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Jean-Luc

FM 2016: Oooooh Lilies! - Keep Darmstadt in the Bundesliga!

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I only had time for one game.

Quite an extraordinary one, though.

Funnily enough, what I wrote here in this thread about strikers and Youth and such made me think, and I decided to change my set up a bit:

86-tactic.PNG

I ordered Rosenthal upfront. Still not happy with Stroh-Engel, he is too slow for how we play (Acc 8, Pace 11), his anticipation is not the best (12), and he often moves clumsy (Agility 8). Rosenthal is better in all these attributes. He is not as good in heading, but I don't recall scoring that many headers after crosses anyway. I have used him in the last game as Advanced Forward, and immediatly liked his movements much better.

I also decided to let the young Kiwomya (on loan from Chelsea) play from the start. He has Acc 20, Pace 19, which makes us less dependent on Heller. Other than that, Kiwomya is not very good in passing and often makes wrong decisions or does not control the ball properly, but at least he can develop. (I can buy him at the end of the season for € 750,000 or even sign him for free if Chelsea does not extend his contract; my problem at the moment is that my finances have deteriorated in such a way, that I can't afford neither; it would be a real shame to let him go after developing him for a year...).

The other effect by playing Rosenthal upfront and Kiwomya on the right is that I can place Kempe central. And I start to think that I can make good use Kempes playmaker skills in a central position. More than playing him on the wings and having Rosenthal central as Shadow Striker.

Plus, I put some other Youngsters on the bench like Lucas Scholl. If I want to play the Youth card next season, I need to start now. (I also have done that in the past matches already, but often only after the 60th minute, and sometimes, when in doubt, decided to use Experience rather than Youth).

Our match is against Werder Bremen, away in Bremen, and Werder are, just like is, part of the relegation battle (although placed 2-3 places in front).

We went down 0-1 quickly.

Then Rosenthal manages this awesome counter attack to make it even.

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We go into half time 1-1. A result I could live with, at that time.

Then, second half...

Kiwomya (who indeed has not always made the right call so far, but at least was involved into some counter attacking, which is more than I can say about some matches we played in the past) manages an incredible cross on Rosenthal, who is exactly where he's supposed to be.

81-kiwoaufrosi.PNG

It gets even better...

Rosenthal aggressively chases this ball, and hammers it into the net!

A Rosenthal hat-trick.

3-1 for Darmstadt!

81-rosihattrick.PNG

And, to top that:

Kiwomya escapes again, runs to the byline, crosses past Rosenthal, but finds the young Luca Scholl (who has joined the game meanwhile).

4-1 for the Lilies!

83-kiwoaufscholl.PNG

We are absolutely destroying Bremen in their own stadium.

And now guess what...

The end result looks like this:

84-end.PNG

Three Bremen goals within 10 minutes.

Diaz got sent off for a tackle close to the box, and Bremen equalized with the free kick that resulted from that.

Shortly after that, they managed to exploit our hole on the left, where Caldirola tried to play left full back and score the 4-3.

I still hope to just weather the storm, go to full defense and watch how we concede a PENALTY in the 88th minute.

I am not sure if I should laugh or cry. In the end, of course, a decent result, an away draw, maybe a useful point, and certainly a very refreshing display of skills in the first, well... 75 minutes.

But I am, of course, utterly frustrated, shout at my players and fine Diaz way too heavily. Really funny how you suddenly react, as a player in front of the computer, just as emotional as you would if you were the manager in the dressing room, piling mistake on mistake.

Diaz is not happy and wants to leave now. :D

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Awh that sucks. I feel your pain , that sort of thing happened far to often for me in the first season , i hate to think how many goals were conceded in the last 10. A lot that is for sure. At least you are showing you can score goals as well though!

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If you haven't noticed it, Cleon's article on Counter Attacking has some interesting insights which certainly might be helpful for a Darmstadt save:

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/444680-The-Art-of-Counter-Attacking

The team has the right mental attributes, Heller has the right physical attributes, but everybody obviously lacks horribly in technical attributes. ;)

Still there are some quite useful ideas one could use to adapt to the Darmstadt squad.

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Awh that sucks. I feel your pain , that sort of thing happened far to often for me in the first season , i hate to think how many goals were conceded in the last 10. A lot that is for sure. At least you are showing you can score goals as well though!

I conceded a hell of a load of goals in the last 10 mins.... Also quite a few directly from kickoff. I think my players had concentration issues rather than fitness issues :/ But on the bright side I have moved onto Burnley and doing well. Darmstadt aren´t doing bad either, they are sitting 4th in the Bundesliga 2. after 6 games or so. The squad has had a massive rehaul since I was there, including players like Cazares and Olsson being sold for good profit! So at least I did something good for them, haha.

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10 days without a posting here... Has everybody given up? :D

I must say, this might be one of the toughest saves I ever played in my career in FM.

Season 2015/16 - Update



Jean-Luc

If I remember correctly, the last time I showed you results was before the game against Köln.

So here are the last half dozen matches.

I remind you that I have a spell of the "Fearsome Three" matches against Dortmund, Leverkusen and Bayern and my goal was to collect as many points as possible before going into these, because I expect them to be a row of Zero-point-games.

After that, it's two more games and the season will be over.

And this is how it went...

102-results.png

I admit, I became really worried after the match against Hamburger SV, because we simply couldn't win anymore, even our home derby against the big rivals from Frankfurt.

The match against Hannover gave me some hope, and the win against Hoffenheim was absolutely crucial, because TSG Hoffenheim sits in the relegation zone and could have leapfrogged us, pushing us deep into the misery.

The young Lucas Scholl saved us with a great long shot effort.

99-realscholl.png

If you look at the stats, you will see that we have been thoroughly dominated, but played a few very well timed counter attacks and that made the difference.

Well, that, and a penalty.

100-realstats.png

We are still far from safety, though.

Remember, I expect 0 points from the next 3 matches (and if we are able to scrap one or even two draws, I'd be the happiest man), and the relegation battle is really fierce, really tight and really intense.

5 teams are fighting tooth and nails to push each other into the relegation playoff spot, currently held by Mainz 05. Only 1 point between those five teams. And we are in the midst of it. Our halfway decent goal difference of -7 still helps somewhat.

Hoffenheim and Köln are a bit distanced, but not too far. Hoffenheim could overtake us with just two wins.

103-table.png

Jan Rosenthal is our best goalscorer now.

