The 2019 edition of the ever-popular Football Manager video game series was released on November 2 and there's plenty of challenges to get stuck into.
Taking over the club with the biggest transfer budget is not for every virtual manager, so here’s some ideas for testing challenges to embark on once you’re ready to get immersed.
If Steven Gerrard can land the Rangers job without any managerial experience, why can’t you? The beauty of Football Manager is that no matter the enormity of the task, you have the final say on whether you’re the right candidate for the job.
This is by no means a job for managers who need a big war chest to bring in the players they want, but rather a coach who knows how to get the best out of what he’s given.
Rangers are a club still in recovery mode following their fall from grace, but with European football back at Ibrox, there’s renewed hope and belief in the 2018/19 season.
Tactics and training in Football Manager 2019 has been overhauled compared to the game’s predecessors, giving managers the chance to work on team bonding, mentoring systems and community outreach programmes, all of which can contribute to morale.
Fancy yourself as a Mr Motivator? Make the most of what you’ve got at Ibrox and it could lead to Rangers’ first top tier league title since 2011. Your cause may even be boosted if, as often happens, Brendan Rodgers leaves Celtic for a Premier League job mid-way through the first season.
The decline of Manchester United is beginning to resemble the fall of Liverpool FC following their period of dominance during the late 1970s through to the late 1980s.
Not since 1990 have Liverpool won a league title, and with the way things have been going at Old Trafford lately, it’s not hard to fathom why fans are concerned they too could face a 28-years-and-counting wait for their next title.
They’re already five years deep into that potential nightmare, and Jose Mourinho was not the right man to stop the rot. Maybe you are? At least in simulation! By taking control of Manchester United in Football Manager 2019, you’d be booting Mourinho out the door in July and inheriting his half-built team.
From there, the board will have no option but to support their decision to hire a nobody by throwing money at key transfer targets. Shore up that defence with key targets such as Toby Alderweireld and Atletico centre-half José Giménez, and you’ll already be doing better than Mourinho managed.
Zinedine Zidane to be next permanent Man Utd manager – 4/1 with Betfair
Manchester United may not under-perform as timidly in simulation as they are doing so in reality, but in Football Manager 2019 they’re still weaker than Manchester City and Liverpool.
The rivalry between City and United has grown immensely since the former became a major player in the Premier League, but who is to say Manchester can’t have a third big club?
This Football Manager challenge is one for those with patience to build something from the ground up – FC United of Manchester compete in the National League North, the sixth tier of the English football league system.
Be warned, this could take several years or even decades in Football Manager terms – and who knows how many hours of playing time – but if you can steer FC United to a higher league finish than Manchester United, no matter how long it takes, you win at FM!
Note: Don’t forget to screenshot it and share it with the world if you do. For inspiration and advice, have a read of this fantastic blog from a gamer who implemented a three-year plan at FC United.
FC United to win the 2018/19 National League North – 5000/1 with BetVictor
International football is not often the first choice of Football Manager addicts, but it’s a fun and less time-consuming alternative to club management.
In real life, the future is bright for England, as Gareth Southgate built on their summer run to the World Cup semi-final with a fine 3-2 win in Spain in October on the way to advancing to the Nations League playoffs.
Don’t feel bad about taking over England and booting the very affable Southgate out of his job – he’s very much in demand in FM19 and won’t be unemployed for long!
But you could leave his simulated face a little red if you can outdo him in the England waistcoat. And it’s not just the senior Lions you’ll have to rely on should you take up the England job, you’ll also have a wealth of talent coming through from England’s 2017 Under-20 World Cup winning squad.
Meanwhile, the UEFA Nations League may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but in international management simulation it’s an extra competition to try and win while you wait for the major tournaments to roll around.
England to win Euro 2020 – 7/1 with Coral
Looking at the League 2 table in 2018/19, it’s hard to believe that both Oldham and Swindon were once Premier League sides. Indeed, Oldham were one of the originals, beating relegation on goal difference in the inaugural Premier League season in 1992/93.
They went down the following season and now languish in the fourth tier of the English football league pyramid. But what if someone, somewhere, could restore them to their glory days of the Premier League and FA Cup semi-finals? What if that someone is you?!
This is another challenge for FM players who are in it for the long haul. Budgets will be tight, and success won’t happen overnight, but the romanticism of carrying the Latics back to the elite should be enough to get any ambitious manager through the dark alleys and into the light.
Oldham to be promoted from League 2 this season – 13/2 with UnibetOdds are subject to change
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