Fantastic

Destinations

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Okay, now that we've got the inspirational bollocks out of the way, it's onto the delicious meaty centre and what the future holds. With a one way ticket to whoever decides to employ me I shall carry on my annual search for some kind of reason for existing. I have loaded a number of leagues and countries, alas the game was not kind enough to allow me to use Football Manager 11 league expansions, so in order here are some leagues you won't see me manage in this year:

Cyprus

Egypt

New Zealand

Saudi Arabia

But I won't let that get in the way of what promises to be another enjoyable year of flogging this virtual dead horse. Who knows, maybe this year it might finally wake up and allow me to ride it into the sunset. Maybe it needs more mouth to mouth...

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*cough*same*cough*

:p

Good luck with this, by the way. I'll definatly be following :)

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This year there were far more job vacancies than I am used to dealing with. On top of that more clubs were willing to speak to me than they usually are. Typically I get jammed up in South Africa and have to toil there for a number of years before I can spread my wings and fly like the peacock I am.

With that said, of the numerous offers I received (thank you Apply All button), the one that stood out for me was Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy (henceforth knows as Gimnasia). Why? One; it's not in god damn South Africa, two; I had felt the allure of Argentina more than the offers I received from Russia, South Africa, South Korea or the Brazilian Third Division. They've not got much going for them in any sense of the words, but this is meant to be a career.

Oh, did I mention they're not from South Africa?

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I won't bother going into too much detail over the quality of the squad. Compared to the rest of the league it's sub par, with one or two exceptions. Our tight financial constraints means we may well have to offload a few players in order to create some room, however there are one or two gems in there. Our goalkeeper is one, but the man who I'm going to place the cross on is this interesting chap:

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You could argue that pinning all of your hopes and dreams on one man is unfair. Guess what, life's unfair and whether you like it or not Jorge Luna you are now officially part of the saviour's club. I suggest eating lots of porridge or whatever it is Argentinians eat before they go onto save an entire group of people.

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I couldn't believe it either when my scout recommended 30 year old Luciano Figueroa as a suitable signing. I had to double check his player history just to be sure, but yes it is that Luciano Figueroa. He wanted £1,000pw, I could only offer him £675pw, but with a sizeable goal bonus and some extra add ons he was happy to join. I may have overspent a little in bringing him here, but with Greek giants PAOK floating around I felt it was prudent to move quickly.

My head hurts a little, this is beginning to feel like the calm before a horrible nightmare where I canter along, blissfully ignorant of the pain I'm about to endure. It just feels... too easy.

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The first really important piece of news that I always keep my eye out for at the start of a new season: how the game thinks I will do. At 33/1 I'm pretty pleased. It means we should be capable of existing above the relegation zone, which is my dream scenario. It's worth noting that I forgot River were in this league, despite the fact I watched them get relegated on television. Oh how I laughed at their demise and the ensuing riots that seeped through their city. They will no doubt extract their revenge on me with the same amount of glee I had watching them suffer. I won't bend over, but that probably won't matter.

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Transfer window has closed, it's arduous to compile them all, but these are the rest of my signings:

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All of them were free transfers, barring Leandro Fleitas who was a £50k (over 48 months) purchase from Alianza. They round off the edges of some areas of the team I felt needed strengthening, combining youth and experience in one cliche ridden delight. I've overstepped my wage budget by bring them in, however I am hoping that other clubs may take a view on some of my unwanted players and in doing so give me some breathing space.

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Elsewhere we completed our pre-season friendlies:

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I'd like to take the time to thank the genius who organised the last three fixtures, it's done wonders for my team's confidence and they simply can't wait to start the season now.

You dick.

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All the best with the career, hopefully the pre-season isn't a sign of things to be...

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All the best with the career, hopefully the pre-season isn't a sign of things to be...

Thankfully it hasn't been, only two matches in, but it's two wins so far. As with all my teams our defending is substandard, but we score goals which I enjoy watching. So it's a delicious cake filled with spiders. Spiders that will eventually be my downfall.

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Ten games in and things seem rosy, right?

Yes and no. If we were talking five games in I would have been over the moon, we won our first five games and led the league. Then we lost three on a row, struggled in our last few and have generally had to combat the world. Injuries to our three best central defenders and Figueroa have really given me problems to deal with. I should have addressed the central midfield issue, where we are distinctively light, but I was too busy signing left wingers to notice.