I decided to drop Stroh-Engel, who is a decent target man, but too slow (acc 8, pace 11) and not agile enough to really make a difference with the few chances we have. I realized that we are much more successful with a versatile striker, who can drop in and out between the lines and can hold the ball a bit better and pass it, if needed, to an onrushing winger or attacking midfielder.

85-rosivsdodo.png

Also, as can be seen above:

Niemeyer is now our best rated player with an average rating of 7.02. Best pass completion by Rosenthal (76%).

Well ... gues what?

Niemeyer AND Rosenthal are BOTH out with injuries.

For a few weeks.

I could cry.

And, worse: Our finances are completely deteriorating.

104-finance.png

I am not even sure the TV money at the end of the season will be able to fix this hole.

My board has cut down the percentage of transfer revenue able to be retained to 15%. FIFTEEN! That never ever even happened to me before.

I tried to use Cleons excellent thread on counter attacking to form a style that fits Darmstadt 98, but so far have not been very successful. Cleon suggested no PI and no TI and rely on a 4-1-4-1, and that does not work with this squad. Thes concede too many goals. A version with wingbacks is also not possible, as Darmstadt has absolutely no useful wingbacks whatsoever. I will try on, but this is for another posting. The problem here remains that Darmstadt squad is too slow, too weak technically and has too few outstanding players.

I do have a 5-2-2-1 formation that sometimes produces some nice counter attacks, though.

108-6-2-2.png

It looks a bit weird, but it does work. At least defensively. The idea here is to bring Heller as the main and fast threat into play, while the two central offensive players are still working to assist in defense. (Sailer is playing here, because, remember, Rosenthal is out. Stroh-Engel cannot really do this, he needs to be placed further up, and that makes it more risky).

The problem here is that there is actually nobody to recieve the key pass in the end when Heller starts his runs. I keep you posted. :D

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Oh, I almost forgot:

Bayern München was crowned champion on matchday 29. :D

105-matchday30.png

No surprise there, I guess...

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So...

... we are going into all three matches with the above mentioned 5-2-2-1 formation. Although adjusted in the second match by moving the AMC into the MC strata, playing as Advanced Playmaker. Better connection to the front and better defensive cohesion at the same time.

Our match against Dortmund is mainly a defense battle against a thunderstorm of pace and individual class. (Remember, this is the same Dortmund that sat in the relegation zone still around mid season, and then dug its way out by a streak of unstoppable wins).

But we are holding.

Darmstadt is setting a tight defense line that even, and most importantly, covers the flanks. Here you can see how Vrancic (DLP) is covering for Samir (IV), who is marking an attacking Dortmund player. The effect is that most Dortmund shots are wide and off target.

108b-szene.png

We even manage 1-2 nice counter attacks.

Here, Stroh-Engel plays a nice pass to Heller.

Unfortunately, Heller is too nervous, or too bad as a finisher... in any case, he does not transform this brilliant move into a goal.

109e-dseaufheller.png

And, after all, Darmstadt has to admit, that individual class sometimes is enough.

Dortmund manages one goal.

We could even have equalized in the last minute (as real life Darmstadt did against Dortmund, in fact), but Stroh-Engel misses his counter attack, just as Heller did earlier. That, still, remains one of our problems: We might initiate some nice moves, but our finishing is very poor.

109f-dsekonter.png

The table sees us loosing ground.

Fortunately, most of our competitors in relegation battle did not win neither.

110-table.png

We start against Bayer Leverkusen (placed 2nd in the Bundesliga behind the powerhouse Bayern München) with the same formation.

This time, a cross from Jungwirth to Heller puts us in the lead.

And again, our defense proves strong.

112-defense.png

But...

... yeah, well, I don't know... no idea how Kampl did manage to put that cross to Chicharito.

Basically, everybody is positioned right, as I see it, but Caldirola is not marking Chicharito close enough, or simply is not quick enough.

1-1

113-kamplhoherball.png

And in the end...

... here lies our problem: Heller with a beautiful cross, or, actually shot, and the Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno can't even hold the ball and has to drop it (you can see the white dot right next to him), but nobody is there to take advantage, Stroh-Engel was working deep, and Scholl and Gondorf are not quick enough. We still lack acceleration and pace in those situations. And maybe a bit of cleverness in front of the goal.

114-helleraufniemand.png

I won't even talk about the match against Bayern.

No tiny bit of hope for us.

3-0 for Bayern. And rightly so. I don't see how anybody can stop them.

115-bayern.png

So...

... we drop to 15th position. On level with Frankfurt. Our local rivals. Of all clubs. And only 3 points away from Köln and Hoffenheim (who both won their last matches).

Two matches to go.

This will be fierce. Very, very fierce.

115-three.png

Wish me luck.

We will need it.

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Good luck man! You can do it!

Great to see you back.

The thread has been a bit quiet lately. ;)

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Great to see you back.

The thread has been a bit quiet lately. ;)

Well, unfortunately I can´t add much to the thread after getting sacked after the first season ;) However, I am really interested in how other people doing with this challenging save. I´m hoping you´re going to make it!

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After finishing my first save on FM2016 with Tottenham, I'll be staring my second start with Darmstadt. Great work on introducing the club on here. I'll keep everyone updated as I too attempt to keep Darmstadt in the Bundeslinga!

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Season 2015/16 - final

So... this here happened:

116-ouch.png

I lose Marcel Heller for the rest of the season and for the two decisive matches.

The one and only tool that provides my team with pace and a certain goal threat (not counting set pieces).

That's... very bad.

I draw at home against Augsburg in a really dreadful game and find myself for the last game in a complicated spot: 16th place.

We need a win, if we want to stay in that relegation playoff spot (because the teams behind us can both still overtake us). We COULD even save ourselves with a win.

117-letztertag.png

This is my team for the last league game:

Without Heller. Kempe in the AMR position. Vrancic playing one strata higher up than normal, Gondorf playing one strata higher up than normal, neither one looks really confident in there. Remember: Niemeyer is still gone. Jungwirth has to cover for him. Garics plays DR.

Funnily enough, this side is actually an almost completely real Darmstadt side.

I played the whole season and end up on my last match with the original squad. Only exception: The young Lucas Scholl (AML).

None of the transfers was really of the quality to push himself into the first team.

118-lastteam.png

What can I say?

We lose.

In another pretty horrible match.

We have one counter in the end that could almost change our fortune, but it doesn't succeed. And as you can see, we are still missing the goal threat upfront.

