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Everything posted by smplfc123

  1. Stromgodset in Norway for 3 seasons and I also did 3 seasons with Chievo in Italy. That's the only thing that's almost deterring me from new saves now, is that there's plenty of clubs i'm eyeing up in the EFL, but in their current situations, not the situation that they're in on FM21. Look forward to reading about your season in Montpellier. Anyone in particular you think you'll start with in FM22?
  2. Thanks @Jogo Bonito. I must admit as much as I love this thread, I did really enjoy my saves abroad this year! Have you got a certain save on the go at the moment?
  3. Thanks @warlock, much appreciated. And he's gone! Although I'm limited to brining in unemployed staff for now, I've still decided to release those that I don't feel are good enough for the rebuild. Following DoF Dourekas out the door is loan manager Ed Henderson, scout Michael Whittley, physio Dimitris Kaplanis, performance analyst Tom Corden and head performance analyst Carlos Marquez. I'm going to try a new approach with my appointment of staff, actively searching for those who share similar philosophies and tactical styles. Previously I would just hire the coach with the highest ratings and not pay attention to details such as tactical style, preferred formation and playing style, but this time I will.
  4. The Squad: At the back - We've got a decent starting GK in Samba, with some good CB options in Worrall, McKenna and Figueiredo backed up by the experience of Dawson and Hefele. The full backs are ok, with Ribeiro having potential to improve. Definitely potential there for a good set-up at the back, with Soh in the development squad too. Initial thoughts are FB's are needing to be sourced for long-term, but for now, there's a chance for the current crop to keep their place in the squad moving forward. Centre of the park - People will have their own opinions, but for me, I don't like the options here. Yates is someone I want to build the midfield around. He's big, strong and can cover a number of midfield roles and is also friendly with fellow local lad Worrall, both of whom I want in the spine of my team. Aside from Yates, we have Jack Colback, the ginger ninja who was disliked by fans on the north and south sides of the River Tyne. He'll work hard, but he's very limited. Same for Arter, Cafu, Bachirou and Sow. For me they're all very similar and with Bachirou being the only one of them under 30, it's a place that needs freshening up big time. Then we look at potential creative options in midfield and they all have one thing in common, they're all on loan! Yes, a deal may be able to be struck with their parent clubs, but if not, I've wasted a whole season paying wages for players that I don't want here long term or don't want to be here long term. I know from previous posts of others that Garner normally performs well, so I'm looking forward to using him. As for the other 3 loanees, they have the potential to do well, but in all honesty, I can't see them staying any longer than what the loan contract stipulates. In attack - A little light out-wide, with Mighten the only right-footed wing option in the squad. Again the common theme here is age. I'm not against having experienced players, in-fact, I love having experienced players in my squad. But in our case, we have too many. Grabban and Murray will always score goals in the lower levels if you set your team up right, but their just not viable long-term options. I'm keen to see how Lyle Taylor does, but with us wanting to achieve promotion in the next 2 seasons, I'm not sure he'll but cut out for it. Ameobi and Lolley are solid wide options that should provide their share of assists and goals. Overall: The squad is too old and too bloated. With transfers being off, there will be chances for those I've almost already written off to prove me wrong and play their way in to my long-term plans, but at the moment, there's a lot that I'm looking to get rid of over the next 12 months. We do have a couple of players in Worrall, McKenna, Yates and Mighten that we can start to build around, with the likes of Carvalho, Johnson, Gabriel and McGuane to come back from loan too, so it's not all bad. As per my opening post, the challenge will be to start this rebuild with transfers off in the first window whilst under the pressure of meeting the lofty expectations.
  5. I'm back! Firstly, I must apologise for my absence in this thread for quite some time. Due to work, personal life and FM saves in Scotland and Norway as well as a first foray in to creating my own career thread with a save in Italy, I've been missing from this thread for about 6 months and I'm sorry for not paying your saves enough attention. After mulling over different leagues for one last challenge on this years' FM, I have decided to return to the thread that always inspires me most every year. Usually, I'm a pragmatic manager, one who likes the safety of first-season low expectations in order to give me time to mould the club in to how I want it to run and play. However, in my final save, I've decided to put pressure on myself. I've decided to pick a club with an important history, a fairly large wage bill, a bloated squad and one that has struggled to meet expectations for far too long.... Was there anywhere else that I could really go? A brilliant fan-base, a fierce same-division rivalry and a yearn for a return to former glories, I've taken over from Chris Hughton at the City Ground. As always, to make the save harder for myself I only pair my Pro-licence badge with a semi-professional background, keeping my reputation down at half a star. Furthermore, I always start with the transfer window turned off, forcing me to use the squad left for me by the previous regime. What I've done differently this time is started by already promising players that cuts are going to be made. I never issue promises in the opening meetings, but I'm going to be clear from the off-set with this squad. I don't like it. The wage bill is too high for my liking (8th in the league), the average age is too high for my liking (2nd highest in the league) and the 30+ man initial squad is too high for my liking. Furthermore, there are 5 players on loan at the club and for those who have been unfortunate to follow any of my previous saves, you'll know I'm not a massive fan of filling my squad with loan deals. So the overall plan is to strip the squad, build from within by introducing youth players to first-team football carefully but regularly and build a squad and club that isn't over-paying, over-filling and under-achieving. Where this differs from previous saves of mine is that I have the pressure of the board wanting a minimum finish of a play-off position, so it really is going to be a tough task as I'm looking for a rebuild whilst reaching the heights of a top 6 position in a very tough league. Wish me luck!
