I apologise for my last thread never taking off. I started the Erfurt save and just couldn't get into it after my last save being so much fun and so long-term. Because of that I decided to not start a new thread until actually getting into a game and finally I have reached that point at half way through my second season. As the thread title suggests, this game is all about taking over clubs who have failed to achieve their past successes or who have fallen on hard times and taking them back to their former glories. I have also decided to combine this journeyman career with the aim of complete as many remaining game "achievements" as possible. My goals for the game are:
- Stay at a club for five years. Usually I get bored of clubs after a few seasons and have never stayed anywhere for a period of time.
- Win a continental competition. Have been in European finals a few times. Amazingly lost all of them on penalties. Have never managed a really big club and will probably need to do this to achieve the goal considering I haven't loaded the English league which is the only one with enough money to make it easy to turn a small club massive in no time at all.
- Win three consecutive titles. Have won two multiple times but then move on. I think this should be easy to do with the major club/five year aims.
- Win an international championship. Won the Olympics once but haven't bothered to take over a senior national team yet. Will give this a go once I get bored with club management.
- Win five different league titles. Have done this but in separate saves. Want to win multiple titles as a journeyman manager.
- Become the greatest manager on the game.
I started this save in 2018/2018 as Feyenoord. Must say that it's so much harder than I expected. My chairman is a real asshole and won't give me anything at all even though I am spending only half of the wage bill and the club's reputation is tiny. Ranked below mighty clubs such as Heerenveen, Groningen, Vitesse, Roda etc.. We're so small that Sparta Rotterdam players won't leave to join us. Finished season one in fourth position. Challenged for the title but fell away completely after an awful run. This season we're more mid table right now. Really struggling to compete with European games (Europa League), cup games and league games. I can't sign any good older players because they aren't interested and also insist on tiny minimum fee release clauses so it isn't economically sensible. Therefore my average first team age is around 20. Maybe even lower. Idea's to sign younger players on five year contracts and then sell them on if they won't sign extensions.
I've played my backups for every single Euro Cup game apart from Rangers at how (won 5-2) which I saw as the key match to qualify. Can stick with the backups again now as we're pretty much through barring a miracle.:
This game seems like an incredibly difficult challenge with Ajax being so wealthy, reputable and strong compared to everyone else. Vitesse are also awesome because of the Oligarch owner. PSV are much stronger than me too. This season I just want to get back into the Euro Cup. Will also have to sell on some of my best players in all likelihood in the summer. Right now hard to say what my goals are. 3rd and 4th are the same in terms of rewards so either will do. Want to win a couple of knockout rounds in Europe. Don't care too much about the Dutch Cup. Will write an update at the end of the season.
Just finished season two and have to say it was really exciting. I've never played the Dutch league before on FM, but if I knew how close, competitive and exciting it is I would've played it ages ago. This season we actually finished in the season position as last (4th). The main difference however was our performances in cup competitions. We got to the Dutch Cup semi final and had to play Ajax away. We were doing well and the game went to extra time and looked to be heading for penalties until they scored a 30 yard screamer in the 121st minute. I wanted to punch the screen but what could I do? It's life. All of our luck seemed to be transferred to the Europa League. While we were drawing too many league games we were hammering everyone in the home legs of our European games and then playing defensively away from home to close ties out. We won the competition by some miracle. It's the first time I've ever won a European trophy on FM. Makes it so much sweeter to do it with a squad where I had only two players over the age of 24 and for a club that reputation wise (on FM) is somewhere around 10th in the mediocre Dutch league. We had to knock out the likes of Dynamo Moscow, Malaga, Marseille, Porto and Spurs, which makes it an amazing achievement considering it was our first season in Europe for this squad.
My only regret for this is that we had to sacrifice any potential challenge for a Champions League spot in order to achieve our European miracle. We had a slow start to the league campaign but came into form after the weekend and could potentially taken advantage of the teams above us dropping points. Before Christmas I saw Europe as a bit of a waste of time due to having no confidence in our ability to challenge for the trophy. Therefore I played a complete team of youths/backups in every game up until the second knockout stage, similar to the Dutch Cup early rounds. I then decided that because Malaga were such a strong squad I had to play a stronger lineup. The same then applied to the next rounds also. This meant playing kids and squad players in important league games. We finished 10 points behind Ajax who took the second and final CL place, but could easily have made up those points with a better starting lineup in key games. I think my biggest error may have been loaning too many talented players out due to lack of expectations in cup games. This meant that we had to play 2-3 games per week with sometimes one player per position apart from the youth prospects when we had injury problems. My other major problem was that so many players decided that they wanted to leave for bigger clubs. Even youngsters who have only played a handful of first team games have requested transfers to move to bigger clubs. It's quite a ridiculous situation. My best centre back requested a transfer which I rejected and then then decided not to turn up for training and refused to speak to me. I then moved him to the reserves because he was causing too many problems and I didn't want him affecting my team's morale. I then had to agree to sell him for only £7.75m but if he was in the reserves not playing his value would decline. Really wish that the AI on this was better. No player IRL would do this just before a European final knowing they would miss the biggest game of their career due to their behavior. It's something that is dealt with during the summer.
