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FM22 Beta Save - The Darmstadt Dream - Season 2 Review


Season 2 was going to be a tough test so early in the journey. If I am honest I didn't expect to go up at the first time of asking and with the poor state of the finances when beating Hertha in the playoffs I wasn't expecting any form of budget.


Well I was bang on the money, or no money as the case may be. We need a complete squad overhaul and I do not think 1.65 million is going to cut it.


I focused very much on free transfers and loans to at least try and make us competitive with the teams in and around us at the bottom of the league.


 

Here is what I cam up with.


Some names you may recognise and others you definitely will not.


Yoan Cardinale is an experienced goalkeeper who will most likely take the No1 jersey.


Josh Bowler may be familiar to a few of you, he's a wide midfielder who can play on either flank.


Tahith Chong is probably the most recognisable name on the list and probably the signing of the summer. Signed for free from Man United he will offer a similar role to Bowler in the fact he can play on either flank.


Marvel is a young Moroccan centre back wo has huge potential and will be loaned straight back out for at least 1 season.


Fernando Valenzuela is an attacking player who can play as an attacking midfielder or as a false 9. A role I haven't utilised but may be ideal with two marauding wingers on either side.


We all know Georginio Rutter. Star striker on loan last season who's goals helped fire us into the Bundesliga. Back on loan for another season


Jean N'Guessan on loan from Nice can play a variety of roles in the centre of the park and will offer healthy cover.


Kik Pierie on loan from Ajax will come in as our first choice left back.


Lastly Phillipe Sandler is another utility player who can play as a holding midfielder or as a centre back.


 

We also cleared some funds from the wage budget by letting some players go who were not in our plans.



 

The club also made some improvements as soon as our promotion had been announced. The first was all the board as we have set up an affiliate club in SV Darmstadt 98 II

They will play in the Regional Divisions.


We also gained another affiliate, this time slightly further afield.


That right, Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand who compete in the Australian A League. They have strong facilities and hopefully we can have first option on some class youth prospects.


We have also upgraded our own youth facilities in the hope of producing our own stars of the future.


 

The Season preview gave us nope of survival at all.

I really think the best we can hope for this season is survival and I will be delighted with that.

 

Pre Season and DFB-Pokal First Round


We had a short run of 4 friendlies before the 1st round of the cup. Sticking with our solid 4-4-2 formation i was looking for a solid base and a strong counter attack with the pace available to us.


Pre season was fine. Eibar game was disappointing but the squad was on a full rotation.


The Siegen game was over before half time. Margiotta, returning from an ACL injury last season with a hatrick. Straight into the draw for the second round.


The Second Round draw had a familiar feel to it.

For the second season in a row we will face RB Leipzig in the second round.

 

Its August and its time for The Bundesliga


So here we go, Budesliga football returns to Darmstadt. It looked like a kind start so lets hope we can take advantage.

What a start to the season as Margiotta got us off to a FLYER inside 2 minutes. But we conceded in the 90th minute to drop 2 points on day 1. We recovered well to secure back to back wins without conceding as Rutter found his goalscoring form early in the season.


The steady start continued into game 4 and 5 as we secured an unbeaten run of 5 games to start the season. Couldn't be happier with that.


Obviously the month ended in defeat but as i said earlier we are not going to survive based on how we play against the top teams in this league. The gap is just too wide.

 

September


September would start back in the cup as we faced RB Leipzig and then a run of 5 league games, all of which we were capable of picking up points.


Here we go

An energy sapping start as we take Leipzig all the way to penalties winning the shootout 4-2. The draw will be made shortly.


Back to the league and I am honestly shocked at our start. Another strong month as we win 3, draw 1 and lose 1. All against teams in and around us.


Our reward for beating Leipzig in the cup was a tough one to take.



 

October


With the league going so much better than expected I was half expecting a drop in form at some point. We had the Hessen Derby vs Frankfurt so I was hoping we can give something the fans to really cheer about.


God I hate being right....


Our first bad month as we went winless through October. We were unlucky in the Hessen Derby as we lead all the way to last 20 minutes and conceded 2 late goals.


The rest of the games we were not really in a position to win and its a worrying turn of form at a vital time.


Here is a quick overview of the Hesse derby.


We have a break during November as the World Cup was being held during the winter in Qatar. So we will rejoin the season in December.

 

December


This was a very short month in terms of competitive football as we only had one league game, Against Bayern.


The rest of the month was filled with friendlies.


I think you can guess what the outcome of this month was.

Though so. No chance against Bayern who are just unbelievable. We move on, quickly.


This was the mark of the half way stage of the season so here is where we stand in the league.

Definitely over achieving, but the drop of form is ominous.


 

Youth Intake Preview


Not great at all. Maybe something special up top but we will have to see.

 

January


January usually brings hope of fresh faces and opportunity. Sadly not as we were financially tapped and there were no viable loan deals available that didn't want a monthly fee or a reasonable wage.


So we plough on with the squad we have and hope that we rediscover some form at the turn of the year.


Lets start with the cup. As expected we didn't mount any real challenge as the holders Dortmund secured their place in the next round.


Now for the league. If I have to.


Ouch. Ouch, Ouch, Ouch. The Hoffenheim game was the most disappointing this month as they were in and around as in the league. Wolfsburg, Leipzig and Union Berlin were all chasing Europe and was a tough run of fixtures.


Another winless month and some serious questions about tactics are being touted around by the press and the fans.

 

February


We needed a turn around in form in February as we have started to slide deep into a relegation battle.


Just the small task of Dortmund away first up.

Have not laid a glove on the top 2 all season. They are a class apart as far as we are concerned and it will be a while before we challenge at the top of this league thats for sure. Another big defeat.


FINNALLY. It has seemed an eternity. 13 games, 4 months and one World Cup after our last victory we get back to winning ways. Oh how that was needed.


We didn't exactly spring into a rich vein of form but there is hope for this group of players yet.


 

Youth Intake


The preview was spot on. Outside of the attacking positions there is not much of note. Although I was pleased to see a Kiwi included which shows promise for our links with Wellington Phoenix.


Check out the top prospects below.



 

March


My birthday month and honestly all I want is 3 points to ease the threat of relegation.


Some good teams in this run of games but non of the top teams so we stand a chance. We also have the return of the Hessen Derby vs Frankfurt.


Well i wanted 3 points....


We showed some really mental toughness during these 4 games and although we did not win we were never out of a game and fought to the very end as you can see in the Hamburg game. We are just missing that little spark of quality in the centre of the park and up top to really turn a game.


Luckily for us all of the teams below us also dropped points so we are holding on to our top flight status by a thread.


 

April & May


Four games left of the season. We needed at least 4 points from these remaining 4 games and hope that all the other teams below us drop points.


Unfortunately 2 of these games were against Bayern and RB Leipzig respectably.


Well there's 3 points right there and Rutter may have just scored the most important goal in his career so far. Heading for a draw with Koln when he popped up to win it in the 75th minute. Only our second win in 22 matches.


HUGE NEWS BEFORE THE BAYERN GAME - Due to other results and our win we avoid relegation with three games to spare.

We have been out classed the majority of the season but our strong start eventually saw us over the line Hell of an achievement in this league with this budget.


In the jubilation of receiving this news the Bayern game passed us by. Another defeat but we can have another go at them next season.


We finished the season with another win and another defeat, although we gave RB Leipzig a run for their money.

 

Final Table & Season Review



4 places and 13 points clear of our predicted final position. I am calling that a successful season. Lets aim to better this next season obviously but also start besting our nearest rivals Frankfurt in the Hessen derby.

 

Season Review









That's all for this season. I will catch you soon for season 3.


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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