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turnip

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    You've gotta hang on to the trip you're on

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  1. turnip

    [FM18] Fire by Trial

    Season 5 - Part 2: RC Lens, French Ligue 1 French Cup We beat a couple of lower league teams (and Metz) on our way to the Quarter Final where Montpellier ran rings around us in a 3-0 defeat. Coupe de la Ligue It wasn't until I checked our Schedule for the year that I remembered that we'd actually won this competition, beating Monaco, Paris FC, Bordeaux and then PSG in the final (2-0). Champions League Took 18 points out of 18 from a group including Barcelona (2-0(H), 4-2(A)) Zenit and Basel; won a tremendously entertaining game 5-4 at Stamford Bridge before comfortably winning 2-0 at home. That gave us a QF against Man City, because I guess oil money just can't leave us alone. We drew 1-1 at home in a tough game and were then somewhat lucky to only lose 2-1 in Manchester. Ligue 1 The fixture list had us playing PSG and Monaco early in the year and once we'd lost 1-0 to Monaco, we were still a couple of points ahead of them in the league. They, like last season, dropped a few points here and there. We, also like last season, didn't really. Eight straight wins after that loss had us sitting pretty at the top and we thrashed Nice 5-0 at their place to seal the title with 3 games remaining. I fielded a team mostly composed of Academy graduates in the final game (8/11 players, I think) and we drew 1-1. Summary & Thoughts As the general lack of pictures shows, despite our success, I wasn't really feeling this half of the season. I'm at that stage with the club where we're not big enough to keep hold of our best players when a big club comes calling, we don't have the financial muscle to award hefty contracts to keep potentially world-class players happy (Obradovic) and despite promising the board I would develop young players - which I have - the overall progression of the club has meant that even the best ones have barely been able to keep up with the demands of the squad. Idrissa Sene the only real exception this season. So, yeah, I'm gonna quit and find another small club to take over and hopefully do something a bit more planned with. I'm definitely leaving Lens in good shape - they've got £61m in the bank even before prize money comes in, some very valuable players to swell the coffers with (when they're inevitably sold), a wealth of talent in the Reserves and U-19s and a very competitive Academy.
  2. turnip

    [FM18] Fire by Trial

    Season 5 - Part 1: RC Lens, French Ligue 1 As discussed, Masinga and Castro left on frees, but were picked up quickly enough by Hamburg and Caen respectively. I wasn't able to shift Boulabiar or Pereda (I didn't try hard, tbh), but Moretti went to Saint-Etienne for what could end up being £5m. We also shifted our Sweeper-Keeper for £2.5m. I picked up a young Belgian DR from Club Brugge for £2.9m, a Winger from Huracan for £4m (complete bargain, see below), a promising-for-later-sort-of-okay-ish-for-now DL from Loko Plovdiv for £1.8m, young midfielder from Partizan and, with the close of the summer window looming, spent £3.5m to bring in a DC from Czechia. A Romanian striker had been a top target for a while; we went in for him in the summer, but his club held out for higher bids, only for him to reject them. I arranged the transfer once the window had closed and he joined for £8m in January. Our Argie DC, Alvarez, headed to Bayern for £15.5m in Jan (I could have asked for more, but he was starting to whinge about a new contract, which irked me) and I replaced him with a Paraguayan kid (£825k) who should be better within a season or so. I also upgraded my second-string DL, with a kid from Hamilton who I got for £235k after agreeing a Bosman (love that 'Buy Now' button; when it appears, that is). And then, on deadline day I realised for the nth time that my midfield looks a little staid when McFerran isn't playing, so I splashed out just over £8m on a Danish kid from FC Kobenhavn I'd had my eye on for a while (and what the hell was he still doing at FCK when he was that good? The mind boggles). Tictacs In anticipation of league teams deciding to sit back a bit, I decided to tweak things a bit. Our more-attacking formation became our new tactic for Away games against top-half teams and our less-attacking was turned into the killdozer for teams likely to sit back. I also created, from scratch, a formation for games against teams better than us - the idea being that we would be more solid defensively, while still posing a threat going forward. Ligue 1 We had a good start to the season, scoring at least 4 goals in 8 out of 18 matches going into the winter break, including our games against PSG and Monaco. We drew against Rennes (fair enough) and Reims (lucky), lost against Bordeaux (unlucky); while winning at Amiens (lucky) and Lyons (94th minute winner a tad fortunate). Some quirk of the scheduling this season meant that by Christmas, Ligue 1 clubs had only played 18 games, as opposed to 20 last year. A bit weird, maybe related to international breaks?
  3. I had a save in FM17 where Schalke were the third best team in Germany - behind myself (Rostock) and Bayern.
  4. turnip

    Youth Intake ineffective

    Dare I ask why? I've already got 60+ players between my First Team, Reserves and U-18s to supposedly know and care about; my HOYD sending me an email about someone I have no way to interact with would be SPACE-barred through quicker than anything other news item.
  5. turnip

