Jump to content
Sports Interactive Community
deltablue

[FM11] Forever Blue: The Final Journey

Recommended Posts

Does your Left Winger have licence to roam the pitch or does he just stick to the left? I could see that being a nightmare to mark expecially if he wanders infield a lot. I know I hate following some guy in field just to have him sprint off back to the sideline.

Good point. I haven't actually set any specific instructions and the team roaming is default so I imagine he moves a little.

Doing very well twin! Aston Villa seems to be doing well on my save too, much better than they are in real life!

I know. I haven't taken an in-depth look at their record but given last season they did the double over us, where a whisker away from the title (they were top after the penultimate couple of rounds and I thought they were going to do it) and were already a CL team I don't think it's a flash in the pan. Every time I mention them I keep thinking 'This is going to seem very odd to people'.

Not a massive gap but still a handy one and with your form in the main if it continues then you should walk the league

I doubt it'll be quite that simple but I fancy our chances to see it through to the end one way or the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No full update today but there are a few things of note. Firstly unfortunately we stumbled against Liverpool and Man City getting just a point from the two games (though an own-goal in each really didn't help!), which I felt might happen but with our often-good big game record it was far from inevitable. That's used up all our safety margin we're not level with Man Utd with City just a point behind. At least we had the lead to 'use up' on two tricky games but we've still got a few of the worst yet to come.

Unfortunately the cup tie with Liverpool ended up not only going to a replay but extra-time as well, which I really didn't want and in fact the first game was a very unusual case where our goalkeeper had a blinder when I didn't really want him to! However in a way it was worth it because the replay was one of the most exciting games I've seen for a while...

Liv32_zps0zluiwzy.jpg

There is also a 'future signing' to show...

Luiz32_zpsxloapbsr.jpg

He won't be here for 3 years but we won't need him for that long anyway (as Poole and Carioca will be in their early 30's by then) and I thought the idea of sealing the deal for a potential replacement at just 1.8M was a good idea. Hopefully as he arrives mid-season there won't be a repeat of the 'contract expires the day he arrives' situation I once got myself into at Milan, and I don't always remember to check the dates. Often the game does seem to take the delayed transfer into account, not always though as aside from that legendary balls-up it's not been uncommon to have a player arrive with a year of contract left that has to included in that season's renewals.

Here is what I'm referring to so you can all enjoy my blunder...

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/296893-FM11-Deltablue-Rising-II-Delta-s-Darlings./page11

(post 1066 and a few after that, since I don't know how to link to specific posts)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fantastic win in the thriller against Liverpool despite going a man down so early on :thup:

Cheers, sometimes it's those sorts of victories that seem the most satisfying. I felt we were going to lose it before the game (which was actually at least partly wishful thinking), when they turned it around to 2-1, after the red card and when they levelled it at 3-3!

Jan 2032

Arsenal 2-2 Liverpool (PRM)

Langner, Carioca

The new year didn’t get off to the best of starts against Liverpool as Junior gave them the lead with an early own goal. Langner managed to equalize after 18 minutes and Carioca put us ahead before the break. They suddenly burst back into life in the middle of the second-half, equalizing then having a penalty claim rejected as it was a minor miracle that we even held on to a point.

Man City 1-0 Arsenal (PRM)

I felt the trip to Man City would be tough and while we had the better of an otherwise quiet first-half they still went ahead from a Valenzuela own goal (seriously guys, stop it!). Our luck didn’t improve after the break as we were denied a penalty and were worth an equalizer at least. That saw our 5-point new year lead go completely as Man Utd were now level and Man City were just a point behind, but we had at least got two of the tougher games out of the way already.

Arsenal 0-0 Liverpool (FA R3)

I didn’t care that much about the FA cup tie with Liverpool as long as it wasn’t a draw, which unfortunately was exactly what we got. They actually dominated throughout and for once I wasn’t that happy to see Brown have a great game in goal. Aguirre missed a few chances (including a penalty) that might have seen us through instead so we had to fit a replay in with everything else.

Huddersfield 0-4 Arsenal (LC SF)

Langner (2), Carioca (2)

We went to Huddersfield for the first leg of the League Cup semi and though Blaiotta got sent off just a minute in, we still put one foot in the final as Langner got a first-half brace (which took him to 20 for the season) and Carioca got a couple of his own after the break (putting him on 23 in as many starts). We even kept pushing for a 5th that sadly never came.

Arsenal 5-0 Sunderland (PRM)

Marcio, Carioca (2), Langner (2)

As busy as we were we couldn’t afford to mess up against bottom side Sunderland so it was a relief to see Marcio give us the lead after 20 minutes. Carioca got a goal either side of half-time (his 20th league goal of the season) then Langner, much improved in the past couple of games after a bad start to the year, got a brace of his own.

Liverpool 3-4 Arsenal (FA R3)

Carioca, Langner (2), Marcio

Carioca gave us the lead after 5 minutes in the replay at Liverpool but again we fell victim to an own-goal and they took the lead after 20 minutes. Langner levelled it just 5 minutes after that and even though Szabo got our second straight red card in as many cup games, Langner scored again at the start of the second-half. We looked like holding on to it (and even getting another) for most of the rest of the game but with a few minutes left, which really wasn’t what we needed as we’d have to suffer extra-time on top of everything.

I’d had a tough time with Marcio of late, first after the rejection of a few big bids from Man City (and reminding him he had 2 ½ years left on his contract wasn’t enough to convince him he didn’t need a new one as compensation, which is one of the most frustrating things about FM11) then he kicked up a fuss after I forgot about fining Blaiotta after his Huddersfield red and wasn’t in any mood to listen but I knew there was plenty of time for things to get better and enable me to keep him in the longer-term and it was his 102nd minute goal that saw us through in an incredible game. And yes I remembered about the fine for Szabo this time.

Burnley 2-2 Arsenal (PRM)

Poole, Carioca

We had a surprisingly challenging time at Burnley and eventually went behind after half an hour. Poole came on shortly before the break and had time to equalize before the whistle blew. Carioca gave us the lead early in the second-half but as we got tired they pushed again and equalized in the 68th minute. Cruz went off injured which didn’t help matters and in the end I was relieved to get the point, even though it meant giving up top spot in the table for the first time since August.

Arsenal 1-1 (5-1) Huddersfield (LC SF)

Poole

The pressure was off against Huddersfield and though Carioca had a goal disallowed in the 3rd minute, Poole soon gave us the lead on the night. They got an equalizer with 5 minutes left but we were easily through 5-1 on aggregate, facing Man Utd in a final that looked considerably tougher than the one we unconvincingly won against Leicester last year.

Arsenal 3-0 Bolton (FA R4)

Poole, Smith, Lillo

A home FA cup tie with League 2 Bolton was our reward for winning the long battle with Liverpool in the last round. Poole and Smith gave us a 2-0 lead after 25 minutes, with Lillo making it 3-0 in the 37th minute. We had a 4th disallowed but we seemed happy enough with that.

Feb 2032

Middlesbrough 2-3 Arsenal (PRM)

Valenzuela, Carioca 2)

The fixture list wouldn’t ease up for a while as we went to Middlesbrough but Valenzuela still managed to give us a 17th minute lead. They soon equalized and it seemed very much up in the air for a while but a quick double from Carioca in the middle of the second-half made it comfortable and we survived a second goal from the Teesiders.

Arsenal 2-0 Leeds (PRM)

Carioca, Langner

It says it all about how busy things have been at Arsenal that I already reached the 100-match mark against Leeds, after just over a season and half in charge. We battered them from the start but took until the 38th minute from Carioca. There is always a sense of vulnerability as 1-0 up even (or maybe even especially) against lesser sides so it was relief to have Langner come on and give us another in the 84th minute.

Arsenal 5-1 Leicester (PRM)

Langner, Carioca (4)

We actually had a mid-week off (which is normally internationals but not this time it seems) before playing Leicester and it seemed to have helped a lot. Langner gave us a 14th minute lead, then Carioca took over. He gave us another before the break, a 3rd at the start of the second-half, and two more late on as we won 5-1 and put him on 28 league goals in just 23 games.

Fiorentina 2-1 Arsenal (CL KO)

Lillo

The Champions League resumed in Florence, unfortunately without Langner who picked up a short-term injury against Leicester. They took the lead in the 7th minute and after fighting hard for an equalizer we deservedly got it when Lillo headed in a free-kick after 55 minute, nearly repeating the trick a few minutes later. The game soon got very intense at both ends and unfortunately they got a last-minute winner, which still put the tie finely in the balance, especially since we had a single away goal.

Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa (FA R5)

Carioca, Poole

We had more tough games for the rest of the month, starting against Villa in the cup. Carioca gave us the lead just 90 seconds in and they soon had a player sent off to help us further. Poole got another in the 66th minute.

Chelsea 3-1 Arsenal (PRM)

Aguirre

We had to go to Chelsea just a couple of days later. They took the lead in the 8th minute but we still had enough about us to equalize from Aguirre early in the second-half but I knew before the game we were unlikely to get anything and they got 2 more later on.

