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About zlatanera

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    Manchester United

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  1. Summer Transfer Window 2019 So here we are again, the end of the Serie A transfer window in early August. Similar to last time I managed to extract a high price from Premier League clubs for deadwood (Santon, Fazio), a troublemaker (Karsdorp), and got PSG to put up €55m for a 30-year old DM with Dwells On Ball as a trait. Manolas again requested to play in England and Manchester United obliged us with a club record fee. I was quite pleased to more than double our money on Maxime Gonalons too. Despite bringing in €230m and spending less than half of it I honestly believe our first team squad is stronger now. The New Guys The Tactic As promised, we now go to a 4-1-4-1. Due to the more defensive shape I've removed the Overlap instructions and bumped up Florenzi's mentality - the WMs will now offer the striker more close support by being more aggressive in their movement, and we'll have more attacking thrust from my athletic right backs than the ageing Kolarov on the left. Zaniolo is better suited to CM than Pastore so will be first choice (I only kept Pastore around as I think he'll make a good Regista in 2020/21). Raya is a natural SK-At but I find that role costs you 3 goals per season through dawdling on the ball, his attributes should mean he plays pretty aggressively on a Su duty too, especially with Focus Play Through The Middle affecting him.
  2. I would guess that you're probably right that the training for under 18s thing is the main factor - they've moved to make it less game-y in the more recent ones but as you're still playing a game with tutoring possibly its more of a hard and fast rule. But I also noticed quite a few of those players have the little lrn icon indicating they're being tutored. I don't know how much you've been tracking the personality changes, but could it be that because they're only just now at the end of the season getting the really good personalities their development will then skyrocket afterwards? I'm thinking Embalo and Dantas, being the youngest, would probably be the ones where you could figure out in a 2nd season if this theory has any truth to it, the others already being 18 we wouldn't know.
  3. Another Reload So I did eventually finish that transfer window and, well...it was a monster. But I'm reloading - first I'll show what I did then explain why. As you can see to go with our record sale we also broke our record purchase in somehow beating out PSG, Manchster United and Real Madrid for Federico Chiesa. There was a strong domestic theme as we bought Sassuolo's right wing and Fiorentina's wonderkid core as well as Fiorentina academy product Gianluca Mancini and 'Future FM Legend Sandro Tonali' as I have just dubbed him. So not only did I manage to offload the deadwood for £140m, but despite that I also sold our best defender yet arguably ended up with an improved defence and attack. So why the hell am I reloading back to just after the Champions League Final? (Yeah I'm never going to reload for a result, or even an unhappy player unless it was mis-click, its just transfer windows). Well, in order to keep things interesting I like to set myself challenges. I mentioned the two main ones in the opening posts - my use of the Balanced mentality and my use of the Director of Football role. But another two I have just in my head are a) try to actually keep a squad structure, rather than ending up like I did with my Lyon save where my squad was so deep I rotated the entire outfield every match and b) not to sign a bunch of guys I've already used. I know every save can be different due to tactics etc. but what is the point of just building the same squad of wonder kids every time? I failed a) in signing Berardi and Chiesa - the former on a First Team contract when I just wanted a Rotation option to back up Cengiz Ünder, and latter on a Key Player contract when he'd compete with a spot on the left for First Team player El Shaarawy. I failed b) in that I've played a one season save with Fiorentina already on FM19 and intend to have one in the future, as well as playing with them on FM17 and 18 so I'm intimately familiar with how to use Lafont, Milenkovic and Chiesa. I've also had a brilliant Sassuolo save on FM16 where I got the best out of Berardi for 3 seasons before selling him on, but that's less of an issue given the time passed. So I'm going to go back to 6th June 2019 and try again, although Tonali is confirmed as I sorted it in February I’m expecting a much different look to my squad at the close of the window. In particular I'm not going to single-handedly kill Fiorentina's revival when without my intervention they'd most likely only lose Chiesa and thus become more competitive in the league. Watch this space!
  4. An absolute monster of a transfer window this - I finished the season on Monday and have only just gotten to 10th July in-game now. I'll just leave a taster...
