I have decided to open one of the more popular threads from previous years. The Story Of Your Season and Career thread! Basically, in this thread you can write yearly updates on how you are going with your save, especially if you don't want to open a Story. This is also a good place, as I used this last year, to get inspiration from other for who you may want to start as in future saves.
Let's get rolling.
Last season we spent big as we wanted to challenge for the Premier League and the Champion League and maybe win one. A poor start to the league dampened that as we finished 4th and missed out on Champions League football with Chelsea winning it to seen us to the Europa League. This summer I wanted to strengthen our squad more than our starting XI but broke our transfer record for a 3rd season running.
We made the squad a lot younger and come the start of the season Tony Watt was our oldest player at 25 which shows a severe lack of experience but I was confident we could handle it. The rest of the signings were either youngsters or planned to be squad players but I went in confident we could put up more of a challenge and win our first trophy since winning the FA Cup in 2016.
Capital One Cup
We made the semi's quite comfortably but no matter who we got we were getting a challenge and drew Man City, probably the toughest of the 3 teams remaining. They destroyed us at home so we went a bit gung-ho in the 2nd leg and drew in a thrilling game. However, we never once took the lead and City would go on and win it.
We were given a winnable draw in every round but still failed to reach the semi's, where we would've faced Leeds. Instead, our left-back Romero went all Vinnie Jones and got sent off 20 seconds into the game and made what should've been a routine victory a major battle. In the end we had nothing left to offer and Reading deservedly won it.
This was, in my mind the last chance I would ever get of winning the Europa League with Wigan and I was determined to take it. The game didn't hand us any challenges in the group stages as we won every game comfortably. in the knockout rounds but we dispatched of everyone pretty easily, excluding Sevilla who gave us a little scare and a good game. It meant we were in our 2nd European final against a side that had put us out of the competition 2 years in a row a few years back and it was time for revenge. We played them off the park thanks to Will Hughes, became the first team to hit 50 goals in a Europa League campaign. Finally, we get our trophy.
We pushed United all the way but due to a few slip ups towards the end of the season we would finish runners-up for the second time in our history. If we'd have won our last 5 games we'd have finished on 90 points and taken the title but it wasn't to be.
We had a good start to the season before running into a little rough patch It put us in good contention for the title. Dropped silly points to QPR and Southampton, particularly QPR with us being at home but the title was still in our hands.
The loss to Swansea but be only our 3rd defeat all season and our only one in the second half of the season. Again we dropped silly points against Watford and Swansea at the end of the season, but also against Liverpool and Everton which were both winnable fixtures. You can't drop points like these and win the Premier League and we proved that, but we did finish with a new record points total.
I'll go more in-depth in a minute because most of these names (in fact, all but two of them) mean nothing to you but this will give you a good idea of what they're like if you don't want to look at them. Maxi was a brick and has recently signed a new contract with the club after Arsenal had activated his £26million release clause while Tony Watt broke the club's record for goals in a season, breaking the 30 barrier. Ivar van Dijk proved to be a bit hit-and-miss but still hit 20 this season and I'm sure he'll come on again next season.
Sander Liefden - Free - Signed from FC Twente, Sander has become quite a solid, young backup goalkeeper although this season he proved to be a bit suspect. 50/50 at the minute whether he'll stay or I'll bring in someone British.
Nicolas Sanna - Free - Signed this summer from AC Milan to replace Butland. Just looks too good to pass up and was fantastic this season, keeping over 20 clean sheets this season in all competitions.
Ben Bruce - £9.25million - A pretty solid defender but this could be his last year with the club with Fernandez and Resit Unal coming through. Still a good player but I believe our younger lads are already better.
Walter Fernandez - £7million - A lot of money for a young player but in a few years time that will be considered a bargain. All the attributes to become a legend here and expect him to feature more next season.
Christos Fosteris - £2.7million - Fits our mould perfectly as a top defender who can also pass. Bit of a risk to throw him in this season but it's been paying off.
Rikard Gustafsson - £4.5million - Signed because of his release fee and this is likely to be his only year at the club but he's a solid defender who ticks all the boxes.
Maxi - £6.75million - One of, if not the best defender in the world. Has all the right attributes and was our top performer last season. A key figure.
Maxsuel - £1.2million - Signed as a youngster from Palmeiras, he now counts as home-grown making him one of 3 at the club and not one is English. It's this reason that he'll probably stay, invaluable to our European selection.
Resit Unal - £8million - Another large fee for such a young player but you tell me he's not going to be a superstar. Has to be given more football next season, better than a lot of defenders around already.
Pablo Tello - £4.5million - Signed at 15, we had to wait 3 years before he joined up. Since he has he's developed into a leading star in the team and is as strong as they come. Better than Maxi, maybe.
Rinaldo Budroni - £18million - Was definitely a spur of the moment signing with us struggling early in the 2018/19 season. We brought him in from Juventus and he scored against Man Utd on his debut. Beloved for that alone, but it does help that he's awesome.
Daniel Cosentini - £7.5million - Brought him in becuase we needed someone to cover for Jasaui and he was probably the best around who wouldn't mind warming the bench. Looked very good this season though and I'm happy with what he can do.
Alexander Jasaui - £4.2million - Missed out on the original £450k deal the year before we signed him but his performances still makes him a bargain. Courted by teams like Barcelona and Juventus, he's probably the best attacking full-back in the game.
Rubén Darío Romero - £3million - The man is a nutcase but a brilliant one at that. 4 red cards last season including one which saw him dismissed after 22 seconds shows what I mean but he is brilliant when he's on the pitch and he's home-grown too.
