Mar 212012

Hello friends! I would like the start off by sincerely apologizing for not having posted in so long. It has been exam time at my university, so I’ve been throwing myself into that, which hasn’t left me too much time for Football Manager :( But exams are finally over (it was an awful 2 weeks) and now I have a week to indulge in FM! So, without further ado, let’s jump into my third season with Cagliari, after we recorded a 10th place finish last season. We are at a turning point in this tale. First of all, we finally bought our stadium, the Sant’Elia. Furthermore, we have finished upgrades to our youth and training facilities — they are 5 stars now. All of this is one part of a new era here on the island of Sardinia.

Friends, life for the Rossoblu is good. We are rolling in the money. And I made great use of my gargantuan transfer purse.

Now the press don’t know what I have up my sleeve: a massive squad overhaul. I scoured the World and was able to buy some of the hottest prospects in football. In addition, I made my own tactic, which will serve as my new starter. Johnny’s Barcelona tactic has served me very well over the past 9 seasons, but I want to give my own tactic a try.

Strange? I know. I pretty much left the style of play and whatnot alone from the Barcelona tactic. This also means that I am still using Darren’s set-pieces as well (from his Stoke tactic). But I have radically changed the formation based on some observations and ideas that I had. I left the sweeper keeper and the central defenders (although I contemplated making them a limited defender and ball playing defender pair for a while). The first big change comes from switching my full-backs to wing-backs. I have noticed a steep rise in wing-backs in the game and in real life as well, wing-backs like Evra and Dani Alves are all the rage, so maybe I should give them a try. The next step is the midfield. I opted for an anchor man on defensive duties because I noticed that the team did very well when playing a 5-1-3-1, so I felt that he would be able to drop back and aid the center-backs when we’re being hit with a counter-attack for example. In front of him, a box-to-box midfielder on support duties. The anchor man will be my main supply man, but you can’t have a Xavi without an Iniesta, and that’s what I hope this center-midfielder will become. In front of him, an attacking midfielder with support duties as well. He will be essentially a ball-holder in the final third to lay it off to either the inside forwards on the wings (they will thunder down the side and cut in and the wing-backs will provide them supply and defensive cover) or to the complete forward (who will hopefully wreak havoc in their box). So this formation is supposed to be another very possession-heavy tactic, which deals entirely with supply chains. We will see how it works (which is why I haven’t provided it for download, in case it is a dud).

So this meant I had to really change my squad and luckily I had so much money to spend and that’s precisely what I did!

My most extravagant spending spree, but I almost entirely covered the costs because so many big names had to leave thanks to the formation change. There were a few for whom we received offers that were too tempting so we let them go, most notably Jese! But in their stead we brought in absolute monsters. Take a look:

GK: Godwin Sodje and Asger Thogersen

Sticking with the same backup but I decided to bring in Sodje. The guy is an absolute monster and with some polishing he will really become a top-class keeper. He is already firmly Nigeria’s number 1!

DC: Eduaro Sanchez, Omar Castro, Vittorio Basilicata and Andrea Simoni

Moving Sanchez to the center of my defense was a great idea. Basilicata was a very solid player last season and while Simoni wasn’t as good, he was still a reliable player. Rizzo, a member of their cohort and who was possibly the best of the three, had a terrible season and I decided I needed a new defender. In comes Castro, who was over in Spain. He is young and an absolute monster. I have no trouble playing £5 million for him, just look at his stats! He and Sanchez will be my starters, but Basilicata and Simoni will serve as excellent back-ups. I had to turn down quite a few offers for all three of them, which should give you an idea of their quality.

WBL: Nuno Silva and Sheldon Mokoena

Nuno Silva made me very comfortable with moving Sanchez to the center. He really came into his own last season. When I purchased him, he was raw and had tons of potential and now he has realized it. He is an absolute phenom and I had to fend off many transfer proposals. Mokoena is an extremely physical South African regen who will serve as a good backup.

WBR: Ivan and Martino D’Aqui

Ivan has really come into his own. He has been a top performer at right-back and D’Aqui didn’t really get much time last season but he played well when he got a run out.

