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Getting Barnsley and Burnley To Compete With The Top Four (on a budget) Working Towards Total Football FM22


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On 10/12/2021 at 01:59, Pattric_b said:

Winding Down the Season and the Epitome of Moneyball?:

We are continuing to defy the odds. I think we have been very fortunate as we have won quite a few games we lost on xG by a large margin.

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As you can see, we should be in 7th based on our xG and xGA. Despite all that, we sit top of the table with only 3 matches remaining...

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We have guaranteed champions league football. We have also had our fair share of struggles to score, as we aren't as creative as the top teams, but we have been very good and lucky, keeping the ball out of our own net. I won't lie. I am feeling very nervous even though there isn't any pressure on us. I expected us to finish just above relegation. At the moment, we control our own destiny. 5 point lead with 3 games left. If United drops any points, they are in trouble. The best part for us is the remaining schedule is very kind to us. We play Norwich (away), Derby (home) and Tottenham (home). I hope that by the time we play spurs, we will have already wrapped the league up. 

The Final Matches:

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Match day 36 is finished, and we did not play well at all. I'm not sure if it's nerves or what, but we could have easily lost this match. 

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United won their game 1-2 and they close the gap between us. The title race is heating up...

Match Day 37: 

Nervous - ELGL

United face a tough match against Liverpool. We, on the other hand, have an easy matchup against Derby who sits 19th on the table. We should win this match with ease. If United drop points and we win, the title belongs to us. 

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As I expected, United did not drop points and beat their rivals in the early kickoff. A late goal, no less. They are putting the pressure on our inexperienced squad. Going into the match I do not want to do team meetings. I feel it may be unwantedly pressuring my players. So we are approaching this next match just like any other. This is the lineup: 

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And here are the goals: 

We have kept up to United and won 2-0. Our center back Mads Anderson scoring an absolute screamer and Maupay nearly ruining a penalty kick. We now have a 3 point lead on United and one game left to play. If we draw Spurs, we will the title! Final day drama is on the cards, I know. United are playing 15th place Burnley. I expect them to win that match. 

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The 15th minute of the match approaches and I notice Burnley has already scored! Only for Fernandes to score a penalty a few minutes later. We went into halftime 0-0 and Spurs have had the better chances. I feel like changes probably should be made, so I drop my defensive line and untick 'use offside trap' because Isak is running riot on our back line. We come out into the second half in a much better position. Isak is no longer beating our back line in a foot race to long balls. Then, in the 71st minute, a highlight appears:

We have hit Spurs on a quick counter and lead the match 1-0 thanks to Raschl's vision. Not long after do I see United have scored in the 88th minute and I assume the worst is about to come for us. 

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We make it to the 91st minute before a highlight appears and we concede a penalty. Kane stepped up and scored. There was 5 minutes of extra time and I had a bad feeling it was going to be one of those games... However, no other highlights appeared for the match and we drew Spurs 1-1. Meaning we were champions!

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The title came a lot earlier than I expected, and luck was on our side. Whatever we do in the future, this will go down as probably the greatest achievement in Barnsley history. I'm very proud the vision came together and we could achieve such success with the second smallest payroll in the league. In that sense, money ball has succeeded. We built a championship winning side with a small budget. My goal now is to continue moving forward and win the champions' league on a budget.

I wanted to do a quick update on how our season ended. I'm ecstatic. It will definitely be hard to repeat the title given how much luck we seemed to have. And we also have the champions league coming up, so that will be very exciting. I hope our reputation as a club improves a lot so we will have no limits on who we can sign!

My next post is going to go in on how we played this season. I am going to go through our data hub and try to assess how we performed. 

Thanks for reading. 

Yessss, congratulations!! Incredible achievement. I'm adding this to my CV, that's okay right? :lol: This has been really cool to follow, looking forward to the European tour. 

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5 hours ago, MattTrev97 said:

Yessss, congratulations!! Incredible achievement. I'm adding this to my CV, that's okay right? :lol: This has been really cool to follow, looking forward to the European tour. 

Cheers man couldn’t have done it without you and the rest of my recruitment team! :D It’s a funny sight seeing Oakwell covered with champions league sponsors and hosting a team like Juventus. Who would have thought?!

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Nice update! The kit idea is interesting, might have to give that a go.

I will echo your comments on fatigue since the new patch - like you have found, it's also been a challenge for my Brentford side to balance Europe and Prem. 

Despite padding out the squad in the summer the team still aren't at the level / isn't thick enough to manage the fixtures without missing key players.

As a result, despite having a stronger squad, we've endured an incredibly inconsistent season and I'll currently be happy with a top ten finish in the league:

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I think I've been tinkering too much with tactics in an attempt to control games more which has also contributed to a poorer league season but...

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We have made it to the Europa League Final after dominating the group, beating Rangers in the first knockout, Athletico Madrid 2-0 on aggregate in the quarters, then we just overturned a 1-0 first leg home defeat to Real Sociedad in the semis with an unreal 2-0 win in Spain in the return leg - the winner coming in the 93rd minute:

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So this has given us a real opportunity to play in Europe again next season, as well as the obvious financial bonus the Champions League would bring.

Atalanta will be a very tough opponent though who play an attacking brand of football using a formation we have yet to face, but we should have confidence after knocking out Athletico and Real Socieded already. 

Hope your Barnsley side have taken to European football as well as we did! 

 

Edited by Shirts
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7 hours ago, Shirts said:

Nice update! The kit idea is interesting, might have to give that a go.

I will echo your comments on fatigue since the new patch - like you have found, it's also been a challenge for my Brentford side to balance Europe and Prem. 

Despite padding out the squad in the summer the team still aren't at the level / isn't thick enough to manage the fixtures without missing key players.

As a result, despite having a stronger squad, we've endured an incredibly inconsistent season and I'll currently be happy with a top ten finish in the league:

image.png.e39e60968a3aa01d413ccf955a4673a3.png

I think I've been tinkering too much with tactics in an attempt to control games more which has also contributed to a poorer league season but...

image.png.1379db15928a3afb1ecc78851c6d81d4.png

We have made it to the Europa League Final after dominating the group, beating Rangers in the first knockout, Athletico Madrid 2-0 on aggregate in the quarters, then we just overturned a 1-0 first leg home defeat to Real Sociedad in the semis with an unreal 2-0 win in Spain in the return leg - the winner coming in the 93rd minute:

image.png.61a6eb6a14ff197686fa58c5cf99661d.png

So this has given us a real opportunity to play in Europe again next season, as well as the obvious financial bonus the Champions League would bring.

Atalanta will be a very tough opponent though who play an attacking brand of football using a formation we have yet to face, but we should have confidence after knocking out Athletico and Real Socieded already. 

Hope your Barnsley side have taken to European football as well as we did! 

 

Glad to hear you had success in Europe! I agree. I think tinkering with your tactic too much will ruin your chances of gaining momentum. I don't want to stop pressing high just because we get tired, but I do fear that a few injuries to key players could be the end of our title defense. We just have to keep building our squads up and improving the depth of it. And making sure the new signings have high stamina rating. 

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Em 17/12/2021 em 10:27, MattTrev97 disse:

Yessss, congratulations!! Incredible achievement. I'm adding this to my CV, that's okay right? :lol: This has been really cool to follow, looking forward to the European tour. 

If i told you in my save Barnsley was relegated and i was hired to bring them back after a disappointing season in L1, would you believe? And ofc you're still contracted to us! hahaha

Cheers,
Bitner 

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3 hours ago, Boyd The Beast said:

Great job Pat and very good detailed write ups :applause:

Thanks James, appreciate it! 

Wanted to wish a Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone out there! I came down with Covid recently and I thought it would give me some time to play FM in isolation but it turns out staring at a computer screen isn’t the best thing to do when you’re sick. I’m not sure when I’m going to update this again but won’t be as soon as I’d like. See yous soon. 

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3 horas atrás, Pattric_b disse:

Thanks James, appreciate it! 

Wanted to wish a Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone out there! I came down with Covid recently and I thought it would give me some time to play FM in isolation but it turns out staring at a computer screen isn’t the best thing to do when you’re sick. I’m not sure when I’m going to update this again but won’t be as soon as I’d like. See yous soon. 

Get well soon and merry xmas to all!

