Hello, let me introduce myself, I'm from Portugal, been playing FM/CM Series since the beginning of times, and for the first time I decided to post on a FM Forum regular updates of my latest save. Here is the deal, my long term goal is to remain in control of the same team, in this case, Liverpool, as long as possible, 25 seasons or so, of course I'll have to grab some titles along the way, or else....
First season kicks off... Now let me see... Let's measure the challenge. Liverpool has in its favour, History, tradition, The Beatles, and of course, Steven Gerrard. Up against it, a lot of over-rated, over-paid footballing Prima Donnas, a huge debt and very short-fused fanbase. Seems fair enough.
As for transfers, since there is not much money popping out of the ground, I've spent 325k loaning in Seydou Keita and 3.5M for Clint Dempsey. My favourite signing targets are a lit bit expensive for me right now. No sales for the record, just a few loans out: Wisdom, Roberts, Coady, Flanagan, Robinson and Maxi.
Pre-season okay, with the following matches: 2-0 vs Rochdale, 2-1 vs Cardiff, 4-0 vs Cliftonville, 0-1 vs Vasluii (ooops, sorry :o ), 1-1 vs Valencia, 0-1 vs Zaragoza () and for a wrap 1-0 vs Villarreal.
Now it's time to get serious, the lads are ready for the upcoming season, been training the team to play in 4-5-1 scheme, the time has come.
My first XI: Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Lucas, Keita, Downing; Suarez, Kuyt, Carrol, Gerrard is still out injured.
False start with an own goal by Reina at 9', I had to struggle to keep them at bay, at 42' Suarez levels it, and the half time team talk was real ugly. At 54' Keita scores with a scorcher, and Carroll ends the dispute with a lucky strike(?!) with what appears to be his hip. Who cares about Shakira? Carragher is coming out injured, but the match is almost over. End of 90', 3 points, joy to the world, but it was harder than the result indicates. Go Reds, YWNWA!!!
No surprise we come in front, own goal by Clarke at 19', Kuyt extends the lead at 31', Ward makes it 2-1 at 37' giving the away team the impression they're here to put up a fight, the result holds until HT, Carragher makes no mistake from a corner, heading it in at 58' and Skrtel who was brought in at 70' tried the same at 81' but hit the post, luckily won the rebound at powered it in with his left foot. We are through. NEXT!!!!
Aurelio makes me happy with a 40 yarder right after the match begun, only 5' on the clock, nesting the ball to the left of De Gea, who is left with no chance, 1-0 up. Life is glorious!!! I just can't stop smiling because Sir Alex said before the match, he hates the way my teams play. Hope he likes it now. Until HT no real chances either side. It's a very tight affair if you ask me. To my delight and surprise, 2nd Half starts in the same manner, 5' in, shot by Suarez... And it's a wrap!!! 2-0 up. Time to sit back and wait for the changes that Sir Alex is going to make. I just had to sub my players that look more tired. Sir Alex makes his move at 79', three subs at the same time. Too late dear Sir, more ball for Man Utd, and all the points for Liverpool. Now we sit atop along with Spurs.
September is gone, 4 league matches and round 3 for Carling Cup, Gerrard is back but is still far from his best. Things looked bright at the start of the month. Blackburn away, Norwich home, double clash with Sunderland both at Anfield, the first one is a league match and the second is for Carling, and finally, big night out at the Molineux to face Wolves.
The match with Blackburn was a hard fought battle, the Rovers took the lead by Vukcevic, but Kuyt leveled the match 2' into injury time. In the second half fans applauded the return of Gerrard to the pitch, at 61', and 11' later he did what he does best, sent it home from the distance, 1-2, Reds win again. Bad news is we lost Keita, straight red card and 1+2 match ban. Bugger.
Then followed the trip to Carrow Road, Norwich had won the previous match, first time in the season, and gave us hell, at least until minute 44, Daniel Agger blasted the net with a header picking up a cross by Bellamy who won the ball from a mix up of Norwich defenders while trying to defend a set piece. This event cost us Bellamy, had to be replaced. The best was yet to come, Downing hit it twice at 73' and 87', and that was it. 3 more points.
