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[FM18 Network Game] Liverpool & Man City - Making an offer they can't refuse [Seasons: 3 | Major Trophies:- Liverpool 4 / Man City 0]

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Introduction

Welcome to the second save between myself & @oliscott to be shared on the forums. In a shake-up from our last save which was a bottom to top climb before we began to challenge, this is coming straight in at the top. There's no subtlety or nuance to this, we've both got free licence to use any manner of shortlists of prospective players, use formations etc to our hearts content. There is one single aim to this, domination. 

For clarification I am in charge of Liverpool. @oliscott is in charge of Man City.

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Summer Transfer Window:

A quick review of the summer spending since there are players who people can keep track of and know:

Liverpool:

cc02213369092b2a2b1ed39fdb375f44.png

Man City:

33282adf6686053ab525b3d0c9f695c2.png

Breakdown:

While @oliscott has definitely shown a proclivity for youth this summer, I have gone to try and immediately strengthen what I felt were the biggest weaknesses at Liverpool. Butland was not my first choice, but my hand was forced when it seemed there was no hope of getting a cheap deal for Buffon, Donnarumma had no interest in joining and Predrag Rajkovic from Maccabi Tel-Aviv couldn't get a work permit. The wage budget is a bit tight at Liverpool, so my main priority was to try and get a couple of players who were surplus out. 

 

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The highlights of the first game between myself and @oliscott which concluded in a 4-2 victory for Liverpool. Having just watched them back, they are at a higher speed than probably ought to be for uploading, but it does show that right now we both share a similar weakness - crosses into the box.

 

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I would’ve thought L’pool and Man U, to see who can have the most top flight titles, no?

 

Serious question though, will the other save be stopping?

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@Borussia Teeth yes, the other save is finished. It had been started on the pre-release open beta, and had a few little issues but towards the end there were some issues I was seeing with morale that made no sense compared to what I've seen in other saves. This was in addition to problems with improving training facilities (had to use an editor as the option just wasn't in the list), and when I got promoted to the premier league my stadium was "expanded" with minus a few thousand seats. 

As for this save, it was a choice of any of the top 6. Take the platform we wanted and build from there. I went for Liverpool because they've already got a few promising youngsters, the Mane/Firminho/Salah front 3 doesn't tend to be quite the mould I go with up front - but they are good players so will definitely be of use until I cultivate the players I do want. 

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January Transfer Window:

Here's the review of the January transfer activity:

Liverpool:

108c92cfd6a504556e8fb90143278b47.png

1420dfea49c7385a3af538af8844d1f4.png

Man City:

13f8c56a4a53e2d27c083b37c49145ae.png

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Breakdown:

As you can see I've got Naby Keita to arrive in the summer, but during the window I only signed a young prospect, a goalkeeper by the name of Rok Vodisek. This came after the Real Madrid bid for Karius, I let Lovren go because he was 28/29 and he wanted to be allowed to speak to the Chinese club. 

Meanwhile over at Man City @oliscott spent the month laying siege to clubs for their top strikers. High bids for Icardi and Dybala ultimately came to nothing but he was able to sell Raheem Sterling to Southampton for a hefty sum. Personally I would've thought Sterling could be moulded into a useful player despite the tendency myself & Oli have to play narrow up top formations. 

Lafont is an interesting signing that I questioned, I didn't feel he would really offer anything over Ederson but Oli did assure me if Donnarumma is up for grabs in the summer he will be going for him still. 

This summer is going to revolve around both of us trying to sign Dybala. 

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Sometimes there are disasters, this season I've managed to go out of the Champions League in the group stage and in the Europa league it looks like I'm going out as well. I was 4-1 down before Butland got injured, but I really misjudged the Arsenal set-up early on and got brutally punished for it. 

8227841e3f3b3b01f662c2269ead7c40.png

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Have a bit of a rebuild job this year for the players I need to I could have done with a bigger budget

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Your last thread was wonderful, I love the rivalrous nature of network saves and can't wait to see your thread develop!

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Season 1: Goals, but nothing in Europe

So the first season has concluded. Both of us had falterings in Europe, @oliscott made it to the semi-finals of the Champions League before being eliminated by Man Utd. I went out in the group stage, dropping down to the Europa League before being knocked out by Arsenal 12-5 on aggregate. I secured the Premier League title with Liverpool, and as you can see it was very close overall. The games between Liverpool and Man City were very much deciding factors. I also picked up the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Man Utd. 

Head To Head:

This season we played 3 games against each other:
Liverpool 4 - 2 Man City (PL)
Man City 1 - 2 Liverpool (PL)
Liverpool 7 - 1 Man City (FA Cup 6th Round)

Table:

58e4df8a2574d2ff5a671ab43e32cad0.png

Liverpool Transfers:

a513cae581d69885500c75fe2e8d56a2.png

Man City:

8bfcde5e55c03b931c1dc2e39f6bc1c0.png

My Thoughts:

Well it was a surprise I outspent Man City, but on less players. I was attempting to cover up deficiencies in the squad. Jack Butland was not my first choice goalkeeper signing, but with little movement on priority targets I settled for someone I knew I could get rather than risk missing out. 

Oli needs to rebuild the Man City squad from its current wide pace to a narrower, through the middle pace. Aguero can't go on forever, I thought Sane would've been more integral to what he was doing but not so in the end. But I took Liverpool because I could see somewhat similar players in Sane/Salah being vital through the middle. 

Players that surprised me:

Jordan Henderson: Amazingly well-rounded, I very nearly sold him in January when Arsenal bid £50m, until I began looking for a replacement. I couldn't find anyone remotely viable for just £50m to replace him so I ended up keeping him.

