Jump to content

[FM20] Creating a Northern Irish footballing revolution


Recommended Posts

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2036 / 2037

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

We seem to be struggling when it comes to challenging for Champions League qualification as last season showed, with us finishing a country mile behind Larne in 2nd. We must become more consistent and stop dropping needless points against the smaller clubs in the DBP. In Europe, we need to at least make the group stage as our financial situation is becoming precarious and that prize money has become critical in order to prevent us from dropping deep into the red and putting our professional status under threat.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - "Die meister, Die besten, Les grandes équipes, The champions". It gives me great pleasure to announce that next season those lyrics accompanied by the iconic background music will be played over the stadium speakers as for the first time during the save Glentoran will take a seat at the Champions League table. I really enjoyed this season as for the majority of the season we were still in with a chance of doing the unthinkable and winning the title. It was only because of a slight dip in form in February which handed the initative to Knockbreda otherwise we would have taken them to the wire. Even though we had such a strong season, going into the penultimate match of the season our place in the Champions League still wasn't secure but a win clinched it for us. The final day also saw an interesting result as we went to Breda Park and won 4-0 which I'm hoping is a sign of things to come as we inflicted upon Knockbreda their only 2 defeats of the season. That game was also notable for the fact it saw an attendance of 12,386 which broke the record for a game in the DBP.

Elsewhere, it escaped my notice but Crusaders turned professional bringing the total number of full time sides in the top flight up to 8. Coagh United look to be slowly moving up the table and secured another season in the DBP thanks to a 1-0 win over Crusaders on the final day. Portadown survived easily by hammering Institute in the relegation playoff while next season will see the return of Dungannon Swifts after they won the Championship title. It was also pleasing to see Linfield qualify once again for Europe, let's hope this time they put in a better performance than in recent seasons. At the end of last season I was feeling somewhat deflated as the gap between us and the top 2 seemed to be becoming insurmountable but this season has provided the perfect remedy for that and I'm now feeling far more optimistic about our chances of challenging for the title in the seasons to come.   

UEFA Europa Conference League - It was essential that we at least made the group stage and in the end our run through the qualifiers was straight forward. We drew what appeared to be one of the more difficult groups and it proved to be the case. We still held hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages if we could better Shakhtar's result against Saint Etienne on the final matchday but they won making our impressive win away in Austria irrelevant. On the one hand I was disappointed but on the other hand it allowed us to focus solely on our domestic campaign which could have been significant as it meant we could field fresher players in some of the bigger late season games which might have given us a slight edge.

Domestic Cups - I don't think it's possible to send out a more emphatic message about who is going to become the main challengers to Knockbreda for domestic dominance than the Irish Cup final. We could have scored even more but perhaps took pity on them and eased off as we were well on course for a record scoreline. For as good as that win in the final was the loss against Bangor was equally as bad. To make matters worse they ended up getting relegated from the 3rd division which makes it all the more humiliating, losing against the worst playable team in the country.

Reserves - Couldn't quite manage the double double but a convincing win the league.

Under 18s - We went into the final matchday knowing a draw would have been enough to retain our title but a final day loss to Knockbreda U18s handed them the trophy instead.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - We are finally beginning to look a like a squad that should be competing right at the top of the domestic game in N. Ireland. There is still a lot of work to do as some of the players mature and top out with their ability. The new goalkeeper we signed Brown looked good at times but was still error prone which means that I need to keep on looking for a replacement. The central defence definitely needs reinforcements as Chavero and Flemming are looking a bit out of their depth and simply won't be good enough if we are to progress in the Champions League. A quality right winger is essential to rotate with Felber, Adler and Denis will need to be replaced as I intend to release them at the end of the season when their contracts expire. I think we need to strengthen up front too as MacAskill looks like his race has been run and doesn't look to have much else to offer us.

I'll be looking to hold onto the team leaders in the squad which are Mazzarelli DC, Ehrenberg ST & Ioannou ST as they are immensely valuable in keeping the dressing room atmosphere excellent especially Mazzarelli who seems to be able to talk down practically everyone in the squad who has issues. The only player he couldn't do that to was Bah DC who complained about a lack of first team football, I gave him a sufficient amount (or at least what I thought was sufficient given the green circle next to the promise) but he wasn't satisfied and I had to loan him out after he submitted a transfer request.

Transfers - Some excellent business conducted this season in my view. The free transfers signings on the opening day of the transfer window were excellent along with Twyrdy DL who was released by Arsenal and has proven to be a revelation. I also looked through the transfer listed players and was able to pick up two excellent players at bargain basement prices, Schmitt DR took a little bit of time to settle but once he hit his stride he did well alongside Nikolic DL who didn't get much of a chance to feature because of the exceptional form of Twyrdy but looks to have a bright future and did okay in the games he did play in.

As for the sales, Cowan DL was a no-brainer, he wanted to leave and as I felt he wasn't going to get much game time I was happy to oblige. My only regret being that he was a HG player which made European squad registration that bit harder. McClure MR was the compensation deal I mentioned last season which was a decent sum. I felt Groninger ML time was up as he had been relegated to the reserves and I wanted to free up some wages, I'm still paying £575p/w towards his wages but that is a lot better than the nearly £3Kp/w that I was paying him. Finally, I sold youth player Byrne DR to Cork City for £11.5K which isn't shown on the screenshot along with some loans of reserve players to Coagh United and the Bah DC loan to Airdrie United.

R4w6k36.png?1

Average Rating: 7.44
I challenged him to prove to me that he was capable of helping us to the next level and he delivered. A great goal return (even though it's still a little shy of a goal a game) and contribution. The only concern I have with him is that my coaches think he has peaked as a player. This is not a problem in the short term as I feel he has enough about him to help guide us into the Champions League group stage but in the longer term I will need to look for a new main striker given he is as good as he will ever be. I need someone who can develop further from where he is now to truly make an impact in the Champions League.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Israel - MC
Average Rating: 7.42
At one point during the season he was complaining about a lack of first team opportunities which he had a right to given that I wasn't playing him given his lack of fitness. I then promised to play him more often and I didn't regret it as he has emerged as our best central midfielder. I think he has a significant amount of growth left in him and I'll be interested to see the impact of Champions League football on his development.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - Simply put, we're poor. Everything has to be focused towards making the group stage of the Champions League next season. If we manage it that will be transformational and enable me to start really accelerating the growth of the club. That money is vital in order to start the virtuous cycle and really turn this club into a money making machine. With funds we can invest in the facilities and the stadium which will feedback by providing better development of our players meaning I can sell them for more money while also providing higher income from ticket sales. We just have to navigate through three rounds of qualification, we should be seeded for the 2nd Qualifying Round but after that it gets a bit dicey and we are likely to face a huge team. We are on the verge of changing the trajectory of this club forever we just need a bit of luck and we can do it.

Facilities - The board understandably refused my request to expand the stadium and I don't have any money to think about investing in the infrastructure. Interestingly, Knockbreda are looking for a site for a new ground which will have a 8,511 all seater capacity (lower than Breda Park) so at least one club in N. Ireland is thinking about the future.

Youth Intake - A reasonably good intake with O'Connor ML being the clear standout star. It was touted as a golden generation in the preview but I don't agree with that assessment. Maybe 2 or 3 might develop enough to grace the first team but the rest certainly don't look to have what it takes.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Slowly clawing our way up the table and we now have a little cushion as a 3.5* league, now the work begins to break into that top 10. We unfortunately slipped in the nation coefficient table again and lost our automatic group stage spot for the Champions League but at least we will have it for next season. Knockbreda and their inability to get past Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League Champions playoff probably the reason why we fell.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - I'm actually really pleased to be only 0.5* lower than a team which has won a European trophy. The increased reputation should prove immensely helpful in attracting a higher standard of player to the club. Knockbreda's manager Bradley Dack left for Wolves at the end of the season and I was severely tempted to apply for the vacancy but decided to stay put. I've worked too hard to build this club up to where it is now to leave. I sense the harvest is coming nearer and I want to be here to reap the rewards for the seeds that have been planted. 
 
Club European Reputation - Getting to the group stage of the Champions League is going to be a monumental ask but if we are to do it, this is probably our best opportunity as a good year will be falling off the coefficient next season. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Knocked out in Europa League 1st Knockout Round by Juventus after 5-1 defeat on aggregate - Well, it's Juventus who are on a different footballing planet so the loss was inevitable. Hopefully, next season they can make something good out of their automatic spot in the Champions League group stage as we had no representation this season.
Larne - Finished 4th in Europa League group - Quite a crash back to earth after the euphoric highs of last season. Their group wasn't even that hard, they were just trash.
Crusaders - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 1st Knockout Round by Dundee United after 4-1 defeat on aggregate - I give them a lot of credit, they did exceptionally well to get through a tricky looking group. They came up short against Scottish opposition but they will have made a decent amount of cash from this run which should offer them a parachute to make up for missing out on Europe next season.
Ballymena United - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by Shakhter Soligorsk after 2-1 defeat on aggregate - They aren't that great a team but will feel disappointed to have lost the tie after winning the first leg at home 1-0 against a team filled with greyed out players.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

a3H9prc.png

image.png.0a01240a3858e1923be36e80007a3184.png

Spoiler

NbUkjiQ.png

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 184
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Il y a 21 heures, pheelf a dit :

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2036 / 2037

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

We seem to be struggling when it comes to challenging for Champions League qualification as last season showed, with us finishing a country mile behind Larne in 2nd. We must become more consistent and stop dropping needless points against the smaller clubs in the DBP. In Europe, we need to at least make the group stage as our financial situation is becoming precarious and that prize money has become critical in order to prevent us from dropping deep into the red and putting our professional status under threat.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - "Die meister, Die besten, Les grandes équipes, The champions". It gives me great pleasure to announce that next season those lyrics accompanied by the iconic background music will be played over the stadium speakers as for the first time during the save Glentoran will take a seat at the Champions League table. I really enjoyed this season as for the majority of the season we were still in with a chance of doing the unthinkable and winning the title. It was only because of a slight dip in form in February which handed the initative to Knockbreda otherwise we would have taken them to the wire. Even though we had such a strong season, going into the penultimate match of the season our place in the Champions League still wasn't secure but a win clinched it for us. The final day also saw an interesting result as we went to Breda Park and won 4-0 which I'm hoping is a sign of things to come as we inflicted upon Knockbreda their only 2 defeats of the season. That game was also notable for the fact it saw an attendance of 12,386 which broke the record for a game in the DBP.

Elsewhere, it escaped my notice but Crusaders turned professional bringing the total number of full time sides in the top flight up to 8. Coagh United look to be slowly moving up the table and secured another season in the DBP thanks to a 1-0 win over Crusaders on the final day. Portadown survived easily by hammering Institute in the relegation playoff while next season will see the return of Dungannon Swifts after they won the Championship title. It was also pleasing to see Linfield qualify once again for Europe, let's hope this time they put in a better performance than in recent seasons. At the end of last season I was feeling somewhat deflated as the gap between us and the top 2 seemed to be becoming insurmountable but this season has provided the perfect remedy for that and I'm now feeling far more optimistic about our chances of challenging for the title in the seasons to come.   

UEFA Europa Conference League - It was essential that we at least made the group stage and in the end our run through the qualifiers was straight forward. We drew what appeared to be one of the more difficult groups and it proved to be the case. We still held hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages if we could better Shakhtar's result against Saint Etienne on the final matchday but they won making our impressive win away in Austria irrelevant. On the one hand I was disappointed but on the other hand it allowed us to focus solely on our domestic campaign which could have been significant as it meant we could field fresher players in some of the bigger late season games which might have given us a slight edge.

Domestic Cups - I don't think it's possible to send out a more emphatic message about who is going to become the main challengers to Knockbreda for domestic dominance than the Irish Cup final. We could have scored even more but perhaps took pity on them and eased off as we were well on course for a record scoreline. For as good as that win in the final was the loss against Bangor was equally as bad. To make matters worse they ended up getting relegated from the 3rd division which makes it all the more humiliating, losing against the worst playable team in the country.

Reserves - Couldn't quite manage the double double but a convincing win the league.

Under 18s - We went into the final matchday knowing a draw would have been enough to retain our title but a final day loss to Knockbreda U18s handed them the trophy instead.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - We are finally beginning to look a like a squad that should be competing right at the top of the domestic game in N. Ireland. There is still a lot of work to do as some of the players mature and top out with their ability. The new goalkeeper we signed Brown looked good at times but was still error prone which means that I need to keep on looking for a replacement. The central defence definitely needs reinforcements as Chavero and Flemming are looking a bit out of their depth and simply won't be good enough if we are to progress in the Champions League. A quality right winger is essential to rotate with Felber, Adler and Denis will need to be replaced as I intend to release them at the end of the season when their contracts expire. I think we need to strengthen up front too as MacAskill looks like his race has been run and doesn't look to have much else to offer us.

I'll be looking to hold onto the team leaders in the squad which are Mazzarelli DC, Ehrenberg ST & Ioannou ST as they are immensely valuable in keeping the dressing room atmosphere excellent especially Mazzarelli who seems to be able to talk down practically everyone in the squad who has issues. The only player he couldn't do that to was Bah DC who complained about a lack of first team football, I gave him a sufficient amount (or at least what I thought was sufficient given the green circle next to the promise) but he wasn't satisfied and I had to loan him out after he submitted a transfer request.

Transfers - Some excellent business conducted this season in my view. The free transfers signings on the opening day of the transfer window were excellent along with Twyrdy DL who was released by Arsenal and has proven to be a revelation. I also looked through the transfer listed players and was able to pick up two excellent players at bargain basement prices, Schmitt DR took a little bit of time to settle but once he hit his stride he did well alongside Nikolic DL who didn't get much of a chance to feature because of the exceptional form of Twyrdy but looks to have a bright future and did okay in the games he did play in.

As for the sales, Cowan DL was a no-brainer, he wanted to leave and as I felt he wasn't going to get much game time I was happy to oblige. My only regret being that he was a HG player which made European squad registration that bit harder. McClure MR was the compensation deal I mentioned last season which was a decent sum. I felt Groninger ML time was up as he had been relegated to the reserves and I wanted to free up some wages, I'm still paying £575p/w towards his wages but that is a lot better than the nearly £3Kp/w that I was paying him. Finally, I sold youth player Byrne DR to Cork City for £11.5K which isn't shown on the screenshot along with some loans of reserve players to Coagh United and the Bah DC loan to Airdrie United.

R4w6k36.png?1

Average Rating: 7.44
I challenged him to prove to me that he was capable of helping us to the next level and he delivered. A great goal return (even though it's still a little shy of a goal a game) and contribution. The only concern I have with him is that my coaches think he has peaked as a player. This is not a problem in the short term as I feel he has enough about him to help guide us into the Champions League group stage but in the longer term I will need to look for a new main striker given he is as good as he will ever be. I need someone who can develop further from where he is now to truly make an impact in the Champions League.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Israel - MC
Average Rating: 7.42
At one point during the season he was complaining about a lack of first team opportunities which he had a right to given that I wasn't playing him given his lack of fitness. I then promised to play him more often and I didn't regret it as he has emerged as our best central midfielder. I think he has a significant amount of growth left in him and I'll be interested to see the impact of Champions League football on his development.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - Simply put, we're poor. Everything has to be focused towards making the group stage of the Champions League next season. If we manage it that will be transformational and enable me to start really accelerating the growth of the club. That money is vital in order to start the virtuous cycle and really turn this club into a money making machine. With funds we can invest in the facilities and the stadium which will feedback by providing better development of our players meaning I can sell them for more money while also providing higher income from ticket sales. We just have to navigate through three rounds of qualification, we should be seeded for the 2nd Qualifying Round but after that it gets a bit dicey and we are likely to face a huge team. We are on the verge of changing the trajectory of this club forever we just need a bit of luck and we can do it.

Facilities - The board understandably refused my request to expand the stadium and I don't have any money to think about investing in the infrastructure. Interestingly, Knockbreda are looking for a site for a new ground which will have a 8,511 all seater capacity (lower than Breda Park) so at least one club in N. Ireland is thinking about the future.

Youth Intake - A reasonably good intake with O'Connor ML being the clear standout star. It was touted as a golden generation in the preview but I don't agree with that assessment. Maybe 2 or 3 might develop enough to grace the first team but the rest certainly don't look to have what it takes.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Slowly clawing our way up the table and we now have a little cushion as a 3.5* league, now the work begins to break into that top 10. We unfortunately slipped in the nation coefficient table again and lost our automatic group stage spot for the Champions League but at least we will have it for next season. Knockbreda and their inability to get past Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League Champions playoff probably the reason why we fell.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - I'm actually really pleased to be only 0.5* lower than a team which has won a European trophy. The increased reputation should prove immensely helpful in attracting a higher standard of player to the club. Knockbreda's manager Bradley Dack left for Wolves at the end of the season and I was severely tempted to apply for the vacancy but decided to stay put. I've worked too hard to build this club up to where it is now to leave. I sense the harvest is coming nearer and I want to be here to reap the rewards for the seeds that have been planted. 
 
Club European Reputation - Getting to the group stage of the Champions League is going to be a monumental ask but if we are to do it, this is probably our best opportunity as a good year will be falling off the coefficient next season. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Knocked out in Europa League 1st Knockout Round by Juventus after 5-1 defeat on aggregate - Well, it's Juventus who are on a different footballing planet so the loss was inevitable. Hopefully, next season they can make something good out of their automatic spot in the Champions League group stage as we had no representation this season.
Larne - Finished 4th in Europa League group - Quite a crash back to earth after the euphoric highs of last season. Their group wasn't even that hard, they were just trash.
Crusaders - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 1st Knockout Round by Dundee United after 4-1 defeat on aggregate - I give them a lot of credit, they did exceptionally well to get through a tricky looking group. They came up short against Scottish opposition but they will have made a decent amount of cash from this run which should offer them a parachute to make up for missing out on Europe next season.
Ballymena United - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by Shakhter Soligorsk after 2-1 defeat on aggregate - They aren't that great a team but will feel disappointed to have lost the tie after winning the first leg at home 1-0 against a team filled with greyed out players.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
  Révéler le contenu masqué

a3H9prc.png

image.png.0a01240a3858e1923be36e80007a3184.png

  Révéler le contenu masqué

NbUkjiQ.png

Thanks for the update.

are your tactics still the same. could we have an update.

Dom

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, dom.march said:

Thanks for the update.

are your tactics still the same. could we have an update.

Dom

Cheers, yes the tactics remain exactly the same as in the 2nd post of the thread.

I should perhaps add that I use the following PIs for the corresponding roles:

Wide Midfielder (Support) - Sit Narrower & Dribble More

Central Midfielder (Support) - Take More Risks

Advanced Forward (Attack) - Dribble More

To give you an idea of how I envision it working I'll copy a section from my FM18 career thread and paste it below.

The Idea

WHEN OPPOSITION HAS POSSESSION

The strikers should press the opposition central defenders forcing them to launch long from the back. If the opposition is regularly able to play it out from the back then that is a serious issue given our numerical disadvantage in the central midfield.

I want my left midfielder pressing the oppositions right flank with support from my left back and tucking in when needed.

I want my right midfielder pressing higher up the pitch with my central midfield working closely together to block passing lanes and be combative for the ball when in the air.

WHEN TEAMMATE HAS POSSESSION

I want my players to move in between the lines freely and offer themselves for passes and play with a creative mindset. I want a higher tempo game with the ball fed into the forward line as quickly as possible and am happy for my players to take risks with the ball and am not too fussed about having high possession.

I expect to see my left back storming down the wing with the left midfielder sitting narrower facilitating regular overlaps and also creating space.

When we regain possession I want to see my right winger bombing forward as quickly as possible in order to create width and also opening up the channels for my Advanced Forward by pulling opposition fullbacks wider.

I want my Advanced Forward constantly testing the back line and looking to get on the end of creative passes from the Central Midfielder (Support) or Deep Lying Forward (Support).

I also expect to see my Deep Lying Forward drop deep into midfield to act as another attacking pivot.

WHEN PLAYER HAS THE BALL

Goalkeeper (Defend) - Give it to the full backs or failing that pump it long for the more advanced players to compete for

Central Defender (Defend) - Play it into midfield and don't dawdle on the ball

Full Back (Support) - Move the ball down the flank but mainly look inside for passing options or if significantly far up the pitch cross the ball rather than dribble with it

Full Back (Attack) - Get into advanced areas and get crosses in the box as soon as possible. Look for the pass rather than attempt to dribble with the ball

Central Midfielder (Defend) - Pass the ball to either of the players which should be in close proximity. Don't take chances and always look to release the ball to the more creative players

Wide Midfielder (Support) - Dribble the ball forward and take opposition players with him. Be unpredictable, sometimes dribble the ball wide creating an overload down the oppositions right flank with the fullback and on other occasions dribble the ball centrally creating an overload on the oppositions centre right with the Deep Lying Forward. Dribble into whatever space is available

Central Midfielder (Support) - Look for the creative pass, balls over the top for the Advanced Forward to run onto being especially important

Winger (Attack) - Dribble the ball wide and pull opposition players wider. Cross from the byline where there should be at least 2 targets to aim for

Deep Lying Forward (Support) - Play killer passes through to the Advanced Forward or if needed hold up the ball and wait for a better opportunity

Advanced Forward (Attack) - Dribble the ball into the channels and as soon as feasible take a shot at goal

Everything remains practically the same except with the removal of shape in FM19 I had to reintroduce the creative freedom back into the team which I done by using the TI of 'Be More Expressive'.

All the best

Link to post
Share on other sites
il y a 10 minutes, pheelf a dit :

Cheers, yes the tactics remain exactly the same as in the 2nd post of the thread.

