This season was supposed to be about two things – ( 1 ) signing a top class Centre Half (i.e. backfilling) and ( 2 ) mounting a serious title challenge now that we are in our sixth season as Manager of CD Tenerife. Do any of you really think that FM will allow us to meet either of these goals? 😄
When we last left off, we were 7th at Christmas at the end of 2023 with 12 games played and while this isn’t where we expect to be at this stage, we are still only 5 points off 4th place Villareal and ultimately the tragedy which was our winless September is the main reason we are where we are at this point.
Anyway, enough excuses – we have just rang in the new year and 2024 will hopefully be the year that we fulfill some more of our original save objectives which we laid out back in February 2019 (IRL), especially considering we haven’t a whole lot of FM19 time left now that FM20 is only weeks away!
The year ends and starts in familiar fashion – familiar in that we somehow find ourselves playing the same two teams in five games due to Copa Del Rey and La Liga commitments – Villareal and Bilbao, it’s about to get personal.
A demolition of Villareal in the league isn’t enough to stop us losing in the Copa Del Rey 4th Round Second Leg – thankfully we beat them 4-0 in the first leg which for some reason happened all the way back at the beginning of October. We then proceeded to triple-trounce Athletic Bilbao while most importantly keeping a clean-sheet in all 3 games – backfilling indeed as Perr Schuurs picked up a goal, 3 clean sheets and a man-of-the-match award as we kicked off 2024 with a 100% record. Who said deja-vu was a bad thing?
We emerge from the FM Matrix to continue what turns out to be a perfect month in January – as bad as it is that we (again) had to play 9 games in 4 weeks, we managed to win all 9 games conceding just 3 goals suddenly we find ourselves propelled up to 4th place in the league. This was also topped by an emphatic 4-0 victory over a full-strength Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey Semi Final meaning silverware may actually be on the cards this year! Two words: SQUAD DEPTH 💪💪.
The Perfect Hat-Trick
We’ve all heard of the perfect hat-trick – a header, a left foot shot and a right foot finish all in the same game. All round goal-scoring perfection, it is the ultimate trophy for any prolific striker. Fowler, Aguero, Vialli, Kane, Dzeko, Hasselbaink, Yakubu, Drogba and even Agbonlahor have all scored “perfect” hat-tricks in the Premier League, and even on the European stage we have seen the likes of Ronaldo, Platini, Olic, Lewandowski and Chicharito score what the Germans also call the “lupenreiner” (flawless) hat-trick.
However there are none more famous than arguably the most important, well-known and most high-profile “perfect” hat-trick of all time, which was scored all the way back in 1966 by a man by the name of Sir Geoff Hurst to win the World Cup for England in a 4-2 victory over West Germany.
While not as impactful or significant – it was our star Striker and current Roy De Los RoversFabio Silva who scored us our first ever Perfect Hat-Trick in Football Manager (at least that I can remember). After setting up Dani Olmo for our first goal against Granada, Silva then proceeds to score the perfect hat-trick by taking a well placed shot on his left, smashing in a header from Olivier Batista Meier‘s Free Kick and then finishing his own rebound with his right foot to complete the holy trinity of goals in a game.
Silva has certainly taken over the reigns as our Roy De Los Rovers since Brenner’s departure and at just 22 he is an absolute baller of a Striker – if you haven’t already heard of this kid feel free to check out my review of him here in a post which I wrote as a guest author for @WeStreamFM.
Up until this point Dani Olmo had been having a relatively quiet start to life in Tenerife following his bargain free transfer in the summer after being released by Real Madrid. From September to Christmas he only picked up 2 goals playing as either an Inside Forward or Shadow Striker, however for some reason he came to life in 2024 and started scoring what can only be described as a host of emphatic goals that greatly contributed towards our surge up the league table.
Goal after goal of absolute belters – what on Earth could be driving this?!
Between February and March we have 10 league games to play. Disappointingly we draw our first two games in Feb with lowly Espanyol and Eibar, before back-to-back 3-0 wins and then a defeat to Real Madrid which saw us slip back to 5th in the league.
March saw a marked improvement during which we won all 4 games including wins over Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, and after 30 games we find ourselves back in 4th position again, 12 points off leaders Real Madrid but only one point off 2nd – things are heating up!!
Champions League Knockout – Round 1 – 21/02/2024
It’s like for like here at Stamford Bridge as a strong Chelsea team led by Jorge Sampaoli come against arguably MaddFM‘s strongest XI for CD Tenerife with no major injury worries on either side. Chelsea go in to the game as Home favourites, while Tenerife will surely look to exploit this and catch them on the break at every opportunity. Who will reign supreme?
It’s hard to know which is worse – losing the game or it being Jesse Lingard that scored the winner for Chelsea as I am certainly not a fan of his in real life. The reality is that while both teams were evenly matched and despite our best efforts in shoring up our backline with the addition of Perr Schuurs at CB, it was Chelsea’s Central Defensive pairing that made the difference in French compatriots Benjamin Pavard and Samuel Umtiti who bossed the game rendering Fabio Silva null & void for 90 mins.
I hadn’t realised it before but Benjamin Pavard is an absolute beast of a Centre Back in FM – I always thought he was a Right Back based on where he played for France when they won the World Cup but in this game, he is a worldie of a DC.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE KNOCKOUT – ROUND 2 – 12/03/2024
More FM deja-vu as Chelsea put in yet another outstanding defensive performance – despite our 15 shots on goal, 11 of which were on target, we couldn’t break the deadlock and it was Pavard‘s Newgen defensive partner Danilo Petkovic who picked up the Man of the Match award. So ends our European dream before it even began!!
April saw us pick up 3 wins, 2 draws and a loss which left us in 4th position after 30 games. Our original league prediction was 4th at the start of the season, so overall it’s not all bad and we are still in with a shout of finishing 2nd or 3rd if results go our way.
We also reach a landmark milestone as Manager of CD Tenerife – if we guess-timate that every game we play takes 5 minutes on average, that’s 25 hours of match play on this version of FM – talk about a hell of lot of hours and of course, unquestionably worth it 😎.
Despite all of this and despite the fact that we have taken Tenerife from the depths of Secunda Division 2 all the way up to the bright lights of the Champions League, as we enter May 2024, Football Manager decides to hit the upper echelons of absolute absurdity.
ARE YOU F*CKING HIGH?! After all we’ve been through, our so called esteemed Patriarch Senior Miguel Concepcion has decided that (potentially) 4th place is not good enough, nor is reaching a Copa Del Rey final which I neglected to mention earlier or even qualifying from what was a hard b*stard of a Champions League group before getting narrowly knocked out by one goal against a top class Chelsea side…THIS IS BULLSHIT REF 🤬. Before now we had been monitoring the Job Security screen to monitor Mick McCarthy‘s status as Ireland Manager (which is still f*cking safe as houses), and suddenly we find ourselves right a the top of the pile as the most insecure of the lot….
Soooo…..after 7 real life months, 6 FM years, 300 games, 30 odd blog posts and over 2000 days in charge, somehow it would appear that we now have 4 games to save our job as Tenerife Manager! Looks like the next post will be an important one 👀.
Thanks for reading folks – this save just keeps on giving 😄. If we keep the job then the save will continue on to Season 7, if not then I might have to start planning for FM20 a little earlier than expected!! As always please share your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter, don’t forget to hit that Follow button below and retweets are always welcome. Cheers, hopefully the next time we speak I will still be Tenerife Manager! MaddFM aka Paul.