Hello everyone, and welcome to my new Football Manager story. After a period that I have not been able to play the game that much, I have found the love for the game again and I am ready to fulfill one of my major dreams once more: Having a successful story with the game for the first time since Football Manager 2010.
On that particular version of the game I decided to take the game to a new level. Prior to FM10, I used to pick a team and play a couple of seasons. Teams varied from big teams like Juventus and FC Barcelona, to smaller teams like Blackburn Rovers and in FM09: AFC Wimbledon. In that game I managed to take Wimbledon from the Conference South all the way up to the Championship. It was a hard challenge, and it took me 10 seasons to finally manage to get to the doorstep of the Premier League.
In our first season in the Championship, we had a decent run making it to the top 10. Our second season we even managed to reach the play-offs for promotion, which we lost in the semi-finals. Third season we took it a step further, only to miss out on promotion to the biggest league on earth by losing the final to Nottingham Forest. In the fourth season we finally managed to secure promotion to the Premier League by finishing second in the league.
Meanwhile, I was selected as a club icon and my love for the club had grown from a simple Football Manager player, to a real-life fan. I was ready to storm the Premier League and take Wimbledon to even greater heights. But, in my first season on the highest level we were struggling big time. We only got out of the relegation zone on one single occasion, but for the rest of the season we were in 19th place. We finished the season in 18th, only four points behind a safe spot.
Can you guess what happened? I got the sack.. 15 seasons in a game, transforming the club from a non-league semi pro club to a professional team, playing in a brand new stadium. You can only imagine how I felt after getting the sack. From that point Football Manager was dead to me. What is the point to invest hours, days and even weeks into one save to get sacked after one struggling season…
During the weeks that passed with me not playing the game, I started to think of a different approach of playing the game. Why choose a club and focus on achieving greatness for that club when real-life football isn’t about that? Only a handful of real-life managers work in the game like that. Sir Alex Ferguson at the time, Arsene Wenger at the time.. but others? I couldn’t name a single one at the time.
It made me think: ‘what if I create a game that is all about a manager and not a club?’. What if I create a game where it is my goal to become the best manager in the world, not to create the best club in the world? At the time I didn’t knew the existence of the FM-challenge called ‘the journeyman’, but basically what I intended to do is pretty much the same as the idea I had.
So, from that day on I decided to never play a game of Football Manager again that was centered around a club. No. It was my goal to play games surrounding the life of a manager. Work your way up the ladder by using experience and success. Would there be failure? Hell yeah. I have been sacked numerous times since I decided to play journeyman games, but did it hurt me as much as the sack with Wimbledon? Hell no. This game is about me: the manager.
Next time: I’ll tell you about my most successful Journeyman in Football Manager! Thank you for reading and until next time (I hope).