I guess the biggest question of the day is, “is that the correct Roman Numeral for 16?” Thanks for joining me again, I have news much sooner than I expected hence this unexpected post.
But before I give you the news, I want to thank people for some of the feedback I have been receiving on this series, and explain one thing that has come up in the last 24 hours.
One of my followers via Reddit pointed out that he had been hoping this series would have been about building one club up into a super power, and felt a little short changed that I had left Yokohama after three seasons. I think it is a fair point, and maybe I did not explain the point of the series properly from the beginning. The series is about building a club, through my eyes – at the very start I laid out my objectives for Yokohama and talked about it being a five year plan which, admittedly, became a three year plan once I fell out with the board. However, I did achieve most of the targets I had put in place. I never really wanted it to become a one-club save, though I can see that the title might suggest that. The plan was always to progress my career as the seasons went by, building several clubs along the way and seeing if my methodolgy stood up in a variety of scenarios. Anyway, I appreciate the feedback and hope that people do understand the reasoning behind this journey.
Which brings me on to the reason I am writing again now. There has been another twist in the tale and another opportunity has arisen to test myself and get me out of my FM comfort zone.
Yes, I am about to embark on International management for the first time on FM16 and only the second time ever. I had a little spell as manager of Croatia on FM15 right at the end of my FM15 time. I cannot remember if I even got as far as mentioning it on the blog. Still, I recall getting them to qualify for whichever tournament was coming up, but I certainly moved on to FM16 before playing it. Either way I have a new challenge – managing Japan whilst managing Urawa Red Diamonds.
My immediate question, to myself, in my head, was how can some of the processes I have developed over FM16 quickly translate into International football? Considering my FM16 success to date is built around identifying value in the transfer market, selling at a profit, having high quality coaches delivering the right environment to develop players and taking underdogs to a new level it would appear not a great deal is instantly transferable.
Or is it?
If I think about it, a lot of the work I have been doing in Japan has kind of been leading up to managing the national side. I’ve identified players with dual nationality that are, occasionally, better players than the home grown talent. These players may well choose Japan as the country they want to represent. Sure, we can’t sell these players at a profit at International level, but there is an argument to suggest that I can develop the national team by bringing more of these players to Urawa and then, ideally, moving them abroad to play at a higher level – Urawa win, Japan win. The coaching side of things might prove tricky, as when I click on National Team Staff I go to this page:
There seems to be a slight glitch with the coding, as I am unable to get on to the club information screen of any Japanese club either. So, coaching might be a problem!
Underdogs to a new level however, I should be able to help here. Japan are currently ranked 24th in the world, meaning we should be able to ensure World Cup qualification.
Probably time for me to consider my plan of attack.
- Identify players that I feel should be in the national pool – it is likely that the majority of these will be players I have already worked with in this save
- As I will be using players that are, on the whole, familiar with me I will roll out the same tactic I am using at Urawa – the narrow 433
- Persuade some of the dual nationals to represent Japan
- Target 15 points from the remaining five World Cup qualifiers to guarantee we go through to the next round – you will see the current situation below
I have 19 days from now before the game in Singapore, which we have to win.
This surprise opportunity has made me commit mentally to Urawa for the time being also. I think combining the two roles gives Japan a major chance of surprising a few people in the next World Cup.
But, I will be making a lot of this up as I go along so it could be interesting.
As ever guys, feel free to comment or ask questions!