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Getting back into FM, 6 years later

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Stam's avatar Administrators Stam 2018-05-09 20:43
gr 2497 posts 916 likes joined Oct 03, 2006
For those who know me, this topic is a surprise because I never had a story started in the forum section, ever. Heck, the last save I actually played (and enjoyed) was back in FM12.

I wanted to get back into the game - even for a little while - and hopefully that time has come.

(Initial) Club




The club to begin with was easy. The team I support has been dominating the domestic league for a number of years, but this season was different. Olympiakos not only didn't win anything at all, they also failed to qualify for next season's Champions League.

If I fail miserably - which is possible - I have loaded 9 other top European leagues as playable, in case my motivation levels remain high enough to carry on.

Mission


In real life, Thrylos changed 4 head coaches during the season. Not once the team showcased effective football, let alone attractive.

However, my mission for this save has more to do with myself getting back into the game, rather than ensuring Olympiakos achieves all the goals the board will set.

It's not that I won't make an effort to achieve whatever the board will throw at me, but in all honesty I just want to try and enjoy this return to FM.

In the next update, I'll reveal my first steps in pre-season and share my feelings about how different the game feels since my last career save back in 2012.

Any questions or feedback, I encourage you to come forth with it.
This post was edited by Stam (2018-05-17 07:54, 6 months ago)
Whatever happens in your every day life, coming here should be an escape from it; so cheer up and talk FM :)
Justice's avatar Group Justice 2018-05-09 20:48
00 5234 posts 651 likes joined Feb 11, 2013
I've been here a long time but it is only now that I have seen everything; a Stam story!
Aaron's avatar Group Aaron 2018-05-09 20:49
00 2078 posts 243 likes joined Aug 10, 2013
Wow this was a surprise, good luck mate! I hope you can rekindle your passion for FM, it's good to see your face on the forum!!
Stam's avatar Administrators Stam 2018-05-09 21:02
gr 2497 posts 916 likes joined Oct 03, 2006
@Justice: I'm just hoping I won't disappoint the readers or myself and stick with it for at least a full season in-game :)

One thing I can foretell about this story is that my focus will be on expressing my reactions to gameplay.

@Aaron: Thanks. Being more active in the forum is in fact my secondary goal behind this story.

As I make use of all the assets here, I'll definitely think of improvements to bring on the table for everyone else.
Whatever happens in your every day life, coming here should be an escape from it; so cheer up and talk FM :)
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT 2018-05-09 21:39
gb 1496 posts 221 likes joined Apr 04, 2016
This is a beautiful sight. Welcome to story writing, Stam.
Stam's avatar Administrators Stam 2018-05-09 22:38
gr 2497 posts 916 likes joined Oct 03, 2006
@Scott: Thanks.

It's unlikely my story writing skills will dazzle anyone as English isn't my native language, but I'll try to express myself in a clear and concise way.

And tomorrow, I'll attempt to read a couple of other people's stories in order to get more into the spirit.
Whatever happens in your every day life, coming here should be an escape from it; so cheer up and talk FM :)
Stam's avatar Administrators Stam 2018-05-10 22:22
gr 2497 posts 916 likes joined Oct 03, 2006


Second day, second story update. I'm hoping to maintain daily updates if possible.

First Steps


I won't lie to you. The very first thing I did after starting my save was to fire up Genie Scout 18g and get an informed look at my squad; the Greek players in particular.

(wanting to) Build a core of Greeks

Over the past few years, Olympiakos in real life is filled with foreigners.

Being a championship contender every single season and having no patience whatsoever about trusting the local players... well, that sums up the situation.

You'd normally count 2 Greeks in the starting XI. That made me sad. But hey, they had to win at all costs.

On my watch (this FM18 game) I won't let this happen. I want my first team to have at least 5 Greeks. Which is why I made sure to load all players with Greek nationality when starting my save.

Assessing the Squad

To be honest, I had started another save where I had only loaded Greek Superleague as a playable league. After like 4 days in-game I ditched it for 2 reasons; (a) selling players didn't work at all with 1 playable league, and (b) I wanted to have another league to move to if I'd get sacked.

So, I've assessed Olympiakos' roster twice and placed most players on the transfer list.

I didn't change their squad status though, I didn't offer anyone to clubs, and I didn't populate the unwanted list at all. Why?

Because after realizing how impossible the transfers AI of FM18 is like, I got the impression it's best to see that "Wnt" icon emerge without demolishing my players' morale while there's no interest to leverage.

As a result, 4 players attracted interest from clubs abroad. Frankly, that's still pretty meager, but it's a start.

