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[FM 20] The Nearly Men, Vol. IV: I Am Not A Demon. I Am A Lizard. A Shark. A Heat-Seeking Panther. I Want To Be Bob Denver On Acid Playing The Accordion.


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5 minutes ago, Constantine said:

This defeatist attitude won't do it for Partizan, i'm afraid...

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November 2033.

A frustrating few months. We've been solid domestically and are at the top of the table, and have held our own in Europe with some decent results (a 2-1 loss at home against Wolfsburg; a 1-0 loss at Real Madrid on a late Mejri goal; a 2-1 loss at home against Wolves, followed by a massive 2-1 win in England).

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Sure, I'd love to have more points in Europe...but they're good results against very strong opposition. And I can't really complain about the results thus far.

And the Dutch had what felt like a stereotypical Dutch qualification campaign, struggling far more than we ever should have. But the bottom line is that we qualified.

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Now, having been on such a good run with Partizan, I've done the only natural thing. I've decided to tinker with our tactics. More to come on that...

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November 2033.

Matchday 5. We're away to Wolfsburg in on of the 2 early matches.

Suffice to say, I like the tactical tweak, codenamed "PM Hajnaeb."

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A massive win which sees us leapfrog ze Germans into 3rd. And a few hours later, we move into 2nd after Real Madrid stomp Wolves.

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We'll face the Spaniards on Matchday 6, in Belgrade. The only question is which small woodland creatures need to be offered to RNGeebus in the interim...

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The Madrid match...I'm so frustrated.  We utterly ran them off the pitch in the first half, but didn't take our chances.  We finish 3rd in the Group.

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December 2033.

Just a quick update here, as we hit the Serbian winter break. We sit atop the Super Liga table, and have a date with Sergio Conceicao's Standard in the Europa League.

The new tactics are taking shape...I'm very excited to get them into a more "final" state.

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9 points clear of Cu**aricki. I'll take it.
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February 2034.

Oh, yes. The tactical revisions have gone smoothly. I'm extremely pleased.

We're utterly dominant domestically, far more so than under our prior tactics. Even the 2nd XI look imposing, which I haven't been able to say before given the squad's age and inexperience.

In the Europa League 1st Knockout Round, we did ourselves proud against Standard (who currently sit atop the Jupiler Pro League).

The first leg was in Belgium, and we had every opportunity to win. However, a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal meant we were left with a creditable draw.

We then all-but curb-stomped the Belgians in Belgrade -- again, a lack of ruthlessness is what kept the Belgians in the tie.

We'll face Nuno Espirito Santo's Real Sociedad in the Second Knockout Round, a favorable draw on paper.

Bottom line, we're finally starting to look like the side I want us to become. The tactical change will require some squad revision in the summer, but only after we're done tweaking/revising the system.

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March 2034.

We're rampant domestically, and two solid performances mean that Real Sociedad have been sent packing from the Europa League. 2-nil at home (although it should have been more), and a scoreless draw away. Taking care of business.

A much bigger test awaits, though, with Georg Margreitter's Schalke on the horizon.

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I do realize that this save has been quiet lately, but rest assured -- that's only because I'm still working on our tactics, which has me playing every game with extensive highlights to tweak/adjust...

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April 2034.

The 2-nil scoreline in favor of Ze Germans did not do us justice in the first leg. We deserved better.

(Interestingly enough, Panda (Schalke's Brazilian midfielder who won (and then scored) the penalty for their second goal) earns $135k/week. Partizan's total wage bill? A little more than $77k/week. So we all know who the real winner is, right?)

In the end, our lads did us proud in the 2nd leg. A massive 4-nil win back in Belgrade, to send us through to the semifinals just days after our 2nd XI secured the Super Liga title.

Drinks are on the house at the Itchy Kitty tonight.

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This is for you, @oriole01

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Your lads will face urCristiano's Juventus in the final...DeLigt still has got it, but Bouare is the one to be wary of:

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Of course, Wolves have 2 familiar faces in Takis Karamanidis and the one-and-only Thanos:

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With Thanos on our side, European glory is inevitable... and if not, that means Nikolaj, Zlatan, and company get to correct the error :D. Absolute win-win!

