Jan 282012
 


Hello my friends and welcome to a new episode of my Football Manager 2012 story! This update will be quite long as it will cover both the pre-season and the first half of the season with Viitorul Constanta. This is a bit unusual for those of you who have followed the story since the beginning but the explanation is rather simple: I played FM as psychological therapy this week as I had some health issues in my family to worry about, playing the game helped with keeping my mind off that but I didn’t feel much like writing until today. As you remember we dominated the domestic scene last season, won the Liga 1 title and the Romanian Cup quite comfortably, and now we had to prepare for another go in Europe.

The club wasn’t very generous in terms of transfer money though, even though I promised them another title.

That promise was a bit against the odds if you listen to the bookmakers but I guess I know a lot more than they do, I was quite sure that we were going to lift another title.

The money that I had available were not enough to bring in any big names but I still managed to do some business, mostly for the future though. The names in the picture below might not tell you much for now but we’ll get into more details a bit later.

We did pretty good business in terms of sales too, we recouped 2.3 million from player sales as a few faithful servants left the club: Liviu Ganea (350K), Mihai Onicas (100K), Octavian Ormenisan (500K), Raul Rusescu (130K loan fee). We also sold central midfielder Martin Lukac for 575K but that was not my decision as you can see from the screen shot below.

Now let’s get into those details, here are the 22 men I started the season with:

Goalkeepers

Hernan Prestia (bought for 1.2 million), Xaropinho (confirmed) – Prestia joined us from Argentinian club Velez Sarsfield but he also has an Italian passport so he is considered an EU player. He could become the goalkeeper that this club has been expecting for quite some time now.

Right Backs

Lubomir Cerny and Ionut Peteleu (confirmed) – no changes here, I have two solid players that are still young as well.

Left Backs

Danut Gongolea (confirmed) and Mory Kante (free transfer) – I wasn’t really looking for a new left back but when I saw Kante available on a free transfer I just had to sign him, a solid player with exciting potential.

Centre Backs

Juan Belencoso, Georgica Dicu, Ionut Putanu, Michael Vesely – all confirmed, no changes in a department that worked very well last season.

Central Midfielders

Nenad Grumic, Milton Mella and Silviu Pana (confirmed), Ivo Prochazka (promoted from youth team), Joaozinho (bought for ), Christian Kaufmann (free transfer) – this is the most active area, three new players moved to the first team and quality has increased overall in my view while the average age has decreased. On a side note Nenad Grumic has become Romanian and was eventually called up in our national team!

Strikers

Rastislav Benko, Rodolfo Oliver, Daniel Mazzoni and Manoel (confirmed), Stefan Huza and Florian Folea (promoted from youth team) – no major changes here except replacing high-earning Rusescu and Ganea with a couple of youngsters from the reserves.

We have played just two friendlies during the summer as I felt that we didn’t need more since the season started very early with the Champions League preliminary rounds. Things went smoothly as we demolished a team from Kazakhstan before clinching the Romanian Super Cup for the third time in a row but only after a penalty shoot-out.

Then the league started and we did very well up to a certain point. But my main focus was the Champions League and we did very well in there as we reached the group stage again after a solid performance against Serbian giants Red Star Belgrade. As for the domestic leagues, we won all but one game, a shocking and rather unlucky defeat against UTA.

We didn’t have much luck in the Champions League group draw either: defending champions Inter Milan are 1st seeded in our group, then we have Shakhtar Donetsk (our parent club) as second seed and Liverpool as third seed while we could have gotten much easier teams in that position (like Celtic for instance).

The odds were firmly against us once again, that wasn’t surprising.

However, our reputation in Europe has increased quite dramatically as we moved up no less than 227 places in the coefficient rankings compared to last season!

Since we’re talking about good ans surprising news I was shocked to find out that our new stadium was ready even though I thought it would be finished next summer!

What’s even more surprising is that the new stadium is still listed as “in progress” in the boardroom screen! Maybe we’ll have two stadiums next summer?!

Anyway, our facilities look a lot better with this new stadium plus the youth facilities which reached the “state of the art” status soon after I had taken the screen shot below.

Now let’s return to the important stuff: the Champions League group stage! I wasn’t very happy to start against cup holders Inter but then we had two back to back home games and I was hoping to finally nail that first ever group stage win.

I invite you to the next page if you want to find out what happened in that fierce Champions League group, all I can say is that I don’t think you’ll be disappointed ;)

Go to the next page to read the rest of the story.


  41 Responses to “Romanian FM 2012 Story: On The Rise”

  1. wow great effort in europe! So unlucky not to get through, I bet you do well in the europa league

  2. looking good domestically his year as expected
    very well done in europe this season against all odds hopefully you’ll get past and get more money for going further
    anyway well done and good luck

  3. A BIG improvement in Europe, very well done for that! Domestically I never has any doubts.

    With is improvement in Europe, the board is sure to give you more funds next season. Hopefully nobody will notice you and you don’t have any players taken my foreign teams.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks Tom, I’m sure they will give me more money, maybe they will do that during the winter break. About the players, quite a few of them are wanted but I slapped big price tags on most of them to keep the “predators” away at least for a while.

      • Well fingers crossed that the board do so you can make your mark on the Europa league.
        That’s good to hear, I’d hate for the next episode to begin with you losing all your top players.

