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[Fake players, as always]

 

Season 1: Clermont Foot
French National,

I holidayed until June 2027 and took over Clermont who'd been relegated the previous season and failed to go back up again.
They had some decent players, but they were mostly overpaid and by the time the wage budget adjusted, we were £25k p/w over. So that had to change. We flogged anyone we could and tried to plug the holes the best we could.

French National

The first few games made me think we were going to walk the league - an 8-2 obliteration of poor Le Puy Foot 83 in the second round of games a key factor in that assumption - but we were never quite good enough for it to be that easy. That said, we basically led the league from matchday 2 and while we had our poor performances - and the second half of the season saw me shrieking muffled abuse at my players in an almost-comfortingly familiar way - we stayed clear enough of the chasing teams to clinch the title with a couple of games to spare.
P:34  W:23  D:7  L:4  GD:+43  Pts:76  Pos:1st  PROMOTION!

French Cup
Qu'est ce que la Coupe de France?

Summary
Our loanee ST - chosen carefully for a change - was great, bagging 33 goals for us. He'd have had more if not for his 20% conversion rate from penalties. A young MR/ST also played really well, with 13 assists and 7 goals and had mostly edged out our previously first-choice MR by the end of the season. In midfield, we got a loanee from Bayern who should have been amazing, but was never more than adequate. His usual midfield partner - an Angolan international freebie - was very solid, however, with 10 assists and 8 often sublime goals to his name. Defence is eh, and I've got another Angolan coming in at DR for reinforcements. Our DCs are pretty mediocre and I could really do with improving there. GK is good, though. For a change.


Season 2: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 2

Finances were baaad (~£4m in the red), so 14 players left for the freedom of the 'Unattached' list at the end of their contract and another 7 left with the blessing of St Jean-Marc. At one point, we only had about a dozen players in the first-team squad. We also made £900k from player sales - all young players; none missed.
To fill our ranks, I spent hours identifying triallists and scouring U-xx international squads hunting for potential cheapo signings. We picked up quite a few for nowt, our marquee signing an ST from AFAD Djekanou for the princely sum of £50k. We also grabbed a loanee DC again - there were some decent options out there, but their wage demands were horrific - as well as a DL from Inter for backup and injury cover. We ended up with what seemed a much stronger squad without paying any more on wages than we had been at the end of last season.
We didn't stop there, though, and incrementally improved our squad bit by bit as the season progressed. The final piece was put in place when we picked up an Irish DC ex- of Fulham on a free just before Christmas. He - alongside our loanee DC - made for a very dependable backline. 

Ligue 2
Our moderately-suicidal tactical approach paid dividends. We tended to create a good number of good chances (our xG was usually more than 2 per game) and, erm, not give away as many chances per game. I don't know how.
We didn't really need to go hogwild with tactical changes, but a couple of tweaks in the latter stages of the season made us a bit more solid and we just... kept winning games. We signed off the season with a 4-1 win over Paris FC, having wrapped up the title 3 games previously.
P:38  W:28  D:5  L:5  GD:+54  Pts:89  Pos:1st  PROMOTION!

French Cup
We beat a couple of no-hopers and then successfully lost to Le Havre in the 10th Round

Youth Intake
I didn't mention it last season, because it was okay. I'll mention it this season because it's one of the worst I've seen in any season, at any level, in the last 4/5 years of playing FM. Truly, a remarkably awful intake.

Summary
For the first half of the season our two strikers were each at around a goal a game. As it was, they both ended up on 28 goals for the season (joint top scorers for the league) and the rest of the team chipped in around them. Assists were spread around, with our myriad wide players getting most of them (we didn't really have any who stood out). Our new Angolan DR was pretty good - good enough for Porto to have a looksie, anyway - and our new midfield recruits did a very solid job all round. The young strikers who came in as injury cover (we didn't really have a 3rd choice this season) performed pretty well as well and nabbed a few goals. 
GK was - again - surprisingly good. I don't think he's Ligue 1 material, mind. 

 

I haven't started the next season yet, so here are a few of our best players who'll be utterly outclassed in the coming campaign:

U1jjYmt.png?1  Rather underwhelming last season, but didn't actually do much wrong. I assume he'll have more defensive stuff to do in Ligue 1.

fx50syF.png?1  The guy who put the finishing touches to our defence last season; he looks rather uninspiring out of context.

9tIkXZb.png?1  Our main Angolan. Rarely has a bad game. He wanted a new contract at the end of the season and I was dreading how much he'd ask for; when he came back with demands of just over £2k, I actually increased our offer because it clearly wasn't nearly enough for what he's worth to us.

TdOcgUj.png?1  Not much technical ability, but lots of pace. Looks very good when he's running... less so when he has to actually do something with the ball.

61muY81.png?1  Our ML was pretty good last season, but when this guy was available on a free, it was a no-brainer. Crap moustache, though.

65manYG.png?1  I don't think I've ever signed a Rwandan player for anything other than a laugh, but this guy looks like he could do business.

YH9OoYE.png?1  Our Jamaican ST. He looked okay in our first season, but spent most of the last campaign being the Roadrunner to central defenders' Wile E Coyote.

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Always interested in Clermont and French Football....

What formation's are you using? and what type of football are you trying to play.

 

I have found that playing a possession game can help you stay in the league when overmatched....

If your team has the ball....it is hard for the other team to score....lol

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Season 3: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 1:

August & September

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A decent start to the season so far. We haven't played any of the really big teams (although Rennes always seem very strong in FM, and Lille rarely do badly), but we've got points on the board and are playing quite well.
The last 3 games were a strategic gamble: with 3 games in a week, I gambled on us getting a result against Angers and Reims, while figuring Rennes would be too strong for us, so played full-strength XIs in the Away games and sent the backups for the Home match. Probably justified, as we didn't pick up any injuries, but we'll see.

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Season 3: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 1:

October, November, December

yjoOyKL.png?1

Still going well - the losses to PSG and Lyon were both as one-sided and predictable as expected, but the point we gained against Monaco was nice (a new-build (that seems like the appropriate phrase) tactic doing a good job there). We were pretty lucky against the synth-pop group and... well, most of the teams we beat, but we outplayed Dijon and our Jamaican striker got a well-deserved perfect hattrick for his efforts.
I persuaded the board to increase our wage budget, which let me offer some of our - ahem - 'better' prospects a new contract and sign a new DC (a Mexican kid we had in on loan over the summer, but couldn't afford at the time). 

