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FM19 - Derby County: how are you doing?

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Will do a proper update later, but managed to finish 6th in 2nd season and into the Europa League.

Went into December struggling for consistency and around 13th before hitting a hot streak, including 8 wins on the bounce at the end of the season.

Antonio Marin was immense. Comfortably won PL player of the year. Pietro  Pellegri (loan) just missed out on Golden Boot to Dolberg at Everton despite not scoring until end October.

This summer transfer market is proving tough though. Looking like I can’t get Wilson on loan again as the Sc**sers are determined to play him in first team. Same frustration as @JaytheGreat with big teams hoovering up talent and not playing them.

 

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Well what a season 2019/20 was as we sneaked into the PL through the playoffs.

After an inconsistent first 18 games, 3 wins in 3 over Christmas pushed us into the top half.

 

We were unceremoniously dumped out of the Carabao Cup in a 3-0 home loss to Brighton, though did OK reaching the FA Cup Quarter Finals before a 4-2 defeat at Man C**y. Man Utd then sneaked a 2-1 win at Pride Park after a freak OG by Angus Gunn. After that, we won our final 8 league games, storming past Chelsea (who offered me an interview which I declined before whooping them 4-1) to finish in 6th and reach the Europa League in our first season.

 

We had the youngest team in the league, with only Buffon (for first half of season), and Drinkwater being regular starters over the age of 23. We were weak at the back, conceding 57 goals in the league, but devastating up front. With one of the lowest net spends in the Premier League (23m), and the 2nd lowest wage bill, it’s probably the best wheeler dealing I’ve done.

 

To cap it all off, England had a poor Euro 2020 (who says FM isn’t true to life eh), getting knocked out in the 2nd round. Southgate resigned, and England offered me 76k a week to take the famous waistcoat on a part time basis. So there’s an added challenge to lead us to 2022 World Cup glory.

 

Transfers In

Danny Drinkwater (5.75m)

Munir (free)

Mateu Morey (free)

Andreas Pereira (free)

John Souttar (4m + 1.25m add ons)

Harry Wilson (loan)

Theo Hernandez (loan)

Pietro Pellegri (loan)

Phil Foden (loan)

Lukas Mai (loan)

Gianluigi Buffon (1.5m)

Angus Gunn (13m + 2.5m add ons)

Alessandro Murgia (2.5m) - Jan transfer window

 

Transfers Out

Jozefzoon ((1.8m)

Craig Forsyth (0.75m)

Jack Marriott (loan to Brondby)

Max Lowe (loan to Norwich)

George Evans (loan to Southend)

Richard Keogh (1.7m) - Jan transfer window

Chris Martin (free to Minnesota)

 

 

 

GK

 

I managed to sign Gigi Buffon for 1.5m from PSG. Seemed a snip (except the big wages) for a stop gap which would allow me to spend more money elsewhere, and add some much needed leadership and experience to a young but talented side. However he then almost immediately decided to retire, with effect from November (since found this is a common bug that hasn’t been fixed yet).

 

I hadn’t got a decision from Buffon before the window closed, so on deadline day bought Angus Gunn who had been transfer listed, but swallowed up the largest chunk of my budget.

 

Buffon did OK in an inconsistent side at the beginning of the season, before he retired in November. Gunn did a great job, averaging 7.05 for the season. I gave him an improved contract at the end of the season to ward off Man Utd & Brighton who started sniffing around.

 

Scott Carson seemed content as backup, playing in only a couple of cup games and never complaining.

 

 

Defence

 

Definitely a weak area for me this season, with 57 goals conceded in the league. Didn’t take any major hammerings, though kept very few clean sheets. Biggest defeat was 4-1 at Aston Villa, and only other time we conceded 4 was a home game to Crystal Palace in the Christmas rush, where we just about held on for 3 points after leading 5-1 just after HT.

 

Theo Hernandez I managed to get on loan from Real Madrid to strengthen at LB. He was very poor until November, but then markedly improved and was a big threat going forward on the left with Antonio Marin. Yellow card magnet with 11 in 36 games, but averaged 6.96 which was good considering his awful start.

 

Jayden Bogle ended up being first choice right back. I had wanted to strengthen with Maffeo, but had to save the budget because of the Buffon / Gunn situation, so he went to West Ham instead. Bogle did OK, with 26 starts and 6.83 average.

 

Felix Uduokhai was a promising 21yo BPD I picked up in the first January transfer window in the Championship. Quite cheap at 1.5m after being transfer listed by Wolfsburg. He comfortably made the step up, starting 36 games averaging 7.09. He was definitely my main man at the back. Only picked up 4 yellow cards despite my fairly aggressive tackling as a team.

 

I also brought in John Souttar from north of the border, as I wanted to have 2x BPDs at the back to have a possession based team. He was rather hit and miss, though didn’t have the advantage of a few months of the previous season settling in like Uduokhai

 

Wonderkid Lukas Mai also came in on loan from Bayern Munich, partly because Curtis Davies picked up a 3 month injury in pre season, and partly because international loans are less restrictive than domestic in the PL. Mai underperformed early on, though I started playing him more after Bayern complained, and he then improved somewhat, though tended to rotate him and Souttar.

