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Thread: Home is where the Hearts is

  1. #26
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    Many congrats on the league title! It was never going to be easy to break the Old Firm duopoly and you've certainly done it the hard way. That's way more fun than just using the iodine tactic in every match.

    Now time to push on and dominate Scotland and maybe even challenge for the Champions League.

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  3. #27
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    Congrats! It will be tough to refresh the squad while maintaining a title challenge, and maybe pushing on in Europe, but it should be exciting

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  5. #28
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    Thought this would be a good time to post a bit of history and info about the save.

    Here's the current squad...


















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  7. #29
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    Season 10: Testing the patience

    With the SPL in the trophy cabinet, attention turned to building a team capable of winning it again and also challenging in Europe.

    Some of the main stays of my team over the 10 years had started to leave. Left back Jamie Victory had departed two seasons ago to take the manager’s job at Cheltenham, while Mike Duff was now past his best at right back.

    37-year-old Cristiano Doni hasn’t got much left in him in midfield, while Freddie Ljungberg isn’t getting any younger either.

    Sadly, signing players wasn’t easy.

    Deals for Carlos Tevez, Mirko Vucinic and Jefferson Farfan all fell through due to work permit issues, while a persistent chase of highly rated Greek left back Giannas Kalogeras from Man City came to nothing as they just wouldn’t sell.

    A striker and a midfield were priority. I um’d and ah’d about 3m-rated Francis Jeffers for a while, before eventually sending my scouts out to find prospects for the future.

    Seven players arrived in the end - young winger Michael Reid (a snip at 10k, even though we don’t play wingers), and Australian AMC Michael Ferrente (250k) were the two gambles.

    Federico Marongiu (200k) was identified as a possible next Harpal Singh and arrives to compete with Doni.

    Daniel Backhaus (1.2m) came in to succeed Mike Duff at right back.

    Strikers Juan Ramon Valle (240k) and Joel Soto (1.6m) were added, the latter with some very impressive figures.

    Scottish centre-back John Kennedy arrived for a cut price 625k to bolster the defensive options.

    It was a bizarre start to the season. We started fairly well, but Rangers and Celtic were well off the pace.

    Champions League was one to forget. Drawn with Man Utd, Roma and Litex, we managed just two points - both draws against Litex, as once again we failed to make any inroads in Europe.

    Bizarrely, Raith Rovers and St Johnstone were setting the pace in the SPL.



    With Rangers/Celtic out the way in the League Cup, I suffered agony in the semi-finals.



    With 10 games to go, I hit the front. And from there, it looked like only one outcome.



    A 7-1 thrashing of Dundee Utd was followed by a 4-1 win over Rangers and we were practically in touching distance of back-to-back SPL crowns.

    But then disaster. I went on the worst run of my tenure as Hearts manager.

    A couple of agonising late draws and results knocked the confidence, and then we went four games without even scoring a goal.



    A complete collapse, where we won just 11 points from our last 10 games, and ended up finishing third.





    To compound that woe, we then went on to lose the Scottish Cup final 2-0 to Kilmarnock.



    A disastrous end to the campaign, and now a real question mark hangs over the future of Hearts and where next.

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    AMC

  9. #30
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    Wow

    Squad overhaul and maybe they haven't settled

    Or maybe they are not good enough?

    What's bank balance like

    CL qualifier next year or just UEFA?

  10. #31
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    Just UEFA, sadly.

    Bank balance is nothing to write home about. Just around 2m, goes up and down over the season, but usually settles around 2m.

    The ground has been increased on two separate occasions now though, which is a positive.

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  12. #32
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    Season 11: Not so much a legacy

    After last season’s late heartbreak, the reality was stark. One league title and one cup win to show for 10 seasons of hard work. Not good enough.

    There was attempts last season to try and re-build the squad and plan for the future.

    Yet both Cristiano Doni (now 38!) and Freddie Ljungberg were still the go-to men alongside save hero Harpal Singh in midfield, no matter who I tried to sign.

