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FM19 Athletic Club - Aupa!

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6 hours ago, cemendur88 said:

Nicely done, sounds like one hell of a nerve-wracking penalty shootout! Sounds like you got your tactics spot-on, as that definitely sounds like a very scary Barca side to face, and they're terrifying enough most of the time as it is!

It was a bit crazy with lots of misses.

yeah tactic worked well, I need to think about how to make that tactic more effective going forward in those situations, but a 3-4-3 like that is quite tough to break down. Solution may be to bring the wide players inside and overload the middle. Need to experiment 

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The Jan 2020 transfer window has just been a joy...not. It started seemingly well with Ander Herrera and Odriozola being transfer listed, and I managed to offload Hervais who was just not good even with the rest of the team improving massively this season and Raul Garcia being moved due to decline and to free up some wages. But I wasn't given any extra funds so no chance of buying either. Herrera was snapped up by Athletico Madrid, Odriozola by MAn Utd, so there go two of the best players I could ever hope to buy for the club! Yuri was also unsettled by Man Utd making a lowball offer and same with Simon and Tottenham so now having to manage by best left back and goalkeeper being unhappy with me. De Arrascaeta was unhappy with player time despite being injured for ages so got transfer listed by request and sold to Atalanta. 

Morilla has been promoted to the first team as the replacement for Garcia, he's developing really well so hoping he can really challenge for the starting striker slot soon. I bought Aketze back to provide more depth on the left. Only other good news this window is that Alonso, the young striker I mentioned before, has now joined up so he's part of the training program and the very successful U19 team.

We're thankfully doing well in the league, currently sitting 3rd in a tight race with Real Madrid a point ahead and Valencia 5 points ahead. Barcelona are 4 points behind so its going to be a tight race I think all the way to the end. I'm hoping the board will free up more funds in the summer so I can secure a few more players to better contracts and then see if I might be able to get someone like Merino in as well.

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48 minutes ago, cemendur88 said:

The Jan 2020 transfer window has just been a joy...not. It started seemingly well with Ander Herrera and Odriozola being transfer listed, and I managed to offload Hervais who was just not good even with the rest of the team improving massively this season and Raul Garcia being moved due to decline and to free up some wages. But I wasn't given any extra funds so no chance of buying either. Herrera was snapped up by Athletico Madrid, Odriozola by MAn Utd, so there go two of the best players I could ever hope to buy for the club! Yuri was also unsettled by Man Utd making a lowball offer and same with Simon and Tottenham so now having to manage by best left back and goalkeeper being unhappy with me. De Arrascaeta was unhappy with player time despite being injured for ages so got transfer listed by request and sold to Atalanta. 

Morilla has been promoted to the first team as the replacement for Garcia, he's developing really well so hoping he can really challenge for the starting striker slot soon. I bought Aketze back to provide more depth on the left. Only other good news this window is that Alonso, the young striker I mentioned before, has now joined up so he's part of the training program and the very successful U19 team.

We're thankfully doing well in the league, currently sitting 3rd in a tight race with Real Madrid a point ahead and Valencia 5 points ahead. Barcelona are 4 points behind so its going to be a tight race I think all the way to the end. I'm hoping the board will free up more funds in the summer so I can secure a few more players to better contracts and then see if I might be able to get someone like Merino in as well.

Herrera went to Athletico Madrid in my game. I couldn't justify spending most of my budget on him, especially when I have Pardo and Merino and some talented kids, who'd lose out on game time. When Utd list him it's always for his value - I think it was 31.5m in my game. Offer 10m, they come back with 31.5m. Offer 20m, they come back with 31.5m. Offer 25m, they come back with 31.5m. You just can't negotiate.

Hopefully Utd have a good RB already and Odriozola gets fed up after a year or so.

Generally a lot of players get unsettled in the window and then forget it once it's shut. One thing I have found in the game is that no player is able to resolve anyone's unhappiness. Why even have that feature? Or am I asking uninfluential players?

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43 minutes ago, dothestrand said:

Herrera went to Athletico Madrid in my game. I couldn't justify spending most of my budget on him, especially when I have Pardo and Merino and some talented kids, who'd lose out on game time. When Utd list him it's always for his value - I think it was 31.5m in my game. Offer 10m, they come back with 31.5m. Offer 20m, they come back with 31.5m. Offer 25m, they come back with 31.5m. You just can't negotiate.

Hopefully Utd have a good RB already and Odriozola gets fed up after a year or so.

Generally a lot of players get unsettled in the window and then forget it once it's shut. One thing I have found in the game is that no player is able to resolve anyone's unhappiness. Why even have that feature? Or am I asking uninfluential players?

Yeah they do tend to settle down after a while, just annoying with the timing as their unhappiness overlapped with a Spanish Cup semifinal with Barca with the two legs being either side of a match with...Barca. I prioritised the league so out of the cup. Things still good in the league thankfully, Champions League looks like I might be out in the first knockout as playing Chelsea and first leg did not go well.

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2nd Season Review

2nd season complete and the final day nail-biter. Going into it we were 1st on 86 points, Valencia 2nd on 85, we'd been keeping pace with each other for 4 or 5 weeks. They had a game against Getafe (16th), we were playing away at Sevilla (11th) and I knew the only way to win the title was to win. Was a not great first half so went all-out attacking 2nd half and two goals from Williams sealed the deal.

We were much better in both defence and attack this year, scoring 63 and only conceding 19. The defence outdid themselves this year. In Spanish cup we went out in the semi final to Barcelona, and in Europe we made the first knockout and were beaten by Chelsea who just outclassed us.

Best Players

Balenziga - 21(5) apps, 5 goals, 4 assists, 7.44 rating

Yuri - 33 apps, 1 goal, 3 assists, 7.42 rating

Lekue - 33(2) apps, 4 assists, 7.36 rating

Capa - 21 apps, 1 goal, 7.25 rating

Berenguer - 30(10) apps, 10 goals, 7 assists.

Quite the turn around from last season, my full backs and wide attackers were the core of our success. I'm playing a tactic inspired by Guardiola's Man City so using inverted wing backs which means they get plenty of the ball. Williams was top scorer with 21 goals across all competitions and others chipped in too. Benat scored 10 in what is his final season as he has been declining quite fast and his 2nd half of the season was definitely worse than the first. 

