Jump to content

FM21: The English Football League thread


Recommended Posts

Tactic change continues to do the trick, even if we are having some difficulty doing anything with our possession/shots in some matches:

image.thumb.png.3bbe4da6565575d45bb246ed1c2a707b.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 2.3k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

1 hour ago, CityAndColour said:

Can you put up a screen shot of Price?

Sure:

image.png.3f69f7f66ea634fe69303590c58640bf.png

He's not currently on anyone's wanted list, but you can see he's beginning to think he's outgrown us. I should probably offer him a new contract. So far this season he has 8 starts, 4 goals and 6 assists. Even by L1 standards he doesn't look fantastic, but I think he has a good spread of attributes, and he's almost always one of my best performers. What his attributes don't show is his knack of being in the right place at the right time ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised he hasn't had any youth caps for Wales!

I play with an inside forward at AMR and finding suitable players for that role is always difficult, too.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, CityAndColour said:

I'm surprised he hasn't had any youth caps for Wales!

Me too, although we have had Giggs at a number of games over the last couple of seasons. One who did get a callup was LB Robinson. I'm sure there were a couple of others, too. We've had a surprising number of Welsh youngsters at York.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Great continued success for both York & Blyth, well done both.

 

1276161195_Ipswichheader.jpg.647adcc3e0d998b8c0262f6dee2eb5a1.jpg

After 27 games, my Ipswich side had finally got to the top of League 1 as 2021 finished. But then there was a difficult FA Cup Round 3 tie at Cardiff and three tough league games against challenging sides as January came. The FA Cup game was a bit of a shocker, with our only goal in a 5-1 drubbing coming from striker Ellis Simms in stoppage time when it was far too late to make any difference. It took another stoppage time goal to earn a point next time out too, but the 1-1 draws at Sunderland and Hull were both decent and kept us top. As you can see, Simms was (sorry Will Grigg) on fire at this stage with nine goals in eight games including a hat-trick against another top side in Peterborough.

The side managed to go through three months unbeaten in the league, but there were too many draws including ones against struggling sides Bristol Rovers and Crewe at home and rock-bottom Port Vale on the road. The Vale Park outfit was of course the one that I had taken to promotion in season 2020/21, but their stay at this level was not going to last beyond one season. By March we had dropped to 3rd with the lack of wins and lost points costing us dearly, but three straight victories at the end of the month saw us catch and pass MK Dons and a Shrewsbury side who had gone on an incredible run to soar clear at the top. The 1-0 win at Rotherham last time out was massive, but in our five remaining games we host MK Dons (3rd) and travel to Shrewsbury (2nd) at Easter. 

669932277_IpswichFixtures2.4.png.c8f22163a4e68ececdae4536e8eb0d25.png

The performance graph shows our little dip after hitting the summit at the end of December, but the win over Rotherham put us back at the top for the first time in a while. Simms, who had wrestled the lone striker starting spot away from the unlucky Freddie Ladapo at the start of the year, has gone clear as top scorer in the club. Adam Phillips who had netted a stack of goals pre-Christmas has not grabbed many since returning from injury, but winger Diallang Jaiyesimi has been featuring much more regularly on the scoring charts as the season has progressed.

With plenty of goals from that quartet, we remain top scorers in League 1, but the defence is only ranked 9th best which is a bit disappointing. We boast the second largest average home attendance (presumably behind Sunderland) and have the least defeats with only three to date. Having said that, we have drawn many more than our nearest rivals so it's still very tight at the top and looks like any two of three teams for the automatic promotion spots. Financially, there has been a slight dip since the new board put £4.5 million in to the club last autumn, but there is still a healthy balance sheet of £7.1 million.  

1468111154_Ipswichprogress2.3.thumb.png.12f9027ba2dc961837ae7ef0a195e7b0.png

The January transfer window was a very quiet affair, with no players arriving or departing. Part of that was because the squad already had the maximum number of registered players (20) and there were only two players we would have considered moving on. One was reserve goalkeeper David Cornell (who has not played once this season), but he would have needed replacing anyway. As he is out of contract in the summer, we would rather do that when we could make better choices at the end of the season. The other player we would have sacrificed is striker James Norwood. He is a player that has failed to earn chances to play (no starts and just seven brief appearances from the bench yielding no goals) as he has been training poorly and moaning about criticism since my arrival. We have tried but failed to sell or loan him out, but his reward for rejecting a move unless we paid him a wages compensation was met with him being de-registered in January and Nathan Broadhead being given that slot.

