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To settle the debate once and for all, I've created an English club, named F.C. Valdelavilla, and placed them in the Spanish pyramid with a specific club vision and culture revolving around recruiting English/U.K.-based players and staff who fit the traditional, direct, and physical type of football that England is known for.

Manager
Discussion
F.C. Valdelavilla

https://i.ibb.co/xhVnG1D/england-national-football-team-vector-png-file-england-national-football-team-crest-2012-svg-860.png

La Liga fans have long criticized the direct, physical tactical style of the English Premier League, labelling it "long ball." Their preference for a patient, more technical possession-based style has produced some of the most successful teams in recent history, such as Pep Guardiola's Barcelona from 2008-2012. Guardiola has brought elements of that style to the Premier League to great success, so I've decided to do the opposite. I've created F.C. Valdelavilla, an England-based football club set to compete in the Segunda División B (third tier of Spain) in the 2019/20 season.
https://i.ibb.co/PD3YhNG/Screen-Shot-2019-12-09-at-3-26-39-PM.png

While I was brainstorming ideas for the name of the club, I came across this small rural hamlet in the northern Soria region of Spain, called Valdelavilla. It's the only region of Spain in which English is the official language, and seems to be some kind of isolated school where English is taught to Spanish citizens. As the only English-speaking region in Spain, I figured it was a fitting place for my new English/Spanish club.
https://i.ibb.co/58QBxzS/Screen-Shot-2019-12-09-at-1-06-09-PM.png

F.C. Valdelavilla is based in London, playing its games at Wembley due to its lack of a stadium. As a result, the academy players that come through the youth intake every year will be English, keeping the DNA of the club pure. The club culture includes signing English players, playing direct football, and developing players using the club's youth system. Sticking to these principles will go a long way in keeping my job secure, so here's how I'll set up the team tactically:
https://i.ibb.co/xjLhcj3/Screen-Shot-2019-12-09-at-5-17-51-PM.png

I'll be sticking with the classic 4-4-2 formation, using a modified Wing Play tactic as my primary tactical style and opting for a more direct counter attack against better teams. The players in the image above are from my original save yesterday which was lost after the game crashed, but hopefully I can get most of them back. I'll post an update once I put the squad back together!
2019/20 Segunda División B4 Preview

https://i.ibb.co/sWRsMz8/Screen-Shot-2019-12-11-at-12-04-03-PM.png

After a long summer of heavy player and staff recruitment, F.C. Valdelavilla looks set for a promotion battle in its debut season! With title odds of 7-1, the media has given us a predicted finish of 5th-place, just 1 shy of the last playoff spot. Hopefully we can do one better and get promoted in our inaugural season.

Tactics

https://i.ibb.co/zJ7y0TB/Screen-Shot-2019-12-11-at-12-17-01-PM.png

On the first day of this save, I chose the "Wing Play" tactic from the pre-set templates and set a 4-4-2 formation. I then made some slight modifications such as telling the defenders to "Get Stuck In" and the goalkeeper to "Take Long Kicks." I then filled each position with 2-3 options that I felt best fit the direct, physical style of play that I want F.C. Valdelavilla to be known for. I chose a similar tactical set-up for my backup plan, for use against better oppositions, but it's more of a counter-attacking style to soak up more of the pressure and get in behind with long passing. I think once I get to La Liga I'll probably adopt a more modern pressing style of play with elements of the direct crossing and physicality associated with "grassroots" English football, as Klopp has done with Liverpool over the last couple of years. For now, though, we'll stick with the good old-fashioned 4-4-2!

Notable Signings


Anton Ferdinand

https://i.ibb.co/YN0wRxT/Screen-Shot-2019-12-11-at-12-28-17-PM.png

Brother of Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand, Anton Ferdinand was my first signing of the save, boasting a vast resume with 388 total league appearances for esteemed clubs including Sunderland and West Ham where he consistently played in the Premier League for 8 years before moving to Turkey. His career has since faltered somewhat, failing to reach the same levels he achieved before moving abroad. However, his extensive experience at a very high level should go a long way in helping us achieve our short-term goals this season, with Ferdinand leading the squad as our club captain.

Efe Ambrose

https://i.ibb.co/nC8kC7Q/Screen-Shot-2019-12-11-at-12-27-57-PM.png

Alongside Ferdinand in the center of the defense is Efe Ambrose, former Celtic and Hibernian mainstay. Ambrose has an impressive Aggression rating at 19, which is exactly the type of defender I was looking at for this squad. At 6'3, Ambrose also boasts impressive physical stats so he'll surely bully the smaller, more agile Spanish strikers both on the ground and in the air. He should make a great partner for the aging Ferdinand as I look to introduce some of the younger options who might partner Ambrose later in the season and beyond.

Ross McCormack

https://i.ibb.co/QnDj2VS/Screen-Shot-2019-12-11-at-12-28-37-PM.png

Sticking to the theme of experience, I signed Ross McCormack just days before the deadline after my young Spanish backup striker suffered a long-term hip injury. McCormack was once purchased for £11m, just 2 years before Aston Villa signed him for £12m. That was only 3 years ago, and McCormack's stock has severely fallen following unsuccessful loan spells with Nottingham Forest, Melbourne City, Central Coast Mariners, and Motherwell. He was released by Aston Villa during the summer, so I was able to snap up the former English Championship Golden Boot winner on a free! McCormack will play a false nine role to bridge the gap between the midfield and our relatively slow target man, Manucho.

Manucho

https://i.ibb.co/yWXbpNY/Screen-Shot-2019-12-11-at-12-27-35-PM.png

As you can probably tell by now, I've put together quite an old squad, so if our debut season doesn't go to plan then I'll need to do some serious reshuffling next summer. Nevertheless, our imposing 6'3, 183lb Angolan striker Manucho still has the attributes to effectively lead our frontline as a target man, with a Heading attribute of 17 and a Jumping Reach attribute of 16. In the third tier of Spain, these attributes will likely be very effective, and while Manucho has maintained an impressive level of physical fitness, he isn't the quickest striker around so I'll try to position him as far up as possible while feeding him with constant crosses.

James Perch

https://i.ibb.co/txCLTxN/Screen-Shot-2019-12-11-at-12-29-03-PM.png

Another signing with Premier League experience, Perch most recently played for Scunthorpe in League One last season, playing 41 matches and failing to help them avoid relegation. As a result, Perch left on a free transfer after just one season with the club, and he agreed to join F.C. Valdelavilla despite never having played outside of England, with his former clubs including QPR, Wigan, Newcastle, and Nottingham Forest. Perch suffered broken ribs after making a clumsy tackle in a friendly match, so he's been injured for the majority of pre-season and will miss the first couple of weeks of the season, but he has emerged as one of the more influential players in the dressing room already. Hopefully he can make the same kind of impact on the field once he's back from injury!

Jordan Stevens

https://i.ibb.co/dGMKrY3/Screen-Shot-2019-12-11-at-12-30-01-PM.png

While there were quite a few older players signed, I wanted my right and left midfielders to possess more pace and as such I signed several young wingers on loan. Jordan Stevens is by far the best of them, having already debuted in the Championship with Leeds last season and 9 times in League Two for Forest Green back in 2017 when he was only 17 years old. Now 19, Stevens is my strongest option in the right midfield, which happens to be his natural position rather than the more common right and left attacking midfield/winger positions. I'm expecting big things from Stevens, so keep an eye on him!

[size=14]Jack Clarke

https://i.ibb.co/d4880Yr/Screen-Shot-2019-12-11-at-12-30-23-PM.png

Another youthful loan signing, Jack Clarke added much-needed depth to my midfield, being able to slot in either the box-to-box role on the left (his better side) or the ball-winning defensive role on the right. Clarke is yet to make his professional debut, so he was eager to join our young club in the depths of Spanish football, where hopefully he'll develop into a successful player.

