Welcome to the first episode of FootballManagerDaily’s new series, FM20 Draft Challenges! We will be doing a series of drafts with limits and parameters in place to create the weirdest and most fascinating squads, before facing off against one another in the beautiful blend of shithousery and tactics we all love FM for. 

To start this series we decided to utilise the most core aspect of comedy in all of football, Centre-backs in attacking positions, by making a team full of 11 centre-backs. 

As a centre-back myself, there is no sight more beautiful to me than Dejan Lovren shanking a volley into row Z thinking he’s the reincarnation of Zinedine Zidane. Equally, whether it’s watching Phillipe Mexes smash in a scissor kick from 35 yards out, witnessing Kurt Zouma beat 17 Ajax players in one mazy run, or watching John O’Shea nutmeg Figo: centre-backs creating in the final third always feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which you simply can’t rip your eyes away from. Personally I still feel the O’Shea thing was a collective fever dream we are all yet to wake up from. 

 

The rules for the draft were simple. Every single player HAD to be a natural Centre-Back; no selecting Kimmich because “well he does play there sometimes?” No. Go back to your PSG save where you bought Haaland and Havertz in season 1. 

We are looking for strike-partnerships of Chris Smalldini and Shkodran Mustafi, with Marco Matterazi coaxed out of retirement to swing in crosses from the right. 

This *includes* Goalkeeper, so we’re expecting that to go well… Now, time to get into the draft!

The Draft

The top 10 were as expected, with technical top class centre backs going like wildfire – Virgil van Djik, Sergio Ramos, and Jerome Boateng being the first 3 to go. Below is the full top 10:

  1. Virgil van Dijk – Connor (Up The Craic FC)
  2. Sergio Ramos – Jacob (Hooligans FC)
  3. Jerome Boateng – Michael (ShithouseFC)
  4. Joe Gomez – Michael (ShithouseFC)
  5. Javi Martinez – Jacob (Hooligans FC)
  6. David Luiz – Connor (Up The Craic FC)
  7. Marquinhos – Connor (Up The Craic FC)
  8. Gerard Pique – Jacob (Hooligans FC)
  9. Fikayo Tomori – Michael (ShithouseFC)
  10. Lucas Hernandez – Michael (ShithouseFC)

The Teams

Connor’s Up The Craic FC. Possession, possession, and a sprinkling of Van Djik.

Draft line up 1 (Connor)

Michael’s Shithouse FC. Think Wimbledon’s Crazy Gang, but more violent, and far less technical.

Jacob’s Hooligans FC. Jurgen Klopp’s wet dream of a system, counteracted by the choice to play Harry Maguire on the left wing.

The managers are set. The teams are picked. The tactics are loaded. Will it be a dull low scoring affair with teams of players with sub 10 finishing coming up against elite defences? Or will the Goalkeeper choices of Bruno Fuchs, Phil Jones, and Alfie Mawson come back to bite the boys? Come back to Football Manager Daily soon and find out!