Youth Intake

Not as many prospects as last season but most importantly had one in an area I really needed, central midfield.

Iker Lasa - think he's going to be perfect for my system with some development.

Prospects

Below are shots showing how various young players have developed, starting with those who began at the club, my own newgens, and then those who I've bought in from outside.

Starting players:

Oihan Sancet - good development, he'll be in the first team squad next season.

Unai Vencedor - looking like he should be able to step up when San Jose leaves and play a part in the first team.

Asier Villalibre - developing well on loan, going to have him as backup striker next season.

Newgens:

Adrian Herrero - quickly developing into a very good right back, think it won't be long before he replaces Capa as my 2nd choice right back.

Roberto Sanchez - quality defensive midfielder already, hoping he continues to develop well and another option to replace San Jose when he leaves. Probably more likely to force Vesga out of the squad in a couple of years.

Alain Aguado - another good Basque keeper, looking like i'll be set for years on that front

Purchased youth:

Ivan Martinez - solid first season since being bought, in a few years he might be pushing Simon for the first choice spot.

Pelayo Morilla - promoted to first team with sale of Garcia, he's just not performed since then as a striker. Thinking instead I'll move him into midfield to help fill gap left by Benat, and think it should suit him better I hope.

Migue Guzman - good left back, he'll have another year in the U19s to develop.

Alejandro Vilchez - another good left back, he's developing faster than Guzman so he'll go to the B-team next season to help him develop ready to replace Balenziga when he leaves.

Alberto Alonso - already a good boost to determination since he joined, nice good progression.

Benat Reta - hot defensive midfield prospect number 3, might turn him into a centre back to give more options there.

Edited by cemendur88

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Nice to see Vencedor is developing for you @cemendur88. He just hasn't progressed at all on my save despite having excellent potential...he's playing for the B team in the Segunda this year so it's his last big chance for development really.

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10 hours ago, bowieinspace said:

Nice to see Vencedor is developing for you @cemendur88. He just hasn't progressed at all on my save despite having excellent potential...he's playing for the B team in the Segunda this year so it's his last big chance for development really.

I'm glad he's developing as several players it sounds like have developed for you just haven't for me. Guruzeta hasn't improved at all this season and Arberas and Artola have only improved minimally.

Edited by cemendur88

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Summer 2020 Transfer Window

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Thankfully this was largely uneventful. Going in to it I was worried I might lose Simon as he'd been subject to a bid of £25m from Tottenham in the winter window, only a couple short of his release clause, and had been unhappy since and unwilling to sign a new contract. Middle of the window he dropped his concern and I was able to sign him to a new contract with a £55m release clause which makes me nice and happy. Biggest out not listed there is Benat who's contract expired. Most of the ins were youngsters who I hope I can develop, though Jimenez I'm doubtful of, he's been bought really to help deal with a lack of central defenders in my U19's. On the out front Eguaras was let go as he didn't really get much game time last season, same for Cordoba. Fernandez was bought by Hispalis so Herrera was bought as goalkeeping backup for a season or so until some of the youngsters develop. 

De Paula

Agirre

Jimenez

Nunez

First team squad now looks like this:

GK - Simon, Herrera

DR - Lekue, Capa

DC - Yeray, Martinez, Nunez, (San Jose), (Nolaskoain)

DL - Yuri, Balenziga

DM - San Jose, Vesga, (Nolaskoain)

MR - Berenguer, Lopez

MC - Pardo, Garcia, Sancet, Morilla, Nolaskoain

ML - Muniain, Aketxe

ST - Williams, Villalibre, (Morilla)

End of this season will definitely see Balenziga move on as he's starting to fade quite badly and have promising youngsters Vilchez and Guzman coming through to replace him. Might also let San Jose go as well next summer depending on if he starts to fade this season as well and Vencedor is developing into a good replacement.

Seasons started well, beat Barca (now managed by Klopp) in the Super Cup and again in the league. There's been some other interesting managerial changes. Guardiola now manage Atletico Madrid and Conte at Real Madrid.

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Have you noticed the database bug with some players (I found 3 from my country Uruguay) that instead of having as second nationality Spain, they have also the basque nationality? Would you buy them?

FROM URUGUAY

image.thumb.png.aca5cdca17ae172711df80b408db1af7.png

image.thumb.png.8f15769b799238be0181b13875177498.png

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FROM MEXICO

image.thumb.png.004e48208a7b9b282962762284e4fcec.png

There are a couple more from Colombia but they've played at Athletic or Osasuna youth systems so they have correctly set the Basque nationality.

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@Ricotero_uy I believe they're all technically accurate, as all three have Basque fathers (not sure about Forlán, definitely does have the ancestry though). Espericueta likewise, there was talk of Athletic signing him but they dismissed him out of hand because having not been born or trained in the Basque Country he wouldn't be eligible under their current signing policy - neither would any of the three Uruguayans. 

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Just now, zlatanera said:

@Ricotero_uy I believe they're all technically accurate, as all three have Basque fathers (not sure about Forlán, definitely does have the ancestry though). Espericueta likewise, there was talk of Athletic signing him but they dismissed him out of hand because having not been born or trained in the Basque Country he wouldn't be eligible under their current signing policy - neither would any of the three Uruguayans. 

Nope, Athletic's transfer policy is for basques and non basques developed in any basque team.

It doesn't matter if you have basque ancestry. 

BTW Forlan's grandmother was basque, from San Sebastian. He admitted that when he left Manchester he wanted to play at Athletic, but the policy I'm pretty sure is basques and non basques developed in the Basque Country.

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1 minute ago, Ricotero_uy said:

Nope, Athletic's transfer policy is for basques and non basques developed in any basque team.

It doesn't matter if you have basque ancestry. 

BTW Forlan's grandmother was basque, from San Sebastian. He admitted that when he left Manchester he wanted to play at Athletic, but the policy I'm pretty sure is basques and non basques developed in the Basque Country.

