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About raeburn

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  1. @davie1980 He was good while I had him, but unfortunately he wasn't a perfect fit with my tactics (not good enough defensively to be my DLP and not good enough at finishing to be my B2B) and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was available so I sold him on for almost immediate profit. I was able to get Everton to pay £52m for him. I probably would have kept him as he performed pretty well, but the board added "sign high reputation players" to the club vision in the off-season.
  2. Yes, the aim is for the IWB to tuck in alongside the DLP to create a flat base midfield pairing in possession while the BBM moves forward into the AM slot to create a front 5. The one issue that I have found with this formation is that on opposition goal kicks the two central midfielders tend to split wide and leave an opposing midfielder wide open in the center. It hasn't caused major issues for us, but it is frustrating to see happen again and again.
  3. Sure thing - here it is, along with my first XI. My most recent tweak was lowering the IWB mentality to improve the spacing between them and the BBM in possession. The next tweak I am considering is changing the DL to a CWB. The only individual instructions are on the BBM and they are: "Get Further Forward" and "Move into Channels."
  4. 2021-22 Wow. What a year. The main story of this season was our constant competition with Liverpool for the title of the best in England, Europe, and the World - a competition that we just about edged. Arsenal v. Liverpool It started out with a 2-1 victory in the Club World Cup Final that saw the first of Erling Haland’s many goals for us this season. Less than a month later Liverpool got their revenge on penalties after a 2-2 draw in regular time in the Community Shield. A pair of 1-0 wins over Liverpool in the league, both thanks to goals from Nicolas Pepe, helped us open up a gap at the top in the Premier League. But the hit to morale from a 0-1 loss to Liverpool in the EFL Cup final, combined with heavy rotation in the league as we prioritized the Champions League led to Liverpool entering the final day of the season two points ahead of us. On the final day of the season as we faced off against relegation-bound Norwich, Liverpool matched up against 7th place Southampton. This was Liverpool’s third game in five days, and lucky for us, it showed. In the 19th minute, Kelechi Iheanacho scored the first goal of his hat trick for Southampton, and one minute later Nicolas Pepe scored a brilliant placed shot to take us one point clear. Both scorelines only got wider from there, with Pepe getting his second hat-trick of the month as we won 4-0 and Liverpool succumbing to a 5-1 thrashing. That wasn’t the end of it though - two weeks later we faced Liverpool in the Champions League Final and walked out of Munich with a deserved 2-1 victory! Competition Results Won the FIFA Club World Cup (2-1 vs Liverpool) Won the UEFA Super Cup (3-1 vs Borussia Monchengladbach) Lost the EFL Cup (0-1 vs Liverpool) Won the Premier League Lost the FA Cup (1-2 vs Everton) Won the Champions League (2-1 vs Liverpool) Star Players Rather than one or two players leading the team this season, we had six players with more than 20 goal-contributions, including three with more than 30. Our starting front-four of Pepe, Martinez, Haaland and Sancho tallied 85 goals and 48 assists between them. Kieran Tierney provided 11 assists again this season from the left wingback position, and our one January signing - Shakhtar’s Marcos Antonio (£28m) - provided 7 assists in less than half a season and looks to have taken over the starting B2B spot from Gaetano Castrovilli. First XI Stars Nicolas Pepe (IF-A) 42 appearances, 18 goals, 17 assists, 7.49 average rating Lautaro Martinez (PF-S) 49(2) appearances, 27 goals, 13 assists, 7.39 average rating Erling Haaland (AF-A) 45(2) appearances, 28 goals, 5 assists, 7.32 average rating Jean-Clair Todibo (CD-D) 41(1) appearances, 4 goals, 2 assists, 