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[FM20] A New-ell's Adventure


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INTRODUCTION

I'm not very good with introductions, but in short after a long hiatus from the FM scene I have decided to make a return. This mainly due to the current situation going on around the world right now and has lead to the majority of us being stuck indoors and the biggest cure for that - of course - Football Manager. Now back in the day, and we're going a long way back here I used to be very active with careers and updates and on a few other forums (even moderating one) - so yeah, definition of the Football Manager nerd - however growing up, heading to university as some of you may know unfortunately leads you to slowly drift away. However, as mentioned with the current pandemic, I am planning to post a few career updates! I guess this is ultimately for myself in order to keep my mind in the right place and something to keep me from boredom during these tough times but hopefully a few of you will follow me on the journey...  

CLUB

This was tough to do as I ultimately wanted something new and interesting. I have pretty much managed (sometimes extremely badly) everywhere available on Football Manager with only a handful of countries remaining untouched. I remember having a very enjoyable game years back in Uruguay which lead me to Brazil and I really enjoyed managing in South America so felt this was a good place to go keep me away from the boring stereotypical European football. Surprisingly, I don't remember ever managing a side in Argentina which I find out so I felt best to head there. 

As a Spurs ST holder and attending pretty much every game for the past 5/6 years I naturally have a love for ex-boss Mauricio Pochettino and Spurs have a long history with Argentine football with Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa back in the 1980s (Maradona has also graced a Spurs shirt) so what better club to choose than Mauricio's old stomping ground - Newell's Old Boys.

This is a club I am sure many of you have heard of given their production line of talent. The boyhood club of the great Lionel Messi and current Leeds boss, Marcelo Bielsa, whom their stadium is named after. Despite these household names in world football, Newell's have not replicated that success on the field with only 6 league titles, 3 cups and no silverware since 2013 (still more recently than Spurs, mind! :rolleyes:). Financially the club is not in the best of shapes so we'll be hugely reliant on our youth system but given its history I'm optimistic we'll be okay!

CLUB INFO

91_conmebol_arg.png.b95e8541482fc3005c264f0455432ef2.png  Mauricio-Pochettino-Newells.thumb.jpg.9f6bf799a50471f41e4ba04f2d0c0a5a.jpg

Founded: 1903
Nickname: Los Leprosos (The Lepers)
Ground (Capacity): Estadio Marcelo A. Bielsa (42,000)
Fierce Rivals: Rosario Central
Other Rivals: Union, Colon
Estimated Value: £9.96m
Media Prediction: 12th
Club Expectations: Mid-Table
Club Vision: Develop players within the club's youth system, Playing attacking football
Transfer Budget: Zero
Wage Budget (Remaining): £129.5k (Zero)  

 

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LEAGUE STRUCTURE

As I mentioned above, Argentina is not a place I have managed before so the domestic scene is completely new and involved some research. In short, the structure changes pretty much every year so it sounds like I'm in for some fun. It turns out that the AFA are attempting to reduce the league to 20 teams by the end of 2023/24 and subsequently one extra time is relegated until that season with the structure changing each year - with the overall plan to have an English Premier League type 38 game season.

Anyway for 2019/20 - the first phase is a straight league where we face each side once for a total of 23 games - in our case, that's 12 away and only 11 at home. It does however provide a good opportunity for continental qualification with half of the league gaining a place in either the Copa Libertadores or Copa Sudamericana. The second phase is another 11 fixtures bring the total to 34 games. The relegation decided by average points over the past three seasons - with me? Nope. Thought not. Either way should keep my interest! 

In typical fashion my fixture list for the first phase of the season is almost as bad as it could be. We're away to both Argentinean giants in Boca and River. In fact out of the Top 5 based on media prediction, we only face one at home, Racing Club (who are defending champions), and guess when that one is? Spot on. Our first game. I guess that's payback by SI for taking a break! The positives though are it does mean that the teams around us and below us we face at home which should hopefully play to our advantage. 

SQUAD 

The squad is fairly well balanced on arrival. We have depth in most positions which is good news as I literally have no funds and a fairly good looking youth squad which I will hopefully develop one or two first team candidates throughout the season. It appears that our better players are all on loan - two of which are from one of the big boys in Independiente. 

KEY MAN

Maxi Rodriguez | M/AM RLC | Age: 38 |

 

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A veteran 38 year old Maxi Rodriguez is in the ranks and one of the icons on the club. It turns out he's been playing his trade here since his departure in 2012 from Liverpool (with a short stint in Uruguay) so a huge influence on the team. I just hope he still has legs at his age. 

KEY YOUTH PROSPECT

Jeronimo Cacciabue | DM/MC | Age: 21 |  

 

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This guy looks very useful and will hopefully be a key part of my midfield over the coming seasons. He's already rocking at a 3.5 star ability and arguably my best midfielder however he hasn't got too much match experience but I'm hopefully he'll be able to hit the ground running. 

TRANSFERS

This was always going to be a tough area given the limitations of our current financial situation. I wanted to bring in one or two on free transfers but needed the scope for that which involved offloading some players I felt would not be a huge part of my plans. I had a large number of strikers in the squad, two of which were on loan, so felt that was the best area to look to strip out and I managed to offload Luis Leal (£625k) and Alexis Rodriguez (£1.5m) which raised some much needed funds although I only retain 30% of transfer revenue. I opted to bring in Fernando Tissone as my only notable signing to add some experience to a my currently young midfield. He makes his return from Europe having played in Spain, Italy and most recently Portugual. At 33, he should still have some of his good years left in him. 

 

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I have allowed my Head of Youth Development to bring in one or two youngsters on frees to bolster the youth ranks but none look anything special for the time being. Other than that, I've used the funds to bring in some help improve the backroom staff. 

The league campaign has just got underway, I am planning to do an update every 10/15 games or so.  

Edited by Nickh92
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A NEWELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 21st October 2019

Results and Table

Results1.jpg.94cbb4b6058bbfb639420f5c52a2def3.jpg   League1.jpg.d51b288292ac2dfdcd2346464a5c2347.jpg

Summary

It was a really tough start to the season with a tough run of fixtures for our first six. We lost the three games I'd expect away at Boca and the two against Racing and Velez, the latter being an 87th minute winner. That said I was extremely disappointed we dropped points against Aldosivi and Arsenal. We faced 10 men and couldn't capitalise against Aldosivi and I don't even want to talk about the trip to Arsenal - 25 shots and over 60% possession and drew 0-0 with the side expected to go down. However, we managed to pick up back-to-back wins followed by another draw at home to Atl. Tucuman which was another disappointing draw given our dominance. 

It's clear to see that we are capable of playing the attacking, dominant football in line with the club's philosophy against the majority of the sides in the league, however, the gap between us and probably the Top 8/9 of the league is ridiculous at the moment so bridging that gap is going to be one of the biggest challenge. We haven't been embarrassed any of the games but I am shutting up shop. We quite unfortunate in our final two against Independiente and Boca. We conceded early and just couldn't get level but thankfully
wasn't overwhelmed. 

We sit way back and down the league table in 18th and five points adrift off the continental positions. It's not all doom and gloom though and I am quite optimistic for the second half of the season. The five defeats we have are against teams I expected too as they were against the bigger sides. I look at maybe 8/9 being the big sides in the league and we only have two of them to face in our final 12 fixtures with the majority of those teams below or around us. 

Key Matches

27 July 2019 | Superliga | Matchday 1
Newell's Old Boys 3 - 5 Racing Club

Ideally not the fixture you want in your first game in charge facing the league holders. We were 2-0 down at half-time, 4-0 by 65 minutes and fair to say I was ready to hand in my resignation. We got it back to 4-3 with a couple of minutes to go however conceded on the counter chasing an equaliser. The last half an hour hugely encouraging, mind. 

16 September 2019 | Superliga | Matchday 7
Newell's Old Boys 1 - 0 Huracan

Finally, we got the illusive win! It has only taken the seven attempts but nevertheless - we've done it! A very scrappy performance but given how our season had started a win of any kind was much needed. It was an unlikely source as our young star centre half Stefano Callegari who headed in from a corner late on to give us our first win of the season.

Player Performances

Given our below average start to the season as expected player performances have been sub-standard for most of the season. The decline of Maxi Rodriguez is painful to watch and I was really hoping he would be a leader to the side with his age and experience but so far he's been one of our worst performers. The only highlight was his free-kick against Patronato but otherwise extremely disappointing and struggling to get into the side - maybe I'm still living off that wonder volley against Mexico in the 2006 World Cup in Germany (showing my age!) but given that was 14 years ago, I shouldn't really be surprised! 

Positives though, one of the youngsters has been arguably our best performer - albeit not too hard. 22 year-old Stefano Callegari has been brilliant at centre back and currently has the highest average rating in the side. He notched his first goal in our first victory and has really kicked on from there.

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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE

Game Date: 8th March 2020

Results and Table

 

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Summary

It turned out to be a very impressive finish to the season after our start. As mentioned, as our fixtures were fairly tough we had a favourable run-in and thankfully we took advantage. We only lost two which on paper were expected defeats away at Estudiantes and San Lorenzo. The highlight was the shock 1-0 win at high-flying Lanus and that really proved the catalyst. The frustrating thing was the amount of draws, we had 9 in our 23 matches and if we'd converted a few more of those into victories we'd have been quite comfortable. Thankfully, we only need a point in our final game to seal a Copa Sudamericana spot and we managed to win that 1-0. I believe that qualifies us for the first round which will be in 2021 so that's something to look forward too. It'll give us a chance to hopefully earn a bit more income as we are really, really struggling financially as a club. We hardly generate any income whatsoever - sponsorship is low and gate receipts are not fantastic. 

We were in a bit of relegation scrap through most of the season and the board were really putting the pressure on me through the middle of the season, thankfully the team responded and our status was secured shortly after the 1-1 draw with Gimnasia.

River claimed the title on the final day of the season by a point, narrowly edging arch rivals Boca. 

