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FM20 - Athletic Club - Basque in the Bilbao Sunshine

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Posted (edited)

Started a save with Athletic yesterday as I got bored of my other save. I have played with Athletic on previous editions and have loved it. 

I am sitting in 5th in the league, scoring goals is an issue so far, but I am defensively solid

Dwtio0c.png

U86LnrU.png

my tactic: i2rgUj9.png

This isn't my 1st choice team btw

I sat and read the thread and hope I can have as much success with the regens as some of you lot!

 

Also any idea how to make the images smaller?! I realise they are huge

Edited by billysafc

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Posted (edited)

Just finished the 2028-29 season. After three titles, unfortunately Real Madrid pipped us to the top. They beat us in both cup finals too. At least Man City knocked them out of the CL.

The squad is at a bit of a crossroads now. We've a lot of young players who should be breaking through into the first team, including THREE wonderkids in defence. It seems unfair to stifle their progress so I'll look to move Odriozola (now 33) and Nunez (32). I have a transfer budget of 220m and I'm basically down 1m per week on the wage budget. But there's no one to buy besides the Sociedad striker I mentioned before who I'm unable to unsettle. They're not getting CL football next season so maybe he'll get frustrated. 

No concerns really about finishing outside the top three but if I break up the squad, there may be some short term implications. 

Edited by dothestrand

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I'd say we had a pretty successful third season...

image.thumb.png.a0ce0027eb302374ab341bd7dba2e9e2.png

Talk about smash and grab, 1 shot, 1 goal!

League went well too, really happy to concede such few goals:

image.thumb.png.c9e64111b4f7c0d817ff3f033d045f2c.png

Etxaniz is really improving, looks like he'll be a starting CB for me for years to come:

image.thumb.png.c486d9ae81d993e2fbde30d2d1cf6500.png

And finally, Benat is just incredible, 35 years old and performing incredibly. He has no legs (acceleration 7, pace 4, stamina 7) but he's just ridiculous:

image.thumb.png.bc02734fc4ad58fda4c48db8b298e721.png

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Does anybody else have trouble filling the staff roles for the B Team and Basconia in the first season? Almost all the applicants are newgens (and pretty crap) but they ask for wages well in excess of the board limits.

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Just now, rafaelbenitez said:

Does anybody else have trouble filling the staff roles for the B Team and Basconia in the first season? Almost all the applicants are newgens (and pretty crap) but they ask for wages well in excess of the board limits.

Usually, I let my technical director handle that. I don't consider those roles too important. As long as I have control over the training and the tactics, then it doesn't matter who's he picks as a coach

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Posted (edited)

Started this save again since my laptop died and can't get my original save back. Really enjoyed the first attempt so looking forward to attempt no.2

First transfer window was quiet, signing only a few youngsters.

 

image.thumb.png.62dad63fec2bd39abe567b7cee490410.png

 

Formation  to start with is 

 

image.png

Opening season results were 1-1 Away to Barcelona, 2-0 at home to Mallorca and then a 4-0 win against Espanyol at home. Hopefully progress will continue.

Edited by r_wxm

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On 15/04/2020 at 02:51, rafaelbenitez said:

Does anybody else have trouble filling the staff roles for the B Team and Basconia in the first season? Almost all the applicants are newgens (and pretty crap) but they ask for wages well in excess of the board limits.

Yes except in my case I start the game with the best B Team and U19 staff in both of their respective leagues; the board decides that the staff for both teams is too large and downsizes. Even as I let contracts expire its difficult to bring in quality to offset the lack of quantity due to staff wage restrictions. The board will not entertain my request for expanding staff wage caps (no problems breaking ground on a €9-million youth facility upgrade) and the board blocks the signing of any staff that I can get to agree to a salary under the cap. 

Im curious when you say "applicants", do you place job adverts for youth coaching positions or manually find staff either through recommendation or through a search? If you find a way to fix this issue Id be very interested.

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I've been playing quite a bit because of the lockdown and Easter. Having just finished the 2029-30 season, that makes me 11 years in the job. Fred Pentland only managed 7, as did Juan Urkizu. And in theory, my three La Liga titles place me ahead of Pentland and Javier Clemente as the most successful Athletic Club manager ever! Did they ever win the European Cup/Champions League :lol:

Anyway, 2029-30 was a bit of deja-vu as far as La Liga is concerned. Real Madrid raced ahead and couldn't be caught. We finished a comfortable second. 