7.26 average rating Ruben Dias (BPD-D) 51 appearances, 4 goals, 0 assists, 7.25 average rating Hector Bellerin (IWB-D) 45(2) appearances, 2 goals, 3 assists, 7.20 average rating Kieran Tierney (WB-S) 50(5) appearances, 1 goal, 11 assists, 7.16 average rating Marcos Antonio (B2B-S) 18(7) appearances, 1 goal, 6 assists, 7.10 average rating Jadon Sancho (IW-S) 43(11) appearances, 12 goals, 13 assists, 7.08 average rating Second XI Stars Eddie Nketiah (AF-A) 21(1) appearances, 17 goals, 4 assists, 7.52 average rating William Saliba (BPD-D) 27(2) appearances, 2 goals, 5 assists, 7.35 average rating Fabio Silva (PF-S) 16(16) appearances, 10 goals, 6 assists, 7.26 average rating Calum Chambers (IWB-D) 24(3) appearances, 2 goals, 3 assists, 7.25 average rating Rob Holding (CD-D) 18(1) appearances, 1 goal, 0 assists, 7.11 average rating Gabriel Martinelli (IW-S) 23(22) appearances, 16 goals, 8 assists, 7.10 average rating First Team Candidates Between players out on loan and players in our U23 squad who are now ready for a role in the first team, I am going to have a tough time next season keeping everyone happy. Loanees Reiss Nelson (AMR at Marseille) 47(1) appearances, 14 goals, 16 assists, 7.15 average rating Thiago Almada (AMC at Fiorentina) 42 appearances, 7 goals, 13 assists, 7.02 average rating Eduardo Quaresma (BPD at AA Gent) 37(1) appearances, 1 goal, 0 assists, 6.99 average rating U23s Ryan Cherki (IW-S) 37(6) appearances, 18 goals, 27 assists, 7.79 average rating Nohan Kenneh (DLP-D) 49(1) appearances, 1 goal, 3 assists, 7.39 average rating Summer Transfer Plans Given our successes this season I am delaying my earlier idea of moving to a 3-3-4 formation, but there still are a few transactions that I will be looking to make before the start of next season: Gaetano Castrovilli (sell) - has been bumped out of the starting XI by Marcos Antonio, and Joe Willock has the B2B role locked down in the second XI due to his homegrown status. Nuno Tavares (sell) - has put in decent performances at LB but looks to have limited room for growth so I will be hoping to find another young LB to fill in behind Tierney. Trent Alexander-Arnold (buy) - if at all possible I am still hoping to upgrade at the Inverted Right Wingback position, despite the solid performances from both Bellerin and Chambers this season. TAA is really the only young option here and he would hopefully generate some more assists from the position than the 5 total this season from Bellerin and Chambers together, so if I can persuade Liverpool to part with their captain, I will.
  5. @llama3 I've thought about a 3-5-2 variant dropping the wingers back in to the midfield line, possibly with 2DM and a CMa or AM, but I'm also curious about how top-heavy I could make this formation and still get away with it. So far the 4-2-4 is working a treat in attack so I am somewhat reluctant to reconfigure the front 4.
  6. When spending £196m means you had a quiet summer... Well that's my Arsenal going in to the 2021-22 season. The big purchases this summer were Erling Håland from Dortmund for £96m, Gianluigi Donnarumma from Milan on a free transfer, Eduardo Camavinga from Rennes for £25.5m, and Fabio Silva from Porto for £10m. Bringing in Håland alongside Martinez up top means that we had to change our formation so now we are playing an attacking 4-2-4. Early results are good, but between the relative vulnerability of our midfield two and the lack of real quality fullbacks in the game (aside from Alexander-Arnold who Liverpool are asking more than £200m for) I am considering transitioning to a 3-3-4 formation. Something like this: My relative restraint in the transfer market, combined with summer sales totaling £328m (Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Leno, Mari, Lacazette, Zaniolo, Mavropanos, Azeez, and Torreira) means that we have around £200m remaining in our transfer budget for some big moves in the winter. Right now my ideal targets are Frenkie De Jong, Eder Militao and Ilaix Moriba but it may be difficult to get those three even within that huge budget unless I am able to unsettle them.
