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FM 13: West Bromwich Albion F.C - Boing Boing

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Welcome to the FM 13 West Bromwich Albion F.C team guide thread


Labor omnia vincit

I) Club History

II) Club information/Facilities/Kits

III) Budgets/Expectations

IV) Squad analysis

V) Tactical analysis

VI) Staff analysis

VII) Transfer analysis

I) Club History- The Past

West Bromwich Albion Football Club were one of the founding members of The Football League in 1888 and have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of English football. They have been champions of England once, in 1919–20, but have had more success in the FA Cup, with five wins. The first came in 1888, the year the league was founded, and the most recent in 1968, their last major trophy. They also won the Football League Cup at the first attempt in 1966. The club's longest consecutive period in the top division was between 1949 and 1973, and from 1986 to 2002 they spent their longest ever period out of the top division. The club is affectionately nicknamed The Baggies, The Throstles, Albion or WBA. Albion have a number of long-standing rivalries with other Midlands clubs; their traditional rivals have always been Aston Villa, but more recently their major rivalry has been with Wolverhampton Wanderers, with whom they contest the Black Country derby.



The 2012–13 season is their seventh season in the Premier League since 2002. The Baggies had, until recently, garnered a reputation as a yo-yo club. Too good for the Championship, but not enough quality to stay in the highest tier. The last two seasons and a promising start to the 2012/13 campaign, via the management of Roberto Di Matteo, Roy Hodgson and currently Steve Clarke, has gone someway to demolish that reputation. The club have an improving squad and Hodgson’s experience in particular had led them to consecutive mid-table finishes. The onus is now on us to establish the club as a Premier League force, and emulate the likes of Fulham and Stoke by making our way into Europe.

The Hawthorns


26,447 capacity stadium

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III) Budget/Expectations


As you can see from the above screenshot, we are in a very healthy financial position for a club of our size. A £20m bank balance, 100% of transfer revenue made available, a reasonable wage bill, and one or two saleable assets within the squad. Although our ambitions should be higher, the board ask only that you avoid relegation. In exchange for this, we get a surprising £6m transfer kitty to start with, and a £627k wage budget. Avoiding relegation is most certainly not a foregone conclusion for West Brom, but under our stewardship the club should hopefully be nowhere near having to go through these scenes ever again....

The Great Escape


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IV) Squad analysis

Now to the business. Our squad seems to have significantly improved since our re-admittance into the top tier. Although the board are satisfied with avoiding relegation, we have the talent to achieve atleast mid-table, or possibly even sneak a Europa League place via league placing or trophy win, with one or two astute additions into the squad. Even if, like me, you choose to start the game with the transfer window off, the strengths of this squad are surprising and varied. Work rate and technical skills are well balanced, and an indispensable core of standout players. Without further delay...



Ben Foster GK 29y/o-Eng: Obviously our undisputed no.1 and a key player within the squad, Foster is an underrated goalkeeper and but for Joe Hart would probably be our national no.1 aswell. His communication and command of area not poor enough to be detrimental, but probably prevent him from being at a higher level. Still young and therefore can be our 1st choice keeper for 6 seasons or more. Apart from his excellent handling and reflexes, his throwing and kicking make for counter attack opportunities.

Boaz Myhill GK 29y/o-Wal: Decent no.2, which is all you need. Contract ends next summer, though the renewal can wait incase better options present themselves.

Luke Daniels GK 24y/o-Eng: Capable third option, but I would start to worry if you have to put him in. Not good enough for any level of the EPL, and should be shipped out at the end of season.



Full back/Left

Liam Ridgewell D(LC) 27y/o-Eng: Liam’s comfortable at centre back or as a defensive full back, but lacks key attributes to be great at either one. A lack of pace means he’ll never be the modern, marauding full back, whilst an average degree of strength will be problematic when dealing with physical forwards. Nevertheless, a very good tackler, marker and passer, whilst bravery and teamwork will make him an invaluable squad player atleast.

Goran Popov D(RL) 27y/o-MKD: Although able at right back, I believe his left-footedness only logically allows him to play on the left. Goran is a good all-rounder in terms of attributes. adept at crossing and dribbling but perhaps lacking the pace to get down the wing with speed. On loan from Dinamo Kiev with a £1.3m fee agreed, there are likely better available bargains to be had after a season

Full back/Right

Steven Reid D® 31y/o-IRL: Exceptionally determined, hardworking and willing to put his body on the line for his team, Reidy is a vital member of the squad. His high proficiency at tackling and marking put him down for contention as a 1st teamer. Don’t be put off by his age. at 31 he is still good enough for one or two seasons, especially with his stamina and natural fitness.

Gabriel Tamas D(RC) 28y/o-ROU: Gabby can play at centre back aswell, though is pretty average in either position. High positional sense can make up for his lack of pace.

Gonzalo Jara SW, D/WB®, DM 26y/o-CHI: Our squads utility man, able to fill in at a variety of roles. Gonzo has been at the club for a while but was sent on loan to Brighton last season. Like alot of the squad, he’s a hard teamworker. Decent physically and also a good defensive player. Another out of contract at the end of season, but will have to prove his worth to the squad in order to be renewed.