 

Curtis Davies got a few games in the cups, but it was clearly going to be his last season in a Derby shirt. Particularly when he started moaning after his injury that he hadn’t been playing, even though he wasn’t fully fit.

 

Malone and Wisdom played as backups without ever complaining. Also signed a cheap young promising Spanish RB called Mateu Morey, who got a few games but was too weak for this level. Though my scouts say he has high potential, I don’t think he’ll cut it. Still I’ll probably keep him for another season or two then hopefully sell him at a decent profit.

 

Richard Keogh told me at end of our playoffs win that he wanted a new challenge. I’d intended keeping him as backup for some continuity, especially as captain for us in the Championship. However, with him being influential in the dressing room, I decided to let him go (though nobody would buy him until Jan so he happily sat in the reserves).

 

 

Central Midfield

 

I tended to go with 2 in DM position and 1x AM for most away games, and home against the bigger clubs. Switched this to 1x DM, 1x CM and 1x AM for the more winnable games, and used this more as our form improved significantly in the latter half of the season. 

 

With a young and relatively weak defence, we always seemed likely to concede at least one, even against other mid / lower table teams, so attack seemed best form of defence. This was especially so when the front 4 were on fire after Christmas.

 

Danny Drinkwater eventually signed after I was promoted. I’d chased him since Chelsea transfer listed him in the very first transfer window, but he wouldn’t drop down to the Championship. He had a solid season in both DM (DLP) and CM (BBM) positions, which gave me some flexibility in formations. Averaged 6.96 in 25 league games with 87% pass success, and added some much needed experience as my only regular starter over the age of 23.

 

Sandro Tonali I picked up in the Championship, and looks to be a star in the making. Was a regular at DM, playing DLP, or Regista if sat in front of back four with Drinkwater to add a bit more on the counter attack. Averaged 7.08 in 33 league games. Can’t finish for toffee, but laid on 4 assists and 87% pass success, so an integral part of my possession based style.

 

Alessandro Murgia came in mid season. Hadn’t really been on my radar, but my scouts rated him at 93, and he was transfer listed for 2.5m so I swooped. Mostly came off the bench to add some energy to the team as a BBM, and averaged 7.10 in 13 games. Chipped in with 4 goals too, though 2 of those were uncharacteristic long range strikes which sealed my Europa League spot in the last game of the season.

 

Tom Huddlestone was a useful backup, playing 15 league games at 6.81 average. Grumbled a bit about not playing regularly, particularly after I signed Murgia in the January window.

 

Bradley Johnson didn’t play much, though didn’t really complain despite only 2 league starts and 6 run outs as a sub.

 

Andreas Pereira mostly played as an AM, after I swooped to land him in a free. He was a revelation, contributing hugely from set pieces, and ran his backside off, with the 2nd highest km per 90mins in the league. Doesn’t even have a huge work rate, though his Scholes-esque tackling saw him pick up 9 yellow cards. Contributed 10 assists and 4 goals, averaging 7.00 (he did have a few stinkers and got subbed off).

 

Phil Foden I decided to bring on loan instead of Mason Mount, purely to see what all the fuss is about. He was OK, though incredibly injury prone with 9 injuries in the season, all 1-3 weeks so disrupted his rhythm. However he was a useful backup to Andreas, with some cracking through balls to get 7 assists from 6 starts and 13 sub appearances, averaging 6.92.

 

Samir Nasri did well for me the previous season, but didn’t cope with PL standards, and was never going to press to the same level as Andreas. He only got 3 starts though, along with 7 off the bench to average 6.61. Surprisingly didn’t complain, but he’ll be off at the end of the season for a small fee.

 

 

Forwards

 

These guys were the making of my season. We finished with 76 goals in the league, only bettered by Man C**y with 92 who won the league by a mile from Spurs and Man Utd who scored 69 - despite having Lukaku, Rashford, Hazard, and Bertrand Traore at their disposal. 

 

That said, our finishing couldn’t have been that great as we created by far the most chances in the league, and the top 3 players for key passes were all Derby players.

 

I generally went with 2x IFs and 1x AF

 

Antonio Marin

Genius. Did a very good but not outstanding job in the Championship, but came alive in the Prem. Though his attributes progressed nicely, he played far beyond them. Countless times he would pick up the ball on the edge of our own box, then outrun everyone with the ball for 50-70 yards to create a chance for us. Pace is still only 14 with acceleration at 16, but defenders struggled to get near him at times.

 

He just missed out on the league record for season assists with 16 (though it probably only counts the previous season!), scored 19 goals (not bad for 12 finishing and long shots!), and took 7 MoMs from 33 starts and 2 off the bench. Averaged 7.60 and comfortably won PL Player of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year, along with beating Mbappe to European Golden Boy.

 

Surprisingly had none of the big boys chasing him, though renewed his contract 3 times in 6 months, purely to get his release clause up to 175m. 

 

Harry Wilson

 

Secured him on loan after he was my best player in the Championship. Didn’t really pull up any trees for the first few games, but then neither did anybody else. After a short injury, he was back to the same form as the previous season. 

 

He bagged 14 goals in 30 games, including a couple of hat tricks. With 6 assists, it was less than half the previous season, probably due to sharing set piece duties with Andreas. Averaging 7.39, he was one of the top players in the league.

