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FM20 - Athletic Club - Basque in the Bilbao Sunshine


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3 hours ago, bowieinspace said:

Yeah his decline seems quite bizarre given his natural fitness

Yep CM only position I've ever got any joy from him this year or previous years in FM, he's just odd on FM. I think his off the ball and finishing should probably be higher so he does the shadow striker type thing properly that he does in real life...right now he's a bit of a jack of all trades master of none...CM seems to be the only place for him

I've had some success with him up front or in the wing as a wide target man-esque role in the past FM editions. His aerial ability gives me a bit of flexibility on attack but at his age and wage tho, it isn't that worth it since Villalibre could do the same job

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First season done and dusted and finished very comfortably 4th but understandably still miles behind the big 3.

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I beat Barcelona on match day 36 to ruin their title hopes which was a bonus though. The highlight of this year was the two oldies in the squad putting in incredible years. Aduriz finished top Spanish goalscorer and second in the Pichichi at the ripe age of 40, meanwhile Benat finished second in the best player award behind Messi! Benat's been incredible as a DLP (S) constantly over 90% pass completion and popping up with long range goals every few games. These two are going to be very tough to replace. Benat is staying on for one more season but Aduriz has been released. Kodro won La Liga 2 with Vallecano and finished top goalscorer so I'm going to give him a go in the first team next year as rotation with Villaibre while the youngsters develop. Got Rodrigues coming in to replace Balenziaga and Olazabal for Herrerin who both want new challenges. Going to try unsettle and snag Merino in the summer to replace Benat long term. 

 

Squad stats: 

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Pre-season done and all attempts to get Merino ended in failure as he and Sociedad wouldn't budge. Setlled for Moncayola from Osasuna, will rotate with Benat this season and take over next season with a youth DLP stepping up to backup, not sure which one yet as Sancet has generated with very low determination on my save and not improved from mentoring so looks unlikely to be La Liga capable. Unai Vencedor has 3 and a half gold star potential on my save so most likely him. Aimar Oroz and the young Alaves right back whom i've forgot the name of both generated with extremely low determination ( 4 and 5 respectively) and weren't mentored by their clubs in the first season so I'm not going to make a move for them, very annoying as I'm stuck with Lekue on the right until I can afford Odriozola or get a good regen as there are no worthwhile upgrades. (sold de marcos to china) worried about this season being a slip to Europa league as I feel Benat aging and our top scorer Aduriz missing are going to hurt us as the youth aren't quite ready to step up yet. Absolutely terrible youth intake first season too with the best prospect being 2 and a half gold stars...

Edited by Matto97
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I'm struggling like never before. I was one game away from getting the sack but have managed to turn things around and now we're on track to finish 7th which isn't great. If we don't get Europa League I'm pretty sure I'll get sacked.

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2022/23 Season Review - A long old season, are we the third wheel?

 

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Going to be a fairly quick update this one... 3rd in the league again, we can't quite compete with Barca and Real, Valencia nearly caught us. We lost in the Copa Del Rey final to Barcelona and had a bit of a shocker in Europe. We went out of the group stages in the Champions League after being stuck in a group with PSG and Man United (who are now very good)  - had no chance against either. We then went into the Europa League and lost in the second knockout round away at Milan...tough times when it's one leg and you are away (we only just got through the prior round against Ajax). 

Transfer wise, no major news aside from Inigo Martinez going to China. I didn't want to sell really but he was going to become unhappy, and it meant I could give more games to Lafuente and Delgado.

Next season could bring some improvements as our young players continue to improve. Iker Garcia and Julen Uriarte and Inigo Uriarte in particular are pretty special.

Alex Gabilondo - No major improvement, had a bit part role but a very useful player as he links play very well. Scores a few but perhaps not quite enough to lock down the CF spot.

Andoni Lafuente - His personality is bothering me and I can't improve it. Massive potential but he spent the whole season unsettled because I didn't accept a loan offer last summer (for a squad player role in the segunda..?!). Have sent him on loan this season to Sporting Gijon in a squad player role to cure his unhappiness...he can suck that up for a while.

Ignacio Sukunza - Nabbed from Sociedad's academy, should hopefully become our long term left back but still has a way to go.

Iker Garcia - Love this guy, absolute beast.

Inigo Uriarte - Stole this gentleman from Alaves...he could be the lynchpin of our midfield for years. In the first team squad this season but starting him in the B team initially.

Jose Luis Delgado - My 3rd choice centre back, should get a lot of playing time this year with the miserably Lafuente on loan.

Julen Uriarte - Breath him in..! What a player, turning into a world class CM. 

Roberto Exposito - Will be making his first steps in to the first team this year.

Forgot to get a screenshot of Jose Angel Martinez my other DM, but he is still looking quite solid and will be rotating in the first team this season. 

 

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4 games to go in my first season and we are currently sitting 2nd, though at no point have we ever been in a title race as Barcelona are currently on for an invincibles season.

I have Socieadad (a), A,Madrid (a), Barcelona (h), and Valladollid (h) as my last 4 games though so I think 3rd will be more realistic as I am 8 points clear of A.Madrid in 4th so should hopefully hold them off. 

 

Youth intake was ok, one four star striker, one 4 star centre-back and a 3/12 winger who probably will struggle as his stats are all over the place. 

 

Next season worries me as the players just aren't there for a quality squad to take on Champions league football, I have Fernandes coming in as another left back option, but that is about it and about 5 players from the first team squad have gone or are going (Mikel San Jose is going on a free, De Marcos has gone, Aduriz is retiring, Raul Garcia has gone and Kodro has gone).  

Have like £35 million from this years budget left and whatever they are going to give me for next year, but not many options, Merino from Sociedad is an option as he wants to leave but they only want his release clause which is £39 million.

Odriozola is playing regularly for Madrid so is unlikley. 

I really want Oyarzabal, as he would be a perfect roaming playmaker for my system and currently the aging Benat plays this role (but as a volante) but he's not interested, I am hoping the lure of champions league football might help there, but I'd have to see on how much budget I get as well because again I'd presume I'd need to hit his £65 million release clause. 

