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[FM21] Swiss Army Knife


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12 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

That will help your speed....I always get rid of lower leagues(Anything below top 2 leagues) except for the nation I am in once I reach a top league it helps with speed of computer.

 

It’s not the game speed that’s my issue at the moment - it’s the time I get to play the game!!

However, I have managed to get the MLS to load, so will try the same tactics to get Brazil, China and Colombia on this month before actually doing some playing!

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Resolved!

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By removing the leagues, confirming, processing a day and then re-adding them has seemed to work for USA, Brazil, China and Colombia. What is more, the 3-letter names have gone (although colours are still off, but whatever!) so I can now get on with playing again.

When we get to June/July - whereby most of the remaining leagues are added, I may end up slowing down again to ensure it works, but this looks to have saved the game for me.

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January 2033

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Just the one league game after a quite poor (from my perspective) mid-season break, whereby I didn't get the players as fit, or as ready, as I'd have hoped. We played well in the friendlies and I was able to experiment with a couple of different ideas but that didn't translate into the Thun game, as we battered them in terms of shots, not allowing them a single attempt, but were really sluggish in terms of our own chance creation. Anderson Costa missed a penalty in the second minute and Royer was forced off before half time, but no tactical nor personnel change led to anything better coming from us. We do, as you can see, have such a gap that it is unlikely to matter, but I had wished to have started the calendar year (and my first competitive FM game for a week or so) a little better than we did.

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It has also been a strong showing of late for my u21 side as they continue to top their league, leaving me with some considerations about the future of my own first team players. Aside from the group below, Thanasis Nikolaidis has also contributed 11 goals this season but has moved for some first team football, also at this level. 

I am looking at the likes of the impressive Joao Roberto - a very one dimensional winger, but one who is clearly finding great success with a fantastic return of 1.16 goal contributions per/90, from either wing. However, it is Miguel Pedroso who I really fancy as a left winger - considering that my current shape operates this role as my secondary goalscorer, something that he excels at. He's the opposite of Roberto, in terms of the fact that he is more comfortable on the ball and can perform tasks other than just running fast and, at 16, his physical frame will continue to grow. Alban Shpendi continues to stand out in terms of attribute quality but his return of just one goal contribution this season, from the centre of midfield, is a little poor - so I may need to reconsider what I want from him as he's neither a scorer or assister, really - more of just an engine. Lastly, Pece Taseski has stalled a little and this is down to the u21 manager refusing to use a player who is not natural at AMC as an AMC. At 18, I want him to be getting proper exposure to football so may need to move him out, allowing him to play as a striker before then honing his ability in that role should he make the first team.

Never the less, there is considerable improvement in some of the above players and, whilst all three are now rated as Challenge League (2nd tier) level players, I don't think they are far from usurping some of my squad players from the first team:

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It's been on and off for months, if not years now, but finally being able to move on with a new board in place is good news. I have spent the last couple of windows, on and off, seeing the below message when trying to sign anyone, including promising youngster Moldawsky just weeks ago. I have still been able to scout for youngsters and, now I've finally got my additional leagues to actually load, will continue to build up knowledge of players like the Israeli youngster, who, annoyingly (now), doesn't actually want to agree a pre-contract anyway! 

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Never the less, the deal is done, they offered me a new contract and we can move on with my own vision at the club - currently not tied in to any specific playing style from the board, although I am aware that this could change at any given moment.

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It's also been a great time for my younger starters who have received national, European and world recognition - with both Lolic and Costa adding to a growing list of accolades. These awards are great but they are significantly increasing the interest in both players, who, at present, are happy to stay at the club. Lolic will be able to thrive in a top league but I fear that, should Anderson move on, he'll struggle given how one-dimensional his game is and how we are, essentially, set up to get the most from him.

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On 17/05/2021 at 12:14, Fudal said:

Can we get an updated profile of Costa?

Of course.

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He's probably peaked now and, as we strengthen the side and development talent from a stronger academy, he'll probably be usurped. However, his attributes epitomise our playing style, using his pace, work rate and flair to get in past the last man and beat the keeper. He's a little weak technically and that is evident in the Champions League, against better opposition but he's both a fan favourite and a personal favourite.

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His scoring record though is second to none. He's been consistently good (although has struggled a little this season) and is, by far, our top scorer, ever.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

Of course.

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He's probably peaked now and, as we strengthen the side and development talent from a stronger academy, he'll probably be usurped. However, his attributes epitomise our playing style, using his pace, work rate and flair to get in past the last man and beat the keeper. He's a little weak technically and that is evident in the Champions League, against better opposition but he's both a fan favourite and a personal favourite.

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His scoring record though is second to none. He's been consistently good (although has struggled a little this season) and is, by far, our top scorer, ever.

Costa always underwhelmes me every time I see him. Couple of good stats and average most every thing else. His performances though are completely opposite, and are really positive. Europe as you say, that’s the trick he needs to progress in.

You think he’s finished progressing? His stars (what, what?) suggest a little bit more room to move :kriss: :D

Edited by Sonic Youth
Too many thoughs
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On 19/05/2021 at 09:43, Sonic Youth said:

Costa always underwhelmes me every time I see him. Couple of good stats and average most every thing else. His performances though are completely opposite, and are really positive. Europe as you say, that’s the trick he needs to progress in.

You think he’s finished progressing? His stars (what, what?) suggest a little bit more room to move :kriss: :D

Oh, I agree. He's certainly underwhelming attribute wise and I know that, if I was to sell him, he'd not play in the top flight because his CA is just not that high. I'd really suggest that some of his star rating is made by current form. However, I've been thinking more and more about the answer to this over the week and I think he falls certainly into the bold of the two categories below:

  • Players who are great.
  • Players who have been made to be great.

That's what I want from my recruitment and development in this save - finding players and getting the most of them through the synthesis of training/development plans/tactics and game time.

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I don't think he's going to develop any further, no. Especially not in a league at the level that ours is whilst we are only getting a handful of top tier (Champions League) games a season. As I said though - he's not good enough to play in the Bundesliga, or similar, so won't be able to fulfil any potential he has left.

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February 2033

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The month started with a terrible loss that ended our 39-game unbeaten streak but it could have all been different if Beiro hadn't, somehow, missed when it was easier to score late on in the game. It didn't get much better as Servette held us to a draw and there were some murmurs of discontent as we ran up a huge three game winless run after Thun had held us at the end of January. However, those were short lived with a straightforward double header over Lausanne and a thrashing of Basel, who have really dropped away in the last few years. My second string easily overcame Rapperswil, setting a nice record with, potentially, another two games to play. We finished the month by extending the gap back to Zurich thanks to a Anderson Costa goal, which has been a lot less common this year than in the past.

So, we're almost certainly about to retain our league title. With real life stopping game play, somewhat, my plan is now moving quickly towards stopping long enough to build a legacy here and see just what I can achieve in the Champions League.

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The summer is likely to see quite wholesale changes within the first team as I envisage that the vast majority of the above players will be leaving the club.

  • Ruben Dias, a one-season stopgap, is moving back to his native Portugal after signing a pre-contract at Vitoria Guimaraes. I, as of now, have no idea how I will fill that void but do have any two from Kostadinovic, Cifuentes and Osememe.
  • Daniel Braganca has been told that his contract will not be renewed. He's still very good but his legs are going and it's a position of real (potential) strength with Kabashi and Gonzalez ready to play alongside the evergreen Dantas.
  • Georges Henry will more than likely not return for a third season. Now a full international, he is surely good enough to make the bench at Bayern. However, I did say that this time last year.
  • Accola has an optional future fee deal with Granada but, if that is not taken, is unhappy at our club anyway.
  • Ikechukwu Adebayo, as seen below, has just agreed a move to Anderlecht for good money and all profit for us. He's got a lot of potential but hasn't quite achieved what I wanted, and, with Royer waiting in the wings, I see no reason to not cash in on him.
  • Chipperfield has asked to leave after getting very few minutes and I'm not unhappy about that.
  • Veiga is above, although I do have Nicolas Vielliard, currently on loan at Grasshopper, in the u21 squad and the academy graduate is ready.

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With offers more than likely flying in for Lolic, too, it could be a big summer. To offset some of those sales, I have been using my scouting network to trial some 16-year olds from around the globe, as seen below. I've got players from Nacional, Club Brugge, OB, Enugu and Partizan and my next step will be to a) see if these players are going to be able to join a flourishing academy setup and b) try to ensure pathways for this to become a regular thing, as I've so far yet to get anything through the affiliate route.

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I'm also trying to work out whether to go for the route of promotion from the u21 squad, signing of youngsters and/or splashing some cash to fill these gaps in the summer. It'll be a fun one!

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March 2033

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Just three games this month but the game that pushed me the hardest was not the game I expected! Without an injured Stefano Herzog, we pushed on with inexperienced Hristijan Atanasovski in goal, and, as you can see from the graphic below, he didn't do a great job at keeping the ball out of the net. How Lugano managed four goals from their 0.66 xG, I'll never know but I'd have probably just done as well with nobody in goal. Obviously, we are capable of scoring one more than the opposition and it was, once again, a masterclass from Dantas as he was involved in all five goals and is showing no signs of slowing down at 32.

