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[FM23] Deportivo La Coruna: Redemption and a return to the top flight?


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Training and injuries Jan 2024

I've been doing my own training for the first time and I think I've been overdoing it.


It's the 5 injuries (not the virus) in training that worries me. In light of this, I've added in more rest time and we'll see if that has an impact.


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Feb 2024


February got off to a really good start. Once I saw this B- rating, I thought I'd chance my arm at a contract renewal. Lo-and-behold, they agreed!


I also started my Continental C licence, so things are looking up on a personal level.


We went 6 wins in a row before a loss to Mirandes saw just our second league defeat of the season.

Coruna 3-1 Cacareno


It was all about Zalazar in this game, with two really good goals and another nice long range goal. We did switch off after going 3 up and were just quite lucky they didn't have much about them to push on from the own goal we gifted just before half time.

Aviles 1-3 Coruna


A game where we go behind, but come back storming through in the end. I did think we might not get the winning goal despite several clear cut chances, but we ended up winning by 2 clear goals. Our xG was 3 and most of the was Quiles, who really should have had 5!

Coruna 2-1 Fuenlabrada


We come from behind to win this one with a goalkeeper penalty. Sene scored a great goal from the edge of the area after we'd fallen behind early. Although they dominated the first 10 minutes, once we got our equaliser we were comfortable.

Mirandes 1-0 Coruna


100% our worst performance of the season. We were completely toothless throughout and they deserved the win. They were relegated last season, and it's only our second loss of the season, but we do need to improve.


We were 9 points clear until that loss. 

March 2024

Next month seems to have 5 winnable games, but you never know! If we won all 5 we'd be well on our way to the league title I think.



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March 2024


Overall, a really successful month, especially the Celta Vigo B result which I was nervous about before the game.

Coruna 3-0 Rayo


Another hattrick from Quiles, who does seem to score all his goals in fits and starts. The red card made this pretty simple!

Badajoz 0-4 Coruna

I'd grown slightly worried about our away form, but we answered my concerns here with our excellent finishing. Their xG is still a concern, but to be honest Badajoz aren't a bad side.


Santamaria obviously doesn't want Quiles having all the fun, picking up two good goals from crosses after Villares smashed in from 25 yards for the opener. 

Racing Rioja 0-0 Coruna


We should have won this game, but we didn't lose, so at least that's something. I did play a reserve CM pairing and Ares and Narro didn't play their best games. 

Coruna 2-0 Celta Vigo B


A really important victory after our draw against Rioja. Both finishes were tapped in from crosses, which I like as it shows us stretching them.

Coruna 2-1 San Fernando


Just before this game, Santamaria was injured which is probably him out for most of the remainder of the season. A huge shame as he's probably on for player of the season.


This was a tough game against a side battling for the play-offs. It was pretty even but we just edged it through a great Olabe strike once Mella slipped him into the area. 


That saw us seal a playoff place. Algeciras won all 5 games this month, so the gap is just 4 points.




Win, win, win - that's what we need! Algeciras are close now. 



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Youth intake 2024

I realised as the youth intake came in that I'd nicknamed the 23 intake as 22, so I quickly edited those.


This is what I got in the intake. My striker is there as is my CM, but precious little else.


Dives into tackles is not ideal, but Lavin looks a potential player. Lots to work on, but only decisions looks a significant problem at the moment, although I always like players to work hard and have a good teamwork score.

In terms of attributes, the two goalkeepers are so bad they score better as BWM's!


Thanks @shaunvamos, I saw your post with the youth set out like this and now have formulas set up to automatically calculate all of this for me when I paste the youth intake - much quicker than my previous method! Not sure why I didn't think of it :lol:. Now if I can do something for my normal squad that also incorporates growth but still doesn't involve manually copying players from one screen to another...

Lavin is the only green player, and I've taken the decision not to sign any horrible personalities or anyone with less than 3 star potential as 3 stars is currently second division standard (just) and I don't want to be there long anyway. I've actually only done the attribute analysis after letting a few go; the only regret is Mourino who looks a good winger and I don't think I signed him from memory. 


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April 2024


This month looks a bit tighter on paper and it was.

Coruna 3-1 Racing de Ferrol


Another recovery from a goal down, we may have won 3-1 but I really wasn't sure until Quiles got his second. Ares played really well on the right wing as the inside forward on support duty here with two excellent crosses which earned him the POM award.

CD Coria 1-1 Coruna

Algeciras lost the last game to give us a 7 point advantage, but we immediately reduced that to 5 here with a poor draw.


Just the 7 shots on target and we just weren't convincing enough in front of goal.


We are missing Santamaria; Kevin really isn't good enough to start games meaning Rodrigo and Quiles have to be on it every game which is hard to do.

Merida 2-3 Coruna

At 2-0 down, I was really worried: our next game is Algeciras at home and we'd have been down to just 2 points between us.


Ares and Zalazar came on at half time and eventually, eventually, our quality told and they both scored fantastic goals. Ares slotted in after a great through ball from Rodrigo but it wasn't an easy finish from the edge of the box with just the keeper to beat. We entered the final minute with me willing my team on, frustrated at the possibility of two away draws in a row even if we had come from 2 down at half time. We won a free kick and Zalazar stepped up to score from 25 yards; I very nearly did a knee-slide celebration. I certainly went to bed happier than I had been at half time!


Really it's just down to the 2 teams now, but I include Celta to show the gap we've both got to third.

Up next


If we beat Algeciras I think we win the league. A draw and we should do anyway. A loss and it's game on.


Everything is pointing in the right direction and crucially our next two games are at home, giving us a greater chance to dispatch 2nd and 8th placed teams. Linares are 4th so we don't really want to be leaving it until that game in June! 

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May and June 2024

Coruna 6-2 Algeciras

An absolutely wild game which showcased both our talent, but also Algeciras' offensive capabilities as they could and should have had more even before their late penalty consolation.


Zalazar has been immense this season, with another double here. We were so good going forward!

Coruna 4-1 Zamora

Another really impressive attacking display. Santamaria is back and back with a bang. We even missed a penalty!


10 goals in two games and we've really turned it on just when it matters, because...



C.D. Coria who held us, also hold Algeciras and that's enough for the title with 3 games to spare.

I know we were clear favourites (two seasons in a row really!) but I'm so pleased to have actually done it and won the league. Step one of this save is over.

I used the last three games of the season to really assess some young and reserve players and give minutes to the younger ones.

Alcorcon 2-4 Coruna


We were in party mode by the time we were 4-0 up to be honest. Zalazar again gets 2 goals. Lavin made his debut to become our youngest player.


We celebrated in style!

Coruna 1-0 Unionistas 


Not a classic, title winning hangover perhaps? Quiles came on for Lavin to win the 3 points.

Linares 1-1 Deportivo


Yes, we should have won. Do I care? No, because we've won the league and Lavin scores his first goal at the tender age of 15.



Final league table


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End of season performance 2023/24

Player performance:



Mackay was our goalkeeper for all but the 1 cup game and he did a solid job, saving exactly what was expected of him. He broke our record for clean sheets and also scored 6 goals himself taking himself to 12 career goals. Sousa is still on two.





All but one defender has an average rating above 7 which is great. Our Rb's Trilli and Blas contributed 11 assists between them which is excellent work, while the formers progressive passes are very high at 8.65 a game. Defensively, our centre backs are all doing well, winning key tackles and intercepting the ball well. I am a little concerns over headers, especially Sanchez and Barcia who are both shorter and only win 75% of their headers. I wonder if that'll affect us in the next division.



