Before I’d achieved an unbeaten season with Dortmund, I genuinely thought it was impossible.
Each year, we’d lose a game in an away game against some dodgy mid-table side and I’d whinge before not playing Football Manager for weeks. To me, anyone who achieved an unbeaten season was either ridiculously lucky or ridiculously good at the game.
But it turns out, maybe not.
Another Bundesliga. Another DFB-Pokal.
But a Champions League loss.
As seems to be the case regularly these days, it’s been a long while since my last [Dortmund] update. In that update, I suggested the save may well be done & finished as we completed our aim of an unbeaten season. This proved not to be the case, and I’ve actually completed a number of seasons since them.
This is largely because a variety of new objectives have taken priority; back-to-back(to-back) Champions League titles, a new stadium, creating a new side after dismantling the old one for massive transfer fees and, most importantly, Robert Wechner’s goal tally. One of the main joys of Football Manager is finding regens who fit your style & philosophy, and morphing them into a deadly player capable of ruining the opposition. Wechner is just that, and he happened to come through the academy. In the last article I wrote, I noted that he’d never reached Gerd Muller’s Bundesliga record of 365 goals; but not because of a lack of ability, just that I’d never manage him to that point as the save was done. But I continued, and at the end of this season I checked it. How many Bundesliga goals had he scored?
It’s been a bit of a dire year for PSV. European football brought about some challenges this squad just wasn’t able to overcome and we finished 2nd in the league. We also struggled to 3rd in our Champions League group, before being knocked out early on in the Europa League by a fairly lacklustre AC Milan side, who took the tie on away goals.
Our problems in the league came about mainly due to our poor chance creation. Last season we were averaging 2.73 CCCs & 4.18 HCs per game, whereas this season that total dropped to 1.91 & 3.26. It’s therefore no surprise to see that all of my strikers were down on goals. I wasn’t expecting Georginio Wijnaldum to be too much of a loss, but he proved to be so. Dennis Praet was brought in on a free transfer to attempt to fill his shoes but still has far too much developing to do to fill Wijnaldum’s rather weighty shoes.