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[FM21] THE RACE TO THE TOP - A journey to anywhere and beyond!

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The Manager

I'm Wazza and have just retired from playing football and have decided to go into management with no coaching badges and with the only experience of Sunday League Football



Set Up

I have decided that I will manage anywhere in the world that will have me on a Journeyman save with the aim of reaching the top leagues in football as quick as I can.  As I have a Sunday League Reputation and no coaching badges I will have to start right at the bottom of the football pyramid and work my way up.  Ideally I would like to be managing a top club in 6-7 seasons, which I believe if I am successful this should be possible depending upon what job offers and my successes I have on the way.  This though may be a long way in the future of my save and may only be a pipe dream - this though is  is Aim 1 of this save.

My eventual aim of the save would be to win the Champions League and league titles in the best leagues in the world with a club once I had established myself as a manager capable of managing at that level which is Aim 2Aim 3 would be to take over other over clubs that want my services and repeating the feat in different countries and continents making myself the best manager in the world along the way.   If an international management level job came my aim would be to take that as I have not managed at that level for a long time in my saves in FM, so that would be another challenge that I would relish in (Aim 4)

If the opportunity arose I would also aim to take over my hometown club Hull City at some point in my career and bring success to them which would be my final Aim 5 of the save.

I have loaded the following leagues to commence my save and will have the rest of the leagues on View Only so that I can change the direction of my career if I want to further into the save in the future.









I will apply for every job available in an attempt to get myself into management as quickly as possible.

Edited by wazza
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The Job

I applied for jobs everywhere and anywhere to get myself into management.  After much deliberation I decided to manage the following team after been successful in interview.  




The club will present a challenge that I will relish in. After spending its early history in the lower leagues it has just reached the 2nd tier in Portuguese football for the first time a couple of seasons ago.  First it will be my aim to establish the club in this league and then aim higher. 

I am a highly ambitious manager and if I am successful with my aims at the club, this will start my career off in the right way and build my reputation so I can gain employment at the top clubs eventually. The fans of the club celebrate the success that I am aiming for and for which they could only dream of.


Manager Profile



The Club


Background and History








The club has a rich history of success, however this is only in the lower leagues. Two seasons ago it reached the 2nd tier for the first time.  I aim to take the club higher and to establish it for long term success in the higher leagues.  It would be great if eventually the club could reach the top tier of Portuguese football for the first time in its history.  This will take time though and effort to rebuild the club from top to bottom.

My Contract










One thing that attracted me to this club in interview was its good training facilities in which the other clubs I applied to did not have. This will help develop the players quicker, which at a small club with not much money I believe is imperative so that success can be achieved.





The club does not have stacks of cash in the bank, which was evident at interview when it was discussed the wage and transfer budget.  With the club losing £175k a month in money, players may have to be sold to sustain a positive bank balance, this though I will monitor with the Chairman of the club to determine what is required.


Squad and Dynamics




My predecessor has already brought in alot of new players in the transfer window, all on free transfers and loans from a quick first analysis the key players  in the squad are Sparagna, Cohello, V Bruno, Jefferson, Kady, Claro, Fortes and Vintinho. 

Bruno the goalkeeper has been brought in on loan as First Choice keeper by the previous manager, however I believe he is no better than Maringa in his attributes so this will need to be reviewed.  There maybe some players who will be needed to go out on loan as the squad is quite large with players who are good but may not make it into the team, again this will need to be reviewed after more detailed analysis of the team.









Key Players Profiles


















Sparanga and Kady  were signed in the  2019/20 season and Coelho. Bruno, Jefferson , Claro, Fortes and Vitinho were signed this season by the previous manager, Director of Football and board of directors  These players will be key if we are to be have a successful campaign.  They have good attributes and ratings compared to the rest of the squad and I will be looking at these players to perform.

Inherited Staff




Club Vision



Board Expectations



Media Prediciton


Aims and Plans

I will commence work and my first aim is to strengthen the backroom team with more quality coaches and necessary staff as I believe it is currently thin in certain areas.  I will also review the squad and determine  which players need playing time  to develop of which I will endeavour to send out on loan. 

