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Constantine

[FM19] You could not live with your own failure, and where did that bring you? Back here.

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Barely two weeks into May, our second out of five games this month and...

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It was a victory away at Lugo that sealed it. It's official now. La Liga, baby!!

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My boy <3

Not a lot to spend but we're used to working on a shoestring budget

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Having watched the most boring half of football in history of Europe League, i've decided to come back to FM and at least do a review.

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Going to have to improve the squad. After all, La Liga is on another level comparing to Segunda. Already got three players and they'll join us on July 1.

That's just the beginning, i'm sure. Improvements in all area are needed. Except, perhaps, GK.

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Final table.

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Those two were unstoppable. Brilliant debut season for young Venezuelan (hopefully i've spelt that right).

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Lovely but double digits incoming. Sweet, sweet La Liga money.

 

BEST XI

Dani Martin

Agus Medina Paco Candela Carlos Delgado Francisco Varela

Rober Pedro Diaz Nico Carlos De Pena

Richard Acosta Ibourahima Balde

 

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Around the (known) world

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Pep The Bald finally win PL in the game.

 

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ZzzZzZZzz

 

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Bayern?? Shocking!!

 

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Juve back on top.

 

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Ajax got serious after last year's screw up

 

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Two in a row for Benfica

 

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Same for Red Star

 

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Took them long enough

 

Bayern lead (still) by Niko Kovac won Champions League, while Inter got their 4th Europa League trophy

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Board want a new stadium and that's fine by me. We've been selling out games, even when we were in Segunda Division B.

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Also, two important players staying for another year.

And now, deep dive into transfer market. It's gonna be a busy summer...

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August & September 2021.

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OK... Now, back to us. We have spent some money. Some big money.

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And big money for us mean 1/32 of what Barca has spent.

But we got us some talented fellas. Youngest team in the league. Not sure that's a good thing though...

 

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Our record signing from Braga. Complete midfielder. And our first wonderkid. Love the personality, everything.

 

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New starting CD.

 

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Far from complete article (some of those mentals, ugh) but for that price... Thinking of deploying him as a striker, as a partner to Acosta.

 

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One for the future. Had a low clause and i just couldn't leave him at Gijon

 

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One from the transfer list. Brought him to play as left winger.

 

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Saved from the limbo that is Sevilla's B team. Can easily get in our first XI.

 

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Starting right back. My third choice but as first two were way out of our price range... Don't get me wrong, he's good but would've liked someone more defensively sound for La Liga.

 

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Had my eye on him since he showed up in Racing youth team. Couldn't get him then but now we easily paid his clause.

 

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Well known player. I was shocked to find him listed for loan. Luckily, we had no contenders for his signature. Will be with us for 2 years.

 

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Needed fourth striker, for rotation and this young Dutchman will do...

 

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As you can see, La Liga money started coming in. Wanted to ask board for some improvements but with stadium on the way i decided to wait a bit...

 

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Great first game in Copa. As for the league...

 

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Not too terrible. Real being Real, as we ended that match with 9 players (ridiculous sending off of Xadas, which was overruled and injury after all subs were made). Only nitpick, we should've won against Zaragoza. Otherwise, very pleased with start of our life in Spanish elite level.

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October & November 2021.

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Going strong in the Cup but league is another story...

 

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At least, it was in October. November was a pleasant return to usual service (despite our defending being so s***).

Have to show you Barca's goal. 93rd minute. I wanted to break something.

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I mean, what the f***?!

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Table doesn't look so bad, even though we were 16th at one point.

Something nice for the end. Record was broken.

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December 2021. & January 2022.

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Overestimated my backups in Sociedad game. Had to bring in Acosta to score that one goal in extra time which brought us before Bilbao.

And vs Athletic... Jesus. Had a 3-0 lead in the first game. Dropped it.

Had a 1-0 lead in the rematch. Blew that up too. Oh well...

Inaki Williams is a beast!

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January was tough for me. I get a headache when i see these big scorelines.  My head exploded in that Real game. They smacked us into oblivion. Worst thing is, we were playing pretty good. Until Kroos scored a wonder goal and Aldana got unlucky with an own goal. After that, it's like my players just said "F*** it".

