After a couple of games since the launch of Football Manager 16 (FM16), although not quite as much as I’ve played in previous versions of Football Manager, I’m started up a new save with my favorite team Everton. Sadly some of my tactics that worked well in FM15 are not working so well this year, so I’m going back to some trusted oldies but goodies. So far I’m only 2 games into the actual season, but for anyone who’s played this game before can attest to, the hard work starts well before that opening kickoff.
That first “day” I take over the reigns of a new club takes forever as there’s just so much to do. Luckily you do have a couple of days before the players arrive to prioritize things a bit but it all happens pretty quick. I usually want to get my staff figured out that first day, or at least my initial coaching targets and people let go. Trimming the staff is usually pretty easy, and since it counts against your transfer budget can be quite handy. I usually try to stick to less than what the board recommends such that I can bring in someone else if something changes. Here’s a couple of shots of not only my staff movements but how I have things broken up for training:
I’ll probably do some more work on my scouting staff to try and widen my scouting net, but for now I’m ok.
As for tactics and transfers, I usually lump these together as without the right players, it doesn’t matter what tactic you run. This initial season I’m basically running with 2 flavors of a 4-5-1, one with the Defensive Midfielder, and the other with an Attacking Midfielder. Hopefully its pretty obvious how I’ll split those So with that in mind, I knew I needed to make some changes as well as the changes I like to make. I’m a big fan of bringing in youth so I usually figure out what older players are ready to make their way out. There still is time left in the opening window, but I only have 2 bites on people to move out with Naismith and Barry finding the exits, and both fit the mold of moving out the older to bring in some better youth. Oviedo was a random incoming request that while not as high as I’d like, he’s never been a player I’ve featured or worked with so I figured I might as well get rid of him now. I do have a few others transfer listed so hopefully towards the end of the window I’ll get some bites. Here’s who else I’d love to move on from:
- Aaron Lennon
- Arouna Kone
- Steven Pienarr (starts season hurt)
- Derron Gibson (starts season hurt)
- Aiden McGeady (starts season hurt)
It will probably be toughest to move Gibson this window but all three who start hurt will be hard to get healthy in time to ship out as most teams don’t want damaged goods.
In looking over the team, I found 3 areas I wanted to build:
- Defensive depth
- more midfield options
- Finding someone else (preferably 2) to fill in if Lukaku gets hurt, which he already has been.
Here’s who all I brought in this season with some on loan which I’ll come back to that: (some I did find through the folks over at FM Stories Site, so their profiles will be linked)
- Balanta – Central/Left Defender – FM legend for how strong and cheap he is
- Alex Meret – Goalie – long term replacement for Howard
- Borja San Emeterio – DL/DR – flexible outside back mainly for backup since I start the season with Baines not only hurt but not getting any younger
- Rick Karsdorp – ridiculously flexible, can play almost anywhere on the pitch. I picked him up when Coleman went down for an extended period.
- Midfield – these are all central middies, and most can play at least 2 if not all 3 of the central positions
- John Hou Saeter – cheap option with good upside. I’ve had him in numerous games.
- Andre Dozzell – An unknown to me that one of my scouts dug up, seemed cheap enough and worth a shot.
- Lucas Romero – Another famous name for FM’ers out there, and I was shocked that not only was he cheap but he’s actually sign with me.
- Andres Cubas – loads of upside, and reasonable loan.
- Carlos – He’ll primarily be used as a Left winger, but probably as a backup striker too.
- Jonathan Calleri – he’s going to fill in as a backup Striker but also chip in on the right wing as needed, especially while I’m dealing with early injuries.
So this was the first year I’ve tried loans, so we’ll see how it works out. But for each of the loans, I was able to work out a more reasonable buy-back fee and one that should be attainable next season, or at least that’s the hope. But the 3 on loan are only a total of 23 million in next years budget, so I should be able to do that even without selling anyone. And depending on how this window closes and certainly January, I might have enough to pull the trigger sooner.
As for my results so far, I’m pretty pleased. I always try to get in a lot of pre-season games and usually play then away as that seems to generate not only more money but better merchandise sales. Both of my actual games were very close, and while I was able to pull out the victory at Swansea, a late Aguero goal sealed that game up for Cityy. But they were both fair results, although I was hoping I could hold off City for at least a draw.
My goals for this season are ambitious in that I want to finish in the Top 4 to get that Champions League spot, although I only told the Board top half. I’m just not sure that with this team and having to bring in a lot of your, I’ll be able to handle any big injuries that will happen.
It should be a fun year and I’ll have some updates sprinkled in before another big post in between the 2016 and 2017 season.