Diversity is the spice of life

It’s that time of the year yet again, as yet another season of football draws to a close you feel deprived of football and need your fix. What’s the answer you say to yourself, well Football Manager of course. However, all those intense playing sessions that you had when you eagerly first bought the game have taken a toll on you, and even though you hate to admit it. You are becoming bored of playing the game that you have enjoyed for so many months. You are simply not having the satisfaction you once had by playing as the same teams over and over again, buying the same players. There in lies the problem, your playing in the same leagues, playing as the same teams, even buying the same players, no wonder you are getting bored. So in this article I will be your host, guiding you on a whistle-stop tour around the globe, looking at new and exciting countries for you to manage in that you may not have before, to hopefully reignite your interest for Football Manager.


[edit] Iceland

We start our tour around the world in Iceland, hardly the most hospitable of places. However if you look past the glaciers and freezing temperatures there is a hotbed of football waiting to be unearthed, and you just maybe the person to do it. Iceland cannot be said to never unearth talent that graces the European stage, you just have to look at Eider Gudjohnsen as a perfect example, and with you at the helm at an Icelandic club you may unearth the next star Icelandic. If your lucky, he may just stay with you and guide you into Europe yourself. The task of getting any sort of European success with an Icelandic team is not going to be easy at all, however if you persevere and manage to find some hidden gems then you may just surprise the rest of Europe and show that Iceland can be an upcoming force to be reckoned with.

Hard: Selfoss - No doubt the most daunting task if you want to manage in Iceland, Selfoss are predicted to finish last in the Icelandic first division, and with a ground that only holds 1,000 and an estimated value of £95K the task will be all uphill. Also, if any talent does emerge from your club it will quickly be snapped up by teams in the Icelandic Premier Division, meaning you have a hard task of climbing up into the top division.

Easy: FH - Easily the biggest team in Iceland, this team starts off in the Champions League qualifiers, and if any team are likely to break into Europe then this will be the team. Also they are not short in talent, they have numerous Icelandic internationals in there team, and also can boast to having the most expensive player in the Icelandic leagues; Mattias Guomundsson, who is frankly one of the most technicaly gifted players in this league. With FH you should easily be aiming to win the league and maybe break into the Champions League Group Stages

[edit] Malaysia

Our next port of call in our tour around the world is to Asia, where we go to Malaysia, a complete contrast to the football played in Iceland Malaysia is a much more forgiving place to play. Whilst you will never attract the likes of Messi, Ronaldo et al. You do have a good chance of picking up some Asian talents, however with only a limited amount of foreigners allowed in each squad you will have to be shrewd in the transfer market. Only buying foreigners that you actually need, and relying on local talent. Which, if you ever wanted to consider managing the Malaysian national team whilst managing a club, would be perfect as you could nurture your young players. Trying to break the more Middle Eastern and Oriental stranglehold on the Champions League would be your objective here, but with only a limited amount of foreigners allowed and significantly less resources it will not be easy.

Hard: Angkatan Tentera Malaysia - Predicted to finish last in the bottom division of the Malaysian team and with are mostly made up off youngsters in there first year of there contract the task with this club will be quite hard. With very little funds you will have to be very shrewd in the transfer market and hope that the players you have already got will be able to help you climb up the league. There is however one guiding light and that is Preston Corporal, the Liberian should be your main man in the push up the league.

Easy: Kedah - The reigning champions of the Malaysian Super League with your management Kedah should be on course to retain that championship if you invest in the squad correctly. Whilst your only choice by the board is to win the league you are given a budget of £230K to do so, which for the Malaysian leagues is a extravagant, meaning that you can take the pick of any Malaysian player playing for any of the opposition. Effectively buying the opposition out.

[edit] Australia

We are on the move again and our next destination is no other than the land down under itself, Australia. Whilst this will not be that new of a country to some of the members on this site (Due to the fact that they are Australian there selves and will have no doubt played in there home country before) it will be a new venture to some people. With a league that only consists of 8 teams you can be guaranteed that each season is going to be enthralling, whilst you may be battling being the lowest team one season the next you could be battling to become champions so open the league is. Also, unlike Malaysia and Iceland mentioned before Australia can attract players to the Australian leagues who could be seen as European superstars, Mauro Zarate and Luka Modric are just two well known players who Australian teams if they have the money can buy. Also with already established foreign internationals in there teams you are ready to build a successful career.

Hard: Perth Glory - Whilst no team in the Australian league are really hard per se, I picked Perth due to the fact that they were predicted to finish bottom, however this does not mean that this has to be the case. With established and well known Australian international Stan Lazaridis in there team and with the right management they could easily push up the league and if your lucky challenge for the title.

Easy: Sydney FC - Whilst Sydney are not predicted to finish first in the Australian league I think it is still an easily achievable task for you to do. You have a good mix of experience and youth in your team you can easily with the right signings and tactics win the league. Plus, more importantly you have Juninho <3, and for that you have to win the league for the little Brazilian.

[edit] South Africa

Now we are off to Africa, and our tour is begging to wind down. The only team that you can actually manage using the official databases on Football Manager is South Africa, so that is where we are at. It has been over 10 years since an African team has last won the African Champions League, so it is your task if you take control of a major club to try and break this chain of supremacy of Northern African clubs and take the title back to South Africa.

Hard: African Warriors - Predicted to finish bottom of the lowest league in South Africa, little to no finances meaning that you will have less chances of buying in players and all your players being youth team members makes this a virtual impossible task. So if you believe your managerial skills are up to it see if you can take the African Warriors up the South African leagues.

Easy: Sundowns - The reigning champions of the South African Soccer League, and the easiest team you could pick if you want an easy ride. With a very talented squad you have a good chance of retaining that title that you won last season, however you have to be wary of big clubs poaching your players. Lungisani Ndela is wanted by a host of top European teams at the start of the game, so you may have to be resigned to losing one of your top players to a European team, something that will occur all to often if you take control of a South African club.

[edit] Peru

Well, it's been a fun ride but all things have to come to an end, and this is our last stop, welcome to Peru in South America, with talents such as Farfan, Pizzaro and Guerrero emerging from the country you can be rest assured that there is no lack of talent waiting to be unearthed in Peru, it is just your job to find it. However despite this talent that has passed through Peru, no Peru team has ever won the Copa Liberatos, so obviously your task is to break that jinx and guide a Peruvian team to Continental glory.

Hard: Jose Galvez - Since there are only 12 teams in the Peruvian league and none are considerably worse than the other it is hard to pick a team that could be said as 'hard' to manage. So I simply picked the team that is predicted to finish bottom in the league, Jose Galvez. However with a determined squad that has some talent you should be realistically in the mid half of the league.

Easy: Allianza Lima - Situated in the capital of Peru, Allianza Lima are the richest club in Peru by a considerable amount, and this has paid dividend as they are now predicted to finish first in the league. There squad itself, whilst it could be strengthened in certain areas is quite good as it is. With the two most standout players being Ernesto Arakaki and Marko Ciurlizza, both Peruvian internationals and star players for there club.

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