 

Munir was snapped up on a free from Barca - quite a coup for Derby! He started OK, scoring every other game, but tended to disappear sometimes. My intended backup loan signing of Pietro Pellegri was woeful though, until scoring his first goal off the bench on 30th November in a late comeback win over Huddersfield put him on a run of 5 in 5 games, before banging a hat trick against Leicester.

 

Pellegri quickly became first choice, ending the season with 21 goals and 4 assists from 24 starts, along with 8 sub appearances. Averaged 7.37 for the season.

 

Munir was then mostly used off the bench, ending with 7 goals from 14 starts, along with 14 from the bench averaging 6.78. Hopefully he’ll come good next season. If not, he’s worth 21.5m so will at least generate some profit to compete with the big boys.

 

Tom Lawrence proved a capable backup for Marin, but only got a look in when he was injured or in the cups. Averaged 6.81 from 5(11) appearances. 

 

Mason Bennett didn’t let me down either, mostly used as backup to Wilson on the right. From 14(6) appearances in league and cup, he scored 3 and averaged 7.08.

 

 

So onwards to next season. Going to be tough playing every Thursday, and Bird now expecting minimum of Europa League qualification. Transfer market is proving tough - 45m doesn’t get you too far in the Premier League these days!

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@Irobinson69 Hell of start to being in the Premier League, and good luck in the Europa League. You did a great job building your team, it's a lot better then mine was at the end of the of the second season. 

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Thanks, sorry the text is strangely massive. The difficult 3rd season is proving to be the case right now though. Not been able to recruit anywhere near as well, and the board have only just started getting their arse in gear on the commercial front to generate some revenue for my transfer budget.

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40 minutes ago, Irobinson69 said:

Thanks, sorry the text is strangely massive. The difficult 3rd season is proving to be the case right now though. Not been able to recruit anywhere near as well, and the board have only just started getting their arse in gear on the commercial front to generate some revenue for my transfer budget.

I have the same problem with commercial revenue, although I think I'm at the middle of the pack now. The board absolutely refuses to expand their profile to different countries with an affiliate club. But in your case the Europa League money should give you a little bit of a boost in your budget next summer.  

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So I need some advice from my fellow Derby playing managers. I have an offer from a Chinese team for Xavier Schagler for about 18 mil which I could probably get up 25-30 mil. He hasn't had any complaints about playing time or anything like that and wouldn't be upset if i rejected the bid. He's not a main starter as him and Mount switch the playmaking duties, and he backs up Renato Sanches at the box to box position. I'm not strapped for cash by any means but 5.5 mil a year is a lot for player who isn't an unquestioned starter, and this is probably be the last time I get this much for him. If I do sell him I don't really know who I would bring in to replace him. 

Player in question

Schlager.thumb.jpg.bbf3d2b810e806f3c7f31b571789c048.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Hi @JaytheGreat, well Xavier is 26 which is a good age for a midfielder as he’s probably approaching his best years. Your coach reports (and I know you have to take those with a pinch of salt for a number of reasons) have his CA and PA at 3.5 stars which suggests he’s not going to improve much, particularly if he doesn’t start games regularly.

Your game date is 7 Jan and he’s got a fair amount of playing time with three goals, three assists, with an average 7.18 rating so he’s good cover for Mason Mount and Renato Sanches.

It’s hard to be specific without knowing the full picture of your squad but if you need the money (notice you have your currency set to dollar$, I think in pounds£) I’d say sell as you may never get this good a price for him again. Also, you say you don’t know who you’d replace him with but what are your scout reports like on potential replacements and who’s available you could bring in?

On the other hand, he’s doing reasonably well and if he’s not complaining about anything, and is unlikely to get upset if you reject the offer, I’d be tempted to keep hold of him if you don’t need the money. Worst case scenario, if you sell Xavier and then either Mount or Sanches gets injured, what would you do?

The final thing to factor in is what are your plans moving forward? Do you see Xavier getting more or less playing time in the future? What’s your player contract situations regarding out of contract players at the end of this season and next? What areas of the team are you looking to strengthen this January window and in the summer? What positions do any youngsters you may wish to blood play in? If your future plans mean Xavier’s playing time is likely to reduce next season then now might be a good time to cash in on him.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)
On 29/04/2019 at 23:47, Stuniverse said:

My current save is a Derby County - Director of Football Challenge. I’m into November 2019 (second season).  If you’re interested, I’m writing about it in the Career Updates section: 

 

Question for anybody who’s loaned / signed Mason Mount and / or Harry Wilson in the EPL, If I may please.

 How are you using Mason Mount and Harry Wilson in the EPL? On my DoF save I’m not sure I’m getting the best out of either of them...

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

@Stuniverse My midfield looks like this 

CM:

Sanches B2B

Mount AP-A

Schlager B2B/DPL-S

Zakaria BWM/B2B

Sibley AP-A (Let's hope I never have to start him in a Premier League or Champions League game)

DM:

Zakaria BWM

Douglas Luiz DLP-S

I don't need money, and I don't plan on Schlager getting less minutes then he is now. But who knows if a big time playmaker is available then who knows. All of the midfielders are under contract for a while yet so no rush in that department. No young CMs needing development time (damn youth intakes) so there's no concern there. I know that this is the best offer I'll ever get for him but I'm leaning towards keeping him based on his passing and flexibility alone. 

