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Ok, so normally I do one of either two things. I'll either start as a small team (Berwick, Eastleigh, Aldershot) and climb the leagues or I'll start as a reasonable team in a small nation (Godset, KTP) and trying and European glory.
But Football Manager wants to make challenges, so I'll do those for a bit. The plan is to do all 4 of them. Each time I start a new challenge, I'll do it in a different country with a different team. Should I fail a mission, I will move onto another and will redo said mission at the end so I'm not just stuck doing the same thing over and over again. I'll also use a new team. Probably. I might go all unfinished business on it though.

You can't win anything with kids
The invincibles

Ok, so Nuremberg. The team is known as "Der Team" according to the information screen so they will be known as that forthwith. In the 1920s, they were (probably) the best team in Germany, winning 5 titles from 1920 to 1927. But to give that context, at the same time in England, Huddersfield were the team to beat. Times change and recently they've been little more than makeweights. If we say modern football started in 1990, their best position has been 6th and their worst has been one season in the regional leagues. Most of their time has been in the top flight though. The qualified for the UEFA Cup 5 years ago, where they got knocked out in the first knockout round. They've got a pretty hefty stadium, perhaps most famous for hosting Nazi sports events. To be honest, I could've picked a team from a town that's less associated with the Nazis, but there's a joke I wanted to make. We'll get to that.

So, what's the first challenge? I will be attempting the one what is about winning stuff with young players. How does this work? The game gives you 5 (presumably) randomly generated players. These players have to be amoung your 11 most played players. They've basically got to start in over half of your games. I'm sure there are sneaky way to do this, but I'm doing it by the book. If they're fit, they're starting. I'm also setting myself a rule of not buying anyone over the age of 21. Here are "Der Lads".

Tidy players, but what's the end goal? To win a trophy. I assume it can be either the Bunderliga or the Pokal or whatever it's called since we aren't in Europe. They haven't won the league for over 40 years and are predicted 13th so that might be a challenge. But that's 13th without the bonus players so we'll see.

Good luck
Jordan Rhodes is a football genius
Best of luck PA!
Wochnik looks a decent striker! best of luck with this
New save coming for FM20...:- Heartbreak, misery, but hope on the horizon... https://i.imgur.com/vyxFXJL.png?1
Thanks guys. I wanted to start doing this in beta, but it quickly became apparent that match winners were selected by drawing names from a hat. I got as far as playing the friendlies and I didn't really want to waste my time when the engine was still borked. I'll give it another go now though since I'm ill and had to cancel my plans for the day. Hopefully it's better now.
I had a few thoughts in my head when I started playing this save. At first I was thinking that I should sell the players which my youth prospects would be replacing. That would give me the option to boost my squad with one or two signings or maybe even one big marquee. Maybe I could sign a veteran with a troubled past who's ready to forget the sport. At first, the young players would challenge him and undermine him. Then he decides he wants revenge against his old team but wants to do it fair and square so he finds us a rich new sponsor. The kids start to look up to him and he coaches them. Then, in the final, we'd play his old team and we would win the game because one of the kids remembered a move he taught them.

Then I realised I was thinking of the film the Mighty Ducks and decided not to buy or sell anyone after all.


We won our first cup game fairly easily, and we landed Koln in the next round. Then, it was on to the business of the league. Wochnik failed to score in the first couple of games, which saw us struggle. The first game was something of a whitewash which was disappointing. We were away against the strongest team in the league, but if we need to win silverware, shouldn't we be pushing games like this?

Regardless, we improved to beat Mainz and Hamburg, albeit by scoring goals in injury time. Wochnik scored a brace in the Hamburg game which proved to be something of a turning point. Since then, he has scored in every game, including a hattrick at Stuttgart.


