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I'm back! I was one of the early participants on page 1/2 of this thread. Unfortunately, I borked up my first effort at this by not ticking "Remove League and Nation Restrictions" during FM Classic game set-up, and then I've been away from Football Manager for a while with health problems, but looking forward now to getting stuck back into this challenge.

Whilst away, I have occasionally visited the tactics forum in particular, taking two main lessons:

1. Pick a style of play to emulate - I'm not deeply familiar with modern football systems, so I've chosen to emulate Sir Bobby Robson's Newcastle of 1999-2004. We'll see if this holds up when I get to Europe in particular, but I think it will be enough for some of the smaller leagues with the right signings.

2. Watch the first 15 minutes on Full Match - I'll likely give this up once I know my tactic well, but it's helping at the moment to have an "extra detail" period to examine without having to watch all of every game in massive detail when I have little time to play.

So far, both of these seem to be working in my first job of my new attempt with a very Bellamy-esque goal in my final win of the season particularly pleasing, but there is of course lots of potential for things to change and I'll see how I go.

Season 1 (with Ajax Cape Town for all of 3 games!) update to follow...

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Ajax Cape Town - Season 2014/2015

v5qDvCH.png

League | Schedule

I took over at Ajax Cape Town with 3 games remaining of the season, with the club in a relegation play-out place. We quickly turned that round, winning our two home games and drawing highly satisfactorily away to eventual champions Wits. There was plenty to be happy about, although with several of our key players being loan players, there was much for me to do over the summer of 2015 to ensure that we did much better overall next term.

All in all, a solid start to my career and I hoped for much more of the same to come.

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Busta - Good progress with Renhe. You're doing well, and there's always a good chance of the clubs above you imploding financially. Are you going to stay with them? I wouldn't discount winning the Champions league with a Chinese club. A couple of people have managed it, I think. If you did stay, how ambitious / unreasonable have your board become?

Brettney - I'm not sure anybody's done Singapore in this challenge before. It will be interesting to see how the nation works as a gateway to bigger nations, and to hear about any quirks of the Singapore league.

NW - Good to se you back. I was pleasantly surprised to see your username pop back up. Keeping SA top division status is a pretty good way to start, and puts you in a strong position. Ajax CP definitely seem to be the team of choice round here, (3 people so far, or maybe 4). In fact I'm not sure any other team has had 2 or more of us manage them. (Well, technically I managed Renhe in my first attempt at the challenge for the 15 minutes it took for me to re-think my entire initial job-acceptance strategy.

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Busta: Good job with Renhe. In this challenge there is no place for sentimentality. If a job becomes available that gives you a better chance of progressing in the challenge. Take it.

Brettney: Welcome to the challenge and good luck in Singapore. I visited there once, didn't care for it. But that is a side note.

Normandy: Welcome back! Hopefully your health problems are all behind you. Good luck in SA!

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Thanks for the welcomes guys, i'm enjoying it so far (you'll see why in a short report in just a few...). Plus i'm "borrowing" your nifty little landmarks box Vikeologist.

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The Ultimate Challenge: Brettney Edition;

Completely lacking a LW, only a couple of CM's and a huge supply of CF's the side looked a little lobsided to say the least. The Trialist rules are interesting so i decided to bring in any South Americans

that were offered to me by agents on 4 weeks trials and a few that did well earned future contracts. I started my career here in the League Cup Group stage and went unbeaten right through to the

Final where we won on Penalties to pick up my first Trophy. (1 down).

We won our first 7 games with me in charge and then after a couple of draws we went 10 in total unbeaten before our only two losses with me in charge. We couldn't make it into the top section

before the league split but was still pleased we finished 7th. The Singapore Cup saw us beat DPMM (who won the League) 7-4 on agg in the semi final, before going into the final and beating Abirex 3-0.

So thats 2 Cup wins in the bag, amazing start (this manager malarky is easy isn't it!?).

League Cup|Cup Double|Qualiry for the Conf. Cup

The Squad|S-League Table|Fixtures

Key Players;

Patrick Paranjody|Bah Mamadou|Jang Jo-Yoon

Transfers

Best Signing: Fahmie Abdullah

Season	Team			Position	Notes			     Challenge Landmarks
2014	Woodlands (Singapore)	 7th		Took over 17 games in (8th)  Cup Double (League Cup and S-Cup)

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Don't stop believing in Journey!

burtur's 2023/24 end of season report

Man%20City%20logo_zpscoudrbqo.pngFFF%20logo_zpsjohtjfn2.png

Man City - Premier League, France - UEFA

League Table | Positional Graph

Man City:

It was clear right from the get-go that this was going to be my most challenging venture yet. The Premier League is by far the most competitive league in Europe. During the 10 seasons my save has been going on the point record is 82 points. The league has been won by 7 different clubs. The champions league has been won by 4 different English clubs and 8 finals have included an English team.

As you can see in the screenshot above the league was ridiculously tight! Three teams tied and then us and Chelsea just one point behind. I have never seen this before. What is even worse is that I knew before the last game of the season that if we would beat Coventry away and Arsenal would drop points away to Huddersfield, I would manage my 4th title in 4 seasons and in 3 different countries. Huddersfield did their part, but disappointingly we conceded an equalizer in the 83rd minute. It was all as gutting as it was exciting in 2010. But we managed our goal, champions league football next season.