Hopefully we can come back from this because we are primed to make a promotion push, but on current form we'll be mid table at best.

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Look who came back from injury... oh wait. Well at least he did some good before he went back to the beach.

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Seriously Figueroa, up yours. You're a glass man, the twisted meeting of flesh and fragile china. Gets injured, recovers and gets injured again in first match back, recovers, gets injured again first match back. This time the dick is out for three months at a specialist, which means a good four weeks afterwards it'll be like fielding a quadriplegic with robot legs made of china. I am cursed.

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Thats a pain, still, you might get another good run in the league soon.

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With half the season gone I would forgive you for thinking we're doing okay. In all honesty I'm surprised we've even managed to stay in contention with the promotion chasers. We have been absolutely appalling in some games. Make no mistakes, some of our defeats have been atrocious. 5-1 here, 4-1 there, it's bad. When we do win, it's by the whiskers on the end of our arses. We should be doing a lot worse, but the fact we are here means with the summer break coming up (different hemispheres and all that) we can play two or three friendlies, maintain fitness, get everyone back and bring a couple of players in, namely a central midfielder.

I'm worried because after the form we showed in the first part of the season, we can get promoted. It's confusing because I shouldn't be dealing with these emotions yet, I should be trying to construct a rock solid unit that can dominate the league. But I've been presented with a very real opportunity to get out of this league and we're not taking our chances. There are no guarantees the other teams around us will drop points like they have when the season restarts, so we need to focus up. Maybe some tactical changes, maybe some motivational trips to the seaside, maybe divine intervention. We need something because at this rate we're going nowhere.

Thats a pain, still, you might get another good run in the league soon.

I hope so, I really do. The players are just about good enough to be really pushing at the top end. Therefore this part of the game rests on my shoulders. I need to get them working much more efficiently at closing games, taking chances. If you could have seen what I've seen over the last five hours, you would have ripped your eyes out with broken bottles.

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Two transfers to tell you about:

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Frezotti is the man who, hopefully, will solve our central midfield crisis. We've been far too light in this part of the pitch and it was my biggest priority to bring in a guy who could both pass and tackle effectively. He was a free transfer, which is always a bonus, and will more than likely fully takeover from Ramasco when he retires in a year or two. For now they'll be partners in the centre to give us a much harder core to really dig into the opposition in the middle third.

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The second, Medina, doesn't arrive until the winter, but he's my insurance policy in case the Figueroa project fails. Ideally the two of them together would make a great strike partnership, but as it is I can't have a key man up front out all the time, I need options. He's very quick, a priceless commodity at this level, decent at dribbling and should get himself into good scoring positions. If I end up having to work a Luna/Medina combination it could still prove to be effective in a trequartista/poacher relationship. Exciting times.

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Absolutely loving the ability to control who gets given an academy contract. Just entered April and a group of players have arrived, some good, some average, some ****. It's nice to be able to give my say, if I want to, over who is going to get in. I watched the match between my current youth team (made up of greyed out players) and the new lot and as with all matches I can't control, it was boring as hell. But I like it, they probably haven't changed much this year, but I feel much more like I can shape a player to be better. Lautaro Fernandez, the Napoli reject I picked up, has really improved over the year and made a couple of first team appearances. With some good training some of the new lot could eventually make the grade.

Need to invest in better facilities. Need money. Need guitar case to collect money in.

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Not necessarily bum raped, but after the red card it was always going to be an uphill struggle. I took off Figueroa and Garrido to save them for the league once I felt it was unwinnable. I'm not a big fan of cups, at least not at this level where the risk/reward of going for it can backfire. Like it has done now, with Gonzalez banned for at least a match. Good times.

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Eight games of the season remain and we're currently riding the crest of the wave. We lost our first game back from the summer break and it was then that I though this is only going to go downhill. However since that defeat to Quilmes in early February we are now unbeaten in eleven league matches, including a fabulous victory over Rosario Central, 4-2 after having been two down after twenty minutes.

This is the kind of form I knew we were capable of, however it's needed a competent metronome in the centre of the park, a productive Jorge Luna and a fit Figueroa to get ourselves cooking on gas. If we don't go up this season I can at least take some good notes on what the current side is capable of and carry that into next season. With a slightly more expanded wage budget (i.e. over £7,500pw) I think we can really make a break for it. However it's not over yet, it just seems slightly improbable from my perspective.

