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  1. #601
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    A lot has happened since I last popped into this thread. Fantastic work winning the the Champions League with Werder and a good move to Arsenal too

    Koster looks phenominal - although I don't think I could ever have it in me to spend £60M on one player, but I guess when you're backed by a tycoon money is no object . It's interesting to see MK Dons in the prem in your save(although, it doesn't look like they will be there for much longer). In mine they suffered 3 successive relegations and are stuck in the Blue Square North, £40M in debt
    Last edited by roganp; 22-12-2011 at 00:51.

  2. #602
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pangaea View Post
    Wouldn't be Arsenal without relying on one striker to score all the goals

    Looks in pretty good stead though, a few points off the top which is no problem to overtake if you get a good run of games. Good luck for the second half of the season
    Haha indeed! I was thinking how much my Arsenal side is actually similar to the real one - plenty of fancy passing but if the one good striker doesn't score, we probably won't!

    Quote Originally Posted by roganp View Post
    A lot has happened since I last popped into this thread. Fantastic work winning the the Champions League with Werder and a good move to Arsenal too

    Koster looks phenominal - although I don't think I could ever have it in me to spend £60M on one player, but I guess when you're backed by a tycoon money is no object . It's interesting to see MK Dons in the prem in your save(although, it doesn't look like they will be there for much longer). In mine they suffered 3 successive relegations and are stuck in the Blue Square North, £40M in debt
    Cheers!

    Yeah in my first season I was still looking for at least a little value for money, whereas last summer I just threw economic logic out the window and chucked whatever money it took at the players I wanted. I nearly paid £88m for another striker, but then had the lower bid accepted for Koster who was just as good so pulled out of that deal.

    I think I prefer what happened in your game to MK Dons to be honest! I guess you have to bury the hatchet eventually, they got what they deserved from the move (relegation to the fourth tier and no fans), time to just treat them as a new startup club.

  3. #603
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    Incidentally, I'm on my laptop now so things might be a bit slower going - nothing wrong with the beast, but I do have a couple of small things to look after who aren't allowed in the office!


  4. #604
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    Aaaaaah. That's lovely. I love cats

  5. #605
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    SnakeXe's Career - Season 13 - 2024/25

    Story of the Season:
    Premier League - 1st
    Man City looked to be on the march to the title in Ferbruary and March but whilst they hit a sticky spot, we didn't, and effectively sealed the title with an emphatic 4-0 win over them at the Emirates. Despite finishing 2nd, Liverpool were never really in the title race.

    FA Cup - 6th Round (lost v Liverpool)
    Much better this season - although it took us a replay in the 3rd Round to knock out Championship side Birmingham, we made short work of Stockport and Burnley in the latter rounds before losing out to Liverpool away in the 6th. It was 1-1 until late on when Liverpool had a man sent off, I went for the win and they scored on the break. Would have made more sense to ensure we got a replay in hindsight, we'd have torn them asunder in North London.

    League Cup - Final (lost v Everton on penalties)
    Almost exactly the same as last year - saw off Liverpool with a good 5-0 aggregate win before conspiring to beat ourselves in the final.

    Champions League - Quarter-final (lost v Real Madrid)
    Having snuck a 1-1 draw in Paris we humped PSG 6-0 at home, to leave us in good spirits going into a tricky game against the most successful European side ever.

    A 0-1 loss in the Bernebeu slightly flattered them, but wasn't a bad result. We outshot them 16-1 in the home leg but again we were our own worst enemy, home profligacy knocking us out of Europe for the second year running. Particularly frustrating as the semi-final would have been against Werder Bremen.

    Results 1 - Results 2 - Results 3 - Squad

    Transfers - £161.5M spent

    Pushed the boat out this year, it was worth it.

    Finances
    Again, fairly pointless screen but I'll be consistent.

    5 Most Important Players:
    5. David Margreiter - MC/AMRC - Decent enough season for the Austrian.
    4. Jose Gonzalez
    - D/WB/ML - Would have been higher for that AvR except his deputy was pretty good too so we didn't miss him as much as the other guys on here when he missed a game.
    3. Bruninho - M/AMC - Graduated from promising youth to first team stalwart.
    2. Dario Aguero - DC - Classy defender in the Pique mould - physical enough when required but technically gifted and smart enough to generally not.
    1. Gino Koster - AMC/ST - Wow. Just wow. Broke Andy Cole's 22-year-old record as well.

    History:
    Code:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Season  | Team            | League                | Country      | Position | Notes                                                 |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2012/13 | Weymouth        | Blue Square South     | England      | 2nd      | Playoff Semi-finalists                                |
    | 2013/14 | Weymouth        | Blue Square South     | England      | 3rd      | Resigned in October                                   |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2013/14 | Darlington      | Blue Square Premier   | England      | 14th     | 15th on arrival in October                            |
    | 2014/15 | Darlington      | Blue Square Premier   | England      | 2nd      | Playoff Winners                                       |
    | 2015/16 | Darlington      | League Two            | England      | 16th     | Resigned in January                                   |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2015/16 | Southend United | League One            | England      | 21st     | Relegated, 24th on arrival in March                   |
    | 2016/17 | Southend United | League Two            | England      | 1st      | League Two Champions                                  |
    | 2017/18 | Southend United | League One            | England      | 2nd      | Promoted                                              |
    | 2018/19 | Southend United | Championship          | England      | 17th     | Resigned in October                                   |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2018/19 | Wigan Athletic  | Championship          | England      | 4th      | 13th on arrival in October, Playoff Winners           |
    | 2019/20 | Wigan Athletic  | Premier League        | England      | 15th     | Left in December                                      |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2019/20 | Werder Bremen   | 1. Bundesliga         | Germany      | 8th      | 14th on arrival in December, DFB-Pokal Winners        |
    | 2020/21 | Werder Bremen   | 1. Bundesliga         | Germany      | 1st      | B'liga Champions, Supercup Winners, EL Semi-Finalists |
    | 2021/22 | Werder Bremen   | 1. Bundesliga         | Germany      | 2nd      | Supercup Winners, CL & DFB-Pokal Semi-Finalists       |
    | 2022/23 | Werder Bremen   | 1. Bundesliga         | Germany      | 1st      | B'liga Champions, Champions League Winners            |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2023/24 | Arsenal         | Premier League        | England      | 2nd      | Champ's League Semi-Finalists, League Cup Finalists   |
    | 2024/25 | Arsenal         | Premier League        | England      | 1st      | Premier League Winners, League Cup Finalists          |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Next Season:
    Much better this year, our form in the second half of the season was exactly what I hoped for. We still have the odd blip where we fail to break someone down, or ship a silly goal, but that's to be expected. Hopefully next season we can push on from this and claim the multiple trophies we should be capable of. Obviously, the big one I'd like before I leave the club is the Champions League. I've got three years left on my contract here, so a Champions League crown in the next two seasons and a shot at the Club World Cup before I leave would be ideal.

