Well, The Tactical Annals is back. I apologise for my lack of content throughout the latter part of FM15, but as the game winded down and we moved towards the release of FM16, my motivation to play severely decreased. Along with real life commitments at University and work, I simply didn’t have the time to play Football Manager, and I certainly didn’t have the time to write about it to the standard that I would have wanted to. Annoying, I know. However, this blog is well and truly back for FM16, and I’m really enjoying this year’s version so far. I’m certainly finding the game harder, in that you can’t simply just throw men forward this year and expect to score. Indeed, if you do that, the AI will exploit your foolishness and counterattack you ruthlessly, and you’ll often find yourself losing games. However, this increased intelligence is making the game even more enjoyable for me. For sure I’ve had to adjust to the demands of FM16, but in the end it’s a smarter, more intelligent and in a way, more engrossing game (especially for me), because the game is tactically far better.
So, where am I going this year, and who am I going to be playing as this year?
Well, after some considerable deliberation over the past several months, I’ve gone back to my favourite stomping grounds from FM15 in Germany. I’ve chosen Germany for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because the Bayer Leverkusen save was my favourite save by far on FM15, and one of my favourites in all my time playing Football Manager. Another second factor is that of all the football I watch, I most enjoy watching German football, and particularly the Bundesliga more than any other league. Not only is the football exciting, but it is tactically interesting. People may say that Bayern dominate the league, and they absolutely do, but Pep’s side are tactically fascinating, and I love dissecting their tactics throughout games, even when it’s 4-0. Of all the major leagues in Europe, I would always choose to watch the German leagues if given the choice. Compare this to the Premier League, where the matches are often ‘exciting’ in terms of competition, but the standard of play itself can sometimes be lacking.
So, the German club I’ve chosen is the 2. Bundesliga side 1860 Munich…..Well, sort of. Ish.
Inspired by my good friend @StatisticalApp’s fantastic work on his Stamford Struggle and You, Me & USV series (I strongly encourage you to check his channel out, even if you aren’t a fan of FM YouTubers), I’ve somewhat rebranded 1860 Munich, into ‘TSV München‘. You can see the new logo for the club on the right, an edited version of the current 1860 logo (although the actual in game logo is white). Hopefully, the TSV lionmark will go on to become a regular feature in the Bundesliga for years to come, and we can eventually challenge city neighbours Bayern for the Bundesliga crown.
Speaking of Bayern, I’ve very literally moved TSV out of the shadow of their bigger rivals, and out of the Allianz Arena, the stadium that both clubs have shared since 2005, but that the real life 1860 no longer have any rights to, after being forced to sell their 50% share in the stadium to Bayern in order to avoid financial ruin. Instead, I’ve moved TSV back into 1860’s old stadium, the Grünwalder Stadion, a stadium that they played in from 1911 to 1995. I’ve found plans for a redevelopment of Grünwalder Stadion into a 33,500 capacity arena, and have updated the stadium to follow those plans. You can see below an artist’s impression of what the stadium would look like, with the club’s logo visible on the outside.
The theoretical idea behind this save is that a new board (not a Sugar Daddy owner) have come in and sparked this change from 1860 to TSV München, and as a result, I felt it was realistic that a new board would have cleared the debts that the club had, and also provided a very small cash injection to put the club on the same financial footing as the rest of the teams in the 2. Bundesliga (bar RB Leipzig, who long time readers of this blog will know I now automatically hate for their association to Red Bull). This save is not me simply giving a struggling club a lot of money, and taking them to the top. I’ve kept the finances realistic, and will look to build the club slowly through the gradual progression you usually see in my saves.
On top of the updated logo and the new modern stadium, there’s also been further cosmetic changes, and I’ve had some new kits made for TSV. The kits were made by @StatisticalApp, and I have to thank him for being kind enough to do this, despite only ever making kits for his own saves. The kits feature a new colour scheme to reflect the board’s new direction for the club moving forward.
I’ve made a departure from 1860’s traditional light blue with the home kit, moving to a much darker all midnight blue kit for TSV. However, there are sky blue features, as I didn’t want to move entirely away from the colours of 1860, but rather to move TSV forward, with a new brand and a new look whilst remembering the history of the club. The away kit is all white, with midnight blue features, in the same style as the home kit. The third kit is a bit of a hommage to 1860’s history, and is a lighter shade of sky blue, with black features for the logo and manufacturer Nike. The club’s new look is sharp, simple, classy and looks effortlessly modern, exactly the image I want the club to portray as this save continues.
However, I don’t expect this save to be easy, especially early on. The former 1860 Munich finished a lowly 16th in the 2. Bundesliga in the 2014/15 season, and only stayed up through winning the relegation playoff via an injury time goal. Clearly, despite the rebrand and the changes I’ve made to the club itself there is still a lot of work to do to return this club to the Bundesliga, and even think about challenging Bayern for supremacy of Munich and German football.
I’ll update this save again very soon to cover the pre-season and early decisions I’ve made, along with what I’m doing tactically. Moreover, after I’ve evaluated the squad, and made any potential transfers, I’ll cover my expectations for the coming season (those of you who know me well will know I rarely expect much from a first season). However, until then thank you as always for reading, and if you have any questions about the save, or the changes I’ve made (or indeed FM16 in general), then please feel free to ask via the comments section, or on Twitter (@JLAspey). I hope you all enjoy reading this save, as the new TSV München progress in German football.