Jump to content

[FM20] Weird Man Journeyman Ernst Happel Challenge beginning with FC Vaduz


Recommended Posts

I initially started this save with the intention of staying a long time at Vaduz but with the way the youth and reserve setup is in Liechtenstein, after playing a few seasons, it seems tremendously difficult to develop young players here. So I thought I'd jump into "The Weird Man Who Conquered Europe Journeyman Challenge" posted by JarheadFM (The Weird Man Who Conquered Europe Journeyman Challenge).

For those unfamiliar, Vaduz are a club from Liechtenstein playing in the Swiss league system. The domestic cup is more or less a glorified set of friendlies for us. At the beginning of the save we are in the Swiss Challenge League (2nd tier). Both the Swiss Challenge League and Swiss Super League feature 10 teams who play each other 4 times per season so just 2 or 3 results can see an incredible change in the league table. I'm just about to finish up my fourth season with the club so I'll recap the first few seasons below.

2019/20 Season:

I don't tend to do a shedload of transfers when I take over a new team that's unfamiliar to me and am more likely to try and devise a system that suits the players available. I turn up and find a squad that has an abundance of decent center backs, a few ok forwards, and a dearth of usable fullbacks so we spend the season toying around with a 3-1-4-2 and a funny asymmetrical system with 3 at the back, a wide playmaker on the left and a WB or DW on the right with 2 up top. We aren't an amazing team but, because of the funny Liechtenstein/Switzerland situation, we are in Europe. There is one promising looking teenage AMC and I won't realize until over halfway through the season that by taking over Vaduz I've displaced his father as manager! We are listed as "very close" and "holds you in the highest regard as a head coach" so I guess it didn't bother him too much in the end. 

Europe:

Spoiler

372482242_ScreenShot2021-04-17at3_02_28AM.thumb.png.d59cd5d23c047fed9305445ffcd48fa9.png

Scraped through the UEFA Cup 2nd qualifying round and then got handled by AZ, which was anticipated. 

Domestic Cup:

Spoiler

79497880_ScreenShot2021-04-17at3_09_36AM.thumb.png.d0f2c01c4a944ed27b44e83cf9479a35.png

 

 

Challenge League: 

Spoiler

782672562_ScreenShot2021-04-17at3_16_12AM.thumb.png.056485e38b91897ea23d5ef8d8d9f0b9.png

 

Spoiler

1168436614_ScreenShot2021-04-17at3_16_26AM.png.6398da5b7bf2f78a7b9fa9edfce0d3be.png

Came out of the winter break with strong form and ended up winning the league. Won the Liechtenstein Football Cup. 

 

Edited by riv3th3ad
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

2020/21 season we have been promoted to the Swiss Super League and are in the Europa League. I managed a couple of usable free transfers . We are predicted to be relegated.  Began the season using our funky 3 back systems but starting getting settled on a new tactic in January: 4-2-3-1 with 2 DMs.

Europa League:

Spoiler

 

Spoiler

 

1886429043_ScreenShot2021-04-17at3_32_40AM.thumb.png.3491ac412fa56cdc0dab7165337563d2.png

 

 

Surprised we managed to steal a 1-0 win against a much stronger Aberdeen side in the second qualifying round. They stomped us in the return leg.

 

Domestic Cup:

Spoiler

 

Spoiler

 

154466583_ScreenShot2021-04-17at3_38_26AM.thumb.png.a90a655ad9ad5ab933ff980e6e6c453f.png

 

 

We've won the Liechtensteiner Cup again, and once again the media has labeled us as the "biggest underachiever" of the competition! :seagull:

 

Super League:

Spoiler

 

Spoiler

 

208561316_ScreenShot2021-04-17at3_45_01AM.thumb.png.e1e879e667e5e3e1864745178697fecf.png

 

Spoiler

237774280_ScreenShot2021-04-17at3_45_15AM.png.330adfb4cda1fab215babd385416cbe7.png

The new 4-2-3-1 system seems to be working reasonably well. Good form again after the winter break and we end up finishing 4th out of 10. 

Edited by riv3th3ad
Link to post
Share on other sites

2021/22 season we are still in the Swiss Super League , predicted to finish in the bottom half, and competing in the UEFA Europa Conference League. Still working with the 4-2-3-1 2DM tactic, playing with getting the AMC position working with Trequartista or Shadow Striker role. 

