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kozmik

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About kozmik

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  1. @warlock That result though Congrats!
  2. Finally! Full season update to follow once the small matter of 2026 World Cup is done...
  3. Well, I can't really compete per se, but I do have a very, very good team, so good that I definitely wouldn't say we're overachieving at the moment, more like underachieving tbh. One major issue is that I can't rely on any player to score goals. My top goalscorers in the league last season were Jadon Sancho and Maximiliano Flores, who both scored 9 from the wings (Sancho AML, Flores AMR). First choice striker Wicherink scored 8. Second choice striker Jeferson, signed in January, scored 6, so he shows some promise. But those are terrible numbers for a title contender. Next season I plan to use an aggressive 442 diamond formation, try to just properly overwhelm the bus parking opposition. Then a bit more conservative 433 against teams that actually try to play and a counter attacking 4231dm for big away games and protecting leads. Or that's the plan at least, we'll have to see how it pans out. And yeah, City are looking ridiculously good at the moment. They're managed by Marcelo Gallardo, who only came to Europe from River Plate three years ago, took charge of Barca for a season and then went to City after Guardiola left for Chelsea. PSG are immense too. The common denominator between those two is that they have fantastic players. Their average age is high though, and most of their starters are around 30 years old. Will be (or would be, in case I don't hang around long enough) interesting to see whether they start struggling when those players start declining en masse. I've no idea how well the AI can plan these things in advance. BTW, congrats on your 122 point season, brilliant achievement
  4. Finished my 7th season with Sunderland a couple of days ago. Not a bad season by any stretch, but there's a distinct feeling of us starting to become a bunch of perennial nearly men: I actually took a long break from the game mid season as I was just too frustrated to continue. In the end I made my peace with the situation and came back, managed to pick up form and did well in the cups even if they too ultimately ended in disappointment. The persistent main problem in terms of league performance is breaking down defensive teams. Our record vs. top teams is still very good, even if we got our worst league defeat yet getting hammered 5-1 at City and got our first ever defeat against Liverpool. But 10 points were dropped in games which we completely dominated and either failed to score or got FM'd by the opposition. Additional 10-12 points deservedly dropped in games we should have done better in. I'm not exactly sure what I should've done differently. I will be doing a major tactical overhaul for next season, and we'll see whether that will help us be more consistent against the dross. Hopefully so. Transfers: I also agreed a whopping 113 million deal in January for regen winger Maximiliano Flores to move to City in the summer, which helped me fund the Leidsman and Jeferson deals. My plan for next season is to replace 2-3 players in the first team squad with young players. Might hurt us in the short term but will hopefully be beneficial in the long term. I've already signed a center back, not a position where we needed strengthening but an opportunity too good to pass up on, as one of the best cb's in the world, a Belgian regen, was transfer listed by request at Monaco for only 62 million. The result is that we're now completely overloaded in that position: Will definitely need to ship two out one way or the other. Mai should be first out the door, then it'll be either Roberts going out on loan or Tah getting sold. I'll need to buy one DM/CM, but I hope that will be that in terms of signings. Martial is on his way out and one or two more should follow. I've also been after an Italian regen keeper who will at some point be Pickford's replacement, whether it's this summer or the next I don't know. I've managed to upset him but so far Fiorentina has demanded far too much money for him. I probably need to get him to request a transfer to get him for a more reasonable amount. In the long term, I can't see myself keeping going with this save for more than 2-3 seasons. Hopefully by then we've managed to win the prem and/or champions league.
  5. I'm just guessing here, but could it be that you have team leaders/highly influential players/players with a high leadership attribute that have determination scores below your squad average? I don't know how the system works, but I'd expect those types of players to have more of an influence in personality/determination changes.
  6. Season six is finished - including the 2024 Euros. I mentioned in my previous update that silverware would be needed, and I've won three trophies since then. Too bad only one of them was with Sunderland and that was only the league cup, but it's a start. A little bit on the Euros first. An odd tournament on our part. Topped our group with 1-0 wins over Turkey and Holland and a 0-0 draw with Poland, beat Spain on pens after a 0-0 draw in the last 16, beat Russia 1-0 with a late goal in the quarters, then beat Poland 5-2 in the semi-final and then Germany 3-1 in the final. Very strange, especially as I didn't really change anything tactically. Back to Sunderland then. Our best season in the league so far, but still a disappointment. As late as early April we were fighting for the title, but seven dropped points in the space of four games in April allowed City to get a comfortable lead. After