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Everything posted by ManUtd1

  1. Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. All football supporters have suffered the agony of hope. The "what could have been" moments. The heartbreak. The days when your **** of a striker couldn't hit water if he fell out of a ****ing boat. Barbosa at the Maracana, 1950. Messi in the final of the Copa America, 2016. Baggio in the World Cup final, 1994. Ghana at the 2010 World Cup. Bayern Munich in Barcelona, 1999. John Terry in Moscow, 2008. (Ok, if I'm being honest the last two were pretty frickin' beautiful and count among my favorite football memories. But, I digress...) For many, redemption comes in one form or another, some more glamorous than others. Titles won. Individual glories and accolades. The heartbreak simply another chapter in the broader narrative. For others, the heartbreak defines them. Haunts them. Overshadows all other accomplishments, triumphs and accolades. The moniker of the "nearly men" is applied, and supporters grow old thinking, "what if...?" This is the story of those teams. Uhh...well...another story about those teams... Since its inception in 1964, 25 different clubs have won the CAF Champions League. 19 teams have reached the Final, only to fall short: Amicale Sportive Dragons (1980. 1985) Al-Hilal Omdurman (1987, 1992) Shooting Stars (1984, 1996) Heartland (1988, 2009) Stade Malien (1965) Real Bamako (1966) Étoile Filante du Togo (1968) Simba FC (1972) Ghazl Al-Mehalla (1974) Enugu Rangers (1975) Africa Sports (1986) MC Oran (1989) Nkana Red Devils (1990) SC Villa (1991) Ashanti Gold (1997) Dynamos FC (1998) CS Sfaxien (2006) Coton Sport (2008) USM Alger (2015) This save will chronicle my attempt to bring glory to as many of these sides as possible. First of all, credit where credit is due -- the idea for this save originated with @smp20, who proposed it as a challenge during the FM15 cycle, related to the European Champions League. I've since been...err...somewhat obsessed with it. My first FMCU-documented attempt fizzled out early: [FM16] If You're Not First, You're Last. While success was only claimed in Malmo that year, that save laid the foundation for all that has come since. The second attempt was 116 pages of utter madness, spanning 18 months real-time, culminating in 2091 after claiming an obscene number of trophies with Hakan Telleus and his son, Gunnar Vikander. This was easily my favorite save of all time: [FM17] If You're Not First, You're Last (Redux). My third attempt is currently paused in the fall of 2044, where Jean Bleu has rampaged across Europe with multiple sides: [FM 18] If You're Not First, You're Last (Re-Redux). While I'm enjoying my time at Nantes in the save...I felt I needed to run this save in Africa, something I'd long thought about doing, but hadn't attempted. (Why Africa instead of South America? Asia? My daughter is Congolese, and my undergrad studies focused on sub-Saharan African politics with a particular emphasis on transitional justice in post-apartheid South Africa. The quote in the title is from Nelson Mandela.) As with before, there are generally no hard-and-fast rules beyond the concept of the save. On the club side of the shop... This is not a youth-academy-only save, even though I do enjoy developing youth and will usually focus on that. Rather, I will work within club-specific plans without any self-imposed transfer restrictions. I will leave on high -- once I've won the Champions League, I must move on. The only twist I'm adding for Africa is that I will stay on through the Club World Cup, to try my hand against the best clubs the other continents have to offer...and then I must move on. After my first club, I will only accept a position with one of the sides listed above, or a club that manages to join this elite (!?) group of "nearly men." Likewise, if a club manages to win the CL under another manager, they are removed from the challenge. On the international scene, there will be only one rule this time around -- win as many World Cups with an African nation as possible. After winning, I must move on to another African nation. And, as per usual, my saves tend to exist in a "multiverse" of sorts, so familiar faces may pop up (although they may come up in different contexts). In terms of the league setup, I have used @claassen's FM 18 African leagues (and competitions). However, to facilitate the "all African" approach to the save, I have removed foreign player limitations from the starting African leagues. If a club from a new country (e.g., Kenya) becomes eligible, the existing @claassen rules will apply. The idea here is to: (1) promote African youth, regardless of where they come from; and (2) allow me to support whatever national team I'm playing with, at my club side. The default starting leagues in Africa are the top divisions from: Algeria, Cameroon, DR Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In Europe, we have the top divisions from: Belgium, England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. I've loaded all current international players, worldwide, and all players from clubs playing in European and African continental competitions. Tomorrow, we will meet our managerial hero... But before we do, let's take a quick look at the tracker I'll be using:
  2. Alright, vacation is calling. Laptop is shutting down without any progress at Al-Hilal. Much fraudulence will follow in due course.
  3. ManUtd1

