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  1. Ended up with a real mix-bag of a first season, but it was evident that the squad didn't have the required ability to be rotated well enough. 47 wins, 12 draws and 5 losses doesn't seem all too bad but we could only finish third in the league (25-10-3) behind City (12 points ahead) and Liverpool (2 points ahead). Thankfully the rest of the pack was 12+ points behind meaning that as we came to the end of the season with a couple of cup runs ongoing we could rotate a bit. We ended up losing to City in the CL final which I am happy with, beat Liverpool in the Super Cup and Carabao Cup then beat Spurs in the FA Cup so had a treble of sorts. The squad for next season has changed somewhat, with eight of the twenty-five being signed in this summer window. There's been an influx of youngsters as well so our total spend is £232m. Outbound we're £332m which includes Barkley to United (£60m), Christensen to Arsenal (£55m), Azpilicueta to Inter (£48.5m) and Batshuayi to Leicester (£26m). GK: Kepa / Russo (free) RB: James / Tomori CB: Rudiger / Zouma CB: Rugani (£17.5m) / Lascelles (£8m) / Ampadu LB: Emerson / Marmol (£5.25m) DM: Jorginho / Chalobah CM: Kante / Kovacic CM: Eriksen / Mount / RLC AMR: Bernardeschi (£44m) / Pulisic AML: Asensio (£43.5m) / CHO ST: Chiesa (£52m) / Abraham / Leao (£17m) There's been interest in Rudiger, Zouma, Kante and Abraham and so far i've been able to swat them away without too many concerns from the players. We'll have to wait and see how long that lasts.
  2. Already having £150m before the end of the season is probably more than enough anyway along with the fact that Giroud and Pedro haven't been overly amazing. Would've still liked to have kept Willian but he's on his way to PSG in the summer.
  3. I normally start my yearly Chelsea save after Christmas but with me blitzing through a separate Youth Academy Challenge save quicker than anticipated i've already decided to start this up. Currently into January first season and unbeaten in all competitions (23-7-0) but we've honestly not looked anything special. Joint top with City after 20 games on the same points and seven points ahead of United in third with a superior goal difference over everyone. With the transfer ban in effect I thought it would be best to recall a few loans to strengthen the U23 and U18 sides but with quite a few consecutive injuries in the first team, some of those younger players have been featuring sporadically in the first team - Brown, Chalobah and Gilmour the main three to note. The club vision of limiting players over the age of 30 has put a bit of a spanner in the works, especially for those whose contracts are expiring at the end of the season as the maximum length you can offer is to the end of the season. I guess the only saving grace from this is that Giroud and Pedro haven't performed when given the chance and although Willian is leading the scoring charts with 12 goals so far, I can't envisage him being first choice next season when we get to sign players.
  4. First season with Chelsea and this lad has come through the youth intake. I had just sold RLC in January to Arsenal for an overall fee of £60m and was looking to get some English talent with potential for a cheaper price. Mission accomplished!
  5. Scarborough Athletic Season 1 Review - 2019/20 Table |-| Squad |-| Transfers |-| Finances |-| Season History Overall, a promising season. Being the ninth best team in terms of conceding goals helped, especially because we were the fourth worst when it came to finding the back of the net. If we were more prolific, we would've certainly been pushing for a top ten place but I definitely can't complain at a solid 15th placed finish with 51 points. As I primarily focused on the league, both the FA Cup and FA Trophy took a back seat in terms of squad selection and rotation. We still came out fighting though, reaching the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup and 3rd Round of the FA Trophy. A few of the players who I thought would be leaving because they didn't want to renew their contracts ended up staying on rolling contracts which helped us massively - Will Annan being the main player to keep us afloat. We're also having to rent out another stadium because our current stadium does not meet the league's requirements - thankfully the bank balance is good enough to cover this. Youth Intake |-| Jeff Stubbins 20a |-| John Shires 20b |-| Pat Fitzpatrick 20c Our Youth Intake shows a lot of promise if these players can develop on part time contracts, however none of them are truly up to the scratch of first team football and only ended up with a handful of minutes between them. Hopefully they feature more next season, which may be down to my hand being forced rather than choice.
  6. I'm playing as Scarborough as well and the facilities don't even come close to some of the other sides people are playing as - Kettering for example. Facility improvements won't warrant instant improvements either, you'll only see the difference a couple of seasons down the line.