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This month has seen two new full internationals in Kostadinovic and Gonzalez and that is, once again, a great compliment to the academy, the recruitment team and my coaches who have helped them push on. The break also saw first international goals for Taulant Kabashi and Jonathan Royer, who both netted for Switzerland.

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The intake this year was another good chance to add one or two key players to the development squad, so, judging by the headline, I had every reason to be excited by Tabarelli...

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So, yeah, Luca could be decent but, overall, I'm a little disappointed. With an u21 squad, u18 squad and an u18-B squad, all but, probably the Unambitious (Anastasi) and Casual (Asani) players will be kept to flesh out those sides and hopefully create careers in semi-professional, or better, football.

I feel like, with a new board in place, I have outlived the promise to work with the backroom staff already at the club, so may take this opportunity to upgrade both the HoYD and some of the other youth staff, to see if that will further develop the quality and player and the quality of personality.

Edited by _Ben_
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April 2033

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Retainers!

I always knew Luzern were a club with immense potential, even though they were stuck in the second tier when I took over. However, a 3rd place, 2nd place and two titles in the four years back in the top flight has to be considered as a massive success - especially given the absolute domination that I've shown over the past two years.

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We continued our great run of league form through the month but our second string sadly fell short against Zurich in the cup, despite absolutely dominating for long periods of time. Still, we have the record for goals scored, despite not playing the maximum numbers of games possible! It was amusing to watch Young Boys boss, Mauro Camonoresi, slander me in the press and then get absolutely demolished, such is our domination over the league at this time.

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Some more good Toni Gonzalez related news (as if he wasn't already my favourite player developer in this save) ...

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Firstly, see above! Secondly, his development has been great.

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He's reached the elite level (anything that is 15+ I consider to be elite in terms of attributes as I've not found a huge difference between 15 and 20 when observing a player on the pitch) in both his Finishing and Technique, which are going to be important parts of his game going forward, so I shall be moving him to an Attacking Movement focus, mainly to work on his Anticipation.

When comparing him, this season, with Tiago Dantas, the results are promising:

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Dantas is my set piece taker so this skews his returns but I feel that the youngster is moving in the right direction with what I'm seeing on the pitch and the training ground. With Dantas showing no signs of slowing down, there could be another transitional season for Gonzalez before really being ready to take the thrown in two years time- and that is fine. I must consider that, at just 18, he should be on the cusp of the first team, focusing on his training gains - but he's both done well in training and made over 50 first team appearances, which is outstanding. Excusing my really bad paint job - you can see that they are, already, remarkably similar, which probably does slightly inhibit the returns on playing them together. It's really just that Anticipation, for me, that is a little away from being great and, given that it is virtually impossible to make a player have more Flair, it's the most sensible option to develop. Post that, I'll probably go back to his Passing and see just how good that can get.

However, the real progress comes when comparing Gonzalez with Taulant Kabashi - who, himself, has just shown great returns on mentoring, moving from Pro to M.Citizen following work from Braganca and Dantas. When you look at both the comparison of attributes and the player traits, both below, I think we're getting close to a complete (in my sense of what I want) midfield duo. I don't need a destroyer as my Half Bacl acts as the purely defensive player so, essentially, I want to ball playing midfielders with one more offensive than the other. 

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Kabashi is probably a little better with the ball at his feet and is a little more defensively minded (better Marker and Stronger) whereas Gonzalez is a better Finisher and is better from long range, too. The traits mean that Kabashi would play more as an #8 (minus some defensive input) and allow Gonzalez to be a #10. I think Gonzalez, to play alongside Kabashi, would benefit from a trait that gets him forward more often (and I feel Get into the opposition area would work better than Get forward whenever possible as it makes the runs a) more direct but b) more specific), although this can not come at the expense of stealing space from the winger or inside forward, depending on the side that he plays.

I think that this process has helped make a smooth transition from the Braganca - Dantas midfield to the Kabashi - Gonzalez midfield and I absolutely love that I have been able to really meticulously plan it and, to this point anyway, see it come off. My next job in this is to get Miguel Pedroso ready to play as an Inverted Winger and let Joao Roberto run wild as a Winger and then I'll have a pretty solid, academy driven, midfield four - behind Costa and in front on Zehnder, Mojsovski and Herzog. A real academy effort subsidised with young, hungry talent brought in at a young age and developed to fit the mantra of my club.

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Lastly, I've taken a little look at how many in-club replacements I can make following on from the identification of these players last month. I have scouts out looking and I'm trying find replacements but a method I like is to promote from within. Now, my u21 team has just won the third tier (to be celebrated at a later date!), which is great news, but not a like for like comparison for the top tier. However, it provides a decent starting point. The outgoing player(s) are at the top with the younger player (all of whom are from the academy) underneath:

Centre Back

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Wing Back

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Central Midfield

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Deep Forward

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Purposely leaving this without definitive answers for each area.

Certainly, Perez (the best centre back I have in the u21 team), attribute wise, isn't good enough but there are arguments that all of the others are potential replacements for the first team players that are moving on. I think that next year, with the team in the second tier, I will have an even better set of comparative data for this to happen.

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May 2033

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The May fixtures conclude another wonderful season, where we match the overall record from last season of 29-6-1, recording 93 points. We've scored a few less and conceded a few more but have extended our unbeaten home to run way past forty games, which is immense.

A most comprehensive win over Basel, a team who have just dispensed of Nuno Espirito Santo and have failed to qualify for Europe, preceded good performances against St. Gallen and Zurich, who have both qualified for European competition next year. Lugano did give us a fright as they attempted to claw themselves clear of the automatic relegation slot but we have enough about us to continue our winning streak, which now stands at fifteen games.

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As you'd expect from our league position, we've been considerably the best overall but attacking wise and defensive wise. Interestingly, though, we've conceded a higher percentage of shots than previously - although that is largely due to the very differing records of the three goalkeepers:

  • Atanasovski - 7 conceded in 7 games.
  • Angelovski - 0 conceded in 1 game.
  • Herzog - 11 conceded in 28 games.

Attacking-wise, we've been second best in terms of being clinical, with St Gallen just pipping us. It's a tiny margin and very much nit-picking but an area for us to get better at, definitely.

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When looking at the finer details, you can see that we've accrued more goals and more points than expected - a clear sign that we're doing well going forward, although, again, the differential between xG and goals is larger for St. Gallen. We do have a tendency to score wonder goals but have been caught out too often this season missing simple chances. Mostly, they haven't come back to haunt us - but we do need to be careful. As the 9th tallest side in the league, I'd expect mixed aerial results and that is what we've got - not attempting a huge amount, but not winning a lot either. It's not part of our game in any areas other than defence, where we look to push players wide. Our defence is the third tallest and my centre backs are rarely beaten in the air. 

We're not possession heavy, as the likes of Lausanne are, so would naturally complete fewer passes per goal, which I'm fine about.

We've continued to make developments with our crossing game, too, as this was something that I've wanted to work on. Specific focus on Attacking Wide and Overlap in training has led to more of these positions being practiced and we are now leading the league in terms of cross completion. 

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Through balls are always going to be my preferred scoring method, given the blistering pace we have going forward and, scoring from the central area, closest to the goal is also my favoured place of scoring, given it's relative ease! Our defensive work, regardless of which keeper was playing, is top notch, again and we barely face any shots, with teams regularly scoring an xG in the hundredths column. 

Like our assisting records, I'm not too fussed about passes attempted but would like a few more completed as we sit behind Basel, YB, Zurich and Lausanne in that area. Some of these balls are, naturally, going to longer as we are more direct and, given that we have several players who like to try through balls, that not all will come off but I feel we can be a little wasteful at times - particularly in a quick turnover or transition. 

Our tackling stats are wonderful - we barely need to tackle, but when we do, we win it.

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My first area to examine in the centre back role, which will be cut by 40% for next year with the outgoing Henry and Dias. They've all been really good although I do worry about the stats recorded by Kostadinovic - lowest Interceptions, Tackles and Headers, as well as being the only one to give away a goal from a mistake and, on paper, the weakest attribute wise. However, he'll be granted an extra year given the rebuild job that is needed in these roles.

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I've lumped together my defensive midfielders and my inverted wingback as they are becoming closer to doing the same job - winning the ball back and recycling it. Whilst Zehnder probably edges in attribute wise, Mazinot has been the biggest ball magnet within the team and has been the best in the air, although there will be an statistical skew due to some time filling in at centre back. Castro has had a solid first season but, with no backup due to the unhappy Accola, he's not been challenged to do any better.

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The creative players in this team are a dream to manage. 33 goal contributions from Dantas, 17 from Gonzalez and 12 from the departing Braganca. The top four on the list are really suited to the playmaking roles and I envisage way more minutes for Kabashi, who, actually, has done quite well considering the irregular playing time. Chipperfield was never really suited to the role and his departure is not of a concern to me.

