Como lo estamos Haciendo?

UECornella

Right, we’re partway into the league season, so it’s time to do a brief update on how we’re getting on. These results updates will happen at certain points of the season, because I really don’t want results to be the absolute focus of this save. Of course I’m looking to eventually gain promotion to La Liga, but I want to explore certain parts of the game that I’ve avoided for years (such as training or player development) or simply not had time to really involve in my saves. A tactical post is coming soon outlining my tactical approach for this save, but for now, here’s how we’re getting on in terms of results.

table1

At the end of September, we sit 12th in the Segunda B. As you can see, we are making an absolute living off draws at the moment, with one win, six draws and a loss. It’s hardly an incredible start, but this season is all about avoiding relegation, and beginning to set the club up for seasons to come. Our tactical approach I believe will help us with this long term, but I’ll be discussing that next time. We’ve had a somewhat difficult start to the season in terms of fixtures, playing several of the teams predicted to finish towards the top of the table such as Hércules and Lleida, but we’ve also played some of the bottom teams, and I would have liked to have picked up more points from those games.

Que es Cornellà?

UECornella

Right, after the first introduction post which outlined where I was going, and the new approach I’m taking with attribute bars, it’s time to go over who the club I’m managing – UE Cornellà – are. Firstly, Cornellà are in the Segunda Division B (Group 3), the third level of Spanish football and the lowest available in Football Manager 2020. Cornellà have an extremely unimpressive history, largely floating between the 6th and 4th levels of Spanish football since their formation in 1951, and have only been in the Segunda B since 2014/15. Their most noteworthy influence on Spanish football is their production of Jordi Alba.

Cornellà de Llobregat Weather Forecast

Cornellà themselves are from the larger community of Cornellà de Llobregat, which is in Catalonia and is part of the general area of Barcelona. In footballing terms, the area itself is more likely to be known for the presence of Espanyol. The city itself is historic, dating back to 980AD, becoming part of Barcelona’s territory sometime around the thirteenth century. Cornellà comprimises part of the working class area of Barcelona, and has been largely linked to immigration from the rest of Spain into Catalonia through its history. For this reason, Cornellà holds an interesting position within the wider context of the Catalonian Independence movement, and some within Catalonia who are pro-independence have argued that Cornellà is pro-Spain because of its Xarnego – a pejorative term towards immigrants from around Spain – links.

I’m Going on an Adventure…

UECornella

Welcome to a new save on this website and one that will be in an entirely new format. This save is going to follow almost a ‘forum’ format. Posts for this save will be relatively short, and each one will focus on a specific aspect of the save. Some will purely be about results and performances, some will be about tactics, some will look at player development, and some will focus on the bigger picture of the club itself. My aim with this is to plain and simply produce more content for the blog, in a way that I can document a save, and really delve deeply into what I’m actually doing. So, what am I actually doing?

Well, I’m off to Spain – a country I’ve not managed in since Eibar in FM15 – and the lowest playable league on FM20, the Segunda Division B – Group III exactly, with UE Cornellà. I’ve also brought in a manager from years back, Pere Busquets who played for me in my much loved Bayer Leverkusen save in FM15. Busquets was signed on the cheap from Real Madrid, and went on to be the utility player of dreams, playing central midfield and both full back positions. At the young age of 32, he now finds himself as manager of Cornellà. There are a lot of specific changes I’ll be making about my approach to the game with this save, from tactics to how I develop the club itself. Another important one is that I’m going to be playing with attribute bars rather than values, in order to give an extra level of challenge to the save, meaning I have to focus on scout reports, performances and statistics in order to find the value of players.