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Still decent.

As for transfers... It was uneventful. Signed few kids to boost our u19 side. Had a personal best sale. Nothing special.

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I mean, he played well. But i've got a huge talent in Ricardo Garcia in his place. Sold Ruiz for 4.44m euros more than i paid for him. I'd say that's a good deal.

Kids that i mentioned... All were without clubs, found in their NT's.

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Edited by Constantine

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Very good start to life in La Liga. You were always going to get the odd hiding bit you're scoring more than enough yourself to be comfortable. I might have to start looking through national teams too as you've found a few gems!

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11 minutes ago, King Costly said:

Very good start to life in La Liga. You were always going to get the odd hiding bit you're scoring more than enough yourself to be comfortable. I might have to start looking through national teams too as you've found a few gems!

Yeah, that's my MO. It does take a lot of time and is tiresome listing through all the nations but it's worth it in the end, as i found players my scouts wouldn't have found had they searched for 10 years.

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Good Start to La Liga. Irish National Team always has good midfielders you can get cheap.

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3 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

Good Start to La Liga. Irish National Team always has good midfielders you can get cheap.

Found few good Scottish regens too...

And this might be just personal preference for me but having players from British Islands in Spain is all kinds of weird :D 

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February & March 2022.

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Mixed bag of results here but we're still logging in more wins than defeats. Which is a plus in my book.

Made our way to top half of the table and we're most likely staying here.

To make things even sweeter, we've finally got regens i can sign. Good regens. All those improvements, new staff signed, poached HoYD from Gijon finally paid out.

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For a winger, that's not good PPM to have. Other than that, great looking.

 

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Only other player i signed. There might be a good player in there down the road.

 

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7 minutes ago, Leicester Fan said:

KUTGW!! Hopefully a push for Champions League football or do you think it would be too soon for you?

Thank you for kind words.

Wouldn't be against it but i think it's too soon. There's still work to be done, squad building wise. Nico's and Rober's loans are expiring, their clubs won't let us renew them which sucks since they're very important players for us. Also, we need to bring in another quality CD. Aldana is doing great, developing well but José María Amo is not exactly the defender i want. He's not terrible, far from it but he's very inconsistent. And then there's question about depth, which we have in numbers but not really quality wise :D

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April 2022.

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Well, Champions League is out of our reach... Unlucky loss against Villareal. Totally outplayed by Betis, who's having a phenomenal season. And that was it.

But still in contention for Europa League. Just had to win against already relegated Deportivo and we're in.

Going to cheer for Betis in the remaining games, it's kinda nice to see a big club suffer.

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Masterclass from Ivkovic and we're in the Europa League. Brilliant!!

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With that, we've got a message about our budget for incoming season.

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It's a tad small but kinda understandable, with stadium being planned and all that.

But with big(ish) money come big responsibility.

And dilemmas.

Such as Theo Hernández Dillema.

Great left back, most of you know of him. Would slot instantly in our first XI.

But... He's on 115kp/week in Real Madrid.

Since the save started, he was on loans at Sociedad and Newcastle. Last two seasons he spent at Castilla. Transfer listed since ever.

Real is asking for 1.5m. Peanuts. I jokingly bid 1.7m + 50% salary contribution. And Real accepted.

Negotiated with the guy 38kp/w salary, bunch of bonuses, 35% sell on fee. Which isn't a lot but completely break our wage structure.

We have the money, that's not the issue. It's just, my highest paid players are on 8kp/w. So it's quite a jump.

The one i'm not sure whether to make. Not so suddenly, at least.

Delayed the confirmation, going to play last game in season v Malaga, watch Wolves v Man Utd and then decide.

What would you guys do?

 

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It was a debut season in La Liga from dreams. Really couldn't have asked more of these guys.

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Played full backup side in the last game. They did OK.

Barca won the title. Atleti screwed up. Also, Betis in CL. Good for them. Terrible season for Real though. Conte lost Copa final and was sacked after that game ended.

