Jump to content
Sports Interactive Community


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About bowieinspace

  • Rank

About Me

  • About Me
    Wanaka, New Zealand

Currently Managing

  • Currently Managing
    Athletic Club
  1. FM18: Athletic Club (Bilbao) - Los Leones

    As you guys will likely discover (if you've not done a La Liga save before) is that by about 5 years into the save, most clubs are in weak shape financially and the amount of transfers around the league drops down very low, with only Barca, Real and perhaps the user ran club to even spend 10million GBP on a player...most clubs have no money to spend and rely on free transfers, often bringing in ageing players for nothing. With Atletico it obviously depends on whether they're consistently getting Champions League money, as with the stadium they have some financial clout, but with Barca, Real and the user club usually dominating the top 3, they often drop out and then struggle to compete in the longer term unless they do some extremely canny transfer business. I reported this as a bug/issue last year but doesn't look like anything has changed this year, and if I'm honest it's part of the reason I've put my Athletic save to one side. I played through until the end of the summer window after winning the Champions League, and there had only been two transfers inbound to La Liga for over 10 million (both Real/Barca). The next biggest was like 5 million or less and overall spending was minuscule. Even Barca/Real start to become feeder clubs for England/PSG/Monaco/Bayern.
  2. FM18: Athletic Club (Bilbao) - Los Leones

    Going to take a break from my Athletic save now and take on a different challenge. After winning the Champions League we have achieved our main goal of the save...often I'm really motivated to keep going, but this year I'm looking for some variety. Will still be on the thread here but won't be posting so many updates on how I'm going - I might get it up and running again at a later date!
  3. FM18: Athletic Club (Bilbao) - Los Leones

    Most changes with patches are save game compatible, aside from database updates. I’m not sure if there was much in the way of changes, it could just have coincided with my run of bad form
  4. FM18: Athletic Club (Bilbao) - Los Leones

