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[FM20] Fulham FC - All Elite Football


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August 2025

There wasn't much transfer activity this month, though one player from the senior squad was sent out on loan for the season. Adonis spent half a year at Stuttgart last season which wasn't terribly successful (five goals in 20 games), so hopefully this will go better. After this deal was agreed he actually scored on the first day of the season which made me wonder if I should keep him, but decided to go ahead anyway as his status said he wanted to go on loan for more first-team football.

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We haven't lost our opening day fixture once in my time here, and this run continued with a 2-1 win over Burnley. We left it late, but Adonis came on as sub and scored a lovely goal, dancing through the defence before slotting into the corner.

We took the lead against Chelsea shortly after the break, but this only served to anger them and they scored three times in the next 20 minutes to put us back in our place. And this then turned into a mini-slump with a loss to Bournemouth as well, Danylo Sikan again scoring against us (three times in five games since we sold him).

We then came up against one of our feeder clubs, Wycombe, in the League Cup. We beat them fairly easily with Gerard Poiret scoring on his debut, one of several reserves to get a run out, but after the game their boss decided to slag us off, saying we weren't as good as we thought we were. The link was terminated instantly, and I've made a note to recall the player we have out on loan there when we can in January. Back in the league we picked up another win with two goals in the opening 15 minutes setting us on our way.

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For what it's worth, we sit in 11th place after four games.

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Bournemouth are the only club with a 100% winning record after four games, while Blackburn have the opposite record of 100% losses. The early pacesetters in the goalscoring charts are Erling Haaland (Chelsea) and Harvey Barnes (Bournemouth) with six apiece.

Elsewhere in the World: The USA beat Jamaica 1-0 in the Gold Cup final.

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21 hours ago, Folayinka said:

You should get yourself a top striker this season. Make it a priority. 

Best of luck ūü§ě.¬†

Thanks.

I'm not sure I agree with that suggestion. I currently have two strikers listed as wonderkids, plus another who just lost that description after turning 21. So I think I'm sorted for strikers, bringing anyone else in will harm their progression. Pedro Sartori and Wardlow (21b) have been my top scorers in the last two seasons so there's goals in them, just a bit more consistency is needed.

I see centre-back as the priority position. I could probably use another top quality player coming in now, and by next season we will probably be even more in need with Alfie Mawson a year older. There aren't really any immediate options pushing them in the reserves, with Roman Yershov permanently agitating for a move away and it's not looking like Gioacchino Cassone will make it either.

Alfie McGonigle-Pearse (24b) has some potential, but is still a long way off at the moment. Though I must admit I didn't notice his potential was quite this high, it must have been re-judged at some point as if it had been this high when he came through he would have been renamed. Looking back at the 2024 intake it was only 3.5 stars at the time, so a decent jump since then.

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September 2025

Jeremie Charpentier has been in and around the first-team for a couple of years, without really breaking in. He's still only 20, so a year out on loan to get some more playing-time will do him good. Plus it opens up a registration spot for a new signing.

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During a game at the end of August we had both senior keepers out injured, so I had to call up a player from the ressies. Afterwards I took a look at my scouted players list to see if there were any young goalkeepers I could bring in, and although the one I was interested in turned me down, while I was on the screen I noticed an outfield player that was transfer-listed. Lars Dose, 18 year old wonderkid, 5.0 star potential model citizen, available for less than £4 million. Yes please, take my money.

Spoiler

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After the transfer window closed, Sky Sports News released a report showing the wage bills for each club in the division. At the top were the Manchester clubs and Liverpool, all spending over £5 million per week. Chelsea were a fraction behind them, before Tottenham and Arsenal rounded out the top six at around £3 million each.

Ten more clubs followed before we showed up in 17th place, on £1.3 million per week. Only the three recently promoted clubs spend less on wages than us.

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A mixed month here as I experimented with some tactical tinkering, with mixed results.

The Good: In the two home games against the Manchester Clubs I went with a 5-3-2 formation, to pack plenty of players behind the ball but still retain some width to get the ball to the two players up top. This worked nicely as we nicked four points from the two games.

The Bad: Against Newcastle we went back to my usual 4-5-1. We didn't perform anywhere near as well as we should and lost to a team that I'm sure we'll be battling with later in the season as we compete to be best of the rest.

The Ugly: In the League Cup I went attacking 4-4-2 against Wolves, and it didn't pay-off. There were a few youngsters in the team and we got to full-time level before losing on penalties. That's on me, for some reason I thought they were a Championship club, when they're actually in the Premier League with us. 

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In the top-half, but only just. 

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Bournemouth's hot start continues as they sit top after seven games, with Watford just behind in 2nd. Blackburn, Brighton, and Burnley make up the bottom three. Anthony Martial is leading the way with 11 goals, and more than half of these came in one game as he scored seven times as Watford destroyed Burnley 8-0.

Elsewhere in England: The national team got back to winning ways with World Cup qualifying victories over Kazakhstan and Israel. Harry Kane reached 100 caps, but has only scored twice in the last two years.

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October + November 2025

On paper we had a series of matches where we should have picked up a lot of points, facing none of the big six and taking on all three of the newly promoted clubs.

