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Mercenary Challenge (A re do) FM 2021.


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Uh-oh, the dreaded board meeting. Looks like our form at Cambridge has caught up to me. I can't really explain it why we are struggling in the league, we have not been outplayed in any game, we are very competitive, we battle, but our quality doesn't seem to show and we don't get the rub of the green. On to more irrelevant news, we signed another player on a free transfer called Matt Young.

 

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I'll go full Jose Mourinho here in a way. "If the board want to sack me, they can sack me, I am not running away from my responsibilities." Except the difference is that I have been a crap manager so far for Cambridge on the basis of win percentage and I don't have a league title to my name. Either way, money is my main priority and I have applied for new jobs already, in case another board meeting happens, I am hoping for a nice wage increase in my next job or I will stick to the job at hand and focus on turning things around.

 

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Gillingham and Hartlepool have offered me job interviews after I was looking for an escape route out of Cambridge after applying for many jobs thanks to the poor form which led to a board meeting. Not sure how this has happened but I got a job interview from the biggest club possible at the moment and that is QPR in the Championship. It will be mad if I land on my feet again.

 

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SACKED by Cambridge. Sacked for the first time in this save. Disappointing. Shame that it didn't work out. Gutted. The FA Cup loss to Bradford was the final straw. Now I have to look to somehow earn some money again after this disappointing spell at a high level. Will I get a job at a lower level that will pay me good money? I don't know. Will I fail upwards? In a strange way, I hope that is the case. But if things don't go well for me then I can see myself out of management for a good period of time.

 

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So I have a job lined up just two days after being sacked by Cambridge United in League Two. But this time I have dropped down to the Vanarama National League. And I have got a 200 pound pay rise. The club I have joined is Hartlepool. How I have managed to get a pay rise after getting sacked by Cambridge is incredible, I have not failed upwards but I do have a knack of making money on the save so far.

 

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First win in a league game since August in the new season. It came with my new club, Hartlepool rather than Cambridge. I suddenly feel hopeful that I can do something with this club. I will admit, my time at Cambridge did not go to plan. Harvey Knibbs's injury was a big deal which messed up results. A lot of games were very close when I was Cambridge manager but I mostly managed to draw and lose them and I won mostly only in the cups. 18% win rate at Cambridge. Compared to 40% at Wealdstone and 33% at Gateshead. I just could not make that step up for whatever reason, I picked players based on merit. I'm very sad that my time at Cambridge came to an end and I have to drop to the Vanarama National League. Yes I am making more money but this just feels like rinse and repeat. I hope that I am either well compensated financially at Hartlepool or I make more money elsewhere.

 

 

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I'll gladly take these wild results. Better start than Cambridge. Or rather we started off very promisingly at Cambridge too in the first 4 games or so and fell off a cliff. But the start at Hartlepool is promising. Maybe I could be right, I can build something with this club. David Moyes settings. Does anyone remember when no one wanted him in real life when he got sacked by Sunderland and then West Ham were labelled as insane when they took a chance on him in his first stint? Yes this is kind of what it feels like after I got sacked by Cambridge and have got a new lease of life at Hartlepool. Till how long will my luck go on at Hartlepool? Hopefully for long enough to get a new contract and get a pay rise. Mason Bloomfield has gone full Danny Parish and is one of the top scorers in the Vanarama National League.

 

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For those who don't know who Danny Parish is, he is a cult hero in this save while I was at my first club Wealdstone. A very gifted goalscorer at least under my management. I was like Carlo Ancelotti getting the best out of Dominic Calvert-Lewin. I wanted to sign him at Gateshead in the summer transfer window which happened this season and hoped that he can power us to the playoffs or the title but then the Cambridge job came up and I couldn't say no to that.

 

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Some more results in the league. We are performing at an all time high in the save so far in terms of win percentage. This is my best possible start at any club. I have provided the new manager bounce so far. Also we face Nuneaton in the next round of the FA Trophy after beating Blyth. 

 

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1 hour ago, deltablue said:

Good going so far at Hartlepool.

Thanks. It is one of those former Football League stalwarts that has been stuck in the Vanarama National League for the past few years. When they offered me more money than they did at Cambridge United, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. It is in many ways a new lease of life after that spell at Cambridge.

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I signed two players, Jason McClelland on a free transfer. He has come from St. Pat's Athletic. Fabio Lopes comes on loan to Hartlepool from Oxford United. These are the main updates for now, apart from a couple of results in the competitions we are part of.

 

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There is a bit of transfer news. Brad Young left the club to join QPR for 29.5k pounds. Adam Richardson has joined us on loan from Sunderland. Luke Molyneux has left Hartlepool to join Lincoln for 69k pounds.