  7. Scarborough Athletic Prelude - Season 1 Manager Profile |-| Club History |-| Facilities |-| Starting Squad I was originally going to attempt to play with a lower repped team however due to impatience and a team other than Kettering/Gainsborough/Hornchurch showing up, I had a quick look at Scarborough Athletic and thought i'd go with them, mainly due to their history of being a continuation of Scarborough FC who had reached the lofty heights of the old Division Three in the nineties. In addition to this whilst Yorkshire has a fair few teams in the area, there aren't as many out towards the coast which should hopefully aid in youth intakes somewhat. I've done the Youth Academy Challenge on numerous iterations of Football Manager but never in England, so this is a new test for me. Facilities and retention of players are the two key components so i'm pleased with what we start with - decent facilities which surely have good expansion options and £70k to start in the kitty which should tie us over for the season. A slight issue is going to be the squad size - 23 players at the moment with two retiring and another four not wanting to renew their contracts. This could be a long opening season.
  8. I had been playing a Celtic save on FM18 right up to the beta release, so i've gone with them straight away on the beta just to get used to the new game and features.
  9. I've been playing a couple of saves on FM this year but felt like I need a fresh save with someone i've never previously played with. Ended up going with Girona and the Board is expecting us to not get relegated, which is easier said than done when you're playing in quite possibly the best league in the world. Cup wise, we're expected to reach the Fifth Round which should be achievable as long as we don't get drawn against a big side in the Fourth Round (the round we enter). Two legged rounds may come to our rescue if we can snatch an away goal and then park the bus for the second leg. Finances seem okay for what they are - £5.2m in the balance. Only £133k in the transfer budget is a slight problem however we do have £35k to play with in wages. Free transfers and loans will have to come into play if we're looking to strengthen the side. Speaking about loans, we've got a contingent of City players here already (Kayode, Luiz, Maffeo, Haug and Garcia) along with a couple of Barca youngsters, one from Guizhou (China), one from Sampdoria, Marc Muniesa from Stoke and Johan Mojica from Vallecano. I can see me terminating Kayode and Haug's loans as they're nowhere near up to scratch, along with one of the Barca youngsters who starts in our B Team (Perelada) and the Sampdoria fella. Looking at the first team, we've got a decent squad who should keep us up this year. There's a couple of worries involved - the likes of Muniesa (loan) and Cristhian Stuani (ex-Espanyol/Middlesbrough) are both around £32k in wages whilst the next couple of players are Luiz (loan), Portu and Borja Garcia who are on £20k and £14k. Quite a stark contrast between the highest paid players and the rest of the squad. We've got a good depth amongst the squad which should allow us to play 4-1-2-3 or 3-4-2-1 variations, dependent on who is available or who we are playing. Staff overall are pretty awful so a full overhaul will be on the cards. As we've got a lower rep than most teams, we may struggle to get anyone decent in for a couple of seasons.
  10. Chelsea FC – Season 1 Review (2017/18) Competitions Premier League – Champions! Fixtures 1 / 2. Well, that’s certainly the closest finish I’ve had with Chelsea in an opening season! I thought we were already home and dry at the halfway stage of the season with United showing nine wins, nine draws and one loss in their first nineteen games. However, Jose got them firing with sixteen wins and three draws in the second half of the season to be breathing down our neck in the final few weeks. We had a couple of games in hand due to fixture congestion at the final stages and a tough run of Barcelona (CL), Arsenal, City, Liverpool (one in FA Cup and one in PL), Real Madrid (twice in CL) in twenty-two days but we pulled through! Alvaro Morata finished as our top goal scorer in the league with eighteen goals, not too far behind eventual winners Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane on twenty-two. FA Cup – Winners! We really struggled throughout this competition, with us only really looking any good in the Fourth Round Replay against Rochdale and in the Final vs Middlesbrough. We conceded far too many for my liking so next year this will need to be improved. Gerard Deulofeu ended up as our top scorer in this competition with four goals in eight appearances. Carabao Cup – Winners! I was hoping for some easier ties than what we got in this competition, so our youth featured less than what I wanted. Reasonably comfortable in this competition and nice to pick up some more silverware. Eden Hazard was top scorer in the CC with six goals in only four appearances. Community Shield – Winners! A comfortable win in the CS against Arsenal, with Fabregas and Ozil facing their old club. Arsenal had more possession, but we had more shots on goal and on