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Daniel Evensen

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  1. I’m Glad I Sold You! Shijiazhuang goalkeeper Teng Shangkun, a former signing of mine, vowed in the press to make me regret getting rid of him. At first I thought his wish would come true. We played poorly at the start of this match. It took a great strike by Younes Delfi to finally put us on the board, about 23 minutes into things. Delfi scored again in the 36th minute, and Abrefa finished things off in the 86th minute with his third goal. It wasn’t a completely dominating victory, but it was good enough. Shijiazhuang managed 5 shots on goal against our 25. We won the possession battle, but only just barely, eking out a relatively miserable 51%. I thought I’d be cute, and decided to play Rovaglia and Jeong Sang-Bin together up front, with Delfi on the left wing and Mueanta on the right. Mueanta had yet another quiet game. Jeong Sang-Bin and Rovaglia didn’t team up well together. Delfi seems to be the only one capable of scoring around here. I don’t think this is a huge problem. Shijiazhuang are in 4th place in the league, and are actually a pretty good team. We’re not playing those weak Second Division sides anymore, after all. Still, I wish we were dominating these matches the way we once were. The Injury Crisis Jeong Sang-Bin was injured in that match. That makes our sixth injury so far. The press is playing this up as a big crisis. It actually isn’t such a big deal. Jeong Sang-Bin will be out for about 5 weeks — but, then again, we’ve only got 3 matches in October because of international matches. I see it as a good chance for our young Chinese players to get some valuable game time. I just hope we don’t lose. Month In Review It’s that time of the month again. Our finances aren’t looking so hot. We’re about 34 million RMB in the red, largely a consequence of the 180 million RMB in tax payments we had to make. I was snooping around the other day, looking at some of the transfers in the Chinese Super League. I realized that Beijing spent almost 900 million RMB on players. They must have an unlimited bank balance to be able to afford all of those taxes. The tax is simple: 100% of whatever you paid for any player that exceeds 20 million RMB. In other words, if you buy a major star, you’ve got to pay for him twice. Now you can see why I’m so focused on getting young players for cheap and developing them myself. The fans, of course, aren’t on board with that transfer philosophy, and have given me a C- for my efforts. They do seem somewhat pleased with our match performance, which is kind of a surprise after that lost to Wuhan the other day. The board is a bit more concerned about our match performance, and seems more pessimistic in general. Now, Chairman Guo does have the financial power to get us out of this hole, but he never seems to be around when I want to talk with him. He always seems to be on some jet going to some crazy place here or there. I prefer staying home, but to each his own. Our squad cohesion is still average. Eiran Cashin has become a highly influential player, and will likely be recognized as team leader by the time the year is over. Pak Myong-Song might join him on the top of the food chain. The fans simply adore Pak Myong-Song, even though we all know that Lee Jin-Yong is the pretty boy. I’ve got a feeling that our North Korean fullback will probably stay with this club until the end of his career. Jinan We’re playing in Shandong province again, this time against Jinan Xingzhou. This is a good match to play the kids in. We should win this one easily.
  2. I believe this is correct, based on what I have read. I did want to add that it's not necessarily the end of the world if you have a bad youth intake. It's not as easy as it was in prior versions of FM, but you can still raid the youth intake of other teams. It used to be that you could offer trials to practically any newly generated player and have the other teams agree. Now, based on my experience, it seems that you usually only have success if the teams are in a similar geographic region and have a lower reputation. My approach in my Yanbian save has been to bring in Chinese newgens on trial as soon as they are created, and then scout the ones that aren't willing to come. I've been able to purchase dozens of 15 and 16 year old players with good personalities and fairly good coach reports for extremely cheap, sometimes as cheap as free. Now, to get this transfer philosophy to work, you really need to have a strong first team that can hold you over for a few years. If you've got that, though, you can simply load up on young players, get as many possible to become home grown at club and in country, stick the most promising ones into your first team squad for experience and game time, and simply loan everybody else out from age 17 on. If you use a few loan tricks, you can theoretically make money off of each of your players who are out on loan, and then just hold onto them until a rich club comes in and makes a ridiculously high offer for them. This plan can backfire, especially when everybody comes back in the summer and you suddenly go over your wage budget. However, if you play it right, you'll find it easier to make a profit each time you send your players out on loan, since their reputation is constantly improving. The goal in the end is to sign the best young players as young as possible, develop them at your home club to get them home grown, have numerous players competing for each position, and loan out the ones that don't quite make it for profit, holding them out as bait for rich clubs. Once you get the big money in, you can go around looking for more young players to poach, keeping the process going in perpetuity. Anyway, that's my long-term squad building philosophy. It works mostly because the AI still undervalues prospects and overemphasizes reputation. Once you figure out how to min/max reputation, you can get the computer to start paying you to develop your own players, and then watch it overpay for them once their development is complete.
