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Season 3 (second full season):

Heading into this season I was worried about the strengthening of Man City and Man U, teams that both gave me a challenge last season. Man U was a non factor and started off like a midtable team. Liverpool, who were poor the season prior, started off invincible and remained so until about 2/3s of the way through the season. After taking their first loss they fell off the cliff and left us only to worry about City. We ended up winning the league pretty easily after Liverpool fell off though. Camavinga showed a lot of promise in this first season but played average in the middle of the season. Our other new arrivals, Badiashile, Fofana, Ndidi, and Tielemans were all brilliant with Tielemans being our best player this season. Alena came in on a free and thrived towards the end of the season, displaying his creative ability. Vlahovic came in to replace Iheanacho who City came in for and has been a serviceable replacement when there was a dearth of left footed striker options. We ended up signing Jizz Sarpong, the man with the funny name who we scouted on account of that and who looked really good. He was really poor in the matches we did give him, but I'm confident he has some more growing to do as he just turned 19 and has been training really well. The question is whether I loan him out to QPR in the Championship or incorporate him into the rotation next season. This hinges on whether our third center back gets sufficient offers for him. 

In addition to those signings we had 4 players who were fully promoted into the first team. Kenneh is the most exciting of the bunch. He was a surprise a season ago as he surpassed Cresswell who was clearly his superior but who was stopped growing so rapidly. Kenneh now has the wonderkid tag and has been performing at a high level in the appearances I have given him. He's a valuable left footed center back and will be there to pick up games where Badiashile needs a rest. Cresswell continues to perform well in the opportunities he is given, but this season he wasn't given many as his growth has largely stopped at 20. The appearances he was given were a result of being an emergency center back. He is worth a healthy amount right now and has had a handful of suitors in the past. I will look to move him on next season. The other two youth players to come through this season were Rico Richards and Joe Gelhardt. Richards had been absolutely demolishing the opposition as a youth player and demanded a loan in his contract renewal. I loaned him out to a championship club and after a few weeks saw that they weren't giving him any time so I was able to recall him just in time to incorporate him in the first team. Gelhardt did not tear up the youth level to the same degree as Richards but looked like a more well-rounded striker and performed fabulously for Rotherham in the Championship last season. They were both given chances this year and while neither impressed enough to carve out a place for themselves on the merit of their play alone, they both look like they can hang at this level. Gelhardt just missed the cutoff to become a homegrown player for us so I don't think I will hold onto him, but Richards will and will hang around. Richards must've been given a lower PA in this save than my last save as in that last save he was tearing up the Championship for the AI at 19 and the Ligue 1 for me at 20. I brought him with me to Bayern for about 50 million too. In this save he's looking like he will peak at being a good attacking player for scappy prem teams down the table, but I will continue to give him minutes for the foreseeable future. We have a(nother) center back coming up through the youth system who is looking like he is just about ready to be bled into the team but we have so damn many of them. But at 17, and the speed at which he has been developing, he really deserves a run. Other than the aforementioned I don't think we have any more players on the bubble. In the next few years, however, I think we will have a few.

After hearing the news that Mbappe was being seriously pursued by City, and having been given the budget for the next season I made a deal for the 22 year old Haaland to bring him back to Leeds, his birth city. It is a shame he doesn't qualify as homegrown, but that shouldn't stop him from tearing up the league. With his arrival I will be looking on selling a striker I brought in a couple seasons back who is one match away from hitting his 50 match clause. I didn't even mean not to pay it, but with 1 game remaining in the league I thought it best not to incur that cost and best to move the 28 year old on while he still has value and before having to pay.

We have a great keeper in Meslier, a great right back in Max Aarons, a world class center back pair, but two mediocre left backs. There wasn't much talent available that I could see in my search, at least talent that was below the age of 30, but I found a Brighton player Michal Karbownik who will fit the role perfectly if we can bring him in. Other than that, our midfield with Camavinga, Alena, Baro, Tielemans, Hojbjerg, and Kalvin Phillips, doesn't need to be touched. It is world class. And now with Haaland coming in we will be world class up front. Here's to hoping we can finally push on and win something in Europe!

Kalvin Phillips is now club captain after the sale of Liam Cooper and has help his position against the hungry Camavinga. Phillips is a player who will never  be sold, despite Bielsa's Barcelona coming in for him :)

 

And here's what we won:

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Note Arsenal in 13th. Patrick Viera had them near the bottom so he was sacked and then they hired Thierry Henry lol. Didn't help much. 

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In the Champions league we were knocked out in the semi-finals by Barcelona 10-4 on aggregate.

In the FA Cup we were knocked out in the quarter finals by Manchester United.

Next season I don't expect to lose a single trophy individually while understanding it is likely we will drop at least one.