Arsenal 0-2 Man Utd (LC Final)

We had a very tough task to retain the League cup against Man Utd, though at least the pressure was off in a way having used it to get a trophy under our belt already. It was very much a day to forget as the first-half was dire but they still snatched the lead right at the end. That livened them up a bit and they soon got another and it could have been even worse as Pedro got sent off for a professional foul while conceding a penalty which thankfully Brown saved, and the rest of the match was very much about holding out against their pressure as it could easily have been a humiliation. We could have no complaints as they turned up (eventually) and we very much didn’t.

lc32_zps7qwng4n9.jpg

feb32_zpslrxcuvg5.png

fixfeb32_zpszuyv7a69.jpg

It's been a tough couple of months, not just because of the number of games but also because there were a lot of tricky teams thrown in there as well. Much like last season we seem to be really good with the big games in the first few months of the season but struggle with them in the middle phase and while our general form has still been pretty good our repeated failures in those sorts of matches have been costly. It's not going to get any easier yet either as out of our next 5 matches, 4 are... the away derby, Villa in the league, the return against Fiorentina and Man City in the cup! We've also got a trip to Old Trafford soon as well though that's the only 'scary' game left.

I sense that Man City will probably retain the title but all English sides are very much still in the CL, Man Utd also reached the League Cup final and while I can't remember if they're still in the FA Cup, Man City obviously are as we face them in the next round so everyone has a similarly hectic schedule for the time being and much like with the early FA Cup exit against Liverpool last year, if we lose to Fiorentina and/or Man City we might be in a good position to chase City late on, though Utd might be just as much of a challenge as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That 6-0 win over Man United is simply brilliant :thup: you would be forever loved at the Emirates with a win like that. Hopefully you can win Arsenal that elusive CL trophy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That 6-0 win over Man United is simply brilliant :thup: you would be forever loved at the Emirates with a win like that. Hopefully you can win Arsenal that elusive CL trophy.

Thanks. I was hoping to attract the attention of an Arsenal fan or two, especially with that result :D They haven't actually won the CL in-game either (though did reach a couple of finals early on) so it would definitely be a maiden CL win I'd be delighted to claim one day.

Mar 2032

Tottenham 0-3 Arsenal (PRM)

Carioca, Langner (2)

For the first time in a long time we had pretty much a free week both before and after a match, with the League Cup final and it showed at Spurs where we were as lively as we were lifeless in the previous game and grabbed a deserved lead from Carioca in the 18th minute. Brown saved a penalty as they briefly tried to equalize but Langner gave us another in the 35th minute, getting another early in the second-half for a 3-0 win in one of the most comfortable trips to WHL we could imagine.

Arsenal 2-1 (3-3p) Fiorentina (CL KO)

Smith, Langner

We needed a repeat against Fiorentina but the game was worryingly quiet for a while. It livened up considerably near the end of the first-half and despite being denied a penalty, Smith smashed in a free-kick after 40 minutes, which would take us through as things stood. Unfortunately the game is rarely that simple and they scored at the start of the second-half, going ahead again on aggregate and cancelling our away goal. Langner levelled the tie after 65 minutes and a lot of pushing but I was still worried as we could not afford to concede again, and went into extra-time after a late scare. They were the more threatening side in the extra-half hour but it went to penalties. All 10 regular penalties were scored, with Aguirre, Loe, Smith, Langner and Junior netting for us, however Marcio’s effort was saved and they made no mistake with their 6th to go through.

Arsenal 2-3 Man City (FA QF)

Langner (2)

We had our second big cup game of the week against Man City and took the lead from Langner after 5 minutes, the German’s 30th goal of the season. The equalized after 25 minutes but Langner restored the lead just before half-time. They pushed hard in the second-half and soon equalized again, eventually taking the lead after 65 minutes and we had little fight left after that.

Arsenal 2-0 Everton (PRM)

Marcio, Poole

With Old Trafford coming up, Everton seemed like the calm amidst the storm and Marcio gave us the lead in the 8th minute. It wasn’t one of our more dominant displays but Poole sealed it with 15 minutes left.

Man Utd 2-0 Arsenal (PRM)

The trip to Old Trafford was key in the battle for second, as well as determining who would likely take advantage of any slip-ups by Man City as they were still competing on 3 fronts, Man Utd on 2 and we had just the league to play for. We weren’t quite as bad as in the League Cup final but they still took a deserved lead in the 35th minute, a penalty later on giving us a second 2-0 defeat to Man Utd in under a month. They were still 3 points behind but with 2 games in hand, which would admittedly add to a hectic season-end for them.

Arsenal 4-1 Aston Villa (PRM)

Poole (2), Carioca, Smith

Aston Villa was the last major opponent of the season and caught us unawares to take a 14th minute lead but Poole equalized in the 20th minute and after being in Langner’s shadow for most of the season, gave us the lead late in the half. They still threatened hard but Carioca gave us a 3rd and Smith’s last minute goal ensured a repeat of the 4-1 at Villa Park in the autumn.

Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle (PRM)

Poole (2), Lillo

Even after all that there was still Newcastle to play this month and we took the lead on the half-hour mark from Poole. I didn’t seem like we’d get more but Poole and Lillo sealed a 3-0 win in the last 15 minutes.

Apr 2032

Blackburn 1-0 Arsenal (PRM)

We had just 4 matches this month which seemed exceptionally little! Unfortunately we fell behind at Blackburn and it was one of those games when you fight hard to come back but there is no way through.

Arsenal 4-0 Bradford (PRM)

Poole, Smith (2), Pedro

We had no issues against Bradford, taking the lead from Poole in the 5th minute. Smith added another just before the break and Pedro got a 3rd in the 49th minute. Smith got another with 15 minutes left. Surprisingly, having pretty much given up on our title hopes we were just 3 points off Man City with 4 games left, though Man Utd went 4 points ahead of us after winning the Monday game.

Huddersfield 0-0 Arsenal (PRM)

Unfortunately having seemingly just got back into contention we threw it away again at Huddersfield, who successfully frustrated us but even then we easily had enough chances to get a winner if we hadn’t messed them up.

Arsenal 1-0 Bristol City (PRM)

Langner was back in for the injured Poole against Bristol City but it wasn’t quite his day. He had credit for our 15th minute goal taken away from a deflection and just as it seems he got his goal with a very late second for us, it was disallowed. Don’t worry Florian, I recognize your contribution.

May 2032

Cardiff 3-1 Arsenal (PRM)

A messed up clearance gave us an early lead at Cardiff but they equalized with a penalty in the 18th minute and took the lead a few minutes later. We knew our mathematical chances of the title were now gone so we didn’t have much fight left (well aside from Junior who was red-carded), conceding a 3rd later on.

Arsenal 3-2 Stoke (PRM)

Smith, Langner, Carioca

We finished the season against Stoke which didn’t start well as we went behind in the 16th minute but Smith equalized a few minutes later. They still looked like scoring again but Langner gave us the lead just before half-time and we caught them on the break for Carioca to get his 31st league goal of the season. They immediately pulled one back and looked like they might equalize but we avenged our last-day defeat from last season.

final32_zps1irl3get.jpg

fix32_zpswgoemeuv.jpg

This was the sort of season you’d definitely take at the start but feel at the end that it could have gone better. It was a case of ‘good but not quite good enough’ in a lot of the games that mattered along with an inability to keep up a champion-level performance over the course of a full and very hectic season (we’ve played 118 competitive matches over my 2 seasons so far!). However we definitely showed we were at least capable of making a challenge and easily secured qualification for the CL group stage as I hoped. It’s just a pity that the dropped points against Blackburn and Huddersfield prevented us from being part of an epic 3-way title race at the end.

This is still very much a work in progress as far as I’m concerned, especially in defence (though there have also been a lack of genuine wonderkid signings) so while it is disappointing to look pretty strong on all 4 fronts and end up empty handed, I’m not too disheartened as I feel our time will come before too long. Hopefully the right players will be available and affordable this summer as I don’t think we’re that far away from having the right pieces in place for a few years.

Star Player: This was pretty much a 3-way contest between last year's winner Langner (who did even better this time and won Player of the Year), Golden Boot winner Carioca and Smith but the ratings crown the Englishman as the winner, and while I don't choose this on that alone his tangible contribution (especially assists) means he definitely deserves it. He started the season as second choice to Cruz but an early injury to the Spaniard was very much his gain and he just kept on starring consistently all season long.

Smith32_zpsepeb4yyo.jpg

Squad Stats

stats32_zpsrkarlee7.jpg

Match of the Season: While there wasn't anything quite on the same level as Man Utd, there were still some strong contenders so I've gone for the win at Villa. Coming off another big win against Chelsea it was the point where I thought 'You know what? we could actually go on and be champions' and even though we didn't it still stands as a gesture of intent for the future. For context (since it may seem odd to be so happy about a win at Villa) they came very close to the title last season, actually did win it a couple of years before that and have been CL regulars for years now as well as having done the double over us last time.

villa31_zpstsd9wjl1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Summer 2032

I had a major decision to make at the start of the summer. The first time I ever used the ‘increase expectations’ feature it backfired as it was after a strong first season in the Premier League with Ipswich so I set expectation to mid-table and ended up barely keeping my job after a season of struggle and though I have become open to using it again recently it’s not something I do easily. In this case upping expectations from European qualification to a title challenge would have upped the initial transfer budget from 40.5M to 45.5M which would potentially make the difference between making an extra signing but despite feeling we could easily be title challengers my cautious instincts won out.

When it came to signing players it was another matter entirely. Top of the list was a right-back and I had felt that I wouldn’t make a major move for anyone else until had at least identified one. That went out of the window the moment the first set of scout reports came in which included the Italian winger Aiello, one of two players I identified last summer who a) were out on loan for the season and b) came too late for me to have the budget to get anyone else anyway. The other guy, an English defender, had already gone out on loan again this season (though if I had the budget left I’d still try and secure a deal) but when I saw Aiello’s potential asking price (which was admittedly a few million less than it actually took) and the fact that he was precisely the sort of genuine wonder-kid I was after I pounced immediately. There was genuine logic in that Cruz was 32 (and on 110kpw which we could use being rid of) and was sold to make way, and I wouldn’t quite call Smith (great as he has been) world-class so like in many other positions there was still an opening for someone better and it still left plenty of budget left.