Thinking ahead to next season my goals are:
- Try and keep a settled squad. Don't lose key players and don't replace anyone apart from buying one centre back for depth and a right winger who can start due to it being my weakest position by far. My current starter soon turns 32 and is only an insanely high wage for a mediocre player due to his match highest earner clause.
- Qualify for the Champions League. I might have to sacrifice the Europa League and domestic cup to do so, but the only way for the club to move forwards is to play in the CL due to the financial rewards and reputation increase that comes with it.
- Win the title. Maybe it's too early, but we have to try. Feyenoord haven't won the title since 1999 and I refuse to move clubs until I achieve this. Will be 21 years at the end of next season. Too long for such a great club.
- Qualify for at least the Quarter Finals of the Europa League. No way we can win it back to back but it would be handy to have a good run for the sake of our club's reputation.
- Domestic Cup - Don't really care. Ajax have won it the last couple of seasons and we always do badly against them so the chances are slim and the rewards for winning it are minimal. One for the kids to gain experience.
Here's a few screenshots of last season's achievements and failures:
Here's the Euro Final. My teams always have low % of possession even when we dominate teams. We are set up to play a very quick counter-attacking brand of football with minimal defensive errors. Was a pretty even game with us having the only clear cut chance and them having a couple more half chances. We limited them to mainly long shots as the stats show (6 of their 12 were long). Was a great defensive performance and very clinical finishing. Schouten who had the most eventful game wouldn't have been on the pitch if my star CB didn't have his hissy fit. Thank God he did cos everything worked out well in the end
The incredibly painful cup exit in the 121st minute against Ajax. Really hurt considering the lads did so well to play ET only a week after going to ET and pens away to Malaga with a big league game sandwiched between.
I'll maybe write a report at the end of the preseason depending on whether there is anything worth writing about. I have a few players that I want to sell who are either not needed or unhappy who are best gotten rid of before the season begins. Not sure whether I will sign replacements or just use youngsters who are out on loan this season. Want to sign more Dutch players this summer, but everything depends on whether I can find value for money in the domestic transfer market.
Final piece of good news is that we are now set to make far more money from sponsors. Guess it was due to the European performance. Our kit sponsor will be paying £1.7m per year compared to £1.36m we received this year. An additional kit sponsor will pay £950k compared to the old one bringing in £186k per season. Another additional one will pay £1.3m compared to the £894k the previous one paid. Fantastic news that shows that the club has progressed a lot.
At this rate I may even stay at the club for five seasons for the first time ever
So I've got to the end of the pre-season. My team is basically the same as last season. Because my squad was so young I imagine that we will be far stronger this year without having to buy many players. I am running the club how Udinese are run in real life. I gained inspiration from their link with Grenada and how they buy players purely to loan to them and then sell on at a large profit once they have gained enough exposure to interest major clubs. In order to do this last season I focused on getting my only decent feeder club U Cluj promoted back to the top Romanian league. I then moved over a load of under 23 South Americans who will probably grow and develop with their excellent facilities and increase in value while improving the reputation of my feeder club to allow better players to go there in the future when my club's reputation is stronger.
The first was an Australian centre back who has come in to replace Yeboah after his hissy fit last season. He is at least as good. His only weakness is that he can only play CB (not RB also) which means I will now need FB cover on the bench. Last season I had one CB who could also play RB and one who could also play LB. This meant that I only needed a CB on the bench because regardless of who was injured or having a bad game he could come on and allow a re-shuffle.
Second signing was Martinez who is a young, talented Argentinian and probably my best striker. I signed him because he can play on the right wing as an IF as well as upfront. I decided to go with another attacker rather than a real wide man because Most of my strikers are still very young and aren't consistent. It allows me to loan one or two out to get experience while providing versatility for the first team. He plays the same roles as Gum who was my top scorer last season and is a Brazilian R-IF/P.
