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  1. Great write ups @warlock! Looking forward to getting an EFL save up and running soon.
  2. Thanks for creating this great thread @Jogo Bonito, it’s been enjoyable sharing career stories with everyone. Haven’t had a chance to play FM18 for other a month as I’ve been travelling with work, but looking forward to getting started on FM19 when I’m back next month!
  3. Thanks @smplfc123 Hope you get the good version of Ben Arfa and that he can be a catalyst for your season!
  4. I haven't had enough time to play any FM over the last month, but finally had a chance to do so today, so I thought I would do a quick update on how pre-season has gone. Season 2022-2023 - Fulham - Pre-season As you will see from the above screenshots, I have had an extremely busy transfer window in preparation for our first involvement in the Champions League. I was handed a large transfer budget, however the major theme for this window was bargains. In fact the window closed and I still had £90m left in the bank, this thrifty approach could backfire, however I think I have strengthened the squad and have reserves to operate in the January transfer window if needs be. I brought in several experienced players on free transfers, including current England internationals Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson (England captain) and Walker. One disappointment was Walker picked up a 2-3 month injury on the eve of the new season. I was completely shocked to discover Gareth Bale available on a free transfer and moved quickly to snap him up. His physical stats have slightly declined at the age of 33, but his technical stats remain strong and I expect him to be a key player for me. Along with frees, the other type of bargain I looked for was talented young players. Both Chile and Romania performed well in the World Cup and after watching closely I moved to pick up two talented young players from each country. As they are regens, their screenshots are below. The other two noteworthy incoming transfers were attacking midfielder De La Cruz, an improvement on my current options, and I broke the clubs transfer record to sign 'keeper Lafont. I had a large amount of transfer funds and therefore decided it was reasonable to move for the best 'keeper available to me. Lafont has been my 'keeper on long-term saves on previous FMs and is yet to let me down. There had to be a lot of outgoings due to the vast numbers of players joining the club. It was the right time for players such as Kalas and Christie to move on. I liked players like Dominguez and Masina, however they just weren't going to get playing time in such a large squad. Finally, the likes of Coman, Odegaard and O'Riley were loaned out as I see great potential in them and would like them to develop. Pre-season went fairly successfully - the aims were to build fitness and team cohesion, which seemed to be achieved. We were unsuccessful in the European Super Cup, however that was as expected against the dominant Premier League and Champion League winners United. The final thing to note is our Champions League group... Couldn't have been much tougher... Wish me luck!
  5. Season 2021-2022 - Fulham - Part 2 I have now concluded a season of highs and lows! Only two transfers incoming during the January transfer window. I pre-arranged a deal in October for talented young defensive midfielder González after spotting an attractive release fee clause in his contract. The second transfer was on deadline day and was for Everton centre-back Mawson. With our poor league form during the first half of the season I had been considering tactical changes, so this transfer was with the idea of trialing a back three. González was an improvement on my current defensive midfield option Pérez so I allowed him to move on, turning a nice profit as I had brought him in on a free a few seasons ago. I also sold Pritchard and Lapadula as due to the size of my squad they were not getting any game time. Lapadula in particular had been a great player for the club over his three year spell, however at the age of 31 I decided I needed to move him on and prioritise the future development of forwards Coman and Zulu. From a domestic perspective we started the calendar year poorly , albeit against tough opposition, however things picked up after a morale boosting friendly and we only lost two of the next nine Premier League fixtures. As mentioned earlier we stitched to a 3-5-2 with Maguire, Tarkowski and Mawson at the back, Sessegnon and Trippier as wing backs, González at DM behind Grujic and Wijnaldum, and Dwamena and Abraham up top. This allowed us a bit more defensive stability, whilst getting two forwards on the pitch. Wingers Under and Domínguez were both ruled out with three month long ankle injuries in January so this formation also suited our lack of wingers. Although I enjoyed using this formation, we did change back to 4-2-3-1, starting with the 2-0 win against Swansea. The Lows We got beaten handily by Man Utd who had stormed the league, picked ourselves up again with a friendly victory and then picked up good results against Watford, Liverpool and Everton. The end to our league campaign was dreadful though and saw us get thrashed on three occasions. After beating Everton we were 8th in the table and in with a chance of matching last seasons 7th placed finish. Due to our poor finish however we ended 11th, our worst final standing during our four seasons back in the Premier League. The Highs So onto the good news... Although our domestic form was disappointing, we were able to go undefeated during our entire Europa League campaign, which concluded with us beating RBL convincingly in the Final! The unexpected star of First Knockout Round was Tomas Kalas. Kalas has been a periphery figure in recent seasons after the signings of Tarkowski and Maguire, however as we had switched to three at the back and Mawson was cup tied, I brought him into the side for both legs. It was a move that paid off as he scored in both legs, including a 40 yard screamer at home! We went through on away goals and were drawn against another Portuguese side, Braga. We beat them 3-2 in Braga with Dwamena, Sessegnon and Tarkowski being the stars of the win. We then had a tough test against Everton, a team I have struggled against in previous league seasons, however we overcame them in a tight two legged affair. We then were drawn against another Portuguese side in the Semi Finals. I decided to attack in the home leg and picked up a 3-1 victory and then went with a defensive approach away from home to secure our place in the Final. Attacking mid Sallai had a fairly underwhelming league campaign only scoring 2 goals and providing 4 assists. The Europa Final was his big moment though, as he scored a brace to help us claim the trophy. Dwamena and Tarkowski were both selected in the Europa League team of the season. Dwamena was my star man scoring 27 goals in all competitions. Sessegnon had a great season as he continued his development. Bettinelli played an impressive 60 games during a very long season. Winning the Europa League means that we have qualified for next season's Champions League! Based on our league form I think we are going to have to work hard in the transfer window to create a team that will be competitive. I have been handed a £100m transfer budget and the scouting process has begun.
