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Thread: Football Manager 21

  1. #21
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    Keep us updated on how it unfolds, Deco.

    So Brentford save hit the 2 year mark and I'm done with it.

    We did very well in our first season it the Prem. Finished 4th. Which was weird. We were picked to finish 20th, but as it commonly does, being pretty attacking can a nice counter to team thinking they can take the same approach with you and leaving gaps to exploit. Our results fell off a bit after the mid-year mark. But we benefited HUGELY from that gave us a run of "easy" matches to start the season and didn't stack too many big clubs up in a row. At least until the very end of the year.

    We won the Carabao Cup, which might have been the season highlight. The SF was against Manchester United. We kinda shithoused it, going very defensive for the away draw and then getting a penalty win in the second leg. Pens over Leicester in the final. Was quite happy as that meant Europa League. A nice step for the club.

    We damned near made the final of the FA Cup. We had a reasonably road until we got Chelsea in the SF. Lost 1-0. They played Southampton in the final so we totally could have won it if we got past Chelski.

    Second half of the season was a bit weird. Liverpool, City, and Chelsea pulled away in a group, with Liverpool out quite a ways early on. We were in a secondary pack with United, Wolves, Arsenal and Tottenham. After mid-season, things got weird. everyone started dropping points. We did too but just not as much. Arsenal and Tottenham both fell back quite a bit and finished outside European spots. Both changed their managers (spurs after they lost to us, one of the few big scalps we took). But United and Wolves fell well back and we caught up to the leading trio. Around March, it looked like we had this weird outside chance, despite our form being spottier in than the first half of the year. Then we failed to get a win in the last two months - just draw after draw. We finished with this ugly run against big sides. United caught up but we held onto fourth.

    So instead of Europa League, we are in the Champions League. Which is weirdly annoying. We would be in Pot 4 for the Group Stage draw, if we made it that far, which would mean drawing against some monstrous opposition. In the Europa League, we would be much better situated to make a real push. That won't happen in the CL. The boost to our rep is also an annoyance as we will be favored in more league matches and our tactial approach would need to adjust.

    I started the save as a fuckabout. The Championship was fun. The EPL was less fun. I'm already tired of dealing with City and the other big sides. Watching City buy wonderkid after wonderkid t dump them in the reserves is just... nah.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    Forgot to mention one of the weirder aspects of the first season in the Prem. A Finnish striker for us spent much of the season as top scorer. He ended up getting pipped in the end by Timo Werner, who had 23 goals and my player had 20. The player is Marcus Forss who starts out as a pretty good prospect and he did improve, but there is nothing about him, skill-wise, to suggest he's going to be a monster scorer. He's a wide forward who can play up top. Good finishing but not the pace or off the ball or size one would expect out of a top pure scrorer. He scored in weird bunches and because of that, I played him on the wing quite often. Then he would get the occasional start up top and score 2 or 3 in a match.
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  3. #23
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    Armageddon Re: Football Manager 21

    Midway through March 21st in my first game, playing as Hertha Berlin. Started off pretty slow as I was trying to get my tactics down since I'm used to 12 not 21. Berlin also has a lopsided squad a bit which wasn't easy. They have a lot of CMs to play the 442 Diamond they play a lot IRL, but they have 2 young promising wingers in Lukebakio and Dilrosun, Cunha who is a 10 or 9, plus a good striker in Piatek and Cordoba as a €15 million new signing. So trying to switch between a 442 Vertical Tiki Taka Diamond and 4231 Gegenpress early on definitely created an imbalance in results. 3 wins in my first 6 - including a shock 1-0 snatch and grab away to Leipzig - then turned into 4 straight losses and in the bottom half of the table going into December, closer to the bottom 3 than the European places.

    Piatek injured his hip during the 4 loss streak, and his 3-6 month absence forced a switch to the 4231, even with bringing in Mario Mandzukic on a free. However, the start of December brought a home fixture against Union Berlin in the big Berlin Derby, and a 2-0 win. I haven't lost since! 18 matches unbeaten - 15 in the league - and only 4 draws in the 15 league matches. Best results there have been doing the double over Leipzig (thanks in part to an early red card), a 1-0 win away at European rivals Frankfurt, and holding Bayern to a 1-1 draw at home. Jhon Cordoba has been huge during this run. Playing poorly and unsettled, he didn't get his first start until the 3rd match of this great run and proceeded to score 9 goals in his next 7 starts to really propel us forward.

    We're currently sitting in 2nd place - 6 behind Bayern - as I enter the final 10 fixtures. Leipzig and Frankfurt are 1 point behind us, Gladbach 3 behind in 5th, and Dortmund are now 6 points behind in 6th after a run of just 1 win in 8 in the league including 5 losses (plus losing twice to Sevilla in the Europa League R32 after failing in UCL). Last loss was 4-0 to Bayern and resulted in the sacking of Favre. We play them next away, so hoping they don't suddenly find form now that they sacked the manager. Still have, in addition to Dortmund away, I have Leverkusen home (plus away in the Pokal SF), Berlin away for the derby, and Gladbach home for the next 4 league fixtures so that's going to determine if I'm going to qualify for Champions League or settle for Europa League.