There is one pre-contract deal that was completed on 4th January 2022, with real-life Town target George Johnston agreeing a free transfer move from Feyenoord in Holland. The Scot is a left-footed central defender and should prove to be a great asset for the club in future seasons. 

1826567243_GeorgeJohnston04_01_22.png.701dbafe7851f9c294552abd144f6a8c.png

 

Edited by Jogo Bonito
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

it's still very tight at the top

Indeed, but better to be leading the pack than chasing at this stage. Here's hoping you've hit form at the right time :thup:

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, warlock said:

Indeed, but better to be leading the pack than chasing at this stage. Here's hoping you've hit form at the right time :thup:

Cheers, I think the games against 2nd & 3rd will decide it. I'll not be unhappy if we have another year in League 1 anyway, so whatever happens I cannot lose.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just about two thirds of the way in, and it is an absolute dog fight...

battling.JPG.155712ce7391100f06ae8c65e2c50973.JPG

December was a horrible month, as we lost all five league matches to drop into the bottom four. However, we have bounced back with a win and three draws in our four January fixtures so far, including four points from title contenders Port Vale and Leyton Orient and a backs-to-the-wall point at Wrexham.

After a trip to Dag & Red (7th) which we likely won't get anything out of, we play H&R (h), Chesterfield (a) and Eastleigh (h), so it's probably not a stretch to say that little run will probably determine our fate. On the plus side, Ricardo Rees is back from injury so I'm hopeful he will provide some much-needed support to Gary Fitzpatrick, who is playing a lone hand with 20 goals.

The reality is, however, I am mostly playing the same XI that got me out of the Southern Premier, and most of them are not quite good enough for this level. Even the teams around me all have 3-4 players who are far beyond what I have, so a re-build will be required whether we are relegated or not. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CityAndColour said:

Just about two thirds of the way in, and it is an absolute dog fight...

December was a horrible month, as we lost all five league matches to drop into the bottom four. However, we have bounced back with a win and three draws in our four January fixtures so far, including four points from title contenders Port Vale and Leyton Orient and a backs-to-the-wall point at Wrexham.

After a trip to Dag & Red (7th) which we likely won't get anything out of, we play H&R (h), Chesterfield (a) and Eastleigh (h), so it's probably not a stretch to say that little run will probably determine our fate. On the plus side, Ricardo Rees is back from injury so I'm hopeful he will provide some much-needed support to Gary Fitzpatrick, who is playing a lone hand with 20 goals.

The reality is, however, I am mostly playing the same XI that got me out of the Southern Premier, and most of them are not quite good enough for this level. Even the teams around me all have 3-4 players who are far beyond what I have, so a re-build will be required whether we are relegated or not. 

You're above (and around) some much bigger sides there, so a very good effort to date. With a good quality striker and some extra support, you have a fighting chance of achieving your survival target.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have just started what will hopefully be my final save of fm21. Starting with my beloved Reading, focusing on not spending beyond our means and trying to keep our best players at the same time. 
 

The target for the club is to improve finances, specifically signing youngsters to sell for profit. With that in mind I am targeting a few players from the football league who can develop and sell on. 
 

I have identified 

Ricky Jade-Jones - Peterborough

Harrison Burrows - Peterborough

Will Bapaga - Coventry

Haji Mnoga - Portsmouth 

I see all these are realistic financial signings. Any others which anyone can recommend? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

1756718920_Ipswichheader.jpg.bf2ff9a70891f6a90d1fbaf8e7d27417.jpg

With five games to go, we had returned to the top of the table and it looked like a three-horse race to automatic promotion with a one point gap to MK Dons and Shrewsbury only a further point behind. The first game in April would be massive as nearest challengers MK Dons travelled to Portman Road, but the majority of the 28,228 spectators were delighted as striker Ellis Simms continued his fine scoring streak with a hat-trick inside the first 16 minutes on the way to a comfortable 3-1 win. 

On the back of that nerve-settling win, we also discovered that MK Dons would be facing Shrewsbury next time out, which gave us another opportunity to increase the gap. We took care of business with a 2-1 win at Forest Green Rovers, and game 44 saw us travel to Shrewsbury for a fixture that could clinch the title - or put them right back on our heels. It was the perfect time to deliver our most impressive performance of the season, and the boys certainly did that as we blew them away with an incredible 5-1 victory. 

