FM21

You can find every post from the FM21 cycle here!

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE TWO) – SAVE FINALE

With uni starting again and FM22 on the horizon, I’ve given myself just one season to win the Champions League and complete the save. Probably silly and realistically it’s going to be another failed journeyman for me this year, but nevertheless I’ve got to give it ago. This could be a very short finale should…

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE 2) – LAZIO FIRST SEASON

Club 3 – Lazio With Lazio finishing 5th and being in the Europa League as we take over, I wanted to try and get through this season as fast as possible in the hopes of a top 4 finish to secure Champions League football. So this edition, is going to be a full season overview…

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE TWO) – HUGE NEW JOB!

In a summer where I planned on moving to a top 5 division, there was one team that was available before the end of the season I had my eye on as soon as it became available. That team was Lazio. A huge team in Italy and a club ready made to make a charge…

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE TWO) – LEAGUE TITLE?

Club two – Lechia So here’s the state of play for this end of season run in. With 14 games left to play, we sit top with a comfortable 12 point lead! With just 1 loss all season it’s been a quite remarkable opening 20 games for the Lechia boys, Schettine has 11 goals in…

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE 2) – EURO CUP TWO GROUP AND MID-SEASON REVIEW

Club 2 – Lechia League With deadline day approaching, I had planned on saving our transfer budget for the February window, until I came across 18-year-old forward Dragan Stoisavljevic, wanted by Newcastle and Leeds before we made our move, I acted quickly and secured him for £1.2 million, at 6 foot 2 and with excellent…

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE TWO) – PRE-SEASON AND THE EURO CUP 2

Club 2 – Lechia Gdansk Transfers We were given a big chunk of change to spend over the summer. iven a big chunk of change to spend over the summer. £4.5 million to spend and a good increase to the wage, I went straight to work and signed Legia’s 20-year-old goalkeeper Cezary Miszta. The young…

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE 2) – END OF SEASON RUN IN

Club 2 – Lechia After victory in our opening game in charge of Lechia, it was time to look to the final 14 games and push towards those top 4 positions. We kicked things off with a comfortable 3-1 victory against bottom of the league Górnik Łęczna, Schettine with a brace and Bozok from the…

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE 2) – NEW CLUB LECHIA LEAGUE START

Club 2 – Lechia With the whole of January off it gave me an excellent chance to test the system and give a chance for players to stake their claims. It was clear looking through the stats that last year’s champions had lost their goal scoring touch. Just 13th in the league for goals scored…

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE TWO) – NEW CLUB?!

With FM22’s release date announced, it was clear that I needed to speed up the Journeyman save, with roughly 7 weeks until BETA, we’re against the clock. So with that in mind, I started looking around to see if there was anything of interest. There were quite a few Belgian clubs, Westerlo took a particular…

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE 2) – ISRAELI PREMIER DIVISION STARTS!

So, after not even expecting to be here this year, we begin our campaign in the top-flight of Israel with our hastily put together squad against strong opposition. A quick look at the season preview shows Beitar Jerusalem are 3rd favourites for the league, while we sit firmly at the bottom of the pile at…

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE 2) – SEASON 2, TRANSFERS AND THE TOTO CUP

Having made the decision to stay at Fahm it was time to look at improving things. After receiving a million pounds for promotion, we had around 750 thousand in the bank, I asked for new training facilities as ours were below average, this completely wiped our balance out, which I didn’t expect. However, it does…

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE 2) – SECOND SEASON JOB SEARCH

Hapoel Umm el-Fahm Before discussing the summer, I want to look at our season with Hapoel Umm el-Fahm – predicted 12th before the season started, we made just a couple of signings over the course of the year, finishing second and gaining promotion was a brilliant season.  Although it felt less joyful than it perhaps…

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE 2) – END OF SEASON ONE

Towards the end of February we completed our first coaching course, we instantly asked for another as finances at Fahm are healthier than that of another club we could be at right now. Thankfully they accepted! Initially I debated looking at other jobs when this one was complete, but our rep going from 5% to…

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE 2) – MID-SEASON REVIEW

With the last instalment a longer edition, I’m going to leave the schedule and league table below and then just discuss any talking points and summarise what’s happened over the course of the next section of games. We hit 20 league games and things have been good in the league so far. We’ve continued our…

LA CELESTE – THE 2030 WORLD CUP!