Key Matches

2 November 2019 | Superliga | Matchday 13
Lanus 0 - 1 Newell's Old Boys

What a result this one was! Our first real scalp of any kind in the division and a much, much needed win after a run of five without one. It's fair to say we rode our luck in this one but quite frankly I could not care! I personally thought we did an extremely good job. We took the lead early, unsurpisingly it was Stefano Callegari with the goal from a corner for his second of the season and we managed to restrict Lanus to only a handful of opportunities and thankfully it gave us a much needed win heading into the Rosario derby. 

22 November 2019 | Superliga | Matchday 14
Newell's Old Boys 0 - 0 Rosario Central

And so came that Rosario derby after a week off due to Copa Argentina. The performance was very, very good. Rosario had been on a great run of games in recent weeks and were unbeaten in 7 with 5 victories heading into this one. We played really well, probably our best performance under my management so far. The result was a good reflection of that although I thought we'd knicked it late on but a late winner was ruled out for offside. It would've been a fairytale it was scored by one of the youth players I promoted, Luciano Cingolani, who was only making his third start.

Winter Transfer Window

Given the detrimental financial situation, I was not really able to bring in any players and in all fairness I wasn't that keen to do so. We have quite a deep squad, especially with some of the youth players coming through so I am hoping, in line with the club's philosophy to nurture this talent into the first team as it'll be a lot cheap and more sustainable option. As a result, I was able to find one or two which I have brought through during the season which has allowed me to streamline the squad a bit more and offload some of the higher earning players that are not needed.

Firstly, Mauro Formica, whom some of you may know from his Blackburn days has been sold to Mexican side Tijuana for £950k. He was our third highest earning player. He was a good player but didn't really fit my formation. Secondly, despite the fact none of them can score, I have quite a few strikers on the books so I have managed to offload Cristian Insaurralde (£750k). Finally, the only other notable departure was veteran third choice goalkeeper Nelson Ibanez for a nominal fee (£43.5k). I managed to save around £12k worth of wages from these three alone. Other than that, I managed to send a few of the promising youngsters out on loan to clubs throughout South America so fingers crossed this can be a good start to their development.

PHASE TWO

Okay, so with that out the way we now head into the second and final phase of the 19/20. This is a fairly short size 'additional' part to the season following on from the main Superliga. It is named the Copa de la Superliga with the league split into two with the Top 2 positions for each qualifying for the play-offs. I doubt we'll be close to that so I am just planning to develop a few of the younger players and push for as high finish as we can. 

We also now have the actual domestic cup, Copa Argentina, to play for as well - this bizarrely runs through the calendar year. We've been drawn away at fellow top division side Colon, who finished just above us in the first phase so a winnable tie. We did, of course, meet in the first phase where we drew 1-1 early in my reign.   

Edited by Nickh92
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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 31 May 2020

Results and Table

933137781_20200322110314_1(2).jpg.26134ba3049ed5198a271c6b033c2bee.jpg   1548221176_20200322111321_1(2).jpg.75cb3bc5a476e6500e4efc9d6a589d8a.jpg

Summary

I was fairly pleased with our performance in the Copa Superliga. The board didn't really have any expectations just saying to be competitive which we more than were. We managed to  finish 6th, winning five and losing six. We got our first win against one of the giants in River Plate and we were quite unfortunate against Boca in our final match. I was slightly disappointed as we did have a chance of sneaking a playoff spot. We were sitting second after the 4-2 victory against Huracan but four defeats in our final five was nowhere near good enough and I was very disappointed to the end the season the way we did. 


Key Matches

14 March 2020 | Copa Superliga | Matchday 1
River Plate 1 - 2 Newell's Old Boys

The worst possible start to the Copa Superliga campaign with a trip away to newly crowned league champions River Plate. However, that was not to be feared - a super performance by the entire XI we managed to claim our biggest scalp today with a 2-1 victory at the home of the Champions. I won't be getting too carried away here as River certainly sent out a weakened side but I guess you can only beat what is in front of you!?

14 April 2020 | Copa Argentina | Fifth Round
Colon 0 - 1 Newell's Old Boys

My first game in the traditional Copa Argentina. I thought the game would be played away from home, but it was actually played in Buenas Aires for some reason at a neutral venue. Thankfully, we got the result. It was a fairly good performance we scored early on and limited Colon to scraps for the rest of the match to send us into Round 6 (Round of 32) where we'll face second tier outfit Neuva Chicago at the start of next season.

Season Summary

Competitions

Superliga Argentina: 12th
Copa Argentina: Active (Sixth Round v. Nueva Chicago)
Copa Superliga: Eliminated (Group Stage)

Player Stats

Top Goalscorer: Lucas Albertengo (7)
Highest Average Rating: Stefano Callegari (7.01)
Most Assists: Sebastian Palacios (7)
Most MOTM: Stefano Callegari (5)

I can't say I was expecting much more that we did this season. I was pleased to qualify for the Copa Sudamericana next season which will give us an extra challenge and hopefully earn some extra income. We are still in the Copa Argentina and have a good chance of progression in the next round which continues next season. 

It's going to be a tough summer for us and I really don't know what to expect. I've got a few loans ending and contracts expiring and very little money to reinvest although I am optimistic I can bring in one or two on a free as we are in dire need of a striker. We are hugely in debt due to a lack of income and sponsorship so any sizeable offer that comes in for one of my better players will need to be strongly considered. 

I will do an update before the start of the season. 

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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 8th August 2020

League Structure

The league structure has only slightly changed for the 2020/21 season. As discussed way back in my opening post, the AFA are attempting to get the league to a standardised 20 team league with 38 fixtures. For this campaign, we have dropped to 23 teams and therefore it's now only 22 games. We play each team once with fixtures "randomly generated" - I put that in quotation marks because once again out of the top eight last season, we play six of them away and only two at home. Great. Either way, I'm hoping to improve on last season. 

This is followed by the Copa Superliga which is the exact same format as last season. In pre-season, we played our sixth round Copa Argentina match which we won 1-0 setting up a seventh round tie with Huracan and due to us scraping 12th last season - we also start the Copa Sudamericana in January 2021 in the first round. 

Expectations:

Superliga: Mid-Table
Copa Argentina: Quarter Final (Currently 7th Round/Round of 16)
Copa Superliga: Be Competitive
Copa Sudamericanca: TBC

Transfers

I made a decision to get rid of the majority of the players whose contracts expired in the summer in order to save wages and rebuild. Similarly, I also did not opt to renew any loans to help keep my options. Maxi Rodriguez retired and in the nicest possible way - it was probably for the best! 

In order to make things even more fun, the board slashed the wage budget down to £100k which was £30k less than last year. However, through some (tad bias here) impressive work in the market, I managed to get that up to £110k through sales and more importantly I finally got salaries within wage budget! 

It was a lot of hard work. I had some very promising youth players that my head of youth development was telling me were first team candidates with that in mind, I was able to take advantage and flog two of my full backs - Mariano Bittolo (£1.5m) and Facundo Nadalin (£1.1m). I also managed to offload one of my fringe midfielders Braian Rivero (£1m) which raised a total of £3.6m in transfer fees, the majority of which were upfront and I managed to include a few future clauses for Nadalin and Rivero who were both under 25. I, unsurprisingly, had to pretty much shift the entire transfer budget generated from these to the wage budget to make them manageable. 

Furthermore, I opted to loan a lot of the younger players out in order to further their development and help save me some more in wages. All loan deals were at 100% wages and most went out fewer than a starter so hopefully that'll be great for their own development. 

However, the tight use of my budget and loaning out a lot of the squad did allow me enough wages within budget to bring in a much needed striker - Walter Bou from Boca Juniors. He comes in on fairly high wages at £4.6k a week which makes him one of our top five earners but I didn't have much choice and it was more importantly, affordable. I have quite a promising young striker in Roman Bravo who has been okay and done fairly well for me but at 19, he's not really good enough at this time. I'm
hoping that Bou can bring us some much needed attacking threat.   

 

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Squad

 

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You can see I have quite good squad depth, I have had to pad out with some of the youngsters who came through last season. In normal circumstances I'd have looked to bring in one or two and loan them out in order to get them more top level experience that I may not be able to guarantee them, however, I have no choice and in all fairness I can't exactly afford any 'top' players so I doubt I could find much better at the moment.

You may note the average age of my squad is fairly young - 23 to be exact - so sticking to the club's philosophy. As I mentioned in the last window, I wasn't really playing an attacking midfielder but we have a few coming through the ranks and I have opted to switch my style for this season as this may allow us to play a more attacking approach as the board were not particularly impressed with my approach last season so hopefully this tweak in formation and approach will help satisfy that need. 

Key Players

Luciano Cingolani | AM R/L | Age: 19 | Value: £950k

 

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Luciano broke through into the team last season at the expense of the vastly declining Maxi Rodriguez and really took it into his stride and became a regular first team during the season and I am keen to see how he gets on this campaign. He will have competition from the returning Joaquin Torres, who was out on loan in the Greek Super League last campaign. 

Anibal Moreno | A/M C | Age: 21 | Value: £2.8m

 

425578368_Moreno(2).thumb.jpg.6502578e433918232f70b9141d5ebe9f.jpg


I save the best until last. I must be honest, I was expecting his midfield partner in crime, Cacciabue, to be the main heartbeat of the midfield but it turns out it is actually this guy. Comfortably the best player in the squad and hugely important to any success we have in the future. The problem may well turn out to be keeping hold of him.  

Key Youth Prospect

Juan Sebastian Sforza | AMC | Age: 18 | Value: £825k

 

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Sforza is definitely our best player out of our current youth crop. At 18, he is our best attacking midfielder and as you can see highly rated by the staff. I gave him a few games off the bench last season in the Copa Superliga but I'm planning to utilise him a lot more this season. I am going to take a more attacking, controlling approach this season and revert to a 4-2-3-1 and I am hoping that Sforza will be a huge part of that. 