Laurent Breton - Free - Only became interested once PSG released him and now he loves the club. A brilliant midfielder who, paired with Lepe and Hughes makes one of the best midfields in the world.
Bobby Fairbairn - £11million - Signed from West Brom, Fairbairn has become a top squad player and someone we can always rely on. Chelsea continue to show an interest but he's not for sale, especially as he's our captain.
Jake Gallagher - £11million - A player who caught my eye when we played Arsenal the season before last and looks a solid squad player. He's proved that this season and looks a useful player.
Will Hughes - £5million - One of my earlier signings and probably my favourite player on this year's game, Will has grown into one of the world's best midfielders and has the ability to unlock any defence.
Hernán Lepe - £34.5million - Our record signing and looks worth every penny. I'd go as far as saying he's the 2nd best player in the world and it's not hard to see why. Absolutely world-class.
Walter Leandro - £10.5million - A top player who, on his day can torment any defence. Seems to perform better when he's not relied on though but he's still an excellent squad option.
Arturo Corral - £26million - Struggled in an injury-hit first season but has started to show what he's capable of these past 2 seasons with 47 goals in 76 games. A player I really like.
Rodrigo - £875'000 - Probably our biggest bargain. Signed as a youngster so he's also home-grown, he's developed into one of the finer talents in the game. He's not clinical but he does score goals and he sets them up as well making him a great all-round player.
Ivar van Dijk - £30.5million - Lethal on his day but he isn't exactly consistent. Still, he hit 20 this season so he's not all bad and does seem to enjoy the big games. Hoping the consistency comes next season now he's had 2 full seasons under his belt.
Tony Watt - £13million - All hail Sir Tony Watt! The man is a demon and just always seemed to score. He's been everything I thought he'd be and more and I've struggled to get van Dijk and Corral in over him, he's become invaluable.
I doubt we'll strengthen as much next season as there isn't much left to strengthen. Gustafsson will be on his way out with either Maxsuel or Bruce as Unal and Fernandez come through and Liefden might go as we add more British players but really there's nowhere else where we can grow, it's now just about developing what we have. I want another trophy, particularly one of the Premier League or the Champions League as I think we're good enough to do so.
I'd also like to point out that, despite us now competing in Europe for the 7th season running, 7th in the coefficients, winning the FA Cup twice, winning the Europa League and finishing runners-up in it as well as runners-up in the Premier League twice and finishing 3rd, I'm still yet to make it onto the favoured personnel list at all. Not happy with that and it has made me consider my position a little.
I was given £9M to finish in the top half of the league, which was easily do able so I just accepted that as there are plenty of wages spare to adjust the budget as and when you need, I eventually raised it to around £18M so I could sign my main targets and still have some wages spare.Transfers
So the main area of the pitch I felt need improving was right back, so I put a cheeky bid of £9M in for Corchia which was rejected. This made him unhappy that he was unable to talk to other clubs so he was transfer listed for £12M and I soon snapped him up as he is a player I've always wanted to manage on FM.
Another area where I needed an extra body was AMC since I was using 3 of them in my formation, I didn't really want Afellay as I had bad experiences with him in the past but I couldn't find anyone better so I decided to get him for £6.25M.
I was also given £21M in January; Jose Angel was already on loan at the club and he was putting some good performances in, so I decided to make his deal permanent in January for £6.75M.Formation
This was my formation with my main starting XI throughout the season, Agirretxe was first choice at first but got injured for a few months and Ifran stood in and done a great job so rotated them toward the end of the season. Carlos Vela covered AMC positions majority of the time was a good squad player to have around. Ion Ansotegi also rotated a lot with Mikel Gonzalez, anyway here are the squad stats.Spoiler:Squad Stats
As you can see there were only a couple of stand out players but I liked how the goals were shared around the team too, everyone chipped in and done their part.
LIGA BBVALeague Table
As you can see we had a very good season, especially the first half of the season where we had only lost to the big two which put us in good shape for the second half of the season, where we slipped up a couple of times but comfortably finished 3RD in the end.
I think it will be difficult to improve on that next season obviously with Real Madrid and Barcelona but I hope to repeat the success and start getting regular Champions League football.
Real Madrid and Barcelona swapped between themselves for the top two spots and with about 5 games to go Barcelona went a point ahead and won every game from there on in, also Cristiano Ronaldo scored 62 times in 38 La Liga games
Real Madrid beat Barcelona in the Champions League Final though.Spoiler:Fixtures/Results
Champions LeagueGroup Table
I had a good run in the Champions League, I first had to qualify by beating A.C. Milan which we did comfortably surprisingly.
I had a tough group but was confident if I could beat Ajax or Porto home and away I would stand a good chance and luckily I beat Porto twice, Ajax once and Man City once. I won all 3 of my home games and won one away to see me through.
I drew Marseille in the first knock out round and was confident of getting past them, but I only managed to get through on away goals. Either way I was pleased to reach the quarter finals in my first season.
In the quarters I lost to Barcelona 5-1 on aggregate was very disappointed with the performance at home where we controlled the game for the first half hour but every counter attack they scoredNext Season Targets
In terms of next season I think the main thing I will need is a bit more depth, players were tired quite a few times in the season, thankfully at times though games were like a week apart. The board have set an initial budget of £27M and a decent wage budget where I have 250K spare.
I will look to bring in youngsters with potential to add squad depth if that is possible and maybe bring in a first team CB to partner Inigo Martinez, other than that I think this squad is more than capable of achieving the same again next season, it really just depends on what is available.
My targets for competitions will be pretty much what I've achieved this season as I think it will be difficult to beat, the only competition I'm confident of improving on is the Copa Del Rey as I was knocked out in my first round to lower opposition this season
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