Welcome to the fifth instalment of my Chelsea FC Football Manager 2020 series called The Blue Army. In my previous post i have talked about how i will treat the veteran players within my squad and how i’ve setup the training within the club. In this post we will take a look at how season one went. And i can tell you in advance it has been a spectacular season with an unexpected ending.

First we will go over our Premier League performance and as you can see on the screenshot above we’ve had an unbeaten season. At the start of this savegame i really did not knew what to expect. The club had a transferban until the end of 2019 so we could not buy any new players. Selling any of our current players would’ve been an unwise decision so we did not do that. This meant i had to play the first half of the season with the players that i had at my disposal from the start. As i’ve explained earlie when i made my tactical intentions very clear i knew this season would either go really well or really bad. Let’s first take a look at our pre-season friendlies.

In total we’ve played seven games which five turned into a victory and we only had one draw and one loss. Overall i was very happy with the results as we’ve managed to beat clubs like Inter and Paris Saint-Germain. On the other hand we did lose against Lyon but all in all the pre-season results have been awesome. This also indicates that the tactic i have created seems to be working very well. Now let’s dive into our Premier League results.

Our Premier League results have been nothing but amazing. In 38 games we never lost a single game!! But sadly enough that was not good enough for us to win the title. There was one club that gathered more points then us and so we ended up as runners up this season. With 96 points, 90 goals scored and only 17 goals against we even had a goal difference of 73!! It is just incredible that with these numbers we still ended up empty handed. Manchester City even ended up in third place with fourteen points less then us (what the actual f**k!?). Can i blame any of the players? Did i do something wrong myself? No, not at all. Our lack of winning the title has nothing to do with any of that. Sure we have nine draws and maybe that should’ve been less draws and more victories. But when you’ve had the season that we’ve had it is just unbelievable that you do not win anything. Do i feel like i am getting FMed by the game? Yes, i do feel that way a bit. Because in my other savegame i have the same issue with FC Volendam. No matter how good we perform, there is always a team outperforming us. But what’s done is done and our focus will be shifted towards season two because there is still a title to win for us.

Check out some of our Premier League results here!

As our Premier League campaign was quite amazing but not completely satisfying we still had other competitions where we could win some silverware. One of these competitions is the Champions League and like every other club we wanted to win this. The draw at the start gave as a nice group with Bayer 04 Leverkusen, FC Porto and Galatasaray SK as our opponents. I would say that this is not the toughest group but it still a group where we had to be careful. Each and every one of these opponents have the potential of kicking us out of the tournament. As the board of directors gave us the goal to reach the quarter finals at least this is something that was not allowed to happen.

As you can see at the screenshot above we had no problems in our group games at all. With fourteen points out of six games we managed to top the group with ease. I really enjoyed our performances in our Champions League group games as my team played such good football. The two draws are a shame but after qualifying for the next round our sharpness just wasn’t there anymore to secure two more victories. And allthough i can not condone such behaviour there was not much i could do about it. With six goals up until this moment Tammy Abraham was our top goalscorer in the Champions League.

Our Champions League adventure took us all the way to the semi finals where we lost 0-1 over two games against Liverpool. The same club that kept us from winning the Premier League. But when i look back at our European campaign the 6-2 victory at home against Atlético de Madrid stands out. I might even write a seperate post about this game later on as the team and the tactic just clicked and it was awesome to watch. Beating Valencia was nice as well but they were less tough then i expected. They did make it into the quarter finals but they really were no match for my team in the end. I am really glad that i was not FMed against Liverpool in this situation. Sadio Mané scored a nice team goal at the 31st minute and we had plenty of time after that to equalize. But everything i tried failed and so Liverpool advanced to the final where they had to play Ajax and eventually beat the club from Amsterdam with a 1-2 scoreline. To me it felt like we’ve had lost against the Champions League winner but my team should’ve been up there claiming that cup. Sadly we didn’t so again no silverware thanks to that blood Liverpool team.

AGAIN THAT BLOODY LIVERPOOL!! THIS IS GETTING SO FRUSTRATING!!

Justin Case

Lucky for us we had three chances of winning silverware left. And one these chances was the UEFA Super Cup where we had to play against Liverpool (almost sounds like a joke innit). This game actually happened at the start of the season and that worked in our advantage. Because to me it felt like Liverpool’s tactical cohesion was not good enough yet for them to be able to beat us. And this meant that in the end we managed to beat them. Olivier Giroud and Mason Mount scored the goals for us where Jordan Henderson scored for Liverpool. Finally we were able to win our first prize of the season and i was really happy when it happened. At the time itself i had no clue on how our Premier League or Champions League campaign would go. So this prize felt as a good indicator for a successful season which we eventually had.

Victory is our!

The last two competition we participated in were the FA Cup and EFL Cup or Carabao Cup. Let’s start with our FA Cup results and after that we will look at our Carabao Cup results. Our FA Cup adventure started with a victory away from home against Leeds United. We won 1-2 and i was happy with that as i am using these cup tournaments to give talents and benchwarmers chances to play. So we hardly ever showed up with our best players or strongest lineup. In the 4th round we came up against Wigan and we managed to beat them 0-1 again away from home. After that victories against Swansea (A 0-2), Wolves (H 2-0) and West Ham (H 2-0) propelled us into a final against Leicester City. Games against Leicester are always tough because you have to face Jamie Vardy and he is an excellent striker. He proved that yet again when we took his club on in the FA Cup Final.

