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I won the Quadruple with Villa! FM20 story. (Long)


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Sorry, but I have no-one to share this with, so wanted to put it here. Hope this is ok!

I finally had a successful season in FM20! Although it did take me 12 seasons in all... FM is not a game that comes easy to me and I had quit this particular save many times over due to frustration, each time accepting that I was never going to be any good at the game. A champions league finish would be rewarded with not getting out of the groups and finishing 6th or even mid table. The mid season slump hit me hard, consistently. So I was so happy with this.

I had good players(Tonali, Esposito, Grealish, Reinier, Eric Garcia), but my 4-2-3-1 formation never truly clicked, with my number 10 having 5 good games a season at most. Even when Esposito had his best ever Prem season for me (35 goals, in the LEAGUE!) I only finished 5th. My leaky defence and the aforementioned mid season slump hit me hard.

My fortune changed when for some reason I changed my 4-2-3-1 into a 4-1-2-2-1, with Tonali as DLP(d) and 2 regens as a CM(a) and AP(s). I still don't remember why I did this, but I did. This same upturn in fortunes came just as I was in my standard mid season slump. For the rest of the season with this new formation, the entire team were playing well, rather than just the usual 2 or 3 players who got over 7 who'd usually scored or assisted. My defence were getting good ratings too.

I ended the season strong and finished in the Champions League for the second season running (first time). At the same time, I'd moved Esposito from Advanced Forward to Inside forward on the left. He gobbled the goals from there and I'd decided to keep him there at the same time for the next season, with the plan to buy an out and out winger to supply the dangerman. With the other great Advanced Forward taking his place leading the line. 

I'd lost Rueben Dias in the summer, out of contract and at 34 (I think) he wanted to join Man U rather than another season with me. I found his replacement rather quickly, someone I'd had my eye on for some time but his price tag always put me off. Down to bare bones in defence, I plumped up the courage to purchase him at £113m, his buy out clause, breaking the wage structure in the process. He ended the season with 13 goals from CB in all comps.  German Samaniego, the Spanish legend.

I finished top of the group stages of the Champions League, by a comfortable margin and dominated most games. January eventually came round and I was convinced it was the start of the dip once more. After drawing at home to Championship team Fulham in the League Cup semi final, I lost 4-2 away to West Brom the next league game. Those 2 goals were late consolation prizes also. Thankfully the next game was a game against short of luck Brentford but with Chelsea the game after that, I know I needed to win this next game.

I swapped in a bench striker in the only change I made, a Brazilian called Roberto who is unlucky not to be starting as it is, he got 2 goals and I won 3-0. I beat Chelsea the game after that 2-0 and then won 11 of the next 12 games, only drawing one. Including back to back victories over the last years' Premier league winners (Arsenal) in both the league and the League Cup Final. Smashing them 3-0 at home in the league and 5-1 in the final. I'd won my first proper Silverwear as Villa manager.

I'd beaten the slump, finally.

In the same run of fixtures I had beaten Dortmund away from home 3-0 in the Champions League 1st Knock out round, leaving me with a standard 1-1 at home to get the job done. My boys were in the Quarters of the Champions League for the first time and Liverpool awaited me. A tumultuous 1-1 at home I nervously anticipated the away fixture. Sandro Tonali with only his 2nd goal of the season (and last) in the 9th minute sealed it. I held out for the win. PSG in the semis would await.

I lost what would be my last defeat of the season to Man City at home, who showed me some humility with a 3-1 whopping against me at home. This pushed me into 2nd for the first time since the end of November, but I had 2 games in hand on Arsenal and a superior goal difference. Needless to say, I was devastated with the result and thought it would be the end of my Title run, the only reason I play FM, to get Villa to win the league. Tottenham were up next, 4 days later. A tricky opponent. My newish formation and star striker were working wonders, though, and we beat them 3-0 at home. Back on top of the league, with a game in hand.

I drew 0-0 away against PSG in the champions league before a confidence boosting 5-1 demolition of Leeds in the League set the return fixture up in my favour, morale borderline perfect across the board.

I scored in the 32nd minute, a the striker Roberto, who was short of game time got the goal, PSG equalised just before half time.  "Here we go", I thought "my number was up".

With Esposito injured, I had to play a wonderkid on the left wing, but he's not an Inside forward and I had to play him as an inverted winger instead. He got himself into the box and Roberto, showing his class once more, gently eased a pass on to the inverted wingers path and he slotted into an almost empty net to give me a 2-1 lead. My palms were literally sweating at this point, I was desperate to hold on. Just then, when the tension couldn't get any higher and I was convinced  I was about to pass out, my very own academy product pops up. Matthew Bignot. The CM(a) got himself into the box and slotted a shot into the bottom corner. A legend was born and I was in the Champions League Final.

A tricky game against Liverpool was up next, 3 days after the semi-final. I knew I needed to win. Arsenal in second would finish top if they won their games in had and I slipped up just once. I couldn't let that happen. My knackered legends won the match 2-1. Roberto keeping up his good form with a goal and Esposito netting himself another goal. Arsenal finally lost a game to Man U, who pushed them into 3rd. But this would be short lived for Man U and they would finish 3rd themselves.

My next 2 games should be normal fare, I just needed to not lose 1 of them. Thankfully I won them both with the last game being basically a formality. It would have taken a 10 goal swing with me to lose and Arsenal to win for me to not win the title. The game itself was a topsy turvy end of season fare, with me beating Burnley 4-3 with the last kick of the game. I was absolutely ecstatic. Probably the most rewarding feeling from gaming for a long time. I'd finally won the league with Villa! Something I hadn't even been able to do in all the prior games I'd bought FM. I was buzzing. But the season wasn't over yet, I still had 2 finals to play...

The FA Cup was up first. I'd beaten the oh so unlucky Arsenal again in the Semi Final 4-1 (yes, they finished 2nd!) to set up Spurs in the Final. I was so elated with my league win I couldn't even get pumped for the final. I changed nothing. I stuck with the same formation and Team Instructions I had for most of the season, played my best players and slapped them 3-0 in the final. Esposito with a brace to come up with the goods and my Spanish CB to get a last minute nail in the coffin for the boys in white. I'd done the treble! I think I'm still in shock.

Barcelona were up next in the Champions League final. I wasn't scared. I wasn't nervous. It was destiny. I knew, for some reason, I knew I was going to win it. The Quadruple was on, and I was winning it. I changed nothing, once more, and I started the match.

7th minute comes round, Winger into the box, back stick. Esposito. Goal. The only thing more with more certainty in life was Death and Taxes. The rest of the match was a tepid affair. But still, I changed nothing. I made subs when my players were tired, and that was it. I emerged victorious at 1-0, Quadruple winner with Aston Villa by the end of the 2031-2032 season. It may have taken me 12 seasons (and multiple FM editions) but I feel like finally, I had a successful season in FM, with Aston Villa, and what success as well.

I think I can stop playing now...


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