We’ve reached that time of year where it’s just weeks until the new version of Football Manager comes out, so you’ll probably find yourself in one of three situations.
Many will have long term saves that can keep them going for another month, some have decided they want to take a break for a few weeks but plenty of us need one final challenge to see us home.
There’s not enough time to properly take a team through the divisions or achieve any long term goals, but we’ve amassed a lot of knowledge of the game over the year and it’s time for one final save.
Here’s a few ideas to try out:
Benfica – Defeat the curse of Bella Guttmann
If you haven’t heard of the legendary Hungarian coach then it’s well worth reading up on his history, as he was a pioneer in so many different ways.
He was also very temperamental and never afraid to walk away from a role, and things came to a head at Benfica in 1962 when he decided to ask for a pay rise.
Clearly that didn’t go well because he didn’t just quit, he also loudly pronounced a curse on the club where they wouldn’t be European champions again.
Since then they’ve gone on to lose eight straight European finals, so it’s pretty clear what you need to do.
You’ll inherit a very strong squad full of youth and experience with an outstanding youth academy to back you up, but you may not have enough time to see those players blossom into stars.
Adel Taarabt has often been spoken of as a generational talent althouagh that chatter rarely comes from outside of his own household, so can you finally unlock his genius and build a team around him?
You’ve got money to spend and winning the league shouldn’t be an issue at all, but can you finally find a way to shatter the curse and bring the Champions League to Benfica?
The Paulo Dybala challenge – Juventus and Argentina
Juventus have such a strong squad that winning Serie A shouldn’t be an issue, but this challenge centres around the phenomenal player that is Paulo Dybala.
It’s hard to think of a player who has been continually side-lined at club and international level despite being a world class talent themselves.
Any Argentinian is always going to be in Lionel Messi’s shadow and that’s okay, but the Barcelona star is getting older and someone new will need to step forward.
Dybala had a similar problem at Juventus where he was forced to play second fiddle to Gonzalo Higuain, while they went one better and signed Cristiano Ronaldo to take over as the talisman at the club.
Your challenge is to finally make Dybala shine for club and country, while delivering the titles that Messi and Ronaldo couldn’t.
That means a World Cup for Argentina and the Champions League for Juventus so both should be achievable pretty quickly, but you need to ensure that Dybala is central to both setups.
Bayer Neverkusen – Win something with a phenomenal attacking squad
Bayer Leverkusen have gained an unwanted reputation as the nearly men of German football, but the “Neverkusen” tag stuck in 2002 when they managed to finish as runners up in the Bundesliga, The German Cup and the Champions League.
They still haven’t won anything since then and more second place finishes and cup final loses have been racked up, so it’s time to bring some joy to the fans.
You will need to put up with Bayern Munich and Dortmund in a domestic sense but there is so much talent in the Bayer squad – including Europe’s new golden boy in Kai Havertz.
There’s so much talent in the squad while you can deploy the bender brothers in defence to keep things tight, plus you’ve got Leon Bailey and plenty of other players to provide pace and trickery in the attacking areas.
This team is perfectly designed to counter attack so there’s nothing to be scared of when you take on the bigger sides, and all you need to do is simply bring some major silverware to shake off the Neverkusen tag.
Atletico Madrid – Win La Liga the Diego Simeone way
Anyone who has played the game enough this year will know that you can simply shove any players into the pre-set Gegenpress and success will follow, but there’s really no fun in that.
Barcelona and Real Madrid were a mess last season and Atletico Madrid were in a great position to challenge, but drawing 16 games ruined those chances.
On the flip side they only lost four times and conceded far less than a goal a game, so you need to find a way to find a breakthrough in those tight situations.
Diego Simeone’s teams are famous for keeping it tight at the back and playing with incredible aggression and teamwork, but it’s also obvious why they have some issues in front of goals.
Diego Costa is past his peak while Alvaro Morata has never been prolific, so you will need to find a way to get the best out of record signing Joao Felix.
Felix has everything is his locker to become the talisman for this team, while you can also try to get the best out of Thomas Lemar who’s struggled since moving to Spain.
If all else fails you can always rely on the delivery from Kieran Trippier to try and fire you to glory – something that will be vital in this version of the game due to the power of set pieces.
Unfortunately the in-game versions of Barcelona and Real Madrid are far more ruthless and you’ll need to play very well to win La Liga, but it’s certainly possible.
Anderlecht – Take over in Belgium again
Anderlecht are often thought of as the major power in Belgium, but they’ve only won the title once since 2013 and they achieved their worst league finish this century last season.
We all know that Belgium produce a lot of wonderkids and you’ll find a few of them in Anderlecht’s squad, but the truth is that the club are in a mess and the squad hasn’t been put together well.
You’ve got veterans like Vincent Kompany (he will pick up injuries) Samir Nasri (Work rate of 5 anyone?) and loanees in Marko Pjaca and Nacer Chadli who are commanding giant wages without really being good enough to deserve it.
There’s a lot of energy in the midfield and there are a couple of talented youngsters here, but they will look to leave early on and the club aren’t in a great financial state to resist such offers either.
Genk are the title holders but they’ve sold every good player and haven’t really brought in a lot of quality, but Club Brugge have a formidable squad and will be tough to topple.
You might need a season or two to clear out the deadwood and get the squad in shape, so simply taking over in Belgium again would be a decent achievement with this squad.