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Here is the right wingers and left wing back, as they play a similar role. Magola has, once again, performed really well and has just about edged Beiro - although the latter is considerably a better finisher and a better crosser. 35 goal contributions between them is a great return, although they both need to work on completing crosses as they are significantly behind the full backs, mainly Mojsovski, on the other side. The North Macedonian has outperformed Veiga, who hasn't, yet, completed a move away but is likely to do so.

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In my excitement, I missed Ales Ribic from this list, but he's performed well enough to stay another year. This is a really strong area and I look forward to seeing what Royer can do now he's settled in to the system and learnt the Shadow Striker role better. Costa's xG and goals record is way down on last year but he's been hampered by a couple of injuries this year. One to watch going forward but I don't think we've outgrown him, at all.

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Despite our great year, I feel we've got quite a big summer. I want to progress in the Champions League and that means I really need to nail some improvements, particularly at centre back. I also want to bring in some experience (although it'll disrupt the board request of no signings of players over 30) as we have some good youngsters who do require mentoring.

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16 hours ago, deltablue said:

Thats a brilliantly dominant season.

Pfft, didn’t reach 100. Dominant? Still a way to go there :idiot:

:D

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On 24/05/2021 at 06:38, deltablue said:

Thats a brilliantly dominant season.

 

19 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

Pfft, didn’t reach 100. Dominant? Still a way to go there :idiot:

:D

It was a dominant season, but getting 100 points means at least 32 wins with NO losses. Might just as well ask to be the Invincibles!

 

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4 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

 

It was a dominant season, but getting 100 points means at least 32 wins with NO losses. Might just as well ask to be the Invincibles!

 

Well if you insist, Invincibles it is :eek: :brock: :D

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On 24/05/2021 at 11:38, deltablue said:

Thats a brilliantly dominant season.

Thank you! Really enjoyed the football we've been playing and how our style and, as a result of this, club DNA is developing.

@Sonic Youthand @Hootieleece- no pressure then! With a small league, I think an invincible season is much harder because teams simply get to know you better and good managers are able to change things in at least one of those four games.

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June 2033

A quiet month, as to be expected in the mid-season. Firstly is some news that shows we're not only becoming the best team on the pitch, but also the biggest off it:

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I've added a nice new mentoring group for my three promoted youngsters, Taseski, Shpendi and Vielliard. I have four Model Citizens at the club now and, should Dantas work his magic, this could be the start of some real wholesale personality work - something which I enjoy doing and, this year, don't feel that I'm gaming.

Dantas does have the Dictates Tempo trait, which, if passed on, wouldn't be too detrimental to any of the players although I'd probably try and un-learn it for Taseski. However, the personality and Determination outweigh that.

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I'm pretty close to nailing my first signing of the summer and, in true to this save fashion, am taking it very slowly and methodically. Goran, above, is a centre back who recently came through the academy at NYCFC and is plying his trade in the MLS. A centre back by trade, he'd fill the gap left by Georges Henry and Ruben Dias and, is not only Swiss, is also a Model Citizen, which, for me, is a great personality to work with at the club as well as being a great fit for my DNA.

My first job is to compare him to what I have at the club, in terms of statistics and attributes, to ensure that he'd be a good fit:

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He's quite a bit weaker than I'd like, but, at 20, this will grow and I'll give it chance to do so through individual foci. It appears that, for top of the table New York, he is securing a lot of interceptions and key tackles, more so than we are. I'd expect that as we are considerably more dominant than they are. The tackle percentage is lower than what I have, which a) interests me in terms of his performances and b) validates that it is way more than just the Tackling attribute that decides his success rate. I also like that he's coming from a successful side.

My next thought was to look at how he's doing compared to those players not at my club. I'd normally compare the top European leagues but, given the difference in calendar and quality, I just went with MLS defenders, specifically those who had played for over 1000 minutes this season. These statistics are quite frankly wonderful:

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I'm looking at percentiles here, and the green formatting is whether he is in the top five out of all of the players fitting the criteria. What is interesting is that his tackles and interceptions are standout lows - although, as I said, NYCFC are top of the table and doing less defending than other teams (2nd best defence in the league with best xGA) and they, as a team are 26th/28th in terms of team tackles won, 24th in team possession wins and 13th in terms of team tackle percentage won. This is a little contradicting as their manager likes to employ intense pressing but it does fit in with the fluid counter attacking style, suggesting that they use a low block and their midfield sit in front of the defence, taking the strain off the centre backs.

I decided to go and watch the match against Real Madrid in the Club World Cup to get a final opinion on him:

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He was busy as Real won 4-0 but it's clear he's being played very much as a no-nonsense defender, who isn't asked to close down until very late - as seen by just the one tackle attempted, which he won. He only won 50% of his headers but did make three key headers during the game. Combined, the two centre backs made 43 passes, as I'd expect being so heavily under the cosh - yet his pass completing was 91%, a good number in my eyes. He also contributed two blocks to the team's cause. That game was the last of the ones I'd set out, giving me 100% knowledge and highlighting no concerning areas behind the scenes.

I think it's vitally important that, as a club, we can attract the best players from these weaker leagues, even if he may use us as a stepping stone in future. It is simply a bonus that he's got a great personality and is Swiss. I've been in touch with his agent and I'm going to enter with a bit of around €5m and see what happens!

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Posted (edited)

July 2033

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We kicked off with a nice little French tour, with nothing unremarkable, except for substitute Stefan Lolic pretending to be the referee! Our league season started with a great win over Sion, but that elation was short-lived as we caved in against St. Gallen, falling to our first defeat in 16 games. The month ended with a routine win over Thun, whereby we got back to the slick football that had disappeared the week before.

We end a month not top of the table for the first time in a very long time. It's not inconceivable that there could be a turning point in the league and the other teams will be able to mount some kind of comeback, but I do fancy us to end August atop the league.

----

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I have also concluded my incoming transfer business for the summer with three new faces, including the aforementioned Adilovic, who joined for an eventual €6m, a new club record. With four first team players leaving as well as loanee Georges Henry returning, I have brought in three players from outside the club and promoted a further three...

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The first incoming player was Valentin from Dinamo Bucharest. At just 21, he's certainly another one for the future but is older than Henry, who he'll partially replace. Whilst not quite the same level of personality as Goran before him, the Romanian is a Professional and his Unflappable media handling tells me that he's good at handling pressure. What I like best is that he's chosen himself a good social group, which may even help turn his personality to develop it even further. Despite having just 11 for Leadership, the coaches feel that he's a leader and (the false negative of) not fitting into the Core Group is the only weakness, as they've not picked up on any issues settling, consistency or similar. He's good enough for this league right now and has the potential to get even better.

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Ionesi has been on my radar for sometime and I compiled some analyst reports on him whilst in Romania and I like what I see, particularly in terms of his Interception statistics. When I looked at Adilovic earlier, I noted that his tackling percentage was below 80, and Ionesi mirrors this. However - as a team that doesn't have a lot of defending to do, in the league anyway, I am not overly concerned and, again, I can reiterate that more than just the Tackling attribute are at play here. Without the league loaded, I will only take these with a pinch of salt though.

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When comparing him to the rest of my central defenders, I think that he's certainly no weaker than anything I already have and, with potential to grow a bit more, could form a really strong part of this defence over the coming years. I have a squad of five central defenders, all in their early twenties who are strong in what I require both defensively and in terms of DNA. I have a nice mix of left sided and right sided players, allowing some slightly different roles depending on who I am playing - alternating between one BPD and one CD on either side.

Centre back is an area of relative weakness in my u21 squad so I have no qualms with the fact that, as of right now, there is not a single academy developed player here. This is, of course, something that I want to rectify but I cannot abandon team quality for domestic bias, especially if I want to make progress in Europe.

Next in was Thun forward Josef Schonfeld...

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Now, I made the decision to shell out the €5.5m release clause for Schonfeld as my right winger Beiro had decided that he was homesick before then joining a team that is, to my knowledge, actually not in Argentina! The youngster has, so far, scored 40 times in 98 appearances for Thun's reserve and first side and brings with him the some nice potential. There are some worries about his bravery and intelligence but there is potentially some nice hidden traits, behind his Driven personality.

I decided to compare Josef with all young (u23) forwards across our Swiss top flight and the traditional big-5, looking at players who have amassed over 1000 minutes in the 2032/33 season. Here are the results:

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Despite playing in a Thun side that scored 39 times over the course of last season and finished sixth, he's got some quite exciting statistics and looks like one of the hotter prospects in European football. He's created a great amount of xG, scored quite well and (as I accidentally reversed the percentile rank for Mins/Gl - has done quite well in that respect, too) and is in the top six percent of headers won across the season. He's not the creative forward but certainly looks like someone who'll be able to find the net. However, I don't want him as a forward. Jonathan Royer came in last summer for €3.5m and is making the transition to a shadow striker-esque player, filling that role and meaning that, instead, it is a winger that I want him to be:

f7a9a6099db2bc2644a45219dfecb44f.png

Whilst there are some gaps, notably the Crossing and Passing - the Off the Ball and all around speed may allow him to evade defenders and get into good areas. Normally, I haven't wanted my right sided winger to be an out-and-out scorer, instead more of a creator, but I think Josef could become a hybrid of this and there is way more to it than just one attribute (see the 28 league goals from Magola with just 7 for Finishing). What is more, this area is somewhere where I do have potential in the academy and Joao Roberto (who also cannot cross), hopefully, will be knocking on the door over the next few years - meaning that this deal is a win-win for me, really.