    [FM18] Fire by Trial

    Okay, this is slightly stupid. We had to play a friendly against River due to us buying what'shisface last season. It's only a couple of days before the Trophee des Champions against Monaco, so I sent the kids. And that's a strong River side, not far off full-strength. Bonkers. (Particularly since the first team has been pretty rubbish in pre-season) Also, with the changes to the club's reputation and with a fair chunk of our players now being full internationals, we now have 7 Wonderkids in our first team. I mean, I wouldn't call them all Wonderkids myself - maybe 3 of them - but knock yourself out, Mr Algorithmicplayerdescriptiongenerator.
  6. turnip

    [FM18] Fire by Trial

    Season 4 - Part 3: RC Lens, French Ligue 1 We qualified for the Europa League on February 18th, when PSG beat Saint-Etienne (in 7th) meaning they couldn't mathematically catch us. And then we somehow qualified for the Europe League again after matchday 29 before confirming Champions League qualification a week later. I think something happened with the Coefficient that made Ligue 1 lose a qualification slot, or something. Anyway, our second half of the season was significantly worse than the first half. We dropped 7 points. Yeah, I have no idea either. We lost 3-2 to Marseille - deservedly so - and drew against Toulouse (fortuitously) and Saint-Etienne but we just kept sliding on that aquaplane. Monaco had a pretty poor back-half of the season, too, so when we overtook them, they had no way back. We actually clinched the title on matchday 33 when we travelled to the principality, went 2-0 down and came back to win 4-2. P: 38 W: 33 D: 4 L: 1 F:91 A: 26 GD: +65 Pts: 103 Pos: 1st Champions! I mean, seriously, check out Monaco & PSG's form. Losers. Champions League In the First Knockout Round, we went to Madrid and they pasted us. It finished 2-0 and even if they didn't have a host of great chances, it still could have been more. Back home, we gave them a game, got a 1-1 on the night and were dumped out of the competition with me trying to work out whether cheerful ambivalence towards tactical nuance is a good or bad thing. French Cup We beat National relegation-fodder ES Wasquehal in the 9th Round and then managed Toulouse in Extra Time in the next round. Coupe de la Ligue A penalty shoot-out against Amiens aside, we had a pretty serene ride to the Final where we played PSG and created enough good chances to win 2-0. Youth Intake Okay, I guess. We signed everyone and, as happened last season, quite a few players immediately saw their Potential stars nudge up. Valverde and Noël only got Youth contracts, while everyone else has a Pro deal incoming. The best prospects are Duboc and Fournier in particular. I reckon by the time he turns pro, Fournier will be good enough for at least the sub's bench. Summary and Performances I was expecting a harder time of things this season, but obviously that didn't really happen. As I tend to do when I have a team that's in Europe, I split the squad in half - with one bunch being the primary players for midweek games and the others being the weekend warriors. That generally worked pretty well and avoided any real burn-out. When injuries bit, I was able to either swap players around or bring in a young player. We didn't really have an MVP this year, although the fans had to pick one anyway and chose Moretti. Bernard scored a bunch of goals, our wingers were creative, the midfield did... whatever it is they do and our defence conceded what I'm just now realising is a remarkably low number of goals for a team as attacking as we are. Signings of the season were probably Obradovic and Matip - scoring 30 goals between them at over 1 goal/90 minutes is fairly astonishing. Matip in particular, since at least a third of his appearances were as MR. Escalante was as good as he looked like he'd be and our new DCs were pleasantly reliable. Squad stats: We haven't been able to give any products from our Youth system much game time due to us kind of rocketing up the leagues (Bernard aside), but there are some coming along very nicely: Cordoba is someone I'd ideally want to register for next season in the league; the problem being that he's considered non-EU and I can't justify giving him one of the 4 slots in the squad. Delhaye would already be in my team if his Crossing & Dribbling attributes were reversed. He's too young to be loaned out, but I'll try to give him some substitute appearances next season. Sene would have had a regular place on the bench this season if I wasn't flush with strikers. I don't think he'll be a world-class player, but he'll be on the bench next season. In terms of transfers for next season, Masinga (MR) and Castro (DR) are out of contract and will be released as I think they've peaked. I could also do with a couple of new DC - Boulabiar and Pereda look like they've run out of improvement, while Moretti might be the biggest 'flatter to deceive' DC of the lot, in that he wins lots of headers and makes lots of interceptions due to his fantastic Pace and Jumping, but he can't tackle to save his life. I'll keep him if there are no better options, mind you. I'm open to offers on a few players and I have a fairly well-stocked shortlist for most positions, so it could be a busy summer.
  7. turnip

