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,

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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Du Malone writes: Oliver Jensen’s approach to training is rather different from that of our own manager, Grigor Pasha — but our readers will no doubt welcome a diversity of views.

There's Only One Ball

Football Manager Guides | Training

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(FM20) Planning and preparing for success…hopefully

Du Malone writes: I’m reblogging this post — even though it recommends the exact opposite of what our manager, Grigor Pasha, does — because I think it’s thoughtful, succinct, and attractively presented.

TheLutterworthFox presents.....

Welcome back to a post I wasn’t expecting to do but after a chat with one of my close friends in the FM Community I wanted to do a separate post explaining some of the things I do on Day One. With this save, where I’m planning a long stint (for me) at one club I want to make sure I am fully prepared to make it as successful as possible. So sit back, relax and enjoy!

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FK Mačva Šabac: Introduction

Du Malone writes: Here I’m pleased to reblog the beginning of another save from Eastern Europe (if, that is, you categorise Serbia as eastern rather than central). In this engaging post, From Eleven,One introduces us to FK Mačva Šabac.

From Eleven, One

Welcome in! So, as you can see from the title, I’ve finally selected a club to start as in FM20. I’m heading to Serbia, and managing FK Mačva Šabac.

Many of the brilliant bloggers about spend a fair amount of time researching and plotting their next moves in FM, but despite being a massive micromanaging control freak type, planning saves it not something I do a lot of (see last year’s ridiculous choosing of Frankfurt, because Eintracht is Concord in German).

This year, I knew I didn’t want to start in one of the big leagues, and I still don’t want to go back to a full blown lower league save after Concord in FM18.

So, how did I end up at Mačva Šabac? Well, chatting in Slack, researching for a Serbian league seg on the One More Game Podcast and finally, incredibly scientifically, getting the FM20 beta…

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