October started well with two wins, including a big hammering of West Ham (pun intended), but things then went sideways against Villa. We lost to the only goal of the game, but in reality they bossed us and we were lucky not to lose by more. Then we took on Watford and both of us will have come away annoyed at not winning. Twice they led, twice we equalised. We took the lead with 15 minutes to go, but conceded in the 92nd minute to share the points. And things only got worse against Wolves as we offered nothing, and got a deserved beating.

Going into the international break I told the players they needed to get their acts together and perform much better. I put on a couple of friendlies against low level clubs to get some confidence back in the team, and the 11-0 and 12-0 wins we managed did the job. When we returned to league action we were up against the sides in 16th and 17th, and we beat them handily. I think the hat-trick from Pedro Sartori was our first since 2022.

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We've risen up the table and found ourselves in the 7th place spot I'm aiming for, but we were helped by a kind fixture list. December will be tougher with ties against three of the big six.

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: The hot starts for Bournemouth and Watford have fizzled out and they've slumped down the table. Normality hasn't quite resumed at the top though, as Tottenham have taken over at the head of the table. Liverpool are three points behind. Blackburn, Burnley, and Leeds make up the bottom three. Manchester City (12th) are really struggling, and Marcelino has paid for the poor results with his job. It was also time for a change at West Ham (15th), as Chris Wilder was relieved of his duties and replaced by Luis Castro (three league titles and two cup wins in six years at Shakhtar).

Elsewhere in England: The national team secured qualification for the 2026 World Cup, but made hard work of it. Home wins were recorded against Slovakia and Kazakhstan, but they lost away to both Norway and Israel. John Terry's spell at Barnsley lasted just three months before he was fired with the side 21st in League One.

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December 2025

1 hour ago, DaneBramage said:

Manchester City (12th) are really struggling, and Marcelino has paid for the poor results with his job.

And apparently I'm the best person they could find to replace him. Turned them down of course.

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The point of this save is that it's a long-term job at Fulham, so I'm not looking to go anywhere else at the moment.

Maybe one day once I've turned Fulham into a trophy-winning machine (or more likely that I get fired), but I'm not there yet.

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We received a message this month saying the target of having the best youth set-up in the country was completed. 

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Which makes the youth preview all the more disappointing. A mediocre group of players, so I'll be pinning my hopes on this Scottish right winger.

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I'm fairly happy with these results, with one big exception. I was hoping for nine points from these games, thinking we'd get nothing from the big six sides but could beat the other three.

I used my more defensive 5-3-2 line-up for the games against Liverpool, Tottenham, and Arsenal, and was very pleased with the four points we won from these games. In particular the 93rd minute winner against Arsenal sparked a big celebration.

The normal 4-5-1 formation was used in the other games, and we beat Leicester comfortably. After Christmas we had two games in quick succession so we did a bit of rotating against Norwich. I still think our line-up was good enough to win this match, but maybe not. Two days later though we did much better and smashed Villa off the park.

The defence had a cracking month, conceding just three times and keeping four clean sheets. At the other end of the pitch goals were more sparse though, excluding the Villa thrashing we only scored twice. Wardlow (21b) has just two goals in 18 league starts, I think it's time for him to sit out for a while and let Pedro Sartori have a go (eight goals in 10 starts (plus nine off the bench)).

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We're still in 7th, but the gap between us and 6th place has grown a bit. 

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Liverpool are back in their usual position, top of the league. Tottenham sit four points behind. Leicester and West Brom are 18th and 19th, while Blackburn are starting to get cut adrift in 20th. Luis Enrique has been hired as manager at Manchester City (13th) but hasn't yet improved their fortunes. Chris Wilder replaced Thomas Frank at Burnley (16th), but Thomas Frank was only out of work for two weeks before replacing Michel at Leicester (18th). Quique Sanchez Flores was sacked by Brighton (14th).

Elsewhere in England: Everton are ten points clear at the top of the Championship, Luton lead League One, and Port Vale are at the summit of League Two.

Elsewhere in the World: Corinthians won the Brasileiro for a ninth time.

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January 2026

We offloaded a couple of players who'd served us well at times over the years, but weren't getting much playing time these days. 

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We started January strong with a good win over Leeds, and a comfortable FA Cup win over Reading.

It all went wrong after that though. We went to the 4-5-1 formation that had done us well so far against the big clubs, and we got torn apart by Manchester United. Big mistake, and we lost all momentum from there.

We put in a good comeback against West Ham to recover from being 2-0 down, finding an equaliser deep into injury-time. And again we came from behind to get a point from Norwich. But three games without a win wasn't the best form to go into another FA Cup game with, and we struggled again. We had a lead over Portsmouth for most of the second-half, but conceded late on to condemn us to a replay next month.

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One win, two draws, and one loss isn't the end of the world, but it's not particularly good either. The battle for 7th place seems to be becoming a four horse race, but I wouldn't count out Manchester City either.

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Liverpool have built up a commanding ten point lead at the top. West Brom, Leeds, and Blackburn make up the bottom three. 

