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VillaSmith

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About VillaSmith

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    Amateur

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    Aston Villa

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    Brazil
  1. FM17 - Uni is over, time for a gap year!

    January - June 2027 / Copa América | Brazil The holiday is over. Eight months tanning myself on the Rio beach with Jamie feeding me Feijoada and Brigadeiro every night, but now the job really starts as we approach only the second match since I took charge eleven months ago. The first job is to get the team together for a training camp before we face Ghana in a warm up friendly, a chance to bury the demons from the World Cup before we jet off to Uruguay for the Copa América. It's also a great opportunity to reacquaint myself with the lads. A slight sour note to start the international period, however, as when I picked up German contingent - Igor, Ítalo and Nathan Raphael - up from the airport after their flight, Nathan Raphael was inexplicably accompanied by Max, carrying a huge, novelty sized thank you card, thanking me for resign so Allegri could take over and break the Bundesliga points record. The most distressing part was the photo Max had include of him "celebrating" with the Bundesliga trophy in his office. I'll be seeing that in my sleep for months... Despite that initial hitch, the training camp got off to a fantastic start. Too well in fact. I'd assumed taking the Brazil job would include having some fun parties after training, going out on the lash with Ronaldinho every night (that only lasted a week, I couldn't keep up. He may be 47, but he can still party like nobody's business), with lots of dancing in the changing room. But this squad is very professional and driven, which will be good for the Copa América, not so much for my social life. We're ready for Ghana, and then it's off to Uruguay to defend our title. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Squad Goalkeepers Three good options for between the sticks, with Ederson the incumbent #1. Sporting's Renan Lopes is pushing him hard for it though and provides an interesting headache for me, go for the old guard or try out the next generation. Milton Preto is another fantastic keeper, but slightly behind Ederson and Lopes, but not by much, he should provide Lopes with a healthy competition over the next 5-10 years. ------------------------------------------ Defenders Perhaps Brazil's weakest area, but there is still a lot of quality here. Marquinhos and Lyanco are a great partnership in defence and with me moving the full backs into the wingback positions for this tournament, they'll need to be solid to provide a good platform for me. Júlio César and Flores are decent enough back ups, but I don't think they're quite top international quality, but they'll do. Moreira and Oliveira will be my wingbacks, and whilst they're not quite the typical flairy, Brazilian wing back, they're still a good balance of defence and attack with good physical attributes, and I'll be looking for them to provide my width and some attacking impetus as I'm planning on moving my IF's more centrally. Ricardo is a very good back up for Oliveira, and perhaps could even challenge for his place and Chaves is a good option for the right. ------------------------------------------ Anchor Men With an emphasis on attack in my new structure and the WBs moving to a more forward position, these guys will be integral for me to keep a decent defensive shape. I'll look for them to operate almost as a third CB, one that can bring the ball forward from deep and pick a pass across the pitch or help build up attacks from the back. Maia is an obvious first choice here, a much more well rounded player than Ítalo which makes him perfect for how I want him to play, but Ítalo is still a good option. ------------------------------------------ Midfielders Carpegiani and Nathan Raphael will likely be my first choice pairing in midfield, with Tuparendi pushing both of them for their positions. In terms of the back ups though, versatility was key for me here, with both Oliveira and Otavio able to play wide, it allows me to switch back to a winger based formation that still has players able to replace the starters from the bench. Alex is perhaps the worst player in my squad, but by no means a bad player, just a tad one-dimensional. Brazil's attacking options are abundantly clear here, with most of these guys not even hitting their prime yet. ------------------------------------------ Attackers I'll be playing with three up top this summer, as a way to hopefully utilise the magnificent talents of Igor, Mauro and Gabriel Jesus, with Mauro likely to play in the central position, with Igor and Jesus playing off of him. Cantero Júnior is a great young talent coming through right now, and I'll look to rotate him in so he's ready to take over from Jesus over the coming years. ------------------------------------------ Friendly A good win in my only warm up game before Copa América. Ghana did restrict me in the central areas well, but as I planned, I got a lot of width through Oliveira and Moreira which allowed me to eventually punch, as well as capitalising on Ghana's mistakes. The first goal came from some great counter attacking, with Moreira intercepting the ball and releasing Igor down the right wing, who got to the edge of the box and fired a low cross into the middle for Mauro to turn into the net with ease. Mauro pounced on a Ghanaian mix up in defense as Boakye failed to control a pass from Takyi inside the box, and Mauro hit the ball first time into the corner. Igor was almost the creator again as Mauro turned his cross onto the post just before half time, and then Mauro was the fastest to react as he then tapped the ball into a gaping net for his hat trick. The second half was a bit more pedestrian, with my players happy to just let the game fizzle out, but Ghana were rewarded with a consolation goal for their patience as some precise passing resulted in a lovely goal with Acquah playing a nice one-two with Bernard, Acquah's run into the box was not picked up as he connected with a nice pass and slotted easily past Ederson. A good second game for me, and a good foundation for the tournament. I'm happy with the way we played, especially with the trial of my new tactic, and I'm very confident going into Copa América.
  2. FM17 - Uni is over, time for a gap year!