Welcome back to On the Break! Last time out, Maxi guided his Uruguay side through qualification and gave out a load of debuts. Now we’ve arrived at the big time, it’s the 2030 World Cup! SQUAD SELECTION There were a few headaches when it came to selecting the squad, most notably at right-back. Diego de…

JOURNEYMAN (TAKE 2) – THE LEAGUE BEGINS

After our cup disappointment, we looked to correct things in our opening league game against Hapoel Acre. Match 1: Hapoel Acre – We did just that! The complete opposite to that cup game, dominated on the ball, created lots and conceded little. 2-0 victors on the day, central midfielder Itay Tako opened the scoring in…

EUROPEAN JOURNEYMAN (TAKE 2) – PRE-SEASON, TRANSFERS AND THE TOTO CUP

Disaster struck one day into our tenure at Fahm, the board rejected my request for a coaching course! They also rejected requests to improve the training facilities and to improve the youth facilities. While the facilities one is what it is, the coaching course is a real problem early on. You need to get them…

GETTING THE BEST FROM A BALL-PLAYING DEFENDER

Welcome back to On the Break! There hasn’t been a new Tactical Aspects post for 4 months! Time to correct that, I think. This time out we’re going to take a look at one single player role, the Ball-Playing Defender. I use this role a lot, and many others do too, but I think there…

EUROPEAN JOURNEYMAN (TAKE 2) – FIRST CLUB!

Did you guess right? We of course picked Hapoel Umm el-Fahm, who will from here on be known as Fahm (there are 10 out of 16 teams in the division with Hapoel hence we didn’t go with that). Not only did they have a vastly bigger wage budget, but they also had some more stable…

EUROPEAN JOURNEYMAN (TAKE 2) – THE BEGINNING

For those who follow me over at Twitch, you’ll know my love for the journeyman, one of my first saves on stream in FM20 and my first major save on FM21. It’s always a rollercoaster and managing in obscure nations in even obscurer leagues, with weird rules and league systems, whilst hoping wherever you end…

LA CELESTE – WORLD CUP HERE WE COME!

Welcome back to On the Break! After the brief introduction to the Uruguay set up last time out, it’s time to bring some actual match action! Let’s recap the 18 months or so that Maxi has had at the reigns of La Celeste! FIRST THINGS FIRST I said in the last post that I had…

PICKING A STARTING TEAM? EMBRACE THE RANDOM

I know what you’re thinking. Getting your starting team right is huge. You want to start as your favourite team, or maybe you have an FM team that you always start as? Well it’s time to forget all that and embrace the delights of the random. Full disclosure, I run a website – the9llamas -…

APPLYING A PRAGMATIC APPROACH TO FOOTBALL MANAGER

Gareth Southgate has now led England to a World Cup Semi-Final and a European Championship Final in successive tournaments, making himself and the legendary Sir Alf Ramsey the only men in history to lead England to the Semis or further at two major tournaments. Surely this makes him a national hero? Not quite.A lot of…

MAXI’S LA CELESTE – WELCOME TO URUGUAY

Welcome back to On the Break! This is the first post in what I suppose is a new series, although it’s a continuation of Maxi Pereria’s managerial dynasty! Having taken the Uruguayan national job while still with Defensor Sporting (click HERE to catch up with that portion of the save) it’s now the sole focus…

EL VIOLETA – MY TIME AT DEFENSOR SPORTING

Welcome back to On the Break! If you missed the last post, we rounded out the 2028 season, our last with Defensor Sporting. This last post will be a bit of a ramble, one last look at this portion of the save! Let’s have a look back, and say goodbye to Defensor! It’s been a…

EL VIOLETA – 2028 TITLE RUN IN!

Welcome back to On the Break! If you missed the last couple of posts, where were you?! Last time out we narrowly lost the Copa Libertadores final in heart-breaking fashion, and before that we played the Intermedio and most of the Clausura to put us in pole position for the title. Now it’s time to…

EL VIOLETA – THE COPA LIBERTADORES FINAL

ROAD TO THE FINAL DEFENSOR SPORTING “Topping a group including Brazilian giants São Paulo was a great achievement for Defensor, who were never really at threat of elimination from the competition at this stage after an opening 6-0 win away at Libertad.” “Commanding performances in the first leg of both the Second Round and Quarters…

EL VIOLETA – 2028 INTERMEDIO AND CLAUSURA…ISH

Welcome back to On the Break! Last time out we got off to an incredible start to the league campaign, although Peñarol are hanging in there behind us! There’s a lot of big news to cover in this post, so let’s get cracking! NEW JOB? I shared a while back on Twitter that the Uruguayan…