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The following game, we take an early lead and we're playing well. Then Il Metronomo, Frezzotti decides to take out one of their players miles away from the ball. God knows how, but we hung on. A huge victory, brings us to within a point of the leaders, although they have a game in hand.

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First defeat in twelve and to Huracan of all people. My neck is starting to get very sweaty.

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I am furious. I'm not joking either. I'm genuinely livid. I've attacked every solid object in my living room and still I can't let go of how utterly disgusting our final run in was. Take a look at the league table above, take note of Gimnasia (LP)'s position.

Now look at their position after thirty one games when we had ten points on them:

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When I spoke of how appalling this side could be when they wanted to be, this is what I was speaking of:

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Red cards, an inability to score and just a capitulation of epic proportions. I feel sick. I hate getting this invested in a virtual football team. I'd never thought I'd say this eighteen hours after the game came out, thank god I'm going to work later. I'll write a review of my season later, when I'm less angry.

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So I've had some time to reflect on my reaction to our end of season collapse. It was reading through the last few posts I began to feel a lot better. Let's get some facts straight here:

1. We didn't get into the play-offs because we weren't good enough. That might not seem like a good thing, but it is. If we get into there I want to be in a frame of mind where I try and kill teams. I don't want to stumble over the line and feel vulnerable. Mentality is half the battle. The key to any success we may have will come down to teams trying to adapt to us, not us adapting to them. If we can dominate games, we'll be winners.

2. This gives us at least another year to build. Sure the added funds would have been nice, we could have attracted some better calibre players, but the reality is that we would have been found out. Another year gives us more time to prepare for every scenario. It's embarrassing I didn't even have a fully fledged partner for my central midfielder until halfway through the season. Playing a right winger as a central player because you have no other choice is just inept and I should have paid a harsher penalty.

3. The league will be easier next year, potentially. With massive clubs like Rosario Central and River Plate moving upwards it gives some breathing space. Of course there is the argument that it benefits everyone equally, but it's up to us to capitalise on the hole that the relegated teams won't fill. At the moment we spark occasionally. It's a beautiful spark that makes people stand up, but my god when it goes out does it go out. The result against Patronato, where we took the lead in the 81st minute, only to throw it away and lose 2-1 is one of the darkest days in my management history. I've seen all types of losses, numbers stretching into double figures. But it's when you feel powerless to stop something from happening, that's when you feel at your worst.

We have to take the positives from this experience because we won't get better. Next season will be the litmus test, can we build on this or will we fall short, with me probably losing my job. It's there to be taken.

Anyway, that's the deep-ish thinking done for now, bring on 2012/13.

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Just received this news item. My Spanish isn't too hot, but I believe it's Second Division player of the year. Not a bad effort for Jorge Luna. I would have thought Figueroa would have received it, but it's nice to see Luna getting the attention he deserves for being a goalscoring threat and a creative force.

Oh god, I just gagged at that last sentence, sorry.

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At least someone up on top deck is doing some work. Saying that, only ten grand more for our tv deal is a little weak. I might look into getting a parent team in one of the larger leagues, just for the payment. But the trade off of having a rich predator circling our best young players does put me off.

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It's amazing just how much of an impact tutoring can have on a player's mental attributes. When Fernandez joined last year he was a technically promising player who was lacking in many areas. A year on, with a couple of first team appearances, some intense training and the tutoring of Torres, he's now turned into a serious contender for a place in the side. I picked him up originally on a whim, because we had no youth players. But the results have been truly impressive.

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Transfer 2012/13 - all free unless otherwise stated

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With Crivell's loan expiring and me not willing to spend £100k I don't have on him, it was off to the scrapheap to find something good. Luckily both of these two were available and they give me serious confidence at the back going into this season. Tauber will probably be starting, but I like the fact Lerda is almost his equal in ability, because he can challenge for his place. That isn't a cliche either, I love using the private chat feature to emotionally blackmail players into performing better. I shouldn't have to, but if that's what it takes I'll do it.

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A good right back understudy for the ageing, but still brilliantly named, Chitzoff. Villafane isn't particularly remarkable in any area, but that's why I like him. His attributes emanate an air of reliability and when the worst happens I like to know the person I'm bringing in won't make me feel sick watching him play football.