DM: Brian Quinton and Marco Foti

Foti was a high potential youth who I promoted and he performed satisfactorily. That’s why I am willing to keep him on as a back-up. Now Quinton, he will be my midfield maestro. I bought him from Crystal Palace, where he was by far their best player. He was doing quite well in the English Premier League and I think he will adjust quite easily to life in Italy.

MC: Walter Ferrari and Josue

Josue has been one of my top performers. I wanted to move him on because I found Ferrari but no one was willing to give me a reasonable offer. Josue is still a top player, no doubt, but Ferrari is in a new league! He made waves in the MLS before he moved on a big money transfer to Qatar, where he dominated the league. I have the pleasure of bringing him to top level football but it’s at the expense of Josue. Still, the Spaniard will be a very valuable player.

AM: Oliveira and Gabriel Pimba

Oliveira has been training and developing very nicely. He played a decent amount thanks to all the injuries and he really impressed last season as evidenced by:

Yep, my old team really wanted him and they tried quite a few times but I just refused to budge.

Gabriel Pimba was surprise performer at the tail-end of last season. I’ll let the old boy run out his contract.

RW: Alisson Ramses Costa Nascimento and Daniele Benedettini

This kid, Nascimento, was an absolute steal. He had a 7.81 rating last season with Lens and they gave him for only £3 million?! I have the next Ribery on my hands (that’s what his bio says as well) and he will be an absolute terror on the right. He will probably be my best ever player since he is already an all-star winger at 18. Benedettini didn’t really do anything last season but he trained well so I’ll let him have a chance this time around.

LW: Kazbek Valeev and Dimos Varvoutis

Valeev is the top Russian prospect and signing him was really tough because quite a few teams wanted him. But I got him and all his explosive speed. He will cause lots of trouble down the left for our opponents. Varvoutis was free and seemed like a decent backup player so I decided to give him a chance.

ST: Xaropinho and Luigi Marino

Xaropinho is currently my best player and could have been my top scorer last season. He has exploded on the scene with a terrific ability and is now establishing himself with the Brazilian national team. I have a real gem on my hands. I didn’t really give Marino a chance so maybe this season will decide his fate.

So, new season, new finances, new tactics, new players and hopefully massive success! Go to the next page to start seeing how they fared!

  48 Responses to “Cagliari Calcio – Season 3”

  1. Wow, incredible team, glad to see you got the results with all that talent!

    As for the USA qualification. Two teams from North America qualify (the two teams that reach the final). I only know because we’re a week away from starting this in real life!

    • Thanks Tyler! It is easily the best team I have ever assembled.

      Also, thanks for heads-up. Sadly, we faced Mexico in the semis, so they and Guatemala will be going to wherever 2020 happens.

  2. congrats mate! I am sure you will strengthen even further for next season and get the CL!

    Must only be England left once you have finished with Cagliari? You playing on ending there? I don’t see any reason why you can’t move on to Portugal, Russia etc! or even make it into the challenge that Ana is currently doing!

    • Hey David! Thanks for the encouragement! I have Spain and England on my plate. And that’s a great idea. I could definitely extend it to Russia, Portugal, and the Netherlands. Probably a stop in South America too. Not sure how I feel about Asia and South Africa though . . .

  3. Wow! Simply awesome! Your team has become a major italian club there thanks to those regen players! And I have to admit, I think you will become dominant force in no time although I think you should buy some quality defenders to avoid more conceding goals. Overall, it was amazing journey!

    I’m looking forward to your next chapter. Oh and let’s just hope your stay players don’t go anywhere.

    • Thank you Tegar! It was by far my most extravagant spending spree of this challenge. It’s already going to be hard because so many of my players are wanted by other clubs but I’ll see what I can do. I am hoping that since we will be in the CL next season, we should be able to hold onto most of them.

  4. After reading the first page with those awesome new signings I was quite sure that this was going to be a successful season. And I’m glad I wasn’t wrong, congrats on a fantastic double! Now if you manage to bring in a few more quality players you will surely make a great impact in Europe as well.

    • Thanks Johnny! I’ll keep tweaking the formation as well. I was not expecting to win the league after we let the lead slip!

