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PaulHartman71

[FM19] The Hart Chronicles - Volume IV: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be!

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A fairly low key summer by my usual standards, but I was very happy to to get Lingard's mate Marcus Rashford across the line. Much like Sterling at City he was unhappy not playing first team football, so he's come to Serie A to test himself. Rashford, Lingard and Sterling now all in the side representing the England team which is nice. 

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Not a great draw by any means. I am kind of happy to draw Liverpool as I still have a bit of beef with them from my time at PSG. 

Look at this group though: 

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Looks like a Europa League group ffs :D 

 

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Mid-Season Update

 

Italian Super Cup

 

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I was gutted about this one. We went 2-0 up and I thought this was going to be the time we finally beat Juve and got our hands on a trophy, but they fought back and then beat us on penalties. 

 

Italian Cup

 

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So far, so good. 

 

Serie A

 

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It was a pretty nice run of games to start the season off, but even so I was very happy to make it 6 wins from 6. 

 

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We made it 7 in a row with a win over Genoa, before Atalanta held us to a goalless draw. We managed to win a hard fought game against Fiorentina next though, then drew at home to Inter and beat rivals Lazio away to continue our unbeaten run. That ended in our next game as we lost to Juventus though, then we dropped some more points at Sampdoria. 

 

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A surprise defeat at home to Sassuolo on a Monday night was far from ideal, but we followed that up with 3 impressive away wins on the bounce against Chievo, Parma and Udinese. Napoli held us to a draw before we capped the mid-way point to the season with a 1-0 win against Cittadella. 

 

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It looks like Juve's 11+ year of terror might finally be over, but unfortunately it will probably be AC Milan who end it. They're 10 points above them with a game in hand, but you can never count The Old Lady out. I don't think we will be able to mount a title challenge though. 

 

Champions League

 

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The group of death got off to a great start in Ukraine as what looked like it was going to be a bore-draw ended in a huge win thanks to a later goal from Lorenzo Pellegrini. The home game with Liverpool was anything but boring though, with 7 goals on the clock and unfortunately 5 went against us in a game that ex-Liverpool by Raheem Sterling missed through injury. It was important to avoid defeat in both matches versus Sevilla and we did just that, with a win at home and a decent point in Spain. 

Shakhtar were hard to break down again at home, but we held firm and won thanks to a brace from Patrik Schnick. We'd already qualified and couldn't top the group, but it was great to go to Anfield and nick a draw, with Jesse Lingard particularly enjoying his goal at the Kop End. 

 

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I'm very pleased to have got through that group as fairly comfortably as we did. 

The draw for the knockout round has been made and it just had to be didn't it... we will face my old side Arsenal again :D 

I'm quite excited for it as it's a good opportunity to put one over on them after they smashed us in the Europa. If we're going out to anyone I'd rather at least test myself against them. 

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Posted (edited)

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We seem to sell a big player to Man City every window now, but they came in with big money for Lorenzo Pellegrini and I couldn't really say no. He's a great player, but I was blessed to come to the club when 3 young CM/CAMs were coming through who all look very good, so unlike Sterling, Shnick, Rashford, Lingard, Manolas or Florenzi, he's a player I can afford to lose especially when the money is that good. 

Mirko Antonucci is a 24 year old versatile winger who was a decent back-up option, but to sell him for £10M was good money when a decent youngster could serve the role he's filling in the squad. 

 

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Adilson Rosario has been on loan with us since the start of the season. I managed to make the deal permanent for just £3.8M. 

My scouts were raving about both Eugenio Mariotti and Izaro Llorente, both teenager CM/CAMs and so with Pellegrinni leaving I thought it was worth getting them in for the decent price that I paid for them. 

We're sort of in a weird position where to improve on our first 11 we have to spend big big money, like £50-60M which we can only afford to do once a season, so with all other signings they will probably have to be loans, free transfers or small youth players with high potential. We have a very young squad outside of the main positions and I'm hoping this will benefit us in the next season or 2 when we can really have a go and compete at the highest level. 

Edited by PaulHartman71

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End of Season Update

 

Italian Cup

 

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A vintage performance away to Atalanta which saw Patrik Shnick sink 4 goals home took us into the Semi-Finals, where we comfortably beat Napoli home and away. 

 

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A Raheem Sterling goal sealed my first trophy in Italian football, thankfully we managed to avoid both Juventus and Milan on the way to cup success. 

 

Serie A

 

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A decent draw at home to Milan thanks to a Sterling goal kicked off a great run of form, with victories against Bologna, Palermo, SPAL, Torino and Salernitana. 

 

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We had a bore draw with Genoa, before beating Atalanta thanks to a late winner from Raheem the Dream. A disappointing loss to Fiorentina followed, but then a Jesse Lingard brace and last gasp winner from Umberto De Francesco gave us a huge victory at the San Siro. 

De Francesco was on hand to help sink rivals Lazio, before we pulled off an impressive 3-3 draw at Juve. We then beat Sampdoria, before very disappointing losses to Sassuolo and Chievo. 

 

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If the title wasn't loss already with those back-to-back losses it certainly was when we lost at the San Siro to Mlan, but we did at least win our final 3 games of the season against Parma, Udinese and Napoli. 

 

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Juve's 12 year reign of terror is finally over, but unfortunately it wasn't us who ended it, with Milan ending up worthy winners although we did give them a good go. Kind of annoying that if we'd won those two games we should've won against winnable opposition we'd have been champions, but we did get lucky in a lot of matches this season too so you have to keep that in mind too. Absolutely hilarious that Juve ended up 6th though :D 

 

Champions League

 

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I was excited to return to the Emirates to try and avenge our embarrassing exit in the Europa League last season, but sadly my old side were way too strong once again and beat us 3-0 in the home tie. The tie was pretty much dead, but we still pushed for it at my old ground. We went 1-0 up early on through Rashford and I thought it was on, but Guendouzi fired home an equaliser and then Nelson added a 2nd before half-time. We pulled it back to 2-2 but we weren't getting another 3 goals. 5-2 on aggregate is better than 6-2 on aggregate though!

