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Romanian FM 2012 Story, Season 15: Some New Faces

Hello friends, here’s a new episode of my Football Manager 2012 story! As you might remember I claimed the second Champions League trophy with Viitorul Constanta last season, a confirmation of how far the club went since the start of the career. I had no goals left to achieve but I still wanted to make this team even stronger, so I did snatch a few more pretty good players.

But before showcasing the new signings, I have to reveal a stunning piece of news: we are the top club in Europe, at least according to the coefficient rankings! I still can’t believe that!

Here’s how the top 10 looks like, with all the big names behind us! I should print this picture, frame it and hang it on my wall :)

The good news pushed the chairman to empty his pockets into the club’s coffers, I guess he got quite a tidy sum from dividends during the last few season, since we constantly made a profit.

Almost all that money went into the transfer budget, just shy of 16.5 million pounds.

I really didn’t need more to be honest. Three important players joined the club for a total of 9.75 million while a good few left for almost 15 million (not all the names are included in the screen shot below, because one of the first team players was sold in June, before the start of the new season).

The first one who left was midfielder Hector Fernandez, a faithful servant to the club. He wanted a new challenge in his career and I respected that. Fernandez joined Aston Villa for 5.5 million pounds. His replacement is even better though, it’s the England international I was talking about in the last post: Patrick Flenley, a tireless and gifted midfielder that Manchester United sold for just 8 million!

Then it was another faithful servant who wanted to leave, left back Danut Gongolea, and I let him go for 4.1 million to Werder Bremen. The replacement was free as I decided to promote Brazilian centre back Jackson from the under 19 team, with Georgica Dicu set to provide cover on the left flank.

The third big name that left the club was Maximiliano Ceballos, the midfielder was sold for 4.6 million pounds to Napoli. The replacement is also a freebie, another player from the under 19 team. This one is quite special for two reasons: he came at the club through the youth intake a few seasons ago and he bears a legendary name – Adrian Hagi. No, he’s not Gheorghe Hagi‘s son, at least in real life that is. Hagi does have a son, named Ianis, and he does play in the Viitorul Constanta youth teams (he’s 14 years old now I think).

The last first team player to join the club was Rami Saber, a very talented striker who came in on a free transfer from Sion.

With all these moves, my 24-man squad for the season looks like this (click on the names to view the profiles):

Goalkeepers: Nicolas Salva, Vaninho

Right backs: Tomislav Djurdjek, Henning Valentin

Left backs: Sebastien Verdier, Georgica Dicu

Centre backs: Xavier Dumont, Fabian Caporale, Michiel Aarts, Jackson

Central midfielders: Yasen Zlatinski, Hennie Paauwe, Patrick Flenley, Alin Dicher, Mike Broadhead, Nahuel Lopez, Adrian Hagi

Strikers: Manoel, Jed Mitchel-King, Rastislav Benko, Dramane Sow, Richard Hendry, Cor van Wonderen, Rami Saber

Looks stronger than last season in my view, but that’s not a guarantee of better results.

Which brings us to… that’s right, the results!

Super Cups

The season kicked off with the Romanian Super Cup, which we won comfortably once again. A month later we played the European Super Cup against Europa League holders Valencia and it went even better, we beat them 5-0 with Mitchel-King bagging no less than four!

Romanian Cup

The Romanian Cup campaign was a festival of goals so far, at least in the first game. That one saw legend Manoel scoring a record seven goals!

Romanian First Division

The league campaign was even more exciting (or boring, depends how you look at it): we won all 18 games so far, with some interesting score lines in the process.

The league table leaves no room for doubt, we’ll be winning another title. However, FC Vaslui are doing a pretty good job in second place. And last but not least, I’d like to win all the 34 league matches this season as we’ve never achieved that before.

Champions League

All good news so far but that can’t be said about our Champions League campaign. We started with a defeat against Arsenal, which we then avenged with a solid 3-0 win, but we finished second in the group due to an unbelievable goalless draw at Rapid Wien in the last match.

However, finishing second was not as bad as I had thought: the likes of Real Madrid and Inter Milan also finished second in their groups, so we avoided them and got Sevilla in the first knockout round! I guess my players knew something about it, at least that’s a reasonable explanation to all the missed chances against Rapid Wien in that last match :)

Club World Championship

The last competition of the year was quite delightful, we claimed another trophy after cruising past a Japanese team in the semi finals and totally hammering Mexican side Pumas in the final.

The player stats show that new striker Rami Saber had a great first half of his first season with us, scoring no less than 15 in 11 appearances. Manoel and Jed-Mitchel King seem to have set up a goal scoring contest between them but so far it’s the 31-year old Brazilian-born who’s winning. It’s quite incredible to be honest, as he seems to be at the peak of his career. Not only that he scored 23 goals in 20 appearances so far but he also provided 16 assists, that’s outstanding by any standards.

Youngster Adrian Hagi was quite unfortunate as he picked up a heavy knock which kept him out of contention for a few months, but he seems to have recovered well as he contributed a goal and three assists in 9 appearances (6 in the starting eleven).

Romanian National Team

Now comes the part that hurts, the Romanian National Team and its quest to reach the first World Cup finals since 1998. We had suffered two home defeats in the first part of the campaign, against Belgium and Germany, so our chances to qualify were not that great before the last games of the campaign.

However, those chances received a significant boost after the away game in Belgium in June, the lads produced a stunning display and we won 3-1. Manoel was awesome, of course, he bagged a brace. At the end of that match day Belgium were sharing the top spot in the group with Germany, both on 13 points, we were third with 12 points while Sweden were down in 4th place with 8 points.

We followed up on that win with two friendly victories, a comfy one against Kevin’s Canada and a scrappy one against Albania.

