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FM21 - Athletic Club: Los Leones Roaring Back


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On 14/03/2021 at 12:45, TelcontarTargaryen said:

 I did all that, I am set as the person responsible for hiring and firing staff of all four Athletic teams. Can't figure it out.. the thing is I can actually hire staff, (although there is still problem of not being able to actually hire anyone for B and C teams cause board only allows low wages and no matter how low someone's reputation is, when I offer them contract for the Bilbao Athletic they demand at minimun €2.1k while the limit the board set is at €1.6k .. it is like it is hardcoded into the game for any coach to demand at least 2.1k .. even if he initially accepts 900€ for U19 coach position, when I try to change it B team, demands change to those that can not be met.
I digress, back to the topic, I can hire, or at least negotation with staff for B/C teams, but when I go to the staff tab on the left, only U19 and first team give me that view I mentioned with all the staff listed in 3 groups and will colour coded small silhouettes

Staff for the B and C teams are viewed in a different place to your first team staff.  As the earlier post says you should be able to see them under one of the tabs in the development centre.

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Just finished my first season finishing 4th. Williams is banging in the goals but I'm struggling to get any form out of Muniain.

 

I'm currently playing a 4231, any tips on how I can get more from him?

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Another quick question after the B team got promoted.

 

If I keep some youngsters in the senior squad and make them available for the B team will they be eligible to play for both the senior squad and the B team?

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Yes, but there are some limitations I think. Players under certain age (18 on the first of january of year X) can play freely, others have to be registered, and there is some limit to the number. Honestly I still haven't figured out what exactly are the rules, but I can make my players play for B / C / U19 team and senior squad. 
Also, C team doesn't have a league, so arrange A LOT of friendlies for them, ideally against similar or stronger opposition...

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On 17/03/2021 at 16:14, TelcontarTargaryen said:

Yes, but there are some limitations I think. Players under certain age (18 on the first of january of year X) can play freely, others have to be registered, and there is some limit to the number. Honestly I still haven't figured out what exactly are the rules, but I can make my players play for B / C / U19 team and senior squad. 
Also, C team doesn't have a league, so arrange A LOT of friendlies for them, ideally against similar or stronger opposition...

Once you get the B team into La Liga 2 then it's possible to get the C team in Segunda B.  My C team is currently in Segunda B.

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On 15/03/2021 at 01:45, TelcontarTargaryen said:

 I did all that, I am set as the person responsible for hiring and firing staff of all four Athletic teams. Can't figure it out.. the thing is I can actually hire staff, (although there is still problem of not being able to actually hire anyone for B and C teams cause board only allows low wages and no matter how low someone's reputation is, when I offer them contract for the Bilbao Athletic they demand at minimun €2.1k while the limit the board set is at €1.6k .. it is like it is hardcoded into the game for any coach to demand at least 2.1k .. even if he initially accepts 900€ for U19 coach position, when I try to change it B team, demands change to those that can not be met.
I digress, back to the topic, I can hire, or at least negotation with staff for B/C teams, but when I go to the staff tab on the left, only U19 and first team give me that view I mentioned with all the staff listed in 3 groups and will colour coded small silhouettes

I feel like there are quite a few bugs with this area...I think the wages thing is because you're negotiating it as Athletic Club manager, and they seem to respond based on Athletic's reputation rather than the B team or C team reputation.

In the end I just delegated all hiring/firing/contract responsibilities for b and c team to an appropriate staff member (e.g. technical director I think I used). I still controlled hiring the manager for the B team but that was about it. Any good players i have in those squads are training with the first team anyway

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On 18/03/2021 at 10:14, TelcontarTargaryen said:

Yes, but there are some limitations I think. Players under certain age (18 on the first of january of year X) can play freely, others have to be registered, and there is some limit to the number. Honestly I still haven't figured out what exactly are the rules, but I can make my players play for B / C / U19 team and senior squad. 
Also, C team doesn't have a league, so arrange A LOT of friendlies for them, ideally against similar or stronger opposition...

Rules:

Players who are 18 on 1st January of that season can move freely between teams. Players 19 or older can only be registered for one of the squads so you have to make a decision. If a player over that age starts in the first team and plays over 10 games, they can't be shifted to the B team in the registration windows. I don't think there's a limit to the number of 18 or under players you can/can't register.

Edit - I'm not sure if this is the correct implementation of real life to be honest, I think I've seen someone saying somewhere it's not correct in the game 

Edited by bowieinspace
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The day has come!

I might be forced to sell Simon. He is not happy and wants to leave.

I have a bid from PSG for over €100 mill. I have to buy Remiro as replacement, as Kepa just left Chelsea for Lyon.

It is deadline day.

