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_Ben_

[FM19] Not all that glitters is gold.

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Prelude

I’m a numbers man and an over thinker as well as a wannabe-wordsmith. But here goes...

I like to think I’m pretty experienced with this game, given that I’ve been playing, religiously at times, since CM03/04. Back in those days - Serge Makofo, the Icelandic lads and Diablo tactic were my go - basically, it was a win-at-all-costs kind of thing. The earlier FM’s saw me develop a love affair for Italy, mainly due to James Richardson and Peter Brackley; Football Italia. I’ve managed in Castel di Sangro, Milazzo, Venezia, Cesena, Palermo and pretty much all of the Serie D teams, particularly those who have yo-yoed around the leagues due to financial difficulties, with great success but little actual engagement within the game - clicking endlessly through seasons and seasons of games. However, the past few years have seen a shift in my own view on football - I am enjoying (but not so much an effective creator of) tactics and I love numbers and data. Eventually, FM17 brought about a change – a deeper style of play, matching my out-of-FM enjoyments and one which I fully want to take into FM19.

I’ve been a lurker on these forums for years now, reading but never actually making a post, but there are several members of that I have taken a lot from – the speed that @Makoto Nakamura plays through his games is always something – I love watching the game world change and evolve over time and the depth that @Jimbokav1971 plays – particularly his attention to detail and youth development (not the nicknames though, never been a fan – sorry) to name but a couple.  I have been a pretty active on FM sites, mainly The Dugout, and more recently FM Now (which is now back up and running, FYI). But I wanted to take my story telling to a larger audience - and, I guess, I wound up caving and will now spend the majority of the year writing stuff for this forum.

As previously mentioned - my more recent FM history is way more in depth and normally takes a very similar outlook but a very different day-to-day approach. Almost all of my saves these days are essentially youth only – I tend to bend the rules later in the game, but more on that later. I like to take a club, from the depths on a league, grow them to be the biggest in the country and then help develop the country to be the strongest in Europe. The recent stops on this journey have been in Vienna, with First Vienna, Lyn in Norway, Le Mont in Switzerland and recently BX Brussels, the Vincent Kompany-owned club. To add depth to these games – I like to do this with a back story – at Vienna, managed by a Japanese man (an ode to a FM16 save I had with 1860 Munich), I set about building a youth academy through feeder clubs from sister cities of the Austrian capital. In Lyn, with an Ivorian manager – I intended to build a playing style of Norwegian brains and Ivorian brawn – only focusing on signing players and staff from the ex-French colony. Le Mont saw me take samba to Switzerland, playing a 4-2-2-2 Box and setting up links with Brazilian clubs and my most recent stop in Brussels saw me take a Rwandan manager in an aim to develop as many regens as I could to help their national team. These games have all been really successful – each over 25 season and culminating in various amounts of success: continental titles, a world cup with both Norway and Ivory Coast (not sure how many managers have won successive World Cups with different nations) and making the Belgian Pro League the highest rate in the whole world.

I’ve been incredibly lucky with three sons over the course of these four games – coming in at Vienna, Lyn and Brussels (with my Rwandan becoming the leading scorer for his nation, then becoming my assistant and eventually the BX Brussels manager after I simmed the game for a few years following my resignation). I've learnt how to play the numbers game and end with squads of players with Determination of over 15, all F.Pro, Pro or M.Pro and to create a squad DNA that assists with my playing style, which I tend to mix up in each different in-game scenario. With the removal of tutoring this year and wholesale changes to training, I will have to re-learn this whole process and get to grips with getting the best of out of a group of players who will be together for the forseeable future.

I am looking forward to getting stuck in this year - I have my manager persona and club ready, but that is to come...

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The Manager

In amongst my huge career saves, I fitted in a quick youth only save in Argentina at the tail end of last year, taking over newly promoted second tier Baraccas Central, from Buenos Aires, and taking them to, strangely, more continental glory than domestic glory - continually being thwarted by either Boca or River. However, there was a standout player at the club - false 9 German Burgos. He was in the first batch of regens that generated for me and was the typical classy Argentine forward, small, nimble and good with his feet. He was deployed in a variety of roles and positions (oh yeah, I love retraining, player traits and versatile players) but was a consistent, winning a handful of caps from playing way above what his attributes would suggest. Therefore, just like Takuya Taniguchi - my ex-First Vienna manager of FM17, he becomes my manager persona for this year. Sadly, his face (from an external face pack) looked nothing like how he's portrayed below - but that's a minor issue...

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No spoilers with the background colour there, I hope.

I'm not really one to add a fantasy back story of how he got to there but what I really did enjoy in Argentina was watching the AI stick a BWM on him for most of the season and essentially kick the crap out of him. So, despite Burgos being a technical forward - I really want to employ the opposite - a hard hitting, hard working, maybe even slightly dirty, Argentine influenced squad. The fact that I want to play as youth only and the fact I've set my manager as Argentine should give me a chance to get a few Argentinian youths through in the future, along with the normal influx of Brazilians and some ex-colonial Portuguese players.

To fit with the level that I am playing at (again, no spoilers yet) he's got a National A licence and was a pro at a regional level. With the added slant towards youth development - that leaves his coaching attributes like this:

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Next - the club...

Edited by _Ben_

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The Club

Sport Clube Beira-Mar.png

 

S.C. Beira-Mar

 

I toyed with going back to Italy - a land, as I mentioned, that I have had a lot of joy in. However - Italy is just too easy (I jest) in the way that they are already a hugely popular league with great players and finances - so taking them to the best in the world wouldn't be too hard. Portugal, on the other hand, is dominated by just three clubs - Porto, Sporting and Benfica so breaking them will be hard enough. Outside of the top three, there is really little money and I doubt many (non-Portuguese) players could name all of the teams in the second tier.

After a quick holiday to find the newly promoted teams (strangely, Gil Vicente were promoted from the fourth tier straight back to the first) - I came across a list of teams. Admittedly, I haven't really followed Portuguese football too much of late, but have had some decent stops here at Nacional and Vitoria Setubal in the past five or six years and, as such, have heard of Beira-Mar, but didn't know about their current real-life strife. Relegated a few years back due to financial mismanagement, they are now back in the third tier, the Campeonato Nacional, for the 2019/20 season.

