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Dalbeider

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About Dalbeider

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    Between Rokkenjima and Gensokyo

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    Selangor

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  1. Congrats to the winners. Quite happy with my team's performance myself, I think I went something ridiculous like 16-0-3 in the second half of the season, which goes to show how terrible the first half was... Still, first of the rest is good enough, I guess. Vengeance shall be had next season.
  2. 2028 - Los Angeles Football Club Competitions -- Fixtures Year 2 in Los Angeles, California was a weird year, both a massive improvement and a massive disappointment. We did our job in the transfer market, filled most of the gaps we wanted filled, got a star to lead the team forward... and started the season with a 4-0 defeat against a team bound to finish 16th. Great. It was just a mirage, though, and soon we got a pretty good-looking run going, winning six on the trot and not losing for eleven fixtures. We were comfortably top of the Western Conference and pushing Atlanta for the lead in the Supporters' Shield, both new and old players were doing well, and everything seemed to be headed in the right direction. And then we imploded. Hard. We won five out of the last twenty-one regular season fixtures, and one out of the last twelve. We started dropping like rocks on the tables, and didn't miss out on the playoffs altogether just because of the huge lead we'd built in the early season. Our defense turned into a joke and our attack into the footballing equivalent of those fake guns you get at fairs and carnivals to win plushies with, ie completely unreliable. Oh, and we crashed out of the US Open Cup at the very first opportunity, in an admittedly quite unlucky away draw to Dallas. In the end we finished 9th overall and 5th in our conference, which didn't exactly fill me with hope for the playoffs. We salvaged a lucky win in the Wild Card stage against Dallas, but Colorado were just too much for us, even though we did have our chances. Worse, no CONCACAF Champions League entry for us, not even close, so we're exactly where we were one year ago regarding the challenge. Roster As mentioned, we managed to fill up our roster much better for this year, with adequate (on paper) cover for all positions. In the end, though, most of the rotation and backup players we brought in ended up disappointing and falling out of the rotation entirely, so it came to the starters to deliver the goods. Of course, that also meant that once the form of those starters went to hell, there was no one reliable enough to pick up the slack, and so we entered the vicious circle that led to our eventual failure to impress. Regardless, there were some solid performances overall, particularly in midfield and attack, but our defense was the most absolute of shambles for the most part. I don't think I've ever managed a team that gave up so many stupid penalties in a single season... We made two big money signings for the season, and both ended up being both the best players of the squad and, simultaneously, the main reason for our failure. Sandro came from Everton after a long career in the Premier League, and his early performances put him as one of the best players in the MLS, if not the best. Then he suddenly went from amazing to unreliable, and finally to a complete liability. He still had rare flashes of genius that made me keep playing him, but in the end he was a ghost of his early season self. His physical drop might have something to do with that, since he was played mostly on the wing, and I'll have to figure a way to keep him involved come the next season. He was still the joint best goal provider in the MLS, though, which speaks volumes of how good he was at first. Our other big purchase was Josh Sargent, American international who'd spent most of his career in Germany and Spain. He came late in the summer, and despite getting dragged in the general disastrous ambience around him, he looked quite solid upfront. I'll be relying on him next year to provide the goals for us. Assuming I'm still here next year, of course... The MLS and its way too many weird rules aren't sitting too well with me, and staying in LAFC feels like it'll become another Changchun in my career, so if the right position opens up in the following months I'll be sure to go for it. Mexico would be the ideal destination (already failed an interview with América), but I'm open to any top South American squad that wants me. No news in the international front once again, by the way. The Euros did bring some interesting openings, and Denmark did come knocking after I applied to them all, but I decided to wait for Belgium or Sweden, which looked like better options to actually win stuff in the short term. Neither picked me, so in the end I was left nationless once again. Sigh. Let's hope either Mexico or the US fail hard in the 2029 Gold Cup, otherwise it's time to wait for the WC qualifiers or the Confed Cup... Season Team League Cup1 Cup2 Continental World Other Notes ===================================================================================================================================================================================== 2018 Selangor 2nd 3rd round Group Stg. N/A N/A N/A Joined in the offseason. National C license. 