    The best thing about it is that the Newgen Manager who led them to that Final resigned a few months later, and has now retired into obscurity without taking another job, I'm sure he would have attracted some club interest. Harry Kewell recently took over after another Newgen got sacked following the Asian Cup, and they disappointed at the 2026 WC, failing to get out of a group that contained Canada, Ghana and Switzerland.
  3. FM17 - Uni is over, time for a gap year!

    I clearly made the right decision then Maybe Max had a point. It's also worth noting, that loss is Schalke's only non-win all season, and it was only the mid-week game before the winter break, they were very close to a perfect first half of the season.
  4. Looks like Leverkusen have been investing wisely Congrats on another CL and, probably more impressively, survival
  5. FM17 - Uni is over, time for a gap year!

    July - December 2026 | Brazil Career So Far Nation Details Nation - Brazil League - Copa América / CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers Stadium - Maracana / Morumbi / Mineirao / Castelao / Arena Gremio Capacity - 78,838 / 77,011 / 75,783 / 64,846 / 60,170 My expectation - Win Superclásico de las Américas World Ranking - 1st Key Players Mauro - One of Brazil's many quality attacking players. Surprisingly, despite being one of Brazil's better players and good goalscoring records, he rarely features for Man Utd with Mourinho preferring Dybala up front. I'll look to Mauro to lead my line and hopefully he can show on the international stage why Mourinho should be playing him. Sidnei Carpegiani - The pick of the bunch of Tottenham's somewhat surprising core of quality Brazilians. A great well-rounded playmaker with great physical attributes, he should fit into my team comfortably and provide the sufficient service to the many attacking options Brazil have. Igor - Top goalscorer in the Bundesliga last season, and a thorn in my side whilst playing for Bayern. I wanted him to join me when he was at Sporting, but he rejected me and it's great to finally get my hands on him. Great out wide and through the middle, Igor will offer valuable versatility if I want to play all of Brazil's talents. Superclásico de las Américas A cracker of a game to get my Brazil career off to a great start. Not quite the performance I wanted to begin with, but we did well to contain a dangerous Argentinian side. I took inspiration from Mourinho's usage of Herrera against Chelsea and deployed Thiago Maia to solely mark the Argentinian AMC in an attempt to cut the supply line to that frightening partnership in attack. It did work fairly well, but it sacrificed some offensive balance to the team and Argentina still managed to create some golden chances, but luckily Martínez wasn't wearing his shooting boots and I got away with some dodgy defending. We managed to break through though just before half time, with Tuparendi firing from the edge of the box past Rulli. A tight game for the second half up until Cantero Júnior got down the left wing and floated a ball to the back post for Gabriel Jesus to head in from close range to tie up the game. Preferably I could have dominated the game a bit more, but Argentina are tough so I'm happy with a 2-0 win. Copa América A decent draw for the Copa América, although Colombia will be a tough game. I should get through to the Quarter Finals and hopefully a lot further. In other games, I have a friendly with Ghana just before the Copa América starts, but that will also be my next game, so just an eight month wait then
  6. FM17 - Uni is over, time for a gap year!

    Glad you liked it I was never one to do any writing or anything, but the inspiration took me.
  7. FM17 - Uni is over, time for a gap year!

    Off to sunny Brazil Although with some of those potential replacements, I'd be tempted to take over some of those club jobs!
  8. FM17 - Uni is over, time for a gap year!