A little history - they competed in the Uefa Cup back in 1999/2000 but can only list two second division titles as their best domestic honour but list alumni such as Mario Jardel, Pavel Srnicek and most notably Eusebio. Nicknamed Auri-Negros (gold and blacks - hence the thread name), they are from the northern city of Aveiro.

We are one of the minority of professional teams in this league and are predicted to finish 8th this season. I'll do a full run-down of the squad and staff shortly but I am wary that currently all of the players are amateur and some of the players are far too good for us (see: Alex) which means they will probably be leaving us over the course of pre-season. My aim is for a long, steady and measured rise to up to the first tier.

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The Squad.

64e70f79b581de565911e3cdfd4112d8.png

 

This is what I will be working with for the first few years of this save, shown in my Home View. A little bit about the choices of this view and then a little bit about the players I've got. 

Firstly - I love versatile players and due to some slight OCD traits - simply cannot stand a scroll bar on the player view screen (also makes screenshots more difficult) and, as such, keep my first team to around 20 players. You can currently see that I don't have a great deal of coverage from my players - with most being able to play in just one position well. Non-negotiables are that full backs play on both sides, as do wingers and the more FBs that can also offer a wing option, or vice versa, and with DC and DM, MC, AMC combo's too where possible. You will see, even from the beginnings of this save - I'm looking to add as much versatility to the squad as I can - getting what (small) amount of potential from them by training roles and positions that will improve their weaker attributes. Training is also a key thing for me - train well and you'll play well (in theory) so I want to keep an eye on that this version, with the new rating. I'm also a huge fan of personality development so this makes the screen too. I also have career apps as I love to track my youngsters breaking in to the team, wage and value.

Lastly, and most importantly (hence the new paragraph!) we have the squad DNA, except I don't really like that word. Anyway, I've picked out a set of attributes that are non-position specific (meaning that I don't need all my players to have good passing, as, specifically at this level, defenders won't have it) and changed the attribute colours to show anything over 10 as good - which will change as I hopefully progress. Anticipation, Bravery, Decisions, Determination and Work Rate as well as Pace Stamina and Strength will hopefully help me build that strong, fit and hard working squad as I would imagine we take the route towards a gegenpress style of play. I may delve further into this as we look at ways to develop my own players to excel in these areas.

Last year, I played with bars instead of numbers which was great - sadly, it doesn't appear I can do that (yet) this year so will revert to showing numbers on the squad screen as we look to build the attributes that fit with the style of play I want.

Player-wise, you can see from the nicknames that I like to add a * to the end of three most promising players from each intake - I've seen this referred to as tagging on this forum before. I tend to remove these once they have broken into the team/moved to pastures new. I have three decent players who probably don't have the potential to go far but will be a focus from my early development points:

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The best non-regens at the club are the aforementioned Alex, veteran enganche Artur and wingback Nogueira but I would envisage that I will lose some of those over the course of the next few months due to their amateur contracts. The Under 19 squad is purely made of players with 'potential' but that this level they aren't going to make a dent on the first team.

I now need to sort out the (lack of) backroom staff.

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Philosophies

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Not ideal for a youth only save. However, they have agreed and hopefully this bloke can back me as the years pass to develop our facilities, make links etc.

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Building a style for now.

Eventually, I want to go full energy, full gegenpress, full Argentine grit and dirtiness but I am way away from that at the current momemt in time with the squad I have at my disposal. Here is the run down of the comparisons:

Defence. Midfield. Attack. PhysicalMentalTechnical.

Not a great spread or anything to hugely shout about. Here is my attempt at setting up something, still along the lines of the end-goal but fitting with the squad I have.

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  • Defensive acceleration stands out as one of our better traits, along with positioning - so I have maintained wing backs (albeit on support and defend) rather than the CWB(S) that comes with the blank gegenpress template. We keep the higher line because of this pace and move to a SK(D) in goal, even though all of our goalkeepers are awful.
  • We cannot head the ball at the back - an average of just over 6 for our defenders is woeful. As such, I've chosen the smallest possible pitch to try and snuff out wide areas for crosses to come in. The average height of our defenders, 5'11", also backs up that idea.
  • The gegenpress template comes with nobody in the DMC slot, but I've moved those central midfielders back one row each - a) for some more defensive stability, a key facet in my early days as a manager and b) I have more suitable players there - showing with a decent rating in stamina for my midfielders.
  • I've gone for extra cover in Letz, who can also play as a CB when needed (although never been convinced with a HB who is anywhere but a lone DMC as he can't slot back unless Ramalho moves right (who knows if that will work?) Marcao is a BWM but with the added PI of Get Further Forward to essentially play like a poor-mans RPM, with a bit more steel about him. He fits that role quite well.
  • The CM(A) is the mezzala who can't be a mezzala (simply because he's central and not in the left or right channel and both wide men are IF's - due to the small size of the pitch and the narrow nature of the tactic.
  • We also drop back to balanced in order to make sure we are calculated between risk and reward - I find that a key aim at this level.

No idea how it'll fare - but pre-season has gone ok:

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Backroom Staff

A big area of focus for me, particularly when the facilities are important enough to allow us to regularly produce top players - but here is what I have been able to do, for now:

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Which leaves us looking like this:

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I've also added a head physio, head of sports science and head of data analysis to fill up the team - but they are all pretty shocking, too.

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Mentoring (my initial guess)

Looking forward to getting this part of the game up and running but I've not really got too much of an idea of how it will work. To start - I picked my team leaders:

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These are both older players (Artur 35 and Nogueira 32) and have better (14 each) for DET, whilst Nogueira is balanced and Artur is F.Loyal. From there - I've added all players who play in similar positions on the pitch and have either a) a less favourable personality (thinking forward to the time of M.Pro's etc) or b) less DET. I'm left with this:

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Will report back on anything I've found!

