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Can cunning coach create Chimney Corner continental champions?

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Posted (edited)

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Chimney Corner F.C.

Season 2069 / 2070


Season Expectations

A new era has begun at the club with the move to a new stadium so I want to christen it in the best possible way


 
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League Table - In a league of our own with only Cliftonville providing momentary discomfort, thankfully both Belfast based clubs Donegal Celtic & Glentoran survived another season

FIFA Club World Cup - Remarkably straight forward in South Korea

UEFA Super Cup - Aston Villa gave us a real fight which made for a great spectacle

UEFA Champions League - Our record breaking run had to come to an end at some point, I suppose its only fitting that it perished to the eventual winners. The warning signs were there in the group stage, even though we started brilliantly we had real problems scoring after that point. I found it really difficult to strengthen the squad in the January transfer window as the finances of the club deteriorated and the budgets got repeatedly slashed. We could be going through a similar scenario to Arsenal with their move to the Emirates Stadium in that we are forced to become a selling club for a while and spend a period in the wilderness

Domestic Cups - I wanted to spread the love with respect to gate receipts and go as far as possible in all the cups so I played higher strength teams in the cups and it paid off. The loss of the clean sweep was a result of international duty for practically the entire squad

Reserves - Perfection

Under 18s - I can't tell you how delighted I am that they won the UEFA Youth League. I genuinely believed that it was never going to happen but here we are, the final piece of the jigsaw is in place and we now hold the full set of club trophies for a team competing in N. Ireland...brilliant

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Squad – The squad definitely feels weaker than before as I sought to sell players to ensure that we didn't go too deep into the red. The wage bill is way too high as even after a full season at a ground with over 4x the capacity we're still struggling to break even. I expect to see a massive clear out next season to bring the situation under control
 
Transfers – Given the lack of wage bill available I had to restrict the signings to the loan market which didn't bring in the quality of player we need to be right up there in the Champions League. I'm also finding that the amount of money that teams want to pay for my players isn't great either which just exacerbates the problem
 
Player Of The Season
Tom Angerbauer – ST - Average Rating : 7.87
He performed even better than last season which is great. He is likely to leave though given his ridiculous wage demands which we simply can't afford to pay. When he does go its going to be a nightmare finding a replacement of similar quality

Young Player Of The Season
Fabio Bertin – DL - Average Rating : 7.72
I was pleased that Lille allowed this wonderkid to come here and he didn't disappoint putting in a string of good performances especially in Europe. I sense he'll be a one season wonder though given how much he has developed during his time here
 
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Finances – This is why we're struggling to remain competitive in Europe, just look how far into the red we are even when we didn't spend a transfer fee. This is a serious issue for a number of reasons. Firstly, the training facilities downgraded and we were unable to upgrade them. Secondly, I couldn't expand the stadium even though we met the criteria to do so. Thirdly, the squad is aging in some positions and I can't replace players as I have very little to no transfer funds.
 
We spent ~£150M whilst the club turnover was only ~£98M which leaves a net loss ~£52M per season if the situation doesn't change which will lead to financial disaster. This is probably one of the most difficult periods I've had to navigate since starting the career. Do I keep speculating and keep up the level of spending to keep the good times going in the Champions League and hope the increased revenue from success can cancel out the losses or do I tighten the belt dramatically and spend only what I make.
 
Both approaches have their negative and positive aspects to them and I'll probably be looking at a hybrid of the two to try and mitigate the worst effects of both approaches. If I tighten my belt too much it becomes a case of diminishing returns, the more I cut the less successful I'll be and the less potential I'll have to generate increased revenues. If I don't cut at all, I risk failing the FFP and also never be in a situation where I'm able to invest in the club to increase revenue. Therefore, I have to strike the right balance which is why I feel that the period coming up is going to prove tricky as too far in either direction and the club could face some seriously damaging consequences 
 
Facilities – The new ground in all its glory

Youth Intake – This really isn't helping the situation at all. I spend over a million a season on my youth setup + however much it costs for the staff in the youth team (which isn't an insignificant sum I'd add) and I end up with intakes like this. It's been way too long since we've had a player who could develop into a star come through. Our inability to generate HG talent is not only hurting us but the N. Ireland national team too
 
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League Reputation – The league reputation is a fair reflection of where we are as a league. No other N. Irish teams seem to have made the breakthrough into the later stages of the European competitions which is really stopping any further progress
 
Club Domestic Reputation – The gaps between the different tiers in the league really need to be closed as the top flight is becoming less competitive. Currently 6/12 teams in the DBP are professional, if we could get one more to turn professional it might start to tip the balance and encourage the league to become fully professional, Glentoran look most likely to be the next team
 
Club European Reputation – It was a long stay at the top so I can't complain too much
 
Edited by pheelf

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I like that the new stadium has a corner cut out. Feels fitting for Chimney Corner. :thup:

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On 6/8/2017 at 12:13, noikeee said:

I like that the new stadium has a corner cut out. Feels fitting for Chimney Corner. :thup:

:D...All that's needed now is for one of the owners of a Burger Van in that corner to install a chimney and we'll be well and truly home

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Posted (edited)

chimney_corner_badge.png

Chimney Corner F.C.

Season 2070 / 2071


Season Expectations

A period of struggle is likely given the financial constraints at the club so a repeat of last season wouldn't be so bad


 
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League Table - Realistically, in order to create a competitive league we can't be finishing 38 points ahead of 3rd place. Linfield and their lackluster performances are of particular concern

UEFA Champions League - All was going well until we went to Paris and got dismantled. We're definitely going backwards here which while expected is still worrying

Domestic Cups - Won the lot except the Scottish Challenge Cup which took place during an international break

Reserves - A rather poor season for the backup players although their ranks were much reduced due to loans

Under 18s - Couldn't defend their UEFA Youth League title and were sub par domestically

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Squad – I had no choice but to raid the loan market in order to fill in the huge gaps in the squad but even though the wage bill has been trimmed it's still unsustainable. The problem I'm having is that the players which are earning the most such as Janssen CM & Lambert CD are approaching the twilight of their careers and nobody wants to spend the type of money I want to buy them. Hopefully Janssen will leave for some compensation at the end of his contract. It'll be a huge loss but I also sense that Tsoukarellis DM will leave on a free transfer when his contract expires.
 
I feel I need to get the wage budget to around the £250Kp/w mark which should give an average wage for each of the first teams 22 players of ~£11Kp/w and a yearly wage bill ~£12M. As a temporary measure, I need to once again look at the younger (U21) end of the market for players who can be developed and bought into the club for low cost rather than expensive ready made players. If I can generate enough money to expand the stadium at the end of next season the increased revenue should help to make a higher wage budget sustainable. I'm hoping that this is short term pain for long term gain
 
Transfers – It's quite concerning that even after a large transfer profit that the club isn't anywhere near bathing in riches. My two signings were thought through carefully, Conte CM was transfer listed so was bought in at a reduced cost and Degeling CD was a wonderkid who had a tempting low release clause which I triggered after considering how good a player he could become given the right environment. I was disappointed to lose both Birner & Thomas but given the signing of Conte they weren't missed as much as initially thought, in retrospect it was a wise decision as they had both topped out in terms of development
 
Player Of The Season
Fabien Liegeois – CM - Average Rating : 7.94
He really blossomed when given first team exposure and has developed into one of the clubs best players. The French international has some truly fantastic attributes and is one of the most rounded midfielders I have seen, not only is he technically gifted he doesn't shirk away from the rough side of the game and is very combative. He is a player I really don't want to lose

Young Player Of The Season
Radek Twardzik – DL - Average Rating : 7.66
For the second time in successive seasons I managed to get a wonderkid on loan for the DL position and he performed admirably. I don't wish to go down that road any more though as I get no benefit from developing players for other clubs
 
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Finances – While the balance was enough to allow the club to max out the training facilities again it wasn't enough to expand the stadium. I feel that I need to get the club status to 'Rich' again in order to make that a reality. The club made ~£28M from the stadium this season which when the loan is subtracted leaves a profit of ~£18M but the player wages were nearly £35M and the staff wages were over £13M so while it may appear the balance is healthy it really isn't as it would only take a quiet transfer window or two with respect to sales for the club to be plunging deep into the red. A revised wage budget of £12M gets us much closer to sustainability and I'll be driving a hard bargain with respect to bonuses as those were ~£17M this season
 
Facilities – Hopefully wont be waiting too long for the stadium expansions to start

Youth Intake – McKenna DR and Wallace DC look to be the best of the bunch. All players were signed and given our current situation I wouldn't be surprised to see a few of these players grace the first team in time. Nathan Bell DR managed it from the last intake and he's developed really well and even managed to get capped three times for N. Ireland so this may be the start of a golden generation of youth players with HG talent given opportunities to feature in the first team on a regular basis out of necessity. It makes sense from a financial perspective and it'll also have the side benefit of helping the national team which will be great to see
 
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League Reputation – The league is still holding its position which is great given how poor we've been recently. Perhaps this was aided by having 3 teams in the Europa League group stage and the fact that Cliftonville made the 1st Knockout Round of the Europa League where they got battered by Liverpool
 
Club Domestic Reputation – Immaculata survived in the Championship which I thought was interesting, also nice to see both Donegal Celtic and Glentoran stabilize in the top flight
 
Club European Reputation – I expect to see the club plummeting down the rankings soon, still no sign of any other N. Irish team in the top 25. In fact you have to go outside the top 50 to see the next N. Irish club in Cliftonville who lie in 63rd and outside the top 100 for the next club Ballymena United who lie in 107th
 
Edited by pheelf

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What's with the huge financial difficulties, did you take a massive loan for the stadium?

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Posted (edited)
On 6/14/2017 at 21:13, noikeee said:

What's with the huge financial difficulties, did you take a massive loan for the stadium?

We ended up taking out a loan for the new stadium of £81.98M with interest payable of £11.18M (around 13.5%) with monthly repayments of £869K. This may look manageable but when you consider that our average ticket prices / season tickets are comparable with teams in England's League One & Two then you can see that even with a much larger stadium our ability to generate massive revenues from the stadium are still very restricted. I don't know what ticket prices are used in European competition but they tend to be much more lucrative giving over a million per home game. Perhaps if the reputation of the league increases further perhaps the ticket prices will increase as currently they have stagnated and are beginning to fall back.

In the next season review you'll see that I managed to get a major stadium expansion. In order to carry this out the club had to increase the debt burden even further. The loan for the expansion was £77.2M with interest payable of £21.07M (around 27%...it would appear the game considers whether the club has other loans when deciding the rate) giving monthly repayments of £813K meaning a total monthly outlay until at least 2077 when the first loan is repaid of £1.68M per month or £20.16M per year. That is a serious dent in our pocket especially when you consider relatively how little money we get from selling our best players and how much money we would have to spend to replace the standard of player we are losing. The TV revenues and prize money in N. Ireland are also dreadful making our task of staying in the black very difficult.

All of which means that I'm going to have to tread very carefully and it may mean as I stated previously that we aren't competitive for a while in Europe as I'm forced to look around for bargains with regards to player purchasing while also keeping the wage bill down. At this point I'd really appreciate a huge injection of cash into the club by the board or a sponsor but can't see it happening anytime soon unfortunately.

Edited by pheelf

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Posted (edited)

chimney_corner_badge.png

Chimney Corner F.C.

Season 2071 / 2072


Season Expectations

To try and go as far as possible in the Champions League given that it's the only major source of income


 
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League Table - Cliftonville put in a stronger challenge but still comfortable

UEFA Champions League - Pleasantly surprising given the weakened nature of the squad. We rode our luck at times but a job well done I feel

Domestic Cups - Not quite a clean sweep, I've decided that from this season onward to postpone cup matches during international breaks in order to give the team a better chance of progressing

Reserves - No excuses can be made about squad strength this time as I restricted the loans out, they were simply poor

Under 18s - Better, only barely though

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Squad – While it's nice to see more HG talent coming through into the first team the decline in quality of the team is quite concerning. A problem which isn't going to be made any better as we lose three world class players in Lambert DC, Johansson DC & Liegeois MC on free transfers as they refuse to renew their contracts citing that the standard of the team doesn't match their ambition. The club also stands to lose Degeling DC as Man United appear to be interested which will mean a rebuilding of the entire central defence next season. It does however offer the opportunity to lower the wage bill by ~£200Kp/w which should bring it much closer to the £250Kp/w which I feel is necessary while we go through this period of fiscal restraint
 
Transfers – Another nice transfer profit with an increased emphasis placed on signing young talent and developing them. I had to depend more on Spann DMC than I wanted as Conte DMC suffered a terrible viral infection which kept him out for the entire 2nd half of the season but he didn't disappoint
 
Player Of The Season
Jesus Rodriguez – AMR - Average Rating : 7.81
An assist machine who scored a fair few goals too. One of the last real class players left in the squad who I hope to retain

Young Player Of The Season
Peter Ferguson – MC - Average Rating : 7.59
The young N. Ireland international has really impressed and developed well. If he can continue with this level of improvement I see no reason why he can't have a very bright future
 
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Finances – A fairly comfortable balance to end the season with although if it wasn't for player sales (£73M) and Champions League prize money (£34M) we'd be deep into the red at this point. On a more optimistic note, for the first time our income from gate receipts ~£25M outstripped our expenditure from player wages ~£24M but we still have a long way to go to become solvent
 
Facilities – The youth facilities had to be upgraded again at a cost of £2.9M. I'm pleased that the board decided to go large with the expansion as it really should make the difference going forwards. The club just needs to ride a bit of fiscal turbulence over the next few seasons. If it can manage that then the club that will emerge on the other side will truly be a global superpower

Youth Intake – Is it me or are these getting worse? I'll see what I can do with Coyle RB, Beckett ML & Alexander ST but the rest look poor. It's really quite disappointing that my HoYD hasn't been excited about a single player in any intake since Coulter LB and that was over 20 years ago!!
 