EL VIOLETA – 2028 PRE-SEASON AND APERTURA

Welcome back to On the Break! Doesn’t real life just get in the way?! It’s 3 weeks since I gave the last update, the end of the 2027 season, and I’ve barely had time to sit at the PC since! Here we are though, ready to get the 2028 season underway! YOUTH INTAKE Underwhelmed. In…

EL VIOLETA – 2027 INTERMEDIO AND CLAUSURA

Welcome back to On the Break! If you missed the last post covering the first half of the 2027 season, click HERE to catch up! Peñarol seem to be the team to beat this year, and we’re going to have to be at our best if we’ve got any chance of the title. Can we…

EL VIOLETA – 2027 PRE-SEASON AND APERTURA

Welcome back to On the Break! Click HERE if you haven’t seen the last post in the series, where we concluded the 2026 season. Redemption was the key word last year, getting back to where we had been since the save started; now we need to try and kick on again. YOUTH INTAKE Don’t get…

HOW MENTALITY AFFECTS PLAYER ROLES

Welcome back to On the Break! Today we continue the Tactical Aspects series, with a post covering a topic I’d never really considered before – the effect that mentality has on player roles. If you’d like to catch up on the previous posts in the series, you can do so by clicking HERE. It’s hard…

S01E05 – THE ANNUAL REVIEW 2020/21

PROLOGUE In the previous blog I stated that youth intake day is likely the most anticipated day in the Football Manager calendar. For me though the fun really begins when the season ends, this is where you get to tear it all down and find out what worked or what didn’t. Who performed or who…

JOURNEYMAN #3: NOT SO SUPER-ETTAN

With this being my first Journeyman save, I can’t say I was too clued up as to how people usually approached it. My thinking was to stay in Scandinavia, but climb up the ladder, using the league rankings as a base. Iceland was ranked 60th after winning the title with Valur, which meant only moving…

JOURNEYMAN #2: IN-VESTRI-ING IN YOUR FUTURE

Being told you are long shot favourites to stay up puts the fear into you. Going into the 2022 season with Vestri it was all hands-on deck, the off-season scouting and trialing every player who would take our calls, trying to find a couple of gems good enough to keep us up. If you missed…

JOURNEY TO THE JOURNEYMAN

“This is not the intro to a Journeyman series, no.This is just a tribute!” 2020 was weird… Forget the pandemic, we’ve all had to endure that and if you’ve made it on here, well done, you’ve fucking smashed it. Around March, on a complete whim, I bought Football Manager 2020. I genuinely have no idea…

EL VIOLETA – 2026 INTERMEDIO AND CLAUSURA

Welcome back to On the Break! If you aren’t up to date with the series, click HERE to see how the first half of the 2026 season went. There’s a lot to cover in this post; league form, the Sudamericana, and even some transfer dealings! We best get a move on! TORNEO INTERMEDIO We had…

HV & CV QUICK SEASON TWO: TRANSFERS, LEAGUE AND MORE

THE LEAGUE – DUTCH TWEEDE DIVISIE Just like last year, the league is as confusing. 4 periods instead of 3 with the winner at each stage guaranteeing a play-off spot. Originally predicted rock bottom in the preview was cause for concern, however after transfers were made, we sit in a relatively good spot for a…

S01E04 – THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

PROLOGUE… Last time out I detailed the spreadsheets that I have been using during my time with FC Schalke so far, when it came to the U19s I’d said that sheet in particular would fill out more and properly take shape once after we’d had the intake come through. Well that intake came through and…

END OF SEASON 1 WITH HV & CV QUICK!

It’s funny how Football Manager affects the brain sometimes. After missing out on a guaranteed play-off spot in the last episode, I was more confident than ever that we could and should go on to win the league. With 12 games to finish our first season with Quick, here’s how it all played out. THE…

EL VIOLETA – 2026 PRE-SEASON AND APERTURA

Welcome back to On the Break! After narrowly missing out on the 2024 league title, 2025 brought us crashing back down with an awful season. Click HERE to catch up if you missed it. I had a good, long think over the off season, analysed the data, and made a few changes. If they don’t…

xG AND THE MYTH OF BEING “FM’D”

We’ve all been there. Dominant for 90 minutes, creating chance after chance, but their goalkeeper is having the game of his life; it’s still goalless. Cue the inevitable counter-attack, and a crushing, soul-destroying 1-0 defeat. You’ve been “FM’d”, there’s no shame, it’s happened to all of us. Dig a little deeper though; do the FM…

HV & CV QUICK MID-SEASON UPDATE

Okay it’s a bit further than the middle of the season, but that wouldn’t work with the title would it. We’ve actually played 22 out of 34 games. After having a look at the structure of the league, it’s not like any other I’ve personally managed in before. So, before the review and the look…

OPENING 10 GAMES, TRANSFERS AND THE SYSTEM!

