Taking Southampton North!

PatrickLFC

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Mar 31, 2015
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Asensio has threatened to leave on a free transfer if I don’t sell him. I tried during the window and I’m trying again now. Hopefully with no bids he will settle down and sign a new deal, but if not he’ll probably leave on a Bosman, which doesn’t matter too much as we don’t really need the money from a sale anyway. The promises tab says I have about 150 days to sell him, which means my only chance of him staying is if no one makes a pre-contract offer in the first couple of months of next year - which is highly unlikely.

Pascal Fontaine is well and truly back from his horrific injury, and claims his first cap for Italy. Fantastic news, and I’m delighted for the youngster.



Meanwhile, Gitschier nails 5 goals in a game for Germany, setting a new record.
 

PatrickLFC

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I can't seem to get decent regens! I find it especially hard to produce them also. Hes a belter though.
I think I must be very lucky then because I don't know how it happens haha

Wow...just WOW!
I know right. I can say with confidence that I think he's the best player in the save at the moment, though he's only 4.5 stars and a 33 or 34 year old Messi is still rated by my scouts as 5 stars.
 

Zlatan Lumic

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I think I must be very lucky then because I don't know how it happens haha
You must actually have really good eye for youth scouting, I've got a few really gifted regens (4+ stars) and the rest are good Premier League player material at best (3-3,5 stars) which is still more than fine in my book, but... your save leaves me dumbfounded as most of your kids are world class player material.

Anyway... Good start of the season and one heck of a clean up made in the transfer window this year (you've got quite the loot this summer).
And yes, I think that your Champions League group is downright hellish... Specially for CSKA Moscow, I don't think that they can say "khorosho" in such situation.

Keep up the good coaching and scouting work up.

.P.S.: By the way... Have you ever been to Canada by any chance? Because I think...

View attachment 140827
...I found your son...

View attachment 140826
...You could have given him the Swedish nationality though... Getting him a work permit will be a major pain (unless he declares for Bosnia that is...) ¬¬
 

Jacoblc12

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May 25, 2016
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How do you train your players, in the youth teams, I can't imagine getting anyone close to Gitschier. Also what's your coaching setup?
 

PatrickLFC

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Mar 31, 2015
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You must actually have really good eye for youth scouting, I've got a few really gifted regens (4+ stars) and the rest are good Premier League player material at best (3-3,5 stars) which is still more than fine in my book, but... your save leaves me dumbfounded as most of your kids are world class player material.

Anyway... Good start of the season and one heck of a clean up made in the transfer window this year (you've got quite the loot this summer).
And yes, I think that your Champions League group is downright hellish... Specially for CSKA Moscow, I don't think that they can say "khorosho" in such situation.

Keep up the good coaching and scouting work up.

.P.S.: By the way... Have you ever been to Canada by any chance? Because I think...

View attachment 1063786
...I found your son...

View attachment 1063787
...You could have given him the Swedish nationality though... Getting him a work permit will be a major pain (unless he declares for Bosnia that is...) ¬¬
Thanks man, I don't even know what I do differently to anyone else I guess. When I scout regens I look at their attributes and scout reports, not just the star ratings, but I'd expect that I'm far from the only one to do that.

As for my son...no one was supposed to know about that! Keep it quiet please :p

Awesome that you found him though, and look to be signing him? Hope he does well for you!

How do you train your players, in the youth teams, I can't imagine getting anyone close to Gitschier. Also what's your coaching setup?
I usually have them training a role, not always the one I want them to play, but the one with the best spread of attributes that I want increased. Other than that it's probably just good coaches and facilities really, not sure that I really do anything differently. Gitschier has been part of the first team squad rather than youth team the whole save though I think, although he didn't play much in the first couple of seasons.
 

PatrickLFC

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Sorry guys, haven't played this for a couple of weeks but I realised I still had an update ready that I hadn't posted!


View attachment 137413

View attachment 137412

We thrashed Azerbaijan despite putting out a rotated side, as we were to face Scotland three days later.



We fell two goals behind in 25 minutes against Scotland, but turned things around and netted an incredible FOUR goals in the next 20 minutes to head into the break two goals up! Martin made things interesting by scoring in the second half for the Scots, but captain Nilsson netted his first international goal to wrap up a superb away victory for the Swedes!
 

