Welcome to my first official update of the Lille career mode. Last week I put forward my views on where I was going to take the club in terms of aspirations and goals for the three seasons. Now this will document my journey from start to finish.
If you missed my initial post on this where I went over the plans, goals, and Lille specific rules of the career mode check out this link:
First off – I started writing the articles on this website after I had already begun the career mode. Currently as I write this I have just reached October 2019 (about to play Chelsea in the Champions League). I will try to catch up with as many details as possible.
Manager Objectives set by the Board:
Like I said I am partway through the season already so excuse any progress that has been made so far (also excuse any screenshots with some unprofessional “screenshot saved” or similar icons – still new to all this).
Youth Development – Medium Priority:
Youth development goals on FIFA tend to be fairly inconsistent with where your team is at. For example, top teams competing for continental championships wouldn’t focus as much on youth as a team that is trying to rebuild and compete again. Anyway, they sometimes don’t line up with how my rules are built up. This is the most common example as we don’t perform training, other than some stamina drills, so to see +10 growth in a season from a promoted youth academy player in season one will be difficult. For a start, I keep players in the youth team for as long as possible until they complain. If no one complains I take a look at my youth academy in the Summer window, and sometimes in the Winter window, if I have a player suitable then I may promote them. Suitable “usually” means an overall above 60, however, I tend to be flexible on this. Similarly, if they complain and they aren’t over 60 rated I will still promote them provided their potentials are great enough. Ultimately if they complain and they’re under 60 rated I’ll need to make a decision as I’ll need to keep them in my squad for 12 months before I can get rid of them. I don’t want poor quality youth players taking up vital space in a limited numbered squad.
I can’t see myself completing this objective in all honesty. If I complete it great, but I’m not willing to sacrifice my realism by over-training a youth player just to complete a board objective. Luckily it’s only medium priority so it shouldn’t see me getting fired. My attempt at it will involve tracking the youth squad and if a player grows by 10 in the youth academy and I feel he would suit the team, I’ll promote him and play him on the bench until he’s played 10 games and then return to how I’d normally manage a team (just so that if I have an easy opportunity to complete this then I would complete it).
Brand Exposure – Medium Priority:
Brand Exposure can be a funny one, this time it’s suitable as I do need a ST but I’ve heard Brand Exposure objectives asking for players in positions where you have plenty of players. Unfortunately they mustn’t have spoke with the finance department at Lille as to sign a crucial ST will require more funds than we have. However, I could offer the ST a crucial role at the club anyway as he will be replacing Remy by the end of the year. Remy is 77 rated at the start so if he drops to 76 by January I could make an argument to bench him in place of the younger player. Or I could purchase one of the 77 rated players such as Ajorque or Laborde and they could warrant a crucial role anyway. All in all, it’s medium priority so I don’t need to mould my contracts around this objective, I may sign a player provided they’re 77 rated as a crucial striker and that wouldn’t be too unrealistic (Remy hopefully would have decreased to 76 rated). The following season I may have to look at Osimhen’s contract and increase that to crucial so as not to cause his morale to crash. What would cause my morale to crash would be the board asking for another crucial ST the following season! (I’ve heard this can happen).
It’s medium priority, so if I fail this and the youth academy I need to make sure I’m at least meeting my domestic success goals otherwise I might be at risk. But with the 77 rated ST I should be able to achieve this.
Financial – Medium Priority:
As an accountant, the financial goals frustrate me as when you purchase a player their entire cost affects your profit margin for the year. In real life, they spread the cost over the life of the initial contract so you wouldn’t be as affect by purchases.
As you can see from shirt sales and ticket sales I’m over 1/3rd of the way to achieving this. However, I will be spending a good chunk of money on a Striker in the January window after selling a couple of players. This means the profit margin will go down, I’ll be reliant on my performances in competitions to achieve this. I would imagine finishing in the top 4 and reaching the round of 16 will net me possibly half of the goal? I have no idea but I can’t really control this without gaming the game. A hopeful objective to achieve!
Domestic Success – High Priority:
This is high priority so would have caused me to possibly focus on it vs realism (to a degree not entirely). Anyway as you can see the league goals are easy enough to finish mid table, I’m aiming for a top 4 finish. I also need to reach the round of 16 in the Coupe Nationale. Ligue 1 teams enter at the round of 64 therefore I need to win two rounds to progress. I’ll be attempting to use a second team for this competition and hopefully I will progress and achieve this.
There’s also a long term objective over three seasons, which I think will ultimately keep me in my job if I manage to finish in 3rd, that is in three seasons qualify in a UEFA Champions League place (i.e. finish top 3). That’s my personal goal for season 1 so here’s hoping we’ll achieve it.
Continental Success – Low Priority:
This is a low priority so it doesn’t matter so much, however it is in line with my personal goals, I’m aiming to reach the semi’s by end of season 3 so Ro16 first, Quarters next, then semis after? If there was a structure to it! Ideally I’ll be making the Ro16 every season.
Challenge Objectives Reminder:
Each season there will be some requirements from the challenge side that we must do on a recurring basis. For season one this involves:
Signing A Young Talent From Asia
First of all we must scout the three default GTN regions fully. Following this hopefully there will be enough time to scout out the Asian Football Confederation regions. Ideally if I could find a player that suits my requirements I will sign them. If not I’ll just search for young and promising, although hopefully I’ll sign an Asian ST to help with their numbers in this season.
