When It Just Isn’t Working…

Du Malone writes: On our Links page we have links to a couple of posts on what to do when you’re in a crisis. This post, which we reblog from The Tactical Annals, isn’t quite that. Rather it’s about what to do when you start off and find that performances are mediocre.

The Tactical Annals

Football Manager 2020 - game artworks at Riot PixelsYes, I am back on Football Manager, finally. After my much documented (if you follow me on Twitter (@JLAspey) technical problems with my laptop I have eventually been able to afford a new laptop – thanks to all who helped me pick one – and given our current existence of lockdown and me working from home as a teacher, I’ve had plenty of time to get back into FM20. Despite that, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been easy, but more on that later. Before I continue, I do want to plug “The Italian Job”, a new Twitch series I’m doing with my good friends @watadam20 and @turntostone_ as we manage in Italy Image result for italy flag gif *insert Gazzetta theme*. I’m managing Sampdoria, and keep up with my Twitter for more info about when we’ll stream etc.

Anyway, back to my exploits since returning to FM20. My save is with Torpedo Zhodino…

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FK Mačva Šabac: 2022/23: Great Expectations

Du Malone writes: Again I’m pleased to reblog a post from From Eleven, One about his save in Serbia. Us Balkan-based FMers need to support each other. I do like the way that he writes with a spring in his step.

From Eleven, One

Welcome back to Serbia! Last time out, I spent more time than ever putting a totally fool-proof plan together. Today we’ll cover the fact that I’ve assembled the best looking squad I’ve had thus far, and given my own FM history, the fact it’s taken me more than a month to update you must be a good sign, right?

As the season took me so long to play (and write), I’m going to power through the whole thing in one hit today. Fear not, I’ll be keeping the word count well under control.

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Enganches, FM21, creative writing, and whisky: the FM Stag interview

Du Malone writes: I much enjoy reading FM Stag's online content, not least because of the sheer quality of his writing, so I was very pleased to have the opportunity to interview him for site. Before we focus on FM, I’d be interested to hear about your involvement, in whatever role, with non-virtual football… Outside … Continue reading Enganches, FM21, creative writing, and whisky: the FM Stag interview

Playing FM and creating content: our interview with An Old Lady Plays

Du Malone writes: I first came across Cait, aka @OldLadyPlays, via Twitter. I made use of her generous offer to advise on the pronunciation of foreign mames. I then discovered her YouTube series of advanced tips, each instalment of which typically lasts a few minutes. I do appreciate brevity when it comes to video! The … Continue reading Playing FM and creating content: our interview with An Old Lady Plays

Down the Danube | #1 – Starting as Unemployed

Du Malone writes: I’m delighted to see that FMathlete has resumed his ‘Down the Danube’ blog. For me, it has two points of interest, namely: (1) its geographical proximity to the Black Sea region — in fact, in this post FMathlete’s manager takes up the post at Farul Constanta, on the Black Sea coast — who knows, we may one day see our own manager, Grigor Pasha, working there; and (2) it’s well written. In addition, I was interested to read the comments on starting unemployed, an option I’ve never even experimented with. Enjoy. – and subscribe to his blog!


Hello again and welcome back to my FM20 blog series, Down the Danube. This post is coming to you much later than I initially anticipated, but real life got in the way of getting this released sooner. In case you missed the introductory blog post, you can catch up on that here.

Otherwise, here’s a quick recap for anyonee who may have forgotten the intent of this save. Down the Danube will document the life and career of Frank M. Athlete, a journeyman manager who will be working within the nine countries that the River Danube flows through (or alongside) and that are in the game. These are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine with Moldova being left out due to them not being playable in FM20. I’ve not got any specific rules about the clubs I’ll be managing and their proximity to the Danube…

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FM20 | How To Turn Around a Bad Run

Du Malone writes: I reblog this post because it represents an example of the value of reflective learning on FM. In particular the post faces up to a number of temptations that seem to me, from my consumption of podcasts and other blogs, widespread. These include:

