• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About ghostwriter

  • Rank
    Youth Team


  • Biography
    Fish and sharks and dolphins and crabs and eels and turtles and the obligatory rotting horse, these

About Me

  • About Me
    the branch kevinian religious croquet cult


  • Interests
    a bit of juggling (balls, clubs and women)
  1. Champions League Final – 2040-2041 Wembley... Madrid were far from convincing on their route to the final. They needed head-to-head results in the group to be above Schalke having lost twice to Juventus. They then drew at home to Man U before winning at Old Trafford, losing away in Benfica before beating them at home before facing Barcelona in the semis. It took away goals to get past them. This is their first CL final since winning it in 2035 Lineups I expected to put out the same team as last week. However there were several developments during the week. The sole positive was that Keita (this season's first choice DR by default) returned to full training but I could not risk him at his fitness level so he went on the bench. Then poor Grant Sharrock contracted food poisoning on the Thursday so Dimba had to come up from the bench. We then got our first GK injury of the season; thankfully it was only our back-up but as I only have 2 GKs in the squad it meant that I had to bring up a 16yo from the U19s to be on the bench for his first ever appearance in a match day squad. Also Masic did his back in but I gave him some injections (first time ever in FM) so he could be on the bench again and come on if needed. As Dzeko did not play one minute last weekend, he is again only fit enough for the bench. Madrid make 4 changes to their team from last week. 2 more ex-players (Ozturk and Franco) play whilst Chamorro is on the bench this time. He is on the bench because Jia Zhiguo now plays. He may be 34 but he is having one of the best seasons of his illustrious career. Other players of note are their 2 other AMCs. Both Petar Marjanovic and Stanislav Kubik are very good players, both coincidently cost Madrid exactly £26.5m 1st half 1 min – routine Tozzi save from Scacchetti 17 mins – routine Ozturk save from Rey 30 mins – Dimba heads against the bar from a corner Half-time – so far it is not a good match at all, a far cry from last weekend 2nd half 49 mins – a good Tozzi save from a Caputo freekick 50 mins – a corner comes in and our ex-player Franco heads it home, 0-1 59 mins – Rey picks up the ball from the edge of our area, nobody bothers to challenge him and he makes to the Madrid area but his shot hits the post 67 mins – its Dzeko time, he comes on for Rey, Masic comes on for Rossi 71 mins – Masic is brought down in the area, he picks himself up and converts, 1-1! 76 mins – Miquel Angel gets outmuscled in our area which lets in Hubert (their £37m French winger) to score, 1-2 93 mins – Not great. It was not a good spectacle, a draw and extra-time would have been more just but you can't really complain. Our 3rd CL final defeat though...
  2. Copa del Rey Final – 2040-2041 Madrid...who we have only played once in a final, this tournament in 2036 when they beat us 1-0 which is also the last time they appeared in a final. How we got there is outlined above. Madrid had some difficulties; after 2 easy ties against Racing and Zaragoza they promptly lost 2-1 at home to Sevilla and needed extra-time in the away leg to get through. They then lost the first leg of the semi 3-1 in Albacete; 4-0 at home solved that problem Lineups We aren't far away from 1st choice but we have one huge issue. 3 weeks ago I had 2 fit DRs and one coming back from 6 months off with a broken leg. Then the 2 got injured in one match (3-4 weeks and 3-4 months) and the other twisted his knee the day after his comeback (6-7 weeks). That leaves me with 1 18yo youth product who is not very good. I don't want to play him. Thankfully I discovered that Navarro, our first choice DL, has a right foot and is "unconvincing" at DR which is better than anyone else we have so there he plays. This means that our Spanish international youth product, Miquel Angel, comes in at DL. Our star striker came back from a 3 month hamstring injury last week and in a half hour run out scored a penalty and got an assist. However, he is nowhere near full fitness so is on the bench. Madrid are pretty much at full fitness but don't really put out their 1st choice team for some reason. The CL final is a week away (and with us obviously) so they don't need to rest players. They only have 2 of our ex-players in Conrad and Chamorro on the pitch. And the latter is playing instead of their insanely good Chinese ST who might be 34 but who has scored 33 goals this season. A strange decision. Ozturk and Franco are on the bench. The 3 players who I highlighted for the final 5 years ago are still at the club and still brilliant. As mentioned the Chinese ST is not even in the matchday squad but César Baena (still probably the best DC in the world) and Hernán Caputo (leading the La Liga in assists at 35) do play. The final player to note (I have to leave some for next week!) is Mauro Scacchetti, who with Baena forms by far the best DC partnership in the land. He is a Chelsea youth product who they stupidly let go for only £13m 5 years ago. 1st half 4 mins – Miquel Angel pushes Kubik in the box, penalty, which Kubik converts, 0-1 15 mins – Skowron curls home a magnificent unstoppable 25 yard freekick, 1-1 20 mins – Cheek forces Molina into a solid save 25 mins – Miquel Angel crosses, a sublime backheel from Rey finds Bariri who slots it home, 2-1!! 30 mins – Rossi crosses to Bariri who helps it on to Herrera who drives it into the net, 3-1!!! 31 mins - 60 seconds later, Navarro passes to Herrera in the box, one touch to create space, another to drive the ball into the roof of the net, 4-1!!!! 42 mins - Sharrock hits the side-netting from a Skowron corner Half-time – Good God, what was that?!?! So much for their vaunted defence, we were unstoppable 2nd half 50 mins – a goalmouth scramble follows a corner, Kubik gets his 2nd, 4-2 *shrugs* 61 mins – both Rossi and Herrera are tiring, on come Masic and Gray 80 mins – Langner heads goes just over 84 mins – good Tozzi save from Hubert 94 mins – woohoo Finally a 2nd Copa del Rey, it was pretty deserved, we dominated the 1st half, fantastic performances from Herrera and Bariri, who cost less than £1.5m combined!! We have a happy board, a happy fanbase and a happy ex-player.
  3. Champions League 2040-2041 The easy draw against Celtic was thankfully just that. The whole tie was pretty much over within 6 minutes of the first leg at Celtic Park as by that time Dzeko had scored 2. He completed his hat-trick before half-time. They got one back before the end. That result meant I could rest a few players but that changed nothing as they also won 3-1. Next up was Murcia. And Murcia was a very good side. We were 1-0 with 18 minutes to go in the 1st leg on the island. Then all hell broke loose! 5 goals later and the tie was over. Yes, that is our youth product DC scoring a hat-trick and to complete it deciding to take a penalty even though we only led 3-0 at that stage . I chucked out a reserve team for the away leg and they got some semblance of revenge by scoring 3 goals in the last 13 minutes to inflict a 4-1 defeat on us. Man City were next. They are also a very good side. And we destroyed them at their place! . One of the best results we have ever had. Our youth product DC got another goal as did our 17yo youth product ST from last year, in the squad because of injuries. Again the tie was pretty much over after one leg. They came to our place, several back-ups played and we somehow thrashed them by a greater margin!! The 17yo ST getting another goal. Just the 10-1 aggregate win! We will unfortunately be facing Madrid in the final as they knocked out Barcelona on penalties. That will mean that we close out the season with 3 straight matches against them, the Cup final plus the final league game. Fantastic .