that we really didn't have a chance. A draw at already relegated Norwich and a defeat at Arsenal in the last two games were meaningless, but still a disappointing and frustrating way to end the season. In the league cup we got a super easy run into the final, facing only non-premier league teams (Middlesbrough, Fulham, Luton, Birmingham) until the final, where we comfortably beat City 3-0. They had their revenge in the FA cup though, where we were handed one of the worst defeats I've ever had on any FM when we lost 7-1 in the 6th round. Not sure how it happened. I did field a relatively weak team but it was still incomprehensible. I guess everything just went right for them and wrong for us. In the champions league we topped our difficult group of Bayern, Lazio and Porto, only to lose 3-2 on aggregate against Valencia in the first knockout round. Next season we'll be expected to make it into the quarters, so have to do better. We'll probably still be in pot 3 in the group draw, but hopefully we'll get a little bit easier group next time around. Then the transfers: Quite a lot of movement and some seriously good players coming in in Gedson Fernandes, Jonathan Tah and Radoslaw Zalewski (German regen left back, only 19 at the time but one of the best left backs in the world). Wicherink is a striker, just 20 years old now, but looks insanely good with 3,5 star CA and 5 star PA. But his performances haven't been anywhere near what you'd expect, and I have no idea why. He has a good personality, doesn't appear to have any undesirable hidden attributes and has been very good in training most of the time. But he just hasn't been able to score goals, scoring just 6 in all competitions, with an average rating of 6,71. He's currently wanted by Barcelona, if they want him badly enough I'll have to seriously consider it, even though I'm sure he will improve next season. Thankfully we got plenty of goals from midfield, particularly from Fernandes and this guy: Bought from Inverness after our first premier league season for 700k. He was part of my first youngster shopping spree, which I always tend to do every few years after I start qualifying for continental competitions. Essentially I'm looking for young players available on the cheap- but who appear to have a good CA, to develop them and provide additional injury cover. Most of them never amount to anything, but on occasion some of them turn out great. I didn't play Johnstone at all in his first season, but he developed really well and I noticed my assman rating him at 2,5 stars CA so I gave him a rotation spot for the next season. By the end of the season he had basically taken Calhanoglu's place in the first XI. In the first half of last season he was incredible, scoring and assisting regularly and even though he faded a bit towards the end of the season he ended up with the highest average rating in the league. Next season, the main aim will be to take that one last step and win the title. Not confident though, didn't get a lot of money so I couldn't really strengthen. Most of the players that would definitely improve our first XI would probably cost close to 100 million and are on 150k+ wages, so not really affordable. I've signed one world class player who had a 78 million release clause and financed that by selling a couple of rotation players that I could replace with high quality youngsters on the cheap. Other than that, I'll mainly hope that our high potential youngsters keep developing and improving and thus help push us to the next level.
  7. FInished season 5. A tough season thanks to the world cup being held in Qatar, although thankfully we had no more than two games per week at any point. But it was two games per week for most of the season. Thankfully there were no replays in the FA cup (we would've played three of them) and the league cup semi was a one off on a neutral ground. Here's the fixtures I posted earlier: So it went well all in all. Only one really disappointing result, the home draw vs. Burnley. I played the UCL games with a second string team. I figured that we were unlikely to progress anyway, so it would be better to go all in in the league and rest the first XI in the champions league. And here is the final table: So yet again more of the same. But I'm happy we'll be playing champions league football again next season. We also made it into our first final, the league cup, where we were beaten 2-0 by City despite them going a man down in the first half. Annoyingly difficult to take advantage of opposition red cards in this game! Transfers: A great deal of money spent as you can see. Happy with Pickford, had a very solid season, but Sancho and Jota were pretty disappointing all in all. Hopefully they can improve next season. I made a bad mistake in choosing to play Martial as a striker. He had a few good performances but was a far cry from what he did from the left wing the previous season. He'll be back on the left next season. Embolo also went on a 17-hour goalless streak late in the season, which caused additional problems. As did center back Luperto snapping his cruciate before the world cup. Had to get Thorniley in on loan as I only had three senior center backs for the second half of the season. For next season I've already made a first team signing, a Dutch regen striker coming in from Ajax. Liverpool have been courting Marin all season and I expect him to leave in the summer. He's a great player on his day, but his consistency is very low (dark orange, so I'd guess in the 5-7 range) and as a result he's more often completely inefficient. The price mentioned in the rumors is 66 mill, if I can get that I'll be happy. Defense is where I most need strengthening. I've already agreed a deal to sell 2nd choice right back Smith and while I have a very promising regen in Vinko Covic, he isn't at the required level yet (and I'm not sure he ever will be as his personality is unambitious). A cheap but decent short term solution while Covic goes out on loan for a season or two until he's ready for the first team would be ideal. Most importantly, I want to buy a first choice left back. I've been relying on loans since season 2 and I definitely want a long term solution done now. A new first XI center back would also be nice, but Lukas Mai has handled the job pretty well in Luperto's absence and I think I can rely on him should no better options be available. Main thing is, I'm starting to get desperate for silverware. Definitely need a trophy next season.