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League Reputation – The inevitable decline ably assisted by some poor performances by the other N. Irish clubs
 
Club Domestic Reputation – With Ballyclare and their relegation from the NIFL PIL that means that we no longer have a rival in the playable leagues. I'm sure that dynamic rivalries are still in the game so I'm not quite sure why Cliftonville or Linfield haven't been added as rivals
 
Club European Reputation – Still failing
 
Edited by pheelf

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Posted (edited)

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Chimney Corner F.C.

Season 2072 / 2073


Season Expectations

I've now slipped to 3rd in the Hall of Fame behind an Argentinian manger who is ripping it up in South America with Atletico Mineiro, all of a sudden the end point of the save is becoming increasingly distant unless I can start winning the Champions League again


 
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League Table - Still miles ahead of the rest

UEFA Champions League - After scraping through the group stage in 2nd we drew one of the hardest teams possible. The concession of two penalties against PSG provided the knockout blow as we shot ourselves in the foot

Domestic Cups - Just can't quite manage the clean sweep although we were severely weakened due to international callups against Inverness

Reserves - Not too bad

Under 18s - Started the UEFA Youth League well but then fell away badly

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Squad – I'm rather encouraged by the development of the team and the depth of squad available. The first team exposure for a lot of the players has done wonders for the overall ability of the team. Now that the young players have a year of experience under their belts it should help them to perform better going forwards. Dvorak ST looks like he will leave on a free transfer which will be financially damaging considering he cost £32.5M but I have already secured a young replacement in Boussouar ST in January who will arrive in July after being loaned back to his club Moreirense
 
Transfers – A loss was made in the transfer market but the standard of player bought was quality and should leave us in a very much stronger position next season as they develop. I am especially pleased with Camacho AML who could prove to be one of the best bargains I've signed
 
Player Of The Season
Jesus Rodriguez – AMR - Average Rating : 7.76
Mr. Consistency once again tops the average ratings by putting in a string of good performances. He really is a class act

Young Player Of The Season
Graeme Moore – AMR - Average Rating : 7.52
He proved a very competent rotation option for Rodriguez. He has very good physical attributes but technically he is quite poor. At least he has time on his side to develop that side of his game
 
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Finances – We actually seem to be in a much better situation than anticipated ending the season with a nice bank balance even though some heavy losses were made. The commitment to a lower more sustainable wage budget has really helped the club keep in the black. The board also decided to play ball and pump another £21.5M into the club after the screenshot was taken which makes the club even more comfortable. I see no real reason to spend any massive amounts of money on transfers next season but will replace players if necessary
 
Facilities – Next season we get to play in our hugely expanded stadium which will do wonders for the club

Youth Intake – A slightly better crop of players this time around. McMinn MC and Young AMR look quite talented so I'll be looking to give them some first team exposure and see how they react to it
 
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League Reputation – The fall is getting concerning but expected even though Cliftonville made the knockout stages of the Europa League once again. We really need start winning the Champions League and Cliftonville need to stop crashing out of the Champions League before the group stages
 
Club Domestic Reputation – The Mac got knocked back down to the PIL but Donegal Celtic and Glentoran have become established DBP sides
 
Club European Reputation – Plummeting like a stone
 
Edited by pheelf

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Posted (edited)

MOVING ON UP

Here are some images taken during the stadium expansion which took place

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A look toward the video screen end

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The opposite end

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The main grandstand undergoing reconstruction

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Part of the facing grandstand and the video screen end

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The completed stadium which now brings the capacity to within 1517 of its potential

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A look toward the former video screen end

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Main grandstand on the right and filling in of burger van corner

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Facing grandstand on the right

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A more face on view of the main grandstand

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A better view of one of the ends with the corner

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Record breakers

 

Edited by pheelf

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Chimney Corner F.C.

Season 2073 / 2074


Season Expectations

I'm now 548 points behind the leader of the Hall of Fame. We really need to step up our game in Europe


 
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League Table - This was a desperately concerning season as we had to depend on other teams tripping up Cliftonville to win the title. We need to be very careful next season otherwise we could be in serious trouble

UEFA Champions League - After a perfect group stage effort I was absolutely gutted to lose to Celtic the way we did

Domestic Cups - One positive aspect of the season was the stellar performances in the cups where we won the lot

Reserves - Great in the cups but stumbled in the league

Under 18s - A fairly average season

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Squad – We're on the march and the team is getting better but we are still well below our performances of a few seasons ago. In terms of where we can improve there are a number of areas that need improvement.
 
1) I'd like to see better than a goal per game for my strikers especially given the quality of opposition we face in N. Ireland. The record of Imanol Martin looks unassailable at this point with better players than we had in his day. I'm going to need to do some analysis to review the type of chance the tactic is creating for my lone striker and whether he has enough support and if I need to make some alterations 
2) We need better performances out of the players on the left wing AML position. I don't know whether this is down to the use of the Inside Forward (Support) when players in that position are best as Winger (Support). They either need to assist a lot and score few or score more and assist less. Consistently they are less productive than my AMR players
3) We scored less goals that rivals Cliftonville which needs to improve
 
Transfers – Very little activity, Mellqvist AML was a big money signing bought in order to solve the problem in that position but didn't perform as expected. Perhaps he needs a bit of time to bed into the squad
 
Player Of The Season
Jesus Rodriguez – AMR - Average Rating : 7.73
Once again the clubs highest provider of assists by some margin which while good in some respects is still a danger sign. The fact that we seem to be so dependent on one player to create isn't great. Additionally, the record isn't as impressive as it first appears. When you consider that the number of assists work out at roughly one every other game all of a sudden it doesn't appear as impressive, given he is the best we've got that is worrying

Young Player Of The Season
Gonzalo Medina – MC - Average Rating : 7.83
He has developed brilliantly and has great attributes in all the right places. I do wonder whether he would be better suited to playing in the hole of the opposition given his exceptional dribbling and creative abilities. Playing him in a more advanced position might make him more productive and allow him to get on the ball more regularly. Perhaps the Central Midfielder (Attack) role he currently plays isn't suited
 
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Finances – We sit on a comfortable balance but not enough to go on a spending spree
 
Facilities – A little bit more expansion is possible but the option in the board request screen is unavailable, I will probably have to wait until the first loan has been repaid to finish the stadium. The first loan matures on the 2/6/2077

Youth Intake – McConnell GK looks to be the best of a pretty poor intake
 
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League Reputation – Even after a slight rise we still fell below Croatia in the coefficient ranking which means the return of qualifying for the Champions League for the league champion. Wonderful :(
 
Club Domestic Reputation – No real changes
 
Club European Reputation – Quite the fall from grace
 

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TACTICS

Formation

After spinning my wheels with the 4-1-2-3 Wide for a good while I began to notice a lack of potency in the attack over recent seasons. Even though it had previously bought a lot of success the effectiveness began to fade. A number of problems existed with the tactic. The lack of goals and assists from the AML Inside Forward (Support), the over reliance on the AMR (Attack) to provide assists and score goals, the dependence on the ST Complete Forward (Support) to have a good game otherwise the attack would be completely blunted and the poor return of goals and assists from the Central Midfielder (Attack). 

Last seasons close shave in the title race provided the straw which broke the camel's back and I spent the last season (which I'll report on later) tinkering around until I got to mid-season and arrived at the tactic which will be detailed in the next 3 posts. I've decided to return to the 4-4-1-1 of old in an attempt to rekindle a flame

4_4_1_1.png

Once again the list of positive and negative aspects of this as a formation as detailed before

Positives

1) Unlikely to ever be outnumbered in the middle of the park and if it is (4-4-2 Narrow Diamond for e.g.) then there will be huge space on the flanks to exploit which plays into another strength of the formation

2) Will never be outnumbered on the flanks

3) Has a player consistently in the 'pocket' of the opposition

4) Should benefit from having two solid lines of defenders

5) Incredibly versatile and can be made to function in a huge number of different ways

6) The best horizontal coverage of the pitch you can get

Negatives

1) No defensive midfielder meaning that opposition teams will have space in a very dangerous area of the pitch and the formation will struggle against teams which have players in the AM strata

2) Having only one striker means that isolation could potentially become a issue

3) While the formation is versatile it doesn't have a specific style of play which suits it given that it is neither top heavy nor bottom heavy. With a top heavy formation, the idea would be to dominate play in the opposition half supported by a more aggressive mentality. In a bottom heavy formation, that would work best when designed to draw the opposition out and hit them on the counter suiting a more passive mentality.

4) Will have problems against teams which adopt a DMC as the AMC could easily get marked out of the game

5) Could suffer greatly on the counter attack if fullbacks are caught high up the pitch

6) A very demanding system in terms of vertical coverage of the pitch which could really struggle with lazy players. Tiring players could also be a huge problem when they can no longer as effectively cover the spaces

The next post will be about how I'm going to use the Team Instructions to establish a base with the aspects highlighted above taken into consideration.

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How do I want it to play?

In this section I'll pinpoint the positive and negative aspects I've highlighted earlier and formulate a plan of how I intend to take advantage of the strengths while trying to cover the weaknesses inherent to the formation.

Positives

1) Unlikely to ever be outnumbered in the middle of the park and if it is (4-4-2 Narrow Diamond for e.g.) then there will be huge space on the flanks to exploit which plays into another strength of the formation

As a result of this it would make sense for the playmaker(s) to be assigned to the central midfield zone (CM/AM) so that the ball is played into the central zone regularly

2) Will never be outnumbered on the flanks

Therefore my main focus for breaking the lines with dribbling and off the ball running should be down the flanks. We should play a system which makes full usage of the flanks with the intention that the width opens up the channels for the central players whilst also attempting to overload the opposition fullbacks as they will get little support from midfield

3) Has a player consistently in the 'pocket' of the opposition

Therefore the role of the AMC should be one that attracts the ball regularly whilst being mobile enough to take full advantage of the space and avoid being marked. Therefore I should play a mentality which will get the best out of this player and mean that they receive the ball regularly rather than have it bypass them

4) Should benefit from having two solid lines of defenders

In my opinion, to take best advantage of this the lines need to be closer together and also the lines should operate like waves and press the opposition on the side where they have the ball while remaining solid where they aren't. In order to get the best out of the two lines we need to operate a medium block with the wide players defending by forcing wide players inwards into a zone where we should typically outnumber the opposition

5) Incredibly versatile and can be made to function in a huge number of different ways

I feel the best way to take advantage of this is substitutions which change the interpretation of the role, to achieve this the aim should be to try to keep the number of instructions to a bare minimum. That way more of the individuality of the player can come through and the style of attack becomes more unpredictable. The roles within the tactic should also be as generic as possible

6) The best horizontal coverage of the pitch you can get

As a result I need to take advantage of this by adopting a mentality which stretches the opposition over the whole pitch, by playing with width it forces the opposition to defend wider too which should grant space to my central players

Negatives

1) No defensive midfielder meaning that opposition teams will have space in a very dangerous area of the pitch and the formation will struggle against teams which have players in the AM strata

To try to circumvent this problem the D & M lines should be closer together. Therefore the defensive line will need to be pushed up and the shape will need to be one which gives vertical compression. Hence a more aggressive mentality and greater fluidity are needed.

2) Having only one striker means that isolation could potentially become a issue

As a result the striker will need to have a role which requires him to do more than just sit on the shoulder of the last defender. It will also be essential that he is able to hold up the ball and wait for support while also being our main goalscorer

3) While the formation is versatile it doesn't have a specific style of play which suits it given that it is neither top heavy nor bottom heavy. With a top heavy formation, the idea would be to dominate play in the opposition half supported by a more aggressive mentality. In a bottom heavy formation, that would work best when designed to draw the opposition out and hit them on the counter suiting a more passive mentality.

Even though this is true I'm going to tip on the side of it being a shape which should be played with a more aggressive mentality. I don't believe it will be very good at soaking up pressure very well so I'm going to have it take the stance of attack is the best form of defence. Saying that, I don't wish it to be too aggressive as it doesn't have a huge amount of players in advanced positions immediately available so rushing the play to get it forwards wouldn't be beneficial

4) Will have problems against teams which adopt a DMC as the AMC could easily get marked out of the game

The role of my AMC will need to mobile and I will need other players stretching the pitch horizontally to assist him in finding space to operate in. The player I choose to use in the AMC role will need to have a good off the ball attribute and good agility so that they can more easily escape their marker

5) Could suffer greatly on the counter attack if fullbacks are caught high up the pitch

As a result playing an ultra aggressive mentality is out of the question as if I over commit players this could exacerbate the problem. Some degree of it is unavoidable but I will need to keep enough players back at all times to prepare for it. As I'm not fielding a DMC in the tactic I will need to be more reserved in the duty of the fullbacks, additionally due to the presence of players in ML & MR they don't need to attack the flanks to create the width instead they should focus on the later parts of attacking moves and overloading the opposition fullbacks

6) A very demanding system in terms of vertical coverage of the pitch which could really struggle with lazy players. Tiring players could also be a huge problem when they can no longer as effectively cover the spaces

This probably comes down to player recruitment at its heart, better game management will also help this by prioritizing substitutions on players that are tired / injured before under performing players. Getting players with high stamina and work rate is essential

Given this analysis these are the TIs I have come up with:

Mentality - CONTROL

In my opinion this fits the bill perfectly.

