Welcome back to our journey with RCD Espanyol as we round up season 5. We shall jump straight in with our transfer dealings.
Thomas Lemar, a cracking player, one I had great memories with in FM16. Bednar and Cizek are 2 young Czech’s with huge potential and for a combined costing of just over £5m I can’t really complain. Parmentier breaks my tradition so far in this save, where I haven’t really spent too much on a player, but this guy I just couldn’t turn down, huge potential and already a class playmaker.
Now on the other end of things, we had to say goodbye too some very important players but for some hefty fees.
Ascacibar for £67m, Alvarez for £26m, Correa for £19.75m and my beloved Dolberg for £52m. My love for Dolberg is imense and 4 years at the club he became a fan favourite. Once the interest came in from Arsenal, he made up his mind that he needed to go. I couldn’t stand in his way. It breaks my heart but you won’t be forgotten here Kasper. 66 goals in 120 games, working out at a goal every other game. You will be truely missed.
“I wish that I could tell you right now …I love you
But it looks like I won’t be around
So you won’t know… You won’t know” Brand New – You Won’t Know
So onto the campaign and life without Dolberg.
So a decent opening few games, especially the demolition of Pep Guardiola’s Atletico, however, we have been drawing far too many games, especially against the smaller sides. Four 0-0 draws and three of them back to back, not a happy bunny.
After the inconsistent start with far too many draws, I decided that the Stuka system just wasn’t cutting it anymore, so for the remainder of the season I opted for the 4132 strikerless system that was clinical in our La Liga triumph 2 seasons ago. That’s when results start to pick up and go our way. A prime example was at home against current champions Real Madrid, we were dominant, however, Lemar damaged his cruciate ligaments and will be out for 6-8 months.
Things continued well however we couldn’t close the gap on Real Madrid. this is how we finished the campaign.
3rd placed, I’m disappointed as I know we have the potential to do better, all those draws at the start of the season let us down, 11 overall. With only 3 defeats all season and the lowest defensive record too, that is something to cheer about. The aim is to build on our defensive stability and make us more clinical in front of goal, turning those draws into wins. How I plan to do this yet, I’m not sure. I may continue with the trusted 4132 system, or a may go slightly different, I am undecided.
Although, in more positive news.
We picked up some much better performances and although we were knocked out by our rivals Barcelona, we kept our focus and somehow secured a Champions League victory. After the 1-0 defeat at home by Lyon I wasn’t confident in the return leg. That being said it was probably one of our best performances, securing a 2nd CL final in 3 years.
The final itself got off to a flyer and my underrated midfield maestro, Marc Roca grabbed a brace within the first 18 minutes. Utd didn’t show much at all until the last 5 mins of the first half, where Alexis Sanchez puled one back. From then on it was a Utd onslaught. We restricted them as much as we could but as Utd of old, the inevitable happened and Martial was the one with the equaliser. Our heads dropped and Utd kept pushing on, we kept solid and kept them at bay right to the end. We held on right through extra time and then the lottery of penalties. That’s where we capitalised, a 5-4 victory and RCD Espanyol are champions of Europe.
Our financial worth as of the beginning of season 5, onto our growth a year later following our big sales and champions League win.
At the beginning of the season we sit well in terms of our worldwide reputation at 4.5 stars.
Now look at our increase following our CL win. RCD Espanyol have become the only 5 star worldwide club. An amazing achievement and the next step is for it to grow again rising our reputation in Spain to 5 stars also.
So plan for the new season is too introduce a few more young players into the squad from our academy. Make a few additional signings to strengthen a few areas. I have identified the fullbacks as room for improvement.
Also my main objective is to be a contender for the title agiain, we were too off the pace last year, so I am determined to make us more clinical and push Real Madrid to the end.
Stay tuned for the next post which will be season 6 at the half way point.
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