clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Managing Madrid: FM17 Series

Nacho and Danilo are sold.

Real Madrid CF v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Though I don’t usually take over Real Madrid in FM saves, I wanted to try it out. I know many will question the challenge, but there are still some at the biggest club in the world, hence the high percentage of manager turnover in the previous 15 years.

So I started, and was ‘introduced’ to the club by Florentino Perez and then ‘met’ the team. Everyone seems happy so far- no eyebrows have been raised by the fact I’ve replaced Zinedine ‘Leyenda’ Zidane just a month after winning La Undecima.

I didn’t specifically set out to add anyone in particular to my backroom, but I am interested in placing greater emphasis on this in the future. For now, I added a few names that were suggested to me for the coaching staff- Hugo Oliviera as a Goalkeeping Coach from SLB, Antonio Gomez from Barcelona B (controversial) as fitness coach, and Maurizio Trombetta from Juventus as a coach.

These, plus five new scouts, including David Trezeguet!

In terms of playing staff recruitment, I only had a budget of around 15 million GBP, and there was only one area that I thought I might most need an addition, which was at CDM, to cover Casemiro.

Danilo was already half way out of the door when I took over, but sides like Manchester United, Chelsea and PSG were trying to haggle over the initial 12.5million price tag. Finally, we settled on a 9.5million offer from Man United.

When Tottenham and Manchester City made a few enquiries for Nacho Fernandez, I was happy to bat them away. As Nacho has proved in reality, he is a great rotation option and can play any where across the back line.

However, Tottenham came back with a 19.5million offer, potentially rising to 29million. I (still rather begrudgingly) accepted.

I’ve also allowed the likes of Mariano the opportunity to go out on loan this season.

Departures so far

In the meantime, Pepe had come to me to inform me of his struggle with homesickness. I offered him a leave of absence, but was concerned he may return to say he still wanted to leave. At 33, and having let Nacho just go, it could have been a bit of a blunder. However, the Portuguese returned happy and ready to continue.

I then made my own moves in the market. I brought in Hugo Mallo from Celta Vigo for 10 million (rising to 13.25 depending on success), and Mateo Musacchio from Villarreal for 14 million (potential rising to 16.75 million).

Instantly, I had plugged the gaps left by Danilo’s and Nacho’s departures to England. Mallo will rotate with Carvajal at right-wing back, with the latter also able to play left-wing back should Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao both be unavailable or struggling for fitness.

My final signing of the window was made when I spotted Arsenal had transfer listed Francis Coquelin. As I said, I wanted cover for Casemiro, to allow the likes of Toni Kroos and Luka Modric to maintain their more attacking roles, and was able to sign Coquelin for 15 million.

In all, I spent 10 million more than the 29 million I recouped.

Tactics wise, I’ve set up in a 4-1-2-3 DM Wide. But it’s fluid, so you could argue it’s a 4-3-3, 3-4-3 when attacking, anything!

The tactical set up

I’ve gone with the below instructions for this set up too:

And so far it seems to be working. We battered Sevilla in the European Super Cup (4-1) and we’ve dropped points only twice. A frustrating draw at home to Tottenham in the Champions League group stage opener (1-1) and the same result most recently in La Liga (at home again!) to Deportivo. Sergio Ramos brought down Joselu and Ryan Babel converted the penalty, which ended our 100% domestic record.

I’m up to mid-October so far and face Barcelona and Atletico both in the next six weeks- next time I’ll update on progress.

What do you think of the signings? Should I have let Mariano out on loan? Let me know what you think...

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Managing Madrid Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Real Madrid news from Managing Madrid