  6. #606
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    Wow. What a season. That goal difference is mean. Koster looks like a decent chap,doesn't he? Damn. 52 goals. van Persie just got slapped with a glove.

  7. #607
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    Former Club Watch:

    Weymouth F.C.:

    Out of the playable leagues so who knows?

    Code:
    Season    League                  Position  Notes                  
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2012/13*  Blue Square South       2nd       Playoff Semi-finalists
    2013/14*  Blue Square South       9th       I left in October (resigned)
    2014/15   Blue Square South       10th      -
    2015/16   Blue Square South       19th      -
    2016/17   Blue Square South       9th       FA Cup 2nd Round
    2017/18   Blue Square South       3rd       Playoff Winners
    2018/19   Blue Square Premier     21st      Relegated
    2019/20   Blue Square South       14th      -
    2020/21   Blue Square South       14th      -
    2021/22   Blue Square South       19th      -
    2022/23   Blue Square South       18th      -
    2023/24   Blue Square South       22nd      Relegated
    2024/25   N/A                     N/A       FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round
    
    NB * indicates that I was in charge for at least part of the season.
    Darlington F.C.:

    Kind of a dull season really for the Quakers.

    Code:
    Season    League                  Position  Notes                  
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2013/14*  Blue Square Premier     14th      I joined in October
    2014/15*  Blue Square Premier     2nd       Playoff Winners
    2015/16*  League Two              18th      I left in January (resigned)
    2016/17   League Two              17th      JPT North Quarter Final
    2017/18   League Two              15th      FA Cup 3rd Round
    2018/19   League Two              3rd       Promoted
    2019/20   League One              22nd      Relegated, FA Cup 4th Round
    2020/21   League Two              20th      -
    2021/22   League Two              6th       FA Cup 4th Round, Playoff Semi-finalists
    2022/23   League Two              9th       JPT North Quarter Final
    2023/24   League Two              16th      JPT North Semi Final
    2024/25   League Two              11th      -
    Southend United:

    The Shrimpers narrowly avoid disaster, just goal difference away from being relegated.

    Code:
    Season    League                  Position  Notes                  
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2015/16*  League One              21st      Relegated, I joined in March
    2016/17*  League Two              1st       League Two Winners
    2017/18*  League One              2nd       Promoted
    2018/19*  Championship            15th      I left in October (resigned)
    2019/20   Championship            20th      -
    2020/21   Championship            12th      FA Cup 5th Round
    2021/22   Championship            9th       -
    2022/23   Championship            15th      -
    2023/24   Championship            16th      FA Cup Semi Final
    Wigan Athletic:

    Missed out on automatic promotion by just 3 points in a tight Championship, then lost to Southampton in the playoff semi-final.

    Code:
    Season    League                  Position  Notes                  
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2018/19*  Championship            4th       I joined in October, Playoff Winners
    2019/20*  Premier League          11th      I left in December (job offer)
    2020/21   Premier League          18th      League Cup Winners, Relegated
    2021/22   Championship            2nd       Promoted, League Cup Quarter-finalists
    2022/23   Premier League          17th      FA Cup 6th Round
    2023/24   Premier League          19th      Relegated
    2024/25   Championship            5th       Playoff Semi-finalists
    Werder Bremen:

    Never really challenged for the league but good runs in the cup and Champions League.

    Code:
    Season    League                  Position  Notes                  
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2019/20*  1. Bundesliga           8th       I joined in December, DFB-Pokal Winners
    2020/21*  1. Bundesliga           1st       B'liga, S'cup Winners; EL Semi-finalists
    2021/22*  1. Bundesliga           2nd       S'cup Winners; EL, DFB-P Semi-finalists
    2022/23*  1. Bundesliga           1st       B'liga, Champs League Winners
    2023/24   1. Bundesliga           2nd       CWC, DFB-Pokal Winners
    2024/25   1. Bundesliga           4th       Champs League, DFB-Pokal Semi-finalists

  8. #608
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    Fantastic season. Well done on winning the Premier League and I'm sure the Champions League won't be too far off

  9. #609
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pangaea View Post
    Wow. What a season. That goal difference is mean. Koster looks like a decent chap,doesn't he? Damn. 52 goals. van Persie just got slapped with a glove.
    Haha yeah he's alright I guess.

    Think that's my highest total for any player in any FM ever, actually. I seem to remember a prime Anthony Le Tallec notching 88 back in the days of CM03/04 and Diablo, but I've not exceeded the lower 40s since then.

  10. #610
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    Quote Originally Posted by roganp View Post
    Fantastic season. Well done on winning the Premier League and I'm sure the Champions League won't be too far off
    Cheers! We could easily have won it in each of the last two seasons with a bit less bad luck - never mind good.

  11. #611
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    Great season mate, well done

  12. #612
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    £60m well spent then. Well done on winning the league

  13. #613
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    Woah, Koster was awesome.

  14. #614
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    Got some pussy round your **** then.

    Well done on winning the league.

  15. #615
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    Quote Originally Posted by DazRTaylor View Post
    Great season mate, well done
    Quote Originally Posted by AK22 View Post
    £60m well spent then. Well done on winning the league
    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Woah, Koster was awesome.
    Thanks! He was incredible - didn't miss a single game through injury or suspension either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    Got some pussy round your **** then.

    Well done on winning the league.
    Trust you to lower the tone!

  16. #616
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    Congrats on the league win!

  17. #617
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    Nice work Snake. Good title win .

    I need your opinion on my latest career aspiration .

  18. #618
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deisler26 View Post
    Congrats on the league win!
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Nice work Snake. Good title win .

    I need your opinion on my latest career aspiration .
    Opinion has been offered

  19. #619
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    Boo on you spending £161.5m. The Arsenal fans wont know whats hit them!

  20. #620
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    You suck didn't win everything

  21. #621
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    Great Premier League win Got a bit unlucky against Madrid then. Still, gives you something to aim for next year!

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    Bah. Well done......


  23. #623
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeXe View Post
    Thanks! He was incredible - didn't miss a single game through injury or suspension either.


    Trust you to lower the tone!
    You're the one posting pictures of pussies on your lap.

  24. #624
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    Another great season!

  25. #625
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotChocolate View Post
    Boo on you spending £161.5m. The Arsenal fans wont know whats hit them!
    I think it'll probably be back to normal this summer - the only player I want to sign is a right back from Real Madrid, and they won't accept a penny less than £250m. Whilst I can afford it, I don't want to!

