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[FM21] Danish dynamite


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Hello, and welcome to my first attempt at a career journal, at least in English. 

As the title already gives away, I'll be managing Danish giants FC Kobenhavn in an attempt at some European success. Kobenhavn are a relatively young club, having been established only in 1992 as a result of a merge between Boldklubben 1903 and Kjobenhavns Boldklub, which was continental Europe's oldest football club. In the 28 years since the fusion, Kobenhavn has managed to win 13 league titles and 8 domestic cups, an amazing return in such a short period. In the past few years, the Danish 3F Superliga has been dominated by only two clubs, Kobenhavn itself and FC Midtjylland, who were last year's champions. 

At first glance, Kobenhavn and Denmark in general have lots of potential. Scandinavian football is on the way up with lots of investment in infrastructure and youth training. The best example is the rise of the Norwegian giants, with players like Haaland, Sorloth, King and Hauge up front and a midfield with Berge, Odegaard and upcoming talent of surprise champions Bodo/Glimt, Patrick Berg. Denmark can boost some nice names as well, the most known being Schmeichel, Delaney, Eriksen, Kjaer and Poulsen. 

Anyway, I'll not be setting myself any specific restrictions but I like to try and focus on Scandinavian talent where possible, be it through my own ranks or from other clubs, and add some South American or African spice when it's too hard to resist. 

To finish off, I'm already halfway through my second season so some of the player screenshots I take might be a little outdated (as I wasn't planning on doing a journal). First season recap will come soon!

Edited by KlaaZ
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First season:

Board expectations:

We'll naturally be expected to win both the league and the cup, and to reach the group stage of the Euro Cup. Depending on the draw, I'd like to at least reach the knockout stage of our European campaign but we'll see what happens. Transferwise, they also want me to sign high reputation players but I won't be following that (screw them!), both because I'd rather invest in young talent and because my transfer kitty of 6M is not nearly enough to sign the players they want me to.

Squad assessment: 

  • Goalkeepers: Needed fresh blood because all GK's are 30+, which I got with Rönning (see below), let Johansson go afterwards. Should be fine, especially after my first youth intake (see further).
  • Defense: I have three players who can play the LB position but only one of them is any decent (Boilesen). Central defense looks solid with young upcoming BPD Nelsson and Jorgensen on loan from Fenerbahce. Right back is a problem too, both Bartolec and Ankersen are sub-standard imo. Varela, the best RB we have, is out on loan for some reason.
  • Midfield: No complaints here. Zeca is an amazing captain and DM with great mentals and a high natural fitness which means he can go on until 34-35. Two good playmakers with Rasmus Falk and Pep Biel, and an upcoming talent in Stamenic. Stage is a great all round backup for multiple positions.
  • Attack: Wind is our number one man up front, probably one of the best DLF's in the game once he reaches full potential. Also no complaints with Fischer and Daramy on the wings, but the squad lacks depth in those positions. 

Transfers:

In:

  • Tim Rönning
    • Age: 21
    • Nationality: Swedish
    • Club: Elfsborg
    • Position: GK
    • Transfer price: 2M
    • Notes: Model citizen when I got him (dropped down to spirit by now, sadly), lots of room for improvement
  • Sivert Mannsverk
    • Age: 18
    • Nationality: Norwegian
    • Club: Sogndal
    • Position: CM/DM
    • Transfer price: 1.1M
    • Notes: Fairly professional, lots of room to grow, usually one of my first signings
  • Casper Hoyer
    • Age: 25
    • Nationality: Danish
    • Club: AGF
    • Position: DL
    • Transfer price: 1.2M
    • Notes: Very all round full back, resolute personality, great set piece taker
  • Wahid Faghir:
    • Age: 17
    • Nationality: Danish
    • Club: Vejle
    • Position: ST
    • Transfer price: 425k
    • Notes: Turned into an amazing AF in my beta save, after which I sold him for almost 50M to Juve. He then moved on to PSG and I believe Man United.
  • Mads Fagerli Halsoy:
    • Age: 18
    • Nationality: Norwegian
    • Club: Bodo/Glimt
    • Position: CM
    • Transfer price: 500k
    • Notes: One of many Norwegian prospects in FM21
  • Isak Bergmann Johannesson:
    • Age: 17
    • Nationality: Icelandic
    • Club: IFK Norrköping
    • Position: MC, ML
    • Transfer price: 2.8M
    • Notes: Expensive but looks amazing, resolute personality as well. Has five more positions in which he is accomplished, very versatile.
  • Filip Bundgaard:
    • Age: 16
    • Nationality: Danish
    • Club: Randers FC
    • Position: AMC, AMR, ST
    • Transfer price: 850k
    • Notes: Ridiculous mental and technical attributes at that age, lots of work on his physicals. Potential world beater if I can get those up high enough.
  • Matias Arezo:
    • Age: 18
    • Nationality: Uruguayan
    • Club: River Plate de Montevideo
    • Position: ST
    • Transfer price: 1.6M
    • Notes: I have a soft spot for South American talent, especially non-Brazilian/Argentine.
  • Isak Pettersson:
    • Age: 23
    • Nationality: Swedish
    • Club: IFK Norrköping
    • Transfer price: Free
    • Notes: Backup for Rönning, nothing more

Out:

  • Robert Mudrazija: 3.9M to AS Roma
  • Karl-Johan Johnsson: 1.8M to Al-Wahda
  • Kamil Wilczek: 1M to Metz
  • Nicolaj Thomsen: 525k to Auxerre
  • Stephan Andersen: 88k to Reims
  • Lots of loan

Competitions: 

  • 3F Superliga: Went like a whirlwind through the competition, finishing the regular season without a single defeat and 17 points ahead of second placed Midtjylland. Struggled a teeny bit more during the Championship Group but was still crowned champions 12 points ahead of them.
  • Sydbank Pokalen: Almost stumbled in the semifinal first leg at home against AGF, going 0-2 down but rescued a draw and beat them soundly 0-3 away. Edged a very narrow  game in the cup final against, again, Mydtjylland.
  • EURO Cup: No CL as Mydtjylland were last year's champions. We beat Craiova, Göteborg and Liberec on our way to the group stage, where we were drawn with Sparta Prague, Ferencvaros and Granada. Started with a very disappointing home draw against the Czech giants (who actually outplayed us in our two meetings), but still managed to finish first thanks to not losing a single game (3W, 3D). We then managed to pull off an upset as we knocked out Bayern Leverkusen (2-2 draw away, 2-1 win at home, 3 goals from Wind) but got disappointly knocked out by Dinamo Zagreb in the next round on away goals.

Youth intake

The standout player from my first youth intake is Lars Larsen, who looks like he could be the next Casper Schmeichel. Other good prospects are Kasper Stokholm (AML), Mads Moldgaard (natural CD but destined to be a striker) and Anders Jorgsensen. The last one will need a lot of tutoring though as he's an unambitious lad.

