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Muttley84

[FMT 20] - Ritorno alle origini del calcio

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So by now I've become pretty much obsessed with achieving success with self-imposed limits, the latest one being career in which I can only sign players from a specific city or region. I have previously failed at this last year in Calabria (Italy) and this year in Lisbon (Portugal), but I still got the virus. I think part of it is due to the fact that moving to FM Touch and not having the time to play anymore as much as I used to, I put myself restriction that will prevent me in spending infinite hours searching for players in South America or Africa. By selecting the league I am playing and nothing else more, I get a sample size of couple of hundreds of eligible players. Is it enough to achieve success? Previous experiences have shown me it is not. Is it enough to have fun? You bet there is.

Now, for another go at this I am returning to my beloved Italy (not Italian, but was one of the first league I followed growing up as a kid, and suffered a lot for my beloved Inter back then), and chose another region in which I will try my luck. The selected one is no other than... Tuscany! That's why the title (which I'm not 100% sure it is correctly translated in Italian), reminding us of the Calcio Fiorentino, one of the ancestors of the current game (although the rules are completely different, but the word stuck in the language to meaning now football in Italy). Of course, Tuscany means much more, it has a very rich history (especially for the Renaissance period in art and science), beautiful natural landscape and man-made objectives, fine cuisine and good wines. But that is pretty much irrelevant to us, the only thing which matters is CALCIO!

Calcio has seen better days in the region. In various times, several teams played in the top flight of Italian football (including Empoli, Livorno, Pisa, Siena or Pistoiese) but only Fiorentina achieved some forms of success and been one of the teams present in most editions of the competition. It is currently the only team in the top flight, with another 3 in Serie B (Livorno, Pisa and Empoli) and 6 in Serie C - Girone A (Arezzo, Carrarese, Pianese, Pistoiese, Pontedera and Siena). And that is all because playing in FM Touch means I don't have the luxury of adding lower leagues databases going down to Promozione or Eccelenza. I have actually yet to pick a club, but after excluding Fiorentina I have remained with a shortlist which includes:
- Livorno - irl dead last in Serie B and destined for relegation, big city (150k) and stadium (13k), some of the best facilities in the region for producing young players.
- Siena - one of the best of the series, can we return the club to first division, good stadium (15k) and facilities, but a phoenix club born in 2014.
- Pianese - for the first time in Serie C, by far the worst team, from a town of only 4k inhabitants (it would make it the smallest town to reach Serie A), a huge task ahead.
*Notable mentions go to Arezzo (mainly cause i love the logo and color scheme) and Empoli (would be pretty easy to promote to Serie A given the players they have). The final selection will be made folowing a multi-criteria analysis I will realize with SuperDecisions software (talk about geek here).

What are your thoughts on this? Any important criteria or arguments I should consider in choosing a club?

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I would pick from Livorno or Siena, to have an enjoyable save unlike what happened in Calabria. If you want a slightly tougher one choose Arezzo.

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Just to see how crazy I am with picking a club I present you the preliminary table for selecting criteria. So far I have included the city and stadium size, training and youth facilities, number of seasons previously played in Serie A, number of players currently at the club, the value of the top 3 players owned (excluding loaned players from other clubs) and the media prediction in the league. The color scheme is just for my entertainment, but basically green means the club does well under that criteria for me selecting it and red it does bad. It doesn't necessarily means the highest value, as I do prefer clubs from large cities and with decent facilities and stadium, but would like one which had fewer success before and is predicted to finish lower in the league. 

Based on this I will add further criteria, even in the form of color scheme in the game, how good the logo and shirts are, existence of rivals, and even some criteria which are not FM-related (touristic objectives if I'd chose to spend a vacation there or the possibility to buy a team jersey online).  This is getting a bit mad, but that's how I like it.

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Very interesting concept and the title is in perfect Italian.

Carrarese could be an interesting choice. They have never been in Serie A and are based in a medium sized city. The ownership is held by a consortium that counts among its members both Gianluigi Buffon, that is also a die-hard supporter, and Cristiano Lucarelli.

If rule of cool factors between your criteria, it could be interesting to deal with such a decorated (and vocal) board.

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14 hours ago, Hootieleece said:

I would pick from Livorno or Siena, to have an enjoyable save unlike what happened in Calabria. If you want a slightly tougher one choose Arezzo.

I enjoyed in Calabria too, but guess we reached Serie A to soon and that was the end of us.

1 hour ago, zethani said:

Carrarese could be an interesting choice. They have never been in Serie A and are based in a medium sized city. The ownership is held by a consortium that counts among its members both Gianluigi Buffon, that is also a die-hard supporter, and Cristiano Lucarelli. If rule of cool factors between your criteria, it could be interesting to deal with such a decorated (and vocal) board.