I should perhaps add that I use the following PIs for the corresponding roles:

Wide Midfielder (Support) - Sit Narrower & Dribble More

Central Midfielder (Support) - Take More Risks

Advanced Forward (Attack) - Dribble More

To give you an idea of how I envision it working I'll copy a section from my FM18 career thread and paste it below.

The Idea

WHEN OPPOSITION HAS POSSESSION

The strikers should press the opposition central defenders forcing them to launch long from the back. If the opposition is regularly able to play it out from the back then that is a serious issue given our numerical disadvantage in the central midfield.

I want my left midfielder pressing the oppositions right flank with support from my left back and tucking in when needed.

I want my right midfielder pressing higher up the pitch with my central midfield working closely together to block passing lanes and be combative for the ball when in the air.

WHEN TEAMMATE HAS POSSESSION

I want my players to move in between the lines freely and offer themselves for passes and play with a creative mindset. I want a higher tempo game with the ball fed into the forward line as quickly as possible and am happy for my players to take risks with the ball and am not too fussed about having high possession.

I expect to see my left back storming down the wing with the left midfielder sitting narrower facilitating regular overlaps and also creating space.

When we regain possession I want to see my right winger bombing forward as quickly as possible in order to create width and also opening up the channels for my Advanced Forward by pulling opposition fullbacks wider.

I want my Advanced Forward constantly testing the back line and looking to get on the end of creative passes from the Central Midfielder (Support) or Deep Lying Forward (Support).

I also expect to see my Deep Lying Forward drop deep into midfield to act as another attacking pivot.

WHEN PLAYER HAS THE BALL

Goalkeeper (Defend) - Give it to the full backs or failing that pump it long for the more advanced players to compete for

Central Defender (Defend) - Play it into midfield and don't dawdle on the ball

Full Back (Support) - Move the ball down the flank but mainly look inside for passing options or if significantly far up the pitch cross the ball rather than dribble with it

Full Back (Attack) - Get into advanced areas and get crosses in the box as soon as possible. Look for the pass rather than attempt to dribble with the ball

Central Midfielder (Defend) - Pass the ball to either of the players which should be in close proximity. Don't take chances and always look to release the ball to the more creative players

Wide Midfielder (Support) - Dribble the ball forward and take opposition players with him. Be unpredictable, sometimes dribble the ball wide creating an overload down the oppositions right flank with the fullback and on other occasions dribble the ball centrally creating an overload on the oppositions centre right with the Deep Lying Forward. Dribble into whatever space is available

Central Midfielder (Support) - Look for the creative pass, balls over the top for the Advanced Forward to run onto being especially important

Winger (Attack) - Dribble the ball wide and pull opposition players wider. Cross from the byline where there should be at least 2 targets to aim for

Deep Lying Forward (Support) - Play killer passes through to the Advanced Forward or if needed hold up the ball and wait for a better opportunity

Advanced Forward (Attack) - Dribble the ball into the channels and as soon as feasible take a shot at goal

Everything remains practically the same except with the removal of shape in FM19 I had to reintroduce the creative freedom back into the team which I done by using the TI of 'Be More Expressive'.

All the best

Thanks a lot, I'm following your approach with Bacup in level 10 and it's worging well. trying to win the prem as soon as possible...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

you specified in your nd post " I will however be open to changing tactics if I see its efficiency waning and have a 4-1-2-3 Wide and 4-2-3-1 in the arsenal ready to unleash on the opposition if required".

could you precise your 4-1-2-3 Wide and 4-2-3-1 ? and when are you using them ?

truly yours

Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, dom.march said:

Hi,

you specified in your nd post " I will however be open to changing tactics if I see its efficiency waning and have a 4-1-2-3 Wide and 4-2-3-1 in the arsenal ready to unleash on the opposition if required".

could you precise your 4-1-2-3 Wide and 4-2-3-1 ? and when are you using them ?

truly yours

I haven't really felt the need to use them because the 4-4-2 has been working so well. If and when I use them I'll make a post showing them in detail.

All the best

P.S. - Good luck with your career

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2037 / 2038

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

Finishing as runners up in the DBP last season has led to a sense of optimism permeating throughout the club. All of a sudden, the impossible task of overhauling Knockbreda doesn't seem quite as tough and I feel we should be going into the season aspiring to put in a title challenge although the board would be satisfied with a spot in Europe. As for Europe, well, getting to the Champions League group stage is the game changer, if we can't achieve that then we should at least be aiming for a decent run in either of the other competitions to generate some funds to keep us ticking over.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - What a beautiful sight to behold as we claim our first top flight title since the 2008/09 season. I honestly expected a far tougher fight but after a poor start by our main rivals Knockbreda we was able to establish a nice comfortable lead and didn't let it slip the whole season. We had a bit of luck on our side though, anytime we dropped points our main challengers also seemed to drop points which allowed us to retain our comfortable position throughout. Now that we have reached the summit of the domestic game, now comes the battle to stay there. Coagh United improved dramatically and even had a shot at qualifying for Europe through the playoff but ultimately the spot went to Linfield after a comfortable 5-0 trashing of Cliftonville in the final. Unfortunately for them, it may be the last hurrah as their tycoon owner decided to withdraw funding so it is going to be increasingly difficult for them to sustain their current position. Portadown stayed up easily beating Donegal Celtic in the relegation playoff.

UEFA Champions League - A sensational campaign which has transformed the club forever. The qualifiers were astonishing in the roller coaster of emotions they produced. I was happy with our first opponent as they were one of the weaker teams we could have faced and therefore I was delighted when we went to Austria with a 2 goal lead without the concession of an away goal. The 2nd leg was a little bit nervy but we managed to prevail with a narrow loss. Then we drew Benfica and my heart sunk as I felt we had no chance. My target going to Lisbon would be that we could keep the scoreline down so that we would have some chance of progressing in the 2nd leg. In the end, we managed a creditable goalless draw which had me feeling much more hopeful about our chances. We hadn't scored but then neither did they and there was plenty of evidence from our performance in Portugal that with a bit more poise in front of goal that we could score goals against them. Then came the 2nd leg where we just blew them away. I'd be lying if I said I saw that coming but we were utterly ruthless and completely deserving of our comfortable win.

One final obstacle remained and that was Rangers who arguably has a better squad than Benfica, so I knew we were going to be up against it. I'm not overly fond of having the 1st leg of a tie at home but knew to stand any chance we would need to keep it tight at the back and avoid conceding away goals at all costs. Well, we managed it and going to the game in Glasgow I was starting to believe that we were going to make it to the group stage at the first time of asking. Then we kicked off in the 2nd leg and oh my goodness what a disastrous start we had. We went 3-0 down and looked completely rudderless. At that point, I pretty much resigned myself to defeat so decided to make a bold change to the tactic given I felt there was nothing to lose. I decided to add the 'Counter' TI and what an incredible difference it made. We came storming back into the game like nothing I had ever seen before. When we took the lead to make it 4-3 I was absolutely stunned and moreover elated for the players which showed such immense character to recover from such a devastating start. They managed an equalizer in stoppage time at the end of the game to make it 4-4 to provide a nerve shredding ending but we held on to claim a remarkable victory on away goals and a place in the group stage.

As far as I was concerned that was job done and anything more would be a bonus. We drew what I thought was an interesting group as I felt we might have a chance of competing for 3rd. When we managed to qualify in 2nd with a game to spare I was shocked. 3 wins in our first ever group stage campaign is a brilliant achievement and set up a knockout tie against Marseille. I didn't hold out much hope of winning the tie but after our first leg win I was left feeling rather perplexed. Were we going to go all the way to the quarter finals? Well, any dreams of that happening were soon put to bed as we took an absolute hammering in France to send us crashing back down to Earth. Not the best way to conclude our remarkable journey but a superb season in Europe overall, the money we earned is going to make a huge difference to our ability to compete in future.

Domestic Cups - We came so close to getting the clean sweep of domestic trophies but a lackluster performance in the Irish Cup final ended our chances. Great progress though to see us competing at the business end of all the competitions bar the Scottish Challenge Cup.

Reserves - Nice to see them retain the league title but they were woeful in the cups.

Under 18s - Not the best of starts to their UEFA Youth League story but at least they managed a draw against a decent side. In the NIFL U18s League they seem to be falling back given the 'golden generation' has come of age and can no longer play in the team.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - A lot of reasons to be cheerful as I look at the squad. Quite a few of the older players which are no longer up to the standard needed to continue our progression have their contracts expiring so that will free up some places in the squad. I'm pleased to see the number of talented young players in the squad while I'm also very happy to see the market values continue their sharp rise as that will help the selling club philosophy to keep producing good profits for the club. We still need a quality GK and pair of central defenders but with our improved financial situation I should be able to take care of those priorities with the expanded transfer and wage budgets. The only complaint I have is that the squad looks a little bloated which is depriving some players of enough playing time so I will need to be mindful of that in future. 

Transfers - Picked up some real quality at bargain basement prices which was pleasing especially some of the players brought in the January transfer window. A bit disappointed to lose talented youngster Schmitt DR for his release clause as he was blossoming with exposure to Champions League football but I'm fairly happy with his replacement Campbell DR. Finally, we are beginning to get decent money for some our players which is great.

R4w6k36.png?1

Average Rating: 7.38
A brilliant season as he once again finishes as the clubs top scorer. He still had a few off games this season but hopefully the introduction of a bit of competition from new signing Bah ST might keep him on his toes now that he knows his place as a regular starter isn't guaranteed.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Israel - MC
Average Rating: 7.68
A great player who showed great development, hopefully, he continues this trend next season.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - From rags to riches within the space of a year. We had so much money that we could afford to pay a £6M dividend to the board which left a balance of around £20M which was enough to start building the infrastructure of the club. It also allows us to continue to invest in the squad which I'm hoping will be the catalyst needed to start a period of domestic dominance.

Facilities - Everything is being invested in and I'm very pleased to see the size of the stadium expansion which will take the final capacity to 12,000. That should prove very helpful in boosting our attendances for the big games and should ensure that when it comes time for a new ground the capacity should be a decent size. Elsewhere, Knockbreda have reached the planning permission stage for their new ground.

Youth Intake - As expected, the quality of intakes is declining which is a good indication that the first team squad is improving.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Holding firm is good although I suspect further progress up the table is going to prove difficult from here on out.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - The DBP title has really allowed us to shrink the gap to Knockbreda.
 
Club European Reputation - I'm hoping that the bumper year we just added to the coefficient will see us getting seeded for the Champions League playoff round to ease our path into the group stage. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Finished 4th in Champions League group - A fairly unimpressive campaign for them although they did have PSG in their group.
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Knockout Round by Bursaspor after 5-1 defeat on aggregate - Did well to qualify top from a tricky looking group but capitulated against Turkish opposition.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by HNK Hajduk after 5-3 defeat on aggregate - Lousy as usual.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by Belenenses SAD after 2-1 defeat on aggregate - They might have gone a little further but messed up with a poor result in Portugal.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

hsTv8vp.png

image.png.a3411a4270cda88049eaa203eb5a8b3b.png

Spoiler

OfqitEC.png

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 26/01/2020 at 00:35, kidthekid said:

Great season, both domestically and in Europe.

Cheers, the money has changed everything for us and the future of the club for the first time is looking bright. Now comes the challenge of building a team strong enough to consistently deal with the threat of Knockbreda and make further progress in Europe. If the result against Marseille in the 2nd leg is anything to go by, then the latter objective is going to take some time to achieve as I felt we vastly overachieved to get that far in the first place. There is definitely cause for optimism though.

All the best

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2038 / 2039

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

Last season provided a watershed moment for the club as we won the DBP for the first time since the 2008/2009 season and managed to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League. In order to continue the upward momentum we generated we should be looking to replicate those achievements.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - We had to break our record points total to see off the challenge of Knockbreda but we managed to retain the title by the narrowest of margins. This was a lot tougher than last season and Knockbreda really made us work hard for our win. Going into the split we was 2 points ahead with our destiny in our own hands. We opened the split with a vital 1-0 win at home to Larne which kept the advantage with us going into the game at home to Knockbreda. Had we dropped points in that match we would have needed to beat Knockbreda to stay top but that result took some of the pressure off knowing a draw would be enough for us to stay top. The Knockbreda manager tried to play some mind games going into the match saying we were overachieving but that didn't seem to phase the players as they put in a great performance to beat Knockbreda 4-1 with Ioannou ST scoring all four goals.

This gave us a nice 5 point lead going into the final 3 games although our goal difference was inferior. Then we went to Windsor Park and took a 2-0 lead which had me thinking we had established control over the title race but then we allowed the lead to slip ending the game in a draw and allowing Knockbreda who won to close the gap to 3 points. This had me worried as our two remaining games were away at Glenavon which is never an easy place to go and win while on the final day we were away at Ballymena United. Owing to our inferior goal difference any slip up would prove especially damaging to our title aspirations. It then came as a great shock to me when our best central defender Rebai decided to go AWOL partying to the early hours of the morning the night before the Glenavon game meaning he was unavailable for selection. I was livid with him that he would show such a flagrant disregard for the club at such an important point of the season. As a result of his absence, I then had to play an unfit Mazzarelli DC which had me concerned as to whether we would be able to get the win we needed.

In the end, we managed to win, just, ending the game on the right side of a 4-3 thriller with Mazzarelli scoring a goal. As Knockbreda played their final fixture before us I knew what we had to do going to Ballymena United. They had comfortably won away to Ballymena United which meant that we needed a draw or better against Ballymena United to win the title given our goal difference. Even though Rebai was available for selection I decided to drop him from the squad completely and stuck with Mazzarelli who had impressed me in the previous game. It was a gamble but it paid off in the end as we emerged with a 2-1 victory to seal our title win. It was a thrilling campaign and one which I'm delighted to have emerged from as the victor. Pleased to see Coagh United win the Danske Bank Premier Europa Conference League Playoff with a penalty shootout win in the final against Portadown to give them their first taste of European football. Cliftonville also managed to stay up with a massive 8-0 win on aggregate in the relegation playoff against Ballinamallard United. 

UEFA Champions League - We did what we needed to do and qualified for the group stage once again but drew a nightmarish group and couldn't repeat our exploits of last season. I was a little concerned after the first leg of the playoff with the lack of an away goal but a professional performance at home saw us emerge comfortable winners. We went into the final game of the group stage in 3rd knowing that if we could match the result Inter managed against Man City that we would be in the knockout stages of the Europa League. In the end, Inter managed to pick up an unlikely draw in Manchester which consigned us to 4th after our heavy defeat in Paris. It's clear to me that we aren't anywhere near competing with the quality of opposition we faced in the group stage and will need to strengthen the squad significantly in order to start closing the gap.

Domestic Cups - Aside from the win in the Irish Champions Cup we had a lousy season in the cups. The only positive to take from it being that we could focus more on our league campaign but even still I would like to do a bit better next season.

Reserves - Awful in the cups and relinquished their hold on the reserve league title to Knockbreda, overall, a fairly disappointing season from them.

Under 18s - The quality of the youth team seems to be diminishing rather than improving which is a concern. Admittedly, a number of players were loaned out from the squad but they were still poor.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - A bit of a mixed bag this time around when it comes to analyzing the squad. On the plus side, we significantly improved our performance in the DBP. There are still a few bright prospects in the team which developed well. The dressing room was also rather harmonious throughout the season with only a few players complaining which I feel was helped with my new playing time ranking system.

5* or 4.5* CA - Star Player

4* or 3.5* CA - Important Player

3* - Regular Starter

2.5* - Squad Player or Impact Sub

2* - Fringe Player

1.5* - Emergency Backup

1* or 0.5* - Surplus to requirements

Having the structure laid out like this helped to prevent players coming to me asking for first team football.

On the other hand, however, there are a lot of negatives. The incident with Rebai was unpleasant and has me doubting whether he will be a long term player for the club. We had another season plagued with injuries, Goni MR spent over 2 months on the treatment table with different injuries, Piquionne MC broke his lower arm which had him out for almost the entire run in, only returning for the final game against Ballymena United, thankfully, his absence didn't cost us as Gabitashvilli MC stepped up. We also had a lot of niggling little injuries (colds, sprains etc) which had a lot of players miss games. I also see that the average age of the squad has crept up with only 2 players 21 or younger in the first team which is a concern. This is a big problem as that means that the players aren't going to be developing much more which isn't going to help us to close the gap in Europe as even our best players aren't great attribute wise in comparison to the sort of players at clubs like PSG or Man City. For e.g. Ioannou's finishing attribute is 12, that may be good enough to see him finish top scorer in the DBP but isn't going to help him to score many goals in the Champions League.

Finally, I don't like the direction the board are taking the club with the addition of signing high profile players to the club culture. I don't mind the insistence on attacking football or even play for set pieces but having to bring in big name players is the very antithesis of what I'm trying to create here. I want to sign young cheaper players, develop them with first team football and sell them on for a big profit. We can't afford to be signing ready made players at a club like this and even when I tried to negotiate that part of the club culture out they rejected changing it which leads to be believe there is trouble ahead when I refuse to follow their vision.

Transfers - I spent big as I felt we needed to invest in the squad and overall I'm pleased with the quality that was brought in. Not shown on the screenshot was the free transfer signings of Piquionne MC from Everton and Woodards MC from Spurs, both players did exceptionally well in their debut seasons. A few players will be leaving at the end of the season and I will once again be looking at the list of released players from the bigger clubs when looking for new signings. I don't think we can spend as much next season and I will be trying to only spend what the club brings in through sales.

R4w6k36.png?1

Average Rating: 7.42
A very good player which has served us well but not of the standard we need to really start making progress in Europe. There is interest in him and he has a high market value so I'd be willing to part with him for the right price in order to try and bring in a striker who I feel can develop into a player more suited to the high level of competition in the Champions League.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.08
He didn't play a lot of games but when he was expected to step into the team he was impressive. He will remain a rotation option unless Woodards decides to leave.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - From rags to riches and in the space of a season back to rags again. A huge loss this season which can't solely be attributed to the money we spent on players. It's arguably more important that we make the Champions League group stage again next season or we could be in big trouble. At least we will no longer be restricted by the low capacity of The Oval so that should help bring in more revenue through ticket sales. Perhaps riskily, I'm continuing to invest in the facilities with the hope that we will make it into the Champions League group stage, I hope the players repay the faith I've shown in them and deliver the goods, if they can't then we are likely to need to perform a fire sale of our best players to keep us afloat.

Facilities - Average attendances were up even in a vastly restricted capacity which is good. We also made a lot more season ticket sales which is sign of the growth in the size of our fan base. I've continued to invest in the training and youth facilities but they are still well below par and will require investment for a long time to come.

Youth Intake - A poor intake with the only positive being a potentially decent looking goalkeeper in Hanna which I like to have as it helps me with European squad registration to be able to select a HG player. Outside of that, however, dire.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Until we start troubling the later stages of the Champions League I don't expect to see much movement here. Holding position is what we should be seeking to do for now.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Knockbreda still clear at the top, for now.
 
Club European Reputation - We actually fell down the table this season which isn't great, at least next season that poor year should fall of the calculation. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Knocked out in Europa League 1st Knockout Round by Real Madrid after 4-0 defeat on aggregate - Well, to be expected really.
Larne - Finished 3rd in Europa Conference League group - They might have done a little better given their group but they are still punching above their weight so too much shouldn't be expected from them.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Club Brugge after 2-1 defeat on aggregate - They are really struggling to get past this round, at least this time they lost to a better quality of opposition but still disappointing as we need them to do better to help the coefficient, hopefully, they will do better in the Europa League.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 1st Knockout Round by Aberdeen after 5-3 defeat on aggregate - Did well in the group stage but were outclassed by the Scots.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

FCHRuRx.png

image.png.5c5b716670952e2e7404ccb3c564a111.png

Spoiler

ytpILsq.png

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2039 / 2040

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

It's imperative we get into the Champions League group stage given our worsening financial situation. Retaining our DBP title is also an objective but given the threat still posed by Knockbreda I'd be happy with a top 2 finish and securing Champions League football for next season.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - Good grief, that was a tough battle for the title. Although it adds to the excitement and makes every league game important, I'd much prefer not to have to score over 100 points every season only to clinch the title on the final day. It must be especially gutting for Knockbreda considering that going into the split they had a 4 point lead. They drew their 1st post split game at home to Portadown which when combined with a win for us cut the lead to 2 points and put us back into the title race. Both teams then won the next 2 games to set up a decider at The Oval. We managed to narrowly beat them 2-1 which put us top by a point and meant going into the final day that we only had to match their result to lift the trophy.

I was slightly concerned that nerves would get the better of my players as we had to play Glenavon at home on the final day. The nerves seemed to really inhibit our performance in the 1st half and hearing the news that Knockbreda had raced into a 3-0 lead at Larne didn't help. Then we scored at the perfect time shortly before half time and that seemed to completely relax us. A goal early into the 2nd half followed which allowed us to put the game beyond our opponents and then the floodgates opened and we put in a convincing performance to ultimately win the game 5-0. In other news, Ards will be joining the top flight after winning the Championship title while Cliftonville managed to stay up thanks to a 5-1 aggregate win over Newry City in the relegation playoff. Portadown will be playing in Europe after a 2-0 win over Crusaders in the DBP Europa Conference League Playoff. It was a poor season domestically for Linfield who sacked their manager and replaced him with the former Real Betis manager Vassi. As a result of Knockbreda's narrow title loss their manager Marc Pugh was also dismissed on the 13/06/2040 adding to the turbulence in the managerial job market which epitomized the season. 

