Football Manager Series Catch-All

Not as much Richard Dunne as I was expecting....

To be fair, I don't have that many OGs in FM (cue barrowload at the exactly the wrong time when I next load it up..)

davet010 wrote:

Another look at some new features in FM22.

.

Some really interesting new feature there. Some quality of life stuff (VAR and staff meetings look particularly good).

The "dynamic youth ratings" for nations is tops for me.
My favourite FM game ever was my FM07 save where I lost in the final of the World Cup on penalties and I was only able to get there because there was a bug that had newgens be generated based on the human player's scouting knowledge. So in addition to a decently strong Canadian squad my club team's best strikers were from, I think, the Faroe Islands and Cook Islands.

I find VAR like a number of other things they've done, where, if there is a VAR decision, it's always offside. It's the same as how I've never seen a goalline decision that didn't end in the ball not crossing the line.

Pain in one image.

IMAGE(https://i.redd.it/5uryj1qrjyv71.png)

Echoes of the completely non-suspicious Argentina 6 Peru 0 game in the 1978 WC. I think they binned off second stage groups as a result of that.

That Euro '24 qualifying ?

Mr Bismarck wrote:

Pain in one image.

IMAGE(https://i.redd.it/5uryj1qrjyv71.png)

TWO injury time goals?!

It reminds me of when Dick Advocaat said something like "They won't win 8-0, what a stupid question" right before this.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/AqOIdXT.png)

I think this year, I'll go for hard mode.

"No, I don't know who he is either, Xavi - but he's barged into your office, put all your stuff in a box, and I've just heard him on the phone to Pep saying that much as he loves him, no he isn't going to swap de Jong for Sterling. because he's quite capable of putting out the cones at training himself".

Right - final checklist.

Kits - pack loaded

Faces - pack loaded

Names and editor fixes - loaded and installed

Cushion for banging head on - within reach

Swear jar - emptied

LET'S GO !

Early notes: Jesus jumped up Christ does the AI retain possession well this year. We're 6 games in and we're averaging 38% possession. I have no clue how we're 3-3-0.

Barcelona Report - 31/12/21

Position : 1st, 7pts clear of RM, CL qualified for knockout stage.
Record : W14 D3 L1, Pts 45, GF 36, GA 8
Possession : 57% (well, we are playing tiki-taka)
Leading Scorer : Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Ousmane Dembele, 5 each
Highest Average : Tanguy Ndombele, 7.29 (more of him later)

All going surprising well thus far (touches every piece of wood in reach).

Positives
- Gerald Pique and Memphis Depay aren't as annoying as I thought they'd be. And playing well.
- Loan repayments are £5.5m pcm. The total of loans is £1.2bn, so that should be only, about, oooo, 20 years or so. Good news is that we've been paying it off with Chumps League wins thus far.
- Squad is pretty deep, except at WBL and DM, and I've been working on that (see below).
- I've got rid of some deadwood to raise transfer funds.

Negatives
- Eric Garcia is as overrated and terrible as I remember him being....he's next for the door.
- Busquets is past it. Offered him a new contract, he wants £400k, which I thought very reasonable until he announced that was per week. Pointed to a lad in the B team called Nico Iglesias and told Busquets that "he's taking your place in the squad after Xmas". £400k per week my arse.
- Ansu Fati is great. Except he has the stamina of a week-old kitten. That is annoying.

Transfers
Ins - Ndombele (loan, the Board love him and so do I. I can drop de Jong to DM and leave Busquets out)
Zinchenko (£20m for the Swiss Army Knife of footballers)
Enes Unal (Turkish wonderkid from years back, once on City's books. £3m to cover for Sergio Aguero).
Also spent about 10m on multi-instalment deals for the future (Torben Rhein, Bayern II, Arezo, River Plate, Kerr Smith, Dundee Utd).

Recording this now before it goes t*ts up.

Humorously, Barca were doing exactly as badly in my game as they were doing in real life, so I felt pretty good about using the in-game editor to fire Koeman and replace him with Xavi.

(I also got to do Conte to Tottenham!)

My game hasn't been that odd, although there have been a few high profile sackings

Diego Simeone (Athletico were 12th) - he's now at Napoli
David Moyes (West Ham were 16th)

Marseilles and Celtic are also looking for new bosses.

Man U are about 6 pts clear at the top of the Prem (from Liverpool). City are languishing in 6th, having had some very odd results - losing at home to Watford and Brighton, then beating Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield. My money will be on Pep not lasting the season, unless they win the CL.

I still can't work out whether Newcastle have got megabucks or not. They didn't really buy anyone in summer (and are currently 17th), but the January window is about to open. I 'm not putting Eddie Howe in until I see what Steve Bruce does with all the dollars in the world. Which reminds me...

"Hey Busquets, I hear Newcastle might give you £400k a week...I'm sure you'll love it, and we'll love the money we get for you.".

Talking of reminding me - I'm very tempted to put Slippy G into Aston Villa. And to put Big Sam into the next massive team that comes up.

