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[FM21] The 5,000-1 Challenge


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So they launch a bid for the club at the worst possible time (giving me an embargo right before the transfer window opened), drag the takeover for weeks, finally take over then give me no money and bid for 2 wingers who I don't really need. I'm worried I've had the club taken over by clowns.

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Rotherham 2024-25 Pre-Season

So, back at it for another season. No idea what to expect after last year. We really outperformed ourselves and I've no idea if we can better than, or if this season will be more reflective of our ability

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Well the bookies seem to think we've improved! Hopefully we can leave relegation as a distant memory this season, though we still seem to have a gap between ourselves and the other established PL teams.

Transfers

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Staying within budget has been really hard, with the players needed to take me to the next level being too expensive. I'm hoping the signings here will allow me to survive and thrive once they've grown. No-one major leaving us this window, mainly loans for players not good enough to start anymore. Mannion leaves us as 3rd choice keeper to be Chelsea's 3rd choice. Weird. 

1) Diogo Henrique (£450) | A signing I made purely due to his comically low release fee, Henrique definitely has the potential to be something. He's not quite at first team level for us, so I've loaned him out where hopefully he can develop a bit.

2) Lazar Filipović (£10.5m) | The first of my "big" money signings, Filipović looks really exciting for his age. Already a Premier League defender at 18, I feel he can grow into a really special player. Definitely part of my long-term strategy at the club.

3) Mohamad Khalil (£5.25m) | Haha, a secret signing! Khalil joins us when he turns 18 in a year, and I'm really excited. I'm hoping he's a long-term solution to our LW spot. I'm excited to see how he develops over the next year with Bodo/Glimt and hopefully he can be pushing for a first-team spot when he arrives next season. Definitely an exciting prospect

4) Emil Ceide (Loan) | While Khalil isn't with us, I've brought in Ceide to play at LW, and what a player! Does everything I want from a supporting inside forward and just looks all-round amazing. A great upgrade on Cherki last season and will be key for us.

5) Eden Hazard (Free) | Honestly, I couldn't not. Imagine Eden Hazard in a Rotherham shirt. Seriously though, he's still got something to offer us. I had wage budget to burn and he was willing to come in as a squad option. His technicals and mentals are next level, and as a backup CAM option, he's definitely still got the ability. On a one year deal, I think this is good business. Let's just not talk about the physicals.

6) Maximiliano Torres (£7.25m) | Hopefully putting an end to my striker search is Maxi Torres. I think he's got all the right stats in the right places, with room to grow and improve. Really looking forward to what he'll bring up top and I'll be keep a keen eye on his development.

7) Saša Dodić (£14,25m) | Sometimes you spot a player and know you have to do everything you can to sign him. Dodić is that player. He looks absolutely insane. He's 18 and can already do everything at CM. It's scary he's still got room to grow (I hope). I think he along with Montes have the potential to be generational talents. His personality is a concern, but we can get that ironed out. Really excited to see how he turns out

The Squad

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So yeah, that leaves our club looking something like this. Honestly, I wouldn't expect it to change much. Having blown most of my budget for the challenge, I'm going to be looking at free transfers and bargains from now on. I do think this team has potential to fight at the top of the leagues once the youngsters develop. I just hope I can keep the top prospects. If any leave, the challenge might be doomed.

A Rocky Start

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To say I'm annoyed is an understatement. Every PL game lost by 1 goal. We're currently bottom losing against teams we were beating last year. Has my tactic been sussed out? Is this second season syndrome? Are my players not gelling? I don't know, but something needs to change and quick. A relegation would absolutely cripple my squad and likely spell the end for this challenge.

 

Money Spent: £69,470,000 (Approx. £25,000,000 remaining)

Current Points: 25 (League 1 Title)

Edited by Rainbowz
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Saw the challenge and it looked really interesting, so lets get after it. 

(My Sheff Wed save was corrupted so I had to re sim all over again and this time I got QPR, I missed out on Sheff Wed by 1 point :seagull:)

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Silverware Cabinet:

Challenge Points:

Transfer Budget $113mil/$113mil

(95 million euros converted into dollars is a little over 113 mil.)

 

Edited by JaytheGreat
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Season 5 done. 
Lost out of a Champions League spot in the last game of the season, so ended up in 5th place. 

Won the FA-cup! Against Man City, the team that robbed me from the 4th place in the league. 

As I go into the 6th season of the challenge I fear that it will be difficult to improve the squad much further from this point. I have good players, but miss a bit of quality in key positions. Need some of my youngsters to step up to the challenge.

Points so far:

Fa-Cup: 250 points

Championship champions: 75 points

League One champions: 25 points

EFL trophy: 20 points

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Rotherham 2025-26 Mid-Season Update

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After a worrying start, we rebounded and are back where I'd like us to be. Some tactical tweaks were needed, but we're on target to achieve a high finish. I'm still struggling against the top teams in this division, but as you can see by the table, a lot of teams are. Getting knocked out by a struggling Arsenal in the Carabao Cup was annoying, but we've making a deep dive in the FA Cup. Winning that would be huge!

Transfers

Despite saying I'm going to be looking at frees from now on, I may have spent a little. The overall quality of my squad isn't where I'd like it to be, and if we get some bad injuries we could be in trouble. To address that, I've looked to bring in some cover for key positions. Of course, I may have got a couple of future stars as well

Future Transfers

Eduard Sobol (End of Contract) | Just an all-round great cover for the LB spot. Roughan has the position locked down, but Sobol (along with another signing) will push him for the spot. No transfer fee so no risk, glad to get him on board in June.

Rolando Mandragora (End of Contract) | Similar to Sobol, Mandragora offers great all-round cover at CM. Happy to come in as a squad player, Rolando is perfect to rotate in and out when needed. The type of player who could be clutch in a season where we need a lot of rotation.

Alen Horvat (End of Contract) | I've had my eye on Alen for a while, but he was never able to gain a work permit. Then I noticed his contract was expiring and some big teams were in for him. 4 caps for Slovenia was all it took for Horvat to be eligible so I went for him. He chose me over teams like Inter and Tottenham! A really promising striker/AM who can provide cover right away, I'm excited to see how he develops. One of those no-risk signings who could be huge someday.

Ins

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Some small money being spent but on some big additions.

Gustavo Pueyo (£2.7m) | My scouts wouldn't shut up about this guy and I can kind of see why. Although not ready for first-team football yet, Pueyo looks like he could be a star CM someday. With a £2.7m release clause and some big clubs sniffing around, I felt I had to make the plunge. Looking to loan him out and hopefully have him ready for the first team in a few years.

Neco Williams (£2.8m) | My set of Williams from Liverpool is complete! Neco's contract was expiring and some decent clubs in Europe were looking to poach him, so I swooped in with a bid and stole him away. I'm not overjoyed with paying money for someone who's contract was expiring, but Williams is too good not to. Just an all-round great option who provides cover for the sicknote that is Mayorga at RB. Like Mandragora, I think he'll be important for attritional seasons in the future.

Ross Dixon (£400k) | Another low-risk regen signing, Dixon could be an amazing striker someday. For now he's back on loan with Shamrock Rovers and will likely stay on loan for a bit. We're stacked for potential up-front talent now, but having another high potential player who could bloom and eclipse everyone else is never a bad thing.

Dennis Müller (£81k) | I signed him on a free initially, but Dortmund were willing to let him go for just 81k. Müller looks like a really promising LB with some amazing physicals and mentals. Even his technicals aren't awful, with only Finishing, Corners and Free Kicks being under 9. With some development, Müller could be special. Definitely a one I'm keeping an eye on.