    Had no budget for transfers, but frees and loans have been used to help exponentially. Mandzukic and Wilshere were signed in November when I was able to make signings, although Mandzukic has been massively disappointing with 1 goal in 7+8 appearances in the league, while Wilshere at least got in 1+11 before his first ankle injury! Reiss Nelson and Roberto Gagliardini joined on loan in January, but the best has been MFin Hulk. On trial almost all of January after leaving China, wouldn't negotiate a permanent deal because he said we couldn't afford him. Finally decided no one else was coming in so when he was open to contract talks, and only wanted €50k p/w. One start and 4 sub appearances later, and he's had 4 assists to be a big addition.

    I'll be thrilled if we finish Top 4 but I'm not holding my breath given the matches we still have to play and the other 4 sides having better squads, IMO. But we have momentum, the second best defense in the league, a midfield double pivot in Tousart and Ascacibar that shield the defense very well, Dilrosun in great form on the left wing, Cunha playing great in the 10, Hulk now match fit, and Piatek back to lead the line now that Cordoba's hot streak is cooling off.

    Having no idea what the off-season will be like when the season finishes, I definitely expect some of my players to be transfer targets for bigger clubs. Cunha, Dilrosun, Tousart, Ascacibar, Niklas Stark, and Jordan Torunarigha all have played well and are already getting the dreaded Wanted tag by them.

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  4. #24
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    Started off my run in with a 3-1 loss to Dortmund, but immediately responded with a huge set of victories to Leverkusen, Union in the Berlin Derby, and home to Gladbach. After a draw against relegation struggling Mainz (including an equalizer in the final 5 minutes to get a point at least) it was smooth sailings of wins, including a wild 3-2 win over Leverkusen again in the Cup SF. That was the first quality opponent I actually beat in the Cup run, and set up a Final against second division Dusseldorf. No surprise that Cordoba set us on our way to a 3-0 victory and Berlin's first major trophy since 1931. And the best part? Right before that match, a 2-0 win over Bielefeld put us top of the league with 2 matches to go! Bayern lost 1-0 home to Gladbach to set it up, culminating a run of two losses and a draw in 4 matches. Bayern drew 4 out of 6 matches in Feb/March to complete their bottle job. We both won Match 33 to set up the final day of the season, Berlin ahead of Bayern by a point and we had the inferior GD so we had to win, especially since Bayern took a lead on their final match in seconds.

    We were playing away to Hoffenheim, who spent most of the season in the bottom 3 before going on a huge run to take them safe, up to 13th, and entering the match as one of the top form teams in the Bundesliga. Took the lead early in the 2nd half with a Cunha screamer, dominating possession, and just as I was making subs to try and kill the game off, Hoffenheim equalized in the 71st minute. Cancelled the subs and pushed everyone forward to try and find the winner, and 86th minute, who else by Jhon Cordoba. The guy who was awful off the bench to start the season, said he was unsettled and already talking about wanting a move away... To the guy who kick started everything. My LB Plattenhardt, who started the game on the transfer list but proved himself to be my best left back (team high 13 assists as well!), sent a cross into the box that Cordoba just fucking thundercunt'ed on the volley from 16 yards into the roof of the net. Screamer. And then despite going to defensive, dropping the line and everything, Hoffenheim got in behind and through on goal... And hit the post. We cleared off the line before they could tap in, and somehow ended the season as Champions!

    Winning the league in my first season is a buzz kill in a way though. I was looking forward to building Berlin up to a team who could rival Bayern, not pip them to the title in the first season. Instead, I won the Double. I mean, I'm going to have to beef up the squad now to contend with Europe, but I've already started that process. Nikola Maksimovic from Napoli to bolster the back line and Demarai Gray are both coming in on free transfers, and beat out the rest of Europe for the transfer listed (wouldn't sign a new contract) Szoboszlai for a measly €11.25 million!

    I'm also fully expecting to lose some of my top talents. Matheus Cunha (11g 4a) is undoubtedly are most talented player and wanted by Spurs, Niklas Stark is the bedrock of our defense and wanted by Lyon, Plattenhardt is contemplating a move to a bigger club, as is Lukebakio (who is more talented than his return of 4g & 5a in 32 app). Also will lose Gagliardini, Guendouzi, and Nelson at the end of their loans (although none were immediate starters and squad players) as well as Mandzukic at the end of his deal (who disappointed with only 1 goal in 7(11) appearances).

    Overall, we won the league on 71 points, the lowest tally to win the league since Bayern won it in 08/09 on 70, which says about the Bundesliga this year. We lost 7 matches all season, but 6 were in the first 9 matches of the campaign. Tied for 6th most goals in the league with 52, and second best defense with 27 shipped. Cordoba's 14 goals were 8th best in the league, Plattenhardt's 13 assists led the league, and Schwolow tied Neuer with 18 clean sheets (although only 9th in the league with a 76% save ratio, which shows how great the defense was).

    The Europe race ended up going to the wire as well, with Dortmund's new man Allegri guiding them to 4th place on the final day with a massive 5-1 win over Leverkusen to jump them in the table, along with Gladbach losing away to midtable Bremen as well to bottle it. Pretty much everyone but us was bottling it this year! Leipzig finished in 7th, also 2 points off of 4th. City walked the Prem, while Brom, Palace, and Villa went down. Lots of movement with Nuno, Carlo, Arteta, Hodgson, and Rodgers getting sacked. Biesla switched to Arsenal in early January to take them from relegation trouble to 6th and a League Cup, while Ancelotti took over for Leicester after Rodgers was sacked to lead them to... 17th place To be fair, Everton only finished in 14th two points ahead of Leicester. La Liga was interesting to as Barca held even with Real all the way through the season - even after sacking Koeman following a 6-0 defeat at Anfield in UCL, replacing him with Gallardo - and the final match of the season? El Clasico with Madrid ahead by a point in the table, and got the draw at home to seal the title. Champions League is Liverpool versus Man United.

