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About deltablue

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  1. [FM13] Second Star to the Right...

    End of an era I've started playing this quietly in the background for a bit, at least moving through the summer (and maybe making progress on next season soon even if my focus will still be on Finland) and a big moment has arrived. Mexes has just left Milan after 20 years and while he's wasn't set to retire he unsurprisingly did so anyway and has become an Ass Man. Not a very good one though. He won Serie A 11 times, the Italian Cup 9 times, but he failed to add to the 3 CL titles he won when I was in charge. His international career was less of a success as France didn't even make a major final (with just a single 3rd place at the World Cup). He still managed 112 goals in 150 appearances but that still leaves him some way short of the record of 147 (from 162 caps) set by an early newgen who also managed 432 goals in 585 matches at club level for St.Etienne and Arsenal between 2018 and 2039. His strike partner in crime van dan Hoogenband retired as well, though he spent the final few years of his career in Spain.
  2. [FM18] Finns Can Only Get Better

    Taking a trip both back and forwards in time OK so I've decided to do a little casual play of the FM13 save again (it'll always be my 'desert island' career, even if it's been parked for the time being) because I had been looking at Finland for the past season or two and noted TPS seemed to be doing very well. I decided to take a bit more of a look about how things had panned out on that save... Having seen them win by 10 points a couple of years ago, they haven't been as dominant as I had believed but they're not doing too badly. Between them and Inter, Turku has really become the footballing capital, which is fitting as since I mentioned in the OP, it's the country's historical capital. HJK can only keep watching from 3rd place. It's interesting looking it up on that save having become a lot more familiar with the clubs on this one. Oh and look who I found... He's Albanian on this one, probably due to being from before Kosovo became a footballing nation. It seems like a disappointingly average career given how well my version is doing, though it would be interesting to see what his playing attributes were like.
  3. [FM18] Finns Can Only Get Better

    Cup 2021 The draw was relatively kind to us, with just a single Premier Division opponent who we faced at home, though we also had to go to RoPS (just relegated) and Ekenas (who missed out on the playoff on goal difference. I was a little worried about facing Kemi (who had proved troublesome in the past) with a couple of selection issues in defence but Karjaleinen (the main beneficiary) proved to be the first of a few young players to grab their chance to shine, though he was still weak in CA terms so the final group game saw him dropped again to assemble my first choice defence. The second emerging star arrived at half-time. Jarvinen was unsurprisingly off-form (though that was nothing new even before he wanted out so on came Holmqvist... who grabbed the first of 5 goals (and a couple of assists) in as many matches. Kastrati certainly seemed to enjoy his new partner, grabbing 11 goals (and 3 assists) in that time! For comparision, the promotion season is the only time he's hit 20 in all competitions with us, and he's already half-way to breaking that. The third was Kallio. He was bumped up to Virtanen's backup and probable successor after Askar left, having taken quite a bit of time to be trained as a right-winger. Even though we were easily beating RoPS in the second match, Virtanen wasn't really impressing and like Holmqvist, Kallio earned the right to stay there for now with 4 assists in 3 matches, then scored to give us the lead as we went on to thrash Ekenas (after going behind) to seal the group, though after 4 big wins we only needed a draw to do so. It may not have been the toughest draw in the world but we'd still did a lot better than we managed against similar (or even the same) opponents in the past, and it was hard not to impressed by how easily we crushed the others, ending up with a 100% record and a goal difference of 18 over just 5 matches. Kastrati's second goal against RoPS was especially impressive, as a defender made a very long and high clearance, Karjaleinen waited a few bounces to return with a similarly high ball and Kastrati (bang in the middle of the penalty area, pretty much) stretched high to volley in. It's going to be tough to beat last season's 4th place, even with such a promising pre-season (as I consider it even with the cup providing competitive action) pointing to good times ahead, especially with some strong performances from a few younger players. Winning the group put us straight into the quarter finals and with half the Premier League teams already eliminated from the group stage (though it's impossible for us all to qualify) we faced VPS. Just as we did in the second round last year. And promotion playoffs just 4 months or so earlier. We really must stop meeting them like this, even if it gives us a good chance of another semi-final appearance at least.
  4. [FM18] Finns Can Only Get Better