That's some pretty interesting information, although I dunno in what measure such a board is reflected into FM situation. I was under the believe that Lucarelli was more of a Livorno fan, but I guess it was easier for him to invest at Carrara being a smaller club with fewer objectives. Will take that into consideration also.

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6 minuti fa, Muttley84 ha scritto:

I was under the believe that Lucarelli was more of a Livorno fan, but I guess it was easier for him to invest at Carrara being a smaller club with fewer objectives.

You are correct, Lucarelli is very well known for being a Livorno supporter, famously rejecting big contract deals with Serie A team to join his hometown club.

I believe that also Pistoiese could be interesting. It has a history of several good players among its ranks (even World Champion Andrea Barzagli) and I think that it is the only club in Italy to have a orange jersey. Apparently, the colour was chosen in the '20s after the Netherlands NT and the team is nicknamed Olandesina (Little Holland).

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6 hours ago, Carambau said:

I´m voting for Pianese! This should be a challenge, shouldnt it? ;)

Sure, but a challenge that doesn't lead to my wife getting mad on me cause I spens so much time playing :)

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After serious effort I have finally managed to take the step forward and actually chose a club and start the career. Introducing US Pistoiese 1921, a club located in the beautiful town of Pistoia in the north of Tuscany. Actually it might be the 4th or 5th version of the club, as with most lower league Italian clubs it has been refounded numerous times. The club had a single glorious seasons in the 80s when it played in Serie A, but for most of its existence been bouncing between 3rd and 4th division. We have a pretty old stadium build in 1966 and that is why for safety reasons we don't actually use all of the capacity (if you're curious and want to google it Stadio Marcello Melani - looks really bad). We have no high expectations from the board  - reach playoff means actually finishing in top 10 in Serie C so I guess that is achievable. Have some pretty big clubs in the division as Novara, Siena, Monza and maybe even Juventus B. Next step is to assess the players at the club, find out who are from Tuscany and which of them will fit into our 4-1-4-1 DM Wide tactics we plan to use in this career.

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We have a pretty decent squad at disposal, and lucky for me not really a lot of older players (as some of the other clubs are filled with seasoned veterans). We do have a good share of loaned players, but that is mostly a worry for the next transfer windows. Position-wise only the AMR position is not covered by natural players, but we can find some backup also. Gonna use the friendlies to assess the situation and how they fit into the philosophy of the club.

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Unione-Sportiva-Pistoiese-1921_-Players-

The reserves are packed with young players and some of them have pretty good potential. He have to keep in mind that they are compared to the players currently at the club, but wouldn't mind giving them a chance. One point to be considered is that most of these players in the reserves don't have a Place of Birth mentioned, so I am going to consider all those U20 who have only Pistoiese in their history as past clubs that they have been produced in the club academy and going to keep them as long as they are needed.

Unione-Sportiva-Pistoiese-1921-Reserves_

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4 minutes ago, Carambau said:

Nice! Let´s see how Barzagli can lead the way :)

Hopefully we can find some gems with younger age. I was under the impression he was a coach/assistant at Juve this season or something.

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OH I thought he was still a player there, as mentioned by zethani above...

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After applying the filters for players born in Tuscany that's what an ideal first 11 would look like. I could work with such a team even in Serie A, but unfortunately for us we have a long way ahead before (if ever) we are going to be big enough to sign any of that guys :) 

lineup806fee8907d2707d.png

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Since we came in charge of business on July 7 we only transferred in 3 players with a lot more of them going the other way around and leaving the club. All of them on free cause nobody wanted to pay a cent for them, but at least we got them off the wage budget and released some of the players who weren't from Tuscany. That's the ones with a * mark after their name, so I can keep track of them in the squad. I would have liked to bring in some more, but although we have a bit of wage space, we simply don't have the appeal to attract better players than those already at the club.

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We are pretty satisfied with the way we started the season. Albeit, so far we only played 4 official matches so not a very big sample size, and we didn't encounter any big teams of Serie C. First of all we were in a group in the Coppa Italia Lega Pro Cup - but dunno what kind of group that was as it only included two teams - us and Vis Pesaro, and we managed to win the group and advance to the next rounds. In the league we won two matches at home to Pro Patria and Renate. The only disappointment of the season start is our attendances at home - we only gathered under 1000 people in the stands, which is a big low considering how finances are scarce in the lower league.

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I think it is safe to say we have performed way above expectations in the league. We are so far undefeated in the league after 13 games but or lead at the top is not very assuring with Monza, Giana Erminio and Pro Vercelli right next to us. We still have not been able to attract large crowds at the stadium, only a little above the 1000 mark, but our finances are not looking that bad. Yet. 

