On a whim one evening, I started a save with Hull to see if I could keep them up. It was fun. I played on the counter, disciplined, and with a simple remit: stay up. We did, on the last day on goal difference, an unlucky Bournemouth going down instead. But with the funds from the TV deals streaming in, we built on that success and finished higher the next season. Then we changed tactics and became a possession based passing team. We bought well: Ajer, Ascacibar, Dollberg; some incredible academy players were coming through. We finished 5th, qualified for the Europa League. We won it, 1-0 against Milan, and things were looking up. A 1-0 win against Juve in the Champions League group stage combined with a draw against Barca had left us in good position. We were 4th in the league. I was intergrating my youth players. Then iCloud decided to delete my documents folder, and along with it all of my tactics and save games. I genuinely mourned for that save. It was supposed to be a one season challenge. Stay up. Then it grew into a relationship with a team I built from scratch.
So what to do next. I wasnt ready to go back to Lisbon yet. I wanted to recreate building a team from nothing. I read an article that said RC Lens had been relegated due to financial isssue but had the best academy in France. My interest was piqued.
The finances are actually pretty secure.
The club is on a steadier footing than I’d been led to believe. Good facilities is true, though. I’m going to be counting on my academy in this save. We have no transfer budget, so I’m seeking loans, youth graduates, frees, and a good senior affiliate.
Not much history at the club, although they won the league in ’98. But as you can see, decline has begun to set in. Couple of European quarter finals. I want to go better than my Hull team and win the CL.
- First target is getting out of League 2 in the first or second season.
- Second target is consolidating in the top league.
- But the whole way through I will use my academy to create my team. I have poached Auxerre’s HOY Development, and with the academy we have I will be demanding quality youth players who are guaranteed a route to the first team.
- Oh, and knock PSG off their perch.
So I got in three excellent loan players, some good frees, and promoted the best of the youth straight into the first team. This season in the 2nd league is my chance to blood them and create a new youthful dynamic side.
Free. This guy has developed very nicely for a free. He got into the team because of poor form and injury and has made the place his own. One of mine.
Promoted from youth side. Playing well as a shadow striker. Shooier (as I call him) is scoring goals straight away, which I’m pleased about. He could develop well. I want to play him every game but I don’t want to burn him out.
Here are my main tactics. Away from home or against bigger teams we play with 3 CBs an WBs, losing one of the 3 CMs
Here are my away / tough game tactics rebuilt from my Hull relegation battle. I will use them to stay up when I get promoted.
Septembers table and results. 9 games unbeaten. Best defence in the league. We need a good striker. We have Kermit Erasmus (a treq) on loan, but our backups are really boring Target Men who couldnt hit the target if they were touching it with both hands.
Will write a January update. Wish me luck!