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Alarming Edwyn Blackman-related news as the transfer window opens:

cq4WsdA.png?1

 

I've logged this in the Bugs forum. 

I'm not happy that they're accepting bids for him in the first place - he's the top goalscorer in the league and a huge part of the reason we're doing well - but we don't have much money in the bank and even though I can't see this happening in real life, I can accept that it could happen.

What I logged was that when I protested, the board left the Shenzhen offer alone and only renegotiated the Wuhan offer - which was already higher. If I'm going to lose my most essential player, I don't want to get £5-10m less for him just because the game isn't able to recognise which number is bigger and respond to player input accordingly.

 

Oh, and for extra fun, here's the Youth Intake preview, to whet your appetite:

EiehAcU.png?1

Edited by turnip
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Season 3: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 1:

January, February
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Most of the players we sold were youngsters I don't think much of, but we also sold our playmaker (not the Angolan) to Milan for a decent amount, while the splendidly-named Pham Van Nam was a young ST who hadn't really featured for us (we've got 50% of next sale clauses on each of those deals). The big absence from that list is Blackman, who turned down what I assume was some serious money to stay on his £6k p/w wage with us. Love you, buddy!
Incoming players were mostly youngsters, but Godfrey Meleka was a replacement playmaker (and U20 international for England). Wonkoye is a Nigerien defender who'll probably end up with 120 caps or something, while Emeka is a Nigerian U20 DC who was inexplicably plying his trade at a very non-league English club.

fqutXb0.png?1
We successfully bowed out of the French Cup at the stage the board required of us (albeit to a Ligue 2 side).
Otherwise, it's been two very good months in the league. The points we dropped were against bottom-of-the-table Sochaux (a midweek game) and 4th-placed Rennes, so I'm happy with how it's going. We're currently 5th in the league, above Bordeaux on goal difference and with a 5-point gap either side of us. March looks like a tough month, so we'll see how it goes. 

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lPwXUja.png?1

How squeaky is your bum right now?

Marseille, Rennes and Monaco have all got roughly as difficult run-ins as we do. The worst part is that Dijon won the Cup, so European slots only go as far down as 5th. 

I'd say we've got 2 winnable games and possibly 2 points aside from those... but I wouldn't want to say that too loudly, in case the FM gods hear me.

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Season 3: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 1:

Le Finale
uKDvi25.png?1

A 1-0 win to PSG would be a highlight of many a season in Ligue 1, but to get it while in a genuine challenge for Europe was extra-special. It was 3 points we weren't expecting, as were the 3 points and 4 goals we got Away at Bordeaux, and the jammy 1-2 (A) at Lyon. For some reason, most of our games this season were late evening kick-offs, which meant that going into our game against Dijon, we knew that a point would be enough to guarantee hot Euro Cup action next season. We duly obliged with a win and followed that up with a swashbuckling 5-3 win over Monaco. That meant that on matchday 38 - where Lyon played PSG for the title - we knew that if Marseille were beaten by Lille and we could get a win against rock-bottom, woeful Strasbourg, we would finish 3rd. 
PSG thrashed Lyon 0-4, we scraped a 0-1 win, and Marseille eked out a 1-1 draw. C'est la vie.
3c5FAtC.png?1

P:38  W:24  D:8  L:6  GD:+42  Pts:80  Pos:4th  European Qualification!

Summary:
Amusingly, considering we finished 4th in the league, with an impressive goal difference, only 3 of our players finished the season with an Average Rating of over 7: our GK and both strikers. The GK got 4 PoMs along with his 14 clean sheets (but wasn't even up for the Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year, despite having a much higher Average Rating than the next GK) and the Rwandan bagged 22 goals and 13 assists, but it was - inevitably - Captain Jamaica who stole the show with his 37 goals and 8 assists in the 32 league games he played, including 5 hattricks (of which he scored 4 goals in three of those). 
Elsewhere: our new ML got 12 assists and the Angolan DR got 8 assists - as did our MR. They're all kind of crap, mind you. 

I'll post some sort of thoughts once I've had some sleep and the beer has worn off.

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Blackman won the Ligue 1 'Most Promising Player' award, as well as the 'Best Player', 'Top Goalscorer' and 'Best Goal' awards. While - obviously - breaking the league goalscoring record along the way. He's gonna need a reinforced shelf, but we gave him a new contract, so he can afford to pay a handyman. [edit] He also - equally unsurprisingly - won European Golden Shoe with a massive score of 74! Yeah, me neither; what even is that number?

His strike partner - the Rwandan - was the league's 'Best African Player' and also came third in the 'Most Assists' award. 

 

Good though we were, I think I need to re-build in the summer. Our GK did pretty well making the step-up from Crewe and I'm happy with both our first-choice and back-up DRs.

Central defence is an issue - the guy we got from Fulham last season was okay, but doesn't have any outstanding qualities that make up for the fact he's just okay; his main partner this season is similar, but is a little quicker, so I might keep him as a rotation option. 

At DL, the guy we signed last season as a "yeah, he's kinda crap, but he'll develop" has failed to develop at all despite two seasons as first-choice. I've already transfer-listed him and will pay out part of his wages just to be rid of him. His backup isn't ready for regular football yet, so we'll need new blood. 

I am happy with my midfield. The Angolan did well again and continued to develop (albeit slowly), while the new playmaker - despite a pretty horrific first 3 games - was solid enough. We could do with some more backup - Chelsea have been sniffing around one of our rotation options, and while the Canadian kid we have was solid on his 15(16) appearances, I doubt even his biggest fans would say he was 'good'. I'll also need a new ML; last season's model didn't get much game time, kicked up a fuss and then was distinctly unimpressive when I gave him a run of games, so he's off too. Actually, I just remembered we've got a young Faroese kid out on loan who can take that spot. Noice.

And we could do with 2 new strikers. I already know who one of them will be, and I might get a loanee for cover. 

 

Off the pitch, the board have started work to expand the stadium by 5825 seats. The extra money from that will be nice and we're ground-sharing with the synth-pop group while the work is done (likely next summer). I also managed to get a Training Facilities upgrade through. We started last season at -£3m and finished at around £22m, so the board didn't really have a strong case to deny my request.

Edited by turnip
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Great Season!

Beating PSG with a team like Clermont or ASSE is ALWAYS the best and good fun as well. Probably why we play FM as well....

In my Clermont save over the summer I called them the "Galactic Empire"....of course was in the role of Rebel Alliance.....Nael Jaby was our Luke Skywalker. He turned into a Pirlo, pinging balls all over the pitch to set up scoring chances....