PatrickLFC

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What stats do you think are key for attackers,midfielders,and defenders
Mostly the key attributes for the role I want them to play, but then others like Composure, Technique, Pace. For example, if I see a young CB with decent attributes for a CB role, but 2 Technique, 3 Passing and 3 First Touch then I won't go near him even if he has 5 star potential, because I want my centre backs to be able to control and pass the ball, even though I don't use them as BPD. With fullbacks, mine tend to get a number of assists from crosses, so if there's a 5 star young fullback but his Crossing attribute is 4 then I won't bother.

Things like that, I guess I just wait for a more complete package to come along, because there are always so many out there, and it seems lots of people sign as many as possible. I do sign a fair few, but I try to be more selective I guess
 

PatrickLFC

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So after a two month hiatus, I opened up the game again and have since completed the 2021/22 season. I dispensed with writing updates, figuring that the story was pretty much done, but I thought I'd post an update of what turned out to be Southampton's most successful season ever!

To begin with, our defence of the Premier League was pretty poor, and that's being kind. At one point we trailed Chelsea by 7 points, and I was willing to accept that we were about to lose our stranglehold on the league, the one trophy I had been able to win consistently. We lost 7 league matches, all on the road, Chelsea took 4 points from us, and our away form was extremely patchy. However, we ended up having the last laugh as other teams did favours for us, and we finished 5 points clear at the summit despite losing to Manchester United on the last day courtesy of two goals in the last 3 minutes.

In the League Cup, we made it all the way through to the Final again, with a comfortable 4-0 aggregate thrashing of an Arsenal side that had beaten us in the league the highlight of our trip to Wembley. We saw off a resurgent Man United, who made some excellent January signings, comfortably in the Final to seal a maiden Domestic Cup for the Saints under my stewardship. About time!

The FA Cup was a much bumpier ride. When the Quarter Final draw came out, I almost accepted defeat then and there, as we were handed the toughest possible fixture - a trip to Stamford Bridge, where just days before we had been beaten 1-0 in a potentially title-deciding fixture. We set up quite defensively and the game seemed destined for a stalemate and a St. Mary's replay, which would have been fine, until the superstar that is Moritz Gitschier, having just returned to fitness, popped up with a stoppage time winner! Gitschier missed 20% of the season, according to my physios, and a number of our defeats came about with him sidelined.

We faced Tottenham at Wembley in the Semi Final, and an entirely rotated lineup took the field due to a prioritising of our Champions League Semi Final - more on that later - which was to come just two days afterwards. We were two goals up inside 7 minutes, but Spurs pulled one back and, almost predictably, found an equaliser in the 90th minute. Extra time came and went, and a shootout was required. Strangely enough, despite our poor shootout record and with probably the weakest set of penalty takers I've ever been able to choose from - and a backup keeper in goals - we slotted all four of our penalties while Spurs contrived to miss two, which saw us through to the Final. Manchester City provided us with much less drama, and we completed the domestic treble - quadruple, if you count the Community Shield.


The Champions League was my real goal though, and we were forced to do things the hard way. We dominated our away group match against Valencia but couldn't score, and a late winner from the Spanish side saw us drop our first points. We won our home fixtures 3-0, 4-0 and 8-0 over P$G, Valencia and CSKA respectively, but despite managing a 4-0 win in Russia, we fell 4-2 in France, a result which saw the Parisians claim top spot in the Group of Death.

In the Round of 16 we narrowly managed to see off one of the tournament favourites in Juventus, despite a second leg defeat. This saw us paired with last season's champions, SL Benfica, in the Quarter Finals. The Portuguese side, who cost me the chance to sign Marco Asensio to a new contract as he entered the final year of his deal by defeating us in last year's final thanks to a penalty shootout, were no pushovers. We controlled the first leg in Portugal, but found ourselves heading home empty handed, on the back of a 1-0 defeat. We were good enough to get the job done in the second leg though, triumphing 2-0 to see us vanquish the champions.

I knew before the draw was even made who we would face. Going neck and neck with them for the Premier League title, and having edged them in the FA Cup, Chelsea would be our Semi Final opponents. It was almost poetic. Real Madrid and Liverpool would contest the other Semi. In the first leg, we blitzed them in every way except on the scoreboard. We struck the woodwork no less than five times, but only managed to score two, and a late away goal to the Blues saw the tie hang in the balance heading into the second leg at Stamford Bridge. With results at the Bridge this season split evenly - a one nil win apiece - it was anyone's game. Fortunately, the team pulled through and a hard-fought match ended 2-1 in favour of the Saints. Meanwhile, Liverpool had placed themselves well with a 2-1 defeat at the Bernabeu, but a 4th minute red card to Emre Can in the second leg put paid to their chances, and a 2-0 win to the Galacticos ensured we would meet the tournament's most successful team in the Final.