What should I do? :O

 

image.png.db25a5271c31ff1d5d3217b225684660.png

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21 hours ago, sindre_90 said:

The day has come!

I might be forced to sell Simon. He is not happy and wants to leave.

I have a bid from PSG for over €100 mill. I have to buy Remiro as replacement, as Kepa just left Chelsea for Lyon.

It is deadline day.

What should I do? :O

 

image.png.db25a5271c31ff1d5d3217b225684660.png

How good is Alvaro Fernandez? Or Ivan Martinez? A step down sure but significantly so?

I'd sell for that amount, it's silly money.

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@dothestrand, Alvaro is not Basque. Martinez is my 2nd keeper, but far away from Simon's level. So the only available replacement now is Remiro. I have a couple of talented 17-year olds, but not good enough yet

Don't really need the money.... I will stick with an unhappy Simon. Can sell him later. Still 4 years left on his contract.

Final offer from PSG was €80 mill + €60 mill over 2 years. Since his clause is €142 in one time payment, it was rejected. Hopefully this will not destroy my squad, but everyone is happy except Simon.

Maybe som trophies will help things :)

 

 

 

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Sorry to sound so dumb and seem unaware of something I should've known before, but how exactly do I set up/search/filter for Basque players on the game? 

Im planning to start a save as Athletic but for the life of me couldnt get the basque filter going on, havent seen it anywhere in my game.

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19 hours ago, lugui said:

Sorry to sound so dumb and seem unaware of something I should've known before, but how exactly do I set up/search/filter for Basque players on the game? 

Im planning to start a save as Athletic but for the life of me couldnt get the basque filter going on, havent seen it anywhere in my game.

Go in under player search in the scout area and then choose edit search in the right corner and under Add condition choose nationality. After it choose Spain go back in and choose basque 😏

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Posted (edited)

I've started a Lezama only save. Having won a third title in six years and with a couple of dozen of youngsters developed internally or poached from other academies, I've decided to restart, more realistically, and to build a homegrown squad. I'll be focussing on holding the current squad together, developing the new intake through the different squads before reaching the first team by the time they're 21 or so, and maybe bringing former youngsters back (but that would be a last option). More in line with how Athletic Club operate in the real world, rather than exploiting the abundance of talent that comes through elsewhere each season.

I started the save after the first season when Athletic Club finished ninth. So no Europe, but we'll aim for that next season. A few good players came through the youth intake, the two attached will be certain first-teamers in future. I'll transition some deadwood out but won't expect wholesale changes. As contracts expire, players will leave and new players will come in via the different squad pathways. So, a tougher challenge than usual, but probably more rewarding. 

2026827301_Screenshot2021-04-05at20_29_17.thumb.png.ab637fc57d8d3823fbb9ca0044648d31.png

 

 

1799657064_Screenshot2021-04-05at20_29_01.thumb.png.d48f3856a5b0213e9706a2809fde04e8.png

 

 

Edited by dothestrand
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Em 05/04/2021 em 14:59, ernemann disse:

Go in under player search in the scout area and then choose edit search in the right corner and under Add condition choose nationality. After it choose Spain go back in and choose basque 😏

Thanks, mate. I will try that, appreciate it. I wasnt sure if I could only search for basque players by managing Athletic.

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Hey, I’m just starting a new save with Athletic and wondered if after the update whether many are moving Serrano and Williams straight up into the first team? Their PA looks great compared to some of the first teamers, they just need to do some bulking up but I don’t want to rush them too much

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I moved quite a few players from the youth team, so they train with first team squad and get the mentoring.. but I also often make them available for U19 and C team. (another hint, arragne at least once a week a friendly for C team since they are not in the active league). 
That being said, both Nicos quite often feature in my team, with Nico performing really well, but they are not guaranteed starters, I rotate a lot and against stronger teams do usually start with Ibai and Berenguer or Morcillo.

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On 08/04/2021 at 14:42, lugui said:

Thanks, mate. I will try that, appreciate it. I wasnt sure if I could only search for basque players by managing Athletic.

No problem. The only thing i wish was different, that Young Spanish under 17 who arent basque didnt show in the scout report. But i guess some people still buy Them 🤷‍♂️ 

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On 08/04/2021 at 16:23, Paulz said:

Hey, I’m just starting a new save with Athletic and wondered if after the update whether many are moving Serrano and Williams straight up into the first team? Their PA looks great compared to some of the first teamers, they just need to do some bulking up but I don’t want to rush them too much

I moved about 4-6 Young players up to the first team and players like Serrano, Nico Williams, Morcillo and Imanol gets  alot of time 

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Just played the 2021-22 season with my Lezama save and we finished 7th, level with Sevilla on 6th (who had a better head-to-head). It means we qualified for Europe, at the expense of Real Sociedad in 8th. The top three were the usual; Valencia, Villarreal and Sevilla finished 4th-6th. Given that Valencia spent 127m (they had a takeover) and Sevilla 95m (they sold Munir to PSG for silly money), we did OK given we have not and are not buying anyone.