My other signings were all long-term investments. I didn't bring in many because my squad is already big and deep. I would've signed more, but my approach to Jagiellonia Bialystok to become a feeder club was rejected even though they don't currently have a parent team. It's a shame because they would've been a perfect fit as an upper mid table team in a relatively weak European league (Poland). They are the type of club I could've turned into regular European qualifiers with a consistent trickle of prospects and it would've allowed my youngsters to gain experience playing in Europe. I will now have to wait until the winter break and will then try and find another feeder club who will hopefully come to an agreement with my board this time.
This season I have been given the aim of challenging for the title by my board. They also expect me to get to the domestic cup semi final. In Europe they only expect qualification for the group stage even though we won the tournament last season. They don't care too much about winning the European Super Cup.
I will set my goals at:
League - Champions. Will be tough to beat Ajax but I need to give it a good crack. Need to finish 2nd at worst so we can benefit from the financial rewards of the Champions League while also increasing our reputation to keep hold of our best players.
Domestic Cup - Don't care. I want to use it as a chance to keep the backups happy and fit. Hope to go a long way, but really isn't going to help me in the long-term.
Europe - Quarter finals. We need to get through the group stages as a bare minimum target. I'll still play mainly backups in the group unless I receive an insane draw. There's no money in the tournament compared to the CL, but I need the co-efficient points for good CL draws in the future and also to improve our club's reputation.
Euro Super Cup - Win it. We will be massive underdogs vs Arsenal, but after checking the fixture list can see we have a whole week off to prepare and rest. I don't expect to win but for one game it will be a big help for our reputation while bringing in some quick cash.
Only other things worth noting are that I have made huge profits from re-selling players such as Yeboah, Kwang-Jin and van Dijk along with the Euro prize money and gate receipts. I have decided to invest a lot of this in the club infrastructure. The training facilities are being upgraded although this will take over two years to complete. The youth facilities will also be upgraded and not be ready until October 2022 (same time). I asked to further expand the stadium but the request was rejected.
One strange thing that I've noticed is that my job security has gone from untouchable to stable during the preseason even though nothing has really happened. We went unbeaten in our friendlies even though even game was vs a tough team. Also had no complaints about selling any players. It's a strange one, but I'm not too bothered because I'm very confident of achieving the goals set for me at a bare minimum.
I didn't want to sell a lot of them but had no choice. I signed players like Osorio to become my GK of the future. He's 19 years old yet couldn't accept not playing first team football regularly even though I gave him games in the cup, EL group stage and league vs weaker clubs. It's one thing I hate about the game. I had nowhere to loan him to because he's American and couldn't get a WP for Randers, Excelsior aren't allowed to loan non-EU players, Santa Clara are too small and U Cluij were 2nd div. Nobody wanted to loan him when I offered him out. v.Dijk was similar. Young Dutch striker who needed first team football. Complained about all kinds of stuff from not being first choice to wanting to move to a bigger club. All I wanted was to loan him out for another season or two until some steals Gum and then bring him in as the replacement. Shame he was too impatient. Most of the others were just kids who failed to make the grade or older players such as Grosicki who wanted too much money to extend their deals. Was amazing he wouldn't sign for me for £20k per week and then signed for Lech Poznan for £3k per week. Typical. Shame as he was versatile and a good backup. Also loads of loans where I'd invested in youngsters who needed first team football.
To be honest it took be quite a while to build a stable squad with the right balance for my squad. Initially I had real problems finding in particular strikers and central midfielders who could suit my style of play. Had to try lots of mixing and matching until finally finding the right combinations. Now my squad is so settled I won't need to buy at all apart from replacing any players who insist on moving to bigger clubs and bringing in new youngsters who with development may be able to improve my team down the line. I want a couple of kids who can come in at any position as soon as a starter leaves. I can then be selective as to who I bring in. I don't have the money to sign star players and definitely can't come close to paying their wages so the youth policy is my bread and butter right now. Because of this it will always look like I get rid of more players than I do. In reality it's just cutting those who fail to make the grade. It's necessary when you're a relatively poor club that doesn't have CL football for at least a year.
