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3 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

At least the board and fans seem happy enough

They ought to be ecstatic with that start. Good to see Alan Judge still getting it done.

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4 minutes ago, warlock said:

They ought to be ecstatic with that start. Good to see Alan Judge still getting it done.

Cheers, yeah. The jury is still out on some of them, but the form shown by Judge delivers a simple verdict.

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I was going to post an update tonight, but it'll wait until tomorrow, I think. Big changes, new save... after rage-quitting after I lost to Wigan I replayed it a couple of times and won convincingly both times :rolleyes:. So that save was dead to me (house rule: no scumming). So I took your advice and fired up a Brentford save which, remarkably, I'm enjoying a lot. Seem to have lucked into a tactic that works perfectly with the squad. All will be revealed in time :lol:.

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3 minutes ago, robterrace said:

I get this. :(

Former players just can't keep quiet. Very occasionally I've been asked a question by the press that allows me to deliver a slapdown, but I'd like the option more often.

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3 minutes ago, warlock said:

I was going to post an update tonight, but it'll wait until tomorrow, I think. Big changes, new save... after rage-quitting after I lost to Wigan I replayed it a couple of times and won convincingly both times :rolleyes:. So that save was dead to me (house rule: no scumming). So I took your advice and fired up a Brentford save which, remarkably, I'm enjoying a lot. Seem to have lucked into a tactic that works perfectly with the squad. All will be revealed in time :lol:.

Nice, pleased to hear that you're buzzing abut The Bees.  

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9 minutes ago, warlock said:

I was going to post an update tonight, but it'll wait until tomorrow, I think. Big changes, new save... after rage-quitting after I lost to Wigan I replayed it a couple of times and won convincingly both times :rolleyes:. So that save was dead to me (house rule: no scumming). So I took your advice and fired up a Brentford save which, remarkably, I'm enjoying a lot. Seem to have lucked into a tactic that works perfectly with the squad. All will be revealed in time :lol:.

I enjoyed my save on the Beta with Brentford. Theres something about them.

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1 minute ago, robterrace said:

Theres something about them.

In my experience of the last couple of FMs, that something would be 'Injuries' :lol:. I don't know what they put in the water, but it definitely causes brittle bone disease.

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First time I've ever really felt hooked with an EFL save, normally I either go straight to the Prem with a midtable club or I take on the lower tiers elsewhere. Been looking at this save for a while though and finally got into it this season after seeing the transfer business they did this past summer. They've got a lot of potential, but not a lot in the way of attention this year!

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Shrewsbury Town F.C. ~ 2019/20

The starting squad is... interesting. The main issue is a dire lack of wingers, which definitely didn't fly with my preferred 4-3-3:

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Even after bringing in a little help, I essentially had the same front three for every match when healthy. That said, there are definite strengths. The CBs are absolute beasts, and made it easier to cope with the 5-3-2 I used to stick out the first half of the season. The central midfield is also quite strong and has phenomenal depth (almost too deep tbh), and up top Jason Cummings is a phenomenal player for this level. As a result...

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We started off sketchy, but took well enough to my slapdash 3-back system to hang around midtable. We rang in the new year with a crazy hot streak though, benefited in part by bombing out of the cup competitions earlier and reducing our focus. Despite a couple injury crises (one of which ended our streak when our wingbacks dropped like flies), we clawed our way up and clinched promotion with a match in hand. Cummings went on an absolute tear in the second half of the season, while Sean Goss (contracted as a fringe player for reasons I can't fathom) is also attracting attention from a myriad of Championship clubs. I'm desperate to hold onto both, but a well-deserved new contract for the latter should stave off all the suitors lining up for my key playmaker and set-piece wizard.

With the first season window off, the only transfers I made for 19/20 were a West Ham loanee who can play either wingback position, and a Portuguese winger listed for next to nothing by Tondela. I did nab a couple youngsters (from Wolves and Hoffenheim) on frees with their contracts expiring this summer, but both are really just with the hopes of developing and selling for profit. Hoping I can properly flesh out my staff and clear out some of the old chaff in this squad to help fund our consolidation efforts; there's a couple players due south of the Channel listed for :eek: prices that I'm desperate to lock down. Not got my hopes up on them, but we'll see...

Side note: Lincoln going up to complete this bizarre trio of promoted teams is made further incredible by the fact that they only nabbed 6th place because Sunderland AND Portsmouth lost to midtable clubs on the final day, while the Imps beat up on Rochdale 5-0 to draw even with Sunderland on GD and edge them on the goals scored tiebreaker! That's one for the Netflix series right there...