Cheers,
Bitner 

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I've finished the season and I'm working on an update, but here is a little inbox item I received today... No idea what the ramifications of this tycoon takeover could have. It may very well change the vision of the club completely and I'm sure there will be some rumors popping up about replacing me as manager. Time will tell... 

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Year 4 and Trying to Conquer Europe

 

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Year 4 proved to be very challenging. We were playing on four fronts and lacked suitable depth in our squad. We won the Community shield early in the season but unfortunately that was the extent of the silverware we would win. 

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United got their revenge for last season. We finished on almost the same points as last season also, but it wasn't enough. Slip-ups against mediocre teams were our downfall this year. A loss to Norwich at home being the climax of our frustration. It sounds silly to call it a frustrating season considering the bigger picture, but minor mistakes and lack of experience cost us the title. Something we will no doubt improve on as we get more used to being a big club. It's like being gifted a shirt that's too large, you have to grow into it before it fits comfortably. 

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We played very well in the group stage and won it with relative ease, to my surprise. We then got drawn against Atletico in the first round:

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The first leg was away, and I liked how we played. We didn't make the most of our chances, but we went home in an excellent position. However, the battle for the league was getting hard. Our squad was exhausted after an important league game three days earlier and our depth, which I've spoken on before, wasn't anywhere near good enough. We were also dealing with some minor knocks and injuries from playing such high demanding soccer. I'm not making excuses, we just simply weren't good enough.

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A late consolation wonder goal that was probably undeserved. We didn't play well at all and didn't create any quality chances. They knocked us out in very disappointing fashion. In front of our own supporters. 

All things considered, we had a good season. We didn't trail off and prove that last season was an anomaly. We continued to improve our club reputation which will benefit us in the long run. 

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When you put the above image into perspective, it's impossible to think we aren't overachievers. With a net transfer spend of only 400k. The only club that finished above us had to spend 128m to do so. 

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It's a CEO's dream what we are doing. This season I will go in hard to attract world class players. We are very good at making money. Now we need to spend it in order to create a world class squad. 

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Not listed here because we signed him before the league reset, is Ismael Bennacer who we signed for 36m and a newgen called Stevan Vujovic for 4.7m. So in total we spent 104.7m and kept most of our first team in order to create more depth. We lost our academy player Tom Cummings because of a release clause my DOF negotiated into his contract that I foolishly wasn't aware of. He wasn't the greatest player, but it hurt losing a homegrown player in that way.

But I am very excited to finally sign a player like Bennacer. I rate him highly and think he is perfect for our system. He is what I would call a complete player. It boggles my mind Lazio sold him to me for only 36m. 

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A few more Bennacers and we have a very good chance of conquering Europe...

Going back to homegrown players, one of our previous youth signings had quite an impressive season. 

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He finished the season with 51 goals across all competitions and also won the golden boot in the league. He is thriving in his advanced forward role. His future is really bright, and I'm counting the days before the big clubs start sniffing around.

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Given his attributes and his height, he will be a very hard player to replace. Players like him are very dominant in the match engine. He's a physical specimen who can score. Scary to think how good he will look in a few years.  

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This is what our salary looks like coming into the new season. We have spent way more than previous years and we are spending a lot more on wages, but it's still only ranks 14th in the league. I'm also going through another tactical metamorphosis. I've moved away from the 4-2-4, at least until we are the best squad in the world. And I'm experimenting with a 4-2-3-1. I'm trying to go for a little more balance and stability. Very often when playing the 4-2-4 we win the ball and try to play a quick pass and give it straight back. Not necessarily an issue with the 4-2-, but I felt it was time to balance the positioning of the players out better. All our high press principles remain unchanged, though. 

Last thing I will say is that our latest takeover attempt has failed. The Qatari tycoon failed in his bid after he became frustrated with the slow process of receiving some sort of paperwork. I did wonder what life would be like having a tycoon for an owner, but this is probably for the best. 

Thanks for reading. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Breaking Records and Still Trying To Conquer Europe... (1/2)

I’ve jumped ahead two seasons in my save with Barnsley as nothing significant has changed. We have been improving and won the league as well as the league cup but have been unsuccessful at winning the Champions League and that is the ultimate goal. We want to be the biggest club not only in England but in Europe. Our squad has also significantly improved also. We’ve had youth players come through the ranks and prove their talent adding much needed depth to the squad that we lacked for so many years. One of the biggest events that happened during my time away, was the club finally being sold. 

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An image that would please Barnsley supporters. Our new owners aren't affluent by any means and truth be told they are pretty similar to the previous regime but it was a nice change. I didn't like there constantly being rumors of a possible takeover while Chien Lee was the owner. Funny enough though, it appears Cawley bought us to make a quick buck because a little over a year after he bought the club, more rumors are circulating that the club is going to be sold. All the rumors aside, we have maintained focus and it hasn't effected our performance at all. 

I’ve settled on a tactic that works wonderfully and it maintains our core philosophies. High press, quick passing and attacking soccer. 

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It’s the basic gegenpress team instructions but I do tinker with them from time to time depending on situation. As I said, the squad has improved greatly. The only way to realistically do that in a short period of time is to spend a lot money. Luckily we have been able to sell our players for very large returns and we were able to recruit some world class players. 

Financial Wizardry: 

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Not only did we sell these players for high fees, but we made money on every single player. Truth be told, I'm getting tired of looking at players as investments instead of actual players but I will get too that later on. We signed Damsgaard from city for 40m, Menino for 26m, Nuno Tavares for 7.75m, Petrovic for free and the rest of the players were my academy products who weren't good enough. So in total we spent 74.75m on players and went on to sell them for 255m. A profit of 180.25m. At the start of this save I decided to play the game this way, like an investor, because it matches the Barnsley philosophy. But after seeing what's going on with the club in real life, it has left a bad taste in my mouth. I still admire Billy Beane and all he's accomplished with little resources but this way of playing FM has never really been for me. Either way, we have been successful at making money if nothing else. 

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We've become a rich club and we are currently expanding the stadium capacity to 50k as a result of the cash flow. And we've been able to do this by employing the moneyball approach. 

Squad Profile:

The only reason we find ourself in such a great position is because of the squad I've put together. 

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Our squad consists of very versatile players who all have great personalities. On top of that, our squad is very young and already successful. 

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These have been our stand out performers so far this season. Trent came in the January transfer window after being upset by how poor Liverpool had become and he has really pushed the squad forward. He's more than capable of playing right back, right wing and central midfield for me. A truly complete player in my eyes. It's a shame I couldn't sign him earlier in his career. The title for best player of our squad however belongs to none other than Francis N'Gakosso. (I will include his screenshot in the next update because I've exceeded the upload size limit)

Competitions:

As I'm writing this the league has already been won and we set goal scoring records in the process. 

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Two games left to play and we have scored 130 goals and conceded only 23. City's decline is worth noting. They have had most of their current players leave without properly replacing them and made the mistake of hiring an under qualified Vincent Kompany twice over the years. The last trophy they won was in 2022. Liverpool also find themselves in a similar situation as they have hired Gerrard using their heart instead of their brain and they failed to properly replace their aging superstars. 

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We have the chance to win the treble this year and what an achievement that would be. We started as a small club punching above our weight in the championship and now we're in the champions league final...  What a story. And it could only realistically be told on FM given the current state of the club (just dropped to bottom of the table as I was writing this). 

As I said earlier, I have reached the limit for attachment file size so I will have to break this post into two parts. The next part will be the conclusion of the season and I will be updating the post as I play the two cup finals. 

To be continued...

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2 hours ago, 3rik said:

Congrats on the treble, great achievment! 

Would be interstering to see this tactic tested in another club with new players!

Thank you, it felt like a good way to end the era. I was looking through some of the potential clubs I could take over yesterday and it looks like Italy or Germany might be the next destination. 

Obviously every player is important but I put high value on the central midfielders and fullbacks for this tactic and quality fullbacks are hard to come by these days so options are limited if I want to compete instantly. We shall see what happens

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6 hours ago, HanziZoloman said:

Why not start over in a lower league, this would be a fantastic story.

like Waldhof Mannheim ;)

I’m not sure I have the patience to build up another club right now haha. But who knows, if they have good facilities and their board would let me choose the club philosophies I wouldn’t rule it out. When I get home I’ll have a look and see if they’re still in a playable league.

I’m still looking through the save trying to find a club to manage. While I was doing this I started documenting how I was going about it so I’ll make that a post soon! 

