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Great results to end the season.

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And we finish in 8th just one point and 6 goals away from being in Europe!

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First two signings come in. Everyone knows Ward-Prowse as the engine of Southampton's midfield, but they went down and he wanted out. Omobamidele comes in to solidify our defense.

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Here is our other 6 signings.

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On 23/10/2022 at 07:00, allisiaa said:

I don't mean this in any disrespectful way, but how do you make this challenge interesting over time? 

In my case I ended up with Norwich (FM22) and won the FA-cup in the first season (21/22).

In the second season (22/23) I won:

Premier League, Fa-cup and Europe League.

In the third season (23/24) I won:

Premier League, Champions League, Fa-cup, Carabao Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Community Shield.

I've just about started the 24/25-season (still in August), and have so far won the Community Shield and the UEFA Super Cup.

 

This is not meant as bragging, but to highlight my "problem" going forward. How do you make this interesting over time? Do any of you play with further restrictions other than the ones in the OP? Would be interesting to know. 

 

The interesting part of the challenge (at least for me) is the stories of the players I'm using to make the challenge a reality. IE my version of the class of 92. 
If you look at Ferguson's record. He only finished outside the top 3 in the league four times. All of which were in the old first division. 

Which means for 21 years in the Premier league, he never finished lower than 3rd. Winning the title 13 times, so almost 66% of the time.

Now look at the teams that beat him to the title:

Shearer and Sutton's Blackburn.

The Arsenal Invincible's team.

Jose Mourinho's Billionaire funded Chelsea teams.

Man City's Billionaire funded team (and only then on goal difference in the final game of the season).

My point is, it took some pretty special teams (and amazing stories) to stop him winning even MORE trophies than he did. The "challenging" part of this challenge is building and managing a squad of players that stays dominant for over two decades. Identifying talent, growing that talent, purchasing the required players to fill the gaps in your squad, and being able to afford all of those players wages as they get older and demand more and more money. Then knowing when to replace them. And doing it all over again. 

But if you are looking for a further restrictions to make it interesting, look at the youth prospects rule. The challenge states that you have to have a minimum of one such player in each match day squad. Which means you don't even have to play them, they can just sit on the bench. But Man Utd often had Beckham, Scholes, Butt and both Neville's on the pitch. Force yourself to play more of your youth squad graduates (if you aren't already).

But unfortunately, being dominant and staying dominant is the challenge. If that doesn't interest you, then you need to find a different save. 

 

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Brighton Update #1 - Building a Tactic around our best 11

Starting from the bottom and working our way up, we start with the defense.

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Starting with the Goalkeeper, Robert Sanchez is a Brighton academy grad, so that takes care of the challenge portion for this season. He also happens to be the only decent goalkeeper at the club. I've given him the SK(A) role to best utilize his physicality and mobility. He also has great distribution for a goalkeeper, so I'm comfortable with him getting outside his 6 yard box. My only fear with him is that he's afraid of big matches and doesn't have above average consistency, which I feel is very important for a goalkeeper. However, we must live with him until at least January, so hopefully we can maximize his abilities in this role.

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Next up is our right back, and no it's not going to be Tariq Lamptey, unfortunately. Lamptey and Estupinan on the same team just wouldn't work unless we went all out attack. Joel Veltman is a center back mainly, which is exactly what I want from this role. I want to create a 2-2-6 shape in possession, which might sound crazy but hear me out. Veltman will slide inside when we have possession, becoming a center half along with Adam Webster. This allows Lewis Dunk to roam forward, with his great passing ability and vision for a center back. He will create a defensive midfield 2, along with Moises Caicedo (more on him later) and allow the other 6 players to attack/keep possession in the opponent's half.

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The Center Halfs have two very different roles. Academy graduate Lewis Dunk will be our stopper, he's dominant in the tackle and in the air, and he's good with the ball at his feet. As discussed earlier, in possession he's practically a defensive midfielder, but out of it, he's going to be our ball winner. Adam Webster is just as competent with the ball at his feet, if not more-so, because of his high dribbling attribute, but he's faster, so he can recover when we get counter attacked. Both of these players are consistent and have big matches so they will be here to stay, unless a big offer comes in.

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At left back we have Pervis Estupiñán, a marauding wing back who will be very important in our left sided overload (again, more on that later). His physicality allows him to run for days, which is what he'll need to do as a box-box wingback. He has consistency and big matches listed, so he's safe for now. I want to cull some players that lack in those areas, as well as players who don't have good determination/personalities.

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Now for the most important player for this entire tactic, the Anchor Moises Caicedo. Caicedo's physicality might be getting wasted in this role, so I'm going to tinker with this part of the tactic, but as of right now, this is his spot. I don't feel the need for a Ball Winning Midfielder, with a stopper right behind him. Maybe a DM(D)? I'm unsure. Actually now that I think of it DM(D) makes the most sense. Forget the screenshot his role has changed. I want him to stay back, but move from side to side, recycling possession, and using his ball-carrying ability to cycle the ball between defense and attack, and from the left wing to the right wing.

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Now for the next part of the tactic, the attacking 5.

