How have you managed to get a first and play so much Football Manager?! That alone deserves a merit of some kind.
How have you managed to get a first and play so much Football Manager?! That alone deserves a merit of some kind.
I want to know :P
Maybe Football Manager is actually what I told my mum it is...a revision tool.
I remember once, many years ago, setting some of the names of my favourite first teamers to those of 18 century philosophers, in an attempt to remember their names before an A level exam 8-)
The Squad: 2039
Alessandro Gasperini - GK - Italy - Finished last season as first choice, before missing out on the Champions League final cruelly through injury. If he kicks on this year he could make the shirt his own.
Emanuele Gandini - GK - Italy - Played just once during his loan at Man Utd, but he looked good enough that I felt okay to sell Rocha.
Eugenio Barroso - GK - Spain - £1.1m was a bargain fee to bring the young keeper over from Real Madrid - could be special, this kid.
Jesus - D/WB/M/AMR - Spain - Can play up and down the right flank - versatility that makes him a key squad member, if not first team player.
Tim Taylor - D/WBR - USA - A fitting successor to Loureiro and Aramaio.
Daniele Ruggiero - DR - Italy - Had to bring him back from a loan spell at Benevento halfway through last season due to injuries to Taylor and Jesus, and did very well. Wasn't too impressed when he decided he was too good to go back there afterwards though. Will have to watch his attitude.
Jose Maria - D/WBL - Spain - Not sure how we'll replace him - hopefully that won't be a problem for another 4 or 5 seasons.
Carlos Quinonez - DL - Spain - Very capable backup.
Nauzet Martinez Gonzalez - DC - Spain - Lost out to Gauthier for a spot alongside Wansi - can't believe he's nearly 30.
Raul - DRC - Spain - He's back to near where he used to be - but that cruciate injury means he will never be the key first-teamer he was before.
Gregoire Gauthier - DC - France - Finally cemented his place as a regular starter after a few stop-start seasons.
Daniel Wansi - DLC - France - Reminds me of Kooiman in his prime - the ultimate compliment for a Messina centre-back.
Walter Gonzalez - AMLC - Argentina - Injuries continue to hamper him even now. A wonderful player, but I'd have loved him to be on the pitch a little more.
Julian Juarez - AML - Spain - Almost first choice now thanks to Gonzalez's injury woes.
Raimondo Astolfi - AMLC - Italy - Stats just don't seem to be improving significantly - but the coaches say he has plenty of potential. Needs to start living up to that, as Gonzalez spends more and more time in the treatment room.
Carlos Roldan - AMRLC - Argentina - Keeps getting injured - really could do with that not happening, as he's fabulously effective.
Daniel Vicente - AMR - Spain - Inexplicably overlooked whenever he went on loan, he's a fantastic player even now - we won't miss Mikhailov too much if he's the player he's threatening to be.
Bartul Misic - DM/MC - Croatia - Since Soula's arrival he's really benefited from the regular rest I can allow him now.
Mohammed Benali - DM/MC - Spain - Probably going to be a case of what might have been for the one-time £20m player. Never progressed at the same rate since his cruciate got knacked.
Gian Maria Lelj - D/DM/MC - Italy - Really surprised at how well he's come on - the anti-Benali, you could say!
Baptiste Soula - DM/MC - France - Really top class performer - kicks Misic out of the team every so often.
Jose Luis Vega - M/AMC - Spain - Not long left now, but I'll savour him whilst I can.
Igor Mikhailov - M/AMRC - Russia - A combination of his great mental stats, and the ability to rest him consistently with Roldan and Vicente providing able backup, should see him play well into his 30s.
Gustavo - AMC/ST - Spain - We'll miss Vega, but not much thanks to this guy. Already a wonderful player, and so much more to come.
Oleg Ryzhov - M/AMC - Russia - A very tidy player indeed, but when you're up against Vega, Gustavo, and Marquinhos Parana for a slot in the team, that's not quite enough unfortunately.
Marco Antonio - AMC/ST - Brazil - Can't really say anything more about this guy. Amazingly good, season after season.
Marquinhos Parana - AMC/ST - Brazil - For such a fantastic player he doesn't really play often enough for us. Just can't hold down a position in either AMC or ST unfortunately.
Vitor Goncalves - ST - Portugal - Is far too brittle to hold down a regular spot in the team - hence the purchase of Ronaldo. Still ridiculously good on occasion, though.
Ronaldo - ST - Brazil - £22.5m brings the namesake of quite possibly the greatest striker of all time (the Brazilian one, not the winking Portuguese) to the club - and he looks absolutely ridiculously good. Genuine competition for places up front now!
None this time.
Daniel Martin - GK - Argentina - A really terrible decline saw him barely play over the last two seasons of his contract with us, but we shouldn't forget how good he was before.
Ricardo Rocha - GK - Portugal - Lost his starting place to Gasperini mid-way through last season, before getting it back for the Champions League final through injury. Was going to keep him, but a £15m bid from Valencia was too good to turn down.
The squad looks as strong as ever - goalkeepers possibly aside. Hopefully we can either pick up another clean sweep, or finally get that unbeaten league season we've threatened to do for the last couple of years.
Wow, your strikers really are great. Amazing competition up front. Fingers crossed for the elusive unbeaten season!
Ronaldo has low composure and finishing for me :P
Ronaldo is the new Ronaldo, but only quicker! I just hope he doesn't have his namesakes injury proneness!
I've got a top class newgen with the name Mohammed Benali in my game too. However, he's a Belgian striker who plays for Arsenal. Not bad for 21 I suppose!
I do hope not - I already have two glass kneed players in my squad - could do without a third!I just hope he doesn't have his namesakes injury proneness!
That video was obviously before he started on the pies then!
More before his knees fell to bits really
Just a shame everyone will remember him as the tranny-boffing tubbster, rather than how good he actually was.
Same! One of the first players I saw who really blew my socks off in terms of his ability.
My ultimate fantasy team would have him up front with Roberto Baggio as his striker partner!
So Lucas Weatherby is ugly and has no teeth.
Hooray we're back!
And I have surprisingly little to update...
Took you a while to find your way back SnakeXe!
Season 29: Winter Break Update
We kicked off with the two mickey mousiest of the Micky Mouse trophies - the Supercoppa and European Super Cup. The former pitched us against Lazio, who we overcame 3-0 with goals from Roldan, Marco Antonio and Wansi. The latter was against no-longer super-rich AC Milan, who we beat by the same scoreline, with Mikhailov and Marquinhos Parana on target after an own goal had put us in front.
The league season started unusually poorly for us with two 1-1 draws in a row against Fiorentina and Catania. A 5-2 win over Mantova got us on the right track, which continue for 3 more games, including a 6-0 stuffing of Pescara, a hattrick of braces from Ronaldo, Wansi and Gauthier. Palermo ended the unbeaten run before it had really gotten going, a 2-1 loss made worse by the 0-0 with Roma that followed it.
That little blip was emphatically ended though, as Torino were taken apart 10-0 at Serpente Park - Goncalves and Mikhailov getting 4 each. A 3-3 against Inter in the next game was the last points dropped of the year, as we won 7 in a row to close out the decade, leaving us 2nd in the table over the winter break, behind Inter.