Yeah that's what I was saying - that none of those guys would be signed for Athletic in real life, but I think FM treats the nationality similar to how the likes of Jorginho, a Brazilian with Italian grandparents, ended up playing for Italy. I had no intention of signing any of them when I was doing a save though, but I'm also the sort of weirdo who after finding out the peculiarity of the German loan rules will now attempt to enforce them across all my German saves.

Didn't know that about Forlan, Villarreal was a great move for him though.

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40 minutes ago, basqueliverpool said:

technically higuain should be down as basque. was born in basque country and is eligible for athletic

He was born in Brittany, if I'm not mistaken. 

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7 hours ago, Ricotero_uy said:

Have you noticed the database bug with some players (I found 3 from my country Uruguay) that instead of having as second nationality Spain, they have also the basque nationality? Would you buy them?

FROM URUGUAY

image.thumb.png.aca5cdca17ae172711df80b408db1af7.png

image.thumb.png.8f15769b799238be0181b13875177498.png

giorgian.thumb.jpg.82fc9b2bba659691d85be923d1200eb0.jpg

FROM MEXICO

image.thumb.png.004e48208a7b9b282962762284e4fcec.png

There are a couple more from Colombia but they've played at Athletic or Osasuna youth systems so they have correctly set the Basque nationality.

They aren't bugs. They are all part Basque. I already signed half of them. In my save, I only go after Basques anyways (not even u-16 Spanish). Good players to have, IMO

 

BTW Athletic have loosened the policy in recent years so...

Edited by Jean0987654321

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9 hours ago, Jean0987654321 said:

They aren't bugs. They are all part Basque. I already signed half of them. In my save, I only go after Basques anyways (not even u-16 Spanish). Good players to have, IMO

 

BTW Athletic have loosened the policy in recent years so...

I think policy is really based around football and cultural upbringing. Personally I don’t sign anyone Athletic wouldn’t realistically bring in in real life.

Higuain does have basque ancestry through his father but was born in France, Brest I think. Despite the ancestry connection, his father was Argentinian and neither him or his father had any direct relationship with the Basque Country in a football sense, and neither lived there. Higuains fathers case to play for athletic would have been debatable, so Gonzalo’s case is clear, it wouldn’t happen.

laporte is the biggest stretch of the policy if anyone wants to learn more about the policy who isn’t so familiar with Athletic. 

Personally I think the way the game does the policy should change. You should not be able to pluck 16 year old Spaniards from non basque clubs and have them gain basque nationality, that’s just not realistic. However, if a 15/16 year old in game moved to another basque club that should make them eligible for Athletic by granting them basque nationality. That method would still allow the occasional ‘questionable’ addition, but would match more closely someone like Saborit who also somewhat stretched the policy. It wouldn’t be perfect but I do think it would be much closer to realistic. 

Edited by bowieinspace

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5 hours ago, bowieinspace said:

Laporte is the biggest stretch of the policy if anyone wants to learn more about the policy who isn’t so familiar with Athletic. 

Personally I think the way the game does the policy should change. You should not be able to pluck 16 year old Spaniards from non basque clubs and have them gain basque nationality, that’s just not realistic. However, if a 15/16 year old in game moved to another basque club that should make them eligible for Athletic by granting them basque nationality. That method would still allow the occasional ‘questionable’ addition, but would match more closely someone like Saborit who also somewhat stretched the policy. It wouldn’t be perfect but I do think it would be much closer to realistic. 

For me it's not bad to convert spanish or french or whatever player if you bring them with 15 or 16yo. 

The Laporte situation, he is not basque, but moved to a basque youth team in France affiliated with Athletic and then automatically was enabled for playing in the first team.
Saborit's family move to the Basque Country and I think there's no restrictions if you leave in the Basque Country to enter the youth system.
So any young player who moves to Euskal Herria and develop his career there could play for Athletic.

In real life they have brought Diarra, who started playing in Lleida (Catalunya) and moved to Txantrea (Iruña) affiliated to Athletic, but almost with 18 years he moved to Athletic. The player didn't fully develop in the Basque Country, but, he lives there, he played for a basque youth team. 

Is not like cheating playing solitaire, as our rivals say. We are not living in 1990 anymore where our rivals could only play 3 foreigners and no EU rules existed.

What the supporters want, is players who are linked to the people, to the culture, to the traditions. Sometimes even basque born players don't show those things (Kepa, Herrera, Llorente, Javi Martinez) and they prefer to go for a bigger team (not challenge because winning with Athletic should be the most important thing for an Athletic young player) and money. Sometimes we see players from Argentina, Uruguay and other parts of the world giving everything for teams in Europe, and not the same from basque players at Athletic. That's why we have to keep the ones that want to be part.

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Alright, the moment has come it seems.

Season 1

Usually, I get some success in my first season but I was only able to get 5th place. No problems, tho as that will just be used as always to give youth a chance.

aWICNkR.png

I lost Alex Ramiro to Spurs due to his release clause. Raul Garcia was out of form and slow so I shift him on. Ander Capa was moaning all the time about his playing time so I shift him on. The guys I got in are mostly for the future as Ander was unavailable.

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Just couldn't pinpoint a consistent tactic. We got killed by SO many crosses and over the top through balls. It was insane so I had to change systems to this.

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Some players...

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Solid versatile defender

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What a signing. He was easily our top goalscorer.

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Solid CB.

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Didn't have the best season. I really wanted him to score some more goals

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Have been a great option off the bench.

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Getting old and prolly should be shifted on

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Oh man, did he killed it this season. Assisted in 12 goals (!!!). Quite a good asset to have.

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He has lost a bit of pace and maybe should be used as a holding mid but he is ok.

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Looks like he's retiring but I doubt I'll miss him

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Needs to score more goals.

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Was okay in replacing Ramiro but I think Simon is ready to step in. Looking to replace him as he wants to leave

Edited by Jean0987654321

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11 hours ago, Ricotero_uy said:

For me it's not bad to convert spanish or french or whatever player if you bring them with 15 or 16yo. 

The Laporte situation, he is not basque, but moved to a basque youth team in France affiliated with Athletic and then automatically was enabled for playing in the first team.
Saborit's family move to the Basque Country and I think there's no restrictions if you leave in the Basque Country to enter the youth system.
So any young player who moves to Euskal Herria and develop his career there could play for Athletic.