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Brais Pereiro is leaving us for Getafe. Got some young Portugese kid lined up as replacement. Eric Garcia chose Sassuolo over us but Balde decided to stay. He'll be in rotation, as will Rafa Mujica, also signed on Bosman. Betis won't budge for Rober while Nico isn't interested in staying.

Still undecided on Theo.

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Looking good but...

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Reason we've got less funds for transfers. Going to have to go full Wenger this summer.

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Just to see how much Rober meant to us. He'll be a huge loss, even if he frustrated the hell of me with his injuries.

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BEST XI

Dani Martin

Francisco Lourenço  Alejandro Aldana  José María Amo  Álex Centelles

Róber  Nico  Juan Ignacio Cardoso  Xadas

Goran Ivkovic  Richard Acosta

 

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Around the (known) world

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England got it's fourth different champion in a row. Ole finally did it!!

 

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PSG pulled Man City, winning god-knows-how-much games in a row to overtake Monaco. Shame.

 

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:Sigh:

 

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Juve back to usual service. Second in a row.

 

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Flip-flop.

 

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Wow. Not so much on Porto but Benfica...

 

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No contest.

 

Zidane brought Liverpool 6th Champions League trophy while Bayern added Europa League to its collection.

 

 

 

 

 

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July & August 2022.

Hopefully you guys are ready for a long ass post. Because this will be it. So many incoming players (still a far cry from my Birmingham days in an online save where i signed 26 players one summer). Also, this is year of World Cup. Which mean f***** up schedule. Since we're playing in Europe League, it's gonna get even more messier...

But first, before we dive deep into this summer's dealings, one kid was forgotten. Signed in the last days of May, just as season was ending.

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Let his contract at Juventud Chacarilla expire so we picked him up.

 

And now, the main course.

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One would say this was an eventful window...

Of course, the main story is Cardoso > Barcelona. They weren't even interested, until deadline day came.

Started at 3 mill. I didn't want to sell him since i saw him as integral part of our midfield. Always asked for his clause (54m).

They were persistent as hell, i couldn't believe it. Dozen offers later, it came.

The offer i simply couldn't refuse.

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And dominoes fell...

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Had to pay clause for his replacement. Had him in my notes for a while now but never had the means to go after him. Now we did.

Still, it's kinda weird to see him in Barca colors.

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And with "world class midfielder" tag. This boy will go far. There was still room to develop. Hopefully he can do that there.

But... Let's focus on what we have. Not on what we lost. Let's go through new players, in order in which they've arrived.

 

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Finally, he's ours. Will be a bench option, as Acosta and Ivkovic make our dynamic duo.

 

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Same as Balde.

 

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Rober's replacement. Had a clause for clubs in continental competitions and we used it.

 

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I plan to groom him, use as rotation in this season. The one after, most likely will become our #1.

 

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Signed him after all. Highest paid player in Castellon but there's a few of them not far behind.

 

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Rejected at Barca, will start for us. Bargain.

 

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Few quirks to iron out and he might become a great player someday... (low positioning, work rate, stamina, jumping reach, love these to be high in my defenders)

 

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Dutch beast from PSG

 

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Brought as backup, since he can cover all positions in defence

 

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More defensive midfielder... We needed that.

 

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Had to get replacement when Ros was sold. Had a huge gap in our midfield and Sasa will filled them just fine

 

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My boy. The most important player in that online save i mentioned few times. Played every position, except goalkeeper. Will be in rotation.

 

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One to cover wings and strikers. Just in case. Bunch of games will be played this year.

 

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Cardoso's replacement. Not as good as he was defensively, not as strong but he's brilliant nonetheless. More attacking, more flamboyant than Cardoso. Latest gem from Santos. Had to pay his release clause. Our most expensive signing. No pressure.

 

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Usually i build and prefer 22 men squad but since this is our debut season in Europe, decided to cover our bases.

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Great at the moment but there's a loan for building a stadium waiting to be paid...

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Mixed start. Really unlucky against that damned Real, as they had one shot on target at HT and scored from that. Cardoso equalized but Mane was a party pooper, scoring in 94th. Sevilla, had few lesser injuries so had to mix it up. But i really liked how we looked on the field. Acosta and Ivkovic, dancing through opposition defenses. Love it. Speaking of Acosta...