Didn't mention it before, but thanks for the compliment SRL88. I think it may have been a one off miracle, but it is one of the best things I've achieved on FM12 for sure. Not sure if that's a sign of it being a good achievement or of me being a crap manager
So because I have no life I have managed to reach the winter break in a day's playing time. The season has gone pretty well so far. The league is a clear three horse race between us, Ajax and PSV. We are third on goal difference tied with PSV with Ajax a single point ahead of us. It looks like going down to the wire. We dropped a total of 11 points from 19 games yet are off the lead, which is my only concern. It appears to be one of those seasons where you need to be almost perfect to win the title. We lost two games in a row due to an injury crisis, which is what killed us the first half. Our squad should be deeper and is a little bit more mature for the second half, which is a big plus. My only concern is that we lost a Dutch backup FB who is a future international to Brescia due to the asshole syndrome that Yeboah was lost to last season. Apart from him the squad should stay together unless I choose to sell another couple of players who haven't performed and won't be missed. Right now I'm undecided on them. May wait until the summer for the sake of squad depth. Just to note we are also still in the Dutch Cup and have a relatively easy draw against AZ, although it is away from home, which is a slight concern. In Europe we have a relative bye in the first knock round against Metalurg Donetsk, but will then most likely be knocked out. I have to pray that Galatasaray can beat PSG so I don't have to face them. They are by far and away the strongest squad left in the tournament so we will be massive underdogs. Having said that if we can get past them we have a good shout of going a long way. The only other teams I see as vastly superior to us are Spurs, Inter, Porto, Benfica and CSKA Moscow. We managed to get by Spurs and Porto last season so never say never, although the second time is always tougher.
And here's the transfer update. As you can see I sold Visser to Brescia and singed some more South American youths who I play to coach up and then sell on unless they become better than expected. I only sign the cheapest talented prospects in order to avoid loses. I also refuse to sign players on larger wages. I was offered a 5* player when my best is currently a 4* CB but refused him even though he'd have been my best player by far because I didn't want to pay him 35k. If I did I'd then have another player on the same salary due to a match highest earner clause and I'd also have to pay new signings and players who's contracts are extended the same types of wages. Currently my top earner is only 25k and I am going to keep it this way until we qualify for the Champions League and have the finances to pay people more. Currently I have a 750k wage budget and am paying out 375k, which is perfect. I don't need to change it until my goals become greater. To compete in these lower level competitions I don't need to pay huge salaries or transfer fees. I only need to pay them when I join the elite and have to compete with them.
My goals for the season now revised at the halfway point (or just past it) are:
Dutch Cup: Winners
Europa League: Get past Metalurg and pray for a miracle against PSG in the last 16
I'll report back to you at the end of the season....
Finished season three and it was a successful one. We completed the domestic league and cup double but were knocked out of Europe by Spurs in the quarter finals. I am very happy because the title came down to the last day of the season and we battled through injuries to key players and also fixture congestion due to the Dutch league finishing early and therefore the Europa League 1/4 finals and domestic cup games which meant we were playing twice as many matches as our rivals. Another strong positive is that we only signed two new players for the first time and managed to progress almost purely because of the first team gaining more experience and improving. The same should happen next season seeing as when we won the title it was apparently amazing because my average squad age is only twenty one. It should be lower next season because I will be losing another couple of first-teamers. The loss of my Dutch international RB will be particularly huge. He has sadly decided that he needs a new challenge and is refusing to re-consider this decision so will have to be sold. It's particularly bad for me because there's a massive lack of talented and affordable young Dutch players on the game and I need as many as possible for my European squad. I lose one of my four key Dutch players is a massive blow to my squad. He will be replaced by moving my Argentinian LB to RB where he is equally comfortable and bringing my Brazilian LB into the starting lineup. I can then keep my nineteen year old Argentine LB at the club next season as my backup. The problem with this however is that they are all foreign and I need some more Dutch youngsters. It's the hardest aspect of the game because any decent Dutch player wants to move abroad so the only domestic players good enough for my squad are kids. They eventually get fed up and want to move abroad and it's impossible to replace them with domestic players of anywhere near the same quality.
Here's the key info from last season....
As you can Groningen who were the reigning champions amazingly were my nearest title challengers even though they were way behind me, Ajax and PSV at the winter break. They dropped a total of 7 points from the end of November 'til the end of the season. Luckily they started slowly.
My season was steady and consistent. We were outclassed by Spurs in Europe but deserved to win the cup knocking out the next season team (Groningen) and another decent side AZ. Won the final easily. Up 3-0 after half an hour then rested ready for the final weekend.
- Don't lose any more players. Braken my RB is gonna be gone and Eder a young, talented CB is also going to be off. I need to keep everyone else together apart from a couple of squad players who have failed to make the grade.
- Sign a Dutch backup GK who doesn't need playing time who can backup my 'keeper and allow me to loan out the talented young backup who needs games to continue to improve.
