I’ve been updating you at the usual regular intervals during the Aberdeen save. Start of the season preview, summer transfer window, half way point, January transfer window, and then an end of season summary and review. One thing I’m finding in this edited database, it’s very easy to fire through time in-game, and because I’m really enjoying the save, I certainly have been firing through. As such, I’m going to slightly alter the regularity of these updates and merge a few into longer posts again, starting with this one.
Our outgoings first up, and there’s been quite a few but only a couple to go into any further.
Jose Baxter was signed in the first season, really as a back up option. However, the fans seem to really take to him whenever he appeared in an Aberdeen shirt, and a £500k fee for someone brought in on a free transfer isn’t bad at all. I was looking for a bit more, considering he was worth over £1m, but I’ll take it. More profit, albeit smaller, was made on Jack Baird and Craig Slater’s moves away from the club.
Fast forward to January, and I made the decision to move regulars, Adam Rooney and Ash Taylor, on from the club. Both were in their late twenties, and didn’t count towards any squad rules so out the door they went. The fees we received for them weren’t what I was looking for again, both players were valued at more than £1m. Really disappointed to have received less than £1m for them combined.
And now our incoming transfers across the season so far.
There was two general areas of the squad I wanted to improve. In the summer, it was more quality in our forward positions. As the season went on, I had to improve the defence. Check, and check.
Guevin Tormin is a player I’d inherited when I joined Spurs in my previous save and when he popped up on loan at Hamilton last season in this save, I knew I had to target him. I was also looking for a better left footed option for our inside forward on the right. Where to start with Gustav Engvall. Absolutely delighted to bring him to the club, and really surprised he was still at Goteborg. I’d been tracking him since adding him to my shortlist in the first season. He’ll be a bargain at £2m.
Smekal arrives on loan to keep the affiliation with Inter active, however I don’t see him as a proper first team option and especially so with the 25 man squad rule in place for the league.
Romanian FM legend, Dorin Rotariu joins for £1.7m, which I consider an absolute bargain but it was a minimum fee release clause to foreign clubs. He was a bit of a wildcard signing, as I’d already brought in Tormin as a left footed option for the right inside forward slot, but it’s alright to have two right?
Fast forwarding to January again, and Tomas Kalas was transfer listed at Chelsea and joins to significantly bolster our central defensive options. He should form a great partnership with Mark Reynolds at the back. One thing to note from the majority of our incomings is the focus on bringing in players with a more professional personality.
On the whole, I’m actually pretty raging with our performance across the first half of the season in the league. We started really well, with a 4-1 win on the first day which I thought would set the tone. It didn’t, as we then went 4 games without a win. A shocker of a 2-1 defeat away to Killie, was followed by a shocker of a 1-1 draw against newly promoted Dumbarton. The struggle for goals was real as we drew the next 2 0-0.
Engvall then recorded his first goal in a 2-1 home win against St Johnstone, as we recorded our first win in 4 games. To spin it more positively, after the Killie defeat, we went 11 games unbeaten. However, it was the draws last season that killed us. We have to stop them.
And they’re definitely killing us this season too, so far. Look at Hearts, bloody hell. An unbeaten first half of the season, and they’re flying. They managed to secure Marcus Rashford on loan from Man Utd, and he’s completely dominating the Scottish Premiership. Our usual rivals, Celtic are there of course. Alongside last season’s star, Moussa Konate, and the ever free-scoring, Leigh Griffiths, they’ve added Alvaro Negredo to the ranks as well (slight spoiler alert, but not really, I’m now at the end of February and they’ve scored 20, 34, and 21 goals, respectively. Ridiculous). There’s most definitely a three way fight on for the title this season and it’s going to be really tough to get ourselves on the front-foot of it.
From the struggles of the league, to the relative comfort of the Scottish domestic cup competitions. We’ve won the League Cup both seasons so far, and we’re into the next round of it again after nailing our group.
I love the Scottish Cup in this database, the big teams enter at the 2nd round stage and from there, it’s a complete free for all. This is highlighted by our draws so far. Demolitions of Inverness City and Dalkeith Thistle were the bread in a tricky St Johnstone sandwich. Next up, we’ve got Falkirk in the League Cup, and Dundee in the Scottish.
Our quality performance in the Europa League group stage last season was a real plus point of the season, could we do it again?
We certainly could!
Some quite tricky draws on the surface in qualifying, but we cruised through into the group stage again for the third season in a row.
As the groups were being drawn, I was doing the usual praying and hoping for which one I’d be drawn out into. One containing Wolfsburg, PSV and Krasnodar wasn’t one of those. Looking at our results though, we certainly made light work of it! Unbeaten in the group, and cruising through into the 1st knockout round for the second season in a row. We played it perfectly, beating the group’s whipping boys, Krasnodar, home and away, while getting brilliant draws in our 4 matches against PSV and group winners, Wolfsburg. Delighted.
And that’s you completely up to date with where we are, how we’ve performed and setting it up very nicely for the second half of the season.