Billy Jones D/WB® 25y/o-ENG: Exceptional determination and work rate, whilst also being very good in the tackle and decent at crossing. As with all our defence, he lacks significant pace. For a fullback, this is an issue. Good squad player.

Centre back

Gareth McAuley D© 32y/o-NIR: Seasoned, rugged centre back. Proficient in the art of defending, an aerial asset and good mental attributes. Top squad player.

Jonas Olsson D© 29y/o-SWE: What Jo lacks in pace he makes up for in an absolute abundance of mental and technical ability. Apart from his ability in tackling, marking and passing, he has a great mental steeliness, and surprisingly for a central defender, high creativity. This makes him a perfect ball playing centre back, able to distribute the ball wisely from the back or ping the odd surprise through ball on the counter. His highly influential nature should, in my opinion, mark him as your captain over Chris Brunt. His contract runs out in a year, make sure you renew it, even if it makes him your top earner.

Craig Dawson D© 22y/o-ENG: Young, English and an good all-round distribution of qualities. Lacks any sort of pace but good positional sense makes up for it somewhat. Develop him well and he should become somewhat similar to his namesake at Tottenham, or a John Terry lite.

Donovon Daniels D© 18y/o-MSR: I admit, I have no idea where Monserrat is, but I am curious as to see how he can develop. My staff rate his potential highly. Probably best poised for a loan deal for 6-12mths or more, unless you choose to place faith in him and mould him yourself, rather than leave him in the hands of a lesser manager.

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Youssuf Mulumbu DM, M© 25y/o-COD: Complete midfielder. Here we have a top class player on our hands. Not only will he get around the pitch all afternoon and win you the ball, but he’ll have the ability to pass it on cleanly. Lovely. Stamina, strength, bravery combined with faultless team and work ethic make him one the league’s best ball winners. Move over Chiek, you’re overrated in comparison! His retirement from the national team mean you won’t lose him January, and his high price tag mean a very saleable asset should you need to cash in and re-build..

Claudio Yacob DM, M© 24y/o-ARG: A free transfer from Racing Club, Yakz(sorry), is your slightly more conservative yet perfect foil for our Congolese Destroyer. Like Youssy, he can tackle and pass, but his marking ability, positional sense and astute concentration would seem to mark him out as a holding midfielder, leaving his partner in crime to to roam more. Have the lad work on his 1st touch and passing, and in time you can have a very decent all-rounder.

George Thorne DM, M© 19y/o-ENG: Very young and you will need to make a hard decision to either send him on loan, or stick with him and gamble on his development. If you keep him on, get him tutored because his determination is not high enough for a DM in this league, and have him concentrate on his physical ability. Still, he does have potential to make the grade, and is already a very adept passer.



Zoltan Gera M(RL) AM(RC) 33y/o-HUN: One of the veterans of the squad, Zoltz offers a hardworking, composed and experienced presence. He still has undisputed technique, is creative and a good crosser. His age means he’s physically past his peak, but is a very valuable squad member. Despite this, you should probably release him when his deal expires in June.

James Morrison M/AM(RC) 26y/o-SCO: One of a number of creative forward players you have at your disposal, Jamie is an excellent dribbler(of the ball), solid technically and hardworking. Good off the ball ability, which is useful considering he lacks the pace to get past his man. Whilst not a standout, he does have the ability to do a job until better targets become attainable.

Chris Brunt M/AM(RLC) 27y/o-NIR: Brunty is hugely versatile with a wide range of qualities which mark him out as a key player within your squad. To complement his willingness to work for the team, he is very creative and a great passer and crosser of the ball. Strong leader too.

Graham Dorrans M/AM(RLC) 25y/o-SCO: Similar to the the above two players, in that he is versatile and well balanced. This bodes well as they can all interchange with eachother and gives your team and unpredictable edge. He has a decent amount of pace, works hard, is creative and has the technical nous to produce an end product.

Scott Allan M/AM© 20y/o-SCO: Not worth developing due to being a couple of years too old, but you’re welcome to try. Lacks the work rate and team ethic to be anything but emergency cover. Loan or sell.

Jerome Thomas M/AM(L), M/AMR 29y/o-ENG: Jerome starts the season injured, and although he's been a key player throughout the seasons, it's unclear whether he will be able to make his way into the team on his return. Versatile player, and equipped with pace and adept at running with the ball. Another player whose deal ends next summer, and as he'll be 30 before then, I'd wait until the last minute before deciding on his retention or otherwise.

Yassine El Ghanassy AM(L)/AMR 22y/o-BEL: The Belgium lad on loan from Gent and has a £1.5m fee agreed. He could turn out to be a very important player for you, and hopefully will sign when the loan expires. He can play wide right or wide left, and is a player who can run directly at opposition defences with his searing pace and dribbling ability. An excellent technique, ability to pass, good determination and interestingly for such a player, extreme bravery mean he's well suited to the EPL. Of course, his stamina will let him down, and his lack of team ethic and work rate will perhaps count against him at times but at 22 there is still time for him to develop. I suggest giving him extra stamina and strength training. Altogether he is a quality option to have

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Marc-Antoine Fortune AM®, ST 31y/o-FRA: You’ll find him transfer listed at the start of the game, but if, like me, you choose to turn the transfer window off then he will provide useful back up. Hard worker, strong and possessing good stamina along with good technique and first touch will give you a decent holding player upfront or out wide. Do not expect goals. If you do transfers at the start, then selling him will provide a small amount of income and a chunky wage packet off the bill.