 

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23 minutes ago, tajj7 said:

4 games to go in my first season and we are currently sitting 2nd, though at no point have we ever been in a title race as Barcelona are currently on for an invincibles season.

I have Socieadad (a), A,Madrid (a), Barcelona (h), and Valladollid (h) as my last 4 games though so I think 3rd will be more realistic as I am 8 points clear of A.Madrid in 4th so should hopefully hold them off. 

 

Youth intake was ok, one four star striker, one 4 star centre-back and a 3/12 winger who probably will struggle as his stats are all over the place. 

 

Next season worries me as the players just aren't there for a quality squad to take on Champions league football, I have Fernandes coming in as another left back option, but that is about it and about 5 players from the first team squad have gone or are going (Mikel San Jose is going on a free, De Marcos has gone, Aduriz is retiring, Raul Garcia has gone and Kodro has gone).  

Have like £35 million from this years budget left and whatever they are going to give me for next year, but not many options, Merino from Sociedad is an option as he wants to leave but they only want his release clause which is £39 million.

Odriozola is playing regularly for Madrid so is unlikley. 

I really want Oyarzabal, as he would be a perfect roaming playmaker for my system and currently the aging Benat plays this role (but as a volante) but he's not interested, I am hoping the lure of champions league football might help there, but I'd have to see on how much budget I get as well because again I'd presume I'd need to hit his £65 million release clause. 

 

Despite Kodro's average stat distribution and poor debut season IRL he's been doing very good on my save and stepped up to fill the hole Aduriz left until I can bring a regen through, 1st season i sent him on loan to vallecano and he got the la liga 2 golden boot and this 2nd season he's 3rd in the golden boot race with 9 goals in 18 starts. Might of been worth keeping around! it's a lot harder to get results year 2 though, this time last year I was very comfortably 4th with 10 points seperating me from 5th, this year I am 5th with 1 point between 4th and 6th! As long as you get Europa league football you shouldn't get the sack.

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2 hours ago, Matto97 said:

Despite Kodro's average stat distribution and poor debut season IRL he's been doing very good on my save and stepped up to fill the hole Aduriz left until I can bring a regen through, 1st season i sent him on loan to vallecano and he got the la liga 2 golden boot and this 2nd season he's 3rd in the golden boot race with 9 goals in 18 starts. Might of been worth keeping around! it's a lot harder to get results year 2 though, this time last year I was very comfortably 4th with 10 points seperating me from 5th, this year I am 5th with 1 point between 4th and 6th! As long as you get Europa league football you shouldn't get the sack.

Yeh never really used him and he got unhappy, used Williams and Villalibre as main strikers, and whilst Villalibre started slowly (scored about 1 in 9 I think) as he's improved a bit he's ended up having a good season, with both of them now over 15 goals in the league, so both are slightly better than I in 2. 

The first 11 is pretty strong, we've easily been the 3rd best team in the league (if not second) plus some of the younger players like Simon, Nunez and Villalibre have developed over the season so probably will have a stronger first 11 next season than the start of the game. But I've been quite lucky with injuries only having a few minor ones here and there (and Yuri just got a 3 month one but that was with only 5 games left of the season) but I noticed our form was not as good as we picked up about 5/6 injuries at once (a lot of which were annoyingly the flu or viruses) because the squad depth outside the first 11 is just not the same level.  I've barely rotated because the first team is so obvious, only the 3 centre-backs have seen rotation/competition really and Cordoba has forced himself into first team reckoning with some good games. 

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End of the 22-23 season. A final week that saw us in contention for two trophies, but neither was to be. Had we won away at Real on the final day, we'd be champions. A stodgy Europa League final against Milan was decided by a Suso penalty. A great campaign though, so much to be proud of and optimistic about. We have a squad with decent depth and options across the park. Check out the number of players with strong seasons! The defence is solid, the midfield holds its own against the stronger sides, and we have real goal threats in the attacking positions. Villalibre finally found his goal scoring form, and Cordoba/Williams weighed in too. Even further back, Muniain (who plays in CM now) and Herrera (on loan, let's see if we can make it permanent) contributed. 

Now, for some youngsters. Look at Vencedor! Is he this good in anyone else's game?? He is a perfect deep-lying midfielder. Munoz, who came in a couple of seasons ago from Osasuna, got some game time and will get more in the next couple of seasons as we try to get the age of the squad down (if Muniain gets a decent offer, we may accept now). Telletxea is about a season or two off being an absolute regular. If we get those passing and technique stats up, he'll be a great attacking CM. Orbegozo is my favourite of the younger players though. His development means we can do more with Williams, who can play across the front three in any position now when we need him to (and he can back up Villalibre up front). We've been stockpiling players in the B team. We will see if any come through. There's some promising full backs, which is nice as Yuri and Capa only have 1-2y left in the tank. We've got a good 16yo CB from Real Sociedad coming this Summer. Hopefully he kicks on by the time Martinez moves on. Speaking of Real Sociedad, they sold me a pretty handy Roberto Lopez for peanuts too - chumps!! I wouldn't expect much business this Summer though. I reckon we're well set to continue to remain in the CL spots. Just need to see whether we can repeat this season just gone. 

 

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Edited by dothestrand
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Finished my first season, finished 2nd, 17 points behind an invincible Barcelona team, cheeky board gave me a transfer budget of £32 million, the exact budget I still had from the main season, so effectively have given me no transfer budget.

I'll do full season update tomorrow. 

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On 24/11/2019 at 09:31, paperbox said:

Does anyone know how i can make the B and C team play with my tactics? I can't seem to find it in the staff responsibilities

Yep go in to your B team (or C team), click on the tactics tab, and in the top menu bar (to the right of the B team managers name) you'll see the primary tactic option

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First Season update 

League table -

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Solid second place actually finishing above Real Madrid in the end, but nowhere near Barcelona who just ran away with it basically. 

