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Thread: Getting Müllered Around the World

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    Default Getting Müllered Around the World

    I am commencing on a (hopefully) epic tour of the world, on the basis that I've never really played outside of the UK and over ten years down the line, it seems a good time to start! I intend to load every league in the world, hit continue, and see where life takes me. Rather than spending years at a club, as I usually do, I will be looking out for new opportunities, and if a new club makes me an offer, sparing a miracle, I will be moving on until I reach stardom. Or Staines Town.

    Some credit should go to those whose threads I've enjoyed in this forum, particularly hrbfcrule‎, Makoto Nakamura‎ and dafuge, which inspired me to give it a shot myself. Also worthy of mention is iacovone, whose 'fork' career convinced me that failure was no barrier to an enjoyable career thread

    I am adopting the identity of an FM11 legend, Fabian Müller, on the basis that he should inspire me to similar levels of greatness. Theoretically, at least. If the name seems familiar, you probably saw his goal of the season here.

    I might not be able to update the thread too prolifically, as I'm attempting to get a degree somewhere between the gaming (hence getting FM12 in February!), but hopefully it will still be a bit of fun

    So, where have I started off?



    Correct! It's NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac. Manchester United and Barcelona were interested in opening talks, but I was keen to get started as soon as possible and the vacancy in the Croatian Second Division seemed a perfect opportunity. I've wanted to brush up on my Croatian for a while.

    I stood atop the grandstand and surveyed my new home. Then I fell through the grandstand.



    What could possibly go wrong?
    Last edited by snootyjim; 17-05-2012 at 22:33.

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    So, a brief summary.

    The Good:

    Team - My assistant manager is an optimist. He has, however, just been sacked, so he's probably changed his mind.
    Club Info - The media are optimists.
    Finances - We've got some cash

    The Bad

    Facilities - Unsurprisingly terrible.
    News - I just spent all our money sacking all the staff.

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    Nice OP. Good luck!

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    Was that a heart I saw in the crest? unusual.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Was that a heart I saw in the crest? unusual.
    It's a loveable club.

    Good luck, from my experience at that level Dragovoljac is a decent club with the potential to go up, so no wonder it's ranked 3rd by the media. You might also find that the croatian 2nd division is a little more competitive than you may think, the ability of the players there surprised me. It's still pretty bad in the grand scheme of things though, it's not exactly Real Madrid vs Barcelona - perhaps about League 1 standard?

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    Good luck with this mate, I'll be following.

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    Good luck mate. Should be in interesting read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noikeee View Post
    It's a loveable club.

    Good luck, from my experience at that level Dragovoljac is a decent club with the potential to go up, so no wonder it's ranked 3rd by the media. You might also find that the croatian 2nd division is a little more competitive than you may think, the ability of the players there surprised me. It's still pretty bad in the grand scheme of things though, it's not exactly Real Madrid vs Barcelona - perhaps about League 1 standard?
    Could be very interesting - already outstripping salary limit when I arrived so it's going to take a while to cut the squad down to size and then start rebuilding from there. I've seen a lot of good players I could pick up for free, but until I've shifted more of the main squad I simply can't afford their wages. I'm certainly not expecting instant success

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    I also just found this guy in the under 18 squad, who I'm very impressed by:

    Eduard Husinec

    He's a centre-back, Only 18, with a full 5-star recommendation and his best ratings in heading, marking, tackling, decisions, positioning, workrate, acceleration, jumping and pace. Strength is a bit rubbish, but he looks like a great player. Already my best centre-back and one of the best players at the club. As long as I can scrape enough money together to tie him down to a long-term contract before the season's out...

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    Definitely a great inheritance.

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    How come you spent all your money sacking staff? Was it not worth keeping them on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackJCFC View Post
    How come you spent all your money sacking staff? Was it not worth keeping them on?
    No, they were all terrible. The physio had less than 10 for physiotherapy, the scout had less than 5 for JA and JP, none of the coaches had over 10 in any kind of coaching. And furthermore, we had 8 coaches if I remember correctly - the board recommended a maximum of 2. I couldn't have paid their wages even if I had wanted to.

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    On the plus side, we've had a very consistent start to the season.



    I have, however, managed to get Husinec signed up for another 4 years which I'm very happy about.
    Last edited by snootyjim; 23-02-2012 at 03:37.

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    With the club nearly £900k in debt, with income of approx £10k per month, and the league form collapsing, I have decided to resign from my position. My only hope was to get the club promoted and hope that the money coming in increased dramatically, but promotion seemed very unlikely from the position I was in. With the squad absolutely threadbare, injuries and a slew of red cards really hurt my form after the winter break, and with us 10% over the wage budget and relying largely on loan players I brought in, things looked very bleak. Goodbye Croatia, and thanks for all the language lessons.

    League Table - Our defence was excellent, but we relied far too much on Vuka up front who had an absolute nightmare after the winter break. Played badly, got himself sent off for hacking down an opponent needlessly, and was even worse after his return.

    Squad - Brucic was excellent, by far the best player we had, but he was destined for much greater things in his future. Husinec was a little disappointing, but I'll be keeping an eye on him - I still have high hopes. I was playing a Brazilian 4-2-2-2 system to take advantage of the excellent DMs, Spehar and Janjetovic, but after Christmas they just both got sent off a lot.

    I'll be sending a few applications in, and we'll see what happens.
    Last edited by snootyjim; 23-02-2012 at 22:45.

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    And I'm back in the game


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    Good luck in Wales.

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    Good luck with Port Talbot mate.

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    Season 1 Review - 2011/2012


    NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac

    A frankly disappointing few months, in all honesty. Finances were terrible, squad was appalling and the board gave me no opportunity to improve it, limiting me to loan signings, of which only one was actually good enough to improve the first XI. I thought I might've been able to get promotion, and our early season form was phenomenal. The Brazilian 4-2-2-2 formation was a massive gamble, but it really paid off. However, we relied far too much on Vuka up front, and once he lost form so did the entire team. The post-Christmas performances were horrendous, and short of a takeover the club was heading for administration. It seemed a good time to jump ship.

    Port Talbot
    Overview

    On 5th May 2012, Port Talbot escaped relegation by 3 points with a lucky win on the last day of the season against the bottom-placed team. The manager was duly sacked 2 days later, and I was appointed manager on 12th May. With little to do but reshape the squad, I did exactly that.

    Thankfully, this time, the club was not already exceeding its wage budget, and nearly all of the players were on short-term contracts expiring in 2 months' time, so many of them were let go to make room for new signings. I was able to bring in around 40 players, and let go of around 20. With many of the released players on up to £300 p/w, and a self-imposed salary cap of £100 p/w, plus a few non-contract signings, the salaries were cut in half. The board rewarded me by cutting the budget in half, which was thoughtful of them.

    I was particularly pleased with the capture of the young centre-back Laurence Gaughan, who has featured in my last two FM games, and was my top scorer in my first season in FM11 with Arbroath!

    Squad

    Squad Overview - A young bunch overall, apart from the assistant manager down there at the bottom!

    Max Noble - My best player, and an excellent winger even if he can't cross for toffee. He'll be the anti-Beckham.

    Jordan Burrow - Nothing mind-blowing, but decent finishing and composure should bode well.

    Kye Edwards - Not to be confused with the other centreback, Kai Edwards, this is the sole survivor from the previous squad. You can tell by his monstrous £130 p/w salary.

    Laurence Gaughan - He might be one of three apparently equal centrebacks in the squad, but his heading and jumping is terrific for this level, and combined with good scores in bravery, strength and tackling, he's an ideal centreback. I have high hopes, as usual.

    Season Targets

    With last year's league winners Neath offering a typical salary of £500 p/w, it's clear that we're going to struggle. Veteran striker, and Swansea legend, Lee Trundle, is paid £2,900 p/w and is apparently twice the player of Jordan Burrow. He's also nearly twice the age, but the scout reported omitted that fact.

    The media have predicted 11th place, but I'm aiming for top 6. You never know. Beyond that, I'm just going to see how things go, although I'm hoping to pull the club back into the black. Last season they made a loss of £135k, but I've cut around £70k from the wage budget, so if we can do a bit better in the cups we might be able to get back on the straight and narrow.

    Friendlies

    Results - Rather delighted with the third match, but not too much else to shout about. A lot of youth players were involved with these games though, so I'll have to wait until the season proper to really get a feel of how competitive we'll be.

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    And it looks like Husinec was indeed destined for greater things. Hoping I can sign him at some point in the future, but I don't think Port Talbot will be the club to do so.

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    And the fans are really flocking to the games now

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    16! Nice. Good on the results front.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    16! Nice. Good on the results front.
    Thanks.

    It's been a very odd season this - we started unbelievably well, and not just against Neath. Since then though, players have being flying in and out of the doors so quickly and I suspect that's why we've struggled to really get any kind of consistency. Nonetheless, I think we're still on target for a top-six finish.

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    Season 2 Review - 2012/2013


    Port Talbot's targets at the beginning of the season were to narrowly escape relegation, and nothing more. I hoped for a bit better though, and set a target of top six. The cups weren't a big concern, so I wasn't worried about them. We began in fine fashion, beating last year's winners Neath 4-0 away from home. By the time I'd finished making new signings, their wage bill was approximately 8 times higher than mine, so I was very pleased with the result. I thought we might run away with the league after winning the first three games without letting in a single goal, but our form collapsed and we drew three games and lost the next one, leaving us in a decidedly average position in the table.

    I have a feeling that it was largely to do with the quantity of players I was signing. As more players arrived, better ones appeared, to the point that my best central defender, Laurence Gaughan, wound up free transferred as my worst. Each new player lacked match fitness, and the squad couldn't really gain any momentum. By Christmas, however, I had reached the limit of our wage budget and brought in all the players that I wanted. From January onwards, we lost just two games and drew only one, leaving us champions by a margin of 14 points. And in other news, we won the League Cup and the Welsh Cup to complete a Treble.

    League Table - Fixtures

    Loosemores League Cup - A fairly easy cup run in the end, not too much challenge.

    Welsh Cup - Wrexham presented the biggest challenge of the season, as I knew I could easily beat all the teams in the Welsh League, and they did give us a run for our money but we took control in the second half, and from there onwards I was very confident. A terrible performance in the final nearly saw us lose it, but central midfielder Mark Duggan scored in the 92nd minute to take the game into injury time and from there onwards there was little doubt.

    Squad Overview - With an average age of 20, we're not done yet. The overall quality has improved phenomenally since the beginning of the season, and should only improve. The only players that have asked to leave are the result of me not playing them, so it bodes well for the future.

    Finances - Could have been a disaster, but by slashing the wage budget and winning just over £40k in prize money at the end of the season, I managed to make a tiny profit. Champions League income will be vital next season.

    Key Players

    Nathan Fisher - By far the standout player, scoring 27 goals in all competitions and getting an average of 7.47. Ironically only my 3rd best striker in the assistant manager's eyes, but he's really proving a point.

    Aristote Nsiala - Great name, great player. Rock solid in the centre of defence.

    Vances Bola - My 4th best striker according the assistant manager. Played exceptionally well up front with Fisher, bagging himself 15 goals in the process.

    Joe Walsh - Had a good season on loan at Port Talbot before I joined, so when he became available on a free I jumped at the chance. He didn't disappoint.

    Jamie Strong - The appropriately named centre-back formed an excellent partnership with Nsiala after Christmas.

