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Everything posted by sjg11

  1. September 2018 Results We started the month with a win over Monaco. Adama Traore ran in behind their defence and scored to put us in front. Moutinho then whipped in a corner for Jimenez to make it two. Adrien Silva scored a pop to pull one back and Monaco then pressed late on but it was too little too late for them to snatch anything. We then travelled to Selhurst Park to face Palace. Traore continued his good form by scoring a nice curling shot from the edge of the box to take the three points. Palace pushed late on but couldn't find an equaliser. We then went to Bilbao and had a completely crazy game. I was delighted at half-time as a Ruben Neves pop and an Adama Traore tap in at the back post had given us a 2-0 lead which we deserved. Sadly, after half-time, Muniain and Inaki Williams went on a rampage. Williams converted a Muniain cross to make it 2-1 before Neves scored another pop to put us 3-1 up. Sadly Bilbao then scored straight from the kick-off from through Aduriz from a Yuri Berchiche cross. We then failed to clear a corner and Inigo Martinez drilled in a shot which was deflected in for 3-3. Williams then converted another Muniain cross for 4-3 before substitute Morgan Gibbs-White fired in a screamer for 4-4. Williams then provided the cross for Muniain to make it 5-4. From the kick-off, we worked a shooting opportunity. Neves fired it in but it hit the post and deflected out for a corner off of Remiro. Neves swung the corner in and Willy Boly headed in at the back post to equalise. Absolutely mental game. Porto then came to Molineux and clearly decided that our previous game had been far too entertaining so they set up for a 0-0 draw. Which they got. Leipzig then came to Molineux and, to be fair, they were unlucky to lose this. Traore pounced on a Peter Gulacsi error to put us in front before Traore went on a run to cross in for Jimenez to double the lead. Timo Werner pulled one back late on but it wasn't enough for Leipzig. After an unbeaten month, Neves finished second in the award for Young Player of the Month while Adama Traore wins player of the Month Tables Division One Atletico are currently top of the division. Their closest challengers are still (somehow) Arsenal with Juve and Man City also lurking ominously. At the other end of the table, Real Madrid have been abysmal while the rest of the bottom half are still fairly congested. Division Two We currently sit third, which would be enough for us to claim promotion this season. Leverkusen, Everton, West Ham, Porto, Leicester and Fiorentina are the other sides lurking dangerously at the top half of the table. The bottom half is still fairly congested, with Villarreal the only side looking in danger of being cut adrift at the moment. Division Three Wolfsburg's early season optimism stalled this month as Newcastle took top spot. The top of this division is still very tight, although the bottom of the table looks less congested than in other leagues as there's a bit of a gap between the bottom 7 and everyone else. Division Four Mainz, Augsburg and Vallecano all looking strong at the top of the table. A pool of teams are going to fight it out for the final play-off spot. Fenerbahce remain terrible.
  2. So this save is an attempt to create the definitive European Super League on FM. To start with, I've created four divisions, although more divisions will be added in time. My method for deciding who goes in and who stays out is done by looking at each club's preferred formation (normally the manager's preferred formation) and then calculating an average Current Ability for each side before ranking them and putting them into various divisions. The various European competitions are now Extinct and will cease to exist after the game's first season is completed. After forming the various Leagues I randomly selected Wolves to play as, who play in the European Super League Division Two. There are 20 teams in Division One and 24 teams in the other three Divisions. Wolves, as I'm sure you all know, were one of the first English sides to compete in European competition in the 50s. They even reached the UEFA Cup Final in the 70s. They are one of England's grand old clubs and they have a great starting squad to potentially allow me to compete with the finest teams in Europe in the not too distant future. By my method, Wolves were predicted to finish 12th in the European Super League Division Two. The media have us down to finish 24th. The board are anticipating a top-half finish so seem to agree more with me than the media. Pre-Season I'm largely going to be using the following tactic this season. It's modelled on the Fluid Counter-Attack mentality but is significantly tweaked. I went for a 4-1-4-1 Wide over a 3-4-3 or a 3-5-2 simply because Jonny Otto is better at LWB in real life than he is in the game. Trying to use wing-backs with only Ruben Vinagre (who isn't a great player) as my only LWB seemed destined to end badly so I've stuck with a back four as Jonny actually makes a competent LB. Costa is actually my third choice RAM but Cavaleiro's injured and Traore was suspended for my last game. Leander Dendoncker would also normally start in place of Saiss but is suspended as well. The other main tactic I'll be using is literally a tactic for seeing out the game if I'm leading with 15 or 20 minutes. Again, replace Costa with Cavaleiro or Traore and Saiss with Dendoncker. I'd also normally bring Vinagre on for Jonny in this system (although I'm happy to use this Screenshot to prove my point about Jonny at LWB): I only had the funds to make a single signing so welcome Victor Nelsson to provide reinforcements at CB or in midfield for the next season: He's not far off displacing Conor Coady at CB already and he's got great potential along with the ability to play a variety of positions to a strong level. Should prove to be a useful player for the years to come. August 2019 We started with a defeat against Leicester which I feel was harsh. Jamie Vardy is a bit of a bogey player for me on FM and he inevitably scored from his only two shots on target but we probably deserved to take a point from this one, with Raul Jimenez pouncing on a Wes Morgan error to pull one back for us. Still, performances often matter more than results on the first day and this was a good performance. This game was far more straightforward. Two Joao Moutinho corners and a pair of Raul Jimenez headers at the back post giving us our first win of the season. We also picked up our first clean sheet of the season too. This was another good win. Memphis Depay scored a screamer to give Lyon the lead before Raul Jimenez