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Everything posted by dothestrand

  1. I'm always curious how Atletico Madrid seem to decline in every Spanish save. I'd expect they have good youth facilities and recruitment, and lots of money. But without fail, they fall into mid table obscurity after a few seasons.
  2. I've finished the 2029-30 season and whilst we couldn't retain our title, we finished a very comfortable second. Barcelona were just way too good, finishing on 98 points. They won 15 of their first 16, so there was no catching them. In the CL, we had the misfortune to run into Man City in the first knockout stages, so we didn't make much progress there. In terms of performances, our star striker Iker Larrazabal won the Golden Boy award and scored 24 in 34 coming back from an ACL injury. We'd be struggling without him. Our other youngsters in the first team are doing well - Jon Cordoba is probably the best all round CM in La Liga, Roberto Simon is a mercurial winger who is phenomenal on his good days, whilst Vencedor's days are probably numbered because of Marcos Pena. As you can see though, they're getting itchy feet, but have long term contracts. Remember, these guys are all Lezama products, and we've been pretty lucky to be super competitive with the academy, whilst we phase out of the older players. Yeray is with the B team until he retires. Unai Nunez has a year left in him, probably. Unai Simon is still the Spanish first choice and even at 32, should be good for a couple of years yet. Oihan Sancet is in and out of the side, and at 30, we're close to letting him move on. Nico Serrano and Inigo Gomeza are the other two 'originals'. Nico is great and in and around the Spanish squad, whilst Gomeza has just been a good, solid LB - a Dennis Irwin type really. I might try to get another couple of seasons out of the game before FM22, though I'll see how quickly I jump with that.
  3. Thanks to those who pulled me back into this save. Just finished the 2028-29 season and defended our title. With three games to go, we were 9 points ahead of Barcelona. Their goal difference was superior, so just 1 point needed. Can you guess what happened? Lost 0-1 to Almeria, then lost 0-3 to Barcelona. Just needed 1 point at home to Villareal, whilst Barcelona had to win at Valencia. Villareal took an early lead, and Barcelona raced into a 2-0 lead. Luckily Valencia eventually got it back to 3-3 but we were still losing. A 93rd minute equaliser for us made it safe, but crikey.... CL was hilarious. We were drawn against Man Utd, Inter and Celtic (I don't recall ever having a kind CL group). We got 11 points at still went out on head-to-head against Inter. We were in an incredibly stacked Europa League tournament, getting knocked out in the QF by Real Madrid. Domestic cups were a write off. Squad-wise, we're pretty well covered, though the full back positions are long-term concerns. We haven't had a good natural full back come through; either pretty middle of the road or just retrained players. Inigo Gomeza, a real-life youth player is my first-choice LB and is solid. Our RB is a retrained CM. A few of my main players/wonderkids. Larrazabal is a 19yo striker, whose taken a bit of a dive between of his cruciate ligament injury. He scored 25 in 27 last season. He'll be back a few weeks into the new season and hopefully recovers his pace. Cordoba is 20 and is probably the best all-round regen I've ever had. He could almost play anywhere. He's played a number of times for Spain. Pena is 19 and moved up from the B squad this season. He will replace Vencedor long-term, who has been decent but has been eclipsed ability-wise already. I've also got various players in the 18-21 bracket who are in the first team or soon to be there. A GK or full-back would be nice though. We'll be OK when Unai Simon leaves, but we've not had a decent youth keeper for a while! I'm even trying to hang onto Ezkieta as long as possible as a third-choice emergency keeper. Yeray will move down to the B squad (rather than sell him) probably. He had a big injury that's just killed him. Nunez is still one of three CBs/two RBs. Sancet is one of my main CM options. Serrano has been an elite winger and Spanish international for a few years (still only 26!) Everyone else who started has moved on.
  4. Anyone had a dumber injury than this? He's not a first choice player, but still - use shower gel, lad!
  5. You've dragged me back in! I'm more or less where you are, just starting the 28-29 season.
  6. Well done @ernemann for getting that far. I'm not sure about firing the save up too much as the new game isn't too far away. I do like getting to the point where the real life players have all gone though.
  7. When I played a Dinamo Zagreb save, I had the Serbia league running. It was ridiculous how many quality regens came up.
  8. Hi all - I was just wondering whether anyone knows how the relationships between these clubs work in FM21. I know FC Liefering and RB Salzburg are official affiliates. I don't think RB Leipzig and RB Salzburg technically are, but obviously in practice there is movement between teams. Presumably with RB Salzburg you'd get first dibs on any talents coming through at FC Liefering and can loan players to them. But can RB Leipzig do the same with RB Salzburg? Are you competing for their players just as you would with any other club? Can you move players to RB Salzburg or would any loans have to be requested by the AI manager (if you're managing RB Leipzig, say). I don't think I'd start an RB Leipzig save in FM21 - maybe FM22 - but I'm curious as to how the dynamics between these three clubs have been absorbed into the game.
  9. @ernemann Great achievement. How many seasons is that? Well over 20? I've left my save dormant for a couple of months. I should check how many games I've done!
