In The End…

TorpedoZhodinoLogo.pngHello, and welcome back to another update of my much loved Torpedo Zhodino save on Football Manager 2020. Last time, we left off with three games left to play in the Belarusian Premier League season, with us top of the table and possibly being able to win the league. The current updates for this save are here, here, here and here respectively. Before we continue, I should also mention that the final league game was played on Twitch, which is something I’m looking at doing more moving forward, so follow me on my Twitch channel to keep up with when future streams will be or catch up on old games. My network save the Italian Job also continued over at my good friend @turntostone_‘s Twitch channel. Anyway, back to Torpedo. How did we finish the season?

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Yep, in the end we managed it. We became the first team to win the Belarusian Premier League not named BATE Borisov in 15 years…by one point from Shakter Soligorsk and Dinamo Brest. The league works on a playoff system, so if we had finished level on points, we’d have had to somehow determine a winner between three teams. We didn’t make the last three games easy, losing 2-1 to Dinamo Minsk, but then coming through clutch, defeating Energetik 3-1 before getting the draw that we needed on the last day, grinding out a 0-0 draw against Grodno that unfortunately didn’t provide the goalscoring entertainment for those watching on Twitch. Sorry everyone.

Surely Not…

TorpedoZhodinoLogo.pngHello and welcome back to another instalment of my journey in Belarus with Torpedo Zhodino. Firstly, I’ll say that the discussed rebrand (again, follow me on Twitter @JLAspey for extra information about this save) of Torpedo Zhodino is on its way for the second season, thanks to the excellent @requestakit. When we left off, I’d discussed the development of my 4-4-2 system, and then my decision to sell my ‘best’ player – by attributes anyway – Andrey Khachaturyan to Al-Ittihad for what will eventually be £69k – not a small amount of money for a club our size. I’m now only three games away from the end of the league season, and before I end the season I thought an update was fitting.

Firstly, the 4-4-2 actually didn’t make it very far past the second update of the save. I started to find it a little bland and predictable, playing very one dimensionally, and actually only being effective against the very top sides such as BATE Borisov. I switched to a 4-1-3-2, which served us quite well for quite a while. We dropped from 3rd to 5th, but then climbed our way back up to 3rd. However, I began to find the 4-1-3-2 rather toothless, playing nice football but not creating as many chances as I’d like. Funnily enough, my use of the tactic with Sampdoria in my network save over on Twitch has also given the same result. Therefore, about 3 games ago (there are only 26 games in a Belarusian Premier League season) I switched to this 4-4-2, and it has worked absolute wonders.

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Effective Decision Making on Football Manager

TorpedoZhodinoLogo.pngHey, these are coming thick and fast aren’t they? This won’t really be a save update as such, but I want to give an example of my thought process in Football Manager and how I go about the decisions I make, and I’m going to do this using things people have asked me about before in contract decisions and whether to re-sign or let someone leave. In case you’re just joining the save now, here is the first post, and here is the second one. If you’ve been following the save thus far, you’ll know that I’m playing a 4-4-2 system that has taken the save from being one that definitely wasn’t going to make it past the first few playthroughs, to one that I’m now planning as my main save for the forseeable future.

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A Belarusian Adventure

TorpedoZhodinoLogo.pngRight, after my first post since my return to Football Manager where I kinda talked about the problems I’ve had at the beginning of my time with Torpedo Zhodino, I thought it was time to actually set out the save itself. This is very much a save in progress, unlike many of the saves in the past where I’ve had a specific approach that I wanted to follow, such as One Man’s Journey or With Club, For Country. Plain and simply – which is more than likely why I’m enjoying it – before being able to play the game, I decided on a random country that I wanted to play in for a change (Belarus Belarus flag image - country flags), and after that picked a club that I thought sounded interesting. Simples.

As you can see in this image, Zhodino – or Zhodzina – looks like a very stereotypical old Soviet town – though the cars do suggest this image may be slightly out of date. Indeed, that link and connection to the old Soviet Union world and era was part of the reason why I picked the team. Torpedo are actually called Torpedo BelAZ Zhodino because they are owned by BelAZ, the factory located in the city that employs 11,000 people, around 1/6th of the local population. CLubs being owned or affiliated with factories or government organisations was hardly unusual behind the Berlin Wall. The factory has been important throughout Soviet times, producing trucks that were used across the entiry of the Communist bloc. Torpedo themselves have a less important history, largely being a mid-table team in the Highest League (the top league in Belarus), winning the Belarusian Cup once, as well as the Belarusian Super Cup once. It hasn’t exactly been a glorious existence. Historically, that honor has gone to Dinamo Minsk in Belarus, and more recently, BATE Borisov.

When It Just Isn’t Working…

Football Manager 2020 - game artworks at Riot PixelsYes, I am back on Football Manager, finally. After my much documented (if you follow me on Twitter (@JLAspey) technical problems with my laptop I have eventually been able to afford a new laptop – thanks to all who helped me pick one – and given our current existence of lockdown and me working from home as a teacher, I’ve had plenty of time to get back into FM20. Despite that, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been easy, but more on that later. Before I continue, I do want to plug “The Italian Job”, a new Twitch series I’m doing with my good friends @watadam20 and @turntostone_ as we manage in Italy Image result for italy flag gif *insert Gazzetta theme*. I’m managing Sampdoria, and keep up with my Twitter for more info about when we’ll stream etc.

Anyway, back to my exploits since returning to FM20. My save is with Torpedo Zhodino in Belarus, a mid-table Highest League team, most noteable for being owned by BelAZ, the industrial company that employs around 1/6th of the population of Zhodino or Žodzina. Thus far, I don’t have much to report from the game itself, apart from some guidance about what to do if you find things difficult in a game.

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