The first season at Újpest has finally been completed. And it’s gone really quite well.
Having checked the actual standings for the Nemzeti Bajnokság 2013/14 in real life, I’d found Újpest had finished in 13th, only a few points above the relegation zone. This was not promising. I’d made a few changes to the squad, but a top-half finish would have done me. One of the main reasons I picked Újpest was because of their lowly standing even in their own city, Budapest. The aim was therefore to finish above either MTK or Honvéd, and take my place as the 3rd best club in the city. So top 8 in the table and top 3 in the Budapest mini-league.
After looking over a number of incredible regens in my conversations with other FM users on Twitter, I decided I quite enjoyed it. Perusing through pages of imaginary footballers who don’t even exist in my own cyberspace seems a weird way to spend my afternoons, yet there’s something oddly addictive about the whole thing.
And so I decided to create this article/plea. I’m looking for your best ever players on any edition of FM; be it CM01/02, FM14 or anything else. Submit your three best and favourite players of all-time. They can be regens or real players. If we have enough submissions, I’ll create a best XI and potentially a substitute bench. Extra points for detail on the player themselves, such as playing history, awards, etc. It’s your chance to brag, and someone will actually care!
note: we’re likely to get a load of striker submissions, so keep that in mind if you want to get a player in the XI.
note 2: you’re welcome to add in a few other players who you don’t want me to consider for the XI. Anyone who has an interesting story or looks a good player would be welcomed, however, please do make it clear which players you want to be considered.
My first applicant is Joe Hargreaves (FM11, Arsenal).
Yes, yes, it’s a striker. I know. But I simply had to include Joe Hargreaves simply because of the fact he was my first great regen on any FM. FM2011 with Arsenal was the first time I’d got into a long-term save on any version of the game and Hargreaves came into the side relatively early on, and quickly became one of the keys to European and domestic success. However, the main reason I’ve included him is for his ridiculous 2025/26 season, where his league stats were; 38 games, 49 goals, 12 assists, 12 MoM, 8.23 average rating — the best seasons I’ve ever got out of a striker. It seems odd that he scored so many goals given his low composure but he created so many chances for himself through his combination of dribbling and finishing, which allowed him to be wasteful. The trigger for years of obsessive FM playing.
The next man in is Nicolas Dalmolin (FM13, Wolves).
Those who are regular followers of the blog will know exactly why I’m suggesting Dalmolin — the inspiration behind a 4-2-3-1 tactic I used for the best part of a decade (see: https://fmcoffeehouse.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/exploiting-space-the-inverse-wing-back/ and https://fmcoffeehouse.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/tactical-analysis-crooked-4-2-3-1/ for more info). Dalmolin, like Hargreaves, came into the team relatively early and was with the team through it’s step into stardom. He finally retired after 16 long years at the club, and despite long periods of frustration through injuries, finished with 570 appearances in the gold of Wolves.
And finally, Miguel Cuevas (FM13, Wolves).
Having selected the first two for largely emotional reasons, I’ll go for Cuevas because of his machine-like efficiency, either at CB or DM. With four seasons out of his six at Wolves, Cuevas achieved an average rating of over 8 — three of these occurred consecutively. If you’ve read my 4-2-3-1 tactical analysis, then you’ll know it was essential the DM was defensively able, given the attacking nature of the LB in the tactic. Cuevas did this incredibly, and also mopped up play in central midfield. He was the key to the best defensive unit I’ve ever had on any FM, when we went a season conceding only 14 goals in 2024/25. The season after, we conceded only one goal at home. Despite being ousted from my Wolves Best XI, I consider Cuevas my best ever player.
This is a piece from a few years ago, as the title suggests, but a lot of the content still applies today. It was based around creating a tactic that could be downloaded, but I feel its still of value as a piece of reading. I’d also love to hear about any attempts of Total Football that have been attempted, and hopefully this can spark that discussion.
This hasn’t been updated since FM11, so the writing may be of a slightly lower quality and there may be some oddities. Even if you don’t fancy reading the article I still highly recommend watching the YouTube video. It’s incredible.
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Hi guys, and welcome to my Project Totaal Voetbal, or Total Football for those of you who don’t speak basic Dutch. Total Football has been hailed as the Holy Grail for Football Manager tacticians, and I heard it was just a bit of a challenge to re-create the pure fluidity of the Dutch national side of ’74 and the Ajax sides of the early 1970s. Well, I thought I’d take the challenge.