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45 minutes ago, HaphazardHawlucha said:

First time I've ever really felt hooked with an EFL save

Comes to us all (if we have the good taste) :D

46 minutes ago, HaphazardHawlucha said:

we clawed our way up and clinched promotion with a match in hand

Awesome! Please keep us updated with your exploits in the Championship. Incidentally, Sunderland and Portsmouth are perennial disappointments under AI management (at least, in my experience).

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Started a save with Sunderland, finished well clear at the top of League One in season one, then finished mid-table in the Championship season two. Getting little backing from the board transfer wise so can't see us making a promotion push in season three, I think it'll be another season of consolidation.

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Notts County 2020/21

So the first half of the campaign has come and gone, the winter window has shut and we've managed to add a bit of strength to our squad to see us through until the end of the season,

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As you can see, we managed to strengthen our defence and midfield with Tom Carroll and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (both on a free) as well as the front line with 2 loan signings.

The major shock in the window was Watford offering a staggering 2m upfront (with 1.4m in clauses and a 50% sell on fee) for a newgen we nabbed on a free in the summer in Abdoulaye Paye.

Paye made a handful of appearances for us in the first half of the season (due to injuries) and managed to grab a couple of goals. Couldn't turn down that offer though so off he went.

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As for the season so far, well, as you can see, it's going rather well! We sit top going into the run in with a healthly cushion over 4th placed Aldershot (who came up with us last season).

We've hardly set the league on fire though. Our forwards have struggled all season, luckily goals have come from all over the pitch, which has been very handy! 

With the board only wanting us to avoid relegation (which we've done) I'm more than happy with how it's gone. If we can push on and get promoted this season all the better!

Game of the season so far has to be the 3rd round FA cup tie at home to Spurs

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We looked dead and buried after 15 mins and I honestly thought it would be a cricket score come end of 90 mins. Few tactical tweaks at HT though and we came out all guns blazing in the 2nd half and almost took them to a replay.

Had to field 2 youth players in the game due to injuries, Taylor Blackman is only 16 and a CB but all 4 of our RB's were out injured for the match.  Pretty pleased with how we responded in the 2nd half though.

Our finances are also looking very healthy as well. What with the cash we generated in pre season from friendlies, TV & gate revenue from 2 FA cup ties at home and the deal for Paye we're set for a few years!

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So, not a bad start to life back in L2. Now time to push for an auto promotion spot and go from there.

This will be our starting XI for the rest of the season (switch to cautious away from home).

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Next update hopefully we'll be preparing for life in L1, unless the wheels some how manage to fall half! :lol:

 

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Brentford: season 1, Christmas

The Bees are something of a curiosity in modern football. After growing tired of having their best youngsters snapped up by PL clubs for peanuts, they scrapped their youth academy and turned to a Moneyball approach of buying young players from lower leagues (and abroad), developing them for a year or two, and then selling them for a large profit. Although it's not my usual method of playing FM, I'm happy to give it a go - even though it means accepting large fees for my most important players. In real life, Brentford seem happy to accept mid-table finishes, which permits the playing of untested young players. In FM, the board want playoff football, which means I'm more inclined to go with proven ability. It will make for an interesting save.

At the start of the save, the squad has some big holes: we're short of one CB (with Mads Bech Sorensen injured for the early months), one LB, one RB, and a couple of central midfielders. Up front, things are a little more complicated. Brentford have only one recognised striker in Nikos Kerelis, but also boast Ollie Watkins and new signing Bryan Mbeuno who are natural AMs in FM but also very capable of playing a striker role. Given the playing personnel, some kind of 433 shape looks inevitable. As for the tactic itself, although the 433 won me promotion with Birmingham, I was never really happy with my own versions. Having seen people on the forums and various FM-related blogs having great success using the preset systems in the tactics creator, I picked the one I liked the look of (vertical tiki-taka) and off we went.

Transfers

The club raised around £30m from summer sales, and spent around £25m bringing in a host of bargain signings. Which left £5m and a little surplus in the wage budget to set about filling those aforementioned holes. Since some of the transfer budget would inevitably have to be allocated for wages, I quickly decided that the loan market would be the preferred route. First signings were two rotation options in central midfield: James Garner from Man Utd, and Matty Longstaff from Newcastle. To back up Rico Henry at LB, i returned to Old Trafford and picked up Brandon Williams. I was ambivolent about the RB position: first choice Henrik Dalsgaard was fine, but for backup I only had Josh Clarke, who has been operating as a makeshift RB but is an out-and-out winger by nature. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a better choice, so - with some reluctance - decided to go with the status quo. To fill the temporary hole at CB, I promoted youngster Luka Racic from the u23s until Sorensen recovered.

