The Taste the Feeling Slack Q+A

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If you are reading this and not already part of the FMSlack group then you are missing out on one of the best ways to be part of the football manager community. Slack has several advantages over Twitter in the way it is a real time conversation and it almost unlimited in its character count. Many of the ideas you will read over the coming weeks will be first discussed over there. In Slack the Higher Tempo Press has its own channel where writers and fans of the content can discuss. What follows is the first writer Q&A session with Taste the Feeling writer Stewart (reids1).

FMAdventure, the writer behind ‘Kosovo’ asked “Has the Taste The Feeling series changed how you’ll play FM in future or will you look forward to going back to a one club save?”

How I used to play previously influenced this! This is actually my 3rd FM multi team save. It’s something I’d previously researched a lot as I’m a Watford fan (who have the same owners as Udinese and Granada – up until it was sold over the summer) so I’d done plenty of reading up on it previously (including an article that should’ve been a dissertation – http://outsideoftheboot.com/2014/12/21/multi-club-ownerships-the-future-of-football/)

I’d previously done a Watford/Udinese/Granada one, a Tottenham/Wealdstone and another club I can’t remember. Then last year I did Charlton/Standard Liege/Alcorcon. Don’t think I’ll be doing it again though, but I’m sure I’ll get lulled into it.

Writer of ‘Brexit Means Brexit’ FMcmp1985 asks “Do you ever regret taking on so many clubs, or is it still enjoyable?”

It is still enjoyable! I mean it’s ridiculously time consuming as you’d imagine, having to check all the scout reports monthly and of course my development cycle (I change individual training for every player every 3 months) takes an absolute age, but I still find it fulfilling and I’ll definitely keep playing the save even when Taste The Feeling comes to an end (which is soon sadly!). But nothing beats the feeling of having multiple regens come through at each team every season, or qualifying for Europe with not just one team, but 3 teams! Shows the effectiveness of the model and that keeps me going. Obviously if the model didn’t work I’m sure I’d feel a bit differently about it!

“What were the biggest obstacles during the early seasons of Taste the Feeling?”

Definitely the lack of money and lack of reputation. Not many regens touted for stardom want to come to a Pro League B club! So obviously you have to make the best of what players don’t mind coming to you. Promotion was the main factor that would see the model expand but I failed on the last day of the season I believe, so had to spend another season in the Pro League B which was gutting. The lack of money meant I had to pass up plenty of talent in the first couple of seasons but as soon as I got that first multi million pound transfer it was relatively straight forward to expand from there!

What tips would you give to anyone looking to try a multi team save themselves?

Interesting one that. I’d say it depends on your personality whether you should attempt it or not. If you’re massively interested in the off-the pitch aspect of football then I wouldn’t recommend it. If you’re not afraid of spending an hour to get through a week though, go for it!

As for actual tips I’ve got a few:

– Don’t overstretch yourself. It was very tempting to add more clubs quicker than I did (I believe I added a new club every two seasons or so). I actually think I have expanded almost too quickly (although the recruitments still been good and adequate just about!).

– Don’t buy a player just to fill gaps. All my worst buys have because I urgently needed a player at LB for instance so just bought one who was cheap and available as the system hadn’t flagged any good options there. I would’ve been better off playing a youth player in 75% of the cases

– Don’t stress if you’re having a bad season with a team!

TryingToBePep, who has just brought two new series to HTP ‘Rising through the ranks’ and ‘Tottaly Rad’ asks “Do you have a favourite club out of the ones you took over? And why?”

Ooooooo, don’t let the other clubs hear this but I do seems to unconsciously favour Antwerp. It’s not something I really noticed or thought about until the start of last season when I realised I was signing every player for Antwerp even though Leiria or probably even Silkeborg could afford them and they’d probably accept a move there! But they do hold a special place in my heart as they’ve been with me since the beginning and I’m sure I’m deemed as a legend amongst the virtual fans – despite not winning the title yet! I’m sure as time goes on though I feel Sunderland will over-take them as my favourite, especially if I manage to nab a European campaign with them!

