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Attempting to take Kaiserslautern back to the Bundesliga and beyond. Likely seasonal updates, though this may change as we go

Manager Nation Germany League Bundesliga Team FC Schalke 04 Seasons 4
Discussion
I'm all for a chance to take a club back to former glory, whether they've won titles, were once a European challenger or have really fallen from grace... in Kaiserslautern, I have found all 3.

Bundesliga Champions as recently as 1999, Champions League quarterfinalists the year after and UEFA Cup semi-finalists the year after that, it really is surprising to find Kaiserslautern now relegated to the third tier in Germany. That's where I come in.

The aim here is to pick the team up and take them back to their former heights, an ambition I shoot for in every FM, but the first time in which I am trying this abroad in a 'lower league'. Bare with me, it will inevitably be a frustrating journey in which I'll swear in many different ways as my form dips, twists and falters along the way - but hopefully, it's enjoyable for all of us and worth it in the end!

I'll aim for seasonal updates, but that may change as we roll.

https://i.imgur.com/oMmruwH.png

Kaiserslautern
2018/19 -
3.Bundesliga - 2nd (Promoted) | DFB Pokal - 2nd Round
2019/20 - 2.Bundesliga - 2nd (Promoted) | DFB Pokal - 2nd Round
Didn't realise they were in the third division now, quite the fall indeed! Good luck.
My Careers:
FM15 | FM16 | FM17a | FM17b | FM19a | FM19b | FM19c
FM20Beta: Trip to: United States (w/ Cincinnati) / Full Release: Earth Trip https://i.imgur.com/WvSK16U.png (journeyman)
Looking forward to this. Good luck mate!
I'm in the same boat as @r96Skinner I never knew they were in the third, half thought they were in Bundesliga 2. If you search the term fallen giant I;m sure Kaiserslauterns wiki pages comes up. Joking aside am sure you'll do fine. Good luck!
Current story - Viva la Beta
@r96Skinner, @fraktionmarback, @bigmattb28 and @Dan cheers for the messages! Exctied to get this going
Kaiserslautern - Season 1 Review – 2018/19

So, this season was already completed before the thread started and so a lot of the screens are behind time and so not the most detail (including forgetting to take a squad screen!!) but overall it was a good one!

First an foremost, here’s the changes I made to the team. Remember – the first chunk of these were already done by the club.

https://i.imgur.com/ogrXWhe.png


The most important screen of the lot… the league table:

https://i.imgur.com/FxGoH4F.png


Pleased to meet our expectations and get promoted, which looked unlikely at one point as you’ll see in the results below. Braunschweig were incredible all season, but we did manage to beat them late in the season which pretty much secured out top 2 place. Don’t think I could have managed the play-offs!

Take a look at December though… is that consistency or just bad form?! Extended that into January’s only competitive game, we managed 4 1-1 draws off the belt

https://i.imgur.com/104sqz5.png
https://i.imgur.com/9v8y8L7.png


We also managed a CUPSET in the DFB Pokal, beating a tough Werder Bremen side 1-0… third tier beating top… it wasn’t so exciting when we met Hoffenheim mind.

https://i.imgur.com/4W5ltqU.png


Finally, in the team of the year we had our left-back (which surprised me as he was very poor) but also Mads Albaek who was brilliant all season and not only made this side but got ours and the division’s Player of the Year. He did give me a scare in that he didn’t sign a new contract until he had 4 days left on it mind… although he did turn down Besiktas and Udinese to stay!
An insight into our first 13 games of season 2... place your bets on how we are performing

https://i.imgur.com/uIiXN90.png
Congrats on promotion! Just the first step in Kaiserslautern's revival, I'm sure.
My Careers:
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I came here expecting relegation in the first season, not promotion. Good job though @KEZ_7.

You seem to be a violent bunch second season though.
I came here expecting relegation in the first season, not promotion. Good job though @KEZ_7.

You seem to be a violent bunch second season though.

Haha, you and me both! Don't worry, we're trying our hardest for it all to go up in flames soon enough
Braunschweig looked to have a sensational season, great to see you win your first promotion though!
Congrats on the promotion. Next step surely to consolidate next season then try and push on
Current story - Viva la Beta
Congrats on promotion! Just the first step in Kaiserslautern's revival, I'm sure.

Here's hoping!
Braunschweig looked to have a sensational season, great to see you win your first promotion though!

They did, quite frustrating that I could never really gain any ground!
Congrats on the promotion. Next step surely to consolidate next season then try and push on

Thanks pal, I'm hoping for the same. Update coming tonight!
Kaiserslautern - Season 2 - Halfway Stage - 2019/20

So after a bit of a delay with work, I'm back to the save and I bring you to the halfway stage of season 2, where I'm sure you'll see we're doing a little better than I would have expected! To start us off, it was a busy summer with a lot of players leaving in various ways, with a couple of retirements in there and a few I still can't shift!

https://i.imgur.com/VtJzlJK.png

That leaves our squad as follows, which I am actually quite pleased with, given the limited wage budget (largely caused by contract clauses and people demanding a pay rise!)and zero to spend.

https://i.imgur.com/cMpP6BO.png

We actually have one of the youngest squads in the league, which is often how I like to do things at a smaller club, as it protects a bit of the sell-on value on your players where there is inevitable interest. A challenge at the moment is that some of our better players do have release clauses that could cause us problems in January or maybe the summer if we're performing well.

