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[FM18] The Dynamics of telling you to shove your transfer request up y- a journeyman career

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Pre-season 2033/2034


 

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We sold mostly youth players I didn't believe in, loaned out winger Johnny Lemaire who I didn't rate, and spent just 5,25M€ in new signings.. but the best ones arrived for free. I could've spent more cash as the chairman injected over 60M€ in the club!

My new signings, note that some of them were random useless kids poached by the HOYD so I'm not screenshotting them:
 

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The first of 2 amazing free transfers is a Canadian international with Jamaican 2nd nationality! He's that kind of player that I struggle to fit in my sides as I don't really use flairy, playmaking attacking midfielders and need more robust players to play as the 2 midfield holders in my 4-4-2, but he was just too good to pass up. I'm thinking either use him anyway as the more attacking of the 2 midfielders even if he can't defend (mostly in the easiest matches), or adapt him to a wing, likely the left so he can cut in.
 

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This was another free signing I was hugely excited about, and could add some serious firepower to my attack. Then he got injured for 3 months and will probably only show up on the pitch by late October.


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This DR Congo keeper is not particularly amazing but might just be slightly better than our starter José Luis (even if I only promised him a "backup" status) and I needed another keeper anyway with our previous backup Llorente having had a transfer arranged before I arrived. I invested 1M€ in him.


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I was a bit shocked when the news came in that the HOYD paid 1.1M€ for a player, but I approved it as he actually looks like a pretty decent investment! My staff say he doesn't have a huge potential, but it's a pretty good starting point as it stands. Needs a bit more tackling and acceleration.


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A kid I hired on my last year at Derby, turns out the current managerial team at Derby don't intend to use him on the short term, so thank you very much I'll loan him then. Immediately becomes pretty much our best midfielder, although it might be a problem how to fit him and new signing Singleton both at once.


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Our two left-backs are aged 30 and 31 respectively, so I needed someone a little younger, I'm not super convinced about this Dutch player but he was the best I could get for now. At 3,1M€ he was our most expensive signing but hardly an outrageous splurge.


Squad

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The squad as it stands now, although I might still sell a player or two. It's just a minor improvement over what I was given, mildly solid overall. Not sure how do I fit Cardoso, Fränkel and Singleton all at once, that's a work in progress.


Fixtures


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That's a lot of testimonials. The lads seem to be learning my 4-4-2 pretty quickly.

I reckon I'm aiming at 4th place this season, although the board only wants "Europa League qualification". Real and Barça are obviously a league apart, but I've noticed so is Real Sociedad at the moment - they've really been building up amazingly well the last few years, and have some incredible players: the La Liga media dream eleven is a mix of Real Madrid, Barça AND Real Sociedad players...

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1 hour ago, deltablue said:

That's a potentially great move :)

It'd better be after I spent a whole year waiting for it!

1 hour ago, Rikulec said:

Interesting, good luck. :thup:

Cheers!

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When a player is worried a new signing will replace him, and one minute later moves to a new club.

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August 2033


(Transfers)

Quite a bit of movement the last 2 weeks still! Midfielder João Pinto was sold for a fee that might reach 16M€ (12,75M€ are guaranteed), left-back Tsvetan Stoyanov was shipped for 2M€ and centre-back Juanjo Pérez for 975K€.

With this cash, we hired 2 players (and the HOYD had some fun poaching quite a few more kids):


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Only marginally better than the DR Congo keeper we had hired earlier this transfer window, but, crucially, only 20 years old - might still progress quite a bit.


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By far our most expensive signing of the window came in the deadline day, and cost us 9M€. My staff don't rate him, I think they're insane, his skills look amazing. Great upgrade at CB.

 

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Well, that's not a particularly exciting start. Narrow away win, and disappointing 0-0 at home with Rayo in a game where we had the chances to win. 

Note: I nicknamed forwards Marcelo Hernández "Marcelo" and Raúl Gonzalez "Raúl", as I can better distinguish them in my mind that way.

 

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Edited by noikeee

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That CB looks great--except for that alarming 6 in Bravery.  I can't ever bring myself to play anybody with Bravery that low, so I guess you're a bolder man than I am.

 

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10 minutes ago, Tajerio said:

That CB looks great--except for that alarming 6 in Bravery.  I can't ever bring myself to play anybody with Bravery that low, so I guess you're a bolder man than I am.

 

I know... I'm hoping that everything else will compensate for that!

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Aaaaaand September looks fun.

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:eek:

We're ****ed. The team hasn't built any morale or understanding or respect for me yet.

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Will be interested to see how you go with this new challenge and how long it takes you to turn the club into Champions.  Just out of interest, are you still using the tactics you describe on page 18 or have you modified it further since then?