2019 Selangor 1st Winners Winners East Playoff N/A N/A Domestic treble! Manager of the Year. National B and A licenses. 2020/21 Melbourne City 1st/Winners 2nd round N/A Group Stage N/A N/A Joined in the offseason. Manager of the Year. Continental C and B licenses. 2021 Changchun 7th QF N/A N/A N/A N/A Joined in July, 7th, 11 games remaining. 2022 Changchun 4th Winners N/A N/A N/A N/A Continental A license. Qualified to ACL through cup win. 2023 Changchun 3rd Winners N/A Group Stage N/A Super Cup Winners Continental Pro license. Entered Asian HoF. 2024 Changchun --- --- N/A Group Stage N/A Super Cup Winners Left in June for Hebei with the team 3rd in the league. Hebei CFFC 2nd Winners N/A N/A N/A N/A Joined with team 15th, expected top half. 2025 Hebei CFFC 2nd Finalists N/A Winners 3rd Super Cup Winners ACL champions! 2025/26 Kaizer Chiefs 3rd QF N/A In progress N/A N/A Joined in March. 2026/27 Kaizer Chiefs 1st Winners Winners Winners 5th CAF Super Cup Winners CAF CL champions! Quintuple! 2027 Los Angeles FC 23rd --- N/A N/A N/A N/A Yes, 23rd. 2028 Los Angeles Fc 9th/CSF 4th round N/A N/A N/A N/A Season Nation Continental World Final ranking Notes ====================================================================================================================================================================== 2023 Japan/Cameroon N/A N/A 74th/27th Qualified for ANC. 2024 Cameroon QF N/A 32nd Qualified for ACoN. 2025 Cameroon QF N/A 41st Sacked after ACoN. Nigeria N/A N/A 26th Joined after ACoN. Qualified for ANC and WC. 2026 Nigeria 3rd QF 21st Qualified for ACoN. 2027 Nigeria 1st N/A 22nd ACoN champions! Resigned afterwards. No new job so far. 2028 N/A Challenge Progress Club 3/10 top domestic leagues (Liga Super Malaysia 2019, Hyundai A-League 2020/21, ABSA Premiership 2026/27) 3/10 domestic cups (Piala FA (Malaysia) 2019, Chinese FA Cup 2022-2023-2024, Telkom Knockout (S.Africa) 2026/27) 2/5 club continental championships (Asian Champions League 2025, CAF Champions League 2026) 0/1 club world championship International 1/5 continental tournaments (Africa Cup of Nations 2027) 0/2 world tournaments () Other titles Piala Malaysia (2019) Chinese FA Super Cup (2023-2024-2025) CAF Super Cup (2027) Nedbank Cup (2026-27)
  3. RIP me. And we were so close to winning it two times, too. Actually maybe we even won it the first time. We'll never know. Betting on Salk to win this one. If Fire are 12th and the board are not even fazed he can take anything.
  4. Same here. And as horrific as this was, I just hope it doesn't end up spiraling into something even worse. Also, Marca decided it would be a good idea to post the whole video recorded by the murderer. Their website has been summarily removed from my bookmarks and my browser history and I'll do my best to never again visit it. And nothing of value was lost.
  5. 2027 - Los Angeles Football Club To the US of A we go! In my final months in Kaizer Chiefs I started applying to any and all openings in North American leagues, and after a couple of failures with Mexican teams including Cruz Azul, LAFC came knocking. I hesitated, because the team wasn't exactly in the best of positions (dead last in the Supporters' Shield with over half of the season gone, plus out of the cup), and because there were some other MLS managers on the brink of the sack, but in the end I took the plunge, figuring that in a salary capped league like the MLS there couldn't be that much of a difference between the good and the bad teams, and that I'd already resurrected other failing teams before in my career. Competitions - Fixtures That was a huge mistake. This half-season takes the cake as the most frustrating time I've had the pleasure of knowing during this save. There was absolutely no consistency at all in our performances, we'd go from great to terrible and back in the blink of an eye, like in that 6-0 win against conference leaders NY Red Bulls straight after being destroyed by Galaxy in the LA derby. In the end I managed to marginally improve on my predecessor's record (went from 3W-6D-10L to 4W-3D-8L, so same amount of points in four less games), but that was nowhere close to enough to leave the last place of the table. Good thing there's no relegation and that the board seemed to not care too much... Portland Timbers won the Supporters' Shield, while Colorado Rapids shocked the competition and won the MLS Cup. Roster Part of the blame for the bad results is to be put on whoever decided that a short squad with five-and-a-half defenders total was good enough to compete in this league. That's something one can handle in leagues like South Africa where most of the local (and 95% of the continental) opposition are appallingly bad, but not so much in the MLS, where you can't just dip into the U23 or U18 teams looking for bodies to fill the lineup.. I found myself having to play a pure midfielder like Kyle King as center back for the last five or six league games because of injuries to both Murray and Zimmerman (who was basically unplayable in any case due to age and extreme slowness), and suspensions didn't help either. I don't think I managed to fill all the