Slack user @leemond posted the question “how do you ensure players join your other clubs on loan or even for a fee? The reason I ask is because I tried this myself ages ago and found players unwilling to enter into contract talks with the other club”

I don’t! If they don’t want to move somewhere I don’t force them, they either don’t play (until they end up requesting a loan), get loaned out to another club or sold. Luckily it’s not really something I’ve had too much trouble with yet as most of the clubs are around the same reputation I believe (and most play in Europe or are title challengers). I’m sure I’ll experience this problem more now I’ve got Sunderland in the PL though as the more expensive players that will be joining our system may be more reluctant to head off to Belgium or Denmark, already had it with an 18 year old Argentinean that came over in the summer and he had too to go off to a club in Holland as he didn’t want to play for any of my other teams!

The creator of the FMSlack and writer on Occasional FM FM_Samo asks “what kind of brands would you see as best suited to this kind of strategy in the non-FM world?”

This is something I’ve thought about a lot for reasons I can’t disclose (oooooo!). But I think in the future (I’m talking 15-25 years here) every club will be owned by owners with multiple teams. It’ll mostly be companies involved in food/drink as that makes perfect sense from a merchandising sense (so for instance Coca Cola will only sell drinks from the Coca Cola brand, and there’s lots of those!). So Coca Cola, Pepsi, McDonalds (big mac at half-time!), Mars etc would all work in the real world right now. I also think sports companies like Nike and Adidas could easily branch out. They could manufacture their own kits, sign only players that have deals with their brand etc. Nike already have an academy so it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility for them to expand that into pro football.

In the future though the sky is the limit, we’re at a point now where money in football is huge and I’m sure people are taking notice of that fact and it makes sense to have a feeder club so you can have so much more control over your players development if they aren’t first team ready yet. More and more clubs are now starting to do this (Monaco recently purchased Cercle Brugge in Belgium and I believe the PSG owners own Eupen – also in Belgium) and I wouldn’t be surprised if banks, tech companies etc all got involved as well, although this is very much in the future.

Looking for more information on how his players are used Slack user @Deansy97 asks “Do you play players in their preferred role or go by stats. For instance, if a players is a CF(a) but has the attributes to play W(a)”

This is something I actually haven’t done a lot of. I said in one of the initial planning posts I’d look for versatile players who are well versed in multiple positions and would play them there to develop a wider set of skills hopefully with them ending up as better players. The first few seasons I sort of did it (still not nearly as much as I thought I would though!) but as the model has evolved and all the clubs have grown it hasn’t really taken off – as I always have so much quality in depth there’s someone equally adept at taking over in that position. It still certainly does happen at times, but usually through necessity rather than choice! Something I’ll have to consider and think about how to re-implement I think.

“How did you come to write for the Higher Tempo Press?”

Interestingly I wanted to do a multi-club save last season so approached the website I was doing analysis for at the time but they weren’t interested (the previously mentioned Charlton/Liege/Alcorcorn save) so I just sat on it. Thought it would be good to do it again this season so published it on my own personal blog. Within hours of it being up [Lee on fmanalysis] had contacted the owner of the HTP who asked if I wanted to continue the series on his site, it was a no brainer for me as I didn’t think that many people would actually be interested in it so being able to be publish on a bigger platform was a simple decision!

Good tip for anyone else looking to join the team.

“Will you go through it all again in FM18?”

Very possibly, but I highly doubt there will be a blog series about it (sorry!) as I’ll be focusing on other serious analytical/tactical pieces on Tempo and real world analysis over on www.eatsleepdrinkfootball.com – I’ll still be in Slack though keeping people informed!

And final question from Slack user @Dannykjr “If you were a manager would you wear a hat and if so which hat?”

I am a manager (Sunday league level) but I can’t stand hats! It’d have to be the hood on my jacket instead since I also hate using umbrellas and otherwise would look pretty ridiculous soaked if it were raining

That’s all the questions we had at the time. If you want to read his previous posts check out Stewart’s user profile. If you have anything else you would like to know please feel free to comment below the article, find him on Twitter or join the FMSlack group with over 600 other users.

We will return soon asking more questions to the other writers for Tempo!

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I’ve been playing football management games since the days of the PS1, where you needed a full memory card to save. Since then I played a lot of Champ man 4 and it nearly cost me my A levels. -Winner of 3 UEFA cups with Villa on CM4 -Statue outside Villa Park -FA cup winner with Chelsea on FM05 -guided Crewe to Championship mediocrity on FM16 Now a father of two I picked up FM17 and decided to start writing about it I hope you enjoy