The Champions League group was easy looking enough, Young Boys might as well rename themselves "Whipping Boys", whilst Shakhtar and Liverpool are now shadows of their former selves. A 4-1 win at home over Young Boys started things easily enough, before an 8-2 destruction of Shakhtar in Ukraine really started the party - Vicente getting a hattrick in his best career performance yet. Liverpool were dispatched 2-1, before a 1-1 draw at home resulted in our first dropped points of the group.
Whipping Boys went down 4-1 away, before a 5-3 win at home to Shakhtar finished the group. Galatasaray await in the next round, a simple enough draw for once!
Finally, the slightly less mickey mousey Micky Mouse trophy - the Club World Championship. We drew Heartland in the semi-final, who put up literally no resistance as we stuffed them 6-0. I didn't think Sao Paulo would lay down as easily, and they sure didn't. They were even worse, we absolutely annihilated them in an 8-0 win that should really have entered double figures! The scoreline wasn't even the most remarkable thing about that game...
Look closely at Vega's stats. In particular the assist column. You read that right, 7 in one game.
In other news, Jose Alberto Loureiro is now the manager of Torino - he can't be any worse than the last manager!
- The sheer volume of goals has been ridiculous at times
- Vega's 7 assists in one game
- Still on course for a clean sweep
- Rubbish form in the beginning of the league season means we have a lot to do in the second half
- Juarez has been heinous
- Marco Antonio's discipline has been disappointing (scraping the barrel here)
Results 1 - Results 2 - League Table - Squad 1 - Squad 2
I think about a week and a half.
Check in the User CP, pretty sure there will be an option in there to turn it off
SnakeXe's Messina - Season 29 - 2039/40
Story of the Season:
Serie A - 1st, Champions
When I left you in January we were 2nd in the table, well poised behind an Inter side - unfortunately an Inter side in quite spectacular form. We matched each other win-for-win throughout January, before AC Milan beat us 2-1 at the San Siro - a disappointing result but probably deserved as we never really got going.
Inter eventually dropped some points as well, whilst we got back to winning ways, leaving us within striking distance by the time we faced them at Serpente Park at the beginning of March - just 3 points behind with superior goal difference. The 3-3 draw in the San Siro earlier in the season meant any win would put us top - and we sure came up with one, making a mockery of our parity in the league with a 5-2 thumping!
We carried on winning, whilst Inter dropped more points to drop back to 6 behind us, and with 4 games to go the title was seemingly in the bag. Any 2 wins for us against Gubbio, Lazio, AC Milan and Juventus would see us take a third straight title, no matter what Inter did. Having just beaten our previous record for league goals in a season with 4 games still to go, I was feeling confident.
Gubbio at home was the first match, a good side running in 6th but still a side we should beat. We did not. We lost 1-0. Next, Lazio away - another similar sort of match. We lost again, 1-0. We had one eye on the Champions League, sure, but successive blanks, let alone successive defeats, is something we haven't suffered in a long while.
To make matters worse, Inter had won their two matches, meaning we probably had to win the toughest two matches of the four that had been remaining - at home to 3rd placed AC Milan and away to 4th placed Juventus. Inter's matches were against a Grosseto side on the way to relegation, and mid-table Livorno who had nothing to play for.
The AC Milan game was a cagey affair to begin with, but nerves were settled as Marco Antonio dispatched a 17th minute penalty. We had most of the play, and Juarez's goal just after the break gave us a comfortable margin to hang on to, which we did. Inter won as well, though, which piled on the pressure for one of the toughest fixtures of the league calendar - a trip to Conte Park.
Juve play a 4-4-2, a system that my 4-2-3-1 doesn't really do brilliantly against, so I shuffled round slightly to a Mourinho-style 4-3-3 with the hopes of containing their midfield and hitting them on the break. It worked quite well - Juventus were very strong as I'd anticipated, so we definitely needed the insurance of a 3-man midfield, but we weren't offering much threat. Half-time arrived with the score still at 0-0 - Inter were, of course, in front.
With one eye on the score in Livorno, we tried to get forward a little more, which also had the welcome effect of slightly curtailing Juventus' forays into our final third. Then, on 54 minutes, Livorno equalised! Great news for us, but we still could do with a goal of our own to make things a little more relaxing.
Unfortunately, the next goal came for Inter, Rafael putting them back in front just 9 minutes later. As the clocks ticked down and we entered the last 5 minutes of the season it looked like we weren't going to do it. But then in the space of just one minute the whole thing shifted balance.
First, substitute centre-half Raul sent the travelling support crazy at Conte Park to put us in front from a corner, then Livorno did us a huge favour, equalising again. Us and our former parent-club held on to keep the title at Serpente Park for a third successive season!
Coppa Italia - Semi Final (lost v Pescara)
My backups stuffed Torino 5-0, before we snuck past Juventus 2-1 in the quarter final. Pescara were the opposition the semis, and I thought we'd probably get the best of them quite easily. Still, I sent out a high-quality 11 in the home leg, hoping to have the tie won before the away later in the season. It didn't really work. We lost 1-0.
Still, we were well capable of beating them comfortably enough away from home, and had done so in the league - 3-0 in fact. But we didn't. We lost 1-0 again. I can't really complain as Pescara were far, far better than us in both legs, but perhaps I should do my homework on why they were so much better before we face them again next season. One match is a blip, two suggests their manager has the measure of my system.
Supercoppa - Winners
3-0 against Lazio.
European Super Cup - Winners
3-0 against AC Milan.
Champions League - Winners
A trip to Turkey for us in the Champions League first knockout round, as we took on giants Galatasaray. An own goal from Ubeda and Gustavo's lovely finish having come off the bench made short work of the tricky away tie, and we finished the job well with a 2-1 home win courtesy of Goncalves and Gauthier.
Arsenal lay in wait in the quarter final, a tricky task. A famous smash-and-grab performance at the Emirates somehow gave us a 3-1 win to take back to Italy, where we ground out a 1-1 draw to set up a semi final against CSKA Moscow.
The Russians were unfamiliar opposition - we'd only played them once ever, 3 years ago in the European Super Cup, in which we had lost, so I wasn't too sure what to expect. What I definitely didn't expect was a 10-3 aggregate thrashing, but hey, that's what we got! Daniel Vicente absolutely tore them apart in the second leg at Serpente Park, bagging a hattrick and two assists in a 6-1 annihilation.
The final saw us take on perennial foes Real Madrid, a true titanic battle. I only had one real decision to make - whether to include Julian Juarez or a half-fit Walter Gonzalez at left-wing. In the end I went with Juarez, so we lined up as: Gasperini; Taylor, Wansi, M. Gonzalez, Jose Maria; Benali, Soula; Roldan, Vega, Juarez; Marco Antonio.
Madrid started very strongly, so strongly in fact that I radically revised my plans to go after them and switched to the 4-3-3 we used against Juventus to try and soak up some of the pressure. They still scored after just 13 minutes, Aguilar getting the better of Gasperini with a dipping shot. We got ourselves into the game slowly, managing to get some attacks of our own in by half-time.