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8 minutes ago, wobbly007 said:

Will be interested to see how you go with this new challenge and how long it takes you to turn the club into Champions.  Just out of interest, are you still using the tactics you describe on page 18 or have you modified it further since then?

Good question. I guess it's probably time for a tactics update again. I'm playing something that's very close to that pack of tactics, but has evolved just slightly since.

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September 2033

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A very, very bad month. Facing the 3 strongest teams in Spain in quick succession, at this time, was a nightmare, but we could've gotten at least a point somewhere there. And then we extended the bad run to lose at home to Cultural Leonesa... ouch. At least we salvaged a win over Leganés, because we had gone down to the relegation slots. We need to turn this around fast.


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6 hours ago, Dexter_Morgan said:

tough start :(

It's all going a bit Gary Neville so far.

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Tactics update


Not the most exciting tactics update as it's largely what I've been playing the last few years, but here's a quick review of where we're at - even if it's not working so far on sunny coastal Southern Spain:

The 4-4-2 "Mashup" - plan A

This by now should be pretty familiar:

 

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Only PI:
fullbacks - stay wider

Beyond dropping mentality from "Attacking" to "Control", the main adjustments in the last couple of years here were adding "look for overlap" and making the CF/S a CF/A. The attack role forward adds a little firepower, whereas look for overlap often worked well against very defensive sides (what I was regularly facing at the end of my Derby career), to focus on the fullbacks joining the attack and helping overwhelm the opposition defence.


The 4-4-2 "Mashup" - plan B

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Almost identical, the only difference here is the fullbacks on support, and no "look for overlap". This is for when the opposition is slightly feistier and doesn't camp in their own area - no point waiting for the fullbacks to rush forward then, which will only slow down our attack and make us less defensively solid.
 

The 4-3-3 with a wide Trequartista

This one has not been changed in many years:

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It still remains a great tactic for the last few minutes when the AI has thrown everyone forward, and we have space to counter. Lots of goals over the years have been scored with this tactic under these conditions.

I'm vaguely wondering whether it's a good idea using the 4-3-3 as a base here in Valencia rather than the 4-4-2, because that would allow me to play both Fränkel and Singleton at the same time as MCs, helped by a more solid DM behind them. And/or using Cardoso as MC instead of winger (it's not working). However I simply trust the 4-4-2 more, thanks the results it gave me over the years. I reckon the poor start in Valencia has more to do with an ungelled side as of yet.

Edited by noikeee

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And what about this start to the season by Cultural Leonesa, eh?

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October 2033

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Oh dear. I hope the 2nd half turnaround against Betis, and then the large win over Celta, is the turning point, because up until then we have digged a pretty gigantic hole to get out of now.

I'm looking very much like a manager that could be sacked in the next couple of months. We're 18th!!

 

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Edited by noikeee

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November 2033


 

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Suddenly, the comeback is well and truly on!! On this month we did exactly what we had to do - the wins over Athletic and Levante were narrow and unspectacular but counted, then against a Betis side that was surprisingly top of the league at this stage, we were at our best to turn around a 1-0 defficit into a great 3-1 win. And with these 3 wins, we climb all the way from 18th to 7th, even if the European slots still remain quite a few points away from us.

Days later we'd beat Betis again, but now for the cup in another completely bonkers game, it's a double hat-trick for Marcelo as well as the now returned from injury Pedro. I'm experimenting with going back to Attacking mentality hence all the goals. Now we get Tenerife in the next round.


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49 minutes ago, john1 said:

Not bad start to your Valencia career :thup: 

I feel that might be a bit generous. It's looking alright now after the comeback these last few matches, but there's still a large gap to 5th which is the bare minimum goal for the season (last European slot).

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Not a record I was expecting to break before the end of the calendar year, given how things were by mid-October.

:idiot:

Edited by noikeee

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December 2033

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We're flying! From the relegation zone in mid-October, to almost fighting for the title by the end of December, this is absolutely crazy. The away win over Sevilla was particularly great as it let us overtake them in the table and break into the European slots. We're now 5th... just 3 points away from the league leaders Barcelona! (Real Madrid has a game in hand though).

By the way, I've decided to un-nickname back the 2 goalscoring beasts Raúl Gonzalez and Marcelo Hernandez. Dunno why I'm going back-and-forth with this, I reckon I've just grown a little more familiar with the team now and don't need short-handles.


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Ballon d'Or 2033

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Same trio as last year, on a different order - no representant of Champions League finalists Real Madrid or Tottenham here. It's about time Foster wins one quite frankly, I reckon his massive move to PSG a few years back (163M€) is what earned him this, it raised his profile enough.

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19 minutes ago, Vaulks4 said:

Smashing it! :D 

Did you like my trick of losing like 6 matches in a row to instil a false sense of security in the rest of the league?