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---

I'm really quite happy with the strength that I have in the first team squad now and will be looking to ensure that the next crop of potentially top youngsters, as seen below, enjoy their experiences in the second tier with my u21 squad and are ready to make the jump up over the next two to three years with me earmarking potential players for them to replace.

  • Joao Roberto (MR) -> Joachim Magola
  • Miguel Pedroso (ML) -> Ales Ribic
  • Tommy Portela (RB) -> no backup player in this role at present.
  • Carlos Perez (CB) -> Predrag Kostadinovic

The future is certainly looking bright, when adding these 16/17 year olds to the likes of Taseski, Shpendi, Vielliard and Gonzalez already within the first team. I'm certainly excited, but clearly Torsten Frings, of St. Gallen, doesn't see it how I do...

0da3491303d0b9c481eb6b5c9eaee1fe.png

 

Edited by _Ben_
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Misc Stuff: August 2033

I took the plunge and downloaded the NewGan facepack that replaces all of the newgen faces with ethnically correct pictures just to add a little bit of immersion and, importantly, a more automatic (than creating the xml's from scratch anyway) method for the 88k+ newgens in game. Here are some examples of my own players plus a range of different players, to show the scope of this project:

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----

I mentioned earlier in the thread about adding leagues to widen the game world. Whilst I still have Argentina (June 2034), Ghana and Nigeria (September 2033) and South Korea (December 2033) - I can make some comparisons between the two data sets to see how close I am to achieving what I set out to do. The original (2031/32) game world remains with the current updates in red.

Player count in the whole game-world is 112,512. Now is 116,887

  • Africa: 3,191 (2.8% of the game world) now 15,294 (13.1%)
  • Asia: 2,173 (1.9%) now 4,289 (3.7%)
  • Europe: 103,341 (91.8%) 85,634 (73.7%)
  • North America: 1,652 (1.5%) 4,099 (3.5%)
  • Oceania: 125 (0.1%) 818 (0.7%)
  • South America: 2,030 (1.8%) 6753 (5.8%)

Let's dig deeper, and look at Europe - considering my hotspots are Switzerland and Eastern Europe:

  • Switzerland: 10,892 (10.5% of Europe) 11,127 (13% of Europe)
  • Eastern Europe: 8,245 (8% of Europe) 13,103 (15.3% of Europe)

I feel that, without adding much to the demands of the game, I've really spread out the game-world and improved the player counts in my target areas, really putting more into the want to set up a wonderful scouting network across the world.

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One question - how do you add these countries later, especially such a country as algeria? I thought you must have them min load at start as only view?

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1 hour ago, Conardo said:

One question - how do you add these countries later, especially such a country as algeria? I thought you must have them min load at start as only view?

Not quite.

I had already downloaded them and had them in the editor data folder when the game started. I like to do this as, even though the leagues aren’t loaded - the league rules are, and it, at least, gives a division (with games modelled in no detail but games, never the less). For any future saves, now they are available, I will have the league rules for every league in the world - even if I don’t load them as playable  

This meant I was able to then add in the leagues as playable. 

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August 2033

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A nice gentle month before the Champions League kicks off and we play twice a week until Christmas.

We kicked off with what has become an embarrassingly easy tie against Basel, as they've just fallen apart of late - Magola was, in particular great and has now netted eight times already this term. Our second string just about got paste Stade Lausanne, of the second tier before a comfortable win over Aarau with debutant Pedroso scoring once and assisting twice. The 17 year old provided again in the 3-0 rout over YB as we marked our return to the top of the league in a game where Costa finally found some kind of scoring form again and (now) winger Schonfeld got his first goal, replacing the now-injured Magola.

----

I've made a little switch tactically, too, after noticing a few things.

  • My IWB was rarely performing well - and this was more than just AR as I felt that there was just a loss in the transitional phase.
  • My ball magnet (player with most completed passes) was my HB, which, when you have the likes of Tiago Dantas in front and you play a more vertical style, seems silly.
  • The Mezzala (normally Toni Gonzalez) keeps getting bypassed, largely due to the fact that play was going through the Half Back and then wide or forward.

A couple of tweaks leave my shape now like this:

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The HB(d) has turned to a DM(d), reducing some cover and creating a back three so I have moved the IWB(s) to the wonderfully customisable FB(au) - with instructions to hold position, sit narrower and then cut inside with the ball. I have also changed the CM(s) to a CM(au) as it's more receptive to any mentality changes I make. I have removed the 'Play out of Defence' for the time being, too, just to see how that changes things. In the first game, my shape without the ball looked like this:

A change from the 3 formed with the HB (#18) to a slightly offset defender three and a really flexible four in front with the WB(a) (#3) being afforded space. It also means that the IW(a), SS(a) and W(a) now form a trident shaped front three, which can be incredibly potent.

There is still some playing around to be done and I am really now beginning to explore the match plan (not the in game feature but preparing specially for certain opponents) in order to allow us to flourish in Europe, in particular.

----

Earlier in the month, I was greeted by this ridiculous offer for Stefan Lolic:

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Given that the current record for an outgoing Swiss transfer is €35m and Lolic, valued at €11.75m with no real interest in renewing his deal, I was left with little choice to accept. Stefan, now pictured following the completion of his move (check that player value!) had a great playing record for us but it's exactly the kind of deal that has to happen to continue with the development of this squad and the realistic side of my game play. 

It gives me a chance to fast-track Miguel Pedroso to the first team, which, under my previous idea would have been replacing Ribic in the coming years. However, with him already being so close to that level (pace aside), with potential to far exceed it, he'll be getting as many minutes as possible, in the short term. I need to work on a couple of areas of his game but I'm really excited about the player he could become.

---

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I was completely taken aback when I saw that my u21 squad are now qualified for the senior cup competition and, as a result, could be playing us in the final one day!

 

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Wow, that’s a great transfer and vindication of your setup (training/scouting/tactics).
 

And Miguel Pedrosa made some a double take with his age!

Leagues going well too.

Was there any ripples through the squad after Stefan’s move?

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vor 22 Stunden schrieb _Ben_:

Not quite.

I had already downloaded them and had them in the editor data folder when the game started. I like to do this as, even though the leagues aren’t loaded - the league rules are, and it, at least, gives a division (with games modelled in no detail but games, never the less). For any future saves, now they are available, I will have the league rules for every league in the world - even if I don’t load them as playable  

This meant I was able to then add in the leagues as playable. 

How many extra league files do you have "pre-loaded"? :)

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9 minutes ago, Conardo said:

How many extra league files do you have "pre-loaded"? :)

In this save - it's just the African ones, below, but in future saves (or any that I don't start on the Beta) I want to have as many as possible. In years gone by (and not sure if the same on FM21) - Paraguay, one of the larger S.American leagues, does not have the league rules modelled unless you pre-load these data files and, in my opinion, completely ruins player development there - with 22/23 year olds not having played a single competitive game (ignoring the fact that these aren't in any detail but a game is a game).

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I actually have no proof of this, come to think about it, but it is something that I must have read a few years ago because it's something I just do naturally now. I didn't load them from the start as I, originally, wanted a quicker processing time but also would have no need to scout the Algerian league when I'm in the fourth tier of Swiss football!

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5 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

Wow, that’s a great transfer and vindication of your setup (training/scouting/tactics).
 

And Miguel Pedrosa made some a double take with his age!

Leagues going well too.

Was there any ripples through the squad after Stefan’s move?

Yeah - I've been lucky that the overall shape hasn't really changed across the course of this save. I know that we started with a really possession based style and it's gradually changed to a more vertical, counter attacking approach but largely things haven't changed in terms of shape. Making some little tweaks just address some things I've seen over a long time and keeps the style feeling fresh.

Pedroso has made some progress since coming through last year but, more importantly, has learnt to play on the left side of midfield, which he was ineffectual at originally. It is, however, the form that he's been that has really decided it for me:

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In terms of unhappiness - yes, Stefano Herzog was unhappy but accepted the promise that I'd play younger players (which included Ribic despite being older that Lolic) in that role, which I will certainly do.

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September 2033

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Back to where we belong!

It's been a bit of an up and down month, in fairness. The constant '10 changes from last match' to maintain a Sun-Wed, Sat-Tues schedule is hard and leads to some disjointed performances, but, we're winning and that's the main thing. We kicked off with a nice easy win over Bellinzona, giving the fringe players some valuable minutes before a really tough tie away at AZ. With the Dutch outfit being, arguably, the weakest (PSG being the fourth team) in our group, a win in Holland was a must. We defended absolutely awfully but had enough going forward to take the points. We followed that with three pretty average performances but, as I said, took nine points from that, securing three clean sheets and giving minutes to the whole squad. We started in the worst possible way against Atletico as Michael Oliver awarded a penalty that even in the in-game commentary said was a dive and there is no way the Milenkovic-Savic would miss. Two-nil down inside twenty minutes saw me make a very cautious move - man marking their full backs and defensive midfielder as they dominated possession, mirroring our 4-1-4-1 shape and leaving my own DM, Zehnder, chasing shadows. For the remaining 70 minutes we matched then, which is a wonderful thing to say against such mighty opposition.