I'm not sure who that question about Mount and Wilson was for but I always used Mount as an AP-A CM and Wilson as a IF-A on the right wing.

As you may have guessed considering my currency is set to dollars I'm American (I live in the US as well), so I don't really know too much about pounds or euros. 

Edited by JaytheGreat

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Posted (edited)

What formation / system are you using @JaytheGreat?

From what you’ve said, and just added, I’d keep Xavier around.

We go skiing a lot in Europe and I’ve travelled to the USA quite a few times - did a Great Western Rail Journeys tour coast-to-coast from New York to San Francisco last year, three brilliant weeks - so I’m reasonably familiar with Euros and Dollars, but always have trouble doing the conversions to pounds sterling in my head.

Edited by Stuniverse

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3 minutes ago, Stuniverse said:

What formation / system are you using @JaytheGreat?

From what you’ve said, and just added, I’d keep Xavier around.

We go skiing a lot in Europe and I’ve travelled to the USA quite a few times - did a Great Western Rail Journeys tour coast-to-coast from New York to San Francisco last year, three brilliant weeks - so I’m reasonably familiar with Euros and Dollars, but always have trouble doing the conversions to pounds sterling in my head.

Away or against the Big 6 I run, the only difference is against the weaker away sides I play Luiz at the DLP-S DM spot, and Mount at the AP-A spot.

Away.thumb.jpg.7bc070f36e7f2ed4c7197bab50697a3d.jpg

Home I run 

home.thumb.jpg.d3adb80b39b972b50d602dbb12033f90.jpg

 

That sounds like an awesome trip, never been to New York, but I've been to San Francisco and I loved it there.  

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I’d sell him if you can get a promising youngster to replace him and pocket 10m+. I know you said funds are good, but a few extra quid / dollars helps when you’re a small team like Derby competing in Europe. 

One issue I have is number of home grown players for European quota. If you can get an 18yo who will be backup to Sanches & Mount, then he’s got time to grow.

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10 hours ago, Stuniverse said:

Question for anybody who’s loaned / signed Mason Mount and / or Harry Wilson in the EPL, If I may please.

 How are you using Mason Mount and Harry Wilson in the EPL? On my DoF save I’m not sure I’m getting the best out of either of them...

I didn’t keep Mount, but had Wilson as IF. Support or Attack depending on opposition and tactics, but ideally Attack as he scored plenty cutting in onto his left foot and most of his goals were 20 yarders.

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On 08/05/2019 at 21:04, JaytheGreat said:

I have the same problem with commercial revenue, although I think I'm at the middle of the pack now. The board absolutely refuses to expand their profile to different countries with an affiliate club. But in your case the Europa League money should give you a little bit of a boost in your budget next summer.  

They wouldn’t do it for me for a while either, but when I pushed the point 2 or 3 times they finally set me up with a few affiliates in US, Australia and Japan, so that should help. I did terminate a couple of the local affiliates though, as they didn’t really add any value.

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Another season done, and another season I can be proud of. We finished 4th again with 75 points, 1 point behind Arsenal for 3rd and 10 points above Chelsea for 5th, it also means Another season of Champions League football. Speaking of Champions League football we got knocked out by Real Madrid in the knockout stage 3-1 in 2 legs, but we managed to finish 2nd in a group consisting of Juventus, Shakhtar, and Celtic. We got knocked out in the Semi Finals of the Carabao Cup to Arsenal, and WE WON THE FA CUP!!! We beat Southampton 1-0 in the final to take home the prestigious trophy , one the way we beat Barnsley, Middlesbrough, Birmingham, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Southampton to win the FA Cup for the 2nd time in Derby's history and the 1st time since 1946. 

Player of the year is right winger Zoran Vujosevic the 21 year old winger had his break out season scoring 19 goals and 15 assists. We brought him in 4 seasons ago and he's developed into one of the best players in the world, and he's considered club grown. Our highest rated player was new signing Xadas with a rating of 7.41 and he contributed with 11 goals and 15 assists. Striker Casper Bengtsson came 2nd in the Premier League golden boot race with 17 goals (23 total), Marriott had 13 Premier League goals (18 overall), a disappointing year for Cunha 10 goals and 5 assists but considering what Vujosevic and the strikers did I'm not too worried. On the left wing Zacharia Bakkali also had 12 goals and 14 assists. The midfield was all around solid, and we decided to keep Schlager. Renato Sanches is proven he's a top 5 box to box CM in the world scoring 13 and assisting 4. Mason Mount had a typical solid year with 9 goals and 4 assists. Luiz and Zakaria were solid at the DM spots. Sort of a down year for Mepham, but that was made up for by Hector Murillo and a very good 1st season here at Derby, and Markovic was solid at the other CB spot. Jayden Bogle really out played Pablo Maffeo at RB, I'm really starting to regret the buy. Poulsen and Lowe did their jobs at LB and Rajkovic was his normal beastly self.

