So, back for more, eh? Can’t get enough of consecutive 8th places finishes in 2.Bundesliga? Say no more, just read on to learn a little bit more about the Football Manager 2020 blog taking the world by storm (I might even use some of the same paragraph titles as the SEASON ONE version of this blog, because, just like in FM, my creativity attribute has been removed).
I feel like I’ve been writing this for a while already, but will also continue to do so for the near future – Joshua Zirkzee was obviously the most important player in terms of output this season, and we’ve also managed to extend his loan until the end of the 2022/2023 season. Yes, that is after the end of not this season coming, but the following campaign. By the time his loan expires, we’d have had hold of the Dutch wonderkid for 4 full seasons, at least three of which will have been in 2.Bundesliga. What a waste. What a terrible, terrible waste (for him and Bayern, not for me). 18 goals, 3 assists, and a 7.14 rating for a side that didn’t bother turning up for half a campaign. No complaints here.
The whopping error:
Fuck me, I really ballsed this one up. Cast your minds back to the PREVIOUS POST where I showed 3 #GIFGoals, all of which were conceded by Mohammed Gassid during the 5-1 walloping by Darmstadt 98. This fellow was also in goal during a 2-2 draw against Kaiserslautern, which on paper isn’t a huge disaster, but it was two points dropped at the start of our only semi-respectable run during the great FC St. Pauli collapse of Q1 2021, and maybe the win would have given us better morale/results in the games following? We’ll never know. Two games, 7 conceded (26 minutes per goal conceded), and most remarkably, 0 mistakes leading to goals (I guess just being fucking useless isn’t a mistake?). Thank you, Mohammed Gassid:
Technically another ‘asylum’ player for Season Two, the new signing, Nigerian newgen actually won goal of the season, too. His attributes truly intrigue me, although that’s clearly not a hard task. At only 18 years of age, his passing and first touch make me a little moist, but the average vision, countered by excellent stamina, and the fact he’s a moderate weakling for a 6’3″ beefcake…even the structuring of the sentence is showing why I’m confused. He managed 21 appearances in 2.Bundesliga this season, with 13 of them starts, and the left footer plays most games in the CM(S) role on the left-hand side of the midfield. A 6.92 average rating, with only a single goal, and two assists to his name, I feel like he could become my hero of the save, although I feel like he could deliver more on the stats front. He flits between trying to be a regista, a box-to-boxer, and a traditional deep lying playmaker. I don’t know how to get the most out of him, truthfully, but he’ll start more often than he doesn’t next season. Perhaps he’ll help me figure him out. More of this, please:
More boring stuff
In my main Season Two post, I discussed the fact that I believe that progress has been made, albeit it’s not obvious to the naked eye. There were slight improvements when it came to the league table in terms of points, and goal difference, but overall it looked very similar to Season One. With the average age decreasing, and overall quality of the squad improving during the January transfer window (and hopefully finetuned this coming summer), it’s an exciting time to be an FC St. Pauli fan next season, I think. However, it’s off the pitch that the progress is indeed showgress:
In my post last season I noted that everything aside from the Training Facilities were being improved in the close season, and that’s more-or-less the case going into Season 3, too. These improvements are all paid for within a sustainable way, made easier by the financial model of German football. It probably helps that I wasn’t taking over a team who is pushing for promotion from the off, or recently relegated, as perhaps at that point we wouldn’t be making a profit without trying, but alas…:I could analyse a lot more, but the fact that I’m an average accountant at best, and a lazy one at worst, isn’t great for furthering this point. What am I writing?
The wages/turnover is all important in footballing terms, and we’ve managed to reduce ours even further this season. In isolation you could say it’s because our revenue went up by around 17%, but our wages only increased by around 4%. Going a round further in the DFB-Pokal (3rd round), as well as increased sponsorship, put us in a great position to request improvements yet again, whilst still retaining a profit (despite a net transfer loss). It’s not an exact science, but I did this when I was quite drunk and can’t be arsed to change it. Looks good to me though.
We actually don’t have much in the way of specifics to report this season. I mentioned that my backup goalkeeper fulfilled by asylum-signing criteria, and he was an absolute disaster. Ugochukwu Williams is exciting, and also fills this criteria. We have a few young Iranians coming in during the next season or two, but I’ll cover them as and when the time arrives for them to make an impact in the first team.
Whilst I do offer my side as a beacon of freedom of movement within football, and I do truly aim for a ‘World XI’ at FC St. Pauli, it’s also nice to develop German players too. I was blessed with Michael Ludwig in the first season’s Youth Intake, and he will be stepping into the first team next season as cover (whilst still being available for FC St. Pauli II/U19’s). He’ll be joined by a couple of other players who could make the grade, which is pleasant. This season’s top intake player was also a striker, with 4.5 star potential (at the end of Season Two), so I’m loathe to share another player in that role. Instead I’ll plump for this little lad:
When being presented with Little Kev during the Intake, many Football Manager players would tut, and jog him on. Not I. He may not be obviously excellent anywhere, but I don’t feel like he’s lacking enough to be completely useless, either. His passing and positioning worry me a bit, but everything else is a great starting point. I know Football Manager doesn’t work like this, really, but if you add 3 points onto every attribute, then he wouldn’t be worthless, and could be a good backup option for us in years to come, and homegrown to boot. Oh, the position? Right CWB(A), is where I’m training him, obviously. Watch this space.
And so ends a very similar, vaguely disappointing, slightly promising season with FC St. Pauli. I feel like a broken record. Honestly, even if the team doesn’t quite come together, Football Manager is one of those games where you’ll eventually just succeed anyway due to being unconsciously more aware than the AI. I hope to prove I have some tactical nous and intrinsic value of existence, but I’d also welcome all the accolades with open arms whilst simultaneously being useless should they arrive in the latter manner. Join me again next season, if you dare. We’re going up, and if we don’t, then maybe we will the next season, or perhaps the one after that…