  5. Well it didn't work, quite spectacularly in fact. Despite after the screenshot was taken then assigning maximum bids, squad status, contract offers and wage limits he made absurdly low non-negotiable bids, refused to move onto anyone else at the same time as Gianluca Mancini and generally added like the worst of the FM19 AI until all my targets were at other clubs (in some cases spurred on by my interest). So I reloaded. Some people may frown upon that but I see it was a feature not working as intended ruining my enjoyment of the game, so I'm not ashamed. I then tried setting up the groups again but negotiating the transfer bids myself, figuring the preset limitations would then come into play...but once I bid for a player manually they disappeared from the list. So its back to just manually bidding for players - unless they have really low release clauses.
  6. Feature Discovery In all my previous attempts at utilising a Director of Football I'd found myself frustrated with his effectiveness in the transfer market - one of the flaws being that unlike the human manager he would seemingly only negotiate 1 transfer at a time (as the rumour went for Ed Woodward last summer) often meaning that by the time he withdrew from my top target over £1k/week differences in wages, my 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc. choices had also moved clubs. So imagine my intrigue when I accidentally clicked the wrong button and discovered this: I took a couple of re-reads to make sure this feature is going to work as I hoped, the key words to notice there are ultimately signing one player. This isn't for speeding him up signing a whole host of targets, this is effectively giving him your shortlist for a position and waiting to see if he brings in one of your targets i.e. very realistic and exactly what I was complaining about! So, here are my groups: I've tried to get three targets for each grouping, but outside of Mancini and MIlenkovic I'd have to have a real rethink of who I want to partner Manolas next season, and with the 'Rotational Winger' group my first choice would be Matteo Politano but he's joining Inter after his loan so I can't assign him (I was curious to see if, as sometimes happens in real life, once he joined Inter I could immediately open negotiations so will add him in once I get to 1st July). Fingers crossed this works!
  7. Future - Tactics & Transfers I believe I've mentioned the club's substantial debts before but it bears repeating: we're paying off €1.6m / month until 2023 as the chairman loaded the club with €244m in debts to himself and the bank (€228m remaining) and whilst its nice that there is no interest on either of those loans that is still...not great. At one point the transfer revenue I'd see added into my budgets was a mere 35% although I negotiated it up to 50% once we got all the funds from the Champions League run. I presently have €39m to re-shape my squad and I'm looking to sign 1-2 Goalkeepers (Mirante is retiring and I want an improvement on Olsen), 1 Right Back (Karsdorp has been moaning about a new contract but I'm not going to make him a Key Player when I have Florenzi), 2-3 Centre Backs (Juan Jesus is rubbish, Fazio is 32 and has interest from China and although I like him I'd negotiate any offers for Marcano), 1 Central Midfielder (my change of tactic means Javier Pastore is likely finished at the club and Gérson looks a little lightweight) and 1 Winger (Perotti's injury could keep him out until December and a cruciate injury is going to remove what pace he had). So yeah, better get wheeling and dealing! 1 position I won't be buying in however is left back. Kolarov will remain first choice, Santon will be sold (he's performed fine but he's right-footed which harms our offensive play and isn't that great mentally) and Luca Pellegrini will be promoted to the first team: He may have only contributed 2 assists and averaged 6.66 over the season but Cagliari finished a lowly 16th, scoring only 31 goals which excuses the offensive output and he held down a starting birth for a Serie A team in his first full season as a professional. He'll get a year under Kolarov's tutelage then the Bosnian will probably be released opening up the opportunity for the other L. Pellegrini to make left back his spot for the next decade! Our 4-4-1-1 tactic was more successful than I could have hoped, but personnel (in particular a couple of declining personnel) means I'm going to change it to the 4-1-4-1 I previously used in the narrow loss to Inter where I played a back line of three full backs and a defensive midfielder: The back line stays the same as before, although I'm hoping to sign a more aggressive Sweeper Keeper behind them. The wide men stay in the midfield line as with the decline of Kolarov I don't want them positioned so high he has to cover his entire flank solo. The DLP drops to the DM position, the CM-Su moves over and the AM becomes a CM-At for two reasons. Firstly the AM role just didn't take like I wanted it to, Zaniolo is a natural CM as well so I'm hoping by pulling him back and making him into another runner from the midfield line he'll terrorise defences a bit more. Secondly Daniele De Rossi signed on until 2020 with the option of another year but physically he's shot, fielding him in a midfield duo seems too risky so I've taken a lesson from the post-Milan career of Andrea Pirlo and put two younger midfielders either side of him to do his running for him. Furthermore it is entirely possible I could end up signing less technical centre backs rather than my usual BPDs in which case having the playmaker as a closer option for them will help build-up and ease the risk of turnovers with nobody to recover.
