It’s that time of year again. Football Manager 2022 has finally hit our shelves which means it's time to embrace your inner Pep Guardiola and immerse yourself into a save that will no doubt subsequently lead to you neglecting the other half and kids for days on end.
But a new year brings new possibilities, so which side should you start your managerial journey with this campaign?
Here are our top teams you should definitely start a save with.
FC Schalke 04
• Balance: -£55 million
• Wage: £286,000
• League: Bundesliga 2
One of the biggest clubs in Germany find themselves in financial ruin and playing in the second tier of German football for the first time since 1991.
The seven-time German champions have endured a horrific few years, with last season’s fate being sealed on a final day defeat to Bielefield - but it’s certainly been a long time in the making.
Can you come into the German giants club in their darkest hour to bring them back to the top?
This would be a fun save in many ways. The reputation of the club is still reasonably high due to their illustrious history and they still possess some decent players such as Senegalese centre-back Salif Sane and veteran German forward Simon Terrode. They also have maintained excellent training and youth facilities, which is certainly a bonus.
But the save will also be massively challenging. Acquiring the names you desire will be a tough task due to your financial status, but it’s certainly doable.
Financial trickery will certainly be required for this one, so if this isn’t your thing – I’m sure the next club will be right up your alley.
• Balance: £258 million
• Wage: £1 million
• League: Premier League
From financial ruin to financial riches. No doubt the most fun you can have on a save this year is with the Geordie boys in Newcastle.
After the recent Saudi takeover, the sky is the limit for The Magpies. Well, I say the sky – but £258 million should suffice.
The beauty of this save is the fact that it is a COMPLETE rebuild, your Newcastle side will surely be fighting relegation this season unless you ship out the deadwood and bring in a plethora of talent.
Apart from Allan Saint-Maximum. You may stay.
Don’t get me wrong, you won’t be able to sign the elite tier players straight away, but this is a save where you can essentially craft to your wildest dreams in your mission to take the Toon to domestic and eventually European glory.
• Balance: £679,000
• Wage: £0
• League: Serie C
A remarkable city noted for its history, architecture, gastronomy – oh yeah, and their absolutely sunken football club.
New ownerships, financial issues and Serie B exclusion in the 2018-19 season have all contributed to their downfall and they now find themselves in the third division of Italian football.
I Rosanero (The Pink and Blacks) have got a massive task on their hands if they are ever to restore their former glory, and this is what would make this is an FM save to nurture and progress with over the course of this year's game.
You have a youthful side with an average age of 21, so although the distant past has been bleak – you have the power to change this Italian clubs future.
Plus, my god, they have a lovely kit. So even if you don’t succeed, at least you looked good doing it.
• Balance: £632k
• Wage: £0
• League: Vanarama National League
‘The gang starts a football manager save.’
Wrexham are the lowest tiered side on our list so far, which would make this save excellent if you’re looking for something long term. Plus – how great would it be to lead a non-league side into the dizzying heights of the Premier League that’s owned by bloody Deadpool?
You’ll be directly in contact with both Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney the entire time as you try to navigate through the English football tier with the tiny north Wales town of Wrexham. This is the stuff of Football Manager dreams.
Not only this, but you also genuinely have a good squad to begin with as well. Most notably two players of Paul Mullin and James Jones who are far above the standard of football in the Vanarama National League.
Combine a half-decent squad, with owners who will back you financially and a classic ‘road to glory’ style aspect. Wow, this save is brilliant.
• Balance: £5 million
• Wage: £80,000
• League: Ligue 2
I think everyone’s a little sick of the financial and all-round dominance of PSG in the French leagues in recent times, so let’s make it so there’s a new dominant club in Paris.
Paris FC originally merged with Stade Saint-Germain in 1972 – to make the PSG we all know and loathe today, but split up just two years later, and unlike its counterpart has struggled to establish itself since.
The club doesn’t have any financial hardship, nor have much expectation due to a mediocre history. Take the job and see if you can turn the tides in Paris.
• Balance: -£3 million
• Wage: £272,000
• League: Sky Bet Championship
Let me set the scenario for you. You start the season with a 12-point deduction, you have no money to bring in any new players, no space in the wage budget for new transfers and just to cap things off – you have just the eight players in the first-team squad who have contracts beyond June 2022.
This is the equivalent of mission impossible in Football Manager terms, but is a fantastic save to take on to boast about if you can conquer it.
Aside from all this negativity, Derby County is a huge English club with rich history, so if you can potentially steer them out of this mess – the future could be bright for you and the Rams.
Putting things into perspective like this, it’s no surprise Wayne Rooney is always getting up to no good.
• Balance: £39 million
• Wage: £224,000
• League: MLS
Here’s something relatively fresh and exciting, a brand-new club with history to be made and a point to prove.
Inter Miami make for a joyous Football Manager experience for a number of reasons. Firstly, the way an MLS campaign is completely unique to any other league experience on the game.
You have a season that runs on a completely different schedule to all the European leagues and also a draft system that replaces your typical transfer window. It’s certainly a different experience, but a welcomed one.
Inter Miami are by far and away the most interesting side to take on the MLS based FM experience with. They house former Juventus icons Blaise Matuidi and Gonzalo Higuain, have a decent-sized wage budget due to David Beckham's deep pockets and appease Premier League nostalgia-merchants by having Kieran Gibbs and Ryan Shawcross in the squad.
A unique and massively entertaining save for sure.
• Balance: £3 million
• Wage: £92k
• League: Cinch Premiership
The penultimate team in our list of sides to try takes us to the first tier of Scottish football, to a side that once ruled the highlands – Aberdeen.
For 36 years now one of the two Glaswegian clubs have won the Scottish league title, so it’s time to put that to an end, and who better to do so than the side to do it last?
With a young side at your disposal, you’ll need to unleash your inner Sir Alex Ferguson and mastermind your way right to the top of the Scottish football pyramid. Then you can go one step further and even try your luck in Europe, watching history repeat itself as you restore Aberdeen to their glory days.
• Balance: £9 million
• Wage: £187,000
• League: Spanish Second Division
We finish off our list in sunny Spain - in the popular British tourist destination of Gran Canaria, now your next potential FM save with Las Palmas.
Since their relegation from the first division of Spanish football in 2018, Las Palmas have struggled in the league massively – finishing around mid-table each year.
They certainly do have some funds to spend to propel them into shape, but what’s more impressive is they already possess some decent names for a second-tier side.
Ex-Barcelona winger Jese Rodriguez, Venezuelan forward Adalberto Penaranda and even Spanish magician Jonathan Viera all still feature for the club, meaning although work is certainly needed – the foundations are certainly there.
This would be a nice short-term save for someone who’s not looking to invest the next 16 weeks of their life to grind to the very top.
Plus, they have a cracking derby in the same division with neighbouring tourist spot Tenerife, labelled the ‘Canario Derby’. So, book your £14.99 RyanAir flight now and crack open a bottle of Estrella – Las Palmas is calling.News Now - Sport News