pounced on an Anthony Lopes error to equalise. Jonny Otto then fired in from the edge of the box after an unconvincing clearance from Rafael to seal a second straight win. We ended the month with a trip to Florence which proved to be a little bit frustrating. Diogo Jota finished off a good counter-attack to give us the lead but Hernani curled in an equaliser from the edge of the box during Fiorentina's last attack to rescue a point for the home side. Tables Division One Juventus and... ummm... somehow Arsenal are currently top of Division One. Chelsea and Atletico have both started fairly ominously while Madrid, Bayern, PSG and Barcelona in particular have failed to convince. City and Liverpool also need to find some form quickly in order to put some pressure on Juve at the top. At the bottom, Valencia, Bayern, Napoli and Sevilla are still winless. Division Two In Division Two, we currently sit 9th but with a game in hand on most of the teams above us which, if we win, would put us right in the mix of the early promotion battle. Bayer Leverkusen look like the best side in the division so far but things are still very congested. Lyon, Palace and Atalanta are still winless. Division Three Wolfsburg are the early pacesetters in Division Three, another league which is reasonably congested so far. Newcastle and Bournemouth currently fill the other promotion spaces. For the English sides, Fulham, Huddersfield and Southampton look like it could be a fairly long season. But there's more than enough time for them to recover for the moment. Division Four I won't be playing in Division Four until I've added another League in, which may take a little while. Mainz are the early leaders with a Spanish trio of Alaves, Getafe and Vallecano also looking dangerous. Burnley are the only English side in this division and they haven't started particularly well, although they have recovered after a poor start to the season. Fenerbahce are trash. #WolfPack
  3. Hey, having some technical problems. Will let you know if I manage to fix them and get things running again.
  4. February and Early March 2006 La Liga We started the month with a fairly routine win against Zaragoza. Beckham curled in a free-kick to give us the lead before Robinho and Ronaldo broke in the second half, with Ronaldo finishing off the move to secure three points. This was, in truth, a really poor game settled by an early moment of magic from Zidane who lobbed the Sociedad keeper from distance to give us the win. This was an annoying one. We were comfortably on top for 70 minutes and were rewarded through two Robinho goals but Eto'o and Larsson scored twice in the last 20 minutes to gain a point for Barca. This was an even game until Juanito's red card. From that point Gravesen fired in from the edge of the box to put us in front before Ronaldo broke away to secure the points early in the second half. In FM05 I had a terrible record at Mallorca, I even lost there when they got relegated in the final season. Fortunately we bucked the trend here, Ronaldo poking home from a corner to give us the lead before breaking away to double it shortly afterwards. Overall, we're in a good position in the title race. Which I'm pretty happy with as I think beating that Barca team with this Madrid team is a pretty good achievement for my first season. Betis have dropped out of the hunt leaving Atleti, Barca, Valencia and Villarreal competing for the top 4 places and potentially the title. At the other end, Cadiz look doomed and Sociedad and Zaragoza are probably safe now. Anyone else is still definitely in the relegation battle. Champions' League Sadly Bayern dumped us out of Europe. To their credit they were excellent defensively over the two legs but, annoyingly, their two goals were pops by Ballack and Ismael. To be honest I'm not too upset though as I'm not sure that my squad is good enough to win the CL and I do think that we can win La Liga this season so it's not the end of the world to be focusing on that for the rest of the season.
  5. January 2006 First things first, transfer news. I got given £17 Million to spend which wasn't enough for the high-class addition I would have looked to bring in but was at least enough for me to bring in Kim Kallstrom to give me an extra body in midfield for £11.5 Million La Liga We started the month with a win at home to Vigo which was not as comfortable as the scoreline might suggest. A young David Silva gave Vigo the lead but Raul swiftly equalised. Roberto Carlos was then given a ridiculous red card but a quickfire double from Raul and Robinho means that we took the points anyway. This win was fairly comfortable as a quick double from Julio Baptista gave us an early 2-0 lead. Raul Bravo then conceded a penalty to allow them back into the match but Robinho swiftly responded to secure 3 more points. This was another somewhat nervy win. Things looked comfortable after Robinho gave us the lead and Sergio was sent-off for the Galician side. However, a great Diego Tristan free-kick brought Depor right back into the match and it took a late goal from super-sub Cassano to secure the points. This was a highly frustrating game against struggling Alaves. Beckham scored two great free-kicks which should have given us the points. Sadly Michel Salgado had a horrific game which allowed Ruben Navarro to score a brace and give Alaves a potentially priceless point. We remain top but, once again, we do not feel unbeatable in the way that some of my sides felt on FM05. Atleti, Barca and even Valencia are still in the hunt at the moment. Deportivo have fallen back a bit to turn a top 7 into a top 6 but things are still remarkably tight at the top. At the other end, a few sides beginning to pull away from the drop zone a little bit. Espanyol have moved into mid-table and Getafe and Athletic Bilbao are starting to look a little bit more secure. The bottom 5 really look like they'll be in the thick of things for the rest of the season along with probably another team or two from mid-table. Copa del Rey We started with a tie against Celta where I played my Reserves and which was largely notable for a Roberto Soldado brace in the second leg. If this part of the save lasts for an extended period it's possible that Soldado might break into my first-team squad at some point and he's been sent on loan to Zaragoza for the rest of the season. Barca then dumped us out. I rested a few key players for this tie (although I wouldn't go as far as to say I played the reserves) and that probably nudged things in Barca's favour. 3 of their 4 goals were also pretty flukey. But not too upset to be out of the Copa as it allows me to focus my attention elsewhere for the rest of the season.