Olabe and Villares stand out for me, both contributing assists and goals (6 and 5 contributions) and doing their defensive jobs well. Sene looks okay on paper with good numbers of progressive passes, but he hasn't made the impact I wanted. I prefer his stats to Isi, who we are likely to let go, while Val has done a fine job, if nothing on Villares



On the wing, Zalazar stands out with 12 goals and 5 assists, as does Mella who had 12 goal contributions. Interestingly Soriano creates just as many chances as either of them, and his open play key passes show he's had a strong role as a squad player. Ares did well when coming in late on with 6 goal contributions in 687 minutes, but Narro and Peke disappointed me really. I don't need 6 wing options and so the latter two are likely to leave.

Santamaria was superb this season. 17 goals and 11 assists won him player of the season. However, it's Rodrigo with the Young player of the season award I'll have regrets over, as I failed to sign him to a new contract before January and we're losing a player who got 12 goals and 4 assists and looked so good at this level. Drat that oversight! Quiles is inconsistent but still got 19 goals and Lavin is one to look out for next season I think. Kevin played his part, but I think that this is his level. With that in mind we're going to be short of strikers!


Team of the year


Not sure how Val got in over Olabe, but otherwise this is probably right. 

Club development


We pick up some extra fans online, and have a very good number of season ticket holders.


Our finances should at least be boosted by sponsorship (£3.9 million last year) plus I believe you get some TV money at this level.


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Contracts and looking ahead

I immediately took advantage of promotion and our new wage budget to tie several players to new contracts.


Tono has been really good as an inverted wing back and he'll stay as an experienced player to guide us on our next steps. He lowered his demands by £4k per week which was great too.


Quiles has got just short of 20 goals in each season, so he's guaranteed at this level. I'm sure he can do it in La Liga 2 too. £8k a week is decent for his level.


Mella was superb this year and we needed to have a bigger release clause on him. Those wages are tiny too.


Trilli demanded more money, but he's worth it.


There's a few others out of contract such as MackayVarelaIsi and Kevin, but I'm going to analyse attributes first, then sort out my squad depth plans and initial transfer plans before making a decision on them. Half the B team are out of contract and to be honest, until it's in a playable league I don't see a use in signing players for Deportivo Fabril. 

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Contracts and squad July 2024

I took a bit of time, but found a squad planner view and combined this with attribute growth tracking for a much improved visual squad planning tool.



None of the players I didn't sign to contracts have left the club when their contracts expired, so we're left with Rios and Sanchez in the B squad as Mackay in the first team squad despite none of them being on anything other than a week-by-week contract. I've promoted Suarez to the first team squad as he's young (20) with potential and Mackay wanted £13k a week to play on a staff/ player contract. We can't afford that as we can't spend more than £165k a week and I'm not committing a huge amount to a 38 year old keeper. 




We're very light on depth at LB to be honest, and we either need a youth to come through or we need to buy a younger option at Tono is 34 and Varela is 29. I signed Varela to 2 years for £7k a week.




De la Fuente had his minimum fee release clause met and he wanted £25k a week (!!) to sign, so we took the £1.4 million profit and we've gone out and signed Saenz on a free. He is on big wages BUT he is 2 better at jumping than Fuente which I think will help, even if he isn't quite as good.




No real changes here. Puerto can't jump so he'll go out on loan, Azzaoui looks a potential prospect but he's a long, long way off first team football. 



No changes here. I've only included those who I'm not going to leave in the B team until they leave of their own volition. Curras is 21 so if I can get him a decent loan spell perhaps he'll develop enough to replace Blas as a backup.



Lots of players show some ability here, but realistically it'll be Villares and Val again next year.


Isi has been formally released, I think we'll add Camilo who is on trial, but hasn't joined yet. Gomes is an interesting option in a number of positions. I've signed him to a 2 year deal and he can feature as an RPM or on either wing as he's left footed.




Loads of options here, I gave Kevin and Delgado new deals, but will send them out on loan, while Gomez will be wildcard option. 



I'm unsure about Soriano as his determination is something like 2, so Gomez has maybe an opportunity here to supplant him.



I'm really struggling to find another DLF, so after the attribute analysis and seeing Narro top of the list, I thought I'd trial him there over pre-season. Rubio will go out on loan and Diez will be used in cup games perhaps, although his finishing is 7.



I'm going to take a big risk I think and play Lavin as a backup to Quiles. The issue here is Rodrigo is gone, and he played there quite a bit last season. If Quiles has poor form, it could go very wrong, but for young players to get good you need to play them!

After all, the board only want us to survive.


We've made one really interesting coaching addition as well!


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On 03/02/2023 at 20:58, SixPointer said:

Congratulations on the promotion! Well on your way to becoming superdepor again!

Thank you, step one is done! It'll be really interesting to see how competitive we are in La Liga 2 as there are some big teams here.

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On 10/02/2023 at 06:50, Jtomsett11 said:

Contracts and squad July 2024

I took a bit of time, but found a squad planner view and combined this with attribute growth tracking for a much improved visual squad planning tool.



None of the players I didn't sign to contracts have left the club when their contracts expired, so we're left with Rios and Sanchez in the B squad as Mackay in the first team squad despite none of them being on anything other than a week-by-week contract. I've promoted Suarez to the first team squad as he's young (20) with potential and Mackay wanted £13k a week to play on a staff/ player contract. We can't afford that as we can't spend more than £165k a week and I'm not committing a huge amount to a 38 year old keeper. 




We're very light on depth at LB to be honest, and we either need a youth to come through or we need to buy a younger option at Tono is 34 and Varela is 29. I signed Varela to 2 years for £7k a week.




De la Fuente had his minimum fee release clause met and he wanted £25k a week (!!) to sign, so we took the £1.4 million profit and we've gone out and signed Saenz on a free. He is on big wages BUT he is 2 better at jumping than Fuente which I think will help, even if he isn't quite as good.




No real changes here. Puerto can't jump so he'll go out on loan, Azzaoui looks a potential prospect but he's a long, long way off first team football. 



No changes here. I've only included those who I'm not going to leave in the B team until they leave of their own volition. Curras is 21 so if I can get him a decent loan spell perhaps he'll develop enough to replace Blas as a backup.



Lots of players show some ability here, but realistically it'll be Villares and Val again next year.


Isi has been formally released, I think we'll add Camilo who is on trial, but hasn't joined yet. Gomes is an interesting option in a number of positions. I've signed him to a 2 year deal and he can feature as an RPM or on either wing as he's left footed.




Loads of options here, I gave Kevin and Delgado new deals, but will send them out on loan, while Gomez will be wildcard option. 



I'm unsure about Soriano as his determination is something like 2, so Gomez has maybe an opportunity here to supplant him.



I'm really struggling to find another DLF, so after the attribute analysis and seeing Narro top of the list, I thought I'd trial him there over pre-season. Rubio will go out on loan and Diez will be used in cup games perhaps, although his finishing is 7.



I'm going to take a big risk I think and play Lavin as a backup to Quiles. The issue here is Rodrigo is gone, and he played there quite a bit last season. If Quiles has poor form, it could go very wrong, but for young players to get good you need to play them!

After all, the board only want us to survive.


We've made one really interesting coaching addition as well!


Thats one fall from grace, still a good addition tho

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Pre-season July - August 2024


I know pre-season means nothing, but we've played a number of La Liga 2 sides and in Real Valladolid we beat a La Liga side, so I'm relatively confident we'll secure our safety at this level relatively easily. We start off playing some big sides, so it'll be a good test of where we are. The bookies think a lower-mid table finish, and while I've said mid-table to the players, I think we can do a little better perhaps.


We've signed two additional player to ensure we have 3 players who can play in the CM roles and also I couldn't resist another striker.


I liked this guy because his positioning and tackling is good as is his work rate, so for a ball winning midfielder he'll be fine (except for his marking) while he also has first touch 16 and vision 15 and is reasonably physical, so I think a roaming playmaker role also suits him.

He'll be second choice DLP and third choice BWM. 




