Du Malone writes: A much-discussed topic at this time of year, as the new edition of FM arrives, is what type of save to plan.
Single save or nomadic?
A popular option is the single save, designed to endure until the next edition arrives in a year’s time. I’ve already explained why this option doesn’t appeal to me.
A second popular option is the polar opposite: the ‘journeyman’. Here the plan is for the manager to move up the leagues by moving between clubs.
I dislike this option for two reasons. First, the sexist label annoys me. No, I’m not suggesting we change it to ‘journey person’: but why not ‘nomadic’?
Second, supposing as, say, the third club in the save you take over the managerial chair at — by way of example — Honved. By that time you reach that position, some seasons will have elapsed, which means you will be pretty firmly into newgen territory.
I’m not arguing at all that managing with a large percentage of newgens can’t be enjoyable. But I do find it less enjoyable than managing with actual people. If I’m going to manage Honved, I’d like to start with real-world players and staff. The verisimilitude appeals.
My strategy therefore has always been to play a save and then, when I tire of it or the board tires of me, start a new one.
I can reveal, therefore, that our manager, Grigor Pasha, will be managing a selection of clubs. By the time FM21 arrives, he will in effect have lived a number of parallel lives, each involving appointment to a club in the 2019-20 season.
The light of history
In the Black Sea region, the choice between a settled and nomadic existence has a historic resonance.
Traditionally, Greek merchants and their communities preferred the life of the polis: a settled existence in a single port. In contrast were
journeymen nomadic peoples from the steppe and places further east.
On occasion there were people who would try to do what I’ve just revealed Grigor Pasha will do: combine the two modes of existence in the hope of having the best of both worlds.
In Black Sea: the birthpace of civilisation and barbarism Neil Ascherson recounts the story of Scyles, a Scythian prince. Scyles ‘became two people. Outside the city walls Scyles was ‘a steppe ruler who commanded a complex traditional society with its wagons and herds and rituals. But within the city he became a Greek‘.
Unfortunately for Scyles, the Scythians disapproved. By consenting to become a Dionysian initiate, Scyles had ‘betrayed Scythian identity‘. Like Ashley Cole moving to from Arsenal to Chelsea, I guess.
The Scythians replaced Scyles as their leader with his brother. Scyles fled, but was eventually captured. Ascherson recounts that ‘On the banks of the river [Danube], near Istria, Scyles was put to death by his own brother‘.
I don’t know for sure whether Pasha has a brother, but it is to be hoped that he doesn’t.