Peter Odemwingie AM(RL), ST 31y/o-NGA: Has a good goal record for the Baggies since his arrival, is fast, can run with the ball and finish decently. These qualities should make him an asset to the team. However, I cannot justify his inclusion as a 1st teamer, and at his age and with the wages he is on, plus the high possibility of him going to the ACON, you could and should take advantage of the large interest he garners. He fetches up to £5m, a fact I shall take advantage of in January.

Chris Wood ST 20y/o-NZL: Limited player, and despite being rated well enough by the staff, he’ll never be good enough for our ambitions, or even the league. Move him on.

Shane Long ST 25y/o-IRL: A personal favourite of mine, Longy has the pace to leave centre backs in the dust, and the finishing ability to...err...finish. Good dribbler, good worker, good off the ball. Just make sure to work on his composure. It’s the only thing to stop him from getting 15 goals a season.

Markus Rosenberg ST 29y/o-SWE: Hard to understand why he was brought into the squad. Although he is fast and strong and possesses a very good first touch and technique, therefore able to hold the ball up well, his work rate and determination is so atrocious you may aswell not bother. Don’t get me started on his composure. Or his finishing. What i’m trying to say is, don’t expect anything from this fiend.

Romelu Lukaku ST 19y/o-BEL: A rather exciting wildcard we have here. Though as with all wildcards, his faults sometimes nullify his strengths. Romelu has strength and pace to burn, but poor stamina and worse agility than my granny. He has fantastic composure for a teenager, but average first touch and a shoddy technique. It’s really not a foregone conclusion that he’ll become the world class player he was tipped as, and because he’s only on a season loan(with the chance of full transfer implausible), we will never be able to mold him. So, he is somewhat of a gamble. Do you play the wildcard or stick with a more reliable, experienced player in Long?

As we can see, there should be no disappointment with our current personnel. Any manager will tell you that versatility within a squad is paramount to success in a long, gruelling season, and we have a decent amount of it. Injuries to key players could make things slightly difficult, a concern of mine would be goals and a lack of pace at the back. Now let's see how we can mould the players into a team...

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V) Tactical analysis

Under Di Matteo West Brom became renowned for a somewhat gung-ho style of play. His replacement, Roy Hodgson, forged the team into a more defensive unit, the reward being Premier League stability and two mid-table finishes. Now with Steve Clarke at the helm, the team are gaining a reputation as ball-passing team. I prefer a quick, direct, counter attacking unit. I’m not a man to mess around here so let’s keep things simple. As I see it, the squad has the ability and versatility to play well in 3 formations, depending on available personnel and opposition. You are welcome to try more innovation, but I believe these formations are a good template, the downside being that they only accommodate one striker. If you wish to use a two striker system, then I would suggest something along the lines of a 4-3-1-2 Italian Trequarista system, with Lukaku and Long leading the line, Brunt behind in a free role, and Thorne, Yacob and Mulumbu behind. The only reason I don't use this formation is because it wastes Morrison and Dorrans, plus we lack the cover in CM should Mulumbu or Yacob get injured.


The 4-1-1-3-1 is something that offers a team balance in defense and attack, wide scope for our versatile players, and opportunity to play in a number of ways. Morrison and Dorrans lack the crossing ability to play as wingers so use them as inside forwards, or perhaps defensive wingers. Brunt is a good crosser, but I prefer his creativity and passing in the middle. Besides, none of our centre forwards are good enough in the air to warrant using a crossing game, unless you drill it across the box on the counter. I use Mulumbu ahead of Yacob, in order to make use of his ball winning capabilities, and Yacob's positional sense, anticipation and work rate/team work make him a good candidate to break up opposition play. He lacks the creativity to perform in the DLP role however. The reason I place Yacob in between defence and midfield is because our defence is so slow that I feel safer with a man protecting the back four. Place him further forward and there will be gaps behind the midfield. Also, our defences proficiency at passing mean we can build from the back. Try tinkering with player roles in order to suit your style of play.


The 4-5-1 is a favourite of mine. It appears a defensive formation, but don't be fooled. It can seemlessley transition into a lethal counter attacking 4-3-3, so really we have the best of both worlds. Our wide men have the work rate to help out in defense aswell, so our full backs should not be so exposed. Choose your forward wisely however, and make sure they can hold the ball up well, and bring the others into play with good off the ball movement and passing.

4-4-2 is yet another option which will accommodate two strikers and your wide players.

