Up the Boro #1 | Introduction | An FM18 Story

I have been interested in writing for a little while now. Whilst I never joined the FM community, I would happily read many blogs and watch the content provided by many. FM has been a game I have loved for a number of years and it has been a part of my upbringing.

Now at 18, my love for the game has only grown and I thought it was time to begin writing. So firstly, I want to thank Tom (@VivaLaVidaFM) for the opportunity to write here.

I have enjoyed a number of different saves in many different countries and continents on this great game. However, one thing, perhaps surprisingly to you, I have never done is manage the club I support.

I am an avid fan of Middlesbrough FC and have been a season ticket holder for many, many years. I will be purchasing another for the upcoming season, where I look forward to Tony Pulis guiding us back to the Premier League. However, it’s time I take the reigns at the club I love and force good old Tony out of the job.

Why? Well I thought it made sense. I have never managed Middlesbrough before and I have never written an FM blog post before, so let’s do two things at once, right? I want to showcase a save I will heavily enjoy with you and I am confident that this will be the case with Boro.

Up The Boro!

As I take the club over, we have recently been relegated from the Premier League after promotion the season prior. It was disappointing for the fans, who had optimism to remain a Premier League outfit and establish ourselves in the top flight, but it just wasn’t to be.


Middlesbrough recent history

There has been a lot of investment in the squad over the Summer, with Britt Assombalonga being a key example. £15,000,000 was spent on the Congolese forward to bring him to the Riverside from Nottingham Forest. Whilst the likes of George Friend, Daniel Ayala and Adama Traore have all been retained.

Boro 1Boro 2

The expectations are obviously high, as the board expect a playoff finish at minimum. I believe that this is easily feasible with the squad at hand and my personal aim is to guide the club back to the Premier League this season. The board have also handed me a £5,000,000 budget which will allow me to strengthen certain areas of the squad.

I am particularly looking at a right-back, due to Fabio being more of a left-sided option and Ryan Shotton being the current number one. Whilst Shotton is a good player, I  believe that we need to improve on him, however he will make for a solid option over the season with the ability to also play at centre-back if needed.

Dael Fry

Dael Fry

There are other aspects of the squad where I feel we are very strong in. One of these is the centre-back area, where we have Daniel Ayala and Ben Gibson as first choice pairing. However, we have Dael Fry (as shown above), who is a young up and coming defender, as well as Shotton as previously mentioned. Tom Brewitt is another option to focus on, as he has plenty of potential as well.

My objective this season is to try and give younger players opportunities, this includes the likes of Fry, who will be on the bench at minimum throughout the season. I will also be looking to bring in other options, particularly from other Football League sides, to provide us with a plethora of young talent going forward. This will be essential to growing the football club.

Tactical thoughts

To begin with, we will be looking to play this system:


We certainly have the squad to outclass many of the outfits within this division, therefore we are aiming to attack them. We will be looking to build from the back, play possessive, fluid football and getting the full-backs to overlap – allowing for low crosses into the area to suit Assombalonga. If Gestede starts instead, this will be changed accordingly to suit for the taller striker.

Defensively, we will be pressing the opposition and looking to give them little time on the ball. However, we need to maintain a balance and therefore I have instructed the players not to be too reckless and dive in unnecessarily. It is essential that we find the balance between attack and defence and I am confident that this system will allow for this to occur.

I want to thank you for reading and hopefully you will continue to enjoy the many posts I will be writing during this save. Please follow @_BoroLiam on Twitter if you wish to remain updated.

Do leave some comments below if you have any thoughts about this new save with Middlesbrough. Have you managed the club before on FM18? Leave a comment to let us know how you got on!

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