We're definitely reaching a cut off point where the 'real' players are leaving and it'll be a regen only squad. Only Villalibre (on his last legs, 2030-31will be his last season), Vencedor (29 and captain, but he only has a season or two) and Simon (32 but still the best Basque keeper) remain. Barrenetxea and Moyoncola moved on last season, whilst Oroz has left in this close season. Take these guys out and my next oldest first teamer is 26! 

I could probably cover Simon leaving, but there are basically no striker options. Goni, the elite striker at Real Sociedad has transfer listed himself and has a release fee of 158m, which I am willing to pay (nobody else is). But guess what? He won't leave. 

So our best hope is to be tight at the back and nick goals from midfield. Our left winger scored 17 in 28 last season, we need more of the same.

The defence is good! I've attached my two main full backs. Zarraga really kicked on two seasons ago on loan at Dortmund, whilst Uriarte has been converted from a RB to a Denis Irwin style left back - with good set pieces too! My two main CBs have done the job for the last few seasons and will continue.

I had a quality right sided midfield who I've had to move inside, because Benito shouldn't waste time warming the bench. Mateo will be really ready to take over from Vencedor in a season or so, he's rotating in at the moment. 

We have some good regens about a year or two off first team squad action. I just wish I didn't keep getting silky, technical attacking midfielders when we need someone who can just whack it into the net! Now if I can sign Goni (I put a bid in daily to see if he ever changes his mind!), then I'll be set. I've uploaded his profile - look at him!

I've considered how much I should continue this save - I know I won't play another for anything like as long. But getting to the point where all the 'real' players have moved on is too exciting. 

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2 hours ago, AsierÈamon said:

Yes except in my case I start the game with the best B Team and U19 staff in both of their respective leagues; the board decides that the staff for both teams is too large and downsizes. Even as I let contracts expire its difficult to bring in quality to offset the lack of quantity due to staff wage restrictions. The board will not entertain my request for expanding staff wage caps (no problems breaking ground on a €9-million youth facility upgrade) and the board blocks the signing of any staff that I can get to agree to a salary under the cap. 

Im curious when you say "applicants", do you place job adverts for youth coaching positions or manually find staff either through recommendation or through a search? If you find a way to fix this issue Id be very interested.

I always place job adverts in the job centre for all staff positions. I never search manually.

I think there is something bugged when it comes to B Team staff contracts. Seen the same in Germany also. In Germany, you get absolute dross but at least you can hire them. For Athletic, it says the B Team can hire a technical director but when I go to offer the role to someone, it doesn't let me hire one for some reason. I had a save with FC Andorra a little while back and although I placed an advert for a B Team manager, I didn't receive a response for a whole year! It probably has to do with B Teams being coded as separate entities in the game. I wish they'd just code them like a reserve team instead.

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Can someone explain why I could sign Fati despite him not being basque (at least in the game he's not)?

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Just now, xilefton said:

Can someone explain why I could sign Fati despite him not being basque (at least in the game he's not)?

You can sign 16yo Spanish players - the logic is that they're still developing at a Basque club, so they get the second nationality. I'm not keen and I'd rather they removed that option.

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11 hours ago, dothestrand said:

You can sign 16yo Spanish players - the logic is that they're still developing at a Basque club, so they get the second nationality. I'm not keen and I'd rather they removed that option.

Athletic do sometimes "stretch" the boundaries of their 16 and unders depending on the situation, so it's definitely best that it is left in the game and then up to the manager to decide if they feel they meet the criteria or not.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Searley60 said:

Athletic do sometimes "stretch" the boundaries of their 16 and unders depending on the situation, so it's definitely best that it is left in the game and then up to the manager to decide if they feel they meet the criteria or not.

 

True, I think I have to really check the place of birth of all my regens, because presumably they are all born in the Basque country e.g. do you ever get a lad born in say Barcelona (which the game presumes he moved to the Basque country as a young kid and then joined your academy)?