target. Top scorers in this competition were Pedro and Alvaro Morata, both with one goal. Champions League – Winners! I think this trophy is the one we deserved the most this season – purely based on the teams we had to overcome to win it all. A tough group consisting of Barcelona, Roma and Feyenoord ended up being comfortable with the other three teams drawing amongst themselves. An easy First Knockout Round tie was then followed up by two more games against Barcelona, fellow Spaniards Real Madrid and a final against a Man Utd side who hadn’t lost since we beat them in the Carabao Cup in February. It’s also worth noting that David De Gea hadn’t conceded in over 490 minutes of football (around five and a half matches) which included two legs against PSG. Michy Batshuayi was our top scorer with seven goals in eight appearances – three were against Real Madrid in one game! Transfers & Squad Stats In: £69.0m Mesut Ozil – Arsenal - £32.0m Kwadwo Asamoah – Juventus - £7.5m Ander Herrera – Man Utd - £14.0m Gerard Deulofeu – Barcelona – £9.0m (Jan) Stefano Sturaro – Juventus – £6.5m (Jan) With the original plan to play wingbacks throughout the season, Asamoah was the only target I truly had in mind whilst we were in the transfer market. The addition of Ozil and Herrera were down to my scouts showing reasonably cheap prices for both players. Deulofeu and Sturaro only came in with the uncertainty of Kante, Hazard and Willian leaving but none did – we did end up with an injury crisis, so the squad depth became vital. Out: £22.5m Kenedy – Porto – loan Gary Cahill – Everton - £10.0m (Jan) Tiemoue Bakayoko – Torino – loan (Jan) Marcos Alonso – Valencia – loan (Jan) Baba Rahman – Spartak Moscow - £17.75m (Feb) + a load more loans No real transfers out in the summer window apart from Kenedy as we were playing a central 5-2-2-1. Cahill and Bakayoko were moaning about first team football so both were greeted with the door whilst Alonso wanted to move to a bigger side and saw Valencia on loan as that. Rahman wasn’t registered for the league or CL so left in February. Youth Intake: Andy Harding / Ossie Robinson / Fresnel LuaLua A decent first season youth intake means that we’ve got some youth we’re able to get in and around the first team squad immediately. Harding can play on either wing or up top; Robinson is an attacking central midfielder and LuaLua can play on the right or upfront. Harding and LuaLua got a little game time in the first team this season due to an injury crisis: the latter only played two games and didn’t contribute too much but Harding scored five goals in 223 minutes which included a winner vs Arsenal in the league, one against Man City in the league and two against Barcelona in the CL. Bright times ahead! Squad Stats: It most certainly wasn’t my intention to end the season with a squad side of twenty-one players however with our U23s having the threat of being relegated from their division, the youngsters who featured in the first team were prioritised to the U23s to help – and thankfully they did! The main stats to shout home about include six players scoring double figures with five of those being in double figures for assists as well! Average ratings seem to be a bit of hit and miss and there is a reasonable rotation within the side. A major shout out goes to Deulofeu who hit the ground running after we signed him in January – fifteen goals, seventeen assists, eleven Player of the Match in 31(2) apps is absolutely insane and I hope for more next season! Awards [place in brackets] Next season’s aims: It’s only natural that we go to win every competition we enter again, but the focus will be less draws. We also conceded more than normal in the league – although that could be down to the formation change during the season – so we will be looking to solidify a couple of positions. A few players are in or are nearing their thirties so the development of youth, notably Harding, Gilmour, LuaLua, Hudson-Odoi and Redan will be vital. There’s also a strong possibility that I will have to find a replacement for Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante and Cesar Azpilicueta – all three have been followed for most of the season by Bayern, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
  11. I've been stalking this thread (as I do every year) and i've come to the point where my Dafuge save is getting a little boring and FM seems to be a lot more stable than it's release version; so that means it's finally time to fire up my yearly Chelsea save. I usually opt for formations that includes wingers but this year i'm going against the grain and having a 5-2-2-1 and 4-2-3-1 narrow as my two main formations and hoping our creative freedom and talent in the middle of the pitch is enough. That means players like Azpilicueta and Kenedy seem to become slightly redundant but they'll be solid squad depth. Transfer wise i'm not too sure what to go for - I may hold off any deals until January and give some of the youth a chance in the cups and lesser PL games - it just depends who is available when. Real Madrid are already sniffing around Willian and whilst he is versatile enough, they may offer something I cannot refuse.