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VII) Transfer market analysis


The squad is strong, but needs work to fullfill our ambitions(if not those of the board). A distinct lack of pace in the centre back and full back positions need to be addressed, while cover and a true playmaker in centre midfield, plus another striker should be priorities. I recommend looking to Scandanvia for the latter positions, with the popular Ruben Yteggard Jenssen, Kara(work permit required), Cornelius and Helenius providing quality, cheap options. Also keep an eye on Leonard Kweuke, another bargain. These are obvious transfer targets and it's understandable if you want to look for less mainstream options. However, with our lack of funds it'd be foolish to bypass the bargains on offers from Scandanavia. Be sure to move fast, as these players are in demand. As for the defensive issue, Richard Stearman from rivals Wolves is an attainable target if you wish to add some pace to the backline. Our scouts recommend Aaron Cresswell of Ipswich for the LB role, and he is worth checking out. Otherwise invest in a more thorough scouting network, and look out for bargains across the EPL, Europe, Africa and South America.

In conclusion...

I believe West Bromwich Albion to be one of the more exciting saves in the EPL. There is alot of scope to build your vision, surpassing the challenge of relegation battles and the hum-drum of mid-table mediocrity, forging the side into one capable of Europa League and beyond. With board backing(hopefully), an astute eye for a bargain and innovative tactical mind, this will prove to be a unique and challenging save for anyone. Boing boing!

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Thanks SRL! However, any chance of a mod moving your post to below my transfer post? Hadn't quite finished, but you weren't to know.

Anyway I'm done now, so if anyone wants to start posting then go ahead. Hopefully people will take more interest in WBA this season, rather than the obvious EPL ones.

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Nice one, cheers mate.

Anyhow, as I only have the demo(like most i presume) this is going to be a test run for me. When the game proper comes out, i'll be starting a more long term one. If any Baggies fans have any feedback or have seen something they disagree with/know is wrong, please let it be known. Appreciate it.

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I have a game going with west brom at the moment on football manager classic. I bought mark davies from bolton. A good passer of the ball and can play as a deep lying playmaker. I also managed to get adel taraabt to play in attack midfield.

My formation is a bit odd if im honest. its a 4-2-3-1 narrow attacking formation. 3 attacking midfielders behind the 1 striker. My other formation is the same but with the two midfielders playing in the defensive counter attacking role.

Im currently 8th in the league with draws against all the top teams and a couple of wins at the start of the season. A little bit inconsistent but there is deffo potential

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my two go to targets for most teams that need backup are aaron cresswell , as you have mentioned and danny batth, who with some slight training can become top notch

Batth looks promising. Could be EPL quality and will keep him on the radar.

Great work mate, really hope the WBA thread is more active this year.

Cheers. Hope so.

I have a game going with west brom at the moment on football manager classic. I bought mark davies from bolton. A good passer of the ball and can play as a deep lying playmaker. I also managed to get adel taraabt to play in attack midfield.

My formation is a bit odd if im honest. its a 4-2-3-1 narrow attacking formation. 3 attacking midfielders behind the 1 striker. My other formation is the same but with the two midfielders playing in the defensive counter attacking role.

Im currently 8th in the league with draws against all the top teams and a couple of wins at the start of the season. A little bit inconsistent but there is deffo potential

I like Davies aswell. Another option for our midfield. Narrow 4-2-3-1 isn't odd at all- it suits the current squad as it is.

Love this thread. If I play in the English leagues, I always go WBA. Love the way they play the game. Once I get FM13 i'll be on to a game here.

One thing though, Fortune isn't 21 is he?

Yep, corrected :D

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I had no complaints about signing mark davies, my best player by far was the signing of taraabt from QPR. scored most of my goals as an inside forward.

Im struggling with Lukaku though, im not sure how to play him up front as the lone striker. Ive been playing him as an advanced forward which doesnt seem to be working out too well.

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Can't believe I forgot to put El Ghanassy in! Adding him now.

first game of the season was disrupted by big injuries to two key players. Reid is out for 3 months, while Morrison a little longer. Along with Brunts injury, it meant I had to play Odemwingie as an inside forward, and Gera got a game at AMC. Still, we were comfortable 2-0 winners at home to Norwich, thanks to a Shane Long brace. Fleetwood in the CC, followed by Arsenal and Man City. Gulp.

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Love playing as West Brom but my are they frustrating. Alternative title: The Hawthorns in your side?

If you went to the Newcastle (away) game Gabriel Thomas is also available (Geordies lol). I like the formation bit, as I'm struggling to do anything on 13. I was playing 4-2-3-1 and then 5-4-1 to close out the game when I was winning, but that didn't happen.

I'm finding it really hard to score. Got a 0-0 draw with Sunderland and Manchester United to start the season then played my reserves and won p2-2 against Rochdale in the Capital One Cup. Went into Liverpool with high hopes because they were 2 places above me and got smashed 0-4 by a Gerrard hat-trick. Tottenham, Chelsea then Newcastle next. Baptism of fire.

As for transfers I sold Jara for £3.2m and I'm in the process of selling Fortune for £2.5m. I brought in Rincon (1.3m) because he's one of my favourite players. Also got Antolin Alcaraaz from Wigan for 1.7m, Milos Nincovic from Dynamo Kyiv for 2.5m. I bought Arthur Boka from Stuttgart because he had 18 acceleration but he's so poor, but that could be me not playing a decent formation.