It increases the tempo which I feel will be needed given that our build up play will be naturally slowed due to the formation and players will need time to get into advanced positions and support attacking moves. The idea is that the increased tempo will come into play in the final third as often defending teams will have consolidated therefore I need the increased tempo to unsettle them.

It increases the width which is ideal as I want to take full advantage of the very good horizontal coverage the formation offers. The increased width should also help to open up the central zone more as it forces the defending team to get pulled wider

The defensive line gets pushed up which will help to decrease the space in behind the midfield while not so much as to allow masses of space in behind the defenders

The increased closing down will help to mitigate the poor vertical coverage of the pitch from the formation by putting pressure on opposition players who are in between the lines

The attack duty players will pass more direct and the defend duty players will pass more shorter. Therefore I'm going to need to balance where these duties will be on the pitch for the best effect

The control mentality also increases roaming which is needed for my more advanced players to find space especially the player in the AMC position

Team Shape - FLUID

The formation suffers from poor vertical coverage so by adopting a fluid shape I've increased the vertical compactness to mitigate that. The increased creativity is also essential as the vast majority of our attacks will be made when the opposition has recovered defensively so I'm going to need to grant my attacking players more license to be creative to break down stubborn defences

Now that I have my formation and team instructions the next step is stitching it all together with player roles and duties

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Finishing off

Now that I have my defensive shape (formation), style of play (TIs) locked down the final step is to define exactly how the team is going to attack which will be done with player roles / duties and PIs.

I'll start from the back and the Goalkeeper position

Position : GK

What do I expect from the player in the position?

A player who exerts control over his penalty box and works well with the central defenders in front of him. I don't wish to bias the type of distribution but have given him the PI to distribute to the fullbacks. This was done to avoid him punting the ball long and wasting valuable possession. This way I should see more attacks built from the back naturally without having to add the TI of Play Out Of Defence. A case could be made to play a Sweeper Keeper given the higher than usual defensive line but my Goalkeepers don't have particularly good composure so playing them in that role would be an unnecessary risk to take which could prove costly

Role and Duty Assigned : Goalkeeper (Defend)

Position : DCR / DCL

What do I expect from the player in the position?

I expect my central defenders to protect my goalkeeper and work together and make it as hard as possible to break through them. A stopper / cover combination wouldn't work here as I want to have 1 solid line of defence rather than 2 and given the high line it could be asking for trouble to split it up in that manner. Additionally, I would like my central defenders to avoid just pumping it long aimlessly and conceding possession. In some respects the system is built around playing the ball up from the back so a defensive centre back wouldn't be suitable as they wouldn't care about getting the ball to another player as they are focused on just getting the ball away, similarly, a ball playing defender wouldn't work in this system either as they would be looking to bypass the midfield and pump the ball long. Therefore my only suitable choice is a Central Defender (Defend)

Role and Duty Assigned : Central Defender (Defend)

Position : DL / DR

What do I expect from the player in the position?

Given that one of the main strengths of the 4-4-1-1 formation is its wide play I think it makes sense to have my wide defenders judiciously attacking and attempting to overload the flanks in conjunction with the players directly ahead of them. Given the control mentality, their job is to overlap once the team is in control of possession and provide width late in attacking moves. I think this will work well as once the first stage of the attack is complete and all the players are in their attacking positions what is then needed is the creation of space for them to progress the attack further. That is when the full backs come into play to disrupt the oppositions defensive shape. Which then leaves the opposition defenders with a decision to make, do they challenge the fullback and potentially leave a gap in their defence or give him the space to measure up a cross or get in behind. I feel the role should focus more on defensive contribution than attacking threat so that is why I've opted for the fullback which provides a good compromise between the two aspects of the game

Role and Duty Assigned : Fullback (Support)

Position : MCL

What do I expect from the player in the position?

I need a defensive pivot in order to solidify the early stages of an attack. The Central Midfielder will often drop deep which should enable my central defenders who have less risky passes set as a default to always have somebody to give the ball to lessening the need to play it long and concede possession. I would like to see him working as an effective double pivot and aggressively press opposition central midfielders to provide protection to the central defenders. I did consider making the player a Deep Lying Playmaker (Defend) but though that I'd be better served having my playmaker role in a more advanced position when adopting the Control mentality

Role and Duty Assigned : Central Midfielder (Defend)

Position : MCR

What do I expect from the player in the position?

I expect to see a slightly more aggressive press from the player in the role in effect producing a cover and stopper partnership in the central midfield. In effect what I hope to achieve is a double pivot with the emphasis being on ball retention and recycling possession while my more attacking players do the business. He should also seek to get into advanced areas when the team is secure in possession and offer a threat by attacking the box from deep late in moves to provide an extra target for crosses. He should be effective in this aspect as the team should be fairly spread by that point in attacking moves which should give him the space he needs to attack the golden zone

Role and Duty Assigned : Central Midfielder (Support)

Position : ML / MR

What do I expect from the player in the position?

My hope is to see the Wingers attack the flanks while also dribbling into the channels between opposition central defenders and fullbacks late on in attacking moves. Their job is to open up the golden zone for my supporting central midfielder and AMC by stretching the opposition and pulling apart their defensive shape. I also expect them to contribute greatly to the goal scoring charts by arriving in the box and getting on the end of the opposing wingers far post crosses. I'll have to watch how often they take shots as given their advanced position they will take them on but I don't want to see a large amount of shots from rakish angles and would prefer them to pass or cross. Given the medium block I'm hoping to achieve I expect to see them harassing opposition wide midfielders in order to funnel attacks through the centre where I have 3 midfielders to defend

Role and Duty Assigned : Winger (Attack)

Position : AMC

What do I expect from the player in the position?

The purpose of my AMC is to be the attacking pivot for the team. He will need to have players getting beside him and beyond him to be most effective. I feel that has been achieved with the roles I have already selected. He'll have a Defend duty central midfielder and Support duty central midfielder behind him if he wishes to recycle possession, two players on the flanks and two fullbacks out wide and a striker ahead of him. That should give him plenty of passing options which will help get the best out of him. The control mentality and Fluid shape should also help him to overcome situations where he may be man marked and the width created by the wide players should give him a bit more room to express himself. The support duty was chosen as whilst I want him getting up to support the lone striker more closely I need him to make a contribution defensively and create a solid 3 in the central midfield in the defensive transition to try and circumvent the issue with the wide position of the wingers. I don't expect miracles defensively but being a presence by pressing opposition midfielders should help alleviate some of the workload on the two central midfielders behind him

Role and Duty Assigned : Advanced Playmaker (Support)

Position : ST

What do I expect from the player in the position?

As I mentioned earlier, I need the player to get involved in the buildup play whilst being able to hold up the ball and wait for support and being the main goalscorer. This role and duty offers precisely what I'm looking for. He will be the most advanced player at all times but he will drop off the front and position himself in space to receive the ball whilst not roaming so much that he loses the position of spearheading the attacks. I expect him to link up with the Wingers and occasionally try to be a provider for other players bursting from midfield. I expect the player in the role to be the top scorer every season, he should be physically strong enough to get on the end of crosses while being nimble and quick enough to run on to through balls and have the composure and finishing to score. He should have the creative ability to score a range of different types of goals and that is what I will hope to see. I don't expect any significant defensive contribution from him as I'm playing a medium block but if he could press and apply light pressure on the opposition central defenders in tandem with the Advanced Playmaker it should encourage the opposition to play long balls and hopefully lead to easy turnovers of possession

Role and Duty Assigned : Complete Forward (Attack)

Here is how the final tactic looks.

4-4-1-1_tactic.png

4-4-1-1_tactic_instructions.png

The next post will look at the performance of the tactic so far with analysis

 

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Tactic performance

In order to see if I'm on the right track or not it's essential to see how the tactic is performing after one season of use (albeit after some tinkering during the season). Therefore I've looked at the Analysis tab and this is what is shown.

Types and location of goals 

Goal_Types.png

Goal_locations.png

I'm actually really pleased with these statistics as it would indicate to me that the tactic is working well.

Defensively, I'm very pleased as the indications are that teams find it difficult to get chances to score in very dangerous areas against us. The fact that there are only 2 goals conceded on the posts is also a very encouraging sign as it means that we are very good at dealing with far post crosses and passes played into our channels.  The fact the the most dangerous area of the pitch for us has only led to concession of 8 goals is amazing.

Offensively, the picture is even brighter. Goals are coming from all over the place which is great to see and we've even scored 5 from miles out which is incredible. It's also nice to see the amount of goals scored in the most dangerous area for the opposition to defend meaning that the ball must be getting into those areas regularly giving attackers good opportunities in those areas. It is also nice to see a reasonable spread of goals on the posts although the lack of any goals on the right in front of the posts is a little bit surprising

Types and location of assists

Assist_Types.png

Assist_locations.png

These statistics are exactly what I'd expect from the tactic

Defensively, set pieces appear to be the main source of assists for the opposition which may indicate that I need to tweak the defending of set pieces. I always get frustrated when I see us concede goals from set pieces as these goals seem cheap to me given that you can prepare for them. We have been caught out a few times by through balls but I feel that it would be impossible to eliminate these completely given the higher defensive line. I am however delighted that we have only conceded 3 goals in 50 games from crosses as I thought that might be a weakness but it hasn't proven to be the case.

Offensively, it is very clear that crosses are a major source of goals for us which is to be expected when playing with two attacking wingers. While its great to see I don't want to become overly dependent on them and therefore I'm pleased to see reasonable figures for both through balls and passes. I am disappointed with the haul from set pieces though as we have players which can provide a great delivery of the ball into the box from indirect free kicks and corners. I'd like to see the assists from set pieces increase as sometimes in tight games when the opposition is proving difficult to break down you need that cheap goal to open up the game. As a result I'll probably be looking to overhaul set pieces altogether. After maligning the left flank for not being as productive as the right flank all of a sudden the situation has been reversed which I find interesting even though the left winger didn't finish as top assister

Times of goals

Goal_times.png

This gives me great hope as it is exactly what I want to see. I expect us to start strongly and put the opposition on the back foot, by scoring early we can then relax and look to control the game and then it becomes a matter of game management. I feel that it's important to carry on this trend of scoring the majority of goals in the first 15 minutes as I have experienced that when we don't score in the first half that we really struggle to score goals even as the vastly superior team. The players become nervous and frustrated and very rarely does a poor performance from the striker pick up in the second half.

I'm rather disappointed to see that the least productive time for us appears to be between the 61st-75th minutes (90+ minutes is a much shorter interval). I would expect better considering that this is usually when I make substitutions and I would want the introduction of fresh legs into the game to have a similar galvanizing effect to that observed at the start of the game but it doesn't appear to provide that. It is also not particularly surprising that this would be the period of the game where we concede the most, it appears that our players aren't particularly good at quickly getting up to speed in games which is something which I'm unsure about how to solve or even what to look for as the cause. Overall, a very pleasing picture though

League attacking stats

Goals scored : 86 / Goals from corners : 11 / Goals from direct free kicks : 2 / Goals from indirect free kicks : 8

A total of 16 goals clear of 2nd place is encouraging but previously it has been far more, the number of goals we score from direct free kicks is poor and we really need more goals from corners

Cross completion ratio : 14% / Crosses completed : 267

In both measures we are top and have 90 more crosses completed that 2nd placed Cliftonville. This needs to remain the case given how much of our assists are provided from crosses but compares poorly when compared to a team like BPL Champions Arsenal who have CCR of 32% and CC of 357 over the same amount of games in the Premier League. Given that the quality of opposition they face is far superior in retrospect these are pretty poor results

Average possession : 54.03% / Pass completion ratio : 82% / Passes completed : 16946

We are top in all measures but not significantly so that we could be considered dominant. When compared to how teams we compete against in the Champions League perform, we are around average in all the statistics listed

Shots on target ratio : 40% / Shots on target : 318 / Fouls against : 664 / Dribbles per game : 28

In terms of SOTR we are 6th overall which is a problem given how wasteful we are being. If we could shift even a couple of percent upwards we would be in a great position and would score far more goals given the amount of shots on target we do have. The statistics don't compare well with teams in the top leagues in Europe and indicates to me how badly we need a world class striker. We get fouled excessively with opposition players finding it difficult to handle the amount of dribbles per game therefore we must parlay this into something more productive by improving our attacking set pieces

Overall, we could do a lot better and should be doing a lot better. When you look at our yearly salary when compared with the rest of the league then you can see why

salary_per_annum.png

If you consider that we pay in wages more than double what the rest of the league pays combined then you can understand the disappointment that we aren't as dominating as we should be. Whilst its true that a higher wage bill does not necessarily translate into better performances there is a correlation between the two. Realistically, 5+ goal winning margins should be the norm in the league whereas in the season I'm going to review it only happened in 4/38 games, in fact we drew 0-0 more times (5) than we scored more than 5 which can't be right. I'm hoping that the tactic will see us return to becoming more prolific in the league and with an improvement to our set pieces perhaps it can happen

 

 

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Posted (edited)

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Chimney Corner F.C.