Edited by Nickh92
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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 28 October 2020

Results and Table

643653867_Fixtures(2).jpg.c4bb761bfd5bdd97d27f8f98697913a1.jpg  857555171_Table(2).jpg.65f0f7ec7f2dd5ac12672788d6f08b43.jpg

Summary

It's been a very impressive start to the season. We sit in 7th place and just two points outside the Copa Libertadores spots and we look good for at least the Copa Sudamericana with a five point cushion back to 13th although I am optimistic we can push for a Libertadores spot. I was, however, slightly disappointed with our final two league matches considering both are in the lower third of the table. We were pushing for the winner against Godoy Cruz but couldn't get the breakthrough and Huracan was just naivety from the team really. We were comfortable and lead from the 5th minute only to concede an equaliser bang on full-time - it's safe to say I wasn't too impressed as that was vital points dropped! That said, we are still in a good position with 11 to go.

It was heartbreak in the Copa Argentina as we crashed out on penalties to River Plate. I'll be honest it was a miracle we even got to penalties given our performance but nevertheless, it was a good chance to get though in when we made it to penalties but it wasn't to be. We made the board's expectations which was a positive.  

We also start out Copa Sudamericana in this half of the season, so I'm excited to see how far we can. The biggest thing with that is the much needed appearance money having nosed at the rules it appears we are in for a much needed £200k each round we progress. The board hasn't set an expectation yet, but I'm hoping to make it to the Quarter Finals but ultimately that'll depend on our draws.

My next game will be my 50th in charge - a record of 20W-13D-16L from my 49 games which I am fairly happy with considering the mess the club were in.  

Key Matches

2 August 2020 | Superliga | Matchday 2
Central Cordoba 0 - 4 Newell's Old Boys
This was an enjoyable game and without a doubt the best performance I have seen whilst in charge. We were so, so comfortable. A dominate performance and goals from youngsters as well. Cacciabue, Callegari and Gonzalez all on the score sheet with Palacios getting the other. 

26 September | Superliga | Matchday 9
Lanus 0 - 2 Newell's Old Boys
This was up there in terms of performances, we successfully managed to replicate our success last year and claim another result away at Lanus, albeit Lanus nowhere near their best. A dominate performance saw Fontanini head us into an early lead on the 11th minute before Palacios sealed the victory in stoppage time on the break. In all honesty, the game should've been out of sight by half-time but we couldn't knick the second. We came under pressure for the last fifteen minutes as expected but held on and knicked the second sending the away fans into pandemonium.

Player Performances

Our young centre back Stefano Callegari continues to impress. He has the highest average rating at 7.36 from his games this season and along with his partner Fabricio Fontanini the two of them have really formed a solid base at the back. They are currently the top goalscorers this season along with winger Sebastian Palacios with 3 each. Palacios' loan is due to expire at the end of December. I am going to attempt to renew it until the end of the season otherwise I'll be in the market for another winger. 

However, Walter Bou has been extremely disappointing so far. He scored on his debut and I thought that I was onto a winner but it turned out to be his only goal in the nine games he has played for us - and he missed the decisive penalty against River. I do have the option to terminate the loan so I may consider exercising that option if I can find a better striker in the winter window.

Edited by Nickh92
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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 22 January 2020

Winter Transfer Window

ItI didn't plan to do too much in terms of ins and outs and my priority was sealing longer term contracts for some of the key players within the squad but that was not to be and it turned out to be a busy one. Unfortunately, I was unable to tie Joaquin Torres to a long term deal as he was asking for £7.5k a week which was nowhere near viable as a result I was forced to sell. Thankfully, Brazilian side Atletico Goianiense were willing to fork out £375k for him and I felt I could not turn that down. Add to this, Indepenidente were not willing to loan me back Sebastian Palacios so annoyingly we lost him as well leaving me short on wingers. Thankfully, they were the only forced departures. 

I did however opt to sell one of my defensive midfielders Julian Fernandez. He was one of the better players in my first season, however with the change of formation he sort of fell out of favour as I no longer played with  an out and out DM and he has not really adapted to the central midfield role and in all honesty he was not going to get in ahead of either Cacciabue or Moreno. I have Tissone still about and another youngster Jose Suarez has started to breakthrough - with that in mind, I opted to sell Julian for £2.5m to Mexican side Pumas.  Another notable departure was Francisco Fydriszweski who had never kicked a ball for me as he was out on loan the whole time I have been in charge. I received an offer of £1.5m and even though he could have been a much needed striker, I felt I could cope with what we have got and I could not turn down that kind of cash.

The hardest part of the window was the inevitable chase for Moreno. He's comfortably our best player and Mexican giants America were all over him during January. I was holding out for a £10m minimum. They came very, very close. They offered around £9m but that was not all up front and therefore it was swiftly rejected. Thankfully, Moreno isn't keen to force a move so we've held on to him until the summer at least. 

My scouts stumbled across striker Nicolas Ibanez from Atletico de Madrid on a loan. He was a poacher so felt better into our system and thus opted to take him and end Walter Bou's loan - also saved around £2k in wages. I was also able to sign replacement wingers on loan in Nazareno Solis (Boca) and Gui Azevedo (Gremio) who will help fill the void left from Palacios and Torres' departures. 

COPA SUDAMERICANA

We have drawn Brazilian side Atletico Goianiense in the first round of the Copa Sudamericana. It looks like we'll be seeing Joaquin Torres sooner rather than later. The first leg is away in Brazil.

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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 14 March 2021

Results and Table

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Summary

It was a 7th placed finish in the league this season for us which was a huge improvement on last season and was above expectations. We finished six points outside the Copa Libertadores places but were right in the hunt for that final spot until the very last day but a defeat to nearest qualification rivals San Lorenzo ended our chances. That said, we were comfortable in qualifying for the Copa Sudamericana for the second season running and I am delighted with that. It was steps in the right direction and hopefully can be the start of our push to narrow the gap to some of the big boys and seal a Copa Libertadores spot next season.

We drew our Copa Sudamericana First Round First leg match away in Brazil 2-2 which has set us up for the second leg. I was hoping to give you an update on that second leg before the Copa Superliga got underway but unfortunately the game has been postponed twice and isn't for a couple of weeks. 

Similar to last season, the league campaign is followed by the Copa Superliga which follows the same format as last season with two groups each playing once with the top two qualifying for Semi Finals. We've been handed a favourable group with the only side that finished above us being Boca Juniors whom we play last. 

Key Matches

24 January 2021 | Superliga | Matchday 12
Newell's Old Boys 1 - 0 River Plate
A dream debut for Nicolas Ibanez as he fired in the only goal against River. It was sweet revenge for the Copa Argentina defeat and a convincing and deserved victory against the reigning Champions. 

10 February 2021 | Copa Sudamericana | First Round | First Leg
Atletico Goianiense 2 - 2 Newell's Old Boys
This was certainly up there when it comes to turnarounds I have had on Football Manager. We were 2-0 down with 16 minutes to go before two loan signings in the winter, Solis and Ibanez, notched from corners to scrape us a 2-2 draw away from home. We got it back to 2-1 and I was happy with that knowing the second leg was at home. Moreno then got sent off so I shut up shot clinging for the narrow defeat to take home but Nicolas Ibanez had different ideas as he headed in his third goal in four to snatch a miraculous 2-2 draw which sets us up nicely for the second leg.

6 March 2021 | Superliga | Matchday 22
San Lorenzo 1 - 0 Newell's Old Boys 
The entire season came down to one match. We played San Lorenzo in a winner takes all match for Copa Libertadores qualification. We sat three points and two goals behind at kick-off and any kind of victory would've seen us seal that last Copa Libertadores spot. We started well but after a promising start we switched off from a corner and were punished. We rallied back and hit the post twice also forcing their keeper into multiple saves but sadly could not get the goals we needed to turn the match in our favour. Copa Sudamericana it is!

Player Performances

I'll keep this short and sweet and there's only one man getting a shout out here. The loan signing of Nicolas Ibanez has been a huge steal for us. I took a risk with terminating Bou's loan and got this guy in and he has been nothing short of exceptional so far. He has 4 goals and 1 assist in his 7 appearances for us and been a much needed boost to the side. I doubt we'll be able to afford him permanently in the summer but if he carries on like this I may have to strongly consider it.
 

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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 31 May 2021

Results and Table

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Summary
It's fair to say the final third was a mixture - I was hoping to make a good account of ourselves in the Copa Superliga but it turns out we didn't fancy turning up. The epitomy being the performance against Huracan which was no short of embarrassing, we got humiliated by a side who were fighting for their lives in the league. I sent a rotated squad and it's fair to say that some of these players will have to do an awful lot to prove they can wear the shirt again. They did, however, refund supporters who made the trip. It was so much of an abysmal display that I have left the final group table out of this post. We finished 7th out of 10.

A positive is that we got through in the Copa Argentina, albeit it not convincingly scraping past Second Division side Platense on penalties to set-up a Sixth Round tie with Huracan which will take place in Buenas Aires - a chance at revenge after the 6-1 humiliation, I guess! 

The only real decent showing was in the Copa Sudamericana. We drew another Brazilian side in Internacional and cruised past them  and into the Third Round. The only real thing that came good of the Copa Superliga was that we were so bad and didn't stand a chance of qualifying that I was able to rest heading into these two ties. We managed to get the job done in the first leg with a 2-0 victory in Brazil. I opted for a defensive approach in the second leg to see the tie through and thankfully we managed to do just that with Internacional's goal coming in the last 5 minutes. We have drawn Ecuadorian outfit Liga de Quito in the Third Round whom possess former Manchester United and Wigan Athletic full back Antonio Valencia. The first leg to be played in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito.  

