So, welcome to a post completely different to what you’ve gotten used to in this series! It all started with me feeling like I was playing the same season over and over again, breezing through the domestic competitions but failing to make an impact in the Champions League.
I felt a bit frustrated and that a change was much needed! As I stood at the crossroads I reached out to the Twitter community, asking for guidance in my time of need!
The Bromma Boys #31 | The overhaul | An FM18 Story
The community didn’t let me down at all as they rallied to help me out. Their opinions were quite conclusive, pointing me in a new direction! I’m feeling both excited and a bit scared as the club is about to experience the biggest overhaul ever!
As I consider game time the most important factor in the development of players aged 18 to 21 this setup will certainly give them the chance to develop. Even though we’ve had some fantastic talent come through the Academy over the years this will really put our youth setup to the test on one hand, but on the other hand give our brightest stars the ultimate chance to develop.
If this works out the way I hope, we will have a side ready to compete for the Champions League title in 3-4 seasons time and then hopefully dominate European football for many years to come! If this doesn’t work out, I sure hope that it’ll be a fun ride to enjoy while it lasts at least!
The current first team squad
As 2029 turns into 2030, this is what our first team squad look like. It’s not at all an aged squad, but many players have reached their potential, hitting the ceiling at 2-3.5 stars. I know that the star rating doesn’t give the whole picture, but it’s undeniably tough to become a European superpower with a team full of 2 and 3-star players, when current European top teams such as PSG and Real Madrid are packed with players of absolutely outstanding quality.
We have 8 players with a current ability of 4 stars or more and another 5 players with a current ability of 3 or 3.5 stars. Naturally some or many of these players will be the ones surviving the massive cut that’s waiting. I will not look at ability alone when making my decisions, as there are other important factors to consider.
I will take current ability, potential ability and squad depth into consideration as I go through all the positions in the squad, deciding who stays and who leaves. I will try to be as objective as possible when I make my decisions and really only keep players with a realistic chance of becoming world-class players. This means that for certain positions I’ll keep all of the first team players while I might sell all of the first team players in another position if the talent pool is deep enough.
I will however need to take the hierarchy and squad atmosphere into consideration so that I don’t topple the apple cart completely and get a player revolt on my hands. Therefore I’m leaning towards keeping at least 2 out of our 3 team leaders and our captain Edmilson.
When selling players I will primarily be approaching Swedish teams in order to strengthen Allsvenskan and hopefully increase the all-important European coefficient over time. Since I’m dominating Sweden even my fringe players are good enough to become important players for the other Allsvenskan teams.
Now, let’s go through the team to decide who stays and who leaves!
- First team
We start off with possibly the easiest position. We already have a world-class keeper in Uruguayan no1 Matias Pintos. His only weakness is the aerial ability, where he at least managed to improve from awful to decent during his time at the club. Both Falcón and Holmén are close to reaching their potential, a potential that is nowhere near world class.
Looking at the players aged 17-21 we have an outstanding player here as well. Alexander Hallberg is nowhere near a finished product, but he certainly has an exciting potential!
No dilemma here, as stated this is perhaps the easiest decision to make. I will keep Pintos as my no1 and Hallberg as a backup.
Left back (WB-At)
- First team
No, no world class players to be found here. Neither Lindh nor Augustinsson is anywhere near good enough to provide the quality defensively and offensively needed by a world class left back. However, our Argentinian left winger Ibañez certainly has some exciting abilities which could help him become a great left back.
We certainly lack depth in the talent department as well. However, young Hedsén at least has the potential to become a great player!
Dilemma no 1
What to do with the left back position? Do I retrain Ibañez as my new number 1 or do I try to bring in a world class player? I left it to the community to decide!
The community saw enough potential in Ibañez to give him the chance! This was fortunate, since my scouts came back with reports of world-class left backs costing somewhere in the region of €100M, amounts I’m not at all interested in paying! I will also promote Hedsén as my backup DL.
Centre back (CD-De)
- First team
No real world class players here. However, Wahlberg is our vice-captain and a team leader and Mohammed Ali – besides his awesome name – is a really good young centre back with some development left in him.
Here we have several players from the class already predicted “The golden generation” coming through our fantastic 2028 youth intake. Three players with 5 star potential and another two with 4.5 star potential shows an incredible depth and I’ll try to give as many of them as many games as possible next season!
Dilemma no 2
Without any real world class players it would be easy to send all of the first team players on their way, but as I’ve written above I don’t want to start a player revolt by selling too many important players. That German second-rater Giordano would be leaving was an easy decision, but what to do with Wahlberg and Ali?
The verdict was very clear on the matter. The community certainly favoured young Ali over vice captain Wahlberg. Ali will be the one to keep and to keep him company I will promote Leandro, Linder and Bergman.
Right back (WB-Su)
- First team
Young Brazilian Fernando Augusto has been our first choice during the last couple of seasons and he’s a decent player, but he isn’t nearly good enough offensively to contribute in the way I like my right back to do. He’s lacking in both Crossing and Dribbling, which is basically what I want my wing backs to do offensively; dribble and cross.
Oops! This isn’t good…. Not good at all…Not a single right back in the Academy.
However, I do have the option to re-train RW Tobias Jönsson into a nice RB. He looks great offensively and decent enough in defence.
