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Thread: Talk FM: All Versions

  1. #181
    IN UR COMPUTER POSTIN Hollis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis View Post
    I'm probably going to get fired before Christmas.
    Or, you know, not. We just dismantled City at Old Trafford 6-0 behind a hat trick from Lukaku (17 goals in 13 matches across all competitions) and a goal and three assists from Alexis (6 goals and 11 assists in 15 plus an 8.01 average rating) which keeps us top of the table at the end of October. We're also top of our group in the Champions League having won all three matches and are in the Quarter Final of the Carabao Cup. We've done this despite losing Pogba for the past month and he's still out for another 2-3 weeks. I expect a contract extension is coming soon. As it turns out, United actually does have a lot of talented players!
    Reviewing Football Manager is like reviewing Buddhism. Yes, you can do it, but you have to take your time.

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  2. #182
    IN UR COMPUTER POSTIN Hollis's Avatar
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    At a press conference before my most recent match I was asked what I thought of Klopp transfer listing Virgil Van Dijk so I was like "what!?" and I immediately sent a scout to follow him for a month and indicated to the press that I was interested in him. Liverpool asking price? £183 million. So that's probably not happening!
    Reviewing Football Manager is like reviewing Buddhism. Yes, you can do it, but you have to take your time.

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  3. #183
    IN UR COMPUTER POSTIN Hollis's Avatar
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    Coming up on the end of January and I think all my transfer business is finished barring Barcelona forcing a move for Pogba against my wishes. The good news is that we're top of the league with our last loss in any competition being that loss at the Emirates back in September. In fact, so far in the Premier League we've allowed 6 (!!!) goals while scoring 58. I really didn't want to keep De Gea past this season but I think he's forced my hand. Similarly, Alexis was the first name I wanted to sell but he's scored 13 goals and assisted on 15 more with a 7.74 average rating so I don't think I can get away with moving him along. Lukaku has bagged 23 with 8 assists (although he's almost certainly gone because of his terrible link up play), Zlatan has 12, Rashford 9, Martial 7 with 9 assists, and Lingard 7 with 6 assists. Pogba hasn't been scoring much but he's added 11 assists to go with his 4 goals and has a 7.65 average rating. He didn't like me setting his asking price at £150m when Barcelona sniffed around but he's only slightly concerned so I think he'll be ok.

    Anyway, on to the fun stuff. Michael Carrick is retiring after the season and Fellaini and Zlatan will be allowed to leave on a free so we had some work to do just to get some bodies in without having to do everything in the summer. In addition, both Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia's contracts expire in June of next year which would have left us without any right backs and I didn't want to re-sign either of them because they're ancient. On top of that Matteo Darmian and Phil Jones had asked to leave and Juan Mata was set to be out of contract after next season. Sadly, the board didn't make any transfer funds available (although they did indeed give me a new contract) so I had to do some wheeling and dealing.

    Once they allowed me to convert the available wage budget to the transfer budget I was able to sign 17-year-old Ryan Sessegnon from Fullham for £9m up front and £11m in potential add-ons. He can play anywhere on the left but I see him as the understudy for the oft injured Luke Shaw at left wing back although he has no experience whatsoever in that role. I was then able to sell Darmian to Southampton for £20.5m and Phil Jones to Chelsea for £13.5m. I thought that would be enough to get my top target, CB Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax. Alas, they seemingly didn't like my public comments on the situation during the season and rejected all of my advances only to sell him to Barcelona for £45.5m. Instead, I moved for the much more affordable and still extremely talented 19-year-old French center back Malang Sarr from Nice for £20m and used the remainder to fund the purchase of current Barcelona midfielder Arthur from Gremio for £18.25m which is a hell of a buy since he's just 21, capped at the senior level for Brazil and is listed as being worth £32m. Finally, we sold Ashley Young to New York FC for £4.4m and Juan Mata to AS Monaco for £40m which allowed us to land our most important near term purchase in 25-year-old new first choice right back Ricardo Perreira from FC Porto for £33m. He's unfortunately cup tied in the Champions League (we face an eminently beatable Benfica side in the knockout round) but he's a massive upgrade at the position.

    Altogether we got younger, faster, and much more suited to the system while actually turning a £13m profit. Ordinarily there would be a risk of bedding so many new players in but only Perreira will be expected to turn out for the first choice side this season. We're projected to have £135m to spend this summer, which actually could go way up depending on how far we get in the Champions League, so that's when we'll go big game hunting. A certain Liverpool striker has a very enticing £83m minimum release clause.

