I'm struggling to find a save that I've been so invested in, especially when you consider the ups and downs of the save so far. I think Catania was the last one and will probably always be the peak of my FM history, but this save has a similar feel to it, albeit on a different scale. Sir Alex Ferguson spoke a lot about building different teams in different eras and not always because those players had reached their peak. For the last 6-12 months in game it's felt like we're coming to the end of that first era at the club. The established players at the start of the save have now reached their peak and are starting to come out the other side, while the original youngsters with potential have no reached that.
You'll have seen the thrown together posts on staffing and the direction I'm taking with that, but I'm now at the stage where I need to plan longer term on the pitch and have a set plan. More on that over the coming days, but for now we'll catch up on what's been happening on the pitch. The good, the bad and the ugly.
It feels like we're regressing. Not by much, just slightly, but the warning signs are there. We're having to grind much more than I'd like, mainly down to inconsistency from all four wide players. They're all very similar in terms of attributes, goals, assists and average rating, so it's time to shake things up a little.
We're either brilliant or we struggle to break teams down. If we get an early goal, we're fine. If not, we're in trouble.
We've struggled to break down Boca, Patronato, Racing, Aldosivi, Banfield and San Martin. Four of those being teams we should be rolling over at this stage. When we're on form, we're unplayable, as the wins over Lanus and Nueva Chicago show. It would be easy to blame fatigue at this stage. As I mentioned in my last update, the start of the season is busy and, if we can get to this stage relatively unscathed then we're doing okay. Well we did that, but we've needed Boca to throw in some shockers in the last five games to top the table.
Luckily for us, Boca and River have both had their own struggles, possibly due to getting to the knockout stages of the Libertadores. So it's not all bad news, and we're usually stronger over the second half of the season, but I've seen enough to do something about it rather than just brush it under the carpet.
I was going to butter this up, make it all long winded and full of suspense, but what's the point. We lost the final on penalties to Corinthians.
For those that can't remember, that's four Libertadores finals in a row we've lost now. Three of those we've been the better team. It's such a shame as well because the semi final second leg was one of the best games I have ever had on FM and certainly won't be beaten in this save. 1-0 up in the final too. It just wasn't to be.
We had penalties again three days later in the final of the Copa Argentina, but this time we came out on top. I'd have rather won three days earlier and lost this one.
We've made the final every year since the start of the save, winning four.
A solid B- for the season so far, we can definitely go up a gear or two.
Our policy or recruiting foreign young players to compliment our own home-grown talent has seen me spend £1.5m on Luis Llerena from Peruvians, Sporting Cristal. At the minute he's going to be playing Reserve football, but I'm hoping to sort out a loan move for him until a spot in the first team squad opens up.
One player that will be leaving this window is Isaias Barroza. He's wanted out for a while since I 'priced him out of a move' (less than his value) and eventually I proved him wrong by managing to get £4.5m for him from Bolivar.
After originally planning to have Luis Llerena play Reserve football, an injury to Alex Guijarro meant a space in the first team squad opened and boy has he taken it. A little inconsistent as you'd expect, but 4 goals and 3 assists over the second half of the season is a decent start. As you can see from the screenshot, his development has been accelerated by the introduction to first team football. As expected, Alvaro Barreal left during this period, to Cruzeiro for £4m. Lautaro Cano also left for pastures new after Real Salt Lake paid £500k for him.
The sale of Barreal, and Barroza before him, meant that we needed extra bodies out wide. It would have been easy to tap into some of the £36m transfer kitty available to me but instead I decided to promote from within. Daniel Sanchez and Martin Sanchez both joined the first team and offer something different than what we already have. Both are proper wingers rather than inside forwards, so we can switch things up tactically when needed. Alejandro Surace also comes in to play as the fourth centre back after outgrowing the U20's.
I've reached that stage in the save where I know what the team is capable of and that sometimes means that you create unrealistic expectations. Unless we're blitzing everyone, keep 60% of the ball, create five clear cut chances and are 4-0 up at half-time, I'm not happy. I unfairly expect us to shit on everyone at this stage.