  6. Congratulations on the Competition and Club ranking improvements! A fine reward for an excellent career so far!
  7. Thanks @MattyLewis11 I just felt that with Tjaland and Rovaglia both being young, I need an experienced Serie A striker who was still had a point to prove and in Babacar, we seem so far to have that man!
  8. STOP THE COUNT!!!!! Despite being handed another tough start to our Serie A fixture list, we find ourselves joint top after 5 games and here's how: I couldn't have dreamed for a better start! New signing Babacar was amongst the goal scorers as we put Torino to the sword on matchday 1. We followed that up with a very hard fought 0-0 draw away to Inter. An injury time Xadas strike earned us a point at home to Atalanta, which we followed up with a 1-0 away win against newly promoted Salerntiana. To the end the month, we produced a convincing display to comfortably beat Sassuolo and sending me in to October with a massive smile on my face. Semper has been superb in goal, our defence has been excellent and Cuisance has added some extra flair and vision in to centre-mid. What I'm most happy about though is the fact we've scored goals. 8 in 5 is a great return for us, with new signing Babacar netting 3 already. I know the bubble will burst at some point, but i'm hoping we can keep this good form up for a while yet!
  9. 7 points from that December run is very impressive Enjoying the thread!
  10. Great start again to the league, but it's good to see Odds and Kristiansund keeping up with you to ensure the league is still competitive. Sesko proving to be an excellent signing!
  11. SUMMER 2023 Although I must admit I was intrigued by the approach from Basel for me to be their new manager, I decided to turn them down and focus on our most important summer yet. We're now at the point where if we don't improve, we could easily be dragged back down in to a relegation fight, but to improve, we need to really start altering the wage structure at the club, as there's not one player earning over £15k p/w. I knew that if I wanted to improve the squad, I was unlikely to keep the wages that low. It proved difficult to start with. I had lined up both Andrea Conti and Paolo Ghiglione as potential new right backs. However, after agreeing deals with their respective clubs, both were asking for over £30k p/w. I just wasn't prepared to jump that high, even though we could easily afford it. But before we show you who did sign, let's have a look at who left the club this summer: Outs: Manuel De Luca's loan spell in Portugal had worked a treat, with him bagging 11 goals in 34 games and pushing his value up. He still wasn't good enough to be playing upfront in Serie A though in my opinion, well and in other clubs opinions too, as it was Serie B side Entella that splashed £3.3m on the forward. Ivan Rossi had offered decent cover at CDM, but he was never really pushing to start. With me eyeing up younger Italian players for his role, I decided to cash in on the Argentinian, receiving nearly £2m extra on what I paid for him 2 seasons ago. Michael Fabbro spent last season out on loan at Pisa and it's Serie B that the striker has returned to on a permeant basis, joining newly-relegated side Spezia in a £2m deal. Youngster Alfredo Mariani made it clear he was not going to sign a new contract, so I cashed in on him this summer. Pavlev and Enyan were never going to be able to make the step up. Experienced CB Michael Rigione was released on a free. What that screenshot doesn't show you are the 2 first team players that left us in June. Vasile Mogos had been our RB from the start, but with Al-Arabi circling and the Romanian turning 30, I decided to take the £1.2m on offer. Sadly, despite being surprisingly good, Isaac Mbenza decided he wasn't happy that he was starting as a ML and not an AML and as a result, handed in a transfer request. We did get £775k from Hull, so doubled our money from our short experience with Isaac. With the transfers out sorted fairly quickly, I turned my attention to incomings. I needed a RB, CB, CDM and ST. I also wrote down plans about bringing in another CM as long as the deal was right and wasn't just another body for the sake of it. Ins: First up was our RB. A position I struggled to identify another target for after my first 2 had out-priced themselves. Eventually, with no-one standing out, I decided to increase the Italian quota in the squad with the signing of Cristiano Piccini. £2m upfront and £2m in potential add-ons was probably more than I wanted to pay, but the experienced RB adds more height and what looks to be some solid attributes to our back line. Next one in through the door was our new cover at CB: With Atalanta not looking to renew Varnier's contract, I snapped up the Italian CB as 4th choice cover, replacing the departing Rigione. A cheap 4th choice option that adds another to name to the Italian quota. Next up, a new addition to CDM: Another signing from Atalanta, Panada joined us on a £3.3m deal and became the first player to break the £20k p/w wage barrier. Matching the board's philosophy of signing players U23 and another Italian being added to our squad list, I was happy with this one. Possession some great physical stats, with the first touch, passing and vision to create from deep, I'm planning to gently ease Panada in to the first team over the course of this season. So with RB, CB and CDM sorted, it was time to find a ST. With Rovaglia not good enough to lead the line, Tjaland too young and Gabbiadini not working out, I decided we definitely needed a clear 1st choice striker if we