Pick a number, any number… The End – a random number generated FM save

For this save, to SAVE (heh heh) me from feeling totally inadequate at football management, a random number generator (random.org, known on these pages as RANDOM) will be picking my formation before each match from the below list:

  1. 2-5-3
  2. 3-4-3
  3. 3-5-2
  4. 4-2-4
  5. 4-4-2
  6. 4-5-1
  7. 5-4-1
  8. 5-3-2

Part One, taking charge for pre-season at DC United, is here.
Part Two, the first ten games of the season, is here.

So. This isn’t the end of my save, but I’m into the second season friendlies and the interest in the gimmick of the save is wearing off, so summing up the first season seems like a good end point to writing about this save. It’s the idea that I think people will care most about, after all.

My aim for the season from the board were the play-offs, or the top 6 in our division. The board were happy with me for most of the season, because for most of the season we had 2 or 3 games in hand over the rest of our conference. When they caught up in games, they overtook us in points.

With about 4 games of the season to go (for us), I’d given up hope. Toronto FC were behind us by about 3 points with 2 games in hand, and I didn’t trust us to win our remaining games in case of a Toronto slip-up. But we did win. And Toronto did slip up. Somehow, we went into the last game of the season scraping through to the play-offs on goal difference, all we had to do was match Toronto’s result.

We lost 4-0. They drew 1-1. It was shameful, but what our season deserved.

Below is how we fared with each formation in the MLS, and in total across all competitions and friendlies in the season.

MLS 253 343 352 424 442 451 541 532
Win 1 2 3 2 1 2
Draw 1 1 1 1 2 2 1
Loss 1 2 1 4 3 2 1
Played 2 4 4 4 6 5 5 4
PPG 0.5 1 1.75 2.5 1 0.4 1 1.75
Total 253 343 352 424 442 451 541 532
Win 0 2 3 4 3 2 1 4
Draw 1 1 1 1 0 3 3 1
Loss 1 2 2 1 6 3 2 1
Played 2 5 6 6 9 8 6 6
PPG 0.5 1.4 1.667 2.167 1 1.125 1 2.167

I think that the random number generator save is a good exercise in learning about formations, and what you can do to make things work. You’re forced to think about your formation before each game, and forced again much more during it because you’re thinking “right, how do I stop Didier Drogba and their attacking midfielder when I’m being forced to play a 2-3-5”.

However, I think it’s difficult to try and improve the club, I imagine that as the years of the save wore on you would still be trying to tread water in terms of matching the board’s expectations. Not only are you playing bizarre formations and trying to mould that set-up to competently deal with your opponents, but it affects your squad as well. You need strength in depth (or just depth) in every position, because there’s going to be some time when you have injuries to your strikers but still have to play a 4-2-4.

I’ll probably carry on random number generating on this DC United save, and may well try it for my first season in other saves. After a season though, and having had to play with so many variations, you know your squad very well and have better ideas about how you might want your team to play, so random number generating gets more frustrating.

Anyways, try it, have fun.


One thought on “Pick a number, any number… The End – a random number generated FM save

  1. Pingback: The Football Manager Random Number Challenge – The Hawthorn in your side, ep 1. | Every Team Needs A Ron

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