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[FM20] SUNDERLAND 'TIL I DIE (sponsored by Joe AKA @FridayNightFM on Twitter). Containing lots of goals, (generally conceded), and hopefully some ridiculous long-range efforts conceded while Caoimhin Kelleher is off sight-seeing in the opposition half.


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Joe aka @FridayNightFM on Twitter, was inspired to manage Sunderland in FM20 after watching the recent series on Netflix. I must admit that I haven't watched it myself and unless this Lockdown boredom continues past the end of May, I probably won't bother either. Joe did well in his save and he got Sunderland promoted as Champions of the Championship during the 2020/21 Season. He then uploaded his save and laid a challenge down to all-comers. "Fancy keeping Sunderland in the Premier League?"

Being my usual flippant self i suggested that there might be a more important question that needed answering. :kriss:

What I was really thinking though was that this might be a perfect opportunity to see exactly how hard it is to not concede goals against really good opposition, when your GK is stranded up-field after smashing yet another free-kick straight into the defensive wall and the opposition are taking pot-shots from their own half. (See, this is looking like more fun than you expected already, isn't it!)

Like many others, I've been "Furloughed" from work at the moment and the idea of a single season managing a club that I haven't ever managed before, (and am quite unlikely to ever manage again), is at least a little interesting and will kill some time between me not doing much while stuck in the house and............ this Lockdown is eventually going to end at some point  right? And we are going to be allowed to go and watch proper football matches in actual real life and go to restaurants where other people cook our food and bring us alcohol? That is going to happen right? RIGHT? 

I don't know a lot about Sunderland, other than that they are the poor relations, (please don't be offended. Life is too short and none of this is serious), to Newcastle Utd, and that they are Mackems rather than Geordies

The previous Manager, Joe AKA @FridayNightFM has worked wonders in getting them promoted, (I have no idea if he's worked wonders but let's just go with it for the moment).


He has however relied heavily on loan players it seems. (Absolutely nothing wrong with that by the way). The loan players all played a significant role in getting the club into the Premier League and 4 out of the 5 are big names, (to me at least). 


Eddie Nketiah has had a phenomenal season, (which suggests that we won't be able to get him back again), surely Callum Hudson-Odoi shouldn't have been playing in the Championship anyway and Billy Gilmour somehow spent part of the 2019/20 season at Alloa in Scotland. :eek:

Apologies, I'm not very good at spelling, (but I bet you are paying more attention now than you were a minute ago). ;)

The other 2 loanees were the aptly named O'bafemi and Dominic Thompson who in all seriousness I have never heard of. (No, I really hadn't heard of him before and yes I can be serious sometimes). 

So some of the many questions to be answered are.....

  1. Will any/all of last seasons loanees come back again for another season? 
  2. Will Caoimhin Kelleher be the 1st choice GK come the start of next season?
  3. How did Eddie Nketiah play 48 games last season without being injured?
  4. Am I going to get banned for breaking the page with this thread title? :lol:
  5. Has Will Grigg ever really been on fire?
  6. With such undulating hills and natural beauty on show in Alloa, why did Billy Gilmour ever leave?
Edited by Jimbokav1971
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Lazy. Jun 2021

Some of you might be aware that I'm quite partial to a #YouthOnly save. The reality is that this started quite simply because I was too lazy to sift through pages and pages of scout reports and decided that there had to be another easier way to play the game. The problem with this however is that if you have really rubbish facilities at the club, then it's quite hard to get players through the Academy good enough to improve your First Team. Luckily for me, SI felt my pain and introduced a feature that I use FAR too much. 

Let's have a look at the DoF and see what he has to offer. (DoF is an abbreviation for Director of Football for anyone who doesn't know). 

Ok. So this is a problem. 


We don't have a DoF and at the moment the person responsible for suggesting players to sign is Chairman Lee Harding. Well that isn't going to work. 

I need him to sign a DoF and then I want the DoF to be in charge of instigating signings for First Team and Youth Team, but not negotiating deals or contracts. I want to do that. That way, he can keep suggesting players and I can just veto anyone that I think is a bit rubbish. 

As I have already mentioned though, I'm lazy and I can't be bothered to find a suitable DoF so I'm going to ask Mr Harding, (we're not on a first-name basis yet), to sign the new DoF.


