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About _Ben_

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  1. Lots of times! There is the usual manager merry-go-round and I've had offers from Barca, Real, Juve, Man Utd, Man City, Bayern, PSG - the lot! Absolutely no interest in leaving what I have built...
  2. Career Update Now seems like a good time to recap my career and the fortunes of Beira-Mar to date:
  3. Thank you all so much for the kind words! It has been a great save and, given some issues I seem to have found with the league and reputations, want it to end on a high in the next couple of seasons!
  4. May 2040 A superb end to the season - three competitions including the Europa League, a competition that I prioritised as soon as we fell foul in the Champions League. I feel as if our team is really coming to its peak now and there are only a few weaker areas, most of which are being earmarked to be filled with youth players. I've already clicked through into next season so I will leave this short and extremely pleased with what I have achieved to date.
  5. Thank you! I did a fair bit of reading into Beira-Mar before taking over them and I agree, they have been on somewhat of a downer of late. I will continue to follow them in real life, as I do with all of the teams that FM connects me with. Thank you. The top 3 have been a nightmare really - which has certainly helped longevity of the save, knowing that a slip up will see it taken away from us. Good luck with wherever you end up next in Portugal! Many thanks! Training seems to be going really well actually - the players are/seem to be developing more at an earlier age. I obviously have no comparison or anything but my gut tells me that it has no drawbacks.
  6. March/April 2040 A slightly cumbersome April, particularly in the league, casts a shadow over a near perfect March. The loss to Boavista aside - we showed that we are far superior to Sporting over three ties, yet find them as our closest rivals in the league. The foot has come off the gas somewhat as we've looked to secure a place in the Europa League final - played in nearby Lisbon. We have one foot there with a resounding victory over Sevilla and will either face Leicester or Roma there. The season ends with ties against Porto, Rio Ave and relegated Setubal - not easy but I hope the slender league can see us home and retaining our title. We can also add the aforementioned Europa League and the Taca de Portugal to complete a treble.
  7. Squad depth update I am able to split my team into six very separate areas currently, and, whilst I don't plan on signing anyone, I can easily see where I lack depth. Top left is what I would consider my strongest XI. Over the next couple of years I would like to phase out Braz, D. Marques, Medina and Xuxa, as they are not homegrown at the club. There is a mix of experienced older heads and a couple of younger players, namely Campino and Monteiro, who have really benefited from my approach to youth over the past four years. Unfortunately, Andre Folha is nearing the end of his illustrious career but he leads a number of absolutely fantastic academy graduates I have developed. Bottom left is the remainder of my first team - a selection of players who have not yet nailed down a first team place but do get plenty of football. Similar to my approach for non-HG first XI players, I would like to move Vargas and Guilherme on soon to leave me with a completely academy based squad. To fill the vacancies within defence - both Mucha and Garcia are ready to deputise but are just not experienced enough yet. As you can see from both of the left hand columns - versatility has been a huge focus over the past year or so and Mucha, Tiago Silva, G. Marques and Xuxa have all learnt new positions to allow a greater tactical freedom and run a smaller squad, which is a necessity with a youth only approach. Top middle shows my best youth side - who play in the U23 division. As you can see from the asterisk denoting a promising player in my intake - this team is full of them. Of course, this does not guarantee they will be first team material but Vaz isn't far from replacing Medina, but only lacks the fact he's right footed and not left. Antonio Machado, at only 16, is classified as a player who has the ability to play in the top tier but I want him to gather more experience before I look to replace Xuxa with him. Bottom middle shows a group of players who have been usurped by players I would consider to be more promising than them or ones who require first team football to allow me to make the decision to either keep them around the first team or move them on. Sandro Mourinho, for example, is a player good enough for the first team, but has only made four career appearances and, as such, gets the chance to prove himself on loan. Fail to do so, and I am under no obligation to keep him as I have promising players ahead and behind him. With this approach - I see no real reason to push players through who aren't ready. Top right shows players who I deem as promising enough to have a future here or at a good level of Portuguese football but they are maybe not quite at an ability level to perform well enough yet or have their final playing position nailed down. This is somewhat of an experimental side and I like to play players in various positions to see how they develop and play - Correira is a tall centre back with good physicals so is learning the PF(d) role for another option. Out of this crop - I think two or three could make the first team. Bottom right is the left over players from my youth intake who are training for their futures. They get minutes and have training set for them but I have no real hope. Most of them leave their youth contracts over the three years before they must sign a professional deal. Areas of strength: AMC - Monteiro, Ressureciao and Andre all appear to have a lot of quality. DC: Muge and Vaz can step up replacing Medina Raposo and I still have Mourinho and Patricio available. Areas of weakness: AML: Balde is solid. Silveiro is not an IF but Matela is training as a RMD. I like a goal scoring option on one side and only Matela is capable of that from the left. AMR: Tinoco and Vieira are good but there is no depth behind them.
