Alright, I undertook a major overhaul of the club this summer selling club legend Stevan Jovetic to Bayern () after he said he had achieved all he could at the club. At first I tried to keep him around, but he wasn't having it, and quite frankly I feel like his attributes and performances have been declining over the last year at age 28. So here is the First and Second XI, and then I will put up screenshots of the regen stars. I imagine you can figure out what Lamela or Lucas or Corchia look like in 2018 or at least use your imagination.
The most important member of the team IMO is Arne Sauer, who has caused me to change tactics to let him play a creative box-to-box role because he's so well rounded and spectacular.
Next is probably my most dynamic player, who has a lot more potential in him.
I bought this guy when he was an 17 year old for 10m from Genoa. He's blossomed into one of the best poachers in the world.
Jensen is the new boy and to me looks like the best CB in the world at 19. Already a regular for Holland in the World Cup this summer.
Daniel Ibrahim's transfer was agreed upon when he was a 15 year old playing for King Faisal in Ghana. The youth scouting has paid off and he is an ideal defensive playmaker partner to the dynamic Sauer. Also great on set pieces.
Badell is just a good LB. I tracked him for several years from Uruguay to PSV, and signed him last year.
Finally, Cisse is a keeper who signed this summer on a free from a Ligue 2 team; my assistant Giuseppe Baresi says he is already better than Samir Handanovic who has been my brilliant keeper for the last 5.5 years.
So I only gave up 9 goals and was invincible. Pretty damn good I guess, but MAN, I was perfect for so long
Quarter Final exits in the Italian Cup (who cares) and the Champions League (3 injuries to key players at the end of the first leg, finished with 9 men, my best defender was out for the year on the goal that sent PSG through; beat him to the ball, and then went down in a heap), but that's okay. We'll get 'em next year!
I also thought there were some depth problems in midfield, and glaringly (at times) at forward. I sold Lucas, so was left with a 3 man rotation for 2 spots, which was trouble.
A little bored with the Fiorentina game, I decided to take on one of the bigger challenges of my FM career. Athletic Bilbao! I remember thinking they could be interesting in CM 00/01, realizing I could only sign Basques, and immediately quitting the game. Well not this time! Bilbao obviously have a real golden generation right now, and I think it will be fun; their youth recruitment is amazing as well so a few great players should come up every year. Scouting the other Basque clubs is going to be imperative, these are Osasuna in Pamplona and Real Sociedad in San Sebastian. Sociedad has a really awesome squad led by Griezmann who is French Basque, but not a single one of their players wants to come to me. Good rivalry I guess.
Anyway, my first season was amazing
I honestly can't believe I did this; the team just clicked in the second half. Probably not coincidentally, I didn't have any cup matches after January 18th.
BTW, that 3-2 win against Madrid was about the most excited I've ever been. I went down 2-0 completely against the run of play, but came back to win with the first goal in the 64th minute. With the last touch of the game Markel Susaeta scored a free kick from 35 yards out. I was recognized too!
Here are the stats in the league...
Only bought one player, Nacho Monreal from Malaga. I paid 12m Euros, which is more than he's worth, but he'll be a top left back for 7 years, and that was his release clause.
Looking forward to the Champions League, but my squad is pretty thin. The other amazing part is that I've been using 4-4-2 after getting off to a slow start with an asymmetrical 4-5-1. Aside from Nacho, I spent a few million on bringing in a top notch coaching staff as I see this as more important than anything.
Signing players is probably the most fun in FM, or at least the most fun I have. You don't really get that with Athletic, it's probably going to be a more satisfying game than a fun one if you get what I'm trying to say.