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[FM22] Reviving Bolton - Fabrice Muamba, the only man for the job


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The Start

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Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch at White Hart Lane during an FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham Hotspur while playing for Wanderers. Muamba dropped to the ground after his heart stopped on March 17, 2012. It took medics an excruciating 78 minutes to resuscitate the then-23-year-old.

Muamba came through the youth team ranks at Arsenal before moving on to Birmingham City and later to Bolton, for whom he played 148 times and scored four goals. Following his recovery from the cardiac arrest, Muamba announced his retirement from football in August 2012. He has since spent time being a pundit, studied for a degree in sports journalism at Staffordshire University and also undertaken coaching too at Rochdale with the club's under-16s.

The former England youth international had ambitions of becoming a manager one day and had a target of doing so at Bolton, ultimately taking Wanderers back to take on Spurs, the side against whom he suffered his heart attack, and play them in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with White Hart Lane now demolished to make way for the new ground.

“I’m lucky to even still be here. Every day for the last ten years has been a blessing. To be back on the grass, kicking a ball at Bolton Wanderers, coaching at the club I was playing for when they brought me back round, feels fitting. I’m so happy. My dream was to one day manage, to be manager of Bolton and take them back to Tottenham, where I had my accident. Now is a great time. It’s been a while and I’ve wanted to get back in and make a contribution to the football club. I feel I owe them one, I owe the people of Bolton. There’s an unfinished story there.."

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Game Status

Current Version: 22.4.1+1662587 (m.e v22.4.0.0)

Database Size: Large

Selected Nations (Leagues)

England (Sky Bet League Two And Above)

France (Ligue 1 Uber Eats Only)

Germany (Bundesliga Only)

Italy (Serie A Only)

Spain (First Division Only)

Edited by DavidBeckham
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Pre-season 2021/22

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Fabrice took over a squad which is more than capable of achieving the media prediction of 10th position. There are two starting center-backs capable of competing in the League One, two pairs of quick wing-backs, a well-rounded trio of strikers, and lovely technicians in central midfield.

Key Players

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Josh Sheehan is arguably Fabrice's best central midfielder at the club, and he will be his orchestrator and set-piece taker in the upcoming campaign. 

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Club captain and towering center-back Ricardo Santos will be the Trotters' most important player in both penalty boxes. 

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The Icelandic man mountain Jón Daði Böðvarsson will start the campaign as Fabrice's 1st choice frontman. 

Key Signings

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Fabrice's preferred formation is 4-3-3 with wide players cutting in and wing-backs providing the width. The squad which he inherited lacked a left-footed right winger and Femi Azeez was brought in on loan from Reading to address this gap. His pace and movement will be crucial down Bolton's right flank this season.

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Fabrice had an abundance of right-footed central midfielders but he wanted a left-footed one (like how Rafael Benítez wanted Gareth Barry back in those days) to provide more balance in the squad. He was surprised to find a player of Jordan Shipley's quality on the loan market and he wasted no time to bring him in. The medical department warned that he could be injury-prone though and he will need to manage the Irishman carefully to get the best out of his all-rounded game.

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The gaffer loves to push his defensive line high up the pitch and the Bolton squad lacked pace in central defence. Nathan Wood is the perfect addition as he is incredibly quick and he came in on a mere 850 pounds p/w loan deal from Middlesbrough. 

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And with that, Fabrice's 4-3-3 is all set and ready to go!

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5 hours ago, gggfunk said:

I love saves with former players as managers, it definitely adds realism. I will follow this, good luck!

Absolutely agree with this :cool: Good luck with Bolton @DavidBeckham

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On 08/05/2022 at 20:34, gggfunk said:

I love saves with former players as managers, it definitely adds realism. I will follow this, good luck!

22 hours ago, john1 said:

Absolutely agree with this :cool: Good luck with Bolton @DavidBeckham

Thanks both! I happened to chance upon an article on Fabrice's return to Bolton as an academy coach and that eventually led me to starting this save! :D 

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44 minutes ago, DavidBeckham said:

Thanks both! I happened to chance upon an article on Fabrice's return to Bolton as an academy coach and that eventually led me to starting this save! :D 

I will be following this, Bolton is always a club that I have been tempted to manage as they have dropped down the divisions in my various saves, I am also a fan of playing as ex players as your manager.

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August - October 2021

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Three months flew by and league results improved over time, with the best run coming in October with 5 consecutive wins. Fabrice isn't resting on his laurels but he is definitely pleased.

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Nobody's looking at the table at this stage of the season, especially when there are 30 matches to go but Fabrice must be smiling a little, just a little inside..

Cup Competitions

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The cup fixtures began in an underwhelming fashion as we were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Championship outfit Stoke in the 1st round. Fabrice's boys looked better in the Papa John's Trophy as the Trotters bagged 6 out of 6, including an impressive 6-1 victory against Liverpool Under 23s.