 

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So something very good has happened. We have qualified for the quarter finals of the FA Trophy and we, Hartlepool will be facing Torquay. I have one eye on this trophy and it will be wonderful to win it and it is also realistic, because after a quarter final of any cup anything can happen. 

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We have signed two players. Will Butler has come on loan from Bristol City. We have also signed Max Thompson from St. Albans on a free transfer. We have also qualified for the FA Trophy semi final and we will be playing against Havant & Waterlooville. Fantastic. Also the way things are going on at Hartlepool for me so far is fantastic.

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3 straight losses in the league, but our overall form has been good enough so I am not worried. This has been our best spell at any club so far, I have a reliable goal scorer and some decent players in midfield. Our defense is inconsistent. But we are in the FA Trophy semi final. A trophy would be nice. Both for the club and for my own prospects as a manager.

 

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Our league form is so-so, but there is some positive news. YES. We are in a cup final. We will be facing Ebbsfleet in the FA Trophy final. Our first cup final in the save. We beat Havant & Waterlooville in the semi final over two legs and I am very pleased that we have come this far. Go Hartlepool! 

 

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End of season. We end the season on indifferent form. Won a couple of games. Lost the rest. Also Pharrell Willis has extended his loan at Hartlepool from Middlesbrough. We finish in 16th place in the league. This was very much a rescue job of sorts. So on that front, I have succeeded. There was the initial new manager bounce but now the form is indifferent, we win a few games and we lose quite a few. We have a cup final to look forward to and we will be doing everything we can to win the FA Trophy against Ebbsfleet.

 

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YES!!!

We have won our first trophy in this save. Hartlepool are the FA Trophy winners. We won the final 1-0, thanks to an own goal by the Ebbsfleet goalkeeper, Jordan Holmes. A trophy is a trophy. And I will take it. Congratulations to this Hartlepool side. I always had a feeling that I could do something with this club. I know I sound a bit like Ian Holloway, but sometimes there are places that are just right for you. From getting sacked by Cambridge in November to winning a trophy at the end of the season. Football is wild sometimes and these are the moments you live for.

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The Hartlepool board have rejected my request for a new contract. So I have applied for all the available jobs and then I will evaluate what I will do based on what will happen as time passes by.

 

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Hartlepool's transfer budget for the next season is 12.19k pounds and wage budget is 3.54k pounds per week. Also here is the end of season squad report. Btw, Mason Bloomfield, our striker has won the golden boot in the Vanarama National League. So congratulations to him.

 

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Well this is a bit awkward. There was a board meeting since the Hartlepool board felt I was getting my head turned since I was applying for many jobs. It is awkward because they are now talking about "sacking" me, just days after winning the club a trophy. I have to pull through somehow. If we can get past this and either stay at Hartlepool or get another job that pays more then it will be a win-win situation for me.

 

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SACKED by Hartlepool, just days after winning a trophy for them. The reason? My continued "quest" for finding a new job, yes that is the board's reason. Maybe the board could've given me a new contract that paid me more after I won them a trophy. See here is the deal, I will be trying to get a pay rise every transfer window, if that doesn't happen I will take my chances. This is a comparatively bizarre sacking like Jose Mourinho's sacking at Tottenham in real life. At least I got to play a cup final and I won it.

 

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I have received a few job interviews and also a couple of job offers. However the wages on offer mean that I am not going to take any of those jobs. I will post an update when something interesting comes up or a suitable offer comes up.

 

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The managerial rich list has some changes. Pep Guardiola has left Manchester City. So the top three highest paid managers are Antonio Conte at Inter, Jose Mourinho at Tottenham and Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid. Under Conte in the 2022/23 season, Inter won Serie A, got knocked out in the first round of the Italian Cup and got knocked out by Manchester United in the Champions League quarter finals thanks to one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history on my save where Inter were leading 3-0 in the first leg only for Manchester United to thrash them 4-0 in the second leg. Tottenham under Mourinho finished 3rd in the Premier League, got knocked out by Bayern in the first knockout round in the Champions League, lost in the Carabao Cup quarter final to Manchester United and got knocked out by Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round. For some reason they were in the Club World Cup too but they got knocked out by Real Madrid. Under Simeone, Atletico Madrid finished 3rd in La Liga. They got knocked out in the semi final of the Champions League by Manchester United and lost in the Spanish Cup semi final to Barcelona.

 

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Since I was browsing through the job centre and a lot of international jobs came up, I figured that there were a fair few international competitions going on. So here is what happened in all of them. The job search on this save after the Hartlepool job has been promising, many interviews. Some offered me the job but the wages on offer were not exceeding my wage at Hartlepool. 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Ouch, rough sacking there.