  3. Wow, those are a lot of restrictions. I just turn off stars and attributes. I call it hardcore mode. It's actually a little bit easier with stars and attributes turned off. It forces you to pay more attention to statistics and to what your coaches and scouts say. You learn over time that players with "poor" star ratings can play much better than you anticipated, and that some of the can't miss 5-star players actually play pretty poorly.
  4. Yeah, this bears repeating and should be somewhat emphasized. I'm running FM on Pop!_OS using a desktop right now. It works very well. However, it's a little bit difficult to navigate the directory structure to figure out where to stick your photo packs and other goodies. I actually made a little video about it here, as well as another video about getting the Newgans Facepack to work here. I also played around a little bit with the pregame editor, reporting my findings here. Basically, Proton will install FM into a directory structure that mirrors what you would see on Windows systems. However, you're going to have to hunt around a little bit to figure out exactly where that directory is located. And, unfortunately, the pregame editor winds up creating its own Wine wrapper and directory structure when you install it, meaning that you've got to figure out where those directories are in order to move editor data files from one place to the next. I was never able to get the Newgans facepack generator to work on Linux, and wound up just using the Windows version in VirtualBox and sending the XML files to myself. Because the Steam Deck is simply a Linux computer, it will be possible for you to add in all the editor data files and other goodies that you want. However, I'm not entirely certain how easy it is to access all of that stuff. It would take some exploring and hunting to get everything figured out. It should be possible, though. I mean, running FM on Linux right now is basically the same as running FM on the Steam Deck: it uses the same operating system and the same software. The game works extremely well on Linux, by the way. I haven't had any problems at all, which is more than I can say for the MacOS version. Proton has been doing a really good job.
  5. Masterful Defense This was the most dominating 1-0 victory I’ve ever seen. Shanghai Shenxin didn’t have a single shot on goal. We had 32 shots to their 0, had a 3.00 xG to their 0.00, and dominated possession. I’m not sure how we managed to only score a single goal after that dominating performance. Younes Delfi added to his legendary status by scoring the only goal of the match. We hammered the Shanghai goal time and time again, but just couldn’t get another breakthrough. I’m just happy that their counterattacks all fell flat. The Taiwanese Kid This was the debut for Miguel Sandberg, another striker who we think has a lot of potential. Despite his name, Sandberg is actually a Taiwanese national team player. He’s Taiwanese-Swedish, was born in Sweden, and yet chose to represent Taiwan internationally. He’s 21 years old, is clearly the best player on Taiwan’s national team, and is probably the best player in the history of Taiwanese football. We poached Sandberg from Västerås SK for only 520,000 RMB, which is a bargain - not even 100,000 Euros. He was in our under 23 team all last season. I decided to bring him up this season due to that Taiwanese nationality, which counts as Chinese for registration purposes. Sandberg didn’t play particularly well in his first match, missing a number of easy scoring chances. We think he’ll be good if he continues to get game time, though. Shijiazhuang We’re heading over to Hebei to face Shijiazhuang Gongfu next. The press pointed out to me that I’ll be squaring off against a goalkeeper named Teng Shangkun. This requires a bit of explaining. We had a major goalkeeping crisis early last season. The 15-year-old Wu Ping was the best goalkeeper on the club. The problem is that he didn’t have the skill or experience to play for the first team squad, and he also had a horribly depressed and negative personality. I went into the market to buy any Chinese goalkeeper I could find — and, well, I accidentally bought about 60 of them. I originally purchased the then 31-year-old Teng Shangkun, thinking that he’d be our first choice goalkeeper. We got him for 1.5 million RMB, which seemed like a relative bargain. However, we then picked up Li Changyi and Liu Shaoziyang, rendering Teng Shangkun (and a number of other goalkeepers) useless. He wound up joining Shijiazhuang on a free transfer. We’ll see if this comes back to haunt us or not. My scouts have assured me that Teng Shangkun is nothing to be concerned about. Still, you never know.