And then I also signed Mraz on a free transfer. He's more a backup to Quiles than a DLF, but I coudn't resist adding his quality and I don't think it'll stop Lavin from getting some decent game time.




Overall our transfers look like this:


And after a very successful season ticket season, we're looking good for the finances too.



It does seem much harder on this version to get upgrades as despite the money in the bank, it's a no to any improvements.

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August 2024


Coruna 5-1 Sporting Gijon


What a start! Quiles started as Mraz wasn't fit and boy did he respond. A superb angled volley started it off, and his other 3 goals were all clinical finishes. Camilo came on after 60 minutes and showed his class with two brilliant through balls for 2 assists on his debut.

Malaga 0-2 Coruna


Mraz wasn't to be outdone, and I have to say the first goal involved another superb ball from Camilo to Gomez, who also impressed on his debut for the club. Mraz then finished impressively from a cross from Quiles. I believe we might be okay for fire-power this season!

Coruna 2-0 Leganes


Gomez was brilliant from the left wing in the last game, and this time it was Mella, with a great run and ball across the goal-mouth for Quiles 5th of the season, and then a fantastic finish from the left corner of the area into the top right hand corner. Lovely stuff!

Coruna 3-1 Real Zaragoza


Wow! 12 points from 12. Gomez has impressed in his two games and Mraz also finished nicely from a Lavin ball in which bounced around. In between Lavin got his first goal of the season, the 16 year old finishing after a mix-up between keeper and defender. I've been starting him as DLF and Mraz as AF and switching them round quickly as I've realised I promised Mraz he'd played as an AF. I'm not sure if it'll work to meet his promise, but it's working in terms of results as we rotate the squad fully (bar the keeper) for each game at the moment.


Lovely early view from the top of the table. I'm not sure how long it'll last, but I don't think we need to worry about relegation!



In my head Levante are a decent side, but they're currently bottom. Rayo were favourites before the season while Racing are 5th and Algeciras beat us away last season, so who knows how tough these fixtures are!


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September 2024

If August was perfect, we came back to reality in September, perhaps not with a bang, but we at least had a bit of a bump.


5 points from 4 games isn't bad really, but it's obviously not a good as 4 wins in 4! We did go behind in all 4 games which may have something to do with it, so we need to take a look at that.

Algeciras 1-3 Coruna


Our only win of the month, and a really good response to going behind saw us equalise within a minute of their opener. Mella then slotted in before Mraz wrapped it up. As you can see from the match story below, we really accelerated once we'd woken up with their opener.


Levante 1-1 Coruna


To be honest, we didn't deserve a point here and were outplayed until subs Quiles and Santamaria linked up to allow Quiles to equalise. I'm not too upset by a draw though.

Coruna 1-1 Racing de Santander


If we didn't deserve a draw in the previous game, then boy should we have come away with more here. Mraz equalised with a deflected goal, but we missed 2 complete sitters beside that as we just weren't able to take advantage of having 11 men against 10. Frustrating!

At this point we 20 games unbeaten, a new record for the club.

Rayo Vallecano 2-0 Coruna


Two headed finishes saw us lose for the first time this season, and lose top spot to Rayo in the process. To be honest, they were much the better side and I would have expected us to lose this, but the manner of the last three games without a win leaves a slightly sour taste in the mouth.


We're not going to go down, and if we can stay in and around the play-off spots going forward I'd be delighted. Anything that sees us solidify at this level is a plus really.


Three of these games are against top 8 sides and Oviedo are 15th. Not the easiest run of games!




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October 2024

I started off October giving Mella a new contract, as Leicester are showing major interest. His minimum fee release clause is now £11 million higher than it was for minimal increase in wages. If he goes, I want it to pay for the next couple of seasons.



Results wise, this month was pretty poor.


Girona 7-1 Coruna

Umm, yeah.


This was just as goal number 5 went in. So far they'd scored 2 corner goals (same as last game) and three long range efforts.

It didn't get much better, but we did win the second half! 



This was a real freak of a game I feel, but there's some real concerns around defending set pieces and Suarez in goal had a shocker for the last two long range strikes. I think Mackay will come in for a couple of games and some hefty fines are needed for poor performances.

Coruna 0-1 Oviedo


Not good. Worryingly, we're creating very little. They scored a direct free kick to add injury to insult from the last game. I made 5 subs at half time and then Santamaria got injured, so this one was a write off from then on. When I look through my team, work rate is quite low and I feel we're being outfought at the moment. Not sure where I put this right, but we'll use our 4-4-2 formation for the next couple of games just to try and stop the rot.

Coruna 2-1 Las Palmas


When we conceded first again, I feared the worst,  but we came back to win for the first time in 6 games. We needed a keeper penalty to seal the 3 points though as we remain pretty wasteful.

Ibiza 2-1 Coruna


Ibiza have moved top, but I feel really cheated by this loss. Okay, we scored a penalty and missed one to equalise, but we also played really well and both penalties replaced what would have been clear goal scoring opportunities. We seem to be a little less shaky now, and we didn't concede 7 so that's good right?


We're in fourth, but I'm looking down the table at the moment. Luckily, we have some decent games coming up in November, especially against Albacete.


Finances and club matters


A £750k loss a month would probably see us just about break even by the end of the season and then season ticket sales are likely to prop up our finances to similar levels, so we look roughly sustainable at the moment, although I suspect Mella will go at some point and that'll boost us.


One of the originals has left our staff team, lured by the prospect of management. It'll be interesting to see how he does.


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Nov 2024


This is a game of fine margins. We look much more assured again, but we cannot hit the back of the net enough to make things comfortable and it cost us against Andorra.

Coruna 1-0 Albacete


Gomez came on to score a fantastic free kick as we toiled for a winner. We were definitely the better side, but just could not finish our chances. I'm glad to get the win as I was really starting to worry after last month, even if the last two games were pretty good.

Hercules 0-1 Coruna

An away win is nice, our first won since September. 


Considering we were ahead from a Quiles header after 3 minutes, this game became quite tense as we missed a whole host of chances and then really allowed them back into the game in the second half.


However, when you consider this was really our second XI as I targeted the home games this month, this is a great result.

Coruna 3-2 Burgos



Aside from their penalty and our poor play that led to their 76th minute goal, we were really in control here and should and could have won it by more. Okay, the missed chances we had aren't really good bar a couple, but we got into such good positions and then allowed the opposition back to make tackles/ blocks way too often. Still, 3 wins in a row is brilliant considering we lost 7-1 last month.

Andorra 2-2 Coruna


A frustrating end to the month as we threw away a 2-0 lead and had two big misses before and after their second goal. Their goals were sloppy mistakes and then from our corner, so this feels almost like a loss except for the fact that we've recovered our form overall and look like a team again. Varela's goal was a superb long range effort after really clever play to open up space, and Mraz scored from a corner which isn't very common for us, so there's positives here.


If you'd have said after 16 games we'd be second, I would have bitten your hand off. If you'd have said after the 7-1 debacle we'd be second in a month, I'd have had some serious questions about your prediction. We conceded nigh on a third of all our goals in that one game. As it is, we're right in the fight for that automatic promotion spot. 



Three games here against bottom half teams, but two of them are away, followed by the cup game against lower league opposition. I'm not sure how to play this in terms of rotation to be honest, but if we're still 2nd at the end of the month then I'll start to take our promotion bid seriously. We're a bit too up and down now for my liking.

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December 2024


A successful month, but also a pretty tight month with just the one clean sheet in the cup.

Huesca 1-1 Coruna


This was frustrating to be honest, as we created a few clear cut chances, with new signing Tolaj having 1xG himself from 3 chances and getting a debut goal. I'll go into more depth on his signing towards the end of the post, but I've signed him as I expect one of my strikers to leave in January.