Ooo, I feel all reinvigorated. (Cue series of disastrous injuries and blunders at the Camp Nou..)

DEADLINE DAY HEADLINES

After managing to ship both Busquets and Jordi Alba and some B team players out for large-ish sums of money, I decided to have a wander round the winter sales..

First stop was PSG, where there seems to have been some sort of mutiny, as a number of players were on sale for a pittance. After kicking the tyres on a few, I took a double pack of Thilo Kehrer (CD/DM) and Julian Draxler (RW/LW) for a combined sum of £15m. The bloke at the counter said 'no refunds' as I was leaving, which bodes well.

Next stop was Bournemouth (!), because my analysts had been bashing the door down insisting I buy Lewis Cook. I have been taking note of BM's tactics, seeding the press with 'he'd love to be at Barca' pieces, although the sports editor at Marca did ring me to see if I'd spelt Lionel Messi's name wrong. A short wait, some ructions and I'd paid £6.5m for a Championship player. To be fair, he's averaging over 7.00 a game, which is more than some people.

Realising that I did actually need a proper LWB with Alba gone, a final stop at Dortmund before the bus home, and I picked up Raphael Guerrero for £30m. We don't actually have £30m at the moment, but a variety of instalment plans and very-unlikely-to-be-triggered clauses meant that we could just about squeeze him in.

So, net spend of about £6m has got rid of some malcontents and packed out the squad nicely. Those with 'under two weeks' in the 'when's Draxler going to kick off' sweepstake can pick up their prize at the door, as I had to leave him out of the CL squad for the knockout rounds as I could only make 3 changes.

Still top (just), still motoring, still wearing a flat cap in the dugout.

Oh, and summer's coming. And so's Kylian Mbappe. On a free once his PSG contract runs out.
£425k a week with surprising little competition. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that I can get to our finance people before La Liga's auditors..

davet010 wrote:

I still can't work out whether Newcastle have got megabucks or not. They didn't really buy anyone in summer (and are currently 17th), but the January window is about to open. I 'm not putting Eddie Howe in until I see what Steve Bruce does with all the dollars in the world. Which reminds me...

I wasn't going to bother with FM22, having not really got into 21 and having plenty of other games to be going on with, but then it appeared on GamePass day one...

Then I wondered about Newcastle...so I started a game, and yes they do have megabucks, assuming a £200m transfer budget counts! It's been a lot of fun going on a spending spree. I've got £45m left and have strengthened (hopefully) every area of the team apart from goalie. My expanded scouting team is on the case, so fingers crossed the unearth some gem for less than £45m and my remaining wage budget of £148k per week...

Yet to actually play a competitive game though! Also, I can see almost no difference between this version and the last, other than the pink colouring...

I've got about 20 matches under my belt, and it's largely what you remember, with some tweaks, like every year's game is.

The match engine still needs some serious tweaking (CBs pass the ball WAY too much and at way too high of a success rate) but for the first time in years, I'm reliably seeing players do cutbacks or cross the ball across the face of goal.

Barcelona Report - 1 April 2022.

Well, we're still chugging along.

There's 8 games left in the league. RM are in second, 7 points behind. They are also 11-10 favourites with the bookies to win the league, whereas Barca are 5-1.

"Hey, Mr Bookie, I'd like to bet my mortgage.."
"You're at Barca? You already have - many times over
"

We've also only got the league to play for, thanks to an away goal exit to a 90th minute goal from Valencia at the Camp Nou (away goals, how quaint), and a 7-6 penalty defeat by RB Leipzig. So I'm quietly confident,

You might remember this from the transfer window.

"I took a double pack of Thilo Kehrer (CD/DM) and Julian Draxler (RW/LW) for a combined sum of £15m. The bloke at the counter said 'no refunds' as I was leaving, which bodes well."

Three months later, Draxler is rocking a 6.5 average, and Kehrer is on the naughty step - he moans at everything, wanted to go on the transfer list because he 'couldn't settle', and threw a full-on strop when I suggested he had a break away from the club. He can while away the rest of the season at Barcelona B, until I dump him in the summer.

Quite excited by the u-19s, though. Their current record is P28 W26 D2 L0, GD +140. They're also through to the semis of the u-19 CL, which is a thing apparently.

More next time (or not, if we bottle the last 8 games..)

Prederick wrote:

(I also got to do Conte to Tottenham!)

Went 4-2-8, was fired in January.

The Ajax manager, Erik ten Haag, went to Newcastle in Sept.

Out by April. They are 16th, but will probably stay up.

And was it always a thing where you could look at other clubs and see how their board rated their current manager ?

I'm loafing at St. Albans in the Conference South as ever and it's going well so far.

13 games into the season we're in eighth place, right behind the playoff spots with a 6-3-4 WDL record. Our media prediction was 19th out of 21 teams so I don't expect us to be able to kick on as the teams above us keep winning, but we should be comfortably clear of the relegation battle we're expected to have.

On the plus side, we probably have a better financial position than Dave's Barcelona.

I expect the most pain to come after Christmas when our one scoring Forward goes through the mandatory dry spell and there aren't really any goals anywhere else in the side.