bench slots in more than half of the games I was in charge of. Not many performances worth highlighting from this lot, I'm afraid. Brian Fernández was our top goalscorer, but he's already well into his thirties and looking out of his depth in this league. Marcus Browne topped the assists charts, but his performances in general were mediocre to poor. All in all, much room for improvement. There's gonna be lots of transfer activity this winter, I'm sure of it... No news in the international scene, by the way. There were no interesting jobs available after the Gold Cup, so I'm basically waiting for the Euros qualifying section and the East Asian Cup to end so I can profit from the corpses that are sure to pop up. South Korea and the Czech Republic are looking like possible targets in the near future... Season Team League Cup1 Cup2 Continental World Other Notes ===================================================================================================================================================================================== 2018 Selangor 2nd 3rd round Group Stg. N/A N/A N/A Joined in the offseason. National C license. 2019 Selangor 1st Winners Winners East Playoff N/A N/A Domestic treble! Manager of the Year. National B and A licenses. 2020/21 Melbourne City 1st/Winners 2nd round N/A Group Stage N/A N/A Joined in the offseason. Manager of the Year. Continental C and B licenses. 2021 Changchun 7th QF N/A N/A N/A N/A Joined in July, 7th, 11 games remaining. 2022 Changchun 4th Winners N/A N/A N/A N/A Continental A license. Qualified to ACL through cup win. 2023 Changchun 3rd Winners N/A Group Stage N/A Super Cup Winners Continental Pro license. Entered Asian HoF. 2024 Changchun --- --- N/A Group Stage N/A Super Cup Winners Left in June for Hebei with the team 3rd in the league. Hebei CFFC 2nd Winners N/A N/A N/A N/A Joined with team 15th, expected top half. 2025 Hebei CFFC 2nd Finalists N/A Winners 3rd Super Cup Winners ACL champions! 2025/26 Kaizer Chiefs 3rd QF N/A In progress N/A N/A Joined in March. 2026/27 Kaizer Chiefs 1st Winners Winners Winners 5th CAF Super Cup Winners CAF CL champions! Quintuple! 2027 Los Angeles FC 23rd --- N/A N/A N/A N/A Yes, 23rd. Season Nation Continental World Final ranking Notes ====================================================================================================================================================================== 2023 Japan/Cameroon N/A N/A 74th/27th Qualified for ANC. 2024 Cameroon QF N/A 32nd Qualified for ACoN. 2025 Cameroon QF N/A 41st Sacked after ACoN. Nigeria N/A N/A 26th Joined after ACoN. Qualified for ANC and WC. 2026 Nigeria 3rd QF 21st Qualified for ACoN. 2027 Nigeria 1st N/A 22nd ACoN champions! Resigned afterwards. No new job so far. Challenge Progress Club 3/10 top domestic leagues (Liga Super Malaysia 2019, Hyundai A-League 2020/21, ABSA Premiership 2026/27) 3/10 domestic cups (Piala FA (Malaysia) 2019, Chinese FA Cup 2022-2023-2024, Telkom Knockout (S.Africa) 2026/27) 2/5 club continental championships (Asian Champions League 2025, CAF Champions League 2026) 0/1 club world championship International 1/5 continental tournaments (Africa Cup of Nations 2027) 0/2 world tournaments () Other titles Piala Malaysia (2019) Chinese FA Super Cup (2023-2024-2025) CAF Super Cup (2027) Nedbank Cup (2026-27)
  6. Wow, two performances of the week in a row, what's this madness? I might even believe I could challenge for that second place if I didn't know better...
  7. 2026-27 - Kaizer Chiefs / Nigeria Kaizer Chiefs competitions - Fixtures Now that was a long season, both IRL and in-game. I had to take a break from FM due to many factors (including but not limited to a new job, RimWorld, and the Betrayal league in Path of Exile), but it's time to get back to the challenge. And I'm doing so in style: five club trophies in one season! And it could've been six if the referee had awarded us a clear penalty in the MTN 8 final, grumble mumble... Regardless, the season got off to a somewhat rocky start with lots of draws in the league, but when we found or form we were basically unstoppable. We won the league by a ten point margin and grabbed both big national cups despite some difficult times along the way, featuring a penalty shootout win in the Telkom Knockout final (despite outshooting Wits 30 to 3) and another shootout to get past Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup semis. But the biggest fixture of the season was the CAF Champions League final, again with current champions and bitter rivals Orlando Pirates to play against. Now, for context, I'll remind you that the previous Amakhosi manager had seen fit to register a squad with basically no defenders available for the tournament, and with there not being a registration window between the group stage and the knockouts (WHY?!) that's all I had to play with, regardless of signings. This was fine for most of the tournament since the opposition was extremely weak (see that 12-3 aggregate win in semis for an example), but playing an active league team like Orlando Pirates was a whole different matter. So between injuries and suspensions, I found myself having to play a back four featuring an actual left back, two midfielders, and a right winger for the final. Obviously, the first leg was a disaster, with Pirates