Welcome to a rather impromptu update, I hope everyone understands where I’m coming from with this post, I’ve spoken to a lot of people over the past few days so please take a read and hear me out.
So here we are, the end of my first season with German side Wolfsburg and boy it’s been an interesting season. Could we push Bayern and could we end the season with some kind of silverware? It’s certainly been challenging and incredible fun. Let’s take a look.
So here we are, a new post means one thing, I have a new club, the 5th one of this save, firstly was FC Sion in Switzerland where I managed to top the Hall of Fame in 10 seasons, then came a 9 months stop in Belgium where I was hired and fired by Sporting Lokeren.
Next I went to Russia where I had a great 7 years with Spartak Moscow, topping the hall of fame in Russia and losing a Champions League final. And my time at Rapid Wien has just ended after a fantastic 10 years, winning 7 league titles and 6 cups to top the Austrian Hall of Fame.
So before I tell you who club No. 5 is let’s take a little look back at my time Rapid Wien.
Rapid Wien – 2034-2044
It’s been an incredible 10 years here in Austria, it was, alongside Switzerland the country I was most excited to manage in, there is no better feeling then dethroning a dominant team like Red Bull Salzburg. We did it pretty easily in the end!
If you have missed any posts here they are all, just click the link and go take a look:
10 great years and here is how we have done in a handy little spreadsheet!
7 league titles, 5 in a row and 6 cup wins, we also had 2 heartbreaking Europa League final defeats in 2040 and 2041, both to English sides.
Above is my manager overview with my overall stats and also my Rapid Wien stats, below is a small summary:
- Game Managed – 501
- Wins – 334
- Win % – 66%
- Goal scored – 1125
- Record Signing – £10.5m – Phillip Willems
- Record Sale – £22m – Mamadou Kouamé
And finally here is my Best XI over the 10 years in charge.
Goalkeeper – Nuno Araújo
Signed for £2.2m in 2035 Nuno spent 5 great years here playing 147 games for the club before leaving to BMG for £5.75m
Right Back – Rodrigo Otegui
It was tough to pick a RB as I have had a few good ones but I went with Otegui as when I signed him my defence was struggling and he came in and added some much needed experience to the back-line. Signed for £135k in 2039 he has been an ever present all the way until my resignation. 109 games for the club.
Left Back – Bruno Holzer
Again LBs were hard to pick but I went for Holzer as during his 4 season here (2036-2040_ he was one of the main reasons for out continued success. 107 games, he averaged over 7.4 in all 4 seasons, signed from Sion for £1.2m he was sold to Cardiff for £5.25m
Centre Back – Strahinja Kovacevic
Signed in 2035 for a bargain price of £775k Kovacevic spent 7 seasons at club, playing 170 games and was absolutely amazing, one of the main reasons for my epic 2 Europa League runs. He eventually got his big move when his contract expired, joining Schalke in 2042.
Centre Back – Eric Bardín
Eric only came in 4 years ago, at the time we were struggling for experienced CBs and when he popped up as a potential signing I had to get him. £3.9m from River Plate, Bardin is not the club captain and one of the main players in the team. 105 games played.
Defensive Midfield – Nikola Radosavljevic
One of the original players who were here when I joined. Nikola was an amazing player and over his 7 years at the club was an integral part in the beginnings of our success. 162 games played, he left in 2039.
Central Midfield – Elvis Delic
One of the best signings I’ve ever made. Signed in 2035 from Bosnian side Celik for £130k Elvis is now the best midfielder in Austria and an ever present in the Bosnian national side and worth £10m. He has played 167 games for the club.
Attacking Midfield – Jaud Bangala
Another incredibly player and had been Austrian Premier League player of the year 4 times. Signed in 2037 from Zulte Wargarem for £600k, a Belgian international and one of the best AMs I’ve seen in my save so far. 202 games, 79 goals and the best player I’ve had at Rapid Wien.
Right Wing – Bacar Camara
Bacar has been at the club since 2035, for the first 2 years he was here on loan but when the offer came to sign for nothing I couldn’t say no. An incredible player, alongside Bangala and LW Kouame the were absolutely deadly. 231 games, 83 goals.