Then disaster struck - Real went 2-0 ahead, again through Aguilar. Back to Plan A - attack, attack, attack.
On 58 minutes, Plan A paid off, Marco Antonio finishing a great run to make it 2-1. Disaster, however, was not finished, and Jose Luis Vega was sent off for an aggressive lunge on a Madrid midfielder.
I had two choices - sacrifice my wingers and go for a 4-3-1-1 or shift the defensive midfielder up alongside Soula and go for the jugular with a 4-2-3. I went for the latter - reasoning that all containment had done was get us 2-0 down. I'm glad I did.
Marco Antonio was sublimely assisted by wonderful interplay and movement from my remaining 4 midfielders and full-backs, and Madrid were absolutely stunned as we equalised just 4 minutes after going down to 10. We continued to press, and 3 minutes later we were ahead, Antonio completing his hattrick! Were we done? No, no we were not. Wansi cleared a corner with a thumping header, which Benali won high up the pitch, laying it off to Antonio. The Brazilian striker played it back to him first time before setting off at a lightning place towards goal. Benali laid it through to him perfectly, and boom - 4-2, and back-to-back Champions League wins!
Club World Championship - Winners
The usual cake-walk.
Results 1 - Results 2 - Results 3 - Results 4 - Squad 1 - Squad 2
Transfers - £7.3m Loss
Just the one significant in and out, as Ronaldo joined for £22.5m and Rocha left for £15m
5 Most Important Players:
5. Nauzet Martinez Gonzalez - DC - One half of an awesome partnership with Wansi.
4. Daniel Wansi - DLC - The best centre-back we've had since Rene Kooiman.
3. Jose Luis Vega - AMC - Red card in the Champions League Final notwithstanding, another tour de force from the Spaniard, including the 7 assists in one match in the Club World Championship.
2. Carlos Roldan - AMRLC - A quite unbelievable contribution of 33 goals and assists in just 27 starts - what a player.
1. Marco Antonio - AMC/ST - After his disciplinary problems at the start of the season it really is awesome to see him finish in the right manner - probably as complete a match-winning performance as I've seen in my time at Messina.
Code:Season League Position Achievements ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 2011/12 Serie C2/C 2nd Serie C Cup Runners Up, Playoff Finalists 2012/13 Serie C2/C 1st Serie C2/C Champions, Promoted 2013/14 Serie C1/B 5th Playoff Semi-Finalists 2014/15 Serie C1/B 2nd Playoff Winners, Promoted 2015/15 Serie B 12th 2016/17 Serie B 2nd Promoted 2017/18 Serie A 20th Relegated 2018/19 Serie B 2nd Promoted 2019/20 Serie A 7th Qualified for Europa League 2020/21 Serie A 6th Qualified for Europa League 2021/22 Serie A 9th 2022/23 Serie A 5th Qualified for Europa League 2023/24 Serie A 3rd Qualified for Champions League, Coppa Italia Runners Up 2024/25 Serie A 4th Qualified for Champions League, Coppa Italia Runners Up 2025/26 Serie A 4th Qualified for Champions League 2026/27 Serie A 4th Qualified for Champions League 2027/28 Serie A 3rd Qualified for Champions League 2028/29 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Coppa Italia Runners Up 2029/30 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Champions League Winners 2030/31 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Champions League Winners, CWC Winners 2031/32 Serie A 3rd Champions League Winners, Coppa Italia Winners, CWC Winners 2032/33 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Champions League Winners, Coppa Italia Winners, CWC Winners 2033/34 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, CWC Winners 2034/35 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions 2035/36 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Champions League Runners Up 2036/37 Serie A 2nd Champions League Winners, Coppa Italia Runners Up 2037/38 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Coppa Italia Winners, CWC Winners, Champions League R-Up 2038/39 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Champions League Winners 2039/40 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Champions League Winners, CWC Winners
Messina 100 Club:
A list of those Messina players who make 100 or more appearances for the club under my management.Code:Name Pos Era Apps Goals AvR -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rene Kooiman DC 2019-2035 618 80 7.17 Filippo Vitone AMRC 2018-2035 561 123 7.11 Jose A. Loureiro DR 2020-2037 471 3 7.20 Jose Luis Vega AMC 2028-Present 465 46 7.29 Walter Gonzalez AMLC 2026-Present 436 77 7.18 Daniel Martin GK 2027-2039 432 0 7.00 Jon Pagola AMLC 2019-2034 417 78 7.20 Walter Aguero AM/ST 2021-2032 414 146 7.06 Igor Mikhailov AMRC 2029-Present 388 105 7.23 Julian Juarez AML 2029-Present 388 58 7.11 Jose Maria DL 2028-Present 382 1 7.26 Victor Amoruso MC 2018-2029 380 33 6.98 Mauro Quiroga DM/MC 2019-2031 372 17 6.96 Abel Petrillo AML/ST 2016-2031 366 153 7.13 Marco Antonio AMC/ST 2030-Present 364 232 7.37 Bartul Misic DM/MC 2030-Present 360 41 7.19 Nauzet M. Gonzalez DC 2029-Present 348 70 7.31 Joaquin Arguelles AM/ST 2025-2038 298 180 7.28 Da Silva DC 2027-2038 287 33 7.15 Antonio Gola DM/MC 2028-2038 286 10 7.09 Nenad Arnautovic DM/MC 2025-2035 279 28 7.00 Stefano Tulino D/DM/MRC 2019-2030 274 17 7.12 Jose D/WB/M/AML 2026-2035 267 6 7.07 Philipp Egger DC 2023-2035 251 38 7.20 Javier AMR 2025-2034 227 29 7.00 Mauro Vigorito GK 2011-2023 217 0 6.82 Carlos Roldan AMRLC 2034-Present 215 56 7.32 Marquinhos Parana AM/ST 2032-Present 208 72 7.07 Juan Jose Godoy GK 2023-2027 207 0 6.96 Patxi Rodriguez DM/MC 2017-2026 203 14 6.87 Nenad Lukic MLC 2021-2026 188 23 6.98 Mauricio Martin D/DM/MC 2020-2027 187 9 6.96 Mohammed Benali DM/MC 2034-Present 185 6 7.16 Nicolas Amodio DM/MC 2012-2018 183 12 6.93 Remi Thouvenin DL 2021-2026 181 0 7.06 Antonio Marino DLC 2013-2021 180 5 6.88 Sergio Real ST 2024-2030 174 31 6.87 Agustin Lertxundi DM/MC 2031-2037 173 6 7.05 Adem Ljajic AMRLC 2019-2027 170 26 6.91 Mario Ortiz DM/MC 2013-2021 169 5 6.83 Celso DM/MC 2025-2030 169 9 6.95 Nicola Ravaglia GK 2018-2025 164 0 6.90 Gustavo Sanchez AMC 2031-2037 162 16 6.97 Enzo Scorza ST 2012-2018 159 82 7.24 Nicolas D/DM/MC 2015-2022 159 5 6.85 Raul DRC 2034-Present 154 39 7.45 Rocco Signore D/WBR 2022-2035 154 0 7.06 Rosario Licata D/WB/ML 2011-2016 146 3 6.92 Francesc Alcalde AMLC/ST 2014-2020 145 45 6.98 Javier Aramaio DR 2031-2035 142 1 7.28 Luca Tedeschi DC 2012-2018 139 8 7.09 Mogi DRC 2017-2022 134 0 6.76 Daniel Wansi DLC 2035-Present 131 32 7.51 Gregoire Gauthier DC 2035-Present 130 38 7.38 Baptiste Soula DM/MC 2037-Present 129 19 7.18 Diego Farias AMRLC 2015-2019 126 19 6.90 Gonzalo Valdez ST 2022-2026 126 34 6.87 Carlos Quinonez D/WBL 2031-Present 122 2 7.30 Davide Testa AM/ST 2011-2015 121 40 7.04 Yohann Sallaberry AMLC 2021-2028 117 10 7.01 Tim Taylor D/WBR 2036-Present 112 0 7.21 Vitor Goncalves ST 2035-Present 106 58 7.32 Ricardo Rocha GK 2032-33, 2035-2039 105 0 7.00 Ruben AML 2015-2019 103 7 6.86 Fausto Rossi AML 2016-2021 102 18 6.97 Juan Carlos GK 2028-2038 100 0 7.03
So close to taking the clean-sweep but Pescara really deserved it over the two legs so I can't complain too much. Also very close to throwing away both the Serie A title and the Champions League trophy, but luckily Raul and Marco Antonio took the bull by the horns in each of those games respectively.