The previous manager has already built the squad this season with alot free transfers and loans before I was appointed and there is not much money left in the bank for transfer fees and wages.  it will be my job to mould these players into a team.  I would not want to fetch in my own players in on top of these recently signed players and upset them as promises of playing time have only just been given by the club.  I will though look at any signings of any young future prospects, who if I sign may have to be sent out on loan at the moment to develop if they cannot play for my U19 team.  I will also look at strengthening my U19 squad with better prospects if such players are available as this squad is quite weak comparable to my main squad

I will take this season a game at a time and see how we go with the inherited squad.  If they do not cut it I can always make necessary changes in the next transfer window and hope that they are at least making the clubs minimum expectations so that I am not put under pressure by the Chairman.



Edited by wazza
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Playing Style


From looking at the squad the best set up for the team would be a 4231wide formation which would suit the players, while allowing the squads key players to start.  The only key players Vintino's attributes are not as good as Claro's or Kady's so he will have to be rotated and come on as substitute, while Kady and Claro get the nod ahead of him.  If though Vintino performs when he comes on, he can push for a start.  The positive style of play would be my Primary Trained Tactic

Primary Tactic




I have also set up two other tactics one for all out attack which would mainly be used for if we were behind in a game and had to push hard for a goal to get a draw or win.  This style would change from my main club style in that it would slightly go more direct style of play.  I would not be intending to start matches using this style but it would be a Plan B for if things where not going to plan.

Plan B



The tactic below would generally be used for away games or against a much stronger opponent.  It uses a 433DM Wide formation. It uses a more cautious more disciplined style of football.  

Away Day Formation




The above tactics and philosophies  would be a starting point for my team and will be adjusted to suit the opponent and as required. They may be tweaked as the games and matches progress and as I learn more about my squad and team. 

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Posted (edited)

Playing Style

Core Style




For my main tactical style and club DNA I would like my team to play Pass and Move Football, combining short plays with positive / attacking football.  The team should focus more on keeping possession and should create space by drawing players out of position.  This will be in a Controlled Possession Positive style of football.




To implement this style my Defenders and Midfielders should have relatively good Acceleration and Pace which in comparison to the rest of the league are just below average ratings for the whole squad but for my First Team selection the ratings for most of the players are Good to Excellent.  The second string fringe and back players will need to be improved if I am to maintain this style of play.




To execute this style of play the Defenders, Midfielders and Strikers in the Squad should also have relatively high Flair and Vision.  The squad is weak in its attributes for Flair in comparison to the rest of the league but it is above average in its vision.  For the First Team selection it is mainly my Central Defenders who lack Flair and Vision with the wing backs having average ratings in these attributes.

The majority of my First Team attacking midfield players have good to excellent Flair and Vision attributes with my ball winning midfielder having good flair but poor vision, however he will not be asked to be attacking in the team.  The Attacking Midfielder sitting behind my main striker has excellent vision, though his flair needs improving, hopefully he will be able to use his vision to provide through balls to my main striker who has average off the ball movement and good flair for doing the unexpected.




The squads  Defenders  Midfielders and Strikers  have the required non set piece technical abilities required to carry out this style of play.  The First Touch of the squads attributes could do with improvement though, however for my First Team it is average to good for the majority of the players.


Core  Attacking Style

When attacking I want my team to attack with short plays when in possession so that it will carefully penetrate space and keep possession by cycling possession and creating space by drawing players out of position. 






To do this my Midfielders and Strikers should have good attributes of Anticipation, Concentration, Flair, Off the Ball, Teamwork, First Touch, Passing and Technique.  The required players in the squad has these attributes except the squad is weak in its Flair. However as explained in the Core Style section, this should not cause too much of an issue as my First Team has this rating in the main attacking positions it is required.

Core  Defensive Style


When my team defends I want it to have an aggressive pressing and closing down.







The Defenders and Midfielders need to have relatively high acceleration, pace, stamina, aggression, anticipation work rate and tackling.

The majority of the squad and First Team players have the majority of the attributes to suit the style of play I want to adopt, not just for this team but throughout my career.  I will need to make sure that any players brought into the club where possible has the required DNA to suit my tactical style I want to adopt.  Other players may need to be trained to fetch them upto scratch or sold if necessary.


To make sure my team is playing well using this style of play I will be expecting them to have a high pass completion ratio in the stats along with a good % rating of average possession.


Core  DNA


I would also like my teams players to have an abundance of Determination, Work Rate, Teamwork. Concentration and Natural Fitness and these will be important attributes in players that I will sign in the future as this will be a core DNA of the squads I intend to build.  Players will have to be trained to make this DNA if necessary if the players do not have it installed in them.


