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[FM21] Green Crocodiles are drowning


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Because I never really know if I like a safe or not, I decided to play the first season all by myself and check out whether I can imagine on continuing it. In this case, it is a lot of fun, so I would like to share my first story here with you.

After looking for an interesting team to start with, I came across Bursaspor.

While not being among the top teams from Istanbul, Bursaspor were always considered to be a good competitor for the international spots and, if the top teams tend to struggle, being there to claim even higher up the ladder.

They were given this status even in the season 19/20, but it all came different and led, in the end, to a very surprising relegation. Commonly, when bigger clubs struggle that bad, a financial crisis is around the corner and so it was for Bursa as well.

In FM terms, they have a bank loan of 53mil, with monthly instalments until June 2030. They had to re-structure their team A LOT and are only considered to be the 15th best team in the second league for the start of the new season.

To sum it up, the situation is very bad. But it seems like a nice challenge.

And with a big inspiration by @_Ben_ I decided to take it with some influence by his ideas like the DNA (Anticipation, Decisions, Determination and Natural Fitness. I don´t use Consistency because I don´t play with visible hidden attributes).

The Team

Even though they had to get rid of a lot of players, the roster seems well-rounded. There are a lot of talents as well as very good mid- to old players.

The star of the team is without any doubt the 18-year-old striker Ali Akman. Unfortunately, he will leave us on a free after the season to Eintracht Frankfurt. Nevertheless, he will be the focus point of our first tactic.

Besides him we have 2 good talents on the wings: Batuhan Kör (IF on the left) and Burak Kapacak (W on the right).

In addition, we have a great center midfield.

Our weaknesses are definitely in the back. Our CBs are not that tall, not that good in tackling and slow. Our FBs can considered to be okay, at maximum.
All that led to the following tactical idea:














We wanna sit relatively deep, with the CMs supporting the CBs a lot. That is why they have probably the least fancy roles possible.

After winning the ball, we don´t wanna rush forward. Simply because or offensive player are not that fast, but still pretty good. We wanna play around the box and wait for our chances.

And to be honest, this style of football worked surprisingly well!

The first half of the season


As you can see, we won a lot and lost only two games. I didn´t think this was possible for us. That was probably my first time that the first tactical idea worked (besides those typical Gegenpress Tactics).

We even managed to beat a first league side, Konyaspor, in a thrilling 3:2 victory away from home. That gave me good feeling in case of getting promoted.

The second half of the season

But as FM players know, things can change after playing too well. And so, it was for us, as well, but it was still different than I was used to it. Teams somehow played MORE offensive against as and were fully using our defensive approach to get more creative and getting more chances themselves.

So, I created an entirely new tactic on the one hand and tweaked a bit on the 4231 on the other hand. The new 424 was not only created due to the described changes. Moreover, it was because our young striker Eren Güler really stepped up in the first cup matches and developed a lot faster than expected.














And to be honest, these mid-season discoveries are the real icing on the cakes for me.

The 424 was sometimes played with a very offensive approach (as seen in the screenshot), but sometimes we just continued to sit deep and hit the opponents on our counter with our 2 strikers.

And, again, it just worked.

League Table

















We just made it. This season was simply a total success that ended in a well-deserved promotion.

As a bonus, we crashed the cup and managed to fight through to the semis. On our way there, we beat 3rd and 4th place Sivasspor and Trabzonspor away from home. WHAT A RUN!




And now?

That´s a good question.

As mentioned, Ali Akman will leave us, which will be a big gap to fill.

But there are good things as well: Our current president was reelected and gave a promise to bring in 2 players. The first one was on my list as well. And I am pretty sure he would have been available on a free after the season, but the president bid 180k for him. The other one was completely unknown, but I hope the best.

My biggest signing was a staff member, as I managed to bring in this insanely good scout. I hope, he will present some cheap faces to snap up.


I wanna build up a tactic, where our two golden boys can shine and develop even further and become legends here (or sell him to get rid of our debts :D) 

















And we really have to be better in our youth team. The were so bad, that they even got relegated. If the Green Crocodile wants to bite again, the Croco Babies should set the base for our rise back to the top. 



Edited by Ruebe_Kauf
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Team Analysis for next season

As mentioned in my first post, I would like to implement a proper DNA to this club. Surely, there will be exceptions here and there, but I wanna reduce sentimentalities to a minimum.