Spoiler

 

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Edited by KlaaZ
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International football

After the end of the 20-21 season, the job as Denmark manager was vacant when Kasper Hjulmand resigned. I applied, took the job interview and, quite surprisingly, was hired. We were in a World Cup qualifying group with Norway, Georgia, Belarus and Switzerland. Unfortunately, things didn't start off too well with a narrow 3-2 loss against our Scandinavian rivals. We bounced back with a win against Georgia and after going out against Holland in the Nations League semis, we beat Germany to third place in the loser finale.

A win over Belarus kept our hopes of direct qualification for the World Cup intact but when we lost against the Swiss, it was over. Norway, who beat us again in the final group game, finished first and we were sentenced to the playoffs. 

In those playoffs, we got a reasonable draw with Greece in the semi finals. Unfortunately, we were already 1-0 down after 3 minutes. A 89 minute equalizer then took us into extra time, where Skov missed a penalty and some Greek who I've never heard of scored the winner in the 118th minute. 

As I never felt like I was really in control and even the wins against the smaller nations were difficult ones, I did the only thing I could: I resigned.

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Season 2021-2022: Summer transfer window

Squad assessment

The main takeaways from last season were that we needed fresh blood in the right back position and more competition on both wings. Fischer seems to disappear in games quite often but as I have no realistic backup (Daramy is playing on the right), he kept getting away with it. I'll also be looking for a replacement for Jorgensen, who will return to Fenerbahce after his loan ends. I considered trying to get him on a permanent basis but apart from the ridiculous transfer fee (probably around 8M), he wanted 100k per week in wages according to his agent.

Transfers in:

  • Alex Pinto
    • Age: 22
    • Nationality: Portuguese
    • Club: Farense
    • Position: DR
    • Transfer price: 825k
    • Notes: Will compete with Varela, who returned from loan, for a first team spot. Young perfectionist with room to grow.

 

Spoiler

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  • Aimar Sher
    • Age: 18
    • Nationality: Swedish
    • Club: Hammarby IF
    • Position: MC, accomplished in all three AM slots
    • Transfer price: 2.5M
    • Notes: By default a midfielder but will play primarily on the left wing, competition for Fischer. Should have quite a bit of room to grow left.

 

 

Spoiler

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  • Vilhelm Qvist
    • Age: 16
    • Nationality: Swedish
    • Club: IF Brommapojkarna
    • Position: DC
    • Transfer price: 450k
    • Notes: I'm slightly worried about his height/jumping reach, but nontheless he will go straight into the first team to replace Jorgensen. 

 

 

Spoiler

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  • Kenny Falck
    • Age: 16
    • Nationality: Norwegian
    • Club: Tromso
    • Position: DC
    • Transfer price: 375k
    • Notes; Picked him up from Tromso as they are my feeder club, which means I take a look at their intake every year. Good personality, one for the future.

 

Spoiler

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  • Xadas
    • Age: 23
    • Nationality: Portuguese
    • Club: Braga
    • Position: AMR/AMC, can also play MC
    • Transfer price: 675k
    • Notes: A player who had amazing potential in FM19 and FM20 IIRC. Belgian side Mouscron, who had him on loan, had a future fee but didn't activate it. Bargain player.

 

 

Spoiler

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  • Burhan Osmani
    • Age: 16
    • Nationality: Danish
    • Club: FC Midtjylland
    • Position: ST
    • Transfer price: 1.9M
    • Notes: Another one for the future, solid resolute personality and great starting attribute spread. Surprised our rivals let him go so easily. 

 

Spoiler

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Future transfers in:

Shopping in South America means players won't join you until they turn 18 (damn laws!), but that doesn't mean you shouldn't strike early when the opportunity presents itself.

  • Hollman Mena
    • Age: 16
    • Nationality: Colombian
    • Club: Independiente Medellin
    • Position: DC
    • Transfer price: 600k
    • Notes: Will need mentoring so a bit of a gamble but will probably turn into a decent squad player at least.

 

Spoiler

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  • Eduardo Ortiz
    • Age: 15
    • Nationality: Colombian
    • Club: Independiente Medellin
    • Position: AMR
    • Transfer price: 650k
    • Notes: Future replacement for Xadas/Daramy on the wing, if he fulfills his potential. Great dribbler but really needs to work on his technique.

 

Spoiler

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  • Militao
    • Age: 16
    • Nationality: Brazilian
    • Club: SPO
    • Position: AMC
    • Transfer price: 900k
    • Notes; Touted the next Zinho, this kid turned up in my scout reports with a MUST BUY red flag. 

 

Spoiler

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Transfers out:

Bryan Oviedo, Andreas Bjelland, Michael Santos and Michael Luftner, who were all surplus to requirement, left the club for around 1M combined. I also sold Mads Fagerli Halsoy to Brighton as his progression really stalled and he didn't impress on loan with a smaller team. We got 725k for him and 50% of the next transfer fee so if he decides to fire after all, we'll profit.

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Season 2021-2022: Winter transfer window

Transfers in:

None, I was actually pretty happy with the squad this year.

Transfers out:

With the addition of youth product Lars Larsen, Isak Petterson was redundant in goal and got fed up with his lack of playing time. Bologna offered to take him off our hands for 575k, which we accepted. Marko Stamenic had a very mediocre loan spell at Elfsborg so when Chelsea came sniffing, we made a deal to sell him for a whopping potential 8.75M + 50% on profit from his next transfer. No complaints there, off he went. 

The worst news is that the big clubs noticed Wind's performances and started a bidding war that lasted throughout January. About ten days before the transfer window closed, the board intervened and accepted two offers, from Dortmund and Inter, for around 18M including bonuses. I protested this and they cancelled the transfer, so I figured I was safe now. Little did I know, last day of the transfer window Inter came back and offered 18.5M, which could go up to 25.5M, and they accepted again (with an apology to me which did nothing to ease my pain, thanks a lot). Gutting as I play with a DLF(A) and he's probably one of the best players in the game for that role. It also makes me worry that the board will let other pivotal players leave for way too low transfer sums.

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Season 2021-2022: Overview

3F Superliga

FC Midtjylland really gave us a run for our money this year. In the regular competition, they were leading the pack for most of the time until I beat them in our head to head game 3-2 and jumped across to first place. Contrary to previous season, we only had a four point margin at the start of the Championship group but, thanks to beating them away in the first game of the playoffs, we finally broke their backs. In the end, we were crowned champions with four games to spare and finished the game ten points ahead of them.

 

Spoiler

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Sydbank Pokalen

The cup run was fairly straightforward at first, beating AC Horsens, Braband IF and in the quarter final AGF over two games. The semifinal looked like a very easy one as we met with surprise outfit Nykobing FC, a second division team who somehow managed to sneak through. I played some youngsters with the idea of still comfortably beating them but made a mistake in doing so. We lost the away game 1-0 and somehow only managed a 1-1 draw at home, due to a defensive error from young central defender Banda. The only bright note was Oskarsson scoring his first senior goal at 17 years of age with a fabulous free kick. Disappointing to say the least.