 

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Raheem the Dream was the worthy winner of Serie A POTY once again. Florenzi, Manolas and Becao had decent seasons in defence, with Patrik Shnick and Marcus Rashford the other stand out performers. 

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Career History

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season      Club        League             Position            Achievements/Other
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19     Arsenal     Premier League       4th               Europa League winners
2019/20     Arsenal     Premier League       2nd               Champions League winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21     Paris SG    Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1 & Coupe de la Ligue winners
2021/22     Paris SG    Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1, Champions League & Trophee Des Champions winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022/23     AS Roma     Serie A              3rd               Italian Cup runners-up
2023/24     AS Roma     Serie A              2nd               Italian Cup winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Trophy Cabinet

 

Champions League      x2 - 2019/20 (Arsenal), 2021/22 (Paris SG)
Europa League         x1 - 2018/19 (Arsenal)

Italian Cup           x1 - 2023/24 (AS Roma)

Ligue 1               x2 - 2020/21, 2021/22 (Paris SG) 
Coupe de la Ligue     x1 - 2020/21 (Paris SG)
Trophee Des Champions x1 - 2021/22 (Paris SG)

 

Nations Completed

 

1. England - Arsenal 
2. France  - Paris SG

 

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Atletico Madrid coming ever so close to ruling themselves out of me for Spain, but this time they were thwarted by Zidane's Real Madrid in the final, as the former Galactico gets another CL to add to his collection. Simeone has actually taken the Manchester United job this summer and been replaced by Pep, can Pep go one better than Simeone and win the CL for them? I hope not. 

Pretty cool to see my two old sides face in the Quarter Final, with Arsenal coming out on top of a high scoring set of games. Rangers possibly the biggest surprise making the knockout stages, with Krasnodar of Russia also an unfamiliar face making it through. 

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Zidane won La Liga too, but some interesting developments as Barcelona shockingly end up 5th and out of the CL. Klopp was sacked and replaced by former Valencia manager Marcelino. Valencia and Celta Vigo will be happy in the Top 4, whilst fairly disappointing seasons for Sociedad, Villarreal and Bilbao. 

 

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There's a 3rd consecutive different winner of the Bundesliga that isn't Bayern. This time it was Leipzig who did it. Big seasons for Hoffenheim and especially FC Koln, whilst nightmares for Dortmund and Schalke. 

 

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Krasnodar couldn't retain their crown and it looks like CL football hindered them domestically, as they slumped to 5th, with Spartak Moscow crowned as champions. 

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An extremely uneventful summer. I signed a young Portuguese regen RB to be back-up to Florenzi and hopefully take over from him by the end of next season.

The main problem we have is that we're a club who has to sell to buy. I had a budget of £30M + £150K p/w, but if I want to buy a player who will improve on my first 11 and is under the age of 30 then I need to spend double that. I've adopted the project youth mentality with the idea of taking punts on younger players from around Europe, as well as the talented players from the youth system (although both intakes since I've been here have been ****, despite 4-5 quality players being there when I got there :D) and building with them. So now it's a waste of time getting in loans too as that's just blocking their development. 

I'm hoping we can win the title within 2 seasons, not sure on the CL. I think we will have to get lucky with the draws or get some big transfer fees for some players and re-invest wisely. 

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I'll take this group over the last one all day long, although probably gonna end up 2nd again behind City. Obviously Leipzig are German champions but another absolutely Europa League looking group this year: 

 

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Mid-Season Update

 

Serie A

 

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A tricky start to the season as our opening game was at the San Siro against Inter, who dominated and beat us 3-1. We restored some pride with a win against Benevento, but then lost to arch-rivals Lazio away from home in a disappointing display. We beat Sampdoria 3-0, but then had a tough trip to Juventus and lost 3-1. 3 losses from our first 5 games was hard to take, but they were all tricky away games. We then beat Salernitana 3-0. 

 

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An absolutely huge win against title holders Milan at the San Siro in what was a must win game kick-started a good run, which saw us beat Torino, Entella and Palermo. We barely avoided defeat at Napoli, before winning against Sassuolo and SPAL, but sadly lost at Cagliari in a very poor game. 

 

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A 2-1 win at Fiorentina as we came from behind, before a goals fest at Atalanta saw us lose 4-3. We ended the year well with a win at Chievo and at home to Genoa. 

 

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To have lost 6 games and still be well in the mix for Top 4 and not completely out of the title shows just how tight it is in Italian football now. Milan hilariously after winning the title are down in 7, but it does show that there's realistically 7 sides fighting it out for Top 4 now which is pretty mad. Juve in pole position to right their wrong of last season and be champions again though. 

 

Champions League

 

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Rashford got things off to a great start at home to his old rivals, but they came back with a brace from Gabriel Jesus enough to sink us. Hoffenheim really brought it at home and it took 4 goals to sink them, before a double header against Club Brugge who were pretty poor. We pulled off a big 2-2 draw away to City, before another 4-3 classic this time at home with Hoffenheim. 

 

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Man City did us a huge favour and managed to lose in Hoffenheim and draw in Brugge, which meant we somehow took the group and got us a more favourable 1st knockout draw. We've got Shakhtar, which is by no means going to be easy, but a lot more appealing than the likes of PSG, Arsenal, Real Madrid etc who we could have got. 

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End of Season Update

 

Italian Super Cup

 

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I wasn't massively bothered about this, but it would've been nice to win especially since Milan have been so poor this season. 

 

Italian Cup

 

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A very early exit to Fiorentina in the Quarter Final, but as the season progressed we were probably better off for having no cup distractions...

