Football Manager – Making The Dolly Blues the Best in the World – Season 18

After last season where we won everything including our first Club World Championship and first Carabao Cup to go along with our 3rd Champions League, 3rd Premiership, 3rd Super Cup, 2nd Community Shield and 2nd FA Cup I’m at a point in the game now where I would usually leave the club as it gets too easy and each season the team will just get better and better as I find more and more of the super star newgens and I have more than enough money to buy them.

We are now also the number 1 team on the European Coefficients ranking and number 1 in the club reputation list so we are officially the best club in the world now so as a club, there’s not much further we can go, just continue what we are doing.

However my original plan was to stay with Lancaster City until I topped the hall of fames, and do something I’ve never done before and get ahead of Sir Alex Ferguson, I’m not doing too bad as I am now on all the hall of fames I can be on, I’m number 2 on the England nationality with 2796 points behind a successful in game Frank Lampard who has 2906. I’m only 9th in England with 950 points while Sir Alex Ferguson is top with 3302 so I’ve a long way to go to beat him, I’m 16th in Europe with 2580 points with Pep Guardiola top on 5395 points and I’m 12 worldwide on 2796 with Pep also top of that on 6043.

I’ve got a lot of winning to do if I was to top all of those, especially as Pep is still managing in game so may win more things, as is Frank Lampard but the main one to beat is Sir Alex Ferguson in England which means possibly another 10 premiership wins to match his 13.

I don’t think I can write about 10 more detailed seasons where every season is going to be quite similar where I sell my fringe players bringing in loads of cash, spend big money on one or 2 world class newgens to improve the squad and then win everything or at least the major trophies so I think going forward my season updates will be a smaller summary of the season instead of a detailed account of what happened.

So season 18, we signed 5 proper players players for the first team, the first was a 20 year old Swiss central defender from Norwich who wanted a fortune in January but they got relegated so I picked him up for £53m which was less than he was worth, the second one I signed was a 22 year old Malian left inside forward from Man Utd who for some reason was transfer listed, he’s an Elite winger who last season played over 30 games and got 14 goals, last summer they wanted about £150m for him but I’ve got him for £57m, the third one was a 19 year old Brazilian attacking midfielder wonderkid that I had no intention of buying but he was on my shortlist and my scouts had been scouting him for a while so when Real Madrid put in a bid for £16.75m I matched it and signed him as he is a good player and I’ve got £500m transfer budget so figured I may as well have him rather than them, he will be a good squad player and the fourth was a 19 year old Argentinan striker similar to the Brazillian I got this was another I had been scouting but didn’t really need however Man City put in a bid of £6m for him and when I looked he looks a good player and has been capped for Argentina so figured £6m is a bargain and he’s better off being in my squad than a rival teams.

I also signed several players on free transfers when their contracts ended to loan out and eventually sell.

We sold a fair few fringe and squad players I no longer need, first I sold a 22 year old German Midfielder for £45m, he’s not a bad player but we signed him for free 2 seasons ago to loaned him out and sell on for profit. I then sold my Brazillian left inside forward as he’s now 26 and been replaced as first choice last season and while he’s still a good player he was just a back up and we’ve just signed a better squad player in the 22 year old from Man Utd so I offered him out and sold him to Barcelona for £99m, not bad for a player we got for £16.5m 4 years ago.

I sold an okish 23 year old Uruguayan goal keeper for £25m who was another we got for free, loaned out for 4 years and sold on for profit, sold a rubbish 19 year old midfielder that came through the youth team for £1.2m and another rubbish youth player for £175k both with 50% of next fee and a 22 year old Brazilian left winger for £8m who we also got for free.

I then sold a 25 year old Swedish striker for £44.5m to PSG, we signed him for £2.5m in our first Premiership season and he had a couple of good years and was our captain at one point but we’ve since signed better and last season he hardly played and went out on loan in January so I decided to sell him on as he’s not going to get any games for us.

Having signed a new defender I decided to sell one that is now surplus so I sold a 23 year old English defender that I signed for £2m three seasons ago but he was rarely played so I sold him for £23m.

I also decided to cash in on a 23 year old full back that I signed for £140k 4 seasons ago as he had English second nationality and was home grown but due to U21 players not needing registered in the squad I’ve never had any problems with needing to add home grown players so he never played that much other than 10 games one season and he’s had 3 loan moves. He was unhappy and requested to leave to get first team football so I agreed to sell and managed to get £42.5m for him.

On transfer deadline day after rejecting stupidly low offers for star players I ended up also selling a 24 year old Danish centre back who has been a back up player but I’ve promoted a youth defender so he’s now 5th choice so when PSG bid for him I sold him for £52m, we signed him for £18m and he has 2 years left on his contract so figured I’d cash in now.

