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FM15: Swansea City - The ONLY Welsh club in the Premier League..

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Solved the problem of the Amat departure by securing Balanta from River Plate for 8 M. Pretty good deal in my book! Also loaned in Powell from Man U as Ki is injured for 10 weeks at the start of the season. Here is my team for the upcomins season:

GK - Fabianski, Zabret

RB - Mayke, Richards

CD - Fernandez, Williams, Balanta, Bartley

LB - Taylor, Kingsley

DM - Kranevitter, Britton, Ajer

CM - Pereyra, Sigurdsson, Shelvey, Ki, Powell

RM/AMR - Dyer, Grealish

LM/AML - Savitsky, Montero

ST - Bony, Malcolm, Tudorie

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Great effort everybody, love seeing the Swans flying high.

Having lived on these forums for the last few years and not contributed anything (my name’s Bows and I’m a serial lurker!), I thought it was only right and about time I share my stories. I love reading other managers’ experiences and achievements, so here is my story to date with my local and lifelong club.

I start a new Swans save with every new Football Manager and always give myself some guidelines to keep me on the straight and narrow and do things the Swansea way:

1) Financial security – being there when the club was so close to going under, I always make sure the bank balance is healthy + set the club up for the long term....invest in training, youth + eventually look to buy the stadium.

2) Shrewd buying/selling – look for bargains who can add to the 1st team and young players with potential that I can turn into stars. Don’t mind splashing out on the odd star who I hope will make a big difference but also try to keep quite tight with wages (Bit of a Wenger fan ) If I’m selling, I always try and get maximum value. I don’t look to buy players cheap with the intention of selling for profit but if bids come in that I can’t resist then so be it. A British core is important for the squad also.

3) Show a bit of loyalty – lots of time for the players who have come through the divisions with us (Rangel, Britton, Taylor etc). As long as they’re performing I’ll look to keep them around + not just get rid of them for the sake of it. Long term, I’ll also be looking to bring back some of the favourites to the club (Joe Allen, Ben Davies)

4) Never lose to Cardiff :p

1st Season – 2014/15

I didn’t really know what I wanted my so called “philosophy” to be. I guess the best way to look at it was that I wanted to be solid in defence, patient in attack. I wasn’t keen on a high line/high press, nor a low block/ fast counter approach. I was looking for two banks of 4 when defending, holding our shape and being compact. When we had the ball, I wanted to keep the ball and build from the back, with pace out wide to stretch the play when needed.

I’m no expert when it comes to tactics so I came up with a fairly basic standard/flexible 4-4-1-1 for a more defensively sound base.

GK/D - Fabianski, Tremmel

RWB/A - Rangel, Jazz Richards

CD/D - Fernandez/Amat

CD/C - Williams, Bartley

LFB/S -Taylor, Kingsley

RWM/S- Dyer, Routledge

DLP/D - Britton, Carroll

B2B/S - Shelvey, Ki

LWM/A - Montero, Routledge

AP/S - Gylfi

AF/A - Bony, Gomis

My thinking was that I wanted my key players to be in their best positions, mainly Siggy being the creative force with as many attacks as possible coming through him. I wanted Bony in the box getting on the end of anything and everything, not dropping deep looking for the ball. Saying that, with his “comes deep for ball” preferred move, I was hoping there’d be some different and exciting movement. There were a few PI’s thrown in but nothing major. Set pieces would be left as standard for both attack and defence as I couldn’t be bothered.

There would be situations when some of the roles would change if we needed something different, mainly the top two would go to AP/A or SS with a DLF/S. Chasing a goal, the B2B would change to a CM/A to allow him to get further forward. Later in the season, there was a slightly different 4-1-4-1 when we were getting over-run or if we needed to play deeper to draw out a very defensive team to create holes in their defence.

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http://s304.photobucket.com/user/rhysbowen/media/Transfers_TransferHistory_zps5f2168e5.jpg.html?filters%5Buser%5D=142619035&filters%5Brecent%5D=1&sort=1&o=0

With Ki leaving for decent money, the midfield was strengthened with Kimmich (eventually replace Britton) and Romero (rotate with Shelvey for the other CM role) The Romero transfer fee included another £3.5m after 50 league appearances. I also planned to get rid of Routledge but a few things went against me. Tried Suso + Traore on loan but both went elsewhere. Savitsky would join in Jan but would not get a work permit so Routledge stayed for the season at least. With Bony going to the AFCON in Jan, another striker was vital and getting Ings with 6 months left on his contract for this price was too good to turn down. Both him and Gomis filled in well for the missing Bony and chipped in with some vital goals into the New Year and down the stretch.

