(FM22) The Quest #10 – 2030/31 Season Review

Welcome back! Spurs are back in the Champions League, that’s the first time we can say that in this save and it’s now 2030! We did really well last season ending 3rd but we need to kick on now. If you haven’t already then go and check out the last post, there’s a little bit at the end talking about my plans for this save. Basically I’ve started a new save with Leicester which I’m updating on the FM Base forum, this means I have 2 very similar saves on the go, so unfortunately I won’t be at Spurs for long, a move abroad is on the cards but will it happen at the end of this season……or maybe earlier than that!?

Well it didn’t happen in the Summer!

Let’s discuss departures first and there were a few. Unfortunately we said goodbye to Harry Maguire and Heung-Min Son who both retired. Maguire was kept on as an Under 18 coach.

Emerson Royal and Dean Henderson both left after their contracts were up and moved to Dynami Kyiv and Galatasaray respectively.

A few players also left for a fee but none of them were first choice players. Marin (RW) left to AEK for £17.5m, Eldred (RB) moved to Leipzig for £13m and young player Reece Harris moved for West Brom for £1m.

So we needed to replace Henderson, Son and Maguire, other than it all depended on what came up!

Joao Marcos – Centre Back/Right Back – £4m from Corinthians

A cracking little player for a very low fee. 18 as well so plenty of years ahead of him.

Mauricio Alvarez – Right Wing – £23.5m from Manchester City

My replacement for Son, a really decent looking player who will fit straight in, highly rated and only 21, a future star!

Now for the two big signings!!!

Jan Oblak – Goalkeeper – £13.25m from Atletico Madrid

What a signing!!! Ok, he’s 37 but my word he is still top top quality and will go straight in as my number one keeper.

Harry Kane – Striker – £13.25m from Newcastle

After one season away Harry is back! I just had to, he still look amazingly good and although I didn’t technically need him I just felt it was right he saw his career out at Spurs.

So some decent signings, the squad is set, now let’s win something!!!

The season kicked off and we started pretty well, we beat Liverpool at home on matchday day 2 before a solid 0-0 draw away to Chelsea, form in the league was decent but we did not start the Champions League well, we were battered 3-0 by Atletico Madrid in our first game. Form continued well into September with a couple of good wins and a crazy 3-3 draw against Man United.

But as October kicked in we started to slip up, we weren’t losing but we were drawing way too many games. As October ended we sat on 17 points from 9 games with 4 wins and 5 draws. Luckily though we gained a couple of priceless wins in the Champions league against Leipzig and Galatasaray. We also progressed in the league cup with a solid win over Sheffield United.

Into November and it started really well. 4 straight wins, 3 in the league and 1 in the Champions league was really good but as ever we slipped up. An away defeat to Leipzig meant we were really struggling to get out of the group. We had a home tie against Atletico to go and we had to win. We also drew Leicester in the league and then lost our opening game in December to Newcastle. Really poor.

Then came the big game, home to Atletico, we had to win and even though we were 1-0 and 2-1 up we managed to absolutely bottle it, conceding twice in the final 5 minutes to lose 3-2 and be dumped out of the Champions League, we came 3rd though so the Europa League it was!

After that loss though form picked up again and we won our final 5 games in December, 4 in the league and 3-1 win over West Ham in the League Cup Quarter Final.

New Year came and we capitulated, out of the Champions League and in the first week of January we lost to Arsenal, drew Brentford to drop us to 3rd in the League, we then lost to Watford in the first leg of the League Cup semi in a shocking display before beating Swansea in the FA Cup.

However my head had been turned, I was only staying here to see how we did in the Champions League and we were out, I wanted a move abroad and I was duly offered a job I couldn’t turn down.

It’s time to move away from England after 9 great years, I’m off to Spain with Athletic Bilbao!

An amazing job and a big challenge, because, as most of you will know Bilbao can only sign Basque players. Something totally different for me and something I can get excited by.

So far Bilbao haven’t been great, they ended last season in 3rd which was their highest finish of the save but before that has ended 8th, 6th, 7th and 7th in the previous 4 seasons. Trophy wise though they have actually won a couple! The Europa League in 2024 and the Europa Conference in 2029.

