Football Manager is undoubtedly one of the best football games out there, but how accurate could their predictions be with Liverpool?
By José Díaz Navarro (@Cheduardo99)
Personally, I am a gigantic fan of the Football Manager series. Whether it’s taking a team from the National League to glory or simply winning every trophy available with Liverpool, I always enjoy playing the games. For a change, I decided to simulate the entire season and see what the end of the season looks like. For this article, we’re going to take a look at the different competitions Liverpool featured in and see how they fared.
Liverpool FC – 2020/21 Season
To kick things off, we’re going to talk about some of the stats collected throughout the season.
3 – Roberto Firmino with 16 goals in 47 appearances
2 – Mohamed Salah with 19 goals in 49 appearances
1 – Sadio Mane with 23 goals in 51 appearances
3 – Trent Alexander-Arnold with 8 assists in 48 appearances
2 – Sadio Mane with 9 assists in 51 appearances
1 – James Milner with 16 assists in 41 appearances
3 – Trent Alexander-Arnold with 48 appearances
2 – Virgil van Dijk with 49 appearances
1 – Alisson Becker and Sadio Mane with 51 appearances.
Highest Average Rating out of 10
3 – Virgil van Dijk with 7.48
2 – Mohamed Salah with 7.51
1 – Sadio Mane with 7.64
4-0 wins againt:
- Sheffield United
- Aston Villa
- West Brom
- West Ham
As the last couple of seasons, Liverpool didn’t have much transfer activity throughout the campaign.
- Andrea Papetti from Brescia for €2m
- Ryan Bertrand from Southampton for €10.75m
- Curtis Jones to Aston Villa on loan
- Liam Millar to Austin FC on loan
- Gini Wijnaldum to FC Barcelona on a free transfer
Seems like Gini Wijnaldum does leave the club after all, with the club opting to not resign the Dutch midfielder.
Apart from these transfers, there are two players who have been transfer-listed as they are deemed to be not good enough for the team.
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain transfer listed for €56m
- Kostas Tsimikas transfer listed for €10.75m
Not only these transfer listings, but there are two other surprises that happened during the season.
- Thiago Alcantara was only played twice throughout the season and was made available for the U23.
- Takumi Minamino was played 24 times throughout the season and was made available for the U23.
Quite crazy to think that Liverpool opted against using the Spanish midfielder much when he is considered one of the best players in his position. Although I can’t confirm whether it was due to a long-term injury or not, the fact that he was made available for the U23 makes me think that long-term injuries weren’t the problem.
Premier League Journey
After a hard-fought battle, Liverpool saw themselves victorious as they won the Premier League for the second year running. The league title chase wasn’t easy though, having edged second-place Manchester City by just one point after both teams won their final game of the season. Throughout the campaign, Liverpool only lost twice in the league.
- Brighton 1-0 Liverpool
- Liverpool 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
After years of being unbeaten at home, Spurs break the cycle after beating the Reds at Anfield 2-1.
Premier League Top Goalscorers
3 – Raul Jimenez with 17 goals
2 – Bruno Fernandes with 18 goals
1 – Sadio Mane with 19 goals
Premier League Top Assisters
3 – James Milner with 13 assists
2 – Mateo Kovacic with 14 assists
1 – Kevin De Bruyne with 16 assists
Most amount of Clean Sheets
3 – Bernd Leno with 13 clean sheets
2 – Ederson Moraes, Rui Patricio, and Edouard Mendy with 14 clean sheets
1 – Alisson Becker with 17 clean sheets
Premier League Team of the Year
GK – Alisson Becker
RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold
CB – Virgil van Dijk
CB – Aymeric Laporte
LB – Andrew Robertson
RM – Mohamed Salah
CM – Kevin De Bruyne
CM – James Milner
LM – Sadio Mane
ST – Harry Kane
ST – Roberto Firmino
English Footballer of the Year
Winner: Harry Kane
English Players’ Player of the Year
Winner: Harry Kane
English Players’ Young Player of the Year
Winner: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Premier League Manager of the Year
Winner: Pep Guardiola
James Milner enjoyed the 2020/21 season, having been named Liverpool’s top assister while also featuring in the Premier League Team of the Year.
