And we’re back.
Another season gone for the mighty ‘Ton. Last season was another successful one in the club’s history. Could we repeat the feat again?
This post is going to be a bit different than the previous season summaries. The 2020 Vision has worked well for us, it’s guided us through the most successful period in the club’s history. It enabled us to get down on paper what makes a Morton player, and outlined our approach to securing the next generation of Scottish (and foreign) talent. But following Sir Alex’ example, the period when you’re on top is the best time to start a change. Once I’ve gone through how we did this season, I’ll be asking you, the FM Community, for ideas on how we can change our approach.
This is probably a bit of a spoiler to show you the entire season’s results in one screenshot, but here it is. Almost an unbeaten season, almost! Looking back, I can’t believe we lost that first game of the season against Hearts. At the time, you don’t think anything of it, plenty of other opportunities to get points on the board. As the season went on, I got more and more angry about it. 37 games unbeaten is still an amazing achievement. The sign of champions is grinding out results when we needed to, securing a couple of draws against both Celtic and Rangers, and having quite a few narrow victories. Only conceding more than once in one game across the entire season is a ridiculous record, and one to be really pleased about.
Celtic really pushed us close for quite a large portion of the season. It really was a two horse race from the get-go. You could probably tell from the results screenshot, but our defence was so solid this season, just 16 goals conceded in the league. In the end, we were too strong for the chasing pack (not so much a pack, just Celtic really).
Adding this season’s totals to the overall stats since we were promoted to the Premiership, you can see we’re really dominating the league now. We bettered our points tally from the season previous, which is great to see. Just a reminder that we won the league in that first season, 2017/18, with a points tally that was 25 points lower that this season’s, ridiculous! It’s good to see Celtic pushing us, and bettering their points tally too, finishing with one of their highest totals in previous seasons.
Those of you that closely follow my Twitter feed will know this already, but domestic domination was secured for the third consecutive year.
We won both the League and Scottish Cups again, securing the domestic treble. Not a lot to add here, two dominant performances in each of the finals, but it’s good to see two non-Celtic/Rangers team making it to both finals.
The Champions League was a non-event in our final standing, but there was some things to note. I forgot to take a screenshot of the final positions of the group (I’m actually now in the next season already so can’t go back, fix stuff like that please FM, I know you’ve got it in there, just show us it!) but here was the group.
Fitting that it was group D! A very annoying 1-0 home loss v Bayern, from a 3rd minute Thomas Muller penalty didn’t give us the best of starts, but 1-1 away draws at both Old Trafford and the San Siro gave us confidence, and kept the group alive. That confidence was shot down with a 2-0 defeat at home to Inter, and another 1-0 loss against Bayern. Those results put us out, and with nothing to play for against United in the last group game…
We went and did that. Results like that are so hard for me to believe, our reputation has improved so much, and we’ve got great players, but we’re bloody Greenock Morton and we’re beating Manchester United in the Champions League! It did put us out, and still wasn’t enough to qualify for the Europa League. So much more room to improve in Europe, we need to make that step up. Scotland still gets one automatic group stage spot for the Champions League, and it’s vital we keep that. But we’re only going to keep that, and improve it further, if we can perform on the grandest stage of them all. Of course, it’d help if the other clubs did their bit too. Celtic and Rangers have been just as woeful in Europe as they have been challenging us in the league over the past few seasons.
First up a player you’ll recognise.
Mikkel Duelund had a storming season. Playing in my inside forward role on the left hand side, he chipped in with 20 goals in all competitions from just 25 starts. His average rating for the season was 7.66, I really felt we were a better team with him in the side as opposed to when he was rested. Rotation is a must at the club now to keep all my players happy, and even then, it’s a difficult task.
It’s probably quite fitting I’ve chosen to single out the two players that scored in our win against Manchester United. What can I say about Bernardo Brito. It’s one of those mysteries of FM that this guy has been our top scorer 3 seasons in a row. Does he stand out to you? I picked him up for £300k from Benfica, and he’s been nothing short of a goal machine since. 23 goals in all competitions this season, it won’t break any scoring records, but he’s reliable and just seems to do it when called upon.
I know I’m not focusing on the 2020 Vision, but I really enjoy looking at these stats.
The main thing you’ll spot here is that Cappielow has finally been extended, and we can now fit 15,000 fans in. Not huge, but it’s significant, because from 2023/24 onwards, we’ll finally be able to play Champions League group stage matches at our own stadium. The stadium expansion wasn’t completed until January, so we didn’t see the full benefit of a huge jump in average attendance growth. Season ticket growth was huge though, and I expect this will rise further as we can now put more on offer.
So that’s it really, just a short and sweet update for the 2022/23 season. Now I’m throwing it over to you, I’d love you to give me some ideas for what path we should take this save next. Should we go for a Building a Nation style approach, and try and improve the entire league? Should I start putting more of a focus on youth? Should I just continue to be selfish and completely dominate? Let me know, either in the comments section, or be Tweeting me!