  8. @janneff That's pretty amazing, congrats!
  9. I didn't - I've never managed the French golden generation, couldn't say no. They have a ridiculously strong team.
  10. Decisions, decisions... At least someone's offering some decent money compared to the 15k per week my penny pinching chairman is paying.
  11. Thanks @warlock, I really appreciate that. It's based on a system I've used for years and spent a lot of time (an insane amount of time if you ask the wife ) developing. I do play different systems on occasion, I love a good old-fashioned 442 with a target man, but this type of setup is the one I come back to time and time again.
  12. Yes. I blame the ME. To be fair, the first two seasons were pretty much formalities with the squad that I had and the third season... Well, I have no idea how I managed to finish 4th. I'm dreading the moment the 19.2 ME is released as I'm sure that my tactic will stop working at there and then. I basically came up with it as an overreaction to the way a midfield 2 in a 4141dm wide played, endless pot shots instead of passing back to the DLP at dm when there are no other good passing options. I'm fairly certain it's the 'take fewer risks' instruction I use for both cm's that's almost broken the game. Now that my team is starting to actually look like a top 4 contender in terms of quality and my reputation is highest outside the big six it will be interesting if the tactic will still work. I'll be facing a lot more parked buses than before, I assume.
  13. So, here goes. Pretty much more of the same in terms of league performance. Six points more than last season, but same position. This time around though we were more consistent, not quite as brilliant at our best but equally not as poor at our worst, picking up points at a regular pace throughout the season. We were fairly close to City at around 10 games to go, but from that point on they pulled away. A tough run of fixtures near the end of the season saw both United and Liverpool overtake us, but even at that time top 4 wasn't really in doubt. In the champions league was where we most made our mark, topping our tough-ish group of Bayern, Porto and Besiktas with 15 points, only losing away at Bayern. Then in the first knockout round we drew Inter, lost the first leg 1-0 at their place and then this happened: What a thrashing. In the end thanks to a lucky draw for the quarters (RB Leipzig, we won 5-1 on aggregate) we made it into the semis, losing 4-2 on aggregate to eventual winners Bayern. Even then I was cautiously optimistic after a 2-1 away defeat in the first leg, after all we beat them 3-0 at home in the group stage, but by the 30 minute mark they were 2-0 up and we were never going to come back from that. Great run though and earned us a lot of money too. FA cup was a struggle, only beating Chesterfield after a replay in the 3rd round before a disappointing home defeat to Arsenal saw us crash out in the next round. In the league cup we made it all the way into the semis, losing 3-1 on aggregate to United. The summer transfer window was a hectic one, particularly as I decided to sign a whole host of youngsters. A bit of a scattergun approach to signing hot prospects, but beneficial in the sense that a few of them look extremely promising and two will be seeing first team action next season. A few brilliant loan signings as well. A bit too easy, almost. Henderson's sale was a tough one. In fact I spent the best part of a day thinking about it, but in the end I couldn't justify saying no to almost 30 million for a player signed on a free a year earlier, particularly as I knew I could replace him with Campana on a free transfer. Things took a shocking turn in January though, as United wanted to sign Campana and he was desperate to leave. Managed to negotiate a deal where he only moved at the end of the season, and for a staggering price of 22,5 million, which I then proceeded to spend on Mickael Cuisance. Of course that meant I would have to sign a first choice keeper again next summer, which I've duly done and spent a tremendous amount of money on him, but more of that in the next update... I have to introduce my favorite signing, regen right back Paul Page from Ipswich. My scouts rated him at 2,5 stars CA 5 stars PA and Ipswich wouldn't accept anything less than his release clause. Has taken the jump from championship to premier league and champions league really well. Only problem with him is that he seems to pick up a lot of bookings. Will have to teach him the "does not dive into tackles" ppm, will hopefully help a bit. In theory he's been second choice behind Tete, but he'll be first choice next season. Hopefully he will keep on improving.
  14. kozmik

    Bug or worst decision ever?

    Ok, cheers.
  15. kozmik

    Bug or worst decision ever?

    Uploaded as ME1914 FC Bayern v Sunderland.pkm. The offside goal is Bayern's third goal at 37 minutes.
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