Tag Archives: football manager

Il Doria – Sampthing Like A Phenomenon

I haven’t posted an update for a while, not because I haven’t been playing the save but rather because I was into playing it so much that I couldn’t be bothered taking the time out to write and update.

Besides, the season following my last update was a pretty dull one with nothing much interesting to blog.  We won the cup, which was nice, and pushed into the Champions League qualification spots but suffered a similar February  / March slump to the previous year and fell away in the title race.

This season, however, was a much different story.

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Il Doria – Sampthing went wrong in March

Football Manager can be a great game.  It can be enormous fun when things are going well and you are banging in goals left, right and centre.  And it can induce rage and frustration like almost no other game I’ve played.

Yet that is part of its charm, and possibly indeed part of football’s charm.  The struggles and the frustration make the good times all the sweeter.  If we ever have any.

This season has to rank as one of the most frustrating I can remember in nearly 30 years of playing football management games.  From an incredibly strong position in early March, the team would fall apart and… well, read on to find out what happened.

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Il Doria – Sampthing Old, Sampthing New

Having reached the end of season two, we’re now in a good place with the squad feeling more like “mine” than that I inherited. Various personnel changes, a massive staff overhaul and a meandering tactical experiment have left us in a solid position to push on next season.

Contrary to my last posts, I’ve now abandoned the 3-5-2 / 5-3-2 experiment (I’ll explain why), so this update will be a pretty straightforward one covering what’s happened in season 2019/20.

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Il Doria – Gotta be starting Sampthing

Given my terrible knowledge of real football these days, particularly Italian football, the first season was always going to be more of a fact-finding mission than a quest for success.

In addition to my uncertainty with the personnel, I decided to add some tactical experimentation by pushing myself out of my comfort zone.  Intuitively, I gravitate towards shapes with a back 4 and a DM, or at least a holding midfielder, and it’s been a few years since I’ve deviated from that base setup.

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Il Doria – Sampthing Different

With the club and country game coming to a premature end, I was on the hunt for a new save – a decision that a lot of FM players can find problematic.  Stream chats, YouTube comments, twitter, forums – they’re all full of people asking for advice on who to play as, “what’s a good team”, etc.

It’s a question worth asking, particularly these days with the sheer number of hours that save games require.  Who wants to waste 20-30 hours of game time only to discover you’re bored within half a season?

I’ve nearly always managed to pick saves or clubs that have kept my interest and this time round I’ve opted for Sampdoria.  But, as an introduction to the save, why?

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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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