This is now the second season in a row where Kalvin Phillips was fan's player of the season. He is currently a club icon but I hope we can push him into legendary status before he regresses. I find that the legend-icon-favorite system in FM seems really dumb.  A player who has been at the club for 13 seasons, all of which were quality seasons for, say, a right back and he is just a fan favorite 

 

Challenge Progress:

Domestic Titles

2/13 Premier League Titles: (2021/22) (2022/23)

1/5 The Emirates FA Cup Titles: (2021/22)

2/4 Carabao Cup (League Cup) Titles: (2021/22) (2022/23)

1/10 English Community Shield: (2022/23)

European Titles

0/2 UEFA Champions League

0/1 UEFA Europa League 

0/1 UEFA Super Cup

0/2 FIFA Club World Championship

Challenge Milestones

Win the FA Cup within 4 seasons

Win the Premier League within 7 seasons

Win a Premier League/FA Cup double within 8 seasons

Win Three Premier League/FA Cup Doubles within 13 seasons (1)

Win the Premier League/FA Cup/Champions League Treble within 13 seasons

Point total should be 2350

Edited by kkfootball
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We won everything we could win this season. The league, the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup, the Community Shield, the Champions League. Only the league was hairy with Liverpool taking us down to the last match day only for us to get by on two goals in injury time. The notable signings this year have been Erling Haaland, bringing him back to Leeds and Pedri in from Barcelona in January. Pedri hasn't been great for us yet, but I hope he can kick into gear next season. Barcelona have been sniffing around our Camavinga for months now with the now senile Messi luring him over. Camavinga still has some years on his contract and while he doesn't want to resign a new one at the moment, he could go if Barcelona meet his $160 million release clause. I would prefer he not as he and Kalvin Phillips have been playing the crucial pivot role in our formation and Phillips is now 28, so I'd like Camavinga to continue being around. Phillips had his best year of his career and truly made the captaincy his own. Carles Alena had the best season I've seen on FM since I had a center back who averaged an 8+ average rating for 4 straight seasons while I ascended the English league system due to that FM's broken long throw system. Despite the three Prems, two FA Cups, three Carabao Cups, two Community Shields, and Champions League we've won with Kalvin Phillips being one of the best players in out side, he is still just on icon with Carles Alena sneaking up on him after a mediocre season and one fantastic season. Those two are the only icons so far and I am just a club favorite despite having led a recently promoted, 19th place struggler to these heights. I don't understand this system.

As it regards youth at this club, we have fully integrated Kenneh into the first team, while selling Rico Richards for 20 million, Cresswell for 11 million, and some others for good money as well. We had another promising intake, but we have another center back. So now we have about 8 promising young center backs in our team, including the starters, all of whom are under 24. 

 

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Challenge Progress:

Domestic Titles

3/13 Premier League Titles: (2021/22) (2022/23) (2023/24)

2/5 The Emirates FA Cup Titles: (2021/22) (2023/24)

3/4 Carabao Cup (League Cup) Titles: (2021/22) (2022/23) (2023/24)

2/10 English Community Shield: (2022/23) (2023/24)

European Titles

1/2 UEFA Champions League (2023/24)

0/1 UEFA Europa League 

0/1 UEFA Super Cup

0/2 FIFA Club World Championship

Challenge Milestones

Win the FA Cup within 4 seasons

Win the Premier League within 7 seasons

Win a Premier League/FA Cup double within 8 seasons

Win Three Premier League/FA Cup Doubles within 13 seasons (2)

Win the Premier League/FA Cup/Champions League Treble within 13 seasons

Point total should be 4400

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So Barcelona stole Camavinga from us. I am upset as he was a part of the long game. Also England has this rule where you cannot sign more than six players from abroad who are u-21. Meaning I cannot find a world class replacement who is under 21 without stepping on the toes of some of our other signings.

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My midfielders all playing at the Olympics? No worries I will just play the legendary Oval against last year's third placed Southampton. I lost the Community Shield to Liverpool on penalties by the way. 

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Season is over and I'm happy. After having some fun with the Oval tactic and losing both the Community Shield and Super Cup, I went back to a more usable formation to play out the year. 

With this change we won all of the remaining trophies and won the League as invincibles. Also, Arsenal almost got relegated after Thierry Henry had a terrible start as their manager, after Patrick Viera's terrible tenure. Now they have Roberto Martinez. It took till the last game day for Arsenal to get out of the relegation zone with their win over bottom of the table Burnley and Newcastle's loss to 5th place Fulham with our wonderkid goalkeeper (over their on loan) having a 7.9 rating for that win. In a way I feel responsible for Arsenal's survival and hope they can turn it around. They have a good squad still. Unfortunately for them, however, Nicolas Pepe has turned into a god after leaving Arsenal being last year's top scorer for a 3rd place Southampton on 24 goals and being this years second top goal scorer for them on 18. 