Elsewhere in Europe: Chelsea paid £102 million to bring in Kaio Jorge from Sevilla (18 goals in 50 La Liga games), while Arsenal spent more than £70 million on two players, including signing Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City.

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February 2026

I think I've been too cautious with spending money in this save. FM20 is the first game I've played much of since FM07, so I'm not used to how much transfers and wages have escalated. There've been a few transfers I've had agreed, then pulled the plug at the last minute rather than committing to huge amounts.

That changed this month.

I couldn't quite bring myself to do it, I sent Tony Khan to negotiate the deal, but we obliterated our record transfer fee to sign Bram Feys from Lyon. The elite Belgian already has 15 caps for his country, and over 160 appearances combined in the French and Belgian top tiers. I've wanted a centre-back for a while, and he looks like he should improve us immediately, as well as having tonnes of potential to grow into. Should be a key part of our defence for years to come.

(The elite description is also new for me in FM20. I assumed it was the level before world-class, but then I saw an elite player referred to as a world-class player in a media story. So who knows?)

Spoiler

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Joining him was a couple of wonderkids, one for each wing. Paulo Cesar has been on my radar for a little while, and with the departure of Oussama Idrissi we needed a new left-winger. And while I was going through my scouted list I noticed Andrea Andorlini didn't have a very high estimated asking price, so I made a move for him too. Both men can also work on the opposite wings if they need to. They won't necessarily be first choices straight away, but should see plenty of time on the pitch over the second half of the season. And they both have winning mentalities with several trophies won for their previous clubs in the Brazilian and Italian Under 20 set-ups.

Spoiler

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Spoiler

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All three signings made their debuts in the FA Cup replay against Portsmouth. Paulo Cesar made an immediate impression with an early goal, but Bram Feys ensured a share of the headlines with a goal of his own in a MOTM appearance.

To quote Sven Goran Eriksson "first half good, second half not so good". We beat Burnley mainly thanks to a cracking first half showing from Andre-Franck Zambo Anguissa. He opened the scoring with an exquisite free-kick, then created two more goals for Wardlow (21b). And in the second half we did our best to throw it away, conceding twice from corners, but luckily held on for the win.

Bram Feys grabbed his second goal in three games when we played Arsenal, but the star turn came from Pedro Sartori, coming off the bench to score a brace in a second 3-2 win in a row. After losing our first five games against Arsenal, we've now beaten them six times in the last eight encounters. Looks like we've replaced Sam Allardyce's Bolton as their bogey side.

We ended the month with a fourth consecutive win, Lars Dose taking the plaudits after setting up both goals.

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A good month has put us back into 7th place.

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Liverpool have stuttered this month and not won any of their last three. They still have a game in hand, but are being closed down by Tottenham (three points behind) and Wolves (five points). Blackburn and Leeds remain in the bottom three, now joined by Burnley. 

Elsewhere in England: Liverpool won the League Cup for a tenth time, with a 2-1 win over Manchester United. 

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March 2026

Our FA Cup run came to an end with a loss to Manchester United, and we then lost in the league a few days later to Tottenham.

It looked like we were having trouble with the big six teams so I didn't expect much from the Liverpool match. We went 4-5-1 and crossed our fingers. And it worked. Liverpool had a lot more possession and a lot more shots, but we stood strong and when we had chances we took them. Igor Diveev stole the show with two goals, one a header at a corner and the other from the penalty spot.

After a tough run of games we then had an easier task, taking on West Brom who were struggling down the end of the table. We gave them a whooping to put them in even more trouble. Andrea Andorlini scored his first goal for the club, but we seem to have a more surprising goal threat in Bram Feys. He's scored four times in his first six appearances from central defence.

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I feel a bit like a broken record, but we're still 7th. A couple of teams have dropped out of contention, it looks like it's just between us and Newcastle to be best of the rest.

You can see below that Manchester City are down in 11th. It's a shame that in the year they've been terrible Wolves have been really strong, and so we've been prevented from breaking into the top six.

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Not much change at the top, as Liverpool still lead with four points and a game in hand over Arsenal and Wolves. Blackburn are as good as relegated, but any two of Leeds, Burnley, West Brom, West Ham, or Brighton could join them. Danylo Sikan is leading the goal charts with 18 for Bournemouth. Definitely gave up too early and should have given him a fairer crack here. 

Elsewhere in England: The national team won a couple of friendlies against Syria and New Zealand.

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March 2026

The preview said this would be a mediocre batch, so at least I was prepared for this. Not much to shout about at all. They did beat the Under 18s 2-1 in the evaluation match though, so perhaps there is something there.

The only player at 4.0 PA is tiny left-back John Silver (26a).

New nationalities from Denmark and Montserrat. And Quewayne is a name I've never heard before. 

Spoiler

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April 2026

Great month. We started by hosting bottom-of-the-table Blackburn, and piled more misery on them with a 5-1 thrashing. Away at midtable Watford was a tougher task, but we had enough about us to take the win with the only goal of the game.

Wolves were the only team we played this period who were above us in the table, and this was the only game where we dropped points. Igor Diveev missed a penalty and their keeper was MOTM making 11 saves, so this really was a game we should have won.

