Short Stories: Real Betis – Part 3

Hola! I hope you are ready for one last update from Betis, where I set out to investigate if this Real Betis squad is capable of winning La Liga. After a less than stellar start things really started motoring in the last update. Top of the table and still in two cups, what’s not to enjoy?

We pick up with 12 games to go and a 4 point lead.

table 26 games

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Short Stories: Real Betis – Part 1

Hello! Or maybe that should be hola! I’ve pitched up in Seville to manage Real Betis in the latest short story series. Why Betis? Well, just look at this squad!

Squad

Alfonso and Oli, Finidi and Fernando, Jarni and…Prats. It’s got the makings of a title winning side. But can they do it? Can this lot upset the traditional big clubs and win La Liga? Let’s find out.

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Short Stories: Kaiserslautern – Part 3

Guten tag! Welcome to the final part of the Kaiserslautern story, where I’m in with an outside chance of replicating one of the more unlikely stories of the 1990s. 12 games separate us for achieving our target, though it is essentially out of our hands as Bayern (and I suppose Bielefeld) have games in hand to overhaul us. You can see part 2 here.

22 games

We have the perfect opportunity to keep the momentum up as we host bottom of the table Duisburg. We get off to the perfect start thanks to Kuka trooper before missing about 20 chances. The Czech star eventually wraps up the points and we keep rolling on.

2-0 duisburg

It’s a tough fixture away at 3rd place Bielefeld. We struggle to lay a glove on them and when Fink gets sent off with the score already 1-0, it’s downhill from there. A heavy loss. Goodbye top spot.

bielefeld 3-0

Bayern win their game in hand during the week to pile on the misery, but they are the next visitors to the Ballroom Fritz. We’re up for it from the start and hound our more illustrious opponents to take a half time lead. Then it gets really fun. Larry Rob makes it 2 before Marschall takes over, netting a pen and rounding Kahn for 4-0. Rizzitelli pulls one back but Marschall completes his hat-trick in injury time. What a day. What a club.

5-1 bayern home

Not now, Pavel. Ffs.

Kuka request

Borussia “don’t make me type it out” MGB host us but they’ve had a rough season. We’re 2-0 up inside 10 minutes before being pegged back to 2-2. Fortunately we are strong finishers and Larry adds two plus another for Kuka trooper and it’s a handsome win.

5-2 BMG

We keep the pressure up with a thrashing of Cologne. When we’re good, my word we are good.

4-0 koln

Every now and again though we throw in a minging 0-0. This is one such occasion.

bochum 0-0

Then, such is the way of this game, we thrash Leverkusen 6-0. Another hat-trick for Olaf. If only Bayern didn’t have those games in hand.

leverksuen 6-0

Dortmund are reigning European Champions and they’re coming up on the rails in 3rd. It’s make or break really, we can’t afford to lose to a rival. It’s a tense affair, 0-0 at the break. Then, Kuka gives us the lead. What a hero. Dundee slots a pen to level it up but Kohler scores an OG to put us back in front. We can only hold out for 5 minutes before that damn Sean Dundee levels it up, before Kohler pops up (pun intended) to score the winner and sink us. Booo.

dortmund 3-2

It’s followed up by the most one sided 0-0 you’ll ever see. I think the dream is dead.

0-0 berlin

Two 0-0’s in 3 days. What a treat.

0-0 stuttgart

Do not resuscitate.

1860 3-0

We do at least finish with a win thanks to a late Sforza goal. It secures us 3rd place.

2-1 Werder

Bayern win the title on the last day – Dortmund ran them oh so close. I am quite pleased with 3rd, after a dodgy start I didn’t really expect to have been top at any time but nevermind. We outscored the whole league, which is like winning.

final table

Marschall is a hero and I sort of regret not playing Kuka earlier in the season.

goals

The front two were exceptional, though there were many strong performers as you can see. Only the wingbacks averaged under 7, which is no surprise. Those ratings are always a struggle.

averages

That brings us to the end of this short story series, I’m going back down to just the Academy from November and for remainder of the year as I fear I have become a nuisance. See you then!

Remember to vote for your favourites as we search for our CM9798 Greatest Team

Short Stories: Kaiserslautern – Part 2

Guten tag! That’s German for how do. In part 1, we discussed how it was a small miracle that Kaiserslautern won the 97/98 Bundesliga and then came up with a plan as to how I was going to replicate that success. The answer was seemingly Olaf Marschall.

After 9 games, we pick the season up with my new charges in 6th, hanging on to the coat tails of the top sides.

Table October

First off I’ve decided I need a centre back to strengthen out defensive resolve and at £1m I have identified Stephane Henchoz.

Henchoz signs

What I didn’t take into account, because I am a bonhead, is that Henchoz counts as a non-EU player because…Switzerland. This was a mistake, I admit that.

Alex Notman is finally back from his torn hamstring and he’s in for Ratinho, who is our for a few weeks. We still can’t defend but the ever reliable Marschall, with help from our young loanee, gets us over the line despite conceding twice in a minute.

cologne 3-5

Bochum. 3-0. Howard Finkel gets his first goal for the club and we’re loving life.