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12 minutes ago, noikeee said:

Did you like my trick of losing like 6 matches in a row to instil a false sense of security in the rest of the league?

Gary's mad that you pulled it off.  He waited to long to institute Phase II.

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4 minutes ago, ManUtd1 said:

Gary's mad that you pulled it off.  He waited to long to institute Phase II.

“See, I told you. It wasn't my fault. They're a team that's doomed to... Ah ****”

 

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Your rise to the top coincided with Cutural Leonese slide down the table

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5 hours ago, kidthekid said:

Your rise to the top coincided with Cutural Leonese slide down the table

Yeah I noticed that! It's a truly bonkers league this year, all the sides are so close hence a few wins or a few defeats and everything swings wildly. But they essentially did the opposite that we did - won everything at first, then lost everything!

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Been a little busy the last few days (although I played a little), and this will now take a break for about another 10 days at least. Do not worry, conquering La Liga is still very much in the plans. Arriba Valencia! :thup:

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On 26/02/2018 at 20:52, noikeee said:

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We seem to be dominating this category. Out of these 4 players, only Soto plays for Chelsea - the other 3 are ours.

This happened to me lower down. About 70% of the players we’re mine. A Tamworth player who did nothing won

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You’ve done well, I’ve just caught up after a long winter break. Congrats on the success with Derby. Valencia look good, already playing the #NoikeeeWay

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January 2034


I decided to literally not do any transfers. I had roughly about 2.6M€ of transfer budget left, but for that money it's hard to find players that are worth it. We look on course for European qualification so likely at the end of the season we'll have much more to play with, and then properly attack the market.


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Still smashing it, in an absurd contrast to the start of the season. With another 4 wins on the league we looked like we had joined the title battle, peaking in 3rd place; and we also jumped past 2 rounds in the cup to reach the semi-finals. It was after the 2nd leg against Numancia that we broke that 18 matches unbeaten record.

But then, Sociedad beat us in the league and finished the run. We missed a penalty kick but it's a deserved win for them. We drop to 4th behind them, and hopefully this is not the start of a bad run as the calendar for the next couple of weeks looks absolutely daunting: Sociedad twice more, again, in the cup semi-finals, and Real, and Barça! 

So we're likely gonna struggle in February, but that we've recovered so far up to 4th and in touching distance of the league leaders (now 6 points behind, the gap was just 3 at a point) is amazing.


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A cheerful 2nd half for Sociedad there. They're in sudden absolute freefall at the moment (SPOILERS - we might've had something to do with ruining their morale ;) ) , can we squeeze in a 3rd place in the league and qualify for the CL ahead of them?

Again, I remind Sociedad have become quite a power by 2034. Their squad is miles better than ours!

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February 2034


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I'm absolutely delighted with how we dealt with the tough calendar at the beginning of this month! We lost in San Sebastian 1-0 to Sociedad again, in the 1st leg of the semi-final, but despite conceding the away goal in the return, we still turned it around with a 3-1 win and we're into the Copa del Rey final! That will be against Barça in late April.

That was not all, as we also did well in the 2 explosive league matches at the Mestalla, first a draw in the 92 minute, in an epic 3-3 against Real Madrid, then beating league leaders Barça with another late goal! And we also dealt fine with 2 weird square pitches away to Leonesa and Leganés - big 4-0 win there. 

We're now up to 2nd but that is just because Real Madrid is lagging with their calendar having played the Club World Cup. Nevertheless, we're back down to just 3 points behind Barça again, and we no longer have to play Barça, Real or Sociedad again for the rest of the season. I'd be happy enough with a top 3 finish which is enough for CL qualification, but are we actually in the title race here?


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Well that was unexpected. I guess Sociedad's bad run is over. Thanks! Because this means we could go top if we win the next game...  :eek:

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 Youth intake 2034


 

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My first youth intake for Valencia features a pretty exciting forward in Néstor, I think the lad has got a real future, and a decent-ish keeper in Joaquín. Beyond them I'm not seeing talent in anyone else.

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An award! I'm not entirely sure I understand the criteria for this one, I've picked it up a few times but it's been a few years since the last one, too - I've won it as many times at Amkar as at Derby. :idiot:

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March 2034


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A perfect month, as we take good advantage of an easy calendar in March - although we had to wait for the 94th minute to beat Eibar, and later on a crazy 9 goals match in Bilbao would be a particular highlight. By then we had reached top of the league! And we still stand there with 3 points over both Barça and Real Madrid.

The calendar is slightly less friendly for the remaining 8 matches, but as I said before, we don't have to face Barça/Madrid/Sociedad in the league again. It's looking really good, but I wonder how much of this run is based on morale and how we're overachieving as underdogs - that hyped up mood doesn't last forever. But we could even get a double - next month we face Barça in the Bernabéu for the Copa del Rey final.


