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22 "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"

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  1. 24/25 SEASON SUMMARY Another great season, we triumphed in the league once again thanks to a long unbeaten run, though we still struggle against Real Madrid and Barcelona at times, a weakness that would come to haunt us in the Spanish Cup Final and Champions Cup semi's as we lost both to Real which was frustrating. Transfer-wise a few big moves happened in the January window. Inigo Martinez left to China as his contract was running down, and I bought in Roberto Lopez from Sociedad to add more depth on the left, as Larrazabal's contract was also coming to an end and he wasn't getting much game time so Serrano was now the main rotation option with Williams on the right. End of the season saw Inigo Cordoba leave on a free as he'd been out on loan all season. Ivan Martin was sold to Schalke after another disappointing season. Borja Sanchez, the newgen DM, was also sold after spending the season out on loan due to his lack of technical skills. So here is how the team is looking going into the 25/26 season. FIRST TEAM SQUAD Goalkeepers Unai Simon - still number one Alvaro Fernandez - as long as he's happy to be the backup keeper he'll be it Defenders Enrique Arteaga - definitely first choice RB now Andoni Gorosabel - another consistent season, plus gave us a few goals as well Yeray - a rock at CB Unai Nunez - first choice alongside Yeray Eneko Nunez - stepped up once Martinez was sold, a great rotation option at the moment Inigo Pascual - still needs some development but a good rotation option and like his versatility Aihen Munoz - solid as usual Kevin Rodrigues - good backup, may be replaced next year by Borja Sanchez Midfielders Joselu - long-term future probably at CB, but need him to rotate at DM this season, did pretty well last year Peru Nolaskoain - not as good as the year before, but hoping he can be good at DM again Jon Moncayola - lots of assists again, but will likely have to play further forward this year The Wizard of Oroz - definitely worthy of the nickname you suggested @bowieinspace (also totally worth it for the news items using his name) Mikel Merino - didn't have a great season last year, hoping he returns to his usual form for this season Mikel Agirre - did okay in his first season in the first team, hoping for more from him Attackers Roberto Lopez - did well since signing from Sociedad, been mainly using him to rotate on the left wing but may retrain to make him a CM and give more options there Inaki Williams - still bossing it from the right wing, signed him to a new 2 year deal and then will see if I keep him beyond that Nico Serrano - not setting the world on-fire anymore, but a good versatile rotation option Inigo Alonso - club legend in the making Pablo Sukunza - love this guy, he loves to bully opposition players by closing them down mercilessly, got a few goals last season by nicking the ball from the keeper or last defender Asier Villalibre - had his worst season for us last year, which was not helpful when we needed a striker to produce the goods Javier Vera - a beast for the U19s last season, scoring 55 goals in the U19 league, 7 in the U19s cup, and 15 in the U19 Champions Cup. He's probably going to be my first choice striker this year YOUTH PROSPECTS/BACKUPS Goalkeepers Josu Rodriguez - promoted to B-team for this season, hoping he can soon challenge for the backup keeper spot Defenders Javier Jimenez - came through in latest intake, Gorosabel's long-term replacement Josu Alonso - only other decent CB option outside of first team, could d a job if needed but stats aren't great Borja Sanchez - developing nicely, will likely step-up to the first team next year Midfielders Andoni Etxeberria - bags of potential, not developing as fast as others, need his mental stats to improve I think Jon Goni - signed from Espanyol, hoping he can develop well Imanol Ojeda - good stats, bit lacking in potential Attackers Borja Bacaicao - solid first year with B-team, hoping he develops further to be Williams replacement Xabi Irate - did great for U19s, will get game time with B-team, mental stats are a worry Erik Martinez - lots of potential, stats aren't there yet, hoping B-team game time will help with that Ander Villar - had an amazing year with the B-team, may replace Villalibre soon if he continues his disappointing form Jose Antonio Lorono - another from the latest intake, looks like he could become a great player ----- Very happy with some of the newgens coming through, but the lack of DM's and CM's is a slight concern, as well as a long-term newgen who could be an upgrade for Simon. Rodriguez looks like he will do a good job, but will not be as solid as Simon is. Fingers crossed for next years youth intake. There has also been a complete lack of any decent Basque newgens from other teams over the last season, so I'm completely dependent on who comes through at Athletic which also doesn't help.
  2. I long to get a keeper as good as Diego Arteaga was for me last year. Best keeper I've ever had on any FM save ever! And that was from a save full of them, really interesting how it seems to have changed this year. Posting my season summary next, that will show the areas I've been lucky in with newgens, and where I'm suffering.
