Seven teams to manage during FM22 Early Access
Early Access for Football Manager 2022 is out now so it’s time for you to put your skills to the test once again. We know that around this time of the year you are looking for shorter-term saves that allow you to experiment and get to grips with this year’s new additions, so here are a few suggestions.
After a few years in the doldrums, at least compared with their typically high standards, the good times are returning to AC Milan.
One of Italy’s most fun and exciting teams, the Rossoneri are a perfect starting point for your FM22 journey.
Homegrown stars like Alessio Romagnoli and Davie Calabria are complemented wonderfully by the likes of Fikayo Tomori, Sandro Tonali, Theo Hernandez and Rafael Leão. They’re players that have moved past wonderkid status and are now starting to deliver on the potential experts like you have known they’ve had for a long time. Also boasting the veteran, goalscoring expertise of Olivier Giroud and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Milan have the perfect blend to help you secure their first title in 11 years.
During the off-season, RB Leipzig lost their manager, leading central defender and captain to their biggest rivals, and last season’s champions, FC Bayern München. That’s a tough break for anyone.
While some clubs might have panicked with the prospect of a rebuilding job on their hands, RB Leipzig stuck to their guns. They maintained their policy of only adding younger players - Mohamed Simakan, Benjamin Henrichs, Brian Brobbey, Andre Silva and Ilaix Moriba made up this year’s crop of new recruits.
Have you got what it takes to shape this new-look Die Roten Bullen into a championship-winning outfit at home and competitive force abroad?
If you’re interested in dipping your managerial toes into French waters, we’d also recommend Olympique de Marseille.
Boasting a hugely passionate fan base, expectations are always high on France’s Mediterranean coastline. Come this season’s end, it’ll have been 10 years since Les Olympiens last won a trophy but a series of intriguing moves over the summer make them an exciting proposition.
Alongside a whole host of international-calibre loanees, Marseille invested big money into the likes of Pol Lirola, Gerson and Konrad de la Fuente. If everything comes together for them, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with in Ligue 1 Uber Eats this season and perhaps PSG’s closest challengers.
One of FM22’s most significant additions is the new Wide Centre-Back role and one of the best teams to try it with are VfL Wolfsburg, a Bundesliga powerhouse with a wealth of quality defenders at their disposal.
Beyond their defensive solidity and resources, the club look strong across the park. Belgian midfield wonderkid Aster Vranckx was one of our favourite summer transfers in Europe, while his creative colleagues Xaver Schlager and Josip Brekalo have the skills to ensure a constant stream of service for the prolific Wout Weghorst.
When you get promotion to the highest level, most teams realistically have two options. They either stick to the principles that got them promoted in the first place or twist, hoping that they’ll find a more conservative approach that stops them from suffering too many big defeats and secures them enough points to reach the magical threshold for survival.
We’d always prefer the former, the gung-ho, positive attitude, and you can embrace that with The Hornets. This season’s squad is probably the most well-rounded they’ve ever had in England’s top flight, a nice mix of seasoned campaigners and exuberant, pacy youngsters. Ismaila Sarr’s dribbling and raw speed is enough to give most defenders nightmares, while Joshua King, Emmanuel Dennis and Joao Pedro all know where the goal is. Embrace a quick, counter-attacking style as you mix it with the big boys and try to make this stay at the top a permanent one.
Of the three sides relegated to the Sky Bet Championship for this season, Sheffield United undoubtedly pose the most interesting FM challenge.
The Blades fell victim to ‘second season syndrome’ last time out, the playing style that made them so attractive on their long-awaited return to the big time suddenly too readable and ineffective. The Yorkshire club have had a busy summer with several players coming to and going from Bramall Lane but the likes of Sander Berge and Rhian Brewster highlight the quality still at their disposal.
When taking charge, will you opt for a new playing system altogether or prove the merits of the three at the back approach, especially now that the Wide Centre-Back role they arguably popularised is now at your disposal. Whatever route you choose, the aim is simple. Ensure that their absence from the top tier is far shorter than the 12 years it was last time.
Celtic’s momentous quest for 10 consecutive league titles came to a crashing halt last year at the hands of city rivals Rangers, who finished a full 25 points ahead of the Bhoys.
Such a large gap to their fiercest rivals led to an off-season overhaul to the playing squad at Celtic Park. Greek forward Giorgos Giakoumakis demonstrated his sharp eye for goal last season in the Eredivisie, and there’s great potential there for him to form a fruitful partnership with Japanese international Kyogo Furuhashi. Liel Abada is blessed with quick feet and a sharp turn of pace out wide, while Joe Hart, Carl Starfelt and Josip Juranovic were added to provide more defensive steel.
Once you’ve got to grips with all the new personnel and managed to bed them in, your task is fairly simple – restore domestic supremacy. When you’ve achieved that goal, which won’t be easy, you can switch your attentions to trying to make your mark in European action.
Your season starts here
Hopefully we’ve been able to provide you with some ammunition for your opening saves in FM22.
Once you’ve decided where you want to start, let us know how you’re getting on across social media.
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