FM19 – SAFC Save: A Glorious Start


Being a Football Manager in real life must be a tough job. All the ego’s, (un)realistic expectations, a simple game that somehow is made complicated by the unpredictability of 22 players on a pitch.

Being a Football Manager of Sunderland can be a glorious opportunity, for the right man, or it can be a poison chalice.  The owners and the fans expect the team to win League One this season, rightfully so as they’re a big fish in a small pond. Can a first time manager pull it off?

A Glorious Start

There is one thing I am superstitious about and this is the only thing. If you have a really good pre-season, in Football Manager, the season will go to shit from the first match.  It’s happened time and again for me.

Then came Sunderland.  Oh glorious Sunderland.

Sunderland League Schedule

Okay, the first three months had a few blemishes, but look at October.  That won me manager of the month.

SAFC Manager Of The Month

This unprecedented for me.  I have never won this accolade so soon in to a career, never mind a season.

What changed from September to October?  My tactics basically.  The winger, two strikers and attack approach just wasn’t cutting it.  Teams were dominating us and we were only scoring from set pieces.  We were losing out on possession too, which was costing us goals.

I changed this to a 4-1-4-1 DM – Control Possession approach.  The below report speaks for itself.  Seven games without conceding.  Problem solved.

SAFC Defensive Record

The season is finally on track and we are now approaching the play off positions.  That pre-season expectation of winning the league is now on.


I am a adaptable, tactical genius (also very modest).  As for those ego’s, there is none bigger than the man in charge.