In real life they have brought Diarra, who started playing in Lleida (Catalunya) and moved to Txantrea (Iruña) affiliated to Athletic, but almost with 18 years he moved to Athletic. The player didn't fully develop in the Basque Country, but, he lives there, he played for a basque youth team. 

Is not like cheating playing solitaire, as our rivals say. We are not living in 1990 anymore where our rivals could only play 3 foreigners and no EU rules existed.

What the supporters want, is players who are linked to the people, to the culture, to the traditions. Sometimes even basque born players don't show those things (Kepa, Herrera, Llorente, Javi Martinez) and they prefer to go for a bigger team (not challenge because winning with Athletic should be the most important thing for an Athletic young player) and money. Sometimes we see players from Argentina, Uruguay and other parts of the world giving everything for teams in Europe, and not the same from basque players at Athletic. That's why we have to keep the ones that want to be part.

I think that's the one positive to the way the game incorporates it, is that it allows you to play however you interpret the policy as it's not exactly a hard and fast rule. 

The affiliate thing for older ones like Diarra is an interesting one, bit of a loop hole coming through an affiliate, but do you think Athletic would sign them directly? Probably not in my opinion, hence I only sign people who have joined other basque clubs to gain Basque nationality.

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Season 20/21 Review

Another successful year in the league, winning by more points than last as other teams didn't do as well. Barcelona came closest with 81 points, then Real Madrid on 76 and Valencia on 73. Core of our triumph was a strong defence, only conceded 17 goals all season.

Champions League we got to semi finals where we lost to PSG 1-0 overall, they got a goal at home and we couldn't break them down once they came to the San Mames. Spanish Cup lost the final 1-0 to Barcelona after a terrible mistake by Yeray left Messi one-on-one from where he was never going to miss. Did win the super cup at the start of the season as well so two trophies overall.

B team won their league and U19s continue to do well.

Transfers

Finally in the January window I was able to make the big transfer I wanted, Merino for £25m. Thankfully at the time he was worth £28m but hadn't signed a new contract. He performed very well for me through the 2nd half of the season. Other signings were all youngsters for the future.

Youth Intake

3 standout players from this years intake.

Martinez - good left winger, definitely a position I need more depth

Ruiz - another good keeper I swear every season I get a prospect here than could eventually play for the first team

Sanz - solid central midfield prospect who looks like he'll become a good all-rounder

Tactics

Here's the main tactic I've used this year which has served us well, main alternative is the same but with Inverted Wingbacks instead of normal ones in the fullback positions.

ohpLb7m.jpg

Best & Worst Performers

Unsurprising given our strong defensive performance many of our best players were defenders, with a couple of midfielders thrown in.

Yuri - 34(7) apps, 4 goals, 7 assists, 7.49 rating

Merino - 16 apps, 7 goals, 2 assists, 7.48 rating

Lekue - 32(3) apps, 3 goals, 1 assist, 7.34 rating

Capa - 28 apps, 1 goal, 3 assists, 7.34 rating

Top scorer was Villalibre with 13, though he was quite inconsistent. 

Williams, Berenguer and Muniain were main disappointments this year, Williams barely getting any goals and also not performing when used out wide. With Berenguer and Muniain I realised there was a reason behind their poor performances. My tactic needs the wingers playing high and wide, creating space for the Mezzala's to come into, but both of them have the PPM Cuts Inside From Both Wings which doesn't fit well with that. Muniain I can look to move to the centre, but Berenguer I'm not sure what to do about.

First Team

GK - Simon, Herrera - all good here, hoping Herrera stays for another season or two until a youth prospect can replace him and challenge Simon

DR - Lekue, Capa - some of my best performers but one will be moving on for reasons outlined when I talked about my youth prospects

DC - Yeray, Martinez, Nunez, Garcia -  the last has already agreed to move to another club, so will use Nolaskoain and a promoted youngster as rotation options here next season

DL - Yuri, Balenziaga - I think it's Balenziaga's time to move on, he's just declining so fast that better to cash in now and promote a youngster

DM - San Jose, Vesga - if someone bids for San Jose I'll let him go, did a decent job but I need a more creative player at DM

MR - Berenguer, Lopez, Morilla - problems here, thinking for next season I'll let Lopez go and move Williams down to this position. Morilla has done some decent performances but has also been used to cover MC and STC so think I need to settle on what his position is.

MC - Merino, Pardo, Sancet, Nolaskoain, Garcia - good strength here, too much probably if I'm going to shift Muniain into the middle. Garcia will be the likely casualty of that move

ML - Munian, Aketxe - if Muniain moves inside will need another player here

STC - Williams, Villalibre - definitely want Williams to go to MR, so one of my good youngsters will be promoted to challenge Villalibre

Top Youngsters

These are players who are knocking on the door of the first team.

GK - Martinez, Aguado - I think Martinez will go on loan next season to get the level of football he needs as he's developing so well, Aguado will take his place in the B team

DR - Herrero, Herrera - Herrero is so good that I'm going to see Capa to make way for him. He's probably going to be better than Lekue soon enough, Herrera will move to B team to take his place

DC - Santamaria -  signed in January from Eibar he's the only good prospect I have for this position who's developing, he'll stay with U19s for another season or so for maximum development

DL - Vilchez, Guzman - bit of a coin flip as to who's better, Vilchez will likely be the one to move from B team to main squad to replace Balenziaga, with Guzman being his replacement for the B team

DM - Vencedor, Sanchez - Vencedor I think will move to first team squad to get game time and as replacement for San Jose if he goes, Sanchez moving up to replace him, and luckily both can also provide cover at DC if needed

MR - Artola - he's developed well, think I'll have him as my replacement for Lopez

MC - Lasa, De paula - Lasa is still quite young but one of the best performers for the B-team this season, will replace Pardo in a year or two, De Paula will join him in the B team

ML - Gonzalez - developing so well he might make the leap straight from U19s to the first team to give more depth on the left

STC - Alonso, Agirre, Munoz - Alonso will move up to challenge Villalibre for the starting spot, Agirre's mostly been with the U19s but has covered injuries for the first team a few times, he'll replace Alonso for B-team though hoping he will also continue to develop as another option for the right wing. Munoz will also move up to the B team.

