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Jogo Bonito

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Posts posted by Jogo Bonito

  1. 6 minutes ago, warlock said:

    Seems to be working well :thup:

    It's particularly impressive within the confines of the financial situation.

    Steady as she goes!

    Yes, no complaints at all. Pleasing also that at this point in time there is only one player in the squad who is not an original - Gabriel Osho. And even he was a youth team graduate who joined Luton from us, and we were lucky enough to get him back for free in the summer.

    To keep this challenging, we'll probably continue the no-fees approach regardless of what league we are in next season. Unfortunately, Mark Bowen stepped in and renewed some player contracts that saw my self-imposed maximum wage of £6,000 per week surpassed. I'll have to live with it, but we would not have done so if it had been my decision.

  2. 2 minutes ago, warlock said:

    Yes - so far, so good.

    We've done quite well with our signings, too. As always on a tight budget, we've had to prioritise potential over current ability and I wasn't expecting them to develop so well this early. Complicated by my house rule: only sign players that the scouting team recommends.

    Well, they might say you're a wily old manager :lol:

  3. Season 2024/25 

    December 2024 started with Reading sat 4th in League 1, and still in the FA Cup

    The month was exceptional, with six league wins on the spin prior to defeat at home to Leyton Orient in the final fixture of the year

    January promised to be tougher, as we faced five consecutive away games including a trip to Tyneside to face Newcastle in FA Cup Round 3

    A win at Lincoln set us up nicely for that one, and we were unlucky to lose to The Magpies right at the death after a superb backs-to-the-wall effort 

    A scintillating 3-3 draw at league leaders Portsmouth was the highlight of the next four win-less games, but January was concluded with an overdue defeat of Walsall

    February saw the side find great form again, with five straight wins before a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Blackpool last time out


    This recent run has seen us open up a nice lead at the top as the nearest challengers play leapfrog with each other on a weekly basis

    For the last few months we've been using a new system which has three central defenders and two wing-backs as we had a surplus of quality centre-backs

    Ahead of them we have two defensive midfielders (anchor & regista), two shadow strikers and a DLF lone striker with attack duty


    1st January 2025

    New Years Day brought a different kind of headache as more work permit news was delivered by the Chairperson

    Despite now meeting the criteria for a new permit, Tyler Bindon was now unwilling to accept our new contract due to alleged broken promises

    The reality is he twice accepted our contracts but when the permit was refused, he chose not to renew and instead got unhappy that we had 'lied to him' 


    And on the very same day, striker Duncan McGuire was also denied a work permit, even though we had a spare ESC slot to allocate him

    That meant that, like our home grown winger Mamadi Camara, he was also now unavailable for selection under any circumstances


    2nd January 2025

    A day later loan striker Divin Mubama was recalled by West Ham - no complaints really as we had chosen not to use him very often (we had tried to use McGuire when fit) 


    Here are the stats for the two strikers who left the club in January


    3rd January 2025

    The next day winger Chaka Traore was also recalled by AC Milan - again we had chosen to barely use him so no complaints on this one either


    Here are the stats for the departing Traore


    4th January 2025

    WE discovered that Bindon was now going to join Wellington Phoenix at the end of his contract, and Tom Holmes was also going to be leaving in the summer

    So as we continue to only seek out free transfer signings, we made a move to sign Bayern Munich youngster Liam Morrison on a pre-contract deal for July


    16th January 2025

    Unable to select McGuire, we managed to sell him to Wigan for £80,000 on 16th January - leaving us bewildered how he can get a permit there but not with us


    31st January 2025

    Our 24-man squad had been reduced to 21 with the three departures, so we promoted one from the development squad to boost numbers

    On deadline day, we made a slightly ambitious move to lure forward Yakou Meite back to the club on loan from Cardiff but the numbers did not align

    The Yak is a big fans favourite and we might have another go at getting him in the summer, especially if his contract is not renewed in Wales


    Here is the rather empty summary of business done in the winter window, but we don't mind - except for the imminent loss of Bindon


    We now have nine league games to go out and earn that promotion back to the second tier, and we feel confident we can do it

  4. Wow, what an amazing way to clinch a league title! Away to the top team, 2-0 down and coming back to snatch it in style - well done indeed!

    I'm late to the party but 100% support your decision to sign the new contract at Viking. It was the only choice to make. I like the 'agent chat' sequences, good to see that side continuing.

