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The Journeyman - FM22


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44 minutes ago, Number seven said:

Any plans to bring Sylvester Walker with you?

He’s the first player I scouted, but unfortunately I can’t afford him at the moment!

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Leicester 31/32 - January

We were actually quite quiet in the transfer window, despite ending up with £20m in the transfer budget. I'm really hoping the board don't keep some of that to themselves in the summer, because I'm going to need a decent sized budget to replace all the players who are either leaving on a free or I plan to sell. 

We did however, make two signings on loan:

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I'm very excited with Earl, he looks a very good player and I'm hoping if he does well for us this second half of the season we'll be able to get him for a reasonable price in the summer. Dalton comes in just as another option on the right wing as I've not been impressed with how my other right wingers have done so far. 

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We rejected some very big offers for Carlos in the window and actually tied him down to a massive new contract, he's not done anything special so far but he does look like a really good player attribute wise. 

Results

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We started off life at Leicester in the best possible way, beating Ipswich Town 4-0 away from home. We then however went on a run of 3 losses in a row which wasn't good, especially as we were so close to beating West Ham and we really could have done with winning that game, and losing to Championship Brentford in the FA Cup was pretty embarrassing. Thankfully though we did win our last 2 games of the month in must win games against Southampton and Fulham, both of which were clean sheets as well which was nice.

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We've played 24 games in the league and currently sit 13th, I think we're safe from relegation at this point but ideally I'd like to finish the season a couple places higher as the board want mid-table and I've already upset the board by getting knocked out of the FA Cup so early. 

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A massive shoutout has to go to Esposito, before I joined he'd only scored a couple of goals this season but ever since I've been in charge he's scored in every single game we've played, including a superb hatrick against Ipswich on my debut. He looks very good attribute wise and long may his good form continue! Watch him not score for the whole of February now that I've praised him...

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Leicester 31/32 - February

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A bit of a mixed month really, we should have done better. 

We started with a 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace and we conceded in the 94th minute, dropping points in the last minute has been a massive problem for us and I'm not really sure what to do about it. We did manage to grind out a win against Wolves but it proved to be the only win we could manage this month as against Aston Villa we were 2-0 down until they went down to 9 men and we could only rescue a point. In the final game against Liverpool we were actually 1-0 up thanks to a stunning goal from the midfield, but as usual we just couldn't hold onto a draw as we conceded in the 86th minute this time to leave the game empty handed. 

Of course we didn't expect to get anything against Liverpool but when you take the lead it always hurts to end the game on the losing side. 

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A lack of wins means we're starting to slip down the table, it's very tight but we're down to 14th position now. We really need to start picking up a few more wins next month but that could be difficult as we have games against Chelsea, Newcastle and Burnley. 

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Leicester 31/32 - Youth Intake

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Well this is absolutely awful. The intake was bad so I wasn't expecting much, but this might be one of the worst intakes I've ever seen. I don't think I've had a good intake in my career since the third season at Hamilton. I think the only player I will be taking from here is the top guy, potentially some of the 3 star potential players as well. 

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Top talent

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Leicester 31/32 - March

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The game against Burnley was meant to be our easiest game on paper, but it actually turned out to be our hardest as we lost 1-0. It turned out to be the last game I used the 433 control possession from Aberdeen in as well, in the Chelsea game we played a tiki-taka and basically nullified their whole team, it was a very boring game and we really had to grind out a point.

However despite picking up a point against one of the best teams in the country I wasn't satisfied as I knew we could play better, so for the Newcastle game I switched to a 433 gegenpress and I think it's the best I've seen us play since the start of my Leicester rein, all of a sudden we were creating chances left right and centre, scoring 4 goals on route to a massive 3 points in the league. My thinking behind going to a gegenpress for the end of the season is that all we have to play for now is the league so we're only playing 1 match a week, I know gegenpress is very taxing on the players but we'll be getting plenty rest in between games so we should be fine. I know it's only a short term fix, but we've got to take points in whatever way we can get them at this point. 

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We have 7 games left to play and currently sit 14th, I'm not quite sure what counts as mid table which is what the board want but I can tell it's definitely going to be tight. We've got a difficult month coming up now as we play both Manchester clubs, Everton and then Sheffield United - the latter of which is an absolutely massive game and is going to have to be a win. 