  6. December 2005 La Liga We started the month with a game against Espanyol which was definitely not one for the neutrals. Still not the worst result in the world for us. *Sighs*, this was a frustrating one. We created chances but didn't take and, to their credit, Sevilla were clinical on the counter-attack as we dropped points at home. I do not like dropping points at home. Fortunately we made up for the defeat against Sevilla by winning a dramatic encounter at the Vicente Calderon. Julio Baptista gave us the lead on the stroke of half-time before Gonzalo Colsa equalised from an Atleti corner. Guti then got clear down the left-hand side and David Beckham converted his cross to put us back in front. However, things looked to have turned against us when Fernando Torres equalised followed by a red card for Pablo Garcia for two yellow cards. Fortunately, Antonio Cassano was played in at the death and he converted to snatch a priceless three points for us. We finished the month with a good win against Valencia in another important match at the top of the table. This was Ronaldo's first start of the season after his injury and he made his mark by converting a Robinho cross to win the game. Well we remain on top at the end of the month but it is going to be a very interesting end to the season. To be honest, nobody is winning games on a consistent basis currently so the title race is probably going to go the distance. It looks like it's a 5-horse race between myself, Atleti, Valencia, Barca and Villarreal but Betis and even Deportivo are poised somewhat dangerously to form a top 7. Overall I'm in a position where I'm content with how we're performing and I'm aware of the limitations of my squad but I feel like this title is there for the taking if we can just find a little bit of consistency in the second half of the season. Sevilla are the only mid-table side at the moment as everyone from Racing Santander down look like they could be dragged into a relegation battle where nobody looks out of their depth but very few teams look particularly comfortable. Champions' League We successfully secured our place in the Second Round of the CL with a fairly routine home win against Lille. Raul and Robinho combined well to ensure three points. Porto losing 5-1 at home to Udinese was also welcome news as it allowed us to take top spot. 1. Real Madrid- 10 2. Porto- 9 3. Lille- 7 4. Udinese- 7 We'll face Bayern in the next round, a tricky tie but I tended to have a good record against Bayern on FM05 so we'll see if that continues here.
  7. November 2005 La Liga We started the month with a routine home win against Santander. They were fairly determined opponents and they looked decent until Robinho opened the scoring and for a spell when Oscar Serrano made it 2-1 but we did enough to take the three points. This... was one of those classic frustrating FM games where we completely dominated but were thwarted after a brilliant performance by the Cadiz keeper. Things were thrown after this one. Fortunately we followed the Cadiz with an excellent performance at Malaga as we tore our opponents to shreds to secure a 5-1 victory. A red card for Alexis helped out cause but we were already looking comfortable before the red card occurred. Bad news occurred as Diego Lopez picked up an injury. An injection was required to nurse him through my midweek CL match at Udinese, details of which can be found below. Further injuries to Raul and Julio Baptista were our latest casualties leaving me without Ronaldo, Raul, Baptista, Zidane, Casillas and Lopez. This left me with a greyed out GK (Rodolfo Martin) playing as well as forcing me to play Pablo Garcia... who then also got injured forcing me to bring in Jotha (a random youngster). My mood was not improved when Andoni Iraola scored a free-kick to give Bilbao. However, something then happened as we poured forward and a goal from Robinho followed by a brace from Cassano gave us three very good points given our mounting injury crisis. Hopefully a few players will return soon and I'll be able to start moving forwards more effectively. Overall, the table is looking pretty good for us at the moment as we sit at the top of La Liga. Atleti look to be our closest challengers with Barca, Valencia and Betis also poised to launch a potential challenge. At the other end of the table, a whole cluster of teams could yet be involved in the relegation scrap but the teams from Cadiz down look like being the main contenders at this moment in time. Champions' League This was a highly damaging defeat against Porto which could yet cost me a place in the Second Round. Once again, Lopez produced a poor goalkeeping performance and Porto came out on top after a thrilling game of football. This left us needing a win in Udine to keep our CL challenge alive. Fortunately Vidigal was sent off after a minute to make our job substantially easier. They held out until after half-time where Michel Salgado won the ball in midfield and charged clear before being chopped down by Valerio Bertotto. Thomas Gravesen converted the penalty before curling in a second a few minutes later. Raul and Cassano added further goals to keep our CL challenge alive. 1. Porto- 9 2. Lille- 7 3. Real Madrid- 7 4. Udinese- 4 It's not exactly been vintage Madrid but a win against Lille in my final match will send me through. That's a win which is likely to prove somewhat nervy however and I could be left looking at an embarrassing CL performance in my first season in charge.