Match results

Nothing short of remarkable! Not only did the preset vertical tiki-taka work, it fitted the squad like a glove. I'm not entirely comfortable with it - there are far too many TIs for my liking - but it's working so well I'm reluctant to tinker with it. The one change I did make was to tone down the pressing and tackling, adding my usual 'stay on feet' TI after we picked up a bunch of yellows and two reds early on. Usually, I can go a whole season without a single red card.

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The Carabao Cup defeat on penalties against Swansea was a disappointment (and the board have never let me forget it). Set against that, some fantastic performances in the league saw us pushing a rampant Leeds at the top of the table. A disappointing loss to Forest was quickly put behind us as we continued to rack up the points.

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As autumn turned to winter, the strain began to tell and the injuries started to mount. Although we've never had a real injury crisis, I've never once been able to field my strongest team, as all of my key players have suffered injuries from 3 to 8 weeks in a steady procession. And there was not much Christmas cheer when both of my RBs were missing with injuries and we had to play CB Julian Jeanvier out wide, which left us vulnerable on that side.

Perhaps the biggest development of the season so far was the departure of Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa to West Ham in November. Leeds had lost only one league game to that point - under new manager Sam Allardyce they lost 3 of their 6 games in December and gifted us the top spot in the division.

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We have the best attack with 55 goals scored, and the second-best defence with 21 goals conceded. While Ollie Watson leads the scoring charts, Benrahma and Karelis have 11 and 10, respectively. Playmaker Mathias Jensen leads the assist chart with 9. Generally, the first-choice 11 have performed at a fantastic level. Special mention for Josh Clarke, who made me eat my doubts about his ability at RB to claim the highest average rating so far. The only real disappointment has been Matty Longstaff, who just hasn't performed at anything like the level expected, and I'll almost certainly end his loan in January.

Edit to add: Just noticed, I've played one more game since I took those pix - a 3-2 win against Millwall - which accounts for the difference in stats between the image and the text.

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On 19/12/2019 at 15:20, Barnetfan said:

Recommend you take a look at Malik Batmaz, I bought him from Karlsruhe for 300k. He plays as a striker but as all the attributes to be trained as an attacking midfielder. Before I left Lincoln to take the Everton job I rejected an offer of 3.5 million from Norwich, only 19 at the start of the game so plenty of potential.

 

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@Fubz Great business there with Paye, and heartening to see Notts on such sound financial footing! Hopefully you keep that group effort up with the goal-scoring, but that cushion over 4th and below is mighty nice. Kinda got my fingers crossed Aldershot stay up there too, would be insane to see both promoted clubs do the double up to L1!

@warlock Will do! Netted my main transfer targets to boost the attack, so it's just a matter of bringing it onto the pitch. I feel like this year I've seen Sunderland either crush L1 or completely falter with hardly any in-between... which somehow makes sense. 

Wonderful start, especially considering the odd depth of the club you had to begin with. Nice that Big Sam was spreading some holiday merriment to you lot as well! Badly needed it sounds like. Have always had a soft spot for Brentford though, and it looks like you've established a nice core group to rely on, especially if you hold your lofty position through the end of the season.

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@HaphazardHawlucha Yeah, crazy price for him with the sell on fee. He has the potential to be a very good striker just lacks pace for the Prem so surprised they paid that much for him (was only valued at 37k!). Just finishing up the 2nd season, without throwing too much spoilers in before I post later on Aldershot missed out on automatic promotion on the final day by missing a 92nd min pen. Rooting for them in the play-offs, even if they are my bogey team on this save (beat me 3 times out of 4 :lol:).

 

Got my eye on this lad at the moment, looks very good for the lower leagues

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Can pick him up for around 120k, just not interested in joining me right now.

 

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The season I'm in now, the 2022/23, has the Qatar World Cup, so, we started less than 6 weeks after the end of our last season.

On the same day that we signed Alexis Sanchez (who, has been a bit of a dead ball specialist for us, swinging freekicks in from the left wing, a couple of which have been headed in by the first attacker, but others go in with the following up player), we completed deals for a youngster from the Welsh League who will offer us something in the future.

Young full back, Aaron Ferguson had been at TNS, and had come onto our radar during a loan spell at Barry Town last season. A physical specimen, he can go up and down the wing all day, but needs some work on the technical aspects of the game. 

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Our first choice right back, Alpha Dionkou has gone down with a hamstring injury, and is set to miss a few games, so, Ferguson may get his chance soon.

In terms of performances, we have drawn far too many games so far, which has seen us sitting 6th as a result.