That said, in FM19 I had a lad born in England to presumably a Basque parent(s) as I was able to sign him from Man City's academy!

Edited by dothestrand

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1 hour ago, dothestrand said:

True, I think I have to really check the place of birth of all my regens, because presumably they are all born in the Basque country e.g. do you ever get a lad born in say Barcelona (which the game presumes he moved to the Basque country as a young kid and then joined your academy)?

That said, in FM19 I had a lad born in England to presumably a Basque parent(s) as I was able to sign him from Man City's academy!

Not sure on this years as I've just started an Athletic save in FM20, always do one every year. The rule even has some supporters divided as to who's "Basque enough" like with Higuain and Diego Forlan etc...

I personally don't think FM have ever really given enough credit of the quality of the Athletic squad or its youngsters coming through the ranks. Because of this, despite being a big fan of the club I am not opposed to signing 16 year old Spanish players that appear as excellent prospects. Or even signing players from the team that shall not be named! :eek:

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3 hours ago, Searley60 said:

Not sure on this years as I've just started an Athletic save in FM20, always do one every year. The rule even has some supporters divided as to who's "Basque enough" like with Higuain and Diego Forlan etc...

I personally don't think FM have ever really given enough credit of the quality of the Athletic squad or its youngsters coming through the ranks. Because of this, despite being a big fan of the club I am not opposed to signing 16 year old Spanish players that appear as excellent prospects. Or even signing players from the team that shall not be named! :eek:

I did consider starting a new save and going one further and only signing players from the Biscay region as Athletic Club traditionally did (and not signing any players from Gipuzkoa and Navarre). Looking at my save and all the players born in Bilbao.....not sure I'd be anywhere near CL qualification!  

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The official philosophy says: Born or developed in the Basque Country (Spanish of French side)

There are a lot of examples of non basque young players who signed for the club because the family moved to the Basque Country or like Aymeric Laporte who was intentionally signed by an affiliated basque team in France to became eligible to sign for Athletic.

The main thing is always that every player that reach the first team has to understand how the people feel for this club and that they have to play like if  they were fans.

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Posted (edited)

Not sure if this just how it is now, but anyone had any issues with the LOWEST wage available to be offered? Trying to renew some contracts for the B and C team but the lowest wage I can give them (as a Youngster) is 2,6k pw!? Doesn't seem right, am I doing something wrong?

 

Also, do all of you handle the contract negotiations for B & C, or let other staff deal with that?

Edited by Searley60

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7 hours ago, Searley60 said:

Not sure if this just how it is now, but anyone had any issues with the LOWEST wage available to be offered? Trying to renew some contracts for the B and C team but the lowest wage I can give them (as a Youngster) is 2,6k pw!? Doesn't seem right, am I doing something wrong?

 

Also, do all of you handle the contract negotiations for B & C, or let other staff deal with that?

I handle the contract negotiations for the players. I let the Technical Director deal with the staff renewals for the B and C team

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Posted (edited)

Youth came through. Excited to see how some of these develop. 

Nu75SZUm.png

Edited by billysafc
image

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1 hour ago, billysafc said:

Youth came through. Excited to see how some of these develop. 

Nu75SZUm.png

That's a great looking intake. Even with a great HOYD, the best facilities and recruitment you can get, I'm still raiding Osasuna and Real Sociedad every Summer :lol:

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In the 2030-31 season, I pulled back a 7pt deficit to overhaul Real Madrid to win the title. In the last eight seasons, we've won four, they've won four. Barcelona  have only finished in the top three twice in the last five seasons (as often as Real Sociedad). We also won the Super Cup but lost to Man City in the CL QF.

We're selling Villalibre and may move Simon/Vencedor on if we get good offers, which would make us a regen only squad. Still no chance of signing Goni from Real Sociedad, but I did sign a 17yo striker of theirs for 40m (release clause). Clearly a ridiculous price but we have around 250m on transfers, and if I get his off the ball stats up, he'll be an excellent striker soon.