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http://s304.photobucket.com/user/rhysbowen/media/BarclaysPremierLeague_OverviewStages_zps38db2475.png.html?filters%5Buser%5D=142619035&filters%5Brecent%5D=1&sort=1&o=0

Delighted with the boys’ effort in my 1st year and massively overachieved if I’m honest. Always prioritised the league over the cups to begin with but still never expected to finish this high, all set up from the fantastic start which saw us unbeaten in the first 11 games, winning 9. Dropping points after Xmas saw us fighting for an Europa League place but a strong finish saw us climb back up to 2nd.

http://s304.photobucket.com/user/rhysbowen/media/Schedule_SeniorFixtures2_zps19c517be.png.html?filters%5Buser%5D=142619035&filters%5Brecent%5D=1&sort=1&o=1

http://s304.photobucket.com/user/rhysbowen/media/Schedule_SeniorFixtures-22_zps364b94d5.png.html?filters%5Buser%5D=142619035&filters%5Brecent%5D=1&sort=1&o=0

Key Players

Wilfried Bony – Would be mid table without the big man up top. Started on fire with pretty much a goal per game before his absence in Jan. Couldn’t find his form after coming back to the club + Monaco and Man City were sniffing around trying to unsettle him but his impact in the first half of season was huge.

Nathan Dyer – Played every league match on the right wing, 14 goals, 8 assists and average rating of 7.48, thoroughly deserving of his new deal at the end of the season. Goal of the season award was a bonus.

Ashley Williams – Captain of Wales, a rock at the back.

Bafa Gomis/Danny Ings – Picked up where Bony left off in the New Year.

Gylfi Sigurdsson – only low point of a wonderful season was not getting much return from Gylfi, considering I tried building the team around him and playing in his favoured position. Just the 4 goals + 8 assists, I’d be expecting a lot better next season.

Looking ahead to next season, I’d be looking for another solid season in the League (top 6 finish), a solid cup run with maybe an outside change for some silverware and for the team just to enjoy the experience in the Champion’s League (not expecting to pull up trees here). As for the 1st team, I’d be looking further strengthen midfield and out wide + some depth at GK & FB’s. A nice budget of around £25m would go a long way.

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2nd Season – 2015/16

http://s304.photobucket.com/user/rhysbowen/media/Transfers_%20%20Transfer%20History-2_zps7ir6tvbe.png.html

The summer’s transfer activity would revolve around two major sales. No sooner had the season finished, Monaco came in with a “name your price” bid basically for Lucas Romero. I had no intention of selling and stuck an £80m price tag on his head to fend them off. Shockingly, they came back with a £67m, all cash up front bid, which I couldn’t turn down. The second bombshell was no sooner had that transfer gone through, a £30m bid came in for star man Bony. With his head turned there was no way I was keeping him, a bit of negotiating and I had another huge cash injection coming in. Disappointingly, lost young Jazz Richards who went looking for fist team football and whilst I was hoping to persuade Michu to come back to the Liberty with a new deal, Napoli had other ideas after his solid season.

So, with more money than I knew what to do with, it was time to strengthen. Went down the Tottenham/Gareth Bale route and brought in numbers to strengthen the whole squad to help with the pressure of extra games and Europe, rather than blowing the lot replacing two players (would this come back to haunt me?). Really happy with the young home grown players we were able to attract to the club and for what I considered great value. The one gripe was not finding a new centre forward to take some of the burden off Ings and Gomis. Missing out on the likes of Gabriel Barbosa/ Paco Alcacer/Jordan Rhodes didn’t help. The loan singing of Origi seemed the most logical choice rather than splashing out on someone just for the sake of it.

Picking up Andre Hahn in January turned out to be an inspired singing and gave us the boost we needed. Had the chance to get Alvaro Morata for around £6m which I decided to turn down as his wage demands were too big.

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Hi guys,

Just started over a save with the Swans with the last patch , and you can now have for the first season transfer Windows up to 35M € to spend !

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2015-2016

EPL - 2nd place on goal difference behind Chelsea. 85 points and a +47 goal difference. Threw away the title by dropping points against Chelsea when they tied the game in the 93rd minute and losing to bottom side Wigan. Dyer (27 games/7g/11A/7.34avg) and Balanta (29games/7.40 Avg) named as starters on Select Team of the Year while Bony and Mayke were subs.