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Several signings have been made, in preparation for the opening of the transfer window, in January, the key one being young winger, Amadou Traore from Lille.

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He will come in as a potential replacement for Tom Barkhuizen, who has attracted scouts from the lower half of the Premier League with his performances this season, but, should the South African not leave, the competition for places hots up.

Arriving from Cork City, will be full back Darren Murphy. Philip Heise, who was our backup left back, departed in August to Heidenheim for £2m, and Murphy was a player that had appeared on scout reports as a possible replacement.

He has gone from strength to strength this season, playing in Europe for his club side, and breaking into the Irish U21 squad.

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Another U21 player arriving, albeit, a Northern Irish U21, is Christopher Ferguson, from Cliftonville.

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Also coming over from the Emerald Isle, Northern Irish youth international, Joel Hegarty.

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The last youth signings we're making this coming window (and, that should also be our transfer activity complete, pending any outgoing transfers), are a player from French Guiana, who is a bit of a risk, and a young Austrian striker, who may have something about him.

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Neveu came to light when I was watching a Barbados player in a match, and he ran the game and scored the winner. I was unable to scout him, so based the signing on the couple of other international matches I watched. Hes a risk, but, he may work out.

 

Austrian youngster Robert Huth is also on his way from Bergenland in the Austrian Junior leagues.

He has decent mental and physical attributes where needed, and can afford a little bit of time to 'grow' into his new club.

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Lastly, in 'Duffywatch', he missed the first few games due to injury, but seems to have found his stride a bit now.

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Notts County 2020/21

End of season review

Finally finished off season 2 on this save and what a season it's been!

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What those pictures don't tell you is the way in which we did it. We started off slow to adjust to league football again, sitting 7th in Oct then came the run of our lives!

A 29 game unbeaten run (stretching all the way back to a cold night in October) ensured we achieved back to back promotions (and 100 point seasons I might add!).

Also, spare a though for Aldershot, who came up with us last season and missed a 92nd min pen in the last game of the season to cost them promotion!!

6 of our players got into the team of the season and Regan Booty again got voted as our player of the season.

The only worry I have for next season though now is our front 3. At times during the season they struggled and our midfield carried us (shout out to Jack Clarke!!).

Our board have got ahead of them selves as well it seems (carried away with our success on the pitch by the looks of things) and our new club vision for next season is as follows....

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So no pressure there then eh?!

I guess they've added in the style based on how we've played past 2 seasons. That's fine, that mid table finish could prove trickier than it looks though!

I have a lot of thinking to do during the summer, need reinforcements through out the team if we are to achieve the boards goals next season

Watch this space I guess.........:ackter:

 

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Hello. Having been off the boil in both FM18 and FM19 I am back and hope to add something to this topic once more. I've read a lot of your posts and it's great to see this topic still being one of (if not) the most popular on the forums. :thup:

Having moved to Cumbria in September I have decided to take charge of the only professional football club in the county; Carlisle United. It was a toss up between Carlisle and Leyton Orient (given they're predicted to finish 24th) however I have gone for the 'local' option. 

I will keep you up to date with my progress and also look forward to reading and commenting about everyone else.  

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Good to have you back @Gunner 101 and good luck with Carlisle. I managed them in L2 a few years ago, and think it's a great pick for you. Thomas and Branthwaite should be decent and you have a nice stadium capacity to fill.

@HaphazardHawlucha I really like the Shrewsbury squad, was always going to be a club I will return to on this version. Great job on the promotion!

@warlock Excellent stuff with Brentford, I hope it continues to be enjoyable.

In other news, I killed my laptop with a hot drink the other night and lost everything (and a lot of really important stuff too). Sadly that means Ipswich will have to survive without me. On the plus side, I bought a new laptop today and will be searching for a new club.

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1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

In other news, I killed my laptop with a hot drink the other night and lost everything

:eek: Sympathies - I did something similar with a glass of red wine a few years ago during a particularly exciting battle in Total War. Still, a new laptop is always fun. Hope the new save is as successful as the old.

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Thanks both! I’m excited to get started! Branthwaite definitely looks like he could be a great player so looking to see how he will develop. It’s a shame that Etuhu is out injured for 5-6 months from the start and he will need replacing. Other than that though the squad seems fairly decent with plenty of options all over the pitch. Not sure on my tactics yet but will reveal all once I update at the end of the transfer window. 
 

@Jogo Bonito Shame about the Ipswich save. Hopefully you get going again soon. Who haven’t you managed yet!? 

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I'm lining up a raid on Cambridge again.