119g-konter.png

And that's that.

We are lucky, though.

Hoffenheim and Köln both lose their matches as well (both 1:3). But Mainz and Frankfurt also lost, so we could have saved us with a win and could have pushed FSV Mainz into the relegation playoff.

119h-relegation.png

And then...

Now, let me explain something quickly here.

I live in Darmstadt for two years now and have followed the Lilies intensely during that time. I really consider myself a fan by now, but I must admit I am a quite newish fan to the club. There is one other club which will still be my real club of heart.

And that is exactly this one:

122-neinneinnein.png

FM16 forces me to play a relegation playoff with my Darmstadt save against my favourite club Freiburg.

HOW CRUEL CAN YOU BE???

I actually find myself watching the game and almost rooting for the wrong team. I see the names of the players of my favourite club running around on the pitch and they play so brilliantly their usual short passing, quick tempo, adorable stlye (note: everything that the Lilies are certainly NOT), and I wonder, if I should not simply be happy if they win.

Of course, I can't be happy. This is my save, of course. I need Darmstadt to stay up.

Nevertheless, we are outplayed.

125-eieiei.png

I have already decided at this point that I, as quite a few others here in this thread, have obviously failed.

I will not be able to keep Darmstadt in the Bundesliga, as the thread title suggests. It was too hard in the end. The injuries. The squad which has some very interesting players, but not really the right combination of attributes and strengths to set up a functioning tactic.

We need at least a 2-0 win against SC Freiburg, a team which plays a very pleasing, attacking, fast paced match.

Where can we possibly get TWO goals from?

Well...

130-gondorf.png

To be honest, I don't even exactly know how this happened.

I can only put this down to the mental strength of the team. They played as if they were fighting for their lives. Suddenly, everything I had planned with this tactic, worked as planned. The tackles, the closing down, the quick counter attacks, the wing play and the midfield.

We are dominating Freiburg, winning 3-1 in the end.

We are staying up!!

135-review.png

Here you can see how especially the most important players were injured for a very long spell:

Vrancic, Niemeyer, Heller - undoubtly the most gifted players, are in the Top3.

Followed by Rosenthal on #5.

136-verletzung.png

Of course, this might almost certainly be connected to our quite rough style of play.

I see if I can find a few more stats and figures from the end of the season stats.

But for now:

Bring the champagne! Let's celebrate...!

:)

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I'm busy in the Grasshopper Club Zürich thread for FM16. But would just like to congratulate Jean-Luc on a fantastic thread

I just saw your blog. Brilliant idea to dedicate a whole blog to an FM save! Keep it up!

After finishing my first save on FM2016 with Tottenham, I'll be staring my second start with Darmstadt. Great work on introducing the club on here. I'll keep everyone updated as I too attempt to keep Darmstadt in the Bundeslinga!

Welcome to the thread.

I am looking forward to see some action here.

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Oh, one more. For all English readers here.

Arsenal won the Premier League 2015/16.

And Klopp decided that he wants to switch to ManCity at the end of the season.

140-klopp.png

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Well done, what an epic comeback, though perhaps a tad gut-wrenching to stick the boot in your favourite club.

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Well done, what an epic comeback, though perhaps a tad gut-wrenching to stick the boot in your favourite club.

I admit, in the end, that was all blown away by the deep satisfaction of actually having saved Darmstadt.

And by the news that our cash box is filled with 22 million Euro. Meaning that there is hope, I can actually convince my board to give me a little bit of transfer money for 2016/17.

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Brilliant news, hopefully you can push forward and have a more comfortable 2nd season.

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Alright lads, decided to start up seeing as though this thread is quality. Just a general look at the squad overall, it looks god awful. But regardless, I decided to completely disable transfers in the summer market, hence, will just have to do with the existing squad for the time being.

It looks to be the challenge of all challenges in a top flight league of one of the big 4 leagues.

rZaXgMB.png

These are the tactics I decided upon. There's a bunch of forwards, none of whom have any quality, but all of them have decent workrate, hence I decided to go with the 'defensive forward' up top, something I have never done before.

20BkHzl.png

It seemed to work early on...but things have turned quite sour.

RPZPGuY.png

Pretty brutal, I keep creating at least 2-3 clear cut chances per game, but the general lack of quality upfront means they never go in. In defence, there's an abundance of defenders....all of whom are walking mistakes waiting to happen. I just need to conceded 1 clear cut chance for a goal to go in. How very frustrating.

Anyway, a few hundred k have been added to the budget and I'm considering whether to sign Ondrej Mazuch or Yoann Gourcuff on a free transfer...both willing to come for around 13k/week.

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I may have a go in the Bundesliga at some point and I quite fancy the challenge of a team is almost a certainty to be relegated without a human manager. What's the highest anyone has finished first season?

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What a thread lads, im playing with 1.FC Köln and matches againts Darmstadt were always hard ones.

When 1.FC Köln save is over, maybe its time for Darmstadt because of this thread and interesting challenge!

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Officially half way through the season. Damn, this is tough. Currently lying 17th, 2 points away from safety. Have been getting utterly demolished on late, and squad morale was at all time low.

464pGtK.png

But...headed into the Christmas break on a high, somehow, with a few tactical tweaks pulling of a draw against Bayern.

4H9BZrW.png

QZ5KdyL.png

Really need to make some changes to the squad over the break, no idea how much cash I'll be given however.

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Awesome stuff, Polpo.

I always love "transfer off" saves, because it's so much easier to compare teams and tactics.

I am surprised that you are not happy with the Central Defenders, I always thought that this was the part I have to worry about least. Yes, sometimes there might be the occasional individual error, but if that results into a goal, it is often connected to a mistake that was commited by a teammate, bringing the CD into danger in the first place.

After one season played, I would say that the biggest problem of the squad are the full backs and the forwards. That's where I tried to strenghthen the squad for the second season. And also the risk that there is only one decent winger in the squad, which is Heller. If Heller is injured or effectively closed down by the opposition, you lose a big chunk of your goalscoring ability.

Central Defense (Sulu), Central Midfield (Niemeyer, Vrancic) are just fine.

Looking at your tactic, I am surprised that you put the full backs on Attack, because I always think they don't deliver much in that regard. I always had them on Support or even on Defend. That creates a solid block, but of course makes it more difficult to move forward. I often had to rely on counter attacks. The problems with counter attacks is that Heller can zip forward in a blur with the ball, but needs a intelligent, quick moving forward to pass the ball to. If he has to turn to the center himself, he loses time.