  4. La Liga – January 2041 September started well with 3 wins before a disappointing draw at Rayo closed out the month. A win and a draw later and we Betis and it was, of course, Nicolas Nieto, our ex-player, who scored the only goal. Things did not get better at the Nou Camp either as we again failed to score, 0-1. We got 2 easy home wins before another 2 points were dropped at Sociedad. Meanwhile Madrid who had started the season on fire finally started dropping points by losing the Classico and getting a dodgy draw in the next match which meant we were now only 3 points behind them. December started with a difficult trip to Albacete, a match with a very wild finish, just the 3 goals in 2 minutes but at least we got the win. A win over Valencia was followed by another dodgy away performance, this time we had to come from 3-1 down to grab a draw with Las Palmas. 2 wins started January before we visited the Bernebeu. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear . We were dire. That was our worst performance for a very long time. We did follow that up with a solid win at Espanyol. But equally, we followed that up with a very bad loss at home to Murcia. I forgot to take a screenshot but we end January in 2nd place. That in itself is not too bad. What is bad is the fact that we are 9(!) points behind Madrid and only 4 points ahead of 5th. We are not doing very well and Madrid are on fire. Safe to say that the title looks out of reach. The main issue so far is scoring goals, Dzeko has got loads but he is the only one as neither Rey nor Bariri have found any form yet. I also have issues at both fullbacks as the God-like Willems broke a leg in November and is out for 5-6 months so Keita, who is essentially a versatile DC, has had to cover whilst I am starting to think I sold our previous DL at least one season too early as Navarro has not been brilliant so far. Plus I should stop selling players to Madrid; Ozturk is their 1st choice GK whilst both their fullbacks (admittedly both were minimum release clauses) and their backup ST are ex-players. Copa del Rey Adelante side Cadiz were easily dismissed without conceding a goal before we got the nightmare draw of Barcelona in the 5th round. A solid 1-0 home win was followed by a great 2-0 win at the Nou Camp. Nice. We destroyed Murcia 4-1 at their place in the quarter final 1st leg which meant I could give some backups a game and they prompted won the 2nd leg as well. Valencia were next and after a respectable goal-less draw away from home I was a bit sceptical due to our lack of away goals. However, a 4-2 win at home took us through to the final where we will face Madrid. Champions League Not much to say here as we cruised past Salzburg, Porto and Galatasaray with 6 wins and 1 goal conceded. One thing to note is our opening 6-0 win over Salzburg in which Herrera scored 4. Salzburg's 2nd match in the group went just as bad as Porto's striker saw Herrera's performance and said to himself 'I can do better than that'. Played 2, 0 scored, 12 conceded is not the best way to start a CL group. They did pick up 3 draws though. This is what the table looked like. We got the easiest draw possible in the first knockout stage as we will play Celtic for the 1st time ever. January Transfer Window One teenager went out on loan, another got recalled as he was not playing and got sent out again. Nada mas. Notes Tozzi was in the World Team of the Year Our ex-player and ex-coach, Harald Stephan, was sacked by Valencia
  5. The Legends Retire As you will have noticed, 2 of the greatest Santa Eulalia players retired this Summer. In a nice piece of symmetry, they both joined in 2026 and both retired in 2040. I felt they deserved a post to themselves. Bruno Ban (career) Born in Croatia, a PSG youth product, one of the best defenders that France have ever had. He joined for £10m which was quite a lot money considering that he never actually played a game for PSG, his loan spells and scout reports convinced me of his potential. And well, this is what he did: 389 La Liga appearances 110 French caps 51 MoM awards (La Liga) 9 Player of the Year awards (8 consecutively) 2 La Liga titles 2 Champions League titles 2 Copa del Rey 2 FIFA World Club Cups 1 Europa League 1 UEFA Super Cup 1 European Championship Quite good! He is our record appearance holder, he never averaged less than 7.39, he was simply imperious. Probably worth that £10m we paid! We would certainly not be where we are today without him. Unfortunately he has no interest in coaching so no chance of him staying on. Kosta Gligic (career) A £4.2m purchase from Partizan and he is probably the biggest bargain we ever got. There was never any doubt that he was going to be worth the money but he went beyond that. Due to his horrific injury record (see later), he won less than Ban did but he still did the following: 346 La Liga appearances 89 La Liga goals (5th most) 101 La Liga assists (the most by a distance) 73 Serbian caps 2 La Liga titles 2 Champions League titles 2 Copa del Reys 1 Europa League Over a goal or assist every 2 matches over 14 seasons is some going. Apart from the last couple of years, he was 1st choice whenever fit. Unfortunately he was not always fit. I shall now present to you his injury record. It needs 3 complete screenshots(!!): 2022-2028 2028-2033 2033-2039 That is simply incredible (as is the fact, he was not injured for the last 7 months of his time at Santa Eulalia!) I have added it up. During his 14 years here he had 53(!!) injuries and missed nearly a total 2.5 years through injury(!!!). That is insane. The only mildly good thing is that he never got really really bad injuries, he only missed 3 months twice, everything else was niggly, needing about a month max. to recover from. Despite the injuries, he will be sorely missed, again not sure where we would be without him. He is a coach but really not good so no role for him unfortunately.
  6. I did not want to go through the whole of 2015 without an update... But, yes, for a long while I did not play FM at all but recently I have resurrected this save and have nearly finished the next season already so thought I had better update at least the Summer activities. ___________________________________________ La Liga – Summer 2040 That big loss last season prompted the chairman to chuck more money the club's way. Not really the most exciting Summer ever; it was more transitional as pretty much no-one came in and some older players along with some backups left for lots of well needed money. And of course, the retirments of Ban and Gligic - the 2 greatest players our club has ever seen. The arrivals consisted of 2 teenagers. The departures were numerous. The first ones were all youth products or players I bought when they were very young. Most of those were for little and were inconsequential. However, 23yo ST Nícolas Nieto definitely does not fit either of those categories. He is going to be very good; he cost £1.1m but I got £20m for him which was not outrageous. He played well for us last season but was only ever going to 4th choice so I decided to cash in. The fact he has gone to newly rich Betis is a slight concern. 4 other members of my 1st team squad left over the Summer and all for significant sums. First of all, I sold my 2 natural DLs, the Costa Rican who was ever only going to be a back-up went for £5m whilst Jorge Luis who had been our number 1 for 6 years (well, 5 as last season was a write off due to injury) was approaching 30 and had one year left on his contract so I thought I would cash in and let the brilliant looking young Argentine have a go. He went for £13.25m to Atletico. The other 2 departures were also defensive. There did not seem much point in keeping Ozturk as a backup GK as he was far too good for that plus Rhys Jenkins, our 1st really good youth product, is still here, a great player and happy to be a backup. I would rather he had not gone to Real but they were the only ones to offer the £10m I wanted. Meanwhile Eder Jair Velasco, the less brilliant of our 3 Mexicans, was only going to be 4th / 5th choice DC and not play much and we have a huge pipeline of young DCs with great potential waiting for a chance so off he went. £15m to Porto was a great deal. Transfers – monstrous profit, essentially because we bought no-one, which was very muched needed given the money we lost last season The Incomers Pau Cristino – a pretty pointless signing as we have loads of great young DCs and a youth academy that is starting to show fruition so I don't need to go poaching youngsters from other La Liga clubs, but he did cost hardly anything, seemingly has fantastic potential and is so young that he will have 4 seasons in the U19s before any decisions need to be made and you never know what will happen in the meantime Carlos Ferreyra – this guy is not a pointless signing however, we need young STs, he looks brilliant, has great potential and we haven't got any South Americans through our youth academy yet so this is the type of player we would never get "naturally", one year in the U19s, at least 1 loan spell and our current STs will then all be approaching 30 so he may get a chance quite soon. To The Faithful Departed Bruno Ban, Kosta Gligic deserve a post of their own so this list will only concern the other Summer departures, of which there were many... Nicolás Nieto (career) – a Barcelona youth product who we signed 7 years ago as a 16yo and he has turned out to be a great player, 3 good La Liga loan spells once he turned 19 were followed by one season as our 4th choice ST, a role he would always have and as we have an equally good young Italian coming back from loan to fill that role selling him now seeming the best idea as his value would never be higher, £20m is a hell of a lot but he should play a lot for Betis and I reckon he will play for Spain before too long, hope I don't regret the sale Keylor Leiva (career) – brought in for a free at 18 essentially because he was free, it was always unlikely that he would play much for us but last season's injury issues meant that he played quite a bit, this followed 3 OK La Liga loan spells but he played better for us, I had little need to keep him given our DL situation so off he went for a nice £5m Jorge Luis (career) – the one sale I am a bit vary about as he is a good player, however the long term injury he got last season had an impact on his ability and we did OK in his absence and I have a great young Argentinian coming back from loan to replace him, he was a great player over his 6 seasons, one of the best DLs in La Liga and was a bargain at £9m, just about to turn 30 so it seemed a good time to sell and I was happy with the price Abdullah Ozturk (career) – very unlucky not to still be here and as 1st choice, his only crime was to not be Tozzi and for said player to be available to buy last season, otherwise he would probably have spent a long while here, he was very solid during his 3 seasons as 1st choice here but there was little point to keep him as an expensive backup so off he went, unfortunately to Madrid who need a new GK, hope he does not play *too* well for them Eder Jair Velasco (career) – a great DC but not one we really need to keep, was the 2nd of the 3 18yo Mexicans signed in 3 straight