Hello! To help bridge the gap during the blog’s summer break, I’ve been speaking to a new blogger in the FM Community, JC_Greenarrow. James is writing an FM13 blog where he has started at Wolves in the Championship and I think you’ll all find it a very enjoyable read. But what brought James to the community? Has he lost days of his life to this series like the rest of us? Let’s find out.
Thanks for your joining me, JC. Can you tell us about your current blog
So my current save is with Wolves on FM13. They’ve just been relegated
from the Premier League to the Championship and so I’ve set about
returning them to the Premier League and then trying to keep them there,
a feat that has eluded quite a few Wolves managers of the past. We’re
comfortably top at the moment, I think fifteen points with about eight
games to go, but we did just lose at Ipswich where we had about 16
chances and only took one, so I’m a little worried about our strikers
going into the run in!
What made you start writing?
My first real exposure to Football Manager writing was Alex Stewart’s
incredible Moneyball series for TheSetPieces, which was just fantastic,
and I still go back and reread them from time to time. Iain Macintosh’s
Everton save on the same website is also a wonderful series. There was
also a series by Charles Pulling where he tried to take Sporting Lisbon
to European glory in five seasons which I really enjoyed. Reading all of
these, I always wondered how I would put together a series. I was too
deep into another save at the time, but when I decided I needed a change
and began this Wolves save, I thought I’d take the plunge.
You use FM13 due to your laptop situation, would you say it was your
favourite version of the series anyway?
It is a fantastic version of the game – I’ve ploughed so many hours into
it! I haven’t played any version since, so I can’t say how it compares
now, but the line between the complexity of the game versus the ability
to play easily is well managed in this particular version.
I noticed you started with a version of CM2 – the foreign leagues to be
precise. What can you remember about that?
It was a copy lent to me by my pal when I was about 12 or 13 – our home
PC was pretty awful so I could never play any better version at the
time. It was a version that only allowed you to play French, Italian or
German teams. All the other teams in the world were there and you could
buy and sell to them but nothing more. I had a good Bayern save with
Effenberg and Kahn and Matthaus – and it was a real gateway into the
whole Championship/Football Manager world.
Everybody has their favourite save of all time – can you tell us about
There have been a few but I’d say the save I’ve put the most hours into
on FM13 – Rangers. At the start of the game, they’re at the bottom of
the Scottish football pyramid and so I challenged myself to win the SPL
in five seasons – this would be three successive promotions and allowed
me a season to adapt in the SPL, and I did it, winning the SPL in my
fifth season. At the time, I was having great fun with it so carried on,
trying crack Europe, which we eventually did in 2020 by with the Europa
League and then the Champions League in 2024. I’m now in 2061 and we’ve
won the title every single season since and we’ve won something like 20
Champions Leagues along the way, including 11 in a row. It was only when
Luke Shaw, my assistant manager, retired that I realised how long I’d
been playing! I will certainly go back to it though.
Who do you support in real life? Do you prefer to avoid them on video
I support Bristol City, my local team. I’ve generally shied away from
playing as them as I never seem to do well, and I’m not ruthless enough
to cut a player who I like in real life. I did have one relatively
successful save with them on CM 00/01 when I signed Stan Collymore to
score the goals to promote us, which he did, but we struggled the
following season, Stan went sour and I basically gave up! I’m happier
when others take City and do well, like Alex Stewart did.
Do you like the way the series has gone in terms of detail? Or did you
prefer the CM2/CM3 series?
The original series are great for picking up and rattling through a
season in half a day which can be great fun. But I think the interaction
of the newer series is vital to the whole experience, like the player
chats and the team talks and board interaction. The agents and their
fees annoy me but I guess they’re a realistic part of the game!
If you could make one change in a future FM, what would it be?
One problem I encounter a lot in FM13 is fixture congestion – so many
times, I’ve had fixtures laid out to play Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday,
Saturday, or even playing on an international week, when two thirds of
my squad are away. So this may be something they’ve implemented since,
but the ability to request a fixture rearrangement to avoid these
things. It happens in real life, so it’s no so outlandish.
Meanwhile your dose of CM9798 will be back on August 7th but if you’d like to get caught up with the story so far, you can check out the season summary page. Tata for now.