Deportivo 4-2 Granada


A bizarre game where we probably should have lost, but were just really clinical. Quiles started it off with a good header, before Narro finished just as I was getting really worried about their offensive play. We then went 3-0 up when Mella put a beautiful through ball/ cross through from the left for Santamaria to nod home. Granada scored two before half time, but Quiles then scored again and we saw the rest of the game out. I think the balance with my wing back (a) on the right hand side and BWM (d) on the right of CM is slightly off, as while it looks great going forward we're really over committing at times. I'm testing out dropping to full back (s) and seeing if that has any impact. I was really pleased with Narro scoring here as I've decided to give him a run of games as first choice right winger Zalazar hasn't produced much at all this season and has 0 goal contributions to his name.

Tenerife 2-3 Coruna


My 100th game in management was another win and a well-deserved one I felt. We started out with our 4-4-2 but quickly changed to 4-2-4 when we went 1-0 down from a corner. I'd played my second string and made 5 changes at the 50 minute mark, including bringing on Quiles who got 2 goals to help us turn it around, while Narro continued his impact with 2 assists from the bench. 


Their second goal as you can see from their goalscorer, was identical to the first. It made me check our corners as we had significant problems against Girona.


Not good, we've conceded 5. I've also realised that only 5 sides have conceded more than us this season. I know we conceded 7 in one game, but this highlights a problem to me. I've taken a look at corner routines to try and reduce the damage coming from those as a first step.

Still, 7 points from 9 is good enough to keep us in second and only just behind Ibiza. As we hit the winter break, I can't be too unhappy as a promoted side!




Only just deserved to win this one, but it was a really nice ball over the top from Tono and excellent finish from 16 year old Lavin. We also gave a debut to Padilla from the 23 intake.


He didn't play that well, but he's developing nicely and will play in the next cup game too.

Early transfer dealings




Soriano did well last season, but we've got an abundance of wingers and his lack of strength and determination have always bothered me. He also plays with the wrong foot for us. He is potentially good enough for this league, but I'm cutting my losses as even if we lose Mella as I think we will, there's players with higher potential and ones I prefer to recall.



Puerto lacks the physicality in my opinion to play a role at CB for us, especially as my non-ball playing CB is usually my taller player, or at least fast. I wanted him to go on loan, but nobody wants him, so I've decided to sell him for very little in the hope that regular football aids his development with the potential for us to buy him later on if he's good enough and develops (I suspect he won't). 

I'll probably also look to sell Sene as I've come to see we don't need 3 players in any position really, and if we do then one of those should be an U19 youth player who can be promoted if we need. We still have 5 wingers (Mella, Narro, Gomez, Zalazar, Ares) and 5 strikers (see below), but I'll be amazed if Mella doesn't leave due to the interest from a Premier League side in Leicester.



Tolaj joins us on a free transfer, with the wages spent on Puerto and Soriano covering him. He's not ideally suited to either advanced forward (attribute score 68) or deep-lying forward (65), but he's got pretty good attributes otherwise and room to grow. I've mainly signed him as Quiles has a £3.5 million release clause and is wanted by Eibar in La Liga. I suspect he'll be bought and then Mraz will start next to Santamaria and Tolaj will then be able to pick up games next to Lavin. At worst, he's a free transfer on low wages and will then be sold for his release fee (£2million) and we'll reinvest.

January fixtures


Although I'll do a run through of performances before I play any more games to assess if anyone else needs to be promoted/ demoted/ sold, these are the fixtures for January. 


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Dec 2024 winter break performance analysis



On paper it doesn't look like Suarez is doing a good job, but he is 20 and developing so I'm happy to keep playing him. The 17% gap in expected saves is worrying though. To be fair, apart from one shocking game he's not conceded too many I thought he should have saved.



I was interested to see if you could tell that Trilli and Blas play as wing backs whereas Tono and Varela are inverted, but the only real indications are the dribbles and progressive passes which are much higher for my wing backs, even though in chances created Tono and Trilli are the higher ones. Trilli has 4 assists this season, but he also makes more key tackles, key headers and wins possession back more so it's no wonder he has the highest average rating.



I exported this data to excel as it's easier to filter players. There's not a whole load to read into this. Lapena and Sanchez play as a central defender, but it seems to me that Sanchez is the more successful, including in the air which is surprising as he has 11 for jumping. Saenz and Barcia play as the ball player, with Barcia suffering from a much lower average rating, perhaps due to his low headers? His clearance and key passes are impressive though... I'm much less able to make decision on my centre backs from statistics to be honest and find it easier watching in games. 



I've been a bit worried about Camilo since his great start with 2 assists (his only two) in his first sub appearance, but actually his stats hold up well against Olabe who just happens to have had more of the chances he's created leading to goals.

Val isn't as effective at winning the ball as Villares, but he intercepts it more and moves the ball forward more. Interestingly he has the highest points/ game ratio here. 



Narro comes in second for creating chances and assists and expected assists behind Mella, so it shows the dividends of my decision to bring him back in to the fold. Gomez and Ares are having mixed seasons to be honest, with 1 assist and 2 goals each. Ares wins the ball back a lot, whereas Gomez isn't doing that or creating much. Zalazar is having a pretty woeful time of it this season, although he leads the way on progressive passes and is second for key passes, so perhaps he's just been unlucky.



Quiles is our standout player with 12 goals and a great conversion rate of 27%. His Xg is 6, so he's significantly outperfoming it. Mraz is also outperforming his xG, but he's less clinical. Santamaria has 3 goals and 4 assists but he's started just 8 times due to injury, so that's had a big impact. Lavin has done well with 3 goals in 737 minutes, while Tolaj has played too little to judge at this point.

Overall comments

There's no real shockers here, although I'm surprised by how well CB Sanchez is doing and how poorly Barcia is doing. I need to keep a close eye on my wingers as behind Mella there's nobody standing out over a period of time and we do have some performers out on loan. A lot depends on who we lose in the transfer window, but I've no real desire to make any signings unless somebody pops up who is too good to say no to.


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Congrats on promotion.

It looks like you’ve built a decent team, though playing youngsters is probably messing with your defence a little. Definitely nothing to complain about either, especially if those youngsters become stalwarts of your team :thup:

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On 20/02/2023 at 11:07, Sonic Youth said:

Congrats on promotion.

It looks like you’ve built a decent team, though playing youngsters is probably messing with your defence a little. Definitely nothing to complain about either, especially if those youngsters become stalwarts of your team :thup:

Thank you! It feels like the youngsters aren't quite up to it having now played January and a little bit of Feb. That's okay though, as I'm not expecting promotion this year after promotion last year. It's about investing time in the right youngsters I think and I'm not sure I've got that completely right currently.

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Youth intake preview


I know from plenty of other threads that there's a disparity between the intake preview and intake, but if this is anywhere close we're in for a fantastic intake. I'd love a left wing back/ full back, as we're very short there throughout the squad.


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Jan 2025


This wasn't a good end to December/ start to January - I was planning on loaning Sene out but suddenly both our BWM are injured for the month meaning we'll shift Camilo across and may need Sene to play a role. We also lost CB Sanchez and had a number of other injuries throughout the month and I think it's affected us.


Two wins and two losses in the league doesn't tell the full story of some unlucky losses and undeserved wins. We were briefly top before the Malaga loss. The loss to Barcelona is the second time we've faced them in the third round of the Copa del Rey and we put in a good show.

Coruna 0-1 Castilla


We were Fm'd here. An absolute classic. We're still not particularly clinical. That was our first defeat in 7 though, which is great for our first season in La Liga 2.

Sabadell 1-3 Coruna

Not a convincing win really, with Sabadell getting plenty of chances. I was pleased Lavin and Tolaj got on the scoresheet, while Barcia scored a 25 yard screamer, a great goal from the CB.