I let Berenguer leave for the Middle East. Inigo Vicente left too. Mikel Vesga will go this Summer, and then that's probably it. 

It's a bit of waiting game for regens to come through. The two I posted before are coming along well. I have a 15yo striker that has excellent potential - just need to work on those physicals.

Just to avoid any complacency creeping in with the team, I've hired Roy Keane as my assistant manager!

 

2124460770_Screenshot2021-04-14at16_38_19.thumb.png.d8d1d9e3eb662dbfb0da03b0835c5bd5.png

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Just wanted to show you this 17yo Basque regen (from Basauri) who emerged from Real Madrid's academy. He'd cost 63m but with my Lezama only save I won't try to sign him. Still, he is ridiculous. 

410350254_Screenshot2021-04-18at22_48_29.thumb.png.e643dfacefd85961a8de796bc67189ab.png

 

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On 05/04/2021 at 21:37, dothestrand said:

I've started a Lezama only save. Having won a third title in six years and with a couple of dozen of youngsters developed internally or poached from other academies, I've decided to restart, more realistically, and to build a homegrown squad. I'll be focussing on holding the current squad together, developing the new intake through the different squads before reaching the first team by the time they're 21 or so, and maybe bringing former youngsters back (but that would be a last option). More in line with how Athletic Club operate in the real world, rather than exploiting the abundance of talent that comes through elsewhere each season.

I started the save after the first season when Athletic Club finished ninth. So no Europe, but we'll aim for that next season. A few good players came through the youth intake, the two attached will be certain first-teamers in future. I'll transition some deadwood out but won't expect wholesale changes. As contracts expire, players will leave and new players will come in via the different squad pathways. So, a tougher challenge than usual, but probably more rewarding. 

2026827301_Screenshot2021-04-05at20_29_17.thumb.png.ab637fc57d8d3823fbb9ca0044648d31.png

 

 

1799657064_Screenshot2021-04-05at20_29_01.thumb.png.d48f3856a5b0213e9706a2809fde04e8.png

 

 

Good luck ! that is what i want to do with Bilbao. Youth only :) but i'm still not sure. This will be fun after 5, 6 years, not sooner.

Why did u holiday the first season ? to get the first intake/regens ?

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3 hours ago, OlivierL said:

Good luck ! that is what i want to do with Bilbao. Youth only :) but i'm still not sure. This will be fun after 5, 6 years, not sooner.

Why did u holiday the first season ? to get the first intake/regens ?

I'm always happy with my first Athletic Club save being one where you can sign any Basque club but it becomes a little easy after a while when you just hoover up the talent from other academies every season. I'd won a couple of titles - nowhere near winning the CL mind - so I thought I'd start again.

I was desperate to see the intake, so that's why I holidayed! After a couple of seasons, whilst we didn't have a golden generation, we have a good pool of talent to develop. Ideally they reach a good level of development by the time their current position holder leaves.

I've shared screenshots in previous posts but we have a DMC, AMC and ST who are in the first team squad, getting minutes and should be first choices, more or less, within 2-3 years. They should replace Dani Garcia and Raul Garcia (whether as AMC or ST) very soon.

To a lesser extent, I have a 16yo AML who could be an upgrade on Morcillo/Cordoba, but as that's a position with some depth, I can take some time with him. I have a really promising GK but again, no rush as Simon is going nowhere. Also a RB who may not be ready when Capa/Lekue depart, but would not be far off, hopefully.

But another good thing about this type of save is that you use some of the players you start with, whom you would quickly discard because you've brought in a better youngster from Real Sociedad, Osasuna, Alaves, etc. So Benat De Jesus, Inamol, Inigo Gomeza, Oier Zarraga, Nico Williams, even Peru Nolaskoian. They're not world beaters but they provide good depth. With Inamol/Gomeza, they're pretty decent in my saves so when Yuri leaves, I'm not in a hole.

So it feels like a more 'real' save - but it will be harder, sure.

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2 hours ago, dothestrand said:

I'm always happy with my first Athletic Club save being one where you can sign any Basque club but it becomes a little easy after a while when you just hoover up the talent from other academies every season. I'd won a couple of titles - nowhere near winning the CL mind - so I thought I'd start again.

I was desperate to see the intake, so that's why I holidayed! After a couple of seasons, whilst we didn't have a golden generation, we have a good pool of talent to develop. Ideally they reach a good level of development by the time their current position holder leaves.

