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Journeyman living out his Childhood Dream

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After a decade of getting the football manager on release date, held back on the expenditure for a while. Finally succumbed to the temptation yesterday.

Long time since I chronicled any of my saves. Planning on a journeyman save hopefully and will be sticking mostly to LLM rules.  I usually holiday for 5 seasons and start unemployed, but went for 2 year holiday on this save.

The Game setup

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The Manager

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Returned in June after 2 year holiday and went about the job center applying to all lower division clubs. Had plenty of interviews, but only 2 offers - Go Ahead Eagles and newly promoted Kladno at Czech 2nd Division.

The Starting Point

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The task on hand

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The team

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Well stocked on Keepers is all I can say at the moment. Need to get started with recruitment; which leads to

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Gonna be difficult with LLM as I seems to be the only one here...

At least the cohesion part looks good

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The tactical setup

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Going with regulation 4-4-2 as starting tactic for now.

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Month 1 Update

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Crashed out in cup to non - league club.

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Slightly better in League, but not by much... The team had already played the first two matched by the time I took over. Struggled for cohesion and goals and I was very thankful for the win the team had with before I took over.

The distinctly average start leaves us slightly above the relegation battle zone.

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Hopefully the team would get used to my way of play soon.

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Sept 2021

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Dropped points twice after holding half time leads and it really hurt that we threw away a 2 goal lead for the loss at Hradec.

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Winter Break

We won more than we drew in October and November and as we head off to the winter-break, the newly promoted side is sitting comfortably in top half of the league. Really pleased with picking up valuable points, but still not figured out how to string 2 victories together. Might need to tone down to a defensive style of play for away games.

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And slowly getting the board approval up...

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Went about spending the 1m transfer budget and made 3 key signings during the winter break

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An Austrian midfielder who cam through the youth system at Slovan Bratislava and was stuck in their youth system when my scouts identified him as a top priority.

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A young Bulgarian CM who has bags of potential

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And finally this young gem that my new new scouting recruit came up with who was surprisingly come through in the youth system in Fc Moss in Norway.

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Marc & April 2021

The new midfielders gave me an option ot switch to a more passing style and slower tempo and the issue with stringing 2 wins together is long gone.

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Exciting March followed by an unbelievable April saw us storming to the top of the league. The young Portuguese striker was on fire during the period.

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Most of the teams in the league are equally matched except probably for Opava. It helped that our good run coincided with a big hiccup for them.

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Mid May Update

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That was unexpected, but looks like we are set for a quick return unless I can pull some rabbits out of the free transfer market.

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This has to be the most concerning aspect.

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I stayed well within the wage budget, but we are hemorrhaging money.

 

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Season 2

After last season's heroics, my aim was plain and simple - survival. However we are predicted to be solid mid table

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Transfers

Used up most of the available budget on a youth prospect keeper my new Eritrean scout was raving about

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July Fixtures

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Started off with 2 solid beatings before an absolute smash and grab at Dynamo. The win at Boleslav was special as we dominated the stats but went  a goal down soon after the break to a freak goal. Stormed back in the final third of the game to complete a well deserved victory.

The first months showing leaves as well placed in top half of the table

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August 2022 Update

FA Cup 2nd round

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Avoided last season's mistake and fielded a pretty strong team who romped home to a record win.

League

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Highly impressive league form with 2 impressive victories at much bigger clubs than us. The month finds us holding onto impressive league position

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Slight concern I am having is that the forward line is not putting away enough chances and the shaky defending against set pieces. Majority of goals we concede are from corners or indirect free kicks. Setting up routines also of not much use against set pieces; the quality of defenders might be the issue,

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Mid Season Update

Missed out taking screenies during a late night session. So missed out the league tables for couple of months.

FA Cup

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A decent cup run aided by non league and 2nd division opponents. However QF is as fas as we go I think as Sparta Prague awaits.

