Hey guys and welcome back to my FM 2011 European Challenge. Its been a roller coaster ride so far, but the fun has only just begun. After winning the treble with AC Milan, I felt like my time in Italy was up. After handing in my resignation I spent a few months getting burnt in Barbados and watched the World Cup. Some shocking performances led to Ghana of all nations winning the competition. England finished bottom of their group and Argentina could only manage 3rd position in theirs. Obviously both managers were given the boot and guess who was on the end of my mobile a day later…you guessed it, England and Argentina required my services.
– Hamburg SV, Germany (January 2010-April 2012)
– AC Milan, Italy (November 2012-May 2014)
Bundesliga title – 2012
German Cup – 2012
Serie A title – 2013 & 2014
Italian Cup – 2013 & 2014
Champions League – 2014
The big decision – Argentina or England??
OK enough introduction, here is my analysis of both countries and which one I picked. Lets start with Argentina. This proud nation has been held back by bad management and dodgy squad selections. The vast wealth of regens at their disposal is incredible and each manager hasn’t tapped in to this yet. This challenge means getting about and managing clubs and countries you haven’t touched before. Argentina are one of these and could potentially be the best team of all time.
Now for England. Well, they are my home nation and taking them to glory would bring unfounded pride. They still have the likes of Rooney and co but lack replacements for Lampard, Gerrard, Terry etc. England haven’t produced one great regen yet…a few could do well in the Premier League but have no such potential for the international stage. Therefore I feel like this could be the impossible job, there just isn’t enough decent talent coming through. Add to this the fact that I will definitely go back to my Newcastle game one day and want to manage England there. It would seem the obvious choice is Argentina. If it weren’t for my desire to manage England in my Newcastle save, this would have been a no brainer. However, my guilty pleasure has kicked in and ARGENTINA are the nation that have won my signature.
I know this decision will get a mixed reaction and I can relate to both sides of the argument. However, I want to save England for my Newcastle game and take control of the best side I’ve ever seen on FM. Below is one of my 23 man squad selections. You may not recognise a lot of names, but the ones you don’t know are probably better players than the ones you do. I know, crazy isn’t it, I just love regens!
I also want to share some of the better regens with you, SOME been the operative word. There are plenty more and my U20’s squad is full of at least 5 more that will be brilliant in 3 years time.
My first regen is Becerra who plays on the left wing. He has some great stats but believe me they do not do him justice. I have used the 21 year old in friendlies and he is Messi like. :)
Claudio Gonzalez can be used on the left wing or as an advanced playmaker. He has great stats and plenty of potential to improve even more. The 20 year old is used in a rotation system.
Millemaggi plays for Inter Milan and I found out how good the 20 year old is first hand. He ran my Milan defence riot last season. This kid will be as good as Pastore if not better in my opinion.
Last but not least we have Vella. My personal favourite and one regen I have developed while managing AC Milan. He plays on the right wing and is simply brilliant. There’s a lot of competition on the wings and this keeps Di Maria off the bench. :)
You can see the attacking talent my side posses by our friendly results. Its going to be a fun ride and I have the Copa America coming up in 2015. Lots of friendlies have been arranged and I can’t wait to play our first international competition.
I bet you thought that was post over, well stay seated as I have another big announcement. While managing Argentina I found the time to scout clubs and wait for the right job to come along. During November I applied for three great clubs, all in the same country…Spain. The first was Barcelona who turned me down, no surprise really. Then I showed an interest in Real Madrid to put some heat on Jose Mourinho. However, this just led to a vote of confidence from their board and consequently the two fingers to me. Then I noticed Athletico Madrid had sacked their manager. One day after I applied they gave me a contract offer.
I was very excited and made my move straight away. The initial transfer budget is £16.5 million but they then upped it to way more and I spent a lot of money. Though this will be covered in my next post, so lets see my team and situation within La Liga.
After my move to Spain I realised Ath Madrid aren’t half the team they used to be. Still very good but a mile off the title which shows by their start to the season. 13 points off top spot and currently in 9th place.
My aim for the season is to bring them back up to the top three and build towards a bright future. I want to build a squad worthy of the title and taking Barcelona off their perch. With a big transfer kitty this is possible and I already have two AC Milan players lined up!
Ath Madrid squad left for me to work with
As you can see, I still have the incredible Aguero to rely on. :) However, Reyes is ageing and both the right and left wing need strengthening. I can think of two wingers from my old club, Milan, that would fit the bill. I also want a central midfielder that can pass and tackle…preferably someone who is young too. Guess I’ll be busy in January. :)
First results from the Smith reign in La Liga
A very good start I think bar the Barcelona result…they really thrashed us! I was however delighted with my sides 8-0 demolition of Osasuna. Aguero seems to be holding us up so far, this worries me slightly and I can’t wait for the transfer window to open.
La Liga table after my first five games
A good start to my reign in Spain, we gained 3 points on Barcelona and moved up to 5th. Over the next four months I want to carry on the great form and challenge for a top three finish. We are still in the Spanish Cup but so are Real, Sevilla and Barcelona so I’m not confident there. Then there’s the Champions League which we may not be ready to challenge for yet.
My next post will feature some winter transfers and a lot of games. These three months will shape my season and could lead to unexpected glory or just plain failure. We’ll see next time, but one things for sure, you don’t want to miss my new signings. ;) Thanks for reading guys and please feel free to comment. See you soon.
If you want to join us all in the Ultimate European Challenge, please follow the link and read the rules. Its very simple and should get us all into different cultures and styles of Football.