Supports: Leeds United
FM11 – Rotherham United, Southend United, Liverpool, Barcelona
FM12 – FC Halifax Town, Burnley, Swindon, Man Utd
FM14 – Anderlecht, Cagliari
3 x Premier League
1 x Primera División
2 x Jupiler Pro League
1 X Club World Cup
1 x European Super Cup
2 x FA Cup
4 x League Cup
1 x Russian Cup
3 x Sky Bet Championship
5 x Sky Bet League 1
2 x Sky Bet League 2
2 x Johnstone’s Paint Trophies
1 x Blue Square Bet Premier
1 x FA Trophy
3 x Blue Square Bet North/South
Now I will get a lot of stick for saying this but I favour a 4-4-2. I have looked at trying other formations such as 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3, even once played a very attacking 3-4-3, but I always end up going back to the 4-4-2 system. I think this is because I like my teams to score goals. Lots of goals, and in my own eyes I can only see my teams doing this by having two strikers up top. People can then say “but why not 3-5-2/5-3-2 so you can then gain an advantage in the middle?” It’s because I also want to have wingers at the club that have no real defensive duties. Fundamentally I do get more success from playing this so called out of date formation.
With the 4-4-2 formation I like to attack teams. As this is football you want goals, however this does come at the expense of conceding a lot of goals and my friends then go on to compare me to Kevin Keegan. I like playing with width, basically ending up playing a 2-4-4 with the ball. In the centre of the pitch I have two Ball-Playing Defenders, a Ball Winning Midfielder and normally either an Advanced or Deep-Lying Playmaker.
How Do I Play
Normally like to start unemployed with little/no reputation.
For me the greatest careers I had were both on FM12. I started one season in League 2 with Swindon and got them to the Premier League in 7 seasons. Sadly this included 4 years in the Championship without really doing anything. I then got relegated in my first season in the Premier League, however we dominated the Championship the following season. I then got a job offer to take over at Manchester United. As a Leeds United fan part of me was saying ‘No I can’t go there’ but if I wasn’t going to give it a go then, I never was. Now I only had 2 complete seasons and 5 games of this save, as I got fed up destroying everyone with Manchester United. This included going 63 games undefeated in the league, as well as giving me my worst moment in Football Manager. But I will talk about that later.
So with looking to move on from that club, I started a New Game and took over FC Halifax Town, in the Blue Square Bet Premier Division. Promotion to the Football League took 3 seasons and our start in League 2 was fantastic, being in the top 6 after 11 games. My big chance then came; I was offered the Leeds United job. We lost in the play-offs. The following season the board demanded that we win the league and after 20 odd games we were 3rd, 11 points off top. I was sacked. Heartbroken, I was there looking for a job knowing I had more to give to a team if given a chance, and that chance came in the form of Burnley. I took over with them in mid-table, a slight chance of the play-offs but it didn’t look likely. We finished 14th.
An overhaul of the squad took place the following summer, so that it would allow me to get rid of what were supposed to be top players. As these players had a high value price to them, I sold them, and signed two future legends of the club. Yiadom Boakye was signed on a free and all my transfer budget was put into signing Serbian U21 central midfielder Boban Krcmarevic for £4.2m. With these two running the club promotion was easy, winning the league in our first season. Whilst this was our first season in the Premier League, Leeds were in their 2nd season in the top flight after going up in the play-offs the year they sacked me. My aim was to either stay up or at least be above them. The season ended on a very sad note. On the last day of the season we just missed out on a European place, drawing 0-0 at home versus West Ham. A win would have done it for us. A win would have given us a Europa League spot. Boakye and his teammates were fantastic that season and played out of their skins, just missing out on Europe. Not put off by that season, we strengthened and made our first big money signing of Ramon Parra from Barcelona for £17million.The Spaniard gave us what we needed out wide with pace and had fantastic crossing ability. We went on to have a fantastic season and somehow improved on the previous campaign finishing 4th to take Burnley into the Champions League. We only made it as far as the Last 16 before losing to Lyon but another good season in the league saw us finish 5th and make it into the Europa League. Sadly halfway through this season is where my Burnley story ended as FM13 was then released. But I will always have that save. 1 Championship title, 1 FA Cup win, 2 League Cup wins, and a fantastic chance to play in the Champions League. Meanwhile Leeds got relegated back to the Championship, if only they had stuck with me.