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He already played for Venezuela twice so i don't quite understand this. But still, one free space for non EU players.

And to end it with our Europa League group

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Hopefully i hadn't forgotten something...

 

 

 

 

Edited by Constantine

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2 hours ago, Constantine said:

He already played for Venezuela twice so i don't quite understand this. But still, one free space for non EU players.

All the Ibero-Americans can get 2nd Spanish citizenship after 2 years. The sole reason for it is usually what you just mentioned, registration rules. This way you can plan your conveyor belt of upcoming South American regens! KUTGW!

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6 hours ago, Dfs said:

All the Ibero-Americans can get 2nd Spanish citizenship after 2 years. The sole reason for it is usually what you just mentioned, registration rules. This way you can plan your conveyor belt of upcoming South American regens! KUTGW!

Thanks. Cheers.

And i know that, which is why most of my signings are from Portugal and South America. The part i was referring to was this "He believes he's good enough to play for Spain" which isn't possible, since he already played for Venezuela. I expected maybe something along the lines "He took citizenship to help club with foreign rules limits" or something.

Edited by Constantine

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3 hours ago, Constantine said:

Thanks. Cheers.

And i know that, which is why most of my signings are from Portugal and South America. The part i was referring to was this "He believes he's good enough to play for Spain" which isn't possible, since he already played for Venezuela. I expected maybe something along the lines "He took citizenship to help club with foreign rules limits" or something.

Ah sorry I get it now! I didnt notice that part!

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Your Europa League Group looks very winnable.

Remember you need the money for that loan...but also remember you have to qualify for next year as well.

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1 hour ago, Hootieleece said:

Your Europa League Group looks very winnable.

Remember you need the money for that loan...but also remember you have to qualify for next year as well.

Lazio is tough cookie. They have really good defense and midfield, with few defensive minded players (Tousart, Murgia, Kwadwo Asamoah) and i can already tell you we'll have trouble breaking that up. And they still got Ciro Immobile. Freaking Ciro. I can't tell you how much i hate this guy on FM. Even when i had top team, world class defenders, 34 years old Ciro would still somehow outrun them and score multiple goals.

So that leaves only Brøndby and Club Brugge. Danes don't seem like much. Neither does Brugge but they have three or four players i find troublesome.

I'm expecting us to qualify. Just need to see what players will i have available for those matches. We play against Brøndby once in October and on November 3rd. That's fine, full squad will be available. Rest of the games, no idea. First game against Belgians is on November 24. Two games against Lazio are in December (8th and 31st) and at last Club Brugge on January 5th. No league games will be played in that period. Schedule is a f****** mess.

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September, October & November 2022.

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In Copa, one game, easily won. Next.

 

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Really not the greatest set of results. I'm going to use as an excuse the fact that this group of players is still getting to know each other.

On pitch, i can see potential, we never looked dominated over (there's for sure a better word for this in English language but right now can't think of it).

Should've had at least six more points. But let's see after World Cup was i right.

 

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Very close to getting through group stage. If my math is right, one win against Lazio and that's it.

 

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While this isn't bad news, i just don't see myself spending it. Perfectly happy with the team as it is.

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OK, this one kinda came outta nowhere...

While it would mean 31.58 times bigger salary, i kindly rejected their offer.

Don't believe Spanish FA would allow me (in reality) to keep working at Castellon so...

Club football has an advantage for now.

Edited by Constantine

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Good Job....you were too pessimistic about your chances against Lazio.

Damned shame Spain wouldn't allow you to keep your Castellon job.

I admit like you I find Club management more fun than international. Mostly because there is always something to do and not spending 30 minutes hitting the continue button.

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He had a great season but it never crossed my mind he would be in contention for Golden Boy.

Happy he won it though. Well deserved. He's developing well.

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Edited by Constantine

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7 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

you were too pessimistic about your chances against Lazio.

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Jokes aside, we fulfilled our goal by qualifying for the knockouts. Everything else is a bonus.

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January 2023.