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Mid Season 1 Review:

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FixturesPlayer Stats (sorted by Av. Rating)

A very strong start to my tenure in Portugal, where we've risen to the top of a tight table. Tactically, we've been tight at the back - as expected and wanted - with only 11 goals conceded in the 19 league games.  I have found, particularly against the smaller sides, that we've dominated possession (~65%+) but not been able to break through with anything decent - whether that is player quality or lack of incisive options - im not too sure yet. Overall, our average game possession sits at 53% with 80% of passes completed - I'm looking into ways that I can further analyse this possesion as, in the ideal for me would be quick passing through the final third and not concerning myself with PC for my forwards. I can see, initially, that DMC Marcao has 100% more passes completed this season (~1600) compared with my inside forward, Alex, who himself has 400 more than striker Rodrigo.

As time progresses - I want to look at representing these playing stats in slightly different ways to demonstrate my point.

Before that comes the biggest game of my career. We've hugely exceeded expectations and, with a lucky draw, have ended with a sixth round tie against giants Sporting Lisbon.

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Season 1 Youth Intake

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Cizario TureBruno OliveiraIano Baldé

A very average, as expected, intake. I like the three listed above but there is nothing here that really stands out. Most will be kept on the off chance they develop in the youth team but it's not an overwhelming start, by any stretch of the imagination.

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End of Season 1 Review

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A somewhat sorry end to the season whcih saw us triumph in our local league but falter in the first step of the national third tier play offs. My job is safe, as the board only wanted mid table, but I now feel that there is pressure on me going forward as I've proven I can perform well at this level. 


We also had a board take over in the summer, and the new chairman announced plans for a new ground. More on that as it happens.

 

Not a great deal of detail to write about currently - the save really kicks into gear for me once I know all of the players and have played some part in developing them - which typically doesn't come until I'm challenging for promotion to the top tier.

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Retraining inconsistencies

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Above is my decent-for-this-level AMC, Joao Santos, who I currently play as an MC(A) in the same kind of style as a Mezzala (but cannot as I only have one player in the MC role). A couple of weeks ago, my coach report came back with the message that I should stop training him as an MC because he'll never get past competent at that level. However, this contradicts the message from the same member of staff in his individual training report.

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He (appears) to have some potential left to fill - one gold star and a black star, although, at this level, that may be way off. I have a few questions and ideas regarding the next steps, for him, and other players - particularly when I place such value in versatility of roles and positions within my squad.

A) I completely ignore this and let him train there - maybe a UI bug being as it's coming from the same member of staff and he eventually becomes accomplished or natural if he was to play there for the next ten years.

B) The staff are right but I play him as a competent MC and he does ok/not well and gets sold.

C) The staff are on to something and he's lacking a few attributes to be an MC and I need to look elsewhere.

 

Interested to know other people's thoughts.

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Season 2 Youth Intake

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Another pretty poor intake, and by that I mean that, at lower levels especially, you tend to get that one player who can slot straight into the first team. We are nowhere near that level here and, given the level that we are playing at and the finances (or lack of) we have available for coaching staff - it's unlikely that these will ever really improve to a first team level quick enough to have an impact.

Felix MartinsJoaquim Sarabando.

The above are the two best players from the intake and I've had to keep Luis Santos, the goalkeeper - as we only have 3, very poor ones, at the club.

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Season 2 Review

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Another strong season during the main phase but this year we backed up our form by coming through the playoffs to secure promotion. Unfortunately, we fell at the final hurdle against a very strong Penafiel side so can't class 'winning the Campeonato Nacional' as one of our honours.

I'm going to leave this review there as I have two large scale updates to my game for the summer - a) developing a tactic that will get the best of the average players I have at the squad, in particular the very weak goalkeeper and b) evaluating the staffing so that I can really delve into the training side of the game, possibly creating my own schedules and long term plan from scratch.

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Tactical progression

Moving from a one-size fits all approach to a variety of models, underpinned by the same core principles, that can be used across a variety of matches and possibilities. The below screenshot shows the most probable team shapes with the roles of the best players in my team selected, except for maybe the third tactic where I am unsure of how I want to set up with midfield trio. Largely, roles will be interchangeable with who I have available - the main tactic would employ a proper pressing forward if I had one available, but feel that I can maybe get away with that role in formations and styles that require slightly less aggressive pressing. From the shapes alone, you can probably guess what type of football each style will bring.

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Now - the interesting part, the team styles. I have named each of the three tactics (annoying that I have to name the actual style rather than the tactic itself this year, but never mind) after something that is memorable for me. Firstly, Auri-Negro press is the nickname (translates to black and gold) and press - because this is quite close to the standard gegenpress style. As previously documented - this is my go-to approach and the positions and roles are slightly tweaked to fit in with what I currently have. The second, Beira Contador (that is literally a translation to Portuguese for counter) is my now go-to for away games (since I've been sliced apart by weaker teams away from home for being that little too positive), games against much bigger opposition or games where I can identify a chance to attack a slow defence or a big whole between the lines. Lastly, Attacking Aveiros - named after the city we come from, is the (unfinished) attempt at using a high press but being that bit-more positive and pushing, maybe to reduce a lead or late in a game we are chasing.

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What is key about these tactics is that the transitional phase remains largely the same - key attributes that fit in with club style such as stanima, pace, strength, workrate etc are key to the quick counter pressing style and moving the ball quite quickly forward. Another constant is the width - we play on a small pitch, to minimise the threat from crossing and, as such, play our own inverted wingers when the opposition allow us the space to do so - therefore I tend to play quite narrowly in attack, also whipping in any crosses, ideally from cut backs that (ideally) would curl in towards the far post.

The first and second tactic are opposing in terms of defensive play - in the Press, we are high up, engaging high and trying to force a mistake - whereas we will try and counter press in the second but eventually settle for a lower line of total engagement and retreat defensively.

I want to be able to play re-actively and pro-actively against the bigger sides from this division and I have hopefully given myself a platform to do so with - playing in a couple of different ways but with the same overarching principles which should mean that players can perform equally as well in any of the styles. This will also give me a much better indication of how and what I need to train them with.

