development and giving youth a chance. Legends like Didier Deschamps and Zinedine Zidane, both developed by Nantes, Thierry Henry, who were once part of the Clairefontaine academy before Monaco and eventually Arsenal came calling, or David Trezeguet that arrived to Monaco and led the national team to their first World Cup victory in 1998 at home soil, are just some of my child hood heros.
With France in the front seat of giving youth a chance and delight football Europe with some of the finest talents, it’s only natural to recommend a youth development challenge in the French league. Here might AJ Auxerre be a good option.
AJ Auxerre, founded in 1905, currently finds itself struggling in the bottom half of the French Ligue 2, and have been struggling since a relegation from a 35 years stay in the top flight occurred in 2012. Their only Champions trophy were won in the 1995-96 season. The 1995-96 season accumulated in achieving a double under the guidance of Guy Roux.
While Guy Roux is a legend on his own for the club, AJ Auxerre have also developed other legendary players. Anyone heard of Eric Cantona? Or perhaps Philippe Mexès, Bacary Sagna or Djibril Cissé?
Despite AJ Auxerre currently finds itself in the back yard of European football, the current squad is packed with promising talents, both current and former youth national players of France. Get acquainted with Issa Samba (19), a player in similar mould as Bacary Sagna, Moussa Diallo (20), the attacking wing back Kenji-van Boto (21), ball winning midfielder Abdoulaye Sissako (19)and defender Evan Ndicka (18). And not let us forget hot prospect Florian Ayé, a 20 year old forward.
With an average age of 25 and the possibility to field an entire starting XI of players under the age of 23 in additional to excellent training facilities and a rather great setup for the youth, AJ Auxerre might become a wonderful journey into Football Manager.
Can you surpass the feats of legendary manager Guy Roux who recorded 36 years in row as manager of AJ Auxerre?
A Scandinavian Experience
Skeid Fotball – Norwegian PostNord-ligaen (Second Division)
Imagine taking on 1860 München, Real Zaragoza, Sparta Prague or AIK. That has actually been the case for the Norwegian club Skeid Fotball.
As a Norwegian, there are several clubs I could have highlighted for a Scandinavian experience. Rosenborg, Molde FK and Strømsgodset are perhaps some of the clubs you may have heard of. But instead of picking a club in the top flight I’d rather highlight a minor club known for their abilities to develop talents, either it is by feeding re-known Vålerenga or serve the football Europe with former academy players of Skeid Fotball. Daniel Braaten, Daniel Fredheim Holm, Omar Elabdellaoui and Mohammed Abdellaoue are some of the former and current international players breaking through from their academy.
Led by Tom Nordlie, a characteristic and profilic Norwegian football manager, who are best known of rescue clubs from relegation battles and use an energetic playing style that wears down the players after two till three seasons, the future looks definite lighter than it has been for a long time. With a stadium capacity of nearly 280 seats and a standing section, the club features the same problems as many of the other local clubs in Norway – to get fans to their stadium.
Lack of money, lack of coaching abilities and facilities are some of the problems. What it needs is attention from a dedicated manager as yourself – one who are capable of achieving success both on the pitch and who can transform the club back to their best era. The historical feats must lie behind any decisions you make as the club can be considered as a fallen giant, despite being able to get triumph in the modern era of football. For example, they have won the Norwegian cup 8 times and the domestic title once (1966) plus becoming runners-up on several occasions between the end of 1930s and the 1960s. The last cup triumph came in 1974.
Take on the colors of red and blue and test your abilities in the lower league of Norway – a challenge as tough or perhaps tougher than managing in the playable leagues of England.
The Alex Ferguson Challenge
Aberdeen – Scottish Clydesbank Premier League
Our recommendation of Football Manager 2018 clubs to manage continues with a more ordinary pick.
Alex Ferguson may have started his professional manager career at East Stirlingshire for only a season before moving to St.Mirren, but it was at Aberdeen he really kick started his managerial career. As one of the most prominent figures in the history of Scottish and English football, it’s hard to come by the great feats of Alex Ferguson. Some would even claim him to be the most successful manager ever. With 895 matches won out of 1500 played, 47(!) trophies both for Aberdeen (UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup winner 1982–83) and Manchester United winning the UEFA Champions League on two occasions while being runner up at least once, the abilities of Alex Ferguson to manage a squad and constantly rebuild it and evolve stands on its own.
Under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, a man who have won a lot of individual awards and orders for his work within English and Scottish football, Aberdeen won 8 trophies in a space of only 7 seasons. After his departure, the club have never been able to compete against the strength of Celtic and partially Glasgow Rangers.
Your challenge is to establish a backbone to the squad that you can secure as many trophies as Alex Ferguson in such a short time, and form new legendary players. Forget Gordon Strachan, David Beckham, Roy Keane, Nicky Butt or the Neville brothers as Graeme Shinnie, Ryan Christie, Greg Tansey, Scott Wright and Stevie May are all ready to step up and show their capable. At least we can hope.
It will be your task to transform and evolve Aberdeen in the true vision of Alex Ferguson. Learn more about the football philosophy of Alex Ferguson here [external link]