Was kept out of the French National team by two guys you might have heard of....Camavinga and Pogba...

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Season 4: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 1:

Transfers
A busy summer. Having mulled over what to do, I ended up spending £9.5m on new players. The only player who got any real attention from other teams was our Angolan MC, but his Asking Price of £7.5m put off most of those tea- ah, who am I kidding, 3 clubs spent most of the summer bidding between £750k and £1.7m for him and annoying the crap out of me by doing so. 


Anyway, we allowed our 'best' DC to leave on a free along with a couple of young players, flogged our second-choice ML for £250k and loaned out a bunch of young players.


We signed a few youngsters of the 'glass half-potential' variety, 4 new DCs (albeit one - the most expensive - as a prospect), got a backup GK, new DL (from Boca) and a Saffer MC, as well as a new rotation-option ST. I then found an out-of-contract Czech Wonderkid MC, who I was able to get for £70k compensation, a transfer-listed French Wonderkid ST (who I got on loan) and then I had an almost-panic on deadline day and signed a Danish AMR because our Panamanian had been earning his new 'Blind Alley' nickname.

T6poVCM.png?1 uCLF2p0.png?1

I wasn't planning on signing another MC, but both Jiri and his price were too good to turn down. I don't think he's here for the long-term, but we should be able to get £15m+ next summer if he does want to leave.

We spotted Darwin playing amateur football in Portugal. The standard he was playing at makes me think there's a bit of potential for development, but he's a good option to have as a 3rd-choice even if he's hit his PA already.

p0WgTXr.png?1 RFfPqiS.png?1

Florent was transfer-listed for £23m, but is only costing us £1.5m for the season. Another good option to have, even if it's just for the European registration requirements, and there's little chance we'll be able to sign him next summer, so basically a perfect loan player. Guillermo, meanwhile, was a cheap option from Nacional. Not outstanding, but no massive gaps in his game. Should pair well with our new Faroese DC...

ZM5O6J6.png?1 wiI494g.png?1

Gunnar had been on my radar for a couple of seasons and he was transfer-listed for £525k after Strasbourg got relegated, so that was a no-brainer. Physicals could be better, but I think his Tackling/Marking will go some way to making up for that, and he can play at DM in a pinch as well, which is nice. Our new DL, Alan, looks somewhat 'meh', but is two-footed, and again doesn't have any real holes in his game. Scouts and Coaches both think he's got significant room to develop, so he could become a very good player. Even if he doesn't, he's a good - and reasonably-priced, at £2.9m - player for us.

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South America is always a great place to find talented youngsters...but Clementsen is revelation! A good CB needs to work on positioning, but should be great for set pieces.

Reis would make a good 2nd or 3rd option AML-IF-A .

Build around Albert and only sell if a REALLY Big Team offers $100M+ for him.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Season 4: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 1:

August - November

3oqyji1.png?1

A very good start to the season saw us top of the league going into December - albeit on Goal Difference. 

The reason for our 5-2 trouncing of a still-very good Rennes team was Blind Alley getting a hat-trick. The rotation hasn't exactly helped, as the AssMan (who I always get to pick the European squad) left some sizeable holes, so we haven't been able to play our strongest XI for more than a couple of league games. Not that you'd really know, from looking at the results. 

The game against Monaco was a pleasant surprise - we defended well and posed a threat on the counter. Generally, our Jamaican Captain looks really dangerous when we're breaking - his ability to receive the ball and steer it past the defender on the turn and then sprint in behind is poetry in motion. We are having to mix and match formations, though. Our trusty 4-4-2 doesn't work well against decent teams who defend.

Finally, the second win against Napoli meant that we qualified top of the group with a game to play. And you know what that means... bring on the kiddies!

We do have the January transfer window ahead of us - there isn't much of a budget left to work with and I'm loathe to spend much given that we're never likely to make much from attendances. Still, there are a few teams hovering around some of our players so there's a decent chance we could raise £10m+ in the window if we play our cards right.

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Season 4: Clermont Foot
French Ligue 1:

December - January

pm6foJC.png?1

A tricky couple of months. We played well in the two league games we lost (Lyon overtook us at the top after their win) and we should have had Dijon on toast, but I gave them too much respect and only started going for it after they went in front (we still had a lot of chances, mind you). The kids played well in the draw against Basel, and we had a few players absent for ACN/injuries in January, so the performances suffered as a result. 

qQnRl5q.png?1

We ended up getting rid of our GK - he wanted a new contract and despite playing well, I wasn't sure he was worth what he'd have asked for - and replaced him with Mejia, from Colombia, whose contract was expiring. I actually think Mejia is the better keeper, but Jackson was playing very well for us, so if you told me I'd ****ed up, I'm not sure I could argue with you. (He's on £38k p/w now, so that's nice for him).

Oliseh and Joachim were youngsters whose contracts were running out; how we got that much money for them, I have no idea. Oliseh, at least, had made a few sub appearances for our First Team as a DM; I had to click on his profile to remind myself who Joachim even was (a crap striker).

I've shown Caetano above, and Santana and Alexandre were a couple of other players on Amateur contracts, Alexandre the better of the two. Tratter, Canhoto and Caravella are all 16-year olds who look like they could be good. Yeliseev is a young Georgian MC international who will get some game time from the bench.

We also fielded bids from Chinese teams for Blackman and Senyange. They went up to £25m + 25% of next sale for each, but both players turned them down. I had done some pre-emptive scouting, but I was pleased I didn't have to sign anyone new.

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Season 4: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1

February - March

ssdM5Rv.png?1

Another good couple of months. The draw against Monaco threatened to rouse the God of Tedium from his sofa to complain about how boring it was, but whatever; we don't answer the phone when that dude calls.

The EURO Cup games against the team that definitely aren't called Real Sociedad were nice - I sent the 2nd XI and they did exactly what they needed to do to ensure themselves some more game-time. Milan are up next, which should be an extra level of challenge. We definitely had some luck, though. The game against Bordeaux was... not good for my blood pressure. The only shot we had in the first half was our goal and we never really looked like scoring another until Blackman (who was playing a 6.2 at that point) latched onto a knock-down, made a bit of space and blasted one into the roof of the net from 18 yards. 