As you probably noticed, this season took absolutely forever, which was because when I graduated I went straight into freelance web development, building quite a big and complicated site for a startup company. As any other freelancer will tell you, you're never really off when there's work available, so it's been pretty flat-out.
I'm off back to uni in September for a PhD now, so should be able to have a better work-life balance then - which means more time for FM
Definitely want to get season 30 done on this game before FM12, so stay tuned!
impressive season you had there clean sweep next season should be on the cards?
You have another couple of months to win everything again before FM2012.
Amazing career you've had Snake
Must be a bother to update that 100 Club table tho! I'd love something like that in the game itself. Have thought about doing something similar for my own save, but think it would be a lot of work to maintain it.
Good luck. Do you plan on sorting out an all-Italian team when you get your facilities up to snuff?
Yeah it takes almost as long as the entire rest of the report! I got some way towards producing a web app to create it for me but then I had to start doing stuff that would pay me in the end
Would love to do all-Italian, indeed I've been focussing my scouting on the Italian U20s leagues in the hopes of picking up some prospects, but my academy has been utterly useless. The facilities and network are bang up to date but I've had only one 3-star potential player come through ever - Gianmarco Di Donato - almost 15 years ago! Stark contrast to my FM10 game where I wasn't far off an all-Merthyr Tydfil (RIP ) academy side.
I have, however, just taken the Italy job post-Euro 2040...
Another fantastic season there Snake Not much else to do now except a clean sweep of trophies I think?
Daniel Wansi is incredibly good for a 21 year old! What a player. Another very impressive season there Snake, look forward to the next update
Cheers guys Yeah Wansi is awesome - I had to check I hadn't put an old screenshot up when you mentioned he was still only 21 but you're right! Seems crazy - he's already been a first choice player in Serie A for 4 seasons (3 for us, his first for Pro Vercelli on loan), and was a backup for another season before that! Wonderful player to have - quick, strong and good on the ball.
The Squad: 2040
Alessandro Gasperini - GK - Italy - Was first choice last season, but will probably drop back to second with the arrival of Guilloux.
Eugenio Barroso - GK - Spain - Progressed brilliantly last year, but still too young to be first choice. I'm expecting Guilloux to pull up trees for a couple of years then leave for a big fee - this kid will replace him.
Alban Guilloux - GK - France - Absolute bargain at £5.75m from Recreativo, no idea how he's not been capped by France yet.
Jesus - D/WB/M/AMR - Spain - Had a very good season last time along with Quinonez, getting plenty of game time. Turned down £20m+ offers for him this summer.
Tim Taylor - D/WBR - USA - Excellent, dependable attacking fullback.
Daniele Ruggiero - DR - Italy - Refuses to go back on loan so I don't know how he's going to really get the game time he needs to progress. I can perhaps give him 10 appearances but he needs a good 30 or so to see if he'll become a really good player.
Jose Maria - D/WBL - Spain - Ditto Tim Taylor - one of the real Messina legends alongside Kooiman and Arguelles.
Carlos Quinonez - DL - Spain - See Jesus, apart from the £20m+ offers.
Nauzet Martinez Gonzalez - DC - Spain - Regained his first team slot from Gauthier and made a really solid partnership with Wansi.
Raul - DRC - Spain - Finally looks to be over the cruciate injury he suffered - he's not as quick as he was, but still an excellent player.
Gregoire Gauthier - DC - France - Lost out to M. Gonzalez for a first choice spot but still played well and frequently.
Daniel Wansi - DLC - France - Awesome.
Kevin Hervieu - DC - France - £2.7m brings the young centre-half over from Saint-Etienne, seems to have massive potential. He's being tutored by Raul for the first half of the season then I intend to send him over to Pro Vercelli on loan (if he'll go).
Walter Gonzalez - AMLC - Argentina - Probably just over the hill in terms of being top-class now.
Julian Juarez - AML - Spain - Still a reliable choice.
Raimondo Astolfi - AMLC - Italy - I accepted a £7.5m offer from Galatasaray for him this summer but they couldn't sign him due to an excess of foreign players in their squad. He's just not technically good enough, and I don't think he really ever will be.
Carlos Roldan - AMRLC - Argentina - Amazing season last time.
Daniel Vicente - AMR - Spain - His devastating performance against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League semi-final hints at the player he is on the verge of becoming consistently - I can't wait.
Bartul Misic - DM/MC - Croatia - The captain, and important squad member.
Mohammed Benali - DM/MC - Spain - I say it every year but what if he hadn't done his cruciate at 18.
Gian Maria Lelj - D/DM/MC - Italy - Very tidy defensive midfielder, and good at centre-half too.
Baptiste Soula - DM/MC - France - Probably just ahead of Misic in the ability stakes now, but we can't leave the captain out all the time.
Jose Luis Vega - M/AMC - Spain - 28 assists last season.
Igor Mikhailov - M/AMRC - Russia - Just about 3rd choice for right-wing with Vicente's promise, but plays regularly enough.
Gustavo - AMC/ST - Spain - I need to be careful to keep this guy developing at a good pace, he could be incredible.
Marco Antonio - AMC/ST - Brazil - Wonderful player.
Marquinhos Parana - AMC/ST - Brazil - Had a good season, I do still need to play him more.
Vitor Goncalves - ST - Portugal - Excellent super-sub.
Ronaldo - ST - Brazil - Started like a train but then forgot how to score after Christmas - hopefully a summer off and a fresh start will see him back to form. Undoubtedly a quality player but I'm concerned that he may be mentally fragile after how last season went.
None this time.
Emanuele Gandini - GK - Italy - Continuing my quick turnover of goalkeepers in the last couple of seasons, he's off to Spurs for £6m.