I've shared screenshots in previous posts but we have a DMC, AMC and ST who are in the first team squad, getting minutes and should be first choices, more or less, within 2-3 years. They should replace Dani Garcia and Raul Garcia (whether as AMC or ST) very soon.

To a lesser extent, I have a 16yo AML who could be an upgrade on Morcillo/Cordoba, but as that's a position with some depth, I can take some time with him. I have a really promising GK but again, no rush as Simon is going nowhere. Also a RB who may not be ready when Capa/Lekue depart, but would not be far off, hopefully.

But another good thing about this type of save is that you use some of the players you start with, whom you would quickly discard because you've brought in a better youngster from Real Sociedad, Osasuna, Alaves, etc. So Benat De Jesus, Inamol, Inigo Gomeza, Oier Zarraga, Nico Williams, even Peru Nolaskoian. They're not world beaters but they provide good depth. With Inamol/Gomeza, they're pretty decent in my saves so when Yuri leaves, I'm not in a hole.

So it feels like a more 'real' save - but it will be harder, sure.

Yes , the way you talk about the save , i giving me once again a lot of good vibes to start but the fact that Bilbao is starting with a lot of good things (money, stadium, facilities, liga ) is giving me doubts.. i know it will be a big challenge after a few years.

 

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I'm going to keep Bilbao in mind for next FM. I started with a team in Gibraltar and i'm doing a Gibraltar (academy or players with Gibraltarian nationality from other teams) only.. Gibraltar is my Basque :) 

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Posted (edited)

My Lezama save progressed quicker than I thought and we won the title in 2022-23. I'm sure I've never won the title this soon even when signing players. It really was based on my home form of 18 wins and 1 draw, and that draw was in our third to last home game against A. Madrid. Away form was decent too, though we usually lost to the big guns. The defence all performed strongly, Williams and Villalibre scored 25 and 34 respectively across all competitions, and the midfield was solid. 

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We've got some nice young players developing now and I'll use the close season to work out their paths to first team football and when to start transitioning the squad. The three who've already had a taste of first team football, who've all been mentioned above are:

  • Imanol Gonzalez (18yo) - primarily a CM, but comfortable at CB and CM. An obvious replacement for Dani Garcia, whose contract expires in a year. I plan to let his contract run out but would happily let him leave now as Gonzalez was already getting his game time.
  • Xabier Martin (17yo) - an AMC who I'll retrain as a CM. His technical stats need some work but he can take over more permanently from Muniain (whom I often play in the middle or more likely, Unai Lopez, within a couple of seasons.
  • Hugo Nunez (16yo) - already my second/third choice striker (depending on how I use Williams). But like Martin, his technical stats need to improve. He isn't a natural finisher by any means. I have the option to drop him back into midfield, like a Scholes, but I need a striker more than I need a midfielder.

Then there are some longer term players, who need more development and experience (probably on loan), before being ready in a few years. All of whom have 4.5-5* potential. Some examples:

  • Santos Hernandez (17yo) - in the short-term, Imanol and Inigo Gomeza can replace Yuri, who I may let go when his contract expires in a year or sell earlier - he's been injury-prone. But Hernandez has huge potential - he improved massively in his first season at the club. All the attributes getting healthy upticks. Probably still a few years off being first choice.
  • Javier Nunez (17yo) - came through the second intake. Probably has more natural forward attributes than Nunez so far, but I want those physicals and mentals higher. Still, he is improving whilst on loan.
  • Ignacio Palacios (16yo) - not a fan of his temperament but he's developed well nonetheless in his first season. Can play across the back, so gives great options for when Capa, Lekue and Martinez move on. 
  • Kike Garmendia (16yo) - excellent GK prospect but with Simon being 25yo, I'm happy to let Garmendia develop at his own pace. Even if he just ends up being a second choice GK, I'm fine. But I think he can reach Simon's level. Pedro Munoz is a 15yo GK who just came through the youth intake - if both develop nicely, that's even better.
  • Javier Alkorta (15yo) - coaches really rate him, and good personality/determination means that even though his attributes are probably only OK, there should be huge room to grow - and we can wait a few years for Yeray and Nunez to age.
  • Gorka Pascual (15yo) - also just emerged in the recent intake, he is looking very, very promising! Stats on a nice upward curve, and I reckon he is only 2-3 years off being a first teamer. He'll compete with Gonzalez, and would be an upgrade on Vencedor and Nolaskoian, not that I'd be in a hurry to let them go. Can also play CM and RB, which is a bonus. I'd be tempted to use him as Capa's replacement.
  • Roberto Aizpurua (16yo) - also in the recent intake, showing signs of improvement already. Likely to be a solid, all-round AML option, who can replace Cordoba in a few seasons hopefully.