    Instead, this season I tried a new system. Ditching the three-man midfield for two DMs and MC, and then adding an AML and AMR with one striker.

    Of course, this system didn’t necessarily suit the aging Doni and Ljungberg, so the idea was to recruit new players to make a difference.

    As ever, it was difficult to attract players - mainly because budget was tight.

    In the end, Kieran Richardson came in for AML, while I decided that Michael Reid was showing enough in training to warrant a go at AMR.

    I decided that perhaps my failing last season was not recruiting enough quality and experience - with that in mind, I snapped up Patrick Kluivert (33 goals in 38 games for Atletico Madrid last season) on a free and Fabio Cannavaro joined as player/coach - more as a back-up player but because his coaching stats are so good.

    We started the season against Rangers like this:



    The changes worked. We enjoyed an unbeaten start to the season, winning five and drawing three of the first eight. Defence was tight too, something that we’d had plenty of problems with over the years.

    A disappointing UEFA Cup first round exit on away goals followed, against Tirol Innsbruck, and then we fell apart a bit in the league, losing three consecutive games.

    Two defeats to pacesetters Kilmarnock in a week - one in league, one in cup - was then followed by a tremendous 20 match unbeaten run, by far the best under my stewardship.

    This put us well in the hunt for the league title as the season drew in.

    But sadly again, we were to come up wanting.

    Rangers were one point clear with five to play, and this happened:



    Still, we had a chance. Going in to the last two games against Celtic and Hibs, we were still a point away.



    We went in to the last game against Hibs knowing that if Rangers failed to win, a win would make us champions.

    And guess what? Rangers drew.

    Sadly:



    And so again, we missed out on the title.





    Recruitment

    The question mark still hangs over the squad for recruitment.

    Over the season, I parted company with Fredrik Stenman (975k), a useful squad player who had never really been able to command a regular first team place (or position).

    The “new Harpal Singh” in Federico Marongiu was sold to Kilmarnock for Ł4.2m - he just wasn’t getting a game, with Singh showing no signs of losing form, it was a tidy Ł4m profit on a player who had only made 17 starts for Hearts.

    The other man to leave was Michael Ferrante, somewhat of a desperation buy a season or so ago - he left for Ł1.2m, again a tidy profit, this time of Ł1m.

    Whether the Marongiu sale will come back to hurt me, as the departure of Bakircioglu did, I’m not sure. I just couldn’t turn down that sort of money at this stage.

    So another season of disappointment. At least a return to the Champions League beckons for season 12...

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  14. #33
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    Kluivert and Cannavarro

    Horrific end to season - proper blew it - that Rangers result was a killer!

    2nd tho so back in CL - maybe some decent cash with big away games and Pool cash

    Ł4m profit - WOW

  15. #34
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    Kluivert on the scoresheet against Celtic and Hibs there - how did he do over the season? Who were your top scorers/best players?

    Shame about missing out on the title but it's important to secure the money and reputation of the Champions League season on season

  16. #35
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    Season 12: Make mine a double

    After yet more frustration last season, it was a simple case of go again.

    Over the summer, in came Leonardo Manfredi, a DM from Piacenza who I’d had my eye on for a while. Shortly after the season started he was joined by another Italian, Danilo Di Loreto from Bari, both originally spotted by one of my scouts.

    I also took a gamble on Justin Georcelin from Sunderland, a snip at 250k.

    Most notably, Patrick Kluivert, having scored 19 goals in 38 apps in his first season at Hearts, decided to play on for at least another year.

    The league season couldn’t have got off to a much better start. We won five of our first six games without conceding a goal, losing the other game 1-0 against Celtic.

    Then came the usual stutter once the Champions League started. We had a group of Roma, Rosenborg and Porto.

    Despite wins over Rosenborg and Porto putting us in a good position after three games, we eventually missed out on qualifying and ended up third, sending us in to the UEFA Cup.

    A bad injury to Cristian Gasperoni left us a bit short at left-back - so I went back to the transfer market.