Oleg Ryzhov - M/AMC - Russia - Sent him off to PSG for nothing, he wasn't happy and barely made 5 appearances last year. Deserved better, he's a very talented player.
Plenty of strength across the park and in depth. Could do with a few more Italians, but hey ho. Guilloux is a top-class keeper, and our first one since Daniel Martin's sad decline - as good as Rocha was, he wasn't quite of the same class. I'm planning to give Gasperini and Barroso plenty of game time, though.
SnakeXe, have you got a properly working thread for your other update thread prior to this one?
I tried to locate it, but the only I found was one that was drastically cut down. Did much of it get lost in the forum migration?
You mean the one with Merthyr? That's here - I didn't have a CU thread for the whole of that game so the previous season updates are in the FM10 dafuge's challenge thread, the final post of which is linked to in the OP of the CU thread. The final post in the dafuge's challenge thread links to all previous season updates, so you should be able to work through that one, even if it is a bit awkward!
That's what confused me. I looked up that thread and it started with 2040. But now I see it's all available in the other thread. Will give it a read when I have time. Thanks for clearing it up
Season 30: Winter Break Update
The mickey mouse competitions started the season as usual, and as we usually do now we won both of them. Pescara were swept aside 2-0 in the Supercoppa, whilst the European Super Cup was slightly more difficult, but we finally defeated Man City on penalties after going behind 3 times in a 3-3 draw - the final equaliser coming after 120+5 minutes! Both sides ended up with 9 men after City had two players sent off and we lost two to injury after having made all three changes already - a real nail-biter of a match.
We won our first 5 league games easily before our first disappointment of the season occurred in the form of a 2-2 draw at home with relegation candidates Mantova - all the more irritating as we'd been 2-0 up. 3 more wins got us back on track before an absolutely ridiculous match lead to a 4-3 loss against Gubbio. They seemed to score from every set piece or cross, despite the presence of the usually aerially-dominant Gauthier at the back, and despite pulling the third back with 20 minutes remaining we couldn't fashion a single decent chance for an equaliser.
I received a touchline ban after that match for complaining about one of their goals, and as luck would have it I missed the local derby with Palermo. Fortunately Nauzet Martinez Gonzalez put on a master class for the defenders from the previous game and scored a hattrick from set pieces to secure a 3-1 win. We closed off the year with 3 wins and 2 slightly poor draws, but with a 7-point lead at the top we're sitting pretty regardless.
The Champions League group was fairly straightforward, kicking off with a 6-0 demolition of Partizan at home - debutant youngster Kevin Hervieu scoring twice from corners to cap a memorable night. Shakhtar went down 4-0 before a wonderful display of finishing saw us beat Man City 5-1 in an even game. We nicked a 1-0 in the match at Eastlands, closing out the group in style with a 4-0 and 3-1 against Partizan away and Shakhtar at home respectively. Bayern await in the next round.
The Club World Championship was slightly interesting this year - we still won it comfortably in the end, but we didn't have things all our own way. First up were Ivorian side ASEC, who we demolished 9-0 but still managed to have both Lelj and Raul receive straight reds - an extreme example of our at times poor discipline. Sao Paulo were the victims in the final - or so we thought - they gave us a massive scare as a combination of their keeper, our rubbish finishing, and a smartly taken goal from Nenem on the break meant they lead 1-0 from 31 to 59 minutes. Juarez finally got it right to equalise, and a Marco Antonio penalty plus a thumping Gauthier header completed a 3-1 win late on.
- Ronaldo has rediscovered his touch
- Roldan has continued his incredible form
- Still on course for a clean sweep
- A few poor results take the lustre off a bit
- The discipline hasn't been the greatest
- I got a touchline ban
Results 1 - Results 2 - League Table - Squad 1 - Squad 2
Italy National Team Update
As I mentioned earlier, I took on the Italy job after the previous incumbent resigned after taking them to the European Championship Semi Final - citing he'd taken them as far as he could. Obviously, I plan to go a couple better than that! The first part of that plan was qualifying for the World Cup in 2042, hosted in none other than sunny old England!
Time has not been kind to the Italy side, they haven't won anything since the 2006 World Cup, a runners-up spot in the 2036 European Championship the best result by far. However, they do have some good players, for example:
- Emiliano Saladino - ST - Barcelona - The Barcelona man is an absolutely unstoppable striker.
- Stefano Di Tora - AMR/ST - Man Utd - I tried to sign this guy for Messina back when he was at Roma, but he wouldn't agree to fit into my wage budget. With hindsight maybe I should have broken it, but at least I get to manage him now!
- Marco Baleani - AML - Palermo - He does play for dirty Palermo, our local rivals, but he's a fabulous player.
- Paolo Passeri - DC - Inter - I'm glad this guy came through recently, because there's not really any other top-class centrebacks available.
- Ismail Agnaou - DR/L - Chelsea - An excellent fullback capable of playing on either side, who should hopefully keep his stats high until well past the World Cup.
Best of all, there's only one really top-class player (an MC) who doesn't fit into my 4-2-3-1 system, so we can brush him under the carpet for the moment and romp to the World Cup, Messina style! Our qualifying group is fairly easy, comprising, in order of good-ness, of Ukraine, Denmark, Albania, Azerbaijan, and Faroe Islands.
We started hardest match first, away in the Ukraine, and with the side still getting used to my new-fangled tactics, and we narrowly snuck a 2-1 win in my debut match after having gone behind, Saladino doing the damage (as he would continue to do) with a brace. We then had a slightly easier time of it against the Faroes at home, smashing 11 past them, Saladino getting 5. Finally, we went to Azerbaijan and hit them for 4, Saladino again with a brace. All that left us top of the group on goal difference, with the toughest game out of the way, and the team beginning to gel nicely.
Finally, I brought in Messina and Italy legend Jose Alberto Loureiro as assistant manager after he was sacked by Torino (I'd like to say he was unlucky, but he was awful).
always nice to bring back legends to the club as staff. I brought back chamberlain to southampton after he joined hull as a scout. he had previously played 20 years for my club which wont happen irl lol
He's not really good enough for Messina assistant manager, but I don't really need one for Italy so he's perfect as a figurehead for that!
Real managers get touchline bans I have had at least 4
SnakeXe's Messina - Season 30 - 2040/41
Story of the Season:
Serie A - 1st, Champions
With a healthy lead coming into the new year, it was simply a case of keeping things ticking over and not throwing away stupid points. 4 successive wins was good, a 3-2 loss away to Pescara was not. Likewise, wins over Lazio and AC Milan were good, successive draws against Pro Vercelli and Juve were not (although the Juve draw wasn't a bad result).
We ploughed on though, only dropping 4 more points all season in draws against Palermo and Fiorentina, securing the title with 3 games to go!
Coppa Italia - Winners
A Marquinhos Parana hattrick coupled with a Ronaldo brace gave us a 5-0 win over Bari in the first round. Palermo put up much sterner resistance in the quarter final, a 1-1 draw followed by us winning the penalty shootout. Fiorentina looked a decent draw in the semi final, but we all remember what happened last season, so I was cautiously optimistic.