  8. Thanks @theBlackPrince - cruel indeed, but we look to have learnt from it as we are well on our way to two in a row now.
  9. Thanks @kidthekid - now to try and build a dynasty...
  10. 2040 Youth Intake Another year with three 'youth' affiliates and maxed our recruitment without a single foreign born youth player or a player taken from another club - surely some kind of bug. Early indications tell me that this is a good intake, if only looking at their descriptions and hierarchy. George Gugu is the 'leader' of this team, potentially indicating a good current ability (my staff say he's the brightest oft he bunch, too) and I have a 'promising' player (good PA potentially) and a 'striker' which tends to be the go-to description where their CA is too high to refer to them as a 'young striker.' Obviously - all of those things are guess work and the next few months of training etc will really determine their future plans.
  11. January/February 2040 Two more months in the bag as we look in good shape to retain our title, even if our head-to-head against Benfica now gives them the upper hand, and inflicted us to two of our three defeats this year and the only league loss. We easily pushed aside Liege in the Europa League but rather annoyingly face Sporting in the second knockout round - removing one Portuguese club from the competition. Fortunately, Benfica are still in the hat as as Porto, who beat Milan 3-0 in the first leg of the Champions League knockout tie.
  12. My four methods of training Real life has got in the way somewhat lately - so it's nice to spend a bit of time getting back into the minute details of this squad. Above - I have five members of my first team squad, all younger players, who demonstrate the four methods of training that I use to develop my players. A) Developing a role within my system The above player is Hugo Claro - and I am developing him to play in the AP(s) role, which we use in the attacking midfield strata. As you can see - I am continuing to develop attributes that he is already decent at - with the exception of some mental attributes that will grow with his age. This stage normally comes later in a player's development, unless I have been able to earmark them for a role early in their development time. B) Training a player in the same position but a different role Miguel Campino is my starting MC and normally plays in the Mez(s) role. However, I am choosing to train him as a DLP(s) because I want to focus on his mental attributes over the physical attributes that the Mezzala role focuses on. I am aware that I do miss out on working on his dribbling but the role I am asking him to play does kind of morph into a RPM but one who is very mobile. I would like, potential ability remaining, to be able to get a couple more points from his mental attributes and passing up to 15 (a number I would consider to be nearly world class [obviously in conjunction with other attributes]) then I will move him back to a Mez(s) role, in line with part a. C) Training a player to improve squad versatility Tiago Mucha, above, is my young right back but I am training him to play as an IWB on the left hand side so that I have another tactical option, should I wish. 90% of the time he will play on the right hand side (largely due to the attacking options I have) but I have the option, should I need it - particularly if I am facing a wrong-footed winger and need a replacement late in the game. Left back Alberto Garcia is mirroring this development as a left back. As both these players are 'reasonable' on their weaker foot, I don't see this as too much of an issue but their use, as mentioned, will be very much game specific. D) Training a player in an ineffectual position to improve only attributes I have to use the training screen to get a highlighted version for Joao Vieira as he is ineffectual as a right back. However - I want to train him in this role to ensure that he is a more rounded player. I use a winger on support in the AMR role so I need him to be able to track back and cover for a marauding full back if necessary. Whilst I am aware, and have read, that retraining to completely 'new' positions 'takes up' CA - as attribute weighting re-aligns (tackling 'costs' more for a striker than a defender, for example) - I don't want Vieira to have any holes in his game as I believe he has a lot of potential. I am aware that I will never get his defensive attributes to be world class, nor do I want them to be - likewise, I have no interest in training him to be a natural RB, but I want the focused training to remove the weaknesses from his game. I have chosen the CWB(a) role as it continues to focus on a lot of attributes than a W(s) also does. Later on in his development time - he will return to a w(s) role and game time will continue to develop his attributes.
  13. November/December 2039 A busy couple of months whereby we have really picked up some momentum as we head into the 2040's. The defeat against Napoli saw us concede second place in the Champions League and the money that goes with it - however, it is imperative that we now go on and win the Europa League as I don't want to ever be in this competition again!
  14. They lost a succession of managers after only a short time at the club and, as such, I don't think they've built any kind of succession. Santana has come in to a right mess - there are several players with Rst next to them which may suggest poor transfer business and a small squad or poor AI training. It's interesting to see them fall apart and shows that the AI is changeable, although I have enjoyed the challenge of overcoming them over the years.
  15. October 2039 Only included the full table as the only thing to talk about this month is what a mess Porto are making...
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