 

 

Screen Shot 2020-04-22 at 18.07.56.png

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On 22/04/2020 at 17:36, dothestrand said:

That's a great looking intake. Even with a great HOYD, the best facilities and recruitment you can get, I'm still raiding Osasuna and Real Sociedad every Summer :lol:

Got to flesh out the youth teams though. And Sociedad seem to produce class players year on year

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Anyone got any out of the -75 pa talents in the B and C squad? Just promoted Alejandro Ibarrondo to the senior squad as a striker option

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4 hours ago, billysafc said:

Man Utd have bought Oyarzabal and Odriozola. gits

It's probably a good thing they signed Oyarzabal as he won't join Athletic Club from Real Sociedad. It's far more likely he'll sign from Man Utd if he gets listed.

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On 24/04/2020 at 14:46, dothestrand said:

It's probably a good thing they signed Oyarzabal as he won't join Athletic Club from Real Sociedad. It's far more likely he'll sign from Man Utd if he gets listed.

Good point, he is on my shortlist so I'll keep my fingers crossed.

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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone,

First post here to share my experience of managing Athletic Club.

I have been often playing with this club on FM in the past as I really like the challenge of basque players and have a team 100% Basque, and I had some time to finish my first season on FM2020.

I have finished 2nd of La Liga behind Real Madrid, especially thanks to solid defense and goalkepper (also 2nd best defense after Real). In Copa del Rey, I was eliminated in the 4th Round by Sevilla FC in their stadium, it was a difficult draw early in the season.

The 3-4-3 was my tactic all the season. Mainly to make play together Inigo, Yeray and Nunez together. I wanted to give the game time necessary to Nunez to improve in his potential, and I could not see Inigo or Yeray on the bench. On the midfielders, Unai Lopez has been doing well and also improved during the season, with Dani Garcia in a more defensive role. Like many of you and as my previous FM's managing Bilbao, Benat is excellent coming from the bench or as rotation, with assists, goals as long shoots.. his contract has been extended for one year more.

Tactic.thumb.JPG.3bdf9b4f5ef35d3e4110b6d1e669e9f2.JPG

Decided to start the game with the summer transfers disabled for that every team start the championship with original squads, and the budget (5 millions) was received in December before winter transfers. However, I didn't buy any player for the moment, only send several of mine on loans. Especially Cordoba, who has not doing great in the first part of season, and he had no space as left winger with Muniain starting.

221151909_Transfers2019-2020.thumb.JPG.6a693909a492fd9f0bf378ddaff8215b.JPG

I'm now preparing next season !

I have decided to sell Mikel Vesga, Inigo Lekue for sure. Villalibre will come in first team replacing Aduriz who left as retired. I still have not decided how to organise the rest of the team.

My top priority is probably to manage to buy Aihen Munoz from Real Sociedad. Yuri and Balenziaga are not young, I don't see cool youth players as left back in the youth theams

 

I wonder what roles and individuals players instructions are you giving to your left backs / rights backs ? I never really succeed to make them play well (Yuri, Capa and De Marcos)

And do you receive huge offers for Unai Nunez ? I have extended his contract with a release clause of 80 millions, I hope it's enough..

Also, my finances are an issue as I'm coming with a little negative balance in May 2020.

 

Stats.JPG

Edited by maxasm

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On 04/05/2020 at 20:37, maxasm said:

 

And do you receive huge offers for Unai Nunez ? I have extended his contract with a release clause of 80 millions, I hope it's enough..

Havent yet. I made the mistake of keeping him as a third choice the first season, and kept waiting all second season for a bid on Martinez so Nunez could take over that spot. Currently in pre-season to third season and i'am considering offering Martinez around... 

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The Bilbao challenge has been a go-to for me in each of the last five football managers. I've left this year's late but it's been a fun one thus far, 28 games into the first season. 

My tactic is built around being structured and hardworking while giving Muniain and Williams license to cause carnage on the wings (a standard 4-1-2-2-1).

The results have been great!

 1653257380_Capture1.thumb.PNG.acfbc6c5c7f7b84c1a490df96c824726.PNG

Capture.thumb.PNG.e74b95731df28337c62076c6c7a5f1dd.PNG

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Hello, maybe i am a stupid, but i have one question. Can i play Athletic Bilbao and Athletic Bilbao B in this same time ? I can't find this option in game :(

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21 hours ago, pan1majonez said:

Hello, maybe i am a stupid, but i have one question. Can i play Athletic Bilbao and Athletic Bilbao B in this same time ? I can't find this option in game :(

I think you can manage only one team, or one team + one national team.