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  5. #25
    Zoom E | Szumi | Old Man
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    I'm at the winter break in Season Two with Hertha Berlin and am currently in 2nd place and through to the Knockout Stages of Champions League. The Bundesliga has been wild and crazy again. After spending almost all of last year in the bottom 3 before finishing strong, Hoffenheim lead the table by 2 points (only 34 points on 17 matches though), we're on 32, Bayern and Frankfurt and Leverkusen on 31, Gladbach has 30 points, and Schalke and Leipzig have 29 to make a very even Top 8. Dortmund have already fired Allegri (after failing to advance in UCL) and are 12th on 18 points, only 2 points off the relegation playoff.



    Champions League was wild. Dortmund finished 3rd because after drawing away to AZ on their final match while Celtic - thanks to Jesse fucking Lingard - advanced ahead of them on head to head through away goals after beating PSG at home as well. Bayern Munich finished 3rd as well! They split their matches 1-1 with Bilbao, so the Basque side advanced with a better GD (thanks to Bayern losing 3-0 and then somehow 0-4 at home against City). Frankfurt finished last in their group, but they had Chelsea, Milan, and Lyon to contend with.



    We had a pretty alright draw, thanks of course to having the top seed via being Champions. We got Barca, Benfica, and PSV. Benfica always were going to be our biggest trouble, but after a draw in Holland, we got a huge upset by winning in Benfica with a laaaate Cordoba stunner in Match day 2. Think it was our only effort on target. After leading Barca at HT, they turned it on and won 3-1 in Germany, then stuffed us 3-0 at Camp Nou. Another late win, home to PSV, meant we just had to avoid defeat to Benfica in the final fixture. My undoubted POTY Piatek put me ahead less than 2 minutes in on our way to a 3-1 victory to give us 2nd place. And then somehow struck lucky with the draw. Monaco topped their group over Porto and Napoli, and we got them in the draw, giving us the best draw possible. Still not convinced we qualify for the QF, but still, huge chance.



    I had a lot of activity in the transfer market, and not at all by choice. I sold off back up full backs Lukas Klunter and Max Mittelstadt (€10m each) to make room for Reggie Cannon (€2.7m) and Luca Netz (highly rated 18 year old HG). Selke made his loan to Bremen permanent for €12m and wantaway CB/CM Lowen for €7.5m. Forced winger Lukebakio out the door after a falling out, but could only get €9m from Burnley. However, Matheus Cunha did what I expected and handed in a transfer request and wanted a move to a bigger club. I wanted more than the €57 million I got, but that was the most anyone was coming up with, so my best player went to Man City .



    I already had Demarai Gray and Nikola Maksimovic in on free transfers, and the amazing steal of landing Szoboszlai for only €11.25m. Having lost 2 loaned midfielders, signed Manuel Locatelli from relegated Sassulo for €22m, with Arne Maier back in on loan as well. Decided to take a punt on Mesut Ozil as well because well, free transfer and somehow only was asking for €28k p/w. However, a late injury blow (more on that later) forced me back into the transfer market. So €30m was splashed on former Spurs man Marcus Edwards after tearing it up in Portugal, and then another €26m on Sandro Tonali after he didn't make his move to Milan permanent.



    Meant the squad looked kind of like this by the end of the transfer window:



    GK: Schwolow, Korber

    RB: Zeefuik, Cannon

    CB: Stark, Torunarigha, Maksimovic, Boyata, Yanga-Mbiwa

    LB: Plattenhardt, Netz

    DM: Tousart, Ascacibar

    CM: Tonali, Locatelli, Maier

    10: Szoboszlai, Ozil

    Wingers: Edwards, Dilrosun, Hulk, Gray

    ST: Piatek, Cordoba



    After his hip injury ruled him out for almost half of last season and never being in scintillating form to begin with (8 goals in 20 apps I guess is better than I remember), Piatek is back to his best. 16 goals in 17 league appearances, and another 2 goals in Europe. Been crucial too since Cordoba tore a calf muscle and has missed much of the season.



    Injuries have been a huge problem this season. Szoboszlai tore a cruciate in his 2nd league game, although I'll hopefully have him back for most of the 2nd half of the season. Ozil has been limited to only 6 starts with multiple niggles, Boyata has missed the whole campaign as after coming back from a broken leg suffered in March, he almost immediately had a long term hip injury. Marcus Edwards has missed some time as well, which didn't help his bedding in period either.



    I can't say any of my transfers have been successful, worryingly. Szoboszlai obviously gets a pass. Edwards coming in late and picking up some injuries saw him be my lowest rated player after the first few months, he picked a great time to come good in November with a brace against Bayern as a second half sub to turn a 0-1 loss into a shock 2-1 win away. He's up to 3g and 3a in 14(6) now, with all of those tallies coming in the last month. Ozil has 1g 0a in 9(8) overall, Locatelli 1g 2a in 20(2) but is at least staying fit and durable, and Tonali is starting to come into form with 3g 3a in 15(4). Cannon has been the worst of the lot w/an average rating of 6.67 in all comps, although all new signings have an avg rating of 6.81 or lower.