Our under-19s have a few more players with 3* potential. We'll keep them around and see how they go. We had a 'golden generation' of sorts, as you can guess.

So, in three seasons, we have around 9-10 players of first team potential within five years, all of whom should be as good as, if not better, than their current position holders. We can move some of the older guys (Yuri, Martinez, D Garcia, R Garcia) on quite easily within the next season or so. Capa will be a little more difficult as there is no quick option at RB. Muniain and Williams should be at the club well into their 30s as we wait for players to develop - wingers are not our strong point, which may necessitate tactical changes.

But....a Lezama only save is definitely a good option, and a more enjoyable save so far!

Edited by dothestrand
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What formation do you tend to find a better fit for the first season squad and youth players coming though? I generally prefer a 433 but it looks like 4231 could be a potentially better match for the players  

Edited by Paulz
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8 hours ago, Paulz said:

What formation do you tend to find a better fit for the first season squad and youth players coming though? I generally prefer a 433 but it looks like 4231 could be a potentially better match for the players  

I'm pretty sure the suggested setup is 4-2-3-1, with Raul Garcia as the AMC. I prefer a 4-1-2-2-1 so I have more stability in midfield and more protection for the defence. So I use Garcia up front as he's the only natural AMC as far as I recall. You often get AMCs as youth players though but I retrain them. Your best young players at the start are Serrano and Williams, who are either wide players or forwards anyway. 

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I would put Williams on top. A superb advanced forward. 2x Golden Boot and 3x league top scorer for me. But of course, with that formation, you will have trouble placing Raul elsewhere

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12 hours ago, markv1 said:

Can our C team be promoted from Segunda División B if B team is already promoted to LL SmartBank? I don't want both to be in 2nd division.

The B-team and C-team cant play in the same division, so if b-team is in segunda (la liga 123), the C-team cant be promoted no matter what it says in the game 

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On 25/04/2021 at 11:28, sindre_90 said:

I would put Williams on top. A superb advanced forward. 2x Golden Boot and 3x league top scorer for me. But of course, with that formation, you will have trouble placing Raul elsewhere

Personally I always got the best out of Raul Garcia in central midfield.

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2023-24 season of my Lezama only save was another successful season. We finished 2nd in La Liga, way behind Barcelona, but interestingly, just ahead of Valencia and Sevilla. The two Madrid clubs failed to make the CL! Look how congested 11th to 17th was too! Cadiz, in theory, could have gone down as they beat Almeria on the last day. Real San Sebastian continue to be pretty poor in my save. Two seasons without European football now, despite a strong squad.

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But more importantly perhaps, we won the Euro Cup! If you recall, having won La Liga the previous season, we would have been top seeds in this season's CL. I couldn't even argue much with the group stage draw - Liverpool, Zenit St Petersburg and Monaco (I'd have expected to finish at least 2nd here). But we underperformed and only squeaked 3rd place, which dropped us into the Euro Cup. Schalke, Everton, Roma and Lille were despatched before we beat Juventus in the final with a Villalibre penalty. 

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In terms of personnel, you may recall the three youngsters I had in my first team. Gonzalez rotates the DM spot with Vencedor. Martin is now first choice in CM, with Sancet (means Lopez is now the rotation option), and Nunez alternated the striker role with Villalibre (and scored back-to-back hat tricks at one point!)

Other youngsters on the periphery of the first team squad got the odd game here and there but mostly filled out the B squad. Some are making good progress but there is no immediate need to rush them as I'm not expecting to make many changes this Summer. First, I will almost certainly let Lekue leave as he's unhappy and De Jesus/Gomeza can provide full-back support when they return from productive loans. Capa will probably play one more season but it's an area we need to develop (Pascual, a DM, may be retrained). Martinez is starting to decline and we have a replacement lined up with Alkorta, but he will probably get one more season too. Muniain is also on the way down. He isn't needed in CM and Serrano is my preferred AML anyway, so we may accept bids this Summer for him (Martinez could go if someone came in as well as Yeray and Nunez are my preferred pair and I'd like to shift his wage).

We had lucked out the previous season with the youth intake, so we weren't as fortunate this season. But.... this guy is easily the best youngster I've had at that age range. He will go straight into the first team squad! Primarily a defensive winger, he's also adept in CM. He has the skills to be an excellent all round midfielder. Probably not good news for Unai Lopez long-term!

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Going into 2024-25, much of the same. Qualify for the CL is the minimum for the league, and ideally improving in the CL competition itself - not that the Euro Cup wasn't nice!

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On 30/04/2021 at 16:48, dothestrand said:

1454446037_Screenshot2021-04-30at22_02_32.thumb.png.b46d8534b3e497c885df311f548eec94.png

Going into 2024-25, much of the same. Qualify for the CL is the minimum for the league, and ideally improving in the CL competition itself - not that the Euro Cup wasn't nice!