    Sitting here in my darkened office, a last glass of free Veltin's in hand (I say last, I got Jamie to pack up a few crates for moving, I mean, it's free beer, of course I'm going to load up whilst I can) and the TV blaring in the background - The Chairman is on Sky Sports News gloating about how selling Zapata to Arsenal was an amazing deal for us, Max Feller: He's crap anyway, we've mugged them right off getting £73m for him! Max was always a *****, even more so when justifying his terrible leadership. If only Meikel Bussmann had gotten re-elected, he actually knew how to build a football club for success. A knock on the door pulls me away from the TV just as Max starts laughing directly in Ray Parlour's face, I'm not exactly sure why. Sam Smith: Come in. Jamie Oliver: Hiya boss, I got that letter printed off for you to sign. SS: Cheers Jamie, just set it down there. Tell me, Jamie, why did you ever decide to become my PA? JO: Well, you got hammered, put a bag over my head and kidnapped me when you were celebrating your last day of Uni. Then you shaved my head so no-one would recognise me. The nation mourned my disappearance. I was declared legally dead. There's even a national holiday to commemorate it. I've grown to love it though, boss. Haha, good times! Though it is strange that a holiday to remember a TV chef became Britain's most loved holiday, any excuse for a day off I suppose. MF (shouting from the TV): WHO CARES!? WE'VE GOT LARS NEUHAUS!!! Seventeen-year-olds aren't going to win going to win you the Champions League like you want though. Ooh, and Max won't have liked that response from Parlour, daring to suggest Arsenal are a bigger club than Schalke. True, but Max is Max. MF: Oh yeah, pretty boy? Well if Arsenal is a bigger club, how come our manager rejected them in the summer when they threw a £1bn budget at him? Because Sam knows how big we are, and the best manager in the world wants to manage the best club in the world, so he told them to do one. Ha, and this is why I'm watching the smug ***** embarrass himself on TV. I didn't even apply for the Arsenal job, and they never contacted me, so I've no idea where he got £1bn from. I mean he's kind of right, I did reject a job offer, but that was at Inter, and they could only offer a £1m budget, considerably less than this fantasy offer. Anyway, the news should be breaking soon. SS: There you go, Jamie, get that sent up to head office, and go ahead with the press release too. JO: Right away boss. Now all I have to do is sit back and watch the meltdown. Sky Sports Presenter, Wayne Rooney: Let me just, er, interrupt you there lads, we're gettin' some breaking new comin' through from Italy. Brazil have annou... Jim White: South America, Wayne, Brazil is in South America. WR: Oh yea, right. South America have. No wait, Brazil have announced their new manager. JW: Errrm. WR: Oh right, yea, it's ex-England and current Schalke manager, Sam Smith. MF: WHAT THE ****!?!? JW: Yes, Smith has been announced on an initial one-year deal that will run through the 2027 Copa América in Uruguay, with a view to a three-year extension until the 2030 World Cup in Italy. MF: WHO THE **** DOES HE THINK HE IS!? WR: The number one ranked nation were disappointed following their second round exit to Ghana in Mexico, and are looking to make up for it by retainin' the Cuppa America. JW: Close enough. The Brazil bosses were said to be impressed by the young manager's fantastic work in the Bundesliga, and are looking forward to seeing him nurture the next generation of Brazilian greats. Further, a statement released by Sam Smith states that he will be tendering his resignation at Schalke, bringing to an end four and a half magnificent years at the club, so that he can fully concentrate on his new role. More details to follow. MF: THAT BLOODY *****! I'M GONNA ****ING KILL HIM! JW: So Max, were you expecting this news? MF: The little. Huh, wha? Err, yes Jim, we knew that Sam was going to move on, but after the service to the club over the last few years, we decided to allow him to exit in this manner rather than sack him like we were going to, give him a bit of dignity you know. He's really not that good, to be honest with you. The little *****! That's enough TV for tonight, I saw his explosion, and it was fun while it lasted. I need to go back my bags ready for Rio! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Trying something a little different out, try and inject a bit of narrative into this career thread. It's probably awful, it's my first attempt at anything like that, but hope you guys like it anyway, let me know if you want me to add more stuff like this occasionally
  9. FM17 - Uni is over, time for a gap year!

    My cup runneth over! I wasn't planning on jumping back into international football so soon, but those are two tempting offers! And with no other interesting club options currently available, if I was to consider leaving Schalke, they are definitely two great opportunities. Food for thought at least.
  10. FM17 - Uni is over, time for a gap year!