    I noticed that Diouf didn't play enough to get a winners medal, payback for the previous year sending off?!? Not your choice obviously, but must have given you a wry smile....

    I've seen the bits about choosing the training camp destination in FM24, but it's not every time they give you options. Usually they do if you've proven yourself at a club, so surprised you weren't given a choice. I don't think you have any say in deciding when they make it, I'm quite sure dates are picked by the club.

  5. Really enjoying the Italian flavour in here at the moment and this is another good story with a club that starts with some really interesting players in the squad.

    Very good progress with them so far, and although this year may not quite happen in Serie A, you're still in with a shout. Great result against PSG and best of luck for the 2nd leg too!

  6. A nice read and you've done an impressive job of re-shaping the club from old boys to a slick, modern outfit. You're unlucky to have Slavia so dominant, but when that day comes, the taste of success from beating them will be even sweeter.

  7. A fantastic season again, 3rd is very decent despite the 2nd of the previous year.

    Liking most of the new signings such as Monchu, Mendy and the super-saver Hedl. I tracked the latter quite closely on FM23 when managing in Germany and Austria.

    A strong start again this year, looking forward to seeing you keep up the challenge :)

  8. On 08/04/2024 at 23:53, warlock said:

    Best defence in the league is always a great achievement, especially if you can find a way to eke out a few more at the other end.

    Overall, you're in a pretty good place, I think. Well in the mix for promotion, and fingers crossed - again! - for that money-spinning FA Cup run :thup:.

    Nice to see WiFi back among the goals after what looks like a quiet start to the season.

    I'm traditionally a defence-first kind of manager, but in recent years I've tried to reduce my natural tendencies and now happy with a more balanced focus (playing on positive mentality). I'd love to go for a defensive counter-attack approach but not many boards or fans seem keen on that, and it's a bit too under-powered to be effective. Wifi has indeed started to make a contribution, but has had to play second fiddle to fit-again (and first season disappointment) Sam Smith so often plays just behind the lone striker or from the bench. Interesting what you said about the FA Cup....

    On 09/04/2024 at 01:27, Stuniverse said:

    A good start to the season in League and FA Cup and you are well on your way to achieving EFL Trophy elimination.

    Good luck 🍀🤞 for the rest of the season and with those pesky work permits.

    Elimination from the Trophy was a target I felt achievable and necessary! I've disliked that competition for many years. The work permits have been a headache and something seems wrong as those players in real life are settled at the club, and we had an extra ESC slot for the American striker. More on this to follow in the incoming update!

  9. Season 2024/25 

    The second season of Reading in League 1 kicked off in good order with an unbeaten seven match run

    That saw four wins and a draw in the league, and progression in the first two rounds of the EFL Cup

    September was tougher as we only won one of four league games, losing one and drawing two

    We also exited the EFL Cup with a home defeat against Wolves, but better news came in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy

    After being losing finalists last year, it was decided that a 63-match season was not sensible so we need to exit that competition in the group stage this time


    The transfer window was quiet with a few departures, and the arrival of Gabriel Osho (free) and two loans

    Both of the loans were forced rather than 'wanted' with striker Divin Mubama first in when Duncan McGuire picked up a long-term injury in pre-season

    The other deal saw winger Chaka Traore loaned-in on deadline day as our own Mamadi Camara was not given a work permit despite being home grown at the club 


    October started with a league loss at home to Plymouth, but we managed to achieve our exit from the BSMT after just two games

    We then embarked on a really good run of seven unbeaten league games - with our third and final Trophy match seeing us lose on penalties

    Exeter got revenge for us dumping them out of the FA Cup with an away-day smash and grab to end the league sequence, but we have reached FA Cup Round 3


    There haven't been any stand-out performers this season, but the defence has improved and we are well-placed having played less games than our rivals


    The rest of the story so far this season surrounds work permits and contracts

    Central defender Tyler Bindon now has eight caps for New Zealand and keeps demanding a new contract

    We are desperate to do so, but his work permit is always rejected and he refuses to sign-on without a successful appeal being made

    He then moans about us breaking our promise to renew his contract and it's beginning to affect some of our team leaders 'manager opinion'

    At least Bindon is allowed to play, unlike Camara who isn't holding a current permit and has not been available for selection all season

    Despite this, now that McGuire is returning from injury, we'll be looking to have our two loan deals ended in the winter window (both have hardly been used)

  10. In normal circumstances, 3rd would be a fantastic start to the season. But can also appreciate the drop-off must have been quite disappointing to see.

