The All Nations Challenge #7

Welcome back to what is probably one of the most enjoyable seasons I’ve had on FM for a very long time! Last time out we were so close to a shock promotion to the Bundesliga, missing out on the promotion playoff spot on the last day of the season. We also managed to tick off a raft of nations in the challenge. So this season is hopefully a repeat, will I be able to match the results on the pitch though? It’s going to be tough.

DFB Pokal

After last seasons amazing run to the German Cup Quarter final and with that a whole load of cash this seasons run was a little less inspiring.

We were however given a shocker of a tie in the 2nd Round where we faced RB Leipzig at home, we played really well and looked to be taking the tie to extra time before a very late Leipzig goal sealing a 1-0 win for them!

Not the money maker I was hoping for but still around £1m in prize money, TV revenue and gate receipts.

2.Bundesliga

Now to the League, after last seasons heroics I had high hopes but knew it was going to be tough, with a whole raft of new signings and lots of departures due to how well it went challenge-wise last season I expected results to suffer early on.

However we opened with 3 straight wins and 3 clean sheets before we failed to win in our next 5, we only lost once though. Form continued to be good with only 1 more loss all the way up until the end of the year. 17 games in, 31 points and we were well in the promotion hunt. The big issue was the sheer number of draws, 7 in 17 games, most of them we should’ve won.

Into the New Year and what a run we went on! The mid-season break had done everyone the world of good and we came back on fire, 3 wins out of 3 in January, 13 out of a possible 15 points in February then 5 from 9 in March. At this point we were somehow in 2nd place!!!

7 games to go, we needed to continue the good form but the pressure seemed to get to the lads. April opened with 2 defeats in the first 3 games and that dropped us to 4th place.

Form needed to turn and turn it did! 4 games left, we needed to win all 4 and we managed to win the next 3 scoring a load as well.

We went into the final game in 3rd place, a playoff spot guaranteed but also a slim, very slim chance of nicking 2nd. Werder Bremen were above us on goal difference but their final game was away to Hansa Rostock who were rock bottom and relegated, we had Hannover away who were safely in mid-table.

We scored early but Hannover pinned us back before half time, but as the whistle blew after the opening 45 minutes shock news came in from Rostock, Werder Bremen were losing! 45 minutes away from the Bundesliga, then, amazingly, on the hour mark Rostock doubled their lead.

Minutes ticked by, they felt like hours but eventually the whistle blew. Werder Bremen has totally bottled it, a point was enough for us!!

PROMOTION TO THE BUNDESLIGA!!!!!

Absolutely unbelievable, no words, I literally cannot believe it!

Nations Ticked Off

Now I turn to the challenge and it went about as well as the league campaign did! Another raft of nations ticked off, so here goes!!!

Nation 63 – Burkina Faso

Abass Traore was here last season, he has played over 30 games and scored a goal but couldn’t get that 7.5+ rating, this season however he did it in the first match of the season! Eventually! He was then sold!

Nation 64 – North Mariana Islands

Now to one I never ever thought would happen. Taka Borja was signed in the 2nd season, he’s been here for 5 years, scored enough, played more than enough but could never get that rating. Then came a 4-1 win over Pampow in the German Cup, the perfect chance and my word did he take it! 2 assists and an 8.1!!! 5 years it’s taken!!!! He was then sold!!

Nation 65 – Moldova

Now to a new signing, Vladimir Fratea was signed in the Summer and made an instant impact, he was also key to our success. He scored in the opening game of the season, a 1-0 win over Bochum before an 8.1 in the German Cup win over Pampow. He made 28 starts during the season, ended with the most assists (11) and the young player of the season award.

Nation 66 – Gibraltar

Another Summer signing, defender Louie Annesley came in and was sensational, another lad who, in another save would’ve played a lot more. He got a 7.5 rating in the 2nd game of the season, a 1-0 win over Magdeburg and then scored in the 3-3 draw over Heidenheim in mid-September.

Nation 67 – Kuwait

This lad was utterly amazing, a late Summer window signing, Salman Al-Awadi was the main man this season, he scored his first goal and got an 8.3 rating in the 2-0 win over Dynamo Dresden. Over the season he made 32 appearances, scoring 20 goals and ended as the clubs player of the season.