    Second half of the season should be interesting. The Bundesliga is crazy and it's just as likely to finish Champions again versus finishing outside Top 4. However, Szoboszlai is going to play again and will hopefully be the talent I think he is, Cordoba is back to give Piatek some rest since he's played damn near every minute this season it feels like, and I brought in Jonathan Tah to bolster my backline since Stark and Torunarigha are both linked with moves away and he only had a €28m release clause. If Piatek stays in this rich form though, I'm thinking it's title time, again.

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  6. #26
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    Sounds like a really fun save, Zoom. Like the squad. How has Ozil been for you?

    So I moved on from the Brentford save to Brazil and tried Atletico Mineiro but didn't get very far. Bit too big of a club for what I feel like at this point. So I decided it was time I finally gave a save in Argentina a try. There are 3 clubs that that really interest me - Argentinos Juniors, Rosario Central, and Banfield. I've looked at almost the whole league, and more than once. I'm overthinking to try to find that perfect balance.

    I've talked about it before, but the history of Argentine football is fascinating. It ties so closely with their national image and mythos. "Angels with Dirty Faces" by Jonathan Wilson is a great read but I'm sure there are others. In the early years, it was all about the artistry of the game. But in the 70s, they embraced the darker side of the game. Estudientes found success at the highest level playing the first large-scale anti-futbol. The national team followed suit at a dark time in Argentine history as the military junta was murdering many citizens. And then came Maradona, and his image is the iconic, mythological "pibe" is part of why he became such a legend to the fans even beyond what his talents carried him to. The two extremes of Argentine football exist to this day. The league has always been a bit different, stretching to irrational formatting due to incompetence and corruption. Argentina still produces great players but there has been a bit of a decline in that regard and its partly because clubs are sustaining financially just by selling them, so too many move to Europe too soon. There is no sustained dominance because clubs build up to something successful and then the talent is all sold off as soon as possible, to start a rebuild cycle.

    Another dynamic in Argentina is that its always been very capital-centric. Clubs from Buenos Aries traditionally dominate. All five of the grandes are from BA.

    The options...

    Rosario Central - the biggest reputation of the three and the biggest history. 4 leagues titles but nothing recent, a continental title, and some cup wins, including 1 in 2018. Squad is probably the second best of three options and they have a couple really good prospects and quite a few decent ones. Big stadium but the finances are not awesome.

    Argentinos Juniors - a unique, "smaller" club in Buenos Aries that is focused on youth development. They have won 2 league titles back when they were split and the Copa Libertadores, all in the mid-80s. They were the club that brought through Maradona, and it was selling him to Boca that allowed them to finance the success of the 1984-1985 period. The stadium is named after Maradona. They are loaded with prospects and have a good youth setup. I love that one of the club requirements its to develop the best youth system in Argentina. They start playing in the Copa Suderamericana, so while they aren't rich, the combo of that and loads of young players means making money is less painful.

    Banfield - in many ways, the least appealing of the three. Smallest, least success, worst squad, lowest expected finish, fewest prospects, worst facilities, and worst finances. And yet.... still somehow appealing. They have won only 1 thing of note in their history - an unlikely half-season title win in 2009, which is roughly on par with the Leicester win (although less impressive due to the split season). But the squad is reasonably decent and fits what I will likely do tactically

    I decided to go with an Rosario Central save first. Made it about 18 months in but the money is just fucked. I mean, the money is poor in Argentina. Unless you are a grande, there isn't much from sponsorship and ticket sales only help so much. Prize money and TV money is laughable. So its down to player sales and continental competition. But the mistake I made was plugging some squad holes early, which just meant free signings but I had to move some from the small transfer budget over to the wage budget. And then we did well, so players were asking for new deals so wage budget goes up more, and then we sell players and move that over and it was a cycle. Was losing like 1m a month, somehow. Sold a bunch of players - none for huge money but 2-5m each, with some clauses. But it was just tiny plugs in some big leaks. Couldn't afford to do anything else so I said fuck it.

    Then I tried AAAJ. Felt too easy. Money situation was way easier, even without selling any of the top prospects. Didn't help that the best player at the club - DM Fausto Vera - was getting poor match ratings, largely due to the defensive ratings bug.

    so I ran a test sim. Was curious if Rosario and Banfield (who have similar finances to Rosario) end up bleeding money if the AI is running them. Simmed into 2024. Both Banfield and Rosario Central were narrowly in the hole, but hadn't been very successful either. Banfield had one bigger player sale (6m). AAAJ were doing a bit better. They spawned a top top level newgen - 190 PA - but he moved to Everton on a free.

    Since AAAJ just seem too easy, I've been going back and forth between trying Rosario again (but being more careful financially) or trying out Banfield. At this point, I'm kinda leaning toward Banfield. If nothing else, they don't seem to have squad holes I need to fill in and have a more saleable asset in winger Uruzi, who was the 6m sale in the soak test I ran.