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That’s great @Pattric_b I’m still reading and following. If you take a club like Mannheim I could learn more, how you‘d do everything on the way up. It’s difficult but so rewarding. I have managed Kaiserslautern which have very good youth facilities and is also in 3rd division. They also have a nice stadium (49.000). 

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4 hours ago, HanziZoloman said:

That’s great @Pattric_b I’m still reading and following. If you take a club like Mannheim I could learn more, how you‘d do everything on the way up. It’s difficult but so rewarding. I have managed Kaiserslautern which have very good youth facilities and is also in 3rd division. They also have a nice stadium (49.000). 

I just checked and they were relegated in the 26/27 season and haven’t been seen since. I also don’t have the 3. Bundesliga loaded so I would have to wait until next summer for it to appear. 

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8 hours ago, xLiamReynoldsx said:

This thread has inspired me to play the game in a completely new way, Thank you.

That’s great, please post what you’re doing in your save, I’d like to see!

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19 hours ago, Pattric_b said:

That’s great, please post what you’re doing in your save, I’d like to see!

I just need to decide on a team. I'm gonna wait until after the deadline day and download the Sortitoutsi update and pick one then!

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On 30/01/2022 at 18:13, xLiamReynoldsx said:

I just need to decide on a team. I'm gonna wait until after the deadline day and download the Sortitoutsi update and pick one then!

I've decided on Volendam after reading this article on Sky Sports. (https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11096/12529389/johan-cruyffs-vision-alive-at-fc-volendam-ruben-jongkind-reveals-how-his-spirit-lives-on-in-their-success

I did think of Krasnodar but after seeing the foriegn player limits decided not to bother. 

I'll be starting the save tomorrow and be sure to update!

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Finding the Best Destination to Ply My Trade

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So, thats it. I'm officially unemployed after spending many years at Barnsley and becoming a legend. I've essentially laid myself off and will wait for my next opportunity to come.  I won't be coming back for any club though. The conditions have to be perfect for me to come back. Since there will be a waiting period in between now and when I get my next job, I think it would be cool to search for the best clubs that would suit my style and find where my ideal players are located. Obviously, I will not be including anyone associated with Barnsley in this post as I will not be going back there anytime soon. The goal is to find the right club who has their foundation already laid to be successful.

Finding The Right Club:

The first thing I do is go to player search and create a filter to find the best players for my philosophy. I try to pick core attributes that aren’t necessarily offensive or defensive. I could be wrong about these all being neutral attributes but this is just my interpretation of the game. They are general attributes I want all of my players to be good at. The nine I chose are:

Anticipation- Can they predict what's going to happen and see a few steps ahead?

Teamwork- Does he work well with others?

Work rate- Will he be constantly running and putting in effort for the teams sake?

Decisions- Are they smart enough to make the right choices?

Composure- Will they be able to perform when the spotlight is on them?

Acceleration- Can they reach a high speed in a short period of time?

First touch- Can they control the ball quickly when they receive a pass?

Technique- Are they comfortable with the ball at their feet?

Stamina- Will I have to sub them off before 90 minutes?

The majority of these are mental attributes and that’s because it's obviously hard to find players who are this strong mentally. The best players in the game are generally all rated highly in those attributes. I also think that players with outstanding physical attributes and average mental and technicals can be of use to any club. I'm in a position to really manage any club at this point though so I am aiming for the best. 

After applying the attributes to the filter, I set the attribute to be at least 14. This will find the truly world class players. I also limited the age to 33 so I don't get any retired players. Here are the results. 

aDbCk35.pngHvuGmAr.png

Club totals:

Barnsley- 7 players

Arsenal- 5 players

Inter- 5 players

Milan- 5 players

Chelsea- 4 players

Man City- 3 players

Man Utd- 2 players

Liverpool- 3 players

Real Madrid- 3 players

PSG- 3 players

Tottenham- 3 players

Barcelona- 2 players

Roma- 2 players

Lyon- 2 players

Valencia- 2 players

Atletico, Leicester, PSV, West Ham, Monaco, Brighton, Athletic, Lokomotiv Moscow, Fiorentina, Napoli, Hertha BSC, Juventus, Real Sociedad, RB Leipzig and Bayern- 1 player

The only relevant information I should share is that the Milan clubs have returned to greatness and Chelsea is a powerhouse under Guardiola. Straight away I can cross off City and Chelsea. I have never managed either club in my FM history and don't plan on starting now. I also don't want to manage in France at the moment. That shortens the list of clubs but it's important to realize these aren't the only good players in the game. They're the world class players. 

Country totals:

England- 10 players (TAA, Bellingham, Tomori, Davies, Mount, Foden, Abraham, Smith-Rowe, Calvert- Lewin, Sancho)

Spain- 8 players (Pedri, Gavi, Olmo, Rodri, Soler, Oyarzabal, Garcia, Morlanes)

Italy- 6 players (Barella, Bastoni, Tonali, Locatelli, Kean, Pessina)

France- 6 players (Camavinga, Aouar, Kounde, Nkunku, Tchouameni, Kamara)

Portugal- 5 players (Vitinha, Neves, Augusto, Ramos, Conceicao)

Brazil- 5 players (Barbosa, Dodo, Martinelli, Jesus, Denilson)

Serbia- 4 players (Vlahovic, Jovanovic, Vujovic, Milenkovic)

 

Argentina- 3 players (Martinez, Alvarez, Dominguez)

Germany- 3 players (Neumann, Musiala, Havertz)

Belgium- 3 players (N'Gakosso, Guler, De Ketelaere)

Netherlands- 2 players (de Jong, van de Beek)

Norway- 2 players (Berge, Odegaard)

Hungary, Japan, Uruguay, Ivory Coast, Colombia, Albania, Cameroon, Zambia, Ukraine, Japan, Nigeria, Russia, Austria, Algeria- 1 player 

The surprising or non surprising information, depending where you're from, is England have the most complete players. Hell, you could probably fit all those players into the same starting XI if you tried. Not only do they have the best players, they also won back to back world cups and are stacked with upcoming youth players. It is pretty obvious to me that the best clubs to manage in my particular save are in England.

The next world cup is approaching so I wouldn't be against taking over a country. I can't see England sacking Potter but even if they did I'm not sure I would go for the job. The Italian manager is under threat of being fired, as is France, and I would consider both jobs. Italy have 6 total players, all of whom you can fit into your starting team. France have one less but you can fit all of them into your starting team as well. 

Clubs Squad View:

I won't be traveling to France (PSG, Monaco and Lyon). And I have removed Chelsea and Man City from my list. I also have a dislike for Real Madrid and have never managed there. So, that's another team removed. The list of clubs I'm considering are:

- Arsenal

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With this squad and the fact they have an exceptional junior coaching, youth recruitment and superb training facilities, Arsenal look very interesting. The regular front three that I've played against over the years are Smith-Rowe, Kean and Saka and it has been a pain. The fact they had Calvert-Lewin also on the bench waiting to come in and score a late header was especially annoying. They also have a solid midfield with Odegaard, Gilmour, Ricci and a complete defensive player in Tomiyasu. To their credit, they have 5 players from their academy in their first team squad. 

- Inter

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The blue side of Milan are very strong and just behind their rivals. Barella is a player I really admire and I tried to bring him to Barnsley but obviously I was unsuccessful. They also have a Belgian newgen called Guler who looks like he will be the next Balon D'or winner. I also love Bastoni. 

- Milan

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The best squad in the world (not counting Barnsley). Kessie, Milenkovic, Vlahovic, Camavinga and Tomori are the standout players along with Tielemans and Hernandez. Four world class central midfielders is a great problem to have! They've been sweeping the Serie A lately and don't seem like stopping. 

- Man Utd

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Man Utd have an aging squad who are in trouble of becoming another Liverpool or City. Players like Maguire, Fernandes and Goretzka are good but need to be replaced before it's too late. On the plus side, they have Sancho, Kamara and Kounde who are world class players. I'd also class Moriba as a world class player but his downfall is his teamwork and work rate. As you would expect, they have top facilities and the best youth recruitment. This is a hard decision because I am a United supporter and I would like to run the club my way given my unhappiness with how things are going in real life. That unhappiness also equates to disgust given all the issues currently going on at the club. We seem totally mismanaged from top to bottom with players who don't care about results. But i'll save all that talk for my therapy session :P

- Liverpool

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Liverpool have a good squad but it pales in comparison to their current team, even with Haaland. Whichever club you support it's impossible to deny the clubs history. Bill Shankly is a personal idol of mine and I love his philosophies. It would be interesting to do a deep dive into his beliefs and play style and try to translate it into FM. 