    Edit - Oh, if the math didn't add up on that £13m profit it's because I missed one. We also sold center back Marcos Rojo to Spurs for £18.5m up front and a potential £5m in add ons.
    Last edited by Hollis; 05-30-2019 at 08:37 PM.
    Reviewing Football Manager is like reviewing Buddhism. Yes, you can do it, but you have to take your time.

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  4. #184
    IN UR COMPUTER POSTIN Hollis's Avatar
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    dola,

    Right at the deadline Spurs offered me £2.6 plus another £1m in add-ons for Zlatan. My first reaction was to bite their hand off since he's 36 and out of contract in the summer but then I thought about the 12 goals he's scored in 11 total appearances and his 7.80 average rating and the fact that we could still win the Premier League, the Champions League, and both domestic cups this season and then turned it down.
    Last edited by Hollis; 05-30-2019 at 10:27 PM.
    Reviewing Football Manager is like reviewing Buddhism. Yes, you can do it, but you have to take your time.

    Talk Democratic Dysfunction
    Name Two Bands with Andy and Andy

  5. #185
    IN UR COMPUTER POSTIN Hollis's Avatar
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    After the deadline passed Pogba indicated that he was happy to stay at the club.

    Reviewing Football Manager is like reviewing Buddhism. Yes, you can do it, but you have to take your time.

    Talk Democratic Dysfunction
    Name Two Bands with Andy and Andy

  6. #186
    IN UR COMPUTER POSTIN Hollis's Avatar
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    United are officially back and my entire project has been validated. We beat Huddersfield 3-1 to win the extremely prestigious Carabao Cup.
    Reviewing Football Manager is like reviewing Buddhism. Yes, you can do it, but you have to take your time.

    Talk Democratic Dysfunction
    Name Two Bands with Andy and Andy

  7. #187
    IN UR COMPUTER POSTIN Hollis's Avatar
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    Despite my hyperbolic trolling earlier in the thread I knew that United was a very strong club with a very talented roster. Saying that I had a lot of work to do or that the club needed a rebuild wasn't at all hyperbole given the number of aging players or those who just didn't fit my style of play in the side but I did expect that at worst we would qualify for the Champions League. I didn't expect, at all, that we would have the amazing season we just had. As I mentioned before we won the Carabao Cup but that was just the tip of the iceberg in what was, easily, one of the best seasons in United history.

    In the Champions League we drew a very easy group against Besiktas, Sevilla, and CSKA Moscow and met expectations by topping it with a 5-1 record and 16 points. We drew Benfica in the knockout round and destroyed them 8-0 before having a tougher time against fellow Portuguese side Porto who we managed to defeat just 2-1 on aggregate in the quarters. We drew Spurs in the Semi Final and beat them by identical 2-1 scores at both Old Trafford and at Wembley to move on to the Final versus Paris Saint-Germain, who defeated Barcelona 1-0 (not a misprint) on aggregate. The final sucked ass, actually, as we dominated the run of play but were unable to score and Neymar scored the winner in the 54th minute. Still, even making it this far was far, far more than I was expecting from the season. Lukaku paced the competition with 10 goals, Shaw led with 7 assists, and Pogba was tops with a 7.98 average rating. Those three plus Bailly and Herrera were named to the Dream Team.

    In the league we basically lead it from start to finish and clinched the title in the 36th match at Old Trafford versus Spurs with a 3-1 victory. Our only losses were 0-2 to Arsenal at The Emirates in September, 1-4 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in April, and 2-5 at Anfield in the next to last league match of the season. All told we racked up 30 wins with just five draws and the three losses to finish with 95 points, which ties Chelsea's 2004-2005 record fot the best season ever since in this universe neither City's last two campaigns nor Liverpool's 18/19 season happened. It was anything but a fluke as well as we scored an astounding 97 goals while conceding just 24 which works out to be a +73 goal differential. Chelsea finished second with 89 points, Arsenal came in third with 80, and City rounded out the Champions League places with 77. Pep actually got fired over that last one. Tottenham with 70 points and Liverpool with 63 (oof) rounded out the European places. Burnely (31 points), Brighton (also 31), and West Brom (27) were relegated.

    Romelu Lukaku won both of the player of the season awards, David De Gea won keeper of the season, and both of them plus Victor Lindelöf were named in the team of the season. How Alexis didn't make it I will never understand. I won the manager of the year award. Lukaku finished one goal behind Harry Kane with 27 league goals, Alexis led the league with a 7.87 average rating and Lukaku just behind him at 7.67, Alexis easily topped everyone with 19 assists, Alexis and Lukaku were first and third respectively with 9 and 7 Man of the Match awards and De Gea was first with a superb 24 clean sheets (and also first with just 22 goals allowed). As you would expect from the individual stats we absolutely dominated the team stats as well although our 15th placed shots on target ratio of 39% is concerning and will need to be improved upon. That said, we were first in shots on target with 316 which was a full 33 SoT better than second placed Arsenal.

