My Football Manager 2019 save in South America reached the end of the 2028/2029 season. After a surprising but well-deserved promotion to the Argentinian top tier last season, we spent the first season back among the elite company. And we did really well. Again.
Back in time – promotion party!
We were not tipped for a promotion in the 2027/2028 season after we finished bottom in the league in the previous season. But as I wrote in the latest post I made a big squad clear out, I signed some good young players and also experienced Iván Rossi who was one of the key members in the promotion race.
During the course, we won 28 matches, tied 10 and lost 4 matches. We had the best defence with only 25 goals conceded in 42 league matches and we won the league with 94 points – 18 points ahead of the second Barracas Central.
Goals, points, wins, clean sheets… we set some new club records but I already was concentrated to improve the squad before the first season with big boys like River, Estudiantes or Boca…
As you can expect, we were not favourites for the new season…
The odds within the season preview were straightforward. We were one of the teams predicted to finish in the bottom part of the table. And we had no issue with it.
I made some early signings including already experienced Lucas Patanelli who I thought to use as Inside Forward. I also brought central defender Rolando Casais from Independiente or two right defenders Sangiovani and Contreras.
We also bought central midfielder Ignacio Cirino from Estudiantes because I still missed some quality in central midfield. I also decided to buy a new striker number one in the winter when there was an option to activate the release clause of Ariel Suárez from River Plate.
The aim was simple within transfer policy – try to find the most suitable player to Inside Forward role because of long-term injury of Emanuel Castro and this player should be ideal for a free.
The second aim was to find at least two central defenders who will be effective within set pieces.
Lucas Patanelli was our best goalscorer of the season from Inside Forward position, Rolando Casais was the best goalscorer from all defenders.
My favourite signing was Juan Ignacio Desagastizábal. This central midfielder perfectly fits to CM(A) role and he scored some lovely goals but in the end it was mainly team effort which us put really high within the league table…
The rollercoaster start
It was probably the newly promoted side’s euphory and we made the absolutely perfect start to the life in the top tier with 4 wins, one draw and one defeat including a 1-0 win over Huracán thanks to a free kick goal by our goalkeeper Antonio Bozok.
Btw. it was fun to have goalkeeper set as free kick taker but I removed him later in this part of the season as we conceded a decisive goal after he hit the wall and opponent’s forward scored almost from the half line.
I set this keeper as our direct free kick taker during the second part of the previous season when we were aiming for a promotion. Our main free kick taker was injured and Bozok has 11 free kicks attribute.
He scored two goals during one calendar year. Some other free kicks hit the post or woodwork but it was probably only waiting for the situation like below in the gif to remove him as a taker :)
We won only Copa Argentina match in September and fell down within the table. We were back in reality. Finally :)
I switched to 4-1-4-1 formation for October and it paid off. We lost to Belgrano in the league but beat them in the Copa Argentina quarter-final and we added also important points in the league as we won four matches and tied at home with Estudiantes.
But November meant four defeats – three in the league and one in the Copa Argentina semi-final against Vélez on penalties. The draw with Atlético Tucamán was the last result of the year of 2028 and we ended the first half of this season 13th in the table.
During the short winter break, I decided to make a tactical change. I felt I will not be relegated and I can risk to make changes and experiment with two defensive midfielders.
I kept the front trio same as I have it within 4-3-3 with the flat midfield but I moved right and left central midfielder down to the DM slot.
The aim was to play deeper with two DM(D) role and either BWM(S) or Roaming Playmaker.
The first idea was to use Roaming Playmaker to let this player take ball deeper and move up to distribute the ball to Inside Forward or link with CF(S) and find the right space for other players.
But the main player for this role took several weeks injury in the first match after the break and I didn’t want to play not a well-suited player here. That’s why I switched to Ball Winning Midfielder with Support duty. It was also better suited for our captain so he didn’t have to play in a different role.
