Hello, and welcome back to Football Manager Ambition.
As usual, we'll also have a look at the ongoing FM Ambition 2018 save, and see if we are any closer to getting an England team consisting only of SWFC players, in our Progress Report. No Tactics School today, as it feels a little bit odd going into FM18 tactics so close to FM19 dropping. But now, on with...
GREAT FOOTBALL MANAGER QUOTES
"I sorted out the team formation last night lying in bed with the wife. When your husband's as ugly as me, you'd only want to talk football in bed."
~Harry Redknapp's wife is perhaps in the same boat as many Football Manager widows / widowers when FM19 drops...
FOOTBALL MANAGER 19 FEATURES
Sports Interactive have started to reveal the new features, but not with a huge amount of detail. I have to admit to mixed excitement and trepidation from what I have seen so far. Let's have a look...
The Fresh New Look
Okay, so we've all seen the new logo and branding, and SI seem to be making a big deal of integrating the brand look through all visual aspects of the new game. I'm not against having a more cohesive look to the game, and fresh branding is not necessarily a bad idea. But personally, I'm not too sure about the purplish colour scheme. As yet, I've not seen anything to suggest whether there will be any alternative skins included with the game. I prefer a more gentle on the eye colour scheme, with as much simplicity as possible, and that does seem to be the way a lot of on-screen content is going these days, with many websites offering more clean, simplified environments. To me, the visual aesthetic of FM19 as revealed so far looks a little... old fashioned. Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments.
This looks really exciting.
You will now be able to set up a separate tactical strategy (oddest phrase I've ever used) for attacking, defending, and transition. This is something the tactical system has been crying out for since always. It's a massive addition to the choices a gamer can make when setting up tactics. As long as it's bug-free, unlike some of the innovations in FM18 (I direct you to SI's bugs forum), this should be very cool indeed, and I can't wait to get my hands on it.
You are able to choose a preset tactical plan, such as route one, or tiki-taka, and then, if you want, tweak the plan to suit your own style. Now, I'm not always a fan of presets, as regular readers of this blog will know, so I'm delighted that there will be an option to create your own tactic from scratch.
Interestingly, the mentalities have been given new names; Very Defensive, Cautious, Positive, and Very Attacking. This is probably a good move, as it simplifies things, and the term 'overload' was confusing anyway, as in real life, it refers to a particular type of tactical manoeuvre rather than a mentality.
Official Bundesliga Licence
This is only ever going to be good news, adding to the immersive nature of the game we all love. A big well done to SI for landing this one.
New Manager Induction
As the complexity of FM increases with each iteration, I guess this is something that's might be useful to some gamers new to it. Or is it? There are a lot of complex games out there, and I wonder if SI are underestimating the ability of gamers. It certainly won't detract from the game, as the induction is not compulsory; it's there for anyone who needs it. I wonder if it will have been worth the effort from SI, though. Let me know in the comments if you think you'll use the induction feature at all, or if you think it's a good idea, even.
At first glance, the improvement to the training options looks amazing. For those of us that have been looking for a more realistic approach to training, this is huge. Having said that, I feel some gamers - many in fact - will find it has a bit too much scope, and will leave it to their assistant managers, which will be a huge shame, because I think his is a great addition to the game. One thing that could help would be if there was an option to view the training in separate sub-modules, and allocate some modules the the AM, and keep others under our own control. Personally, I will do it all myself, but I think a lot of gamers won't see it that way. I hope SI have given this some thought.
SI's blog on the training module goes into a lot of detail, and at the risk of contradicting myself, I think training is one area of the game where presets will be particularly useful, although there will be an option to create custom training schedules from scratch, which is cool.
VAR and Match Improvements
I don't see any particular need for fanfare over the inclusion of VAR. It was a necessary inclusion, so I'm pleased it's there, and that's about as far as it goes. In addition, SI have announced new in-match animations, and new stadia details. This is exactly what you'd expect with each new iteration of the game, so no biggie. The important thing here is how well executed these additions will be. I remember my excitement about FM18 being dashed by the harsh reality of it being the most bug-ridden version of the game yet, and with players still sometimes seeming to be skating on the pitch, or just standing stock still for a couple of seconds after losing possession. SI seems to have a habit of not publicly owning up to faults in a game, but let's hope FM19 is a huge improvement on FM18 when it comes to bugs and animations.
Amazing fiction from Darren R. Scothern
Okay, since pre-season, I've managed to get knocked out of the League Cup, and to struggle in Europe. The league has been pretty challenging too, and even though I'm now sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League, I'll say that the matches seem to be getting tougher.
Europe has been particularly challenging, and I was a whisker away from not qualifying for the knockout phase... A screenshot of the final Group C table prompted one Instagram follower to insist RBL should have finished above me due to goal difference. Stop laughing, we need to help these people.
However, winning the Wold Club Cup gave me my third trophy of the season, after the Community Shield and the European Super Cup!
The January transfer window has been difficult, as my previous exuberant spending left the club somewhat tight financially. So, in January, I brought in £68.5 million, and spent £51 million on a new rightback, Bryan Birch, who will replace Trent Alexander-Arnold. However, for now, Trent has been redeployed as second-choice BWM, as there is a real shortage of top quality English midfielders in my save at present.
As you can see from below, my net outlay for this season is £102 million...
So, in terms of the ambition of filling my SWFC team with all the best England internationals, so that the England Team consists only of SWFC players, where are we?
So there are currently seven non-SWFC players in the England squad. Selling Reece Oxford seems to have been a mistake in this context, as he has been recalled to England. however, I can't see that lasting. Jack Butland is about to retire, meaning that my other keeper Adam Cherry will shortly be back in the squad along with Hunter and Bonner. Marcus Rashford is coming to the end of his useful career, and I don't think Arsenal's Sancho will keep his place. That still leaves me with Shane #Fullergate Fuller, Ian Richardson and Ryan Hambling to buy. Hambling is available, but at around £150 million, which I don't have. the other two are just not for sale. Hopefully, I can finish the next transfer window before I get my hands on FM19, and maybe some spending and some lucky injuries to the likes of Fuller and Richardson will mean I can finally achieve my ambition. You'll find out in the next blog!
Thanks for visiting, and my your game never crash!