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Leicester 31/32 - Major Milestone 

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I've just got the news that this next match against Everton will be my 500th in football management, that's quite a big achievement I think! 10 years ago it all began in the North of wales when I got my first job after from Prestatyn, and here I are a decade later managing in the Premier League having won 3 league titles and a number of cups as well, most notably the European Conference League at Aberdeen!

What a journey it's been so far and here's to many more decades in the game!

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Leicester 31/32 - April

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What a month!! Definitely the best set of results so far at Leicester, it's fair to say the gegenpress is working well!

In the first game against Man Utd we were absolutely battered, so far in the Premier League they definitely have the best team I've come up against, it's just full of world class players and there's no shame in losing there, although 4-1 was maybe a bit harsh. But we took all our anger out on Everton unfortunately for them beating them 4-1 in an outstanding performance, they had no idea what had hit them!

Sheffield United were then beaten as expected in a very professional performance before we ended off with the best result of my time in England so far as we beat 12 time champions Manchester City 1-0 in front of a packed out King Power Stadium! It was an outstanding goal as well from Esposito who chipped the goalkeeper! As a Man Utd fan this is even sweeter, but as a professional manager I should probably keep that secret!

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That run of wins has sent us all the way up to 11th and level on points with West Ham in 10th, we're so close to being officially a top half side! In other news, our win against Sheffield United confirmed their relegation to the Championship. We've got 3 games left to play, so the next update will see us end our first season in the Premier League (even though we joined halfway through), hopefully we can continue our good form and end up in the top 10 places!

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Leicester 31/32 - May

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After a really positive April we've come back down to earth in May as we have been terrible. Yet again we conceded a late goal to lose the game against Brighton, it seems to be every time I take the DM off and add an attacking midfielder to win the game we concede a couple of minutes later. In the final home game of the season we could only muster up a draw against Bournemouth, yes they finished ahead of us in the league but we really should have been able to pick up a win here. 

Finally we finished off the season with a bottle job, we were 1-0 up against Spurs after scoring an excellent team goal but yet again just collapsed as we end up on the receiving end of a 2-1 defeat. 

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That means that we finish the season in 13th place, which I think might be where they were when I first took over. The board are happy but really we could have and should have finished a bit higher than we did, it was mathematically possible we could have finished 9th on the final day. I'm hoping for a big transfer budget this summer as we need a bit of a rebuild to take this club to the next level, but I'm not hopeful given the amount of debt that is slowly accumulating. 

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Leicester 31/32 - End of season review

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Not very much money at all, we're going to have to sell to buy. We already had 5 million in the transfer budget left over so they've effectively given me a transfer budget of 5 million pounds, although they have increased the wage budget ever so slightly.

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Leicester 32/33 - Summer Transfers

Outs

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Plenty of loans and some big transfers in there, while Caglar Soyunchu decided to hang up the boots.

Ins

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5 players come in this summer and pretty much all of them are cheap signings with a lot of potential; we've got an ageing squad so the plan was definitely to bring in some young talents and I think we've done very well in doing that, if you look at Gabriel, Cuevas and Thalhammer we brought them all for very cheap and their values have all jumped up massively which is definitely a good sign. 

We've got 25 million left to spend in January and hopefully a few more sellable assets so there's definitely potential to make a few more deals. 

Season Preview

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The media predict us to finish 12th, the board would be happy with that but to be honest I'm looking for a little bit higher. 

Tactic

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We're sticking with the same gegenpress tactic that we ended last season with for now, I'll see how it goes but we can always change it up if needed.

Final Thoughts

I'm pretty happy with the squad now and there's still money to bring players in which is exciting. I'm delighted with the new players we've brought into the club, they have a lot of potential and if we ever have to sell them we're on for a massive profit but more importantly I think they've added a lot of quality to the squad. Bring on the new season!

 

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Leicester 32/33 - August

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The first month of competitive football is now done and it's been largely successful. We started off the Premier League season with a 2-0 away win against Everton, it was good to keep a clean sheet on the first day especially away from home. We did then lose the home opener against Burnley and although Burnley aren't Burnley as we know (they've won the Conference League in this universe!), we still shouldn't be losing to them especially in the first home game of the season. 

We certainly bounced back in the next game though against Walsall of League One in the EFL Cup as we beat them 4-1 with a hatrick from new signing Eduardo Gabriel before rounding off the month with a 2-0 win away at Carrow Road. 

