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(FM21XB) "Not all of those who wander are lost" - a meander through FM21.


withnail316
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"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

Afternoon FMCU, how's everybody getting on? It's been quite some time since I was a regular in these parts largely thanks to "stuff", but it's something I'm hoping to put right now. I've certainly got a lot of reading to do to catch up on how you're all progressing, and the start of the FM22 cycle seems an ideal time to do that. 

I've had a bit of a struggle with FM in recent times. I still don't really have the tech to run the modern version of the full fat game beyond a single country, but I've learnt to accept that Touch/Xbox editions are probably a better use of my time than starting endless new careers on FM13! I've clearly now played that to death and beyond, so it's time to move on. Before I go on though, I do want to put on record that I wouldn't touch any of the "store" nonsense on the Xbox edition with a bargepole. No sackings? Bank balance boost? Take that stuff back to Fifa where it belongs. Anyway, I digress.

So what's the plan, then?

Well, normally when I play FM, I like to venture into smaller football countries and take a club that have never won a thing into the higher echelons of the world game, but playing the Xbox version with limited leagues available mean it's time for a change. Instead, I'm going to attempt to to take a club from a larger European football country - and Scotland - that's never won a thing (or at least, hasn't won anything for many years) and take them to some kind of success. All I do know is that this won't be a one-club save, but I'm setting no real goals as to where I have to go. I'd perhaps like to end the reign of the Glasgow clubs at some point, or maybe challenge the big three in Italy, but there are no hard-and-fast rules.

I'm starting right at the bottom, at least the bottom of the in-box game, as I'm not sure any of the changed lower league database stuff works on the Xbox edition, which means venturing into England's sixth tier. From there, I'm happy to move wherever feels right, with leagues loaded in England, Scotland, Italy, Germany and Holland. I did consider loading more than five, but this way I can play during the season on my Xbox One, which is probably more powerful than my laptop.  

The manager

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Usually when I play I'm some Scandinavian dude, but this time I'm just me. An early 40s bloke from the English Midlands.

Club details to follow. 

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517258904_Yorkbadge.jpg.ffed887a24066f2b155fe6b5789ff436.jpg

(From Wiki)

York City Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of York, North Yorkshire, England. The team compete in the National League North, the sixth tier of league football in England, as of the 2020–21 season.

Founded in 1908, the club played seven seasons in non-League football before folding in 1917. A new club was formed in 1922, and played in the Midland League for seven years before joining the Football League. They played in the third tier until 1959, when they were promoted for the first time. York achieved their best run in the FA Cup in 1954–55, when they met Newcastle United in the semi-final. They fluctuated between the Third and Fourth Divisions, before spending two seasons in the Second Division in the 1970s. York first played at Wembley Stadium in 1993, when they won the Third Division play-off final. At the end of 2003–04, they lost their Football League status after being relegated from the Third Division. The 2011–12 FA Trophy was the first national knockout competition won by York, and they returned to the Football League that season.

York are nicknamed the Minstermen, after York Minster, and the team traditionally play in red kits. They played at Fulfordgate from 1922 to 1932, when they moved to their current ground, Bootham Crescent. The ground has been subject to numerous improvements over the years, but the club lost ownership of it when it was transferred to a holding company in 1999. York bought it back five years later, but the terms of the loan used to do so necessitated a move to a new ground. They are due to move into the 8,512 capacity York Community Stadium during the 20/21 season. York have had rivalries with numerous clubs, but their traditional rivals are Hull City and Scarborough, while Darlington are the biggest rivals in-game. The club's record appearance holder is Barry Jackson, who made 539 appearances, while their leading scorer is Norman Wilkinson, with 143 goals.

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(From FM)

The club have around 1,300 season ticket holders, good training facilities and below average youth facilities. The club are expected to make the play-offs in my first season. 

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So, York City it is. Some of you may notice that I've managed York before, and indeed I did before life took me away, but I'm keen to start afresh rather than pick that up more than six months after stepping away. My impressions of the club are that quite simply they shouldn't be where they are. This is a Football League in all but name, and I'm eager to get them back where they belong. The squad is a bit thin, but I have around £1,500p/w spare in the wage budget, and about £20,000 to spend on transfers. That can make quite a difference at this level. 