- Tottenham

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Spurs have a solid squad and have 3 total players with a few just missing out. Harry Kane just left the team for Chelsea on a free and although he's 35 he still has a lot to offer as a central midfielder, so that's a loss. Anyone who plays FM into the future knows how tremendous Isak is and I could easily build a team around him. He is a similar mold to N'gakosso. They also have Rovella under contract who looks incredible. If you haven't caught on yet, my favorite type of player is a complete central midfielder who can defend and attack. Those types of players are very important for how I like to play so they're usually the first players I try to find. 

- Real Sociedad

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I've always wanted to manage a Basque club, but for whatever reason, I never have. This Sociedad squad just finished 3rd in La Liga. They have the fewest first team players out of all these clubs but I prefer that to larger squads. They are looser as far as Basque player requirements go compared to Athletic Bilbao. But I have them on the list mainly because I love Oyarzabal, Zubimendi, Merino and Belotti and I think it would be cool to bring some silverware to the club before they retire. 

Other Options:

These are the big clubs I'm considering but by no means are they the only clubs I'm considering. To be honest I've become disassociated with modern soccer over the past few months. Supporting United will do that to you. It all came to a head this past weekend and it's the lowest I've felt as a supporter in my life. The money in the sport is outrageous to me and it is creating these young kids who are totally out of touch with reality. I'm tired of seeing these guys getting paid more in a week than most make in a year going through the motions and not giving their all for the club and supporters. And with that being said, I want to consider smaller clubs in the lower leagues. I don't want to pick any old club, if I'm going to go back to the lower leagues I'll need to have some sort of connection to the club in some way. After looking through the save and going over club history (took me 4 days), I've come up with these clubs:

- Celtic

The Lisbon Lions won the European cup with a team consisting of players born no more than 10 miles from Celtic Park. A feat that will never be duplicated again in modern soccer. Celtic is a club very dear to my heart, I have early childhood memories watching them with my family. 

- Everton

They were recently relegated last season but have since been promoted and taken over by a tycoon in my save. I always had a soft spot for Everton after all the years of being overshadowed by Liverpool. It would be fun to change the tide in Liverpool and finally turn them into the successful club their supporters deserve. 

- Burnley

They were credited with played an early version of total football under Harry Potts and won the league in 1959/60 because of it. Burnley were also a founding member of the football league. They are similar in a lot of ways to Barnsley coming from small town in the north of England. I also like their colors.

- Derby County 

Brian Clough was an amazing manager and he achieved a lot with Derby in a short period. I also think Wayne Rooney is doing a great job managing the club right now. They're a founding club in the football league and I think it would be interesting managing them. 

- Blackpool

I'm not sure why but their season in the Premier league in 2010 has always stuck with me. They were a fun team to watch. They also have a long history and Stanley Matthews once played for the club. Now, fluttering in League 1, they seem like a club ready to be taken back to the Premier League. 

- Lokomotiv Moscow

East Europe is always an interesting time and Lokomotiv have recently emerged as an up and coming club. It would be fun to shift some of the European power from west to east. One thing I always like about Russian clubs is their ability to keep their squads mostly homegrown. 

- Preston North End

I first became interested with Preston after reading about Bill Shankley's career. I have an affinity towards clubs from working class cities and towns. A long time ago, Preston were the first Invincible team in England, this would be an interesting challenge to try and recreate. They also produced one of the greatest English players of all time, Tom Finney. I believe Finney was also a plumber by trade, which I also am. Or at least he owned a plumbing business... They have recently fallen into League 1 and appear to be a club with great riches so I am interested in Preston. 

I'm open to going to any club as long as they have potential and there is room too grow. Starting in the lower leagues could be cool again because it gives me another chance to build up a club in a different way rather than focusing on the 'moneyball' techniques. But I haven't decided, it all really depends on who gets sacked and who is willing to offer me a job. My next post should hopefully be an introduction to my new club! 

That's all for now, thanks for reading. 

 

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10 hours ago, xLiamReynoldsx said:

I've decided on Volendam after reading this article on Sky Sports. (https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11096/12529389/johan-cruyffs-vision-alive-at-fc-volendam-ruben-jongkind-reveals-how-his-spirit-lives-on-in-their-success

I did think of Krasnodar but after seeing the foriegn player limits decided not to bother. 

I'll be starting the save tomorrow and be sure to update!

That's awesome, thanks for sharing that article. I'd like to see how you plan on managing the club to imitate their real life ideas. 

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Really enjoyed reading this thread and gave me lots of ideas for my build a nation in wales.@xLiamreynoldsx  that was a great article about volendam, would be interested in a separate thread about that journey 

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5 hours ago, Rashidi said:

The effort of this thread alone deserves 5stars.

Thanks rashidi, I’m having a good time. 

8 hours ago, HanziZoloman said:

Vote for Preston 🖐🏽

I was holding out for Preston but their manager refuses to get sacked. I will have a new post up tonight about the my next club!

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Just come across this thread.  

I am going to put your name forward for the job when it inevitably becomes available at the end of the season.  You probably could do a better job than our current head coach & the guy before him combined!

Not gonna lie, for a few minutes there i got totally carried away & for a moment read this as if it was real.  The most joy i have had all season!

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5 hours ago, samwilzrhcp said:

Just come across this thread.  

I am going to put your name forward for the job when it inevitably becomes available at the end of the season.  You probably could do a better job than our current head coach & the guy before him combined!

Not gonna lie, for a few minutes there i got totally carried away & for a moment read this as if it was real.  The most joy i have had all season!

Very disappointing how the season has gone so far. I try to watch as many of their games as I can and the performances have been lack luster and with little enthusiasm. Like a team that’s already accepted their fate. When they announced their current manager I thought it was unusual but you gotta give him a chance, he was walking into a tough position. I would love the chance to manage them in real life but I don’t even think Guardiola could help this squad right now haha. 

Glad you enjoyed the thread though, and let’s hope they find form soon and pick up the performances! Heres to hoping! 

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The Next Chapter

 

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(Warning, another long post)

I had been enjoying my time off when I saw the news. Burnley had sacked their manager. They sit comfortably at the bottom of the Premier League in mid December, with 9 points in 19 games. Safety is 8 points away and they appear to be doomed for relegation...

I'm only after reading about Harry Potts, the former manager of Burnley from 1958 to 1970. He isn't a household name for whatever reason but he is credited with bringing Total Football to England. Burnley are an overlooked club from a small city only an hour and a half away from Barnsley. I felt compelled to help them battle relegation and keep them in the league. They are a club with an interesting history and deserve to be competing for a title. I feel the urge to follow in Harry Potts footsteps and achieve just that. 

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We're off to Turf Moor!

Harry Potts and the Forgotten History of Burnley

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1959/60 title winning squad photo

I would like to preface this post with a little history I'm sure most of you have never heard of. When people think of English soccer teams and players, historically they are synonymous with direct play, fast pace, very physical and aggressive play. That stereotype was broken in 1959 in a very unlikely place.

The above image is the greatest side in Burnley's history. In 1959/60 they managed to win the title on the final day of the season after defeating Man City 1-2. They received plaudits from their peers that season for their innovative style of play. Under Harry Potts, they are credited with playing an early version of "Total Football". I know, Harry Potts doesn't quite hold as much weight as a name like Rinus Michels or Johan Cryuff around here but in reality, his ideas and implementation of a playing philosophy are quite similar. I think the fact there is very little footage of this Burnley team in action plays a part in this team being forgotten about. But judging by what I've read, they played very similar to Ajax in their prime. 

A lot of people credit Jimmy Hogan with inventing the idea behind total football and bringing it to the Austrians who then influenced the Hungarians. Hogan came from Burnley and Potts spent the majority of his playing career at Burnley so it came full circle. But, the biggest influence on how he had Burnley playing was the great Hungarian side of the 1950's and specifically Hungary's humiliating destruction of England in 1953. Hungary won 6-3 that day, in Wembley, and it shocked the world. 