    [FM18] Fire by Trial

    Season 4 - Part 2: RC Lens, French Ligue 1 We had a reasonably sedate January transfer window by my usual standards, bringing in Norwegian and Swedish midfielders plus a couple of youngsters. I had a pretty good, long, look at a bunch of different strikers - firstly going for an Argentinian, but his moron of an agent started asking for £65k p/w just because a Chinese club had made a bid; by the time that idiot came crawling back begging to discuss terms, I'd opted for a Serbian who was a whole lot cheaper both on transfer fee (£1.3m) and wages. The Argentinian moved to Monaco on deadline day. Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid transfer-listed their Wonderkid defender (£3.4m) and there was a quite remarkable lack of interest, so I got him without having to pay through the nose on wages. It's worth noting that he can also play MC and he probably will since - injuries excepted - we're not really short on DCs. Champions League In a tricky group, Bayern ended up the whipping boys for no reason I can work out. We put 4 past them in both matches, even though it should be obvious how much luck was involved in the Away game. We were well beaten in Lisbon and unlucky to lose in Milan, leaving it all down to the final match. We took the lead courtesy of our former DC Khutsishvili scoring an OG (love you too, mate) before Maxime Bernard wrapped up a fairly even game. Our reward was topping the group and getting drawn against Real Madrid. Yeah, **** you too, FM.
  8. turnip

    [FM18] Fire by Trial

    Home: Away: Swap the GK for a SK-A if Schneider's playing - if I've got someone who can play as a Sweeper-Keeper on the pitch, then by jove that's what he's going to do. Broadly, I'm coming around to the old 'Keep It Simple, Stupid' motto. I sometimes play around with the DLP, switching him to a BWM, but I'm not sure it really makes a difference; this formation is all about the Wingers and Strikers with the other players mostly there for Corners and defending.
  9. turnip

    [FM18] Fire by Trial

    Season 4 - Part 1: RC Lens, French Ligue 1 The previous season was barely over when we got this Scout Report: a player rated 100 for £2.4m-£3.4m. That one didn't take much thinking about, I must say. Other than him (see below), we signed a Cameroon attacker for £50k (didn't take a screenshot because I thought he was way off first-team football; idiot self) a Honduran DR for £575k+, Spanish ST for £1.9m, Argie DC for £3.3m and a Dutch U-20 DC/DM/MC for compensation. The DC was needed because Leverkusen came in for Khutlang; we went back and forth for a good couple of weeks on price before agreeing on £35m plus £4m in addons and 50% of profit on next sale. We also sold our Portuguese 'Born Leader' after his leadership style seemed to consist of 'more money for me - **** you'. I also restructured our backroom staff by allowing some contracts to expire and then entrusting our DoF with replacing them. Terrible idea. He's like a 16 year old with Daddy's credit card. Ligue 1 We started very well, helped by a (somewhat fortuitous 4-3(A) win against PSG. Despite rotating the squad heavily to give us our best possible chance in the Champions League, our weekend side did a remarkable job of being as effective as the weeknight warriors. And by "effective" I mean 'merciless winning machine'. We dropped 2 points each against Montpellier and Marseille before Christmas, which meant that we opened our stockings with a nic- WHAT THE **** DO YOU MEAN WE'RE NOT TOP OF THE LEAGUE? WE'VE DROPPED 4 POINTS IN 20 GAMES AND BEATEN THOSE OIL-DRENCHED PARISIAN PISSANTS PSG TWICE IN THE PROC-... WHAT THE ******** ****SACK DO YOU MEAN MONACO WON EVERY GAME EXCEPT THE ONE AGAINST US? WHAT THE ******** ****WAGON IS THIS?
  10. 19 years old, in his first 6 months away from West Africa, playing in the French Ligue 1, 8 goals in 8 games plus 3 assists. Yep, nothing there to convince the Cameroon coach to put him in the squad. It's not a new issue. My personal favourite is the one below, from FM15 or FM16: Yeah, let's drop this guy who's the best left-winger in the national pool because he's fully fit and not exhausted from playing too many games!
  11. turnip

    Painkilling Injections

    Presumably, if he plays with a strained hamstring (or whatever) then the painkilling injections aren't going to prevent the muscle getting worse. At which point he needs, what, a double-strength painkilling injection to make it through the next match? Half a quart of morphine? The injections don't treat the injury, just dull the pain.
  12. turnip

    [FM18] Fire by Trial

    Here's the surprising state of play with 1 game to go in the Champions League group stage: I could get 10 points, have the best goal difference and still fail to make the Knockout Rounds!
  13. turnip

    [FM18] Fire by Trial

    Ah, that makes sense. Thanks!
  14. Is it because you're asking for the transfer to happen at the end of the season? If you can, try changing that to 'Next Available' and they shouldn't then be able to refuse
  15. turnip

    [FM18] Fire by Trial

    Turns out, we didn't enter even the 'Best Third-Placed Bonusapalooza Qualifying Round' nonsense. Which is weird, since when I'd looked last season, it said we'd need to. No complaints, mind you; not about going straight into the group stages, that is. That's not the friendliest group stage group I've ever seen. Oh, and: Not unexpected, but still a shame.
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