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Still got my west brom game goin on FM Classic. Coming up to february and im about 2-3 points off a champions league spot. Currently sitting in 7th. Good thing about my team is that were solid, olsson is doing fantastic at centre back and next season its my mission to get another top defender in there. Lukaku is terrible for me, shane long is banging them in so i think getting another striker would be a good idea too.

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Season 1


Pre Season

A total of six pre season friendlies, one of which being against the reserve team ended up being a good test for the whole squad. The most disappointing thing was only managing to keep one clean sheet over the six games and that was against a Conference National side aswell.

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Bringing in a player for every position apart from the goalkeeper and all for just £5.5 Million. A squad that already has a lot of depth just needed strengthening in the ageing areas. Getting rid of Marc Antoine Fortune, opened the door for me getting a new striker along with the fact of trying to get rid of Marcus Rosenburg and Chris Wood. Adryan a central and attacking midfielder who most probaly won't be played to much in the first team this season looks like a good prospect.

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First game of the season away against local rivals Aston Villa, will be a tough one, heres to hoping for a successful campaign.

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Good luck Sam, keep us posted and let us know what works and what does not!

look out for adam le fondre too.. he is class and gets transfer listed a lot at in the first window

I will keep tabs on him.

Those are the 2 teams that I'm torn between myself

i know, but they are different enough saves to justify having a crack at both. I also have Tottenham to do, but may wait till January as that will be my main save. But I'm obviously doing West Brom and I missed my chance to manage Newcastle last season. Don't even get me started on other saves....

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Just started a Baggies save and I'm feeling fairly optimistic with my signings.



GK: Happy with Foster and Myhill for time being. In January I may replace Myhill but he'll be ok for time being.

DEF: Sold Jara, McAuley, Jones, Reid and Tamas and replaced with better and younger players in Shawcross, Coleman and Okore. Perch has been signed as a back-up RB as Popov will play at left back only. Dawson will get a lot of time in the cups as well as he turned into a fairly good player for me in FM12.

MID: Replaced Mulumbu with Wanyama as he's younger and will turn into more of a beast IMO. Brought in Yttergard Jensen to play away games and tough home games too. Wellington Nem was also signed for his potential and he'll get game time in the cups. Thomas can be sold if he recovers from injury.

ATT: I'm happy with Long, Odemwingie, Lukaku and Wood for time being. Possibly bring in someone in Jan depending on our league position.




Lost my first game 1-0 Away at Reading. Made my subs before the 75th min and Long got injured so I had 10 men and they scored the winner

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Well, I can say i'm not disappointed that you sold Mulumbu, but I'll get over it :mad:

You've spent alot, so you'll need some quick success to account for it. I think those are quality signings, still a bit slow at CB but Jenssen is my favourite CM in the game. I think Brunt would be better served in the middle, or AML/AMC. He's a good passer and is creative, a bit wasted at LM. But let us know how he goes.

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Its been a busy week and i have only just managed to get my first season finished...Eventually managed to get the time to finish of the latter half of the season last night and this morning, and after all of the seasons excitement it came to a anti climax.

Season One

End of 2012/2013

Barclays Premier League

At the start of the season i set my expectations to "avoid relegation" safe in the knowledge that i could realistically achieve this and that if i got to January and was no where near the relegation fight i would be able to change my expectations. Luckily my "little" bit of experience helped us safely into the middle of the pack in January, where i altered my expectations to mid table finish.

The season started off well with a 3-2 win against local rival Aston Villa, but then i was brought straight back down with a thumping 2-0 loss to the Lactics at home. Twas my impressive away record that helped me finish where i did taking a total of 29 points on the road (if i was only to play on my travels i would of ended up taking third place). Notable victories on the road came at Liverpool, Newcastle and eventual League champions Manchester City. The Hawthorns which was supposed to be my "fortress" gave me 5 less points than playing away from home, something which needs to be looked at and addressed for next season. Disappointing losses at the Hawthorns against Wigan and Stoke were balanced out by wins against Liverpool (did the double) and draws against Man United and Arsenal, draws though were becoming to evident.


As you can see i finished 8th with a total of 53 points, for large periods of the season i could of easily qualified for Europe but Draws and losses seem to overcome me towards the latter stage of the season, ending in a mid table position. Next season i will be expecting more of the same, challenging for Europe and hopefully improving on this years final position.

Season Rating: 7/10

Budwiser FA Cup

A poor cup competition in my first season, only managing to get into the 4th round. Two Premier League teams were my opposition, in the third round i cam across Swansea City who i dispatched of easily with a 4-2 win. Then came the fourth round, i was put up against Wigan Athletic. A team that i had played twice already in the league and a team that i had yet to score against. They held me to a 0-0 draw at home and then took me back to the DW and spanked me 2-0, giving me hardly any of the play. Wigan now appear on stats to be my bogey team playing them four times this season, not scoring a goal and conceding 4 and to top it off they finish one place above me in the league.