UEFA Champions League - I don't know why but for some reason we was entered straight into the group stage. This was a great campaign which started in the best possible fashion with a remarkable win in Rome. Going into the final game of the group the situation was still tight and it was still possible that we could finish 3rd with a loss. A draw might be enough but I wanted to win to secure qualification. In the end, we managed to win narrowly in Spain which allowed us to top the group. When Lazio came out as our opponents in the 1st Knockout Round I was feeling encouraged as I felt they were one of the weaker teams we could have faced when compared to teams like PSG and Real Madrid who were in the unseeded pot. After we took the lead in Rome I was hoping that we might be able to repeat our heroics the last time we played there. Unfortunately for us, Lazio are a much stronger team and once we scored that seemed to spring them into action. They then went on to completely dominate the game and we were fortunate to end the game still in the tie. 

The task going into the 2nd leg was that a 1-0 win would be enough to take us through which didn't seem like an insurmountable challenge. Our odds of getting that result was however diminished as our best MR Goni was once again struck down with injury and missed the game. That really hampered us as while in the 1st leg we had an effective outlet, we struggled to relieve the pressure from Lazio in the 2nd leg and had to face attack after attack. When they scored early in the 1st half that put us into a kind of tailspin and we just couldn't muster anything to respond. When they added a 2nd midway through the 2nd half I knew the game was pretty much up and took off some of our better players to rest them for the more important league fixtures coming up. Overall, a much better season in Europe than last.

Domestic Cups - I decided to use the cup games as a way of keeping my backup players fit and it worked out well for us especially as we lifted the League Cup. I was a bit disappointed with the loss in the Irish Cup final as I put out a full strength side for that game but Glenavon played well on the day and deserved their win getting revenge for the trouncing we gave them 2 weeks earlier in the league. Until we are head and shoulders above the rest of the teams in N. Ireland and can more easily win the DBP I think I will continue with this policy of playing the backup players in the domestic cups.

Reserves - Only narrowly missed out on winning the league but weren't up to much in the cups. Mind you, the team was really threadbare. Perhaps it's for the best as it gives the lower league teams a chance to get some decent money into their coffers. For e.g. Ballinamallard United won the Intermediate Cup this season and by doing so gained over £300K in prize money which is huge for a team competing in the Championship. It would not surprise me at all to see them competing for promotion to the DBP next season as a result.

Under 18s - The intakes of late have been quite poor and that is reflected in the teams performance in the UEFA Youth League. They did well to narrowly win the NIFL U18s League on goal difference but until we can bring in talented youngsters on a more regular basis I can't see how we are going to improve in Europe. Perhaps it's time for me to start being more hawkish and attempt to poach the best youngsters from other N. Irish clubs but then again I want the other clubs to improve so it's a bit of a double edged sword.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - I decided to streamline the squad (some of which was out of my control, I'll cover this in the transfers section) and for the most part it had a positive impact on the cohesion of the squad. Only once this season did I have Bah ST come to me complaining about a lack of first team opportunities but I was able to fulfill the promise of playing him more often which made him happy. The only major downside was that injuries were then far more damaging. At one point, we lost Felber MR, Goni MR & Murphy MR which meant I had to play a youth player in the Champions League. Goni was the one which bothered me the most as he yet again had an injury plagued season but according to my coaches he isn't injury prone so perhaps he has just been unlucky. The loss of Ioannou ST to injury late in the season also threatened to derail our title bid but thankfully Bah ST was able to step up and fill the void.

There was some good development of the younger players in the squad and I can foresee a clear out happening next season as I go about bringing in funds to invest in more young talent. I have already secured the signings of some great young players on pre-contracts and July will see the arrival of our first wonderkid in goalkeeper Heffernan from Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund. I also managed to bring in a talented MC from Young Boys and a classy looking ML from Man United. It definitely feels like an inflection point for the squad as a number of the old guard leave like Felber and Murphy to make way for a new generation of players who I feel can push the club to new heights with development.

Transfers - We lost a lot of players this season but also made a lot of money which enabled me to invest in some talented young players. Botelho MC looks a decent acquisition although he had to miss the run in through injury which meant that Triguero MC had to fill in for the defend duty central midfield role. Bonanno DC looks to have a bright future ahead of him and had a great debut season, hopefully, I will be able to hold onto him although he is already attracting interest from other clubs and has a release clause in his contract. As for the players that left, I didn't see a pathway to regular first team football for Craske ST, Garba DC or Boltze GK so decided to cash in as I couldn't see the point in paying their wages.

I was disappointed to lose Piquionne MC, Woodards MC and Gabitashvilli MC as I felt all of them had something to offer but Piquionne wanted to leave and the money was decent while the other two had their release clauses triggered. Every cloud has a silver lining though as their departures enabled players like Israel and Afriyie to thrive with increased first team football. The O'Connor ML transfer to Spurs was interesting. I didn't really want to sell him given he is a HG player with a lot of potential so I rejected their first approach. Then I thought about the bigger picture and how I could reinvest that money and decided that if they came back with an offer in excess of £7.5M + clauses that it would be worthwhile cashing in and ultimately that is what happened. He gets a move to a bigger club, we get a good chunk of money which we can use to invest in youth and develop the next player to be sold for big money and all parties are happy. 

R4w6k36.png?1

Israel - MC
Average Rating: 7.91
I didn't think he had it in him but he has certainly proved me wrong. The top provider of assists in the team by miles and consistent throughout the season without suffering any real injuries meaning he started over 40 games. He will once again face competition for his place next season but it's good to know that I have a dependable player I can call upon if required.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.41
One of the best debut seasons from a young central defender that I have seen. He showed great development this year and has moved from a rotation option to a first team regular. I only hope that I can fend off the interest that is being shown in him.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - A much improved situation and if next seasons summer transfer window goes the way I think it might then this balance could skyrocket. I really hope that will be the case as I want to continue to invest in the infrastructure of the club which still needs a lot of work.

Facilities - Everything that can be invested in will be seeing an upgrade. I'm also encouraged to see that every indicator for the size of the club is trending upwards. Season ticket sales, ticket prices and attendances are all rising which is great to see as it shows the development of the fan base. It was a shame that we couldn't get any sell out attendances in the DBP but we are getting really close and maybe next season will see that happening against Linfield.

Youth Intake - A reasonable looking GK which is fine as I like to register HG goalkeepers for the Champions League but the rest look poor which is disappointing.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - An unexpected rise into the top 10 which shows the importance of winning coefficient points in Europe. This season also saw us regain our automatic spot in the UCL group stage for the DBP winners for the season after next which is odd since I didn't have to play in the qualifiers this season.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - I honestly didn't expect us to be able to topple Knockbreda for a while but here we are, the most reputable team in N. Ireland.
 
Club European Reputation - Rising up again which is good and especially pleasing to add another excellent year into the calculation. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Knocked out in Europa League 2nd Knockout Round by Everton after 3-0 defeat on aggregate - They lost to FC Porto in the Champions League qualifiers so were in the Europa League which they did exceptionally well in to top their group. Everton however are a class apart and even after getting a creditable 0-0 in the first leg they were never going to be able to withstand them given the lack of depth they have in their squad.
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by FC Nordsjaelland after 4-2 defeat on aggregate - A poor campaign for them this time around.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Knockout Round by Chelsea after 4-0 defeat on aggregate - A remarkable improvement on their European form of recent times with them finishing 3rd in their Europa League group. They were never beating Chelsea but an excellent run regardless. Just a shame they wont be playing European football next season. Probably a result of having a squad too weak to compete on both the domestic and European fronts. Hopefully, their run this season will have given them a decent amount of money and make them stronger in the league next season as I need a third force in the DBP to take points off Knockbreda.
Coagh United - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Knockout Round by HNK Hajduk after 5-3 defeat on aggregate - A decent debut season for them as they managed to win a tie. It has been a remarkable journey for them when you consider that a few years ago they were slumming it in the 3rd division.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

T74ebaD.png

image.png.c34fc9ec8554c58e815510728f519e2b.png

Spoiler

OELyFzt.png

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2040 / 2041

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

We appear to be in a epic struggle for domestic domination and the priority this season must be to hold off the challenge of Knockbreda. It would also be great if we could build on an encouraging season in Europe last time around.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - I was pleased that we managed to retain our title and I feel the final standings flatter Knockbreda and Larne. We established a comfortable lead early in the season and by the split we were 6 points clear with a significant edge on goal difference. We then conspired to lose to both Knockbreda and Larne which put us under immense pressure as Knockbreda drew level on points with Larne only 2 points further back. Thankfully, we managed to help ourselves with a 6-0 trashing of our deadly rivals Linfield at home. Combined with the draw which Knockbreda managed it gave us a 2 point lead going into the final 2 games. We then managed a critical 1-0 win away at Glenavon and secured our title on the final day with a win away at Ballymena United. In order to start pulling away from the chasing pack we must begin to improve our record against our closest rivals, our poor record against them made the title fight a lot tougher than it needed to be.

Elsewhere in the top flight, Knockbreda sacked their manager at the end of the season and once again we had a season filled with uncertainty with a lot of managers either getting sacked or moving on. It was nice to see Linfield make a return to European football with a 1-0 win in the playoff final over Cliftonville. Coagh United stayed up comfortably with a convincing aggregate win over Newry City in the relegation playoff and next season will see Dungannon Swifts make their return the DBP.

UEFA Champions League - This was a tough draw with us being forced to play the giants P.S.G. and Real Madrid. I didn't feel we would have enough to see us through the group but remained optimistic of a 3rd placed finish which we managed to achieve. I was pleased to see us keep the scorelines respectable (except the nightmare in Paris) against the bigger sides and perhaps with a bit more luck we might have managed to sneak into 2nd but a run in the knockout stages of the Europa League is a good consolation prize.

UEFA Europa League - When we drew Valencia C.F. I was feeling that we might be able to get past them if we performed well. After all, we had beaten Real Madrid in the Champions League group stage so there was no reason why we couldn't be competitive. When we scored early in Spain that had me more encouraged and seeing us create quality chances in the game gave me hope. I knew that the next goal in the tie would be vital, if we would have managed it I think we would have easily got to the next round. As it turned out, we squandered our chances and when they grabbed a late equalizer it threw the whole tie up in the air once again.

We still held the advantage going into the 2nd leg thanks to the away goal but injuries to key players really hurt us. When they scored in the 1st half I felt we still had an opportunity to progress provided we could create some quality chances for our strikers. Unfortunately, unlike the 1st leg we were rudderless in front of goal and even though we managed to score late to revive our hopes we never looked like having enough about us to grab the winner so when they scored a late goal to knock us out it came as no surprise. Honestly speaking, I was disappointed with the result as I felt we could have done better.

Domestic Cups - Pleasing to see us lift the Irish Cup but we was hopeless in the other cups, the defeat to Cliftonville being especially embarrassing.

Reserves - Not the best of seasons from them, I'd like to see a bit more next time around.

Under 18s - Did reasonably well in the UEFA Youth League but overall a fairly mediocre season.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - Excellent to see the emergence of our first wonderkid generation with a few being added to the spine of the team. We are going to need to invest in a new DL given that Padilla will be leaving on a free. I'm also looking to replace the aging Mazzarelli DC who simply can't cut it anymore even though he has become a team leader. I'm glad to see the market value of the players being so high as the selling club philosophy has really started to earn some serious income for the club now. I don't feel that major surgery is required to the squad but some tinkering around the edges along with bringing in replacements if required I'm hoping will allow the club to take the next step into the later stages of the Champions League. I am a little concerned however with our dependence on the MR position for assists, the lack of any striker breaking the 30 goal barrier for the season is also worrying. Those two issues will definitely need to be addressed.  

Transfers - This was a bumper year for player sales and it was great that it allowed me to reinvest those funds into wonderkids which I hope will earn the club a lot of money in future. I think I robbed Birmingham to get the price I did for Twyrdy DL. Rebai DC was a more fair price but I hadn't forgotten his antics of a couple of seasons ago when he decided to go AWOL with the title on the line so decided to ship him out for a huge profit. I didn't want to lose Jevtic GK but the price was excellent and I had adequately replaced him with Heffernan GK and as both weren't going to play, it made sense to let him leave. The Israel MC transfer was a painful one given how consistent he had been in the previous season but the price was excellent. It might have been a good idea to hold onto Logue ML given that he is HG but he was unhappy with the lack of first team football opportunities so I decided to let him go.

As for the players that were brought in. I was pleased with all of them except perhaps Perrotti ST who I felt could have offered more in terms of a goal return but given it's his first year with the club I'll put his under performance down to him taking time to settle, as such, I expect to see much better next season.

image.png.fbca46de38c2cb3a1c82a93a01b5cba6.png

Average Rating: 7.60
Not quite as productive as the departing Israel but a good first season from the midfielder.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.38
A remarkable debut season considering that he was annoyed with me throughout the majority of it as I didn't register him for European competition. Seeing how he has developed in those circumstances makes me excited for what the future could hold for him.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - It's a good feeling having the balance around this level as it continues to allow investment in the clubs infrastructure. I can see this balance only increasing given the regular Champions League money and the funds we are now able to generate from player sales.

Facilities - All on the up, the investment in the facilities will continue as we start to move towards having good facilities. It was a shame to see Knockbreda cancel their new stadium plans altogether but good to see our fan base increase in size. It'll be interesting to see whether we can overtake Linfield next season when it comes to season ticket sales.

Youth Intake - The youth intake preview hinted at it being a poor intake and they were spot on with their analysis. Absolutely nobody to get excited about which is a big problem given how much we are currently struggling to have enough HG players for European squad registration as it is.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - A sharp fall which means that for the season after next we will once again have to contend with qualifiers for the Champions League.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Managed to retain our position at the summit which is good.
 
Club European Reputation - Dropped 2 places which isn't great, if we are to help the nation we need to be doing an awful lot better next season, hopefully, we can avoid such a punishing draw for the Champions League group stage. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Knocked out in Europa League 1st Knockout Round by AS Monaco after 3-1 defeat on aggregate - Knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers, did well to get through their Europa League group then as expected lost to superior opposition in the knockout stages. They don't appear to be making much progress.
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by sc Heerenveen after 4-1 defeat on aggregate - A dreadful campaign from them.
Portadown - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by Club Brugge after 2-1 defeat on aggregate - A massive credit to them as not only did they manage to win a tie, they gave a good professional club a decent fight which is remarkable considering they are still part timers. If only the other N. Irish clubs could take inspiration from their example.
Glenavon - Finished 4th in Europa League group - Not too bad at all, did very well to get through the Europa League playoff, just a shame they couldn't quite make it to 3rd in the group to have a run in the Europa Conference League knockout stages.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

xhkL1K0.png

image.png.e2e0679acb5067c917bea5ddd807814c.png

Spoiler

aSD7R5l.png

 
Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2041 / 2042

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

We've got to keep trying to progress in Europe as that holds the key to improving the club in the long term. The last 4 DBP titles have been won by us, making it 5 in a row is vital.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - Another titanic struggle with Knockbreda for the title with it once again being decided on the final day. We really need the likes of Linfield and Larne to improve so that there are more teams capable of taking points of Knockbreda. I'm actually pleasantly surprised with how Knockbreda are managing to sustain the challenge. We might have even finished 2nd after losing away to Knockbreda on the opening game of the split which enabled them to replace us at the summit. Thankfully, we was done a favour by Linfield and Glenavon who drew with them in the post split fixtures which allowed us to regain the lead when it mattered. Crusaders did well to qualify for Europe with a penalty win after a 2-2 draw in the Europa Conference League playoff against Ballymena United. Portadown managed to stay up comfortably with a resounding 11-1 aggregate win over Ards in the playoff. Unfortunately, Coagh United once again reverted to semi-professional status.

UEFA Champions League - With a better looking squad on paper we are actually performing worse than before as we took another step backwards. We was drawn into a tough looking group but I'm disappointed with our overall performance. Scoring 3 goals in 6 games is a pitiful return and the manner in which we lost a lot of the games wasn't exactly inspiring. Closing the gap is proving difficult, improving the potency of our attack is going to be required if we are to stand any chance of becoming consistent in Europe. Unfortunately, owing to some poor recent years for the N. Irish club coefficient, next season will see the return of qualifiers and we will need to win 3 ties to make the group stage next time around.

Domestic Cups - A very good season in the cups for us as we almost managed a clean sweep. We really had a shocker in the Irish Cup final considering I fielded a strong lineup, hopefully, it's not a sign of things to come next season.

Reserves - They won a cup which is decent but the rest wasn't great.

Under 18s - The quality of recent intakes is really starting to take its toll on their performances.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - The spine of the squad has definitely been strengthened which I'm pleased about. The problem I have is that I fear we have a lot of bottlers in the squad which isn't helping. Anytime we played in a 'big' game a lot of the players disappeared (especially Perrotti ST who is supposedly our best striker) which is shown with our results in the Champions League, the post split game against Knockbreda and the Irish Cup final. Perhaps some of it can be attributed to the fact that we are trying to introduce a lot of young players into the roster who can be inconsistent but then again our squad isn't that young overall, especially upfront where we have a number of players over 25. I think I need to trim the squad once again as I struggled to give enough game time to certain players. The likes of Grvala DL & Harratt MR (who incidentally got called up by England) really need more game time to develop otherwise their potential is likely to go to waste. Two players per position is what is needed and I sense that next seasons summer transfer window is going to involve making some difficult decisions in terms of moving on certain long standing members of the squad.

Transfers - A very healthy profit was made in the transfer market which enabled us to build the bank balance and provide some financial security. First off, the outgoings. I was really gutted to lose the wonderkid Finnsson MR to Blackburn but the price was too much to refuse. I was similarly disappointed to lose Ahnen DR who had proved a good loyal servant for the club but once again the transfer fee was excellent and the profit was great for a player who has reached the limit of their ability and wasn't irreplaceable. Griffin ML wanted to leave and the bid was good enough that I could replace him so decided it was in the clubs best interest to let him go. Brown GK was let go to make way for HG talent Hanna GK as the backup. I decided to let Colina DC leave to trim the squad as we were stacked in the central defence.

As for the players that joined the club. Ehrmann DC looks like a steal for the price and has emerged as our best central defender with a lot of room for further development. Garcia MR was an excellent replacement for Finnsson and while the price was a little bit expensive was still value for money given his performances this season. Malic DL was probably the transfer I was most disappointed with considering I'm paying him a small fortune in wages and he is no better than what I already had. That disappointment was further compounded with the signing of Grvala DL who looks to have a much bigger envelope for development while costing a fraction of the money. Miller DC is another bright young talent who I'm hoping will provide good competition for a spot in the central defence. Roche ML looks decent although I don't think he is as good as Griffin was. Gonzalez DR was an expensive panic buy but I needed a player to cover in that position. Hopefully, next season he can feature more in the first team and justify the massive outlay. Finally, Strohmaier ST arrived to add some depth to the forward line while injecting a bit of youth. As I've added him into the first team picture, I'm hoping that will allow me to move on players like Ioannou, Danquah and Bah so that I can give more time to strikers which are still in their development stage. I've got a HG talent in the reserves called Tumelty, Turnbull ST who has done well on loan with Crusaders and a young support striker called Owusu arriving from Newcastle who I'd like to give some game time to.

image.png.fbca46de38c2cb3a1c82a93a01b5cba6.png

Average Rating: 7.47
After the departure of Griffin it was imperative he stepped up and for the most part he did. He provided the most assists in the squad and a had very consistent season. Unfortunately, much like a lot of players in the squad he performed poorly in the Champions League which indicates to me that he isn't of the required standard going forwards and will likely need to be replaced.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.31
A very talented player who I'm hoping will continue to show the impressive development he did this season next time around. The only concern I have being whether I'll be able to hold onto him but considering there doesn't appear to be any interest in him then perhaps I will.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - The balance is still very decent although I am mindful of the way the wage bill is creeping up as we added almost £100Kp/w to our commitments this season. At this point, I don't think I'll be investing heavily in the transfer market and will instead be looking to develop what we already have with the only moves into the transfer market being replacements if necessary. I was a little bit dismayed to see the average league attendance fall but encouraged with the fact that for the first time we managed to sell more season tickets than any other club in N. Ireland. We have to be careful given the new peril of having to play qualifiers for the Champions League, I think missing out on the group stage would probably force us to halt the development of the club which would be a massive kick in the teeth which I'll be desperately looking to avoid.

Facilities - All the facilities saw continued investment and I'm pleased to see the data analysis facilities becoming state of the art meaning less need to continue spending money in that direction. Bizarrely, Knockbreda actually are building a new stadium after all, a 11,956 capacity ground called Knockbreda Stadium which will be completed on 22/6/2043.

Youth Intake - A couple of bright sparks (Hanna DR & Duffy ST) in an otherwise poor intake.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - A slight rise which is good and when combined with the message below indicates we are rebuilding our status.
 
i1Nwb4b.png
 
Club Domestic Reputation - I don't expect to see much movement on this front until we start doing better in Europe.
 
Club European Reputation - I can see us falling down the list given that an exceptional year will fall off the coefficient calculation.
 
Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Finished 4th in Champions League group - Great job from them to navigate through the qualifiers but were as lousy as us when it came to the group stage.
Larne - Knocked out in Europa League 1st Knockout Round by Nottingham Forest on away goals after 2-2 defeat on aggregate - A great improvement on their previous campaign and gave a good account of themselves against English opposition.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round by Spartak Moscow on away goals after 2-2 defeat on aggregate - So desperately unlucky not to reach the group stage.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round by Chelsea after 5-1 defeat on aggregate - A really tough draw for them so the defeat was unsurprising.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

UK0IRZK.png

image.png.e2e0679acb5067c917bea5ddd807814c.png

Spoiler

7i7TvSy.png

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites

Remarkably, for the first time, the team managed to reach the quarter final stage of the Europa League so I will provide in depth reports on the games.