        Hope all is well :)

  4. Great effort in Europe Johnny! You’ve certainly improved from last season, and with an easier group, I reckon you’ll qualify for the knockout’s comfortably next season. Hopefully you can go along way in the Europa League, you’ve definitely got a chance :) Good luck!

  5. Hi Johnny
    That was a very exciting ride through Europe and I really thought you would go through to the knockout round after those back to back wins over Shaktar. The team is improving each year in this competition. I looks like you should have no trouble in retaining the domestic title and some great young players coming up through the ranks too! Great job.

  6. Well done Johnny, your form in Romania is nothing short of domination and your European form has taken a giant leap too. Every other year you were out matched but this season I thought you may just reach the first knockout round. The elimination wasn’t a bad thing though as your Europa League campaign could provide some brilliant giant killings. I think your squad is growing to a very competitive level now and you are three or four quality signings away from challenging in Europe in my opinion.

  7. Nice effort in trying to qualify for knockout round. Better luck next time. I also did not see the saved game u said where goin to post.

  8. Wow Manoel not being injured for a change is now banging in the goals, you did really well in the group stages this time, I think getting third place (and a spot in the Europa knockout rounds) is a good achievement considering that Liverpool and Inter had some really nice players (Sneijder, Cabaye, Douglas Costa)

    You might be able to challenge for the Europa League trophy itself, who knows :D, keep up the good work Johnny, hopefully Hagi doesn’t accept too many more offers for your players on your behalf

    • Thanks mate, I agree that it was a good achievement. I don’t know if we’ll be able to challenge for the Europa League trophy since there are a few strong teams in there like Arsenal or Tottenham but we’ll take it one game at a time and see where it leads us.

  9. Your team is improving in Europe Johnny i definitely thought you were going through when you got the two wins against Shaktar, they should be your feeder club!
    Two or three more signings and i think you will get through the group stage.
    Good Luck!

  10. That was brilliant story Johnny I was thinking you had made it to the first round knockout stage in Europe. Some excellent results. Your team is getting stronger and stronger every year. It looks like you got another League title in the bag? Good Luck with the rest of the season. :)

  11. What a performance in Europe Johnny! Even though this group was tough, you still came third and got a deserved Europa League place.

  12. Brilliant first half of the season, finally getting wins in the Champions League group to progress through into the later stages of the Europa League. Your lead in the League is excellent too, so it looks like you’ll winning that again.

    It’ll be interesting to see just how far you can progress in the Europa League now. Good luck.

    • Thanks Ziggy, I am looking forward to the Europa League because it seems we’ll be meeting teams that are more or less “in our league”, at least in the first couple of rounds.

  13. Eight points well done!! :)

    That’s your best total I think in the champions league group and it does show your are improving season on season.

    Your group was far from easy as well so it make’s it an even better achievement.

    Financially it looks as good as ever and with your team sitting on top of the league it will take some effort for them to overtake you, lots of wanted players so hopefully you can hold on to them I and I have my fingers crossed that you chairman wont make those decisions for you. :)

    Good luck!!

    • Thanks Ana, eight points is by far our best total so far considering that the previous best was… one point! :) I have put hefty price tags on my best players and I hope that will keep the big offers away at least for a while.

  14. Doing incredibly well in the league Johnny, it’s all but wrapped up …. But wow, that was a major improvement regarding the CL. I think next season you could qualify to the knock-out stages, depending on the draw. Best of luck in the Europa League!

  15. hey johnny,
    i think you’re going to dominate the league and the cup for all the seasons that you continue to play this game :) your team is that good. only way is up! i’m delighted that you did so well in the champions league this season, with possibly the hardest group you could get! all the best in the europa league and hope you can advance from the first few knockout rounds…you’re not very far from making it to the knockout rounds of the champions league and thats a realistic target for you next season. keep up the good work! cheers! :D

  16. You did great in Europe, Johnny, some really amazing results. I am really glad to see that you managed to continue your trip in Europe (even though it’s Europa League) and you were so close on finishing second in that really tough group! But at least you got Rangers against which you should have no problems considering your performance in CL.

    Regarding the domestic league, that’s what we were expecting from you and it’s no surprise that you managed to deliver. It’s still good to know that your position in Romania is getting really solid, so that you can focus more on Europe.

  17. Hi Johnny,

    Have been missing the stories here as i am very busy with my personal life. The focus will definitely be in Europe as i just don’t any problems in you retaining the title. A big improvement compared to last season as you progressed to the Europa League in such a tough group. Love to see you going all the way. Good luck.

    • Hey Lye, I hope your kid is doing fine! As for the game, I’m quite pleased with how things have gone so far and I hope we’ll do some more damage in Europe.

  18. Brilliant post Johnny…your definitely at the same level as me in the anzhi save, dominating the domestic seen and improving every season in the champions league. Your Champions League campaign this year has been absolutely awesome and the efforts fully deserved a Knockout place, but there’s alway next year. Keep up the good work and I’m looking forward to the next update :)

  19. Terrific work, Johnny! I knew it was only a matter of time before you had your breakthrough in Europe. And do it against such opposition — that is truly impressive! Congrats mate!

  20. good try on getting 8 points in champions league group stage.

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