France:

Well as expected we qualified for the 2024 European Championships due to be held in Italy, just. I was quite optimistic before the Championships, even though many of my key players were in their mid-thirties.

In the group stage we disapointed somewhat by finishing second in a relatively straight-forward group (Romania, Serbia and Wales). That meant we drew a big team in the round of sixteen. That team turned out to be Germany. We played our best game of the tournament winning 2-0 and playing them of the park in the process.

The quarter-final saw us drawn against Croatia. Who we knew well from the qualifying phase. We lost the away game there before winning the home game. So I knew it would be a tough affair. Croatia managed to hold us back most of the game, leading 2-1 for most of the game. We didn't give in however and managed a dramatic equalizer in the 94th minute. At that point we were a man up so the extra time was all ours and we ended up 5-2 winners.

In the semi-final we drew our neighbors from Belgium. They have a proper team which includes the current Ballon d'Or winner (regen). It was a tight game, but we had the upper hand throughout. We didn't find a breakthrough though and after we went man down in the 79th minute it got really tough. Belgium ran out 1-0 winners in the end after extra-time. A great opportunity to land a giant challenge landmark just went begging.

I am definately going to keep my position with France though. There are some exciting players coming through and I feel I have a decent chance winning the World Cup with this team and possibly the Euros in 4 years time.

Roll on next season!

Managerial career:

Season           Club                League        Pos       DC1         DC2      Continental        Other
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014/15  EFC Fréjus St. Raphaël  French National   3rd    7th round      n/a          n/a             n/a
2015/16  EFC Fréjus St. Raphaël      Ligue 2       1st   11th round   3rd round       n/a             n/a
2016/17  EFC Fréjus St. Raphaël      Ligue 1      14th   semi-final   semi-final      n/a             n/a
2017/18         FC Metz              Ligue 1       3rd   semi-final   3rd round       n/a             n/a
2018/19         FC Metz              Ligue 1       2nd     winners    4th round    ECL 1st KO         n/a
2019/20         FC Metz              Ligue 1       3rd  quarter-final runner up     ECL Q/F      Champions Trophy, runner up
2020/21         FC Metz              Ligue 1       1st  quarter-final  winners      ECL S/F           n/a
2021/22          Inter               Serie A       1st    semifinal      n/a       ECL 1st KO         n/a
2022/23          Inter               Serie A       1st     winners       n/a        ECL Q/F       Italian Super Cup, winners
2023/24     Manchester City            EPL         4th  quarter-final 3rd round       n/a             n/a

Season           Nation              Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017/18        Costa Rica            World Cup Group Stage
2018/19        Costa Rica            Copa Centroamericana - Winners
2022/23          France              Promotion to League of Nations division A
2023/24          France              European Championships - semi-finalists

Challenge Landmarks

[b]France:[/b]
[i]Ligue 1[/i]:               2021 (FC Metz)
[i]Coupe de France[/i]:       2019 (FC Metz)
[i]Coupe de la Ligue[/i]:     2021 (FC Metz)

[b]Italy:[/b]
[i]Serie A[/i]:               2022,2023 (Inter)
[i]Coppa Italia[/i]:          2023 (Inter)

[b]International:[/b]
[i]Copa Centroamericana*[/i]: 2018 (Costa Rica)

*not a challenge landmark, but fun nonetheless.

The journey so far:

Prologue, Season 2014/15, Season 2015/16, Season 2016/17, Season 2017/18, Season 2018/19 Part 1, Part 2, Season 2019/20, Season 2020/21, Season 2021/22, Season 2022/23

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<strong>Burtur</strong> - Bournemouth in 7th place!! <br>

<br>

Anyway, gutting when you're so close to success. With Man City there's always next season, but with international tournaments every 4 years, it's a long wait. Still waiting for our first international challenge landmark then. Anyway, being in the Champions League should help you out financially.<br>

<br>

<strong>Brettney</strong> - Congrats on cupping up in your first season. Hopefully you can win the league next season, or even better win the Confederations Cup, and complete your work in Singapore.

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To be honest, club finances aren't a concern. I have now spent 350m pounds (netto) on players in two seasons so...yeah. I'm good on that front.

And to be fair to international football...it is really every two years we get a chance to win a big tournament so it is not that bad I think. I am also quite enjoying it now, discovering new talent an stealing players with double nationality from other nations is always fun.

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Just reading through the thread... damn! You guys are doing well :p (Especially vikeologist, ripping it up! :D )

I've finally found the time to start to take this challenge on properly anyway, so I will be a lot more active around here! :D

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Got Oriental relegated....could've saved them. I should have looked at the squad before taking over as they had 5 first teamers out injured for about 3 months average.

Will carry on. Hope for a team in a better position next time.

Onwards and upwards!

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Busta - Good progress with Renhe. You're doing well, and there's always a good chance of the clubs above you imploding financially. Are you going to stay with them? I wouldn't discount winning the Champions league with a Chinese club. A couple of people have managed it, I think. If you did stay, how ambitious / unreasonable have your board become?

I am staying and I'll probably stay on for as long as I'm in the Champions League. If and when I get knocked out, it depends on how good the league looks at that moment. If I'm not going to get a championship I'll resign and look for options in South Korea (top 3 club if possible) or else somewhere in South America. I think I'll have to leave Asia soon to keep my interest in the challenge.