The right-back issue wasn’t such a problem when you consider that Catê (who looked like he was well worth waiting those two years for) would be trained to play there (having arrived ‘unconvincing’ in the position and it wouldn’t take long for him to be competent at least) while I was keeping the 2 left-backs we already had. However that didn’t stop me from splashing out on a solution… who couldn’t even play in the position, at least not yet. It sounds like madness but the player in question had just turned 17 the day before I bid for him so had plenty of time to adjust and he had the potential to be incredible when he did. Proper quality youngsters have been disappointingly thin on the ground (I even made a bid for Hunt, the other player I had my eye on along with Aiello from last summer, even though I had to wait for next year to actually get him) so I couldn’t afford to pass up the opportunity to grab a player who is one of those who you really want to be playing for you in the future rather than for them. Besides when you buy young talent who is already at a big club you generally need to splash out, and it worked wonders with Langner (62 goals and 26 assists in 80 games so far). It’s just a pity that a greedy agent meant I needed to give him a contract something like 3 times as much as what he’d otherwise have accepted.

In the short-term, not much had been accomplished, however in the longer term I was finally bringing in the sort of player who would help give us a genuinely top-class side in the future, which is precisely what I arrived at Arsenal to do. Not that the signings I’ve already made haven’t been good in their own right and we’ve benefited from them being ‘already’ 20 or so when I brought a lot of them in but I was always looking out for younger players who would be something more special. It didn’t hurt that we now had long-term options for the full-back positions, which is where we have easily been weakest so far.

Signings

Aiello_zpswuet1yvg.jpg

Danielle_zpsefg2oqlu.jpg

Cate32_zpse0bwr4zx.jpg

Piscitelli_zpsk4lbto5v.jpg

Schwabe_zpssgj4cj3c.jpg

Caju_zps8hs1gmlw.jpg

trans32_zpsbbmqnshs.jpg

Future Signing

Hunt_zpsswcl7pwi.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not had time to be on here much recently but I did expect the next time I opened this thread to see you as champions, 3rd is a good finish mind but your form made me think you could pull it off. 5 points isn't a big gap though so hopefully with your signings you can get it this year :thup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not had time to be on here much recently but I did expect the next time I opened this thread to see you as champions, 3rd is a good finish mind but your form made me think you could pull it off. 5 points isn't a big gap though so hopefully with your signings you can get it this year :thup:

I know but we just couldn't do it all year long. 84 points is still a pretty good haul and would be worth at least 2nd a lot of other years. I already know from experience that from this version onwards (well certainly FM13 as well) both Manchester sides tend to be incredibly strong the clear majority of the time so it won't be at all easy coming out on top.

That said so far we've been very good indeed this year and though the first few months of the season have never been too much of a problem anyway it would be great to open up more of a gap early on than we did last time (where we only briefly touched 5 points over the festive period and were otherwise being chased very closely even when we were on form) and I'm optimistic that we'll be even better this time around.

Cate is the only signing featuring regularly so far but so far he's looked every inch the potentially world-class full-back we've needed. Most of the others will undoubtedly have their day (and still look useful when called upon, like when we had to start the season with Schwabe and Piscitelli in midfield due to the Olympics) but for now it's definitely a case of keeping all that worked well last year with a little bit extra added.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aug 2032

Arsenal 2-0 Huddersfield (PRM)

Langner, Poole

We started against Huddersfield, and despite the Olympics weakening the midfield in particular we managed to take a 10th minute lead from Langner, though he went off injured soon after forcing me to use Poole, unfit from an injury of his own late last season, and a knock actually reduced his condition to 10% just before he managed to give us another anyway near the end.

Wolves 1-3 Arsenal (PRM)

Langner, Carioca

We had a more comfortable start to the season than previously and went to promoted Wolves with everyone but Aiello back from the Olympics. Unfortunately I’d been monumentally stupid and forgot to switch the first-team midfielders back in for Schwabe and Piscitelli, a pairing so green that that they have posters of Natalie Bennett on their walls. Wolves actually dominated early on and took the lead after 12 minutes. An own-goal got us back in to it early in the second-half but it took until the 83rd minute for Langner (who had been on the bench as both he and Poole are still unfit from last time but Aguirre was being rubbish) to give us the lead. Carioca giving us a 3rd in stoppage time.

Arsenal 3-0 Aston Villa

Carioca (2), Langner

Villa wouldn’t be quite so easy, but they were tired from a midweek CL qualifier and while they still started out full of beans, we were able to sit back and gradually take control. Carioca gave us a 37th minute lead and even though we were denied a penalty early in the second-half, Langner soon gave us another and Carioca sealed a 3-0 win in the 84th minute.

Sept 2032

Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal (PRM)

Smith (2)

We went to Liverpool after the international break and seemed pretty comfortable in the first half with Smith giving us the lead in the 12th minute. It was very different after the break as they pushed hard and soon equalized, looking like they’d go on to get a winner but in a squad full of foreign young talent was the two English players who pulled through for us. Brown held firm in goal and Smith grabbed another to leave us as the last team with a 100% record so far.

Arsenal 2-1 Lyon (CL)

Smith, Carioca

We had a few big games coming starting with Lyon in the first CL game. Langner had a goal disallowed but Smith still gave us a deserved lead in the 38th minute, and Carioca gave us another just before half-time. We had a penalty disallowed early in the second-half and they fired a warning shot with a goal in the 72nd minute but we were able to claim the win, staking our claim as potential group winners.

Arsenal 2-1 Man City (PRM)

Langner, Poole

Man City was a key game in any potential title challenge but it didn’t start well as we went behind in the 12th minute. Langner equalized on the half-hour mark and Poole put us ahead shortly after coming on. It remained a tight game but there weren’t too many scares as we claimed a key victory.

Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa (LC R3)

Langner (2)

We faced Villa again in the League Cup and comfortably won again with a first-half brace from Langner, giving him 6 goals in 7 games to far.

Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal (PRM)

I never feel confident going to Chelsea and we were in serious trouble from the start, being very lucky that they had a goal disallowed as early as the 4th minute, and despite having a penalty claim shortly afterwards, it seemed inevitable that they’d take the lead as they did after half an hour. The game was a little more even after that but they still got another. The sole positive point of the day was that Man Utd lost to Spurs so didn’t go ahead of us, that still meant Spurs took top but they weren’t a team I was expecting to compete with throughout the season.

Ajax 1-2 Arsenal (CL)

Langner, Carioca

I hoped we could bounce back in the CL at Ajax and Langner gave us the lead in the 20th minute. It didn’t last long but Carioca soon put us ahead once more and while it was another close one for the rest of the match we got another win.

Oct 2032

Arsenal 2-0 Middlesbrough (PRM)

Junior, Lillo

We kept on going in the league against Middlesbrough, taking the lead from Junior after 20 minutes. Lillo’s header early in the second-half made it safer though there was still plenty for Daniele (Brown was injured) in goal to deal with. Best of all was Man Utd messing up a trip to Sheffield so we had opened up a 5-point gap over them, even though Spurs were still top for now.

Cardiff 0-1 Arsenal (PRM)

Smith

A trip to Cardiff couldn’t be taken for granted and while Smith gave us the lead just before half-time it was still tough going and I had to admit that they deserved a point at the very least.

Sheriff 1-4 Arsenal (CL)

Aguirre (2), Langner

We had a good opportunity to stamp our authoritah on our CL group with a double-header against Sheriff while Ajax and Lyon did battle with each other, and went to Moldova first. Aguirre gave us the lead in the 23rd minute, with an own-goal coming shortly afterwards. Langner got a 3rd before the break while Aguirre’s penalty took it to 4-0, though they did get a goal themselves later on.

Burnley 2-2 Arsenal (PRM)

Marcio, Poole

We appeared to be slowing down and went behind at Burnley in the 19th minutes. It didn’t help that it appeared to be one of those ‘We could play all night and not hit the target’ performances. Marcio thankfully proved that last line wrong when he equalized after 80 minutes. They were given and scored a late penalty which seemed to be that only for Poole to rescue a point in stoppage time.

Arsenal 1-0 Sheff Utd (LC R4)

Poole

Sheffield Utd were our next League Cup opponents and Poole gave us an 18th minute lead. That was enough in a game where we thankfully didn’t need to try too hard though we also had a disallowed goal from Smith in stoppage time and got injuries to Junior and Marcio.

Arsenal 4-0 Bristol City (PRM)

Langner (3)

We swept past Bristol City surprisingly comfortably with Langner getting things started in the 12th minute. An own-goal made it 2-0 10 minutes later and Langner went on to get a hat-trick with a goal either side of half-time. It was nearly 5-0 in the end but Carioca had an effort disallowed.

oct32_zps3ydm90vv.jpg

cloct32_zpsrjdxezke.jpg

fixoct32_zpsrvfpnios.jpg

So far I definitely feel we've stepped up an extra gear from last season (especially in the CL), helped perhaps by a less hectic start. Things are getting rather busier so it remains to be seen how long we can keep it up for but it's good to be able to build a stronger advantage over our potential rivals for now than we managed in the earlier stages of last season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Really good start there, looks like it could be really tight this year

Well it's certainly looking that way...

Nov 2032

Arsenal 4-0 Sheriff (CL)

Langner, Loe, Carioca (2)

We easily saw off Sheriff as expected, with Langner giving us the lead after 12 minutes and setting up Loe in the 25th. Carioca got a late brace and best of all, Lyon beat Ajax in the other match (a reverse of the last round’s result) meaning we were 6 points ahead of both with qualification and top spot almost certainly assured.

