Time To Push The Boat Out

901So, it’s time to begin the fourth season of the Bayer Leverkusen save, as we enter the 2022/23 season. This save is still very much alive and I plan to continue it for a few more seasons, so there’s no concerns about this save stopping (I am considering an African international save before FM16). In the last update, we finished the third season, and repeated (if not quite matched) the epic highs of the second season, winning the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and the Champions League, whilst adding to that with both Supercups and the Club World Championship. All in all, that’s 6 trophies, the best season we’ve had so far in this save.

It’s meant that we’ve risen up the club rankings, moving from 15th to 9th in the world, above PSG and Real Madrid, who have really declined over the past few years. Juventus are 4th in the rankings, which I find strange, as we’ve dominated them every time we’ve played them since I took over.

So, Can We Repeat?

901So, we’ve reached the end of the third season of the Bayer Leverkusen save, and this is probably the fastest I have ever played FM. I’m usually criminally slow, taking a couple of months to play just one season, but I’m enjoying this save so much and enjoying writing about it that I’m getting through it faster than ever before. So it’s time to update once again, and were we able to recreate the epic highs of last season, where we won the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and Champions League?

Well I’m hardly going to ruin that right now, but I will say that no matter what, I do consider this to be a successful season, one that has absolutely confirmed Leverkusen’s status as a top club in Europe. Still, this is by no means the end of the save, and I’m planning on taking things even further next season, including perhaps another tactical change. So, how did we finish in the Bundesliga?

Inconsistency, Idiocy and Yet More Changes

901So, we’re back with another update on the never ever boring Bayer Leverkusen save. This is probably the most complicated save I’ve had in a long time on Football Manager. You’d think after a season as dominant as last one that this one would be largely the same, and I’d continue with the same exact squad. Well, no. I’d identified that the squad was ageing in certain areas and certain players were no longer pulling their weight as much as they had in the previous two seasons. As a result, changes were needed.

Also a confession. This isn’t quite the usual mid-season update, because I’ve played through the transfer window, for reasons that you’ll see later. I was going to do a full season update, but with so much to discuss, I think you’d all be very bored by the end of that. Plus, I just love writing about this save.

Diamonds of Bayer Leverkusen

901So, pre-season is over at Bayer Leverkusen as we move into the third season of this save, and it’s definitely going to be an interesting one. In the last update we finished the second season, winning our second straight Bundesliga (remaining unbeaten), our first DFB Pokal and the Champions League, in our first season back in the competition. To go with the Supercup at the beginning of the season, this gave us a 4 trophy haul. It was quite probably the best season I’ve ever had on Football Manager, but there’s no time for us to rest on our laurels, and it’s time to move on, and keep things going.

There’s also some changes afoot. I discussed some changes that I wanted to make in the last update (particularly relating to Hakan and Kohr). These haven’t worked out yet (despite my best efforts with Kohr but he rejected a move to Liverpool), but there’s still been plenty of activity at Leverkusen over the summer. One of these days, I’m going to get a quiet summer transfer window, and retain everyone I want to. One day… Probably not. Unfortunately I’m probably going to lose out value wise with both, but I’m not going to sell Hakan for a pittance simply because he’s reached a certain age, and then bring in someone much worse because people won’t pay over £20M for him. I know his worth, and he’s been epic for me so far. I’ll move onto my plans with the #10 later, but for now, I’ll cover the transfers I’ve made, because they’re somewhat related.

The Perfect Season on FM15

901So, we’ve reached the end of the second season of the Bayer Leverkusen save, so it’s time to update, and there’s lots to talk about this time. Lots and lots. In the January update, we were sat 2 points clear of Bayern at the top of the Bundesliga with an unbeaten record. We were also still in the DFB Pokal, and had qualified for the First Knockout Round of the Champions League against Porto after easily making our way through as leaders of a group that featured Juventus (who have been kind enough to give away Youri Tielemans and Jose Luis Gaya over the past two years).

However, that was only the beginning, in what has become probably my best ever season on any edition of Football Manager. This Leverkusen save is also quickly becoming my favourite FM save ever. But anyway, first things first, how did we finish in the Bundesliga?

Making The Step Up

901I’ve reached the 1st of January again in the Bayer Leverkusen save, so it’s time to update you all again on where we currently stand in the 2020/21 season (but only the second season with Leverkusen, after I left the Sturm Graz job). This season we have had to withstand far more demanding football than last season. The Bundesliga has been a far different affair to last season due to the improvements I made to the squad over the Summer, but in Europe we’ve faced new challenges and sterner competition that we’ve had to deal with.

First and foremost though, how are we doing in the league, our bread and butter?

Risky Business

I’ve finished the pre-season 901of the second season of my Leverkusen save, so yet again it’s time to update you all on how things are going. In the last update, we won the Bundesliga and the Europa League at the end of season 1, and had somewhat recovered the financial situation, sitting with £9.71M in the bank, a hell of a lot better than the near £30M in the red were were in partway through the season.

I’d outlined that I needed a centre back, and probably a striker. I was planning on selling Jeison Murillo and possibly Julian Brandt. Things didn’t quite go to plan, but in the end I feel I’ve strengthened the squad, putting us in a good position both domestically and in Europe.

Sink, Or Swim?

901Well, the first season at Leverkusen is over, and what a season that was. It’s time to recap the second half of the season, and outline my plans moving forward. We’ve had dominating league wins over Dortmund, Schalke and Stuttgart, battles with Bayern, cup runs, and just to top it all off, financial difficulties as a result of the previous management (who somehow is favoured personnel at the club!). At one point we were £25M in the red, and I was seriously worried the club was going down, and I was going down with it. The proverbial sinking ship.

So, did I manage to turn things round, or is this a closing post for the Bayer Leverkusen save?

Bayer Leverkusen = Unexpected Highs and Lows

901Well, I’ve reached the end of January in the new Bayer Leverkusen save, so it’s time to update you all on how things have been going. Reading the last update, you’d expect the same rosy outlook in this update. Looking back, I’d cleared out the majority of the deadwood, made some fantastic signings in Cyril Bodin and Youri Tielemans, and created a 4-3-1-2 tactic that looked like it could take us to the league title. I apologise, but you won’t be getting that ‘rosy outlook’, and there’s a reason that I’ve had to play up until February before updating. Things have been crazy in Leverkusen so far this season, and it’s been a real challenge.

A Fresh(ish) Start – Again

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 19.50.04Yep, the grinning Austrian is back.

I’ve put the Bradford City save on the shelf for the time being, but it will return at a later date. I was starting to get frustrated with things as I started the Championship season, and rather than get annoyed at the game and end up getting rid of the save, I’m putting it down and moving on. I will go back to it though.

In the meantime, I’m back in Austria. Well, not really. Those of you that have been reading this blog for a while will remember my very promising (but very short lived) Stuttgart save earlier this year. I was hoping to be able to regain that save through holidaying again. However, things changed this time round. Stuttgart performed badly but didn’t sack their manager, and the job market went crazy.

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