    Apropos nothing, I'm using a different tactic. No 4-3-3 gegenpress for once. And I'm not trying to get the 4-2-2-2 narrow box to work again. I've been using a 4-2-3-1 with 2 DMs that is deep and counter attacking. Banfield only has 1 AMC so I might drop that to the MC spot. The nice thing about the approach is that Argentina is full of oldheads and mid-30s players with no pace can still quite well if protected. In the Rosario save, I had DCs with 4 and 7 pace respectively.
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  7. #27
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    Ozil has been one of my worst players. Multiple small injuries constantly fucking up form and fitness, so even into February, he's still sitting on just 1 goal and no assists in all competitions. Even playing him in the 10 in his preferred Advanced Playmaker role, he doesn't produce for shit. I've pretty much made the decision to go with the 433 full-time because Tonali and Locatelli are starting to thrive, plus Szoboszlai will be happy to play there as well (he wants the over LW), so I have the quality to play it.

    My board was also on my ass about not making a big transfer, so I splashed €72 million on Myron Boadu from AZ. He's both a striker and a great Inside Forward on the left, so I plan to use him there mostly as Dilrosun tends to also pick up a lot of small niggles.

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    Re: Football Manager 21

    I had a feeling Ozil wasn't going to be OZIL and more of the player who Wenger stopped playing in away matches because he was always "ill".

    Boadu looks like a fun player. Nice signing.

    So I haven't got it rolling yet but I'm gonna try Banfield.

    Its kinda weird, but I realized one of the reasons that I have held off on playing as Banfield before is that their primary color is white. Secondary color is a middling green and a nice orange as their third color. The custom skins I use often use the club colors so starting a Banfield save would mean everything was really fucking white, with some green accents. I'm using the TCS skin which uses black and the primary club color is more of just for accents and highlights. Buddy suggested using the editor to flip around the two colors, which looked sharp. Then I tried the orange 3rd color as the main color and suddenly it all looks sharp as fuck.

    Squad looks mediocre but fairly complete. Have no room to sign anyone currently. I expect money to be tight but if I can finish top 8, I make the Copa Libertadores, which would be a big boost to the finances.
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  9. #29
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    Doing well with Banfield so far. Haven't lost in the league yet so even on points with Boca.... but also have played River Plate for big opposition.

    First season is weird as fuck. Argentina recently switched from a split season to a single season but they also bloated the league up to 30 clubs. Its slowly being reduced. I think there are 24 clubs now but the first season is 23 rounds, so everyone plays each other once. In early 2021, there is then a weird ass cup competition. think they keep reducing the clubs in each year.

    We are losing money but not bleeding it as badly as the Rosario save. If we can qualify for the Copa Libertadores for 2021, that would be super fucking helpful.

    fun save so far. Going to have to look to bring through youth players until I have a bit of money to throw at some of the wonderful newgens in Argentina around South America.
    EVERY ENDING IS A NEW BEGINNING.
    YOUR LUCKY NUMBER IS NONE.
    YOUR LUCKY COLOUR IS DEAD.
    Motto:
    LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON.



  10. #30
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    well with most of the mods I used now finally released for FM21, I decided to fully start my normal unemployed adventure, this time we ended up starting in the Hungarian Second Division with Nyíregyháza Spartacus FC. I definitely applied and joined because they had Spartacus in their name.

    Upon joining, they seemed to have some talent available, but were sitting in 18th place(of 20). Started with one game left before the winter break, which we put up a good fight, but ended up losing 1-0 to the eventual 2nd division champions. Upon getting four signings completed (a striker, a winger, a left back and a centre back), we started to gel during the re-start, and ended up not losing again, and getting one draw to go with 16 wins that ended up vaulting us all the way into the second promotion slot, so like normal whenever I start this low, we are in way over our head in the Hungarian 1st division. Hopefully we got enough about us to stay up, but the bookie sure don't seem to think so.

  11. #31
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    Argentina and the second division of Hungary. These are definitely leagues I've never played in before

    The way that Argentina league runs sounds fucking weird, I would totally be confused by all that.

    Also forgot that there's the new ridiculous Club World Cup. I was really confused when I saw that taking place in 2022. I'll provide an update then on my Hertha Berlin game in more detail this week, but I'm going to take a pause on that game for a bit because I did what I always end up doing when I play: starting a new save within the game. Everton were relegated at the end of the 2021/22, so I've decided to have some fun by creating a new manager to jump in on that.

    They were underperforming in 2020/21 and I'm relegation trouble I remember because Carlo got sacked, but ended up finishing 12th (on only 45 points) under Michael O'Neill. Second season saw them finish 19th on only 30 points! Just 7 wins, 4th least goals scored (38), and 2nd most shipped (63!). They sold Digne and DCL in the first off season for €40m and €46 but up to €70m in add ons if goal/appearances are met, and only got to reinvest half of that, and none of it in anyone worthwhile.

    Their finances are hard to get a read of, honestly. It says their overall balance is €146m, despite their graph only showing €36m, and the profits have been all over the place. I'm pretty sure their status is only rich right now because we just got our sponsorship money, parachute payment, and player sales money. So needless to say, I'm taking few chances and trying to raise significant cash through player sales. Thankfully, Premier League clubs love to spend silly money.

    Bournemouth dropped €40m for James, Burnley €21m for Andre Gomes, West Brom €19.75m for Yerry Mina, and Sheffield United €20m for 31 year old left back Nuno Sequeira, who replaced Digne coming in for only €11m last summer. Allan will be joining PSG for €41.5m and Bernard will leave for around €5m as well. That's around €145 million coming into the club, and even more importantly, every player but Sequeira was on over €100k per week. My goal has been to shred as many of those bad contracts and I can, for obvious reasons.