Januarys and the least brilliant one, had 3 loan spells, the last of which he excelled in La Liga, then was 4th choice DC here last year, with our need for money and there us having other great looking DC prospects out on loan cashing in looked to be the best solution for all, we get £15m and he does not play in La Liga, he gets the chance to play lots of football and earn more money, Porto get a very good DC, everyone is happy Quite a lot of change again but lots of money in. After 7 new members of the squad last season, we have another 7 more this season (6 were out on loan whilst Dimba is back from his injury and back in the squad). The only position really affected will be DL where both players have been sold and their replacements are 20 year olds. Elsewhere, we lost 2 DCs, replaced the back-up GK and 4th choice ST and lost Gligic to retirement. Our league campaign got off to a flying start as we easily dismissed Espanyol 3-0 before went to Murcia and won the match 3-1 and the yellow card count 6-5. They are a very good side. However, Barcelona did not start too well as newly rich Betis did this to them! Champions League Salzburg, Porto and Galatasaray is a pretty good draw for us. Should have no issues with any of them although we have played Porto a fair few times and lost to them in the past Spanish Supercopa The 1st leg was at the Nou Camp and we weren't very good, losing 2-0. We were much better on the island, also winning 2-0. That meant extra time. It also looked like penalties until they scored a 118th minute penalty. We got one in the next minute but lost of away goals. Another cup defeat . Notes Youth product Grant Sharrock got his expected England cap which was thoroughly deserved after last season and he will now be one of our 1st choice DCs so many more should follow Meanwhile our youth academy also produced a Spanish international which was a total shock given the lack of quality of our Spanish regens so far, when Miquel Angel came through the year after Sharrock, my exact comments were "I am not sure if he is [the best youth product this year] and even if he is I sincerely doubt he will play a 1st team game for us"(!) , I was not totally wrong as his only La Liga matches for us so far are 4 sub appearances, he had one loan spell at our Ukrainian feeder club and one at Espanyol where he was so good I decided to give him the backup DL role this season, evidently that loan spell impressed the Spain manager as well as he not only called him up but played him, for their sake I sincerely hope he is nowhere near their 1st choice though AVB retired from Barcelona, they offered me the job, I turned them down and they took the Man U manager instead France 3-2 Spain was the Euro 2040 final Betis got a tycoon takeover during last season and have lots of money, and they spent a lot of it, nearly £100m on 6 players, Nieto was the most expensive. Albacete got a tycoon takeover last Summer and also have money, and they also spent, over £70m with 2 purchases over £20m We sold the once great Ekaitz Zurro to Madrid for £20m 2 Summers ago, they released him on the last day of the transfer window this year We sold the very promising Danni Larsen to Celta for £7m 2 Summers ago, he turned down Madrid amongst other clubs, one relegation and one solid season in the Adelante and Madrid now buy him for over £12m(!), odd ThankGod that Oviedo bought this player
  7. La Liga – 2039/2040 February started with a visit from Osasuna and an easy win. A visit to Murcia next and they took the lead, Rey got a quick-fire double, Keita elbowed someone in the face, they got an equaliser, 2-2. Oviedo were easily defeated but because of injuries and tiredness it was an utter mess of team that went out, in defence we had a 17yo and 18yo whilst an unfit elderly Gligic made his 1st start of the season. He did get a goal and assist so it worked out fine. There was also a Classico that w/e which finished goal-less and before our next match Madrid got another draw. We weren’t great against Getafe but got a win, although Dzeko on his return from injury lasted precisely 5 minutes before picking up another 5 week knock. 7 1st teamers injured for our visit to Levante and an exhausted squad and again the 17yo and 18yo in defence but we got an easy win. This was our 2nd last game in hand and for the 1st time all year we are TOP! 2 more wins later and we finally had our home match against Barcelona and Bariri was magnificent; 2 goals for him and with no more games in hand we were now 4 clear of Madrid and 11 clear of Barca. And then it came to grinding halt at Sevilla. Our youth product wonderkid English DLC gave away 2 penalties (one incorrect), both converted and we were now only 1 clear. It took a very dodgy last minute back-pass to gift us victory against Valencia whilst Madrid got a very bad draw. Atletico were destroyed, Valencia then beat Madrid, miles clear. The 19th minute of our match against Espanyol was wild, we were 1-0 up and gave away a penalty, they missed, the ball got cleared upfield, their GK made a mess of it, Rey had a 40 yard open goal and got his 2nd goal of what ended up being a hat-trick. A knackered side squeezed by Sociedad and then strolled past Las Palmas and Zaragoza to leave us 1 win from the title. And Dzeko made sure of that by smashing 4 goals past Mirandés in the 1st 41 minutes. Title no.2! Relegated Alcorcón were easily dismissed, the highlight being a trademark Gligic freekick before Betis broke our run of 8 straight wins by getting a draw. One game to go. And in the week leading up to this game both Bruno Ban and Kosta Gligic, 2 of our greatest ever players with a total of 28 years and over 700 league games between them, announced that they were retiring at the end of the season. That meant they were both going to start the final game of the season which happened to be at home. And what an occasion it was – 18 minutes in, Gligic swings in a corner and guess who is there to head it home as he has done so magnificently over the past 14 years and then 63 minutes in Willems gets fouled in the box and there was only 1 player who was going to take that penalty! With a quarter of an hour to go I subbed them both off to a standing ovation. A tear was shed. After all that it is easy to forget that we finished in 1st place again and retained our title. Once we actually got to the top (it took a while) we never relinquished our position and in the end won it by a fair distance as Madrid somewhat collapsed. This obviously pleased the usuals – the fans, board and Saidi for example. Well, that is much more like it; 6 points more than last season, top scorers by 17 and the least conceded. Despite the dodgy start, that was thoroughly deserved title. And it was also despite the ridiculous amount of injuries that we got. I don’t think I have ever had a season with so many. As mentioned in January our 2nd best DC missed nearly the whole season (so bad was his injury that he was actually unregistered in January!), our best DL missed 4 months, our 2 best STs missed nearly a season between them and MC was a rotating injury list. Thankfully we have very good squad depth and some U19s that managed to step up when needed. And thankfully Rey, our 3rd ST was never injured and with a good run of games, suddenly became prolific. And neither our GK nor best DC got injuries either. However, they were literally the only players not pick up knocks. Surely this has compensated our lack of injuries over the last couple of years and will not happen next season. Champions League The observant amongst you will have noticed a lack of an update on this. Which can only spell bad news. And bad news it was . First up was a trip to Turin to face Juve. Their ex-Santa Eulalia ST (he played 3 times for us, was sold 7 years ago for little money has since scored nearly 170 league goals for 3 clubs and now plays for Italy. Oops!) scored 2 early goals. We did get one back but they consigned us to our 1st CL defeat for nearly 2 years and stopped us from beating Man U’s record of 25 unbeaten CL games. We were (obviously) very injured for the return leg and were very lucky to scrape thru on away goals. Man U next. The home leg went quite well with Rey giving us a 1-0 lead to take to Manchester although Masic picked up a season ending knock. The return leg was less good, 40 seconds and they were level, 19 minutes and they were leading on aggregate. We tried to get the all important away goal but failed. We won’t be three-peating. And quite frankly, we don’t deserve to. We have precisely no-one coming in (apart from one 18yo Argentine ST) and in all honesty I can see no-one coming in. I can, however, see a few players leaving and they will be replaced by some of the youngsters currently out on loan. Final Squad – not enough players playing enough games, far too many injuries Summary Finances – erm, out of nowhere, we have a huge loss and are in debt, I guess an early CL exit and spending £33m on a GK does that to you, good job I aim to sell a couple of players in the Summer Transfers – Tozzi was clearly great, Rossi was stunning, the other 2 are youths Here are some of the better players: Best GKs – Salvatore Tozzi – just as good as he was 4 years ago in his other full season here, albeit with a few more conceded and a few less clean sheets, whether he was worth the money is another question but I will base his price upon what we sold him for so in that sense he is definitely worth it, plus he is one of the best 2 GKs in the world and way better than Ozturk, there is no way he is leaving for a long while, in fact the only way I can see him not finishing his career here is if we get a similarly good youth product, which is not going to happen Best Fullback – Maarten Willems – good God, somehow he was even better than last year, the best average rating any of our players have ever had in the league, the best DR in Spain by a country mile and probably the best in the world, stunning performances, assists all over the place, he never puts a foot wrong, Player of the Year for the 3rd time (15th consecutive time it has gone to a defender), he is our most important player, I have no intention of ever letting him go and will be deeply upset if this ever happens Best Youth Product – Grant Sharrock – I thought when he came thru our youth system 5 years ago that he might be pretty damn good and thanks to the injuries of Dimba and Jorge Luis he is turning out to be, he had 2 loan spells away which did him good but without those injuries this season he would not have played half as much as he did, he is not a natural left back but he played a lot there in the 2nd half of the season and did well, as he did when he played in the centre, he was so good that it is very possible that he is now Rico’s DC partner replacing the unlucky Dimba who needs to prove that he is still as good as he was before his 9 month lay-off, he can't be a million miles away from an England callup either (or Spain for that matter given his 2 passports) Best Central Defender – Ricardo Rico – yes, this is the season I have been expecting from him for quite a while, much better than the last 3 years, our best DC and had an important mentoring role to fulfil as after Dimba’s injury, apart from when Ban filled in, he was