 

Spoiler

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Champions League

The Danish champion unfortunately doesn't qualify directly for the group stage (yet, because I will try and change that). In the playoffs, we beat Swiss outfit St. Gallen with a 5-1 aggregate, the hightlight being a 4-1 away win with a hattrick from Wind.

The group stage itself looked like a very rough patch, as we were drawn with Turkish champions Galatasaray, German vice champions Dortmund and Manchester United. A 3-1 away win against the Turks got us off on a good start and when we surprised Dortmund in our beloved Parken with a 1-0 win, things suddenly looked very bright. We somehow and very undeservedly nicked a point in our home game against Man United, 7/9 halfway. A narrow loss in Manchester (where we once again were outplayed for 90 minutes) set a small dent in our ambitions but thanks to a 3-0 trashing of Gala and Dortmund losing both of their games against United, we were actually qualified for the knockout stage with a game to spare. Going out in style, we again beat the germans in Westfalen Stadium, 2-4 with two goals from an outstanding Xadas.

The first knockout round got us in a head to head with Italian side Inter Milan, who later during the winter transfer window stole Wind from us. After a 0-1 loss at home, we quickly went 2-0 down in Giuseppe Meazza. A brace from Johannesson brought us level and one more goal would have gotten us through but in the 93rd minute it was off course Jonas Wind who scored the winner for the Italians. Nontheless, we can be very proud of our European campaign. 

Spoiler

 

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Edited by KlaaZ
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Season 2021-2022: Player progress

Every season, I will pick a few of my players, obviously the younger ones, and write a brief update on their progression. 

Isak Johannesson:

As you may have read in the first update of this journal, Johannesson was my most expensive transfer, coming over for 2.8M from Swedish first division outfit IFK Norrköping. Despite being only 17, he had already contested 20 games in their first team. The reason for signing Johannesson was threefold.

1) As a young Scandinavian, he fits into the transfer vision that I laid out at the start of the game. It also means he has plenty of room to develop and that I can easily mould him into the type of player that I want him to be.
2) He's a very versatile kid. Isak is a natural in both the ML and MC position but outside of that, he's accomplished in all of the AM strata positions, as well as the left back and wing back. Players who can play multiple positions are always an asset to any squad, and it will guarantuee him plenty of playing time as he can fulfill multiple roles. 
3) He has a resolute personality, which means he's professional, determined and ambitious, and in turn makes him more likely to realise his potential.

Anyway, here's Isak when I first signed him.

 

Spoiler

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As you can see, his versatility is impressive and he has a few interesting traits. I want to play him as an MC playmaker so the fact that he dictates the tempo is fine by me. His secondary role would be that of a Mezzala, which suits his two other traits. His more important technicals (passing, first touch, dribbling and technique aren't bad and his mentals are okay as well. Given that he's still young, his physicals don't worry me as they will improve a lot during the next few years. 

In his first season, Johannesson started in about half of our league games, rotating in and out of the squad for Pep Biel and Rasmus falk on both the AP and Mezzala positions. He didn't contribute much in terms of goals and assists yet but as he was still young, I reckoned this was part of his learning process and never completely glued him to the bench despite his often subpar performances. He also got 8 games in the Euro Cup. 

After the first season, he had progressed attribute wise to a point where he was at least on par with Pep Biel, although the latter still had a technical advantage. I made the decision to drop the Spaniard and give Isak a first team spot. He started in 24 competition games and seven CL matches and scored a total of seven  goals in both combined, as well as assisting three times. This resulted in a 7.1 average rating in the league and an acceptable 6.86 in Europe. Due to his good ratings and his increased playing time, his growth accelerated to the point where, at the end of this season, he's one of the first names on the sheet and labeled as a wonderkid. 

 

Spoiler

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Tomorrow, it will be Bundgaard's turn to take the spotlight, and I'll post a look into our youth academy, which is filled to the brim with talent. Stay tuned!

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Season 2021-2022: A tour around the youth academy

Introduction

As in all my games, I try to focus on youth development as much as possible. I feel there's nothing more satisfying in the game than getting a promising youngster in your youth intake and guiding him to become an invaluable asset to your first team. Or your scouts finding a young gem at some obscure club, picking him up for peanuts and then transforming him into one of the very best.

At the start of the game, FC Kobenhavn lacks quality when it comes to the setup of the youth infrastructure. With only 'good' youth recruitment and youth facilities, we're trailing all our direct competitors (FC Midtjylland, Brondby IF and FC Nordsjaelland). By the end of the 21-22 season, I already managed to correct that to some extent by upgrading our youth recruitment twice, up to exceptional. We're also in the process of building our second improvement to the youth facilities, which should go a long way. Either way, we have a lot of players who might be able to challenge for a first team spot in the (near) future, given they develop the right way. Meet the gang!

Meet the players

When first starting out, there are a few prospects to keep a very close eye on. The biggest talent in Kobenhavn's youth ranks is probably Silas Andersen, a young midfielder who, with the right tutoring, could become a solid first team regular. Apart from that, we have two striker prospects who are close to joining the A-team. Oskarsson was already rewarded with a few cup games and even two league starts after we clinched the title last season. Jeffrey Adjei-Broni was loaned out to second division team HB Koge last season, where he scored eight goals in 23 games and helped them win promotion to the 3F Superliga. I'm watching their progression closely because, with the departure of Wind, the striker position is very much up for grabs. Faghir has currently been promoted to first choice but he's not making the progress I was expecting of him. 

Spoiler

 

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On the defensive side, there was nothing special when I first took over. I had some hope for Philip Banda but if his growth doesn't accelerate soon, I don't think it's going to happen. Emil Rosberg Moller is another option given that he's only 18. Both will need to improve their personalities as well if they want to stand any chance of making it in professional football.

Spoiler

 

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On youth intakes and regens

I've already slightly touched on my first youth intake, where goalkeeper Lars Larsen was the obvious standout player. Our second batch of  youngsters was also impressive with Jakob From as a potential first team right back and young Nigerian midfielder Joseph Antipas. That coupled with the players already at the club and a few young signings left and right (Bundgaard, Falck and Osmani being the most important ones) the future indeed looks bright.

 

Spoiler

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Meet the future

Finally, here's a short overview of some of the kids currently in the pipeline.

  • Filip Bundgaard
    • Age: 18
    • Nationality: Danish
    • Position: ST/AMC/AMR
    • Notes: Signed at the start of the game with some doubts about his physicals. He's been making good progress over the past two seasons in that regard, which means he'll get quite a few cup games next season and maybe some time off the bench in the league. If not that, I'll see if I can get him a loan so his progress doesn't stall, although I might wait until he turns 19. Getting more and more excited for this lad.

 

Spoiler

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  • Lars Larsen
    • Age: 17
    • Nationality: Danish
    • Position: GK
    • Notes: I keep mentioning him, and with good reason. Lars is dubbed the new Peter Schmeichel and judging by his attributes and progress, he might become even better. Played cup games last season and will probably do so again this year. If he improves enough, he'll start rotating with Rönning until he completely phases him out in a season or two.