    Now that I'm officially in the Championship (although still at the end of June so haven't done really anything yet), some relegation clauses have kicked in so no one is making over 100k p/w, but Doucoure, Pickford, and Richardson are on over 90k, and Iwobi is on 71k (I'm pretty sure his wages got slashed in half). Doucoure, Iwobi, and Ben Godfrey all also want to leave, while Seamus Coleman and Fabian Delph are moving on as well. So I'm hoping to shed more wages, and I'm also hoping to sell Pickford (fuck T-Rex arms), Michael Keane, and one of the two strikers Everton signed last summer (Santos Borre or Paulinho from Braga).

    The great thing is that there's definitely pieces I can build around still. 21 year old Lewis Gibson and 19 year old Jarrad Branthwaite are both two CBs that I can play loads in the Championship, and Mason Holgate will hopefully stick around too. 23 year old LB Faitout Maouassa was signed on the cheap last season and should develop great since I'll play him regularly, Gbamin is happy to stay since I promised him first yeah football, and I've convinced Richarlison, Moise Kean, and 24 year old Victor Tsygankov (RW who actually joined Everton over me at Berlin last summer) to stay so long as we get promoted. There's some other decent youth products I can play, and really, I just need to sign a CM or two to compete with Gbamin and Tom Davies, and probably a RB.

    Fulham and Norwich are joining me in the Championship, while Villa and Palace are both there as well after failing to go back up in the Playoffs last season. Imagining us, that 4, Reading, Blackburn, and Brentford will be the best sides, but the Championship is always a crapshoot
    Last edited by Zoom-E; 01-12-2021 at 03:30 PM.

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    Re: Football Manager 21

    Everton have always been a club that held some appeals, and taking over a big side that's been relegated sounds like a really fun rebuilding project. And Everton have a strong academy so should be able to generate some good newgens as well, which is always fun.

    Hungary sounds fun, Mike. Always had some appeal to me due to the Mighty Magayars history.

    Lots of South America has messed up formats, Zoom. That's honestly part of the fun. Leagues like Mexico can seem really weird before you get used to a split season.

    With Argentina, it helps that I listen to a couple of podcasts that focus on that area of the footballing world, and one that focuses on it explicitly. The league has constantly shifted formats over the years, a combination of inept leadership and big club politicking. The expansion to 30 clubs in the top division was utterly ridiculous.
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    Mexico I'm pretty used to just because of being in America and having the MLS/Liga Mx crossovers. Does Argentina still do the relegation based off of several seasons instead of one? That one always fucking confused me greatly

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    Re: Football Manager 21

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoom-E View Post
    Mexico I'm pretty used to just because of being in America and having the MLS/Liga Mx crossovers. Does Argentina still do the relegation based off of several seasons instead of one? That one always fucking confused me greatly
    Honestly if Liga MX and Copa MX doesn't fuck up your mind, then most of South America won't either. Its generally not much worse or different. Argentina does still use the average points over the past 3 seasons for relegation, but Mexico was using that as well before they suspended relegation. And the Copa MX was using a group stage of sorts, so its about as convoluted as some of the Cups in South America.

    Argentina and Mexico are actually weirdly comparable. They both do some weird ass shit. In Argentina it seems to be a combination of incompetence and corruption, with a lot of kowtowing to the grande clubs. In Mexico, it moreso just seems to be flat out corruption. The average points system for relegation is really just a way to avoid having big clubs go down based on a shitty season or two, and Mexico took it a step further and suspended relegation entirely.

    I haven't tried managing everywhere in South America. Just Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia. May try others at some point but a few aren't active leagues and would require an editor file.

    Argentina - part of why it looks confusing is that they are transitioning down from a 30 team league back down to 20. I thought they gradually increased the number of clubs, but nope, looks like they just flat out jumped from 20 to 30 in 2015, then almost immediately started reducing it. Like, what the fuck kind of planning is that? They also had a breakaway governing body starting at that point to run the Premier Liga, so it appears an awful lot like when the Premier League was formed back in 1992... except that was killed off last year and the top division is back under AFA control. The one podcast I listen to on Argentine football talks constantly about how awful and terrible AFA is lol. The name changed from the Superliga (cool) to Liga Professional de Futbol (literally Professional Football League, which is lame as fuck)

    Part of what makes the Argentina so fucked up looking right now is that they are moving down in size and that's a bit of a process. It looks like intended to end up as a standard 20 team league on a normal "European style" schedule of everyone playing each other twice. But for the transition seasons, they were only playing each once and having shorter seasons. That didn't sit well with the clubs and broadcasters, so they created an additional domestic cup - it was the Copa de la Liga Professional and got renamed to the Copa Diego Armando Maradona after he passed away. Its got a group stage and is just weird. Currently underway and you can watch highlights on the league YouTube page. I don't think the extra cup will remain long term.

    One thing I probably won't love about Argentina is that most clubs with strong academies are bigger clubs, and it doesn't seem like young players tend to move with Argentina if they are already at a fairly big club. Unless its to Boca or River. But some smaller clubs still seem to spit out decent newgens, and there are a couple of semi-pro or amateur clubs that usually generate a few decent ones and they can be sniped on minimal compensation if you find them in time.