Transfers:

1542863590_ScreenShot2021-04-17at4_04_17AM.thumb.png.fcaee06d77d89cfba83fab35bc0b7f26.png

 

Europa Conference League:

We do well in the first two qualifying rounds, scrape a tight away goals win in the third qualifying round, and make it to the fourth qualifying round where we get worked over by eventual competition winners Mainz 05.

Spoiler

880228522_ScreenShot2021-04-17at4_11_01AM.thumb.png.1b7d26da403d47a12c4b50d88f8c2635.png

Liechtensteiner Cup:

 

Spoiler

1656280786_ScreenShot2021-04-17at4_22_02AM.thumb.png.9d493ceb87ed8a60985ccbc13b6f8757.png

This season we ease to another domestic cup victory and aren't labeled the 'biggest underachiever" in the competition this year!

Super League:

Fairly consistent this year though we struggle to get results against the bigger clubs in the league. Mess around with off-setting the striker and the AMC trequartista/shadow striker, but I think it was some time during this season where I gave up on the Treq role in favor of an AMC-A with some of the PIs in the Treq role.  

Spoiler

140318977_ScreenShot2021-04-17at4_29_38AM.thumb.png.9f48303510c83a3714899d5ca9e4e127.png

 

 

Spoiler

1387422509_ScreenShot2021-04-17at4_29_48AM.png.6df9d75ef45eb2c300a1a1d7ba9d9a9a.png

We manage a 2nd place finish in the Swiss Super League and qualify for the Conference League again. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

2022/23 season predicted finish: 8th

Continental competition: Europa Conference League 

Our 4-2-3-1 2DM tactic is pretty much locked in with some small tweaks depending on if we're strongly favored or a big underdog. The DMs are a DLP-D and a DM-S  with a "get further forward" PI most of the time. In the handful of matches where we are strong favorites the left DM plays as a Regista with the right DM as a DM and the left back on a more aggressively offensive role and we press more aggressively with a higher line of engagement. Our best center back from last season was on loan from Young Boys. We got a bit of a transfer budget and managed to bring him in permanently for 450k and a couple of other free or cheap players that would become key squad members. 

Transfers:

Spoiler

956542323_ScreenShot2021-04-17at5_03_02AM.thumb.png.98695974bb34169424782ec8d2f512d4.png

Europa Conference League Qualifying Rounds:

My aim for this season was to make a push to get into the group stage so I could afford to renew contracts on a few crucial squad members. 

Spoiler

602691410_ScreenShot2021-04-17at5_17_41AM.thumb.png.8a86bfc782a58f47612aea3f2b0f4963.png

We had some favorable draws and performed very well in the qualifying rounds. Our group ended up being pretty wild and we managed to go through to the first knockout round in spite of only having 1 victory.

 

Spoiler

835327754_ScreenShot2021-04-17at5_20_22AM.thumb.png.adf97d1ef43e9e950ac90fcf719bbebb.png

We needed a win to top the group and go directly to the second knockout round but could only manage a draw away to FK Austria Vienna and finished second. As luck would have it we faced off with Mainz 05 for the second straight year and they eliminated us again. Mainz would go on to reach the final for a shot at defending their Conference League title. Fortunately, the income from getting this far in the competition enabled us to re-sign a few key players we likely would have lost otherwise. 

Liechtensteiner Cup:

Despite going through our three game run to victory with a combined score of 14-1, having the top goalscorer, player with most assists, and setting both the club and competition records for largest ever victory (7-0 in the final),  the media has labeled us the biggest underachiever of the competition once again! :lol:

Super League:

A little slow out of the gates but September - January we put together a strong run including one stretch with 4 straight wins and another with 5 consecutive victories. This stretch is where we got knocked out of the Europa Conference League and also saw us go on a run of 6 straight league draws where we twice gave up a stoppage time equalizer. This struck me as especially cruel since I support Tottenham in real life. 

