FM20 : “The Pride Of Galicia” (1)

Welcome to the first post from a new save with Spanish Club RC Celta de Vigo. The name of the save is The Pride Of Galicia named after the region in which the city of Vigo is situated in the North West of the Iberian Peninsula.

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RC Celta de Vigo formed in 1923 have never won a major trophy in their 96 years of trying. A fourth placed finish in the top tier is the clubs best performance along with 3 Spanish Cup Final appearances in which they were runners up on all 3 occasions. The clubs closest rivals from the Galician region are Deportivo La Coruna who are currently in the 2nd tier of Spanish Football. Two clubs unified by the Galicia region but torn apart by Football, there is no love lost between both clubs supporters. To be fair Deportivo have been more successful than Celta but it is time to put that right. The current crop of players includes 7 loan signings which without, the squad looks lightweight so that is something that I will be looking to address over the next few months.


Balaídos

The club play their home games in the Balaídos with a capacity of 29,000 and is part way through renovations that will see a new roof being installed.

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The new roof that will be installed all the way around the ground creating a wave effect to resemble the famous Galician coast.

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The Squad

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Sergio Alvarez – 32 year old Goalkeeper known as Sergio born in the Galicia region is a one club man after signing for the club in 2004 and playing for both Celta U19 and Celta B before a loan to Racing Ferrol for a season before returning to Celta were he as made over 150 first team appearances. Sergio is in the final year of his contract so a decision will have to be made on his future over the coming months.

Contract £14k per week

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Hugo Mallo – Right Back and club captain Mallo at 28 years old is contracted to the club until 2023. He starts the season as the first choice right back bringing experience both on and off the field. Born in Galicia, Mallo is a one club man making over 300 appearances for the club. A true team leader I will be looking to Mallo to influence the dressing room for the next few years at least.

Contract £33k per week

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Nestor Araujo – 28 year old Mexican Defender Araujo joined the club in 2018 from Santos Laguna for a reported £6.3m. The 6ft 2in centre back started his career at Cruz Azul and as represented Mexico on 37 occasions since 2011. Araujo is currently in a contract until 2023. The Mexican adds strength to our backline and expected to play a big part in the forthcoming season.

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Contract £21k per week

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Okay Yokuşlu – 25 year old Turkish Midfielder who joined the club in 2018 is contracted to the club until 2023. Yokoşlu is an opposing figure standing at 6ft 3in the midfielder will be battling for a place in the starting Xl in what looks like a strong area for the squad. Previous clubs include Altay, Keyserispor and Trabzonspor. He as also represented Turkey on 22 occasions whilst scoring 1 International goal.

Contract £30k per week

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Dennis Suarez – 25 year old Midfielder Suarez joined the club in the summer on a contract until 2023 for £11.6m from FC Barcelona after spending loan moves away from the Catalan club at Villarreal, Sevilla and Arsenal. Suarez played in the Celta Vigo U19’s as a youth player before joining Manchester City in a deal worth between £850k and £2.5m. Suarez returns back to the Galicia region the place of his birth looking to resurrect his career that once promised so much.

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Contract £95k per week

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Juan Hernandez – 24 year old Attacking Midfielder Hernandez joined the club in 2018 on a free transfer from Getafe on a contract until 2020 so another player who I will be monitoring in the final year of his contract. Its early days in my reign yet so it is too early to say but the 24 year old will have some work to do to force is way in to the starting line up

Contract £5k per week

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Fran Beltran – 20 year old Midfielder who joined the club in 2018 from Rayo Vallecano for a reported £7.2m on a contract until 2023. Beltran looks a fine prospect and hopefully the future of Celta’s midfield. A player who likes to dictate the tempo and posses a thunderous shot and keen eye for a pass the Spanish Youth International could soon find himself making his first full International appearance.

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Contract £13k per week

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Fedor Smolov – 29 year old Forward currently on loan from Lokomotiv Moscow for the duration of the season. The 6ft 2in Russian is a graduate of the Master-Saturn Yegoryevsk football academy and as played for Dynamo Moscow, Anzhi, Krasnodor and Lokomotiv in Russia. Equally adept playing as a lone striker or in a pair that will give us options and depth to our frontline. We have an option to make the deal permanent.

Contract £52k per week

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Iago Aspas – 31 year old talisman born in the Galcia region Aspas as made over 300 appearances for the club and his the clubs all time leading goalscorer in the League. Aspas can play in the central forward position or out wide on the flank. He is also the clubs vice captain and an influential leader off the pitch. He had a short spell at Liverpool before returning to Vigo. He is contracted to the club until 2023.