    Former Team Watch Eastleigh finally succumbed to relegation in 2022 after 5 seasons in the Football League, finishing rock bottom in their final season. They missed out on the playoffs in their first season back in the National League with a 7th place finish and then finished 3rd and 5th in 2023/24 and 2024/25 respectively, both times losing out in the Playoff Final. 2025/26 finally looked like the season they would return to the Football League, sitting top of the table for much of the season, but a terrible 2026 saw them slip down the table and out of the Playoff positions, finishing 8th. Between 2021 and late 2022 Eastleigh had three managers, two of which were former Man Utd striker, Alan Smith, and former Stoke midfielder, Glenn Whelan. To replace Glenn Whelan they chose former Newport and Port Vale player, Sam Foley, who has been the manager since. Notably, my signings Jake Pickard and Remi André Svindland still play for Eastleigh, with Pickard becoming the record League Appearance holder with 418 games and record goalscorer with 134, and Svindland holds the second most appearances with 394. Tranmere seemed to fall away after making the playoffs in their first season back in the Football League finishing 10th and then 18th, but in the 2023/24 season they finished 3rd and got promoted to League 1. Tranmere managed to survive their first season in 20th and then reached the playoff in 2025/26 finishing 6th, but were knocked out of the Semi Final by Rotherham. Tranmere are now on their third manager since 2019, offering a little stability to their management, with now a Northern Irish newgen in charge. Oxford have failed to really kick on since 2021, mostly finishing mid table with 19th, 13th, 14th, 21st and then 14th. John Arne Riise stuck around for a while until he got sacked in 2024. It's been all rather boring at Oxford with them securing mid table mediocrity, and the only notable events were that Bahaa Gamal, Zebenzui Munoz and Serafino Liguori (all players that I signed just before I left) were all sold by the club for big fees fetching £7m, £4.5m(£5.5m) and £3.4m(£5.25m) respectively. Burnley struggled after returning to the Championship, looking in danger of succumbing to back to back relegations, and then struggled to get away from that bottom of the table, finishing 17th, 20th, 18th and 17th in their first four seasons back. Then, out of nowhere, they finished 6th in 2025/26 and got promoted through the playoffs. Despite their terrible results, Burnley surprisingly only had three managers in this period. Whilst it would be easy to assume that their struggles were due to poor finances, that isn't so, selling their team in the first season in the Championship for a combined £178m, with Taylor Moore joining Norwich for £13m, Juan Manuel Martínez joining Chelsea for £38.5m and Bruno Santos joining Schalke for £7.5m to add to the others I mentioned in my last Former Team Watch. Burnley continued to make massive profits in the following seasons, so the Burnley coffers certainly weren't empty. Cesare Prandelli has lost only 5 games and drawn 5 games in his 58 games in charge and has continued to bring through the youth players I had selected to turn England into a real international force, making me look a right tit. With another International League to their name and their first European Championship, whilst only being knocked out by eventual winners Argentina in the 2026 World Cup in Mexico. Prandelli did a fantastic job with them but has resigned after the World Cup, leaving the job open. Kris Thompson has become England's record goalscorer with 58 goals in 70 games, and Dele got extremely close to surpassing Peter Shilton, getting 121 caps before retiring after the 2026 World Cup at just 30, surely he could play one more year and get that record? Despite Dele retiring Shilton's record is still in danger with John Stones, 116, and Eric Dier, 113, not far behind and seemingly not looking like retiring anytime soon.
  11. FM17 - Uni is over, time for a gap year!