Season 2074 / 2075


Season Expectations

We need to get back into the groove and become regular challengers for the Champions League again


 
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League Table - It was more comfortable than last season but given the difference in class between us and the rest we ought to be doing a lot better

UEFA Champions League - Well that's one way of avoiding having to play in the qualifiers :lol:. Our victories were however by the finest of margins throughout the whole campaign, had we had a bit of bad luck we would be looking at a completely different picture. I was really delighted to recover against Man Utd and deprive them of the opportunity to match us with the most trophies won as it stands we now have 15 in our cabinet

Domestic Cups - At times we were brilliant but then at other times were we embarrassing

Reserves - I guess they'll feel Ards done by after they halted their quest for perfection

Under 18s - Abysmal

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Squad – They get a massive pat on the back from me as I didn't think they'd be capable of winning the Champions League after last seasons horror show but with a years more experience under their belt they pulled it together and excelled. The progress of players like Medina AMC and McMinn AMC has been remarkable and I hope that it continues next season. In order to take us to the next level I feel we are going to need a world class striker, as we don't have a lot of money perhaps I will need to be willing to sell a few players to fund it. I feel we have an impressive core to the team which just needs that elite level striker to finish more of the chances that we create
 
Transfers – We ran a transfer deficit this season but it was necessary given that I wanted to replace the players that left with quality. I feel I've overpaid for the players especially the two Machaceks (no relation) but on the other hand we didn't have much choice and needed to strengthen, in the end the gamble turned out to be worthwhile
 
Player Of The Season
Jesus Rodriguez – MR - Average Rating : 7.95
Like a fine wine he just seems to be getting better with age. If my attacking set pieces were better he'd probably be even more prolific. At 31 he is still lightening quick but I am aware that wont last too much longer so we need to enjoy it while we can

Young Player Of The Season
Mark McAvoy – DC - Average Rating : 7.48
Even though he didn't get the highest average rating of the players 21 and under I couldn't refuse him this accolade. His level of consistency is remarkable, he has interest from the Hammers but he is one player I really don't want to lose
 
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Finances – It looks bad but the board pumped in £21.5M after the screenshot was taken which gives us a positive working balance. Additionally, for some bizarre reason Chelsea decided to splash out £2.2M on one of my 67 year old scouts in compensation but I won't say no. I definitely feel that we are going to need to sell before we can spend though given our low balance
 
Facilities – Still no chance of upgrading anything although I have been adding youth affiliates after that list became depleted with expiring contracts. I now have Aberdeen (Scotland), Arsenal di Sarandi (Argentina), Deportivo La Coruna (Spain) and Derry City (R.O.I). I hope that having these affiliates will assist our youth intakes which have really dried up of late

Youth Intake – Not the worst we've had, the two Argentinian lads look decent and Mullin ST looks like he could develop into a decent striker in time
 
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League Reputation – The league remained stagnant but our performance in Europe meant that our coefficients improved enough to grant the nation its Champions League group stage spot back. As a result no more qualifiers :cool:
 
Club Domestic Reputation – I'm in two minds as to whether I should continue including this screenshot as it changes very little season to season. Where have all the tycoons gone? At this point that looks the only way that other teams in N. Ireland will ever be able to compete
 
Club European Reputation – Nice to put the brakes on and reverse the direction of travel to put us back into single digits
 
Edited by pheelf

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Tactic refinement

After looking at the analysis of last season I have decided to make a couple of changes to the tactic which I'll explain.

Changed the Complete Forward (Attack) to an Advanced Forward (Attack)

The are a few reasons which contributed to this change such as follows:

1) The CF (A) plays in a way which doesn't correspond well with the way in which we attack and where our assists are emanating from. It is clear that we depend heavily on crosses to score goals therefore I need a player who is high up the pitch at all times looking to get on the end of those crosses. Having a player faff about in Attacking Midfield trying to do everything is counter productive

2) Some of the PIs of the CF (A) are completely unsuitable for what we need for e.g.

Hold Up Ball : For who? In my tactic nobody is running ahead of him so what benefit does having this facet to his game bring

Roam From Position : Given that there is already a degree of roaming associated with both the mentality and the team shape, how does an increased departure from his position help him to become the spearhead of the attack. I need my striker up the pitch at all times making himself available for the through balls and crosses, if he in a deeper position he can't hurt the opposition in the way I want

More Risky Passes : Again, to who? The wingers?

3) There are no other options which fit the bill. I want my striker to be my main goalscorer therefore I want him to be on the the attack duty which whittled down the options. As I don't need or want him to have the Hold Up Ball PI that ruled out the Deep Lying Forward, Target Man & Complete Forward. This left the Poacher, Advanced Forward & Trequartista. The Poacher I feel would be inappropriate as a lone striker as I feel he needs a player beside him dragging people out of position to create space for him to operate. The Trequartista suffers a lot of the same issues the Complete Forward does except he roams even more which is no good in this tactic when needing a player to be my main goalscorer. Hence my only choice was the Advanced Forward

Changed the Advanced Playmaker (Support) to an Advanced Playmaker (Attack)

This again had a lot to do with the fact that the majority of our goals come from crosses. Previously, I only had one player attacking centrally into the opposition box relatively early. The wingers only do so very late in attacking moves, the CM (S) even later than them and the AP (S) wouldn't do it at all given the Hold Position PI. I feel the way it was before goes a long way into explaining why our cross completion ratio was so poor as we only had one target to aim for early (2 tops if the opposite side winger was attacking the far post). The problem with having to delay crosses until later is that the best chances are created early when the opposition haven't recovered properly defensively, that is when crosses are most effective. 

By making the AMC more attack orientated it should increase the targets for the wingers to aim crosses at. I also feel I can be a little bit more relaxed with the defensive responsibilities as he has two players behind him whilst he should still make some contribution to defending by pressing and falling into the central midfield if needed.

That's all the changes for now although I may post about my set pieces 

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Chimney Corner F.C.

Season 2075 / 2076


Season Expectations

Last seasons Champions League victory came as a surprise, if we could retain it that would be great


 
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League Table - A twenty point margin of victory is huge. I don't think we're ever going to get the perfect season as we can't even go unbeaten now

FIFA Club World Cup - Lived it up in India, when Traore got sent off in the final I feared the worst but once they went more attacking in an attempt to get the equalizer we tore them apart twice on the break

UEFA Super Cup - Another final and another Traore red card, we showed great resolve however to emerge victorious pinching it in extra time

UEFA Champions League - A campaign in which the 'Big 3' in Portugal played a significant role. We managed to best Sporting by a point and top the group which then drew us against Porto. I felt that the lack of an away goal in Portugal would cost us and it certainly did with one of the worst own goals I have ever seen hammering the final nail in our Champions League coffin. Cue much disappointment, the shock of the season came however in the final where Benfica ended over a century of hurt to beat Man City 2-0 in Seville. After trying to battle on with the 4-4-1-1 and overcome the inherent issues with the ME when it comes to having a flat midfield, I've decided to call it a day and return back to my 4-1-2-3 Wide which has brought far more success

Domestic Cups - It was disappointing to lose the clean sweep in that manner considering how strong the side we fielded was

Reserves - They missed out on perfection by 3 points to Linfield Swifts

Under 18s - I make allowances due to the fact that their ranks get massacred every season with loans but this was not good enough

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Squad – That wage bill has been creeping up again and is now just shy of £750Kp/w. I'm really struggling to get good value for money here and I may need to revise my strategy in transfer dealings. The balance of the squad seems good with a number of good options in each position. The age distribution of the squad seems balanced, we have a number of HG players and we have a good variety with the type of player. However, good isn't going to be enough to compete at the top end of European football.
 
I sensed that last season was an anomaly and was proven right with this seasons underwhelming performance in Europe. Gray ST is leaving for PSV which will leave only 2 first team strikers in the whole squad. As a result investment will need to be made here, unfortunately for us the class of player that will fit the bill is way beyond our means. We're looking at players which will cost between £25M - £30M which is a real problem when the transfer budget is only £11M. I'm also painfully aware of the fact that the two players who can play the AMR role are 32 years old and will need replacing sooner rather than later. Difficult decisions will need to be made but on the plus side we have a young core to the side which can still improve
 
Transfers – I was really pleased with the two signings I did make as they performed really well when called upon. The Conte transfer to Man Utd bought about a lot of consternation among our fans but £8M for a 32 year old who was one of our highest paid players seemed too good an offer to refuse. Besides, he was only earning £70Kp/w here, at Man Utd he's on £240Kp/w which should give him a nice little nest egg for his retirement which seems a fitting way for such a great player for us to end his playing career
 
Player Of The Season
Viktor Mellqvist – ML - Average Rating : 8.06
A superb season from the winger who clearly benefited from the change to a 4-4-1-1 and being played in his favoured role. Will be interesting to see how he adapts when being made to play as an Inside Forward. I can't see why it should have that massive an impact as he has attributes which suit being a Inside Forward with perhaps the exception of his Finishing but given he is to be given the Support duty he isn't expected to be taking a lot of shots anyway

Young Player Of The Season
Chris McMinn – AMC - Average Rating : 7.68
He has developed into a real class act. When he came into the club through the youth intake of 2073 my staff thought that he could reach 3.5* CA. I'm actually quite surprised at how accurate that prediction has proven to be although I'm slightly dismayed by the fact he appears to have peaked at only 19 years old
 
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Finances – The board only pumped in £5.5M this time although sponsorship pumped in another £8.5M giving us a balance of around £14M to start next season. As a result our chances of going on a spending spree are slim to none unless we can raise significant sums from player sales which look unlikely
 
Facilities – The youth facilities got downgraded so I had to invest money in that direction

Youth Intake – AT LAST!!!...A player who my HoYD is excited about!!...Mark Watt DC looks a very talented youngster indeed who could probably play some cup games next season. I don't want to play him too early though as the either footed central defender (exceptionally rare) could become a pivotal figure in the fortunes of the N. Irish national team and therefore it's my duty to ensure that I develop him correctly. I've put him under the wing of Machacek who my staff think he resembles and hopefully (fingers crossed) he'll benefit from the link up. The rest of the intake was poor
 
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League Reputation – Another fall as we once again lose our automatic group stage spot
 
Club Domestic Reputation – Having teams with Regional reputation in the DBP can't be good for the competition
 
Club European Reputation – Back outside the top 10 again
 

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I don't know whether to be pleased Porto was the team that managed to beat your illustrious side, or bitter that Benfica got the trophy.

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On 7/9/2017 at 17:43, noikeee said:

I don't know whether to be pleased Porto was the team that managed to beat your illustrious side, or bitter that Benfica got the trophy.

It's a curious thing what has happened in Portugal in my save. Porto had been utterly dominant from the start winning 21 league titles in a row at one point and now hold 72 league titles in total. Then 6 seasons ago out of the blue Benfica won the title and have done so every season since. There has definitely been a shift of power away from Porto. Benfica haven't had a tycoon takeover or anything but they have club value £997M which is over 4x what Porto has at £218M which is very strange. As a result of that they have been able to outspend them significantly meaning that it doesn't look likely that the balance of power will shift back anytime soon.

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Posted (edited)

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Chimney Corner F.C.

Season 2076 / 2077


Season Expectations

After last seasons lackluster performance in the Champions League we needed to up our game. In a piece of good news the leader of the Hall of Fame finally retired so at least I now have a static target of 13270 to aim for


 
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League Table - A poor season in my book, way too many draws as I tinkered with the tactic again and again

UEFA Champions League - So close and yet so far. Getting way too many players which dread/dislike big matches in the team which I feel cost us here. The semi final second leg was an incredible game going end to end almost like a basketball match

Domestic Cups - The club has become so big now that our Scottish Challenge Cup final was played at Murrayfield, nice payday for St. Mirren I suppose

Reserves - Well at least they won the league

Under 18s - They didn't though

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Squad – The first team needs serious work next season. I've been putting it off but it simply can't wait any longer. The whole right flank needs major surgery and the bringing in of a few central defenders who don't quaver when it comes to playing in the big games. It was their poor performances which really cost us in the Champions League as everybody else did well. Bringing in a quality shot stopper is a must also
 
Transfers – I needed to spend a fair chunk of money but I managed to get that marquee striker I had been looking for in Guyot who has been superb since signing. Campos ST was a bit of gamble on potential but he is developing quite well and could prove to be a bargain. Ferreira ST became surplus to requirements with the purchase of Guyot so he was sold for a nice profit. I didn't really want to sell Bandini GK but the finances at the time needed sorting (which I later discovered was unnecessary) and he wanted to leave
 
Player Of The Season
Jesus Rodriguez – MR - Average Rating : 7.66
He's slowing down but was still streets ahead of everybody else, he also represents something which has become a bit of rarity in my squad and that is someone who relishes playing in big matches

Young Player Of The Season
Stephane Guyot – ST - Average Rating : 7.56
Worth every penny!!...The French international is just a goal machine who at 21 is world class in my book
 
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Finances – The reason I didn't need to sell Bandini was that I had a consortium takeover in April and being the generous lot they are they decided to pay off our biggest debt, pump in millions and take out a smaller loan for £20M with a much lower monthly repayment rate ~£200K. They have also allocated me £44M in transfer funds for next season which should be more than enough to rebuild the squad where needed
 
Facilities – The board also decided to renovate the training facilities which needed it but the option to max out the stadium is still M.I.A.

Youth Intake – One could get used to having a wonderkid in every intake but I sense it wont last. Deportivo generously decided that their once in a generation right winger would be better off here and I concur. The lad is going to be immense once developed given his professional personality
 
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League Reputation – Starting to climb again, we won't avoid the qualifiers this time around but the season after next will see them gone again
 
Club Domestic Reputation – Donegal Celtic getting relegated was a blow but hopefully their time in the DBP will make bouncing back easier
 
Club European Reputation – Heading in the right direction again
 
Edited by pheelf

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unlucky in the champions league but good to see the finances are looking in a decent shape now. Amazed with your persistence in this career - hopefully top spot in the hall of fame isn't too far off now! 