But I realized that we can influence the manager of the second team (Joseba Etxberria) in his tactic and the players he choose for the next game of Athletic Bilbao B. You have to go in Tactic section of Bilbao Athletic.

It has been working from me since the beginning of the second season for the tactic, but he wants now to play in 433. At least I can still change players in the initial starting line up.

Personally, I check before every game, because he was sometimes putting the best prospects on the bench or out of the group (Oihan Sancet, Unai Vencedor).

 

 

 

Capture.JPG

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Was going to start a FM touch game tonight and reading this thread has made me want to get stuck into this.

Have never managed them before in any previous FM and I'm very much a FM 20 newbie. Any tips for a novice? 

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22 hours ago, sidford said:

Was going to start a FM touch game tonight and reading this thread has made me want to get stuck into this.

Have never managed them before in any previous FM and I'm very much a FM 20 newbie. Any tips for a novice? 

- try to renew the contracts of the best players, Williams, Muniain, iñigo Martinez, Yeray, Unai Nuñez, with huge Contract Release clause, 150M or more, before the big clubs in Europe want to steel them for 40 or 60M.

- you can buy young spanish -not basque- players (15 and 16 yo) to improve your youth teams and develop them for the first team. Is not ideal for the philosophy but the game allows you to.

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can anyone point me in the direction of a logo pack for Spain? 

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Hello to all ı realized not makıng any spanish saves for long tımes so ı choose bilbao:)ı thınk team is good and fun challenge ıf ı can make my tactics work and off course ı hope for good academy products to come.I started season good ı m happy with that only ınaki started slowly but he starts to play top form.Only problem for now is striker aduriz is good but he is 38 and he looks lıke only choıce(hope villalibre would be a nice optıon for a season)any ıdeas any suggestıons would be great thanks :)

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6 hours ago, dido53 said:

Hello to all ı realized not makıng any spanish saves for long tımes so ı choose bilbao:)ı thınk team is good and fun challenge ıf ı can make my tactics work and off course ı hope for good academy products to come.I started season good ı m happy with that only ınaki started slowly but he starts to play top form.Only problem for now is striker aduriz is good but he is 38 and he looks lıke only choıce(hope villalibre would be a nice optıon for a season)any ıdeas any suggestıons would be great thanks :)

Strikers are scarce in this game. You may need to retrain someone for that position or hope and pray that a regen from the Basque clubs' academies or yours produce a good one

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15 saat önce, Jean0987654321 said:

Strikers are scarce in this game. You may need to retrain someone for that position or hope and pray that a regen from the Basque clubs' academies or yours produce a good one

for now ıts goıng well aduriz scored 10raul garcia9 ınakı 7.The problem is the goals come ın 2-0 or more margın games sometimes just deadlock :)waiting for academy to produceimage.thumb.png.94ed99b7fb1f1269b51b8900ea379053.pngimage.thumb.png.25bf707474ef0a97eabcb139335ef8bc.png

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Im currently in March of 2nd season having finished 4th last year. We're sat 2nd in the league playing some good football and I'm enjoying the save, however I just knocked out of the CL by Man Utd in round of 16 and the board have SACKED me for failing to challenge for silverware??? Was also knocked out of the Spanish cup by Real at quarter final stage but what the hell! Anybody else finding the board expectations ridiculous or just a bit inconsistent? They asked I qualify for Europa league, ie finish 7th or higher, I'm currently 2nd but fail to challenge for a trophy and I'm sacked?? I've reloaded the save just now so I've got a few weeks to see if I can get them to change their expectations. Anyone got an ideas? 

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Just playing through my first season with Athletic, I've been given the chance to start a youth affiliation with a German side, and renegotiated the Italian one to a youth team link. Was just wondering from folks who have played as them for a while if this will open up the chance to have German/Basque and Italian/Basque players coming through the academy? Think I've only seen Spanish and French previously so would quite like this.

