Tag Archives: Austria

The best way to predict the future is to create it

You’ll have to forgive the sanctimony of the quote, which I think is from Abraham Lincoln, but it fits well with the theme of this post – the future of the national team and the club’s role in making it as successful as possible.

As a brief reminder, I’m playing a “club and country” save with Rapid Wien and Austria.  The over-riding priority of the game is success with the national side and the club side exists almost solely to facilitate that.  But no-one plays to lose and we’ve managed to win the Bundesliga title in each of my three seasons plus the domestic cup in two – a 4-0 humiliation in a semi against Sturm Graz being the sole aberration.

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Austria at Euro 2020

Austria have never won a game at a European Championship, indeed they’ve only qualified twice and one of those was as hosts.  Therefore, heading into the 2020 tournament, I wasn’t expecting much from a group of Germany, Serbia and Sweden.

The Austrian FA, on the other hand, were piling on the pressure – expecting us to qualify from the group.  I’d have been happy with just grabbing Austria’s first win at the Euros, I needed more if I wanted to avoid the sack.  So what happened?

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And now for the country…

So far in my “Club and Country” updates, there’ s been precious little of the latter.  Well time to rectify that and take a brief look at the national side that is, after all, the focus of this save.

As I mentioned in the opening post, Austria’s ranking starts somewhat higher than my previous attempts.  Thanks largely to qualifying for Euro 2016, Austria kicks off FM19 as the 26th best national team in the world.  This would intuitively seem like a positive, reflecting an improved standard of player immediately available to me; but it does come with downsides – not least increased expectation.

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Squad building, club and country style

Squad building is probably my favourite part of the game.  I like tactics and I enjoy developing the youth players but that’s all part of building a squad that matches a coherent, consistent approach to winning matches and trophies.

It is, though, slightly different – if no less enjoyable – for Club and Country games because success with the club isn’t the ultimate goal of the save.  There are times when, quite deliberately, the club side will be weakened in the hope that the long-term success of the national side can be secured.  This update will provide a quick overview of how we’ve gone about that so far with Rapid Wien.

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Club Tactics – Forward Planning

Whilst early signs are that my fears of domestic dominance coming too easy look to be well-founded, I’ve still more or less enjoyed the initial months at Rapid.  The national side, though, is another matter completely as I’m already struggling to keep my job.

Having reached the winter break in the first season, it does seem an apt time to update on my tactics – or rather my tactical plans.  As always with a new save, I set up for the first half season to suit the existing personnel until I can get a feel for the strengths and weaknesses of the squad.

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I’m too old for this sh*t

Far, far too old.  Yet here I am.  Again.murtaugh

In case you’re wondering what I’m on about, I used to blog about Football Manager.  Quite a long time ago, it turns out.  The last time I blogged here was in 2014.  And for a very brief period I blogged on The Dugout with the excellent FM Analysis.

Then I stopped, primarily because I just couldn’t be bothered anymore.

So why start blogging now?

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Are you Keegan in disguise?

Following on from our successful trip to Euro 2016, our third season with club and country has been a stark contrast between unexpected success with the club side and massive disappointment at international level.

I’m not too disappointed by our struggles with Austria as it shows that there’s still plenty of work to do, as I did wonder if our quarter final showing at Euro 2016 was a sign that we’d find things too easy.

With Red Bull Salzburg continuing to provide stiff competition domestically, there still seems to be plenty of longevity in this save yet. Hopefully the rest of the league will catch up at some point but this season it would take something really special to beat our rivals from Salzburg.

Continue reading Are you Keegan in disguise?