Key Matches

19 May 2021 | Copa Sudamericana | Third Round | First Leg
Internacional 0 - 2 Newell's Old Boys
After the disappointing show in the Copa Superliga I was keen to at least do ourselves proud against Internacional. We put in a dominant display in Brazil to set-up us up for the second leg with the tie firmly in our grasp. Francisco Gonzalez's header fired us into a first half lead which allowed us to sit back on the counter and it was the counter that allowed us to double our advantage in the 88th minute - youngest Roman Bravo getting on the end of a swift counter attack to take a 2-0 lead back to Rosario. Thankfully, despite a 1-0 home defeat we were able to triumph and move into the Third Round. 

SEASON 20/21 SUMMARY

Competitions

Superliga: 7th Place
Copa Superliga: Group Stage (Eliminated)
Copa Argentina: Sixth Round [v Huracan (N)]*
Copa Sudamericana: Third Round [v Liga de Quito]*

*Competition still active

Player Stats

Top Goalscorer: Nicolas Ibanez (6)
Most Assists: Luciano Cingolani and Juan Sebastian Sforza (4)
Highest Average Rating: Fabricio Fontanini (7.17)
Most MOTM: Stefano Callegari and Jeronimo Cacciabue (4)

End of Season Awards and Best XI (2020/21)

Edited by Nickh92
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17 hours ago, wesl said:

Great job getting past Inter! Big things seem to be in store for Newells.

Thanks! Very big things hopefully, but it's been really tough with the financial situation - just trying to make the best out of the squad! 

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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 8 AUGUST 2021

League Structure

So, as mentioned, we have another change to the league structure. This time we are down to 22 teams in the current division and now we meet in a simple league format playing each team home and away. It therefore will result in 42 league matches this season and also means the end to the Copa Superliga which has now ended. The league has not made it clear how the continental places will work for this season however I am guessing this will now be done on the average points table rather than the actual league itself, similar to how relegation is decided. 

Expectations:

Superliga: Mid-Table
Copa Argentina: Seventh Round (Currently Sixth Round)
Copa Sudamericanca: Quarter Final (Currently Third Round)

Transfers

This season was going to be another tough one for us (as they all will be to be honest!) and it was obvious I was going to have to look to sell just to keep the club going. I was keen not to sell any of my best players but there was enough fringe or squad players I could make good money from or older players that I was willing to move on. The issue I have is the vast number of players I loan have to loan out to reduce the wage bill as these all return at one time and as you can imagine this really hits us hard and makes 
it very hard to bring in any players early. 

In terms of notable departures, we sold centre back Fabricio Fontanini to Brazilian side Goias for £1.2m. He was one of my starting central defenders last year but with some of the youth prospects avaliable and the money offered there was no hesitation but to accept the offer especially as he had just turned 31. Similarly, I have two fairly young right backs who have broken through and that left me with the option to sell one of the older RBs, Ignacio Rivera to Independiente for £500k and finally we
sold striker Lisandro Cabrera Estudiantes (the Buenas Aires one) for £700k which could rise to £875k. 

As mentioned, any incomings were going to be late. We managed to bring in two loan players on deadline to help bolster the squad. Firstly, young centre half Pablo Tripoli joined from Boca Juniors on loan who will be an adequate back-up for the first team and Facundo Salto on loan from defend champions Racing Club. I am hopefully he will be able to fill the goal void left by Nicolas Ibanez's return to Madrid. 

Ins: Pablo Tripoli (Loan), Facundo Salto (Loan)
Notable Outs: Fabricio Fontanini (£1.2m), Lisandro Cabrera (£825k*), Ignacio Riveria (£500k), Nicolas Castro (£300k)

Transfer Activity 2021

Squad
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Key Player

10 | Juan Sebastian Sforza | AMC | Age: 19 | Value: £1.9m (PROFILE)
This guy came on leaps and bounds last season and really improved. He, well by the opinion of the coaching staff, is the best player in our squad at 4.5 stars closely followed by Moreno and Cacciabue. I personally still think Moreno is our best player for the record. He is hugely sort after and keeping hold of him is going to be very, very hard especially if he carries on at this level and at one point last season we had Chelsea, City and Tottenham interested in him but thankfully none made a concrete bid. The only criticism I have of him is his goals and assists tally as that is non-existent and I am hoping this season he can add that to his game. He got 3 goals and 4 assists from his 39 appearances (0G/1A in the league) last season which is a very poor return.

Key Youth Prospect

5 | Gonzalo Caffaro | DC | Age: 18 | Value: £650k (PROFILE)
Gonzalo came through my youth ranks and was in my first intake of youth players in 2020. He was highly rated and it was clear he would be knocking on the door sooner rather than later and he has done just that. I sent him out on loan for the second half of last season to fellow Superliga side Central Cordoba and he was quite impressive in his limited appearances. He's come back and certainly looks like he'll be starting for me this season, he's probably our highest rated youth prospect and no doubt he'll be in line for a big money move to one of Europe's giants in a few years.

Edited by Nickh92
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9 hours ago, Nickh92 said:

Thanks! Very big things hopefully, but it's been really tough with the financial situation - just trying to make the best out of the squad! 

If you aren't limiting yourself to national players, I would recommend scouting for Ecuadorian and Colombian players. I've found quite a few underpriced regens from those countries in FM19.

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15 hours ago, wesl said:

If you aren't limiting yourself to national players, I would recommend scouting for Ecuadorian and Colombian players. I've found quite a few underpriced regens from those countries in FM19.

Great! Thanks for that. I'm keen to look around South America, it's just the finances at the moment which are a struggle and I can only really afford national scouting. I'm hopeful that will change soon as hopefully we can start to generate a bit more money from the expanded league structure.

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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 7 NOVEMBER 2021

Well, I wasn't planning to give an update here I was planning to give a midseason update - however, I have huge, huge news!

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Results

21/27 July 2021 | Copa Sudamericana | Third Round
First Leg | Liga de Quito 0 - 1 Newell's Old Boys
Second Leg | Newell's Old Boys (3) 2 - 1 (1) Liga de Quito
There isn't too much to say here as we were extremely comfortable across both legs. Luciano Cingolani's first half goal was enough to give us a lead to take back to Argentina. We did slip behind in the second leg but Sforza equalised just 10 minutes later before Cingolani added a second on the stroke of half time to give us a 3-1 aggregate lead and all but kill the tie.

18/25 August 2021 | Copa Sudamericana | Quarter Final
First Leg | Newell's Old Boys 1 - 1 Corinthians
Second Leg | Corinthians (2) 1 - 1 (2) Newell's Old Boys - Newell's win 16-15 on penalties 
We dominated the first leg but a late Corinthians goal saw them have an away goal to protect back in Brazil. In regards to the second leg, I think for me this was our best result in my management, albeit with a hint of fortune! We didn't start particularly well in the second leg falling behind early to Guga's 7th minute goal. I was fearing the worst but the team rallied to get themselves back into the game and we were rewarded as Anibal Moreno scored with 20 minutes to go to bring us level in the tie. Fagner was sent-off for the home side shortly after and I was hopefully we could push on and knick a winner but it wasn't to be so we headed to penalties. It was an utterly ridiculous penalty shoot-out which we won 16-15 in the end with 18 penalties being taken by each side - truly bonkers. And if you wanted to appreciate how mental it was our Goalkeeper Alan Aguerre scored our 16th penalty before saving the next to win the tie. Ridiculous! 

It set us up for an all Argentine affair against Defensa y Justicia in the Semi Final. 

23/30 September 2021 | Copa Sudamericana | Semi Final
Defensa Y Justicia 1 - 1 Newell's Old Boys 
Newell's Old Boys (1) 0 - 0 (1) Defensa Y Justicia
I was fairly confident heading into both games as Defensa y Justicia had not started particularly well to the season and we had started to pick up a bit of form in the league. That said, it was draw after the first leg which I was extremely annoyed with. We played exceptionally well and really should've killed the tie but we were unable to score the second and you always run the risk - and we were punished in the 92nd minute as a result after a poor pass by young centre back Tripoli allowed them to score a undeserved equaliser. The second leg was a more nervy affair, despite being at home I decided that I was going to take a more defensive approach given our away goal and thankfully it paid off. It wasn't pretty, but bar a frantic last five minutes we were fairly good for the clean sheet that we needed to take us through to the Copa Sudamericana Final!

6 November 2021 | Copa Sudamericana | Final | Estadiuo Nacional Julio Martinez Pradanos, Santiago, Chile
Newell's Old Boys 2 - 0 America de Cali
The nerves were high for this one, the biggest game in my short managerial reign at Newell's - the Copa Sudamericana Final. We were favourites on paper despite notable losses of both young centre backs Gonzalo Caffaro and Pablo Tripoli (injured) and winger Luciano Cingolani (suspended). It was a cagey first half with neither side really looking that impressive but the second half the game came alive. Meriles in for the suspended Cingolani hammered the cross bar inside the first minute of the second half before an inform Sforza came to life controlling the tempo and it was from his long range effort that lead to the breakthrough after the 'keeper tipped his effort wide allowing Facundo Salto to get on the end of Moreno's corner to fire us into a 1-0 lead with less than 20 minutes to go. Salto has been a hugely disappointing figure so far - it was only his second goal of the season but a vital one! He almost added a second shortly after when he latched onto Sforza's through ball forcing the goalkeeper into a fantastic save. It was frantic last 10 minutes as America upped the pressure forcing Aguerre into some heroics in our goal - but his crucial save to their striker's header sparked the counter that lead to Sforza firing in from the edge of the box in the 93rd minute to bring the trophy back to Rosario! We are the Champions! It was fitting that Sforza added the second, he was the best player on the park by a mile with another MOTM display. My goodness what a player he is! 

Speechless. We were fairly fortunate with draws from the Quarters onwards but that third round victory against Corinthians will be the highlight of our run - they were the best team in the tournament and to knock them out was some doing! Incredible!

An added bonus is that it grants us qualification to the 2022 Copa Libertadores! We will also meet either Boca Juniors or Sao Paolo in the Recopa Sudamericana next February. A two legged tie, I believe we will be home first leg. 