    In the FA Cup we basically bowled right through the competition on route to the Final. It wasn't the toughest of competition as we beat Southampton 3-1 at home, Fulham 3-0 at home, Bournemouth 4-0 away, Stoke 1-0 away and West Ham 2-0 at Wembley before facing Liverpool in the final. Given the absolutely comprehensive thrashing Liverpool gave us at Anfield in May, and it was a total and complete victory, I decided to switch things up and get the maximum level of speed on to the field which featured a number of changes, the most notable being Marcus Rashford in for Lukaku at striker which was massive change indeed given that Lukaku scored over 40 goals for us this season. What followed was a very tough match that ended up with us winning 3-1 with the winner coming on a Rashford goal so, I guess, it worked. In any case we won the FA Cup to finish off the domestic treble.
    Last edited by Hollis; 06-04-2019 at 09:13 PM.
    Reviewing Football Manager is like reviewing Buddhism. Yes, you can do it, but you have to take your time.

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  8. #188
    IN UR COMPUTER POSTIN Hollis's Avatar
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    Ins

    So our first target this off-season was to find a replacement for Romelu Lukaku. He scored 43 goals and assisted on 14 more last season with a 7.60 average rating but believe it or not he actively hurt us with his passing and his lack of positional sense and pressing. There are a few stars I wanted to move on but the only one I thought I could get away with was this one. My number one target was Roberto Firmino because there is no striker in the world with his pressing ability and link up play. I met his £83m minimum release clause but he refused to even enter in to contract discussions with me because of the rivalry. My next target was not exactly ideal but still pretty fucking good. I hit Atlético Madrid's £86m minimum release clause for Antoine Griezmann. The contract negotiations were pretty fraught because he wanted way more money than the board would allow me to spend so I had to pony up for a 50% yearly salary increase and a massive signing fee that took away from my available transfer money this summer. Thank God we're Manchester United and the board gave me like £160m to spend then! Griezmann is obviously going to score goals, he's fantastic at link up play, his mentals are off the charts and while his pressing isn't quite ideal it's still pretty good. He'll open as our false nine but he could move to a left sided inside forward if we ever need to move on from Anthony Martial. And despite Martial's obvious talents, that is a very distinct possibility.

    My next priority was to find an eventual replacement in front of the net for David De Gea. Now, obviously, De Gea is a world class talent who allowed just 32 goals and kept 30 clean sheets with a 7.14 average rating across 52 matches in all competitions. Unfortunately, he has a low work rate and less than ideal distribution skills and both of those are very important for my system to work optimally. I did sell Lukaku and De Gea is a team leader so I didn't think I could get away with selling him this year, although I suspect Real Madrid will be very interested next summer since they haven't signed Courtois in this universe, so I targeted someone else. And I got him. 19-year-old AC Milan wonderkid Gianluiga Donnarumma came over for £32.5m up front and £23.5m in potential add ons. Thankfully this was before he played very well en route to helping Italy to the World Cup Quarter Finals or the price likely would have been even more. For this season he'll start in the domestic cups and the Champions League before taking over full time duties the season after that. He's not quite the equal of De Gea as a shot stopper just yet but his work rate and distribution already far outstrip De Gea. He wasn't cheap, but he'll be worth it.

    My next target was a central midfielder to replace the released Fellaini. Neither of my top two targets were affordable (although I'll get them eventually) so I looked for someone a bit more in our price range as funds were getting low by this time. Nevertheless the player needed to fit the system and be up to standard. Thankfully, Real Madrid had a player who ticked all the boxes in Mateo Kovacic for £47m up front and a further potential £15m in add ons. In real life he obviously turns out for Chelsea now and he's a player with solid physicals and mentals and he's a superb technical player who can really pick out a pass and even add a few goals. He's rated at £62m now and will challenge both Matic at DM and Herrera as a central mid for playing time. I suspect he'll be a regular long before the end of the season. A very solid value signing.

    Our last permanent signing of the summer was 20-year-old Brazilian right back Éder Militão from Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras for £15m. In real life he joined Real Madrid for €50m this summer after spending a season a Porto. He's still young and developing but he's a physical specimen with great mentals and technicals and he can really put in a cross. Unfortunately, he was unable to receive a work permit this season so he'll spend a year on loan back with his old club. It might take him a couple seasons to get one so it's a good thing that he signed an affordable five year contract which should make him attractive to big clubs as a loan signing and hopefully he'll eventually get enough call ups for the Brazilian national team that we can bring him in. Because I really, really like him.