    Quote Originally Posted by Flamers View Post
    You suck, didn't win everything
    There's always next season!

    Quote Originally Posted by City2000 View Post
    Great Premier League win. Got a bit unlucky against Madrid then. Still, gives you something to aim for next year!
    True, it'd be a bit flat staying on another few seasons having already won the important ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by MattSpurs94 View Post
    Bah. Well done......
    I do apologise!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobby_McDonald View Post
    You're the one posting pictures of pussies on your lap.
    Yes, it's clearly my fault.

    Quote Originally Posted by iHeadHunta x View Post
    Another great season!
    Thanks!

  26. #626
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    SnakeXe's Career - Season 14 Preview - Arsenal


    Board Expectations:
    Premier League - Winners (Predicted 1st out of 20)
    FA Cup - Winners
    League Cup - Unimportant
    Community Shield - Unimportant
    Champions League - Final

    My Expectations:
    Premier League - We should retain it although I'll put less focus on that this year to give us a better chance in the other competitions
    FA Cup - I'd hope to win it
    League Cup - We have to break our hoodoo sometime
    Community Shield - As it's Man City, it'd be nice to win it
    Champions League - There's no reason why we can't win it finally


    Budgets:
    Transfer: £108,000,000 (£118,000,000 remaining)
    Wages: £3,066,311/week (£2,186,695/week currently)
    Balance: £107,542,175 (+£49,509,911 since last season)

    Squad:
    Not much change to be honest, sold Berget as he was on massive money and pretty pointless, promoted a couple of youths and brought one promising player in on a free.

    Key Men:
    Goalkeeper/Defence

    Dario Aguero - DC - Representative of the pairing in defence of him and Silva, the two are crucial to our chances.


    Midfield
    Helmut Holz - DM/MC - Probably second only to Koster in terms of individual importance to the side.

    Moussa Ali Diallo - MLC - His power and presence makes our midfield tick.

    Strikers
    Gino Koster
    - ST - I think everything's been said about this guy.
    Last edited by SnakeXe; 26-12-2011 at 20:50.

  27. #627
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    I seem to remember seeing other people get this before, but it's the first time I ever have, and I'm loving it

  28. #628
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    Now you're in for one of those horrible runs

  29. #629
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    Sacked before Xmas I reckon!

  30. #630
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    Season 14: Halfway House Update

    We started the season with a comfortable 1-0 win over Man City in the Community Shield, and continued on a quite remarkable run of form, conceding just one goal until October.

    Stoke finally got a flukey win over us in mid-October to end our run of victories, and draws against Ipswich and Boro were disappointing. Our only really poor performance in terms of controlling the game was a 1-2 loss at Old Trafford, but we still managed to throw in a loss away to bottom club Wolves to close out the year in particularly irritating style (two penalties conceded having taken an early lead). Still, a 5 point lead at this stage is an improvement on last year and we still won the title then, so can't complain too vociferously.

    The League Cup is traditionally annoying, and this year was no different, with wins over Everton and Chelsea simply leading to the inevitability of our own self-destruction, this year taking the form of a 1-2 defeat at Villa Park which we lost with the final kick of the game.

    Champions League action is usually good for us at this early stage, but a kitten-standing-on-spacebar incident led to a poor 1-0 loss to Marseille in the first match whilst I was taking a leak. Luckily we won the rest, doing the double over HSV and Maccabi Haifa to book a date with Stuttgart. HSV edged out Marseille for the runners up spot in a good year for German football, as all four entrants made the knockout stages, more than any other country.

    The Good
    • Less reliance on Koster
    • Koster is still awesome
    • On course in the two important ones
    The Bad
    • Another abject farce in the League Cup
    • Dropping points to dross is still a fancy of ours
    • I have three awesome keepers and I don't know which one to use (clutching at straws for a third point much?)

    Results - League Table - Squad

  31. #631
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    Strolling it in the league, I saw you say somewhere you were thinking about leaving at the end of the season?

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    That will be the discussion thread, the problem with the Premier League (the top end) is that its too easy. Obscurity is much more fun! I managed to go 30+ seasons in Iceland and still be in love with it!

  33. #633
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotChocolate View Post
    Strolling it in the league, I saw you say somewhere you were thinking about leaving at the end of the season?
    Quote Originally Posted by Flamers View Post
    That will be the discussion thread, the problem with the Premier League (the top end) is that its too easy. Obscurity is much more fun! I managed to go 30+ seasons in Iceland and still be in love with it!
    Yeah that's the one. I think it's a combination of the tycoon making squad and youngster development almost pointless and not really feeling anything for the club, rather than things being too easy (£200m spent and only one trophy feels like a bit of a failure to me so far!).

    I think I'd need to win the Champions League in order to feel like I hadn't failed in this job, hopefully that'll happen this season and I can just make a clean break. If not then it'll be a tough choice.

  34. #634
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeXe View Post
    Stoke finally got a flukey win over us in mid-October
    Never, it was a quality win.

  35. #635
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    Whatever makes you feel better...


  36. #636
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    Wonder how many I will manage before FM13?

  37. #637
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    What did you manage on FM10 & FM11?

  38. #638
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    I'd have to load my saves up to check that exactly, but I managed 30 seasons on FM11 with Messina, and 32 with Merthyr on FM10. At this sort of rate that's around 1500-1600 I think, which sounds about right.

  39. #639
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    Well done on 700.

  40. #640
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    Can see you clearing up in the league (and maybe Champions League too) this season, baring any further kitten mishaps!

  41. #641
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    Congrats on 700

  42. #642
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    Talented manager? FM have got it wrong again ;)

    Great milestone, 1,000 next!

  43. #643
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    Looking strong in both the league and Champions League. Hopefully it's your year to lift the trophy(Champions League).

  44. #644
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    Just read through this from the very start. Quite a career you've had! That is some Arsenal squad you have built up!

    What is your future plans for moving abroad, etc?

  45. #645
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    How have Hoffenheim faired since their shocking relegation Snake?

  46. #646
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Well done on 700.
    Quote Originally Posted by o JaY View Post
    Congrats on 700
    Cheers gents!

    Quote Originally Posted by AK22 View Post
    Can see you clearing up in the league (and maybe Champions League too) this season, baring any further kitten mishaps!
    Quote Originally Posted by roganp View Post
    Looking strong in both the league and Champions League. Hopefully it's your year to lift the trophy(Champions League).
    Let's hope so! I've taken to tabbing out of FM when I leave the computer to avoid any further kitten attacks

    Quote Originally Posted by HotChocolate View Post
    Talented manager? FM have got it wrong again ;)

    Great milestone, 1,000 next!
    I know, it's rubbish this edition

    Quote Originally Posted by TWalsh View Post
    Just read through this from the very start. Quite a career you've had! That is some Arsenal squad you have built up!

