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Martin Pickard: Valencia CF (Season 2 – Friendlies and Transfers)

Hey everyone!

Welcome back for another installment of my Valencia FM11 Story. In the last post I showed you our amazing finish to my first season in charge of the debt ridden club, a season I will never forget. We managed to finish in 3rd place in La Liga but the best of all we also managed to reach the Champions League Final only to fall at the last hurdle to the mighty InterMilan…an amazing achievement. So lets get on with the post and let me show you the new faces who I will try and recreate the excitement of last season with, also the Friendlies and our fate in the Champions League Group Stage Draw…

But first some BREAKING NEWS

Yep I met with the board and they were pleased to hand me an improved and longer contract :)

So before I introduce you to our new signings let me share with you there two profiles…

Both these players were on season long loans last year (not organised by me] and return toValenciafor the coming season. Rami is a fantastic Defender with bags of pace and strength and his tackling is also brilliant and Renan will be my no.1 this season with Cesar leaving the club at the end of last season, now on to the transfers…

Transfers OUT

With Cesar, David Albelda and David Navarro all over 30 and all on silly wages it was time to let them go, I was a bit reluctant to let Albelda leave because he had performed so well but I couldn’t justify keeping a £92,000 a week 30+ year old. Navarro was also a high wage but I knew Rami would be coming back to Valencia so losing him wasn’t a problem and it was the same with Cesar plus he was 39 years old. Aiser Del Horno and Manuel Fernandes were never in my plans and the 7.1m I managed to get for them would definitely help improve the squad. There were also departures for Jonas (2.7m), Bruno (2.9m) and Alejandro Dominguez (2.3m), these players never really made an impact and wouldn’t really be missed. There were loan deal for Sunny, Angel Montoro, Sofiane Feghouli and Michel, none of these players are in my plans but no offers came in for them so loans deal it was to bring in so cash. In total I received £15.75m from sales and loans. Now on to the important bit…the ins :)

Transfers IN

I was a busy manager, bringing in 7 players and 2 youngsters coming into the Valencia squad. Let me introduce you to them…

Diego Castro is a fantastic La Liga winger, he’s small and fast and has a fair decent long shot on him. Castro put pen to paper in January and now joins us on a free and his contract is ridiculous, only £14,500 per week, in my eyes he’s a bargain and one of the main reasons Alejandro Dominguez was sold. He’ll act as cover and can play both Left or Right Wing.

Like Diego Castro, Cani signed in January and joins on a free. I felt Ever Banega didn’t perform at times and there were times where I nearly offered him to clubs, so in come Cani to give my an option. He is very creative and also has good technical attributes and I know him well from my Club Brugge save.

Another free and also another player I bought during my time at Club Brugge, Jonathan is a strong looking Rightback who possess the right stats to be able to get forward and put crosses into the box. He’s just as good as Iraola and I’ll be able to rotate these two and also be confident that they’ll both do a similar job.

I hadn’t even heard of this player until I was reading someone’s post in the forum (sorry I can’t remember who you are but thanks :)). With David Albelda leaving I needed a replacement and Mudingayi would fit the bill just nicely. I honestly think 2.5m is a steel, his stats are brilliant and £22,500 per week is brilliant compared to Albelda’s £92,000.

Zhirkov was offered to me by Chelsea and I didn’t hesitate to accept, Yury is a brilliant left sided player and will provide excellent cover whether its Leftback or Left Wing. The price tag is a bit steep and his £55,000 per week wages are a little high but, if it doesn’t work out I’m sure I’ll be able to sell him for more than the money I paid.

His guys stats don’t do him justice. I scouted him a few times last season as he was on loan at Villerreal and he performed near enough week in week out. When West Brom offered me him for 1.2m I didn’t hesitate one bit. Both he and Cani played together at Villerreal so hopefully they’ll be able to link up again but this time at Valencia:)

I still thought even with Adil Rami returning to Valencia the defence was a bit weak if Rami or Mangane picked up an injury, I didn’t feel the other centrebacks would be up for the task, so in comes Alvaro Dominguez. He’s a young homegrown talent and already has good stats and has bags of potential. He is a bargain at 9.75m and will be great cover.

Now on to the potential wonderkids…

This chap was found on the processing screen…yes processing screen. I was waiting for the game to process and the a friendly match result appeared and he’d score 6…yes 6 goals in a friendly…I quick scouted him and he has 4 star potential. He doesn’t currently have brilliant finishing stats, so they may have been 6 tap ins lol.