Samuel Díaz (£1.9m) | A player I had initially signed, but couldn't due to foreign player restrictions, it took a bid from Feyernoord and interest from Milan to convince me to go in and buy Díaz again. A more attacking option to Penoni, Díaz offers an awful lot to our midfield. With room to grow too, he could turn into an incredible all-round midfielder. Between him, Penoni and Dodic, I think I might have my midfield set for a long time to come.

Outs

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Mainly just loans for players I want to develop/player complaining about gametime. However, a couple of players did leave for money.

Bjorn Hardley (£8m) | It kinda hurt me to let someone who has essentially become the mascot for my save go, but he still considered himself an important player in a team where he was barely making the bench. He started making rumblings about wanting to leave and Brentford came in with a great offer I couldn't really turn down. Thanks for the good times, Bjorn. You'll always be a club icon to me.

Matt Olosunde (£350k) | Another annoying instance of a player with ideas above their station, Olosunde refused to accept he wasn't good enough to be an important player in the Premier League and wanted to leave. The signing of Neco Williams also made him surplus to requirements, so I had no qualms about selling him. Is he worth more? Absolutely, at one point he was valued at around £8m. But I'll take the loss to keep my squad happy. 

Top Performers So Far

1) Leandro Arroyave | What a signing Leandro turned out to be! He's saved me so many times this season with POTM performances. The fact he's this good at 19 is scary. He's in with a shout for being the best keeper I've had on any FM if he keeps improving.

2) Rhys Williams | Just an ultra-consistent CB, Williams is putting in great performance after great performance. He's obviously not one of the best CBs in the league, but in terms of consistency he's up there. He's looking to be one of the bargains of the save so far, which is kind of incredible when you look at some of the players I've brought in.

3) Maxi Torres | A Torres up front setting the Premier League alight. Some things never change. Maxi quickly displaced Sodje as #1 striker and made the spot his own with some great performances. He's constantly improving too, and looks a top quality striker already. He definitely has the potential to be a top quality PL striker if he stays out of trouble.

Manager's Thoughts

I was really scared after the awful start we had, but we've rebounded fantastically. I think the goal has to be Europe now. I think a Conference League or even Europa League spot is there for the taking, and the reputation boost it'll give us could be huge for the future. The problem I have is I can't attract the top expiring contract players due to my reputation just being too low, so a good season will set me up for future success on a budget. It's exciting times ahead!

 

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Ooooooh, excited for this. We got a pretty easy run through the competition, playing Championship teams in Norwich and Reading in the quarter and semi finals. Manchester United are currently top of the league though and have an incredible squad. We did beat them in the EFL Cup, but this is a different challenge entirely.

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Rotherham 2025-26 End of Season Update

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We did it!!! Pretty convincingly too! We more than matched Man United in the stats and even had a second goal disallowed! We're FA Cup winners!!

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Honestly, what a season! We find ourselves finishing 5th ahead of some good teams. Sadly we don't quite make the Champions League, but I fancy us to have a good stab at the Europa League. The gap between us and Liverpool in 4th is a little worrying though. The top 4 just run away with this league every year, getting on terms with them, especially on my limited budget is gonna be tough. Still, I'd say we've established ourselves as a solid top half Premier League team in terms of ability now. Relegation should be a distant memory.

Player of the Season

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It couldn't be anyone else. Arroyave has been tremendous this season, single-handedly winning us games against stronger opposition. He's on course to be one of the best keepers around, and I'm glad he's on our side. There are a couple of teams interested in him (newly promoted Newcastle and 4th place La Liga finishers Valencia), but his release clause (unfortunately locked in by his agent) stands at 83 million, a fee I doubt either of those teams could match. I really hope he's with us for a long time, I'd say he's going to be special, but he already is.

Team

Arroyave

Mayorga - Filipović - R. Williams - Müller

Dodić - Penoni

Sima - Montes - Ceide (Loan)

Torres

Manager's Thoughts

It's a really interesting time at Rotherham. Getting into Europe gives us more money, but I can't really use it. What will help is the reputation boost we'll get, hopefully allowing us to get some better free transfers in future. We've got some interest in our players, but nothing from huge teams so for now at least, our star players look safe. As for the actual challenge, winning the FA Cup is amazing. Some much-needed points in the bag. I do worry about the amount of Championship/League 1 players we'll have playing for us in a potential league winning season. Only spending 1 season in each division meant we couldn't really get a good core of players. Hopefully I can keep them around and give them some minutes in the future. As for now, I'm going to comb the bargain bins, looking for anyone who may have slipped under the radar. Or maybe I'll find another star to spend my remaining cash on.

 

Money Spent: £77,000,000 (Approx. £18,000,000 remaining)

Current Points: 275 (League 1 Title, FA Cup Winners)

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@Rainbowz Congrats on the FA Cup win it's always a challenge to win. I am incredibly jealous of Arroyave, he looks like he'll be a top GK for the rest of your save. Good luck in Europe, and another congrats on finishing 5th. 

 

@hyrule_king Good job moving out of League One, I'm learning that it really is a grind to get through so finishing 2nd is no small feat. How do you feel about Luton's chances in the Championship? 

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Posted (edited)

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Offered him 80k a week, to be a Star Player, all the add ons you could wish for and he joins newly promoted Norwich as a Squad Player for nothing close to what I was offering. I hate this game sometimes.

Edited by Rainbowz
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10 hours ago, JaytheGreat said:

@Rainbowz Congrats on the FA Cup win it's always a challenge to win. I am incredibly jealous of Arroyave, he looks like he'll be a top GK for the rest of your save. Good luck in Europe, and another congrats on finishing 5th. 

Thanks! I think he might be the best regen goalkeeper in the game right now. I've looked around and no-one can really touch him stats-wise. 

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The goal was a total fluke but we did deserve to win, we were lucky Werner played like he does in real life. Anyways maybe you shouldn't open your mouth Allegri. Enjoy your defeat to a League One London team. 

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Rotherham 2025-26 Season Preview

Onto another season in the Premier League. This pre-season has been a little boring compared to others as I don't have too much money left to play with and I frustratingly lost out on some key free signings who would've added some real quality to the team. Still, I've made some additions and I think we're ready to aim high this year

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I'm kinda surprised how quickly we've established ourselves as a good Premier League team. Being predicted 11th is amazing and shows we're making progress. Hopefully in a couple of seasons we're in and around the top teams in this list. There's still a huge gulf in class between us and the top 4, but we're chipping away at it.

Millers in Europe

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I'm fairly happy with our group. Napoli are a ridiculous team and probably one of the favourites to win the Europa League but Young Boys and Linz shouldn't provide any problems. I'm confident of getting through to the knockouts and I'm curious just how far we can go.

Transfers In

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Barely anything spent, it's been a bit of a disappointing window. As mentioned, I missed out on some key free transfers so was picking off scraps. I would've liked a loan or two to add some world class quality, but no-one of that quality would join us, and those who would weren't an improvement on who we had. Still, I think everyone here is an important signing in one way or another. I won't mention any signings who were pre-agreed as I've mentioned them in a previous post already. Mohamad Khalil has finally joined us and will play at LW, rotating with Promes until he improves a bit more.

1) Aziz Lago (Free) | Released by Barcelona, Lago is one of those players that's a no-brainer to pick up. Low wages, low playing expectations and high potential. Normally my squad would be filled with African regen talent, but African nations don't seem to be producing regens in my save, so my first Ivorian comes from Barcelona. He might be world class, he might end up in the u23s, who knows. For now, I'm loaning him out to get him experience. Could be a hidden gem.

2) Jordan Henderson (Free) | I mean, come on, it's Jordan Henderson! Released by Real Madrid, even at 35 Henderson still has lots to offer. He's still quick enough for a midfield role and has mentals to die for, and still has technicals to make an impact in the Premier League. Combine that with the Model Citizen personality and this becomes a no-brainer. A one-year deal means he won't stick around if he drops off a cliff. Just a really nice transfer to get done.

