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FM22 Beta Save -The Darmstadt Dream - Season 1 Review


After much anticipation we begin our FM22 Adventure in Germany. We are going to be leading SV Darmstadt 98 in the pursuit of a return to the top tier of German football and beyond.


If you want to be reminded of why I have chosen Darmstadt then click here for the "Introducing" blog episode.




A proud day in the McLean household as we all pack our bags and head to Southern Germany to start another journey.


We have a media prediction of 10th after finishing in a solid midtable position last season.


With a capacity of 17,400 the Merck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor is a good base for the size of the club currently but we will need to look at expanding once the finances have improved.


The main area of focus for me will be the Training and Youth Recruitment areas as we want to start producing the next generation of superstars as early as possible.



The Club Vision is well within our reach and appears to be very reasonable. I like the "Make the most of set pieces" as this has always been a strong area of focus for me anyway.


Bit bleak in the finances department with absolutely no transfer budget and about 7k per week in wages to play with. This will limit our movement in the transfer market first season unless we can offload some players for some fees or trim the wage budget down.

 

Transfer Activity


From the screen shot above you will not be surprised to hear that we did very little business before the season started.


I was actually pretty impressed with the squad we had at our disposal and with the budget so low I needed to ensure it was going to be money well spent.


I decided to bolster our striking options and brought in 2 new strikers.


Georginio Rutter has been brought in on loan from Hoffenheim and looks to be a goal machine at this level. Either footed and likes to beat the offside trap will be and ideal combination.

Francesco Margiotta was signed on a free transfer after his release from Chievo in the summer. He is more of a Deep lying Froward who likes to drop deep to bring others into the game.

 

Tactics


There has been a huge amount of hype surrounding the new defensive role, the Wide Centre Back.


With this being said it would be rude to not try and implement a system which used this new position.

I will be honest I have not used a 5 at the back formation in a long while so we will have to keep a close eye on how it performs.


 

Season Preview


With the new additions we have been bumped up to 6th from 10th in the season preview. We have an outside shot of the playoffs if this is anything to go by.

 

Pre Season


So lets get into some pre season action.

A solid start with a new formation. Plenty of goals scored with not many conceded. A disappointing draw at home to Lech but lots to be positive about with the main aim of match fitness.

 

July and August


So we start the league proper in July. A full strength squad ready and raring to go in a new formation. Lets get cracking


Not the start I was looking for. lets start with the Positives, Rutter gets off the mark in the first game but the formation is not working as intended. I made a very early decision to change it up.



It may be boring but a 4-4-2 is the foundation our beautiful game is built upon. Simplicity at its best. Lets see how we got on.



MUCH BETTER. The Game against Bremer SV in the first round of the cup was an easy start to the new formation but it prepped us for the more difficult games ahead.


Hamburg and Hannover are both promotion contenders so its nice to get the early advantage over them. Rutter has continued his fine start to the season with 3 goals in 4 games.

 

September and October


September and October was a busy couple of months with the small matter of a DFB-Pokal Second Round match against RB Leipzig.


We will get to the cup game shortly but this is some solid league form.


Margiotta and Rutter are forming one hell of a partnership up top which is wonderful to see. Losing to Heidenheim was a blip as we go on to win our next three including a huge win against title favourites Werder Bremen.


The Cup game was a close affair and we actually took the lead through Margiotta but 2 goals in 5 minutes killed our momentum and Leipzig deservedly go into the next round.


A really solid start to the season so far.

 

November and December


We enter the winter season where football in Germany slows down slightly. With a winter break at the end of December and some larger breaks in between games its important to not let any momentum.

On the face of it an unbeaten two months but when we look at a couple of results it could have been so much better. This was after we lost Margiotta for the rest of the season as he damages his cruciate ligaments in training.


A strong away point at Schalke was followed by back to back wins against relegation fighting teams. The Fortuna Dusseldorf game appeared lost until we grabbed 2 in last 10 minutes. 0-0 against Paderborn is a poor result and we threw away a 2-0 lead away to Regensburg, conceding 2 in the last few minutes.


Half Way League Table

Halfway through the season and we find ourselves right up there in the promotion hunt. Big Surprise is the positions of Schalke, Hannover and Werder Bremen who were the three favourites for promotion.

 

January


We start January after an extended winter break refreshed and ready to go. We are still missing one half of our star striking duo as Margiotta will be out for a few more months.

I should have seen what was coming after the friendly as we struggled to break down a poor lower league team. Karlsruher are having a great season and were a place below us before this game. We were toothless and deserved to lose.


We rescued a point up next as substitute striker Pfeiffer scored in the 87th minute.


We needed a spark to reignite our season, and I think I found one on the loan list.

I didn't think we stood a chance in getting him due to those wages at his parent club but Arsenal only want 6k a week. After some adjustments i managed to balance the books to close the deal.

Balogun will be moved into the advanced playmaker role whilst switching Rutter to the deeper role. Hopefully a partnership to strike fear in the heart of other defences.

 

February


With a new man spearheading the attack we head into February with a new lease of life.

God I love it when a plan comes together. Balogun starred as we beat top of the league Hamburg at home and we quickly followed it up with another 1-0 win against promotion chasing Hannover. Our second perfect month of the season.


Goals galore for Rutter and Balogun just showed what we were missing over the last few months.

 

March and April


We go into the final two month of the season battling hard for the top 3 places. Results from other teams will have to go our way but I have faith.



March started badly as we lost to promotion rivals Heidenheim, the second time they have beaten us this season. This put us on the back foot for the promotion run in and every point invaluable.


We managed to avoid defeat for the next 7 games with Balogun firing us to within touching distance of the top 3.


This is how the table stands going into the last 2 games of the season.



 

May



We were 4 points away from the title and three away from automatic promotion. The bare minimum we needed to do was equal or better the two teams below us.

Absolutely delighted! We ended Fortuna Dusseldorf's promotion push in the first game as we dispatched them 2-0. Werder Bremen won securing themselves the title. Hamburg however lost meaning if we better their result we would finish 2nd.


The Parderborn game was a nail biter as we actually went 2-0 down giving the advantage to Heidenheim below us and Hamburg above us.


However a spirited fightback saw us turn the game on its head with the victory being sealed by Rutter in the 87th minute.


Hamburg won there remaining game too to confirm 2nd place. Missing out on automatic promotion on goal difference.


We head for the promotion playoffs.

 

Final League Table


 

The Promotion Playoffs


So the Bundesliga Promotion play offs in Germany are between the Third placed team in Bundesliga.2 and the 16th placed team in Bundesliga for the right to compete in the Bundesliga next season. Lets find out who we will be playing.


Oh an easy one then. Hertha were predicted at the start of the season to finish 3rd in the Bundesliga. Instead they finish 16th......


This is where we leave the season as we will cover the two legs in more detail.


Cheers


Panda


If you have enjoyed this episode and want to see some of our adventures from FM21 you can see them below.


You can start on our Wycombe Wanderers Journey way back at the beginning here - The Wycombe Wanderers Journey sadpanda333.co.uk



We also recently had our turn in a joint save with other FM creators called "The Far East Express. Please check out our episodes with the link below. One hell of a journey going on in that save.


We also have an fascinating International save going as we attempt to take Jamaica to Gold Cup and World Cup glory after acquiring some new recruits who have been ignored repeatedly by England






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