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  1. Ajax Amsterdam - End of Season 2014/15 Review Competition Performances Eredivisie: Fixtures page 1: http://i.imgur.com/SxkNgB6.jpg Fixtures page 2: http://i.imgur.com/1g0QSHJ.jpg The theme is the same as last year, even closer to being invincible. We really should have been but Jan Wouters' FC Utrecht was the only domestic team who could stop us and actually did the league double against us! Their success seems to be stemming from the signings of Rasmus Falk and Ronnie Schwartz with the latter scoring 23 in 36 appearances last season. They have definitely gained my respect and beating them next season is the top domestic target - after retaining the league of course. There really isn't much to say about the rest of the league season apart from just how dominating we were. However, I will look to further increase my points tally next season by attempting to cut out the 6 draws I had this season. Champions League: Much better than last season. I explained what happened here in my last few posts so there is nothing to add except the fact that Andre Villas Boas' Real Madrid won the elusive trophy. KNVB Beker: From going out at the first opportunity last year to winning it against PSV in the final this year. We did what I set out to do so I am very happy, add to this the comfortable nature of our win against our rivals and I am delighted. Squad Summary Goalkeeper: As you can see the image above, Vermeer played a lot of the games (31 games) but I would say that van der Hart is now number 1 (18 games) and this has continued into the new season. I have a very exciting prospect with 4.5 star potential and he will be my long term replacement for Vermeer. Defence: Fantastic. By far the best defense in both the Eredivisie and my CL group with 19 and 5 goals conceded respectively. Virgil van Dijk has got the defence organised and formed a solid partnership with Denswil. My first choice back 4 is now van Rhijn, van Dijk, Denswil and Colombian Hector Quiñonez. As with many of my other players, several bids are coming in for all of them but I have no intention of selling even though I had negotiated a £13 million deal with Benfica for Veltman. In the end I decided there were no adequate replacements who could fit the 'Ajax way' of playing and so I cancelled the transfer. I get the feeling as if Veltman has been first choice for many of you but for me his injury problems have often come at the worst time (beginning of the season) and the others have performed too well to lose their place in the team. Bazoer has performed well whenever called upon and made 14 appearances in the league and cup last season. I can see him becoming my third choice soon with my world class potential 17 year old stepping up to become 4th choice (will probably be 18 by then). Midfield: Wernbloom the captain held down the midfield very well until his untimely 3 month injury. Further up the pitch were Javi Espinosa who has come on leaps and bounds and is now one of the first names on the team sheet. Lucas Anderson, Fischer, Allione, Daehli and Ebecilio are all great players and have become a formidable midfield no matter what the combination is. I have received several £~20m bids for Fischer and Anderson but I have been firm and rejected all of them as I already have plenty of money which I don't even spend. Attack: Badjeck lead the line well with 12 goals in 12(7) appearances in the league. Unfortunately in January he picked up a succession of 3, 4 and 5 week injuries which meant that Negredo basically played every match from then on with Fischer occasionally playing up front when Negredo was subbed off to preserve his fitness in easy matches. Negredo was fantastic with 13 goals in 16(2) appearnces for the club and in hindsight I should have made the loan deal a 12 month one because I was unable to retain him for the next season. Notable mentions: Allione's 22 assists, Lucas Anderson's 12 goals and 11 assists and lastly, Fischer's 8 goals and 14 assists. Off the Pitch The club has negotiated a deal to purchase the Ajax stadium and I have also prompted the board to expand the stadium which they agreed to and by next year we should be playing in a ~59,000 seater Amsterdam Arena. The club's facilities are also now 'top' graded. We should be on around £70 or £80 million balance but the stadium purchase is not only a hefty loan of £1.83 million per month for the next 20 years but also seemed to take out around £30 million from our balance. In the end, our balance is currently around £50 million. (I've never bought my stadium in FM and if I had known it would be this expensive I probably wouldn't have bothered, then again, what's the point of having a load of cash lying around when you could invest it into club infrastructure or players etc.) I will have my new season's transfers and CL group update up within the next hour or two.
  2. Good to have you both on board, look forward to reading more updates. I've finished my season and will make my end of season update at some point tonight. Before that though, if you look at the screenshot above you'll see that ever since I signed Mohamed Salah a year and a half ago his attributes have literally not improved at all even though he has plenty of potential left and was 21 when I signed him (just turned 23 now). Really strange and despite his performances being good it's quite annoying. His only injury was a 5 week one at the end of November 2014 (in June 2015 now) so it's not as if lengthy injuries have hampered his progress. Have any of you had this problem in any of your saves with or without Ajax?