  10. @AlfieGillard I assume your Argentine player has Spanish second nationality? Did you sign him at 16? Unless he's switched nationality, I'm surprised he would have been eligible.
  11. @AlfieGillard Your Nico Williams is miles better than he's ever been in any of my saves! I usually sell him by the time he's 23 because he's never kicked on anything like what he's done for you.
  12. Without checking, the main players who are with you long term do get big wages - Simon, Yeray, Nunez, Williams - and you'll find that promising young players get greedy too (I try not to include annual salary increases and just pay more). Ultimately though, since we're competing for the title and doing well in the CL every season, our percentage of income spent on wages is usually the lowest in La Liga.
  13. I think in older saves I bought Herrera back in from Man Utd but that's harder in this game since he has only just signed for PSG. Thinking of other big names formerly at Athletic Club, you'd only need Kepa if Simon was picked off, Laporte would probably be a decent short term option by the time Man City transfer list him, and Javi Martinez deteriorates quickly. IRL, they don't tend to bring those guys back. Llorente was never an option either. The players who return to Athletic Club tend to be those they let go, who then thrived elsewhere, e.g. Ibai Gomez.
  14. Great progress @Ronaldo Beckham I thought I'd started a Brentford save in Fm21 but seemingly not! Replicating the Brentford model in the game seems the best way to do it - under the radar players from Denmark and France and the English third/fourth tier. Hopefully they'll make some more strong signings (after Ajer and Onyenka) this Summer to make Fm22 a fun game!
  15. End of the 2027-28 season in my Lezama save and we brought the title back to Bilbao! It was a real tussle with Valencia all season. They were my main rivals in the league before they tailed off a little in the last few games, finishing third behind Barcelona. Valencia beat us in the Super Cup on penalties, whilst we beat them in the Spanish Cup. We crashed out of the CL to Juventus after losing a two goal aggregate list. But overall, an excellent season! In terms of the squad, no signings of course and we let Inaki Williams leave on a free in the January as he was declining massively with no game time. Most of the youngsters I've talked about over the last few seasons have kicked on very nicely - Alkorta is our rock of a CB, Martin and Cordoba are a formidable CM partnership. But we have loads of guys coming through Lezama that indicate that we'll be challenging for trophies for a long time to come. Iker Larrazabal is my main striker, scored 16 in 33 this season at the age of 18 and is worth nearly 40m. He's getting antsy about moving for a bigger club but he's signed up for five seasons. Roberto Simon broke through at the end of the season after some terrific performances for the B side. An 18yo inverted right-sided midfielder, hopefully he's my Arjen Robben. We have wide options though, so he may get a loan move if a top flight side take him. Marcos Pena may not break into the first team yet, purely because of the insane CM/DM options we have. He too is 18yo and if he bumps his marking stats , I may retrain him as a CB as his physical stats are good for his age. Roberto Aizpurua took Williams' place this season. 21yo, he can switch wings nicely with Serrano and has great trickery, even if I wish his crossing was better. Inaki Albisu is quite similar. A 20yo AMR, he has better all-rounded winger attributes and he's shared the spots with Serrano and Aizpurua. Gorka Pascual is predominantly a DM but had potential as a RB, which is where I've developed him over the last couple of seasons. At 20yo, he has lots of room to grow and will take over Yeray's role there. Borja Esnaola did well on loan at Osasuna in La Liga. Just 19yo, I may give him one more season on loan in the top flight before looking to ease him in ahead of Vencedor in that role. Fernando Garde is in my B side and has endless potential as a 17yo. I'll develop him as an AML, though we have so many options! There are other guys in the B side and below with not quite as much potential but still have a lot to offer if I need to. If I could be greedy, I'd like some more defenders and maybe a 'keeper. Each new intake seems excellent - my technical director is practically 20s throughout and Roberto Samaden is my HOYD - so that's made this save much easier.
  16. It's not even a realistic real life objective. Who are the high profile Basque players? Oyarzabal? Merino? They wouldn't sign for Athletic Club in real life. You wouldn't call Berenguer high profile, for example.
  17. Yeah that constantly happens with me too. I try to remove it in contract negotiations but they won't have any of it. Still, they never get too arsey about it.
  18. I started one season in, so that first season was a write-off really. Finished 7th in the second season. Won the league in the third. Then three 2nd places in seasons four to six. Finished 4th in the seventh season. Just starting the eighth season. So, even without signing anyone, we're comfortably in the CL spots. Valencia are the other big side in the top four, they've got loads of money now (they've won two of the last three titles too).
  19. Strictly Basque. But in my second Athletic Club save, I've gone Lezama only - that is, not signing a single player and relying purely on the academy.
  20. First time this has happened to me, but if this guy turns out to be a world-beater, I'll be very annoyed! I'll check him out in April. Has anyone had a message saying they've poached a player from another academy (most likely Osasuna, judging by Serrano/Sancet IRL)?