A 2-2 draw in the away leg was a decent enough result, the goals again from Marquinhos and Ronaldo, but we blew them away 5-0 in the second leg, Roldan (2), Mikhailov, Vega and Wansi changing things up on the scoresheet. The final was against the side probably closest to us in the whole of Europe - AC Milan - and I was anticipating a tricky game.
The side lined up: Guilloux; Taylor, Wansi, M. Gonzalez, Jose Maria; Lelj, Benali; Roldan, Vega, W. Gonzalez; Ronaldo. We played quite poorly in the first half, but Ronaldo scored a brace with our only two attempts on goal, which gave us the lead at half-time despite Gerlach getting one back for Milan. We reorganised in the second half and played much better, finally securing the trophy as Juarez knocked in the rebound from a stinging Ronaldo drive!
Supercoppa - Winners
Easy enough win.
European Super Cup - Winners
A win on penalties after an entertaining 3-3 draw.
Champions League - Winners
Bayern were a tricky looking draw in the first knockout round, and so they proved. They roared into a 3-0 lead before half-time in the away leg, before adding a fourth just a minute into the second half. I was expecting us to be heading straight out of the competition at this point, so I threw caution to the wind and decided to go for the jugular in an attempt to get back into the tie. Thankfully the players responded, Vega and Marco Antonio striking in close succession to bring it back to 4-2. Misic added to our woes by getting himself sent off, but we still looked the more likely to score, and Marco Antonio got the crucial goal to put us within touching distance in injury time, 4-3. The home leg was a much more simple affair, a Marco Antonio hattrick putting us through 6-4 on aggregate.
A trip to England was up next in the quarter finals, as we took on Chelsea. A 0-0 in west London was a decent enough result, and so it proved, as we blew them away 5-0 in the home leg.
The semi final was a real grudge match against Lyon, who, along with the big Spanish pair of Madrid and Barcelona, have been our principle rivals in European football over the past decade. For the first leg I decided to dig in and try and grind out another 0-0, which we looked like doing, until Lyon's midfielder Marcelo changed the makeup of the tie by getting himself sent off early in the second half. I decided to go for a win, which would really swing things in our favour given our amazing home record thus far. Vega stepped up and fired home from range to give us a 1-0 lead and away goal!
Back in Sicily, we created quite a few chances, but were unable to convert. Luckily, neither were the French club, despite a stupid red card for Lelj, and we snuck through with a 0-0 draw. Not the most entertaining of semi finals, but neither us or our fans were bothered.
AC Milan were up in the final - could we make it a hattrick of runners up positions to us for them? We had to make a couple of changes from the successful Coppa Italia final lineup as Lelj was suspended and Walter Gonzalez unfit. Bartul Misic and Julian Juarez replaced them, as we lined up: Guilloux; Taylor, Wansi, M. Gonzalez, Jose Maria; Misic, Benali; Roldan, Vega, Juarez; Ronaldo.
After some early sparring - not much bar a few yellow cards occurred for the first 20 mins - we took the lead through Ronaldo after 36 minutes, and it was well deserved as we took that lead into the second half. Martinez Gonzalez headed home from a corner for the second, and Marquinhos Parana came off the bench to smash in a penalty to secure an excellent 3-0 win!
Club World Championship - Winners
Slightly trickier than usual, but not by much.
Results 1 - Results 2 - Results 3 - Results 4 - Squad 1 - Squad 2
Transfers - £5.15m Loss
Only Guilloux in and Gandini out in terms of first team players, but some prospects in Hervieu, Gimenez and Volpecina also arriving for fees.
5 Most Important Players:
5. Jose Maria - D/WBL - Cracking season from a great club servant.
4. Daniel Wansi - DLC - Simply awesome.
3. Jose Luis Vega - AMC - No signs of giving in to father time yet, 28 assists and 4 goals in 28 starts is remarkable.
2. Marco Antonio - AMC/ST - Typically brilliant season, 25 goals in 25 starts.
1. Ronaldo - ST - After last season's abject finish I was concerned about him, but I needn't have worried - 38 goals in 32 starts, breaking Marco Antonio's record for most goals in a season, and match-winner in both Copa Italia and Champions League finals as part of a run of 8 goals in the last 4 matches of the season.
Code:Season League Position Achievements ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 2011/12 Serie C2/C 2nd Serie C Cup Runners Up, Playoff Finalists 2012/13 Serie C2/C 1st Serie C2/C Champions, Promoted 2013/14 Serie C1/B 5th Playoff Semi-Finalists 2014/15 Serie C1/B 2nd Playoff Winners, Promoted 2015/15 Serie B 12th 2016/17 Serie B 2nd Promoted 2017/18 Serie A 20th Relegated 2018/19 Serie B 2nd Promoted 2019/20 Serie A 7th Qualified for Europa League 2020/21 Serie A 6th Qualified for Europa League 2021/22 Serie A 9th 2022/23 Serie A 5th Qualified for Europa League 2023/24 Serie A 3rd Qualified for Champions League, Coppa Italia Runners Up 2024/25 Serie A 4th Qualified for Champions League, Coppa Italia Runners Up 2025/26 Serie A 4th Qualified for Champions League 2026/27 Serie A 4th Qualified for Champions League 2027/28 Serie A 3rd Qualified for Champions League 2028/29 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Coppa Italia Runners Up 2029/30 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Champions League Winners 2030/31 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Champions League Winners, CWC Winners 2031/32 Serie A 3rd Champions League Winners, Coppa Italia Winners, CWC Winners 2032/33 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Champions League Winners, Coppa Italia Winners, CWC Winners 2033/34 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, CWC Winners 2034/35 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions 2035/36 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Champions League Runners Up 2036/37 Serie A 2nd Champions League Winners, Coppa Italia Runners Up 2037/38 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Coppa Italia Winners, CWC Winners, Champions League R-Up 2038/39 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Champions League Winners 2039/40 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Champions League Winners, CWC Winners 2040/41 Serie A 1st Serie A Champions, Champions League Winners, Copa Italia Winners, CWC Winners
Messina 100 Club:
A list of those Messina players who make 100 or more appearances for the club under my management.Next Season:Code:Name Pos Era Apps Goals AvR -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rene Kooiman DC 2019-2035 618 80 7.17 Filippo Vitone AMRC 2018-2035 561 123 7.11 Jose Luis Vega AMC 2028-Present 508 50 7.29 Jose A. Loureiro DR 2020-2037 471 3 7.20 Walter Gonzalez AMLC 2026-Present 462 77 7.17 Daniel Martin GK 2027-2039 432 0 7.00 Julian Juarez AML 2029-Present 424 65 7.12 Igor Mikhailov AMRC 2029-Present 417 109 7.23 Jon Pagola AMLC 2019-2034 417 78 7.20 Jose Maria D/WBL 2028-Present 415 2 7.27 Walter Aguero AM/ST 2021-2032 414 146 7.06 Marco Antonio AMC/ST 2030-Present 394 257 7.39 Bartul Misic DM/MC 2030-Present 392 42 7.19 Nauzet M. Gonzalez DC 2029-Present 382 80 7.32 Victor Amoruso MC 2018-2029 380 33 6.98 Mauro Quiroga DM/MC 2019-2031 372 17 6.96 Abel Petrillo AML/ST 2016-2031 366 153 7.13 Joaquin Arguelles AM/ST 2025-2038 298 180 7.28 Da Silva DC 2027-2038 287 33 7.15 Antonio Gola DM/MC 2028-2038 286 10 7.09 Nenad Arnautovic DM/MC 2025-2035 279 28 7.00 Stefano Tulino D/DM/MRC 2019-2030 274 17 7.12 Jose D/WB/M/AML 2026-2035 267 6 7.07 Carlos Roldan AMRLC 2034-Present 253 65 7.32 Philipp Egger DC 2023-2035 251 38 7.20 Marquinhos Parana AM/ST 2032-Present 240 84 7.08 Mohammed Benali DM/MC 2034-Present 229 8 7.16 Javier AMR 2025-2034 227 29 7.00 Mauro Vigorito GK 2011-2023 217 0 6.82 Juan Jose Godoy GK 2023-2027 207 0 6.96 Patxi Rodriguez DM/MC 2017-2026 203 14 6.87 Nenad Lukic MLC 2021-2026 188 23 6.98 Mauricio Martin D/DM/MC 2020-2027 187 9 6.96 Nicolas Amodio DM/MC 2012-2018 183 12 6.93 Remi Thouvenin DL 2021-2026 181 0 7.06 Antonio Marino DLC 2013-2021 180 5 6.88 Raul DRC 2034-Present 179 44 7.42 Sergio Real ST 2024-2030 174 31 6.87 Agustin Lertxundi DM/MC 2031-2037 173 6 7.05 Adem Ljajic AMRLC 2019-2027 170 26 6.91 Daniel Wansi DLC 2035-Present 169 41 7.51 Mario Ortiz DM/MC 2013-2021 169 5 6.83 Celso DM/MC 2025-2030 169 9 6.95 Nicola Ravaglia GK 2018-2025 164 0 6.90 Gustavo Sanchez AMC 2031-2037 162 16 6.97 Enzo Scorza ST 2012-2018 159 82 7.24 Nicolas D/DM/MC 2015-2022 159 5 6.85 Baptiste Soula DM/MC 2037-Present 157 23 7.18 Gregoire Gauthier DC 2035-Present 156 42 7.38 Rocco Signore D/WBR 2022-2035 154 0 7.06 Carlos Quinonez D/WBL 2031-Present 149 2 7.30 Rosario Licata D/WB/ML 2011-2016 146 3 6.92 Francesc Alcalde AMLC/ST 2014-2020 145 45 6.98 Javier Aramaio DR 2031-2035 142 1 7.28 Tim Taylor D/WBR 2036-Present 142 0 7.21 Luca Tedeschi DC 2012-2018 139 8 7.09 Mogi DRC 2017-2022 134 0 6.76 Gian Maria Lelj D/DM/MC 2036-Present 132 3 7.12 Diego Farias AMRLC 2015-2019 126 19 6.90 Gonzalo Valdez ST 2022-2026 126 34 6.87 Davide Testa AM/ST 2011-2015 121 40 7.04 Gustavo M/AMC/ST 2037-Present 118 16 7.13 Yohann Sallaberry AMLC 2021-2028 117 10 7.01 Jesus D/WB/M/AMR 2036-Present 115 6 7.32 Vitor Goncalves ST 2035-Present 111 60 7.32 Ricardo Rocha GK 2032-33, 2035-2039 105 0 7.00 Ruben AML 2015-2019 103 7 6.86 Fausto Rossi AML 2016-2021 102 18 6.97 Juan Carlos GK 2028-2038 100 0 7.03
Only our second ever clean-sweep is a fantastic way to celebrate 30 seasons in charge, and the target has to be to do that again. Despite the achievement, the squad is clearly lacking in a few areas - the decline of Walter Gonzalez leaves us without a top-class left winger, whilst Bartul Misic's fading legs leave us a little flimsy in midfield, especially when Soula suffering a serious injury.
With the correct reinforcement (and I'm thinking of raising my wage ceiling for the first time in many, many years) we can definitely repeat this, but given how often we've managed it so far, the odds have to be against us. I'll settle for retaining at least one of Serie A and the Champions League.
Not good enough :P
The Squad: 2041
Alessandro Gasperini - GK - Italy - After being first choice for a couple of seasons dropped back to third. Unfortunately seems incapable of being a bit part player, in his one league appearance he conceded four.
Eugenio Barroso - GK - Spain - He keeps growing in stature well, responding to the good 15 matches I was able to give him last season. Should break the 20 mark this time round.
Alban Guilloux - GK - France - Fantastic debut season, and sure enough, as soon as he signed for us he was French number 1.
Jesus - D/WB/M/AMR - Spain - His playing time slightly suffered from the need to offer Ruggiero game time, but still played well - including scoring 4 in one game at right wing to triple his career total.
Tim Taylor - D/WBR - USA - The American Gary Neville - in a nice way.
Daniele Ruggiero - DR - Italy - Like Barroso responded well to a bit more game time. If another stupid offer comes in for Jesus or Taylor I might well sell up.
Jose Maria - D/WBL - Spain - Slightly miffed I gave him a "match highest earner" clause as Roldan's new contract means he's on too much money for too long at his age. Should keep things together reasonably well but we'll see.
Carlos Quinonez - DL - Ecuador - Finally had some big offers for the new Ecuadorian international - of course I rejected them.
Nauzet Martinez Gonzalez - DC - Spain - Excellent partner for Wansi.
Raul - DRC - Spain - Was, at times, rubbish last season. Very inconsistent.
Gregoire Gauthier - DC - France - Had some eye-watering offers for the big man, but said no. Hervieu isn't quite ready.
Daniel Wansi - DLC - France - Just incredible, once again.
Kevin Hervieu - DC - France - Has progressed very nicely with some expect tutoring from Raul and getting into double figures for appearances on loan at Pro Vercelli last season. That they were relegated is probably not his fault - they're really quite rubbish when I can't loan them 3 or 4 players. Scored a brace on his debut - in the Champions League no less!
Walter Gonzalez - AMLC - Argentina - His powers are really waning now - this will be his last contract I imagine.
Julian Juarez - AML - Spain - He's never particularly convinced since he was a teenager, but thanks to Gonzalez's injury problems has probably been our first choice left winger for a number of years. No longer, with Baleani arriving.
Marco Baleani - AML - Italy - A bargain fee of £13.5m brings the Italy international over from rivals Palermo - where he simply didn't fit into their 3-5-2 system. Their loss is our gain!
Carlos Roldan - AMRLC - Argentina - Well here he is - the man who made me break a 30-year long wage ceiling. He's worth it though, unplayably good on his day. The increased ceiling also allowed me to capture Baleani, so it's probably a good thing.
Daniel Vicente - AMR - Spain - A slightly poor season last time, mostly due to injury, didn't stop bids of over £30m coming in from other Italian sides. It says much about him that despite his troubles I rejected them all.
Bartul Misic - DM/MC - Croatia - The legs aren't what they used to be, almost certainly on his way out at the end of this season.