An encouraging start then. Though, I still think the cup is our best bet. We're yet to play many of the strong teams in Germany; Bayern, Schalke, Leverkusen, Bremen as well as second place Gladbach. In fact, the only team in the top 7 we've played has been Dortmund. Either way, it looks like Wochnik will be our key to success.
Time to talk tactics. I've had the same philosophy since I started playing CM in 1998. That is, if shoot the ball at the goal enough times then eventually it will go in. I used to achieve that by playing a direct game up until FM when I found I'd be missing a lot of the long passes. The tactic I use now is a modified version of the one I used in my Godset save. It favours a passing game and allows for a lot of creative freedom, but with a no nonsense defence. It's largely been influenced by watching Brighton play since Gus took over. The formation is somewhere between a 4-4-2 and a 4-2-4. The wingers are set to get forward when they can and midfield is made up of a DM next to and MC so there are more passing options available. The strike force is made up of a solid goalscorer (ie Wochnik) next to playmaker.


I'd say these results have flattered us. The Koln game seemed to tire the squad out, but despite managing to hold Schalke to a draw and somehow score more than Hoffenheim, it felt like it was only a matter of time before we lost a game. Sure enough, Bayern demolished us. Remarkably, they only managed to score from a penalty and an own goal. I think that's the most encouraging thing, even when teams are much better than us, we seem to be able to keep them in sight. We've come from behind in a number of games already.


Winning agaisnt Gladbach and drawing against Schalke means that we're still top. I'm hoping we can built up momentum in the next few games before the winter break, including in our next cup game against Hertha Berlin. I'm anticipating another loss against Dortmund, so I'd like a bit of a buffer before we return. Not that Wolfsburg and Leverkusen are easy teams to beat.
Wow fantastic start! shocked to see you top and Hoffenheim rock bottom :I
New save coming for FM20...:- Heartbreak, misery, but hope on the horizon... https://i.imgur.com/vyxFXJL.png?1
Ok yeah so Football Manager, am I right?


I played the matches up until Christmas like a month ago so I don't remember much about them. I seem to remember my faith in Wochnik starting to wane. He's still got the talent but I guess teams are starting to shut him down as much as possible. But then I might be giving the AI in this game too much credit. Regardless, it's been a bit shit since then. We lost those two games against Dortmund and HSV but fortunately neither team were THAT close to use so it wasn't the end of the world. A dominant win in the cup too.


We dropped down to 3rd upon losing agaisnt HSV, but the two clubs that were worrying us slipped up a little too, but evidentally not as much as we did. The thing that worried me right now is that the next match against Schalke is going to ultimately decide the champion and there's no way we can beat them. Remember that the goal of this is to win some manner of silverware, so we have an alternative route in the form of the cup. Through to the quarter finals now and I'd say there's only one team in the pot that I don't have any confidence in beating. That club being Schalke. Who we drew. So we probably won't win anything after all.
You lost 2-1 away to Bayern?

Just resign and stop embarrassing yourself.

LOL jk, good start.
Great start matey, Shame you've slipped from the top but just finishing in a European place would be a fantastic acievment in your first season with Nurnberg.

Managed to make some steady progress on this challenge and, as you can see, the finish line is well within sight. Our ordinarily average defence has really got its shit in a pile and we've managed to win most of our games handily. Our performance against Bayern being a highlight with 26 shots, 12 on target and 4 goals. Then, there were the cup games. The first one against Schalke... I'd say actually flattered them. We took a 2 goal lead and then managed to claw it back but an extra time winner from Pekhart saw us through and to a match against BMG. That game was quite a heated affair, a lot of yellow cards game out. No red cards but we did get two players suspended because of too many yellows.


So all in all, we're in a very good position to win the double, though we could still easily win nothing. Our cup form gives me confidence that we should be able to win that. We've had a tricky journey to get this far and Mainz should be easy enough to beat but it's not a lock in. As for the league, I'd say that 6 points should be enough to take home the title. All the last four teams are pretty strong, but Werder Bremen have been pretty poor all season. Should be a challenge but it's like a manageable challenge.

So this one's almost over. Not sure which challenge to do next or where. If anyone has any suggestions then let me have it.
This might be a long one. We went into the last game in the following position:


We were in a good position going into the last game. Sort of. It could've been better. Basically, we have to beat Leverkusen to win the league because I had little doubt that Dortmund would win their game. As expected, Dortmund took an early lead. We spent most of the first half in second place as a result, though we managed to take the lead at the beginning of the second and went back to top. For about 15 minutes then they equalised. So, this was it. Either we or Hannover need to score a goal for us to win.


