In the last couple of seasons, I’ve covered off my plans for Football Manager in the coming 12 months. And this season also requires one as my plans will be changing a little.
I’m very much looking forward to Football Manager 2023 being released and I’m really excited about a pretty epic challenge I’ve come up with for this year’s game. FM22 saw me take on a challenge that I thought was going to be really difficult – begin the save unemployed and try to win every league across the Américas. And, while it was challenging, it was a little easier than I thought so we headed over to the top leagues in Europe.
However, life issues could get in the way of our FM activity this season. I’ve returned to freelancing and I’m getting back on the road travelling (currently in Europe then over to South America in early 2023) to see more of the world while running my own business. So it’s likely I’ll have a little less time to play FM – and there definitely won’t be three weekly blogs like we were able to do through large parts of FM22!
But I’ve got a fun Beta save lined up and a pretty wild new journeyman concept that should keep us busy for a long portion of the FM cycle.
FM23 Beta save: Giallorossi
It’s become an FMA tradition to manage in Italy for the Beta version of Football Manager. And it’d be very rude of me to break that tradition, considering I’ll probably be in Italy when the game comes out.
Having already managed Atalanta on FM20, then Beta saves with AC Milan and Sampdoria, I wasn’t 100% sure who I wanted to begin the game with on this occasion. I considered new boys Monza, Salernitana purely because they’ve signed Antonio Candreva, and Torino because they’ve signed a few former FM wonderkids.
But I think the point of a Beta save is for it to be a challenge but not so difficult that it makes you hate the game. So with that in mind, I decided to take charge of the intriguing team that José Mourinho is putting together at A.S. Roma – who I’ve not managed since the good old days of Championship Manager.
That means we’ll be trying to create a coherent strikeforce out of new boys Paulo Dybala, Andrea Belotti and the incumbent Tammy Abraham. And we’ll be binning off Nemanja Matic and, most likely, Chris Smalling as quickly as possible. It’ll also be my first time managing Nicoló Zaniolo on FM, which I’m really looking forward to.
FM23 Main Save: OstDeutsche Sieg
I’ve had a change of heart on our first main save of FM23 because this new concept really jumped out at me as an enjoyable challenge. OstDeutsche Sieg – which means East German Victory – will see us try to lead a club based in former East Germany to the Bundesliga title for the first time. For context, there are only eight teams based in the region, three of which are in tier 3, three in Bundesliga 2, and two (controversially) in Bundesliga.
We have to begin at the bottom of the available German leagues (likely to still be 3. Liga) and aim to reach the top. I’ve never managed below Bundesliga and won’t know any of the players and not too many of the clubs so this promises to be a fun challenge. And I generally love managing in Bundesliga on FM, so that gives us something exciting to work towards.
We’ll have a blog going live explaining the challenge further and giving you a proper introduction to football clubs based in East Germany on the day FM23 is released (8 November).
Other save ideas for FM23
I’ve also got a few concepts in the works throughout the new game cycle, including:
The Ultimate Journeyman
I initially planned to start FM23 with another epic journeyman concept but we’re going to put this idea on the backburner for a little while. Essentially, it feels a little bit all over the place and the storyline doesn’t excite me that much, so I need a bit more time to flesh out a more interesting concept.
The basic idea was that, having completed the Américas and won all the top leagues in Europe on FM22, the new challenge was to complete the rest of the world in Football Manager 23. That was mainly because I’ve never managed in Asia or Africa in any version of FM. For context, that’s likely to be targeting a total of 37 national titles, providing more countries aren’t added or removed to the game this season. In total, that means we’d likely to be trying to win:
1 title in Africa: South Africa
8 titles in Asia: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea
28 titles in Europe: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Wales.
I’m also considering trying to become Champion of each continent – aka the Pentagon Challenge – along the way. But that’s not a key objective of the save.
Within that journeyman challenge, I was considering an extra element that I’ve been thinking about incorporating into a save for a while: the A-Z challenge. We’d have to ensure we won titles with a club whose name begins with every letter of the alphabet. And that’s going to present obvious challenges with finding clubs whose name begins with Q, Y and Z, for starters. I think this challenge alone could be a fun wherever we decide to take the journeyman adventure.
I expect a few more save ideas will come to me, as the Crazy Gang idea came to me midway through the FM22 cycle. I also really enjoyed some of the FM Experiments I tried on FM22, such as Spending Saudi Gold and Bottom at Xmas, so those could come to me as the real-life season develops.
What do you think of these save plans? And who are you planning to manage on FM23?
Are you struggling to decide who to manage on FM23? Check out my guide to 23 Teams to Manage on Football Manager 23.