  8. I get the option for a training camp about once every 50 seasons of FM I play (excluding the pre-season that you're dropped in to at the start of the save), which frustrates me as I find it a nice added level of realism so to get the option for my first full pre-season with the club is pretty neat. We'll be heading up to the mountains of Valle d'Aosta to escape the summer heat and get the lads fighting fit!
  9. Champions League & Individual Awards Olsen got 6 clean sheets in 13 matches which was good enough to win Goalkeeper of the Season, Kolarov performed much better than a full back with 10 Acceleration has any right to in the top continental competition, and its good to see Pellegrini gain recognition despite his penalty miss in the final. So there appears to have been literally no competition for this award but still, averaging over a 7 despite being included in that lineup against Inter (out of position there too) shows young Bouah has a bright future ahead of him! Riccardi also surprisingly came good, those 2 goals both being from outside the area despite him having little recognised finishing ability. Similar to Bouah there appears to have been little competition for this award as Zaniolo appears to have gotten it by virtue of making more appearances. Next season should be better.
  10. Final League Table & Club Awards Despite the media dubbing it a five way title race in truth nobody was catching Juventus as Cristiano Ronaldo picked up where he left off in Spain hitting 27 league goals to win Capocannoniere, and they held the top spot from match day 18 onwards. The whole top five finished strongly, if Karsdorp hadn't threw in the towel against Sassuolo in April we'd have been 2nd. Given the strength of the league though top four is an outstanding achievement, especially paired with our Coppa success and European run, add in that we kept Lazio in the 2nd tier competition and it feels extra sweet. We had an outstanding defensive record with only 22 goals conceded - best in the league - with Olsen keeping 21 clean sheets in 35 games (Mirante got 3 games to dissuade him from retiring - decision impending - and had 1 shutout) although I'll hope to score more goals next season. Fiorentina are a surprise given their real life form but the squad was definitely capable of it, the positions of Torino and Milan are more surprising as the latter's squad has some real quality. There's no surprise in the teams that got relegated although if it weren't for the points deduction Chievo would only have been 1 win from safety. Sampdoria had looked like going down at one point, losing 7 of their first 11 games including losing 3-7 to Lazio, but they ditched Giampaolo (who always seems to fare on FM much like he did in real life at Milan) and brought in Claudio Ranieri to keep them safe. DLP was an unglamorous role, so both CM-Su getting in our Team of the Season is no surprise, but other than no Nzonzi that is my first choice XI for the season. Given so much of our success was based around rearguard action its no surprise 3/4 of the defence dominated the fans' vote for Player of the Season. Pellegrini's goal was a real peach, playing a one-two to work himself some space 35 yards out then hitting a curling shot than just bent inside the far post. With goals although there appears to be a slight bias towards the strikers without Schick's hat-trick against City whilst playing a 4-4-2 the distribution would look much more even with all of the front 5 contributing which was cool. Likewise assists came from all the front 5 and also the full back position. The AMC role didn't contribute as much as I'd hoped though - excluding penalties Pastore scored 4 and assisted 6 in all competitions (although Looks For Pass Rather Than Attempting To Score might have something to do with it) whilst Zaniolo, admittedly a rookie but one with high attributes, contributed 3 assists. I'm torn between hoping to get more out of them or switching to a formation without an AMC and offloading the high-earning Argentine.