Left Wing – Mamadou Kouamé
Signed in 2037 for £3.4m from Slavia Prague Kouame has been absolutely sensational, this attacking midfield 3 are the best I’ve seen on a game, there link up play and goals were integral to our trophy hall. Kouame left in my final season to join Atletico for a club record fee of £22m. 165 games, 47 goals.
Striker – Phillip Willems
Picking my striker was tough choice but in the end I picked Willems, over the first few years here we really struggled to find that 20-30 goal a season man, players came and went and then in 2039 I went big and paid a club record fee of £10.5m for Willems. He repaid me and more. 122 games, 86 goals and all 4 season he scored 20+ in the league.
An incredible 11 and it will be good to see how they do now I’ve gone, will they stay? Will they move onto bigger things? Will I take them with me?!
And with that my time at Rapid is over, it’s been a blast and I hopefully leave them in a better place, although maybe not financially!
So with that over and done with I guess it’s now time to announce who my newest club is:
That’s right I’m off to Germany with Wolfsburg.
Why Wolfsburg I hear you ask?
Well it’s simple, I didn’t want to take over Bayern, they are dominant as expected in Germany, Wolfsburg have ended 2nd 4 times out of the past 5 seasons and in my eyes have a squad capable of challenging Bayern.
They have actually won the league during my FM18 save, only once in 2034 and since then have been perennial challengers every season since, their worst finish being 2 seasons ago where they ended 6th.
So the chairman came in for me and I couldn’t say no, I had numerous offers in Turkey and Italy but felt Germany was the place to go, I’ve never had a save in anger here so it should be fun.
Another thing that enticed was the playing squad, we have some absolute worldies!
A stunning looking squad with 8 players valued over £30m. With only a £28m transfer budget I’ll be relying on these boys to step up this season.
So who are my key players?
Pavel Borovicka – Attacking Midfield
Gianluca Toscani – Central/Attacking Midfield
Daniel Salep – Right Wing
Stuart Weber – Striker
These are the 4 players who really take my eye but there are so many more, as I progress through the seasons I’ll speak more about my players.
So let’s take a closer look at the club as a whole. Firstly is the club facilities:
A brand new ground built only 6 years ago alongside some really good youth and training facilities. The one thing that can be improved is the youth recruitment and junior coaching.
The finances also look really good, a current balance of £118m and projection say we are only going to lose £20m this year but then the next 2 years gain £40m per season. There are some really decent sized prize money in Germany so a high league position is a must. The league winner get just over £89m.
We also have quite a few sponsorships totaling £94m per season. The main kit sponsor of £70m does expire at the end of the next season.
The next thing I want to talk about is the Bundesliga. I have already mentioned that the prize money is good, there are also a few rules we have a abide to.
Firstly no player U17 can play in the league. The other thing is the squad registration, the max squad is 99 so we don’t need to worry about that but we need to make sure we have at least 8 players trained in Germany for 3 years between their 15th and 21st birthdays and 4 players trained by the club with the same rule. We also need to make sure we have at least 13 German nationals.
Some rather stringent rules but this helps with my idea of trying to stick to players from the country I’m in and trying to promote youth.
We currently have very little in the U23 and U19 squads so one of my first tasks is to go on a good scout and bring in some talented youngsters who can be pushed through the system and into the first team.
And finally the main thing for this save is the German Hall of Fame.
So to top the hall of fame we have to win at least 6 leagues and 6 cups. Looking through the top 10 the only manager currently managing in Germany is the current Bayern boss Diego Simeone (yes he is still going at the ripe old age of 74!).
The only thing I need to work out is if winning the German Super Cup gives you points as well.
So my aims for the first season are:
- A top 4 finish and hopefully challenge Bayern for the title
- Try and win either the Cup or Super Cup
- Bring in a couple of players if the price is right and if I can move on some the poorer players
- Get Patrick Hodler in my backroom staff!!
Well that’s all from me for now, hopefully we can get off to a good start here at Wolfsburg and push for a trophy in our first season. It’s going to be tough to topple Bayern but I do feel with the squad we have we can give them a good challenge!
Thanks for reading and speak to you all soon.