  7. The 2020-2021 season was a confusing one for sure. After spending big in the summer we were competitive in the league for most of the year and looked set to finish either 2nd or 3rd when the squad hit a real slump and ended the season with a run of only 1 win, 2 draws and 2 losses that saw us drop down into 5th place. A big part of this was down to my choosing to play our second choice XI in a lot of these games as we faced some serious fixture congestion... Which brings me to the good news! We won both the Champions League and the FA Cup! This makes it the second season in a row that we'll have qualified for the CL by winning a European tournament, and means that we've now won the Europa League and the Champions League in back-to-back years. We also won the UEFA Super Cup, beating CL holders Atletico back at the beginning of the year. Overall our summer signings were significant contributors to our success this year, including 21-goal Lautaro Martínez , CL Defender of the Season Rúben Dias, Fan's Player of the Season Rodrigo Bentancur, and Young Player of the Season Jean-Clair Todibo. The one disappointment was actually Jadon Sancho who I was never quite able to find the right role for. This under-performance generally carried over to other players that I tried in the AML position as well, so I am pretty certain it was an issue with my tactics and not with the player. He has absolutely incredible stats, so I will certainly not be giving up on him. And even in a bad season he tallied 8 goals and 4 assists. The AMR position with an Inside Forward on Attack was one of the keys to our success this year with both Nicolas Pepe (10g, 16a) and Bukayo Saka (11g, 10a) tallying double figures in each of the attacking columns. And while Kieran Tierney did not keep up his ridiculous assist rate from last year, I am still very pleased with the 11 assists he was able to contribute. Looking forward to next season, even without any transfers in (which I am hoping I will have room in the budget to make) I am going to have a bit of a headache. Many of the players that I loaned out this season have developed significantly, as have a number of those that I kept in our U23s: Thiago Almada (loaned to Anderlecht - 14g, 15a, 7.45 avg rating) William Saliba (loaned to Anderlecht - 4g, 1a, 7.14 avg rating) Reiss Nelson (Loaned to Celta - 3g, 5a, 6.80 avg rating) Eddie Nketiah (loaned to Vit. Guimaraes - 12g, 5a, 6.97 avg rating) Josko Gvardiol (loaned to Derby - 2g, 0a, 6.83 avg rating) Aimar Oroz (loaned to Lincoln - 3g, 10a, 7.18 avg rating) Rayan Cherki (U23s) Nohan Kenneh (U23s) Eduardo Quaresma (U23s) Florent Da Silva (U23s)
  8. Thanks! With all the ins and outs this summer I've balanced the formation out a little bit - I'm a little worried that it might blunt Tierney's attacking influence, but hopefully it's still a change for the better, given all the new players I've brought in. As you can see from that starting XI there have been big changes at Arsenal in the summer of 2020. Departures (Total £196m) Aubameyang to Real Madrid for £70m Xhaka to Leicester for £39m Guendouzi to Fiorentina for £18.25m Elneny to AC Milan for £18m Mustafi to Aston Villa for £16m Sokratis to Wolves for £16m David Luiz to Wolves for £10.5m Mkhitaryan to Lille for £9m Özil to Wolfsburg on a free Arrivals (Total £446m) Jadon Sancho from Dortmund for £97m Lautaro Martínez from Inter Milan for £73m Rodrigo Bentancur from Juventus for £70m Rúben Dias from Benfica for £52m Nicolò Zaniolo from Roma for £41.5m Jean-Clair Todibo from Barcelona for £23m Gaetano Castrovilli from Fiorentina for £21.5m Rayan Cherki from Lyon for £17.5m (half based on appearances) Nohan Kenneh from Leeds for £10.5m Pablo Marí from Flamengo for £9.5m Thiago Almada from Vélez for £7.75m Josko Gvardiol from Dinamo for £6.75m Eliot Matazo from Monaco for £4m Maarten Vandevoordt from Genk for £3.4m Eduardo Quaresman from Sporting CP for £3m Wuilker Fariñez from Millonarios for £2.9m Florent Da Silva from Lyon for £950k Aimar Oroz from Iruña for £875k Pelayo Morilla from Sporting de Gijón for £700k This is definitely the most I have ever spent in a single window... ever. In 15 years of playing FM. I'm excited to see if the players are able to gel, and hopeful that some of the prospects that I've brought in will develop well. My first team squad now is as follows: SKs: Bernd Leno / Wuilker Fariñez / Emiliano Martínez IWBs (R): Hector Bellerin / Ainsley Maitland-Niles CDd (R): Jean-Clair Todibo / Rob Holding / Calum Chambers BPDd (L): Rúben Dias / Pablo Marí WBs (L): Kieran Tierney / Sead Kolasinac DLPd: Rodrigo Bentancur / Lucas Torreira MEZs (R): Gaetano Castrovilli / Joe Willock MEZa (L): Nicolò Zaniolo / Emile Smith Rowe IFa (R): Nicolas Pépé / Bukayo Saka IFa (L): Jadon Sancho / Gabriel Martinelli PFs: Lautaro Martínez / Alexandre Lacazette Honestly, I feel pretty good about going up against most teams with either my first- or second-choice starting eleven. A fair number of the young prospects that I brought in are out on loan, as are Saliba, Nelson, and Nketiah. Cherki and Kenneh are going to spend the season with the U23 side and can be called upon if necessary - I won't be letting either of those two out on loan so that they can eventually be considered "Home-Grown at Club" players. If the board ever gives me any money again, I feel like the next step with the squad (other than a young left-back to replace Kolasinac) would be targeting huge-money young stars like Mbappe and Alexander-Arnold. I assume I'll have to win the Champion's League a few years in a row for that to be realistic though. And that's getting way ahead of myself. *In other news around the league, Man City sold Kevin De Bruyne to Barcelona for £199m, but haven't done anything yet to replace him. Meanwhile, Liverpool added Samuel Umtiti, and Chelsea added Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