  6. Haha, I didn't really even notice that — this is what I get for not paying much attention to what is happening in real life! Yeah, the Champions League possibility, combined with the relaxed foreigner rules, has allowed some of the richer Chinese teams to make some interesting signings. It was actually Zhejiang who bought Mudryk last season for 87.5 million RMB. That's not really all that high of a transfer price, actually - probably somewhere around 13 million Euros. Shandong bought him this season for 142 million RMB, which is a bit more like it. He's playing well so far - 1 goal and 2 assists in 4 league appearances, with a 7.40 average rating. But he wasn't good enough to beat us, apparently. Shandong are apparently stinking rich. They bought Jeremie Frimpong from Bayer 04 for 395 million RMB last season, for example. They also bought Maximilian Eggestein from SC Freiburg for 125 million RMB last season. Beijing have spent more than anybody else in China, though. Their big signing this season was picking up Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton for 330 million RMB. They also picked up Raphael Guerreiro from Dortmund for 167 million RMB. This version of China is becoming increasingly non-Chinese, haha.
  7. The Comeback Shandong intimidate me. Mykhaylo Mudryk scored for Shandong 14 minutes into this one. I thought for certain that we were doomed. We did tie the match in the 33rd minute. Jeong Sang-Bin had the ball in a ridiculous position, sitting alone in the penalty area with 5 defenders surrounding him. Fortunately for us, one of the Shandong players decided to push him to the ground instead of taking the ball off of him, giving us a penalty. Suphanat Mueanta scored that penalty, and we were even at 1. Cryzan scored for Shandong in the 67th minute, and I thought it was all over. You’ll recall that we beat Shandong 2-1 in that Chinese Super Cup game just a few weeks back. I thought losing by the same margin would be poetic justice. But my players didn’t want to have any of that. Pietro Rovaglia, the player I came close to selling off, gave us the equalizer in the 72nd minute with an incredible shot. Zhu Bin, who came on as a halftime substitute for the fatigued Delfi, added to his heroics by scoring in the 80th minute with a thundering shot. He’s a special one. And then Jeong Sang-Bin finished them off with an excellent goal in the 89th minute. We won, 4-2. I still can’t believe it. We won. Shanghai Shenxin There’s not much time to dwell on other things. We’ve got to get ready to destroy Shanghai Shenxin in our next league match. This will finally put an end to the crazy run of matches we’ve had. We’ll be able to rest up and heal after this one is done.
  8. My Iranian Wonder Delfi dominated this match. I was worried that we’d suffer a letdown after that frustrating 1-0 defeat. As it turns out, we didn’t suffer any letdown at all. We beat Dandong by a 7-2 margin that was absolutely ridiculous. And Delfi scored 5 goals all on his own. Those 5 goals included two crosses that Delfi tapped in while standing right in front of the keeper. He also scored a penalty, and a bizarre fluke goal that looks like the goalkeeper tipped it into his own net. Now, this wasn’t a great defensive performance for us. Liu Shaoziyang gave up 2 goals, which isn’t characteristic for him, and looked particularly bad for both of them. We’ve had to do a lot of rotating defensively to accomodate our crazy schedule. That’s been part of our defensive problem. Things will calm down as the season progresses. Meanwhile, Delfi’s 5 goals are a new league record. And we’re just getting started. More New Faces Yep, I’ve got a few more new players to introduce again today. First is Ding Yuchi, a 17-year-old Chinese defensive midfielder who has a lot of potential. We picked up Ding Yuchi from the Tormenta FC Academy in the United States, of all places. I’m not sure what he was doing there. He came in for free, which is the best price, and he spent quite a bit of time in our under-19 squad last year. He’s consistent, he’s got a normal personality, and he should be good enough to play at this level now. He’s not going to really bother Wade and Lavia for game time, but he’ll likely see some action off the bench, and is a good kid to have on hand for when others are injured. And then we have Yan Dawei, a 16-year-old centerback who is probably one of the reasons why we gave up two goals. Yan Dawei came from Jiangxi Beidamen, and cost us a cool 1.2 million RMB. He didn’t play particularly well for Jiangxi last season, but that’s perfectly fine. We’re buying potential, not current ability. He’s not tall and doesn’t have a stellar personality, but he still seems to be a good option in the back. Might as well give him a chance. Huge Chinese FA Cup Challenge We might not make it out of the first round of the Chinese FA Cup this year. We’re playing away against Shandong. That’s the same Shandong team that we barely beat in the Chinese Super Cup a few games ago. We’ll see how this one goes. They are favorites, but only by a slight margin. Meanwhile, I’ve saved up our best players for this moment. I just hope they decide to show up.
