Hello folks and welcome back to my trip across Europe. During my last post you saw AC Milan do the domestic double, we missed out on the Europa League after a last gasp loss to Porto. Some excellent signings during January helped me guide the Rossineri from 10th position after 13 games to an incredible title triumph. The Ultimate European challenge requires me to win a title and domestic Cup in England, Germany, Italy, Spain and France. I also have to win the Champions League twice with any club, add to this the fact that I had to start unemployed and you’ve got a great challenge. If you would like to try it for yourself just visit the Ultimate European Challenge rules. Below is my career to date.
– Hamburg SV, Germany (2010-2012)
– AC Milan, Italy (2012-present)
- Bundesliga (German) title – 2012
- German Cup – 2012
- Serie A (Italy) title – 2013
- Italian Cup – 2013
Expectations and odds: After a great first season in charge, the board expected a title challenge. I wasn’t too keen on the budget offered so upped this to actually winning the title. A big risk as a bad season would probably see my departure, but it is worth the risk for a £20 million budget.
The media seem to agree with me, but my closest rivals, Inter Milan, are held in high esteem as well. The 5-1 odds show how close this league really is with Roma coming in at 6-1. However, the next contenders are Juventus at 16-1. This would be worth a couple of quid in real life. :)
Transfers out: As you can see below, the list for players leaving AC is huge. I saw them all as deadwood and wanted to cash in on their wages mainly. This was done and I could adjust my transfer budget a lot to bring in new faces. You will notice Gattuso has left on a free transfer…the board are furious about that decision, hopefully they won’t hold it against me all season.
Transfers in: With an ageing squad and one lacking for strength in depth, I decided to focus on many areas. Central midfield was a big concern as Ronaldinho and Pirlo lack the stamina to play a full game. Plus my bench consisted of players that wouldn’t make most top flight sides. Therefore I strengthened with two Belgian players that are very talented. I also invested on the wings by Purchasing Alexis Sanchez who can play on the left or right. My favourite signing however was Aogo from my old club HSV. The left back assisted an incredible amount of goals from corners. After adjusting my wage budget I managed to spend £35.5 million, a lot considering our debt but I know we can pay it back this season.
Steven Defour: Bought on a free transfer, the midfielder will be vital this season. He has a great understanding of the game and should provide some much needed leadership.
Axel Witsel: Another Belgian midfielder, however Axel cost me £13 million. He is very versatile and has a lot to his game. I will use him as the supporting midfielder or instead of Ronaldinho as the advanced playmaker. His role will be judged by performances and I hope to find his best position quickly.
Alexis Sanchez: Probably one of the best wingers on FM, Alexis was signed from Sunderland for £13.5 million. His minimum release clause was a major problem for Sunderland, but very beneficial for me. Sanchez has blistering pace and scores goals from the wings. He will play a huge part in my starting XI.
Dennis Aogo: The German left back was signed for £8.75 million from my most hated club HSV. He has pace and great technique. Aogo can also cross the ball very well and I know how to get the best from him after a brief spell in Germany. Aogo is fantastic from corners and will pair up with my centre back Silva perfectly to provide goals.
Squad: After a lot of action in the transfer market, I am now very happy with my squad. We seem to have every position covered and my wing positions look especially strong. With superstars Vella and Sanchez as my primary wingers, my backup players would walk into most sides, Robinho and N-Zogbia can make a big impact from the bench.
Italian Super Cup vs Napoli: My first game of the season was in the Italian Super Cup and I had some testing opponents. Napoli have fallen short during all of our fixtures to date. I was hoping to make this a third victory and get my season off to a winning start. Using the same tactic as in the Italian Cup final, I played a 4-5-1 with standard strategy. A very deep defensive line, very narrow width and very slow tempo has become my favoured tactic in Italy. Witsel, Sanchez and Aogo were to be offered their debut in this tie. Lets see what happened in the match highlights.
Witsel gave a stunning performance with both one goal and an assist. He also showed a great range of passing, which will be vital to breaking through strong defences. Hope you all noticed Aogo’s corner landing straight onto Silva’s head :) hopefully that was the start of a beautiful chemistry between the two defenders. This 3-0 victory showed a lot of promise for the season ahead as my side dominated the ball and made Napoli look like amateurs.
Fixtures: My next post will take us all the way to the end of November. With the Champions League to focus on I need to avoid any major injuries and hope for some luck in the draw. I can confirm that my CL group consists of Real Madrid, Leverkusan and Steaua. An OK group, but one I really want to finish top of. The Serie A fixtures look quite tough, but then again they always will with such competition in there.
Well that concludes today’s update. I hope you all enjoyed the read and I look forward to your comments. As always thanks for stopping by.
If you want to join us all in the Ultimate European Challenge, please follow the link and read the rules. Its very simple and should get us all into different cultures and styles of Football.