    In came Daniele De Rossi from Cosenza, a snip at 875k. Down as a DMLC, but I thought a decent option to cover for Gasperoni.

    I hadn’t realised that third in the CL group left you in the UEFA Cup. With the two group phases in the CL, I didn’t think it was the case. So I was pleasantly surprised to be in the UEFA Cup third round, where I beat Leeds over two legs.

    Progress was made in both the domestic cups too, and with our league form keeping us in the battle with the usual top three, we were fighting on four fronts.

    A 24 game unbeaten run from December meant that by April, we were well in the hunt.

    Sadly, in the middle of February our hopes of League Cup glory were over, as we suffered a penalty defeat to Dundee Utd in the semi-finals.



    We did progress in the Scottish Cup, and then came the return of the UEFA Cup.

    We despatched of Deportivo 5-0 on aggregate, and then up came Grasshopper Zurich in the quarters.

    A goalless home leg was followed by a superb away leg, where we pinched it 1-0 to set up a semi-final against Lyon.

    We looked to have one step in the final at 2-0 up in the first leg, only for goalkeeper Craig Gordon to be sent off, enabling Lyon a route back in to the game.



    It was becoming increasingly difficult to keep the squad fresh, and it was tested to its limits.

    The Lyon first leg came on a Thursday, we then played Kilmarnock on the Saturday (Cup semi) and then Raith on the Mondah (league).

    We survived those three, but then the 24-game unbeaten run came to an end in the league against Kilmarnock.

    By now, the league had become a two-horse race between us and Rangers, with Rangers holding the advantage.

    A 2-1 win over Lyon in the second leg of the UEFA Cup semi-final had us in the final, and then there was four games to win the league.

    With us hosting Rangers last game, I knew that all we needed to do was make sure we were in touching distance.

    A 1-0 win over Celtic and a similarly nervy 1-0 win over Dundee Utd, meant that we went in to the last game against Rangers needing just a draw for the title.

    What it also meant was I effectively had three cup finals to end the season - Rangers for the league, Parma for the UEFA Cup and Aberdeen for the Scottish Cup.

    Here’s how it went…









    I was gutted to miss out on a famous treble in the last game, but it is still an incredible double considering.

    Here was the team from the Parma final:



    All of a sudden, we seem in a position to kick on.

    Recruiting started in earnest for the 2013/14 season - Michael Dawson arrived from Middlesbrough for 625k and then the big one…

    Thierry Henry on a Bosman!

    An incredible coup for the club, with Henry joining as a player/coach, having scored 36 goals in 36 apps for Lille.

    That meant Henry, Fabio Cannavaro and Roy Keane on the backroom staff, not bad at all.

    Further signings were added in the shape of Anton Ferdinand (1.6m) and Kim Kallstrom (1.9m), as that important quality was added.

    One of the things I learned from competing on four fronts was the sheer limits that the squad is stretched to, so adding bodies was crucial.

    Watch this space...

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  18. #36
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    Great Double! Lots of Italians in that UEFA Cup side. Any chance of a review of the squad before next season?

    How old is Henry now?

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  20. #37
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    Really like this kind story telling!

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  22. #38
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    Amazing - finally the league! I bet that last game to Rangers was a nervy one!

    and a UEFA double as well!

    Maybe the Scottish Cup was a game too far but an 89th minute winner was a killer!

    Henry How old:

    Keane and Cannavaro both just coaches now and retired from playing?

    Squad nicely beefed up - what sort of cash you have left over and what are top earners on?

    Would be good to see some progress in CL now with a stronger squad - knockouts would be brilliant!

  23. #39
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    Thanks

    Henry is 35 now.

    Cannavaro and Keane are both just coaches.

    Top earners are Henry on 25k. Most first teamers on between 15-20k.

    Cash wise, still not an awful lot floating around. Only around 4-5m in the bank.

    Hopefully we'll be able to start making winning the league more of a routine. I'm disappointed to only have won it twice in the 12 seasons so far.

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  25. #40
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    Is Georcelin the wonderkid as well?!