Newcastle 1-1 Arsenal (PRM)

Carioca

Newcastle had been an early ‘form’ team and took the lead after half an hour when we went up north. Carioca soon equalized but we couldn’t effectively push on to try and get a winner.

Arsenal 1-1 Stoke (PRM)

Smith

We seemed to be developing a difficulty in finishing off winnable games and it happened again against Stoke. We pounded away and after they went down to 10 men we finally took the lead from Smith after an hour, only to see them grab an equalizer shortly after as we had very much shot our bolt.

Birmingham 0-3 Arsenal (PRM)

Poole (2), Carioca

We managed to get back to winning ways at Birmingham, but failed to look convincing for the most part. Poole snatched the lead just before the break, and it looked like that would be the only goal but he got another later on followed by a 3rd from Carioca.

Arsenal 7-1 Everton (PRM)

Carioca (3), Langner (4)

Everton were the whipping boys of the season so far (just 2 points in 13 games) and we piled on the misery. Carioca got things started just 30 seconds or so in, with a second coming from Langner in the 29th minute. Pleasingly we had an aversion of the ‘player gets first goal for his club/of the season against you’ cliché when they had a goal disallowed and Langner completed a hat-trick. Carioca wasn’t to be outdone however as he got two more for his own hat-trick but Langner had the final say as we won 7-1, leaving the Everton players feeling a lot like Roman legionaries in the Asterix books on the receiving end of the Gauls competing to see who can beat up the most Romans.

Lyon 2-3 Arsenal (CL)

Langner, Smith, Carioca

We just needed a point in Lyon to mathematically secure progression and top spot from the CL group and while the game was a stalemate throughout the first half Langner scored in stoppage time and had time to set up Smith before the whistle blew. Carioca got a 3rd after an hour soon followed by Lyon getting a goal back. They looked like they might get another and did so from an Atkin own-goal with 5 minutes left but given even an equalizer wouldn’t have bothered me beyond having let a 3-goal lead slip the pressure was never really on from our perspective.

Man Utd 0-0 Arsenal (PRM)

The pressure was very much on when we went to Old Trafford however. After our last couple of dismal showings against them we went for them from the start and were really unlucky not to be ahead at the break. They started to threaten themselves after the break but we still kept up the pressure. It was a very unlikely 0-0 with their keeper being clear man of the match but Brown also impressed at our end.

Dec 2032

Bradford 2-3 Arsenal (LC QF)

Carioca, Loe, Aguirre

The League Cup Quarter-final at Bradford was surprisingly exciting. Carioca gave us the lead after 15 minutes but they equalized before the break. Loe restored the lead on the stroke of half-time but they had another goal disallowed and eventually equalized again with 5 minutes left. There was thankfully still time for Aguirre to send us through in normal time rather than facing the added drain of extra-time right before a critical derby.

Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham (PRM)

Langner

The Spurs game was a top-of-the-table clash, as they were 2 points behind us but with a game in hand. In between the tight Bradford tie and (the admittedly meaningless) Ajax game in the CL we were unsurprisingly in a relatively low gear but Langner managed to give us a potentially vital win in the 34th minute.

Arsenal 1-1 Ajax (CL)

Carioca

We had nothing to play for against Ajax but still wanted to go for a win all the same, while they needed a point to go through. We sat back in the earlier stages of the game and kept out a lot of pressure but went for it more in the second-half and Carioca gave us the lead after 50 minutes. We could easily have had another but aside from losing our 100% record, their very late equalizer which sent them through at Lyon’s expense didn’t matter, and we were rewarded with Shakhtar in the next round.

cl32_zps8gub4m2v.jpg

cl32b_zpsnriz8vom.jpg

Blackburn 0-4 Arsenal (PRM)

Loe, Dziri, Aguirre (2)

We were able to keep on going at Blackburn, with Loe giving us the lead in the 12th minute. We stepped up a gear early in the second-half with Dziri and a brace from Aguirre giving us an admittedly flattering 4-0 win.

Arsenal 3-0 Sheff Utd (PRM)

Aguirre (2), Szabo

An injury to Smith allowed Aiello his first start against Sheffield Utd and it took just 8 minutes for him to set up Aguirre for 1-0. Langner had a goal disallowed after 50 minutes but Aguirre scored again with 5 minutes left and Szabo had time to wrap up a 3-0 win.

Leicester 3-1 Arsenal (PRM)

Rogerio

We went to Leicester on Boxing Day and unfortunately went behind in the 19th minute. Rogerio equalized in the 57th minute and Brown saved a penalty but they eventually re-took the lead in the 83rd minute and even got another in stoppage time as it wasn’t our best day defensively.

Huddersfield 3-2 Arsenal (PRM)

Dziri, Aguirre

Unfortunately we were also weak at the back at Huddersfield, going behind right before half-time. Dziri equalized in the 56th minute, and 10 minutes later Aguirre also did after they retook the lead but we fell to a late winner.

dec32_zpskelyqahc.jpg

fixdec32_zpsoltngvce.jpg

It was a rather disappointing end to the year and even in November there were those few draws that really should have been wins for various reasons so as good as it otherwise was it could definitely have been even better. I'm glad we've already had our Old Trafford and Chelsea trips which gives me more confidence about competing than if we still had to face those but with yet another League Cup challenge, a bit of an FA Cup run potentially (as it's only Torquay in the 3rd Round) and hopefully an extended CL campaign if we are slowing down it won't be easy to pick ourselves up in the short-term (and unless the fixtures have been moved around a bit, Man City away is coming up very shortly, which will at least be the last of the really big trips already), so we'll have to see how close we're able to be in March.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't think I'd ever catch up with this :D

Tough defeats against Leicester & Huddersfield, put the breaks on the title push.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unlucky in those defeats towards the end of December, but rather have those blips earlier than during the business end of the season. Good luck for the rest of the campaign mate!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Didn't think I'd ever catch up with this :D

Tough defeats against Leicester & Huddersfield, put the breaks on the title push.

Unlucky in those defeats towards the end of December, but rather have those blips earlier than during the business end of the season. Good luck for the rest of the campaign mate!
Hopefully those defeats won't be too costly

Good work HC ;)

It was really frustrating to suddenly stumble like that, and given the hectic schedule for the next couple of months at least that might be the start of a bit of a slowdown period (which I've definitely been expecting at some point on past experience) but hopefully we can still keep pace with the others for the most part.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry there's been nothing for a while. I've not felt that well for the past couple of weeks or so (and FM isn't as easy as Civ or EU to be played while tired) and the relatively little time I am able to properly get down to doing something each day needs to be spent on a massive final project at college (kind of like a dissertation in 'business report' form), though theoretically I can do both at the same time (and it worked when I did something similar at Uni) and hope to finally be able to do so before too long. I certainly haven't stopped or taken a deliberate break so I hope to get right back down to it before too long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jan 2033

Arsenal 1-0 Wolves (PRM)

Langner

We started the new year against Wolves. Langner had some chances in the first-half and he eventually gave us the lead in the 55th minute. We deserved more but it was still enough to put us back on top for now as Chelsea lost in Liverpool.

Aston Villa 1-1 Arsenal (PRM)

Aiello

A trip to Villa was a tricky proposition and after a tense first-half we went behind after 50 minutes. Aiello equalized 15 minutes later (his first goal for the club) and it was a pity Carioca had a winner disallowed.

Arsenal 5-1 Torquay (FA R3)

Langner (4), Carioca

We faced Torquay in the cup and took the lead in the 28th minute from Langner, his 20th goal of the season. He scored again early in the second-half, shortly followed by Carioca for 3-0. Langner completed a hat-trick after 72 minutes and through they got one back 10 minutes later, Langner completed a 5-1 win.

Cardiff 1-2 Arsenal (LC SF)

Langner

We had a tough run starting at Cardiff in the League Cup and Langner edged us ahead shortly before the break and an own-goal made it 2-0 early in the second-half. They quickly got a goal back and could easily have equalized but while we couldn’t relax yet we still had a lead in the tie to bring home.

Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool (PRM)

Catê

We went behind right at the start against Liverpool though Catê equalized in the 28th minute. We looked just about the more likely to go on and get a winner but couldn’t manage it.

Arsenal 1-4 Chelsea (PRM)

Carioca

We were hoping to get an important result against a Chelsea side who were right behind us but had a genuine off-day and were 3-0 down at the break. It was so bad that having replaced Smith with Daniele in goal (it doesn’t happen very often but I do sub keepers for performance-related reasons) the Argentine’s own-goal gave them their 3rd. Carioca got a goal back at the start of the second-half and it looked like we’d make the score rather more respectable at least but they got a 4th and even when they went down to 10 men we could do nothing else.

Arsenal 1-0 (3-1) Cardiff (LC SF)

Aguirre

We were unsurprisingly subdued in the second-leg against Cardiff, but thankfully we didn’t need to do anything aside from avoiding defeat and Aguirre still gave us a win in the middle of the second-half.

Crystal Palace 1-1 Arsenal (FA R4)

Aguirre

We went to Crystal Palace in the cup and expected to win comfortably, especially when Aguirre put us ahead after half-an-hour. However we sat back on that and a late defensive slip condemned us to a completely avoidable replay.

Feb 2033

Man City 2-0 Arsenal (PRM)

I wasn’t looking forward to going to Man City and while we managed to compete reasonably enough they still got a goal in the 58th minute, scoring another in stoppage time as they went 5 points ahead of us in first place, while we languished down in 4th.