So onwards onto the cup final. We had a few players off injured who managed to get fit by this games, so we could go out with our strongest side.


All in all, a pretty poor games from us to be honest. We lost a defender in the first half which made it a bit more dicey every time they went forward. They equalised and looked good for another but we managed to close it out with two late goals. So I've done pretty much everything I could've done. A good season.


I would've said OH LOOK THE OTHER PEOPLE ARE CHEATING AND PICKED BAYERN AND DORTMUND FUCKING SCRUBS but then the person who got top was Dusseldorf who came bottom in my game. Probably cheated. Therefore I'm the best.
This seems like it might be hardest one. The basic premise is you take charge of a team about 2 thirds into the season. The team is unbeaten and you've got to maintain that record. You get knocked out of the cups in the early stages so you just have to focus on winning the league games. My plan is to do this in three updates, one intro, one half way through and one at the end. If I lose then I'll start again with a different team, so this could be 3 updates long or it could be 30.


Keeping up the theme of top flight also rans, welcome to Nice. "Le Gym" were once one of the strongest teams in France, but that was in the 50s. They've been a steady midtable side since regaining Ligue 1 status 10 years ago, with their highest finish being 8th. Their last silverware came from winning the Coupe de France in 1997. They also managed to reach the final of the League Cup in 2006, losing the Nancy. They have been troubled by financial problems, which almost got them relegated two divisions, but they managed to keep their Ligue 1 status and have been rolling along happily ever since.


The funny thing about this one is the element of luck. There's no gaurantee you'll get any of the tricky or easy games. As such, I've managed to avoid the historically tricky teams of Marseilles and Bordeaux as well as the reigning champions in Montpellier. While that's nice, we still have to beat the goliaths of PSG and Lyon as well as Lille who are also not to be taken lightly.


I'll try again tomorrow...
Unlucky with the first attempt there mate, good luck with it second time round!
Cheers. I've been thinking about this challenge this morning. I can't win this in my usual fashion. I can't take a team and form it into my own, there's no time. You can't make any transfers, there's no time to get them used to your style of play and there's no comebacks really. You just have to win and win from the start. I'll need something more to complete this challenge. Divine intervention. I'll need Gylfi.


Gylfi was born in Hafnarfjörður in 1989. Growing up playing football in Iceland, his first professional contract was with Reading After going on loan to some clubs noone cares about, he broke in the Reading lineup in 2009 and proceeded to score a bunch of goals. He also single handedly got Reading to the quarter finals of the FA Cup. He was then sold to Hoffenheim for a bunch of money but then he left on loan to Swansea because Germany is stupid. At Swansea, everyone saw how awesome he was and he managed to attract a move to popular jewish team Tottenham Hotspur.


For this challenge, Gylfi will be playing in a trequartista role and will be carrying a number of lesser players as well as Hugo Lloris who is also good. The fixture list is hard but I've missed a few good teams. Man City and Chelsea fill me with terror and anxiety though. By the way, this is the first time I've managed a Premier League side since FM07. I think.
Good luck! Newcastle should fill you with fear as well

Gylfi has a good few games, making a number of key passes and racking up a goal and an assist. He has been distributing the ball well, but unfortunately the chances aren't be converted by the striker no matter who I've been putting in that role. Other players have also been troubled by injuries and suspensions so we need to be leading by the attack.

Meanwhile, form has dipped for Man City but Chelsea are on a rampage. This could go down to the last game. The league table isn't important for this challenge, but we are 5 points ahead of Chelsea and 6 ahead of Man City.

Also this challenge is stupid, but I'm not going to let it beat me.
Newcastle weren't too much of a hazard in fact, we managed to find a bit of form and scooted past them. Man City were tricky, I favoured a much more defensive formation which did the trick. They probably should've won but we did so I don't care.


So it comes to this. Just don't fucking lose.


See? Gylfi. I told you. Smashed it. Another challenge down and another little tick in that menu to make me feel good about myself. It didn't go as well as the last one and I didn't really enjoy this one. It's a completely arbitrary challenge. I won the league with 2 games to go and I still could've failed.


