Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in…

The title of this post genuinely describes my relationship with Football Manager. Of course, it’s also a famous quote from The Godfather Part III and Michael Corleone, played superbly by Al Pacino. But why that quote in particular for an article about FM?

Well, for many years and dating back to the very first Championship Manager releases, I was always deeply involved. Along with spending more time than was healthy playing the games, I also became part of the FM community, dedicating practically all my free time to the games, one way or another.

I was an active member of the Sports Interactive Community forums as heathxxx for many years, moderating the Tactics and Training section with great folk like Cleon and wwfan, regularly debating strategies, or posting in the Good Player & Team Guide section. There’s still a team guide I wrote for Granada CF there, which brings back fond memories as the first time anyone had written about the club’s history in English.

From Humble Beginnings

‘All in’ might be the best way of describing my involvement with FM, or borderline addiction. However, that changed when the real world of football started to consume more of my time. Following Granada CF from the fourth tier of Spanish football to LaLiga as a fan, along with doing the FM research, I’d already made a lot of friends at the club.

Upon reaching the promised land of LaLiga, I was offered the chance to work with Granada CF, looking after their English language communications and social networks, alongside running my own digital media outlet covering Spanish football. I spent so much time working, travelling around Spain for matches, interacting with staff and players at the club, I had little to no time for anything else; let alone time to play a decent FM save when I got home.

After six years working with Granada CF, eventually it was time to part ways. Other journalism and freelance writing opportunities came along, although I remain a regular at home games, even now they’ve dropped back down to the second tier. My work still keeps me busy, but I have a little bit more free time on my hands these days and yes, that itch to play FM has returned!

Granada CF

Image Source: Heath, uploaded

FM12 was the last release I played properly, FM14 the last one I owned, so it’s both daunting and exciting thinking about what I’ll experience when I start playing Football Manager 2019 when it finally gets released. I’m also pondering what my first save will be.

As a lifelong Manchester United supporter, I’m tempted to hoof out Mourinho, take his place, achieve the opposite of Premier League predictions from Betfair, win the title playing attractive attacking football, then dominate everything FM19 throws at me with the Red Devils… Pep Guardiola and his blue upstarts won’t stand a chance!

Alternatively, I always enjoyed lower league saves. Starting in the lowest possible league in any given country, then seeing how far I can take them. In older versions of FM I always ended up signing lots of unknown gems from Réunion, but I don’t suppose they’re around anymore? Oh well, if not, I was always good at bargain hunting and signing freebies.

Some of the most interesting saves were completely random. Along with writing a lot of football content, obviously I read a lot too, so many of my FM saves were inspired by some historical information or anecdotal facts I’d learned about a club somewhere. After reading an interesting story about a team, that prompted me to try them in FM and create my own story with them.

Anyway, it’s been a while, but it looks like my return to the game I loved playing for years is just around the corner. FM… it pulled me back in!

Episode 131 – Pep and his half-time team talks

Chris of ronniedog.media (@tenpotatoesfm) and James Jones of footballfancast.com (@jamesjonesfm) talk about what happens at halftime on FM18.

With Pep leading twice in the last week, there is no doubt that he told City “not to be complacent” rather than aggressively reminding them that “they must do better”.

As ever, there are a few ‘tips’ to take away for your own saves as well as segments from @fm_grasshopper and @longballfoot

Enjoy, subscribe and tell all your friends.

The Deep Lying Podcast is a Ronnie Dog Media production, edited by Alex Whitington (@a_whitington13)

From the Archives: Episode 85, Brattbakk to life, Brattbakk to reality

‘From the Archives’ is chosen by Luke Adamson today.

Ben, aka ZeGermanFM, joined George to have a conversation about why he’s impersonating ex-Rosenborg footballer – and Sensi legend – Harald Brattbakk in FM17.

Along with puzzling this out, the boys also talked about save updates, their favourite FM players, the best way to poach(er) goal and gave you the latest news from the FM Slack community.

From the Archives, Episode 23: Madness with Macintosh

Today’s ‘From the Archives’ as chosen by @CurtyFM

George and Ed got overly excited by the release of the FM16 Beta and Iain Macintosh’s guest appearance, so threw the usual structure out the window for some special shenanigans.

We discuss Iain’s time with the FM16 beta so far, talk about his new book, get the lowdown on his Everton save for The Set Pieces and pitch some questions from the community (as well as finding out what would happen if George’s PSG Qatari owners pulled the plug on his big spending fun).

The Deep Lying Podcast Episode 130: Getting Retro with CM9798

Chris (@tenpotatoesfm) is joined as ever by James Jones (@jamesjonesfm) and special guest David Black (@cm9798).

The guys chat retro Championship Manager and CM9798 (obviously).

Dave tells us about his upcoming CM9798 World Cup.
And, don’t worry, we have more FM Tips and a community roundup!

The Deep Lying Podcast is a Ronnie Dog Media production, edited by Alex Whitington (@a_whitington13).

From the Archives: Episode 96, The FM17 Cup Final

We didn’t have to scroll back too far for today’s From the Archives thanks to @ubeep choosing #EP96

George and Ed headed to the #FM17 Cup final to find out which Football Manager fan walked away with a cheque for £5000.

They ‘analysed’ the games, spoke to competitor Matt Halsworth, interviewed the winning team AND spoke to both Alex Stewart and Iain Macintosh.

From the Archives: Episode 42, The Worst Football Manager Ever!

Today we look back at Episode 42.

Ben, aka The Worst Football Manager Ever, joined George for a chat about being the worst FM streamer around. They chatted about ultimate FM staff hires, George’s quietly confident start to his Benfica save, Sutton United, why being rubbish at FM is interesting and a couple of community recommendations.

Enjoy!

The Deep Lying Podcast Episode 129: The Injury Crisis!

This week @tenpotatoesFM (Chris Darwen) managed to hit that record button meaning he is definitely joined by @jamesjonesfm (James Jones of footballfancast.com).

This week’s topic is injuries and what to do to when you are in the middle of a crisis and how you can avoid ending up in a crisis. Prevention is better than cure and all that!

There’s another FM Tip of the Week but there is no Community Roundup because @longballfoot has eloped to Milan.

As ever, there are some fine answers to the Question of the Week, but the most important thing is that we pressed record. Progress!

The Deep Lying Podcast is a Ronnie Dog Media production, edited by Alex Whitington (@a_whitington13).