Edited by wazza
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  • 2 weeks later...

SEASON 2020 - 2021

Three Month Review

August - September - October - November Review




Pre-Season Fixtures



A good strong pre-season resulted in wins across the board except to Sporting who we we lost to 2-1.  Sporting are in the Premier League and considering there position this defeat was to be expected. I was pleased though how the team battled to the end in this game and did not roll-over, especially considering we went 1-0 down to an own goal by Maringa, we equalised in the second half, but just could not hang on.  The team started to get used to how I wanted them to play and started to become familiar with the formations and instructions.  More work will be required on this during the season though as it was only a small start to how I want them to play.  Pre-season also allowed me to assess the players that had been signed by the club before I was got the job. I feel we have a good first team squad but work is required on the second team to bring it upto scratch, some second team players have only just been signed by the club though and it would be unfair for me to delve to much into the transfer market to immediately replace them.  I will give them a chance, even though I don't believe that they can provide the necessary competition for places.




The Pre-Season form continued into the start of the season.  A strong defensive display throughout September led to only 1 goal been conceded, the team battled and provided a number of 1-0 wins. My initial thoughts where that this was not going to last especially where the media had us down to finish the season. I felt that I needed to do something to increase our attacking threat so included in training some shot conversion schedules to help improve this.


DISASTER STRIKES !! beginning of October



Bids come in from other clubs from one of my key players. who I obviously do not want to leave as he has been integral to the impressive start and a key player.  The players has a minimum release clause of £925K, the bid was nowhere near the clause, so obviously I reject the bid.



The main club that Sparagna was interested in joining P . Ferreira,  will not increase the bid to the release clause, despite me trying to negotiate for them to do so, thinking if I get just less than £1million for the player I could easily replace him in the next transfer window, while bringing some income to the club as one of my targets on the club vision is to sell players for a profit.






The bid of what I want keeps getting rejected.  Sparanga comes to me to say he is not happy of which I tell him that P. Ferreira needs to meet the minimum fee release clause value as that whats in his contract and what he agreed to upon signing.  This was risky as he is a key player at the club and I may upset his teamates.  However I am in the right as his contract states £925k min release fee.



Luckily the majority of Sparanga's teamate's back me in the way I have dealt with him in this situation, while showing the team that I nor the club are a pushover to player power!!.  Only two players Blade and Grilo supported the player.  This should be the end of this situation and Sparanga now needs to concentrate on playing football.




Interfering Board

Just when you think a situation has been resolved, you learn that it isn't.  Whether Sparanga ran behind my back to the chairman is only rumours amongst the staff in the club shop, but they only went and did it!  The board sold Sparanga for a fee that is nowhere near the min fee release clause.  Guess it's there money and there decision, but what's the point of a min release clause if even the club does not honour it.  I kept my opinions on this to myself and away from the team and board and I did not resign over this situation, however it did annoy me.  



This situation at the beginning of October may have pulled the remaining players at the club more together in the squad due to the the adversity it created, especially as they obviously did not want Sparanga to leave the club by the reaction they gave me when I stood upto him.  

In October and November the goals started to flow as the team became more familiar with how I wanted them to play and the players started blending together.  We have made an incredibly impressive start to my tenure as manager and the season as a whole.

The only disappointing part of the first third of the season is that the board wanted me to reach the 4th round of the Taco de Portugal cup and we crashed out 



Hopefully the board will look at how the club has started in the league and not take the above 'hicup' into account too much, when they review me so that it does not affect my position at the club.



Players In

The below players are players that have been signed and released by me since my appointment in August.  It does not take into account the vast number of other signings made before my appointment by my predecessor.

The signings of Powell, Kone,  and Caetano are young players signed for the future depending upon how they develop, there scout reports identified them as players who could play in the Premier Division in the future with Marcondes signed as a replacement for the Sparanga.




Players Out

Alot of players where signed by the previous manager, who may also be able to do a job in the future.  Some of these along with some of the good prospects in the U19 team have been sent out on loan to see  how they develop.




Development Loans Progress



Awards and Records

Manager of the Month



Despite winning the 'unwanted' award in the previous month.  The curse did not affect me!




Player Awards










Style of Play Statistics

The clubs main tactical style is to play Pass and Move Football. combining short plays with Positive / Attacking football.