  6. @Jogo Bonito Great start to your Championship campaign, especially considering you have barely spent a drop of your budget and have stuck with most of your team that gained promotion. Were you not tempted to splash the cash? I look forward seeing how you get on in the rest of your season!
  7. Season 2021-2022 - Fulham - Part 1 I went into season 5 with Fulham full of excitement as we embarked on our first European campaign. As in all previous seasons the aim of the transfer window was to enhance the quality of the squad to take us to the next level. I also wanted to bulk up the squad in preparation for juggling the Europa League with the Premier League. I looked into making Barkley a permanent signing, however Chelsea wanted over £50m for him so I changed tact and identified Hungarian Sallai as my new CAM. I was delighted to be able to snap up Wijnaldum and Odegaard on free transfers to enhance my midfield options. I offloaded Propper and Gustafson to make room in the squad for them, whilst also loaning out Johansen. I also loaned out Saborit after managing to secure my new deputy left back, Ochs. To my frustration Aurier handed in a transfer request which resulted in him moving to Monaco, as such I moved for Trippier to follow in his footsteps. When the season ended I was very close to releasing Woodrow, however at the last moment I renewed and it turned out to be a mastestroke as I was able to sell him for a large fee. I improved my wing options by signing Dominguez for the right side and Under for the left. I reunited Timmy Abraham with his brother Tammy when he became available on the transfer list - I couldn't pass up the opportunity to snap up a talented English forward for a bargain fee. Finally I brought Rice in on loan purely to allow Jorge to go out on loan and develop. With a large squad I knew opportunities would be limited for some of my younger players so once again I sent Zulu, O'Riley and S Sessegnon out on loan to the Championship to learn their craft. After a slightly shaky start to pre-season the domestic campaign started well and we picked up wins in 5 of our first 8 league games. Highlights of this early period included a win over Spurs and a draw with Man City. Things have since turned sour though and we are on our worst run I have experienced whilst managing this fine club. I am not sure what exactly is going wrong, however we are really struggling to score goals and win matches. Our barren run began when Dwamena was ruled out with injury for 5 weeks, however there should have been enough goals in the team to be able to carry us through this period. It is dissapointing because with the quality I have added to the squad I thought we might be able to push on for our highest league finish this season - this is now looking unlikely. Above is the table at the half-way point. We need to start picking up some wins if we are to achieve European football once again. The positive element this season has been our European campaign which has been running smoothly. We overcame Brondby and Thun in pre-season and were placed in a tough group by Europa League standards, paired with Napoli, Hamburg and APOEL. I was very proud to secure two draws against a Napoli side who are flying high in Serie A. I would of liked to beat Hamburg however both draws came in difficult circumstances so these were also pleasing results. In the away fixture we had to take off Wijnaldum, Grujic and Maguire who all got injured during the match and in the home match all strikers were currently injured to I played winger Dominguez up top. Two comfortable wins over APOEL were the key to our qualification from the group. We now face Sporting Lisbon in the knockout rounds - Hopefully our league form is much improved by then so we can go into the fixtures with confidence. Wish me luck chaps!
  8. Well done @Adzke and @karanhsingh - good updates and both doing very well
  9. @karanhsingh My two cents... I use Gyazo to capture screenshots - super easy to use, you can capture as much or as little of the screen as you like and it automatically uploads it to a host and provides the link instantly.
  10. @Jogo Bonito Interesting to see your Fulham squad and what signings you’ve made - thanks for sharing! Getting Tierney to Fulham is a real coup! (Especially if he’s under £50k p/w wages in line with your policy). I assume you must have had lots of competition for his signature! Interestingly on my save I currently have a £20m bid for Trippier accepted but not sure if I’m going to complete it or not. Aurier handed in a transfer request after interest from Monaco but I haven’t had any decent bids so I might just see if he changes his mind about leaving...
  11. Great to see the amount of people posting updates at the moment and everyone seems to be doing well - keep up the good work guys! @warlock I have Coman at Fulham and although he is not a first team player, he has consistently scored important winners and equalisers for me from the bench. Although not his natural position, I have also found him to be effective as an inside forward on the right wing. Hope he does well for you too. I've also seen Cutrone score hat-fulls of goals on loan at Prem teams on my saves so I expect he will do well for you. @karanhsingh I had Mousset on my previous long-term save with Blackburn and he was unreal - such a consistent finisher at all levels. Hope he can fire your Bolton side up the table.