We ended the month against Brighton, another team in the relegation area. We made a terrible start and went one down within two minutes, but on the cusp of halt-time we grabbed an equaliser. In the second-half there was only ever going to be one winner and we made it a comfortable victory.

Pleasingly six of our nine goals this month came from our January signings, they have settled in very nicely. Bram Feys in particular has seven goals in his first ten games. 

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Barring a total collapse we're nailed on for 7th, and if any of the teams above us fall in to a rough patch of form we may even make the top six, although it is a long shot with just three games left.

Annoyingly though, we may miss out on Europe again, with a near identical situation to last year. Manchester City are in the semi-finals of the Europa League, so fingers crossed Lyon can do us a favour. And the FA Cup final is Manchester United v Watford, so that's another potential obstacle in our way.

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Liverpool have only picked up one win from their last two matches, but with a four point lead over Manchester United they'll likely hang on to win the title. Blackburn have had relegation confirmed, their local rivals Burnley will need a miracle to avoid joining them in the Championship next year, and the last spot will be taken by either Leeds or West Brom.

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May 2026

We gave Bournemouth a bit of a battering, but went in behind at the break when Danylo Sikan (as he always does) scored against us. We eventually made a break through though to earn a share of the points. Against Newcastle we again went down to a first-half goal, but the second-half fightback was even better this time as we secured the win.

The final game of the season saw us visit Manchester City. We ensured their miserable year ended on a terrible note as we defeated them easily, with that man Bram Feys grabbing our final goal of the campaign.

We had a big enough gap going into this last month that finishing at least 7th was almost a certainty, with an outside chance of climbing the table. Could we do it? Would we get a European place, or be cruelly denied again?

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GET IN!!!

While we were flying over the final nine games, Wolves were falling apart. We overtook them to finish in 6th place, the club's highest ever Premier League finish, and we beat our previous best points tally by nine. We also ended with the third best attack in the division.

As it turned out Watford lost in the FA Cup final and Manchester City lost in the Europa League semis, so 7th would have been good enough for Conference League football next year. But sod that, we've gone one better. Off to the Europa League!

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Goalkeepers: Maarten Vandervoort continues to be a safe pair of hands in goal, improving his goals conceded per game ratio from 1.38 last year to 1.20 this time. Maxwell Jacob Friedman (21a) did well when called upon, and will be used more next year with European football to take into account.

Defenders: Let's cut straight to the main man, Bram Feys. What. A. Signing! Okay, for £72 million you expect quality, but he brought it in bucketloads. We won 10 out of 13 games that he played after joining in the winter transfer window, and a 7.91 average rating is incredible. And nine goals in 13 games from a centre-back! Whichever scout found him first deserves a big raise. Everyone else was pretty good for the most part too, as you can see from the smattering of average ratings in the green.

Midfielders: I probably have one player too many here, as it was difficult to give everyone the playing time they need. But all of them have done well when they've been on the pitch, so I'm not looking to cut anyone, and again, more games from European football next season will help out here.

Wingers: With the amount of wingers I've been through I think we can safely say it's my tactics, rather than the players themselves, that are likely the problem. I'm sure I'm not getting the most out of anyone. Nobody reached double figures for assists or goals, though with seven combined in 12 games Andrea Andorlini made a quick impression after his January arrival.

Strikers: Wardlow (21b) was my first choice most of the year, but struggled and only just reached double figures. Pedro Sartori ended up as top scorer for a second time in three years.

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Wardlow (21b) became our first academy graduate to reach a century of games, and is also running away at the top of the goals and assists charts. 

Maxwell Jacob Friedman (21a) was an able backup in goal, and Sammy Guevara (20b) saw some gametime at right-back.

However, time is surely running out on Chris Jericho (20a)'s time at the club. He didn't play a single minute this season, and spent the second half of the year on loan at Huddersfield. Even there he barely got on the pitch and only made four appearances.

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: There was a three-way tie at the top of the goalcharts, between Michael Usman (Tottenham), Troy Parrott (Manchester United), and Danylo Sikan (Bournemouth) all on 19. Paulo Dybala (Liverpool) was the top creator for a third year in a row with 14 assists. Lorenzo Pellegini (Arsenal) had the highest average rating at 7.47, while Tomas Barrionuevo (Manchester United) kept 19 clean sheets.

Elsewhere in England: Marcus Rashford scored the only goal as Manchester United beat Watford 1-0 in the FA Cup final. Everton won the Championship and were promoted with Sheffield United and Brentford. QPR won League One, and Port Vale won League Two.

Elsewhere in Europe: Milan won Serie A for the first time in 15 years. Cristiano Ronaldo left the dream team at Porto to become the AssMan at Real Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti instead. Lazio won the Europa League for the first time, then fired Jose Mourinho the next day (they'd finished 6th in Serie A).

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England Hall of Fame: After winning another league title and League Cup with Liverpool Pep Guardiola is now up to 4th in the rankings. 

