I am not a great tactician on football manager in general because I rarely used my own tactics for my saves. But, for this club, I noticed that the squad had an abundance of central midfielders than have a decent flair (>10), so I created this formation that was “theoretically” wingless. However, since we were focusing on playing through the middle of the pitch, there was no need to make my full backs wing-backs. We would play on the counter, at a higher tempo and try to overwhelm them with our midfielders. Although in my opinion, a shadow striker would be better with this tactic to complement the lone striker.
First Half of the Season
Somehow, we were in the top half by this stage. 4th to be exact. We started off with two wins and a draw, before losing narrowly to Al-Sadd and Lekhwiya. They are two clubs that I consider to be the big guns of the league. The highlight for me is the 7-0 (!) win against Al-Gharrafa. It felt like an odd match, considering their players seems to be way better than ours on paper. Match-fixing, perhaps?
At the moment, we were now on a five-match unbeaten streak; can we maintain this form and not only avoid relegation but finish in the top half?
With a huge break until the 1st of February, it was time to see if I could improve the squad further.
But, first, came the news that I actually extended my contract at this club to the end of next season. But, why, you ask?
Well, two reasons.
- I am taking the flexible option, managing a just-promoted club in the top division is interesting to me. Getting it through a second season might be even more fun, considering that I could improve the squad further and even try to qualify for the AFC Champions League.
- I wanted to remove one of the philosophies that was agreed with the board when I first joined the club: Sign high-profile players. I would rather sign young players than that.
Anyway, here are the ins and outs of the transfer window.
To be honest, I only made one signing and that was:
Another English loanee? Not really. This guy has Japanese listed as his second nationality, so he could play with the other three foreign players. I did not really need another left-back but I just wanted to fill the quota.
But, where’s Bright Ejike, our supposed first-choice striker? Well, ever since he was replaced by Lassina Diaby, he failed to peform when he was given chances. No other club wanted him,so I ended up terminating his contract . This was how Usui was able to sign for us.
We also sold a young full-back in Al-Kuwari for 5 thousand British pounds.
The only other out was the 36-years-old Al-Battat, who had been playing for our 2nd team but expressed his unhappiness of not playing in the first team. I also terminated his contract mutually.
Second Half of the Season
We ended up finishing in fifth, way above our intended target.
Our main right-back, on loan from Qatar SC, won Stars League Young Player of the Year.
I also manage to pick up the Stars League Manager of the Year, which was not surprising, considering our overachievement.
In other news,our 2nd team finished 2nd in the second division, but I found the prize money news a bit amusing.
The season was far from over, as the domestic cup came up next. We were automatically put in the third round of the Prince Cup,probably based on where we finished in the league. this season. We comfortably beat Al-Mesaimeer 2-0, the opponents from our last league match.
Then, in the quarter finals, we met league champions Al-Sadd. We actually pushed all the way to a penalty shootout but it was not meant to be as for the third time, we failed to beat them.
I would say it was a pretty good first season. We exceeded expectations and finally managed to survive our first season back in the top division.
Without a doubt, Freeman is our best player this season because well, he is the best player in the squad. We actually extended his loan for next season and he’s still only 22!
Here’s our season review according to the game:
Meanwhile, the club has started working on our new training facilities.
Question is: Can we do better than this season? Find out in our next post!
The database I used for this save is the FM17 Megapack 200 Updates by claassen . The one in the link does have more nations to choose from than the one in the save.
To get more hairstyles for the regens, try Debski’s World of Hairstyles !
Also, check out the TheManagersCorner on Reddit! It’s where aspiring FM content creators, like me, “dump” their stuff; from blog posts to YouTube videos.