Ashley Cole

https://i.ibb.co/t8LMTNZ/Screen-Shot-2019-12-11-at-1-20-39-PM.png

At 38 years old, Ashley Cole has hung up his boots and has now opted to become a manager, beginning his coaching career as F.C. Valdelavilla's U19 manager. I was quite surprised that Cole agreed to join, figuring he'd probably get offered a similar job by his old pal Lampard. However, Cole has signed a 2 year deal and I think he'll do a fantastic job of developing our young English talent while he gains some managerial experience.

Squad Dynamics

https://i.ibb.co/L6HXcny/Screen-Shot-2019-12-11-at-1-14-08-PM.png

Ahead of our first professional game ever, my squad is severely lacking in cohesion, which is understandable considering I put the team together in just 2 months. I'm expecting a very ugly beginning to the season, with a lack of cohesion certain to be made worse by our direct tactical style. As a result, we may need to opt for the more counter-attacking tactic in our early fixtures, but we'll see how the first match goes with our preferred style. In spite of the lack of cohesion, the dressing room atmosphere and level of managerial support is very good which could help jumpstart our team cohesion once we get a few games under our belt. In addition to the good atmosphere, the fact that most of our players and staff speak English has helped ease the cohesion level from "Abysmal" to "Very Poor," which is an improvement, I suppose. Only time will tell.

Staff

https://i.ibb.co/6n01pyb/Screen-Shot-2019-12-11-at-1-19-33-PM.png

In addition to signing Ashley Cole, I put together a predominantly English team of coaches who had similar tactical styles to what I'm trying to achieve. Due to our relatively rich owner, I was able to put together not only the best coaching team, but also the best recruitment and one of the best medical teams in the league. My staff recruitment should go a long way in helping maintain a rigid club culture that'll help us reach La Liga in no time. I'll post the next update once I get to January! Unless something noteworthy happens before then of course, but let me know what you guys think of this save idea or any suggestions you might have!
Certainly a different save idea - I'm interested! Manucho is a throwback as a United fan, only remembered for assisting Danny Welbeck's thunderstrike on the latter's debut!
My Careers:
FM15 | FM16 | FM17a | FM17b | FM19a | FM19b | FM19c
FM20I: Trip to: United States (w/ Cincinnati) https://i.imgur.com/FQLsK4I.png / II: Earth Trip https://i.imgur.com/WvSK16U.png (journeyman)
Very interesting concept, will be following!
https://i.imgur.com/jkqweZW.png?1http://i.imgur.com/ZiZpv0k.png?1



I remember that goal well! Manucho was meant to be the next big thing!

Interesting concept for this save! Looking forward to seeing how you get on!
I remember that goal well! Manucho was meant to be the next big thing!

Interesting concept for this save! Looking forward to seeing how you get on!

Manucho - Danny Welbeck - Dong Fangzhuo... what could've been!
My Careers:
FM15 | FM16 | FM17a | FM17b | FM19a | FM19b | FM19c
FM20I: Trip to: United States (w/ Cincinnati) https://i.imgur.com/FQLsK4I.png / II: Earth Trip https://i.imgur.com/WvSK16U.png (journeyman)
2019/20 Segunda División B4 Mid-Season Review

https://i.ibb.co/jD7K4kM/Screen-Shot-2019-12-13-at-6-53-28-PM.png

Despite struggling with cohesion for several months we've managed to reach 5th place halfway through our first season! We have the joint-least amount of losses (2) and the 3rd-best defense in the league, with only 11 goals conceded and a total of 12 clean sheets. This is very encouraging considering we really lacked understanding early on in the campaign. While this has improved greatly, we have struggled to score goals for a while now (only 3 goals in our last 6!) so I'll likely need to bring in a replacement for Manucho during the January window if we're to make a real promotion push.

Standout Performers


Efe Ambrose

https://i.ibb.co/Xj0vVKF/Screen-Shot-2019-12-13-at-6-54-10-PM.png

Ambrose is the reason for our impressive defensive record, boasting an average rating of 7.11 in the league having started all 19 matches so far. Our club captain and first-ever signing Anton Ferdinand was injured before the beginning of the season, so Ambrose has been playing alongside an inexperienced yet very talented young center back, making his high average rating and our defensive record all the more impressive. Ambrose has also chipped in with 4 very important goals from headers, as well as contributing an assist. I won't be at all surprised if Ambrose wins our club player of the year award!

Ross McCormack

https://i.ibb.co/gJwt5VH/Screen-Shot-2019-12-13-at-6-54-36-PM.png

McCormack has turned out to be a great signing, having scored 5 goals and contributed 3 assists in 11(8) appearances. His primary striking partner, Manucho, hasn't played as well as I'd hoped so McCormack's proven to be a very important option up front. However, like Manucho, McCormack's showing signs of aging as his physical attributes have decreased steadily over the past five 6 months. Hopefully he can kick on and finish the season as strong as he's started.

Tactics

https://i.ibb.co/sFtPL2L/Screen-Shot-2019-12-13-at-7-27-27-PM.png

As I'd hoped, F.C. Valdelavilla has become known as one of the most physically strong, aggressive, and committed teams in the league. Our lack of cohesion and direct playing style has resulted in a high number of possession losses from long ball situations and a minority possession percentage nearly every game. Despite this, we've managed to achieve a 5th place position halfway through the season due to our successful use of crossing, particularly from set pieces. I noticed early on that most of our headed goals were from dead ball situations, so I set the instruction "Play for Set Pieces" and we've scored an increasing number of goals from corners and free kicks ever since. Hopefully we can continue to exploit these and reach the playoffs when the season ends!

Dynamics

https://i.ibb.co/HP36sCx/Screen-Shot-2019-12-13-at-7-49-57-PM.png

Our team cohesion has increased greatly since the beginning of the season, rising from "Very Poor" to "Average," and it will likely continue to rise provided we keep doing well. The dressing room atmosphere and managerial support levels are good and very good respectively, and we've had very little conflict despite the apparent contrasting personalities in the squad.
2019/20 Segunda División B4 Season Review

https://i.ibb.co/pf2bq50/Screen-Shot-2019-12-18-at-2-19-10-PM.png

After a strong first half of the season in which we amassed 31 points, we only managed to gain a further 21 from our last 19 matches. While I did strengthen the weaker areas of the team in January, our aging squad continued to decline throughout the second half of the season and we ended up finishing in a disappointing position (10th). All things considered, 10th isn't an awful finish for our first ever season as a football club and if we'd started out the season as poorly as we finished then we'd have ended up only 1 point above the relegation zone. Hopefully next season with the right additions we can make a better promotion bid.

January Transfers


Ollie Palmer

https://i.ibb.co/yVsxS4S/Screen-Shot-2019-12-18-at-2-36-00-PM.png

Palmer was meant to be a key signing to replace Manucho as the main man up top, but he's struggled to justify the £155,000 fee that I spent on him. Palmer featured in 14 matches in the tail end of the season, starting 11 and managing to score 4 goals in that time. His scoring record may have been a slight improvement on Manucho, but he didn't have the effect that I expected. However, I think our lack of real quality on the wings, particularly on the left, may have contributed to both Palmer and Manucho's offensive struggles. Perhaps next year with the right signings we'll be able to increase the service to Palmer to make him more of an aerial threat.

Stefan O'Connor

https://i.ibb.co/Qr4PVm4/Screen-Shot-2019-12-18-at-2-15-15-PM.png

Former Newcastle and Arsenal prospect Stefan O'Connor miraculously agreed to join us to replace the aging and injury-prone Anton Ferdinand at the back, who only managed to make 4 appearances total as our captain despite initially being signed as an important player. O'Connor managed to maintain a 7.04 average rating despite our increasingly poor form and lack of fluidity in the second half of the season, making him our most consistent player despite his relatively young age. I expect him to be an important player for us over the next few years as we work our way up the Spanish pyramid.

