Feralpi Salò – European Champions!!

Trophy-Uefa-Champion-League

Champions of Europe.

Doesn’t that sound rather nice?

Champions.

Of Europe.

About bloody time some might say but no-0ne cares about the haters so instead I’ll just take delight in the fact that I have FINALLY secured football’s biggest trophy with our tiny side from the banks of Lake Garda.

With the decision made that I’m going to stay at Feralpi to secure what I hope will be an easy Club World Cup, I’ll give defending our Champions League title one shot and then move on to a new club… which may also entail a new save depending on what game I end up going with.

So this should be a relatively quick update with a little on the domestic competitions, some more focus on the Champions League glory and a little information on a couple of new tactics. But mostly it’ll be about being Champions. Of Europe. 🙂

Domestically, things turned out rather easy in the league:

Serie A tableIn the end, our 4th consecutive title was rather simple. Early indications were that it would be a hell of a lot tighter as Cittadella started the league in fine form, winning 9 of the opening 10 games and looking like real challengers.

That didn’t last long as a 4-1 defeat in Salò prompted a poor run which saw them eventually slump to 7th. Cesena were the real surprise package, finishing 2nd despite a VERY modestly assembled squad. Milan, meanwhile, continue to stew in footballing mediocrity and have flirted with relegation for a couple of seasons now… that could be a very interesting fallen giant save if they ever do drop out of Serie A.

Unfortunately, we weren’t going to repeat our domestic clean sweep of last season despite breezing past Empoli in the first round of the TIM Cup. We met Napoli in the quarters and, as has been my policy for a couple of years now, I played the youth and fringe players. They were utterly, utterly outplayed by the Partenopei, registering just a single shot on goal whilst slumping to a 2-0 defeat.

The Coppa Italia, though, is clearly the third priority out of the main competitions. The top priority this season was always the Champions League…

Champions League games

And it doesn’t get much better than that!

It’s clear that our success was very much based on our defence. We conceded just three times in the entire campaign and just one of those, conceded at the Camp Nou, threatened to have any impact – Shakhtar and AZ just managed to nick consolation goals. 13 games, 10 clean sheets. That’s a winning formula.

This was a deliberate policy on my part once we got to the knockouts and was a lesson learned from past seasons, particularly in terms of away goals. I went with the standard 4-1-2-3-0 that I’ve been using for 12 years now but it’s an incredibly flexible system and allowed me to use the same personnel in a counter-attacking manner in the away legs and then step it up for the games in Salò.

Barca AWe rode our luck, there’s no denying that, with the game in Barcelona the most obvious example of this.

Scoring with your only 2 shots on goal whilst withstanding an obvious barrage is obviously not going to be something that happens every year but, much like Chelsea’s run in 2012, we managed to do just enough to see it out. The return leg was much more to my liking although we only got the two goals after Barca had a man sent off. Nevertheless, job done and we progressed to our first final against old nemesis Man City.

Apologies to anyone who follows me on twitter and had the misfortune of being online that night. I did go a bit spam-esque with the updates but I’ve been waiting for that final for a while now. In the end, this beautiful goal from the quite superb Lukas Holub brought little Feralpi Salò the biggest prize in club football:

I won’t go into too much detail on the tactic as I’m sure you’ve heard more than enough during the last 12 seasons of its use. I did, however, opt for the even more unorthodox 3-4-3-0 that you can find in my last tactical post for a few games at the start of the year.

Whilst it was a lot of fun and still brought good results, I wasn’t happy with the defensive aspect of the tactic and so reverted to the tried-and-tested 4-1-2-3-0 when it came to the “business end of the season”. In hindsight, I think it was a good choice.

So what now?

Well I’ve decided to stay on for one more season (really, just one more!). I want to win the Club World Cup to make it a clean sweep with Feralpi and, depending on how things are going, I might continue to the end of the season to see if we can defend our Champions League crown.

To keep in interesting, though, there’s a new tactic… with strikers. Here it is:

3-4-1-2Strikers!!

Two of them!!

I plan to return to the 4-1-2-3-0 shape throughout the next game that I play so, to keep an element of interest, I went with something completely different for this season. With the number of players that I have capable of playing up top, I thought it would be a fun way to go out with a bang.

