“They will cut their hair. They will remove visible piercings. They will be polite to referees. They will not dive or simulate to win free kicks. This is a modern traditional club, Razzo. We are a club of gentlemen and the players will comply. Now, I remind you that we should be competing in Serie B next season. Cristian, bless him, was unable to achieve that. I charge you with that target. Win the league this season and let us take the next step to show Italy what is possible with the strength of our conviction and the ability of our identity. Forza Monza! Forza Berlusconi! Forza Italia!!”
With that I was so briefed by the man himself, Silvio Berlusconi. Say what you want about his “diversions and lies”, he is a passionate and inspiring man. I left his office not feeling overawed or intimidated but motivated. Motivated to take this team into Serie B, long the glass ceiling for Monza, and beyond!
Welcome to my blog for Football Manager 20 where I’m going to get AC Monza into Serie A and live out “Berlusconi’s Dream”. I’m playing on the release database with the SortItOutSI “real names fix”, DF11 facepacks, FC’12 kits, TCM logos and a personalised version of the Rensie Skin. That personalisation is the addition of attribute ranges where colours replace the 1-20 rating; I’ll only be able to see, for example, an 11-15, represented by a colour block, for an attribute instead of the specific number (note: this only applies to players only).
The club requires me to play attacking football and to develop players through the club’s youth system. Perfect for the way in which I like to play. I’m also charged with operating within the club’s budget.
Outside of the restrictions placed upon me by the club’s identity and board I’ve included a few other rules or principles to play by:
- Maximum of 3 non-Italian players in the first team. In real life, Berlusconi has included this as one of this own principles for the club. The first team is all-Italian as I write this. I will recruit foreigners into the U19 and U23 squads though, especially through feeder clubs from nearby countries.
- Youth mostly. The club wants to see players coming through via the youth system and so I plan on “youth only” being the default position. That said, I know there’ll be times where a loan or a transfer will be essential so I’m giving myself some flexibility. I won’t be out snapping up all the wonderkids but we will look for appropriate, talented youngsters to bring into the system and potentially older veterans with the right personality to help bring them along. Part of the need for that flexibility is relevant to the next point.
- Recruit/sign as many ex-AC Milan players and staff as practicable. Berlusconi bleeds Milan and he wants to make Monza what Milan was in its heyday. In this way, I will always try and sign Milan old boys into the ranks of my staff, I will look first to Milan for loan signings and I will sniff around their youth team to sign the best players that I can (particularly those players they release, especially while we remain in Serie C and B).
- Win promotion to Serie B immediately. This isn’t reflected as a requirement in-game, but it is a target for the club in real life (Serie B in 2020).
In terms of my manager personality, I’ve created Maurizio “Il Razzo” Riccardo as the main man. He’s a complete fabrication although his name and nickname are a nod to another sport………I imagine Il Razzo as having been one of the core Italian players at AC Milan in the ‘90s when they were so dominant. Well-known throughout Italy and the continent, he fell short of selection to the national team simply by being the odd-man-out on so many occasions. Known as “The Rocket”, he was a central midfielder and knew only one-way to shoot: outside the box, harder and faster than anyone else. His shots would either break the back of the net, or the nose of a tifosi in the stands behind.
We start the save at the end of the 19/20 season: Cristian Brocchi has been sacked for failing to win promotion into Serie B by 2020 (I had to simulate a number of times in order for this scenario to play out). The reason here is simply so that I could concoct a justifiable reason for sacking Brocchi and installing Il Razzo. This means that I have to win Serie C/A at the first attempt, or make my way via the playoffs. A decent challenge from the outset!
I may do another lead-in blog before the save gets underway as we wait for full release and, perhaps, a Serie D database expansion but I’ll otherwise not set a specific schedule. I’ve not blogged in a long time and I dislike forcing myself to write; the blogs will come when they’re ready!
My thanks to my long-time FM bosom-friend, Samo, for hosting this on his site!