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NormandyWept Welcome back! Nice to see another player taking up Ajax CT :)

brettney1980 Good start in Singapore. Like said earlier, I'm curious how starting in Singapore will play out for you.

burtur Bad luck with France, it would be nice to cross off some of the hard-to-achieve landmarks off the list early on. ECL chances coming up though!

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Oh and vikeologist to answer your question: the board is not that unreasonable in wanting me to challenge for the title. Last year was the same and I assumed they would demand the title this time, but as long as I stay in Shandong's and Guangzhou's stride I'll be safe.

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I think what you meant to say was

Nois, ACL draw puts me in a group with former club Suwon, who took the Korean championship last season.
with the team you created.

Got to love those grudge matches. Good luck. I never came up against the Korean team that sacked me, Seoul, in the Asian Champions League, so never had the chance for revenge. Hopefully one day I'll meet them in the Club World Cup, but it's a fairly slim chance.

I have to settle for revenge in international friendlies. Perhaps I'll meet Ivory Coast or Egypt in the upcoming World Cup that I'm going to with my (100% record under me) South Korea. Eventually i'll meet China in the East Asian Cup, (as long as I'm not sacked after the World Cup).

And after Germany, I will head to Argentina or Brazil where I might meet my 2 Mexican club Juduses in the Copa Libertadores.

I have a lot of ex-teams.

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The team is actually worse now I think, the players I brought in and are still there are the better ones, but they traded some of them for weaker players. All in all, I'm not that impressed with them and if I look at the other teams, the whole South Korean league seems to have dropped a level. But yeah, it's a real grudge match. It's been only 2,5 years and current club Renhe is the one that picked me up afterwards.

I am going to trash talk so much prior to the game.

World Cups with nations like South Korea are so awesome. If your best players stay fit and are in form, you can get quite far, but a little bad luck is enough to make it a really mediocre squad.

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Teased you too long with the film thing I think xD

In the end I guess it was quite weak but it was the "This is the truth" line from the teen film everybody loved (lolz) The Fault in our stars.

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Teased you too long with the film thing I think xD

In the end I guess it was quite weak but it was the "This is the truth" line from the teen film everybody loved (lolz) The Fault in our stars.

lol :lol:

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Ajax Cape Town - Season 2015/2016

v5qDvCH.png

League | Schedule

With our scouting knowledge seemingly mediocre at best, I relied on re-signing the club's outstanding loan trio Thabiso Nkoana, Erwin Isaacs and Rodney Ramagalela for a combined £738k and backing them up several cheap squad signings.

But in contrast to our excellent end to the previous campaign, we started the new season abysmally, profligacy in front of goal seeing us into a bad run of results that soon consumed the season. I hoped we had turned the corner when we ended October and began November with back-to-back wins over Bloem Celtic and Martizburg Utd, but a steady stream of players coming to my office to declare their lack of confidence in me and refusing my response that we all had to work harder resulted in a further collapse of team harmony and morale and another trio of poor results.

The new year began with us moving for two experienced defenders to try and bolster our defence and switching to a 4-1-4-1 that earned a decent point against Black Aces, but I would have no chance to see the new defenders in action as a mauling at the hands of league leaders Sundowns, who scored the opener with a goal of the season contender in the opening minute, saw the board finally lose patience and declare the end of my time at Ajax CT. It's very disappointing as, if my assistant is to believe, I had a handful of outstanding prospects who I was looking forward to developing over a few years. I can't complain though, as the results were abysmal and way below what I expected before the season.

So it's back to the dole queue for me and also the tactical drawing board, as it's clear that the three games at the end of the previous season were the blip rather than this 16-game effort. We had big fitness issues, wasteful strikers and relied too much on an inexperienced set of defenders who weren't ready for the task, but there's no doubt that a large part of the failing was tactical and I'll have to do better in my next job.

Career Summary

Season        Club      League   Other & Notes
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014/15  RSA  Ajax CT   12th     Took over with 3 games remaining, in 15th place
2015/16  RSA  Ajax CT            Sacked after 16 games, in 16th place

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RENHE

2021 report

Competitions: http://imgur.com/u5dTyMi

Schedule part one: http://imgur.com/jT9KJjY

It was really an up and down season. After a slow start with some ACL preliminaries which were way harder than they should, we rolled our way through the games. After a draw and a loss in the ACL group, we started winning 14 games in a row. 11 straight league victories saw us nearing the half season break as league leaders, and 13 points in the ACL group were enough to go through as group winners. 2nd round opponents and Asian giants Jeonbuk gave us the first defeat in over two months, but we still overcame them 4-3 on aggregate. Draws against Shandong and Guangzhou were no problem as they were our main threats and a slight slip-up against Hangzhou didn't matter much either.

Schedule part two: http://imgur.com/0qnKwRa

Then, **** went down. A few players were tired although I did rotate a lot, and I lost star player Kehli for 2 months. Still no reason for a 1-3 home loss against bottom of the league Tianjin. I rested my best players even more the period after that, but we never got back our game. The ACL QF loss against Hachioji Tigre tells the story; in the group we got an unlucky draw and a deserved win, in these games we just came up short and were never really looking good. I was annoyed because after defeating Jeonbuk and seeing which clubs were left, I really felt we could go on to win it. In the end we did win the Chinese cup, so that's at least something.

