Football Manager: Chapter III, End of the season
It was the end of another show. The first half saw the display of a dominating team, the second a struggling one the kept on pushing while only suffered three defeats throughout the whole season in all competitions. Two of those were sadly Cup finals.
The club announced a few contract extensions which were signed a few weeks before. We were glad to keep Cech around as he could tutor Jonas Petersson some more.
Though not that deciding Santi was still considered a valuable member of the team by me.
Jack had played some decent matches in the absence of Özil and was captain of the second team.
Despite not being a (potential) vital player Bielik held his own. His homegrown status makes him the perfect backup, both in defence as in midfield.
There was no way around Bellerin, not without having a decent replacement coming through the academy.
I wasn’t willing to lose Iwobi just yet, he played some decent matches for us but is he worth the £110k, no but losing him was not option at this time.
Despite less matches he had a better season overall. Hopefully he could finish his career strong with us.
Probably one of 2–3 players that is bound to become a club legend.
Kos his successor is already lined up. He will form the heart of the defence together with Musi in the future.
Solid season with solid stats. No way around him as he goes into the prime of his career.
I had expected Jeff to come with a bigger wage demand.
We managed to get 30 wins but missed our record of 32 which we achieved two seasons prior. Biggest upset must be West Brom who finished third the season before to go on to play Champions League and getting as far as the first Knockout round. Chelsea managed to crawl out of the gutter to finish 8th. Liverpool took the last Champions League spot from Tottenham on the final match day.
Giani had a good season, while the ratings were dominated by us. Dybala topped the league in ratings and set a new record.
Sheffield Wednesday returned to the Championship after only one season.
There were of course also rewards. Dybala was named Player of the Year on two occasions, with the Football Writers Association…
And the Professional Footballers’ Association
Firmino was top scorer in the league for the second consecutive time. Dybala fell short as he was shifted to more Cup games in the second half of the season but also suffered from a dry spell.
Bellerin snatched Young Player of the Year.
While Giani took his first Golden Gloves in the League. We expected this to be the first of many.
After Diaz his amazing season the season before by finishing third, I reclaimed the title.
No surprise our defence dominated the Team of the Year while Dybala led the attack with Firmino
The overall best eleven saw only Ramsey remain as a player not with the club anymore. While Monreal was one of the subs.
There was no surprise Dybala was the signing of the year as he was the only senior signing we had.
Elneny his goal in which he came second in Goal of the Season in the League
Dybala and Oli shared the spoils of being season goal scorers. Surprisingly we did not pick up a red card which say a lot about the mentality. Dybala improved on Ox his assist record from last year.
Number of homegrown players was looking good.
The biggest underachievers in the League Cup should have been Leicester City as they were dumped out in the third round by League One team Rotherham. Leeds were more the overachievers for me as they got as far as the Semi final before losing to Sunderland.
Silva his top scorer title was mainly thanks to the sixth round thriller match against Watford where he scored three. Wimbledon were definitely the overachievers. Man City got till the fifth round compared to West Brom who were finished in the third round. Nice to see Nketiah on loan getting the highest rating.
He finished the season as best Young Player in the Championship as well.
Asano did wel while on loan becoming the top scorer in the Netherlands despite Twente finishing sixth.
To our disappointment Messi won UEFA Best Player ahead of Dybala. He had him beat on all counts.
Last year winners of the Champions League were definitely the underachievers
Ronaldo won the Champions League Golden Boot with Silva coming in second. Silva picked up most of his goals in the group stage as he was part of the second string team I played in the first half.
No Arsenal players were selected in the Champions League Dream Team despite getting to the finals.
Hiquain became the top scorer. I had expected Firmino to win it but he needed more matches to get the same amount of goals.
Looking at our season review the match of the season should have been the 6th round in the FA Cup or the Cup final itself. Biggest disappointment was losing to Sunderland in the League Cup final, having beaten them three times before that with convincing numbers.
The board was happy though the Ramsey transfer was still sensitive with them due to the fans being unhappy about it.
Our biggest injuries this season were mostly from the youngsters. Özil being the only big name player to be out for more than 4 weeks near the end of the season.
Other notable names being Dybala (Hernia) who got injured at the end of the season, Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Flu)while at loan and Chambers (Flu).
I still did not understand how we managed to pass the FFP rule but was glad we had.
The drop in broadcasting revenue was a bit of a surprise. We now had to look at improving this for the upcoming season.
The Dybala transfer was a big hit on the numbers.
Despite Man City’s win in the Euro League La Liga remained on the top spot for most popular competition thanks to Real.
We had moved three places up to third in the European coefficients ranking.
Real overtook us in the reputation department thanks to the Champions League win.
Our goal for next season would be to improve our finances. Continue with our plan to use two completely different teams for Cup matches and the League as a way to blood youngsters. Pay more attention our injuries and continue to tweak the backroom by bringing in quality members.
(The Book of Gooner follows the career of a long time Championship/Football Manager player)