  12. You've inspired me to bring him home!
  13. Thanks @Jogo Bonito - yes really feel like we've fought to earn European football! Let's hope into doesn't end with a wimper by being eliminated in the knockout rounds (like West Ham in recent years!) I must admit, when we got promoted I envisaged that I would likely replace Bettinelli after a while as we looked to grow however he has been terrific for me and has rightfully kept his place. Sadly Vic was snapped up by Watford at the end of the first season to be their first team goalkeeping coach so he wasn't able to savour the moment with his son! From the original squad, Christie and Johansen are still both involved, and of course Sessegnon.
  14. Great work @Jogo Bonito and good luck for the final spell of the season! Incredible form from Humprhys and Eisa! How has Sessegnon been getting on at Birmingham?
  15. Fulham - Season 2020-2021 - Part 2 The January transfer window opened and immediately clubs tried to unsettle my key players, with Andreas Pereira in particular being targeted. This season I had been playing him centrally behind the striker, rather than as an inside forward. After rejecting several derisory bids from the likes of Tottenham and BMG, the player handed in a transfer request to look to force a move. With the prospect of an unhappy player on my hands I decided I would accept an offer if I could get the right finances for it. In the end the negotiations stretched until transfer deadline day, agreeing a fee that will rise to £42m with add-ons. There was limited time to find a replacement, so I looked to the loan market and moved for Ross Barkley. The fee was hefty at £4m for the rest of the season, however he was the only option with proven quality available. I managed to resist the interest in my other key players fortunately. The other noteworthy outgoings were the loans of highly talented young players O'Riley and Zulu to Championship teams. Both have provided me with strength in depth over the last 18 months, however I took the gamble of having a smaller squad for the second half of the season in order to aide their development. Both loans proved beneficial. O'Riley played a crucial role as Bristol City went on to win the Play-Offs and reach the FA Cup Final. They played him as playmaker and he contributed 5 goals and 6 assists. Likewise Zulu was in terrific form scoring 11 goals in 18 games for Brighton. They will both return to the club better players than when they left. January was an interesting period as we took on the majority of the top six. I decided to play a defensive variation of my formation and was pleased with the outcome of this decision. We drew with Everton, United, City and Arsenal and although some wins would have been more enjoyable I was pleased to pick up points from games many of my mid-table rivals would likely have lost. I also thought that the lack of any thumpings would help our goal difference come the end of the season. We then went on to win 6 of our next 8 games, which saw us climb the Premier League table. Our positive form in the second half of the season was even more pleasing considering that during this period we went on our worst run of injuries since I've managed Fulham. Players such as Johansen (3 months), Propper (2 months), Aurier (6 weeks), Sessegnon (6 weeks), Almiron (6 weeks), Pritchard (5 weeks) and Dwamena (5 weeks) all spent notable spells out of the team. Add these injuries to the players I had loaned out and I was left most of the time with 18 players to use, sometimes with the bench topped up with prospects from the youth setup. Going into the final few games of the season we were in 7th position, with a chance of securing Europa League football if the cup competitions were won by the top 6, however Spurs were breathing down our necks. We were beating Spurs 1-0 and about to create a gap between us and them in the table, until they got a 90th minute equaliser to keep things interesting. We proceeded to lose to Newcastle and went into the final game of the season on the same points as Spurs, but with better goal difference keeping us ahead. We had to better their result against Bournemouth. The final game was a nervy affair against Wolves, in which we conceded two penalties which were both saved by a heroic Bettinelli. We went 2-1 down, but then rallied to come back and win 3-2! Spurs drew 1-1 and we finished 7th in the league. Man United beat Bristol City in the FA Cup Final (rumours of O'Riley throwing the game for us are unconfirmed!), meaning that we qualified for the Europa League! It was a very satisfying league campaign in which we scored more goals and collected more points than in the previous two seasons. As you can see from the above, this season we employed a 4-2-3-1 most frequently, after 3 seasons of using a 4-1-2-2-1. As the quality of our squad has gradually improved over time I have looked to become more adventurous and provide greater support to the forward. Dwamena led the line well, finishing the season with 16 goals and 9 assists. I believe he would have finished with more if it wasn't for a period of injury. Ladupula deputised well for Dwamena during his absence scoring 6 goals and getting 4 assists, including important goals against City (twice) and Arsenal. Barkley played well, replacing Periera, and I will now be considering whether to make his loan permanent (it will likely be decided by Chelsea's asking price). The most consistent performer all season was Grujic, closely followed by Aurier, who both integrated into the club quickly. No players played more frequently than Bettinelli, Tarkowski and Maguire. In a passing of the gaurd, former stalwarts Cairney and Kalas only started 2 and 5 matches respectively. I am looking forward to testing my side against European opposition next season. I am also aware of the challenges that the additional fixtures will pose on our league performance. An interesting fifth season awaits!