My best moment on Football Manager could be one of three things. Either the whole Burnley experience, going 63 League games unbeaten with Manchester United or another of my greatest saves which could have gone on to surpass that of the Burnley save was my Anderlecht career on FM14. I took over after impressing the Belgian club with my performances at Blackburn, without being too spectacular. During my time with the Brussels club I managed to win the Belgian Pro League in both of my seasons there, but this was not my greatest moment. This came in the Champions League where we managed to finish 2nd in our group which included Real Madrid, Liverpool and Molde. After somehow getting that second spot, we then faced the previous year’s finalists Borussia Dortmund, beating them on away goals 3-3 after Orhan Soylemez scored in the 120th minute. We then faced Marseille in the quarter-finals. The first leg was played in France and I was scared. Never had I won in France, never had I even drawn a game. But it was this moment where we drew 1-1, to my slight annoyance as I am still yet to win a game on French soil, which will haunt me forever on FM (I will explain more in my Worst Moment). With the score at 1-1 we came back to Belgium and we destroyed them winning 4-1 leading us to face Manchester City in the semi final. Sadly we got beaten and crashed out of the competition. Then halfway through pre-season the game refused to load again. RIP Anderlecht of FM14.
It was Manchester United. It was Football Manager 2012. It was the Champions League Final of the 2021/22 season. We had just won the Premier League with the record of P38 W34 D4 L0 GF113 GA15 Pts 106. We had won the FA Cup and the League Cup. We played Arsenal in the final having beaten them home and away in the League. I was confident. We lost 5-3. Five. Three. FIVE-THREE! We had not lost to a single English side all season in all competitions, 15 goals conceded in the league and we go on to concede 5 times in a Champions League Final… I look at where the final was played. It was the Stade de France… How I hate France on FM.
How did I get into FM
The first Football Manager I played was actually Championship Manager back in 1999/00 season. It was great just having the text flashing up along the bottom, having it on the fastest speed so you could hardly see what was happening then suddenly, goal. Moments staring at the screen, not saying a single word, as any word said or a movement that caused noise equalled goal for your opponents. This was my first time I had played the game, this is where my childhood was spent, and it was fantastic.
Top 5 players
A special mention here for the goalkeeper Andy Marshall on CM 99/00 who I always used to sign wherever I was at, as he was a fantastic keeper for whatever reason.
#5 Ramon Parra (Burnley FM12)
Ramon, signed from Barca at age 22 for £17million, the first big money transfer I made. I felt it might have been too much at the time, but he gave us a constant threat down the left and was always up there on the assists boards and one of our greatest creative sparks in the side.
#4 Michele Di Bari (Manchester United FM12)
This guy, I spotted when I was previously at Swindon, he was at Empoli. I never could afford him. The when I joined Manchester United he was my first signing. I signed him for £70million. He went on to play 54 league games scoring 50 goals for the club, 86 games played in all competitions scoring 85 goals. Di Bari was a goal scoring machine.
#3 Boban Krcmarevic (Burnley FM12)
The spine of my Burnley side. His passing stat was 20, an ultimate metronome player.
#2 Branquinho (Liverpool FM11)
Sadly I have removed FM11 from my Steam account so could not look at his stats or his record but it took me 5 seasons to win the Premier League with him as my main striker. He scored so many goals, and then followed me to Barcelona where we won La Liga.
#1 Yiadom Boakye (Burnley FM12)
Burnley Club Captain and Goal Scorer in Chief. 265 appearances in all competitions scoring 179 goals. Signed on a free from Juventus.