 

Squad Performers -

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Williams and Villalibre led the way with goals finishing on 17 and 18 respectively, pretty much a 1 in 2 record for both strikers in a two striker formation is pretty decent.  Ibai Gomez was probably the surprise package racking up 11 goals and 11 assists, completely outperforming the more talented Munain, and Benat performed very well in his roaming playmaker role.

 

Transfers first season -

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Nothing really on the ins aside a young player my DOF signed, on the outs front De Marco and Garcia wanted to leave due to lack of footbal.

Transfers season 2 -

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Rodrigues I actually signed at the start of the first season but he has only just joined as he was out on loan, obviously Merino was the big one, I noticed he was wanted by lots of clubs and was looking to leave Sociedad, they wouldn't negotiate a deal less than his release clause so I just decided to go for it as I only have Benat for my roaming playmaker position, who is 33 and is declining, so Merino is a clear upgrade for that role, a good age, can still improve a little as well, so should become a lynchpin of my midfield for years to come hopefully.

On the outs, Herrerin wanted to go for a new challenge, oddly Inter and Liverpool were after him, and I agreed deals with both for £4.9 million, the board blocked both moves, and when I told them he wanted to leave for a new challenge on the Liverpool deal they said that wasn't a good reason, so in talking to them about blocking the Inter deal I said I didn't need him and they agreed to sell him! 

Disappointingly despite raising £25 million in sales and not using any of my first season transfer budget, that £41 million spend is it for both seasons, which is pretty stingy by the board IMO, IIRC the first season budget was about £25 million, so not only have they basically given me no transfer budget for the 2nd season despite getting them Champions league football, they have also taken about £10 million from the sales raised as well. 

 

Youth Prospects -

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These are the best two players I have had, I think the striker looks potentially better as he has the better starting attributes though still some odd ones, he is potentially looking like a target man that is good at set pieces. The centre-back is going to need some work but this is fine as I have 3 good centre backs and they will be good for a few years yet. 

 

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4 hours ago, bowieinspace said:

Well I have just paid a whopping 68 million GBP for Mikel Merino.

I may of overpaid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have definitely overpaid.

I wish I was in the position to overpay! I think he has around the same release clause in my game. Sangalli is a more reasonable option but even though he's transfer listed, they're asking for double the value. Ditto for Oyarzabal, who's asked to leave and they want 116m! 

I've got 30m and 300k pw on wages in the bank. Having sold Yuri, I'm tempted to sign Azpilacueta for 2y. Chelsea aren't asking for much but his wages/signing on fee are pretty high (though not hugely more than what Yuri was on tbf). Still physically strong and in all the defensive areas, he'd offer good versatility. Also annoying the board and making me the Basque retirement home, I'm also tempted to bring Herrera back. Similar again, good physicals and technicals still, but with a decent wage and signing on fee. These would buy more a bit of time with my youngsters. Oh and to make it worse, I signed Zaldua as he'd already moved on to Valladolid and they were happy to move him on for 1m (he's 30 but decent). I can see that criteria on developing youth players going out of the window :)

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56 minutes ago, Jean0987654321 said:

Yep. I got him for $53M in last year's edition.

 

Should've stockpiled on some regens...

Haha yeah, to be fair this is the first time I’ve had legitimate funds to do it. I got the big Odriozola deal done previously but that was massively focused around instalments...with Merino it was always release clause or no deal so this was the first opportunity I had. It only happened because a Chinese club came in for Muniain (now 31 nearly 32). They offered 15, I didn’t really need to sell but negotiated what felt like a silly 35 and they just agreed straight away haha. 
 

for the player himself I feel like I’ve technically overpaid but he’s already proving his worth as he’s ideal for my system. I needed someone to play the AP role to replace Muniain however Merino is a far better fit. Having a strong, well rounded guy in there who’s both creative and combative is a big improvement role wise.

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2023/24 Season Review - Success!

 

A trophy!! We won a bloody trophy! 

After quite a few seasons of never quite managing to overhaul Real and Barca, losing semi finals and generally not quite having enough, we managed to win La Liga! 

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As you can see we still managed to lose our fair share of semi finals as well, but we managed to hold on and win La Liga. I say hold on because our last 5 games were Atletico (A), Real Madrid (A), Barca (H), Almeria (H) and Celta Vigo (A). Celta are in 8th so that was no easy game. We managed a strong win over Atletico, but then were beaten 2-0 by Real in unfortunate circumstances. That left us 3 points clear of Barca facing what felt like a winner takes all game (we would lose the head to head if we lost and had worse GD as well), we managed to beat them in what I can only describe as a defensive performance. We then draw on the final day against Celta to win the title by 4. Phew.

Transfers

Some big January moves saw us say goodbye to Iker Muniain to China. I wasn't inclined to sell him but they gave me silly money for a 31 year old, and it gave me just enough to bring in Mikel Merino who is a better fit for my team and younger, albeit he cost a lot! Aside from that, we also said goodbye to Ander Capa and Kevin Rodrigues, as their back up full back roles are now occupied by Ignacio Sukunza and Roberto Sanchez (CM i am retraining to play RB).

 

Newgens 

Alex GabilondoLa Liga young player of the year! A fantastic year for the young striker who improved his goal scoring tally, and when combined with his link up play and team work was very effective. 

Andoni Lafuente - The temperamental centre back has come on well this season, I recalled him from loan in January and he is rotating in and out of my side now.

Fran Gonzalez - New kid on the block from my intake this year, needs mentoring but good be good.

Ignacio Sukunza - Looks very assured when he plays and will be my first choice LB by the end of next season I think.

Iker Garcia - Absolute superstar and mainstay of my forward line. Ended up playing wide right more often than as a striker this season with Gabilondo playing so well.

Inigo Uriarte - Is going to be an important player for us next season after improving quite a bit this year. I plan on having him as my starting DM come the first game of the season to let him flourish.