always partnering 20yos and younger, he did this great and with Ban retiring, he scored a few goals and generally marshalled the defence very well, more of the same please Best Defensive Midfielder – Stuart Cheek – another great season, even better than the previous one, he is pretty much one of the best DMCs in the world, less creativity than before but that is not what I am paying him (ridiculous wages) for, he does only have 1 year left on his contract and he is already 30 but unless he wants stupid money I think I will offer him a new contract, he really is so much better than anyone else we have there Best Central Midfielder – Julio Giménez – I still cannot believe that he cost £4.1m, with Gligic at the same price he is definitely the biggest bargain we have ever got, it is not as if he was a promising youth or anything he was already 23, had 60 caps and brilliant when we got him, I love minimum release clauses (except when they involve my DRs!), he mainly played in the BBM role and was superb, contributed with a load of assists as well, and he manages to appear here despite playing in only half our league games as (wait for it!) he picked up 4 injuries, less of those and I shall be very happy 2nd Best Central Midfielder – Andres Rossi – a fantastic first season here, an absolute bargain at £12.75m, played in both MC positions and was great in both, assists and general great performances, he was probably a bit better at DLP and I am starting to think that he is winning the race to be Masic’s long term replacement, he is still only 21 and has a lot of improvement in him, he will probably continue to be a rotation player but will soon start to edge Masic out, more of the same please Best Attacking Midfielder – Gerardo Josimar Herrera – my word, he is good, 21yo and already one of the best AMCs in the world, fully took over from Gligic this season and did not disappoint, until February he was averaging a goal or assist per game, and he is nowhere near his peak yet, he is going to be scary good and in this team for a long long time, he was the European Golden Boy and won the Young Player of the Year award for a 2nd straight year, with Rico and Velasco plus a brilliant young MC at Roma that I very nearly bought, Mexico are going to have an insane side in the very near future Best Striker – Gérald Rey – after 3 seasons of being a 3rd choice ST who did not play regularly due to Bariri and Dzeko never getting injuries, he finally got his chance as those 2 picked up all the injuries they had previously missed having, he played the most games of any player in the squad and scored a lot of goals, our top scorer by a distance and these performances mean that it is going to be mighty close between him and Bariri to partner Dzeko next season, Rey is the better player on paper but Bariri is a more consistent scorer 2nd Best Striker – Adin Dzeko – statistically his best season with over a goal a game, loads of assists and a ridiculous average rating, however it was unfortunately his worst for injuries and he played in less than half our games, he had 2 long injuries interspersed with little ones, hopefully this is just a blip because if he can combine this goalscoring with his usual injury record he is going to have a season beyond all imagination Youth Candidates – pretty good in general and pretty damn good compared to what we are used to, highly international although our 2 best prospects are Spanish. Paco looks like he could be something special. 2 more Welsh players as well, a combination of a Welsh feeder club and a Welsh chairman is definitely having an influence. Notes Our U19s won their league this season, for the 7th time You will have noticed the almighty struggle for 2nd place. Madrid, Barca and Murcia all finished on equal points, they were separated by head-to-head. And that is Madrid’s 1st appearance in the top 4 and consequently the CL for 4 seasons. The £200m+ they have spent over the last 2 years have borne fruit. Apart from the aforementioned Ban and Gligic, another noteworthy retirement was of one of our coaches. It is noteworthy because Alberto has been here for 27 years. Yes, he was one of my first ever staff signings and he was good enough to stay here for the rest of his career. We still have one more Summer 2013 staff signing on the books and he is only 56 so he may be here for a while longer Barca beat Murcia in the Copa final, the latter’s 3rd consecutive defeat in a Cup final Bayern beat Chelsea in the CL final 10 players got called up for European Championships, 4 of whom were GKs(!) – 2*WAL (2*GK!), 2*FRA, 1*ENG (but not Cheek?!), 1*TUR, 1*ITA, 1*SRB, 1*POL, 1*NED Tozzi, Willems and Herrera made the Team of the Year, as did Franco the DRLC we sold to Madrid last year As I mentioned above Herrera won his 2nd straight Young Player of the Year award, worth also mentioning that with Rossi and Sharrock in the top 3, we got the clean sweep! And I am now in the Hall of Fame The uncapped French winger that Madrid spent £37m on last Summer won the Player of the Year award, maybe he might have been worth something close to that amount. Herrera was 3rd Coming up are Puertollano, Villareal and Rayo Last Season’s Aims Retain The Title – YES – a slow start did not help but once we hit our stride and Madrid started a falter it became a canter, Barcelona need to replenish, they are getting old Win Every Trophy – NOPE – quarter final losses in the Copa and the CL stopped us, the rest we won easily Spread The Goals Around A Bit More – YES – 5 players hit 14 or more goals, although this was more by chance (injury) than design given how often either Bariri and Dzeko were out The Coming Season’s Aims Retain The Title – can’t start thinking that this should become the norm so it should be a focus before we get casual Win Every Trophy – it would count less this time though as there are 2 that we won’t be playing in, only 4 to win Better Finances – I was a bit shocked to find that we lost over £50m and were in debt so this needs solving, and hopefully it will be solved by selling a few players plus the retirements of Ban and Gligic take over £200k per week off the wage bill 13/14 – Segunda B3 – 7th 14/15 – Segunda B3 – 2nd (lost in Second Phase Playoff First Round) 15/16 – Segunda B3 – 2nd (lost in Second Phase Playoff First Round) 16/17 – Segunda B3 – 8th 17/18 – Segunda B3 – 5th 18/19 – Segunda B3 – 1st (promoted, won First Phase Playoff Final) 19/20 – Adelante – 9th 20/21 – Adelante – 14th 21/22 – Adelante – 2nd (promoted) 22/23 – La Liga – 12th 23/24 – La Liga – 14th 24/25 – La Liga – 14th 25/26 – La Liga – 13th 26/27 – La Liga – 10th(Copa del Rey quarter finals) 27/28 – La Liga – 5th(qualified for Europa League) 28/29 – La Liga – 9th(Europa League semi finals, Copa del Rey quarter finals) 29/30 – La Liga – 5th(qualified for Europa League, Copa del Rey runners-up) 30/31 – La Liga – 5th(Europa League winners, Copa del Rey quarter finals) 31/32 – La Liga – 4th(qualified for Champions League, Copa del Rey semi finals) 32/33 – La Liga – 2nd(Champions League runners-up, Copa del Rey quarter finals) 33/34 – La Liga – 2nd(Champions League semi-finals, Copa del Rey winners) 34/35 – La Liga – 3rd(Champions League quarter-finals, Copa del Rey quarter-finals) 35/36 – La Liga – 2nd(Champions League semi-finals, Copa del Rey runners-up) 36/37 – La Liga – 2nd(Champions League runners-up, Copa del Rey runners-up) 37/38 – La Liga – 2nd(Champions League winners) 38/39 – La Liga – 1st (La Liga winners, Champions League winners, Copa del Rey winners, Club World Cup winners) 39/40 – La Liga – 1st (La Liga winners, Club World Cup winners, Supercopa de Espana winners, UEFA Super Cup winners, Champions League quarter-finals, Copa del Rey quarter finals) Team I Would Like To Play Every Week – Mirandés (9th) – (H5-0, A5-0), we also scored 10 against Las Palmas but conceded in the 2nd match Team I Would Like Not To Play Every Week – Sevilla (5th) – (H0-1, A1-2), 66% of our defeats this season and 100% of our defeats after the first game of the season Best 11 Overall Best 11 Ozturk and the Godlike Maartens in... The 100 League Appearances Club NAME NAT POSITION JOINED LEFT APPS GLS ASTS CON MoM AvR Bruno Ban FRA/CRO D C 2026 389 39 9 - 52 7.60 Chori ESP M / AM C 2015 2025 356 108 74 - 30 7.29 Kosta Gligic SRB M / AM C 2026 346 89 101 - 24 7.35 Ayhan Topçu TUR/GER DM / M C 2019 2031 334 15 56 - 17 7.29 Sascha Müller CHI/GER AM C / ST 2025 2036 274 94 34 - 17 7.11 Brahim Saidi MOR/FRA M C 2020 2031 271 15 31 - 19 7.33 Moha MOR/ESP GK 2015 2025 270 - - 303 0 6.95 Tomislav Masic SRB M C 2029 255 17 42 - 16 7.39 Adin Dzeko BIH ST 2028 249 134 65 - 28 7.32 Mohamed Benali BEL/MOR DM / M C 2025 2035 242 5 17 - 2 7.08 Arnaud Tarfaïa FRA DM / M / AM RC 2028 2037 234 16 29 - 6 7.19 Ekaitz Zurro ESP/BAS AM C / ST 2029 2038 220 96 46 - 17 7.35 Bruno Perrin SUI D / WB L 2020 2027 206 2 19 - 4 7.05 Luca Dos Santos FRA/WFI D C 2014 2019 201 23 6 - 40 7.58 Ousmane Keita FRA/SEN D RLC 2029 193 9 5 - 14 7.35 Frank Nørgaard DEN GK 2023 2034 193 - - 195 0 6.92 Michaël Aubry FRA M C 2017 2023 190 11 33 - 9 7.28 Erik Jansen NED D C 2028 2035 185 5 1 - 21 7.55 Oscar Riveros PAR/POR D / WB L 2028 2034 178 2 19 - 2 7.12 Gerrit Janssen NED M C 2030 2037 172 30 24 - 12 7.38 Mario ESP DM / M C 2014 2019 167 12 20 - 3 7.03 Simão Martins POR/ESP ST 2013 2020 165 64 29 - 6 7.16 Ricardo Rico MEX/ESP D C 2035 163 11 2 - 6 7.40 Jorge Luis BRA/ESP D / WB L 2034 163 7 27 - 7 7.36 Walter Carcélen ECU/ESP GK 2026 2039 160 - - 141 0 6.97 Tanausú Peraza ESP D C 2021 2026 159 5 3 - 17 7.47 Flavio Rocha POR DM / M C 2015 2022 159 8 24 - 4 7.18 Abdoul Karim Roger SUD/NED DM / M C 2015 2020 152 17 37 - 19 7.35 Marc Temme GER D RC 2016 2020 151 6 7 - 25 7.45 Jonathan Saraniti ITA D RL / WB L 2029 2037 151 4 16 - 6 7.18 Eneko Calvo ESP/BAS AM C / ST 2027 2032 147 47 38 - 7 7.17 Fábio Roberto BRA/ESP AM RL / ST 2022 2028 143 43 20 - 5 7.04 Necati Zeybek TUR/GER D / DM / M C 2019 2023 142 13 7 - 7 7.29 Hazem Abdel Gawad BEL/EGY D C 2022 2029 138 7 1 - 8 7.25 Francesco Tedesco ITA D L 2015 2021 135 3 12 - 4 7.19 Bariri BRA/ESP AM R / ST 2032 133 70 23 - 13 7.31 Pape Diallo FRA/SEN M / AM C 2023 2027 132 16 21 - 6 7.25 Milton Castro BOL/ESP D RC 2017 2023 131 5 10 - 5 7.07 Omar Silvani ARG/ESP D / DM / M C 2025 2030 130 5 2 - 25 7.70 Jaime Serrano ESP D / WB / M R 2013 2018 129 3 10 - 5 7.04 Tommy Gray ENG/NIR M / AM C 2035 123 24 28 - 5 7.27 Emile Dumont BEL DM / M C 2026 2031 122 1 7 - 6 7.25 Francesco Tarantino ITA ST / AM RL 2013 2017 118 53 35 - 10 7.25 Matthew Abbott ENG DM / M C 2036 129 4 15 - 3 7.32 Francisco ESP M / AM C 2031 2037 110 20 18 - 4 7.16 Maarten Willems NED D RC 2036 106 0 29 - 21 7.76 Javi Luque ESP D RC 2022 2026 106 3 9 - 4 7.03 Abdullah Öztürk TUR GK 2036 106 - - 72 1 7.02 Zeynel Çavusoglu TUR/GER D / DM / M C 2017 2020 104 14 9 - 5 7.15 Elie Lecomte FRA/POR M / AM LC 2027 2034 103 19 22 - 4 7.22 David Garrido ESP D L 2013 2017 103 0 5 - 1 6.99
  8. been reading thru this all in the previous days. great read. good luck with Oviedo. regarding Pozo's sale, is that not the Swiss club that got a tycoon takeover? I presume that they must now be doing pretty well if they can minimum release clause a good player for a good La Liga side and offer him enough wages to be interested...