How is the "shorter passing" instruction working? I always had "more direct passing", because I knew that the passing and technique abilities of the squad are so horrible. But was not really that happy with direct passing neither, because it often resulted in long balls into nowhere.

You DO have a very strong heading ability in your midfield, though. And it is definitely possible to conquer the second balls. IIRC my statistic shows that Darmstadt as a team won most of the headers in the Bundesliga. That might be partially due to the fact that we had to defend so many set pieces, but also because the midfield did quite effectively push for the high balls.

I think I would switch one of your 5 Attack duties as well. Seems a bit too risky for a squad so limited and so slow.

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I may have a go in the Bundesliga at some point and I quite fancy the challenge of a team is almost a certainty to be relegated without a human manager. What's the highest anyone has finished first season?

If I remember correctly, we have 2 people who ended up in 16th place, both winning relegation playoff (1 against Freiburg, 1 against RB Leipzig).

And 1 or 2 who got fired along the way.

And that's about it already.

So, there's definitely still room for a better performance, and at least finish 15th. ;)

I am still planning to share my findings about counter attacking in Cleons "Art of counter attacking" thread. I was fascinated by his suggestion, that a tactic with basically no PI and no TI can be successful, if you get the set up right. I tried to use this, but I failed. I could only get decent results from Darmstadt, when they were closing down and marking and basically annoying the opposition actively, instead of waiting patiently in a structured defensive line. I also think that due to the extremely high work rate and teamwork attributes in the squad, losing shape is not as dangerous as it would be with other teams.

But I still almost never managed to retain a clean sheet, and that irritates me. Had a lot of 0-1 losses, some 2-1 wins, a lot of draws and the like. I am very sure it must be possible to find a tactic for this team that makes you more solid at the back while still retaining your ability to counter.

The main gripe with counter attacks is that the team is so slow. How do you counter attack effectively, if you can't really get away. Heller alone is not enough.

What a thread lads, im playing with 1.FC Köln and matches againts Darmstadt were always hard ones.

When 1.FC Köln save is over, maybe its time for Darmstadt because of this thread and interesting challenge!

You would be most welcome!

:)

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In regards to the centre backs, while their stats are all decent, Sulu is the only one who is quite solid for me. Rajkovic is a walking penalty, and so too is Gorka. Caldirola is again okay stats wise, but has made 4 mistakes leading to goals! Maybe it's my tactics, but I've never had center backs who have performed this terribly.

With full backs, I have them on attack because I've found on this edition of FM, full backs are a particularly important part of my tactics and are a key component to my attack and creating chances. Jungswirth has been magnificent (surprisingly) so far. Him and Heller are just about the only sources of creativity on my team. Diaz on the other hand has been pretty terrible, but has still managed to chip in with 3 assists somehow.

xpvNfJT.png

I've gone with the shorter passing because I feel it gives me better control during the game (although looking at the results, you'd have to disagree). Whenever I've gone with direct, it just ends up being a ping pong match, whereby my attackers are terrible and can't finish of chances, but my opposition, all of whom have that bit more class in their attacking third always seem to slot their chances away. I had great success in a Carpi save, another bottom dweller with a pretty poor squad, guiding them to 6th in their first season, playing a very similar tactic, but I've had to make several changes to be a bit more adaptable to the Darmstadt team.

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Interesting.

Well, as I said I was not really convinced by direct passing neither and sometimes felt that it might suit the team better to pass shorter, so that they can at least launch a decent combined attack or wait until Heller can exploit an opening.

I actually switched to standard passing for the upcoming season and narrowed down width a bit as well.

And yes, Jungwirth ist quite useful. Funnily enough, he is at the moment replacing Garics in real life SV Darmstadt as well, after a string of good games.

I still would love full backs who are better in dribbling, crossing and pace and provide more attacking punch. They are pretty hard to find, though, and we obviously don't have a lot of money. I signed a young Argentine full back during winter break to join me for the summer. I belatedly realized now that he is a DR as well, and Jungwirth is actually, indeed, capable there, so I am completely blank on the Left Side. Planning to sell Diaz, keeping Holland maybe as backup and searching excessively for a good choice for DL. In the end, the options all seem to fall into two categories "great talent, but only 3rd Division ability" or "1st Divison ability, but 30+ years old and slow". Pretty frustrating. ;)

Caldirola worked for me, and he brings a bit of technique with him as well. I sent Gorka out on loan and took on Saad Samir, an Egyptian, and he played a few games, but he was not outstanding neither.

I think I have found the right solution for 2016/17 now, though. And indeed, although I just said that full backs, wingers and strikers need fresh blood, I spent most of my cash on a young DC. Probably will give a decent update tonight. :)

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I have started a save and decided to go with wingers who have pace and an acceleration of 17+. Heller is perfect for this and I play him on the right, I have then signed Rolando Aarons on loan for the season to play on the left. I then have 2 holding midfielders in Antony Annan and Nieyemer and then a central midfielder of vrancic or Teko Modise who I signed. Strikers I signed Amir Gamal from Egypt who is doing well. I found my full backs to be very poor so ended up signing Perruzi who I spent most of the budget on for RB and stuck with Diaz for LB. Results were mixed and I started poorly but drew 1-1 with Bayern and beat Leverkusen 2-0 and Bremen (who were bottom) 3-1. Definetely one of the hardest saves due to limited budget and only a few saleable players (I sold Kempl for 1.5 million, loaned out Raush and Rozenthal and Ivana) but if you stay up then there is chance to sell more players and bring in free transfers and there more loan players available in year 2 to try and finish mid table.

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So your setup is something like... ?

-----------------Gamal -----------------

Aarons--------------------------- Heller

------------ Vrancic/Modise -------------

-------- Annan ---- Niemeyer ----------

Diaz --- Sulu ------- Caldirola --- Peruzzi

--------------- Mathenia ------------------

That's quite a few new players. Five, if I am not mistaken.

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I'll post an update when I'm halfway through the season, but so far I've not done as bad as I thought I would. We're 13th and about to face 11th Ingostadt. The two results that stand out are 1-1 with Bayern at home and a 3-1 vs Leverkusen away.

I've not signed anyone other than Ondrej Mazuch. Although in January we're getting Zivkovic. He was so talented on my Spurs save that lasted six seasons and his value skyrocketed. If I can get one season out of him, I'l easily be able to make £10-20 million profit.

