Wow. This is has been one of my most exciting saves ever in FM. We’ve been through the good, the bad, the horrible, and the amazing. Almost every member of the team has played a huge role in our season. Not only this, but we’ve involved youth and reserve members that otherwise have not had first team experience. In this update, we will analyze performances of the team in general, as well as several specific individual’s performances. Overall, I think we have had a great season so far. Let’s start off with showing the league table.
As you can see, we are accomplishing our objective of contending the title. From the way the beginning of the season started, I would not have expected this position so far. The table was pretty messed up a month or two ago. Manchester City found themselves in 7th at one point but have managed to turn it around. I don’t like having Tottenham above us, them being our rivals but I am confident we can knock them down a notch. It’s also weird to see Stoke so high in the table. I think it might be a fluke and they will end up much lower by the end of the season.
Next I’m going to show the fixture list for the Premier League only. We got off to a pretty rough start. I don’t know if there’s a worse way to start of a season than to lose 3-0 to Stoke. However, we have been able to put together a 15 game unbeaten run. This run has been amazing, but it’s really taken a toll on the team in terms of fitness. The team was clawing itself into January battered and beaten down to nothing. Players, particularly midfielders were starting with less than 85% fitness, some in the 70%’s. That’s ridiculous. To compensate of course I have lowered the intensity of training. I hope this doesn’t effect performances going forward.
One reason for the poor fitness is the amount of injuries. Our midfield has suffered heavily from injuries. At the point I stopped to write this, both Oscar and Hazard are injured. It may seem like not a big deal but selling Florent Malouda and Yossi Benayoun means that we are left with Hazard, Oscar, Mata, Moses, Marin for 3 attacking midfield/winger positions. To be honest, I regret selling Yossi, but what’s done is done. For some extra help, I called up Milan Lalkovic from the reserve team. He has performed marvelously for the role that I have asked him to fill. He has proven he has what it takes to play in the first team so I reckon he has earned a permanent spot. Also, despite only having two strikers, I have occasionally played Demba Ba on the left wing. The mixture of Torres and Ba together worked really well for the few games I played like that. However we only have two strikers right now unless we want to call up a U18 striker. The only one I would even consider calling up is Islam Feruz, but I don’t think he will be any benefit right now.
Milan has had better performances with the first team than with the reserves, but you wouldn’t think that looking at his attributes!
There was a point earlier in the season where John Obi Mikel, Ramires, and Frank Lampard were all injured at the same time for a week or two. Having your 3 best central midfielders out is really rough. Thankfully, I was able to rotate Eden Hazard, and Oscar, and Oriol Romeu into the position. I have decided that with the depth we have at defense, we can spare David Luiz to move up further and learn the central midfield role. I really can’t wait for Kevin De Bruyne to come back from loan. Unfortunately I am not able to recall him from loan. I did, however, recall Josh McEachran from loan because of our lack of depth at midfield. I also made a transfer that will help in this area, but we will talk about that later on.
Josh McEachran should be one of our leading stars for our midfield in the future. Maybe a replacement for Frank Lampard? Anyway, we will give him his first taste of first team action at a high level club for the rest of the season. If we are lucky, he will perform well and become a regular next season. He has great stats for being 19, but as we saw with Milan Lalkovic, stats aren’t everything.
Oriol Romeu has also exceeded expectations this season. I wasn’t expecting consistency from him, but he has proven me wrong. I am happy with his pass completion and tackle count. If he can keep up this sort of consistency and improve his game, I’m sure we can increase his role in the team.
Now let’s move onto our performance into competitions other than the Premier League. You will remember from earlier posts that we won the MLS All-Star Cup, as well as the Community Shield. This success has continued into the season with our performance in the Club World Championship and the Champions League. Due to fixture congestion, I decided to not put any effort into continuing in the Capital One Cup. We drew Sunderland in our entry round and I decided to field a team made up completely of U18’s. To my surprise, they almost advanced us, but Sunderland scored a goal late in the game to make it 3-2. Anyway, here is the fixture list for these competitions.
I was disappointed at our result in the Euro Super Cup. I feel like with a competition that is only one game, there was no reason why we couldn’t go all out to try to win it. Despite that, it’s not the biggest deal in the world. In the CL, we got out of our group in second place, one point behind Juventus. Our loss against Montpellier can be blamed for that. I think the reason for that loss was pure complacency.
Since the last time I updated, we have made changes to the tactics. We have two tactics that we rotate based on our current injuries. I also have a tactic on the side that has no striker positions. Just in case everything falls into the dumpster. Here are our two main tactics.
Again, I want to emphasize that there are a lot of individual instructions that go into making these tactics work. I have not tried them without the individual instructions.
Now I want to talk more about player’s performances.
Fernando Torres… Fernando Torres… Fernando F***ing Torres. It has been quite the season for him. He has been nothing but inconsistent. You may look at his goals to game ratio and think it looks fine, but one of those was a hat trick. He tends to score goals when I don’t really need him to, and fails to provide anything when it really counts. That’s whats so frustrating. The bottom line is that he is not worth the money he is being payed. I’m going to try to lower his wage, and maybe offload him at the end of the season. Demba Ba has been more consistent, but his shot on target rating has been horrible, hovering just lower than 50%. I’ve tried everything I can to improve that but nothing has worked. For January, I am looking to either loan a player or sign an older player on a short term contract.
Petr Cech has been amazing for us this season. Twelve clean sheets is impressive, and I hope this form keeps up.
I’m going to show some disappointing report from one of our future stars on loan 😦
A broken foot. Such a shame for such a promising player. I hope that this doesn’t effect his development too much.
Ok on to the transfers. We have made several transfers, some I regret more than others.
Ok so the one I regret here is Jores Okore. I really over paid for him, if I decide to keep him. A lot of that transfer fee is clause that says we will complete the 19 million after 30 appearances. Maybe we can turn him over for a profit in the summer. I may just take the blow. The reason why I payed so much is because I procrastinated until the transfer deadline day and really wanted him.
He definitely has the skill to play in our first team, and has been handy in filling in roles, but I don’t think he’s worth that kinda money. We will learn from our mistakes.
I feel very comfortable with this transfer. Like the one for Okore, this involves a certain amount payed up front, and the rest be payed after 30 appearances. We really needed this transfer to help with midfield depth. I think this, along with recalling Josh McEachran should provide enough cover. Not only this, but if we don’t need him this summer, I think we can make a profit.
This transfer is the only one I see being a long term player for our club. This guy has better attributes than Milan Lalkovic, who has performed pretty well this season, and he is ONLY 18! I have hope that this youngster can develop into a key player, and I plan to train him into as many midfield positions as possible and maybe even a striker position. I have really high hopes for him. He was worth every cent.
Here is a quick look at what the rest of the league has done in terms of transfers.
With it being mid season, we have been reminded that contracts are expiring at the end of the season. I have already negotiated contracts with people that I already know I will keep, but there are several that I have yet to tie up. This is where I’m looking for your help. I am going to paste in the player profiles of the players in question. Please comment your opinions on who to keep, and who to let go. Thanks for reading!