 

Serie A

 

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We got the new year off to a bang with two 3-1 victories against Inter and Benevento, before two straight draws against Lazio and Sampdoria, with the latter coming courtesy of a late Schnick goal. We then beat Udinese 1-0, before a poor 0-0 draw away to Salernitana. What followed was probably our greatest victory since I took over the club. Juventus went 1-0 up in the first half and looked certain to hold on to the win, before Sterling burst through in the 93rd minute to grab a huge equaliser. I was ecstatic to get a point, but then we broke away against Juve almost as soon as they kicked off and Sterling got through again to set Schnick up for an unbelievable winner which was the catalyst for a surge at the title. 

 

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We beat Entella 3-2 in our next game, with a win at Torino following that. We could only draw at home to Milan, but then beat Palermo 3-0 away from home with a Shnick brace. We got absolutely turned over by Napoli 4-1, but then beat SPAL and Udinese in consecutive away matches. 

 

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We had a very nice run of games to end the season aside from the away trip to Atalanta, but even so we did very well to win all 6, making it 8 wins from 8 to round off the season...

 

 

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It shows how tight things are that we lost 6 matches and still won the title, but brilliant stuff overall as we pipped Inter to the trophy in the end to mark Roma's first Serie A in 24 years. Milan surged back after a poor start but could not finish in the top 4, with Juve back in it after missing out last year. 

 

Champions League

 

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Shakhtar defended very well in their home leg and I was very worried when we didn't get an away goal, but I had nothing to worry about as an unbelievable performance from Marcus Rashford saw us win 4-1 at home, with the former United striker getting all 4 of the goals. 

 

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Monaco are far from an easy side but considering some of the other sides on offer I was quite pleased to get them in the Quarter Final. We won the away leg 2-0 which more or less tied it up, but then much like against Shakhtar we absolutely smashed them at home to set up a Semi Final clash with Liverpool. 

 

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It was a step too far in the end as Jorge Jesus' side turned us over very comfortably over two legs, including a 4-0 win at Anfield which saw a brace from Sadio Mane. 

 

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Rashford was our best player by some distance, but the season also saw good performances from Alessio Riccardi, Patrick Shnick, Florenzi and Sterling when he was fit. This was Sterling's worst season for injuries so far, as he ended up starting just 25 games. He's 30 in the summer and if I get a decent offer for him I might sell him given his record with injuries. Pau Lopez our first choice keeper also picked up a big injury in February which put him out for the season, so 20 year old deputy Luigi Moro got a lot more game time than I imagined. He coped well tbf and it was good for his development, he was good enough in the league that we still managed to win it, but perhaps with Lopez in goal against Liverpool we're in the tie more. 

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Career History

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season      Club        League             Position            Achievements/Other
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19     Arsenal     Premier League       4th               Europa League winners
2019/20     Arsenal     Premier League       2nd               Champions League winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21     Paris SG    Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1 & Coupe de la Ligue winners
2021/22     Paris SG    Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1, Champions League & Trophee Des Champions winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022/23     AS Roma     Serie A              3rd               Italian Cup runners-up
2023/24     AS Roma     Serie A              2nd               Italian Cup winners
2024/25     AS Roma     Serie A              1st               Serie A winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Trophy Cabinet

 

Champions League      x2 - 2019/20 (Arsenal), 2021/22 (Paris SG)
Europa League         x1 - 2018/19 (Arsenal)

Serie A               x1 - 2024/25 (AS Roma)
Italian Cup           x1 - 2023/24 (AS Roma)

Ligue 1               x2 - 2020/21, 2021/22 (Paris SG) 
Coupe de la Ligue     x1 - 2020/21 (Paris SG)
Trophee Des Champions x1 - 2021/22 (Paris SG)

 

Nations Completed

 

1. England - Arsenal 
2. France  - Paris SG

 

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f926ce7bd52fd16661eb4c6e8dc66d61.png

 

Terrible news as Rafa Benitez's RB Leipzig side pull off a huge upset in the Champions League final and beat Liverpool 6-2! Of course I'd usually be happy to see Liverpool lose, but RB Leipzig were probably my best prospect in Germany so to have them off the cards now too is annoying. You can't say they didn't deserve it though, as they beat City 5-2 and Arsenal 4-2 on aggregate to end up worthy winners. 

A good showing from Valencia saw them reach the Quarter Finals at PSG's expense, whilst Celta Vigo, Shakhtar and Russian champions Spartak Moscow did well to reach the knockout rounds. 

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Barcelona win La Liga with rivals Real Madrid in 2nd. A good showing from Valencia in 3rd and Atletico rounding it up in 4th. Celta Vigo perhaps distracted by the CL this season, whilst no Europe for Sevilla next season. 

 

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Another title-less year for Bayern, as Dortmund win the title this time, Leipzig coming close to winning the Bundesliga as well as the Champions League. Leverkusen round up the Top 4, with a poor year for Schalke seeing them finish in 10th. Koln drop out of Europe altogether after perhaps over-achieving last season. 

 

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Spartak Moscow retain their title in Russia, with Zenit and Rubin finishing 2nd and 3rd again. A fantastic season for Orenburg who finish in the European places having only been promoted this season. 

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Summer Transfer Window

 

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It was certainly more eventful than last season. The main departures were goalkeeper Pau Lopez and Jesse Lingard. Lopez was in the last year of his contract and refused to renew, with Arsenal and Tottenham interested it was a no brainer to let them fight it out for him and we got a very fair price in £40M. Lingard was 32 and also in the last year of his deal. I could've renewed, but he wanted a 30K wage boost to £160K which I didn't feel was warranted and we have Umberto De Francesco who has come through the youth academy and is more than ready to replace him anyway. Valencia gave us a decent price and off he went. Khalid El-Morabet was a pretty decent DM prospect who cam through the youth academy but I don't use a DM so he was wasted as a squad player for us. 

