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FM21: Back to the Roots


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Ryan Clark's Management Career - April 2023 - Southend United

EFL League One

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A good month, but even a perfect one wouldn't be enough to made up for the poor form in February and March. Playoffs it is then.

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There goes our season then. We had two disallowed goals at 1:1, both very close offside calls, and the injury time penalty was just ridiculous, the alleged foul happening nowhere near the ball and having no influence on how the situation would have gone down at all. There's always the second leg and all that crap, but I can't see us coming back from this.

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Oh for ****'s sake. We played some remarkably efficient and driven football... for an hour. We had a golden opportunity to go 4:0 up in the 60th minute, but Barnsley's goalkeeper pulled off a world class save to tip Nicky Cadden's header onto the bar and Ronan Darcy's rebound that would have surely gone into the empty net was blocked with a last ditch tackle. At this point I felt the tide had turned, and so it proved. Our marking for the goal we conceded was sooo sloppy, but then again, 110 minutes of high intensity football probably had a lot to do with it. Those who have regularly followed my threads know that I'm no stranger to this kind of heartbreak, but it never gets easier for me. :(

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Ryan Clark's Management Career - Season Review - 2022/23 - Southend United

EFL League One

Results (Jul-Nov) - Results (Dec-Apr) - Results (playoff)

Competition Performance: 4th (lost in playoff semi-final)

A bit of a similar story to my first season in charge, although this time it has to be said very clearly - we exceeded all expectations and if anyone had offered me a 4th placed finish before the season started, I would have definitely taken it. The semis were a bitter disappointment as you can see above. We're coming back next year though and we're coming back stronger.

FA Cup

Competition Performance: Fourth Round

A great run for us this year, including a win over a Premier League side. City were, well, City.

EFL Cup

Competition Performance: Third Round

Decent as well, West Ham fielded a squad that was easily Premier League quality despite having been relegated.

EFL Trophy

Competition Performance: Southern Section Third Round

We crashed out despite not conceding a single goal in the competition.

Squad

This is a very even squad, but it's not really at the level I'd like us to be. That obviously means another rebuild in the summer. Nsiala, Ralph, Scarr, Sankoh, and Gordon are all getting released.

Transfers - Finances

I'm beginning to wonder whether there's any point showing you the transfer screen when it doesn't contain most of the deals we made. :(

We had much more money in the bank at the end of the season, but I've already spent a lot of it, you'll see below.

Player of the Season

1st - Ryan East - I've already told you this, but I'll say it again - I bloody love this guy. He was really good last season already, but this year he brought his game to a whole different level. 10 goals and 15 assists speak for themselves, especially coming from a central midfielder. We could never find our rhythm really when he wasn't on the pitch.

2nd - Alfie Gilchrist - a cheat player and a defender who's probably a bit too good to be playing for us. He was particularly amazing before the fixture congestion and some fitness issues got to him a bit, which led to us conceding significantly more goals and losing momentum later into the season. I really hope we can hold onto him for another season.

3rd - Olivier Dhauholou - it would be silly of me not to include our top scorer in here, especially after he got 23 league goals. Limited as he is, he caused all sorts of trouble for opposing defences thanks to his pace and off the ball ability. A handy player to have, but I might go looking for someone a bit more rounded.

Next Season

As always, a lot depends on what we can do in the transfer window. I like to think we can mount another promotion challenge.

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In other news, I've just finished my Continental A Licence course and immediately I'm attracting a lot of interest! QPR and Reading were clubs I rejected immediately, they finished 21st and 22nd in the Championship respectively and neither is really interesting for me. Forest, on the other hand, finished 7th and only missed out on the playoffs by one point after losing the final two games. With their famous European Cup history they're a club I have a bit of a soft spot for, I'm going to attend the interview and see what happens.

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Ryan Clark's Management Career - Season Preview - 2023/24 - Southend United

Board Expectations:

EFL League One: Avoid a relegation battle
FA Cup: Third Round
EFL Cup: Second Round

My Expectations:

EFL League One: I want the playoffs at least.
FA Cup: Get as far as possible, make money.
EFL Cup: As above, but using the second XI.

Budgets:

Transfer: £1,908,553
Wage: £57,468 (currently spending £32,639)
Balance: £583,044

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Ryan Clark's Management Career - Pre-Season - 2023/24 - Southend United

Friendlies

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My assistant handled those as per usual.

Transfers

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We made a huge profit and brought in some interesting, mostly young players.

Dwayne Field - a free transfer from Tottenham, more of a punt than anything else.

Daniel Salami - could become a very strong defensive midfielder for us if he develops well. A free transfer from Manchester City.

Kevin Steele - similar story to Salami, but this guy is a right back.

Tom Stansfield - probably not much in there, but we'll see. A free transfer from Manchester United.

Tyler Magloire - I think we should be safe playing a high line with this guy at centre back. :D A free transfer from Blackburn.

Tom Field - a short term backup option for left back.

Lasse Peräaho - not the most usual attribute spread for a striker, but I'm really curious here.

Josh Ginnelly - our new starting right winger.

Jacob Davenport - a proper midfield brute to replace the departing Griffiths.

Matty Astley - a bit of an experiment, I hope his overall ability can compensate for the lack of pace on the left wing.

The final addition to the first team squad was Stephen Kenna from the youth team.

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Ryan Clark's Management Career - August 2023 - Southend United

EFL League One

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That's... not what was supposed to happen. Maybe the team just needs more time to gel though.

EFL Cup

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It keeps baffling me how we can consistently beat bigger clubs in this cup while playing a heavily rotated squad.

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Ryan Clark's Management Career - September 2023 - Southend United

EFL League One

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I decided to respond to our poor start with going a bit more attacking and the early signs are very promising! Doncaster was a game we should have at least drawn as well.

EFL Cup

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Newcastle are a decent Premier League team and they were always going to beat us.

EFL Trophy

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A good start and we've now kept six clean sheets in a row in the competition, which is a new record. :cool:

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Ryan Clark's Management Career - October 2023 - Southend United

EFL League One

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So close to a perfect month, the last kick of the game against Hull was John Ginnelly's free kick that bounced off the post. We seem to be well back on track though.

EFL Trophy

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We complicated things for ourselves a bit as this was a game we should have comfortably won, but we're through and still with a chance to win the group.

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