3) Quincy Promes (Free) | Similar to Henderson, but not quite as good, Promes just offers an experienced option who can still go if I need him. All-round solid and provides cover or an alternative to Khalil if he gets injured/underperforms. Doubt he'll stay longer than this year, but certainly not a dumb transfer.

4) Saturnin Allagbé (Free) | Not a fancy signing at all. My backup keeper Johannson was subject of a bid by Tottenham for £1m (seriously, why do top 6 clubs keep stealing my backup keepers?) and made rumblings about wanting to leave, so I just sold him. Allagbé offers a decent looking backup option if Arroyave were to get injured. Hopefully we'll never need him, but it's nice to have the security.

5) Simeon Spasov (£2.9m) | My only non-free signing, but I hope you can see why. I think Sima is close to reaching his ceiling, so I really want a RW who can surpass him once he does. Sima is great, but Spasov could be incredible. Unfortunately, he couldn't get a work permit for me so I loaned him out to Bundesliga club Stuttgart. Hopefully he plays enough there to earn a Bulgaria call-up and get that permit. I'm keeping a close eye on him while he's out on loan though, I might have a gem here.

Transfers Out

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Nothing major on the outs. As mentioned Johansson went to Spurs to collect 31k a week to turn up to training and we've loaned out a bunch of youth players or fringe players. Due to our rapid ascension up the leagues, players who I had high hopes for developing with us (Grosjean, Kalantari, etc.) quickly became outclassed so loaning them out feels right. Grosjean especially has gotten reaaalll good since you last saw him, and he just might be knocking on the door of the first team soon...

Manager's Thoughts

We're in for an interesting season, though it feels like I've said that a lot. Our squad is full of quality now, no doubt about it so relegation isn't even worth talking about anymore. I'm aiming for another top 6 finish, as I think the top 4 is just too tough a nut to crack right now unless someone chokes badly. I'm going to be watching the expiring contracts like a hawk this season, all we need is a couple of world class players and a little more development from our top prospects and I think we can make a title challenge. This feels like a make or break season in some ways, I really hope we keep the momentum up.

 

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Season 1 2021/2022

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Key Players

1. Lyndon Dykes ST

Our starting striker Dykes scored 31 goals in all competitions, he was our main threat to score goals and the big target man did well not only in the box but was a threat to score off corners. He will definitely be our starting striker next season and probably our length of our stay in the Championship.   

2.  Rob Dickie CB

Arguably the best player on our team, Dickie not only was not only our best defender but scored 7 goals all off corners. I think he will be our rock in defense for awhile no matter which league we are playing in. 

3. Illias Chair CAM/AMR

16 goals and 16 assists says it all, the Moroccan played a little out of position this season on the right but he made the most out of it. He has a deadly finish and is deadly with his passing or his finishing around the box. Dykes may be the biggest goal scoring threat but Chair is the soul of the attack.

Manager Thoughts

A great season where we won over 100 points. We scrambled a lot in the offseason missing out on most of our free transfers and loan signings. Matty James didn't really put hope the stats but the veteran did help control the midfield which was a key to our success. Loanees Ben Knight, Tom Bayless, and Nothan Kenneh all did really well providing depth in the midfield. Bayless especially played very well scoring 6 goals as our playmaking CM. Darnell Johnson provided a lot of cover in defense both at CB and RB. This offseason we have some real holes in the midfield and on both wings, and I'm hoping the move up to the Championship will put us in the running for better quality loan signings. We are tasked with with avoiding relegation next season and with the right signings I think we will be able to do more then that but it will be a very tough season.     

 

Silverware Cabinet:

League One Manger of the Month x2

League One Champion

Challenge Points:

League One Champions 25 points 

Transfer Budget $112.4 mil/$113 mil

John Proud 600k (season 1)

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Season 7 Review

Finally we have been promoted , thank goodness for my scouts who clearly found a gem in Gael Roger (free) who sold for 33m in the first transfer window. This allowed me to really strengthen the first team and push for promotion.

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So I decided to wait two seasons before making another post.

Season 6 ended in an underwhelming way as I actually had high hope for improving the previous league placements (5th and 4th place), but ended up with yet another 4th place. No points for the challenge.

In the transfer window before season 7 I actually only signed 3 players. This is unusual for me in this kind of save where I only sign free transfers. A combination of developing young players over many seasons and a lack of players that would be an improvement in the end became vital in the season ahead.

The seventh season... we did it. We won the Premier League!

 

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Let's get on to the challenge points we have achieved.

Premier League champions (season 3-7): 1000 points
Fa-Cup: 250 points
Championship champions: 75 points
League One champions: 25 points
EFL trophy: 20 points

My League One player was Gustavo Hamer. Have to be honest here; did not think it would be possible to have him as a key player if I wanted to actually finish the challenge. Despite the gradually more obvious lack of quality I still decided to include him as much as possible. As far as the challenge points for him he featured in 23 Premier League matches and started 5 of them.

League One player bonus: 500 points

League One player starts: 5= 500 points

Championship team continuity bonus:

Players who won promotion from the Championship that were registered and played in the Premier League:

Xavi Symons, Pietro Pellegri, Matthew Mitchell (academy newgen), Christian Ramos (newgen), Gustavo Hamer, Luke Slane (academy newgen), Ronaldo Camara, Sergio Gomez, Matheus Mendes, Armindo Sieb.

10 players=1000 points

And at last, an extra 250 points for every one of these players that started at least 10 Premier League games in the title winning season:

Xavi Symons, Pietro Pellegri, Matthew Mitchell (academy newgen), Christian Ramos (newgen)

4 players= 1000 points

 

Total score:

4370 points

  

On 30/03/2021 at 20:48, Mark_w said:

Leicester’s historic score: 5,000 points

Can you beat it?

This time; well.. It depends on the rules of the challenge.

My question to you, @Mark_w, is the same I have asked you a few times now without getting an answer:
Does the challenge end when you win the Premier League, or does it last as long as the time it took Leicester to win it - 8 seasons - and therefore I can continue this challenge for an another season to try to win some cup trophies to beat Leicesters score? Or do I have to just end the challenge here, winning Premier League earlier than Leicester but with less points?

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by allisiaa
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Rotherham Season 5 - January Update

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It's all going pretty well! We're fighting it out with the big boys at the top of the Premier League, and a UCL spot isn't totally out of the question (though it'd require some serious choking from Chelsea and/or Liverpool). Though it's clear the Manchester teams are just running away with the league. They're definitely the teams to beat in this save. We got through our Europa League group in 2nd, managing two draws from Napoli and got a favourable draw against FC Kobenhavn. We couldn't win the community shield and disappointingly were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Leeds, but we're still fighting to retain the FA Cup, though a Manchester United-sized roadblock is in our way.

Transfers In

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Only a couple of pre-agreed transfers joining this winter, but we've agreed a few free transfers that I'm very excited to share.

Filipe Gonçalves (£350k) | Filipe is a CM with a lot of potential. God tier mentals for his age and solid physicals. He's not near the first team at the moment, so I'm planning to loan him out for a couple of years and see how he develops. If he can improve those technicals, he could be amazing.

Steve Ward (Free) | Possibly overrated by my scouts, though a 3.5* potential Premier League player is nothing to sniff at. Ward has great stats for his age and is currently in the u23s to develop. Doubt he'll ever be a first-team star, but definitely someone we can sell on for some nice profit should he develop.

Now time for the future transfers.