Here's a rundown of the big 6 in the Premier League

Liverpool: Since the start of the save they've won the last 3 Premier League titles, 2 Champions Leagues, and a FA Cup. Their team consists of Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomes, VvD, Gael Roux (the best CB regen in the world), Samuel Umtiti, Andrew Robinson, Valentino Lazaro, Faouzi Ghoulam, Rodri, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Gedson Fernandes (the 2nd best box to box CM in the world), Leon Bailey, Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Thomas Lemar, Ben Woodburn, and a player who we dare not speak of (Paulinho aka the scariest striker I've ever had to play against). Liverpool is still coached by Jurgen Klopp and I consider them the best team in England and possible the world.

Manchester United: The 2nd best team in England is still coached by Jose Mourinho and have won 2 Premier Leagues, and 2 FA Cups. They currently have David De Gea, Joao Cancelo, Eder Militao, Milan Skriniar, Johnathan Tah, Nathan Ake, David Alaba, Marco Verratti, Wilfred Ndidi, Son Heung - Min, Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba, Fedrico Chiesa, Ousmane Dembele, Kevin Mbabu, Lorenzo Pellegrini. They are stupidly deep and never fun to play against.

Arsenal: Still coached by Unai Emery they've won 1 Premier League title and 1 Carabao Cup. They consist of Jiri Pavlenka, Hector Bellerin, Alex Grimaldo, Miseal Aguirre (2nd best regen CB), Phil Jones, Matthijis de Ligt, Kieran Tierney, Bruno Fernandes, Arthur, Giovani Lo Celso, Eden Hazard, Chistian Pulisic, Christian Pavon, Antonin Barak, Casemiro, Kristoffer Ajer, Anthony Martial, Dennis Latuheru ( a regen striker who is almost as scary as Paulinho)

Manchester City: Apparently no head coach can unlock this team, they've ended up sacking Pep, Allegri, and Luis Enrique, all 3 of those coaches have combines for 1 Carabao Cup, their current manager is Rui Farai. They have Ederson, Benjamin Pavard, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Raphael Guerrerio, Kevin De Bruyne, Ruben Neves, Lucas Garcia (regen), Paulo Dybala, Marco Ascensio, Gabriel Jesus, Frank Kessie, Saul, Benjamin Mendy, Sergi Roberto, Raheem Sterling, Joao Felix, Leroy Sane,  

Chelsea: Still under the control of Sarri they've one the Europa League and a FA Cup. I've wrote about their squad before so I'm moving on.

Tottenham: aka Man City but with more Cup trophies. They've went through Pochettino, Zadane, Allergri, Pep, and are currently managed by Sergio Conceicao. So far they've won 2 Europa Leagues and a Carabao Cup. They have a team of Angus Gunn, Davide Calabria, Rob Holding, Davinson Sanches, Ben Chilwell, Christian Eriksen, Santiago Ascacibar, Samuel Kalu, Dele Alli, Andrea Belotti, Harry Kane, Frenkie de Jong, Hirving Lozano, Lucas Moura, Mattias Svanberg

That's almost depressing to write up.

For the summer we have 150 mil to burn, and considering Chelsea and PSG want Vujosevic that could move up to 250 mil, Bengtssen is also wanted by top teams which means I could have over 300 mil to spend this offseason. There are some players I'm eyeing so this Derby team could look a lot different going into next season.

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Going great there @JaytheGreat. Nice to have the big bucks to spend too. That’s been a problem for me in 20/21 season, not just the big boys hoovering up £40m players for their oversized squads, but even the likes of Wolves (Sessegnon & Ward Prowse), and Southampton (Marko Grujic), Watford (Wan Bissaka), being able to splend £20m plus on signings. 

Hoping to stay steady this year and qualify for Euro Cup again, then hopefully will be able to buy 2-3 big signings that take us to the next level.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for another update, @Irobinson69. Good luck 🍀 chasing Euro Cup Qualification.

Edited by Stuniverse

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So for season 20/21 I’ve not been able to rely on loans so much, and was gutted Liverpool wouldn’t loan out Wilson for his 3rd season with us. Understandable given his performances at Derby, but he’s very much a backup to Salah.

Brought in:

Harry Winks 11m

Callum Chambers 5.75m

Zlatan for 350k (though retiring in November, but useful for tutoring and alternating with Munir who I still don’t fully trust).

Loftus Cheek for 9m

Chong (loan)

Clement Lenglet (loan)

Walker-Peters for 3m

Bakkali for 6.5m 

Douglas Santos for 12.5m.

Bakkali and Santos were rush panic buys on deadline day after I failed to get Wilson on loan, and Kieran Tierney rejected my persistent approaches to stay at Celtic.

Bakkali was a rushed mistake - for some reason I though he was a right winger, and I didn’t really need a left winger with Marin being so awesome. He got injured for 2-3 months and just coming back into side as Marin is out for 5 weeks, so hopefully he does as well for me as for @JaytheGreat.

Santos was listed for 10m but they obviously sensed my desperation for a LB with only Malone & Lowe, so got turned over for 12.5m. After an awful start he has improved.

Started poorly in the league. Drew a lot of winnable games (after drawing only 3 in the entire previous season). Good run up to Christmas got us back in the top 6, but end of December / early Jan has been shaky.

We are a little more solid at the back, but not scoring as freely as last year.

Had to recall my regen promising striker Parkinson after Zlatan retired, so he’s getting some game time after a short loan spell at QPR, but not set the world alight yet.