Arsenal 6-0 Burnley (PRM)

Langner (4), Marcio, Aguirre

We thankfully burst back into life against Burnley, starting with a second-minute goal from Langner, who had been out briefly for rock bottom morale. Marcio and Aguirre also scored while Langner went on to complete a hat-trick by the 25th minute and Aguirre was unlucky to have another disallowed just before the break. Langner got his 4th and our 6th late on and despite his few games out he was now just 10 goals away from hitting a century in only 3 seasons at the club.

Middlesbrough 1-0 Arsenal (PRM)

Unfortunately we were back to ‘decent but no cigar’ at Middlesbrough, probably with an eye on Palace in midweek. We were a little unlucky to go behind in the 14th minute and even then were worth a point at least.

Arsenal 3-0 Crystal Palace (FA R4)

Dziri, Smith, Aguirre

Thankfully we managed to win the cup tie easily enough, Dziri and Smith (back in the team after a while) giving us a 2-0 lead in the first half-hour. Junior got sent off early in the second-half but Aguirre still got a 3rd right at the end, unfortunately ending up as one of a few players who got injured in the game.

Arsenal 4-0 Man Utd (FA R5)

Smith, Langner (2), Pedro

We had the next round against Man Utd immediately afterwards and, which we won surprisingly comfortably. Smith gave us the lead in the 18th minute followed by a brace from Langner. Pedro made it 4-0 in the 50th minute and if Smith hadn’t got sent off (which wouldn’t be such a problem if Aiello wasn’t out injured for a while) we might have got a 5th.

Shakhtar 0-1 Arsenal (CL KO)

Langner

The CL resumed in Ukraine, or if you’re reading this some months from now, Russia. Langner gave us the lead in the 17th minute which was enough for a good away leg win.

Arsenal 1-0 Huddersfield (LC Final)

The top of Langner's head

We faced Huddersfield in our 3rd League Cup final in a row, and admittedly we didn’t look much more impressive than in the other two and it looked set for extra-time but in stoppage time the ball bounced in off Langner’s head for an undeniably flukey win.

lc33_zpsl5nxr6as.jpg

Mar 2033

Arsenal 0-0 Cardiff (PRM)

Cardiff was our first league match in 5 games but we were half-asleep after the League Cup final. A half-time kick up the backside helped a bit but winner came there none.

Bristol City 0-5 Arsenal (PRM)

Dziri (2), Marcio, Aguirre (2)

Dziri gave us a much-needed goal late in the first-half at Bristol City, which seemed to kick us into a higher gear at last. Marcio made it 2-0 in the 50th minute followed by a brace from Aguirre. Dziri got one more with 5 minutes left to give us a 5-goal winning margin you really wouldn’t have predicted at half-time.

Arsenal 2-0 Reading (FA QF)

Langner, Carioca

Reading were our FA Cup Quarter-final opponents and Langner gave us a 14th minute lead. More goals were very much on the cards and Carioca finally gave us a second with a couple of minutes left.

Arsenal 4-2 (5-2) Shakhtar (CL KO)

Catê (2), Langner (2)

The pressure was partly off in the home leg against Shakhtar as we already led the tie. Aguirre got sent off early on (doing his bit for the ‘aggressive Argie’ stereotype) but we still managed to tear them apart with a brace from both Catê and Langner before the break. We eased off in the second-half and they got a couple of goals back but we were never going to be seriously troubled.

Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle (PRM)

Smith (2), Dziri

We couldn’t spark anywhere near as well against Newcastle but Smith gave us a brace in the first 15 minutes of the second-half. Dziri made it 3-0 in the 72nd minute as we were comfortable in the end.

Stoke 0-2 Arsenal (PRM)

Langner

Langner was just 3 goals away from his century and he took another step to give us the lead at Stoke. They started to threaten and I was pondering a change when Langner struck again to give us the win and keep up the pressure on a Man Utd side chasing us for 4th.

mar33_zpsgpouyxtq.jpg

fixmar33_zpstif7bgsg.jpg

clmar33_zpsb5e4fyj0.jpg

After so long without an update it's unsurprising that I have a lot to say, even if some of it can be left to the end-of-season.

Starting with the league, after such a convincing first-half of the season it's definitely disappointing that once again we couldn't cope with an especially busy Winter schedule and found ourselves quickly losing and slipping away from top spot. This isn't a problem that's going to be overcome quickly or easily and it doesn't help that we seem to have a few big games around January-time (and not just this year) when we're in a far weaker position to deal with them than in a lot of the rest of the season. Things have gotten easier from early-March but while we might be able to make a challenge for the top 3 too much damage has been done otherwise.

Our great League Cup record doesn't help (and even in the first season I recognized that being the Semis of that competition was a double-edged sword) in the league and the scheduling problems showed as while we've been in the final all 3 years I've been at Arsenal (winning twice) we've been underwhelming in all of them. However this year has also showed why I persist in keeping going on as many fronts as possible as it's giving us trophies, and a cup double is on the cards as we face Liverpool (often troublesome but really not one of the big boys) with relegation-threatened Everton or Middlesborough (who are admittedly going very well in 6th) as the other semi-finalists. Not the easiest path to cup victory but the odd's aren't bad.

Villarreal is another decent CL draw after the Shakhtar win. We faced them in the Group stage last season with both games ending in draws but we've been much better in Europe this time and can consider ourselves at least their equals. The winner will face Villa/Barcelona in the Semis which will either be another winnable tie or an epic test. In general after looking bleak earlier in the year there's definitely a lot to look forward to for the rest of the season and beyond.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apr 2033

Arsenal 4-0 Birmingham (PRM)

Langner (2), Pedro, Aguirre

What promised to be a very eventful month started against Birmingham, one of the more mundane games remaining. Langner got his 100th goal for the club after 20 minutes and even though we were denied a penalty late in the half, Pedro gave us another with a header just before the break. Aguirre’s penalty early in the second-half made it 3-0 while Langner sealed a 4-0 win at the end.

Villarreal 2-1 Arsenal (CL QF)

Carioca

Rather bigger was the trip to Villarreal in the CL and Carioca gave us the lead in the first minute. However we failed to convince after that, and they quickly equalized. We kept them out for a while but they took a deserved lead in the 62nd minute. We at least stopped them getting a 3rd (just) as a 2-1 home win is the result that I feel leaves a tie most finely in the balance.

Tottenham 3-1 Arsenal (PRM)

Smith

We went to table-topping Spurs for the biggest North London derby in a while though at first it seemed we were focussing on Villarreal we went 2-0 down in the first 8 minutes. Smith equalized in the 10th and we missed chance after chance to equalize, being punished when a Catê injury left us a man down and they got a 3rd.

Arsenal 0-2 (1-4) Villarreal (CL QF)

Unfortunately Villarreal was a bit of a damp squib as we went behind in the 12th minute. It would be difficult to get the three goals we needed to win outright even if we did managed to convert one or two of the chances we again squandered and they sealed it with another.

Arsenal 4-1 Liverpool (FA SF)

Carioca (2), Aiello, Langner

I hoped we could avoid going out of two competitions in the same week against Liverpool and Carioca took the lead after 12 minutes. They equalized in the 35th minute and things looked uncertain for a while but Aiello and Langner gave us a quick brace after an hour to leave us in a comfortable position and Carioca even got a 4th late on.

Everton 1-1 Arsenal (PRM) 1,000th Career Match!!!!

The 1,000th match of the career was at an Everton side who we’d face in the cup final. Langner was given a rest before a crunch game against Man Utd in the race for 4th and the finishing suffered without him (not that it’s been that good recently even with him admittedly). Dziri showed the attacking players how it was done in the 54th minute but my former Verona forward Barison gave them a 70th minute equalizer. Regardless of that we really should have had a winner.

Arsenal 1-1 Man Utd (PRM)

Langner

We were left a point behind Man Utd when we faced them but a returning Langner took just a few minutes to give us the lead (though an injury finished his season). They battered us for a while and we were lucky they had an equalizer disallowed but Carioca also had a goal ruled out and that gave them the opportunity to grab a point with 15 minutes left, the sort of outcome that I couldn’t decide whether I was happy or disappointed with on balance of play.

May 2033

Arsenal 4-1 Blackburn (PRM)

Dziri, Carioca, Redzepi, Poole

Dziri gave us the lead after 20 minutes against Blackburn and even though Loe got a straight red, Carioca got another before the break. They got one back a couple of minutes into the second-half as we weren’t in the clear yet but a Redzepi penalty and a goal from Poole (whose status as an Arsenal player was coming under threat) with 10 minutes left as we won 4-1 in the end.

Sheff Utd 0-4 Arsenal (PRM)

Dziri (2), Poole (2)

Drizi’s headers had been a godsend at times this year and the Frenchman did it again at Sheffield United. Poole gave us another and while they had been better than their hopeless Premier League season a couple of years ago, the blades had a penalty saved at the start of the second-half with another goal each from Dziri and Poole sealing their second relegation to the Championship in three years. It also put us above Man Utd and into 4th with one game left.