In the 13th minute Hudsion-Odoi opened the score for us with a nice goal from the edge of the box. After that my team dominated the match except for the moments where Jamie Vardy was sent deep after a nice ball over my defense. It took Leicester until the 55th minute before they got rewarded for this play style. On the other hand we got plenty of chances but failed to finish them off. So eventually we went into overtime and i feared this would end up in a penalty shootout. But in the 114th minute N’Golo Kanté decided this match in our favour with a nice screamer from the edge of the box. So this meant that we won the FA Cup and could collect our second piece of silverware of the season.

In the EFL Cup or Carabao Cup tournament i was also hoping on some success. Winning our third piece of silverware would be awesome and that is exactly what we set out to achieve. I was amazed at how easy my team sailed through yet another cup tournament. We started this cup tournament with a 1-0 winat home against West Ham United in a rather poor game. But after that we started playing better and better. Southampton was our second opponent we managed to defeat. Visiting them at St. Mary’s ended up in a 0-2 victory for us. Arsenal was our next opponent and i really love these games between rivals. In these games anything can happen and you can’t count on anything in advance. This time around we were the better team thanks to two goals from Willian who played an excellent game. In the semi final we ended up getting Manchester United as our opponent. I was really happy that this semi final goes over two legs as we lost away at Old Trafford 1-0 thanks to a goal from Paul Pogba. Luckily enough for us we had a second leg at home where we could rectify this loss. And so my team did as we managed to beat United with 2-0 thanks to goals from Kovacic and Mount. Beating United meant that we ended up in other final and this time Manchester City was our opponent. The final itself was more a chess game then a football match. Both teams tried to hurt eachother in their “respected” tactical weak spots but both goalkeepers were there when they needed to be. This meant that this game ended in a 0-0 draw and we had to go to penalties. I so hate penalty shoot-outs and i really dislike them in Football Manager even more. In the end we won 8-7 after Sterling and Zaha missed for City and James missed for us. But what shoot-out this was man. Both goalkeepers were not able to stop any penalty during the regular five but the did started to stop them in the remainder. I was so happy when Kepa stopped Zaha his penalty and captain Azpilicueta stepped up and scored his. Our third piece of silverware of the season which was just awesome and eventhough we did not win the Premier League we did manage to win a triple and i am really proud of that.

Clap your hands everybody!

TRANSFERS

We had a transferban until the end of 2019. So as soon as the transferwindow opened up in January i knew i had to do something to boost the team. As i’ve posted earlier i made a poll on Twitter about Rüdiger and if i should sell him or not. The outcome was very clear and when the transferwindow opened i was glad to see Rüdiger leave.FC Bayern München paid us 35 million euro’s and so Rüdiger left us and signed a four year deal with the German super team.

Another player that had been disappointing me so far was Michy Batshuayi. The Belgium striker has had more then enough chances to show me that he belongs at Chelsea but he never ever took them. So i decided to sell him as you could expect there was not that much interest in them. Eventually Manchester United came along due to their strikers injury crisis and offered us the jackpost for Batshuayi. They were willing to pay us 34 million euro’s and accepted a clause which will see us earn 35% from the next transfer he makes. That was so much more money then i expected and i was thrilled when Batshuayi signed a three year deal and went to Old Trafford. With these two players gone i knew i had to find some replacements. Now at the start of this savegame i told everybody that i was not gonna spend millions of euro’s on players. I am still not gonna do that but i will buy some players now and then to keep the game more interesting to myself.

Our first new addition to the team was the 25 year old Danish striker Yussuf Poulsen. He came over from RB Leipzig for 35 million euro’s. No, i did not sign Timo Werner and i am probably will not sign him at all as this savegame advances. I really like to have a realistic save but 60 million euro’s is too much money in my eyes. But let’s get back to Poulsen because he did join The Blue Army on a four year deal. I think it was to Football Manager editions ago when i fell in love with this player his performances ingame. And ever since i have been buying this lad in almost every savegame i had in FM18 and FM19. Now that i have bought him in this savegame i am expecting that he will perform as good as he always has been performing and that he will be solid competition for Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud.

The second player that came to the club during the january transferwindow was the 25 year old Italian defender Daniele Rugani. When Rüdiger left i was hesitant what to do. I had the chance to recall any of our own talented defenders from their respected loanspells or i would hit the transfermarket to find a replacement there. As i want my youngsters to develop themselves properly i decided to leave them alone for now thus hitting the transfermarket. Daniele Rugani was on the transfer list and after some intensive scouting i decided to bid nineteen million euro’s for him. Juventus accepted my offer and so Rugani signed  a four year deal and became our new defensive addition to the team. After selling players for 69 million euro’s i only spend 54 million on getting new players to the club. This leaves us with plus fifteen million euro’s that i did not spend and that is how i will do this in this savegame from now on. I can only spend the money that has come in via selling players. So when i do not sell players i can’t buy any players except for young cheap talents for which i will not pay more then fifteen million euro’s max!!

FINAL WORDS …

As i am nearing the 2500 words it is time to end this post. We’ve had an amazing season with ups and downs and also with frustrations mainly about Liverpools performances. In my next post we will be taking a look at how the players have performed during the season and what my next steps are going to be to prepare the club for season two. Thanks for reading, stay safe and until the next one!

Regards,

Ralph