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FM 2017: Reisen er belønning

on Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:43 am
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"The journey is the reward."

Welcome to my attempt at an FM 2017 'journeyman' save. Some of my previous attempts at journeymans... journeymen... include:

  • Starting with a Cameroonian team whose best free-kick taker was their goalkeeper, and playing about three games before giving up
  • Starting in Qatar, playing the final few games of the season before the lengthy off-season, then just before the following season restarted moving to Cuba whose season was just about to end, playing the final few games of that season before their lengthy off-season, meaning I'd technically completed two seasons of continuous employment but had only taken charge of about nine matches, before giving up
  • Starting in Switzerland, being sacked, joining recently relegated Cagliari, guiding them back up to Serie A and keeping them there before being offered the Southampton job, very quickly making Southampton very good including a Europa League win and a Champions League final, being on the brink of winning the Premier League before inexplicably giving up

Hoping for a better attempt this time.

Objectives

For once my aim is not to end up at Real Madrid. It's not even to work my way up to 'the top'; obviously I want my career to have a general upwards trajectory, but I'm not all that bothered about winning lots of titles and stuff. It's more about getting a good variety of managerial experiences in different environments and at different levels.

If I could stick with this save for a very very long time, as in decades (I know people do this, I just need to work out how), there are a few things I'd like to achieve:

  • Manage in all of Africa, Asia, Europe, North America & South America, either at club level or international level 
  • Manage in all of the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga
  • Manage at a World Cup 

I'm not really setting myself any 'rules', but in the interests of advancing the 'journeyman' aspect of the save I'll aim not to stay at one club for more than three full consecutive seasons. I plan on taking a few international management jobs, but I won't be managing a club and a national team at the same time as it slows everything down too much (and very rarely happens in real life). One thing I must avoid at all costs is the temptation to reload if a match goes badly, no matter how frustrating it gets; I'll never progress at the speed I want to by doing that. If things do go badly, the worst that can happen is I get sacked and have to find another job; it's fine and part of the fun.

In terms of what jobs to take, etc, I'm really just going to go with what feels 'right'. I'll only take jobs I want, even if that means having to be patient and unemployed for prolonged spells, and equally, if I'm in a job but really not enjoying it, I won't be afraid to just resign. I'll try and keep my choices as realistic as you can be in a save like this - in my Cagliari/Southampton save, for example, before I took the Saints job I was offered the Man United job even though my biggest achievement so far was avoiding relegation with Cagliari, so for realism's sake I rejected that and I'd do similarly in this save. Equally, if I do end up at United, when it's time for me to leave there I'm not going to suddenly trot off from one of the biggest clubs in the world to the third tier in Cyprus.

I don't want to become an elite-level manager too quickly, because once I reach that level it'll limit me somewhat to the higher-end jobs and I could miss out on some good experiences lower down as a result. I'm hoping the fact that I'm not really focusing on 'reaching the top' will help with that, as normally my choices when moving club are very much driven by minimising the steps it will take me to reach Real Madrid.

Finally, styling myself as a short-term manager will perhaps make it harder for me to bring through lots of youth players, but this is a fun part of management so I'll try and do it as much as I can. I also certainly won't be adverse to signing players I've previously managed at other teams.

The Manager

Guiding us through this journey will be 30-year-old Norwegian Fritjof Mortensen



Based on the leagues I've set as playable, the game recommends starting with the lowest possible reputation, Sunday League Footballer. This is not something I usually do, but it will make it much more of a challenge to progress up the career ladder. How some random man with no experience of either playing or managing football is supposed to land a job as a football manager is a bit beyond me, but I guess I'll just have to model myself as the Norwegian AVB.

As well as his native Norwegian, Fritjof is fully fluent in Danish and Swedish and can speak English, German and French to a good level. This will be handy as I travel around the world.

Game Setup

I can't load all the leagues I might like to manage in at once, but thankfully you can add and remove leagues throughout the save. With that in mind I've loaded the top two tiers of the following UEFA nations:


  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech Rep.
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Israel
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Serbia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

These are all countries that I could see myself starting out in and then managing in for my formative management years. When I feel like I've achieved something I'll remove some of the poorest leagues and add in some higher reputation ones; when I feel it's time to look beyond Europe, I'll replace some of these leagues with non-European ones.

I've also loaded the top flights of England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Holland. I obviously won't be looking to manage in any of these for a fair while yet, but I'll keep them all loaded throughout otherwise lots of the world's best irl players will drop out of the database and will be missing from the save by the time I do reach the higher levels.

We start the journey with Fritjof unemployed. The plan is to 'go on holiday' until the 1st September, when the transfer window's closed, the season's underway, and (presumably, with it being so close to the start of the season) all managerial roles filled. Then it's a waiting game, keeping an eye on the Job Centre as managers start losing their jobs and vacancies start opening up...
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Re: FM 2017: Reisen er belønning

on Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:27 am
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16th October 2016


After six weeks of various unsuccessful applications, I was offered an interview and subsequently a job. How reassuring for my real-life situation.

Fritjof will begin his managerial career in the Danish second tier, with FC Fredericia.


Fredericia are a young club; they were formed in 1991, and as such they are celebrating their 25-year anniversary this year. The only honour they have to their name is one Danish 4th division title.