    Winter 2021 I decided to reject the offer for Jarvinen, which also allowed me to let Sjoroos go when he realized his time at the club was up without leaving us short on forwards in the squad. Another bid might gave forced my hand but none more came before the end of January. He will probably go in the summer, the end of the season at the latest but the time just didn't seem right yet. Holmqvist had already been signed in preparation and started his TPS career off in style, so maybe Jarvinen won't be such a big loss after all when the time comes. I waited until the gap before the final cup group game to move again, signing the defender Mero from relegated Jaro, later raiding them for Andersson as well to provide a decent second choice left-back. He arrived about the same time as Nurmela, yet another defender from a relegated club (like Lahti and Voultilainen from VPS last year, which worked out well) but this time it was RoPS. His more natural roles are actually as a defensive midfielder but he's content to be a backup so he should serve to help our depth. Signings
  5. Well done bossing your WC qualifying group.
  6. [FM15] Dexter To The Rescue (Retake)

    You're building a pretty good team now.
  7. [FM18] Welsh Dragons - Carmarthen Town

    Not a bad Europa campaign.
  8. The first three World Cup winners on on recent save were Wales (beating Uruguay), Ecuador (beating Romania) and Colombia.
  9. [FM18] Finns Can Only Get Better

    Goodbye Jarvinen? At the end of the season Jarvinen declared his interest in wanting to move to a bigger club, though surprisingly there had been no interest up to that point. We had agreed an accepted price for him to leave (400k) but he didn't make a fuss when I rejected Brentford's previous offer. With 2 years left on his contract time is still on my side so if I do decide to keep him a little longer (especially as once he's unhappy it can't get much worse), especially as the Championship wasn't what I had in mind when it came to accepting I'd have to let players go. As it happens their manager is none other than Ryan Giggs. He hasn't actually been anything special for us. He managed to hit goalscoring form when we played well (and still managed better than Kastrati when we started struggling) but was still outscored by his partner despite the latter only having half a good season. It was just as well Sjoroos failed to step in effectively or he'd have ended the season watching from the bench like when we got promoted. I already signed another young forward but in the short-term he's meant to compliment Jarvinen, not replace him immediately. I'm tempted to bide my time on this one especially as depending on how well Malek develops we're not ready to lose him yet. If he continues to develop well (and we will have improved training facilities in the spring) he could have a much better destination in the summer (like Askar is about to enjoy with Newcastle). Giving these players the right move at the right time is crucial both for player and club. I'm still going to sleep on it and potentially see if anyone has any thoughts. I'm not so bothered about the inital fee, but if we get a few more sales with big profit clauses (the Askar deal has a 40% clause as well) in the next couple of years that's a heck of a potential windfall we're setting up.
  10. [FM18] Finns Can Only Get Better

    Finland Update 2020 World Ranking: 75th (down 15) As mentioned before, Finland were in the Euro playoffs, beating Bulgaria (though benefitting from a last minute own-goal equalizer) and falling at the final hurdle to Hungary. There weren't really any big surprises in the International League as they beat Moldova twice, lost to Sweden twice, with a mix of a win and a loss against Scotland. Next year's World Cup Qualifying group won't be fun, with Italy, Austria (ranked 14th at the time the draw was made), Ukraine and Armenia. Ylatupa (the Ajax youngster from 2 years ago, now playing for Gent) is the first young player to make it in the senior squad in this save but he's decent at best. Having seen a lot of young talent already thet need a few of those to come good before too long. Ones to Watch I actually tried to sign Ali last year, but he was one of a bunch of players who wanted to see European qualification in a few years (though that wouldn't seem like as much of a dangerous gamble now). I avoided potentialy setting myself up for a lot of trouble further down the line though for some reason made an exception in his case. Unsurprisingly he still chose HJK instead but hopefully it won't be too long before signing the standout Finnish youngsters becomes realistic. As it happens with Sauso (already in the U19's) I got a player in the youth intake to potentially fill the role I wanted him for anyway.
  11. [FM18] Finns Can Only Get Better