  1. assuming you can just choose a tactic at the start of a save and run with it, as if other teams will never wise up to it;
  2. selecting players on auto-pilot (and as a result lacking ruthlessness);
  3. thinking attributes are all that matters; and
  4. not recognising the value of BOTH continuity and change.

according to FM

Arresting a slide has proven to be one of football managements more difficult tasks. By the time the clocks go back, the board and fans have generally had time to assess the managers performance and decided if they should be under pressure or not. Turning around a bad run of form in FM20 can be the difference between keeping your job, or clicking ‘return from holiday when offered an interview’.

Under the new club vision tab a manager now has the ability to see what they are being judged on, but it also would appear that we are judged on far more areas than before. Be it style of play, on pitch performance or the finances around transfers, each decision we make as a manager can turn the game against us. So why do I start an article by writing about turning around poor form or battling board pressure? Simple…

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Du Malone writes: I’m drawn to this blog in part because I’m interested in FM blogs that exhibit a sense of topophilia — especially in eastern Europe. I also like those that are stylishly expressed. In my opinion, this blog ticks both boxes. It is also somewhat edgy: nobody could accuse FM Hairdryer of playing safe! I’m not sure, though, that ‘playing a straight bat’ is a Serbian idiom.

The Hairdryer Treatment

Controversy Reigns Supreme as Smoje Takes Charge

June 4 2019, 12:43 PM,EuroSports.com

Strife and turmoil seem to be headed in abundance towards the famed Marakana as there seems to be no end to the controversy surrounding the new managerial appointment. President Svetozar Mijailovic, already under under heavy criticism from multiple quarters, for handpicking a Croat to take over the reigns of the biggest football club in Serbia, would have been hoping for the new manager’s 1st rendezvous with the press to be a smooth and tepid affair. To his horror, one would presume, that was hardly the case.

Andrej Smoje began well enough. There were the expected platitudes to the great club he was joining and humble graciousness towards the President for providing him with the incredible opportunity. Perfectly straight bat answers to the routine questions which were raised towards him. Truth be told, the man looked visibly excited and…

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Dogma No More – Part 1

Du Malone writes: I hesitate to reblog two posts on the same day, but I have just come across this and thinks it’s excellent. The main attraction for me is the hard-headedness of the cost/benefit analysis of youth development. I’m also intrigued by the developing pragmatism vs dogma theme: I hope they’ll be more of that.

Tommys Boy on Football Manager

“I think I’ve seen that film. With the two dopey guys and that Mexican lassie wi’ the big -“

“Dogmatic! I said I can’t be so dogmatic, Keith. Nothing to do with a film”

My exasperation came from trying to explain that with our budget and the club’s vision of youth development we had to be flexible with our tactics and our economics. To be more pragmatic and less fixated on my own tactical preference.

“Besides Mallrats is a much better film”

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If you are an FM content creator, are you running a risk?

Du Malone writes: The field of content creation around FM is flourishing. There are podcasts, videos, livestreams, designs (kits, logos, skins), and databases. Blogging, in particular, is booming, FM Library's burgeoning list shows. All of which is great -- but I do have one concern: people may, in their enthusiasm, be disrespecting intellectual property (IP) rights … Continue reading If you are an FM content creator, are you running a risk?

The RE-Builders of Pripyat: A Valeriy Lobanovskiy tactical recreation

Du Malone writes: For its blend of football history, tactics, and FM, I hereby designate this post, reblogged from FM Eadster, as an instant classic.


Little more than nine days after the disaster at Chernobyl, with radioactive isotopes still falling across Western Europe, Soviet Cup Winners, Dynamo Kyiv lined up to play Spanish giants Atlético Madrid in the final of the Cup Winners Cup in Lyon. Kyiv sits only 100Km to the south of Chernobyl and the Kyiv youth sides, including a nine-year-old Andriy Schevchenko, had already been evacuated to a camp near the Black Sea.

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