    Five Year Review England 2021/2022 | 1st - Man Utd, 2nd - Liverpool, 3rd - Arsenal 2022/2023 | 1st - Man Utd, 2nd - Man City, 3rd - Arsenal 2023/2024 | 1st - Man Utd, 2nd - Liverpool, 3rd - Man City 2024/2025 | 1st - Man Utd, 2nd - Tottenham, 3rd - Chelsea 2025/2026 | 1st - Man City, 2nd - Man Utd, 3rd - Liverpool 2021/2022 | Winners - Chelsea, Runner's Up - Swansea 2022/2023 | Winners - Man City, Runner's Up - Man Utd 2023/2024 | Winners - Chelsea, Runner's Up - Watford 2024/2025 | Winners - Liverpool, Runner's Up - Arsenal 2025/2026 | Winners - Newcastle, Runner's Up - Swansea 2021/2022 | Winners - Leicester, Runner's Up - Arsenal 2022/2023 | Winners - Chelsea, Runner's Up - Tottenham 2023/2024 | Winners - Crystal Palace, Runner's Up - Man Utd 2024/2025 | Winners - Arsenal, Runner's Up - Man City 2025/2026 | Winners - Tottenham, Runner's Up - Chelsea Germany 2021/2022 | 1st - Leverkusen, 2nd - Bayern, 3rd - Gladbach 2022/2023 | 1st - Bayern, 2nd - Schalke, 3rd - Leverkusen 2023/2024 | 1st - Schalke, 2nd - Bayern, 3rd - Dortmund 2024/2025 | 1st - Schalke, 2nd - Dortmund, 3rd - Bayern 2025/2026 | 1st - Schalke, 2nd - Bayern, 3rd - Leverkusen 2021/2022 | Winners - Leipzig, Runner's Up - Hertha Berlin 2022/2023 | Winners - Bayern, Runner's Up - Hannover 2023/2024 | Winners - Bayern, Runner's Up - Hoffenheim 2024/2025 | Winners - Schalke, Runner's Up - Leipzig 2025/2026 | Winners - Hoffenheim, Runner's Up - Leverkusen Spain 2021/2022 | 1st - Atlético Madrid, 2nd - Real Madrid, 3rd - Barcelona 2022/2023 | 1st - Atlético Madrid, 2nd - Real Madrid, 3rd - Barcelona 2023/2024 | 1st - Real Madrid, 2nd - Atlético Madrid, 3rd - Málaga 2024/2025 | 1st - Atlético Madrid, 2nd - Real Madrid, 3rd - Barcelona 2025/2026 | 1st - Atlético Madrid, 2nd - Barcelona, 3rd - Real Madrid 2021/2022 | Winners - Real Madrid, Runner's Up - Villarreal 2022/2023 | Winners - Real Madrid, Runner's Up - Sevilla 2023/2024 | Winners - Real Madrid, Runner's Up - Atlético Madrid 2024/2025 | Winners - Atlético Madrid, Runner's Up - Real Madrid 2025/2026 | Winners - Real Madrid, Runner's Up - Athletic Italy 2021/2022 | 1st - Roma, 2nd - Fiorentina, 3rd - Milan 2022/2023 | 1st - Fiorentina, 2nd - Inter, 3rd - Juventus 2023/2024 | 1st - Milan, 2nd - Fiorentina, 3rd - Inter 2024/2025 | 1st - Fiorentina, 2nd - Milan, 3rd - Inter 2025/2026 | 1st - Fiorentina, 2nd - Milan, 3rd - Roma 2021/2022 | Winners - Inter, Runner's Up - Fiorentina 2022/2023 | Winners - Milan, Runner's Up - Fiorentina 2023/2024 | Winners - Milan, Runner's Up - Juventus 2024/2025 | Winners - Napoli, Runner's Up - Milan 2025/2026 | Winners - Roma, Runner's Up - Juventus France 2021/2022 | 1st - PSG, 2nd - Monaco, 3rd - Marseille 2022/2023 | 1st - PSG, 2nd - Saint-Étienne, 3rd - Monaco 2023/2024 | 1st - PSG, 2nd - Monaco, 3rd - Marseille 2024/2025 | 1st - PSG, 2nd - Monaco, 3rd - Montpellier 2025/2026 | 1st - PSG, 2nd - Lyon, 3rd - Monaco 2021/2022 | Winners - Monaco, Runner's Up - Nantes 2022/2023 | Winners - Stade Rennais, Runner's Up - Dijon 2023/2024 | Winners - EA Guingamp, Runner's Up - Nantes 2024/2025 | Winners - Monaco, Runner's Up - Auxerre 2025/2026 | Winners - PSG, Runner's Up - Lyon 2021/2022 | Winners - Nancy, Runner's Up - Monaco 2022/2023 | Winners - PSG, Runner's Up - Lyon 2023/2024 | Winners - Marseille, Runner's Up - Bordeaux 2024/2025 | Winners - PSG, Runner's Up - Bordeaux 2025/2026 | Winners - PSG, Runner's Up - Marseille Europe 2021/2022 | Winners - Liverpool, Runner's Up - Bayern 2022/2023 | Winners - Atlético Madrid, Runner's Up - PSG 2023/2024 | Winners - PSG, Runner's Up - Man Utd 2024/2025 | Winners - Man Utd, Runner's Up - Schalke 2025/2026 | Winners - Man Utd, Runner's Up - Chelsea 2021/2022 | Winners - Tottenham, Runner's Up - Gladbach 2022/2023 | Winners - Milan, Runner's Up - Marseille 2023/2024 | Winners - Lyon, Runner's Up - Benfica 2024/2025 | Winners - Gladbach, Runner's Up - Tottenham 2025/2026 | Winners - Liverpool, Runner's Up - Leverkusen 2021/2022 | Winners - Man Utd, Runner's Up - Gladbach 2022/2023 | Winners - Tottenham, Runner's Up - Liverpool 2023/2024 | Winners - Atlético Madrid, Runner's Up - Milan 2024/2025 | Winners - PSG, Runner's Up - Lyon 2025/2026 | Winners - Man Utd, Runner's Up - Gladbach International 2022 | Winners - Argentina, Runner's Up - Australia 2026 | Winners - Germany, Runner's Up - Spain 2024 | Winners - England, Runner's Up - France 2023 | Winners - France, Runner's Up - Spain 2025 | Winners - England, Runner's Up - Portugal Leading Transfers Yeboah's sale to Atlético became the most expensive signing ever, breaking the £100m mark in the process. Quite a few Schalke players on that list now, unfortunately mostly sales though.
  12. FM17 - Uni is over, time for a gap year!

