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zlatanera

[FM18] Txuri-Urdin: Basque To The Future

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Real Sociedad de Fútbol, S.A.D.

Hailing from San Sebastián, capital city of Gipuzkoa, Real Sociedad are very much the second club of the Basque Autonomous Community. They have two La Liga titles (1980-81, 1981-82) to Athletic's 8 and two Copa del Rey (1909, 1987) to Athletic's 23. Like Athletic, their greatest successes came in the 20th century adhering to a Basque-only signing policy, which they abandoned in 1989 when signing John Aldridge from Liverpool. If the change was meant to bring success, it backfired - a runners-up position in La Liga in 2002-03 is the only success they've had since. 

So, in this save I'm reinstating the Basque-only policy in the hope of bringing success back to Anoeta!

I'm also going to somewhat define us against Athletic, at least initially - where they're know for being physical teams with great strength at CB with the likes of Laporte, and target men up front (Fernando Llorente, Aduriz) we're going to be a possession-based team to take advantage of our technical players - the likes of Asier Illarramendi, Rubén Pardo, and Xabi Prieto (in what will most likely be his final season with the club. To that end I've requested these philosophies:

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FM18 was chosen as in the club lost four good Basque players in the time between the release of FM18 and FM19: Iñigo Martínez (to Athletic), Álvaro Odriozola (to Real Madrid), Xabi Prieto (retired) and Imanol Agirretxe (retired due to injury) whilst only bringing one in (Mikel Merino from Newcastle). 

Facilities

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Despite moving away from the all-Basque policy Real Sociedad have a strong youth policy, with 12 players from the cantera in the first team squad. This is reflected in-game, although there is still room for improvement. 

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Anoeta, built in 1993 is a very good quality stadium (eligible for Champions League finals). In real life as of 2018-19 the running track has been removed and it will eventually reach a capacity of 42,300 but the above image reflects the 32,000 capacity we have in FM18. 

Edited by zlatanera

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First Team

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We have quite a strong Basque contingent in the first team already, with a couple more out on loan. The Basques do tend to be either over 30 or quite young, we'll have to bring in some in their peak years, most likely from Osasuna as Athletic players will be off-limits. The squad is suited to a 433, with Inside Forwards, strikers with good passing, technical midfielders who mostly don't have much physicality about them, very strong centre backs, an outstanding RB but a weakness at LB. LB, CB and the wide forward positions are where we'll have to source Basque players to fill in from the end of the first season. 

B Team

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Our best prospect (Babic) isn't Basque, which is not a good thing, and we have a Uruguayan striker on a loan for two years who will have to be banished to the non-playable league with the C team when I go fully Basque in 2018-19. Roberto López should be Basque, he is in FM19, and will be allowed to stay on. Thior has 3 nationalities so will be eligible too. What's most concerning is that given coaches tend to downgrade estimates of players' potential more often than they upgrade them we only have maybe 3 guys in this squad who will ever be La Liga quality.

C team

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Yeah...not great. Given the B team are in the lowest active league in Spain, the C team can't really get promoted and don't currently play real matches. I'll most likely use it for youngsters with no potential to see out their youth contracts and little else. Miguel Ángel Manso doesn't have Basque nationality despite being 16 and at the club, I'll act like he does given Athletic would no doubt try and poach him if he ever came good in real life, but I doubt he'll make it to the first team anyway.

Under 19s

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A dearth of potential here. I could really do with the first youth intake being a 'golden generation' or we're going to be a much poorer side in a few seasons when those 30+ CMs retire. 

Edited by zlatanera

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Key Players

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Álvaro Odriozola is in real life a Madrid player now, and you can see why. By far one of the most talented players at the club, he can be our RB for a decade if I can get that personality more professional and a higher release clause locked in. 

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When Athletic had to finally find someone to replace Aymeric Laporte, Iñigo Martínez was the man they chose. There's no way in hell I'm letting that happen. I'm going to put him on direct free kicks, as well as being in the box on corners and indirect free kicks, to see how many goals he can get for us. He'll most likely take over as captain when Xabi Prieto retires too. 

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Asier Illarramendi is both the club's record sale and record signing, having failed to live up to the "next Xabi Alonso" tag in two years at Real Madrid. He's going to instrumental in keeping our midfield passing game going.

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Mikel Oyárzabal is going to be by far our most important attacker. Normally I wouldn't want such an all-rounded, but in this case its brilliant as it means that when our club philosophy limits the style and position of players we can bring in, he'll be able to fit in anywhere and knit it all together. 

Edited by zlatanera

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I'm thinking that I'm more upset at the lack of a pun in your title. Have you not visited these forums?? :D

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21 minutes ago, Deisler26 said:

I'm thinking that I'm more upset at the lack of a pun in your title. Have you not visited these forums?? :D

I have one, just a guy posted an Athletic thread right as I was writing out the OP. I'll perhaps change the title every season or something. 

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A Potential "Exception"

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Although not listed as Basque, Kévin Rodrigues was born in Bayonne so according to the all-knowing Athletic signing policy Wikipedia page would be eligible. Therefore he will not be sold immediately. This also complicates my scouting ideas somewhat - I may have to create a birthplace filter list rather than just scouting "Nationality" "is" "Basque". 

Edited by zlatanera

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Tactic

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Although I mentioned a 433 in previous posts, I've gone with the added defensive stability of a 4-1-4-1. This partially because outside of the big 3, there is a lot of parity in La Liga and so there are at least 5, possibly 7 other teams where away from home at least I would not expect us to be favourites. Also our right wing options (Adnan Januzaj & Carlos Vela) have low Teamwork and Work Rate and the 433 shape combined with that would leave us wide open on the right. Control mentality and Retain Possession, Pass Into Space and Play Out Of Defence should give us the desired playing style. We can't play a pressing game though - as well as the aforementioned work-shy wingers, we only have 4 players in the entire squad with Stamina of 15+ and the second worst Natural Fitness in the division (Athletic are the worst, must be something in the water). 

The only PIs for now are on the Inverted Wingers - More Risky Passes and Cross Less Often make them act like Inside Forwards going forward, and Stay Wider is so they don't cut in too early and leave us with no width.  

Edited by zlatanera

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We definitely need more Basque stories! :)

Like that you are flipping it and doing it with Real Sociedad - I will try follow your progress. I'm doing an FM19 Athletic save and documenting for the first time.

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2 hours ago, maccataq said:

We definitely need more Basque stories! :)

Like that you are flipping it and doing it with Real Sociedad - I will try follow your progress. I'm doing an FM19 Athletic save and documenting for the first time.

Aha the title came because you posted your thread whilst I was in the middle of typing out mine.

I got in a mess with tactical changes and a bunch of injuries that just killed the fun for me, think I'm going to start over. 

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5 minutes ago, zlatanera said:

Aha the title came because you posted your thread whilst I was in the middle of typing out mine.

I got in a mess with tactical changes and a bunch of injuries that just killed the fun for me, think I'm going to start over. 

I wondered if you were referencing my thread! Good luck! 

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