XWL75Ys.png?1

 

We also had Youth Intake day. A more pathetic band of algae-encrusted tapeworms, I've never s-  [what's that? we got a good player? Nah, I don't believe you]

Spoiler

5du4aB4.png?1

Clearly, there's work to do, but I'm actually pretty happy with him. And, to be fair, the rest of the intake wasn't that bad really; we ended up signing a bunch of them even if for no other reason than because we could do with filling out our U-19s

Fire the HOYD, etc

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Two league games left. We are 2 points behind Lyon, one ahead of Marseille and 3 clear of PSG. Top 3 should get Champions League.

Lyon have to play Nice and Bordeaux - both potentially tricky games.

We have to play Angers and Lille - both tricky games. 

Marseille have Dijon and Troyes, and I'd back them to win both of those.

PSG, meanwhile, are playing 18th and 17th, because of course they ****in' are.

 

If it comes down to results between teams, we are screwed. :( 

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Season 4: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1

April - May

fenBUsU.png?1

Thankfully, it didn't come down to head-to-head results. We did sort of run out of steam. The loss to Marseille was pretty indicative - the results against Brest and Caen look good, but they were both pretty awful this season. The Lorient game looks emphatic, but we only scored our 3rd goal in the 78th minute. I was really cross at the Angers game, since we conceded a late equaliser, but it didn't matter.

YF1qbQ2.png?1

PSG's manager had a pop at me before our game, so I'm personally delighted that the sort of useless twatmonkey who spunked £100m on transfers this season could only 'inspire' his club to the EURO Cup next season. There are, by my reckoning, 7 players in their squad whose weekly wage is more than that of our entire squad. They'll probably spend £400m this summer, but I'll take my moral victories where I can, thankyouverymuch.

ppwyori.png?1

I'm pretty happy with player performances, too. We rotated heavily, with Europe being a thing this season, but no-one got too annoyed about game time unless your name is Moses "Ooh, I've got the sniffles and need 10 days off" Buthelezi. More like Moses Buthelazy, am I right? On the opposite end of the spectrum, Brahimi was permanently in need of a rest from the moment he returned from the Africa Cup of Nations in January, but Thomsen's performances in the second half of the season were awful so he basically played 130 minutes each week and did really well, all things considered.

My thought - approaching the end of the season - had been to let Blind Alley and Brahimi leave, since I don't think they're quite good enough. But... 17 goals and 11 assists between them is still pretty good, so I'll have to have a think about it.

We did manage to agree terms with Albert, mind you, so he's joining permanently in the summer. I think he's probably not far off his PA, but he's still a damn good player who can play in at least 3 positions very well, and he signed for £13.5k p/w which is an absolute steal for someone of his quality. I also want at least 1 new DC who can partner Caetano; mindboggling though it is that our new best DC came from an non-league, Amateur Portuguese club. 

 

The club also had a takeover  just before the end of the season. The new owners are happy with me as manager, and decided to sign some random Saffer midfielder I'm not sure I want. But if I can massage some facility upgrades from them, that's fine by me. For now.

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Yeah, probably. I'm too lazy to spend much time on training, so I just queue up 12 months of the same schedule, put in some Match Review slots and then ignore it for another year.

The fatigue issue is a little complicated. Brahimi's backup was... I was going to say inconsistent, but unless he scored a goal, he was just ****. And so Brahimi had to play too many games, even after ACN duty. We had a string of injuries in central midfield in the back-half of the season so, again, a couple of players shouldered the burden. We didn't really have any issues in central defence, because other than Caetano, they're all the same level of rubbish, so I could pretty much throw anyone in and not notice a change in quality. We also didn't have Senyange for the last 7-8 games of the season after he got injured, and we missed his combination of aerial presence and running ability.

If we'd been mid-table, I'd probably have been quite happy to rotate some development players in and sacrifice a bunch of points, but the chance of Champions League football made me greedy.

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Yeah, it's probably our main formation.

We've got that, a 4-3-3(DM) Wide for when we're getting overrun in midfield; and a  4-2-3-1 (Wide) for when teams just want to defend.

 

I dunno, I just seem to get quite a lot out of a 4-4-2 when we're a smaller club. It can stink once clubs start taking you seriously, though, although I do like switching to a 4-4-2 if we have the lead and our opponents are attacking.

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Season 5: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1

Transfers:

aBvyOqk.png?2

As mentioned previously, we managed to get Albert on a Free at the end of his contract. Most of the players who came in were youngsters for 'development' and off the top of my head Capek, Montazeri, Hosni, Davies, Sylla, Ba and Mohamed all went pretty much straight out on loan. The sale of Senyange wasn't one I wanted to do, but he had a year left on his contract and wanted in the region of the £65k p/w he's now on at Lyon, which was just far too much for us. I would have liked a bit more for Brahimi, but I also wanted rid of him so... eh; the same with Ricardo, who was one of our first-choice DCs for a season. We did bring a loanee in from Porto to provide cover at DR - another player whose contract is up next season and might be worth a punt depending on his performances before then.

fCtlKt4.png?1 ZlaJJpd.png?1

The replacement for Brahimi is a younger, better model. Should be plenty of space for development, too, so it'll be good if we can get his Dribbling up a bit. Started the season well, which is always a plus.

Similarly, Renovica is the new Blind Alley, but better in almost every respect (he's a little slower). I'm not expecting much development, but I wanted someone who can get the ball and run and be able to cross the ball (something Blind Alley was hopeless at). 

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Khomuka was brought in to provide some decent cover at DL and I'm really happy that we've got him as an option. Not as good going forward as Munoz, but just looks solid.

Calogero was brought in as our 4th striking option when Senyange left. Not the same sort of player - he lacks the physical strengths - but looks very handy overall, and when I saw the personality, I had to have him. 

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Finally, the big signing of the window. I did a 'lot' of scouting for centre-backs over the summer, but although I found lots of young DCs who'll be good Ligue 1 players in time and went back to scout a bunch I already had on my shortlist including waiting until deadline day for the last few reports to come in, Djordjevic was the stand-out in terms of looking like he was ready. £11.25m was steep - it was his Min Fee clause buyout - but if he's as good as he looks he could be, he'll be value for money. Also, his wages are reasonable, he didn't ask for any annoying clauses, and it's a 5-year deal. Ideally, I'd like Positioning, Strength and Composure to be a little higher, but he's a seriously good player for his age, so whatever.

Results:

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A good start to the season, although the results are a little misleading. We were a little fortunate against Lyon and Rennes. The Nantes game was pleasing, though, particularly since we had 9 members of the squad injured.

