Today’s 5 club choices for FM23 post, are from guest blogger and long-term content creator @PNWandless aka The Northman.
The beginning of a journey within the fictional world of Football Manager can start due to many reasons. Maybe a friend told you a story about Darlington and this encouraged you to work towards taking them back into the football league. Or maybe you were watching a rerun of Gazzetta Football Italia and this encouraged you to take Foggia back to their glory days of being a Serie A side. Whatever the reason, we have one aim when clicking that famous ‘start a new game’ and that is to make a save to remember. A journey, the journey that you post about, write about, make videos about and tell your friends all about. This is my aim for Football Manager 2023.
The journey for me always starts the same way when we are closing in on FM23 release day, loading the Soccerway website, and going through every league in Europe. The reason for this is to see if I missed any exciting, interesting stories from the world of football. And for this version of Football Manager, we have not been disappointed.
For my first FM23 journey, I wanted a team that would keep me entertained for around 10 seasons, roughly after Christmas in real life. For this save I was looking for a club that has been relegated, a club that should be a top-flight club but for some reason, they are languishing in the second or third tiers of their domestic league system.
I narrowed it down to 5 teams who all had something special about them. All of these clubs had something which interested me and made me research more about the club. The clubs in question are…
Wisla Krakow – 13-time Polish top-flight champions with the most recent in 2011, is now playing in the second tier of Polish football. Playing in the 33,000-capacity Henryk Reyman City Stadium. They have players like former Dortmund winger Blaszczkowski in the squad. The chance to take them back to the top flight before building something special in a nation outside the top 5 in Europe is very tempting. With Poland bordering Germany it also gives the chance to possibly bring some big names over the border and help build Polish football with some foreign imports.
Akademisk Boldklub (AB) – As someone who lives in Scandinavia, the draw to manage in these nations always excites me and AB is a club that I would class as a fallen giant. One of the most successful and oldest football clubs in Denmark, AB won 9 top flight titles with their last being back in 1967. AB has one of the largest stadiums in Denmark, so are built to go back to the top flight. But you have a big ask, they have been stuck in the lower levels since the 2003/2004 season when they were relegated from the top flight and now find themselves in the third tier.
You will start with a 13,500-seater stadium. The long-term target is to get the fans to fill it again and hopefully reach Europe for the first time since 2002.
MTK Budapest (MTK) – A club I have managed on Football Manager before, a Hungarian club that last won the top-flight title in 2008. They are known in Hungary as one of the best teams with an incredible 23 top-flight titles and 20 runners-up spots. MTK now finds itself in the second tier again after 3 relegations in the last 6 seasons. MTK have one more shining light which makes them attractive too, their exceptional youth recruitment. Along with their facilities and staff, they are known as one of, if not the best club in Hungary for producing young talent.
Can you use the talented youth and dip into the transfer market to take MTK to the top of Hungary again?
Östersunds – Maybe one of the weaker sides mentioned in this list, but very topical at the moment among Scandinavian football fans. Their fall from grace is one I would very much like to stop, a club that is threatening to fall as quickly as it rose to fame. Ostersunds might be a team that stands out to you due to Graham Potter who was their manager from 2011 to 2018 before moving to the UK and now managing Chelsea. During their time under Potter, the club saw a dramatic rise from the 4th tier of Swedish football to European competition. 2017 was their highest finish in Swedish football, finishing 5th as well as winning the Swedish cup. Now with a squad very much weaker than back then, Ostersunds have been relegated to the 3rd tier of Swedish football with back-to-back relegations. But taking charge of them on FM23 means you are in the 2nd tier to start with and have the chance to reverse the recent relegation.
Bursaspor – Maybe the quickest and most shocking fall of them all and now sitting in the 3rd tier of Turkish football. In 2010 they were Turkish champions and in 2015 they were qualifying for European football. But now they are expected to be a top-half side in the 3rd tier. When in the top flight, Bursaspor spent big to become a powerhouse of Turkish football and built the Bursa Buyuksehir Belediye Stadium, a 43,000 capacity in 2015. The stadium is worth doing a google search for, as it is an amazing piece of architecture. Strangely the stadium was built just as their fall began and they were never the same club after.
There’s a chance for you to come in and steady the club with the aim of making them Champions of Turkey, once again.
The decision for who you want to manage within Football Manager can always be a tough call. Hopefully, these suggestions can give you some ideas for your own save games.
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