Link to post
Share on other sites

QExM03G.jpg

Season 2042 / 2043

beUaOsj.png

GZ64E87.png?1

We did manage to navigate our way through the Champions League qualifiers but unfortunately didn't have much of an impact in the group stage and finished in 3rd and hence got booted down to the Europa League knockout rounds. We have progressed through 2 knockout rounds so far much to my amazement but now the real hard work begins to go even further. I'm happy with our European campaign so far so anything more from this point will be a bonus.

beUaOsj.png

9RLcGB8.png?1

There are some real tough teams left in the draw as you would expect such as Real Madrid, Arsenal and Napoli. There are however some teams which I think we could have a chance of competing with so I hope to draw one of those. Fingers crossed, here we go.
 
Who did we draw?
 
OTTPTCU.png?1
 
Borussia Mönchengladbach

A very strong club for us to go up against but not one of the most difficult we could have faced. Let's compare the squads.

Our squad
 
8rQIJa2.png
 
Their squad
 
Zb8w8CP.png
 
On paper they have the better squad of players and should easily win this tie. We are also not helped by missing both of our first choice left midfielders. The only positive sign for us being the injury to one of their best players Lenz AML which sees him out of the first leg.
 
Quarter Final 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
DJiXggM.png
 
The 4-2-3-1 formation they are fielding against us is interesting and I feel the game will be won or lost on the flanks. If I can create enough overloads on the flanks and isolate their fullbacks I think that will improve our chances of getting a decent result to take to Germany. I expect them to dominate possession given their numerical advantage in the central midfield but if we can be efficient when we do have the ball I feel that we should definitely be capable of scoring against them. I've just got to hope that my usual left back Boulis can put in a decent performance in the ML position and that my young defence don't buckle under the pressure.
 
Result
 
Glentoran 3 Borussia Mönchengladbach 0
 
wU0a0O3.png
 
Well that couldn't have gone any better in retrospect. They did threaten to score but that clean sheet was deserved and provides a huge boost for us going into the 2nd leg. Unexpectedly, we actually managed to dominate possession which is a encouraging sign for the 2nd leg. We have put ourselves in a great position in the tie knowing that a goal in Germany means they would have to score 5 to go through.
 
Quarter Final 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
I5TkIWU.png
 
A stronger lineup from them than in the first leg which is a little concerning. Roche ML returns from injury into the starting lineup which is positive news while we suffered a big blow with Ehrmann DC missing through injury. All we need to do is not lose by 4 clear goals and we are through. I want a nice, calm and composed performance from the lads.

Result

Borussia Mönchengladbach 3 Glentoran 1 (A.E.T.)
 
Glentoran win 4-3 on aggregate
 
ZkAVPa0.png
 
I went through the full gamut of emotions in this game and it has got to go down as one of the most extraordinary games I've witnessed in some time. It looked like we would hold on for a 2-0 defeat going into the final minutes of the game which would have taken us through. Then out of nowhere we gifted them a third goal by giving away a needless penalty from a free kick which allowed them to level the game on aggregate. I was livid at the full time whistle that we had frittered away such a massive lead and genuinely felt that we had bottled our best chance of getting to the semi-final. We were being absolutely battered and it looked only a matter of time before they got the 4th and killed the game in extra time. Then somehow we managed to get a goal against the run of play in the 1st period of extra time which completely transformed my mood and all but secured our place in the semi final. From despair to delight within the space of an instant, football is a funny old game.
 
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

QExM03G.jpg

Season 2042 / 2043

beUaOsj.png
 
9RLcGB8.png?1
 
As the draw for the semi final takes place at the same time as the quarter final draw I already knew who we could face.
 
Who did we draw?
 
65Z7Zdg.png?1
 
S.S.C. Napoli

Although arguably they aren't the toughest team we could have faced it's still going to take a monumental effort for us to beat them over two legs and claim a place in the final. This is going to be a huge ask.

Our squad
 
zDJXhD0.png
 
Their squad
 
tcxQARE.png
 
I've gone with as strong a lineup as possible and we are going to need to be at our absolute best to have a chance against them.
 
Semi Final 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
0BcIBYd.png
 
Once again we will face a 4-2-3-1 and I think the key to us doing well in this tie lies in dominating the flanks. I can't expect to get a result similar to the one we enjoyed in the previous rounds 1st leg but any result which gives us a shot in the 2nd leg is welcome. That means if we can grab an away goal or two that would come in very handy even if ultimately we lose the game.
 
Result
 
S.S.C. Napoli 1 Glentoran 0
 
XnjKq3l.png
 
I never thought I'd be writing this about the result but I'm absolutely devastated. Yes, they dominated the ball and had more shots but we were arguably the better team. It was a game where we matched them in every department except our ability to put away our chances. Vos ST really let me down and spurned some great opportunities to give us that vital away goal. The tie isn't over by any stretch of the imagination but we have given ourselves a real mountain to climb. I just hope that we can replicate the performance in Belfast and be a bit more clinical.
 
Semi Final 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
Me43ihF.png
 
If the evidence of the 1st leg is anything to go by then we are right in this tie and have a fantastic opportunity to make the final. I need a quality performance from my players again if we are to make history.

Result

Glentoran 0 S.S.C. Napoli 1
 
S.S.C. Napoli win 2-0 on aggregate
 
dNdN6MI.png
 
We gave it our all but in the end our best efforts weren't enough. When they scored in the 1st half that seemed to knock the stuffing out of us and from that point on they were able to easily cruise into the final. Unlike the 1st leg, we never really looked like scoring and I can't begrudge them their win.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
IBWpk2R.png?1
 
Although the team was expected to lose the semi final I can't help but feel a tinge of regret. If only Vos could have put away one of his chances in the 1st leg, if only we could have left Italy with an away goal I think that would have changed the complexion of the tie completely. I am however delighted with our European campaign overall. We came very close to our first ever European final and should take a lot of credit for doing that. With the way the squad is developing I can see us coming back even stronger next season. This season gives me hope of a better and brighter future in Europe for the team.
 
Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 07/04/2020 at 01:04, kidthekid said:

Great run in the Europa league. It looks like a shape of things to come.

Cheers, I didn't think we would have been capable of such a campaign but hopefully it can be the catalyst which sees us make improvement in the Champions League.

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2042 / 2043

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

The last few seasons in Europe have seen a steady decline and now we have to contend with making it through the Champions League qualifiers because of the worsening of the nations club coefficient. It's imperative we make it to the group stage of the Champions League at a minimum while continuing to hold off Knockbreda in the DBP.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - It took until the penultimate matchday to wrap it up but we managed to retain our title. It comes as a great relief considering we were up to 8 points behind Knockbreda at one point in the season but we rallied well and came storming back. Linfield had a shocker of a season by missing out on Europe and that will impact our ability to generate coefficient points next season which is unfortunate. I really need them to be a strong force in N. Ireland going forwards. Their season was so bad that they changed managers and Hamza Choudhury currently is at the helm.

Ballymena United won the final of the UEFA Europa Conference League playoff thanks to a penalty win over Crusaders after a 1-1 draw. Portadown lost in the relegation playoff 6-5 on aggregate against Institute while Dungannon Swifts will return to the DBP after comfortably winning the Championship title. In the lower leagues, it was pleasing to see Distillery get promoted to the Championship after a 5 year stint in the 3rd division. We really need more competition at the upper echelons of the league otherwise we are going to continue to have these close title fights with Knockbreda which while interesting also are a distraction from focusing on Europe.

UEFA Champions League - Drawing Dinamo in the 3rd Qualifying Round was a bit of nightmare in terms of difficulty considering the other teams in the draw but in the end we emerged comfortable winners which was pleasing. The playoff didn't pose any great challenge and we was able to make the group stages easily. I was optimistic going into the group stage with the draw as I felt we could compete for a top 2 spot. Unfortunately, like the last few seasons our inability to score enough goals proved to be our Achilles heel. We still had a chance of qualification going into the final matchday in Portugal but couldn't get the win we needed so ended up finishing in 3rd.

UEFA Europa League - I expected we might get through a couple of rounds but I certainly didn't expect us to go that far. Amiens SC looked a really tough draw when I looked at their players but we pulled off a remarkable result in France in the 1st leg which put us in the driving seat. That great performance was then built on with a convincing win in Belfast. Athletic Bilbao was another tough team for us to face but by managing to squeeze a narrow win at home it gave us the confidence of knowing a draw would be enough in Spain. It was tough going but we managed to get what we needed thanks to a resolute defensive display. The quarter final and semi final were extraordinary ties but we just couldn't get over the line and make the final. The campaign was a massive shot in the arm and if we can improve our attacking strength I see no reason why the upward trend can't continue.

Domestic Cups - A domestic clean sweep which is excellent although we still can't seem to make any progress in the Scottish Challenge Cup. I think the reasons are all the international call ups and as I don't like postponing games I have a really weakened side to play those games. It doesn't help that I keep getting drawn against the toughest possible teams in the early rounds either.

Reserves - A poor season from them as they finished miles behind Reserve league winners Knockbreda. At least they lost in the Steel & Sons Cup to Donegal Celtic which would have given my affiliate some decent money for making the final.

Under 18s - Another terrible season, the UEFA Youth League performances being especially bad. I think I may have to start signing everyone from the intakes whether good or bad as a lack of depth may be contributing to why they are so weak.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - I'm fairly content with the size and quality of the squad. Going through the roster, I will need to look into a long term replacement for Heffernan GK as he refuses to sign a new deal because of interest from elsewhere and as I don't want to lose him for nothing I may need to cash in. I think I will need to sell Borrmann DC as he wants to leave. I was pleased to tie down Ehrmann DC to a long term contract as he was excellent this season. Botelho MC will be leaving for Knockbreda after signing a pre-contract agreement with them in January so I will need a defensively minded central midfielder to replace him as I don't think the HG prospect I have in the Reserves is quite up to scratch. I'm also in the market for another ML and quality ST in the hope that will improve our attacking potency in Europe.

Transfers - I think I had reasonable pair of transfer windows and it was nice to see another healthy profit. I didn't really want to lose Harratt MR but I couldn't deprive him the opportunity to play in the Premier League. Perotti ST was another I wanted to keep but the money was good and when Barcelona come in for a player it becomes very difficult to keep him. Knockbreda seem to have taken a liking to some of our players which is interesting but I'm not disappointed to lose any of them. I was gutted to lose Bonnano DC but he had become disillusioned at the club and I had already signed a wonderkid replacement in Rossi DC for him. As for the players that joined the club, Owusu ST looks overpriced but he did contribute well when called upon. Merazga came in August but after making no impact was shipped out on loan to Cardiff in January. Vos ST looks a great signing and had a very productive debut season. I'd expect to see a similar level of activity next season.

image.png.fbca46de38c2cb3a1c82a93a01b5cba6.png

Pape Fall - MC
Average Rating: 7.65
He has grown on me as a player and repaid the faith I showed in him. If he can replicate the same level of consistency next season and maybe add a few more assists then he will firmly establish himself as one of my favourite players in the squad.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.59
An even better season for him this time around and that is why I'm so glad to have extended his contract given the interest that was being shown in him. I don't sense that I will be able to hold on to him for the full length of his contract but if we could get another 2 seasons out of him that will definitely help us to make strides in Europe.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - A reasonable balance to end the season with considering that I continued to invest in the facilities. The board decided to pump £3.2M into the coffers after the screenshot was taken which was nice of them but it does represent how utterly dependent we have become on the Champions League money. Without any decent income coming in you can see how large our expenditures are that we can make a loss of over £5M during the off season.

Facilities - The investment in facilities continued but we must be getting close to maximizing them which hopefully means I can divert funds away from that area. The next major step is building a new stadium but we still are quite some way short of fulfilling the criteria to make that necessary. At least all the indicators for the size of the fan base are continuing to tick upwards. 

Youth Intake - O'Hare DR looks like having significant potential but the rest are poor. As suggested earlier, for next seasons intake I will sign the entire intake rather than just the recommended players. I really need to improve this aspect of the club and bring some more HG talent through as it is increasingly difficult to select a fully sized squad for European registration. I also need to find a way to hold onto some of the best players that we are producing by providing a better pathway from the youth team to first team football. 
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - A great season for us in Europe but when that is combined with a poor season from the other N. Irish clubs it has a depressing effect on our overall reputation which was shown with another fall. It also meant we got the message below.
 
jDkVo10.png
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Nothing to see here.
 
Club European Reputation - Got rid of a good year and replaced it with a great one in the calculation which is nice to see. If we could improve on that or replicate it in the next season we will then be replacing a poor year which should hopefully see us rise up the list.
 
Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Knocked out in Europa League 1st Knockout Round by Lyon after 4-1 defeat on aggregate - Didn't make the Champions League group stage this time around but did well in the Europa League group stage, Lyon was a step too far. As much as this was a decent campaign from them, we need more considering they are the 2nd force in N. Ireland.
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Hammarby IF after 3-1 defeat on aggregate - A really poor season from the only N. Irish team to ever lift a European trophy, that win is becoming a distant memory.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round by Honved after 4-3 defeat on aggregate - They should have done a lot better but I guess this was an early indication that they were in for a poor season. Hopefully, the new manager will reinvigorate them and they can qualify for Europe for the season after next as we need them to be in good financial health.
Crusaders - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Ferencvaros after 5-1 defeat on aggregate - Useless, utter rubbish.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

lKQPutK.png

image.png.e2e0679acb5067c917bea5ddd807814c.png

Spoiler

7EUBRnD.png

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonderful wonderful European campaign, just a shame your attendance still doesn't warrant a stadium expansion/new stadium :/

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, rodesire said:

Wonderful wonderful European campaign, just a shame your attendance still doesn't warrant a stadium expansion/new stadium :/

Thanks, I think timing is going to prove important for the next stage in the evolution of the club. I feel I'm going to need to win a European trophy before I should entertain trying to build a new ground. I don't want to go down the Knockbreda route of building a stadium which is actually smaller than their current expanded ground as the potential expansion capacity is probably going to be limited.

If however, I could win a European trophy of some description over the next few seasons then I could massively increase the size of the fan base and then perhaps prompt the board into building a ground with a larger starting capacity and thus have a greater potential for growth.

I think it's going to be really important getting as large a stadium as possible given how important gate receipts are going to be for the development of the club as other revenue streams are much poorer in N. Ireland. If we could be ambitious and try to build a ground starting with a capacity ~20000 with a potential to be expanded to around 35000-40000 I think that will be a game changer not only for us but for the whole of N. Irish football.

All the best

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Absolutely epic career, can't wait for more updates!

I have recently started a career with Larne after randomly finding they're a sugar daddy team - already had a 9M sponsorship in first year :D. My goal is not really to improve league reputation or lead the club to glory, but to attempt 1000 (2000?) goals striker challenge and/or goalscoring keeper challenge, as number of matches and level of opponents should help :D.

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, kandersson said:

Absolutely epic career, can't wait for more updates!

I have recently started a career with Larne after randomly finding they're a sugar daddy team - already had a 9M sponsorship in first year :D. My goal is not really to improve league reputation or lead the club to glory, but to attempt 1000 (2000?) goals striker challenge and/or goal scoring keeper challenge, as number of matches and level of opponents should help :D.

Thanks for the comment. Another season review coming up.

Playing as Larne is one of the most fun challenges in N. Ireland and a perfect choice for what you want to achieve with them.

It's a shame that in my save they didn't really develop that well while their tycoon was at the club. They did win the UEFA Europa Conference League in season 2035/2036 which I thought would have been the catalyst for them to push on but they never really did and still have the look of a 'small' club from the outside.

This is unfortunate as it would have been great having a 3rd force in Europe helping the country to earn coefficient points and work toward the overall objective of the save.

Best Regards

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2043 / 2044

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

Last seasons performance in the Europa League was an unexpected triumph which has given me hope of making further progress this time around. If we could make it into the knockout stages of the Champions League this season that would be a good sign of our continued improvement. I also would like to start pulling away from Knockbreda in the DBP as all these tight title races while interesting are draining. Given that we have won 6 titles in a row I would have expected to have pulled away from my old club by now but it just isn't proving to be the case.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - This was a roller coaster of a campaign and I genuinely had concerns that we was going to be dethroned. Thankfully, we managed to pull ourselves out of the fire but we can't keep putting our hand into the lions' mouth like this as one of these times we are going to lose it. We didn't actually start the season that badly. Linfield and Glenavon was setting the pace but Knockbreda kept dropping points which allowed us to establish a decent cushion over them. As the season went on we began to haul Linfield and Glenavon back and eventually overtook them while as expected Knockbreda improved and emerged as our closest challenger.

Our biggest problem proving to be the amount of games we drew and our appalling record against Knockbreda. As a result, we went into the split a point behind Knockbreda which actually was an achievement considering how many games they lost. Had they managed to draw half the games which they lost in the pre-split fixtures they would have been 4 points clear which would have meant that even with a win over them in the post split fixtures we would have still needed them to drop points elsewhere which would have been a big ask at that point in the season.

Interestingly, the first post-split fixture was away at Knockbreda which gave us the opportunity to overtake them at the summit with a win and put our destiny in our own hands. It was looking like we might manage it after racing into a 2-0 lead against them but a poor defensive display allowed them to equalize and but for the width of the crossbar we could have lost so I was happy with the draw in the end. It meant that we would have to depend on them dropping points but at least we didn't allow them to increase their lead which would have meant they would have needed to drop points in 2 of the remaining 4 games which would have been unlikely.

We both won our 2nd game of the split but thankfully, Larne held Knockbreda in the 3rd game of the split while we managed a scrappy 1-0 win over Glenavon to swing the title race pendulum firmly in our favour giving us a 1 point lead over them going into the final 2 games of the season. All we needed to do was win our last 2 games to retain our title and we managed it rendering their loss on the final day irrelevant. If we ever hope to dominate the DBP then we have to find a way to convert all those draws into victories as I feel we was exceptionally lucky that Knockbreda lost as many games as they did which I can't see happening again next season.

Elsewhere in the DBP, Ballymena United beat Larne 3-1 in the UECL playoff final. Dungannon Swifts won the relegation playoff 5-2 on aggregate over Dundela to preserve their top flight status for another year. It was also pleasing to see Linfield qualify for Europe after contributing so much to the early title fight, it would have been a real shame had they emerged with nothing to show for an impressive season.

UEFA Champions League - Once again we drew Dinamo in the qualifiers but an impressive performance in Croatia saw us through to the playoff where Basel proved to be no real threat at all. Unfortunately for us, once we made it into the group stage we was ultimately left to experience a bitterly disappointing and frustrating campaign. We just never got going and our terrible home form really cost us. Going into the final game even though it was not declared that we were out of the competition we could no longer finish 2nd given the head to head record between the 3 teams which finished on 6 points. We finished with 5 points in the 3 way head to head, Lazio finished with 5 points but Valencia finished with 6 points consigning us to 3rd.

Had Lazio not finished on 6 points our impressive final day win over Valencia would have been enough to see us through as our head to head record against them was superior but those are the breaks. I won't make any excuses however, if you can't win a single home game in the group stage and only score 4 goals in 6 games you really don't deserve to go through and we shouldn't really be depending on other teams to do us favours to make us progress. Even though we managed a practically identical campaign to last season I'm still left disappointed as I expected us to push on and we haven't. At least we get a shot at the Europa League knockout stages again and given last seasons run hopefully we can manage something similar again to rescue a poor season in Europe.

UEFA Europa League - This really has been a deflating season in Europe for the team. Once again our lack of ability to convert chances costing us. Vos being the worst culprit as he squandered numerous chances in Spain to give us that important away goal to turn the momentum of the tie. It may have been a result of him being slightly demoralized as I didn't allow him to leave the club in January but even that is a flimsy justification and speaks to a lack of professionalism if that's the case. We looked like making up for the 1st leg loss with a late goal in the 2nd leg which revived our chances but shoddy defending from a free kick allowed them their equalizer which practically killed the tie given we would have needed to score another 2 in the remaining 8 minutes. We need to get our act together in Europe as we can't continue like this.  

Domestic Cups - A good season which gave us 2 cups to add to the trophy cabinet although we did have a favourable set of draws in the Irish Cup. The international call-ups are brutal which once again cost us in the Scottish Challenge Cup but I don't want to postpone the fixtures and create more congestion later on for what is practically a meaningless competition for us at this point. Our loss against Dundalk was disappointing in the Irish Champions Cup but I think it is indicative of the difference between the two clubs, Dundalk are a team on the up with a new stadium and domestic dominance while we are struggling to become dominant at home and are actually getting further away from needing a new stadium.

Reserves - They were good in the cups but rubbish in the league, probably a result of having very few numbers in the team.

Under 18s - Good on them to win the league but still spinning their wheels in the UEFA Youth League.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - I actually feel we are a far weaker squad than we were at the end of last season. We lost some of our best players this season and I have been unable to afford adequate replacements. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to shop in the free transfer market to find players which are good enough to improve us. The lack of goals we are scoring is deeply concerning and this season we didn't have a single player break the 20 goal barrier which is crazy considering we are playing in the DBP. I'd like to keep the squad around this size as it helps to give players appropriate game time but I also have to be mindful of the fact that injuries at key times really hurt us. Garcia MR missed the group stage of the Champions League through injury which was a big blow given he is one of our best players. We also had an awful lot of other shorter length injuries which didn't help. We really need to strike a good balance between having sufficient depth while not hoarding players which aren't going to get enough games.

Transfers - This was a horrific pair of transfer windows which conspired to strip us of our best players through an overzealous board while having to overpay for replacements which aren't of the same quality. Heffernan GK and Fall MC were sold over my head, I managed to block the sale the first time by protesting but when those teams came in again with a higher offer I was powerless to stop it. Martins GK was the replacement for Heffernan but was ridiculously expensive for what he is. Payan MC was another overpriced replacement for the departing Triguero, Botelho and Iriondo. Rosseel MC was a final day panic buy to replace Fall and overall he looked decent when he played.