Youth Intake


https://i.ibb.co/P1Mfmmf/Screen-Shot-2019-12-14-at-4-59-19-PM.png

The youth intake preview was extremely confusing, with conflicting advice from my head of youth development stating that we have a "terrific group of players" set to become a "real golden generation for the club" while contradicting this point by describing a lack of potential in nearly every position. More than anything else, this just made me doubt my head of youth development's competence.

https://i.ibb.co/4SWQ5yt/Screen-Shot-2019-12-18-at-11-06-57-AM.png

The actual intake was fairly promising, with one standout player who could already feature in the first team as a breakthrough prospect. The others are unlikely to make it to the first team, especially if we're promoted next season.

https://i.ibb.co/CB7XkMB/Screen-Shot-2019-12-18-at-11-07-29-AM.png

Ben Foster, not to be confused with the Watford goalkeeper, is our most promising recruit. At 17 years old, Foster is already good enough to provide backup to our starting central midfielders, primarily operating as a more attacking mezzala or advanced playmaker. While I don't use these roles in my system, Foster certainly has the attributes and work ethic to become a box-to-box midfielder which is what I've started training him as. Foster's personality description regards him as a "mercenary," so if we don't improve next season to get promoted, he likely won't hang around in the Segunda División B4 for much longer if he's really as promising as my youth team believes. For now though, Foster will continue to develop in the U19s under Ashley Cole and his team, with a view to play a small role in the squad next season and later working his way into the first team as we rise up the divisions.

Retirements


Ross McCormack

https://i.ibb.co/wMgwZ5K/Screen-Shot-2019-12-18-at-1-53-55-PM.png

While McCormack started out the season strong, he struggled to maintain his form during the latter half of the season. After I failed to negotiate a contract extension in which he'd only be a squad player, he announced his decision to retire at 33 years old. McCormack enjoyed a varied career, featuring for numerous clubs in Scotland, England, Australia, and most recently Spain. Throughout his career he amassed 158 goals in 464 league appearances, with a total of £23.47m in transfer fees spent for his services by various clubs over the years. McCormack's now looking to become a coach and due to his good standing with the club it's very likely that I'll attempt to sign him as a U19 coach to work under Ashley Cole. With a few more additions like this to our youth coaching team, they'd make a fantastic 5-a-side team!

Manucho

https://i.ibb.co/FKhmPtt/Screen-Shot-2019-12-18-at-12-20-58-PM.png

Along with his striking partner McCormack, Manucho announced his decision to retire a few weeks before the end of the season at the age of 37 years old. When I signed Manucho, his physical traits were still relatively high so I'd hoped he would provide more of a threat than he actually did, particularly in the air. Though he maintained his technical and mental attributes, his legs started to go as the season went on and he only managed to score 8 goals in 32(5) appearances for the club. Like McCormack, Manucho enjoyed a varied career, playing for 12 different clubs including Manchester United, Panathinaikos, Hull City, Real Valladolid, Rayo Vallecano, as well as several other less recognizable clubs. He managed to score 86 goals in 387 total league appearances over the years, so maybe I should've predicted his somewhat disappointing scoring record for us, but I thought I'd be able to get the best out of him particularly in this division. Regardless, Manucho enjoyed a very respectable and long career as a striker and will go down as an important figure in F.C. Valdelavilla's history. See you next season!
2020/21 Segunda División B2 Preview

https://i.ibb.co/sty7y7d/Screen-Shot-2019-12-20-at-10-45-05-AM.png

This year we've been put in the Segunda División B2 rather than the Segunda División B4. After another long summer of heavy recruitment, we now look ready to mount a serious title challenge with our title odds set at 5-2 by the press, putting us in the favorite's position for the title. This is a significant improvement on last year, when the Season Preview had us in 5th. Hopefully we can go the distance and win the title to put us in the best possible position for the Promotion Playoffs (apparently in this division winning the title doesn't give you automatic promotion).

Notable Signings


Richie Smallwood

https://i.ibb.co/kSz8t9t/Screen-Shot-2019-12-20-at-10-58-13-AM.png

Richie Smallwood was my biggest signing of the transfer window, boasting extensive experience in the English Championship with clubs such as Middlesbrough, Rotherham, and most recently Blackburn. I managed to sign Smallwood on a free and subsequently appointed him as captain ahead of the new season. Last year we were really lacking quality and depth in the midfield, as well as experience, so Smallwood should turn out to be a key signing for us this year. With 18 aggression, 19 bravery, 16 leadership, 16 teamwork, and 18 work rate; Smallwood will hopefully tighten up our midfield and effectively protect our defense as my right-sided ball-winning central midfielder.

David Concha

https://i.ibb.co/CBqVFxM/Screen-Shot-2019-12-20-at-11-04-54-AM.png

Another great signing, David Concha was once a bright prospect who broke into the Real Sociedad first team back in the 2016/17 season. After making 8 appearances in La Liga that year, Concha was given a potential of 82 in FIFA 17. It's now clear that he won't quite reach that mark, but he's certainly a great prospect and is already one of the best left wingers in the league at the moment, which is a position we really lacked depth of quality in last season.

Victor Campuzano

https://i.ibb.co/7NYT4p8/Screen-Shot-2019-12-20-at-11-13-24-AM.png

Former Espanyol and Castilla prospect Campuzano was another great free transfer I made over the summer window. Campuzano previously played in my division 2 years ago, scoring 10 goals in 33 matches at 21 years old. Now 23, I believe Campuzano can go beyond that mark and hopefully be in the Segunda B4 Golden Boot discussion by the end of the year.

Andy Halliday

https://i.ibb.co/W6Cfbdx/Screen-Shot-2019-12-20-at-11-19-15-AM.png

Signed to partner Smallwood in the midfield, Andy Halliday provides another experienced option in his prime, with previous playing experience including esteemed clubs such as Rangers and Middlesbrough. Smallwood and Halliday actually played together at Middlesbrough for nearly 5 years, so reviving their partnership could strengthen our midfield significantly.

Will Keane

https://i.ibb.co/nnxwzJW/Screen-Shot-2019-12-20-at-11-25-26-AM.png

Former Manchester United academy prospect Will Keane joined on yet another free transfer over the summer, most recently playing for Ipswich in League One last season. At 27 years old, Keane doesn't actually have a lot of first team experience, with only 81 league appearances and 8 goals in his entire career. However, I believe he has all of the right attributes to make a great deep lying forward, linking the midfield to the attack and providing support for Victor Campuzano.

Luke Garbutt

https://i.ibb.co/PN9PfTK/Screen-Shot-2019-12-20-at-11-33-41-AM.png

Like Will Keane, Garbutt spent last season with Ipswich in League One on loan from Everton. Everton signed Garbutt for £600,000 from Leeds when he was just 16 years old, clearly rating his future highly. However, Garbutt has struggled to reach the levels expected of him and as such I was able to snap him up on another free transfer. One of the benefits of playing in Spain with this club means that I can approach English clubs' players several months prior to their contracts expiring rather than waiting until June 30th like other English clubs. This gave me a distinct advantage in the months leading up to the opening of the transfer window and I was able to sign 14 first-team players on free transfers on the opening day of the window. This helped our team cohesion greatly in the build-up to the season, and we're now starting with an "Average" level of team cohesion rather than the "Very Poor" we started with last season. Hopefully that means we'll start off strongly!

Notable Departures


Anton Ferdinand

https://i.ibb.co/2Fvw7xd/Screen-Shot-2019-12-20-at-11-41-52-AM.png

Club captain Anton Ferdinand moved to Scottish Championship club Falkirk after just one year with the club in which he struggled to remain fit for the majority of the season. He only managed to make 4 league appearances for us, suffering from torn knee ligaments prior to the beginning of the season before getting a sports-related hernia which kept him sidelined for a further 6 weeks. Despite his lack of on-field contributions, Ferdinand was instrumental in bringing the dressing room together and improving our team cohesion as a highly influential leader in the squad. Hopefully he can keep his fitness for Falkirk and finish his career strongly!