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Yes, Alex Scott was signed by De Zerbi for 13 million pounds. As you can see we have an extreme overload on the left wing. We have Estupinan bombing down the wing, Mitoma cutting inside, Mac Allister moving outside, and Talles Magno dropping deep, making space for their runs. On the other side, we have our lone playmaker, a far post runner, should the ball be on the left side.

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Alexis Mac Allister's role for this team is to receive possession from the defense, and bring it forward. He's a great passer of the ball, and he's got the work rate to move without the ball as well. He also happens to be our set piece carry, taking corners, free kicks, and penalties. Big plus for him loving big matches and the consistency.

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Facundo Buonanotte is the youngest player in our first team, and he's going to start most of our games. I want to see how he can develop into his playmaking role, and I'm training his passing.

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Alex Scott is everyone's favorite English wonderkid this FM, and I can see why. I've just noticed he's not the greatest finisher, so he's going to switch to the AM(A) role. He doesn't excel at anything yet, but I'm hoping I can develop him into the world-beater I know he can become in this game.

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Kaoru Mitoma was everyone's favorite surprise player this season in real life, and he's been given a rightful bump to his attributes in game. He's someone I could see staying here for a very long time.

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Talles Magno is going to be our striker this season until Evan Ferguson comes back from his season long loan at Blackburn. He's a great player in his own right, and he brings flair and dribbling that Ferguson doesn't bring yet.

Team Instructions + Mentality

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Positive is where we will start. I like what I'm reading here, besides for the first sentence. We are in a relegation battle after all, how many teams are we really stronger than?

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Playing out of defense and focusing play down the left, both things I've talked about at length so far. I'm not changing directness or tempo yet, as I want to see how it plays with the default settings there, until I'm sure about what we're good at. We have great dribblers in Mitoma, Caicedo, Magno, and Scott, and they all have really good flair as well. I want to utilize that to our advantage. Work ball into the box and low crosses, as I don't have a great aerial threat until Ferguson comes back.

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We want to counter, and hopefully get the ball to the left flank right as soon as the keeper gets the ball.

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We're pressing high, and getting stuck in when we can. As soon as we get 2+ yellow cards I will turn get stuck in off.

The Tactic in its entirety:

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Here is how the first iteration of the tactic looks!

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Decided to have a go at this, after holidaying until November 6th, Everton occupied 19th place in the table. So, can I help the Toffee's out of a sticky situation? or will the pressure chew me up? (sorry)

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I found it hard going at first, it took ten games for us to pick up a win (although it was very hard run of fixtures), thankfully though it looks as if we have turned a corner and are steadily climbing.

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Beating Liverpool in the Merseyside derby is the highlight so far, reaching the FA Cup quarter finals is a close second, where we will face Wigan for a place in the Wembley semi-finals.

 

January I sold Dominic Calvert-Lewin to Al-Ittihad for £48M, which frankly I snapped their hands off for. Vitaly Mykolenko has also moved to AC Milan on loan with a mandatory purchase for £24M next summer. We also said goodbye to Seamus Coleman who retired following a serious recurring injury. I wanted to keep him at the club and have made him a coach with the under-18's.

I've reinvested that money to bring in four players who will hopefully get us playing in the way I want in time;

Kelechi Iheanacho - Just the two goals for the Nigerian so far, although he seems to put the ball in the net in most games, just for VAR to rule it out. I reckon he will thrive with a decent partner up front which will be a priority in the summer.

Jaeo Rego - Hot prospect winger, signed from Benfica for £7.25M with future fees. He doesn't speak much English yet which has perhaps held him back, but he is a dynamic player who fullbacks hate playing against with his skillfull dribbling.

Todd Cantwell - I had hoped to transition to 4-2-3-1, and picked Todd as my man to play attacking midfielder behind Iheanacho, paying £6.75M to Rangers for him. However he tore an abdominal muscle in his first training session which ruled him out for three months, so he still hasn't kicked a ball for us yet.

Tyrell Malacia - Deadline day signing from Man United for £6.75M (Half of what United paid for him just last year) to replace the outgoing Mykolenko. He's been solid so far and can still develop plenty in the coming years.

 

So, doing ok at the moment, we've climbed out of the relegation zone a developed a six point cushion I'm aiming to finish 11th or higher as that's what Sir Alex achieved in his first season with United. A trip to Wembley in the cup (preferably two trips!) would also be fantastic.

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Things could get very interesting next season;

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Some lovely oil money would certainlly make my attempt to outshine Fergie a lot easier!

Edited by Rick87
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My first season at Everton came to a bitter-sweet end;

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We stayed up comfortably, finishing in 14th place which pleased the new owners. We also reached the Toffee's first FA Cup final in 14 years as we overcame Wigan in the semi final, however we took a battering in the final against City to end the season on a bit of a sour note.

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Ihenacho was cup tied, so I started with youngster Lewis Dobbin up front as he has scored in every round we've played, unfortunatly he limped off after just two minutes so I had to put on Yousef Cherminti who has not played much since my arrival. Malacia also had to come off at 2-0 down and when I decided to throw on an extra midfielder to stem the flow, that was all my substitutions used before half time. We did briefly show some fight and scored a couple, but we completely ran out of steam and City destroyed us in the second half. It's never nice to lose a final but to get annihilated like this was tough.