----

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I took this still on the Schonfeld goal against Sion as a real showcase of the shape we're making right now. Offensive shapes are something that I've been fascinated with as I've built this tactical idea and this just makes me really happy. We won the ball back on the right hand side of our defence with Kostadinovic, who then, naturally, looked for my overload on the left hand side, with opposite full back Vielliard hugging the touchline. We then were able to move the ball directly up field through Zehnder and Dantas and in to the path of Schonfeld, now making, essentially, a front three, to finish. It's a very strange, lopsided looking 3-4-3 in possession and we're exploiting playmaking space with our right back (who has now moved up but was in line with the two centre backs until the final ball), numerical advantages with our left side and overloading with a front three that doesn't really start as one.

I love it!

---

I wanted to take this time to have a little look at my development plan for Miguel Pedroso, too.

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I have, right now, got him on the IW(a) training schedule until he reaches natural in that position, accompanied by the Quickness focus. I know that, at 17, he'll gain this physicality anyway, but wanted to give him a little extra to really make the most of it. What I am really interesting in now, as he's broken into the team, is how to really make the most of his ability within my current setup - particularly that Finishing ability. If I look at the last three games, I can see his shooting returns:

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Not amazing - just three shots and, for someone with great Technique, Finishing and good Decisions, Anticipation and Agility, I really need to be getting him into the box to provide him with these opportunities. I want to add some Player Traits to his game to really push this.

  • He's weak with his left foot, yet plays on the left hand side. Combine this with his good Technique, I really feel that the Avoids Using Weaker Foot trait could work here. I usually stray away from it but think that it would help him cut back inside on to his right rather than stay wide left and, ultimately, reduce the xG of his chance. It'll also cut down the times to goes wide and is left with just a cross - considering he's not the strongest crosser of the ball.
  • I also would like to combine that with the Curls Ball trait, as he's a great technician and a curling shot from the left hand side has a decent chance of finding the far corner.
  • I'd like him to get forward more but can't rely on his pace, yet, so I think I'd like to teach him to Get Into the Opposition Area as, with Gonzalez previous to this, it gives direction to his run and will mean he naturally will have to come inside to get there, meaning I don't need the cuts inside that may be useless if he plays elsewhere (e.g. a Shadow Striker)
  • I'm toying with the Tries Tricks trait too as Technique, Dribbling, Flair, Balance and Agility would also dictate that he could be good at this.

I think that this will make a dangerous wrong footed winger who, when given the opportunity, will be best placed to finish these chances.

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2 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

I wanted to take this time to have a little look at my development plan for Miguel Pedroso, too.

062f5c5f76155aca8e9da76bfdbfcc6a.png

I have, right now, got him on the IW(a) training schedule until he reaches natural in that position, accompanied by the Quickness focus. I know that, at 17, he'll gain this physicality anyway, but wanted to give him a little extra to really make the most of it. What I am really interesting in now, as he's broken into the team, is how to really make the most of his ability within my current setup - particularly that Finishing ability. If I look at the last three games, I can see his shooting returns:

eacac39b3f50675535d1b1e175ba911f.png

Not amazing - just three shots and, for someone with great Technique, Finishing and good Decisions, Anticipation and Agility, I really need to be getting him into the box to provide him with these opportunities. I want to add some Player Traits to his game to really push this.

  • He's weak with his left foot, yet plays on the left hand side. Combine this with his good Technique, I really feel that the Avoids Using Weaker Foot trait could work here. I usually stray away from it but think that it would help him cut back inside on to his right rather than stay wide left and, ultimately, reduce the xG of his chance. It'll also cut down the times to goes wide and is left with just a cross - considering he's not the strongest crosser of the ball.
  • I also would like to combine that with the Curls Ball trait, as he's a great technician and a curling shot from the left hand side has a decent chance of finding the far corner.
  • I'd like him to get forward more but can't rely on his pace, yet, so I think I'd like to teach him to Get Into the Opposition Area as, with Gonzalez previous to this, it gives direction to his run and will mean he naturally will have to come inside to get there, meaning I don't need the cuts inside that may be useless if he plays elsewhere (e.g. a Shadow Striker)
  • I'm toying with the Tries Tricks trait too as Technique, Dribbling, Flair, Balance and Agility would also dictate that he could be good at this.

I think that this will make a dangerous wrong footed winger who, when given the opportunity, will be best placed to finish these chances.

I really enjoyed the depth you went in to here. Seem like very good choices to maximise the effectiveness of Pedroso.

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22 hours ago, abulezz said:

Some great observations and I think you are spot on in your analysis. He looks like a great talent. 

 

21 hours ago, Jtomsett11 said:

I really enjoyed the depth you went in to here. Seem like very good choices to maximise the effectiveness of Pedroso.

 

15 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

Pedroso sounds like another Coutinho....beware of a "flame out"!

 

Thanks, all.

I really love that battle between getting the best out of a player and getting the player to be most suited for your system and I think that these traits are great ways of working on both. I have another player, currently with the u21's, Joao Roberto, who is next in line to make the first team and have his traits explored...

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For reference, he's a right footed right winger.

Straight off - he'll be knocking the ball past his opponent and getting forward whenever possible. With such poor decision making, I almost need to tell him what to do when he gets the ball. He'll probably be in and around the first team next year so I will take a look at how he fits during pre-season next year but I'd love to hear other thoughts on it.

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Reminds me of Adama Traore at Wolves! Fast and can run with the ball. It’s a pity he doesn’t have much creativity (ok-ish flair), as he’ll need to be direct, and become a goal threat as his link-up skills don’t really have much to write home about at the moment.

If he has the potential, Mane and Salah would be good players to emulate.

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50 minutes ago, Sonic Youth said:

Reminds me of Adama Traore at Wolves! Fast and can run with the ball. It’s a pity he doesn’t have much creativity (ok-ish flair), as he’ll need to be direct, and become a goal threat as his link-up skills don’t really have much to write home about at the moment.

If he has the potential, Mane and Salah would be good players to emulate.

I think, for most teams - he could make a decent striker - certainly an AF, whereby he just needs to run on to the ball and score. However, in my shape - with overloads coming down the left, he's made for all of the wide open space that the right wing brings him and it does actually turn that role into more of a goalscorer one, too, as he'll be able to find space at the back post. Historically, I've converted Magola from a striker to a right mid and am doing the same with Schonfeld.

What I have going for me though is my u21 team. He plays as a right mid in the same tactic in the league below and his career looks like this:

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I think, given that, I should be ok to continue what he is doing rather than completely re-shape him. I also quite like what I'm seeing from him this season:

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He leads the league in distance covered and has recorded, by far, the most dribbles per 90. His crossing, as expected, is wayward, at only 15% completion, but he has attempted the most. He is also the second highest, non-attacker, for goals scored

I think his development plan has to focus on two areas:

Attributes

  • Development of his Off the Ball and Crossing ability (before, maybe, a focus on his Passing, too). This can be done without any specific P/R/D as he's already natural at MR. I can switch between the Crossing and Attacking Movement additional focuses. Ideally, we can get these to somewhere near the average (around 10/11) for this league so that they're not a huge weakness.

Traits

  • Once I've watched him in action - developing traits that help his already strong areas of his game - speed and dribbling ability.

---

I just hope he's got the potential now!

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October 2033

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Imperious!

We haven't scored that many this month, following the pattern set last month as disjointed team selections have led to some disjointed performances - however, we are scintillatingly strong at the back - with barely a threat on a goal let alone a goal conceded this month. The gap is only four points to St Gallen following a draw with them but the only poor result is the Thun draw, where we had clearly over exerted ourselves just four days before.  

Against the heavy hitters of PSG, playing a flat 4-4-2, I opted for the same defensive solidity that played out so well against Atleti; using wingers (actually full backs in Vielliard and Kostandinovic playing as ML and MR, respectively) as man markers for the opposition full backs. As you can see from the average positions and the action zones from the first 45 - we just let them play around in the middle of the park with little threat. We rode our luck with a tight offside but ended with a very respectable draw, given the statistics. Judging the quality of chances - ours worked out at, on average, 0.08xG per shot to their 0.085ish xG per shot - so it's not like we battened down the hatches and withstood a barrage. 

There was a slight bit of sadness as my u21 team ended their Schweizer Cup run and the chances of an 'all Luzern' final as they lost, expectedly, to St. Gallen.

---

I received this news late on in the month, too:

f0d53a5d6af038e80be50ff44c4e1323.png

With a new HoYD, Regis Le Bris, and constant developments to the coaching staff for the younger teams, I hope that I am in a position to change that over the coming years.

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Posted (edited)

November 2033

cd093634c35b35ae52355ed0fee9b3ab.png

Not all sunshine and rainbows!

A tough month and one that left me with an question of ethics. We've been really poor in the league and lost, for the second time this season thanks to a late YB goal. We recovered to beat Aarau fairly comfortably but then just had nothing against another struggling side in Zurich. We rarely concede, let alone twice in one game and it was a very poor overall performance.