    2022/23 Season Review: It all started so well, at the winter break we were undefeated in the league, 10 points clear a the top (15 clear of Madrid/Barca) and playing amazing football. At that stage we wobbled significantly: As you can see, a terrible run in Jan/Feb in the league saw our lead at the top disappear, both Real Madrid and La Real caught us up. A win against Real just before the big dip helped a lot, but losses to Zaragoza and Sevilla in Jan, followed by draws against Valladolid, Granada, Osasuna, Betis and Valencia certainly put us under the pump. It was always against the defensive 4-1-4-1 and we had to find a way to get through it. We ended up adopting a deeper 4-4-2 against the 4-1-4-1 and made some headway. With 3 games to go we were in 2nd in the league, a point behind Real Madrid, however Atletico stole a draw against them and we showed some resolve with 3 consecutive come from behind wins to end the season, winning the league by 1 point. Champions League: What a campaign! In the second half of the season while we struggled against the 4-1-4-1 in the league, we had more freedom to play in the Champions League and took advantage, winning the biggest trophy for the first time. Our group gave us a draw of Chelsea, Shakhtar and Freiburg. We got through that group in 1st place and draw Inter Milan in the first knock out round. I was fairly happy with the draw but Inter gave us a very tough time indeed, as they took the lead twice in the first leg at the San Siro, however we came from behind to secure a 3-2 away victory. Back at San Mames they once again took the lead (in the first 2 minutes), but we held firm, got an equaliser and the game finished 1-1, sending us through 4-3 on aggregate. In the quarter finals we drew Spurs, who are certainly a strong outfit with all of the Premier League money available to them. A 2-0 home win in the first leg put us in a great position, but the second leg was a real emotional rollercoaster. They went 1-0 up inside the first minute and I was definitely nervous, but we responded by scoring 3 in the next 28 minutes to make the tie look very comfortable indeed at a 5-1 aggregate score and 3 away goals. Spurs made it a very nervy affair though as they came back from 3-1 down to end the first half 4-3 in front! We went defensive in the second half and held on to win 5-4 on aggregate. That gave us a semi final tie against PSG - let's not forget they knocked us out 5-4 on aggregate last year after we were 3-0 up at halftime in the first leg...this game was tasty. The first leg was at the San Mames, and we batter them, except instead of the 1-0 win we got the previous season which saw us lose on aggregate, this time we took our chances. Goals from Villalibre x2, Williams and Isusko Alonso meant we were 4-0 with 2 minutes to go and looking very comfortable indeed as they hadn't caused us too many problems. However the Dane Kaspar Dolberg, who had been our undoing last year snuck in a last minute header to end the game 4-1, which left a bit of a sour taste as suddenly our lead looked less comfortable, given some of the up and down ties we'd had thus far....every away game felt like a battle. The second leg came around, I decided to play cautiously at the Parc de Princes, learning from our struggles in the league I adopted a counter attacking 4-1-4-1. We played very well and really restricted their opportunities, while created a few counters of our own. They snuck one in with 5 minutes to go, but never looked like scoring again...revenge was sweet, and we were in the final! A devastating blow before the final - Villalibre out with a twisted ankle, giving him an outside chance of featuring. Two days before the final we also receive injuries to Inigo Cordoba (Iker Muniain was already injured), Jon Martinez our key central midfielder and also Imanol Agirre our other option to play wide left. Fortunately, the injury to Cordoba was just a 1 day affair, so he was back in time. The game was just a few days away, but Martinez was doubtful, however he returned to full training the day of the match and was able to play 75 minutes. The injury to Villalibre meant that his deputy, Ruben Azcona would step in up front. We lined up as follows: Kepa (GK) Odriozola (FBa), Ruiz (CDd), Laporte (BPd), Pena (FBs) Martinez (DLPd), Alonso (CMs) Williams (Ws), Oyarzabal (APs), Cordoba (IFa) Azcona (AFa) Yeray was unlucky to miss out to the rapidly developing Ander Ruiz, and Ignacio Rodriguez is nearly displacing Alonso in the centre of midfield. However in the end, my decision to stick with Alonso was rewarded. I was really happy to see the scout report and note that Bayern were playing a 4-4-2, which our 4-2-3-1 was consistently strong against, meaning we could go with our preferred set up. Bayern lined up as follows: Neuer Kimmich, Hummels, Ginter, Alaba Muller, Milinkovic Savic, Sanches, Coman, Pellegri, Werner Interestingly, a team with no regens, but a devastating 4-4-2, with the pace of Werner alongside the all round game of Pellegri up front, the cleverness of Muller on the right and pace of Coman/Alaba on the left. In the centre they then had the FM god Milinkovic Savic alongside the physical presence of Sanches. A central defensive partnership of Hummels, Ginter and Neuer oozed class and experience. An even game, good chances for both sides and an early injury to Odriozola, which saw him replaced by Lekue. A string of fantastic saves from Arrizabalaga kept it at 0-0 until the back up man, Ruben Azcona breaks the deadlock! 1-0 at half time but it was very even, Kepa had kept the scoreboard at 0. The second half continues in much the same vein, but you could see a bit more confidence appearing amongst the Athletic players. Isusko Alonso added a wonderful second from outside the box - not a man to score often but he popped up when it mattered. At this stage we went 4-1-4-1 to retain our lead, and a few more good saves from Kepa kept the score at 2-0. With the clock ticking down Azcona pops up again following a lovely through ball by Oyarzabal to complete the scoring (it may have been offside). As you can Bayern scored A LOT of goals through the knockout stages, so to keep them at 0 was a) a good day at the office and b) showed how well our 4-2-3-1 works against the 4-4-2. Mission accomplished! Goals can be found here: Regen Update Our high quality young players definitely made the success possible, so here's a run through of some of stars of the campaign. Jon Martinez is something of a superstar now. He leads the midfield and will be our Captain before long Scorer in the Champions League final, Alonso has been a solid partner for Martinez this season, with Mikel Merino dropping to the bench. On the verge of overtaking Kepa for the number 1 spot. They shared 1st choice keeper duties this year. Ander Ruiz is coming on leaps and bounds in the heart of defence and is now the first choice partner to Laporte. Our expensive full back signing from Sevilla. The basque regen had a lot of potential, but had a lot of attributes that needed improving. As you can see he's really kicked on and, while not the most attacking, does a superb job at left back for us. I'd put this guy in the Gerrard mould. He has a fair distance to go in his development, and he tends to play when we need a roaming midfielder in a 4-4-2 so I can give him license to get forwards.
  5. FM18: Athletic Club (Bilbao) - Los Leones

    Nah bit tricky to do that because it's just as likely to be something I need to do differently than it is a 'bug', I just need to give it more time to try to figure it out. Just a bit frustrating when a patch mid season seems to create these situations
  6. FM18: Athletic Club (Bilbao) - Los Leones