Champions League - runner up - lost to Bayern 3-2. Excellent foray into the Champs League. Finished 2nd to AC Milan in Group with PSV, R Madrid and AC Milan (tied RMadrid on points but went thru on goal diff). Record was 2W3D1L with the only loss away to Milan. Knocked out Barca (6-3 agg with a convincing 5-1 home win) Juventus and AC Milan on my way to the final

FA Cup - Winners 1-0 over Man City in the final.

League Cup - Winners 3-1 over Spurs. Played the second string for both my Cup runs and was really impressed with the results.

So close to the ultimate season. Starting to turn the club into one that can compete on multiple fronts. Very solid at the back and thru the middle. Need to start hitting a few more goals but the cannot complain too much. Starting to use the 4123 formation as the squad gets stronger and only use the 4141 for tough away matches.

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Summer 2016 - Transfers

I was looking to strengthen the squad in the hopes to build on last season's success but also had to deal with the increased demand for my players.

Transfers In:

Tielemans (Anderlecht) - Free - Signed to a pre contract deal in January and very happy to get him for nothing. Very reasonable wages at 35k per week. World-class potential and my playmaker in the middle for as long as I can hold him

Neves (Porto) - 15 Million - another one with an extremely bright future. Will have him and Kranevitter rotate in the DM role for my team

Koval (Kyiv) - 15 Million - top notch keeper who somehow I managed to sign to a 15K per week contract. Definite #1 goalie

Stones (Arsenal) - 23 Million - versatile young player who will be the starter at RB.

Grimaldo (Barcelona) Loan - another Barca product to start on at LB. 50% salary contribution

Out:

Mayke to Arsenal - 30 Million - Arsenal tapped him up and met his release clause in his contract. Tried to renegotiate before the bid but he wanted 120K per week which I wasn't about to give him. He is on 95K a Week at Arsenal. I feel the swap of him for Stones is great for many reasons leaves me ahead 7M in transfer money, 35k per week in wages better and Stones will fill a home grown spot.

Taylor to Liverpool - 7.5 Million - did not want to sell him but Liverpool had interest and it is his favourite club. Grimaldo will fill in his slot as the starter at LB

Bartley to WBA - 7.5 Million - wasn't happy being the 4th CB on the squad so when WBA came for him I was happy to oblige. I have an 18 year old regen who will fit in nicely in his spot.

Alli to Man City - 30 Million - as soon as City expressed interest he was wanting to go. Structured the deal where we get 30 percent of the next sale on top of the 30million. He played extremely well for me and has grown into an full England international but he wanted to go and sit on City's bench for 95k per week. Hope he does not turn out to be the next Scott Sinclair

Zabret to Crystal Palace - 400 k - reached his ceiling in terms of development and was not likely to get a game as Fabianski is now the back up.

Very happy with the transfers as we made a 14 Million profit while improving the team. I hope that most of the new blood will be in the first team for years to come. The plan is to keep improving the club's facilities and its reputation so I am able to hold on to my important players longer.

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2nd Season – 2015/16 Review

http://s304.photobucket.com/user/rhysbowen/media/Barclays%20Premier%20League_%20Overview%20Stages-2_zpsjecm1eul.png.html?filters[user]=142619035&filters[recent]=1&sort=1&o=0

Another great effort from the squad for the second season running, bringing us another 2nd place finish. Some notable moments included getting out of the group stage of our first outing in the Champion’s League, the unbeaten run from mid December to Mid February that put us in a strong position going into the last 3rd of the season and an incredible 6-4 win at the Emirates against Arsenal (we were leading 5-1 at half time). 2 quarter final appearances in both domestic cups was an improvement, we can hopefully further build on this in year 3. In other news, Cardiff went straight back down to the Championship :)

http://s304.photobucket.com/user/rhysbowen/media/Schedule_%20%20Senior%20Fixtures_zpsulpdzyfp.png.html

http://s304.photobucket.com/user/rhysbowen/media/Schedule_%20%20Senior%20Fixtures-2_zpsdczll83i.png.html

Key Players

Gylfi – a significant improvement from the playmaker, stepped up a lot from the previous season with 15 goals and 12 assists in the league, as well as notable performances in the cups.

Ashley Williams – Mr consistant, picked up where he left off last season.

Danny Ings – 16 league goals, some lovely link up play and understanding with Gylfi as well.

Most of my summer activity will be to give quite a few new contacts out to the squad. With many fully deserving a new deal, a few of my younger stars have very low release clauses, which will be loose change for the big teams if they want to poach my stars. Some will have to remain in place however as their wage demands are deemed to be too high, currently refusing to break the £100,000 p/w barrier....just hoping I can hang on to most of the squad.

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