6a07a8529e69fe822aa6117fcbf45e87.png

We battled resolutely in Paris - employing the same tactical shape that worked against Atleti and PSG in the home leg, adding a shoot on site instruction as I felt I'd get little purchase in front of goal. It worked and, when we were held, again after playing poorly against AZ, was a big part in securing our qualification to the next round. It's a weird one - the Champions League is clearly the end goal, but right now - we've got little chance. In an ideal world, I'd have finished third in this group and given the Europa League a good shot, however, I wasn't prepared to throw a game - regardless of how poor our form has been!

---

Now, on to the poor form. I've put together a little chart that has tracked our rolling five game averages of xG (pretty self explanatory) and xG differential (goals - xG which, if we've scored more than our xG, suggests we've been clinical and, if the opposite - wasteful). Here it is:

23e53acd15aba7862043761fd886cdbf.png

It's really interesting to see that we have managed to perfectly coincide a lack of creativity with a lack of clinical finishing. Our xG has decreased as the season has gone on as has both our luck (if you want to look at it that way) but also the rate in which we put away our chances. Let's look a little deeper, as I have collated my attacking players with their finishing statistics, sorted by goals scored.

515d4f345da2c47ecfe78dc6a74433a6.png

How interesting to see that my best four finishers have scored the least amount of goals!

The initial thought here, for me, is Anderson Costa, who, across his career has averaged 0.58 goals/90, yet, this season is only taking 1.68 shots/90. This is similar to last year and, in fact, his conversion rate has risen from 12.3% to 15.5%. So it's not him! Nor is it Magola, who's in the best scoring form of his career, leading the league. Is the loss of Lolic that much? Pedroso and Ribic have filled in reasonably well and have six goals and four assists between them but i must say that both Schonfeld and Royer have been a massive disappointment from the deep forward or the winger role.

Additionally...

25097db50c5ea2cf14f3fb3155325ef3.png

Dantas is the main drop when comparing year on year as he is 0.4 assists/90 down on last year. A lot of these came from set plays though so I'm not placing this blame on him for being less creative. However, noticing he's playing less minutes/90 and that Gonzalez is the man identified to step into his shoes yet really hasn't, I think I've found the source of my decreasing xG - the decreasing form of a man I (may be stupidly) am pinning a lot of hopes on:

I'll move back to a bit more Dantas, a bit less Gonzalez for the next month, see if our fortunes pick up and spend a little bit of time focusing on the interactions with the young Swiss wonderkid as I look to reverse his poor form and direct him the way I want to on the pitch.

EDIT: I posted this and then thought about it. That thought about shots and Costa. So I've dug back in...

Below is the five game rolling average of our shots taken versus our shots on target. I'd love to take this sample back a few years and use a much larger rolling average but the game doesn't appear to store anything, so this graph is a little bumpy, but does the trick:

162cebbda98569d67bfde602fbb6217d.png

I moaned at Gonzalez for not providing - but it's two fold, we're just not taken as many shots as both trendlines are pointing downwards. What is more, when looking at the xG of those shots - essentially, the positions that we are getting in to create the shots, they've taken an absolute nose-dive:

1565b783dad9058db853634bb526b33b.png

I wanted to look at this data in comparison with other teams but, rather than track their individual average xG across the league, I've just taken their average shot xG (dividing total xG by number of shots). It's really interesting to see that we've gone from creating chances where, on average, we'd score more than one in eight (12.5%) , down to times where we're only scoring one in twelve (8%).

That is a huge difference when our number of shots and the wastefulness of our finishing are both down.

A good manager will find a way through this. Yes, we're reigning two-time champions but I've still got to be professional and work hard to win. My first stop is the training ground.

Edited by _Ben_
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Love the break down on finishing and providing.

Two things jumped out at me from the raw stats, shots/game (not many shots per game is hard to score, especially if 2 or less) and key passes/game. The key passed made me look at the skills there and Dante’s dec/ant/pas/technique brings intelligence while your Swiss wonderkid just has skills. Maybe he needs more intelligence/passing training?

Can you see the average position difference (pass length?) between your providers and finishers? Maybe passing is going more sideways and was going to Lolic (Spellcheck wants to change to logic!) who was the link between the forwards and mids...?

Forgot to mention that progressing from that group with your form is excellent work :applause:

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Thanks for the feedback @Sonic Youth - some really good points!

1 hour ago, Sonic Youth said:

Two things jumped out at me from the raw stats, shots/game (not many shots per game is hard to score, especially if 2 or less) and key passes/game. The key passed made me look at the skills there and Dante’s dec/ant/pas/technique brings intelligence while your Swiss wonderkid just has skills. Maybe he needs more intelligence/passing training?

I do have to disagree with this one though. When comparing Gonzalez (left, green) and Kabashi (right, green) with Dantas (blue on both) - you can see that they are both pretty much as creative, intelligent and technical as he:

22dea9cafd523dae8c74e8f60cfb94cf.png

Dantas is the only one that has the Dictates Tempo trait, acting as a de-facto playmaker in the team and, maybe without him, we need to consider an AP(s) in the MC role. The whole point of the tactic though is to be quick and vertical so I do have some sympathy for my central mids...

1 hour ago, Sonic Youth said:

Can you see the average position difference (pass length?) between your providers and finishers? Maybe passing is going more sideways and was going to Lolic (Spellcheck wants to change to logic!) who was the link between the forwards and mids...?

This is an interesting point, definitely.

Combined, Pedroso and Ribic are doing a similar job to Lolic but, obviously, are not of the same quality. I have got two screenshots of pass combinations from a game I drew (Zurich) and I game I won (Vaduz - in the next update) to look at how we're playing:

d9a9a56b6c8ad4f5d68672c414ddf241.png

Zurich clearly stopped our plan to overlap down the left as there was very little coming from the left centre back to left back and left winger but, also, given how defensive Zurich were - we essentially have just made a 2-2-6 with six flat forwards (LB, ML, MC, MC, MR, AM) which always reminds me of kids football where it's attack vs defence and they're just static and in a line with the opposition defence. At least, in the Vaduz game, we've got some better shapes with our interplay and there is certainly more of us having the ball, given the thickness of said lines.

I think, to summarise, it's a combination of a few things:

  • The drop in quality without Lolic
  • Gonzalez and Costa being in bad form
  • Taseski not, yet, being of the desired quality to lead the line
  • Teams becoming even more defensive against us
  • Injuries, fatigue etc from a busy schedule
  • Over-rotating the squad leading to break down in cohesion
  • Bad luck?

It's been really nice to look at it in more detail, though!

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December 2033

f0dbd33c6b3563ad2694d1450cff6422.png

A return to much better fortunes on the pitch.

We started with a tough tie against Lausanne, a team I really like - particularly as they share a similar recruitment policy to us, as seen on their squad screen. They seem to recruit from Africa and Eastern Europe and sell on for profit. They appear to be a step away from reaching any real success, losing in the Conference League playoff to Illichevets of Ukraine (yeah, I've not heard of them, either!) Again, we could be considered slightly wasteful, with 1.47 xG created and just the one goal scored from our nine shots, three of which hit the target. However, a goal for Costa is always a good sign as he is the kind of player, that, once he gets going, is very hard to stop! We rounded off my most successful Champions League campaign with a great win over Atletico - creating more chances (13 shots) than against Lausanne and restricting the Spanish giants to just 0.83 xG. The win sees us finish second and we are rewarded with probably the easiest tie in the first knockout round:

99ac21a670c1b9f247f2790555ccb983.png

Lyon are the third side in France after PSG and Monaco and I've already knocked the Parisian's out so we must go into this with some confidence. Essentially, this is just for the ride, experience and gained reputation as I still feel that our real success, at this time, would come in the Europa League. Young Boys, third placed finishers in their CL group, face Molde in the knockout round, but, looking at the draw, there are far less teams that I'd fear.

We rounded off the year with a good win over Vaduz; 1.92 xG vs 0.27 xGa is our most clinical performance of late and an average shot xG of just over 10% means that we are improving there, too. I'm hoping that this poor run of form was just a minor blip in the road and, with some targeted work put in place, we'll come out of it even stronger than before.

---

I have also received my intake preview for next summer:

13a2b4066668154d4a725e44b2b9037f.png

As always, taken with a massive pinch of salt. However, it's got me thinking about long term succession plans for this side. The development centre (below) recommends that four players are ready to make the move to the first team:

38690a15741e983b2be3b602a0b91326.png

Joao Roberto

  • Discussed before but is currently not making the progress that I want lately. Has had a couple of injuries but will need some interaction to push him on again.
  • With the rise of Almeida over the last twelve months, I am considering his use as either an inverted winger (giving me a really different option to Pedroso) or as a shadow striker.
  • Want to take a look at him in the first team next summer to see where he will perform best.

Tommy Portela

  • I was really excited at intake but his height, now I play a more defensive right back, is a massive concern.
  • Making loads of progress but is going to need a positional change - I'm thinking that he could make an all around, box-to-box style midfielder with a little bit of work.
  • Is probably one season shy of promotion, especially if I change his position.

