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[FM21] Chelsea F.C. - An American Soccer Fan In London


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Well, Well, Well. My first ever post on the SI Forums and it's my first ever career update thread for Football Manager. Before diving right in, I'd just like to give a bit of an introduction about myself.

Growing up, I was never a big fan of soccer, and I only vaguely knew of a couple of players. Your David Beckhams, Pele, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and of course, Messi and Ronaldo throughout the years. I really started becoming a fan during the 2014 World Cup semi final when Germany absolutely smashed Brazil, 7-1. Don't ask me to remember any players from that game, but I just remembered the pure beauty of the smash-mouth, in your face style the Germans played with and I absolutely fell in love. (Side note: I didn't even watch the Cup final that year, that's how much I cared back then) 

Fast forward to 2018, and you guessed it, World Cup time. Watching Russia do special things as the host nation, England making it all the way to the Semis, and a France team with a kid named Kylian Mbappe really ignited something in me and built my love for the sport right then and there. Since I've always loved England, I decided to do a deep dive into club football and how that operated, since before then I had really only know about the international side of soccer. 

Boy, was I in for a wild ride. Learning about transfers, contract clauses, league rules, all the different leagues with promotion, demotion and everything else in between was SO overwhelming at first. Eventually, I buckled down, got through it and learned. Hell, I'm still learning everyday since I've really only been watching religiously for going on 4 years now. I've got a LONG way to go. 

So, why Chelsea? When picking a favorite team from my go to league, I of course went with Manchester City, but I've always had quite the soft spot for 'The Blues'. The colors are great, they play in London, and the crest & kit are very aesthetically pleasing to me. They've got a great stadium with a dedicated fanbase with a bit of an up and down history. (This is obviously in a universe before their Champions League win) I love their team with guys like Mount, Havertz, Konte, Werner, Abraham, James, Pulisic etc. Lots of youth and athleticism mixed with a bit of the old guard, I feel this team has the potential to be a real force and win their first league title since 2017. 

This will be my last save game until FM 22 so I hope to make the most out of it! I've rambled on enough now, next post will be the goals I hope to attain with this save and career! So let's keep the blue flag flying high!!



Edited by PGHJuice
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Goals for this save 

•    Learn more about team building in the modern game of soccer (A lot of my issues when it comes to transfer is just trying to sign up all the best players regardless of team fit or need. Managing my finances better and only bringing in players who fit my playstyle and club culture will be key) 
•    Develop players from our Youth Academy to integral team pieces. I’ve always been fascinated by the youth aspect of the game, and this time I will hope to focus on building that youth. Making our youth recruiting and facilities the best in the world, along with the best youth coaches. 
•    Develop a tactic that really fits “me” and how I want the game played. Normally when playing FM, I just go with a default tactic that ends up being a generic 4-3-2-1 gegen press style. This time, I want to see what’s available to me players wise and build from there. Tweaking and tuning as I need to, to accommodate new signings, etc. 
•    No editor, no save scumming. I’ve had a bad habit in my personal saves of using the editor and occasionally save scumming. I know, awful. This time I want to do everything clean and by the book. Whatever happens, happens. 
•    Lastly, I want help from you guys! Transfer suggestions, tactical tweaks, everything. I want you to help and be my assman of sorts during this run. 



Well, here we are. New manager of The Blues. I thought for my last save I’d stay out of England, but after running a save in Spain, England is home and it’s the best place for me to enjoy the game. I’ve got a 3 year deal to get this team to the top of the Prem and to the top of Europe. 



Obviously, being one of the bigger teams in England, we’ve got some accomplishments to our name. Last Champions League win came in 2012, 8 FA cups with the last win in 2018 and the last Prem League coming in 2017. Much more successful than A LOT of teams, but we’re going on 5 years without a Premier League title, and almost 10 without a Champions League win. With the players at our disposal, I’m sure we’ll make some noise 


Goals seem reasonable, and honestly this perfectly matches my vision and mentality. I’d love to come out on the front foot and attack, while holding the ball most of the time. I’ve already made it known that I want to work within the youth system. The new stadium goal also appeals to me. Not that Stamford Bridge is falling apart, but a bigger and better stadium in London never hurt anyone.


