Football Manager 2018

Discussion in 'Football Manager' started by DamianWayneCSC, Aug 16, 2017.

Discuss Football Manager 2018 in the Football Manager area at TalkCeltic.net.

  1. Mr. Fawlty

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    Ditched Marseille and started an Atalanta save for more of a challenge. Early days but I think this is going to work. Did the standard coaching rejig and brought in my usual go-tos, McGuinness and Bergkamp. Every single save it's the same pair, and they never let me down. Also snapped up a good keeper coach from Deportivo Cali, Eduardo Nino (three caps for Colombia). Had to pay a £40k severance fee to his old club but it's worth doing as his wage demands are so low.

    Managed to get him on a 5-year, £400 p/w contract. The only other interested parties wanted upwards of £3k. So give it 12 or so weeks for the severance fee to balance out against the theoretical wage cost of getting one of the more expensive options, and I'm quids in. He's got 17s for distribution/handling and 18 for shot-stopping - and already holds his Pro license. Bargain.

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    On the transfer front I devoted my pitiful budget to securing the services of Benfica's Rafa. I've long been intrigued by him as he's always transfer-listed at the start of the game, but I've never been in a position of needing to buy him before. This time, though, we were in desperate need of a RW with only Ilicic shunted over and the probably-too-young-but-i'll-promote-him-to-the-first-team-anyway Emmanuel Latte as options.

    The amount of highly rated young talent at the club is really enticing. Given the budgetary constraints of being a smaller club in the financial backwater that is Serie A, not to mention a £400k p/m debt repayment burden (£38.5m total), this save will be hugely focused on youth development and scraping up the gems from the dregs segment of the market.

    In theory we're owed £39m next season when the pre-arranged sales of the likes of Kessie and Gagliardini go through, but from memory I'm not sure if I'll actually get any of that to spend. It might not even come onto the books at all as it may already be accounted for. In which case, *, our balance is a mere £5m so it would probably be helpful to actually be compensated for losing two stellar players.

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    Rather than have two supporting target men to lead the line I'm training Petagna up to get familiar with the complete forward role. Also decided to bring in Inter's Pinamonti on a two-year loan, with an option to buy. Thought about doing this with Paddy Cutrone but Milan wouldn't settle for less than £40m on the future fee front, which I don't envisage having any time soon. Whereas Inter agreed to a future fee of £19.25m, which should hopefully be doable after I've scraped together some sales money over the next couple of seasons.

    Pinamonti was lethal in my Fiorentina save so I'm hoping for similar output. Given his potential and the potential of Petagna, not to mention a couple of highly rated young strikers on the books (Nivokazi and Mazzocchi), we're pretty well set up top for the foreseeable future. Andreas Cornelius is the odd man out here, already a senior player with no potential for growth. Can't sell him as he's just joined but I'll look to keep him involved as a rotation/Europa League option with a view to selling as soon as possible, preferably January.

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    This is how my strongest XI shapes up at the moment. Don't really have the personnel for 4-2-3-1, might move in that direction eventually as we've got a wunderkind #10 on the books in the form of Alessandro Cortinovis, but he's only 16 and fair way off being ready for senior football. For now Ilicic will have to play out of position and rotate with Rafa at RW.
     
  2. Mr. Fawlty

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    So far, so good.

    Despite Caldara probably being my best centre back I decided against actually using him in our season opener at home to Bologna. As he's on loan without a release clause I'm essentially grooming a Juve player for them, with no realistic prospect of ever getting him here permanently. I looked into trying to embiggen his loan deal by an extra year but they refused, citing a desire to give him a chance in their first team.

    I could of course get super uptight about the situation and terminate the loan in a huff, but that would be veering into cutting nose to spite face territory. So I'll just hang on to him for the good of results but use him sparingly. As for his replacement for the Bologna game, it turned out to be a perfect selection decision as Jose Luis Palomino scored a bullet header on the 25th minute and in the process marked the first competitive goal of my Atalanta reign.

    Palamino is named after a horse coat colour, his profile pic is a snap of him looking like a typical representative of the hard * Argentine centre halves union, and he is a 27-year-old journeyman who's just arrived after spells with Metz in France and Ludogorets in Bulgaria. I think this could be the start of a long and fruitful partnership.

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    All that said, I dropped Palomino for the next fixture because Milan away is hard and we were without Papu Gomez who managed to strain his calf and put himself on the shelf for the better part of three weeks. Given that we were already weakened I felt I had to turn to Turinese Agent Caldara, and to be fair to the lad he put in a solid performance as we soaked up all of the pressure Gattuso's boys had to throw at us.

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    A quick verdict on the opening two games can only be positive. We were comfortable in the Bologna game but I feared things could turn in the second half when we lost Gomez to injury and they pulled back a goal from a speccie free kick. But we controlled the rest of the game comfortably enough. The Milan result was a real bonus and it's nice to get an early scalp at the San Siro on the board, as we begin our journey to eventual best-team-in-Lombardy status.