They've been floating around mid-table in the second tier for about 15 years, but are in danger of relegation this season. With 12 games played (of a 33-game campaign), we sit in 11th place out of 12, currently occupying one of two relegation spots.


My role, then, is to keep us up.

Having had a quick look over the squad, I've decided to initially set us up in a simple 4-2-3-1:


I have no idea whether this will be any good at all with these players. I guess I'll soon find out though, because my first match in charge is, erm, this afternoon.

***

Only hours after my appointment was announced (I haven't even had my press conference yet), we travel to 9th-placed Næstved. Let's try not to think too hard about the logistics. 

Unfortunately, four of the players I'd picked in my initial 'best XI' were too tired to start this game, so had to drop to the bench while they recover some fitness. Despite this, we managed to earn a draw:


I think given the circumstances, that's not a bad result, but it does see us drop to bottom of the table with 12th-placed Akademisk Boldklub winning their game. Welcome to management, Fritjof.
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Re: FM 2017: Reisen er belønning

on Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:26 pm
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19th October 2016

Thankfully I didn't have to wait too long for my first win. It was a good one as well:


The star of the show was left-winger Christian Sørensen who looks like quite the player. Three assists, and could have had a fourth but for an offside flag. He also conceded a penalty but hey, he'd earned himself that fuck-up.

Nice to note in the bottom left-hand corner of that screenshot that there were nine away fans in attendance. 

The win lifts us up to 8th - let's try and stay out of the relegation zone now.

We now have a break of eleven days to let my very tired players recover a bit, while I have the chance to get to know my squad better.
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Re: FM 2017: Reisen er belønning

on Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:34 am
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27th November 2016

Matches in the Danish second division don't seem to be very well attended.

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Re: FM 2017: Reisen er belønning

on Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:52 pm
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28th November 2016

It's now the winter break which is long. The players don't come back for training until February and we don't play another match until March. In 97 days! I guess Scandinavian winters aren't particularly conducive to playing football.

This is how the table looks going into the break:


I've taken charge of seven matches, winning three, drawing two and losing two. I don't think three wins from my first seven is too bad considering they'd won two out of twelve before I arrived. It hasn't been good enough to drag us up the table though and we're still very much in a relegation battle at the moment.

Having got to know the squad a bit, I'd say the player with the most natural talent is Andreas Oggesen.


I've mostly been playing him on the right wing, as well as the occasional appearance more centrally or in a deeper midfield role, and he contributes quite a lot going forward.

My best goalscorer so far has been attacking midfielder Dennis Høegh, with a very good return of four goals in seven games.


Christian Sørensen, who I mentioned before, is another attacking midfielder who's been impressive.


With these three I'd say attacking midfield is the strongest area of the squad.

I also have a couple of loanees who are doing pretty well. 17-year-old Jens Odgaard is my main striker:


And another 17-year-old, Luca Racic, has been doing well at centre-back.


Racic gets extra points for being a Spurs fan.


I probably won't be able to afford to bring anyone else in in January, but if I can I might look for a centre-midfielder or a full-back.
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Re: FM 2017: Reisen er belønning

on Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:34 pm
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16th March 2017

Only my 11th competitive game but already a classic FM moment. My first choice striker Odgaard is unavailable with a chest injury. My only other senior striker, Mamadou Soro, has only just returned from a dislocated shoulder and doesn't have the match fitness to play 90 minutes. Midfielder Høegh can fill in at striker but he's also out with a twisted knee. This all means that, in an important relegation six-pointer away to Fremad Amager, youth team striker Drin Gashi has to a) go on the bench and b) come off the bench when Soro starts getting too tired. Gashi has only made three senior appearances before today, all off the bench. He's not a particularly bright talent and is unlikely to develop into anything more than a mediocre player. He's real but I can't even find a picture of him online.

In the big match against our relegation rivals, Fremad take the lead on 28 minutes, but we're handed a lifeline when their midfielder is shown a straight red card just before half time. In the second half we equalise, albeit through an own goal, and considering we now have the momentum and an extra man we need to take advantage and find a winner. With time running out though, we suffer a big blow through a red card of our own - not just for anyone, but for Oggesen, our best player. With ten minutes to go we may have blown our chance at a win and also now have to be extra careful not to let Fremad back in.

And then, in the 89th minute:


A huge win in the fight for survival.
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Re: FM 2017: Reisen er belønning

on Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:13 pm
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9th April 2017

A blow as first-choice striker Jens Odgaard picks up a season-ending injury.


No one else has really convinced in the lone striker role so we could be in for a tough final few games.

We're currently seven points clear of the relegation zone with six games to go, so hopefully we can see this out even without Odgaard.

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Re: FM 2017: Reisen er belønning

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:29 pm
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17th April 2017

This 85th minute winner is potentially crucial in keeping us up. How can a goal that means so much be so ugly? How did it even go in?

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Re: FM 2017: Reisen er belønning

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:54 pm
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30th April 2017

A great run of four straight wins has seen us secure our place in the league with three games to spare. Woop.


We could technically now make the promotion playoffs, but it's unlikely.
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Re: FM 2017: Reisen er belønning

on Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:01 pm
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15th May 2017


Going better than I expected, in all honesty.
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Re: FM 2017: Reisen er belønning

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