Contract £52k per week

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Pione Sisto – 24 year old Ugandan born Danish International and many an FM players signing in previous releases of the game. Sisto is a Winger with an eye for goal and already I have extended his contract from 2021 until 2025. Sisto will be an important player for us going forward and I am looking forward to trying to get the best out of him in a system that should showcase his talent.

Contract £25k per week

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Raphina Alcantara – 26 year old Midfielder Raphina is on loan from FC Barcelona which is his second spell at Celta. A flair player who is adept at playing in both the attacking and central midfield stratas. I am going to play him in the centre of the park in a Deep Lying Playmaker role using his quality on the ball to hopefully control the game. A season long loan for us to utilise the services of Raphina.

Contract £74k per week

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Ruben Blanco – 23 year old Goalkeeper born in the Galicia region who as grown up with Celta and my first choice shot stopper going in to the season. Blanco is contracted to the club until 2023 and can play a big part in Celta’s future. Another home grown player who knows what it feels like to be a Galician.

Contract £19k per week

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Filip Bradarec – 28 year old Croatian Midfielder on loan from Italian club Cagliari. Bradarec will be a useful back up to our midfield as the season develops. I don’t see Bradarec being a long term investment although we do have an option to make his loan permanent. The Croatian is a product of the Hajduk Split Academy after being born in Split.

Contract £18k per week

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Lucas Olaza – 24 year old Uruguayan Left back on loan from Boca Juniors which is his second loan at Celta after being on loan at Celta B in 2015 whilst being a River Plate player. Olaza is a good full back and will more than likely be first choice in that position. Olaza does have an option in his loan contract that would allow us to make the loan permanent.

Contract £6k per week

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Jorge Saenz – 22 year old Central Defender who is on a two year loan from Valencia. Known as Jorge the young defender came through the ranks at Tenerife along with his brother. A promising defender who should prove to be a significant addition at the Balaidos.

Contract £10k per week

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David Junca – 25 year old Left back who signed a 5 year contract in 2018 until 2023 after joining the club on a free transfer after being released by Eibar. Junca is a product of the Girona development system and a decent left back who will be in competition with Olaza for a starting spot.

Contract £9k per week

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Joseph Aidoo – 23 year old Central Defender who joined the club from Belgian club Genk for £7.2m in the summer signing a 5 year contract until 2024. Aidoo looks to have the potential to be a top central defender in the future and will come straight in to my starting Xl from day 1. Capped by Ghana this African International looks to have a bright future in the game.

Contract £22k per week

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Gabriel Fernandez – 25 year old Uruguayan Forward who joined the club from Penerol in 2019 but stayed on loan at Penerol before joining up with his new teammates this summer. Fernandez looks a strong forward who I think can work well in a 2 man attack. I am interested to see how the forward settles in after his £3.15m move that keeps him at the club until 2024

Contract £10k per week

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Kevin Vasquez – 26 year old Right Back known as Kevin and another player born in the Galicia region spending all his playing time at Celta playing over 160 games for Celta B. He is contracted to the club until 2023 and happy being a back up for captain Hugo Mallo.

Contract £6k per week

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Jeison Murillo – 27 year old Colombian Central Defender on a season long loan from Valencia. The Colombian International as spent a lot of his career on loan with his best spell being at Internazionale in Italy. I don’t envisage that we will sign Murillo on a permanent deal once his loan spell ends.

Contract 28k per week

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Santi Mina – 23 year old Forward who came through the youth ranks at Celta before playing over 50 times for the club and then moving to Valencia for £10m in 2015 making over 100 appearances and scoring 29 goals before returning to Celta in 2019 in a part exchange deal that saw Uruguayan forward Maxi Gomez join Valencia. Mina signed a contract until 2024 with the Galician looking to get his career back on track.

Contract £25k per week

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Brais Méndez – 23 year old Attacking Midfielder born in the Galicia region and with over 70 appearances for the 1st team Méndez is contracted to the club until 2021 and looks to me like he could be one of the clubs all time greats. Capped by Spain I will be looking at opening contract negotiations very soon with Mèndez.

Contract £17k per week

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Pape Cheikh – 21 year old Midfielder who signed for Celta at the age of 14 joining the youth ranks before going on to play for Celta B before making his debut for the first team. The highly rated Senegalese born midfielder as represented Spain at different youth levels and joined French Club Lyon in 2017 for a reported €10m plus €4m in addons. He is currently on a season long loan from Lyon.

Contract £18k per week

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Ivan Villar – 21 year old Goalkeeper born in the Galicia region and currently number 1 choice in our B team with a promising future ahead of him and could get promoted to our first team squad within the next 12 months. Contracted to the club until 2023

Contract £5k per week


Players Out On Loan

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Emre Mor – 21 year old Turkish Winger who is on loan at Olympiacos after a number of disciplinary situations that seem to follow the talented Winger around from club to club. Olympiakos do have an option to make the move permanent if they desire. Personally I wouldn’t mind him returning to us so I can see if I can get him firing in the Balaídos.