    Next Season

    Not a clue. I could stay at Port Talbot, but I don't think the league will be much of a challenge. The Champions League will obviously be a challenge, but I doubt we'll get very far - and even if we do, it'll just mean some money in the bank and the opportunity to make a poor imitation of Dafuge's excellent Bourneview side. That tempts me to move on elsewhere, with more of a challenge nationally, but none of the vacancies listed have inspired me. Answers on a postcard

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    I've decided to take up an opportunity in Indonesia, at Persijap in the Super League. No idea what I'm doing, but it should be a bit of an adventure!

    The wage budget has leaped up from approximately £2k p/w to £9k p/w, but the club is in a very precarious position financially. On the plus side, the board aren't assessing my performance in the league so I'm not under too much pressure at the moment.

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    No danger of you putting down roots, huh? I'd have found the chance to play in the Champions League impossible to walk away from, but good luck on the other side of the world!

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    Quote Originally Posted by withnail316 View Post
    No danger of you putting down roots, huh? I'd have found the chance to play in the Champions League impossible to walk away from, but good luck on the other side of the world!
    Thanks!

    It was very tempting, I have to admit. I was just a bit disappointed with the quality of the league opposition, and didn't fancy playing a season where I walked the league and the only challenge was seeing how many rounds of the CL I could progress through before I got absolutely hammered by somebody. It could have been an entire season with just two or three interesting matches. Besides, Wales isn't something phenomenally different, given my familiarity with managing in Scotland and England.

    Indonesia however, that's a totally different situation. If I can get into the Asian Champions League I would be delighted, never competed in it in FM before.

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    You did a great job in Wales. Indonesia will be lucky to have you! Although, Indonesia confuses me somewhat, as the majority of teams begin with a 'P'!

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    Someone explained that a while back but can't remember what that was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK22 View Post
    You did a great job in Wales. Indonesia will be lucky to have you! Although, Indonesia confuses me somewhat, as the majority of teams begin with a 'P'!
    Thanks! And yes, it's unbelievably confusing... here's the Indonesian Super League (and a sneak preview of my season!)


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    Always nice to be recognised

    And a nice compliment dropped in there as well!


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    Season 3 Review - 2013/2014


    Persijap expected me to attain a safe mid-table position in the Super League, and a respectable league position in the Cup (I take this to mean that the board are collectively insane). I wasn't sure what to expect, especially since there's a bug that means I can register only one foreign player, whilst the other teams in the league can have as many as they want. Given that most of the talent in the league is South American, that makes things a little tricky. As soon as I joined, I had to let 3 of my best players leave as I was unable to register them, and replacing them was incredibly difficult, with a real lack of homegrown Indonesian talent.

    The squad was also very threadbare, with barely any wingers or full backs. I decided to go with a 4-1-2-1-2 formation, to take advantage of the quality I had in the centre, and signed a few full backs to make the new formation work. As the league screenshot earlier shows, we started exceptionally well, and despite having a very poor squad compared to the rest of the league, we managed to remain in 1st or 2nd place for the vast majority of the season. My star signing, Kim Jeffrey Kurniawan made the AM position his own, and the young Yandi Munawar came on leaps and bounds from his previous season at Persijap, bagging 15 goals in the league, and making his international debut, scoring 3 goals in 3 games. The pair of them were absolutely vital to my success, and thankfully neither of them received any serious injuries. However, the lack of quality beyond the 1st XI caused us real problems, and by January nearly all of my attacking players were incredibly jaded. I gave them what rest I could, but their performances in the latter half of the season were nowhere as good as those in the first half. Owing to a tight wage budget, and the foreigner restrictions, I was unable to reinforce in the January transfer window, so we were stuck with what we had.

    Regrettably, the late collapse of form saw a massive drop of morale and from there it looked pretty hopeless. I played a weakened team in the Cup to help our league ambitions, and whilst getting knocked out gave our first XI a well-needed breather during mid-week, it wasn't enough. A couple of team meetings rejuvenated the squad, but almost straight away we dropped back into a quagmire of pessimism.

    It just wasn't to be, and we finished 5th in the league. A very respectable position, no doubt, with the second fewest goals conceded, and more goals scored than the eventual winners. Our prediction was 11th, and our record highest finish was 7th, so I should be pleased, but I really feel that first place was within our grasp.

    League Table - Results

    Indonesian Cup - We were doing well, and could probably have won it, but it was far too much for my team to take in addition to the league so I played a weakened squad against Persikota - I thought we might have turned it around in the home fixture but there was no spark of quality in the line-up, and overall a fair result on aggregate.

    Squad Overview - It doesn't take a genius to spot the problem here. We have a small group of excellent players, and they were absolutely the ones who dragged us through the season - almost every game, one of them would come up with the goods. Beyond them however, the team is terrible. People like Muhaimin at the bottom of the picture really are not good enough, and the fact that he played 17 times for us just proves how desperate we've been for some good quality. Also, the wages are very imbalanced, with Noor Hadi and Abdul Latif Hasyim at the bottom on some of the highest salaries, and barely playing.

    Rudi Keltjes is an interesting prospect, by far the best of the youth candidates that appeared late on in the season, but owing to league rules I was unable to play him - very frustrating.

    Finances - The board invested around £800k in the club this year, and combined with the £140k we got for our league position the club is in the black for the first time ever. I don't know how much longer we can sustain this, but if I don't try to improve the squad we've got not hope of challenging for the league.

    Key Players

    Yasir Syamsuddin - Reliable keeper who has received some rather unfair low ratings over the course of the season. You need a good man between the sticks to keep such a low number of goals conceded and I've been very pleased with him.

    Yandi Munawar - Delighted with this guy. Inherited from the previous manager, his last season was very average and I wasn't sure about him - he has come on leaps and bounds though and is easily my best player at the moment. High hopes for him.

    Kim Jeffrey Kurniawan - One of my first signings, a perfect fit for the AM position. He's not quite reached the heights I hoped he would, but hopefully after he's settled in next season should be a good year for him.

    Edson Baiano - The only foreign player I retained, purely because his contract ran until the end of this season. He has been very good, a powerful DM with an excellent shot, but I've let his contract run down and he'll be leaving this Summer. His wage requests are huge, and he's occupying an incredibly valuable foreign player slot. I really hope this move doesn't backfire!

    Alex Fauzi - A young centre-back who my assistant manager is raving about - he's improved from week to week and will only get better from here onwards. High hopes for this lad.

    Next Season

    I will be staying at Persijap for the time being - I've enjoyed my time here and I'm optimistic that I can improve the squad and qualify for the Champions' League next season. Of course though, this is all dependent on the financial situation. We've gone into the black for the first time, but only because of money invested by the board. If the board decides to cut the wage budget, I will probably resign as I just don't see how I can improve the squad dramatically without an adequate budget to spend on new signings - the squad is already too small, and further cuts would make the situation untenable.

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    More than decent season. Shame you couldn't keep your good form going, otherwise you'd more than likely ended up as champions!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK22 View Post
    More than decent season. Shame you couldn't keep your good form going, otherwise you'd more than likely ended up as champions!
    Yeah, it's a little disappointing but I'm hoping we can make up for it this season. We've started very well, but I've just received some pretty bad news:


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    Thats a bad injury.

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    Well, apparently some people just considered that injury an opportunity. Thus far, Keltjes has exceeded all my expectations.


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    Great reaction from the team.

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    You got some solid players with your club. Kurniawan has good potential (and I think he's good enough to play abroad, like in one of my FM12 saves, as most of the Indonesian national team play football in Indonesia).

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Great reaction from the team.
    They really did a lot of battling - I even had to use some grey players at one point. Thankfully, we pulled some fantastic results out of the bag. Again though, I think I'm suffering from late-season blues... I suspect that the size of the squad is always going to cause issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by rancer890 View Post
    You got some solid players with your club. Kurniawan has good potential (and I think he's good enough to play abroad, like in one of my FM12 saves, as most of the Indonesian national team play football in Indonesia).
    Yeah, I have a few great players and I'm looking forward to seeing how their careers pan out. I know you're something of an expert on FM in Asia, but this is all still a bit alien to me. Mind you, it's not dramatically different in terms of gameplay to European football - the only things getting me are that the budgets are incredibly low, given the wages that the players expect. And the foreign players bug is incredibly frustrating - there should be far more Indonesians playing in the league but instead we're just loaded with South Americans, none of whom I can sign. Nonetheless, it's a good challenge.

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    I regret to say that my experience with Persijap has come to an end. We were knocked out of the Indonesian Cup, courtesy of an away goal scored in the 120th minute of the game (yes, really), by a team far inferior to Persijap. The board were on my back about the appalling league performances, and I was fed up with the team's ineptitude. I'll go into more detail in the full season review, but it was utterly bizarre.

    So, onto Italy with Teramo Calcio.



    They are presently 14th in Serie C2/A, and just one point from the relegation zone. I have 5 games to save them. Game on

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    Right in the thick of a battle then.

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    Season 4 Review - 2014/2015


    Persijap

    Where did it all go wrong? I'm still not really sure. It was a similar story to the first season - we began in terrific fashion, destroying the rest of the league and sitting 6 points clear at the top of the table. Then, a bizarre situation arose. 6 of my best players were called up to the Indonesian national team, and stayed there for over a month even though no matches were being played. I didn't have enough players to fill my bench sometimes, and even wound up using grey players.

    Bizarrely though, the team was excellent. For that period, we won 6 games, drew 2, and lost one. Once the international players arrived back, fresh from their 3 week rest, we were useless. We lost two games in a row, then drew. Jhon van Beukering, my best striker in Munawar's absence, managed to go 28 hours without scoring.

    Talking of Munawar, remember his 3 month injury? Well, it actually took him out of the equation for well over 4 months. With him having the highest average rating in the team, it's no surprise that it hurt my scoring abilities.

    I'm still not 100% sure what the cause of the collapse in form was, but I suspect it's related to the small squad. There's no pressure on the players to perform - when they play badly, I can scarcely drop them. Furthermore, they suffer from jadedness pretty badly by the end. After I left, the new manager brought some excellent form out of them, so I know I've built a good squad but they just don't have anything like the mental fortitude needed to actually hold it together.

    I was tempted to stay and try to crack the Champions League, but I thought it was best to call it a day. The financial situation was still horrific, the squad was far too small and there was no hope of increasing its size. Furthermore, the bugs were really beginning to frustrate me. The other teams were strengthening with foreign players they shouldn't have had, mine spent 3 weeks on international duty when no matches were being played, and it felt as though nearly every club was slowly going bankrupt. Going back to a league which wasn't suffering from these bugs seemed like a no-brainer when it became increasingly frustrating. Ultimately it was a bit of a rage-quit, but I don't regret it - I'd promised the board 1st place, and there was no hope of achieving it. What else could I do?

    I'm still very interested in the careers of Munawar, Keltjes, Fauzi and Kurniawan as I think they're excellent players with big futures, but sadly I'll have to follow them from a distance now.

    Teramo

    Out of the frying pan, into the fire. Teramo are in a terrible state. When I arrived, they were one point from the relegation spots with five games remaining. They had no staff other than one scout and one physio, were over £350k in debt, and around 50% over their wage budget.

    I am unable to meet the wage requirements of a single member of staff (all of them want more than the board will let me offer), so I was stuck with the one scout and one physio. The squad were deflated, and the form of most of the players was appalling, some with an average of around 6.1. So, what happened?

    In the first game, we had a crucial match against the bottom-placed team Cosenza. My squad were really up for it after a bit of pre-match encouragement, and we completely outplayed them, restricting them to just one shot on target. An easy 2-0 victory secured us a 4 point lead over the relegation places. Our next game saw us play 3rd placed Messina, and the media had us down for a thrashing. We had some great chances, but ultimately lost the game 1-0. I was pleased with the performance though, and the players were apparently equally pleased. Of course though, good performances mean little at the end of the season. Our next game, away against AlzanoCene would be crucial - they sat in the playoff places, and again we were down for a thrashing. Thankfully, the players built on their previous match, and responded in style. Again, we turned in an excellent performance, but this time we got the goals as well, beating them 3-0. From this point, it was obvious that we would be safe. The 6 points gained had brought us into the clear, and despite losing the next two games were still sat 2 points clear of relegation playoffs.