Jose Luis Delgado - Came on leaps and bounds this season and is now right up there with Yeray competing for the second CB spot alongside Unai Nunez

Roberto Exposito - Superb improvements from this young right winger/striker. He is my rotation option on the right wing and does really well when he plays, could be very good.

Roberto Sanchez - I'm retraining this guy as a RB because I have no competitive cover there for Odriozola. He is reasonably well suited for it and hoping some of his key attributes will improve with role training.

And finally, put your hands together for one of the best newgens I've had on FM...ever...Julen Uriarte:

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The 19 year old superstar continues to improve massively nearly every week. An exceptionally well rounded attacking midfielder, scoring 11 goals in La Liga in 30 appearances from the CM (A) role. I can't wait to see how good this guy is going to get. 

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@bowieinspace Congratulations! And those are some terrific regens you've got developing. Uriarte could be one of the world's best players soon! I saw Serrano on your list of high assisters. How has he done for you? He never really developed for me, so I sacked him off a while ago.

I'm just starting the 23-24 season. Hopefully we can build on last season's 2nd place. I did sign Herrera and Azpilacueta on 2y deals - hopefully their physical stats hold up over that time! 

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1 minute ago, dothestrand said:

@bowieinspace Congratulations! And those are some terrific regens you've got developing. Uriarte could be one of the world's best players soon! I saw Serrano on your list of high assisters. How has he done for you? He never really developed for me, so I sacked him off a while ago.

I'm just starting the 23-24 season. Hopefully we can build on last season's 2nd place. I did sign Herrera and Azpilacueta on 2y deals - hopefully their physical stats hold up over that time! 

Serrano is an interesting one, he's a 3 gold star player with one black star of potential improvement, so roughly on par with Cordoba. His rate of improvement has always been quite poor though so I'm somewhat disappointed, despite the fact he's quite a good player.

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1 hour ago, cemendur88 said:

Some amazing newgens there @bowieinspace very jealous of some of them. I've only had a few come through to the first team so far, will do an update on them once I've finished my current season. Do you have a defined path for players from U19s > first team?

I'll keep run of the mill new regens in the u19s but as I can't seem to really control the training of the B/C squads, I tend to loan them out to the best side possible, who'll give them regular game time. That said, I don't know how effective that is. I always ask for reports on every performance, and I don't think many of them perform well on loan, so maybe this stifles their progress. I think I do have some regens who look good at 17-18 and then plateau. 

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2 minutes ago, dothestrand said:

I'll keep run of the mill new regens in the u19s but as I can't seem to really control the training of the B/C squads, I tend to loan them out to the best side possible, who'll give them regular game time. That said, I don't know how effective that is. I always ask for reports on every performance, and I don't think many of them perform well on loan, so maybe this stifles their progress. I think I do have some regens who look good at 17-18 and then plateau. 

My current trend is to always been best newgens in U19s until they're at least 18 and then either promote to senior squad if they look good enough or otherwise go to B-team for good game time as they'll be playing with first team tactics there and the B-team are in the 2nd division now. Has always done okay but @bowieinspace looks to have had some excellent development so curious to see how he differs. I've definitely had those newgens who look awesome and then go nowhere as well as plenty of weak ones who turn into amazing players, always tricky to know who will for certain become part of the first team eventually.

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5 hours ago, cemendur88 said:

My current trend is to always been best newgens in U19s until they're at least 18 and then either promote to senior squad if they look good enough or otherwise go to B-team for good game time as they'll be playing with first team tactics there and the B-team are in the 2nd division now. Has always done okay but @bowieinspace looks to have had some excellent development so curious to see how he differs. I've definitely had those newgens who look awesome and then go nowhere as well as plenty of weak ones who turn into amazing players, always tricky to know who will for certain become part of the first team eventually.

I'd be surprised if I was doing anything drastically different but it could be down to a few factors I guess (most likely just luck of the draw with good newgens coming through), here's my method:

1) Identify the right players. I've only had a few really good ones come through my own academy but I am very thorough with my selection and scouting of players at other clubs. I focus heavily on attributes as much as star ratings etc but both contribute. For example Ignacio Sukunza was quite limited attribute wise but was clearly gifted physically which made up for his weaker technicals. However had I scouted him and my scout came back with a low star rating I may have passed on him, but the scout rated him highly so I snapped him up. Of those pictured:

Alex Gabilondo - Our academy
Andoni Lafuente - Real Union (from memory my scouts thought he would max out at 2 stars but his attribute spread was superb)
Fran Gonzalez - Our academy
Ignacio Sukunza - Real Sociedad
Iker Garcia - Our academy
Inigo Uriarte - Alaves
Jose Luis Delgado - Alaves
Roberto Exposito - Real Sociedad
Roberto Sanchez - CD Tudelano
Julen Uriarte - Our academy

Once I have the player on board, I keep a close eye on coach reports and player development. If someone with a lower star rating is improving rapidly I keep a closer eye on them. 

2) Specific pathway depends on the player but would generally be one of the following:

a) Positive personality (e.g. Julen Uriarte), never loaned out. Will stay in my U18s until 17 generally speaking, but exactly when they move up to the first team squad is a little varied. Will move them up to the first team squad when they are ready to play for the B team. I will then have them training with the first team, making bench appearances if possible and playing for the B team each week.

b) Negative personality (e.g. Andoni Lafuente or Fran Gonzalez). They might get loaned if I can find a destination with a good squad personality. Otherwise they don't stay in my U19s at all, I would move them straight to the first team to place them in a mentoring group. Make them available for U19s until ready to play B team. They would stay in the first team squad throughout. 

c) If a player has a positive personality but I am unsure if they will ever be quite good enough (or might end up being a good squad player in the future) I will more readily move them directly in to the B team and will just keep a close eye on their development. I bump people up to train with the first team if they are doing well. Any negative personalities with a good attribute spread I would be more likely to mentor them in the first team and make available for the B team.

d) All the others who will be good B team players but never first team, they stay in the U19s or go on loan until they are good enough to move to the B team.