Carlos Perez

  • Developing really well.
  • Natural progression as there isn't too much separating him and Kostadinovic, my weakest centre back.
  • I don't know whether he would benefit from a loan, at a top tier side, just for some extra experience as I've struggled to integrate centre backs in the past, especially those making a step up.

Andre Almeida

  • Made very good progress of late
  • Is more of a natural winger than Roberto due to his crossing ability
  • Has been overshadowed by the intake that brought in Roberto and has responded really well to being out of the second team squad
  • Not 100 miles away from Magola, in terms of attributes and current rotation winger Schonfeld is not retraining well - so there could be an option for him to make the first team in the not-too-distant future.

However, when you take those four out of the picture, my u21 squad is actually quite weak. With four age group squads and none of them properly filled with talent, I need to consider how I want to approach the next generation of Luzern talents. I don't know if I want four 25-man squads, as managing 130 players across the club would be a big task (although I do use the support of my other staff). I do think that I need to sign all of the intake players, simply to flesh out the smaller teams, creating a succession:

  1. Time in the u18 squad - participating in the Youth Champions League
  2. Moving to the u21 squad - participating in the second tier of Swiss football
  3. Moving to the first team.

Obviously players can be fast tracked and some wont make it past step one but I need to have enough players, which will mean imported players (I'm thinking of using my HoYD to sign these as I will otherwise be stockpiling and that's not too realistic) to make this work. 

Nothing set in stone yet, but some food for thought on creating the best possible conveyor belt of talent...

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5 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

December 2033

f0dbd33c6b3563ad2694d1450cff6422.png

A return to much better fortunes on the pitch.

We started with a tough tie against Lausanne, a team I really like - particularly as they share a similar recruitment policy to us, as seen on their squad screen. They seem to recruit from Africa and Eastern Europe and sell on for profit. They appear to be a step away from reaching any real success, losing in the Conference League playoff to Illichevets of Ukraine (yeah, I've not heard of them, either!) Again, we could be considered slightly wasteful, with 1.47 xG created and just the one goal scored from our nine shots, three of which hit the target. However, a goal for Costa is always a good sign as he is the kind of player, that, once he gets going, is very hard to stop! We rounded off my most successful Champions League campaign with a great win over Atletico - creating more chances (13 shots) than against Lausanne and restricting the Spanish giants to just 0.83 xG. The win sees us finish second and we are rewarded with probably the easiest tie in the first knockout round:

99ac21a670c1b9f247f2790555ccb983.png

Lyon are the third side in France after PSG and Monaco and I've already knocked the Parisian's out so we must go into this with some confidence. Essentially, this is just for the ride, experience and gained reputation as I still feel that our real success, at this time, would come in the Europa League. Young Boys, third placed finishers in their CL group, face Molde in the knockout round, but, looking at the draw, there are far less teams that I'd fear.

We rounded off the year with a good win over Vaduz; 1.92 xG vs 0.27 xGa is our most clinical performance of late and an average shot xG of just over 10% means that we are improving there, too. I'm hoping that this poor run of form was just a minor blip in the road and, with some targeted work put in place, we'll come out of it even stronger than before.

---

I have also received my intake preview for next summer:

13a2b4066668154d4a725e44b2b9037f.png

As always, taken with a massive pinch of salt. However, it's got me thinking about long term succession plans for this side. The development centre (below) recommends that four players are ready to make the move to the first team:

38690a15741e983b2be3b602a0b91326.png

Joao Roberto

  • Discussed before but is currently not making the progress that I want lately. Has had a couple of injuries but will need some interaction to push him on again.
  • With the rise of Almeida over the last twelve months, I am considering his use as either an inverted winger (giving me a really different option to Pedroso) or as a shadow striker.
  • Want to take a look at him in the first team next summer to see where he will perform best.

Tommy Portela

  • I was really excited at intake but his height, now I play a more defensive right back, is a massive concern.
  • Making loads of progress but is going to need a positional change - I'm thinking that he could make an all around, box-to-box style midfielder with a little bit of work.
  • Is probably one season shy of promotion, especially if I change his position.

Carlos Perez

  • Developing really well.
  • Natural progression as there isn't too much separating him and Kostadinovic, my weakest centre back.
  • I don't know whether he would benefit from a loan, at a top tier side, just for some extra experience as I've struggled to integrate centre backs in the past, especially those making a step up.

Andre Almeida

  • Made very good progress of late
  • Is more of a natural winger than Roberto due to his crossing ability
  • Has been overshadowed by the intake that brought in Roberto and has responded really well to being out of the second team squad
  • Not 100 miles away from Magola, in terms of attributes and current rotation winger Schonfeld is not retraining well - so there could be an option for him to make the first team in the not-too-distant future.

However, when you take those four out of the picture, my u21 squad is actually quite weak. With four age group squads and none of them properly filled with talent, I need to consider how I want to approach the next generation of Luzern talents. I don't know if I want four 25-man squads, as managing 130 players across the club would be a big task (although I do use the support of my other staff). I do think that I need to sign all of the intake players, simply to flesh out the smaller teams, creating a succession:

  1. Time in the u18 squad - participating in the Youth Champions League
  2. Moving to the u21 squad - participating in the second tier of Swiss football
  3. Moving to the first team.

Obviously players can be fast tracked and some wont make it past step one but I need to have enough players, which will mean imported players (I'm thinking of using my HoYD to sign these as I will otherwise be stockpiling and that's not too realistic) to make this work. 

Nothing set in stone yet, but some food for thought on creating the best possible conveyor belt of talent...

so what the heck is even happen to basel they used to be dominace of swiss league and now they become an swiss roll from everyone else to beat them

so can i see the list of winners in swiss super league and i wonder if young boys become the super dominace of swiss league that basel used to be 

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2 hours ago, HugoLazgo12 said:

so what the heck is even happen to basel they used to be dominace of swiss league and now they become an swiss roll from everyone else to beat them

so can i see the list of winners in swiss super league and i wonder if young boys become the super dominace of swiss league that basel used to be 

e62a555f12f56bfe0f8669bf9cdc1c20.png

Basel have fallen away big time! They're not able to spend the money any more, even though they pay some pretty handsome wages.  Young Boys had a good spell of dominance at the start and then St. Gallen took over with Luzern (not managed by me then) coming third and then being relegated the season after. Now, we've got the stronghold.

I'm hoping that some other teams can become serious competitors, soon, too as I really like the smaller league size.

 

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January 2034

a3580051ca2898eb1559ee6e934940ac.png

Just the one league game after a tour of Turkey whereby I focused on the time between the matches, rather than the actual matches to build fitness and re-gain tactical familiarity, just ensuring the my opponents were bad enough that everyone was re-entering the league campaign in good form. Our first game back was a comfortable win over Sion but I still have some worries about our offensive efficiency as we squandered many chances, failing to hit the target on numerous occasions from inside the box and, once again, a poor performance from Toni Gonzalez (6.6 AR with ) overshadowed it slightly.

We could be looking at another qualification slot within the league given the fantastic first season Vaduz have had - knowing that their spot in the Europa League will be passed on to the team finishing below them, as they'll have won the Aktiv-Cup (Liechtenstein Cup). Having more of the league in European competition can only be a good thing!

----

In terms of development and my development squad, I have added a few more faces to the team:

b8705ee88eb3792af67373662c50180a.png

In an ideal world, I'd be signing players at 15/16 but my target markets include areas whereby this is not going to happen due to laws regarding minimum ages for transfers. However, by signing players at 17/18, with the hope that they can spend 2/3 years in the u21 squad before either being moved on or promoted, is one that I want to pursue going forward. The key indicators with my 'DNA' remain in tact, although players may be able to bypass that with specific positives, such as the pace and inverted-ness of winger Ntiamoah.

I will, as seen above, continue to look for bargains although, with over €110m in the bank, I don't really have an upper limit - just attempting to stay realistic and not pay €40m for a 16 year old who won't play for 4 years!

I need to remove myself from this idea that I have that, just because Luzern didn't generate them, doesn't mean I didn't develop them. I've always moved towards youth only because of this but, signing a player at 17 that isn't ready for the first team and getting him to be that is on me, rather than his old club.

I also allowed Carlos Perez to leave on loan for top tier Vaduz, as I mentioned in the last update, potentially bringing forward the time that he can break into my first team. I'll monitor his progress and form over the next 20 or so fixtures.

I'm sure it'll come a time whereby my u21 squad will be better than the 11th best team in the country but cannot be promoted. There may even be a time when we face off in the cup final and, whilst unrealistic, that'll be a great indicator of the progress that I want to be making with these academy players. Sometimes I get too intent with micro-managing everything, so I will be leaving the general development of these players to my youth staff but will maintain an overview on them.

---

ef1d313d1c106680ef496cff3a380724.png

I think that this cements the fact that Luzern is now my home and my home to build a dynasty in. Managing four clubs in one save is a complete new to me, as it is, but I think I've found the place where I want to stay and see out this game. Considering the speed that it's going at now and the depth I'm in with the club, I don't feel like packing up and moving on. I love it here and the club is growing around me - with competition still being around in the league and certainly in Europe. 