1993809023_Ipswichseason2promotion20_04_22.png.b35ac87678b4ac7e4f93a33ed6c9b4cd.png

The last two games didn't have much riding on them, but there was some effort on display as the team overturned a 0-2 lead for Swindon to grab a point in a 3-3 draw back on home turf, and similar industry was in evidence to achieve a last-gasp 4-3 home win over the bottom side Cambridge on the final day of the regular season. Simms had scored eight goals in these crucial last five games to make it 27 for the season (25 in the league), and he came second in the League 1 goal charts as Ricky-Jade Jones of Peterborough pipped him on that front. The Posh also celebrated a fairly fortunate promotion when defeating Rotherham in the PO Final a few weeks later.

1149595377_IpswichFixtures2.5.png.199f6b12d68a729269e860c5f13c730c.png

1485445327_Ipswichprogress2.4.thumb.png.ceaa184082d758152f62489b44ce479e.png

1813126480_Ipswichtable2.0.thumb.png.381615d70833fd49af755ecefac5fd61.png

467119744_Ipswichseason2leaguesummary.png.37059c5b867bf6b99b93b90e15ac355f.png

Here are the player stats across all competitions. Simms was outstanding as a lone striker, but central defender and captain Luke Woolfenden won the fans player of the year award. The strength of the side was definitely in attack with 95 goals being the best in the league. Defensively we let in a few too many, and those last two home games saw us dip to 12th on that front. Individually the defenders did well enough, but we will need to improve upon that next season. Other worthy mentions therefore go to striker Freddie Ladapo, attacking midfielder Adam Phillips, and winger Diallang Jaiyesimi for their goals and assists. Luke Garbutt also provided many assists, but that was enhanced a little by his set-piece duties.

1959276746_IpswichPlayers2.1.thumb.png.19e2831149c0a02cb0e054410e6d7b07.png

438863477_IpswichPlayers2.2.thumb.png.a309e31b4548abd259993c3c6ac9418a.png

The board have set an incredibly generous transfer budget for next season, particularly as they are only asking the team to fight bravely against relegation for the next three seasons. We don't really need to spend too much money on new players anyway, as there are plenty of targets around who won't cost the earth. Additionally, we will look to bring in some released PL youngsters to boost the U23 squad as we build for a brighter future. It's been said before that the 'talented' HGC players were no longer youngsters, and the majority had failed to impress when given first team opportunities. It remains to be seen how many of those will be retained as contract review time looms on the horizon for many of them.

1467153451_Ipswichseason3budgets.png.aeec954c0accba3bc2b5d79f49a739a6.png

Edited by Jogo Bonito
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Luke Woolfenden won the fans player of the year award

An excellent season for Ipswich and Woolfenden. Top managerial performance, too :cool:

Can you/will you bring Simms back for another season? A lot of goals to replace if him and Jaiyesimi aren't with you next year.

Interesting to see Garbutt still performing... don't know how many times I signed him in previous FMs!

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, warlock said:

An excellent season for Ipswich and Woolfenden. Top managerial performance, too :cool:

Can you/will you bring Simms back for another season? A lot of goals to replace if him and Jaiyesimi aren't with you next year.

Interesting to see Garbutt still performing... don't know how many times I signed him in previous FMs!

Thank you! It was enjoyable, we played some very good football - but might need to be more solid to have a good season next time out. With the squad I assembled, it would have been poor not to go up, so I would say I achieved no more than par really!

I like Garbutt as he can play anywhere down the left, but I used him exclusively in his 'old' position as I wasn't using a left winger apart from a couple of games late on when Phillips was out and we went 433.

I'm confident that I will have enough goals in the squad next season, but there are some tough decisions coming up on Bishop, Ladapo and Lankester who have expiring contracts. Norwood and Cornell will both be leaving for sure.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Blyth Spartans A.F.C. - Wikipedia

2036/37 SEASON REVIEW

image.thumb.png.a8d514ce9209f2798644368361287687.png

A dull, mid-table season. Never in danger of relegation, never a threat to hit Europe. You can see that we have a couple stars, in Andy Walsh and Ibrahima Toure, which is good. I spent a combined 17.5 million on them, I would have been upset if they flopped!