 

Training wise, I am very picky with the training schedules I put players on. I try to keep this to the correct position for the player, although not exclusively. I focus more on putting them on a schedule which improves the right attributes. For example, if I have a young full back come through who is a very defensively orientated right full back, I will normally but them on a right back schedule, but one more focused around developing attacking attributes to round them out a bit more (unless I want my full backs to specifically be very defensive). As it stands I want my full backs to be good going forwards, so I train them accordingly from the get go. 

Julen Uriarte is a prime example of this - on page two you will see my original screenshot of Julen Uriarte. I don't play with an AM, so I had to think about whether I wanted him to become a wide attacking player, or a CM, and this partially came down to what depth and options I had in the squad. It also came down to the fact I felt he was a world class talent, so had massive room for growth. I looked at his profile and saw the following related to positions I could use him in:

Poor tackling and marking (3 and 2) - If I was going to use him as a CM, I would need to improve these to at least something approaching respectability. Equally, we press hard so I would want him to improve in this area regardless even if he was being trained as a wide player or striker.

Reasonable aggression, positioning and anticipation (6, 9, 8) - Despite the above, he had very solid attributes for this type of player. While never likely to be the most aggressive, his positioning and anticipation suggested to me he could be a very capable CM on the defensive side of things with the right development. 

Good passing, reasonable vision (16, 10) - His passing there is superb, but his vision is good but not great. I could certainly focus my training on his vision attribute to turn him into a playmaker, but I felt this would be partially wasteful because...

Excellent finishing and off the ball (12, 11) - I didn't feel it would be worthwhile having a playmaker in central midfield which such impressive movement and finishing attributes. Sure it doesn't hurt, but that role would restrict him. 

Well rounded physicals - While not the strongest, his physical attributes are good enough to play CM. Strength would need to improve

When he came through I felt I had the most need for an attacking central midfielder (although I didn't do anything specific with him for a few months because I wanted to make the right decision - I trained him as an AM (S) for a little while until I could decide) and his attributes leant perfectly towards this with the right development. I felt I needed to improve his tackling and marking alongside his aggression, positioning and anticipation to round him out for a CM role (even on CM (A)), while his other attributes lent themselves well to the CM role anyway. I looked at the various schedules I could put him on and decided the BBM and CM (A) schedules would suit, I also did periods of additional training focusing on defensive positioning. I had him on the BBM schedule for a while but had no success with his aggression attribute, and eventually switched him to the CM (A) schedule once he had rounded out a little bit to put more focus on those role attributes. I also added the arrives late into box PPM, and makes killer passes, to make sure he was exploiting his existing skill set in the CM A role. 

The attacking attributes would come on well anyway, but the defensive ones are the ones I wanted to see specific improvement in:
Tackling: 3 to 6
Marking: 2 to 7
Aggression: Sadly no change
Positioning: 9 to 13
Anticipation: 8 to 14
Strength: 5 to 12

While I would prefer his tackling and marking to be a touch higher, that's not a bad improvement for someone who is clearly not 'that type of player'. The most impressive ones to me were anticipation, positioning and strength, because with these, even if his tackling and marking weren't so good, as a CM (A) he could still use these attributes to place himself well, making interceptions and make our defensive block more solid. Had these attributes not improved, I would not have the quality CM that I have now. If i had trained him in a winger role, his attributes would look wildly different now. If i had continued to train him as an AM (S), he wouldn't be so well rounded.

Basically you want to make sure you think ahead about what you want the player to be in the future. It's easy to just stick them on the training schedule to suit their existing role, but this might not bring about the best improvements. If you get a winger through who already has excellent crossing, dribbling etc, why put them on a winger schedule that focuses on these attributes? You may as well put them on a wide midfielder or inside forward schedule to see how far you can take some of their weaker attributes, or the specific ones you want to see an improvement in.

That being said, with someone like him it's easy because I think his PA is massive, so lots of room. However for someone more on the border line ability wise, you would be better placed focusing on improving his key role attributes to maximise him in that role (provided it doesn't mess up your system if, for example, he can't tackle!).

 

As an aside, the one thing bugging me a little this year is how flexible personality attributes are, but it seems to be more one way than the other. For example a lot of my players like Julen Uriarte have dropped in some positive personality attributes such as professionalism (Julen has gone from Professional, to Model Citizen, to Resolute and now Fairly Determined)...basically they are falling in line with the squad personality. However someone like Andoni Lafuente can't seem to increase his negative personality attributes to get away from his temperamental personality. Maybe that's reasonable? However I feel like it's a battle to keep my good ones with the right personalities while bloody hard to get my bad ones to improve.

Edited by bowieinspace
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Second season finished, I came 4th again by the skin of my teeth as it wasn't confirmed until matchday 37. 2 youth players made the step up during injury crisis this season and will be playing for the B team week in week out in the second division next season as they got promoted this year. 

Picked up Miguel Rodriguez from Celta's reserves for a measly 50k and he had a breakout year on the right covering for Inaki when he was playing up front or injured. 

JdWHB5F.jpg

 

David De La Vibora I picked up for an even smaller 4k! Has potential to be an incredible attacking wing back on my left hand side, set to take over from Yuri after next season as I'll be selling him in the summer/winter if any good offers come in or moving him on as he ages.

O89PXMR.jpg

 

Last but not least I have the aptly named Oskar Bilbao who looks to be the most promising regen through our own academy so far! Made a 45 minute appearance off the bench vs Real Madrid away and looked really good! Will be playing with the B team next season and I'm excited to see how he progresses into a replacement for Lekue.

DiIYIvB.jpg 

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@bowieinspace thanks for the very detailed info! I'd say main things you do I don't at the moment is move players to main team even when only playing for B-team, and being more involved with team and individual training, things i'll definitely have to think about though the reason I don't do them at the moment is I'm a bit lazy!

Also, for my slight complaining about lack of first team quality newgens so far I'm now, towards the end of my fifth season, at the point where I've got a bunch who now need to transition to the first-team squad, will post a summary of my squad and youth prospects once the season is done. So think I was definitely premature in feeling a bit hard-done by with them.