Mohammed Benali - DM/MC - Spain - Very tidy.
Gian Maria Lelj - D/DM/MC - Italy - Ditto Benali.
Baptiste Soula - DM/MC - France - His injury problems last season were a real difficulty in the last third of the season - hence the reappearance of this familiar face...
Tiago Conceicao - DM/MC - France - Yes, you read that right, Tiago is back!! Yes, Lyon may have had the best 10 years of his career, yes, he may only have a couple of years left, but he's certainly not finished yet, and was an absolute steal at £6.25m regardless of my desire to have him back.
Jose Luis Vega - M/AMC - Spain - His right foot is an absolute metronome - 28 assists for the last two seasons running.
Igor Mikhailov - M/AMRC - Russia - Came into his own as a central midfielder when we had to switch to 4-3-3 with an injury/suspension crisis in defensive midfield - perhaps his last few years will be played out there.
Gustavo - AMC/ST - Spain - Already top-class, it's such a luxury having this guy to step in when Vega needs a rest.
Marco Antonio - AMC/ST - Brazil - Actually usurped by Ronaldo last season - who'd have thunk it? Still top-class of course.
Marquinhos Parana - AMC/ST - Brazil - Probably his best season for us last time round, scoring goals and assisting in the playmaker role.
Vitor Goncalves - ST - Portugal - His legs have pretty much gone now - another one who won't be getting a new contract.
Ronaldo - ST - Brazil - Kept up his high level past Christmas this time, and actually exceeded it in the end with 8 goals in the last 4 matches of the season.
Jean-Christophe Bisson - AMRL/ST - France - £14.5m is a hell of a fee for such a raw player but I've got a funny feeling he'll be worth it. I'm planning to develop him on the right wing mostly as Mikhailov declines, then shift him up top when Marco Antonio starts dropping off.
I actually have some youngsters worth talking about now, so here we go...
Arturo Barreiro - D/ML - Spain - 3* - The 16-year old was a steal from Valencia at £2.2m - fingers crossed he's the successor to Jose Maria we'll soon need.
Daniele Vitiello - DC - Italy - 3* - Stolen from the Juventus youth system for £1.4m, looks a real prospect for club and country.
Juan Antonio Esteban - D/DM/MC - Spain - 3* - Looks almost ready for some first-team action this season, will probably be the one to step in when Misic finishes.
Claudio Gimenez - DM/M/AMRC - Argentina - 3* - With his stats he'll almost certainly be a defensive midfielder rather than an attacking one, like Esteban looks close to first-team squad level. Might stick him out on loan in the second half of the season.
Alessandro Bernardo - DM/MC - Italy - 3* - I paid Parma serious money for this guy - £5.5m - and he looks like he'll become a serious player. Defensive midfield should be well-stocked for years to come!
Moises Torres - AML - Spain - 3* - Grabbed this chap from Barcelona, following in the proud tradition of Juarez, Benali, Gustavo, Arguelles, Martinez Gonzalez... the list goes on. Hopefully he'll have as big an impact as some of those guys.
Gino Volpecina - AMRC - Italy - 3* - He's got a long way to go but he's got one great old Italian AMRC to follow in the footsteps of - a certain Filippo Vitone...
Maurizio Offer - ST - Italy - 2.5* - One who actually came through our academy! I doubt he'll ever trouble the first team, but maybe he's worth a buy-back clause when we sell him.
Nicolo Lauro - ST - Italy - 2.5* - Almost exactly the same as Offer but a couple of years younger.
None this time.
Raimondo Astolfi - AMLC - Italy - £12m takes him over to Serie A rivals Inter. I doubt he's worth half that. Always performed okay, but really not good enough considering the extra strain Gonzalez's failing legs put on the squad.
Our squad is actually huge now, even without the guys in the Under 20s who will be looking to join it soon. It's always hard to say goodbye to club legends - as almost all of our players are now, if not in the game then certainly in my eyes - but we'll have to start being a bit more aggressive in trimming them out if we're to allow all the talent we have coming through to blossom.
£12m for Astolfi is probaby deal of the century. He'll be at Pro Vercelli or someone like that inside 3 years.
I know, what are they thinking? Rubbish, me.
Your defence is just too good.
No chance at all of you attempting Youth Only like you did at Merthyr?
I'd love to, but the academy is churning out absolute rubbish compared to what I was getting at Merthyr
Have had max youth networking for a few seasons now, and my youth facilities were top notch until last season when they were downgraded due to the passage of time or whatever it says, dunno what else I can do to get better youngsters through. It's a shame too as I've got some fantastic tutors around.
You win everything... and you say your squad is lacking.
Please send me any cast offs to my Newcastle Town squad in my save. Thanks.
I'll try and convince Walter Gonzalez to see out his career with you, but it might be a tough sell - I've heard the manager's a piece of work.
You've obviously done a fantastic job building the team and so forth, but this is one of the weakest areas of FM I think. The AI simply can't cope with humans in the long run. Really hope FM12 will improve in this area.
If you keep winning more or less everything you compete in the next few years I think you should make a leap of some type. All youths, all Italians, all women, something. It will probably be more interesting for you, and will be a more interesting read too. At least that is my experience. I grew butt tired of my old save (Trafford) when my only goal was to get a bigger stadium, and that was still 9 years off or something like that.
Yeah I realise it's not really that interesting to just read about us waltzing to most of the available trophies every season, but my preferred route (all academy) just isn't an option so far. All Italian could be an option but it'd have to be a gradual thing as I couldn't bear to ship out the likes of Wansi to accelerate the process. With FM12 not far away I may just pootle along with this, see out Vega's career, then do something more interesting on the new game.
I quite like seeing the culmination of a very succesful long term project, and I think the skills required to constantly refresh the team are underrated! Keep going in my opinion, I take it your top of the world hall of fame now?
A great career SnakeXe and still interesting to read about. Keep it up until FM12, I say. Maybe focus on the all Italian team or just bringing through youth players?
What are your plans for FM12 anyway? I'm interested to know. Personally, I'll finally have a decent computer, so I'm planning a long-term career save with a number of leagues loaded! Can't wait!
I don't know really, I might do a big journeyman save, or another small-to-big career in a smaller country. Probably leaning towards the former at the moment as it'll allow me to get started somewhere I'm comfortable - England or Italy - and then move on out of my comfort zone when I fancy it.
Have you picked up your copy of FM12 yet SnakeXe?
It won't be quite the same without a SnakeXe save to read for FM12 if not!
I think I want to see a massive journeyman save from you, starting at the bottom and working your way up. You've got unfinished business there after the less than successful attempt last time around. It's up to you, though, of course.
He will have it and will be :P I know cos he's told me
Good news Flamers. How about you?
FM12 installing as we speak
Big journeyman save is definitely the plan - was quite tempted to start with St. Albans as an homage to your amazing career, but I'll see who comes up after a season's holiday.
Ha, I'd love to see what you can do with the Saints!
Glad to hear you're installing now. Journeymanning is definitely the way for FM12, I feel!
I'm not getting FM12 until after Christmas I don't think. I am enjoying my FM11 new save now