 

Spoiler

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  • Burhan Osmani
    • Age: 16
    • Nationality: Danish/Albanian
    • Position: ST
    • Notes: I've talked about Oskarsson and Adjei-Broni, but this kid is probably the biggest striker prospect I have and may outshine them both soon. Given that he's only 16, I may not bring him into the first team just yet but he more and more seems to be ready. Won't be long now.

 

Spoiler

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  • Jakob From
    • Age: 16
    • Nationality: Danish
    • Position: DR
    • Notes: I traditionally struggle to find talented players for my full back positions so I was very, very happy when I was told of a great right back prospect in the next youth intake. Jakob needs to work on his technicals but mentally, he's in a great place. High determination and leadership make him a potential captain and dressing room leader, especially in combination with his bravery and teamwork. The only thing that worries me is his low aggression, which may become a liability as a defender.

 

Spoiler

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  • Kenny Falck
    • Age: 17
    • Nationality: Norwegian
    • Position: DC
      • Notes: A prospect I picked up from my feeder club Tromso. His potential rating wasn't the best when I signed him but I was optimistic because of his personality and attribute spread. I can see him become a first team regular in a few years time if he improves on his technical ability.

 

Spoiler

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  • Vilhelm Qvist
    • Age: 17
    • Nationality: Swedish
    • Position: DC
    • Notes: Not really youth anymore, since he's been a first team player from the day he arrived, but still worth a mention. An unpolished gem who can improve a lot, and will hopefully be a defensive rock for years to come.

 

Spoiler

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Edited by KlaaZ
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Season 2022-2023: Wheeling and dealing

Squad assessment

Except for the blip in the Sydbank Pokalen, we had a very good season, winning our second title in a row and managing to qualify for the knockout stages of the CL from a tough group. That said, the second half of the season was arguably tougher once we lost Jonas Wind. Given that I have at least five strikers who can potentially challenge for a first team spot (Oskarsson, Faghir, Arezo, Bundgaard and Osmani), I won't bring in a big money replacement as I want to give some kids plenty of game time. We did get a transfer kitty of roughly 20M and the board wanted us to spend big.

Transfers in:

  • Tom Stampe
    • Age: 17
    • Nationality: Danish
    • Club: Randers FC
    • Position: AMC
    • Transfer price: 1.7M
    • Notes: Retraining him as a MC with a Mezzala role, hoping that he will prove to become a regular somewhere down the line.

 

Spoiler

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  • Odin Thiago Holm
    • Age: 19
    • Nationality: Norwegian
    • Club: Valerenga
    • Position: MC/AMC
    • Transfer price: 9M
    • Notes: The board wanted me to spend big and this kid had been on my list for a while. Great personality and good attributes, should go straight into the first team. This also means that I will probably move Mannsverk to the DM role regularly to start replacing Zeca, who turns 34 in August.

 

Spoiler

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Transfers out:

Nothing spectacular here, which is good news. There was a lot of interest in Arezo, who started into his final contract year, but as nobody made an offer he signed a new deal that will keep him here a while longer. I'm hoping to make a healthy profit from selling him as he's not really part of my first team plans. Apart from that, Ankersen and Bartolec were both surplus to requirements, so I shipped them both to Crotone and AA Gent respectively. The total transfer sum of both together was 2.7M. Sten Grytebust left on a free to Lazio. 

Finally, we loaned out a few players who got to an age where they need playing time to keep growing. Bundgaard was loaned out to BK Häcken (great training facilities and Swedish first division) and is doing well so far, Emil Rosberg Moller moved to French second division team Clermont and Adjei-Broni went looking for game time at AaB.

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Season 2022-2023: A rough first half

3F Superliga

We start off well enough with two big margin away victories at HB Koge (0-3) and AGF (1-5). Xadas, playing as an IF(A) on the right, scores fives goals over the two encounters. After a narrow home loss to rivals Brondby IF (0-1) results are less predictable and we drop points again two weeks later, losing away at OB. 

A resounding 5-0 win at home against Vejle makes me believe we are coming back up, but in most games we struggle to finish our chances. Luckily, FC Midtjylland have not had the same rocket start they had last season and are only two points ahead. The turnaround comes in our home game against them. After a difficult 25 minutes Xadas opens the score from the penalty spot, and in the second half Mannsverk and Daramy, in the last minute of stoppage time, make it 3-0. One week later we trash HB Koge again at home 6-1, the highlight being a remarkable hattrick by central defender Qvist, still only 17 at that point. And more importantly, we're in first place at the break, five points ahead of SonderjyskE.

 

Spoiler

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We have an early winter break due to the World Cup being played, which brings us some much needed rest and gives us some time to think about whether or not to get an additional striker. Both Faghir and Oskarsson have been getting plenty of game time but the first only scored one goal in five starts and the latter didn't score a single out of seven (but did contribute five assists, which I'm happy with seeing as I'm playing a DLF). The good news is that Bundgaard's loan runs out at the end of November so giving him a chance is also a possibility.

Champions league

In all honesty, it wasn't our finest European campaign, to put it lightly. The good news is that we had two CL slots this year, with both ourselves and Midtjylland having to go through several qualifying rounds first. We beat Ferencvaros and Astana on our way to the group stage and surprisingly, our Danish compatriots managed to qualify as well, beating Dynamo Kiev (with a 0-5 away win!), LASK and Rangers.

Unfortunately, the draw was tough on both of us. Whilst they were seeded from the 4th group and got PSG, Barcelona and Lazio, I'd hoped us being seeded third would leave us with a beatable team from group 4. But alas, it wasn't to be.

 

Spoiler

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The thing is, our performances weren't actually that bad. In our first game, away in Napels, things could have been very differently. But just like in the league, we were having trouble finding the back of the net. And both at home against Napoli and in Sociedad, we were the better team. But at the end of the day, the group table after six games said it all.

 

Spoiler

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Defensively, nine goals conceded isn't great but it isn't terrible either. But we only scored one goal in six games, which makes it impossible to get any kind of result. We'll have to do better next year, as I want to at least get into the Europa League in the spring to maybe have an outside chance at some international silverware.

FC Midtjylland didn't fare much better but they also managed to steal a point against Lazio (and scored four goals during their campaign). 

Sydbank Pokalen

Not much to say here. We beat rivals FC Nordsjaelland, who were surpringly relegated last season, and Brondby IF on our way to the quarter final, where we'll play two legs against AC Horsens. 

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Well, it's a lot closer than the last two seasons but at least we're still ahead. 

 

Spoiler

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And it actually gets even better because..

 

Spoiler

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Posted (edited)

Season 2022-2023: Winter transfer window

Transfers in:

  • Miltao
    • Age: 18
    • Nationality: Brazilian
    • Club: SPO
    • Position: AMC
    • Transfer price: 900k
    • Notes: Already announced in one of the previous update, but Miltao finally arrives from Brazil. Will gradually be introduced to the first team.