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Well, 2023/24 was a season of great success for us. We completed the triple of the league, cup and super cup and even made it into the Champions Cup semi-finals! The league was a tight run battle with Real Madrid but we secured the title with one game to go. 

Team-wise it's certainly feeling like a period of succession. I let Herrando, who had been filling in at CB, go as he just wasn't good enough and didn't really have any room to grow. I also sold Sancet who has been surpassed by other players in CM. Two other players, Cordoba and Sanchez (newgen DM) were sent on loan. Heading into 24/25 Martinez, Larrazabal, and Gorosabel are all in the last year of their contract and I think only the last one will get a new one. Williams is now 20, Yeray 29, Rodrigues 30, so need to start getting their replacements ready for when they do leave.

FIRST TEAM SQUAD

Goalkeepers

Unai Simon - an absolute rock in goal, clear first choice for now and many years to come

Alvaro Fernandez - couldn't wish for a better back-up, he's more than happy with the occasional cup-game and good enough to step up for the few times Simon has been injured

Defenders

Enrique Arteaga - the record signing of 22/23 when I asked the board to buy him, he's become the first choice right back with more room to develop

Andoni Gorosabel - a very solid player, he should be good for 4-5 years by when hopefully a young prospect will have appeared for this position

Unai Nunez - first choice at CB and in his prime

Yeray - lines up alongside Nunez, still in his prime but starting to plan for his replacement

Inigo Martinez - amazingly didn't lose too many attribute points when he had his broken leg for 6 months, but last season he began to noticeably decline. Out of contract at the end of the season and will let him good, been a great servant to the club

Joselu - bought from Sociedad last year, can play at CB or DM but think CB will be his future, like his technical skills

Eneko Nunez - been developing in the U19s for the past couple of seasons, promoted to learn from Martinez before he leaves, hoping to develop his technical skills more but looks very solid already

Aihen Munoz - since signing from Sociedad been very reliable first choice LB, remains so for now

Kevin Rodrigues - a great back-up and rotation option, starting to come towards the end of his time here and thankfully have a young prospect coming through to replace him

Midfielders

Jon Moncayola - an absolute machine last season, highest assists in La Liga. Thrived in a change to my tactics with him first choice as a DLP in the DM spot

Peru Nolaskoain - almost cruel he has to compete with Moncayola, but both of their positional versatility means they get plenty of games

Borja Sanchez - signed from Eibar in 20/21, he's been a solid backup at DM but his lack of technical skills means i'm looking to move him on so he's gone on loan this season

Aimar Oroz - by far the best signing I've made in this save, been absolute first choice at CM for many seasons now. Going to be at the heart of the team for the next ten years

Mikel Merino - great since signing in 22/23, solid alongside Oroz and love his versatility

Ivan Martin - signed last season to provide depth after Muniain left, he was a disappointment, being ranked as one of the worst signings in La Liga last season. Will give him this season to see if he can prove himself, otherwise there are youngsters coming through who can take his spot

Mikel Agirre - lovely newgen who player superbly for the B-team last year and now promoted to help with depth in the first team

Attackers

Inaki Williams - first choice at right wing and done great since I've switched to using AMR, will remain first choice there until he leaves

Gaizka Larrazabal - done great as a rotation option, but clearly reached his limited, his contract is running out so face the choice of either letting him go or extending depending on what happens to Williams

Pablo Sukunza - promoted from U19s, can play on right or up-front, and one of the players threatening Larrazabal's place

Inigo Alonso - the best newgen to come through from any youth intake so far, first choice on left wing and had an amazing season last year

Nico Serrano - has faded a little in recent years, was one of the best performers for a few seasons but has lacked consistency recently

Inigo Cordoba - not as good upfront as Villalibre, and third choice on the left so let him go on loan as his time at the club is probably coming to an end

Asier Villalibre - been a real surprise this year, has flourished since I've adjusted tactics and now plays as a F9 upfront, will remain first choice until on of the youth prospects come through

YOUTH PROSPECTS

Goalkeepers

Igor Jimenez - now first choice with the B-team, looks to be a longer term replacement for Fernandez as backup keeper

Josu Rodriguez - a very promising keeper, perhaps the long term Simon replacement unless any better keepers come through in the years to come

Defenders

Josu Alonso - originally looked to be the best long-term CB option but hasn't developed as well as I hoped. First year in B-team he went backwards but improved last year, however is likely to remain with the B-team

Ricardo Infante - bought from Iruna as an early attempt to add long-term depth at LB, hasn't really developed much and now future is really with B-team

Inigo Pascual - a great CB prospect, perhaps the Yeray replacement in a few years

Borja Sanchez - not to be confused with the Borja Sanchez DM, he was in the latest youth intake and hooray for a LB with good crossing stats! He looks like he could be better than Munoz soon enough

Midfielders

Jesus Larrinaga - solid CM, promoted to B-team this year to replace Agirre, hoping he can improve even more

Imanol Ojeda - him and Larrinaga dominated at CM for the U19s, hoping he can do the same for B-team, one of these two is likely to replace Martin if he continues to disappoint

Andoni Etxeberria - another from the latest youth intake, bags of potential and looks to me the likeliest long-term replacement for Merino

Attackers

Borja Bacaicoa - bags of potential but hasn't developed as much as I'd like with B-team so far, going to make sure he gets more game time this season and see how he does

Ander Villar - was part of first team briefly, but wasn't performing so went back to B-team, had some great seasons with them so a decent backup when needed

Xabi Irate - another who can play on right or upfront, hoping he can develop well with Williams time at the club having a limited time left

Erik Martinez - bought from Pamplona, his stats aren't the best but has lots of potential so hoping another year in the U19s will show good improvement

Javier Vera - perhaps the star of the latest youth intake, I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't long before he's better than Villalibre

-----

Overall squad has good depth, and plenty of young prospects who are either already knocking on first-team door or look like they will be soon enough. As said before was probably worrying too much about progress of youngsters, and the most recent youth intake has definitely added prospects in areas that were needed. Looking forward to how this season goes.

