Every November for the past three or four years, I’ve said “I promise to write more blogs” I then write three blogs and don’t write any more because I play very quickly and can’t really be arsed. No bullshit this year, I’ll see what I can be bothered doing. If I write, cool, if I don’t, also cool. Don’t get too invested as I might end up getting bogged down with real life.
So, lets get into my post.
Why I’ve Chosen Torino
I sort of threw my usual method for picking teams out of the window for this years save. I tend to look for teams that have a nice stadium that have fallen down the pecking order or are enduring hard times. Torino are hardly a success story and they have indeed had some bad times, having yo-yo’d between Serie A and Serie B for a few years. They’ve stabilised themselves over the last few years though and have been a top half side for the majority of this spell in Serie A.
I wanted to manage an Italian team. I really like Serie A and I, like many others who grew up during the James Richardson, Sunday afternoon Football Italia days, have a weird affinity with Italian football. Serie A was the richest and best league in Europe during the early 90’s. It had the money, the tactics, the acrobatic overhead kicks (honestly thought it was the only league where players scored overhead kicks!) and it had the best players. Milan were the big team in the early part of the 90’s before Juventus started to clean up. I was a big fan of Milan, I still am. That red and black kit, the San Siro… Paolo Fucking Maldini! It was all I needed.
Milan would have been the perfect team for me in Italy, however, they seem to be a team on the up again. They’ve got a sensible model that seems to be putting them on track for success again. So they were out. In fact, all of the traditional big teams were out as I needed to go with a team I could build.
A bit of reading and looking at what kits I liked best pointed me towards Torino. A maroon kit is lovely, I can’t resist. There’s also a great history at Torino, winning five titles in the 40’s before tragedy struck and wiped out the successful Grande Torino team in a plane crash. Torino have had spells where they’ve done very well, getting to the 1992 UEFA Cup Final and finishing third in the league. But they’ve failed to win a major Italian trophy since the 1993 Coppa Italia.
Torino also have a decent history with bringing through youngsters. A couple of names that people will recognise are Dino Baggio, Benito Carbone, Fabio Quagliarella and Christian Vieri. All have gone on to have successful careers, mainly away from Torino.
My favourite player that has come through at Torino is Gianluigi Lentini. His story is as exciting as it is tragic. A player with the world at his feet, who dazzled everyone at Torino. He became the most expensive player in the world only to be involved in a life threatening car accident that robbed him of his undeniable ability. Very sad, but look him up, everyone who saw him play said he could’ve been one of the best Italian players of all time.
You think that’s enough, but I’ve not touched on the rivalry with Juventus or the friendships that have been struck with River Plate… I’m wary of boring you to death. This is not a copy/paste history lesson. Look it up though, fascinating stuff!
There are plenty of great reasons to manage Torino.
In every save, I think every single FM player would be lying if they said that they didn’t want to win the league (not you Samo!) What’s the point in playing if you don’t want to bring success to your club? Have you even played FM if you haven’t won a trophy by the time you leave your club?
I want to be successful here, but my favourite previous saves have been more about developing players and progressing them like a conveyor belt of talent. I don’t need to be getting five top potential players through every year, but one every few years is good. If we can get some players through the youth intake that are good enough to bulk out our squad, that is great too.
I also hope that this years match engine will enable me to play a style of football that I can enjoy. The last few FM’s have been so repetitive. I’ve already worked out my tactics and I’m happy with the progress I’ve made on that front. There’s will be some writing to do around it.
The main thing is to enjoy the save. I’ve felt that over the past few years of FM, it’s been a bit shite and a bit too samey. There’s a lot of elements of the game that still really grind my gears, I don’t get some of the things that SI choose to focus on, but that’s a whole other conversation. I just want FM to be a bit fun again. I’ll likely not be able to play much over the next few weeks as I’m getting married week of release. After that I’ll free up a bit of time to play again, likely, less often than usual.
Every team needs a talisman or a leader to interest me. I don’t have to keep them for the entirety of the save, but it’s good to have some sort of attraction to a team, especially one that can score goals. In Andrea Belotti, Torino have a great captain, leader and goalscorer. He’s scored at least 10 goals in every season since he arrived from Palermo in 2015 and recently scored his 100th goal in all competitions for the club.
I arrive at an odd time as his contract is due to end when the season concludes. It was and is my highest priority as my plan is to build around him. He’s only 27, which is relatively young for an Italian striker. He’s just hitting his peak years and I want them to be with me. I don’t think it’ll take too much to get him to stay. If he wants to leave, I’ll have to try and cash in on him though.
He’s not the only good player at the club, we’ve got a couple of handy defenders in Bremer and Armando Izzo. Ricardo Rodriguez is a solid left back option and we’ve also got the master of the shit penalty run up, Simone Zaza at the club too. There’s room for improvement, but I think I could probably secure a top half finish with this side.
There’s not a lot of room to manoeuvre in the transfer market, but I’ll certainly have a look if we can improve the squad.
Couldn’t forget about a Q&A section, could I? Voted best part of any FM blog ever by nobody.
Q: Here we go, Presh is back to do his annual three blogs. Why should we get sucked in?
A: Nobody is forcing you to be here. It’s nice that you are. Don’t read any more until you think I’ve finished, enjoy them as one!
Q: What’s the tactical plan?
A: I’m already planning a post about this, but it’s Milan inspired.
Q: How many clubs do you plan to manage this year?
A: Honestly? One hopefully. As I said before, it’s got to be fun. It’s more fun when you build something and I want to build something.
Q: What skin are you using?
Q: Will you be appearing on any podcasts?
A: Hope not.
Q: Youtube? Twitch?
Q: Will you manage Italy?
A: Not a bad shout. Lets not rule that out at this stage.
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