James Perch

https://i.ibb.co/XWymRQ2/Screen-Shot-2019-12-20-at-11-47-12-AM.png

Another highly influential player in the dressing room, James Perch was released at the end of last season after struggling to maintain his strong early season form. As the team began to struggle after the January window, Perch's legs seemed to go and with a lack of pace he wasn't as effective in the supporting wing back role that I like to play with. As such, Perch was released and is still a free agent, with Spanish club Barakaldo C.F. currently showing interest in him. Perhaps I'll bring him back in a staff role sometime in the future!

Tactics

https://i.ibb.co/YtMkY0r/Screen-Shot-2019-12-20-at-12-39-15-PM.png

I've changed the tactics ahead of this season due to our lack of a target man, instead opting for an advanced forward + poacher partnership, which I believe will get the most out of our forwards. This will leave a gap between the midfield and our offense as both strikers will operate high up the field, but I think with the right delivery from the wings we'll be able to dominate the slower, more possession-based Spanish clubs with our high intensity pressing and direct style of play. I've used a very high number of tactical instructions which has the potential to backfire if the players feel overloaded with instructions. This often happens in lower divisions, but I believe I have players with enough quality to handle the specific roles and instructions I've assigned.

Other News


Valdelavilla B

https://i.ibb.co/LRNh7zs/Screen-Shot-2019-12-19-at-12-46-32-AM.png

I decided to establish a B club to compete in the Third Division after receiving the option in my inbox.
https://i.ibb.co/93VC3vM/Screen-Shot-2019-12-19-at-12-46-52-AM.png

After placing adverts for every position possible, I failed to receive any applications. This is likely because the Third Division of the Spanish pyramid isn't playable, so there's a lack of coaches at that level, especially ones willing to sign a part-time contract with a relatively low wage. As a result, I've put Ashley Cole in charge of both the B team and the U19 team. When I created this database, I forgot to place Valdelavilla's U19s in the U19 league setup, assuming that it would automatically offer participation to us. However, my youth players will be able to play league matches with the B squad, which I suppose will be good experience.

Dressing Room Drama

https://i.ibb.co/30yxc0B/Screen-Shot-2019-12-19-at-12-49-24-AM.png

While I initially intended to keep Ollie Palmer in the fold as a third-choice striker with the possibility of pushing into the starting lineup, he confronted me after signing Campuzano and Keane. I tried to explain that they'd all receive appropriate game time and that competition was healthy, but he wasn't having it and subsequently threatened to complain to teammates and bring down the dressing room atmosphere. As a result, I instantly demoted him to the U19 squad and transfer listed him.
https://i.ibb.co/7pmkVRh/Screen-Shot-2019-12-19-at-12-49-12-AM.png

My attempts to isolate him were unsuccessful, resulting in the influential player Stuart Bannigan warning me that Palmer was complaining about my treatment of him. When I spoke to Palmer about the issue, he was even more disrespectful than the first conversation, so I attempted a mutual termination to end the needlessly dramatic saga.
https://i.ibb.co/hBRH4HJ/Screen-Shot-2019-12-19-at-12-49-04-AM.png

If anything, this further exacerbated the problem, with Palmer making it clear he would happily just turn up to take the paycheck every week rather than finding game-time elsewhere. As a result, Palmer will now spend the 2020/21 season with Valdelavilla B. Have fun in the Third Division you clown!
Potential Save-Ending Bug


https://i.ibb.co/N6Q4M3D/Screen-Shot-2019-12-19-at-1-05-05-AM.png

Before the season started, I outlined my goals for the upcoming season to the new squad, selecting the only available option to me which was to win the title of the Segunda División B2. Several players then voiced their displeasure with my lack of ambition, saying that we should be "aiming higher" than winning the title, whatever that means. I shrugged it off as some kind of minor glitch, but it seems it may be more serious.

https://i.ibb.co/p4Vvkcm/Screen-Shot-2019-12-21-at-12-07-03-PM.png

12 games into the season and we're currently 2 points clear at the top with a vastly superior goal difference, yet the board is "disappointed that the team is currently only on course to win promotion from the Second Division B2 this season." As a result, my current grade is only at a C+ and given that everything is currently going as smoothly as it possibly could, one rough patch might cost me my job. I'm not sure what to do about this, because I can't use the editor to make myself un-sackable as I haven't bought the in-game editor this year. Any suggestions?
That's a shame, the game does seem to have more bugs than usual this year; or maybe I'm just noticing more myself.
Not sure about a solution, others might have one, but maybe just ride it out and hope it sorts itself out?
My Careers:
FM15 | FM16 | FM17a | FM17b | FM19a | FM19b | FM19c
FM20I: Trip to: United States (w/ Cincinnati) https://i.imgur.com/FQLsK4I.png / II: Earth Trip https://i.imgur.com/WvSK16U.png (journeyman)
That's a shame, the game does seem to have more bugs than usual this year; or maybe I'm just noticing more myself.
Not sure about a solution, others might have one, but maybe just ride it out and hope it sorts itself out?


Yeah that's the plan, I think if I win promotion and keep everything else in order they'll give me the "benefit of the doubt" or whatever and show some leniency. Apparently they're disappointed with my results on the pitch even though we're currently on an 11 match unbeaten run (8-3-0). Fingers crossed!
2020/21 Segunda División B2 Mid-Season Review

https://i.ibb.co/Qfd4sDq/Screen-Shot-2019-12-22-at-4-15-46-PM.png

We're currently 7 points clear at the top halfway through our second season after a very strong start. However, my board remains disappointed with our performance in the league as a result of the previously mentioned bug. If I finish 1st in the league I'll be placed in a playoff against the other group winners, and I think I'll probably be able to keep my job as long as everything else continues to go smoothly. If I'm promoted then hopefully this bug will just stop there so I can progress normally with the rest of the save. Only time will tell!

Standout Performers


Victor Campuzano

https://i.ibb.co/GvTQ2SP/Screen-Shot-2019-12-22-at-4-16-40-PM.png

It appears I've finally signed a striker who can score goals! Spanish advanced forward Victor Campuzano has scored 11 goals in 16(1) league appearances so far this season, making him the third top scorer in the league at the moment. Amazingly, the current top scorer has a whopping 21 goals in 19 appearances. At that rate Campuzano doesn't really stand a chance for the Golden Boot but our team is working well together and I think we'll end up being promoted this season!

Efe Ambrose

https://i.ibb.co/7bKq6Yj/Screen-Shot-2019-12-22-at-4-17-40-PM.png

Ambrose has remained a Valdelavilla stalwart at the back this season, holding it down with an average rating of 7.18 from 17 league starts. At 32 years old, Ambrose will likely only feature as a rotation option next year once we're promoted to the second division as his physical attributes will decline as he ages. This process has already started, so I'll begin scouting for a replacement ASAP.

Other News


The Return of James Perch

https://i.ibb.co/HzrDw3t/Screen-Shot-2019-12-23-at-9-13-51-AM.png

Former right back James Perch has re-signed for the club in a coaching capacity following his retirement, acting as the only current coach for Valdelavilla B as he works to get his coaching qualifications beyond his current National B license. I had trouble finding coaches for the B club but I think I may have more luck recruiting old players in the future like I did with Perch.
2020/21 Segunda División B2 Review

https://i.ibb.co/bKWsYpR/Screen-Shot-2019-12-26-at-7-12-53-PM.png

We pretty much walked the title this year, finishing 20 points ahead of the runner-up with a tally of 89 points, a 37 point improvement on last season. We were then seeded for the 1st playoff round which we won, achieving promotion to the Second Division and putting us in the final to compete for champions title.

https://i.ibb.co/FqMdSLk/Screen-Shot-2019-12-26-at-7-38-23-PM.png

While we were able to win promotion, we failed to beat Almeria in the final and were not crowned champions of the Segunda División B. I was slightly disappointed, as we were the better team and were hit with quite a few injuries before the game, but my main goal was achieving promotion this season and we managed to do that, so I'm happy.

