Following a relatively decent if unspectacular 2014/15 season, there was more progression needed if we were to take the league title and get any sort of progress in Europe. Unfortunately, despite another fairly good season, we were unable to do either. This was largely because we spent the season re-building the squad following the loss of several key players (although these were all my choice).
With a place in the Europa League group stages guaranteed, it was on to the 2014/15 season. In my last piece, I suggested the squad would need a serious padding to deal with the increased number of fixtures this year. The group was always going to be as far as we got in Europe but six games more than last season, plus long runs in the Ligakupa and Magyar Kupa, was always going to make things tricky. In the end we had to deal with 62 games (by my count), which is tough at the best of times, but when they stick a two-month winter break in there, then things get… interesting.
The first part of the season was geared almost solely towards the European games. The team would be rotated almost entirely at times to ensure we were at our best for our tough Europa League group. As expected, we finished 4th in the group, but made what I feel was a really good impression on the continental stage.
The first season at Újpest has finally been completed. And it’s gone really quite well.
Having checked the actual standings for the Nemzeti Bajnokság 2013/14 in real life, I’d found Újpest had finished in 13th, only a few points above the relegation zone. This was not promising. I’d made a few changes to the squad, but a top-half finish would have done me. One of the main reasons I picked Újpest was because of their lowly standing even in their own city, Budapest. The aim was therefore to finish above either MTK or Honvéd, and take my place as the 3rd best club in the city. So top 8 in the table and top 3 in the Budapest mini-league.
Having a bottomless pit of money and buying any player you want is one of those things that can help you get back into FM, but it’s got something of a sell-by date. And instead of deciding to move on in that save, I imagine it’ll be far more interesting to begin again and journey into a country I’ve never managed in before.
After much deliberation on Twitter, some excellent choices were suggested but I eventually decided on Újpest FC in Hungary. The aim is to stay with Újpest for the long-term, creating them into a dominant force in European football, dragging the rest of Hungarian football with it.