Lugo 0-1 Coruna'


This was a lucky one. We certainly did not dominate after they went down to 10 men and to be honest we were seriously lucky to come away with 3 points. We went 4-5-1 to try and stop them dominating but it didn't really work, but was less worrying than our midfield in the 4-2-4 and 4-4-2 we rapidly transitioned from. 

Coruna 2-4 Barcelona


A great game and one we actually played really well in, going forward at least. Lavin was superb, finishing a poor pass from a Barce centre back for his goal, but also contributing an assist from a driving run. I'm trying not to play the 16 year old too much, and I'm a bit concerned his attribute growth hasn't been great so far, but otherwise he's had a decent season.

The big cost from this game was the injury to Trilli, as Blas just isn't as good. 2-3 weeks might not seem that long, but I'm still concerned.


Sporting Gijon 0-2 Coruna


After our last away performance, I was really chuffed with this as we scored a free-kick, then kept them at bay before a late goal after switching to 4-5-1. Our best performance this month.

Coruna 2-3 Malaga

Closely followed by our worst performance. 


We do have a slight problem in the squad that our highest rating for jumping is 14, and we struggled here, conceding from a header from a free-kick (goal 1), then CB Lapena miss-timing a jump and allowing their striker a free run for goal 2 before we conceded a free header from a corner having fought back really well with two Tolaj goals. Very frustrating! I think I will be looking to bring in some big CBs in the summer!


More injury woes from this game as Quiles is out for 2-3 weeks.


The good news is we're still second, but underneath the two wins lie some concerns about conceding from headers and not finishing our chances plus a few injuries to key players racking up. We've lost 2 games a home in a row so we need to rectify that.


This is quite a tough set of fixtures. If we can take 6 points from these I'd probably be happy as we're overachieving by being 2nd.

Transfer window

We didn't see any outgoings in the end, but a couple of players are unhappy. Mraz was signed with the promise to play as an advanced forward which hasn't happened as Quiles started so well and Lavin needs minutes and isn't suited to DLF. 


He has a release clause of £1.7million, but now with the window shut I probably should have taken the £1 million I was offered as I don't really want an unhappy striker at the club. 

Trilli also had a late bid and I rejected that as it was only worth about £700k, he's now unhappy but the squad are united behind me. He is one of our best players and will leave at some point but not for that amount and not on transfer deadline day.

I did let a couple of players leave on loan, including unambitious, lacking determination but high potential Yusuf. He just won't develop just training so it'll be good to see if some game time helps him. Curras, the RB was also another loan out as we see if he can develop.




Puerto and Soriano deals were agreed last year at some point. I don't think we'll miss either player.

Contract and finances

I got offered a new deal, which I accepted. I also started a new coaching course.



The Barcelona game also helped us to make a minor loss this month. It would be good if we stayed in the black ahead of the next lot of season ticket sales.



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Feb 2025


I'm starting to get a little concerned, as while we often look good and create chances, we've scored just 2 goals this month. One of those was a free-kick!

Leganes 1-0 Coruna



We started out with our 4-5-1 and we largely blunt until we went behind, after which we went 4-2-4 and really should have at least equalised. There's a couple of massive 0.3xG+ chances in there. 2 shots on target tell the whole story!

Coruna 1-0 Algeciras


Olabe scored his first of the season from a free kick (0.04xG) and then we managed to not score again. 7 on target this time, but some shocking finishing. I have 'chance conversion' on every week for training at the moment, so I'm not sure what else I can do.

Zaragoza 0-1 Coruna


We lost two strikers before this game, but I was going to play Quiles and Lavin anyway, so it didn't matter for this game. Neither of them was needed in the end as Barcia popped up for a really nice finish; that's the second time he scored from inverted wing back - he's been a good addition to the role as Tono is looking more and more past it now.


Did we really deserve to win? Probably not, but to be honest they're much better than us and I was absolutely delighted with our game management here as they were restricted to long shots.

Coruna 0-1 Levante


That's 2 strikers now out for the game against Levante and I've also agreed to sell Mraz in the summer... to Levante. To be honest, I'm not sure why I've agreed this deal as it's likely he'd have just stopped being upset, but he hadn't scored in months and is throwing terrible performances in and missing horrible chances, and I accepted without really thinking through us having to pay him for months more before he leaves.


This game really wound me up to be honest.


We missed the early penalty and then Lapena elbowed one of their players in the head shortly after they took an undeserved lead, but we really couldn't cope with 10 men.

The only bright news was a debut for another academy prospect. He didn't play very well though!


League table

Bizarrely, we're top!


Ibiza have imploded, meaning we keep the top spot. However. The form of the teams behind us is mostly better than ours and we've stopped scoring. I really think that with 11 games to go we're going to struggle to stay in the top 2. I may be wrong, and even if we finished 10th I'd say a good season overall, but there's definite cracks in our performances at the moment. I'm really struggling to keep the second string fit as I don't trust them to play much and this is also holding us back when our first team are injured.

Let's see what's coming up. Wow, 4 of the top 6 and a team fighting for their lives. I think this will be a tough month!


Finances and board support


We're slightly below where we were this time last year, but I'm not too worried by this as I'm already planning to lower some contracts by shipping players out who aren't performing and I think this will bring in a little bit of money as well as season ticket sales in the off-season.



The board think we're crushing it, but the fans are harder to please!

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March 2025

And this is what I thought was coming to be honest!


Our form in the second half of the season reads won 3, drawn 1, lost 7. Ouch! I'm not quite sure what's gone wrong, but suddenly we lack options when passing, there's no movement, we're not creating much at all and we're making really poor decisions. 

Racing de Santander 2-1 Coruna


Okay we were unlucky here perhaps, but we let them score from another corner and then some poor play letting a through ball in.


Quiles hasn't scored, neither has Mraz in 8 matches. That tells you how far we've gone off the boil.

Las Palmas 1-0 Coruna


We tried 4-4-2 and it just made things worse if anything!

I called a meeting after this.


Rayo Vallecano 3-2 Coruna


Even 2 penalties can't save us! We were poor and conceded again from corners. After this I adjusted our routines having done some internet research on better corner routines, as mine aren't working!


This was the analysis before the Girona game. Yes, not very good.


Coruna 1-1 Girona


I adjusted things again here and actually we weren't appalling. We weren't great either, but having a DLP and BWM seemed better with a shadow striker in front. We probably should have put them under more pressure after they went to 10 men, but it was nice to see us with some confidence.

Coruna 1-2 Ibiza

And back to losing.


My trial of shadow striker lasted 15 minutes until another brain-dead horror tackle ended our chances. Lavin scored from our one decent move in the match, otherwise we literally kept the ball and pass sideways with no movement. I'm honestly not sure how things have gone quite so wrong, but am going to try and go a little back to basics in the next games to see if we can at least end the season respectably.


We have 10 games to go as I always forget it's not a 20 team league. Surely we won't lose all of them?


I know we're in the playoffs but our form is just so bad I can't see it.

Good news - we haven't conceded any corners since I changed the routine :D

Also good news Jimenez has played quite well in his two games, 1 as sub and one starting. 


Obviously, we overachieved in the first half of the season. However, the way we've collapsed is really quite appalling and I'm now not sure we can cope playing 2 strikers, but we've also shown no offensive ability playing 1, so I'm really not sure which way to go. We are only 13 points above the relegation zone so we also need to not lose all our games, so I can't just experiment, play all my youth and see it out. I would say that this month is one of the less enjoyable football manager months I've had :lol:

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16 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

Oh my :eek:

Do you know where your chances are coming from?

Need a win for sure. Got my fingers crossed for you!

The issue is we haven't really made any chances at all! I'm going to try and drop one of the strikers back to see if having an AMC will just allow us to move the ball forward a little more easily. I don't like playing 4231 really as I love two strikers,  but it just isn't working. 