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1 minute ago, dothestrand said:

If a 29yo Williams who isn't your first choice across LWF, RWF or CF is worth 19m and a Chinese club will pay 47m, would you sell? That's my dilemma. 

Question is how much depth you have if you sell him, and if there's someone you could buy with the money. If you feel fine without him in the squad then i'd take the cash. The problem I always find is that there's always so few players you could ever spend money from transfer fees on.

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9 minutes ago, cemendur88 said:

Question is how much depth you have if you sell him, and if there's someone you could buy with the money. If you feel fine without him in the squad then i'd take the cash. The problem I always find is that there's always so few players you could ever spend money from transfer fees on.

Not much, I'd have to recall some guys on loan to cover the wide and central positions who're miles off his ability. I've rejected it. It's Jan 2024 and we're currently 4th so I can't risk dropping out of the CL places with the board not completely happy with the club's position. 

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3 minutes ago, dothestrand said:

Not much, I'd have to recall some guys on loan to cover the wide and central positions who're miles off his ability. I've rejected it. It's Jan 2024 and we're currently 4th so I can't risk dropping out of the CL places with the board not completely happy with the club's position. 

Yeah sounds like the best, his skill and versatility can be hard to replace.

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Funny I just had a similar situation with a 30 year old Inaki Williams, and I sold him. Shanghai SIPG came in with a crazy 45million offer, and I could get Barrenetxea from Sociedad for a bit more than that figure, so an easy decision to do the swap!

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Oroz hasn't developed that well for me. My fault, I've sent him on loan for a couple of seasons, as I've done with all my players to get them game time. I think I'd have been better off all this time developing players in-house with my staff/facilities, the unleashing them for a season of loan football when they were on the cusp of the first team. I compile match reports for all my loanees, and get fed up of "Player X had a quiet game" week in, week out. So I'm changing that!

Oroz has decent technical skills but weak physicals. However, he was on loan in La Liga (Getafe I think) and averaged over 7, so what do I know? :)

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1 hour ago, bowieinspace said:

Yeah he's pretty good! He rotates in my team with Mikel Merino :) 

Nice, he's by far the biggest new plus to playing as Athletic on this version of FM, definitely helps offset how many of the usual 'old-guard' have either left or don't have long left at the start.

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Very nice and informational review in the first posts.

This year Athletic is going to be long term youth development save hoping that it will be an interesting challenge. Main tactic is going to be a wide 4123 and i am hoping that academies will bring some good central midfielders in the near future.

96e474ae6dfbdd7d3e6115955a946def.png

The plan is Inaki to replace Aduriz upfront and Villalibre to become backup or main in case i want to switch to a system with 2 strikers.

Already retraining Raul Garcia in a DM-Regista role since i need options in all 3 midfield positions.

Another future option is to switch in a 352 with a libero and a target man upfront.

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Nothing quite like a key game in the title race, 4 games left, away at a team in the bottom 3....6 clear cut chances against their 1 and we lose 1-0. Cracking.

Edit, two games later and we throw away a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3 in similar circumstances. Shocker

Edited by bowieinspace
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2024/25 Review - Awesome Atletico on the Revival, Athletic Club throw it away?

 

The 2024/25 season is over, a very enjoyable season, but sadly the league prize escaped us. 

4K8sQg3.jpg

 

The successes: First of all a great win in the Copa Del Rey, really happy with that one and a good win against Atletico in the final, at least taking something off them this season. Secondly reaching the quarter finals of the Champions League was an improvement, and we were incredibly close to reaching the semi final as well. We beat Napoli in the first knockout round, and then came up against our nemesis PSG in the quarters - as tough a draw as we could have gotten. They were the better side in both legs but we held strong, scoring two late goals to win the first leg 2-1. In the second leg we played more defensively and weathered the storm for nearly 50 minutes until they found the breakthrough and went 1-0 up. We then went for it a bit more, eventually finding an equaliser through Gabilondo in the 78th minute! I thought we were looking good at that point, switching to a defensive system to try to see it out, but heartbreak as they scored from a corner to make it 2-1 in the 86th, immediately followed by an absolute screamer in the 88th to take it 3-1, 4-3 on aggregate. We competed much better against the top teams this season which bodes well for the future.

The failure: Unfortunately the league didn't quite fall our way this year, summarised by dropping points on the run in with a loss away at 18th place Malaga and a draw away at 19th place Getafe while dominating both games. Wins there would have seen us home as we beat Atletico coming down the stretch as well. 

 

Transfers

Big transfer news this season saw the departures of a few familiar faces. Moncayola and Cordoba both left as weren't getting as much game time anymore, and we also said goodbye to Inaki Williams to China. This allowed us to sign Ander Barrenetxea from Real Sociedad for a similar (ish) fee which is a better deal for the long term. We also signed an exciting goalkeeper prospect from Sociedad, Roberto Ojeda, who I see as the replacement for Simon. I will also sell Kepa Uriarte and Alejandro Ibarrondo this summer after both have spent the last season and a bit on loan.

 

The squad

GK: Simon, Ojeda
RB: Odriozola, Sanchez
LB: Munoz. Sukunza
CB: Yeray, Unai Nunez, Lafuente, Delgado
DM: Jose Angel Martinez, Inigo Uriarte
CM: Mikel Merino, Aimar Oroz, Oihan Sancet, Julen Uriarte
RW: Exposito, Inaki Nunez
LW: Barrenetxea, Serrano
CF: Iker Garcia, Gabilondo 

Extra: Fran Gonzalez (alongside Inaki Nunez will be making the step up for next season)

Prospects:
Inaki De Paula - from our intake this year, personality needs a lot of work!!
Eneko Kortazar - good young winger

Huge improvements from a few newgens above, Lafuente and Delgado have come on massively (and I finally got Lafuente's personality to improve slightly). Inigo Uriarte is also a big highlight as he is reaping the benefits of the physical training I've been putting him through. Julen Uriarte this year won the FIFA young player of the year which was cool, he is one of the best players on the game!