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349102925_Yorkbadge.jpg.3503c2736f0624ca1e6303db805ff6b5.jpg

2020/21
Vanarama National League North

Media expectation: 2nd (from 22)
Board expectation: make the play-offs

Transfer budget (remaining): £0
Wage budget: £18,000p/w (£1,000p/w under budget)

Just about ready to get the first season underway, then. I'm fairly happy with where we are in terms of the squad, although like every manager, I'd probably like one or two more options. Looking around the club I'm quite excited for the move to the new ground, which should happen in October. It's a pity it's actually slightly smaller than the current stadium, but 8,512 it's absolutely fine for my plans with this club. As mentioned in the first post, I have no plans of a "paupers to kings" type save here, but I do want to get York back into the Football League at least before I even think about moving on. 

In terms of tactics this year, I'm going to keep things pretty simple in terms of formation: it'll be a Mike Bassett-like 4-4-f'in 2. I do want to try and adopt a short pass/high tempo type ideology though (I'm normally quite direct in terms of tactics, so it would be nice to ty something a little different.)

 

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So this is where we are. I may yet switching the pressing forward for a DLF, just to try and help ensure there's less of a gap between midfield and attack, but I'll see how our performances go in the pre-season friendlies. 

Transfers

I've tried to get a couple of youngsters out on loan to bring the wage bill down a bit, but I want to have a look at every player in the first team squad squad before deciding whether to let them go. It helps that the transfer window isn't really an issue at either this level, or indeed in the tier above, so I'm confident I can do business whenever if need be. 

In terms of players in, I've signed six players. Two have arrived on free transfers (former Bristol City right back Ashley Harper and former Bolton centre back Ted Moulden) although neither are starters, while four have come in on season-long loans. The most expectation is probably on Salford's striker Emmanuel Dieseruvwe, who has arrived to replace Jack Redshaw, who did his cruciate in my first few days at the club. He'll miss the entire season. Fellow striker Joe Piggott has come in on loan from Wigan, central midfielder Michael Klass joins from Southend, while Taylor Charters is a versatile midfielder and has come in on loan from Carlisle, and winger Fraser Kerr joins us for £9,000 from Torquay. 

Finances

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We start with money in the bank, and hopefully we'll get some decent crowds over season and only get stronger financially. The club is debt-free too, which certainly helps. 

(BTW, I'm not going to add player screenshots at this level because nobody really warrants it. The only exception will be at youth intake time. Hope that's OK with you reading along.)

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Pre-season

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No complaints with how results have gone on the pitch over the course of pre-season, although we have a few injuries to contend with. We're a little short on the left for the next couple of weeks, so hopefully we can ride it out without any other knocks arising. 

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15 hours ago, withnail316 said:

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."

 

I've had a bit of a struggle with FM in recent times. I still don't really have the tech to run the modern version of the full fat game beyond a single country, but I've learnt to accept that Touch/Xbox editions are probably a better use of my time than starting endless new careers on FM13!

The manager

Nothing wrong with that ;)

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October

266974027_Screenshot(6).png.5b2ea12c2fe8439be858ed8cc0373d00.png

The first month of the season, and I've got to be pleased with how things are going. I'm trying to tweak things tactically just a little because we're having close to 20 shots a game (we've had 101 shots in the league so far) but we aren't taking enough of those chances for my liking. Definitely a solid foundation, though. 

814895446_Screenshot(18).png.833634f4ff8d5e00262f546efe088369.png

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November

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Results are good so far, even if we have tasted defeat for the first time in a ridiculous game at Gloucester. What isn't quite so good are the performances, and some of the fans are complaining we're "boring." I don't buy that, we've had 174 shots on goal in 10 league games, but it's something to consider. 

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We also have a little Yorkshire derby to look forward to in the cup - a trip to face Premier League side Sheffield United. 

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December

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We've had a tricky month off the pitch, with all three centre backs picking up knocks at one point or another, and inspirational former Chelsea midfielder Michael Woods out for eight weeks, but we're keeping things together on the pitch. The final game of the month at table-topping Gateshead was our best display, at least it was for 75 minutes as we were 2-0 down after 15! I'm quite happy with how things are going though, tbh. 

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Next month we have the trip to Sheffield United in the cup, while I'm also hoping the board up the budget somewhat considering we've made a profit of more than £750,000 so far this season. 