Wow, this was a long and gruesome month. First in post-World Cup messiness to come. Schedule is tight and only squad depth can save us.

Which we've got.

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Second in our group after all. And we're playing against...

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The Eagles. Could've been worse, could've been lot better though.

 

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Made it to the semis but Bilbao knocked us out. Again.

 

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Fantastic win at Camp Nou and daylight robbery in Madrid. Once again we were a better side and once again we had a player sent off. Only in matches against Real. F****** hell!!

 

Edit: Forgot to mention, no transfer deals were done. We almost lost Abraham to Leipzig, who activated his release clause after drowning us in bids during deadline day. Made my peace with losing him but that beautiful boy rejected them. Love you, Abe.

 

Edited by Constantine

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February 2023.

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Perfect in any way possible. Won a derby v Villareal, got back at Bilbao for knocking us out of Copa, scraped through after being 2-0 down against machinery that is Jurgen Klopp's Sevilla and then just steamrolled our way to CL places. More of this, please.

 

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Benfica game was jubilee (not sure that's actually a word) for me. And i usually lose those games (or it's just my mind playing tricks on me).

But not this time.

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Boys were spectacular and bought us tickets to London, as we face Spurs. (figure of speech, game will be played on our turf)

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It's always funny that Jurgen Klopp ALWAYS leaves Anfield for Spain. (usually Athletico Madrid in my saves) I think Gengenpress is probably OP in this years edition, (especially in Human players hands) but AI Liverpool rarely if ever wins the Premier League or Champions League in my saves.

I think it is mostly due to Klopp jumping ship for another team....mostly in Spain, but I have seen him go to MAN CITY or ARSENAL in other saves.

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6 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

It's always funny that Jurgen Klopp ALWAYS leaves Anfield for Spain. (usually Athletico Madrid in my saves) I think Gengenpress is probably OP in this years edition, (especially in Human players hands) but AI Liverpool rarely if ever wins the Premier League or Champions League in my saves.

I think it is mostly due to Klopp jumping ship for another team....mostly in Spain, but I have seen him go to MAN CITY or ARSENAL in other saves.

In one of my previous saves, saw him going to Bayern. Blasphemy!!!

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March 2023.

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Fight for Top 4 is getting heated. Good thing is, we beat Atleti, our direct contender but couldn't put few more past Levante. Should've won that.

Hopefully it doesn't come back to bite us.

 

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Spanish derby in quarter final. Great clubs in later stages of Europa League, one could think this was CL...

 

End of March means youth intake. Forgot to ss complete intake but here's players we signed.

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Love the look of Gomis but he isn't the most talented player in this generation, judging by my coaches.

 

And at last...

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One of the clubs i would love to manage down the road. Attended the interview but when asked when i would like to take over, told them to wait till end of the season. Which will most likely lose me the job but i can't just leave Castellon at this time.

 

 

Edited by Constantine

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April 2023.

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Well deserved. Boys were brilliant throughout season, in all competitions. They deserve to play in the greatest one.

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Perfect month, not without hiccups. On paper, our toughest games were Valencia and Atletico. We won them fairly easily.

But Zaragoza and Leganes... Jesus f***. Pushed us way past our limits. It was like playing against peak Heynckes's Bayern (Zar) and peak Jose's Chelsea (Leg)

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Final three games. Three finals for us.

I don't dare to dream. Not yet.

As for Europe...

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Make that fourth final for us. Every game matter now.

With CL football secured, we've got budgets for next season.

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I won't complain but...

F*** it, i will

This is laughable. 60m in the bank. I mean, come on.

 

 

Edited by Constantine

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Not even penalties can save you now, Barca!

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Double is in the cards, as we sail past Lyon.

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And in the Final, another English club await.

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Edited by Constantine

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F***

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Of course.

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Everything is still in our hands but... Damn.

Europa League final awaits and three days later, season finale. Away at Las Palmas.

Edited by Constantine

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Alright boys, it's time.

I'll be fielding a team that brought us here. Our (mostly) backup side. It would be unfair to them to change anything now.

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Here we go. Let's show Pep The Bald what we can do!

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