P is for Football Manager Picking a Team by @Petebuddle

Picking a club to manage on Football Manager is part of the fun of the game. Sometimes it can take a few attempts to get the save you are after, but ensuring that you get the game that you want to play is so important.

It’s pretty obvious that the club you pick will have an enormous bearing on how the save develops.

A club that is in the San Marino second division is going to give you somewhat more of a challenge in terms of squad building and finances, but likewise, if you want to throw the cash around, then you’ll be looking at PSG or Newcastle; how long you’ve been playing FM will kind of dictate the level that you want to go with.

It’s really important to say this right at the start: it’s entirely up to you how you play the game; there is no right or wrong way to do this, and I would beg you to ignore the haters on social media.

If you want to play as PSG or Manchester United, then do it; it’s your game, and don’t let anyone pressure you into playing it in a way that you find difficult or boring.

I’m going to give you some ideas on how to pick your team, but the choice is completely yours!

The Allardyce Method

This is my personal preference, because I’m probably the most indecisive person alive.

FM23 has been great for this, as having a winter World Cup has a great anchor point to begin with!

Simply start unemployed, then sim through to the beginning of the World Cup (I usually sim to the 15th November).

By that point, you’ll have a decent number of teams that are struggling in the league, some of which really shouldn’t be! Take over as one of those clubs and begin the rebuild.

This is quite fun, as because you’ve simmed through the first transfer window, it can throw all sorts of weird obstacles up—some clubs may have spent the transfer budget on a really mid-level striker, or conversely, they may have sold all their best assets.

My main save this year has been OGC Nice through this method; having had a bruising start to the season, they were in 17th in Ligue Un, and a rescue mission was well needed!

I also tried this with Southampton on another save (this did not end well though because I ended up inheriting an utter clown show!)

The Random Football Shirt Method

I’ve seen this done online with varying degrees of success, and it’s something I’d absolutely consider for next year.

You can purchase “Mystery Box” football shirts online, order one of them, and play with that team—it’s really that simple!

You never know; with a save like this, you could end up with an affinity with an obscure team!

The Long-Term Plan

Another save format I love is building a team based on their youth prospects.

Pick a team with great youth facilities; a big favourite of mine is Burton Albion, who share facilities at St Georges Park with the England national team.

Bodo/Glimt, AZ Alkmaar and Villareal are also great shouts for this type of save.

Chat GPT Method

I won’t lie; I’m in my 40’s and am still trying to get my head around this type of caper. I’ve seen some people on Twitter pick their club by asking ChatGPT, but this frankly sounds mental!

For previous A-Z entries, please visit: The A-Z of Football Manager.