This season they are down in 5th place half way through the season, 9 points behind Real, Barca and Valencia. Their manager David Gellego resigned and moved to Dortmund hence why I am now the man at the helm!

Club Vision wise it’s as expected, develop youth players, sign only Basque players and sell players for a profit. I like the sound of that!

Clearly the “Basque Only” idea is a huge challenge, we are really going to have to rely on our youth system to fill the squad as most Basque players are either too good for us or not good enough!

Facility wise we are also looking good, especially for a club who wants to develop youth. Exceptional Academy Coaching and Youth Recruitment and Superb Youth and Training Facilities.

I took over mid-January so I had half a transfer window to make my mark. The board had been very nice and gave me £44m to spend on new players! To be honest there wasn’t really much business I could do, players were either too expensive or not good enough but I brought in a couple of young lads to help bolster the squad.

Iago Santisteban – Central Defender – £4.4m from Real Valladolid

A good signing, like I said it was a real struggle finding players that were value for money but this lads fits the bill.

Fran – Winger – £2.9m from Osasuna

Again a really good player for a low fee, highly rated and one for the future.

Txema Diez – Left Back – £1m from Subiza

Another highly rated youngster comes in as a backup left back.

So 3 players in, we did lose one key man from our squad as Winger Nico Serrana left for £47m and joined Arsenal, this fits the brief of selling players for a profit after he was re-signed in 2027 from Dortmund for £11.5m.

Now for the results and overall it went OK.

In the Copa del Rey we managed to get to the Quarters final with good wins over Merida and Deportivo. We then played Valencia, who were 2nd in the league, away from home, we played well but unfortunately lost on penalties.

We were also in the Europa League after ending 3rd in the Champions League group stage.

We faced Stuttgart in the 1st Knockout Round and played well to win 4-2 on aggregate. Chelsea were then our opponents in the 2nd Knockout Round, home leg first and we played decent but couldn’t win, 1-1 the final result. Away from home I decided to just go for it and attack them, we scored 3 times but at the other end we were a shambles, 5-3 to Chelsea the final result and we were out 6-4 on aggregate.

Now to La Liga, when I joined we sat in 5th place, it was relatively tight around us but we had a chance of top 4 but at least a top 6 spot was needed with the board wanting Europa League football next season.

Overall the final 19 games went OK but we were way too inconsistent with too many poor draws and some pretty rubbish defeats.

5 wins in the first 7 games was really good but then form fell away, only 5 wins in final 12. Those 2 defeats to Valencia and Atletico were to be our downfall in ending in the top 4 and even though we gained 8 points from the final 4 games it wasn’t enough and we ended in 6th place.

34 points from our final 19 games, doesn’t sound bad overall but unfortunately we dropped a place. Still though, Europa League football next season!

Now to my key men over the season. Firstly is wide man Jon Morcillo, the 32-year old had a great campaign ending as the clubs player of the season, 10 assists and 6 goals in his 39 starts, not bad.

The clubs top scorer was Sergio Pacheco, the 24-year old Striker was pretty decent and ended the season really well. 18 goals in 35 in La Liga with 23 goals overall. A player I’ll be looking to build around next season.

Central Midfielder Urko Blasco ends with the most assists, 12 overall in 38 starts with 7 goals as well. A decent season, I have to say this lad looks top quality and will be a key man for me moving forward.

And here for your perusal is the whole squad.

So now I look forward to next season, hard work ahead, the finances are OK, we have £27m in the bank but without Champions League football it is predicted to drop.

I may need to look at selling 1 or 2 of my more higher valued players to bring some money in which will mean I can then strengthen the team.

The main area I want to strengthen this Summer is defence, in midfield and up front we have decent options but in defence we are short and what we do have isn’t great.

Even though the finances are expected to drop the board have given me really good budgets for the upcoming season.

£60m is amazing, we also have around £250k per week spare in wages. So a decent amount of money to spend on strengthening my defence. Obviously other players may come in if anyone else leaves.

Anyway, that’s all from me for now. Thanks for reading.

Steve/LutterworthFox

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