In this Football Manager 2020 series the aim is to provide some inspiration for you to decide which club you will manage. I plan to review a large selection of teams from some of the more popular regions and countries in the game.
I will be focusing on clubs with an interesting challenge and therefore may not use a team from every country. The series will be split into several posts, each with a focus on a particular region. In this post, I will look at clubs to manage in Central Europe.
Who to Manage on FM20 | Central Europe
Eintracht Braunschweig | German 3. Liga
Eintracht Braunschweig kick off this guide as a team who present an interesting challenge for those who like to revive fallen giants. The German club were ever-present in the early years of the Bundesliga and won the league in 1966/67. They are currently playing in the third tier of German football.
Can you take Braunschweig back to the top and take away the title from a dominant Bayern Munich?
Rapid Wien | Austrian Bundesliga
Rapid Wien are the most successful club in the Austrian Bundesliga in terms of titles won. Their 32 titles eclipses both Austria Wien and Red Bull Salzburg. However, recent years has seen the emergence of Salzburg as a force in the Austrian league. Rapid Wien’s last title came over a decade ago in 2008.
Your job is to squash the threat of Red Bull Salzburg and reclaim the Bundesliga title. Beyond that, the club would aim to push further forward in Europe and make inroads towards raising the status of Austrian football.
Vaduz | Swiss Challenge League
Liechtenstein-based club Vaduz have just suffered relegation from the top-flight of Swiss football and find themselves in the Challenge League. The club are the only professional club in Liechtenstein football and have taken part in the Swiss football leagues since 1933. A major drawback of leading this club is their current ‘guest club’ status in Switzerland. This status means that they cannot represent Switzerland internationally, meaning that they are unable to qualify for the Champions League through league placings.
The club take part in the Liechtenstein Cup with the winners claiming a place in the Europa League First Qualifying Round. As such, the only way for the club to qualify for the Champions League is by winning the Europa League! Will you take on this near-impossible challenge?
FC Emmen | Dutch Eredivisie
Emmen will be taking part in only their second season in the top flight of Dutch football this season. In the 2017/18 season, Emmen finished 7th in the Eerste Divisie and won promotion to the top-flight for the first time in their history. In the following season they maintained their status as a tier-1 club by finishing 14th out of 18 clubs.
Can you build the club into a real force of Dutch football? Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV will provide a great challenge but with the right manager anything is possible!
Jablonec | Czech First League
FK Jablonec have been a regular member of the Czech First League, participating in the top-tier of Czech football since 1994. However, they are yet to win a title and came closest in 2009/10 when the came second behind giants Sparta Prague.
Will this be the club for you this year on FM20? The Czech league was revamped in 2018 and the new format has added an extra spice to the league. Upon completion of the regular season, the league splits into three groups where teams fight for more points to improve their position.
Anderlecht | Belgian First Division A
Anderlecht seem like an easy club to manage on FM. They are the most successful Belgian side, having won 34 titles – 19 more than their nearest competitor Club Brugge. However, they have started the season terribly under player-manager Vincent Kompany.
Your job will be to avert this crisis and take Anderlecht further in Europe than they have ever been before. The club had a golden period between 1969 and 1990, winning 5 European trophies, but the club have never won, or even come close to winning, the Champions League. This is your target with Anderlecht.
Eindhoven | Dutch Eerste Divisie
Thinking of PSV? Eindhoven is known for the giants PSV, but they are one of two professional clubs in the city. FC Eindhoven are the other, competing in the second tier of Dutch football. The club have one Eredivisie title to their name and this came over 60 years ago in 1954. By contrast, PSV have won 24 top-tier titles in total and 21 since Eindhoven won their first!
Can you build up Eindhoven to make them the most renowned club from the city? How long will it take for you to win your first Eredivisie title?
Borussia Dortmund | German Bundesliga
Under Jurgen Klopp, Dortmund reached the Champions League Final and won two Bundesliga titles. They threatened to become a dominant force in Germany but Bayern Munich stood in their way. The current Dortmund squad is one that many an FM’er would love to manage with players like Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus, Thomas Delaney and Julian Brandt.
With an impressive squad at your disposal, you will have to end Bayern’s dominance of German football. The Munich giants have won seven consecutive titles. Can you end their streak and eventually avenge the 2012/13 Champions League defeat?
Servette | Swiss Super League
Servette have won the third most top-tier titles (17) in Switzerland behind Grasshopper (27) and Basel (20). Their most recent title came twenty years ago in 1999. Servette were declared bankrupt in 2005 and were consequently relegated. Prior to this, they were the only club never to have been relegated from the top division since its creation in 1890.
The club are back in the Super League and are chasing their 18th title after twenty years of waiting. Can you bring the title back to Geneva?
Belgium | European Championships
Belgium are well known for having a current crop of players considered to be their ‘golden generation’. Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Kevin de Bruyne are just some of the bigger names of the Belgian national side. With these huge names, Belgium will be hoping to improve on their poor international tournament record of late.
Belgium failed to qualify for five consecutive tournaments: Euros 2004, 2008 and 2012 + World Cup 2006 and 2010. You have the role of taking Belgium’s golden generation to the top of international football. Go and win the World Cup!
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Thanks for reading!