Been a month now without an update! Time flies! Here we go, continuing the Gabriel Jesus story...
Chapter 3 - Breaking Bayern
This season was going to be our first proper opportunity to challenge the dominance of Bayern in the Bundesliga. We have already won the DfB Pokal, the DfL Supercup, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup - the league was the only competition that has evaded us thus far.
The board were well aware of the investment needed to mount a title challenge, and I was finally afforded a giant warchest of a budget, with £135,000,000 at my disposal in transfer fees alone!
Totally unrelated note, but the first important game of the season was not a Dortmund game, but rather the World Cup final. Germany vs Argentina in a rerun of the 2014 final. Argentina ended their trophy drought and took revenge on the Germans, who had obviously won four years earlier! Finally, a winner's medal on the international stage for Lionel Messi!
Brazil went out in the quarter finals, leading to their gaffer being insecure with his job, but he retained it for the rest of the year and, unfortunately for me, will retain it for some time to come...
For the second year running, we won the Super Cup over Bayern, but this time it felt very different: we dominated from start to finish and the pundits were very surprised at how well we played. Would it be an indication of the season to come? New signing Marco Verratti made his mark, with the main man Gabriel Jesus getting his first goal of the season.
The first half of the season went by will us undefeated, and the pundits were raving about Gabriel Jesus once again. He was easily the star man for the season, and it was the first time he had actually shown his true potential. He won August's Player of the Month award and was subject to continued appraisal from the press. The best recognition he got, though, was his second consecutive World Player of the Year award, which he won ahead of the one and only Cristiano Ronaldo!
There were some absolutely monstrous wins throughout the season after that point, including a 7-2 demolition at Koln, a 4-0 annihilation away at Juventus, and a 6-0 victory at some irrelevant 3.Liga team called "Chemnitz". We ended up routing Juve 6-0 on aggregate in the Round of 16, and were installed as shock favourites to win the Champions League for the second time in three seasons!
It goes without saying what happened next...
We won the quadruple! The DfL-Supercup in pre-season, and then a domestic double before a Champions League triumph! Once again, it was Bayern who were defeated in the final! We beat Wolfsburg in the DfB-Pokal final in our third consecutive Pokal win!
The league was won at a canter, with only two defeats the entire season! It is also noticeable that the team in second is not Bayern Munich, but rather our previous rivals for the second spot: Schalke. They are our historical rivals, but it is astonishing to see Bayern down in third place, their lowest finish since 2010-11, where they finished a point worse than now, on 65 points, and behind Bayer Leverkusen. We have done what many would think the impossible, we finally derailed the Bayern dominance!
Jesus scored and scored and scored - 34 times in the league to be exact! That puts him joint fourth in the most goals in a season record for the Bundesliga. Gerd Muller occupies the top three places, with records of 40, 38, and 36 in the league season being simply jawdropping.
Here are some stats for the Bundesliga season:
Here are some team stats:
That's right, Jesus miraculously broke the 60 mark for the first time! This season, he had a better goals-to-game ratio than the two seasons prior! Things are looking up for this career.
Rightfully, he was given the top honour of German Player of the Year, surprisingly ahead of Robert Lewandowski again, despite Bayern's debacle of a season. I wonder where they'd be without the Polish striker...
Young Player of the Year went to Riechedly Bazoer, who has quickly established himself as an integral part of my team, anchoring the central midfield.
Then, the most important moment in the season...
Yes!! I can't believe I won the Manager of the Year award so early on, given the struggles that have been had over it in other 1KCs.
The supporting cast (there are more, but these were my stand-out performers):
Predrag Rajkovic is my goalkeeper. Only signed him as a result of a scouting mission resulting in his recommendation to sign. Despite his relatively low value, his stats and his conceded record is admirable, especially with a two man defence in front of him.
Speaking of that two-man defence, Kurt Zouma and Matthias Ginter have forged an unbelievable partnership at the back. They only conceded 27 goals in the league, despite having attacking wingers either side of them! Their total value is £152,000,000...absolute insanity.
Marco Verratti was an interesting signing as he came with an unreal reputation and therefore cost me a huge chunk of my budget in £59,000,000. What a worthwhile investment it was, though. Check out his stats, for goodness sake!
James Ward-Prowse surprised me a lot. Originally intended as backup for my very strong midfield, he ended up becoming a pivotal part of it. What a bargain he was at £13.75m - he scored 6 times and assisted 24 times. No further explanation needed.
Mikel Merino is one of those players that you don't expect to develop beyond the fringes of the squad because of his relative obscurity but ends up becoming a world beater. He is only 22 and his development is still continuing...I'm so glad I chose not to let him rot away in the reserves.
Breel Embolo is too good on the wing.
Lastly, the player that will intrigue the most is Laszlo Kleinheisler. I bought him from Werder Bremen as a player with an unknown quantity and that paid off so well. Could he be the redux of Nandor Hidegkuti, playing just behind a conventional striker role?
Anyway, here is Gabriel Jesus himself:
57 goals in the first season, 58 goals in the second season, 60 goals in the third season. That totals to 175 goals, cumulatively, in the first three seasons.
Next season there will probably be more games, so the goals could come thick and fast. 825 are needed now!
Onto the next season then, hope to see you there!
Now then, this could help...