He looks great but he screams dm or fb to me.  I love retraining cms to be at least accomplished fbs if they are decent defensively to free up a spot on the bench.

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9 hours ago, jakem016 said:

He looks great but he screams dm or fb to me.  I love retraining cms to be at least accomplished fbs if they are decent defensively to free up a spot on the bench.

He certainly has the potential to be a very versatile player. Because I have Vencedor and a 19yo rotating the DM role, plus a 16yo on the way, there's no need to retrain him there. He certainly will be a first team option as a CM in a couple of seasons as I currently rotate Sancet/Lopez/Martin (my youth player) and he will take over Lopez. For a player with good defensive attributes, he actually has no natural ability in a defensive role. As a left-footer, I've no need to retrain him as a LB as I have loads of options there. Not sure retraining as a RB has any legs given he isn't a right-footer. But yes, a P Neville/John O'Shea type player who can play across all defensive and midfield positions would be nice!

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  • 2 weeks later...

2024-25 of my Lezama only save, which ended in the most devastating fashion. When the final whistle of the season blew, I was ready to call 999 because of a collective bout of choking.

Two games to go, we were 5 pts clear of Valencia, who had the better head to head record. So in reality, 2 pts would take the title. We were away to Almeria and could only rescue a draw in the dying minutes. A bad time for my star performers to suddenly get stage fright. So that left us 3 pts clear - Valencia with an easy home game, and us away to Real Madrid. I set up as cautiously as possible, hoping to take the game deep. 0-0 into stoppage time in the first half and Sancet gives away a penalty. We're chasing the second half and are easily picked off, losing 0-3. Valencia inevitably won, therefore taking the title. What a kick in the teeth!

In other news, we won the Spanish Cup and after getting out of our CL group, we were unfortunate to face Man Utd, who battered us at Old Trafford after we took a 1-0 lead into the second leg. So overall, a mixed season, but only because of how it finished. I'd have taken it on paper. Valencia have spent loads in the last couple of seasons - they must have had a takeover. Their net spend over the last four seasons? 118m, 192m, 84m and 69m. 

This Summer may see some changes. Capa, Martinez, Muniain and Lopez all have one more season on their contracts. Only Lopez may get a new contract, as he is reasonably still in his prime, but if we get a decent offer for any of them, they can leave. If they run down their contracts instead, so be it. Some of the more fringe players may move on if we get offers - Zarraga, Nolaskoian, etc. I won't chase bids, but if they come in, I won't turn down anything reasonable.

Let's hope this experience hasn't scarred the squad!

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

2025-26 of my Lezama only save is done and dusted and it was another successful season, with another second place finish. Unlike the choke from the previous season, we were never in a position to win it after a sticky spell in March where we got 4pts from 5 games. Barcelona finished top by 1pt (we gained ground at the back end but were never really going to catch them), we were 4pts ahead of Valencia in third. Real Madrid just about sneaked the fourth CL spot. Atletico Madrid are now pretty poor in my save, finishing 8th. We got to the CL QF, losing to Milan, and no real progress in the domestic cups to speak of. In more good news, our B side won the Second Division Pro A by miles and will now be in the second tier, which means I can keep those guys in our squad rather than loaning them out for higher quality football.

I had let Muniain, Martinez and Capa move on. Unai Lopez did get a new deal but he should move on this Summer. As should Nolaskoian (constantly complains about game time) and Cordoba (wants a new challenge). Zarraga and Morcillo may leave if we got good offers, but they provide decent enough depth, without ever complaining about lack of games.

It's really encouraging on the youth front at the moment. Alkorta is a wonderkid CB (which means Yeray has moved to RB), Martin is an astonishing wonderkid CM and Nunez, our 19yo CF, is improving on his finishing. Gonzalez is a 21yo DM/CB, which gives me great options. We have an excellent 19yo GK prospect too (Munoz), not that we need to rush him. Cordoba, our amazing looking 17yo midfield spent a productive season on loan and will replace Lopez. The current B squad probably aren't ready to be full first team squad players yet, but they may get the odd appearance. I'll cut some of the deadwood from the B squad as we have some C/u19 level players who can step up and who I see as first team material in a few seasons. I hired Roberto Samaden as my HoYD and Paul Mitchell has been my Director of Football for a few years. We were supposed to have a golden generation this season, but I'm less sure - they're a slow burn, perhaps. 

Anyway, objectives remain the same as always really. I think we'll remain in contention for La Liga but need to be ahead of the big two at any time. More consistency in Europe too is a real aim. I still look at the Basque wonder kids I've wilfully missed out on, but this save is much more enjoyable (except when the board are annoyed that you don't sign young players!)