    April - June 2026 / Season Review | Schalke 04 Bundesliga I managed to snap out of my funk for the last few games and managed to put myself top of the table, only to let Bayern back in with my draw at Hertha. It left all down to the last day, and despite battering Karlruher, it was a nervy finish. It's an odd type of nerves, knowing that you're holding up your part of the bargain and just hoping that someone else slips up. Bayern were at home to Hannover, and despite taking the lead they were losing 2-1 at half time, giving me hope. When Bayern got the equaliser in the second half, it meant a tense end to my game, but luckily for me, Hannover held on, and I won my third Bundesliga in a row! It was the tightest title so far, and I was convinced Bayern would pip me, but I held on in the end. We missed Yeboah in the second half of the season, but being eliminated from the Champions League and DFB Pokal was a blessing in disguise, allowing me to play a fully fit side in pretty much every one of my remaining games. Hopefully, I can hold on to my better players, but it's going to be hard, most of my best players are getting interest from around the continent and this season saw the fourth season in a row that I had one of my best players poached from me. After Meyer, Gudde, Laenen and Yeboah, I'm no longer massively confident in holding on to my players, especially since most demand release clauses to even discuss a contract. It's a **** situation when trying to build a team to win the Champions League, but I have some good young players coming through, so I should at least continue to challenge for the Bundesliga. To be honest though, my desire at Schalke seems to be waning, if any good job's come available in Europe, I may look to move on, and as it's a World Cup year, some decent National jobs are sure to become available. Awards and Squad Team of the Year Players' Team of the Year No awards this year other than the 4/5 players in the teams of the year. As a whole, we weren't as impressive this season but were still very good mostly. This season was affected more heavily by injuries this season, and Yeboah was clearly my best player this season until he left, so the season was hampered quite heavily. Werlemen and Lassoff managed to somewhat fill the gap of Yeboah, whilst Hoxha and Svard managed to pick up the mantle of my star players. Nathan Raphael managed to step up this season and whilst he didn't get the goals and assists that Asensio got in previous seasons, but he was consistently good and fit into the team very well. My biggest problem was perhaps that I had no real consistent presence in my side, with various players have time out or on the bench for various reasons. Notable Players 5. Lionel Christopher Werlemen - Played second fiddle to Yeboah in the first half of the season, then was a good replacement for him in the second half. He was very good but went missing at times, so despite having a good season, I'm not utterly convinced he replace Yeboah, but he's certainly a good option for the team. Maybe if he has a full season as a starter he can step up. Kind of weird that he has such a high Average Rating and was one of my better players and yet I'm not able to wax lyrical about him, but I think that's an indication of my season, all round good performances, disappointing at times but with not a lot of stand out performances. 4. Daniele Frasca - Frasca was going to be relegated to a backup position this season, but with Kolar's injury problems, he ended up starting more often than not and played very well. Playing as both AP and DLP, he did very well and I often relied on him when the chips were down, and he even chipped in with a few goals and assists. Frasca is a great option as he's equally adept in both attacking and deeper roles, and he was great to rely on this season when we looked a bit shaky. 3. Marco Garbe - A great season for the homegrown defender, mainly playing CB again and he was a rock at the back. A great partnership with Ellison, when I could field it, and his ability to play across the back four helped in my injury hit periods. I really like Garbe, I think he could be a Schalke legend, and his physical attributes make him immensely valuable at the back IMO. 2. Adam Svard - With the exception of January/February when he threw his hissy fit over his contract, Svard replaced Werner magnificently. Svard was superb and is really starting to fulfil his potential, scoring at will (which was part of his problem) and linking up with the other attacking players very well. He could be one of the best strikers in the world, and I'm so glad he seems to be getting to that stage with Schalke. 1. Klevis Hoxha - Hoxha continued his fantastic form from last season, and was my standout player this season, taking the mantle of talisman from Yeboah quite well. Not quite as prolific as last season, but close, and considering some of the disruptions this season it's a very good return. Hopefully, he can continue this form into next season as I'll need it if I want to challenge for the Champions League again.
  13. FM17 - Uni is over, time for a gap year!