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After 3 games we sit 5th in the league table which is nice but it's early doors so things will most definitely change over the next few months. It's interesting to see Newcastle and all their money up in second with a 100% record so far, they're yet to win the Premier League in this save. 

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1 hour ago, Number seven said:

Couldn't afford Sylvester Walker?

There was points where I could have activated his release clause this summer, but he's just not really good enough for the Premier League. I'm sure he'd come in and do a solid job, but he only has 3 star potential so there's much higher potential players that I'm better spending my money on. 

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He had a decent season last year once I left and has also started this season very well.

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Leicester 32/33 - September

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We had four games to play in September, three in the league and one in the Carabao Cup. 

We started the month with a good 3-0 win against West Brom before going into a double header against Man Utd starting with the league game where I really felt we were unlucky, I always feel when we play United that it's clear when watching the games they have a better squad than us but we often manage their attackers quite well and limit them to few chances, but their attackers are so good they tend to score in the chances that I get to see in the highlights package. We had a few attacking highlights ourselves but just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. 

In the cup game against them though we made 9 changes to the team and did manage to put the ball in the back of the net thanks to a goal from Imanol Gil but this time we couldn't stop them going in at the other end as we conceded four goals which is never acceptable. It's frustrating as I'd say two of the goals were my goalkeeper's fault, and at 2-1 anything can happen. The board wanted us to reach the fourth round so we have failed that objective but I don't think they can be too annoyed given it was Man United we had to play in the third round. 

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Six games in and we occupy fifth position, but more interestingly the top 4 is currently made up of Man City, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Burnley! I told you this isn't the Burnley that you're used to!

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Sean Dyche lasted until 2030 before being sacked and is now manager of Roma!

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Leicester 32/33 - October

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Well this has been a really poor month. 

A draw away to Newcastle isn't a bad result at all, especially given the fact they are regularly qualifying for Europe now and of course it was nice to beat Brighton 4-0, but it's the last two results that annoy me the most. Crystal Palace are languishing around the relegation zone so it really should have been 3 points, but we had to settle for one. Then we played bottom of the league Wolves at home, theoretically the easiest game of the season, and again we drew this time thanks to a last minute equaliser for the player's first goal of the season. Absolutely infuriating and to be brutally honest based on the chances I was seeing in the match engine, we probably deserved to lose. 

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A failure to win games this month has meant we've slipped down the league now, occupying that final European spot after 10 games and it seems Newcastle and Burnley are following us. We're going to have to be much better next month but we've got some tricky games against Aston Villa, Man City and then West Ham which could be another potential banana skin for us. 

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Forgot to say at the weekend but I’m on holiday at the moment and didn’t bring the laptop to play Football Manager, so there won’t be anymore updates until at least Sunday👍 

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Leicester 32/33 - November

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So I'm back from my holiday, and what a welcome back from Football Manager it's been. 3 games, 3 defeats, 0 goals scored. We've looked absolutely terrible, and I'm not even sure where it is we need to be strengthening with our money in January. The City game definitely sticks out here, we were absolutely annihilated and went down to 9 men - this was my first game back on FM and it seems I was punished for going away. That's now 5 games without a win and we've scored just the 1 goal in those games as well, perhaps it's up front I need to be strengthening in January. 

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Yikes.

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Any signs of our good start to the season are all but gone now. 

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Well there goes the transfer money for January. We had 25 million, and just like that it's gone. Absolutely raging. 

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I've seen well worse finances than this.

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Youth intake preview

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Seems like we're going to have another poor youth intake which is a shame. We might have one decent player with some potential, but I don't hold out much hope for the rest. 

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Posted (edited)

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Leicester 32/33 - December

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Well what a turnaround this is, we've gone from not winning a single game in November to not losing a single game in December! Highlights are definitely drawing 1-1 with both Tottenham and Liverpool but the pick of the bunch has to be outplaying Arsenal in a 4-1 victory, that was very unexpected. I'm also particularly proud of the 2-1 win against Newcastle because we only really had half a squad for this and we had to play a midfielder out on right wing due to injuries and the congested fixture schedule, so to pick up a win given the circumstances was very impressive. 

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That means that as we go into the new year we occupy 7th place, a huge improvement from 13th last month. 

