With the absence of much real football due to the Covid 19 outbreak I have decided to write the occasional blog about my FM20 save with Newell’s Old Boys. Anyone who follows me on twitter will know that I play my fair share of FM20, I have sent many tweets about this save and my Juventude save that lasted over 10 seasons in Brazil.
I had fallen out of love with the game as I mainly managed in Europe and just found it boring or too easy without house rules. Two of my twitter mates (@Cuntyyorkie and @Macandcheese) suggested I manage in Brazil and my love for the game had been reinvigorated.
I have opted to pick Newell’s Old Boys (NOB) from Argentina. Couple of reasons really, one I am obsessed with Marcelo Bielsa. I have been obsessed with Bielsa for a long time so imagine my excitement when he turns up at the club I support. But Newell’s is where it started to take shape for Bielsa and he is regarded as there favourite son, the stadium is named after him and I expect the day Messi returns to the club he played for as a junior we will see El Loco return as coach also.
I also did not want to be one of the big boys, River Plate and Boca Junior’s are 2 of the most famous clubs in South America if not the world. You can also throw Velez Sarsfield into the mix who have a conveyor belt of youth talent. They also have one of the best youngsters in the game in Thiago Almada. Newell’s are only expected to avoid relegation, they have significant financial problems too for a club in South America which adds to the challenge. There is also the challenge of surpassing Bielsa as a club immortal and getting the next stadium named after you.
There is a few names you may recognise, Maxi Rodriguez being the standout. Rodriguez is very much in the twilight of his career however he is still a baller for this level. He would still do a job for most teams in Europe really in a bit part role. My team will look to take full advantage of the 38 year olds declining skillset. As you can see below his attributes are in a good place for a 38 year old.
Mauro Formica is a name people may recognise from his days at Blackburn Rovers a few years ago now. Spent some time too at Palermo before heading back to South America
Undoubtedly the best player in the squad in my opinion which is the most important one is Jeronimo Cacciabue. An all action midfielder with decent potential, he will become the glue that fuses the defence and attack. I fear it will be a struggle to keep hold of this young man. He is the type of well rounded midfielder clubs will sign and with me unable to demand high fees for my stars we are vulnerable to reasonable bids.
Braian Rivero is another talented midfielder in our ranks, not as much potential as Cacciabue but he will be just as important. Rivero will be responsible for dictating the play in the tactic I am looking to implement in my first season (will cover this in my next blog post in detail). He is by no means a world beater however he is more than good enough for this level. He will not be the next Pirlo but he will be able to recycle the ball into dangerous areas whilst also offering defensive solidity in his deep position.
Newell’s has a really decent youth team in terms of they could eventually replace what’s in the first team right now and the level would not drop. I will be leaning on the youth throughout the season to supplement the first team. Not because I am some kind of Hipster FM player trying to implement some Athletic Bilbao philosophy but because quite frankly the finances in this club are not that great and we do not have much room to manoeuvre.
So as mentioned above the finances in this club are not great, this is a screenshot from November of the current season. The projections for the future are not looking good. We are already in £3.5m of debt and this is only going to get worse. We are currently £40k a week over the wage budget, we have a lot of dead money in this team. A lot of mediocre players on £5k a week contract with a hyper inflated squad. We currently have a squad of 30 first team players I probably use a squad of 16 pro’s and supplement the rest with youth and given the depth and quality of our Under 20s this is very achievable.
The expectations are only that we avoid relegation which I expect us to achieve at a canter. So shipping players will not affect our ability to compete especially given that we have so much dross in the squad.
Bottom line is there is no money to spend unless I sell players and it will not just be one player it will have to be many. We really need to get the wage bill in check or we will never financially recover. We are not helped by the fact there is no real income for the club which I expect is an error by SI (no sponsors, no tv deal etc) but this is the hand we are dealt. Our only source of income currently is prize money and matchday income. Interesting times ahead for the club.
Well that is the introduction done, next up in this blog series will be the tactical plan for season one. I am going to try and implement a Bielsa style of play but with a few compromises. This is my first ever FM log post and I really hope that enjoy it and it has peaked your interest.
Thank you for reading and most of all stay safe in this pandemic!
Any feedback is welcome I am still learning with FM content