Author: Ashley Munson
Every year when the new Football Manager lands we all do one of two things; we rush to ‘our team’ to check out the squad and stats with the ambition of ‘doing a Leicester‘. Or we skip that and immediately select a global superpower – that’s Barcelona, Real Madrid, Man City, PSG to name a few – who have a nearly bottomless budget and set out to replicate the ‘Invincibles’ and win the unprecedented quadruple.
Well maybe next time you get the urge to start up a new session you should try one of these challenges – complete all five and consider yourself a hall of famer.
CHALLENGE ONE – THE UNDERDOG
Anyone can win promotion to the Premier League with parachute payments rolling in and a squad full of top-level talent. Try proving yourself from the bottom. Pick a team in the National League – any team will suffice – and build a team not only for promotion but for a long-term journey that will see you mixing it up with the biggest clubs in Europe.
If you reach the Premier League then you’ve done well, reach it with back to back promotions then you’re a footy manager hero.
Our tip – don’t jump ship when bigger offers come calling.
CHALLENGE TWO – KNOCK THE SPECIAL ONE FROM HIS PERCH
Jose Mourinho arrived in England with a glint in his eye and passion in his heart. Fast forward to today and football fans – and pundits for that matter – will be torn on what he is today. Some say arrogant and past it; some say he’s one of the best to have ever graced the game. We’re with the latter camp and his record backs it up.
First division titles in Portugal, England, Spain and Italy is just the start of his honours list, which is something he’s been happy to share with the world on more than one occasion. Can you go one better than the Special One and clinch a league title in five different countries? Just remember, if you don’t play quickly enough, he might add another trophy to his cabinet making your challenge tougher.
CHALLENGE THREE – MAKE SOCCER THE NEW FOOTBALL
David Beckham headed to the US and took the MLS global when he joined LA Galaxy but the sport is well down the pecking order over there. Soccer – as they call it – only ranks fifth on their list of favoured sports with their own ‘football’, the NFL football league in particular, dominating their viewing habits. Take charge of the national team and win the World Cup to transform how the US follow their football.
CHALLENGE FOUR – FOLLOW SIR ALF AND SIR BOBBY
England have only won the World Cup once. It was 1966 and Alf Ramsey, who later went on to be knighted, guided us to victory. Then years of agony followed until Bobby Robson – another who later received the honour of a knighthood – gave the nation hope but his side fell at the semi-finals.
Its widely acknowledged that those two names are the best to have sat in the England hot seat but it’s not just at international level where that’s the case. In a small town in Suffolk the pair are immortalised as statues outside the ground of Ipswich Town; Ramsey won the First Division and Robson the FA Cup and UEFA Cup. Can you guide Ipswich back to the glory days? Who knows, if you do that the England job might just around the corner too.
CHALLENGE FIVE – THE YOUNG GUNS
It was once said that you’ll never win anything with kids but Sir Alex Ferguson and his class of 92 had something else to say. Build yourself a team to challenge for – and win – major honours whilst keeping the average age of your team under 23. It’s tougher than it sounds because things will need to fall into place quickly – players do age after all.
There you have it, five challenges to keep you sufficiently occupied. If you crack all five then perhaps you should spend less time on Football Manager and more time sending your CV to actual clubs; you never know, you could be the late managerial discovery football has been looking for.