  3. Personally very envious of Ojeda, had no newgen keeper come through that looks anywhere near as good as him (which is bizarrely opposite to my last few saves on previous FM's with Athletic where there were always too many decent GK newgens!). I'll post up my latest season summary soon and more and more of my squad is now newgens but still a few areas I've got some longer-term worries about if some promising youth candidates don't come through in those positions soon. You look like you're well sorted for a long time to come with the players you have, and amazing over half your starting XI is now newgens.
  4. Congrats on one hell of a season! That's an amazing team you're building there, very envious of a fair few of those newgens. Ojeda looks like he is going to boss it in goal for the next decade, and definitely doesn't hurt having players like Lafuente, Uriate and Garcia in the team as well. Nicely done.
  5. Very nice, definitely worth the money for a newgen of that quality.
  6. Nice, he's by far the biggest new plus to playing as Athletic on this version of FM, definitely helps offset how many of the usual 'old-guard' have either left or don't have long left at the start.
  7. Hah well I think I have to now! That's an awesome nickname suggestion. Has he not been as good for you in your save?
  8. Yeah sounds like the best, his skill and versatility can be hard to replace.
  9. Question is how much depth you have if you sell him, and if there's someone you could buy with the money. If you feel fine without him in the squad then i'd take the cash. The problem I always find is that there's always so few players you could ever spend money from transfer fees on.
  10. Well, 2023/24 was a season of great success for us. We completed the triple of the league, cup and super cup and even made it into the Champions Cup semi-finals! The league was a tight run battle with Real Madrid but we secured the title with one game to go. Team-wise it's certainly feeling like a period of succession. I let Herrando, who had been filling in at CB, go as he just wasn't good enough and didn't really have any room to grow. I also sold Sancet who has been surpassed by other players in CM. Two other players, Cordoba and Sanchez (newgen DM) were sent on loan. Heading into 24/25 Martinez, Larrazabal, and Gorosabel are all in the last year of their contract and I think only the last one will get a new one. Williams is now 20, Yeray 29, Rodrigues 30, so need to start getting their replacements ready for when they do leave. FIRST TEAM SQUAD Goalkeepers Unai Simon - an absolute rock in goal, clear first choice for now and many years to come Alvaro Fernandez - couldn't wish for a better back-up, he's more than happy with the occasional cup-game and good enough to step up for the few times Simon has been injured Defenders Enrique Arteaga - the record signing of 22/23 when I asked the board to buy him, he's become the first choice right back with more room to develop Andoni Gorosabel - a very solid player, he should be good for 4-5 years by when hopefully a young prospect will have appeared for this position Unai Nunez - first choice at CB and in his prime Yeray - lines up alongside Nunez, still in his prime but starting to plan for his replacement Inigo Martinez - amazingly didn't lose too many attribute points when he had his broken leg for 6 months, but last season he began to noticeably decline. Out of contract at the end of the season and will let him good, been a great servant to the club Joselu - bought from Sociedad last year, can play at CB or DM but think CB will be his future, like his technical skills Eneko Nunez - been developing in the U19s for the past couple of seasons, promoted to learn from Martinez before he leaves, hoping to develop his technical skills more but looks very solid already Aihen Munoz - since signing from Sociedad been very reliable first choice LB, remains so for now Kevin Rodrigues - a great back-up and rotation option, starting to come towards the end of his time here and thankfully have a young prospect coming through to replace him Midfielders Jon Moncayola - an absolute machine last season, highest assists in La Liga. Thrived in a change to my tactics with him first choice as a DLP in the DM spot Peru Nolaskoain - almost cruel he has to compete with Moncayola, but both of their positional versatility means they get plenty of games Borja Sanchez - signed from Eibar in 20/21, he's been a solid backup at DM but his lack of technical skills means i'm looking to move him on so he's gone on loan this season Aimar Oroz - by far the best signing I've made in this save, been absolute first choice at CM for many seasons now. Going to be at the heart of the team for the next ten years Mikel Merino - great since signing in 22/23, solid alongside Oroz and love his versatility Ivan Martin - signed last season to provide depth after Muniain left, he was a disappointment, being ranked as one of the worst signings in La Liga last season. Will give him this season to see if he can prove himself, otherwise there are youngsters coming through who can take his spot Mikel Agirre - lovely newgen who player superbly for the B-team last year and now promoted to help with depth in the first team Attackers Inaki Williams - first choice at right wing and done great since I've switched to using AMR, will remain first choice there until he leaves Gaizka Larrazabal - done great as a rotation option, but clearly reached his limited, his contract is running out so face the choice of either letting him go or extending depending on what happens to Williams Pablo Sukunza - promoted from U19s, can play on right or up-front, and one of the players threatening