  3. Went out of the Champions League after losing 4-1 (4-2 aggregate) to Chelsea at the Bridge To be fair, I did well to win the first leg at all after losing my captain Wernbloom to injury (3 months) right before the match. If there is one player that my team is significantly weaker without, it's him. I have no doubt we'll win the league so the only other target for this season now is to win the KNVB Beker.
  4. My current balance (March 2015) is £52 million with projected end of season balance of £70m. I've got plenty transfer and wage budget as well, even with the loan signing of Negredo I've got £13m transfer and £76k/week wage budget left. I'm also trying to promote players a lot, I've got 4 or 5 players who have developed really well and are pushing for places in my squad next season. Melvin Vissers, Nabi Hakimzadeh, Markus Bay and Abdelhak Nouri especially really look like top prospects. I don't know what to do about my MC advanced playmaker position, I've currently got Lucas Anderson, Daehli and Javi Espinosa all playing out of their skin in the position. I'm thinking of maybe retraining Lucas Anderson to play a false 9 role up front, I can see him succeeding in such a role but his 11 finishing is a concern. Might also move Javi Espinosa to a deep lying playmaker role but his tackling is only 7 despite his good anticipation and average positioning. Last note about my players, I've signed this 16 year old centre back (regen) who has the potential 'to be a world class central defender.' Really excited about him, his attributes already look good enough to play a first team role. Great news on the Champions League front lads, despite drawing Chelsea in the first knockout round I've just gone and beaten them 1-0 at home! About to play the second leg but really unsure about how to set my team up, we haven't played anything other than attacking and control in the past year and a half (since I started at the club) and have only play control this season. I don't think I'm going to change to anything more defensive and will probably look to control the game, very risky but I don't see any other way.
  5. Ajax Amsterdam - January 2015 Update Competitions Eredivisie: Almost invincible. The league has been really comfortable so far, only 1 loss really shows that. PSV have been under-performing and sacked Cocu to replace him with Guus Hiddink who has given them a bit of a boost but his uplifting arrival was dampened by his defeat to me in his 5th match. Apart from that loss they have done well and only lost to FC Utrecht who are arguably over-performing in 2nd position. Hopefully they'll be back next year to give me a bit of serious competition. Champions League: My team basically did what Arsenal has done this year in real life. We started really well and looked to be finishing 1st in the group but everything somehow fell apart and we finished 2nd. As you can see in the fixtures image above we beat Benfica at home and brushed aside BATE in both matches. 2 matches remained, we played Milan knowing that a draw would guarantee us finishing in top spot with a match left. However, Matri popped up in the 92nd minute to score for Milan and give us our first loss of the season. Massive blow. The 2 point deficit between us and Milan meant that a draw vs. Benfica would guarantee top spot again. It was not to be as Benfica proved too tough to break down away from home and they won 1-0 through a 65th minute Enzo Perez strike. Just like Arsenal's draw yesterday I knew finishing 2nd would be a massive blow to our Champions League hopes. I ended up drawing Mourinho's Chelsea who I'm sure you guys know are very good in this year's FM. Milan drew PSG so you could say in the end it didn't really matter where I finished in the group. Fun fact: Steaua topped their group including Marseille and Arsenal while the gunners dropped into the Europa League (embarrassing for the team I support haha). Bayern Munich also finished 3rd in a group including Man City and PSG! KNVB Beker: We have performed much better this year and are about to play FC Twente at home in the semi-finals while the other half of the semis is Heerenveen v PSV. An Ajax v PSV final would be something to look forward to. Transfers I know, I know. I was surprised as well. I was looking at my squad thinking that I'm top of the league and performing well in the Champions League but was still looking at who is expendable and who I could replace them with using my considerable unused transfer budget. I realised that Danny Hoesen has fulfilled his potential and has sort of lost his place in the team to Badjeck - as I predicted and expected. I had a deal agreed with Iturbe of Porto but decided against a permanent transfer since I could not find any buyers for Hoesen even though I had bids upwards of £10m on August's deadline day. I may go back for Iturbe in the summer if I manage to sell Hoesen. For now though, Hoesen has gone to Levante in a first team role on loan while I've brought in Negredo on a total cost of ~250k a month (inc. wages). I have the option to buy 'The Beast' for £9.75m but I don't see myself exercising that option given that he is turning 30 in the summer. He has started well scoring two in his first two appearances. Apart from the striker ins and outs, I've loaned Mitchell Dijks to our new feeder club, FC Thun of Switzerland. Players Viktor Fischer has become a real top player and has attracted the interest of some of Europe's elite including Man City, Dortmund and arguably Liverpool. Mats Dæhli has become a real favourite of mine given his versatility and success playing as an advanced playmaker in either the MC, AML or AMR positions. For £2m and given his 16 Determination and model professional personality coupled with his outstanding technical and mental attributes I can see him staying in my Ajax squad for a long time. I said in my season review that I will be giving Javi Espinosa another chance this season and boy has he taken it. He has really stepped his game up this year and that is reflected in the increase of his attributes. Still has a few injury niggles occasionally but I guess I can overlook that given his on pitch performances. Great competition between him and Lucas Anderson for the MC AP position even though the latter seemed to have made the position his own.