    Brazil - always felt messier than Argentina or Colombia to me, but really isn't. Like places around the world, Brazil started out with regional leagues instead of a national one. Each state had its own league and championship. That changed in 1959 and I think a full proper national championship was only from 1970 (this is why some people disparate Pele to some degree, because most of his career was played in state leagues). But what makes Brazil kinda weird is those state leagues still exist and operate. so from January to April every year, clubs play in the state league. So you have some of the biggest clubs in South America playing against 3rd and 4th division clubs in competitive on pitches that are basically cattle pastures. Some state leagues have lots of bigger clubs so they are kind competitive but some are 1 or 2 big clubs so they are gimme titles every year. In FM terms, they could as competitive fixtures so its great for youth development. Like brilliantly great because nothing helps the confidence of a youngsters like getting a 10-0 "competitive" win. The actual league runs from May to December. Standard format beyond that.

    The best part of managing in Brazil is that every player has a domestic release clause, same as Spain. On youth contracts, the release clause size is dictated by the wage. So newgens can't be stolen for compensation but you can buy out their release clause, which is generally 275K. If you manage in Brazil at a club with a decent reputation and a few million to spend, its a constant shopping spree. The fixture congestion caused by having a full 38 match season plus the state league plus a Cup and potentially plus a continental competition results in you HAVING to play the youngsters, which is great for youth development.

    Colombia - nothing too funky in Colombia. Split season and a Cup that, if I remember correctly, has group stages.
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    Banfield update.... So made the cup final. Took going to pens twice to get there. The other SF was Boca against 3rd division side Club Luján. So I'm hoping to make the final and expecting to play Boca, and likely lose. Nope. They go down on pens to this 3rd division side. Making it a bit crazier is when you consider that Argentina has a big 1st division and a pretty big 2nd division (its two leagues). Now we better fucking win this final as it puts in next season's Copa Libertadores and that's a big step for the club.

    Also made it to the youth intake. Got two pretty solid 3.5 - 4 star Argentina attackers. Really looking forward to improving our facilities as they have decent potential but aren't that developed to start. Also got a decent Colombian winger who got injured for 9 months almost immediately after my HOYD signed him.

    the injuries I'm seeing are kinda brutal. Everyone hates injury and any seem awful, but I've been getting quite a few serious, long-term ones. We train hard but its not like we are constantly doing physical work. We don't play the most intense of styles - its a split block technique based on Mourinho (gross, I know).

    But the most exciting development was my star 20 year old winger Uzri being wanted by some big English clubs. He often seems to move to Arsenal for about 6m in other saves and tests I've done, and 6m would be pretty good money for us at this point. But he's now worth about 3m, been absolutely tearing it up, and I have him on a new deal. The contract has a 17m release clause and clubs like United and Arsenal are interested in him after signing the new deal with the release clause. That doesn't mean they will give us 17m for him but honestly 10m would be pretty transformative for the club, along with Libertadores football. Money is tight through most of the Argentine clubs so big sales is what makes the finances take a step forward.
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    And done with Banfield.

    Just had a sequence of events that kinda just soured me on it.

    So my star LB Sosa was wanted by some clubs in China and Mexico. Value was 3.5m. Managing somewhere like this is absolutely a selling save - I talked about being happy my star winger was wanted previously. So I'm happy to sell.... but I don't want to sell for fuck all. I got a couple of offers for him - the best was 4.5m, but it was really 2.5m up front, 1m over time, and additional possible million if he plays 50 matches. So its basically an at-value offer for a 24 year old who averaged something like 7.45 in the league. He's only got a year left on his deal and I can't afford his asking price. So selling makes sense.... if I get value.

    The club is losing money. We were 2m in the hole. But by winning the cup, we qualified for the 2021 Copa Libertadores. And we should make it through the Group Stage at the very least, so we are looking at 4-7m coming in.

    Near the end of the Argentine window, the same Chinese clubs makes a 4.7m offer for the LB Sosa. So a 200K increase. And my board accepts it. I try to protest it and they say our finances are dire and we have no choice.

    Two days after the offer is accepted, I get a news story that Club America is targeting the same player and the deal could be worth up to 7.5m. So significantly more than we accepted.

    America doesn't make an offer and he takes the contract from China. Gone. Three days after he leaves, we get a lump sum of 3m for Libertadores participation. "Dire" debt is gone.

    There were only a couple of days left in the Argentine window when the deal closed so I didn't have a lot of time. I didn't get any deals over the line. I had another week to bring in a foreign player.... but my foreign player slots were all filled up. Over half of them were "awaiting paperwork" for Argentine citizenship but... waiting means they still count for now.

    so I was left with an 18 year old prospect as only functional natural LB, plus my 1st choice RB who can play LB. After the Argentine window closed, I get a 2.5m offer for that 1st choice RB, who is worth a hair over 3m. I say no without thinking and suddenly the player is kicking off.

    the finances at Banfield aren't as poor as the Rosario Central save. Or perhaps more accurately, I didn't fuck them up as badly. The clubs are kinda at the level I want in most ways, but I think the COVID-impact on finances is making them a bit beyond the scope of what I really want to deal with. I don't tend to enjoy saves where the finances drive every single decision. I've been holding off on a save in Australia because I don't feel like dealing with that at this point.

    Think I'm gonna take one more swing in Argentina with Argentinos Juniors. I've toyed with them and found them a bit "too easy", in that they have loads of great prospects and start out in the Copa Sudamericana. But those things means the finances won't be as grindingly hard.
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    I'm also done in Hungary, though because FC Luzern decided that promotion, followed by an incredibly lucky 2nd place finish was good enough to invite me to Switzerland to head up their first team. After finishing 8th, and just a spot above their relegation play-out(albeit by 10 points) they wanted someone who would play possession football, and develop players from the youth system, two things I normally do, and had been doing in my ultimately short 18 months in Hungary.