At the end of the first season, I spotted a young Swedish midfielder with a few decent attributes, and brought him to Cambridge on a free. He needed to learn the game, and develop physically.

Hes developed physically since I've left Cambridge, however, hes not played in the first team there, and the scout reports coming back on him are pretty optimistic.

So, for £500k (£250k up front, plus some installments and a sell on), hes coming to me at the end of the season.

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I've also, thanks to a recommendation from my Argentinian U18 manager, got an Argentinian goalkeeper coming in. He has the potential to be a Jose Luis Chilavert type for me :D

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1 hour ago, Gunner 101 said:

Thanks both! I’m excited to get started! Branthwaite definitely looks like he could be a great player so looking to see how he will develop. It’s a shame that Etuhu is out injured for 5-6 months from the start and he will need replacing. Other than that though the squad seems fairly decent with plenty of options all over the pitch. Not sure on my tactics yet but will reveal all once I update at the end of the transfer window. 
 

@Jogo Bonito Shame about the Ipswich save. Hopefully you get going again soon. Who haven’t you managed yet!? 

Any tactic that allows you to play about four left-sided central defenders would suit your squad well! Good luck, looking forward to hearing how you get on.

There aren't many I haven't managed, and I have narrowed it down to about 20 contenders on my 'shortlist' so far :lol:

@warlock Thanks. No such excitement caused my incident - simply fell asleep holding said hot drink :herman:

Really doing well with Brentford, have a drink in all four pubs if you get promoted!

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24 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Really doing well with Brentford, have a drink in all four pubs if you get promoted!

Trouble is, I have to walk past another five pubs to get to the ground :lol:.

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Notts County 2021-22

Well, the summer window has closed on another season and our squad is starting to look ready to compete in L1.

A busy summer was always going to be on the cards after promotion as a lot of the squad were out of contract or just not ready to make the step up quite frankly.

We got given a huge budget for a club of our size (4.3m transfer, 75k wage) so I set about finding the right players for us going forward.

Meet the new boys!

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Steve Grant joins us from Dundee Utd for a fee of 135k. Been tracking this guy for over a year and very happy he's on our books. Could be our #1 for years to come.

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Actually tried to sign Duhaney on loan last season but he turned us down. Grabbed him on a free after his contract expired at Huddlesfield. Provides competition down the right for Mas.

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We chased Francisco all summer as I identified him as a top priority for us. Managed to finally get the deal done with hours left of the transfer window.

He cost us 600k (300K upfront, 300K over 3 years) with the deal rising to around 1.1m with add on's. A lot for a L1 side to fork out but worth a punt I think. He has a 5m release clause in contract though, only way he'd join!

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Sam joins us on a free from Man City & will fight it out to partner Francisco at the back.

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Another CB on a free, this time from City's neighbours. Again, will battle it out with Sam Robinson to partner Francisco this season.

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Deadline day loan signing after Joe Muscatt got injured for 3 months. Much needed cover at LB.

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Another newgen we've been scouting for a year. Doherty joins us for 70k from St. Johnstone. Think this could be a bargain for us in the long term even if some of his technical stats need work.

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Tavares joins us on a season long loan deal from Leicester. Unfortunately he picked up a 3-4 month injury just before window closed in training. Huge blow for us that as built midfield around him.

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Xande is another free transfer we've brought in this summer and will slot into the right hand side of our front 3. We needed some one there for a while and very happy we've got him in.

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Another newgen from Scotland. Mark Johnstone joins us from Kilmarnock for 115k. Currently retraining him to play wide left and will provide cover this season for Di Nolfo.

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Absolutely made up with this loan signing from West Ham. Honestly, he's started the season with a bang and can't wait to see what numbers he posts up by end of it. 

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Another loan signing rounds things off in Adam Idah from Norwich. We now have 3 quality ST's at the club fighting for one spot, which can only be a good thing!

 

As you can see, that's quite the overhaul to our 1st team, so naturally we've had to let a few players leave. The most notable from last season was Charlie Oliver, he joined Rotherham for 500k.

Overall very happy with the business we've done during the summer. These signings added to the likes of Booty, Mas, Clarke, Di Nolfo and Oualembo means we have our strongest (and youngest) squad since I've been here!

 

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@Fubz Looks like a great project you’ve got here. All the best for new season and hopefully the boys gel well. Be interesting how you manage to keep all 3 of your good strikers happy with playing time too. I always seem to struggle with that. 

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@Gunner 101 @Jogo Bonito Cheers! Yeah, have to admit I'm loving this save and project atm. When I first started the plan was to always move on after a few seasons but I've changed my mind. We have a certain system and style of play going that makes me want to stay around for the long haul and build a club DNA.