    League Table

    Finances - We've lost a lot of money this season, but if I can slash the wage costs you never know - we might just rebuild our finances.

    Next Season

    It may not have been scintillating stuff for the last 5 games, but it was exactly what was required. We're still in the league, and next season we can revamp and rebuild.

    It certainly won't be easy though. We need to cut salaries drastically, I can't sign any staff at the moment (so I have no idea of any player's potential), and the club is heavily in debt. I've managed to get a player/assistant manager, since I have more flexibility with players' wages, but he won't arrive until the end of his previous contract in the summer, and until he arrives it's going to be difficult to know exactly where I stand. Thankfully I have one scout, so I can start looking for new players but it'll be a very slow process.

    Should I have stayed at Port Talbot? Probably, but it's been an interesting experience that I wouldn't have had there. And you never know, I might be able to turn things around at Teramo.
    Last edited by snootyjim; 10-03-2012 at 00:25.

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    Well, this could be a very short stay indeed.


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    Maybe not, it isn't suggesting an alternate manager.

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    Well, I kept my job, but no investment sadly

    I've been linked to three jobs already though - Oldham, Hereford and Stuttgarter K. in the German Third Division, so my stay may be curtailed anyway.

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    Season 5 Review - 2015/2016


    Having saved Teramo from relegation, the board asked me to get a safe mid-table position in this new season. We started off very poorly, failing to win until the fourth game of the season, and it looked as though it might be a very long struggle against relegation. I'm not quite sure why, but this league seems to have very high salary expectations - I can't get anybody signed up for less than £325 p/w, and £400 is a typical expectation. For a team in such dire financial straits as Teramo, that really isn't sustainable, and I've been losing money hand over fist. I'm also unable to sign any staff members whatsoever. I have one physio, one scout, one player/assistant manager, and the physio and scout are refusing to sign new contracts. There is not one member of staff that will agree to sign for me, even scouts with obscure reputations and JPA and JPP of about 3 will demand £350, and walk away when I offer the maximum wage permitted of £325. Unless the board sort it out soon, I might be forced to walk - I can't do my job without a single scout.

    Things picked up a bit though, and whilst we never blitzed the league, by the end of the season we were just outside the play-off places. Disappointingly, we drew our final two games, finishing just four points away from the final play-off position. We still wouldn't have made it, as our goal difference wasn't particularly impressive, but it's food for thought. Even so, had we reached it, it would've been a travesty - it was completely undeserved, and I'm utterly gobsmacked that we did as well as we did. The squad is a real motley crew, but unlike Persijap, they were able to hold their nerve. Despite a very young average age (22), we didn't let our heads drop at any point and we were up and challenging for every game. I was particularly pleased to see that in our hardest games of the season we were really able to bunker down and keep things together. The eventual league winners, Taranto, scored 72 goals in 38 games, and the 2nd placed team, Perugia, scored 79 in 38. Unsurprisingly, they won all four games with us, but on each occasion we lost by just 1 goal and could easily have drawn the games if it weren't for late winners and freak goals. In terms of goals conceded, we were 2nd in the league, but were 13th in goals scored - you can see where our problems lie.

    We do have a good strike force though, with Brunetti and Noviello grabbing 29 league goals between them and an average rating of 7.09 and 7.38 respectively. The midfield has been the big disappointment, with none of the players really putting a marker down this season. The highest rated midfielder who played exclusively in midfield was Fabio Giordano with 6.90, who was signed as an assistant manager, not a player. Excellent. Vaccaro had the most assists from midfield, with a total of 5. So tyes, our target for next season has to be a better central midfield. I don't think I'm going to abandon the 4-1-2-1-2 just yet though, I've invested too much in it now unless some excellent wingers become available and I lose my DM and AM specialists.

    League Table - Results

    Serie C Cup - A great start that mislead me as to our true capabilities - the 1st round was close, and we were unlucky to lose on penalties, but the board were happy and it allowed us to concentrate on the league so no complaints there.

    Squad Overview - Just shows that you don't need great players to perform well. I've got better squad depth here at Teramo than I did at Perijap, but I'll need to let a lot of the big earners leave at the end of the season, so I could lose that valuable quality. Anything over about £500 p/w isn't really sustainable in my eyes, even if they're a star. Cannoni will probably be leaving, despite being one of only two 5-star potential players on the books. I was lucky enough to get Cappelletti on loan from my parent club, Palermo, but his contract expires at the end of the season so I'm not expecting to see him return next season. I'm very pessimistic.

    Finances - Yet another year aided by investment, I'm not sure how much longer this can continue. If I can't slash the wage budget sufficiently, another of my managerial experiences will be curtailed by finance.

    Key Players

    Daniel Pandolfo - Reliable keeper who has received some rather unfair low ratings over the course of the season (just like last season then). Luckily he's very young for a keeper, so things will only get better from here.

    Francesco Bellitta - It's great to have a defender who can play both left and right back, and Bellitta has done both jobs expertly. He's got bags of potential, but with a salary of £750 and conviction that he deserves a pay rise, this will be his last season with Teramo.

    Giorgio Novello - A striker who I wasn't utterly convinced about, Noviello was signed primarily because he agreed to join and I was desperate. He isn't great, allegedly one of the worst players in the squad, but performed fantastically. I may keep him next year, but again he has a big salary that might prove to be his downfall.

    Nicolo Brunetti - A youngster, only 18, who scored just 2 goals in this league last year with Gubbio and got an average rating of 6.48. I decided to give him another chance, and it really paid off, with him bagging 15 goals in the league. I desperately want to keep him, at 18 he's got a lot to give and he's signed up for another 4 years. With his salary though, he's another one with a big question mark over his head.

    Giorgio Gori - Exactly the kind of player I want at Teramo - a 23 year-old centre back with good attributes in all the right areas, a salary of £450 p/w, and Mr Reliable with 6.98 average rating over 42 appearances. So, naturally, he wants a massive pay rise and will be leaving in the summer.

    Next Season

    I signed a new contract in May, so I'm tied to Teramo for another 12 months. I'm keen to stay here, because I have been fleeing on a fairly routine basis so far in this career, but I really haven't settled at Teramo. The situation with the staff is a joke, the situation with the players' wages isn't much better, and the finances are going down the drain. I was linked with about 100 jobs (no exaggeration) as my contract ran down, so I have a decent reputation in the game, but nothing wonderful came up. Port Talbot are undergoing a takeover however, and the manager's contract is running down with no sign of him signing a new one... if it becomes available, I may just resign from Teramo and attempt to finish what I started. That's probably just a pipe dream though...
    Last edited by snootyjim; 17-03-2012 at 06:20.

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    Season 6 Review - 2016


    Teramo

    Well, that was a bit of a disaster. I had to get rid of my top players, failed to replace them with anyone particularly talented, and we played like a bunch of turtles who had never met. Still no employable staff. 5 games into the season, I resigned.

    Premature? Yes, absolutely. Teramo are presently just outside the play-off places without my help, and could scrape their way to promotion. I really wanted to stick at it, as I've jumped ship so many times now it's getting a bit silly, but I really wasn't enjoying myself there. The wage system is utterly bizarre - nobody will sign for less than £325 per week, and that's far more than I could afford to pay them. Part of what makes FM is building new squads, and Teramo just didn't give me that opportunity, much like Persijap. So I decided to take a bit of time over the next position, and ensure I joined a club a bit more suited to my interests.

    Umea FC

    After my resignation, I sent an application in to Umea FC in Sweden's First Division North, and before I'd even cleared my desk in Italy the chairman rang me up to offer me the job. Before he got a chance to see my CV, I quickly accepted and jumped in a plane.

    I suppose I had 7 games to save the club from relegation, but they were never going to be relegated, so it wasn't particularly excited. On the plus side, I had an opportunity to get a feel for how the team performs.

    We won the first three games with 7 scored, and 0 conceded, so I suppose we've got a solid defence and a potent attack. We then lost 5-1 and 4-1 in consecutive games, showing that we have an inept defence and an unreliable attack. We then won 5-2, showing that we have both an inept defence and a potent attack. I've settled on 'inconsistent'.

    So, by virtue of the different seasons, this was a very short one - 12 games in total. The Umea squad is being somewhat rebuilt at the moment, so it's hard to really analyse in too much detail what has happened. The league restricts me to only 3 non-homegrown players in each match squad, so I will definitely need to focus on the youth team and the players let go by the top sides, but how well that will go I'm not sure. On the plus side, we've just signed an affiliate agreement with Helsingsborgs so I may be able to attract some talent from there. A Henrik Larsson or two would go down nicely.

    League Table

    Squad Overview - A nice spread of players, with some extremely talented individuals. I've brought in two strikers in Skenderovic and Issah, who could go far, along with Rami Fredriksson in midfield and Hallenius in goal. Given the league restrictions, I think it's going to be hugely important to get some good youth players in who are homegrown.

    Finances - A club that isn't screwed financially! A bit of Swedish organisation is much appreciated compared to those crazy Italians

    Key Players

    Jeremy Smith - An American striker who has been at the club for 5 years now, he has always been a bit average and was having a very poor season when I joined. For me, up top, he has been spectacular though, hitting 7.4 average in his last 5 for the club. Expecting him to really push on next season.

    Muhamed Skenderovic - Let go by AIK, the Bosnian striker looks to be a great talent. Composure could be better, but I suspect he'll be able to get in behind the defence on a fairly routine basis - and at 20, there's a long way for him to go yet.

    Justin Issah - The third striker at the club, a Nigerian who started off in the USA. He's still not reached his potential yet, and maybe he never will, but for £110 p/w it seemed like a no-brainer. I want to make sure that Skenderovic and Smith are looking over their shoulders, and Issah should hopefully keep them on their toes.

    Richard Wikberg - An 18 year old centreback with a steady, reliable season and bags of potential. He's got assets in all the right areas, so he may be another one to watch.

    Erik Lundstrom - One of the most experienced players at the club, the central midfielder is going into his 8th season at Umea. He's probably our best player by a long shot, having achieved a rating over 7.2 in all but one of his seasons at the club. When I arrived, the media suggested he might be on the way out but he seems happy so far and he's a club icon so fingers crossed he'll stay around. Hopefully he can maintain his reliability next season and fire us to success.

    Next Season

    My target is simple: promotion. It will be incredibly tough, with just one automatic promotion place and a play-off with the bottom club in the division above, but hey, we've got to aim high. I'm hoping we can make a few more signings before the transfer window is out, and with the club in a healthy financial position I should be able to keep things under control.
    Last edited by snootyjim; 18-03-2012 at 16:45.

  48. #48
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    Hope you manage to turn their fortunes around.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    Hope you manage to turn their fortunes around.
    Cheers, and thanks for all of your comments - they're much appreciated!

    In other news, apparently I'm going up in the world:



    Newcastle may be a Championship club now, and I'm sure I'd never get the job if it came up, but it's very pleasing to be linked.

  50. #50
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    That would be a great move.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    That would be a great move.
    I've been linked with it about 4 or 5 times now, but in the end they went for Mark Robins of all people. Bizarre move.

    Looks like they had a takeover 3 years ago and are in a lot of debt, so maybe their reputation has really dropped. I'd probably still have taken the job though.

