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[FM14] Insert witty title here.....Something something journeyman


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This is an attempt at the Pentagon challenge. It’s in FM14 for a couple of reasons. First is FM14 was the first FM since I started playing that I stopped doing 1 club saves, and that ties into reason number 2.

FM14, where inside forwards were all the rage, was the version that holds the best save for me, and that’s saying a lot considering I’ve played every version from CM99/00 to FM23. Ditching the 1 club save formula on 1 save that lasted until the FM16 cycle, this save was so good I only picked up FM15 right before 16 dropped, I managed a host of clubs including (teams I remember) in no particular order Wellington Phoenix, Perth Glory, Tianjin, Kitchee, Amkar Perm, Zenith, NY Red Bulls, York City, Gangwon & Pohang Steelers. I remember I did around 100 seasons and won a handful of things but don’t think I ever topped the hall of fame or won all 5 continents champions leagues.

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To lay the scene out, it’s summer 2013 and Bayern Munich have just won the UEFA Champions League, beating fellow German side Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in the final. Atletico Mineiro won the COPA Libertadores on penalties against Paraguayan side Olimpia. Monterrey of Mexico won the Concacaf Champions League for a third year running. The African and Asian champions league of 2013 are still ongoing.

Man United had just won their 13th Premier League title and shortly thereafter Sir Alex retires. He hand picks David Moyes to succeed him. West Brom randomly finished 8th. Newcastle fans hatred for owner Mike Ashley is starting to pick up steam after a poor 16th place finish. Sunderland survived thanks to 3 points from Newcastle in the derby.

Juventus just won their second straight Serie A title. Nothing seems out of the ordinary here. Will they make it three in a row?

Gareth Bale left Spurs for Madrid for a record fee. Neymar left Santos for Barcelona in a deal which sparked investigations from the footballing authorities. Mezut Ozil left Real Madrid for Arsenal in another big money move.

PSG had won their third Ligue 1 title and first under their mega rich owners. Could this be the start of a dynasty? Zlatan was Zlatan and scored 30 that season.

Raul had left Schalke for the bright lights and mega bucks of Qatari club Al-Sadd. The Indian Super League was just becoming a thing. Del Piero is the best player in Australia by a country mile.

Up and coming footballers by the names of James Maddison, Jack Grealish, Marco Veratti, Memphis Depay, Ravel Morrison, Balanta, Rafael Varane, Luke Shaw, Alvaro Morata and Emre Can to name a few were being touted as future stars.

Celtic probably won the league by 50 points. Rangers were somewhere lower down the leagues trying to get back to the big time and battle it out with Celtic.

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No one really knows how I got started at Tanjong Pagar United (No, me neither), it kind of just happened, like there was a button that says pick team for me and boom, I was walking into the doors of The Queenstown Stadium in Singapore and being introduced to the players.

But do you know how hard it is to make it in football? I mean even in a country such as mine, Canada if you’re wondering, where our football is described as terrible at best, to not being able to get a job, paid or otherwise in football is just depressing, so I was pleasantly surprised to have been given the job at Tanjong on an 18 month deal until the end of the 2014 season. The league runs February to September, with a couple of cups chucked in.


We definitely will not be playing that 3-6-1 abomination of a tactic the previous manger used.


For a team expected to finish third in the league, a run of 5 wins from 17 sees them 10th of 12 when I took over. Luckily there’s no relegations from the S league, but after 22 games the league splits in to 2 groups to determine the winner and who finishes bottom.



A bit of history, they’ve won both cups in Singapore plus a handful of lower leagues and have got a couple of decent players we can definitely work with.

I’m not surprised they’re struggling really. The 3-6-1 set up they’ve played all season doesn’t inspire me. There’s a couple of players that stand out to me who I’ll be building the team around. First choice left winger and captain John Wilkinson, right winger Monsef Zerka and attacking midfielder Kamel Ramdani look to be the 3 most creative players we’ve got and the natural thing to do would be play them as the 3 in a 4-2-3-1 set up




The best striker we’ve got is Ahmad Latiff, although he’s not been as prolific as we’d like. Despite being the teams leading scorer, 4 goals in 14 league games doesn’t fill me with confidence.


To put it in comparison, the leagues leading scorer is on 11 in 16 at Tampines. Luckily the transfer window is open and we’ve got money to spend.

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Short term goal – Find a reliable goal scorer. Sort the defence out. Avoid finishing bottom of the S league and try and have a good run in the cups.

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Our search for a striker didn’t take too long. The clubs director of football conveniently already signing Sahil Suhaimi from fellow S League side Young Lions in a 12k deal.


Probably overpaid for him to be fair. He's not a world beater but knows the league and has a semi decent 4 in 9 for Young Lions last season. What I’d not noticed until the club signed Suhaimi is just kicking back in the reserves side was another forward, Ismael Benahmed which makes me think the deal for Suhaimi might be a waste of money.