The team should therefore have a good average possession rating in the league along with a high pass completion ratio. 

The club is working on achieving this as it sits 2nd in the statistical league charts of Average Possession and 3rd for Pass completion .  It would be good to make further gains in this by the next review.






 The team is also developing well in its Positive / Attacking style as it is having alot of shots on goal.  The team needs to be more clinical in front of goal to master this and I will be looking for improvements.



General Statistics

 The teams XG rating is very good its Defensive Efficiency and it has playing well statistically compared to the rest of the league.





League Table



 The teams has made an excellent start in the league and is defying the media prediction of finishing 13th with odds of promotion of 25-1.  We need to build on this and continue in the next phase of the season

Edited by wazza
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SEASON 2020 - 2021

Three Month Review

December - January - February  Review






Around 6 months into my manager career and the press are already starting to take notice of me.  The below update is the reason why!






The team managed 9 League wins and 4 league draws during this period and were starting to score on a more frequent basis as the players became more accustomed to the style of play that I had adopted with the second game in this period proving to be a pivotal point of the campaign so far. We played Penafeil who were 3rd favourites with odds of 11-5 in the Season Preview for the league title and are strongly sitting in second place in the league.  This was  a tough match.



Somehow the team hung on with 10 men and dug deep after Balde's second Yellow card leading to his dismissal from the field of play on 36 minutes with Claro, Bruno, Coelho, Gonclaves and Marcondes also picking up Yellow cards.  If one of these players got sent off, the result could have been entirely different.

The league table after this result looked promising and was starting to take shape with a gap of 8 points forming between the club and Penafiel, who were in second place.  


Further good results followed against team who were expected to gain promotion in the Season Review at the beginning of the campaign were we beat Estoril 1-0 who were 2nd favourite for the title at 6-4 odds and also drew 1-1 with Feirense who were title favourites at odds of 4-6. With both these games been back to back against each other and the team not been beaten by the opposition this helped with the teams morale.  Not bad considering the club was placed 10th in the Season Preview with odds of 20-1 for the league title.

The only disappointment during this period was the cup defeat 


This though gave the players a chance to test themselves  against SLB who played in the Liga Nos, the Premier Division of Portuguese football and a league above us and for which we are hoping to gain promotion to.  Statistically we were murdered by them as they had 27 shots on goal with 12 on target, we we only managed 10 and 1 on target.  Much improvement will be needed if we did gain promotion.  SLB though were sitting in 2nd place in  Liga Nos and had done so since week 6 of the season. Realistically we were never going to beat them and luckily the board did not have the Allianz Cup down as a priority  in the Club Vision.


Manager Coaching Badges




Players In

The following player was signed during the Transfer Window who comes in for a replacement at right wing back for Marco Grilo whose contract was up for re-newal at the end of the season and on whom I had decided to cash in on while I could get some money for him.  Grilo did not fit into my long term plans and Carlinhos is a 21 year old who has potential as being a Premier Division player in the future and of who I can develop.



Players Out

I offloaded a few players for some cash before there contract expired at the end of the season and of which would have gone on a free transfer.  I also looked at offloading some players onto loan agreements to aid there development and if possible to bring some much needed cash into the club.



Key Player's Contract Re-newals

The following players contracts where up for re-newal at the end of the season and I identified them as current Key players within the squad so wanted them signed up for next season as quick as I could, especially as other clubs where sniffing around Kady and unsettling him and I believed he may have been interested in moving onto one of the interested parties.





Development Loans Progress


The players out on loan appear to be making good progress overall with no major downward trends in training, those that did hit I downward spiral seem to have pulled themselves out of it, except Franco Capalbo whose progress has gone down.  I will keep an eye on this to see if it continues.


Awards and Records

Manager of the Month




Another 2 Manage of the month awards to add to my mantlepiece this period.   The curse of this award has not reached me yet still,  I'll keep running!

Player Awards







The team has remarkably broken the league record on 11 games unbeaten, and is adding to it by each game we play in the league without losing






The teams unbeaten league and club records continue to grow, which can only help the club in the long term as pundits will surely start to take notice of what it is doing under my stewardship, which may help more fans to come through  the gates.


Style of Play Statistics

The clubs main tactical style is to play Pass and Move Football. combining short plays with Positive / Attacking football.