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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 22 January 2020

Summary

Table.thumb.jpg.f6d0b01a6362e1c85b8e302a449fca38.jpg    Results.thumb.jpg.e61ffe108bb188328635d2d41e2ed546.jpg

It's been a fairly positive start to the league season and we sit 8th at the halfway stage. We started off poorly with two defeats in our opening two games but the 5-0 against Huracan really sparked us and sent us on a good little run of results including credible draws against Racing Clb and River Plate. We suffered a little blip midway through but I'll put that down to the Copa Sudamericana as I started to rest our better players for the latter stages which as we know, thankfully paid off. That was the case for our Copa Argentina defeat to second division side UAI Urquiza where I sent pretty much the youth team who gave a good account of themselves only narrowly missing out on penalties.

We sit in a good position in both the league and average points but I am hopeful we can push on in the second half of the season and secure Copa Libertadores qualification for next season - however it's still not clear how we qualify from this. I do believe it's the average table but we'll see. 

Player Performances

There is only one man getting a shout-out here and that is Anibal Moreno. The guy has been something special this season, he's our top scorer with 9 goals and add to that 4 assists as a box to box midfielder - averaging 7.58! He has been tremendous and thankfully he has really helped us in the goals department as on-loan striker Facundo Salto has really been struggling but arguably scored our most important goal of the season with that header in Copa Sudamericana final. An honourable mention to 18 year-old Gonzalo Caffaro who was playing really well before breaking his leg which has ruled him out for the last few months. Thankfully, he is due back soon and
hopefully he will bounce back from his injury.

Winter Transfer Window

We were handed a massive boost to the transfer budget. Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez made a £41m move to PSG right at the end of the summer transfer window and we were entitled to a solidarity contribution of 2.5% which was just over £1m. The board gave me around £400k worth of the for the transfer kitty which was helpful! However, it was to be a fairly quiet window for me. I did attempt to bring in a striker but I couldn't find an affordable/viable option so I will use the next few months to hopefully identify someone for the summer - hopefully Salto can find his scoring boots to see us through to the end of the season. There was a few departures, mainly the loaning out of youngsters, but one notable departure was winger Patricio Cobelli who left for Racing Club for £275k. He was only 18 but given the amount of promising players I have on the winger, he was probably the least promising so I opted to cash in.

The positives are from all the incomings, notably that solidary contribution, allowed me to increase the wage budget in order to secure new longer term deals on some of our better players. 

We did have one scare though, Chinese Super League side Henan Jianye came in for Moreno with a £14.5m straight cash offer which met his minimum fee release clause. Thankfully for me, he turned down the move. I did attempt to offer a new deal to increase the release clause but unfortunately I could not afford his wage demands - thankfully he has a contract until 2025. 

Copa Libertadores

As mentioned, our triumph in the Copa Sudamericana saw us qualify for the Copa Libertadores. We head straight into the Group Stage. We have been drawn into Group B where we meet Venezuelan outfit Deportivo Tachira, Bolivian's Oriente Petrolero and a reunion with Brazilian side Corinthians, whom we knocked out of the Copa Sudamericana in dramatic circumstances last year. We are expected to make the second round, and I am fairly confident we should do so - as long as we can beat Tachira and Petrolero we will be fine. 

Recopa Sudamericana

We also have the Recopa Sudamericana to play in February. We meet fellow Argentines Boca Juniors who won the Copa Libertadores last season with a rampant 4-1 victory against Sao Paolo. The first leg is to be played in Rosario. 
 

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This is wonderful @Nickh92. I really like the Argentinian structure and and I found continental success way easier than domestic success when I played there a couple of years back.

Keep it up!

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21 hours ago, _Ben_ said:

This is wonderful @Nickh92. I really like the Argentinian structure and and I found continental success way easier than domestic success when I played there a couple of years back.

Keep it up!

Thank you! Really appreciate it!

I must say, I am definitely finding that the case so far from the couple of seasons I have managed Newell's.

The league is so hard especially with River and Boca. We are certainly able to compete in the continent so hopefully I can use the success we are having there to generate some income and form to compete with the Top 5/6 in the league. 

Edited by Nickh92
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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 31 MAY 2022

Final Table

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Summary

I was going to include all of the fixtures played - but we played so many I couldn't get a big enough screenshot! We had a very good finish to the season. It was a bit ropey through January and February but from February onwards we only lost two matches which were away at Boca (0-2) and away at Velez (1-2) and only drew our final game - every other league match played we won. It was quite a run winning 7 in a row at one point. It helps us to cement a 6th place finish in the league which is the highest under my management which was really pleasing. I was pleased to break into the Top 6 which really only happened due to Racing putting in one of the worst title defences I have ever seen - hitting Leicester and Chelsea levels from a few years ago! 

I still don't know what we have qualified for to be honest with you, Sixth is usually a Copa Libertadores but the league table and rules are not making it clear what the qualification places are. It is possible that it is the average points table, which we are 7th due to Racing's high tallies in the previous two season. It's not really fair that and I don't like it at all but if it is that there's nothing I can do. You can see how silly the average points are - Central Cordoba bottom of the table, yet survive. They were about 17th in the average points! 

We advanced to the Copa Argentina Sixth round with a penalty shoot-out victory against Belgrano. We meet second division Nueva Chicago in the next round in July.

As for continental competitions, we were unable to lift the Recopa Sudamericana as we fell to a narrow 2-1 aggregate victory to Boca Juniors. We drew 1-1 in Rosario but sadly we slumped to a 1-0 defeat in Buenos Aires. 

We have started the Copa Libertadores well and advanced to the Second Round. We qualified second behind Corinthians with 4 wins, 1 draw and a defeat - the latter two results against Corinthians. We have drawn fellow Argentine's Racing Club in the Second Round and I am quite confident we can get past them as they have been very poor this season and hopefully we can capitalise on that. The first leg will be at home with the second leg a week later. Should we advance we are due to meet Corinthians or Liga de Quito in the Quarter Final. I'll be honest I'm getting sick of the sight of the Brazilians! 

SEASON 2021/22 SUMMARY

Competitions

Superliga: 6th Place
Copa Argentina: Sixth Round [v Neuva Chicago*]
Copa Sudamericana: Winners [v America de Cali (2-0)]
Recopa Sudamericana: Runners Up [v Boca (1-2 on agg)]
Copa Libertadores: Second Round [v Racing Club)*]

*Competition still active

Player Stats

Top Goalscorer: Francisco Gonzalez (19) 
Most Assists: Leonel Ferroni (11)
Highest Average Rating: Anibal Moreno (7.47)
Most MOTM: Anibal Moreno (11)

There is a lot of praise for some of my squad during this season some of them have kicked on so much. Anibal Moreno has been immense all season and, annoyingly for me, he has the European giants circling for him. He had 12 goals and 9 assists. I would probably say he was my player of the season but Francisco Gonzalez certainly runs him close - the 21 year-old getting 19 goals and 10 assists from left winger which is some going.

We had a fairly good goal scoring season to be honest - Cingolani (15), Cacciabue (13) and Salto (10) all making double figures. For all my criticism of Salto he came very good in the second half of the season. He is available on the free this summer so I may look to add him permanently but we will see. 

End of Season Awards and Best XI (2021/22)

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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 8 AUGUST 2022

League Structure

This will be fun because the honest answer is I do not have a clue. We appear to have an actual league structure with a now 21 team league and we play each team twice for a total of 40 games - however it is labelled 'First Stage' but runs all the way through to May 2023 so I am really unsure what the second phase is or when it even takes place. We do have a massive gap in our fixtures with none scheduled for October, November or December which I assume is for the 2022 World Cup - again no clear sign of how continental qualification works, but we do not appear to have average points this season. Hurrah! Anyway, I guess I'm going to have to wing it - either way aim remains the same to finish as high as possible. 

Anyone that does have a clue what's going to happen that could let me know would be more than welcome to do so!

Transfers

We start this with huge and, I mean, HUGE transfer news. Huge. We have completed the free transfer of striker Gonzalo Higuaín following his release from Juventus. Now, thankfully, his wage demands were not too excessive (£9k) and for one season I could not turn him down - even at 34, he's going to score us some much needed goals. Extremely excited to see how this pans out. It's safe to say he hasn't got his pace anymore but the link up play to Sforza, Gonzalez and Cingolani is something that I really can't wait to witness! 

I did turn Facundo Salto's loan move into a permanent one and managed to agree a deal with him at the start of June so hopefully he can provide Higuaín with some competition. Other than that, we signed a few younger players on free transfers. The one worth noting is Uruguayan Manuel Gomez who left Uruguayan side Cerro Largo at the end of the season. I was able to fight off some big clubs in South America so I am hoping that he'll turn out to be a very good signing in the long-term. He has a load of potential by the looks of things.

Notable Ins: Lautaro Cano (Loan), Gonzalo Higuaín (Free), Manuel Gomez (Free)
Notable Outs: Roman Bravo (£875k), Facundo Pardo (£525k), Diego Calcaterra (£350k), Nicolas Temperini (£550k), Julian Marcioni (£500k), Marcelo Eggel (£275k)

Transfer Activity - Summer 2022

Squad

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I have mainly kept the squad intact . A few notable youth players have been promoted 18 year-old's Juan Martin Alvarez, Jorge Gonzalez and Enzo Munos who play in the main attacking positions and hopefully they'll be able to provide adequate competition to Sforza, Cingolani and Francisco Gonzalez.

I have managed to stream line the squad by getting out a lot of the players who were not good enough last season and promoting youth to fill the gaps left allowing me to raise funds from player sales and more importantly stick the club's philosophy.

I do feel we are a bit weak at the back and I'm going to be looking for a Goalkeeper over the course of the season to look to replace Aguerre within the next year or so. We have an extremely young squad with only four players 25 or over.