  11. Champions League Final 2019 Atlético are reigning La Liga and Copa del Rey champions, albeit with the lowest points total (84) to win the Spanish league since Real Madrid's (76) 2006/07 title win. Still that's an impressive achievement and in combination with this being their 3rd final in 6 years has led myself and the media to make us heavy underdogs. Thanks to Young Boys' exploits in getting Lucien Favre sacked (Arsène Wenger now manages Dortmund, incredibly assisted by Thierry Henry!) Los Rojiblancos arguably had the easier road to the final although they had to take out the megastars of Qatar and Catalonia, whilst we single-handedly eliminated England from Europe. Both teams go in with reasonably good fitness levels as we're only missing the long-term absentee (and most likely spent force) Diego Perotti whilst Koke and Diego Godín are missing for the enemy. Oh, and did I mention its a home game for them? Both in terms of them being deemed the 'home' team and it actually taking place at the Wanda! Anyhow they lined up in their classic 4-4-2, Rodri-Partey being a very defensive-minded centre so hopefully we can get some control there and prevent them getting the ball to Griezmann (27 goals this season) and Diego Costa (25 goals this season). We stick to our 4-4-1-1 as Simeone's style won't lend itself to being destroyed by a 4-4-2 the way Guardiola's did. Other than Zaniolo getting the nod at AMC over Pastore due to having 7 more points in Work Rate this is my first choice XI. The first half was extremely uneventful - Morata came on for Diego Costa at 45+2' due to a knock (I think, wasn't paying much attention) whilst Nzonzi picked up a yellow. The second half was also uneventful - two hard-running teams living up to their reputations by refusing to let a game of football break out! So before extra time I switched to the 4-4-2, sacrificing Zaniolo for Schick and also swapping out Nzonzi for Daniele De Rossi - after watching Gladiator during our run to the final I've reawakened my romantic side! 93' Manolas paused on the ball, then passed to Marcano who sprayed it out to El Shaaraway, he cut inside before laying it off to the overlapping Kolarov whose cross found Ünder...who was fouled! VAR gave a penalty. De Rossi stepped up and coolly slotted it away!!! Straight from the kick-off Atléti tried to release Griezmann, Manolas headed it right forcing Florenzi to head it right into the path of Lemar, who skinned him and crossed for Morata to head them level. 105' I brought on Pastore for Ünder, with 1 eye on holding it for penalties. 120' came round with no goals and I brought on Cristante for Manolas gambling there wouldn't be last minute corner. Then it was penalties! We have no outstanding takers, but we have 9 players on the pitch with 12 or higher for penalties. First up, Filipe Luís...scored. Pastore...scored! Lemar...scored. Schick...scored! Kalinic...saved by Olsen!! Dzeko...scored! Vitolo...scored. Pellegrini...missed completely. Oh god. Morata...scored. De Rossi...scored!! Sudden death now! Correa...scored. Cristante...saved by Oblak. Gah, that was cruel. I'm left wondering what would have happened if I'd shouted Concentrate immediately after De Rossi's penalty, but ultimately nobody expected us to get this far so I'm really proud of the team. At our current rate of improvement - semi-finals under EDF in 2018, final in 2019...we're going to win it next year!
  12. May 2019 Man City (A): Our one-club assault on the accursed English Premier League continues with a trip to the home of the most effective sports-washers in the world! We go back to the 4-4-1-1 that has served us well this campaign. 36’ from a throw on the left they passed it back around the defence to the right, the cross came in and deflected off Florenzi into our net. 45’ Florenzi took an attacking throw short to Nzonzi, he moved it on to Pellegrini 30 yards out, he drove to the edge of the D and slashed a shot into the net!! At half time I foolishly allowed van Basten to take my team talk, he told the players he was delighted but they’re more ambitious than him so it was negative reactions all round. 55’ they took a short throw on the left and a few quick passes later Sané had space in the box to hit one low at the near post. 86’ after subbing him on for Nzonzi, De Rossi went off injured with Pulled Ankle Ligaments and will miss the 2nd leg, but luckily we held on without further concessions. Sampdoria (A): Sampdoria have skipped the real life expense of hiring Eusebio de Francesco and gone straight from Marco Giampaolo (sacked) to Claudio Ranieri. What followed was - inevitably given our fatigue and Ranieri’s style - a poor game but two goals from Kluivert (11, 25) got the job done. Man City (H): That away goal in the first leg would seem crucial but given we leak like a sieve in Champions League 2nd legs our only hope is to out-score them. Given no fit attacking midfielders I decided to go for a 4-4-2, Dzeko as CF-Su and Schick as CF-At. 8’ we built centrally with Ünder crossing onto the left side before playing it out to Kolarov, who looked up and saw 4 men attacking the box, crossing to the far post where Schick headed in across Emerson! 