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I'll post an update when I'm halfway through the season, but so far I've not done as bad as I thought I would. We're 13th and about to face 11th Ingostadt. The two results that stand out are 1-1 with Bayern at home and a 3-1 vs Leverkusen away.

I've not signed anyone other than Ondrej Mazuch. Although in January we're getting Zivkovic. He was so talented on my Spurs save that lasted six seasons and his value skyrocketed. If I can get one season out of him, I'l easily be able to make £10-20 million profit.

If you post your update, please definitly take some time to talk tactics. :)

I just remembered that my first half of season was also still quite good. I managed to stay unbeaten at home for quite a long time, but things went downwards after winter break. Injuries certainly played a part there, but looking back I am still a bit surprised how suddenly our performance was so poor.

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I've not signed anyone other than Ondrej Mazuch. Although in January we're getting Zivkovic. He was so talented on my Spurs save that lasted six seasons and his value skyrocketed. If I can get one season out of him, I'l easily be able to make £10-20 million profit.

Just looked up Mazuch. Interesting guy. And also interesting, that you decided to sign a DC, of all positions.

Market value in FM seems connected to the reputation of the club, so it might not be as high as the same player would be valued playing for Spurs. I am actually quite disillusioned about the value of my players in the Summer 2016. I sold a bunch for < €250.000 each. More looking towards the money I can save in wages, which I can afterwards turn into transfer money on the slider. Haven't really looked into loan option. Maybe that could be an idea for a decent left wing back.

Also, half of the original Darmstadt staff left me and retired, because they were too old right from the start. :D

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So your setup is something like... ?

-----------------Gamal -----------------

Aarons--------------------------- Heller

------------ Vrancic/Modise -------------

-------- Annan ---- Niemeyer ----------

Diaz --- Sulu ------- Caldirola --- Peruzzi

--------------- Mathenia ------------------

That's quite a few new players. Five, if I am not mistaken.

Yes that's exactly my setup. It does leave Gamal isolated and I don't have much ball possession but providing there aren't lots of silly mistakes and the defence keep it tight I can usually get a goal on the break. It seems to be more effective against better teams.

It is a lot of new players but I concentrated on lots of match tactics training and lots of team cohession general training. The players I have bought in have added some quality (especially Peruzzi and Aarons). South Africa seemed to be a good place to buy players from as I bought Modise for £24k and signed a backup winger with 19 acc and 18 pace for £100k and he is rated as good as Heller.

Annan was a bargain at £80k but he has been sent off twice already so have adjusted his tackling to light.

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Wow, the thread is back up and going after that quiet period earlier! Great to have all you guys here!

Nice work Jean-Luc on keeping up Darmstadt! What a story, hahahah!

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Post Winter Transfer Window Update

Went out and bought a handful of players and got rid of dead weight.

kEA173h.png

However, only 2 of them have actually made it into the starting XI on a permanent basis. I was hoping Lotric would replace Ivana at left wing, he copped an injury quite early on, and out for a around 2 months. Lacina Traore is far and away the most important transfer however, actually adding something to the attacking third of hte team, unlike the strikers who start with Darmstadt.

JUZwdiu.png

Tactially, I've made several tweaks, making the team more defensively sound. I've gone with a 'Standard' approach more recently and have gone with 'Exploit the Right Flank' given how the majority of my goals come from Jungswirth and Heller. This little tweak has resulted in an improved performance from Heller of late.

AvmK0th.png

The teams overall performance has improved quite a bit and barring a disasterous smashing against Schalke, have been solid. Relegation survival is still the main goal, but I think this team is capable of a bit more.

CPrUxym.png

Q43XwGn.png

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Nice stuff!

A 5-1 thrashing of Mönchengladbach, that must have been a joy to witness!

Monaco is actually a club I follow closely, and I loved some of Traorés performances last year. He hasn't been as decisive this year, so great to see him play for Darmstadt in your save. And again nice to see, that despite quite a few transfers, the main squad still looks very Lily-esk.

I played on yesterday and I am one week before the end of summer break 2016/17. I figured that an update on transfers might be more useful if I give it at the start of the season and not in bits and pieces. My reports tend to be a bit too detailed sometimes already. ;) (Although I think, especially if one is still playing with the original squad, a detailed report can actually help other players).

It also starts to look like quite an overhaul what I am doing there. I basically replaced in my original Darmstadt starting eleven the DR, one CD, the AML and the ST. And I was searching for weeks for a decent DL I could use and afford. I had my eyes on Taylor from Leeds, and he would have beeen absolutely great and loved to come to Darmstadt, but despite offering a structured deal with potential worth of € 10 million, I couldn't convince Rösler at Leeds. Probably understandably so, as I could only offer € 2 million upfront.

All other solutions always seemed to have one weakness. I ended up sending 5 scouts searching for left backs or left wing backs at the same time, but all were either too expensive or not what I needed. But I think I finally found my guy in Maxime Poundjé from Bordeaux. Haven't finalised the deal yet, though, and not sure what he wants for wages.

There is no new star player in my squad for 2016/17, nobody who really makes a difference, but interestingly my starting eleven seems to have a very averaged and common star rating of around 3,5 stars. Even the former key players Heller and Vrancic have reduced their star rating a bit, despite actually progressing in attributes, so I interpret this as a positive step forward of a better team all around.

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Yeah, so I shouldn't have said that...

But I think I finally found my guy in Maxime Poundjé from Bordeaux. Haven't finalised the deal yet, though, and not sure what he wants for wages.

Because...

157-vfb.png

Yes.

Then I thought, hey, this Perez guy from Argentina looks actually quite decent as well. If you compare him to Poundjé, he's even technically better, he just lacks Pundjés physicality.

158-perez.png

And then, guess what happened.

Because, you know... Bordeaux just lost a left back to Stuttgart...

160-perez.png

So, bottom line is:

I am still looking for a left back to replace or at least backup Holland.

For a moment, I even thought, hey why not: This guy here is actually available for € 5 million...

159-monreal.png

But he found Darmstadt beneath him. :D

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Season 2016/17



Jean-Luc

So. Here we go for the second round.

These are my transfers coming in. Don't be shocked... I can explain...