And it’s worked fairly well so far:

Fixtures

I’m all about the attacking this season and to help me keep track of how successful I’ve been in that, I’m keeping a fairly simple spreadsheet which records the useful statistics that FM doesn’t. Hence I know that, so far this season, we’ve kept an average of 60% possession, created 2 CCC’s per game, 4.1 half chances per game and hit the woodwork 1.4 times per game. Exhilarating stuff.

Just a bit of fun before I move on… plus some lovely goals as you can see:

… so where will I move on to?

Well all suggestions are welcome. My current plans are to choose between one of the following options:

  • Pentagon Challenge Plus – I try to win the major continental trophy in each of the five main continents in the same career, only I can’t use any club from the top 3 competitions in that continent (by reputation). So I couldn’t use a Brazilian, Argentinian or Chilean / Uruguayan club in South America, for example. I have downloaded a mass of editor files which activate leagues from across the globe so it would be a massively diverse game.
  • I return to my Rapid Wien / Austria club and country save which I retired from to take over at Feralpi.
  • I merge Germany and Austria into one league and take over Rapid in a new save based on the club side only.
  • I continue this save but leave Feralpi and take over Toulouse or Den Haag.
  • I start a new game with Toulouse, Den Haag, Viking Stavanger or Polonia Warszawa

So yeah, lots of options at the moment. Please feel free to make your own suggestion in the comments box below. I’m not saying that I will follow your suggestions but someone might come up with something interesting.

For now, though, thanks once again for reading and, if you’ve followed Feralpi’s story from the beginning of this blog, I hope that you’ve enjoyed our rise from minnow to CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE!!!

Forza Feralpi!!!

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11 thoughts on “Feralpi Salò – European Champions!!”

  1. Really have enjoyed reading your updates on this fantastic journey! Well done on the champions league…looking forward to the new save wherever it might be

    1. Thanks Jonny, really appreciate it. Nice to see some people who have followed the Feralpi story right to the end.

      Crunch time re the new save soon… I just can’t decide 😦

    1. I have to say that it is tempting so that I can maintain my manager profile and see how many countries “he” can win titles in… but I think I’m edging towards a new save and a new challenge.

  2. Came across this site a few weeks ago and have literally read most of it, been a great read and also given me a few pointers on the way on how to improve in fm,

    fantastic success on bringing a small team to the top of european football.

    At the moment i am currently on a save similar to the british steel Challenge but with the twist it being in the 5 countries of Scandinavia. Maybe that could be a good idea for your next save.

    1. That does sound interesting. By 5 nations you mean Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland? Would all of those nations be happy to be classed as ‘Scandinavia’? I heard that Danes weren’t a fan of it.

      Anyway, I have been tempted to take over Viking as I work in Stavanger a lot and have their shirt. But the summer league and MASSIVE winter break puts me off.

  3. Really is amazing how much can be missed, just had a week or so recently to finally scour the FM scene and actually read some posts as opposed to just writing. Can’t believe I have never read your blog before, brilliant content and a lesson to be learnt for even the most experienced FM addicts, top stuff mate.

    Congrats on the incredible journey, where ever you go next I’m sure it will be a great ride. I just love how you experiment with such extravagant tactics, its very unique to read about that throughout a story. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Darren. Really appreciate it.

      I often nip over to FM Story for a read so the praise is entirely mutual. For me, it’s much more interesting to read about other people’s saves as it helps to put any other advice being offered into perspective. It also minimises the amount of guff that people just make up. If you have to provide pictorial or statistical evidence of something, then you can’t just argue that it’s true because it sounds like it should work. Too much of the latter across the FM ‘scene’ for too long.

      1. I agree completely, so often what sounds good and what should work doesn’t…but there’s no arguing simple facts and pictorial evidence. Either way, great work, I’ve bookmarked the site so will be reading even if I too comment too often.

  4. Hello Shrew, I’d like to see you merge Germany and Austria together whilst having surrounding countries such as Switzerland in the same league, similar to your Alphs league/ save, I believe that save was your favourite or at least a strong contender, and therefore believe you should choose that. Re live your save Shrew!

    1. Cheers EA. I was tempted to go back to a Rapid save, with or without the added element of managing the national side.

      However, I’ve since decided on something else. At least, that’s my current plan. I’ll do an update soon but it’s partly inspired by Ben’s excellent Vitória save on TD. Cracking read, that.

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