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Great Start!

Fan Attraction has always been a puzzle to me. I can bring a team 4 League titles in a row and still not fill the stadium in some cases. (Most recent New England in current save)

One would think that SI needs to change the attendance algorithm in the game, because a perennial Champion will attract more fans than a few hundred every year, People would start showing up from neighboring communities (fair weather fans) etc.

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On 31/01/2020 at 13:33, Hootieleece said:

Fan Attraction has always been a puzzle to me. I can bring a team 4 League titles in a row and still not fill the stadium in some cases. (Most recent New England in current save)

I haven't had those problems before. We are working with a very small sample size of games here in Pistoia, but I would expect a promotion will see the crowds boost up to at least 3-4 thousands. To bad we were not in Coppa Italia this season, to see how that attracts people. On well, will just have to wait and see.

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Not a tactical mastermind here and little time to play, so just using the default tactics in FM20. This maybe part of the reason I have failed in previous career. So far it seems at Pistoiese that the players fit pretty good into the default formation and even some nice partnerships going on in there. That is even if I am playing some of them out of natural positions, but I look more at their attributes that the recommended positions. 

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We were bound to lose at some point, but our loss to Carpi means we are out of the single cup we entered this season, the Serie C cup and can now concentrate on the league. We are still undefeated there, but somehow lost the first place to Monza on goal difference. At this point the league seems is going to be a two-horse race, but we just passed the mid-point so still a lot of games to go so anything could happen. Don't think we are going to see much action in the winter transfer window, only have around 200k/yearly in the wage budget (probably will mean just a good player signed on a pre-contract for the summer) and 20k in the transfer department.

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Although the phrase ''golden generation'' appears in the youth intake preview, when we get down to actually reading the report we will see there is actually not a lot to be optimistic about, as they are more negative in numbers and positions across the board. We will have to wait till season ends (cause that's when intakes happen in FM Touch), but I doubt we will be extremely positively surprised. Come to think of I pretty much had the golden generation message in the preview of first intakes of all careers played in 20, but it didn't always turned up to be like that.

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I have no words to describe how good we are going right now, we only draw two times at Renate and Gorgonzola, and climbed 3 points in front of Monza, as it looks like the two of us are battling for the final win. 10 more stages left in the league.

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In comes a nerve-wrecking end of the season, with only a point between us and Monza. Both our schedules are pretty balanced, with two games at home and two away, although they are meeting a bit more lower table teams. Our key game seems to be the away game at Juventus B, were it will be extremely important to see which players they are using (although there doesn't seem to be free moving of players between the first team and them in the current season), but we have to be carefully against Gozzano and Novara also.

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We somehow managed to do it! Although the season finale was pretty much our worst period of the season. But it seems that the pressure got to Monza also as they slipped also and we managed to keep the 1 point lead we were having at the top of the table. Winning the league means automatic promotion to Serie B, and now the struggles begins in building a competitive team with decent chances of surviving there.

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5 hours ago, rafaelbenitez said:

Well done. Good luck in Serie B. Always nice to see FMT saves in this sub forum.

Thanks. We gonna need a lot of luck as our finances and reputation won't allow us signing big names.

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It has seemed the season ended but it actually didn't as we had to play in the Serie C Supercup, with the winners of the other two groups, Reggiana and Ternana. We managed to win both games, pretty encouraging considering they will join us in Serie B next season. Now comes the wheeling and dealing of the transfer period.

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The team of the season with the best players not being Tuscany eligible is a bit worrying in the perspective of the next season, but hopefully we can cope with it. The club vision is pretty demanding, and in the same time with elements such specific to italian football like play defensively solid football and make the most of set pieces. Hopefully we can fight relegation successfully next season.

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Yes, we had a pretty good season and our players performed well above expectation, reflected by 7 of them being selected in the team of the season.

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Our intake this summer was as expected unspectacular. I did signed all of them just for backup purposes and considering we don't know how much we are going to be able to construct a squad of entirely Tuscany players. A couple of them look like they could become rotational options for us in the future, and maybe will be given a chance in the season ahead.

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Pretty intense transfer activity this summer in Pistoia. Of course, we only brought in players born in Tuscany and in return we shipped away pretty much everyone not eligible under those conditions. Financially we actually made a profit out of the transfer window and that is mainly due to us selling our best wide options for not much money. We are in the middle of pre-season friendlies and trying to find the perfect balance in integrating all these new arrivals in the club.