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11 minutes ago, oriole01 said:

With Thanos on our side, European glory is inevitable... and if not, that means Nikolaj, Zlatan, and company get to correct the error :D. Absolute win-win!

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May 2034.

Unai Emery's Stuttgart were just a little too much for us. We didn't embarrass ourselves, but our Europa League journey ends at the semifinal stage.

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7 hours ago, HawkAussie said:

How is the rest of the world looking in the year 2034 in terms of contentinal football.

Honestly, nothing of much interest thus far.

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We'll Be Here Long After They're Gone

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FK Partizan / Netherlands - Season Review 2033/34

I'm not one to change horses midstream, but...I don't know how to finish that sentence.

In November we decided to shake things up after watching Jaws, and it took us to another level.

The 2nd XI went from treading water in the Super Liga and Kup Srbije to a dominant force, all of their own. The 1st XI mimicked their domestic exploits, while pushing us further in Europe than we've been for a long, long time.

I won't win the approval and blessing of Stana's father with a token European semifinal appearance, though.

No, for that, we will need to accomplish much, much more.

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This was always going to be an "odd" year. Between a vacation and extensive tactical tweaking, the narrative got lost in the mix.

That will change.

The tactical tweaking is almost done. Which means we need to do a modest revamp of the squad, to build on what we've accomplished thus far and create a long-standing dynastic force. We're close, but this squad is so young...we need to ensure that we have the strength and depth to take on the Champions League, and for our dominance to not dissipate when we eventually move on.

More on the tactics and Partizan squad later, though.

We've got bigger fish to fry.

A World Cup is on the immediate horizon. And the Dutch should be considered strong contenders, by any measure. Anything less than a meaningful run in the knockout rounds will be grounds for sacking.

Goals for 2034/35:  Compete for the World Cup title at Japan 2034. Defend our Super Liga title. Make a run in Europe.

Squad | League Overview | Transfers

Finances | Income | Expenditure

Fixtures 1 | Fixtures 2 | Fixtures 3

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European Review

In the Champions League, Marcelo Gallardo's Wolves beat Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus 2-1 (aet).

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Champions League Overview | CL Knockout Rounds

In the Europa League, Unai Emery's Stuttgart beat Ricardo Sa Pinto's Everton, 1-nil (aet).

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Europa League Overview | EL Knockout Rounds

In the Europa Conference League, Niels Frederiksen's Lille beat Timothy Derijck's Anderlecht 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

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Europa Conf. League Overview | ECL Knockout Rounds

In the active leagues, we had a brilliant result in Spain, with France also showing signs that PS-***ing-G's reign of terror might be coming to an end. The question being, are these one-off results, a false dawn...or signs of a broader trend, with new forces rising to disrupt the established order? I love it when we get to this point in a save...

Edson Seidou's Manchester United hung on to win the Premier League title. Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus won their 13th straight Serie A title, their 22nd in 23 years...someone really needs to put a stop to that nonsense. Stanislav Genchev's Athletic secured the La Liga title on the 50th anniversary of their 1984 triumph, in a photo finish where the top 4 were only separated by 3 points. Julian Nagelsmann's Gladbach defended their Bundesliga title (their 4th in 5 years). Pep Guardiola's Monaco claimed their first Ligue 1 title since 2017. Leonid Slutskiy's Club Brugge won their 6th Belgian title in 8 years. Thomas Tuchel's Panathinaikos won their 10th straight title. Finally, Pontus Jansson's Hammarby won the 2033 Allsvenskan, their 3rd title in 4 years.

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Save/Challenge Overview

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Cross-posted at From the Cheap Seats.

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The 2034 World Cup is in the books!

I laughed.  I cried.  I screamed.  I cried a little more.

Spoilers are below, but you can follow the entire tournament as it happened, through the FtCS open thread.

Spoiler

We need to update the tracker...

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4 hours ago, Rikulec said:

:applause:

:brock:

2 hours ago, JogaBonito said:

Imagine the scences in Peru :eek:

Seriously! At some point in this save, we'll get there...

2 hours ago, rodesire said:

Great success, also holy **** Peru!

I'm crazy excited about it!