We played really well over the second half of the season, as well as I can remember us playing. We never really pulled away from Boca and River due to both of them finding the sort of form we've not seen since the early seasons in the save, but we needed to be at our best to ensure we won our fifth title in a row. For the second season running it was a Velez, River, Boca - one, two, three.
Unsure what happened in that Boca game. We just never got started and they tore us apart. One of the few times we've been outplayed in recent years.
We are infinitely stronger in the first half than the second half with 23 goals scored in comparison to 11 during the last 20 game period. We fly out of the blocks and hit hard before half time, scoring 10 goals during the 31-45 minute period. We can then afford to take our foot off the gas, make some subs and see the game out. I'd like to continue with the same speed and ruthlessness, but it's an FM favourite to be comfortably winning at half-time and then not add to the scoreline.
A solid defence was the basis on which we won the league. 19 goals conceded was by far the best record and, when you consider that Estudiantes had the next best record with 31, it shows how good we were. Luis Abram continues to be a monster at the back for us and, interestingly, has seen a change in his personality. I did a squad overview two years ago and his personality was Balanced. It's now Perfectionist. Not seen that with someone of his age before.
At the other end of the pitch, Maxi Romero upstaged Florian Monzon to claim the league's top scorer award with 19 goals, but both finished on 23 in all competitions. Walter Perez enjoyed a good first season at the club and chipped in with 10 assists from left back.
For the first time since the start of the save we have fallen below the board's expectations of us. Massively below. After losing four finals in a row, this year we failed to make it out of the group stage.
We were drawn in a group with Botafogo, a familiar opponent now, Ecuadorians, Universidad Catolica, and little known Brazilians, Bragantino.
We had Bragantino up first in Brazil and I was hopeful of a positive result. We'd been to Flamengo, Corinthians, Botafogo and Palmeiras in recent memory and done well. Missed chances meant we went down 2-0. We were supposed to put it right at home to Botafogo. We dominated, but more missed chances and conceding a penalty saw a second successive defeat and put us in real bother.
We beat Catolica home and away Seven clear cut chances across the two games but we only came away with a couple of 1-0 wins. The big one was away at Botafogo. We had to win. We didn't. These match stats tell you all you need to know about the game. We drew 0-0.
Going into the last game we needed a miracle. We needed to beat Bragantino and hope that Catolica, with their zero points, beat Botafogo. We beat Bragantino 1-0, but Botafogo cruised to a 3-0 win in Ecuador and it's us that play in the Sudamericana.
A really poor showing. We should have beaten Botafogo, and would have gone through if we did, but we put ourselves in a terrible position after those first two games. We have played the Second Round of the Sudamericana and beat Coquimbo Unido (Chile) 4-0 on aggregate. Looking at the draw for the third round, we should be looking at winning this competition.
A bittersweet season in many respects. The youth team again won their domestic league and I continue to manage them. The domestic dominance continues, we continue to focus on youth development and are pretty good at it too, but our performances in the Libertadores are casting a shadow over these achievements.
I continue to fine tune the backroom staff of both the first and reserve team and will be posting an update on my approach soon.
I think a lot of it was just bad luck and poor finishing. We should have done better away at Bragantino and certainly at Botafogo. Two clear cut chances and hitting the woodwork four times? If one of those goes in, we go through. Our league form surrounding those two early defeats was really good, it just didn't convert for some reason. I'm chalking it down to just one of those things. There's also no denying that the increased experience owed to both Sanchez's and Llerena will benefit us in the long run and even next season though, so I'm hopeful it's just a one season thing.
That "good" young Dutch striker? Nino Hendriks. Doesn't look that good and doesn't have great potential. I don't think he'll ever be physical enough to be a striker, but could forge a career as an attacking midfielder. Andres Mantovani is the pick of the bunch, certainly in terms of potential. Some standout attributes from the off. Aggression, Bravery, Decisions, Teamwork, Work Rate all excellent. My own Pablo Zabaleta. Nestor Robles is this year's Perfectionist but needs a bit of work. Only 5ft 10" as well, which isn't exactly tall for a centre back. I actually like the look of Agustin Pachame, but we're well stocked on the wing and his personality isn't great.