Cup Rating: 2/10

Capital One Cup

The cup that traditionally lets the "bigger teams" play there reserve squad and future talent, is always took very seriously by myself. At West Brom the squad is big enough to play a decent first team side but still give your more frequent first team players a 45/70 minute rest. With the players i had brought in Shane Long and Liam Ridgewell wernt getting a lot of game time, so these two players who normally would start were getting good cup run outs (good for them and the team but not so good for opposition.) Out of the six rounds i played in this cup competition i was drawn against Premier League opponents, the only exception being Walsall in the second round who i beat 4-1. The third round took me down to London to Craven Cottage where i narrowly beat a hard working Fulham side 3-2, thanks to an outstanding display from James Morrison. Extra time beckoned at home to Norwich City in the 4th round, where super sub Shane Long came off the bench to slot the ball home to set up another home tie, this time against Manchester Untied. 26,445 fans packed out the Hawthorns on a cold Wednesday November night to see two Andreas Cornelius goals and another for James Morrison knock the Red Devils pout in a 3-1 win. At this point confidence is high and when we are drawn against Sunderland i fancy our chances over the two legs, my mind thinking of thinking of taking the Baggies to Wembley to lift there first cup trophy since the 1968 FA Cup final where Jeff Astle got the winner in a 1-0 win against Everton. It turns out Wembley was on the cards beating Sunderland comprehensively 4-1 over the two legs to book a place in the final against Stoke City.

Sunday the 24th February came around, coming into the game on two losses wasn't the best possible preparation but it was a cup final a game where form goes out the window, or so it should. A dire game from both sides had to be settled on penalties, ending 1-1 after extra time penalties were what would decide the game. Three of my five spot takers missed there kicks sending Stoke City back into Europe for the second time in three years. The competition ending in a bore final, unfortunately for us we wernt the ones lifting the trophy.

Cup Rating: 9/10



A basic 4-4-1-1 worked for me most of the season, after trying to play with two strikers up top (due to good attacking options in the squad) i decided it was provably best to put the one striker back to play just behind and feed the ball through. James Morrison played just behind the striker most of the season but after signing Anderson in January on loan, it was much of a take it in turns role as both were equally as good in that position. My main striker during the season was my new signing Andreas Cornelius, the young Dane was brought in mainly to develop for when Peter Odemwingie fades out of the team but he came and claimed the first team place straight away. Scoring 13 goals in 29 league games shows he deserved his place, even though towards the end of the year his goal scoring touch left him somewhat and found the net a hard place to find, meaning Shane Long got a few more starts. The centre of midfield is where i think the team is strongest, you start with two very good ball winning midfielders in Claudio and Youssuf and then very good creative midfielders in Brunt, Gera and Dorrans who can all alternate in positions. As mentioned earlier Anderson was brought in on loan from Manchester Untied (another centre/attacking mid) and a young lad called Adryan was brought in at the start of the season as them to the list and there was plenty to chose from, all getting there fair share of game time. The wings were more where players won there position and stayed there Chris Brunt when he wasnt injured played most of the season on the left and Zoltan Gera on the right. The most common sub was Peter Odemwingie coming onto to either wing during the match to add that bit of extra pace and quality needed to liven a match up. Florent Malouda was brought in during the January transfer window, the ageing left winger was offered a 1 year contract where he was given substantial game time due to Brunts injury problems. The defence was also a main stay, very rare was it that a changed it around, unfortunatley for Liam Ridegwell he was beaten to the left back position by new signing Ruben and he did nothing wrong all season for me to even think about replacing him, Liam later put in a transfer request and has resigned himself to leaving. The centre back pairing of Dawson and Olsson were the heart of the team, and with game time Dawson is improving into a strong centre half. Mcauley will no doubt be sold in the summer along with Gabby Tamas, Angelo Ogbonna from recently relegated Torino or Matthias Ginter also of a relegated club in Freiburg being the two players i am choosing from to bring into to the squad to add healthy competition. At right back the ageing Steven Reid did the job superbly well for me, but will most probaly be used as a roation player next season as i look to bring in a younger right back during pre season. Ben Foster in goal was never really going to be tested for his place Boaz Myhill not getting a single game in the league and only playing one in the cup.


The season finshed with me loosing 3-1 to Manchester United but that was just a down note on what has generally been a good season at the Hawthorns. With a couple of sales and additions in the pre season the squad should be looking stronger and finishing in the top six could be a strong possibility. Unfortunately though we wot be playing the season at the Hawthorns after receiving this news items at the end of the season.


Very nice that we are getting an expansion to the stadium but surely we could of shared with someone a bit more local!

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I have no idea what so ever. Im not sure if that had an effect on the season ticket sales, as this season i sold less than the season before and the Ricoh Arena is a bigger stadium. I understand that The Ricoh isn't as local as The Hawthorns but would this actually be reflected on the game? Anyway i thought the Sky Blue fans would prefer to see a Premiership game than a League One game ;)

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I'll be starting my game when i have the time over the next two weeks. Life is in the way though! Can't wait.

Nice article from Nick Miller on F365 about the Baggies;

This season the brighter lights of the Premier League have been dimmer than usual. In truth, there has been no truly convincing side. Manchester United have won games without really dominating, something strange is happening at Manchester City, Chelsea have been impressive in attack but often iffy at the back, Arsenal seem to be going through a mass existential crisis and Liverpool are in Season Three of their transitional year.