I still haven't gotten a win over any of the really big clubs, but I have gotten a few draws now instead of only getting smashed 4-0. With a few more minor improvements(mostly to midfield and defense), we can fight for Europe.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Jogo Bonito said:

some tough decisions coming up

Yeah, from what I remember Bishop declined for me, and Lankester never really fulfilled his potential. Ladapo will be harder... looks like he did OK but can he play in the Championship? I'm sure you'll get it right :thup:

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, warlock said:

Yeah, from what I remember Bishop declined for me, and Lankester never really fulfilled his potential. Ladapo will be harder... looks like he did OK but can he play in the Championship? I'm sure you'll get it right :thup:

As you know, I was ruthless ahead of last season. Ladapo was good, he only lost his place due to Simms form but rarely got to start after that. I share your concerns whether at 29 he can step up a level so it's a 50/50 call on that. I tend to agree on Lankester and Bishop is the same as at 25 he can't be seen as a 'promising youngster' anymore either. I'd like to keep him but he wouldn't be a regular starter and has never established himself at the club in a poor side over recent years. When I tested the water on a new contract on reduced terms, Bishop started off asking for £10k per week and as I didn't even want to keep him on £3.5k per week, I think he has sealed his own fate.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A sad goodbye to one of my favorite players to ever manage:

image.thumb.png.f15870d666c841f5a097320f54b7c66d.png

image.thumb.png.ee361bcfecb956d3e0370a855ccde119.png

He just isn't quite cutting it in the Prem and he wants to be more important to the team than he is. I'd love to just keep him around for sentimental reasons, but not with an "Important Player"-level contract.

Link to post
Share on other sites

After going undefeated through January, we picked up four points in February, before a wretched March (one point from six league games) dropped up right back into the relegation places. In fact, if you took out December and March (0-1-11) we'd be a top half team.

Thankfully, we have stopped the rot to start April with wins over Woking and Aldershot, leaving the table looking as such:

nearlythere.JPG.01b35dd710ee4c126020c634586b01bf.JPG

Most of the teams below have games in hand, but I'd rather the points on the board. We still play Yeovil (a), Halifax (h) and Ebbsfleet (a), so I'm hoping a win against Halifax will be enough. Our goal difference definitely helps.

We're also fortunate in with the teams below us pretty much all play each other in the run-in, with Barrow still toplay Chesterfield and Eastleigh, and Dulwich still to play Chesterfield, Eastleigh and H&R.

The big change has been between the sticks. My scouts found Bryn Bartlett playing at Aveley, fresh out of Gillingham's youth set-up, and I duly brought him in on a free. This was a tough decision as Andy Hannah has been a mainstay for me and held the club's appearance record, however it was very clear he was out of his depth and I needed to try something.

Since joining, Bartlett has since averaged 7.24 over 17 league matches, culminating in a heroic display against Aldershot:

bartlettcleansheet.JPG.477746ea8277583b09274dec0304c67b.JPG

I don't think I've ever seen a match rating this high for a 'keeper, especially considering he didn't save a penalty.

Link to post
Share on other sites

York City, December 2023

Our first season in the lofty heights of L1 continues to surprise. I keep expecting the wheels to fall off but we just keep on trucking. Having put together an unbeaten league run in August, we continued in the same vein in September:

image.png.a3417a1e99405c910c2fe10be440aedf.png

October proved to be less successful as we lost not only one but two league games:

image.png.52004085a25af81d9234bfd65356a27c.png

Alexander scoring 6 in 3 games made him undroppable, a fact not lost on new signing Toure who threw his toys over lack of playing time. He's in a sulk but I'm ignoring it for now and giving him some rotation games. Hopefully he'll come around. But with just two wins from 6 league games, was this the start of a collapse?

image.png.c5f9b53e850b086e00fbc5404b358279.png

That would be a "No"! A fantastic month, perfect in the league together with wins in the FA Cup and - sadly - the Pizza Pot. The month also saw young Abdul discover a newfound confidence as he bagged 5 goals in 4 starts. November was also notable for less pleasant reasons: star winger Ben Price suffered a torn calf muscle against Forest Green that will keep him out until at least February; and his opposite number at AML, Harry Bunn, also picked up an injury and he's out until around Christmas. For the foreseeable future we're operating with a threadbare squad, playing LB Jake Vokins at AML, and 18-year-old Jake Ashcroft at AMR. Reinforcements will definitely be required in January - I'm hoping we can hang on through December without further disasters.