Star players:

Xu Shuai: http://imgur.com/3cOk9ca

The striker continued his form as a decent goal scorer and snapped up the ACL top goal scorer. 11 goals in the league doesn't look like much, but he did not see the end of many of those games to keep him fit.

Emmanuel Yeboah: http://imgur.com/hFxzViv

This Ghanaian beast is way too good for the Chinese league. To my surprise he extended his contract.

What's next?

I'm getting a bit stale in Asia, so I'm going to look elsewhere. USA, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia are the options and I hope there's going to be a club soon. I'll have to go back for the ACL in a couple of years time.

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NormandyWept Tough season man! It sucks so much when you can't seem to turn anything around. What is your plan, finding another club in South Africa or are you looking elsewhere?

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By the way, I'm experiencing a bug in which I don't receive my badges after studying. I know it was a known bug and I'm using a pre-update save so I can't do much about it, but how big will the effect be on me getting decent jobs? Is it going to be like 'nah you can't get Chelsea but Spurs will probably take you' or more like 'You want to manage Plymouth? Nope.'

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Busta - How did you actually do in the league. (Oh, ok, third. It loaded eventually.) Imgur is next to inaccessible in China; at least for me. In China every team wins every game, thanks to the party, so your fake league table isn't very harmonious. Congrats on the Chinese cup.

Believe me, wanting to be in South America instead of China is something I completely understand.

NW- Hope you get another job soon.

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vikeologist What do you mean by 'every team wins every game'? Something fishy going on?

I just meant that winning and losing is a bourgeois concept propagated by foreign barbarians. I was joking.

The unfortunate truth is that in China, people aren't interested in soccer because it has been so corrupt and open to bribery. A couple of years ago, the national team's games weren't shown on TV because soccer was so discredited. (Probably the reason they're not shown now is because the team is so dreadful). Things might be changing though. Last night a match between the Chinese students and the foreign students at my University had about 1,000 people watching. Maybe half of them even knew which sport it was.

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Ah yes, I get it now ;)

I've read something about that a while ago. There was even a club that lost a championship because of bribery, right? Too bad though, China always has the potential to be big in a sport. I remember it being called a sleeping giant around the 2002 WC finals. But they seem to have missed the moment, Japan and South Korea saw some players go to Europe after that. Besides Sun Jihai I wouldn't know many Chinese players in Europe. Yu Hai was here in Holland at Vitesse for 10 games (he actually did quite ok) and I remember some guy Sun being a backup at PSV Eindhoven for a year, but the Dutch league is not the league people are thinking of when talking about Europe.

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NW- Hope you get another job soon.
NormandyWept Tough season man! It sucks so much when you can't seem to turn anything around. What is your plan, finding another club in South Africa or are you looking elsewhere?

Yeah, it was a horrible season. I've landed in Australia, done a few games of the season but don't want to judge things too early as I did last time! Hopefully an update in a day or two when I get through this campaign...

Thanks everyone for the various "welcome back" messages, too :)

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I just meant that winning and losing is a bourgeois concept propagated by foreign barbarians. I was joking.

Actually laughed out loud!

The Chinese league is getting reported on quite a bit in Iceland now. The reason being that Jiangsu Guoxin-Sainty (or as Vikeologist would put it: 江苏国信舜天足球俱乐部) currently employes two Icelandic players. I have to say that I am not the slightest surprised by Vikeologists claims on bribery and such. The amount of money these players are earning given the status of the league is just ridiculous. But I'm sure Chines football will overturn the corruption eventually and rise on an international level.

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Following my relegation at Oriental, i have moved from Portugal to Belguim and taking over Kapellen in the Third Division B. They were 2nd favourites to win the league and i take over from them in 14/18th.

After 12 games, i am currently unbeaten (6 wins/6 losses). I like the idea of the lower Belguim leagues as you can take over a squad with a poor start but still get promoted thanks to the league season being split in three. With the league refreshing each time (After 10 games, then 12 and then another 12) each team top of the league for these periods go into a promotion playoff league and the ultimate winner of the league (normal season) getting automatic promotion. (i hope i have explained this clear enough for everyone!)

I am currently 2 games into the 3rd and final period and we are top. Incidentally, i am still yet to play my final game of the second period, thanks to Turnhout's ground being constantly flooded. If i win this game, i finish top in the second period and therefore are guaranteed a place in the promotion playoffs. I am only 6 points off the total league leader (still following?!) and haven't given up hope of going up automatically. I have just drawn at home against this team though which if i had won would have blown the league apart, bearing in mind that i am 8th currently but only 6 points off the top with a game in hand. So anyone down to 9th could probably still win the league.

Busta congrats on the cup.

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Hatton90 Second league in Holland works about the same way. There's just an overall table and periods of about 8 games. Every period winner, the 2 highest placed without a period and the Eredivisie's 16 and 17 go into the playoffs. Overall champion gets promotion along with 2 playoff winners. It's a bit weird but I think it was done because we have no real relegation from the 2nd tier (something everyone here is moaning about, it's really bad for the general level of our leagues) and a lot of teams were done for the season after about 20 games.