Nation 68 – Chad

Another Striker who made an instant impact, Casimir Ninga scored his first goal and got a 7.5 in the 1-0 win over Bochum, he then complained about not playing in the right position and was sold in the Winter after playing 12 times.

Nation 69 – Saint Barthelemy

This one was utterly incredible! I signed Orlando Castanheira last season, he failed to make an appearance. I signed him blind, his attributes looked OK but due to the limits on my scouting range I couldn’t get a report on him. He isn’t rated highly but when he played this season he was amazing! In the 4-1 German Cup win over Pampow he scored his first goal, a 25 yard rocket, he also got a 7.9 in the same game. Overall he made 10 starts, scoring 2 and getting 3 assists, not bad for someone rated so poorly!

Nation 70 – St Vincent & The Grenadines

I had this guy on my radar last season but couldn’t afford the deal, this Summer though, with more money at my disposal I brought Seaqueam Westfield in, £200k from Millwall, he didn’t start the season the side but once players started ticking things off he got his chance. He scored and got a 7.5 in the 3-2 win over St Pauli and overall made 10 appearances, scoring 7 times.

Nation 71 – Niger

This lad was amazing, Jean-Eric Moursou is a top quality defender who came in the Summer on a free. He got a 7.5 in that German Cup win over Pampow but it took him forever to score, mid-February to be exact, a goal in the 3-1 win over Werder Bremen.

Nation 72 – Mali

Moussa Coulibaly was a free transfer signing in the Summer, he wasn’t great but got a 7.6 in the Pampow win and then eventually scored in late-December in a 1-1 draw against Hannover. He only made 11 appearances and was rubbish.

Nation 73 – Senegal

Mamadou Ndiaye came in during the Summer from Paris FC for £170k, overall though he wasn’t great, he made 27 appearances over the season, scoring his first goal in November and then got a 7.7 in late-February in a 4-1 win over Heidenheim.

Nation 74 – England

I was really hoping my intake star Farquarhson would tick England off but my word he was rubbish. When Liam Thompson popped up as a recommendation in the Winter I had to bring him in. £41.5k from Derby, what a player! He scored and got a 7.7 in a 1-1 draw over Hansa Rostock in early-February, overall he made 14 appearances, scoring 3 and getting 6 assists.

Nation 75 – Suriname

Another Winter window signing, Striker Sheraldo Becker came in from Paderborn for £43k and made an instant impact, he scored and got a 7.8 on his debut in a 3-1 win over Magdeburg, 14 appearances during the second part of the season, 7 goals and 6 assists.

Nation 76 – Seychelles

And finally one that took over a season! Charmaine Hausl came in last season, 18 appearances in the last campaign, no goals but a 7.5 rating near the end of the season. He played so many games, 41 in total before eventually he tucked away a penalty in a massive 3-2 win over 1860 Munchen with 4 games to go.

Absolutely amazing, another 14 nations ticked off which takes me to 76 in 7 seasons! An amazing campaign results wise, an unexpected promotion and a huge year in the challenge. Could it have gone any better?!

Next Season

So now we look forward to our first Bundesliga season and this is where it should get fun! The money in this league is mad. £26.8m for ending bottom! So when the budgets came up I was really disappointed.

The wage budget goes up by over £40k per week but the transfer budget is really poor, it’s even lower than what I was given this season.

I mean I can’t blame it on the finances, the end of season balance ends at £20.3m, a near £7m profit from the season before. Outgoings have increased but slowly our attendances are rising and we made over £14m in prize money from ending 2nd.

So really poor budgets but it will increase if I can ship out all the players who have ticked off their respective nation. A rebuild is required in the Summer if we are to have any chance of staying up. Personally I think it’s going to be near-on impossible but the money for just being in this league makes a season of struggle worthwhile.

This could be fun!

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

Steve/LutterworthFox

One thought on “The All Nations Challenge #7

Add yours

  1. All hail the North Mariana Islands massive! Didn’t even know it was a country. Becker is a player, he’s been a thorn in my side for Dinamo Zagreb

    Like

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