 

Finally got the board to agree to an U23 team this season as well so now I can kick start youth development even more (previously had to loan out players past 2 seasons to poor clubs). Trying not to set myself unrealistic goals (as when it fails it kills the save) but I reckon we could be (or should be) pushing for the Prem inside 4 years. Youth facilities here are woeful though, basic with a cat 4 youth rank so a lot of work is needed to push us where I want to be (producing our own talent as well as finding gems). Just the history around Notts County IRL (and with them getting relegated into non-league for 1st time in history last season) has made this so enjoyable. Not since the days of my Shakhtar save way back on '13 have I had this much fun at one club!

 

This is the start we've had to life in League One, early doors and team is a bit naive (bound to be with an average age of around 21) but the football we've been playing is a joy to watch! Long may it continue!! :cool:

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And the way we've lined up so far this season (tweak a few things in game now and then).

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I like the fact I put faith in the young newgens at the club and been rewarded ten fold, gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside! :lol:

The scary thing is, 5 out of the starting XI so far this season are under 19, with Xande being the senior figure in the team at 24! :kriss:

This lad has thrown a spanner in the works as well (in a good way). 

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Forced into playing him at start of season due to injuries at CB and never looked back. So that's my GK and both CB's that are newgens and just 17 3 years in! Who says you can't win any thing with kids (watch me crash and burn now I've said that!) :lol:

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Brentford: Season 1, May

Well, let's not beat about the bush - we won promotion, and I'm hugely disappointed.

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We carried our good form into the New Year. No changes in the transfer window, and the team were performing well. We put together an impressive mini run in the FA Cup, beating both Everton and Brighton handsomely. The home defeat to Boro was disappointing but looked like a minor blip. But in March, things took a turn for the worse...

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And our poor form just continued. At the beginning of April we had an 8pt advantage over Leeds; by the end of the month the lead was down to a single point. And the loss to Stoke was the killer, as we slipped to second place and never recovered. I can't pinpoint why... everyone who had performed brilliantly all season suddenly stopped. We couldn't defend and we struggled to score. In December Karelis had scored 11; by May he'd scored 14. It was a similar story for Benrahma. And while Watkins kept scoring through February, he only found the net once in our last 13 games. A similar measure of our decline is the performance of midfield creator Mathias Jensen: in the first half of the season he created 9 goals; in the second half he added just one more assist. And it doesn't look like the AI suddenly figured us out - we faced cautious and defensive teams all season long. The failings were ours, and I think we're lucky the season wasn't four games longer because I'm sure we'd have continued to decline and ended up losing in the playoffs.

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Much rebuilding required if we're to avoid an immediate return to the Championship next season.

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@warlock Having the exact same issues in my County save. Went from free scoring and exciting football to panic and despair in the space of a month. I know the problem with us though, it's the recruitment I did in the summer!. Although it sets us in good stead for the years to come if we carry on like we are I won't be here to reap the rewards! I even threw the older heads back into the team and they did even worse (one point both CB's went for the same ball out on the wing and tripped each other up, laughable). 

 

Hopefully the summer can fix the issues you've been having, I guess some times FM just has one of those days. For example, lost 4 on the bounce last night without scoring a goal, played one game this morning (same side, no tactical tweaks, same poor morale) and won 6-0! :lol:

It's why we love this game though right? Both addicting and frustrating in equal measures.

Edited by Fubz
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This young lad is ridiculous. 

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Accepted an offer of £15m for him, and he turned down the move. Accepted £18m a fortnight later, and he turned down the move again.

Its probably going to take nearer £25m to get him to go :)

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@robterrace I guess the young lad loves the night life in Preston! :lol:

 

On the subject of ridiculous

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Only just hit December and he's hit 28 goals in the league already!! We've only scored 48 in total, definition of being carried!

Don't remember me ever having a striker this good that wasn't a regen on any FM, if he gets injured we're in big trouble! :lol:

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10 hours ago, warlock said:

Brentford: Season 1, May

Well, let's not beat about the bush - we won promotion, and I'm hugely disappointed.

Much rebuilding required if we're to avoid an immediate return to the Championship next season.

You may have stumbled across the line, but congrats anyway. It won't matter who won the league, Next season you and Leeds are both there, and both starting on zero points.

Of course, you might well be  about to enjoy one of those  years a lot of us hate, a second tier side trying to avoid a weekly bashing at the hands of the established teams. You may need to be visiting those pubs a bit more frequently! Thinking about it, will you be in your new stadium?