    In the process of getting stuck in I noticed that the team didn't really have any creative players, didn't have any goalscorers, and didn't have any good defenders, in fact most of the players were just... average. Distinctly average. The previous manager had secured the signing of Canadian winger Liam Miller on a free from Liverpool, and he immediately slotted into my starting plans. I poached current Schalke sensation, but in-game pretty average Matthew Hoppe to lead up top, and continued my "taking Americans from the Bundesliga" step by convincing Chris Richards to join and solidify the defense and snatched up a left-footed German by the name of Benedikt Gimber to partner him in defense. After picking up a good, Swiss ball-winning midfielder on a free, and a pretty dynamic winger, whom was also Swiss for a paltry fee, I have what will take me through the first half our season. The core of the team is all in their prime, but the current crop of up and coming players I got should help us at least have a strong finish in the Swiss Super League. With the Window closed, we've managed to take a spot atop the table with 14 points from 6 matches, and we're into the Third Round of the Schweizer Cup by a combined 9-2 score. So while the squad was rightfully not convinced of my managerial acumen at the start, we've certainly got much of their support now.

  18. #38
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    The 2022/23 season is weird. There's an international break right before the World Cup break, so after a massive run of 2 games a week from 10/1 to 11/5, there's almost a 2 week break until a home match on 11/22, followed by another two week break for a 12/6 match, and then a 3 week break until Boxing Day, which again kick starts shitty wild run of fixtures.

    The Boxing Day clash is a big one, away to Norwich why are 1 point ahead of us in the table. Norwich are on 52 points sheet 22 games played, and we're at 51 points. Villa are 3rd in 42, so automatic promotion is pretty much a lock, although my job could honestly be in jeopardy without winning the Championship.

    Cups will be fun in January. While the FA Cup is away to midtable Peterborough, we have Liverpool home for the derby in the QF of the League Cup (who have a fucking disgusting squad. Lost Salah, but brought in Joao Felix, Lautaro Martinez, Rafael Leo, David Alaba, and Ricardo Pereira). We beat Tottenham and Southampton on penalties to get there, but yeah, don't see us upsetting that Liverpool side.

    I ended up raising €262 million selling off Yerry Mina, James, Gomes, Nuno Sequeira, Allan, Bernard, Iwobi (my biggest sale at €60m), Doucoure, and Paulinho (somehow made an €8m profit on him too). The only paid transfers I made in the summer were Luca Connell (€2m) and Louie Sibley (€15m rising to 20), although I'm bringing in a 21 year old ST from Flamengo for only €10m. I'm also expecting to sell Rafael Santos Borre in January for more than that (had an offer for €40m accepted but he wouldn't go to Sassuolo, and I won't get that kind of fee again). I'm also hoping to sell Sigurdsson in January because he's old and not playing as well as either one of Sibley or Anthony Gordon, while I'm sure one of Godfrey/Holgate/Keane will go too.

    It's no surprise that Richarlison (11g 7a) and Victor Tsygankov (9&9) are carrying the attack, with Kean scoring 11 goals as well. Left back Faitout Maouassa is killing it now that he's getting first team football, as is 22 year Lewis Gibson, who has made himself first team CB over Keane and partnering one of Holgate or Godfrey. I also don't want to make Holgate and Godfrey my regular pairing since I don't expect to keep both.

    I'm loving the homegrowns at the club. Jonjoe Kenny, Tom Davies, Anthony Gordon, Holgate, and Lewis Gibson are all regular starters, and Jarrad Branthwaite is in the side a bit too. Plus trained in nation guys like Ojo, Godfrey, Pickford, Fredricks, Keane, and technically Sigurdsson. I also only have 3 foreign players in my squad because a lot of foreigners have been here enough to gain citizenship like Richarlison. That's going to come in handy when I move up to the Prem.

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    Re: Football Manager 21

    After having the board accept an undervalue offer for my star LB basically killed off the Banfield save for me, I've started up with Argentinos Juniors and six weeks in, had the board accept an offer over my head.... for the leftback.

    Don't think its save-killer this time. By itself, it wasn't with Banfield - it kinda combined with other factors to sour me. This is less annoying. Got 5.25m for him. The only frustrating thing is that I can't buy a 4-star replacement prospect for the position. I have a 4 star DC prospect who can play there and a 2.5 star prospect in-house so I'll make do.

    AAAJ are a bit weird. They have a lower reputation than either Banfield or Rosario Central, but are better positioned. I've often seen the finish top 4 when run by the AI. Solid starting squad with a couple of good players and some high potential prospects. A copule of them often end up at really big European clubs. The finances are decent to start with and being in the Copa Sudamericana usually means they get better.

    I'm already mulling how well the starting Blackburn squad fit with my current tactic so lord knows how long before I save jump again.
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    Re: Football Manager 21

    Seeing your Argentine adventures definitely makes me want to do a Brazil one sometime. I've always liked Santos because my coach when I was playing club football as a teenager played for Santos when he was trying to be a professional.

    I also want to do MLS but FM can never do MLS well. There's just far too much turnover with players being sold, players being released who would never get released, and way too many managers being axed.

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