  21. @Werrett With loans, I'm never bothered about wages/fees as we generally don't need them, though I wouldn't turn them down. I just want my players to play a higher level of football than they currently do, to have regular football (so they need to be an important player at least), to play in a position I want them to develop in, and ideally for a club doing well/with good facilities. If those offers come in, great. If not, I will try to offer players out, particularly if they're not far off the first team. If my B side is in the second division, I would not loan them unless a La Liga club comes in. I'd rather control their development than pass it to a club at the same level. Given the quality of young players you'll develop, transfer windows (especially deadline days) can be pretty active with requests for loans. Mostly, they're not suitable requests. I must reject at least 3/4 of them and keep the players here.
  22. Season 2026-27 of my Lezama save was a disappointment. After three consecutive 2nd place finishes, we finished 4th, a whole 10pts off 3rd. We also scored 10pts fewer than the previous season as we drew far too many games that we would have needed to win. Valencia won their second title in three seasons. So whilst it was slightly underwhelming, there are obvious mitigations. We aren't making any signings, whilst the three main clubs spend money like it's going out of fashion. We also moved on De Jesus, Morcillo, Cordoba and Nolaskoian - all of whom were peripheral players. So younger players have been the backups. At the same time, some of our original star players are showing decline. Inaki Williams has a year left on his contract and won't receive another. Yeray is also starting to stagnate (he has two years to go and will almost certainly be spent by then). Both will be key as we don't quite have replacements on the right hand side of the pitch immediately. But there are positives of course. Javier Alkorta, our 19yo wonderkid CB is now our best option at the heart of the defence. Xabier Martin, our 21yo midfield orchestrator is quickly becoming one of the best players of his kind in the league. Jon Cordoba, our ridiculously talented 18yo central midfielder is already a wonderkid. We have so many options in the middle of the park - it's the strength of our B team too - that this could require a formation change. As our wide players aren't as good, I'm considering the Venables Euro 1996 Christmas tree formation! The main good news on the youth front is that we finally have a good striker. Villalibre has always been hit and miss so I good hopes for Hugo Nunez, who I've shown before, but his finishing remains rooted at 11, which is nothing like good enough. Iker Larrazabal came into the youth intake two seasons ago and whilst I thought he might come good, he pushed on amazingly this season and he came into the first team during an injury crisis. He's a wonderkid already and his stats are rocketing. He scored 11 in 19 this season and is our number one striker. Pleasingly, I asked the coaches to teach him to lob his finishes - this looks very nice on the match engine! This Summer will see the last of the peripheral players leave - Zarraga, Nico Williams, Inigo Gomeza, possibly Ezkieta. A few B team players will step up. Oh, the B team won the third division at a canter last season. They only went and won the second division too, but obviously they can't come up - but it's a great stepping stone for these players now! Next season, I'll take a top four finish - we're still at that stage where the players coming in to replace those moving on/declining are not quite at their level.
  23. I do all my contracts with all levels. I lock in off-putting release fees, add optional extensions, remove performance related salary increases and remove annual wage rises, even if it means the starting wage is higher than first asked for.
  24. 2025-26 of my Lezama only save is done and dusted and it was another successful season, with another second place finish. Unlike the choke from the previous season, we were never in a position to win it after a sticky spell in March where we got 4pts from 5 games. Barcelona finished top by 1pt (we gained ground at the back end but were never really going to catch them), we were 4pts ahead of Valencia in third. Real Madrid just about sneaked the fourth CL spot. Atletico Madrid are now pretty poor in my save, finishing 8th. We got to the CL QF, losing to Milan, and no real progress in the domestic cups to speak of. In more good news, our B side won the Second Division Pro A by miles and will now be in the second tier, which means I can keep those guys in our squad rather than loaning them out for higher quality football. I had let Muniain, Martinez and Capa move on. Unai Lopez did get a new deal but he should move on this Summer. As should Nolaskoian (constantly complains about game time) and Cordoba (wants a new challenge). Zarraga and Morcillo may leave if we got good offers, but they provide decent enough depth, without ever complaining about lack of games. It's really encouraging on the youth front at the moment. Alkorta is a wonderkid CB (which means Yeray has moved to RB), Martin is an astonishing wonderkid CM and Nunez, our 19yo CF, is improving on his finishing. Gonzalez is a 21yo DM/CB, which gives me great options. We have an excellent 19yo GK prospect too (Munoz), not that we need to rush him. Cordoba, our amazing looking 17yo midfield spent a productive season on loan and will replace Lopez. The current B squad probably aren't ready to be full first team squad players yet, but they may get the odd appearance. I'll cut some of the deadwood from the B squad as we have some C/u19 level players who can step up and who I see as first team material in a few seasons. I hired Roberto Samaden as my HoYD and Paul Mitchell has been my Director of Football for a few years. We were supposed to have a golden generation this season, but I'm less sure - they're a slow burn, perhaps. Anyway, objectives remain the same as always really. I think we'll remain in contention for La Liga but need to be ahead of the big two at any time. More consistency in Europe too is a real aim. I still look at the Basque wonder kids I've wilfully missed out on, but this save is much more enjoyable (except when the board are annoyed that you don't sign young players!)
  25. Given my third keeper in any save barely ever makes an appearance, I wouldn't spend any serious money. There may not be many half decent out of contract players available mid season but I'd just find an ageing keeper happy to be an emergency backup for a couple of seasons who wouldn't cost much. Someone like Hart or Ben Foster?
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