This Burnley side in a sense also utilized the moneyball technique I adapted at Barnsley. They won the title with the lowest transfer fees spent and only bought 2 of the players shown in the picture above. The rest were products of their superb scouting system and academy, which Burnley championed. With a population of 81k at the time, they were and I believe are still the smallest city to ever win the League title. They also had approximately 33% of Burnley's population show up for their home matches which is unprecedented. The average percentage in the league at that time was 12. 

Bringing Total Football To Britain

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Jimmy Adamson, the Burnley wing back, said ‘We liked to keep our game fluid. We didn’t believe in sticking to numbers on our backs. If the full-back suddenly found himself in the momentary role of a winger, then he got on with it, and someone else took over his job in the rear. Burnley played their football “off the cuff”. That best described the Burnley style. There were few hard and fast rules. Obviously we tried to vary our tactics according to the opposition and state of the pitch. But off the cuff fluid football is the aim.’

Jimmy Robson, the Burnley inside forward, added: ‘There was no detailed game plan as such, not in the way that there is today. Each player knew broadly what was expected of him. We didn’t adopt a way of playing to deal with different opponents. Had we done so, say, in Hamburg, when they knocked us out of the European Cup, we might have done better. But generally speaking we played what we considered to be our natural game. It was based on the WW formation except we played it with pace and mobility. It was something which we built up over years of playing together. A lot of it seemed common sense. For example, if Jimmy Adamson moved forward, one of us would cover the gap. We didn’t need to be told, it was almost instinctive. As inside-forwards we knew we had to funnel back when we were under attack. The wing-halves – Jimmy Adamson and Brian Miller or Bobby Seith – would pull back to reinforce the defence and we, inside-forwards, needed to stay in touch with them.’

He also said "A very important aspect of the clubs success was the family atmosphere at Burnley. We were a close bunch. We got on well with one another. We would be pleased for one another when success came."

You can see how important teamwork was to this Burnley side. They were a very versatile team with their players capable of playing multiple positions. Two of the most important ingredients for Total Football.  Potts set Burnley up in a 4-4-2 formation playing a swift passing game. The players were encouraged to be comfortable on the ball (technique) he also valued possession and wanted his team to keep the ball as much as possible. He trained them to pass the ball only when a teammate was open in space. Long balls were generally frowned upon. The Burnley fullbacks would surge forward at any opportunity and the centerbacks would try to play their way out of trouble and deliver defense splitting passes. 

"Wolves legend Billy Wright was impressed by the methodology of Potts, stating “every man is searching for space.” Jimmy Greaves was another admirer, describing the Burnley way as a “smooth, skilled football that was a warming advertisement for all that was best about British football.”

This Burnley team lasted four years (1960-1964) and in those years they won a league title, appeared in the FA Cup final, appeared in the European Cup quarter final and the league cup semi- final. They finished top four each of those years as well. As to the actual reason this team never gets talked about, is beyond me, but they deserve plaudits. 

Other Factors That Set Them Apart

 

Burnley is a very small city with a population of only 80k at that time compared to 88k now. They were a failing textile and coal mining town being left behind as technology developed. Although Burnley is a small place, their fanbase was as passionate as any other club if not more so. 33% of Burnley's population would show up for a home game. As I said earlier in the post, the closest other team only had 12% of their population show for a game. These numbers are obviously skewed given how small Burnleys population is compared to cities like London, Liverpool, Manchester, etc. But it goes to show how much the residents of Burnley relied on their club as an escape from their weekly work life. Their support was undeniable. Burnley had to top Man City on the final day of the season to capture the title and they estimate 30k Burnley supporters traveled to Manchester to try and squeeze into the stadium. Thousands of supporters were forced to listen on a radio outside the stadium. 

Burnley implemented a scouting system that leveled the playing field in the sense that they recruited young players for cheap and a lot of them made their way into the first team. Their chief scout Jack Hixon was known for unearthing talents in the north east of England. Jimmy Adamson, the Burnley captain,  was one such player, and he was not alone. John Angus, Tommy Cummings, Ray Pointer and Jimmy Robson were all from the north east and recruited to Burnley by Hixon. All five players were key to their title winning season. 

Burnley Philosophies to Integrate

This is going to just be a quick recap of what I've written about, a summary, of what changes I'm going to be implementing at my new club. There isn't much written about how they played defensively so I can only imagine it was similar to how other teams played at the time. 

- Fast paced pass and move possession style tactics. No more defensive route one tactics. Attacking fullbacks, centerbacks with good technique and passing and complete players with great teamwork and technique. 

- Sign and recruit versatile players.

- Have the best scouting system and scout all corners of England for local players. 

- Bring a league title back to Burnley

- Win trophies with a small budget

 I will go into more detail about these points as we progress through time. Right now I'm focusing on surviving relegation. 

Burnley in My Save

It's December of 2030 and its been about a year and a half since I left Barnsley. Arteta has been named Barnsley manager but only after Pochettino decided to leave for the United job. 

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A quick look at this team, there are 3 former Barnsley players in this squad (Brittain, Golitin and McLane), all of which were never good enough for the first team once I reached a high level of playing. They've also made the odd decision to loan some players who could be of great use to the first team. We have our work cut out for us. I made the decision to play our first game the same way I set up my Barnsley side to see how far off the standard we are. 

My first game came one day after being announced and it was against Arsenal. So there is a sense we are being thrown to the wolves. Win, lose or draw I won't fault anyone just yet. 

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And to my surprise, we held our own before inevitably being overrun by Arsenals quality. We lack a lot of quality in a key area, central midfield. I would share my schedule page but its mostly red dots. We lost every single game we played in December for example. 

I will absolutely be making signings in January. With a remaining transfer budget of 18m, I have some wiggle room. Luckily the player profile I'm looking for is pretty similar to what I did at Barnsley. In order to play total football, you need complete players. 

I began trying to recruit my former collegues at Barnsley but not surprisingly most don't want to join a team destined for relegation. Even our friend Matt...

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So, the journey begins again. We will attempt to claim a league title and European glory by playing a specific way. The Harry Potts way!

Tl;dr

I've taken over as Burnley manager and I plan to save them from relegation then restore success at the club by adapting similar play philosophies and techniques used by Harry Potts in the 1959/60 season. Total Football is coming back to Burnley!

Thank you for reading and if theres anyone who has more information to offer in regards to this Burnley team, feel free to share!

Sources:

https://thesefootballtimes.co/2018/02/27/burnley-total-football-and-the-pioneering-title-win-of-1959-60/

Quelch, Tim. Never Had It So Good. Pitch Publishing, 2015

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Football

 

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50 minutes ago, stuartlaw11 said:

Can’t wait for the Burnley journey. Do you use any player instructions in your 424 formation 

At the moment I do not but it could change depending on the player. I may try ‘roam from position’ to try and achieve what I’m going for. 

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If I couldn’t love this thread more, you’ve gone and chosen my team ‘little old Burnley’ - welcome! 

Some awesome research done on Harry Potts and the title he won. He actually has the road next to the ground named after him, while the star player during that era for us was Jimmy McIlroy who has a stand named after him at the ‘Turf’. 
 

McIlroy was an amazing dribbler so you’ve definitely got to try find your own Jimmy. Many fans say Potts was the best manager we’ve ever had, despite the outstanding recent achievements of Sean Dyche (vs what we are up against financially in the PL). Definitely a contrast in styles between the two!

 

Cool that you start with them just as tonight IRL we become only the second team in England to pass 5000 professional matches played - that is quite a history. Many look at Burnley and dismiss us as a northern, physical side these days but we’ve got a fine and interesting history - as you say, Potts’ side were an outstanding footballing team. 
 

Will be following with keen interest, good luck! 

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7 hours ago, Shirts said:

If I couldn’t love this thread more, you’ve gone and chosen my team ‘little old Burnley’ - welcome! 

Some awesome research done on Harry Potts and the title he won. He actually has the road next to the ground named after him, while the star player during that era for us was Jimmy McIlroy who has a stand named after him at the ‘Turf’. 

McIlroy was an amazing dribbler so you’ve definitely got to try find your own Jimmy. Many fans say Potts was the best manager we’ve ever had, despite the outstanding recent achievements of Sean Dyche (vs what we are up against financially in the PL). Definitely a contrast in styles between the two!