The Chairman is now looking for a DoF and also a Technical Director. I have absolutely no idea what a Technical Director does, (seriously), and I would hazard a guess that this might be quite common. If you "know" what the SI defined job spec is for a Technical Director then please feel free to enlighten me.  

Before I move on though, we have an untapped resource that we are about to lose. If Mr Chairman is going to appoint a DoF than when he does I will no longer be able to ask his advice on who to sign, so why not have a little look and see what he suggests right now? 

I don't really know anything about our squad depth at the moment, but I know that loan players scored 67 goals last season, so a striker might be a decent place to start and we all love a striker right, (well everyone except @MerryGuido on twitter who is well worth a follow if you don't mind selling your soul to the devil. he does have some redeeming qualities though). 

So let's have a look at who our Chairman thinks we should sign up front? 

Despite being £10M in the red, we have a transfer budget of £30.7M, (there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way money is chucked about in Football), so let's have a look and see if there is anyone available on a free, and if so how good they are. You never know. 


Ok, so he doesn't know of any players that are available to sign on a free right now, but that's not really a surprise because it's Jun 2021, (so the end of the season), and we have just been promoted to the Premier League so it's quite hard to find a player that is going to be good enough for us and who isn't already with another club. 

That's not the end of it though. What about players who are coming to the end of their contracts? 


So Mr Chairman does have some football knowledge. I wouldn't usually been overly keen to sign ageing players like this, but this is a 1 season save and we are on a budget so let's not dismiss the idea out of hand just yet. 

I know about Jovetic and although he has some lovely PPM's I think he's weak physically. I don't think he's physical enough to play in the Premier league. 


Jay Rodriguez is a little better physically than Jovetic, and he's versatile too. If I was looking for a player to add depth to a team possibly playing in Europe for the 1st time and who need a deeper squad then maybe this is the type of player I might look for, but as we will be largely ignoring Cup games and will not be playing in Europe, I'm hoping that my 1st choice top end players will play a lot of games, (just as @FridayNightFM managed last season). 


Although I have heard of Rouwen Hennings I know very little about him. He has played in the Championship for Burnley, but it didn't go well. 


Again, he's a little lacking physically for me, although I do like his PPM's and personality. 


That's the 3 suggestions from the Chairman used up, but I can ask for more suggestions if I change the parameters a little. I didn't specify which role I wanted the striker to play in, so let's change things up a little and ask him to look for a TM, (I love the physicals remember). 


Harlem Gnohere (never heard of him), is a Frenchman at Steaua Bucharest. It's the same problem though that he is weak physically. He's also not even close to being a TM. 

Jordan Hugill is the 1st player the Chairman has suggested who is under 30, (it's a start), but in my mind he;s really not a TM, (much more of a PF), and either way just really isn't very good. He's better physically though and that's a step in the right direction. 

Strangely though, if I ask the Chairman to find me a DLF, then he comes back with Kostas Mitroglou who is 6'2" and the closest thing to a TM he has suggested so far. The problem is that he is old and slow. If we were playing in the Championship and I was looking to wheel him on off the bench then maybe he might be a limited option. He's not playing for me in the Premier League though. 


My usual tactic, (when I'm not trying to bully the opposition with enormous players in Wales), is to play a pair of AF's up front, so let's have a look and see what he can suggest in that area. 

Bobby Wood is an American playing in Germany and while he is the youngest so far at 28 years old, and better physically, he's also really limited mentally. There is no way he is sharp enough as a footballer to play for me in the Premier League. (Remind me about this later when I sign someone who is much worse!)


Charlie Austin was suggested when I asked for a Poacher, and despite the fact that he's now 31, and really lacking in pace, he does at least have some sort of goal-scoring pedigree. No though. The player needs to either have pace or needs to be an absolute beast in other areas. I'm not interested in signing a 31 year old Charlie Austin no matter that I quite like him in real life. (Sorry Chaz). It should also be said that I really don't the PPM "Plays with back to goal". Even when I have had a beast of a TM I think it limits his involvement.

So the Chairman didn't have any good suggestions for freebies or players who's contract is expiring, but I wonder if he has his eye on any cash purchases?


Arthur Cabral is decent, but he's not £11M decent when you only have £30M to spend. 