were going to move up the table. I'm a big believer in experience when it comes to certain positions and for me, I wanted to buy a ST that was either entering or still in their peak. I didn't want another Tjaland, an FM wonderkid who realistically isn't ready to lead the line as a teenager in a top league. After scouting for days on end, I finally decided on my number 1 choice: Some of you may gasp at the thought of a 30 year old being brought in as first choice, but for me, I think this is exactly what we need. An experienced striker, who physically, still looks to me to be in his prime. He knows the league, he's composed in front of goal and offers us another dimension in attack with his strength and ability to shoot from distance. We broke our highest-earner bracket for him and I'm hoping my faith in him isn't misplaced. That meant the only position I would possibly look to bring in now was at CM. I wasn't going to just bring anyone in as I already have Panada, Viviani, Palmeiro and Serge to cover the CDM, CM and CM axis, with Xadas being able to operate centrally should more than of those 4 be unavailable. However, I came across a transfer-listed CM who drew me in. I've heard about him before, I'm sure people have said on other forums he turns out great and at the price he was listed for, I took the plunge: At £675k, I felt it was worth bringing him in. He'll add depth to a strong CM department, whilst improving us in the passing, vision and corner departments. At the moment, our midfield 3 ( CDM, CM and CM) consist of the CDM covering and recycling behind a CM(S) and a CM(A). The aim this season is to develop the CM(S) in to a more creative role to try and improve the amount of chances created and scored. Cuisance could be the key to that. Accepting to join as a squad player and not as some demanding star-player diva also delighted me, as I can now slowly bed him in to the team. And although there's almost the whole month of August still left to go, that's me done for first team transfers. I'm thrilled that with only 1 pre-season friendly done, I've made all of my necessary moves in the market. The only change to that will be if any of my current crop leave. Semper did receive initial interest from Leeds and Herta Berlin, but my asking price put them both off and i'm hoping that they don't come back. For the 3rd consecutive season, 4 of our first 5 games on the fixture list consist of games against Torino, Atalanta, Sassuolo and Inter, so it's imperative that we get a good pre-season under our belts.
  12. The Run In - 2022/2023 Let's have a look at how we finished off our 3rd season: Finishing April with a win away to Fiorentina gave us a boost going in to the final month of the season. Isaac Mbenza again on the scoresheet as we notched up another one of our 1-0 wins. We followed that up by scoring a whopping 2 goals away at Cittadella, with Mbenza (again!) and Leverbe getting our goals. We then took a point off 4th placed Bologna, but were unable to find the net against Udinese. Leverbe's late scoring-streak continued, earning us another 1-0 win, this time over Empoli and we finished the season off in the usual pattern of huffing and puffing in front of goal, but not being able to break Roma down. A late Calafiori goal was enough to take all 3 points for the visitors to end the season. With those results, it left the final table looking like this: What a season for us! We finished a whopping 17 points better off than last year, with us racking up 4 more wins and 5 more draws. Scoring goals has been our biggest issue, but thankfuly we've been good at keeping them out at the other end. Yes we're 11th for goals conceded, but take away the 2 games in which we conceded 11 goals against Juve and Milan and that's only 36 conceded in 36 games. The aim now is to prevent those 7-1 and 4-0 drubbings! Napoli picked up the Coppa Italia, but were poor in the league. Verona and Bologna upset the likes of Atalanta and Fiorentina by forcing their way in to European places and AC Milan ended Juve's 11 season stint at the top of the table. I'm very happy with our signings overall this season. I brought in 7 players over the course of the season, with 4 brought in to improve the first 11 and 3 to add squad depth. Apart from Gabbiadini, I'd say they've all improved us in some way. Xadas has added more flair to our midfield, Buongiorno has become a rock at the back, Masina and Di Chiara have been a massive upgrade in our LB department and Mbenza has netted up some important goals for just £375k. Semper continues to impress in goal for us and rightly picked up the fans' player of the season award. Viviani is developing nicely and Buongiorno has been an excellent signing. But again, our lack of goals is highlighted again when you see that our top scorer was Tjaland with just 6. What Next? This really could be the biggest summer yet. Now that we're slightly more established in the division and my reputation has risen to 2 stars, I feel I may be able to attract a little bit more quality. With the finances improving as well, I feel we may get a decent budget to work with. I've highlighted 4/5 players that I'm going to move on from the squad, so this could be the biggest window in terms of numbers going in and out as well. We've laid some good foundations and now the aim is to continue building on them. Although the board are simply wanting to avoid relegation again next season, my aim is to improve on this season's finish. I'm going to be looking for a starting RB and ST, with someone to add some extra depth in CM/CDM. Up The Flying Donkeys!
