Nov 22, 2017
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One of favourite saves of FM past was with Feyenoord and i have always felt there was unfinished business with them as i never won a European title, that is my main aim for this career as more likely than not the league may get tedious after a few seasons, although that said, Losing to Ajax may hurt so much that it fuels a fresh challenge year on year, but my main aim is a Europa League and try to compete in latter end of Champions league.

Now i am already one season in at the time of writing but i have had such a promising end to the season and an outstanding transfer window that i wanted to start my little diary from here as i am very optimistic for the season ahead, i will do a quick recap of last last season, give a rundown of my squad including my best prospects as well as all this summers transfer dealings
My Strategy is to focus on the young prospects we have here and to get them up to speed as quickly as possible while finding cheap but good qood quality short term players who can come in for a season, tutor and hold the team together while the cubs are developing.

I always look to keep as much of the soul of the club together as i can, so players who have come through the ranks and are now elsewhere i will be monitoring looking to get them back if possible,

Wages are obviously going to be a problem down the line and i have reckoned out that our top earner can really earn no more than 30k (and this will only be handed out in exceptional cases) without risking ruin so i will be creative in the loan market

Absolutely no players affiliated with Ajax!!
First impression First Team

A little bit underwhelming to be honest especially if you compare it to Ajax or PSV we were a bit off in terms of star quality, The defence is our strongest department but even Karsdorp and Van beek two players who have big teams sniffing straight away aren't awesome and if i receive tempting bids i will sell.

The same goes for Jorgensen and Tonny Vilhena they are very flaky and not clinical enough but the idea is that ill try to get some good performances out of them so that we get bids

Jordy Classie, and Jerry St Juste stand out players who can be the backbone of our team and who i will never try to sell, St Just is only 20 and looks like he will be a really classy BPD, Jordie is a mix of Pirlo and Lee Cattermole
So we were plodding along drawing a few here and there and then our first big test of the season, Der Klassiker View attachment 21468

Absolutely Sick, we were the better team but just couldn't finish them and then they did us right at the death, they were now about 9 points clear and the league chase basically over for us.

I knew big changes were needed in jan and i ended off pulling a couple of masterstrokes

In came big Ron Vlaar from AZ, Feyenoord through and though and the leader we needed at the back, Like i said Sven Van Beek is good but he is not quite a BPL and can't jump or head well enough to be the no nonsense guy, Vlaar is a beast and for 1.8m with add ons a bargain

I knew we needed a proper finisher and i suddenly thought of Jannsen, never plays at spurs and could probably loan him, turns out he actually came through Feyenoord ranks so i knew i had to have him, 40k a week we couldn't afford but i upped the monthly fee so in total he will cost about 2.5 mill but we are getting a top class player, Done deal

I also earmarked Leroy Fer, he is on 40 and at swansea but they were more than happy to loan him out on a similar deal to Janssen, Perfect partner for Classie and the Soul is back in midfield

Finally just when i was happy with my business i saw Marco Van Ginkel for loan, No affiliation to you know who and a potential quality player in there if you can get him right done,

To bankroll this spree i managed to offload Vilhena to Marseille for 4 mill and Jorgenson for 5m plus i keep him for rest or season, sweet deal, and now we are starting to look a decent outfit
The Future

I just want to jump the timeline for a minute and run through our prospects,

Justin Bijlow- View attachment 21462 Ended up playing a Bigger role than anticipated last year(more on that later) but he is no doubt our long term no1

Jari Schuurman- View attachment 21461 Ajax may have Van Der Beek but we have Jari, i know you are not suposed to have favourites but this is my big hope, i just really rate him, both footed and plays anywhere in midfield, when i realised we weren't going to win Eredivisie i gave him loads of game time just to aid his development, plus a few Europa appearances, he's now on a good loan at Roda as a key player and i will be watching him closely

Emil Hansen- View attachment 21460 This lad kind of crept up on me, seemed ok nothing particularly special at first, but he took his tutoring straight away and then seemed to explode, lovely first touch for his age and another i am taking great care of now, only a great loan move will do other wise i will just play him myself ala Shuurman

Nigel Robertha-View attachment 21458 Another who just got better and better once tutoring kicked in, will be a good quick strong player to pair with a goalscorer, will get his chance

There are a few others but there not worth me listing untill they start to show these 4 levels of progression
The one mistake i made was selling our goalkeeper Vermeer on deadline day, he finished tutoring Bijlow and it never quite took so i brought in someone else to finish job and then noticed Vermeer listed as one of his favourite clubs and that was it, but what it did was left me screwed for Europa League, i could only register 3 new players so Janssen Vlaar and Fer all got the nod and i was left without a GK, great for justin as he got experience like he never would have expected but it left us so vulnererable, soft to medium shots were just going straight through him,