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Very interesting development in the youth intakes with good players 2 years in a row. Any idea why this happened, or just plain dumb luck?

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On 7/11/2017 at 18:45, Mark Heath said:

unlucky in the champions league but good to see the finances are looking in a decent shape now. Amazed with your persistence in this career - hopefully top spot in the hall of fame isn't too far off now! 

We're 1654 off the summit so if I can win a few more Champions Leagues I should get the top spot, how long that will take is another question altogether. The finances are a lot better than they were but still pale in comparison with the top teams in Europe. I'm also handicapped by the relatively small amounts we get for selling our world class players, the highest amount of money I've received for a player is £35.75M for Broich. The massive stadium has helped but not as much as I'd hoped but I'll keep at it and hopefully complete the challenge before too long.

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On 7/13/2017 at 15:03, noikeee said:

Very interesting development in the youth intakes with good players 2 years in a row. Any idea why this happened, or just plain dumb luck?

I sense it's just dumb luck because in the season I'm going to report on the intake was back to normal. I am however very happy to have gotten two potentially world class players that I didn't have to pay millions for. I've pretty much done all that I can think of to improve the quality of the intake at this point so now it's just a matter of RNG as to whether I get a top prospect or not.

My HoYD has Determination 17 and a Professional personality, I've made many youth affiliations with clubs in countries with high youth ranking. I've upgraded both youth coaching and youth recruitment to their maximum level and finally I've got a good record for developing youth and bringing them into the first team. Outside of that I can't think of anything else that could help. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I'm going to have to look outside the club for high potential youngsters as bringing them through our youth system seems too random at this point

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Chimney Corner F.C.

Season 2077 / 2078


Season Expectations

We came so close last season, can we take that final step and win another Champions League


 
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League Table - This is really getting too close, I've almost become Ranieri-esque with the constant tactical tinkering and it nearly cost us big time here. At least I think I've finally settled on a tactic

UEFA Champions League - Feels a bit raw to once again come so close and fall at the final hurdle. I seem to playing English sides an awful lot as they appear to be dominating in Europe once again

Domestic Cups - We were awful in the cups and ended up with absolutely nothing

Reserves - At least we won a domestic cup

Under 18s - I don't understand how you can beat that calibre of team in the group stage and then lose to Vardar

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Squad – I feel that this summer is going to see a huge amount of change in the playing staff at the club. Given the state of the finances I feel it's going to be a case of us having to sell in order to buy. The right flank desperately needs work as I wait for Capelo to get old enough to get regular first team football. I am attempting to retrain Medina into the DMC position to play as a Deep Lying Playmaker but I'm going to need some depth here given Spann has damaged his cruciate ligaments and will be out for another 4 months at the earliest. I'd also like to add some depth to the Goalkeeper and Striker positions should money permit, the rest can probably wait
 
Transfers – I thought that I could sign foreign players on the cheap with reasonable potential and try to ship them to affiliate Derry City but they wouldn't get games there which means I won't be repeating that next season. Hasledin DC was very expensive and when he broke his leg early in the season in training I was devastated. Thankfully, he recovered for the knockout stages of the Champions League and had a positive impact on our defensive solidity
 
Player Of The Season
Gonzalo Medina – DMC - Average Rating : 8.04
He was absolutely superb in the Champions League. Maybe retraining him to play in the defensive midfield is a mistake given his exceptional dribbling ability but he did well in the role. Whether he has to play there next season will depend on whether I can get a Pirlo-type player into the club who can dictate play from deep which would enable him to play further up the pitch

Young Player Of The Season
Chris McMinn – MC - Average Rating : 7.49
He has established himself as a first team player and N. Ireland international that has played a significant part in helping his nation qualify for their first world cup since 2034 which was their one and only qualification since the start of the career and the 1986 tournament. I would like to see some more assists from him and failing that secondary assists given his deeper starting position
 
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Finances – This is why we can't splash the cash about and just go buy the quality of player which would make us win the Champions League every year. Our sponsorship income seems to have dried up with only the stadium sponsor pumping in a good amount of money at £4.34M a season, our TV revenues are appalling. On a more positive note, at least our gate receipts are more than covering our players wages now which is significant considering our wage bill is nearly £700Kp/w
 
Facilities – Still waiting for the opportunity to max out the capacity of the stadium

Youth Intake – Romero AMR maybe can be decent but this is a relatively poor crop of players. It's a good job that this isn't a youth only career as having to depend on the youth intake is about as reliable as using a chocolate teapot

 

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League Reputation – Up and down like Tower Bridge
 
Club Domestic Reputation – I thought that Donegal Celtic would recover quickly and I was proven right as they romped to the Championship title by an impressive 13 point margin
 
Club European Reputation – Some way off the summit
 
Edited by pheelf

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Chimney Corner F.C.

Season 2078 / 2079


Season Expectations

Twice in a row we've finished runners up in the Champions League we need to break that run


 
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League Table - We started the season with a 10-0 win over Donegal Celtic which lulled me into thinking that no further tactical changes were needed and the 4-1-2-3 Wide was going to be the tactic I used going forward. We went on to win all of our first 5 games, 10-0, 1-0, 7-0, 1-0 and 3-0 but then the goals dried up and we drew the next two games 0-0 and 1-1 against Ballymena United and Linfield respectively. It was at that point I decided to go back to the way I used to play the game and use a 4-4-2.

Once we changed to the 4-4-2 the magic started to happen. All of sudden 3 goal margins of victory became the norm which led to us breaking the goal scored in a season record. My thought was that by having such an impressive goal scoring record that we would lose something defensively but that didn't prove to be the case and in the 31 games of the season after the tactic change the team kept an impressive 23 clean sheets which while not as many as last season was more than compensated for by the fact that we only conceded 10 goals all season

UEFA Champions League - This was again heavily influenced by the change in formation. The first two games of the group stage were played with the 4-1-2-3, the first game of the 4-4-2 saw the trashing of Juventus in Italy which basically decided the group and allowed us to finish top. Once we became completely familiar with the new tactic in the knockout stage we just went on a rampage and scored for fun. The final was a lot closer but probably only made so by the fact that we had to depend on a retiring Rodriguez MR who at 35 has lost all of his speed meaning that we didn't have the attacking thrust on the right flank which we need and usually get from the youngster Capello who was injured

Domestic Cups - Quite the contrast from last season as we won the clean sweep comfortably

Reserves - No success in the cups or the league

Under 18s - A reasonable season from the young upstarts

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Squad – I was pleasantly surprised that we won the Champions League as I didn't see the team as being capable but it shows the difference that getting in consistent players who like big matches can make on performances in Europe. I'll be hoping to continue that theme next season as a few players in the team still have the 'dread big matches' trait meaning I don't play them in the Champions League. I'm absolutely loving the goal scoring records of my strikers and the assists from midfielders as that was a problem previously. I have a nice transfer budget to spend next season so I'll be looking to strengthen the right flank, the central defence and central midfield if funds allow that
 
Transfers – Not shown are Drose ST and Jimenez ST who came in on free transfers and proved to be exceptionally potent upfront. I expect a busy summer, if I can pick up similar bargains like that next season for the positions we need the first team is going to be in a great position. I'll also be looking to move on inconsistent and big match flops from the first team such as Maisano DR, Machacek DC & Sirico MR should a reasonable offer come in for them
 
Player Of The Season
Lautaro Sirico – MR - Average Rating : 8.00
You may be asking why I would want to get rid of the player with the highest overall average rating. Well the reason is simple, he doesn't feel comfortable playing in big matches and it really shows. He was terrible in the Champions League with us winning only one of the three games in which he started. I need a genuine player for rotation in all competitions and can't afford the luxury of having players I can't depend on at all times

Young Player Of The Season
Nigel Moore – DL - Average Rating : 7.53
The youth product has developed really well and has locked down the spot as first choice at left back. I feel he needs better competition for his place though as he has developed as much as my coaches feel is possible now and is only 2.5* CA when compared with the rest of the team

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Finances – The board decided to pump in £21.5M which should keep us ticking over nicely. The wage budget is back over £1Mp/w but for the first time I feel that is sustainable given that our income from the stadium seems to be covering it. I have however decided to cut back on some staff who I don't see as providing any additional benefit from them being at the club. I'll need to spend wisely next season as there are quite a lot of gaps in the playing squad which need filling
 
Facilities – Without prompting, the board decided at the end of the season to max out the size of the stadium for a cost of £9.6M (paid for by taking out a loan) which seems rather extortionate to me as it works out at over £6K per seat. I am however pleased that the work will be completed before a ball is kicked in anger. I didn't notice it at the time but for the first time another N. Irish team decided to expand their stadium this year. Cliftonville upgraded Solitude to its maximum size and it now has a capacity of 8,000 with 4306 seats which means that the next stage for them is a new stadium which would be great as we need other teams to increase their income and improve the competitiveness of the league

Youth Intake – McIlveen ST looks quite promising and I'll be training him to be an Advanced Forward although his Dribbling ability is fairly poor. Clarke GK might become a decent shot stopper in time but the rest aren't great and probably will be looking at other clubs lower down if they are to have a career
 
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League Reputation – It's nice to be moving up again but this season was a poor one for the other N. Irish teams in Europe. Cliftonville got knocked out of the Europa League playoff by Aberdeen, Glenavon couldn't qualify from their Europa League group, Linfield got knocked out of the Europa League 3rd round qualifiers by Sligo Rovers and Carrick got taken out by Elfsborg in the 2nd qualifying round of the Europa League. Worse still, taking a glance at who made Europe this season doesn't fill me with confidence that the nation will fare much better next season either
 
Club Domestic Reputation – Donegal Celtic didn't last long in the top flight, I sense they could become a yo-yo side. For the first time 7/12 of the teams in the DBP are professional clubs which is great but is also widening the gap between the DBP and the Championship meaning we could be seeing the same teams relegated and then promoted for a while. The best example I can give of the size of the chasm is in the DBP relegation playoff game which for the majority of the career has been a fairly even game with the team in the Championship often getting promoted. Last season the result was a 7-3 aggregate win for the top flight side, this season the result was a 12-0 aggregate win for the top flight side. We desperately need some tycoons getting involved in N. Irish football as the last one we had was 30 years ago and that was with Carrick
 
Club European Reputation – Nowhere near the summit but progress
 
Edited by pheelf

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Sporting in the CL semifinal... no, that's not going to happen not even in 2079.

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On 7/20/2017 at 23:07, noikeee said:

Sporting in the CL semifinal... no, that's not going to happen not even in 2079.

:lol:...Unlike previous saves I've done I'm actually pleasantly surprised with the performance of Portugese clubs especially given that other more larger leagues are active.

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Chimney Corner F.C.

Season 2079 / 2080


Season Expectations

I'm getting closer to the finishing line and can almost grasp for the top of the Hall of Fame, another few Champions League wins should do it


 
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League Table - I've never chopped and changed my tactics so much in all the time I've played FM but felt the need to do so again. My hand was kind of forced as 3 of my strikers had suffered serious long term injuries so it was out with the 4-4-2 and back to the 4-1-2-3 Wide. It seemed to be a worthwhile decision as we went unbeaten for the first time in quite a few seasons

FIFA Club World Cup - For the first time in the career I didn't win it which might have had something to do with the fact that the change in tactic came for the match against Tigres. Our penalties were shocking

UEFA Super Cup - Our former player Tsoukarellis came back to haunt us

UEFA Champions League - The road was a bit rocky but we managed to navigate our way to another win. I really enjoyed the comeback against Barcelona and beating them playing the same tika-taka style which they seem to have long abandoned

Domestic Cups - Glentoran destroyed our hopes of a clean sweep but we were severely weakened due to international call ups. Another record attendance for the final of the Challenge Cup as we played at Rangers new ground

Reserves - They'll be slightly disappointed to lose out on both cups in that manner

Under 18s - They had a very good group stage campaign in Europe then as has become custom capitulated at the first round of the knockout stages

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Squad – At one point during the season you could have mistaken the first team for the queue at an A&E given the amount of serious injuries, it's all practically resolved now (except Guyot who damaged his cruciate ligaments) but it wasn't fun to deal with at the time. I was pleased with the performance of the team and the right flank issue appears to have been resolved, now I need to work on the central defence and left back positions
 
Transfers – A satisfactory if somewhat underwhelming pair of transfer windows. Getting in Altrichter AML (not shown) on a free was a great coup but Martinez MC & Mamaev MC were overpriced for what they brought to the team. January transfer deadline day signings Dazfic DC & Lopez GK barely made an impact at all
 
Player Of The Season
Domingo Gutierrez – ST - Average Rating : 7.73
A goal scoring machine who is without a shadow of a doubt world class as his description states. It's extraordinary to think that even after all these years I still haven't had a striker break Imanol Martin's record for goals scored in a season, just shows how exceptional an achievement that really was

Young Player Of The Season
Nigel Moore – DL - Average Rating : 7.69
He has developed into quite a player. Those physical attributes are superb, if he could cross better I'm sure he'd be able to provide more assists
 
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Finances – The board once again injected £21.5M after the screenshot was taken to give us more of a working balance. I think I will need to continue bargain hunting as even though we can pay wages which are competitive with the very best in terms of transfer funds we aren't competitive at all
 
Facilities – That's the stadium finished, just another 14 seasons and we can build another new one (I hope to be done long before then). The youth facilities got downgraded so I spent £2.9M to bring them back up to scratch

Youth Intake – Another dreadful intake :mad:. This time I decided to just sign players with at least 2 stars for potential which gave me Doherty RB, King LB, McNamara LB, Byrne AMR & Davidson MC. The rest were told to **** off!! There is little to no point in bringing in players which even when developed won't be good enough even for the reserves, it's a waste of resources which would be better spent on developing players who could be decent and giving them more of my coaches time. I have a lot of garbage players in the Reserve and youth teams which needs clearing out and this is the start of that process
 
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League Reputation – The nation seems to have hit its natural ceiling. I could win the Champions League every season for the next century and I don't feel it would make any difference at all to the nations position in this table. The money in N. Ireland just isn't enough to allow teams to buy players of a standard which would allow them to compete in Europe consistently. They don't look outside of the UK & Ireland for bargains which wouldn't be so bad if they were developing HG talent but they do a poor job of that too. The fact that the teams are practically the way they were when the save started with regards to club infrastructure highlights the problem as no real attempt is made to increase income. The other teams also seem to be happy to sell their best players for peanuts which doesn't help either. I really don't want to have 'help' the teams out but I can't see any other way to improve the situation
 
Club Domestic Reputation – In more positive news, Glentoran became the 7th team to turn professional meaning that for the first time the majority of teams in the DBP are now at professional status. Immaculata also got promoted to the DBP which is great to see. In less positive news, Donegal Celtic didn't get promoted but at least my affiliate Distillery got promoted to the Championship
 
Club European Reputation – I'm more determined than ever to reclaim our rightful place at the top
 
Edited by pheelf

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Chimney Corner F.C.