3-0 bochum

You don’t need him, ffs.

notman recalled

Cheers Alex. That leaves a whole in our team which young Reich will have to fill as we face Bayern in cup. The Pokal sounds less prestigous to be honest, but despite making it to half time at 1-1 once we are down to 10 men it’s a battering. Wave after wave and they just don’t stop. Henchoz is useless.

5-1 bayern

Thankfully Ratinho is back for the trip to Leverkusen, who are 6th but have 3 games in hand. If they win them all, they would be top. But we put a stop to that with a good display away from home. We lead twice but a point will do.

2-2 leverkusen

Dortmund are of course the Champions of Europe so you’ll understand my surprise that we score three times in 12 minutes to brush them aside. Momentum is growing.

3-1 dortmund

A visit to the capital gives us the surprising scenario where Marschall doesn’t score. He always scores. Larry Bob does though as the opening 10 minutes bring all the drama, despite Bryan Roy’s best efforts.

berlin 1 - 1

Stuttgart are another decent side, we seem to be in a rough set of fixtures at the moment. Marschall managed to get injured in training during the International break so he misses this one, which brings Kuka in.

4-3 stuttgart

Larry Bob has pulled his hamstring and will face 2 months out, which poses a problem as I really want to play Pavel Kuka now but will need to drop one of the other non-EU chaps. Ratinho is a set piece maestro which is bad news for Sforza and Kadlec, who may face rotation over the weeks to come.

Marschall only misses one game and he will have to get to know Kuka for the time being. We come from 2-0 down to draw with 1860 Munich as our patchy form continues.

2-2 1860 munich

2nd place Werder Bremen away probably will mean more problems for us. We’re already down to 7th but Kuka has given us a new dimension and his double helps us towards a massive shock result. Well maybe not massive but I didn’t expect to win let alone score 4 goals.

4-2 bremen

We get four again just a few days later as another away trip ends in a demolition. This time Kuka gets a hat-trick as Rostock feel the Kuka burn. We’ll work on better word play.

1-4 rostock

The final game before the winter break is Karlsruhe. Finally a game we are expected to win. Kuka, obviously, scores twice as we lead 3-0 at half time. It ends 4-1 with Marschall’s 23rd of the season, he’s now passed his real life total and it’s not even Christmas. Kuka has 9 in 5.

4-1 karlsruhe

Yes, if you are wondering, I should have picked Kuka from the start. Germany love a winter break, it lasts for two whole months where literally nothing happens. Here’s the table to help pass the time.

top winter break

It’s going rather well. I doubt we’ll have enough to overtake Bayern but you just never know.

It’s been 83 years. Or 2 months. But we’re back in action. The transfer deadline has been and gone, most of my players are wanted and were bid for.

squad feb

Our first game back is Hamburg away. It turns out to be the perfect setting for Marschall to get goal 24 of a brilliant season.

hamburg 0-1

You don’t play for 2 months then all of a sudden you play twice in 2 days. Who decided that?

0-0 schalke

We finish with a trip to Wolfsburg. They’re 17th and not very good and it looks set to be another 0-0 until my left back goes through one on one and scores and Sforza adds some Swiss gloss to the occasion.

2-0 wolfsburg

Bayern mess up at home to Leverkusen so we’re top of the pile. A lovely way to end the update I feel.

22 games

They have 2 games in hand so I’m not too excited but they have to visit us yet, we’re still fighting for this title and Ich würde es lieben, wenn wir sie schlagen, liebe es!

For some reason the Bundesliga is big on Wednesday-Friday for matches despite that break so we’re going to be heavily tested in the last few months of the season as my squad depth isn’t great. Nevertheless, 12 games to go and we’re in with a shout. I’ll take it. Join me next week for the conclusion, auf wiedersehen pets.

 

Short Stories: Kaiserslautern – Part 1

It’s new series time! After the success of the Newcastle United short story (which went on longer than planned) I threw it over to you lot to decide what our new short story would be:

 

To Germany! But first, why Kaiserslautern?

Kaiserslautern were relegated from the German Bundesliga in the 1995/96 season. Under the guidance of former Bayern Munich manager Otto Rehhagel, they were promoted back at the first attempt. Remarkably though they went on to win the Bundesliga, pipping Bayern Munich to the title – the first side to ever win the Bundesliga title as a newly promoted team.

Somehow, I have to try and replicate that.

Obviously nothing much was expected of Kaiserslautern so their squad on CM9798 is not equipped to win the league. Real life top scorer Olaf Marschall for example isn’t bad but can he match his 21 league goals?

Marschall

I guess we’ll see. The squad is full of injuries and a young Michael Ballack. Big fan of Ratinho though. As a name, at least.

Squad

There’s £3m in the bank and I don’t want to buy the usual suspects, so I’ve spent £2.4m on Laurent Robert because everyone knows his name. I’ve also never bought him on CM9798 so what a time we’ll have. Alex Notman has joined on loan, but he’s only 16 so it’s merely a squad depth exercise.