Up next, I’ll go through the squad and what my opinions are on each area, what we need to improve and whom might be the key players to a successful season. I’ll show my tactical set up and check out the finances for the season. Once the season starts, I plan on updating each in game month with details I find relevant about the season. Thanks to anyone reading, this should be fun!


Edited by PGHJuice
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Roster & Tactics Overview

After looking at the Chelsea roster, I’m a bit torn on how I feel about what I’m working with. A nice mix of youth and potential, contrasted by “old” age and strong veteran presence by many other players. There are a few areas of upgrade that I can instantly see, and I’m a bit petty to another issue that I have. I’ll get to those in a minute. Let’s get to the overview.  




GK has been a sensitive subject for many Chelsea fans over the last few seasons, but I think we’re in safe hands with Mendy in the net. The competition would only be in the hands of Mendy and Kepa, but I much prefer the way Mendy commands his area, and his GK reach is far superior to that of Kepa. We’ll start the season with Mendy but look at Kepa if he struggles for whatever reason. 




The defense is one of the stronger parts of our squad, especially with the way I want my team to line up and play. In terms of CB’s, Zouma and Silva are my preferred choices due to their exceptional marking and tackling abilities. I like big, strong CB’s and these two fit the bill perfectly. Antonio Rudiger looks VERY good as well, and I could see he and Zouma forming an excellent partnership if Silva struggles in his age for whatever reason. I like to play with Wing Backs in almost all my formations, and boy oh boy to I have wing back options here. Reece James and Marcos Alonso seemed to be the paciest and most technically gifted, so they’ll most likely slot in as my starters. I do like Ben Chillwell when we need to go a bit more defensive, while Azpilecueta and Emerson will provide excellent depth as supporting wing backs. 

Tomori and Sarr being on loan make me a bit sad, but we’ll survive for sure with what we have. Andreas Christensen is another great option of the bench at CB and can slot into a defensive midfielder role when necessary. Love this defense, hopefully they don’t let me down this year. 




STRONG group of midfielders in this Chelsea squad. Kante fits in perfectly as my dream DM. I fully expect him to bully the opposition attackers and provide a great cover for my center backs. Kai Haverts and Mateo Kovacic will most likely slot in as my CM’s. Lots of ball control, possession, and the ability to the attackers or make their own space and initiate an attacking move. Zyiech and Mount are great in the wide areas as attackers, while Hudson-Odoi looks to be one for the future, who will probably get lots of playtime this year. My main concern is Timo Werner. He’d be a decent CAM, but I most likely won’t be using one of those, and he’s not really an option on the wings. In terms of attack, well……




Well, here’s my biggest concern with this squad. The attack. Timo Werner is obviously the big signing of the summer, but I’m not completely sold on him. At this point, it looks like Tammy Abraham fits into my plans and style of play more than Werner at this point. I love his strength and technical ability in comparison. Plus, Tammy is English. (Petty, I know) 

Overall, I want more English players in the starting lineup, and I want a stronger core of attackers. Depending on how Tammy and Timo work out in the goal department, I very well may be looking to bring in another striker during the January transfer window. 





So heres the tacting that I’ll be running with (at least for the time being) 3 strong defenders at the back, while my wing backs are going to be great at supporting my wing backs down the flanks. Abraham will be huge to getting us goals this year, as I’m hoping he can use his size and strength to win balls in the box, or, to make runs through the defense and receiving balls from my very skilled midfielders. To me, this tactic and lineup plays to our strengths as a total unit. If you guys have any suggestions or changes you’d make to the tactic or lineup, please feel free to drop your ideas! 

Up next, I’m going to play out the first month of the season and I’ll be back with an update!

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Chelsea F.C. September 2020 Update

What a first month of the season it’s been for Chelsea! Both in the Prem and in the first domestic cup tournament of the season, the Carabao Cup. Let’s look at how we’ve been performing, and then the results of the month. 