I'm about to play a couple of games so hopefully we'll pick up that win!

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April 2025


We started off the month not wanting to extend this record.

Oviedo 1-1 Coruna


Well, we extended the winless run, but we did get a draw. Not really deserved in any way shape or form, but at least our 4321 allowed us to score and only concede once!

Albacete 0-1 Coruna 


We've won! The same combination as the last game, a Zalazar through ball from AMC to Quiles and we win for the first time since the end of February. Also, we created many more chances here than we have been and could and should have scored more. I'll take the three points though.

Coruna 1-0 Hercules


What! Another win! It's a Quiles goal again, but this time from a Narro cross that sealed that 3 points. Suarez saved our bacon late on with a penalty save and again, we created two or three really good chances but just didn't finish them.

Burgos 0-2 Coruna


Ah, that winning feeling. It's 10 points from a possible 12 this month and 5 goals from Quiles who is really enjoying the improved service.  Again, we were clear winners.



Unbelievably I forgot to take a screenshot of the table but this had put us right back up to 4th and well within reach of 2nd. What a topsy turvy season!


These were the fixtures coming up, with some definitely winnable games here.


I think we're going to go into the red before the end of the season.

Edited by Jtomsett11
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Youth intake 2025


This looks great, but Silveira and Carcelen have terrible personalities.




I like the look of Kotsaridis to be honest, although his pace is of slight concern. 


We've signed all the ones with letter by their name and Konate after looking at the attribute scores. It will be interesting to see what the attribute growth is like for the terrible personalities as usually I find you need to play them regularly for them to develop.

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May and beginning June 2025


Coruna 0-1 Andorra


What I've realised is that our 4231 is too passive for playing at home, but working well away generally. Here we were undone by a great finish from the edge of the area, but looking at our xG we were nullified completely. 

Coruna 1-1 Huesca 


Yes, passive indeed. We scored here, but never looked like adding to it. To be fair, get rid of Huesca's penalty and neither did they. They did score from a free kick wide delivery which was infuriating as I've done really well to edit all set pieces except that one to make us much more sturdy (we still haven't conceded a corner since the changes). It was also old boy De la Fuente who got the goal. 

Granada 3-4 Coruna


What a bizarre game! A 3rd minute penalty and a 5th minute goal set them 2-0 up, and considering we're not scoring many goals at the moment I thought that was it. Then we scored a header from a free-kick, which may well be our first set piece goal of the season, before Quiles finished a lovely cross and Barcia scored another great edge of the area goal that he's becoming known for when he plays inverted wing back. Granada then equalised from a tap in (which explains their very high xG along with the penalty) before Narro sealed a winner in injury time. We're a machine away from home it seems!


Look how close it is at the top. We could realistically finish 2nd-10th with 3 games to play.

Coruna 1-1 Tenerife


Brilliant. Passive again, but this time with enough chances and a missed penalty. I stupidly left us more offensive after Quiles scored and we conceded on the break.


Two games to go, away to Castilla and then home to Lugo to see where we finish. Probably 6th. 


That certainly won't help, nobody is even close to his goals this season!

Castilla 1-0 Coruna


We huffed and we puffed, but we couldn't score. Santamaria just doesn't seem to be up to this level and Lavin isn't there yet. I see a complete overhaul in the striker department this summer bar Quiles to be honest. 

Coruna 2-1 Lugo


We might have been out of the running for 2nd and automatic promotion, but at half time we were also set to finish 8th. We turned it round by changing back to 4231 from 424 which just isn't working anymore.

That sees us finish 6th, just above Ibiza, who had an even worse second half of the season than us!


To be fair, when I checked this at one point we were P11, won 3, drawn 1 and lost 7, so we've come back reasonably well towards the end of the season.


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14 hours ago, Sonic Youth said:

Good to see results turned around :thup:

time for someone to step and be the hero of the playoffs with Quiles out injured!

Good luck against Girona.

Yes, unfortunately I've shot myself in the foot with recruitment in the striker position and have annoyed all our new players who now are leaving/ want to leave, meaning we're very short. To be honest, I feel I've really struggled with recruitment so far, so I'm going to do a post on it post-season and look at what the problem is. 

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Play-offs June 2025

Coruna 1-3 Girona


Infuriatingly I'd forgotten to load our new set pieces up to my adjusted tactic for home games and it came back to bite as the first conceded corner in months comes in the most important game. We equalised, but then just missed all our decent chances and they took theirs.

Girona 0-1 Coruna


The 5th minute red card gave us some real hope, which grew after Varela scored a brilliant free kick, but to be honest we just couldn't break them down and we let them have way too much possession. This 4231 seems to struggle when a team wants to just sit back as it lets them keep the ball endlessly and means we then can't build anything meaningful. 

Girona themselves would then lose to Sporting Gijon in the two-legged final.


So, we're in La Liga 2 for next season as well, which all things considered is absolutely fine! 6th place in our first season at this level after promotion, we have to take that overall despite the excellent first half of the season. 


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  • 2 weeks later...

End of season 2024/25 review

It's been a while since I've been able to play, but I have been able to reflect on the season and the things I've done well and not so well so far.

Final standings


Sporting Gijon beat Girona to go up over the two-legged play-off final. We finish 6th, which is disappointing compared to the midway point, but is our highest finish for a number of years as you have to go back to 2018-19 to see Deportivo finishing 6th in La Liga 2. Therefore, in that context, it's a great season.



Our increase in season tickets is excellent, as is our increased commercial income due to our promotion:


Player performance

I've played around with various stats views and in the end settled on a slight adjustment of the one I was already using.



Unfortunately, Mackay retired days before the play-offs and so I didn't retain his records for this year beyond his goals scored. Interestingly, Mackay scored 2 from 2 penalties in just 6 games, whereas Suarez missed 4 of his 7 penalties to have a 42.86% success rate. Not brilliant!


In terms of goalkeeping performance, Suarez is a little worrying, conceding 0.13 goals extra per game than expected. When I look at league averages, he conceded almost 4 goals more than he should have and is also one of the worst with his expected saves vs. saves ratio. However, bar a couple of horrendous performances, I've actually been quite pleased with what I've seen from him. We've conceded too many, but he's 22 and has only this season had football experience at this level.



I've tried to split my views into defensive and offensive key stats with separators to make life easier for me. My shorter CBs (Barcia and Sanchez) are definitely better at pressing and worse at heading. Saenz stands out for me in being better at winning headers and intercepting, while also being decent at tackling and blocks. In fact, for blocks in the league he's top. Lapena's key tackles also ranks him 8th in the league. However, we can't get past the fact we conceded quite a few goals this season and we need to improve in this area.

Our LBs (Varela and Tono and sometimes Barcia) and RBs (Trilli and Blas) played very different roles this year, but apart from progressive passes being higher for our wing back RBs, you can't really tell the difference between the pairs. Trilli is 10th for open play key passes this year in the league and is also very high for high intensity sprints, while his 5 assists are more than the other 3 combined. Varela also contributed 2 goals while Barcia got 3 from IWB towards the end of the season, so I'm looking forward to seeing how this role develops next year.



You might be able to argue we had too many players for 2 positions...

I don't think anyone has really done that well this year. Olabe has 7 assists but Camilo had more key passes and yet we barely played him towards the end of the season as he wasn't very reliable defensively (although his figures here don't look too bad). I think what I may be considering looking at this is that I should have given Camilo more of a chance in the RPM role, especially when considering his progressive passes. 

Attacking midfield


Mella stands out, indeed he's top of expected assists in the league with 8, he got 9 and scored 4 as well. Narro definitely did better than Zalazar on the right wing as an inside forward, his 5 assists and 3 goals all coming later on in the campaign. Ares and Gomez... I'm just not sure about either, yet technically they've done no worse than the others. However, as the going got tough, their performances definitely got worse. Room for improvement here.