I just joined Portuguesa in Brazil. 2nd tier, promotion candidate. Already got a win against Sao Paulo and drew with Corinthians in the state championships, so eager to see how good we really are compared to our own division.

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Unlucky with the sacking NormandyWept.

Unlucky in the ACL BustaRaymes, good luck in furthering your career in South America.

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The Ultimate Challenge: Brettney Edition;

Only losing 1 in our first 7 league games saw us off to a great start. We spent the majority of the season in the top 2 but into the final third of the season and into the league split saw the obscene amount of injuries get the better of us and we crashed down to 4th.

We won the League's Fair Play award. In the Asian Confederation Cup we made it out of the group stage and into the Q-Final before

falling on away goals to Fanja of Oman.

League Cup|The Squad|S-League Table|

Key Players;

Bah Mamadou|Jang Jo-Yoon|Patrick Paranjody|

Transfers;

Best Signing: Ricardo Da Silva

41 Year Old Left Winger Abdullah retires.

Youth Candidates;

Season	Team			Position   Notes			     Challenge Landmarks
2014	Woodlands (Singapore)	 7th	   Took over 17 games in (8th)  Cup Double (League Cup and S-Cup)
2015   Woodlands (Singapore)    4th       Too many injuries!           League Cup won.

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Brettney - Hard luck on the disappointing season. Was 4th enough to qualify for the Confed Cup again?

hatton and NW - Good luck in Belgium and Australia.

I have a decision to make. My third seasom at hertha isn't really showing any sign of progression. We're in mid-table, our best players want to leave to play in the Champions league.

Dortmund are having an even worse season. They're perched immediately above the relegation places and are bottom of their euro Cup group. Their new manager from the end of last season is so sacked and they've offered me the job of manager. I didn't apply, but I went for the job interview they offered me.

They are the 2nd biggest club in Germany, if not the biggest, in terms of attendances, wages etc. On the other hand their highly paid squad is rubbish, and it will be a struggle to get them into the the top half that the board are demanding for the season, never mind continental qualification. It might take 2 seasons to even get them to hertha's level, and there's a much greater chance of being sacked.

Also I'd really like to achieve something with Hertha. All my Champion Leagues and domestic leagues have been with big clubs. I've like to prove that I can work my magic on a next level down team.

But perhaps I can't, and I think it was burtur that said that there's no room for sentimentality in this challenge; especially if I'm going to keep up with Burtur's success.

I think I'm going to stop playing for a while and meditate upon my path in life.

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Western Sydney Wanderers - Season 2016/2017

p0yeYBT.png

League | Schedule Part 1 & Part 2

I landed on my feet after my Ajax Cape Town exit, taking over just after the final game of the 2015/16 season at Western Sydney Wanderers in the Hyundai A-League.

The club's finances weren't in the best shape, necessitating that we dealt primarily in free transfers, but we overall managed to deliver a solid season which the board appreciated all the better for tight control of the wage budget. With a number of good free transfers lined up for next season, hopefully we can build on a solid 6th this season and go on to finish higher and be more competitive in the post-season play-offs than this time out.

The season started particularly pleasingly with a good run in the FFA Cup, but this ended unfortunately when a series of injuries to key midfielders saw us lose to city rivals Sydney FC in the Quarter Final. Again, with a deeper squad next year the hope is to avoid this.

Sydney FC remained a constant menace throughout the campaign, winning the first two league meetings of the season as well as that Cup tie, leaning extensively on poor refereeing decisions as a harsh sending off in the first game was followed by a ridiculous penalty in the second and a clearly offside goal in the third. Thankfully, the fourth game finally saw us claim a result, crucial with fan frustration mounting over our inability to compete in a derby match.

We did peter out a little in the spring. The new 4-1-4-1 formation looks defensively solid, but we drew too many games, with attacking adjustments generally only succeeding in making the games free-scoring defeats. I think I've been too aggressive with in-match changes both this year and in Cape Town, so I'm trying to adjust this whilst also finding the right way to more regularly threaten goal.

A special mention must go to Japanese magician Yojiro Takahagi. Already a fan favourite, our attacking central midfielder soon became one of my mine too when he scored stunning long-range strikes in his first two competitive games of my reign. It was his absence that generally led to periods of attacking ineffectiveness for us, as he was often key to unlocking opposing defences.

I've signed a one-year extension at Wanderers but hope to be at the club for longer and build something. There is a good base, a couple of very good players, and I've an excellent set of signings already lined up for the summer, so hopefully we can build toward continental qualification, even if it does put us rather behind the club's real-life feats.

Career Summary

                                   Cups
Season        Club       League   1st  2nd   Other & Notes
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014/15  RSA  Ajax CT    12th     n/a  n/a   Took over with 3 games remaining, in 15th place
2015/16  RSA  Ajax CT             R2   R1    Sacked after 16 games, in 16th place
2016/17  AUS  Wanderers  6th      QF   n/a

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Western Sydney Wanderers - Season 2017/2018

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League | Schedule Part 1 & Part 2

My career strongly resembles David Moyes's early days at Everton, alternating seasons at one end of the table and the other. Only I went further in the decline than Moyes ever managed, and my second season with Wanderers FC was confirmed to be my last when they terminated my contract with five games remaining.