Now let's receive Sunderland, a double date. The Premiership match was a sweet and peaceful victory 2-0, goals by Dempsey (25') and Kuyt (58'). Once again Gerrard still looking for his best, popped out of the bench at 73'. For the second date, they got all frisky, this time around it wasn't a walk in the park. Carroll made it 1-0 at 15', and despite the chances being created one after another, the 2nd half began with a dangerous 1-0, and yes, you guessed it. Sunderland punished us at 58' by Wickham, when everything pointed at the draw, Carroll made it again at 82', from inside the box he smashed the net. Relief. It's over and moving on to 4th round of Carling Cup.
The final match for September, our co-leaders, the Spurs lost their match, and we could make a break from the opposition, with a win (making it 3 points clear) or just a draw. No difference, we've been working hard to be the kings of hill. But... We've just lost Suarez, Adam and Bellamy due to injury, Keita still out suspended. Charlie Adam has been providential covering for Gerrard, and this time around he was dearly missed. Gerrard from the start, didn't make it to minute 55, the team was much too patched to make a consistent performance. Agger grabbed the lead for us at 7', but Hunt dug the grave at 28' and Doyle put us to rest at 75'. We created more chances, but squandered them all, a tough lesson was learned today. And for our grievance, now there are 3 teams with the same 15 points, Tottenham, Liverpool and Wolves. It was almost a perfect run. But I believe we are in the right tracks.
Competition aside, we just secured Ganso, he is due to land in January.
Fulham at Craven Cottage, we were kind of in a hurry, 3-0 up, 2 goals by Carroll and a very late one by Downing, we rushed back home to set up a warm welcome to WBA, and my first instinct proved correct, they really are tough cookies. 19 fouls, 5 yellow cards and 1 red to prove my thesis, and a skinny 1-0 victory. It was a bad day in the office for us, we got the 3 points with Agger proving once again to be a natural born killer when it's time to dispute a header. Poor show for the fans and for me, but oh well... We got clear from Wolves (who lost their match) and from Tottenham (match postponed). The top seat is ours, for how long?
Next match is at home again, Stoke is coming to town, and Gerrard at 12' and Agger (again?!) at 26' closed the book on this one. No more crazy efforts because the next match will be against Tottenham, they have been playing like animals, 30 goals in 9 matches, and my team with just 19 goals in 10 matches, that makes me really jealous. Don't need to remind you, this is a vital match, we need to be on our toes to make it in White Hart Lane.
But before this trip to London, a Carling Cup clash against Bristol, away, and the lads are going to need to wear armours, not just because it's going to be a battle but we can't afford to lose any key players to face Tottenham. Bristol did put a great display against us, Kuyt and Gerrard settled the matter with one goal a piece, and we are through. Chelsea on our way in the quarter finals.
Finally the most anticipated match this season, at least for me. One thing does worry me... Taking faith in Harry Redknapp's words, I'm starting to feel that there is not one single manager in England that likes me... Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm Either way... In case of victory we could make it 6 points clear, Suarez made me believe with a very classy finish at 16', we could have bagged 2 more, but... No more joy to be seen in this first half. Second half, as expected, the Spurs were all over us, like mad dogs, no time to breathe, we could have made it by Kuyt at 68', but the post denied, and Defoe at 78' took a rebound home to level it, Parker made his first goal of the season (why me?) at 81' and just when I thought the boys were fighting at least for the draw, Agger fouled Defoe inside the box and van der Vaart made no mistake from the spot, ending in an embarrassing 1-3 defeat.
Second time we try to assault the leadership, second time we fail, and again a defeat, end result left us with the same points (24), Tottenham has the upper hand, 33 goals scored against my 20, and with one match left to play. The odds are all against us, and worse, Man Utd were once trailing way behind, and now just 2 points cushion. No matter what, still looks good to me. Maybe I can finish in top 4 and run for Champions League after all...