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Romanian FM 2012 Story: Preparing for Europe

Hello folks, it’s time for the post-title episode of my Football Manager 2012 story! As you surely remember we have won the title last season against all odds and beyond my most optimistic hopes. That didn’t solve our financial problems though, or not yet… My main goal for the summer was to reach the group stage of the Champions League or at least fall back into the group stage of the Europa League in order to get the club out of debt and into long-lasting prosperity. Let’s see what happened during pre-season…

I wasn’t expecting too much from the board in terms of wage and transfer money so I wasn’t too disappointed when they presented their expectations. I told them that we could challenge for the title again so I got 110,000 pounds for transfers and just a bit extra wage money. With so little money I have to say that I felt like a poor kid drooling outside a candy shop, there were quite a few great players interested in joining our club but I didn’t have the means to make those transfers happen… But we’ll get into details later.

As far as the bookmakers are concerned they believe that we can be somewhere around the title chasers, that’s quite pleasing for a change.

Now let’s see the transfers. I had to make some money, that was my task and I guess I did a decent job at that as we managed to get almost a million pounds through player sales. Some important names like Zarko Markovic, Vlad Rusu or Marius Albu left the club but I think I have brought in better replacements.

I spent all the money I had on a pair of new strikers but I also managed to make a trademark raid on the free transfers market for a few exciting youngsters.

Let me clarify everything with a detailed presentation of my squad, role by role (click on the player names to view their profiles):

Goalkeepers

Confirmed: Octavian Ormenisan, George Serban

New: Xaropinho (promoted from youth squad) – I usually don’t need a third goalkeeper but this time I had to promote this Brazilian kid due to an injury to Ormenisan.

Right backs

Confirmed: Ionut Peteleu, Alvaro Casanova – No changes here apart from the fact that Casanova will be used mostly as a right back this season after being a backup centre back last term.

Left Backs

Confirmed: Tshepo Tshabalala, Florin Krajcar

New: Constantin Grecu – Again, I don’t really need three left backs but since Krajcar and Grecu are injured I had to recall Tshabalala from loan.

Centre backs

Confirmed: Ionut Putanu, Timur Peniu

New: Edward Motha, Juan Belencoso – These two new lads are just great, they are very young but they should be perfectly capable of keeping us safe at the back this season.

Central Midfielders

Confirmed: Mihai Onicas, Alexandru Lazar, Dejan Danicic, Nenad Grumic, Corado Carstoiu, Ciprian Nastase – No changes here, not that I wouldn’t have wanted to bring in at least one quality midfielder but there were no good ones in my price range.

Strikers

Confirmed: Manoel, Joabe, Denis Alibec

New: Liviu Ganea, Raul Rusescu, Madalin Crenganis – This is where I made the most radical changes with two experienced strikers joining : Ganea (one that you might know from Lye‘s West Ham story) and Rusescu while Crenganis will probably spend more time in the youth team until he proves worthy of a first team spot.

I didn’t have much time for friendlies this summer as we were called into action as early as July 16th for the first leg of the Champions League Second Qualifying Round. Well, that was like a friendly to be honest as we totally thrashed Welsh champions TNS. I have to say that I totally understand Stromson‘s difficulty with Afan Lido after that game, Welsh football is incredibly weak from what I’ve seen on the pitch that day. The second leg isn’t included in the screen shot but it went smoothly, we won 1-0 and advanced to the Third Qualifying Round.

The domestic season started early as well, we had to face Cup winners CFR Cluj in the Romanian Super Cup just a few days after the TNS match.

Viitorul vs CFR Cluj (Romanian Super Cup)

Starting line up: Xaropinho – Ionut Peteleu, Edward Motha, Juan Belencoso, Florin Krajcar – Corado Carstoiu, Alexandru Lazar, Ciprian Nastase – Liviu Ganea, Manoel, Raul Rusescu

I was missing quite a few players and that’s why the starting eleven isn’t really my ideal one: Octavian Ormenisan, Constantin Grecu and Mihai Onicas were injured, Dejan Danicic was away on international duty while Nenad Grumic was suspended after the red card he received in the last match of the previous season. Despite all those absences we totally dominated the first half and we had 75% possession at half time. That was pleasing but not nearly enough as our domination was totally fruitless given that we only had one shot on target in 45 minutes.

The domination continued after the break and we finally managed to break the deadlock when a sensational pass from Raul Rusescu found Liviu Ganea, the striker was denied by the goalkeeper but the parried ball fell into the path of substitute Denis Alibec who slotted into the empty net. We had nothing to worry about until the final whistle, the match was totally under control and we lifted the second trophy in the club’s brief history. The worries did come after the game though: Manoel is going to be out for two months while Florin Krajcar will spend a little over one month on the sidelines.

Match highlights: click here to watch

After that glorious evening we’ll have to prepare for a gruelling schedule: first we take on Polish champions Lech Poznan in the Champions League and then we’ll face almost every big club in Liga 1! I have to mention that if we lose against Lech we’ll be entered into the Europa League play off so we do have a safety net there…

Here is our full squad, a bit more numerous that my usual squads but I had to deal with quite a few early injuries this season. When things will get back to normal two of the 24 players will probably be sent out on loan, most likely one of the goalies and one of the left backs.

The financial situation isn’t looking much better but things should get quite green if we get our hands on that Champions League money…

That’s about it folks, not too many exciting transfers I guess but that was all I could do given the financial drought. However, we claimed the Super Cup and advanced to the next round of the Champions League preliminaries so I guess things are going as planned so far. Well, maybe except those pesky injuries… Thanks a lot for reading folks, looking forward to your comments and suggestions.

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Tribalflames
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Tribalflames

Any Welsh team in the Champions League qualifying is ALWAYS welcomed. Shouldn’t be too difficult to get into the group stages, unless you get paired with a top team. Looking forward to more updates pal.