    In other news I just received this message:



    Not sure if I should be pleased or offended

  52. #52
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    Struggling to believe this, really can't work out what's up with the team.


  53. #53
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    Oh dear.



    I can't say I blame them either.

  54. #54
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    Straw that broke the camel's back?



    My fingers are firmly crossed.

  55. #55
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    The Surprising:


    The Good:


    The Unsurprising:


    The Bad:

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    The Complication:


    Question is, what do I do? I suppose I should just accept the offer from Ingolstadt, given that they are making such a colossal offer... and they have secure finances. The job in Ireland seems a great challenge though, I feel as though I could achieve something impressive there. Mind you, my career so far has been mixed at best. Some suggestions would be appreciated, I'm not making a decision yet!

    Oh, and don't even get me started on Grant Holt. Grant "Sacked by Braintree" Holt.

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    Go to Inglostadt for stability.

    Unless you want to stick with the 'one club a year' rule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rancer890 View Post
    Go to Inglostadt for stability.

    Unless you want to stick with the 'one club a year' rule.
    I was at Persijap for 663 days I'll have you know!

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    Definitely Inglostadt if you want to become more successful quicker and also the money available means you will be able to make a good team much easier than with the other teams.

  60. #60
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    Yep, I'd choose Germany too. Very decent budgets there.

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    Ingolstadt I think

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    I thought you'd say that

    Thanks all for your advice, I am now manager of Ingolstadt. I also realised that this is technically Müller's homeland so he'd be pleased. Fingers crossed I don't fluff up another opportunity...

    Here's my new squad overview

    Given the lack of quality on the wings, Skerjanc excluded, I've decided to play a 4-1-2-1-2 yet again. I prefer playing a flat 4-4-2 but if the players aren't there... plus I have an excellent AMC in Leitner, although his performances over the last couple of seasons have been miserable. I'm half wondering whether the AI played him at CM.

    I'm hoping to make a few signings but the season starts in 17 days so it could be tricky, don't even have a full complement of scouts yet. Long term it won't be a problem, as the transfer window doesn't close for almost 2 months, but the beginning may be interesting.

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    Transfer Update

    So, I've set about remodelling the squad.

    Transfers

    Squad Overview

    Quite a few players have left, nearly all of whom I wanted to leave. Ronnie Minkwitz was the exception, my second best AM. He kicked up a fuss about wanting to leave, and had a huge argument with me about it, so I accepted his transfer request. Kaiserslautern met the asking price of £2.5m, and that was the end of it.

    I brought in a few talented youngsters on free transfers, plus a few big signings. I was really struggling for talent up front, so that's where I spent most of the money. Goran Blazevic, my new keeper, was probably the bargain of the window. He signed on a free from Sibenik in Croatia, and he's already one of my best players.

    As for the big transfers:

    Ilir Hasi - The young Albanian is an ideal DM, and with such versatility he should get more than a few games this season. £1.5m is a fair bit, but for someone so young I don't think it's a bad deal.

    Umit Akyil - Don't know how this guy has escaped being noticed for so long. His form hasn't been great in Turkey, so maybe that's the reason, but he's very talented and with 17 pace I think he'll grab more than a few goals up top.

    Hiroshi Ibusuki - He hasn't really settled anywhere thus far in his career, but he looks to be an excellent target man. Hopefully he'll prove to be the perfect foil for Akyil. £2.1m was a heck of a lot for a 26 year old, but I really needed a good striker so I don't mind forking out a bit extra.

    Overall outlay for the transfer window is £500k, out of a £5m budget, which I don't think is too bad. Sadly, because of the return ratio, I only have £2m remaining, but I'm more worried about our overall finances than budgets. I'm only using £250k out of £375k permitted wage budget so that should be fine. In fact the present salary total is the lowest it has been since 2015, which bodes well.

    Also, the board agreed to improve the training ground for £1.8m, which seems fair enough. I'm not going to bother with youth for the moment, since it'll take so long to see the benefits.

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    This guy looks a heck of a prospect... he would cost at least £2.5m but I think if someone else goes in I might pounce

    Keigo Okazaki

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    Galatasaray expressed an interest in my fifth-choice striker, so I decided to make a move. They agreed to pay a massive £3.8m, and they're right to be cautious, looking at his goal record. And just for good measure, he's had a go at the Galatasaray fans. I'm so sad he's left.

    Okazaki cost me £3m, which was more than I wanted to pay, but he's already by best player and has 5* potential. Not to mention that he brought a bit of cash along with him.
    Last edited by snootyjim; 21-03-2012 at 14:30.

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    Season 7 Review - 2017/2018


    If you've been following this thread, you'll be familiar with my achievements with the last few clubs. And you'll also be pleased to know that things began in much the same manner as all of the other seasons. I spent some big money bringing players in, although I did sell roughly the same amount, and aimed to rebuild the squad. Typically, two of the big names I picked up, Umit Akyil who I thought would be the perfect goal poacher, and Ilir Hasi, a very solid DM, both had serious homesickness and missed virtually the entire season with trips back to their Turkey and Albania respectively. Okazaki, my £3m gamble, also suffered with jadedness, meaning he could only play one in two until the winter break. The board expected promotion, and in my first 8 league games, I delivered one win, four draws, and three losses, leaving us just outside the relegation spots. My position was very insecure, and I asked the board for more time in the vague hope they wouldn't sack me.

    As for what happened after that, I think a picture can sometimes speak a thousand words.







    No, really. That really did happen. 26 league games unbeaten . You'll also notice 5-game and 8-game stretches without conceding a single goal.

    So, what happened? Well, first of all I realised that although Ibusuki is phenomenal in the air, I had one of the best squads in the league. Lumping it up to a big man up top just doesn't work when you're trying to play an intricate passing game. So I cancelled all of the target man instructions, and just used him as a deep lying striker. Also, I realised that Leitner was absolutely hopeless. He was meant to be one of my best players, and was the only quality AM in the team. Having got averages below 6.8 in both previous seasons, and being even worse this time round I decided something needed to change. My trusty 4-1-2-1-2 was switched to a 4-1-3-2, switching the AM to a third CM - where Leitner was just as capable. He didn't play any better really, but at least I could drop him when I wanted to. Clearly, that all worked a treat. Finally, we signed the amazing Pedro Paulo from Cruzeiro for a measly £70k - with Akyil missing most of the season owing to homesickness, his firepower up front was vital, grabbing 18 league goals in total.

    We didn't win the league - Gladbach were ridiculously good, and at one point I thought they were going to go the whole season unbeaten. We were 10 points behind for virtually the entire season. But we did what we needed to do, winning automatic promotion with 4 games of the season remaining.

    League Table - Results

    German Cup - A short but adequate run that got us to the second round, as the board requested. We were incredibly unlucky to lose to Bundesliga outfit Kaiserslautern in added time, and the team performed admirably.

    Squad Overview - I'm very pleased with the team at the moment. I would like a little bit more quality at LB and DM (certainly if Hasi leaves), but overall I'm happy.

    Finances - We lost a fair bit of money over the course of the season, even though I raked in £3m via transfers and slashed the wage budget. Makes you wonder how they survived in previous years. Hopefully being in the Bundesliga will sort things out, but our 15,000 capacity stadium is very restrictive and we're not exactly awash with cash to expand it. I may have to fund our success through some transfer market shrewdness.

    Key Players

    Pedro Paulo - Without a doubt, the player of the season. Compared to the big money I risked on Ibusuki, Pedro Paulo was a snip at £70k... without him, I doubt we would've been promoted. He doesn't stand out in any particular area, and likewise on the pitch I can't really say how I'd describe him. However, he's very strong across the board and I guess that shows in his consistency.

    Keigo Okazaki - Sometimes big money transfers flop, but this guy was worth every penny. The RB position was very weak, and Okazaki single-handedly turned it into one of my strongest positions.

    Ryusuke Kuwahara - The best player I inherited, Kuwahara didn't disappoint. A young CB with bags of potential, he achieved consistency that I really wouldn't expect from a 20 year old.

    Umit Akyil - I was tempted not to list Akyil here, as he missed the vast majority of the season with homesickness, as mentioned previously. However, he seems to have kicked that finally, and put in 14 appearances at the end of the season, achieving an average rating of 7.71 and scoring 7 goals. Now that's why I signed him. Hopefully he can keep that up next season, because he has been in absolutely lethal form.

    Japhet Munyao - Munyao is also a bit of a surprise inclusion, having only been at the club for a short while. Having said that, his attributes are just unbelievable for such a young keeper. I had a message from an agent telling me that his client, a Zambian international keeper was available for transfer. He'd achieved at least 7.0 ratings in each of his 4 seasons in Zambia, which I considered very impressive for a young goalkeeper, so I offered him a trial (unable to scout Africa at the time). And then I discovered that he was mind-bogglingly talented, and signed him up immediately for 5 years. Already my best player, he performed admirably and led a charmed life in the Ingolstadt goal.

    Next Season

    For the first time in a very long time I'm seriously excited about the next season. I have a brilliant squad of players, and all of them are happy at the club apart from Hasi who regrettably is still insisting on going back to Albania. I'm hoping to convince him to stay, but in all likelihood he's off. As for everyone else though... I've got a young squad, a supportive board, money to spend and a colossal challenge in the Bundesliga.

    Hopefully I can strengthen a little bit in the summer, although I have no intention whatsoever of spending more than I can recoup in transfers. I don't think our finances can take it quite yet, despite what previous managers have believed. Once we're a bit more stable I might start investing in youth, but for now I'll be looking to my network of scouts and newly permitted world-wide scouting to turn up some more bargains. With a bit of luck I can get some more big sales.

    And since I'm enjoying myself so much, I just asked for a new contract. The board quadrupled my salary to £18,500 p/w and I asked for 5 years which they gave me
    Last edited by snootyjim; 28-03-2012 at 20:16.

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    That was seriously good, shame Gladbach were just that far ahead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltablue View Post
    That was seriously good, shame Gladbach were just that far ahead.
    Yeah, it would've been nice to win the title and I really think that given the turnaround we engineered, we deserved it. Ultimately that initial run of poor form was too much to overcome in the end. No shame in failing to overtake Gladbach though, they were unstoppable. Halfway through the season, with about 18 games played they'd only conceded 4 goals in the league.

    --

    For anybody reading, a question:

    For the next 4 weeks if I can get some FM in, it will be on my laptop with its "just barely faster than Atom" processor, so I'm thinking about removing some of the leagues as I've heard you can do in FM12. Currently I'm running all of them + large DB which doesn't sound like a good combination with the word Celeron.

    Is it actually worth doing? I was thinking that I could remove most of the non-European leagues since I'm not realistically going to move from the Bundesliga to Australia or China, or Romania for that matter. And even if it is worth doing, should I do it? I think it will make it more playable, but if you reckon I'm devaluing the career then I won't.
    Last edited by snootyjim; 31-03-2012 at 00:23.

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    It's hardly devaluing, especially if it will really help progress.

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    Season 8 Review - 2018/2019


    I hate it when this happens. It's our first season in the Bundesliga, we work hard for the entire season, and then the entire thing hinges on one single game. We went into the final game of the Bundesliga relying not just on results elsewhere, but also on goal difference. We needed to win our game away at Kaiserslautern, we needed Wolfsburg to lose against Schalke, and we needed to overhaul their 4 goal advantage. Brilliant. Well, we did our part, destroying Kaiserslautern 3-0, and the victory never looked in doubt. The team were elated with the victory, but crestfallen as they realised that Wolfsburg had won 1-0 against Schalke. Despite all of our hard work, an entire season of grafting, we were consigned to the Europa League.

    I'll re-use some text from my last update. No, really. That really did happen.

