Hello and welcome back to Football Manager Ambition.
It's been a frustrating season.
Damn, I was so close to glory with a team built on an absolute shoestring. But before we start... just make sure you don't sit too close to me. I'm currently down with a really crappy cold. My head hurts, and my tubes are rattling. But I'll do my best.
Good Isn't Good Enough For Me
Despite some very patchy results at times, I was able to keep Villa in sixth position in the league right until the last couple of weeks, when we slipped and ultimately finished eighth. What's more, I had an incredible run in the FA Cup, including a spectacular victory over Manchester United, and it looked like Villa's name was already on the trophy, but a very disappointing performance in the final meant we went home empty handed.
GREAT FOOTBALL MANAGER QUOTES
“I’m conscious we’ve just lost a massive, massive game and I don’t want to be seen to be moving on too quickly. We shouldn’t overlook the opportunity we had and, at the moment, we all feel the pain of the defeat. Did we feel we would be in this position? Realistically, I don’t think any of us did.”
~Gareth Southgate, pretty much summing up how I felt after the FA Cup final.
THE JOB CENTRE
Throughout the 2020/21 season I kept one eye on job opportunities. At different times, the jobs of Joachim Low (Spurs) and Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool) were apparently insecure. At one stage, Spurs were 14th in the table, and that was the job I wanted, as it would have made it easier to achieve my ridiculous ambition, with Harry Kane and Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Jesse Lingard, Danny Rose and Keiran Trippier already in the squad. Sadly for me, Spurs went on an incredible run of form, overtaking me, and finishing in the 6th position I had craved.
As fate would have it, I finished the season still Aston Villa manager.
MATCH OF THE BLOG
I had some great results this season, including beating local rivals West Brom 3-0 at home and 1-0 away. But the most memorable match was the FA Cup semi final victory over Manchester United...
RESULTS, NOT EXCUSES!
So, let's have a look in detail at how the season went...
Considering how the FA Cup campaign came within touching distance of glory, it's worth looking at that on its own.
As you can see, replays and penalty shootouts were all the rage. After that semi against Man U I was sure I was going to win the cup. Dammit!
The Premier League was a real challenge. I honestly expected to qualify for European football, but it wasn't to be.
I mentioned earlier that I was running the club on a shoestring. Have a look at this:
It's difficult to bring real success to a club with such limited backing. I can't see Villa being the club at which I will achieve my crazy ambition. Winning the FA Cup would have opened up job opportunities. I don't really want to stay another full season at Villa, so I'm going to have to really pull up some trees in the league early on next time.
FOOTBALL MANAGER PROBLEMS
Yes, it's that time when I vent my frustrations about bugs and sheer daftness in the Football Manager game.
No news is good news?
When you've selected visiting the news screen automatically...
My scouts recommended this lad to me; a player I'd signed on previous versions of the game. I thought he could do a job for me, and so I made an approach...
But he had a long-term injury. Why didn't it say so on the scout report?!
So I've got to stay with Villa for the time being. I'm in that half-way position between having put down a few roots and wanting to get some silverware, and wanting to move to a big club that can match my ambitions. For the time being then, I've got to get my head down, and make the best of Villa. A big part of that will be getting in the best players I can muster...
Going into season 2021/22, here's what I've managed so far...
Net Spend: £32m
Now I have a problem. The squad is bloated with players I don't need in the U23s and U18s, but I can't find takers for them, which leaves me in a situation I almost never experience: spending over my wage budget.
I am expecting a tough season ahead.
That's all for this time. I going to drink honey and lemon, and breathe in steam. Until next time, may your game never crash unsaved.