When I started my tenure at Rapid Wien all those years ago I set myself a goal of 12 season to claim the 13 trophies required. Welcome to season 10 where I am only 2 trophies from topping the hall of fame. Can I secure my goal 2 seasons less than expected?!
If you remember the previous post I mentioned that I would do no transfer business whatsoever due to the financial situation put on us. The new ground being built had wiped out our bank balance and we were repaying £1.1m a month for the ground loan.
Well due to many outs we had to bring in a few players but as you will see it came at (virtually) no cost!
As you will see there were quite a few outs but let’s talk about the main first teamers we lost.
Firstly was LB Alonso left the club after coming to be homesick, with a new star LB coming through, who you will see later and Grussman as well I decided to give him his wish. Ronald Anton, pinpointed as potential star a few years back just couldn’t displace Banalga for that AM spot and when he came to me asking to go I decided to cash in, £3.9m was a great deal.
We also lost young midfield duo Popov and Draxler, I had such big plans for these but with both of them courting big moves and their contracts expiring (which they refused to extend) I had to take the money and run.
And then we come to the one massive out. Left Winger Kouame left the club, he wanted his big money move and with finances in a state and a decent LW coming in on loan I gave him his wish and he moved to Atletico for £22m, a club record sale.
So with a few players going I had to fill a few gaps.
Emilio – Left Winger – Season loan from Southampton
Signed as a last ditch loan after Kouame left and will be my back-up LW.
Joselito – Central Midfield – Season loan from Palmeiras
Brought in on deadline day to replace Popov, a free loan deal and a decent looking player.
Andrea Della Monica – Left Wing – Season long loan from Inter
Della Monica comes back for his second season long loan and with Kouame leaving he will be my No.1 LW this season.
Federico Vener – Defensive Midfield – £3.8m from Huracan
With another midfielder leaving in January I had to buy a decent midfielder and it was needed with so many injuries. A decent fee for a cracking looking player.
Once again we were handed what looked like a tricky group and like last season we did so much better than I expected.
We started off with a solid 1-1 draw away to PSV, then came the game that took my breath away, we demolished French giants Monaco 7-1 in one of the most amazing results I’ve ever witnessed! 2 wins over Sporting put us in pole position to qualify and even though we played poorly in matchday 5 to draw PSV 0-0 we had qualified for the knockouts with a game to spare.
The final game was away to Monaco, and we got hammered, the defeat meant we had ended 2nd in the group.
Where we once again faced Real Madrid and after last season defeat I was determined to pay them back, a fantastic 3-1 win in the home leg set us up and then came the away leg, we played sensationally to come out 2-1 winners to go through 5-3 on aggregate
Into the Quarters and it was Spanish opposition once more, this time it was Barcelona, A 1-1 draw in the home set us back and then in the Nou Camp we played really well but lost the game 2-1 to get knocked out. Overall though it was a great campaign.
Now to the cup, it started really well as always, 5 rounds and 5 fantastic wins including a tough semi final win against rivals Austria Wien, a late late Kostic goal sealing the tie.
The final was against Mattersberg, they had beaten Salzburg and Wolfsberger on the way to the final so I knew it would be tough, with a few injuries to the team we were 2nd best through most of the game but an early Camara goal put us in the lead, they equalised 7 minutes later and took control, throwing every at us, then in the very last seconds of the first half LW Della Monica stroked home a lovely finish from the edge of the box to put us ahead.
The second half was a barrage of Mattersberg attacks, we held firm, defended for our lives and as the final whistle blew we had done it! 1 step closer!!!!
Austrian Premier League
So win the Premier league and top the hall of fame, easy isn’t it?!
Well we started off absolutely incredibly, we battered everyone, and at the end of the regular season we had only lost 1 game, dropping only 5 points in 22 games, our highest points, most goals, only conceding 8 in 22 games. We absolutely dominated it and as we entered the Championship group we had a 19 point lead!
This was cut to 10 as the league split happened. 10 points clear with 10 games left, surely we couldn’t throw this away? Well we started off amazing beating Salzburg 3-0 away, then came our 2nd defeat of the season to SV Reid, we won a couple more and with 5 games left we sat 12 points clear.
In the next game we knew if results went our way we could do it, we played First Vienna and we absolutely destroyed them 6-0, Wolfsberger had to win and they didn’t, the drew 3-3 at Salzburg meaning with 4 games left we had done it!!!! A defeat and a draw and 2 wins in our final 4 games meant we had won the league by 12 points with our highest points total!
And with that we gained the 2 trophies required to do what I set out to do all those seasons ago! Stephen Robbins has topped another Hall of Fame!!!!!! My 3rd in this save, probably not as good as my time at Sion but it’s been memorable, we took on the tycoon owned Wolfsberger and the big boys Red Bull and we came out on top! One that will live long in the memory.
I won’t talk too much about who did well and to be honest everyone was amazing!
Phillip Willems had another incredible season, 38 games, 32 goals, the league top scorer with 21 and he is now being courted by Bayern!
Left Back Bassole wasn’t in my plans for this season and I had thought about loaning him out but when we lost Alonso I decided to bring him into the first team as back-up to Grussman, when Grussman got injured Bassole got his chance and boy did he take it, he ended up playing 29 games, 20 in the league, averaging 7.42, he is going to end up at one of the big European clubs in the next few years!
And here for you to look at is my whole squad:
The Conveyor Belt
This will be a very short section! I had only pinpointed one player this season and that was RB Cabrera, he got a few games at the start but ended up being a massive pain in the arse, moaning, wanting to leave, trying to cause squad rebellions and when we entered January it was noted that his contract was expiring at the end of the season, he refused a new deal, got binned into the reserves and had been signed by PSG!!
And with that my time is Austria is over, what a 10 years it’s been, we came here in the shadows of Red Bull, always being there or thereabout but never getting close, we had a few seasons of struggle but I leave with the club celebrating its 5th title in a row, a new ground about to open and doing well in Europe.
But now it’s time to say goodbye and move onto another challenge, where will I go? Well you will have to wait until the next post to find out! The next post will also talk a little bit about my time here at Rapid, who have been my best players and how I have done!
And finally I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this save, it’s been humbling to see so many people enjoying what I do. With a new job coming up and a big move back up to my homeland of Leicester the past few months have been quite stressful, FM has been a release from things that have been going on and blogging has played a massive part in that. I never expected these posts to get the response they have!
I had decided a few weeks back to finish the blog at this point due to the new job and time possibly becoming more limited but due to the response I’ve been getting lately I’ve decided to carry it on, the posts may not come out as regularly in a few months time but I hope you continue to follow along.
I have also set myself up my own personal Discord channel to keep people updated on my save, future projects, and a place for people to come and get to know me and my followers. If it interests you and you want to join them drop me a message on twitter @newgenfm
Anyway that’s all from me for now, thanks for reading and see you all soon