Not surprisingly, our form sees us comfortably in 1st place:

image.png.90ec082ddc458b98cec1f70db2d76fbd.png

Financially, we're looking OK, posting a small profit each month from gate receipts; balance currently stands at £1.6m.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, warlock said:

York City, December 2023

Our first season in the lofty heights of L1 continues to surprise. I keep expecting the wheels to fall off but we just keep on trucking.

Not surprisingly, our form sees us comfortably in 1st place:

Financially, we're looking OK, posting a small profit each month from gate receipts; balance currently stands at £1.6m.

Incredible and no signs of hitting the wall. You're going to be in the second tier next season, absolutely no doubt about that. What kind of attendances are you getting?

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

What kind of attendances are you getting?

Averaging 7,753 apparently. In November that produced £360k revenues, and about £30k profit overall. Not exactly rolling in it, but living within our means :).

I'm not sure how the tactic keeps producing, but it does. Nothing extreme about it either:

image.png.a3244c65190bbc7002f4363e96aad4c1.png

No OI's, and the only PI is on the AML to stay wider if we're playing an inverted winger there. It's changed a bit since the Vanorama where it was a little more aggressive (higher DL, higher tempo, run at defence) because we were usually the better side. Typically, I like one of the AML/AMR coming narrow and one staying wide but it doesn't seem to matter much. Since L2 I've gone with this slightly more cautious version but the results have been pretty consistent for 4 years. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We are continuing our slow improvement in the Premier League

image.thumb.png.c4d96a5f2c8a9cc4401991d3c7c8aefd.png

We definitely still have some things to improve(and I'll probably do a squad review at the end of the season to show what), but we're getting there. I don't think I want to hit Europe just yet, but if we get there, fine? I am going to have to strengthen the squad rotation if that happens. I have a solid first team, but not great backups for the most part. If we hit Europe, I will definitely need those backups.

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, warlock said:

Averaging 7,753 apparently. In November that produced £360k revenues, and about £30k profit overall. Not exactly rolling in it, but living within our means :).

I'm not sure how the tactic keeps producing, but it does. Nothing extreme about it either. No OI's, and the only PI is on the AML to stay wider if we're playing an inverted winger there. It's changed a bit since the Vanorama where it was a little more aggressive (higher DL, higher tempo, run at defence) because we were usually the better side. Typically, I like one of the AML/AMR coming narrow and one staying wide but it doesn't seem to matter much. Since L2 I've gone with this slightly more cautious version but the results have been pretty consistent for 4 years. 

I think I was getting those attendances with York at National North level :cool:

It's not a bad average though, must be close to capacity in fact? Financially you are having a much more realistic experience than I was too, which makes your achievements even better.

The tactics are pretty standard as you say. But it's certainly delivering year in, year out. Keep up the good work!

@hasdgfasAnother fine season there at Blyth so far. Amazing to think you have put so many seasons in to one club - full respect for that!

I'm edging towards the end of pre-season with Ipswich (2022/23 season lies ahead) and I'm reasonably happy with the modest signings I have made. One key target was missed, when he joined a divisional rival for a lower transfer fee than I offered and a lower wage too. Both club and player had agreed my offer but he obviously didn't want to join a newly promoted side.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Another fine season there at Blyth so far. Amazing to think you have put so many seasons in to one club - full respect for that!

Thanks! Been a LONG save, possibly my longest-ever in FM. But I wanted to do the full VNN->Prem->CL climb, and am pretty close at this point. Ideally the goal is to win the Champions League and then call the save "done", but we'll see if I can break the European barrier soon. 

I've almost quit twice. Once right before the season I was promoted from VNN to VNL, because hoo boy is it tough to get out of non-league with only two spots. The other time was my first season in the Championship, because I had to rebuild most of the squad and wasn't sure I wanted to spend all that time and effort doing so. But I did. I brought in 15 new players that season, and about 6 of them got to play in the Premier League eventually. Although none of them are still good enough 6 seasons later.

Mostly what I'm learning is that in lower leagues I will shift massive percentages of a squad at once, but if I start in a top league I'll try to make as few transfers as possible and just rely on youth.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

must be close to capacity in fact?

Ground capacity is 8,500-ish. At the start of the season as relegation candidates we were drawing about 6,000-plus; by the end of September crowds were up to near capacity; by November (when we were secure at the top of the division) attendances declined a little to under 8,000. 

2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

One key target was missed

I'm confident you won't even remember his name once the season gets underway :). Hope it goes well for you.