League

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Decent form sees us stay well clear of relegation worries and in top half of the league. If we can sort out our attack, we might push for a European spot. This leaves the table looking like this:

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Loads of work to do on the facilities I suspect as this popped up:

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Not a 'Golden Generation' :lol:

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This is the most worrying aspect of the team. I started off with well over 2 mill in bank in 2nd division. We are hemorrhaging money like crazy.

 

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Could have done with a tycoon rolling by ;)

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Possible light at the end of the tunnel finance wise. Unfortunately he is our starting GK and the best option in there by a long way. Gunners came in with an enquiry and I quoted the terms expecting them to walk away.

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They didn't even bother with any negotiation and agreed. May be I should have asked for higher amount.

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Money in ; Money out... First set of improvements in the save

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And the good work is being noticed

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Would be a massive step up from the current job.

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Have requested to join at end of the season. But not a leading candidate,

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Great job at Kladno. What are the chances that you qualify for Europe?

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January update

Good league form continued and the team looks up for the fight for European places

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That sort of makes up for this

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Club Record Sale

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Ajax came and paid the release clause for my rotation RB; too late in the window for me to bring in a replacement. Was unable to do any negotiation as it met the rlease clause

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Feb & March

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We did the league double against the giants Viktoria Plzen and the results were way better than anything I could have hoped for at the start of the season.

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:seagull:

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Attended the interview. They are stick in Bundesliga 2 for the next season,but definitely a big step up.

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Ended a pretty bad run in with a deserved victory as the team entered the championship group.

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Viktoria got their revenge where it mattered

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The team ended the campaign with a walloping of Sparta who were crowned champions despite the result.

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An absolutely stupendous season where the team punched way above their weight.

I am out of contract at the end of the summer and am not sure if I am gonna continue with the team. I had planned the career to be journeyman and there are some really interesting options available.

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Left the club at the end of the season (as I saw 4-5 really interesting jobs). Looked around the job market and was left shocked when nobody came up with a job offer. The most interesting posts were Kaiserslautern and 1869 Munich in German 3rd tier and both invited me for interviews and moved on with different blokes. Desperation set in and started applying for anything that came up and the story was mostly repeated.

Finally had a breakthrough in September and finally someone decided to take a punt on me. And boy it was a huge step up.

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The board has crazy expectations:

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The reason why the previous gaffer was let go

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And a top 5 finish is a must. Looks like I am gonna be under stress from the start.

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Btw can someone et me know how to change the thread name? Don't remember how it was done. Had vague recollection of being capable of changing the thread name when the LLM board was there.

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The Club

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They are a big team..

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No issues finance wise. The huge loss for the month was due to the wholesale changes I made on the staff already at the club.

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And the facilities looks impressive.

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And the board are handing out the goodies early on

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The managers so far.

The squad depth:

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Looks like I need more quality at the back

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Sept '23

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2 matches and 2 wins. An end to end ding dong battle against a strong Club Brugge and a near screw up in the cup. We were lucky to survive.

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Next up its Anderlecht.

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October 2023

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Absolute dire... The team is struggling to gel and if it goes this way, I doubt if I ill survive till January transfer window. We have some high earners in the 28-32 years age bracket who have some lower EPL clubs are looking at. Offered out some of the more marketable ones and have brought in sufficient cash to make a decent rework of the squad during the coming window. Surviving till then is going to be the challenge.

The board wants a top 5 finish. I doubt we will be able to deliver with this squad

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Nov Update

Slightly tweaked the tactics to hold a slightly higher defensive line and removed the pass into space that was somehow kept on and the team went and did this:

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The awesome November saw us finally moving in the right direction, 7 points off the 5th spot the board demands.

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Dec 2023

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The good form continued into the season of good cheer. Les Rouches were almost unbeatable except for the Genk match. The defending champs of Belgium are operating at a different level as of now. The scoreline there was flattering to us as we scored two very late consolation goals; it was a proper spanking. I had thought Anderlecht would be the team to beat, but they are nowhere in the picture.

