A European Escapade!

  1. A European Escapade!

    A European Escapade!

    Aim: to win as many trophies as possible.

    1. Only allowed to stay at the same club/manage in the same league for a maximum of 3 seasons.
    2. Only allowed to manage smaller clubs or teams who have underperformed in previous seasons.
    3. Once the league title is won I will move clubs (unless there are literally no viable teams to go to).
    I have loaded Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Holland and Russia as playable nations.

    First Club

    A European Escapade!-page1-959px-logo_sassuolo_10_11.pdf.jpg
    Sassuolo! Challenging for the league and cup may take the maximum 3 seasons with Sassuolo, but in that time I hope to increase my managerial reputation to such a level that means it will be easy for me to move on to good clubs in other countries.

    First Season Expectations:

    A European Escapade!-inbox_-inbox.png

    Mid-table finish was selected and this gave me a better than expected transfer budget. With a few astute signings I actually feel that we can challenge for the European places!

    Next Update - Initial Squad Review and Transfers!

  2. No England?!

  3. No I decided not to include England as I have already done a Bournemouth save on FM15

  4. Initial Squad Review

    As I expected when I took the job, Sassuolo had a typical Italian clubs squad - lots of old players! Not only were they old, but unfortunately none of them were 'Pirlo's' or 'Zanetti's' . . . so basically not good enough to play and not good enough to sell! A lot of squad strengthening would be required in the transfer window, simply to enable me to field a decent 11!

    Key Players:

    It's not all doom and gloom . . .

    A European Escapade!-domenico-berardi_-overview-profile.pngA European Escapade!-simone-zaza_-overview-profile.pngA European Escapade!-sime-vrsaljko_-overview-profile.png

    The 3 best players in the initial squad in my opinion. My best player is Simone Zaza, a striker who has it all! He has the ability to score all types of goals and also lay goals on for others. Domenico Berardi is a young forward with exceptional talent. He can play through the middle or also on the right wing as an inside forward. Co-owned with Juve so keeping him past this season is vital! Sime Vrsajko looks to be a great full back who can defend and get forward in equal measure!


    I had basically identified the spine of my team, other than my strikeforce, as needing investment. As well as Vrsajko on the right, I also have Peluso on the left who also looks to be a very solid full back. While on the wings I have Nicola Sansone who can pay on the right or left. So the positions I was targeting in the window were: centre back, centre mid and attacking mid.

    A European Escapade!-transfers_-transfer-history.png

    Very pleased with my business! Romero and Balanta could be absolute beasts for me, while Obiang will make a great B2B midfielder. Suso was brought in on loan to add some flair in the final third and Bernardeschi will add some depth on the wings.

    A European Escapade!-%C3%89der-%C3%81lvarez-balanta_-overview-profile.pngA European Escapade!-lucas-romero_-overview-profile.pngA European Escapade!-pedro-obiang_-overview-profile.png

    A European Escapade!-suso_-overview-profile.pngA European Escapade!-federico-bernardeschi_-overview-profile.png

    Squad Depth:

    I think its very much of a case of having 14-15 players who are good enough to help us achieve our expectations, so avoiding injuries to key players is vital if we are to succeed this season.
    A European Escapade!-squad_-squad-depth.png

    Next Update - given we are only in the League and Italian Cup, I plan on only doing 2 updates covering all matches played this season. The next update will cover up until January 1st.
    Last edited by LM67; 17/01/2015 at 10:25 AM.

  5. Welcome back to my European Escapade story! This post will cover all matches played before the winter break.


    A European Escapade!-first-half-season-results.png

    bit of a dodgy pre-season with 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats. The squad clearly had some trouble adapting to my style of play but the new players seemed to integrate well.

    Italian Cup: 2 victories against two pretty average sides at home. I used these games as an opportunity to play some of the players who hadn't featured much in the league games. I've been rewarded for these victories with a trip to Juventus in the next round. Lovely . . .