Worldwide Hall of Fame: He's gone under the radar as it's not a name I recognise, but Jorge Jesus is now the 5th greatest manager of all time thanks to a lot of trophies with Flamengo over the last few years, including the last two Copa Libertadores. Marcello Gallardo has also climbed up to 9th after winning a few trophies with Corinthians. Zinedine Zidane only won the Portuguese Cup with Porto this year, but that was enough for him to rise to 15th.

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Edited by DaneBramage
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June + July 2026

I received my second invitation for an interview, but wasn't offered the job by Tottenham. For some reason they thought Zinedine Zidane was a better option instead (15th best manager of all time, three Champions Leagues, one Serie A, one La Liga - okay, maybe they're right). Not that I'd have accepted it anyway.

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We're now ranked as the 7th most reputable team in England, behind only the big six. We've made a big jump up to 34th in Europe, and 38th in the world.

I believe facilities are now maxed out. Our bank balance has fallen after January's large transfer outlay, but is still in a very healthy state.

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No real change in expectations as the board want us to finish top-half again, and to give a good go of it in the cups. I'd like to consolidate with another top six finish.

The media have us finishing 7th, while the bookies have us at 8-1 for the title, and 30-1 to go down.

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We sold a couple of players from the first-team squad who'd slipped out of contention, and it was time to cash in on them. 

Hopefully Chris Jericho (20a) will go on to have a good career in the Championship, the transfer fee received for him is the most we've got for any academy graduate. He's also the first of any of the AEW-named players to have left the club.

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Just the one new signing as we added another wonderkid striker to our ranks, taking Diego Moro on a Bosman from Internazionale. He only got a few minutes on the pitch for Inter, but did score a few Serie A goals when on loan at Parma.

Spoiler

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This is how my squad looks going into the new season. I'm happy with it, but we could strengthen our defensive ranks. The addition of Bram Feys (5.0 stars!) seems to have re-rated his counterparts down.

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Tottenham sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer over the summer and replaced him with Zinedine Zidane. Chelsea got rid of Quique Setien and brought in Danny Buijs (one French Cup with Marseille). Mikel Arteta quit Arsenal to take the Spain job, and his vacant seat was filled by Roberto De Zerbi (fresh off of winning the World Cup with Italy).

Elsewhere in England: England warmed up for World Cup 2026 with wins over Iran and Algeria, and got through the group stage easily with big wins over Tunisia and South Korea. But as soon as they hit the knockout stage the run was over, falling victim to Belgium in a 3-2 defeat. Gareth Southgate stood down from his role at the end of the tournament, and in a pretty uninspiring appointment, Quique Sanchez Flores was his replacement.

Elsewhere in Europe: Some big name managers moved to Italy as Lazio (Diego Simeone), Internazionale (Thomas Tuchel), and Roma (Daniele De Rossi) all hired new gaffers. Likewise in France, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over at PSG, while Thierry Henry took the national job. Jose Mourinho's unemployment didn't last long, as he became the new Portugal boss. Manchester United, PSG, Barcelona (Callum Hudson-Odoi from Chelsea), and Chelsea (Michael Olise from Bayern Munich) all broke the £100 million mark on individual players. Harry Kane left PSG, joining Internazionale for £61 million.

Elsewhere in the World: The World Cup was won on home soil by Italy, recovering from being 2-1 down to beating Germany 4-2 in the final.

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August 2026

A bit of a dodgy start to the season, as we pick up a pair of decent home wins, but can't manage a single goal, let alone a point, on the road.

One encouraging sign though was Diego Moro bagging the winner on his debut.

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I thought we'd be going into the Europe League during one of the preliminary rounds, but it turns out that we go straight into the group stage. As third seeds it looks like we've been given a bit of a tough group, with opponents from Germany, France, and the Netherlands.

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September 2026

Another of our AEW-named players left this month, as Darby Allin (23a) was sold to Everton for just under £5 million. I wanted to keep him and was on the verge of promoting him to the senior squad this season, but he was refusing to sign a new contract and was showing interest in any club that made an offer, so it was time to bite the bullet and get some cash for him now before his contract runs out next summer.

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The international break meant our five games this month were crammed into just 13 days. We had to do plenty of rotating to keep players, and performances suffered due to this.

The first-team were selected for the league games, and we started strongly with a 3-0 win over Sheffield United. But the next two games were both away, and we had similar struggles to last month. Things weren't as bad, we didn't lose both games, but we couldn't win either. That's four away league games without a win, so perhaps a change of sorts is needed to improve the situation.

In the cups we played the second-string. The Europa League campaign began with a disappointing loss, but at last we won in the League Cup to make things look a little more positive.

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Despite our away form being rocky at best, our home form is enough to put us in the top six at this early stage of the season. 

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Manchester United sit top of the league with a 100% record, already boasting a goal different of +24 mainly thanks to Troy Parrott (eight goals) and Marcus Rashford (seven). Sheffield United have just one point so far.

Elsewhere in England: Quique Sanchez Flores started his spell as England manager with a win over Turkey, but suffered defeat to Germany in his second game in charge. Wardlow (21b) was called up for the first time, but was an unused substitute in both games. Marcus Rashford and Dele Alli both earned their 100th caps.

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October 2026

A lot of green here, I like the look of this.