Although it was a good season for some, quite a few managers got sacked by their teams in during the campaign.
- Mikel Arteta -> Arsenal -> Sacked -> Poor league position
- Nuno Espirito Santo -> Wolves -> Sacked -> Unconfirmed
- Carlo Ancelotti -> Everton -> Sacked -> Unconfirmed
- Graham Potter -> Brighton -> Sacked -> Relegated
- David Moyes -> West Ham -> Sacked -> Poor league position -> Replaced by Michael O’Neill
- Steve Bruce -> Newcastle -> Sacked -> Poor league positions -> Replaced by Luciano Spalleti
- Dean Smith -> Aston Villa -> Sacked -> Poor league position -> Replaced by Eddie Howe
- Brendan Rodgers -> Leicester -> Sacked -> Poor league position -> Replaced by Ricardo Gomes
- Ralph Hasenhuttl -> Southampton -> Sacked -> Risk of relegation -> Replaced by Paul McGuinness
Premier League table by the end of the season.
FA Cup Journey
The FA Cup journey was a short one, with Liverpool losing in the early stages of the competition.
Liverpool v Brighton, the Reds win 4-1 at home.
Wolves v Liverpool, the Reds lose 1-0 away.
Manchester City v Manchester United, Man City are crowned FA Cup champions after winning 2-1 in the final.
Carabao Cup Journey
Just like in the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup journey was cut short after losing in the early rounds of the competition.
Liverpool v Sheffield United, the Reds win 2-0 at home.
Liverpool v West Ham, the Reds lose 2-1 at home.
Chelsea v Fulham, Fulham are crowned Carabao Cup champions after winning 2-3 in the final.
UEFA Champions League Journey
Unlike real life, Liverpool drew Atletico Madrid, Atalanta, and Leipzig in their group. Being the toughest group this season, the term “Group of Death” was given.
Round of 16
Liverpool v Dortmund. The Reds draw 1-1 away from home but then win 3-1 at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp’s team moves on due to 4-2 aggregate.
Liverpool v Manchester City. Once again, the Reds draw 1-1 away from home but go on to lose 0-2 at Anfield. Liverpool are knocked out of the Champions League by Pep Guardiola’s team 1-3 on aggregate.
Manchester City v Bayern Munich. The Bavarian giants manage to beat Man City 1-2 and are then crowned European Champions for the second year in a row.
Despite beating Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and reaching the final, Pep Guardiola was still unable to deliver Manchester City’s first ever Champions League title.
UEFA Champions League Goalkeeper of the Season
3 – Wojciech Szczesny
2 – Jan Oblak
1 – Manuel Neuer
UEFA Champions League Defender of the Season
3 – Gerard Pique
2 – Joshua Kimmich
1 – David Alaba
UEFA Champions League Midfielder of the Season
3 – Kevin De Bruyne
2 – Eden Hazard
1 – Lionel Messi
UEFA Champions League Forward of the Season
3 – Sergio Aguero
2 – Robert Lewandowski
1 – Paulo Dybala
UEFA Champions League Team of the Season
GK – Manuel Neuer
RB – Joshua Kimmich
CB – Lucas Hernandez
CB – Benjamin Pavard
LB – David Alaba
RM – Thomas Muller
CM – Kevin De Bruyne
CM – Nikola Vlasic
LM – Leroy Sane
ST – Lionel Messi
ST – Robert Lewandowski
Croatian midfielder Nikola Vlasic joined Munich from CSKA Moscow for €14.5M in the summer transfer window.
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur. Jose Mourinho manages to deliver a trophy to the London team for the first time in years.
Despite missing out on the Champions League and losing early on in domestic cups, Liverpool have a lot to look forward to this season according to Football Manager 2021. After not being able to win a single Premier League title in 30 years, not only have the Reds managed to do it once, but twice in a row. Seeing as how Wijnaldum has left and Thiago isn’t being played, wouldn’t be much of a surprise if Jurgen Klopp goes on the transfer market to find a new midfielder for the club. All in all, winning the league title is more than enough to say that the 2020/21 campaign was a successful one.