In overall, I wanted to slow down our play in comparison with 4-3-3 and I wanted to be more patient and more disciplined. In the end, the most important decision was not to use Deep Lying Playmaker instead of DM(D) role as it was something I thought about when I changed RPM to BWM(S).
The reason is simple – a player in DLP role usually attracts the ball more often than others and it can slow down the game. Despite I wanted more patient play players in DM(D) and BWM(S) roles were able to distribute ball faster than if we would use some playmaker role.
It all started maybe too well. Already mentioned Juan Ignacio Desagastizábal scored five goals in three friendly matches from the CM(A) role and it looked perfect.
I didn’t hit the panic button despite we lost the first league match away with Unión (SF). Three weeks later we won 6-1 away with San Lorenzo, Rolando Casais scored two goals after corner kicks and this match is my most favourite of the season for sure.
I forgot to mention one thing. Every time I create new formation I get rid of all set piece routines and I set all of them from scratch. It’s not necessary to make completely new routines or make many changes in old ones but I have to set everything from the beginning. Weird? Maybe! But it has that stupid effect that we scored five set pieces goals in three matches :)
More disciplined, patient and cautious way of play resulted in a fact that we lost only three league matches in the second part of the season.
We played 8 matches in March with 5 wins and 3 draws but mainly, we kept 7 clean sheets during this month against the big clubs like Boca or Independiente.
The set of great results meant we climbed through the league table and we finished 7th. If we would win also the last league match we would move up to 6th and earned the Copa Libertadores place but that doesn’t matter. It was a perfect league campaign in the first season after a promotion.
Players probably enjoyed the second part of the season as much as they decided to put great efforts to the Superleague Cup and made the season longer about one month.
We got Estudiantes de La Plata in the 1st Round, we were 2-0 up after 26 minutes but they turned it around and scored in the 83rd minute the leading goal. I switched from the formation with two defensive midfielders to 4-3-3 with the flat midfield trio and scored two goals in 87:14 and 88:12 to make it 4-3 and went through.
We got River Plate and beat them on penalties. We got Boca in the Quarter Final and we beat them 2-1. We got Unión (SF), already relegated team from the top tier and beat them on penalties again. Casais scored after a corner again.
“Every team that reaches this stage has a chance of coming out on top and we’re in that discussion without a doubt.”
The Superleague Cup Final against Independiente was an average match but we took the lead in the 54th minute thanks to Emanuel Castro who played as an Inside Forward.
But it was not in the stars this time… we conceded equalising goal in the 96th minute from penalty kick… “4 minutes of added time were to be played” and we lost 4-5 the penalties. Congrats to Independiente.
It was a very productive season after a promotion and also very successful on the pitch. The things off the pitch are not that good.
The Youth Facilities level dropped to Below Average, an almost €5M loss this season and €1.7M overall balance in red numbers mainly due to zero prize money, no outgoing “money” transfers and €13.5M loan…
On the other hand, the average attendance went from 7,499 last season to 14,898 this season what is perfect with 16,300 stadium capacity in total. And season ticked holders number went from 4,300 to 9,539.
The main aim of the summer break is very clear – sell at least 5 players to boost finances little bit.
- I will use 4-3-3 with the flat central midfield again next season with several changes. And it doesn’t matter of results, I just want to enjoy the game. 27 goals scored and 2 conceded in the first six friendly matches before the new season.
- Between 25/6/2029 and 8/7/2029 I was able to sell players for €4.6M and we moved over €3M in overall balance, transfer budget was almost doubled despite only 30% of transfer revenue and it looks much better. But some players still can leave…
- I signed a player for a free and he is able to play as CM/AM/AMR/ST and he runs around defenders more easily than a knife with butter.Just check my FMSlack channel to se him…
- I signed a central defender for a free as a backup and he scored 5 goals and made 1 assist in four friendly matches…
- Next season could be fun…
You can join FMSlack via THIS link. My channel is #fmrensie but there many other interesting channels to talk about FM.
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Until next time…take care!