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Edited by dothestrand
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4 hours ago, Giannis Koufalexis said:

what tactic is suitable for 1-3 first years? i search a lot but i have many problems..

4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 :thup: 

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On 30/05/2021 at 20:26, Giannis Koufalexis said:

can i download it? link or something?? 

Downloading tactics doesn't really work well in FM21, cause it depends on the team you play, style and players you pick. I would strognly suggest learning and experimenting. 

That being said 4-2-3-1 with CB on Ball Playing Defender - Defend and Central Defender - Defend, Wingbacks on support and attack (if left one is on attack right one is on support and vice versa.. against weaker teams you can go with both on attack but be careful with that)

central midfielders are ball winning midfielder (defend) and deep lying playmaker (support)

AMC on attacking midfielder - support or attack, left winger and right winger REALLY depends who you play but I tend to go with winger, inverted winger or inside forward. The key here is if the wingback on that side is on attack, I put the winger on support, if the wingback is on support, I put the winger on attack. Again depends on who you play, you can and should change it.

Striker as advanced forward most of the time.

I experimented with striker as false9 and AMC on shadow striker.

Again, the roles vary depending on who you play, it's not the same if your forward line is Berenguer-Munain-Inaki and Garcia as striker, or Morcillo-Munain-Nico Williams with Inaki Williams as Striker.

As for tactical instructions I tend to go high line of engagement, high defensive line, offside trap, high pressing, press and counter press, pass into space and play out of the defence with higher tempo and shorter passing.

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Long-time lurker on these annual Bilbao threads and I think it's time I give this a shot myself.

Been looking for a fun save to get stuck into since the end of the football season and I think this could be the one for me! I've always struggled with Spain on Football Manager and I can think of no better club to try and create some success with!

Back in the days of La Liga being on Sky Sports I used to always try and watch Bilbao as much as possible, I particularly loved their side that battled to the Europa Final with that beautiful green kit. Still amazes me that Muniain is only 27/28... :eek:

I'm not 100% sure if I'll post much, but I may try and do an update at the end of each season (if I get that far), but I've loved reading everyone's updates so far! :D 

...Vamos Athletic! :onmehead:

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Quick question: Do you guys take responsibility for renewing youngsters with expiring contracts that have above average potential, or do you leave it to your DoF? I'm only asking this as I'm worried leaving it to my DoF will result in low minimum fee release clauses being added into their new deals. 

 

As of right now I've taken this on myself to make sure I get good clauses in, with my DoF handling anyone who I think looks average at best; as a 3-5m release clause seems reasonable for those players.

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22 minutes ago, Werrett said:

Quick question: Do you guys take responsibility for renewing youngsters with expiring contracts that have above average potential, or do you leave it to your DoF? I'm only asking this as I'm worried leaving it to my DoF will result in low minimum fee release clauses being added into their new deals. 

 

As of right now I've taken this on myself to make sure I get good clauses in, with my DoF handling anyone who I think looks average at best; as a 3-5m release clause seems reasonable for those players.

I do all my contracts with all levels. I lock in off-putting release fees, add optional extensions, remove performance related salary increases and remove annual wage rises, even if it means the starting wage is higher than first asked for. 

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Posted (edited)

Season 2026-27 of my Lezama save was a disappointment. After three consecutive 2nd place finishes, we finished 4th, a whole 10pts off 3rd. We also scored 10pts fewer than the previous season as we drew far too many games that we would have needed to win. Valencia won their second title in three seasons. So whilst it was slightly underwhelming, there are obvious mitigations. We aren't making any signings, whilst the three main clubs spend money like it's going out of fashion. We also moved on De Jesus, Morcillo, Cordoba and Nolaskoian - all of whom were peripheral players. So younger players have been the backups. 

At the same time, some of our original star players are showing decline. Inaki Williams has a year left on his contract and won't receive another. Yeray is also starting to stagnate (he has two years to go and will almost certainly be spent by then). Both will be key as we don't quite have replacements on the right hand side of the pitch immediately.

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But there are positives of course. Javier Alkorta, our 19yo wonderkid CB is now our best option at the heart of the defence. Xabier Martin, our 21yo midfield orchestrator is quickly becoming one of the best players of his kind in the league. Jon Cordoba, our ridiculously talented 18yo central midfielder is already a wonderkid. We have so many options in the middle of the park - it's the strength of our B team too - that this could require a formation change. As our wide players aren't as good, I'm considering the Venables Euro 1996 Christmas tree formation! The main good news on the youth front is that we finally have a good striker. Villalibre has always been hit and miss so I good hopes for Hugo Nunez, who I've shown before, but his finishing remains rooted at 11, which is nothing like good enough. Iker Larrazabal came into the youth intake two seasons ago and whilst I thought he might come good, he pushed on amazingly this season and he came into the first team during an injury crisis. He's a wonderkid already and his stats are rocketing. He scored 11 in 19 this season and is our number one striker. Pleasingly, I asked the coaches to teach him to lob his finishes - this looks very nice on the match engine!