Contract £6k per week

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David Costas – 24 year old hometown Central Defender on loan at Almería. Costas born in Vigo Costas as spent 5 years away from the club with loan spells at Mallorca, Oviedo, Barcelona B and now Almeria until the end of the season. The defender is in the last year of his contract so I will have to evaluate his position within the club.

Contract £9k per week

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Jozabed – 28 year old Attacking Midfielder who is on loan at Girona until the end of the season. Jozabed is in the final year of his contract and another who I will have to make a decision on sooner rather than later. Amongst the clubs who the Sevilla youth product played for are Rayo Vallecano and Fulham.

Contract £10k per week

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Robert Mazan – 25 year old Slovakian Left Back currently on loan at Tenerife and contracted to Celta until 2022. Mazan joined the club for £270k in 2018 from MSK Zilina. The Slovakian could well be fighting for the left wing back position with Junca next season.

Contract £3k per week


Final Words

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Well that’s a brief overlook at the players in the First Team Squad so now would be a good time to talk about how I am approaching my time at Celta. I have signed a two year contract and have a good feeling about the club. The Board have outlined their Vision which I think is more than fair with them wanting us to finish in mid table and continue to establish ourselves in a mid table position over the next few years and adhere to the clubs culture in signing players the age of 23 or under. Taking all this in to account the media have predicted that we will finish in 10th place however I have my own ideas and aims in taking the club to the next level and beyond.

  • My aim this season is for the club to qualify for European Football. By doing this we will increase the revenue that is coming in to the club which can only be a good thing and I believe that the squad of players at my disposal is good enough to achieve qualification for European Competition.
  • I will be creating a squad depth chart that will help me identify both our strengths and weaknesses with 7 of our current first team squad on loan with us until the end of the season I will be looking at how we can have a stronger squad each season than the one before taken from The Villarreal key Ingredients.
  • I want us to play attacking football and will be using both a 4231 and 442 formations.
  • We wouldn’t be much of a Football Club if we didn’t want to improve our development system to bring players through that are either good enough for our first team, good enough to sell on or good enough to take our B team to the best possible level which will then in turn be a good stepping stone in our player development.
  • I wouldn’t mind winning a bit of silverware.
  • I am not putting any transfer restrictions in place if a player makes us a better team / squad then we will sign them if the finances are right for the club.
  • The Scouting Network will see the investment it needs to identify talent that makes us better.

I am not going to stick to any blogging schedule I will release a blog post whenever I feel like it and just aim to enjoy the save.

I said above that I would be using two formations, the 4231 and a 442 which are both creating good football and getting results. I don’t believe that either of these systems are what you call plug and play systems but part of a bigger picture that involves :

  • Identifying the right roles and players to put together
  • Team Instructions which I have managed to keep to a minimum
  • Individual Instructions
  • Opposition Instructions
  • Team Training
  • Individual Training
  • Set Piece instructions
  • Watching Matches in full detail so you can see what’s working and what isn’t

For me there is no better feeling than building your own tactic and seeing it play out how you imagine it. Since I have posted a few results on Twitter using my systems I have had a good number of people including a couple of arseholes persistently asking me for the tactics download even after I have given them all the screenshots which can easily be copied. Unfortunately I have had no option to block these people because if you can’t be bothered to either build your own tactic or copy a few screenshots after someone else as done all the work then I don’t have the time for you especially when you become abusive. There are plenty of downloadable tactics on the internet if that’s the way you choose to play the game. I have really good conversations in my DM’s with many people about tactics and really enjoy it and learn a lot myself and if I can I help others I will.

I myself have been playing CM / FM for years and always managed to do ok with my tactics but after having one of my tactics analysed on the Grass and Gear podcast it made me realise that I needed to rethink how I built my own tactics so I stripped everything back, read endless hours about tactics on the forums and blogs etc and watched videos on the internet and then started to experiment using a number of teams on FM20 watching matches frame by frame pausing and looking at what my players are doing off the ball, in possession and out of possession in 2D and 3D until I finally understood what I was doing.

I am now enjoying the way I play the game more than ever and only using a few team Instructions combined with individual player Instructions but most definitely enjoying learning and understanding what is happening out on that 2D pitch. I can’t recommend enough how much more you can get out of the game by just doing a bit of ground work when building your own tactic.

Formation 4231

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Formation 442

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Thank You for reading and hope you all stay safe during these difficult times.

Michael

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