13’ Dzeko dropped deep into our half to make an interception, laying it off to Pellegrini who spotted Schick’s run and launched it over the top, the young Czech pulled left of the goalkeeper to make space and placed it just out of reach! 45+2’ we had a free kick on the right of the box and Kolarov hit it so powerfully the keeper getting a hand to it couldn’t stop it! 52’ we won the ball back near half-way, reset amongst our left-sided defenders before working it to Pellegrini, who launched yet another ball into space for Schick, he shaped to curl it into the far side and powered it in low at the near post for his hat-trick!! We’re in the final!! Empoli (H): A bore draw. SPAL (H): Pellegrini (7) Pastore (30) Udinese (A): Kluivert (5) Pussetto go (40) Dzeko (pen 69)
  13. April 2019 Milan (A): 45’ from a throw on the right we quickly switched it out to Kolarov on the opposite flank, he delivered a cross about 6 yards out and Ünder volleyed in at the back post! 69’ Donnarumma cleared it long and Manolas could only head it into the path of Castillejo, who ran down the left and crossed for Piatek, despite turning away from goal with 2 men on him he got a shot at goal, the rebound came straight back to him and he equalised. 76’ El Shaarawy’s wide free kick was headed away, Schick recovered it and quickly gave it to Pastore on the edge of the area and he smashed it low into the corner! Chievo (A): Riccardi (1) Manolas (64) Schick (89) Liverpool (H): Alisson will miss both legs of this, but I still think we’re the overwhelming underdogs for this one, especially given Marcano’s injury means we have the immobile Fazio (10 Acc & Pace) and declining Kolarov (10 Acc) going up against Salah, Man and Firmino. So for the first time this season I made a tactical tweak and dropped the Line Of Engagement and Defensive Line down to the default level for this mentality (any lower would just invite long shots galore). 25’ Shaqiri played a free kick to Mané outside the area (despite having a guy set to ‘Edge of Area’ nobody marked him), he played a one-two with Shaqiri, took a touch and then curled one into the far side. 66’ I decided considering they were no highlights for either side I should put my defensive lines back where they were. 77’ a good team move was finished off when Schick came deep and played a through ball for El Shaarawy to finish first-time! 83’ they countered us and Mané crossed for Keïta to put them back ahead. 85’ we scored literally the same goal as last time!! We continued to create chances but Mignolet proved up to it sadly. I shouldn’t have adapted my tactic, we might have out-scored them, as it is we’re effectively down 3-2 and probably out of the tie. Genoa (H): Pastore (pen 7) Kluivert (30, 86) Dzeko (47) Liverpool (A): No alterations this time - going out in a blaze of glory! 17’ we had a throw deep inside our half on the right, played short Zaniolo, Pellegrini and Nzonzi exchanged passes to work space before Nzonzi launched it over the top, Schick ran onto it, dribbled into the box and smashed it into the far side of the net! 24’ Liverpool built up slowly, Firmino and Mané played a one-two, Mané crossed, Fazio - the Dejan Lovren of this project I’m building? - missed his header and Salah volleyed it past Olsen. 32’ El Shaarawy blocked an Alexander-Arnold cross, Schick ran onto the deflection, carried it down the left and crossed for Ünder to volley home! 40’ Liverpool retaliated, Henderson turned in Mané’s cutback. 45+1’ Olsen caught a cross, launched it out to the right, Ünder beat Robertson but the Scot recovered to block his cross which ricocheted to Zaniolo in the middle and he drew 3 men with a dribble before sliding it in for El Shaarawy with the first-time finish! 76’ Zaniolo was forced off with a groin strain (out for a month). 84’ Chekhov’s Dejan Lovren turned it into the net off a corner but it was rightfully disallowed for offside. Somehow we’re through! Vengeance for last season!! Sassuolo (A): I would like to say I lost because I got cocky and/or had one eye on the Coppa Italia final, but the truth is most of the team functioned well however Rick Karsdorp decided to offer his own unique interpretation of the wing back role - he physically appeared to be there whilst offering nothing offensively or defensively. Milan (N): 4’ Florenzi pushed over Kessie in the box and the Ivorian converted the penalty. 