destroying us five to one at their stadium. The second leg, though? That's the kind of stuff that I'll still remember come FM37: our best display of the season, both offensively and defensively, leading to a 4-0 win with the final goal scored in the 83rd minute, giving us the trophy on away goals. Oh, and those two midfielders played what was probably their best game of the season. As center backs. I love this game. Roster After last season's issues (which propagated into this season through the ACL roster) with lack of depth in defensive positions, I had to dip hard into the transfer market to make sure I had at least two players per position, and ideally a handful of versatile guys who could fill various roles in case of injuries or, as it happens when you take part in five different long tournaments, fixture congestion. I mean, just look at that fixtures screenshot from before. April would've been a nightmare if I hadn't had that many players available. Of the whole bunch, I want to bring attention to Sydney Mbambo, a kid who wasn't even expected to be part of the senior squad this season, but who managed not only to play regularly, but also to become our best player in all competitions, and even grab himself a senior cap with only eighteen years. This kid is going places, I'm sure of it. Other standout names were Khotso Mabalane, the best of a great bunch of wingers on both sides; Johnny Zungu, our top goalscorer and a guarantee in most big games, particularly with his three goals in the CL final; and Keanu Cupido, the best of the veterans and the rock that solidified our whole defense. With everything done in South Africa it's time to go somewhere else once again. In fact I've already done so. No spoilers, but I'll give you a hint: it has wings. Season Team League Cup1 Cup2 Continental World Other Notes ===================================================================================================================================================================================== 2018 Selangor 2nd 3rd round Group Stg. N/A N/A N/A Joined in the offseason. National C license. 2019 Selangor 1st Winners Winners East Playoff N/A N/A Domestic treble! Manager of the Year. National B and A licenses. 2020/21 Melbourne City 1st/Winners 2nd round N/A Group Stage N/A N/A Joined in the offseason. Manager of the Year. Continental C and B licenses. 2021 Changchun 7th QF N/A N/A N/A N/A Joined in July, 7th, 11 games remaining. 2022 Changchun 4th Winners N/A N/A N/A N/A Continental A license. Qualified to ACL through cup win. 2023 Changchun 3rd Winners N/A Group Stage N/A Super Cup Winners Continental Pro license. Entered Asian HoF. 2024 Changchun --- --- N/A Group Stage N/A Super Cup Winners Left in June for Hebei with the team 3rd in the league. Hebei CFFC 2nd Winners N/A N/A N/A N/A Joined with team 15th, expected top half. 2025 Hebei CFFC 2nd Finalists N/A Winners 3rd Super Cup Winners ACL champions! 2025/26 Kaizer Chiefs 3rd QF N/A In progress N/A N/A Joined in March. 2026/27 Kaizer Chiefs 1st Winners Winners Winners 5th CAF Super Cup Winners CAF CL champions! Quintuple! * * * * * As for Nigeria, there was only one thing that mattered in the whole season, and that was of course the African Cup of Nations. Time for a competition report! Group stage Second round (if applicable) Quarter finals (if applicable) Semi finals (if applicable) 3rd place playoff/Final (if applicable) After the tournament + challenge progress
  8. 2026 - Nigeria (World Cup report) 2026 was a seriously busy year for Nigeria, all things considered. The World Cup in summer was the obvious standout, but before that we had to deal with the African Nations Championship, aka The Annoying Cup That Doesn't Really Count For Anything. Thankfully we had a decent bunch of Nigeria-based players to use, and despite some hiccups along the way, we did well enough to please the FA: 3rd place, and only a 1-0 extra time defeat to Guinea in the semis kept us from facing eventual champions Senegal in the final. Not a bad warmup. But the Big Thing (TM) was the 2026 World Cup, to be held in Canada of all places. As mentioned earlier, we'd been handed a relatively easy group with the hosts, Poland, and Uruguay. All but Canada were higher in ranking than us, but eh, rankings are lies anyways. I was hopeful of getting past the group stage, probably second behind Uruguay, and then cross fingers for a decent match up in the second round. Squad We have a quite strong squad with few weak points. Our forward line stands out in particular, with the likes of Iheanacho, Efebo, and Onyekuru coming in great form. Wilfred Ndidi is our all-terrain midfielder who can also make a very passable central defender, while Yusuf Aliyu will do his best to keep our sheets clean. We don't have too many youngsters, but the average age is still well below 30, so this team should be able to remain mostly unchanged for the next couple of major competitions. Group stage Second round (if applicable) Quarterfinals (if applicable) Semifinals (if applicable) 3rd place playoff/Final (if applicable) After the tournament + challenge progress
  9. @womble248 The South African FA Cup/Nedbank Cup totally counts for the challenge, so congrats on your first trophy! According to the rules, cups count as long as all the top tier teams take part in it.