    What is your future plans for moving abroad, etc?
    Thanks! Yeah in terms of raw individual ability this Arsenal squad is pretty up there with any side I've had on FM. The one thing I don't like about it is the slight lack of an identity which I managed to create at the likes of Messina and Merthyr on previous editions, and to an extent at Werder on this save.

    I'm thinking of moving abroad again fairly soon - certainly I won't take another contract here - and after that I'll only come back to English football to manage Bath or Newcastle.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    How have Hoffenheim faired since their shocking relegation Snake?
    Two 6th placed finishes in 2. Bundesliga, now currently sitting 14th with unstable finances

  47. #647
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    700 games is a huge achievement, Well done buddy

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    SnakeXe's Career - Season 14 - 2025/26

    Story of the Season:
    Premier League - 1st
    Never in doubt really. Only dropped silly points in the end.

    FA Cup - 5th Round (lost v Sunderland)
    I don't really want to talk about it.

    League Cup - Quarter-final (lost v Aston Villa)
    The 5-0 win over Chelsea was nice but then bottled it against Villa.

    Champions League - Quarter-final (lost v Barcelona)
    Stuttgart were swept aside in the first knockout round but despite two decent performances we only managed one goal against Barca in 180 minutes. They, of course, got 3.

    Results 1 - Results 2 - Squad

    Transfers - £29.5M spent

    Without the massive, slightly unneccessary purchase of Otto, we'd have made a profit.

    Finances
    Oh no, only £58m in the bank, what'll we do?!

    5 Most Important Players:
    5. Helmut Holz - DM/MC - Makes the whole side tick.
    4. Hassen Meriah
    - MRC/AMR - Contributed well.
    3. Moussa Ali Diallo - MLC - 26 assists plus 8 goals makes this his best season by far.
    2. Dario Aguero - DC - Lynchpin in defence, double figures for goals, can't complain!
    1. Gino Koster - AMC/ST - A little less spectacular than last season, but still incredible.

    History:
    Code:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Season  | Team            | League                | Country      | Position | Notes                                                 |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2012/13 | Weymouth        | Blue Square South     | England      | 2nd      | Playoff Semi-finalists                                |
    | 2013/14 | Weymouth        | Blue Square South     | England      | 3rd      | Resigned in October                                   |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2013/14 | Darlington      | Blue Square Premier   | England      | 14th     | 15th on arrival in October                            |
    | 2014/15 | Darlington      | Blue Square Premier   | England      | 2nd      | Playoff Winners                                       |
    | 2015/16 | Darlington      | League Two            | England      | 16th     | Resigned in January                                   |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2015/16 | Southend United | League One            | England      | 21st     | Relegated, 24th on arrival in March                   |
    | 2016/17 | Southend United | League Two            | England      | 1st      | League Two Champions                                  |
    | 2017/18 | Southend United | League One            | England      | 2nd      | Promoted                                              |
    | 2018/19 | Southend United | Championship          | England      | 17th     | Resigned in October                                   |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2018/19 | Wigan Athletic  | Championship          | England      | 4th      | 13th on arrival in October, Playoff Winners           |
    | 2019/20 | Wigan Athletic  | Premier League        | England      | 15th     | Left in December                                      |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2019/20 | Werder Bremen   | 1. Bundesliga         | Germany      | 8th      | 14th on arrival in December, DFB-Pokal Winners        |
    | 2020/21 | Werder Bremen   | 1. Bundesliga         | Germany      | 1st      | B'liga Champions, Supercup Winners, EL Semi-Finalists |
    | 2021/22 | Werder Bremen   | 1. Bundesliga         | Germany      | 2nd      | Supercup Winners, CL & DFB-Pokal Semi-Finalists       |
    | 2022/23 | Werder Bremen   | 1. Bundesliga         | Germany      | 1st      | B'liga Champions, Champions League Winners            |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | 2023/24 | Arsenal         | Premier League        | England      | 2nd      | Champ's League Semi-Finalists, League Cup Finalists   |
    | 2024/25 | Arsenal         | Premier League        | England      | 1st      | Premier League Winners, League Cup Finalists          |
    | 2025/26 | Arsenal         | Premier League        | England      | 1st      | Premier League Winners                                |
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Next Season:
    I'm done with Arsenal and English football. Pay attention, there's a plan swinging into action!

  49. #649
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    Poor. Plain and simple!

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    Former Club Watch:

    Weymouth F.C.:

    No quick return for the Terras.

    Code:
    Season    League                  Position  Notes                  
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2012/13*  Blue Square South       2nd       Playoff Semi-finalists
    2013/14*  Blue Square South       9th       I left in October (resigned)
    2014/15   Blue Square South       10th      -
    2015/16   Blue Square South       19th      -
    2016/17   Blue Square South       9th       FA Cup 2nd Round
    2017/18   Blue Square South       3rd       Playoff Winners
    2018/19   Blue Square Premier     21st      Relegated
    2019/20   Blue Square South       14th      -
    2020/21   Blue Square South       14th      -
    2021/22   Blue Square South       19th      -
    2022/23   Blue Square South       18th      -
    2023/24   Blue Square South       22nd      Relegated
    2024/25   N/A                     N/A       FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round
    2025/26   N/A                     N/A       -
    
    NB * indicates that I was in charge for at least part of the season.
    Darlington F.C.:

    Really poor season, but never really in danger of being relegated thanks to a couple of sides hitting administration.

    Code:
    Season    League                  Position  Notes                  
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2013/14*  Blue Square Premier     14th      I joined in October
    2014/15*  Blue Square Premier     2nd       Playoff Winners
    2015/16*  League Two              18th      I left in January (resigned)
    2016/17   League Two              17th      JPT North Quarter Final
    2017/18   League Two              15th      FA Cup 3rd Round
    2018/19   League Two              3rd       Promoted
    2019/20   League One              22nd      Relegated, FA Cup 4th Round
    2020/21   League Two              20th      -
    2021/22   League Two              6th       FA Cup 4th Round, Playoff Semi-finalists
    2022/23   League Two              9th       JPT North Quarter Final
    2023/24   League Two              16th      JPT North Semi Final
    2024/25   League Two              11th      -
    2025/26   League Two              19th      -
    Southend United:

    A slight improvement at least.

    Code:
    Season    League                  Position  Notes                  
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2015/16*  League One              21st      Relegated, I joined in March
    2016/17*  League Two              1st       League Two Winners
    2017/18*  League One              2nd       Promoted
    2018/19*  Championship            15th      I left in October (resigned)
    2019/20   Championship            20th      -
    2020/21   Championship            12th      FA Cup 5th Round
    2021/22   Championship            9th       -
    2022/23   Championship            15th      -
    2023/24   Championship            16th      FA Cup Semi Final
    2024/25   Championship            21st      -
    2025/26   Championship            19th      -
    Wigan Athletic:

    A great season, combining an excellent cup run with promotion.

