Welcome back to On The Break! The full release of FM21 is finally upon us, so it’s time to get the show on the road! If you missed the introduction to this series, you can catch up HERE. I’m excited to get the save up and running, but we’ve got a bit of prep to do first!
I don’t usually go through my save setup, because it’s generally the main five European leagues and a large database. Having watched a couple of videos about the best way to set up a save though, I’m trying something new this time around. Every league in the game is loaded, albeit on View Only (except Uruguay of course!). I’m also loading in every player in the database, which with the nature of my save and the fact that I’ll rarely sign players from outside South America is probably overkill, but after watching Zealand’s YouTube video on the subject, I decided to give it a try and see how my machine handles it!
There’s also the small matter of getting our manager, Maxi Pereira, ready to start his new career!
These are the attributes I’ve chosen for Maxi, I wanted more of a focus on mental attributes as I feel they’ll make more a difference long-term, once we get a decent coaching staff on board Maxi will be one of many in that sense. In the coaching attributes I saw no sense in having any GK coaching ability as Maxi didn’t play in goal, so I used the extra points to bump up a few others, mostly defending.
So that’s the save setup covered, I guess it’s time to get started!
THE FIRST DAY
As I mentioned in my intro post to this save, I’m not taking my usual approach to playing the game, instead pacing myself and delegating tasks in certain areas to allow myself to get more involved in the areas where I do less than a real life manager would. Before I can do that, I need to meet the staff.
This is Nicolás Olivera, my Director of Football. The DOF role is going to be very important in this save, as I’ll be giving away a lot of the control I usually have over transfers and contracts plus I plan to use my HOF as the lead on scouting above my Chief Scout. The problem is Nicolás isn’t very good at his job and I’m not sure I can trust him. He is incredibly adaptable though, which is handy because he will probably have to adapt to being unemployed!
Speaking of scouting, let’s check out the team and see what we’re working with.
Umm, okay then. I was planning to have all of my responsibilities set out before we progressed even a day to make sure everyone was on the same page, but that clearly isn’t going to happen. We need some scouts, and quickly. Curiously, we still have the highest rated recruitment team in the division, almost entirely down to our Loan Manager Fernando Fadeuille, who has 14 for both JPA and JPP.
Things look slightly better on the coaching side, but still far from perfect.
We technically have a full compliment of coaches, but that does include two fitness coaches and the Assistant Manager, who like the DOF, I don’t think is up to scratch. One of our fitness coaches is really, really decent, but the other is only okay, and I may look to replace him with a general coach to improve other areas. Maxi obviously makes an impact here too, with his defensive coaching attribute making us one of the strongest in the division in this area.
We are lacking a lot of key roles, no HOYD, no analysts of any type across Coaching and Recruitment and no Technical Director. That’s without even going into the medical team, where bare minimum we need a new physio and ideally a Sports Scientist.
It isn’t going to get fixed overnight, but I really need to address this staffing issue. We aren’t equipped to progress this club even on the domestic front, let alone on the continent.
Head of Youth Development
Scout x2 (minimum, ideally 4)
That’s all without trying to replace the Assistant Manager and Director of Football that I have no faith in, or improve the coaching beyond what it is now, but baby steps. It’s my first day after all.
Now that we have a plan of action with the staffing situation, it’s time to go and take a look at the squad.
I’m actually very pleased with the squad that Maxi has to work with. There are no real weak links, everyone is of a quality to step in and make a difference, and there’s some really good potential in the side. Early excitement comes in the form of Alan Rodríguez, Ignacio Laquintana and Luciano Boggio. Although with two right wingers there, I do see a shift to full-back in Ignacio’s near future.
The squad also holds a bit of X-Factor with the inclusion of former FM wonderkids Juan Ángel Albín and Franco Zuculini, who despite not fulfilling the potential SI blessed them with all those years ago are still very good players at this level.
In terms of expectations this season, we’re predicted by the media to finish 6th from 16 sides, while the board are looking for a top half finish, so the expectations aren’t too intense, which maybe gives me a chance to settle in and work with what we have without having to try to overhaul the squad, which we have no money to do anyway.
So that’s my first impression of El Violeta, a club with a lot of potential for growth, but for now it’s time to go through pre-season, figure out the best formation and tactic for this group of players, and enter the crazy world of Uruguayan football.
I’m not sure what the next post will be, it could be an overview of staff responsibilities and the scouting setup I want to install if I can get some decent staff in relatively soon. If not, it will probably be a progress report at the end of the Apertura stage.
Thanks for reading.