Our results and the table so far are a pleasant surprise!

https://i.imgur.com/p3HHXvS.png
https://i.imgur.com/QwXmPwk.png

Really happy with that and only really slipped out of the top 2 in November, for a brief moment, though hopefully, we have rectified that form. I've started playing very attacking, which I think is reflected both in the number of goals we've scored AND conceded . January sees us enter the transfer window with nothing to spend and so I don't have much chance to change things up unless there's an exciting loan or two available which isn't the case at the moment.

Because of that form and another Bundesliga scalp in the Pokal (should have been 2! :angry: ) I've had the below in my inbox:
https://i.imgur.com/5vgQoyh.png

Not even considering it or any other jobs for that matter, at least not until we've survived in the Bundesliga, though it is nice to be linked to other clubs which have included Dortmund and Gladbach of late, which is a nice change as I often struggle to change jobs once in a save!

Cheers for reading

EDIT: Just as I posted and pressed continue...
https://i.imgur.com/zO5UcOD.png
Pretty cool to see the bigger clubs noticing your achievements. Tough to turn down but the right decision.
My Careers:
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Good to see you;'re being recognised by 2 bigger clubs mate, keep it up an you never know Bayern or Dortmund may come calling
Current story - Viva la Beta
I've found it quite difficult to actually get the jobs that are offered to you, where as in the past you was almost guaranteed them. Is better though.
http://www.liveonlineradio.net/wp-content/themes/Music_Covers/images/music2.gif -------- http://rs648.pbsrc.com/albums/uu204/JeWeL1980_photos/7505xjc54lf3np.gif~c200 -------- http://www.liveonlineradio.net/wp-content/themes/Music_Covers/images/music2.gif
Pretty cool to see the bigger clubs noticing your achievements. Tough to turn down but the right decision.

Definitely, not until I'm in the Bundesliga at least!
Good to see you;'re being recognised by 2 bigger clubs mate, keep it up an you never know Bayern or Dortmund may come calling

Please to have it happen, but not the plan for now!
I've found it quite difficult to actually get the jobs that are offered to you, where as in the past you was almost guaranteed them. Is better though.

I'm yet to do an interview, so I'll keep that in mind. Found it frustrating in the past, however.
Kaiserslautern - Season 2 - January Transfers - 2019/20

A few short updates to keep this ticking over, before I inevitably forget to do it as a part of the end of the season. No results etc coming here, just some transfer news and a little addition.

https://i.imgur.com/mWYD8tJ.png

A few out that I was looking to get rid of for quite a while, just to lower the wage bill. The keen-eyed amongst you will realise that I only signed Negri in the previous January, but he rarely played, loved to moan and his potential was dropping, so I thought I'd cash in to balance the books a little as we've been over the wage budget a couple of thousand this season.

No transfers in, but I did extend the loans of Izzy Brown, Julian Schwermann and Jeong Woo-Yeong until next season, since we only actually pay anything towards the latter and they've probably been 3 of our best players and I'd want to use them next year even IF (huge if) we are promoted.

Finally, the journey continues!

https://i.imgur.com/ygSTB4I.png
Things are looking very good at the halfway stage of the season Surprised to see Stuttgart down there tho
Keep it up mate!
Current story - Viva la Beta
Things are looking very good at the halfway stage of the season Surprised to see Stuttgart down there tho

Yeah I was too, especially since they've kept a big chunk of their Bundesliga squad



I may try and update you guys on this later, but I only have my iPad with me so it may prove tough for formatting!
Fantastic back to back promotion Didn't know they was relegated to 3rd division
Fantastic on getting back to back promotions there.
Kaiserslautern - Season 2 - Second Half - 2019/20

So, we've managed to wrap up another season and I am pleased to say that we JUST clinched another promotion... although again we missed out on the title!
As you'll see below, we tried really hard to throw away our automatic spot, picking up 1 point in our final 4 games, when winning just one of them would have sealed our fate much, much earlier. You'll notice we also managed to throw together another run of 1-1 draws but thankfully stopped it earlier this time!

https://i.imgur.com/sa6Qdbq.png
https://i.imgur.com/x2DVi4H.png

I'd say our loanees in Brown, Woo-Yeong and Schwermann were our best players along with the stars from 3.Bundesliga in Spalvis and Albaek. The problem though is that even our best player in Albaek is rated as an 'outstanding player for 2.Bundesliga' and so this squad needs a lot of change if we can get the flexibility in our budget. Defence is a priority but I am not sure we can get it as we've already been priced out of a lot of action, including loans due to our ridiculous budget which you can see below...

https://i.imgur.com/0UGxIXC.png

So umm... not very promising is it? Actually livid, but I guess we have to give it a go. I know for sure I'll need to change a lot of the squad to go to a new system as I think our defensive frailties need covering with a CDM.