I think I have found my new club, which is going to be taken on in 'create a club' mode. I wanted to remove virtually all pre-season transfers the club made (and the mode automatically terminates all the loans) so that I can take on the challenge with the pretty blank canvas their real manager had in the summer. The new signings will mainly replicate the kind of player and nationality this club had in slightly better times, with some strict transfer criteria applied keeping the signings fairly modest and pretty realistic. Disappointingly, the club logo I saved and tried to put across appears not to have worked but it took hours to get to this point so I will just have to ignore the monstrosity that will show up. This mode was the only way I really fancied taking this team on, so hope that won't be seen as cheating.

Edited by Jogo Bonito
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50 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

You may have stumbled across the line, but congrats anyway

Cheers :thup:. Having slept on it, I'm in a better frame of mind. The squad is close to where we need to be to survive - pretty solid at the back, decent in centre-mid, strong in the AM department. I need a better RB - Josh Clarke was good going forward but a bit of a liability in defence, and we'll be doing a lot more defending in the PL, I think. As ever, the big requirement is for a dependable striker - either an out-and-out goalscorer, or a creative type who can help get more out of Watkins and Benrahma. I'll also need a backup keeper to Raya, and - if I'm being greedy - a different kind of option in CM where everyone wants to play DLP.

Your new save sounds intriguing, and I wouldn't consider it cheating unless you've stuffed the side with wonderkids :lol:. I've been interested in Create-a-club since it was introduced but the first couple of times I dabbled with it I lost the will to continue. Just so much setting up and fiddling with small details. Looking forward to the big reveal.

Edit: Yes, we'll be in the new stadium for the start of the new season :thup:

Edited by warlock
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Good luck with your transfer business @warlock, I agree the defence and top striker will probably be the key areas for you.

I tried create a club with Rangers in FM 20, signing a few Scots and other players I wanted to manage from other parts. Might re-visit that again after the big re-install i was forced to do for my new laptop. 

You're right, it takes hours and hours to get the squad sorted! I've not signed any wonder kids at all (at Rangers I could have had Haaland, Fati and other similar stars within budget, but deliberately didn't). For my new club, the focus is on players from the same region of the UK (the only domestic signings allowed) and from countries where they have good history of recruiting from the past. I am off out now, but will post more later. 

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7 hours ago, Fubz said:

@robterrace I guess the young lad loves the night life in Preston! :lol:

Must do. To be honest, I need him to go, as the money from the sale will cover my 'warchest' for next season.

Although, if Stephen Duffy keeps up this form, he may go for a silly price.

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Getting offered a new contract which, gives me 2 seasons to get promoted after this season is also fun.

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And, since I told him to start placing his shots, Duffy is a bit unstoppable :D

 

 

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@robterrace Congrats on the new contract, 2 years is a decent time frame to try and get yourself promoted.

 

Just hit Jan transfer window in season 3 and we've managed to steady the ship and get back to doing what we do best, over run teams!

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Considering how young our 1st XI is (average age of back 4 is 19) I'm more than happy with how we responded to a mini dip in form at start of season. One of the main reasons we are where we are is Ademipo Odubeko, he's a step above every one in L1!!

Also, we've managed to pick up some more promising youth players (our scouting has been unreal this past year) and, barring any departures (Jack Clarke, Tom Carroll & David Stockdale are unhappy) then we've pretty much wrapped up our business for the season.

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One of the main reasons we turned our form around was moving Regan Booty further forward into a playmaking role in midfield. This left us without a DM so we picked up Max Christiansen on free in October.

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Our scouts have been sending me back report after report on potential signings from The New Saints (Welsh Premier League side). Picked up for 5k, little on the small side for a GK but has the potential to play in the Prem according to scouts.

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Another gem our scouts found at The New Saints, joins us for 6k.

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Been keeping an eye on this lad for 18 months and finally bit the bullet and stumped up the cash for him. Cost us 675k (after add ons) which I think could prove to be the best piece of business we've done in past few years. Loads of Championship clubs were also looking at him so had to move quick to fend them off. Looks very solid all round and wouldn't look out of place in the Prem in a  few years I reckon.

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Finally, our squad how it looks going into second half season. As you can see it's a young, vibrant hungry squad with the start of the club's DNA taking shape. Long way to go as we've only just started, can't wait to see how some of these lads turn out tho! 

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So. 

A run of form that sees us only lose 3 games in the 2nd half of the season propels us into the Playoff places.

 

Last game of the season coming up.

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Made even more fun by this fixture...

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A 4-0 victory for us wasn't enough, as Brentford won at Doncaster, leaving us to play against Reading over 2 legs.