Pipi (Free - Pre Contract) | A really exciting winger who couldn't quite break into Real Madrid's first team, Pipi offers us a different type of player to what we have. I'm hoping I can train him to play on the left wing and use him as a utility man, giving us a different dynamic against certain teams who can come on where needed. Just a really exciting player who offers us a lot.

Unai Goti (Free - Pre Contract) | A really good prospect from Bilbao's academy, Goti was wanted by the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, but we managed to steal him. I'm really excited when I see a player with 5* potential, and Goti could be amazing if he lives up to it. Definitely one of the future, but one to watch.

Heber Sosa (Free - Pre Contract) | I had my eye on this guy for a while, but couldn't find a place for him to justify the cost. Then I realized his contract was expiring and had to pull the trigger. Just an all-round Premier League ready CAM at the age of 18, Sosa is here to provide cover/competition for Montes. I hope I can find a role for him, as he looks too good to leave out.

Moussa Dembélé (Free - Pre Contract) | Yes, that Moussa Dembélé. Signed by Juventus then tossed aside once they found a new toy, everyone knows how lethal a striker Dembélé can be on FM. Still in his prime years, he can offer us a lot up front. He's coming in as a squad player, so I'm in no rush to play him, but he definitely has me thinking about a 2 striker formation for next season.

Transfers Out

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Mainly loans once again, but one big transfer I'll discuss later. Robinson was a 3* PA youth who hadn't really developed. We have a 50% sell on fee clause though, so if he magically becomes amazing, it's not the end of the world.

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Torunarigha leaves us for £23m. For a backup CB, I'll take that all day. Though impressive this season when called upon, he's nothing I couldn't replace and was sorta injury prone. When a Chinese club comes knocking with an offer which sees me profit by £20m, I have to take it.

Manager's Thoughts

I think it's safe to say we're guaranteed Europe at this point, barring a complete capitulation. I'd love to make a deep dive into the Europa League and maybe even win the thing (my draws against Napoli give me confidence), but when the UCL teams get added, it can become a nightmare. I'm just focusing on development and finishing high. A title challenge should be feasible in the next few seasons, it's just a case of patience. 

 

 

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So I finished the first season. Championship in your pocket. Despite the eternal fatigue, Clarke Oduor consistently showed a good level of play. 105 points scored (32 wins, 9 draws, 5 losses).

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They failed the League Cup, performed well in the FA Cup and won the EFL Trophy.

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At the moment, no spending on transfers. Mainly sold those who thought they had "outgrown" the club. For the summer transfer window, we will sign a number of young and promising players who were not needed by their clubs.

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Total +45 points for the challenge.

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Rotherham Season 5 Review

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A season that looks good on paper, but in reality is frustrating. We hit a real rocky patch post-January, losing and drawing against teams we really should be beating. Ideally our points would've been around 70, but we lacked consistency. Lyon were too good for us in the Europa League (though they went on to reach the final, so no shame in that) and Liverpool bested us in the FA Cup. We'll either enter the Europa League group stage or the Conference League group stage depending on who wins between Liverpool and Tottenham in the FA Cup. Securing a European spot is good, but this is a season of missed opportunties.

State of the Squad

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When you look at the squad, you can see why we're 6th. It's good, but not great. We're missing that x-factor, a star player to push us over the line. We have a few players who could be that, but won't be for another 3-5 years at best. I'm not sure what the solution is, especially with our limited funds, but I'm running out of time to find it. I'm kinda hoping the likes of Dodic, Montes and Filipovic kick on and become the world class players I know they can be, but I think it's asking a lot.

Player Picks

GK - Leandro Arroyave 

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There's not much to say above Arroyave that hasn't been said. Best regen keeper in the game, potential to be the best in the game full stop. Just gets better and better every year. Never leave, Leandro. Never leave.

DEF -  Dennis Müller

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There have been better performing defenders, but Müller deserves a special mention. Brought in as a backup/potential future option from Dortmund for a tiny fee, he's grown immensely and has nailed down a LB spot I was unsure how to fill. He's being scouted by the likes of Atletico, Napoli and Barcelona now, and rightly so. 

MIDs - Vincent Grosjean

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I sort of wrote off Grosjean once we got promoted as a player who'd be sadly outgrown by the club and shipped him on loan, but he's come back looking like a star! Though the striker position is nailed down by Torres, Grosjean has put in some impressive performances on the left, and still has room to grow. I love a player like this, someone unexpected who breaks through out of nowhere and becomes amazing. He's gone from loan fodder to my first-choice LW now, and it's well deserved!

FWDs - Maxi Torres

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24 goals in 36 Premier League games says it all, Torres has settled into this league and is showing his class. Quick, skillful and a lethal shot, Torres has everything I could need from a striker and has established himself as a top-level player. I'm excited to see what he could look like with a couple more years of development, he's already scoring for fun!

Manager's Thoughts

So, where do we go from here? Ideally, I want to iron out the inconsistency. Whether that means finding a secondary tactic to switch to, signing some new players or something else entirely, I'm not sure. I'm hoping for a good showing in whichever European competition we're in and I'm aiming for at least 5th in the league. I'll be keeping a sharp eye on our player growth and hoping we can help our wonderkids realize their potential.

Additional Stuff

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Looks like we're playing in the Conference League as 14th placed Tottenham stun 4th place Liverpool (I swear this game is rigged)

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Adding this because I swear this guy hates Sima. Every press conference I get asked about Sima being called up and Cissé says "I don't see the same player Bow sees". He keeps calling up this guy (who can't even get a game in the Championship) over Sima who is the star winger in a top-half PL team. Between this and the lack of regens generating there, I'm sure something weird is going on in Africa in this save.

Edited by Rainbowz
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Season 2 2022/2023

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Manger Thoughts:

Well we did so much better then I thought we would but in the end we loss our chance to be promoted at the hands of Derby in the playoffs. We did really well at home  but we really struggled on the road. This season does give me hope though, another offseason to train and bring in new players, I'm hoping to get promoted last year. Like last season the wings and the midfield are our biggest areas of need. 

 

Transfer Review:

Kamil Grabara GK Free (Liverpool) - I didn't expect to sign a GK but then Grabara fell right into our lap and I couldn't pass up on him as he's a lot better then Lumley. Grabara started a little slow but once he got settled he dominated finishing with 11 shutouts and 2 player of the match awards. He's currently wanted by Preston but they are going to have to pay his 17 mil release clause. 4/5

Erik Palmer - Brown CB Free (Manchester City) - My fellow American was brought to provide some key depth in defense and he didn't disappoint. He got thrust into starting action right away as star defender Rob Dickie was injured right before the start of the season and proved his worth right off the bat. 4/5

Fred Onyedinma AMR/AML Free (Huddersfield) - Signed Fred a couple of games into the season for wing depth and became my starter on the right wing. Had some pretty good production with 9 goals and 5 assists over all competitions. Not the cheapest but does have good speed and will probably be the starter on the right next season. 3/5

Youri Regeer CM 80k (Ajax) - signed him on an expiring contract in January and decided to pay to bring him in early. He's a really weird midfielder 13 finishing and 12 long shot but 6 dribbling and low speed. He did score the game winning goal to get us into the playoffs so he's proved some value right away. Depending on how he develops he could be trained to be a DM or a CAM. 3/5

Yan Valery RB 900k (Southampton) - Not a signing I really needed this year but definitely don't regret buying him, at 24 he should be our starting RB for a while. Combines good speed with solid crossing and defense glad we won the race for him. We got him in the winter window and gave us 2 assists. 3/5

Hannibal CM Loan (Manchester United) - Our main playmaking midfield this season and he kinda disappointed despite having solid attributes all around he only managed 2 goals and 5 assists. While I appreciate his service I don't think I will be trying to re loan hi again. 3/5

Will Ferry AML Loan (Southampton) - Loaned him in to give us some explosiveness on the wing and Ferry did just that. Used his speed effectively and was pretty deadly on the counter attack. with 4 goals and 2 assists he's a candidate to bring back if I can't find a winger to sign in the offseason. 3.5/5

Michal Karbownik LB/CM Loan (Brighton) - He looked so good but he turned out to be so disappointing. Didn't play well at LB and didn't really make an impact at CM, in fact he was kind of a liability at LB and he definitely won't be around for another season. 2/5

 

 

Silverware Cabinet:

League One Manger of the Month x2

League One Champion

Challenge Points:

League One Champions 25 points 

Transfer Budget $111.4 mil/$113 mil

John Proud 600k (season 1)

Youri Regeer 80k (season 2)

Yan Valery 900k (season 2)

 

 

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Rotherham Season 6 Preview

Oh boy, there's plenty to unpack in this pre-season. Lots of deals made and good stuff done. This has potential to be a really good year, I think.