    So, what happened? Frankly, I have no idea. We made no great waves in the transfer window, losing my brilliant Japanese centre-half Kuwahara who demanded to quadruple his wages. Oh, and also to add a £5.75m minimum fee release clause. I cut out the middle man and sold him to Blackburn for £5.75m. I brought in a few budget midfielders, and eventually decided to sell the underperforming Leitner, selling him for £2.5m and replacing him with the £3.5m German Jens Bellanave. At which point Leitner broke his leg and had his transfer cancelled, which was pretty typical of the useless arse. Hardly an inspiring set of moves.

    Nonetheless, everything came together and we were fantastic, having one of the meanest defences in the league. Only Bayern conceded more than us. If it hadn't have been for our attacking play, which returned just 42 goals (Furth in 11th were the highest placed team with fewer scored), we could have easily come second in the league. What more can I say though? We were exceptional from start to finish. Our 1-1 and 0-0 draws with Bayern typified our season - we might not score hatfuls of goals, but we were a match for anybody.

    Even more impressively, from a total of 18 clubs, we were 14th in the net transfer spend league, and 17th 18 in the salary league. If we don't win the overachievers badge I'm sending a letter of complaint

    League Table - Results - It was very tight at the top, and as you can see we were incredibly close to getting the Champions League place, but I'll make do with the Europa League. To be honest, I would have made do with avoiding relegation, but my expectations rose rapidly this season! Dortmund were shockingly bad, finishing 12th... they've never been outside the top 6 on this save. With massive salaries, and the fantastic Mario Gotze, this was a major embarrassment. They must be regretting sacking the manager at the beginning of the season, and I will be surprised if the current boss, Bard Wiggen, survives the summer. If so, I'll be chucking an application in.

    German Cup - Another average run. We met the board's requirements, but no more. We were unlucky to lose in extra time to Stuttgart, but I wasn't too worried - the league was by far the priority.

    Squad Overview - The team is still looking strong, with good players all over the pitch. We still need to improve at LB - Paul Russell has done a fantastic job this season but I have my doubts that he can continue it next time round. I've signed a young Irishman, the ideally-named Patrick Gorman, to hopefully plug that gap, but we'll see. Hasi thankfully agreed to stay, although he's still unhappy, and I have also managed to acquire Steven Defour (aged 31) on a free who will shore up the midfield even further. As for attackers, I think I'm happy with them. We didn't score many goals, but Akyil and Pedro Paulo were both brilliant so I'm reluctant to blame them.

    Finances - That's more like it. Quadrupling our prize money from last season has made a huge difference, and I'll be keeping the wages low again next season until we've got a bit more money in the bank. We sold roughly 95% of our seats in the league, and I desperately wish we could expand but it's not going to happen, so we'll be reliant on prize money and transfers for income.

    Key Players

    Pedro Paulo - Brilliant, yet again. I can't get over how much of a bargain this guy was - £70k for one of the best strikers in the Bundesliga.

    Matthias Zimmerman - He was signed by the previous manager from Gladbach, and was decidedly average. This season he really came into his own, filling in at RB for the excellent Okazaki who spent 4 months on the sidelines, and playing DM or CM when Okazaki was fit. Pleasantly surprised.

    Paul Russell - This was a bit of a shock. The New Zealander cost £300k from Partick Thistle, and was more of a backup and one for the future, but early on he threatened to leave if I didn't give him more games. Normally that grates on me, but I wasn't blown away with talent at LB and I decided to give him a chance. He completely blew me away, with a string of excellent performances that cemented his position in the team. He'll have to fight hard for his place next year with at least Patrick Gorman joining the list of LB options, but he is very versatile which always helps. I may nickname him Paul Russell O'Shea.

    Umit Akyil - He proved why he'd cost all that money last season, kicking his homesickness and scoring several wonder goals. He now has the Preferred Moves "Runs with Ball through Centre" and "Runs with Ball Often", and despite his lack of dribbling prowess, his speed takes him flying past opposition defences. Numerous times, with our backs against the wall against superior teams, he would grab the ball on the half-way line and just apply the thrusters.

    Japhet Munyao - I feel as though keepers in FM12 are a bit bugged. Not for the first time, the keeper has been the most talented player on the pitch according to the assistant, and this time he also kept the second tightest defence in the league playing for a mediocre side. And he walks out with one of the worst average ratings in the squad. I'm ignoring FM, I think he was brilliant.

    Next Season

    Well, I guess we have to aim for Champions League. That sounds ridiculous, even now, but maybe we can do it.

    Even so, if a big job becomes available I will leap at it. I love working at Ingolstadt, it has been a thoroughly fulfilling experience, but with a 15k stadium and no hope of expansion for 11 years, it will be difficult to improve. I may have outgrown them already. Even so, it would have to be a cracking offer for me to move on.

    My reputation is still only national, but perhaps a run in the Europa League will change that.

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    Pleasingly, I have won both Manager of the Year awards.

    Surprisingly, Munyao was named goalkeeper of the year, just proving the insanity of the average ratings.

    And unbelievably, after the game telling me that it was impossible, this happened:


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    Over a gap of 3 days, This + This = Irony.

    Oh well. The board almost killed me, but I'm still going.

    On another note, stadium expansion is finished now. Capacity hasn't increased - still 15,000 - but now 5400 of those are seats. Don't know whether that actually makes a difference but presumably higher ticket prices?
    Last edited by snootyjim; 10-04-2012 at 21:53.

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    You'd have thought that would have been a perfect job interview.

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    Season 9 Review - 2019/2020


    I think I can sum this up fairly briefly: second season syndrome.

    We were totally useless, from start to finish. No consistent form until a five-game winning run in April, culminating in a breathtaking 6-0 win away to Wolfsburg. I thought that would spur us on, and we drew 3 games then lost the 4th. So yeah, very inconsistent. After that very poor run, my hopes of making it into the European places were dashed, and we ultimately finished 11th. Incredibly disappointing, and the board and players made that abundantly clear. Hopefully I've kept them on board, but it's hard to know at the moment.

    Everything, therefore, rested on the cups.

    In the EURO Cup, Braga were easily despatched in the 4th Qualifying Round. That set us up for Group F, comprising Legia, Partizan and Fenerbahce. Home and away wins against Legia, a home win against Partisan, and a home draw against Fenerbahce got us through the group, although Fenerbahce's win in Turkey ensured they were in the driving seat. The final game, at home to Partizan, was a must-win if we were to top the group. Typical of our season, they stuffed us 4-0 out of the blue, with a very strong Ingolstadt side giving up early on.

    We had to hope for a generous draw, and we got Atletico Madrid. They're a huge team compared to us, and one I desperately wanted to avoid. I set the team up very defensively, with a targetman and some long ball philosophy, and it really paid off. Two goals on the break gave us a very unlikely lead, but they scored from a quickly taken freekick to take the game to 2-1. I was very pleased though, they were a great side and we'd done well to get two goals. We just had to pray that their consolation wouldn't affect the next tie.

    We went in ultra-defensive in the away game, hoping to keep the game to 0-0 and take the tie. Despite a valiant effort, they grabbed a goal in the 49th minute, meaning that we needed to score to stay in. We threw absolutely everything at them, but by the end of the game had just 3 shots, with none on target. We were already out, without even really getting started in the knockout stages. It was a heavy blow, but perhaps a good lesson. Atletico were then knocked out by eventual finalists Chelsea, so we could still hold our heads high.

    That, of course, left the German Cup. The poor runs of the previous seasons needed to end if we were to get European football in the 2020/21 season. We didn't really blow anybody away, but we put in consistent results (about the only time in the season), and got to the final against over-achieving Stuttgart. 8 wins in 9 had elevated them to 3rd in the table, finishing the season with a 6-0 win against Schalke. The final was very balanced, but Stuttgart took the lead in the 51st minute. We threw everything we had at them, and Roger Paz grabbed an equaliser in the 82nd minute. We reverted to our standard, cautious tactic, and as the crowd prepared for extra time Okazaki stabbed in a 91st minute winner from close range, sending the Ingolstadt fans crazy. The plaudits flooded in, and most importantly, the club gained UEFA Cup football for the next season.

    League Table - Results - Bad seasons for established clubs like Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen, but a big recovery for Dortmund.

    EURO Cup - Disappointing to get such a good team in the 1st Knockout Round, but you've got to play them sooner or later. A valuable first experience I guess, but I'll be disappointed if we can't build on it.

    German Cup - Brand new ground for us - a good cup run

    Squad Overview - The team's overall quality has been vastly improved with the introductions of Tarek Mahmoud, Roger Paz, Patrick Gorman, and Salih Gunaydin. There's no obvious area to improve now, so I'll just be making general improvements wherever I can and selling the lower quality players to fund any spending.

    Finances - Another good season financially. We brought in some more money through transfers, but primarily we've benefitted from increased Gate Receipts, Merchandising and Sponsorship - I'd wager that our reputation has increased dramatically in the last 12 months.

    Key Players

    Keigo Okazaki - Back to his usual form, despite not being a standout player in terms of ability, he's certainly a standout in terms of performance. Absolutely exceptional.

    Roger Paz - The Bolivian striker was brought in for £2m after 34 goals in 35 games in Cyprus. I hoped that he would be able to improve our strike rate, but he hasn't exactly done that. Nonetheless, he's still young, and was sensational in the cups. Hopefully he'll gain consistency with experience.

    Umit Akyil - Another fantastic season from Akyil. I pushed him hard, with 45 appearances, and he responded with 23 goals. He still has room to improve, and I hope he stays with us for many more years.

    Tarek Mahmoud - With Kopric and N'Goma having little competition in the centre of defence, and some dodgy performances making me doubt them, finding a third centreback was vital. When Mahmoud became available, I swooped to bring him in from the Polish League for a club record £4.3m. He's got the potential to become one of the best players at the club, and his performances so far this season have been imperious. If N'Goma and Kopric want to keep their places, they need to fight each other from now on.

    Patrick Gorman - The young Irish full back was brought in on a free, and kept Paul Russell well away from the first team. Still got a little bit more room to improve, and despite playing a full 50 games for the first team, he barely flinched.

    Next Season

    Hard to say. My target is definitely a better result in the league, and as long as we do that I'm not too worried about the cups. I think we've definitely got Champions' League potential if we perform to the best of our abilities. I have a steady stream of players joining on free transfers, so hopefully I can expand the squad and continue to make some good money by selling off some of the older players from our days in the 2nd Division.

    Long term, I was seriously considering leaving half-way through the season as our league form faltered, but none of the big German clubs were convinced I was of sufficient calibre to join. For now, I'll be focussing on Ingolstadt and unless I'm approached I'll be staying. Until I boost my reputation a bit I think I'll struggle to find anything else, but equally it's difficult to improve Ingolstadt when we have such a small fanbase and stadium. I need to move really, but only to the right club... until then, we're sticking together.

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    And I've just been offered the Wolfsburg job. They're still the 4th biggest team in Germany, but with lots of debt, a transfer budget a quarter that of Ingolstadt and a chairman who wants to leave it looks like a poisoned chalice to me. And with the salary pretty much equal to what I'm on at Ingolstadt, I'm not seeing why I would realistically take up the opportunity.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

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    Disappointing start to the season: the chairman accepted a £10m bid for Gorman, and Okazaki refused to sign a new contract without a release clause, so I had to sell him for £11.25m.

    Adequate replacements are virtually impossible to come by, it seems, so I've got a very healthy bank balance. £40m brought in, £7m spent, giving me over £60m in the club's account. Of course though, that doesn't help me win games. This could really hurt my hopes of making the Champions' League places.

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    Good move?