Competitions Update

Firstly, the Copa Libertadores. We've managed to get past Racing Club in the Second Round of the Copa Libertadores with a narrow 3-2 aggregate victory. The first leg proved enough (just!). We took the lead in the third minute of the first leg and never really looked in danger from then in the first game - Higuaín getting his first assist and making an immediate impact however it was Francisco Gonzalez who stole the show in the first leg scoring a first half hattrick to set up a 3-1 victory. The second leg was a more nervy affair. A late Racing Club goal gave us a scare but we held on to a 1-0 defeat which sent us through with a 3-2 aggregate victory. It has set up the reunion with Corinthians, whom triumphed 3-0 on aggregate against Liga de Quito, who we face in the Quarter Finals. The first leg in Rosario.

We advanced in the Copa Argentina with a 2-1 victory in Buenos Aires against Nueva Chicago. We fell behind but two goals from Gonzalo Higuaín in his old stomping ground, El Monumental, saw us ease into the Seventh Round - where we face another second division side Banfield. 

Expectations:

Superliga: Top Half
Copa Argentina: Quarter Final (Currently Round of 16)
Copa Libertadores: Second Round (Currently Quarter Final
 

Edited by Nickh92
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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 22 January 2023

Summary

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Superliga: It's been a very impressive start to the season. We sit in fourth place tied with River Plate, we should be higher but the two draws in our last two games have seen us slip back to fourth. It has been a great start for us with only three defeats who have been against the three sides above us. It's extremely hard to compete with the likes of Boca but we will certainly try and see how high we can finish this season.

Copa Libertadores: We were unable to get past Corinthians in the Quarter Final. We won the first leg 3-1 in Rosario and I felt we were in a great position. We were 2-0 up and cruising but conceded against the run of play and at 2-1 I was fairly happy but a late stoppage time goal gave us a 3-1 lead heading to Brazil. Unfortunately, that deficit for Corinthians was wiped by half-time as we trailed 2-0. We had chances second half but did not capitalise and crashed out on away goals.

Copa Argentina: We had a really good run in the cup making the Semi Final before eventually falling to Independiente. I was quite disappointed with the game, not because of the result, just the situation as we were without both 'keepers and had to resort to a youth keeper and had no midfield. We gave a good account of ourselves falling a late defeat.

Winter Transfer Window

I start with sad news and unfortunately we lost to Francisco Gonzalez who joins MLS side LAFC in a few weeks. I did my absolute best to keep him as he has been brilliant for me since breaking through a few years ago. He joins for a club record sale of £10.75m which was his release clause, hence my losing him. Thankfully, it does provide me with a huge budget it to replace him and strengthen  other areas of my team.

I did make the most of that budget. I did sign a replacement for Gonzalez with Alan Rodriguez joining for an initial £500k which could rise to £750k in clauses. 22 year-old winger so pretty much a like for like replacement. I also have the young Jorge Gonzalez coming through who can hopefully help fill the loss of Francisco.

I did also suffer the loss of left back Leonel Ferroni to Atletico Goianiense. He made a big fuss about wanting to leave as he was not playing too much for me with Lautaro Cano my main left back. Goianiense came in with a £5m offer which I couldn't refuse. I was then able to agree a pre-contract deal with Cano who joins officially on 1 July 2023 and sign a promising left back Aaron Alfageme from Peruvian side Cristal. My scouting has been extended to world wide so I have been able to try and scout the continent for cheap, young players and he was one I stumbled across although I must say this one was fairly rushed as it was on deadline day and I paid his £350k release clause as I needed a replacement for the departing Feronni.

EDIT: I had agreed to sell Ferroni on the condition of signing a replacement, I did so in the aforementioned Alfageme - however a few days after this update he rejected the contract offer from Goianiense (Brazilian transfer window is still open) and therefore he remains on my books - which is quite a blow as I was hoping to get the £5m cash.

With the funds, I was also able to sign highly rated goalkeeper Emmanuel Panico from Quilmes for £250k. He had a 96 scout report - which is  the highest I have ever seen. It was a deal I couldn't turn down now that I had the finances as I felt I needed a goalkeeper to replace Aguerre. I'm hopeful that Emmanuel can turn out to be our long-term number 1. 

The good news was despite multiple bids from multiple countries for the likes of Cacciabue and Moreno but none meet their release clauses and I was not going to sell for less than that - and thankfully neither pushed for a move.

The other notable transfer activity is that we will lose Gonzalo Higuain on a free at the end of the season. I did offer him a new deal but he is off to join Sassuolo in Serie A, whom are quadrupling his wage hence why I had no chance in getting him to sign a deal.

Copa Libertadores

So, it was the Copa Libertadores that we qualified for. I am still not quite sure how as we managed to go straight into the group stage rather than the play-offs that I was expecting - either way that's great news for me! We've been drawn into Group G where we meet Brazilian side Gremio, who finished 4th in the Brasileiro last campaign, Liverpool of Uruguay and Venezuelan's Caracas. Again, we are expected to get out of our group which I am fairly confident that we can do assuming we can get results in Uruguay and Venezuela. 

Edited by Nickh92
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En 26/3/2020 a las 15:58, Nickh92 dijo:

A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 7 NOVEMBER 2021

Well, I wasn't planning to give an update here I was planning to give a midseason update - however, I have huge, huge news!

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Results

21/27 July 2021 | Copa Sudamericana | Third Round
First Leg | Liga de Quito 0 - 1 Newell's Old Boys
Second Leg | Newell's Old Boys (3) 2 - 1 (1) Liga de Quito
There isn't too much to say here as we were extremely comfortable across both legs. Luciano Cingolani's first half goal was enough to give us a lead to take back to Argentina. We did slip behind in the second leg but Sforza equalised just 10 minutes later before Cingolani added a second on the stroke of half time to give us a 3-1 aggregate lead and all but kill the tie.

18/25 August 2021 | Copa Sudamericana | Quarter Final
First Leg | Newell's Old Boys 1 - 1 Corinthians
Second Leg | Corinthians (2) 1 - 1 (2) Newell's Old Boys - Newell's win 16-15 on penalties 
We dominated the first leg but a late Corinthians goal saw them have an away goal to protect back in Brazil. In regards to the second leg, I think for me this was our best result in my management, albeit with a hint of fortune! We didn't start particularly well in the second leg falling behind early to Guga's 7th minute goal. I was fearing the worst but the team rallied to get themselves back into the game and we were rewarded as Anibal Moreno scored with 20 minutes to go to bring us level in the tie. Fagner was sent-off for the home side shortly after and I was hopefully we could push on and knick a winner but it wasn't to be so we headed to penalties. It was an utterly ridiculous penalty shoot-out which we won 16-15 in the end with 18 penalties being taken by each side - truly bonkers. And if you wanted to appreciate how mental it was our Goalkeeper Alan Aguerre scored our 16th penalty before saving the next to win the tie. Ridiculous! 

It set us up for an all Argentine affair against Defensa y Justicia in the Semi Final. 

23/30 September 2021 | Copa Sudamericana | Semi Final
Defensa Y Justicia 1 - 1 Newell's Old Boys 
Newell's Old Boys (1) 0 - 0 (1) Defensa Y Justicia
I was fairly confident heading into both games as Defensa y Justicia had not started particularly well to the season and we had started to pick up a bit of form in the league. That said, it was draw after the first leg which I was extremely annoyed with. We played exceptionally well and really should've killed the tie but we were unable to score the second and you always run the risk - and we were punished in the 92nd minute as a result after a poor pass by young centre back Tripoli allowed them to score a undeserved equaliser. The second leg was a more nervy affair, despite being at home I decided that I was going to take a more defensive approach given our away goal and thankfully it paid off. It wasn't pretty, but bar a frantic last five minutes we were fairly good for the clean sheet that we needed to take us through to the Copa Sudamericana Final!

6 November 2021 | Copa Sudamericana | Final | Estadiuo Nacional Julio Martinez Pradanos, Santiago, Chile
Newell's Old Boys 2 - 0 America de Cali
The nerves were high for this one, the biggest game in my short managerial reign at Newell's - the Copa Sudamericana Final. We were favourites on paper despite notable losses of both young centre backs Gonzalo Caffaro and Pablo Tripoli (injured) and winger Luciano Cingolani (suspended). It was a cagey first half with neither side really looking that impressive but the second half the game came alive. Meriles in for the suspended Cingolani hammered the cross bar inside the first minute of the second half before an inform Sforza came to life controlling the tempo and it was from his long range effort that lead to the breakthrough after the 'keeper tipped his effort wide allowing Facundo Salto to get on the end of Moreno's corner to fire us into a 1-0 lead with less than 20 minutes to go. Salto has been a hugely disappointing figure so far - it was only his second goal of the season but a vital one! He almost added a second shortly after when he latched onto Sforza's through ball forcing the goalkeeper into a fantastic save. It was frantic last 10 minutes as America upped the pressure forcing Aguerre into some heroics in our goal - but his crucial save to their striker's header sparked the counter that lead to Sforza firing in from the edge of the box in the 93rd minute to bring the trophy back to Rosario! We are the Champions! It was fitting that Sforza added the second, he was the best player on the park by a mile with another MOTM display. My goodness what a player he is! 

Speechless. We were fairly fortunate with draws from the Quarters onwards but that third round victory against Corinthians will be the highlight of our run - they were the best team in the tournament and to knock them out was some doing! Incredible!

An added bonus is that it grants us qualification to the 2022 Copa Libertadores! We will also meet either Boca Juniors or Sao Paolo in the Recopa Sudamericana next February. A two legged tie, I believe we will be home first leg. 

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Newell's carajo

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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 31 May 2023

Results and Table

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Summary

I couldn't be happier with this season and how it turned out. We were exceptional and it has lead to our best finish under my management. We were never going to be able to challenge for the title but to finish 4th in Superliga behind the "Big 3" is some going. We were not far behind River in the end - although that was mainly due to our strong finish to the season. It was a record season in terms of both points (80) and wins (24) which was extremely pleasing. I am not quite sure how we are going to bridge the gap to the likes of Boca - I'm not sure how on Earth you can compete with that - 105 points, 1 defeat and a total of 15 points dropped for the entire season but we'll try. The sad news is that we lost our derby as Rosario Central crashed into the Second Division with an abysmal showing to finish 20th. 