FC Groningen: Trots van het Noorden

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After the end of my one season save in the Belarusian Premier League with Torpedo Zhodino – where we won the title – the beginning of my Twitch save as manager of the Italian National Team (catch my Twitch account here and follow), the continuation of the irritating network save that I am part of with my good friends @turntostone_ and @watadam20 over at Turn to Stone’s twitch channel, I wanted a save that I could focus on progressing through at my own pace, and something that could get me back into writing. As a result I very quickly decided on going to Holland, having seen several people in the FM Community – Ed Wilson’s AZ Alkmaar series, Shrewnaldo’s ADO Den Haag series, Friday Night FM’s PSV save, and Curty and Herb’s network save with AZ and Feyenoord – having enjoyable saves in Holland, and having never played there since maybe FM13. After some discussion with @MerryGuido about which team to go for, I decided to go with FC Groningen, and this is the halfway point of the first season update.

Groningen itself is a very forward thinking city, something which helped it appeal to me. One in five people who live there are students, and the city itself is known for cycling, with a city centre that doesn’t allow cars. Plus, the bars stay open all night, so there’s that too. Lucky bastards students. The club itself hasn’t had much success in terms of trophies, winning the KNVB Beker in 14-15 and winning the Eerste Divisie twice – not that they really count. Aside from that, the club did push the top teams at the beginning of the 90’s, before financial problems led them to be relegated and have to build their way back up. Their best performance since has been a 5th placed finish in 2014. They play in the Euroborg stadium and have featured players such as Arjen Robben, Luis Suarez, Virgil van Dijk, Daley Blind and Ronald Koemann.

In The End…

TorpedoZhodinoLogo.pngHello, and welcome back to another update of my much loved Torpedo Zhodino save on Football Manager 2020. Last time, we left off with three games left to play in the Belarusian Premier League season, with us top of the table and possibly being able to win the league. The current updates for this save are here, here, here and here respectively. Before we continue, I should also mention that the final league game was played on Twitch, which is something I’m looking at doing more moving forward, so follow me on my Twitch channel to keep up with when future streams will be or catch up on old games. My network save the Italian Job also continued over at my good friend @turntostone_‘s Twitch channel. Anyway, back to Torpedo. How did we finish the season?

tablefinal

Yep, in the end we managed it. We became the first team to win the Belarusian Premier League not named BATE Borisov in 15 years…by one point from Shakter Soligorsk and Dinamo Brest. The league works on a playoff system, so if we had finished level on points, we’d have had to somehow determine a winner between three teams. We didn’t make the last three games easy, losing 2-1 to Dinamo Minsk, but then coming through clutch, defeating Energetik 3-1 before getting the draw that we needed on the last day, grinding out a 0-0 draw against Grodno that unfortunately didn’t provide the goalscoring entertainment for those watching on Twitch. Sorry everyone.

Surely Not…

TorpedoZhodinoLogo.pngHello and welcome back to another instalment of my journey in Belarus with Torpedo Zhodino. Firstly, I’ll say that the discussed rebrand (again, follow me on Twitter @JLAspey for extra information about this save) of Torpedo Zhodino is on its way for the second season, thanks to the excellent @requestakit. When we left off, I’d discussed the development of my 4-4-2 system, and then my decision to sell my ‘best’ player – by attributes anyway – Andrey Khachaturyan to Al-Ittihad for what will eventually be £69k – not a small amount of money for a club our size. I’m now only three games away from the end of the league season, and before I end the season I thought an update was fitting.

Firstly, the 4-4-2 actually didn’t make it very far past the second update of the save. I started to find it a little bland and predictable, playing very one dimensionally, and actually only being effective against the very top sides such as BATE Borisov. I switched to a 4-1-3-2, which served us quite well for quite a while. We dropped from 3rd to 5th, but then climbed our way back up to 3rd. However, I began to find the 4-1-3-2 rather toothless, playing nice football but not creating as many chances as I’d like. Funnily enough, my use of the tactic with Sampdoria in my network save over on Twitch has also given the same result. Therefore, about 3 games ago (there are only 26 games in a Belarusian Premier League season) I switched to this 4-4-2, and it has worked absolute wonders.