    Not massively - finances are in much worse shape, around £10m in the bank and £6m of debt, and the stadium at 22,000 isn't much bigger than Ingolstadt's.

    However, there's little doubt that Parma are a bigger club historically, with a couple of UEFA Cup wins to their name - 1995 and 1999 to be precise. However, they've won nothing apart from the Serie B since 2002.

    Hopefully this Italian experience will be a little more successful than the last!

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    Well, that didn't last long. Just over six weeks later, something far too good to turn down came along.



    This is my first genuinely big club. They've got a fair bit of debt, £70m in total, but they're a huge club with a huge stadium and loads of room to improve, currently sitting 13th in the table.

    Very excited. But succeeding managers like Ancelotti, Rijkaard, Allegri, Flores and Benitez, there's a heck of a lot to live up to. Hopefully I won't let them down.
    Last edited by snootyjim; 19-04-2012 at 22:54.

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    The debt could be a big issue.

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    Yeah, the club's in pretty bad shape. Not only are we spending £600k per month in loan repayments for the next 9 years, we have also made losses of £12.5m this season.

    We also have some horrifically overpaid stars, like Bojan Krkic on £84k p/w, a 32 year old Neven Subotic on £74k, and Jordan Henderson on £68k. They're all good players, but there's no way we can afford to pay salaries like those.

    The team, in terms of quality, is on a par with the one I had at Ingolstadt, except there most of my stars were on about £25k p/w. That demonstrates the scale of the problem really.

    At the moment I'm just trying to clear out people like Bojan and Subotic - they're great players, for sure, but we really cannot affords wages like those.

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    Season 10 Review - 2020/2021


    Not a lot to say about this, was a very short season with Roma. I didn't write up a proper season review, so here's a quick run through.

    I made a couple of signings - Gelson Fernandes and a Brazilian regen called Floriano to reinforce the midfield, and also grabbed a top class Nigerian goalkeeper on a free transfer from Zamalek, Abdullah Agboh. I then sold as many players on high salaries as possible, Bojan leaving for £2.5m, the excellently named regen Obinna Salami for £9.5m and Subotic for £5m, plus a few less notable others.

    We performed pretty badly, but held it together and finished 15th. The question, really, was how we could rebuild for the following full season.

    League Table - Results - Close run at the top between Inter and Milan. It was a close thing for us when I took over, but the run of wins near the end took us well clear of relegation. Ironically we came 6 places below Parma, my old club, but aside from the debt Roma are clearly the side with the bigger potential.

    Italian Cup - Decent run, including an excellent win away at Inter. Napoli totally outplayed us though, and their 93rd minute goal was well deserved.

    Finances - A total shambles. Despite making £13m through player sales, we lost £13m in cash... effectively a £26m loss. It was fairly obvious that the salaries needed to be slashed.
    Last edited by snootyjim; 25-04-2012 at 18:00.

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    Season 11 Review - 2021/2022


    So, working our way up from 15th. We started with another flood of transfers, signing over 20 players and getting rid of around the same number. We strengthened almost every position except in goal, where Agboh was proving to be better than any keeper I could possibly buy.

    Most of the players who left just weren't good enough, apart from two: firstly, Salah Abdo whose massive salary was a problem. He was one of the best players at the club, but when Milan became interested I quickly jettisoned him for a tidy £21.5m, enough to finance several new acquisitions in both salary and transfer fee. Then my best striker, the Ecuadorian regen Luis Pillajo demanded a massive £50k p/w salary to stay on. That didn't fit with my plans, so despite his clear ability, I sold him to Shakhtar for £6.75m.

    We really didn't start the season off well, getting some mixed results for the first 5 games, before going on a run of 7 consecutive draws. We kept a very tight defence though (all of my teams seem to do this, maybe my tactic just isn't attacking enough?), and let in just 24 goals - comfortably fewer than any other team. Even though we didn't score many, we often didn't need to score more than one to secure the win. We hovered around 8th for most of the season, until the penultimate game when we stole into 6th position to sneak ahead of Parma. Very satisfying, and sufficient for Europe - provided the Italian Cup went to a team that placed higher than us in the league.

    The cup started well, with relatively easy victories against Cittadella and L'Aquila from Serie C1/A and Serie B respectively. Then, we came up against Internazionale, away in Milan. They were the team to beat this season, storming the league. We took the lead in just the 3rd minute through the excellent Ruben Minetti, a 20-year old Argentinian with lightning speed signed from River Plate. Then, in the 13th minute we were pegged back by Inter's star striker Gian, who headed in from a corner. Another header in the 35th minute took Inter into the lead, and despite a balanced game we had failed to put away our chances. In the 43rd minute Minetti broke away again, and pulled the ball back for Dennis Praet to scramble home his first and thus far only goal for the club, bringing the game back to 2-2. Then, in the final minute of injury time in the first half, Minetti sneaked between two defenders, latched onto a through ball from his appreciative teammate Praet and hammered the ball home to take a 3-2 lead into half time. Just when I thought we had control of the tie, Obinna Salami, a player I sold to Inter in the previous season, took control of the ball 40 yards from goal, jinked past his marker and hit a 30-yard curler into the bottom right hand corner, levelling the tie at 3-3. Then, as we prepared for extra time, wincing every time Inter attacked, in the 72nd minute my Brazilian attacking midfielder Eder got on the end of a free kick and sent a looping header into the Inter goal, giving us a 4-3 lead and sending the crowd (and I suppose the manager) crazy. We battened down the hatches, and held out for the last 20 minutes to record a historic victory. It was probably the most breathtaking game I've ever played in FM, absolutely scintillating stuff. We then beat A.C. Milan away from home in the quarter final, sneaked past Parma on away goals in the semis, and despatched Palermo with ease in the final. We won the Italian Cup, and along with it European football for the next season.

    League Table - Results - Another strong showing by Inter, although Sampdoria ran them very close. A.C. Milan are in decline and with £197m of debt, they could be continuing down that path unless they take care.

    Italian Cup - Terrific stuff, couldn't ask for much more really, although I would've liked to stuff Parma.

    Squad Overview - Good strength in depth already, hopefully I can expand the squad a little in the summer. It's great to have some Roma graduates in there as well - Andreulli, Mirabelli, Mazzei and Casadei all came from the youth team and have great potential.

    Finances - Finally starting to repair the damage done to this club. Having said that, we needed to make £21.5m profit on the transfer market to make an £8m final profit. On the plus side, the debt is decreasing slowly. Whether I'll be able to make profit like that on the transfer market this season, I don't know... seems unlikely though.

    Transfers - You can see the scale of the clearout here. All of my purchases were done on a very strict budget, but we s till netted some top players from around the world. Thankfully I'm still at the level where players that don't make the first team at other clubs can significantly improve my squad, and I'm benefitting from players kicking up a fuss and being offered out on the cheap.

    Key Players

    Maurizio Orlandini - A perfect example of budget purchasing. Unhappy at Fiorentina, I grabbed him for just under £4m, despite an average rating of 7.17 in the previous season and 7.65 in the current one. He grabbed 9 goals and 4 assists in 19 leage appearances, and 3 goals in 3 in the cup. For a talented Italian striker, I think he's a bargain.

    Omar Perez - A graduate of Espanyol's youth team, he moved to Genoa a few years back on a free. He didn't play particularly well, but then Genoa aren't a great side. Since I bought him he's really kicked on and started delivering on his obvious talent.

    Ruben Minetti - As free transfers go, Minetti has been pretty impressive. I'm hoping he can get a few more goals next season, but he's performed very well. Always playing off the shoulder of the last man, if he gets a clear run at goal very few players can catch him up.

    Pedro Garcia Gonzalez - Omar Perez's compatriot and partner in the centre of defence, Gonzalez didn't quite reach the lofty heights of Perez but did remain injury free and held the defence together through the middle of the season. Another bargain who spent 8 years at Sevilla from their youth team and then joined for a paltry £1m.

    Abudullah Agboh - What is it about goalkeepers in this game? 40 caps for Nigeria at the age of 22, one of the most talented keepers in the world, the lowest number of goals conceded in the league, and he's still given rubbish overall ratings. Take no notice, he's a cracking player.

    Next Season

    I don't think it could've gone much better really, so no complaints about the season. It will be difficult to step up next season with competition on the European front, but hopefully we're up for the challenge. The salaries will need to be kept under a very firm grip, so my transfer market activity will probably be a lot more cautious than it was last time around.

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    I've just had three red cards in a few weeks for my centre backs, as they go in for a perfectly normal header and needlessly elbow the opponent in the face.

    I've never seen it before in FM, now three in a row. Does anyone have any idea what causes it?

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    Season 12 Review - 2022/2023


    I felt a bit more confident about the finances this year, so I splashed out on two big signings - a 22 year-old Czech central midfielder, Miroslav Nemec, for £4.2m from the Premiership's Huddersfield, and a 21 year-old Welsh centre-back, Brian Wager, for £6m from Norwich, also in the Premiership. The transfer fees weren't obscene, but at £45k p/w and £35k p/w they broke my wage structure. However, they instantly became my best players in their respective positions, and played very well. I also had the opportunity to sign Gustavo Walter from Ingolstadt, a young Uruguayan striker whose potential had led me to bring him to Germany a few years earlier. He had a phenomenal year, making his first 5 appearances for Uruguay, scoring 8 goals, and he grabbed 14 in all competitions for Roma. For a 21 year old, he's very promising.

    We started well with a Super Cup win, and flew through the UEFA Cup, suffering only at the hands of Porto in the group stage. The Seria A also went spectacularly well, as usual suspects A.C. Milan and Inter fell away. We grabbed first spot early on, but it seemed very unlikely that we'd be able to hold onto that position for the whole season - the squad is still a bit small. Furthermore, we kept up our challenge in the Italian Cup, meaning that we had to compete on three fronts. Juventus were unstoppable in the league, and I thought our Italian Cup campaign would end at the semi-final stage when we came up against them, but we destroyed them 5-1 away, leaving the formality of a home 2-2 draw. Meanwhile, in the UEFA Cup, we beat RC Lens fairly easily in the first round, and beat Celtic 1-0 on aggregate after two incredibly scrappy games, to set up a quarter final against tycoon-backed LEMANS FC. They were clearly on a huge budget compared to us, but in the home tie we blew them away with a 5-1 victory. As long as we could avoid a 5-0 defeat, we would be through to the semi-final. We actually beat them 4-1 away, so with a 9-2 aggregate we moved on to a semi final against... Juventus. This time they were really up for it, and despite playing well we lost 2-1 away from home in the first leg. I was pleased with the oft-vital away goal, but in the end it proved unnecessary - a thorough 3-0 victory in the second leg ensured we would reach the final. Two cup finals were assured, but the league wasn't. Juventus and Sampdoria were at least 6 points clear for most of the season, leaving us to fight it out with a very powerful Fiorentina side for 3rd place and the Champions League spot.

    Thanks to our cup runs, we had 9 games in the final month of the season, including 5 games in 13 days. The team really struggled, and with Brian Wager suffering 10 days out with a damaged elbow, we were left wanting in defence. Nonetheless, we soldiered on, and the penultimate game of the Seria A season was effectively our final, a game against Fiorentina. We took the lead through centre-back Omar Perez in the 39th minute, and appeared to have control of the game until Babacar struck in the 57th minute through a well-executed finish. 6 minutes later though, Maurizio Orlandini grabbed the ball on the half-way line and flew beyond the Fiorentina defenders before rounding the keeper and slotting home, showing the club why they should've worked harder to keep him. We held firm until the end of the game, and guaranteed third place in the league and thus Champions League football for the next season. We had a game against Brescia next, and 2nd spot was a possibility, enabling us to avoid qualification. I wanted to go for it, but with the UEFA Cup final only 4 days later I had to play smart, and used a few youth player. Predictably, Brescia went 3-0 up inside 22 minutes, despite being a very average side. I threw everything I had at them, needing a point plus my superior goal difference to ensure 2nd place over a floundering Sampdoria. We grabbed two goals in the 56th and 59th minutes, and then Gustavo Walter scrambled home in the 87th minute to my delight. I pulled everyone back to sit out the draw, and then waited for Sampdoria's match to finish. Then it turned out that the Seria A is decided on Results between Teams rather than Goal Difference, so we came 3rd anyway. Maybe if we had kept attacking we could've got the 4th goal. That's what you get when you don't check, I guess.