I also decided to offer out a 21 year old Brazilian attacking midfielder who I signed for £1.2m 5 seasons ago and while he is a decent player, he’s only ever been a back up and he’s reached his max potential and I’ve got better squad players now, plus he’s got 2 years left on his £6k a week contract and wants £150k to sign a new one which I’m not going to give a back up player so figured I’d try and sell him so when Man City offered £45.5m I agreed to sell him.

Then as usual I’ve loaned out a shit ton of players for loan fees.

In total 14 players came into the club for a total £133m while we sold or loaned out around 77 players for a total £450m.

We started the season off by beating Man Utd in the Community Shield 2-1 and we beat Man City 3-1 in the Super Cup. Those cup wins took me to the top of the English Managers Hall of Fame above Frank Lampard.

We went unbeaten in all competitions leading up to the New Year, topped our Champions League group and led the Premiership by 20 points on New Year’s Day.

We had a quiet January transfer window as I only brought in a couple of players on free transfers to loan out and eventually sell.

The season also saw me playing my 1000th game in management mid February which was an away clash with a Man City team that’s been average for several seasons now and I got a 2-1 win to celebrate 1000 games.

In 1000 games (974 for Lancaster and 26 for Switzerland), I’ve won 558, drew 229, lost 213, with a win rate of 55%, scored 1,775, conceded 997 so our goal difference is 777. Not bad for 1000 games.

We ended February winning the Carabao Cup by beating Leeds 5-0, we were 4 up after 16 minutes and got a 5th just before half time. Then as often happens in FM after getting a big first half lead, nothing happened in the second half, we had 1 highlight with a shot off target. I’m convinced this is built into the game to stop teams getting massive score lines as it happens too often.

Last season we won the league with 7 games to play, this season we went 1 better and won it with 8 games to play having won 29 and drawing 1 of our 30 games and picked up the trophy after the first weekend of April.

The last 8 games we won easily so ended the season with our first invincible season as we played 38, won 37 with a poor 0-0 draw away to Arsenal stopping us winning them all. We scored 110 goals, 6 more than last season but we should have scored more as we had too many games where we dominated, had really high xG but could only score one or two. We also conceded 1 less than last season only conceding 19 goals.

Our star striker was top scorer again although he only got 34 goals, 5 less than last season but due to injuries and rotation he only played 23 games which was 6 less than last season.

My young defender got young player of the year. It’s 6 years in a row one of my players won it but this one is particularly good as he is a home grown player that came through the youth team 6 seasons ago and this year improved massively and ended the season first choice, he’s the first youth player I’ve ever had on FM that has developed into a world class player as at 21 he is showing as 4.5 star ability, which when compared to my other Elite centre backs he is now the best of the lot according to my coaches.

My keeper got Golden Glove again which isn’t surprising given we conceded only 19 goals.

I won Manager of the year which is only my second one and the first time since we won our first league title.

What was most surprising though was none of my players won players player or footballer of the year, despite only dropping 2 points all season, having the top scorer, having the top 3 players for average rating, and players topping every important stat, the awards went to a 35 year old midfielder playing for Arsenal who finished 6th, he wasn’t even Arsenals best player so not sure why he won.

We also only had 4 players in the team of the season while Man Utd who finished second again 28 points behind us had 6 players, maybe too much rotation has led to other players getting picked as they’ve played more league games than my players have. I’ve got 2 world class 11s so rotate a lot more than other teams as it doesn’t matter which team I put out we are too good for the rest of the league. If I brought all my loan players back I’d probably have 3 or 4 teams I could play to win the league.

After the league games were over we beat Man Utd in the FA Cup final, after a close 0-0 first half we got a couple of goals in an easy second half to win 2-0.

Our last game of the year then came in the Champions League final against Tottenham where we only won 1-0 but the scoreline doesn’t reflect out domination as it was yet another game like so many since we began dominating teams where they had a super keeper and we had a much higher xG than goals scored.

So that ends another season, quite a boring one really as our team is too good compared to the poor AI team building where teams like Chelsea still play a 35 year old Jude Bellingham and Arsenals big summer signing was a 36 year old Ansu Fati being just 2 examples, a lot of the big clubs are still playing old players long past their best.

The only frustrating part of the season is what I’ve mentioned earlier where we don’t get the score lines our stats suggest we should be getting. Too often we can dominate and win by 1 goal, we’ve had games where for example we beat AC Milan 2-1 at home in the knock out stages of the Champions League but in that game we had 27 shots, 15 on target and a massive 4.85 xG but only got 2 goals whereas they had 3 shots, 2 on target and a 0.17 xG and score 1, the scoreline looked close but the stats show something different.

That’s just one example we had more games like that than we had games that accurately reflected the stats, I don’t know if its because every team ups their game against us so all their players play the best games of their lives, their keepers sure do, or perhaps the match engine can’t handle how much better we are than other teams and tries to balance out the game so it’s more competitive, what ever the reason it’s annoying.

Anyhow, that’s another season done, I may or may not continue with Lancaster, if I do I’ll be back with another update after next season, if not I’ll be back with an update from a new challenge, I might even do both.

– Sparko Marco

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