  8. October 2005 La Liga One thing which I forgot to mention in my last update is that Ronaldo was injured in an international game in August for 4 months. He's expected back in early December. We started the month with an excellent win at home to Betis. Raul, Baptista and Robinho all linked up well to give us a comfortable win. However, this was followed by another big injury in an international game, with Zidane out for between 3 to 5 months. This win against Mallorca was routine. Cassano scored an amazing overhead kick to open the scoring in what was the most noteworthy moment of the entire match. This game was one where we always looked superior but we were never comfortable. Raul gave us an early lead before Paunovic equalised with a great striker. Baptista and Cassano then scored a quickfire double around the 70 minute mark before Jaja scored a consolation to ensure a slightly nervy finish. This was a frustrating game where a disciplined Villarreal side largely managed to stifle my attack before taking the points with a Diego Forlan header on 70 minutes. In more bad injury news, Casillas broke his finger leaving him out of action for a month. Meaning I'm gonna spend November with my main keeper, my best midfielder and my best striker injured along with a defence which is not exactly vintage. In better news, we end the month only two points behind Atleti at the top of the table. Valencia's downfall occurred this month and we've maintained a reasonable lead over Barca. The title race is still very open as things stand. Currently the relegation spots are filled by the three newly promoted sides but, similar to the top of the table, things are still close enough that plenty will change between now and the end of the season. Champions' League This game was one of those games which makes you start throwing things. Casillas was injured meaning I needed to put Diego Lopez in goal. He proceeded to produce one of the worst goalkeeping performances I've seen for some time as he failed to save anything all match. Meaning that, despite some great attacking play and despite absolutely dominating Porto, we come away with just a point from a game where we really needed a win. It also means that I've conceded from my last 4 shots on target in the CL. I'm also very squeamish about how Lopez will perform after Casillas' injury against Villarreal. 1. Lille- 7 2. Real Madrid- 4 3. Porto- 3 4. Udinese- 1 We're still not in a terrible position in the group but we need to focus quickly or we could be the victims of an embarrassing early elimination from the CL. I'll admit that I would be very surprised if we won the CL this season... but getting knocked out in the group stage would still be an embarrassment particularly from what should be a fairly straightforward group.
  9. I expect more from Chelsea here. On FM05 Arsenal are the best side in the game at the start of the save. Which is fair considering that it was the year after the Invincibles. That naturally makes it kinda hard for Chelsea to do much in game.
  10. To be honest, there's a big drop-off in game for Valencia between FM05 and FM06. On 05, the in-game bookies actually tipped them to win La Liga in the first season and they managed to finish ahead of Barca. On 06 they were predicted to finish 6th. 04-05 was really the end of the Cuper/Benitez Valencia team as they did not thrive under Ranieri.
  11. In other news I've made some small tactical amendments during the month. Firstly, I've switched tackling down to Easy as this game seems to produce a lot of red cards. Secondly, I play in a less Attacking style away from home after some irritating early away results.
  12. August and September 2005 La Liga We started our season with a really poor performance against Deportivo. They were good value for the win as we failed to build on an early goal from David Beckham. This was a fairly routine win over Alaves as we dominated, took the lead through a Zidane goal and then held on after a red card for Michel Salgado. This... was a deeply frustrating one. Robinho put us in front before Ewerthon equalised with a goal out of nowhere. They then had two players sent off but we couldn't find a winner. A red card for Cicinho did not help our cause. This win against Sociedad was pretty routine, particularly after Julio Baptista put us in front. Cassano then doubled the lead to make things comfortable. We then gained a magnificant win in the save's first Classico. Baptista and Raul produced the early goals to give us a 2-0 lead before a pair of defensive errors allowed Barca back into the match. Fortunately, Zidane then produced a magnificent win to secure three priceless points at the Nou Camp. So... not a terrible table for us so far. We are 5 points behind Valencia but they'll fade at some point in the season. The important thing is that Barca have had a terrible start to the season and we're 5 points above them. Too early for seeing who the main challengers and lemmings are going to be at this point. Champions' League We produced an excellent performance at home against Udinese in what was a routine win. We were 3 goals up after 20 minutes and things were extremely comfortable from there. This was an annoying one as Matt Moussilou scored a screamer with their only shot on target and we then failed to break Lille down for the remainder of the match. 1. Lille- 4 2. Real Madrid- 3 3. Porto- 2 4. Udinese- 1 Still, draws in the other two games in the Group mean that we are still in a good position to qualify for the next round despite that defeat in France.