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The big buy was our new CB, Juan Carlos Aguilar who joins from Sevilla. It was big money and more than I wanted to spend on a CB but he is extremely good and well worth the price at that age too. He wasn't the best option we had but the 2 options that were better than him were quoted at over £100M, as were the 4 options that were "less good" than he was ffs :D The prices for elite younger players is mad and we only got this guy because he had a release clause in his contract, but I think we will see value for what we paid for sure. 

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Albin Lafont is not a particularly elite goalkeeper, but we just couldn't afford to sign anyone that was proper elite. Again I was quoted at over £100M for all other targets, so for £16M comparatively we got a pretty decent deal in the end. Luigi Moro has the potential to be good enough to replace him, but he still has 2-3 years before he is at that level I think. 

 

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Florenzi is 34 now and despite another decent season we really had to get someone in to potentially replace him. I'm not sure why AC Milan were willing to let this guy go for just £13.5M, but he was transfer listed and an absolute steal at that price. He's not an elite level full back by any means but he has some unbelievable mental stats especially for a 25 year old. Enough to give Florenzi some competition at least, as Luis Luz who I signed to do that still looks some way off doing that. 

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Well done winning the Scudetto.

Who are Entella that made it to Serie A? I've never heard of them before.

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52 minutes ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Well done winning the Scudetto.

Who are Entella that made it to Serie A? I've never heard of them before.

 

Virtus Entella is the full name if that rings any bells, although looking at their history if you've not managed in Italy in the last 5 seasons you probably wouldn't have noticed them. I certainly hadn't before this save!

From what I gather on Wikpedia they've been a traditional 3rd/4th tier side for much of their 100 year history, with the 2014/15 real life season marking their first ever venture as high as Serie B. Looks like they've done pretty well in game even so as they started the save in Serie C then won promotion in 2021/22 to Serie B again, before going up to Serie A in the playoffs last season. 

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Mid-Season Update

 

Italian Cup

 

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A 5-0 win saw us past SPAL in the 1st Round. 

 

Serie A

 

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A very strong start to the season as we win 6 of our first 7 games, with SPAL actually being the only side we dropped points against. Rashford in tremendous form. 

 

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2 more wins including a good win against Napoli, before we barely escaped with a draw against Fiorentina and lost to Unai Emery's Inter Milan. We bounced back too pull off a huge 3-0 win against Juve though, then won at Novara and at home to Verona. 

 

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2 poor performances saw us lose to Milan and Atalanta, before an unbelievable trouncing of Udinese. We then picked up 2 more wins to end the year on a high. 

 

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Emery's Inter in fantastic form and in pole position, with Milan potentially in a strong position if they win their game in hand. A long way to go yet though. 

 

Champions League

 

 

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I wouldn't say we had an easy draw, but it wasn't super hard especially when you consider how long it's been since Bayern have won the Bundesliga. Bayern proved to be the only side who could beat us as we got taken apart 3-0 away, but we won all of our other games including a 3-0 win at home to them with a Rashford hat-trick. 

 

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Can't not be happy with that. We've got Porto in the next round, which considering we could've had Atletico or Man United we have to be happy with. 

 

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883933765c077f399fa34f3afe437f80.png

 

Nothing too exciting this January, although long-running central defender Rodrigo Becao moved to China. He was disappointed he wasn't playing that much with Aguilar coming in and he was on a lot of money for us to just be on the bench and barely playing. We've got Joao Lopes and Adilson who are both good CBs so when he asked to leave and a few Chinese sides were interested it was a no brainer really. 

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Enjoyable read this one.

Is it just the Champions League glory you are interested in?

For example if you go to a nation and win the CL but haven't yet won the League, will you still move on?

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, WillHoward42 said:

Enjoyable read this one.

Is it just the Champions League glory you are interested in?

For example if you go to a nation and win the CL but haven't yet won the League, will you still move on?

 

Yeah I'm just gonna go for the Champions League, although I imagine once I reach the sides outside of England, Spain, France, Germany and Italy it will be almost impossible to have a CL winning quality side not win their domestic title as well.

Edited by PaulHartman71

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Posted (edited)

End of Season Update

 

Italian Super Cup

 

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Inter held their ground and took us to extra-time, but a Nestor Ruiz finish with one of the last kicks of the game gifted us the win. 

 

Italian Cup

 

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A good win against Parma in the Quarter Final, but we were quite poor against rivals Lazio in the Semi Final and slumped to a defeat over two legs. 

 

Serie A

 

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A dramatic start to the new year saw a 4-4 draw at home to Chievo, before we dropped points on the road twice to Sampdoria and SPAL, in both games we were pretty fortunate to avoid defeat. We then won 3 on the bounce against Sassuolo, Genoa and Palermo, before another draw away to Cagliari. 

 

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A 6-0 thrashing of Bologna was followed up with a draw at home to Napoli, before we beat Fiorentina and then picked up two huge victories at home to Inter Milan and away to The Old Lady. We then beat Novara and Verona, before losing a 2-0 lead to Milan at home. 

 

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We beat Atalanta 2-1, but then drew with rivals Lazio and Udinese, before a rampant 5-0 win on the last day of the season. 

 

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We would've won the league last year with the total we got this year, but unfortunately Unai Emery's Inter Milan had a very strong season and won their first title since 2009/10. We scored a hell of a lot of goals but I think it's clear our defence wasn't as strong which ultimately cost us. Juventus out of the Top 4 again is pretty hilarious. 

 

Champions League

 

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Sterling and Rashford were on hand to get vital away goals in Portugal, before Patrik Schick put it out of sight in the first half at home. 

 

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You never look forward to drawing Barcelona, but I had a look and took some hope from the fact they hadn't reached a Semi for 6 years. They brought their A game in the first leg and got two huge away goals, although we did put 3 past them which put us in a good position. They took the lead in the first half through Leroy Sane and with the tie held at 3-3 they were set to go through on away goals, but then Patrik Schick fired home after a corner which gave us a narrow 4-3 lead. It was a very nervy end to the game but we held out for a solid result. 