Standout Performers


Victor Campuzano

https://i.ibb.co/7gQF2f2/Screen-Shot-2019-12-27-at-9-26-01-AM.png

Campuzano continued his impressive scoring record in the latter half of the season, finishing with 21 goals in 31(1) league appearances. This wasn't quite enough for the Golden Boot, but his contributions were vital in our title run and he'll likely remain my main man up top next year.

Marcus Barnes

https://i.ibb.co/j9t4nPQ/Screen-Shot-2019-12-27-at-9-23-51-AM.png

Originally signed as backup, Barnes formed a fantastic partnership with our top scorer, Victor Campuzano, scoring 13 goals and getting 7 assists in 21(1) as a supporting target man. I'll likely keep their partnership going into next season to see if they can achieve similar numbers as they did this year, though Barnes may struggle more than Campuzano with the step up.

Efe Ambrose

https://i.ibb.co/yBcnqTj/Screen-Shot-2019-12-27-at-9-24-16-AM.png

Ambrose remained a stalwart in our defense throughout the 2020/21 season despite his slight physical decline as a result of his age, making 31 appearances and maintaining an average rating of 7.32. I extended his contract so he'll provide cover for our center backs next year while I look to bring in a new partner for the much young O'Connor in the center.

Ben Foster

https://i.ibb.co/xXPYK5r/Screen-Shot-2019-12-27-at-9-24-53-AM.png

A product of last year's youth intake, Ben Foster managed to break into the first team and hold down a rotation role during the latter half of the season, making 10(7) appearances and amassing 5 goals and 6 assists while maintaining an average rating of 7.24. I think Foster might have the potential to become a La Liga player in the future, so I will likely continue to play him as often as possible to encourage his development.

Luke Garbutt

https://i.ibb.co/pvWGcqm/Screen-Shot-2019-12-27-at-9-24-36-AM.png

Garbutt started out the season pretty poorly, and after attempting to lower his squad role he confronted me, saying he would improve his performances to stake a claim for a starting spot. He then went on an incredible run of form, at one point having an average rating of over 8.0 across 5 games, making him one of the most consistent players in our team. He managed to get 6 assists in 25(5) appearances as my left wing back, finishing the season with an average rating of 7.14, a significant improvement on his average rating halfway through the year. If there were a "most-improved" award in this game, he'd be the one to win it!

Youth Intake


Ethan Beck

https://i.ibb.co/z6Pk0qP/Screen-Shot-2019-12-27-at-9-37-55-AM.png

Our brightest youth prospect is 16 y/o Ethan Beck, one of many right wingers that came through in our youth intake. Beck has enormous potential, possibly even enough to become a future La Liga player. Only time will tell!

Departures


Will Keane

https://i.ibb.co/XSz0Xp8/Screen-Shot-2019-12-27-at-9-06-59-AM.png

Keane was originally meant to be Campuzano's partner up front, boasting some really impressive attributes that I thought would compliment Campuzano perfectly. However, Keane never really showed much in training and struggled to score consistently, only finishing 5 times in 12(8) appearances. Despite this, I was able to sell him for £275k after picking him up on a free the previous summer, so he turned out to be a good piece of business after all.

Ashley Cole

https://i.ibb.co/5T2JBgL/Screen-Shot-2019-12-27-at-9-41-32-AM.png

Ashley Cole was doing well as our U19s manager and Valdelavilla B interim manager, but when contract negotiations began he was adamant about becoming a first team coach. He didn't quite have the coaching attributes I was looking for and wouldn't agree to keep his old job despite my increasing his wage offer so he ended up leaving the club at the end of his contract. He's now the U23 manager at Coventry.
2021/22 Segunda División Preview

https://i.ibb.co/fd2yVbz/Screen-Shot-2019-12-28-at-5-06-25-PM.png

The Season Preview has us predicted to finish in 15th, though for some reason there are 3 teams missing from the table in the preview. With 22 teams in the league total, it's my goal to avoid the drop and attempt to finish in a respectable mid-table position before making a promotion push next year to finally reach La Liga.

Tactics

https://i.ibb.co/JcDVHt6/Screen-Shot-2019-12-29-at-10-29-37-AM.png

I've adopted a more counter-attacking style of play due to the significant increase in the quality of the opposition, sitting deeper on defense and attempting to catch them on the break with high intensity direct passing, aiming to get the ball to our forwards as quickly as possible to then shoot on sight. We'll forfeit a large percentage of possession with this style but I believe my defense is organized enough to weather the tiki-taka storm. I've kept the Campuzano-Barnes striker partnership alive after they provided a combined 34 goals last season, with Barnes using his strength and aerial ability to support the more advanced, technical Campuzano.

Notable Signings


Luke Amos

https://i.ibb.co/KcPjNM9/Screen-Shot-2019-12-29-at-10-24-22-AM.png

Our biggest signing of the window was former Tottenham prospect Luke Amos, a defensive midfielder who I believe will finally tighten up my midfield after struggling in this area the past 2 seasons. I managed to sign Amos on a free transfer and he's now worth over £500k, so it was a great deal all around.

Jerome Sinclair

https://i.ibb.co/W0xbJhf/Screen-Shot-2019-12-29-at-10-24-39-AM.png

I also managed to sign former Liverpool and Watford prospect Jerome Sinclair on a free to provide cover for my frontline after selling my backup strikers at the end of last season. I remember when Sinclair was still a hot prospect at Liverpool (my favorite club); I thought he was going to be a huge player for us after developing him time and time again in past FMs but it never quite worked out for him and he's now 24 years old playing backup in the Segunda División. Regardless, he should prove to be a good backup option as he fits my tactical style perfectly.

Tunji Akinola

https://i.ibb.co/ZXT3g8Z/Screen-Shot-2019-12-29-at-10-24-52-AM.png

Another free transfer, Tunji Akinola joined from West Ham United after being deemed surplus to requirements by manager Danny Cowley. Akinola will partner O'Connor in the center of the defense, with Efe Ambrose operating as first backup. Since joining Akinola has trained very well and has seen an increase in nearly all of his attributes, so I'm excited about his future.
Congrats on that promotion, shame you lost to Almeria in the overall final but going up was the goal; as you mention. Best of luck in the second tier!
My Careers:
FM15 | FM16 | FM17a | FM17b | FM19a | FM19b | FM19c
FM20I: Trip to: United States (w/ Cincinnati) https://i.imgur.com/FQLsK4I.png / II: Earth Trip https://i.imgur.com/WvSK16U.png (journeyman)
2021/22 Segunda División Mid-Season Review

https://i.ibb.co/fGL87Jc/Screen-Shot-2019-12-30-at-7-32-36-PM.png

After a precarious start to the season, we managed to pull ourselves out of the relegation zone with an impressive turn of form, currently sitting in 17th halfway through the season. If we can ride this momentum for the rest of the season, I think we'll finish in a more respectable mid-table position.

https://i.ibb.co/TrKCNn7/Screen-Shot-2019-12-30-at-4-13-34-PM.png

The direct counter-attacking tactics I set up prior to the season didn't really work out, only managing 1 win from our first 13 matches. As a result, the fans publicly criticized my tactics, making me seriously consider whether the tiki-taka style was the superior playing style.

https://i.ibb.co/6sw777y/Screen-Shot-2019-12-30-at-4-57-16-PM.png

Spurred on by the fans' outcries, the board called me in for a meeting, giving me an ultimatum to gain 6 points from the following 5 matches in order to keep my job. To make matters worse, my entire starting 11 confronted me in the dressing room to "address the poor atmosphere around the club."

https://i.ibb.co/ZxT9jHm/Screen-Shot-2019-12-31-at-9-38-03-AM.png

Amazingly, I managed to turn things around after that fateful Granada home loss, gaining 9 points from the 5 matches after the board meeting and continuing our strong run of form to reach the 3rd round of the Spanish Cup (the minimum board expectation) in the midst of a relatively heavy schedule. The dressing room atmosphere is soaring once again, and the board and fans are happy.

https://i.ibb.co/LN5dm5p/Screen-Shot-2019-12-31-at-9-42-30-AM.png

To reverse the damage done by the direct counter-attack tactic, I reverted back to our more positive, high-tempo long-ball style of play which gave us much success last season, despite the fact that we're considered one of the weaker sides in the league. This worked much better than I could've imagined and we've climbed out of the relegation zone as a result. I'll likely keep this tactic for the remainder of the season while I work out what went wrong with our backup tactics.