  9. I've just finished up the 19/20 season in a save that I set up so that I could takeover at the exact point in the league season that Arteta took control - just before the Everton game in game-week 18. After a few early losses to Bournemouth and Chelsea while the team was learning my tactics and I was working out the kinks, we settled into a decent groove in the league and were eventually able to (in our second-to-last game) overtake Spurs and finish the season in 5th. We unfortunately lost the EFL Cup final to Chelsea and were bumped out of the FA Cup in the quarter finals by Southampton, but ended the season on a high with a 2-1 comeback win against Manchester United in the Europa League final. My front three of Aubameyang, Lacazette, and Pépé were outstanding with 14, 12, and 11 goals respectively over the second half of the season after I took charge. Pépé also tallied 16 assists in the second half, including 5 in a truly dominant display against Gent in the 1st Knockout Round. My real star, however, was Keiran Tierney who was only able to return to action in mid-March but tallied 7 assists and 1 goal in 12 starts and 1 substitute appearance, and earned a team-leading 7.38 average rating. An unexpected bright spot came from Folarin Balogun who stepped into the reserve striker role after I sent Eddie Nketiah out on loan to get more regular appearances. Balogun ended the season with 5 goals in 5 starts and 3 substitute appearances, and might give me a tough decision next season when Nketiah comes back from loan. After winning the Europa League and qualifying for next year's Champion's League the board has entrusted me with an enormous £190 million transfer budget. With Ozil requesting a move after deciding he "wants a new challenge" as he has "achieved everything he can at the club" and PSG and Real Madrid circling around Aubameyang, I am anticipating a very busy summer with some big moves to help get the club back in Champion's League shape, and hopefully help us get a little closer to challenging Liverpool for the title (they ended the season with 104 points, 38 clear of us and 27 clear of 2nd place Chelsea). One final note - as you can see from the tactics screenshot below I was able to sneak in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on loan on the final day of the January window. This allowed me to cancel the loan for Ceballos as it appeared Madrid had no interest in letting me buy him at the end of the season so I saw no point in keeping him around. I also canceled Cedric's loan as between Chambers, Matland-Niles, and the returning Bellerin I felt we had plenty of cover at right back. I was able to insert a £47.5m optional fee into Ox's loan contract, but I'm not sure if I will use it. It will probably depend on if I can get someone like Zaniolo for cheaper, and if I need additional homegrown players. I'll be back with a summer transfer window update soon and we'll see if any of my grand plans have come to fruition.
  10. 2018/19 Season Review: FA Cup: Knocked out in the 5th round by Watford... Europa League: Knocked out on away goals in the quarter-finals to Dinamo Kiev... Carabao Cup: Lost on penalties in the final to Manchester United... Premier League: We've won the league! On the final day, with a 1-1 draw against Southampton. Manchester United pushed us all the way, but we managed to pull it out despite a poor performance that saw us lose the possession battle for the first time all season. The Squad: Star Man: Alex Iwobi! 19 goals and 11 assists in all competitions, including an 89th minute winner away at the Etihad in March that helped move us to the top of the table. Unlike in real life, I will definitely be holding on to Iwobi in the summer transfer window. While most of his appearances were on the wing this season, Nicolas Pepe coming in, and Reiss Nelson coming back from Hoffenheim mean that I will be looking to develop him as a mezzala in our new 4-3-3. Top Scorer: Alexandre Lacazette scored 24 goals in all competitions, including 18 in the Premier League, which was enough to win him the Golden Boot. He out-scored Aubameyang who only managed 17 total, with 16 of those coming in the league. Youth Prospects: Matteo Guendouzi got the most minutes out of any of our U21 players, essentially taking over the DLP role from Granit Xhaka after we sold him in January. Emile Smith-Rowe, Eddie Nketiah, Joe WIllock, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles all played important roles in both the league and the cups, with Smith-Rowe and Nketiah getting 11 and 9 goals respectively. Mavropanos recieved the fewest opportunities, and with Calum Chambers coming back from loan, and Zech Medley and William Saliba both developing well in the U23s I am probably going to move him on this summer. Disappointment: Mesut Ozil had a down season, managing only 2 goals and 3 assists all year, to go with a 6.85 average rating. He did, however, create 11 chances, third most on the team behind Iwobi and Mkhitaryan. Given how hard it will be to move him, I'm planning to just keep him on for next year and slowly phase him out of the team as players like Willock and Iwobi continue to develop. Transfers Out (January): Dejan Iliev - 81k (rising to 100k) to Rabotnicki Cohen Bramall - 99k to Luton Shkrodan Mustafi - 34m to Real Madrid Granit Xhaka - 42.5m to Manchester United Stephan Lichtsteiner - 725k to Southampton Danny Welbeck - 2m to Stoke Transfers In (January): Nicolas Dyhr - 900k from FC Midtjylland Arvin Appiah - 2.5m (rising to 4m) from Nottingham Forest Luca Unbehaun - 5m (rising to 8.5m) from Borussia Dortmund Nick Okoro - 500k from Birmingham William Saliba - 5m from Saint-Etienne Maciej Zukowski - 1.5m (rising to 2.25m) from Lechia Transfers Out (Summer): Carl Jenkinson - 5.25m to Stoke Aaron Ramsey - free to Juventus Sead Kolasinac - 18.5m to Monaco Petr Cech - retiring Likely Departures: Laurent Koscielny - As in real life, Koscielny has gotten home-sick and asked to leave. Unfortunately he rejected a contract offer from Lyon that would have brought in 16.5m, but hopefully I can find a similar bid this summer. Konstantinos Mavropanos - As I mentioned above, with Umtiti coming in and Chambers coming back from loan, there isn't really a path to playing time for Mavropanos. While I would prefer a sale, with a hefty % of future transfer, I am also open to a loan to help build his value. Mohamed Elneny - I am planning a gradual shift away from the 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3, so Elneny is surplus to requirements with Torreira, Guendouzi, and now Rabiot coming in. Henrikh Mkhitaryan - He had a really good season this year, providing 8 goals and 10 assists, but between his contract and his age I have to move him on if I have the opportunity. Transfers In (Summer): Parfait Guiagon - 200k from Africa Sports Gabriel Martinelli - 55k from Ituano Adrien Rabiot - free from PSG Nicolas Pepe - 29m from Lille Nathan Wood - 800k from Middlesbrough Jacob Christensen - 1.4m from FC Nordsjaelland Pelayo Morilla - 200k from Sporting Gijon Kieran Tierney - 30.5m from Celtic Samuel Umtiti - 61m from Barcelona The Squad Next Season: GK: Leno / Martinez / Unbehaun DR: Bellerin / Maitland-Niles / Osei-Tutu DC: Sokratis / Chambers / Saliba DC: Umtiti / Holding / Medley DL: Tierney / Monreal / Dyhr DLP: Rabiot / Guendouzi / Christensen CM: Torreira / Willock / Morilla AM: Ozil / Iwobi / Guiagon AMR: Pepe / Nelson / Martinelli AML: Aubameyang / Smith-Rowe / Saka CF: Lacazette / Nketiah / Appiah
  11. @Dallan Thank you! That was both extremely thorough and extremely helpful.
  12. Is there a way to add real fixtures to the advanced rules? I had made a file previously with the real fixtures and results for the 2018 MLS season using basic rules, but can't figure out how to merge that with this file. Is it possible?
  13. I'm moving players back to the first club in their player histories according to the database (usually the club they were at when they were 15 or 16). Messi moved when he was 14, and he doesn't have Rosario in his club history in the database, but you can feel free to move him when you download the db! This is what Feyenoord and PSV look like with the changes I have made so far: Feyenoord PSV
  14. Apologies for the delay - started a new job that's been taking up a lot of my time. My plan is to release the DB once I've made edits for all players with 135 PA and above, or with a random PA of -7.5 to 10. That'll be ~6750 players back at their original clubs. A preview of the teams that will be in the top tier of the super-league: 1. Barcelona 2. Sporting (POR) 3. Boca Juniors 4. Ajax 5. River Plate 6. Real Madrid 7. Newell's Old Boys 8. Sao Paulo 9. Santos 10. Benfica 11. Velez Each of those teams has at least 25 players that I've moved back to the club so far, enough for a top-quality fully home-grown squad.
  15. I'm giving this a try in FM16 with Crystal Palace. Since they are a London club, there's a pretty big pool of players to choose from, but my long term aim will be to complete this challenge using only players from Croydon. Right now, Jason Puncheon is the only first-team player from Croydon, so the captaincy is his. Dwight Gayle and Adrian Mariappa are fellow Londoners, so they'll be guaranteed a first-team spot. Everyone else (hopefully) will be replaced with Londoners by the start of the second season. I'm planning to let the other British players stick around for the first season, but all of the foreign players will be off in the first window.
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