Tolaj was the other striker we had, but I've let him go. Quiles stands out significantly, with 19 goals from 11 xG and a conversion rate way higher than the others. Once Mraz was unhappy he missed a load of chances, and Santamaria certainly hasn't covered himself in glory since earning a new £11k a week contract at the end of last year. Lavin is still 16, so 6 goals is great and he put in some superb performances in the cup. We're overstocked in this department now we're moving to a 4-2-3-1, but I'm not sure I want Quiles, Santamaria and Lavin as my only options with Mraz set to leave. Santamaria isn't really suited to a 4-2-3-1 and he's also on £11k a week, but he's got a great personality and is mentoring some younger players. 


It's interesting that Val gets into the team of the season despite me not favouring him that often. 


No complaints here, Barcia's brilliant goal from 25 yards also my favourite of the season.



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Signings and transfers update July 2025

I've really messed up with striker transfers in this game. Rodrigo was brilliant last season, but we lost him on a free as I forgot his contract was up for renewal. Mraz joined this year on a stupid promise I'd never fulfill and left, while Tolaj was signed on a free and also left due to unhappiness. While I've profited from the latter two, it made me want to consider my record on signings overall.



Tono - success - has now just retired from football after playing really well for us for 2 years. 

Martinez - failed loan spell

Rodrigo - success but failure in terms of me not renewing his contract

Varela - success, still with us.



Blas - limited success - has been a useful option

De la Fuente - success and then was sold in same season for £1.6 million release clause

Sene - failure



Saenz - success so far

Camilo - failure so far

Mraz - failure, but will gain £1.3million

Tolaj - failure, but did gain £925k


That makes me feel slightly better. However, I'm clearly struggling to find a striker to eclipse Quiles who has been our main player in all 3 seasons with Santamaria doing well in 2023/24. We also haven't improved the central midfield yet at all, whereas CB, RB and LB we've had reasonable success.


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Mella sale July 2025



Mella is definitely our best player, and when the board accepted an offer for £6 million from Wolfsburg, I offered him out for £8 million, plus a friendly and 50% next sale, which Newcastle agreed. They also then offered to loan him back to us which is great.


This is what he looked like on the day he sold. I'm unsure if he'll make it big, but he could net us some decent money in the future and £8 million now sees our bank balance rise to:


On the back of this, I immediately requested a few things, and mostly didn't get them, but did get a youth recruitment increase and an increase in coaches.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Attribute analysis July 2025

I've decoupled this from the squad planner as it keeps resetting and I was spending more time doing that than was necessary. It's a really good idea, but a poorly implemented feature that seems to lose your U19s from the list and add every trialee to all the positions they could possibly play. I have also done my summer shopping prior to doing the attribute analysis, so you'll see some new names that I'll introduce after.



Suarez made great progress last season and is well worthy of the number 1 spot. In the long term, Angueira and Vallejo could be good options; both will go out on loan this season to develop while Klaesson is a new signing for the backup spot.



Still using the IWB, Varela is 29 so no longer improving, but Williams is the newcomer who I hope will still improve. Barcia showed good development in this role towards the end of last year, while I don't have huge hopes for any of the other youngsters; Azzaoui is small (jumping 7) and slow (pace 7) which doesn't really show promise for full back or centre back roles.



Trilli hasn't really improved which is a shame, but he's the most effective RB despite not being the best attribute wise. New signing Hoever is a familiar name and is very physical, something Trilli also has and I wanted consistency in our back line in terms of height. 




The top list is ball playing defenders, the bottom just plain CBs. Trilli has developed in terms of these attributes, as has Barcia so that's pleasing. Panzo is the new-boy who replaces Sanchez who was too small for my liking.



Val improved slightly, but is still well behind Villares in terms of attributes. Padilla grew quite a bit last year as did Yusuf but I'll probably send both out on loan to get more game time.



Another familiar name, Garner joins and is by far our best CM. Yusuf is the one improving quite a bit, although he's the determination 5 unambitious bloke so we'll probably loan him out once he's done some position retraining (he's much better at AMC I've found out from doing this analysis) as game time is the only thing that will help him develop. Gomez didn't grow at all last year so that's disappointing, but look at what Hector Rubio did out on loan! 8 point progression is really good! I think he'll be getting game time this year. Padilla and Jimenez will head out on loan after solid development and some first team exposure as we've seen what that does to players with the right personalities. Crespo will also go out on loan as he regresses last year.



The reason I want to retain Yusuf is clear here! If we can retrain him then send him out on loan to play as an AMC he could become quite useful despite his personality. He's only 17 after all. Cirjan is a new signing on a free from Arsenal and increases our quality immediately. Rubio wasn't rated in this position before as we didn't have it on the spreadsheet, so he looks like he's stalled but he hasn't. 




The top list is IF, the bottom list is Winger.

Mella is back on loan and becomes our first player to hit the magic 80 mark. Rubio and Yusuf's development is clear again here. Ares and Gomez haven't improved much so I may not invest much more time in them due to limited output last season. 



Bravo comes in to compete with Quiles upfront. Kevin improved a lot on loan, but he still can't really run and that's not great in a 1 striker formation. Diez played a few games for us, but will go out on loan, as may Carlos to aid their development. Until our B team is in a league we're not sending players there and lots of these youngsters are 18 or 17 and ready for game time.


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July 2025 new signings

Lots of new faces, perhaps too many.

Our first team probably looks like this now:


And our second string like this, with the exception of Villares who is out injured and will replace Camilo as backup when he's fit, with Val given some game time to start. 


Santamaria is the other player hanging around, he's suddenly very unhappy that we sold Mella despite his minimum fee release clause being met...


New faces


In Klaesson we bring in a competent backup who doesn't have too many weaknesses at this level. 


Could Panzo be better at defending? Yes, absolutely, but I also like his physicals and we struggled with that last season, so in he comes.


I needed a new LB and I'm very happy with Williams, who could also play on the wing if needed. He's also only 21 and on very little money, bonus.


I've gone physical over technical with my defenders but Hoever is someone I think can do a great job and he's also very versatile. He should offer more going forward than Blas did.


I wanted a better CM and paid actual money for Garner but with the agreement that Everton would pay £8.5k a week of his wages. He's way better than anything we already had and I think he'll do well once he's picked up the language.


Another player who I think will do really well; he can pass the ball, he's got the decision making ability and flair to pull off the unexpected and he's physical enough to win some battles. Low wages and a 3 year contract, yes I'm very happy with his signing.


Potentially an odd signing seeing as Quiles has done so well and Lavin is a young prospect, but I made the decision that Lavin would benefit from regular game time on loan and therefore wanted to bring in someone to compete with Quiles. We missed out on lots of permanent transfers so when I found Bravo available I thought it was worth spending some of the Mella income on him. 


Not a new signing, but I thought it worth showing you Rubio who I expect to give lots of game time to this year. I really like him and with a bit more development think he'll turn into a really good player for us. He progressed so much on loan last year so we want to give him 15-20 starts this year if we can.



That's quite a lot of signings, and a lot of players leaving on loan (Lavin was last to leave on loan after a couple of league games). I really hope the new side gels quickly and our young players develop as they've got a lot of potential, but I just didn't feel I'd play many of them this year.




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Pre-season August 2025


A really positive pre-season to be honest as we beat some decent sides and go close with Newcastle. We've got quite a tough start, and I'm not really sure where we should be aiming. My head says play-offs would be a realistic aim.

The bookies reckon 9th and the board and team want mid-table.


The good news is that we've got a really healthy bank balance to help us on the way, and we also had a training upgrade approved which will please new signing Williams as I promised him that when he joined!



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August 2025


Not quite the start we wanted.