A big moment in our season came at Porto, i was using a 3412 formation but i was never quite balanced enough and i was constantly tinkering with the front 3 when i had my lightbulb moment, i just pulled back the 2 center mids but giving them licence to run or roam and we totally clicked as i will show

Porto home-View attachment 21453 View attachment 21452

Porto away- View attachment 21451 View attachment 21450

These 2 games really made me think that we can actually do this, maybe not this year but we aren't far off, Toonstra was instrumental in the hole, fer was running from deep and linking up and Janssen was pouncing on anything that fell his way,

Of course i realized we couldn't win it this year purely because Bijlow is out of his depth currently, maybe you can get away with a rookie in other positions but a goalkeeper is suicide
Borussia Gladbach- This was our major breakthrough moment, after drawing 2-2 at De Kuip and being outplayed to be totally honest i didn't hold much hope in the away leg, then 2-0 down after twenty minutes actually had me considering my resignation, and then this- View attachment 21431 from nowhere we just clicked and went on an absolute rampage, it could have even been more,

we beat Inter in Quarters before succumbing to Man Utd but by now all i am thinking about is the summer and who we are going to bring in,

I renegotiated to extend Janssen and Van Ginkle for another year but Swansea wanted Fer back at end of the season
Summer Time

And so to the summer, 7m was what i was given by the board and a GK and a LB were priority,

Sebastian Saja-View attachment 21427 38 and out of contract from Zaragoza, wanted 18k a week but Napoli and couple big names were interested in him so i count him as a bit of a coup, willdo lovely even for one season untill Bijlow gets back

Marvin Zeegalaar- Ok i broke my rule on this one because he is from Amsterdam and did come through Ajax but he was 250k (750 with add ons) and only 7k a week, plus we got him from Sporting so we are not dealing directly with them and he does'n't seem to have any attatchment to them

Joaquin Ardaiz- FREE- View attachment 21425 Can't fail really only a 100k signing on fee and 4k a week, if he flops no big deal and if he exploads then he will make us rich, needs tutoring quick

Kasper Kusk- View attachment 21424 I have always had my eye on this player, not exeptional but had very unique style and skill set, with my new 3412 the right wing or def wing and more a free role and this guy is a leftfooted right mid playmaker, so could be interesting, problem is Kuyt plays there, so does kardsrop and Van Ginkle and shuurman, but hes only 800k

Ferdi Kadiogu- View attachment 21423 This was where i reached a bit of a cross roads, As much as i love my young bloods and believe in them, they are not quite what Ajax have, i want a supremely talented Dutch team and outside of Amsterdam there are only a handfull really out there, Mitchell Van Bergen would have been my dream summer signing but we are being quoted 16m so no chane of that, Ferdi on other hand was quoted at 6, so after a bit of negotiating we managed to thrash out 2.5 down rising to 8 on add ons.

So we were in a bit of a dilema, if we confirm both Kusk and Ferdi thats 4 out my 7m gone, and do we really need them, but then all our prayers were answered in the shape of rich mugs representing Paris, they wanted Rick Kardsdoorp and were willing to hand over 13.5m in straight cash, we played it cool and told them we would get back to them, put phone down then ordered a taxi to take Rick and familly straight to Rotterdam Airport on the 8*30 am flight to Paris, all the best lad

So now we are loaded and we can start looking at more quality to add,

View attachment 21416 Dario Bennedetto- Now this one may seem strange as we already had Jannsen who was performing outstandingly for us, but he is costing us a lot and he does't belong to us so there is no sell on and for a club like us we need to have an eye on money making as well as improving our side, sounds unromantic but we can't afford to be right now 15m in bank or not.
Ii made the decision to cancel Jannsens load (boosting another 4m to our budget btw) and going for this guy, 2.5 rising to 5 no sell ons and the add ons i always make difficult to hit and attribute wise he was just as good as jannsen plus alot quicker, 27 years old but i really like the look of him i think he will be the difference

Also to note we went for another dutch prospect in Thomas Buitink View attachment 21412 3.5 rising to 7.5 but we can afford it, only snag is we will need to re train him as a inside right but along with Ferdi these 2 are class, i really want Van Bergen still and i may even just pay the ridiculous amount but we are doing well at the moment making smart decisions i don't want to blow it,,but i may because he is ****** good
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A few updates

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Argentina seems to be a good ground to find cheap players,they will listen to offers for anyone. Ponzio and belluschi are both in the twilight of careers but will do good jobs plus they are excellent tutors, we overpaid a bit for Belluschi because they were not interested at all so we paid his buyout 3.8m which does irk me but he is good even if for a year he is better that Toonstra