Standout Performer


Victor Campuzano

https://i.ibb.co/VVqFNCJ/Screen-Shot-2019-12-31-at-9-46-47-AM.png

Campuzano saved my ass time and time again this year, scoring 10 goals and getting 4 assists in 21 starts, with an average rating of 7.22 (the only player on my team with over a 7.00). Surprisingly, no clubs have come calling for him yet but it's only a matter of time at this rate. Hopefully I can hang onto him by offering him a huge new deal during the January window.

Notable Signings


Luke Matheson

https://i.ibb.co/VgC5pS8/Screen-Shot-2019-12-30-at-7-28-23-PM.png

One of the weakest areas of my team this season has been in the right back position, rotating between 3 inadequate options with all failing to gain any kind of consistency. As a result, this was the first position I searched for prior to the transfer window opening up. I was delighted to see that Rochdale prospect Luke Matheson was transfer listed, as I remember his goal against Manchester United in the League Cup earlier this year. Without even scouting him I secured his signature for £400k and it seems he'll provide a long-term solution to this problem, potentially even growing into a La Liga-quality player.

Jordan Rossiter

https://i.ibb.co/41Qpmgz/Screen-Shot-2019-12-30-at-7-28-35-PM.png

Besides the right back spot, I've struggled to find a reliable box-to-box midfielder for much of this save, but I think Jordan Rossiter might be the answer to that problem. A former Liverpool prospect, Rossiter's got enough potential to help us get to La Liga and perhaps even play a role once we get there. He'll partner former Spurs prospect Luke Amos as my midfield duo, which I believe could finally solve my midfield woes. I managed to sign him for just £27.5k, so even if he flops it was still a fantastic deal.

Gary Madine

https://i.ibb.co/KFdYtpJ/Screen-Shot-2019-12-30-at-10-48-22-AM.png

I signed the experienced Gary Madine to provide cover up top, operating as a supporting target man just like Marcus Barnes. Madine most recently played in the Championship for Cardiff, so he's certainly still got the quality to do a job for us.

Notable Departures


Luke Bolton

https://i.ibb.co/pXsV5RZ/Screen-Shot-2019-12-31-at-10-02-21-AM.png

Former Manchester City prospect Luke Bolton was developing well with us, but due to our impressive depth on the right wing as a result of our youth intakes I decided to accept an offer from Cardiff for £775k (including add-ons). With young prospects Ethan Beck and Ben Foster possessing more potential than Bolton, it just made sense to sell him for profit when the offer came in and focus on developing the younger talents for the future.
Excellent work that you have been developing, very interesting.
Official SirWerGaming ©

Fm 2020 - Saves

2021/22 Segunda División Review

https://i.ibb.co/p2f9b0H/Screen-Shot-2020-01-02-at-11-40-11-AM.png

We managed to gain 26 points from the last 21 matches, finishing stronger than we started in a respectable mid-table position of 15th. We spent the majority of the season drifting between 15th and 18th, but never really looked like going down in terms of goal difference and quality of play. As such, we finished 8 points ahead of the relegation zone with a significantly better goal difference, giving us a solid platform to make a top-half push next season. Perhaps with the right recruits we could even push for promotion, though I'm not going to get my hopes up just yet.

Standout Performers


Victor Campuzano

https://i.ibb.co/McRG9p3/Screen-Shot-2020-01-02-at-11-46-19-AM.png

Victor Campuzano went from strength to strength this season, finishing with 21 goals and 10 assists in 38(3) league appearances with an average rating of 7.31. I figured he would be able to handle the step up from the Segunda División B2 pretty well but I definitely didn't expect him to be the runner-up for the Golden Boot. I managed to extend his contract for another 4 years and secured a release clause of £8,000,000, so it seems he's here for the long haul.

Marcus Barnes

https://i.ibb.co/1TsLqX4/Screen-Shot-2020-01-02-at-11-49-49-AM.png

I wasn't sure Marcus Barnes would be able to handle the step up from the Segunda División B2 as well as Campuzano but given the great success of their striking partnership last season, I decided to give Barnes the chance to prove himself and he did just that! He finished the season with 13 goals and 4 assists in 38 league appearances, with an average rating of 7.08. He started off the season a little slower than Campuzano, as did most of the rest of my team, but he really stepped up for the latter half of the season and I decided to extend his contract with a squad player role. I'll be looking to bring in another target man to compete with Barnes next year but he'll definitely still have a spot in my team for several years to come.

Luke Amos

https://i.ibb.co/71DD6q7/Screen-Shot-2020-01-02-at-11-56-00-AM.png

Luke Amos struggled for much of the first half of the season. I originally signed him to fill the ball-winning central midfielder role, but once I signed Jordan Rossiter I decided to switch Amos to a box-to-box midfielder and he finally started performing. I've achieved very little success with the ball-winning midfielder role since the beginning of the save, so I decided to switch Rossiter's role to a deep-lying defensive playmaker and it seems this partnership works much better. I'll be looking to strengthen my midfield in the summer but Luke Amos will continue to be my starting box-to-box midfielder next year.

Youth Intake

https://i.ibb.co/rccgnxY/Screen-Shot-2020-01-01-at-5-42-33-PM.png

I had another promising youth intake this year, with 17 year-old goalkeeper Phil Robinson standing out as one of our best prospects. Robinson's already attracting interest from Huesca but I'll do everything in my power to hold onto him as he has the potential to be a La Liga player in the future. There were several other prospects who may have the potential to be Segunda División players in the future, so overall a solid youth intake. Looking forward to the next one!

Departures


Ben Foster

https://i.ibb.co/FhPfn6w/Screen-Shot-2019-12-31-at-3-19-24-PM.png

I was incredibly disappointed when Real Betis began to show interest in Ben Foster and I was unable to tempt him to sign a new contract with a bigger release clause, so he ended up leaving for just £925,000 in January, mere days after I sold my other right winger Luke Bolton to give Foster more playing time. Foster opted to leave to play in a better division, where he's made just 4 sub appearances. It's only a matter of time before we'll be in La Liga and show him what he's missing!

Ivan Buigues

https://i.ibb.co/J2hgQp0/Screen-Shot-2020-01-02-at-12-07-37-PM.png

Long-time goalkeeper Ivan Buigues similarly decided to join a bigger club, signing a pre-contract with Sassuolo back in January. Buigues has been my first-choice keeper since the start of this save, so it'll be sad to see him go. I signed a replacement keeper on a pre-contract shortly thereafter, so it's not the end of the world. Buigues finished the season with 12 clean sheets, conceding 61 goals in 42 appearances with an average rating of 6.83. Considering the relatively large step up from the Segunda División B2, these numbers are pretty solid. Good luck in Italy, Ivan!