    Code:
    Season    League                  Position  Notes                  
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2018/19*  Championship            4th       I joined in October, Playoff Winners
    2019/20*  Premier League          11th      I left in December (job offer)
    2020/21   Premier League          18th      League Cup Winners, Relegated
    2021/22   Championship            2nd       Promoted, League Cup Quarter-finalists
    2022/23   Premier League          17th      FA Cup 6th Round
    2023/24   Premier League          19th      Relegated
    2024/25   Championship            5th       Playoff Semi-finalists
    2025/26   Championship            4th       Playoff Winners, FA Cup 6th Round
    Werder Bremen:

    A bit of a "meh" season for die Werderaner after their recent successes.

    Code:
    Season    League                  Position  Notes                  
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2019/20*  1. Bundesliga           8th       I joined in December, DFB-Pokal Winners
    2020/21*  1. Bundesliga           1st       B'liga, S'cup Winners; EL Semi-finalists
    2021/22*  1. Bundesliga           2nd       S'cup Winners; EL, DFB-P Semi-finalists
    2022/23*  1. Bundesliga           1st       B'liga, Champs League Winners
    2023/24   1. Bundesliga           2nd       CWC, DFB-Pokal Winners
    2024/25   1. Bundesliga           4th       Champs League, DFB-Pokal Semi-finalists
    2025/26   1. Bundesliga           4th       -

  51. #651
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    Shocking season. In line for the sack.

  52. #652
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeXe View Post
    Two 6th placed finishes in 2. Bundesliga, now currently sitting 14th with unstable finances
    My heart sinks .

  53. #653
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeXe View Post
    Champions League action is usually good for us at this early stage, but a kitten-standing-on-spacebar incident led to a poor 1-0 loss to Marseille in the first match whilst I was taking a leak.
    I like "the dog ate my homework" better

  54. #654
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    Sunday, May 24, 2026

    The Curious Case of Alex Kelly

    The well-known English football manager, Alex Kelly, has disappeared. He was last seen at a press conference following the match against rivals Spurs in which his Arsenal side secured a second league title. His erratic behaviour (he told a journalist who asked him if he had enjoyed the victory to "stick it up [his] f****** bollix") in this appearance was put down by many to the outpouring of emotion that comes with such an achievement. However, we now know it was the portent of something more serious.

    Arsenal have revealed that Kelly's assistant, Steve Round, had taken charge of the final three games of the campaign whilst wearing a rubber mask resembling Kelly - a tactic previously utilised by Mitch O'Connor, the conman who had been acting as "Harry Redknapp" for nearly two decades (despite his mask melting slowly for the entire period) before finally being discovered in 2013.

    Round said in a statement:

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Round
    It's a terrible thing that happened to Alex. After the home leg against Barcelona in the Champions League he went absolutely crazy at the players, I'd never seen anything like it. He was ranting about the fact that they'd gone out of the competition three times in three years because they couldn't stick the ball in the net. Obviously I cleaned that up a bit.

    He developed this nervous tic after that. He just about held it together to make sure we won the title, but then he just disappeared. It's a terrible shame, but the club have had to treat it as an effective resignation, and will be looking for a new manager to lead the team in 2026/27.

    Out of respect, myself as well as Luciano [Carioca], Alan [Archibald], Norberto [Fernandez], Gianluigi [Buffon] and Jaroslav [Plasil] will be leaving the club with immediate effect. If Alex needs us we are here for him.

    All our thoughts go out to Alex and his family, and if he's listening, we all want him to come back soon.
    Expert psychoanalysts have stated that this bears all the classic signs of a mental breakdown, perhaps caused by the pressures of top-level football. It remains to be seen what has become of Kelly, but we can unite in hoping to see him back on the touchline once again.

  55. #655
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    Living in London would drive you crazy.

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    If you're tired of top-level football you could always go to Norwich.

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    I imagine it must be boring being at a top notch club with a tycoon in your back.

    Everything you win feels like no achievement, everything you don't win is a disgrace. Thankless task, really.

  58. #658
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    Meanwhile, at a monastary, high in the Chilean Andes...



    A bedraggled and exhausted traveller reaches the top of the steps leading to the entrance and collapses. Monks rush to help him to a bed. The traveller flits in and out of consciousness for days, before waking to see a cloaked man sitting at his side.

    Traveller: Where... where am I?

    Stranger: El Monasterio de Bielsismo, hermano.

    T: Oh, yes... I remember now.

    S: It is unusual to see anyone in these parts. Not least an Englishman. What brings you to us?

    T: (Straightening up slowly) I have come to see... him.

    S: He does not see just anyone who arrives on our doorstep half-dead. He only receives the true believers.

    T: I do believe.

    S: I do not think you do. I know who you are.

    T: If you know me why do you disbelieve?

    S: We have seen your works, hermano. It is not the outcome that is important, it is the process. You do not understand this, Alex.

    Alex Kelly: That is why I am here.

    S: I see. You wish to study with him so you may possess that which eludes you? Ha! That is not the way.

    AK: I don't care about that any more. I am humble and I wish only to learn.

    S: Hm. Perhaps. I will speak to him. Rest, hermano, you are still very sick.

    AK: Thank you. What is your name, stranger?

    S: Juanma. Juanma Lillo.

    Lillo exits, as Kelly falls into a deep slumber once more.

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    Lillo speaks great English.

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    He's a smart guy

  61. #661
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    Lillo knocks gently on a thick oak door. "Enter" comes the soft reply from within. A lone monk is meditating in front of a roaring fireplace.

    JL: Sorry to disturb you, master, but the traveller has awoken. He says he is here to see you.

    Monk: Thank you, Juanma. I was expecting him.

    JL: You were?! How could you know?

    M:
    I noticed him a long time ago. He has had great success for someone so young, but his heart yearns for something more. I knew he would come.

    JL: So you know who he is?

    M: Of course.

    JL: And you will teach him?

    M: (Sighs and turns to look at Lillo) Yes. My time here is short. I must pass on my knowledge once more before the end.

    JL: As you wish, master.

    M: Please have him see me once he has recovered his strength.

    JL: Of course.

    Lillo exits, bowing. The monk resumes his meditation, but with the smallest crack of a smile in the corner of his mouth.

    "Yes," thinks the monk, "this should be quite fun indeed."