Both are similar in that they’re as quick as each other, decent enough finishing for this league as well as being able to get into position off the ball some of the time. But with the 3 best players for us playing in the AML, AMC & AMR spots, it seems overkill playing 2 strikers in front of them, so do I go with both of the forwards on the bench or not? We’ll see.

As mentioned there’s some up and comers I’ll try and keep an eye on and I was pleasantly surprised to see James Maddison securing his first pro deal at Coventry City. 2023 me didn’t realise he started at Coventry, I genuinely thought he came through the youth team at Leicester. **Checks Wikipedia…….* Holy crap he was at Norwich as well?!? Shows how much footballing knowledge I have! Wonder what other young players I’ve forgotten about turn up in this save.


Ahead of the first game of my career we also secured a deal for out of contract center half Benoit Croissant. I asked the director of football if he is named after a breakfast food, to which he confirms our new defender is. C'est la vie then, or whatever that saying is. Playing over 100 times for our divisional rivals Tampines, he’s easily our best defender now, but the niggling question of why he was released is in my mind.



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‘Why do you think you’re the right man for the job?’

‘Well not to brag but the game picked me for the job’

‘The game? As in football, the beautiful game?’ the snotty nosed drip from the Singaporean Football Gazette asked

‘No, this game, FM….Oh never mind you wouldn’t get it’

The journos can smell fear I’m sure of it. What they don’t realise is that I was hand picked for this job, the first of at least 6 jobs on my quest for the Pentagon of football manager. The 5 Holy Grails of the footballing world. I’m not tied into staying at 1 team or giving any set amount of time to try and win a Champions League. I’m not here for a quick time, I’m here, like the rest of us FM’ers I’m here for a good time.

Lets f**king go.


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‘Lock up your wives and kids, we’re playing the tried, tested and boring 4-2-3-1’ I yelled at the players as they all looked on wide eyed albeit slightly taken back by my tone.

I didn’t want to play this formation really, everyone and their brother plays it, but as we’ve already seen the 3 best players at the club fit into this set up easy and under the guy I replaced they’ve been playing some atrocious 3-6-1 effort to no avail, going back to basics I think is the best thing to do


I also tell the lads to get revenge on Warriors (great team name by the way) since they beat us before I took over. It worked as most of the players responded positively, although that didn’t translate in the match at first.

Warriors were easily the better team early on. Despite our superior quality in midfield Warriors took the lead. Abraham out on their right hand side hit a first time time cross which found Karoglan he ran between our center halves for an easy goal


We equalised right from kick off however. A long ball from central midfield found Zerka in the box who played it into the area for Ahmad Latiff to get on the end of to level it up


We got in at the half at 1 each and I told the players to keep playing as they as we’d been the better team from the goal, but couldn’t find another way through.

We did get the breakthrough early in the second as captain and left winger Wilkinson got a goal which we definitely deserved.

Ahmad had broke the offside trap but his touch was bad and took him to the by-line. He recovered well though and crossed it in to the far post where Wilkinson was wide open and headed it in the net. 2-1 and we are in control.


The fightback from Warriors came as expected but we held on to the lead, although we weren’t under much pressure really. We pushed on for a third and get it on 66 minutes, Latiff doubling his tally on the day with Wilkinson turning provider this time

Getting the ball out wide on the right he had acres of space to run into, which he did and easily beating the covering defender. He cut inside on his right foot and played the ball into Latiff who was running inside the area. He hit it first time beyond the keeper to give us a 3-1 lead


Not content with just getting 2 on the day Latiff completed his hat trick with 20 minutes left to play. Ramdani in the middle found Zerka cutting in on the right, he played a first time pass into Latiff who struck it as sweet as you like around the keeper to give us a 4-1 lead


A couple of subs and a formation change succeeded the goal as I knew no matter how bad this time had played up until now, no way would we concede 3 in the last 20 minutes. Warriors seemed out of it and had a couple of half chances, but nothing to worry about.

We ended the game on the front foot and saw it out to give us a 4-1 win in the first leg of the Singapore cup quarter final and my first match as a manager.


Maybe it was just the new manager effect but we deserved the win. We’ll be sticking with the 4-2-3-1 at least until the end of this season. We’ve got a handful of league games and the Singapore League cup to go as well as the second leg of the quarter final against Warriors, although I was sure they wouldn’t over turn the 3 goal deficit they need.

To which I was right. We took the lead in the second leg through a fantastic free kick, played well and got a second goal with 20 minutes to go, to put us into the semi final 6-1 on aggregate


We’re drawn against Yangon United of Myanmar in the semi


Not sure what to make of the draw. On the one hand we should have enough about us to get the win, although on the other Yangon beat Hougang United who beat us before I took over, although we did beat them in the reverse fixture.

Hopefully the 2 wins in the cup form the basis for the rest of our season

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