Summary

Overall very pleased with the season which is going to lead into a summer of transition. One player going because of age (Balenziga), one to make way for a youngster (Capa) and others potentially moving on as a I tweak my squad to promote the youngsters who deserve it. Will post an update once I reach the end of the summer transfer window.

Edited by cemendur88

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Summer 2021 Transfer Window

This went pretty much exactly as I expected. 4 first team players left:

  • Balenziaga
  • Vesga
  • Lopez
  • Capa

This made room for Herrero, Vencedor, Vilchez, Artola, Gonzalez and Alonso to join the first team. Ivan Martinez got his long term long to hopefully further his development and we're looking solid for the season ahead. A couple of Basque youngsters were bought in from elsewhere, a left back and a central midfielder who have joined the U19s.

Season hasn't got off to the best start, we lost 2-1 in the Super cup to Barca which featured a terrible performance from Williams which I hope is just a one off for this season.

Edited by cemendur88

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Was waiting until the end of the season before posting an update, but just had this player appear in my youth intake:

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Just....what!? He's possibly the best newgen I've ever had in a youth intake in any FM game. It's not like I needed more good keeper newgens but I'll take him. He could probably challenge Simon for the starting GK spot right now!

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Season 21/22 Review

We won the league for the third year in the row. Barcelona did not do well for a long time but strengthened towards the end, I think next year will be tougher. This time we did win the Spanish Cup, beating Atletico Marid.

Champions cup was disappointing compared to last season, losing to Arsenal in the quarter finals, going to change my rotation policies to allow us to be stronger in Europe as we're doing well enough in the league that a bit more rotation shouldn't hurt us too much.

Transfers

There was one minor transfer I missed in the last summer transfer window summary, backup keeper Herrera moved to Sevilla so got Bardaji in as a backup, he'll be leaving this summer. January window saw Pardo move on, he wasn't getting games and wasn't going to get any either so went to Leicester for a handy £12.25m. I also bought in a hot left midfield prospect in the window who went to the B-team, more on him later.

Youth Intake

An alright to disappointing youth intake, would definitely be the latter if not for the player below.

Arteaga

Best & Worst Performers

Defenders ruled the roost really with thankfully a striker rounding out the top 5 performers.

Yuri - 32(2) apps, 3 goals, 12 assists, 7.59 rating

Vilchez - 26(3) apps, 5 assists, 7.54 rating

Yeray - 40(4) apps, 3 goals, 2 assists, 7.42 rating

Martinez - 41(2) apps, 5 goals, 2 assists, 7.37 rating

Alonso - 33(8) apps, 19 goals, 7 assists, 7.28 rating

Artola, Berrenguer, Garcia all underperformed. Berenguer's already got a transfer arranged, Garcia is out of contract and I'm going to try and sell Artola as got better prospects coming through. Williams thankfully improved from last season in his new role on the right, and Muniain also was more consistent in the middle.

First Team

GK - Simon, Bardaji - Bardaji has been another one season backup, he'll go in the summer. Simon is going to have a tough time keeping his spot next season thanks to Arteaga

DR - Herrero, Lekue - start of the season Lekue was first choice but didn't take long for Herrero to overtake him, just hoping I can persuade him to sign a new contract. He's wonderkind number one in the squad

DC - Yeray, Nunez, Martinez -  all 3 player really well and rotated well, San jose, Vencedor and Nolaskoain stepped in a few times when needed to help out

DL - Yuri, Vilchez - Vilchez has been an excellent replacement for Balenziaga. Yuri is on the decline but think i'll keep him for another season as he's still performing so well

DM - San Jose, Vencedor - same as last season really for San Jose, if someone bids for him i'll let him go, especially with how Sanchez has developed for the B-team. Vencedor has ably replaced Vesga.

MR - Williams, Morilla, Berenguer, Artola - Williams and Morilla rotated well here, Artola barely got a look in and isn't as good as some of the other players coming through and Berenguer is moving on as he doesn't suit my style of play anymore. Morilla is wonderkid number two.

MC - Merino, Muniain, Sancet, Nolaskoain, Garcia - good performances here, Garcia moving on due to lack of game time, Morilla got a few appearances here as well I quite like how versatile he is

ML - Aketxe, Gonzalez - Gonzalez was a good rotation option here, but the young prospect I bought in is better than him so he'll be moving to B-team for next season.

STC - Alonso, Villalibre - what a debut season for Alonso, ridiculous to think he only cost me £35k to get in. Should do even better next season. Villalibre has done fine as a backup but has some youngsters challenging him. Alonso is wonderkid 3

Top Youngsters

These are players who are knocking on the door of the first team.

GK - Martinez, Aguado, Arteaga - I could list two other prospects here, it is just ludicrous how many good keeper prospects I've had come through. Martinez, the only one bought from another club, did well on loan and I'll look to extend his loan next season. Aguado developed so quickly this year, have to hope he'll be fine with the B-team for another season or so, though may loan him out as well. Arteaga is actually causing an interesting dilemma. He's so good at 16, and has so much potential, I'm thinking he's going to go straight into the first team and at first rotate with Simon with the aim of him taking Simon's place the season after. One position I'm going to have no problems with for a long, long time. He's also wonderkid number 4.

DR - Herrera - just one decent prospect here, he'll move up to first team when Lekue's time is up which probably won't be for a number of years yet

DC - Santamaria - still really the only good prospect for this position, got a couple in the U19s who I think will develop more than they're currently rated to but have to wait and see.

DL - Guzman, Martinez - Guzman continued to develop well with the B-team, and Martinez who joined from Eibar at the start of the season is also developing well. Should be good here for many years to come as well.

DM - Sanchez, Reta - well Sanchez's media description says it all, he's a wonderkid now, number 5 at the club. Definitely joining the first team and will be challenging San Jose for the starting DM spot. Reta will replace him as first choice in the B-team and hopefully develop more.

MR - Agirre - he featured as a striker last season in the top youngsters, but his future is on the right to me, and another wonderkid in the team, number 6. He'll be promoted to replaced Artola and Berenguer. Got a few youngsters also developing here but not good enough for first team yet or even really for the B-team.

