Football Manager Journeys: Aston Villa (2024-2031)
A brief recap on this save in general. I started with a random number generator, which put me in the Eliteserien in Norway and in charge of Stromgodset. We won the title immediately and I left to join another randomly selected team; CD Mafra in Portugal. I was there for 3 years, getting them promoted to Liga NOS and finishing P4 in my final season. Offers had been coming in from elsewhere and while I considered moves to Fulham and Blackburn, I couldn’t turn down Aston Villa. I took over in 2024/25.
In 2023/24 the club had finished in P13 and barely avoided relegation thanks to a decent streak of late wins. They finished on 47 points. In my first season we leapt up the table to P4, finishing with 69 points (nice). In our second season we finished P3 on 75 points. After signing Man Utd youngster Bobby Adeyemi on loan, our fortunes changed and we stormed the league title in 2027, with 86 points. It began a reign of terror with each season seeing improvement. We ended up with 92, 99, 98 and 109 points respectively. In the 109 points season we only dropped points twice; a 1-1 at Old Trafford and a bizarre 3-0 loss to Arsenal. Every other game was a win, we finished with 161 goals for.
Over the same timeframe we won a bunch of cup competitions. Most notably five straight Champion’s League finals. Wins over Real Madrid, Liverpool, Man City, Real again and Juventus. The final one coming with a rollicking 9-2 win over the Italian league champions*. In our final season Villa had all three of the top scorers in the CL Golden Boot race.
*They only scored two goals because I sold them Victor Osimhen.
We leave Villa with me in P4 on the Hall of Fame, trailing only Alex Ferguson, Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti.
To give you an idea of how insanely good this team is, I’ve put the editor to use and provided here a show of how good the players are. If you’ve never seen the editor; players are rated out of 200. Anything over 170 is considered world class. A few shout-outs among those players. Erik Sergio is the first player I signed at Villa. He cost about £8M and has gone from Brazilian wonderkid centre back to the best defender in the world. At 195, he’s my highest rated player. Bobby Adeyemi is 194 and has scored a staggering 66 goals in the final season. Jesus Sainz, I literally signed in the last season because the transfer budget had a spare £120M in it and the board don’t like me to hoard cash. The team has an average age of 24 and is going to be unstoppable for at least five years.
^ Bobby Adeyemi’s league goalscoring record at Aston Villa.
There are only six players in the entire save who have 190+ ability and five of them play for Villa. This is, hands down, the best team I’ve ever constructed on FM at any level. I’m leaving it because I think it’s gotten too easy and last season’s 109-point haul should be evidence of that. As I depart, I leave behind the best team I’ve ever had on FM. Going back to when I was a child. I’ve never had a team this elite.
As I leave Villa, they are now six times champions of Europe, have twelve English titles and I added one FA Cup (I fucked the FA Cup up…a lot). I’d like to thank the players for their outstanding performance and my assistant manager, Kevin Nolan, for helping me get the best out of this elite group. Next up, I’m going to try and get another team in on this save before FM23 comes out. My FM23 plan is to do a Pentagon save. Start from nothing. Clearly this Villa save has shown me that I need to challenge myself a bit more.
Keep in mind, I won one Champion’s League over the past five iterations of FM and that was with PSG in a Glory Hunter save. Villa won FIVE. In a row!
It’s hard to leave but this save is just going to be a continuing succession of title wins at a canter. It’s time to challenge myself for a few months elsewhere….