THE OBJECTIVE: Chelsea want their title back. As all entitled Premier League clubs do.
THE CAVEAT: This time, they can’t buy it. Any transfer bids must be accepted. No players can be purchased.
The amazing community over at the CM 01/02 website have done it again. Thousands of football and management sim fans can rejoice once again, with the arrival of the 2019/2020 data for freeware classic Championship Manager 01/02.
Back in February 2019 Chelsea Football Club were hit by a lengthy transfer ban. The 6-time Premier League champions (yes, football did exist before 1992) last won the title in the 2016-17 under Antonio Conte, then the first side to do by winning 30 games in a 38-game season.
Last season, despite a Europa League triumph and a strong 3rd place finish in the Premier League, coach Maurizzo Sarri found the lure of Juventus too strong after just one season in charge. The glory-hunting prick.
There may be little doubt that the inevitable sale of one Eden Hazard to Real Madrid for a cool £86 million, plus no chance to replace him due to the transfer ban may have also played a part, but still. The glory hunting prick.
As for the 2001/2 season of this video game in its original form, Chelsea’s season will no doubt be seen as building for the future, in hindsight anyway. Again, a new coach was installed in Claudio Ranieri, who in turn oversaw the arrival of one Frank Lampard, as a player of course, for just £11m. How important he would of course become as both a player and now, as their manager in this 2019/20 season.
But that is not the case in this challenge. Mr Transfer Ban is the manager installed, with the task of managing the squad as is. No additions allowed, with the added issue that the club will accept any bids for any players. It’s going to be interesting for sure……
So the board expect a “respectable” league position. One would imagine the same as Frank himself is doing currently. Lets have a look at the squad.
It’s not a bad XI at all, is it? Chelsea are strong in all departments, with at least 2 reserves for every position, all of a similar quality. That ever important determination stat is in the high teens for almost every player too. So vital.
Tammy Abraham gets the nod ahead of both Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi, the latter of which had to be drafted out of the reserves. Kante and Jorginho are inter-changable, plus there is still Willian and Hudson-Odoi as attacking-midfield options from the bench.
Naturally, moves are happening before the season starts. But not in the land of Chelsea. Cheaters never prosper.
Now this is hilarious. Because it went so well at Oldham. The knobhead.
Now this is a bittersweet touch. Bury FC of course went under this season for real, so this annoucement only brings back all the terrible shenanigans the clubs ownership enacted, ultimately dissolving such a staple football league club. Such an uvavoidable tragedy.
So onto the first order of business: Champions League qualification. Hopefully a foregone conclusion that Chelsea qualify. Anything else against the Greek side would be preposterousalopalous.
Back to the transfer ban, (because you know, plot device), the board sent me this nugget. YOU SOLD HAZARD, NOT ME. And now I can’t even buy him back in a fantasy game. ITS THE RULES.
Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round 1st Leg – Olympiacos (Home)
The initial draft XI remained unscathed in training, so this served as a perfect test for them. They did not disappoint, with Tammy Abraham smashing through the Olympiacos defence for a first half hat-trick. Jorginho crowned the victory with a second half volley to give Chelsea a foot in the Champions League group stage draw door. On to the Premier League.
But before that, a nice little interlude. In the Community Shield, Liverpool fight back to win late against the reigning Premier League champions. Raheem Sterling was also substituted early in the second half, presumably because he was lost in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s pocket once again. Don’t f*ck with Liverpool, Sterling, eh?
Premier League Fixture #1 – Bournemouth (Home)
Same line-up, almost a mirror of the Olympiacos result. The game changer was the introduction of Ross Barkley, words I never thought i would muster. Nevertheless, after adding the second, Barkley’s introduction galvanised the attacking threat. Abraham and Jorginho also added to their open tallies for the season. So far so good.
Elsewhere on the first matchday of gameweek 1, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United won the bitter North West derby against European Champions Liverpool. Could they fair better in the virtual world than the current reality? Unai Emery’s Arsenal faced arguably the toughest opening day fixture, with a narrow defeat to Pep’s Premier League champions. Very early days of course.
In transfer news elsewhere (obviously), an interesting (and expensive) move for Major League Soccer striker Josef Martinez. For real-life context, Martinez has just finished his 3rd season in MLS, scoring a total of 77 goals, as well as 4 trophies, including the coveted MLS Cup. Don’t be surprised if the prolific Venezuelan doesn’t make a move to one of Europe’s top 5 leagues very soon.
As for the price, the highest transfer record in the world in 2001 was the £46 million Real Madrid paid for one Zinedine Zidane. The British transfer record was £28 for Juan Sebastian Veron, with the closest being Steve Marlet’s move to Fulham for £13.5 million, so £9.25m is pretty high.
In the background, results have been coming thick and fast. Some sides played their 2nd matches before some had even opened their account. I forgot how crazy it was back then. From these results, the early pace setters appear to be West Ham, Leicester, and Everton?! Crazy.
Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round 2nd Leg – Olympiacos (Away)
Well, that’s that job done. Liverpool reject Lazar Markovic’s 22nd minute dismissal made it all the more easier, but in truth Tammy had already put it way beyond the Greek side’s reach in the third minute. Onto the Champions League! And the Super Cup is just 2 days away!
Uefa Super Cup – Liverpool
As tight as a match could be, Liverpool manage to knick it in extra time. Adrian put in a man of the match performance, pushing out all Chelsea’s 7 shots on target. Much like the conclusion of the real 2-2 Liverpool penalty shootout win in real life, Adrian was once again the hero. First chance of a trophy gone. Otherwise, things are going well….
Well, you know what? No one said I couldn’t try and keep players by other means. Let’s get a new contract on the table, Tammy knows how valuable he is to the club and no way would his immediate success enable him to think he could do it anywhere else. Especially a bigger stage like the Camp Nou.
So, its ta ta from Tammy. At least he is available for another 3 or so months, although I really should start re-building around a different striker to keep some consistency. A real big test in just the first month. C’est la vie.
Premier League Table as of end of August:-
After the first month of the season, the table shows a mixed bag. Chelsea, with only 1 match played, are still 8th with the win against Bournemouth. In contrast, Bournemouth have played 3 and lost them all. Everton with 3 victories lead the pack going into September. And Spurs are 15th, better off than 5 clubs below them, and haven’t played a minute of football yet!
Stay tuned for September! THREE Champions League fixtures! FIVE Premier League fixtures! See you then!
Championship manager and it’s fan made updates are available as freeware from http://www.champman0102.co.uk/
For this blog the October 2019 data update was used.