THE LEAGUE START The opening fixtures on Football Manager should often be taken with a pinch of salt. You’re usually looking at around 10 games in all competitions before your style is fully implemented and effective and as you can see from the results so far, it’s been a mixed bag. Now I don’t want…

WELCOME TO HV & CV QUICK

A WELCOME TO HV & CV QUICK FC Although my posts here at onthebreak.net have been real world football based. I wanted to try something different that I can hopefully be a bit more consistent with and give me something to focus on away from my stream save. Welcome to the Netherlands 4th tier. OVERVIEW…

S01E03 – RELEASE THE SPREADSHEET

PROLOGUE… Before we even begin let me warn you that this could be a long one. I had already spent somewhere between 8-10 hours within this save by the time I had accumlated and organised all the info that will be contained in this blog. Then after pushing continue and proceeding through a few months…

EL VIOLETA – DISSECTING A DISAPPOINTMENT

Welcome back to On the Break! Last season was a rough one, the worst since the save started. If you aren’t up to date with the series, I’d recommend at the very least reading the previous post HERE, as it covers the end of the season and gives context to what we’re about to analyse.…

EL VIOLETA – 2025 INTERMEDIO AND CLAUSURA

Welcome back to On the Break! If you missed the post covering the first half of this season, click HERE to catch up! Spoiler alert, it’s grim reading! We really need to find some form and quickly if we’re going to rescue this season, otherwise the save could be over far sooner than anticipated! TORNEO…

S01E02 – KNAPPENSCHMIEDE

KNAPPENSCHMIEDE… Knappenschmiede – it’s not just the name of Schalke’s youth academy; it is a seal of quality in German football. It is there that talents are moulded, prepared for professional football and forged into FC Schalke 04 players. As I began to discuss in the opening post, FC Schalke 04 are well known for…

VIOLETA EXTRA – BIG GAME FOCUS

Welcome back to On the Break! Next up in the Violeta Extra series is a post I didn’t plan to write, but on a monotonous day at work my mind started to wander towards some big games I have coming up and how best to prepare for key games in Football Manager, so now it’s…

S01E01 – DER JUNGBRUNNEN

PROLOGUE… The date is May 2014, FC Schalke 04 are listed by Forbes magazine as the 14th most valuable football club in the world, they’re regularly playing in european competition and finishing as high as 2nd in the Bundesliga. Fast forward to the present day and they are rooted to the bottom of the league…

EL VIOLETA – 2025 PRE-SEASON AND APERTURA

Welcome back to On the Break! If you’re here for the first time or are behind on the series, firstly – thanks for taking the time, and secondly – you can catch up HERE! This year brings about a whole new challenge, the Copa Libertadores Group Stages! Can we balance the demands of the extra…

THE REGISTA VS THE DEEP-LYING PLAYMAKER

Welcome back to On the Break and the second post of my Tactical Aspects series! If you missed the first post where we covered the Defensive Line, click HERE to check it out! This time out we’ll be looking at the differences between a Regista and a Deep-Lying Playmaker; What do they do, how do…

EL VIOLETA – END OF SEASON SQUAD REVIEW

Welcome back to On the Break! In the last post we concluded the 2024 season, and I mentioned that the squad needs a big overhaul, probably a bigger one than I’ve done in a few editions of FM. In this post I’m going to talk through my process, starting with evaluating last year’s squad, identifying…

EL VIOLETA – 2024 INTERMEDIO AND CLAUSURA

Welcome back to On the Break! In today’s post we’ll wrap up the 2024 season and hope to push on towards a first title of the save! If you’ve missed any of the previous posts, catch up HERE. TORNEO INTERMEDIO With Torque surprising everyone and finishing second in the Apertura table, we lucked out that…

EL VIOLETA – 2024 PRE-SEASON AND APERTURA

Welcome back to On the Break! 2023 saw us progress from a distant third to a genuine title challenger for the first time (click HERE to see how that unfolded) so now we need to build on that momentum and really push the big boys! TACTICS Halfway through last season we moved away from our…

VIOLETA EXTRA – LET’S TALK ABOUT SQUAD NUMBERS

Welcome back to On the Break! Today’s post is the second in the Violeta Extra series, where we cover smaller points surrounding the save and how I approach or think about them! Today’s is something that to some will be an absolute non-event, but to others something that can cause superstitions, debate and even conflict!…

THE DEFENSIVE LINE – HIGHER OR LOWER?