- Sell at least one central midfielder due to having too many players to keep everyone happy.
- Sign some Dutch youngsters. Even if they're not quite as good as South Americans I need them because my last youth intake was awful and we need homegrown players for Europe.
- Sell at least a couple of strikers. I have far too many and need to make a decision on which of the squad players and players loaned out have a future at the club and which are best moved on.
I'll report back after the preseason when I'll be able to report how it works out.
Now the preseason is finished. My squad is weaker than last season but that was to be expected. I can't attract high quality older players and can only really bring in kids and hope they don't want to leave too soon. My strategy for the preseason has been to completely trim my squad and get rid of anyone who doesn't have a future or who can be sold for more than I think they are worth. The core of my team is essentially the same as last season. The main difference is that I had to replace my Dutch international RB with a young Brazilian I just signed from Santos. I also sold my star left winger because the youngster I rotated him with last season is now as good as him and will soon be better than him. I also sold a talented DMC for over £6m because I am three deep there and he was the weakest. I also managed to sign a 16 year old Dutch striker 450k who has 4 1/2 star potential and should be an absolute beast for me in the not too distant future. I expect to lose more star players soon. The reason for not signing more is that with us competing in the CL this year I imagine our reputation should increase and allow us to sign far better players next season. I'd rather sacrifice this year in terms of progress (don't think we'll be any weak, just not as deep and probably won't improve) and pray to get back in the CL next season when I expect to be able to sign far better players.
1. Retain the title
2. Retain the Dutch Cup (although it doesn't matter if we don't)
3 Win the Dutch Super Cup (although again it doesn't matter if we don't)
4. Qualify for the knockout stages of the CL - No idea what my seeding will be for the group stage but if we're a #4 this will probably be impossible. We're ranked around 35th in Europe on the reputations list. Scored plenty of co-efficient points the last two seasons but before that weren't in Europe. If we're a low seed finishing 3rd and qualifying for the Europa League knockout stages will do.
Will report back during the winter break with a progress update.
Very brief update. We won the Dutch Super Cup, which is obviously no big deal. In Europe we were seeded as third and drew the worst possible group. Started off with Bayern and Benfica, which was bad but not too bad but instead of drawing Young Boys, Steau or FK Rad as a fourth seed we ended up with Roma. Change of objectives now. Finish third and qualify for the Europa League. We have no hope in finishing in the top two and qualifying for the CL knockout stage.
Thanks for the kind messages guys. Time of a brief winter break upset. To put it as simply as possible the league has been too easy and Europe was a disaster. We've got to the stage now where the Dutch league is just too easy for a squad of my ability. I've been using my youngsters in a lot of games and have basically thrown a few away because I just don't care whether I win them because the other top Dutch teams kind of suck. Europe on the other hand was a tale of two situations. At home we were pretty awesome. Won our first home game 3-2 vs Benfica. Were 3-0 up and let the foot off of the gas to rest players for the league due to injuries. Second game we beat Roma 4-1 and then drew 1-1 with Bayern. Away from home on the other hand was a nightmare. In three away matches we had four players sent off all in the first half and therefore never stood a chance. It really was ridiculous and so unrealistic. I don't play an aggressive style or use hard tackling and barely ever have players sent off so don't know why this happened in our three biggest games. We would've lost to Bayern regardless because they were so much better than us, but we had a great shot at getting at least a point against the other two if we had all of our players. Here's the evidence:
The Benfica game was the worst of the three. It was an even match even though we had to play more than an hour with 9 men. If we had 11 men I'm confident we'd have got at least a draw. If we won this game we'd have qualified for the next round. I was so angry because I worked so had to qualify for the CL and then had no shot because of something I couldn't control.
Not sure what I'm going to do when the season is over. I'm bored with the Dutch league. Look forward to Europe. Have a bye in the Europa League vs Dinamo Zagreb and will then most likely be eliminated vs either Malaga or Leverkusen. Want to move to another club next season. But on the other hand want to have another shot at the CL with this squad. Also one goal of the game is to complete as many "achievements" listed on Steam as I possibly can. Two I have not completed are staying at one club for five seasons and winning three successive titles. Should complete both easily. Imagine I'll stay one more year and then leave. Only concern is the longer I stay here the less clubs I can move to because my reputation is becoming too good and my salary is growing. Guess I have plenty of time to make a decision on which league I fancy next.