 

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Raheem Sterling broke his wrist and so we were without the former City player for these games, but Schick was on hand to get two big away goals in the first leg, with Marco Asensio grabbing a goal for the hosts to keep them involved. We made the tie 3-1 in the first half of the second leg through Marcus Rashford, but City came back in the second half with goals from our former man Lorenzo Pellegrini and Ousmane Dembele, but Schick was the hero late on and his last minute goal prevented the tie from going to extra-time and put us in the final with City's arch rivals Man United. 

 

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I could take some solace from the fact that United's manager Diego Simeone had never before won a Champions League, whilst I'd been in 2 finals and come out on top both times. I suppose that record was going to come to an end one day and unfortunately at the Johan Cruyff Arena it did, thanks to goals from Lukaku, Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho. Giampaolo Perin gave a fantastic account of himself filling in for the injured Sterling, as the youth academy product grabbed a 2nd half brace, but sadly we couldn't find a 3rd to equalise and take it to extra-time. 

 

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Rashford had an incredible season with 39 goals and 10 assists from 47 games, whilst Sterling, Schick and new boy Juan Carlos Aguilar were also standout performers. 

 

Edited by PaulHartman71

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Career History

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season      Club        League             Position            Achievements/Other
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19     Arsenal     Premier League       4th               Europa League winners
2019/20     Arsenal     Premier League       2nd               Champions League winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21     Paris SG    Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1 & Coupe de la Ligue winners
2021/22     Paris SG    Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1, Champions League & Trophee Des Champions winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022/23     AS Roma     Serie A              3rd               Italian Cup runners-up
2023/24     AS Roma     Serie A              2nd               Italian Cup winners
2024/25     AS Roma     Serie A              1st               Serie A winners
2025/26     AS Roma     Serie A              2nd               Italian Super Cup winners & Champions League runners-up
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

 

Trophy Cabinet

 

Champions League      x2 - 2019/20 (Arsenal), 2021/22 (Paris SG)
Europa League         x1 - 2018/19 (Arsenal)

Serie A               x1 - 2024/25 (AS Roma)
Italian Cup           x1 - 2023/24 (AS Roma)
Italian Super Cup     x1 - 2025/26 (AS Roma)

Ligue 1               x2 - 2020/21, 2021/22 (Paris SG) 
Coupe de la Ligue     x1 - 2020/21 (Paris SG)
Trophee Des Champions x1 - 2021/22 (Paris SG)

 

Nations Completed

 

1. England - Arsenal 
2. France  - Paris SG

 

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Posted (edited)

6fb6aaeb73d66b53bfd23ba1c2cb5b52.png

 

Valencia doing well and almost make the Semi Finals if not for Real Madrid, whilst Monaco also doing quite well to make the Quarter Final. Inter a good side but also showing United's class as they got turned over by them in the Quarter Final. Porto, Spartak Moscow and Benfica also notable names in the knockout stage. 

Edited by PaulHartman71

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ba25a0e10263ddfdad635936d29ab90c.png

 

Guardiola wins the title with Atletico, whilst it's an awful season for Real Madrid who drop out of the Top 4. Good seasons for Sociedad and Valencia who make Top 4, with Villarreal and Bilbao beating Sevilla and Vigo to Europa League. 

 

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Bayern are back as Nagelssman's men win their first Bundesliga for 5 years. Leverkusen having another decent year, with Dortmund and Leipzig also remaining in the Top 4. Hertha Berlin doing quite well to get 6th. 

 

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Spartak win their 3rd straight title but both Krasnodar and Zenit pushed them very hard, with just 2 points separating 1st and 3rd in the end. A great year for Arsenal Tula who finish 4th and get Europa League, whilst Ufa also did fairly well to get there too. 

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Transfer Window Update

 

 

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No notable departures, just back-up versatile youth product defender Thomas Minarini who joins Hamburger. If I didn't have so many youth products already in the side I'd have maybe kept him for HG purposes, but didn't need to and £10M for a player who is only gonna start 5 games max a season is too good to turn down really. 

 

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Rhian Brewster, a now 26 year old winger and striker joins from Liverpool on a Bosman, whilst we consolidate our defence with Alberto Odi, a 26 year old CB from Argentina via Porto. 

 

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The trouble with not winning the league is that you don't get top seeding in the Champions League. We've actually been drawn in the same group as the Man United team that beat us in last year's final, with Valencia and AA Gent joining us. We should get through, but Valencia are no mugs and seem a decent side in recent years. 

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Mid-Season update

 

 

Serie A

 

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A strong start to the season with 5 wins from our first 6 games, with our only defeat coming at the San Siro to Milan. 

 

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We drew with Napoli at home, before winning 3on the bounce against Torino, Sassuolo and Empoli. A decent draw away to Juve was followed up with a hard game against the champions who beat us 3-2, although that scoreline flattered us slightly. We bounced back to beat Siena and SPAL comfortably. 

 

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A 2-1 win against Cagliari came at a good time to start the December period, but then we barely escaped with a draw against Udinese before beating Bologna and then blowing a 2-0 lead against rivals Lazio. Rhian Brewster scored the only goal as we ended 2026 with a win against Genoa. 

 

Champions League

 

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I thought we gave a pretty decent account of ourselves in the two games against United, with a 0-0 draw at home and then a 4-2 loss away despite a brace from Rashford at his old stomping ground. Valencia were no trouble at home, but did give us problems in Spain as we could only get out with a 2-2 draw. We turned over Gent away and then absolutely destroyed them at home, with Schick grabbing four, which was still only half of our goals. 

 

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Not ideal to be 2nd in the group, but we've actually drawn Leverkusen which I'll take considering some of the other options were Arsenal, PSG and Man City.