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This Summer will see the last of the peripheral players leave - Zarraga, Nico Williams, Inigo Gomeza, possibly Ezkieta. A few B team players will step up. Oh, the B team won the third division at a canter last season. They only went and won the second division too, but obviously they can't come up - but it's a great stepping stone for these players now! Next season, I'll take a top four finish - we're still at that stage where the players coming in to replace those moving on/declining are not quite at their level. 

Edited by dothestrand
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Posted (edited)

2020/21 End of Season Update

Got stuck straight into my save on Friday evening and can confirm that I have just finished my first season with Athletic Bilbao (my coworker is on leave for the week! :cool:).

Competitions Overview

- La Liga: 5th placed finish (table)

- Copa del Rey: Knocked out in the 3rd round by Mirandés 3-1 (Oops...)

- Supercopa: Winners, beating Barcelona 4-1!

Disappointed to finish the season in 5th having missed out to Valencia and Atléti on the final day of the season. An inferior head-to-head record against Atléti also means we missed out to them as well, which is devastating when we consider that we lost 2-1 to them at home in the final minutes of the game. All in all we W23, D8 and L7...Far too many narrow losses against teams around us ended up costing us, but we've secured European Football next season so we're delighted about that!

As for the cup game, I simply chose to rotate too many players and this ended up costing us. Foolish on my end, but we'll take that on the chin and learn from it for next season.

Delighted to get my first bit of silverware, albeit the Supercopa. An early Pedri goal gave Barcelona the lead within the first minute, but goals from Berenguer, Garcia and Yeray saw us run out 4-1 winners on the day. Woohoo!

Squad/Tactics

In regards to system, we opted for a standard 4231 which moved between a Balanced and Positive mentality throughout the year. I was really happy with the attacking football we produced as we ended up being the 2nd top scorers in the division behind league winners Madrid, although our shaky 5th rated defence may have cost us too many points; but that's the risk and reward to attacking football. I was aware coming into this that our defenders had poor heading, but my word we conceded so many goals to headers!

I tried playing about with set-pieces, individual instructions etc but I'm yet to get anything crazy out of the side doing that; we've mostly been okay on default role instructions. As for the conceding of headers, I think I'll just have to chalk this up to the players I have at my disposal, as I don't think I can fix this tactically asides from the high line that reduces some crosses and deep balls to the CB's.

I won't go too in-depth with the squad, as everyone in this thread already knows the general outlook of the team and the positions they play. The incoming transfers were Robert Navarro (£5.25m release clause) and a youngster from Osasuna who I poached for £225k just after their youth intake; but he's nothing to write home about just yet.

Oscar De Marcos (£2.5m) and Mikel Balenziaga (£750k) left the club, and over the coming Summer I'll look to potentially offload Ibai Gomez, Mikel Vesga (keeps moaning..) and Iago Herrerin (desire to leave). Asides from that I'm not too sure, I disabled transfers in the first Summer so this is my first taste of a full Summer with the Bilbao restrictions! 

Our youth intake was good, but nothing exceptional. There's a few attacking players in there, so I'll be trying my best to develop those going forwards. My B-side got promoted and our U19s had a great season; so it's definitely going to be a good time to sit and analyse those players and see if any deserve a bump up to the first-team!

...I think I'll wrap this up here, and I'll likely report back upon the completion of my second season, unless anything extraordinary happens in the meantime!

Vamos Athletic! :onmehead:

P.S. How do you guys approach loaning your younger players out? Do you delegate this? Do you loan them out without any wages/fees? Do you offer a certain amount? Answers on a postcard! Really struggled to loan players out this season.

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P.P.S Gonna throw this image in as I thought it summed things up for us; we were pretty unlucky. :( 

Edited by Werrett
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@Werrett With loans, I'm never bothered about wages/fees as we generally don't need them, though I wouldn't turn them down. I just want my players to play a higher level of football than they currently do, to have regular football (so they need to be an important player at least), to play in a position I want them to develop in, and ideally for a club doing well/with good facilities. If those offers come in, great. If not, I will try to offer players out, particularly if they're not far off the first team. If my B side is in the second division, I would not loan them unless a La Liga club comes in. I'd rather control their development than pass it to a club at the same level. Given the quality of young players you'll develop, transfer windows (especially deadline days) can be pretty active with requests for loans. Mostly, they're not suitable requests. I must reject at least 3/4 of them and keep the players here. 

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