 

Spoiler

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  • Luis Rickards
    • Age: 18
    • Nationality: American
    • Club: Portland
    • Position: DC
    • Transfer price: Free
    • Notes: I signed him on a hunch as he wasn't completely scouted, and will probably turn out to be a fluke. You win some, you lose some!

 

Spoiler

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  • Frank Wujewitsch
    • Age: 17
    • Nationality: German
    • Club: Bayern Munich
    • Position: MC
    • Transfer price: 4M
    • Notes: I had some money to burn and was very much recommended by my scouts. Great attribute spread but needs to work on his technicals. I love his bravery and aggression though. 

 

Spoiler

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Transfers out:

There was a lot of interest for some players, especially Hoyer and Nelsson. The interest is mostly Chinese though, so I'm fairly confident to keep them aboard. I also got a monster bid of 25M for Daramy, which I rejected because he's still only 21 and Danish. The good news is that, contrary to last year, the board didn't intervene to accept because the offer was too good to turn down, possibly thanks to the financial improvement which the CL has brought us. 

Almost forgot, with the return of Bundgaard I had three young strikers compete for one spot. Faghir didn't make the cut, he was sent off on loan to Molde where he can hopefully improve his game and come back a better player. Andersen also moves on a temporary basis to IFK Norrköping to get some match experience.

Edited by KlaaZ
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Season 2022-2023: It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings

3F Superliga

As revealed in a previous update, we went into the winter break five points ahead of our nearest follower. Because of the World Cup, we restarted on January 1st, away at rivals Brondby IF. The break didn't seem to have done us much good, as we deservedly go back home to Kopenhagen with a 2-1 loss in the bag. Four days later we drop points again, this time at home to AGF. In reality, we actually win a point as we were 0-2 down after half an hour. Bundgaard, returned from loan at FC Hacken, scores the equalizer.

When one week later we trash Silkeborg 3-0, we seem relaunched but a horror game against Vejle casts some more doubts. We are the better team, create plenty of chances but once again find it difficult to score while our opponents are more clinical. We lose 4-1. The shock defeat makes me rethink our tactics, with succes. I drop Bundgaard from the striker position to the attacking midfield, effectively playing without a striker. Result: a five win streak with no goals conceded, followed by a deserved draw away at Midtjylland in the last game of the regular season. We head into the Championship Group four points ahead of our rivals, who are once again in second place. 

Two wins in our first two (away) games put us in a great place in the race for the crown, but for the third time this season we fail to beat Brondby, drawing 0-0 at home, and also drop points away at Esjberg fB one week later. As a result, we are level in points with Midtjylland, leading only by goal difference. Our next game, at home against our rivals, is a resounding succes. We send them back to Jutland 3-0, in a game where we could have scored five or six, at least. Five games to go, three points ahead.

Both Midtjylland and ourselves win the next three games, in which Xadas scores four goals. We can clinch the title at home against Esjberg, but despite having 19 shots on goal (against zero from their side), we fail to find the net. On the other side, Midtjylland beat Vejle 0-2, which leaves us one point ahead, one game to go... Away at Midtjylland. 

Luckily for us, all the important players are fit and for once all out to kill. We miss the first few chances but when Xadas (again him) scores after 25 minutes, the dam breaks. Miltao makes it 2-0 with a fabulous screamer from the edge of the area and just before half time Bundgaard first slots away a penalty kick and one minute later even makes it 0-4. Game, set, match. Simsir saves the honour for Midtjylland with a fantastic strike into the bottom right corner fifteen minutes before the end of the game, but that's as far as they get. Sealing the title away at your arch rivals on the final day of the season, satisfaction!

 

Spoiler

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Sydbank Pokalen

In the quarter final, we beat AC Horsens in two legs on a 5-0 aggregate. Bundgaard scores twice. The semi final brings us Midtjylland. In the first leg at home, Bundgaard levels one minute after we concede from a penalty, but in the 36st minute Inui puts our rivals ahead again. Not for the first time this season we create plenty of good chances, but our finishing lets us down, 1-2 is the final result. 

The game at Midtjylland starts off badly when Nelsson scores an owngoal after 25 minutes. He rectifies his mistake in the 40th minute when he scores an excellent header from a corner and in the 87th minute, when it once again looked like we were gonna rue all the missed chances, Sher finally found the net to send us into extra time and, unfortunately, penalties. Both teams score their first seven (!!) spot kicks, but when Johannesson scores and Larsen stops the attempt from Inui, we're into the final.

That final is one to remember because when we do find our scoring boots, there's no limit to what we can do. Our first four shots on target result in as many goals. Miltao, Bundgaard, Johannesson and Holm all get their name on the scoresheet. In the second half, Miltao manages to get a second and finally, goalkeeper Rinne has some bad luck when he stops an attempt but get the clearance kicked against him, into his own net. Final score: 6-0 and the double is ours. 

 

Spoiler

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2023-2024: Transfer news

No offical news yet, but our youth brigade is starting to draw a lot of (unwanted) attention. Both Rönning (Fulham, Leicester, Marseille, Wolves, Watford) and Larsen (Lazio, Leicester, Marseille, Watford, Fulham) are getting a lot of bids. Rönning has a contract until the summer of 2024 and we'll start negotiations soon. He has a minimum fee release clause of 40M now and I'm a bit worries that he'll want that lowered. Larsen has the same problem, currently claused at 120M (well negotiated) with two years left on his contract. I've offered him better terms but he wants a 25.5M escape fee and that is way too low. 

 

Spoiler

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Qvist is in a similar position. He did sign a new contract until the end of 2025 but had a mandatory release fee of 25.5M for clubs in continental competitions. From what I remember, that clause can only be activated if I'm not in Europe so I've got my fingers crossed that I can keep him around as long as possible because he looks like the real deal (just like Larsen). The interest in him is more substantial as well, with the likes of Liverpool, United, Real Madrid and Monaco showing interest (minor, for now). 

 

Spoiler

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Furthermore, there's interest for Bundgaard (Brighton, Lens, Udinese), Nelsson (seven clubs, including Milan, Roma and Schalke) and Daramy (Fulham). Here's to hoping I can keep the squad together for at least one more season, hopefully getting some success in Europe now. 

 

Spoiler

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Edited by KlaaZ
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13 hours ago, Lemoche said:

Good save great youth signings !!! What nations did u load ??

Hi Lemoche! Here's an overview, I loaded quite a few because I like to keep my options open and I'd really love to try my hands on building something in a (smaller) South American league or Portugal as a gateway to South America at some point. I had a great journeyman save in FM17 (I think, where I started at Oud-Heverlee Leuven (which is my hometown team, season ticket holder), moved to PSG next, where I got bored and accepted an offer from Sao Paulo. I really loved it there actually, Brazil is fantastic for finding and developing young talent, although you have to be realistic and know that you can't hang on to them forever. 

 

Spoiler

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Season 2023-2024: Transfer news

About success...

