Welcome all to this one off special for Generation Guimaraes! This is not about in play topics but I will review the save as a whole to see what worked, what didn’t and to ultimately reflect on our seven seasons at Vitoria Guimaraes. There will also be a 5 year simulation into the future to see how life after my time at club panned out and to see if the club carried on their trophy winning ways.
Before I get into the different areas of this episode, I would just like to say a massive thank you to all who supported this project, whether it was by comments, retweets, reading the blogs or generally taking an interest – it means a lot to myself.
If you missed the in-play save finale or want to relive the madness all over again, the last episode is for your reading here!
The Rules & Objectives Review
- 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). PASSED
- Win the club’s first league title. PASSED
- 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) PASSED
If the average age is over 23, then I MUST RESIGN FROM MY POSITION
The majority of rules & objectives were adhered to however, there was one that I felt couldn’t be achieved without putting a very long stint into this save. ‘Win the club’s first European title.’ did not happen and it was a shame because I felt the squad was good enough for the Europa League at the end, but my side were consistently in the Champions League meaning that opportunity didn’t arise.
For myself, I genuinely think that if I had a few more experienced players then I could’ve pulled off a European trophy. Squad wise, whilst I always achieved the average of 23, a better way of looking at this may could’ve been to have mainly 18-20 year olds and then around three or four players between 29-33 in the starting line up to give balance.
The Director of Football
When I got Luis Campos in after season two I believe, I thought it was going be a masterstroke for the club. For those who aren’t aware, there was a side rule that the Director of Football was responsible for signings players for the U19s & U23s and they were also responsible for the staff of both teams.
Staff wise, Campos was spot on in who to bring on board and we often had the best in both teams respective youth leagues. When it came to players though, how I thought it would work out…it didn’t. My vision was the DoF would sign players who had potential to move to the first team however, it proved that players were often only good enough for the youth squads and sometimes brought in at a lower level of ability, with the potential only good enough for the youth squads and nothing further.
I wouldn’t recommend this set up and I can confirm throughout the save, no DoF signing played for the first team.
Vitoria Guimaraes 2021-2028
This is a graphic I made which summarises my time with Vitoria SC. 13 domestic cups and two league titles is a silverware run the club has never experienced. Including the manager awards, it just shows the strides taken by the club.
The amount of goals scored shows how rampant the team could be season on season and winning 73% of matches is something managers around the world dream of! Safe to say, I was truly blessed here that things panned out the way they did.
The best XI is taken from all seasons played, those who I believe were the most influential in their position on the pitch. This XI also includes three players who were with me at the start of the save in Toni Borevkovic (RCB), Alfa Semedo (CM) & Andre Almeida (CM).
This is the club info page after I resigned, one thing that stood out is along with Andre Almeida, I made it to legendary status at the club. I couldn’t leave in any better of a stance with this club!
All four player featured in the favoured personnel all played in my squads and three of them I brought to the club, awhich shows the progression of some these players.
Five Years into the Future…
I was quite excited to do this as you never know what can happen to a club with years of success under one manager, but let’s start with the managers who took the reins after my departure.
Ignoring the caretakers, there is some credible managers there. Marco Silva was my replacement, often a mixed bag during his career in England but had been about in Portugal during my time there. After his departure for Inter Milan, Dejan Stankovic came in before leaving for Roma and lastly, a major coup for the club in Diego Simeone!
Now we know who has led the team over the 5 years, let’s check out the league performances.
The most success came from Marco Silva, who secured the title twice in a row which explains his move to Inter. Dejan Stankovic looks like he took some transition time, finishing third and second before Diego Simeone secured a second place finish in his first season.
As you’ll see from each league, the title races weren’t as close as I had experienced but fair play to Marco Silva, especially in his first season with a 12 point gap to second!
Domestic & European Trophies
Let’s start with the domestic side of things in Portugal and breakdown which manager won what!
- Marco Silva – 2 x Primeira Liga, 1 x Taça de Portugal, 1 x Supertaça
- Dejan Stankovic – 1 x Taça de Portugal, 1 x Liga da Taça (Allianz Cup)
- Diego Simeone – 1 x Taça de Portugal
Seven trophies in five seasons, this shows despite the changes in management the team was still competitive and racking up trophies domestically. However, the chase for a European trophy remains as no manager is yet to win this for the club.
It was Marco Silva & Dejan Stankovic who came the closest, both achieving Champions League semi-finals before going out. This is a step further than I ever went so fair play to both of them!
What I can say, is the 23 and under average age rule went out the window as all managers brought in some much needed experience but also sold some notable players from my time at the club.
There are some class signings over this time period but you have to remember that a lot of the big players you do see coming in, are coming into their 30s. In a sense, this replicates Porto’s transfer activity when I was at Vitoria SC, they would take big players entering their 30s and they would prevail within Portuguese football. With the amount of incomings though, this seems to show high squad turnovers year on year.
It’s safe to say, a lot of money has been made through sales. A lot of the players I had signed were sold for profits in most cases, which is great to see. I can confirm that my three original players in Toni Borevkovic, Andre Almeida & Alfa Semedo have left the club, with the latter looking like he was released which I find harsh against a consistent performer like Semedo.
A few players like Anselmo Garcia McNulty, Martim Neto & Xavi Simons are all still at the club I noticed but what our squad was, has near enough been transitioned out by the three proceeding managers.
This is the definite end of Generation Guimaraes, it’s been nice to write a different kind of blog regarding a save, such as this review! I do have another project lined up which will come in the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes peeled on the DP-FM twitter.
Thank you all for your time reading this, one project closed but another soon to be opened. Take care all!