Dominic Solanke: He's a well known youngster, but he came into the side extremely well, 17 goals in the season and very useful when Mane was out injured for a while.

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Season 1: Best XI's

This might be something I only keep going while we've still got original players, or perhaps I'll keep it going since its useful for showing goals scored if nothing else.

Liverpool:

b216b110ad3857d6ad6ddf82f2c8949a.png

Man City:

22afeaca7aaa725ed70c714e0b278165.png

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Summer Transfer Window (Season 2):

Liverpool:

e7fec366b0dd3c66c3406bd0a5651154.png

Man City:

5b0c93eba35d41c6a1e2ab30f217abe8.png

Breakdown:

Just a difference between us of £4m in what we spent. I parted company with some core squad members, Wijnaldum and Mane the most noteworthy. However, Mane was the weaker of the front 3 last season, and so I felt Kane was a worthy addition to the frontline, Firmino can be pushed out wide with Kane in the middle. 

For @oliscott he got a number of big name signings while flogging the the players he wasn't really using at all. Some big name players added to his squad there, which will make it interesting. I signed Courtois in direct response to him getting Donnarumma, as I needed an upgrade now on Butland in the world class keeper stakes.

Serge Gnabry is a player I have a £15m option to buy, thinking if I still need that extra option its there, but Woodburn is developing nicely and Origi is also an option. 

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Season 2: All so close until One Day in May

Our second season saw an incredibly tight title race. Going into the final 4 or so games of the season it was neck and neck, goal difference was the deciding factor. I had a slender lead over @oliscott of 3 points a couple of times, but two defeats in our league games this year meant each time it was wiped out. However, in the midst of our Liverpool - Man City Champions League quarter final ties his team faltered in the league and went 3 games without a win. 

Man City did win the FA cup, meanwhile Liverpool picked up the Premier League and Carabao cup. After dumping Oli and his team out of the CL, Barcelona preceded to do the same to me in the semi-finals, I was reduced to 10 men through injury in the second leg and the goals came fast to put me out of the competition.

Head to Head:

This season we racked up 5 games against each other.

Liverpool 3 - 2 Man City (Charity shield)
Liverpool 1 - 3 Man City (PL)
Man City 3 - 2 Liverpool (PL)
Liverpool 5 - 2 Man City (CL)
Man City 4 - 3 Liverpool (CL)

Table: 

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Liverpool Transfers:

6eecf5d486a8860a4af25a5b8ecda5df.png

Man City Transfers:

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Brexit:

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Here's the Brexit details for our game, having left in June 2019.

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Summer Transfer Window (Season 3):

Liverpool:

7487d39abc3c50cb8c2b2340b82dad65.png

Man City:

3f31c3fc069edebf74fbc8e67332f440.png

Breakdown:

Neymar signing for Liverpool! That's the highlight of my window, both myself and @oliscott went in for him with £135m bids. It broke down for Man City on the finer details of the contract and ultimately an offer wasn't made on personal terms. Originally I was looking at a short term, £30m upfront deal for Aubameyang, but once Neymar appeared on the market I dropped him and went straight for Neymar.

There wasn't enough time afterwards before the end of the window, but Oli has been making significant bids for Mbappe.

 

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Season 3: Blunt Force Trauma

The third season was characterised by little other than myself and @oliscott throwing our collective weights around the world of football. Unsettling players where we pleased to try and get a hand-up in transfer negotiations while Oli focused on bringing in youngsters primarily I was looking at bolstering the first team a little more. I had Sturaro on loan and picked him up when his stock was low, so I was able to put a £15m optional fee in the loan. Other than that I was after a new forward to replace Firmino after his £100m departure to Real Madrid. Once Neymar was listed both myself and Oli went for him.

The trophies came this year, a Premier League, Champions League & Carabao Cup for Liverpool, meanwhile the FA Cup went to Man City.

Head to Head:

Liverpool 2 - 4 Man City (Charity Shield)
Man City 2 - 6 Liverpool (PL)
Liverpool 2 - 0 Man City (Carabao Cup Final)
Liverpool 4 - 1 Man City (PL)

League Table:

bbad362626c283c7100a0b3fda092502.png

Liverpool Transfers:

6fe82cca0c25b54158269c083d5c46ee.png

Man City Transfers:

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* Sergio Aguero sold to Tottenham for £30m off the screen on the transfers for Man City

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Summer Transfer Window (Season 4):

Well this summer proved to be quite an interesting one. For myself at Liverpool so far I've largely kept the squad quite similar, not making complete overhauls and gradually bringing in the first team players I wanted. The 3rd seasons best XI had 13 of 18 players still from first season. This summer I wanted a longer term replacement for Jordan Henderson, who is now 29 and someone to alternate in the midfield playmaker as well. I targeted Lionel Messi, because at 32 he is looking ideal to drop a little deeper and use his technical brilliance there. However, after pulling out of the Neymar deal when seeing the high contract costs last year @oliscott was determined not to be caught out again. 

This meant Man City have Lionel Messi now added to their ranks, Bert Peters is my longer term replacement. Signed because he has 16 for passing at the age of 18, I'm hoping this is a good enough starting point to be what I need long term.

I let Clyne go because of his age (29) meaning that I had probably waited a year too long to give him a season as first choice and inflate his value/interest and I let Oxlade Chamberlain go because despite being a solid performer - he wasn't exceptional. I have a youngster from the first season Abouchabaka getting on the fringes of the first team now and needed to make room for his introduction. 

Liverpool:

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Man City:

32dee8b44519932fec3e11d6953b0ed0.png

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