MC - Lasa, De Paula - Both had good seasons with the B-team, think Lasa might get promoted to the main squad to replace Garcia, feels like he's not too far off being another wonderkid too

ML - Barbero, Nunez - Barbero is the youngster I bought in January, wasn't a wonderkid when he joined but he's number 7 at the club now, he's definitely making the move up to the first team. Nunez was bought at the start of the season and has developed well, will replace Aketxe in a season or two I think.

STC - Munoz - good season with B-team, got a bit limited in his play time by Agirre but that won't be a problem next season. Another full season of playtime and he'll be ready to replace Villalibre.

Summary

Another very good season, main problem going into the next is how to integrate more of my fantastic youngsters into the first team and the great goalkeeping dilemma! Certainly not bad problems to have at all.

Edited by cemendur88

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10 hours ago, cemendur88 said:

Was waiting until the end of the season before posting an update, but just had this player appear in my youth intake:

ZK50Q85.jpg

Just....what!? He's possibly the best newgen I've ever had in a youth intake in any FM game. It's not like I needed more good keeper newgens but I'll take him. He could probably challenge Simon for the starting GK spot right now!

Wow, what a player!

Well done on your success so far! I've not been able to play much the last couple of weeks as I've been away for work and not had much free time. Managed to progress through to November in 2020, so just a few months since my last summer update. I've had an ok start to the season, Atletico Madrid have gone 10 wins from 10 in the league so they're running away with it, we've had a couple draws and loses so we're hanging around 3rd at the moment. We've not been amazing this season and I had Muniain, De Marcos and Williams all unhappy I sold Dani Garcia, I think that affected things a bit. Trying to give some of my youngsters minutes to build for the future while maintaining a strong challenge. Will update properly in January

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10 hours ago, cemendur88 said:

Was waiting until the end of the season before posting an update, but just had this player appear in my youth intake:

ZK50Q85.jpg

Just....what!? He's possibly the best newgen I've ever had in a youth intake in any FM game. It's not like I needed more good keeper newgens but I'll take him. He could probably challenge Simon for the starting GK spot right now!

Baby Gigi Buffon, maybe? :D

 

 

I remember getting a wonderkid GK last year's save. I gave him plenty of times in the reserves/on loan as Kepa was too good. :D

Edited by Jean0987654321

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4 minutes ago, Jean0987654321 said:

Baby Gigi Buffon, maybe? :D

 

 

I remember getting a wonderkid GK last year's save. I gave him plenty of times in the reserves/on loan as Kepa was too good. :D

Yeah Athletic always seems to be an absolute hub for goalkeeper regens, here's the better ones I had the last few years at younger ages...they were great but not as good as your man Cemendur!:

ukQCSPD.jpg

W4MFlD0.png

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Some nice prospects there, yeah I've had some good ones on previous saves with Athletic as well but this one certainly takes the cake. I've had to pause my save for a while, run into an issue with the public beta where training's gone odd for the B and C-team, everything's reporting a rating of 0.0 in training and can't set individual training anymore as the game doesn't think they're doing any, but they're still developing so something funky going on. Waiting to see if the next version of the public beta fixes that.

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16 hours ago, cemendur88 said:

Some nice prospects there, yeah I've had some good ones on previous saves with Athletic as well but this one certainly takes the cake. I've had to pause my save for a while, run into an issue with the public beta where training's gone odd for the B and C-team, everything's reporting a rating of 0.0 in training and can't set individual training anymore as the game doesn't think they're doing any, but they're still developing so something funky going on. Waiting to see if the next version of the public beta fixes that.

Yeah they turned into really top class keepers...can't wait to see how your guy turns out. Hopefully that issues fixes itself up!

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It doesn't matter whether I start a new game, I always come back to Athletic Club. I just finished off the 21-22 season and we finished 2nd behind Real Madrid. Barcelona and Atletico Madrid obviously rounded out the top four. In terms of transfers in, well it's just picking up the regens from the other Basque clubs where you can. I'm moving on some of the more fringe players and occasionally some of the Italian clubs will pay silly money for youth players you don't think will make it. There's a tasty French Basque youth keeper at Nice who I can't sign - no release clause and they won't take 50m! So in many ways, this is the ideal scenario, bring through your young players and give them first team opportunities. I'm less worried for when, say, Munain and Williams move on. Would be nice if we could get a quality regen striker though!

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So after saying I was waiting until the issues in the beta with B and C-teams was fixed, I couldn't actually resist carrying on and seeing how my youngsters develop.

Season 22/23 Review

Well what a season it has been. It began with a win in the super cup, a tight 2-1 victory over A. Madrid. They would prove to be our main opponents in the league, only losing 3 games all season. Luckily, we only lost one and managed to win the league by only a couple of points. Real Madrid also came close only losing two, things are getting very tough but thankfully the improvements of our youngsters has help us remain a strong force.

In the Spanish Cup we won it, the final in the end being a simple 2-0 victory over Valenica. However all these other triumphs paled next to our first Champions Cup victory! We frankly got lucky in all the knockout rounds before the semi-final where we faced Milan, and were able to overcome them to setup a final with Man Utd. A tense match in normal time was defined by Eden Hazard (yes he's at Utd now!) getting sent off, which probably helped us a lot as the game ended up going to penalties. Williams missed for us, but Pavard and Lewis Cook missed for them so we emerged victorious!

A clean sweep across the board in the end but one that will prove a challenge to reproduce next season as the competition in the league is getting fierce and the Champions Cup is never easy.

Transfers

On this front it was a fairly quiet season. As said in my last update Artola and Berenguer were moved on as expected as they weren't what I needed in the time, along with the backup keeper Bardaji with Arteaga joining the first time. MY solitary signing was a young right winger from Granada who looks like he could be handy.

Youth Intake

Pretty good this season, though I did get another! goalkeeping prospect.

Garcia - said GK prospect

Ramirez - good potential though his starting stats worry me

Imaz - solid striker prospect, though his finishing is lower than i'd like.