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1 hour ago, Bitner said:

Congratz, and looks like you aren't one nation near of doing it... :P

Cheers,
Bitner 

 

One step forward, one step back :lol:

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Until The Lion Learns How To Write, Every Story Will Glorify The Hunter

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July 2034

It has often been said, that there is no rest for the wicked.

I don't what I've done, but must have been rather naughty. That, or the transitive property applies to Zlatan's extensive "celebrations" during the Netherlands victory party on the plane back from Japan, and upon our arrival in Amsterdam. Even Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street, would have taken a pass at some of the acts of depravity that ensued.

(Mr. Pedersen also said I never paid attention in maths. Well, who's laughing now, Preben?!)

While Zlatan celebrated, Jesse and I had work to do, since he'd been tending to Partizan's pre-season efforts while we were away at the World Cup. Final decisions had to be made about the squad, including tough decisions about personnel to whom we have grown attached.

"You're the one who always told me, Boss, there's no room for sentiment. The players that got us here, will not be the players who get us to where we're going."

He's not wrong. The decisions are made. Vidovic, one of our starters last year, is out, to make room for Vudadinovic. Nastasivjevic will drop to the 2nd XI, with Jeremic taking his spot in the 1st XI. Aga and Greenberg will be sold.

We also cannot ignore the elephant in the room. Les Éléphants, rather.

In the wake of my resignation from the Dutch side, the phone began to ring off the hook. And one side was beyond compare. A dream come true, if we're being honest.

What greater joy could there be, than bringing the World Cup home to Africa?

But we can only think about the future for so long. We've got work to do. First things first, time to get ahold of our African scouts and chat, voice-to-voice, about what prospects they've seen in-country.

Partizan is far from an ideal club, for the purposes of Ivorian youth development, due to the strict limits on foreign players. But we need to think ahead. We need to start building an Ivorian side to play our way.

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I honestly could not be more excited. I love managing African sides on FM.

The Ivory Coast has so many promising youth talents...the only problem being noted above -- Super Liga rules allow no more than 4 non-EU players in the matchday squad.

We currently have 4 in the 1st team squad: Emmanuel Ibrahim, Razak Godwin, Roar Govasmark and Isaac Ngatchou (a new signing). The first 3 are in the 1st XI. Roar gains Serbian Nationality in 170 days; Godwin, 327 days; and Ibrahim, 394 days.

Ngatchou was going to be in the 2nd XI, but may go out on loan to free up a spot. That will depend on who is available to join us next summer. (Didier Kone is already signed, and will arrive next summer.)

I've got some scouting to do.

But before we do that, let's take a quick look at the current Ivorian side. I genuinely could not be more pleased.

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August 2034.

In my haste to re-focus on Partizan, I may have made a mistake, putting Zlatan in charge of coordinating our youth recruitment at Partizan with scouting in the Ivory Coast.

I actually thought it might help him, given that he's been rather depressed lately.

Serbian Alex Morgan left him, after videos of this post-World Cup celebration in Amsterdam spread.

But instead of being in the office, traveling to meet with dual-national players based in Europe, etc...he's been filling out medical leave slips.

"Zlatan, this is the third time in less than a week that you've asked for leave to go on a colonoscopy. First of all, that's too much information. Totally unnecessary. Second of all, and I'm trying to put this delicately, but...three colonoscopies in a week? Do think we're stupid?"

"No, Boss. The Zlatan does not think you are the stupid. This is...ehh...you know."

Zlatan shrugs helplessly.

All I can do is shake my head. "That's not good enough. What's going on? We have work to do, and you're off doing urCristiano knows what!? I realize you're down, but enough is enough. Get over her. Get your act together. Do your job."

"Is no problem, the Zlatan hire scouts to do the working.  But, Boss, this the talking about the Alex is easy for you to say. 'Get over her, snap your fingers, wag your winkle at the Chairman daughter' and all is the better for the you. The Zlatan is the Zlatan. For the Zlatan is no so simples. The colonoscopy are proven health benefit, and...you should see, Boss. The Zlatan, as you know, is very sensual. The Zlatan craves the human touch, Boss. With no more the Alex...this doctor...he is the very feminine when is putting on the rubber gloves. Very gentle. Thoughtful. Making the Zlatan feel love again, if only for few minutes during examination. But you are right... The Zlatan promises, after today, no more colonoscopy, ok?"

