Football Manager 19 is here! It’s looking great so far in the beta, with some impressive improvements that have improved the game massively, and that are still taking a little getting used to…
So why have I chosen Eintracht Frankfurt? Well, it started with a desire to try something a little different to my last save. Then, via designing my new header image (thanks to @tedredwood for doing all the actual work), I found that Eintracht is German for Concord, and it seemed like fate. Stupid right?
But I think it has led me to the sort of save I was after; a top-flight, mid-table side in a league I haven’t played in for a long time. There’s plenty of room for growth, a powerhouse team to try and overcome in the longer term, and the scope to take the save in any number of ways.
This post will break down my aims for the save and give a quick glance at how Eintracht look at the start. But first, a little history lesson…
Eintracht Frankfurt: Past:
Eintracht are probably best known for their part in the European Cup final of 1960, one of the most famous matches of all time, losing to Real Madrid 7-3. I knew much of the Madrid side of the story (Di Stéfano and Puskás scoring seven goals between them, Real winning their 5th final in a row), but my knowledge of the Frankfurt side was limited to knowing they’d scored three.
Eintracht fielded an entire team of German players that day, which wasn’t all that unusual then, and (according to my limited research) also featured an impressive number of players that nowadays would be considered “home grown”.
Despite this, Frankfurt’s long history is surprisingly short of honours. The German Championship of 1959 that led to their 7-3 defeat by Real Madrid is their only title in 119 years. They’ve done a little better in cup football, with five DFB-Pokal (German Cup) wins, the last of which was won over Bayern just last season. They also have a UEFA Cup to their name, won in 1980.
Eintracht Frankfurt: Present:
The squad is very deep, but lacks real quality. There’s also a concerning lack of homegrown players, which may make the Europa League squad selection process problematic. Still, can’t complain about being in Europe! They’re also a little short staffed, something we’ll need to take care of quickly.
The good news is, most of the facilities are decent, and some are downright good. The stadium holds over 50’000, and we should be getting 30’000 season ticket holders. The youth facilities are particularly strong, and there are a couple of promising youngsters in the U19 squad.
Eintracht Frankfurt: Future?:
With a small transfer budget to start, and not much wiggle room with the wage budget, our immediate goals will be fairly modest. The media and bookies predict we’ll come tenth, bang average. In order to get a little more money to spend, I’ve upped our board expectations to “finish in the top half”. I feel it’s a necessary risk.
The first team squad is large, but lacks true star quality. Jetro Willems is the best player in the squad:
We’ll be looking to play him as a Complete Wing-Back, in an effort to get him involved in our attack as much as possible. Yes, I know, our best player is a left-back…
Despite the large squad, with Timothy Chandler out for nine months, we will definitely be needing a right-back/wing-back.
In terms of tactics, I suspect season one will be seeing us steal from my old Concord playbook. Cautious, short passing, solid defence. To start with, we’ll be minimizing our own mistakes, stifling opponents. Sexy it ain’t, but it’s a base to grow from.
And something I never did get around to in FM18 – I want to try a back three:
This will through necessity be a little lighter on specifics.
1. Become consistent Champions League Qualifiers, and eventually, one of the top ten teams in Europe.
2. Develop a brand of football. This is incredibly vague. I know what I want, the question is am I able to implement it? I love a swift, incisive counter attack that features fast, technically gifted players. But this will take a little time as we need to improve the squad:
3. Technique, Composure, Decisions, Determination, Pace. These are the five attributes I’ll be targeting with new signings to hopefully get us towards that new brand of football.
4. Develop youth talent, with an emphasis on our own homegrown players. Eventually, I want five of them in the German national squad. A big ask.
5. Win stuff. Duh.
I should have the first part proper of this save up in a few days, where I’ll get stuck into the game, and we’ll see how I’m getting on with both Frankfurt and the new game features…
Thanks for reading!