Best & Worst Performers

Lekue - 25(1) apps, 4 assists, 7.58 rating

Yuri - 25(8) apps, 1 goal, 10 assists, 7.56 rating

Alonso - 38(4) apps, 33 goals, 4 assists, 7.49 rating

Aketxe - 22(7) apps, 10 goals, 11 assists, 7.48 rating

Martinez - 42(2) apps, 3 goals, 2 assists, 7.42 rating

Again defenders make up most of the top performers, surprised to see Lekue up top as Herrero is definitely my first choice now. Also nice to see a couple of attackers feature here, especially Alonso with his incredible scoring record. Interesting that both Yuri and Aketxe featured here as I've run down both of their contracts and they'll be leaving in the summer along with San Jose. Simply have good prospects coming through and it's their time.

First Team

GK - Arteaga, Simon - well I threw Arteaga into the fire and he's done so well. Definitely first choice keeper now, and he's been called up to the Spain squad as well for the first time. Simon i'll probably let move this summer as i've got other youngsters who can be backup as he's too good to remain here for that.

DR - Herrero, Lekue - Herrero is now world class, with Lekue serving as good backup, i'll keep him until his contract runs out most likely and then promote a youngster to replace him

DC - Yeray, NunezMartinez - again the three rotated well and all were fantastic, San Jose and Nolaskoain slotted in a couple of times when needed

DL - Vilchez, Yuri - both were solid performers, with Yuri in particular doing well given his declining stats. The time is right for him to go as his contract finishes and Guzman from the B-team to step up in his place

DM - Sanchez, Vencedor, San Jose - Sanchez did everything I wanted from him in his first season with the main squad, Vencedor rotated well which limited San Jose's game time in his final season. Be sad to see him go, but the replacements for him are already in the team

MR - Williams, Morilla - Williams continues to do well on the wing, Morilla was good at times but he also went through a few patches of bad form though never for too long.

MC - Merino, Muniain, Sancet, Nolaskoain - no complaints here, good depth with Morilla sometimes standing in due to injuries, happy with all of them which is going to cause some interesting dilemmas with some of the youngsters I've got coming through

ML - Barbero, Aketxe - a tale of endings and beginnings. As said above Aketxe did well in his last season, but i'm also very happy with how Barbero's done in his first. With youngsters coming through i'm going to have no problems on the left wing.

STC - Alonso, Agirre, Villalibre - well Alonso has made this position his own, still can't believe he only cost me £35k. Agirre I did intend to play more on the right but he proved to be a more consistent backup option than Villalibre. He'll likely be moved on and a youngster moved up to give more depth here

Top Youngsters

GK - Martinez, Aguado, Ruiz - still got a silly amount of options here, one will be promoted to serve as backup to Arteaga if I can move on Simon, if not one may be sold to make room as I just have too many good options here!

DR - Herrera - solid prospect, will remain with B-team until Lekue moves on

DC - Santamaria, Aguirre - Santamaria is playing really well with the B-team, undecided when to move him up to start adding to the rotation options in the first team. Aguirre is one who isn't highly rated by my coaches, but with his stats think he could turn into a good defender.

DL - Guzman, Martinez - Guzman will go up to replace Yuri, wish he had stronger attacking stats but think he'll do fine. Martinez will replace him but again wish his attacking stats were developing more

DM - Reta - good season for B-team, he'll stay here for the forseeable future though might force Vencedor out of the team at some point

MR - Larrainzar - the one signing I made this season, is developing nicely but a while off the first team

MC - Lasa, De Paula, Sanz - well Lasa has joined the wonderkid club, will be going up to the first team I think. De Paula is good but not sure he forces his way in. Sanz is a more rounded midfielder who'll move to the B-team next season

ML - Nunez, Gonzalez, Martinez - Nunez is going to be the immediate Aketze replacement as his potential is quite high. Gonzalez was moved back down this season and I think he'll remain there, Martinez is a great prospect who'll replaced Nunez in the B-team

STC - Munoz - very strong season with the B-team, may move up to replace Villalibre but might have enough depth in the first team without him

Summary

Amazing season in all competitions, team is developing really well. Summer will see a few of the old guard leave and more youngsters promoted to take their place. Looking forward to next season already.

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My 22-23 season has just ended and we finished 1st! Touch and go going into the final two fixtures. We were top by 3pts ahead of Barca with a worse GD. We were away to Real Madrid, dutifully lost, but Barca could only manage a draw. So as long as we matched their result, we would be champions on the last day. It didn't bode well drawing 0-0 at HT at Malaga, but bringing on Williams inspired a 3-0 victory. Barca drew again!

We have some great young players coming through. I could upload plenty of screenshots but will stick to the creme de la creme of the youth. Javier Martin is a wonderkid and has already usurped Muniain. Although his crossing and dribbling isn't the greatest, his physical stats are superb.

Aitor Iturrino is an AMC who I'm converting to an AMR (I play a strict 4-1-2-2-1). He has everything.

Mikel Royo is another AMC who I'm trying to convert into a CM. I won't expect him to do much tracking back or tackling, but to distribute the ball to the more attacking players. I like to think of him as my Juan Mata.

The reason Royo doesn't need to track back is Inaki Gomez, who will sit in front of the back four and repel the opposition. If it wasn't for his weak jumping, I'd consider retraining him as a CB.

Andoni Barandiaran isn't quite a wonderkid but he's nabbed the LB spot from Yuri. Wish his crossing would improve though.

Last of all, I mentioned the French Basque keeper at Nice. Well, I didn't really need him. I have two young keepers who could replace Remiro tomorrow, but look at him. And Nice finally accepted 31.5m. A bargain.

I have another 140m left in the transfer fund. I would love to sign Laporte (who wanted 400k per week!) or Oyarzabal, but I'd really be taking the mick if I did.

 

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Looks like you've also had some awesome newgens come through, very nice. Hopefully everyone playing a Bilbao save is seeing such rewards from the youth system. 

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I've got Spain to Second Division B, Portugal down to Second League, France to French National and England to League Two on a medium sized database to make sure there's plenty of other transfer activity going on.

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13 hours ago, ChrisBones1990 said:

going to start a save. out of curiosity what leagues to you guys load while playing this save?

No point really loading any other leagues. 