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5415c3241cc0b2b8b436805d8d3e6394.png

 

Nothing really happened in January, although I did let long-time captain Kostas Manolas leave to join the Russian champions. He wanted a new challenge and had only made 3 substitute appearances all season and at 35 with his contract up in the summer, I thought the least I could do was let him go for nothing to wherever he wanted now. We wish him all the best. 

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I didn't actually notice at the time, but Unai Emery actually left Inter in the summer to rejoin PSG. Inter's manager is now Marcelino. 

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Posted (edited)

End of Season Update

 

Italian Cup

 

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A real achievement to pull off an Italian Cup this season as it's been by far and away the hardest lot of ties we've had, with Juve, Inter and eventually Milan in the final. 

 

Serie A

 

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A good start to the year saw three straight wins against Fiorentina, Chievo and Salernitana, We then lost to Milan 1-0 and dropped points away to Sampdoria and Napoli, before beating Torino. 

 

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We picked up another draw against Sassuolo, before going on a fantastic run which saw 7 straight wins, including big wins against Juventus and Inter, the latter of which saw a brace from Schnick in the last 10 minutes to ensure a huge 3 points in our bid for the title. 

 

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We had a bore draw in Udinese, before a strong finish to the season with 3 wins from 3, including an impressive victory at rivals Lazio. 

 

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Inter really didn't threaten as much as last season and it was a fairly poor attempt to retain their title, as they lost no less than 7 times. Look at Juventus though in 7th place :D :D 

 

Champions League

 

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Leverkusen defended well in the first leg, but they tired in the second half and we grabbed 2 goals without reply, so it was always going to be a struggle for them without an away goal. They went 1-0 up in the first half and threatened to get a second, but an own goal early in the second half killed the game and any momentum they had. 

 

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Dortmund rolled over in the first leg and we were 2-0 up after 6 minutes, with it being 3-0 by half-time. They didn't get an away goal either so we looked in a great position going to Dortmund, but tbf they beat us quite well and and had a few chances to grab the 3rd which could've taken it to extra-time. 

 

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I was reunited with Unai Emery and PSG in the Semi Final and Rashford was on hand to grab two massive away goals in the first leg, with Mbappe and Mo Salah grabbing goals for them. The rock in defence Virgin van Dijk picked up a red card 15 minutes into the return leg and it was curtains for PSG from then on. Rashford had already put us ahead and we had no problems tearing them apart with the man advantage. A second straight final beckoned. 

 

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I was quite worried going into this game as whilst we finished quite far ahead of them in the league and beat them in the cup final, they did beat us home and away in the league. It was a very nervy game but Patrik Schnick popped up with the only goal of the game to seal a huge win for Roma. It shows how far Italian football has come back though to have an all Italian final, especially as Milan prevented us from playing Arsenal in the final. It would've been really fitting to have beaten PSG and Arsenal on the way to winning it, although I haven't fared well against Arsenal with Roma so maybe it was for the best! 

 

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Rashford had another strong season, but I'd probably give POTY to Patrik Schnik, with Sterling, Juan Carlos Aguilar and Alessandro Canella also impressing. 

 

A pretty crazy end to my time at Roma to complete a treble, which I definitely wouldn't have expected at the start of the season. It does show the difference having a better defence can do for you as I thought last season we probably more dominant going forward, but much more leaky at the back which cost us in a lot of the big games.

Very happy to have won it though and we move on to Spain, Germany or Russia!

The next league I have loaded which will be in the game from next season is the Turkish league. I've gone for that over the Portuguese league as I can go with any Turkish side, whereas Porto and Benfica are off the cards in Portugal. 

Edited by PaulHartman71

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Career History

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season      Club        League             Position            Achievements/Other
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19     Arsenal     Premier League       4th               Europa League winners
2019/20     Arsenal     Premier League       2nd               Champions League winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21     Paris SG    Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1 & Coupe de la Ligue winners
2021/22     Paris SG    Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1, Champions League & Trophee Des Champions winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022/23     AS Roma     Serie A              3rd               Italian Cup runners-up
2023/24     AS Roma     Serie A              2nd               Italian Cup winners
2024/25     AS Roma     Serie A              1st               Serie A winners
2025/26     AS Roma     Serie A              2nd               Italian Super Cup winners & Champions League runners-up
2026/27     AS Roma     Serie A              1st               Serie A, Italian Cup & Champions League winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Trophy Cabinet

 

Champions League      x3 - 2019/20 (Arsenal), 2021/22 (Paris SG), 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Europa League         x1 - 2018/19 (Arsenal)

Serie A               x2 - 2024/25, 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Italian Cup           x2 - 2023/24, 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Italian Super Cup     x1 - 2025/26 (AS Roma)

Ligue 1               x2 - 2020/21, 2021/22 (Paris SG) 
Coupe de la Ligue     x1 - 2020/21 (Paris SG)
Trophee Des Champions x1 - 2021/22 (Paris SG)

 

Nations Completed

 

1. England - Arsenal 
2. France  - Paris SG
3. Italy   - AS Roma 

 

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22bc85466a60f0450e6e2baaa27a73f3.png

 

You can see how far Italian football has come now, with 5 Italian sides in the last 16 of the CL. Krasnodar probably the most notable side to reach the knockout stages especially since Spartak always win the Russian title, whilst Lazio did very well to get where they got imo. A Roma/Lazio final would've been mental :D 

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40b6662aeb2cfb4a3fe1683d2fb67a26.png

 

Real Madrid pip Barca to the title under Thomas Tuchel's tutelage, whilst Valencia put in a very strong showing, with Atletico who won the title with Guardiola last season slump to 4th. A good showing from Bilbao, Vigo and especially Getafe, which causes Real Sociedad and Villarreal to miss out on Europe. 

