Athletic Bilbao Career | Part 6 - Start of Primera and Europa League

Athletic Bilbao Career

So, after Chelsea I decided that 11 friendly matches are more than enough… After carefully looking at statistics from friendly games, I decided to stick to planned formation and first 11 players… 3-4-3 with
Iraizoz/San Jose-Amorebieta-Aurtenetxe/Susaeta-Herrera-Javi Martinez-Gabilondo/Toquero-Llorente-Muniain

So as I said, I did not play any more friendly games, nothing really important happened, I tried to sell, Koikili, Xybi Castillo, Zubiarre, full backs, left and right, but did not get any good offers, so I decided to leave them in my squad, as a emergency, if during the season I must change my tactics to play something with full backs. I did not sign any new players, as there is no much Basq players available on the transfer market, and those who worth something are too expensive for my valet.

It is interesting, because in 99% of my previous careers I did not have any restrictions in signing players, ok working permit problems, but to play only with players from Basque it will be huge privilege but also great burden.

Great two matches against Young Boys first home fixture, opening match of my official career in Bilbao, I was hoping for remeberable performance, and it was… but unfortunately again without goal scoring opportunities.. 1:1 two goals from my boys, Ekiza scored own goal, and Toquero equalized at the end of the first half… Second half, many half chances but nothing, Young Boys were defending and they succeeded….

Athletic vs Young Boys

I traveled to Bern with not so great result, but I had enough confidence in my team, so I did not change anything in the squad. Only thing I changed is that I put attacking movements and very high workload in my match preparation immediately after first match.

Away fixture was much easier for my boys obviously as they managed to beat Young Boys 4:2… Solid performance, I personally must admit that watching extended match was not that interesting, it may sound strange but it was like that… This only proves the old proverb… “Statistics are like bikinis, they show everything, but reveal nothing…”

Athletic vs Young Boys second game

Ok, so I qualified for the Europa League, and was put in second group of seeders… Interesting as I misjudged my European coefficient. I must admit that I completely forgot that this is FM 2012… that definitely proves that FM 2013 should come ASAP…

I was drawn at group G along PSV, Stoke City, and Sochaux… Not the toughest group, but then again 3 teams from top 5 European leagues, always solid Dutch side… it could be better, but not time for grieving, because Rayo is coming to town…

My first match in Primera everything is ready, my team is at 100 percent in match preparation, no injuries, so let’s see what happened there…

Athletic vs Rayo

3 points, are here, solid match, many chances, but most important thing is first 3 points are added to my score, fans are happy.

Second one after international break Espanyol away

Espanyol vs Athletic

What to say about this Catalon/Basque derby… two red cards, 7 yellow ones, real war at El Prat, but I won… I played with man down from 39th minute and had goal down at that time, but great performance in second half, 2 goals Llorente and sub Ocio gave me first away points in my campaign…

First European League match was away at Brittania against Stoke, I managed to win 3-2 and managed to miss a penalty at 2:0, I had 3:0 lead but two late goals almost returned Stoke to the game…

Europa League Stoke vs Ahletic

Then I had home and away fixture against Betis and Malaga, managed to get two straight wins.

Athletic vs Betis

Malaga vs Athletic

Then first position rival match came against Villareal… who I assume will be contenders for Champions League places at the end despite their real life result this season. Rival match as almost every rival match, you expect 10 goals, but you only get fouls, strange referee decisions, luckily more at Villareal expense than my, and at the end, everyone takes 1 point in even game… 1:1

Athletic vs Villareal

Afterwards PSV, pretty much same description as last one… 0:0

Athletic vs PSV

Ok conclusion after September, and 5 Primera and 2 European games is everything goes by plan so far..
Llorente scores a lot, my team plays well. I am 1st in Primera and group G in Europa League

Primera Table


Primera Players Stats

Stay with us to see what happens in October when I have clashes against my biggest rivals Sociedad, first very hard games against Atletico Madrid and Valencia..

Will I survive at 1st position in front of Barca and Real? Stay tuned...

 About Author  
Nemanja Spasenovski is a passionate FM player who enjoys writing articles about his careers. He is our Gold Star Contributor and co-author of FMBlog. Been playing CM/FM since 2000. Also a big supporter of Manchester United.

 be sure to follow his career   


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Football Manager 2017 Blog: Athletic Bilbao Career | Part 6 - Start of Primera and Europa League
Athletic Bilbao Career | Part 6 - Start of Primera and Europa League
Start of Primera and Europa League. All matches and statistics reviewed...
Football Manager 2017 Blog
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