Dilemma no 3
Fernando Augusto sure is a decent player, even though he has some obvious weaknesses, primarily in offence. Jönsson, on the other hand, has some really nice attacking abilities. However, he’s reaching his potential and won’t get that much better. What to do with my RB’s?
So, another case of retraining a winger into a wing back! Fernando Augusto apparently didn’t impress enough to remain at the club, so I had to go out on a search for a new RB. Just like with the LB’s a world-class RB demanded transfer fees of around €100M, which is way over our budget. Therefore Jönsson will be our no1 RB for the coming season, and I re-focused my search, looking for a top class talent instead!
For quite the bargain fee of €1.7M we managed to bring in 18-year-old RB talent Gerson from Brazilian Premier Division side Gremio. He is solid defensively, but lacks a bit of offensive quality. Given his young age and 5 star potential I do hope that he’ll be able to improve that in coming years though!
Left midfielder (IW-At)
- First team
Not a lot to talk about here, really. Both Magrão and Edmilson are important squad members and great players.
A lot of interesting young players with great potential.
No dilemma here. With two top class players in the first team there is no room for the younger talents at the moment. They are simply too far behind and will need to develop in the U19s in the coming season.
Central midfielders (DLP-Su and CM-At)
- First team
Amendola is a superstar and Vitor Farah isn’t too far behind. Swedish international Mathias Johansson is good both in offence and defence.
Marcus Boström is an amazing player, the shining diamond of the great 2028 youth intake and probably the greatest talent to ever come through the Academy.
Lionel Bourgeois is really exciting as well, brought in last season for a record fee.
Behind them we have a couple of other great young players.
With four central midfield spots to fill in the first team squad and two great first team players and two amazing talents the decision was easy. Amendola and Farah will remain with the club, while Boström and Bourgeois will be promoted from the U19s. Sadly there is no room for Johansson, a player I’ve really grown fond of…but as I wrote above, I have to stay objective in this time of change!
Right Midfielder (W-At)
- First team
Welder Henrique is already a world class player but seems to have some more development left in him, making him potentially one of our most important player for years to come!
Here we have another couple of players from the amazing 2028 youth intake. They all seem great and it’s pretty hard to decide who’s the best one out of the bunch.
Dilemma no 4
Who do we promote from the U19s?
Even though the vote was quite even to begin with, the community obviously favoured Zetterström, who therefore will be the MR promoted from the U19s.
Forwards (AF-At and CF-Su)
- First team
All three of our forwards have served us well in the last couple of seasons, but Jawad Hajji seems to be the only one with the potential to become a true superstar.
Loads and loads of exciting talented players, both Swedish and foreign. No less than 8 players with a potential of 4.5-5 stars! With so much depth and talent, it’s a real challenge to decide who’ll get the first team chance and not.
Dilemma no 5
From an amazing talent pool, which young forwards do we promote to the first team squad?
Two players stood out in Swedish 17-year-old Lindström and Brazilian youngster Ricardo. As the plan was to only keep Hajji out of the first team players I needed to promote another player, which was close to impossible. Before I managed to make up my mind something happened that all of a sudden solved the problem in a completely different way…
Going into the third pre-season with the same 4-4-2 I found myself bored all of a sudden. Sure, we were winning games, but the build-up play felt a bit slow and the style of play hadn’t really evolved in the last couple of years. The urge of just smashing the “Instant result” button kept growing stronger, which was a real warning signal for me.
In true spirit of the post I tried overhauling the tactics as well. I packed the pre-season full of as many friendlies as possible to give myself a lot of opportunities to test and tweak, and I ended up with this offensively balanced 4-3-3-ish formation. It provided a more fast-paced build-up play while still enjoyable to watch. The games became interesting to watch again and I felt satisfied.
However, this meant that we were no longer in need of wingers. Luckily my planned wingers are more than capable of playing either as midfielders or attackers so I could easily fit them into the new system. I even managed to squeeze young right winger Zetterström into a half back position with a quite realistic expectation of him handling the role nicely.
I divided the 22 man squad into two elevens: A (on the left) and B (on the right). I will play A in Champions League and important games and B in cup games and the league games deemed less important. If a player is missing from A, I will temporarily promote a player from B, and if a player is missing from B I will temporarily promote a player from our U19s. By doing this I hope to maximize our chances of performing in the games that matter while giving our young players at least 20+ games in the coming season.
So, this was truly an overhaul and a much-needed one. The changes were many and quite big. We didn’t end up keeping 3 to 7 first team players as I originally predicted. We ended up keeping 10 of them, which means that they’re not all world-class players in all honesty.
However, I’m really pleased with the balance between old and new. I think we’re able to both put a team on the field to perform straight away but also keep developing all the young talents. We will immediately be put to the test as the first task of the new season will be to beat one of Europe’s true giants in the first knockout round of the Champions League. Who we’re playing? Read the next episode to find out!
The next episode
In the next episode we will see how the team handles this overhaul and how they’ll perform in the 2030 season. Are the changes too many and implemented too fast? Will we manage to win the league again or will our glorious unbeaten run come to an end? Will some of the raw talent promoted from the Academy adapt to first-team football or will they struggle in the league? The only way to find out is by reading the next episode!
Thanks for the read, I hope you liked it as much as I did writing it!
- Twitter: @MikaelinhoFM
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