Top Player

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League One's Jack Grealish started the campaign like a house on fire, creating an impressive 9 and scoring a further 2 in just 12 starts. If he can maintain his goal contribution ratio of nearly one goal/assist per game, Fabrice's boys won't finish too far off the top end of the table.

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On 10/05/2022 at 01:18, Maw74 said:

I will be following this, Bolton is always a club that I have been tempted to manage as they have dropped down the divisions in my various saves, I am also a fan of playing as ex players as your manager.

Cheers mate! Bolton has a solid base of core players and it's worth managing if you have the time :) Playing as ex-players definitely adds more realism to the game and makes it a tad more enjoyable for me!

On 11/05/2022 at 17:52, Steve Bruce Cabbage said:

I’m doing a save with Bolton at the moment 8/9 seasons in. Josh Sheehan only just left on a free for me, I got way too attached because he always ended up providing some goals one way or another. 
 

Will be keeping up with this one. 

Great to have you around mate! Will check in with you for advice as we progress in the save, if you don't mind ;)

It's also extremely loyal of you to have kept Josh for this long! Josh is certainly good enough to be a decent player in the Championship though!

23 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Nice one mate, good to see you back in FMCU.

Great to see you too mate! Life got in the way but I'm back and will be here for a long while! :brock:

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4 hours ago, DavidBeckham said:

Great to have you around mate! Will check in with you for advice as we progress in the save, if you don't mind ;)

It's also extremely loyal of you to have kept Josh for this long! Josh is certainly good enough to be a decent player in the Championship though!

If they can still drop decent match ratings who am I to let them go :lol: The Championship years were his best years for me. 
 

Happy to give advice if it’s needed, although I’m not sure how much help i’d actually be! 

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On 12/05/2022 at 23:46, Steve Bruce Cabbage said:

If they can still drop decent match ratings who am I to let them go :lol: The Championship years were his best years for me. 
 

Happy to give advice if it’s needed, although I’m not sure how much help i’d actually be! 

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You've made Fabrice very excited to see how Josh does in the Championship, hopefully in the next season! He's still smashing it in League One, creating 13 and scoring 3 in 17 starts! You will definitely be a great help and I'm looking forward to having you around! :D

Edited by DavidBeckham
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November - December 2021

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We are now in the second half of Fabrice's maiden League One campaign and things are still going well..

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We had a little blip end November and early December-ish but the boys bounced back impressively with 6 consecutive wins at the end of the year. 

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Fabrice's boys are now top by 6 points, but second-placed Rotherham has a game in-hand, and we face them away in our 1st game of 2022. That's a huge game to kick off the start of the year..

Cup Competitions

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We continue to progress in the Papa John's Trophy after topping our group despite a penalty shootout defeat against Rochdale after a dull goal-less draw. The second stringers managed capably in the FA Cup as we overcame Grimsby and Yeovil in the 1st two rounds to face an upcoming third round tie against Reading. The cup runs continue!

Top Player

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One of our key signings (loan deal from Reading), Femi Azeez, is playing like League One's Salah as he has been lethal cutting in from the right flank. His incredible technique, dangerous movement and pace have bagged him 10 goals in just 12 starts. For a mere 900 pounds per week, the Englishman will be an extremely successful loan signing if he can keep up his goal-scoring ratio!

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Season Review 2021/22

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Some kind words from a familiar face summed up the season perfectly!

Sky Bet League One

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Despite being tipped by the media to finish mid-table, the boys upset all odds and out-performed our board's expectation by finishing runners-up in Sky Bet League One. Fabrice missed out on the league title by 3 points but he would have little to complain after a fantastic over-achieving campaign. 

FA Cup

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We had a fun little FA Cup run too but were eventually undone by Championship side Sheffield United after our second stringers suffered a 1-2 home defeat.

Carabao Cup

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Carabao Cup was our biggest disappointment of the season as we stumbled at the 1st hurdle against another Championship outfit in Stoke City.

Papa's John Trophy

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We didn't end the season empty-handed though! The boys were so consistent throughout our cup run in the Papa's John Trophy and Fabrice managed to overcome league champions Ipswich Town in the final to lift his 1st ever piece of silverware :brock:

Best 11

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Top 3 Players of the Season

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Our 1st choice left winger grew stronger as the season progressed and ended a very productive campaign with 13 goals and 8 assists in 30 starts. Dapo Afolayan came in on loan from West Ham to help Bolton in their promotion from League Two, and he had gone one step further by helping the Trotters to their second consecutive promotion after signing on a free. What a bargain!

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Josh Sheehan's couldn't keep up his incredible goal contribution ratio throughout the campaign but he still bagged 5 and created 16 for his team-mates in 36 starts for the Trotters. A very deserving mention in our Top 3.

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Captain Fantastic Ricardo Santos was a rock at the back for us and helped the club concede the least number of goals in the league. He even contributed at the other end of the field with 6 goals and 1 assist, and is without a shadow of a doubt our player of the season!

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Having brought Bolton back to the Championship at his 1st attempt, Fabrice will definitely need to wheel and deal to put together a squad capable of competing at the next level. A tough pre-season awaits..

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