    Some interesting moves in the summer window. It appears that Ivan Azon hasn't really been firing like you hoped yet!


  11. 7 minutes ago, Stuniverse said:


    Indeed. I guess we will find out in a few days as the first league game is upon us now (3rd August).

    Bindon now has five New Zealand caps but is injured so cannot improve his played minutes percentage. Our other ESC permit holder is Duncan McGuire, who is injured for the next four months. It's not likely that he will meet his permit criteria either, which may see his career in England ended far too early also. If Camara also cannot play, that might be three massive dents in our plan.

  12. 4 minutes ago, Stuniverse said:

    Any update on the Tyler Bindon work permit thing?

    Not really. I don't know if we will be able to use him after the permit expires on 6th August 2024 even though he is still under contract until 30th June 2025.

    We already haven't been able to use Mamadi Camara in pre-season friendlies due to his own permit situation.

  13. Season 2024/25 - Preview

    We are quite happy with our pre-season form, winning where we should and being competitive against three better sides than us


    7th July 2024 - Mark Bowen continues to make good decisions on players attracting interest, although Nelson Abbey may one day need to be sacrificed


    15th July 2024 - Young winger Mamadi Camara becomes the latest player to learn of work permit woes (not true to life) and cannot now feature for us


    19th July 2024 - With lingering doubts over the future of Tyler Bindon, we took the opportunity to bring home a former youth product on a free transfer


    21st July 2024 - In our penultimate friendly, American striker Duncan McGuire suffered a significant injury which will see him out until December 2024


    2nd August 2024 - The injury to McGuire meant we needed to add a striker until the winter window, and this deal made good financial sense


    3rd August 2024

    Harlee Dean (free to Derby), Nestor Guinness-Walker (free to Plymouth), Joel Pereira (free to VVV-Venlo) and Ovie Ejaria (released) all left the club this summer

    We were also unable to extend the loan of Paul Mukairu, meaning the first team squad on the opening day would be as below

    The only arrivals have been defender Gabriel Osho (free from Luton) and striker Divin Mubama (a six-month loan from West Ham)

    Osho comes back to us after a couple of years away, and due to concerns over the work-permit situation of Binden (who we really want to keep)

    Mubama is costing just £85 per week in wages and the loan was only done to cover us until McGuire is fit to return from injury in the winter

    The only two positions we originally planned to strengthen were in goal and central midfield, and we now decided to pursue just the first of those moves

    When looking at the midfield, Jensen Weir (free) was close to joining after a contract was agreed - but he moved to Plymouth instead

    Miguel Azeez who we had on loan from Arsenal for the first part of last season was now a free agent and did agree to join on £3,000 per week, but we withdrew the offer

    In-goal we identified Carl Rushworth on a season-long loan from Brighton to fill our number one spot with Coniah Boyce-Clarke as his deputy

    His club repeatedly accepted our offers, but the player keeps rejecting us so for the moment Boyce-Clarke has the jersey with Jokull Andresson as understudy

    The only other area of concern is over Camara if we do not get permission to select him, as we don't have any other wing-cover for Femi Azeez if he is forced out



    Our finances are artificially OK on opening day as we had annual payments coming in, but our expenditure exceeds income by £10 million per year

    We know what to expect, so continued repair work and sensible control is important over the coming season and for the next few years ahead

    Luckily the Academy is a strong point of the club, backed up by the fact that 14 of the above players were developed through that system


  14. On 28/03/2024 at 00:22, warlock said:

    You must be heartbroken about the Bristol Street Paint Trophy :lol:. Seriously, commiserations... everybody wants to win a final.

    And a disappointment in the league, but you've done incredibly well in the circumstances. Cause for optimism next time :thup:

    The only time I never tried to throw it early on, but this time after reaching the Final yes we wanted to win. Next season it will be back to type, and we will try to exit as soon as possible. We played 63 first-team games last season and having trimmed the squad, we simply cannot do that again. We'll make as many changes as possible in the group stage and trust that it won't impact 'league morale'.

    The league was disappointing, but not for finishing where we did. We'd be very happy with a top-six finish next season, and we probably set our target as that even if the board don't expect it. 

    Pre-season is now done, so expect an update again soon.

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