Therefore, I gave myself an overview about the league’s averages in our DNA attributes. To get rid of - in my opinion - non-valid disruptors, I deleted all Goalkeeper stats from the comparison. To my surprise, we are way better than I expected, but what really counts are the averages.

The total DNA average in the Süper Lig, therefore is 11.47.


And here is my team:


As we are a newly promoted team, I decided that everything that is above 10.47 can be considered acceptable. Players, that are U-23 will be given the chance to improve their DNA until their 23rd birthday. On that day, they must have reached the NEW accepted DNA average. If not, I will try to sell them in the next transfer episode.

This rule set, I figured out who is allowed to stay and who can go to find a new team. Among the selling candidates are 2 ´surprises´:

  • Emirhan Aydogan: First team player in the last season and without any doubt one of our best players. It hurts to see him in the red lines, but the team is bigger than individual. His Natural Fitness broke his neck.
  • Ismail Cokcalis: He was always a nice back up. Could play as an offensive RB, when we needed a goal and could also jump in on the right wing. I liked him because he was quick and could pump in a cross, but his mental attributes in general are just bad. Say bye bye.
  • Another tough decision was Burak Altiparmak. Yes, he is JUST in my set range, but on the other hand, he is 30 and we do have a lot of CMs in our team. So, we will actually get rid of our starting double-8 in this summer.
  • Onur Atasayar was our starting LB last season, but to be honest, we will find a better one.

There were surprises among the players who will stay here as well:

  • Danny Simpson, who came in on a free last winter, will remain here and be a nice, mentally strong, back up
  • Tugbey Akgün: What a nice player. He was on loan at last years 3rd placed Akhisarspor and started 28 games for them. With only 18 years old, he will definitely have a bright future. At first, I was planning to loan him out once again, but stats keep him here.

On top of that, one can see that the two promise-signings of our president totally fit in. Dominic Gape (def) and Mehmet Özcan (off) will be regular starters for us for sure. Ozan Koc (def) and Rugby Akgün (off) will be their young back-ups, while Kerem Sen will be placed on the loan list.


The Goalkeeper position is set and done. 3 good guys and Dadakdeniz will keep his starting spot.

RB: not the best quality, but 2 solid guys with a great DNA fit. Due to our financial situation, there won’t be any changes

CB: The three guys fit DNA-wise, but they are not really good. I would love to bring a new face in

LB: ****** situation. I need at least a new starter. Maybe a bad, but talented Back-up from our youth team will wrap it up

defCM: perfect situation

offCM: perfect situation

LW: Batuhan is great. His DNA will fit pretty soon (I am convinced) and Berat Altinidis will be the Back-up

RW: Burak is great. His DNA will fit pretty soon (I am convinced) and Berat Altinidis will be the Back-up

AM: Mehmet Özcan could play here as well, so Tugbey Akgün could start in the offCM position. But I definitely need a new face here

DLF: Cagatay Yilmaz is decent, but not good enough to start in the first league. We need a new one.

P: Eren Güler is very good. He developed into a nice player and will score some goals in the Süper Lig for sure.

So, a lot to do. I will give you the next update in the end of the transfer period.



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End of the transfer window and first games

That was probably one of my most detailed pre-season I’ve ever managed since I play this wonderful game. Mostly, it was due to our lack of a good quantity in our scouting department because it went slow. REALLY slow. At first, I was trying to bring in some good, but old players who ran out of their previous contracts. I invited a lot of them but only one really caught my eye. On the one hand to give us a different style of striker for the one-striker-system and on the other hand to have someone playing as a wall-player (can you say that in English? :D) in the 2-striker-system. It was 35-year-old Mustafa Yatabare, who played 21 games for Sivasspor in the previous season.

This transfer went through pretty early, so I was actually convinced to bring in some great players with a fitting DNA easy, but God was I wrong.

After that, we scouted so many players and invited even more for a trial, but I just wasn’t convinced. There were some good players with salary claims far off their ability or good talents with too big price tags for our empty wallet.

But still, after I sold and loaned out many of our players, I managed to bring in some new faces:


Pedro Brazao and Luca Ranieri will be at Bursa for 2 seasons. Their quality is insanely high for our team, so they will have a big influence here.