Spoiler

802552950_ScreenShot2021-04-17at5_43_35AM.png.bbcba88942531c0708bc63e1fc4c5fac.png

 

Spoiler

2117580110_ScreenShot2021-04-17at5_43_48AM.thumb.png.103b27beee455fc2fbfdbddfd48e44ca.png

In the penultimate match of the season away to Sion, we were heading into halftime with a 2-1 lead when our WTM got a straight red in the 42nd minute. 5 yellows in 39 appearances across all competitions and he gets himself sent off! I thought that was our title challenge done but we extend the lead to 3-1 with a great counter attack and manage to hang on to a 3-2 victory and St. Gallen had a 1-1 draw. Going into the final matchday of the season, it turns out that maddening stretch of draws in January-February may prove pivotal for the title race. We will win the league with a victory in our last game. We are home against Servette, who need at least 1 point to potentially escape the relegation playoff. 2nd placed St. Gallen trail us by 1 point and are away to last placed Zürich who are equal on points to Servette as well as 8th placed Sion so there is a lot to be settled on the final match day. 

League Table ahead of last matchday:

1149232044_ScreenShot2021-04-17at5_48_42AM.png.6c1cfa0c841274fda9b156409c7b7a2f.png

Edited by riv3th3ad
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

2022/23 Season wrap-up:

Despite having 4 players in the starting squad with dislikes big matches trait, we ended up winning the Swiss Super League title on the final match day. St. Gallen had an easy 3-0 win against Zürich so we needed a victory. It looked like we were cruising to a 3-0 win but we conceded goals in the 77th and 90th for a final score of 3-2. 

1714064784_FinalMatchday.png.da8beb5f543188f23c09e3a97ef5ef66.png

Final League Table:

1230426450_FinalLeagueTable.png.7158e702311b958e002e8f49ccef39ad.png

 

Mainz, who have now knocked us out of the Europa Conference League two seasons in a row, went on to win the competition again. I'm sure their manager is already tired of being asked if he favors that competition over others. 

I put in for the Grasshoppers job but they could not afford the compensation clause. I was able to talk to the board and get them to waive the clause but after going through the interview and looking at their financial situation, roster, and facilities I decided not to pursue the job. So it looks like I'm staying on with Vaduz until the Basel or Young Boys job comes available.

Edited by riv3th3ad
Link to post
Share on other sites

2023/24 Season

Last Season: Won the Swiss Super League, won the Liechtensteiner Cup, eliminated in First Knockout Round of the Europa Conference League

Media prediction: 5th place

Continental competition: Europa Conference League

1841438959_2023-24TitleOdds.thumb.png.653ecc3650deb115b48bed278968d624.png

1688951095_2023-24TopGoalscorerOdds.png.4ef19631d6723a82f5ce3f20aa4d907f.png

Nieland had 24 in 48 across all competitions last season. He's already banged in 5 in our Europa Conference League First Qualifying Round tie against a small club from San Marino. I'm not entirely clear on why we have won the Super League but are only in the early qualifying rounds for EC2, but I have to assume it's because we're not a Swiss club. We aren't ready for CL so we may be better off in EC2 anyway as we can likely at least get to the group stage. Those funds last season bumped club finances from "okay" to "secure" for the first time since we joined the club 5 years ago. 

There haven't been any notable transfers so far. Two veterans were moved on, but they had already fallen down the pecking order and both faced long term injuries that saw their attributes dip even further. The squad is looking okay. We ended up having to play a couple of teenagers more than I had intended to but they seem to have handled it well. The biggest need is a left CB but it's not supremely urgent. Our right FB who has a "get further forward" PI in our main tactic has managed to pick up the "stays back at all times" trait from his mentoring group. :seagull:  The best and 2nd best right FB both dislike big matches--players having that trait has been by far the biggest problem spot for this club with 5 or 6 starters having that paired with poor consistency when we first joined. 

Tactically, we are still rocking our 4-2-3-1 DM AM Wide. It is largely unchanged, though we have spent the pre-season once again tinkering with getting productivity from the AMC role. I have been toying with the idea of dialing in an alternate tactic with a 4-2-1-3 or 4-3-3 shape, but with our best CB gone for a tournament in Africa, short off-season, and the EC2 qualifiers getting under way very early I did not want to experiment too much. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

2023/24 Winter Break

Media prediction: 5th 

Currently: 2nd

Cup: will face Eschen/Mauren in the Liechtensteiner Cup semifinal 

Continental: Through to Europa Conference League First Knockout Round

Basel appear to be running away with the Swiss Super League 10 points clear of 2nd and with only 1 defeat. David Nieland seems to have been affected by the pressure of being in with a shout of achieving top goalscorer in the league. He's done decently well in the Europa Conference League but only managed 2 goals and 2 assists in 12 league matches.