  9. No Longer Invincible I felt good going into this match. I felt awful coming out of it. We were horrible. We lost to Wuhan, 1-0, and didn’t look even close to scoring for the entire match. It looked like it was going to be a bore draw until Pak Myong-Song was sent off for a second yellow card in the 70th minute. Wuhan scored the only goal of the match a few minutes later. We need to play better than this. This was completely unacceptable. Xue Xiaopeng Perhaps one reason for our poor performance was the fact that we started yet another new youngster. His name is Xue Xiaopeng, another 17-year-old Chinese kid — this time a defensive midfielder. We picked up Xue Xiaopeng from Beijing university for only 40,000 RMB, which is an absolute steal in my opinion. He played poorly in that Wuhan match, though at least he wasn’t sent off. He’s another kid with a great personality who is a very consistent performer. I’m convinced that he’s going to be a star in the future. And I don’t think we can place all the blame on his shoulders. Dandong Tengyue We’re going to do more squad rotation in this next match, which comes only 3 days after our defeat. We’ll be at home again, and are clear favorites to beat Dandong. My only concern is that we keep putting out teams of players who have no experience playing against each other. We have to rotate, though. We play Shandong again three days after this in the first round of the Chinese FA Cup. We can afford a defeat or two in the league, but we really can’t afford a defeat in that cup.
  10. I pay tons of attention to my youth setup, right from the start of each save. I actually have more fun messing with the youth than I have doing anything else. Newgens are tons of fun. I also buy lots of newgens. I bought about 200 in the latest transfer window, lol.
  11. Rivalry Renewed! Playing Jiangsu Suning FC just feels right. It feels natural at this point, like something that has to happen for the universe to truly be in order. And, of course, we won. It was 5-0, and it wasn’t close. Pedrinho was the hero and the Man of the Match, though he didn’t score. His 2 assists and 11 key passes were simply deadly. Delfi scored two goals, Jacob Dicko Eng had one, and even Eiran Cashin managed to nod a header in. It was a good day all around. We had over 22,000 people show up at the stadium. If we keep this up, we’ll start selling these games out before long. Inauspicious Debut Against the better judgment of my coaches, I decided to play a 17-year-old kid named Liang Xianjun at left back. Liang Xianjun came in over the summer. We got him on a free transfer from Ningbo Yinbo. I like him because he’s got a real solid, professional personality, and because he shows a bit of potential. The coaches think he doesn’t have what it takes, but I’m not sure how much I trust their judgment. Anyway, I had Lee Jin-Yong playing left back at the start of this one. He really should be playing defensive midfielder, and so I moved him up and stuck Liang Xianjun in there at halftime. Well, Mr. Liang decided to try one of those two-footed scissors tackles in the 74th minute, and got himself set off with a straight red card. The coaches might have been right after all. I’ll keep him on the first team squad for now, but might bring up a different young Chinese left back in January if Liang Xianjun doesn’t play a little bit better. With Joao Victor normally starting in that role, and with our other recent signing, Ronan Pluijmen, on hand, there is a real chance that Liang Xianjun may have played his last first team game for us. The moral? Don’t get sent off. Li Qiang We started another new player in this one. His name is Li Qiang, and he’s also 17. He’s a striker. I decided to start him in this match because Rovaglia was still recovering from injury. Cheng Binbin has been injured for a while, and another new striker who I haven’t introduced to you yet is out on international duty. We picked Li Qiang up from Hunan Billows in the summer. He never made an appearance for them. We paid only 300,000 RMB for him, which I think is an excellent deal. Anyway, he scored yesterday. He had a few attempts from close range that were blocked, and then managed to hammer in one from close range. Not a bad debut! Wuhan Changjiang We’re slight favorites against Wuhan, a team that was just relegated this past season from the Chinese Super League. It’s another home match, our second home match in 4 days. We’ll have a third a few days after that. Squad rotation is crucial during September in this country.
  12. The Best Team in China? So, can we officially call ourselves the best team in China now? This wasn’t necessarily the best performance we ever had. In fact, neither of our strikers played well. I’m worried about Mueanta, who just doesn’t seem to have the ability we’ll need at the highest level in the country. At least he’s still young. Still, we were able to pull off the 2-1 victory. We owe it all to Zhu Bin, who scored two quick goals in the first ten minutes to get things rolling. Frankly, I can’t believe it. Zhu Bin is 16 years old, and is a product of our youth system. He was a mostly anonymous player in our under-19s side until January, when I decided to give him a chance in the first team. And now he’s looking like one of the best players in the entire country. We played well at the beginning of this match, but started to taper off as time went on. Shandong got one back in the 57th minute, and our attempts to score were pretty easily thwarted by their defense. At least we were good enough to win. That’s all that really matters, after all. Good enough. Transfer Window We’re into September already, and the transfer window has shut. There was a flurry of spending on our part near the end, even though we didn’t have much money. I was fortunate to run across a number of 15 and 16 year old Chinese players who basically cost us nothing at all to sign. I think I added on about 20 signings on the final day alone. We signed over 200 players in this transfer window, the majority of which went straight to our under-19s squad. We also loaned out over 100. There weren’t as many loans for profit as I’d like, but I’ve got a feeling that we’ll see more of those in the future. The plan is to see which of those young players starts showing talent like Zhu Bin and eventually move them up to the front. In a few years, we should have a largely homegrown club that is more than capable of competing in the Champions League. Trust the plan. It’s working. Rivalry Renewed Our home opener is next. And we’re facing none other than Jiangsu FC, our rivals from last season. We’re going to have to put a decimated squad out there. Pak Myong-Song and Suphanat Mueanta are both away on international duty. Cheng Binbin has been injured for the past two months or so, and is still out. Come to think of it, I think Cheng Binbin has been injured for almost his entire time at the club. We might have to fix that in the near future. Anyway, I hope we put on a good performance. Word has it that we’re expecting over 21,000 people to show up, which would be a record for the Chinese First Division. Maybe we’ll single-handedly revitalize interest in football in this country.