  9. La Liga – January 2040 September started with an easy win against Murcia before a total destruction of Getafe brought us our record La Liga victory. A dodgy draw at Oviedo was followed by a brilliant performance at Granada. One win later and it was time for another dodgy performance as we struggled to a home draw against Albacete. And that was followed by an even worse home performance against Sevilla as we lost 0-1 to drop to 6th. And things got even worse before the visit to Atletico as our 2nd best DC Dimba did his cruciate ligaments and misses the rest of the season . It is October. Only the 2nd time one of our players has suffered such a devastating injury, the official Most Injury Prone Player Ever(t) Flavio Rocha got such an injury in our Segunda B days. The actual match that followed was not great either, a dull 0-0. Finally we got our **** together, well Dzeko did, as he put in possibly the greatest Santa Eulalia ST performance ever :cool:in getting 4 in a thrashing of Las Palmas. He also got the assist. He got another in our win over Espanyol. And another against Sociedad in a glorious 4-0 rout. Before our visit to Zaragoza, we got news that Atletico had stunned Barca 4-1. We celebrated that by scoring 4 ourselves. And then thanks to various tournaments, we did not play another Liga match for 5 weeks. That match was a solid win over the bottom club to leave us 4th with games in hand. We were very lucky to beat Betis before it was the turn of our 4th choice ST to score 4 in a thrashing of Mirandés. And then a visit to the Nou Camp where we were great, the fact the MoM was their GK says something. Madrid’s 3rd draw in a row meant we were closing in. And guess who visited for the final game of January. We were great against Madrid, 2 2nd half goals giving us a deserved win. Those 9 straight wins have lifted us to 3rd place and very close to bother Madrid and Barca and with games in hand which is much better than it was a couple of months ago. Despite that dodgy start we are now playing great, scoring loads (the most) and hardly conceding (the least). Between the too many injuries that he is picking up, Dzeko is averaging over a goal a game. Meanwhile the hardly-ever injured Herrera is averaging over a goal or assist per game. And the only ST to so far avoid any injury this season, Rey, is our top scorer. The main issue this season has been these injuries. Clearly the gods are making up for last season. From 2 weeks missed by our best 2 STs, we have gone to both being fit for less than 10 games so far this season. And then the defence, the poor defence. As mentioned, Dimba is out until next season, and he has been joined by our best DL who may be back for the final couple of games, or maybe he won’t be. If things go wrong this will be the main reason. I have realised that this season’s 2nd best fit DC is not as good as last season’s 4th choice DC. And our best fit DL is not as good as last season’s backup. Yikes. Selling Franco and Qiu Ming is not looking like the greatest idea ever... Copa del Rey Adelante side Girona were 1st up and, as often happens, the 1st leg did not go great as we escaped with a draw. And therefore I had to play a stronger side than I wished in the 2nd leg. And as normally happens, we easily won. We were lucky to draw another Adelante side and this time the 1st leg was at home and we thrashed them and then played the reserves. A much harder test awaited us as we drew Murcia. The 1st leg at their place went great as we got a 1-0 win. And when we got an early goal at home all was going swimmingly. Then they got 2 early 2nd half goals and it all went wrong. We never got another goal and went out on away goals. Oh dear. Not the greatest defence of our trophy. :o Champions League We started off with 2 easy wins to equal to make it 18 straight wins. That run was halted in Belgrade as Partizan held us to a draw. That did not cause any issues as we won the home leg and then hit 7 past Werder and Arsenal. That meant we qualified clearly in 1st place. Noteworthy is how horrible Werder were and that Partizan pipped Arsenal to 2nd. Next up is yet another tie against Juventus. Club World Cup After last year I realised that this not that hard, and so it proved. We put 5 past Sundowns and then 3 past Estudiantes without condeding. A 2nd straight win. January Transfer Window A couple of teenagers went out on loan. And that was it. Notes A record 6 players were nominated for the Ballon d’Or - both Julio Giménez and Maarten Willems for the 2nd straight year and they were joined by Adin Dzeko, Bariri, Salvatore Tozzi and Tomislav Masic Our old player Adama Cissé won it for the 4th time, he is by far the best player ever in this save Tozzi and Willems were in the World Team of the Year Gerardo Josimar Herrera became the 2nd player (after the aforementioned Cissé) to win the European Golden Boy whilst at the club Remember that we were supposed to play Barca at home in the 2nd match of the season. Well, we still have not played that match. It has been postponed 5 times because of fixture clashes. It is currently scheduled for the end of February.
  10. EDITORS NOTE: err, yes, this has been a slightly delayed update...:o I have a lot less free plus having finally won La Liga I guess my motivation levels decreased a bit. I am going to get FM15 but not until the New Year so I reckon there will be another couple of seasons of Ibiza action (I am already over halfway thru this coming season) before I head elsewhere. I definitely want to see out the careers of Ban and Gligic for sure... Anyway, onwards with the Summer update... ______________________________________________________ La Liga – Summer 2039 *they say you should never go back* There have only been 2 players over whose departure I have been pretty much distraught. They are Nadir Matola, the stunning DRL who left in 2029 and Salvatore Tozzi, the stunning GK who left 3 years ago. Yes, Adama Cissé has gone on to become one of the greatest players to have ever existed in this universe but I always knew he was going to leave and yes, I started to get thoroughly pissed off with all the DRs being minimum-release claused after Matola but if he had never left then it would not have happened. But only those 2 players have I really wanted back and would have been willing to do a lot of things for them to return. As Matola is now in his mid-30s and I have Willems at DR, you know exactly where this going... When my scouts informed me that Tozzi would be available from Man City for less than £10m more than they paid for him, I jumped at the chance. And they were telling the truth, I managed to get him for £33m which is only £6m more than we were forced to sell him 3 years back. It is a bit unfair on Ozturk whose only error has been to not be Tozzi but I was never going to turn down the opportunity to get him back. He now becomes our record signing(!) and means that our top 2 signings have both been defensive players(!). After that the Summer was quite quiet. I got a brilliant young Argentine midfielder from Zenit for a very nice minimum release clause and then 2 16yos came in. Much more activity on the way out as first out the door was our elderly and long-serving GK, Carcelén who left at the end of his contract. Then the 1st big sale of the summer occurred as Madrid came in with a £20m bid for my versatile defender Franco which happened to be his minimum release clause. As I was aiming to sell him anyway and that was around the amount I was looking for I had no complaints. 3 backups left for a few million each, notably the young Italian MC I signed on a free last Summer for nearly £9m. Then the big sale of the summer took place. Chelsea had offered around £30m for my brilliant young Chinese DC at the beginning of the summer, which I tentatively refused as I was not really intending on selling him, despite the fact he is not 1st choice and it was a lot of money. At the end of July they came back and offered something similar. This time I accepted as I had bought Tozzi in between and thought it best to recuperate a bit of that cash. Plus there are a few youngsters lurking around that could do with some football. Transfers – profit, only because of Ming’s departure The Incomers Salvatore Tozzi – not much to say here, he was here for 4 years previously in the U19s, out on loan and then 1 season as 1st choice, by then he was the best young GKs in the world and I had visions of him being here for 15 years, then Man C and the dreaded minimum release clause came in, 3 years later and he is back, and he is now one of the best 2 GKS in the world, and he is certainly not leaving for a long long time, our record signing and straight into the side Andrés Rossi – I could have got him 18 months ago from Argentina for £6.25m but Giménez arrived instead for a ridiculous £4m, off to Russia he went where he was great and continually improved, I saw he had a £12.75m release clause so it was only a matter of time before I dived in, I was not intending to do so this Summer until Man U bid for him, thankfully he chose us, he really is brilliant and has plenty of improvement to come, he goes straight into the MC rotation and is a candidate to replace Masic long term Barry Trice, Lennard Hansen – the former is another cheap very promising youngster from Chelsea, the latter is the 1st signing made by my new Head of Youth Development, my scouts liked him, my coaches love him, the usual U19s for a while before I have to think about them again To The Faithful Departed Walter Carcélen (career) – a very odd career here, 1 season as 1st choice before I went all in with Nørgaard, 5 seasons as backup, then 2 seasons of rotation when I decided that Nørgaard was