Other News


New Contract

https://i.ibb.co/xmzgKhC/Screen-Shot-2020-01-02-at-11.png

Pleased with my efforts this year, the board offered me a new contract immediately following the last game of the season. I obviously accepted, and I'll be earning £6.75k per week for the next 2 years, not bad!

Live and Learn

https://i.ibb.co/tbn0f33/Screen-Shot-2020-01-01-at-6-24-38-PM.png

After Ben Foster slithered away to Real Betis, I immediately began locking down some of our most promising players to new contracts with larger release clauses. I managed to get 17 year-old winger Ethan Beck to sign a contract extension until 2025 with a release clause of £4,500,000. He stepped up to the task when Foster and Bolton left and he'll continue to be a main fixture in our squad for as long as possible, possessing the potential to be a La Liga player in the future. He's also a more natural winger than Foster, who now operates as a backup roaming playmaker in the center of Real Betis' midfield.
2022/23 Segunda División Preview

https://i.ibb.co/kmKRdXm/Screen-Shot-2020-01-03-at-11-15-17-AM.png

Our title odds have improved from last year's 35-1 to 25-1 this season, putting us in 13th out of 17 in the Season Preview. It seems the Season Preview leaves out all of the B teams such as Barcelona B and Real Madrid Castilla, so I'm not sure exactly where we stand. The minimum board expectation is to finish mid-table but I'm aiming to finish in the top half and push for promotion next season.

Tactics

https://i.ibb.co/P4zD8WQ/Screen-Shot-2020-01-04-at-9-46-54-AM.png

I've decided to stick with the positive custom wing play tactic that I used toward the end of last season, but rather than using a ball-winning midfielder I've switched to a deep-lying defensive playmaker to partner the box-to-box midfielder as this has brought me more stability and success in the midfield. We've got a very young squad, so I'm hoping as our team develops we'll be able to grow into our attacking tactic and become one of the better sides in the league. I've struggled to get the more cautious counter-attack approach to work against the better teams. It seems we just play better when we take the game to the opponent, regardless of how good they are. Obviously we had to park the bus when we played Real Madrid in the Spanish Cup last season, but overall this approach brings more success and some surprise upsets against the better teams in the division, so I'm sticking with it.

Notable Signings


Kieran O'Hara

https://i.ibb.co/WPqNXrP/Screen-Shot-2020-01-03-at-10-02-17-AM.png

I brought in former Manchester United prospect Kieran O'Hara to replace the departing Ivan Buigues after an impressive League One campaign with Gillingham in which he kept 15 clean sheets with an average rating of 7.09 from 34 appearances, conceding 29 goals. I believe he's got the quality to help us get promoted within the next couple years but after that I'll likely need to recruit a La Liga-quality goalkeeper. However, the door's always open for players to change my mind!

Jake Clarke-Salter

https://i.ibb.co/BT9g5dQ/Screen-Shot-2020-01-03-at-10-03-19-AM.png

Former Chelsea prospect Jake Clarke-Salter has been on my shortlist since the beginning of this save, with my scouts constantly pressuring me to sign him with extremely high recommendation ratings (90+). Despite the strong partnership formed between O'Connor and Akinola last year, I decided adding the left-footed center back to the squad would only make us stronger and push our top defenders to play and train at their best as the Valdelavilla veteran Efe Ambrose nears the end of his career. He has the potential to reach a La Liga level according to my coaches and scouts, so hopefully he can step up and cement his place in the starting lineup.

Renat Dadasov

https://i.ibb.co/DRJ1fYW/Screen-Shot-2020-01-03-at-11-04-26-AM.png

I signed Azeri target man Renat Dadasov for a club-record £750,000 to replace the departing Marcus Barnes (more on that later) because my scouts claim he has the potential to reach a good La Liga level. He will partner Victor Campuzano up top, who's already good enough to play in La Liga, so this striking partnership will hopefully last several years to come. Dadasov has previously played for esteemed clubs such as Frankfurt, RB Leipzig, and Wolves, though he lacks first team experience and as such he'll have to prove himself when he arrives.

Notable Departures


Marcus Barnes

https://i.ibb.co/v3Sdp0L/Screen-Shot-2020-01-03-at-10-58-28-AM.png

Marcus Barnes' fine form over the last 2 seasons earned him a massive £500k (plus ~£600k in add-ons) offer from Reading in the summer. Though I originally had no intention to sell him, I realized when the offer came in that Barnes was unlikely to improve any more and given ambition of the club, selling him for that price at that time was my best option. Hopefully Barnes can kick on and earn a starting role at Reading in the Championship, though it's likely that he'll be used as a backup for them.

Jerome Sinclair

https://i.ibb.co/c88SmGJ/Screen-Shot-2020-01-04-at-10-18-27-AM.png

As I feared, former Liverpool and Watford starlet Jerome Sinclair failed to impress last season, scoring just two goals in 6(18) league appearances with an average rating of 6.69. When the summer transfer window opened, I decided cashing in on him was the best option to gather enough funds to properly strengthen my frontline, though he only ended up selling for £56,000 (a significant drop from his previous £4,000,000 price tag when he left Liverpool years ago). Maybe he'll prove me wrong by tearing up League Two with Carlisle, though I doubt it at this point.

Ollie Palmer

https://i.ibb.co/pfjkGBS/Screen-Shot-2020-01-02-at-1-05-30-PM.png

Some of you may remember the Palmer saga from years ago, when he threw several tantrums as a result of a lack of playing time and I failed to terminate his contract, further exacerbating the problem. This resulted in him being relegated to the Valdelavilla B team, where he's remained ever since. He spent the 2020/21 season on loan at Bradford City, but he spent the entirety of last season on the B team playing the the Third Division, two tiers below us. He did alright there, scoring 11 goals in 29 matches, but once his contract expired I was happy to see the back of him. He's since signed for Crewe in League One.

Luke Garbutt

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I decided to release former Everton prospect Luke Garbutt after he struggled to maintain his form once we were promoted to the Segunda División. He was a fantastic player for us during our Segunda División B campaign when we were promoted, finishing the season with an average rating of 7.14, bagging 6 assists and a goal in 25(5) league appearances. Last year he mainly provided backup for my left back and left wingers, and he's now back in the Segunda División B with Cordoba.

Other News


Loyalty Before Royalty

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After fending off several low-ball bids from Sevilla for my promising right winger Ethan Beck (a product of our impressive youth academy), they decided to meet his £4,500,000 release clause to enter contract negotiations with him.

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Unlike his old pal Ben Foster, Beck agreed to renew his contract with Valdelavilla, signing a new 3-year deal with a release clause of £10,000,000. He stated the reason for re-signing was his "long-held passion for the club," which is interesting considering we're only in our 4th season as a club. Regardless, I'm pleased with his loyalty and as such I offered him quite a large loyalty bonus despite him originally only asking for a slight raise.
2022/23 Segunda División Review

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Due to my hectic recent schedule with the new semester starting I haven't had as much time to play FM or post on here so I've decided to stop doing the mid-season reviews for now. In spite of my busy schedule I managed to reach the Segunda División playoffs with Valdelavilla! We started the season off reasonably strong, getting 30 points from our first 21 matches which put us in the top half, where my board originally intended. We then used this as a platform to take our game to the next step and get 41 points from the final 21 matches, catapulting us into the playoffs.

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Not only did we reach the playoffs but we won promotion with flying colors, coasting past Leganes before a close 3-2 aggregate win over Girona. We had some bumpy patches here and there but once we picked up our form and consistency towards the end of the season I felt pretty confident that we would achieve promotion in the end. A great achievement nonetheless!

