View Full Version : [FM09] Stoke City - carried in Delap's arms.

25-07-2009, 10:36
Well for those unaware, Stoke start this years incarnation of FM as one of the bang certainties to go down. The one tactic that has been effective for catching out weak defences this season was one I incorporated into my own tactics getting Delap to launch the ball into the box at every chance with his 20's for long throws, there were a few good signings that ultimately did the job needed. Sergey Shtanyuk, Andriy Rusol, Freddie Ljungberg and Jorge Wagner all played a part in keep the side up by 2 points on the final day of the season after a 3-0 win over Bolton, 2 goals which I will always remember, coming from Delap's throw-ins.

Second season I invested in Robert Lewandowski and Jozy Altidore, they comfortably kept Stoke up with 44 points scoring 44 and 16 goals respectively. However, around mid-march Altidore agreed to join Sevilla (chairman accepted 10m bid) where now in 2022 he still starts upfront for them. There were some good acquisitions during this season as well, Juan Angel Albin at a hugely reduced price because he wasn't in the team at his present club, Vasco Regini for 900k (who was sold the next summer for 17m to liverpool).

By the time the third season had come around Stoke had got quite a sizable warchest, in the later stages of the July transfer window Arsenal came in for Lewandowski with 30m, so I now needed a new strike partner for Pablo Piatti (bought for 6.5m). After attempts to sign Ricardo Oliviera, Hulk, Nilmar, Marquinhos, Nihat, Gudjohnsen and a few others - I stumbled into Keirrison - signing him for 11.5m. Back then he was only planned on being a temporary partner for Piatti, and never dreamed in a million years he would be my first striker to pass the 1,000 goals mark.

Rafael Van der Vaart joined in the summer for 5m from Villa, but was sold in January to AC Milan for 17m. After failing to impress he wanted to move out and for such a return after such little time here I snapped their hands off near enough. With Stuttgart signing Andriy Rusol for 16.5m and Sunderland signing Abubakary Yakubu from me for 4m it gave me the chance to reinforce my defence once more. Four new defenders were signed, Seitaridis, Urby Emanuelson, Jan Simunek and Mats Hummels. During this 2010/11 season the club surpassed all expectations, finishing 5th. Keirrison managed 46 goals with Piatti managing 26.

The next season was to be less stable though. Arsenal once more waded in taking one of my best players in Pablo Piatti. There was the decision to stick with my two young central midfielders as well, Charbonnel and Annunziata, 19 and 18 respectively, were great prospects and would go on to be with the club for years to come (Annunziata was with the club until 2021/22 season). However, with no major signings, the club did falter a bit and ended up finishing 7th just about. The club finished runner up in the UEFA cup losing 2-1 against Man utd who were in it due to their failure in the CL group stages. This season though Keirrison set the world alight with his 113 goals from 58 games, the end of the 2011/12 season was very much an anti-climax, after looking to be so much promise it had been a shame for it to go to waste.

The left back I had bought for under a million in the previous season was handed his chance to shine now at the age of 19 after the sale of Urby Emanuelson to chelsea for around 30m (what is it with the big 4 and their 30m bids) named Maximiliano Turdo the young Argentine put in solid displays all season, winning caps for his country that season. Jamie O'hara was brought in to try and add a bit more of an experienced holding midfielder to the youngsters Charbonnel and Annunziata. German Lux was also brought in to replace the ageing Thomas Sorensen, who had been great for the club up until this point, but as he was getting into his late 30's the decline was obvious. Elmander was proving to be a good targetman alongside Keirrison, helping set the striker up in the region of 30 - 40 of his 125 goals. The decisions to sign O'hara and Lux did seem to pay off as the club comfortably took second, only to face the disappointment of once more losing the UEFA cup final, this time to Man City. With the champions league beckoning, this would be the last time Stoke would have a chance of winning it so it was certainly a squandered opportunity.

The 2013/14 season was the year Stoke were destined for success, Ronaldinho was brought in at 33 to cover for an injured Charbonnel, and Renato Augusto was picked up on a free transfer. After having an initial good first season Lewandowski had been dropped by Arsenal in favour of Pablo Piatti, and was transfer listed by them for 5m. Bringing him back he also accompanied the signing of Jack Wilshere. Wijnaldum also signed for the club on a free, and with a sizable squad now the club was able to carry off the injuries to players comfortably. Unfortunately, after Ronaldinho started so brightly he got an injury after his 3rd or 4th game, during his spell out injured he announced his retirement only playing another handful of games before he bowed out with a premier league winners medal. The one other signing this season was a 100k signing of a chilean goalkeeper, my scout gave him a 7 star potential rating, so he certainly seemed worth the investment. He was sent on loan to Dundee instantly, and at the age of 17 came back with a 7.5 rating after 15 games or so, and was looking to be able to live up to his potential.

With a real targetman in Lewandowski alongside him, Keirrison upped his scoring again, this time managing 130 from 55 games. During the summer of 2014 the chairman Peter Coates sold up and Tony Scholes took over (promotion from within) Annunziata was appointed captain at the tender age of 20 after an impressive string of performances over the last couple of seasons with Charbonnel as vice-captain.

In 2014/15 a couple of younger players stepped up. Drissa Bah a Malian international signed for 23.5m and was an instant hit alongside Keirrison replacing Lewandowski. Figueroa went straight into the first team this year after his return from Dundee, and was largely successful at this young an age as my first choice keeper. Following a spat in August Jan Simunek was sold to Tottenham, being replaced by a young Ukranian regen named Stepan Gusarov. In this season my stoke team got to the champions league finals but lost out to Lyon.

25-07-2009, 11:33
Good read Santy. Annunziata captain at 20 :thup: How's your regens doing?

25-07-2009, 11:57
Very early on at Stoke I began to build a huge scouting network, so I've been picking up players regularly. Matthys Charbonnel played for me until he got to about 25 where I bought another regen in from Ajax (mexican called Cadena) to replace him, as Charbonnel wanted 125k a week wages, the new lad only wanted 5k. Annunziata was captain up until the summer of the season I'm half way through now, he had 2 years left on his contract and wouldn't sign a new one so I shipped him off to Chelsea because he wanted a new challenge.

I have got my first Stoke-produced regen coming through now. He's up in the 1000 career goals challenge, already having amassed almost a hundred at 17 (from 14 - 17), and he has 70 this season playing alongside Keirrison (its currently January lol) so the regens are doing quite well. Had a quick check, 38 failures with developing regens (only counting youths I bought), compared to 17 successes. As in players who I've bought in at 19 or younger, and then helped become first teamers. Some have gone on to do well since leaving, but only a few.