in FM17, No one likes us

“No one likes us…” RBS Season 4 Winter Break

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Season 4 in-game, but of course, it’s our 1st season at RBSalzburg. As the break comes earlier in Austria than it does in Germany, it’s RBL up first in the winter break update. If you had no idea that I’ve now taken over RBSalzburg as well as RBLeipzig, then fire on over and read the intro post that you might have missed.

Transfers

Out

There wasn’t much money in the balance at all when I (or Philipp Lahm, I should say) joined the club, so that had to rectified from the off. The squad was bloated from 3 seasons of AI management, it was time to trim. It was a busy summer in Salzburg.

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All in all, we raked in £8m in transfer fees. The majority of that coming from our brothers in Leizpig. I’d already mentioned in the intro to RBS post that West Brom had matched Dimitri Oberlin’s release clause, I wasn’t ready for him not to be Red Bull-owned yet, so off he went to RBL for just over £5m, barely a drop in the ocean for them.

There was probably some players I could have kept and worked into the squad here, Fountas, Atanga, Wanderson and Hee-Chan, but I felt the club needed change. They’d underachieved for 3 seasons, so out the door they went. Would some of the replacements be up to scratch?

In

It’s the aim to win. To win the Austrian Bundesliga, maybe even a domestic double. But we’ve also got to realise our place in the Red Bull Revolution, to provide a platform for gametime and development.

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With that in mind, there’s a very RBL-like theme to our incoming transfers.

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Grauschopf has been nowhere near making the breakthrough in Leipzig, he joins to provide some depth in the central defence. Sosa was a £2.6m signing from Temperley, and actually spent last season in Salzburg as well. He only made 6 starts, but this season, under Lahm management, he’d be the main man up top. Mohamed also spent time in Salzburg last season, and rejoins for this season. Very much signed as a sign-to-sell option, I doubt he’ll breakthrough at RBL, but could be a good option at RBS. The final loanee from RBL is Plavsic, who was one of my first signings in the save. I don’t think he’s shown enough to really breakthrough at RBL, but again, he’ll hopefully be very good at RBS.

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The final two players I want to flag are Allan and Duru. Allan looks like a great option for the Austrian Bunde, and fits right into our tactical plan (which incidentally is the same way we’re playing at RBL, more to come on that soon). His nationality (Brazilian) should stand us in good stead to make a decent sign-to-sell return on him too. Duru is the first of hopefully many regens that’ll be joining RBS. A relatively big outlay for him, which has so far been a failure. Squad registration rules with non-EU players has meant I’ve not registered him for league action. I’m looking to rectify that in January. Pablo Mari joins us for more defensive cover, but I’ll be looking to move him on in January for a hopeful fee of £1m. Gorzel comes in for some extra central midfield cover from our sister club, FC Liefering.

The league

I want to win the league, how’s that working out for us?

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Minamoto started the season on fire, with 4 goals in 5 matches. Oberlin, before his move to RBL, started well too. Sosa has been scoring fairly regularly too, with 8 league goals so far, more than he got last season already. I never aim for an unbeaten season, but it’s never nice to lose matches. The two 1-0 defeats against Admira Wacker and Wolfsberger hurt, but they weren’t the end of the world. There’s been a few too many draws for my liking, but some important ones away to Austria and Rapid Wien and Sturm Graz, in particular. A cracking win to gain some revenge against Wolfsberger ends the 1st half of the season. Here’s the table.

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It’s tight, but we’re top. We’ve scored the most goals, conceded the least and we’ve had an average of 58% possession so far in our 20 games. So we’re scoring, not conceding and keeping the ball. What more could I ask for?

The cup

A domestic double in my 1st season in charge would be nice.

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Two comfy ties in the first two rounds, followed by a great 2-0 win against Rapid in the 3rd round. If we get past Wacker, it’s looking likely we’ll have a semi final against either Austria Wien or Sturm Graz to negotiate.

Who’s got wings?

Instead of pointing out some top performers as usual, I’ll be flagging the players at RBS that I think have what it takes to follow in the footsteps of Naby Keita, Dayot Upamecano and Dimitri Oberlin and join RBL.

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Right now, the only player at RBS that looks likely to make the step up to RBL is Lukas Kalkan, who we singled out in the intro post. He was out for 7 weeks or so with a fracture in his back, but he’s returned for the last few games before the break. He’s still got some improving to do, but I really like the look of him. He’s been hearing murmurs of a move to Monaco, so I might have to do an Oberlin on him and snap him up for RBL sooner than I’d like.

Going forward

We’re sitting top of the league and in the cup quarter final, things are going well. I targeted a league win before the season, and that’s still the main aim. A domestic double would be nice. Getting into Europe again is a must for the club.

Through those player sales, the club is back on a solid financial footing again, with £8m in the bank. I’m planning to try and make a bit more cash in January by having a mini-version of the summer squad overhaul. It’s time to really turn the club into a talent development centre. The scouts have been scouring Africa for talent, and the following players will join us in January for a combined total of £575k.

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The only thing preventing me from bringing more Africans in is the squad registration rules I’d previously mentioned. Just means we’ll have to be a bit cuter with our recruitment, as opposed to stockpiling non-EU talent.

#FMSlack

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Time to end on my regular promotion of the ‘hottest prospect in the FM community’. If you haven’t joined #FMSlack yet, here’s something to read that’ll hopefully entice you into joining up and joining in with all the chat. If you do want to join, give me a shout and I’ll set you up with access. Either DM me on Twitter, or email fm_samo@outlook.com

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