2 hours ago, hasdgfas said:

Been a LONG save, possibly my longest-ever in FM

I'm also impressed by your determination and commitment - hope you get a suitable reward soon!

Link to post
Share on other sites

2025/26 - Yate Town - Conference Premier

5100149.png.3c8311831934acf771dbae9b8f91d568.png

League Summary (19th, avoided relegation)

finaltable.JPG.f5650042053f07ffb7bb772ed6956313.JPG

One of the most challenging, but rewarding, seasons I've ever had on FM.

After back to back promotions, a tough summer of recruitment followed as we were simply not able to recruit the quality of player required to compete at this level. This was not only true of permanent signings, but also loan signings - it seemed like every other club in the division was able to raid Championship and big L1 clubs for youngsters, however we would just get the "X would prefer Y play with higher quality players" message.

So we effectively played out the season with last year's team, and the vast majority of players who had played for us two divisions below. Momentum carried us through the first month, but the losses started to get more frequent over the next few months, before a pointless December dropped us right into a relegation fight. 

An undefeated January, along with a couple of key defensive signings, kept us in and around safety. March was another nightmare month, however three wins in April, including the penultimate match against Halifax, ensured our safety.

Leyton Orient, Barnet (promoted), Chesterfield, Barrow, H&R and Halifax (relegated) leave the division, to be replaced by Morecambe, Cheltenham. Boston Utd, Spennymoor, Dover and Bromley.

Key Players

It's a tough field, given we only had one player average over seven for the season, that being 'keeper Bryn Bartlett, and he only played 20 matches after joining in January. Centre half and fan favourite Lexus Beeden registered the highest rating of players to play a full season with 6.94, and duly won the fans' player of the season.

Skipper Cam Healey added another 12 assists and also broke the club's appearance record (257 and counting) and Ricardo Rees scored 10 times in an injury-interrupted season (only 25 starts) to increase his lead as the club's all time record goal scorer.

However, ultimately it was again the goals of Gary Fitzpatrick which kept us up. He scored 26 times and proved once again that, as long as you have a regular goal scorer, you're always in with a chance of avoiding the drop.

Next Season

The reality is, as much as I love loyalty and racking up the appearances for club stalwarts, we need better players if we are to progress. Otherwise it will again be relying on the goals of Fitzpatrick to get us through another relegation dogfight. The board still only requires me to fight bravely against relegation, so at least there is little expectation there.

My best chance is probably trawling the released youth players from big clubs and hoping to land one or two "big fish" if I'm going to push for mid table. I suspect it will be another relegation scrap however. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, CityAndColour said:

One of the most challenging, but rewarding, seasons

Sometimes there's gratification in survival, but kudos for your commitment to the cause. 

Picking up youngsters from the top clubs can be a viable approach - a couple of talents can make a big difference in key positions, but there's also the chance of selling them on after a season or so for decent money. I was able to turn one Man City reject into 3 or 4 good players that way. Equally, I can see that a club like Yate might not have much pulling power :).

Hope you can, at least, make some progress up the league this coming season.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, warlock said:

Hope you can, at least, make some progress up the league this coming season.

It wasn't exactly a summer full of upgrades, but I did manage to get some quality in. The two big ones were former Reading youth Sam Hutchings, who looks like he could be a long term solution at the back, and Polish winger Bartłomiej Królwho started at Birmingham and then moved on to Braintree, where I tried to prise him from in January.

There has been the usual collection of players not wanting to speak to me and then signing further down the pyramid, or asking for exorbitant wages and then signing for significantly less somewhere else (usually lower) but I usually put those instances down to location being a bigger factor in the lower leagues so don't get too bothered.

For the most part, I've managed to fill some gaps and keep key players around so if we can hit 50 points I'll be happy. 

You on the other hand are making a mockery out of us lower league strugglers!

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CityAndColour said:

You on the other hand are making a mockery out of us lower league strugglers!

Sorry about that :lol:. I can't explain the success we've had... better to be lucky than good, perhaps.

Link to post
Share on other sites

York City, February 2024

December was a brutal month off the pitch as my worries about an injury crisis came true while we played out a punishing schedule of 9 games. We compounded the problem by failing to see off non-league opposition in Boreham Wood in the FA Cup, presenting us with a replay we didn't need. We then made life doubly difficult by failing to win the replay in normal time, leading to extra-time and a penalty shootout. That effort left a threadbare squad utterly shattered for the remainder of the month. In addition to our problems at AML and AMR, we also lost a CM, a CB and an RB to injuries, albeit minor knocks.