Konate MC was a poor purchase but I think Bunderla ST looks an astute signing to play in the Deep Lying Forward role. Danquah ST wanted to leave and I was happy to let him go even to a rival while I felt the time was right for Ioannou ST to move on given that he would hardly get any first team opportunities and I didn't want to see a player which has been good for us rot in the reserves. I was happy to let Malic DL leave given his high wages and the fact that he's been poor since joining the club while Geronimi DR was moved on given he was hardly playing. If all of those sales wasn't bad enough the sale of Ehrmann DC was without doubt the hardest to take. Even though the board didn't go over my head this time, when Man United comes in for a player it's very difficult to hold onto him so when they came in with a record offer I decided to let him leave as they had managed to unsettle him and he was causing massive problems in the dressing room. I'm definitely going to need to strengthen the central defence as Rossi DC had his buy back clause activated so I'm down to just 2 first team central defenders. On the plus side, I have managed to secure a decent looking ML to replace Cook who I plan to release at the end of his contract.

image.png.fbca46de38c2cb3a1c82a93a01b5cba6.png

Average Rating: 7.67
A very consistent performer who even with a bad months long injury managed to end the season as our highest provider of assists. I'm glad that I was able to get him tied down to a longer contract.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Rene Vos - ST
Average Rating: 7.31
He's good but considering he has this bad habit of going missing when it really matters I feel we should be getting more. A player of his ability should be breaking 25 goals in a season easily, the fact that he isn't is something I'll need to look into. That's if I can hold onto him as once again Torino are interested and we had a real 'fun' time trying to hold onto him in January. For the right price he can leave but it really will need to be a huge sum.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - Not a bad balance to be ending the season with but considering the profit that was made in the transfer market it could be a lot better. The wage bill is getting a little bit out of hand and I will need to bring it down and back under control. I've also got to get out of this habit of paying in installments for players that I can't afford upfront as putting all this money down the line has become risky given that there is no guarantee anymore that I will make it to the Champions League group stage, missing out on one seasons group stage money could be very damaging. I'm also concerned to see the way in which the fan base appears to be shrinking rather than growing with us once again seeing a reduction in the average attendance.

Facilities - Hopefully, with the upgrade to the youth and training facilities we should have maxed them out and can start to direct that money in a different area.

Youth Intake - A poor intake but to keep good numbers in the youth team and reserves I've decided to sign them all.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - We really are falling off a cliff as a nation which led to the following message.
 
k9m4bXR.png
 
This really couldn't get much worse in terms of us achieving the objective of the save.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Nothing much to report.
 
Club European Reputation - A really good year is about to fall off the calculation so we are going to need a really good campaign next year to replace it.
 
Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Finished 4th in Champions League group - Good to see them qualify but they didn't score a single point in the group stage.
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by Lechia Gdansk after 4-3 defeat on aggregate - Another poor season from them in Europe.
Ballymena United - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Shamrock Rovers after 3-1 defeat on aggregate - I think this is symptomatic of how our southern neighbours have overtaken us.
Glenavon - Finished 3rd in Europa Conference League group - Not bad but not great either.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

guuDgdu.png

image.png.e2e0679acb5067c917bea5ddd807814c.png

Spoiler

VQdbeNf.png

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

QExM03G.jpg

Season 2044 / 2045

beUaOsj.png

GZ64E87.png?1

Another 3rd placed finish in our Champions League group gives us another shot at the Europa League. We beat PSV comfortably in the 1st Knockout Round and followed that up with an impressive win over AS Monaco in the 2nd Knockout Round. I'd like to go one step further than the last time we made the quarter final and reach the final but whether we can or not will depend on who we get drawn against.

beUaOsj.png

9RLcGB8.png?1

The teams left in the draw are all challenging but there are some weaker sides we could face. I'd want to avoid Atlético Madrid, Manchester City, AC Milan or Juventus as they are Champions League quality teams in my view. I think we could have a chance of being competitive against the likes of Watford, Norwich or Olympique Lyonnais given that we have beaten a similar standard of team to get to the quarter final. Let's hope for a good draw and to see the better teams drawn against each other.
 
Who did we draw?
 
WF6Yq1y.png?1
 
Olympique Lyonnais

When compared with the likes of Manchester City or Atlético Madrid they are weaker but they are still a formidable opponent and we will need to perform at our best to stand a chance of beating them over two legs.

Our squad
 
RjKMDay.png
 
Their squad
 
sdPWB49.png
 
Unfortunately, Grvala DL picked up a knock and will miss the game which is a bit of problem as we are going to have to play Phelan-Roche DL who is just coming back from a broken foot and is lacking match fitness. I don't want to risk playing my left midfielder Roche at left back as although he did a reasonable job against AS Monaco in the 2nd leg of the last round, I feel we need someone more defensively secure against a quality front 3. I also have slight concerns about Garcia MR, Ahlborn MC and Bunderla ST who are all recovering from injuries so aren't at full fitness but should be capable of starting. At least we wont have to contend with Infantino DL for the first leg and we should be encouraged by the fact that two of the best players in their starting eleven are 1 yellow card away from a suspension so if we could get them carded it would be immensely helpful for the 2nd leg.
 
Quarter Final 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
0CwMix0.png
 
They are going with a 4-2-3-1 and a positive mentality to start the game so I feel that we will have a better chance if we also follow suit and stick to our positive mentality. Our best hope is to try and hit them on the break down the flanks to try and overload their fullbacks. I think scoring an away goal is going to be vitally important in terms of our chances of progression so hopefully new record signing Wearmouth ST can be effective.
 
Result
 
Olympique Lyonnais 3 Glentoran 0
 
T13xDiY.png
 
What was that all about? The worst performance of the season by a country mile at the worst possible time. I know that it was a pressurized game but we completely folded and never looked like scoring. We needed our better players on the best of form to stand a chance of competing, instead they were nervous and had poor games. I was especially disappointed with Garcia MR who ended with a match rating of 6.5 and Bunderla ST who ended with a match rating of 6.4.
 
Going into stoppage time at the end of the game the score was 2-0 and I felt that was just about recoverable from but when they grabbed another in the 91st minute I think that effectively ended the tie. We are going to need nothing short of a miracle to turn this around.
 
Quarter Final 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
Ex4IEcQ.png
 
Grvala's back in the starting lineup which is good as the opposition really exploited that weakness in the 1st leg. My dream scenario, we score early, they get disheartened, we then score just before and just after half time to level the tie on aggregate further demoralizing them. We then grab a late goal to win the tie in the 90 minutes or take them into extra time and win it or beat them in a penalty shootout. A more realistic scenario, we salvage a bit of pride and win the 2nd leg although fall short of winning the tie. The most likely outcome, they give us another pasting.
 
As they are going into the game with a cautious mentality I will match them and also drop down to cautious. I don't want us going down to a heavy aggregate defeat and if we stay on positive I think they will pick us off on the break with ease so I want to avoid that if possible. This is our chance to right the wrongs of the 1st leg, so I expect to see a good performance from the lads so that even if we ultimately get eliminated we can at least go out with the satisfaction of knowing we gave it our all.

Result

Glentoran 0 Olympique Lyonnais 1
 
Olympique Lyonnais win 4-0 on aggregate
 
KoDmzWn.png
 
We were a lot better than in the 1st leg, I'll give the players that, as we had a couple players (Garcia & Ahlborn) break the 7.0 barrier in terms of a match rating. How much of our improvement was down to the complacency from the Lyon players though I wouldn't be able to say. Unfortunately, we never looked like making an unlikely comeback as once again our attack was as blunt as a butter knife. We created a number of good opportunities to score but we just couldn't put the ball into the back of the net which has been the story of why we aren't making as much progress in Europe as I would have hoped for. At least we avoided taking another trouncing but that really isn't much comfort for a team which should be doing much better.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
IBWpk2R.png?1
 
Injuries to key players at the wrong time certainly didn't help us but then again attributing that to be the main reason why we lost would be making excuses. What I saw in the first leg of the quarter final was a team without fight which is unforgivable. We aren't going to be able to match some of these teams for ability but you can makeup for a lot of that with character and a willingness to work hard, we failed on both fronts. We aren't making the strides in Europe that I was hoping to see by now and I'm going to have to assess what's going wrong and how I'm going to go about trying to improve it. We haven't qualified from our Champions League group in 5 years with a team which is miles ahead in terms of ability from what we had then so something has seriously gone wrong here.
 
Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2044 / 2045

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

I'd like to make some progress in the Champions League and to reach the knockout stage. We also need to start winning the DBP more convincingly given that 2nd place no longer gives a Champions League berth. We have won the last 7 in a row but the majority of those title races could have gone either way which is why we need to start pulling away from Knockbreda.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - No messing about this time as we stormed to the title and was able to clinch it after winning our first post split fixture. I decided to tinker a bit with my tactics this season. When teams played a mentality cautious or lower against us I decided to drop our mentality to cautious. That proved effective as it added a bit of patience and depth to our attacks allowing us to keep our opponents under more sustained pressure. I had noticed that when we stayed on the Positive mentality against teams which played on lower mentalities the play was too rushed, resulting in us turning over possession too frequently which allowed the opposition to have more of the ball than they should have. Slowing the tempo down and standing off the opposition when they had the ball more allowed us to control the games more easily and enabled us to dominate possession (often ending up with >70%) which my players seemed to thrive in. We scored more and conceded less than last season which is testament to how successful the new approach has been.

Elsewhere in the DBP, Coagh United beat our junior affiliate Donegal Celtic 5-4 on aggregate in the relegation playoff. Glenavon managed to qualify for the Europa Conference League thanks to a 3-0 win over Ballymena United in the final of the playoff. Next season the top flight will be joined by Institute as they managed to win the Championship title. I'm hoping that this season is a sign of things to come and we can continue to dominate the league so that we can focus more on Europe.

UEFA Champions League - TNS gave us more of a headache than I was bargaining for in the 3rd Qualifying Round but we still managed to narrowly knock them out. RB Salzburg in the playoff looked tricky but was ultimately rather straight forward as we sauntered into the group stage. After our first 3 games our chances of a top 2 spot were looking good. I didn't expect to get a result in Glasgow in the opening game although we came very close to getting a draw. We then beat group whipping boys Partizan easily and managed a creditable draw in France. All we needed to do now was to win one of our home games against either Celtic or Marseille and we would have got through. Unfortunately, we flopped in both of those games, painfully against Marseille with a last gasp winner for them beating us.

Our nightmare in November knocked us out of the Champions League and meant we finished 3rd to put us into the Europa League knockout stages. We seemed to have gone backwards as force in Europe as this season makes it 5 years since we last graced the knockout stages of the Champions League. That is a poor record by any standard considering how much investment there has been in the squad in the intervening period, the expectation would be that it should be getting easier to progress in Europe while in reality it's getting harder.

We have got to sort out our home form and to start making The Oval an intimidating place for opposition teams to come with the knowledge that they are in for a battle. That aura can only be established though when we start putting in some quality performances at home. Before our solitary win against Partizan this season we had gone 3 seasons without a win at home in the group stage of Champions League which is a dreadful record and symptomatic of why we are struggling to get into the top 2.

UEFA Europa League - I was rather taken aback with the quality of our performance in Holland which had me optimistic about our chances of making good progress in the Europa League after our disappointment in the Champions League. When we followed up our win over PSV with a narrow win over AS Monaco in the 1st leg of the 2nd Knockout Round my hopes were elevated even further. AS Monaco dominated the 2nd leg in France but thanks to a penalty save by stand in goalkeeper Hanna we managed to secure a draw which saw us into the quarter final. We showed great resilience in that game which had me wondering whether we had turned a corner in Europe.

All hopes of that new found burning desire to win were then unceremoniously extinguished as we put in a limp and lifeless performance against Lyon in France which all but put us out. We recovered a little pride in Belfast but the damage was already done in the 1st leg as we crashed out without scoring a goal in the tie. I don't mind going out to a team of the quality of Lyon when I can sense we fought hard and ultimately lost because they were simply better and outplayed us. That is not how we lost the tie though, in essence we allowed them to beat us by not turning up in the 1st leg. My challenge now is to try and figure out why that is.

Domestic Cups - Not the best of seasons in the cups as we failed to lift a single trophy.

Reserves - A very good season for the backup players whose numbers were bolstered with quality from the first team.

Under 18s - Nice to see them retain their title, it appears the policy of signing everyone from the intake is helping.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - On paper this team should be more than good enough to get into the knockout stages of the Champions League. I've got a few wonderkids in the squad which is complimented with some quality experienced players creating a good balance. Checking around the coach reports, there doesn't appear to be many of the players which have problems playing in big matches so I'm struggling to explain why with better players we are actually performing worse in Europe. The only reason I can come up with for our lack of progress in Europe being that the young nature of the squad overall may be introducing a bit too much inconsistency into the dynamic of the squad. That could be the reason why we can smash PSV away from home but get hammered away to Lyon. On the plus side, that is a fault which can be rectified by giving those young players more game time and having them achieve high match ratings which shouldn't be too hard to achieve in the DBP given the ability gap that exists. 

I will need to find another central defender as Borrmann will be leaving on a free having signed a contract elsewhere. I may also need to look for another left back but outside of that I can't see any glaring weakness that need to be covered and instead feel I need to focus on developing what we already have. It's a real shame that we haven't had a striker break the 25 goal mark for 3 years, hopefully, in Wearmouth ST we have someone who can rectify that record in the near future. We had some bad luck with injuries this season with Phelan-Roche DL breaking his foot in late December, Garcia MR seemed to get injured every month with some ailment or another, Ahlborn MC & Martins GK also got injured at inopportune times. Hopefully, next season can see our luck change in that regard.

Transfers - In trying to decipher why we aren't making as much progress in Europe, perhaps our huge turnover of players is playing a part in that. The key sales were Payan MC who while a good defensive minded central midfielder wasn't a great one so when Brighton came in with a huge offer I was happy to let him go, earning the club a small unexpected profit. Gonzalez DR didn't really shine while here so I felt compelled to sell him for what was decent price. Boulis DL was a similar story although he forced my hand stating that he wanted to leave. I was gutted to lose wonderkid Rossi DC who was really starting to push on but that pesky buy back clause came back to haunt us. Scholz ST wanted a new challenge and the offer was reasonable so I let him leave. Then finally the really big sales, Vos ST was kicking up a stink about leaving but I tried to keep him given the low offers that we were receiving. Then Arsenal came in with an offer I couldn't refuse so I let him go for a record fee. Wonderkid Rosseel MC was also disgruntled so I decided to settle for a massive offer from Barcelona.

As for the players which came in, Roca ML looks an excellent signing who contributed well this season. I had my eye on Andreev DC for a while and wanted to sign him last season but I didn't have the funds so decided to wait until this season to bring him in. O'Shaughnessy MC was the replacement for Payan, Phelan-Roche DL the replacement for Boulis and Teco DC the replacment for Rossi. All of whom performed superbly, especially wonderkid Teco who looks an absolute steal. Wearmouth ST came in for a record breaking sum from Manchester United but considering he is viewed as the best striker under 21 in the world I was delighted to bring him in especially as I needed a quality replacement for Vos. Esposito MC looks another top signing who impressed in the knockout stages of the Europa League, in hindsight it might have been worthwhile to start him against Lyon instead of dropping him for Ahlborn. I don't think I signed any duds this season and overall I'm very happy with my business, hopefully, next season I wont need to be as active in the transfer market as I look to develop the players brought in this season.

image.png.fbca46de38c2cb3a1c82a93a01b5cba6.png

Average Rating: 7.65
You can't keep a good guy down but his injury record is starting to get concerning. He played a good amount of games despite the injuries but I can't really afford to have one of my best players on the treatment table as often as he was. Hopefully, the worst is behind him otherwise I might need to look for a replacement.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Teco - DC
Average Rating: 7.28
I'm really excited to see how good a player he can become. He has really impressed me since joining and I feel we have a star in the making here. He also takes a good penalty which is why he scored so many goals this season.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - Even though it shows us failing the FFP we were never in any danger and passed with flying colours. The balance is looking a little bit low and that's why I'll be trying to draw in our belt a bit with our spending and instead try and work with who we've got in the squad. I'll move into the transfer market if needed but I wouldn't expect to see any big spending next season.

Facilities - We should definitely have state of the art facilities next season which is great after upgrading. It was also nice to see our attendances rise although slightly worrying that it was accompanied by a slight drop in ticket prices. The fan base is growing slowly but I know to seriously accelerate the rate of growth I need success in Europe. The next stage in building the infrastructure of the club is a new stadium but that looks to be several years into the future.

Youth Intake - McClean AMC looks a decent prospect, just a shame he will need to be retrained to fit into the 4-4-2. All the players were signed and hopefully the likes of Hoy ST and Lawlor DR can develop well and exceed expectations.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Still falling but not as dramatically as last season. I'm hoping that is a sign that we are bottoming out as a nation and we can start moving up the table again.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - It would have been nice to see our affiliate get promoted but it wasn't to be. Distillery also made it into the Championship playoffs which is good to see as it means that two of the bigger lower league teams are vying for promotion to the DBP.
 
Club European Reputation - We managed to replace a good year with another good year which was nice. The next two seasons to be replaced were poor years so let's try and replace them both with great years for the coefficient as that would see us flying up the list.
 
Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Finished 4th in Champions League group - Qualified once again for the group but performed poorly once they got there, managing only a solitary point.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round by Dundee United after 3-1 defeat on aggregate - I can see why they lost but I need them to do better.
Ballymena United - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Shakhtar Donetsk after 3-0 defeat on aggregate - A tough team for them draw at that stage of the competition.
Glenavon - Finished 4th in Europa League group - A very good campaign in the qualifiers but didn't do very well in the group.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

j8Xe6Rk.png

image.png.e2e0679acb5067c917bea5ddd807814c.png

Spoiler

jaT3p7L.png

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites

It is bonkers to think that you're disappointed with not making the UCL knockout rounds with a team from NI haha! Awesome progress with the tactic in the league! Hopefully you can keep up that dominance so you can focus on progressing in the UCL.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 22/04/2020 at 13:22, Motlhen said:

It is bonkers to think that you're disappointed with not making the UCL knockout rounds with a team from NI haha! Awesome progress with the tactic in the league! Hopefully you can keep up that dominance so you can focus on progressing in the UCL.

Perhaps I'm being a bit too ambitious but if the season I'm going to report on next says anything then I was right to have that expectation.

Cheers

Link to post
Share on other sites

 Loving this thread so far. I feel your frustration with progress in Europe, even though i'm 12yrs behind you. I'm 3rd seed in the Champions League, but I've only managed to get past the group stage a couple of times. Usually we slip into the Europa League. Do you think another club move is necessary for the league rep or have you some unfinished business with Glentoran? Do you think the other teams in the division turning professional has been helpful with league reputation rise? I had to give 8 teams £5m each. I have had a few bidding wars for some of my players and Including the Champions League money, I got the balance up to £100m (sitting on £142m now). Linfield didn't get the money because a player couldn't bring himself to move to Glentoran, so they stayed semi-pro. 

 

I'm comparing the rise of league rep with my own save and its interesting how yours has powered on. The noticeable difference is the other teams in your save are doings so much better. I could count on one hand the amount of times they have got through a round. I was gutted to see you fall short in the Europa League, I won in it 2029/30. I also tend to look at the likes of the wage bill and balance and there's a clear difference there too. What do you pay your players :lol:? I'm a tight git and don't pay goal scoring, appearance or assist bonuses. The players only get landmark and international bonuses, but only if they ask. I got a new stadium named after yours truly but it started off at 11,934 with a chance to be 24,154 and instantly went for expansion. I wasn't able to get rid of the standing area before leaving the Oval and I've been stuck on 'good training facilities' for 10yrs or so. Another way we differ. I know I need to leave Glentoran, but I think I need to make the squad better equipped to deal with my departure.

 

Sorry for the questions.

 

Hopefully the league starts to climb again. Good luck. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

pm1Dv15.jpg

Season 2045 / 2046

beUaOsj.png

GZ64E87.png?1

I wanted to make it into the knockout rounds of the Champions League and we achieved that with a 2nd placed finish in the group stage. I would have been happy if we got knocked out in the 1st Knockout Round but a resounding 4-1 win at home in the first leg against Atlético Madrid gave us a comfortable lead to take to Spain. We lost the 2nd leg narrowly 3-2 but that was enough to see us through the tie and into our first Champions League quarter final in the clubs history. As we have already made significant progress I'd be happy to bow out but not without giving it a real good try.

beUaOsj.png

9RLcGB8.png?1

The usual suspects are all present in terms of the European giants so whoever we draw it's going to be a real struggle to get through to the semi final. Our potential opponent is going to be one of Manchester City, Manchester United, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen or Everton. I think our best chance of progressing would be if we drew Bayer Leverkusen but if we were to draw anyone else we would definitely be considerable underdogs. It may sound strange that I would say that about Everton but considering they have lifted the trophy twice in the last 3 seasons they are a serious force to be reckoned with.
 
Who did we draw?
 
Db6ng7M.png
 
Manchester City

This is a punishing draw for us and sees us meet them again after encountering them in the group stage where we lost both games to them. I don't sense our chances are very good and we will need to try and recapture some of the form which saw us win against the odds in the previous round.

Our squad
 
esLEab9.png
 
Their squad
 
VkJyNYU.png
 
I'm disappointed to be without Garcia MR as he has proven to be a real creative outlet for us this season. He will miss both legs with an abdominal injury so I will have to hope that Merazga MR can perform well and give adequate cover. I don't think we can go into the game with aspirations of keeping a clean sheet. Their front line is very dangerous and we will need to try and stifle them where possible especially Tainmont whose goal beat us in the home game in the group stage. I am pleased that Borri ST is missing through injury though as he scored a hat-trick against us in the away game in the group stage.
 