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Similar to Villafane, PAT is a technically proficient backup who should "do a job" if called upon. I received a few offers for my central pairing of Fleitas and Gonzalez during the summer, which made me realise just how important they are for the team. Hopefully I won't have to call on PAT too often.

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The creme de la creme of utility players. Mentall excellent, technically competent and positionally versatile. This guy was a deadline day deal when I realised we were a little soft if things heated up on the right side of the pitch. But the fact he can move into the middle with relative ease means I'm going to feel more secure about the squad as a whole.

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Podio is the only player I spend money to bring in. £20k over 48 months seems like a bargain to me for a player who spent the whole of last season playing on loan, from his Slovakian club, in the Primera Division. He will probably gradually phase out former captain Ramasco as Frezzotti's partner of choice in the middle of the pitch and I think he genuinely has enough about him to make a real impact in games. Good signing, in my eyes.

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The loan player from Rosario you're looking at was cancelled shortly after I acquired the magical three goalkeepers required for a season. In terms of outgoings, troublesome left winger Enzo Bruno was allowed to go on loan to Gimnasia (LP) with a £30k future fee attached because he just annoys me and is nowhere near as good as I thought he would be. Either way, good riddance.

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Blimey, you've certainly made a lot of progress considering the game has only been out two days!

Good luck for the new season :thup:

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Hopefully you can make a real charge this time.

I hope so too. I haven't been given the option to choose my season goals at the start of last season or this one, so I checked my board confidence and the minimum requirement is that we achieve promotion this year. No pressure then.

loving this thread. dry sarcasm is best sarcasm

I appreciate people taking the time to read it, so thanks. I only started actually writing down what I do in the game over the last four years, it's a good way to release the various emotions this game bottles up inside me.

Blimey, you've certainly made a lot of progress considering the game has only been out two days!

Good luck for the new season :thup:

The game couldn't have come out at a worse time for me. Released midnight on Thursday, I had work at 6pm Friday. Then I had work again today from 10am until just now, then I have work again tomorrow at the same time. I'm such a child I just stayed up all night and powered through the first season just to get into the swing of things. In a way I'm glad I did because I've become very attached to this club in such a short time. Typically the third or fourth club I join is the one where things start to click. It helps that it's a promising side, it's hard to get attached to a terminal entity.

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At ten last night I was all prepared to post my mid season update. But then life struck and I went out. I've woken up, gone to work, told to come home because a guy is now covering me. Suddenly life has just opened up big time. When I say life I mean Football Manager, obviously.

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Thank the lord for the summer break. I know looking at that league table I should be happy. Half of me is, half of me isn't. We started the season in scintillating form, ten games unbeaten, leading the league and it was almost a case of just pressing continue to make the magic happen.

But then reality set in. Jorge Luna can no longer pass a ball. For a man who is set to rarely take long shots... he seems to take an awfully large amount of long shots. Antonio Medina's finishing, however, is my main problem. I'd rather not have a player who can put himself in so many amazing positions, only to sky it over the crossbar. It just upsets me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm seeing us getting promoted this year because we have enough about us, but if this was a regular season with no break during the middle... we'd be up that creek I hear everyone talk about and there are no paddles. Our form has been win lose, win lose since we lost game eleven. My job now is to readjust, hone in our tactics and push on.

The good news is that we're in good shape. We'll play a few friendlies and rest key players, come back in February and start it all over again. I don't want to mess this up because it will really make me unhappy. Sunday, be good to me.

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Two things, firstly I really wish my team was called DEFENCE and JUSTICE. It would really give me a sense of purpose when I'm managing. I'm sorry I'm beating you but this is all part of the national DEFENCE and JUSTICE scheme that demands your subservience. I need to work on that line of comedy, but it will come good. Monitor this post, I'll edit it as the joke evolves.

Secondly, give me this player. I need him. I may be forced to sell someone just to bring him in, maybe even Luna. This guy will set me up for a few years, Ever Zarate is a competent left winger, but he's 31 and needs to be replaced soon. I just need to find the money, which I don't have.

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I always feel like something is taken out of me when I sell a player. But Torres was a problem I had to deal with. He was good, do not get me wrong on that front, but he was expensive. On top of that, I want to play Lautaro Fernandez, but have been stopped by the fact that Torres was better. Now this frees me up and brings in some breathing space to hopefully get Ledesma on a free. It's a risky strategy, but I need to make some bold moves and I'm happy that Lautaro can make the left back spot his own.