  6. Really enjoying reading everyone's updates. I have to agree with Hoarau in that it's interesting seeing how everyone's saves are going, especially at a club like Ajax where youth development is key and a lot of the time players may not make it in everyone's save. Roope Riski looks like a great find Llew, however his off the ball attribute looks to be a bit of a concern; if you can sort that out I'm sure he'll be a great striker for you. Does anyone else apart from me and Llew have issues with Kishna's injuries, every time I slowly bring him back to the team he picks up a ~2 month injury. Massive shame because he has such great potential, nevertheless, I'll keep giving him chances and won't give up too soon. Going to write up my January 2015 update now.
  7. Ajax Amsterdam- End of Summer 2014 Transfer Window + Champions League group update Transfers The big loss here was the deadline day sale of van der Hoorn; he had developed into a great centre back for me and was forming a formidable partnership with the newly recruited van Dijk. He handed in a transfer request after I didn't give him a new contract (he requested one but for some reason every time I went to offer him one the game would show that red box saying he's not interested etc.) and I decided to cash in and sell him for £10.5m, a respectable sum. I could have easily replaced him with a reputable centre back but I decided it was time for Denswil and Veltman to step up and battle it out for first choice alongside van Dijk. I promoted Bazoer from the U19 squad straight to the first team to be my 4th choice centre back. So I sold Siem de Jong for £14.5m; he simply didn't fit my system. Despite him being the most played outfield player last season I felt as if he lacked the stamina and defensive attributes to really succeed in a box to box role. I replaced him with Kyle Ebecilio who I believe will grow into a midfield powerhouse almost Yaya Toure-esque. Virgil van Dijk was a top centre back to replace Moisander and continue the Dutch transfer policy further. Schaars added a bit of experience and is a very competent deep lying playmaker in my opinion - good for the tougher matches. Seedorf was a fantastic signing for £10.5k/week wages and replaced Schone, even at 38 years old I believe he is better than Schone and his 20 leadership should come in handy in his vice captain role. Talking about captains, after Siem's departure, Wernbloom was the obvious choice for captain and he has excelled in his role and the players seem to like him. The others: Cossu a tutor, the other players are high potential regens and Pizzi was brought in as wing backup after my 2nd choice AML Kishna picked up a 2 month injury. Champions League Group Last year I was quite unlucky drawing Manchester United who went on to win the Champions League and AC Milan who came 2nd in Serie A narrowly missing out on the title by 1 point (82 point total). This year's draw was a bit kinder to me. I've drawn Milan again and I feel confident of going through to the knockout stages with my more experienced squad. In fact, I've just played Milan at the San Siro against a full strength team and beat them 3-0! Danny Hoesen with all three goals, historic performance from him. My Champions League midfield trio of Wernbloom, Schaars and Seedorf seems to work well. Seedorf showed in the Milan match that even at 38 and after 3 years of playing in Brazil he still possesses the quality that won him 4 Champions League titles in his trophy laden career. Lastly, I appointed Litmanen as assistant manager to continue the highly respected ex-players backroom staff Ajax has.