  26. #41
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    He's not played for me - doesn't look particularly good other than 20 finishing. Plus I've got Kluivert, Henry and Samba...

  27. #42
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    I think it's well knows he's a wonderkid and bangs the goals in - give him a whirl

  28. #43
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    Sorry for lack of updates guys - hit a problem with CM 01/02 whereby I can't load the save due to the system memory error! I've posted in the Mac thread on technical support forum but no help as yet

  29. #44
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    Shucks!

  30. #45
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    Its not the system memory error solutions as PC is it?

  31. #46
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    I've scoured through a few of the threads on here to no avail so far

  32. #47
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    Saw this topic contained new posts and was hoping for an update, I like this no bullshit-story telling for a change (I also do appreciate other stories, calm down). I'm not to much help unfortunately. I use a program called Playonmac to play the game and it goes with mostly no issues. Have had some hard times getting it to work though so now I'm careful about doing changes, updating etc. Don't even really remember how I got it to work last time. Hang in there!

  33. #48
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    I've managed to load the save back now, not sure why or how it started working again!

    Will have a season update soon.

    Thanks for your kind words

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  35. #49
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    Season 13: Cowboy season

    After the tremendous end to last season, strengthening the squad in the summer for an assault on a repeat and perhaps a better performance in the Champions League was the name of the game.

    Four quality additions to the squad in the summer, in the shape of Thierry Henry (Bosman), Michael Dawson (625k), Anton Ferdinand (1.6m) and Kim Kallstrom (1.9m).

    They were joined at the back end of September by Adam Rundle (2.7m) to fill the AML position that Kieran Richardson hasn’t quite managed to nail down and make his own.

    The season started where we left off. We won four drew one of our first five league games - in fact our only defeat in all competitions in the first 13 games came at the hands of Barcelona in the Super Cup.

    A Champions League group of Aston Villa, Real Madrid and Grasshopper included arguably the finest moment in the club’s history:



    The first defeat of the season proper came against Hibs, and that was followed by a CL defeat to Grasshopper.



    But we got back on the horse to preserve league position, though the Grasshopper defeat cost us our place in the second group stage of CL.



    It was after the CL exit that the wheels well and truly fell off the season.

    Despite seeing off Chelsea easily in the UEFA Cup, we managed just one win in seven league games.



    By the time Christmas came, we were well off the pace. Four consecutive draws, including an agonising one against Rangers, virtually put paid to our title challenge by February.



    Progression followed in the UEFA Cup, and that quickly turned in to our only hope for the season.



    Sadly, it came to an end in agonising circumstances in the semi-finals against Brondby.



    So out of all three cups and well off the pace in the league, it was a disastrous season.





    And there was one more turn for the worst. A dismal run in meant we finished fourth, our lowest finish for seven seasons after a draw in the final game.







    So what happened?

    Over the past two seasons, a change of system has come in and that has meant accommodating an AML and AMR. Though Adam Rundle was a decent addition, we don’t appear to have the quality we need.

    Harpal Singh - the club legend averaged under 7 (6.90) for the first time in his career for the season, and although he weighed in with 21 goals in 47 apps, it was clear he wasn’t the player he has been. After an incredible 291 goals in 524 appearances, it might be time to search for a replacement.

    Striker dilemma - with Samba, Kluivert and Henry all fighting over one position; as well as the very capable Juan Ramon Valle on the sidelines, it proved hard to decide just who to prefer. In hindsight, maybe permanently changing to three strikers rather than just trying it every now and again would have been the better option.

    The end of the road for Doni - another club legend, Cristiano Doni, was reduced to just 15 appearances at the age of 40.






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  37. #50
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    Not the best of seasons but hey, every metal album has a ballad! Maybe time for a rebuild if you got some old players that doesn't perform the way you require anymore. Seems like scoring was your biggest issue as 43 goals in 38 games not exactly is defining for a winning team. Looks like Singh did perform well scoring wise, so did Henry. Maybe time for a refreshment though or going for Samba who can be a mental threat to any defense when he has the right day.

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