  62. #662
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    Some days later, Kelly knocks on the same door. "Enter" comes the reply once again. Hobbling on a crutch, and robed in the same material as the other monks, he makes his way into the room.

    AK: Senor Bielsa? You wanted to see me?

    M: Yes, of course. Sit down with me. And call me Marcelo.

    AK: (Struggling into a cross-legged position opposite the monk) Of course, Marcelo. Do you know why I am here?

    Marcelo Bielsa: I do. But explain it to me. I'd like to know why you think you are here.

    AK: I am here because I need a philosophy. I have won the greatest prizes but I feel no fulfillment. I just played for results, with no clear idea of how the side should function. I realise now that the style and soul of the team is the important thing. Trophies may come, but they are the byproduct. The process must be right. I am here to learn that process.

    Bielsa slowly smiles and nods.

    AK: Can you? Teach me, that is.

    MB: I can.

    AK: Thank you, Marcelo. I am indebted to you.

    MB: Perhaps you are. Perhaps it is I who owe you. We will see.

    AK: I don't understand.

    MB: (Smiling) You will. Let us begin.

    Montage time!

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    Some months later...

    Kelly has been training under Bielsa for many months. It is almost time for him to leave. Bielsa tests him on what he knows...

    MB: Show me what you have learned.

    AK: Yes, Marcelo. There are three commandments I must live by:
    1. Always use one more defender than the opposition fields attackers
    2. Always use un enganche y tres puntas - a playmaker and three runners
    3. Always play high tempo attacking football
    MB: Good. Here, in the sand, set up a team against an opposition side playing 4-4-2.

    Kelly works away for a few minutes.

    AK: I am done:



    MB: Good work. Now again, but against a 4-3-3.

    Kelly scrubs away the back three, wingbacks and midfielder and redraws the system.

    AK: Here.



    MB: Excellent. You are ready to take on your first club as a manager reborn. My only request is that you stay here, in South America, so I may monitor your progress at first hand. You know much, but there is always more to learn.

    AK: Thank you, master.

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    Excellent. Where do I locate this monastery? Is it the same where you are taught swordfighting skills?

    :mad:

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotChocolate View Post
    Talented manager? FM have got it wrong again ;)

    Great milestone, 1,000 next!
    Er no, 701 follows 700.

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    I think we've all been on Skyrim too much and got to the magic mushrooms!

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    As I said in Crouchy's thread, I am a big fan of Bielsa's philosophy so I look forward to this experiment.

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    Press Conference

    Santiago, Chile
    Saturday, December 26, 2026


    Alex Kelly sits nervously in front of a gaggle of microphones, flash bulbs popping continuously. Marcelo Bielsa is next to him, dressed smartly, and puts a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

    AK: Good afternoon. As you are all aware, I disappeared from public view nearly 8 months ago, following the match against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane when I was manager of Arsenal.

    I can only apologise to the Arsenal staff, players, and fans for the recklessness of my conduct in this; I hope they can forgive me. I needed to get away and reevaluate the priorities of my career.

    I have spent the last 7 months with my good friend and mentor, Marcelo Bielsa. I now feel ready to return to public view, and put myself up for any management job that becomes available. However, this is subject to two conditions. First, it must be in South America.

    Kelly pauses as the European journalists gasp incredulously whilst the South American ones chatter excitedly.

    AK: Secondly... please could I finish my statement, I will take questions in a second. Thanks. Secondly, the club must be willing to accept my footballing philosophy. I will no longer bend to the established norms at the club. I will fail or succeed on my terms.

    Thank you all for listening, I will now accept questions.

    The whole room raises their hands.

    AK: Okay this may be difficult! You first. (Points)

    Spanish Journalist: I find this very hard to take in, Alex. I mean you've disappeared for nearly 8 months, reappeared and now you're suddenly only willing to work in South America? Aren't you concerned that you're walling yourself off from European football at this young age?

    AK: I believe South America will be more amenable to my philosophy. It is closer to their roots than those in Europe. I will hone my craft here - I am learning again, just as I did at Weymouth, Darlington and Southend. Perhaps I'll come back to Europe, but it's not a priority for me right now. Next question please.

    Chilean Journalist: I have to say first this is exciting for South American football - a successful European manager coming over here has not happened in a very long time. What sort of job are you looking for?

    AK: Thanks, I hope I can be a credit to this continent's footballing heritage. I am looking for a club with a strong pedigree and a longstanding committment to youth development. Country is not an issue.

    English Journalist: Hi Alex, I just have to ask why you are heading to this footballing backwater again! The Premier League is the best in the world, now everyone can see you're in good health any club would be keen to have you back.

    AK: (Curtly) The world does not begin and end with the Premier League. That sort of inward looking attitude is why I left. I think that's enough questions, thank you ladies and gentlemen.

    Kelly and Bielsa stride out past the clamouring throng of journalists and cameramen.

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    Well said about the PL.

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    Boardroom Meeting

    Santos Stadium, Sao Paulo
    Thursday, January 7, 2027


    Alex Kelly and Marcelo Bielsa sit on one side of a large, expensive-looking conference table. On the other side are five men in very expensive suits. They are Florival Amado Barletto, the Santos chairman, and his four directors, Carlos Junior, Ramiro da Silva, Osmar Carvalho, and Carlos Amaral.

    Florival Amado Barletto: So. You think you can replace Renato [Gaucho, recently retired coach of Santos]?

    Alex Kelly: No.

    The board members look at each other in surprise.

    AK: I can succeed him though. If you want a carbon copy of Renato don't waste my time.

    FAB: My apologies. I saw your press conference the other day, I know what I am buying into with you. I have seen your CV. You are a winner.

    AK: Perhaps. It's about more than that now.

    Carlos Junior: But we have to win, as a club. The fans demand it.

    AK: I know. The outcome is important. But it's nothing without the process. I think the fans will buy into this.

    Osmar Carvalho: He's right. We have knowledgeable fans. They know Kelly, they know Bielsa. They will accept this.

    Carlos Amaral: I can't agree. This man disappeared for 8 months, and noone is questioning his mental strength?

    AK: If I might cut in there, Senhor Amaral. If my mental state is so fragile, how did I finish the job at Arsenal? Why would I put myself back in the spotlight? If I was feeling vulnerable I would return to Germany, where I was happiest. I am not. I am out of my comfort zone, and this is how I want it.

    Ramiro da Silva: I can feel the passion of this man. He has my vote.

    OC: And mine.

    Barletto glances at da Silva and Junior. They think for a second before nodding.

    FAB: Very well, Senhor Kelly. We will make you an offer.



    AK: Excellent, I'll have my solicitor check that through, and assuming it is all okay you have my word I will join.

    FAB: I am glad we were able to agree this deal. See you soon, Senhors.

