Well I had a hard time getting into FM 09. Since it came out, I’ve had games with Rangers, KR, Southampton, Boro, Hibs and Manchester City, all of which I gave up on by November in-game time. The City game I actually didn’t even play the first game of the season.
Finally decided to give it another attempt, this time with Rangers again, and glad to say it worked wonders. I like to do a summary of my season as well as look at the future, and here it is:
Tactic: I played a 4-3-3 the full season, with flat back four, 3 central midfielders, 3 central strikers.
Domestic: We won the league cup, and got put out in the semi of the Scottish Cup by Hearts. The league itself sucked. We did well, but Celtic were exceptional, winning 34 of 38 games and finishing ahead of us by 14 points.
Europe: Got through to Champions League Group Stages, then lost twice to Chelsea & Fiorentina, and drew and lost with Bremen, to finish bottom.
Old Firm Games: Played them 4 times, all in league. Lost 4-1 away, lost 1-0 at home, then lost 3-1 away. All bad memories were wiped out however when we gubbed them 4-0 at Ibrox in last game of the season, capped off by Steven Naismith, making his first appearance all season due to long injury, who came off the bench at half-time and scored exactly 37 seconds later. 🙂
Transfers Out: Graeme Smith, Sasa Papac were only sales before the first transfer window closed, as I decided to have Smith/McCulloch cover the left back position. In January, I sold Beasley, Hemdani, Miller and Weir. Kenny Miller was absolutely shocking for us, with 1 goal in 14 games, of course against Celtic.
Transfers in: Pre-season, I signed hot prospects in David Barron, David Goodwillie, Matej Rapnik, Keith Watson and Stephen McGinn. I also snagged Victor Moses from Crystal Palace who is one of those players I just always buy. I also got Garry Kenneth who forced his way in as a first team regular with ease, and a risky buy in Victor Faizulin from Zenit, who ended up having a solid season.
January was where I shined. Some more hot prospects in Fabricio, Ruud Boymans, Danny Grainger(who stole the left back position by end of season) and Andrej Rendia. Then I managed to nab Thiago Silva on a free transfer, who is just an incredible defender, and got him over the likes of Fiorentina. The huge signing though was Marquinhos from Palmeiras for 9.25m. It was either him or Vagner Love, and I went back and forth, slept on it, even asked friends for advice. I finally went with Marquinhos, and with 21 goals in 17 games – yeah, I made the right choice 🙂
Also Andy Webster came back on loan, and ended up forcing his way into the first team squad and was my 2nd best CD all season.
I’m very happy with the squad, and I got a 4 year contract. We have an absolute ton of young players, and I don’t really see the need to buy anyone. Notable players:
Goalkeepers: Allan McGregor, Neil Alexander.
Right Back: Steven Whittaker, David Barron, Keith Watson.
Left Back: Danny Grainger, Steven Smith, Matej Rapnik.
Central Defense: Madjid Bougherra, Thiago Silva, Andy Webster, Garry Kenneth, Kirk Broadfoot.
Midfield: Kevin Thomson, Maurice Edu, Pedro Mendes, Barry Ferguson, Stephen McGinn, Chris Burke, Victor Faizulin,Charlie Adam, Lee McCulloch, Steven Davis, Alan Gow.
Strikers: Steven Naismith, Marquinhos, Nacho Novo, David Goodwillie, Kyle Lafferty, Kris Boyd, Jean-Claude Darcheville.
Also Victor Moses, John Fleck, and a bunch more youngsters. Daniel Sturridge is also coming on a bosman.
So yeah, that was my season. I think for the next season, I’m just going to focus on trying to trim the wage budget and get rid of any dead weight. I’ll also look into tweaking my tactic more now the players are used to it, and getting the best out of it. I’ll also probably look at trying to get a young keeper who can slowly make his way into the first team squad. Finally, I’ll be giving the young boys some more games, and look at slowly ousting out the older players, like Darcheville, McCulloch, Ferguson, Alexander, Novo and Mendes.