  13. Geez, man, it sounds like a total bloodbath in Chinese football. I'm using a Chinese language editor data file that I found on the Steam Workshop that brings back a lot of extinct clubs. There are 20 in the Chinese Super League, 20 in the First Division, and 48 total in the Second Division, divided into North and South zones. It also has China playing in Europe for the sake of fantasy, which really is a lot of fun. If you want, you can read about it here. Sadly, the data file is almost certainly not compatible with @DaveTheEditor's work, and I know it's not compatible with the China fixes that @Daveincid created — and I'm not familiar enough with the pregame editor to fix things up. Makes me sad, man. I should have played with the real Yanbian FC back in FM19 when I still had the chance. It does seem like Yanbian Longding is currently in China League One, but they play out in Longjing, not in Yanji. It's just not the same. Hope they finally get the financial situation of the leagues turned around before it all goes under.
  14. Yeah, I just pay no attention to the fans. Or the board, for that matter. I'll do my thing, and I'll keep my virtual job as long as I get results.
  15. Yep - this is exactly what I do. I limit myself to a match a day. I've found myself thinking about my squad in the evening, and really anticipating the next day's game.
  16. Destroying Zibo I’m not sure why Zibo Cuju decided to show up for this match. There was nobody at all in their stadium. I suppose limiting the audience proved to be a sort of face-saving measure for Zibo. We scored early and often. Mueanta had a hat trick, Jeong San-Bin scored, Zhu Bin scored, and both Lavia and Wade managed to score from their defensive midfield positions. In the end, we came away with a huge 9-0 victory. Maybe we’re better than I thought. Or maybe the quality of this league is just a hair behind the European Conference League. Li Min We had a new face out there against Zibo. His name is Li Min. He’s 17 years old and plays attacking right wing. He’s one of the young Chinese players that I want to give more playing time to, chiefly to ensure that we’re not bitten too badly by the various UEFA squad registration requirements as the years go by. We bought Li Min from Neimenggu Caoshangfei a few months ago. He was on our under-19 team for a little while. I decided to pull him up to the first team based mostly on his personality and the potential that I see in him. My assistant manager Han Songfeng doesn’t think that Li Min has the potential to play at this level. Apparently Mr. Han missed the fact that Li Min scored against Zibo. He’s fast and can shoot from range; he’ll be just fine. Mueanta’s Concerns Suphanat Mueanta came up to me looking distraught the other day. Apparently he was really upset that we didn’t last longer in the Conference League than we did. I was about to tell him that it was his own fault. I mean, he played really poorly in those matches. Not only did he not score, but he did very little to help our offense out. Fortunately, Suphanat cheered up as soon as I spoke with him, and seems to have dropped the issue. Chinese Super Cup We’ve got one of those one-off cup matches coming up next. We’re playing against Shandong in the Super Cup. Shandong, of course, won the Chiense Super League last year, and are currently fighting to get to the UEFA Champions League Group Stage. I think we’ve got a chance, but we’ll see. If we do win this one, I’m going to conclude that we’re simply the best team in the country.
  17. Wolfsberger Tears Well, it didn’t go as we hoped. There was nobody there at this match. It didn’t matter in the end, though. They scored a goal in the 37th minute to put them up 2-0 on aggregate. Lee Jin-Yong got one back for us in the 92nd minute to give us a draw on the evening. However, that wasn’t enough, and we’ve gone back home with our heads hanging. The New Season Enough of that European nonsense. We can now focus on the things that really matter. We play against Zibo Cuju in the first match of the new season. Even though we’ll be away from home, we are heavy favorites to win. This should be an exciting ride!
