Welcome back to the Aswijan Assignment, a Football Manager 2020 save in the fictional country of Aswijan – using a database created by @Chilled_Moose.
After winning their first ever league title in 2023/34, Khaliza Unidi had made a solid start in defending it. After 11 games, we were unbeaten and had just defeated the evil force of Aswijan’s dominant, child poaching big boys Aswijan Malikiy.
That huge result was followed up with a huge La Mhuko derby at Athletik Club Al Tébourzahra. In true FM fashion, ACAT scored with their very first shot of the game on 15 minutes, but we immediately went down the other end and won a penalty that wonderkid Ulrich Awono converted (which was our 7th shot). We well and truly dominated the game with 23 shots to 8 and the pressure eventually paid off as midfield orchestrator Ilaix Moriba struck the winner on 53 minutes.
And we took our unbeaten start to the season to 13 games as we welcomed bottom of the table Wabani Athletik to town and dismissed them 3-0. Ilaix Moriba bagged a brace after Thaaqib Solar’s opener.
We then went away to Uswana and again dominated but struggled to find a breakthrough. But right-back Goncalo Serra picked a great time to score his first goal for the club as he got round the back of the defence to score a 92nd minute winner.
And that took us into four week winter break sitting pretty at the top of Aswijan’s Liga Regale, two points clear of dirty Malikiy.
100 Scout Rated Signing
We had a relatively quiet January transfer window with only striker Michele Mari leaving the club permanently. After last season’s heroics he’d gone 11 games without a goal and was massively on the decline, so I couldn’t turn down £21 million from Mufala Malikiy.
Our first January signing was 17-year-old left winger Matteo Zanini, who arrived for £3 million from AC Milan. Then we paid £20 million for another Italian left winger in Aswijan Siti’s 18-year-old Stefano Gatto – who my scouts had valued at costing upwards of £60 million but he but in a transfer request when they rejected our bid for him.
But then things got a bit crazy on deadline day as a scout report came through for a player with a 100 scout rating. I’ve not seen that in any scout report before, and does that mean I’ve found the best player on Football Manager?
I immediately went in for the bid and, due to his minimum fee release clause, we were able to bring in the superb looking Francisco José for just £12.5 million from Fortaleza. However, he still has to oust Awono from the starting lineup so I am considering training him up as a striker.
Winter break return
We returned from the winter break with a bang by thumping Hadria Oskat 4-0, led by a brace by substitute Yacine Adli. Another four-goal haul saw us thump Fari 4-1 with a brace from Awono and goals from Serra and striker Gustavo Collado. And on the same day Malikiy lost at Aldaia, which moved us 6 points clear at the top.
We struggled in a 0-0 draw at home to Berche 08 then again at SCM, but this time just about nicked it with Moriba scoring a second half screamer. Unfortunately, a few days after that match young attacking midfielder Ladislav Brezina, who’d been playing well supporting Awono, suffered a damaged cruciate ligament injury that ruled him out for up to 9 months. Lucky we signed Francisco José!
A big game followed as Aswijan Siti came to town and we drew an even game 1-1 despite having two goals disallowed – one of which looked very unfair / plain wrong. And another tight game saw us sneak past Berche 08 1-0 thanks to an Awono penalty won by Francisco José on his debut. Worryingly, we’ve not scored more than one goal in our last 4 matches but that win does take us to 20 league games unbeaten.
Francisco José then bagged his first goal for the club in a 2-2 draw at 5th-placed Wabani – where we played in -6 degrees, snowy conditions. Malikiy then played 2 games in the time between our next match and drew both, leaving us 3 points clear with 2 games in hand. But we bounced back with a dominant victory over relegation-threatened Chaouka, in which Solar bagged a hat-track and Francisco José scored the other in a 4-1 win.
Left-back Wilfrid Ganim hadn’t scored all season going into a home game against FC Lakhra. But on 12 minutes, he got to the byline, cut inside and smashed home from a tight angle. He then doubled his tally with a first-time long-range screamer on 35 minutes and stepped up to convert a penalty that sealed his hat-trick in a 4-0 win.
Another 4-0 win followed against Hamjar, in which Francisco José scored twice and Solar claimed a hat-trick of assists. One of them was the delicious rabona assist to setup the opener, which was followed by a screamer by Moriba. Watch both below:
That was followed by a shot-fest at Manouza in which we had 19 shots to their 16. Manouza twice led and we twice equalised through Hugo Vandevelde and substitute Collado’s 92nd minute strike, which ended his 8 match goalless streak.
However, I’m very concerned about the form of Calvin Stengs, who hasn’t had a goal or assist in 12 appearances and not scored in months. He’s still averaging 7.27 but I think he’s had his head turned by Chelsea and Barcelona.
Next up was a huge game at the top of the table as the last two Aswijan champions went head-to-head, with Aldaia coming to town. However, having 7 players out on international duty wasn’t ideal preparation. But that had no effect as we dominated the game with an impressive 3-0 win. Francisco José was the star of the show with a brace that took him to 9 goals from 9 starts. While Adli came off the bench to create two goals and Stengs broke his long goalscoring drought in injury-time.
This win saw us move six points clear of Aswijan Malikiy with 8 games remaining and two games in hand, and 12 points clear of Aldaia with 3 games in hand.
Irresistable Francisco José
We went up against Borussia Dortmund in the first knockout round of the Champions League. The away leg was first and a ding-dong battle in which both sides had more than 20 shots we lost 2-1, with Awono scoring a vital late penalty.
However, we overturned that deficit in style with a magnificent 4-0 win led by the irresistible Francisco José. The Brazilian scored a hat-trick and laid on the fourth for Awono, but his first goal was one of the most outrageous goals I’ve ever seen on FM. Check out this ridiculous chipped finish!
When this side plays like this, I think they’re up there with the best teams I’ve ever managed on Football Manager. The attacking threat we have is ridiculous and our defence is rock solid.
We drew familiar foes in the quarter finals, where we will face-off against evil child poachers Aswijan Malikiy, and the winners of that will face Chelsea or Juventus. So join us next time for that Aswijan battle!
I hope you’re enjoying reading about our adventures in the fictional nation of Aswijan. If you have any questions or want more info on specific players in the squad, just let me know in the comments or get in touch on Twitter.