1670306044_Vaduz2023-24leaguefirsthalf.thumb.png.598a4c7213faf4389f919f1ea66b5859.png

We had what seemed a very difficult Fourth Qualifying Round draw in the EC2, but we perhaps were a bit fortunate to have momentum coming up against a Villareal side in terrible form at the beginning of their season. We made it to the group stage after conceding only 2 goals across the four qualifying rounds. I thought we had a reasonable chance of progressing to the knockout round for the second year in a row and we've ended up 2nd to go through to the First Knockout Round where we have been drawn against Zenit. 

623266568_VaduzEC22023-24.thumb.png.98c3571990c83b2f70ddee1f8a5639bc.png

2141319_2023-24EC2GroupH.png.9fbd6e1338243b505bddc42c701ec66a.png

Mainz, who won the inaugural EC2 title and defended their crown last season, have topped their group in the Europa League so the Europa Conference League will see a new winner this year. 

1358609647_YoungBoysmanagerunveiling.thumb.png.d1ac5641533ffba116f1685f661cd8c6.png

The Young Boys job came open just before the winter break and we were marked out as the favorite to take over. 

We leave Vaduz in 2nd place with a 9-6-3 league record. We finally convinced the board to upgrade the training facilities to "Good" and leave behind 6-8 under 20 players that seem to be developing nicely so hopefully we've left them in a place to stay in the Super League and continue growing--the first and second tiers in Switzerland (at least in FM!) are highly volatile. 

We take over from Joachim Löw who seems to have had difficulty settling on a tactic and getting the team to gel. 

Preseason Media Prediction: 1st

Currently: 6th

Cup: Through to face Challenge League side Neuchâtel Xamax in the Swiss Cup Quarter Final in mid-March

Continental: Knocked out of Champions League Best Placed Playoff by SLB. Finished 2nd in the Europa League group stage and will face Sevilla in the first knockout round. 

We've been reunited with CM/DM Sandro Lauper who did a great job for us on a season long loan back in 2020/21. The squad look perhaps 2 transfers away from being able to put up a reasonable fight in the Champions League group stage. Generally they look well suited to our primary 4-2-3-1 DM-AM Wide tactic so I won't be making sweeping tactical changes just yet. The club needs a more offensively capable RB and our backup GK could do with improving so I will be looking at improving these areas ASAP. I've moved on a couple of fringe players approaching end of contract and unfortunately one player that looked a good candidate for integrating into the 4-2-3-1 setup has signed a deal to leave just as we arrived. At least he'll be with us until the end of the season to hopefully help us hit the ground running. He looks the best candidate on hand to fulfill the Volante role.  

Edited by riv3th3ad
Link to post
Share on other sites

2023/24 Season Wrap

League: Finished 2nd, qualified for Champions League Best Placed Second Qualifying Round

Swiss Cup: Won

Continental: Eliminated in Europa League First Knockout Round by Sevilla

Signing of the season: Sergiño Dest from Ajax

Taking over at the winter break, our Young Boys team got things turned around and rose from 6th to finish 2nd. Basel did indeed run away with the Super League title, though we did manage to beat them 1-0 away on the final match day of the season. In what was expected to be a difficult tie, Sevilla knocked us out in the first knockout round of the Europa League with a 2-1 aggregate victory. Arsenal would go on to win the Europa League. Everton lifted the Europa Conference League title. PSG beat Manchester United to win the Champions League.

We had the good fortune of drawing Swiss Challenge League sides in both the Quarter and Semi Finals of the Swiss Cup. In the final, we faced off against a relegation-threatened Grasshoppers side. We beat them 2-0 in the final and they would go on to win the relegation playoff to remain in the Super League. 

The Young Boys squad fit fairly well into the 4-2-3-1 DM AM Wide tactic with just a few small tweaks. We began using a 4-2-4 late in the season against the teams that park the bus against us. We've also taken to using a less aggressive, narrow 4-1-3-2 for European competition and away matches where we are the underdog. 

The Vaduz side we left behind faded, but still managed to finish 5th as well as lift the Liechtensteiner Cup for the 5th successive year. 

812021523_2023-24YoungBoysSuperLeagueResults.thumb.png.156209956a7b806f90c309ebc5d8fa9a.png

113545880_2023-24YoungBoysSwissCup.png.7d3365d0cb6e035a4d38db58a547348a.png

1812050013_2023-24SuperLeagueFinalTable.png.681013aa15fb83555e98a0a20df72069.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...