Special mention for chump of the year, star CB and Captain Kevin Kraus who made an outstanding NINE errors leading to goals across the season and still managed to come second in fans POTY.

https://i.imgur.com/30EXFRT.png

Finally, a random one as I haven't seen much of this before, mainly the point that I didn't know Kaiser were popular in England! Or could this be added interest from having an Englishman in charge?

A big summer ahead!
Fantastic back to back promotion Didn't know they was relegated to 3rd division

Fantastic on getting back to back promotions there.

Eagle-eyed pair, spotting it before I posted! Cheers for reading
Kaiserslautern - Season 3 - Summer and August - 2020/21


So with a big season ahead I felt there was a lot of work to do to make this squad good enough... work that I'm still not sure our budgets can managed. Survival in this division is obviously the aim, but even failure to do so would grab the club more than £25m in prize money - an incredible amount given our seasonal wage budget is just over £4m just now.
https://i.imgur.com/fQWAyEa.png

The wage flexibility we did have went largely on securing some of our bigger players who demanded a pay rise, the rest went on getting us some decent free transfers. Berisha from Salzburg is likely the pick of the bunch - or at least he bloody better be as we're spending £17k p/w on him, just shy of 10% of our budget. I'm hoping he can bag us some goals and be the target man we need in the more direct system I've decided to try in an effort to Warnock my way to safety.

Latibeaudiere from City is a great raw talent but young and I really would have liked to have brought in a more senior centre back to get us going. A scary stat - of our starting 11 for the first league game, 6 of the side were with us in 3.Bundesliga...
https://i.imgur.com/cVc1V19.png

Our jam-packed preseason showed some decent signs for our direct methods, taking some decent results in the Netherlands where we managed to beat Ajax and then only really lost to the 2 biggest sides we played in Bournemouth and Inter in our final showcase game.
https://i.imgur.com/gCKwvjM.png

Onto competitive matters and we suffered the ignominy of going out to a lower league side in the first round of the cup, having been giant-killers ourselves in both of the previous seasons... oh how times change. We lost to Bremen with a super strange goal, where our own Mads Albaek decided to cross the ball into HIS OWN BOX for an opponent to head passed our keeper - something I genuinely haven't seen on FM before and struggled to record using FM but will try. Finally, the big one, our first home game back in the Bundesliga saw a mini goal-fest as we raced ahead of Bochum before almost throwing it at the end. Good to get 3 points so early!

I'm back at this save having given some of our SUSIE On Tour Challenges a shot over my time off work - here's hoping I can kick back into gear with this one and have another good season.

Cheers
Kaiserslautern - Season 3 - September, October and November - 2020/21

Now to start this section - 1 win in 11 games sounds awful, however, when you note that there were only 3 defeats and THEN look at the teams we played, it isn't half bad! Here are the results:
https://i.imgur.com/QKoAhru.png

A KEZ_7 special in September - drawing every game, but our opponents (bar Holsten) should all be beating us, given the stature of their clubs. Our one win against Darmstadt was a great performance with 10 men (trying to make things harder for ourselves as ever) - even though they are bottom of the league, but a battering from Gladbach afterwards didn't make things feel much better. November was a month to be proud of, one I was dreading from the start of the season and so coming away with 2 points is actually mega.
https://i.imgur.com/oesu1fY.png

With over 1/3 of the season played, we sit in 13th with 13 points, which isn't brilliant as I want about 35 at least to stay up! We're punching above our weight even now and so god knows what could be to come in the next few months, especially as we have nothing to spend in the January window.
Kaiserslautern - Season 3 - December - 2020/21

Jesus this game is getting harder to play although I am pleased to announce that WE WON A GAME... although it was our last before the winter break. Good to get a win, bad for keeping up momentum.
https://i.imgur.com/XNGhAKc.png

Frankfurt are a bit of a surprise package this season and have been sharing the lead with Hertha (who also beat us), Gladbach and Mainz week-by-week so there was no shame in losing there, but not beating Freiburg was scandalous! The last 2 games brought us 4 massive points - and Berisha's FIRST GOAL FOR US... remember him? The guy we're spending all that money on?!
https://i.imgur.com/b6y21zO.png

MIraculously, we continue to hang just outside of the relegation zone but it is getting closer and closer as teams around us get their shit together and start to change managers and revolutionise their squads in the window - which we can't do. Bochum for example, just spent £8m on a striker... ours isn't scoring and the other guy came with us from the start.
https://i.imgur.com/I3z4bAB.png

Sitting in 11th with the likes of Kasper Dolberg in their ranks, this was really attractive and these are getting harder to turn down - but my mission is to keep Kaiser where they are for this season, maybe after that my head can be turned!
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