Ibiza 1-1 Depor


What a start to the season with a 2nd minute penalty! However, we couldn't live up to it and after some really good play and an overturned second penalty we conceded late on to draw. To be honest, I think this is a decent start away from home.

Depor 1-1 Granada


Garner might be off the mark with a lovely finish after finding space on the edge of the area after a decent run past static defenders, but overall this is incredibly frustrating. We missed chance after chance and then that allowed Granada into the game. 1-1 feels very flat with just 2 points on the board.

Alaves 2-1 Depor


Alaves scored 2 goals from 0.23 xG in the first half while we toiled and missed great chances. Going ultra attacking led to a consolation goal, but again it was very frustrating as we outplayed our superior opponents and came away with nothing to show for it!

Depor 3-1 Real Zaragoza


Yay, we win! This was what I've been waiting for as we turn it on in the first half. Cirjan gets his first goal, as does Bravo and Narro also scored from a great through-ball. Really pleased despite a late goal conceded from a corner.

So just the 5 points from 4 games which isn't great, but at least we're off the mark win-wise.


September looks pretty tough to be honest, so we'll need to win the home game at the very least and probably away to Badajoz is one to target with the first team. 



Edited by Jtomsett11
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September 2025


A good start to the month and it didn't get much better from there.


Unlike last month, where we created lots but just didn't finish and really should have won 3 of the 4 games, this month we were really poor. 

Girona 1-1 Depor


We were really lucky to come away with a point here, with LB Varela scoring a great free kick to bring us level. We seem overrun in midfield but toothless upfront.

Depor 1-0 Racing de Santander


We won from a brilliant through ball from Garner for Mella, but from then on it was a drab game. Yes, we held them at bay, but we really didn't create much and I'm starting to worry if I'm honest.

Getafe 2-1 Depor


We were outplayed in the first half, but actually took the game to them in the second half and Rubio got his first goal for us. For about 10 minutes we looked like we might win it but they scored from an offside looking situation from a cross and the one shot on target shows how much we created overall as we looked to equalise. We probably shouldn't be beating Getafe, but the manner of our recent play is concerning. We look second best to everything.

Badajoz 1-0 Depor


The absolute low-point as we conceded a sucker punch when mostly in control. 


Once they scored we went a big more gung-ho and that's when they had their chances. We really should have scored early on and then we wouldn't have been in the position where we tried to push for score and left ourselves open.


There we are, down in 16th and in a precarious position. We're not really scoring and that's costing us, as defensively we're better than most teams in the league according to goals conceded.

Last time we played this poorly was in season 1 when I was trying to get a 3 at the back system working. I spent a long time fiddling with tactics and eventually found a 4-2-4 that worked really well until half way through last season. My time for playing FM is very much restricted for this edition and I'm at a point where I'm considering having a look at some downloadable tactics to allow me to enjoy the evenings where I do get time to play a month of FM as at the moment it's a real struggle. I haven't used downloaded tactics for a number of editions, and always feel it takes the gloss off any achievements, but I also want to be able to enjoy playing FM which this season has not allowed for yet.

Things to consider!


We've got 3 home games next month, we really, really need to start picking up some points!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just seen this thread and have signed up to comment as it is very similar to a save I started few weeks ago.

I was looking for a side I could take over to bring back the glory days alsousing a back 3/5 system.

I’ve seen a lot of talk about how it is difficult to make a possession based back 3/5 system to I wanted to try and build a shape that would allow a high line, pressing and possession football as well as being flexible enough to progress through the leagues and changes in opponent quality without needing to make large changes to shape or set up.

In my third season so far in a 3421 and so far so good. Won the league season 1 with record division points total, record number of goals and player top scorer record with over 65% possession.

Season 2 lost in playoff final to Granada after both my keepers were injured in training the week prior to the semis as well as missing Villares through injury.  Top scorers in the league.

Half way through third season and I’m currently top of the league, only conceded 3 in the last 8 games and we are top scorers and top of the league for possession (61%). We have often got mid 70% with the highest at 78%.

So far the shape has only needed small tweaks to the central midfield role and support striker role depending on opponent and if home or away.

Yet to make a signing for a fee, relying on frees and loans but I’ve retrained Zalazar to a support striker who has been incredible and regularly scores a beauty.

I’m expecting a drop off soon though where some bigger changes will probably be needed as it seems to be going too well at the moment and it can often change quite quickly.

I’m also kind of joint we don’t go up this season as the squad quality is way off la liga (we were predicted to finish 14th this season in this league) and we have very little money to spend though I have invested quite heavily in back room staff. Particularly the u19s who have just had a golden generation come through (one of them a 16 year old keeper who played in the playoffs for me last season).


Good luck and I’ll keep popping in to see how you are getting on.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Frustrations, frustrations and tactics

This iteration of FM has been a frustrating one for me at times, with my ability to play the game severely hampered by a growing family and increased working (over) commitments meaning I'm usually working at least 3 evenings a week, sometimes 4 or 5. If I then try to fit in some exercise, I'm often not touching the game for a week or two at a time. I really enjoy writing about my career, but obviously that comes at the expense of playing too. 

Therefore, having hit a brick wall after September's form, not enjoying the rare time I was able to spend playing, I went back to one of my old habits with FM that I haven't resorted to for quite a few years; downloading tactics. 

The immediate impact wasn't that obvious. We drew our first two games but with perhaps more style than we'd been playing. 


However, in the last two games of October, we absolutely tore Las Palmas and Huesca to shreds. Against Las Palmas we had 10 men for 70 minutes. We scored two headed goals, a free-kick and 2 worldies.


The domination against Huesca was complete too.


My initial feeling was one of extreme satisfaction as we went from mainly inept to scoring 10 in two games. We were still 8th and our overall record wasn't great. 


In November, we had mixed success. At home our downloaded tactics continued to be successful, but away we got hit on the counter and lost 2 out of 3 games. It didn''t feel like a super tactic, but boy was it fun to watch!


We then sat in 10th, so again, I felt as though we weren't gaining a huge advantage, but I also didn't feel ridiculously frustrated with the game. We were still yet to win away, with 4 draws and 5 losses. 


December came around and we had just 2 home games to play. We duly won those, and one only just. 


This boosted us up to 6th, and right back in the hunt for the play-offs.


However, I was starting to remember why I stopped downloading tactics. I was starting to click through games more quickly, making very few changes other than substitutes and changing wing back to full back roles when we were 2-0 or so up. It didn't feel as immersive, and it no longer really felt like my success. Despite this, I felt I deserved a break and a few wins and therefore had this debate going on in my head when playing.

By the end of January, my squad had become much more familiar with our downloaded tactics and this was showing.


We won two away games and beat Celta Vigo in the cup much to the delight of the fans. Our first Galacian derby and we smashed them. Yes, we went out in the next round, but we'd still done really well. The only problem is that it was still feeling quite hollow. When I think back to how brilliant winning the league felt, I realised that I wasn't feeling the same way. However, the issue of time held me back from scrapping the tactics. Was I going to have time to make something even 75% as successful? I felt not.

Our form had seen us jump to third.


I continued as I was for most of February. However, the wins and results became less and less important and I couldn't justify just focusing on the development of my players in my head either. 

I got to the third game of the month and I'd had enough. I stopped playing. I've since had some time away and have decided to continue the save, but scrapping the tactics and going back to my own, come-what-may. This is a slight challenge, as the downloaded ones use the same formation and I obviously now know that some things just work

This is where we currently sit:



If I'd continued with these tactics, I'd have probably won the league or finished second. I'm anticipating that this won't happen now, but that's fine. The caveat to my decision is that if I now lose the next 10 games just to my inability to spend lots of time tinkering and analysing my tactical success, I'll be stuck in nomansland not wanting to use a downloaded tactic but also not wanting to play :lol:.

Let's see what happens!


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