In order to field a full team I was forced to promote a couple of youngsters, including a 17-year-old CB, and in desperation I turned to the free transfer market to bring in ex-Millwall wide man Shane Ferguson who, happily, agreed to a 7-month contract. He made an immediate impact by scoring on his debut and has racked up a total of 3 goals and 2 assists in 9 starts.

Despite those problems, we somehow managed to keep up our excellent run of form:

image.png.9be177c9037727e4d938116b8a62070d.png

To emerge from the month unbeaten was, I think, remarkable, even if the dropped points from those draws reduced our lead at the top of the table quite significantly.

However, we put that right in January:

image.png.2fca5e9e0606c34e0e68a1e49b2936a0.png

A perfect month in the league saw us not only restore our lead but increase it to 17 points, and we have a game in hand over our closest rivals, Birmingham. Against Chelsea, it looked as though my analyst was not quite the idiot I thought as we jumped out to an early lead and went in half-time at 1-1. But Chelsea simply turned up the pressure in the second half and we we unable to resist, conceding a further 4 goals. On the bright side, the share of the gate receipts pumped no less than half a million quid into our bank account.

Despite my intention to bring in January reinforcements, we only managed a single signing as Northampton CM Shaun McWilliams joined in a £105k deal. He's made a good start with a 7.10 rating for his first two games. Star winger Ben Price is still out injured for another week or two, but he has signed a new 3-year deal. If we can avoid too many injuries for the rest of the season, I'm confident the lads can secure another promotion. If...

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

image.thumb.png.5699941aaf95e2cb8afba08e53efedef.png

A weak second half of the season. Only 3 losses, but a lot of draws caused us to slip from the European places down to 10th. We're getting there though, just need a little bit more consistency.

Oh, there's one exciting thing left in this season though...

image.png.33c4d79e991feeff748651b71fb700ec.png

 

The result there to come with a squad review at the end of the season.

Link to post
Share on other sites

image.thumb.png.15534e127393dc1e6b510aa52d2fe6ad.png

Our issues with creativity continue. We need to make a few more chances as well as finish them to turn draws into wins and 1-goal losses into draws.

All right, time for a 

SQUAD REVIEW:

STRIKERS/WINGERS:

Andy Walsh:

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.b7c248015854515e1e469fa0f6579b34.png

 

Our star. The main reason we had such a massive improvement between the first season in the Prem and now. Bought him for 9M off Brighton because they went down that season and oh boy has he been worth it. 27 goals in each of his first two seasons, hitting top 3 of the Golden Boot both times. He is unbelievable. But we can't rely on him the way we have been, because if he has a bad game, it's hard for us to score!

Chay Kavanagh:

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.f5e73b3d26b249740094896dbb561294.png

Our 40-goal wonder from the Championship. We got him on a free from Birmingham before that season and it was the best free transfer ever in my years of FM. He hasn't gotten close to that performance up in the Prem. 12 goals the first season, 8 the second, but no Prem goals this season(although I have been playing him on the wings lately). He's probably hitting the end of his time with us soon.

Bruno:

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.9f30aa166c1ede978a2400966f8f79bc.png

A late transfer window pickup this season because I wanted more depth on the left wing, he only cost 6.5M from Deportivo Coruna over in Spain. He didn't quite perform to the level I had hoped, but I have faith in him for next season. He should have the quality we need. Hopefully a second season will do him well.

Noa Eriksson:

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.7b20eca6ee0ae48a183e966271154d58.png

A player I brought in on loan from Everton for this season, he was incredible on the right wing with 8 goals and 8 assists. Definitely will be tough to replace next season.

Bobby Coates:

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.3b64cf5a3edba6c4fecb035419c02c2b.png

Another in our list of great academy prospects, he didn't get much time on the right-wing because of Eriksson, but I think he'll get some good time next season.

Midfield

Ibrahima Toure

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.4001e3068ee440fa4b75a8a01f3c3d0d.png

Another of our stars his first season after coming in from Birmingham for 8.5M, he was very disappointing this season in comparison. Nowhere near the same level of performance, which is concerning. Hopefully he can find himself again next season.

Gareth Furlong

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.888511645cf273fc68fb7816dc131e95.png

A very promising youngster I brought in the season we were promoted. He cost 3M from Nottm Forest and has been a solid squad player for us in the Prem. I'm very happy with him in that role so far and intend to keep him in that role. I think he has very strong potential.