The Bittersweet news is Valencia have bit 6m for Toonstra and Bayern 14M For Classie, i am torn as they are both key players who i love but that is great money that i can't really refuse, plus they both indicate that they want the move i am going to gamble that Classie won't be good enough for Bayern and ill be able to get him back (cheaper) next year

View attachment 21389 Classie replacement, similar player but only cost 4m, Feyenoord supporter as well

View attachment 21388 we needed someone to partner Bennedetto who will do all the work, wanted someone who was pure power goals don't matter to much
Ajax stunned- View attachment 1195824

In the curtain raiser we finally got the better of the enemy, they werent full strength but neither were we, i started Hansen at the *** request, we weren't great to be fair but Bennedetto scores a 30 yard screamer and ninga came off the bench for a late equalizer, we were perfect in the shootout with our GK scoring the winner to stick in the boot
so with the window soon coming to an end with the departure of Classie and Toonstra we are going to be sat on 25m with all our business done, so we will be looking at getting a luxury player, Van Bergen is top of the wish list but it seems wrong to ***** 20m on a 17 year old, we will wait it out for now and probably resort to dirty tricks in order to unsettle him

There is also a young lad at Monaco called Bongiovanni but i need my Wenger head on because we already have Schuurman and Hansen
If you Can Afford it, you can afford it

View attachment 21377 I didn't want the other pair to leave so to justify their sales and to give the fans something we just went out and got him, now we have the full set, Buitink, Ferdi and Mitch, but this is the Bright light who could go on to achieve what he wants, if we are serious about challenging for the Ultimate competition then we are going to need world class players and he will no doubt be a superstar

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we have smashed the club transfer record and we still have cash in the bank so that will do now, we have not been as good as last season and that is no doubt due to large turnover but these are my boys now and the work starts now

Regretting selling Jordie Classie and Toonstra together because the players we brought in aren't quite as good, Vormeer keeps getting booked withing first 10 minutes and puts me on edge all game, Kusk is lacking quality and keeps giving the ball away and Van Ginkel has seen himself promoted to No10 and he's more an engine with a bit of technical skill, worried ive done a spurs when they wasted the Bale money, also even though Bennedetto has started well scoring wise, im not as confident as when we had Janssen up front

Crashed out of the champions league in a qualifier to porto they smashed us 3-0 first leg andwe looked awfull, quietly pleased though as we at least have half a chance in Europa league.

Domesticly we have started ok drawing one and nicking three but Ajax look on a different level
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Sven Van Beek has been making noises about leaving for bigger club and i have no problems with that as i don't really rate him and interestingly just as he did that, a player i bid for a month before who i completely forgot about has handed in a transfer request
View attachment 21291 Always rated this player and he can play right back as well which we are short on so this came as lovely timing, note we also signed Doria a left footed CB from Marseille on loan to play in our new 3 at the back, so Ter Avest will replace Beek on the right with St Just Ball playing in the middle making a really solid trio, really exited about the potenial

Also picked this guy up while waiting to but Van bergen View attachment 21290 I love his PPMs and could play one of three roles but i like the idea of him as a deep lying roaming playmaker like Yaya Toure, not the quickest but tecnically great and he is being tutored by Belluschi who has about 6 PPMs himself so will be interesting if he adds those to his already large bag of tricks

Speaking of Van Bergen, Oh My God! We have been inundated with loan offers from thirty odd teams from better leagues and from champions league teams even though he isn't listed for loan, i thought about it and decided maybe it would be even better for his development playing in a stronger league so i accepted offers from Nantes and Augsberg because they had great facilities and offered key roles,

But then before finallising the deal we had an away game at Go Ahead Eagles, he started on the bench for the game
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View attachment 21285 Already 2-0 up with 16 minutes left i thought i would throw him on just to have a look at what i have gambled 4 years worth or transfer budgets on and i just didn't expect so much, he just looked so exciting everytime he got on the ball and looked a real menace, it reminded me of Ronaldo's debut for Man Utd vs Bolton, and this was only 16 minutes, he was playing on two's and taking men on it was a joy, then broke the lines and was one on on before smashing it with his weaker left foot near side off the post, The loan now surely has to be cancelled as there is no way i can let this kid out of my sight

And finally speaking of kids, i forgot to list this lad in prospects as he is really young but in alot of FM wonderkids list people may be familiar
View attachment 21282 Well a bit like Shuurman and Bijlow he is benefiting from us being slightly short squad depth wise so he's getting more minuted than he probably warrants but i don't mind, and when he replace Vormeer he actually executed the role how i wanted in my head better than him so things are looking up for us
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