Three years later. Three virtual seasons were played in the Football Manager 2017 save with Reading FC. Many new young our own players made it from youth to the first team and some of them are already our key players and they deserve some attention. If you’re still interested in this save you can read about everything that happened during the last three years.
During this season’s transfer window we were very active in terms of outgoing transfers same as in the past.
Josh Barrett, Joshua Emmanuel, and Luke Southwood retired from a professional football, the first two became coaches of our first team. It meant only Danny Loader left from the original squad.
We sold midfielders Michael Alhassan to Everton for £23M (potentially up to £27.5M) or Semih Karaca to Sunderland for £15.5M (potentially up to £24M). There were a lot of loan deal including players who moved to our feeder clubs Doncaster and Colchester.
We signed only one player – young right defender Kenny Charles from Sheffield Wednesday who is able to become our new right defender number one in the future.
This season started with a Community Shield win over Manchester United after penalties and defeat by PSG in UEFA Super Cup after penalties.
During the rest of the season, we lost only to Arsenal in Champions League Quarter Final second leg and to Chelsea in FA Cup 5th Round replay. That lost to Arsenal meant our Champions League run ended.
We won EFL Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, and Premier League. We won the domestic league competition nine points ahead of Arsenal and ten points ahead of Manchester United.
Danny Loader played as Advanced Forward in our 4-1-2-2-1 formation and he scored 26 goals and made 13 assists in 53 appearances in all competitions.
Let’s start with transfers once again. I bought two young defenders during this season – James Kirby from Middlesbrough and Jamie Martin from Tottenham.
We earned more than £50M this season thanks to outgoing transfers. We sold Tom Svensson to Real Madrid for £35M as he was signed for £1.6M back in 2008. And some other players left our club for very good fees as I felt they are not good enough to be paid by us.
Before this season I decided to switch back to 4-3-1-2 formation and I think it was another successful season.
We finished third in the Premier League five points behind Arsenal and four points behind Manchester United who finished second. Our best goalscorer in the league had only 11 goals and I think the lack of productivity by Danny Loader, Adam Walker or other strikers was the main reason why we didn’t retain the league title.
But we won Community Shield, EFL Cup, and FA Cup as well. And after one year pause, we won the Champions League once again. We were in the group with Leverkusen, Lyon and Maccabi Tel Aviv and we were comfortably through with 12 points thanks to three wins and three draws.
We beat Juventus 5-2 on aggregate in the first round, Schalke 3-1 on aggregate in the quarter final and Arsenal thanks to away goal rule as we won 2-1 at home and were defeated 3-2 away.
We met Atlético in the Final and they were 1-0 up just after three minutes of play but Adam Walker scored a brace and Kevin Jackson one goal so we won 3-1 in the Final.
We also have a new owner of the club as Darren Pring bought the club from Narin Niruttinanon in January 2036 but there are no changes or something like that.
The latest season I played so far. This season was special because I decided to create my favorite 4-1-4-1 formation. I used this system in previous editions as well, for example in my FM16 save with AB. There are player roles differences as I used wide playmakers last year or poacher and false nine.
This time I decided to use wingers with attack duty on both sides and central midfielders with support and attack duty in the middle.
If I will have enough time I will write about this formation in the future so I will explain more things in the separate post.
We earned about £36M this season from outgoing transfers as we sold central defender Yusuke Watanabe to Wolves or Felix Burst to Inter for £20M (up to £27.5m).
We only signed one player and it’s midfielder Thomas Smith from Rangers. He was signed by our Director of Football. I sent him to Hull for a loan. I’m not sure if will be able to be a part of our first team but if we could make some profit from his future transfer I’ll be satisfied with it.
The pre-season and the beginning of this season went well with a new formation. We won the Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup and we were without a lost in the first league matches.
But during the September and October, we lost too many points in the league and we were also eliminated from EFL Cup by Huddersfield as we played with many youngsters.
I would like to thank James (@FMPressure) for his help as we spoke about the 4-1-4-1 many times in FMSlack and he gave me some tips how to make it better.
The most important advice was to not be too cautious and too structured. I changed our mentality to Control and team shape to Flexible.
During the season I decided to change it once again so it ended with the Standard mentality and Flexible shape. It resulted in a great run of very good results and performances as well.
We were able to win FIFA Club World Cup again and despite league loss to Manchester City, we were still around the top four places.
Our youngsters were unable to beat Brentford in two matches so we were eliminated from FA Cup.
But our main squad was great. Adam Walker was a leading striker and our own newgen Tom Nicholson was phenomenal as a left winger this season. We beat Benfica, Real Madrid, and Manchester City to make it to the Champions League Final but were defeated by PSG after penalties.
Nevermind, it was a great success to be in the Final again and I was proud of my youngsters. The Premier League finish was a funny drama.
We moved up to the first place just after the 36th Round and we were one point ahead of Liverpool. We beat Derby 3-0 and Liverpool won as well. We traveled to Sheffield to play with United in the last round and Liverpool played in Southampton.
We were 1-0 up thanks to a goal after a corner kick and Liverpool’s match ended with a 1-1 draw. Sheffield had a penalty in the stoppage time but our keeper Adam Bantis saved it and we won 1-0. That meant we won the Premier League in the last round.
You can see in the picture with the squad there is not midfielder Jason McDonald for example. He was sold straight after the end of the season to West Ham for £24.5M and it could rise to £35M.
As I mentioned above there are some interesting players in the team right now. Adam Walker is our main striker, Ilias Masouras our best central midfielder and Tyler Palguta our main defender. He is able to play in central defender position and as a right full back as well.
Midfielder Tom Nicholson was great this season and I really like his development from our U18 squad during the past two years.
Some of the young players will be more involved in first team matches next season. Hélder was injured for a couple of months this season so Phil Stanley had to play in defensive midfielder positions and he did very well.
Hélder was wanted by Liverpool before this season and I they offered 107M but I tried to negotiate it up to 140M and they refused to pay it for him. But if they will come for him again I will sell him because I know I have good young players in the squad.
The last words of this part are about Danny Loader. Our hero of this save will be 37 years old in the August 2037. He was a backup player in the last season and I thought he will retire at the end of the season but it looks like he will continue. He wanted to leave for a new challenge but I talked to him and as we won the Premier League he is happy to stay.
But I have dilemma how to play next season because he is unable to play as a lone striker due to poor physical attributes so I will probably let him play as a central midfielder and I hope he will have the dignified end of his career.
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.
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Thanks everyone for the continuing support and thanks for reading.
The previous part of this save is HERE.
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