164-transfersin.png

These are the important ones:

Nahuel Yeri (ARG), 24, DR - free transfer - Pace 15, Acc 13, Crossing 12 - should provide a bit more attacking mind

Lionel Zouma (CAR), 22, CD - free transfer - Jump 16, Balance 16, Bravery 16, Heading 15 - smaller brother of Kurt Zouma, prospect for defense

Alex Kiwomya (ENG) , 20, AMR - €750,000 - Acc 20, Pace 19, cross 15, Fitness 15 - you know him already, after loaning him from Chelsea last year; my successor for Heller

Fabian Schär (SWI), 24, CD - €1,000,000 - Head 17, Comp 17, Strength 15, Anticip 15, Tack 14 - very well rounded defender, my best player now in star rating

Simon Zoller (GER), 25, ST - €1,000,000 - Acc 16, Agil 15, Comp 15, Finish 14, Pace 13 - typical Poacher

Mark Uth (GER), 24, ST - €450,000 - Finish 16, Acc 16, comp 15, Pace 15, First Touch 13 - similar to Zoller, even a bit better, my new double attack

Philipp Ochs (GER), 19, AML - Loan - Acc 15, Agil 16, Dribb 14, First Toch 13 - loads of potential

(Uth and Schär come from TSG Hoffenheim, Zoller comes from Köln. Both clubs were relegated from the Bundesliga and had to let go some of their players cheaper than they certainly wanted. I made use of that.)

As you can see, most of these are relatively young. A lot of them posess pace and technique, something the old squad was lacking. Basically, I try to reform the Darmstadt squad into something more long lasting and future oriented. Our old approach worked - but barely. I want to be able to pass and to quickly counter, while still being defensively solid. Or, in other words: I want to use the strenghts of the likes of Heller, Vrancic, Niemeyer and Sulu and turn them into something useful.

This also means that I let a lot of old guys go:

Ivana, Sirigu, Stark, Gorka and Diaz were not a matter of long thought (although maybe I should have thought twice about Diaz, given my problems to finde a replacement). I wanted to keep Rausch, but he was annoyed about not getting enough playing time. He became the record transfer for Darmstadt with 875,000.

165-transfersout.png

I also put Garics on the list, but nobody wants him. Letting so many people go actually helped me freeing up a lot of wages and therefore being able to have transfer money available. As you can see, I spent almost € 4 million on incoming transfers. Something never heard of in SV Darmstadt's history.

Nevertheless, the pundits predict us to go down. Again.

152-prediction.png

This is my squad for the first league match against Hertha Berlin.

If you remember, Berlin was the club that we had to face on the 34th day, a game which we lost and thus had to go into the relegation playoff.

Heller and Ochs are on the bench because they were injured and are just returning to fitness. Scholl and Kiwomya as replacements are not exactly first class players... Sulu and Zouma are both also injured.

161-berlin.png

Well... what can I say?

I don't recognize my Darmstadt team! They are passing short, they are agile, they are quick.

And then Uth gets his first goal.

162-uth.png

And in the end...

166-tag1.png

What a start into the season!

Third place! Yeah! :D

3-0 against Berlin. Please let that be a good omen!

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Hey all, glad the thread is alive again.

As you know i was enjoying my game and had a very succesful spell there , staying in Bundesliga and then finishing mid table with a hugely respectable 10th.

Sadly however.....something bizarre went wrong with my game , it kept on crashing and wouldn't stop it. If i kept pressing continue the game was ok but as soon as i attempted to read any news then it just crashed , every time. Kept saying i was out of memory , not correct as i have nothing else running and have a very high performance computer.

Really sucks.

I was gonna start again but after 2 full seasons decided not to as i would need a lot of gametime just to get back to where i was ( if i even stayed up ).

I've started a reasonably hard challenge although abit easier than Darmstadt - i am playing as Real Sporting SAD in Spain.

I'm at March 2018 there and am sitting 3rd in the table which is pretty amazing :D

I might well come back one day but the game getting wrecked really gutted me , i was putting a lot of effort in and trying to build the club from the ground up as well as the squad.

Good luck to you all though !

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As you know i was enjoying my game and had a very succesful spell there , staying in Bundesliga and then finishing mid table with a hugely respectable 10th.

Oh.

How sad to hear, and how annoying for you. I can understand that you don't want to fight through the first season again, but that's sad, I was really intrigued by your progress. Did you raise the issue in the bug forums? Your approach with Jamie Vardy also helped me to look intensely at clubs being relegated and pick players from there.

Uth, Schär and Zoller were all three the results of that. I belatedly realized that both Uth and Schär came as highly regarded big transfers to Hoffenheim in the summer of 2015. Uth must have been phenomenol in the Eeredevise in the Netherlands, and Schär left big Swiss club Basel to join the Bundesliga and step up his game. Both have not really been on my radar, although I follow the Bundesliga, simply because real life Hoffenheim is also struggling and not playing very successful. Schär is not the defending block he was supposed to be. My suspicion is that both might be downgraded a bit in the spring database release. Good for me that they still come with all the glory of their last year's achievement into THIS save. ;)

I swooped up another transfer yesterday night at around 1 AM and did not report it yet.

Well, let's say I found my left back. And just as you did with Vardy, I did it at a quite high risk and broke the bank. Transfer and wage budget are completely empty, and my financial forecast looks a bit grim now. Not even sure it was a smart move, but it's a GREAT transfer. :D

I'll leave that as a cliffhanger for the moment.

And I have to think about selling more players to even the books. Probably will cancel the loan of Ochs (AML). He is pretty expensive, because I pay wages AND monthly fee. Never before realized that the monthly fee is deducted from your transfer budget. I tried to keep the salary low and raised the fee quite a bit in return, and suddenly a € 1 million was gone from my transfer budget. Whenever I paid monthly fees in FM before, must have been always such a small amount (comperatively) that I never saw the effect on the budet.

I can play Heller and Kempe on the wings. Or Heller and Kiwomya.

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Oh.

How sad to hear, and how annoying for you. I can understand that you don't want to fight through the first season again, but that's sad, I was really intrigued by your progress. Did you raise the issue in the bug forums? Your approach with Jamie Vardy also helped me to look intensely at clubs being relegated and pick players from there.