Overall, more positive than last season and I think I'll sign all of them bar the two Unambitious lads, but we're still waiting for that real superstar to come through. The kind of player that defines a save and lives long in the memory.
The disconnect between these intake previews and the real thing is pretty bad. I understand that they shouldn't be completely correct, but you'd think someone heavily involved in youth development would have a reasonable assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of a given class.
Mantovani looks like he could be class with some quickness and agility/balance training.
I've got a bit carried away with playing, but I've not hit mid-season yet, so I'll spend some time catching up on everything over the first few months of the season.
It was a quiet transfer window in and out, but the good news was that nobody left permanently. We're getting to the stage where we can fend off interest from all of North and South America and even some of the European teams. My fears for the future are at centre back at the moment. Gianetti, for so long our main man, is 32 at the end of the month and will need replacing at the end of next season. Abram is 29 so we have a bit longer with him, but these two have been the best centre back pairing in South America over the last five years so replacing them will be hard and, as we found out in this window, costly.
Fernando comes in from Flamengo at a cost of £15m, a record for ourselves and indeed Argentinian football. I had to pay his release clause, but he's a top player and offers us longevity. He's tall, quick and brave but also good on the deck too with good tackling, passing and positioning.
Lots of players left on loan for first team football. I know a lot of people don't use/trust the loan market, but I find it an incredibly valuable way of giving young players minutes and helping them develop. If you find a club with good training facilities that offer them first team football at a good level, then it can a hugely successful.
The league is offering us more of a challenge than ever before. It's super competitive at the moment and results that were once considered shocks are now becoming more normal. We're sixteen games in and everyone is dropping points. At home we're extremely strong and are currently unbeaten, but away from home has been a bit more of a struggle, despite dominating games. We're in the annoying habit of conceding a single goal per game, usually after going 1-0 up, when the opposition only has 2 or 3 shots on goal in the entire game. I don't know it's fatigue or a lack of concentration but it's pretty irritating. Romero leads the way in terms of goals with 8 in 12 apps, but it's Lucas Orellano that is the player of the season so far with 6 goals and 14 assists in 22 starts.
It's a bit tighter at the top of the than I would have liked. The small tweaks to the tactic that I made in pre-season didn't seem to be working so I've looked at changing them again. I only one seemed to stick. I've kept the higher tempo, but I've reverted us back to being only fairly wide in attack rather than wide. Small changes but they seem to have a pretty big impact and I've been far happier with our performances recently.
For the first time since the start of the save I've made a conscious effort to use the cup to give players minutes rather than make changes because I was 'forced' to by player fatigue. Racing (4-0), River Plate (4-3), Independiente (2-1) and Nueva Chicago (4-1) have all been seen off to set up a final with San Lorenzo who, luckily for us, beat Boca on penalties in the other semi final.
Our tie against River was great. A proper old fashioned cup tie (who doesn't love a cliche?) We always have to be at our best when we go there and it showed as they only had 30% possession but still had 17 shots on goal. The semi final was weird. Nueva Chicago are our rivals and all they wanted to do was kick us off the pitch. One kick too many took them down to ten men and the rest was a formality.
Lads. LADS! We finally won a continental trophy. Not the big one admittedly, but we got the monkey off our backs eventually! I put a lot of pressure on myself to win this so was pretty nervous throughout, but we managed to reach the final without conceding a goal.
The final against Internacional was a tense game. We started brilliantly and should have been 2-0 up inside four minutes. We had to wait until the 12th minute to take the lead after Lucas Robertone converted a penalty, but we were pegged back before half-time. In previous finals that would usually signal a second half collapse, but not this time. Monzon ('53) and 18 year old Daniel Sanchez ('89) scored the goals that won us the trophy.