  13. I mean, I really am happy with season 2 in Serie A, but if one thing could sum us up: As all 3 of my strikers were on the pitch in a bid to grab an equaliser against Udinese, their inability to do so prompted a 5-minute barrage of emails from our press officer. With just 2 games to go, we sit on 31 goals scored, the 3rd lowest in the division and 6 less than last season in which we only scraped survival on 31 points! This summer's focus will definitely be aimed at how we can improve that, both from a player and tactical perspective. The only problem I have is who leaves? Tjaland is a superstar in the making, but at 19 years old he's shown he's not ready to lead the line for the style we play. But his status has changed to regular starter due to him edging the number of starts up top and offering him out on loan this summer may upset him quite a bit. Having come through the ranks, Rovaglia is a fans favourite and important to our HG quota so I could do with keeping him in the squad, whilst Gabiaddini only signed in January, so will probably be impossible to move on.....
  14. We've started the month off well! Just 2 games remaining! Haha, I've just checked last February's results and I only picked up 2 points from 12 then as well! Although we didn't exactly pick up many points all season to be fair last year. Thanks mate! Thanks pal, really looking forward to this summer, feel like it's going to be our biggest window yet.
  15. Despite currently managing city rivals Chievo Verona, I wish you nothing but good luck. Loving the historical references. It'll be interesting to see how Serie A plays out in your save and hopefully you can beat the odds and get a good first season under your belt.
  16. Chievo Verona - 2022/2023 Update So with us heading in to the final stretch of my 3rd season in charge at Marcantonio Bentegodi, let's have a look at how we've been doing since the last update: Pretty much par for the course really. Some frustrating defeats, some hard-fought draws and then wins when they weren't really expected. After defeat to Torino, the aim was to steady the ship and get a point against Sassuolo in order to set us up for a home win against Benevento. We got the first part right, but our lack of efficiency in front of goal cost us against Benevento, with the away side capitalising on our inability to further our lead by striking a late equaliser. We followed that up with a 3-0 hammering from Napoli, turning February in to a disappointing month. Thankfully, we bounced back in March. A solid 1-0 home win over Brescia thanks to a late Tjaland goal gave us a lift, going on to take the lead away to Parma in the following game, only for us not to capitalise once more. But still, i'm always happy with a point away from home. We then produced a brilliant performance at home against Atalanta, with Tjaland and Mbenza (YEP!) getting on the scoresheet. That win was massive as I was dreading April. Right on the hour mark, surprise signing of the summer, Isaac Mbenza, struck to make it 1-1 and get us back in to the game. Unfortunately, we conceded just 3 minutes later to go back behind, which completely took the wind out of our sails. Jose Mourinho's Lazio were too good for us. We put up a better fight away in Milan, but ultimately went down to the same score line. That meant 3 defeats from 3 in April, with Juve up next, who had beaten us 7-1 earlier in the season. We produced a tactical masterclass. We completely stifled them in attack and Segre's strike to put us 1-0 up before half-time was more than deserved. With us still looking comfortable, in the 74th minute, Adrian Semper decided to boot his goal kick right in to the back of our centre half, which obviously trickled in to the back of our net We couldn't get another, but to be fair, I'd have bitten your hand off for a draw before the game. We took confidence from that performance and used it on the way to an excellent away victory in Florence, with Xadas' goal denting Fiorentina's shot at top 4. Those results leave the table looking like this: So as before really. Too far off making top 10, to far off being involved in a relegation battle. I honestly couldn't be happier. It's exactly where I had aimed for us to be by the end of season 3. I hope the players don't hit the beach now, as I'd like to comfortably move over the 40 point mark and try and achieve a 10pt+ difference on last season's total. The bottom 3 are long gone by the looks of it, unless one of them pulls something special out of the bag. Early leaders Bologna have fallen away as expected, but Juve's slip from the top was surprising. They were clear around Christmas, but Milan have absolutely stormed in to the lead and with Juve winning the last 11 titles, we could finally have a new champion!