  18. Lol, I'm too invested in my current save at the moment. I'm guessing I'll have to wait until June or so to test it out...
  19. I usually get "E" or "F" ratings, mostly because I focus on signing 16-year-old players with no reputation whatsoever.
  20. Frustrated! Our home leg against Wolfsberger AC was simply frustrating. We couldn’t get any of our attacks to work at all. We dominated the match, with 17 shots to their 7, and a 1.31 xG to their 1.01. And yet we lost in the end, 1-0. I’m not quite sure who to blame. Nobody had an exceptionally bad match. We just didn’t have any good performances, that’s all. Maybe it was the rain and wet conditions. I’m not sure. I’m still holding out hope that we’re going to have some sort of run in Europe to help the team’s finances out a bit. However, after two bad performances in four matches, I’ve got to wonder if we really have it in us. Abrefa I’ve got one more player to introduce. He’s Kelvin Abrefa, and we actually brought him over last January. He’s a 19-year-old English right back who looks really good. The plan is to use him as a backup for Pak Myong-Song for now, allowing him to get the experience he needs to take over the job once Pak is too old to continue. We purchased Abrefa from Reading in January. He had been on loan with Leyton Orient at the time. Because he had appeared for both Reading and Leyton Orient, we couldn’t play him at all last season. Sadly, he wound up on our under 21 team, even though he was clearly good enough for the first team. He’s an excellent player, has a great mentality, and should be good for years. I just hope he plays better in the future than he did against Wolfsberger. Do Or Die Well, this is it. If we lose this next match, we’re out of Europe, as quickly as it started. Wolfsberger AC are anticipating only 1,700 fans for this match, which is pathetic. We’ve been drawing just under 20,000 fans for each of our Conference League matches so far. Perhaps the lack of an audience will give us a slight advantage. We’ll see.
  21. Revenge! We came into this match knowing that we needed a win desperately. And, oh boy, did we ever deliver! Jeong Sang-Bin overcame his jitters in our last match by delivering a spectacular hat trick. We won this one 3-0, and looked really good in the process. In fact, we only allowed Voždovac to have a single shot, which wasn’t even on target. We dominated this game inside and out, and should feel very proud of our accomplishment. More New Faces There are more new faces to introduce, of course. Ronan Pluijmen is a 20-year-old Thai national left back who looks extremely good. We picked him up on a free transfer from Muangthong United. He didn’t have much of a season last year, but he played well in this start against Voždovac. The coaches thing Pluijmen is going to be a star, perhaps even better than Pak Myong-Song. Next up is Mathias Lazo, a 20-year-old Peruvian centerback who gives us more quality in the back. We picked up Lazo for 5.5 million RMB from Melgar, which was another excellent value. He also struggled for form last season, but looks good so far. Lazo looks like another long-term star player for us. I’m excited to see how he develops. Finally, we completed our conquest of Thailand’s national team by signing Patrick Gustavsson, a 22-year-old Thai international who was born in Sweden. Gustavsson came in for 6 million RMB from Chiangmai, and originally started things off with Oxelösunds IK. Finding him was the result of me ordering our scouts to look at every single young player on national teams throughout East Asia. Gustavsson is technically a striker, but will likely play on the attacking right wing for us from time to time. He’ll probably have some trouble earning starts, though, since Delfi is such a massive attacking force on that side. There are a few more players to introduce, but we’ll leave all of that for another post. Season Preview While we’re messing around with Conference League qualification, there’s also the small matter of the Chinese First Division that we have to worry about. The board expects that we are going to gain automatic promotion to the Chinese Super League this year. In fact, everybody in the country expects that we are going to win the First Division. The media has given us 1-91 odds to win promotion, and 4-11 odds to win the First Division outright. Suphanat Mueanta has been given 10-11 odds to be the top goalscorer in the First Division, which kind of surprises me. Jeong Song-Bin, meanwhile, didn’t finish in the odds at all. I would be surprised if Mueanta wound up being the top goalscorer on our team, let alone in the league. And, as you can expect, we’ve got three players in the running for First Division top player. Mueanta is joined by Romeo Lavia and Eiran Cashin in that conversation, and the three of them are neck and neck. In other news, the board has announced that the undersoil heating installation project is now complete. We should be ready for the worst of the winter. Wolfsberger AC Our next Conference League qualifying round is against Wolfsberger Athletiksport Club from Austria. We are slight favorites to win the first match, which we will play at home. I’m always worried when we have the first leg at home, of course. I hope that we have a dominating victory that puts us in a good position to defend when we head back out to Wolfsberg.