Also the best news item to receive:

Youth_Intake.thumb.jpg.964f75f81af3d000bf959a093c4975b3.jpg

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11 hours ago, Stackalee said:

Just playing through my first season with Athletic, I've been given the chance to start a youth affiliation with a German side, and renegotiated the Italian one to a youth team link. Was just wondering from folks who have played as them for a while if this will open up the chance to have German/Basque and Italian/Basque players coming through the academy? Think I've only seen Spanish and French previously so would quite like this.

Also the best news item to receive:

Youth_Intake.thumb.jpg.964f75f81af3d000bf959a093c4975b3.jpg

Nope. That never happened with me. More likely to get a French Basque player but that's about it.

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Very little point having affiliates really. I can count on probably two or three fingers the number of French Basques youths I've ever seen in the game. I had a Manchester born guy in FM19 who had Basque second nationality who I bought from Man City but that's the only real curveball I've seen. 

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Currently in my second season with Athletic Club. I know I'm not a Good FM player, but this save is going on pretty well so far!! I've been playing with Athletic almost every FM edition, and this has been the first time we qualify to the CL in the first season! I'm enjoying this save to the fullest.

To do so, I've made a Little changes on my squad management policy. I haven't thrown away the old Good players and get up the Youngers since the beggining; on the contrary, I've tried to approach game by game and gather the best lineup possible for each game.

In the first window, I sold some backup players to collect money (including San Jose, Vesga, Lekue, Beñat…), so that I could bring in a Young star. I managed to do so by bringing Mikel Merino, who has been incredible. The squad looked like this till january:

Simón //  Yuri, Nuñez, Yeray, Capa  //  Merino  //  Córdoba, Muniain, R.Garcia, Williams  //  Aduriz

Luckily, I managed to raise the money to do another big expenditure, what has changed the game. I bought Ansu Fati from FCB!! I was antsy to get a Young FW since Villalibre doesn't look as a promise in my save. To do so, I had to sell some more backup players, like Balenziaga, Ibai, Larrazábal, Herrerín and some of the B team. I paid 20M + 40M for him but man, he's worth the payment! I have a top-class forward for like 20 years now.

I lost the 3rd place in last game of the season which was hard to take in, but we managed to CL all the same.

This summer I haven't had the money to make another big expenditure, but I have brought in some Good prospects, including Oroz from Osasuna and some Good regens. This is how my team look like right now:

Simón, Martínez (Regen)

Yuri, Ganea  //  I.Martinez, Nuñez, Yeray, Vivian  //  Capa, De Marcos

Merino, D.Garcia, Nolaskoain, Sancet

Córdoba, Oroz  //  López, R.García, Muniain  //  Williams, Artola (b)

Fati, Villalibre, Kodro, Brian (Regen)

I just expect to qualify again to CL and build up a Good Young team for better years to come. Let's see what happens!!

 

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Posted (edited)

Updating!!

I'm on the january transfer window of the 2nd season right now! On jan 20 to be precise. Things haven't gone on too well lately: I have classified for the 1/8 of the CL not having lost any game, but I'm also 5 points off with veery bad sensations!!

Talking about the squad, I've tried to get some backup players off the squad to raise money again. This window I've sold: Ganea, De Marcos, D.Garcia, Nolaskoain, Kodro, and some more of the B team.

Now again I have some money to spend. The problema now is WHO?

There are some interesting options on the market, which I Will track inmediately. Ideally Azpilicueta/Odriozola would be the best option, although I'm happy with Capa's perfomances. In addition, Zubeldia, Herrera, Laporte and Arrizabalaga all of them want to come in!! But the problema is either they are too old to my liking (Herrera, Azpilicueta) or they are too expensive (the rest of them)

How my team looks like right now:

Simón, Martínez (Regen)

Yuri //  I.Martinez, Nuñez, Yeray  //  Capa

Merino, Sancet

Córdoba, Oroz  //  López, R.García, Muniain  //  Williams, Artola (b)

Fati, Villalibre, Kodro, Brian (Regen)

With some other Young interesting players training with the senior team. Let's go on!!

EDIT: Not bringing any player in the end. Not enough money except for Herrera... But man, 30M is just too much for his age. Possibility of incorporating Javi Martínez free next summer… But his wage is way too high and he is old too. He would just be a backup since I have Merino there, so I don't know what I'll do in this case

Edited by xalbertogp

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I like developing youth so I started a save with Athletic. 

