We are only a few days away from the official launch of Football Manager 2020 on the 19th November 2019. The majority of us who have blindly bought the pre-order to get access to that sweet-sweet beta have already had a taste of the game and what this year’s iteration shares. We are getting towards the point where many community members share their tactics, skins, editor files (Check out my competition colour fix) and of course, the many fantastic blogs and stories start to gain traction.
I’ve touched on this before but looking back at my many years of playing Football Manager, I’ve always enjoyed the allure of paying Football Manager through the eyes of a manager persona. I’ve taken Andre Villa-Boas from unemployment to Champions of Ukrainian Premier League back to England with Manchester United; it was a thrill. While this is not an original idea or anything, it does help add to the enchantment of the FM game world. I hope this short prologue has given you some insight into who I am so on with the show.
Building A World
First things first, we have to build the world that this story is going to take place in. While I have no plans to create this save until the full game has been out for a few days, we have to establish the world we are going to working in.
Selecting A Team
The team we are going to be following through this save (and possibly the only team) will be Arsenal in the Premier League. While there will be rules/guidelines regarding what teams we can move too in the future — more on that late.
I’ve been enjoying an up and down experience with the beta managing Leeds United; after getting the sack from Newcastle United but I feel that starting with my boyhood team will be the best way to establish my writing style and keep a consistent story.
Creating A Manager
When I did this save last year (as I do every year) I had the unique opportunity of not having to write Arsene Wenger out of the Footballing world. Before last season, the majority of Arsenal fans didn’t know what life after Wenger would involve but then he resigned and fans were treated to the Ivan Gazidis manager hunt. This eventually brought Unai Emery to the club and he has been the manager ever since but his in-game successor was a close second.
We don’t know how the club thinks regarding gate hiring and firing of managers, regardless of what David Ornstein drip-feeds fans through Twitter. Just look at the real-life situation with the current board backing Emery while the fans unrest grows.
What we do know is the Manchester City assistant manager and former Arsenal captain, Mikel Arteta was a strong contender to replace Arsene Wenger in the dugout however the presentation slides from Emery were too much for the former Arsenal Chief Executive. Arteta has been pipped to replace his superior, with Pep Guardiola describing him as an “already incredible manager”. Having worked under Guardiola since 2016, helping the Citizens to two Premier League crowns and one FA Cup.
I initially wanted to run this series through the eye of the current assistant manager, Freddie Ljungberg and while both would promote attacking football, they would offer unique styles of play with Arteta focusing on the tiki-taka mentality favoured by Guardiola and Ljungberg looking to introduce his variation taking heavy inspiration from the 2003–04 Invincible’s side.
With the decision to take this save forwards with Mikel Arteta at the helm, I’m going to need to create an editor file to remove Arteta from the game so we can steal his life and with a new manager comes a new coaching team. When Unai Emery joined Arsenal, he brought with him a wealth of experience from his Sevilla and PSG teams, while it will be a fresh start for a lot of people at the football club, loyalty is strong with others and we say goodbye to a few members of the Unai Emery set up.
- Juan Carlos Carcedo (Assistant Manager)
- Pablo Villanueva (First Team Coach)
- Javi Garcia (Goalkeeping Coach)
- Julen Masach (Fitness Coach)
- Victor Manas (Chief Data Analyst)
All five staff members will join Unai Emery at their local jobcentre longing for the day to regroup. The rest of the staff will be made up from the team we bring in and the existing staff such as Freddie Ljungberg, Sal Bibbo and Steve Bould. I will discuss our staff attribute criteria expectations in a later post once a save has been created.
Here come the ground rules for this save, the restrictions they give and the reasons why I have imposed them on myself.
Director Of Football & Transfers
I think there is a lot of Sports Interactive can do with the Director of Football in Football Manager. I was disappointed to find through the beta that the AI-controlled DOF is just as incompetent as previous years. I find the idea of a DoF save to be the perfect way to play a save as a bigger club but then the game lets it down and breaks my immersion with the lack of interaction and hive-mind thinking that goes on between the director and the manager.
Raul Sanllehi is the big dog of Arsenal football club as is responsible for the incoming and outgoings at senior level and in my save he will still operate that role with a small change.
Sanllehi will, in theory, be responsible for the transfers and control contract negations of senior player but my lack of faith in the game to have a functional DoF system means I will take over the role while acting in the persona as Sanllehi — not as Arteta.
We can discuss the wage budget later on into the story but for now, the DoF will merely play the role of a second persona when called upon.
As Mikel Arteta, we are contracted to Arsenal and hopefully, our reign will be long and successful but two different doors become available in the event of a particular situation.
We are free to leave Arsenal the moment Spanish giants Barcelona come calling. With Arteta having the special opportunity to manage the biggest club in his homeland. I was debating if I should open this for PSG as well but I don’t think a successful Arteta would leave the Premier League to go manage in Ligue 1 so I have ruled that out for now.
Getting Sacked In The Morning
It may happen and we have to be prepared for anything. If we do get the sack, we are given free rein to go anywhere within Europe but the goal of the save changes from making Arsenal world beaters into a following the Journeyman career of Mikel Arteta as he builds himself up to take over at Barcelona.
TL;DR: Arsenal or Barcelona is the end goal.
I think we have discussed enough for now but there is plenty more to come from me and this story. You can follow me on Twitter at @lovehatefm and keep up-to-date with my content here. I hope you enjoyed the read and I hope to see you following along in the future