Welcome to Tactical Aspects, a new series of posts where I’ll be looking at individual elements of the in-game tactics creator. I don’t claim to be a tactical expert of any sort; there are far more knowledgeable writers than myself in the community, but I hope that by taking a look at smaller aspects in…

EL VIOLETA – 2023 INTERMEDIO AND CLAUSURA

Welcome back to On the Break! A lot has happened since the last post, I’ve had a little rebrand over on Twitter and given myself a little manager avatar which you’ll see dotted around on the site here too, but more importantly, I’ve partnered with the guys over at FM Base and will be adding…

EL VIOLETA – MEET THE PROSPECTS

Welcome back to On the Break! I hope everyone is doing well considering the situation we find ourselves in! If you’ve missed any previous parts of the series, click HERE to catch up. In this post, we’re going to take a more in depth look at the crop of young players we have looking to…

VIOLETA EXTRA – HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE RABUÑAL?

He’s my captain, top earner, and one of our best players, but Martin Rabuñal is under threat from the exciting talent of Luciano Boggio. How do I go about fitting them both into the same side, if that is in fact even the best solution? THE PROBLEM Martin Rabuñal and Luciano Boggio are both really…

EL VIOLETA – 2023 PRE-SEASON AND APERTURA

Welcome back to the brand new On the Break! This is the first post I’ve put out since I moved over to my new site, and I’m really pleased with how it’s come out, I hope you guys all like it too! If this is the first post of mine you’re seeing, click HERE to…

EL VIOLETA – 2022 INTERMEDIO AND CLAUSURA

Welcome back to On The Break! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas, despite all the uncertainty and restrictions right now. It’s been a while since the last post, so to catch up on the series so far, click HERE. We met expectations in the Apertura this season and got off to a solid start,…

EL VIOLETA – 2022 PRE-SEASON AND APERTURA

Welcome back to On The Break! To catch up on the series so far, click HERE. In today’s post, we kick off the 2022 season, taking a look at our pre-season dealings and matches, before diving into the Apertura stage, and our first taste of continental football! PRE-SEASON Before any competitive action, we played a…

EL VIOLETA – 2021 INTERMEDIO AND CLAUSURA

Welcome back to On The Break! Click HERE to catch up with the series so far. Today’s post brings the first season of the save to an end, as we cover the Torneo Intermedio and Clausura stage, and how the overall table looks when all is said and done. TORNEO INTERMEDIO The biggest immediate challenge…

EL VIOLETA – 2021 APERTURA

Welcome back to On The Break! Click HERE to catch up on the previous posts in the series. Today’s post brings the first competitive action of the save, as we dive into our first Apertura, or Opening Stage, campaign. Before we get into that though, we have a few other things to talk about. OFF…

EL VIOLETA – IT’S GO TIME!

Welcome back to On The Break! If you’ve missed the previous parts of this series, click HERE to catch up. I wasn’t going to do a pre-season post, but there are a few bits to talk about so let’s cover them now before my very first Primera División campaign! GETTING THINGS IN PLACE Staffing As…

EL VIOLETA – GAME SETUP AND THE FIRST DAY

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…

AN INTRODUCTION TO ‘EL VIOLETA’

Welcome back to On The Break! I’m excited to bring you the first post of my main FM21 save, El Violeta, with Defensor Sporting from Uruguay. I am a complete novice when it comes to South American football, but the culture, passion and ability all across the continent is inspiring, so I’m throwing myself into…

MY TIME WITH THE FM21 BETA

Welcome back to On The Break! In the last post, which you can catch HERE if you missed it, we looked at my first save of the FM21 cycle with Watford. Today will be a look at FM21 itself rather than a save within it, as I give my thoughts on my favourite and least…

WATFORD FC – MY FM21 BETA SAVE

Welcome back to On The Break and the first post of the FM21 cycle! I hope everyone who is reading this is happy, healthy, and can say the same for all of their family and friends. This post is just a little run down of my time with the Beta so far, as we approach…