10 Teams to Manage after the FM23 Main Data Update
Following the arrival of the FM23 Main Data Update, we know that a lot of you are getting ready to kick off your next big adventure.
All the major recent transfers, updated player ratings and the real-life fortunes of clubs around the world open up a tremendous number of possibilities.
It can be tricky to work out where to start, so to help you, we’ve put together a list of 10 of our favourite FM23 challenges ready for you to dive into.
Stade de Reims
Stade de Reims have dominated the headlines in French football this season, largely down to the exploits of FM fan-turned-manager Will Still.
He’s out there living our dreams, so we’re suggesting that you follow directly in his footsteps and aim for the very top of the game with Les Rouges et Blancs.
Their current squad is well suited to playing with either three or four at the back, anchored by captain Yunis Abdelhamid and the much-improved goalkeeper Yehvann Diouf. They’ve got creativity in the wide areas in the shape of Alexis Flips and Junya Ito, as well as a rather prolific Folarin Balogun.
Reims haven’t won Ligue 1 Uber Eats in 61 years. Once you’ve ended that lengthy wait for a title, the sky will be the limit for how far you can take them.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen
The 2022/23 season has been a challenging one for Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who finished third in the previous campaign and are traditionally one of the Bundesliga’s stronger sides.
Promising Belgian midfielder Noah Mbamba joined the club in January and he complements an exciting squad encompassing the pace of Jeremie Frimpong and Moussa Diaby, the creativity and guile of Florian Wirtz and Adam Hložek and the clever forward play of Sardar Azmoun and Patrik Schick.
If you can get them to click, you should be able to get them in the mix for trophies at home and further afield.
Sporting one of the youngest teams in European football, FC Nordsjaelland are currently going great guns in the Danish Superliga.
Since being taken over by Right to Dream Academy owner Tom Vernon in 2015, the club have had a clear and distinctive ethos of bringing through the next generation of talent that they can develop and sell. Ernest Nuamah, a young Ghanaian striker, figures to be the next in the pipeline.
Can you stay true to the club’s principles while claiming a second domestic title and forming a squad capable of competing on the European stage?
Out of the top flight for more than a decade now, Blackburn Rovers have flirted with sealing promotion back to the big time in the last couple of seasons.
They’re in the hunt once again this campaign, sitting right in the play-off picture heading into the business end of the season. What’s been impressive this season is that they’ve done it while placing a heavy emphasis on promoting their own homegrown talents, with two spotlighted in our EFL Young Stars to Watch.
As well as those prospects, the Lancashire club have also got a number of proven commodities within their ranks, including imposing central defender Daniel Ayala, midfielder John Buckley and Chilean sensation Ben Brereton Diaz. If you can restore them to the top division, you can start thinking about winning a first title in 30 years.
For several years now, SC Freiburg have been one of European football’s best stories. Constant overachievers in the Bundesliga, they’re powered by a brilliant scouting network and a superb coach in Christian Streich.
If you take the reins at the Europa-Park Stadion in FM23, you’ll have European football from the start of your career and the players at your disposal to stay in contention for more of the same in seasons to come.
With a good, well-rounded squad, can you take them even further and disrupt the establishment at home and abroad?
One of the world’s most iconic cities and some of football’s most beautiful kits. What’s not to love?
Rather excitingly, the Venice-based club are, following the Data Update, fully licensed in FM23. You’ll be taking over the hotseat with them in the Italian second division but we’re sure that you’re all well-equipped to navigate them back to the top flight and make your mark.
Hugely promising midfielder Gianluca Busio is the headline attraction but Tanner Tessmann, January signing Daishawn Redan and Finland international Joel Pohjanpalo will be crucial to any hopes of initial success.
Much like Venezia, Gillingham have struggled to adjust to a new division in recent months after suffering relegation at the end of last season.
The Gills scored just seven goals in their first 23 league games this campaign and looked set for the drop. However, following new American investment at the end of 2022 and a recruitment drive in January, things are very much on the up at the Priestfield Stadium.
With proven Sky Bet League Two performers Tom Nichols, Timothee Dieng, Oliver Hawkins, Glenn Morris and George Lapslie at your disposal from the off, can you not just steer Gillingham clear of the drop but push them towards an immediate return to the third tier and even Papa Johns Trophy glory? Do the latter and you could win the opportunity of a lifetime.
1. FC Heidenheim 1846
Having been promoted to Bundesliga 2 for the first time in 2014, a decade of steady improvement has put FC Heidenheim firmly in contention for a maiden appearance in Germany’s top flight.
With the prolific Tim Kleindeinst up top, the creativity of Marnon Busch at full-back and captain Patrick Mainka locking it down in central defence, all the tools are there for you to build something special.
Can you go one step further than their promotion play-off final loss in 2020 and deliver top-flight football to the Voith Arena?
Dick Campbell’s Arbroath were the fairytale of Scottish football last season, punching well above their weight as a part-time team and finding themselves just a couple of games away from a first promotion to the top flight in 50 years.
Sadly, it’s been a far tougher campaign this time round for the Red Lichties, who’ve found themselves struggling in the bottom reaches of what is a hugely competitive division.
Jumping into the hotseat at Gayfield Park is perfect for someone ready for the long-haul, happy to maximise your resources and grow steadily before challenging the dominance of the Glasgow giants.
Since receiving investment from a successful estate agent in 2018, Larne have become one of the most upwardly clubs in Northern Ireland.
They won the NIFL Championship that year and at the time of writing find themselves on track for a first-ever top-division title built on the backs of a watertight defence.
Linfield, who won a world record 56th national title last season, will provide the stiffest competition but Larne have the resources to go far. In addition to success in the league, Larne boast a slightly unwarranted Northern Ireland record of having the most domestic cup final appearances without recording a win. Right that early doors and then you can start dreaming about those big European nights under the Inver Park lights.
Hopefully these 10 teams have given you some inspiration for your next FM23 adventure. The Main Data Update features thousands of January transfers and player ratings tweaks around the world, so there are loads of new gems ready for you to discover. Let us know where you start and how you get on via @FootballManager on social media.
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