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Effective Decision Making on Football Manager

TorpedoZhodinoLogo.pngHey, these are coming thick and fast aren’t they? This won’t really be a save update as such, but I want to give an example of my thought process in Football Manager and how I go about the decisions I make, and I’m going to do this using things people have asked me about before in contract decisions and whether to re-sign or let someone leave. In case you’re just joining the save now, here is the first post, and here is the second one. If you’ve been following the save thus far, you’ll know that I’m playing a 4-4-2 system that has taken the save from being one that definitely wasn’t going to make it past the first few playthroughs, to one that I’m now planning as my main save for the forseeable future.

Khac

A Belarusian Adventure

TorpedoZhodinoLogo.pngRight, after my first post since my return to Football Manager where I kinda talked about the problems I’ve had at the beginning of my time with Torpedo Zhodino, I thought it was time to actually set out the save itself. This is very much a save in progress, unlike many of the saves in the past where I’ve had a specific approach that I wanted to follow, such as One Man’s Journey or With Club, For Country. Plain and simply – which is more than likely why I’m enjoying it – before being able to play the game, I decided on a random country that I wanted to play in for a change (Belarus Belarus flag image - country flags), and after that picked a club that I thought sounded interesting. Simples.

As you can see in this image, Zhodino – or Zhodzina – looks like a very stereotypical old Soviet town – though the cars do suggest this image may be slightly out of date. Indeed, that link and connection to the old Soviet Union world and era was part of the reason why I picked the team. Torpedo are actually called Torpedo BelAZ Zhodino because they are owned by BelAZ, the factory located in the city that employs 11,000 people, around 1/6th of the local population. CLubs being owned or affiliated with factories or government organisations was hardly unusual behind the Berlin Wall. The factory has been important throughout Soviet times, producing trucks that were used across the entiry of the Communist bloc. Torpedo themselves have a less important history, largely being a mid-table team in the Highest League (the top league in Belarus), winning the Belarusian Cup once, as well as the Belarusian Super Cup once. It hasn’t exactly been a glorious existence. Historically, that honor has gone to Dinamo Minsk in Belarus, and more recently, BATE Borisov.

When It Just Isn’t Working…

Football Manager 2020 - game artworks at Riot PixelsYes, I am back on Football Manager, finally. After my much documented (if you follow me on Twitter (@JLAspey) technical problems with my laptop I have eventually been able to afford a new laptop – thanks to all who helped me pick one – and given our current existence of lockdown and me working from home as a teacher, I’ve had plenty of time to get back into FM20. Despite that, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been easy, but more on that later. Before I continue, I do want to plug “The Italian Job”, a new Twitch series I’m doing with my good friends @watadam20 and @turntostone_ as we manage in Italy Image result for italy flag gif *insert Gazzetta theme*. I’m managing Sampdoria, and keep up with my Twitter for more info about when we’ll stream etc.

Anyway, back to my exploits since returning to FM20. My save is with Torpedo Zhodino in Belarus, a mid-table Highest League team, most noteable for being owned by BelAZ, the industrial company that employs around 1/6th of the population of Zhodino or Žodzina. Thus far, I don’t have much to report from the game itself, apart from some guidance about what to do if you find things difficult in a game.

The Road to the Show: II

Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 19.36.45Ok welcome back to my new series, a Let’s Play with my Starting Pitcher on the MLB The Show series of games. In the first update, we largely covered who my character is for this series. In short, he’s an 18-year old left handed pitcher named Riley Emerson from Massachusetts who focuses on controlling the strike zone with his pitches – hitting his spots and being accurate. Riley played in the Amateur Showcase (how the game determines your drafting, although you always seem to go in the 20’s), playing two games. In the first he started shakily, giving up four runs in two innings – two being through fielding mistakes – before calming down in the third giving up no urther runs. In the second game, he was much more comfortable, pitching three scoreless innings. Riley was then drafted in the 24th round with the 8th pick by the Atlanta Braves, and has begun his career with their AA affiliate club, the Mississippi Braves. So far, Riley has pitched five starts for the Braves, so I’ve decided to do my first update.

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