We flew out of the blocks and took the lead in just the 3rd minute, before the pattern of the first leg of the Chelsea fixture began to emerge, a combination of Navas and the woodwork keeping Madrid in the match. A second goal finally arrived late in the half, and we headed into the sheds two goals to the good, with a shot count of 13-1 in our favour. The second half was nothing like the first though, as Madrid came out a changed side. They came close on a number of occasions, but despite the presence of tournament-leading scorer Ze Gomes, a UCL Champion with Benfica last season, couldn't find the net, and the fairytale was complete!

I spent 7 years waiting for an FA Cup, a League Cup or a Champions League, and they all came at once! A perfect record of 5 trophies this season ensured it will go down in Southampton history.


A few notes on player performance too. Dusan Jurcik and Jack Lovell were my preferred defensive pairing by January, and Laporte found himself on the bench more often than not. With his wages the equal highest in the squad at 185k per week, his future may be in doubt for next season.

Marcel Prins enjoyed a sensational season, and displaced the almost-as-superb Wellington in central midfield by the end of the year. The 19-year-old Prins' 9 Man of the Match Awards for the season, including in the Champions League Final, set a new record for the club.

The stars of the attack were of course Moritz Gitschier (23 goals), new boy Milenko Stojnic (24 goals) and Lukas Sindelar (25 goals), who split the burden between themselves. Gitschier was runner-up to Messi for the Ballon D'Or but triumphed over the Argentinian wizard to claim the World Player of the Year. They were ably supported by Sven Doebel (12 goals, 13 assists). Marco Asensio arguably trumped them all however, coming 3rd in both the Balon D'Or and WPOTY, with an incredible 18 goals and 20 assists in the final year of his contract. Surely the man had 100 contract offers to choose from, right?
Wrong.

Despite heavy interest from Juventus in November/December, by the time January rolled around and he was in the last 6 months of his deal, they had forgotten him. So had everyone else until about April, by which time Atletico Madrid started to take notice of his incredible form and even more incredible contract status. He was still on the transfer list, but apart from my promise to sell him and an outdated minor concern about wanting to play in a better division (the Premier League is top of the rankings), he was enjoying life at the club. So in early June, with less than a month left, I terminated his contract, and immediately offered him a new one, on wages which would see him comfortably outstrip Gitschier and Laporte as the club's top earner. Marseille, Chelsea and Liverpool were also quick to offer terms to the free agent Spaniard.

But he was not to be swayed! He is still without a club until July 1st, but will rejoin the Saints on a 5 year contract on that day. Finally the Asensio saga is resolved. I considered accepting defeat with regards to his departure - I have young players who would certainly be able to do a fantastic job in his position, and I don't doubt that we would remain amongst the world's elite without him, but I've become too attached to him to let him go that easily, even when it was potentially to Liverpool. And - eventually - it all worked out.

All's well that ends well.


Sweden meanwhile pulled off another remarkable comeback, this time against Holland, in the lead up to the World Cup, overturning a 2-0 deficit after half time to triumph 4-3 and demonstrate the mental fortitude of the group. A tough group saw us claim wins over Japan and Colombia, but fall to a 2-0 defeat against Spain, thanks to an Asensio brace. We face a rampant Germany, led by Gitschier, in the First Knockout Round and are likely to see our journey end, but anything is possible, right?
 
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osullm

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May 19, 2016
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Great to see this back! I was used to reading the updates on this every morning when I got to work.
Not sure how you can beat that season (maybe go unbeaten!!) but it will be good to see you try! Also back to back CL would be impressive!
 

PatrickLFC

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It so good to read your story ! Love that.
You have made a perfect season ! Gratz
Thanks mate, great to hear that you've enjoyed it :)

Great to see this back! I was used to reading the updates on this every morning when I got to work.
Not sure how you can beat that season (maybe go unbeaten!!) but it will be good to see you try! Also back to back CL would be impressive!
Thanks man, I'd guess it was something of a surprise to see it back after so long? I wasn't sure if I was going to post again but after the last season I figured I had to at least write about that. I procrastinated by writing 1600 words about this rather than an essay for uni :p

Definitely will be hoping for all 7 trophies next season, we'll see what happens :) I'll try post some more updates as I progress, but I doubt they will be as regular as they used to be
 
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