Jordan Ayew is the best we have been shown so far, and as he is still at Palace who lost in the Playoff Final to dirty Leeds, so they might be interested in cashing in on him as they spend another season in the Championship. Is Jordan Ayew going to score enough goals to keep us up though? No, probably not. 

Eduardo Vargas is the 1st player that has really interested me. :thup: I really like the aesthetics of some of his PPM's and he is better physically that everyone else that the Chairman has shown me. All I know about him comes from watching the World Cup. I have added him to my shortlist though and he is certainly an option as a possible transfer target. 


It's quite possible that my new DoF, (whoever it is), would have come up with some of the same players or even better players, but there is no guarantee of that. Because this information will no longer be available once the DoF is signed, I'm going to quickly, (or not very quickly at all is probably more accurate), go through his other suggestions and will let you know about anyone that interests me. 

Jozo Simunovic is a centre-half currently without a club after leaving Celtic. While he is a little limited I think he could provide us with some much needed depth and is FREE!

Gaëtan Bong is a left-back who's contract is expiring. I want my full-backs to attack, but the reality is that it's probably far more important that they can defend. 

Cyrus Christie looks a decent right back. Better than decent actually. 

Tosin Adarabioyo looks like a centre-half who could give me pleasure and pain in equal measure. I REALLY like him though. 


Sofiane Boufal looks decent and Cédrick reminds me of a rubbish Adama Traore, (so Adama Traore from last season then!)

I'd love to sign Hulk, but he is 34 now and just not physically up to it. 

So, now that I've picked the brains of the Chairman, (he did ok actually), I will have a look at the squad and then think about pressing continue for the 1st time. 

Edited by Jimbokav1971
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We only really have 1 decent GK and even if he's possibly not quite up to Premier League standard, he is the focal point of this save and will remain 1st choice. 


@FMAcidphire2185 asked me on twitter the other day what I look for when selecting a GK to take my free-kicks and penalties and the truth is that I don't. I select someone to play in goal and whoever that is gets to takes free-kicks and penalties. 

That being said, there are things that I look at. 


Once you have looked at the Free Kick Taking and Penalty Taking attributes..... completely ignore them. They are completely and utterly worthless. They mean absolutely nothing at all, and as far as Penalty Taking goes, this also goes for outfield players too. This attribute has absolutely no impact whatsoever on the outcome of penalties. It doesn't impact on whether the penalty taker will hit the target rather than firing wide or over, (never mind about being saved). It's cosmetic. It means nothing. 

Technique is different. I think technique is significant. 


I also think that composure is significant. Not as significant as morale, but significant all the same. 


In my mind at least, I think that penalty taking is far more a mental challenge than a physical or technical one. You think of the likes of Bruce Grobbelaar or to my mind at least, Paul Cooper of Ipswich who was the 1st proper penalty saving GK, (he saved 5 out of 7 penalties faced in the 1978/79 season and  8 of 10 penalties faced in the 1979/80 season). More recently Tim Krul made a name for himself saving penalties for the Dutch National side, before saving 2 in the same game against Man Utd last year. 

So personality, (and insight into hidden attributes), and morale, (a very visible indication of how a player is feeling), are obvious indicators to how a player might perform, and I have also seen @OfficiallyTeach on Twitter change a penalty taker based on body language feedback, (although he spends more time driving cars than managing football teams now). There is a lot of information available to you, even if the most obvious info can be misleading. 

Either way, whoever plays in goal for me takes the penalties and 3 out of the 4 options at free-kicks, (but more on that later). 

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Set-piece instructions


The save I inherited has these 3 players set as penalty takers. They scored 4 from 4 between them last season. 


Despite that, the only way one of them will be taking a penalty this season is if they are on a hat-trick and ignore my instructions. (Just for the record, I think there is very little chance in any of our players scoring a hat-trick this season). 


when I first started doing this, (scoring goals with GK's), I used to let the GK take all penalties and free-kicks. Back in FM14 there weren't multiple free-kick options. Your GK either took them or didn't take them.

Now though, there are a few different options. 

