Part 3 – January to May
Welcome to the third and final part of my first FMM19 challenge.
When we last meet I had got the season up to the 1st of Jan and we were sitting pretty at the top of the table and had a Coppa Italia 1st round tie versus Sampdoria and a Champions League 1st knockout round against Liverpool to look forward to.
Here the current league table.
In January I decide to try and bring in some more players of different nationalities for a few more bonus points. The MLS contracts tend to expire in December/January time so I offered a few players deals and managed to get in two more lads. It should have been five more but three of the transfers never went through possibly because there contracts expired after the Italian transfer window had shut.
Neither of these guys will play many more then 1 game for me just to get the points but this was who I got.
This means I will have used 11 different nationalities in this season giving me 11 bonus points.
Our first game back after the winter break was a cup game versus Sampdoria and clearly my guys had enjoyed the break a little too much as we crashed out the cup at the first hurdle. It was an even game as many have been so far this season and we came out the worst of it.
This is a blow to our final score as every cup round we negotiate is an extra 3 points on my challenge score and as I don’t expect much in the Champions League I was banking on a good cup run.
Only three games in January but two loses was not the way to resume this save!
The Champions League returned this month and a tough trip to Anfield brought another defeat. I would have loved an away goal but 1-0 wasn’t the end of the world considering we got dominated and with the home leg to come were we would blitz them.
In the league we got over the Cagliari defeat with three straight wins including a 3-0 revenge job on Napoli and another win over The Old Lady as we came from 2-1 down to win 3-2.
We did end the month with a stodgy 0-0 against Sassuolo which took the gloss of the month a little.
The biggest game this month was the return leg versus Liverpool as we looked to overturn a 1-0 deficit and progress.
Nope we crash out in an even game although Liverpool had 2 CCC to our none. I never expected huge success in the Champions League and Liverpool was a tough ask but it was still gutting to get knocked out this early.
This means we just have the league left to win and wins over Genoa, Chievo and Frosinone kept us on track until we met Inter at the end of the month…
Another league defeat over one of the big boys and not just that we really didn’t play well.
We are really into the business end of the season now.
We took on Torino in a tough game as they were challenging for a Champions League spot at the start of the month but we made it back to back 1-0 loses.
We bounced back with wins over Empoli and Bologna before we took on Milan at the Stadio Olimpico
We dominated but just couldn’t create that CCC that would win us the game.
Worse was to come in the next game as we crashed to defeat at Atalanta and we thoroughly deserved to lose it as well.
So a mixed month left us 4 points clear at the top of the table over Torino with their city rivals Juve a further point back with just four matches left to play.
This is the four games we had left and our fate was firmly in our own hands as three wins would see us crowned champions. The penultimate game against Lazio sticks out for me.
We started off on the run in by taking on our cup conquerors Sampdoria.
The perfect revenge as we take another step closer to the title.
Next up was an away trip and a win here could mean we would go into the Rome derby with a chance of winning the league.
No issues and that leaves us on the brink of the title.
We beat Lazio and we are Champions and it won’t matter what Juventus do in an easy game versus Frosione.
At half time Juventus were winning and had cut our lead at the top to 3 points and we only had 1 goal advantage in the goal difference.
A time for heroes….
First lets take a look at our player stats
Our final challenge points work out like this.
· League: 88 pts
· GD: +52
· Cup first round exit: 0 pts
· Champions League 1st knockout round exit: 3 pts
· 11 nations: 11 pts
Total: 143 pts
Crashing out the cup in the first round was the biggest disappointment in this season for me and the champions league as well but success in that competition would have been tricky against the calibre of teams in that. Winning the league was awesome and although we lost more games than I would have wanted we still did it in some style considering the squad I had. Add to that the fact we only conceded 35 goals in 47 games with the limited defenders we had was a huge plus for me as well.
Above all that though was the fact I got to use some players I never would have done in normal circumstances and that was what I wanted. I love squad building and hunting out that player that overall might look bobbins but in the context of the challenge I have set could really do a good job.
In the intro I said that I spent on average £8.2m per player in my squad. That kind of money buys you nothing yet I built a squad that won Serie A and that makes me so damned happy 😀
Thank you to everyone who has read this short career and an even bigger thank you to those of you who have commented. I will leave you with the song that inspired the team to the title and the name of this career.