Once again Carles Alena had a fantastic season, winning the player of the year award in the EPL (while not getting into the best XI), and we've managed to get the most out of club icon Kalvin Phillips for the second season (soon club legend God willing). Erling Haaland was the leading scorer in the league with 22, but it felt like most of his goals came from penalties. 

Pedri, after coming in in January last year, found his feet and started performing at a world class level and our winger Calafiori had a 10 goal 10 assist (more in both categories iirc) season in the league and came good for us. Ousmane Dembele was surprisingly good for us despite us only bringing him in as a business deal. After Barcelona stole Camavinga for us (who we weren't using to his fullest potential) for $164 million we brought in Tottenham's Sandro Tonali to replace him and Tonali did a great job. In January we brought in Kai Havertz from Chelsea and Ryan Gravenberch from Ajax to give us some extra class in the side as well as versatility after selling the youngster Jizz Sarpong. Sarpong had been developing really well, but whenever I gave him time in the side, despite his good attributes, he failed to perform for us. as he wasn't being utilized naturally, as home grown talent Nohan Kenneh was much better than him, I sold him to Barcelona after they came in with a sizeable bid. Furthermore we have, as I mentioned in previous posts, so many great center backs coming up through the academy with another one already looking ready for the first team from last season's intake. Sarpong just didn't have a place. We also plan on bringing in a wonderkid center back I had been after for the longest time on a free for next season so things were just stacked against Sarpong, who really only had his name going for him. I should also mention that Fofana and Badiashile are both 24 and are playing fantastically.

The other problem we have is the stockpile of goalkeepers we have. Illan Meslier is 25, has English nationality, has been at the club, as a starter, for the entire save, has been performing well, and is winning world goalkeeping honors yet despite this we have a backup keeper at 20 who already looks a strong goalkeeper for the prem who we got on a free from Barca and the aforementioned wonderkid keeper who was on loan at Fulham who is 6'6" (I like tall goalkeepers) and already looks a menace at 19. PSG were sniffing around Meslier, but weren't willing to really break the bank, even to just secure the agreed upon $85 million Meslier and I agreed upon to bring him in so we happily stuck with him. Rationally, I know I should move on from France's number 1 as his value is really high for a keeper who isn't world class attributes-wise, but I also like the idea of him being at the club for the long haul despite not being homegrown. 

In other news I added Pablo Hernandez to my staff as I remember that being a goal in similar editions of this challenge. Hernandez is our loan manager with terrible attributes, but I don't use that role anyway and I don't mind wasting 300k a year to have him, a club favorite, around. Next season Kalvin Phillips will be 30 so I will look to start grooming him into a coaching role. I already gave Liam Cooper and Stuart Dallas some considerable coaching training but after seeing Dallas' attributes it doesn't look the smartest idea. We will see what we can do. 

Next season we have the Club World Cup which I will take seriously along with the Community Shield and Super Cup. This season I was able to dominate every team in the league, home or away, barring one game against City where we drew 0-0 on 4 shots a piece. Bodes well for the future. Intake this year wasn't great but we signed a few up who could do something. 

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Challenge Progress:

Domestic Titles

4/13 Premier League Titles: (2021/22) (2022/23) (2023/24) (2024/25)

3/5 The Emirates FA Cup Titles: (2021/22) (2023/24) (2024/25)

4/4 Carabao Cup (League Cup) Titles: (2021/22) (2022/23) (2023/24) (2024/25)

2/10 English Community Shield: (2022/23) (2023/24)

European Titles

2/2 UEFA Champions League (2023/24) (2024/25)

0/1 UEFA Europa League 

0/1 UEFA Super Cup

0/2 FIFA Club World Championship

Challenge Milestones

Win the FA Cup within 4 seasons

Win the Premier League within 7 seasons

Win a Premier League/FA Cup double within 8 seasons

Win Three Premier League/FA Cup Doubles within 13 seasons

Win the Premier League/FA Cup/Champions League Treble within 13 seasons

Point total should be 6400

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Haaland has been sold to Liverpool as his release clause was met. Not sure who we'll replace him with yet but we have $200 mil in the bank now. We also sold our cup keeper for $60 mil to Southampton to make space for our big South African wonderkid keeper. Looking at Barcelona's Moriba with a view to push Havertz forward to play a false 9. 