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6 hours ago, cemendur88 said:

I've got Spain to Second Division B, Portugal down to Second League, France to French National and England to League Two on a medium sized database to make sure there's plenty of other transfer activity going on.

I load similar leagues...I also load some of the South American leagues

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On 05/11/2018 at 20:03, bowieinspace said:

I’m in the same boat with Aduriz retiring and looking to keep Garcia for one more year...not on 100k per week though. At the moment I’m using Córdoba as my main striker and he’s doing well.

Nolaskoain is an interesting one, I think he must have a variable PA in the DB because in my save he might become a La liga quality player in the future, but in the save I made to create the opening posts of this thread he had way more potential. I used him on and off during my first season and he’s currently on loan in the segunda. 

How is Sancet going on your save?

image.thumb.png.38679c8ee45d513779223360628e73a7.png

For me , he is doing pretty well. 

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How's everyone getting on? I'm taking a break from FM to be honest playing other stuff, but I'll get back in to FM at some stage :) 

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10 hours ago, bowieinspace said:

How's everyone getting on? I'm taking a break from FM to be honest playing other stuff, but I'll get back in to FM at some stage :) 

My game crashed and I hadn't backed it up stupidly! I may go and restart one, but I'm trying out some of the other teams I play with first in other leagues.

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11 hours ago, dothestrand said:

My game crashed and I hadn't backed it up stupidly! I may go and restart one, but I'm trying out some of the other teams I play with first in other leagues.

Oh no what a shame! Which other teams do you like to play with on FM? I've done plenty of other saves over the years, I've had quite a few really good ones too but I always end up back with Athletic - I think the restrictions keep me more interested long term. 

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1 hour ago, bowieinspace said:

Oh no what a shame! Which other teams do you like to play with on FM? I've done plenty of other saves over the years, I've had quite a few really good ones too but I always end up back with Athletic - I think the restrictions keep me more interested long term. 

Palermo, Lyon, Feyenoord/AZ. I'll keep my Hearts game going but I'm sure I'll come back to Athletic - there's no game like it, unless you arbitrarily enforce it.

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1 hour ago, bowieinspace said:

Oh no what a shame! Which other teams do you like to play with on FM? I've done plenty of other saves over the years, I've had quite a few really good ones too but I always end up back with Athletic - I think the restrictions keep me more interested long term. 

 

48 minutes ago, dothestrand said:

Palermo, Lyon, Feyenoord/AZ. I'll keep my Hearts game going but I'm sure I'll come back to Athletic - there's no game like it, unless you arbitrarily enforce it.

Lyon are always a fun save. I once arbitrarily enforced it with Fiorentina (A couple of seasons in, but still tricky), found it got me so much closer to the club as I was trawling through google maps and wikipedia lists of Italian football clubs I'd now count myself as a supporter. 

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1 hour ago, zlatanera said:

 

Lyon are always a fun save. I once arbitrarily enforced it with Fiorentina (A couple of seasons in, but still tricky), found it got me so much closer to the club as I was trawling through google maps and wikipedia lists of Italian football clubs I'd now count myself as a supporter. 

While Athletic could never replace or come close to my support for my home town team (Aston Villa), this is the same way I became an Athletic 'fan' originally about 15 years ago...just by playing FM. If the two clubs ever played, no question I would support Villa, but my support for Athletic is built on so much involvement with the players via FM and a respect for their policy and values. That led to real life support and trips to (both old/new) San Mames! It's amazing how FM can do that.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, bowieinspace said:

While Athletic could never replace or come close to my support for my home town team (Aston Villa), this is the same way I became an Athletic 'fan' originally about 15 years ago...just by playing FM. If the two clubs ever played, no question I would support Villa, but my support for Athletic is built on so much involvement with the players via FM and a respect for their policy and values. That led to real life support and trips to (both old/new) San Mames! It's amazing how FM can do that.

Yeah, I have something of an affinity to Basque football in general due to FM...although I find illegal streams too frustrating and live football packages too expensive to watch more (similar with Fiorentina, although I at least found a fan site for them) I like Athletic's ideals and still remember watching them destroy my favourite team at Old Trafford under Bielsa, but 2 of my most enjoyable saves have been with Real Sociedad, who I went for because of David Moyes, so I'd probably support them in the derby. I keep contemplating trying to put Real Sociedad back to the pre-John Aldridge days, but from memory you don't get the option to filter Basque players in any save except one managing Athletic. FM18 was probably the best time to do it as well, now Inigo Martinez came over to this thread and Odriozola went to play for that future Europa League team in Madrid.

One lofty idea I have in my head is to one year do a tour (i.e. see a game) of the stadiums of clubs I managed beyond 2 seasons for on FM (getting out of the 2nd summer is when I know I'm hooked) - would take me everywhere from Buenos Aires to Tromsø though so might have to become a wealthy man first. San Mames must have been amazing!

Edited by zlatanera

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1 hour ago, zlatanera said:

One lofty idea I have in my head is to one year do a tour (i.e. see a game) of the stadiums of clubs I managed beyond 2 seasons for on FM (getting out of the 2nd summer is when I know I'm hooked) - would take me everywhere from Buenos Aires to Tromsø though so might have to become a wealthy man first. San Mames must have been amazing!

Going to watch football at different venues beyond what you're used to is a great experience.

The new San Mames is fantastic, they've done a great job to build a new stadium which creates a great atmosphere and feeling, which many miss. The old San Mames was definitely run down and in need of development but it was a special atmosphere. I saw good games at both stadiums and two Athletic wins so I've been fortunate :) 

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Sad to see that this thread has died down. Anyhow, I have taken over as Julen Guerrero in what will be my final save of FM19, so it should be a long one. 

 

I shall update at the end of every season. :cool:

Julen Guerrero_ My Profile Profile-3.png

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On 01/02/2019 at 06:39, Otis said:

Sad to see that this thread has died down. Anyhow, I have taken over as Julen Guerrero in what will be my final save of FM19, so it should be a long one. 

 

I shall update at the end of every season. :cool:

Julen Guerrero_ My Profile Profile-3.png

Nice one Otis :)

Yeah it's gone a bit quieter in here, I haven't been playing much FM this year due to other commitments but always enjoy seeing peoples updates here! 

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