Quarter Final 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
2vQfCsy.png
 
I can't see us getting a result against a team of this quality and I expect they will dominate play and create a lot of chances against us. My hope is that we can remain in the tie unlike last season where a 3-0 loss in the 1st leg of the quarter final of the Europa League against Lyon ended our prospects of progression. Keeping the scoreline close while trying to score an away goal could be the crucial factor which decides the tie overall.  
 
Result
 
Manchester City 2 Glentoran 1
 
4SlIMXS.png
 
It's a loss but that is scoreline which I think keeps the tie alive knowing a 1-0 win for us in the return leg would be enough to see us through. They scored in the 11th minute which had me concerned that we were going to be on the end of a mauling but when we equalized 3 minutes later through Wearmouth ST I felt we halted their momentum. The rest of the game wasn't great for us in terms of chance creation with them ultimately getting their winner in the 61st minute but there is a lot to be encouraged about with the performance. We didn't let the early goal demoralize us and came back with a good response. Game on for the 2nd leg.
 
Quarter Final 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
fAZe8Qh.png
 
The game plan for this game is to keep it tight at the back for as long as possible. Hopefully, by doing that we can then take advantage of their tiring legs with our players which are better rested. This is going to be a real battle and one which I hope the lads are up to facing.

Result

Glentoran 1 Manchester City 1
 
Manchester City win 3-2 on aggregate
 
m7eZMPv.png
 
Everything was going largely to plan and even though they had a number of shots we were holding our own and exerting a fair amount of control over the game. They then scored just before half time which kind of deflated us knowing that our away goal had been cancelled out but we didn't allow it break our spirits. The second half was relatively strong for us as we continued to stifle them without looking particularly threatening ourselves. We then scored in the 88th minute through Merazga MR who struck a beauty into the far bottom left corner to give us a shot at taking them to extra time. I tried to throw the kitchen sink at them for the last 2 minutes plus 4 of stoppage time but they defended resolutely and kept us out. Even though we lost I feel a lot better about how we equipped ourselves than I did this time last season when we lost Lyon.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
IBWpk2R.png?1
 
I think this has been an excellent campaign and a massive improvement on last years stuttering campaign. If we can continue this upward trajectory I'm sure it can't be too much longer before we get into a final.
 
Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Stouters said:

 Loving this thread so far. I feel your frustration with progress in Europe, even though i'm 12yrs behind you. I'm 3rd seed in the Champions League, but I've only managed to get past the group stage a couple of times. Usually we slip into the Europa League. Do you think another club move is necessary for the league rep or have you some unfinished business with Glentoran? Do you think the other teams in the division turning professional has been helpful with league reputation rise? I had to give 8 teams £5m each. I have had a few bidding wars for some of my players and Including the Champions League money, I got the balance up to £100m (sitting on £142m now). Linfield didn't get the money because a player couldn't bring himself to move to Glentoran, so they stayed semi-pro. 

 

I'm comparing the rise of league rep with my own save and its interesting how yours has powered on. The noticeable difference is the other teams in your save are doings so much better. I could count on one hand the amount of times they have got through a round. I was gutted to see you fall short in the Europa League, I won in it 2029/30. I also tend to look at the likes of the wage bill and balance and there's a clear difference there too. What do you pay your players :lol:? I'm a tight git and don't pay goal scoring, appearance or assist bonuses. The players only get landmark and international bonuses, but only if they ask. I got a new stadium named after yours truly but it started off at 11,934 with a chance to be 24,154 and instantly went for expansion. I wasn't able to get rid of the standing area before leaving the Oval and I've been stuck on 'good training facilities' for 10yrs or so. Another way we differ. I know I need to leave Glentoran, but I think I need to make the squad better equipped to deal with my departure.

 

Sorry for the questions.

 

Hopefully the league starts to climb again. Good luck. 

Thanks for the comment :). I'll try to answer the questions in the order in which you posted them.

Do you think another club move is necessary for the league rep or have you some unfinished business with Glentoran?

A move to another club is definitely on the cards but not until I've managed to get Glentoran into a new ground and fully expanded it. I want to be able to move on knowing that I've left a legacy which will make for a more sustainable situation for the club. The fear would be moving too early and having all the work I've done so far being undone which wouldn't be helpful for the objective of the save. Even after leaving I still need Glentoran to be a force in Europe, with a stadium of just over 12,000 capacity I don't see how that could happen in a league with such poor income.

Do you think the other teams in the division turning professional has been helpful with league reputation rise?

It does help having more professional teams as it makes it more likely they will make progress in European competitions and thus boost league reputation. If I had a far larger balance then I might consider providing some seed money for the other clubs but I tend to try and do it more organically. I've found that unless you are ready to continually pump money into the other clubs they very quickly revert back because they don't tend to spend the money wisely. If Linfield still aren't professional that is a big loss and I would definitely consider pumping money into them to get them there.

What do you pay your players :lol:?

Earlier in the save I was more rigid with my wage structure but now I'm a little more relaxed and will go for the best player for a position that I feel the club can afford. Unfortunately, that means having to spend an absolute fortune for all the wonderkids I tend to favour but I reckon that I'll make the majority of that back once I start consistently getting to the latter stages of the Champions League. It's a gamble but if it works out is a huge boost.

Even though you are 12 years behind I think you are far further ahead than me. Winning a European trophy already is a huge achievement :applause:(especially the Europa League) which I still have yet to manage but I sense it's getting closer.

It's also great that you've got a nice new stadium named after you with a reasonably sized expansion capacity. I wouldn't worry too much about trying to assemble a squad for a new manager once you've decided to leave though. Every time I've tried to do that the new manager has basically had a massive fire sale of the best players and replaced them with aging and expensive players which after a few seasons send the club into decline.

The league reputation rebounded back quite dramatically this season, I'll go into more detail in the next season review.

Cheers

Link to post
Share on other sites

You are making gradual progress and your squad seems young but with lots of potential. It's only a matter of time before you win a major continental trophy.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, kidthekid said:

You are making gradual progress and your squad seems young but with lots of potential. It's only a matter of time before you win a major continental trophy.

Thanks, I'm hoping the spine of wonderkids we've got will deliver for us. I think much will depend on how well I can hold onto my best players or whether I can get enough money from sales to bring in adequate replacements. We are definitely moving in a good direction though.

All the best

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2045 / 2046

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

We blew away Knockbreda last season in the DBP, I'd like to repeat that this season. We really need to get into the knockout rounds of the Champions League and I will be straining every sinew to make that a reality.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - Complete dominance as we smashed records all over the place. I was most pleased with the amount of goals we scored and the low number of goals we conceded. This was a huge statement to the rest of N. Irish football and I hope we can continue our reign as top dogs so we can focus on Europe. Linfield managed to qualify for the Europa Conference League thanks to a penalty win over Larne in the playoff final after a 0-0 draw. Our affiliate Donegal Celtic lost in the relegation playoff to Institute on the away goals rule after a 2-2 draw on aggregate which was a bit disappointing. Next season will see Dungannon Swifts rejoin the DBP after winning the Championship title. It's a little concerning to see Larne's financial status reduce to Insecure especially as they will not have any European football next season, this could mean they have to relinquish their professional status which would damaging.

UEFA Champions League - Last season, TNS gave us a scare, this season, they almost gave us a heart attack. Thankfully, we managed to squeeze through the playoff on penalties but we really shouldn't be struggling that much in the qualifiers. Had we got knocked out it would have been a real shame as our campaign after that point was excellent. For the 2nd season in a row, we drew both Celtic and Partizan in the group stage. The key was to finish above Celtic and with a home win against them and a draw away in Glasgow we managed to better them to secure 2nd. We might have even challenged Man City for 1st but in both of our encounters a missed penalty by Teco prevented us from taking the lead against them. I was however satisfied to finish 2nd and finally get into the knockout stages after so many years.

I have to say I was completely blown away by our performance in the 1st leg of the 1st Knockout Round against Atletico Madrid. We might have even scored more had our players had their shooting boots on but a 3 goal lead to take to Spain all but booked our place in the quarter final. The 2nd leg was a little bit dicey at some points but once we scored our 2nd away goal I knew we were through. Manchester City was a step too far but I'm still left with a feeling of 'What If?'. If our most creative player Garcia MR wasn't ruled out through injury, might we have scored more, we'll never know. Overall though, a great campaign and I'll be hoping for more of the same in future.

Domestic Cups - Only won the Irish Champions Cup this season but no real loss as it allowed us to focus more on the league.

Reserves - A solid season from them and it was nice to see them lift the Steel & Sons Cup.

Under 18s - The league was straight forward enough but the UEFA Youth League is proving a serious problem for them.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - Great progress has been made in the overall quality of the squad but one thing stands out that will need to be addressed, the lack of depth. With our best 11 on the pitch we can give anyone a game but it only takes an injury or a suspension and having to depend on our backup players for us to become dramatically weaker. This happened against Manchester City with Garcia MR as while Merazga did a competent job we definitely felt the absence. The problem with this is that to bring that level of depth to the team we are going to need to spend a lot of money which we don't really have. The positions in the squad which should be considered priority are DC, DL, MC (defend duty), ST (attack duty).

Transfers - The two transfer windows was a nightmare, having to field offers on a daily basis, a lot of which insultingly low that would represent a huge loss for the club. We managed to hold onto most of our best players except the sale of Andreev DC to Manchester United where the board intervened and sold him over my head. Goni MR felt he had achieved all he wanted at the club so I decided to let him move on. O'Shaughnessy MC was another who I felt could be moved on. Petrov MC made a nice profit for us without ever really featuring in the first team so I was pleased to ship him out. Phelan-Roche DL after recovering from his broken foot was never going to be the same player so when I received an offer that would more than double our money I snapped it up. The sales of Hamilton ST and Konate MC represented a loss for the club but they were never realistically going to be good enough to play in the first team so it was good to get them off the wage bill. I would have liked to keep Roche ML but he wanted out and rather than risk dressing room harmony I decided to relent. Hanna GK was also shown the door as he heads to America for a new adventure.

As for the players that came in, Russo DC was meant to replace Borrmann who left on a free and he had a good season. Varvitsiotis ML looks a good prospect for the future although I'm a little dismayed that my assistant thinks he has already peaked as a player at the tender age of 18. After losing Andreev DC I was desperate for a replacement and the best I could bring in was Vecera who was definitely overpriced in my view as I had to trigger his release clause. I'm hoping that as he still has quite a bit of potential that he can justify the expenditure but I'm not overly optimistic. Finally, I brought in McKenna DC on loan as Miller DC left on loan and I couldn't afford to buy anyone to bring in. We made a decent profit in the transfer market which is good but I can sense another pair of difficult transfer windows on the horizon.

image.png.fbca46de38c2cb3a1c82a93a01b5cba6.png

Average Rating: 7.87
He had far less injuries this season which was good but when he did suffer one it came at the worst possible time which certainly didn't help our chances in the quarter final against Man City. Worst still for the fact that he suffered the injury outside of a match lifting weights which makes it even more annoying considering I was trying to wrap him up in cotton wool in the week leading up to our biggest game of the season. He is a player that has a lot of interest in him but it's going to take an almighty sum for me to sell him. Replacing a player which I consider world class is going to be expensive and the offer would need to be in excess of £50M for me to even consider negotiating. 
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.60
He was a revelation this season and is starting to justify his astronomical £70M purchase price. He got his first cap for England which was good although he misses the World Cup which I'm sure is a huge personal disappointment for him. He was another player I had to fend off interest in but when you are coming in with offers of less than half what I bought him for I'm hardly going to accept it, that didn't stop them though. Next season could be huge for him now that he has settled at the club and found some form. I just need to ensure I bring in a quality backup player to keep him on his toes.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - The transformational effect of making progress in the Champions League is amazing. Without it we would be looking at a much bleaker picture. During the season things were getting so bad that the board decided to pump money in to keep us afloat after the bank balance started to plunge into the red which was a worrying sign. It also shows with great clarity just how fragile our position is and how damaging that loss against TNS in the playoff would have been. We are very far from being a sustainable club as even with another massive profit in the transfer market we still aren't capable of building up a large bank balance. Our expenditures are way out of line with our income but I can't afford to cut back spending at this point where we appear to be on the cusp of doing great things in Europe. We just have to ride it out and hope that our investment in young talented players gets us to where we want.

Facilities - At last we have state of the art facilities across the board which should be a great boost to how effectively we are able to develop players. That fits in nicely with our overall strategy to buy young high potential players for cheap, develop them and sell them on for huge profits so I'm very pleased to get that part of the equation completed. Having these facilities might also sway otherwise uninterested young players into joining us with the opportunity for them to train at world class facilities. Another part of the vision for developing the club is getting a new bigger stadium and progress in that direction is being shown also with another increase to average attendances and ticket sales. 

Youth Intake - I once again signed everyone from the intake to bolster numbers. Maybe I'm judging these intakes a bit too harshly as it would be difficult for any intake to look good when compared with a first team with world class players within it which raises the bar quite significantly. Having state of the art facilities might see some of these players develop surprisingly well and work their way into the first team picture as backup players which I wouldn't mind at all given how helpful that would be for European squad registration, only time will tell.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - That's quite a bounce and hopefully another good season next year will see us back into the top 10. This was accompanied by the great message given below.
 
eC1E6ZE.png
 
I'm glad to see that we will only suffer 2 seasons with 1 spot in the Champions League as I feel that Knockbreda need that money to continue progressing as a club. Having 5 spots in Europe also greatly helps the objective of the save. I'm delighted to not have to play in the qualifiers again after next season given that we almost got knocked out of them by TNS for the last 2 seasons.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Donegal Celtic are getting so close to making it into the top flight, absolutely gutted for them to miss out on away goals.
 
Club European Reputation - An excellent year for the coefficient for us to replace a bad year, another good year should see us flying up the table and maybe even into the 2nd pot for the group stage draw.
 
Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Runners up in the Europa Conference League after losing 2-0 to Napoli in the final - What a great campaign from them which no doubt helped the nation to regain our 2nd Champions League spot. The run was made even more spectacular given that their manager De Ligt left for Bristol City (before you ask...I have no idea why...they aren't pulling up any trees) before the quarter final so they had to depend on a caretaker from that point as they only hired someone once the season had ended. I thought they were going all the way to become the 2nd N. Irish team to win a European trophy but alas Napoli had too much for them in the final, more of the same please!
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round by PAOK after 4-1 defeat on aggregate - This was a disappointing result from them as PAOK aren't that strong.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by IFK Norrkoping after 5-2 defeat on aggregate - After the draw, I thought it was basically a bye into the next round for them, how wrong was I.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

5RrV4Qw.png

image.png.e2e0679acb5067c917bea5ddd807814c.png

Spoiler

QumYRup.png

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2046 / 2047

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

Domestic dominance appears to have been secured given the large points margin over Knockbreda we have enjoyed in the DBP for the last couple of seasons. The next stage is pushing on in Europe and given the squad available to us we really should be getting into the knockout rounds of the Champions League as a minimum requirement.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - Another comfortable win although not quite as impressive as last season. It was terrible to see Knockbreda finish 3rd after we beat them on the final day as that could have massive ramifications for the nations ability to gain coefficient points next season. I'm hoping they can prove me wrong and excel in the Europa League. Larne qualified for the Europa Conference League through the playoff after a penalty win over Linfield in the final after a 2-2 draw. Linfield had a stinker of a season and will need to improve dramatically next time around. Coagh United bounced straight back after winning the Championship title while Dungannon stayed up with a resounding 4-0 aggregate win over Ballinamallard United in the relegation playoff.

UEFA Champions League - No problems in the qualifiers this time as we romped past three opponents with the concession of a solitary goal. The group stage went well with some impressive performances at home to PSV and Real Sociedad although Bayern Munich was a class apart and we finished a distant 2nd. Going into the 1st Knockout Round I was feeling optimistic with the draw given that we had beaten the same opposition comfortably in the Europa League a few seasons ago with a much weaker team. Unfortunately, we put in a shambolic performance in the 1st leg which put us on the back foot in the tie. The late concession of a penalty consigning us to defeat giving us a mountain to climb.

The 2nd leg wasn't much better although we did push for the goal which would have taken the game into extra time but we just didn't have it within us. Ultimately, we deserved to lose and had we somehow managed to stumble past them it would have been more out of luck than design. We have improved our home form which I wanted but there is still a fragility there which we need to address. We can't afford our best players to under perform in the manner in which they did against the very best as you get punished. Our strikers didn't influence the game in the manner which their ability would suggest they should have and that concerns me.

Domestic Cups - A much better season in the cups.

Reserves - A rather poor season by their standards.

Under 18s - At long last, some progress in the UEFA Youth League. Leipzig did give them a right hiding in the last 16 though which was a little bit disappointing. A solid job in the league to retain their title.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - I felt I made some good moves to improve the depth of the first team this year as the number of wonderkids within the squad continues to rise. I do detect that it may be the end of the road for some of the players like Campbell DR and Ahlborn MC given their advancing years. It may also be time to move on some of the HG talent such as Herron MC as I don't think they are going to be able to help us make progress in Europe.

Transfers - Another brutal pair of transfer windows which netted the club an excellent profit but I was pleased that I was able to keep the core of the squad intact. As good as Wearmouth ST was I simply couldn't turn down the offer from Arsenal which generated a profit for the club which I didn't expect after shelling out £70M on him. I think it was a good move as it allowed us to pick up Andres ST and Monterde ST who are both excellent looking young players with a lot of untapped potential. The sale of Guillot MC was likely a mistake, he didn't really do anything wrong and added depth to midfield. In retrospect, keeping him would have relieved some of the pressure on Esposito MC to be our sole creative outlet from the central midfield as Ahlborn and the other players I have for the position aren't particularly good playmakers.

Dundalk seemed to have developed a fondness for our youth players and picked up 2 on compensation agreements, hopefully, I don't come to regret their departure. O'Hare DR was a bit of risky move, getting rid of another HG player but I think that Coesta DR looks an exciting replacement. Correa MC was a decent signing but I will need to play him more often to see if he can develop into the player I think he can be. Walker MR was an attempt to bring back some of the HG element which we were losing. Sanchez DL looks overpriced but he still has room to grow. Ozcan DC was meant as a replacement for what I thought would be the departing Teco after fielding some ridiculously high offers from England for him but in the end I kept him. As I had the money available I thought it wouldn't hurt to add some depth with Ozcan so I brought him in anyway.

image.png.fbca46de38c2cb3a1c82a93a01b5cba6.png

Average Rating: 7.76
He had a brilliant season and chipped in with a fair amount of goals. He will definitely be someone I want to keep around.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.42
A very good debut season from the Mexican international and all for a bargain price from Chivas. All that needs to happen is for him to develop a good strike partnership with Andres, if he can do that then I can see the both of them tormenting opposition defences in Europe which I'm hoping will allow us to progress further.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - The finances have stabilized around this amount which gives us a lot of scope to continue our process of buying wonderkids and developing them.

Facilities - I wouldn't expect any changes on this screenshot for a while but there has been some excellent progress in reaching the >90% average attendance required to justify the building of a new ground. My hope is that I can win a European trophy before we consistently break the threshold to prompt a bigger build.

Youth Intake - Nothing much there to get excited about but all the players were signed.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Right on the cusp of getting into the top 10 which is great to see.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - There is definitely progress in the top flight as all the teams except Institute, Portadown and Dungannon are professional clubs. Affiliate Donegal Celtic fell off a bit this season finishing in the bottom half of the Championship, even worse news followed as Distillery once again slipped into the 3rd division after losing the relegation playoff.
 
Club European Reputation - A superb year is about to fall off the coefficient so we will really need a good performance in Europe to replace it especially since we have no qualifiers which means reduced opportunity to claim coefficient points.
 
Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by Rostov after 2-1 defeat on aggregate - Quite the plunge back to earth after last seasons incredible campaign.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round by Bordeaux after 6-1 defeat on aggregate - Well, it's Bordeaux, so they stood little chance.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round by Aberdeen after 5-1 defeat on aggregate - Another bruising defeat leaving only us to fly the flag for N. Irish football after August.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

NO2tMR2.png

image.png.e2e0679acb5067c917bea5ddd807814c.png

Spoiler

NTpYaxM.png

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

pm1Dv15.jpg

Season 2047 / 2048

beUaOsj.png

GZ64E87.png?1

It was quite a struggle for us to get through the group stage but we managed it thanks to Dundalk doing us a favour on the final matchday and beating Torino. The 1st Knockout Round was relatively comfortable with us managing to narrowly win both legs of the tie against Real Sociedad. Now that we have reached the quarter final stage again I'd like to see if we can make history and progress into the final 4.

beUaOsj.png

9RLcGB8.png?1

The usual suspects are there with 3 representatives from Spain (both Madrid clubs and Barcelona), 3 from Germany (Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Hamburg) and PSG. The best draw we can hope for is Hamburg as I think we could possibly beat them, the rest are likely to be a struggle.
 
Who did we draw?
 
BTN3gDH.png?1
 
Atlético Madrid

They are tough and we are going to have to be at our best to stand a chance of beating them.

Our squad
 
Yum6pkF.png
 
Their squad
 
8S8cyuo.png
 
Once again we will have to do without David Garcia MR who is only now recovering after suffering an horrific cruciate ligament injury which has sidelined him for the entire season. I'm happy to see that their star player van Der Plas is missing through suspension which is a boost for us. Interesting to see a N. Irish flag among their roster also with Young ST although he hasn't played much so hopefully his lack of match fitness will hamper their attack. I am a little concerned about the flanks as Cordoba ML and Girard MR look to be great players and our fullback positions are a position of weakness, keeping them quiet is going to be critical in determining our chances in the tie.
 
Quarter Final 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
FMlcMr5.png
 
Interesting, they have thrown me a complete curve ball by fielding a completely different formation and lineup than predicted. We need to isolate and overload their flanks which both have fullbacks over 30. I expect to lose the midfield battle but would like to hope that we can be effective on the counter. I sense this is going to be a tight game and we will need to avoid conceding away goals at all costs. As they are slightly weakened we really need to take advantage and put ourselves in the strongest position possible for the 2nd leg in Spain.
 