In typical FM fashion we've been bumping along with a bunch of 1-0 or 2-1 wins, but then we draw League 2 side Scunny* in the first round proper of the FA Cup and smash them 4-0 and then go away to table-topping Concord and beat them 2-1, with their goal coming from a terrible refereeing decision that's so bad even the Concord Manager says the refs were awful.

The 4-0 was one of those FM moments where you watch your own team run about and aren't sure what you're watching. Scunny were 11-10 on favourites for the game, but we scored on 5 minutes, 20 minutes, 45 minutes and 60 minutes to just casually put them away.

I didn't recognise what I was watching and the post-game press conference was just me doing a shrug emoji.

*Amusingly it turns out GWJ suffers from a famous problem that means I can't name my FA Cup opponents without triggering the language filter. I can't even link to the Wikipedia article describing the issue, because it also triggers the filter.

Well, my mortgage is safe - Barca won the title by 10 points, as RM collapsed at the end of the season, taking 4 points out of the last 5 games.

Man U won the Premiership by 1 point from Spurs. Liverpool were 3rd, City 4th, Chelsea 5th and Arsenal 6th.

CL final was Chelsea - Liverpool in St Petersburg. I attended, and the rumours that I had to be helped up after collapsing with laughter as Liverpool hit the woodwork 5 times and lost 3-0 are merely that. And don't let my lawyers hear otherwise..

The usual suspects won the other leagues at a canter (BM, PSG, Juventus).

Pep is still at City..they only came 4th, but won the Carabao Cup and got to the CL semi-final. Injuries seem to have hit them pretty hard. They've just sold me Gundogan for 22m (after asking 90m in Jan !), so that's nice.

Next year's lineup is looking something like this. Players in bold are in your squad when you start.

GK - ter Stegen
RB - Dest
CB - de Jong (he's averaging under 7.00 in mid, so trying him here)
CB - Araujo
LB - Guerrero
DM - Gundogan
CM - Pedri
MEZ - Gavi
RW - Fati
LW - Mbappe
CF - Barbosa (19m from Argentina).

I need a new GK2 and maybe a proper BWM, and that hopefully will be that. I think I've got Griezemann coming back from his loan as well..

Things I have noticed as I go through season 2.

- I'd forgotten about the November WC in 2022, until my next fixture popped up as RM in 59 days.

- I wish there was some way you could follow the tournament properly. I attended a few matches to keep an eye on what was going on, most notably England losing 2-1 to Germany in the last minute after equalising with ten men (Declan Rice, before you ask).

- To fill the enormous time gap, the person who I had deputed to arrange friendlies sorted out no less than 5. To be played over a period of TWELVE days. And not lower league outfits - 4 Bundesliga teams and Juventus. That was a bit much, so I've cancelled two and retaken control of setting up friendlies, at least until the league starts again.

- Has anyone else attended WC games. For some reason they seem to run really slowly, and yet I've attended Premiership games that run as fast as I have my own games run, when theoretically there are many more fixtures taking place at once than in the actual WC tournament.

davet010 wrote:

- Has anyone else attended WC games. For some reason they seem to run really slowly, and yet I've attended Premiership games that run as fast as I have my own games run, when theoretically there are many more fixtures taking place at once than in the actual WC tournament.

Not yet, as I am currently cursing the entire concept of Charleroi, as they bought my best player and turned us (Red Star Paris) from promotion certainties to "It's March and our 7-point lead is now 1 and we haven't scored in 3."

Season 2 end of year report

La Liga - 1st by 7 points
Copa Del Rey - won, beat Athletic Bilbao 5-2 in the final
CL - knocked out in quarters by RBL (again). Drew 2-2 at home after being 2-0 up, got royally slapped in Leipzig.

Only a couple of acquisitions in season - City put Stones on the list for £50m so I bought him, also picked up a CD called Ilyar Zabarnyi from Kyiv, training him to cover at RB as well. Net spend was zero as I managed to offload Griezmann for £40m and the mistake-in-waiting called Clement Lenglet for £32m.

I was disappointed by Mbappe (who seems to be injured even thinking about playing), but trying him at winger rather than IF worked wonders. Barbosa is a goalscoring machine who was top scorer (but when he's off, he's in 6.2 territory).

Pleasing to the fans was the number of players I've managed to bring into the first team squad from Barca B. At one point I was fielding 7 home grown players, which is unusual for me. One of those will be on his way soon though - Ansu Fati played in 30 of the 38 league games, but decided at the end of the season to have a moan about not playing in his favoured LW spot. My frantic pointing towards Mbappe (who does play there) was unnoticed by both Fati and his agent, so he's now on the list. I'm currently trying to package him up with some money and send him off to Munich and have them send Musiala in the opposite direction, but that's still ongoing.

I've now got two goals in mind - to actually progress in the CL, and to see how many of the current team I can phase out for graduates of the Academy. Strangely enough, despite having youth facilities graded at world class, our intake for this year was marked at one star. Some work to be done there, maybe.