Pure relief at winning the Sudamericana. I feel like we've deserved that for our efforts and approach over the last five years.
Still no news on the stadium move - it's still at the planning permission stage - but it SURELY can't be much longer? Finances took a bit of a hit with the Fernando deal, but the aforementioned trophy win has seen our reputation rise even further so presumably increased sponsorship can't be too far away?
We had a busier transfer window than expected. Fabian Borja had found his game time severely limited due to the emergence of Emerson Quinonez and, despite my best efforts, I just couldn't get him in the first team anymore. Gremio came in with a bid of £10m + 50% of next sale and we made significant profit on a player we bought for just £1m.
I spent £7m of the Borja money recruiting Fredy Fernandez from Cruzeiro. I mentioned previously that centre back is my biggest concern so Fernandez comes in to compliment Fernando (that's going to confuse me too.) I have also decided to loan out Gabriel Rey to Libertad for first team football. They've got a good reputation for producing players and their training facilities are top notch. Playing with them is going to be more beneficial to his development than playing youth football at the moment. Finally, the £9m sale of Hernan De La Fuente to Cruz Azul. He came to me saying that he needed a new challenge and, as we've been relying less on him over the last 18 months, I was happy to let him leave. He's been incredibly consistent for us over the last five years, so it was only fair to let him go.
Title number six arrived in harder circumstances than the five before it. 85 points was the lowest total we've recorded since the league reverted back to 38 matches per season. Our four defeats are the highest since the start of the save and the same total as our last three seasons combined.
I mentioned previously that the league seems more competitive than ever and that probably rings true. Independiente had a rough few years but were back to their best this season, pushing us all the way as the title went down to the final day. They lost one more game than us. Third place Estudiantes, after three good seasons finishing 4th and 5th, looked far stronger this season. They lost nine eights times. River and Boca made up the top five - they lost nine times apiece.
At the other end of the table, Banfield went down with 31 points, but the big story was Racing. They won the title in 2018/19, finished second in 2022/23, but will be playing their football in Primera B next season. They still have fantastic facilities and were predicted mid-table so this is a massive shock for Argentinian football.
Our defence is as good as ever, but I have real concerns about the attack. Goalless draws against Talleres, Banfield and Defensa almost cost us, so we need to find a way to get through these hyper defensive teams. We're capable, plenty of times we're hitting fours and fives, but we're also guilty of missing chances in lacklustre performances.
After beating Internacional in the Sudamericana, we played in the Recopa against Libertadores winners Fluminense. A 75th minute from Maxi Romero won us South America's equivalent to the Super Cup.
Back where we belong again and back somewhere near our best. We were drawn in a group with Emelec (ECU), Santos (BRA) and Independiente Medellin (COL) so I was confident of a good showing.
We opened with a 5-0 win at home to the Colombians before seeing off Santos (1-0) and Emelec (4-2) both away from home to put us in control of the group. We qualified after beating Emelec at home 3-1 before taking our foot off the gas a little, drawing 1-1 with Santos at home and losing in Medellin. Despite that we comfortably topped the group and play Colo Colo (CHI) in the second round.
It looks like a tough draw. Old foes Flamengo are in there, along with Fluminense, Gremio, Botafogo and Sao Paulo. I'm hoping we can regroup over the off-season and hit the knockouts hard next season.
We have a problem in goal. Emerson Quinonez, unhappy at not being allowed to join PSG (six months after joining us!), has now missed training twice and will be leaving the club over the summer, should we receive a half decent offer for him. He's the best goalkeeper in South America, but we can't be having that sort of behaviour and attitude in such a pivotal position. Fernando had a superb first season at the club, averaging 7.41, and is currently courted by pretty much all of the major European clubs. You don't spend £15m on someone just to keep them for one season, and it'll take a big offer for us to let him go, but those teams interested make it very hard to keep him.
Romero and Monzon continue to share striking duties with both hitting over 20 goals once again. We seem to have solved our 'wide man' issues with Thiago Ojeda (17 goals, 8 assists) and Lucas Orellano (13 goals, 22 assists) both in supreme form this season.