Tarik Benali:

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.59377af359d748288fdb85c4de98ea8b.png

Bought this season for 10M(a club record at the time), he was a strong performer. Not quite to the level I had hoped for when buying him, but consistent. I have a couple tactical tweaks in mind to hopefully unlock his full potential, because I think there's a lot of that if this is him at 22.

Mike Fromm

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.4adc46d445b1526da600c8f70fe4f375.png

A squad player, and one I was expecting to be from the start. Bought from Fulham for 2.2M, definitely been worth that, even if he hasn't been outstanding.

Roger Fogelberg

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.cb212eb3a93b0b1b8367bcf513569f07.png

3M from Charlton before my second Prem season and he really stepped up his performances this season. Very happy with him.

Patrick Mbarga:

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.b62916ec4349f4f14cccd6678da96ce2.png

Probably shouldn't be performing as well as he is, but he keeps getting playing time. And he deserves it. He's been great. Consistent improvement after being brought in from Havre for 2M when we came up.

Defenders

Mirafe Ndikumana

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.4dccaf54b9cbb802211eb75065fac3d1.png

A free transfer from Watford, he's a solid performer. Not a star, but doesn't need to be as a backup.

Danny Foster:

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.280154deb02df68cb8e278d6b960de78.png

3.5M from Peterborough, he's been strong for two seasons and is part of the normal central defender rotation.

Toby Connor

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.cf7d78be0657ca6ed354d65ec0fef057.png

Our club record signing, at 11M from Aston Villa. He has been worth it for sure. Our best performing defender, hopefully with a lot of room to improve

------

A few more to come in another post because I ran out of image space

Edited by hasdgfas
Link to post
Share on other sites

SQUAD REVIEW PART 2

final defenders

Flamur Ziba

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.fc6fc4a8e4a29269b3d5abdf876fc2b1.png

A defender loaned in from Spurs two seasons running now, he's been very good for us, but I don't think I'm going to try to bring him in again, I'd like another non-loaned defender at Toby's level.

Tom Simpson

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.4223056a5ae293b9d1c607ada599d1b2.png

Another academy player who has stuck around, he's our best-performing left-back, which I really appreciate, even though he does have some defensive struggles. But that's why I stick my best CD over there, as well as my defensive midfielder. It helps! He performs really well.

Ron Thorpe:

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.fa7e9c6479264e6a7e961ddb9c4464e1.png

A bargain at 1.3M from Wolves, he's our starter at right-back. I am pretty sure I can do better, but I haven't needed to yet. I think I'm looking for an upgrade this summer though.

Michael Davidson

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.2891f9cc0d4d1d163697805103b29276.png

A backup for both LB and RB, he's quickly being outclassed in the Prem, which makes sense after being purchased for 600k. But I appreciate his efforts.

Luke Vella

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.d76d716833638da86fb20ae4f4f05674.png

Another backup, he's leaving at the end of this contract. He was bought for 1.6M when we came up to the Premier League. He's been fine, but he wants more than I can give him.

Goalkeepers

Danny Jones

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.161f26d0a547286c4eab3dd6b24d5c8d.png

Bought for 3.8M from relegated Aston Villa before this season, and he has definitely been worth it. I am pretty sure I can find an upgrade on him, but I'm happy with him until I find a good deal.

Isaac Okafor

Spoiler

image.thumb.png.19222be7568569f88fb2a376b7dbbfb2.png

Academy Prospect. Backup. I don't think he'll be anything more than that. Totally fine for now.

------------------------

A few places to improve:

Another strong striker for Andy Walsh in case of injury or for rotation.

A right-winger to replace the departing loan player Eriksson.

If I can find a star defensive-minded midfielder, I want one.

Another strong central defender to start alongside Toby Connor

A right-back to send Thorpe to be a backup

I'd kinda like a great left-back to maybe push Tom Simpson forward to left-wing?

A goalkeeper if I can find one better than Danny Jones at a reasonable price?

I think those are the important places to improve, but I'd obviously like to be strong everywhere.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We know the media in FM are a bunch of lying scumbags, but really... This is what I said in a press conference:

image.png.497eda73b87d61beafe78a83484a5b8d.png

And this is how the media reported it:

Spoiler

image.png.258c1821e9e41c15549c36df11cb710f.png

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...