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We're firmly among the best of the rest now, getting ever closer to the top teams. I thought I was in Europe this year, but apparently Derby are in the Conference League for winning the Carabao Cup while I get nothing for finishing 6th? I don't know, it's all very confusing. What I did qualify for though is the...

International Champions Cup

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I have no idea what this is, but we did well in it! I think it might be a competition added by a mod I left installed. Still, it allowed us to test ourselves against some damn good teams. 

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Transfers In

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We've done more business aside from the pre-agreed transfers. Some you might never see again, but some are going to be key. Let's get into them.

Adam Holmes (Free) | Set for release by Liverpool, Holmes is just one of those players who’s worth having around in my u23s. Young, English and with some potential, I know I can get some cash for him in future and there’s an outside chance he could develop a bit. Just a no risk deal.


Glenn Diompy (Free) | He was being sniffed around by the likes of Juventus and off his stats I see why, but man that potential is disappointing. Will develop in my u23s a bit, but I don’t see him being more than a squad player for me. Still, he’s a solid enough player and could become decent.


Wim Versteeg (Free) | Similar to Diompy, had big clubs sniffing around him but was really overrated by my scouts. I can likely profit from him in future, but it’s disappointing having a potential 4/4.5* PA player turn out to be like this.


Kiko (Free) | Finally, a good player. I had to fight off so many big teams to land him, but here he is. An incredibly versatile player, Kiko offers me pace and skill wherever he plays. Barely any downsides, Kiko immediately gets into my starting 11 and has potential to grow more. To get him on a free is madness, so glad to get him in.


Jaume (£7.5M) | Transfer listed and with his contract expiring, I had to fight off teams like Arsenal and Real Madrid to land Jaume. An exceptional all-round player with a lot of potential, I’m going to train him as a CB, where I think he can absolutely shine. Definitely someone to keep an eye on.


Tom Stansfield (Loan) | Even with Jaume being brought in, I felt we were weak at the back to Stansfield comes in on loan. An incredible CB, the Chelsea loanee provides us with a bit more quality in our back line. I think he can win us a few games with his ability, him, Filipovic and Jaume give us 3 amazing options.


Mika Mármol (£135k) | A promise I made to Jaume was to bring in someone to help him settle, and Mármol was the best I could find for cheap. Will likely never play, but I’m fine paying for him if it keeps Jaume happy.

Transfers Out

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Nothing exciting, mainly loans. Promes still had some ability, but our LW spot is stacked now and I reckon he'd seriously drop in quality on our bench. Ware was some 3* PA youth who was never going to make it. Notable loanees are Khalil and Grosjean. Both are likely good enough to start at LW, but Pipi and Kiko are just that bit better, so rather than them getting annoyed over playing time, I'm loaning them out. Dixon is also one to watch, being loaned to Championship West Ham. Jordan Henderson was released too. Although a 3* CA player, he was on 100k a week and was only getting worse.

Tactics

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This is the team I expect to start most games. Stansfield replaces Williams who drops to the bench while we go a bit more attacking in the midfield, dropping Penoni for the more attacking Kiko. In the attack, Spasov replaces Sima, somewhat unfairly but Spasov is rated as one of the best wingers in the division and rightly so in my opinion. Pipi continues to learn how to play at LW while the Montes and Torres partnership keeps rolling. We've got some incredible depth on the bench now too so injuries shouldn't be an issue barring a complete crisis. With no European football to worry about too, I'm confident we have the strength and legs to make a challenge for a top 5 spot.

Manager's Thoughts

This season has potential to be huge. We've got the best squad we've ever had, no European distractions and a set style. If things go right, this could even be our year to fight for a title. It's a really exciting time to be a Rotherham fan. Also, this year there are a tonne of amazing players with expiring contracts who no-one seems to be picking up. I'm not going to name any names yet, but if things go well, our squad could get some world class firepower coming soon. I'm really excited to get started this year, I can tell we're in for some good things.

 

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Been looking for a suitable save for this late stage of FM21 and this looked like a good candidate. Was hoping for a different team to take on - in other saves I've seen Derby and Preston down in the relegation battle - but it looks as though FM is pretty consistent in that first season so..... Rotherham it is :lol:.

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And here's the football legend to guide them to glory:

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Let's see how we go!

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Our squad is pretty decent and tbh I am surprised they went down, the likes of Jake Cooper, Mahlon Romeo, Jed Wallace and Mason Bennett should be far too good for league one if we can keep hold of them

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Two big plusses already, these two will hopefully be with us the whole time but will have to get rid of Romeo's clause next summer

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Window went well financially and I think the squad is more than good enough for promotion at the end of it, a lot of my sales were included in the previous season so had to do two screenshots.

Regards the £95m Leicester spent and this challenge rules, do sales count toward that figure???

 

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First season went very well (bar some bad cup losses) but now to ensure I get 10 players worth keeping if we go up next few years!

We relied heavily on loans this season

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Season 3  2023/2024

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Manager Thoughts:

Reading and Preston really choked and let me and Norwich slip on into the automatic promotion stops. We really ran into a good run of form about the middle of January and we didn't look back. Unfortunately we lost one of starting CBs (Barbet) in the winter window due to having interest from some French teams. I don't really love our chances to stay up but we will be giving it our best shot. We already released Bonne, Carroll, and sold Kane. So removing some dead weight gives some a little more room to maneuver. We really need a CB and help on both wings, we are pretty solid in the midfield but every where else could use some depth. 

Silverware Cabinet:

League One Manger of the Month x2

League One Champion

Championship League Champion

Manager of the Year 

Challenge Points:

Championship League Champions 75 points

League One Champions 25 points 

Transfer Budget $111.4 mil/$113 mil

John Proud 600k (season 1)

Youri Regeer 80k (season 2)

Yan Valery 900k (season 2)

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Rotherham Season 6 Update

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OH BOY, WE'RE DOING IT! I knew it'd take something special to do this challenge and something special is occurring. We're unbeaten! I think my team has finally gelled together and we're playing some incredible football. Our squad is definitely top 6 strength, but the team spirit and togetherness is taking us to the next level. We're not over the line yet, but we're getting there.

How did we get here?

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Our consistency has been nothing short of incredible. Our only loss has come against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup, which if anything has helped as we've been fresher than our rivals. We took advantage of a Man City team who'd played 3 games in 10 games to stun them 3-1 while grinding out results against the likes of Man United and Arsenal. We've definitely had luck on our side with teams around us losing some pretty shocking games, but you can't take away from the fact we've not lost a single league game this season.

Top Performers

1) Abdallah Sima - 14 Games | 13 Goals | 5 Assists | 7.55 Average Rating

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This guy...Dropped to the bench at first due to an in-form (and technically better) Spasov, Sima seems to have taken it personally and became an absolute monster this season. Bagging two hattricks including one against Man City, Sima has fully settled into the league and has made himself undroppable. 