21f2c266ae7ab3d59c9f49884baef9ac.png My GK's take these. :thup:

3356939718438e39a5dfa4025641fdd0.png My GK's take these. :thup:

1e0cedcbd7651d9a1ea5089e155d413a.png My GK doesn't take these. :thdn:

3ff9910c5c3780f83ce5e8e724f03298.png My GK's take these.  :thup:

When the system changed, I used to struggle at conceding goals from free-kicks taken from wide positions. The GK could never get back in time and we found it harder to recycle the ball during subsequent phases. I was able to put a system in place which means that I very rarely if ever concede from the other 3 types of free-kick, but the delivery from wide seemed to stretch us and it was something I was never able to resolve. I was happy with this until recently, but just this season, (it's 2035 in Wales where I'm managing in my own save), I have started to see free-kicks being taken and scored from wide positions, but they are not being taken by my GK, (as per instructions). 

While I'm considering letting my GK take these free-kicks in Wales, I don't think it's sensible in this save. 


My general strategy, (and I must point out that I was inspired by @FMRensie), is pretty simple when I think about it. 

1. I overload the opposition defensive areas so that there are more attacking options and this gives the defending team questions of who to to defend against, and in what areas, and who with. 
2. I think about the attacking strengths of our team and I put them in a position in which they are most likely to be able to make use of their attacking strengths. 
3. I then think about the delivery and where as my initial strategy was short and then hit far post, I am now absolutely sold on a direct long-throw delivery. The main reason for this seems to be that where as crossing is influenced by the technical ability of the player, long-throws seem to not be influenced at all by the long-throw attribute, (and the "possesses long flat throw PPM seems to be largely irrelevant). 


My general strategy here, (and again I must point out that this was created after the same "set-piece article" by @FMRensie), is again pretty simple. It's about having the players in the positions in which they are most likely to be able to profit from it, and then work out how you get the ball in to the most dangerous area. Forget for a minute which player takes the corner. Just completely ignore it as irrelevant, (because in my opinion it is and I let the AI decide), and instead think about what your players are likely to look like, (because this is a tactic/strategy that for me anyway needs to be able to picked up and moved from team to team no mater what their physical or technical abilities. 

1. The chances are that the player most likely to win a header in or around the 6 yard box is a centre-back. 
2. You might also have a striker that is good in the air, (remember that they have to win the ball before we think about the effectiveness of the header), so he is another option, and he importantly will be considered a serious threat by the opposition.  I used to have him stand on the GK, (and that was pretty effective back in the day with a big lumbering brute), but not so much in recent issues. The "Pomo", as it is described below, suggests that this back post area is key. That's where my best aerial striker will be positioned. 


3. You have a 2nd centre-half. This bloke might not be as athletic or as powerful at the 1st centre-half or the striker that is good in the air, but he doesn't have to be. The chances are that the opposition centre-backs will be picking up options 1 & 2, (or marking zonally), so this slightly lesser light, might actually be much more of a significant threat because everything is relative and your 3rd best option to attack the ball might be significantly better than the defending teams 3rd best option to defend it. 

4. I remember reading a story about Big Sam Allardyce and it was back in his Bolton days and well let me see if I can find it...... It was from lone of The Secret Footballer books and I had read about it before elsewhere. To me though, forget defending a corner. If you know whereabouts the ball is likely to land, then the corner isn't over because you have the chance to win the ball and convert from 2nd phase. So where as I see lots of people putting a DM lurking on the edge of the area at attacking corners, this isn't for me. No, if the bigger aerial threat striker is forward, (more on where in a minute), his striking partner will always be asked to lurk for me. From there he can really attack the ball and either strike 1st time or just run with the ball while everyone else is static.


5. We have 2 centre-backs going forward, we will assume that both full-backs stay back, and that one of the wide players is taking the corner. We need to ask ourselves what do we do with who is left? There will be nobody else staying back with the 2 full-backs, so we have effectively 1 wide player and 2 central players with no instructions. The wide player is easy. He's a wide player so let's keep him there. How do we do that? Well the obvious answer is for him to offer a short option. The ball might not go to him, (we don't want it to), but the opposition don't know that, and if they send someone out to mark him then we are creating more space in the box. 

6. Midfielder #1 will be the smaller/weaker of the 2. He is actually a decoy and by going forward he will attract the interest of defenders. they will have to mark him. He's the 4th attacker in the box now and they all need marking and the bloke offering the short option needs marking too so that means they need 5 people marking, plus 1 on each post so we are up to 7 defenders from 10 outfield players. Assuming they leave just 1 up front then this means there are only 2 more defenders to occupy. 

