Give me one! Give me two! Give me three!…Give me ten! The 2031/2032 season is over and trust or not Reading FC won the Champions League for the tenth times in a row. Achievement? As FMSamo like to say “Ridiculous!”
Despite I wrote in the previous posts I will cover more than one season to enjoy the save I decided to write about this season separately because I think the tenth Champions League trophy in a row is an amazing record and huge achievement.
This year I was not too boring at transfer market. You have to agree if you check the transfers history picture.
I bought six players in a total of £60M. But yes, £54M from this sum was for only one transfer as I bought 18-year-old Ghanian midfielder Michael Alhassan from Internazionale and made him the record transfer of all time history.
The rest of the players are decent youngsters but only Greece midfielder Ilias Masouras stayed in the club. He made his international debut during the season for the senior national team of Greece.
Young Japanese central defender Yüsuke Watanabe could be an interesting player in the future.
Outgoing transfers were also interesting this season. A total income was £85M as we set a new record transfer fee received.
Firstly, Jake Cooper and Jermaine Anderson retired from football. Jake Cooper, a player with most matches in Reading club history, became our Under 18s Manager.
We let many players join other clubs for loans including players without a work permit.
And the record transfer? It was striker Mark Saunders who joined Real Madrid for £80M. This 23-year-old Scottish striker has a great record in a national team as he scored 55 goals in 47 matches at the end of this season. I wanted to keep him but the board decided to accept the offer after Real raised it to £80M.
After a couple of years I decided to play a friendly tournament at our stadium. BVB, Monaco and West Ham were invited. We lost to BVB 2-3 in the Semi Final and beat Monaco on penalties in a match of third place.
We also played with Salzburg, Gladbach, Austria and Genk during the pre-season and scored 14 goals in these four matches. All these matches were played with a new formation about I will write in next post.
The season started with Community Shield and we lost to Manchester United but in UEFA Super Cup we beat Liverpool 1-0.
I have to say I really enjoyed this season. And not just only because of good results and success at the end of the campaign. I liked to tweak a new formation, I liked to be angry because some players did what I didn’t want and I liked to be happy if they removed the bad things from they play in next matches.
One of the very pleasing results was for example 6-1 win over Wolves just at the beginning of the season or matches in Champions League Group Stage against AC Milan.
As I mentioned FMSamo at the start of this post, he asked me recently about this in FMSlack…
What do you think is the reason you’ve won so many CLs, but perhaps not been as dominant in the league?
The results in the Champions League speak for itself. Same as a name of scorers. The best goalscorer of our team in this year’s CL campaign was Jon Pears who is a backup player. He scored 7 goals in 5 appearances, mainly in the Group Stage when I used young and backup players against Rosenborg and AC Milan as well.
Chelsea, Man United, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool…always one of these are great in each season and it’s hard to be dominant also in the Premier League. There are also absolutely crazy “Freds/newgens/regens” in these clubs and if I compare it to clubs from Spain, Germany, Italy and more, they are not too good.
I wanted to sacrifice Premier League in the 2031/2032 season due to Champions League to win it for the 10th time in a row but new formation works well and I have great young players who are dominant in the Premier League despite their age so it could be another very successful season…
And as I said in the past, maybe it’s stupid but I have a feeling all my players are more concentrated on Champions League matches and it doesn’t matter if it’s 9-0 win over Ludogorets in the Group Stage or 1-0 win over Real Madrid in the Final.
The very similar story is FIFA Club World Cup. This tournament is a very good chance to give youngsters some playing time same as to backup players. This year we played against Club América and Al-Ahli and we won 2-1 and 4-0 respectively.
We were in very good form in December 2031. We won all matches and conceded only one goal. In this time we were already first in the league despite matches in hand due to Club World Cup. Manchester City had a great start to the season and they won first 7 matches.
But the bottled it. We were one point behind them after 12th Round but only three matches later we were five points ahead of them as they lost to QPR and Stoke. As the season continued we were still in great form and we were 13 points ahead of Manchester United after 27 matches were played.
The biggest change from the last season was we had Danny Loader available for the whole season. He struggled last season (scored only 19 goals :) because of injuries but this season he was fit again and in great form.