not going to be as good as I hoped, 1 season as 1st choice again and then 1 season as Tozzi’s backup and 3 as Ozturk’s, he never did anything that caused me concern and he was unlucky as if Nørgaard had not been here then he would probably have been 1st choice for a decade, I assumed he would retire but he wants to career on, no-one has picked him up so far Vitor Franco (career) – arrived as a 17yo with lots of potential but it took 3 loan spells at Albacete before he got a chance in the 1st team squad, and when he was there he was very useful as mainly a backup DL, he was never going to be 1st choice so I don’t mind him leaving, would possibly have preferred him not going to Madrid but with minimum release clauses you can’t be picky Adam Johnson (career) – he has had a very strange career so far, he is 100% English but came up thru the Stuttgart youth system before having various loan spells, he had a lot of potential so when they listed him he came in as a backup, he hardly played before I chucked him out on loan last season to the Premier League, he was average and with Tozzi’s arrival he was certainly not needed here so I was happy to sell him for so much Jonathan (career) – never fulfilled the potential he had when he joined 7 years ago, so much so that he never actually appeared in the La Liga for us, the U19s were followed by one loan spell, one season of not being in the squad as nobody wanted him before Espanyol paid us £1.3m to have him for 2 years, finally this Summer somebody wanted to buy him so off he goes, not a bad player but not up to our standards Alex Fusar Bassini (career) – not sure why I signed him on a free last season as he is not really good enough but I am glad I did as I got a small fortune for him, he was 4th or 5th choice MC and hardly ever played, he did OK but the moment the Summer arrived he was on the list, should do fine in Germany Qiu Ming (career) – still no idea why Madrid sold him to us for £150k(!!), I’d count it as our biggest ever bargain but it was too cheap for it to be realistic, there must have been another reason they got rid, he had 2 useful loan spells before 2 seasons as 4th choice DC here, he would have played quite a lot this season with Ban’s age but £31m is a ridiculous amount of money that I could not really turn down after Tozzi’s purchase and I have some other youngsters that would like some 1st team football, that said I have a feeling that I might regret this sale at some stage Quite a lot of change, especially for a title-winning team. And more change than the above indicates. We only had 23 members in our squad last season and with 5 out (4 sold, 1 loan) we have 7 coming in, only 2 bought but 5 back from loan. This could be a bit of a risk as I cannot be too sure if the ex-loanees are really good enough. The fixture list was horrible. We started with a trip to the Bernebeu before Barcelona visited us. However, that Barcelona fixture was postponed because of the Supercopa, where we would face Barcelona! So 2 matches against them instead of one. Great. And because of the European Super Cup as well, we only had 2 league games before the end of August. First was Madrid and it did not go great. For starters, half the team were knackered from the midweek internationals, then we conceded an early sloppy goal and then Bariri limped off (to miss 5 weeks). 0-1 it ended. The 2nd league match 2.5 weeks later was a visit to Osasuna and we were great, 3-0. Champions League 1st seeds obviously (we are now top of the rankings!) and again a pretty easy group. We have never played Bremen nor Partizan before but they should provide no issues, meanwhile we have a good record against Arsenal. Spanish Supercopa The 1st leg was at the Nou Camp and we were very fortunate to escape with a draw. They battered us but only scored 1 goal and we got a lucky last minute penalty to equalise. We were also fortunate in the home leg as we certainly did not deserve the 3-0 win we got. But still, beating Barcelona 3-0 is always good. Trophy no.1 European Super Cup Our 3rd attempt at winning this and it was German opposition this time in Leverkusen who we played in CL group stages 2 years back and were not too great against. I had visions of another defeat as they took an early lead. Thankfully Dzeko converted a 2nd half penalty and got a winner in the last 5 minutes to finally win this trophy. No.2 of the season. Notes The 1st tycoon takeover that I can remember took place as Albacete gained some Kuwaiti money. Curious to see what happens as they have been solid mid-table recently For the 2nd Summerin a row, Madrid spent over £100m on players , £37m on an uncapped French winger (and France do play with wingers...) from Murcia would seem a little excessive We are still not title favourites, although it does seem that the bookmakers’ Murcia obsession has calmed down slightly and been transferred to the newly rich Albacete (4th favourites! ). Note also that Madrid aren’t even in the top 6 of the betting! Matthew Abbott finally got his 1st English caps, a good 3-4 years later than he should have done
  11. La Liga – 2038/2039 February started with one of our games in hand as we visited Zaragoza. We weren’t great but got a 1-0 win. We weren’t much better at Rayo either, again winning 1-0 with a goal in the 6th minute of injury time(!) of the 1st half. A win at home to Sociedad took us top before Madrid visited and were dismissed 2-0. 2 wins later and we had no more games in hand and the result was that we had a 3 point lead on Murcia with another 2 back to Barcelona with 13 games to go. And next up was a visit to the Nou Camp. A win would probably take Barca out of the equation. A win we did not get. However, Murcia inexplicably lost at home to Albacete so we were still clear at the top. And before our next match, it was Barcelona’s turn for an inexplicable result, what the hell! It is their biggest defeat against a team that was not Real or Valencia since the game began! Not only is that result good for us point-wise but, coupled with our 4-0 win over Getafe the next day, it has a huge impact on our respective goal differences, which may be needed later on as both our matches finished 1-0. We were then horrific at home to Celta and a dire 0-0 ensued. Everyone else won which meant that it was ridiculously close at the top: SE – 65, Murcia – 64, Barca, Valencia – 62. We got a late late win against Atletico but lost our 2nd AMC in a week in the process which meant we had our 1st injury crisis of the whole season to deal with. We dealt with it quite well as the 18yo we brought up from the U19s scored within 10 minutes of the next game. However, we then threw it away and had to settle for a draw. Thankfully Valencia and Murcia played out a draw, and Barcelona also drew. And next we were dire against Cadiz for the 2nd time this season, and failing to score again them for the 2nd time this season, a 0-0 ensued. Murcia played Barcelona and were heading for a win until Barca scored a 92nd minute equaliser. Never have I been so happy to see Barcelona score! And amazingly Valencia drew as well to mean that all the top 4 got 2 points from their last 2 games. Thankfully we had 2 (theoretically) easy games at home next and we got out of our rut by scoring 9 against Albacete and Zaragoza. Meanwhile Murcia lost both of their games and Valencia one of them and both fell out of title contention. Just us and Barcelona now... We squeezed by Oviedo and then Sociedad. Meanwhile Barcelona lost the Catalan derby! 6 points clear, 3 games to go! We both won our next games to leave us needing 1 point. And before our penultimate game Barcelona lost again! TITLE!! We then celebrated by beating Murcia. A goalless draw saw out the season. Woohoo! For the 1st time we finish in 1st place. This pleased all the usual suspects; the board, the fans, our ex-player. We were in the top 2 all season apart from when we had games in hand around January time. In the end, it was a little easier than I expected, especially with 10 games to go with the top 4 separated by 3 points and then us drawing 3 out of the next 4. The others, especially Murcia (only winning 3 of their last 9), chucked it away and we ended up winning by 9 points. We scored the least number of goals out of the top 4 and were ridiculously dependant on Dzeko and Bariri (nearly half our goals), however it was our defence that did all the damage conceding just over 1 goal every 2 games. I am hoping this title was because of our brilliance rather than the change of manager at Barcelona and their aging team. Let’s see. It was, however, the least number of points needed to win the title for 5 years and the least number of goals scored in 10. We have not one played coming in so far, nor do I really expect any 1st teamers to arrive. There may be a couple of departures but they would be replaced by players who have been out on loan the last couple of years Final Squad – not just in the league were we slightly too reliant on Dzeko and Bariri for goals(!) Summary Finances – big profit mainly thanks to Cheek being free and Madrid attempting to improve Transfers – Cheek was great, Fusar Bassini played as little as I expected him to, the other 2 are in the U19s Here are some of the better players: Best GKs – Abdullah Özturk – another improvement, a clean sheet every 2 games and he only conceded more than 1 goal on 2 occasions, also got the 1st EVER Santa Eulalia GK MoM award, was voted the GK of the Year, despite all that I am still not convinced that he is the long-term solution but he will definitely do for the time being until I can find better Best Fullback – Maarten Willems – and another ridiculous season, what a player he is, again the highest rating