  13. FM 2006 Overview Alright time to move onto FM2006 then. In real life, 2005-06 was a troubled season for Real Madrid. They finished the season in 2nd place behind Rijkaard's Barcelona but they only finished two points above fifth-placed Sevilla and they could have lost their CL spot that season. They were knocked out in the last 16 of the CL by Arsenal and Zaragoza knocked them out of the Copa del Rey in the semi-finals. Wanderley Luxemburgo started the season as Madrid manager but was replaced mid-season by Juan Ramon Lopez Caro. The database I'm using has Lopez Caro in charge so he's who my profile is based off. Here's the squad I'll be using this season: So... overall our squad... has gotten substantially worse from FM05. Casillas in goal is fine and Diego Lopez is an improvement on Cesar as a backup. My defence has been weakened through losing Walter Samuel and Jonny Woodgate's long-term injury. Roberto Carlos and Salgado will be my starting full-backs with Sergio Ramos and Ivan Helguera as the CBs. Woodgate may come in for Ramos when he's fit. Cicinho is a good backup for Salgado while Raul Bravo should prove a competent back-up for Roberto Carlos. Francisco Pavon is also there to play CB if I have an injury crisis. My midfield... is worse. I've lost Figo and Albert Celades and gained Antonio Cassano, Thomas Gravesen and Julio Baptista. Figo was my best AM on the wings at the start of the last save and, honestly, I think that this squad needs a narrow midfield. Beckham can't really play as a RAM and I have no LM for a flat 4 in midfield. Gravesen is also my only DM and I am... unconvinced about his ability to be a key player for my squad. Moreover, I have no real depth in midfield and I only have a transfer budget of £700,000 so I have no real way of bringing in enough depth to shore up that section of the pitch. My forwards are Ronaldo, Raul and Robinho with Cassano and Baptista also able to play there. Overall, Morientes is massively overrated on FM05 and I've also lost Owen so I think I'm also weaker here. At least to begin with I'm going to try to play with 2 strikers and see what happens. So... tactics. I TRY to stay trueish to what a team played in real life (unless I think their starting formation is really, really stupid). Madrid at the time played with 2 strikers and 4-4-2 is listed as Juan Ramon Lopez Caro's default formation in the game. But... I don't have a LM and I'm not gonna be able to bring someone in who is up to Madrid standards with my transfer budget. So I think a 4-3-1-2 stays trueish to Madrid of the period without forcing me to play lots of people out of position. I may well switch it to either a diamond or a narrow 4-2-3-1 (I DO have some decent CAMs in my squad, probably the main area of improvement from last year) if I need to as winning games takes priority over flavour for me but we'll see how it goes. As for my Team Instructions, I think they're fairly self-explanatory. My strategy tends to be press high and fairly aggressively at a quick tempo while moving the ball forward fairly quickly and moving players forward fairly quickly. Again I'm unconvinced by this squad so I may play more conservatively, particularly away from home. But at least to begin with this seems sensible. I'll return with an Update once I've gotten a few games under my belt. I'll admit that I'm not that positive about the upcoming season, this was the peak of Rijkaard's Barca and it was the nadir for Perez's first spell at Madrid. I imagine this will be reflected in the game and I would honestly be delighted if I won La Liga this season. The CL seems a LONG way away right now.
  14. Good news, managed to find a bit of time this afternoon this afternoon and look at the problem and I have found the solution I used. The issue is that this solution will only work if you're not using Windows 10. Effectively a lot of games in the mid-00s used a programme called SafeDisc. Windows deemed that this programme was unsafe so they blocked it in 2015. The good news is that if you're using Windows Vista/7/8 you can try the solution mentioned below: (or just delete Update KB3086255 as I did. I would not necessarily recommend deleting updates as a general rule but I did it on my desktop and old games now run and it still works BUT I cannot guarantee the same result on other computers). https://www.pcworld.com/article/2985806/windows-vista-7-8-update-prevents-some-old-cd-rom-games-from-running.html The above will work if you can install the game but can't play it on an older operating system. This is normally the thing where you click on the icon on your desktop and nothing happens. If you have Windows 10 the bigger issue you will have is that the programme is embedded into the operating system rather than simply being an update. There are some possible solutions if you have Windows 10 mentioned at the bottom of the above article but I do not believe that an updated version of the mid-00s FMs without SafeDisc exists as that is what you would need for it to be compatible with Windows 10. There is another solution mentioned but I have NO idea how to do it so someone else with more technical expertise would have to figure it out. As for games not installing, something which I sometimes finds works is to open Setup manually. Just go on "This PC//This Computer". Then right click on the icon of the game there and open the Program Files. There should be a way to open the installer manually there and that often works to kickstart and older game. So... yeah by all means try that as it worked for me.
  15. There is something else you can try with 05 but I bookmarked the details on my home computer and I’m abroad right now. I’ll put the details up here when I get back to England. 05 is definitely different to modern FMs. I love the end to end madness, trying to play possession football in 05 is largely pointless. That and the ridiculous number of goals from set pieces. Walter Samuel was a very reliable source of goals for me on 05.
  16. Have you tried running 05 as an administrator? Also surprised there are issues with 09, once the games run on Steam I don’t usually have an issue with them...