    The New FMCU General Discussion Thread

    That might be the most fraudulent thing I've read today.
  4. We’ve got Armadillos in our trousers. It’s really quite frightening. Sudan / Al-HIlal Omdurman - January 2023 This is the moment when it all changes. When it all comes together. When the Falcons of Jediane can truly prepare to take flight. We may have a long road ahead of us still, but World Cup qualification is on the menu, lads. We're the biggest club in the country, soon to be the biggest on the Continent. The Sudan project begins anew, today.
  5. Zanzibar 2022; CECAFA Cup Review As it happens, the 1st 45 minutes of the tournament against Somalia were perhaps our best. We were scintillating. Dominant. Incisive in front of goal. The 2nd 45 of that match was meh...and then we threw away a 2-nil lead over Rwanda in the 2nd group match, before beating Burundi to advance where the luck of the draw paired us with...Burundi. 90 minutes later, we were off to the final against Ethiopia. It was an even match, but they were deadly in front of goal while we were left doing the footballing equivalent of "pushing rope." No bueno. My favorite moment of the tournament may have been the message that my players were all headed home after the Group Stage, 3 days before the semifinal. Nice planning by our FA, eh? At least they all made it back in time to face Burundi.
  6. ManUtd1

    The New FMCU General Discussion Thread

    It's basically a running joke -- fraud tactics being anything too hipster, too strange, too successful, too predictable, too...anything, really. It's kind of a catch-all, friendly insult. You'll also see it used as a compliment -- that a save idea or tactic is "deliciously fraudulent." As I think about it, it is the forum equivalent of "dude." The meaning is wholly dependent on how you incorporate "fraud" into a sentence/work, a million different meanings...all of them good-natured.
  7. I love that my vote counts as much as Alan Pardew's, that **** managing England. I voted for Neymar...to get a painful STD.
  8. We spent a long, drunken evening discussing plots to fix the draw, only to realize that it didn't really matter. We were ****ed regardless.
  9. Ok, before heading to Zanzibar 2022, we have to take an extremely quick glance at how things went in Africa this year. TP Mazembe claimed the Champions League, with no less than 7 former Ashanti Gold players in the lineup. Speaking of Ashanti Gold, my former charges won the league and reached the semifinals of the Champions League before falling to Raja Casablanca...the same side who eliminated us at the Preliminary Stage in February 2020. Al-Hilal Omdurman won the Sudani title, meaning my wait to take over will continue.
  10. Let's be honest. Tunisia's quality was always going to win out. But this is a massive result, on the road. Hold your heads up, lads.
  11. While there are 85 minutes left to play, there's little doubt that Tunisia are currently feeling the Grapefruit Donkey Love.
  12. Thank goodness I rarely interact with the media in my saves, and delegate that to my assistant. My managers would each be jailed or committed to the insane asylum, if any of them were truly assessed.
  13. Sudan - November 2022; Tactical Musings Alright, I've been buried with work and family stuff for a bit, and am only now digging myself out. And...in 48 hours, we leave for a week's vacation with no laptop. Which is obviously the perfect time to start tinkering with tactics, right?! Right?! Well, I happened to come across @Guimy's brilliant post on implementing a 2503 strikerless formation in FM 19...and decided to start tinkering with the concept... And, lo and behold, we've got something here. Since the ME in 18 and 19 are different (especially insofar as the tactical setup is concerned), I used @Guimy's post as inspiration and...when melded with aspects of my prior strikerless tactics...came up with these monstrosities: The base tactic is PM Åsnor Våfflor (using my prior, absurd naming conventions, this is a bastardized translation of "grapefruit donkey waffles" into Swedish). Granted, this tactic looks absurd, but plays as a 4330 -- spreading wide in possession, compact vertically and horizontally in defense. I am still tinkering with a very fluid mentality, but have found thus far that fluid works best. (As an aside, the working name for the tactic was "PM RKellyParty" because of the fluidity I was hoping to see...but @oriole01 was triggered, so I went a different route with the name, thanks to a timely, offhand comment from @Deisler26.) The counter tactic is PM Åsna Kärlek ("grapefruit donkey love"). As you can see, I dropped the IWBs back into the defensive strata -- we kept getting exposed on the flanks, and I didn't want to drop my line deeper or change their respective duties to defensive. But, once I made that little tweak...the tactic took off, with my United squad annihilating Barcelona at the Camp Nou and beating City 5-4 at the Etihad (we went down 3-nil in the first 23 minutes while under a different version of the tactic, the comeback began immediately upon switching to this one with City's 4th goal coming through a penalty). Notably, the very fluid mentality works a treat in the counter formation -- I'm sure Mr. Kelly will be pleased. I would like to make an overload version of the tactic, but the initial testing has been all over the map. And not in a good way. We'll see. I'd also like to make a libero version...but even I realize that might be too ridiculous. I'll do more tactical analysis as the save presses on. But I'm already having a blast with it -- big wins, home and away. I figure if the dross at United can play this...anyone can. Realistically, though -- there's no way Sudan is ready to play this tactic. I need to get a club job. But we're going to do it anyways. Our first match will be against Tunisia, the final/meaningless AFCON qualifier where we'll get stomped...and then we're off to Zanzibar 2022, before I disappear for a week IRL for some warm weather with the family...
  14. ManUtd1

    [FM19] Paris FC je t'aime

    Not selling players to PS-****ing-G?! Good man.
  15. ManUtd1

    my BEST SAVE....EVER!

    Another new face! A belated welcome... Good luck!
  16. Pep the Bald being sacked is always cause for celebration.
  17. ManUtd1

    FM19: An Ambitious Andorran

    Take it from me, being normal is overrated.