Season 2080 / 2081


Season Expectations

Retain the Champions League and reclaim our world champion status


 
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League Table - A dominant season with only Cliftonville able to provide any challenge

FIFA Club World Cup - Credit must go to the Moroccan team for keeping us out in regulation time. Their goalkeeper pulled off some fine saves and their game plan of holding on to possession and congesting the middle of the pitch worked really well against us. It was a great learning experience though as I discovered more about my team and tactic in defeat than I would have done had we sneaked through on penalties. Taking what I learned into the playoff saw a dramatic turn around for us as we beat much stronger opposition in a convincing manner

UEFA Super Cup - An evenly matched encounter which was settled by an indirect free kick

UEFA Champions League - A very satisfactory campaign which saw us top our group and lose only once. This time the penalty shootout went in our favour for the semi final as our goalkeeper pulled off some great saves

Domestic Cups - A well deserved clean sweep with the performances in the finals being the most impressive

Reserves - A very good season for the backup team

Under 18s - They performed largely in line with expectations given that for the majority of the season they didn't have a goalkeeper in their ranks

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Squad – A plethora of new faces came into the club which I felt we needed to give us the level of depth required to compete on all fronts. Guyot ST unfortunately suffered a broken ankle in December which makes it two serious long term injuries in a calendar year even though he isn't considered injury prone. As bad as losing him was it meant I was forced to give playing time to new signing Beste ST who took full advantage of the opportunity to become top scorer and has developed magnificently. Haseldin DC looks like he wants to leave on a free transfer for Arsenal but outside of that it looks like we will be able to retain all of our best players for next season. I will still be looking to improve the squad next season though, if I can find that quality DMC who can play the defensive midfielder role well then I think we have a good chance of having another great season
 
Cash Transfers – This season I decided to splash the cash a bit and try to bring in high potential young players to give the squad a bit of a refresh. The signings which I felt had the most positive impact were Skopljanac DC, Toussaint DR & Avramovic MC. Kerr DC was a youth player who my scouts think has great potential so I'll be looking forward to see how I can accommodate him next season once he returns from his loan to Banbridge Town. The rest of the signings either didn't feature much, weren't in the first team or went out on loan
 
Free Transfers – The emptying out of players which didn't have a future here continued with a lot of players which I couldn't get work permits for also being released, expect more of the same next season. Without question the signings of the season came from the free transfer market, Owino AML & Beste ST were brilliant with Salas AMR doing well in patches also. Quite a few players signed for free however didn't impress and will most likely be leaving, Dodic GK was unable to displace Agnaldo GK which wasn't great considering that he is the 2nd highest paid player at the club, however there is also the benefit that any fee I can generate by selling him will be profit
 
Player Of The Season
Chris Owino – AML - Average Rating : 7.80
What a great player he is, I played him through the middle a lot through the season given that I had to give games to Mellqvist AML & Altrichter AML who are also world class players in his position. You wouldn't have been able to tell though as he played in the central midfield as well as he does on the left wing

Young Player Of The Season
Rogelio Capelo – AMR - Average Rating : 7.89
Deportivo must be kicking themselves that they sent him to us as a youth player. He came of age this season and has matured into a fantastic player. He created the most assists and scored a fair few goals himself in addition to scoring the highest average rating at the club. My coaches feel that he has peaked but even if that is the case he could be brilliant as he is for the club for many years to come
 
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Finances – I feel that I have a reasonable handle on these now and even after the spending spree we are still comfortable. An Asian soft drinks manufacturer gave us around £20M which was great and the board pumped in £12.5M then another £21.5M after the screenshot was taken. This all means that next season I have some flexibility in the transfer market and be able to sign a few reinforcements if needed
 
Facilities – No changes

Youth Intake – I decided to give youth contracts to all the players with 2* (including black stars) or greater potential who had good personalities. I made the exception of signing the unambitious Grant GK as I needed a goalkeeper in the youth team, the rest of the players had their trials terminated
 
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League Reputation – A slight fall which hopefully can be made up next season with a little help from the other teams. I feel that I may need to change my tactic if I ever want to help the league develop. I'm going to stop loaning players out and instead start selling them players, that way at least they can get the resale value once they develop them which should help them build their stockpiles of money up and hopefully make it possible for them to invest in infrastructure
 
Club Domestic Reputation – Donegal Celtic came close to getting promoted but were beaten by Banbridge in the playoff final. Immaculata didn't fare too badly in the DBP even though they finished bottom and my affiliate Distillery survived in the Championship
 
Club European Reputation – Getting close to the summit again
 
Edited by pheelf

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On 24/07/2017 at 13:24, pheelf said:
Player Of The Season
Domingo Gutierrez – ST - Average Rating : 7.73
A goal scoring machine who is without a shadow of a doubt world class as his description states. It's extraordinary to think that even after all these years I still haven't had a striker break Imanol Martin's record for goals scored in a season, just shows how exceptional an achievement that really was

Jesus!!!! What a player!

I'm shocked you sold him for 50M£, and that's with clauses. I'd have hold him hostage forever even if he was on abysmal morale all the time.

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On 8/11/2017 at 10:04, noikeee said:

Jesus!!!! What a player!

I'm shocked you sold him for 50M£, and that's with clauses. I'd have hold him hostage forever even if he was on abysmal morale all the time.

If I was not able to bring in Beste as a replacement on a free then I wouldn't have sold him as he has truly exceptional attributes for the Complete Forward role I play him in. In the next season update you'll see how well Beste has developed and be able to compare the two. I'd also add that my next season review will be the penultimate one of the career as I now sit only 50 points behind the leader of the Hall of Fame which should mean I hit the summit at some point in season 82/83.

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Chimney Corner F.C.

Season 2081 / 2082


Season Expectations

After two failed attempts I want to avoid the hat trick and become World Champions in addition to remaining kings of Europe


 
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League Table - An unbeaten season which saw the club break the goals scored in a season record

FIFA Club World Cup - It was a harder draw than last time but we won the title relatively comfortably in China

UEFA Super Cup -  A game which could have gone either way went to Liverpool. McMinn hit a wonderful 30 yard shot to give us the lead but our shooting overall was poor. Profligacy proved to be our downfall

UEFA Champions League - A steady campaign with a few scares along the way. When Chelsea scored in the 1st minute of the final I thought we might struggle but we came back brilliantly and deserved the win

Domestic Cups - International call-ups scuppered our attempt at getting a clean sweep but I was pleased to see the weakened side take professional outfit Ballymena all the way to penalties

Reserves - Runners up and a cup, not bad considering that the team was mainly grey players

Under 18s - Not the best of seasons for the youth team, the lack of talent coming into the club in recent seasons appears to be taking its toll

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Squad – I'm contented with the state of the first team at the moment as I feel that we have good options for all positions. I'll always look for improvements but as it stands the quality of player available is sufficient. If moves are to be made in the transfer market next season then a goalkeeper would be a priority with any other signings more than likely being a result of sales and the need to sign replacements
 
Cash Transfers – My only major signing was Lopez DC who was rock solid at the heart of the defence and represented good value for money. The majority of the other signings were from N. Irish clubs youth teams who had high potential. As soon as I signed them I put them into the youth team and I'm hoping that when given the chance to train at world class facilities it will have a beneficial effect on them and help the national team. I also included percentage of next fee clauses (even though I didn't need to) in the hope that if I develop them well enough the selling team will get further income down the line. The club made a nice little profit, especially nice considering that all transfers out (with perhaps the exception of Martinez) I wanted to leave 
 
Free Transfers – Hasledin DC leaving was a great loss both financially and for the quality of the team but on the flip side Izquierdo MC was a superb acquisition. The clear out of low ability players continued but pleasingly they all found clubs at a more suitable level. It's somewhat odd to see a bunch of Mexicans and Argentinians plying their trade at non league N. Irish league sides but good on them for sticking at it
 
Player Of The Season
Dominic Beste – ST - Average Rating : 7.84
"You're simply the Beste, better than all the rest...better than anyone...anyone I've ever met". Any striker that can score 44 goals in a season is fine by me, a free wonderkid, can't ask for more than that

Young Player Of The Season
Sami Derbali – AMR - Average Rating : 7.98
The selling of Salas opened the door for him and he really grasped the opportunity. A superb season from the youngster who has been attracting interest from EPL sides. I've given him a pay rise so hopefully that'll keep prying eyes away
 
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Finances – The balance looks quite healthy and as a result instead of pumping money in the board decided to pay themselves £7.5M in dividends. At least I have the security of knowing that if I need to buy a player the money is available
 
Facilities – The training facilities needed an upgrade and that was done immediately

Youth Intake – I terminated the trials of players which didn't have at least 2 black stars which gave us 7 players in this intake. Nothing special here hopefully I'll be able to poach some higher potential youngsters from other N. Irish teams
 
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League Reputation – Very nice indeed, not only did the league improve its position in the table the nations coefficient also improved meaning slightly later entry for one of the teams in the Europa League qualifiers. This was facilitated by the fact that we had 3 teams compete in the group stage of the Europa League this season. 2 teams finished bottom of their group and another 3rd so they didn't do much once there but their presence was helpful for the coefficient. If we could get teams in the Champions League that would really see the country skyrocket up the rankings
 
Club Domestic Reputation – Donegal Celtic will participate in the final season of the career after getting promotion but the Mac couldn't bounce back
 
Club European Reputation – I so badly want that top spot, I don't feel it would be fitting to retire with us not at the summit hopefully next season we can grab it from Chelsea
 
Edited by pheelf

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the_greatest.png

Winning the UEFA Super Cup in the second competitive game of the new season done it which ensures that season 82/83 will be the last of the career. After checking the trophies screen I've come to see that winning the DBP for season 82/83 will make us the team with the highest number of title wins surpassing Linfield's incredible 58 which is a result I would have never thought possible. I'm going to try really hard to get the perfect season in the DBP as that is the only thing which we haven't managed, beating Linfield 4-0 at Windsor Park on the opening day is a great start.

 

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Stunning achievement.

Stunning patience, too. :D

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On 8/19/2017 at 14:59, Mark Heath said:

wow, congratulations - amazing persistence to get this far

 

On 8/21/2017 at 00:44, noikeee said:

Stunning achievement.

Stunning patience, too. :D

Thanks guys, it's been an adventure that's for sure :). It's extraordinary to think that it took until 2054 to win the first champions league trophy. Last season review coming up

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Posted (edited)

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Chimney Corner F.C.