7. Midfielder #2 will actually be the stronger of the 2 in the air and he attacks the ball from deep. He is often not picked up because there are zonal and man markers already taken ahead of him. 

With this sort of thinking and strategy in mind, it doesn't really matter where or how you deliver the ball in. What you are doing is putting your players in the position where they are most likely to be able to make best use of their relevant skill-set. 

The only problem with this is that you need physically powerful players for this to work. The crux of the idea is that you need big string powerful players in multiple positions to cause the opposition threats in different areas. 

This is what we currently have at centre-half and it seems completely alien to me. There are just 2 centre-back options because Japhet (DEN) 5'10" simply isn't good enough to play in a 2, (although might get away with playing in a 3). 


Badiashile (FRA) 6'4"  started all 49 games last season. He was never injured and never suspended.


His partner Dunne (IRL) 6'3" missed 3 games through suspension but was never injured. Not even a cold. That's astonishing. :eek: His injury proneness is only 4 so maybe that's something playing a part, but this isn't something that I have ever been able to replicate. :kriss:


Maybe this is down to me being rubbish at training and the fact that I usually manage really rubbish clubs, but this seems quite remarkable to me. 

If I look at the team who finished 2nd and 3rd Sunderland, (Watford & Leeds), and then look at their centre-halves who played the most games, they have also played quite a lot of games and it makes me wonder about how I perform in this area. (ie. not very well). :(

45 games


39 games.


48 games.


47 games.


Maybe I am just used to managing players of a lower level playing at clubs with poorer facilities. I'm still really surprised by the above. 

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Trials and tribulations. Jul 2021.


We brought in a LOT of trials during this period and entered into negotiations with a number of high profile players. 

Dwight Gayle, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs, Jay Rodriguez....... the list goes on. 

Mezut Ozil was available after leaving Arsenal, but even if he paid me I wouldn't let him join us. 

Dejan Loveren might be a legend in his own mind, but he's ageing well and well worth signing. The problem is he wants a lot of wage and we're just not in a position to pay it in our 1st season back in the Premier League, (and there will be no 2nd season from me remember). 

Tosin Adarabioyo, (I bet you have all heard of him and he's a proper name in FM), is a hell of a player. He's been released by City and is currently on trial with us. He's my #1 target. The thing is, the longer I hold off signing him, the lower his wage demands will be, so I'm playing a little cat and mouse with a few players at the moment. 

The problem I'm finding is that it's so long since I played at this level that I'm really not sure how good the players have to be. Everyone looks good to me. 

I have a bit of a left-field Belgian signing in the pipeline at the moment. He's not a very good footballer, but he just might be exactly what I'm looking for. 

Badiashile (FRA) 6'4" has a minimum fee release clause of £32M, and if someone pays me anywhere near that they can have him. If I was playing this as a proper save then I would probably not sell him, but with £32M I could sign Dejan Loveren, (who thinks he is better), and then sell him the following season for double bubble. I'm expecting my centre-backs to possibly outscore my strikers, (if we can get far enough up the pitch to win some corners that is). 

Will Grigg hasn't been on fire in training and I don't think he will ever be on fire for us again. I have offered him out and will take what I can get for him. I just want him of the wage budget. 


I can't get him off the wage budget. :mad:


The Austrians were dispatched with ease and Charlie Wyke showed that he has something to offer with a hat-trick after a torrid year last year where he tore knee ligaments for the 2nd time. I actually quite like him if I'm honest, (despite that PPM), and I liked the way he took his 3 goals. It doesn't matter though. He's being sold. 


The new DoF is a bloke called Jez George, (never heard of him), but he was DoF at Cambridge and Lincoln before joining us. I was a little underwhelmed when he arrived but at the moment he seems to be performing WAY above expectations. 

We tried to get Hudson-Odoi back in on another loan, but he's worth £21M and getting paid £120,000 per week. I think they probably want to play him themselves now. He's getting paid that and he can't get in their team and our whole budget is £620,000 per week. 

I was all set to sign James McLean because we are short a left winger, but even if I think he has a little left in the tank and can do a job, I can't be signing 997476b603914adaccace39c1a5200eb.png like him. 