  17. Hey guys, good news is I have FM 06 installed and ready to go but I’m away this week so will resume then.
  18. End of Season 2006-07 In Group A, French champions Monaco once again failed to reach the last 16, as they fell to reigning champions Juventus and Fenerbahce. Group B was the Group of Death and we went through along with Liverpool. Valencia were knocked out after losing both games against PSV, allowing them to progress along with Bayer Leverkusen. Arsenal and Anderlecht comfortably saw off Benfica and Celtic. Betis couldn't quite get past CSKA Moscow as Chelsea topped Group E. In the easiest CL group ever, Parma progressed along with Wisla Krakow. Ajax were knocked out again, this time by Lyon and Barcelona while Inter Milan and St. Etienne were considerably better than Kobenhavn and Club Brugge. The Last 16 didn't see many upsets. PSV knocking out Liverpool was a surprise as was St. Etienne's victory over Chelsea. Parma were another surprise quarter-finalist after beating Lyon. Juve, Inter Milan, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Barcelona all saw off weaker opposition relatively comfortably. The tie of the round saw us knock out Juve as a comfortable win at the Bernabeu followed an undeserved draw in Turin. The other ties were fairly straightforward as Arsenal, Inter and Barca saw off PSV, St. Etienne and Parma respectively. The semi-finals were both excellent ties. Our tie against Arsenal was a goalfest which was described in detail above while Inter got revenge on Barca for knocking them out of the CL last season by winning both legs of their tie here. The final proved to be a surprisingly comfortable win for Real Madrid as we secured our tenth CL crown. AC Milan beat Manchester United 1-0 in the UEFA Cup as they finally managed to win a European final after losing successive CL finals. Premier League Manchester United secured the Premier League title in their first season under Hector Cuper. In a close title race, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal completed the top 4. Middlesbrough rebounded from a dreadful League campaign in 2005-06 by finishing 5th. At the other end of the table, Wigan and QPR were out of their depth while Sunderland lost a three way battle with Leeds and Bolton for survival. They would have been replaced by Sheffield United, Brighton and Birmingham City if we were to continue with FM05 for another season. Coventry City, Championship strugglers, stunned everyone by beating Premier League champions Manchester United 2-1 in the FA Cup final while United did manage to win the League Cup after a 2-1 win over Charlton. Ligue 1 Monaco secured their third successive Ligue 1 title. PSG and Marseille took the other CL places. At the other end of the table, Ajaccio, Strasbourg and Istres went down to be replaced by Sedan, Angers and Nancy. Lyon had a notably poor season, only finishing 7th and missing out on CL football. Bundesliga After nearly getting relegated last season, Werder Bremen completely turned things around to secure the Bundesliga title as Bayern once again failed to take the title. Koln were the season's main surprise packages, finishing 3rd and claiming a CL place. Hamburg had a dreadful season but avoided relegation as Kaiserslautern, Duisburg and Hannover fell through the trap door to be replaced by Cottbus, Wolfsburg and 1860 Munich. Serie A AC Milan won Serie A after a close title battle where only two points separated the top 4. Sampdoria proved to be a surprise package, finishing fourth to qualify for the CL. At the other end of the table, Messina, Ascoli and Udinese went down to be replaced by Bologna, Chievo and Siena. Liga Segunda If the game had continued for another season, the three teams promoted to La Liga would have been Alaves, Real Valladolid and Tenerife. So that completes the FM05 portion of the game and we'll move onto FM06 shortly, possibly tonight and maybe tomorrow. I'm looking forward to continuing to routinely defeating Barcelona for however long this save goes on for.
  19. May 2007 We started the month with a surprisingly comfortable win at a poor Deportivo side. Every time we broke on them we looked like we could score and they completely failed to deal with our attack all game. We then moved onto a very comfortable win against Zaragoza. To be fair they proved to be stubborn opposition for 70 minutes before Ronaldo added a second and the game went away from them. We then proceeded to have one of those frustrating games where we create loads of chances but fail to finish them off. This result pretty much gave Barca the title as it put us 4 points behind them with 2 games left. We then lost to Cadiz in a game where I played my reserves in preparation for the CL final in midweek. Cadiz are better in the game than you would expect them to be so playing my reserves was always likely to prove dodgy. We ended the season with a tame, meaningless 0-0 draw against Villarreal. Not really much to say about this one. So, overall, Barca took the title (Boo!). The top 4 race was eventually won by Valencia and Villarreal and Osasuna failed to catch their rivals to survive. They go down along with Mallorca and Sporting Gijon. Champions' League We won the Champions' League! Overall this was a surprisingly comfortable final. Nicolas Burdisso conceded the penalty from which Sneijder converted. Ronaldo then did what he does best and doubled the lead before Sneijder added a third just after half-time. Adriano pulled one back but Inter were never really in this game and never looked like taking the trophy. Ironically this makes it the third year in a row in which a Milan club lost the CL final. It also means that we will be moving to FM06 after my end of season update. Copa del Rey https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img924/9175/Fl4QuV.png We overturned the deficit in the Copa del Rey semi-final against Valencia. Bernardo Corradi gave them an early lead but we turned the game on its head with two goals just after half-time from Fernando Morientes and Andrea Pirlo. Guti added a late third to send us through to a final against Barcelona. The final against Barcelona turned out to be an excellent game of football. Albert Luque put them in front in the 1st minute before Roberto Carlos equalised. Van Bronckhorst then put them back in front before two Ronaldo goals in 10 minutes put us in front. Walter Samuel finished the game off with a goal from a corner.