One position that still has question marks over it is the AMC. I've tried a shadow striker, an advanced play maker and an attacking midfielder now and I'm struggling to get anything out of them. Nine goals and five assists for Alex Guijarro with an average rating of 7.03. That was the best output from that position, but I expect more, especially from someone with his skill set.
We're in a bit of a pickle financially and I'm entirely to blame. Despite a net transfer spend of -£43m over the last three seasons, we currently find ourselves £1.5m in debt. I know I've blamed sponsorship a lot for a lack of income, but I'm starting to think there might be an issue somewhere. We bring in just £1.8m per season in sponsorship, down from £2.6m at the start of the save. River (£14.25m) and Boca (£12.5m) both bring in considerably more than us but are also down on those totals since the start of the save. However, given their lack of success in the domestic game and subsequent drop in reputation, you can account for this. We've gone the opposite way and have nothing to show for it. We're also desperate for this stadium move which has stalled at the planning permission stage for about three years now and doesn't look like it's ever going to happen. We need the increased matchday revenue to balance out a wage budget that is under control but also much larger than it was at the start of the save.
I think now more than ever we need to look at the youth team who, once again, had their own success with another league title and Sub-20 Libertadores win.
This year's youth intake preview. An 'excellent' group works for me. Good to see more central midfielders coming through and hopefully the fullback is a right back. I've no idea where this Salvadoran kid has come from as we have no links to that country at all, but hopefully he's decent.
No, I just got the initial message where everything is to be decided. The only information I can get on it is via the facilities screen. Its been about 4 years, but at least there's movement on it and its not just been forgotten about.
How do Piermattei and Quignon look? I think star ratings are relative to the team, not the league (which is confusing given the game's reports translate them to league-relative ability or potential), so the relatively low ratings of your top prospects might be related to how good your squad is. I guess the only way to be sure is to use something like Genie Scout to test the PA of various players.
Neither look great, no better than what is already in the U20's team. I get the point about star ratings being relative to the team. Based off that, he'll be good enough to be seventh choice should he fulfil that potential. Quignon would be eighth best.
The best looking player on paper is, by a pretty huge margin, David Luna. His initial potential suggests that he's not going to improve much further, certainly if the stars are to be believed. We'll see. I actually think he could play in the first team at some point in the future.
Early signs suggest I was right about David Luna and that's calmed me down a little bit. I was close last night to just bailing and taking another job, but I've slept on it and have renewed enthusiasm.
I like Luna and he's already wanted by Santos, so must have something about him. I'm currently getting him to focus on his strength as that's his stand-out weakness at the moment, but there are a few physical attributes that need improving. I know they improve naturally, but if I can give them a little help along the way it can only benefit him and us in the future.
He looks as good, if not better, than Monzon did at that age and if he can become somewhere close to that level, we'll have a player on our hands.
Shame to hear about the frustation regarding intakes Nick. Not to be the bird of bad omen, but it's what killed my save, we just weren't getting (on the whole country) newgens capable of playing in top teams in Europe and thus the National Team didn't progress in terms of ability. Don't know what the problem is, as you say I also had the best facilities, recruitment and coaching, with a top HoyD. It might be a problem from the game, don't know.
Congrats on the Sudamericana win and keeping the domestic dominance. Can you make a good run at Libertadores? What else are you looking forward in the save?
Note: That Bragantino side from Brazil is a Red Bull club, that's why they have a boatload of money and always have decent sides.
I got a bit carried away this season and just played through for reasons that will become clear after you read this. This update will detail everything that happened in the last 12 months, follow a bit of a different format as I mix it up a bit, but hopefully you'll find it enjoyable.