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Squad Review

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As I enter my third season, I thought a quick run down of the squad members would be useful. I've integrated regens into my squad a lot quicker than I normally would but that is a) because I'm not signing players - here is where I'd be scouring the lower leagues and reserve teams for loanees etc and b) the quality of the original squad was terrible and the club have decent (for their size) facilities meaning younger players will progress quicker anyway. This is probably my best XI - not necessarily rated by stars - I have a 3* centre back but he's 5'10" and has 5 for heading so clearly does not fit the bill for a professional club in the second tier of their countries' pyramid. I have eight regens out of these eleven and several more as backups, shown below. Due to the nature of the game - I currently have nowhere near the level of depth that I'd like - with only the wings having ample backup/rotational options.

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  • Eduardo Dias - developing quite nicely and 6 and 7 for the advanced wing back skills are not too far below average - hence why he's the supporting wing back on the right hand side. I taught him to dive into tackles because he's brave, decent at decisions and will be a little bit further up the pitch, probably my best tackler outside of the only-defend players. He often finds himself so far forward that I'm currently adding the 'refrain from long shots' and he's pretty poor at trying to find the net and I'd rather him attempt a shorter ball - especially as his passing is solid.
  • Jorge Dias - the best defender at the club and (somehow) the best header-er of the ball in the defensive line, which is a worry! Developing really well and my first £1k p/w player. He's currently on a leadership course as I intend to make him club captain if he continues this growth.I have previously taught him those traits and moved him to 'right' from 'right only' as it's important to have as many players who are as comfortable on the ball as possible. I only wish he was braver.
  • Pedro Abrantes - gets into the team on virtue of being left footed. Not a strong wingback but used as a WB(D) to provide some impetus further up the field and, being as he can position himself pretty well, not someone who will get caught out upfield. Certainly a weak area of the squad and only there due to that...
  • Sergio Tavares - fits my DNA better than any other first teamer and supposedly much more potential in him. Won't get past competent at DMC apparently and is a little lightweight but works hard for the team. My BWM is instructed to get further forward and I've asked him to make those moves without the ball as he, quite frankly, cannot dribble it. He will be, however, dictating the tempo of play in attempt to turn him into a bit of a hybrid player than can play as both a BWM and a SV, REG etc when needed.
  • Joao Santos - been screenshotted a fair bit but my first choice MC(A) although would probably be better further up field with good passing, vision etc. I've taught him to try killer balls and now I'm asking him to play long balls in an attempt to merge those two things - they aren't many more technically adept players, even in this league. I've also taught him to become 'right' footed from 'right only'
  • Bruno Quintaneiro - was a 'mercenary' but now only 'fickle' but a really decent option on the wing. Would have preferred, with the trait, that he was a right winger. He's also training to make his weaker foot stronger but is pretty solid going forward.
  • Rodrigo Mortagua - very similar to Quintaneiro except a natural right winger and, as such, a natural inside forward which does suit my tactic very well. His determination is an issue but he works hard and is pretty good on the ball. He's the exact type of player that I wish could finish as he'd be pretty solid going forward for us. I'm also teaching him to be less reliant on his right foot.
  • Vagner Silveiro - 22 goals last season has seen him cement himself as my first choice (and pretty much only) striker at the club. He doesn't fit in with my intended style, at all, as he doesn't work hard or for the rest of the team - but the AF(A) role seems to suit him down to the ground. Initially, he came deep for the ball but, being as lazy as he is, he never made it back into the area. I've since added the knocks ball past opponent and trained his weaker foot to make him useful on the counter attack. No idea how he'll fare at this level.

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Mid-Season 3 Update

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Absolutely delighted with this start to the season - we sit closer to the top of the table than the drop zone - a message that I can hopefully repeat at the end of the season. We're currently on a pretty poor run of six without a win but our positive goal difference, largely made up from an opening day 5-1 demolition of Penafiel, shows that we've not really been outclassed. I've moved quite freely between the more aggressive gegenpress style and the more cautious counter formation when needed and it's kept us in most games - not losing a game by more than one goal.

On to the youth intake!

Edited by _Ben_

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Season 3 Youth Intake

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 I have never had a player through my intake with four and a half stars straight off the bat! Luis Trabulo is the first exception to that rule. He may be unambitious (I will put him in a mentoring group with three of four fairly pro players if I need to!) but he's fantastic all around and I will clearly face a battle to keep him at the club. What is also amazing about this youth intake is Laranjeira, a Model Citizen - at the age of 15. 

Realistically, the intake is only good because of one player - behind him, there is very little depth, considering that our squad isn't very strong and a 5* rating may only be just about good enough for this tier of football.

Edited by _Ben_

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As confirmed...

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He's on a youth deal until 2025 so let's hope he a) doesn't get poached and b) likes the club/me/we've progressed enough by then for him to reconsider.

Edited by _Ben_

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Just caught up and great read so far. Shame about your young RB not wanting to sign a long term deal. Good luck for the rest of the season. :thup:

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Em 20/10/2018 em 13:46, _Ben_ disse:

The Squad.

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This is what I will be working with for the first few years of this save, shown in my Home View. A little bit about the choices of this view and then a little bit about the players I've got. 

Firstly - I love versatile players and due to some slight OCD traits - simply cannot stand a scroll bar on the player view screen (also makes screenshots more difficult) and, as such, keep my first team to around 20 players. You can currently see that I don't have a great deal of coverage from my players - with most being able to play in just one position well. Non-negotiables are that full backs play on both sides, as do wingers and the more FBs that can also offer a wing option, or vice versa, and with DC and DM, MC, AMC combo's too where possible. You will see, even from the beginnings of this save - I'm looking to add as much versatility to the squad as I can - getting what (small) amount of potential from them by training roles and positions that will improve their weaker attributes. Training is also a key thing for me - train well and you'll play well (in theory) so I want to keep an eye on that this version, with the new rating. I'm also a huge fan of personality development so this makes the screen too. I also have career apps as I love to track my youngsters breaking in to the team, wage and value.