  12. I have had a Celtic/Scotland Club & Country save on the back burner whilst playing a number of other saves (primarily my Chelsea save but also did a Chinese C&C), but got to the point where I needed a save that would freshen up my views of FM. Currently starting my second season so here's a quick catch up: 2016/17 season: Premiership - 1st! (26-10-2; 88 points); Betfred Cup - Winners!; Scottish Cup - Winners!; Champions League - Quarter Finals! Pretty much overachieved in my first season with us reaching the Quarter Finals of the Champions League - we had Benfica, Spurs and Leverkusen in our group and topped it, also beat Dortmund 8-7 on aggregate before Real Madrid knocked us out 3-1 on agg. League was fairly comfortable, too many draws for my liking and a couple of bogey teams involved with that. Cup runs were also straight forward, didn't play too many youngsters but more the second string backup side. Main formation was a 4-2-3-1 but also changed to 5-2-1-2 / 5-2-2-1 depending on fitness and opposition. Transfers wise, brought in a lot of loans (yay no restrictions!) but didn't play some of them enough so the cost wasn't viable and they were terminated in January. Had a bit of a clear out in both windows also, ended up making a £7.75m profit over the two windows: Transfers In: Rodri, Passlack, Walker-Peters, Kenedy, Friedrich, Fryers, Boschilla, Louis Thompson, McNair, Brad Smith, Mittlestadt (all loans), Martin Kelly (£1.9m), Johannsson (£3.2m), Hirsch (£500k), Radosevic (£275k), Diego Rico (£2m) and Bacuna (£1.5m). Transfers Out: Ambrose (£425k), Izaguirre (£190k), Lustig (£1.6m), Sviatchenko (£1.9m), Griffiths (£6m), Gamboa (£1.4m), Tierney (£6.5m + 50% future fee), Eboue (£1.3m + 50% future fee), de Vries, Bailly (both frees). 2017-18 season: just started (currently 7th August 2017). I've already set in stone that I want to play 5-2-1-2 / 5-2-2-1 as I feel we are defensively more stable but we also provide more of a threat with the overload of WB and winger or AM and two strikers. This has been shown in our transfers, as follows: Transfers In: Friedrich (£4m), Browning (£2.1m), Kalas (£2.9m), Izzy Brown (loan), Borthwick-Jackson (loan), Holding (loan), Garbutt (£975k), Areola (£3.3m). Transfers Out: Kris Commons (released), Kolo Toure (released), Boyata (£400k), Bitton (£2m), Mackay-Steven (free), Ciftci (£800k), Kelly (loan with £700k future fee), Dembele (£12m). That leaves us with £17m in the budget to spend, but i'm not going out willy-nilly and if there's nobody else to get then I won't just spend it. Our squad looks like: GK: Alphonse Areola / Craig Gordon / Shaun McCulloch (regen) WBR: Leandro Bacuna / Saidy Janko / Tyias Browning RCB: Rob Holding / Jamie McCart CB: Tomas Kalas / Jozo Simunovic LCB: Marvin Friedrich / Cameron Borthwick-Jackson WBL: Diego Rico / Luke Garbutt RCM: Maurice Hirsch / Scott Brown LCM: Tom Rogic / Josip Radosevic / Kristoffer Ajer CAM: Stuart Armstrong / Callum McGregor / Ryan Christie RF: Aron Johannsson / Izzy Brown LF: Mimoun Mahi
  13. I never tend to start my Chelsea save this early into FM however due to our previous season and our form since the formation change, i've gone straight in this time round. Massive thanks goes to @PitchPosh for taking the reigns of this year's thread so we can all discuss our saves! Never been too sure on straying from my normal formation of 4-1-2-3 and forcing it to work each year, but after seeing our fortunes around and realising it's not too far from a wingback formation I used with Chelsea on FM14 (somewhere in that thread). The perception of roles and actual positioning is quite interesting and I was fairly intrigued to see how it would pan out over the course of a season. I went with the following player roles after signing Michael Keane, Ross Barkley and Silvan Widmer (£16.5m, £30m and £9.25m). I also signed Upamecano (£2m) and Ajer (£4m) however the latter went back to Celtic for the rest of the season. Sold Ivanovic (£2.2m), Mikel (£9m) and Willian (January - £26.5m) to balance the books a bit more. GK - GK (Defend) CB - CD (Cover) CB - BPD (Defend) CB - CD (Cover) WBR - WB (Attack) WBL - WB (Attack) CM - CM (Defend) CM - CM (Support) AMR - W (Attack) AMR - IF (Attack) ST - CF (Attack) I did have the two CMs as a DLP and B2B but found that we would lose our shape a little too much and become overran in the middle of the pitch. Likewise with the ST position - understandably Costa does drop back to link up however as a DLF he didn't make runs in behind the defence often enough, which is something he has in his locker. Tactically, I went with Play Out Of Defence, Close Down More, Work Ball Into Box and Lower Tempo. On occasion I have used Look For Overlap but i'm not certain on how if we lose the ball then we're severely outnumbered. Ended the season winning the EFL Cup (vs Newcastle), the FA Cup (vs Crystal Palace) and winning the Prem (W25, D11, L2, GF 64, GA 20, 86 points). Our closest challengers were Spurs and United who both finished on 82 points. Fourth highest goalscorers (fifteen off the highest) and conceded twelve less than anyone else.
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