    With the league sewn up, we had two massive games. Manchester United under Jose Mourinho presented a colossal challenge, and we were still lacking Brian Wager who could only make the bench. I had to use the inexperienced Peter Djukic at centre-back who has had two very poor seasons, although at 19 I sympathise with him. When he gave away a 20th minute penalty though, I didn't sympathise with him. When he gave away a second penalty in the 56th minute and got sent off, I wanted to kill him. We could easily have matched United had he not been such a pillock, and indeed both teams scored from open play... I couldn't overhaul the penalties though, especially not with 10 men, and we lost 3-1. I was gutted, but I keep trying to remember that we did terrifically to reach the final. It's still hard though, when you get so close.

    That left the Italian Cup final, against my old club Parma. Thankfully, we absolutely decimated them. We took the lead just before half time, through defender Omar Perez, and then my attacking midfielder Djerovic decided to scythe someone down on the halfway line and saw red. We pulled back, and held on until the 86th minute when Parma scored a lucky goal from a set-piece. We bunkered down again, and put some quick strikers on to stretch the game through counter attacks. Naturally, we screwed up 3 brilliant breakaway opportunities in extra time, and then in the 119th minute Parma scored another lucky goal. Two finals, and two defeats. For all the effort that went into those cup runs, we wound up with nothing. Mind you, we still had the league, and Champions League football will be a very big boost to the club.

    League Table - Results - A strange year, with clubs flying all over the place. Both of the Milan clubs will miss out on Europe, whilst Sampdoria have 5 players on over £100k p/w without any clear way of funding them.

    Italian Cup - Knocking out the two best teams in Italy, it was inspiring stuff to be defeated by the 9th best.

    EURO Cup - We did well to avoid the big clubs - I'm sure Porto would've given us a drubbing in the knockout stages - but nonetheless reaching the final was a huge achievement. I'm disappointed by the result in the final, on another day we could easily have matched them and at least tried to sneak a result.

    Squad Overview - It's a good squad, with strength in most positions and generally young talent, but we need much more depth, which has this season tended to come from reserves and U20 squads.

    Finances - A great season financially which has seen monthly profits more often than not. Attendances have risen dramatically, with the highest average on record, although sponsorship deals have dropped 2 years in a row.

    Transfers - Another season that saw a huge profit, although far fewer players were brought in this year. It's becoming much more difficult to sniff out adequate talent.

    Key Players

    Maurizio Orlandini - Another great season for him. He's got great pace, acceleration, balance and dribbling, so I've been working on his PPMs this year. He now runs often and likes to round keeper, and routinely terrorises opposition defences. He hasn't been prolific, but then none of my strikers have. 17 goals and 16 assists in 43 games is more than adequate.

    Mariano Quintana - Don't know what happened to this guy this season, but I think someone shoved a rocket somewhere. He was very average last season, but this time round was just explosive. 37 appearances brough a massive 26 assists, plus 15 goals. From the AM position, he's been more productive than my strikers. With an average rating of 7.49, he was a massive driving force and was phenomenally consistent across not only the league, but also in Europe.

    Gustavo Walter - He was always very talented, but he was nowhere near the quality of my other strikers. He began complaining about me not playing him, so I gave him a chance and his attributes just shot up, and he quickly became my best striker after Orlandini. I've never seen anything like it before, but I'm not complaining. He didn't score many in the league, but 11 goals in 10 starts in Europe is terrific, and his international career is off to a flier as well with 8 goals from 4 starts.

    Brian Wager - Only 22, the Welsh centre-back isn't your obvious defender with low heading and jumping abilities, but everything else makes up for it. Without him, the defence always looked incredibly shakey.

    Chafik Haddou - This guy really came into his own this season. Last time round I was wondering whether at £8.75m he'd been overpriced, but with 56 appearances and consistent performances throughout the season he was a vital part of my team. Without him I would really struggle I suspect.

    Next Season

    I had a job offer from Leverkusen in November, but with Roma flying and around £90m of debt, there wasn't much to attract me. Plus they'd turned me down when I was at Ingolstadt. If the money had been huge, I might've gone simply for the sake of realism, as per my plan at the beginning of this career, but it was a no brainer to turn it down. I've been linked with many jobs in England and Italy, but nothing big, and my only application was one to Dortmund which was declined. I would really like to go back to Germany, but given how things are going at Roma it would have to be a huge job for me to move now. Anything outside of the top two or three in any nation, and I might as well stay.

    As for Roma, the finances are going well, the stadium is huge and the Champions League should boost both cash and supporter numbers. I have to say that I'm itching to leave just a little bit, as I'm not convinced that I'm going to be satisfied until I've taken over at a big club in England, Germany or Spain, but if we can keep rising up the reputation league there's no ceiling here whatsoever.

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    I'm going to take a few weeks off from this whilst I do some university exams, but I should be back in action again by the end of the month. This degree really has a habit of getting in the way of FM

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    Just sat through and read this from beginning to end. Wow. What a career!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deisler26 View Post
    Just sat through and read this from beginning to end. Wow. What a career!!
    Thanks!

    I'm going to come clean now... I came back to FM, and completed another season. Shouldn't have done, but I did. Anyway, it's a bit of a long read, with a rough guide to our Champions League exploits, but hopefully it's worth it.
    Last edited by snootyjim; 09-05-2012 at 21:32.

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    Season 13 Review - 2023/2024


    So, my first season in the Champions League. I wanted to make some major improvements to the squad, particularly in the full back positions, but the opportunity never really arose. Hicham Yilmaz, a 24 year old Moroccan, was signed for £7m to provide cover at CB, DM and CM, but was too inexperienced to really make an impact on the first team. Chanchai Wirun, a 28 year old Thai LB and RB was signed on loan from Spurs to provide some cover, but he wasn't really of the calibre I hoped to attract. With 115 caps to his name though, he had a lot more experience than anyone else. I also found Jorgen Lindahl, a 22 year old Swedish striker playing at Standard. My scouts reckoned he could become the best striker at the club, so I grabbed him for £7.5m and sent the disappointing Matthieu Raynaud to Nancy for £5m. A few other players left, but nobody of any particular note.

    My main concern was to make a real stab at winning the title, and we set about things in terrific fashion, going unbeaten until February. 11 games in we reached 1st spot, and never relinquished it for more than 1 game between then and the end of the season. A poor spell of form at the end of the season, including a 4-0 loss to Inter and 3 draws in the last 4 games threatened our position, but luckily for us our closest challengers, AC Milan, had an even worse run. In the last 7 games, they drew 5 and lost 2. We won the league with a game to spare, delighting the board and the supporters. Roma had the title back again for the first time since 2001. We sadly didn't do too well in the Italian Cup, losing to Napoli in the Quarter Final (due in no small part to Lindahl's decision to scythe down an opponent in his own half after just 2 minutes). To add insult to injury, former Roma midfielder El Idrissi scored the only goal just before half time to give Napoli the win. It wasn't too bad though - last season's loss in the EURO Cup and Italian Cup finals proved what damage fatigue could do, and the loss enabled us to focus on the league and the Champions League.

    We had a tricky tie against Shakhtar in the qualifiers, with former Roma star Luis Pillajo leading the line for them. His 58th minute goal was completely outshadowed however by the magnificent Orlandini, who scored 4 goals to all but seal the tie before our trip to the Ukraine. A second leg 2-0 win, with much laughter at a missed penalty by Pillajo, ensured progress to the group stage. Hoping for a good group, I crossed every finger I could and watched the draw. APOEL Nicosia was perfect, but the positions of group favourites were taken by Lyon and Arsenal. They weren't in the group as league winners, but both had top quality teams.

    The group started in fine fashion, with a 5-0 win away from home at APOEL, but bigger tests were to come. Despite media predictions, we destroyed Lyon at the Stadio Olimpico, 7 shots on target to their 0, and won 2-0 courtesy of Haddou and Orlandini. The next game though was a tough away trip to the Emirates, where Arsenal sported the likes of Khaled Abdel Hamid, one of my best players at Ingolstadt. They totally outplayed us, with 55% of the possession and double the number of shots, but they could only equal our total of 2 shots on target. The difference was, Gustavo Walter put both of ours away, whilst Abdel Hamid could only manage one - against all the odds, we'd secured a 2-1 win away from home and half-way through the group held an unlikely first spot with 9 points.

    Arsenal came to the Stadio Olimpico, and played another great game of football, taking 57% of possession... this time though, we were even more ruthless, and Walter grabbed a hat-trick in a 5-1 demolition. Guttingly though, a couple of days later, Orlandini tore his calf muscle and would miss 4 months. Nonetheless, we marched on, and only APOEL stood between us and qualification in 1st place. Unsurprisingly, we obliterated them, giving them no shots at all and scoring 6 - Minetti scoring a memorable 7 minute hat-trick before a quarter of an hour. That, unbelievably, made him the fourth player to score a hat-trick in the Champions League this season for Roma. So much for my concerns about the attacking potency of my team a little while back! We put out a reserve team in the final game, and lost 3-0 in Lyon, but Group F was won. We were then drawn against Porto - one of the clubs who had given us real problems in the EURO Cup in the previous season.

    They utterly dominated us in Portugal - we were barely able to get the ball, but we held it together and stopped them from scoring, which was the main thing. A tight game in Rome was to be expected, and Brian Wager's 31st minute own goal put us on the back foot. We knew we needed two goals, and with nothing after 60 minutes we threw everything we could at them. Nemec then leaped onto the ball 20 yards out and hammered it past Ron-Robert Zieler. The team was inspired and continued to push forward, and in the 81st minute Lindahl hit an unlikely looping header over the keeper to steal at 2-1 victory. The draw put us up against FC Bayern, who with 6 consecutive Bundesliga wins represented a colossal challenge. We couldn't help but look at the semi-final draw, which pitted the winner against the victor in yet another Classico. Nonetheless, we had to concentrate on Bayern. We were also suffering horrific injury problems, with Orlandini out again with a hernia and then a broken arm, and our only top-quality DM Haddou suffering strained ligaments. Then our backup DMs, Lorant and Yilmaz both suffered injuries in the league, leaving us with just one recognised DM in the shape of academy product Casadei. Hardly the best preparation.

    Playing at the Allianz-Arena first, we held everyone back and looked to grab anything we could on the counter attack, and in typical fashion Minetti managed to break away from the Bayern defence in stoppage time at the end of the first half, slotting the ball past Neuer to grab a vital away goal. The Roma fans were stunned when in the 60th minute Wager managed to add a second with a firm header from a corner, and I could scarcely believe it either. Bayern scored a well deserved goal in the 87th minute, but it didn't detract from the result - a 2-1 win away at Bayern was excellent for any team. It was easy to think that the tie was done and dusted, but we had to try to concentrate. Djerovic got us off to a fantastic start, with a great finish in the 22nd minute. A goal in the 29th minute should have woken us up to the fact that the tie was far from won, but instead it was followed by two more goals in rapid succession. Bayern led 3-1 at the end of the first half, and even if we levelled the tie with another goal they would take it on away goals. In the 60th minute we were still no better, so I gave up on the defensive tactic and not for the first threw everything we had at them. Minetti came up with the goods again in the 64th minute, making a scrappy tackle on the edge of the 6-yard box and poking the ball past Neuer. We back in the game, but needed to score again whilst we had the initiative. Up stepped Lindahl, and with an incisive snap shot from 18 yards, we drew level and took the lead on aggregate. We pulled everyone back and tried to play the rest of the game out, and a very nervy 20 minutes played out without further incident.