We've also had the Champions League draw. We were 4th seeds (of course), but I don't think it's as bad as the game seems to do:

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I reckon we're in with a shot at getting 2nd. 

 

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Season 5: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1  - September - October

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We deserved the loss against Valenciennes (although our DC who's on loan with them this season had a fantastic game), and I'm not unhappy with getting a point each against Marseille and PSG.

The Rangers game was fun: it was 0-1, 1-1, 1-2, 2-2, 2-3, 3-3, 3-4. Would have been annoying to lose. And it's obviously good to get the win against Atletico. The game against Atalanta was a snooze-fest

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Season 5: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1:   November - December

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A very good couple of months. The draw against Monaco, we probably deserved to win, but not by much. The shellacking of Rangers was a bit harsh, with every one of our on-target shots going in. That still left us needing a point to be certain of finishing top of the group, but Atalanta drew with Rangers, so our belly-up performance against Atletico didn't matter in the end. 

We're 3 points clear of Lyon at the top of the table, which is a nice place to be halfway through the season. 

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Season 5: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1: January Transfer Window

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Estrela was a decent DR, but he never seemed quite as good defensively as he should have been, and he never really offered as much going forward as I would have liked. The £7m is nice, and we'll get 25% of his next sale, too. Chabula was our nth choice DC who made a few sub appearances last season. He was better than a kid on a Youth Contract, let's say. 

As always, most of the incoming players are youngsters. Scardina looks like he could be a very good goalkeeper given some time. Kolios came with a very impressive scout report, but let's just say it's fortunate he's only 17 at the moment.  

dtUkdPK.png?1 Pule was a semi-last minute purchase, as I wanted a DM with some technical ability whose name doesn't rhyme with Bliri Jazek.

 

But Rengifo was the signing of the window. I was pre-emptively looking around to see who we could move for if we had bids on any of our STs, and he stood out like a sore thumb. (That a few big clubs were also interested helped him stand out, tbh)

I love his technical attributes, I love his physical attributes, his mental attributes are a definite 7/10 for someone who's only 18 years old; I love the fact he's two-footed, and I really like his personality. 

I also - as it happens - really like the fact that he's got 5 goals in 5 appearances since joining. 

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Season 5: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1: January - March

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We're at the business end of the season and it's still going well. We're in the Final of the French Cup where we'll face the Paris side I don't despise, who overcame [ahem] tough opposition in the form of 4th-tier Gazelec FC Ajaccio in their semi-final. 

We've also got ManShitty in the Champions League QFs, so I think that's where that campaign will end. 

 

In the league, we deserved our losses against Lille and PSG. We also deserved Toulouse against them, but a missed penalty and a late goal spared us. It's one of those games that we're increasingly getting where teams sit back and defend, and we don't quite have the footballing savvy to break them down yet. See also: the 0-0 against Nice and the game against Dijon where we were lucky to get the win.

We're 6 points clear of Lyon with 8 games to play. We play Lyon on the last day of the season. I'd really like to be at least 4 points clear of them by then...

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Season 5: Clermont Foot

French Ligue 1: April - May

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So... yeah. That happened.

Our results are misleading. The bonkers +60 GD is - in large part - due to the fact that we tend to hit teams on the break when they start pushing for an equaliser/winner. The little Analysis graph below shows that we score significantly more goals than xG would predict (and the discrepancy is higher than for the rest of the league) and that teams' xG when playing us is generally higher than the number of goals they score. So we get them both ways. The biggest offender here was - surprisingly - our Colombian Wonderkid, whose Goals/xG ratio was 1.7  (as in, 1.7 goals per xG); although Captain Jamaica wasn't far off with 1.65, and Reis, Albert and Renovica (our MR) also overscored on that metric. 

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Significantly, this is the first season where we've had over half of our first team players finish the season with an Average Rating of 7 or more. Thirteen of our regulars achieved it, and six players finished the season with 10 or more goals (Renovica, Rengifo, Czarniecki (backup ML), Albert, Reis and Blackman).

The two separate XIs worked well this season, mostly because we had the strength in depth to have a long European campaign and also do well in the French Cup. I moved Djordjevic and Rengifo over to the Weekend XI once we were out of Europe, because I thought the extra game time would keep them happy, and they slotted in well. Our strongest combined XI - on paper - is very good, albeit still a bit flimsy in central midfield. 

 

Summary

Mission accomplished, here in Clermont. I'm very tempted to move on. This is in no small part because half the team want new contracts and we don't have the financial muscle to give them what they want. Which probably means a fire sale. And don't get me wrong - I enjoy a good ol' rebuild as much as anyone, but we're still only a moderately-sized club in the Massif Central, with a National reputation and a 17.5k seater stadium. I've painstakingly dragged some facilities upgrades out of the board, but even once they're completed, they'll still be significantly below where they should be for a Ligue 1 side. 

I've added a few active leagues, partly to give me some options, and partly to improve AI transfers. We'll see what happens next.

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PSG doesn't know how to handle this....! LOL:cool: 

Great Job...but you are right about the problems....

In my Clermont save over the summer I ran into the same problems....which made me decide to stop playing the save!

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I was still making my mind up when it was time for the annual 'a-last-word-before-you-go-on-holiday' pep-talk. Our title-winning, Champions League Quarter-Finals squad were appalled that I thought they could ever achieve a mid-table result.

So **** those losers, basically.

 

Season 6: Dinamo

Croatian First League

July - August

I resigned basically as soon as the above-mentioned ****show happened, and once the Croatian leagues had activated, the Dinamo manager got my old job, and then I got his.

My first thought on seeing the playing staff was "where are the players?" We had a small squad, albeit with some very good players. But if you can only find 7 subs for a Champions League qualifier by registering some 1-star Potential players, that's not a good sign. By the end of the transfer window, we'd sold a club legend ST for £1.5m (last year of his contract) and a Dutch MC for ~£12.5m. The board are as stingy as I recall, but we had enough money knocking around to sign a few youngsters from my old Clermont shortlist; notably a couple of midfielders, as that was where we were welatively weak.

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Results were good. I joined a couple of days before the 4-0 against Sibenik and it's largely gone to plan, although the Champions League Playoff against TNS was seat-polishingly tense.

I'm not entirely sure what happened in the 9-1 against Istra; something hot knife/butter related, I think. Although our squad is pretty small in terms of actually good players, we've thankfully been given a pretty benign Champions League group, so we can just focus on the league

Spoiler

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lol

 

Edited by turnip
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Season 6: Dinamo

Croatian First League

September - October

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The league is going well. We're absolutely focussing on the league this season, since we had bugger-all chance in the Champions League. There's 'tough draw' and then there's Barcelona, Dortmund and Monaco. It's very much a 2nd XI going out to play those games.