Uth, Schär and Zoller were all three the results of that. I belatedly realized that both Uth and Schär came as highly regarded big transfers to Hoffenheim in the summer of 2015. Uth must have been phenomenol in the Eeredevise in the Netherlands, and Schär left big Swiss club Basel to join the Bundesliga and step up his game. Both have not really been on my radar, although I follow the Bundesliga, simply because real life Hoffenheim is also struggling and not playing very successful. Schär is not the defending block he was supposed to be. My suspicion is that both might be downgraded a bit in the spring database release. Good for me that they still come with all the glory of their last year's achievement into THIS save. ;)

I swooped up another transfer yesterday night at around 1 AM and did not report it yet.

Well, let's say I found my left back. And just as you did with Vardy, I did it at a quite high risk and broke the bank. Transfer and wage budget are completely empty, and my financial forecast looks a bit grim now. Not even sure it was a smart move, but it's a GREAT transfer. :D

I'll leave that as a cliffhanger for the moment.

And I have to think about selling more players to even the books. Probably will cancel the loan of Ochs (AML). He is pretty expensive, because I pay wages AND monthly fee. Never before realized that the monthly fee is deducted from your transfer budget. I tried to keep the salary low and raised the fee quite a bit in return, and suddenly a € 1 million was gone from my transfer budget. Whenever I paid monthly fees in FM before, must have been always such a small amount (comperatively) that I never saw the effect on the budet.

I can play Heller and Kempe on the wings. Or Heller and Kiwomya.

Oooh this all sounds very interesting, i can't wait to hear who your new signing is !

Thank you also for the kind words , i am glad that my style of management in the game grabbed your interest and you decided to try similar things with the signings of players.

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Finally started a Darmstadt save, been looking forward to this.

I took a slightly different approach to start with, and decided to instantly shake the side up.

b6f8d394c4a079f9dc21ae3f7fc27118.png

Lots of moves for players I know from other FM saves, or even other FM years. Probably a bit unfair as I know they're (somewhat) less risk for the money than they would be in real life, or if I were going in blind. Of course, we could easily still fail.

7427f0e2b86667ba697a1a3abfa6efd4.png

You can see we turned the late exit of Heller into moves for a pair of top young players. Elyounoussi is much slower than Heller, but beats him in every other aspect of the game, and is far more suitable for the left wing inside forward role, IMHO, as for Andrija Balic, one of the top young players in football, if he lives up to his "Croatian Pirlo" tag, we'll be doing wonderfully. These are the key moves that will make, or break the season.

Thoughts on each.

Zouridine Mouhemed Thior - Very raw, even for a 17-18 year old, but a free player(was on an amateur contract) with a lot of potential, can play anywhere across AM.

Johannes Eggestein - Young and well balanced forward, luckily on a youth contract so approachable. Had to offer a lot to ward off the big Euro boys. Quite a complete forward in the making, has made an instant impact to repay the faith in him 3 goals in 4 games(2 starts).

Andrija Zivkovic - Everyone knows this guy, FM wonderkid legend, a real coup. The only hard part will be keeping him beyond his current contract.

Sondre Rossbach - A young goalkeeper with quality and potential, luckily landed due to a contract nearing it's end. Mathenia is a better stopper, but less commanding and weaker distribution.

Roger Gomis - A quality young Senegalese CM/AM, who can easily back up Vrancic, expected to overtake him eventually. Attacking, hard working, but his Anticipation is a serious weakness.

Wellington - Very raw for his (19/20) age CM/AM, but has potential to be a fine technical playmaker.

Gideon Jung - Quick, energetic and hard working, a fine DM who can cover at CB in a pinch.

Oliver Fink - Ageing backup DM, this loan was cancelled later.

Marc Pfitzner - Same as Fink.

Gianluca Gaudino - A classy young playmaker happy to dictate the game from DM, CM or AM.

Mohammed Elyounoussi - A tricky inside forward with flair and potential and already a key player. Can play across the AM, or even as a striker if needed. Perhaps even MR/L at a push.

Andrija Balic - The "Croatian Pirlo", lacking athletically, but makes up for it with tecnique, flair, and the ability to score from up close or at range. A real potential worldie, and like Gaudino is happy at DM, CM or AM.

Joao Nunes - A young CB who'll provide cover for the starters for now, but should develop into a cracking defender. Well balanced and determined.

Sead Haksabanovic - A 16 year old prospect, plays across the AM line and should eventually develop into a good insider forward or playmaker. Can cover across the MR/C/L line too, or at striker.

These future transfers were also set up.

e101f4989e3b15bb031784417daef9d2.png

Jhon Arango - Can develop into one of the best mids(at CM or AM) in the game. A real jem, and completely unmissable at 4k. You won't find a better deal than this in FM.

Sergio Diaz - 725k, but a dangerous player wo can become a great striker, or inside forward.

Also, despite my pushing the limits of the budgets, we're making profits, with more improvement forecast.

a5212d54060d61b0e933663f2c673d98.png

On the football front, we've played 4 games.

Handily dealing with Munchen Lions in the cup.

A 2-2 draw away at Schalke which is better than I expected, but also gutting as we lead until an 89th minute equalizer.

A 1-0 win home to Weder Bremen, Eggestein put his old club to the sword.

A 1-1- draw at hom the Koln, Eggestein with an early strike, pegged back late on, disappointing as we had many shots on target, and clear cut chances. We should have comfortably won.

Happy enough with that start, though we could, and should have done better.

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I took a slightly different approach to start with, and decided to instantly shake the side up.

As much as I like a shrewd shake up, you're obviously also not gonna have an answer to the still unsolved question on how to set up a functioning tactic & formation for the Darmstadt squad. ;)

Lots of moves for players I know from other FM saves, or even other FM years. Probably a bit unfair as I know they're (somewhat) less risk for the money than they would be in real life, or if I were going in blind. Of course, we could easily still fail.

Well, I would say a human player will always have an obvious advantage, so there's no thing as "unfair". It's about the fun of playing - and different styles of playing, of course.

Of course, no, it's not "realistic" what you did. 12 million Pounds of transfer spending is not a realistic figure. ;)

Then again, signing Del Piero wasn't that much realistic from my side neither (although in the end he didn't perform as expected).

Gianluca Gaudino - A classy young playmaker happy to dictate the game from DM, CM or AM.

I remember I tried Gaudino, but either couldn't afford him or could not convince him to join us.

Roger Gomis - A quality young Senegalese CM/AM, who can easily back up Vrancic, expected to overtake him eventually. Attacking, hard working, but his Anticipation is a serious weakness.