I'm actually ranked higher than I was on the other one overall. I'm 163rd on this one and 170th on the other. Half way through now on the free ones and then there are the DLC ones which I'll probably pick up. Onwards.
Congrats on completing the challenge buddy. Sounds like a horrible challenge and one that could take ages to do!
As the last challenge was an excuse to play with Gylfi, so this is an excuse to play with Kolbeinn. I'm honestly not entirely sure what the win trigger is for this one. Presumably I have to bring the wages in check while at the same time, meeting the season expectations.


Ajax are a team that don't really need an introduction. 31 time Eredivisie winners and 4 times Champions League winners, they had perhaps their most impressive spell in the early 70s, winning 3 Champions League trophies on the bounce, spear-headed by the legendary Johan Cruijff. Largely due to the prowess of Cruijff, Ajax have long been synonymous with a Total Football, a style of football which encourages a pressing and attacking method of play. I hope to be able to lead Ajax to their third consecutive title using their own famous passing game.

There is one large hurdle to overcome though. Historically, the dutch league has been considered one of the strongest in the world. While it hasn't had the same amount of quality all the way down, teams like Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV have been able to challenge the very best teams England, Spain and Italy have had to offer. However, recent years have seen the money needed to compete at the highest level rise exponentially. The dutch teams have found it hard to compete and many of them are leaking money, As such, Ajax now find themselves £22 million in debt and with a wage bill they can't sustain.


I start my challenge on the dawn of the Janurary transfer window. Ajax top the league by two points but their financial problem have become too large to ignore. In this window, I need to bring our wage bill down to budget and hopefully retain a team strong enough to keep the top spot when play resumes in 3 weeks time. Above are the players I'm going to try to keep, everyone else is game. I may be tempted to sell Babel too though. Not sure he's worth what we're paying him. Kolbeinn stays, that's all I know.

3 weeks of business. Time for some hardcore money making.


This didn't really go down the way I expected. I decided the first thing to do would be to sell the two guys on the biggest money, there was one player who was on three time what I was paying the rest of the team. That's no problem, but then I realised that they would both have under 6 months on their contract and would just sign a pre-contract. I wouldn't actually be saving any money. So, first things first I had to offer them new contracts and I actually managed to cut about £30k off our monthly wage budget just from those two new contracts. This meant I could save two of my best players.

Apart from that, I've sent a lot of players out on loan which has saved me another £9k/month. Sold 4 players for a total of about £14 million which has cut about £30k or so a month. The thing I've learnt more than anything else is that Ajax are a very well run club. They have a number of strong, young players on very reasonable wages. They also have enough depth so that if something went wrong, they could easily get rid of a few names and still be able to challenge for the league.


I've managed to settle in ok. I've basically tried to create a team around Kolbeinn. The goal is to try and put the ball in his region as much as possible in a very methodical way and we've been doing it well. We haven't looked like we've been in trouble in the few games we've played, but we're yet to play a top half club. We'll see.

We've been performing very well. We've managed to control every game and I'm very happy with the way we've been playing and the tactic. One of the reasons I picked Ajax was because I wanted to test my total football-ey tactic and it's going well. The other reason was because Kolbeinn. He's currently the top goalscorer in the league. If he wins the golden boot and we win the league than I'll be happy with this leg of the challenge. Oh, the game we lost we had the worst referee ever. We went down to 9 men and gave away a penalty. Struggled with our shallow squad in the next game as we lost some key players, but managed to beat PSV.


Ajax too good. I feel like I was slightly mislead when the game labelled this a hard challenge. Though maybe it is actually hard if you play as a team other than Ajax. I don't know, maybe I've played this wrong. I kept most of my first team and I'm still in negative money. Maybe you're meant to sell everyone so you're not in the red? We're £10 million in debt still, but we're making about a million a month so I feel like I've done a good job balancing the finances and have put them in a great position for next season. Don't worry, I'll punish myself for this in the next challenge.