  20. February, March and April 2007 A slightly longer update from me today as I've had time to play the game but have not had time to write an update over the last couple of days. La Liga We started this run of games with the second Classico of the season which proved to be a deeply frustrating game as we probably deserved to at least get a point. Sadly Barca won though to open up a lead at the top of La Liga. We then travelled to Mallorca, a ground which has been a major bogey ground for me so far in this save considering that I still haven't won there. And predictably this was another defeat there. We then hosted Cadiz in a game which proved to be fairly routine and uneventful as we always looked like we'd take the three points. We then hosted Levante. Due to fixture congestion I decided to rest some people before this one. I swiftly regretted that decision as we failed to break down a struggling Levante team and dropped two crucial points. We then hosted Sporting Gijon, who really are completely useless. The victory was as routine as you would have expected it to be. This was possibly the most frustrating game we've played all season. We dominated this game and Sociedad had one shot on target all game, which was a 35 yard free kick from Arteta. Naturally it went in and we dropped two more points. We then produced a good performance in order to net a good win at Malaga, van Bommel and van der Vaart providing the goals. Celta then travelled to the Bernabeu and the resulting win was nice and routine. Osasuna them came to the Bernabeu. Unfortunately for them, Ronaldo was in the mood for goals. To be precise, he was in the mood to score 6 goals. Osasuna went back to Pamplona with their tail between their legs. Ronaldo came to Santander. Ronaldo scored a hat-trick. Three points went back to the Bernabeu. Betis came to the Bernabeu and played well. Ronaldo was also injured for this one ensuring that this was a hard fought win, van Bommel and Gerrard being the two goalscorers. Bilbao came. Bilbao were conquered. Three points stayed at the Bernabeu. Ronaldo was Ronaldo. We slaughtered Espanyol as a result. Morientes also came off the bench to add his obligatory goal. This was another frustrating game. Valencia had two shots on target, both of which went in while we created numerous chances but didn't finish them and dropped two more points as a result of that. Sadly it looks like Barca are probably gonna win La Liga this season, a 7 point gap may be unassailable at this point in the season. The CL race looks more interesting with Valencia, Villarreal, Sociedad, Atleti and Betis all still serious contenders for a CL place next season. Sporting Gijon are down and Mallorca look set to join them. Osasuna currently occupy the last relegation place and will be looking to overtake either Levante or Celta Vigo to secure another season in La Liga. In other news, Victor Fernandez took charge of Zaragoza. Claudio Ranieri was sacked by Valencia and replaced by Cruz. Michael Laudrup was sacked by Sevilla and replaced by Enrique Estebaranz. Champions' League We started with a comfortable win over Leverkusen at the Bernabeu. Sneijder put us in front before Walter Samuel scored from a corner to double that advantage. When Franca gave Leverkusen an early lead, I was concerned that they may launch a comeback. Fortunately the comeback never materialised and the game kind of petered out after Leverkusen received two red cards. Alright I complain a lot about dropping points in games which I have dominated where the opposition gets a lucky goal and snatches a draw or a win when it's undeserved. Well here I have to acknowledge that Juve should have put this tie to bed in the first 80 minutes of this match. They battered us. Admittedly I had 4 or 5 players who were either injured or tired but still. Two Olivera goals were the least that they deserved. But then something happened. Morientes found himself through on goal on 80 minutes. He scored what was our first chance all match. Then we won a corner. The ball came in and bobbled around the box a bit before Wesley Sneijder prodded the ball over the line to snatch a completely undeserved draw. An early Ronaldo goal put us at ease in the home leg. From there we recorded a fairly comfortable and routine win. So we faced Arsenal in the semi-final and... honestly I have no idea how to describe this game. Ronaldo's performance was simply sensational. I don't know how many of you guys have seen the goal but it was like that famous Ronaldo goal where he beats 3 or 4 opposition players before scoring happening 4 times in the same match. The Arsenal defence just could not handle him. To Arsenal's credit they kept coming at us and scored 5 goals themselves, including a come back from 5-3 down in the last 10 minutes with goals from corners from Sol Campbell and Edu. But this was Ronaldo's night. Honestly the best performance I have ever seen from an individual player either in RL or on FM. We then slaughtered them in the second leg. To be fair the game really ended when Lehmann had to take Ronaldo out in the box (after Ronaldo went on another run deep into Arsenal territory). He got a red card and, although the initial penalty was saved, van der Vaart converted the rebound and the tie was over from there. We face Inter Milan in the Final. Copa del Rey We're still very much in the tie against Valencia in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey. Annoyingly though we were 2-1 up at half-time and couldn't see it out for a win or a draw. Still a late penalty from Ronaldo keeps the tie very much in the balance.