On the player front, we did sign another MC on a free transfer, but the most notable new signing is someone we picked up in August. When he joined (on a Free), neither the Scout nor our Coaches thought he'd be any more than useful, but his PA has gone from 2.5(3.5) to 4(5) and he's already looking like someone who could end up being quite good indeed:

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His Mentals could do with some work, but they're already improving and he's only 17. If I'd signed him at Clermont, I'd have been happy, so to have him here is very nice.

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Season 6: Dinamo

Croatian First League

November - January

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We rounded off our European campaign with 3 more comprehensive defeats. It'll have done nothing for our coefficient, but I can't be arsed putting time or effort into an obviously lost cause.

I can't complain about the league, though. I mean, I could ("Why is this so easy? Put some effort in, AI morons!") but I won't. In 3 seasons, I'll be complaining that AI teams are keeping 11 men behind the ball and showing no ambition, so I'll take my many many wins where I can get them this season.

The transfer window has come and gone and we mostly signed a bunch of youngsters, but we also brought in some reinforcements.

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Honestly, midfield was probably our strongest area so you could argue that these aren't necessary. Still, our 'best' AMC was 28 before we signed Dvorak, and signing Hernández meant I could sell an older Australian MC who'd been polluting the squad with his 8 Determination. Plus, Dvorak cost £70k and there's some sort of mental anguish that comes from not signing a player like him for a price like that. 

In a similar vein, a player flagged up in the Recruitment meeting a week or so before the window closed was Luis Flores. We got him in on a trial and I liked the look of him enough to sign him on deadline day even though we don't really need another striker. 

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He's not the finished article by any means, and not as quick as I'd like, but there's a lot there to work with. For now I'm going to focus on trying to get his Decisions up.

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Season 6: Dinamo

Croatian First League

Youth Intake

I don't usually bother with a separate post about the Youth Intake, but that's mostly because it's usually awful. If you're managing Dinamo, though, you expect more. Like, say, this:

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These are the best of the bunch. Obviously, the stars lean towards Pavlica, but I reckon Gjorgjieski is the better option. Partly this is because we don't really have a very good option at AMR, while we do at ST, so Gjorgjieski is getting judged to a higher standard than Pavlica, and partly because we usually play with an Inside Forward at AMR, and Pavlica can't Dribble. Still, they're both good options to have coming through - even if their personalities suck - and I'm looking forward to seeing how they develop.

The rest of the intake wasn't much to write home about. I signed anyone with a Determination of 10+ and I'll wait until the end of their trials before deciding on the rest.

 

HOYD was actually on my list of staff to update when I took over, but the incumbent had some really nice attributes, so I kept him. I've found a Croatian Model Professional, though, so I'll be making the change before the end of the season, hopefully.

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Season 6: Dinamo

Croatian First League

March - May

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[tumbleweeds tumble more intensely]

The 0-1 win against Hadjuk was the game that sealed the title for us. As you can see from the table below, we were never in any danger of not winning the league, but I am impressed that we maintained a high standard even after we'd collected the trophy.

The cup win was a nice bonus, I suppose. 

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It's hard to know how much to take away from this. When the points gap between 1st and 2nd is bigger than the points gap between 2nd and 10th, I think the only conclusion is "smashed it". The Goal Difference of >100 is something I've only achieved with youth teams in the past, too. Clearly, the other Croatian teams suck rancid donkey balls, howev

We had a slightly nervy couple of weeks where our first and second choice keepers were both out, injured in training. I rested our 3rd choice (1.5 star CA, 4.5 star PA) from training for those two weeks and I will take credit for that, given that he got injured the day he returned to training. We also confirmed the singing of our new HOYD - he cost around £340k in total, partly in severance fees for our incumbent, and partly in compensation for his old club. 

 

Summary

This might have been one of the most pointlessly one-sided seasons I've ever managed through in FM. The most significant question we asked throughout was "How much are we going to win by?"

We do definitely need to improve the squad. Defense was perfectly fine for a league roflstomp, but if we're going to make progress in Europe, we could do with 2-3 more DCs and a good DL. Central midfield can probably be left untouched, but we need some reinforcements at AML/AMR, and our best Strikers are 30 or thereabouts. We've bulked out the II and U-19s squads with youngsters, some of whom look like good prospects (including a DL we grabbed from Barry Town on a free because I was anxious about our lack of cover there) and there were 3 potentially very good prospects who were in the squad when I joined. [On a side note, I find it hilarious that Croatian teams keep asking to take 16-year old players on loan, even though they can't actually play them due to league rules. Well, alternately hilarious and "oh-just-go-away" irritation with the regular bids.] 

I managed to get "Sign High Profile Players" taken off the Club Culture. Just as well, given that no-one high profile wants to join us.

Edited by turnip
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Season 7: Dinamo

Croatian First League

Summer Transfers and July-August

This transfer window ended up taking in the region of 6 hours to work through. And yes, it definitely felt like work at times. I think that I was just a little anxious that the other Croatian teams were going to up their game significantly in terms of transfers, and then once I'd got a certain number of new players, I realised that I might as well go all-out and try to improve as much as possible. I can't remember fully, though.

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Motebang came in as a Bosman, and Kovàcs later on in the window; he'd been on my radar for a couple of years, Lazio bid for him, but they couldn't agree terms and I saw that as my opportunity. He only cost £3m plus a bit extra, which I think is a good deal for someone like him. Motebang isn't bad either, and has had a good start to the season,

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I said we needed a new DL and here he is. Not fantastic going forward, but solid defensively and he should have the potential to improve a decent amount too (in fact, I just noticed that his Positioning has popped to 10). 

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I'm not sure we needed a new MC, but we sold one of our older players and I wanted a reliable option that our youngsters could rotate around in the Weekend XI. Puig can do a job as a DM in our new formation, or as an MC if needed. His contract expires at the end of the season, and I might be tempted to sign him if he plays well (although he took 2 weeks to decide to join us, so I wouldn't say he's keen on the idea right now). 