Cool that you start with them just as tonight IRL we become only the second team in England to pass 5000 professional matches played - that is quite a history. Many look at Burnley and dismiss us as a northern, physical side these days but we’ve got a fine and interesting history - as you say, Potts’ side were an outstanding footballing team. 

Will be following with keen interest, good luck! 

Thank you for the kind words. I know all about McIlroy and how important he was to the team! Also, how Burnley was forced to sell him a few years later in order to raise funds. Finding a player who could fill his shoes will be difficult in the modern game but I've already signed a 16 year old Northern Irish midfielder who looks very promising. I was drawn to Potts because he had them playing my preferred way. I respect Dyche and what he's done, but defensive/long ball soccer isn't my forte. Excellent result for you tonight though!

Near End Of Season Update

We have 8 games left and currently sit 19th. We have had a nice turnaround, but we were starting so far behind, it will still be difficult to stay in the Premier League. 

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My first game in charge was against Arsenal. In which they scored two goals with 10 minutes left to steal the points. We nearly pulled off an upset against United in our most recent fixture, but FM had other ideas. Rashford scored a screaming free kick in extra time to send us home proud but disappointed. Our remaining fixtures are very unkind. 5 games against top teams. West Brom are just above us in 18th and Fulham and Wolves are bottom half and only 7 points above us. There is definitely a possibility of staying in the league. 

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Tactically, we have changed it up since Barnsley. We are trying to achieve a passing and possession style tactic where the players can change positions on the fly (very fluid). Our possession numbers have been strong considering our squad is very weak, but I bought in a few signings in January to change that. I am still having some issues getting the long balls under control. Removing 'counter' may fix that or further limit it. I have to experiment and see. 

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This is Alan Lindsey, the first player I first signed when I was hired. He is mentally strong for his age and technically; he has a great foundation to build on. My scouts say he is playing at a League one level already, so I have high hopes for Lindsey and hope he can develop properly. 

I will do another update when the season concludes. If I don't stay in the Premier League, I'm afraid I may be sacked, but let's hope for the best!

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Well, I’ll keep my fingers crossed and have faith in you! Tough work especially with this style of football in this situation. You’re not worried about the 5 bravery (Lindsey)?

Did you had some good experience with a 433 and counterpress soccer?
 

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5 hours ago, HanziZoloman said:

Well, I’ll keep my fingers crossed and have faith in you! Tough work especially with this style of football in this situation. You’re not worried about the 5 bravery (Lindsey)?

Did you had some good experience with a 433 and counterpress soccer?
 

Bravery isn’t an attribute I put a ton of stock in. For what I’m ultimately expecting of Lindsay, bravery, although would be nice to have, isn’t a necessity. I want him to be a playmaker capable of being smart enough to play simple and split defenses apart. Bravery isn’t needed for that. 

I do have experience with 4-3-3 in previous years but I prefer the 4-2-4 because I like having an equal amount of attackers as defenders. Also, the 1959 Burnley team played a 4-4-2 so I want to stay close to that! 

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On 06/02/2022 at 23:17, Pattric_b said:

The Next Chapter

 

spacer.png

(Warning, another long post)

I had been enjoying my time off when I saw the news. Burnley had sacked their manager. They sit comfortably at the bottom of the Premier League in mid December, with 9 points in 19 games. Safety is 8 points away and they appear to be doomed for relegation...

I'm only after reading about Harry Potts, the former manager of Burnley from 1958 to 1970. He isn't a household name for whatever reason but he is credited with bringing Total Football to England. Burnley are an overlooked club from a small city only an hour and a half away from Barnsley. I felt compelled to help them battle relegation and keep them in the league. They are a club with an interesting history and deserve to be competing for a title. I feel the urge to follow in Harry Potts footsteps and achieve just that. 

spacer.png

We're off to Turf Moor!

Harry Potts and the Forgotten History of Burnley

spacer.png

1959/60 title winning squad photo

I would like to preface this post with a little history I'm sure most of you have never heard of. When people think of English soccer teams and players, historically they are synonymous with direct play, fast pace, very physical and aggressive play. That stereotype was broken in 1959 in a very unlikely place.

The above image is the greatest side in Burnley's history. In 1959/60 they managed to win the title on the final day of the season after defeating Man City 1-2. They received plaudits from their peers that season for their innovative style of play. Under Harry Potts, they are credited with playing an early version of "Total Football". I know, Harry Potts doesn't quite hold as much weight as a name like Rinus Michels or Johan Cryuff around here but in reality, his ideas and implementation of a playing philosophy are quite similar. I think the fact there is very little footage of this Burnley team in action plays a part in this team being forgotten about. But judging by what I've read, they played very similar to Ajax in their prime. 

A lot of people credit Jimmy Hogan with inventing the idea behind total football and bringing it to the Austrians who then influenced the Hungarians. Hogan came from Burnley and Potts spent the majority of his playing career at Burnley so it came full circle. But, the biggest influence on how he had Burnley playing was the great Hungarian side of the 1950's and specifically Hungary's humiliating destruction of England in 1953. Hungary won 6-3 that day, in Wembley, and it shocked the world. 

This Burnley side in a sense also utilized the moneyball technique I adapted at Barnsley. They won the title with the lowest transfer fees spent and only bought 2 of the players shown in the picture above. The rest were products of their superb scouting system and academy, which Burnley championed. With a population of 81k at the time, they were and I believe are still the smallest city to ever win the League title. They also had approximately 33% of Burnley's population show up for their home matches which is unprecedented. The average percentage in the league at that time was 12. 

Bringing Total Football To Britain

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Jimmy Adamson, the Burnley wing back, said ‘We liked to keep our game fluid. We didn’t believe in sticking to numbers on our backs. If the full-back suddenly found himself in the momentary role of a winger, then he got on with it, and someone else took over his job in the rear. Burnley played their football “off the cuff”. That best described the Burnley style. There were few hard and fast rules. Obviously we tried to vary our tactics according to the opposition and state of the pitch. But off the cuff fluid football is the aim.’

Jimmy Robson, the Burnley inside forward, added: ‘There was no detailed game plan as such, not in the way that there is today. Each player knew broadly what was expected of him. We didn’t adopt a way of playing to deal with different opponents. Had we done so, say, in Hamburg, when they knocked us out of the European Cup, we might have done better. But generally speaking we played what we considered to be our natural game. It was based on the WW formation except we played it with pace and mobility. It was something which we built up over years of playing together. A lot of it seemed common sense. For example, if Jimmy Adamson moved forward, one of us would cover the gap. We didn’t need to be told, it was almost instinctive. As inside-forwards we knew we had to funnel back when we were under attack. The wing-halves – Jimmy Adamson and Brian Miller or Bobby Seith – would pull back to reinforce the defence and we, inside-forwards, needed to stay in touch with them.’

He also said "A very important aspect of the clubs success was the family atmosphere at Burnley. We were a close bunch. We got on well with one another. We would be pleased for one another when success came."

You can see how important teamwork was to this Burnley side. They were a very versatile team with their players capable of playing multiple positions. Two of the most important ingredients for Total Football.  Potts set Burnley up in a 4-4-2 formation playing a swift passing game. The players were encouraged to be comfortable on the ball (technique) he also valued possession and wanted his team to keep the ball as much as possible. He trained them to pass the ball only when a teammate was open in space. Long balls were generally frowned upon. The Burnley fullbacks would surge forward at any opportunity and the centerbacks would try to play their way out of trouble and deliver defense splitting passes. 

"Wolves legend Billy Wright was impressed by the methodology of Potts, stating “every man is searching for space.” Jimmy Greaves was another admirer, describing the Burnley way as a “smooth, skilled football that was a warming advertisement for all that was best about British football.”

This Burnley team lasted four years (1960-1964) and in those years they won a league title, appeared in the FA Cup final, appeared in the European Cup quarter final and the league cup semi- final. They finished top four each of those years as well. As to the actual reason this team never gets talked about, is beyond me, but they deserve plaudits. 

Other Factors That Set Them Apart

 

Burnley is a very small city with a population of only 80k at that time compared to 88k now. They were a failing textile and coal mining town being left behind as technology developed. Although Burnley is a small place, their fanbase was as passionate as any other club if not more so. 33% of Burnley's population would show up for a home game. As I said earlier in the post, the closest other team only had 12% of their population show for a game. These numbers are obviously skewed given how small Burnleys population is compared to cities like London, Liverpool, Manchester, etc. But it goes to show how much the residents of Burnley relied on their club as an escape from their weekly work life. Their support was undeniable. Burnley had to top Man City on the final day of the season to capture the title and they estimate 30k Burnley supporters traveled to Manchester to try and squeeze into the stadium. Thousands of supporters were forced to listen on a radio outside the stadium. 