Finished the season and it turned out to be kind of great in the end. After my last post I signed a few key players to help defensively and they were massive for the second half in Europe. Signed a top class centre back to give me one of the best pairings in Europe. Had to break my transfer record to do it but was worthwhile. Also signed two defensive midfielders, one a ballwinning type and the other a playmaker. Sadly the DLP got injured but the ballwinner was key in big games even though he's only 19 years old. Sold Sami Ibrahim which was my previous DMC due to poor performance. Retained the title easily and also won the Europa League for the second time, which felt amazing like the first. Best thing this time was that we completely outclassed Schalke and should've stuffed them while last time we had to play extremely defensively due to inferior quality. The plan now is to spend some of the cash that I earned last year from transfers (probably on attacking players, especially a winger) and to try and get somewhere in the Champions League knockout stages. Hoping that my seeding will have increased to a second seed after the Europa League win. If that's the case it will help a lot. Just need to avoid elite fourth seeds like Roma who ruined my dream this year. Next season is probably my last with Feyenoord so I need to make the most of it. Only way I see myself staying is if we go far in the CL and I think we genuinely have a shot at winning it the following season. Domestically things are too easy now, although that is a massive help in Europe because we can rest players and not care if we drop points.
- Sell any youngsters who haven't made the grade
- Bring in another top quality winger
- Move on a few unhappy rotation players (sadly this includes a couple of Dutch lads who I wanted to keep for Euro squad purposes)
- Trim the squad further so we don't end up with unhappy players not playing enough games
- Pick up more youngsters with big potential. Hopefully some will be Dutch.
Will report back as usual just before the next season kicks off!
Thanks cswalk08. It's weird before this save I'd never won a European trophy and now I've won two. Proves that miracles can happen if we don't give up hope
So now I've finished my summer wheeling and dealing. I have decided to report my activities at the end of the transfer window this year rather than the usual time which is the first day of the season. The reason for this is due to the Dutch season starting really early when it is still July and often I find that I need to sign players once the season has started and have already posted my report on here.
This summer wasn't the most exciting of all time. I came up with two key positions that I wanted to replace. The first and largest need was a second left winger. Last season I used a relatively talented young Fin as my backup, but he just wasn't fast enough or good enough to play as many games as I needed from him so I sold him on. I decided to go after a starting quality player to replace him. Because I intend to be in Europe until at least the CL knockout rounds I need two players who can start in all wide positions as they tend to suffer from fatigue more than central players. I managed to find a bargain to fill this need. Picked up a young Ivorian who can also play upfront so will be able to use both players for this position at the same time if they are both on form. Sadly both of my left wingers have been injured for the first month of the season (and will also miss all of August and part of September) so I don't know how this will work out yet. Have had to use a striker out there so far.
My other key signing was at left back. I had plenty of useful full backs last season, but most were young and better at RB. I wanted someone solid and steady rather than a wing back type. Actually agreed to sign this lad before the end of last season. My scouts saw him playing in Spain for Osasuna and highly recommended him. The price was obviously a big factor too. This means that I am now solid enough across the whole back link to compete with Europe's elite without getting destroyed. Whether I can score against them is another question, but at least I won't concede lots of goals away from home, which was a major problem is my limited CL games last season.
Here's a summary of all of my transfers from the summer. Once again far more players left than joined. It's just a case of either loaning out talented youngsters with first team potential or getting rid of those who aren't going to ever be good enough for my squad. The actual first team activity was very limited and we will look very similar to last year.
Just wanted to share the CL group also. This year I have been given a far easier task than last season's group of death or whatever you call one that is worse than death. I have drawn Arsenal who have won two of the last three CL titles, but am also with Besiktas (3rd seed) and FC Copenhagen (4th seed) who should both be far weaker than my squad (hopefully). I am 99% sure that I will finish 2nd well behind Arsenal, but easily ahead of the bottom two.
I actually played Arsenal in the European Super Cup and somehow won on penalties. They outplayed me completely and I just got lucky. It is however a good omen that I didn't lose even though nine times out of ten I would've. Have discovered that previously I underachieved in Europe by playing as better teams because my style was too attack-minded. Because my initial squad at Feyenoord sucked as was so far away from the elite I had to defend for my life away from home and win home legs. If I move on to an elite club I am going to do my best to apply these same principles even if it does go against my love for attacking football.
- Retain the title (hopefully going undefeated along the way although this is unlikely due to playing backups before European games)
- Win the domestic cup
- Qualify for the knockout rounds of the CL and hopefully win at least one tie against a stronger side
I didn't spend much in the summer in the end so have plenty of money to strengthen my squad during the winter window. If I drew a stronger group for Europe I may have decided to spend earlier, but now I see no point (hopefully this doesn't backfire). I am in a position where I can assess my squad at the halfway point and decide where I am weak/shallow and also buy to cover any injuries. Think this is preferential to buying lots of players who don't have clear roles in my squad.
