Football Manager 2021 is finally here, and football fans worldwide are more than ready to celebrate SI's annual football festive.
But let's be real, as you grow over time with a new save in Football Manager, things can get a little boring. Sign quality players with one or two bargains along the way, and years later, be one of the leading horses of the league campaign.
Why don't you try one of these five challenges?
Forget taking Northampton Town to the Premier League. Why don't you try managing low-rated national teams? Maybe try Senegal or Indonesia? It's almost rare to see any FM player managing a national team, but the job is there for the taking.
What makes managing national teams so challenging is that you can not buy players to strengthen your team. All you have to do is to improve the bond among these players with minimum time and resources.
Homegrown Talent Believer
Forget 'touted as the next Eusebio' kind of players. Put some trust in homegrown talents. Make the best of your youth setup, or identify your rivals' youngsters and give them the time they need. Get rid of foreign players, although they may be your key players.
No more South American wonderkids. Say goodbye to Racing Club, River Plate, Boca Junior, Monterrey, or any SA team you used to snatch their wonderkids.
Do you know that Polish top-flight league Ekstrakalsa has a unique promotion and relegation system? Do you know that the MLS has pretty confusing transfer rules? Do you know that several Asian leagues only let its teams have 3 foreign players at maximum?
Of course, you wouldn't know any of these if you only play in the top 5 European leagues. Why don't you try Liga I of Romania or Hyundai A-League of Australia?
Try Different Football Style
If you love Pep's tiki-taka football that doesn't rely on pace more than the quality of passing, maybe switching into a fast-paced counter-attacking football is best for you.
After all, Football Manager is all about managing, so why master one tactic when you can master two? 4-3-2-1 with two fast-paced and creative wingers, two strong Segundo Volantes, and one ball-winning midfielder is OK to tear a defensive line without sacrificing too much space.
Free Transfer Only
Lastly, try the free transfer only policy. Do not spend any single dime on a player's fee. Aim for unhappy players with six months left in his contract or aged veterans who do not have too many footballing years ahead.
Who knows? Porto's side of Jose Mourinho, who won the Champions League back in 2004, was mostly filled with relatively unknown overaged players.