Welcome back as we hoped to continue our strong form condemning the expected relegation struggle, to bring you back up to date we were sitting in 6th place but had a trio of top clubs chasing us – Gladbach, Wolfsburg and Schalke were all within 3 points of us and I had mentioned I had hoped we could finish below these clubs and no further down.
As the title suggests we were ravaged by injuries and for a large period of time were without 6 first team players and if I’m honest our depth just isn’t there at the moment so we had a much poorer second half of the season. Excuses I know.
We were able to put together a cup run due to being quite lucky in the draws and avoiding the big teams, after beating Leipzig 3-2 AET we were handed a tie against mid table Freiburg and despite losing a goal after a minute we responded to win 2-1 despite Felix Kroos being sent off on the 75th minute.
We were in the quarter finals and noticed Bayern and Dortmund were the only big teams left in the draw and we managed to avoid them drawing FC Nurnberg who were playing in the 2. Bundesliga.
We dominated this match from start to finish running out 3-0 winners Ben Arfa scored a penalty in between goals from 17 year old Maximillian Hensel and Markus Altendorf who were both impressing me.
We are in the bloody semi finals – Bayern, Dortmund or lowly Augsburg would be our opponents and we went and drew Augsburg. I took this as an almost certainty we would be in the final and forgot we had lost 6 of our best players so it turned out to be tough.
We never turned up as we can but matched them and went 1-0 up on the 62nd minute through pressure down the right and the ball turned in by their defender Jeffrey Gouweleeuw but would lose concentration and concede just 2 minutes later.
We would then have a chance on the 87th minute to win it with a penalty but Ben Arfa missed, it would go to extra time and then penalties..
We would miss 4 of our 5 penalties and lose 2-1, Ben Arfa missed a penalty in the shootout as well. Prick
So this is tough to look at, reviewing things we were fine until Dortmund onwards – 13 points picked up from 7 games is good form but then a couple of things happened.
We would lose a variety of first team players around this time and we would go on to face Dortmund, Hamburg and Hoffenheim in a row, 3 teams pushing for Champions League qualification.
The 2-1 win over Gladbach was massive with Clough scoring first and Kreilach grabbing the second on the counter and the three wins on the bounce was fantastic if not expected with Hensel scoring this goal below against Ingolstadt.
We then picked up a well fought point with a 1-1 draw with Leipzig then beat Stuttgart 3-0 away which I was pleased with, then we didn’t score for 4 games and were battered 5-0 and 8-0 by Bayern and Leverkusen respectively, I’m ashamed…
One thing I would say is on the last day we were 2-0 down to Augsburg but we turned it around to 2-2 and with that we sent those bastards down which was pleasing and jumped from 10th to 9th. Clough equaliser below, Altendorf does most of the work
I was annoyed with our second half of season form but we did have tricky spells combined with horrible luck with injuries with a first team lacking in proper squad depth so I understood why it happened and taking a step back this was our first season ever in the Bundesliga.
We had defied the odds of 18th place to be very comfortable and that prize money was going to be beautiful.
In the course of the season I was also offered a 3 and half year deal until summer 2022 which I was obviously delighted to agree to, there were some staff changes in the summer which I will discuss on the next update too.
I forgot to take a screenshot when our finances were at it’s peak but we had £40 million in the bank and had made a £32 million profit from last season, heavily down to the incredible £46 million prize money for finishing 9th.
I also love this addition to FM 17 below and was delighted with the increase in sponsorship, the visual impact does a lot even if it is just a very small addition to the game.
An extra £6.75 million per year in sponsorship was very pleasing and seeing prize money at just over £50 million is sensational.
Some players did reasonably well given the step up and so I should let you know who impressed, Zach Clough provided 11 goals and 7 assists in his first season at top flight level. Given he was out for 2 months this season through injuries it’s been a decent season for him but expect more going forward.
Fabian Schonheim was our best centre back by far again this season and he’s Mr Reliable even at 32 years of age, a 7.32 average rating shows how important his performances have been.
Ben Arfa was a strange one, he’d light up a game and be a match winner then give me a 6.2 the next 2 games and had clearly lost some of his pace now however it has been a worthwhile signing and hope he can improve next season.
Lastly Maximillian Hensel and Markus Altendorf had breakthrough seasons, both lads I signed in my first season at 15 years old and they broke through due to high potential and injuries later in the season.
Hensel provided 6 goals and 3 assists in 12 starts, 3 man of the match awards and a 7.22 average rating. He also claimed the German u17 Player of the Year award, Altendorf the runner up.
Altendorf has really developed well this season with 9 goals and 2 assists in 24 starts, impressive at 17 years old and due to his performances I have agreed a new longer and improved deal with him but this below annoyed me.
@FM_Grasshopper will share my annoyance at this – on that note go and check him out as he blogs about his time with Estudiantes in South America, one of the best FM bloggers about.
Anyway I’m rambling so he demands a new deal, I ask him to sack his agent which he does and before I can offer him a new deal he’s hired a new one so can’t avoid the agent fee.
This year was another fairly strong youth intake with Markus Maul having the highest potential but four others with at least 3 potential stars too and their attributes at such a young were promising.
Most have fairly decent personalities too but will look to tutor them to improve and help aid their development, whilst 16 year old Christos Angelikousis was developing well but as he’s 16 he can’t play or go on loan yet so he was stuck where he was.
Sneak peak at transfer news
I was pro-active and after having tracked this lad for over 8 months I had noticed he was transfer listed by Napoli and his asking price had dropped from £6 million to just £4.1 million, I had to move quick on this one.
Despite interest from Hamburg they never actually bid and he amazingly agreed to join Union Berlin. £4.1 million and £36k p/w was a delightful deal. Welcome Emanuel Mammana!
Thanks again for all the support for the blog, it really does mean a lot and interacting with those who are enjoying it is making me enjoy this even more. If you do enjoy this then please give it a retweet on twitter, I’m @johnmcintosh19 or comment in the comment sections below or on twitter and I’ll get back to you.