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A repeat of the last fixture of the season, with West Brom seeing off Forest over 2 legs. 

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We never really recovered from letting slip a 2-0 lead, and although Alan Browne scored a deserved equaliser, we ran out of steam.

 

Our player of the season, was Stephen Duffy, with 42 goals in 48 games (40 in the League), so, if we can keep hold of him in the summer, we stand a good chance of doing something next season.

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Honourable mentions to Noah Solskjaer and Alan Browne who were almost metronome like in the centre of midfield, with Caoimhin Kelleher keeping 19 clean sheets (and making a total of 227 saves) in his 48 appearances (including playoffs).

 

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@robterrace A great run and very unlucky to lose out in the PO final.

 

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An introduction to Bolton Wanderers

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For my next adventure, I've decided to take on the -12 points challenge of Bolton Wanderers in League 1

However, I wanted to go back in time and take the club on when they had just a handful of players early in the summer so I'm using 'create a club' mode

From this reasonably blank canvas, I have tried to remove the experienced players they signed towards the end of the transfer window (all loans were also terminated)

I've tried to keep nearly all of the youth players at the club, and will try to bring these through to the first team squad

My own recruitment strategy for the time being is based on two strict transfer philosophies

All  new domestic arrivals will only be from North West clubs (or free agents with history at a North West club)

In addition to this, overseas signings will be from countries where the club has previously enjoyed success with a player from the same location

I'm trying to get replacements on a par with some of the Bolton favourites of yesteryear - and I'm not particularly talking about the days of Big Sam as some pre-date that era

Where possible these players will be from the same country as somebody I remember from the past and will ideally play the same position & have a similar playing style

On the staffing front, I will also be trying to bring back some former Bolton players as part of my plan to strengthen the club's bond with the local community

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So far, I've made a couple of small signings compared to how I normally go, as most of my business has been setup for a bit.

In comes, perhaps a massive signing for the Championship, on a free, which allows me a little leeway with the wages.

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Also paid £300k, for this lad I was watching at the U20 World Cup.

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We also lose Jordan Storey, who heads off to the Premier League with newly promoted Bristol City for £8.75m, in to replace him, whilst the youngsters in my squad are getting experience, comes Uruguayan, Emiliano Velazquez. The 29 year old brings some experience to the backline alongside Ben Davies, and also has a bit of physicality as well. He fits the new club philosophy as well, which allows me to sign players up to 30 years of age, but still develop the youth.

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Another area we lacked in was in defensive midfield, as if Ben Pearson was out, it meant that Solskjaer had to drop back. The free transfer market was used again, with Montenegrin international Ilija Vukotic joining on a 4 year contract from Benfica. Again he offers a nice balance for the base of midfield, and also is good in the air if needed.

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That concludes the business for the summer, unless a stupid offer comes in for a player, or we're offered something special coming in.

 

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1 hour ago, Jogo Bonito said:

For my next adventure, I've decided to take on the -12 points challenge of Bolton Wanderers

Ah, all becomes clear. Will be interesting for sure :thup:.

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17 minutes ago, warlock said:

Ah, all becomes clear. Will be interesting for sure :thup:.

Cheers. To answer what we discussed before the signings from Carlisle, Accrington, Blackpool, Fleetwood, Wigan and Burnley reserves definitely did not include any wonder kids! And none of the new signings earn even £6000 per week (Murphy & Lowe are on more, but they were original squad members). I've played two pre-season friendlies, the first of which was at home to a full strength Bayern side featuring the likes of Muller, Coman and Lewandowski from the start :herman:

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@Joga Bonito Seems like a very interesting take on Bolton's plight, good luck.

 

Regan Booty for me on this save has been sensational from day one. So it was only a matter of time before a big club came sniffing around and that day has come......

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Been turning down bids from Fulham and Derby since December and he finally asked for a move :( 

Fulham have an offer that was accepted for around 2m as well so hopefully he wants to go to Leicester instead! :lol:

Will be a huge loss to us, team leader and the most consistent player here since I took charge. Just hope our new signing Jonas Hammerhei can fill the big man's shoes for rest of season.

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12 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Cheers. To answer what we discussed before the signings from Carlisle, Accrington, Blackpool, Fleetwood, Wigan and Burnley reserves definitely did not include any wonder kids! And none of the new signings earn even £6000 per week (Murphy & Lowe are on more, but they were original squad members). I've played two pre-season friendlies, the first of which was at home to a full strength Bayern side featuring the likes of Muller, Coman and Lewandowski from the start :herman:

Bolton has so much young talent, im currently doing a save with them. Ive packed my squad out with loans too.

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