This is written by guest author @Fieldy_21
Let me introduce myself, I’m a Tottenham fan and I’ve been playing the FM series for around 10 years now with varying degrees of success. I’m no tactical genius, far from it, but I get by using the best of my ability. I’m here to tell you a bit about my Burton Albion save, but first, allow me to say a huge thanks to Cleon for allowing me to post my musings on his fantastic blog.
So, why Burton? Whilst I love signing all the traditional FM Legends such as the Romeros, Fierro and Balanta, I’d grown a little tired of every save having the same players. I fancied a new challenge. I considered moving abroad, I dipped my feet in the waters of France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Ukraine, but I couldn’t settle. This was around the time that Burton were doing really well in League 2 (they went on to get promoted in real life), I was quite intrigued in the work that Gary Rowett, closely followed by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink were doing there. Being in League 2, it would be at least 3 seasons before I was in the Premier League and all of the “regular” FM heroes would have moved on to big foreign clubs. So that was my mind made up, I decided to start a fresh save of my own with Burton Albion.
I am actually 7 seasons into this save now, so my memory of the early days is a little hazy. It’s probably best to show you my league progression using the screenshot above. It hasn’t all been plain sailing, despite the upward trend of that graph. It took us two play off campaigns to get out of League One and the Championship, having a 100% record at Wembley until I got to the Premier League was quite an achievement for me! Once I made it to the Premier League, I had to think of a few philosophies that I wanted to follow to keep me interested. I had a look through other people’s blogs and around the real world of football to see if anything appealed to me, when I noticed this:
That’s right, lowly Burton train at St.George’s Park, home of the England National sides. After seeing this, my mind was made up, I had to focus on developing players. We’ve not had any decent players in our youth intake so I had to change my transfer strategy to bring in players from abroad for small fees that I could develop. A few talents were signed, developed and sold on very early on, but the ones I’m about to talk about are ones that have been here for a few seasons and are amongst my favourite regens.
No.5 – Aleksandar Jeftic
This guy was signed from Vojvodina for 4 million pounds, he sat in my reserves for a season as I couldn’t find a space in my side for him. It wasn’t until a change of system midway through last season, that he got his break and he hasn’t looked back since, he is solid currently and has plenty of room to grow in the future, I’m excited to see how much he can develop.
No.4 – Eugenio Salazar
My number 10, my creative genius. I signed him from Pachuca for 6.75 million 4 seasons ago, he is now worth a staggering 26 million. He is an assist machine from the number 10 role and he chips in with a fair few goals too. He is attracting some interest now and having seemingly hit his full potential, I’m not averse to selling him on.
No. 3 – Gergo Ihasz
This is an interesting player. He’s more of a project, luckily I spotted him when he was 16, I’m not usually too good at spotting how good a player can be at this age, but as I was looking at his scout report, there were a number of good points that jumped out at me. There was an even larger list of teams interested in him, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, PSG etc. This convinced me to take a punt on him. So, in he came from Debrecen for 1.1 million. If he turns out to be as good as I think he will be, then that is an absolute bargain.
That was his first season at the club. For a 16/17-year-old, he had a quite ridiculous output. His international record also brings me onto a newly formed aim in this save. You will notice that he has 11 goals in 9 appearances for Hungary. This instantly brought to my mind the record of the legendary Ferenc Puskas, who plundered a quite astonishing 84 goals in 85 games for Hungary. I have therefore made it my mission to get the Hungarian National Team job and manage Gergo to try and eclipse Puskas’ international record, hopefully whilst taking Hungary up the rankings.
No.2 – Favio Guzman
This outstanding player is my midfield enforcer. He sits at the base of the diamond dictating play. He was signed from Boca Juniors for 3.6 million 2 years ago and went straight into our first team. He is a player I see being a key part of any tactic I use for the next 10-15 seasons, He could well go on to break the all time appearance record for Burton Albion. He still has plenty of room to develop and it is, frankly terrifying to see just how good he can get in the future. I won’t be selling him no matter the price. He is only knocked off of top spot by this man…
No. 1 – Dennis Van Dam
Where do I start with this outstanding chap? To quote a currently used phrase by all of those err….wonderful Chelsea fans, “Captain, Leader, Legend.” Dennis scored a hat trick on his international debut for Holland and he hasn’t looked back since. Signed from Ajax two seasons ago for 10 million, my only regret is that I didn’t get him sooner. I had been scouting him for the best part of two years prior to this, but for some strange reason, I didn’t take the plunge, probably my biggest regret of this save. In his first season in England he got 35 goals in 43 games. This season he has 20 in 19, unfortunately, he suffered 2 injuries this season that have kept him out for a grand total of 8 weeks this already, otherwise there’s a chance he would already have between 30-40 goals. This brings me onto another of my new goals for this save. You may have seen Tomtuck, MrEdsFM and Cleon, amongst others, chatting on Twitter about their own competition of who can get the highest goals by a single player in a season. Well, Dennis is going to be my entry. I can’t quite remember what the highest total is currently; I think it may be Cleon’s quite ridiculous total with Neymar. That will take some beating, but if I can somehow keep Dennis injury free then I think we may well run it close. Eventually. Bring it on!
I was planning on giving a brief update of how my current season is going, but I’m conscious that this post has gone on much longer than I initially intended, so that will have to wait for another day. I’d like to say thanks to anyone that has managed to read until this point and if anyone has any questions or would like to know anything else about my Burton side, then please feel free to contact me on Twitter, @Fieldy_21.