 

Tactics

RaB2gwm.jpg

We are still primarily focused on playing an attacking 4-3-3 (4-1-2-3), however we continue to tweak things. The wide attackers are now set to man mark opposing full backs, as I felt they weren't offering enough defensive coverage. This helped a lot on route to the best defensive record in the league. We also removed play out of defence - I felt this was drawing our midfield too deep and creating a big gap between them and the forward line - especially against better teams this led to us struggling to effectively get the ball out of our own half. 

You'll note the tactic is named Rashidi Inspired, as I took a lot from his advice in some key areas so it took his name. If you aren't familiar with him, check out his channel on Youtube BustTheNet - he's historically been a very active poster on the forums here too.

In match we make a variety of changes - if the opposition is defending deep and narrow and trying to frustrate us, we drop our defensive line/line of engagement to draw them out, play much wider and pass in to space. If we are defending a lead we have a defensive 4-1-4-1 we switch to focused around a defensive mentality and ball retention.

Edited by bowieinspace
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@bowieinspace Unlucky on the season run in. I'm surprised Atletico are doing so well still in your game. They've really faded in mine (they sold Felix to Man City fairly quickly). I'm very envious of your squad - loads of wonderkids and great depth. And now Griezmann! It's one of those transfers you just have to say yes to, even if just for a season. I assume it was a Bosman. I'm sure his technical skills are as good as ever but was never the most physically strong even at the start of the game. I signed him in FM19 after a few seasons and he still did well. 

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8 minutes ago, dothestrand said:

@bowieinspace Unlucky on the season run in. I'm surprised Atletico are doing so well still in your game. They've really faded in mine (they sold Felix to Man City fairly quickly). I'm very envious of your squad - loads of wonderkids and great depth. And now Griezmann! It's one of those transfers you just have to say yes to, even if just for a season. I assume it was a Bosman. I'm sure his technical skills are as good as ever but was never the most physically strong even at the start of the game. I signed him in FM19 after a few seasons and he still did well. 

Yeah free transfer on a bosman, one year deal with an auto extension which is perfect, I think he will decline a fair bit and I have a player in Inaki Nunez I want to integrate. I plan to have Griezmann mentor him for a bit and maybe a loan in the second half of the year for him.

It was a big surprise to see Atletico do so well, they struggled last year and sold Koke at the start of the season, but made some great additions and Andriy Shevchenko the manager just seemed to do wonders with them.

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Really stoked about the look of the squad and basque talents this year! Hopefully i get the game for christmas.
I've already made some tactical thoughts, and will probably do a 3-4-3 this year!
I think something like this:


          Muniain (F9) - Villalibre (PF) - Garcia (F9)

Cordoba (w(s)) - Benat (dlp(s)) - Garcia (b2b) - Williams (w(s))

      Martinez (bpd) - Nunez (nnd) - Yeray (bpd)

                       Simon(SK(a))

Anyone tried this?

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@vemlos I think I've gone three at the back on occasions (injuries really) but few of us have tried. Yuri and Capa are attacking FBs and would play WBs well. You could try variations in the CM,AM and CF positions - you might go with two CMs (Benat/Garcia) and two AMs (Garcia, Muniain) behind a CF, or drop Muniain back and play two strikers. You've certainly got options. 

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9 hours ago, vemlos said:

Really stoked about the look of the squad and basque talents this year! Hopefully i get the game for christmas.
I've already made some tactical thoughts, and will probably do a 3-4-3 this year!
I think something like this:


          Muniain (F9) - Villalibre (PF) - Garcia (F9)

Cordoba (w(s)) - Benat (dlp(s)) - Garcia (b2b) - Williams (w(s))

      Martinez (bpd) - Nunez (nnd) - Yeray (bpd)

                       Simon(SK(a))

Anyone tried this?

I always dream of going long term with a 3-4-3 but I tend to find available newgens long term send me too naturally to a full back/winger combination. Definitely possible for the first season though with the players available. The main wide players can either play centrally or up front so it’s great, and the full backs can push further up.

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7 hours ago, bowieinspace said:

I always dream of going long term with a 3-4-3 but I tend to find available newgens long term send me too naturally to a full back/winger combination. Definitely possible for the first season though with the players available. The main wide players can either play centrally or up front so it’s great, and the full backs can push further up.

Retrain, retrain, retrain ;)

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16 hours ago, bowieinspace said:

I always dream of going long term with a 3-4-3 but I tend to find available newgens long term send me too naturally to a full back/winger combination. Definitely possible for the first season though with the players available. The main wide players can either play centrally or up front so it’s great, and the full backs can push further up.

I actually dont see much difference between a complete wingback on attacking duty, and a winger on support. I think both De Marcos and Yuri can easily play as backup winger (s).

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I forgot to do a round up of the 23-24 season. It was a 3rd place finish, miles behind the top two but enough ahead of the rest. Atletico are really falling behind now.

There are no big changes going into 24-25 really. Herrera started declining and my coaches only rated him at 2.5 stars. With loads of CM options and him taking a wage of 120k pw, we moved him out to Zenit. Azpilacueta and Martinez will see out the last season of their contracts, but we should get a nice dividend at the end of the season when the wage bill comes down!

Only main transfer in is bringing back a young player I'd moved out a few seasons ago. Ibon Jimenez moved to Inter at 18 when he got stroppy after the first offer was rejected. He then moved to Alaves, and bringing him back cost a fair whack. But besides Odriozola, there are no decent RBs in the game at the moment (Zaldua was declining so he moved on too). Most of my regens are LBs, so Azpilacueta is the only other option and he's injured half the time. Still needs some improvement but I like that aggression! Maybe he can be my Andoni Goikoetxea in future. I like a good hatchet man!

722433545_ScreenShot2019-12-04at18_29_23.thumb.png.e4612ec3903954d02f3ad8aef8db8fbb.png

Screen Shot 2019-12-04 at 18.36.35.png

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