We've had a very successful tranfser window for once. We finalised the deal on one player who will go straight into the first team, picked up another for the near future and signed a few promising youngsters. Most importantly, we didn't lose any first team players despite the widespread interest and I can already announce that, after three failed attempts where he wanted a mandatory release clause of 25M, we finally managed to reach an agreement to extend Lars Larsen's contract to 2027 with option for another year, no release clause! That means that practically, he'll stay a FC Kobenhavn player until he's 23, at least, because I have no intention of letting him go.

Spoiler

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Anyway, a transfer overview!

Transfers in:

  • Santiago Baggio
    • Age: 18
    • Nationality: Argentinian
    • Club: Arsenal (Sarandi)
    • Position: AMR/AMC
    • Transfer fee: 2.5M
    • Notes: Baggio was actually an end of contract signing but was unwilling to enter discussion until he got closer to the end of his contract. He was already drumming up interest from at least six major European clubs so I made a transfer offer to his club which opened him up for talks (maybe a glitch?). Either way, 2.5M is peanuts for someone of his ability and potential. Potential world beater.

 

Spoiler

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  • Johnny Pulgarin
    • Age: 18
    • Nationality: Colombian
    • Club: Envigado FC
    • Position: AMC, with the potential for a striker position
    • Transfer fee: 1.5M
    • Notes: Once again a great scout recommendation, but signed for the future. Will get some game time over the course of the season but has to improve to claim a first team spot. I'm swarming in attacking midfielders now though.

 

Spoiler

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  • Daniel Thomsen
    • Age: 17
    • Nationality: Danish
    • Club: OB
    • Position: MC
    • Transfer fee: end of contract
    • Notes: Lots of potential but needs to improve on his personality and physicals. Low risk signing as his contract was running out at OB.

 

Spoiler

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  • Lars Sommer
    • Age: 16
    • Nationality: Danish
    • Club: AaB
    • Position: AMC
    • Transfer fee: End of contract
    • Notes: Same situation as Thomsen, more of a signing of opportunity than anything else. 

 

Spoiler

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Transfers out

There are no permanent leavers with the exception of four youth players who weren't good enough. Lots of loan though! Molgaard (AaB), Moller (Clermont), Lerche (Falkenbergs FF), Oskarsson (IFK Göteborg), Osmani (Verona), Pep Biel (Verona), Adjei-Broni (RC Lens) and Fleckner (Lyngby. 

And missed opportunities...

Despite having had a few solid transfer windows now, we also missed one major opportunity which is still haunting me. In autumn of 2022, my scouts notify me of a young player in the Lyngby youth squad who has some skill and has an expiring contract on 31/12/2022. When we go to take a closer look, it quickly becomes clear that with the right guidance, this kid could go very far. There's only one problem: Historically, Lyngby and Kobenhavn are fierce rivals and because the kid came through their youth ranks, he doesn't want to open talks with us. We make several attempts nontheless, but to no avail and in the end, RB Leipzig snatches him up for free. This is him now, having just signed a new dazzling contract at the age of 17. I'm still hoping that he would somehow get unsettled, maybe due to lack of playing time (as I don't think he warrants the regular starter playtime they promised him) or a broken promise somewhere else. If he does, I will still try to pick him up no matter the price.

 

Spoiler

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And then there is an Icelandic kid who for some reason came through the youth ranks at Tottenham and who I've unsuccessfully been trying to unsettle. He's on a five year contract so I don't think it will ever happen. 

 

Spoiler

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Edited by KlaaZ
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Season 2023-2024: The squad

Formation

I've been playing around with different formations for the past three seasons, evolving from a DM 433 past a quickly binned 442 to finally settle on two setups, the 4231 wide and a bit more specific 424 strikerless (with 4 AM's). The latter has had some great success on occasion, especially if we manage to get ahead because it focuses on runners from the attacking midfield positions and is very well suited to hit teams on the break and attack space.

 

The players

Goalkeepers

Rönning is technically still my first choice goalkeeper, but he's seeing more and more rotation with Lars Larsen now that the latter has signed a new contract and considering how well he's developed. By the end of this season, Larsen should be first choice and Rönning will be playing smaller games and cups. 

 

Spoiler

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Left back

Possibly our weakest position. I'm still looking for someone who can replace Hoyer but he's a very solid, all round player with a great cross so it's not the easiest search. Ideally, one of my next youth intakes will solve the problem but since my last one was pretty much crap I'm not having high hopes. Boilesen, his backup, left the club after his contract ran out (forgot to mention that in my previous post apparently), because he had, for the second time, damaged cruciate ligaments and was out for 8 months. The good news is that Johannesson is versatile enough to play there when Hoyer's fatigued, so for now the problem is solved.

 

Spoiler

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Right back

We have the same issue on right back, but that will solve itself from the youth setup. Pinto is still my number one man and has been doing very solid for the past two seasons but his offensive contribution is lacking. Varela is still at the club at well and is his first backup (and third backup for the left back position), but he's not getting any younger. The good news is, Jakob From made his debut because of suspensions and injuries in the CL qualifiers at 17 years old and could be a first team regular before long. And in even better news, he also became a natural on the LB position. 

 

Spoiler

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Central defense

Victor Nelsson is turning 25 this year and will soon reach his prime. He's the first name on the sheet usually, playing in a BPD role and orchestrating the defense. Next to him, Swedish wonderboy Vilhelm Qvist is coming up strong. He has a 25.5M release clause for clubs in continental competitions but as long as I qualify for Europe, those can't be activated I believe. Great mentals and physicals, just lacking aerially. THeir rotation option is Kenny Falck who has been getting quite a bit of game time since January. New blood for this position is priority, together with the LB position. I'm considering retraining Zeca as well.

 

Spoiler

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Central midfield

A position with lots of options, apart from dropping an AMC down a line. Zeca has been important here and on the DM position for years but age is finally starting to catch up as he turned 35 in August and tore his hamstring in the final game against FC Midtjylland last season. For the more defensive position it's usually Mannsverk that plays nowadays, as he combines solid defensive attributes with great strength, stamina, work rate, bravery and aggression. Youth player Silas Andersen also developed really well and has actually started in eight games this season, also scoring a great header from a corner. At only 19 years of age, there's still room for growth.

On the other side, the playmaking position is very much up for grabs with quite a few players claiming their stake. Johannesson, Mannsverk and Holm all have the quality to play here and recently, Frank Wujewitsch made his debut as well.

 

Spoiler

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Attacking midfield and striker

These are probably the positions where I have a lot of luxury to choose. Most players are at least accomplished in multiple roles, with Bundgaard as a prime example (natural AMR, AMC and ST). With Baggio, Xadas and Daramy we have some amazing quality on the right wing, and Sher has been doing quite well on the left. The only disappointment is that over the past seasons, I've never gotten Fischer to perform. He has a recurring torn hamstring as well but despite that, he only got 14 games last season, only providing two goals an three assists and having three horrible performances in Europe (6.15 average). 

In the central AMC slot, I can have no complaints. Baggio can play there, as can Miltao and Xadas. As said, Bundgaard is also a natural attacking midfielder, as is Holm, and finally, the arrival of Jhonny Pulgarin completes the long list of talent. 

