Football Manager 2022 has been out on PC and XBOX for over a month now and with any new game in the franchise and with Crimbo just passed, you may have some Steam or XBOX vouchers to buy the game with!
Your immediate focus shifts to what club and league you want to sink your teeth into first and get your tactical juices flowing. There are many different types of saves you can do from being spoiled with riches and an abundance of talent to pinching pennies and trying to raise your club and its players from the bottom to the top.
Here are 10 teams that I think can get you going and have a fun save with!
United wouldn’t have found themselves on this list if they avoided humiliations against Manchester City, Liverpool and Watford earlier in the season. United generally tend to do very well in Football Manager with AI Managers. This is all about seeing if you can do better than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (or, indeed, Ralf Rangnick) with his assembled cast of superstars. United have a strong squad but turn in some pretty lifeless, apathetic performances in real life.
With Ronaldo, Cavani, Rashford, Sancho, Bruno Fernandes and Greenwood, you have a wealth of attacking options at your disposal. Pogba’s contract running down may be an issue if it doesn’t want to renew in your particular save. The ultimate goal with a United save would be to return the club to the summit of English and European football.
AS Roma come with plenty of young talent, not a lot in terms of transfer budget to build on though. You should look to offload Federico Fazio, Daniel Fuzato and Davide Santon to free up space in the wage budget and bring in some more funds to spend on players. Free agents may be the way forward if you don’t want to spend too much, there is quite a few gems out of contract. Pay attention to the dates of their availability though. For example, Dani Alves is available to sign in the summer window on free but not available until January 2022. The primavera (U20) squad is quite good so may need a little time but young stars like Pellegrini, Zaniolo and Mancini are already amongst your key players.
I’d recommend scouting for a young goalkeeper that can be back up to Patricio after selling Fuzato. Federico Bernardeschi is going to be transfer listed by Juventus (Zebre in Football Manager) so he may be worth bringing into the team. Bernardeschi is very versatile, can play both attacking and defensive wings. The goal with a Roma save would be to initially make the club competitive at the top of Serie A again and eventually wining the league.
Similarly to the Roma save, little in the way of budget, but overall much more squad depth and quality. The immediate goals the Marseille board will give you will be to qualify for the Euro Cup, which means finishing 5th in Ligue 1 before Champions Cup qualification the year(s) after. You’ve got a couple of decent players to build around, but lack the financial capabilities to potentially challenge and usurp PSG from the top of French football. This means that effective team building and tactical set ups to get the best out of the players at your disposal.
Milik and Under’s loans will become permanent once you give them their first competitive game, Guendouzi’s loan has an 11million purchase option which I recommend making use of, or at least extending the loan after season one.
Real Sociedad, or Real San Sebastian if you don’t mod in real names, was my main save in Football Manager 21 and it was one of my favourite saves in quite some time. Winning the UEFA Europa League in season one and challenging for the league title as well. The squad is top notch with Oyarzabal, Isak, David Silva and wonderkid Barrenetxea. Defensively you’ve got Elustondo and Le Normand as the CB pairing and more than capable Remiro in goal.
Boardwise, they’d like you to focus on signing Basque and Spain based players while becoming one of the “best of the rest” teams in Spain’s top flight. This would mean finishing 4th/5th on a consistent basis, basically taking over from Sevilla. I did a Sociedad save last year and finished 2nd in my first season whilst winning the Supercup and Europa League along the way. The quality is there and if you upgrade you’re youth facilities and recruitment you can get a rake of quality players through the youth intake.
From sharing the Allianz Arena with Bayern, the less famous team from Munchen now find themselves in the 3.Liga (the German 3rd tier). A lack of money and stability have been a key competent in the recent downfall of the Bavarian club. There is talent already at the club with Molders and Dressel, and in general the squad should be enough to win the 3.Liga as it is. In Season 1, I’d focus on building up the Youth Recruitment/Facilities. I imagine it is already high as the club has managed to produce quite a lot of really talented footballers even in their recent struggles (Julian Weigl, for example).
Wouldn’t be unwise to see if you have a Senior Affiliate or can get one for some free loans. Season 2 should be when you start to see some struggle, I’d encourage to get some loans in from the Bundesliga in the hopes of pushing for the playoffs or promotion. Scouring Austria/Belgium/Swiss Leagues for free agents or cheaper but still quality players could also help in season 2. Ultimate goal? Topple your Red & White inter-city rival.
For teams to break the Bavarian dominance of the Bundesliga with Bayern running rampant through the league on a yearly basis for the best part of the last decade, trying to break that spell of dominance is often the task for a FM save. Hertha Berlin have a bit of financial muscle but lack the squad to mount a realistic challenge from the start, some clever deals in the transfer market.
In real life, they are struggling. Can you take them to the heights that they desire? Last season their city rivals Union took all the headlines. Can you change that?
Probably the hardest on the list. Massive debt, in administration and starting from a sizable point deficit in season 1 in the Championship. The Championship is probably the toughest out of the EFL Leagues to get out of, but you’re already starting the season hampered by off the field issues. Job 1, assemble a squad capable of surviving a tricky Championship season. Job 2, work towards securing the perilous financial situation at the club.
Derby don’t tend to do too well from what I’ve noticed in my saves, or watching other peoples saves on YouTube/Twitch, but thats with an AI manager, surely you can do better with that big human brain of yours, right?
Ajax have been dominant in the Eredivisie since forever really. PSV last lifted the title in 2017/18 and it’s been Ajax winning ever since. PSV’s 24 league titles seems modest compared to Ajax 35 league titles. Cup-wise, PSV last won the Dutch Cup in 2012, with that one being their 9th (Ajax have the record with 20 wins). You can see where I’m going with this. This is about breaking Ajax’s hold on Dutch football.
Obviously, trying to reach and break Ajax record in both tournaments requires a long term save and thats why I’m suggesting PSV, decent league with good youth systems and high potential footballers, this could be a very fun 20+ seasons save.
Deportivo La Coruna
Depor is a bit like the 1860 Munchen suggestion, both languishing in the lower tiers of their respective league systems. However, unlike the Germans, La Coruna were once champions of La Liga winning the 1999-00 campaign, and were a fixture of the league for the 90s/00s before the long decline of the 2010s.
The club now finds itself in the third tier of the Spanish football pyramid, and it wouldn’t be the first time the club needed a resurgence. Make use of free players, loans and finding yourself a senior affiliate (free loans). Try and get Depor back to where they were in the 90s/00s, top 4 of La Liga and a title contender. Undo the damage of 2010s and usher in a new era for the Galicians.
Latvian Higher League (Any Team)
I literally have no suggestion for a team here. This is the first year the Latvian league is in the base game of FM after it was modded in last year with official badges etc by fans and the league itself.
Pick any team and raise the standard of Latvian football!