It feels like a long time ago now, but last summer's transfer window was a quiet one. As I've said previously, money has been a little tight despite the negative net transfer spend, so I didn't splash the cash. The only outgoing cash transfer was Enrique Rosas to La Liga side, Real Sporting. They obviously saw something in him that they liked, but I have a better prospect here in Gabriel Rey. I used £1m of that money to bring in Wilmer Perdomo from Deportivo Pasto. Truth be told, I didn't necessarily need him per se, but for that price I couldn't resist. As you can see from the screenshot, he spent the second half of the season on loan at Tigre where he played every week and played to a very decent standard. Our only other signing this season came in the shape of Elias Machuca on a free transfer after his release from Chelsea. Those of you with a good memory will remember he spent a year on loan with us after his transfer there and he remained on my shortlist. He only played three times in three years for Chelsea, which has stunted his growth a bit, but he's plenty good enough for a role with us and, with Abram and Gianetti now both over 30, he will find himself with plenty of opportunities on the pitch. A series of other loans left the club including Giuliano Damiano to Independiente, a move I so nearly came to regret, such was his good form. He ended the season with 11 goals, 6 assists and a rating of 7.50 - a massive player for them this year.
Our season started in spectacular fashion, as it so often does. We advanced against Estudiantes (4-1) in the Copa Argentina, Colo Colo (2-0) in the Copa Libertadores and won five of our opening six matches in the league, keeping five clean sheets in the process. August is a busy month in Argentina, but especially for us as we play the Libertadores as well. We smashed Independiente 6-1 on aggregate, but the knock-on effect from that was that we dropped points against Nueva Chicago, Tigre and Defensa in three of our next four matches. We always seem to stutter at this stage. Form doesn't drop of a cliff, but we get too many draws and have to fight for the points rather than approach them with our usual swagger. It's a habit that has crept in over the past few seasons and I'm not sure how to rectify it. I have a few extra players in the squad now to cope with congestion, but it doesn't seem to help. I've learnt to accept it's just a tough period.
September is quieter, but still busy enough. We beat Union de Santa Fe in the cup and dealt with Corinthians (2-1) in the home leg of our Libertadores quarter final. A dodgy win away at Banfield, followed by a catastrophic home defeat to Instituto saw us lose top spot in the table, a position we didn't gain back until April.
October saw another home defeat, this time to Estudiantes who were flying in the league and fighting for top spot with San Lorenzo. We beat San Lorenzo in the Copa quarter final and completed the Corinthians mission by beating them 3-2 in Brazil. On our day, we're stunning. We also like to hit the woodwork three or four times per game, miss chances and simply love a 0-0. By this stage I just wanted to get to the winter break to regroup. A feeling that creeps up on me at this time every year. Our opponent in the Libertadores final was...Flamengo.
November is crunch time. Copa Argentina semi final, final and Libertadores final. We would only win one. I'm sick to death of Flamengo. So much so that I genuinely thought about joining them when they offered me an interview later in the season. It was another final that we dominated, but another final that they won via a late goal. I honestly think we're just destined not to win it. Five finals we've lost now, three against that team in red. It's a record I'm almost proud of. Naturally after that defeat I questioned everything about the save. You know what's annoying me most about these final losses though? I've got Lautaro Gianetti nearing the end of his career and he doesn't have a Libertadores medal to show for it. This guy has spent his entire career at the club, has nearly 400 appearances for the club and has been captain since I took over. It would just complete his story with us if we can win one for him. We've probably got one more chance.
We bashed Newell's 5-2 in the cup final to add another trophy to the collection, but our form before the winter break was atrocious, certainly by our standards. Losses to Independiente (2-0), Nueva Chicago (3-2) and ANOTHER 0-0 draw with Defensa saw us go into the break in real trouble. We were sitting in sixth and seven points off the top of the table. I've said before, and we've proven, that we're better over the second half of the season, but we needed to pull something out of our ass in the remaining games of the season.
The break went as expected. It was quiet, the transfer window opened and the offers for my players came flooding in like they always do, but we're well into that stage where players don't become unhappy at this. The biggest offer came from China in the shape of a £47m bid for Lucas Robertone. I'll be honest, if we were sitting top of the league four or five points clear, I'd have been packing his bags for him. This is a guy who is 30 and has been a good player for us, but not spectacular, and plays in a position where we have plenty of options both in the first team and youth team. We weren't top though and I didn't want more upheaval and especially with a player who is a club icon and very influential in the dressing room. It proved, and I'm gonna blow smoke up my own arse here, to be a fucking masterstroke.