Gomis I have as well. But he's struggling to break into the squad. Anticipation 4, Teamwork 8, Vision 9, Passing 8... he really is a very raw player, and as nice as Flair, First Touch, Decisions and Technique are, I think it will be easier to train other people into what is needed. I did play him a few times, though.

Could you post a picture of your first eleven to see how many original players are still in the squad. I assume Vrancic... and Sulu? Niemeyer maybe?

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I couldn't get Gaudino at the start of the window, but towards the end they accepted no fee and half wages, I assume as no other offers came in. Gomis is mostly backup for Vrancic for now, but has done a job when called upon. His Teamwork, Vision and Passing are much higher for me, must be random stats.

5d086c5e0bfde7e9fcde1b669480b121.jpg

This is the first 11.

136d2da3bb5fe704354cb5963c8ac0e8.png

It's a bit more stable and less attacking than I'd normally like, but it's doing the job right now. I'll build it into a more dynamic system as the team improves.

Mathenia could easily start(and is at the moment probably the better keeper), but Rossbach is in much better form, well was, Dortmund just put 3 past us. Stark could play ahead of Jung too, he slots in with little overall difference to the teams performance.

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Interesting.

This is Gomis in my save. He is actually similar in some stats, but yours clearly is much better in certain vital attributes.

178-gomis.png

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Season 2016/17 - The first 10 matchdays



Jean-Luc

I owe you the solution to a cliffhanger.

Morbs some time ago mentioned this here:

Köln, who seem to struggle in most people games, have a German international in Hector, for example, ...

I proudly present:

Jonas Hector, young German full back, the most prolific former player of 1. FC Köln (who could not prevent them from going down, at least in my save).

169-hector.png

We are definitely leaving reality here a bit, as I cannot really see why Hector would come to Darmstadt, even after going down with Cologne. Only if... well, if a manager told him that the SV Darmstadt wants to "build something big", and he could be the corner stone of a new era. Something like this. In FM16, I did not even have to convince him. He was convinced by money.

This is him compared to Holland:

He is better in much needed attacking attributes (crossing, dribbling), he has an incredible high concentration (17) and great decision (15), he has great movements and even a higher teamwork than Holland's 16.

And he even has a bit of development left. He is certainly not the star player who would easily find his way into a Bayern München squad, but for my needs, he is absolutely outstanding.

170-hector.png

He comes at a price though.

These are our wages now:

Hector earns € 140,000 per month, almost double of what Vrancic, Jungwirth and Mathenia get. He also has by far the highest app bonus, clean sheet bonus and ranks among top goal bonuses.

182-contract.png

As you can also see, I had to write a minimum fee release clause into Mark Uth's contract, which is only 3,3 million, while his value is already close to 3 million. This might hurt me, but I had no choice. The other release clauses are better. Kiwomya can leave for € 10 million. He is far away from that, and although his departure would mean the loss of a big talent, I'd gladly take that money and simply replace him with somebody who is probably even better.

These are my tactics, including Hector.

The first one is my classic standard one from last season.

A pretty common 4-2-3-1, although FM calls it a 4-1-1-4. To be fair, the two forward roles are always changing, depending on who plays and who is our opponent. Could be an Advanced Playmaker and a Defensive striker, could be an Enganche and a Deep Lying Forward, etc.

Heller now plays IF to make room for Hector. As time of writing, Kempe is injured, otherwise he would play either AMC or AMR/L. But Kiwomya with his incredible pace is actually a quite nice addition.

Vrancic is still our heart and mind. If he is not playing as Advanced Playmaker, something in the engine is missing.

Schär and Sulu are an incredible solid pair. One for the brain and one for the muscle.

183-tactic01.png

The second one used is this now:

This is NOT the 5-3-2 as a super defensive formation anymore, but a rather attacking minded 3-5-1-1. Still pretty tight at the back, but with two forwards upfront. I am blessed now with quick strikers like Uth and Zoller, who can run together with wingbacks. The most unusual thing about this tactic is that is does not include Heller. I tried to include him as a lopsided AMR, but that did not really work. I want two forwards upfront to create chances.

184-tactic02.png

So... how did it go?

Great.

Hector actually was injured for 2 to 3 weeks and we had to play Ingolstadt, Frankfurt and HSV without him. And it shows.

We only had two defeats so far. Granted, some weaker sides here (Ingolstadt, Paderborn and Leipzig are all promoted teams this year or last year), but also a great win against Wolfsburg and a rather unlucky defeat against a very strong Dortmund side.

The 0-2 defeat against Leipzig was a freak result. We were the better team, we just did not score. Then again, maybe that was also due to the many changes. The draws against Ingolstadt, Frankfurt and HSV were totally justified, though. Some were even lucky.

181-results.png

That leaves us...

here!

Yup!

5th place!!

185-table.png

Vrancic picked up POM twice, even in one of our defeats, which is kind of funny. Holland was actually a pretty decent replacement for Hector and enjoyed his new role as wingback.

Newly promoted SC Paderborn have been abysmal and only got their first win last week. Our 4-3 against them is, in fact, a pretty bad result. Then again... four goals...

Some times, I don't really recognize my Darmstadt side anymore, though.

I get questions like this:

177-lowestfouls.png

LOWEST number of fouls? Honestly? Who are you, people?

Against Wolfsburg, we had an almost perfect match:

In the end, we counted 8 shots and among those 8 shots on target. 100%. And some really lovely moves. Totally deserved that 1-0 win. :)

179-perfectmatch.png

Goal by Heller, after Kiwomya came in with a cross from the right, which bounced back from Zoller. Heller turned around himself and placed the shot. Impeccable. :)

So... that's my update.

We are slowly leaving "real life" ground, as you can see, but the squad is still pretty much "Darmstadt", although with a few very much needed additions.

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Oh, by the way, if you want to know who this little competition in summer 2016 ends...

France wins.

And Germany beats England. :D

150-em.png

(This looks actually like a pretty decent prediction. Of course, as we all know, everything will always be completely different, but still...)

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really really inspiring story!!! just made new save with darmstadt few days ago. now i've finished my pre season. here some screenshoots

Transfers_%252520%252520Transfer%252520History.png

Tactics_%252520%252520Overview.png

Schedule_%252520%252520Senior%252520Matches.png

and also....

Darmstadt%252520v%252520Bremen_%252520Overview%252520Overview.png

German%252520First%252520Division_%252520Awards%252520Award%252520Winners.png

woowwww what a debut!!!!

i'll try to update this story. cheers

ps sorry for my english

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