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Just looking through the squad as we edge towards January, and I'm very thankful England's Bosman rules are different to the rest of Europe. No fewer than 20 of my 23 man squad are out of contract at the end of the season, and I have just £40 space in the wage budget. 

I'm going to have some very tough decisions to make in the coming weeks unless the board up the wage limit. 

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Not the end of the world, especially if we get promoted, but an example of the trouble we face with so many players out of contract. 

600084504_Screenshot(34).png.286fb3cdfeaa79f96a6bd208ba20cc29.png

I think I may have to just bite the bullet and go over the current wage limit, just to keep a few key players at the club. The problem there is it could cost me my job... 

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January

(OK, I haven't quite finished the month...but I wanted to get an update in before the day starts!)

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I am worried we're drawing too many games, but there's no denying we're very much in the title picture as we edge towards the halfway stage of the league season. The draw at Southport was the most frustrating of the month, as their goal came from their only chance, and it was in the 94th minute. 

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Right at the end of the month, the board granted me a transfer budget of £60,000. As you'd expect, I put all of that into wages and have now agreed deals with 7 first team players, and a little left over. The biggest loss from the squad for next year though will be Harry Bunn, who is definitely leaving. 

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He's one of our best players, but he wants over £2,500p/w to stay at the club. Bonkers. 

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I'm going to start adding these screens every few months, I think. I mentioned that we dropped points right at the end of the last game to what was practically their only chance, and this is an indication that that is not a one-off. 

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I personally think this could be considerably eased if we had a better goalkeeper, but my scouts are struggling to find one. Fingers crossed it doesn't cost us. 

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3 minutes ago, Deisler26 said:

This ain't better on FM22 tbh....

I think it's just like the transfer thing where clubs warn you off with an obscene price tag, which is ultimately them saying he's not for sale. In this case, he just wants to leave. 

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1 minute ago, withnail316 said:

I think it's just like the transfer thing where clubs warn you off with an obscene price tag, which is ultimately them saying he's not for sale. In this case, he just wants to leave. 

I love the new data hub. Look on my thread for how weird I'm doing this season

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February

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A decent month, although I'm getting a bit frustrated seeing us concede game after game from a long, lumped ball over the top. Still, I can't complain too much. We've lost one league game all season, so there's definitely something about this team. As mentioned, I've tactically switched things around so while we still play 4-4-2, we're set up a bit deeper rather than using the high press, but we're also using a counter-press when we win the ball back, and that has seen us create a few more chances in the game. 

The only downer of the month was the defeat in the FA Trophy, but I had seriously rotated the team against a side in the league above, so I really can't grumble too much. 

713869349_Screenshot(42).png.1fdd300b7083ce231c97af5b85ab2371.png

A proper battle for the only automatic promotion spot. Bring it on. 

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17 hours ago, withnail316 said:

I think I may have to just bite the bullet and go over the current wage limit, just to keep a few key players at the club. The problem there is it could cost me my job... 

When you negotiate a new contract, you can set it to take effect from the end of the current season, thus letting the new wage budget kick in before their new wage takes effect.

Worth a try anyway.

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1 minute ago, Punch said:

When you negotiate a new contract, you can set it to take effect from the end of the current season, thus letting the new wage budget kick in before their new wage takes effect.

Worth a try anyway.

Yeah, but then the wage demand is much higher in my experience. I'm going to work on the basis the board will up the wage limit eventually. :lol:

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I know I said I wasn't going to bother with screen shots of players at this level, but there's the odd exception. This is my best young player. He was signed in the summer as a back up right back, but he's developed into our best central defender. 

 

1382584392_Screenshot(47).thumb.png.c90fa1bb0d77b5e3d40f51b75a1d8d50.png

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March

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A very good month on the pitch, we've been comfortably the better side in every game, and it's very nice to see three clean sheets in that run of fixtures...

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...but it's still as tight as it gets between us and Gateshead, who we meet in 22 days in York. 

 

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April

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April has been a tough month. We've really struggled in every game, limping to a couple of 1-0 home wins without deserving them, and suffering more defeats in the league this month than we have all season. We should certainly have lost the top of the table clash with Gateshead, too. 

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Still, we're hanging on in there. Six games to go. 

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