Easily got through Europa League group with Dortmund, AEK and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Only lost away to Dortmund, winning the rest and topping the group thanks to better head to head with Dortmund I’m away goals. Smashed Tel Aviv 7-0 away. Udinese next up in KO round.

A Harry Wilson inspired Liverpool knocked us out in semis of Carabao Cup, but into 5th round of FA Cup.

England career had a tough Euro Nations League group with Czech Rep and previous winners Spain. Drew the first 2 games, then narrowly beat Czechs at home leaving us needing a win away to Spain. Harry Kane was on fire, scoring all 4 goals in a 4-1 win.

I’m hoping being England manager will help me build good relationships with young English players to hopefully tempt them to Derby in coming seasons. Didn’t work with Jadon Sancho though - he loved me for giving him an overdue debut, but when he wanted to leave Dortmund in Jan, he rejected a loan with us and joined Liverpool for 82m. Kane might be out of reach too when he’s constantly linked with Man City for 170m!

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 @Irobinson69That's a pretty solid transfer window considering your budget. Bakkali can definitely help out on the right wing when he's healthy. How do you use Loftus - Cheek? I used him as a shadow striker and he seemed to play pretty well. Even though Tierney rejected you  as long as he's at Celtic you have a chance at him.  

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@JaytheGreat I was a bit disappointed with it. While I don’t think we’ve become weaker, the depth is better but the first XI isn’t really an improvement. Had to spend most of budget filling the gap left by not having as many loans.

That said, if we can stay in 5th / 6th, and have a good run in the Europa League and FA Cup, the improved reputation will help in summer. With a projected budget of 60m, I should be able to afford a top level striker and Tierney at LB.

Loftus Cheek has done OK for me playing as AM, support or attack depending on match tactics and opposition. He even banged in a hat trick against Tel Aviv. Might give him a go as Shadow Striker, though Andreas Pereira has been even better this year. He’s a great threat from set pieces, and has upped his scoring game with 10 goals from 26 games despite only 9 for finishing attribute.

Just missed out on Rajkovic(?) as backup for Gunn for a bargain 1m to Atletico Madrid, despite me offering a bigger salary. Roma bought him early on but hardly played him. 

Also going to try again for Cunha after how he’s done for you. Couldn’t get him last summer to replace Harry Wilson, despite offering 25m. RB Leipzig dont play Jim, think he’s played 3 games up to end of Jan, but he’s not pushing to leave. Hopefully he does by the end of the season and I can get him on the cheap.

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January transfer window update.

Brought in Radamel Falcao on a free just before Christmas. Zlatan has retired, Munir had just got injured, and I couldn’t recall my regen Parkinson on loan from QPR until Jan 1st.

Also got Adnan Januzaj on loan from Chelsea, as Tom Lawrence’s form on right wing has dropped off, and Chong has been average.

Renato Sanches was loan listed just before the window *slammed* shut, so I got him in on the back of how well he’s done for @JaytheGreat. I don’t really need him, as Tonali, Drinkwater, Winks and Murgia are all doing well, but couldn’t turn it down. Might have created myself a problem trying to keep them all happy.

That said, there are plenty of games with the Europa League KO stages starting with a tricky tie against Udinese, and still in FA Cup. Lost in Carabao Cup to Liverpool as mentioned before.

League form is looking better. After 26 games I’m in 6th. Just a point behind Leicester, and 3 points above Spurs.

Arsenal sacked Rafa Benitez after a poor start to the season left them in 13th. Freddie Ljungberg has stepped in as caretaker, since when they’ve dropped to 16th. They’re lucky Cardiff and the big spending Wolves are so bad that they are keeping the Gunners 12 points clear of the relegation zone. Maybe I’ll get Sessegnon on the cheap if Wolves go down to solve my weak left back problem...

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@Irobinson69 There are a lot of games in the season with European Competition, so I feel your pain. Hopefully Sanches plays as well for you as he does for me. If Arsenal keeps it up you should be able to pouch some of their players. Good luck the rest of the way. 

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Dumped out of the Europa League by Udinese. Board not too happy about it. Andreas Pereira got sent off 17 mins into the first leg away. I thought we did quite well to just lose 2-1, but then despite dominating the home leg, Udinese were clinical and beat us 3-2 at Pride Park.

8 games to go in the league, and still a point behind Leicester, so 5th is achievable. A Champions League spot will be a stretch though as Chelsea are 8 points ahead.

FA Cup Quarter Final at home to Newcastle coming up, so a decent chance of reaching the Wembley semi finals.

 

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Bad luck against Udinese but plenty of games to overtake Leicester

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Yeah would’ve got an easier tie against Club Brugge in the next round too. Form is falling away but Leicester keep throwing away points too. 5th would be progress, though would love to win FA Cup. Geordies up next...

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Wembley here we come! 

Well we actually were there in the semis against Stoke. Took an easy 3-0 win, with my youth prospect newgen Parkinson finally scoring his first goal. Chelsea to come in the final.

League form is still iffy, but holding onto 6th place as Leicester and Tottenham keep throwing games away too. Got thumped 4-0 at home to Liverpool. We bizarrely played in the middle of an international break so had half my team missing. Though they had the same issue, they still had an all star team such is the depth of their squad.