    And it comes down to the final day...
  14. FM17 - Uni is over, time for a gap year!

    January - March 2026 | Schalke 04 Bundesliga Losing Yeboah hit me hard, and combined with Svard throwing a hissy fit over a contract, it resulted in a poor restart after the winter break with the team playing nowhere near as well as they can. We managed to regain some form in February, but it went away almost as quickly as it came. My away form continues to unstick me, winning only the one so far this year, and with that loss in Munich, it allowed Bayern to pull away from me, giving me a proper title challenge for once Werlemen has filled in for Yeboah fairly well, but it's been in fits and starts. As you can see he got two back to back hat tricks (The Gladbach hat trick consisting solely of free kicks), but he's also gone missing in games he hasn't scored in, which has limited my attacking options. I do have a somewhat favourable run in now so I'm confident I can reclaim top spot, but Bayern have been in rampaging form which will make it tough. DFB Pokal 3-0 down after just 22 minutes, we were awful in this game, the final score flattered us. We just couldn't create chances and we let Hoffenheim past us with ease, and I can't even blame my youth players, apart from missing Manjarrés through injury, it was pretty much a full strength side. I'm not too fussed about not winning the DFB Pokal, but I was expected to win it by my board and it would've been nice to retain it. Champions League A decent first leg that got me my away goals and was quite even, but the second leg we were poor. It was fairly even, but we failed to create chances and in the end, Milan punished us, taking the lead in the 80th minute and then sealing the game in the 92nd. We were just toothless and Milan took their chances. A disappointing end to the Champions League campaign, I was hoping to get to at least the Semi's this year. A mixed couple of months, but despite still being in the hunt for the league, I'm actually concerned I could be sacked this season. There were elections last summer, and the new chairman told me that my previous performances wouldn't be considered under his tenure, and I got set the targets of winning both the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal whilst reaching the Champions League Semi Finals, so if I fail on all three fronts, I'm worried I could be out the door. Hopefully not, but I'll have to try and make sure I win the Bundesliga to ensure I'm safe.
  15. FM17 - Uni is over, time for a gap year!

    January 2026 / Transfer Update | Schalke 04 Out It was coming, but it still hurt Yeboah's one of the best players in the world, if not the best, so losing him leaves a massive gap in my team, and £100m just seems way too cheap, but there was nothing I could do. Werner also wanted to leave, but no-one offered for him and a loan to Stuttgart was the best option. Hendrix has hardly featured so far this season, so I thought I'd cash in as he was attracting interest. A few others were chased, like Trainor, Svard and Werlemen, but I held on to them as teams didn't want to offer very much for them. In Marc Yannick Lassoff - £46.5m from Hannover Yoann Bernard - £37m from West Ham Only two first team players, mainly as replacements for Yeboah and Werner. I've been chasing Lassoff for a while now, and I may have overpaid slightly, but Hannover wouldn't budge for anything below his release clause. Whilst not as good as Yeboah, he has decent potential and has been very good for Hannover for the past two and a half years, so I'm hopeful he can do well for me. Yoann Bernard was listed by request at West Ham, and looked a great replacement for Werner. Perhaps not as good technically, but he's more well rounded than Werner and has a little potential to eek out too. Both will be eligible for the Champions League which is a bonus too. I tried to nab another winger from Bayern, but he accepted a new contract. Roman Altenburger - £2m (£4.9m) from Gladbach Signed by my HoYD, looks decent with good potential. I don't know if he'll be ahead of the other youth prospects in his position, but it's good to have options coming through.
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