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4th Season - the other side of Barcelona

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RCD Espanyol - The other side of Barcelona

View attachment 373044


- The other side of Barcelona

This is my 4th season with RCD Espanyol.

1st season - Finished 13th - Lost 8 games in a row.

2nd season - Finished 4th & qualified for the CL group stages via Playoffs - Lost to Barcelona 8-0 in the league.

3rd season - Finished 7th - Suffered 9 injuries at the same time, which cost us a European spot.

4th Season - Ongoing.

In all these 3 previous seasons, there was something I wanted to do so badly, that was to beat our bitter rivals Barcelona at least once in the league, never happened though. They thrashed us 8-0 once, then they thrashed again in the cup a couple of times, then we got a memorable draw at home, but never beaten them.

This 4th season started well with a couple of high scoring victories. Then we suffered a couple of defeats away at Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. The bad form continued as we suffered defeats to Socieadad away and Getafe at home. Then we got Malaga at home in the cup, I decided to change the tactics, from my usual one forward system to a two forward system, and beat them 3-1, so decided to use the same system against Barcelona in our next league game at home.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED

View attachment 373045

Espanyol 2-0 Barcelona

At last we beat them and its 2 nothing. You can see the tactics I used, its a 4-4-2 variation. I hope it'll bring me more great results this season unless I face any FM "challenges" like injuries, etc.
 
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had a Espanyol save but they were complete ****. Manage to save them from relegation in the 1st season but you can't survive the next if the chairman doesn't give you transfer budget. Hector Moreno is the best player that they have.
 
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had a Espanyol save but they were complete ****. Mana
Your right. First season, there was no budget I struggled a lot in the first season. 2nd season, made some brilliant free signings like Estigaribia & Straqualursi also the board gave me €7m. Moreno is simply awesome. I recommend him for any big teams in FM, he's my captain now. They have some quality young players Thievy, Victor Alvarez, Jordi Amat, Baena, etc. These guys are my key players now in the 4th season.
 
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Your right. First season, there was no budget I struggled a lot in the first season. 2nd season, made some brilliant free signings like Estigaribia & Straqualursi also the board gave me €7m. Moreno is simply awesome. I recommend him for any big teams in FM, he's my captain now. They have some quality young players Thievy, Victor Alvarez, Jordi Amat, Baena, etc. These guys are my key players now in the 4th season.
Jordi Amat at Swansea in real life now.
 
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Jordi Amat at Swansea in real life now.
Yeah I know he's just joined them. Really good & natural defender for me in FM. Good partner for my captain Moreno. Interestingly Swansea are trying to sign Moreno as well in real life.
 
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Our next game was against Valencia.

Valencia 0-0 Espanyol

its just finished 0-0, great result away from home, but I lost a player through injury, its 5 ******* months, (thanks FM). Etienne Capoue, his natural fitness is 17, stamina 17, strength 17, only joined the team, playing really really well, now he's OUT FOR 5 ******* MONTHS

This is absolutely ridiculous given the player's natural fitness and stamina. How this happened? the answer is simple, he has been brilliant so far this season, playing a pivotal role in the center of my midfield, so FM decided to give me a challenge to make playing FM "more interesting" and took him off like that, for 5 months!!!
 
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Struggling for consistency

I have started this story with our incredible win against Barcelona, but after this inspirational and morale boosting result, our form has been very poor, dropping points at home, losing to struggling opponents, etc.

This is what happened after the Barcelona result,​

View attachment 373658
As you can see here, only 2 wins in the league after that Barcelona result. We played 8 games, only 2 wins, 5 draws and one
lose. I hate ridiculous draws especially at home to bottom placed teams.

Cup Run

We're having a good cup run this season. Last season we reached the semis. This season the objective was to reach the quarter finals. We got Malaga in the 4th round. We won the first leg 3-1 I think, second as you can see above ended in a draw so we qualified for the 5th round against Osasuna. The first leg against Osasuna was a draw 1-1 then we hammered them at home 4-0. This was after a superb comeback 3-2 win in the league against Osasuna. So we have reached the quarter finals and we got Atletico Madrid and beat them 4-1 in the first leg and looking forward to the 2nd leg.

Superb comeback win

View attachment 373664


This was a memorable win in the league. This fixture was sandwiched between the Spanish cup 5th round games, interestingly against Osasuna. We were unbelievably poor in the first half, but a spectacular 2nd half display earned us this win. My defender Jordi Amat's rating was 3.2 and he conceded a penalty as well. The winner scored by youngster substitute Thievy in the 95th minute, so that was a great feeling.

AC Milan approach

View attachment 373665

I got an attractive offer from AC Milan, but I rejected it because I want to take this Espanyol team to Europe once again. I did it in my 2nd season, and I want to do it again this season. I created this team and spent a lot of time for this save sofar, so I want a little bit of success, so decided to stay.