Lastly, and most importantly (hence the new paragraph!) we have the squad DNA, except I don't really like that word. Anyway, I've picked out a set of attributes that are non-position specific (meaning that I don't need all my players to have good passing, as, specifically at this level, defenders won't have it) and changed the attribute colours to show anything over 10 as good - which will change as I hopefully progress. Anticipation, Bravery, Decisions, Determination and Work Rate as well as Pace Stamina and Strength will hopefully help me build that strong, fit and hard working squad as I would imagine we take the route towards a gegenpress style of play. I may delve further into this as we look at ways to develop my own players to excel in these areas.

Last year, I played with bars instead of numbers which was great - sadly, it doesn't appear I can do that (yet) this year so will revert to showing numbers on the squad screen as we look to build the attributes that fit with the style of play I want.

Player-wise, you can see from the nicknames that I like to add a * to the end of three most promising players from each intake - I've seen this referred to as tagging on this forum before. I tend to remove these once they have broken into the team/moved to pastures new. I have three decent players who probably don't have the potential to go far but will be a focus from my early development points:

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The best non-regens at the club are the aforementioned Alex, veteran enganche Artur and wingback Nogueira but I would envisage that I will lose some of those over the course of the next few months due to their amateur contracts. The Under 19 squad is purely made of players with 'potential' but that this level they aren't going to make a dent on the first team.

I now need to sort out the (lack of) backroom staff.

Actually, you can still play with bars. You can download this file: https://t.co/cpU1WszbJY?amp=1 and put it here: C:\Users\[name]\AppData\Local\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2019\Preferences\version 3 and then when you load the game you should have the bars again. You no longer have the choice, but you can put them in if you want to use them.

I got to know this because I asked how in this site: https://theresonlyoneball.com/2018/10/18/fm19-borussia-dortmund-die-schwarzgelben/

There, the guy has the same preference, as, like me, he thinks it adds a more accurate level of reality.

Enjoy! :)

Edited by Paulo191

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8 hours ago, Paulo191 said:

Actually, you can still play with bars. You can download this file: https://t.co/cpU1WszbJY?amp=1 and put it here: C:\Users\[name]\AppData\Local\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2019\Preferences\version 3 and then when you load the game you should have the bars again. You no longer have the choice, but you can put them in if you want to use them.

I got to know this because I asked how in this site: https://theresonlyoneball.com/2018/10/18/fm19-borussia-dortmund-die-schwarzgelben/

There, the guy has the same preference, as, like me, he thinks it adds a more accurate level of reality.

Enjoy! :)

 

Thanks for this little bit of knowledge! I'm going to leave the bars for this version as I was torn between them and creating a visible (numerical) DNA. I'm going to go or the numbers for this save.

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End of Season 3 Update

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We have completely exceeded expectations here - finishing 22 points above the drop zone, although I feel that this is largely due to the weakness of the two relegated sides. However - on paper, we are considerably weaker than the vast majority of this league and rank lowest in average attributes for several markers, even some of the key ones that I am building my footballing foundations on. We kept it tight throughout, and, to finish in the bottom half with a positive goal difference, shows that we are building something from the back and actually protecting my sub-par goalkeeper and poor heading defenders.

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Here is my first team squad that played the vast majority of the season.

There is one thing that clearly stands out - lack of goals! Vagner Silveiro has scored 28 times in 75 games over his career-  not a bad return for a one dimensional forward, but, when you consider that he's gone 24 games without a goal this season - scoring both of his strikes at the early end of the season - one might suggest that he is out of his depth. However - he actually averages less than one shot per game so that might be an indication that we are just not getting the ball to him in the right places - which I'd tend to agree with more.

Digging deeper than goals - there is still a huge statistic that stands out for me - Sergio Couto - my central defender, only winning 2/3 of his headers. That simply isn't going to cut it going forward, but, is clear, when he's 5'10" with 4 for heading attribute.

The introduction of Luis Trabulo hasn't been easy - it's hard for a full back to come in to the first team as a) this FM has made it harder to just pick up the tactics and go and b) his game isn't necessarily judged on things that will give him good ratings. I would like a bit more from him but for a 15 year old in the first team - I cannot really complain.

Next season, my plan, once again, is just for survival. With the emergence of Trabulo, I will be slightly tweaking the team shape to allow current right back (and accomplished LB) Eduardo Diaz move to the IWB(S) slot and, in turn, move the 2xDM/1xMC trio t 1xDM/2xMC to give him the space to move into.

I also want to review my mentoring over the summer.

 

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Mentoring Update

(I think it's working)

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My current 'group 3' for mentoring (original name, I know). 

My understanding for mentoring thus far is that it can work in two ways - you can have one 'team leader' or something with a good personality/determination/traits and then two or three youngers players or you can have 1 younger player and two or three players who have those good personal attributes. My belief is that their influence on the group will be how much they influence the other people and not how successful being in the group will be.

Tiago Ramalho has 13 for DET and is F.Pro. He's been in this group since the beginning as he's a non-regen and always been a first team player. Jorge Dias has risen from 12 DET to 13 - nothing significant here but, then again, I wouldn't expect him to exceed that of the 'person he is being mentored by.'  Joao Estevao has risen from 9 to 10 in DET and has gone from unambitious to F.Pro. Tavares already has 13 for DET but I'm hoping that these 3 F.Pro players can transform his personality. The real case study can be done for players who are no longer in this group - particularly Bruno Quintaneiro - who started with 12 for DET (now has 13) but as a Mercenary. He has moved from that, to fickle and now on to F.Pro - again, matching that of the two influental players in the group.

In fact - here is my squad sorted by DET level with personality shown:

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Out of this group - Eduardo Dias had an 'off field' change that saw his DET rise by 10 and only Letz hasn't been in the Dias/Ramalho group (as he's been leading his own). 

It's a slow process but it's working and I like that it's not position specific and really uses the dynamics/qualities of the players.

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Tactical Tweaks - Season Four

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With the emergence of a new starting RB straight from the youth intake - I need to quickly adapt my tactics. We've been performing really well under my management - I've got a 54% win ratio at the moment which is excellent but I feel that we are missing out on a few things. I've also been someone who, tactically, at least, follows the less-is-more protocol with team instructions.

Above - you can see the new shape (the left back turns to IWB(S) with a personalised role where necessary and the W(A) switches to a W(S) to allow for some more wide defensive cover whilst the IF(S) on the other side turns to an IF(A) to give an attacking threat. This flexibility is what I aim for within my squads and I like to have players that can play in these variety of roles and positions.

