So last year I created a series in which I tried to Ruin English Football, but this time I’m saving English football. I basically created an alternate world in which top teams lost their ability to sign players meaning they relied heavily on their youth in turn creating a quality generation of English talent. However what ended up happening was League One and Two teams became huge and took over and Wigan and Blackburn won everything. If you want to read about that you can check out parts here:
- (1) Ruining English Football – Part 1
- (2) Ruining English Football – Part 2
- (3) Ruining English Football – Part 3
- (4) Ruining English Football – The Finale!
So this save has some similarities but I decided that instead of ruining another country or another simulation, I’d try and make up for what I’d done previously. This time round I’m going to save English football. I know the current national team is doing fantastically, its kind of sad that around this time last year I wrote an article on Why England won’t win a major competition in our lifetimes. That makes me look really pessimistic in retrospect. However despite how much I applaud Gareth Southgate; I’m stealing his job.
I have a few things on my ‘checklist’ that I’d like to achieve in this save:
- Climb the Leagues with the Unicorn, relying on young English talent either from my academy or an extensive scouting network provided by the national team.
- Keep the average age of the national team 24 or lower, without losing quality of players. Keep older players for key roles and rotate teams during friendlies/easy qualifiers.
- Improve the facilities as early as possible, as that is paramount to early climbing.
- DO NOT GET ATTACHED TO PLAYERS! Players will stay for a maximum of two years.
But whats that… The Unicorn?
That’s right I’m managing both club and country in this one. The Unicorn are a team in the 12th tier of English football, based in East Sussex near Brighton. To put that into perspective, my road to the Premier League consists of;
1. West Sussex Football League Premier Division
2. Southern Combination League Division Two
3. Southern Combination League Division One
4. Southern Combination League Premier Division
5. Isthmian South-Central Division
6. Isthmian League Premier Division
7. Vanarama National League South
8. Vanarama National League
9. League Two
10. League One
12. Premier League
I picked the Unicorn also because their first league only has 11 teams meaning 20 fixtures, this means I’ll speed through this first season in comparison and don’t have to spend too much on bring in players for match congestion. We are predicted to finish 2nd so I’m hoping we can finish at least top 2.
Looking like a rather tall order! My plan is to use my top young players in the English leagues to carry me through the mid tier leagues, but for now I’m buckling up for the lowest league management around. A great help for us who don’t do lower league management often is Paul Wandless aka The Northman, who has done some incredible saves with FC United of Manchester, Sheffield FC and Plymouth Argyle. He also manages a semi-professional club in South-West Norway.. IRL. Our interview with him can be found here: Interview with Paul Wandless, Bjerkeim Manager
After finding any player with over 10 pace, I decided to just play around a star attacking player; Jack Shaw. Whilst you probably think he looks awful, the 19 Natural Fitness will carry me through this season and a 195cm, 2 heading will scores loads from corners!
I’ve also brought in Carl Milton, a rock at the back of a shoddy defense, who will hopefully stop too many goals going in, although a strong 6 heading at 194cm will make me a real threat from corners.
As you can see, this is slightly different to the Deli Alli/ John Stones combination I have to work with in my England set-up, but the similarity is slightly exaggerated. Also the other issue is that’ll as we don’t have an international break, I’ll be jetting off between fixtures to attend to my other team.
So how’s it going so far? Well my club team actually lost to our U23’s, funnily enough it’s the first time I’ve ever lost to my reserves in a Football Manager game (I’ve been playing for nearly 8 years now).
However we picked up two wins out of two in the league, both 3-1 victories against Southwater and Newtown Villa. I’m a little concerned as I picked up a total of 11 yellow cards across the two games, I’m not sure if that’s just how non-league works (I know that’s what Sunday League is like though) But It’s something I’ll need to manage carefully.
So the clubs off to a good start but what about country? Well my first game is against Spain in the Nations League, and obviously that wasn’t the easiest of matches however I managed to scrape a draw… after two red cards. I’m starting to think I’m just encouraging a very aggressive style of play and I need to tone that down a tad.
So the next article will consist of an update up until Christmas, a look at my stars for both club and country and how my ties with the FA are helping surge my club growth!