  22. Fudbalski klub Voždovac This match was simply bizarre. We’re used to playing in a 30,000 seat stadium in Yanji. We’ve got a nice stadium — modern, somewhat new, and designed specifically for football. This match took us to Voždovac Stadium, a 5,000 seat stadium located on the roof of a shopping mall. That alone should have been a sign that we weren’t in Kansas anymore. I mean, yeah, we were on the other side of the planet — but playing in a tiny stadium on top of a shopping center is, well, weird. We lost this match. This is the first time I’ve managed Yanbian FC to a loss. You’ll look at the match statistics and will conclude that it should have been a win. And, well, you might be right, I suppose. But it never really felt like we were in this one. Zhu Bin, who was playing in an unfamiliar left back role, got us rocking with a goal in the 6th minute. I was beside myself with joy when that one went in. He’s only 16, and he’s already scoring in Europe. That was it, though. We had a number of good opportunities for our new young striker, Jeong Sang-Bin. His shots were so wild that I’m wondering if he needs a road map for the goal. We gave up an equalizer in the 63rd minute, and then gave up the winner in the 75th. The 2-1 loss isn’t a disaster, of course. We’ve still got the home leg left to play. We might be able to pull this one off in the end. It just feels so strange to lose. The New Signings I guess I should introduce you to our new players before I go much further. Just like I did during our last transfer window, I’ll have to introduce the new boys to you slowly. Most of our new signings are going straight into the under-19s squad; you don’t really need to worry about them yet. First up is Roméo Lavia, a 19-year-old Belgian central defensive midfielder we picked up from Southampton for a cool 100 million RMB. He was our record transfer at the time, and for good reason. He looked excellent. I had the money, and figured I might as well splurge a little bit. After all, the board was upset with me last season for not signing high reputation players. Lavia was willing to come on board, so, hey, why not? Lavia originally went to Southampton from Manchester City. In retrospect, Southampton didn’t really make much of a profit off of him; they purchased him originally for around 94 million RMB. I hope all of these transfers at a young age isn’t a sign of some sort of problem I’m unaware of. Given my luck, the whole thing will blow up in my face. Anyway, Lavia comes in as a superstar. We don’t think he’s quite as good as Paul Wade, but the two should team up well together in midfield. He also seems to get along well with the rest of the squad, which is great news. A few days later, the name Jung Sang-Bin popped up on my radar. Before I knew it, I had spent 180 million RMB to pick him up. He’s our new record signing. Jeong Sang-Bin (정상빈) is a tad older at 21. He’s from South Korea, which, of course, fits right in with our squad culture. He’s also a full international, with 3 appearances for South Korea’s national team, including 1 goal. We had to pay through the nose to get him from Wolves. Wolves made a big profit off him as well, as they only paid about 8 million RMB to get him from Suwon. We think Jeong Sang-Bin is going to be a huge hit. I’ve seen articles online calling him the “Korean Mbappe.” Of course, if he’s going to live up to that potential, he’s going to have to play much better than he did in his debut. I’ve got two more to introduce you to. First is Pedrinho, a 21-year-old Brazilian attacking left winger who looks okay. We picked Pedrinho up from SPO for 1.5 million RMB, which isn’t a bad price to pay. We can feel good about that transaction even if he doesn’t wind up turning into a star. He looks really good, too. My assistant managers think that he is one of the best left wingers on the club. Finally, we went out and got Eiran Cashin, another 21-year-old player — this time an Irish centerback. Cashin was another player who popped up in the scouting reports. We got him from Derby for 15 million RMB. The coaches think he’s the best centerback at the club, which really is saying a lot. The best thing about Cashin is his bravery and willingness to get into situations that others would shy away from. The worst part is that he tends to bend the rules from time to time. Anyway, you’d think that I’d stay away from big transfers after the sort of year we had last season. I just couldn’t help myself. Life, Death, and Taxes In my excitement, I forgot that we have to pay taxes on transfer fees we spend above 20 million RMB. That’s right: we are taxed at a 100% rate for fees spent (not received) over 20 million RMB. In other words, all of my transfer adventures gifted us a 240 million RMB tax bill. The club is not necessarily facing financial ruin at the moment, but we are doing much worse than we were before. I just hope that Chairman Guo will be lenient and understanding. I also hope that we can get back to our winning ways. Chairman Guo and the board do seem happy with the way the summer has progressed so far, which is a relief. The supporters also seem to be happy, though they are still concerned about my transfers. Again, the key here is to win. If we can win, everything will work out for the best in the end. We’ve had a few blips in player happiness resulting both from the new signings and from the Europa Conference League registration politics. Most of the players seem fine now, though George Hall is concerned that Lavia will replace him completely. Actually, if I were Hall, I’d worry about being replaced as well. That said, Jeong Sang-Bin and Eiran Cashin have already emerged as influential players in the squad. I think we’re moving in the right direction. The Home Leg Well, it’s do or die for us. I’m not a huge fan of these qualification knockout rounds. I wish we could just skip to the group stage. We might get to that point one day, if we can get our reputation (and China’s reputation) up high enough. For now, though, we need to focus on winning. It’s time for revenge.