If I’d planned better as England boss, I’d have called up lots of their team, and not taken Gunn and Chambers on international duty. 

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Posted (edited)

Congratulations on making the FA Cup (is it?) final, @Irobinson69! Good luck against Chelsea!

That international break thing is odd.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Lucky I didn’t get suited up. We were leading Chelsea 3-1, but they came back to level 3-3 with 82mins gone. A bizarre own goal where it came back off the post then in off Angus Gunn’s arse 🤬

I know it happens in real life occasionally, but annoying it seems to happen 1-2 times a season.

Morata completed his hat trick in Extra Time, and another by Iwobi made it 5-3. Munir pulled one back, but we lost out 5-4. A great effort, but frustrating after we hammered Chelsea at Pride Park 5-0 on last game of season, just after Man Utd whooped them 7-1.

Finished in 6th again. Less points, fewer goals, but we are now tougher to beat. Was the season of solidifying I expected after a poor transfer window. With 63m in the kitty, a couple of big signings will hopefully take us to challenging for the top 4, and a better run in the Europa League.

Harry Wilson’s been transfer listed so looking up for this window :)

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That’s bad luck, @Irobinson69, but congratulations on another good season overall.

Hopefully you can have a good transfer window and kick-on again after a season consolidating in sixth. How many seasons have you been in the EPL now?

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Just finished 2nd, so that was 20/21 season. Bit of anti claimax after last season, but if you’d offered me 6th this year and an FA Cup final just 2 seasons after promotion, I’d have snapped your hand off.

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It's the end of the summer transfer window again and here's the recap.

1st signing Fabio Silva 22 Striker from FCP - 32 mil  4.9 mil/per year

It was Xadas last year, now it's SIlva this year. We stole him right from under the nose of most of the big time European teams. A great all around striker who can get better. Great physicals, combined with good mental stats, and 17 dribbling, 1st touch, and technique. 15 finishing, and 14 passing. Silva is an insane player and I've already started working on a 2 striker formation to fit him and Bengtssen on the field at the same time.

 

2nd signing Kristoffer Ajer 26 from Arsenal - 14 mil  4.88 mil/per year

The ultimate Swiss (Danish) army knife, he can fill in as a Ball Playing CB, Ball WInning DM, and as a Box to Box CM. He fits amazingly into the important defensive positions I run, and he turned down deals from Atletico Mardrid and Man Utd to play here at Derby. The former starting CB at Arsenal he was transfer listed but it's hard to see why. He is not the fastest by any means, he makes up for it with his strength and technical abilities. 15s in Marking, Passing, Heading, combined with 14 or above stats in First Touch, Tackling, Vision, Balance, Strength, Positioning, and Jumping Reach. An all around solid player who provides great depth for the team.  

 

3rd signing Vinicius Junior 23 AML from Real Madrid - 105 mil  7.54 mil/per year

FINALLY, I've been trying to get VInicius to Derby for about 3 seasons now. Are there better players I've could have spent the money on, probably but screw it I wanted him. He's got really good pace combined with very dribbling and flair. Since he didn't get a lot of game time at Real Madrid he hasn't developed into to top player he can be, but I know I he will fit right in with our attack. He still has time to develop and he will get the game time he needs here. The fact that I can pull him from Madrid to begin with is a major coup in my mind, and means we aren't to far off from where I want to be. 

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Three great signings there, @JaytheGreat. 105 million on one player. Finances must be very healthy. Good luck 🍀

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@Stuniverse The Vinicius Junior move probably won't go down as my smartest move ever but, after the summer we still have above 50 mil in the bank and another season in the Champions League to boost us financially. 

 

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Great signings @JaytheGreat. What season are you up to now? Be good to see what your full squad is looking like. Nice one with Vinicius, sometimes you’ve got to go with your gut.

Just been given £80m to spend at end of 20/21 season so very happy with that. £14m has just gone on Harry Wilson who was transfer listed. 

 

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Thanks @Irobinson69 I'm currently in the 2024/2025 season. As far as my squad goes

Strikers:

Jack Marriott

Casper Bengtssen

Fabio Silva

Matheus Cunha 

 

Wingers:

Vinicius Junior

Zoran Vujosevic

Zacharia Bakkali

 

Midfielders:

Xadas

Renato Sanches

Mason Mount

Xavier Schlager

Denis Zakaria 

 

Full Backs:

Andreas Poulsen

Pablo Maffeo

Max Lowe

Jayden Bogle

 

Center Backs:

Hector Murrillo

Chris Mepham

Svetozar Markovic

Kristoffer Ajer 

 

Goal Keeper:

Predrag Rajkovic 

 

 

 

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Looking strong! Picked up Sanches on loan for next season, though he only showed glimpses of his quality in latter half of last season. Do you play him as BBM?

Could have also got Vinicius Jr on loan, but with Marin first choice, and bringing in Martial to play up front and reserve AML, couldn’t really justify it.

Also passed on Ajer who is available on loan from Liverpool. Took Ampadu on loan instead since he’ll probably less unhappy as being used as 4th choice cover.

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@Irobinson69 Yes I play Sanches in the box to box role. You are certainly further ahead team wise then I was at that stage, good luck with your up coming season.