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I felt we needed another option up front and Paulo was brought in to be that option. Not cheap, at £10m, but should be good value. I've included the star rating, partly because it shows how wonky we look with Dvorak (who's rated 4.5 stars) in the squad, and partly because it just looks off to me. Paulo isn't World-Class, don't get me wrong, but I'd still say he's better than an average member of the squad. :idiot:

We also had some 'new' players available as 3 of our most exciting youngsters turned 17 in the back-half of last season. One of them - an AM/RLC Wonderkid - was the subject of a few £7m-£9m bids over the summer, but he was happy with me rejecting them, while the others can expect to make 15-20 starts across the season, all being well.

 

On outbound flights from Zagreb were our DR Barbosa, who Spurs nabbed for £7.75m and some profit of his next sale and three of our older midfielders. We also sold off some potentially talented youngsters: Spurs came in for one of our DCs (can't Tackle or Head and has no Composure) for £700k + 50% of next sale, ManShitty found £650k + 50% of next sale in pocket change for an AMR, and; Porto paid £175k + 50% of next sale (spotted the trend yet?) for a Costa Rican AML I'd forgotten was even at our club. 

Results:

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We probably should have beaten Prishtina and Flora 5-0 in every game, such was our dominance, but the results against Slavia Prague and Midtjylland are probably fair reflections. We've been drawn in a group with Liverpool, Rangers and AZ, so I think we've got a decent chance of getting 2nd. 

The league has been... the league.

I've created a new formation, in anticipation of some epic bus parkage from our domestic 'rivals'. I present to you, this... thing:

Spoiler

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The highly-advanced idea here is to dominate possession and have lots of bodies around the box, but not necessarily packing the box, so that runners breaking into the box have got some space to run into. We've only played a couple of games with it so far, so I might make some further tweaks, but I'm happy with what I've seen so far. 

We've still got the 4-2-3-1 if we need it. 

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Ktj9XoE.png?1

When you sell a player who's made 0 appearances for £650k and add a % of next fee clause in because why not. lol

 

Season 7: Dinamo

Croatian First League

September - October

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I'm not even going to dignify this by calling it a "bad month". A loss in the "Who Cares" Cup and a couple of decent draws in the Champions League; the only blip there is the draw against Varazdin that we probably edged. 

Teams are hunkering down against us, as I predicted. The new tactic seems to work pretty well most of the time, although we do have to mix it up sometimes, as we did against Istra 1961, switching back to the 4231 at half-time (which did the trick). 

We've had some injuries, too. Our AMR was out for 6 weeks, while our Thai MC is still in the middle of a 4-month spell on the sidelines with a fractured skull. (Probably good timing, ManUre and Chelski were sniffing around at the time). 

Also, I mentioned our top prospects who'd be getting game time, and in the spirit of "Show, don't tell", here they are:

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Radas is the standout among them so far, which is why Chelski and Petrol-Snorting Goons are keeping an eye on him. Mandic is unlucky to be coming through at the same time as Radas, or he'd probably get more consistent game time. I'd like him to have a bit more pace, but he's doing well with what he's got so far. Malkoc would be guaranteed a squad place for the next decade even if he didn't have 5* potential, simply due to his Personality; as it is, he's getting a run of games while our Thai MC is injured, and likely to get sub appearances when he doesn't start. 

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Season 7: Dinamo

Croatian First League

November - January + Transfer Window

The major outgoing in the Transfer Window was our Croat ST - a venerable servant of the club at [checks notes] 29 years old, we allowed him to go and make his fortune in China, for £11m.

We signed a bunch of players, too. Mostly youngsters, including 5 full-backs (yeah, I have no idea why), but very excitingly, this included a Mongolian forward and - in what I think is a first for me in FM - a Pakistani player. Also, another Rwandan, because I guess that's a thing in this save. Alongside these lost orphans and waifs, we spent modest sums to bring in a couple of Peruvians, and £3m on another striker. 

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One of those defenders where - even if there are things I'm not wild about, like the 10 Pace/Strength - the rest is too good not to sign. Our current Ball-Playing Defender is 30 and Lozada is a natural replacement (albeit probably not for long).

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The enigmatically-named Kevin Wong (second nationality: USA) was on a Youth Contract at ADO Den Haag and was another 'too good not to sign' option. The Physicals could do with some work, but I like the Mentals.

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My coaching staff were probably right about our big-money signing from the summer (Paulo Cesar hasn't done much), so I went back to South America for more reinforcements and returned with Zanellato. ******* personality and a proper scaredy-cat but good apart from that. 

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We finished 2nd in our group thanks to the loss against Liverpool, but it was a decent performance against the favourites for the competition. League is still going well there's not really anything else to say about that, is there?

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Season 7: Dinamo

Croatian First League

February - March

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Some snore-fests in here, but other than the predictable Champions League exit, nothing much to say about all of this. 

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Something extraordinary happened in the Eternal Derby at the end of April, and I'm really not sure what to make of it.

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Did we... did we... concede a goal in the league?

Yes, for the first time in 8 months, our goalkeeper had to pick the ball out of the back of his own net and return it to the centre circle.

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Season 7: Dinamo

Croatian First League

April - May, and end of season miscellany

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That we were going to win the league was never in doubt. That we'd win it by so much again wasn't. In fairness, Hadjuk did improve on last season... by a point. I had a look to see what sort of run they had in Europe that contributed to them kind of stinking again and... nope, they went out at the Second Qualifying Round, losing to a Celje of Slovenia. They did sell their best two players in January, but it's not like they were even in the same postcode as us by then. Oh well. 

There was a difference between last season in the goals scored/conceded. As predicted, teams defended much more against us, so scoring fewer and conceding fewer was probably expected. 

I think we're going to lose 5 or so first-team players over the summer. I think Spurs and Chelsea have each bought their scouts a flat near our training ground, given how many of our squad are on their shortlists. I haven't really arranged any big signings for the summer, but we've got plenty of money and if we sell those 5 players we should get £70-80m. Would that be a problem?

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Well, as you can see, we're not short on talent in the squad. And my shortlist has a bunch of players on it. And I can probably squeeze another set of facilities upgrades out of the board. So: no, selling those players won't be a problem. 

 

In terms of performances from this season, Kovács got the highest average rating, but Radas was indisputably the player of the season for me* with 19 goals and 11 assists in his 31(6) appearances in all competitions. Our Czech striker bagged 13 goals but was pissy all season after I rejected a crap offer from Spurs last summer, so I'll probably sell him this time around (and replace him with N'Diaye). Our other two young Croat stars did well on their appearances and should be able to kick on next season. Our main strikers were kind of crap, but I think that's a function of teams playing defensively against us, so I'm not sure how much to worry about it. Cesar is likely to leave (a few teams want him) so I'll keep Zanellato and just look for a backup from within the squad. We could do with a young backup keeper: our current backup is out of contract, crap and old.