So step forward the team of the season so far - West Bromwich Albion.

With their victory over Wigan on Saturday, they ticked-off the last thing on their 'To Do' list for the season, specifically an away victory. With five wins from their six games at the Hawthorns thus far, they were already doing fine without such luxuries, but as of Saturday evening they are fifth in the table, just two points behind the current champions, and level with the other most impressive team in the division, Everton.

West Brom's start is of course more admirable because of the relative starting points and individual quality of both sides - they do not have Leighton Baines, Marouane Fellaini or Nikica Jelavic, but instead a quietly competent set of players that seem to do exactly what they're told.

This isn't the most stylish West Brom side of recent years - with an average possession rate of 43% and pass completion of 79% they aren't the slick passing team that many admired under Tony Mowbray - but what they lack in attractiveness they make up for in efficiency.

As Celtic proved in the week a team doesn't have to keep the ball all the time to be successful, and West Brom mimicked this on a much smaller scale against Wigan. They had only 34% of the ball but had four shots on target - two of them went in, they defended well and went home happy.

This is a trend that has continued over the season - they have scored 17 from 49 shots on goal, roughly working out at just under three efforts per goal. Only Manchester United, Chelsea, Fulham and Sunderland (whose average is slightly skewed by how few shots they actually attempt) have better ratios in the Premier League. As it turns out, the more of your shots that go in, the more games you win. Simple enough, really.

What's especially impressive about this team is how adaptable they are. Steve Clarke has typically set them out in a 4-2-3-1 formation this season, with either Shane Long or Romelu Lukaku at the point of the attack, but against Wigan both strikers played in a fairly straightforward 4-4-2. Clarke clearly believed the best way to combat Wigan's 3-4-3 was to pin their wing-backs back, give the three centre-backs something extra to think about and, since there were only two central-midfielders to deal with, they only needed two themselves. And it worked - they defended stoutly, counter-attacked with pace and threat and took the chances created (with some help from the Gary Caldwell own-goal).

They have good individuals, notably James Morrison, Long and the excellent Claudio Jacob, but while it's obviously quite the cliché, their success is down to the team, and how well Clarke has drilled them.

Clarke, having served his time as an assistant to Jose Mourinho and Kenny Dalglish, has taken the step up hugely impressively. He has brought together a squad capable of fitting a couple of systems with little expenditure (Jacob was a free, Lukaku on loan) and got the best from them. Simplicity itself.

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I'm in November 2012 with my Baggies save. Currently languishing in 15th position - too many draws seem to be the problem.

Transfers out Billy Jones, Peter Odymwingie, Marc Antoine Fortune & Gonzie Jara.

Players In: Seamus Coleman 3.6m & Martin Ollsen 7.5m and Diego Lugano on loan - enabling me to play 3-5-2 with these two lads bombing up and down the flanks

A lot of injuries seem to be stifling my creativity in midfield with Brunt & Dorrans out but Lukaku/Long partnership is blossoming nicely.

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Season Two

End of 2013/2014



A lot of transfer activity during the summer, mainly players leaving on free transfers. I know i will probably get asked, "why did you let the leave on a free transfer" basically the players that left on a free didn't want a contract on my terms and i was not willing to pay them a high salary to sit in the reserves. I have tried my hardest now to get rid of Markus Rosenborg permanently in both pre seasons but clubs only seem to want him on loan. His 30k a month loan fee is paying for the loan fee of Rafinha who was used in creative roles and like Paul Pogba played well when used. Steal of the windows was getting Jack Butland from relegated Birmingham City for £5,000, his value was £150,000 when i scouted him but The Blues who were in clear financial distress after falling from The Championship had only set a very low asking price, i promptly gave them £5,000 and ran away with a promising young keeper. As soon as he came to the club i got Ben Foster to tutor him, the perfect match seen as he is dubbed the new Ben Foster, unfortunately he has had little game time this season due to how good Fozzy has been performing. Allan Nyom was brought in for a first team right back, leaving Steven Reid to warm the bench and make good strong right back cover, he has not made a complaint all season about game time either. Sergi Gomez from Barcelona was highly rated by my scouts and was very cheap as well, a very similar player to Jonas Olsson he has been superb this season making 33 league appearances and scoring one goal, tutored by Jonas himself he could be a presence in my team for years to come. Anthony McCallion a regen that is rated very highly by my scouting network and for a bargin price of £150,00 this centre back went straight out on loan to Southend where he got a run of 11 games after joining them early January, he has now one more silverware than me, lifting the League 2 Trophy and he is only 17!

Finally i come to my most expensive signing of the season £2.1 Million to AC Milan for Alberto Paloschi, i had previous experience with this striker in last years version of the game. This year he is also just as good, 30 goals in 37 League games got him the golden boot award along with a average rating of 7.46. With training and game time his stats are improving a fair bit, the only thing is there is now alot of interest in him, will i be able to fend off the big money offers??

