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[FM19] From the Bottom to the Top, the Dutch way.

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Recently, I made a new save and tried to create a Dutch powerhouse team buying and using only Dutch players. I start my quest at MVV Maastricht, a club that has to avoid relegation in the Dutch Keuken Kampioen Divisie (KKD). Although the team is not up to par, for the division, there is a relatively large attendance (4-6k). My goal was to get rid of all the foreigners as soon as possible and start my rise up the ranks.

Season 1:

My incoming tranfers were a combination of free transfers in the first summer windows, and loans and one big purchase in January. Randomly, KV Mechelen wanted to buy my LB (Gunst) who I didn't even use for a, for this league, large amount of money. This allowed me either a few small transfers or one big. I chose to spend big and go for Mink Peeters at Real Madrid (I wanted to loan him in at first, but they didn't let me). The season went much better than expected and we got into third place, which constitutes a place in the second round of the Eredivisie/KKD playoffs. I got all the way to the final against Eredivisie team Willem-II and won the first leg 3-1. I probably got a little overconfident and didn't park the bus in the second leg; I lost 3-0. The tactic in the first season consisted of a double-6, with a roaming playmaker based on large amounts of possession. 

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Season 2:

Although the first season went relatively well, some more foreigners left and the squad needed a quality injection. I was able to get excellent players in both CB (Gravenberch) and CM (Bijleveld) for free, but a half decent striker was difficult to find/get. At the end of the winter transfer periode, suddenly, Dylan Vente (Feyenoord talent), was transfer listed for relatively cheap and I put all my remaining transferbudget in the transfer. He scored 8 in 17 and was important at the latter stages of the league. We ended up in fourth, but because one of the youth teams in the league was 2nd or 3rd, we again were allowed into the second round of the Eredivisie/KKD playoffs. Again we made it to the final, this time against Telstar, who became 11th in the KKD. I felt extremely confident, but was quickly confronted with reality. The first leg ended in a 2-2 away draw and the second leg was 0-0 until the 89th minute when they scored one of their 2 shots from a fluky corner. 

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Season 3:

Season three had to be the season; I was so close at two occassions. Bijleveld left in July to the Eredivisie, but luckily I was able to get a similar replacement for free from Ajax (De Wit). However, my most important transfer became Cheick Toure from Feyenoord on a loan deal. With 14 goals, 5 assists and 7 MoM in 33 games from LW Inside forward position, he was crucial this season. In the winter transfer window we were already between 5-10 points in front of the challengers and I felt confident we could actually win the league this season. To gather some money I sold two youth players in the summer transfer windows for a combined fee of 650k and got rid of Peeters for 250k as Toure was seemed to be the better player by far. In the winter transfer window, I gambled everything. I saw two Feyenoord players were transferlisted as they wanted first team football. Although el Bouchataoui wasn't that expensive, I broke the bank on Franssen. For good reason however (see picture below). At 17 he was already capped at U20 level. I was baffled by the fact that he even wanted to go a division lower as some other large foreign clubs were also interested. My guess was that because he wanted first team football, this was possible. He scored 9 goals in his first 15 games and helped seal promotion the Eredivisie with a lead of 27 points to the number 5. The number 5 you say? Jep, numbers 2-4 were all youth teams (Ajax, PSV, Utrecht) who are absolutely smashing everyone else. We also won the league by 5 points before Young Ajax (Young PSV and Utrecht were 6 and 7 points behind). 

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Season 4:

I just started Season 4, my first season in the Eredivisie. The squad didn't actually need that much improvement (only at fullback) but lacked depth. I was able to loan two young fullbacks (Bakker and Frimpong) and brought in some depth for all positions. I played my first game and won 6-0 against the other promoted side. Let's go :D The goal this season is to not get absolutely stomped and just survive. 

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Tactic:

I played a variation of the tactic below each season. In seasons 1 and 2, I played more of a possession based style, whereas now I play more of Liverpoolish counter-press. Using the double 6 provides good amounts of defensive stability but I found that I relied to much intuition plays from my forwards for goals. In season three I played a high defensive line with a high line of engagement, combined with a more quick and direct playing style. 

 19e274ba82229e772cfad281b8f03a52.png

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Congrats man. Always nice to see someone else playing in the Netherlands. Good luck.

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