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Building a Dynasty - A Sir Alex Ferguson Challenge

A Sir Alex Ferguson tribute
Started on 2 November 2019 by JT
Latest Reply on 31 December 2019 by Justice
JT's avatar Group JT
4 yearsEdited
The Sir Alex Ferguson Challenge

So as the name suggests, my first foray into FM20 will be a challenge that looks to emulate Sir Alex Ferguson's career at Man Utd. Without doubt the best manager to ever ply his trade in the Premiership, his record speaks for itself and this is coming from an Arsenal fan who was quite often on the frustrating end of his brilliance.

So the idea of this save was stolen from another forum and so the challenge i lay out for myself, i can take no credit for but i am tweaking it a little to fit my playing style. So how does the challenge work?

Well I am going to start with an unemployed manager with International footballer (continental level) / Continental pro licence and take over whichever club is 2nd from bottom in the Premiership on November 6th, exactly where Man Utd were when Sir Alex came in. From there i need to try and at least match what Sir Alex did with Man Utd and there will be a few milestones

Win the FA Cup within 4 seasons Ferguson won his first cup, the FA Cup vs Crystal Palace in 89/90
Win the Premier League within 7 seasons
Ferguson won his first Premier League in 92/93
Win a Premier League/FA Cup double within 8 seasons#
Ferguson won his first Double with United in 93-94
Win Three Premier League/FA Cup Doubles within 13 seasons
Ferguson's Treble Included His Third League/FA Cup Double
Win the Premier League/FA Cup/Champions League Treble within 13 seasons
Ferguson Won the Infamous Treble in 98/99

In total his achievements read as

Premier League (13)
FA Cup (5)
League Cup (4)
Community Shield (10)
UEFA Champions League (2)
UEFA Europa League (1) (Replaces the Cup Winners Cup) **
UEFA Super Cup (1)
FIFA Club World Cup (2) (One Replaces Intercontinental Cup)

So there is quite a feat there and to help make it a bit more interesting i am going to attempt to stick to some rules that again mirror Sir Alex. These are

1. No more than 11 signings per season, of which only 8 can play in the first team that season
2. No buying/selling of players with your biggest rival
3. A player that came through the youth academy must be in every match squad

So there you have it.... where will i end up?
The options

So Fm20 could start at anyone of 20 clubs as i look to holiday the game until the 6th November. One thing i will do is disable the 1st window so that the squads are exactly how they are in real life meaning no one has signed themselves a wonderkid or even sold their best player for peanuts. Let's look at each club and see where i could end up.

My boyhood team and although we are frightfully unreliable the chances of the AI putting Arsenal in 19th after 11 or so games is not likely. However, the thoughts of managing some of the exciting youth such as Martinelli and Saka would be incredibly exciting. I do suspect the AI might overpower Arsenal as they seem to do every year

Aston Villa
Newly promoted and definitely one of the clubs that i has a real possibility of being in the 19th position. Out of all of the realistic clubs, i have to say this is the one that excites me the most. They have history, they are a big club and they need reawakening and i would love to take on that challenge. I do suspect though they could be doing quite well in most saves this year.

My gut says they will be safely in the mid table positions come November 6th so i think could be quite unlikely. The pros of the side being some of the players immediately at my dispoal (Callum & Harry Wilson, King, Brooks, Fraser) but the big draw back being the size of the club and its facilities which could hold us back.

Brighton & Hove Albion
I think these are going to be a real possiblity and that does worry me. I am just not enamoured with their team and although i like Duffy and Dunk at the back, the rest of the squad seems a little Meh if i am honest. Some modern facilities will help us out but i do hope i can dodge a preverbial bullet on this one.

However, saying that i would rather have Brighton than Burnley (Sorry Burnley fans). I think Dyche has done a wonderful job there and how they are competing with their limited budgets is really impressive but it will be a scrap to get this side to the level. Still i did say i wanted a challenge

Again, I am going to write off all of the big 6 from flopping that bad but it will be interesting to see how the game responds to a young team and how they are reflected in game. I suspect quite well and i dont see Stamford Bridge being my home for this save.

Crystal Palace
The nearest side to me, as i live just 15 minutes away on the train and although the squad bar Zaha isn't great, this side would have some real connection with me and could make an interesting save and one that i think is totally realistic. My fingers are crossed for the Eagles.