Laxeyman
Guest
Laxeyman

Some good signings Johnny and it looks like your squad is stronger than last year, so hopefully you can do even better! Great start in Europe against TNS, and I reckon you can keep it up and reach at least the Group Stages. Congrats on the Super Cup win, and good luck for the season!

Alex
Guest
Alex

Looks like you’ve made some good improvements to the squad (Xaropinho and Edward Motha being my favourites). Good luck with the Champions League qualification and the league campaign.

Kevin
Member

Hi Johnny
With small transfer budget I think you did rather well from your wheeling and dealing and got good value for money. Motha at centre back looks very good as do your two new strikers in Ganea and Rusescu. You started your domestic season nicely and good luck with those upcoming Champions League games.

Darren Smith
Admin

Some excellent signings there Johnny especially in defence where you seem set for many years. Pre-season seemed to go well and I can’t wait to see what happens in the Champions League, that is a competition that intrigues me this year.

vaibhavc
Guest
vaibhavc

You have one or two good young players in your team. Well done on getting past everyone in the Champions League so far, hopefully you can beat Lech.

Nik
Guest
Nik

Hi,
I don’t usually write comments, but I wanted to say this is a great story. Keep it up.
Might I suggest 2 young midfielders that might be in your price range? Borislav and Radoslav Tsonev are twin brothers that play for Levski. They are both deep lying playmakers and start up rather cheap. I bought them at the start of my second season in the Bundesliga and my assistant (JPA 19 JPP 20) and my best scouts say that they are going to be leading stars in the bundesliga.

nielsneutron
Guest
nielsneutron

So CRJ Cluj is a title contender in Romania and you trash TNS. What I don’t get is why played against TNS in the first place. I guess I am spoiling my forum story but I guess that beating Cluj with Bala is indeed a grat feat.

Love your story and good luck.

nielsneutron
Guest
nielsneutron

CRF Cluj ofc.

Martin - F.M.J.S
Guest

Some good transfers there Johnny on a small budget and congrats on the Super Cup win and also reaching the 3rd round stage of the CL. Good luck with the next match i hope you can beat Lech. :)

Lye
Guest

Hi Johnny,

It was a difficult transfer campaign but the players you have brought in are excellent. I know Ganea very well and Rusescu looks like a good fit too. Besides them, i like young Edward Motha who has attractive attributes at the age of 18. A good start to win the super cup and i hope to see you qualify for the group stages. Good luck.

CsAtlantis
Guest

Hi Johnny

Wow, for a club in the Champions League qualifying rounds your board sure is a bit tight with their purse strings, but if you can get your bank balance above red you should be good to go in the next transfer window

You have gotten some nice players despite the lack of money, hopefully you can upset the odds and progress in the qualifying rounds, you should get a few million even if you drop into Europa League

A good win against Cluj, hopefully this season will be as good or better than the last!

Stromson
Member

Now that’s what I call some serious wheelin’ and dealin’. ;-) I’m especially curious to see how your squad manages against Lech (it should be a good matchup). Good luck Johnny, looking forward to this. :)

Sears
Guest

You’ve signed some fantastic players Johnny, especially in defense. Hoping you beat Lech in the CL, though it will be a tough game no doubt. Goodluck!

Jack
Guest
Jack

Good stuff Johnny! It’s a shame the board didn’t give you much money but I know you will qualify for the ‘champions cup’ and the money will roll in! Keep the posts coming; this story is about to get serious.

Aaron
Guest

Hi Johnny, another great post. Hope you can make the Champions League you’d really be able to take the club on a level then. Just wondered if I could ask you a few questions about your site? I’ve recently set up a blog and am trying to circulate and develop it but I’m finding it hard.

Ana Garcia
Member

Shrewd signings as always! :)

Your squad is looking pretty good now and with the European money to come you should be able to finally sign some players for money! Rather than relying on freebies or having to sell to buy.

Well done on the super cup win, by the looks of it you won comfortably. Lech isnt a name I am too familiar with but Polish champions will be a tough game.

Would you say that the Polish league is stronger than Romania or about the same?

I hope you can overcome though and get that champions league money, best of luck!! :)

Calin
Guest

A mass exodus happened, but this will certainly help with the club’s finances and there’s no real point in keeping dead weight in the team.

Your squad has confirmed once again by winning the Super Cup and the new signings look extremely good, both the central defenders and the strikers. You are already starting with a strong opponent in Europe, but with a bit of luck you can get further in Europe. Good luck!

Devilfish
Guest
Devilfish

Great post Johnny, your team looks very strong for the season and I hope you can pull it off in Europe!

I know it may be a bit quick but I am very interested in writing on your site like the other members that provide great stories to read! I am passionate for football manager and would enjoy writing on your site very much. Is there anyway I could contact you for further details?

Anyway, well played in the pre-season Johnny, and I wish you luck for the season! If you want to e-mail me about my hope to write on your blog just pop me an e-mail at m.devilfish@yahoo.com :)

Martin Pickard
Member

Hey Johnny! Great post…soild signings there, I’m sure they’ll help cement your place in a Champions League quailification positions. Lech will be a tough match but with your tactical knowledge i’m sure you wont make it easy for them. Question..are you playing your match at your stadium?

Cant wait to see your next update…sooo looking forward to it ;)

Mariano
Guest
Mariano

Hi Johnny,

It looks that from now on you will rule in Romania and will be slowly growing the team year after year until you get very rich with top facilities and grown uped youngsters to the ECL.

I predict less than 10 seasons for sure until you are in Tokyo or Abu Dabi.

One question, when do you make a first eleven player a youngster with lots of potential?

With how many current ability stars?

Cheers and good luck in the next 2 ties before the group stae!

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