After the opening defeat our Europa League campaign is back on track with two wins, both with clean sheets too. We also had League Cup success with an easy win over League One Barnsley, where we got another clean sheet. Maxwell Jacob Friedman (21a) was between the sticks for all three of these games.

In the league we hammered Newcastle, but lost by the only goal of the game to Chelsea. Our next league game was against the other member of the top two, Manchester United, but this time the single goal was in our favour.

Bram Feys was a bit of a goal machine after joining last season, but he hadn't scored at all this year until the Bournemouth game. Unfortunately it was at the wrong end, and we finished the month with a draw.

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We're still flying high in the league, but the four teams below us are within two points and include some stiff competition.

In Europe it looks like there will be three teams competing for the two qualification spots, at the moment we're looking good to claim one of them.

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Chelsea have climbed to the top, one point ahead of Manchester United. It's all very close at the bottom, with West Brom, Brentford, and Sheffield United currently occupying the relegation places.

Elsewhere in England: The national team beat Austria easily before drawing with Turkey, scoring goals as far apart as possible (Marcus Rashford in the 1st and 96th minutes). Wardlow (21b) was again an unused substitute.

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November 2026

Lille were bottom of the group with zero goals and zero points before we played them. I took a gamble and it didn't pay off, definitely weakened the side too much. But it did leave the first-choice players fresh for Liverpool, and we picked up a deserved point. Igor Diveev had been moaning about not playing enough, and made a point on his return to the side by scoring a penalty.

We were unconvincing against Aston Villa and toiled away, gaining a point with a last-minute equaliser. Even then we nearly through it away though, conceding a 97th minute penalty which luckily they could only hit the post with. I held a team meeting after this and told the players that even if they weren't playing that badly, they could certainly be doing a lot better. We were back in European competition next and got our first win in five games, as another player who'd been moaning about not playing, Alfie Mawson, justified his selection with the only goal of the game.

We ended the month with a much better win over Leeds... eventually. Things were looking very ropey after half an hour, as we were somehow 2-0 down. But we got one back before the break to swing things in our favour, then blew them away with a clinical 15 minute passage in the second-half.

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We're still hanging on in there in the top six, but could do with picking up a few more wins (he says, stating the obvious). Somehow we're the fourth top scorers in the division, despite the fact my top league scorer is Paulo Cesar with just four goals so far.

In the Europa League we've secured promotion to the knockout rounds, now it's just a case of whether we can win the group or not. Our final game is away at PSV.

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Manchester United are top of the table, two points ahead of Liverpool. But the Scousers are still in contention thanks to Paulo Dybala, who has both more goals and more assists than anyone else. Everton, West Brom, and Sheffield United make up the bottom three. Steven Gerrard was sacked by Norwich (16th) and replaced by Unai Emery.

Elsewhere in England: The national team beat Austria but then suffered a heavy defeat to Germany, en route to finishing 2nd in the Nations League group.

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Edited by DaneBramage
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December 2026

So much for having the best youth set-up in the country.

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After ending November with a couple of wins I hoped to keep that momentum going, but instead we were spanked by Arsenal. Our next opponents were a West Brom side that ship goals like nobody's business, and we put three past them to get back on track. Our final game in the Europa League group stage followed, and we equalled the biggest win of my time here as we hammered PSV Eindhoven 7-0. Among the scorers was Hangman Page (24a) getting his first for the club.

We made it three in a row by beating Brentford before we faced Arsenal for the second time in a fortnight. On our turf we did much better and held on for a draw, taking the game to penalties. It was a very low standard affair, but we held our nerve in sudden death to reach the semi-finals.

Losing to Norwich was a big disappointment, but we recovered from this setback to take four points from the Manchester clubs and enjoy the festive period in style.

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With three wins and a draw from six league games this month we've climbed one place, but it's still very tight behind us. The slightest slip-up could easily see us overtaken by several teams.

In the Europa League we qualified top of the group, putting us straight through to the second knockout round. 

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Liverpool won five league games in a row this month and regained their regular spot at the top of the table, six points ahead of Manchester United. Sheffield United have climbed out of the bottom three and been replaced by Brentford. 

Elsewhere in the World: Flamengo won the Brasileiro for a 10th time.

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January 2027

Igor Diveev had been my third-choice centre-back and he was whining about not getting enough playing time. I gave him more games, but it still wasn't enough and he put in a transfer request. I offered him out for £60 million, a few clubs offered £20-£30 million, and eventually he was on his was to Manchester United for £40 million. He only cost us just over £5 million in the first place, so even with a chunk of around £6 million from this sale also going to CSKA Moscow due to a sell-on clause, we've made a large profit on him.

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We'd have been needing a new centre-back at the end of the season anyway with Alfie Mawson's contract running out, but the sale of Igor Diveev necessitated an earlier action. Half of the money we received was used to bring in a replacement, 20 year old wonderkid Gilberto Amado from Corinthians. He'd already made over 75 senior appearances for them, including 20 league games when they won the 2025 Brasileiro.

Spoiler

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A very busy month this, which we just about got through.