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A bit of a stretch to include Sociedad and Betis in this but things are, indeed, heating up!

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It's gonna be some tight run in to the season. With the form you're in (and the inevitably high morale as a result) I'd make you favourites. Good luck.

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2 hours ago, Fer Fuchs Ake said:

It's gonna be some tight run in to the season. With the form you're in (and the inevitably high morale as a result) I'd make you favourites. Good luck.

This last screenie was from mid April, and we only have 1 point advantage now, because we just lost points twice. So not so wonderful form anymore. Honestly I've no idea what will happen now, I think it's wide open between us, Barça and Real. 

A quirky feature of this season is just how low the bar is. 33 matches and none of us have reached even 70 points. I've lost titles in England (same 38 match season) with over 90 points, in a much more competitive league... All of our opponents have just been ****, tbh. Awfully inconsistent. But we'll take it if it goes our way! 

We're top with 8 defeats. :lol:

Edited by noikeee

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Great career!

I've been following along but I don't think I've commented yet. A really fun read. :thup:

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56 minutes ago, davehibb said:

Great career!

I've been following along but I don't think I've commented yet. A really fun read. :thup:

Cheers!

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Awesome career!

Quick question, does the F9 work nicely there? Doesn't he start shooting from the middle of the park quite often?

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1 hour ago, PT-KK said:

Awesome career!

Quick question, does the F9 work nicely there? Doesn't he start shooting from the middle of the park quite often?

I've seen that happen before in other systems, I think it's not happening here because I have work ball into box ticked, and also because there's another player ahead of him (the complete forward), often available as a passing option. I've noticed that in FM18, attacking players can be very eager to shoot from long - but only when they don't have passing options ahead of him.

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On 22/04/2018 at 19:22, noikeee said:

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A bit of a stretch to include Sociedad and Betis in this but things are, indeed, heating up!

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Yes I certainly am, COME ON VALENCIA

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Copa del Rey final


Before the big league showdown, there's a cup final to deal with - the chance to grab my first trophy in Spain. We face Barça in the Bernabéu.
 

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Full strenght side from us with zero surprises. Juan Jesús (25 goals this season) and veteran Mario Escudero (14 goals) stand out to me as Barça's biggest threats, as names I recognise that have been for many years at the top of the footballing world.
















Minute 5: GOAL FOR BARCELONA! 1-0! Leonardo Olaberri's through ball frees up Juan Jesús completely clear and he does not miss. A bad start for us.

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Minute 12: GOAL FOR VALENCIA! 1-1! We score with our first chance too! Rodrigo Durán's cross from way wide meets Raúl González's head and our star striker beats Cosic. It's not entirely clear whether it was Raul or Nílson Cardoso who took the last touch but it's recorded as Raul's.

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Minute 39: GOAL FOR BARCELONA! 2-1! Barça insist after a corner and Juan Jesús, again, is quicker than everyone else to head in Manuel Iglesias' cross. It's only their 2nd shot of the match yet both have gone in...

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Half-time: It's a strange match with very little chances yet 3 of them have gone in. Barça have simply been more effective and we have it all to do.

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Minute 53: GOAL FOR VALENCIA! 2-2! A well worked combo down the right sees Arán pass to Cardoso who quickly crosses it low for Raúl González and he gets his 2nd of the night too!

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Minute 61: GOAL FOR BARCELONA! 3-2! They go ahead again 8 minutes later, and it's a very simple headed in corner at the first post, by Javi Baena.


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Full time: Barcelona win the Copa del Rey.


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It feels like we were a little unlucky here - this was a match that could've very easily swung either way with a healthy amount of chances for both sides. We had more shots and clearer chances, Barça had probably more situations of danger overall. Ultimately their more talented side was more effective and that was it. We can be proud enough to have make it to the final, but still frustrating to know just a little coin flip here and there and it could easily have been our cup.

Edited by noikeee

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April 2034


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Trouble here. We kicked off the month beating Levante, but a poor 0-0 at home with Betis, and a loss away to Atlético suddenly threw a bit of uncertainty into our title bid. However, we are hardly the only ones messing it up - Barça and Real also drop points, so as we beat Espanyol (saved by 3 late goals!!) and Sevilla, we're back to a 3 point lead again.

Of course April was also the month we lost the cup, but all will be forgotten if we can win this league. 3 matches remain, Málaga (H), Villarreal (A), Numancia (A). We cannot afford to lose one - if we finish level on points with either Real or Barça (or both), we lose due to bad results against these teams earlier in the season. It's gonna be very, very tight. Can we hold on just this little longer?
 

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