    Kelly and Bielsa shake hands with the Santos board and leave.

    Marcelo Bielsa: Good job, my friend. They seem to be on the same page as you.

    AK: As us, you mean? I wanted to ask you to be my assistant manager.

    Bielsa smiles and chuckles.

    MB: I think I'm a little too old for that! No, I must return to el monasterio. You will be fine by yourself, I have no doubts. I will be watching you though, don't worry.

    AK: Thank you, Marcelo.

    MB: The pleasure was mine. Goodbye.
    Last edited by SnakeXe; 06-01-2012 at 21:14.

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    Name: Santos Futebol Clube
    Nickname: Peixe, Santastico, Alvinegro Praiano
    Founded: 1912
    Stadium: Santos Stadium, 36,400 (all-seater) capacity
    Status: Professional

    From Wikipedia:
    Santos Futebol Clube is a Brazilian professional football club based in Santos, São Paulo. They play in the Campeonato Paulista and the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, the highest professional leagues in São Paulo state and Brazil, respectively. It is also notable for having featured Pelé as its main player between 1956 and 1974.
    So here I am in Sao Paulo, ready for a fresh start. Santos won the Brasileiro last year, and have been very successful domestically in recent years, but haven't won the Copa Libertadores in 10 years. This might be explained by the fact that the Brazilian top flight is ranked below the Argentinian, Chilean, Paraguayan and Ecuadorian leagues now, and even below the Argentinian domestic cup competition. I may well have to try to raise the profile of Brazilian domestic football as a whole during my time here.

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    Good luck young Padawan, you are now Batman.

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    Good luck in Brazil.

    Quality read

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    Nice career move mate .

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    SnakeXe's Career - Season 15 Preview - Santos


    Board Expectations:
    Campeonato Petrobras Brasileiro da Serie A - Challenge for the title (Predicted 2nd out of 20)
    Campeonato Paulista Serie A1 - Final
    Copa Libertadores - Semi-final


    My Expectations:
    Campeonato Petrobras Brasileiro da Serie A - Challenging for the title sounds challenging enough
    Campeonato Paulista Serie A1 - The Sao Paulo state championship is one of the harder ones to win, I'll settle for not going out to anyone worse than us

    Copa Libertadores - Semi-final sounds like a fair aim to me

    Budgets:
    Transfer: £4,010,000 (£4,010,000 remaining)
    Wages: £593,080/week (£502,930/week currently)
    Balance: £12,772,810 (First season at club)

    Squad:
    Surprisingly Neymar is still at the club and never left. He's smashed all sorts of goalscoring records of course. What's immediately obvious is the squad lacks wingers. I'll need to do some retraining or purchasing to sort that out.

    Key Men:
    Goalkeeper/Defence

    Juan Manuel Martinez - DC - A physical beast at the back.
    Cris - DRC/DM - Looks a great fullback, will need to train him at wingback as well.


    Midfield
    China
    - DM/MC - Should work nicely as the pitbull midfielder in my 3-3-1-3.

    Strikers
    Neymar
    - AMLC/ST - Definitely getting on, but his skill and mental strength will be helpful.
    Last edited by SnakeXe; 08-01-2012 at 14:21.

  76. #676
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    Quality and unexpected turn. Also a very good read

    Hope you have success in Brazil!

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    A fantastic read, you're a great writer

    Best of luck in Brazil. It's a tough challenge when they expect this much. Will be interesting to see if you (have to) disobey your principles if results go against you.

  78. #678
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    Great stuff. Good luck in Brazil. It's very surprising that the league has declined so much. Presents a good challenge.

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    Certainly an interesting read Good luck in raising the profile of Brazilian domestic football, don't know a huge amount about the South American football scene but seems odd they have slipped that low.

  80. #680
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    Interesting move to Brazil; looks like you're really going to embrace the South American football mentality and lifestyle

    I wouldn't let Neymar anywhere near your own penalty area though. Positioning 1, Tackling 2, Marking 2, Jumping 4; that's got disaster written all over it!

  81. #681
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    Thanks everyone!

    Once the transfer window is closed I'll do a little rundown of how I've tried to replicate Bielsa's system in the FM tactics interface, along with the players I have in each role.

  82. #682
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    Clearly the Santos board like me - I just had what might be the single most productive meeting with them ever! I got the youth facilities upgraded, junior coaching budget increased, AND the stadium expanded.

    Me

  83. #683
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    Tactics

    Look away now if you don't care about false nines or liberos...



    This is my shape I've started with. I'm hoping the combination of wingbacks with attack duty and the ball winning midfielder with defensive duty should bring that band into a line of three. The wingers should hopefully play very high up the pitch, leaving a big space for the wingbacks to move into, as well as room for the playmaker to operate. Obviously a couple of my players aren't comfortable in their positions yet, but hopefully they will be soon enough.



    Not changed too much, kept the system fluid to really encourage players to get forward and interchange, with pressing increased which is a tennet of the Bielsista philosophy I'm persuing.

    G(D) - Rafael - Not much to say, just a decent keeper.
    CD(C) - Diogo - Was my original pick for ball-playing defender but shifted out to a covering role after the signing of Latorre. I'd like him to be faster but hopefully his positioning should mitigate that.
    CD(X) - Martinez - With Diogo and Latorre lacking aerial prowess, Martinez is crucial for defending and attacking set pieces.
    BPD(D) - Latorre - A bargain at £150k, his great on-the-ball stats should help us build from the back.
    WB(A)R - Cris - A fantastic player for us, he should be perfect once he's learned the position.
    WB(A)L - Sergio - Good enough, but probably lacking a bit of stamina. He'll do for now.
    BWM(D) - China - One of our best players, his great tackling and stamina are excellent for this role.
    IF(A) - Neymar - Slightly lacking in pace now but his skills should still make him dangerous.
    W(A) - Nadal - More of a striker than a winger but that's okay, as the front man needs a fair bit of support in this system.
    AP(S) - Viale - Could do with more creativity and agility, but that passing stat should see a good return of assists.
    AF(A) - Alex - Ideally he'd have a bit more strength and be a better passer, but what he has should be enough.

  84. #684
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    You eat boards for breakfast clearly.

  85. #685
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    Like the formation. Definately suits the Brazilian style .

  86. #686
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    Just catching up on the recent activity in this thread SnakeXe! Awesome stuff!

    Can't wait to hear more about this new adventure! Very interesting tactical ideas. Let's see how they work in your new job!

    Good luck and keep up the great content!

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    Interesting tactics wise! Who you planning on being your 'Busquets' should you need to move someone from CB to DMC/CM depending on the opposition formation and the number of strikers they use?

    Hopefully you bring success to Santos!