We advanced to the Sixth Round of the Copa Argentina where we will meet Racing Club. We also advanced from our Copa Libertadores group in second place behind Gremio - whom beat us both home and away. It doesn't get any easier for us as we have draw Brazilian Champions Santos in the Second Round which seemingly looks like an impossible task and even should we progress and it will be an actual impossible task as it is more than likely to be Boca Juniors in the Quarter Final.

A quick update on transfers as the MLS window was still open, I was able to sell Leonel Ferroni to New England although at a reduced £3m rather than the £5m I had originally agreed in the winter window. Also, Stefano Callegari left to Atalanta for £600k. I was reluctant to let him leave but he'd slipped to fourth choice and I felt it was a good deal for both ourselves and him after his performances in the first couple of seasons. 

It does give me a little budget to work with this window and I am optimistic that I can bring in one or two promising youngsters in the summer. I have agreed a deal for an extremely promising striker for a substantial fee but I will update at the end of the summer window with the all the summer transfer activity. 

It's going to be a long, long window. I have clubs swarming for everyone you can name. The likes of Sforza, Moreno and Caffaro are being chased by European Giants - United, City and Spurs all showing interest. I genuinely don't think I've seen so many 'WNT' icons next to a squad of players. Wish me luck... 

SEASON 2022/2023 SUMMARY

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Player Stats

Top Goalscorer: Gonzalo Higuaín (18)
Most Assists: Juan Sebastian Sforza (11)
Highest Average Rating: Anibal Moreno (7.16)
Most MOTM: Gonzalo Caffaro (7)

End of Season Awards and Best XI (2022/23)

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Finally got to read this. I actually planned to do a save with Newell's with the aim of discovering another Messi who actually stays and leads the club to glory.

Great stuff so far, congrats on the Copa Sudamericana and great job in signing Higuain.

Just curious, how are your tactics?

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On 01/04/2020 at 03:15, kidthekid said:

Finally got to read this. I actually planned to do a save with Newell's with the aim of discovering another Messi who actually stays and leads the club to glory.

Great stuff so far, congrats on the Copa Sudamericana and great job in signing Higuain.

Just curious, how are your tactics?

Thanks!

Well, the board want to play attacking football which was very, very hard to do at the start as the players were not good enough to do so and it left us far too open but now the likes of Moreno and Cacciabue have developed I have been able to do so - that and Caffaro, the young CB, who came through first season's youth recruitment has been an absolute monster. I am in huge trouble when the three of them eventually want to move to Europe! 

It's nothing exciting really tactically, just a 4-2-3-1 which allows my three best players to play in their preferred positions so I have Moreno as a BBM, Cacciabue as DLP with Sforza as an AM in front of them - although I did go through a phase of playing Sforza as a SS on the hope it would help him improve our goal threat but it wasn't working. I keep tweaking the striker role at the moment but I have settled for a poacher given my new signing (see below) but yeah, nothing too exciting. More just set up to control games with an attacking intent. 

I would definitely recommend taking a look into managing them if you are looking for a new team to manage. We have had some fantastic youth players come through and I am really excited to see how far they can go! 

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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 10 August 2023

League Structure

We have finally made it to the Argentinean FA's dream and now have a straightforward domestic league structure with a Premier League style approach - 20 teams, 38 games playing each of the other teams both home and away. Finally! 

Transfers

It was quite a busy transfer window given the funds that we managed to raise in the winter window from the sales of Callegari, Gonzalez and Ferroni. Firstly, I'll start with our biggest deal as we completed the signing of Paulo Unate from Banfield for £3.5m which is a club record fee. I am optimistic he will solve our goalscoring crisis as he is a fantastic young player and already one of the best in the club according to our staff. It's a large fee but financially it was viable and hopefully, at 19, he'll have a huge resell value if he gets anywhere near his potential. 

Our scouts also stumbled across Luis Rivera who joined from Colombian side Millonarios for £1.9m, his minimum fee release clause, who will come in provide competition for the likes of Cacciabue and Moreno, but at 18 years old, it's more of a longer term signing and hopefully he can develop into an adequate replacement for either as it is more than likely that the pair will leave at some point in the future as they reach their prime. 

We added some experience with Goalkeeper Rodrigo Rey and Central Defender Jose Luis Palomino both joining on free transfers who will be add a bit of depth and experience to the young squad.

I was keen to bring in both a young central defender as we did not really have any young prospects coming through since Caffaro and our scouting team stumbled across Siloe from Fortaleza who had some impressive scout reports so hopefully he'll be worth the fee. He has been sent out on loan for this season.

The other ins this window were the completion of Lautaro Cano on a free after his stint on loan last season and also signed youngsters Marco Antonio Martinez and Jacob Griswold, whom have both been sent out on loan to further their development. They are both 18 years old but with a bit of potential according to the scouting team so hopefully they can develop over the next few seasons. Also, as usual, we have loaned out a large majority of the younger players in the squad - you'll see the majority of which have gone to our feeder club San Martin (SJ) whom it's safe to say took advantage of the agreement.

Transfer History - Summer 2023

Competitions Update

It's been an extremely disappointing start to the season in terms of our cup competitions as we have been eliminated from both before we even really got the season underway. We crashed out of the Copa Argentina in the Sixth Round with a defeat to Racing Club. We drew 2-2 in the 90 minutes, despite being 2-0 down at half-time, but we fell out on penalties in the end.

As for the Copa Libertadores it was unfortunately the disappointing defeat we expected against the Brazilian Champions Santos as we slipped to a 3-1 aggregate defeat. A 1-1 draw in the first leg in Rosario put us in a tough position heading out to Brazil and despite a very good performance two second-half goals killed the tie and sent us packing. We have qualified for next season (I think) with our fourth place finish so I am hoping we can get a better draw next season.

However, ending on a positive, we have started the league campaign quite well with two wins and a draw in our first three league fixtures and we sit joint top of the Superliga - which included a very good 1-0 victory against River Plate.

Expectations:

Superliga: Top Half
Copa Argentina: Semi Final (Round of 32 - Eliminated)
Copa Libertadores: Quarter Final (Second Round - Eliminated
 

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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 1 February 2020

Summary

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Superliga: A mixed start to the season - very happy with aspects, very disappointed with others. We currently sit 5th in the league but our league record has been quite impressive with only two defeats - one of which was a 3-0 demolition away at Boca. That said, we went on a twelve game unbeaten run which was great but then contained EIGHT draws which really frustrated me. That's ultimately been the problem so far, too many draws. We've had 10 of them in our 21 games! I am hopefully we can push on and convert some of these draws into victories and fight our way up the league. Boca, as always, running away with things and won the Copa Libertadores for a third year in a row. It'll be an absolute miracle to compete with them.

Copa Libertadores: As expected, we did make the Copa Libertadores. Although, we find ourselves in the Second Qualifying Round. We meet Colombia side Santa Fe and will meet Paraguayan's Cerro Porteno or Bolivian's The Strongest should we progress. If we win both we will make the group stage, otherwise we drop into the Copa Sudamericana. 

I have absolutely no idea which group we qualify for if we do make the Group Stage - it's either Group A (Flamengo, Liga de Quito and River), Group B (Blooming, Internacional and Racing), Group C (Atletico Mineiro, Defensor Sporting and Estudiantes) or Group G (Barcelona, San Lorenzo or Santos). I think it's the latter, we do meet Argentine opposition regardless and I hope it's either Group B or C as Racing and Estudiantes are definitely easier on paper. Group A would be a disaster.  

Copa Argentina: We've been drawn against Second Division side Comunicaciones and we're off to La Bombonera in Buenos Aires, home of Boca, for the tie. 

Winter Transfer Window

As expected, we were fighting off interest from multiple clubs for Sforza, Caffaro, Moreno and Cacciabue from everyone you could possibly name but nobody met my valuations for three of them - and I am refusing to sell to anybody domestically. Boca and River came in for Caffaro towards the end of the window with sizeable offers but that's not good enough for me - no chance I sell to either of them - especially Boca - they are good enough as it is! We did however lose one of them, Anibal Moreno, who left to join Brazilian side Gremio for £7.5m with an additional £1.5m in bonuses. I didn't particularly want to sell him but he started kicking up a fuss and I felt better to cash in as it was a reasonable amount of money for us.

I was able to sign an adequate replacement with the money, Ezequiel Fernandez from Boca Juniors for £5m. I was hopeful that Riviera who I signed in the summer would become a long-term replacement but it's too early for him now and this was a good deal for me as Fernandez should be a ready replacement.

I did also bring in another striker in Anderson Alecrim from Cortiba for £625k. I felt we were a bit short up top as I ambitiously was hoping that Salto and Unate would be enough but we faced injuries to both during the first half of the season and I was left short with no striker in the youth squad really adequate enough to step up at the moment. 

The only other real business was the fact that I brought in a young Mexican winger, Geradro Chan, for £75k whom was highly rated by the scouts, and for that nominal fee I took a punt so we'll see how that turns out.
 

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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 31 May 2024

SEASON 2023/24 SUMMARY

Summary

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Superliga: It was another good final league position for us as we finished in the Top 5 for the second consecutive season. It was not as comfortable as last season although it really should have been as we had 14 draws which was extremely disappointing. We only lost 6 games, which was only bettered by the Top 2. 

Again, I don't really have a clear idea of the qualification having looked at last season's table and seen who participated in Continental competition this year I can't really see a clear correlation - for example the team that finished 6th last season did not participate in either competitions so maybe it's still average points? That said, given our past two seasons, we should have qualified for the Copa Libertadores for a third consecutive achievement which is great news! 