Season 2082 / 2083


Season Expectations

Finish the career in style and attempt a clean sweep along with a perfect league season


 
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League Table - I guess the perfect season just wasn't meant to be. We did however break the goals scored record again

FIFA Club World Cup - One of the easiest victories the teams had in this competition

UEFA Super Cup - It was a narrow win but never really looked in doubt

UEFA Champions League - A fitting end with our 20th Champions League win

Domestic Cups - We couldn't clean sweep as the Challenge Cup campaign again suffered from international call-ups, the Irish Cup Final penalty shootout loss was disappointing

Reserves - A fairly good season for the backup team

Under 18s - I thought they were on the way to winning the UEFA Youth League to provide a great ending for them but had their dreams crushed by a quality Dortmund U19s team in the semi final

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Squad – I kept the spine of the team intact although I did sell some of the best players which may come as a surprise. The squad is however in fantastic shape and has a good blend of youth and experience
 
Cash Transfers – Even with our status as the most reputable team in the world we still find it very difficult to hold onto players as the DBP is still way below the standard of the top leagues in Europe. As a result, to avoid any tantrums with players wanting leave I let them go for a reasonable price. I had to spend big in order to replace the quality lost but I think I did well and the signings all performed well
 
Free Transfers – Nothing too much of note here except the departure of Dodig GK who insisted on a ridiculous £98Kp/w to be a 2nd choice goalkeeper which in no way was I willing to pay, when he refused to leave after his contract expired I released him
 
Player Of The Season
Santi Sierra – ST - Average Rating : 7.93
He came to the club for a big fee but he has been sensational. I never thought that Imanol Martin and his record would ever be broken, well he did it and averaged better than a goal per game in the league

Young Player Of The Season
Pieter van Dijk – MC - Average Rating : 7.82
If I have any regrets about ending the career now is that I won't see this guy develop. I had to break the clubs record transfer fee paid to land him but he is an exceptional talent who is considered world class at 21
 
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Finances – The board injected in £21.5M after the screenshot giving my successor at least a reasonable chance of being able to hold onto players. These really have been a see-saw throughout this whole career and I dread to think how much of a balance I would have accumulated had the career been played in England with the same penny pinching style that I had to use here. I think this is an area of the game that needs work as even though the club is restricted in some sense by playing in N. Ireland given the level of continental & international success, I would expect to able to generate significantly more revenue through private sponsorship deals that aren't tied to the league
 
Facilities – I think that is a really good legacy to leave for the club and should provide a level of sustainability going forwards

Youth Intake – I did the same as the previous two seasons with the intake. I feel this is another area of the game that could do with some work. I've spent a fortune on improving all the aspects which influence the quality of the youth intake and have received very little back
 
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League Reputation – Nice to end with the league on an upward trajectory. I'm a bit disappointed to see how little the other N. Irish teams have improved in Europe in all these years. Only Cliftonville has ever made it to the group stages of the Champions League which really ruined any chance of the league rising any further. Why hasn't the league developed further? The short answer is money, the longer answer is that it is some combination of a lack of money, lack of ability of the AI to look beyond the UK & Ireland for players, poor management, lack of ambition and inability to develop young N. Irish talent
 
Club Domestic Reputation – Donegal Celtic survived but nothing else of note happened
 
Club European Reputation – The perfect end to a remarkable career
 
Edited by pheelf

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If anybody has any requests for screenshots (previous World Cup winners, Ball d'Or winners  etc..) I'll be happy to post them.

I am curious about how the club will cope now that I've retired so I'm giving serious thought to adding another manager and holidaying forward to see how things develop and say providing a mini review of the game world as a whole after 1, 2, 5 & 10 seasons. I'm not 100% sold on the idea but it might be interesting...would anyone want to see that?

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13 hours ago, pheelf said:

If anybody has any requests for screenshots (previous World Cup winners, Ball d'Or winners  etc..) I'll be happy to post them.

I am curious about how the club will cope now that I've retired so I'm giving serious thought to adding another manager and holidaying forward to see how things develop and say providing a mini review of the game world as a whole after 1, 2, 5 & 10 seasons. I'm not 100% sold on the idea but it might be interesting...would anyone want to see that?

I'd be interested!

It was a very entertaining carrer and you did well. I think Chimney Corner would manage to stay at the top but not for so long, considering how the League struggled to develop.

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Could you give me screenshots of the current N.Ireland starting 11, interested to see if there is any notable improvement in quality.

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9 hours ago, jengaehassim said:

I'd be interested!

It was a very entertaining carrer and you did well. I think Chimney Corner would manage to stay at the top but not for so long, considering how the League struggled to develop.

Cheers, I'll do it then, first review coming up

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3 hours ago, deez0r said:

Could you give me screenshots of the current N.Ireland starting 11, interested to see if there is any notable improvement in quality.

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This is the N. Irish national team when I retired. I'll also attach the career history of the 3 most highly valued players in the squad.

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He has the accolade of being the record goal scorer for N. Ireland

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Banbridge Town must be absolutely gutted to have missed out on so much money, in a sense this just highlights the problem with the N. Irish teams. Selling their best players for peanuts and missing out on a fortune which they could use to build up their respective clubs. Banbridge Town seem to have a great habit of producing high potential youngsters which is surprising given there isn't anything special with their facilities or coaching.

The national team are currently 29th in the World Rankings and have been as high as 15th during the career which they achieved in September 2080. They have made the Euros in 2084 and topped a group containing Poland, Serbia & Georgia. They will play England in the 2nd Round who they have a terrible record against having at best only managed draws against and often succumbing to heavy defeats.

The quality of the team has definitely improved but given that the team have only made 2 world cups since the save started in 2034 & 2078, 4 Euros in 2020, 2068, 2080 & 2084 and only occasionally graced the top league of the international league (Group A) they haven't really emerged as a force in international football.

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Posted (edited)

ONE YEAR ON

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My successor was Brazilian manager Michael Douglas

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He arrived from Atletico Madrid and I thought he was a good choice given his management career up to that point which is shown below. 

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I was left slightly less comfortable when I saw what he did with transfers

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He basically gutted the entire squad and sold players at a great loss for the club financially, I have to give him credit though as he wasn't afraid to reinvest the money and get in some quality

As for the season, well it was a lot better than I thought it would be, he almost guided them to a perfect season in the DBP at the first time of asking drawing only away at Portadown

He didn't manage to win either the UEFA Super Cup or FIFA Club World Cup but did get all the way to the Champions League Final losing 3-1 to Man United. They won all the domestic cups and Douglas was awarded manager of the year.

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As for the other N. Irish clubs, on the domestic front the nation witnessed the shock relegation of professional outfit Crusaders from the DBP. The DBP also fell slightly in the rankings from 8th to 9th.

It was another disappointing season for the N. Irish contingent in Europe with only two participants in the group stage of the Europa League, Cliftonville and Linfield who both finished in 3rd in their respective groups.

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Stade de Reims won the UEFA Super Cup defeating Chimney Corner 1-0

The UEFA Europa League was won by FC Metz continuing a recent French resurgence in the tournament defeating Bordeaux 2-0 in the final which bizarrely was held in Lyon

The English Premier League was won by Chelsea in what has emerged as one of the most predictable leagues in all of Europe with the teams which were dominant at the very start of the career continuing to be dominant

Real Madrid remained kings of La Liga finishing 4 points clear of deadly rivals Barcelona with surprise outfit Valladolid finishing 4th after last seasons 2nd placed finish

Once again Ligue 1 was won by PSG who have totally dominated French football since the beginning finishing 5 points clear of Bordeaux

Serie A has however remained competitive with a range of different teams winning the competition since the start of the 2070s. This year the winner was Roma with Juventus in 2nd

The Bundesliga was narrowly won by Schalke 04 breaking Dortmunds mini domination of the league. The shock came with Bayern Munich who finished in a lowly 11th place while Borussia MGB were relegated in 17th after flirting with relegation for the last few seasons

No real surprises in Portgual with a closely fought title battle between the big 3 resulting in Sporting emerging victorious. No team outside the Big 3 has finished in the top 3 since season 50/51 when Braga broke through to claim a Champions League place

The Scottish Premier League was once again won by Celtic who are on a run of 14 straight title victories and are completely dominant. Perhaps the shock of the season is that Rangers finished 4th behind both Dundee clubs

In the Republic of Ireland, Dundalk have won the title every season since the start bar one when Derry City beat them to it by a point in season 2022

In Wales, Afan Lido won the title but most shocking of all it was a title won without the presence of TNS in the league who had been relegated the season before and have become somewhat of a yo-yo team over the last decade. All the more surprising given how utterly dominant they were up until the early 2030s

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On the international scene, Euro 2084 is taking place in Poland & Ukraine and has reached the 2nd Round with the following fixtures,

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With no real surprises except N. Ireland who had to navigate a relatively easy group to get there

The World Cup history is as follows,

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England still haven't been able to end their wait for a World Cup win although they have come close and hosted the tournament a century after their one and only victory. Mexico have emerged as a new powerhouse in international football winning the tournament 3 times. Austria broke their World Cup cherry in 2030, all the sweeter for beating Germany in the final.

The story of the career however is the Spanish dominance that has taken place with them winning 5 world cups. The next tournament will be held in the land of Uncle Sam in 2086

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The African Cup of nations has been a largely predictable tournament with the African powerhouses dominant but there has been the occasional upset with Guinea-Bissau winning in 2075 and Guinea winning in 2025. It has however been really poor from Nigeria who haven't won it at all

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Nothing too out of the ordinary with the Asian Nations Cup although it appears that China might be emerging as a new force in Asian international football

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I'm not really sure what to make of this to be honest. The Gold Cup has seen some upsets along the way but been largely won by the big nations in North America. I'm stunned to see that Mexico B has won it 3 times but also pleased to see Jamaica, Canada, Panama & El Salvador have their moments of glory. 

In Oceania, well New Zealand are just running the show there hammering teams and winning the Nations Cup and qualifying place for the World Cup with complete ease

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The Copa America has been eventful with the B teams from nations outside South America actually faring pretty well

As for club tournaments around the world,

The Copa Libatadores was won by Atletico Mineiro of Brazil continuing their utter domination of the competition

The Copa Sudamericana was won by Estudiantes of Argentina although they went on to lose the South American version of the Super Cup

The African Champions League was won by Egyptian side Zamalek adding to their record 40 times of lifting the trophy. The Northern African clubs have been dominant here with only fleeting wins from South African sides Kaiser Chiefs and Bidvest Wits. There has been no winners from clubs based in Western, Eastern or Central Africa which is a shame

Things haven't been much better in the African Confederation Cup for non Northern / Southern African clubs sides either. ES Sahel from Tunisia won it this time around and in all the years the career has been running only two teams have won the title that aren't from Northern or Southern Africa. They have been TP Mazembe who have won it 4 times for DR Congo & Angola based Desportivo Primeiro who have won it twice.

The Asian Champions League was won by Kuwait SC beating perennial challengers Guangzhou in the final. This is probably one of the most balanced continental club tournaments as no team really dominates it and the winners come from a range of different countries. It is however disappointing that there hasn't been at least 1 Australian team win it, there hasn't really been an shocks of note although Binh Duong of Vietnam reached the final in 2064 losing to Qadsia and Teraktor of Iran reached the final in 2045 losing to S. Korean Jeonbuk.

The Asian Confederations Cup has been a different story however with a whole host of different nations in Asia providing winners. This seasons trophy was won by Uzbek side Lokomotiv Toshkent beating U.A.E. based Al Ahli in the final. Among the nations which have produced winners, Myanmar, Jordan, Iraq, Qatar, Vietnam, India, Iran, Lebanon, Indonesia & Thailand which makes it really competitive and unpredictable.

The North American Champions League was won by Toluca of Mexico and has been bossed by the Mexican teams the whole time. In the fleeting seasons (few and far between that they are) where a non-Mexican team has won it the team has been from the U.S.A. If anybody wants an idea for an almost impossible challenge for FM18 try being a club side from any nation outside Mexico or the U.S.A. and win the North American Champions League...good luck with that!!

Finally, for the Oceania Champions League, well, much like the national side the New Zealand teams have completely taken over and the winner of the tournament is usually the winners of the New Zealand Premier League. It was Auckland City's turn this time around but Hawke's Bay have won the trophy often also. It's a bleak picture for the other teams but there has been the odd shock when the Amateur side have bested their Semi-Pro opponent from New Zealand. It has happened twice with Hekari United in 2058 who come from Papua New Guinea and with Ba FC from Fiji in 2028.

 

Edited by pheelf

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Posted (edited)

TWO YEARS ON

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Another season which saw a lot of players leaving. Brian Kerr DC got shipped out to Celtic which had the side benefit of giving Banbridge Town a lot of money which turned them pro. Juan Carlos DC seems a reasonable replacement for Skopljanac DC but the failure to replace Owino AML looks like a big mistake

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They did however do quite well in the Champions League although they were scraping through the knockout rounds. Another missed opportunity here I feel and this could be the miss which costs them the most as I can't see them making another final next season given how much of a struggle it was this season

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They lost a game but no other team is anywhere close to challenging them

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So close to a clean sweep in the domestic cups, Douglas was manager of the year once again.

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Crusaders bounced back from the Championship rather easily although they were challenged throughout by surprise package Immaculata. The DBP recovered its position in 8th in the competition rankings which was aided by the better than average season of the other N. Irish teams in Europe.

This season saw Linfield, Cliftonville & Portadown make the EL group stage although all 3 finished rock bottom of their groups. Ballymena United had their group stage dreams destroyed by a rampant Fiorentina who battered them 5-1 on aggregate in the 3rd qualifying round.

Glentoran have reverted back to semi-pro status which means that next season 7/12 of the teams in the top flight will be professional.

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Man Utd won the UEFA Super Cup beating FC Metz 3-2 after extra time in a closely fought encounter

The UEFA Europa League was hosted in Turkey by Trabzonspor and won by Man City after an absolute trouncing of FC Porto in the final, 5-1 it ended

The English Premier League was retained by Chelsea with Man City, Man Utd & Arsenal completing the top 4 in that order. Middlesbrough managed an impressive 6th place finish and Europa League football while Tottenham languished in mid-table and finished 12th. Southampton, Leicester & Millwall got relegated and next season will see Nottingham Forest, Leeds and winners of the playoffs QPR join the EPL.

As expected, Real Madrid once again topped La Liga but the shock was that Valladolid finished 2nd showing that they aren't just a flash in the pan and continuing what has been a superb period in the clubs history which is remarkable considering how wealthy their competitors are in comparison

Ligue 1 was retained by PSG but it was a really exciting title battle this season with them only winning it on goal difference by one goal. Troyes who finished 2nd and Lille who finished 3rd really gave PSG a run for their money this season and had they not had to play each other on the final day which saw them draw maybe the result would have been different. Lyon were appalling this season finishing in 15th

Serie A was an open and shut case this season with Juventus running away early and finishing the season with a whopping 12 point lead over 2nd placed Fiorentina.

Dortmund reclaimed their title as top dogs in Germany and Bayern Munich did well after last seasons debacle to finish in 3rd and claim a Champions League spot.