Struggling in real life but i think the AI will like Everton this year and am therefore discounting them as being a real possibility. Would make a great save though...

Leicester City
Pretty much the same as Everton. Discounted but would be an amazing side although i do think the AI is going to rank this team strongly this year and i wouldnt be surprised if they broke into the top 4 in real life and also in game.

Let's just no go there. Never going to happen

Man City
As per above. Not going to even think about it

Man Utd
Well this would be a nice synergy but although they have fallen from grace, i dont think even the game would go that far... or would it?

Now this would be an interesting save. A club with so much potential but a squad that needs a lot of work. Definitely in my top 3 "realistic" options. Come on the Magpies!

Another one of the more realistic options and i wouldn't be opposed to it as i do like Cantwell and Pukki but are they going to be strong enough to build something around? I am not so sure.

Sheffield United
Like Burnley, i think this would be my worst possible option. (Sorry!). I am just not that excited by the prospect even though they are doing well in real life. Hopefully the same happens in game so i can avoid this one.

Another club that i think will be down there as they have now lost a ot of their golden generation of players. I do like Ward Prowse and they have a long history in the league and i think the Saints would make a fun game once i find a striker.

On one hand it would be great to see them down there but to manage them? That would be my hell but luckily for me i think the AI will keep them near the top.

I see these guys being near the midtable spots and i think for most people would be a great club for this challenge but for some reason i just dont have a connection with this side and although a strong option i am secretly hoping this isn't my future.

West Ham
Even though a London rival i like West Ham and these would be a dream club although very unlikely as their squad is strong and they should be fighting for Europa League football rather than suffering in the relegation places.

I like Wolves and i love their team but this would be a very unlikely club to get. However, maybe the Europa League hurts them like in real life and i get to play with this side.

So there you have it. Time to run the game and see what the FM gods have in store for me. Personally my top three in this order (of the realistic options) are Aston Villa, Palace, Newcastle. With my worst three being Sheffield United, Burnley, Brighton.

My Prediction: Southampton
Looking forward to seeing who you are forced to go with. This is an interesting challenge, one I'm familiar with, but can't remember it ever being documented on these forums. Good luck mate!
A challenge I have tried (and very quickly given up on) before. Hopefully you fair better than myself and I look forward to your story once again this year!
would actually be funny if it really did end up being man utd haha
I haven't seen a story on this forum for this challenge, interesting!

You should definitely change the story title so people know this
Always enjoy seeing these types of challenges, good luck pal.

Burnley Takeover Report

Oh! Turf Moor is the location for the great Sir Alex Ferguson challenge and i can't deny that it is one of the teams that i least wanted to take over. However, move over Sean Dyche and in i come as i first try and save the club from relegation before taking them to the very top. So where do i find the club?

Firstly how close was i from getting Wolves! Just the one goal and i could have had an awesome team for this challenge but i need to focus on what i have. Looking back at how Burnley have gone this season, it has been interesting. Pre-season went well by the looks of it, and we are still in the Carabao Cup having gone past Crewe, Everton and Aston Villa to set up a quarter final against Watford.

However, the league form has been poor with just the two victories and 7 points picked up so far meaning we need to find some form and find it quick. So here is who i have got to play with

It is a well rounded squad with players capable of playing in pretty much every position but it certainly isnt an interesting one with plenty of players over the age of 26. In fact we have the 2nd oldest team in the league and we are desperately in the need of youthening up the side. The likes of Joe Hart and Nick Pope make decent goalkeeping options despite the fact that Pope is having a torrid time form wise.

James Tarkowski and Ben Mee are great centre halves that we can build around with Chris Wood being a half decent target man that will fit well into the system. However, i am going to have to make do without him for a little bit as he recovers from injury.

Youth wise we have just Dwight McNeil under the age of 21 and decent enough to play in the first team. The youngster is one of just two youth academy graduates in the side along with Jay Rodriguez who finds himself back at his boyhood club after a few years away at WBA and Southampton.

So what is the plan with Burnley? What is the vision? Well the board have set the below down which essentially is all about surviving whilst playing direct defensive football.

So there you have it. I will back back once i hit January to see how the initial adaption period goes.

Up the Clarets!
Thanks for all of the early support guys. It isn't necessarily the team i wanted or we all hoped but hopefully i can deliver on this.

