As an experienced Football Manager player, I have played the game in all its forms for over 25 years. I have gone from sitting for hours creating tactics and training schedules to not almost delegating most of the everyday tasks to staff, mainly due to life happening.
In recent games, including FM24, I became highly familiar with it in a few months. Once you are so familiar with the game, it can get easy and very fast, and after a couple of seasons, you can dominate at home and abroad.
Example of my latest personal save
On my current save, I am managing Everton (shock, horror, I know) I am eight seasons in, having won the Premier League title on four occasions, as well as winning the Champions League. I have finished in the top three of the table in seven of my eight seasons so far.
My team would have been even more successful if I had not experimented with tactics, mainly for the benefit of finding good tactics for my tactics-testing articles.
If I had stuck with my go-to tactic, my team would have won far more trophies. For the last season on the list, I decided to cycle through different tactics to varying degrees of success, finishing the season in fifth place. In fact, I used around ten other tactics during the campaign.
The board gave me five games to save my job at the start of the new season, wanting 13 points from the opening five league matches. After completely gutting my squad, the team returned stronger the next campaign and sat at the top of the table.
The more money, the less enjoyment
The phrase ‘It’s the journey and not the destination’ is apt for FM and me. When you start a game at Everton, you know that you are not going to have lots of money to spend or a team full of superstars.
That makes the game more of a challenge, and the first few seasons are so enjoyable as you strive to get to the top of the English and European game. That means you must be smart in the transfer market, bringing in loans and cheap players.
Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a bargain signing thriving in your team and becoming a key player. Seeing those bargain buys develop and become superstars is, without a doubt, a great subject of satisfaction to me. It may even be the most enjoyable part of the game for me.
However, after you become successful, the club tends to have more money to spend on transfers and wages. To compete at the very top with your opponents in the Premier League at home and abroad, you feel the need to spend more money.
If it’s there, then you spend it. It’s only human nature. Before you know it, all your players are £60m+ plus signings, and your whole team is on ridiculous wages, draining the club’s resources. There is too much temptation to sign a Jude Bellingham or Gavi when you have the money.
It’s the challenge of getting to the top, not being at the top constantly, that’s the most enjoyable aspect of the game. When I am winning, I almost do not enjoy the game, but when challenged, my enjoyment comes back. Winning is almost boring.
I will challenge myself in my next save
Many people will suggest that I start my FM journey further down the football pyramid as a challenge. This is something I will consider doing in my future saves.
It’s something I used to enjoy in the past when I would manage Chester City from the then-Conference to Premier League glory. In those days, I had more time to play the game constantly.
My current save is the only one I have done so far on FM24, except for tactic testing saves. I will challenge myself in my next save and limit my signings to a certain amount to avoid being dragged into the trap of having a team full of expensive players who make the game too easy and less enjoyable.
In the past, I had a habit of selling all my top players when I became bored with a save. Then it gets more interesting, as you can then almost rebuild from scratch.
The only problem with that strategy is that other players in your squad become angry because you have sold the top players. However, I will attempt to be successful with just bargain buys.
I may not enjoy the same success as if I spend a small fortune on superstars, but at least I will feel a sense of accomplishment when my team starts to dominate in the Premier League and the Champions League. I will document my efforts in future articles when I create a new save.
How do you challenge yourself on FM24 when you are the dominant team in the world game?