Standout Performers


Nikolai Frederiksen

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Marcus Barnes' replacement turned out to be Nikolai Frederiksen, a former Juventus prospect signed for £235,000. I originally intended for Renat Dadasov and Victor Campuzano to form a formidable partnership up top that Frederiksen could try to break into, but when Dadasov struggled to put a run of form together and Campuzano completely lost interest, Frederiksen was there to carry our attack. Frederiksen scored 14 goals in 30(4) league appearances, maintaining an average rating of 7.02. Campuzano only managed 12 goals this year, with most of them scored in the first half of the season. As a result, Frederiksen played a massive part in our successful 41 point tally in the second half of the season.

Jake Clarke-Salter

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I have to admit I wasn't sure Clarke-Salter would end up being a good signing despite extensive recommendations from many scouts, but I'm very happy with his development and his contributions this season. Clarke-Salter maintained a highly impressive average rating of 6.97 from 31(3) matches as my left center back and was instrumental in our promotion push.

Jake Cain

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I snapped up Liverpool youngster Jake Cain on a free transfer before this season, expecting him to be a squad option and a potential future starter but he immediately staked a claim for a first-team place, demonstrating incredible vision by getting 9 assists in 31(4) appearances as a deep-lying defensive playmaker in the center of my midfield. His vision attribute is his highest attribute (15) and his efforts last season have drawn interest from a number of clubs, so I'll definitely need to start negotiating a new deal for him soon.

Youth Intake

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Our youth intake was incredible this year, producing an absolute wonderkid in Aleksandr Kubarsepp. I signed him immediately and within a week of his existence he was my starting left back. I had struggled with quality options at left back for some time and Kubarsepp seemed like a Godsend. And then..

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After making just 8(1) professional appearances, Manchester United were the first to activate his £10,000,000 release clause. This infuriated me, knowing I probably could've made it a 20-40m release clause and the lad would've still signed the deal. Regardless, a successful youth intake!

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE

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Academy product and my personal protege Ethan Beck decided to stab me in the back halfway through the season, despite having been handed a massive loyalty bonus 6 months earlier. Real Betis tried and failed to sign him in the past to reunite him with another former Valdelavilla academy product, Ben Foster, but Beck reaffirmed his loyalty and his desire to stay. However, when Atletico Madrid came calling and met his release clause, there was no stopping him (believe me, I tried).
2023/24 La Liga Season Preview

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We aren't the worst team in the league! Despite being predicted to finish low-to-mid-table in the Segunda División just a year ago we now look set to compete in La Liga with the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid! With 1000-1 odds to win the title we're looking at a difficult season ahead of us. Hopefully our unique playing style in relation to the rest of the teams in the league will be enough to keep us up!

Notable Signings


Rhian Brewster

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Despite having an overstocked frontline (and seriously considering switching the formation to have a lone striker) I couldn't resist signing Liverpool prospect Rhian Brewster for a cut-price £6.75m when he was transfer listed by the club, likely for a lack of game-time. Incredibly, Brewster agreed to take the leap to Valdelavilla and he's now our star striker (among others).

Joe Willock

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Another fantastic signing, I managed to snap up Joe Willock on a free transfer as his deal was expiring and he was unhappy at Arsenal. It took a lot, and I MEAN A LOT of money to convince him to join us but he did! He will add a more advanced creative option to my midfield as I look to potentially transition to a 4-3-3.

Rekeem Harper

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I don't wanna toot my own horn too much but at this point I should honestly become a Director of Football because my transfer record this summer has been on POINT. I signed Rekeem Harper for £5.25m from West Brom after he struggled to hold down a first team role in the newly promoted Premier League club. I think he'll provide a similar midfield option to Willock as an advanced playmaker, so we'll have to see if I can actually fit them in the same starting set-up. To be honest, Brewster, Willock, and Harper were not signings that I intended to make and certainly weren't the types of players I was looking for in the market but when they became available for such small fees I decided I had to pounce, at the very least because of the future profit I'll gain if they don't fit in my tactical set-up as well as hoped. Only time will tell.

Aidan Fitzpatrick

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I signed Norwich starlet Aidan Fitzpatrick for just £1.9m to replace the outgoing Ethan Beck. Fitzpatrick presents an immediate improvement on Ethan Beck, and with an enormous amount of potential (though likely not as much as Beck), he was a fantastic signing. Fitzpatrick spent the last season on loan at Portsmouth in the Championship, where he only made 10(3) appearances, and he'll now be placed on a much bigger stage in La Liga. Hopefully he can handle the pressure!

Leighton Clarkson

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With the additions of Joe Willock and Rekeem Harper, I decided I needed to sign a more defensive-minded midfielder in preparation to switch to a 4-3-3. I decided to sign Jake Cain's former Liverpool U23 teammate Leighton Clarkson. He made his professional debut at just 18 years old while on loan at St. Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership, featuring in 31(1) league appearances of a possible 34, with an average rating of 6.84. He had another successful loan spell with Grasshoppers in the Swiss Super League last year where he made 30 appearances and maintained an average rating of 7.07. I signed him for £240,000 and I think he'll make an excellent CDM, with enough potential to be a good La Liga player in the future.

Tactics

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I've retained my original positive 4-4-2 tactic as well as my more defensive, counter-attacking tactic with the same formation, but I've now added a third to the mix. I spent quite a bit of time working this system out as I normally like to create an ideal system first before finding players that fit that specific setup, rather building my tactical set-up around the players that I already have.

Over the past couple of seasons I've primarily recruited players who I know will fit in the roles that I prefer. This all went out the window when Willock, Brewster, and Harper became available at the same time for astonishingly low sums right after my chairman handed me a fat bag of cash ahead of the transfer market opening. As such, I've created a somewhat tactically fluid (meaning our system will change quite a bit depending on the players on the pitch) 4-3-3 formation. I think this system represents the more modern English game, with high intensity pressing to break up the technical possession play heavily utilized in Spain. I've retained many of the ideas from the previous tactics, such as playing with a high tempo and using more direct passing, and I think I've managed to piece together a pretty cohesive team as a result.

When the more attack-minded, creative midfielders like Willock, Harper, and Jake Cain are playing, I'll likely try to utilize my more defensively-adept wingers with higher work rates to cover their forward runs, with a deep-lying defensive playmaker such as Rossiter or Leighton Clarkson sitting at the base of the midfield. However, with an abundance of first-team striking options, players like Renat Dadasov and Nikolai Frederiksen (both strikers) may be occasionally forced to play on the wing as inside forwards. This would weaken us defensively, which is something we cannot afford considering our current level in relation to the rest of the league. So while my full-backs will normally make forward runs, over-lapping the wingers and getting crosses into the box to create chances as often as possible; they may need to be much more defensive when I'm playing with inside forwards rather than wingers. That weakness also means that I may need to sign a new box-to-box midfielder to add into the rotation mix, possibly one that can fill in the CDM position as well.

Most of my central defenders are instructed to remain relatively rigid in the middle, marking their opponents tightly and tackling harder without taking any risks with the ball. However, Jake Clarke-Salter has demonstrated impressive vision and tends to try through balls so I've personalized his instructions to reflect that. This tactical setup is sort of like a watered-down Gegenpress, with not quite enough quality in the squad to dominate other teams at this level but with the work rate and intensity to play exciting, physical football.


Notable Departures


Liam Walsh

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I was a bit sad to see Liam Walsh go, as he had formed our greatest-ever midfield partnership with Jake Cain, operating as a box-to-box midfielder on the right side on the midfield duo. Originally signed for £650,000, Walsh went on to make 24(5) league appearances in our promotion-winning season, maintaining an average rating of 6.93 and pitching in with 2 goals and 5 assists. When Deportivo offered £1.9m for his signature, it was hard to turn down and I decided to let him. Looking back at the transfer I slightly regret it as it seems we may be losing our other box-to-box midfielder to another Spanish club in January (Luke Amos). I'll let you know how that goes with the next update!
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