Otherwise, it's just going to be a case of doing my usual business and tackling any sinkholes as and when they open up.

 

* - not the fans, it would appear. They picked our 30-year old Croatian Ball-Playing Defender, for reasons

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Season 8: Dinamo

Croatian First League

July - August and Transfer Window

We had a quiet transfer window by my usual standards. In large part this is because the expected raid on our players by Europe's hoi polloi did not take place. Liverpool, Spurs and Zebventus came in with pathetic bids on deadline day for Zanellato and Radas but I rejected them. If I have a Wonderkid ST valued at £3m, in what bizarro universe is a bid of £2.5m plus a couple of Pizza Hut vouchers going to be accepted? Duck cough.

We did sell Carpineta, as Lazio and Metz met his Release Clause - I did try to offer a new contract, and I think he would have stayed... had we been able to pony up the £120k p/w he wanted. Eh, good luck in Italy dude. Spurs also signed our fitfully decent Welsh DL for £5m plus extras, and we sold our Saffer DC to Icantremember FC for around £3m and sold our Honduran DR, a backup D LC and a backup ST for sub-£1m fees (but all with hefty sell-on clauses attached). 

The players we signed were mostly freebies from Amateur contracts, but we signed an Irish MC from Brisbane on a Bosman and then spent money to plug gaps.

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José Márcio was brought in as a replacement for the Saffer DC. There are no major gaps in his game, and he should end up better than old whatshisface was. Meanwhile, Agostino is our new Weekend DR, except I forgot that you can't play U-17s in the league, so he's playing for the U-19s for the time being. 

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Abdul Diallo comes in to the Weekend XI where I'll have to figure out which of our MC roles he'll be better at. He cost £3.3m but I think it's a good deal. I didn't actually have a 4th notable player to show, so here's the latest Faroese 'sensation' I've signed. Our coaches currently rate him at 5* Potential, which I'm not seeing, but I think he'll be a very good player once he's got a couple of seasons of consistent game time under his belt. 

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In terms of performances, we haven't been great in the league. We lost a 2 goal advantage against Osijek and then needed a late equaliser to secure a point against bottom-feeders HNK Gorica. In fairness, our Weekend XI has been quite a lot weaker than our Midweek XI. Also, I didn't mention it, but our Peruvian Wonderkid DC Lozada broke his leg towards the end of last season and will probably be unavailable until October, so we're playing someone who isn't really a DC in his spot for the time-being.

The draw for the Champions League proper is testing my resolve to try to aim for progression again, though:

[Warning, the Spoiler contains an image that some people may find distressing]

Spoiler

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Edited by turnip
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Season 8: Dinamo

Croatian First League

September - October

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Our scorelines are becoming less impressive. This is a combination of it being our Weekend XI playing - most of whom are under 20 - and teams shutting up shop. Osijek were second in the league when we played them and they had 10 players behind the ball for most of the match. Also, as our squad improves, the quality of the players we loan out to fellow Croatian teams also improves. Rudes have 4, Loko have 4, Slaven Belupo have 4, Rijeka have 2, Varazdin and Osijek each have 1 (Osijek get most of their loanees from Celtic). Some of the players we've loaned out are actually pretty good!

Random Player of the update:

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Toni was released in the summer by his non-league club. My scouts didn't tell me about him, but I spotted him in the Croatia U-19s squad and thought he looked like a decent pick up.

Pace isn't great, and neither is concentration, but I think he's got potential to be pretty good for us. Places Shots and Tries First Time Shots seems like a very nice combination of PPMs given that we lack space in the box when we attack

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Season 8: Dinamo

Croatian First League

November - January + Transfer Window

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I wouldn't say "No alarms" about our league form. Gaskets were almost blown in at least a couple of those games (against Rudes and Slaven Belupo, in particular), but the results are still going in our favour.

The second half of our Champions League Group Stage was also a lot better than the first half, resulting in the surprising, um, result seen below. We were actually good value for our wins against PSG and Valencia and the results should have looked more comprehensive, but whatever.

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Dortmund are up next. 

Transfer Window

The teams who hadn't swept in during the summer window did so this time around. English teams came for a couple of our young defenders. We sold one to Liverpool for £3m+50% ONF (of next fee) and one to Man City for £4m+50%ONF. Spurs then came in for Dvorak, having not really done their homework. His MFR Clause was £22.5m and I was able to negotiate to £20m + £2.5m over 3 years + 25% ONF. And then Lyon came in for our AML and his £6.25m MFRC.

By this point, we had around £125m in the bank and my transfer budget was £100m. 

We also had bids for Kovacs, but no-one wanted to bid the £20m I was asking for. A couple of teams bid for Radas and our other AML, but surprisingly no-one wanted to bid the £100m I demanded. Our veteran Croatian DC had a few bids too. He was "starting to think about moving to a bigger club" going into the window, so I accepted a couple of bids, he then rejected terms and had a go at me for daring to think about selling him. Okay, dude, I get it. You can stay. :rolleyes:

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Blanuta was signed for £3.5m as the replacement for Dvorak. He's not as good yet, obviously, but he looks like he could develop into a very good player over time. He'll play in our Weekend XI for now. Jindracek was signed to be our second-choice DL, because the kid we picked up from Brondby for £3k at the start of the season was playing like someone we'd signed for £3k. Jindracek's job will be to run around a lot, and hopefully develop his Positioning/Marking so I don't get anxious every time I look at his profile.

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Pitbull was an end-of-contract signing from Sao Paulo (or SEP, whatever). Already very handy, and my scouts and coaches all seem to think there's lots of potential. We'll probably have to sell him for £15m or so next season, but it's nice to have him for now. Nikolic will end up costing us £4m, and I genuinely agonised over whether to sign him or this guy who has a £5.5m MFRC. In the end, I decided that since Nikolic can play AML, will qualify as Home Grown (if we keep him long enough), is an EU national, and the Brazilian's personality was ****, the Serb was the better option. 

We picked up a few other players - mostly for free - but no-one terribly interesting. We did get a Surinamer AMR, from Alfreton, because I guess why not?

Random Player of the Update:

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Menga has been out on loan for the last season and a half since we signed him, but with our AML leaving us, I thought it time we brought our DR Congolese winger back so he can get some game time with us. Not the finished article by any means, which makes me rather excited for how good he could get.

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