The first season of my FM20 save in Mexico is over. And it ended with the immediate promotion to the top tier. What happened in Celaya during 2019/2020 season?
My aim was not to win promotion straight but as the season went, our 4-4-1-1 formation developed well and the opponents were not capable to beat us even in the none play-off match.
Get rid of loans
If you remember what I mentioned in the opening post of this save, I wrote about how many loan players we had in the squad at the start of the season. Same as the number of loan players in other 2nd tier clubs.
We had 8 players on loan at the start of the save in the squad. And despite I signed other two players for a loan, we ended with only 3 loan players in the squad.
The reasons were simple.
- Not enough playing time = unhappiness and termination of the loan.
- Not good enough players = termination of the loan.
Only Carlos Rosel remained from the original 8 loaned players. This 24-year-old footballer has a contract until 2023 with Club América and I will probably try to extend his loan as he was impressive as our main MR – Winger with support duty.
Our squad was really short of wide defenders but I was unable to sign someone as a free agent due to small wage budget and I decided to sign Idekel Domínguez from Pumas for a loan. But for two seasons. His 8 assists in 33 matches were the perfect addition to the successful season.
The third loan player in the squad was Pedro Campos who I signed in the winter break three players from the left side of the pitch were injured and I had to make changes in the optimal starting XI. Chilean midfielder is still only 19-year-old footballer and he contributed with 4 goals in 13 appearances.
Free transfers only
Three other players were signed during the season. All of them were for free. Ramiro Jiménez, Michael López and David Edgar.
The first one is the young homegrown midfielder who has some good attributes for the AM position and I hope he will learn a lot and will develop in a decent player at least during the next two seasons.
Other two players are a different type of transfers. Michael López, Colombian midfielder, is able to play in the middle and wide as well. He played mostly as our DLP(D) and he was also our main set piece taker.
Central defender David Edgar is probably not an unknown player for some of the English fans as he played for Newcastle, Burnley or Birmingham. He is not among the best central defenders but he became our best defender and he wanted only €9k per month salary what is about a half less than his teammates who will not continue in the club in the future.
Our defensive line will need a big improvement for the next season in overall but that’s for a different discussion.
Apertura & Clausura. Winners & promotion.
The aims of the board for the opening (Apertura) and the closing (Clausura) stages were different. They wanted semi final in the Apertura and quarter final in the Clausura.
Despite two defeats in the Apertura, we won the opening stage with 30 points after 8 wins, 3 draws and 2 defeats. We were four points ahead of Dorados de Sinaloa.
The advantage of the first place after 13 matches is you will start the play-off matches in the semi final and you have some time to refresh your players.
We won all four play-off matches 1-0 with four different scorers. Goals by Carlos Eduardo Camacho, Hernán Rivero, Carlos Rosel and Maurice Cova secured all the tight wins and the Apertura trophy.
We managed to stay unbeaten in the Clausura but it was enough only to finished 2nd in the table, three points behind Dorados as we won 7 matches but we drew six times.
We found a perfect form in the play-off as we conceded the only two goals in the first match and we kept 5 clean sheets in the next five matches.
The first away final leg against Dorados was absolutely perfect and we secured our Clausura title in a stylish 5-0 aggregate win.
And, yes, it means the promotion to the Mexican top tier straight in the first season.
If you are interested what “h” means in the picture in quarter final match between Cafetaleros and Oaxaca, there is the rule about the second leg rules.
“Higher league position team wins if scores are level after ninety minutes.” The same applies for the semi final.
We also had a very good run in the Copa MX 🇲🇽 after we surprised everyone including ourselves.
We were drawn to the group stage with Chivas and Pumas and we won the opening three matches and secured the knock-out stage. We beat Tijuana in the second round after Hernán Rivero scored a hat trick in the first leg away.
Our run ended in the quarter final after a 3-5 loss on aggregate with Club Necaxa as it was the real mirror of our skills and also maybe the sign of what we will face more often in the top tier.
Development side project(s)
As I already mentioned in the part about signings, Ramiro Jiménez was signed to try to develop him.
He is not the only young players I’m trying to develop. I would like to mention also central midfielder Edgar Reyes who I mentioned several times in my FMSlack channel during the first season.
His best-rated role is CM(A). I play him as CM(S). His First Touch and Decisions attributes are at a good level (15 & 13) and he is trained as Roaming Playmaker for the whole season to concentrate not for the specific role but mostly for the development in overall.
I gave him a five-year deal until the summer 2024 and he made 28(6) appearances this season with 1 goal and 6 assists and the average rating of 6.98 in all competitions.
We, of course, had our first youth intake of the save during the season. As our youth recruitment is average and everything else important for the youth intake is also average, we could not expect something groundbreaking.
It was more surprising that this group of players was described as the golden generation.
But I think we are used to the fact that Football Manager is a little bit weird time from time :)
I set the individual training for these young players as all of them were signed by our DoF. And we can only hope one or two of them will join the first team squad in the future. But I doubt it. Every time the goalkeeper is the best player of the youth intake, it’s not a good sign.
*FM20 tip: The reserves or youth squads/menu are hidden in the FM20 under the Development icon.
If you want to have Reserves/Youth teams icon(s) in the sidebar, take over the individual training or just tick you are responsible for the arranging of friendlies and the icons will appear in the sidebar.
The proud ‘El Buitre’…
The more legends, icons or favoured people you have in the clubs’ details page/part of the club overview, there are more chances some of them will comment the current form, tactical style or something else.
The only icon of Celaya is Emilio Butragueño. So far. The legendary Spanish striker was pleased with our season, our performances and the promotion, of course.
I created the “El Buitre” search filter during the first season and I’m trying to find players with specific attributes but I didn’t sign someone so far just with this filter. I only added several players to the shortlist and I will have enough funds for them in the future. Hopefully.
Maybe I will write about it in the future.
Until that moment, tak care…
Don’t forget, you can join FMSlack via THIS link. My channel is #fmrensie but there are many other interesting channels to talk about FM.