    Serie A: great start to the season! 10 wins, 5 defeats, and strangely, no draws! Notable results include 3-1 home wins against Lazio and Fiorentina, while we were 2-0 up away to Inter but managed to throw the lead away. The best match of the reported period was the 5-1 win away to Genoa in which we blew them away early in the second half.

    League Table

    A European Escapade!-league-table-xmas.png

    Our good start to the season has left us within touching distance of the Champions League places! The top 2 in Italy qualify for the competition automatically, while the 3rd placed team enter a play-off. I'm not getting carried away though and I would be delighted if we finished in the Europa League places at the end of the season.

    Player Stats

    A European Escapade!-squad_-players-until-xmas.png

    Some very good performances in the first half of the season, particularly from Taider and Sansone. Romero and Balanta have also settled quickly and have been pretty solid. However, my best player of the reported period has to be Simone Zaza! I have mostly been using him in the complete forward role and he has lived up to the billing - 9 goals and 7 assists in 14 games is a great return.

    Unfortunately, in late November disaster struck . . .

    A European Escapade!-zaza-injury.png

    He'll be a huge miss and much of the goalscoring burden will now lie with Domenico Berardi.


    A European Escapade!-tactics_-diamond.pngA European Escapade!-tactics_-4-2-3-1.pngA European Escapade!-tactics_-instructions.png

    These are the 2 tactics I have been using, along with the team instructions which are basically the same for both tactics. I have mostly been using the diamond at home and switching to a more conservative 4-2-3-1 away from home. I've had success with both but I think I may have to use the 4-2-3-1 more in the second half of the season, especially with Zaza's injury.

    Winter Transfer Hopes:
    I don't expect to get much of an additional budget given the board were very generous in the summer. Any funds I do have will be used to target a striker, as without Zaza I am short in that area, and possibly a defender as we haven't kept many clean sheets.

    Next Update - Winter transfers and the rest of the matches in my first season at Sassuolo.

  6. Transfers

    We had a quiet window and only 2 players were signed. Nacho was signed for £1.7 million from Real Madrid and his ability to play left and right back as well as a centre half are a big bonus. Babacar was brought in on loan to replace the injured Zaza.

    A European Escapade!-nacho_-overview-profile.png A European Escapade!-khouma-babacar_-overview-profile.png


    A European Escapade!-results-end-season.png

    Italian Cup
    : as expected Juventus were too strong for us, although we played quite well in the match. Sampdoria would go on to beat Juventus in the final on penalties.

    Serie A: 8-2!!! The biggest defeat I've suffered in any version of the game. Can anyone else boast such an 'impressive' defeat from this years game? They absolutely destroyed me from start to finish and seemed to score every time they got in our half. A result which definitely shows the gulf between the 2 teams and how difficult it will be to win the league in the maximum 3 season allowed.

    However, after the result we were superb! Home wins against the teams around us - Napoli, Roma and Fiorentina - were particularly pleasing. Genoa were also beaten 5-1 for the second time this season. Disappointing to lose the last 2 (will I ever beat Juventus!?) but would it cost us . . .

    A European Escapade!-league-table-end-season.png

    No! I was delighted to finish the season in second place and certainly didn't expect it at the start of the season.

    Player Performances

    A European Escapade!-player-stats-season-end.png

    Some very consistent performances from most of my players and this is reflected in their average ratings. Balanta and Sansone were particularly outstanding. Balanta was a rock at the back and if not for him I think we would have conceded a lot more goals. Sansone was always likely to pop up with either an important goal or an assist. However, my player of the season can only go to one man . . .

    A European Escapade!-domenico-berardi_-overview-attributes.png

    A simply sensational season from young Berardi! After Zaza was injured he really stepped up and just wouldn't stop scoring in the second half of the season.

    Well that's the end of my first season with Sassuolo. I will definitely be staying for at least one more season and hope to perform well in the Champions League and my aim is to pick up the first trophy of the story, possibly the Italian Cup is most likely.

    Next Update - the next update will cover the transfer window and pre-season.

    Last edited by LM67; 25/01/2015 at 12:12 PM.

