It is time to get all underway, with the competitive season starting as I begin another quest to capture that Primeira Liga title! A competitive rivalry has definitely developed with Porto as both teams seem to be fighting each other for league and domestic trophy success.
Last time out it was the pre-season edition, as I brought some younger defenders in from the transfer market as some of our older players departed the club. The main takeaway from it, was beating Porto in the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira final giving us first blood this season.
The Save Aims & Rules
With how I want this save to work, I need to be mindful of the squad season on season. As there is a lot of emphasis on the youth setup as these players will shape the first team in seasons to come. Here are the aims and rules to give some context of what I’m trying to pull off here.
- Squad average age must be a maximum of 23 every season.
- Disrupt the Top 3 and become a top team in Portugal (Porto, Benfica, Sporting Lisbon).
- Win the club’s first league title.
- Win the club’s first European title.
- Win a domestic treble (League, Cup, Supercup or League Cup) or a European treble (League, Cup, European Cup)
A lot to aim for but the squad average age must be achieved by the end of the summer transfer window each season – IF THIS IS FAILED, I MUST RESIGN FROM MY ROLE!
A few updates here and there to check out, so let’s get through them to see what effects it has on the team or club in general.
Youth Player Promotion
Whilst checking out our development squads after the conclusion of the transfer window, I saw that young striker Marco Alves had been stuck on 2 star ability for over a season now. I have brought him up to the first team squad for training and to get him some experience in the cup. Of course, if a striker gets injured then he will be the cover as such.
Alves will be available to play matches for the B team in Liga 2, this allows his development and game time to continue when not in the first team squad.
Youth Recruitment Upgrade
As the club has progressed, a few things have been downgraded therefore, I had to persuade the board to reinvest in youth recruitment which should start boosting our intakes.
It was time to branch out again but this time I wanted the club to get a link outside of Europe to try and expand the club’s reputation. The new board actually let me choose the new affiliate club, providing a list of leagues & clubs from Asia & America!
It was South Korean heavyweights Pohang Steelers who I selected but there was one massive thing that stood out from this club apart from their great successes in football.
They have exceptional youth recruitment and excellent facilities which could aid us in the future. Having first refusal on their players too, hopefully we’ll be able to catch some of their prospects.
In turn, the new board have ripped up the agreement with Gondomar in Portugal, they say a change in strategy, I say they see it as pointless as I did. Literally got nothing from Gondomar during my time here!
Primeira Liga 2025/26
August – October
Absolute flames! What a start to the season as we rip through the opening ten games, only dropping two points in the 0-0 draw with Benfica. Eight clean sheets within that and a haul of four goals in four different games.
This is the kind of form that will surely help us topple Porto? Probably not as they’re robots but I can dream at least!
Our great start has us top of the league but Porto match our record and already it’s looking like a two horse race, as the rest of the league takes shape in the early stages. The positives here are the goals scored and goal difference are on my side, realistically the team need to keep these above Porto’s.
November – December
Absolute bloody flames again! We are red hot right now in the league! Another eight wins under our belt including one massive victory in the title race…
A very close game but wantaway striker Agustin Alvarez puts Porto to the sword with a big header! This is big for the league. Porto have recently changed manager too as club legend Benni McCarthy has left for Villareal so this could be our opportunity.
One key thing is in December my side normally crumble a bit but this time around they were rampant. I’m so happy with how much we’re scoring this season, it’s been a long time coming and defensively we look very good indeed.
A five point gap opens up and just look at that goals against record, my side have only conceded three goals in eighteen games which is outstanding. I shouldn’t get over excited at this point but when things start to come together you can’t help but be elated.
Although shout out Famalicao in third, hopefully another club who can join me in disrupting the so called big three!
Domestic Cups 2025/26
Liga de Taça
The trophy that my side have won the last two seasons, can we pull of a third in a row? Before that can be in our thoughts, it was the group stage in the third round with Pacos Ferriera and Liga 2 side Rio Ave our opponents.
A big 4-1 win versus Rio Ave put us in a good position as Rio Ave had caused an upset against Pacos Ferreira already. Goal difference wise, we were top so Pacos needed something big against us to stop us from proceeding.
It was a 0-0 draw with Pacos Ferreira which meant my team would top the group and proceed to the semi finals.
The current top four from the league all proceeded in Porto, Famalicao & Benfica but who would we face?
Famalicao it is in the semi finals, which in a sense I was pleased about due to our great record against them but Benfica is always a tricky customer for us, so the potential of a final with them would be some challenge.
Taça de Portugal
A final penalty shootout loss in this competition last season just makes me want to win even more this season. Although our early progression wasn’t straight forward, so let’s see what went down.
A match against third tier Espinho was more than a struggle than it needed to be as they took us to extra time where a drab penalty secured a 1-0 win. The boys then nearly made a meal out of match with Leixoes who are also third tier, claiming a narrow 2-1 win. The team really do struggle against lower league teams, there’s not a season where we don’t scrape past…at least it’s not an upset knockout I suppose!
More familiar opponents in Benfica which was won 5-4 penalties (1-1 AET) in a close thought encounter…thankfully the boys held their nerve. The reward was to be drawn against Porto in the quarter finals so if we get past them, it’s a very good chance of a trophy win here.
Champions League Group Stage 2025/26
There’s one player who shined in the group stage in young winger Issahaku Abdul Fatawu chipping in with four goals but there is one win in there that was momentous for the club, that 1-0 win over Liverpool as they literally imploded in front of our eyes having two men sent off!
The boys should have put more chances away but nonetheless, it’s a massive win. In terms of other results, it was a positive to pick up a point versus Bayern Munich in one of the games and four points against Celtic was respectable.
It wasn’t enough to progress however, as by the end of game week five, our fate of the Europa League was already confirmed. Even if the boys won both games against Celtic, it wouldn’t have been enough. Our Europa League opponents? A team who are probably around our standard in a tie that will be a great spectacle in my opinion.
Besiktas it is in what should be a great couple of ties in the first knockout round. Last season, it was Arsenal who knocked us out in the quarter finals so I’d like to match that or at least go a step further to make progression.
The Champions League is a far cry from the club and it would take many more seasons to get to that level, the Europa League over the next couple of seasons is a realistic target however.
Youth Intake Preview 2025/26
Well, this is disappointing. Money invested into youth recruitment and facilities and this is what I’m provided with. On the other side, the club have had good intakes in the majority of seasons so the above was probably overdue!
The season five finale and again we’re fighting on all fronts so what can the team grab trophy wise come the end of the season. The main talking point is, can myself and the boys see out the league title as we lead the way currently? One thing for sure is, it is going to be a lively season ender!
Emperor FM is currently on a journey to take Deportivo back to the heights of Spain and Europe – check out the series here.
TomBlogsFM has come on board at DP-FM and has taken on the task of toppling Bayern Munich with the much loved Borussia Dortmund in ‘Breaking Bayern’. Check out this one here.
RileyFM who has recently joined the DP-FM guest blogging team, is on his own journey in Italy with Cagliari, track his progress here.
Also I have delved in the world of Twitch and I stream every Sunday (Times TBC each week) leading Borussia Mönchengladbach. I’d appreciate if anyone can drop a follow and come join when I’m live for a general chat and to enjoy the ways of the Bundesliga!
Thanks as always for reading guys, things are looking positive but let’s see if I can see it out, until next time take care.