 

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Edited by BoxToBoxFM
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January 32/33

For some reason I can't get the Leicester logo I like at the moment, so you'll just have to imagine that it's there for now until it decides to work again.

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I think the best way to describe this month is decent. The draw against Wolves was frustrating as they are languishing around the bottom of the table but we bounced back in the next game against Cambridge United in the FA Cup Third Round, to be honest I was hoping for a few more goals than this given they are in league two but the most important thing is we didn't lose. We then beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in a close game, midfielder Leonel Cuevas got his first goal for the club late on in that one before we lost back to back games away in London, first to Chelsea 2-1 then Arsenal beat us 3-1. The final game was a straightforward one also away, this time against Burnley. 

Transfers - outs

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Couple of outs in January to fund the player you are about to see, the most noteworthy sale is of Johnny who leaves for 17.5m. He's 31 and his contract was expiring next summer so the plan was always to sell him now to get some money for him while we can. 

Ins

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Well what a signing this is from River Plate. It took until deadline day for him to finally be happy with the contract we were offering him but I hope he will be worth every penny of the massive contract we've given him. Attribute wise he looks outstanding and we'll be playing him in the mezzala role to replace Johnny. 

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It did completely wipe out the finances though...

League Table

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So we're now 8th in the league and just 2 points behind Southampton who occupy that 7th and final European spot. You can see from 4th to 8th it's all very tight so we have to remain consistent for the rest of the season if we want to try and get European football for next season. 

 

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Leicester 32/33 - February

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February has been better. 

It started poorly though, as we were lucky to get a draw against Brighton in the FA Cup to send it to a replay (I thought they'd got rid of replays now) which we did win more comfortably 2-0 in front of a home crowd and in between that we played Everton, which we won 2-0 in a snow-covered King Power Stadium. The next game against Liverpool was incredibly frustrating, yes we deserved to lose as they did hit the post at least twice, but when it's only 1-0 you always feel there was an opportunity to steal a point. However we took that frustration and turned it into determination as we battled fantastically against an ageing Chelsea side, they had the majority of the chances but super-sup Imanol Gil came up with the goods once again.

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10 games to go and look at how tight it is amongst the teams battling for the European places!

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Leicester 32/33 - Youth Intake

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Once again we've had a pretty poor intake. The top two players could turn out half decent, but I don't hold much hope. 

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Leicester 32/33 - March

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Just the two league matches in March and I have to say they were both pretty dissapointing. Away against Southampton was a massive game as they were just above us in the league table but we just couldn't create any real chances, The Saints defended well after taking the lead and came away with all three points. The next game was against bottom of the league Sunderland and we made this so difficult for ourselves, we scored early on but Sunderland equalised late in the game and it took an 88th minute wonder goal from Emilio Carlos to save us from an embarrassing result. 

The other two games were in the FA Cup. First up was Aston Villa and this game was first on Match of the Day that night when I was watching it at home, whenever they scored we scored and vice versa, we were always cancelling each other out before January signing Matias Ayala won us the game with a delightful chip over the goalkeeper in the box to get his second goal of the game and of his season as well. That set up an FA Cup Quarter Final tie with Hull City who were 16th place in the Championship and we won with ease here, putting 5 goals past them and keeping a clean sheet as well. This sets up an FA Cup semi final against an unknown opponent at the moment but it will also be my first visit to Wembley Stadium as well which I'm really looking forward to. I'll be honest, I didn't expect an FA Cup run like this at the start of the season!

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8 games to go and we're 8th in the league, dreams of Europe are slowly fading away thanks to the Southampton defeat but at the bare minimum I want to make sure we finish in the top half of the table. 

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It's the dream draw in the FA Cup Semis as we face Middlesbrough who are 20th in the Championship! Manchester City and Liverpool are playing in the other semi so one of them will be knocked out! We've just got to not bottle it against Middlesbrough now and given the fact they're struggling in the league but reached the FA Cup semi's, I know it could be a real possibility...

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Leicester 32/33 - April

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April has been really really poor.

Let's start with the obvious, Middlesbrough beat us in the FA Cup Semi Finals. An embarrassing result but I have to take some of the blame for it as I'd played a full strength team in the West Ham game 2 days before forgetting we had the FA Cup game coming up so our players were exhausted from the get go really but still, we should have had enough quality to beat Middlesbrough. 