  23. Yeah, lol — this database is full of surprises!
  24. I just finished playing through an entire season with this tactic. We went undefeated the whole way, scoring an amazing 235 league goals and completely crushing the competition: We also won the Chinese FA Cup, which really surprised me. Pretty good for a tactic that I chose literally because it was the last post on this thread at the time! Please note that I actually played the full season and didn't just holiday to the end. This included performing transfers designed to create a team to fit around the tactic, as well as the usual squad management headaches that we all know and love. Anyway, I created a brief video tactic review here, for those who might be interested. I feel like I've got a pretty good understanding of how it works after 50-something games. I'm going to keep using this tactic through the rest of this project. I suppose some elements may have been "broken" by recent SI updates, though I haven't really noticed much of a difference. It feels as efficient and powerful now as it did when I first started this project with the 23.1 match engine.
  25. Chinese FA Cup Final I can’t believe that we made it this far this quickly. It’s been only a single season, and yet we’ve already made it to the top of the Chinese football world. We played a huge final in front of a sold out crowd and a large television audience. And we took on Shenzhen FC, a team much more reputable (and arguably better) than us. And we won. We won this one 2-0. It was closer than the scoreline would have you think. The first half was scoreless, and I was worried that we were really going to blow it. Our first goal came from Pietro Rovaglia in the 57th minute. It was a complete fluke. Luciano Parra passed the ball aimlessly ahead to absolutely nobody, and made a half-hearted attempt to run after it. The Shenzhen rightback went back to the ball, and inexplicably decided to pass it back to goal instead of letting it go out for a goal kick. Rovaglia saw what was happening, ran towards goal just in time, and got his head on it. Shenzhen had a number of good chances right afterwards. We scored the second after a set piece on a great shot from Delfi that happened to ricochet off the foot of Shenzhen captain Lim Chai-Min. And, well, that’s all that we needed. We’ve done the double. The Summer Victory is sweet, but it was still a long summer. We had dozens of players coming in and out. I don’t know how many players we’ve got out on loan now. It’s absolutely crazy. We did make a few large signings, though I’ll have to introduce you to the new players tomorrow. Everybody seems to think that we’re going to straight out win promotion from the First Division this year. Chairman Guo thinks that we should be able to win the league outright. I’m not sure that we’ll go undefeated this time, but I suppose we’ll give it a try. Time really does heal all wounds. Jacob Dicko Eng got over the food poisoning and is no longer upset about not playing often enough. I guess Charlotte really got to him after all. Our fanbase seems to have increased quite a bit. We’ve now got over 300,000 social media followers, an increase from where we were at the start by over 30%. I hope that this eventually translates into larger crowds. The board also surprised me by suddenly deciding to install under-soil heating in the stadium, a project that it completed this summer. This should help with those frosty winter games. We’re doing well financially. We wound up with a new soft drink partnership deal worth 200 million RMB per year, which is excellent. Mueanta, Rovaglia, Parra, Delfi, and Dicko Eng sold the most shirts — though we all know that Lee Jin-Yong is clearly the most popular player at the club. Oh — and I also fielded interview requests from several European clubs, including Celtic. I turned them all down, of course. I’ve got a lot of unfinished business here. UEFA Europa Conference League You might recall that I mentioned way back in the beginning that there is now a road into Europe for Chinese teams. Well, we’re about to experience that first hand. Because we won the Chinese FA Cup, we have been invited to the UEFA Europa Conference League. In fact, the first two matches of the new season will be against FK Voždovac in Serbia. We’re also slight favorites to win the first match, even though we have to travel to the other side of the world for it. I’ve made a number of players upset with me because I had to leave them out of our squad. The rules are pretty strict: we are supposed to have 4 players that are home grown at club, or that have spent 3 years at Yanbian between their 16th and 21st birthdays. We have very few of those players left, unfortunately. The other problem, of course, is that the Conference League will only allow a maximum roster of 25 players. I’ve got our First Division roster down to 33 right now. We simply can’t include everybody. Fortunately, most of our influential stars were understanding. There were a few fringe players who were upset, but most of them won’t ever make it off our under 21 squad anyway. I’m sure we’ll be fine. I can’t wait for the new chapter to begin!
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