2) Maxi Torres - 20 Games | 14 Goals | 4 Assists | 7.21 Average Rating

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I originally thought Torres and Dembele would be fighting it out for the striker spot, but Torres hit the ground running and cemented himself as first choice. An incredible goalscorer with amazing agility and skill, Torres has quickly become a nightmare for Premier League defences. He's a big reason we're in the position we are, so hats off to Torres and his incredible goalscoring (also, how the hell has he not been capped for Argentina yet!?)

3) Dennis Muller - 19 Games | 1 Goal | 7 Assists | 7.16 Average Rating

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What a story for Muller. Never given a chance by Dortmund and picked up for £81k by us. Originally a backup, Muller has developed massively and is now one of the better left-backs in the league. Incredible going forward and solid at the back, Muller has been one of the most consistent players this season. Wanted by some European big boys at one stage, Muller has re-affirmed his desire to stay at Rotherham by signing a new deal and could be rewarded with a Premier League title this year.

Transfers In

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Just two guys joining now, with another joining in the summer. Originally signed on pre-contract deals, I could bring them in for cheap so decided to go for it. 

1) Jovan Golubovic (£1m) | I've had my eye on Jovan for a while, but Red Star wanted over 10 million for him. His contract was up this season and I had to fight with PSG for him, but he chose us. An incredible winger for his age, Jovan will be a backup for now, but could see himself in the limelight given injuries or player sales. A no-brainer for this price, we could easily sell him for £30-40m if we wanted.

2) Gwenael Prevost (£16.75k) | A less exciting player now, Prevost is France's youth international goalkeeper and looks a talent for the future. I doubt Arroyave will be sweating over his future, but Prevost could definitely develop into an amazing backup option.

3) Jean-Christophe Bastide (Pre Contract) | Someone I couldn't sign immediately (as they're on loan), Bastide looks an incredible talent for the future. Capable of playing just about anywhere in the midfield, he has the potential to develop into an insane player. Though maybe not quite ready for the Rotherham first team, Bastide will provide a solid backup option in the seasons to come, and should develop into a nailed-on starter. Very excited about him.

Manager's Thoughts

I'm so excited!! We could complete the challenge this season. However, we seemed to have poked the beasts in Manchester City and Manchester United, with them preparing bids for Moukoko and Mbappe respectively. If we can keep this consistency and the Manchester teams slip up a bit more, the title is as good as ours. However, I'm well aware of Football Manager's love for screwing over teams in the 2nd half of a season, so I'm fully prepared to tweak my tactics and mess around a little if things start going wrong. This could be incredible, but I'm not holding my breath.

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After completing the Ultimate Football Manager Challenge I was looking for another challenge to 'kill the time' until the new FM comes out. I first thought about the SAF-Challenge, but I'm not sure I can finish 27 seasons before end of October :confused:. Luckily I stumbled upon this challenge next and I love the way this works: a set time frame, a points system and a set goal when you start. I decided to give this a go, so here's my first post - it's the introduction combined with my first season in charge!

 

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So, Birmingham City it is! It was either them or QPR, and I would have been OK with both, though Birmingham has nicer facilities, so they were my favorite. Below you can find the standings for the Championship on the last day, my profile and 4 players who might be players the are possible Premier League material: Crowley, Leko, Sunjic and Villalba.

Spoiler

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Season 1 - League One - 2021/2022

Looking at last years league table, it was easy to notice the main problem: we didn't score enough goals. Only 46 goals in 46 matches, that's simply not enough. So, we needed a striker. First thing I did was taking a look at the squad of Ajax to see if any players were leaving on free and wanted to sign for me. Surprisingly, Brian Brobbey (a.k.a. 'the Brobbeast' due to his rather impressing physique) wanted to join me, so I had my striker. Besides signing some more youngsters for free, I decided to splash the cash on a creative midfielder. Rakeem Harper played for us in the previous season on loan from West Brom and since he was still interested and fit the profile, I brought him in for roughly £ 9.1M ( @Mark_w, the £ 95M rule, is that net spend or only spend?). The other main signing were Allan Campbell from Motherwell for a small fee (£ 0.5M) and loaning Colin Dagba as my main right back from PSG (£ 0.2 M loan fee). Half-way through the season, I added Claudio Gomes from Man City to the team, spending another £ 0.35M, bringing my total spend for the first season up to £ 10.15M.

The pre-season friendlies brought differing results: we defeated FC Twente and AS Saint-Ettiene, but were beaten by KV Kortrijk and Sparta Prague. I was quickly reassured when the season started, because we went on a winning streak that lasted 12 matches across all competitions. We took the top spot after the 5th round... and we didn't give it up again! We played a ridiculous season, breaking several old records: most points in a season (old records was 103 points, set by Wolves in 2013/2014, we managed to get a staggering 116 points), longest winning streak (old record was 13 matches, set by Reading in 1985/1986 , we managed to go 15 matches before ending the streak) and most wins in a season (we won 37 out of 46 matches, the old records was 32, set by Aston Villa in 1971/1972). The first 25 points are on the board!

Needless to say, I'm quite satisfied by this first season. But wait! It gets better! We managed to amaze the entire nation by outperforming several big teams in the League Cup: Southampton (4-2 in the 2nd round), Leeds Utd (4-2 in the Quarter Final) and Arsenal in the Semi Final (1-2 and 2-0). This meant we got the play on Wembley, where we faced Manchester City. It was a dreadful game, we made a huge amount of fouls and neither City nor we managed to create big chances (xG of 0.34 vs 2.32, they missed a penalty in the 47th minute). This meant we were headed for a penalty shoot-out, where we showed our nerves of steel: we scored the first 4 penalties, where City missed 2... We had won the League Cup! Not only did this mean we added another 200 points to our total, but this also means we've qualified for the Euro Cup II next season!

Now it's up to me to improve the squad (at least little) and see how fast we can get promoted from the Championship!

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Achievements

  • League One Champions 2021/2022                                  25 pts
  • League Cup Winners 2021/2022                                      200 pts

 

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Challenge...COMPLETED!!!!

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WE'VE DONE IT!!!!! YEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!!

OH MY GOD!!! What I thought was a dream at the start of this season is a reality!! We've won the bloody Premier League!! We've completed the challenge!!! I'm going to work out how many points I got and do a full end of season wrap up tomorrow, I'm too giddy to do it at the moment. This might be the best team I've ever managed in any save!! Up The Millers!!

 

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Stumbling across this because my first and only FM21 save so far is with Charlton who fit the criteria of this challenge (if you don't holiday for a year). I have them competing for a title but not with any of the original players left - this is a tough one. Good on you all!

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Season 6 (sort of) Review

I'm doing the review a bit early (the season hasn't finished) as I've completed the challenge, and don't want to game the points system by playing a bunch of my League 1 players in the remaining 5 matches

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As you can see, we are league winners!! Champions of England!! After an incredible start to the season, I always knew it could happen, but we were just unstoppable. I think everything just went right for us this year. We had no European campaign to worry about and being knocked out of the Carabao Cup early on meant we were fresher than our rivals. The top teams really struggled this year, racking up a bunch of losses and draws against poor teams while we were remarkably consistent, our only loss being against Leeds in January.

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You can see how consistently great we were across the season. What surprises me is how dominant we were against teams like Man United and Liverpool. An injury to Torres caused me concern in February, but Dembele proved to be an inspired signing, stepping up and bagging us the title.

The Historic Squad

I'm going to show every single member of this squad as I love them so much, feel free to skip if you want.