Benfica won the title in Portugal easily with Sporting in 2nd some way back and FC Porto even further back in 3rd. The other teams in Portugal must be despairing given that 4th placed Braga finished 20 points behind Porto, the gap at this point appears to be insurmountable

Celtic made it 15 in a row and absolutely demolished the SPL this season finishing 13 points clear of 2nd placed Dundee. Rangers had another abysmal season finishing 5th behind both Dundee clubs and this time Hearts. I think their crushing debt burden from building a 98,000 capacity ground may be the cause of the them performing so badly

In the Republic of Ireland, Dundalk won the title again and look likely to do so again having a 14 point lead at the half way point. They too suffer from a serious debt burden caused by building a 38,000 capacity stadium but the rest of the teams are so poor they have no chance of capitalizing on any weakness

Newtown won the title in Wales with last seasons champions Afan Lido not even capable of making the top 6. TNS came back and finished 9th only two points clear of relegation. I find what is happening in Wales quite strange as all the teams are professional. How is it that a league which is 86th in the rankings and has much worse prize money than the DBP has all the teams professional where as the DBP isn't fully professional when its 8th in the rankings. Something is incredibly unbalanced here

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INTERNATIONAL TEAM TOURNAMENTS

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Italy managed to win Euro 2084 beating England in the final. There hasn't been many shocks in the European Championship over the years with perhaps Croatia winning in 2040 and Norway and Ukraine making finals coming closest to a surprise.

I complained about Nigeria and them not winning the African Cup of Nations since the career started and then they go and win it on penalties against Ivory Coast in 2085.

The Gold Cup will start in July but this season the roster of teams competing seems disappointing given that both the USA and Costa Rica will be fielding B teams. Given that's the case I'd be very surprised if we didn't see a Mexico win.

CLUB TEAM TOURNAMENTS

The FIFA World Club Cup was unsurprisingly won by Man Utd beating Palmeiras 3-1 in the final

I must be blind!!...That stupid bug with the Copa Libatadores has occured in my save game too. The last tournament that was scheduled was in 2049 with the winners being Atletico Mineiro since then nothing.

The same with the Copa Sudamericana as it also has not been scheduled since 2049, no wonder the South American player market has become so weak as they don't get to play any top quality games

The African Champions League was won yet again by Zamalek making it 41 times now. How any team can be so utterly dominant says something really bad about the quality of the rest of the club teams in Africa

Bidvest Wits won the Confederation Cup with the title alternating between North & South African winners. They couldn't however overcome Zamalek in the Super Cup losing 2-1

In a replay of the Asian Champions League final of last season this time Guangzhou came out on top winning 3-2 on aggregate over Kuwait SC. I'm really disappointed with the Australian representation though, they didn't even have a team make the Quarter Finals with Brisbane Roar getting battered 5-0 by Shandong in the 2nd Round

The Asian Confederations Cup was won by Myanmar outfit Yangon United. They have also made the quarter final stage again so they might win it which will make it 3 times in 4 years and start a mini domination of the tournament which has been really unpredictable. 

The North American Champions League was won by Tigres of Mexico and has once again been dominated by the American and Mexican sides.

The Oceania Champions League was won by Hawke's Bay over Auckland City continuing the unshakable dominance of the New Zealand sides in the competition.

Edited by pheelf

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I'm amazed the new manager is doing this well, making CL finals, you must've left a pretty strong foundation.

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On 8/31/2017 at 17:32, noikeee said:

I'm amazed the new manager is doing this well, making CL finals, you must've left a pretty strong foundation.

I'm quite shocked that he has been able to maintain that level of success really. I have to give the AI some credit for not being as bad as I thought. Even though he has largely dismantled the spine of the team I left he has been competent enough to bring in some decent replacements. The question is whether he will continue to do that, if he can, then he might just be able to maintain the level of success even though he hasn't won the Champions League during his tenure. 5 year review coming up

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FIVE YEARS ON

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Here is the current first team, if we compare this to the first team 5 years ago you can see the massive transformation in the playing staff at the club. All that remain from that team are Bringas RB, Ferry ST and Razo RB (who was at the club but in the reserves).

On the park the last 3 years have been a mixed bag

Season 85/86

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A shockingly bad performance in France cost them dearly which led to an early knockout but another unbeaten cakewalk of a season in the DBP

Season 86/87

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After an almost perfect group stage they got absolutely battered in Glasgow repeating last seasons knockout at the first hurdle. Another unbeaten season in the league with no signs of life from the rest

Season 87/88

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A massive improvement on last season in the Champions League but once again they were foiled by Man Utd in the final who have won 4/5 of the previous finals cutting Chimney Corner's lead in trophies won to 3. They also lost their 2 season long unbeaten run in the league losing their toughest games of the whole season away at Cliftonville and Linfield.

It also marks the end of an era as after the Champions League final, manager Michael Douglas resigned to become Derby County manager (I'm baffled as to why, they finished 11th and aren't in Europe at all). He has been fairly good in the domestic cups also during his reign winning most cups open to him every season, here is a final tally for the trophies won as he heads for pastures new.

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I'll be interested to see who the board go for next. In off the field matters, the club is now debt free which is great and have a club value of £347M which doesn't put them among the elite clubs in Europe financially but does gives them about the same clout as a mid - lower table EPL team which is good for a team based in N. Ireland.

Next season could be a realignment season for them given the new manager and other events which have occurred in N. Ireland which I'll mention in the next section. I am however confident that with the right manager they should be able to handle the transition well

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The biggest news of the period has been the purchase of Crusaders in December 2087 by a tycoon which has given them a club value of £54M. Whether they can mount a challenge to Chimney Corner is yet to be seen but if their spending in the January transfer window is anything to go by then they could become quite a force in N. Irish football very quickly. I don't think they'll ever realistically challenge for the title but if they could get into the Champions League and start making waves there it could be a turning point in the fortunes of the nation.

The DBP has held firm in 8th in the competition rankings which is good to see with Glenavon actually being the first team in a while to get out of the Europa League group stage losing to Cordoba 6-1 on aggregate in the 1st knockout round. I've also spotted a marked improvement in the performances of the Northern Irish teams in that they are no longer just the whipping boys of the groups anymore and actually can compete for qualification from the group more consistently.

The number of teams that are professional is back up to 7/12 after dipping but the tycoon takeover of Crusaders pushed it back up. I still feel that the game should have imposed a professional only policy for the top flight by now though as it is making for a very lop sided league with the same teams getting relegated and promoted time after time.

The N. Irish national team is in 27th in the world rankings which is actually pretty poor given that IRL they currently sit in 20th. They failed to qualify for the World Cup in 2086 after being edged out by Holland and Russia. There is however more positive news as they topped their Division B European League group and will face Germany and Portugal in Division A next season. They have also qualified for Euro 2088 which will be hosted by Italy. They seem to have also drawn a relatively easy World Cup qualifier group for 2090 with only Germany looking like a major problem.

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Bordeaux won the 2087/2088 UEFA Super Cup smashing Real Madrid 3-0 in the final. Man United won the previous two finals

The UEFA Europa League was hosted at Wembley and won by Chelsea after narrowly beating Wolfsburg 2-1 in the final. The season before saw Bordeaux claim their 3rd title beating Man City 3-1 in the final which was hosted at St. Jakob Park in Switzerland. Season 2085/2086 brought a Liverpool win as they dismantled Atletico Madrid 5-1 in Sweden.

The English Premier League saw a shock winner with Middlesbrough winning it for the first time in their history disrupting Man United and their attempt to claim a hat trick of wins. Outside of that major upset there has been no other major surprises during the period with the usual challengers for Europe doing so and the perennial relegation candidates reverting to type.

Real Madrid once again topped La Liga completing a sandwich with them and Atletico Madrid during the period. Valladolid have faded and finished 5th with Cordoba finishing a creditable 4th.

Ligue 1 has seen a dramatic turn of events over these last 3 seasons which given PSG's utter dominance I never would have thought possible. There's a new kid in town and they go by the name of Troyes as they have won all 3 titles during the period. They had a tycoon takeover in 2082 and this has fortunately for them coincided with PSG having to take out massive borrowings to build a new stadium which has allowed them to rise to the top. Most shocking of all being that PSG finished last season in 9th missing out on European football completely which can't be good for their finances, we could be witnessing a real sea change in France.

In Serie A, AS Roma have become dominant winning all 3 of the previous titles. This past season being the most impressive finishing 14 points clear of Juventus

If you're looking for variety in the teams which win the competition then look no further than the Bundesliga which was last year won by Wolfsburg, the season before won by Dortmund and the season before won by Schalke 04. Bayern finished 10th!!

Benfica have become dominant in Portugal winning the last 4 titles in a row. Still no team has gotten close to breaking the top 3 which is somewhat unrealistic in my view

Celtic made it 18 in a row and are just too good for the SPL at the moment with Rangers seemingly incapable of even giving them a decent fight for the title. They finished 5th the previous two seasons but improved to finish 4th last season. They however finished behind Hamilton which should embarrass them given their terrible financial situation. In other news Aberdeen got relegated

In the Republic of Ireland a miracle has occurred, a season in which Dundalk didn't win the title!! Congratulations to Derry City who managed to narrowly win the title in 2086. It's remarkable that the only team to win the title during the save that wasn't Dundalk is a team which is based in N. Ireland. I wonder if that has influenced it, Dundalk did however win the other 2 titles in the period and look set for another holding a massive 10 point lead over Shamrock Rovers with half the season gone

In Wales it seems that it has become a case of pass the parcel between Newtown (87/88), Carmarthen Town (86/87) & Bangor City (85/86) with them each winning the title in the period. TNS once again find themselves in non league after relegation in season 86/87. It just goes to show that when you lose your edge (professional team in a semi-pro league) you can really suffer badly

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INTERNATIONAL TEAM TOURNAMENTS

World Cup 2086 was hosted by the U.S.A. and won by Germany winning the final 1-0 against Brazil in Los Angeles. Turkey finished 3rd defeating Belgium on penalties in the Rose Bowl. There were a couple of shocks in the tournament, firstly the fact that Guinea-Bissau and Jordan made the tournament which was only surpassed when Guinea-Bissau shocked the world and qualified from their group. They got taken out cleanly by France 2-0 in the next round but still a remarkable achievement for a team which wasn't expected to even make the tournament

The 2087 African Cup of Nations was won in Casablanca by Mali beating Egypt on penalties in the final after a 2-2 draw. 

The Gold Cup was by Mexico in both 2085 & 2087. It seems Mexico has decided to take the tournament seriously and has fielded their first team for both tournaments, the U.S.A. might want to consider doing the same if they ever want to win the Cup.

The 2087 Asian Cup was won by China defeating Iran 2-1 in the final which was held in Seoul. Myanmar gave a decent showing to make the semi-finals but were completely outclassed 8-0 by Iran and then lost the 3rd placed playoff to hosts South Korea 3-1.

New Zealand once again won the Oceania Nations Cup in 2088 defeating Fiji 3-0 in Auckland. They might as well call it the New Zealand Cup given how much of a procession it is every time

In what has got to go down as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of South American football, the Copa America crowns Mexico's B team as champions with them beating Brazil 2-1 in the 2087 final which was staged in La Paz. The U.S.A. B team also made the quarter finals to further the humiliation, perhaps the lack of a premier club tournament on the continent is starting to affect the national teams. I'm speechless

CLUB TEAM TOURNAMENTS

The FIFA World Club Cup was won by Real Madrid beating Guangzhou 3-0 in Sydney, the previous season saw Man Utd win the tournament after trouncing Estudiantes 3-0 in final played in Toronto. The first season of the period brought the surprise however with Mexican side Tigres demolishing shock finalists Velez 4-0 which was also staged in Toronto.

The African Champions League was won last season by the Kaizer Chiefs breaking Zamalek's stranglehold on the tournament defeating ES Tunis on penalties. Zamalek won the previous two tournaments however beating Moroccan opposition Raja Casablanca on penalties in 2085 and Tunisian team Club Africain 4-3 in 2086 giving them an eye watering 43 wins.

ES Tunis won the Confederation Cup in 2085, Al Ahly in 2086 and Mamelodi Sundows in 2087. The Super Cup during this period always went the way of the Champions League winners

The Asian Champions League was once again won by Guangzhou who beat Qadsia 2-1 in the final enacting their revenge after losing 4-1 to Qadsia in the previous seasons final. Guangzhou also participated in the first final of the period but again were defeated on the away goals rule (a really cruel way to settle a final I feel) by Kuwait SC. There has been a slight improvement in the Australian teams performances with Adelaide United reaching the semi-finals in 2085 but nothing since then.

The Asian Confederations Cup was won by Myanmar outfit Yangon United in 2085, Lokomotiv Toshkent in 2086 and Al-Zawra in 2087. A very competitive and interesting tournament by the looks of it.

The North American Champions League during the period was once again dominated by Mexican sides with all finals being all Mexican affairs. Tigres beat Pumas 3-1 on agg. in 2088, Pumas beat Monterrey 3-1 on agg, in 2087 and finally Monterrey beat Toluca 3-2 on agg. in 2086 completing this bizarre chain of the previous seasons winners going on lose the next final.

No real surprises in the Oceania Champions League which was won by Hawke's Bay in 2088, Auckland City in 2087 & Auckland City in 2086. Perhaps the closest thing to a surprise being that the 2088 final wasn't contested between Hawke's Bay & Auckland City as in the previous two years with Vanuatuan side Tafea making the final although they might wonder why they bothered after getting trounced 5-2.

Edited by pheelf

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