We entered the FA Cup with a big win over Brentford, which gave us Norwich in the next round. Between two bigger games we rested a lot of players for that tie, but we still managed to earn a goalless draw which is good enough for now. That gives us a home replay next month where hopefully we can finish the job.

In more cup action we played Liverpool twice in the League Cup. In the first leg we narrowly lost 2-3, which left us in a decent place going into the return leg at home. We won this match to make it 3-3 on aggregate, but in the penalty shootout Liverpool were impeccable while we missed once, and a chance of making the final disappeared.

In the league Bram Feys scored his first goal of the season against Newcastle, before nabbing the only goal of the game against Wolves. We lost as expected to Chelsea, but then beat Manchester City for a third consecutive time. The days of them beating us 9-0 and 7-1 are long gone! We finished the month with a dull draw against Wolves.

Wardlow (21b) scored five times this month as he reached double figures for the season. That's now seven goals and two assists in his last nine games. There was some talk in Jimbo's Barca thread about unsuccessful crosses, which led me to checking our stats in this area. They weren't particularly impressive, but changing the type of crosses to low balls seems to have improved this considerably.

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Liverpool are dominant at the top with an eight point lead, though Chelsea do have a game in hand. Sheffield United, Brentford, and West Brom make up the bottom three, though West Ham and Everton could easily be dragged into trouble. Niko Kovac was sacked by Wolves (14th), and Vincent Kompany left Feyenoord to take over as their new manager.

Elsewhere in Europe: Manchester United spent over £170 million on reinforcements, including £102 million on a newgen from Norwich that I tried (and failed) to sign several times over the years. Romelu Lukaku's combined career transfer fees reached £300 million as he returned to England with Arsenal after setting Serie A alight with Fiorentina. 

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January 2027

Forgot to include the league table in the update above.

And it's a good one too! We've somehow made our way up into the Champions League spots, I'm pretty sure this is the highest I've been in the table this deep into a season. 

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February 2027

The FA Cup went well as we beat Norwich in the replay, then dispatched of Everton easily in the fifth round.

But the league form was truly pathetic. We had 21 shots against Leicester compared to their four, we should have beat them several times over. A similar story against Norwich, 19 shots is plenty enough to score at least one goal. And what kind of cretins lose to the team bottom of the table?

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We've dropped a place, and given that Arsenal have a game in hand I think it's safe to say we'll drop at least one more too.

Just one point from nine this month is abysmal, these morons are trying to throw away the good work that's been done so far.

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Liverpool lead by ten points and have a game in hand, it looks like the trophy will be theirs again for the seventh time in eight years. 

Elsewhere in England: It's not all going Liverpool's way though, as they lost 3-1 to Leicester in the League Cup final, all of the goals coming in extra-time. 

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March 2027

Fiorentina are 5th in Serie A so I thought they'd be more of a challenge. The first leg was close if you just look at the stats, as shots were nearly equal and they had a lot more possession. But we were clinical in front of goal, giving us a big advantage going into the second leg. Before that though we had a trip to bottom-placed West Brom. Last time we played a side in 20th we lost, but this time we never looked like conceding and Wardlow (21b) got the only goal of the game.

With our lead from the first leg already giving us one foot in the next round we were able to rotate a bunch of players for the home tie against Fiorentina. The lads that came in did well and we produced a professional 2-0 win to wrap up the big victory. The draw for the quarter-finals was next, and looking at the teams left I wanted to avoid Chelsea. Did we get them? I'll give you one guess.

The benefit of resting players against Fiorentina was that we had fresh legs against Arsenal, in what could turn out to be a sixpointer. They went ahead on the cusp of half-time and were looking good, but we made a triple substitution at the interval that turned the game around. Wardlow (21b) scored the winner with his ninth goal in 11 games. We ended the month with an FA Cup tie against Liverpool, and after they knocked us out of the League Cup last month, they repeated the trick here.

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We stayed in 5th place due to the win over Arsenal, but they do still have a game in hand. That being said, we also have an additional game to play compared to Manchester City above us.

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Manchester United have cut Liverpool's lead to just five points, but the Scousers have two games in hand. Dean Smith left Brentford during the month to join Everton. Since then Brentford (17th) have emerged from the bottom three, while Everton (18th) have dropped in. Zinedine Zidane was sacked by Tottenham (7th) after less than a season and replaced by Leonardo Jardim (who was last seen being fired by Sevilla).

Elsewhere in England: Qualification for Euro 2028 began with easy wins over Lithuania and Moldova.

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April 2027

Our Europa League run came to an end at the hands of Chelsea. They were the side I wanted to avoid at this stage, so inevitably we drew them. After getting thumped in the first leg I played the second string in the reverse fixture, and they did well to keep it down to just the one and avoid a whooping.

Back in domestic action we started the month with a couple of 1-0 draws, which were good enough for me but wouldn't have been much fun for the neutrals. The goals started flowing after that though, as we hit five past Aston Villa and another three past Tottenham, Wardlow (21b) scoring twice in each game. The win over Spurs could be vital in our aim for a top six finish.