We're currently 7th in league.​
 
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Full of draws and a frustrating run​

After an inspirational comeback win against Osasuna, we beat Osasuna again in the cup, absolutely hammered them 4-0, but then things didnt go well. Lot of frustrating draws and some ridiculous defeats, etc.

View attachment 374330
Cup Run


We had a decent cup run. Played Real Madrid in the semi final after overcoming Atletico Madrid 5-4 on aggregate. In the first leg against Real Madrid we managed a 2-2 draw thanks to a last minute own goal from Xabi Alonso and in the second leg we were the better side and then they got a player sentoff as well and we took control of the game, started to create chances, but suddenly everything changed as we too got a man sent off and then one of our players injured, by this time I have used all my substitutes. So we were down to 9 men. Real Madrid took the numerical advantage and scored the winner in the last minutes of the game and we're out, a decent cup run though. In the final Real Madrid beat Barcelona 1-0.


Poor League form & a water bottle



Our league form was frustrating. Too many draws, as you can see the above picture. Also lost 2 games at home, we played exceptionally well in those games, but couldn't convert our chances. During this period, I went crazy, I just couldn't control myself. Broke a water bottle out of frustration. There was water allover the place. It literally cooled me down as well.


Best run ever


After the Barcelona game, which we lost 4-1 away (you can see above), we had 8 more games to go, we were 11th at this time, but only 4 or 5 points separating us from a possible 6th position, so I knew we still have a chance to achieve my personal target to finish in the Top 6. The board target was to achieve a decent top half finish. This is what happened in the last 8 games.The best run ever for me in Football Manager.


View attachment 374340



The Malaga game at home ended in a draw, then we won 5 games consecutively, 3 at home and 2 away. The win against Sevilla was crucial as they were our main challenge for the 6th place. Then we played 4th place Granada (Granada finished Top 5 in the previous 3 seasons in my save!!!). They scored first, then nothing happened in the game, not even a single chance for either side until deep into the injury time my substitute Lavezzi scored an important equalizer for us to savage a crucial point. Real Sociedad clinched the 6th spot at this time by beating league champions Barcelona 3-1, so only 7th place is available, which is still a European spot (becuase of the Spanish cup allocation).

Last game we were away at Sporting and Sevilla at home to Real Madrid. If Sevilla lose, we'll finish 7th, If Sevilla fail to win and we draw, we finish 7th. If we win, we finish 7th.


View attachment 374344



An absolutely brilliant performance earned us the 7th position and a Europa League spot. I'm delighted. This is the least we deserved this season given the way we played, but failing to take our chances cost us a lot of points. But I'm thrilled that we have qualified for Europe.


Final League Table

View attachment 374353



Team stats


View attachment 374355

During the difficult run, I said to myself, if we dont qualify for Europe, I will quit this game forever, well there is no need for quitting now and I have already made some brilliant free signings for next season like Lacina Traore.




?Por que ?Por que ?Por que

But my ******* board was only content with my performance. I dont know why. The target was to achieve a decent top half finish. They didnt give me any money to buy players, I turned down offers from the likes of Napoli, AC Milan and Sevilla and we've qualified for Europe once again, but my ******* board was only content. Before this 8 games unbeaten run my job status was "very secure" but when the season finished with a brilliant run of form my job status was "Secure". ¿Por qué ¿Por qué ¿Por qué.

Adios y mucha gracias!!!


 
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RCD Espanyol - the other side of Barcelona

5th SEASON PREPARATIONS


I'm satisfied with my 4th season with Espanyol. It was incredibly frustrating most of the time, but in the end very satisfied with our finishing. Already looking forward towards the 5th season and as I said, we have managed to sign Lacina Traore on a FREE from Anji. His stats looks fantastic and if he doesn't get one of those "months injuries," he's gonna do great things for me.

Then there was M'baye Niang, who was on his last year of Milan contract and I approached to sign him, but our wage budget was not good enough at that time, the player was very interested in joining us. I tried different things. I couldnt ask the board to increase the wage budget because I have already asked them a couple of months ago, so that option was not there. I have decided to sell a player Icardi (surplus to requirements), and arranged transfer with Udinese, but even after this the wage budget wasn't big enough.

Then the board set initial budgets and I approached Niang again, but interestingly this time, he wasn't interested in a contract negotiation (wtf)!! Then I read Niang turned down a new contract from Milan and I approached him again, but still no way, but I continued my pursuit and eventually signed him for free on a 4-year contract.

The board surprisingly set 11m Euros as our initial budgets. Surprising because this is the biggest transfer budget they set in the last 4 years. Anyway we gotta use this money wisely, have to prefer quality over quantity, may be one midfielder and a defender, that will make us ready for the new season, the 5th season.​
 
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