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Went a bit ahead and played some official matches before it occurred to me I should probably make a brief presentation of our squad this season. I don't think we are much more improved that last season, as the search for eligible players really made us chose from a much smaller pool of players. But we are pretty balanced in the squad with decent options on each positions, so probably we are going to at least put up a good fight for staying in the league.

In the goalkeepers area is where we took the most gambles and might be the weakest link in our squad, as our current options are 21, 19 and 17. But I figured if one of them at least emerges as a viable option that is years of having the position covered. In the middle of the defense we are going with more seasoned veterans which played for us last season also. You will notice on the left-back the only player left at the club not born in Tuscany, which is the Spaniard Llamas. How much we struggled to fill that position is proved by the fact that his backup is a loan player (something I definitely do not enjoy doing much).

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Unione-Sportiva-Pistoiese-1921_-Players-

Some pretty young options in the midfielders department also, as except veteran Seretta they are all under 23. Think we might be either big winning or big losing by this squad selection but we do like to gamble a bit. You will also notice that I have kept 3 players produced in the academy this season in the first team, and while the central defender is merely there for the numbers, the DM Motti and ST Bettini will be given game time this season when possible. Might not be a good indication of our transfer activity that after selling almost all non-Tuscan players their potential increased a little but hopefully is just the result of better assessment from the staff currently at the club (which by the way is at most mediocre but no viable options of replacement yet).

Unione-Sportiva-Pistoiese-1921_-Players-

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We don't have to worry about the Cup anymore, as we are out of the 3rd qualifying round after we were drawn against Atalanta away and we could not resist them. A good start in the league though, as we thrashed @noikeee's Cremonese 3-0 away and won at home to Virtus Entalla in front of a huuuge crowd of over 2000 people.

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2 hours ago, Muttley84 said:

A good start in the league though, as we thrashed @noikeee's Cremonese 3-0 away

Hey! :herman:

Nice thread, you get a pass for such blasphemy as above thanks to the fact I really enjoyed Tuscany when I briefly visited this year. How do you know which players to sign, is there a way on player search to filter for Born in -> Region?

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54 minutes ago, noikeee said:

Nice thread, you get a pass for such blasphemy as above thanks to the fact I really enjoyed Tuscany when I briefly visited this year. How do you know which players to sign, is there a way on player search to filter for Born in -> Region?

Unfortunately not. I had to manually make a filter with Place of Birth is.. (inserted name), or Place of Birth is.. and so on until large proportions of Tuscany cities and communes. That's cause I am playing on Touch, on Full version you can use the Editor to add (Tuscany) to their name and then search by just that. So yeah, not simple at all.

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Seems like we did enough to convince the board in offering a new contract, which I gladly accepted.

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On September 12 following our win at Reggiana we were sitting top of the league. We then continued to have decent performances in September, as we won against Cosenza and draw with Reggina, but also had our first defeat of the season against Spezia. I actually do not know what happened in October, but we only managed a bore draw with Juve Stabia, after which we were simply thrashed in the four matches, including a record breaking 7-1 defeat at Cittadella. We are now sitting in mid-table mediocrity but our performances need to step up fast if we want to survive in Serie B.

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I guess I am officially the worst player out here in the SI forums. It's already like a deja-vu of my previous careers on FM20, easily gain promotion in first season and then crash and burn in the higher league. Maybe we can pull a miracle out of the hat and survive.

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We did manage to pick up some points, and it was all against relegation threatened teams like us. The wins against Cremonese and Reggiana and the draw at Reggina keeps us in the race for the playout spaces. Decided against bringing new players in January, and only concentrated on those already at the club trying to increase their performance. Hopefully that strategy pays off by keeping us in Serie B.

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Could not finally avoid the drop and got fired. Guess with another fail I am the worst player of FMT 20 on these forums haha :) Will return to my native Romanian league where I've been (just barely) more successful this iteration of the game. Best of luck to everyone!

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Keep going and don't let your head drop  :)

had a save with Gloria Buzau (?) there In fm14 and it was great!

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5 hours ago, Carambau said:

Keep going and don't let your head drop  :)

Thanks. I will probably get back to FM but I'd wish I had more time to play. Real life, huh? :) 

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@Muttley84 I have the feeling that one issue you might have is that you sign too many players when promoting and that probably messes up with playing times of the rest of the crew which leads to unhappy players and that can easily spiral out of control in FM20.. I have had that happen to me. 

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59 minutes ago, Jimmious7 said:

@Muttley84 I have the feeling that one issue you might have is that you sign too many players when promoting and that probably messes up with playing times of the rest of the crew which leads to unhappy players and that can easily spiral out of control in FM20.. I have had that happen to me. 

You might be on to something there, I have considered myself also. Will try to consider it more carefully in the next career. 

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