Nice work, im also playing in the Ere Divisie with Vitesse.
PSV got a tycoon takeover in mine and they spend near on €50m every season on players... anything like that happen in yours yet?
On my game Vitesse and PSV are the richest clubs unless you count me and Ajax selling on players at a profit. Vitesse have the highest salaries while every year PSV spend the most on fees. Nobody has a Sugar Daddy, but Vitesse obviously have Zhordania who is probably the wealthiest owner in the league on the game and IRL.
Here's the salaries, which should give you a guide as to each team's relative wealth
So I've reached the winter break and am looking forward to the second half of the season. First half has been a little dull due to being so easy, but the CL knockout rounds start in a few months and this is where the game will become fun again.
As you can see the league is a bit of a farce. We're miles clear and have the title pretty much wrapped up already even though I've barely watched any games and have used lots of reserves, especially around the time of the CL group stages. Three goals conceded says everything you need to know about the lack of Challengers.
Our undefeated streak has now passed the thirty game mark. Kinda made the game boring because there are very few games we can possibly lose. Am proud to have drawn 3/3 with Arsenal. If the CL games were knockout we'd have been eliminated on away goals. Still is great to have competed so well with the best team on the game. We should've beat them comfortably at home but had one of those freak games where we hit the post a freakish amount of times. They slightly outplayed us in London but it was relatively close and there were very few chances created in the game.
We failed to win our CL group of goal difference (were equal on head to head after the two draws) because they won their final game away in Copenhagen 6-1. Still second and qualification is good enough for me.
In the knockout round we will face Porto. They are a much bigger club and have more expensive players than me, but I fancy our chances. Think we can hold them away from home (or at worst stay within a goal) and I'm confident of beating anyone at home by at least two goals providing we have an away goal so can afford to attack.
League - Running away with the title. Only aim now is to finish unbeaten.
Dutch Cup - Want to win it with my backups because I like a challenge. Plus I need my youngsters to stay happy so I don't lose them.
European Cup - In the first knockout round. How far we can go depends on the draw. Providing we avoid the likes of Man Utd, Bayern, Arsenal and Atletico Madrid I fancy our chances. Will aim for the semis but it's hard to say as the draw will dictate how far we can go. Only worry is that if we come close but don't win it I may be tempted back for one more season to finish the job.
Will report back at the end of the season. May write something at the end of the winter break if there's anything to write. Depends on whether we get involved in the transfer market. As of right now am not convinced that we can attract anyone good enough to improve the team. Only type of player we are missing is a central midfield playmaker. It is however incredibly hard to find a good one and I doubt we have the reputation to attract one.
Finished the season last night. Have mixed emotions. Won the domestic double without losing a game, but lost in the final of the Champions League, which really hurt. Never expected to get there, but when I did I thought I had a great chance of winning. Had to face Lyon who are weaker than the Inter and Atleti teams I'd knocked out in the previous two rounds. We weren't really outplayed in the final. They scored an early goal because my LB was asleep when they took a quick free kick and ran into the box before squaring it for a tap it. We created quite a few reasonable chances, but my strikers weren't on form.
TBH I think we probably overachieved to reach the final. Through great home form and intelligent tactics it's not too hard to knock out superior teams over two legs, but to do it in a one off game at a neutral venue is much tougher. I was happy to go as far as I did and only really feel bad because we came so close. Had some amazing ties over the course of the tournament. The Inter return leg was probably the greatest of them. We were 1-0 down and then had a player sent off in the first half. Somehow managed to stay with them in an attacking game and draw 2-2 on the night and qualify on away goals. Was so happy to go through because we outplayed them in both games and would've been devastated to go out in those circumstances.
At the start of the season I said that I was probably going to leave after this season. Right now I am not sure what I'm going to do. I feel like I have unfinished business after failing to win the CL after coming so close. At the same time every other game is so boring because the Dutch domestic game is so weak. I think right now I am going to stick around. If a good job becomes available I think I will leave. During the preseason I am going to follow the job centre and see what becomes available. We'll see what happens. In the meantime we'll just prepare for next season as normal. Before leave I want to receive the 5 year at one club achievement, which should come through any day, not that it's too big a deal. Next job should be one of two types. Either an international job, which could be of interest with there being a Euros tournament next summer or otherwise a long-term project. I kinda screwed up when I set the game up because I loaded mainly smaller nations. This is normal because I don't like the big leagues due to it being too easy to succeed with so much prize money, especially in England and Germany. However it's a slight regret because not many other leagues go so deep in terms of playable leagues.