  8. Ajax Amsterdam - End of Season 2013/14 Review Competition Performances Eredivisie: Fixtures page 1: http://i.imgur.com/fz01pjX.jpg Fixtures page 2: http://i.imgur.com/hGIT21v.jpg Well we won the league quite comfortably to put it simply. The statistics speak for themselves, most goals scored, second best defence and only 3 defeats the entire season. Despite losing the JC Schaal 2-1 to AZ Alkmaar we started the league well with 4 wins and a draw. However, we then lost to PSV at home and then the Champions League matches started and we went on a terrible run winning only 2 and drawing 1 out of 9 matches in all competitions. Both wins came in the Eredivisie and the only losses were the aforementioned PSV at home and Feyenoord away so you could say it wasn't too bad. But since that Feyenoord match on the 27th October we only lost one other match in the Eredivisie - a 1-0 loss away to AZ. Overall, I would say I'm very impressed by the maturity the young players have shown to keep winning and not show complacency. Champions League: Terrible. We were drawn a tough group including the domineering Manchester United, transitional AC Milan and the confident Celtic. 2 wins in our group saw us finish last and not even qualify for the Europa League. Looking back, our lack of games in the second half of the season is probably why we did so well in the league. The only positives from this year's Champions League campaign were that in the last 3 matches of the group we played very well beating Celtic 2-0 at home, then extremely unluckily losing 1-0 to Milan despite a competitive match and then the best result was beating Manchester United 4-3 at home in an exciting match of end to end football. KNVB Beker: Nothing to see here, moving on. No really, we lost in our first match against Helmond Sport 1-0 in extra time. Embarrassing to say the least. Squad Summary Goalkeeper: Kenneth Vermeer played quite well and I have given him a new contract. He will likely stay number one until van der Hart has a little more experience, I'll be looking to give him some more matches this season, hopefully at least 1 in the Champions League and will probably make him my cup goalkeeper. Defence: Good but could be better. In pre season I had an idea of my strongest back four being van Rhijn, Veltman, Moisander and Blind. Well that changed over the course of the season. Veltman picked up a 6 week injury and by the time he came back van der Hoorn was playing too well to be dropped. Long story short, my back four by the end of the season was van Rhijn, van der Hoorn, Moisander and Boilsen. Midfield: Schone started off fantastically, but then dropped off and eventually lost his place to the exciting Lucas Andersen. DM ended up being Enoh after several injuries and off the pitch problems with Poulsen. Siem de Jong was the heart of the team though playing in a box to box role here. Attack: Hoesen was good scoring 19 goals in all competitions - 17 in the league. Unlike many others here, I took a risk and sold Sigþórsson and decided on Hoesen being my number one. I brought in Cedric Badjeck in with the view of him being my long term striker; he has developed well so far and will likely push for a first 11 spot next season. In summary, I was happy with the squad but I made some significant changes in January which will be highlighted in the next section. Transfers Before I say anything here, I would just like to say that I am operating a semi-strict policy of signing Scandinavians and Dutch players - preferably from Denmark to continue that nice Danish core at the club. Despite this, you will see I have signed players from other nations but this is only because sometimes it is silly to limit yourself from obviously quality players who can take your team to the next level. The reason for my policy is the idea that having players from the same region means they mostly speak the same language and everyone just generally settles in better in my experience. Obviously the big ins are Allione, Salah, Wernbloom and maybe Badjeck. At the beginning I felt Allione would be good enough and to be fair he was very good but I wanted someone who would be first choice and Salah fit the bill perfectly, offered an inside forward option whereas Allione was more an out and out winger. Wernbloom is someone who I see as a key player in my squad, I wanted to add some more experience to a youthful squad which also lacked a top class defensive midfielder. More on Wernbloom in my next update! I couldn't pass up on Javi Espinosa for 200k, however, he has been quite injury prone but I'm giving him one more season to prove himself otherwise he's off. You really have to perform to stay in my Ajax team given both the number and quality of competition of advanced playmakers. I replaced Blind with Héctor Quiñonez for a mere £1.1m signed from Porto B, great find by my scouts and he competed well with Boilsen but I am still not decided on my first choice. Lastly, Mats Dæhli was another great find by my scouts, a great young midfielder with bags of potential for only £2m. Despite Serero playing well I have a plethora of playmaking midfielders who all play better than him and so I decided to allow him his dream move to the Premier League. Blind performed ok at best but his lack of pace means that in the long term I know he won't be good enough for me despite his obvious attacking and defensive qualities, shame really but £10m was an excellent price for him. I also sold Moisander but you'll see his replacement in my new season update.