I don't like playing with a lone striker so I set up my team in a 4-4-2. Since we don't play European football in the first season I tried to get through the season with 3 strikers (Williams, villalibre, aduriz). 

I broke the bank for mikel merino and sent vencedor and sancet away on loan. 

Developing youth is key so larrazabal started at the right wing from the start. At the centre half position I rotated a lot so yeray could get enough playing time. Villalibre paired up with Williams up top and Cordoba also got his fair share of games. Although herrerin is a bit better at the start I chose to play Simon for roughly 80 percent of games. 

My first team looked like this. 

Simon

Capa - Nunez - Martinez - yuri

Larrazabal - merino - Lopez - muniain

Williams - Villalibre

We got off to an amazing start. Williams kept banging them in and come November we were top of the league. I knew the squad lacked depth so when injuries and suspensions kicked in we were 4th in January behind the big 3.

Around November Muniain started moaning about wanting a new challenge. I did everything I could to keep him but man united triggered his release clause in January. 

Because the board usually doesn't give you a lot of extra money in the summer Window if you still have a lot of money I decided to bring in Zubeldia from Sociedad as a CB. He will come in useful next season when we play European football. I played him a couple of times to keep him happy but my main focus was to give Nunez and yeray time to develop. 

With Muniain gone Inigo Cordoba had to step up. He did really well from the left and looks an exciting prospect. 

The title race was very exciting but when I lost all 3 games to Atletico, real and barca our title dream was smashed. 

We finished 4th which was the main goal at the start of the season. In the cup we went out in the semis against real. 

Williams was our main man smashing in 25 and winning the top scorer title. Villalibre also got 15 and improved a lot. Real and City want him so I gave him 175k/week and a release clause of 200 mil. 

Larrazabal and Cordoba are also worth 30 mil now so my attacking line looks set for the next 5 years or so. 

Sancet and Nolaskoain (what a tongue twister) did well out on loan so they will get play time next season. 

I'm about to start the second season now with one major transfer in. Mikel Oyarzabal. I had to pay 75 mil for him but he looks the real deal. 

I still had some money left by moving all the dead wood to other clubs so I also picked up rb zaldua from Sociedad. That's the 4th Sociedad player I signed in 12 months time. 

I think some Sociedad supporter went mental and attacked zaldua because two days after signing he got a major injury so he will miss the entire season. 

The youth intake was terrible. The only player who could make it to the first team is an anchor man but I don't like playing with one. 

The goals for next season are to keep developing youth and staying in the title race for a bit longer. But I guess 4th place is more realistic. 

 

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I blasted through my second season with Athletic and boy was it a good one. We won the league! 

Things started out grim though. We had a lot of injuries all season long but I added some depth to the squad in the preseason and a lot of players stepped up. 

Record signing Mikel Oyarzabal did great on the right wing. He scored 9 and assisted 4. He bagged a hattrick against Sociedad at Anoeta to seal our 3rd derby win in a row. 

Peru Nolaskoain was also a stand out performer. He started the season as a sub but his development was great and he took unai Lopez position in centre midfield scoring 9 in the process. 

Asier Villalibre had 16 goals and 10 assists at the winter break but then he suffered a damaged spine. He will be out until November. I hope he will come back to his old form. 

In the Champions league we went out in the first knock out round because I wanted to focus on the league. In the Cup semifinal we went up 5-0 against barca in the home leg but finished the game 5-3. In the away game we lost 6-2. Weird because we were so solid defensively for the entire season. 

Now it's time to build a squad that can create another upset next season. 

Chelsea triggered unai Nunez 60 million release clause so he's gone. But with Martinez, yeray and zubeldia we will be alright. 

I managed to bring back prodigal son Iker Muniain for a whopping 85 million and 250k wages. An insane amount but cordoba wants a new challenge (where have we heard that before) and we got a huge transfer budget of 220 million. 

I raided Sociedad another time for Ander Barrenetxea, Jon Bautista and Xavi Riera. Bautista will be a backup striker and the other 2 will be sent out on loan. 

Unai Vencedor will get his chance next season after another great loan spell. Unai Lopez can leave if he wants to but for now I'll keep him as a back up.

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