57’ with plenty of options available Manolas chose to turn towards our goal at half-way, wait for Suso to tackle him then chase in vain as the Milan winger set up Cutrone to make it 2. 65’ from a free kick inside our own half we expertly went up the field, Pellegrini setting up El Shaarawy with the through ball. It’s not over! 70’ Milan had a corner, we cleared it out to the flanks where Ünder picked it up, skipped past Mauri on his way towards the edge of the Milan box where he crossed for El Shaarawy, who got into the box then hit the near post, but placed the rebound past Donnarumma and in off the far post! 105’ Cristante and Pellegrini exchanged multiple passes near the centre circle before we went for the jugular, Pellegrini to Pastore out wide to Florenzi and crossed low for Ünder to put us ahead! That proved to be the winner - the club’s first trophy since 2008!!!! I was planning on effectively throwing the Inter game, but the inbox item below gave me pause for thought as whilst that 5 point gap may appear insurmountable in their last 4 games I Gobbi had lost to Inter and Lazio and drew at Milan, and once this round of fixtures was over we’d have arguably the easiest run-in. Plus I didn’t expect to win my upcoming Champions League tie with Man City anyway… Inter (H): Well, I had hoped to play a strong lineup here but given we only had 2 days gap after playing 120 minutes against Milan none of my first choice players were up for it. So I switched to a 4-1-4-1 in the hope of compensating for this absurdly unsuited back four: For the most it was an even, scrappy game as we couldn’t really create much but our new bottom-heavy structure prevented Inter getting any opportunities. Eventually when we were tiring 82’ an Inter corner was headed away, Schick missed his interception and Asamoah got enough space to squeeze a shot in. That result pretty much confirms Juventus will be champions again (they’re probably going to get over 90 points) but given that line-up conceding less than 4 goals is an overwhelming positive.
  14. March 2019 Torino (A): Riccardi (30) Fazio (60, 63) Tottenham (A): Shipping 3 to Napoli had me concerned about this leg. 13’ a corner led to a goalmouth scramble and Pellegrini pounced - the away goal means its effectively 4-0 now! 30’ Marcano went off injured, replaced by Fazio. 45+1’ Son finished off a counter-attack to level it up on the night. 45+3 Trippier whipped in a free kick and Davies half-volleyed it into the net. 90’ Trippier’s corner was knocked down and Kane bundled it into the goal. We go through on away goals but that performance was concerning. Even worse, Marcano’s injury turned out to be a dislocated shoulder - he’ll miss 2 months. Fiorentina (H): 60’ Chiesa launched a ball over the top, Fazio missed his header - he’s too slow to chase anyone under 40 - and Muriel acted on his trait of Likes To Round Keeper to give Fiorentina an arguably undeserved win. Juventus (A): 5’ Perotti went off injured. 9’ Manolas recovered a long ball, played it back to Olsen who quickly moved it onto Fazio, he looked up and played it out to Ünder who drove towards the heart of defence before sliding in Schick to finish it! 51’ Dybala crossed to nobody in particular and Bernardeschi recovered it, drew a tackle from Kluivert then crossed it back in for Dybala to head in at the near post. 72’ Pjanic swung in a free kick and Chiellini was somehow left completely alone at the back post to volley home. So not only do we drop down to 3rd but Perotti’s injury was damaged cruciate ligaments and he’ll be out for 8 months. So not only am I robbed of a key player, but I can’t even sell him in summer. Parma (H): Coric (54) Cristante (71)
  15. Youth Intake 2019 ...not a great bunch! Even most of the guys with 3 star potential lack the technical ability to make it without significant improvements, although Manuel La Rocca is a young Sweeper Keeper with 16 Rushing Out! I'll be devoting a lot of attention to him. More importantly though, we have a 'possibly...one of the best players of his generation': We only have 1 really promising winger in the youth ranks so far in Mory Bamba (actually a right-sided inside forward) so Marguetta has come through in a position of need. He's got good levels of attributes you can't improve in 12 Flair, 14 Leadership (possible future Vice Captain?) and 13 Natural Fitness as well as looking like a future set piece specialist. I'm quite excited about him, although I don't know why given I usually abandon saves right when the youngsters come good.
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