Arsenal 0-0 Leicester (PRM)

We hoped to seal 4th with a win against Leicester but it didn’t seem like our day as Poole had a goal disallowed and Smith had a penalty saved. Thankfully Man Utd didn’t win either so we still managed it but a failure to score a goal that stood meant it was a very tense time watching the live league table.

final33_zpse2ncopt4.jpg

Arsenal 5-0 Everton (FA Final)

That left the cup final against Everton, which seemed simple enough in theory as they were relegated but our recent encounter had shown that they still had some good players and couldn’t be taken for granted. We had the upper hand from the start but it seemed an eternity before Poole finally gave us the breakthrough. Carioca scored either side of half-time with Poole grabbing 2 more late on as it was indeed that easy in the end.

fa33_zps23v5bhdp.jpg

We’re good, but just not good enough often enough when it matters to seriously challenge for the big prizes. Langner sums the team up as a whole I think. He performs excellently each year but while he is reasonably consistent there’s still a trend where he racks up a few goals in some games but draws blanks in a bunch of others where he could have made a lot more of a difference, and aside from our annual winter slowdown, April was pretty much an entire month of ‘should have got a lot more out of that’ with failings to make the most of otherwise decent performances to be found all over the pitch, in contrast to the way we cruised through the first half of the season. It’s interesting to contrast our league performance (a good 10 points off last year’s tally and only rescuing 4th at the end) with the fact that we were still top scorers and conceded only twice more than Spurs who had the tightest defence.

I knew when I decided to go for the ‘young signings only’ option that I’d be taking the slow path and while this seems like a bit of a step back because of the league we still made the CL and for all the difficulties of competing on all fronts throughout the season we still managed to pull off a domestic cup double and a much more convincing European performance, at least until Villarreal. To put it into perspective, the legendary ‘Magical Milan’ (my greatest side of all time which was built with the same transfer policy) took 5 years to win their first trophies (even if the CL was one of them) and an extra couple of years to be league champions with the core of the side being in their mid-20’s by that point so a few cups after ‘just’ 3 years is still pretty good going.

Star Player: Langner may seem the obvious choice but Smith had him beat ratings-wise and also won POTY so it would be wrong to deny him, though he does have to look over his shoulder a bit since the up-and-coming Aiello still got a bit of a chance to make an impact in the sole wing position and proved himself a worthy long-term rival for the Englishman.

Smith33_zpsfe43uue4.jpg

Match of the Season: Even more so tha last year there were lots of very good performances but none that stood out from the rest so for the second time in 3 years it's a big win for Man Utd,easily the best result against one of the big sides. I admittedly lucked out on this one as my laptop crashed as I was starting the Shakhtar game that followed and the original Man Utd result was a 1-1 draw which would have meant a tough replay I really didn't need.

manu33_zpsunzwdoco.jpg

Squad Stats

stats33_zpstueuhmjt.jpg

Having hit 1,000 matches in the career I was going to take a screenshot of my career record immediately afterwards but you'll have to make do with one from the end of the season, showcasing 1,005 matches and 23 seasons of progress so far. It doesn't seem like a lot given how long the thread has been running, but I did lose a few real-life months worth of progress (just over 12 seasons, about 60% of the career up to that point) late last summer along with various other things getting in the way for a bit occasionally.

1000_zps87ksea2a.jpg

No doubt I'll hit 2,000 eventually. I also started a new little side-project today (which I was going to do a thread on before I decided it wasn't worth it) which I'll update on occasionally as well on here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apr 2033

Arsenal 4-0 Birmingham (PRM)

Langner (2), Pedro, Aguirre

What promised to be a very eventful month started against Birmingham, one of the more mundane games remaining. Langner got his 100th goal for the club after 20 minutes and even though we were denied a penalty late in the half, Pedro gave us another with a header just before the break. Aguirre’s penalty early in the second-half made it 3-0 while Langner sealed a 4-0 win at the end.

Villarreal 2-1 Arsenal (CL QF)

Carioca

Rather bigger was the trip to Villarreal in the CL and Carioca gave us the lead in the first minute. However we failed to convince after that, and they quickly equalized. We kept them out for a while but they took a deserved lead in the 62nd minute. We at least stopped them getting a 3rd (just) as a 2-1 home win is the result that I feel leaves a tie most finely in the balance.

Tottenham 3-1 Arsenal (PRM)

Smith

We went to table-topping Spurs for the biggest North London derby in a while though at first it seemed we were focussing on Villarreal we went 2-0 down in the first 8 minutes. Smith equalized in the 10th and we missed chance after chance to equalize, being punished when a Catê injury left us a man down and they got a 3rd.

Arsenal 0-2 (1-4) Villarreal (CL QF)

Unfortunately Villarreal was a bit of a damp squib as we went behind in the 12th minute. It would be difficult to get the three goals we needed to win outright even if we did managed to convert one or two of the chances we again squandered and they sealed it with another.

Arsenal 4-1 Liverpool (FA SF)

Carioca (2), Aiello, Langner

I hoped we could avoid going out of two competitions in the same week against Liverpool and Carioca took the lead after 12 minutes. They equalized in the 35th minute and things looked uncertain for a while but Aiello and Langner gave us a quick brace after an hour to leave us in a comfortable position and Carioca even got a 4th late on.

Everton 1-1 Arsenal (PRM) 1,000th Career Match!!!!

The 1,000th match of the career was at an Everton side who we’d face in the cup final. Langner was given a rest before a crunch game against Man Utd in the race for 4th and the finishing suffered without him (not that it’s been that good recently even with him admittedly). Dziri showed the attacking players how it was done in the 54th minute but my former Verona forward Barison gave them a 70th minute equalizer. Regardless of that we really should have had a winner.

Arsenal 1-1 Man Utd (PRM)

Langner

We were left a point behind Man Utd when we faced them but a returning Langner took just a few minutes to give us the lead (though an injury finished his season). They battered us for a while and we were lucky they had an equalizer disallowed but Carioca also had a goal ruled out and that gave them the opportunity to grab a point with 15 minutes left, the sort of outcome that I couldn’t decide whether I was happy or disappointed with on balance of play.

May 2033

Arsenal 4-1 Blackburn (PRM)

Dziri, Carioca, Redzepi, Poole

Dziri gave us the lead after 20 minutes against Blackburn and even though Loe got a straight red, Carioca got another before the break. They got one back a couple of minutes into the second-half as we weren’t in the clear yet but a Redzepi penalty and a goal from Poole (whose status as an Arsenal player was coming under threat) with 10 minutes left as we won 4-1 in the end.

Sheff Utd 0-4 Arsenal (PRM)

Dziri (2), Poole (2)

Drizi’s headers had been a godsend at times this year and the Frenchman did it again at Sheffield United. Poole gave us another and while they had been better than their hopeless Premier League season a couple of years ago, the blades had a penalty saved at the start of the second-half with another goal each from Dziri and Poole sealing their second relegation to the Championship in three years. It also put us above Man Utd and into 4th with one game left.

Arsenal 0-0 Leicester (PRM)

We hoped to seal 4th with a win against Leicester but it didn’t seem like our day as Poole had a goal disallowed and Smith had a penalty saved. Thankfully Man Utd didn’t win either so we still managed it but a failure to score a goal that stood meant it was a very tense time watching the live league table.

final33_zpse2ncopt4.jpg

Arsenal 5-0 Everton (FA Final)

That left the cup final against Everton, which seemed simple enough in theory as they were relegated but our recent encounter had shown that they still had some good players and couldn’t be taken for granted. We had the upper hand from the start but it seemed an eternity before Poole finally gave us the breakthrough. Carioca scored either side of half-time with Poole grabbing 2 more late on as it was indeed that easy in the end.

fa33_zps23v5bhdp.jpg

We’re good, but just not good enough often enough when it matters to seriously challenge for the big prizes. Langner sums the team up as a whole I think. He performs excellently each year but while he is reasonably consistent there’s still a trend where he racks up a few goals in some games but draws blanks in a bunch of others where he could have made a lot more of a difference, and aside from our annual winter slowdown, April was pretty much an entire month of ‘should have got a lot more out of that’ with failings to make the most of otherwise decent performances to be found all over the pitch, in contrast to the way we cruised through the first half of the season. It’s interesting to contrast our league performance (a good 10 points off last year’s tally and only rescuing 4th at the end) with the fact that we were still top scorers and conceded only twice more than Spurs who had the tightest defence.

I knew when I decided to go for the ‘young signings only’ option that I’d be taking the slow path and while this seems like a bit of a step back because of the league we still made the CL and for all the difficulties of competing on all fronts throughout the season we still managed to pull off a domestic cup double and a much more convincing European performance, at least until Villarreal. To put it into perspective, the legendary ‘Magical Milan’ (my greatest side of all time which was built with the same transfer policy) took 5 years to win their first trophies (even if the CL was one of them) and an extra couple of years to be league champions with the core of the side being in their mid-20’s by that point so a few cups after ‘just’ 3 years is still pretty good going.

Star Player: Langner may seem the obvious choice but Smith had him beat ratings-wise and also won POTY so it would be wrong to deny him, though he does have to look over his shoulder a bit since the up-and-coming Aiello still got a bit of a chance to make an impact in the sole wing position and proved himself a worthy long-term rival for the Englishman.

Smith33_zpsfe43uue4.jpg

Match of the Season: Even more so tha last year there were lots of very good performances but none that stood out from the rest so for the second time in 3 years it's a big win for Man Utd,easily the best result against one of the big sides. I admittedly lucked out on this one as my laptop crashed as I was starting the Shakhtar game that followed and the original Man Utd result was a 1-1 draw which would have meant a tough replay I really didn't need.

manu33_zpsunzwdoco.jpg

Squad Stats

stats33_zpstueuhmjt.jpg

Having hit 1,000 matches in the career I was going to take a screenshot of my career record immediately afterwards but you'll have to make do with one from the end of the season, showcasing 1,005 matches and 23 seasons of progress so far. It doesn't seem like a lot given how long the thread has been running, but I did lose a few real-life months worth of progress (just over 12 seasons, about 60% of the career up to that point) late last summer along with various other things getting in the way for a bit occasionally.

