Welcome back to On the Break! With Sports Interactive having dropped the first glimpses of Football Manager 2022, it’s safe to say hype season is fully upon us! So I’ve been thinking forward to the new game, and who I’m excited to manage. That doesn’t really make for much of an article though, so I’ve enlisted the help of some friends! These aren’t necessarily ‘save reveals’ for the new game, just a club each we’re excited to do a save with at some point.
@adam_otbfm – WEST HAM UNITED
I’ve always enjoyed a West Ham save, going all the way back to the 2003 side that was ‘too good to go down’ on LMA Manager! Add in the fact that my girlfriend and her family are all fans, and I feel I need to get in there and do a good job! After a really impressive season last year and a good transfer window, they’re in a strong position to kick on, plus they’ve got a European adventure to go on for the first time since 2016. I’m starting to really enjoy an industrious double pivot, and the pairing of Declan Rice and Tomáš Souček is one I’m keen to use and keep together, while Michail Antonio is exactly the kind of quick and powerful forward I like to have spearheading my attack. Add in new signings with the calibre of Kurt Zouma and Nikola Vlasic and there’s some genuine quality in the squad, with the infrastructure and money to become a force.
It may only be a short BETA save, but I’m excited to get stuck in and see what the new game, and the Hammers, have to offer.
@FMQuinny – IPSWICH TOWN
As a Suffolk boy, despite living relatively far away, Ipswich is everyone’s local club! I’ve been debating doing a save with The Tractor Boys for a few years, but now seems to be the perfect time. With owner Marcus Evans out the door and new American investors at the helm, Ipswich have made no fewer than 19 additions this summer, ranging from young Villa starlet Louis Barry to centre-back George Edmundson of Rangers, experienced head Tom Carroll formerly of Tottenham, Swansea and QPR, the list goes on and on, most exciting for me is former WBA wonderkid Rakeem Harper, once touted a future star for the Baggies, Harper has a great blend of technical ability along with the physicals required to play in League One. Perhaps what’s most exciting about the Blues is the depth in attack, Macauley Bonne, Connor Chaplin, Louis Barry, Sone Aluko and Joe Pigott have all been brought in while James Norwood and Kayden Jackson remain. 7 forwards in total means it’s going to be a tough task to accommodate all and find the right combination for success, either way I’m up for the challenge!
@Phil_H_FM – Anderlecht
My first ‘main’ save will be with Anderlecht. They are a club I have always had a soft spot for, particularly after visiting their ground on a trip around Europe in 2016. They are a club I have dabbled with in the past, but the save has never really kicked on for various reasons. This time I will be attempting to make the club entirely homegrown, and its at this point that I need to doth my proverbial cap to MaddFM and his fabulous homegrown save with Angers on FM21 – the idea for my save came directly from this.
Anderlecht have been underachieving of late, having not won the league since 2016/17, and whilst they are still one of the most powerful clubs in Belgium I’m hoping that the homegrown element will bring that extra challenge to the save as we attempt domestic domination as well as hopefully making some sort of impact on Europe. Initially I had planned to do this save with Gent (another club I visited in 2019), but their squad is miles away from being homegrown, Anderlecht on the other hand have such FM20/21 wonderkids such as Marco Kana and Yari Verschaeren to build a team around, as well as what I hope will be a conveyor belt of young talent coming through the academy, which will have to be a massive focus. Finally, I have never managed in Belgium and I’m looking forward to what is a slight different league structure from most of Europe.
@Chris_ANZFM – LINCOLN CITY
Who am I most excited to manage in FM22?
Well for many years I’ve been a one club save kind of man, and that one club has usually been Lincoln City. This save dates back to something like FM15/16 where it took on the traditional ‘Road to Glory’ type of save where you start in Tier 6 of England and work your way up to Premier League and Champions League glory. In more recent editions of FM the journey now begins in League One, due to the club’s domestic success, and they’re reasonably well established in the league I think it’s fair to say. The real upshot here is that squad is an FM players dream. Young players in on loan from Premier League clubs in Fiorini and N’Lundulu; Young potential released by Premier League academies in Poole, Scully, Eyoma and Sanders. This is then smattered with a couple of wily veterans in club captain Liam Bridcutt and new arrival Chris Maguire, before finally sprinkling a couple of young academy prospects on top for good measure.
I’m just counting down the days before I can fire this up and make good on last season’s Play-Off final disappointment.
@MaddFM – RCD MALLORCA
I had a really enjoyable save at CD Tenerife in FM19 – managing in Spain is always a really enjoyable challenge with the quality and style of football combined with the challenge of competing against the dominance of the Madrid teams and of course Barcelona, irrespective of their recent IRL downfall. One team that has caught my eye this season is RCD Mallorca, with the islanders having just recently been promoted back to La Liga after finishing 2nd in the Segunda Division last season. Not only have they the infrastructure (23,000 seater stadium which usually fills for big games) and the historical footballing pedigree (notable alumni include Miguel Angel Nadal, Samuel Eto’o, Marco Asensio and Pablo Mari) – they have had a highly impressive transfer window since gaining promotion particularly in the loan market wherein they have signed Pablo Maffeo (Stuttgart), Takefusa Kubo (Real Madrid) and Rodrigo Battaglia (Sporting) as well as completing two massive coups through the permanent signings of Lee Kang-In (Valencia – Free) and Matthew Hoppe (Schalke – €3.5m). Keeping them up will be the first challenge however with that squad there is huge potential to avoid relegation and make a rapid push up the La Liga table within a couple of seasons; who knows – you might even be able to convince your other half that a holiday to Majorca would be the perfect getaway while you secretly make plans for a stadium visit or even a La Liga game if you play your cards right! You know it makes sense.
Who are you looking forward to managing in the new game? Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter! Huge thanks to the guys for getting involved with the article, make sure you click their names to follow them on Twitter if you don’t already!