One game to go! Am I still top? Is there anything to play for? You'll have to wait until the next update or something. It seems that VVV are the second best team in Holland. They actually very almost beat us, We still outplayed them, but they had a very effective counter attack. It's been quite strange actually. We seem to be winning games comfortably and getting a high number of shots but without really dominating. Our defence seems strong but there's certainly room for improvement. Our attack has been stellar on the other hand. Speaking of which.


I wanted to draw peoples attention to Kolbeinn, he's a player who impresses me in real life and he seems pretty solid in game too. He has solid staring stats with room for improvement. I've been playing him with two wingers and an AMC behind him and he's been doing well. His best traits are finishing and strength so he's probably best player as a deep lying forward, but he also has decent creativity and pace. Looking at his scout report, his specific strength is consistency, I'd say he could do a job at most clubs.

So it wasn't that close in the end. I feel a little underwhelmed by this challenge. I'm sure part of this is because I played as Ajax, who I honestly didn't realise were that much stronger than every other Dutch team, but also because the challenge part of this challenge was just sell a few squad players and away you go. I was expecting to have to sell a number of starting players but I think I only sold one. Kolbeinn got the golden boot with 29 goals. Eriksen won young player of the year. I didn't win manager of the year because I wasn't there long enough.


31st in the rankings for this one. Top for Holland. Not bad. It's silly though. I got 800k or so points and failed to win in 2 games, won most of the rest of them fairly handily and my players won a bunch of awards. How is it someone can play as Man Utd and get 2.3 million points? These are the kind of people that you avoid sitting near on public transport.

Disappointingly easy. Onto the next one once I figure out which one to do.
well on completing the challenge mate !
Jordan Rhodes is a football genius
Thanks pal. After underestimating the last challenge, I've decided that I need to be taught a lesson. This challenge is either the hardest or the easiest depending on how you play it. The thinking is you can pick any team you like and they get promoted to the top league. I could take the easy road and pick Blackburn or Monaco or something but there needs to be balance in the world.


So here we are in sunny Scotland. Or England. Or something. If anyone follows my FM save files (haha could you imagine?) you may remember that my first save last year was with Berwick. I worked my way up to the SPL and managed to survive for half a season before I got too busy and life happened. Now I have the opportunity to put right that wrong and guide the Borderers to SPL survival. Only my team is complete arse so it'll be hard.


Here are my signings. I only know one of them. I remember signing Bryn Halliwell on CM3 for Brighton when he used to play for Wimbledon. They went down and suddenly didn't need so many goalkeepers. We didn't get much money from being in the SPL to spend, I pretty much blew everything I had and what I'm left with is a slightly above average Div 2 team.


Unsuprisingly we've been completely written off. The way I see it, our only real goal is to do better than Dundee. How hard that will be I can't really say, but they definately have a stronger team. We'll need to use tactics and hopefully I've used the money I've been given smartly. It's certainly going to be tough, but I don't think this is impossible.


Coming for you Celtic.
Save file broke then I fixed it because I'm the best.


Half way through that last game something occured to me. We were actually defending kind of well. Not every game clearly, but I mean Dundee United aren't a bad team and we held them to one goal. But we were never going to win because we can't score. So I think it's time to change tack . I think we need to play with a more attacking style. We might lose 4 games 6-0 but if we win one then it'll be worth it. Our goal difference is already beyond shit anyway. Also, we drew 0-0 against Celtic. I'm not sure how. Best part is we had a man sent off.


There are two positives we can take from this. The first one is that we have lost any more games than the two teams above us. The second is we're only 2 points behind Dundee. If we can beat Dundee at home then all of a sudden we're looking at a very different situation...

Well, not really. But we'll be 11th for a week or two.

There. Goal completed. Whether we deserved to win or not is another story. This game mark two cycles of games which means we have one more round before the league splits. My best bet I think is to tread water until then and then see if we can build up some momentum and make a push up the table. I mean. I say that but really I'm going to be doing that same thing and hope for some lucky results.


Beating St Mirren was nice but we still got beaten pretty hard by Dundee who we really need to beat or at least hold to a draw in our remaining encounters. I can't see any other teams really being dragged down. Whatever, I'm going to power through to the split. Next update will be then.
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