Barclays Premier League

After a fairly successful domestic campaign in the first season i came into the new season, with hope of improving my final standing position. A relocation in stadium was also in order this season as the board was expanding the stadium by 7,000 seats, although i cant see the "local" part in relocating to Coventry.

The fixture computer wasn't kind to me for the start of the season, within the first six game i played Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and my "bogey" team Wigan Athletic. Out of those six games i was hoping to get around 7-10 points, i came out of them games with eight points but in the process i took my worst career defeat, to Manchester United at Old Trafford loosing 6-2 this filled me with dread for the rest of the season, loosing to relegation candidates and getting thumped by title contenders.

Unlike last year my home form was a lot better than my away form, i would like to say thats because we were actually playing away from home, but i am assuming that has nothing to do with it. At home i collected 37 points and that would of seen me finish in 7th place, interestingly Newcastle finished 3rd on there home form with 6 more points than me. They then ended the season finishing 9th getting the fourth worst away record in the League. My away form got me 29 points, meaning i would of finished third in league, that combined with my home form collected me 66 points leading me to finish here.


A very good season with 66 points which would have got my 5th last season, an increase of 13 points and 2 League positions on the previous. A Champions League Qualifying place secured on goal difference ahead of Tottenham, the 8-1 thrashing of Chelsea on there own turf on the last day of the season certainly helped my cause. The good run that helped me reach my final position started ironically against my "bogey" team Wigan Athletic on the 11th January 2014 beating them 2-0 away from home, Alberto Paloschi scoring a brace for my first ever goals against the Greater Manchester team. From then onto the end of the season, the eighteen games i played domestically resulted in twelve victories, one draw and five losses. Most notable wins came on the last day against Chelsea and another crushing victory away at Goodison Park beating Everton 6-2. Just as good as those wins were there came some embarrassing defeats against Manchester City, Sunderland and most notable away to Watford loosing 2-0.

Overall a great run of form in the latter half of the season was what got me to my final League position, i was hoping for a Europa League spot but a Champions League place is even better. On a side note Liverpool have been relegated, after having sacking two manager they are currently managed by Mr Ian Holloway, who has guided the club down to the championship and pretty successfully aswell. Its always nice to see a team of that stature to get relegated, purely for the fun of the game. There financial status is now very insecure and i can only assume that there better players will be snapped up during the summer and they will regain some money and get back on a stable footing. Will be interesting to see how they fair in the NPower Championship.

Season Rating 8.5/10

Budwiser FA Cup

After an extremely poor first season in this cup competition this was the season to progress further. Well once again that wasn't to be the case, loosing in the 3rd round to Leicester City 1-0 at home. A game in which i dominated from start to finish, creating more chances having more possession but failing to score more goals than the Foxes. Another disappointing campaign.

Cup Rating 0/10

Capital One Cup

After the heartache of loosing on penalties in the final last season i had unfinished business to take care of. This seasons run of games saw me start away to Crewe Alexandra with a 3-1 win. It was bound to happen in one of the cup competitions this season, playing the team that were allowing us to share there stadium. Both sets of home fans filled the stadium full to witness the co-inhabitants take the win 2-0. After two lower league opponents came the big boys, Everton at home. Another packed out Ricoh Arena was this time disappointed to see West Bromwich Albion get knocked out of this cup on penalties, again! 1-1 after extra time it went to penalties in which Peter Odemwingie and Alberto Paloschi missed giving them a 4-3 win in the shoot out.

Cup Rating 6/10


Domestically it was a brilliantly successful season, finishing fourth and way above where i expected to end up. Alberto Paloschi finished the season top goal scorer in the League in his first season in the division.


My loan signings proved brilliant competition for the rest of the squad and when brought on or into the team played rather well, Paul Pogba particularly impressed me. Although the Cups didn't go as well as planned i feel that may well have helped our brilliant latter half of the season, not that i would like to fall out of them in future years.

Next season will be a lot tougher, bringing in the quality of player that will be able to play in Europe will be difficult. I feel the current squad would only just be able to hold itself in a weak Champions League group, so my scouts will be out in force. A finishing position of 1st to 8th would again be respectable but i would also like a bit of silverware to add to the cabinet and my CV.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone

I recently bought the new FM i really like it played my first season as west bromwich albion got a respectable league finish of 11th then in the second season was really struggling 3rd from bottom in novemeber then they sacked me. Am just going to start a new game again as west bromwich albion and am just looking for general help and tranfer tips as they have given me 6million to spend.

thanks in advace.

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Been playing as WBA after I left my New York job after 6 months. This was in October 2016 when they were back in the Championship and sitting 11th. Ended that season winning the Championship by 4 points with two games to go :D

First season back up we just survived. Ended up with 44 points which saved me. Three or four games left, I was looking pretty hopeless. Won my last three matches to get me over the line. 2018/19 season was excellent, narrowly missing out on 4th.

December 2019/20. Currently sitting 1st. Amazing run of results

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Hi everyone, started a WBA save and have started well. El- ghanassy is fantastic for me. playing 4-2-3-1. What have people found is the best role for shane long? I've got him as advanced forward (targetman ticked-run onto ball), but he's not scoring-Morrison in the hole and el-ghanassy are getting my goals at the moment. Thanks

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