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It was the best I could do. The Torres transfer only freed up part of my wage budget, even with my board oh so graciously allowing me a massive 25% of all transfer fees, I was still granted a gigantic ZERO pounds to spend as part of my transfer budget. So instead I offered Ledesma a contract which basically makes me pray we get promoted, because I want him badly. I'm not completely delighted with how this transfer came about, but it could have gone worse (i.e we sold Torres and then did not get Ledesma).

In the interim I've signed a player whose agent has been telling me for the last six months he's available:

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I'll be honest, I tried to sign him in the summer, but didn't have the wages to pay for him. I don't understand why a player of his ability can't at least find one club, yet utter dross are just flogged around the shop. Still, he is a good squad player and may even move into a full time role if he plays well. Take note of his transfer value, when he hits 29 I am so going to sell his arse.

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Let's not get ahead of ourselves, it was a penalty. I'm confused, does rarely actually mean only ever? Because apparently when I set Jorge Luna to rarely take long shots he only ever takes long shots. Hey, I'm happy that you've been rated a sixteen for long shots, but it's a lie. You suck balls at them.

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Eight games remaining and we're managing to keep ahead of the competition, but only just.

We've won our last four straight and are slowly grinding our way towards promotion. Luckily we haven't got any major injury worries, except Lautaro Fernandez who decided to become injury prone the day after Jorge Torres left the club. We're not looking as infallible as we did at the start of the season, but I'm pleased we've managed to find some consistency at a very crucial period of the season.

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Outstanding. Team kept it together, didn't lose focus and we made it to the finishing line. We were guaranteed promotion with two games to go, but winning the league was the icing on the cake. Or maybe the cherry, either way it's a feather in our hats. Now the real fun begins (cliche no. 4), we get to test ourselves against the best clubs in the country and see how we do. It also means more money, which means better players, which means a happier me.

I'll be looking to strengthen in most areas, chief of which will be finding a clinical striker. It sounds weird when Medina and Luna got 23 and 18 goals respectively in the league, but I can see them being found out. Medina wastes far too many opportunities and his pace won't be so useful in the top division against physically superior players. I also need to bring in a new metronome, someone I can rely on to boss games for me. Of course these are wishes, it's likely these dream players are in Europe earning more than my team makes in a year. But I'll still try.

In a way, Football Manager is kind of like Pokemon for people with pubic hair...

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Well done mate

Thanks, success coming this quickly seems odd. On last year's game I waited ten years for my first piece of silverware.

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I actually hate the existence of Barcelona's Argentinian youth academy. They have insane players like the guy above and I can't touch them. Every time I have an offer accepted the player just automatically signs a new pre-contract deal with them. It's teasing me, because of this I have placed a jihad on Barcelona. I will destroy them.

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Transfers - 2013/14 season

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Rovira was a free transfer who fits that Primera League quality criteria I spoke of earlier. He will be starting, alongside Jorge Luna with Medina playing the role of super-sub. I had to reject a £1.9m bid for Luna, but a rejected £1.5m offer for Medina, which was negotiated up to £2m, was not appealing to Independiente. In turn this led Medina to consider me the antichrist, for demanding satisfaction. Not a crisis, but something I really can't be bothered to deal with.

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Parra is our first "I actually paid money for him" transfer. £230k over 48 months is a steal for a player who could quite feasibly be the first choice right midfielder this season. Couple that with his age and we've got a serious investment on our cards.

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Backup defender, cost nothing. Good deal. Nothing else to see here.

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At £500k over 48 months, Amieva is an expensive purchase. So expensive, apparently our fans felt it necessary to say how sick and disgusted they were over my decision to "waste funds" on this piece of crap.

Yeah, he was man of the match in our first game this season.

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£275k over 48 months for a solid, young right back from the famous River Plate youth academy. I like his attributes, I like his price. I like the idea of him in our team.

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All in all, for me, a successful attempt at strengthening the side, along with Ledesma who joined on a free, which gives me confidence that we can survive a year in this division. It might be difficult, but we've got the players to make it. Sucking dicks at football might be hard to stomach for a while so hopefully we can still put on a good show.

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Some good signings there Fantastic, and what do the fans know? Have to agree with supersplash in that your writing style is very entertaining! Good luck in the Primera League!

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