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raeburn

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About raeburn

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  1. Hale End FC - 2021/22 Season in Review All things considered the second season went even better than our first. Despite our only trophy being the UEFA Super Cup (which we won 3-0 over Real Madrid despite starting basically a fully rotated side that included Daniel Ballard, Semi Ajayi and Dominic Thompson), we made it to the Champions League semi-final and improved our performance in the league to a second-place finish, scoring 9 more goals and conceding 8 fewer than the previous year. We did have a bit of a rough start to the season and struggled to score goals early on - which
  2. Hale End FC - Summer 2021 Transfer Update In my last update I mentioned that I might have some difficulty making room in the squad for the former Arsenal players I would be targeting - that turned out not to be the case! While some of my sales ended up requiring me to accept below-market bids, Summer 2021 saw a pretty complete turnover in our squad, with most of the members of the squad who did not come through our academy leaving. Outgoing Transfers (£368.7 million): Cedric - £15m to Norwich City Granit Xhaka - £36.5m to Chelsea Kieran Tierney - £50m to Liverpool
  3. Hale End FC - 2020/2021 Season in Review Our form definitely dropped off in the second half of the season, but despite that we still held on to third place in the league and won both the Europa League and FA Cup. In a weird quirk of the season we played and defeated Leicester in both finals - meanwhile in the league, Leicester survived the drop by only one point. Looking back at the number of minutes played by breakthrough prospects I found that six of them (Maitland-Niles, Saliba, Saka, Smith Rowe, Nelson, and Nketiah) made it into our most-used XI, with the two that did not (Willoc
  4. Hale End FC - January 2021 Update This year, inspired by our strong cohort of academy players and in an effort to avoid losing interest in this save when our budget allows me to afford Haaland and Mbappe I've decided to focus on youth development. While I won't be going full-on academy-only, I am limiting the players I can sign to the following: Players who are Home-Grown at Club (eg. Serge Gnabry, Yunus Musah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain) Players who were part of the academy but left Arsenal before becoming Home-Grown at Club (eg. Ismael Bennacer, Donyell Malen, Semi Ajayi)
  5. @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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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."
  8. 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,
  9. @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.
  10. 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-Arno
  11. 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 ha
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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 competiti
  15. @Dallan Thank you! That was both extremely thorough and extremely helpful.
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