In terms of deeper leagues I only have Scotland and Spain loaded. I have zero interest in Scottish football so will probably look for a move to Spain. Here's the playable leagues:
Spain is quite interesting because the prize and tv money packages aren't very good compared to England and Germany meaning that most clubs are pretty broke. Should be a big challenge with Atleti and Barca being so strong on this save. I think I'll look to start in the second tier and try and take up team up with the aim of turning them into a national power.
This summer providing I stay at Feyenoord my aims are:
- Sign a top quality advanced playmaker. We lost the CL because of our central midfield. We struggled in this area in every round.
- Replace my backup 'keeper who wants to leave.
- Maybe sign a better backup RB.
- Sign a top quality right winger. Using forwards as an IF doesn't work at this level.
I'll keep you updated on what happens in the preseason or/and job hunt.
Just wanted to post this to show how far the club has come. Gone from below the likes of Heerenveen and Groningen to top 20 in Europe. Will be in the top 10 after next season when a season where the club didn't play in Europe is removed and replaced with a CL campaign
I found it too hard to motive myself to play another season with Feyenoord when all games but the Euro knockout ones would've been too easy and therefore boring. Instead I have moved to England. I didn't load the English league as being playable on my Feyenoord save so instead have started a new save. I am however going to count it as the same game. I have to start as a new manager, which sucks because I was well on my way to the hall of fame. Sadly I screwed up with the leagues that I loaded so there weren't many interesting challenges on there. I have now started a new save with all of the major leagues (ENG, IT, DE, ESP, PT, FR, RU, UA) and will be starting right at the bottom.
My next challenge....
It is the summer of 2027 and Cheltenham Town have fallen all the way to the Blue Sq North. My mission is the use them to complete the English Hero challenge.For those who are not familiar with the hero challenges they involve taking a team from the bottom tier of selected leagues up to the top. In England this should be particularly difficult because so many tiers are playable on the game.
Not sure if I've explained it on this forum yet, but I am actually half Polish half English. My Father is English and my Mother is Polish. While these days I only attend Polish matches (or other games in continental Europe), when I was a teenager I actually grew up living in Gloucestershire and used to go to Cheltenham Town matches most weekends. Back in the late 90s it was awesome, not like going to watch them today. Nowadays the club has become the same as all the others at this level. The stadium name has changed from Whaddon Road to the Abbey Business Stadium, instead of having mainly terraces and old seats without cover not all of the stands are covered and have modern seats in all but the terraced areas. Also lots of people go to just sit down, watch the game and clap. Back in the day it was completely different and a really beautiful way to spend a wet Saturday afternoon. There weren't many of us, but we'd stand for 90 minutes and sing regardless of how much it rained or how bad the team were and only really hardcore fans would go because the product was so mediocre, but it made you feel like a real fan and a part of the club. You could even sit in the lounge/bar after games and have a chat with some of the players. We had legends like Larry Grayson, Mike Duff and Russell Milton. It was a fantastic time.
Although these days I don't have any interest in attending games due to the changes within the club and the extortionate ticket prices the club will always have a place in my heart. As I tend to write on here for every club that I manage I need to feel a personal connection (or at least some form of understanding) for a club to enjoy managing them. In this regard Cheltenham are a perfect fit. I usually can't be bothered with English leagues because they tend to be easy due to large sums of prize money and the long seasons annoying me due to sometimes playing literally twice as many games as you would in foreign leagues. At the same time I feel that I need to play a career in England before FM2013 comes out and this is the best shot I have to get into a game. The only time I have previously done it was with Birmingham, but I lost interest after season three when the Premiership became too easy. I hope that because of the amount of divisions I need to work my way through this should become a really exciting long-term challenge that can keep my busy for a long time.
Here is a view of the league table. You can see how much the division has changed in the 15 years the game has run.
- Get promoted. We are projected to finish 7th, but I have to aim for far more. I really don't want to have to play lots of seasons at this level as it takes so much time.
- Try and have a good cup run. I've never played a game at this level before so have no idea what the differences in quality are between this level at the next. All I know is that if we can win some FA Cup matches we will get money. We cannot grow without money.
I really don't care about any other tournaments. I will write an update later on when I have played some competitive matches and have a better idea of where we are headed.