With Club, For Country: III

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 22.42.11Things are moving fast, and it’s time for the third instalment of my ‘With Club, For Country’ save with Viktoria Žižkov in the Czech Republic. For anyone that’s just joining this save, the concept is that I take over a club side, and run it entirely with the national team’s benefit in mind. That means only signing Czech players, producing them from our youth system and selling them on when they’re ready to make the right step up in quality.

In the end, I decided not to update at the end of the transfer window, and instead just decided to play until the end of the first season. As a result, this update is likely to be quite long and include a lot of information. In the previous update, I covered how things were going until the winter break (in November), and covered some of my ideas moving forward regarding the squad and some transfers I’d made. As things stood, we were sitting 9th in the table, one place ahead of our predicted finish of 10th (and two ahead of Žižkov’s actual finish of 11th). However, there was much to do, particularly regarding Bosmans for the second season. We needed quality, and we needed it badly.

With Club, For Country: II

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 22.42.11Well, welcome back to ‘With Club, For Country’ and the second instalment of this save. I’ve reached the winter break – which is in November – of the first season, so it’s time to update you on how things have been going. Spoilers: It’s been challenging. In the last update, I outlined what a ‘With Club, For Country’ save is, and analysed the club I’d picked, along with the usual description of my tactics etc. Long story short: I was managing a club called Viktoria Žižkov and planning on using a 3-5-2.

Note: Because the winter break in the Czech Republic is so early, I think moving forward the structure of the updates through seasons will be season intro, mid-season break, transfer window (if anything big happens), end of season report.

Of course, ‘the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry’, as has happened with my 3-5-2. To say the first half season with Žižkov has been challenging would be an understatement, but I’m absolutely loving it so far because it’s such a challenge. Firstly, the plan to play with a Back 3 has gone, simply because I needed to find something that worked. I find that on the whole I’m not as good at immediately developing systems that work on FM18, but after I while I eventually find the right(ish) system. One little mini update from the first update was that I did indeed sign Ales Dvorak (who despite being rubbish has actually played pretty well for me). A few loanees (all of whom were rubbish) asked me to cancel their loans as well. However, when I received a couple of injuries in central midfield, I also signed 31 year old Lukas Schut – I said I wouldn’t be afraid of signing veterans. He’s been a fantastic addition to our midfield. Anyway, how are we doing?

With Club, For Country: I

Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 22.42.11Ok, I’m going to apologise, the Dortmund save has died a death. I can tell I’m really getting back into Football Manager – which means content is going to continue  – but the Dortmund save slowly lost my interest, and the save really lost any aspect of challenge for me when the board ended the first season (with me on course to win the title first season) by giving me a £93M transfer budget for the second season. Without sounding arrogant, it just seemed a bit too easy, and I want a challenge when I play Football Manager. I also felt that the save would quickly become boring to read about.

Fortunately, finding another save hasn’t been difficult at all, and it’s a save I’m really excited to write about. It’s a save concept I’ve looked at before, (inspired by Ben from The Dugout) but have never really gotten deep enough into the save to see any real impact. It’s called ‘With Club, For Country’.  The premise is simple, you take over as a club manager within a specific country, and you manage the club with the national team in mind. This means that you have to prioritise the national squad through:

  • Signing a large number of players from that country.
  • Developing the youth system at the club in order to produce quality young players for that country.
  • Sell players of that nationality at the right time, i.e. when they will be moving to a higher level of football.

Basically, it’s like a ‘Club and Country’ save, but you relinquish control of the country. The club should become like a factory system, constantly producing excellent youngsters, allowing the club to do well, before allowing them to go onto bigger and better things. Or so is the theory. The ultimate aim of the save would be your country of choice to win the World Cup with a team full of players developed in some way by your chosen club.

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