With regard to our club legends:

Kalvin Phillips and Carles Alena have ascended the icon board such that I think after another good season they will be made club legends. Alena has been the best player in the Premier League for two seasons now so I understand why he isn't yet a legend, but Phillips is a lad who has been at Leeds since the Championship and has held down his position in the team all those years. He took up the captaincy and led this team from the relegation zone to the Premier League title (4 straight years) and two straight Champions Leagues along with a handful of other trophies. He persevered and remained a starter even after all the turnover in the squad. He survived a hungry Camavinga on his heels, trying to take his position. He was the fan's player of the season every year except the past two with Alena. During these Alena years he elevated his play beyond those earlier years and became a true international star. Despite all this, and much more unsaid, he isn't a legend yet. But one more season and he will thank God. 

For my manager, despite taking this team to all this glory out of the relegation zone we aren't even a club icon. Our manager is now in the hall of fame in this game solely with accomplishments achieved at this club. Keep in mind Bielsa is a club legend when he didn't do a fraction of what I've done. Anyway, rant over. The system irritates me. 

 

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Window went well despite losing Haaland. Team feels bulletproof. Had to choose between Mbappe and Todibo for similar prices and despite needing Todibo more, he wasn't a perfect fit for my system and it was hard to pass up on Mbappe despite Mbappe not being a perfect fit either. We sold Sandro Tonali and needed to replace him. We brought in the wonderkid who was supposed to be his replacement but he can play three different spots in our system and potentially might play a different role than Tonali. We identified a youngster from Napoli who looks like he can do a job but there aren't many who are ready-made who can so it's good to bring in youngsters to develop into that role. We have one homegrown youngster who is developing into the role nicely.  

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The wonderkid: 

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We won everything this year. It wasn't an invincible season this year, but we were just as strong. Pedri forced his way out to Man City for $165 mil in January and we brought in Tonali's replacement with that money. We also sold one of our academy grads with the wonderkid tag to Dortmund for $21 mil as he wasn't good enough for the team and at 20 had slowed his development. We sold on a few other academy players in January and I look forward to seeing their progress at their new clubs. Haaland for Liverpool was the top goal scorer in the league with one more goal than Moriba and 7 more than Mbappe. Kalvin Phillips at age 30 finally won player of the year in the league and will hopefully finally be afforded legend status at the club. Meslier is looking like he will slowly lose his position to the wonderkid Mashaba as Mashaba has surpassed him on paper and is just 21, but Meslier continues to be more consistent. We shall see what next season holds. 

We still have a reasonably young team. Phillips is 30. We have a replacement, but if that replacement matches his level remains to be seen. 

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Challenge Progress:

Domestic Titles

5/13 Premier League Titles: (2021/22) (2022/23) (2023/24) (2024/25) (2025/26)

4/5 The Emirates FA Cup Titles: (2021/22) (2023/24) (2024/25) (2025/26)

5/4 Carabao Cup (League Cup) Titles: (2021/22) (2022/23) (2023/24) (2024/25) (2025/26)

3/10 English Community Shield: (2022/23) (2023/24) (2025/26)

European Titles

2/2 UEFA Champions League (2023/24) (2024/25)

1/1 UEFA Europa League (2025/26)

1/1 UEFA Super Cup (2025/26)

1/2 FIFA Club World Championship (2025/26)

Challenge Milestones

Win the FA Cup within 4 seasons

Win the Premier League within 7 seasons

Win a Premier League/FA Cup double within 8 seasons

Win Three Premier League/FA Cup Doubles within 13 seasons

Win the Premier League/FA Cup/Champions League Treble within 13 seasons

Point total should be 7750

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  • 2 weeks later...

As I am in need of a save to draw me back into FM21 I thought I would take another go at this. So after holidaying till the 6th November the FM gods have given me . . .

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  • 2 months later...

Following the latest 5* Potential Podcast, I have decided to take up this challenge, to see me through the rest of this FM

So, it seems Leeds are the team for me!

Updates to follow hopefully (How often and what kind of updates are required as proof please?)

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

End of Season 1 - Progress Update

League Finish - 8th

FA Cup - 5th Round

League Cup - n/a (already out)

Summary

End of first season of this challenge with Leeds

It really took me time to turn the big ship that is Leeds around, at one stage I was concerned I was going to be relagated/sacked, winning only the once in my first ten games. But with a lot of perseverance eventually, things started to happen and in a major way, losing just 2 of my final 24 games of the season (I feel we were unlucky to miss out on Europe)

When I arrived we were already out of the League Cup, with us being knocked out by Arsenal in the 5th round of the FA Cup

Kalvin Philips and Raphinha being my standout players

Would hope for a deep cup run next season!

Challenge Progress - End of Season 1

Domestic Titles

0/13 Premier League Titles

0/5 The Emirates FA Cup Titles

0/4 Carabao Cup (League Cup) Titles

0/10 English Community Shield

European Titles

0/2 UEFA Champions League

0/1 UEFA Europa League 

0/1 UEFA Super Cup

0/2 FIFA Club World Championship

League Table - End of Season 1.png

Edited by Connor
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