 

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Bayern retain their title but only just as Leipzig push them to the edge. To put things into perspective despite coming a point off of 1st and the Quarter Final of the CL, Leipzig sacked their manager, which shows how far they've come along in expectation especially since that CL win a few years ago. A terrible year for Dortmund as they slump to 10th, which sees Wolfsburg get into the European places, with Hertha Berlin also staying in the European spots too. 

 

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A 4th straight title for Spartak Moscow, with Krasnodar 2nd again. Zenit take the final CL spot, whilst Rubin, CSKA and Lokomotiv also get Europa. Decent from Lokomotiv who haven't finished in the European spots since Russia became playable. 

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The Job Hunt

 

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There's weirdly no jobs going in Russia, although in fairness I'd definitely go for Germany or Spain first anyway. Nothing in Germany at the moment as Dortmund and Leipzig don't qualify, but tbf Spain is the stronger league and I basically have a choice of Sevilla or Villarreal. 

I'm going to apply for both and then see who gives me the bigger budget. I imagine it will probably be Sevilla, although I'm leaning towards Villarreal as I've always somewhat liked them mainly because Robert Pires was my favorite Arsenal player and he went off the play for them - and now they've also got one of my other favourite Arsenal players in Santi Cazorla. 

Of course Cazorla is long gone in the game, although Villarreal do have a 36 year old Georgi Wijnaldum kicking about. The only notable name people might recognise in the Sevilla side is 31 year old Munir who is still there since the start of the game. 

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f95dab384ba14003bf1dfaadf73db37f.png

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I was all set to take over at Villarreal and looking forward to getting the Yellow Submarine back into the Champions league, when something unexpected happened. 

 

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Atletico unexpectedly sacked Pep Guardiola after finishing 4th and going out in the CL Quarter Final. Seemed a bit harsh considering last season he won them their first title in 12 years, but his lost was my gain. I told Villarreal to give me a week to think things over, although of course I was actually frantically applying for the Atletico job. Thankfully my 3 Champions League victories made me a prime candidate... 

 

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Just the extra £100K a week from what Villarreal were offering :D

 

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Pep's left me with a slightly ageing squad, although there are some very talented players in there. Griezmann obviously the most notable name, although he's retiring in the summer. Jan Oblak is still very good and probably has 1 or 2 seasons left in him at the top level. The extremely versatile Saul is still a quality player who can expect to start, although Koke at 35 is more or less finished. Gelson Martins is ageing but still looks reasonably decent, whilst Thomas Lemar at 31 is still very good and can expect to play a fair bit. Rodri can certainly still do a job in midfield too.

The most noteworthy regens are Douglas Starnley, who sounds Scottish but is actually a very talented Brazilian attacking wide player/striker, Willian who is a world class left back and Dario Arena who looks a decent centre back. 

I'm actually also quite excited in two of the players Pep shipped out on loan this season. Jamie Orta and Pedro Diaz both look good enough to have at least been squad players this season, so other than not wanting to play youth I don't know why he loaned them out. 

 

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Summer Transfer Window

 

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Nothing too major happening over the summer as I want to get to grips with the squad before a clear out, but I did sell off Tin Jedvaj and Rui Pires who were back-up and unlikely to feature much. Amar was sold before I got here. 

 

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I didn't have a huge budget so much of it went on signing current players to new deals to keep them at the club, but I did sign a young back-up RB in Ali Taider and got in Federico Boscolo out of his small release clause from Boca. Boscolo was actually somebody that my South American scout at Roma spotted, but I held off on buying him in-case I did win the CL and move club this summer, seems an inspired decision now :D 

 

848d1eb28d2b9dd4c85e05c452aa8a18.png

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Mid-Season Update

 

Spanish Cup

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We've not had the hardest of runs save for Real Sociedad in the Quarter Final, but we've made it to the Semi Finals. We've got our city rivals Real in the Semi Final which will be a tough ask. 

 

La Liga

 

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We kicked the campaign off with a win in Hispalis, before we could only draw against title rivals Valencia. We won two on the bounce against Espanyol and Sevilla, before a disappointing 0-0 bore draw in Gijon. We were more successful in Getafe where we picked up a 3-1 win.

 

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A decent win against Atletico Pamplona before a difficult task at the Nou Camp, which saw Luis Enrique's side get the better of us in a 3-2 goal fest. We then beat both Celta Vigo and Deportivo La Coruna, before we lost two on the bounce away from home against rivals Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao. We ended November with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Malaga with a Thomas Lemar hat-trick helping us on the way. 

 

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We've had a favourable run of fixtures recently and been in brilliant form, with 6 wins and just 1 goal conceded from 6 games. We did get very fortunate against Sociedad though and that was very nearly a 0-0 if it wasn't for a late penalty. Thomas Lemar got his second hat-trick of the season against Levante. 

 

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The title is still very much to play for, with Valencia 1 point ahead and Real 3 points and goal difference away. If we can beat one of them or maybe avoid defeat against both and win our other games we could mount a title challenge, although we will be relying on the others to drop points. Valencia unbeaten and still not 1st ffs :D 

Barca having an extremely disappointing season, but not quite as bad as Sevilla! Considering I wasn't a million miles away from being their manager this season it's mental to see them in the relegation zone, until they beat Real Hispalis in a recent game they were actually stuck rock bottom for weeks. 

 

Champions League

 

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I got drawn in yet another group with Simeone's Man United, kinda cool that this time I face him as manager of his old side. I wouldn't say we ever dominated Dinamo or Hoffenheim, but we never looked in too much danger of dropping points in either game. We were poor at Old Trafford and lost courtesy of goals from Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho and Richarlison. United had Eric Dier sent off in the 35th minute of the home game and after that we dismantled them, with Pedro Diaz bagging a brilliant hat-trick and Saul nabbing a brace. 

 

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United lost in Hoffeinheim which opened the doors for us to grab 1st place in the group. 