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This leaves us comfortably placed in the league.

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And the bonus have been a cup run. Into the semis after a really good display at the QF.

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I will believe it when I see it. No luck with the youths so far in this save.

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Went a bit crazy on the January window. Mostly because teams kept bidding on my starters and also was able to move the high earnings vets in my squad. The global scouting network was working overtime. The biggest deal was the youngster from Man City who was rotting out on loan for couple of years. Young, defender and Belgian to boot. An absolute no-brainer. The biggest surprise was Barca coming in for my reserve GK to be their 3rd choice I reckon. Had seen those weird moves in past FM versions too. The bloke is nowhere near good enough to get even cup games at Barca and at 24 years, cant be the case of potential.

 

But the current situation at the medics is a bit dire.

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Its getting worse by the day. That was supposed to be our new targetman; out on the first outing.

Had to throw in the kids from the u18s.. Looks like this young fella that the HoYD had poached from Genk is gonna be in the first team for a while.

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He scored twice from midfield and had a rating of 9 in a game in which we ended up with 9 players on the pitch

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Injury crisis meant I decided to tap into the loan market.

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The 3rd gen wonderboy for cover across the midfield

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This was supposed to be the striker cover. Had to go in with half the scouting done and saw the pace and high range for finishing. When he landed up, I was stuck with another midfielder :mad:

Hopefully he can make an impact as a sub in poacher role with the pace

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Jan 2024

A manic month of injuries an suspension and I am very happy with the points we were to pick up. The downside was the heavy defeat against a fierce rivals ; mostly as I went in with the second string team with the cup semis in mind (and boy idd it pay off).

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Made the transfer round up screen, but mostly because I had the transfer of u21 and 18s handed over to DoF and HoYD respectively and they were padding up the teams with freebies and cheap Belgian talent.

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The five month marketing blitz

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And he would make an impact in the league even at this age

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edit

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May be a bit longer

Whereas the other GOAT

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Final seasons

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Feb 2024

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I think we blew the 5th spot target with the poor run in the middle of the month.

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Regular Season

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A rather limp end to the season. I am happy that the team managed to fight their way back from the depths of the table, but too many lapses meant we missed out on the top 5 target in the regular season. However this being Belgium, I get another shot :)

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A fantastic beginning to the championship group..

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Absolute worst time for your top scorer to come up with this. I had been rotating the squad with the packed championship run in and the idiot wouldn't listen to reason. So he'll be off in the next window

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Was immense for the club during his time here

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April 2024

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Fantastic run in the championship group, giving Genk a real scare before surrendering the league with a meek display at home. But the team was fired up for the cup final later that week and after a ding dong battle, I have my hands on the first major trophy of the career.

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CR7 picked up winners medal #33 of his career

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Hope to lock down the Runner up spot with 3 games to go in the season.

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2024 End of Season

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Bottled the start by losing at home to the third placed team in the league leading to a tense 2 rounds. Charleroi held their nerves in the second last round till it was their turn to bottle it up

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Brugge did us a massive favor there.

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Season 2024/25

We are predicted to finish runner up again and I tend to agree. Genk got too much muscle power in the league at the moment and I am in the process of squad building

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Transfers

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Last season's top scorer went out for a club record sale. Unfortunately it had a knock on effect with people getting unsettled and having showdowns with me. Shipped out a key defender and our top young striking prospect (unfortunately they had significant sell on profit clauses with previous clubs). The in-comings were calculated to cover key positions and paid top money for those with homegrown status for Belgium.

Have big expectations from this fella despite his goal scoring record till now

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Fought off some top clubs for this young star from our rivals. Strengthening our weakest area while disrupting our opponent:)

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The team is still gelling, but the statement I made about Genk being stronger became well evident after the Supercup

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Absolutely pathetic performance and the new hot shot striker looks like justifying his scoring record with pretty awful debut.

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