**** my life.

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5 minutes ago, ManUtd1 said:

"Is no problem, the Zlatan hire scouts to do the working.  But, Boss, this the talking about the Alex is easy for you to say. 'Get over her, snap your fingers, wag your winkle at the Chairman daughter' and all is the better for the you. The Zlatan is the Zlatan. For the Zlatan is no so simples. The colonoscopy are proven health benefit, and...you should see, Boss. The Zlatan, as you know, is very sensual. The Zlatan craves the human touch, Boss. With no more the Alex...this doctor...he is the very feminine when is putting on the rubber gloves. Very gentle. Thoughtful. Making the Zlatan feel love again, if only for few minutes during examination. But you are right... The Zlatan promises, after today, no more colonoscopy, ok?"

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Why am I spending my Friday night reading this ****...

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48 minutes ago, oriole01 said:

Why am I spending my Friday night reading this ****...

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#DareToZlatan

46 minutes ago, kidthekid said:

yikes!!

Who needs Tinder when you have health insurance?

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August 2034.

Decent enough draw. My goal remains to be playing European football after New Year's.

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September 2034.

Zlatan looks like he has seen a ghost on the flight home. Jesse just sits in the corner, drinking black-label Serbian Rum straight from the bottle.

What is there to say?

The nation of Didier Drogba? Emile Heskey, more like.

Sure, we're asking them to play an unfamiliar system. And we purposely picked a young, inexperienced squad, brimming with potential. But this is beyond belief.

Zlatan has been reading the Ivorian football blogs and is convinced that a hex has been placed on the team. He's planning a counter-hex for our October fixtures.

I don't know if I should laugh or cry.

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We hit the post twice in the opening minutes against Malagascar...and then the wheels just came off. I had to look at our shots analysis to believe it. We broke the unintentional comedy scale in this match.

The existential pain continued a few days later against Cape Verde, again with a shots analysis that is hardly believable.

I literally have no words.

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September 2034.

The statistics from the first half tell quite the story. I didn't know what the story was about at the time, but I knew I was enjoying it.

By the end, it was clear. This was a dark comedy, and the laughs on Matchday 1 were all at Lyon's expense.

No wonder #LOLLyon is trending on Twitter. A big win. The stats are amazing:

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October 2034.

The flight back from Manchester was rather grim. Honestly, though, if you didn't count the number of times we had to pick the ball out of the back of our own net, it was a brilliant night. We matched the defending English champions in every respect...well every respect, except for one.

We had a long flight to Rustenburg to talk, ahead of our friendly against South Africa. Unfortunately, Zlatan spent that time plotting with several players, to determine how to best secure a result. I managed to convince him to not attempt anything too strange, but after another scoreless draw, I can sense that he is getting restless.

We face the Central African Republic next, back in Abidjan. Another friendly. The night before the match, I catch Zlatan and several players leaving the hotel with a bucket full of eggs and large glass jar filled with a yellow-orange liquid. Not a word is spoken. We simply stare at each other, the moments passing slowly. I nod. They nod, and walk towards the service entrance at the back of the hotel. I don't want to know the details. The next day, Orlando Kante, our young prodigy who plies his trade with PSG, scores in the 1st minute. Getafe's Moussa Kore makes it 2 in the 9th minute. The curse is broken. While our defense was shoddy in the 2nd half, I'll take an 8-3 win.

We have 2 qualifying matches left. It is time to stamp our authority on the continent.

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November 2034.

Stana's father is finally starting to come around. It's about time.

He's got a World Cup-winning manager, with a side that has not lost a domestic match 16 months, a run of 50 matches.

A side that has won 3 from 4 in the Champions League Group Stage, playing incisive, attacking football. We beat Shakhtar 2-1 at home, and 3-1 away. We're through to the knockout rounds of the Europa League...but no one dares talk about progression in the Champions League. Not yet.

Zlatan, for his part, has been storing up glass jars in the basement in anticipation of the international break. I don't want to know. Whatever it is, it worked. 1-nil over Zambia, securing qualification for Tunisia 2035, followed by a comprehensive 3-nil win in Antananarivo . Most surprising of all, Zambia drew away to Cape Verde, meaning that we win our qualifying Group despite having drawn 3 matches.

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