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Summer 2021 transfer window now closed and much happier with the deals we have done this year.

IN

Harry Wilson (14m)

Felix Passlack (15m)

Kurt Zouma (16.75m)

Renato Sanches (loan)

Ricardo Rodriguez (11.75m)

Ethan Ampadu (loan)

Kieran Tierney (17.5m + 4m extras)

Anthony Martial (26m + 10m extras)

Plus some young regens Nuno Costa, Dorlan Charla and Bart Keizer who all go out on loan.

 

OUT

John Souttar (40m)

Douglas Santos (22.5m)

Tom Lawrence (8m)

Andrew Parkinson (loan)

 

AMR and LB were definitely my priorities, and got my first choices in Tierney and Wilson. With a decent chance to double my money on the inconsistent Santos, I cashed in and bought Rodriguez who had been listed by Real Madrid. This was before I’d managed to convince Tierney to join after a year long pursuit and numerous rejections. Now I have an embarrassment of riches.

Similar at RB, where I now have Passlack, Bogle and Walker Peters. Need to keep Bogle and Mason Bennett to help on the home grown at club requirements of Europa League, though now Marin and Tonali are also trained by club after 3yrs.

Zouma adds some much needed pace and aerial strength at CB. Lost so many goals to through balls and diagonal passes last season. Didn’t really want to let Souttar go, but 40m for a player who I’d bought for 4m just 2 years before.

Martial will be playing up front, rotating with Munir. Arsenal did come in for Munir and Andreas Pereira but weren’t offering a premium. Would never have let Pereira leave, but would have allowed Munir to go for the right price. As he stayed, I allowed my regen wonderkid homegrown striker Parkinson go to West Ham on loan.

Was tempted to bring in a 32yo Sergio Aguero who has been listed for 4.8m, but he wanted 225k a week waged which would have been double my top earners.

Hoping to go close for Champions League place this year, and we need to do much better in Europa League. 

We’re looking good for the future, with the board increasing our stadium capacity to the maximum 50,000. Maybe some silverware in the next couple of seasons might see them build an Ian Robinson Arena soon enough :)

Won the European League Cup with England too, just edging Germany in extra time. Should walk our World Cup qualifying group, so looking forward to a World Cup next year too. 

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@Irobinson69 Those are some amazing transfers in and your team should definitely be Champions League quality, can't wait to see what this season brings for you and your squad. Also good work with the England national team they should be a force during the World Cup.

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I normally don't do a winter update but we have a situation brewing.

68510884_winterupdate.thumb.jpg.848fe7179725abad0c60b405eaffefe6.jpg

With 15 games remaining Derby is top of the League! We started the season on an 11 game unbeaten streak until we lost 4-1 at Old Trafford in the 2nd week of November. Also we hit a point were all 3 if my wingers got hurt at the same time, fortunately for us summer signing Fabio Silva has been incredible 18 goals in 14 starts in the Premier League and 22 goals in 17 starts in all competitions. He's been a complete monster so far.

The other news is long time Derby striker and save legend Jack Marriot was finally left the club for West Ham at the start of the winter transfer market. The 30 year old who spent 7 seasons at Pride Park leaves with 85 league goals and 123 goals overall, he leaves as the 6th all time Derby goal scoring leader. His contract was expiring and I didn't want to let him go a free so I accepted the 7 mil offer for him. Cheers to you Mr. Marriott I hope your career continues to shine, and our paths cross somewhere down the road,

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Cracking first half of the season, @JaytheGreat. Good 🍀 luck in the second half. 

Bad news about all your wingers being injured at the same time. When will they be fit?

Looks like as you bid farewell to one Rams legend you’re welcoming another in Fabio Silva.

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@Stuniverse Vinicius Junior and Vujosevic are back and Bakkali should be back within a week, all three have been out for about a month. I certainly hope Silva has the kind of career Marriott did for me.

@Irobinson69 He's the young striker from FCP, and it's a bit of a revenge tie against Real Madrid as they knocked me out at the same stage last year. 

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Might have a look at him. He’s 19 on my game and not played much for FCP. Stats look decent but not amazing - how’s he looking on yours and what did he set you back?

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On 03/06/2019 at 08:10, JaytheGreat said:

@Irobinson69 He cost me 32 mil

Silva.thumb.jpg.3f19516a0725ffe7f58f772494c9d2ca.jpg

 

Currently he's got 29 goals and 5 assists in 25 starts.

 

I’ll see how my regen Andrew Parkinson gets on as Tony Martial’s backup. Might go for him at end of seasons.

Far more importantly - how did you finish the league??

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@Irobinson69 It's been a back and forth battle between us and Arsenal. Arsenal overtook us for 1st place after we got blown out by Man Utd on March 15th, after neither team had lost until 4/19 when Liverpool beat Arsenal 1-0 at Anfield giving us a two point lead and set the stage for this. 

Update.thumb.jpg.4f1b696580a8ca41e91e9478f44a90bf.jpg

We now have a point lead over 2nd place Arsenal, and 7 point lead over 3rd place Man Utd with 3 games left. Also we beat Real Madrid, overturning a 2-0 deficit by winning 4-0 at Pride Park. Now we play Liverpool in the Champions League Semi Finals. 

 

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