The following official matches, both in September, went better than I had hoped: we got the three points against Armenia at home before clinching a massive 3-0 victory in Sweden! Manoel scored three in those two matches, legend! Moreover, Belgium suffered two setbacks: a 2-0 defeat in Germany and a shocking 1-1 draw in Armenia!

The table was like this: 1. Germany – 19 | 2. Romania – 18 | 3. Belgium – 14 | 4. Sweden – 11. So we had the second place pretty much in the bag and an outside chance at finishing top of the group.

That was just a theoretical chance though as Germany gave us no chance on their home turf, they beat us 2-0 and didn’t even seem to make a real effort. However, we concluded the campaign with a spectacular 7-1 win against Moldova, as we fought back after conceding an early goal.

Those results left us in second place, which meant we had another hurdle to get past before reaching the World Cup: a play-off tie against Czech Republic, who finished second behind England in their group. Needless to say that we were the underdogs…

I was really hoping to pull through but that was just a sweet illusion. We had a bad first leg and lost 2-0 and then never seemed capable of turning that around at home. The only player who seemed up to the task was Manoel but you can’t win such big games with just one player…

The FA didn’t seem too upset but I wanted to resign.

And I was going to resign when this popped up: Manoel announced his retirement from the national team!

You see, he has 60 appearances and 48 goals for Romania and I just couldn’t let him do that before reaching 50 goals! So I decided to talk to him and I managed to change his mind!

That also changed my decision, I forgot all about the resignation and I decided to stay until Manoel reaches that landmark.

That’s about all I had to report, thanks a lot for taking the time to read this.

P.S.: I decided that this will be my last FM 2012 season, mostly because I want to focus on preparing all the FM 2013 news for you and also on setting up various things on the website for the launch of the new game. 

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9 years ago

So far every trophy that you could have won, you won! Thats great. In the CL, you got Sevilla and you should be able to beat them, after all you are the CL winners. With Romania, you managed to get the playoff position, but it was a good effort versus Czech Republic.

9 years ago

Another great season so far, lets hope you can win all your league games in the final season.

Nice work talking Manoel round, anyone who has that sort of record at international level need to be kept at all costs.

Malhar Bhadbhade
9 years ago

Great start to the season, as we have come to expect now! Nice touch there with Manoel, going to be a great landmark for an absolute legend. Well, good luck with the rest of the season, will be looking forward to it.

Darren Smith
9 years ago

Another good start to the season Johnny, this has been a true fairytale story. Can’t wait to see how you progress in the CL and as for this been the last season of many…well I think its wise as things are going to start getting hectic around here :)

Tegar Triemanudigdo
9 years ago

Another great season there! It’s a shame that you didn’t qualify for World Cup. Oh well, I guess I’ll be seeing that happen when you play FM 2013. XD

9 years ago

Hi Johnny
Brilliant season so far, though hard luck with Romania in the qualifiers. Looks like you could go the whole season with a 100% record – domestically that is. That would be a great ending to the story as well as capturing a third CL Trophy

Karl Deighton
9 years ago

Going great Johnny,

Winning all 34 domestic matches would be incredible, and we all know you can do it!

Good going with the national team, unlucky not qualifying but nice to keep Manoel, been a legend for club and country.

Good luck

Gaurav Chaddah
9 years ago

Great us usual,

Sad to see it’s your last season but I guess you have a good reasons and hoepfully you can end winning a 3rd champions league

9 years ago

It has been a really incredible journey, not just for your team, but for Romanian football. Shame you couldn’t put the cherry on the cake with a world cup adventure.
Good Luck in leading Manoel to 50 goals, Vitoruul to the Champions League, and winning all your matches in the league. I’m pretty sure an achievement like that could have only been done a couple times on FM, so hopefully you can pull this off :)

9 years ago

With the club, so far all is looking superb, even if you did have a couple of dodgy results in the Champions League. Winning all the league matches definitely looks on, which would be an amazing feat.

I think you can be proud of what you achieved with the national team. With Germany in the group, a play-off spot was probably as good as you could realistically hope for, and even that was a tough ask with Belgium also in the group.

Shame you didn’t quite have enough to see off the Czech Republic, but still a valiant effort.

Bill Okpalor
9 years ago

Nice keep up the good work and i also hope u help Manoel reach the landmark.

9 years ago

Great season, Johnny! Getting Viitorul Constanta there on the top of the best clubs in Europe is an amazing achievement and just a great reward for all the hard work you have done!

I am really sad to see that Romania didn’t do better and qualify to the World Cup, I was sure you would achieve that, but you’d need time for a national team as well and… it just wasn’t meant to happen, it seems. But still you managed to do a good job and keep the team competitive!

9 years ago

Hey Johnny. I’m sorry to read about your World Cup loss and it will also be sad to see the end of your Viitorul story especially with it looking like another vintage season (the thrashing of Valencia hurt :P). Best of luck and thanks for all the FM 13 updates! The game looks spectacular!

9 years ago

Great season so far! Unlucky about not getting to the qualifiang with Romania National team.

9 years ago

Hi Johnny

Manoel actually tried to retire at 31, maybe he wanted to focus on Viitorul :P

Patrick Flenley is such an impressive player, great passing/first touch and 20 determination and 20 work rate combined with his other attributes makes for an impressive package

Great to see a few youngsters in your team

Congratulations on reaching 1st position in the European rankings

Oh yeah, looking though your teamsheet, Xavier Dumont has come a long way with you hasn’t he? :P

Shame about the playoffs but you can’t really rely on poor Manoel all the time, by the way are there any other good Romanian players? Remembered that there was this Romanian wonderkid winger, Gabriel Torje was his name if I recall correctly, and there’s also Laurentiu Branescu, a young keeper in Juventus

Hope the site prospers and keeps adding new features for FM2013! (We need a network game section now :))

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