Aside from that we lost three difficult league games against Man City, Aston Villa and Tottenham but did beat West Ham 4-0 and West Brom 3-0. I think that playing a gegenpress all season is really starting to catch up with the players as we played really poor in the defeats this month. 

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Europe looks like a distant hope now with 3 games to go and we still play Man Utd so it's going to be difficult to pick up maximum points, but we do also play Norwich and Bournemouth which both have to be wins.

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Leicester 32/33 - May

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What a dissapointing end to the season, we could have won all three of these games but for some reason we've just fallen off in the second half of the season and that's really dissapointing as we've pretty much bottled the chance of European football. The Norwich one was particularly dissapointing as we were absolutely dominating, made a substitution then conceded instantly - I feel this is so common in Football Manager and it doesn't get less frustrating each time it happens. 

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Man City ran away with the league with Haaland scoring 53 goals in the league. Meanwhile we finished 8th which is an improvement on last season and the main surprises of this season is Aston Villa finishing second and both North London clubs finishing well outside the European spots. 

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I doubt we'll get much in the way of a transfer budget this season as our finances are a mess so it's going to be another season of sell to buy.

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Our final squad for this season, Esposito is top goalscorer this season again with 20 goals and Carvalho ends with the most assists at 12. Centre back Morato had the highest average rating of 7.6.

Hopefully next season we can strengthen the squad further this summer with another few youngsters ready for a European push next season. That's the dream summer, anyway!

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The budgets aren't great, but what can I expect given the amount of debt we're in. 

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I've been reading this for a while, and it's one of the threads which convinced me I wanted to start posting my own journey(wo)man story here. It's a great story to follow along with! Looks like you have some financial issues to deal with, and missing out on European money as well as the football itself must sting, but a few good sales might tide you over for a season.

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1 hour ago, Alma Mater said:

I've been reading this for a while, and it's one of the threads which convinced me I wanted to start posting my own journey(wo)man story here. It's a great story to follow along with! Looks like you have some financial issues to deal with, and missing out on European money as well as the football itself must sting, but a few good sales might tide you over for a season.

Thank you very much! Love that it helped convince you to start you’re own journeyman, funnily enough I read the first few posts of it when you started it a few days ago but just haven’t got round to leaving a comment yet! (Will drop a follow on it later as well). I feel Europe is a must this season or we’re going to have to sell one of our key players in the summer which I don’t want to given I’ve been building up a young squad over the last few summers. 

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Leicester 33/34 - Summer Transfers

It's been a very quiet summer due to a lack of transfer budget but we did manage to make 3 signings. First though, the outs!

Outs

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The only player sale for money was Fernandez going to Spain, I had to sell someone if I wanted to sign anyone and given the fact I could get good money for Martin then it was him that had to make way. We did replace him for cheaper though as you'll see later. 

Ins

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Gil returns for a second season on loan, he does the role of backup striker very well and given the fact he's costing us no money this year apart from wages it seems a bit of a no brainer to me as he did score 15 goals in all competitions last season, mainly off the bench. 

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The most expensive signing of my career and I've had my eye on him for a year now so very happy to get this deal done, even though it's a lot of money. We really needed a new ball winning midfielder as Chalobah is 33 and most likely leaving on a free at the end of this season as Scott McTominay did this summer. Hopefully he turns out to be worth the price tag.

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The most exciting signing of the summer, it's our Martin Fernandez replacement. He may not be as good now but I'm hoping with 4 star potential and some very nice mental attributes that one day he'll be even better. We picked him up very cheaply thanks to his release clause and he scored an absolute beauty on his debut in the Carabao Cup. 

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Season Preview

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The media predict us to finish 10th this season but to be honest I'd hope we do a bit better than that, I'd really like this to be the year we qualify for Europe. 

Tactics wise we'll be rotating between the gegenpress and the control possession I think, both in a 4-3-3 formation. 

Club Vision

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Full Squad

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Lot's of potential in this team now, over the summer we've reduced the squad average age from 27 down to 25 which is nice. 

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Leicester 33/34 - August

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It's been a slow start to the season, I can't lie.

Despite losing 5-4 to Man United on the opening day I was actually quite impressed with our performance, particularly going forward. We then played out a boring 0-0 against frequent European qualification contenders Newcastle which I guess isn't the worst result in the world. Then came an embarrassing result, losing 4-1 to Championship side Birmingham where they scored 3 goals from set pieces. The only positive in this game was new signing Flavio scoring a great goal on his debut. At least the board don't care about this competition!