The Dutch side didn't have a single shot on target such was our dominance, but we aren't gelling from either corners or long-throws yet and although there were some good signs from new signing Obbi (BEL), we couldn't get the winner. 

We missed out on Andrea Polli, previously of Bologna, who chose to go to Verona instead of Sunderland. Can't say I blame him really. 

I thought I had got Jeffrey Bruuma through the door too. Unfortunately he chose to join Alaves instead. Again, I can't say I blame him. 



Gribbin (ex of Man Utd), who is here on trial because I can't make my mind up about him, got the MOM award as we absolutely smashed the living daylights out of poor Darlo. The only thing that saved them was that our new signing Obbi (BEL) 6'6" is absolutely shocking in front of goal. He won 6 of 10 headers which is bang average considering the size of him and only hit 2 of 5 shots on target and both of them straight at the GK. 


The Italian minnows can't have enjoyed this too much as we racked up 40 shots at goal, 23 of them on target. Nketiah may have got the MOM award however it was Gribbin who impressed again. Unfortunately i have decided that we haven't a spot for him and I released him immediately after the game. Obbi (BEL) 6'6" might have got off the mark, and 12 from 14 headers is decent, but only 1 goal from 9 shots on target tells it's own story. 

This is a shame. I didn't know that. 


Transfers in. I've just realised that I only spent cash on 1 player. Eze was signed already and I still have £24M in transfer kitty. We have 1 more player to come in, (if he signs).


Ogbeta (DL) is a younsgter who was signed by the DoF. 











Transfers out.


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Aug 2021.

Tranfers in. I was hoping to sign Luuk de Jong, but missed out and he went elsewhere in the end. 



Transfers out.




It wasn't the best start in terms of a scoreline and result, but actually we did ok. Lukaku is back with Chelsea and is an absolute beast. Brady (IRL) gave away a penalty and Obbi (BEL) 6'6" somehow missed this glorious chance after taking it round the keeper.  Mitroglu (GRE) showed him how it's done after coming off the bench. My plan is for Mitroglu (GRE) to make a lot of appearances from the bench this season, but never start. Chelsea away isn't going to define our season so I'm  not overly bothered. 


We were much better at home to Bournemouth, (as you would expect), but despite Obbi (BEL) 6'6" getting off the mark, (with a goal from a long throw), but we could and should have won and were again made to rue missed chances. 


We've got our 1st win and I don't care even a little bit that we needed 2 centre-back goals from long throws to get the 3 points. Nketiah scored his 1st goal with an early strike and Obbi (BEL) 6'6" had a poor game but got a vital assist for 1 of the goals. 


I had to rotate the squad more than I would like as a result of playing many of the fringe players in an U23 game a few days earlier by accident. Kelleher (IRL) scored the 1st competitive goal of his career. Let's be honest, I'm more than a little relieved because if we didn't win any penalties and he didn't score any free-kicks then I was going to look a little silly after making it the focus of this whole thread. (Well, GK goals and LongThrows I suppose). 


We're starting to find our form now. We're never going to dominate the battle for possession, but our style means that we are completely dominating chances created, 


Edited by Jimbokav1971
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7 hours ago, Deisler26 said:

Should have had a look at Torles Knoll up front. 

Never heard of him and I'm just relying on the staff here for info. Things are going ok at the moment, but let's see what happens when we have a run of hard games. 

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1 minute ago, Mandy42 said:

due to your naming system, does Bryan not have a home nation?

poor Bryan 

Not everyone gets a special nickname. :lol:

Bryan does have a nickname. It's "Bryan" instead of "Bryan Something" or "Something Bryan" actually I think. he doesn't have an "(ENG)" after him because we are playing in England so anyone without a Nation abbreviation is assumed to be English. (I'm in a different save right now so can't check).

He doesn't have an "*" after his name either, but at least he doesn't have an "." or "SELL" either. 

Nketiah hasn't got any of these either. 

In my Welsh save, Welsh players don't get (WAL) in their nicknames but English players do get (ENG). In this save it's the other way around. 

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10 hours ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Solid start Jimbo.

Thanks. :thup: About to play September now. 

It's a very different style of playing which I'm enjoying. Usually I am just flying through the seasons and if I lose a game then who cares because there will be another game and another season along in a minute. 