in the whole squad, Player of the Year award for the 2nd time, best DR in the division, he is simply a magnificent player, defends brilliant, gets forward brilliant, all I can wish for in a fullback, he does only have 1 year left on his contract so I aim to get him signed up as soon as possible no matter what wages he wants 2nd Best Fullback - Jorge Luís – as good as he was the previous year, he will never be as good as Willems but he really is not far behind, a few fewer assists but his general play was at the same level, more of the same please, he is not quite as young as I thought he was but he should have a few seasons left and it is good that I already have his replacement at squad in the 18yo Argentine I signed last Summer (Navarro) who will be out on loan this coming season Best Central Defender – Dimba – a brilliant player who has sort of taken over from Ban and certainly will do next season, his 2nd season in the 1st team squad and although he did not play as much as either Ban nor Rico he played better than them, great defending and a lot of goals, he also filled in at DMC and MC occasionally, he has still a lot of improvement in him, he is one of those players who looks like he could play anywhere on the pitch, a bargain at £1.8m 5 years ago and I got him to sign a new contract with a big fat release clause 2nd Best Central Defender – Ricardo Rico – and again very much the same as last season (and the season before) which can only count as a little bit of a disappointment, he is our best DC on paper but is not currently showing that, that this has gone on 3 seasons makes me wonder whether I over-rated him a bit, he is still obviously an absolutely fantastic player but I am thinking that he might not turned into the world best DC that I thought he might do 3 years ago, he is still however only 22 so I am not worrying too much yet, he will probably remain 1st choice and I hope his partnership with Dimba continues to flourish Best Defensive Midfielder – Stuart Cheek – a great 1st season here which is what I would be expecting with the wages I am paying him, he got off to flying start and although he did calm down a bit he had a great season, much more creative than my previous DMCs have been and he also gets forward quite well and of course he defends pretty damn well, he is soon to hit 30 and we will need to make a decision next Summer as to what to do with him with regards to his extortionate contract, that said he will probably stay as he is a magnificent player Best Utility Midfielder – Matthew Abbott – a bit unfair and he did mainly play at MC but whether it was DMC or MC he was brilliant, best season here and he can feel very unfortunate that he is not a 1st team regular, with his move to MC he found a new knack for scoring and assisting goals, something he had never shown at DMC, still uncapped which is a bit silly, he has a new contract so will be here for a while longer, more of the same please Best Central Midfielder – Tomislav Masic – a much better season, still not at the heights from a few years back but a good season and definitely still our best DLP, soon to be 33 so I am expecting a decline soon, he is also on yearly contracts which means he is getting continual wage rises, despite all this I can see him staying here until he retires, another season like this previous one will justify that Best Attacking Midfielder – Gerardo Josimar Herrera – yes, this guy going to be utterly brilliant, I was correct in my idea that he would be the one to take over Gligic’s role and he has started well in his mission to be a better Mexican than Rico, goals and assists all over the place, stunning performances week after week and still 20yo and with plenty of improvement to come, and he won the Young Player of the Year award, he is pretty much 1st choice at the moment and will play more next season as Gligic gradually slows down towards retirement Best Striker – Bariri – not quite as good as last season in La Liga but elsewhere he was simply unstoppable, he was voted the best CL player and was instrumental in us retaining the title, that said a goal every other game is certainly not bad, plus he seems immune to injuries, he only missed four starts last season and that was because he was rested and he has not had any kind of injury for 3 years, long may it continue and long may his quest to be our best £700k signing ever continue 2nd Best Strikers – Adin Dzeko – hmm, not that fantastic, still 16 goals but his overall play was definitely down and his average rating was his worst since his 1st season in the squad, that said he was simply unstoppable at the CWC (5 goals in 2 games) and the CL where he was top scorer, if he could re-translate that to league play I would be very grateful, he also passed both the Santa Eulalia and Bosnia scoring records Best Elder Statesmen – Bruno Ban and Kosta Gligic – even though neither was really 1st choice by the end of the season I felt that they deserved a mention, in any case Ban did start both our Cup finals and even scored in the CL final, his average rating was a bit down though and he was frequently rested, meanwhile Gligic started the season very well but petered out a bit and then got an injury (obviously!) so was pretty much on the bench for the 2nd half of the season, both their physical stats are declining fast, both have 12 months left on their contract and both will be 35 before the season starts so you would think that this would be their last seasons in football but you never know Youth Candidates – pretty dire, what we certainly don’t need is a 2.5* potential GK like Manuel Rial because he is definitely the sort of player who will never make an appearance for us, bit strange that with the 10+ global feeder clubs that we have the only non-Spaniards that we get are 2 Welshmen (one feeder club is Swansea plus our chairmen is Welsh) Notes Our U19s won their league this season, for the 6th time and were runners-up in the NextGen Series Ozturk and both fullbacks made the Team of the Year I was quite happy to sell Burim Gjondeda to Valencia 3 years ago even if it was for a minimum release clause. He was never going to be 1st choice for us and it was good money. I am slightly wondering about this decision now as he was voted the Player of the Season Murcia lost their 2nd straight Europa League final, this time to Leverkusen For the 3rd season in a row, Madrid were dire and nowhere near CL qualification, hope it stays like this, their huge spending last Summer made little difference so let’s see if they do the same this time Coming up are Granada, Alcocórn and Osasuna Both Dzeko and Rey scored 4 goals in one game for their country within 4 days of each other Unsurprisingly I was the Manager of the Year Last Season’s Aims Win The Title – HELL YES – thankfully the change of manager meant that Barcelona did finally have a (relatively) bad season Retain The CL – HELL YES – and pretty easily as well Phase Out The Elderly At The Right Time – I GUESS SO – both Ban and Gligic played less games than they ever have done (with Gligic I should add “in an injury-free season”), with Dimba and Herrera edging closer to 1st team status, both were pretty good when called upon and Ban was glorious in the 2 cup finals, neither are retiring this Summer so I guess each will play less next season as well The Coming Season’s Aims Retain The Title – if we can do it when Barcelona are playing a bit better than all the better Win Every Trophy – unlikely but we won 4 out of 5 this season and will have another 1 to contend in next season Spread The Goals Around A Bit More – Dzeko and Bariri scored 69 of our 146 goals this season, the former missed 10 days thru injury the latter not one day, I can’t believe that this will happen next year as well so if Rey and whoever is 4th choice ST can chip in with a few that would be great 13/14 – Segunda B3 – 7th 14/15 – Segunda B3 – 2nd (lost in Second Phase Playoff First Round) 15/16 – Segunda B3 – 2nd (lost in Second Phase Playoff First Round) 16/17 – Segunda B3 – 8th 17/18 – Segunda B3 – 5th 18/19 – Segunda B3 – 1st (promoted, won First Phase Playoff Final) 19/20 – Adelante – 9th 20/21 – Adelante – 14th 21/22 – Adelante – 2nd (promoted) 22/23 – La Liga – 12th 23/24 – La Liga – 14th 24/25 – La Liga – 14th 25/26 – La Liga – 13th 26/27 – La Liga – 10th(Copa del Rey quarter finals) 27/28 – La Liga – 5th(qualified for Europa League) 28/29 – La Liga – 9th(Europa League semi finals, Copa del Rey quarter finals) 29/30 – La Liga – 5th(qualified for Europa League, Copa del Rey runners-up) 30/31 – La Liga – 5th(Europa League winners, Copa del Rey quarter finals) 31/32 – La Liga – 4th(qualified for Champions League, Copa del Rey semi finals) 32/33 – La Liga – 2nd(Champions League runners-up, Copa del Rey quarter finals) 33/34 – La Liga – 2nd(Champions League semi-finals, Copa del Rey winners) 34/35 – La Liga – 3rd(Champions League quarter-finals, Copa del Rey quarter-finals) 35/36 – La Liga – 2nd(Champions League semi-finals, Copa del Rey runners-up) 36/37 – La Liga – 2nd(Champions League runners-up, Copa del Rey runners-up) 37/38 – La Liga – 2nd(Champions League winners) 38/39 – La Liga – 1st (La Liga winners, Champions League winners, Copa del Rey winners, Club World Cup winners) Team I Would Like To Play Every Week – Getafe (16th) – (H5-0, A4-0) Team I Would Like Not To Play Every Week – Cadiz (19th :o:o) – (H0-1, A0-0), only team we failed to score against, the other 2 teams we failed to beat were Valencia (3rd) – (H2-2, A1-1) and Levante (15th :o) (A1-1, H1-1) Best 11 Overall Best 11 – no changes Abbott, Gray and Bariri in and a change of leader... The 100 League Appearances Club NAME NAT POSITION JOINED LEFT APPS GLS ASTS CON