  10. 2025/26 - Kaizer Chiefs Took a couple of months and a few failed applications at American clubs along the way (Sao Paulo ignored me altogether, Tigres at least offered an interview), but I finally found a job where I most wanted it: South Africa. And it happened to be with the arguably most reputable team in the country and the continent, Kaizer Chiefs! Of course that comes with the pressure of high expectations. Like, the win-'em-all-or-else kind of expectations. Sheesh. At least they only want me to reach the final of the Champions League... Competitions -- Fixtures I joined in March, so I only had two months of actual season to work with. The team was first in the league, but it was a fake position since basically everyone else in the title fight had several games in hand over us. In the end our performance wasn't good enough to make up for that, even though we only lost one league game, and we finished in a very disappointing 3rd position, out of the next Champions League. Which means I'll really have to win it on my first go, since otherwise I'd have to wait two seasons and a half for another shot at it. No pressure... The Nedbank Cup was the biggest disappointment, though, with all the big teams out of it we went out to Platinum Stars in quarter finals in injury time, although to be fair we didn't deserve any better. At least we're doing fine in the Champions League, and we've topped the group with ease (not pictured in the Competitions screen above) despite having to play half of it with the team in preseason mode and with three of our best players in the World Cup. ES Sahel await in the quarter finals come September. Thankfully, the board didn't feel like I was guilty of this season's failures, so I get to try again. Actually I was on the verge of being sacked for a week or two, but for a different reason: former chairman retired and sold the club barely two months after my arrival, and the new board wanted to install their own manager. Thankfully they thought better of it, but I'm sure I'll be on a short leash starting now. Crossing fingers. Roster One of the main reasons for our poor performance so far has been the horrid lack of balance in the squad. When I arrived I found we had two full backs and three center backs total, and one of the center backs was injured and another was retiring in three months. I had to recall a loanee right back just to have enough bodies to field an actual line of four at the back regularly. There's also only one real defensive midfielder (the rest can play DM but can't tackle worth a damn), and on the other end we have like a million right wingers and attacking midfielders between first teamers and reserves/loanees. Some serious transfer activity is to be expected next summer. From the current squad, the stand-out names are probably three youngsters who've been playing quite well so far. Number one is left winger Nkosinath Tshabalala, who's been our most consistent performer in our attacking line since I arrived, and who's also been picked as the Young Player of the Year. Second is Sibusiso Mkhatshwa, aka That Forward With The Unpronounceable Name. Scored lots last season, although he faded away suspiciously as soon as I arrived. Might not fit my tactics, dunno. Hopefully he'll stay with us and start doing what he was doing before I arrived. Lastly, goalkeeper Themba Teyise has made a good job as our starter, but he's very likely to leave for Europe next transfer window, since there's big clubs like Monaco tailing him. As for Nigeria and the 2026 World Cup, I'll be detailing that in an upcoming standalone update, since now club seasons and natural years don't line up with each other. And also because vike-style international tournament reports are fun. Season Team League Cup1 Cup2 Continental World Other Notes ===================================================================================================================================================================================== 2018 Selangor 2nd 3rd round Group Stg. N/A N/A N/A Joined in the offseason. National C license. 2019 Selangor 1st Winners Winners East Playoff N/A N/A Domestic treble! Manager of the Year. National B and A licenses. 2020/21 Melbourne City 1st/Winners 2nd round N/A Group Stage N/A N/A Joined in the offseason. Manager of the Year. Continental C and B licenses. 2021 Changchun 7th QF N/A N/A N/A N/A Joined in July, 7th, 11 games remaining. 2022 Changchun 4th Winners N/A N/A N/A N/A Continental A license. Qualified to ACL through cup win. 2023 Changchun 3rd Winners N/A Group Stage N/A Super Cup Winners Continental Pro license. Entered Asian HoF. 2024 Changchun --- --- N/A Group Stage N/A Super Cup Winners Left in June for Hebei with the team 3rd in the league. Hebei CFFC 2nd Winners N/A N/A N/A N/A Joined with team 15th, expected top half. 2025 Hebei CFFC 2nd Finalists N/A Winners 3rd Super Cup Winners ACL champions! 2025/26 Kaizer Chiefs 3rd QF N/A In progress N/A N/A Joined in March. Challenge Progress Club 2/10 top domestic leagues (Liga Super Malaysia 2019, Hyundai A-League 2020/21) 2/10 domestic cups (Piala FA (Malaysia) 2019, Chinese FA Cup 2022-2023-2024) 1/5 club continental championships (Asian Champions League 2025) 0/1 club world championship International 0/5 continental tournaments () 0/2 world tournaments () Other titles Piala Malaysia (2019) Chinese FA Super Cup (2023-2024-2025)
  11. Yeah, you're not alone in that. I sure have felt tempted to replay certain matches lately, grumble mumble... 2025 - Hebei China Fortune FC / Cameroon / Nigeria Cameroon fixtures -- Nigeria fixtures Let's start with international management this time, because it's kinda obvious from the double African badge up there that things didn't go quite as planned in the ACoN with Cameroon... We'd looked good in the friendlies, but an unlucky defeat against South Africa in the first match that mattered put us in a difficult position. We managed to recover and win the other two group matches, and even managed to beat Nigeria against the odds in the second round, but former (and future) champions Egypt were too much for us, although once again a bit more luck would've been enough to push us through. We were expected to reach the final, so I was obviously sacked immediately after the tournament. Afterwards I had the option of going back to Asia (the Iran job had become available after a bad performance in the Confederations Cup, and they're one of the strongest Asian nations in this save, so it wasn't a bad option at all), or stay in Africa with one of the many jobs available after the Cup of Nations. In the end I went to the strongest nation available, which was none other than my second round victims Nigeria. Since then we've done fantastically well in the World Cup qualifying section, easily making it to the big tourney and with Iheanacho leading the African section in both goals, assists, and average rating. We even got an easy-ish draw for the actual World Cup, with hosts Canada, Poland, and Uruguay. Funny that the toughest of the bunch is gonna be the fourth seed... Hebei competitions -- Fixtures Back to club level, and boy, what a season. So many highs and lows. We were fantastic throughout the year, yet somehow seemed intent on throwing all that good work into the nearest trashcan in the last third. First we