Football manager content can be consumed across a variety of mediums and sometimes you can combine them to share your content. This guest post has been written by @FMTreq where he shares an introduction to his FM24 save with Malaga. He’s hoping to provide seasonal blog updates to compliment his Let’s play videos on YouTube.
The Rise of Malaga CF
Now from my FM23 experience, I was left a little underwhelmed with how my time with Go Ahead Eagles had played out. Despite only one trophy in 17 seasons, (one KNVB Cup) my biggest regret of the save was actually moving away from the tactical identity I had given the Eagles in the first four seasons.
Playing a low tempo, possession based game, Starting with a back three to give us a sound defensive base but also allowing roles such as a Regista and an Enganche in the side.
Ball possession and PPDA numbers were up there with Ajax but we struggled to create, we didn’t quite have that quality in the final 3rd and before I knew it the save had drifted away from a playing style and by the end we were playing a 3-4-3 with three central strikers. 🤮
Despite champions league runs and a Europa Conference League final appearance, the trophies and the tangible successes never came my way.
So for the past few months despite my team not being 100% decided I was totally convinced how I would play out my FM24 save.
After brief spells flirting with Scarborough Athletic, St Pauli & S.S.C Bari, Malaga CF became the club for FM24.
I think all FM players gravitate towards clubs who have struggled over recent years and a backstory always pulls me into an FM save always has and no doubt always will. Most football fans will be familiar with the story of Malaga Club de Futbol. Those memorable two seasons on the Costa Del Sol (2011/12 & 2012/13) are now just distant memories with Malaga CF now in the 3rd tier of Spanish Football.
Check out my video for the full backstory on Malaga CF
Malaga CF’s current fall from grace over the past 10 years definitely pulls on those narratives that draws me to a club. They do have good foundations in terms of support and facilities. La Rosaleda is beautiful stadium in the costa del sol sun has a 30,000 seater capacity perfect for when we make our return to the top table of Spanish football
The club also has great training and youth facilities with good youth recruitment and junior coaching so the foundations are there for us to grow.
The dominance of the big three in Spain means the gap we need to close to be anywhere near their level is going to be a massive task. We start with £3m in the bank but we have a £1m a year loan debt to repay for the first two seasons. We don’t have any real sellable assets either. Perhaps Luca Sangalli one of Malaga’s new signings, however with clubs outside of La Liga having little to no money selling players outside of the top flight is going to be difficult. However…..
We have a 15% transfer fee clause on Ricardo Horta a player Malaga let go to Braga for free in 2016 and he starts FM24 wanted by Chelsea and interest from Saudi Clubs, With a market value of £23-£34m a future fee of around £4.5m could land in our accounts by start of season 2. We also have £850k waiting for us if Espanyol can return to La Liga after a clause in Keidi Bare’s transfer from us back in 2020, that at least should help us break even in the first season.
The first season in which comes with massive expectation, We are huge favourites for the division with only one automatic promotion place and joined in Primera Federación – Group 2 with the B teams of both Madrid sides
So for FM24 I am determined to reach the top playing a certain way and having limitations on how we recruit.
In my Eagles save we had 3-4-3, 4-3-3, 4-2-4, 5-2-3 and probably a few more. It was a running joke in the series “ a new season a new tactic” well this time that stops!, with me sticking to one formation and one playing style for the entirety of the save. It will always be a 4-2-3-1, we always look to gain control of games through possession and working the ball patiently, Something I started with Eagles last year. We can change roles and certain TI’s throughout but our plan and identity will be clear.
We won’t shy aware from our identity like Ten Hag has at the first sign of struggle. Think more Ange Postecoglu, this is Malaga CF and this is our style no matter who we play.
One little but key tactical role I am forcing on myself is the Trequartisa role. Every starting 11 must have a Treq role in every game we play. Despite the previous channel names I’ve always shied away from the Treq role but with the 4-2-3-1 formation and our style it means fitting a Trequartista in might not be as hard as you might think.
The treq role as well i want it to be that marquee player that signing you know you shouldn’t make when you see a 36 year old baller who hasn’t got the legs anymore but you can’t help try and get the best out of them in their twilight years. I wouldn’t be surprised seeing a 37 year old Neymar rocking up in the Costa Del Sol at some point during the save.
With a clear formation and tactical style, Recruitment is going to be key on bringing specific players in for a clear role in the side. (once again I ended up buying anything shiny in FM23 regardless of how it fit my system at the time) No more perving through the Youth teams across South America or in the player search, searching players with certain attributes. The recruitment will be down to my scouts and the key recruitment focuses. The only time I can use the player search is to see who is transfer listed and to see players without a club in my scouting range. Players will be signed on these Recruitment focuses and any ongoing scouting assignments we have set up.
With these transfer restrictions our scouting network we will need to grow Right now our backroom staff in terms of scouts is fantastic, 4 scouts with the board allowing up to 6, the current four all been of a lower la liga side
Our scouting network is also decent for this level with Spain already covered within our current budget and being able to scout Western Europe a not to far away prospect.
The Football Club currently has four teams, 1st team, B Team, C Team and the Under 19’s. I want a clear player pathway similar to my Bilbao save back in FM19.
The B team currently plays in 5th tier of Spanish football currently outside of the playable leagues (top 4 levels playable). The hope is to have the B team in the playable leagues and focus on having a strong b side with our promising young players. In FM19 I managed to get the Bilbao side into the 2nd tier for the majority of the save which proved vitally important in helping us develop our promising youngsters with Bilbao’s restrictive basque only policy. Having the B side in the 2nd tier might be beyond the realms of possibility, but a B team in the 3rd and 4th tier playing competitive games is something I would love to have at the club. Competitive friendlies will be key while we wait for the B teams arrival in playable leagues with games fitted around the 19’s calendar so key 19’s players can play in both teams. The C team will be scrapped from day one, No waste on player and backroom staff wages, It will essentially become a hub of unwanted players who if playing in the 19’s and B teams would be taking up valuable playing time of more promising younger players. The 19’s will be vital until our B team joins a playable league. Our player pathway will be cut throat and clear. Once a player is unlikely to make it to the first team level then they will be sold, released or banished to the C team therefore clearing the path for a player with more potential the chance to gain more minutes in either the B or Under 19 games.
And finally someone will be joining me on the costa del sol.
Nathan Kilby, a school friend of Missus Treq and a lad I have got to know over the last couple of years. In game you can find Nathan at Standard Liege as their Head Performance Analyst after spells with Barnsley and Besiktas over the past four years. I text him a few weeks back and he seems happy to leave Liege and join me on the on the costa del sol.
You can follow this series on my Youtube channel
Where there will be long story mode based series running alongside Saturday night live streams and then seasonal blogs right here on View from the touchline.
You can now watch episode one right here…