  17. Good read on the analysis front yet again mate. Interested to see who you do bring in upfront now that Tjaland is unavailable.
  18. Interesting to see how you do without Szymanski and Cairney. I know Cairney was your choice as he was getting past it, but he's been in that dressing room for quite a few years now! Good start in your Europa Group, even if not spectacular in the Prem.
  19. Thanks @john1 and @Matt_1979. I think we were always going to fade away due to the lack of quality depth in the squad. I feel it's going to take a good 2 or 3 more windows before I have the depth to push much higher up the table. For now, my aim is still to stay up this season whilst improving on last season's totals. With the early break for the Qatar World Cup (Won by Croatia!), it gave me time to identify some affordable targets for the January window. The aim was to bring in 2 or 3 experienced Serie A players, who were preferably Italian. With funds left over from the summer, I made a couple of moves: First in the door was Adam Masina. Very good physically, determined and and a hard-worker, Masina felt like more than a little upgrade on outgoing Cotali. Fiorentina had paid over £10m for him last season, but I was able to pick him up for just £2.6m as he wasn't able to get in to their team ahead of my summer transfer target Augello. I also felt I needed more experience upfront. In Rovaglia and Tjaland, we have two potentially very good strikers, but neither are ready to lead the line week in week out in a top division. With Sampdoria being relegated last season, I decided to make a move for this man: This was a short term deal. An 18 month stop-gap to just give us an extra bit of experience upfront and give us more flexibility to use a two-man strike force. I'm not expecting him to bag 10 goals from now until the end of the season, but I feel he can take the pressure off my two younger strikers. The return to Serie A was tough. We targeted Cittadella as the game to give us the boost going in to January, but we were lucky to get a draw. High-flying Bologna gave us a thumping and that was followed up by another from Milan. At this point, I went defensive just to make sure January didn't turn in to a total disaster. We just ensured we kept a clean sheet against Udinese, which then gave us the platform to go and pinch a 1-0 win away to newly-promoted Empoli. Roma proved too much for us, but we too our total to 4 points from 6 against Inter this season when we completely nullified their attack. The Torino result was the toughest to take. We were the better team, but whilst went searching for the winner, they won the game on the break with a 90th minute Pedro Nuno strike. That leaves the table looking like this: I think the best way to describe our league position for now is comfortable. We know we don't have the quality at the moment to break in to the top 10, but I'm confident we've already done enough to show we'll survive, as I reckon we only need 10 points from 17 games to stay up. The aim now is to continue working on a plan of how we want to play moving forward and identifying targets that will help improve the squad in the summer.
  20. Very unlucky to not get another goal against Zenit, but you're in to the Europa League though right? Really interested to see how you address the forward position.
  21. I did indeed. I'm loving this save and with all due respect to Parma, it's going to take a bigger club to even begin to turn my head.
  22. Out of nowhere! Must be doing something right....
  23. Great update mate and I feel my prediction of you getting through in the CL is off to a brilliant start! Surprised at Gulliksen, he always seems to go for big money on my saves (Currently at Napoli on my Chievo save). Glad you're enjoying Norway. It was my favourite save of FM21 until my current save with Chievo.
  24. MID-SEASON BREAK 2022/2023 So with the World Cup taking place in Qatar this year in the winter, we've been given a mid-season break starting on the 31st of October and returning to league action on the 31st of December. This is how the table looks going in to the break: Apart from the 7-1 drubbing by Juve, we've had a good start to the season. We've been poor at home, only picking up the 1 win (against Inter), but have been better on the road compared to last year. As a result of this, we are just 3 wins and 3 draws away from last season's total, with 25 games left to go, putting us in a great position to improve on last years finish. The aim is still to avoid relegation and improve on how we did in 2021/2022 and we are well on course to achieve that. Now we will use this break to really plan ahead in terms of identifying targets for improving our squad.
  25. Why did I risk the above post with run-away leaders Juve away to come next We just couldn't handle their 4-4-2 ultra-attacking formation. They've built a formidable side. It's like the FM gods read my last post and thought "Ha, we'll show him progress and solid defending".
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