did our best impression of Barça against Roma and almost squandered a 4-1 lead in the cup semis. Then we did throw away a 4-1 aggregate lead against Jeju in the ACL semis, only to manage a 90+5th minute winner to make it to the final. Third time was the charm, though, and we finally managed to lose a title we had in our hands by losing the final fixture in the league. Shameful, but the league wasn't the priority anyway. Our main focus all year was the Champions League, and for that reason we basically gifted the cup away to Shandong by playing reserves in both legs, saving our first teamers for the actually important matches. Al-Ittihad were the defending champions and had been impressive throughout the competition, yet we somehow managed to steal a 3-3 draw from the first leg in their stadium. Then, back home, we went back to our usual trophy-burning form by going 0-2 down in the first twenty minutes. Some screaming in the dressing room later, the players finally seemed to remember that this game is won by scoring goals, not by conceding them, and managed to turn it around and win the second leg to give me the all-important first continental trophy in the challenge. Yay! That also gave us a surprise last tournament to take part in before my contract ran out at the end of the year: the Club World Cup. With five players gone with China to play in the East Asia Cup, we did quite well to get past Orlando Pirates in the quarterfinals, but Corinthians in semis was too tall a wall for us to climb, despite taking an early lead. Winning the 3rd place playoff against Pachuca on penalties marked the end of my time in China. Even if it happened in South Korea. It still counts. Roster -- Team of the Year These are the guys who made that possible, with too many stand-out names to mention them all. Let's just namedrop the Most Popular Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year, Gong Wei, the hero of that ACL final comeback with one goal and two assists and our best creative midfielder, Xiang Shuai, our latest signing to replace homebound Corona and who scored three key goals in the ACL final and five in the CWC, Brenner, and the midfielder that held our team together throughout the season, Marcelo Brozovic. With the club branch of Asia already done with (I could stay and win the league next year but eh, no real reason to do so at this point of the challenge), it's time to move elsewhere. Top priority would be a good team in South Africa, to hopefully get the African Champions League ticked off the list as soon as possible. North America is another alternative, if a MLS or Mexican job becomes available, or even South America if one of the big teams in either Brazil or Argentina decides to pick me. Options open. Season Team League Cup1 Cup2 Continental World Other Notes ================================================================================================================================================================================= 2018 Selangor 2nd 3rd round Group Stg. N/A N/A N/A Joined in the offseason. National C license. 2019 Selangor 1st Winners Winners East Playoff N/A N/A Domestic treble! Manager of the Year. National B and A licenses. 2020/21 Melbourne City 1st/Winners 2nd round N/A Group Stage N/A N/A Joined in the offseason. Manager of the Year. Continental C and B licenses. 2021 Changchun 7th QF N/A N/A N/A N/A Joined in July, 7th, 11 games remaining. 2022 Changchun 4th Winners N/A N/A N/A N/A Continental A license. Qualified to ACL through cup win. 2023 Changchun 3rd Winners N/A Group Stage N/A Super Cup Winners Continental Pro license. Entered Asian HoF. 2024 Changchun --- --- N/A Group Stage N/A Super Cup Winners Left in June for Hebei with the team 3rd in the league. Hebei CFFC 2nd Winners N/A N/A N/A N/A Joined with team 15th, expected top half. 2025 Hebei CFFC 2nd Finalists N/A Winners 3rd Super Cup Winners ACL champions! Season Nation Continental World Final ranking Notes ====================================================================================================================================================================== 2023 Japan/Cameroon N/A N/A 74th/27th Qualified for ANC. 2024 Cameroon QF N/A 32nd Qualified for ACoN. 2025 Cameroon QF N/A 41st Sacked after ACoN. Nigeria N/A N/A 26th Joined after ACoN. Qualified for ANC and WC. Challenge Progress Club 2/10 top domestic leagues (Liga Super Malaysia 2019, Hyundai A-League 2020/21) 2/10 domestic cups (Piala FA (Malaysia) 2019, Chinese FA Cup 2022-2023-2024) 1/5 club continental championships (Asian Champions League 2025) 0/1 club world championship International 0/5 continental tournaments () 0/2 world tournaments () Other titles Piala Malaysia (2019) Chinese FA Super Cup (2023-2024-2025)
  12. Actually, Diego's mention of challenges gives me a bit of an idea. Back when I was active around here we had a challenges thread. People would think about a challenge, post the rules, and people would write stories around that challenge. We even had "Best/Most Interesting Challenge" and "Best Challenge-based Story" award categories back then. I remember because I won at least one of those. Now, a revival of that would be fine in itself, but I think that's more than covered currently by the Challenges, Sign-Ups and Experiments forum; if anyone wants a challenge to write around they can just go there, pick one, and come back here to post the story. Or just post there, which is what happens 99% of the time (guilty). But no, my idea is something slightly different, and something we can only do here in FMS. You see, all those challenges from the past? All were gameplay-based challenges. Win this many trophies in that many seasons, or follow the footsteps of Famous McManager, or what have you. Things you do with the game, in short, and the kind of things you find in spades in the Challenges forum nowadays. What I'm thinking now is to have story-based challenges instead. Kinda like the writing prompts you see used in many writing workshops or contests all over the net and RL, but still rooted in FM. Dunno, something like "write a story about an unsuccessful cup run in a non-European nation, 20k words max," or "write a story in which fashion is a major plot point, 10k words min." Which are probably both terrible prompts but hey, that's why I'm not in charge of them. Have these prompts go up periodically, maybe every three months or so so there's time for both the playing and the writing. Then, you can either collect them all for a yearly "Best Challenge/Prompt Story" award or do that separately for each prompt. Every story submitted around a given challenge would be eligible by default (maybe set a word count minimum to be eligible?), so the voting should go fairly quickly and without much involvement from mark or anyone else responsible. And since these prompts would most likely lend themselves best for short format stories instead of the usual Whole Manager Career shebang, it's likely to attract more people who might not be willing to commit to a long story right off the bat, but might be willing to try something shorter and with a clear direction. Dunno, might be worth a try? Low effort, potentially high returns, can't really make things worse than they are as far as I can tell. (Fake edit: somewhat ninja'd by EvilDave. Great minds think alike?)