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    Bit of cheating going on: Having one of the biggest countries in the World in your CM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    You eat boards for breakfast clearly.
    With added fibre

    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Like the formation. Definately suits the Brazilian style .
    Cheers! I've had to nudge it about a bit, as you'll see in the next tactical update, but it's working okay.

    Quote Originally Posted by crouchaldinho View Post
    Just catching up on the recent activity in this thread SnakeXe! Awesome stuff!

    Can't wait to hear more about this new adventure! Very interesting tactical ideas. Let's see how they work in your new job!

    Good luck and keep up the great content!
    Cheers crouchy

    Quote Originally Posted by TWalsh View Post
    Interesting tactics wise! Who you planning on being your 'Busquets' should you need to move someone from CB to DMC/CM depending on the opposition formation and the number of strikers they use?

    Hopefully you bring success to Santos!
    Diogo can play in DMC, and I'm retraining Latorre in MC so I have two options depending on the opposition.

    Quote Originally Posted by HotChocolate View Post
    Bit of cheating going on: Having one of the biggest countries in the World in your CM.
    Damn, I didn't think anyone else would spot my sneaky 3-billion-3-3 system!

  90. #690
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    It will be interesting to see how R Nadal adjusts to a new sport

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    Season 15: Halfway House Update

    The long Brazilian domestic season begins with the state championships. Santos compete in the Sao Paulo or Paulista championship, which has many big Brazilian sides competing in it, including Palmeiras and Corinthians. Since the pre-season friendlies had been played by the time I'd arrived and got an assistant in place I didn't have much time to get the players up to speed with the new tactics.

    Fortunately that didn't seem to matter as we swept Ponte Preta aside 4-0 in the first game, but Sao Paulo were a different proposition, holding us to a 2-2 draw. We disappointingly drew 3 more of the next 4, the one against Palmeiras not so bad, but the pair against Mirassol and Bragantino were quite pathetic. Finding a bit of form, we took 5 in a row, before another pair of draws cut us back again - although one was against a Corinthians side who had won every other match, so I could forgive the players that one.

    A run of 5 more wins saw us into the top 4 for the first time, and handily any result in our last match against Guarani would keep us there. They luckily came away from a non-stop barrage with a 0-0 draw meaning we finished the group stage unbeaten, although disappointingly far back in 4th place.

    The knockout stages went much the same - Guarani were once again our opponents in the quarter-final, and somehow got a 2-2 draw despite another relentless onslaught. Fortunately justice was done on penalties, and we went through to face Palmeiras. We finally got a win against one of the bigger Paulista sides in the semi-final, a 1-0 again not much to show for our domination, to set up a showdown with Corinthians.

    Despite taking the lead in the home leg the tie appeared to be slipping away from us as Corinthians went 3-1 up at half time. A rocket up the collective back-passages of the side got us a 3-3 draw by full time, and we could even have won it. Fortunately away goals aren't worth anything in this competition. Again in the second leg we were quite poor, going a goal down twice, with the second equaliser from Neymar coming with seconds remaining. A 7-kick-a-piece penalty shootout went our way, Argentine fullback Sanchez netting the winner for my first trophy in South America!

    In the Copa Libertadores we had an okay draw for the group stage, two Chilean sides in Universidad de Chile and Universidad Catolica, with Venezuelan minnows Mineros de Guayana completing the foursome. Wins over Mineros and Chile got us off to a good start, but Catolica decided they didn't like our faces and took 4 thoroughly undeserved points from us. They faltered against the two weaker sides though, meaning our achieving a double over the pair was enough for the group win.

    Due to the way the next round is drawn, we were paired right back up with Universidad Catolica, and I had a few ideas of how to beat them. Those ideas seemed to work, and we won 4-2 away and 4-3 at home to book our spot in the quarter-final where we will face the mighty Boca Juniors.

    The Good
    • Winning the Paulista unbeaten
    • Progression in the Libertadores is steady
    • When the goals flow, they really flow
    The Bad
    • Only one win against any opposition better than decent
    • Poor draws against terrible sides
    • Ferreira (9 goals in 12 starts) was agreed to be sold before I joined for barely any money - we'll miss him

    Results - Paulista League Table/Knockout Rounds - Squad

  92. #692
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    Quote Originally Posted by roganp View Post
    It will be interesting to see how R Nadal adjusts to a new sport
    Pretty well as it turns out! Leading assist maker so far.

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    He still serves well then.

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    Tactics Update

    Time to look away, Neil Warnock...

    I got most things right with my initial approach, however a few things have changed. First of all I've tweaked a couple of things in my main 3-3-1-3 system:



    The eagle-eyed amongst you will note that the enganche has moved back to the MC position from his original AMC spot, and has swapped his support duty with the striker's attack duty, who is a deep-lying forward now. The ball-winning midfielder has similarly moved back a notch to DMC and gone up from a defending duty to support. I found this setup gave better balance whilst retaining the un enganche y tres puntas maxim.

    I also have two alternate shapes now rather than the one I originally intended. First, the 4-2-3-1:



    I haven't used this much so I'm not sure how happy I am with it yet. It seems to work okay whilst still keeping to principles. The other is a 3-4-1-2:



    This is a system I really like. I developed this in response to the prevalence of 4-2-2-2 "magic box" systems in Brazil. Some of our early draws against rubbish teams was down to a failure to break them down, something this system achieves with much greater regularity. Essentially the triangle of tres puntas has rotated and shrunk, with the enganche playing much deeper. I'm not sure if you'd call it Bielsista per se but it's a relatively small development of his overall philosophy, so I'm happy with it.

    I've kept the team instructions mostly the same, and only added Sanchez at left back in terms of personnel.

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    Good season though mate. Done well to remain the season unbeaten .

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    He still serves well then.
    Just as well I gave his agent a backhander then...

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Good season though mate. Done well to remain the season unbeaten .
    Cheers, doubt I'll manage the Brasileiro unbeaten but fingers crossed!

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    Solid start, winning the State Championship, and only one defeat too. I think you've got your 3-3-1-3 pretty close to how Bielsa's Chile side lined up at the 2010 World Cup; three banks of three, with the playmaker floating around the middle of the park

    Good luck for the rest of the long Brazilian season

  99. #699
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    I may or my not have helped you with tactics?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK22 View Post
    Solid start, winning the State Championship, and only one defeat too. I think you've got your 3-3-1-3 pretty close to how Bielsa's Chile side lined up at the 2010 World Cup; three banks of three, with the playmaker floating around the middle of the park

    Good luck for the rest of the long Brazilian season
    Cheers

    It's an absolute marathon isn't it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Flamers View Post
    I may or my not have helped you with tactics?
    In the end, no. It was a good suggestion though, thanks.

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