We scored three again when we visited Liverpool, but unfortunately we weren't as good at the other end and we conceded four times to leave Anfield with nothing. I made a mistake here, as we have another game coming up on 1st May so I meant to play the second string and keep the first-team ready for the next match. I forgot to make that change though. Hopefully that error won't scupper our chances in the final month.

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With three games left we stay 5th in the table. If we win all three and Manchester City slip up we could even get into the Champions League places.

But if Arsenal win their games in hand and we slip up, we could fall down into 6th.

Our final fixtures are Everton (away, 17th), West Ham (home, 18th), and Sheffield United (away, 19th).

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Liverpool need just five more points from their final four games to clinch the title. At the bottom nobody is relegated yet, it could be any three of West Brom, Sheffield United, West Ham, Everton, and Brentford.

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May 2027

I was slightly worried going into the Everton game as we'd lost to Liverpool just two days earlier, but the rotated side had enough about them to take an early lead, then double it shortly after to kill the game off. We then played West Ham in a game that looked like it was going to fizzle out into a draw before a late injection of quality gave us all three points.

On the final day we misplaced our shooting boots, but it didn't matter anyway.

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5th place! Our new best ever finish, and qualification for the Europa League. One point fewer than last year though.

Manchester City went 100% with their run-in so catching them wasn't a possibility, while Arsenal had a shocker in the final month and couldn't get near us.

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Goalkeepers: I'm still happy with both of my keepers. Maarten Vandervoordt is a good first-choice for the league, and Maxwell Jacob Friedman (21a) got a lot of action as our cup goalkeeper. They actually matched each other for clean sheets, 12 apiece.

Defenders: Bram Feys didn't reproduce the goalscoring heroics of last season, but has firmly stamped himself in as the cornerstone of our defence. Gilberto Amado is likely to be his partner going forward, with Lyanco as an able backup. Alfie Mawson has earned an additional year, but I still think I'll be bringing in another centre-back over the summer. Steven Sessegnon continues to be a threat from right-back, while Samir Benrabah is growing into a really good left-back.

Midfielders: James Garner caused a fuss about not playing enough, but when I tried giving him more gametime he kept getting injured. He's now in a huff and wants to leave this summer. With Andre-Franck Zambo Anguissa now the wrong side of 30 and starting to slightly decline, that leaves just Ryan Gravenberch and Emiliano Bonetti as quality midfielders. So I need to decide whether to bring in someone this summer, or if it's time to promote Lance Archer (23b) from the under 23s. In the more attacking position Lars Dose started the season as first choice, but over the campaign Faustino Anjorin won back his position. Both are good choices, but the latter offers more assists.

Wingers: Paulo Cesar and Andrea Andorlini both played well in their first full seasons at the club.

Strikers: Wardlow (21b) had a great season, scoring 24 goals (19 in the league). He struggled last year so started this season on the bench, but when he came into the starting line up he hit the back of the net regularly and never gave up his spot. Pedro Sartori also made a decent contribution, but with the lone striker role taken he played out wide on the right instead. Between injury and the form of those two Diego Moro failed to make much of an impact.

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Wardlow (21b) is continuing to soar over everyone else from our academy, topping all of the charts and reaching a half century of goals.

Sammy Guevara (20b) and Maxwell Jacob Friedman (21a) also saw plenty of gametime this season as backups in their positions, though the latter has the more long-term potential. Maxwell Jacob Friedman (21a) could be our first-choice keeper one day, while Sammy Guevara (20b) will only ever be a backup right-back. He could be replaced by a better option, but he is cheap, doesn't complain, and helps with homegrown quotas.

With Darby Allin (23a) leaving Lance Archer (23b) saw his chances of getting some games in midfield improve, while Hangman Page (24a) got a few chances up top and contributed with a goal and a couple of assists.

Wardlow (21b) -- Maxwell Jacob Friedman (21a)

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Elsewhere in the Premier League: Liverpool won the title for a seventh time in eight years, and with 25 titles compared to Manchester United's 20, have well and truly claimed their position back on the perch. Erling Haaland (Chelsea) was the top scorer with 27 goals, and at the opposite end of the pitch Alisson (Liverpool) was stopping them with 24 clean sheets. Thiago Almada and Troy Parrott (both Manchester United) had the most assists and best average rating, with 11 and 7.46 respectively.

Elsewhere in England: Burnley won the Championship, and Southampton and Sunderland will be joining them in promotion. Huddersfield (with Freddie Ljungberg in charge) won League One, and Newport County topped League Two. Liverpool completed the double, beating Bournemouth 2-1 in the FA Cup final. Both goals came from Ansu Fati.

Elsewhere in Europe: PSG won Ligue Un for the 10th year in a row, completing a decade of dominance. Real Madrid were level on points with Barcelona at the top of La Liga, but took the title due to the superior head-to-head record. Bernardo Silva was the player of the season and has had an incredible career there. Liverpool turned their double into a treble with a 3-1 win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final.

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England Hall of Fame: With another Premier League and FA Cup trophy in the cabinet Pep Guardiola is now the second most successful manager in English football history. He's just over halfway towards Sir Alex Ferguson's haul, and you wouldn't entirely rule out the possibility that he catches him.

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