Back to the team instructions - there seemed to be too many. Firstly - I've lowered the tempo to minimise long shots and added work the ball in to the box. There was a stat popped up that we've only scored twice from over 300 touches in the box (or something like that) which made me ponder this. We've now added an extra body in the MC strata so will have an extra player in and around the box to help up maneuvre the ball into the box. We've also switched from narrow to 'normal' as the W(A) or W(S) was just being pushed into the half space the the CM(A) was going and also reducing any chance of him being able to cross - something which I know we can take advantage of. In transition - I don't want us just giving the ball to the centre backs as neither of them are good with it and often led to a hoof up field. Our full backs are decent with the ball as is the A(D) so they can start attacks. I've also removed the get stuck in as we had the worst discipline in the league last term and removed the offside trap as I was fed up of being caught out by long balls over the top, with our relatively poor decision making across the board!

Hopefully what I've done is fairly logical and will pay off this season as we look to cement ourselves as a decent side in this league.

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Forced Sale

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Annoying but actually working out very good for us. Sergio was unhappy that I was trying to keep him and this has given us a fair bit of income to hopefully keep us in the black this season. The plus side - I managed to bring him back in on loan for the season - as seen here. Annoyingly, I gave him the #1 shirt by right clicking his number and not checking! As a squad number OCD sufferer - this pains me greatly!

£150k now with some installments - a big chance of more money if he moves on and keeping him for at least another season. I guess it's a victory for me!

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11-game Tactical Tweak Review

Eleven league games into the new season would seem like a good time to review the changes I've made and to look from a overall view rather than a game-to-game approach. Here is how we've done:

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On the whole - I'd say that we have done very well here. Wins over the two relegated sides - Aves and Feirense show that I really don't need to fear the 'big' sides in this league and, despite having a very weak squad on paper, we may be able to mix it with the top few in this division.

I mentioned last season that I struggled with goals - maybe from playing too defensively at times and maybe due to the way I played - one 'runner' in to the box, narrow width even with a winger and at such a fast pace that I probably encouraged that 'no options so take a long shot' approach. I believe I have found the remedy for that by playing a CM(A) next to a BWM(S) in the MC strata - with only the starting position of the BWM altered from his old role. The below screen shows a marked increase in the amount of shots per game for my attacking players, which in itself, doesn't prove anything but the increase in shots on target % would suggest (and back up from what I've seen in game) that these shots are coming from closer in and are resulting in more goals.

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The stand out point - I lost two games 3-0 whereas last year I didn't lose a game by more than a goal. A regressive step, may be? Again - I would say no. I've since watched both games back now that the red mist has gone and I can attribute the majority of the goals to other things, as opposed to tactical issues.

vs Olhanense

Goal 1.  At this point, we are down to 10 men after 30 mins so I've opted for a 4132 narrow shape as I didn't want to make an early change as we were on top of them. The lack of a wide play has allowed their FB to double up and has far too much space near our box to pick the pass for the goal. A tactical error but not one directly related to my intended style.

Goal 2. A stupid goalkeeping error, where a 30 yard shot is parried out to the feet of the attacker who has an easy finish. This is clearly a development/recruitment issue but, as I can't sign any one, need to rely on his own skills. 13 for handling and 13 for concentration would suggest he should be able to save that but a mistake is a mistake.

Goal 3. A penalty. It happens.

vs Camacha

Goal 1. Another penalty. The 'Get Stuck In' has most certainly been removed for good.

Goal 2. Not a lot I can do about the free kick - I think we were organised well.

Goal 3. The man on the ball (the scorer) did get past my RB a little too easily but you wouldn't expect him to be able to score from there - a really good finish. I don't think there is anything tactically to blame for that goal.

 

I think that, on the whole, we've made some positive changes to the tactic. My worry is that a loss of form may be just around the corner and, with a small squad, this could have a huge impact on us. My goal was to get out of this league in five years and I think we're doing pretty well towards that target.

Edited by _Ben_

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Backroom staff update

I like to put a lot of emphasis on the backroom staff within my team and with training take a more realistic step this year, I feel that I need to make sure that my assistant (at least) is on the same lines as me, tactically. I've tried to approach this in a way that I haven't really seen done (or at least documented) by others - and that is to sign unproven coaches, who are cheaper but have some of the attributes in the correct place, and develop their attributes through coaching courses.

My staff currently looks like this:

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I've seen a large increase in the amount of model citizens in the game (I think there was 3 or 4 last year) and I believe that they are the best possibly personality:

Model Citizen Pro 18-20, Det 18-20, Pre 18-20, Amb 18-20, Loy 18-20, Spo 18-20, Tem 18-20

They also have decent determination and working with youngsters as well as largely favouring the same style as football as me - a 4141 or 4231 with passing and pressing. However - they don't have the greatest of attributes - see German Lux but, with six or seven more badges he can earn - I hope he has the staff potential to improve.

It gives me that dual Portuguese/Argentine backroom that will hopefully allow me to bring through some regens.

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First Senior International

Sadly not for Portugal but a youth product has made it to the top of the game for his adopted nation, Angola.

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He played 35 minutes in the victory over Mauritius. Hopefully the first of many.

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Season 4 Review

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Our second season in the second tier is complete and we are making positive progress - six points and five places better off than last year, although we have yo-yoed between third and tenth across the season, showing our inability to put together a really strong run - with games catching up on the small, and weak squad. 

Going forward - I'm at a crossroads in this save now. We, despite having poor quality on the pitch, are a settled team (as you'd expect from a youth only save) which allows us to over perform, and the tactic, and player traits, are getting the best out of these players - which is shown by our overall league performance despite the low average ratings for my players. We are also heavily in debt - losing nearly half a million pound a season and having very little form of income. This means that we cannot afford to improve any of our youth facilities and increase the quality of player we are getting through our own youth system. We'd get money for being promoted but I'm 99% sure we will get mullered by literally every team in the league, which just isn't fun! I think that we are not far from going up, but clearly not good enough for the top tier.

