If you’re feeling anything like me, after racking up over 600 hours on this iteration of FM, you’re starting to get what me and my friends call “FM Fatigue”. With the new Football League season beginning last weekend, it’s easy to look ahead to the next iteration of Football Manager. Here are my top picks for teams to manage in the EFL
Frank Lampard’s Derby County went close last year, but narrowly missed out through the playoffs. With the announcement that Wayne Rooney will be joining as a player-coach, Derby could be an interesting choice to try and push for promotion this time around. There will be stiff competition from Leeds and West Brom, as well as the relegated Premier League sides. However, with a strong first team squad, and exciting youngsters like Jayden Bogle, Derby could easily push for an automatic promotion spot.
Having bounced straight back from relegation last season, Barnsley are back in the Championship, and got off to a great start last weekend, beating Fulham 1-0. Daniel Stendel has transformed the team, bringing the average age down to 23, and bringing in players such as Luke Thomas and Ben Collins in a busy transfer window. Barnsley have a great base to start a youth only save from or possibly even a Yorkshire only save.
Another promotion for Luton last season, and now they find themselves in the heady heights of the Championship after a twelve year hiatus. The Hatters had to start from scratch after financial troubles in 2007 sent down to the conference. After storming League One last year, you could look to lead Luton to the promised land of the Premier League.
The Oyston’s are finally gone, and Blackpool fans came back in their droves to see their side beat Bristol Rovers 2-0 last week. A former Premier League side, Blackpool’s new ownership are looking to get the club back to those heights, improving the town and the population along the way. Blackpool are a great club for a rebuild and a push at the promised land of the Premier League.
The Imps got off to a flying start in League One, beating Accrington 2-0 last weekend, and have settled into 3rd division life quickly. Having risen quickly from non-league, Danny Cowley has taken a lot of plaudits for the success at Sincil Bank. A push for promotion might be tough in your first season but this is a club which you could forge a long term success with.
Bury / Bolton Wanderers
Currently battling it out for the title of the worst run league in English Football, Bury and Bolton start this season on -12 points. Both clubs have lost a lot of players and are running on shoestring budgets, with Bury looking as if they might cease to exist in a few years time. This could be a ridiculous challenge to overcome, but if succeeded you could make a real long term success of a save.
The Class of 92’s pet project, Salford have finally made it into the Football League for the first time. With a strong squad and a large budget, they have potential to push on even further and climb towards the Premier League. With the foundations in place here, consecutive promotions seems feasible.
A rich historic club, Leyton Orient dropped out of the EFL for the first time ever two years ago. They bounced straight back from relegation, under the leadership of Justin Edinburgh, whom sadly passed away over the summer aged just 49. Taking charge here could see you attempt to guide Orient back to the top flight over a long save.
Morecambe are League Two regulars, members of the fourth tier since 2007, when they were promoted from the conference. Since then they’ve made the playoffs once, but more regularly habit the lower half of the table, despite never being relegated in the clubs history. Taking over here you could continue this legacy, and see how long you could keep Morcambe in League Two, or have a go at pushing them higher up the Football League.
Hopefully these clubs have sparked your interest for saves next season. Do you have any suggestions of your own? Leave a comment or tweet us @DictateTheGame.
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