If I play a striker, Bundgaard is my number one man. If necessary, I can rotate him with Daramy or Fischer. Arezo is also still at the club but he has a damaged spine so it's unlikely he'll be playing much this season. 

 

Spoiler

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10 hours ago, KlaaZ said:

Hi Lemoche! Here's an overview, I loaded quite a few because I like to keep my options open and I'd really love to try my hands on building something in a (smaller) South American league or Portugal as a gateway to South America at some point. I had a great journeyman save in FM17 (I think, where I started at Oud-Heverlee Leuven (which is my hometown team, season ticket holder), moved to PSG next, where I got bored and accepted an offer from Sao Paulo. I really loved it there actually, Brazil is fantastic for finding and developing young talent, although you have to be realistic and know that you can't hang on to them forever. 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

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Woooow what pc do use?!! Love tour save 

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On 08/01/2021 at 15:52, karanhsingh said:

Team is looking very good. KUTGW

Cheers! Still putting some building blocks in place, like the back positions, but all in all I'm very happy with the progress we've made so far.

18 hours ago, Lemoche said:

Woooow what pc do use?!! Love tour save 

Nothing superfancy really, just a prebuilt system with a decent processor and GFX card and 16GB RAM. Does what it has to do. :)

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Season 2023-2024, first half: The season of progress?

3F Superliga

We start off like a rocket with five wins and more importantly, no goals conceded. Andersen scores his first goal, and we beat FC Midtjylland at home 2-0 in the fifth game. A tiny blip at home to OB, 1-1, is followed by four more stable victories. In the fifth game, we trash FC Norsjaelland, who are promoted back after being crowned champions in the second division last seaon, 5-1 and five days later we also absolutely destroy AC Horsens, 5-0. 

Four games left until the winter break, of which we win three but have another home game blip against Randers (1-1). I'm a bit worried about the fact that we conceded in every one of those games but in all honesty, it seemed more a stroke of bad luck considering our opponent's xG is usually still very low. Either way, we can be very happy with our performances in the league so far, with two games in hand compared to second placed AaB.

We have no prolific goalscorer, unfortunately, but on the other hand our goals are very well spread out in the squad. Xadas is once again the top performer, Baggio has hit the ground running and surprisingly, Andersen is doing really well in the CM(D) position and is pretty much a first team player now, getting plenty of starts. 

 

Spoiler

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Champions League

We have to play an extra qualifying round because Danish football dropped in the rankings, and our first opponent is Dundalk, from Ireland. They get wooped with a 4-0 aggregate. Our best performance is in the next round against Astana, who we manage to embarrass at their home turf with a resounding 2-7 victory. Highlight of the game is a hattrick by Bundgaard. The final team that stands in our way is IFK Göteborg but another hattrick from Bundgaard in a simple 5-0 home victory pretty much seals the deal. I send the B-squad to Sweden, who manage to lose 1-0 despite 19 shots on goal. On to the group stage we go.

The draw is once again not our friend. We're seeded third so the teams from pot one (Man City) and pot two (Inter) were to be expected, but when we draw Celtic from pot four I'm not too chuffed. Nontheless, I feel that, if we can be a bit more efficient than last year, we should at least still be in Europe come spring.

We start the campaign away at City where we lose 2-0. A deserved defeat although it could have been very different, with both Qvist and Bundgaard hitting the woodwork. We bounce back with a very strong 3-0 victory against the Scots and three weeks later, we surprise everyone when Nelsson and Bundgaard gives us a 2-0 lead against Inter. We manage to keep a clean sheet for another three points and are in a great position now since Inter also lost their home game against City but on 08/11, we get put back in our place by the Italians when we lose 3-0 away. Our first half performance was actually very good but in the first minute of stoppage time, Bastoni scored a tap in after a set piece scrimmage and 15 minutes into the second half, he scored again from a set piece. 

Anyway, this meant that we had to grab at least something against City at home and when Foden put them ahead in the 53rd minute, things were looking bleak. But once again Baggio saved the day for us. When Mannsverk put him through one on one, he scores the equalizer with a lovely chip. 

In the final game against Celtic, a draw is enough to at least qualify for Europe after the winter break but things get even better. Manchester City does its job and wins its home game against Inter, so our draw (thanks to a disallowed 90 minute goal from Celtic) puts us through to the knockout stage of the CL, where we will meet the other Mancunian giant, Manchest United. 

We still didn't score as much as I would have liked us to but defensively, we were much more stable than last season when we finished our campaign with only a single point.

 

Spoiler

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Sydbank Pokalen

Only two games played here so far, not the most interesting ones. We beat Nykobing FC (who eliminated us in the semifinals two seasons ago) 3-0 away and also eliminated Silkeborg IF 3-1. 

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Season 2023-2024: Winter transfer window

Intro

Once again, our good results lead to a lot of transfer interest. We refuse offers up to 55M for Qvist, who will receive a new contract proposal once all of this dies down. He's currently entering his last year of contract and doesn't want to enter negotiations yet but I'm fairly confident of signing him on a new, long-term deal. I just hope he doesn't want a low release clause. In other news, Miltao signs a new deal that will keep him in Denmark until the summer of 2028. He wanted a mandatory 25.5M release clause but I've managed to put an expiration date of 31/12/2025 on it. Other players who sign a new deal are Bundgaard (30/06/2027), Hoyer (31/12/2027) and Rönning (30/06/2027).

Faghir and Oskarsson both return from loan. Faghir became champions with Molde in Norway, scoring 18 goals in the process. Oskarsson's spell at Göteborg was less successful. They both go on loan again, this time to Freiburg and Bielefeld, both active in the Bundesliga.

Finally, the transfer window closed already but there may be bad news incoming from Johannesson. Apparently, Chinese teams can still do permanent transfers and he still had a 22M release clause which was activated by Shandong. I tried to get him to prolong his contract but the wage demands were really over the top (somewhere in the 60K per week region) for a player of his calibre so I'm hoping he will just reject their contract offer. If not, I will have a left back problem if something happens with Hoyer. 

On the incoming side, apart from the deals we've already made (see below for details), we're also looking at a young Finnish goalkeeper who came through the youth ranks at Willem II and I'm still working on getting the Icelandic and Danish youngsters at Tottenham and RB Leipzig to Kobenhavn. They're both interested but their clubs are so far not interested in selling so it will take a while. I'm also looking more and more towards South America as my last youth intake was disappointing and the next one also doesn't look too great. 

 

Spoiler

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Anyway, on to the permanent deals!

Transfers in

  • Fransisco Pedraza
    • Age: 19
    • Nationality: Argentinian
    • Club: Boca Juniors
    • Position: DC
    • Transfer fee: 7M, buyout clause
    • Notes: I finally found my left footed ball playing defender in Argentina. Needs to work on his marking and maybe his strength a little but all in all, a very complete package for this price, with room to improve. This means that I now have four decent players that can play as a central defender with Qvist, Nelsson, Falck and this guy.