  7. An unexpected turn of events

    As I'm sure most of you will agree, the best thing about the game is it's realism. I'd always thought this was a good thing, until now . . .

    The co-ownership rule in Italy is a strange one. On the first day of the transfer window teams who co-own a player must submit an undisclosed offer to the Italian FA in order to win the players ownership rights. If both teams bid the same amount then the player will continue to be 'co-owned' and stays at the team he was at in the previous season. I have one player in particular who falls into the category of co-ownership, Domenico Berardi.

    A European Escapade!-embargo.png

    Just 10 days before the transfer window was due to open I received this message from the Board. If the takeover bid wasn't resolved one way or the other then I would not be able to submit an offer an for Berardi. For the next 10 days in the game I was waiting for the 'embargo lifted' message, but it never arrived . . .

    A European Escapade!-berardi-bid.png

    My only hope of keeping my star player was if Juventus also bid zero. Well it was never likely was it?

    A European Escapade!-juve-sign-berardi.png

    £2.4 million!!!??? I've just lost the best young striker in Europe, who's probably worth about £30 million and have only received such a small sum in return. I don't know what's worse, the fact I've lost him for such a small amount or the fact I could have owned 100% of him for basically pennies.

    A European Escapade!-takeover-collapses-embargo-lifted.png

    15 days later and the embargo was eventually lifted after the takeover collapsed! All that for nothing! The work to replace Berardi starts now . . .

  8. Transfers

    Qualifying for the Champions League meant that I needed 2 players in each position who I could rely on if I was going to perform well in that competition and do just as good in League as I did in season 1. With many older players or players who were nowhere need good enough, I knew that a major squad overhaul was required.

    A European Escapade!-second-season-expectations.png

    I had already spent some money when I got this message, my budget was around £12 million once I adjusted the wages.

    A European Escapade!-second-summer-window.png

    Quite surprisingly I managed to get rid of all the deadwood in my squad and more importantly, I managed to fend off bids for the likes of Zaza, Vrsaljko and a £25 million bid from Monaco for Balanta!

    Ins: Lots of players were brought in and the loans of Taider, Suso and Bernardeschi were also extended for another year. The 3 best signings in my opinion are Munoz, Kranevitter and Deulofeu:

    A European Escapade!-ezequiel-mu%C3%B1oz_-overview-profile.pngA European Escapade!-mat%C3%AD-kranevitter_-overview-profile.pngA European Escapade!-gerard-deulofeu_-overview-profile.png

    The squad is now much stronger than in the previous season.

    A European Escapade!-squad_-squad-depth-2.png


    A European Escapade!-schedule_-senior-fixtures.png

    A very good pre-season with Ings the stand-out performer. The win against Atletico was pleasing and leaves me hopeful of having a good Champions League campaign.

    Next Update - Results from the first 2 months of the season.

  9. August and September

    Champions League Draw:
    A European Escapade!-cl-draw.png

    A decent draw. Getting anything from Barca will be tough so the games with PSV will be crucial.


    A European Escapade!-aug-sept-results.png

    Not a bad start to the season but we haven't excelled in any games. Disappointing to lose to Milan at home and unsurprisingly we lost in the Nou Camp. The best result of the reported period was the first game of the season against Roma:

    A European Escapade!-sassuolo-v-roma_-aug.png

    Awful start and I feared the worst but we managed to turn it round superbly! Ashley Cole's timely red card helped us get the 3 points.

    Next Update - results up until the winter break.

  10. Loving this story! I am a big lover of Serie A and Serie B but have struggled since FM 13 to really get a good Italian story of the ground, issues with crashes and save corruptions and just plain piss poor saves have got in the way but i hope ou do well before you move on

  11. Great first season,
    How did you manage to spend so much in the 1st transfer window? Monthly installments?

    Some great signings for 2nd season, hopefully you can win the title this year,
    Ill be following

  12. Enjoyed catching up on this story. Such a shame about Berardi as he looked like he was going to be an awesome player for you.

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