45% win rate at Hartlepool, and I won a trophy. My best performance at any club so far in this save. I asked for a new contract and I did not get one. Surely I thought a trophy would help, but no it didn't. Now, I have been unemployed for 3 months in game. I got a few job offers, none of them were paying more than what I was earning at Hartlepool which was 1.2k pounds per week.

Edited by Sahajpal Oberoi
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, deltablue said:

Shame it ended the way it did at Hartlepool.

All I wanted was a new contract with even a tiny pay rise. Appreciate the way that you're able to empathize with my in game character that is a mercenary. And just because a mercenary cares about money more than anything else, doesn't mean he/she doesn't love his/her players and cannot forge strong bonds with them. Some of my best players in the save include Danny Parish, Harrison Myring (the ultimate clutch player for me), Mason Bloomfield, Tyrone Marsh, Timi Odusina and Ben Killip. None of the Cambridge players make it into this list for obvious reasons, they were competitive, however they let me down. The only players of note who tried to put some sort of effort in were Joe Ironside and Harrison Male. It could've been very different if the players at Cambridge pulled themselves up, they ultimately got relegated in the season in which I was the manager and finished bottom of League Two. Darren Sarll, my replacement at Cambridge did his best to save them from relegation but couldn't and is now in the Vanarama National League doing the best he possibly can to mount a promotion challenge with Cambridge United. The fairytale story of the save so far in the English lower leagues at least is York City getting back to back promotions to League Two in two years.

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Posted (edited)

It is October. It has been nearly 5 months in game since I have been sacked by Hartlepool. Eastleigh in the Vanarama National League have sacked their manager. I feel like I have a realistic chance of getting the job, I hope they pay the money that I want, that is anything over 1.2k pounds per week. A few months back in game I received an offer from a Malaysian club called Terengganu which matched the wages that Hartlepool were paying me earlier. I rejected the offer. Also, sacking season has begun, it is October after all, which means the next few months will be full of different opportunities. 

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So as you can tell, I have not been offered the Eastleigh job. I even received an interview from Boreham Wood in the Vanarama National League. But I got rejected. Oxford United in League One have offered me a job interview. I hope this one goes well. Many clubs around the world have offered me job interviews but none of them offered me the wages I required even if they offered me the job too.

 

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So in a shock twist of events, I have been approached by a club called KL Rovers. And they are offering me 1.4k pounds per week. A little more than what I was getting paid at Hartlepool. So I am off to Asia. I am going to go to Malaysia for a new adventure. The past few months after the Hartlepool sacking have been manageable but I thank KL Rovers for providing me this new opportunity and yes I am willing to make my mark at this football club.

 

 

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We signed a player at Kuala Lumpur Rovers. His name is Abu Bakar Sulong. Also Zhafri Yahya left the club on a free to join Penang. Apart from that there were a couple of contract renewals and injuries.

 

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Transfer activity alert. Abdul Hafiz Ishmir went to Pahang for 4.1k pounds. Mohd Fazrul Amin Mohd Zaman went to Pahang for 4.6k pounds. Letchumanan Sakthivelchezhian has joined Kuala Lumpur Rovers on a free transfer. Samuel Johnson has joined Kuala Lumpur Rovers on a free transfer from Goulburn Valley Suns.

 

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A little more transfer activity. Illengo Logithasan has left the club for 1.3k pounds to join Kelantan. Samuel Martins has joined Kuala Lumpur Rovers for 325 pounds from Sporting de Praia. Also Danny Hodgson has joined the club on a free transfer from his previous club Sorrento FC.

 

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We made a couple of signings. Mohd Noor Mohamed came on loan from N. Sembilan and Thavakumar Appavoo came on loan from Sabah. We played some pre season friendlies. Also, in the Malaysian FA Cup second round we will face Protap FC.

 

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2 hours ago, deltablue said:

Now that's an interesting move.

Yes, it was the one offer which was logical in terms of the wages offered. They were a bit more than Hartlepool so I took it. In terms of club size, it is a small club,  it wants to develop its football in every sense of the word, in terms of its team, infrastructure and even finances to some level. That will hopefully come by performing well in competitions. I am being paid 1.4k pounds per week at Kuala Lumpur Rovers. In Asia, things are different, especially in countries where football is not massive in terms of talent pool, they not only pay you to coach the team, they pay you to develop the standard of football in their country. So currently I feel I am in that stage where I am paid high enough to stay at the club and I need to develop my managerial reputation by performing well, or by somehow hoping by dumb luck that another team is willing to pay me more money in case talks of a new contract don't go to plan. The second case looks less likely to happen at this stage, because like I said I think I am being paid well enough to be kept here.

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