Wagner is in the Germany squad and wants to move to a bigger club. There’s nothing worse than having somebody complain at you all season so I’ve moved to cover off his exit. Incidentally we’ve made £3m in season ticket sales, so that’s something. Both come highly rated, even if their stats disagree with that.

dziwiorhahn

The biggest problem is the Non-EU rules. The game says I’m allowed three but how old Otto managed it in real life I have no idea. Some EU passports I suspect. Kuka is the odd man out to begin with as Ratinho, Kadlec and Sforza are deemed more important.

first match

We’re 1-0 down after 3 minutes. 2-0 down after 20. Great start. But there are signs of life and Marschall has us level before half time. I may grow to love him. He pops up with a late winner and he’s already a seventh of the way towards his real total.

3-2 rostock

Notman has torn a hamstring. At 16. Wow. Didn’t they teach him how to warm up in PE?

PSG and Bayern Munich bid for Wagner. Hmm. I’ve prepared for this. I don’t want their money but I will take some of their cast offs in exchange.

Before any of that can transpire though it’s Duisburg away in the cup. A match so important it’s scheduled the same day as a Czech Republic game which costs us three players though only Kadlec plays anyway. Robert starts up front with Riedl in to the left AM position. Marschall nets two more and the two afforementioned lads get on the scoresheet and we’ll see round 2.

duisbug cup win

Duisburg are a Bundesliga side, so maybe we’re not so bad. Hertha Berlin in round 2 – who have Bryan Roy, by the way.

It’s Kalrsuhe away in the league. They’ve oddly just bid for 36 year old Andreas Brehme but they have Sean Dundee and Thomas Hassler, which doesn’t bode well for us. Naturally both score but their keeper gets man of the match. It’s a heavy defeat though.

3-0 karlsruher

I think this is ok for us…?

wagner to bayern

Fink will play the DM role whilst Dreher is a better goalkeeper than we currently have. Dreher makes his debut away to Schalke whilst Fink is injured for a few weeks. Jens Lehmann keeps us out for an hour but Sforza eventually equalises. A good point.

1-1 Schalke

Every team in the Bundesliga has one icon of the game, it’s actually incredible. A bit like the MLS a few years ago where every team had at least one player who had played in the English Leagues. Hamburg, armed with Thomas Gravesen, lead twice before Marschall nets twice to nick a point. We’re a weird team.

2-2 hamburg

We beat Duisburg in the cup and are tasked with doing it again in the league. It’s a topsy turvy game but Marschall has the last word. He is good you know.

duisburg 3-2

Larry Bob settles our meeting with Wolfsburg. Their DBP (designed banter player) is Claudio Reyna if you were wondering.

1-0 wolfsburg

Hertha Berlin (Bryan Roy AND Gabor Kiraly) are next in the cup and we’ve all of a sudden become very, very dull. Larry Bob, 1-0. Again. No extra points for style.

1-0 berlin

That’s two Bundesliga sides in a row so surely we’re due some luck in round 3.

german pokal 3rd round draw

Sigh.

Bielefeld’s best known player scores twice in the opening 13 minutes to leave the Fritz Walter with all three points. That looks like a bad result but they are absolutely flying.

2-0 kuntz

I really don’t fancy us at Bayern but the most ruthless goalscorer in football history gives us the lead…only for us to lose after a second half collapse.

2-1 bayern

There’s no shame in that but the board are less than satisfied. Does the term newly promoted mean nothing to the German people?

Steffen Effenberg and Borussia MGB (don’t make me type it out) are the last opponents of the update. Olaf is mad. I’m a little vexed but you’ve seen nothing like Olaf. He runs to the final seconds so he can secure his hat-trick and keeps the board off my back ahead of the International break.

4-0 MGB

Incidentally, Passlack translates from German to English as “Pulis”.

All of that leaves us 6th after just 9 games. They only play 34 in a German season and I don’t have any European commitments so it’ll be a solid three parter.

Table October

Marschall is well on the way to matching his 21. It’s the defence letting us down at the moment.

Marschall October

After just 9 games, the answer to “can Dave win the Bundesliga with Kaiserslautern?” is probably not. But it’s a long season and Bielefeld surely won’t keep this up. Join me next week to see what happens next.

 

 

Short Stories: Newcastle United – The Aftermath

Hello! Just a quick note, I’ve uploaded the NUFC save file for download so you can carry on where I’ve left off. The only way to do it is for me to upload the whole folder, but it is the only saved game. Basically treat it as a new download and follow the instructions on the How To page. The good thing is you can have multiple CM9798 folders and just mount them all on separate drives, I’ve got about 4 on the go, so do enjoy.

The NUFC save can be downloaded here

Let me know how you get on, there’s £50m in the bank so whether you want to continue my legacy of blooding the youngsters or splashing the cash, the choice is yours. Do tweet me with anything good that happens.

Have a great weekend – see you on Sunday for the Academy

Dave