 

Still, look forwards; the new owners are making the best part of £200M available to me in the summer so expect a full squad rebuild as I try to reverse years of steady decline at Goodison park, in the final season at Goodision! We will move to the new Bramley-Moor Dock stadium at the end of the season, marking the end of over 130 years at the ground. A real transitional season ahead!

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2024/25 preview

I've been ringing the changes at Goodison Park as I try to turn the Toffees from relegation battlers into a European competitor in a single season. 

Objective

The board want to finish in the top half of the table, given the amount of money I've spent this summer that should be the absolute minimum, personaly I'm aiming for at least a spot in the Conference League, perhaps even it's two more established counterpart competitions. Winning one of the cups following our poor showing at Wembley last season would also be great.

Transfers Out (£148.5 - 165.7M)

Yousef Cherminti - Nottingham Forest - £7M (£8M) - Decent prospect but he didn't feature much last season and wasn't really in my plans so it seemed right to let him go to Forest

Eli Campbell - Sheffield United £1.5M - Wasn't in my plans so happy to take the money

Ben Godfrey - Al Nassr - £20M - I was disapointed to lose Ben who I rated highly but he had his mind made up about going to Saudi so I had to accept their offer.

Dwight McNeil - Al Nassr - £34M (£37.5M) - Very hot and cold player, sometimes brilliant and then anonymous. Nearly £40M seemed a more than fair price for him 

Abdoulaye Doucore - Real Socredad -  £9.5M - Good player but with better options coming in I let him go as i don't want unhappy players who arn't playing reguarly.

Billy Crellin -  Wolves - £300k - back up who hasn't played a minute for me, wolves can have him.

Charlie Whittaker - Blackpool - £155k - Same as above

Vitaly Mikolenko - Al Ittihad - £25M - Was on loan at Milan last season and wanted to leave for a bigger club. not sure how Al-Ittihad are a bigger club than Everton but hey ho. 

Idrissa Guye - Real Socriedad - £1.7M - A tough tackling midfielder, but he is nearly 35 now and it seemed prudent to cash in on him why we still can.

Jordan Pickford - Arsenal - £48.5M (£59M) - Won player of the tournament at Euro 2024, I really didn't want to sell Jordan but when Arsenal's intrest became known he handed in a request and I didn't want to hold him against his will. £60M seems a good price at least.

Jao Virginia - Released - Never going to forgive him for his abysmal performance in the FA cup final. He's returned to his native Portugal with Casa Pia.

Ashley Young - Released - I wanted to keep Ashley as a player-coach as he was still a useful back-up, however he wasn't prepared to accept that role so I let him go. Currently unattached.

Dele Ali - Released - Never kicked a ball last season due to his hip problem. I wasn't prepared to chance a new contract with his injury history. Now at Rotherham in the Championship.

Andre Gomes - Released - Now with Alaves in the Spanish second division. Tidy player but I didn't see him getting too many starts this season so I let him go.

 

Transfers In - £138M

Daiya Maekawa - Top goalkeeper who I signed from Japanese J-League side Kobe for a very modest fee of £2.5m

Neco Williams - Replaces the outgoing Ben Godfrey at right-back. Neco cost me £19.5M from Forest.

Marc Guehi - Part of a triple raid on relegated Palace this summer. Marc is the ball playing defender I want in the heart of my defense alongside James Tarkowski. He set me back £27m

Mo Camara - Experienced ball winner who joins us for £10m from Monaco

Emile Smith-Rowe - Could be a massive for us, he was listed by request at Arsenal after only getting seven starts last season. For £23M he could be an amazing signing for us if he can reach his massive potential.

Ebere Eze - Second Crystal Palace signing; Explosive midfielder who is a nightmare for opposition to deal with when on form, him and ESR could be a real creative force together. £19M

Anthony - My replacement for Dwight McNeill; Anthony is a potential world beater on the wing even if it hasn't worked out at Old Trafford, he is initially on loan from Man United but I have the option to buy for £40M. we will see how it goes.

Samuel Iling - Signed for £23M from Juventus, an exciting winger who will be hoping the move to England will get him an international call up.

Lorenzo Luca - Italian target man signed from Pisa for £9.25M, he spent last season on loan at Udinese where he scored 18 goals in Serie A.

Sam Johnstone - Rotation keeper, signed from Palace for £4.5M when Pickford left for Arsenal. He will be my cup goalkeeper and Maekawa my first choice in the Premiership, at least to start with.

 

I'm very happy with my squad now, it is massively improved on last season and should be able to play some exciting attacking football rather than the Tony Pulis Stoke-esc route-one tactics I used last season to keep us up. I'm working on training 4-2-3-1 during pre-season. I now have two quality options in all positions as well as a decent youth prospect who can step up when injuries and suspensions occur;

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Perhaps you'll disagree, but to my mind, that is a top 6-7 squad. Time will tell if I'm right.

Come on you toffees!

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