Goalkeepers

Spoiler

 

#1 - Leandro Arroyave

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The best. Just the best. I never expected him to get this good, this quickly. Almost always present, always consistent and won me so many games. If this game was real, he'd have a statue built to him already. Probably my favourite goalkeeper from any save ever. Just have no words for how much he's saved me

#13 - Saturnin Allagbé

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Never played, but with Arroyave why would he? Still a solid goalkeeper I would've been happy to call on if needed, but was outshone by Arroyave and an unexpected developing youth player.

#33 - Allain Maldonado

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Generated at the club, Alain hasn't really featured in my  updates, but came out of nowhere in the last couple of years and looks a really promising keeper. I gave him a few minutes in various cups and he's responded by improving dramatically. If Arroyave wasn't so young, I'd be grooming Maldonado as his heir. Still, it's nice to have my first and second choice keepers sorted for the next 15 years!

 

Defenders

Spoiler

 

#2 - Jaime Mayorga

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Mayorga has been an incredibly consistent right-back for me in the Premier League. Constantly linked with transfers away, he's stayed and his perseverance has paid off. There are definitely better right-backs around, but Mayorga has solidified himself as one of the better ones in the PL. Maybe he hasn't developed into the world class player I expected, but he's still a wonderful right-back.

#3 - Lazar Filipovic

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Part of me thinks Red Star Belgrade has as much say in this title as I do, seeing as how I've got so many of their players. Filipovic has been a great CB over the years, perhaps not becoming the star that my coaches and scouts thought he'd be, but definitely a great centre-back. Good in all the areas needed, Filipovic is someone I'm happy to have in my defence,

#27 - Tom Stansfield

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Someone I originally had marked as a backup option, Stansfield quickly established himself as Filipovic's partner at the back. Though small for a centre-back, his stats speak for themselves and his impressive performances definitely contributed to our success this year. I'd love to bring him in permanently with his contract expiring this year.

#5 - Dennis Muller

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What a story! I originally had Muller penciled in as a backup, hoping he'd develop and we could sell him in the future. However a string of great performances and lack of available left-backs saw Muller get his chance in the starting role and he never looked back. Like Mayorga, there are better full-backs out there, but few as consistently great as Muller.

# 30 - Rhys Williams

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An important player once upon a time, Williams has seen his playing time diminish as we've brought in stronger quality players. As you can see though, he's far from a bad player and is more than a capable backup. He was extremely important for those first few seasons were survival was the plan and for that I'll be thankful we have him.

#20 - Sean Roughan

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A man who has been with us since League 1, Roughan has developed as I'd hoped, into a capable Premier League backup. Excellent when called upon this year, Roughan has been my ironman this save, putting in brilliant performances at every level. Though he'll never be a star in my team anymore, he'll be someone great to keep around and can definitely be called upon for a good performance.

#35 - Wes Harding

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One of the few older heads in the team, I'd hoped to get Harding some more gametime, but he's just not PL quality anymore. Superbly consistent in the earlier seasons, Harding is another who has been with us since League 1, I'm hoping he'll retire here and we can give him a coaching role to suit his status as a well-liked figure.

#4 - Jaume

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Originally signed as a starting CB, the emergence of Stansfield made Jaume a bit more of a utility player, covering gaps in the team thanks to his excellent versatility. Clearly talented and with potential to grow, I think the next few seasons will be the making of Jaume, as he can start battling for a first team role more regularly.

#14 - Neco Williams

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The second of the ex-Liverpool Williams, Neco had also seen his first-team action decrease over this season, but is still an excellent player I can be happy to call on. Extremely versatile with incredible consistent stats, Williams has played up and down the right flank for me, putting in some excellent defensive performances and some incredible attacking ones (including a hattrick against Derby). Definitely someone I'm happy to have sticking around for the foreseeable future.

#15 - Eduard Sobol

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A transfer that didn't really work out thanks to the emergence of Muller, Sobol perhaps didn't get the chances he deserved. On the decline at 31, I think it's safe to say he won't be at the club much longer.

Mika Marmol

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Literally just signed to keep Jaume happy, Marmol will probably fill the gap that Sobol leaves when he goes. Mika isn't exactly terrible, but I'd be a bit worried relying on him for a clutch Champions League game.

 

Midfielders

Spoiler

 

#6 - Sasa Dodic

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A really impressive player, Dodic has nailed down the box to box midfielder role, really playing to his strengths as an all-round midfielder. Perhaps his godly finishing is wasted so deep, but he offers so much in every other aspect that I can't not play him there. Likely to be a fixture for years to come, Dodic is among my favourite players of this save.

#7 - Kiko

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Free signing of the save? Kiko has been incredible for me in an attacking advanced playmaker role. An incredible physical midfielder, he's chipped in a lot this season and established himself as a key man in my side. My coaches still think he has a lot of room to grow and he could become scarily good in the next few years considering how good he is now. 

#11 - Javier Montes

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While clearly not the next big thing my scouts thought he was when first signed, Montes has developed into an excellent playmaker as shown by his contributions this season. Incredibly agile and skillful and with a keen eye, Montes brings it all together for us, supplying Torres and Dembele to rack up the goals. Not my greatest player, but among my most important

#14 - Ignacio Penoni

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Relegated to a backup role this season, Penoni has still been important coming off the bench, ensuring our midfield can see out the game. Very much in the Pirlo mold of players, Penoni is often the one assisting the assist, keeping the team ticking over to see out a game. He may not be long for the team in the next few years, but he's been an important player for us over the years.

#22 - Samuel Diaz

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In another save, Diaz would be a key midfielder for us, similar to Kiko. However, he arrived just too late. With some incredible stats, Diaz clearly has the talent. However Dodic and Kiko are just that bit better and Penoni more consistent, relegating Diaz to 4th choice. He was an important player over the last couple of seasons though, and moving him on his probably best. I'm still glad we signed him though, he was great at times.

#12 - Heber Sosa

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Similar to Diaz, Sosa could've been a key player at one point, but Montes just outclasses him. Still, in his few appearances he's been a solid player and definitely has the talent. Perhaps not the player my scouts once saw, I'm sure he'll be a capable backup option who we can definitely profit off. Not my best free signing, but certainly not the worst.

#24 - Rolando Mandragora

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Signed for a survival season that never came, Mandragora was unfortunately immediately outclassed by new signings and saw his stock plummet massively. Still a good player in his prime, I think we can profit off him after a good loan spell away. It's a shame it didn't work out, but he's not a transfer I regret.

#31 - Alen Horvat

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It's kinda harsh to say, but Horvat was always brought in with profit in mind. He's played well in his few appearances, but isn't quite up to standard with the rest of our squad. I'm certain he'll have a great career in the future though.

#36 - Christopher Scott

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Far better than I ever thought he'd be earlier in his career, Scott was key in getting us promoted from the Championship, and contributed far more in the Premier League than I expected him to. However, like so many others, new signings eclipsed him and he sees himself way down the pecking order. He still thinks himself a regular starter, so will likely be moved on soon. I'll still remember the good times, though.

#18 - Ben Wiles

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A star player in former years, Wiles sadly became quickly outclassed after just a couple of Premier League seasons. He's still a solid midfielder and an excellent utility player in an injury crisis, but it's clear we shouldn't be relying on him anymore. At Rotherham his whole career, I'd ideally like to keep him around, but won't stand in his way if he wants a new challenge. He's earned it by now.

#23 - Dan Barlaser

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A star for me in former years, Barlaser unfortunately became outclassed in the Premier League. He still made some appearances for me in the league however, impressing on a few occasions. A pivotal part of my earlier success, as well as being key in my Championship promotion, I'd love to keep Dan around and hopefully have him join the club as staff. Time will tell though.