Burnley implemented a scouting system that leveled the playing field in the sense that they recruited young players for cheap and a lot of them made their way into the first team. Their chief scout Jack Hixon was known for unearthing talents in the north east of England. Jimmy Adamson, the Burnley captain,  was one such player, and he was not alone. John Angus, Tommy Cummings, Ray Pointer and Jimmy Robson were all from the north east and recruited to Burnley by Hixon. All five players were key to their title winning season. 

Burnley Philosophies to Integrate

This is going to just be a quick recap of what I've written about, a summary, of what changes I'm going to be implementing at my new club. There isn't much written about how they played defensively so I can only imagine it was similar to how other teams played at the time. 

- Fast paced pass and move possession style tactics. No more defensive route one tactics. Attacking fullbacks, centerbacks with good technique and passing and complete players with great teamwork and technique. 

- Sign and recruit versatile players.

- Have the best scouting system and scout all corners of England for local players. 

- Bring a league title back to Burnley

- Win trophies with a small budget

 I will go into more detail about these points as we progress through time. Right now I'm focusing on surviving relegation. 

Burnley in My Save

It's December of 2030 and its been about a year and a half since I left Barnsley. Arteta has been named Barnsley manager but only after Pochettino decided to leave for the United job. 

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A quick look at this team, there are 3 former Barnsley players in this squad (Brittain, Golitin and McLane), all of which were never good enough for the first team once I reached a high level of playing. They've also made the odd decision to loan some players who could be of great use to the first team. We have our work cut out for us. I made the decision to play our first game the same way I set up my Barnsley side to see how far off the standard we are. 

My first game came one day after being announced and it was against Arsenal. So there is a sense we are being thrown to the wolves. Win, lose or draw I won't fault anyone just yet. 

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And to my surprise, we held our own before inevitably being overrun by Arsenals quality. We lack a lot of quality in a key area, central midfield. I would share my schedule page but its mostly red dots. We lost every single game we played in December for example. 

I will absolutely be making signings in January. With a remaining transfer budget of 18m, I have some wiggle room. Luckily the player profile I'm looking for is pretty similar to what I did at Barnsley. In order to play total football, you need complete players. 

I began trying to recruit my former collegues at Barnsley but not surprisingly most don't want to join a team destined for relegation. Even our friend Matt...

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So, the journey begins again. We will attempt to claim a league title and European glory by playing a specific way. The Harry Potts way!

Tl;dr

I've taken over as Burnley manager and I plan to save them from relegation then restore success at the club by adapting similar play philosophies and techniques used by Harry Potts in the 1959/60 season. Total Football is coming back to Burnley!

Thank you for reading and if theres anyone who has more information to offer in regards to this Burnley team, feel free to share!

Sources:

https://thesefootballtimes.co/2018/02/27/burnley-total-football-and-the-pioneering-title-win-of-1959-60/

Quelch, Tim. Never Had It So Good. Pitch Publishing, 2015

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Football

 

Hopefully we will be reunited again soon. All the best boss! 

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  • Pattric_b changed the title to Getting Barnsley and Burnley To Compete With The Top Four (on a budget) Total Football FM22

Conclusion Of 2030/31 Season

 

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We just nearly survived. We beat the teams who are close to us in terms of talent (West Brom, Fulham and Wolves) and that proved just enough to ensure survival. The large gap in talent between us and the big clubs was evident. We managed a draw against Liverpool but they are beginning a not so graceful fall from grace. Barnsley also managed to steal the title thanks to two late goals from Spurs (one being an own goal from Kounde in the 93rd minute which looked suspiciously intended) to defeat United on the final day. Barnsley put four past Fulham and the title was secured.

I am very relieved we were able to stay up. Going down would have not only delayed our plans by at least a year, but it could have gotten me sacked all together. But there will be no delay in bringing success back to Burnley! 

Cunning Clarets- Creating A Plan For Success

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We have a long road ahead to achieve greatness. It took me 7 years to lift a European cup with Barnsley and 3 years to win the league. If we are to have similar results with Burnley, changes need to be made and a clearly thought out plan needs to be formulated. 

My first act as club manager, was a move taken from the book of Shankly. Rather than wear white or baby blue shorts I made the change to a full claret stripe. A move Shankly made with Liverpool which is why they wear full red kits to this day. He thought it made them look strong and taller. I don't know if it makes us look stronger, I just like the color. I also brought the hoop socks back to add some character. 

Position And Tactical Necessities

As I said in an earlier post, we are moving towards a Total Football style of play with Burnley. At our peak, Barnsley were playing a close relative to Total Football. As far as the game was concerned it was Gegenpress but pressing the opposing team in a very fluid manner was a key aspect of the Dutch and Ajax sides of the 70s and more recently, Guardiolas Barca, City and Bayern teams. Given the fact there is little to no information about Burnleys defensive play from that time, I will make the decision to adapt the Michels school of thought and press our opponents when we lose the ball. 

As far as when we are in possession, there is enough information out there to understand Potts' philosophy and what he demanded of his team. You can also take information from teams that preceded the 1959 Burnley team by looking at the Hungarian Golden team and the Austrian Wunderteam. Both nations shared a common thread, Jimmy Hogan. Hogans ideas influenced the Hungarian side that trashed England and that match was ultimately what inspired Potts' philosophies. 

The players will be expected to have great off the ball movement, capable of finding space to offer themselves for a pass. Direct passes to the forwards and giving away possession needlessly will be frowned upon. But there will be freedom for players to play long through balls when the opportunity arises. In order to ensure they aren't just pumping the ball recklessly, they need to have strong mental attributes. I will also use team instructions to shorten the passing. 

Now let's break down what I expect from each position on the field.

Goalkeeper: All outfield players need to be comfortable with the ball at their feet. The same goes for our keeper. I would ideally have a keeper with qualities similar to Ederson. Someone who can play a short pass, keep it simple but also quick to react and able to sweep up through balls when needed. 

Central Defenders: I anticipate this position will be my hardest to fill. Technical cb's are few and far between in my save. I think my best bet will be to convert central and defensive midfielders to fill this position. Rather than break the bank on a CB in his prime years, buy young DM's and tailor them to suit my style. Good vision, technique and passing are a necessity. I would also like these players to have acceleration so if our opponents play more direct they will be able to deal with long balls and not get beat off the line so easily. My centerbacks will be expected to be able to play their way out of trouble and should be able to play long balls that split the defense. Thats what my dream centerback is capable of. 

Fullbacks: Burnley's fullbacks were known for being very attacking and constantly going forward, which was unusual for that time in England. Our fullbacks need to be proficient going forward as well as hustling to get back. I want the fullbacks to stay wide and overlap the wingers. Like Dani Alves and Pedro on Barcelona. After looking through my scouting page it appears that there are even less candidates to fill these roles. I could end up retraining central midfielders to fill this role as well, but they would have to have pace. 

Central Midfielders: I'm going with the classic attacker/defensive duo. Burnley's best player of all time was their central midfielder Jimmy McIlroy. He was known for being a playmaker with great vision, passing and dribbling. They called him the 'Brain' of Burnley. So whoever plays his position, theoretically needs to be our best player. Given the fact we are only playing two in midfield, they both need to be smart players. But, the defensive minded midfielder will give the other license to go forward and join the attack as they see fit. 

Wingers: Our wide players need to have incredible off the ball rating. Their movement in the wide areas will stretch the defense and leave space for our attacking central midfielder and strikers. They will also need to be intelligent to take a narrow position so the fullbacks can overlap them and overwhelm the opposition fullback. They don't necessarily need to be rapid, although it wouldn't hurt, but wingers similar to a Pedro type would be ideal. Great ball control and movement to find space and disrupt the back line. I want the wingers to be disrupters first and foremost. 

Strikers: One striker to be our spearhead and primary goal scorer and the other striker will be asked to drop deep and link with the midfield. It's a simple game plan. The only position on the pitch that I won't require high teamwork is my goal scorer. I want him to be a selfish, confident goal scorer who takes loads of shots. 