This youngster is special however. At only 17 he is already nearly as good as my reserve keeper Moya. After finding Johan den Ouden, I sent my best scout off to report of Kooiman (Once I’d messed with player search and using Darren Smith’s wonderkid search filter). He’ll benefit from first team football but can also drop in to the u19s to gain some game time. Sadly with FM12 around the corner, we probably would see him mature into a world class keeper :(

So that’s the transfers done…now lets look at the Friendlies…

Again I chose to tour the USA, the amount of money a tour generates is amazing, for just them four matches we received just short of 900k which is brilliant. With 3 win from 4 matches in US, I then picked us to play against Ajax who are a tricky team to beat but, they were no match for us at the Mestalla and we’d ended the pre-season with a comfortable victory.

One of the good things about the Spanish season is that the Champions League Group Draw is before it kicks off, I was hoping for another thrilling campaign…a possibly final? Ha no I’d be happy with a quarter final appearance at least. So let take a look at who we were drawn against…

Oooo Porto, Spartak Moscow and Young Boys. Now you might think that group is fairly straight forward BUT, Young Boys knocked ManchesterCity out the play-offs so I was I tad nervous. FC Porto are a difficult team to beat and Spartak were Russian Champions and wouldn’t be in the competition just to make up the numbers. Wish me luck :)

Just before I end the post…what did the bookmakers make of our chances in La Liga and the Champions League…

So that’s it for this post, thank you again for reading it fantastic logging on and seeing that people have commented on my post…really means a lot people :). The next post will bring the results up to the mid point in the Spanish League.

Thanks again

Martin Pickard

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Johnny Karp
9 years ago

Excellent signings Martin and you spent a reasonable amount on the new players. The squad is definitely stronger now so you shouldn’t worry about the likes of Young Boys or Spartak ;)

Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
9 years ago
Reply to  Johnny Karp

Cheers Johnny, I’m really happy with the signings I’ve made…Castro is probably my best buy in all honesty, there was alot of interest for him. I’m not too worried about Spartak and Young Boys but the Manchester City result sure raised afew eyebrows lol

Darren Smith
Admin
9 years ago

Some nice signings mate and you look set to challenge the top lot this year. I don’t know if a repeat in Europe is possible but I certainly hope so.

Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
9 years ago
Reply to  Darren Smith

I hope the signings will help close the gap…last year felt a bit embarrassing to be honest, but fingers crossed and you never know!

vaibhavc
vaibhavc
9 years ago

Hey Martin
A lot of great players came on a free. Cani looks amazing. Your team looks really strong, and maybe you can repeat Europe but this time go one step higher. You may have to play quick though, only 2 weeks till FM12 comes out!

Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
9 years ago
Reply to  vaibhavc

I’m really pleased with the transfer and to get anyone on a free is a bonus especially Cani and Castro. Hahaha don’t worry fella I won’t be starting my FM12 save until I won some silverware with Valencia :)

Dan
Dan
9 years ago

You’ve brought in quality players and I’m sure this year will be another good one for Valencia and hopefully you can go one step further in the Champions League.

Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan

Cheers pal, the team looks alot better, definitely put my mark on the team. Oh I’d love another Champions League Final…maybe an easier run lol

George Dobson
George Dobson
9 years ago

Well done great signings good luck

Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
9 years ago
Reply to  George Dobson

Cheers Pal :)

Laxeyman
Laxeyman
9 years ago

Good signings Martin, and with Rami also coming back, he and Dominguez should be fantastic at the back, and you’ve also strengthened your midfield well too :) Hopefully this season you can close the gap on Real and Barca, good luck!

Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
9 years ago
Reply to  Laxeyman

Cheers pal…Dominguez is definitely an exciting prospect and im glad hes around to partner Rami or Mangane. I’m definitely look to close the gap…even if it’s just a little lol

Martin - F.M.J.S
9 years ago

Hi Martin
Some good signings. I think you should Qualify for the first round knockout stage of the CL, only Porto will be a challenge i feel but good luck and look forward to your next post

Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
9 years ago

Cheers bud! The knockouts are definitely what I’m aiming for and also to close the gap on Barcelona and Real Madrid.

MDTM
MDTM
9 years ago

Hey Martin,
The signings look great and looks like you have strong squad now! The CL draw could be a lot tougher in my opinion and you should be able to qualify for the knockout round. Best of luck for the season!

Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
Martin 'Pellow' Pickard
9 years ago
Reply to  MDTM

Im really pleased with the summer signings. Yeah looking at the other groups we have got it a little easier. Cheers again

Kevin
9 years ago

Hi Martin
You’ve made some terric signings and look especially strong between the goal posts with youth and experience. Very astute in taking your team to the US for friendlies, making quite a bit of money. That’s something I’ll have to look at in future saves!

sport mafia
9 years ago

Cheer up! Nice sign up there…You have a great player and your one step away to a successful manager.

CsAtlantis
9 years ago

Looks like as far as Mudingayi is concerned, the cat is out of the bag, you’ve made some interesting signings, that young striker could turn out good, but who did he put 6 goals past, was it a non-league team?

Some good frees and cheap bargains, Dominguez and Rami should help out with the defense too

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