    Oct 2020 ] Well we managed it, though not convincingly. We needed to take advantage of the first three games of the final 5 and got off to a bad start at Lahti. We could hardly fail at Jaro to get us back on track but after going behind at home to RoPS only managed a draw. As it happen it was still enough to give us a 5-point advantage over SJK but it was frustrating knowing a win would have sealed it. I wasn't sure it would be enough as we went to the top two while they faced the bottom two sides. We somehow managed to grab a draw at title holders and champions-elect HJK, though with a few chances that would have snatched it ourselves, which looked enough to secure 4th with our clearly superior goal difference. Despite leading for a bit at KuPS I was still happy to come away with a point again while SJK could only draw at Jaro. However we only won 3 of our last 14 matches in the league and while we managed to sprinkle a few more draws in there near the end, we were reliant on being so strong in the first half or so of the season. This close-season sees improvements to the youth and training facilities (at the cost of pretty much all the money we had in the bank, over £2M), though having gambled on trying to get in a better Ass Man, DoF and HOYD I didn't end up with much of an upgrade. I haven't been able to convince the board to agree to greater youth recruitment yet (though I'm so glad human managers can finally do that) but hopefully that will come at some point. Star Player: Perhaps I should have done what I did 2 years ago and made it Valakari instead of Kastrati on the grounds of consistency. The latter was actually the league's top scorer around the half-way point but in the end his goal on the final day was his only one after June! However aside from being top scorer, he also did a decent job on the assists as well so it would have been mean not to give it to him again. He now counts as properly Finnish but seems to have lost his youth caps on his profile (though those were for Finland up to U21 level, not Kosovo). Squad Stats
  12. [FM18] Finns Can Only Get Better

    I think so too
  13. Best ever Regen

    This guy stands out for me from FM13. He hadn't actually turned 15 yet when I signed him, for just 28k! Definitely the best deal I'll ever make on FM, at least among paid transfers. He actually scored just a few minutes after coming on as a sub in a cup match and became a first-teamer the following season.
  14. [FM18] Finns Can Only Get Better

    Aug 2020 OK, back to the business at hand. After yesterday I was wondering if we could potentially snatch a shock title victory but that was very quickly out of our hands and HJK look like retaining their title in dominant fashion. We still looked good enough for a while to have a decent safety margin with the European places but soon that all went wrong. Jarvinen (and Askar, but he wasn't as much of a loss) went to the European U19 Championship for a few weeks. The Finland U19 team had already won a qualification group with their Spanish and Czech counterparts (and Welsh) and were only knocked out in the semi-final on penalties against the Germans (having drawn against the Dutch in the group, missing out on top by goal difference). A promising showing at youth level at least. Anyway while last season (and in the earlier stages of this one) I often had to call upon Sjoroos to show the probie how it was done, he now proved incapable of replacing the absent 18yr old (who was also off-form when he returned), with Malek (the other forward in the squad) shaking off a bad injury and too unfit to act as an alternative, leaving me stuck with a seriously underperforming Sjoroos and Kastrati, though the whole team seemed to have lost their edge. That led to 4 defeats (more than doubling our total for the season in 5 matches but we did at least managed to make it 3 out of 3 against rivals Inter (despite going down to 10 men after 35 minutes) as the exception. Things did not look good for the FA Cup semi against HJK but we started brightly enough that I briefly forgot who we were playing. Jarvinen gave us an early edge but they turned the heat up after the break. Disaster struck when Kastrati went off injured (and would be missing for almost a month, though thankfully we now have a 3-week gap in the league) and even then we only lost to a soft injury time own-goal. It was still a good effort (we still might have snatched a winner ourselves) and a good run. Jarvinen had already returned to a bit of goalscoring form to beat HIFK but defeat to Mariehamn left us adrift in the top 3 struggle. Thankfully the top 2 are playing in the cup final so 4th should be enough and we have a 5-point lead (along with a goal difference advantage of 10) over Kemi and Honka with that many games left. However it looks fragile in our current form and we only have a single home game left. We do play 3 of the bottom 4 next and we'll need to make the most of those with the final two matches at KuPS! It obviously wouldn't be the end of the world to miss out on Europe just after promotion just as it isn't to fail to make the cup final but it would still be nice to achieve something from what will already be considered a very good season.