I already broke down which attributes are required to play the way we want to so I won't do that again. Teamwork is key. 

Scouting System

When I was hired by Burnley, they only had 6 scouts working for them and I let two of them go because they weren't very good. Burnley was known for their ability to scout youth players, sign them, and put them on a track to the first team. I want to recreate this again. I want to bring in players young to mold them to play the style we are aiming towards. That way, I won't have to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on players some other academy generated. 

We will try and tempt young Irish and British players to sign with us on a youth contract. Burnley's reputation isn't the best just yet, but eventually we should have enough pull to steal 15 and 16 year olds from their clubs. 

I'm also going to work on improving our affiliate clubs in an effort to get us more diverse youth intakes. Having youth clubs in different countries known for producing quality players will undoubtedly improve our intakes. 

The ultimate goal is to field a team consisting largely of academy/homegrown players. At least 8 of the starting 11. It isn't easy, but with a little luck, who knows. 

Summer Transfer Window

The immediate goal is very simple, improve the first team. Central midfield and the backline will be our priorities. We have a comfortable 95m to spend this summer which will undoubtedly help. I am most likely first going to try and sign players from my former club that I know the best, but if they're unwilling to sell to me or they don't want to join, then I will use the scout reports. 

I haven't had a lot of time to play lately and this post is coming a week after I actually finished the league. Hopefully that changes over the next few weeks so I can bite into this save and make progress. 

 

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I am eager to read and learn how you‘ll transform this club. I did make some progress with Kaiserslautern too but face similar problems, CD without tec abilities, fb …, youth income. Hope you’re going to show us a little around your youth academy.

Btw congratulations for avoiding the relegation! Great job! 

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  • Pattric_b changed the title to Getting Barnsley and Burnley To Compete With The Top Four (on a budget) Working Towards Total Football FM22

2031/32 Season Review

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Our first full season has drawn to a close, and we finished roughly where the media bet us to finish. In the preceding transfer window, I valued experience over youth and, as a result, our most of our main signings for the first team were all over the age of 30. Quite a change of pace from the Barnsley days. 

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Torres, Tielemans, Gomez, Skipp, Silva, Guner and Kothny were the new signings. Guner and Kothny were January signings after I realized I may have gone too far with the experienced (older) players. Skipp and Tielemans were my main central midfield pairing and, as you could expect, they got tired pretty fast. This led me to a tactical change. I decided, around mid season, to ditch the hard counter press style and opted for a more subdued approach to keep my better players on the field longer.

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You can see the intensity of the tactic is way lower than it was in previous posts. I turned my line of engagement and defensive line to normal but by increasing the overall mentality; it raised both of them by default. Much less extreme of a tactic. Our squad is average for the Premier League, but there were times I became concerned if we could even play a passing game. We fell into traps and were telegraphing our passes, which were easily intercepted and put us under heavy pressure. 

Regardless of that, we had some amazing upsets and punched way above our weight. The only top teams we weren't able to beat in the league were Barnsley and United. Every other top team, we beat at least once. We also beat City in the fifth round of the FA Cup, which was a huge result. Only to be embarrassed by Everton in the next round. But this season showed signs of progress. We had to set up a solid foundation before we can start competing, that way we can sustain any future success we have. Now that we have our coaching staff (senior, U23 and U18), scouting network and a clear tactical ideology set up, we just have to fill in the missing pieces on the pitch. 

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And here is the final league table. We achieved our preseason goal of finishing mid-table, so I get to live to see another year with Burnley. It disappointed me to miss out on a top half finish by one point, but a draw to West Ham on the last day saw Soton leap frog us. This summer will prove crucial in our goals, as we will have to continue to strengthen the squad. The gap in quality between our squad and Everton will be a challenge to close in one transfer window, but that's a necessary goal in order to progress the club to our goal of Total Football. Technically, you don't need to win the league, or any trophy in order for your style of play to be total football. But, as you can see by our squad's attributes, we are far away from having a team of total players who can pass and move. :ackter:

 

The Academy at Gawthorpe

It was a conscious decision to build the Burnley academy this past summer and try to fill the youth teams with promising players. This is where most of my budget went. I would rather conserve the budget I have and bring in young players so I can mold them into total footballers the best I can. Luckily, when I arrived, Burnley already had improved their facilities, which will save us loads of time and hopefully get us to producing quality youth players quickly. All that is needed is to improve our reputation like I did with Barnsley and the talent should appear. The aim is not only to improve players' soccer abilities but also turn them into respectable members of society that can succeed after their soccer career ends (I know how ridiculous this sounds but helps me for immersion).

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Our youth academy might be our best chance of having a team full of total players. Being in control of a player's training from the start is a huge advantage. As long as the player has potential, the sky is the limit. 

I also desperately had to improve the youth team's coaching staff because it was lack luster when I first joined. The coaches are being held to the same standard as the players. They need to have good personalities. This summer, I will look to increase the U18 staff size in order to have the best youth coaching team in the country, but we are very close to achieving that already. 

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The overall goal is to build the player's character and improve their professionalism. We'll aim to always keep the general personality of the youth team positive. Even as the youth team players change over the course of the years, new intake players with lacking personalities will improve easier. We want the youth players to always have a positive personality, so when we have players leave, other positive personalities fill their place and their departure doesn’t leave a gap in professionalism. 

Tutoring was completely changed a few years back and I have not really bothered using it since the change. I now prefer to rely on training schedules and hoping the youth squads' general personality effects the new youth players. I expect everyone to improve and if they don’t, they won’t last long at Burnley.

The last thing I want to mention that relates to the academy is that I will attempt to establish connections with affiliate clubs in different countries in order to give us a better pick of players coming in and hopefully making it more likely we attract the best young players. 

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There is already great potential lurking in our youth team. Singh, Lawrence, Abbas, Stoker, Hall and Probert all joined since I took over, but I'm most excited about Stoker, who coincidentally, hails from the northeast of England. 

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He already displays a great personality at a young age and possesses great technical skill. His teamwork will have to be worked on between now and when he turns 18, but I am confident I have a good player. He is currently dominating the U18 league instantly.

Here are a few other players I have high hopes for:

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Stefan is a very odd player. My scouts found him at Gillingham without a contract or work permit. I scooped him up for only 63k and although I wasn't able to secure a work permit for Stefan; I took the risk. Eventually about 6 months later, I reapplied, and they gave him a conditional work permit. My scouts really like him and think he has a lot of potential. Currently, he is having a very inconsistent loan spell at Bohemians. He scores a hat trick one game, then goes goalless with three 6.0 ratings in a row. Unusual player, but I love finding players like Stefan. 

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Chapman was a player I already heard about when I was at Barnsley. My scouts really liked him and it's clear to see why. Following a decent loan spell at Derby, I recalled him and gave him a chance in the first team. It's not like there's all that much competition keeping him out right now, anyway. 

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Lawrence appeared in my first youth intake last season. He is another player I am excited about. We have a lot of work to do as far as technical and passing ability goes, but I can see him being a solid withdrawn striker. Arif, unfortunately, was a casualty to the great unibrow pandemic that plagued newgens in this year's game. Following the recent update, the issue was nearly resolved, but Arif was one of the few unlucky individuals that the virtual razor seemed to miss. What a shame. 

Every year I will continue to post the new graduates of the academy to document their growth and to update the thread on the new upcoming youth players. The hype is real! 

Next Season

The goal next season is to improve on our league position and potentially battle for European qualification. We need to find better wingers, particularly on the right side. Tielemans is also getting up there in age and I don't think I could rely on his legs for another full season. But nothing will happen unless we get a sizeable budget to fix this squad. 

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This budget should give us some wiggle room to improve the squad. There's going to be a decent amount of outgoings as well to balance out the new players. We can only hope there are some good deals this summer! 

Let's hope it all goes according to plan. Thanks for reading!

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4 hours ago, fman1 said:

Picked up FM22 after the last update and threads like this make me want to play the game. Epic.

Thanks, glad to hear that. This has been the most fun I had on FM in a while so it’s cool others are enjoying it as well. Enjoy

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Great stuff as always man especially the youth chapter. I’d like to hear more of them and how you’ll shape into fit players.

At the moment I am working in France at Lorient and focussing strongly on youth development. It’s always nice to get some insights. 

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