That's it for today's update. If you have any tips for me on how I can get rid of more players, please let me know.
This post was edited by Stam (2018-05-11 09:45, 7 months ago)
Whatever happens in your every day life, coming here should be an escape from it; so cheer up and talk FM :)
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT 2018-05-10 22:47
gb 1496 posts 221 likes joined Apr 04, 2016
It's a huge challenge to offload players on this game, definitely. If you manage to get rid of some deadwood then good on you, as it's very difficult to do! :P
Stam's avatar Administrators Stam 2018-05-10 22:54
gr 2497 posts 916 likes joined Oct 03, 2006
@Scott: I figured as much. Perhaps it will get easier during the winter transfer window, as I'll have enough time to unsettle the players and make them want to leave in despair :P
Whatever happens in your every day life, coming here should be an escape from it; so cheer up and talk FM :)
Jack's avatar Group Jack 2018-05-10 23:19
gb 3136 posts 325 likes joined Mar 29, 2013
This is delightful to see. I've never felt so giddy :D
Aaron's avatar Group Aaron 2018-05-11 00:46
00 2078 posts 243 likes joined Aug 10, 2013
As Scott said it'll be very challenging to offload your foreigners and still compete but if anyone can do it I believe you can, and I can't wait to hear more about your time there!

I also really like your take on the whole transfer list thing. I never thought of it like that, ridding of players without damaging morale in the case that the end up not leaving. Maybe I'll learn some more from you as you go on :)
Stam's avatar Administrators Stam 2018-05-11 10:35
gr 2497 posts 916 likes joined Oct 03, 2006
@Jack: I'm glad you're enjoying this surprise. And welcome back! :)

@Aaron: I haven't delved into the tactical aspect of the game yet; want to do some reading first. However, I'm confident we'll remain title contenders for the domestic competitions.

My favorite part in Football Manager is squad building and making bargain signings in particular. In today's update, we'll look at some realistic transfer targets.
Whatever happens in your every day life, coming here should be an escape from it; so cheer up and talk FM :)
Stam's avatar Administrators Stam 2018-05-12 20:05
gr 2497 posts 916 likes joined Oct 03, 2006


Transfers


The board gave me a transfer budget of 2.9M and a wage budget of 530K (spending 500K). All figures are in GBP.
And (for the time being) 80% of transfer revenue is made available.

Players on Sale

As you might already know, I've transfer listed almost everyone; especially the high earners.

So far I was able to sell only Felipe Pardo (26) to Saint-Etienne for 1.9M (could rise to 2.3 if clauses trigger).

The fans didn't like this sale much because they thought he was a useful rotation player. I thought people cared about key players these days, but hey.

There are 3 players currently wanted; Andre Martins (27), Seba (25) and Marko Marin (28).

Fingers crossed I can get rid of them fast. It's not that they're bad players (they're quality), but my plan is to make room for the locals and boost my transfer budget (by adjusting the gap in wages).

Roster Rundown & Transfer Targets - Part I



Let's start with the goalkeeper position. I've got 3 keepers and they're all transfer listed. Belgian international Silvio Proto (34) is the most notable.

In real life, Olympiakos is in talks with Slavia Sofia to sign Antonis Stergiakis (18) for roughly 700K. I liked his prospect in FM18 as well, so I've placed a 250K bid for him and managed to sign him!

Therefore, I won't be looking any further. I'll trust him as a starter despite he's not ready yet to perform at the highest level. Hoping he'll develop faster this way.




My team desperately needs a right back (or two) as Omar Elabdellaoui (25) is covering the spot all on his own. And he's transfer listed.



I've got 2 left backs in Greek youngster Leonardo Koutris (21) and Iranian international Ehsan Hajsafi (27). The latter is transfer listed. I'll be on the lookout for a left back.



There are 4 natural centre-backs in the roster.

The board splashed the cash on Bjorn Engels (22) in real life last summer (5.5M) making him the most expensive signing of defender we've ever made. I'll keep him for now and see how he copes as a starter.

Pape Cisse (21) is a towering and powerful centre-back from Senegal that we signed last year from Ajaccio (a Ligue 2 side). He seems to possess sufficient quality to stay on the team and be a useful rotation option.


Then we have the Spaniard Alberto Botia (28) and Greek youngster Dimitris Nikolaou (18).
The first one is transfer listed, but hasn't attracted any interest so far; I'm assuming because of his injury (out for 6 to 12 weeks).
Nikolaou doesn't have high potential, but I wish to use him as a starter or on rotation at least.

Sadly, I have no clear targets for the defensive end yet.

And despite the fact Greece is known for producing solid defenders (e.g. Manolas, Papastathopoulos...), all the good ones are already playing at better teams abroad. I'll monitor them just in case they become unsettled at their clubs or their contracts are expiring.

I'll carry on with Part II of "Roster Rundown & Transfer Targets" on my next story update. Stay tuned and feel free to comment with your remarks and transfer suggestions.
This post was edited by Stam (2018-05-12 20:18, 7 months ago)
Whatever happens in your every day life, coming here should be an escape from it; so cheer up and talk FM :)
Aaron's avatar Group Aaron 2018-05-12 20:28
00 2078 posts 243 likes joined Aug 10, 2013
Nice little addition in that keeper there. Very bold move to transfer list pretty much all your foreigners like I said before but I'm enjoying seeing you take on the challenge. Looking forward to hopefully seeing an all Greek team lead Olympiakos this season.
Stam's avatar Administrators Stam 2018-05-12 20:29
gr 2497 posts 916 likes joined Oct 03, 2006
@Aaron: It won't be an all-Greek team from the get go, but I'll make an effort to use at least 4-5 Greeks on the starting lineup.
Whatever happens in your every day life, coming here should be an escape from it; so cheer up and talk FM :)

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