Between Two Fires – DFB Cup vs Uefa Europa League | Hamburger SV

This season, I had only one goal – winning the UEFA Europa League.

I knew new faces had to come to the club if I wanted to see a new trophy at the right address.

That’s why I decided to spend € 50 M on the transfer market.

I’ll single out some of the names that will be said later on: Jannes Horn (DL), Niklas Stark (CD), Nico Elvedi (CD), Christoph Kramer (CM), Granit Xhaka (CM), Oliver Torres (AMC) and Jose Antonio Hidalgo (AMC/R).

If you missed the beginning of the story, these are the links:

However, it takes time for a new player to find a place in my system.

Having a player worth € 20 M is an interesting piece of information, but the pitch is a quality measure.

On the other hand, my backup option was the DFB Cup. I believed Hamburger SV could reach the finals without any problems.

This is exactly what happened but we lost against Borussia Dortmund (1-2).

Unfortunately, the injuries of the key players have done theirs and the chances of winning were minimal.


I have lost interest in the league, because every time when I saw the table Bayern Munich was in the first place.

Simply, it’s hard to believe that other clubs can not make the league more interesting.

Hamburger SV has fulfilled my expectations and took third place. It’s quite normal when they have a fantastic manager like me. I’m joking, of course.

The secret of my success is a big budget and top transfer targets. During the two-year adventure, I bought 14 players (€ 82 M) and sold 25 (€ 141.5 M).

Don’t forget that the Bundesliga has a rich prize pool so my club has no financial problems.

However, the question is how to spend a small amount of money € 144 105 415.

Uefa Europa League

I expected strong opponents in the group. By the will of the draw, it was decided that the following teams visit the Volksparkstadion: Athletic Bilbao, Partizan, and Rubin Kazan.

I have to say that Hamburger SV is one of my favorite clubs but Partizan takes a special place in my heart.

I immediately started making a plan for passing the group phase!

This means I have to take as many points against Athletic Bilbao and Rubin Kazan.

The match against Partizan doesn’t have a competitive significance for Hamburger SV, as points go to those who need it most. It’s more a friendly match.

The first obstacle was successfully overcome. After that, I got FC Krasnodar in the Uefa Europa League first knockout round.

I decided to mix the cards a bit so the combined team successfully completed the task on the pitch.

We won 4-0 and it was enough to cause a smile on my face.

Next destination was Italy. Marek Hamšík and his friends showed me the power of the 4-3-1-2 formation on the pitch.

We lost 3-1 (A) against Napoli but it was a defeat where I pulled out lesson and learned a couple of new tricks.

When Napoli came to us as guests, they didn’t expect to concede four goals in 120 minutes and score only one.

Unfortunately, my victory had a high price. Several players went on vacation early because of serious injuries (2-5 months).

In other words, it’s the end of our adventure. Is it realistic to beat Arsenal with kids of 19 years? – Of course, it is not!

That is why I wanted to keep the 3rd place in the Bundesliga and it became a priority at a given moment.

Transfer Policy

Big money was spent on buying players so we could fight for the place that leads to the UEFA Champions League.

Without real reinforcements, I would return Hamburger SV to 14th place in the Bundesliga.

My transfer budget was € 30 M. By selling players, I earned an extra € 37 M, but I didn’t spend that money.

However, I was fortunate to find two fantastic players (free transfer) whose current value was € 16.75 M and € 31.5 M.

Granit Xhaka

What to say about a player who has a wealth of international experience in his locker (97 caps / 13 goals), fantastic attributes and excellent “player traits”? One word – awesome! But …

There is one thing that annoys me. These are long shots with poor control!

It’s hard to stay calm when you see that your player is constantly trying to score a goal from a long distance, and you lose 2-1.

Everything else is OK. If you are looking for the Box to Box Midfielder or the Deep Lying Playmaker, Granit Xhaka is a good choice.

Oliver Torres

I really didn’t know who this guy is. I got an email saying that Oliver is looking for a new club.

After a brief analysis, I figured out what time it is.

The shock was followed by the signing of the contract because he became the most expensive player in the club (value € 30 M). I said WOOOW.

Later, I looked at some of his videos on youtube and realized that Football Manager rarely makes a mistake in judgment …

Where did I go wrong?

When setting goals! You can not win the UEFA Europa League when you’re bringing five or six new players every season.

Maybe it’s possible, but only if you have already formed a team.

Therefore, it is much better to play safely, and it means “ALL IN” on the DFB Cup.

In the end, I lost the battle but not the war. I bought a ticket for the Champions League thanks to Bundesliga!

Unfortunately, there will be no continuation of this story until further, because I want to test the FM 2018. I’m packing my bags and going to Greece.

Thank you for your attention and time.

Author: Alen Stefanovic     Game: Football Manager 2017

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