  5. I’m only on page 3 right now (and have to stop reading for a while because I’m at work), but fantastic job so far. You’ve provided so many details, I can’t even decide which item I wan’t to comment on first. I’ll leave you with a general “thumbs up” for now, and quantify my thoughts for another comment later in the day. :)

  6. Fantastic season Bhargav! Always sweet to win the league on the last day against all odds! How long do you think you will stay at Cagliari for?

    • Hey John! I think I’ll be here for at least another season. I want to win the Italian Super Cup and I think this is the best shot I will have in a while for the Champions League. I will also just enjoy playing with such an incredibly skilled team!

  7. Some of those players you brought in are quite astonishing, and a good season looked pretty much assured.

    In the end I’m a bit surprised that the title fight ended up so close, only winning it on the last match. I think the only real problem with the formation, is that if your team are attacking and start pushing very high up, it does make you more vulnerable to the counter than a formation with full backs. However that’s the trade-off you make between being very attacking or defensive minded. Will be interesting to see how things turn out in the Champions League next season.

    • Thanks Ziggy. A lot of what we conceded was from counter-attacks. I was thinking of possibly making the wingbacks defensive rather than automatic. Or perhaps support, since they provided me with so many valuable assists, since my wingers are actually inside forwards. What do you think?

      • I think it’s worth experimenting with how what difference putting the wing backs on support or defensive makes. Even when I set my full backs to defence, they do tend to move forward against the weaker teams. If they have the pace and stamina for it, support is probably the way to go, and defence for those who are slower or tend to get tired quickly.
        My tendency though is to go with the defensive option against the stronger teams, and support against those you don’t think should cause too many problems. I will sometimes change it during a match, depending on what is happening.

  8. Great season Bhargav! The players you signed were incredible, you’ve built a fantastic squad and with such good players you were always going to win the league :) The formation is very interesting, I’m looking forward to seeing how it fares in the CL next season.

    • Thank you Laxeyman. It definitely needs a little more tweaking but it allowed us to blow everyone out of the water in terms of the number of goals we were scoring.

  9. that was awesome lad

  10. Firstly can I say well done on not playing FM during test time, it’s probably harder than child birth if you ask me!
    Also I have never quite seen such an amazing squad before … ever! Oliveria, the winger with the long name, and Xarophino (who’s stats have growned incredibly since the last post) have all done brilliantly, and thank God Atlanta capitulated on the final day of the season (when you need a team to fail to win on the final day of the season it almost always seems to happen). But you guys deserved to win it. The dismantlements of the big teams and the formation and tactic you managed to make is nothing short of astonishing so well done on the incredible achievement.
    Finally, hypothermia anyone?
    Good luck.

    • Hahaha thanks so much, Saltwater! That’s why I look forward to staying with Cagliari for at least another season. I have never had the fortune to create such a powerful squad! And don’t forget my right winger, Valeev!
      I honestly thought the season was lost. I was so lucky Torino decided to push Atalanta.
      And the formation definitely needs some tweaking. Plenty of goals being created but I need to let in a few less ;)

  11. Bhargav once and again you proved you’re one of the best on this site. I really enjoy your story with so much details and it always inspires me :) one question if you can post a pic of xaropinhos attribute picture because it must be enormous and i would like to see it … Anyway good luck for the next season and i’ll look forward for your next post to see your european adventure and your next club so im very happy you have free time now


    • Hi Ivo! Thank you so much for your kind words! It means a lot to me that someone considers me at a similar level as Darren and Johnny! And I’ll make sure to put up a picture of my Brazilian maestro in the next post (which should be out probably tomorrow).

  12. Fantastic team mate and the double was well deserved too…I honestly thought you’d blown it looking at those last few results but great to see you hang in…well done.

    • Thanks a lot Darren! I felt so annoyed with myself as we went into the last game. We had a 9 point lead at times! And we held that top spot for pretty much every single week of the season after game 3. But I’m glad Atalanta collapsed (take that Nangis!) and now I can sort of put all my focus into the Champions League.