Despite my being named Manager of the Year in the summer following the 2016/17 campaign that I described previously, and strengthening our squad with 9 free transfer additions, we could gain absolutely no traction in the league, winning only two of the twenty-two A-League games I managed in the second season. Our main problem was up front, where I allowed last season's top scorer Kerem Bulut to join Melbourne Victory to alleviate some of our financial woes, but found myself unable to get goals out of the allegedly more talented Tomi Juric, who alternated spells of injury and ineffectiveness, and budget back-up signing Chris Lucas, who looked promising but scored just once.

Although being sacked a second time already in my career was very disappointing, there was an element of the season that went very well, with an FFA Cup campaign extended out of pre-season to a Semi-Final showdown with holders Melbourne Victory in November that we won on penalties, and then capped by a superb 2-0 victory over favourites Brisbane Roar in the Final to claim my first trophy (toward the significant number I need for the challenge!) and see me retain the personal award despite our league failings.

And so I leave Western Sydney Wanderers after two seasons, with two Manager of the Year awards and a trophy to my name, but still looking to truly make an impression on a league campaign as I continue to learn how to get my tactics right, something I'm finding much harder than I remember in my first attempt this year or any of my short challenge saves back in FM14.

Career Summary

                                   Cups
Season        Club       League   1st  2nd   Other & Notes
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014/15  RSA  Ajax CT    12th                Took over with 3 games remaining, in 15th place
2015/16  RSA  Ajax CT             R2   R1    Sacked after 16 games, in 16th place
2016/17  AUS  Wanderers  6th      QF         Manager of the Year
2017/18  AUS  Wanderers           won        Manager of the Year; Sacked after 22 games, in 10th place

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Brettney - Hard luck on the disappointing season. Was 4th enough to qualify for the Confed Cup again?

No it wasn't. Im not completely disappointed by 4th, i would of taken it before the season started but we suffered far too many injuries. Still if we can finish 4th or above again next season i'll be happy.

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Unlucky getting sacked again NormandyWept... Where to next??

Thanks! Although I feel I deserved the sack for our league performances, I must say I love that I still got Manager of the Year. It makes their decision look very strange, sacking a young manager with back-to-back Manager of the Year awards! Ha ha :-) I'm hopeful my spells between jobs will be quite brief now, certainly the press report for my next appointment suggests the new club have done very well to get someone who has won those awards.

Next up for me is India, and a return to a team from my first attempt at this challenge all those months ago...

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So things are going well for South Korea. We're 22nd in the world, and by far the best team in Asia. We've (comfortably) won every game against Asian opposition, including a friendly against Australia, reigning Asian Cup champs and winner of the other World Cup qualifying group. In 13 months time there is the Asian Cup and we have to be the overwhelming favourites to win it.

But I almost certainly won't be in charge by that point because in the World Cup we have been drawn against England (2nd in the world), France (8th) and Uruguay (who finished 3rd in the South American qualifying group). The national board however expect me to reach the second round.

I'm so fed up with this because exactly the same thing happened 8 years ago with Egypt, who I still think would have won the following ACON had I still been in charge.

I'm tempted to go into full-pathetic mode and complain about this on General Discussion.

Currently my board are satisfied at my 100% competitive record and my having taken South Korea into the top 20 for probably the first time in their history. Miserable ungrateful morons.

What's the point?

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Vikeologist: That group! Wow. Unlucky. Good luck and hopefully the board will understand if you don't progress.

Normandy doesn't muck about. He's gunning straight for the top in both challenges this thread covers. Unlucky getting sacked. Good luck in India! Since you mentioned David Moyes, he is currently managing in the Vanarama Conference in my save. His decline has been quite epic to watch.

Brettney: Injuries are the worst! I always feel that they hit multiple players in the same position. I hate it. But that's probably just paranoia on my part. I'm sure you will challenge for the title next season.

Hatton: Belgium is a fun league. Good luck there!

Busta: Can't wait for an update from one of the Americas. We haven't had a lot of those! What's your overall progress though? Did you win the league already?

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Don't stop believing in Journey!

burtur's 2024/25 end of season report

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Man City - Premier League, France - UEFA

League Table | Positional Graph

Man City:

After spending 320m pounds in two seasons I had put together a squad that I knew were serious contenders for just about anything. I had at least two excellent choices for every position which enabled me to rotate and keep everybody fresh the entire season.

That proved fruitful as we blitzed the league, topping our goal tally from last season, conceding the fewest goals and breaking the points record in the process. We were by far the best team and needless to say me and my players picked up all the accolades after the season.

The league cup wasn't a priority and we went out in the quarter final there. In the FA Cup we had a fantastic cup run. We knocked out Tottenham, Arsenal (both away) and Chelsea in the semi-final before running out clear winners in the final versus a resilient Stoke team.

Our return to the Champions League was also a success. We won the group easily (Benfica, Saint-Etienne and Fenerbache), winning all games.

In the second round we drew current holders Bayern. We lost 2-3 away in the first leg but a 5-0 humiliation at home saw us through. We were definite contenders, urinating on the trophy like an enthusiastic Labradoodle marking it's territory.