  21. January 2007 La Liga We started the month with a trip to a struggling Zaragoza side that proved to be fairly fruitful. They gave us a decent game for an hour but when Morientes put us in front it was game over for them and we secured the points. Our trip to Villarreal was nowhere near as routine as the scoreline may suggest. Villarreal were definitely in this game until Beckham put us 2-0 up and then Sneijder added a third to add some gloss to the scoreline. We ended the month with a frustrating game at Sevilla where we created enough chances to take the three points and their goal came a little bit out of nowhere. Oh well, it happens. If we win our game in hand we overtake Barca! But then again our next game is at the Nou Camp so we could easily lose our recently gained advantage if we lose there. Valencia look like a good bet for top 4 and a battle may well develop between Atleti and Betis for that final spot. At the bottom, Mallorca and Sporting Gijon look doomed. Currently it looks like it may well come down to a battle between Celta Vigo and a Levante side who have been in awful form for the final relegation place. This month also saw a lot of managerial changes. Luis Sanchez Duque was appointed at Osasuna. Fernando Vazquez was sacked by Celta and replaced by Emilio Ferrera and Victor Munoz was sacked by struggling Zaragoza. Copa del Rey Our games in the Copa this month started with a tie against Universidad Las Palmas which was the definition of routine. Atletico, predictably, proved to be far more challenging opponents. To their credit they were actually set to go through until Sneijder put us 3-2 up early in the second half. From there we successfully romped to three points. In other news, I made a couple of sales this month, with Ivan Helguera leaving for Valencia for 6.5 Million and Raul leaving to Milan in exchange for 25.5 Million along with Andrea Pirlo and a young winger called Federico Piazza. I wasn't planning to sell Raul but I felt like that was too good a deal to turn down for a 29 year old who is very much a backup player for me. Plus adding Pirlo in allows me to add another name to the save.
  22. December 2006 La Liga We started the month with a frustrating draw against Atletico. If my forwards had been in the mood we could have won about 3 games with the number of chances we created but it was not to be. We then went to San Mames and thrashed Bilbao. Walter Samuel scored two early goals and the floodgates opened from there as we produced one of those performances where we look unstoppable. Espanyol are a pretty poor side and our forwards had a bit of a field day against them here. A bit irritated that we didn't keep a clean sheet but such is life. I'm not too disappointed with a point at the Mestalla and to be honest we didn't do enough to win the game. Valencia played well and could even have won after Olic scored before van der Vaart netted a late leveller to rescue a potentially useful point. We finished the month with a fairly routine win against a declining Deportivo side. Raul and Morientes were the goalscorers. At the end of the month things are pretty close between us and Barca. This title race will definitely be decided in the next few months. The Champions League battle still has Atleti, Betis and Valencia as the main contenders but Villarreal and Malaga are also lurking with intent just outside the top 4. Relegation looks like it will be between the bottom six currently but Mallorca and Sporting Gijon already look like they could be in serious trouble. In other news, Javier Aguirre was sacked as Osasuna manager this month. Champions' League We finished the group with a comfortable win over Milan in a game that ended up being pretty meaningless. 1. Liverpool- 16 2. Real Madrid- 13 3. AC Milan- 6 4. Bayern Munich- 0 We face Bayer Leverkusen in the next round which is not a bad draw considering that we finished second in our group.
  23. November 2006 La Liga We started the month with a home win against Malaga that was the definition of routine due to a pair of Ronaldo goals. This,,, was a deeply frustrating game. We battered Santander and really should have won this one by a few goals. But we didn't take our chances and they scored with their only chance all game to snatch a point. Casillas was abysmal here and may have cost us a point. He really should have saved both of their goals. I'll give Betis some credit though, they were defensively excellent all match. Ronaldo did his thing and we took three points away from Galicia. To be honest not our best month in La Liga and we actually fall behind Barca who have won every game except for the Classico so far. The title race is pretty much down to the two of us already. Elsewhere in the table, Betis, Atleti and Valencia look like the main challengers for a top 4 spot while the bottom three look to be in a significant amount of trouble already. Still very early in the season though. Benito Floro also came in as Cadiz manager last month but I forgot to mention it in my last update. Champions' League Bayern played their reserves and we largely proved to be too good for them in a comfortable victory. The other result was also important as Liverpool beat Milan 3-2 at the San Siro which ensures that I will be progressing but also ensures a second place finish. As long as we don't get Arsenal in the next round I'll probably be able to manage but it's still a little bit frustrating. 1. Liverpool- 13 2. Real Madrid- 10 3. AC Milan- 6 4. Bayern Munich- 0 Copa del Rey We had a fairly routine win against Gimnastic in the Copa del Rey. Universidad Las Palmas are our next opponents.
  24. Thanks, I appreciate the following. Yeah I'll admit that a big part of the reason why I picked Madrid was simply because of the legendary names I either had already or could bring in.
  25. October 2006 La Liga We started the month with the season's first Classico and once again we had our way with Barcelona when they went to the Bernabeu. To be fair they actually managed to make a game of it for an hour this year which I believe is the best they've actually done in the save. But it was comfortable for us, particularly when Morientes added a couple of goals off the bench. We then went to a Levante side who had started the season pretty well. Fortunately Ronaldo was in the mood and we tore them to shreds. I sent out my reserves for this one and Guti came into the side to bag a couple of goals in a 3-0 win. This one was over before half-time. We then travelled to Gijon who are pretty poor. And Ronaldo did what Ronaldo tends to do against poor teams. Champions' League We then travelled to New Anfield to face Liverpool. And we continued our bad record against as Djibril Cisse became Messi for 90 minutes. Chris Kirkland also seems to become weirdly good whenever we play them. Well we were superior for pretty much the whole match. But once again Kirkland was amazing and Cisse turned into Messi so we dropped two points. Liverpool are becoming a bit of a bogey team. 1. Liverpool- 10 2. Real Madrid- 7 3. AC Milan- 6 4. Bayern Munich- 0 This is gonna get tricky... Copa del Rey Our Copa del Rey campaign started as we swatted aside Eibar in the First Round as we tend to do against inferior opposition.
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