The team should therefore have a good average possession rating in the league along with a high pass completion ratio. 

The team has maintained it Average Possession rating of 58% and still sits in 2nd place.  I wanted to make further gains in Average Possession stats and this is proving to be difficult to do and to catch SLB B for the crown in this rating.  Currently the team is 3% behind if it wats to be top of the tree, in which I would ideally like it to be.

The team has dropped by 1% in its Pass Completion Ratio since the last review, but has moved upto 2nd place.  Estoril who possessed 2nd place in the last review has also dropped.  We will need to work on been less sloppy in our passing and to stop giving the ball away.






 The team has progressed slightly in its Attacking Efficiency since the last review and is slowly becoming more aggressive and clinical in front of of goal rather than wasting the chances.  The Chance Conversion training is starting to help the players and this statistic.  If we can become more Aggressive and Clinical with the finishing it will help the teams style of play of being Positive and Attack minded, with lots of shots and goals.



General Statistics

 The teams XG rating is very good its Defensive Efficiency and it has playing well statistically compared to the rest of the league.  The opponents have started to score more goals against us as time has gone on as the team has shifted slightly from having a 6% Quite Impenetrable rating to a 9.5% rating.  This is also evident in the fixtures where we have conceded goals and won games 3-2.  This could be because I being shuffling the team around with fixtures , injuries, suspensions and player form.  As long as we stay as Quite Impenetrable I will be happy.

The team also continues to statistically generally perform better than the rest of the clubs in the league.





League Table



They say when you are at the top of a ladder the only way to go is down.  Hopefully we can sustain our current form in the last third of the season and gain the title as the team is 17 points clear the top of the league.  The title is now ours to lose and hopefully the players have the mental strength not to think its already won in the final third of the season and not implode




Edited by wazza
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  • 1 month later...

SEASON 2020 - 2021

Three Month Review

March - April - May  Review







The team continued the excellent form as it managed 8 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss during the final period


Final League Position








The team did it and went all the way and gained an unexpected promotion in my first season in charge.  The media and pundits where dumbfounded as at the beginning of the season we were down to finish 13th with odds of 25-1 for promotion.  The bookies have a bit of money to pay out for anyone who betted on us.  The Club have never reached these heights before.  I must praise my predecessor for the quality of players that he brought in at the beginning of the season.


Manager Coaching Badges


After achieving the coaching badge I went to the board as  I was keen to progress with my badges.




This has left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth as they did not want me to better myself at first in case I got offered another job.  First they ignore the min fee contract clause for one of my star players and sell him at a snip of the price when I wanted to keep him or sell him for the min fee clause and now they appear for me not to want to better myself.  Possibly this may not be the ideal partnership and club for me long term.  Cracks are beginning to form.  As no other club is in for me, the promotion has enhanced my reputation and Ill have to plod along for now and see what the future holds.  I still have a job to do and on the pitch I am enjoying it.




Development Loans Progress


The players out on loan have made good progress overall at there respective clubs. Each player has played alot of games with Dias performing well in the goalscoring department to.


Awards and Records

Manager of the Month



Manager of the Year



Player Awards







The team has broken a number of records this season both club and league.










The season has been extremely successful in terms of the numbers of statistical records broken as well as the promotion


Style of Play Statistics

The clubs main tactical style is to play Pass and Move Football. combining short plays with Positive / Attacking football.

The team should therefore have a good average possession rating in the league along with a high pass completion ratio. 

The team has dropped in its Average Possession by 1% to 57% and finishes 2nd in the league for this.  It was a good start though for how  I want the team to play and progress will need to be made on this throughout my time at the club by working the players hard in training. The team also dropped to 3rd in the Pass completion ratio by the end of the season., the team will need to show more consistiency in this and not get complacent towards the end of the season again.





 The team has done well in its Attacking Efficiency throughout the season and became and aggressive, clinical team which is part of the style I want for the club.  Lots of shots and putting them away.



General Statistics


 The team was solid if defence this season despite my Star defender been sold by the board under my nose, which did not make me happy!




Team of The Year



Board and Stadium














Manager Profile



Season    Club               League             Position           Taca De Portugal            Allianz Cup                      Achievements
20/21   Vilafranquense    Liga Portugal 2          1st                 3rd Round                 1st Phase            			Man Month x 7 , Man Year 



   Season Review








Edited by wazza
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