If our form over the first half of the season was frustrating, tired and almost nervous, our form over the second half of the season simply stunning. We opened up with a 1-0 win against Tigre and a 3-1 win at Talleres. Solid, but not spectacular. Yet. We drew 2-2 with Independiente in a game where we found ourselves 2-0 down after half an hour, but it was the 4-1 win over Newell's in the Supercopa that signalled a run of form that you just keeping playing and playing FM. Don't change anything, don't turn it off, just keep winning.
11 clean sheets in a row, 10 wins. A 6-0, 4-0, 5-0, 5-0, 7-0. We were absolutely insane. An almost unlikely title was wrapped up with the matches to go. The key to this? A certain Lucas Robertone. Fabricio Diaz picked up an injury which kept him out for a long time, so Fausto Vera switch to the DLP role and Robertone came in as the Mezzala. In the final 13 games of the season, he scored 8 goals, contributes 5 assists at an average rating of 8.38. You remember that Champions League semi final in 1999 where Roy Keane was booked early on and he knew that he was going to miss the final, but still scored a goal and put in a MoM display? This was like that, but for 13 matches. My man said "fuck this", rolled his sleeves up every game and performed out of his skin. His last five matches were 9.5, 9.3, 8.8, 9.0 and 7.0. I've never seen anything like it.
Sandwiched in and around all this domestic madness was the group stage of the Libertadores. We were given a fairly comfortable group of El Nacional (ECU), Independiente Santa Fe (COL) and Palmeiras. We topped the group comfortably, unbeaten with 16 points. The second round sees us play Internacional which will be tough.
As a season that was all over the place. Highs and lows aplenty with a little bit of relief in their too. Not winning the league would have been a disaster. There were elections in November and a new chairman came in. It would have been easy to see us in sixth at the break and thrown me out of my office on my face. That was never a real concern and I guess my previous success went a long way towards that, but he didn't offer me a contract until April when we hit the top of the league again so clearly he was thinking about it! A new four year deal was signed taking me to the end of the 2031 season.
Once again the finances are looking a little shaky, but the big news is that we have all three sponsorship deals expiring this summer, including the main kit deal which has been running for SIX years! We currently get £875k per season from that and I'm expecting that amount to sky rocket. If it doesn't, something is broken somewhere.
The squad is extremely balanced and happy. I'm sure I can get another year out of Gianetti and two out of Abram before I need to replace them. There have been some big offers coming in for some players and, while I don't want to sell, if this sponsorship money doesn't massively increase, I'll be forced to do so.
As you'd expect, Lucas Robertone was named Fans' Player of the Season with a resounding 67% of the vote. He also won the Primera Division Best Player award. His average rating of 7.81 was the highest in the league, as was his 8 MoM awards. Fredy Fernandez had a great first full season at the club, second only in the league average ratings (7.60) to Robertone. Fernando won Young Player of the Year and showed his versatility by also performing extremely well at right back as well as centre back. There is huge interest in him from the likes of Chelsea, United, Liverpool, Barcelona etc. and if anyone leaves this summer, it might be him. This year also saw Cesar Ruiz's introduction to the first team and he performed steadily, scoring 7 goals along the way.
No news on the stadium front just yet, but surely it can't be long?!
Post by Dirk Nowitzki on Jun 22, 2020 10:09:14 GMT
Damn Nick, you must have sleepless nights from Flamengo by now! Great job on the comeback in the league though, the table at first sight looks like it was pretty straightforward but that position table tells otherwise.
Sponsorship indeed seems off, did the league reputation decrease by any chance? I remember them being quite sturdy in my Palermo save as well, where it didn't come near the other teams even though we were the biggest club in the world. I'm not sure it's designed that way, but you'd expect bigger sponsors to jump in after sustained high level success like yours...