We won the league title five matches before the end of the season after a win over Everton and Danny Loader scored his 400th goal for Reading in this match. In the rest of the league campaign, I wanted to win everything to make a new club and Premier League record.
And we did it. 33 wins in Premier League campaign is a new record and 103 points is also a new Premier League record. We scored 87 goals and conceded only 26 this season. I really like we won all 19 home matches.
Danny Loader scored 25 goals and became Premier League best goalscorer. Huge satisfaction after the sad previous season.
So, the Premier League trophy is back in Readin after two wins by Manchester United in the previous two seasons.
I wanted a revenge in the EFL Cup at the end of February as we played against Manchester United as they beat us in Community Shield and in the league as well. It was a great performance and a 3-1 win.
We also won the FA Cup after a 2-1 win over Manchester City and goals by Loader and Moss.
And now there is our Champions League campaign. After a successful Group Stage, we got Zenit in the First Knockout Stage.
It’s strange but I wanted to win a domestic cup between both matches with this Russian side and I had also important league match with Man United so I decided to play backup players again in both ties with Zenit. We won 1-0 and 3-1 thanks to Jon Pears and Tom Moss goals.
In next stage, we won over Atlético Madrid thanks to an away goal rule and we beat Arsenal in the Semi Final.
During this period we also scored five goals in first five minutes of the match. I think I did nothing extra to motivate players to score goals such in the early stage of these matches but it’s funny…
The Final match was played at San Siro Stadium in Milan. One of my favourite stadiums in real life and we played against Barcelona. They took the lead thanks to Pinamont in the 9th minute but we were one goal ahead in the half-time thanks to goals by Oliver Collins (after short throw-in routine!) and Adam Walker.
Kevin Jackson scored our third in the 55th minute as he had to replace Danny Loader just before the half-time. Andrea Pinamonti scored his second but it was not enough for Barcelona. We won 3-2 and Hélder missed a penalty in the 94th minute.
It’s our 10th Champions League trophy in a row. Magnificent achievement. And ridiculous as well!
Danny Loader was great again this season but who was also my star? It’s pleasure to select some because and thanks to a new formation there were a lot of players with very good stats this season.
Adam Walker and Tom Moss were a big threat for all opponents from the wing positions and Teddy MacDonald from central midfield position as well. He had 17 assists, Walker 18 and Moss 15.
I was also very pleased with the development of some young players who were an only backup or hot prospect at the beginning of the season but I gave them some playing time and they became very important players.
For example, our own Brazilian newgen Hélder who scored six goals and made five assists. He is able to play CD, DM and CM.
Central defender Hunter Granados played more during the second half of the season and he could be one of our main three central defenders next season.
Another newgen Brian Butler became the youngest player who played in Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup…
If you’re not bored already I want to share one last thing. I have two English feeder clubs right now – Doncaster Rovers & Colchester United. The second one was promoted to the League 1 last season so both my feeder clubs played in third tier this season.
Both clubs fought for promotion in this season as Doncaster was top of the table almost half of the season but it resulted only in Play-off spots for both clubs. And they played against each other. Colchester won in the Semi Final but lost in the Final so both clubs will be in the League 1 again next season.
Why I write about it? I sent a couple of players to both clubs and I watched their development closely. Striker Stewart Ferguson became the best goalscorer of League 1 with 26 goals and he was also voted the best player of the season.
Another striker Bob Atkinson scored 22 goals in 52 appearances for Doncaster so he had also very good season same as midfielder Christos Diamantis in Colchester. Steve Bailey was in Colchester from January and he played very well as well.
It was close for both clubs to reach higher division but I’m sure I will send here other youngsters and will try to help both clubs to win promotion in next seasons.
After some retirements before this season, our average age dropped to 22.9 – lowest in the Premier League. And thanks to new players and newgens our squad personality changed from professional to determined.
That’s all for this part…
If you would like to see some screenshots or if you’re interested in something from this save just let me know and we can talk about it. I’m always happy if someone is interested in something from my save.
Let me know there in the comments section, on Twitter or in my #mrkeysirensie channel in FMSlack.
Thanks everyone for the continuing support and thanks for reading.
The previous part of this save is HERE.
You can also join us in FMSlack and talk not only about Football Manager. What is Slack? Read this or ask me and others on Twitter for example.