@griffo - Good point on the name. Can someone in the admin team add to the title - A Sir Alex Ferguson Challenge
I know you were hoping to avoid Burnley, but the challenge looks to be a fun one here. Looking at the results, Dyche's men haven't been outclassed as such with the exception of some of the top sides in the division, so there's a base to go from in some respect. There are some good players in this team and I have full confidence you'll be able to turn the ship around and really look to set the foundations going forward. Good luck.

Also, I've changed the title for you as per your request.
Ah how very close to Wolves, who as you said would of been great to take on this challenge with. Alas, Burnley present an interesting challenge with an ageing squad you are going to need to turn it over quickly in order to achieve your goals!
Damn, I was hoping you would land Brighton, good luck with Burnley mate

Burnley early days

9 games have been and gone as i looked to assess the squad before the January transfer window allowed me to make some changes. Things have gone largely ok as we have managed to clamber our way out of the relegation zone through a mix of sheer luck and gritted teeth. However as you can see it is incredibly tight and there is no margin for error

Brighton are starting to lose ground which will hopefully take care of the 1st relegation place but the four of us (Villa, Wolves, Southampton and ourselves) are really tight with the pack above us just out of reach. A few good results and perhaps we can drag them into the mix and give ourselves a better chance of surviving as right now its 25% chance at best. Result wise it has been a mixed bag.#

It started with a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth who were on a good run at the time. We were totally outplayed for the whole 90 minutes but managed to take the lead through Dwight McNeil fairly late on only to see ourselves concede a late goal to take just the point. Against Villa it was a dire 0-0 with not a single highlight so that must have been interesting for the fans.

Leicester then pumped us 2-0 in a very similar game to the Bournemouth one where we conceded over 30 shots and barely created a chance before another 1-1 draw this time against Crystal Palace with Dwight McNeil scoring again before losing the lead later on in the game. Four games in and we were yet to record a victory and Spurs were up next. Hopes were low but somehoe we got my first every victory beating the Scum 1-0 thanks to a returning Chris Wood coming off the bench to slot home a winner. It wasn't plain sailing though as Harry Kane did a classic dive in the box in the 95th minute to win a penalty only for a resurgent Nick Pope to save it and give me my first taste of sweet victory. Even better news Pochettino was fired later that day as they continue to be crap.

A Carabao Cup quarter final was a slight distraction and in a rare goalfest we lost 3-2 to Watford as i rotated the side before facing the same side in the League just a few days later. This time the spoils were shared as a 2-2 draw saw an entertaining game come to an end and it was also the debut of the new tactic (more on that later). We followed that up with just my 2nd victory beating fellow relegation side Wolves 1-0 with Dwight McNeil fast becoming a hero of mine before getting thumped 5-1 by Liverpool to end 2019.

So far the stars of the show have been Dwight McNeil an Nick Pope, both of which have shown some great form as i try and find away of getting the team to play to a style that suits them and more importantly works. This is what i have gone with since the Watford games.

It is designed to get the ball wide and lump it into the box for Chris Wood to hopefully get on the end of. It isn't pretty but it suits the team we have for now. Our crossing does need to improve for it to be truely successful and that is where the window can possibly help. We have £20m to spend and around £50k per week in wages so there is some wriggle room to bring in a player or two, but where do we reinforce?

In Goal we are covered and there is an argument to potentially let Joe Hart go but it would be a move that just frees up some wages to allow us to bring in a few. In defence, we are going to need a new right back with both our current options over the age of 30, at left back it is slightly better with Charlie Taylor being younger whilst Tarkowski and Mee are good enough in the heart of the defence.

The Centre of midfield could do with a creative outlet that could even play in the AMC slot should we need to push on. This will be the number 1. target for the window as we just have the four options whilst playing with 3 midfielders at all times. The wings are in ok situation but Aaron Lennon could be moved on but again it won't raise much money. Up top Chris Wood is the main one and Barnes and Rodriguez can provide some decent cover. Vydra on the other hand is surplus and is likely to be moved on.

So in summary i could see Lennon, Vydra, Bardsley all being moved on with the main focus being a creative midfielder and a younger right back.

See you once the shopping has been done
Points are being picked up here and there which is certainly a positive to take. With your heads above the bottom three, although only narrowly, hopefully you can invest in January and look to extend the gap.
Out of the relegation zone and that had to be goal number one! Now it is staying there and building on it for next year!

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