  9. You can just go to the transfer centre page and cancel the deal by clicking the little red x button
  10. Nation: Norway or Switzerland Division: Top division Media Prediction: Any Board Expectation(s): Can't be one of the top two clubs in the league Transfer Budget: Any Wage Budget: Any Finances: Prefer little or no debt I'm just looking for a nice club which possibly might have good facilities to build up domestically and then maybe in Europe as well.
  11. Stade de Gerland was barely filled up so I'm not surprised to see that the new stadium was mostly empty. Personally I was sacked after a terrible start to the Ligue 1 season, I was sacked after only 11 or 12 matches into my second season, I thought it was quite harsh. Didn't help that Lopez was injured during most of my save, Gomis was the only positive about that Lyon side to be honest.
  12. I got close to being sacked as well, managed to just make my way out of it though. I've finished my first season in charge and am in September of the second season now. My first season was a mixed bag to be honest, I went out of the Coupe de la Ligue and Coupe de France at the quarter final stage in both competitions. I also went out against Athletic Bilbao on away goals in the First Knockout Round of the Europa League. The league was very interesting and went right to the end (the Champions League places, not the actual title! PSG won that by a comfortable margin of 13 points haha). It went to the last day where if I won I was guaranteed 3rd place, where I could also go 2nd if Lille (who were in 2nd) dropped points. Behind me keeping up the pressure was Montpellier who would leapfrog me if they won and I also dropped points. In the end Lille dropped points and so did I, we ended up finished both on 66 points but since Lille had the superior goal difference they finished 2nd. My second season in charge started early with the CL qualifiers, we comfortably beat Brondby IF in the first qualifier and then narrowly beat Sevilla on away goals to take us to the group stage. We got drawn with Barcelona, Olympiacos and FK Austria Wien. I'm typing this just after I've beaten Barcelona 3-1 at the Stade de Gerland, very happy with that win. I've actually managed to beat all the Ligue 1 big teams except for PSG who have beaten me both times we met. Lastly, my signings have been as follows: January 2013: -Dennis Praet 4m -Sergi Roberto (Barca midfielder) on loan -Adem Ljajic on loan Summer 2013: Esteban (AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper) 7m Simone Pepe on loan Waterman (PSV goalkeeper) free Daley Blind 8.5m Fabian Frei 3m Antonio Cassano on loan The only significant going outs were Gourcuff (2.4m), Briand (5.75m) and Vercoutre (2.5m). Gourcuff went because of the high wages. Briand went because he was kind of injury prone and I needed the money and Vercoutre went because he was never going to play and was wasting 20k/per week. So far Dennis Praet has been fantastic and Pepe has gotten off to a magnificent start chipping in with a few goals and assists. He also quite literally chipped the ball against Valdes for our 2nd goal against Barca, very cheeky from the Italian. Gomis has been the standout player of my reign with 38 goals in 53 apps so far. Lopez started very well but has been injured most of the time now, same story with Grenier. May look to move on both of them if it continues.
  13. I thought the same thing as well actually, but it still is quite difficult because there is a lack of a good left winger and the goalkeeper is pretty poor. If I had the transfer window on I would have sold Gomis and brought in some other players to fill the squad. So far I've only loaned out Gourcuff with 50% of his wages. I've started the season well with a 4-5-1 formation and a front three of Briand on the right, Gomis up top and Lopez out on the left. They've all done well so far.
  14. I really don't understand why Lyon is being overlooked by so many people. They look like a massive challenge in this years game, for the first two years at least. That hefty £1.3m per month loan until 2014 with a current balance of only £2m makes it very interesting and difficult. Add to this the really small squad and complete lack of funds to strengthen and the challenge of the mighty PSG and the others (Lille, Marseille etc.) Even though the squad is small, it's packed with talented youngsters and there is actually a very nice first 11. The problem lies with the squad depth which might become an issue with the Europa League matches as well. The u19s has several 4* potential players as well. All in all, really looking forward to this challenge and I'll try and give seasonal updates. To make it even more difficult I've turned off first window transfer budgets!
  15. Sapacko you should definitely start with them. My save was very interesting and I even finished 4th in my first season back in Ligue 1. Only reason I stopped playing with Monaco myself was because I took a break from FM and then when I came back I wanted to start a fresh save.
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