Result
 
Glentoran 0 Atlético Madrid 0
 
amgdCaz.png
 
Hmm, a result which I think gives us a slight advantage going into the 2nd leg with the lack of away goals conceded. As expected, they dominated possession and created a number of good chances against us but we held firm thanks to some impressive goalkeeping and poor finishing on their behalf. I like the result but not the performance as we was fairly ineffective in front of goal and didn't create any clear cut chances which is a little concerning. Both Andres ST and Monterde ST had poor games and they will need to improve dramatically for the 2nd leg as we are going to need to score to go through.
 
Quarter Final 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
0i83Gwu.png
 
Their manager certainly knows how to keep me guessing with yet another last minute change to the tactic we will face. I think this is going to be a lot tougher than the 1st leg as they are stronger and I don't feel we are going to be able to exploit the flanks in the same way. The first goal in the tie is going to be critical. If we get it then I make us favourites to go through as they will have to break out of their shell and force the issue which will leave more space for our attackers. If they get it I think it will be difficult for us to recover from that given our inability to create much against them in the first leg. We have a slight advantage in terms of condition, let's hope that will be enough to see us through to our first semi final.

Result

Atlético Madrid 1 Glentoran 0
 
Atlético Madrid win 1-0 on aggregate
 
79xblzB.png
 
Another crushing blow and I'm beginning to question whether we are ever going to progress any further in this competition. You may wonder why I'm striking such a pessimistic tone, after all, we only lost 1-0 which is fairly good considering the difference in the quality of teams but the manner of the defeat is what is getting to me. Our performance over the two legs was lamentable. Never looked like scoring in a million years as once again our strikers put in an abysmal shift. We created nothing and we might as well have lost 5-0 which would have been a more accurate representation of the level of dominance our Spanish opponents enjoyed. Still a lot of work to be done it would seem.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
IBWpk2R.png?1
 
We was lucky to get as far as the quarter finals but instead of grasping the opportunity and showing we aren't just pretenders and deserve to be among the best in Europe, we simply capitulated. Our biggest problem is that we don't fight to control games in Europe and instead just react to what the opposition is doing. This is a bad habit which we will need to break if we are ever going to lift old big ears.
 
Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2047 / 2048

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

Domestic dominance has been secured, now comes the challenge of converting that into success in Europe. I'd like to see us make history and get to the semi finals of the Champions League as that would indicate progress.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - Kaboom!!...Came so close to perfection but was foiled by a poor post-split performance which ruined it. Other than that it was an exceptional season, scored for fun and only conceded 9 goals going on a remarkable run of winning some 40 odd games in a row. Coleraine stayed up with a 4-1 aggregate win over Ballinamallard United in the relegation playoff while Cliftonville secured European football thanks to a 3-1 win over Crusaders in the Europa Conference League playoff final. Another disappointing season for Linfield who once again finished in the bottom half and without European football which isn't great as we need them to be a lot stronger. Institute will be joining the top flight after winning the Championship.

UEFA Champions League - The group stage was a struggle as we only managed to win 2 games, both of which were against Dundalk. As a result, it meant our qualification hopes for the knockout stages was still in the balance for the final matchday. We had to match Torino's result against Dundalk which was a tough ask considering we had to face runaway group winners Leipzig. Ultimately, we lost the game but thankfully our southerly neighbours pulled off a shock 1-0 win in Italy to see us through on the head to head record. I suppose it doesn't matter how you get there as long as you do but then again I feel we should be in the position by now where we can get through on our own merits.

I got the draw I wanted for the 1st Knockout Round considering some of the teams we could have faced and we managed to sail through relatively easily which had me thinking that a semi final appearance was a realistic expectation. Unfortunately, my players had other ideas and put in a pair of lackluster performances against Atlético Madrid which saw us crashing out rather limply. Something isn't quite right with the way we are conducting ourselves in Europe and I have to figure out why we are so ineffective in creating chances and scoring goals.

Domestic Cups - Knockbreda had the better of us this season but at least we won a couple of trophies.

Reserves - A superb treble from them.

Under 18s - One step forward, two steps back.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - I think I need to press the reset button as I think I have lost sight of what I'm try to achieve with this squad. I got a ridiculous cash offer for Ahlborn MC from China and I refused it thinking that I wanted to keep the team leader around but that doesn't really make sense for a 'selling' club. I should have taken the money and re-invested it into a talented young player but I didn't. I think I'm showing too much loyalty to certain players. Garcia MR being the perfect example of this. The guy is a very good player when I can get him on the field but his time at the club has been blighted with injury after injury. He is another player that had offers for decent money to leave in the summer and I should have cashed in but I didn't and boy haven't I come to regret it. I was always playing Russian roulette with him and eventually one of his numerous injuries was going to be a serious one and it happened this season meaning that I had to dip into the loan market to replace him.

The problem now is that my highest earner is nowhere near being the best player in the squad as the injury has basically ruined him as a player. This means that I'm unlikely to get the money for him that I need to be able to replace him. I've got to take the mindset that every player has a price and to start moving some players on. Things have become a bit stale with a lot of 'hangers' on which really aren't good enough to take us to where we want to be. The squad needs a refresh which I will attempt to do this summer.

Transfers - It was frustrating dealing with the daily offers but once again I was able to generate a decent profit. Had I known that Garcia MR was going to suffer such a terrible injury I would have held onto Merazga MR but he wanted to leave and the offer was reasonable. Campbell DR was declining relative to the other options I had in his position so rather than see him fall out of the team which would have been awful for a player which has been a loyal servant for the club I decided to let him leave for France to enjoy the autumn of his career. Vecera DC never really looked like establishing himself in the 1st team so when Lorient came in for him I was happy to let him go. I'm still torn on whether letting Bunderla ST go was the right decision. I wanted to offer Andres more opportunities in the hope he would strike up a good partnership with Monterde but that has failed to materialize which makes me wonder whether I might have been better off keeping Bunderla who did have a decent partnership.

I felt it was time for Ronceros MC to move on as he wasn't playing enough while letting Grvala DL leave could have been a mistake although the fee was good. Once he left we were never as solid in that position for the 2nd half of the season. As for the players brought in, Bacon MC was expensive although he did make some good contributions during the season. Juan ST looks a good prospect but will need more game time to show what he's capable of. Cassini GK was overpriced rubbish which I'm disappointed about but at least there is some potential in there so he might be able to come good in future. Schwarz MC was an attempt to replace Ronceros which failed but again, at least he has some untapped potential. Akbulut MR was an attempt to add depth to the right wing position after Garcia's injury and he did okay and was cheap enough. I don't like to loan players usually but my hand was kind of forced so I was happy to bring in Iban Garcia MR as he did well to make up for the loss of the other Garcia and if the price is right might be a player I look to sign on a permanent basis. The loan of Henzler DL was an attempt to make up for the departure of Grvala DL and he did okay but didn't do anything to suggest I should look to extend his stay at the club. Purcell DC did okay but I think I would have better off keeping Miller DC rather than letting him go out on loan to Espanyol.

image.png.fbca46de38c2cb3a1c82a93a01b5cba6.png

Average Rating: 7.65
An excellent player who had another consistent season although not quite as good as last season. I feel he is a player that could command a big fee and should I receive a good offer it might convince me to let him go.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.65
I had to pay a good fee to bring him here on loan but he did a great job of deputizing for the other Garcia. If the possibility of buying him becomes available I will definitely look into it but I sense Real Sociedad will want to keep him after his excellent season with us.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - Money is no longer an issue we need concern ourselves with. The runs into the knockout stages of the Champions League have secured our financial future for the next few seasons and provided we can keep doing that we should able to continue investing in the squad.

Facilities - The youth facilities downgraded so money was invested in bringing them back up to state of the art. I asked for a new stadium to be built but the board refused citing the lack of fan base which I thought rather strange as we are near 90% of capacity in terms of average attendance. I'm sure it won't be too much longer before it becomes a viable proposition though.

Youth Intake - I signed everyone but what a pile of garbage.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Holding position is no bad thing considering that the other N. Irish teams haven't been performing all that well in Europe of late.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Getting to 4* reputation could be a huge boost in terms of the attractiveness of the club to players which can only be helpful. It was also nice to see Distillery get promoted back into the Championship while our affiliate Donegal Celtic seem to have cemented their place in the top half of the Championship.
 
Club European Reputation - A good year for the coefficient while a weaker year is about to fall out of the calculation. Hopefully, a good year for us next season will see us rising up the table again.
 
Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Knocked out in Europa League 1st Knockout Round by Watford after 2-0 defeat on aggregate - They kept it close but it was always going to be difficult for them to overcome a team from the EPL.
Larne - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 4th Qualifying Round by Ferencvaros after 3-1 defeat on aggregate - They should have made it 3/3 in terms of N. Irish teams making it into the group stages of European competition but a poor performance allowed their Hungarian opponents to beat them.
Crusaders - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by Valur after 5-0 defeat on aggregate - An embarrassing result any way you look at it.
Glenavon - Finished 4th in Europa League group - They were poor in the Champions League qualifiers and in the Europa League group they were hopeless.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
Spoiler

GD2Fwpg.png

image.png.e2e0679acb5067c917bea5ddd807814c.png

Spoiler

qcBOKDD.png

 
Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
Le 20/01/2020 à 13:10, pheelf a dit :

XVLnUpU.png

Glentoran F.C.

SEASON 2035 / 2036

beUaOsj.png

oMkIy2p.png?1

It's getting harder to close the gap to the top 3 rather than easier given the discrepancy in our yearly incomes and thus our abilities to invest in our squads. Another good season in Europe is essential given the financial situation and I have to somehow figure out a way to challenge for 2nd and a Champions League spot as that is the only way serious funds are going to come into the club.

beUaOsj.png

ntGkQzQ.png?1

League Table - We finished a place higher which is decent but instead of playing in the Europa League we had to settle for the Europa Conference League. We started the season exceptionally well and won our first 7 games in a row but then we lost to Knockbreda 4-2 (painfully after being 2-0 up) which moved us off the top and we were never to hold that position again. Then we suffered some awful inconsistency in December which effectively ended our title challenge. We were still in the picture for a Champions League spot going into the new year but some poor late season form allowed Larne to pull away meaning we had to settle for 3rd. Thankfully, we managed to hold onto 3rd as both Ballymena United and Glenavon was snapping at our heels and had we lost to them post split we could have dropped as low as 5th and had the possibility of missing out on qualifying for Europe entirely which would have been a disaster.

In more positive news, Coagh United managed to stay up thanks to a win over Warrenpoint Town in the relegation playoff and as a result I think they will become mainstays in the top flight given their ability to invest in their squad and the bump to reputation they got. Next season will also see another Belfast based club joining the top flight with Harland and Wolff Welders making their top flight debut.

UEFA Europa League - I thought we would have to qualify but in the end we were entered straight into the group stage. We were very impressive against Sporting Lisbon who I expected to be stronger than us but the rest of the games went as expected with the exception of the final game where we put in a good performance to claim a point against the Italian giants. Pleasingly, we managed to finish 3rd which puts us through to the knockout stages of the Europa Conference League.

UEFA Europa Conference League - This looks like a bug to me as I thought you got country protection (can't face another club from N. Ireland) in the 1st Knockout Round. After the 1st leg, I thought we might have stood a chance of turning it around but our poor league form at the time seeped into our European games and we ended up losing both legs. At least it ensured that a N. Irish team reached the 2nd Knockout Round which led to something incredible happening which I'll explain later.

Domestic Cups - A disappointing season in the cups from us. We didn't turn up against Crusaders in the Irish Cup and deserved our loss. If we are to become the dominant team in N. Ireland we are going to have to develop a way of beating Larne and Knockbreda on a more consistent basis or face being eliminated by them every time in the cups.

Reserves - At least our backup players appear to be on the ball, winning a superb double.

Under 18s - The present situation with the first team may not be looking too rosy but at least the future is looking bright.

beUaOsj.png

Zbg21uJ.png?1

Squad - Another season where the squad picked up some injuries, the worst of which being a torn calf muscle suffered in training by new signing Stanko DR which had him out for 4 months. Less rotation helped us early in the season as we were in exceptional form but it didn't last throughout. Even attempts to rotate more when we were off form didn't seem to help. The main source of frustration for me comes from the teams which we dropped points against. Losing against Knockbreda or Larne I can accept, they have better squads than us and we are always going to be up against it. It's the games against Dungannon Swifts and the like where we lose which I can't fathom. We create enough good opportunities in those sorts of games to score enough goals to win comfortably but just aren't ruthless enough. We allow teams like that to remain in games which we are going to need to improve upon if we are to get closer to competing for a Champions League berth.

I also think there are areas of the squad which need strengthening. We need a top class GK as some of the mistakes made by Boltze were really costly. His distribution at times was also very poor and even though I have instructed him to get the ball to the full backs there were many occasions where he kicked the ball straight into the centre of the park which often resulted in us losing possession. We need a quality defensive minded central midfielder as I don't think Adler and McClelland are up to the job. I feel they are partly to blame for why we couldn't finish some games off as they were unable to win the battle for the central midfield which would allow us to dominate the ball and keep possession. A lot of sloppy passing and gifting the ball to the opposition didn't help our cause. An inability to compete in the air was also a problem alongside a reluctance to challenge for the 2nd ball. Seeking to find some positives, there has been a significant uplift in the market values of our players which I'm hoping will lead to us smashing our record income for transfers out of the club in the near future.

Transfers - I made a lot of moves this time around and I was very happy with the majority of players that I managed to bring in. Greenop DC is not shown in the screenshot but I managed to sell him to Plymouth Argyle for £1.9K which worked out well for both parties given his game time would have been scarce given the new arrivals for his position. Knockbreda took a liking to some of our players. I was gutted to lose both Derry and Healy from our youth team but they refused to open talks on a professional contract which meant I had to settle for a compensation package. The same is true for another of our best youth players but he will be leaving in January 2037 when he turns 17. I didn't really want to sell Bullock MC but he wanted to leave so I cashed in given that I signed Isreal who looks a talented prospect as a replacement. We made a good profit in our transfer dealings and I'll be looking for more of the same next season.

R4w6k36.png?1

Average Rating: 7.46
The new signing had a really good debut season. He probably would have been more productive had he chosen to cross more often as part of his role when in advanced positions instead of shooting. Hopefully, he will be able to improve on that next season.
 
MAKbE12.png?1
 
Average Rating: 7.33
He was once again our top scorer and managed a higher average rating this season which are both good signs. He still blows hot and cold though. When he is on his game he can score 2 or 3 goals without any problem but when he's off form he is a liability, missing chance after chance. A player of his standard should be scoring a lot more goals and be closer to the goal a game ratio in the league. He should be comfortably a 30 goal a season striker in N. Ireland, the fact that he hasn't managed that yet is disappointing given his positive start. He needs to start proving to me that he has what it takes to move us up to the next level or I'm going to have to move him on and find a replacement who can. Admittedly, he did have some injury issues this season but not enough to explain such a low goal scoring return.
 
beUaOsj.png

ESpRVre.png?1

Finances - Even after record profits in the transfer market and good prize money from Europe we are still only maintaining our position. I'm hoping that we can start to really pull in some decent money from the transfer market next season as our finances are only considered 'Okay' and that is nowhere near good enough to start investing heavily in the clubs infrastructure.

Facilities - I asked for the stadium expansion again and once again my request was rejected. We really need the ability to do that as we are selling out the 5,056 capacity every time we meet Linfield and I know we would sell many more tickets if we could use the full potential 10,000 capacity.

Youth Intake - Not quite as good as last season but still a very decent intake with some potential first team players coming through. Jenkins MC looks really good and Ward ST could definitely get some cup action next season if he shows some good development.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
5F49iVV.png?1
 
League Reputation - Staying in place is no bad thing as it gets increasingly difficult to rise from this point. We managed to recover our automatic spot in the Champions League group stage this season thanks to our performances in the nation coefficient.
 
Club Domestic Reputation - Coagh United managed to put on 0.5* which is good as that should broaden their horizons when it comes to bringing in players. Also note how Larne's reputation has increased even though they didn't win the DBP.
 
Club European Reputation - We went flying up the table this time which is good, we'll have to qualify for the group stages next season which could be a good opportunity to earn some decent coefficient points. Here is how the other N. Irish teams performed in Europe this season:
 
Knockbreda - Knocked out in Europa League 2nd Knockout Round by Aberdeen after 4-0 defeat on aggregate - Had a decent campaign in the Champions League as they managed to get through their group in 3rd. I would have like to see them do better against Aberdeen though, they looked completely out of their depth against a team which they should have been competitive against given their squad.
Larne - Won Europa Conference League on penalties after 0-0 draw with Athletic Bilbao - What an incredible achievement from them to become the first N. Irish team to win a European trophy. They didn't have to face the toughest of opponents on their run to the final but who cares this is a massive moment for N. Irish football. Just a shame I wasn't the manager to do it.
Glenavon - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 3rd Qualifying Round by Slovan Bratislava after 2-1 defeat on aggregate - A woeful performance from them and they should be hanging their heads in shame.
Linfield - Knocked out in Europa Conference League 2nd Qualifying Round by Rosenborg after 3-2 defeat on aggregate - I can understand the reasons behind this defeat more than last seasons but even still they just aren't progressing at all which is damaging as we need them to be strong in order to build the nation as a whole.
 
beUaOsj.png
 
dm5cOds.png?1
 
  Révéler le contenu masqué

iU4F2sj.png

image.png.b95a48f7530c49ca1db659359c54f64d.png

  Révéler le contenu masqué

9GbNaMc.png

Hi Pheelf, do you still use you 442 ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Loving this save. Keep up the good work.

 

Are you getting to a point where you think you may have to move clubs again to be able to help the league rep and help push the other teams on to better things in Europe? 
 

Inspired me to do a save like this on my fm. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

So unlucky with the defeat. I hope you won't do what I did and buy their best prospect and help him go on to win the Golden Boot/Shoe. I got robbed by a draw against Institute. Had a couple of seasons drawing 2 matches, but just get that 38-0-0. Similar thought to the above, are you planning to move again? I just left Glentoran at the end of 2034. Linfield got relegated by Bangor in a playoff. I had to wait until December for the job with Portadown. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 04/05/2020 at 15:14, dom.march said:

Hi Pheelf, do you still use you 442 ?

Yes, I'm still using the 4-4-2. The tactic has been very good domestically as can be seen by last season. Why it hasn't been as effective in Europe I think has more to do with the quality deficit of my players relative to the players in the best European teams rather than being a tactical issue. I find it difficult to find great players for some of the roles which doesn't help. The fullback (attack) being especially hard to find players for as the majority of good players that play the left back position have poor offensive attributes (crossing etc.) while I need a player in that role who can contribute in an attacking sense.

Having quality fullbacks is critical to making the tactic work well, unfortunately, that has been an area of weakness which I've sought to improve in the current season. I can get away with having weaker fullbacks domestically as I'm so dominant in games but in Europe they can more readily get exposed which is a problem. I think that if in the next few seasons I don't see any progress in Europe I may bring into action one of the reserve tactics (most likely the 4-1-2-3 Wide) to try and get us over the line in the Champions League. At that point, I'll make a post detailing it like I did with the 4-4-2.

23 hours ago, HelplessSpectator said:

Loving this save. Keep up the good work.

Are you getting to a point where you think you may have to move clubs again to be able to help the league rep and help push the other teams on to better things in Europe? 

Inspired me to do a save like this on my fm. 

Thank you for the kind comment. I'll definitely be moving clubs again to help the league as a whole but only once I've secured the future of Glentoran. I'd like to win a European trophy with the Glens and build a new stadium then fully expand it. That means that the timeline for leaving is likely to be longer but the more sustainable I can make the club, the more likely it will be they will be able to maintain a decent squad and thus remain competitive in Europe. If I left now, I can guarantee that within a couple of seasons they'd be struggling in Europe erasing a lot of the progress I've been able to make.

I'm always curious to see how other players approach the challenge of building a nation so I would be interested to hear how your save is going.

15 hours ago, Stouters said:

So unlucky with the defeat. I hope you won't do what I did and buy their best prospect and help him go on to win the Golden Boot/Shoe. I got robbed by a draw against Institute. Had a couple of seasons drawing 2 matches, but just get that 38-0-0. Similar thought to the above, are you planning to move again? I just left Glentoran at the end of 2034. Linfield got relegated by Bangor in a playoff. I had to wait until December for the job with Portadown. 

I must admit to feeling a little bit gutted to miss out on the perfect season especially since the team I lost to was Larne. In the current season, I lost the record fairly early with a 1-0 loss away at Glenavon in October. I'll definitely be leaving within the next few seasons, most likely for Linfield (they have the most potential to build over a shorter time frame) but I still have lots of work to do with Glentoran yet. Disastrous to see Linfield go down in your save, hopefully, they can bounce back quickly as the lack of a big 2 derby isn't great for nation building, not to mention the other rivalries which bolster attendances overall. In a smaller league, you need all the biggest clubs in the nation competing in the top flight, that is why I'm so desperate to see Donegal Celtic and Distillery get promoted out of the Championship in my save. 

Interesting that you chose Portadown as the club to continue building the nation. I'm sure with you at the helm it's only a matter of time before you have them competing with Glentoran.