1000_zps87ksea2a.jpg

No doubt I'll hit 2,000 eventually. I also started a new little side-project today (which I was going to do a thread on before I decided it wasn't worth it) which I'll update on occasionally as well on here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Summer 2033

This summer was relatively low key. There were still a few areas where I felt we needed some strong reinforcement but that was because players of the right quality in those positions were thin on the ground and that situation didn’t really change this year, in fact central defence and up front were the only positions where there were at least a few good options available.

This year we did get a fantastic youngster in the youth intake, a winger which was admittedly perhaps what we least needed but I’m just glad I can boast a potential club-trained player. That seemed to set the tone for a summer where in the lack of any big signings the new arrivals were mainly inexpensive transfers of younger players for the longer-term that made us ‘heavy’ in a few areas so they wouldn’t get much playing time for a while (relative lack of development has never stopped me from throwing hot prospects into the team early on in the past) until more established players were moved on. This would be another year of letting the team grow rather than trying to add much to it.

There was one big sale however. Marcio was very unhappy a couple of years back but I felt there was more than enough time on his contract to keep him in the long-term. Come this summer however and while he was more than willing to discuss contracts, each time he rejected regardless of how much I kept increasing the offer and my patience ran thin. I’m not normally one for selling players like him (or I would have done ages ago as he’s always attracted big offers) and often I’ll even let a player’s contract run out rather than sell while I can to get all the use I can out of him but this was an opportunity to solve a problem I was having…

I had 3 players for the one midfield advanced playmaker slot (with 2 being the optimal number), the strong and fully developed Marcio, who had been one of our best performers in the first couple of years, Loe who was a little younger but otherwise pretty much as good and Piscitelli. The fact that the latter was 16 when I signed him last summer made it easy to leave him on the side-lines for the time being leaving the other two as the first teamers but something would have to give eventually and just a year onwards the Italian looked ready to be given more of an opportunity to play and continue developing into a genuinely world-class player. There was also the fact that Marcio wasn’t quite as good in his 3rd season as he was in his first two. He and Loe got almost equal playing time last year with the Cameroonian performing marginally better on a fraction of the wages (and even on paper there was little between them) so it seemed a clear-cut decision to make, especially in light of the fee I could get for him and how much it would cost to keep him on even if he was inclined to agree a new deal in the end. He could sod off and we’d manage fine without him.

I rounded the summer off by doing Ipswich a big favour. I wasn’t going to throw money at them for nothing but this year they had a 16-yr old forward who I genuinely wanted very much and rather than negotiate their initial counter offer (something like 3.5M) I bumped it up to 10M. Marcio’s sale had left us with over 90M in the bank and over 50M transfer budget (which wasn’t likely to be used on anyone else) and I’ve paid more for similar players in the past so it was by no means a large amount for us to pay out but it would be a massive windfall for them. It did leave us with 6 forwards in the squad, working out at 3 for each specific slot but as both new signings were 16 we could do what I did with the playmakers last year, not worrying too much about playing them for a season or two and stick with the regulars for now. However there is also Luiz arriving in a year and a half so even if I get rid of both veterans Carioca and Poole before too long that still will leave us one ‘heavy’ (though 5 in a squad can just about work especially if one is versatile when it comes to roles or other positions) but that’s a bridge to cross when we come to it.

Signings

Hunt33_zpsoy1jpyrs.jpg

Zekri_zpslyzat4qe.jpg

Gerardin_zpsjljklbnn.jpg

Tassotti_zpsmifbj2lp.jpg

Butcher_zpswyeeidwx.jpg

trans33_zpsz2yrbrpf.jpg

Youth

Gregory_zpsb0bpr8op.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Strong start this season as it says you're 1st in the league ;)

Or it could be the season hasn't started yet. I doubt AFC Wimbledon nor Accrington Stanley are in the EPL even in 2033.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Strong start this season as it says you're 1st in the league ;)

It's all downhill from here :(

Or it could be the season hasn't started yet. I doubt AFC Wimbledon nor Accrington Stanley are in the EPL even in 2033.

The league season hasn't no, though this was one of those occasions where the final transfer hadn't quite been finalized before the first game which in this case was the Community Shield.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aug 2033

Arsenal p0-0 Man City (CS)

We played the Community Shield against a Man City side who had won the title 3 years in a row but only very narrowly each time and it would be a test of our potential to challenge this time. I decided to blood Tassotti in goal (as he was always going to replace Brown before too long) and he was the standout performer as we could only occasionally do more than survive, and we also got lucky that they had a late goal disallowed, taking it to penalties. Aguirre missed our first but Smith and Langner made no mistake and they missed their 3rd to even it up. Piscitelli and Catê scored but so did their next two takers so it went to sudden death. Szabo was a rather unlikely scorer of our 6th while Tassotti saved theirs to give us the win!

Huddersfield 2-6 Arsenal (PRM)

Piscitelli, Carioca, Dziri, Langner (3)

The league started at Huddersfield. The sale of Marcio and a lack of fitness for Loe after an injury allowed the 17yr old Piscitelli to jump almost immediately from 3rd choice playmaker to the starter for the season and he was very much taking his opportunity, giving us the lead in the 10th minute. Carioca made it 2-0 almost immediately afterwards and Dziri gave us a 3rd in the 35th minute. Langner had a couple of assists (he’s not merely a one-dimensional goalscorer) in the first half and followed it up with a hat-trick in the second-half, though they got a couple as well.

Arsenal 3-0 Anderlecht (CLQ)

Redzepi, Carioca

Anderlecht were our CL qualifying opponents and the veteran Macedonian Redzepi (potentially in his last season for the club) gave us the lead in the 9th minute. We struggled to build on it but an own-goal after 50 minutes extended our lead and Carioca followed it up with our 3rd as we finally got the expected comfortable win.

Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle (PRM)

Smith gave us the lead after 15 minutes against Newcastle as this was more of a ‘ground out’ win than Huddersfield, Poole at least giving us another much later on.

Anderlecht 1-2 (1-5) Arsenal (CLQ)

Dziri, Carioca

We easily finished off Anderlecht in Belgium, with Dziri giving us a 3rd minute lead on the night. Carioca making it 5-0 on aggregate in the 24th minute. They got one back before the break as we eased off and cruised into the group stage, where we were once again second seeds. Lyon were potentially tough but Cordoba and Steaua probably less so.

Arsenal 3-0 Hull (PRM)

Langner (3)

Langner gave us the lead at the start against a Hull side that looked very much out of the depth in the Premier League. That said while we had numerous chances we had to look to Langner to score again, after 70 minutes, and he completed a hat-trick to leave the underperforming Carioca firmly in the shade. That left us and Man City (who we went to next) as the only teams with a 100% record after 3 games.

Sept 2033

Man City 3-2 Arsenal (PRM)

Carioca

Something had to give when we went to Eastlands, and unfortunately that turned out to be our defence, which conceded two quick goals after half-an-hour to put us in a very bad situation. The rest of the side weren’t much better (only two players rated more that 6.2 at half-time) and I wasn’t getting my hopes up when an own-goal gave pulled it back for us in the 55th minute but Carioca equalized after 70 minutes. It wasn’t enough as they dominated the rest of the game and got an admittedly deserved winner.

Lyon 0-2 Arsenal (CL)

Poole, Loe

I hoped we’d do better in another big trip to Lyon and took the lead at the start from Poole. They still proved troublesome even after being reduced to 10 men at the end of the first-half but Loe later gave us another to seal a result that put us in a good position already to top the group.

Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa (PRM)

Poole, Smith (2), Carioca (2)

I was wary of an Aston Villa side who were struggling to bounce back from a bad year last season but still looked like the title-challenging side they’d been for many years before that, but Poole and Smith gave us a 2-0 lead in the first-half. Carioca and Smith made it 4-0 by the hour-mark and the Brazilian even gave us a 5th in stoppage time.

Arsenal 3-1 Stoke (LC R3)

Poole (2), Rogerio

We played Stoke first in the League Cup and took an 18th minute lead from Poole, Rogerio’s penalty making it more comfortable just before the break. An early exit wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world but it wasn’t happening this time, Poole scoring again at the start of the second-half, while they got a consolation with 15 minutes left.

Blackburn 0-3 Arsenal (PRM)

Carioca, Poole (2)

Carioca gave us the lead in the 18th minute at Blackburn, followed by Poole in the 36th minute. The latter had been in Langner’s shadow for a while and as by far the highest paid member of the squad left I was contemplating selling him in the summer, however he still showed his worth at the end of last season when the German was out, with Marcio giving us a big sale anyway and I knew that it was far better having him as an alternative to Langner than one of the 16yr olds. Langner falling flat in Manchester gave me the opportunity to put Poole back in and he very quickly scored again to make it 6 goals in 4 games since I did so.

Arsenal 1-0 Steaua (CL)

Carioca

I must admit I expected an easy time against Steaua in the CL but it didn’t quite turn out that way. However we still grabbed a reasonably comfortable win from a Carioca goal a few minutes before half-time.

Oct 2033

Arsenal 1-0 Middlesbrough (PRM)

Langner

We were unusually blunt against Middlesbrough, but that was when our squad depth came to the fore. Carioca and Poole underperforming? Just throw on Aguirre and Langner and it will all be alright and it was this time as the latter gave us another narrow win.

Chelsea 3-3 Arsenal (PRM)

Aguirre, Catê, Lillo

We went to Chelsea after the international break and went behind in the 7th minute. It looked like it’d get worse as the ball ended up in our net again but it was disallowed. Aguirre equalized and despite Langner getting sent off (just as I was about to sub him off!), Catê and Lillo gave us a 3-1 lead at the break. Inevitably we were very much up against it in the second-half and while Tassotti kept them out for a while they scored twice to level it and looked likely to go on to get a winner, but thankfully we survived thanks to Tassotti’s continued excellence in goal.