Isaac Sackey is actually a DM, but his attributes and height gave me the idea to bring him in as our new defensive anchor. Unfortunately, he doesn’t like the idea of getting re-trained, but the team is bigger than individuals.

Muhammed Akarslan is our new creative mastermind. He will be the starting number 10, but can also play a creative role on the left wing. What I am missing, is the one, crazy standout attribute that an awesome number 10 should have, but I couldn’t find a better one. Still, with his well-rounded attributes, he should deliver some good performances.

Mustapha Yatabare, as written above, is the new Target Man. Hopefully, he will find the net here and then from a nice cross. Running after killer passes won’t be too successful.

Sadi Karaduman is a 1B-CB. He will definitely play a lot of games, but not all of them. What I like about him is his ability to play from the back, which is rare on this level.

Finally, there is Sabahattin Sevim. We could bring him in on a free because Osmanlispor was too dumb to offer him a contract. He is the opposite of Muhammed Akarslan. He has a lot of bad attributes, but his Vision, Technique, Flair, Determination and Natural Fitness at this age, make him super interesting in my eyes. He won’t play a lot, but he will be part of the first team.

After these transfers, I was pretty pleased with our squad. Until this happened.


I can’t tell how much this hurts. Our board accepted Newcastles offer 1 day before the window was closing and I couldn’t manage to turn it around. Actually, he had a Release Clause of 2.8M, but only for clubs that participate in international competitions. I was sure that none of those teams would come for him. They even accepted my offer to loan him back for two seasons, but he turned us down. My goodness, that hurts so much.

The pain got even bigger because we couldn’t manage to find a replacement. Therefore, Batuhan Kör will get a lot of minutes up front, whenever we’re playing in our 4-2-2-2. In the end I gotta admit to failed implement a farsighted replacement plan. I will do better.

That led to the following Transfer Overview. At least, we created some profit.


The only player I couldn’t get rid off was LB Onur, but still, our DNA looks much better now and is even above the leagues average. The only thing, that is really missing, is our Determination. I hope, I can increase it with some thoughtful mentoring.



Start of the season

After such a high fluctuation, it is pretty normal that it won’t click immediately. I mean, we have a new Central Defense AND Central Midfield. If that wasn’t enough, we had a streak of bad happenings:


Star players Batuhan Kör and Burak Kapacak got injured pretty early. Newly signed Winger Brazao then decided to accompany them and so we are left with only one real winger, Berat Altinidis, who clearly has not the ability to be a starter in the Süper Lig.

Because of that we had to adapt our 4-2-3-1 a bit and ended up with these two varieties:


The main difference instructional-wise is, that we wanna stay higher up the pitch because we increased the pace of our CB immensely.

Onur, who is still transfer listed, is the only offensive LB in the squad. So, whenever Muhammed has to play a Playmaker role on the left, Onur will run up the pitch and is going to feed Yatabare with crosses. On the other hand, loany Brazao will have all freedom to create something in a W-a role.

I am still not sure about the TM role, but time will tell.


How did it go?

It really could have been a great start, but it simply wasn’t. Honestly, we robbed ourselves in every game so far, which led to only 2 points in 3 games with a goal difference of 3:4 while sitting on an unnecessary 18th place.

The xG and xGa tell a different story.


Surprisingly, this start led to another problem, which never was the case last season: the players perform bad in training.


I think it is a mixture of the bad start and that we are lacking in Team leaders. We only have one High Influential Player in Burak Kapacak and the rest is below that level. But I am convinced to overcome both of these problems.

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Status Update

We have now reached the end of October and what can I say? We finally got our first win and goodness me, that was long overdue.


The fact that it was against Fenerbahce is surely a funny one, as they have by FAR the biggest salary p.a. in the league as they pay 56M€. In comparison to 2nd highest team, Galatasaray, which pay out 38M€, it is clearly shown that they are the biggest favorites here. Not to talk about our 2.5M€, which is, of course, the lowest in the league.

When having a look at our General Performance, it is not hard to figure out, that our chance conversion is still under the weather.


The statistics have us above the average in every category besides Conceded/Game. I still believe that the knot will break with rising morale and diligent training, but it really was getting frustrating.

Luckily, we’re not the only team that struggle with points, so that we are staying clear of the relegation zone so far.


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