    Well since the patch I am having big trouble...I'm strong on the tactical side overall, I know how to create balanced tactics and I know how to adjust to different systems. However for some reason almost every team in La Liga seems to be playing a defensive 4-1-4-1 and I just cannot break it down. Since the patch we have drawn 7 La Liga games 0-0 or 1-1, and lost two away at Sevilla and away at Zaragoza, all of our draws (and the Zaragoza loss) have been against poor sides playing a 4-1-4-1, but we're having no issues seeing off teams at the top of the table, playing any formation (4-1-4-1 or otherwise). I'm not sure if something changed in the patch but against the defensive 4-1-4-1 it's like playing against a wall of defenders for 90 minutes who never leave their own half. I've tried changing things around, dropping deeper to try to draw them out, changing the formation to have the forwards drop off with runners from deep. It seems no matter how I set things up the opposition just have 10 players inside the final 3rd who don't press or move anywhere. I'm very frustrated.
  7. FM18: Athletic Club (Bilbao) - Los Leones

    Odriozola is the best RB you can feasibly have in your team, I'd certainly prioritise him...just make sure he has license to attack.
  8. FM18: Athletic Club (Bilbao) - Los Leones

    I retrain players all the time so yeah it does work. As long as they have a reasonably versatility stat they can usually adapt with enough training/match time
  9. FM18: Athletic Club (Bilbao) - Los Leones

    Hey guys, I've updated all of the club guide posts on the first page. Take a read and let me know if there's anything worth adding following the database update. Quite a few changes so worth checking out the new database even if you're not planning on starting a new game (I'm certainly not!)
  10. FM18: Athletic Club (Bilbao) - Los Leones

    At some point soon I'll update the guides on the first page to reflect the 18.3 update as there's been quite a few changes, spoilers below so don't look below if you don't want to know, also there's no specific CA/PA stuff below, just more general info without going into the numbers. Obviously only relevent if you're planning to start a new game:
  11. FM18: Athletic Club (Bilbao) - Los Leones

    He looks very tidy! Nice to see a full back regen who isn’t completely useless going forwards
  12. FM18: Athletic Club (Bilbao) - Los Leones

    Wow. I heard they added the potential 'golden generation' this year, was waiting to see someone post one on this thread. That is amazing!
  13. FM18: Athletic Club (Bilbao) - Los Leones

    Nice sounds very promising. I've just moved on Javi Martinez (young) and Otegui. Otegui was actually doing pretty well and had come on nicely, but having had 3 excellent central midfield regens come through alongside Mikel Merino, there just wasn't any room for him.
  14. Need a team to start a save with

    I really enjoy managing in the German league....so worth a look there. You get money but can't spend it recklessly, and with Bayern there's always a team to challenge you in the league in the long term. However there's pretty good strength in depth throughout the league with Dortmund, Schalke, RB Leipzig, BMG etc that it feels like every week is a fairly tough game (especially when you're in the first few seasons and you're not up in the Bayern tier yet).
  15. FM18: Athletic Club (Bilbao) - Los Leones

    As Zlatanera has said, star ratings are completely subjective, they're dependent on both the players in your squad, and the overall expectations of your team/club reputation. For example, if you took over at a Segunda B division team and had Mikel Vesga in your squad, he might only be 2.5* at Athletic, but he'd be a 5* star in your Segunda B team comfortably. With your youth players, you might actually have had a few decent ones come through without realising...star ratings are a guide, but don't rely solely on them. Look at individuals attributes and how suited they are to specific roles. Coaches also get potential ability ratings way off some times, I've had plenty of players come through my youth intake with 4*+ potential who never make it past playing in the second tier, as well as plenty come through with 2 star potential who become world class eventually. In terms of what you can do, aside from giving the right players the right chances to develop by not writing them off based on star ratings: 1) Amazing head of youth development with good ratings in: working with youngsters, JPA and JCA. Also your HOYD should have a good personality e.g. professional, fairly professional, determined etc etc. 2) Increase youth recruitment, youth facilities and junior coaching budgets at every opportunity. I'd recommend making youth development a club philosophy, as you naturally play a lot of youth products in the first team. This means that not only will you receive the positive of always maintaining the philosophy, but it also makes it easier to improve facilities over time. 3) Luck - last year I had 3 consecutive youth intakes with world class goalkeepers in them and nothing else, no specific reason for it, just luck of the draw.