Let's see what the summer brings! I want to, again, revisit training schedules because, despite the ratings being good, I don't feel I'm getting the best out of the players in terms of widespread attribute development.

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New Contract

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Delighted to tie my best player at the club for another two and a half years, especially considering his reluctance over the previous year. Sadly, (and I love this new feature) he's not actually made any progress in that time - but a lot of that is due to the level we are at, the coaches and facilities and the fact he is already way better than anyone else.

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End of Season 5 Review

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We blew it.

27 games in and we were sat atop of the league, two points ahead of of Operario and flying - then the above happened. I watched these games in incredibly amount of detail - trying to pick out why we were conceding, then adapting training the next week to address these errors. However, largely goals were down to something as silly as a misplaced pass in the middle third, a moment of excellence or a penalty so adaptation and preparation was hard to do. As soon as I entered May, morale was shot and the loss to Varzim - a game where we dominated the ball and they sat back, hitting us with one perfectly timed counter, summed up the end of the season.

I have high hopes for next season after coming so close - the first lesson is that there will be heavier rotation earlier in the season to keep players fresh and I will consider building training schedules entirely from scratch (I've been reading the @Mr U Rosler ones and think that's a great starting point) to minimse injuries etc. I will also use the opportunity to blood a keeper who came through this intake, Paulo Miranda, who is already better than first choice Marco Pais - but wasn't on my initial short list of promising graduates due to the excitement of Filipe.

Four seasons is enough in this division!

Edited by _Ben_

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Season Six Preview

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This is probably my strongest starting XI and I have some depth on the bench - although, in a youth only save, this is a problem I'll continue to suffer from, at least until I'm running a huge profitable academy.

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A little look at the squad as I enter season six, our fourth in the second tier and hopefully our last.

In order to position my best players in their most familiar roles - I've moved to two DMs (goes against what I just said but they are both decent in the roles I'm going for) and Joao Santos back to the Engache, in the new support role. As an ex-member of the youth team, and one I brought through myself, I have capitalised on the contract expiration of Sergio Tavares and will be bringing him back - two years after selling him for £150k and then keeping him on loan ever since. Quite the deal if you ask me. 

A few things to note looking at the squad now.

  • Monteiro has trained from ineffectual to accomplished an an AML over the last two years - he's a great option in the IF(A) role simply because he's absolutely rapid.
  • I've added two new things to the Home DNA view - passing and technique. As we look to become a better footballing side I want to improve this. Looking at the (lack of) attributes within the defence - I've removed 'play out of defence' from the TI's as both of our DMs are decent on the ball and we can bypass the back four and play through those instead - particularly with Vieira in the VOL(S) role.
  • Tiago Ramalho and Marco Pais are the only two non-regens in the first team - we really need some more elder heads in the squad for some experience but will use this, hopefully title challenging year, to blood some younger players - goalkeeper Miranda, Vieira and Vitor Filipe.

Looking forward to the season ahead!

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Relationships: The link to over-achievement?

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Something I have been working on is improving the frequency and quality of discussion with the players - and this has seemingly had a good impact on their relationships with me as a manager. A real life manager would no doubt love to have a team of eleven players who all support the club - that is made easier for me with a youth only save whereby the majority of players who come through seem to support us, or at least it is not programmed for them to really support other teams (Ramalho is a non-regen) but also to have a team of players who all support the manager.

With that in mind - I've set out the following principles for the discussions:

  • In each league or cup game - a player rating higher than 8.0 will have an individual chat to praise his performance.
  • A player rating lower than 6.5 will have a chat criticising his performance.
  • A rating of less than 6.0 will result in a fine. The standard protocol for a complaint is that 'this is standard club procedure'
  • A red card is a fine and a criticise conduct discussion.
  • The top three trainers (or anyone who has rated over 9.0 for the week) get their training praised - the top option that says 'I've been very pleased with your training performances'
  • Anyone who shows up as a message in my inbox about improving development has the other message that their development over the past few months has been good.
  • If someone is retraining to a new position - once their 'colour' goes from orange to yellow etc (moves one on progression) - I will comment on that.
  • Resting a player for more than a few matches will now be done via a discussion rather than just dropping them.

All of these things have, so far, been keeping morale up and boosting their relationship with me - which is having an impact on the pitch.

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Cup Win

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I was not expecting that! Not sure this qualifies me for Europe but a second tier team winning the 2nd most prestigious cup in Portugal is a great feat.

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Season 6 Youth Intake

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Not the same star potential as last season's intake but three or four interesting players that will be having a decent impact on the squad, hopefully.

Bento Raposo - the best player from the intake and a defender who can head the ball, ish. Solid positioning and decisions, for his age and is left footed - the only one of my usable centre backs to be. I'll attempt to mentor him to better the DET and personality and try and give him some minutes in the run in of this season.

Nuno Lima - a two footed full back is never a bad thing, for versatility, at least. He's got a good personality and the defensive side of his game is decent, if the attacking part is lacking somewhat.

Mauro Ticozzi - we seem to be able to produce pacy wingers and he seems ok. Another versatile player with a good personality.

Gil Domingues - Some more goalkeeper depth - useful after several years of nothing.

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Season 6 Review

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An utterly fantastic season where we have absolutely blown away the competition - clearly all part of the plan that came with last season's collapse! We broke several records: most points, most wins, most goals (77) and also had the best defence in the league (26 conceded). One annoying defeat to Olhanense in game week 15 initially closed our gap to one point but we were only off the top of the table for one week in the whole season. Joining me in the top flight are Real, who, themselves were only promoted from the third tier a couple of years back.

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A whole lot of whitey-green blobs there, which simply translates to average ratings of over 7.  The move to the slightly more attacking 4231 deep has clearly paid off - with three players in double figures for goals and assists spread out between my attacking players. I kept a well rotated squad (except for in goal where 16 year old Monteiro played every minute) and this kept players fresh and fighting for their place. The added work on interactions really kept morale up and saw us overachieve massively in the cup, as previously posted. Special mentions go to Vagner Silveiro who had his best scoring season in this division - finishing with 19 goals, Joao Estevao, who, despite having attributes skewed by his pace - was the best player in the division and ended in double figures for goals and assists and breakthrough star Antonio Vieira who had a great season in the VOL(S) role.

