Hello everyone and welcome back to my latest post in the Pentagon Challenge. I have to say I’m really enjoying this stint at Manchester City, so much that I have played it solidly for about 36 hours (less sleep!). I don’t tend to get so hooked on FM saves especially with bigger teams but the challenge of getting them back into the big time is really exciting but also tough!
In the previous season we had definitely improved, the squad was looking a lot better and with a 2nd place finish in the league we had another crack at the Champions League. We had a disappointing season in the CL so I was determined to get out of the group stage this time around!
The board had given me £27.8m to spend on transfers, looking at my squad I don’t really need many players. I would like to buy a new LW and a new RB as back-ups to Hofman and Smith respectively but I wont be breaking the bank to get these in. Due to 2 of my CBs being on loan last season I will need to get a new CB in, and then if I have some budget spare maybe a new GK.
In the end I couldn’t find a RB but had a pretty decent looking regen come in from the youth intake so promoted him, I only made 3 signings in pre-season with 1 more arriving in January.
So here they are:
Signing 1 – I decided to spend money on a Goalkeeper to give some competition to Alberto and this guy looks pretty good, he cost me £15m from Bayern
Signing 2 – Will provide fantastic competition to Hofman on the Left Wing and at 20 years old Peter is one for the future, he cost me £5m from Sao Paolo
Signing 3 – This guy I had on loan last season, I spent ages looking at CBs and either got knocked back or asked for stupid transfer fees. Kanazue hadn’t played much for me whilst on loan but when he had he was solid so I decided to take the plunge, in the end he only cost me £4.1m from Barcelona
As mentioned before I signed 1 player in the January window. I had offered this guy a pre-contract to sign at the end of the season but was offered to sign him immediately for £575k so couldn’t turn it down
So with the signings complete here is how my squad looks, this is the end of season squad pic so it includes both August and January signings. We look really good and with a larger squad will be able to challenge on all fronts, I’m also pleased with the amount of youth players in the squad and also a large contingent of English players
The Capital One Cup
Board Expectation – Not Important
My Expectation – Play reserves and see how far we get
As you would expect this really wasn’t high on my priorities but wanted to give it a go while trying some of my youth & reserve players. We ended up having a great run.
In the 1st 2 rounds we scraped through but with a team of 2nd string players we did well
It got a lot tougher in the Quarters as we played Man Utd, I decided to play a stronger team and it worked as we beat them 3-1.
Next up was a 2 leg semi-final against Arsenal, the 1st leg was at Home and we won a nervy game 1-0, was it to be enough to get through? Just! We won the 2nd leg 3-2, going through 4-2 on aggregate
Then to the final where we played Southampton who as you will see later on were having a very good season. I was confident we were going to win and in the end it was a comfortable 2-0 win. My 1st trophy of the season, but will it be my last?
The FA Cup
Board Expectation – Semi=Final
My Expectation – Win it
Erm, right, there’s no way to say this but our run in the FA Cup didn’t last long at all! I wont say anything else about it, ill just let you see the result
The Premier League
Board Expectation – Qualify for the Champions League
My Expectation – Win the league!!!
We started really well in the league, unbeaten in the first 8 while most of our challengers started slowly. Both Chelsea and Man Utd lost 2 of their first 5 games. Our form dipped a bit when other competitions started but we were always in the top 2 or 3. I took a little screenshot at game 23 as the league looked so tight
As you can see the top 4 were separated by just 1 point. As the next few games passed by we kept winning, Southampton kept winning and Arsenal and Man Utd kept slipping up. When we got to game 28 it was a 2 horse race but I noticed Southampton were constantly nicking games 1-0 or 2-1 so I had a feeling they were due to slip up
I was right, Southampton capitulated towards the end of the season, they won only 1 of their final 9 games, losing 7 of these. All we had to do was keep our form up to win the league. It did dip but no one could keep up with us and with 3 games left we went to Southampton away from home, a win would seal the league title.
A 3-0 win and we had sealed the Premier League title, Manchester Citys first since 2014. Amazing, its taken me 3 years and lots of hard and it eventually paid off. I couldn’t be more proud and hope this is a stepping stone for bigger and better things. But could we in a 3rd trophy of the season?
Board Expectation – Quarters
My Expectation – Get out the group stage!
After last season shocking group stage where we came 3rd I was more determined than ever to do well this time around. I sort of hoped that we wouldn’t be seeded 4th in the draw this time but when the draw came around once again we were seeded 4th. I now needed some luck to get an easier group and my wish was granted!
Once again we drew Juventus, but the other 2 teams (CSKA Moscow and Olympiakos) were beatable. Last season I had lost to Juventus twice so I wanted to at least give them a better challenge this season and my god we did!
We had an amazing group stage winning 5 and drawing 1 and ended top of the Group. An amazing turnaround from last seasons shambles!
The 8-0 win against Olympiakos was obviously pleasing but the one result that delighted me was the win against Juventus, I knew now we could challenge the big boys and with this my hopes went up for a good run through the Knockout rounds.
In the 1st Round we got ourselves quite an easy draw in the form of Shakhtar, the 1st leg was away and we got ourselves a credible 3-3 draw. The Home leg was a lot more comfortable and we ended up winning 7-4 on aggregate. But it was about to get a lot tougher
We drew Juventus in the Quarter final. I knew they would out for some revenge after the group stage but in the end we hammered them! We played out of our skins and demolished them in both legs winning 9-4 on aggregate.
So we were into the semi finals. What an achievement but now I was there I wanted to win it. Next up in our way was fellow English side Arsenal. We were home first and it started well, a 1-0 win, a good start but I would’ve been happier with a bigger win
So a slender lead to take into the 2nd leg, could we hold on? The answer to that question is below…
We lost 2-0, devastated isn’t even a word to describe how I feel. We were so close to the final and threw it away. But in the end we exceeded expectations and set ourselves up for another crack at it next season.
So a disappointing end but overall a very good season. 2 trophies, a Champions League semi final and a massive improvement when I look back over the season and also the 3 seasons in total that I’ve been in charge.
End of Season Awards/Records
We did manage to win a couple of awards
Once again I was named Manager of the Year
The most pleasing one was my young English Central Midfielder Gary Grainger was named Young Player of the Year. He had been fantastic all season and fully deserved the award, he also received his first England cap as well
We also had 5 players named in the team of the Year, but there was one person missing out of this who as you will see below had one of the best seasons I’ve seen in the Premier League
That guy was Burhan Deniz, I’ll just let you look at the screenshots below
Yes he broke the long standing record held by Andy Cole from 1993 for the most goals scored in the Premier League in 1 season and he DIDNT get in the team of the year! What is that all about!
So there you have it, what a season its been, next season we have to win the Champions League, and I feel its my best chance of doing it. The board have given me some decent budgets. They offered me £27m transfer budget and £800k extra wage budget. I don’t need all that wage budget so I’ve transferred some of it over and now have £48m transfer and £390k wages.
That’s more than enough to strengthen my squad. I will however have one major player to replace. Marcos Lopes was out of contract and although I offered him a new one he wanted to leave and has signed for PSG on a free transfer. He will be a big loss so will be looking for a new Attacking Midfielder to replace him
Thanks for reading everyone. I really hope you are enjoying the updates but if you have any feedback for me whether its good or bad I’m happy to take your comments on board either on here or via Twitter @thatfmregen