When we last left off, all was rosy on the island of Tenerife as we had just added two huge signings to the Los Chicharreros ranks – world class Centre Half Perr Schuurs whom we sourced based on the attributes of our friend Sol Campbell, as well as bargain of the century Dani Olmo who joined on a free transfer after being released from Real Madrid following 5 seasons of loan deals.
Speaking of loan deals – just as the Tenerife fans had accepted that all our transfer dealings were done and were queuing up to get these new names on the back of their shirts – we decide to make not one but two surprise moves in the loan market including one for a familiar face who already spent a season on loan with us a couple of seasons back racking up 11 goals, 8 assists and a 7.29 average rating during 29 appearances for the club:
Mason Mount is also joined by none other than Benjamin Mendy who joins on a season long deal from Manchester City after losing his place to modern day FM legend Alex Grimaldo, while we also manage to renew Olivier Batista Meier’s loan deal after he had a cracking season last year. There is excitement among the Tenerife fans as not only have we managed to bring in a few quality signings, we have also managed to retain all of our key players for the first time having lost the likes of Brenner and Antonio Marin to release clauses previously. Our squad finally looks to have the depth and quality needed to MOUNT a serious challenge this year – will we finally be able to dethrone Barcelona and/or the two Madrids for the league title at our 6th time of asking?
To say we started the season well would be an understatement – 8 goals in two games (including a 4 goal demolition by that man Xadas and 3 in 2 for Fabio Silva) give us back to back opening victories in La Liga, and the fans are already chanting about us winning the league before we’ve barely started it. It’s at this point that the fictional FM gods decide to intervene once again as we then go on a 5 game winless streak during which we can only muster up one measly consolation goal during a 4-1 hammering by Atletico Madrid and are subject to a 3-0 battering by Lyon in the Champions League….seriously, just when you think you’ve figured it all out FM has that uncanny ability to make you question everything you’ve been doing for 6 seasons – actually make that 25+ years of playing this absolute b*stard of a beautiful football game.
October starts on a far more positive note during which a blip against Barcelona is the only blemish on an otherwise perfect month whereby we also pick up back to back wins in both La Liga and in the Champions League – might we actually qualify from our CL group for the first time in the club’s history?
November is almost a carbon copy of October – we manage to win two league games either side of a defeat to Real Madrid, as well as picking up 7 points in the Champions League including a 1-0 win over PSV where new signing Perr Schuurs scored the winner against his old club 🎉🎉. This puts us top of the group on 10 points, which can only mean one thing:
For the first time in our history and most importantly for the first time in this save, we reach the Knockout Round of the Champions League after qualifying from our group and finally we will contend with the elite of European Football – the big question remaining, are we good enough? 👀
Christmas Spirit 🎄
To cap off our excellent Champions League form, we manage to not only beat Bayern away from home to ensure we finish top of the group, but also condemn them to an early exit from the competition as Lyon take second place after beating PSV in the other remaining fixture. Bayern Head Coach Diego Simeone resigns in embarrassment and is swiftly replaced by another contender for personality of the year, Antonio Conte who has enjoyed spells at Man Utd, Barcelona and Juventus since we kicked off this save six FM years ago. Looks like the man can’t stay in the same place for more than two seasons but who are we to judge living the high life on the sunny island of Tenerife 😄☀️.
Two more league wins vs Celta Vigo and Villareal mean we sit in 7th place in La Liga at Christmas, that disappointing run back in September costing us big time as we lie 12 points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid.
Taking the Mick ☘️
Anyone who has been following this save knows that one of my main objectives has been to get the Ireland job once that man Mick McCarthy steps aside either voluntarily or due to poor performance etc. In my last blog post, we had a glimmer of hope with the Irish FAI appearing to be losing patience with Big Mick as their hopes for Euro 2024 lay in tatters following a disastrous start to their qualifying campaign.
Expecting him to get the sack any day now, Tenerife Manager MaddFM eagerly waits in the wings in the hope that Big Mick will emerge from Merrion Square defeated and P45 in hand…..
Obviously not!! That sexy, suave, smooth-talking silver fox b*stard Mick McCarthy has somehow managed to convince them that he is still the right man for the job despite the fact that their hopes of Euro 2024 qualification are in shreds, and it looks like this 64 year old footballing genius will continue at the helm for the Boys in Green for the foreseeable future. Once again the most frequently used GIF of this blog series makes an appearance…
Champions League Knockout Draw – 18th December 2023
Arguably one of the biggest moments in Club Deportivo de Tenerife’s history. Los Chicharreros are boldly going where no Tenerife side have gone before. The Last 16 of the European Champions League. After qualifying from a difficult Champions League group overcoming Bayern Munich, Lyon and PSV, Manager MaddFM knows that there is no easy draw at this stage and they will have to be at their absolute best if they are to advance to the Quarter Finals with the likes of PSG, Barcelona, Man Utd, Liverpool, Man City, Real Madrid and Chelsea all potential opponents in today’s draw.
Let’s cross live to Switzerland where the draw is just about to take place for the 2023/2024 Champions League Knockout Stages:
Tough draw! That’s all for this post, next we will move in to January where we are looking to continue our current form and make a surge up the league table. With FM20 on the horizon, we will continue this save until the beta comes out meaning we probably have another 1-2 seasons to try and finally win La Liga, mount a Champions League challenge and most importantly try and get that pr*ck Mick McCarthy to step aside! If you’ve enjoyed this post feel free to go back to the start of this save and follow our journey to see how we have ended up here – don’t forget to hit the Follow button below and share any thoughts, feedback or retweets etc on Twitter if desired! Cheers, MaddFM aka Paul.