    Petagna having 2 from 2 is very encouraging, particularly playing a role he's not entirely familiar with.

    In other loanee centre half news, I'm also a tad perturbed about the continued presence of former Atalanta product turned Inter wunderkind Alessandro Bastoni. Despite selling him for £9m the club has for some reason decided to loan him back, which ventures into peak feeder club territory. He is however here on a two-season deal, and is only on £8k a week. So it could be worse. As things stand he's 6th-choice and I'm not exactly sure how much game time he'll end up getting. I'd like to eventually be in a position to buy him back from Inter, but that could prove tricky.

    I'm not sure whether the best way to do that is to hang on to him and develop a positive relationship, maybe trying to extend his loan out to 2020 next year and see if I can sneak in a future fee clause. Or alternatively, terminate his loan now and send him back to Inter in the hope that they let him rot sans game time and he eventually ends up on the transfer list at a cut price rate. Both of those scenarios I've just described could just as easily end up with Inter keeping him and using him. So I'm not too sure which path to go down. Will probably just hold on to him for the Europa League and reassess next summer.

    Decided that I needed a LW backup for Gomez, his injury brought the idea to the forefront of my priorities. Rafa did well there for the Milan game, but we really need something more permanent. Our young options coming through in that position are a fair way off being ready. Politano hit the market and I considered getting him in on loan with an £8.25m buy option. Though it would be a bit expensive, his £35k wages would need to be paid in full and that's starter money rather than bench money round these parts. I then had a brainwave and thought why not just go and get Tricky *, aka Internacional's Richard. Tied up a £975k rising to £1.2m deal for him after getting the board to agree to bolster the budget a bit, but he won't arrive until January. Still pondering bringing in Politano on a 6-monther for the meantime, but that would mean dropping Latte out of the first team which sort of goes against the spirit of this save being about youth development. Despite having had fruitful spells with Politano in a couple of saves now, it's probably wise to hold fire and just trust in what I've got until Richard arrives. Perhaps even give young Kulusevski some Europa League minutes on the left.

    Sitting on a budget of £4.7m now, but probably best to hold onto that as the start of the Pinamonti kitty. Have pondered getting Vukcevic as he's be an improvement in central midfield, but we've already got 6 bodies there and the only ones I'd be interested in getting rid of are recent arrivals so they're impossible to shift even on loan.
     
    V For Vendetta likes this.
  3. Mr. Fawlty

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    Despite memories of Politano bossing things in my Fiorentina save and eventually getting flipped to Porto for a cool £31m, I've decided that a better use of that £4.7m budget is to get a deal across the line for Preddy Rajkovic in goal.

    Despite already having Berisha on board, who looks perfectly competent, he's 28 and has already maxed out his potential. We've also got Gollini on loan from Aston Villa with a £4m buy option, and whilst he has a decent amount of potential he's a sweeper keeper so not really what I'm looking for tactically. And I don't really envisage getting him even as a backup because we've got a few good young keepers on the books earmarked for #2 duty, with Carnesecchi in particular having a lot of potential.

    Although I've got no way to terminate Gollini's loan and Berisha has just arrived on a permanent so can't be shifted for a while, the best plan of attack is to get Rajkovic in to be my long-term #1, use Berisha enough this season (aka the Europa League shift) to attract some interest and get him moved on in January, and let Gollini kick his heels as an unused #3 choice before letting him go back to Villa when his loan ends. Then next year we have a clear #1 Rajkovic #2 Carnesecchi keeper lineup.

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    Got it done for £4.3m up front, a £2m instalment and 5% of future profit.

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    Juve wasn't the best fixture to come back to after an international break, but at least Petagna's hot streak continues.
     
  4. Mr. Fawlty

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    * *, we're rampant.

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    6 points from a possible 6 as far as Lombardy derbies are concerned now. I think mathematically we'll now only need a draw against one of the Milanese clubs to ensure victory in the non-existent-but-vital Lombardy Scudetto race.

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    Rafa has proven to be a wonderful addition, and he's linking up fantastically well with Petagna. Just shy of a third of a way through the season and they lead the league in assists and goals respectively.

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    12 games in, I'm a bit worried about how well things are going. This save should be a lot tougher, we're already tracking for a top four spot which would be massive. Feels like we're entering into that 'too quiet' movie trope on the verge of some sort of ambush.

    The only genuinely * result we've had was a 1-1 draw at home against Benevento. But other than that, and the Juve loss which is par for the course, we've been faultless. Even picked up meritorious draws on the road against both Lazio and Napoli.

    Papu Gomez just asked about wanting to move to Juve, but I've turned him round with classic talk about the vibe of the dressing room. He'd be mad to leave it when everything is going so swimmingly.

    Roma at home next, which should prove challenging.