Keep the board satisfied
Check all these facts: The board have given us 7 objectives. Not all of them are focused on this season specifically. For example we need to finish in a Champions League spot within 3 seasons. I need to complete 4 out of the 7 objectives to “Keep the board satisfied” in season 1. My target objectives are:
Domestic Success: Finish Mid Table
Domestic Success: Reach the Ro16 in the Coupe Nationale
Continental Success: Reach the Ro16 in the Champions League
Then any one of these:
Domestic Success: Within 3 seasons finish in the top 3
Financial Success: Achieve £67.5mil profit margin by the end of the season.
Brand Exposure: Sign a Crucial 1st Team player assigned to a forward position.
I’m expecting to fail the Youth Objective but this shouldn’t cause me any issues.
Finish in a European Spot
In season one I’m allowed to finish 4th, but my aim will be to finish 3rd. See below table which outlined the 2018/19 season finishes, you can see that top 3 earned CL qualification, 4th earned Europa League, and the other two positions were earnt via cup competitions. Look at where Lille finished last year!
When I go to renew player contracts I will need to go through and renew any players that have release clauses and remove the clause as they are not allowed under the LFP Rules.
On to the Career Mode Preseason:
I chose to play the European tournament that was being held in England for my pre-season tournament as it paid the most (all about the Benjamins). First I beat Koln 3-1, then Brighton 4-0, and then Basaksehir 5-0 to put me through with three back to back wins. It was a confident start and I was liking the feel of my Lille players, in particular Osimhen and Renato Sanches who feel so natural to play with. Not forgetting that there is real pace down the wings with Ikone and Samba. At the time I was just using default settings with lowered pass speed and increased injury frequencies and changed my sliders to V3 from OS Community with lowered pass speed and AI sprint speed. Played the semi-finals and lost 1-0 to Espanyol which caused my tournament to end
In the meantime I’d managed to bag two 4*4* scouts and a 2*4* scout for my youth academy and they were sent to France, Belgium and the Ivory Coast to start, just looking for “any” players. I’d also purchased an additional scout to help with the GTN. I had begun filtering players over the age of 24 with one year left in their contract that were 1st team quality, I’d filtered for 1st team quality ST’s between 16-29 and also for promising ST’s & Fullbacks between 16-21. I’ll put a transfer shortlist update closer the January window time. For now, they had been sent to France, England, and Italy by default.
For the start of the season I continued to use the V3 with lower pass speed and sprint speed settings on a 6 minute half game. Players were growing nicely and I’d already seen Pied drop to 72 which meant Reinildo was in the 18 man squad. Big first blow of the season was Remy announcing his retirement which meant I wouldn’t be able to even get an extra year or two out of him. I didn’t find him incredibly useful at breaking opposition lines but by god if you found him in a bit of space he could find the back of the net nicely. The young American Weah was having a stormer of a start to the season and playing 5 games he’d bagged 3 goals in Ligue 1 so he was in Excellent form, sometimes starting over Remy. I am currently fighting between the 3-6 positions in the league with PSG & Marseille running away with the league 8 games in and 8 wins. Biggest result so far was in my first Champions League match I managed to embarrass a young and unprepared Ajax team who I can only assume was suffering from tired legs as I put 7 past them with no response (Osimhen with a hat-trick to grab the match ball). At this point I have now amended the slider settings to just V3 and changed my half length to 10 minutes from 6 minutes.
So far we’ve managed to avoid any scary injuries which surprises me considering I have frequency set to 90 and severity set to 40. The only injury I’ve experienced longer than a knock mid game is Yazici with a 3 week layoff. My lord the press wouldn’t stop asking about how on Earth I’d cope without my 2nd choice wide midfielder!).
In regards to press conferences, I simply do them to avoid the negatives of not doing them. I choose answers that I feel I would choose in the real world, mostly either calming or balanced. My youth academy is almost full now, I only need to bring in a ST and a CB and then I’ll be on the 2nd phase whereby I have to wait to identify a player’s position before bringing them in. As of now I’ve been signing them up if one of the circled areas is in one of the positions I need. I have a couple of promising players but the potentials haven’t narrowed down enough for me to say for certain.
A list of the fixtures played so far and the results:
Home vs FC Nantes Won 2-1
Away vs Amiens SC Won 2-0
Home vs St. Etienne Won 3-1
Away vs Stade Reinnes Lost 2-0
Away vs Angers SCO Drew 0-0
Away vs Ajax Won 7-0 *Changed sliders after this result
Away vs Stade Reinnes Won 2-0
Home vs RC Strasbourg Won 4-1
Away vs OGC Nice Won 1-0
In the next addition I’ll be tackling Chelsea in the Champions League at home, hoping to build off a great first result. Ideally I believe if I can get to 10 points in the group I should be safe and get through to the Round of 16 completing a managerial objective and a challenge objective. There will also be a league table update. Any youth academy players I will avoid providing details on until they are signed.
I’ll also give a round up of who my top scorers and assist providers are. How my keepers are performing amongst other things.
In future posts I will try to keep more up to speed, provide more images to better articulate scenarios and results. I’ll also go into more details of the on the pitch action and behind the scenes talks with players. This was more of a catch up post, I may do a 2 post week to make up for this. 🙂
For next week’s installment please either subscribe to my blog so that you’ll receive a notification on any posts I make, or once it’s posted there will be a link below directly to that page.