  13. @blackdevil late-ish, but congrats on completing the challenge! Gives me hope to sometime get there. Somehow. Eventually. Maybe. --- 2024 - Changchun Yatai / Hebei China Fortune FC / Cameroon Yep, exactly what it looks like: I jumped ship in the middle of the season. The reasons were simple: the first third of the season for Changchun looked like an exact copy of the previous one, including a second Super Cup win in a row, a league form that was solid but still steadily losing ground to the runaway leaders du jour (Quanjian in this case) and, most importantly, out of the Champions League in the group stage after some rotten luck in our away games. It was like we'd hit a wall, and Changchun didn't seem to have the resources needed to jump over that final hurdle, at least not in the short term. Changchun fixtures And then Hebei sacked Li Tie, and heaven opened for me. Hebei's fortunes (heh) hadn't been particularly bright in the last few years, at most managing to squeeze into the ACL places at the last second, but finding themselves 15th on the table with 14 matches played was a new low. They did have the resources, though, what with over €90M in the transfer kitty and an available wage budget bigger than Changchun's total wage budget. I applied, one-upping the board's expectations and promising a top half finish in order to secure the job. For a second I wondered if I hadn't shot a bit too high, given the team's situation... Competitions -- Hebei fixtures Nope. I actually fell short. Hebei went 16-2-2 in the league since I took over, were unbeaten in the last 11 fixtures, and rocketed up all the way to the final second place, securing a place in the 2025 Champions League and looking like we could've pressed the leaders for the title if the season had gone for a bit longer. Fun fact: Quanjian only lost three games throughout the season, and two of those were to me, one with each team. Another fun fact: both Changchun and Hebei were kicked out by Jeju in the ACL, the first in the group stage and the second in the second round, right before I made the jump. Oh, and I also won the FA Cup again. Just Hebei's first silverware in six years or so, nothing big. Roster -- Young Player of the Year -- Team of the Year Honestly, the only reason this squad was suffering was because the previous managers were idiots, and somehow thought that a team without any half-competent left backs nor ball-winning midfielders could work. A couple of summer purchases later to reinforce the defensive half of the roster, things were ticking much better. Of course the stand-out names in this team are the foreign stars (Andone, Corona, friggin' Marcelo Brozovic), but there's also a pretty nice amount of quality-looking youngsters like Hou Jianzhong, Chen Dongsheng, and Gong Wei (whom I stole back from Yifang one year after they stole him from Changchun, and who won the Young Player of the Year award). If we can get rid of Léo Duarte (not bad, but not good enough for a foreigner in this league) and replace him with a quality Asian center-back, and maybe add some depth in both full backs and the DMC position, we'll be set for big things next year. Cameroon fixtures Internationally, things didn't exactly go to plan in the African Nations Cup. A flawless group stage was followed by armed robbery in the quarterfinals, losing to Mali in a match in which we outshot them eighteen to four, and in which the deciding 0-1 was an own goal. Somehow I managed to hold onto my seat after that, and now we're already qualified for next year's ACoN, and drawn into a pretty manageable group with South Africa, Cape Verde, and Congo. The World Cup Qualifiers are looking tougher, though, with Tunisia, Ghana, and Togo in our group, but we'll see how that goes. Season Team League Cup1 Cup2 Continental Other Notes ====================================================================================================================================================================== 2018 Selangor 2nd 3rd round Group Stg. N/A N/A Joined in the offseason. National C license. 2019 Selangor 1st Winners Winners East Playoff N/A Domestic treble! Manager of the Year. National B and A licenses. 2020/21 Melbourne City 1st/Winners 2nd round N/A Group Stage N/A Joined in the offseason. Manager of the Year. Continental C and B licenses. 2021 Changchun 7th QF N/A N/A N/A Joined in July, 7th, 11 games remaining. 2022 Changchun 4th Winners N/A N/A N/A Continental A license. Qualified to ACL through cup win. 2023 Changchun 3rd Winners N/A Group Stage Super Cup Winners Continental Pro license. Entered Asian HoF. 2024 Changchun --- --- N/A Group Stage Super Cup Winners Left in June for Hebei with the team 3rd in the league. Hebei CFFC 2nd Winners N/A N/A N/A Joined with team 15th, expected top half. Season Nation Continental World Final ranking Notes ====================================================================================================================================================================== 2023 Japan/Cameroon N/A N/A 74th/27th Qualified for ANC. 2024 Cameroon QF N/A 32nd Qualified for ACoN. Challenge Progress Club 2/10 top domestic leagues (Liga Super Malaysia 2019, Hyundai A-League 2020/21) 2/10 domestic cups (Piala FA (Malaysia) 2019, Chinese FA Cup 2022-2023-2024) 0/5 club continental championships () 0/1 club world championship International 0/5 continental tournaments () 0/2 world tournaments () Other titles Piala Malaysia (2019) Chinese FA Super Cup (2023-2024)