As I move into the top flight - I've finally been asked if I want to have an U23 team, which will help with player development.

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It will be a big struggle but I'm excited for what I can do next season.

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Around the world...

[DISCLAIMER: I've only currently got 1 country active and no extra details on - so this is a bit pointless but it does signal the starting point where I'm now re-adding the top leagues from around the world and accepting a slight slow down in processing in order to get a more balanced game world for if/when I reach Europe and beyond!]

World Cup
The 2022 World Cup, held in Qatar for the first time ever on this version, was won by Holland - who defeated Poland 2-0 in the final. Holland defeated Uruguay, drew with Burkino Faso and lost to France in the group stages - scraping through, but turned it on - not conceding a goal in the knockout phases to overcome Chile, Argentina, Spain and then Poland. Poland themselves, ranked only 17th in the world going into the tournament - also went through with four points, with a win over Costa Rica, a draw against Australia and defeat against Argentina. They had a more difficult knockout phase - taking apart Brazil 3-2 in extra time, beating France on penalties after a 1-1 draw and then beating Italy with a late Karol Linetty strike.

Africa
Cameroon repeated their 2017 AFCON success, winning in 2019 before Senegal won the next two editions. Ivory Coast are the current holders, with Lazio striker Michael Kouame their best player at the moment. The CHAN has been dominated by more northern countries - with Morocco (twice) and Tunisia sandwiching a DR Congo victory in 2020.

Asia
Japan and Iran have won the two Asian cups since the game started with the Japanese and South Koreans also ruling over the past three iterations of the East Asian Cup. Qatar, Kuwait and UAE have won of West Asian Cup between them, whereas India and Nepal have shared the SAFF CHampionships and Mongolia are current Asian Solidarity Cup holders. There are a lot of smaller competitions in Asia, most of which I didn't know about! Iran are currently the 19th best national team in the world, just ahead of South Korea and Australia.

Europe
Portugal retained their European Championship crown with a victory in 2020 and France showed their dominance by winning 5 of their six games en-route to a 2024 triumph - beating the resurgent Holland in extra time in the Final. Switzerland won the inaugaral Nations League but Italy and Germany, twice, have held that crown. Due to their victory in 2024, France are ranked as the best team in the world, with Holland back in third and Portugal down in 10th. Russia have had a tough time and find themselves down in 40th, just ahead of regen-superhouse Czech Republic.

Oceania
As expected - New Zealand dominate this part of the world - with two consecutive Oceania Nations Cups but Solomon Islands are current Pacific Games holders, after Papua New Guinea were victorious in 2019.

North America
Mexico hold the title in the North American Nations League as well as the Gold Cup but surprise package Canada won in 2019, before a Mexico and USA victory in the following two competitions.

South America
Chile made it three Copa America's in a row in 2019 before a five year wait where Argentina, led by a truimvirate of Cristian Pavon, Paulo Dybala and Angel Correa, won the crown. The Argentines sit second in the world rankings going into the 2028 competition as hosts and holders.

 

Club teams
Atletico Madrid are current World Club Cup Champions, defeating Shanghai SIPG in the final - the holders of the Asian Champions League. Club America hold the NACL crown, Sao Paulo the Sudamerica, Sundowns the African Champions League and Auckland the O-League.

In England, Man Utd, still led by Mourinho have won the last three Premier Leagues, and Man City won the previous three. Liverpool continue to pose a threat with four second place finishes and a third in that time. A sole Lyon victory in 2018/19 took the shine off what would be a clean sweep for PSG in France - who have, as expected, a ridiculous team. The same story in Germany - a 2018/19 victory for Dortmund is the only non-Bayern victory but Juve's domination in Italy has tailed off with successive victories for Inter - Napoli and Milan seem to be the new chasing pack with the Old Lady falling back. A third place for Sevilla is the only non-big 3 in Spain: 1 title for Real, 2 for Atletico and 4 for Barcelona as the normal domination continues. Porto have won three on the trot with two for Benfica preceding that. Sporting were the standard third but fell away this year - coming 6th. The Argentine division has been shared by Estudiantes, Boca, River and Independiente and Serie A has followed suit; Cruzeiro, Internacional, Palmeiras, Gremio, Corinthians and Flamengo have all won titles.

In terms of transfers - four deals of over £100m have taken place - Federio Chiesa to PSG and Paulo Dybala to Man City are joined by two regens, Alex, a midfielder from Barca went to PSG for £125m and Phillipe Thomas, a French striker, moved to Man City from Lyon for £101m. Elsehwere, Ruben Neves was a £79m signing for Real Madrid, Mauro Icardi moved for Paris for £77m, Frenkie de Jong went to PSG, via Real Madrid and Man Utd for a deal of over £90m and Barca spent £84m on Florentino Luis, of whom PSG paid £45m to get from Benfica.

 

Beira-Mar

Obviously a lot has changed for us - here is our league form over that time as well as the one cup that we have won:

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We are still playing at the 12k seated Estadio Mario Duarte, which we own, although went through a phase of finding a new area for a 4k seater stadium - this coincided with our promotion to the second tier and has since appeared to be scrapped. We have average corporate and training facilities, good youth facilities and have just agreed a deal to create data analysis facilities. In addition to this, our junior players receive excellent coaching and our youth recruitment network is well established.

We currently have one affiliate, Ovarense, who play in the fourth (inactive) tier. They are semi-professional and, as of yet, we are yet to use them for sending any young players to.

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Hey, just catched up and enjoyed it very much. What's your plan for next season? What time-span you expect yourself to win a title? 

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12 minutes ago, scarp said:

Hey, just catched up and enjoyed it very much. What's your plan for next season? What time-span you expect yourself to win a title? 

Thank you! Been a good game this year, very much enjoying the new features.

As for the title - I reckon a serious idea would be in the 6-8 year window. We did hold Porto to a draw and beat Braga in the cup last season but we need to be able to do that week in, week out - which will take a long time to develop. I'm happy with the slow and meticulous process though.

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