On to the quarter final. At this point Barcelona, Bayern and Real Madrid were all knocked out, the cup was there for the taking. We drew Porto this time round. Again we played the first leg away, this time suffering a heavy 6-3 loss. I was devastated. However, another first class performance at The City of Manchester Stadium again saw us through to the semi-final.

We drew Liverpool, the strongest team in an all-English semi-final. We lost narrowly in the first leag 2-3, but won convincingly 3-0 in the reverse fixture. On to the final.

The final was staged in Barcelona, were another Manchester club won it's treble 26 years earlier. It was written in the stars. We played Arsenal, a team that we should win comfortably on a normal day...and a normal day it was.

So a treble win it was. Not only that, a well earned treble win. Just to highlight how dominant we were this season, we had 4 players scoring more than 20 goals this season, with another two entering double digits. Domination.

The aftermath.

I had been monitoring 4 clubs during the season. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Eibar (They have a Chinese sugar daddy) and Bayern, thinking I might jump ship should one of the positions become vacant. As it turned out, Eibar fired their coach in early may. I however had two finals to play at that time so I did nothing.

After the Champions League final I decided to resign from my Man City post. I had won everything I needed to and it was time to move on. I quickly applied for the Eibar post as it wasn't filled yet. To my disappointment, they had finished the interview process and hired a coach the next day. But in a plot-twist, Carlo Ancelotti wanted the Man City job, which he eventually got. I subsequently applied for the vacant position at Real Madrid. I didn't hear from them for two nerve racking months due to their presidential elections, but they eventually made contact and offered me the job. One of the biggest jobs in world football is now mine.

Now, as I write this season update I just realized that the FIFA World Club Cup and European Super Cup are a requirement in this challenge. I feel a bit stupid since I in all likelihood would have won those cups with City. :applause: I just got to win that Champions League again....oh well.

France:

Now a whole lot to report. We won our League of Nations group that consisted of Spain and Romania. That meant we qualified for the semi-final where we beat Germany away. The final was then held in England, where we lost to the home side 4-1. Feeling bit indifferent towards that competition, but we racked up some good results so that is pleasing.

Roll on next season!

Managerial career:

Season           Club                League        Pos       DC1         DC2      Continental        Other
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014/15  EFC Fréjus St. Raphaël  French National   3rd    7th round      n/a          n/a             n/a
2015/16  EFC Fréjus St. Raphaël      Ligue 2       1st   11th round   3rd round       n/a             n/a
2016/17  EFC Fréjus St. Raphaël      Ligue 1      14th   semi-final   semi-final      n/a             n/a
2017/18         FC Metz              Ligue 1       3rd   semi-final   3rd round       n/a             n/a
2018/19         FC Metz              Ligue 1       2nd     winners    4th round    ECL 1st KO         n/a
2019/20         FC Metz              Ligue 1       3rd  quarter-final runner up     ECL Q/F      Champions Trophy, runner up
2020/21         FC Metz              Ligue 1       1st  quarter-final  winners      ECL S/F           n/a
2021/22          Inter               Serie A       1st    semifinal      n/a       ECL 1st KO         n/a
2022/23          Inter               Serie A       1st     winners       n/a        ECL Q/F       Italian Super Cup, winners
2023/24     Manchester City            EPL         4th  quarter-final 3rd round       n/a             n/a
2024/25     Manchester City            EPL         1st     winners  quarter-final  ECL winners        n/a

Season           Nation              Achievements
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2017/18        Costa Rica            World Cup Group Stage
2018/19        Costa Rica            Copa Centroamericana - Winners
2022/23          France              Promotion to League of Nations division A
2023/24          France              European Championships - semi-finalists
2024/25          France              League of Nations - runners up

Challenge Landmarks

[b]England:[/b]
[i]The Premier League[/i]:    2025 (Man City)
[i]The FA Cup[/i]:            2025 (Man City)

[b]France:[/b]
[i]Ligue 1[/i]:               2021 (FC Metz)
[i]Coupe de France[/i]:       2019 (FC Metz)
[i]Coupe de la Ligue[/i]:     2021 (FC Metz)

[b]Italy:[/b]
[i]Serie A[/i]:               2022,2023 (Inter)
[i]Coppa Italia[/i]:          2023 (Inter)

[b]Continental[/b]:
[i]UEFA Champions League[/i]: 2025 (Man City)

[b]International:[/b]
[i]Copa Centroamericana*[/i]: 2018 (Costa Rica)

*not a challenge landmark, but fun nonetheless.

The journey so far:

Prologue, Season 2014/15, Season 2015/16, Season 2016/17, Season 2017/18, Season 2018/19 Part 1, Part 2, Season 2019/20, Season 2020/21, Season 2021/22, Season 2022/23, Season 2023/24

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Burtur - Well done on your further success. We don't need the European Super Cup. Hopefully you'll get the World Club Championship with Madrid or the German team you end up with. Mind you, you shouldn't assume that you'll ever be able to defeat the likes of the current World Club Champions in my game; Toronto FC. That's the first time in my save there's been a ridiculous winner, though Orlando Pirates did win it while I was trailing in their wake at Kaiser Chiefs. The nice thing about winning the Asian or African champions league is that the World Club Championship takes place very soon after, but even hanging around at a club for a month, just to take part in it once I'd achieved everything else and was keen to move on, was annoying. Who knows when the Madrid job would have come up again if you had stuck around Manchester.