MoM AvR Bruno Ban FRA/CRO D C 2026 372 37 9 - 51 7.60 Chori ESP M / AM C 2015 2025 356 108 74 - 30 7.29 Kosta Gligic SRB M / AM C 2026 335 85 97 - 24 7.36 Ayhan Topçu TUR/GER DM / M C 2019 2031 334 15 56 - 17 7.29 Sascha Müller CHI/GER AM C / ST 2025 2036 274 94 34 - 17 7.11 Brahim Saidi MOR/FRA M C 2020 2031 271 15 31 - 19 7.33 Moha MOR/ESP GK 2015 2025 270 - - 303 0 6.95 Tomislav Masic SRB M C 2029 242 13 39 - 16 7.38 Mohamed Benali BEL/MOR DM / M C 2025 2035 242 5 17 - 2 7.08 Arnaud Tarfaïa FRA DM / M / AM RC 2028 2037 234 16 29 - 6 7.19 Adin Dzeko BOS ST 2028 231 114 58 - 23 7.27 Ekaitz Zurro ESP/BAS AM C / ST 2029 2038 220 96 46 - 17 7.35 Bruno Perrin SUI D / WB L 2020 2027 206 2 19 - 4 7.05 Luca Dos Santos FRA/WFI D C 2014 2019 201 23 6 - 40 7.58 Frank Nørgaard DEN GK 2023 2034 193 - - 195 0 6.92 Michaël Aubry FRA M C 2017 2023 190 11 33 - 9 7.28 Erik Jansen NED D C 2028 2035 185 5 1 - 21 7.55 Oscar Riveros PAR/POR D / WB L 2028 2034 178 2 19 - 2 7.12 Gerrit Janssen NED M C 2030 2037 172 30 24 - 12 7.38 Ousmane Keita FRA/SEN D RLC 2029 167 8 4 - 13 7.37 Mario ESP DM / M C 2014 2019 167 12 20 - 3 7.03 Simão Martins POR/ESP ST 2013 2020 165 64 29 - 6 7.16 Walter Carcélen ECU/ESP GK 2026 160 - - 141 0 6.97 Tanausú Peraza ESP D C 2021 2026 159 5 3 - 17 7.47 Flavio Rocha POR DM / M C 2015 2022 159 8 24 - 4 7.18 Abdoul Karim Roger SUD/NED DM / M C 2015 2020 152 17 37 - 19 7.35 Marc Temme GER D RC 2016 2020 151 6 7 - 25 7.45 Jonathan Saraniti ITA D RL / WB L 2029 2037 151 4 16 - 6 7.18 Jorge Luis BRA/ESP D / WB L 2034 148 7 26 - 6 7.38 Eneko Calvo ESP/BAS AM C / ST 2027 2032 147 47 38 - 7 7.17 Fábio Roberto BRA/ESP AM RL / ST 2022 2028 143 43 20 - 5 7.04 Necati Zeybek TUR/GER D / DM / M C 2019 2023 142 13 7 - 7 7.29 Hazem Abdel Gawad BEL/EGY D C 2022 2029 138 7 1 - 8 7.25 Francesco Tedesco ITA D L 2015 2021 135 3 12 - 4 7.19 Pape Diallo FRA/SEN M / AM C 2023 2027 132 16 21 - 6 7.25 Milton Castro BOL/ESP D RC 2017 2023 131 5 10 - 5 7.07 Omar Silvani ARG/ESP D / DM / M C 2025 2030 130 5 2 - 25 7.70 Ricardo Rico MEX/ESP D C 2035 129 7 2 - 5 7.35 Jaime Serrano ESP D / WB / M R 2013 2018 129 3 10 - 5 7.04 Emile Dumont BEL DM / M C 2026 2031 122 1 7 - 6 7.25 Francesco Tarantino ITA ST / AM RL 2013 2017 118 53 35 - 10 7.25 Matthew Abbott ENG DM / M C 2036 113 3 13 - 2 7.32 Bariri BRA/ESP AM R / ST 2032 110 57 19 - 10 7.28 Francisco ESP M / AM C 2031 2037 110 20 18 - 4 7.16 Javi Luque ESP D RC 2022 2026 106 3 9 - 4 7.03 Zeynel Çavusoglu TUR/GER D / DM / M C 2017 2020 104 14 9 - 5 7.15 Elie Lecomte FRA/POR M / AM LC 2027 2034 103 19 22 - 4 7.22 David Garrido ESP D L 2013 2017 103 0 5 - 1 6.99 Tommy Gray ENG/NIR M / AM C 2035 101 22 19 - 4 7.26
  12. thanks. yes, I think that over the last 2 years we have become the best club in the world, it was previously Barcelona but they are declining slightly. I think I will be staying at Santa Eulalia. I did have the idea of moving to another freshly promoted Balearic club but with a) winning everthing at SE taking so long, b) FM15 coming soon and c) me having a lot less time to play than before, I will stay here until I get the new game, probably a few more seasons. that will give time for Ban, Gligic and Masic to gracefully retire, Dzeko to score loads of goals and maybe even a youth product in the 1st 11. that last one is unlikely although I will have one in the squad next season, not a Spaniard though... And yes, as you can see below, there was a small spoiler somewhere in the screenshots. did not think anyone would spot that!
  13. my word, Deleu is ridiculously good. and it is not like he will be 17 soon either, he only just turned 16! and for less than £2m! your scout needs a pay-rise! good luck with the league, you can only keep on winning and hope Madrid slip up from time to time...
  14. Champions League Final – 2038-2039 Bernebeu, Madrid... How we got there is outlined above. Inter got thru a group of Valencia, Sporting and Sparta Prague and then thrashed PSG 3-1 twice. They then had a Milan derby in the quarters and squeezed thru before 2 1-0 wins did for Man U in the semis Lineups We still have the same one Skowron injury that we had 2 weeks ago in the Copa final. However now both our Mexicans are away at the Gold Cup which is kind of ridiculous but it means they need replacing; in come Dimba at DC and Gray at AMC. Otherwise it is the same team as for the Copa final. Inter have a couple of injuries but from what I can see only 1 of these players would have played. They have a pretty good squad with some class players, they also have our ex-backup fullback Saraniti who left 2 years ago. A few of these great players are: Alvaro Morosini – a youth product and a brilliant GK and yet still not the best Italian GK, he was on my list of ideas to replace Tozzi 3 years back but it would have probably cost me more than I sold Tozzi for to get him so declined Cláudio – a very good DC who I could have got on a free from Brazil 5 years back but did not need so he went to Portugal, I was mildly tempted when Inter bought him 2 years ago for £20.5m but again I would not have had space for him Mirko Nava – another youth product and another great player, I tried to sign him 3 years back when his contract was running down but he turned us down and chose to sign a new contract at Inter instead, this refusal pretty much made me buy Abbott Miguel Valbuena – and another great player, an ST that Spain don’t really use but who has changed hands for a lot of money over time, the biggest of these deals was Bayern paying a ridiculous £37.5m to Murcia for him, he was there for 4 years before Inter bought him for much less 1st half 3 mins – a Masic corner, a Ban bullet header, 1-0! 25 mins – Nava gets carried off injured 25 mins – a Masic thru-ball finds Bariri who drives it home, 2-0!! 28 mins – a Cláudio header from a corner goes just wide 34 mins – Giménez finds Dzeko in space in the area, he does not miss, 3-0!!! 38 mins – Schau (on for Nava) hits a great cross into the area and Valbuena can’t miss, 3-1 46 mins – a Bariri goal is ruled out for offside Half-time – a great half, we played really well and have created a lot of chances 2nd half 48 mins – a Masic freekick cannons off the crossbar 71 mins – the brilliant but knackered Masic comes off, Gligic off, also Abbott comes on for Cheek 75 mins – Schau heads just over the bar, should have done better 92 mins – woohoo, WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS! (again) Full-time – a dull 2nd half but overall we definitely deserved the win, Masic was the God this year. We are the first team ever to win every match in the competition, we have now won 16 CL games in a row. We scored the most goals in the history of the tournament Dzeko was the top scorer Bariri was the best player 5 of our players are in the Team of the Year All seems pretty definitive... As per last year: The supporters are happy The board are happy The ex-player is happy
  15. Copa del Rey Final – 2038-2039 Barcelona...They lead 2-1 in finals against us. How we got there is outlined above. Barcelona had it a bit harder than us as after beating Girona they then had Madrid in the next round. After beating them they strolled past Sociedad and Betis. Lineups We only have 1 injury in the whole squad and that is Skowron at MC who probably would not have played in any case. Hence we are full strength. The only issues I had were who to play at BBM (Giménez beat out Abbott) and whether to play Ban or not. In the end I included him despite it being his 35th birthday the next day. Whether it was because he was still playing well and that one of his strengths is big games or because I was feeling sentimental, I cannot say... Barcelona are missing 2 of their STs although neither would have played in that position, but one might have played at AML. Our ex-player Antunez also plays. I also realised that their squad is not as good as I remember it being, it contains a lot of players the wrong side of 30 and the younger players are not close to that ability. Out of the 10 players that I have highlighted in our 3 previous finals, 1 from 2030, all 4 from 2033 and all 3 from 2034 are still at the club and getting old. Only 4 play though. The better players on the pitch that have not been previously mentioned are Jorge Barrera (not bad but the best of their defence as the rest contains an out-of-position DC at DR, a DC who cost £7.5m after 3 average seasons in 2.Bundesliga and a not great Croat), Francisco Manuel Garcia (a great DM/M C youth product who it appears I could perhaps buy for a little over £25m but having Cheek and Abbott means I probably won’t) and Juan Antonio Maroñas (another great DM/M C youth product). 1st half 4 mins – a Masic freekick goes just wide 19 mins – a cross comes in and Juan Pedro rises above Ozturk to head home, 0-1 32 mins – a Masic freekick goes just wide 34 mins – Herrera finds Bariri with a beautiful pass and he slots home, 1-1! 42 mins – Ban loses possession, Allison breaks free but his shot is blocked Half-time – an OK half of football although the only shots on target were the 2 goals, very even so far 2nd half 47 mins – Bariri finds a lot of space but his shot is blocked 57 mins – the reverse of 34 mins as Bariri finds Herrera with a beautiful pass, he does not miss, 2-1!! 62 mins – Dzeko finds Bariri who shoots wide 78 mins – Gligic and Keita come on for the tired Masic and Willems 82 mins – Abbott comes on for the tired Cheek 87 mins – a Gligic freekick is easily saved 94 mins – woohoo Finally a 2nd Copa del Rey, it was pretty deserved, we dominated the 2nd half, fantastic performances from Herrera and Bariri, who cost less than £1.5m combined!! We have a (relatively) happy board, a happy fanbase and a happy ex-player.