Arsenal 4-3 Cordoba (CL)

Dziri, Langner, Poole, Smith

Cordoba actually looked very strong in the CL and took the lead in the 10th minute. Catê then went off injured with no spare full-backs but despite that Dziri and Langner gave us a 2-1 lead after 25 minutes. Langner then went off injured (which at least rendered his suspension moot as he would be out for almost exactly the same amount of time either way) but that just allowed Poole to come on and almost immediately give us another. They pulled one back and even though Smith made it 4-2 it wasn’t over yet. They got a 3rd and came so close to equalizing.

Arsenal 6-1 Sunderland (PRM)

Dziri, Poole (5)

Dziri and Poole gave us a 2-0 lead after just 8 minutes against Sunderland with the latter scoring again in the 12th. He completed a hat-trick just 10 minutes later. Aguirre wanted a turn and was unlucky to have a goal disallowed before the hour mark but Poole gave us a 5th goal anyway a few minutes afterwards. They actually bothered turning up in the second-half and pulled a goal back as they had a decent spell for a while but Poole wasn’t finished and sealed a 6-1 win.

Arsenal 1-0 (aet) Burnley (LC R4)

We appeared to have both a full-back injury problem and a poacher discipline problem as Poole got a straight red after just 8 minutes against Burnley in the League cup. Neither side could really make a breakthrough (though if ‘saves from Carioca’ were nectar points the Burnley keeper would have enough for a trip to Rome) but Carioca finally outfoxed his nemesis in the opposing goal to avoid penalties.

Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool (PRM)

Aiello

Aiello gave us the lead after a few minutes against Liverpool but Carioca had a goal disallowed early in the second-half which proved costly as they soon equalized and we couldn’t summon the pressure or the finishing power to win anyway.

oct33_zpsghhywkqq.jpg

cloct33_zpsfdsvczmg.jpg

fixoct33_zpsxjsyn8qb.jpg

Yet another strong start, with Man City being the only blip but then again at the moment they appear to be the FM version of France in the Paradox games (who have a reputation of always growing insanely big and strong even if they're more balanced since the initial EU3 release), with the Chelsea and Liverpool draws (not terrible results in and of themselves) being the only other blips in a sea of green circles in all competitions. However we've been fantastic in the early months of the season before and it hasn't done us that much good so only if we continue it though the middle part of the season can I say that we're looking good for a strong title challenge.

One thing that may be in our favour is having Chelsea in the League Cup quarter-final which gives us a reasonable chance of going out and not having the semis on top of everything else in an already hectic January. There's also the fact that this is very much a squad effort, with all sorts of combinations in the back 5 and the more forward positions being shared by two people. Caju/Rogerio for the Deep-lying midfield position (though Junior as well as that's where he originally played), Piscitelli/Loe for advanced playmaker, Smith/Aiello on the wing, Langner/Poole and Carioca/Aguirre in the dfferent roles up front depending on performances and such like (my selections have always been in the hands of fate) looking similarly strong however we turn out.

There is something else I intend to try to help us along. Last summer when playing the 'lost seasons' with Juventus I discovered a bug in the save that meant that if I withdraw a player from international duty the withdrawal is permanant, as I found out when I had a policy of leaving out my players when Italy manager but had to make an actual withdrawal from a youth squad (which I had no direct control over) and was denied the use of one of the best young forwards in the world at a time where the senior Italy side were reaching the end of their prime together and quality youngsters were in short supply! On withdrawing everyone else in the next international friendly week I kept noticing messages every time after that about how they were being left out.

While I've avoided doing the same since, partly because it's interesting seeing your players' international records, I've decided I'm going to do it again to spare my players a handful of extra matches a year and the chance for international weeks to be much-needed rest periods. Maybe Langner's performances have been helped by his lack of international duties (Newgens do get selected for Germany in some versions but not this one) and it's probably no coincidence that the Magical Milan side might have benefited from a large German contingent who got a rest when everyone else had internationals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really bad news guys...

My other laptop doesn't seem to work anymore, when I switch on all I get is a black screen and blinking cursor. I think the SSD has died (I knew they had a relatively limited lifespan) after 4 1/2 years or so :(

Unfortunately part of the reason why I was playing on the older laptop (though playing and writing on different screens side-by-side also helped things go a bit quicker) was that FM11 won't run on this one, so I just can't play it anymore (and wouldn't have the save files even if I could). This was supposed to be a very long last big career but now that epic dream is over :(

I might try installing FM13 on here before too long, maybe not going for a long journeyman this time as last weekend I had started what was meant to be a side 'one-club' project, managing a bottom-division club in a major nation and seeing how well I could do with them in the long-term, chosing Celano in Serie C2/B, so that's definitely something I could go for instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FM13 is go!

Not sure precisely what to do, not least since though I did feel like going to a smaller league as a change from Arsenal (and had a short-lived 'one club' side save) I don't feel like plunging all the way down to the bottom right now. There are a few options...

- Something similar to before, though with a very careful choice of club (like Torpedo Moscow or a German 3rd Div side) just like I chose Chornomorets for this career so I could get a strong start rather than spend years (which I haven't got as much time for) struggling to progress.

- Go 'one club' like my side project, and in-fact I already set up a save with a BSS club that could function either for that or the above, though I might go for a German 3rd Division or Serie C club if I went for for it properly.

- Ipswich, and again I even went as far as set up a save but aside from a 'develop youth' philosophy (not so hard at Ipswich granted but I don't want to be reliant on youth consistently coming through) it's an incredbly well-trodden path for me and there isn't anywhere near as far to go to the top as I usually like to have. That said do I really have the consistent playing time anymore to take 20-30 years to make a big league?

- As a compromise between all the above, go for a club around League 2 level and try something long-term with that, again either with that club or as a journeyman starting point.

- Rangers, though that's probably too easy to begin a journeyman (and even in the short-term as a one-club save) and I want to be able to challenge in Europe in the longer-term hence sticking to the big 5 nations for anything one-club related.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you have already mentioned Moscow how about another eastern European team like Shakhtar or Fenerbahçe?

With Fenerbahçe on Fm15 they have quite a big debt which is the same for most of Turkey and Greece not sure if it is the same for 13, if done correctly I think teams such as Fenerbahçe, Galatasary, Shakhtar, Cska etc can become similar to the likes of Juventus, Milan, Inter even Madrid and Barca they have the fan base and cauldron like stadium, just not the players to match what they could be.

With not having a huge amount of time I think it could be a good save with the league not being overly complicated but still being miles from being a world force.

Ok I have wrote more than intended but hope it at least helps you decide, Sorry for rambling on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As you have already mentioned Moscow how about another eastern European team like Shakhtar or Fenerbahçe?

With Fenerbahçe on Fm15 they have quite a big debt which is the same for most of Turkey and Greece not sure if it is the same for 13, if done correctly I think teams such as Fenerbahçe, Galatasary, Shakhtar, Cska etc can become similar to the likes of Juventus, Milan, Inter even Madrid and Barca they have the fan base and cauldron like stadium, just not the players to match what they could be.

With not having a huge amount of time I think it could be a good save with the league not being overly complicated but still being miles from being a world force.

Ok I have wrote more than intended but hope it at least helps you decide, Sorry for rambling on.

Interesting ideas but I don't want to be a dominant force domestically from the start, even if European competition would be more interesting. There are strict foreign player limits in those leagues which would make competing with the big league teams even tougher (even if they wouldn't apply to European competition the squad would still have to be built with those taken into account).

I like the 3.Bundesliga idea

Well I had found myself swinging strongly towards Ipswich just after posting (even getting a little pre-season done) but having already picked a potential German club (Saarbrucken) that idea still has quite a bit of appeal. There are a few positives and negatives as follows...

Positives-

It's a little different

I have multiple promotions to reach the top level.

Saarbrucken's stadium has just as much capacity as Portman Road.

A less busy domestic schedule (given the problems caused by intense seasons at Arsenal)

Plenty of young talent around in the country (sometimes Germany rivals Brazil in that area)

Negatives-

Very little to work with resource-wise

I wouldn't quite feel as emotionally invested in it.

I can't play under-17 players (not that it's a major problem if I remember about it).

No sense of being able to compete with a club like Norwich

The facilities are nowhere near as good.

I wouldn't be able to use the thread title for an Ipswich save that I'm absolutely dying to use :D

I won't be able to properly get into anything for a couple of days so there's still time to think it through. There's plenty to recommend either so it'll still be tough to decide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Know this is an old thread @deltablue but I remember the Slavia Prague job you had on here and you enjoying it so wanted to say that I went to see them last month against  Slovan Liberec (I'm the less hairy but very drunk one :D ) 

It only cost us £9 to sit in the main stand but we moved behind the goal at half time as it looked better, me and mate picked up the songs somehow and a bloke could tell we weren't from there and gave us a beer each and said "this for you as you cheer for Slavia" :D (They put an emphasis on the final "A" ) 

I bought the shirt and my mate bought a few things including a wrist band, the next day we went to the Sparta shop and I got their shirt too and my mate bought the shirt and a few other things, he then asked for a watch and pointed at his wrist forgetting he had the Slavia wristband on and the woman at the counter looked like she wanted to kill him :D

Hopefully i'll be seeing them again in March when I go back as they play Viktoria Plezn at home that weekend, also going to try and fit in Sparta v Dukla and Viktoria Zizkov v Trinec if kick off times don't clash :) 

14359213_10206527605858931_74434841691497284_n.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...