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Why You Should Manage in the Netherlands in Football Manager 2021

Football Manager 2021 Manage in Netherlands

Here's why your next Football Manager 2021 save should be managing a team in the Netherlands and teams to manage in FM21.


In this article, we will try to help you pick your next team by narrowing the options, in this particular article we will focus on the Netherlands Eredivisie and which clubs to manage in Football Manager 2021.

Domestic and European Competition


The Eredivisie is one of the most competitive leagues in the world, in the last 4 seasons there were 3 different champions. In the last season, there was no winner as the season was cancelled due to COVID-19. Ajax FC, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord FC are competing every season for the top spot in the Eredivisie. Starting a save in the Netherlands will definitely be a challenge as you will have to compete with three other clubs for the title.

After you have managed to overcome the domestic challenge, the European stage awaits as well. The last time a Dutch team has won a European trophy was back in 01/02 season when Feyenoord FC won the Europe League against Borussia Dortmund.

In the Champions League Ajax FC have managed to qualify to the Semi-Finals in the 18/19 season but lost to Tottenham Hotspur, the last time a Dutch team has won the Champions League was in 94/95 when Ajax FC won against AC Milan. The European stages are certainly a big challenge for a Dutch team.

Talent


The talent that is based in the Netherlands is known to everyone, players like Virgil van Dijk, Dennis Bergkamp and Memphis Depay are just a couple names of the hundreds of the talented players that are based in The Netherlands. The Academies of Ajax FC and PSV Eindhoven are considered to be some of the leading academies in terms of producing players in the top leagues around the world. 

Groningen FM21
Suarez, Robben and Van Dijk all played for FC Groningen

Not only the top teams are known to have elite academies, but FC Groningen have also produced some elite talent in the past years with players like Virgil van Dijk and Arjen Robben coming through their youth system. Vitesse are another team worth mentioning as they are an affiliate with Chelsea FC, so a lot of exciting, talented players from Chelsea FC are going out on loan to try and get minutes at Vitesse.

Exciting Teams to Manage


The number of teams that are worth trying to consider starting a save with in Football Manager 2021 is quite big. Teams like AFC Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord FC are the big teams in the Netherlands, but if you are interested in an easier challenge, they can be a perfect choice. 

If you want a little bit more challenging options, SC Heerenveen, Vitesse and Sparta Rotterdam have great youth systems and good squad to start with. The second tier in the Netherlands is worth checking out too, Go Ahead Eagles is a great option to start a save within the Keuken Kampioen Divisie.

AFC Ajax


The first pick on this list is also the most obvious, Ajax. Ajax are the top dog in the Eredivisie and are easily the strongest team in the league and one of the most decorated clubs in the world. They have a whopping 34 domestic league titles, 17 domestic cups and 6 European tournament wins including 4 Champion’s League titles. Ajax also have one of the most successful football academies in the world and produce world-class footballers year after year. 

Challenge with Ajax


So what exactly is challenging in managing Ajax? Their last big tournament win came in 1995 and the club have had a barren patch ever since. Although they have gone close several times, the club has always fallen short and are no more one of the dominant force they once were. 

Football Manager 2021 Ajax
The main challenge with Ajax in FM21 is to win major tournaments again.

For FM21 managers taking over, they will be replacing Ten Haag who has been a fan favourite and has been achieving excellent results with the club. His style of football has also been a talking point and will not be very easy to replicate in Football Manager 2021. 

There is also the problem of Ajax becoming more of a feeder club with plenty of stars using the club as a stepping stone to bigger clubs across Europe. This has no doubt hampered their performances in Europe and is one of the reasons for their title drought in the Champion’s League. It may look straightforward, but this is certainly an exciting challenge where veteran FM’ers can push themselves to put Ajax right at the very top of the European pedestal.

PSV Eindhoven


The 2nd team on the list is PSV Eindhoven, along with Ajax and Feyenoord makes the big 3 of Dutch football. Although majorly in the shadow of Ajax, PSV are considered the 2nd most successful team from The Netherlands having won 24 Eredivisie titles. The club has played in the top tier of Dutch football ever since the league’s inception and has a famous academy that rivals Ajax in terms of quality players produced.

Challenge with PSV Eindhoven


PSV Football Manager 2021
Your challenge with PSV is to knock Ajax off their perch.

For any FM Manager taking over PSV in Football Manager 2021, the first task would be to get out of Ajax’s shadow. The club also hasn’t won a league title for 2 years in a row and were well behind the queue ball in 2019 before the season became null and void. 

The squad is also not as strong as it was a few seasons ago and the transfers though decent are not sufficient to push Ajax just yet. The manager can, however, depend on the academy and will need to work hard to get PSV to overthrow Ajax and become one of the better teams in European football. 

AZ Alkmaar


The final team on the list is AZ Alkmaar. AZ who do not make one of the big 3 in Eredivisie have taken big strides in the recent years in terms of their league performance. In the 2019-2020 season which was declared null and void, AZ were level on points with Ajax and stood a real chance at giving the league title a go. AZ have won a couple of league titles with the most recent one coming in 2008-2009. They have also come as runner up in the UEFA Cup (Europa League) but are a relatively unknown name among Europe’s elite. 

Challenge with AZ Alkmaar


AZ Alkmaar Football Manage 2021
Use the superb youth facilities at AZ and compete for the title. 

For any manager planning to take over AZ in Football Manager 2021, the task would be to make use of the excellent youth recruitment at AZ. Despite not being a part of the big 3 in the Eredivisie, the game rates AZ’s youth recruitment among the best in the league. AZ also have a good young squad with some players having the potential to reach the very top. With this as a starting point managers taking over need to establish AZ as a consistent performer in the Eredivisie who can compete for titles every season and slowly look to push on among the stronger teams in Europe. This will certainly be an enticing challenge for many FM veterans who enjoy winning with a team of home-grown wonderkids.

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FM BLOG: Why You Should Manage in the Netherlands in Football Manager 2021
Why You Should Manage in the Netherlands in Football Manager 2021
Let's take a look on why you should start a save in the Netherlands in Football Manager 2021, and which teams to manage from Holland in FM21.
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