Following on from our Champions League win last year (check it our here), I wanted to push on and make us more solid domestically. We won the league 3 years ago and since then we haven’t been close come the end of the season, Real have always walked away with it during the final stages. This season I wanted to ensure that we had more about us going forward and could become a real title challengers up against the dominant Real Madrid.
Following some of the summer signings we made, my squad was becoming heavy on young talent in the MC & AMC positions. In order to utilise this I opted for a 3 man up top system; this was adapted from the successful 4132 strikerless system that won me the league and CL. So one of the CM’s moved up as an additional SS, leaving a CM(s), DLP(s) and a DM(d) behind them. Being fed up with far too many games where we are unable to score over the last 2 years I want to release some of our defensive security and opt for 2 CWB(s), they will provide our width when we need to stretch the game and with the extra SS charging into box, we should create more chances.
UEFA Super Cup
A disapointing defeat in extra time saw us lose to Southampton. Not the best start to my new tactic, however, some of the chances we created and men getting forward was pleasing and I won’t be too disheartened just yet.
The opening 11 games went very well, all except the narrow away defeat to Real Madrid. I was pretty happy with how thing were planning out. That was until we faced Osasuna where I think I experienced every emotion possible in FM. It was quite possibly the worst performance we have had during this save. After 7 minutes we were 1-0 down and well deservedly, we didn’t start well and this was the beginning of things to come. I assertively yelled at them to encourage the boy and i seemed to work, on the 16th minute, Thomas Lemar equalised. As soon as that went in i thought to myself, “right this is where we kick on.” Well that was good in my head, however 6 minutes past without a highlight. The following highlight was Wilfred Thomas (Osasuna regen) strikes to give his side the lead again. Again this was short lived and Marc Roca equalised again for us 2 minutes later.
Wilfred Thomas struck again before half time and by this point I was pretty pissed off. 3-2 down to Osasuna when our defensive record had been pretty good up until this point. Angry team talk – I expect much better!
Well sometimes you just have to think it’s not going to be my day, especially when Osasuna take a 4-2 lead on 53 minutes, Wilfred bloody Thomas getting a hat trick.
“Right, time to try this Overload business before I throw my laptop.”
Now I don’t normally like Overload, as I found that all my team instructions go out the window and everyone just shoots on sight, regardless if the chance is there. But I had nothing to lose, 4-2 down away from home and playing bloody awfully. I also brought on 3 subs to try and make a difference.
Marc Roca gets a 2nd goal of the day making it 4-3 on 71 minutes. Wow, can we snatch a point, that would be a result! BOOM! Angel Correa, super sub gets the equaliser on 79 minutes. hang on there is still time to get another, 11 minutes plus added time, come on boys!
81 minutes, Angel Correa makes a 4-5 followed by my other sub, Joaquin Diaz making it 4-6 on the 85th minute. Unreal scenes, I thought we were dead and buried at one point, but we somehow managed to claw our way back in and hit them with a sucker punch. I have no idea what emotion I should be feeling right now? Angry, disappointed, amazed? probably the answer is all but somehow we got the win. Mental.
Our next 10 games saw us draw 2 blanks again, now I know I’m not going to have a season where that doesn’t happen but still. Also the away defeat to Celta, we were poor again and Celta took advantage, I’m just glad it was only 1 goal in it. Following that defeat though our goal scoring power really cheered me up, forgetting the 0-0 sandwiched in between, 19 goals scored in 5 games, including a 4-1 drumming over the current Champions Real Madrid.
The rest of the season we went on a cracking run and managed to go without defeat in the league. This included a battering of our arch rivals Barcelona, 3-0!
So have we done enough that is the question?
The answer is YES! 2 points ahead of Real Madrid, it went down to the last games of the season but we done it. We challenged and that what i wanted the most, to be more competitive. So our 2nd league title in 6 years at the club, our 7th trophy in all. But what about the other competitions, well I’m glad you asked…
Copa del Rey
The Copa del Rey saw us draw the 2 most successful teams in Spanish history, Real Madrid and Barcelona. We saw of Real beating them convincingly 3-1 and 2-1 over the 2 legs, however, Barca got the better of us and beat us 3-0 of the two knocking us out in the quarter finals.
Being the Champions of Europe, I wanted to prove to the world that we were not a fluke and we could compete with the European big boys year in year out. my aim was to reach the semi finals as a minimum.
We got through our group even though Roma beat us twice. Our last 16 draw, PSG! We beat PSG 2-0 at home and carried that to Paris for the away leg where I knew they would come at us. That they did and they beat me 3-2, but my away goals and the first leg win was enough to see them off. So who next, ah fuck not Chelsea!
First leg at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea won it 2-0. But at 2-0 we where still in it. We pushed and pushed and scored mid way through the 2nd half making it 2-1 on aggregate but it wasn’t enough, we couldn’t get the 2nd, so we crash out at the quarters. WE didn’t achieve my target of the semis, but almost, hoping we can improve next year.
Thanks to our CL win last season, we were entered into the World Club Championship, we we won. So RCD Espanyol are now World Club Champions. Ok we won it on penalties, but it still counts right?
We had an amazing year for our continued progress with our young players. My philosophy of bleeding through the kids and giving them game time is working and we are building well for the future.
In other news the board decided to increase the stadium capacity
What a waste of money for 2000 seats. Oh well, only 4-5 years and possibly could be in the time that the club may decide to build a new one. With the stadium being built in 2004 so I’m hoping it could come sooner rather than later as I’ve never had a new stadium in FM ever!
Our new kits for the up coming season!
Stay tuned for the next post, let’s see if we can retain the title next season.
I am making kits and banners for the FM community and if you would like anything created for you FM save or content then head over to my Patreon site. FM_grasshopper, FM_Adventure, KeyseRensie and @lpqr plus many others have already got kits made up, if you want to have the next set, head over to my Patreon or DM me on Twitter or Slack.
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