  13. What an amazing season Bhargav!! Your players are beasts!! Well done on winning the league its just the super cup and champions league to go now ;)

    • Thank you, David! Far and away the best team I have ever assembled. This season, now that they all know each other, I am expecting some incredible things.

  14. Hi Bhargav
    All the superlatives have send to be used up already :) Anyway when i saw all you new players my jaw dropped – those were brilliant signings and Xaropinho was just simply awesome. Terrific job in guiding the team to a sensational double. Well done and great entertainment by the way so thanks for putting this update together for us all to enjoy!

    • Always wonderful to be praised by you, Kevin! It wasn’t so much my shrewdness in the transfer market as it was having bags of money to throw around, :D
      But I am having so much fun being at the helm of such a strong team.

  15. A great season. I must say those signings were pretty amazing, especially Xaropinho he has been a goal scoring machine. A great double :D good luck with next season and I hope you can win the CL.

    • Thank you Martin! Xaropinho is possibly my best ever signing! When I leave to my next club, you can bet I will try and take him with me ;)

  16. Wow incredible! Well done! Your team is now a force to be reckoned with in Europe. Great job, hope you can do amazing in the CL!

  17. Hi Bhargav!
    Well done, your team is incredible.With such a talents and maybe some signings Cagliari will be the winner of the CL, no question about it.

    • Thank you, Bence! I hope I can hold onto my top players, though. Quite a few major clubs are trying to poach them!

  18. Your formation is not weird or at least to me as its almost the same on as I used when I managed Real Union a few games ago.

    Wing backs can be a tricky thing to get right but if you do they can always gets loads of assists, I favoured two strikers and and an attacking midfielder with another central midfielder as you may get over run there.

    That said you had a very good season!

    Good luck for the next one! :)

    • Hi Ana! Thanks for the advice. I see what you mean, it took me some time to get my defensive and central midfielders to work together. After I switched Ferrari’s and Quinton’s roles, they gelled far better, and it almost became like having 2 central midfielders. Oliveira loves running forward (it annoyed me in the beginning but ended up being for the best) so I kind of have 2 strikers.

  19. I’m so glad you’re back! This is probably my favorite story on the site, so it’s brilliant that you have resumed posting again.

    That was an awesome season, congrats on winning the double! I must say, I love how you turn decent teams into great teams, keeping on top of the finances, consistently buying young fantastic bargains etc. You must spend an age scouting! You’ve assembled an excellent team, and I’ve no doubt you’ll retain the league title again next year. Really looking forward to you’re next post, best of luck!!

    • Thanks so much, Sears! I was lucky this season because I got some great transfer fees for my old stars, like Jese, to fund my spending spree.
      In terms of scouting, I always have a ton of them and quite a few feeders and my shortlist is absolutely gargantuan! After my earlier seasons and from reading about how Johnny and Darren play, I sign players for positions. I am not good enough to make my formation based on my players — I sign them to play in my formation. I basically have a threshold system — once the players meet my minimum attribute numbers, only then I sign them. That also means that I don’t play with masked attributes ;)

  20. Haven’t seen many people utilize an anchorman, would be interesting to see how it works, some very nice signings, and your finances look great without any debts, should be a good season if your tactic works, good luck Bhargav

    • Thanks mate! I thought it would be necessary to have the anchorman in tandem with the CAM and box-to-box midfielders. They are a 3 man midfield, but they are somewhat staggered so they stay out of each others’ way but support each other when the need arises.

  21. I’m curious, how can you get all players with so many 20 points of attributes? Are they manually generated? Or incidentally generated by the computer? Even Messi and Ronaldo don’t have 20 points acceleration and pace.. But you have at least one player with those atrributes. And your Xaropinho with 20 points of dribbl and finishing, also 20 points for agility and balance. That guy is a monster. Even Ibrahimovic doesn’t have stats like that. Are there any explanations? Thanx :)

    • Hey man! It’s mostly Xaropinho. He is abnormally beastly and the stats are all computer generated. That’s an interesting point you bring up, though. While he does have crazy stats, he keeps missing out in awards to likes of C.Ronaldo and Eden Hazard . . .

  22. Damn I miss this story sooo much :D

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