Copa Libertadores: We managed to qualify from our Copa Libertadores group and advanced to the second round. We were drawn into Group with Santos, San Lorenzo and Barcelona (ECU) - a win in our opening game against San Lorenzo set us on our way and was followed up by an impressive win against Santos, however, a defeat in the return fixture in Brazil cancelled that out. Thankfully, San Lorenzo's two draws with Barcelona and our two victories against them helped see us through before our final fixture away in San Lorenzo. We finish second in the end which I was extremely happy considering we had San Lorenzo and Santos in our group.

We have drawn Brazilian side Internacional in the Second Round, whom we met en route to our Copa Sudamericana triumph a few years back - let's hope for a similar outcome.

As always, the draw for all rounds takes place. It'll be Sao Paulo (Brazil) or Cienciano (Peru) in the Quarters with either Boca (Argentina), Once Caldas (Colombia), Corinthians (Brazil) or Vasco (Brazil) in the Semis. I'm hopeful we can get past Internacional and we'll see where we can go from there.

Copa Argentina: We only played the one round during the second half of the season beating Comunicaciones 2-0 to advance to the Sixth Round where we will meet San Martin.

Season Review

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Player Stats

Top Goalscorer: Paulo Unate (15)
Most Assists: Juan Sebastian Sforza (10)
Highest Average Rating: Jeronimo Cacciabue (7.10)
Most MOTM: Paulo Unate (6)

We had a few stand-out performances throughout the season, Emmanuel Panico, broke the team record for clean sheets with 27 in all competitions with 21 of those coming in the league which saw him finish second in the golden glove. We only conceded 25 in the league which shows to go that defensively we're going into the right direction. 

Paulo Unate was a bit anti-climatic in all honesty, I was hoping he'd score a few more. He only got 10 in the league but did get 7 assists alongside that which I was fairly happy with. He is only 19 so I am hopeful that over time he will progress and develop into the player that my scouts believe him to be. 

End of Season Awards and Best XI (2023/24)

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Posted (edited)

A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 10 August 2024

Transfers

It was a fairly quiet window in terms of incomings with only the one transfer fee paid out by the club. We signed Lucas Tocalli from Atl. Rafaela for £1.3m. He is a highly rated right winger who had a rather promising scout report. As part of the contract offer I agreed to loan him out so he has headed straight to Argentinos Juniors for the season.

I also brought in two young Argentine's on free transfers Agustin Diez and Enzo Bustos - the latter of which is a rather amusing one. Last summer I was looking for a striker and Enzo Bustos was my first choice but I could not agree a fee with then club Almagro, but this summer, he opted to leave and thankfully I was able to beat a few other top divisions to his signature. I am sure he will be able to challenge Unate for that starting spot. 

As expected, we continued to be tested for our better young players and Gonzalo Caffaro was the main subject in this window and I am not quite sure how we have managed to keep him. FC Porto came in with a monster offer with bonuses that totalled £32.5m and despite my reluctance I could not say no. Gonzalo's agent did say he had no interest in moving to Porto but I chose to accept the offer but thankfully Gonzalo was true to his word and turned down the move which was huge for us. He really will be irreplaceable. 
I did offer him a new contract after he turned them down and he is now tied down for another five years until June 2029!  

In terms of notable departures, there was two first team player departures, the first was Marco Campagnaro who joined Mexican side Pachuca for £1.5m and secondly Alan Luque to another Mexican side, Toluca, for £975k. We had two quite promising younger players coming back from loans and as a result I felt we had adequate cover in these areas to warrant both sales.  

As usual, a number of younger players were loaned out including my signing from January, Anderson Alecrim, who has yet to find his shooting boots in a Newell's shirt. 

Transfer History - Summer 2024

Competitions Update

Superliga: A great start to the Superliga season so far as we picked up three wins in our opening three games, albeit against sides that I would expect us to win. We are yet to concede with five goals scored and currently top the league - which I think is a first in my time in charge! Either way, extremely early days and I won't hold my breathe. As always, just looking to bridge that gap to the "big 3" once again and hopefully we can get closer than previous years.

Copa Libertadores: We managed to scrape past Internacional in the Copa Libertadores. A remarkable 2-1 victory just gave us the edge heading into the second leg. We lead for the whole game but a 93rd minute equaliser looked to give our visitors an advantage but Paulo Unate had other ideas has he fired us back into the lead a minute later deep into stoppage time. In the second leg, Gonzalo Caffaro's first half header gave us a 1-0 victory in Brazil to send us through to the next round with a 3-1 aggregate victory.

We face Sao Paulo in the Quarter Final who completely dismantled their Peruvian opponents with an 8-0 aggregate win. We meet in Rosario in the first leg. Worth pointing out that it wasn't great for Peruvian sides as their other representative, Universidad San Martin, got torn apart 13-0 by River, suffering a 9-0 defeat in their own backyard. Ouch.  

Copa Argentina: A comfortable 4-0 victory against San Martin set us up with a Seventh Round tie against Belgrano in Santa Fe. 

Expectations:

Superliga: Top Half
Copa Argentina: Semi Final (Currently Seventh Round)
Copa Libertadores: Quarter Final (Currently Quarter Final - Achieved)  

Squad

I thought I'd give a small update on the development of some of the players in the squad. There's only one guy to start with and that is Gonzalo Caffaro - disgustingly good player and comfortably my best and as mentioned irreplaceable. The entire European elite are out for him but thankfully the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Barcelona have refrained from bidding thus far and more importantly - he seems happy enough at Newell's.

Another one worth a look at is Juan Sebastian Sforza who has now developed into a fine player since exploding onto the scene in my first season. He's still only 22 and one of our better players and still has potential to develop even further. 

These two are comfortably my two best players since Moreno's departure. Cacciabue has started to fall away as we grow as a team and isn't always a starter for me now whereas these two are always the first two on the team sheet. Although, one concern is that you may have noticed that Sforza is starting to have concerns about wanting to join a bigger club. Great! 

It is worth noting that last summer's signing Emmanuel Panico has really kicked on as well and is definitely one of the better keepers in the league. He's still only 21 and no doubt has a huge future ahead of him. 

Edited by Nickh92
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A NEW-ELL'S ADVENTURE
Game Date: 1 February 2025

Summary

Superliga: 

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A great start to the season for us. We are right up there sitting in second position after 21 games. Despite our four defeats, we have managed to win the majority of our other games, only drawing one. It's a shame as three of the defeats were in the last five minutes but I won't complain. We also got our first win over Boca Juniors triumphing 1-0 away thanks to Jorge Gonzalez's goal - it only took us 14 attempts to beat them! We are in a great position in the league so really hope we can stay up there and make a statement this season but chances are that the two Buenas Aires powerhouses will break clear of us at some point - but either way, we'll give it a go!  

We lost Paulo Unate to injury early on in the season who broke his lower leg and missed four months of the season but has returned to training now and hopefully should play a big part in the second half of the season. Credit to Enzo Bustos who really did step up in Unate's absence and it's reassuring to have an adequate back-up for a change. 

Copa Argentina: We have another trophy! We managed to win the Copa Argentina beating San Lorenzo on penalties to lift the trophy. We should've won in normal time but unfortunately couldn't find the breakthrough - San Lorenzo didn't even have a shot on target so it would have been a travesty if we hadn't won. Although, in all honesty, we were fairly fortunate with two penalty victories after 0-0 draws - including the Quarter Final against 3rd Division side Independiente Rivadavia. The standout performance was against River Plate - as dispatched of them 3-1 in the Semi Final. 

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We begin our defence of the trophy with a Fifth Round tie against Fourth Division side Excursionistas.

Copa Libertadores: It was disappointment in the Quarter Final of the Copa Libertadores despite a narrow 1-0 victory in the first leg in Rosario, we fell to a 2-0 defeat in Sao Paolo - the amusingly named James Dean scoring a late second to knock us out. River Plate went on to win the trophy ending Boca's run of four consecutive victories.

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We qualified again for the 2025 addition and have been drawn into Group H alongside America de Cali, whom we meet for the first time since our Copa Sudamericana final, Liga de Quito and the Winners of a qualifying game which I believe is likely to be Brazilian side Vasco da Gama. A very favourable draw for us so hopefully we can win the group this time and get a more favourable Round of 16 tie. I think I have now solved the qualification places - I believe they are allocated based on the league standing at the time of the draw, which is a bit silly! 

Winter Transfer Window

It was a fairly quiet winter window. I had a small budget in place of a couple of million pounds but there wasn't really much that took my fancy. I did have my eye on a Brazilian central midfielder and put an offer in but unfortunately he choose to join another Brazilian side rather than move to Rosario! I opted to loan a few of the young players out how had developed in the last six months. We did lose a promising prospect to Sao Paolo, an 18 year-old striker with a lot of potential rejected my contract and will move to Brazil at the end of the season.

We had offers in the window for Cacciabue and Caffaro, I would've let Cacciabue go if I had an adequate replacement for him lined up but with the move above falling through I couldn't afford to let him go and thankfully he wasn't too interested in a move to China. He doesn't always start for me now with Fernandez and Riviera so if I do get a substantial offer for him I will certainly consider letting him go as he is approaching 27 now. 
 

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As a huge fan of Argentinian football I loved reading this! You’re in charge of a cracking club. I was in Argentina in 2018 and watched various clubs (Racing, Huracan, the Superclasico and the national team). Sadly by the time I’d made it to Rosario it was the international break so I didn’t see a game there. I did however get into the stadium for a look around and have watched loads of videos of the loco Newell’s hinchas ever since. The ground is quite literally in the middle of a park. One day I’ll see a game there! 

As for FM, I’ve just arrived across the River Plate after three seasons in Montevideo. I won three leagues with Nacional (one unbeaten) and build a tidy little team cherrypicking the best Uruguayans from the league’s other teams. I made it to the Libertadores final and was 2-0 up against Palmeiras in the Estadio Centenario (the national stadium) but in heartbreaking fashion we conceded in the 93rd minute and went onto lose on penalties. 
 

So unable to deal with the agony of losing the final I’ve taken over at Independiente who are languishing in mid-table. Absolutely loving your updates, keep them coming! 

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