    That gave us a terrifying trip to the Nou Camp, and in front of just over 100,000 supporters we were yet again totally taken to pieces by a great passing team, with 65% of possession going Barca's way. That wasn't the whole story though, as Quintana dumbfounded the Catalan faithful when he prodded home inside the first minute, and yet again, we held firm, conceding just one goal in the 78th minute. I expected a tough return tie in Rome, but it just never came. We absolutely slaughtered Barca, limiting them to one shot on target with 11 for Roma. Orlandini was back, briefly, with a bang, scoring two goals to give us a 3-1 win on aggregate.

    Against all the odds, we were through to the final. Bizarrely, after such a tough run, we faced a Liverpool side that hadn't won the league since 2013 and hadn't even made second place since then. Sporting players like Yann M'Vila, Sigurdsson, Stevan Jovetic, John Flanagan, Dedryck Boyata and Connor Wickham, they were certainly going with experience compared to my youngsters, and perhaps I didn't give them enough respect. After beating Bayern and Barca, Liverpool didn't seem much of a challenge by comparison. We were absolutely, totally, and completely abysmal. Striker Gordon Lamptey scored their opener with a 37th minute header and we seemed utterly spineless. Lindahl and Minetti up front did nothing, and I don't blame them giving them lack of service from the midfield. I blasted the team at half time, and they came out in the second half allegedly up for the battle. We quickly showed that we meant business, creating chance after chance, but as the minutes ticked by the situation became ever more dire, with nothing clearcut emerging for us. In the 79th minute, Quintana hit a corner, and Liverpool's Granit Xhaka inexplicably tripped Perez in the penalty area. The referee gave the penalty. Liverpool's players went ballistic, but it didn't matter. Haddou stepped forward and slotted the ball into the left corner, taking us level. I prepared for extra time, and indeed the lottery of penalties, when in the 88th minute John Flanagan needlessly shoved Minetti in the back inside the penalty area. The referee made no hesitation again, and gave us our second penalty of the night. Haddou was again given the responsibility, and stepped forward. Liverpool's keeper, Derek Smith, flew off to the left, but Haddou won the mind-game and went the other way, slotting this one into the right corner. Liverpool were distraught, and we held out for the final few minutes to secure the Champions League trophy.

    How we did it, I have absolutely no idea. We nearly lost against Porto until Lindahl's late goal, Bayern after the first half were easily odds-on favourites in the quarter final, Barca destroyed us at the Nou Camp but just couldn't score, and then Liverpool gave away two ridiculous penalties in the final. I'm not complaining though. We'd just won the double.

    League Table - Results - Another crazy year, as Inter and Milan returned to their usual spots and Juventus, Fiorentina and Sampdoria took a bit of a fall. The goal difference shows how lucky we were not to be overtaken by Inter and Milan, but we won and that's all I care about.

    Italian Cup - Knocked out before we even started, but no hard feelings... it's a very distant third to Europe and the League.

    Champions League - Lucky as hell.

    Squad Overview - I'm very happy with the squad this season, just enough depth to cope. We could improve in a couple of key areas, particularly backup keepers, fullbacks and centre backs. As far as the first team line-up goes, however, I can't imagine much will be changing.

    Finances - Profits all year round really, combined with profit on the transfer market and another massive increase in attendance figures we're really starting to look like a major force in Europe.

    Transfers - Another decent profit, although a relatively uninteresting set of moves. We got rid of some deadwood, and I was particularly proud of Ciric, who joined for nothing, and left 4 months later without playing a game for a tidy £2.5m profit. Cheers Filip, much obliged.

    Key Players

    Maurizio Orlandini - This was so nearly a season of "what-ifs". Average of 7.63, and 19 goals in 21 starts, but he missed 5 months with 3 separate injuries. The fact that he did so well despite them is testament to his talent... I just hope it hasn't harmed him long-term.

    Ruben Minetti - He's been patchy at times, I have to say. Only 12 league goals in his first two seasons combined. In Orlandini's absence though, he grew into the role and grabbed 24 goals from 39 starts, plus 5 vital goals in the Champions League. He's yet to break into the Argentina side, but he has been called up this summer so perhaps this form will bode well for his international career.

    Jorgen Lindahl - This season's triumvirate of strikers was completed by the new signing, who has excellent skills across the board. He didn't get many goals, just 9 in 38 appearances, but his 14 assists were vital in helping Minetti reach his goals tally. He's only 22, and given that this was his first season I think he was terrific.

    Tor-Mattis Nystrom - Nystrom started the season as the obvious first choice at RB, and was a bit average in all honesty. In January though I managed to pick up 22 year-old Roger Williams from Man Utd as his understudy, and Nystrom really pushed on and Williams' time in the side was shortlived. He's a talented lad, Nystrom, but he clearly needs a good boot up the backside every so often to actually achieve it!

    Miroslav Nemec - I was a little disappointed with Nemec last season - having broken my self-imposed wage structure to sign him, he was very good rather than excellent. This season however, he really pushed on. He's an understated player, preferring to sit back and spread the ball around rather than sit behind the front men and grab the headlines, but you he really seemed to set the tempo for the squad. Having him in the side made such a difference to our midfield, both anchoring us against opposition attacks but also spraying the ball forward when needed to start our own counter attacks. I'm really pleased he's come good, I reckon he's a top talent.

    Next Season

    Where do I go from here? Before this season I'd considered ending this challenge if I won the Champions League, but I honestly think this was a bit of a freak result - I'm not convinced we can win the Seria A next season without some new signings, let alone the Champions League. Having said that, finances are going well and we could easily afford it, so perhaps I should just dip in and start spending some of the massive transfer fund - there's not a lot else for me to spend on as things stand. We're not the poor club we used to be, although I still don't think we can match the financial muscle of Europe's true elite.

    So in a way, I'm still tempted by one final career move, perhaps to Spain or Germany to one of the top clubs. If Madrid, Barca, Bayern, Dortmund, or Man Utd come along with a proposition, I would be genuinely interested, but if it's anybody below that level I think I'll be staying at Roma for the time being.
    Last edited by snootyjim; 09-05-2012 at 21:39.

  89. #89
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    Well, it's happened


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    Wow. Some transfer budget.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRL88 View Post
    Wow. Some transfer budget.
    Yeah, just a bit. And for once, we've got the financial muscle to back it up - £530m in cash sitting in the bank. We made £15m last season in interest alone. The squad's a bit of a mess, and as usual we've got poor quality players on massive salaries. For instance, my fifth-choice striker is being paid £200k p/w, and he's not a youth with potential - 4 years ago he was a £45m signing from Liverpool.

    I'm going to have a look now at raiding Roma, since all of my salaries there were pretty low and the players were top quality... might be a few bargains to be had, depending on how ambitious the new manager is.

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    Try not to spend it all at once

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    Well, I've taken the opportunity and blown more money than I've probably ever spent in Football Manager in one window.

    £180m to be precise.



    The way I see it, the board are demanding that I win La Liga and reach the Champions League final, so we need a top quality squad. That's not what they had when I joined, and we needed major investment. I'd rather blow £30m on players now than get sacked half-way through the season, having failed to find any cheap gems. Also, with some of the current stars on over £200k p/w, buying in players for £30m on lower salaries and selling the ones they replace isn't actually too bad in the long-term.

    The squad is mainly powerful through the centre, so selling wingers Fumo and Reshetov recouped a bit of cash. I raided both of my old clubs, bringing in Munyao in from Ingolstadt to provide some cover for my first-choice keeper, along with Nemec (CM), Haddou (DM) and Wager (CB) from Roma - effectively the entire spine of my Roma side. Jose Victor (RB) was a player I'd tracked for ages but couldn't afford, a 21 year old who has already starred in the top-flight for Celta and will become one of the best in the world. Rubio (CB) comes direct from the Chivas academy as one of the best centre-backs in the world, whilst Albarran (ST), Collao (AMC) and Guzman (DM) should provide some cover over the rest of the pitch. That just leaves Hovorka (CB) and Bonnet (DM), who have the potential to become top-class players and will be playing for Castilla this year.

    I made a bit of a mess of things, since Albarran and Rubio are both Mexicans and thus non-EU - added to the two non-EU players already in my squad that's four, which is too many. Really don't know how I managed that, since I had it in mind the whole way through, but there you go. Albarran's a bit upset about playing for Castilla, but hopefully he won't mind too much! He should blitz the Second Division really, he's easily good enough for the Madrid first team. At the end of the year the two players already in the 1st XI will have gained a Spanish passport through the South American fast-track system, and then so will Rubio and Albarran in two years' time, so it's not too big an issue. Bit daft to say the least though.

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    Whilst I'm posting all of this, I just thought I'd ask if people reckon I should keep on posting updates - this was very much a rags to riches thread, and the rags are definitely long-gone now.

    I don't think I'm going to carry on indefinitely (unless something crazy like a son appears), just going to play a few more years until I feel like I've reached the absolute peak of Müller's career. I'm not sure how interesting that will be though, since with this kind of budget the "challenge" aspect is a little dodgy!

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    Definitely, no point trying to get riches if you can't enjoy it. Might help keep others interested if you introduce a little challenge aspect of your choice (Spanish only, U21s, that sort of thing) and/or leave if things get too dominant for too long.

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    Season 14 Review - 2024/2025


    We won La Liga at a canter, conceding just 10 goals across the whole season. We needed reinforcements up front to grab a few more goals, but nobody of top quality was available for under £40m, which seemed too much to me.

    The Spanish Cup was pretty easy as well - the reserves took us through to the final, where the normal team (who had been rested from La Liga duties) secured a tight win on penalties against Barcelona. In other news, Castilla walked the B division.

    The Champions League was much tougher. I thought it was all over in the 1st Knockout Round, when Arsenal beat us 3-0 at the Emirates - our 4-0 victory at the Bernabeu was incredible, although if I'm being honest probably undeserved. We outplayed Bayern at home, but again fell to pieces away. We conceded two early goals, and this time my tactic of throwing everybody forward backfired and we conceded another two on the break. I'm tempted to put it down to complacency, given how easy the rest of the season was, but I don't know whether FM models it. It was very disappointing, I have to say. We easily had a good enough squad to win it, far better than my Roma team, but we just fell to pieces when it really mattered.

    In all honesty though, this season wasn't really a lot of fun. I'm glad I went for the Madrid job - I finally felt like I had reached the pinnacle of this career, and having the opportunity to buy whoever I wanted for the first time was a very welcome change. Problem was, the challenge was lost. We only lost 5 games all season - 3 in the league, and 2 in the Champions League, and with over £300m still available for transfer funds and a long list of candidates to improve the quality of the squad further, it seemed very unlikely that we'd have much trouble improving on the record next season.

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    So, I did the only thing that felt right.



    Thanks very much to everyone who read the career, and special thanks to everyone who added their comments as well - they were all hugely appreciated.

    I'm definitely planning to come back again and get something new going, but I haven't made any firm decisions about what I want to do yet. Thanks again

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    Well, it's definitely been a good one, good luck thinking of something good.

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