Larrazabal's place Inigo Alonso - the best newgen to come through from any youth intake so far, first choice on left wing and had an amazing season last year Nico Serrano - has faded a little in recent years, was one of the best performers for a few seasons but has lacked consistency recently Inigo Cordoba - not as good upfront as Villalibre, and third choice on the left so let him go on loan as his time at the club is probably coming to an end Asier Villalibre - been a real surprise this year, has flourished since I've adjusted tactics and now plays as a F9 upfront, will remain first choice until on of the youth prospects come through YOUTH PROSPECTS Goalkeepers Igor Jimenez - now first choice with the B-team, looks to be a longer term replacement for Fernandez as backup keeper Josu Rodriguez - a very promising keeper, perhaps the long term Simon replacement unless any better keepers come through in the years to come Defenders Josu Alonso - originally looked to be the best long-term CB option but hasn't developed as well as I hoped. First year in B-team he went backwards but improved last year, however is likely to remain with the B-team Ricardo Infante - bought from Iruna as an early attempt to add long-term depth at LB, hasn't really developed much and now future is really with B-team Inigo Pascual - a great CB prospect, perhaps the Yeray replacement in a few years Borja Sanchez - not to be confused with the Borja Sanchez DM, he was in the latest youth intake and hooray for a LB with good crossing stats! He looks like he could be better than Munoz soon enough Midfielders Jesus Larrinaga - solid CM, promoted to B-team this year to replace Agirre, hoping he can improve even more Imanol Ojeda - him and Larrinaga dominated at CM for the U19s, hoping he can do the same for B-team, one of these two is likely to replace Martin if he continues to disappoint Andoni Etxeberria - another from the latest youth intake, bags of potential and looks to me the likeliest long-term replacement for Merino Attackers Borja Bacaicoa - bags of potential but hasn't developed as much as I'd like with B-team so far, going to make sure he gets more game time this season and see how he does Ander Villar - was part of first team briefly, but wasn't performing so went back to B-team, had some great seasons with them so a decent backup when needed Xabi Irate - another who can play on right or upfront, hoping he can develop well with Williams time at the club having a limited time left Erik Martinez - bought from Pamplona, his stats aren't the best but has lots of potential so hoping another year in the U19s will show good improvement Javier Vera - perhaps the star of the latest youth intake, I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't long before he's better than Villalibre ----- Overall squad has good depth, and plenty of young prospects who are either already knocking on first-team door or look like they will be soon enough. As said before was probably worrying too much about progress of youngsters, and the most recent youth intake has definitely added prospects in areas that were needed. Looking forward to how this season goes.
  11. @bowieinspace thanks for the very detailed info! I'd say main things you do I don't at the moment is move players to main team even when only playing for B-team, and being more involved with team and individual training, things i'll definitely have to think about though the reason I don't do them at the moment is I'm a bit lazy! Also, for my slight complaining about lack of first team quality newgens so far I'm now, towards the end of my fifth season, at the point where I've got a bunch who now need to transition to the first-team squad, will post a summary of my squad and youth prospects once the season is done. So think I was definitely premature in feeling a bit hard-done by with them.
  12. My current trend is to always been best newgens in U19s until they're at least 18 and then either promote to senior squad if they look good enough or otherwise go to B-team for good game time as they'll be playing with first team tactics there and the B-team are in the 2nd division now. Has always done okay but @bowieinspace looks to have had some excellent development so curious to see how he differs. I've definitely had those newgens who look awesome and then go nowhere as well as plenty of weak ones who turn into amazing players, always tricky to know who will for certain become part of the first team eventually.
  13. Some amazing newgens there @bowieinspace very jealous of some of them. I've only had a few come through to the first team so far, will do an update on them once I've finished my current season. Do you have a defined path for players from U19s > first team?
  14. Honestly, I tend to ask my assistant to assign mentoring groups once a season and leave it at that. Seems to have a good effect on players though be careful if you don't want certain players to gain PPMs as influential players in groups will pass them on.
  15. Had a nail-biting end to the 4th season, all came down to the final day. Disappointing not to win it after such a good season, but well Barcelona and Real Madrid were amazing (though apparently not enough for Madrid, they sacked Zidane!). Will post more on my team later, but looks like this might be Muniain's last season as he demanded to leave and went on loan to Ajax, did well enough without so will try and cash in on him. Martinez thankfully doesn't seem to have suffered too much from his long injury so will see how the summer goes then update on what my team looks like going into season 5 and the progress of my best youngsters.
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