I do want to make a marquee signing at some point to cement ourselves as the biggest club in the country and I'd had a bid of €12m accepted for Jaroslav Tichy to come in as a marauding full back, but his wage demands were out of my league. I think that is the next step - getting players who can come into their own in big European competitions.

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3 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

January 2034

a3580051ca2898eb1559ee6e934940ac.png

Just the one league game after a tour of Turkey whereby I focused on the time between the matches, rather than the actual matches to build fitness and re-gain tactical familiarity, just ensuring the my opponents were bad enough that everyone was re-entering the league campaign in good form. Our first game back was a comfortable win over Sion but I still have some worries about our offensive efficiency as we squandered many chances, failing to hit the target on numerous occasions from inside the box and, once again, a poor performance from Toni Gonzalez (6.6 AR with ) overshadowed it slightly.

We could be looking at another qualification slot within the league given the fantastic first season Vaduz have had - knowing that their spot in the Europa League will be passed on to the team finishing below them, as they'll have won the Aktiv-Cup (Liechtenstein Cup). Having more of the league in European competition can only be a good thing!

----

In terms of development and my development squad, I have added a few more faces to the team:

b8705ee88eb3792af67373662c50180a.png

In an ideal world, I'd be signing players at 15/16 but my target markets include areas whereby this is not going to happen due to laws regarding minimum ages for transfers. However, by signing players at 17/18, with the hope that they can spend 2/3 years in the u21 squad before either being moved on or promoted, is one that I want to pursue going forward. The key indicators with my 'DNA' remain in tact, although players may be able to bypass that with specific positives, such as the pace and inverted-ness of winger Ntiamoah.

I will, as seen above, continue to look for bargains although, with over €110m in the bank, I don't really have an upper limit - just attempting to stay realistic and not pay €40m for a 16 year old who won't play for 4 years!

I need to remove myself from this idea that I have that, just because Luzern didn't generate them, doesn't mean I didn't develop them. I've always moved towards youth only because of this but, signing a player at 17 that isn't ready for the first team and getting him to be that is on me, rather than his old club.

I also allowed Carlos Perez to leave on loan for top tier Vaduz, as I mentioned in the last update, potentially bringing forward the time that he can break into my first team. I'll monitor his progress and form over the next 20 or so fixtures.

I'm sure it'll come a time whereby my u21 squad will be better than the 11th best team in the country but cannot be promoted. There may even be a time when we face off in the cup final and, whilst unrealistic, that'll be a great indicator of the progress that I want to be making with these academy players. Sometimes I get too intent with micro-managing everything, so I will be leaving the general development of these players to my youth staff but will maintain an overview on them.

---

ef1d313d1c106680ef496cff3a380724.png

I think that this cements the fact that Luzern is now my home and my home to build a dynasty in. Managing four clubs in one save is a complete new to me, as it is, but I think I've found the place where I want to stay and see out this game. Considering the speed that it's going at now and the depth I'm in with the club, I don't feel like packing up and moving on. I love it here and the club is growing around me - with competition still being around in the league and certainly in Europe. 

I do want to make a marquee signing at some point to cement ourselves as the biggest club in the country and I'd had a bid of €12m accepted for Jaroslav Tichy to come in as a marauding full back, but his wage demands were out of my league. I think that is the next step - getting players who can come into their own in big European competitions.

Anyways did basel almost got relegated or never went relegation threats right

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4 hours ago, HugoLazgo12 said:

Anyways did basel almost got relegated or never went relegation threats right

No - they've really done nothing of note in the whole save!

9253fb6e0df63bb9b56a05a818549588.png

292200903edc7c39cd346e5b596b72af.png

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Posted (edited)
On 06/06/2021 at 20:10, john1 said:

Didn't expect to see St Gallen to win 6 titles in row!

Nor me, which was a lovely surprise when getting to the top tier. They've had a handful of decent managers and a good youth setup meaning that they're going to be a threat for a while to come, too!

Edited by _Ben_
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On 06/06/2021 at 17:47, _Ben_ said:

January 2034

a3580051ca2898eb1559ee6e934940ac.png

Just the one league game after a tour of Turkey whereby I focused on the time between the matches, rather than the actual matches to build fitness and re-gain tactical familiarity, just ensuring the my opponents were bad enough that everyone was re-entering the league campaign in good form. Our first game back was a comfortable win over Sion but I still have some worries about our offensive efficiency as we squandered many chances, failing to hit the target on numerous occasions from inside the box and, once again, a poor performance from Toni Gonzalez (6.6 AR with ) overshadowed it slightly.

We could be looking at another qualification slot within the league given the fantastic first season Vaduz have had - knowing that their spot in the Europa League will be passed on to the team finishing below them, as they'll have won the Aktiv-Cup (Liechtenstein Cup). Having more of the league in European competition can only be a good thing!

----

In terms of development and my development squad, I have added a few more faces to the team:

b8705ee88eb3792af67373662c50180a.png

In an ideal world, I'd be signing players at 15/16 but my target markets include areas whereby this is not going to happen due to laws regarding minimum ages for transfers. However, by signing players at 17/18, with the hope that they can spend 2/3 years in the u21 squad before either being moved on or promoted, is one that I want to pursue going forward. The key indicators with my 'DNA' remain in tact, although players may be able to bypass that with specific positives, such as the pace and inverted-ness of winger Ntiamoah.

I will, as seen above, continue to look for bargains although, with over €110m in the bank, I don't really have an upper limit - just attempting to stay realistic and not pay €40m for a 16 year old who won't play for 4 years!

I need to remove myself from this idea that I have that, just because Luzern didn't generate them, doesn't mean I didn't develop them. I've always moved towards youth only because of this but, signing a player at 17 that isn't ready for the first team and getting him to be that is on me, rather than his old club.

I also allowed Carlos Perez to leave on loan for top tier Vaduz, as I mentioned in the last update, potentially bringing forward the time that he can break into my first team. I'll monitor his progress and form over the next 20 or so fixtures.

I'm sure it'll come a time whereby my u21 squad will be better than the 11th best team in the country but cannot be promoted. There may even be a time when we face off in the cup final and, whilst unrealistic, that'll be a great indicator of the progress that I want to be making with these academy players. Sometimes I get too intent with micro-managing everything, so I will be leaving the general development of these players to my youth staff but will maintain an overview on them.

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I think that this cements the fact that Luzern is now my home and my home to build a dynasty in. Managing four clubs in one save is a complete new to me, as it is, but I think I've found the place where I want to stay and see out this game. Considering the speed that it's going at now and the depth I'm in with the club, I don't feel like packing up and moving on. I love it here and the club is growing around me - with competition still being around in the league and certainly in Europe. 

I do want to make a marquee signing at some point to cement ourselves as the biggest club in the country and I'd had a bid of €12m accepted for Jaroslav Tichy to come in as a marauding full back, but his wage demands were out of my league. I think that is the next step - getting players who can come into their own in big European competitions.

Great going as always and Tichy looks amazing, although I wouldn't be thinking of converting him to a full back ;)

I have a question, your game is clearly still generating new-gens in places like Ghana. What database settings did you initially load for this? Do you have these leagues loaded through expansion packs?

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This is without doubt the best career update I have ever read on this site. The attention to detail is brilliant and has really given me some excellent ideas to take into my own save.

Hats off to you, this is an outstanding bit of work.

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On 08/06/2021 at 06:41, karanhsingh said:

Great going as always and Tichy looks amazing, although I wouldn't be thinking of converting him to a full back ;)

I have a question, your game is clearly still generating new-gens in places like Ghana. What database settings did you initially load for this? Do you have these leagues loaded through expansion packs?

Thanks!

Where would you play Tichy then? Bare in mind that my left back does little to no defending!

Further up the page is the list of leagues loaded but, yes, I’ve got about 10 African leagues loaded. 
 

On 11/06/2021 at 08:15, Fola said:

This is without doubt the best career update I have ever read on this site. The attention to detail is brilliant and has really given me some excellent ideas to take into my own save.

Hats off to you, this is an outstanding bit of work.

Thank you so much!

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February 2034

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The longest month ever. After those wonderful Windows updates that, as always, come just as you've not saved your progress and then a period of time where I couldn't for the life of me work out why it was taking literally five minutes to progress: every league on full detail, by accident, is the answer to that! However, Feb is done...

We left it late to draw with St. Gallen and, quite frankly, we didn't deserve to but that is the kind of momentum that will, probably, see us go on to win the league even more so when we can take apart the third placed team as we did against Basel. Once again, we were clinical and really dangerous on the break. Straightforward wins over Thun, YB and an emphatic win over manager-less Aarau see us end the month with a ten point cushion.

Lyon, the easiest (in my opinion) side left in the draw, were a real challenge and, despite and even game, deserved their win. It'll make the trip to France near impossible but I do have faith in our counter attacking style and really hope that it can bring us just the one or two chances that I back us to take. 

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With such a long gap between updates, I'm a little lost on what I have and haven't posted about - so I'll be keeping this one nice and short. Youth intake next month though!

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