We finished top of the group but even then looking at the sides in 2nd place there wasn't really an "easy tie". Lazio, Bayern, Bayer Leverkusen, AC Milan and Roma were who we would potentially face - and yep, you can guess what the game cooked up for us... 

 

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It is pretty cool to test myself against my old sides. I know at PSG I faced Arsenal and then at Roma I faced both PSG and Arsenal. It would be pretty cool if throughout my time at Atletico I got to face off against all 3 of them, but in this case it's quite annoying as my Roma side are very strong having just made two back to back finals. We've got some decent players but I'm not sure I've moulded them into a good enough team/squad to get past my Roma side over two legs, but we'll do our best!

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Not a very exciting transfer window: 

 

 

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I bought two young lads in as back-up depth, neither of whom particularly worth writing home about for now. 

 

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A lot of deadwood was cleared out. They all wanted to leave and I was happy to let them go and form a more cohesive squad, as they were all sort of just there for the sake of it. Koke wanted a new challenge so I let the long-standing Atletico man move to West Ham on a free. 

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End of Season Update

 

Spanish Cup

 

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We took an early lead at the Bernabeu but ultimately got hammered 4-1, which cost us the tie. We managed to come from 2-0 down to win on the night at home, but we were long gone by then. 

 

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We took a real beating at Valencia which was massively demoralising, but we recovered to then win 5 on the bounce against Espanyol, Gijon, Sevilla, Pamplona and Getafe without conceding a single goal. 

 

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We dropped points against Leganes though, then could only draw against Barca. We thrashed Coruna 4-0 after that, but then got hammered against Real Madrid again which pretty much killed any hope of a title challenge we might have had. We won at Vigo after that, but then drew at Malaga, before winning in Alaves. Bilbao held us at home, before we won 4 on the bounce against Vallecano, Sociedad, Leganes and Levente, with Villarreal beating us on the final day. 

 

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Valencia ended up coming a lot closer than we did, but even they could not stop Real from retaining the title. I thought we did okay in the end, certainly room for improvement next season though. A bad year for Barca that saw Luis Enrique sacked. Villarreal back in Europa, with Getafe retaining their European status under Xabi Alonso, narrowly pipping Leganes who had a good year. Sevilla ultimately survive after sacking Fred Rutten mid-season and replacing him with Steven Gerrard who guided them to safety. 

 

Champions League

 

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A goal each from Rashford and Sterling in either leg sent us out. We put up a great fight and did well, but just couldn't break down a defence and side that I helped build over the last 5 years. We can have no complaints unfortunately. 

 

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Thomas Lemar probably the best player, with Pedro Diaz, Saul and Jamie Orta also having good seasons. Dario Arena probably our best defensive player. Douglas Starnley struggled to stay fit and even when he was fit it was hard to leave out Thomas Lemar, Pedro Diaz or Jamie Orta to play him as they were all very good.  

 

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Career History

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Season      Club              League             Position            Achievements/Other
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018/19     Arsenal           Premier League       4th               Europa League winners
2019/20     Arsenal           Premier League       2nd               Champions League winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2020/21     Paris SG          Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1 & Coupe de la Ligue winners
2021/22     Paris SG          Ligue 1              1st               Ligue 1, Champions League & Trophee Des Champions winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2022/23     AS Roma           Serie A              3rd               Italian Cup runners-up
2023/24     AS Roma           Serie A              2nd               Italian Cup winners
2024/25     AS Roma           Serie A              1st               Serie A winners
2025/26     AS Roma           Serie A              2nd               Italian Super Cup winners & Champions League runners-up
2026/27     AS Roma           Serie A              1st               Serie A, Italian Cup & Champions League winners
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2027/28     Atletico Madrid   La Liga              3rd               N/A
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Trophy Cabinet

 

Champions League      x3 - 2019/20 (Arsenal), 2021/22 (Paris SG), 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Europa League         x1 - 2018/19 (Arsenal)

Serie A               x2 - 2024/25, 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Italian Cup           x2 - 2023/24, 2026/27 (AS Roma)
Italian Super Cup     x1 - 2025/26 (AS Roma)

Ligue 1               x2 - 2020/21, 2021/22 (Paris SG) 
Coupe de la Ligue     x1 - 2020/21 (Paris SG)
Trophee Des Champions x1 - 2021/22 (Paris SG)

 

 

Nations Completed

 

1. England - Arsenal 
2. France  - Paris SG
3. Italy   - AS Roma 

 

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657933a8371cb9fab89e3c0eee57d137.png

 

AC Milan (now managed by Pep Guardiola) reach a second consecutive final after knocking out my old side in the Semi Final, but were outclassed by Real Madrid who absolutely smashed through the competition this season, with comprehensive wins over Arsenal, Lazio and Man City on their way to the final. Spartak Moscow reaching the 1st knockout round, with a decent enough year for Bayer Leverkusen too.

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a3e0487b2b065ae69200b34b2d4d9cb5.png

 

Bayern seem to have re-established their dominance in the Bundesliga under Nagelssman as they win their 3rd title in a row after all those years without. Hertha Berlin do incredibly well to get Top 4, whilst Leverkusen slump to 10th. Pretty surprising to see Gladbach go down. 

 

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Krasnodar break Spartak's run of dominance as they pip them to the title, whilst a good year for Rubin sees them pip Zenit to 3rd. Arsenal Tula back in Europe in 5th. 

 

The Turkish SL will only be in play from this summer, but here's the past winners since the game started: 

 

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Fenerbache have been dominant, with 5 wins from the last 6 leagues. Galatasaray have incredibly gone a decade without winning the title and until this season hadn't finished in the Top 3 even since 2020. Besiktas looking a decent side, with Trabzonspor and Basaksehir looking okay too. 

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As this marks the 10th year of the save I'll be posting some extra bits of information to cap what's been happening or is happening in the same. 

 

The past 10 years of CL and Europa League winners: 

 

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