Even when I managed in the Joint Save thread, although I was managing for just 1 season, the focus was always on the future and the next few managers coming through. 

This is completely different though. 1 goal and 1 game and 1 point could be huge. 

I think some people reading this will probably look at my signings and the fact that I have hardly spent any of the transfer budget and think wonder what the hell I'm on. Obbi (BEL) 6'6" and Mitroglou (GRE) 6'2" are probably seen as very strange signings considering the money we have available, but I want to do something specific here. The jury is still out at the moment I think. It's been a reasonable start, but it could have been better. 

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Sept 2021


We brought Marvin (GER) in for just £3m. The DoF is responsible for this, (but I was delighted with the deal when I saw it). He played well against Spurs, but has been injured for the rest of the month and is due back shortly.  


It's a tough start to the month with games against Spurs and City, but especially against Spurs I think we can create some chances, (they like to defend really narrow), and we play City just 3 days after they play Lille so that helps. 

Oh.... City signed Haaland this Summer. :rolleyes:


If anything I'm a little annoyed/frustrated that we didn't get anything out of the Spurs game. They've signed French GK Maignan from Lille and he was awarded MOM on his debut as he saved 12 shots that we had on target. In contrast, the home side had only 4, but one of these was the assist from GK Maignan who pumped it over the top and allowed wide attacker to fire home. (Actually, "pump" is a little harsh because that's brilliant from the keeper, (on top of his 12 saves). 


I wasn't expecting much from this game, (although I was confident that we would both create chances and score), until that is I looked at the City starting XI and realised they were basically playing the same team that had travelled to and from Lille 3 days earlier. They might have had almost 60% possession, but I think we battered them. 


Surprisingly, we actually didn't rely on set-pieces, (although the 3rd goal was scored from a corner AND a recently signed ex-City player). If I was a betting man the Adarabioyo goal would have won me a few quid.


We were out-played for long periods as I played our Reserves against Brighton, but the dead-ball delivery from Gribbin led to us getting our noses in front and Brighton only dragged themselves level late on before we won on penalties. 

Kelleher (IRL) didn't take a penalty in the shoot-out, (I'm using an IR button remember), but he did at least have a shot in this match. 

In other news, people who are given nicknames should know their place and at least try to live up to them. :rolleyes:


I had high hopes going into the Burnley game. I had rested everyone other than Kelleher (IRL) and Obbi (BEL) 6'6" for the Brighton game and I was confident that we would finish very strongly. 


The weathered the early storm and then took the lead after an hour. Frustratingly, my Ass Man had made 2 striking subs, 1 at HT and the other after we conceded. The problem is that he replaced Obbi (BEL) 6'6" with Kean (ITA) and as a result we lost the focal point for our main threat, (set-pieces). Both striking roles are AF's so in general play things were fine, (and Kean (ITA) played well), but he just doesn't have the "nuisance value" that Obbi (BEL) 6'6" has. Mitroglou (GRE) 6'2" has enough about him to play in either role, but I'm sure we would have won had they been used as more like-for-like substitutions. 


We're sitting 8th in the Premier League, (which is ok). and still in the Carabao Cup, (who cares), but things could and possibly should have been better. We deserved a point  at least against Spurs and I'm confidant that if the Ass Man had swapped the strikers in the normal order then we would have got a winner against Burnley. It's early days though and I've got to be happy with where we are. I expect Brighton to drop off a little, 


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7 hours ago, Jimbokav1971 said:

Thanks. :thup: About to play September now. 

It's a very different style of playing which I'm enjoying. Usually I am just flying through the seasons and if I lose a game then who cares because there will be another game and another season along in a minute. 

Even when I managed in the Joint Save thread, although I was managing for just 1 season, the focus was always on the future and the next few managers coming through. 

This is completely different though. 1 goal and 1 game and 1 point could be huge. 

I think some people reading this will probably look at my signings and the fact that I have hardly spent any of the transfer budget and think wonder what the hell I'm on. Obbi (BEL) 6'6" and Mitroglou (GRE) 6'2" are probably seen as very strange signings considering the money we have available, but I want to do something specific here. The jury is still out at the moment I think. It's been a reasonable start, but it could have been better. 

We still love Mitroglou here in Greece.A great scorer for both national team and Olympiakos.

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