Our 20th season of this Journeyman Football Manager 2020 save saw us wrap up a 14th league title and our second in Holland with Feyenoord. We’d dominated the Dutch league, winning the title by a huge 10 points from Ajax.
We’ll take a look back on another season of success in Holland and look ahead to the future of the save, in the knowledge that Football Manager 2021 is incoming in the next couple of weeks.
Feyenoord key players
Our key man this season has been the fantastic Zsolt Papp. The 21-year-old left winger scored 14 goals and got club record 22 assists from 37 appearances, with an average rating of 7.85. Unsurprisingly, Barca, Real Madrid, Man United, Chelsea and Tottenham are all interested in him.
Another key player was summer signing Jonathan Montagne, who chipped in with 10 goals and nine assists at an average rating of 7.55 from central midfield. A surprising top performer was centre-back Adrie van de Sande, who scored eight times and got an average rating of 7.40.
Kevin Verbeek, on loan from Man United, was our top scorer with 26 goals plus seven assists from 46 appearances. He was pretty inconsistent but did score a healthy amount of goals.
Backup striker Abdelkhalek Oakrim managed to be the third top scorer at the club with 12 goals despite only starting one match all season! He did make what has to be a personal record of 33 substitute appearances though.
Right-back Brutil Felomina also performed well with nine assists and an average rating of 7.27. While young right-winger Gabriel Vinatoru scored six and assisted eight goals and is now wanted by Real Madrid. He looks a great prospect.
Eredivisie team stats
We scored the most goal in Eredivisie with 83 from 34 games, which was 18 more than PSV. And we had the best defence with just 16 conceded.
We won a ridiculous 13 penalties, of which Montagne missed four!, scored a league-high eight from corners, but our seven from indirect free-kicks paled into insignificance by Ajax’s 16. We didn’t concede a single direct free-kick, just three from indirect free-kicks, and only gave away one penalty.
Unsurprisingly, we created the most chances of 121, had the most shots on target of 315, and had the second-best conversion rate of 13%.
Importantly, we only have the third highest wage budget, with our £37.2 million per annum well behind the £46.4 million of PSV and £44.1 million of Ajax.
Eredivisie player stats
Verbeek finished the campaign as the top scorer in the league with 20 goals, three more than Heerenveen’s 18-year-old striker Danny Postma. Papp was the 10th top scorer with 10 goals, while Ouakrim scored nine and scored a goal every 71.22 minutes, which is pretty impressive!
Papp racked up the most assists with 17, five more than Ajax’s Ties Bergsma, and the most player of the match awards with 10, which was four more than anyone else.
The Hungarian also had the top rating in the league at an impressive 7.86. He is an incredible young player! Montagne had the second best average rating in the league of 7.62, while van de Sande was fourth at 7.47, which is obscene for a centre-back.
Montagne had the most key passes in the league at an impressive 109, which was 40 more than anyone else. His midfield partner Lammers was third with 67. Papp unsurprisingly created the most chances, with 27, followed by Montagne with 19.
One Last Hurrah
However, with two titles in the bag in Holland, I decided well before the end of the season to start looking for another club for one last hurrah – and an attempt at the Champions League – on this Journeyman save.
The first option that came up was at Manchester United, who were fourth in the Premier League and sacked Zinedine Zidane. As a former Man City manager and a Bolton Wanderers fan, this is highly controversial. However, the prospect of huge amounts of money and a fantastic team was highly compelling. So I applied, immediately got a job interview, and swiftly got offered staff changes and then the job itself.
However, as that was happening Juventus sacked Mauricio Pochettino. Serie A is the only major league I’ve not yet won, which would make this a more appealing option. So I delayed United’s offer and applied for the Juve role. Juve took ages to make an offer and I tried to delay United again, which they rejected, so I made the bold decision to turn them down.
However, Juve eventually came up with a job interview offer, which didn’t go quite as well as the United one given their concern over my lack of experience in Italy, which seems a little harsh after two years in Cagliari. But the media had me down as the “overwhelming favourite” for the role.
The board agreed and swiftly came back to me with suggested staff changes, for which I opted to bring several of my staff stalwarts Fredrik Ljungberg, Ivan Cordoba, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jaap Stam and, of course, my hero Daniel Braganca to Italy with me.
Juve then offered me the job two days before our final game of the season against Sparta, so I asked for a one-week delay that they agreed to. But, off to Juventus we go for a final hurrah on this Journeyman FM20 save.
Join us next time to discover the situation in Turin in 2039!