I have been playing Footy Manager for about a month and I just finished my 4th season with the Ugolia FC. The modules I use are Discipline, Loans and League Evolution. Loans are quite expensive, which makes the mechanic well balanced, while I believe that Discipline gives you an edge even against very strong teams. League Evolution makes everything more realistic after you simmer the divisions, you sure don't want a full power Madrid in the Third Division!!
My first season as a Manager helped me to understand the mechanics of the game. In the preseason I built a few more seat for the stadium and with the leftover money I bought a few players, including the young goalkeeper Hussain who is still playing for Ugolia FC.
At the beginning I tried different formations, mostly 4-4-2, 4-3-3 and 4-5-1. At about half season I realized that playing 4-5-1 was the only way to not have all my defensive players in horrible form. I scored 8 points in the first 7 weeks then added 9 in the second half of the Season to end with 17 points and a well deserved 6th place in the Fourth Division, above Instanbul (11 points) and Bucharest (8 points).
My biggest mistake was to undervalue the importance of training for older players (28+). I was mostly training form before understanding that they could play for 4-6 more Seasons at high level if I trained their ability.
At the beginning of the second season I knew I had to get promoted to the Third Division. The stadium was upgraded to an all seater and the money from the sponsor (Sony) bought a few more young players as well as some cheap old glories. The first 4 games are horrible and we manage to put only 4 points on the board, it looked like we were going to play one more season with the objective to not be in the last two since promotion was already at +4. Fortunately something kicked in and we began to roll with three wins in the next three games. Due to a poor market we are often forced to play with someone off position or from the youth team, nevertheless we drop only 2 games in the rest of the season and we win the Forth Division with 25 points.
Finally, we get to the Third Division! I decide to take a 2-year contract with Panasonic to make sure we can achieve a safe position and to exploit the popularity given by our recent promotion. As always I spend some money for the Stadium then focus on my defence, buying Milo (Ability 8 - Age 28) and Figini (Ability 8 - Age 29). Some transfer is due to replenish the Club's finance so we give away a couple of young players who had already reached their maximal potential.
This Season was very troubled as every team scored a similar amout of points. I did not wish to be promoted knowing that a Second Division would have been too hard the next year, yet dropping a game could have cost me Relegation. After 11 games, the situation was the following:
Woolwich - 19
Ugolia - 16
Spurs - 16
Bordeaux - 14
Glasgow - 13
Marseille - 9
and we were yet to play with Bordeaux, Valencia and Spurs.
We win at Bordeaux, while everyone else draws. The next game is home against Valencia, we win 2-1 while Woolwich and Spurs lose. This means we are mathematically Promoted to Second Division.
We knew from the beginning that this was going to be a painful Season: no money from the sponsor and a Second Division with Catalonia, Madrid and Munchen. The goalkeeper ratings were always between 9 and 10 besides for one team and the life of our bomber Mulch, who scored 32 goals in the past three seasons, was not going to be as easy. The first game is a cold bucket of water, we lose 3-0 against Sevilla. We are forced to sell our second goalkeeper to buy a decent midfielder, after two players' ability declined in the preseason due to age. The luck will assist me in this choice and Hussain (Ability 8.5 - Age 21) will never get hurt, recording 14 presences in the season. At mid-season we are 7th with 9 points but Sevilla at the second place only scored 11 so there is no need to worry. The next 4 games kill our morale with 2 losses and two draws (3-0, 1-1, 2-0, 1-1). After 11 games we have the following:
Catalonia - 22
Gelsenkirchen - 19
Seville - 18
Madrid - 17
Munchen - 15
Woolwich - 13
Ugolia - 11
Moscow - 4
the next three games involve Woolwich, Madrid and Munchen. Woolwich is stronger than us on the field but their goalkeeper is the worst in the league (Ability 7) and we manage to win 3-4 shooting only 5 times. The hero is always Mulch who put two on the board. At the same time Munchen draws and suddenly we have a good chance. The 13th game is home versus Madrid, goalkeeper rating of 10. A very defensive game by both sides ends after Hussain brings down an opponent in the penalty area, Madrid wins 1-0. In the while, Munchen and Woolwich are playing against each other: 0-2 for Woolwich is the final score. As the last game is against Munchen, this is our last chance to stay in the Second League. Their goalkeeper rating is 9 and I need to win, so I opt for a bold 3-4-3 which gives me the opportunity to rebound. At half-time we are ahead 1-0 but at the beginning of the second half Rasmussen (CM - Ability 9 - Age 22) commints a foul in the penalty area and he is sent off. You can image the tension, as I was rolling to see if Hussain was going to be the hero. "HUUUSSSSAAAIIINN!!!!!" was my scream as the die showed a number 1. The game is sealed after a few minutes when Mulch scores the 2-0 goal which send Munchen in Third Division.
We are currently 22nd in the World Ranking.
The number 1 team is Hammersmith, runner-up in Premier Division during the first two seasons then winner in the fourth. Some say that this was possible only because Catalonia, Madrid and Munchen were in Second Division.
Catalonia is at number 2, even if the club is yet to get in the first two places of the Premier Division.
The third team in the World Ranking is Rome, which always played in Premier Division and obtained a second placement in the third season.
The team that improved the most is with no doubt Turin, winning the Second Division in Season 1 and the Premier Division in Season 3. Unfortunately, the italian team was relegated this last season so it is 13th in the World Ranking.
The team with the worst performace is Munchen, relegated twice in 4 years and now playing in Third Division.
The teams that won the Premier League are:
I don't think anyone will read this far. If you did, thank you for the attention! I hope you will have fun with Footy Manager!
I love you. Thank you for such an excellent write up. I love it when people play multiple seasons!