Best teams to manage in FM 2014: Ce la fate in Italia! – Part Three
written by Pedro Roriz
Hello and welcome to the last part of my series on FM 2014 Italian Calcio!
Before we begin, just wanted to share somethings with you. This week is really special in Brazil. We’ve been having some major issues with corruption (for a change) and this week we had a very important trial that sent many important (ex) polititians to jail, amid the talks of the national teams qualified to the world cup (I’m really sorry for the Ukrainians), which had direct impact in the public riots that happened 6 months ago. Well, my friends, I’m guessing it won’t be a peaceful and quiet event, next year here in my country.
For this session, I’ve left the ‘nothing special’ clubs to be spoken of. But, why the heck would someone lose their time talking about such category? Simple. As I said in the first part, I’m ranking the clubs by ‘fun factor’ potential, which was defined as the unique ingredient of the save. So, if you can find similar saves elsewhere, in other countries, leagues, clubs, it means that club in particular presents a challenge which can be emulated by many players, leaving yours in the ordinary box. It doesn’t mean for a single minute it won’t be funny, challenging, big.
Let’s get to it!
The ‘nothing special’ challenges
I diavoli, one of their nicknames, were left to this session mainly due to the comparisons that can be made with Schalke, Liverpool, Lyon, São Paulo, Hajduk Split and many others in terms of challenge. Great tradition, great crowds (except from the Croatians, who had demonstrations of nazi chants this week), great stadia and a complete financial meltdown. Of course, given the proportions of each league.
Apart from Thiago Silva and Ibra, Milan lost many important (and old) players this year due to their incapacity of paying their wages. So, the team lost a lot in terms of depth, even if Kaká and Balotelli were brought in to fill the voids. The goal and the defence are really middle quality. With the likes of Montolivo, De Jong and Nocerino, the hard working middle presents itself as a non creative and slow one.
The good part is that you’ll have De Sciglio and Gabriel to work with.
I really like the mentality of the board at the Friuli. They have (maybe the best in Italy) a good scouting network spread all over the world and can recruit talent for little money, only to sell 1-2 years later for 500% profit. It has been going on like that for many seasons now and they always manage to grab good spots in the table.
I didn’t include them as there are many teams that live on that: buying cheap to sell on the high. Many clubs in France do that, Catania does that, Swansea is a good example also, Shakhtar did that for a long time (before the petrodollars) and still does, Anderlecht, etc. So, this strategy is applied in many parts.
The nice bit of managing them is having Di Natale in the squad, in his final years. Man, he is killer. I bet anyone here bellow the 20s can’t run as fast as him, with 36, or have a stronger shooting. He is quite something. Also, working with a well stablished scouting network is always nice.
Well, this one is tricky. They have a strong board, they are relatively secure financial wise, the FDs usually contract good players, but the managers are always really unlucky or out of their league. This year, for instance, they’ve managed to grab the likes of Sime Vrsaljko (the older managers will remember him from Kiev), Mario Santana (yes, that one), (the great) Lodi and Centurión. All of that with little money spent. This year, the effort must have been worth it as they are in a respectable spot in the table (7th), way way different from recent past, when they fought to avoid relegation.
I included them here because we all know many clubs that have the means but don’t have the will, and eventually drop form and hit the ground. Sunderland, with increasing amout of cash being splashed in the market year in year out, Bayern Leverkusen, Flamengo, Independiente, Sporting Lisboa, Anzhi, Hearts, Kaiserslautern, Bordeaux, etc. Those clubs usually present themselves with either a serious lack of quality in recruiting or in playing to their potential.
The nice part of the Genovese, in my opinion, is having Matia Perin as the GK. For me, he is the next Buffon. I like Leali and Bardi a lot, and they might even be better players than Perin in the game, but in real life that fella must be in the 23 names list for Italy next may.
Torino, Sassuolo, Chievo, Livorno, Hellas Verona and so on
Every manager likes the experience to grab hold of a less fortunate side and make them kings of the country. Italy also offers this kind of joy, in the (many) likes of Torino, Sassuolo, Chievo, Livorno, Verona, Empoli, Cesena, Modena, Siena, Bari, etc. Wow, lots of teams, right?
They all have been considered medium at some point (some of them even big) in the past, but at present they are the reflection of bad management, lack of planning and a highly competitive league (even though if it is not because of the high standards). But, that kind of experience can be found in tons everywhere. Southampton and Wigan, Betis and Osasuna, Hoffenheim and Hannover, Ajaccio and Sochaux are only a few examples of that kind of category. Of course you’ll have a good time managing them due to the difficulty, heck maybe you’ll have an epic time, but it can become a commodity experience in the game and the manager that only focus on those kind of teams will eventually get bored with the lack of new things to happen.
Well, I’ve saved the best for last. :c)
Why is my beloved Roma in this category? They have money (in the standards of Italy), they have a great crowd, a promissing team (lots of yougsters), they have Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi, they are big, they are traditional. Well, it is because of all of those features that i giallorossi are in this category.
How many big teams in the verge of grandure once again are there in the game? I even think that Roma isn’t the best example of it. Atletico Madrid is the best one. But Dortmund, Monaco, Spartak Moscow, Austria Vienna, Ajax, Lanús, Deportivo Cali, Colo Colo, Atletico Mineiro, Benfica, Besiktas, Rapid Vienna, Gent, all of those clubs pose a fun challenge, but really replicable, geting well settled teams to the very top. They are usually fun to manage, but don’t grab your attention for many seasons as success will come quick. Many of them, if not all, will allow you to win trophies in your first season.
Well, that was my review on Italian Calcio. I hope I could reach out to you and stir up some will to give it a go in the Bel Paese. I’ve been an avid player in that country for over 15 years, now, and can guarantee it is a lot of fun.
Thanks a lot for all the great comments. They were much appreciated and gave me the will to finish this article.
Johnny, once again, thank you for the opportunity to write a piece of my mind in this fantastic website.
To all of you FM Gamers, game on and good luck!