Welcome back to the Party at the Palace. If you haven't caught any of the previous posts, you can start from the beginning here.
Right, let's get to the start of the new episode.
We continue the party onto Season 3 after narrowly missing out on Europe in Season 2.
Last season was branded as a rebuild but we had built the base of a decent squad and with a bit of luck we can hold onto a few players as well as adding a few squad faces.
Let's have a catch up with all things off field first.
Off the Field Business
Our initial budgets were promising. Especially with the plan of bolstering the squad, plenty in the war chest to find some quality in that regard.
The boards expectations were reasonable as usual. It is worth noting that this is our first preseason after our midseason take over last season.
As a new feature in FM23 I am still getting used to using the Supporter Profile screen. One thing that is worth noting is that we have a season ticket waiting list of 26,000 people.
Must be time to try and get some more feet through the turnstiles.
This transfer window had a different feel to it, we had an eye more on the future than the present as we looked to bolster the squad with a mixture of youth and depth.
Let's have a look at who we have brought in.
Mixture of known and unknown for sure.
Moise Kean has been on my radar for a while. Having a disappointing experience in the Premier League with Everton previously it could be seen as a risk. But he will be a viable option up top and playing off of the left. 8 million at 24 years old also offers some value for money.
Taylor Harwood- Bellis will be known to many. He has been touted as a future England centre back for years now. With his growing frustration at the lack of opportunities with Man City it was easy to sell him the Palace Dream. Joining for £31 million, he is expected to fight for one of those three spots at CB.
The first "One for the Future" signing of this window is Roony Bardghji from FC Copenhagen. A dynamic wide player he will offer some serious competion for the RW places. He will however have to wait for his chance at Palace as part of the deal sends him back to Copenhagen for the season. £10 million looks a steal.
The next future star is our first South American youth prospect. Juan Giovagnoli, signed for £9 mil from Independiente the hard-working midfielder will be used sporadically through his first season. His development will be kept a close eye on.
Season Preview & Preseason
Let's check out the Season Preview and Pre-Season for prosperity.
As expected, a midtable finish. Need to prove them wrong.
Preseason was a mega one, as we faced 6 games based on home soil and 4 games as part of our tour of Germany.
We start the Season with a very short 2 game month but the action off the field was not what stole the show....
The two results are very solid and a great start to the season for Edouard. Sadly, for us, the Transfer window hadn't quite shut, and we received two huge bids for two key players.
Both were too good to turn down.
Edouard was undoubtably our best player during this save, scoring 56 league goals in in 79 games, only being beaten to the golden boot by Erling Haaland in both seasons.
He was in his last year of his contract and was refusing to negotiate a new one. We were painted into a corner and had to cut our losses.
Chris Richards was a main stay in the back 3 and was performing well without grabbing he headlines. He had his heart set on a move to United and we couldn't stop him.
I feel we have the cover for Richards, but a guaranteed 20+ goal a season striker is going to be a challenge to replace.
The season must go on. Luckily, we signed some decent players in the summer and although I hadn't planned to use them as starters so early in the season, but these are the cards we have been delt.
Lets see how we get on.
Well, we seemed to have survived having the rug pulled from under our feet.
I'd have taken a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford with Edouard and Richards. Beating Southampton and Forest should be achieved no matter who we play.
The defeat to West Ham was frustrating, but they did deserve the result.
We roll into October with the disappointment of August fading. We have been playing well but we face a couple of tough tests.
It's a disappointing month in my eyes. 2 goals scored, only one from open play and non from the strikers.
Maybe my initial optimism was slightly misplaced....
With the disappointment of October ringing in the front lines ears we go into November with a bit of grit and determination to do better.
Again, it's a tough month with games against Spurs, City and Liverpool.
I would be happy with an upturn in performance in those three games, results are less important.
First thing you will notice is there are more goals in our column. Mateta really stepping up with 3 in 4 games.
The loss to Spurs is a blot on the copy book of the month but we nicked a stunning win away at city and conceded in the 94th minute against Liverpool to surrender all 3 points.
Consistency appears to now be our issue and one that needs addressing.
We go into the turn of the year still looking for that string of wins I know we can put together.
It's a long month too with 6 games in 24 days. Some very winnable games to really end the year on a high.
Hmmmm not sure if that's a high or a whimper.
3 wins 3 losses through the month. Its interesting that the games we lose we lose without scoring and the games we win we win freely scoring 3's 4's and 5's.
Maybe a tactic tweak is needed for the second half of the season to address this.
Youth Intake Preview
December is known for the giving of presents. Well in this universe its known for the giving of too many games and Youth Intake Previews. Let's check out ours below.
Not too bad, there are a couple of mentions for wide defenders, and with put tendency for a 5 at the back this could be very productive indeed.
Sitting comfortably just outside of the illusive European places. We are well within touching distance and with a decent run in the New Year we can really throw our hat in the ring for a top 7 finish.
As always thank, you for taking the time to read this latest episode.
The views on this series have been fantastic and I'm delighted with the start to FM23.
Here's to it continuing.