We then switched to the gegenpress again after starting the season with the control possession and it definitely made a difference, we totally controlled the game and ended up 2-0 winners. 

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3 games in we sit 3rd, but just look at Man City running away with it already - they've already scored 12 goals!

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Leicester 33/34 - September

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Another tough month but to be fair two of those games were ones we wouldn't expect to win against Arsenal and Liverpool. We did well to hold onto a point at The Emirates but we were in a dissapointing collapse against Liverpool as we were 1-0 but sadly took nothing from the game. The Palace game was the most frustrating of them all as those are the sorts of games we should be winning now. 

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I won't lie, I'm quite worried about our start to the season as with just one win on the board at the moment things are going to have to improve quickly otherwise we could be in trouble. October features some huge matches against Norwich and West Brom, we have to be picking up some wins there or it's going to be a long season where I'll probably find myself without a job. 

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Leicester 33/34 - October

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So much better.

We went unbeaten throughout October, with the highlight being beating Spurs 3-2 away from home. We beat Stoke and Norwich as expected but once again this season through away a lead as we were 2-0 up against West Brom for so long before the Baggies scored 2 late on, which was so frustrating given we had the lead for so long. Still though, to take 10 points from 12 available is miles better than what we were getting at the start of the season where we'd won 1 game in 6 I think it was. 

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We have recovered in the league now after languishing near the bottom in September, we're now up to 8th place and just a point behind the last European spot after 10 games. We need to keep this up for the rest of the season now, we've had a poor start so we can't really afford to go on anymore losing runs if we have hopes of continental football for next season.

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Leicester 33/34 - November

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Another very positive month. We started with a massive win against Blackburn as we put 5 goals past a team for the first time this season. Chelsea were up next and as expected in this one we did lose, I wasn't too happy to concede 4 but we do have to remember Chelsea are a much better side than us. Then it was a visit from Wolves and we did very well to grind out a 1-0 win here as Wolves are a team around us in the league. We then ended off with a huge 3-0 win against Aston Villa which I thought was a brilliant result, Villa finished second in the league last season and we rocked up to Villa Park and put 3 goals past them en route to maximum points. I bet they didn't expect that!

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We're looking so much better in the league now, up to 5th after 14 games played. I'd imagine we will drop though over the course over the busy winter period as we play so many games and no doubt we'll pick up injuries, plus it's very tight below us in the league with 3 teams all on 24 points.

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Leicester 33/34 - New Contract

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My contract was due to expire this summer and as I'm loving life at Leicester and totally buy into the long term project here, I was delighted to see the club were offering me a huge new contract keeping me at the club for the next 4 years. I was even more delighted to see they were offering me an 11.5k wage increase as well which is massive, I'm very happy that the board are backing me to take this club upwards, even if it's only a small bit of progress each year. Of course, I will be signing the contract to keep me at the King Power until the end of the 36/37 season. 

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I even managed to negotiate the wage up to 50k a week! I remember being on £150 a week back at Prestatyn, this is madness!

 

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Leicester 33/34 - Youth Intake Preview

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We've got two players predicted with a grade of A this year which is promising, although I'm definitely not getting my hopes up with how poor the last few have been. It's interesting that apparently we're going to get a good striker in, back at Hamilton we were getting 5 star potential strikers most seasons really. 

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Speaking of former intake strikers, Lee McAleenan is now playing for Seattle after moving on from Rangers. 

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Leicester 33/34 - December

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November started with a really dissapointing defeat to bottom of the league West Ham, I don't know why but we can never seem to beat the teams in the relegation zone as we also drew to Southampton later on in the month. We lost 1-0 to City, another frustrating one as we could have nicked a point on another day and that could be said about the Everton draw as well. 

We did win two games over the Christmas period though as we beat Burnley 3-1 and also passed the ultimate football test as we beat Stoke City away on boxing day. Of all days to have that fixture, it just had to be boxing day!

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We still occupy a European spot as it stands but with it being so close we can't really afford to go on any big losing runs. we've got to try and stay as consistent as possible. 

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2 hours ago, DavidBeckham said:

Solid progress at Leicester mate! I will definitely put in a bet on you bagging European football! Good luck for the second half of the campaign! 

Thanks a lot!

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