 As you can see, we’re scoring and shooting the ball well above average in the league, and it seems my decision to start Abraham up front is paying off as our scoring prowess is making even the heaviest of hitters in the league jealous. The area I thought we’d be strongest; our defense has been decent at best. The biggest takeaway are the amount of headers being scored from corners by Kurt Zouma and Antonio Rudiger (Who is quietly making a case to be in the first team due to his performance with Silva being injured) 



As you can see, we were undefeated for the entire month of September. Taking all 3 premier league games, and both games in the cup. I was secretly hoping we would lose to Man City in the 3rd round, but of course we pulled it out. Our season got off to a flyer with a decimation of Leicester and Wolves. Thank goodness for our offense because we conceded 4 goals in the first two games, and I was not too impressed with our defending. We turned it on against Southampton, with Reece James FINALLY making his season debut after getting injured in the pre-season. All he did was go ahead and score the Premier League goal of the month, 11 minutes into his debut. Tammy Abraham has been on fire for us in the early going with 3 goals to his name, making every Blues fan forget the name of Timo Werner. Although I suspect Werner will be calling for more game time sometime very soon. 



Here are the standings and some stats from the first month of the season. As you can see, we top the league due to goal difference. Abraham is tied for 1st place in goals with 3, and Ziyech has been a revelation so far into his Chelsea career, leading the league in assists. His hard work has paid off tenfold and he’s being recognized for his stellar play. 



I couldn’t be happier with this! POTM for Ziyech, with Tammy coming in 2nd place right behind him. Ziyech has been crucial to all our Prem wins, with 5 assists. Carving out pass after pass into the box from the wing and Chelsea are flying high! Hopefully we can continue our luck of good fortune and really carve out a top spot in the league! 



Edited by PGHJuice
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October 2020 Update 


What did we learn about this Chelsea team in the month of October? Well, we’re awful in the league, particularly on defense, but we seem to step our game up in the Champions League. The game against Brighton forced me to make some changes to our lineup, taking Mendy out of net in favor of Kepa. I was NOT happy with the work Mendy was doing in net, letting in absolute stinkers that should have not gone in. We had the games against Man U and Brighton in hand before Mendy let in some goals my grandmother could stop. The game against Villa was pathetic from an offensive standpoint, we couldn’t muster up ANYTHING. Unfortunately, Villa scored from a setpiece on a Tyrone Mings header in the 92nd minute to hand us the loss. The only bright spot was the draw against Liverpool with Christian Pulisic finally getting on the scoresheet for the first time this season. 




On the Brightside, we’re doing great in the Champions League so far, winning both our games to top the group going into November. It doesn’t get any easier with a few games against Bayern left, but I can’t complain about the start we’ve gotten off too. 





Analyzing our offensive and defensive efficiency, it’s clear where we’re going wrong. The defense is letting us down. We concede quite a few number of shots, but when teams find shots against us, they usually go in. Our GK situation is awful, and Silva has lost her starting position due to him not being able to keep up with faster attackers on opposing teams. The offense, particularly Tammy Abraham and Ziyech who are leading the line spectacularly. 



It’s getting rough in the league. We’re not in any spot for Europe and we’re losing to teams we should not be losing too. The matches against Brighton and Villa hurt extremely bad and we’d be in a much better spot in the table if we took those two games. Hopefully we can match our Champions League play and start to climb up the table. 




Made some changes to the lineups and tactics. First, I’ve moved the defensive line back to help with the GK shortcomings. Unfortunately, Kai Havertz has sustained an injury that will keep him out for 5 weeks. That surely doesn’t help. Marcos Alonso and Thiago Silva have fallen out of favor with me and have been replaced in the lineup. Timo Werner is having me consider putting him on the left side, OR, going to a two-strike partnership with Tammy up top. We’ve got to do something to be better. 

Will play the month of November and be back with an update! Hopefully we put in a much better performance in the league. 

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