    Militão's work permit situation necessitated one final move. We were out of transfer funds and lacked any cover at right back behind Ricardo Pereira. I've been training Fosu-Mensa there during the pre-season friendlies and he could do a shift as injury cover but no more than that. So we made a move to bring in Leonardo Spinazzola from Juventus on a very affordable season long loan. His mentals aren't great but he's decent technically and is extremely pacey and just an all-around great athlete. He won't set the world on fire but he'll do.

    Outs

    As I said, despite having an awesomely productive season Romelu Lukaka just didn't really fit the project I'm trying build here. Alexis and De Gea don't either but one thing at a time. I felt like I could get away with selling Lukaku, especially after bringing in a player on the level of Griezmann. We put him on the transfer market and asked for some absurd fee I don't even recall and Monaco ponied up £66m pretty quickly and the former Everton and Chelsea striker agreed to personal terms to push through the transfer. The fans fucking hated the move but none of the players raised a peep. Pretty early on in my tenure I determined that Chris Smalling was surplus to requirements and the signing of Malang Sarr drove the final nail in the coffin of his time at the club. We put him on the transfer list and Tottenham were willing to pony up £25m, which I was more than happy to accept. I would have been absolutely fine with going in to this season with right back Antonio Valencia as a squad player despite him being in the final year of his contract but he asked to leave in order to look for a new challenge and I wasn't going to stand in his way. Schalke gave us £15m up front and add ons that could eventually reach £3.5m, which isn't half bad for a 32-year-old heading in to the last year of his contract. The signing of Donnarumma obviously made Sergio Romero superfluous so we were more than happy to take whatever we could get for him, which was £10.75m from Chelsea to back up Courtois. Finally, we moved on from our third choice keeper Joel Pereira and FC Köln gave us a fee of £8.5m up front and £2.25m in potential ad-ons, which was a very welcome surprise.

    Overall that was a very, very successful transfer window, especially since I also managed to sign up Pogba to a new 5 year contract which should ward off any potential suitors. Our net spend was a reasonable £58m (although add-ons will increase that considerably) and we're projected to have another £176m to spend next summer. I won't be shocked if the club lets some of that loose in December considering we made just massive, massive profits last season and our success should only increase that. The targets now are a left back to replace Luke Shaw (he's just too injury prone), two midfielders to take the place of Matic and Herrera, and a right sided, left footed inside forward (although the only one who really interests me is Mo Salah and he almost certainly won't sign because of the rivalry thing). Maybe I want another top level center back?

    In any case, I think the talent level in place now is absolutely first rate even when I move on from De Gea and Alexis and the project is very much on track. Assuming we don't have a run of very poor form at the start of the season while I look to bed in the newcomers that gets me fired or something we should have an extremely strong season yet again. Quite probably not as strong as last season because, really, how can you have a season much stronger than that? I'm excited.
    Reviewing Football Manager is like reviewing Buddhism. Yes, you can do it, but you have to take your time.

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  9. #189
    IN UR COMPUTER POSTIN Hollis's Avatar
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    Griezmann has, on the surface, been a bust through seven matches since he has yet to score and has only two assists and a 6.84 average rating. And yet, we're scoring more per match so far than we did last season at a rate of 3.5 goals per match and Pogba, Martial and Alexis are all very near a goal per match. Pogba in particular has just been superb.
    Reviewing Football Manager is like reviewing Buddhism. Yes, you can do it, but you have to take your time.

    Talk Democratic Dysfunction
    Name Two Bands with Andy and Andy

  10. #190
    IN UR COMPUTER POSTIN Hollis's Avatar
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    Welp, it's the beginning of December and among my wingers and strikers we're currently down Martial for 1-2 days, Alexis for 5 days, Rashford for two weeks, Lingard for 2-3 months and Pereira just got back from being out for two weeks. The good news is that on December first the board asked if I wanted them to increase the transfer budget. Well of course I did and they opened up the checkbook to the tune of £97m. I was planning on signing another midfielder and a new first choice left back. I'm still going to sign the midfielder, already agreed to terms in fact, but I'm probably going to need to buy a winger instead of the left back. First world problems, I know.
    Reviewing Football Manager is like reviewing Buddhism. Yes, you can do it, but you have to take your time.

    Talk Democratic Dysfunction
    Name Two Bands with Andy and Andy

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