 

Spoiler

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  • Diego Trujillo
    • Age: 18
    • Nationality: Colombian
    • Club: La Equidad
    • Position: MC/AMC
    • Transfer fee: 3M
    • Notes: One for the future, but I couldn't resist at that price. I love the combination of technique, dribbling, flair and first touch, which means he's someone who could easily unlock the midfield. He'll move on loan to Spezia until the end of the season.

 

Spoiler

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  • André Keltoft
    • Age: 17
    • Nationality: Danish
    • Club: Vejle
    • Position: ST
    • Transfer fee: 450k
    • Notes: Came very well recommended by my scouts and because of the transfer price, we took the chance. Loaned out to Silkeborg to get some minutes. 

 

Spoiler

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  • Alexander Brandner
    • Age: 17
    • Nationality: Liechtensteiner (really!)
    • Club: FC Norsjaelland
    • Position: DR
    • Transfer fee: End of contract
    • Notes: Great potential, no risk, obscure nationality, what's not to like about this kid? I already have a great Danish prospect in this position with From but two is always better than one. Great mentals for his age!

 

Spoiler

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  • 1 month later...

Season 2023-2024, second half: The season of progress!

3F Superliga

We start after the winter break the way we ended, not very solid defensively with only one clean sheet in the first five games. Four wins and one draw are very much okay though, so not complaints there. At the end of March, we draw again against Nordsjaelland but take revenge at home ten days later when we trash them 4-0. Ball playing defender Pedraza scores... A hattrick! 

Unfortunately, this good result is not followed up by more. We draw four of the next five games,, where we fail to find balance. Either we score, but so does the opposition, or we manage to keep a clean sheet but fail to hit home on the other end of the pitch. The good news is, our margin is so big that it doesn't really matter. We become champions, again, with six games to go and finish the season unbeaten with 80 points, 20 points ahead of eternal rivals FC Midtjylland. 

 

Spoiler

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Champions League

Domestically, we are clearly dominating. The next step is to step up our game in the European competitions. As stated in the previous update, we managed to sneak into second place in a group with City, Inter and Celtic with only eight points. And the reward was a very tough draw with the other Mancunian giant, United. 

In a ridiculous game where I abandoned my principles to play a very straightforward 442, Fischer turned up for once and laid the foundation for a very promising 3-1 victory with two goals. Arezo completed the set with the third after 65 minutes but Van de Beek drew one back in the 86th, which still made the return a little tricky. 

Away at Manchester, we somehow survived the first half despite being outplayed time and time again. And when Arezo scored that very, very important away goal around the hour mark, they just collapsed. Miltao put the icing on the cake in the 89th with a great strike, stunning the Reds and putting us through with a resounding 5-1 aggregate win!

On to the quarter final, where we got... Chelsea. Only English top tier teams for us this year, apparently. Unfortunately, it was also the end of the ride for us. We managed to keep it decent at home, and held on to a draw until Zanolio kicked us in the teeth 15 minutes before the end of the game, so we had to try and do the impossible in England and somehow turn around a 1-2 home loss. No more surprise results though. Tomori scored from a corner after 20 minutes and when Abraham made it 2-0 ten minutes later, the game was up. Werner converted a penalty to make it 3-0 and while we had some chances to at least put one back, we we'rent clinical enough to do so. 

Still, a quarter final was more than I expected and a good foundation to build upon next season, where we can hopefully have a repeat performance. On the other hand, finishing third in the CL group stage might actually give us a chance at a prize in the Euro Cup..

 

Spoiler

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Sydbank Pokalen

Still not our competition.. We made it to the final where we met FC Midtjylland (surprise surprise) during our bad run of form. 120 minutes of virtually nothing, on to penalties where Pinto and Pulgarin couldn't keep their cool. Not too happy about this. 

 

Spoiler

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The kids are the future

Intro

As with any save I've played over the past x years, I always get back to the same thing: Building a youthful squad, preferrably with regens, develop them as best as can be and build something on that platform. From my previous updates, you've been able to see that, both through a decent scouting setup and my own youth ranks, the first steps towards this were already taken. Four seasons in, I feel it's time to show you where we stand!

Youth intakes

Up until now, our youth intakes have been a bit of a mixed bag. The good news is that Lars Larsen, the goalie who came through in the first season, is looking really, really good and will probably be around for a while as he recently signed a new contract that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2027. He's been rotating in and out of the GK spot with Tim Rönning but will in all honesty be my main choice going forward, at the mere age of 19. 

This is Larsen when he signed his first contract:

Spoiler

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And this is where he's at now:

Spoiler

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Apart from Larsen, full back Jakob From has also been enjoying a run in the first team due to injuries and he hasn't disappointed. I'm happy to say that without any issues, he will also be my first choice in the right back position. Since he's a natural on both flanks, he can even fill the left back position if I ever need him to, as I'm working on a tactic with an inverted WB on that side.

Spoiler

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Further down the line, I have a few kids in the waiting chamber who are not yet ready for a first team spot but may be making their debuts somewhere next season. Joseph Antipas is the most important one, a Nigerian midfielder with great physical qualities and a very nice personality. Next to him, I have two potential goalkeepers (we are very spoiled in that position) which makes me consider selling Rönning and using one of them as a backup for Larsen. And finally there's Villads Nielsen, another midfield boy. 

 

Spoiler

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From transfers

My main rule of thumb is that I will generally be very cautious when spending money. If I splash on the cash, it will either be on a Scandinavian kid, or someone who will be a straight improvement to the first team. 

In the Scandinavian department, my best bargains were Qvist and Falck, a Swedish and a Norwegian defender respectively. Qvist came straight into my first team at the age of 17 and has been indispensible ever since. The big clubs come sniffing every year (right now Real Madrid and Milan are showing interest) but he has a contract until the winter of 2027 and has no negative concerns so I'm fairly sure I can keep him at the club for the time being. Falck needed some more time but has also developed surprisingly well and, although he can't claim a starting spot yet (since he's blocked by Qvist and Perlaza), he's been getting game time regularly and getting very good ratings. 

I already mentioned wanting to play with an inverted wing back on the left and new signing Brandner fits that profile perfectly. This Liechtensteiner came through the youth ranks at Nordsjaelland, after which I picked him up on a free. I wasn't sure what to do with him as I already had From for the right back position but he played the last three games of the season in the aforementioned role and has been a revelation. Only 17 years old, he is set to have a very bright future, hopefully at Parken. 

Spoiler

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South American flamboyance

On the other end of the pitch, it's all smooth and spicy with my South American connection. Non-regens like Arezo (Uruguay) and Xadas (Portugal) are flanked by the upcoming diamonds Miltao (Brazil), Baggio (Argentina) and Colombian duo Pulgarin and Ortiz. In fact, although I really wanted to see if I could get Bundgaard performing (and get his physicals up enough), I'm getting to the point where I feel like it's not really going to happen and Arezo will replace him. He hasn't been doing to badly and his speed and strength has significantly increased, but I'm afraid it's not going to be enough to perform at the level I expect. 

 

Spoiler

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