Cheers

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

pm1Dv15.jpg

Season 2048 / 2049

beUaOsj.png

GZ64E87.png?1

After pulling off a remarkable recovery in the 2nd leg of the 1st Knockout Round, I'm feeling optimistic about our chances of breaking through and reaching the semi final for the first time in our history. Beating one of the favourites to win the entire competition in Man City has given the players a huge confidence boost. The teams left in the competition will all be tough but we have proven that we can beat the very best that Europe has to offer so the fear factor should be significantly reduced among the players. If we don't make the semi final after such an impressive victory, it will be a huge disappointment.

beUaOsj.png

9RLcGB8.png?1

We will face one of FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Olympique Lyonnais, Olympique de Marseille, S.S. Lazio or Hamilton Academical. I think it's obvious that Hamilton would be the dream draw. We would also give our chances of progressing the world of good by avoiding Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Lyon. Remarkably, this is one of the first times no English team has made it to the quarter final stage. Let's hope the FM RNG is kind.
 
Who did we draw?
 
 
D7OURb0.png
 
S.S. Lazio

It could have been slightly better but this is a great draw for us. Especially since the heavy hitters left in the draw got drawn against each other which opens up the draw for the rest of the teams. We have reason to be optimistic about beating them given that we played them in the group stage and beat them on both occasions. If we can put in a good level of performance against them we have a fantastic opportunity to make history. 

Our squad
 
MdSkb2g.png
 
Their squad
 
THPAlMB.png
 
We will have to cope without Esposito MC due to suspension which is a huge blow meaning we will have Ozcan in the central midfielder (defend) role given our other options are injured. Roca ML is also recovering from injury so will need to be watched. Outside of that we are at full strength and we will need to put in a performance given that our opponents have a full squad to select from.
 
Quarter Final 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
h6i88hj.png
 
A very interesting lineup from them. I think the formation speaks to how they will approach the game, they will look to stifle us by dominating the ball with a lower mentality while hoping that our chasing shadows all game will break us down mentally so they can snatch a goal or two on the break. As a result, I'm going to attempt to disrupt that plan and have chosen to use opposition instructions. As they have a lot of players which aren't particularly brave I've decided to single them out for hard tackling in the hope we can kick them off their game. I will also show both their wingbacks onto their weaker foot as they are the only width they have in the team. Showing them inside will help congest their attacks in the central areas and reduce the effectiveness of crosses which I'm hoping will dent their creative outlet from wide areas. 
 
Result
 
Glentoran 2 S.S. Lazio 1
 
CdRjUzB.png
 
The plan seemed to work well as we was able to stifle them and create a lot of opportunities to score ourselves. Therefore, when we went 1-0 down from a set piece against the run of play I was gutted. At that point, I could have panicked and made some tactical changes but I felt the game plan was working, we had been dominant in the game and had just been unlucky in my view so kept on. My instincts proved correct as we managed to turn the game around with 2 goals to give us a lead to take to Italy. The tie is far from over given the away goal but going into the 2nd leg with an advantage is a huge boost for us.
 
Quarter Final 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
nI0KkyV.png
 
A completely different approach from them this time as they look to score the goals they need to beat us. Our approach worked in the first leg so I've decided to stick with it. Unfortunately, Roca ML suffered an injury and is out of the lineup but Esposito MC returns which is great. If we can get that away goal I think we will have a great chance of winning the tie overall. I expect a concentrated performance against a tough opponent and hopefully we can exploit the flanks and hit them on the break to get that vital away goal.

Result

S.S. Lazio 1 Glentoran 1
 
Glentoran win 3-2 on aggregate
 
gyaJHqF.png
 
They dominated the game and when we went 1-0 down I was feeling nervous that we was going to throw it all away. We had to dig deep to find that equalizer but once we did it practically booked our place in our maiden semi final. Sometimes you have to win ugly and this game was the clearest example of that. We kicked them and we kicked them and then kicked them some more in an attempt to stifle them and it wasn't pretty but all that matters is that we won (remarkably without picking up any yellow cards). Can we continue our progress and make it into a final?
 
Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

pm1Dv15.jpg

Season 2048 / 2049

beUaOsj.png

9RLcGB8.png?1

I already knew who we could face in the semi final as the quarter final and semi final draws are done at the same time.
 
Who did we draw?
 
BTRaOuy.png?1

AC Milan

Given that the alternatives was either Bayern Munich or Lyon, I'll take this draw all day long. That is not to underestimate them as they are still a very strong team but I wouldn't have been confident of beating either of those other two teams over two legs where as I think we have a decent chance of overcoming AC Milan.

Our squad
 
C0VA3G0.png
 
Their squad
 
Q2KfVeS.png
 
Unfortunately, the injuries keep on coming as our star central defender Teco is ruled out of the tie through injury and will be lucky to be fit for the final should we reach it. Andres ST will also miss the tie through injury. I had to inject Ozcan after he suffered a knock during training and I'm thankful that I was able to do that as I have no other available central defenders. Thankfully, it's not a severe injury so he should be fully fit for the 2nd leg without the need for injections. Roca ML is still recovering from an injury also which means that we are quite weakened going into the 1st leg. My only solace being that AC Milan also have a fair few injuries also and have some of their players struggling for fitness. I'm also glad to see a 35 year old Peirano at the heart of their defence as his physicals have gone so I'm hoping that we can exploit this through the pace of our strikers.
 
Semi Final 1st Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
KE8IbqX.png
 
Seeing as they are fielding Peirano I've decided to go with Hill as my advanced forward given his pace. I'm also going to judiciously use the opposition instructions again given the lack of bravery in their squad. That strategy worked against Lazio so I feel no need to change. If we try and go toe to toe with them based on ability alone we lose this game 9/10 but if we can make it scrappy and make them have to fight for possession by introducing the risk of them getting tackled then our chances improve significantly if they aren't up for the fight. They'll probably still outplay us but if we could nab an away goal or two that would come in very handy.
 
Result
 
AC Milan 0 Glentoran 1
 
8KG4PTK.png
 
The result is as good as I could have hoped for. When we went down to 10 men after Monterde stupidly got himself sent off with a second yellow card early in the 2nd half I wasn't too impressed as we had been in the game up to that point. I feared that we would capitulate but once again my players showed great character and stayed competitive in the game even with a man disadvantage. Then we got an absolute gift as one of their defenders already on a yellow card brought down Hill ST in the box. That earned him a 2nd yellow to level up the players on the pitch for each side while giving us a penalty which Hill effortlessly slammed into the bottom left corner giving the goalkeeper no chance. We had opportunities to get more goals but I'm satisfied with the result. We are so close to the final I can almost taste it, just need to finish the job in Belfast.
 
Semi Final 2nd Leg
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
3erKEK9.png
 
Monterde misses the game through suspension so Juan comes in to the lineup. I've also decided to give Coesta DR a start as Stajner DR is still throwing a strop and has lower than usual morale. Their right back Schneider misses the game through suspension. I'll once again use the opposition instructions and hope that we can continue to stifle them. The pressure is all on AC Milan who would have expected to beat us over the two legs. We can get to the final with a draw which is an unbelievably strong position to be in. Come on lads, one final push and we are in the Champions League final!! If we bottle it from here I'm going to be devastated.

Result

Glentoran 2 AC Milan 0
 
Glentoran win 3-0 on aggregate
 
RvDEPRp.png
 
We're off to Rome!! We put in an utterly professional performance in this game from start to finish. We knew what we needed to do and we went well beyond the call of duty to win the game outright. I felt that was exceptionally impressive given that we did it with a much weakened squad. We was clinical in front of goal and didn't give up any clear cut chances. I really couldn't have asked for any more. Lyon overcame Bayern Munich to reach the final also so they will be our opponents. Can we do it? Can we do the unthinkable and lift old big ears.
 
Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

pm1Dv15.jpg

Season 2048 / 2049

beUaOsj.png

wnwYOyc.png?1

0UobmeW.png?1

A club that enjoyed its best period of success in Europe in the late 2020s with a lifting of the Champions League trophy in both 2028 and 2029. Since then however they have been unable to reach those heights again with the highest point after those triumphs being a semi final loss against Barcelona in 2030. They have suffered a sequence of group stage and 1st Knockout Round eliminations over the last decade so will be desperate to take this opportunity to claim a hat trick of Champions League wins. Domestically, it has been a constant tussle with PSG for dominance of French football with PSG having the upper hand managing to win all the championships from season 2029/30 up to last season. This season they managed to pip PSG to the title on goal difference having suffered from being a distant 2nd over the last decade.

They were drawn into Group H where they were joined by Glasgow Celtic, Shakhtar Donetsk and Nottingham Forest, they managed the following results.

uqBGOSk.png

In what looked a relatively easy group they struggled at points having to depend on a final day win to guarantee their passage into the next round. Their group finished as follows:

PDcjCLM.png

At this point, it would have been fair to assume that they looked like repeating their performances of the last few seasons given how hard they found it to finish 2nd in what looked one of the easier groups. Next up was German giants RB Leipzig.

o4ub88b.png

In what has got to go down as one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history they basically resurrected from the dead. Losing the first leg at home 3-0 should have guaranteed their opponents a place in the quarter final but little did they know what awaited in Germany. To give you a sense of how extraordinary this comeback was their German hosts even took the lead in the 29th minute to put them 4-0 up on aggregate but for some reason an equalizer on the cusp of half time seemed to put them into a downward spiral. It took until the 63rd minute for Lyon to take the lead but then they followed with another in the 77th minute to bring the tie to life. When they managed to get the winner in the 80th minute that completely shocked the footballing world as they progressed on away goals. That result definitely will have roused a few heads and showed Lyon weren't in the knockout stages just to make up the numbers. Next up was shock quarter finalists Hamilton Academical.

4TDDWXn.png

I bet they didn't expect such a tough fight from their Scottish opponents but they managed to get through on penalties. After the win in the first leg all seemed great, a nice two goal cushion and more importantly no away goals conceded going into the 2nd leg. Unfortunately, if they thought that Hamilton were going down without a fight they were sadly mistaken with a penalty in the 11th minute and a goal in the 73rd minute for the hosts leveling the tie on aggregate. When Hamilton went down to 10 men in stoppage time at the end of the game, Lyon would have expected to be able to get that goal in extra time but their hosts stood firm and took them all the way. If their minds weren't focused already this result would have done that for them. In the semi final they would face yet another German giant in Bayern Munich. 

hShU0YN.png

Once again they showed incredible resolve to recover from a first leg deficit at home to win away and claim a place in the final. All the more sweeter for grabbing the winning goal in the 89th minute of the 2nd leg giving no chance for the German team to recover. In what started as a fairly mediocre run in the group stage has turned into an incredible journey for the French team who have shown resilience and heart on their way to the final.

They will go into the final as favourites to lift the trophy and make it a hat trick of wins. They have some world class players in their squad and will prove a formidable opponent for Glentoran. The key to their chances of winning the trophy will lie in getting the best out of players such as Victory and Chepiga shown below who have the potential to tear through any defence and the Glentoran defenders will have to be at their absolute best to keep them quiet.

IaVST3E.png

CF2Iewl.png

Coming on the back of lifting the Ligue 1 trophy and French Cup they have the potential to win an incredible treble which would more than make up for the years of heartbreak they've had to endure over the last decade or so. An historic achievement is beckoning, can they do it?

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

pm1Dv15.jpg

Season 2048 / 2049

beUaOsj.png

wnwYOyc.png?1

NbyiGer.png

New territory for the N. Irish club as they become the 2nd N. Irish club to compete in a European final, the other being Larne who won the Europa Conference League in 2036. It marks the culmination of a significant improvement over the last few seasons for the Belfast club and they will be hoping to grasp this opportunity with both hands. Having only ever managed to reach the quarter final stage before now the team will want to prove that they are worthy of their place in the final and put in a great performance. Domestically, they have become increasingly dominant managing to see off the challenge of Knockbreda more easily over the last few seasons.

They were drawn into Group A and were joined by Sporting Lisbon, S.S. Lazio and dutch side PSV Eindhoven where they managed the following results.

D1WPGGn.png

Compared to the last few seasons this was a remarkable group stage campaign with them only dropping any points on the final matchday. They scored a record number of goals in the group stage and it would have been immensely satisfying for them to go unbeaten. The group finished as follows:

G8lGBMW.png

In the next round, they were drawn to face group F runners up Manchester City who are considered one of the favourites to win the whole competition making it a really tough draw and a poor reward for finishing top of their group.

UeZVZdI.png

As expected they faced a real battle in the tie. They wouldn't have wanted to end the 1st leg without any away goals and working from a deficit but that's how it ended up. It was a tough result to take but could have been much worse given the opportunities Man City had to put the tie to bed. Going into the 2nd leg, the Glentoran faithful would have been cautiously optimistic that the team was still in the tie. When they scored within 5 minutes that would have given them an even further boost to get right behind the team. Much like the 1st leg, Man City dominated possession but unlike the 1st leg weren't able to exert the same level of control over their opponent. This gave the Glentoran players encouragement and led to the tie going into extra time. Extra time seemed to be flying past without much happening as the teams nullified each other seemingly terrified to make a mistake. Both teams were preparing for penalties but then a hero emerged for Glentoran. Warschewski MR popped up with a goal in the 118th minute to send The Oval into raptures and knock out one of the best teams in the competition. It was this win which gave belief to the Glentoran players that maybe this season could be different and they could go further than ever before. In the next round, they would face former group stage opponents S.S. Lazio. 

VrwSSrE.png

They made harder work of it than they did in the group stage but ultimately got the better of the Italian team with a narrow aggregate win enough to see them through to face another Italian opponent in AC Milan.

qpHei6Z.png

A remarkably comfortable progression to the final as they won both legs of the contest. Once they won in Italy without conceding a goal the onus was always going to be on the Milanese team to come to Belfast and win which played into the hands of the Glens as they scored early in the 2nd leg and defended resolutely.

In the eyes of the media they are likely to be viewed as the underdog in the Champions League final. Although if we look at the record of the two teams throughout the competition I think it's more finely poised than perhaps it appears. Both teams have shown great determination to overcome adversity and both teams are going into the final in great form and with great morale. In order for Glentoran to have the best chance of success they will need to get a great tune out of their inspirational midfielder Esposito MC and hope that their talisman goalkeeper Martins can put in a consistent performance to keep out a very dangerous looking Lyon front line. Both profiles of the players are given below.

j3XaUtG.png

iyyKrwM.png

Lyon are a big obstacle to overcome if Glentoran want to create a bit of history for themselves but I think it's going to be very important for the players to go in with a positive mindset. Lyon are the better team, they have the better players and are the bigger club but then the same could be said for any of the teams that Glentoran have had to face to get to this point. The Glentoran players should go into the game without fear and even if it means they have to win ugly, all that matters is bringing the trophy home.

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

pm1Dv15.jpg

Season 2048 / 2049

beUaOsj.png

tXFbg7J.jpg?2

THE FINAL

OxPzmKW.png

IZhLmac.jpg?1

The Stadio Olimpico is ready and the atmosphere is buzzing in anticipation for what promises to be a fascinating final. The Glentoran supporters who have made the trip to Rome will be hugely outnumbered as Lyon bring a following of over 70,000 to the 85,662 capacity ground. Add to that the fair amount of neutral fans in attendance, Glentoran will have to make do with under 10,000 fans in the ground. On the plus side, playing in Italy this season has been kind for the Belfast club so they will be hoping to keep up their good record.  
 
Our squad
 
aY1T8Ee.png
 
Their squad
 
hSYXgzW.png
 
A decision will have to be made on whether to start Teco after he made a mammoth effort to get fit for the game. Aside from that, Glentoran go into to the final with a full squad available to them meaning they can field their strongest possible team which is a refreshing change from previous rounds. Having a full squad available is however not the case for Lyon who have 3 of their smaller squad suffering from injuries so their manager will have to decide whether to risk them in the final.
 
Final
 
Here's how the two teams lined up:
 
kvQqSuy.png
 
I know how painful it must be for Teco but I decided not to start him in the final and he will have to be satisfied with a spot on the bench. I made a big call and decided to take a risk on Andres ST upfront to partner Monterde ST instead of Hill who has been dropped to the bench. Overall, I'm fairly satisfied with my selection and have decided to restore Stajner DR to the starting lineup after he got over the issue which was damaging his morale. I expect to lose the midfield battle but that won't be an issue provided we can be clinical like we was in the previous round. The key to winning this game will lie in keeping their front 4 quiet and the way I intend to do this is to once again exploit their lack of bravery by tackling them harder with OP instructions. I'm really nervous given what is at stake as I feel this could be our best opportunity to lift the trophy. Leave it all on the field lads and hopefully that will be enough.
 
Spoiler

ii9t4mJ.png

O7xx5Sa.png

Glentoran 2 Olympique Lyonnais 2

Glentoran win 4-2 on penalties

GET IN THERE!!!

I was beginning to think it was never going to happen but at last, we have a European trophy to put into our cabinet and what a way to win it. A game filled with drama and incident seeing us prevail after a penalty shootout.

The game didn't start very well for us as after 13 minutes we were behind. A well-worked corner drifted to the back post resulting in a knockdown from Alexandre into the path of Victory which he smashed on the half volley from around the penalty spot into the bottom corner. Not the best of starts with some less than convincing defending from the set-piece. 

We were however still well in the game and my players didn't allow the setback to demoralize them. Then in the 32nd minute, we found an equalizer with a stunning goal from Monterde. Building from the back we worked the ball to Esposito who picked up the ball 20 yards in his own half. He then spun on the ball and floated a beauty of a pass over the Lyon defence for Monterde to chase. Cebulski playing slightly deeper than his defensive line played him onside and on trapping the ball Monterde ran wide with the ball. Seeing Garcia moving up to support he then plays a superb one-two with the winger inside the Lyon box. On receiving it he then pings an absolute beauty with the outside of his foot into the top left-hand corner giving their goalkeeper Nei no chance of saving it.

Going into half time with the score level I was feeling good about our chances. We had scored a brilliant equalizer and seemed in the ascendancy. All we need now was to capitalize on our momentum early in the 2nd half and I think we could have gone on to win the game comfortably. Unfortunately, we didn't start the 2nd half well at all as Lyon began to take control of the game. I feared them scoring and my suspicions proved to be correct as more negligent defending from a set-piece cost us another goal in the 51st minute. We looked to have dealt with the throw-in but then inexplicably my right back forgot how to defend properly. He came charging out of position leaving a massive gap on the edge of the area for an unmarked Victory to use. From that point, it was a simple back heel from Mercier to find him and with all the time in the world, Victory bent a curler into the top right-hand corner of the net which gave Martins no chance.

I was despondent after that goal given we had basically handed Lyon two goals on a plate but I wasn't willing to give up just yet. The key was getting an equalizer relatively quickly. Noticing that Andres was having a shocker I decided to sub him off for Hill after 61 minutes and shifted Monterde to the Deep Lying Forward role on the left. This proved pivotal as Hill played a role in our equalizer in the 67th minute. We worked the ball out to Garcia on the right-wing who had a lot of space. He then proceeded to head the ball to Hill whose presence in the middle pulled the fullback in giving space for Garcia. Spotting this space Hill then played a slide-rule pass into the channel for Garcia who took a touch and then drilled it low towards the far left corner. The shot seemed to take the Lyon goalkeeper by surprise and by the time he attempted to react to it, the ball was already past him and in the goal. A cracking equalizer and great interplay between the substitute and veteran winger.

I thought we should have attempted to build from that and win the game in normal time but after this point, the game became very nervy with both teams stifled by the pressure of the game. Therefore it came as no surprise when the game ended level and we went into extra time. Both teams had created chances to win it but ultimately the goalkeepers came out on top with some fine saves to deny a winner in normal time. I was hoping that extra time would suit us more than them. We are a younger squad overall and I was hoping that our fresher legs would give us an advantage. Unfortunately, this proved not to be the case as they were even more dominant in the extra time period with only our goalkeeper keeping us on level terms with a string of fantastic saves. As extra time continued on I sensed that we weren't going to score as we weren't even creating any opportunities so I decided to lock it down and attempted to hold out for penalties which we managed, just.

It may be a cruel way to decide a game of this magnitude but I felt it was our best chance of victory given the exceptionally strong performance put in by our goalkeeper Martins and I wanted to see if he could be the hero for us. We start the penalty shootout with Hill, he steps up and drives it low into the bottom right corner past the dive of their goalkeeper. 1-0 to us. Chepiga will take their first penalty, he makes his run-up and places it low into the bottom left corner as our goalkeeper dives the wrong way, 1-1 in the shootout. Next up for us is substitute Warschewski, he follows Chepiga's example and places it low into the bottom left corner. The goalkeeper dives the correct way but is unable to keep it out, putting us 2-1 up in the shootout. Next up for Lyon is Ter Horst who places the ball into the bottom right corner to keep the perfect sequence of penalties for both teams to make it 2-2.

Monterde steps up to take his penalty looking assured, takes a deep breath, and slots the ball into the bottom left corner sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to put us 3-2 up. Jaeger is up next for Lyon and hits his penalty right down the middle which is unintentionally saved by Martins who had begun to dive to his right out of the way but the ball ricochets off his boots and wide to strike the first blow in the shootout. Next up for Glentoran stepped up Roca who if he scored would give us a 2 goal advantage which would put unbelievable pressure on the next taker for Lyon. He steps up but the goalkeeper guesses correctly and parries it out from the bottom left corner. I was gutted but we still held the advantage 3-2. Victory then had the opportunity to level the shootout which I fully expected him to do. He steps up and strikes it towards the bottom right corner. Martins guesses correctly and dives and is able to parry the ball out to keep it at 3-2 meaning that it all came down to substitute Coesta to strike the winning penalty and with nerves of steel he steps up and smashes it into the top left corner to win the Champions League.

An incredible game and a fitting end to our exceptionally good campaign.

beUaOsj.png
 
IBWpk2R.png?1
 
We won it by a hair but we won it which is all that matters!! A first of what I'm hoping is the start of an era of success in Europe for the Belfast club. A great way to end the in-depth reports.
 

 

Edited by pheelf
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • pheelf changed the title to [FM20] Creating a Northern Irish footballing revolution

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...