#29 - Matt Crooks

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A star of former years, I could never seem to get the best of Crooks. He was amazing in our promotion season, but never seemed to pick up after that. At 33, it's clear he should be nowhere near my first team. Sadly it doesn't look like he's considering become a staff member, so will likely simply retire in a few years. Not my most spectacular player, but one who still did his bit.

 

Wingers
 

Spoiler

 

#10 - Simeon Spasov

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The right wing position is extremely competitive, but Spasov edges it for me. An incredibly gifted player with bags of potential, a loan at Stuttgart really galvanized Simeon for a starting role in the Premier League. An incredible bit of business, costing only £3m from Bulgarian champions Ludogorets, Spasov will likely be ruling the right flank for years to come.

#8 - Pipi

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Despite hardly knowing how to play there and constantly failure to learn, Pipi has been exceptional on the left wing. His playmaking stats are incredible, making him really dangerous when cutting inside from the left. If he can learn to play on the left naturally, Pipi could be an incredible talent considering how well he's doing there while being unfamiliar. It's just a case of how much patience I have with him.

#28 - Abdallah Sima

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What a legend this guy is. Signed on our first season after promotion and single-handedly kept us up with some clutch goals. Each season he's gotten better and better. Despite being dropped in place of Spasov, Sima has come off the bench to score some incredible goals, forcing my hand to start him a few times this season. If I could play to right wingers, I would. I don't know what the future holds for Sima, but he's been an incredible servant for us and a Rotherham icon.

#44 - Vincent Grosjean

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I had really high hopes for Grosjean and you can see why from his stats. Sadly for him, when we were promoted to the Premier League, it was a step too far for him and he found himself on many loans. He's developed incredibly since then, but can't quite compete with our top stars. In a world where we were stuck in the Championship for longer, Grosjean could've been a star. He's still an incredibly good player with a good career ahead of him, but it could've been much more.

#21 - Mohamad Khalil

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I'm always a sucker for a wonderkid from an obscure nation, and Syrian international Khalil sure fits that bill. Never quite the star player I wanted to be, he's shone on loan at Hannover but still doesn't quite measure up to some of our better players. Whether he stays around as a squad player or is moved on, I'm certain he'll have a great career with some big performances.

#37 - Jovan Golubovic 

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There's not too much to say about Jovan after joining in the winter. In his limited starts, he's looked great and has some potential about him. I doubt he can dethrone Spasov/Sima or Pipi, but he's definitely a great backup option and someone we can potentially sell for big money down the line.

 

Strikers

Spoiler

 

#9 - Maximiliano Torres

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The main man, the number 9 and possibly a future legend. Maxi Torres had a pretty rocky start to life in England with a poor debut campaign, but put that behind him to become one of the Premier League's most feared strikers. His stats are excellent and he has a little room to grow too. I don't think he'll ever be among the "elite" strikers in the game, but he's top scorer for a Premier League winning side, and not many strikers can say that.

#19 - Moussa Dembele

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Signed as a free transfer, I was worried Dembele would be a 90k a week seat warmer after Torres' amazing form. However, when he got injured, Dembele stepped up big time, bagging the goals and following on from where Torres left off. At 30, he's at his peak now and will likely depart soon, but I won't forget how key he was to our success this season.

#41 - Silviu Tamas

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The second of our youth players to make our first team squad, Tamas improved out of nowhere over the last few years, becoming quite a well-rounded player. Though he'll likely never be good enough to challenge for a starting spot in our team, it's nice to know our academy can produce gems like him. A solid bench/backup option, Tamas won't set the world alight, but he's good to keep around.

#39 - Tai Sodje

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Sodje really could've been more. He looks a great striker and had some real potential once upon a time. After a really disappointing season, Torres was brought in and he never got his chance again. Likely to be shipped off soon, I feel we never saw the potential of Sodje, who'll likely go on to have a great career at a slightly lower level than ours.

 

The Manager

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It's been a good career for me, taking Rotherham from League 1 to Premier League champions in just 6 years. You can see I stayed within the £94m guidelines, only just. 

Points

Having added up my totals, my points come out at 3,025. I didn't manage to beat Leicester's score, but I won the title 2 years earlier than them, so I'm calling it a success. I know I could continue the challenge for 2 more years, trying to win the Champions League, but I've fallen in love with this Rotherham save, and really want to be able to make them great, which means spending the money I've been hoarding all these years. This was a really fun challenge, and I'll have to try it again on FM22. I hope you all enjoyed my updates, and best of luck in your own challenges!

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Haven't been on the forums for a while but came across this challenge when browsing and really, really like it so I'm giving it a go! As you can see I've got Derby County, a potential sleeping giant having been a big club in the 1970s. My manager is former 'Ram of the Year' Chris Riggott, a player I liked from the 2000s who was born and raised a Ram.

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An excellent foundation in terms of facilities and infrastructure as a club that can go places. Despite being predicted to finish 8th, Derby spiralled down the league under both Wayne Rooney and Gary Bowyer with too many draws proving to be the downfall. Let's hope 'Riggy' can bring an end to that 34 year barren spell!

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Here's my manager profile in all it's, erm, glory. Pretty bang average, but hopefully that soon changes. 

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The (Andy) King's of Pride Park

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The best part of being Derby County for this challenge is the fact that there are a number of key first team players that are young enough to attempt the Andy King legacy with. Bielik and Jozwiak are a fantastic imported Polish duo, while Sibley, Bird, Knight and Buchanan are all great recent academy graduates.

I've decided to incorporate my own signing rules - I will not be bringing in any loans and I will not be signing any regens other that ones brought through our academy. Here is the starlet from the first intake:

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Edited by smp20
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League Table --- FL Trophy --- League Cup --- FA Cup --- Facilities --- Finances

Overall an outstanding first season as we romped League One in style - I think that's the highest points tally I've ever achieved in the football league! We also did well in the cups; winning the Football League Trophy, getting to the quarter-final of the League Cup being knocked out by Leicester and even further in the FA Cup reaching the semi-final losing to Liverpool on penalties knocking out Spurs on the way! We had a great base for our facilities and have upgraded our youth setup to exceptional which helped produced a tidy intake which may bring through a couple of first teamers. Finances wise we're in a solid position too.

Transfers Out

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The second job when joining the club was getting the rid of the deadwood, the first being bringing in the right backroom staff. A few decent players left to be fair, but they were the wrong side of 25 for this challenge. We received big money for Jason Knight who left for a release clause; I'd have liked to have kept him but nothing could be done. January was very quiet compared to the summer with just one young player leaving that had been brought in under the previous winter window.

Transfers In

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We splurged a total of £20.25m in our first transfer window - a hefty proportion of our total £95m for the challenge but I felt it was best to start spending early where possible to build the squad for the future. The first man in the door was Nathan Wood for a whopping £7.5m but he's exactly the kind of player I want to build around. Other key first teamers included Max Lowe, Flynn Downes (from relegated Ipswich) and Morgan Whittaker as well as hot prospects Edwards and Baah, squad players Jaaskelainen and Osei-Tutu and freebies Brobbey, Bryan and Walton. Out of the freebies I was delighted to prise Brobbey as he's an exceptional talent. As with our outgoings, January was quiet with the exceptions of Jayden Bogle who had failed to make an impact in Sheffield after leaving Derby less than 18 months ago. I made a conscious effort to bring back home-grown at club players and I'm delighted Lowe, Whittaker and Bogle have returned.

Squad Overview

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We played a total of 66 games so there was a lot of rotation and opportunities for the fringe youngsters who have developed nicely throughout the season. We have a young squad with everyone 26 or under as well as a core of under 21s. Bobby Duncan was voted the fans player of the season, though with seven players with double figure goals for the season and high ratings all round bar left back there was plenty of choice. Let's see what we can add to this young squad next season as we aim for a double promotion.

Edited by smp20
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