Now, now. You can't put the Centroamerica as a challenge landmark. Many of us have our little international achievements. I myself have the East Asian Cup with china, and I'd estimate there's about a 99% chance I'll win it again next month with South Korea. (if I don't, maybe I won't have to worry about the World Cup). Maybe 99% chance is being unfair to Japan, runners up the last 7 times. I'm tempted to leave my first choice goalie out of the squad (as he's my only good goalie at Dortmund, whose kind job offer I did accept). I think though that this could only be construed as cheating.

Update - His jaw was broken in training, so he's going to miss all matches international and domestic for 4-5 weeks. Karma for even thinking of the idea I suppose. Not 99% certain of winning it anymore.

NW - I think if you want to challenge me for the Sacking crown, you're going to need to dip your toes into international management. I think you have been sacked by as many clubs as me already though. (More if you include Yanbian from your first attempt I guess). How does it feel to be back at Dempo? Any familiar faces from your first time?

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Now, now. You can't put the Centroamerica as a challenge landmark. Many of us have our little international achievements.

I know :o For some reason it just wanted it to stay when I changed that code-box from managerial landmarks to challenge landmarks. I'll remove for the next update :(

But anyway. I am fairly sure I will win the Champions League with Real Madrid or perhaps the German team (*cough* Bayern), the question is how long will that take me. Neither Real Madrid nor Bayern have the resources Man City had so it might take me longer to build a proper squad there. But I can't complain really, this European tour has been quite smooth until now.

Oh and one more thing. Toronto! That's amazing. Do they have some good players or is Super_Gord maybe their manager?

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burtur - yes, no messing around! - The Sacking Crown will be mine! Although I need to sort the tactical issues I have so I can finally start winning some league titles. That was a major season of underachievement at Wanderers given the squad I managed to assemble. Gratz on your success with City! I'm sure you can get back to the Super Cup / CWC with Real Madrid.

vikeologist - international requirement for Sacking Crown noted ;-) No familiar faces at Dempo and the squad is interesting, most of the good players are foreigners, I have no idea how my predecessor was making the foreign player limit work. Maybe he wasn't and that's why I've got the job...

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Dempo Sports Club - Season 2018/19

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League | Schedule

India was the next step on my world tour, and Dempo Sports Club the next club.

With the club in financial turmoil and relying on a number of foreign players too great to fit them into the same league line-up, it was to be a difficult campaign and whilst I was happy that my 4-5-1 was an improvement on my tactical efforts in Cape Town and Sydney, a disappointing slide in our form over the course of the season meant that we went from midtable contenders right down the table and a defeat to Pune in the penultimate game dumped us into the relegation zone and me back out onto the street.

Luckily, another Indian club was to come calling before the following campaign, and I had been able to diagnose our main problem aside from the lack of balanced squad-building by my predecessors: not enough of a pre-season had meant that we lacked match fitness virtually the whole campaign. I had been relying on my assistants to schedule pre-season through my career, but it was clear that taking over this myself was the next step to getting my career back on track.

(And besides, I've invested enough effort into winning the Sack Crown already. Time to get on to some proper silverware!)

Career Summary

                                     Cups
Season        Club         League   1st  2nd   Other & Notes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014/15  RSA  Ajax CT      12th                Took over with 3 games remaining, in 15th place
2015/16  RSA  Ajax CT               R2   R1    Sacked after 16 games, in 16th place
2016/17  AUS  Wanderers    6th      QF         Manager of the Year
2017/18  AUS  Wanderers             won        Manager of the Year. Sacked after 22 games, in 10th place
2018/19  IND  Dempo                 GS         Sacked after 19 games, in 11th place

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Bengaluru FC - Season 2019/2020

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League | Schedule Part 1 & Part 2

Bengaluru FC was quick to pick me up when I left Dempo, and my assistant manager soon followed me. Bengaluru was also in a precarious financial position - a common theme in this league perhaps - but blessed with a handful of current Indian internationals, two good Australian players, and an excellent set of youngsters, giving me plenty of optimism if I could apply the lessons of the past two seasons.

A strong start to the season saw us reach the Semi-Final of the Durand Cup (frustratingly losing to none other than Dempo) and the Final of the Federation Cup where we were unfortunate to lose 1-0 after a titanic effort against favourites East Bengal. Whilst we wobbled midway through the league campaign, an excellent second half of the season including six unbeaten home games saw us climb up to 6th, a decent finish which combined with the Cup runs ensured I earned an additional year at the club.

Expiring contracts give me some scope to redefine the squad a little in the post-season, so I'm hopeful we can build on the strong end to 2019/20 and finish a few places higher next year. It would be great to also go a step further in one of the Cup competitions.

Career Summary

                                     Cups
Season        Club         League   1st  2nd   Other & Notes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014/15  RSA  Ajax CT      12th                Took over with 3 games remaining, in 15th place
2015/16  RSA  Ajax CT               R2   R1    Sacked after 16 games, in 16th place
2016/17  AUS  Wanderers    6th      QF         Manager of the Year
2017/18  AUS  Wanderers             won        Manager of the Year. Sacked after 22 games, in 10th place
2018/19  IND  Dempo                 GS         Sacked after 19 games, in 11th place
2019/20  IND  Bengaluru    6th      SF   F

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