  14. 2023 - Changchun Yatai After the modest successes of the previous year we wanted to challenge for bigger things, but realistically speaking we were looking at a transition season, what with our two big stars starting to show serious signs of being past their prime and there being little wage space to bring in replacements until they left or retired. Competitions -- Fixtures And that's exactly what we got. Granted, we gained one position in the league, but that was mostly due to all the favorites failing terribly hard this season for whatever reason. Shanghai SIPG, coming from five league titles in a row, started the year with eight defeats in nine games, for example. It was quite crazy, and we actually were at the top or nearby for most of the first half of the year. Then we had our usual dip around July and everything went to hell, to the point that we had to wait until the final day to secure our ACL place. The cups were another story, and we stole the Super Cup from Shanghai SIPG themselves to start the season in a high note. And the FA Cup gave us the second title of the year, this time with a more difficult road to the final, but ending in a complete destruction of Yifang over two legs. Meanwhile, the ACL was probably the biggest disappointment of the season, although considering the group we were handed it was to be expected. It still hurt to see Melbourny City go ahead instead of us, though. All in all, two new trophies and a decent reputation boost (up to 65% now), but no actual challenge progress. Oh well. One year of contract left, hopefully I can improve the squad enough to actually challenge for league and ACL. Also, finally some news regarding international management! Landed the Japan job after the Asian Cup, but after realizing that they have no keepers worth that name and a serious lack of depth in defensive positions, I jumped ship as soon as I could. Which was five months later when Cameroon had an early ACoN exit. I'd rather get the ACoN out of the way before the lack of quality regens in nations without active leagues becomes a problem, so this works just fine. The ANC (aka the irrelevant one) is about to start, and I'm expected to make the final, so we'll see if I can actually survive until the next Cup of Nations... Roster The dip in form for both Ighalo and Marinho is obvious from their stats, although both still managed some decent games here and there throughout the year, particularly Marinho in the cup final with three goals over both games, and being both the best player and the top goalscorer of the competition. Ighalo will retire at the end of the season, while Marinho will leave on a free, probably back to Brazil. Two legends leave, and I already have one replacement in the squad: Lucas Brochero, who came on a free from Boca in the summer window and has already shown that he's more than capable of shining bright in this league. We'll have space for at least two more foreigners as soon as the winter transfer window opens, so interesting times. It was a good season for the secondary characters in the squad, though, and I want to bring attention to two of them in particular. First, Sun Xuelong, who with his 9 passing and not even being a natural MC has been our best midfielder for two seasons straight, even ahead of Zouzoua. Second, Zhenao Wang, backup striker who somehow always manages to grab a bunch of goals off the bench, to the point that he became our top league scorer for this season. Granted, Ighalo's bad form and Marinho's injuries helped, but still. Season Team League Cup1 Cup2 Continental Other Notes ====================================================================================================================================================================== 2018 Selangor 2nd 3rd round Group Stg. N/A N/A Joined in the offseason. National C license. 2019 Selangor 1st Winners Winners East Playoff N/A Domestic treble! Manager of the Year. National B and A licenses. 2020/21 Melbourne City 1st/Winners 2nd round N/A Group Stage N/A Joined in the offseason. Manager of the Year. Continental C and B licenses. 2021 Changchun 7th QF N/A N/A N/A Joined in July, 7th, 11 games remaining. 2022 Changchun 4th Winners N/A N/A N/A Continental A license. Qualified to ACL through cup win. 2023 Changchun 3rd Winners N/A Group Stage Super Cup Winners Continental Pro license. Entered Asian HoF. Season Nation Continental World Final ranking Notes ====================================================================================================================================================================== 2023 Japan/Cameroon N/A N/A 74th/27th Qualified for ANC. Challenge Progress Club 2/10 top domestic leagues (Liga Super Malaysia 2019, Hyundai A-League 2020/21) 2/10 domestic cups (Piala FA (Malaysia) 2019, Chinese FA Cup 2022-2023) 0/5 club continental championships () 0/1 club world championship International 0/5 continental tournaments () 0/2 world tournaments () Other titles Piala Malaysia (2019) Chinese FA Super Cup (2023)
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