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johnstonpickle

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23 "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"

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About johnstonpickle

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    Sheffield United

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  • Currently Managing
    Sheffield Wednesday

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  1. The game has changed now you're in the CL places! I fear for what you'll do the Blades this season though...!
  2. Great to see you’re still tearing this up! Imagine the scenes if you were to win the PL. I imagine the expectations would ramp up?! Esposito almost seems too good! Not wanting to hijack this thread in any way, but I did start another game with the Owls, inspired by this thread...and coincidentally Forestieri scored the only goal in the playoff final to get us promoted first time around! I have chosen to recruit only from the EFL and transfer listed PL players in an attempt to make it as challenging as possible 😆
  3. Yeah it's fair to say he does become a World Class midfielder as time goes by! For some reason I do love managing the other South Yorkshire teams, I've always had ambitions of getting all of them up into the Prem over the course of a save but never managed it. I've never actually managed a team that went into administration mid-save, so that would've been a good challenge. Tempted to start another one with Wednesday actually, inspired by this thread... I think your aim has to be to break into Europe as soon as possible. The type of player you could attract along with the extra cash will go a long way to breaking the true elite's hold on the top 4. Once you've done that, you've got every chance of building something capable of winning the league! I think we are alike in our love for the realism that FM can provide at times during the early days - wheeling and dealing players that you actually know IRL. I think the idea of getting promoted and challenging at the very top with random foreign players is a lot more attractive than the reality.
  4. Just tuned in to this thread and caught up in one long monster read. Love it! As a Blade, I tried a Wednesday save on the beta, which went through until about 2027 before I lost the spark. Found equally similar issues during the first season with injuries, finances, the lack of potency and inconsistency of the wingers! After season 2 the financial situation gets very sticky indeed. I won promotion in the 2nd season and after a year or two of staying up in the Prem it's pretty clear that you need to push the top 6 early doors, otherwise they just hoover up all the outstanding talent at a canter, making it really difficult to break in. From experience, the teams in the bottom 10 places constantly make horrendous recruitment decisions - such as spending £20m on run of the mill 31 year old players, at £100k per week, which I think contributes to the massive divide between the elite and the 'meh'. Looks like you're doing a cracking job! I never managed to even qualify for Europe, I set myself a strict wage limit for the first few years (the loan repayments were astronomical) but then when I became establised I struggled to break the top 7 (probably the reason I got fed up!) so you're on course. Hope the Blades bounce straight back up...if they keep hold of Berge they should.
  5. This is a brilliant thread! Unbelievable first season with such a big turnover! I have just started a Blades game too - my aim is to create the meanest team ever to grace the Premier League - which means signing the most aggressive and physically intimidating players and kicking lumps out of everyone else all along the way. Will definitely be following this thread closely for personality tips 😉
  6. Awesome post! Your methodology has become my go-to for tactical brainstorming! Passing my way to glory as it stands - also 18 clean sheets!
  7. Yeah it’s certainly opened my eyes! When looking for players to sign I really just pay attention to their attributes and their preferred foot and just make my mind up about the position i will be playing them in. Forcing players to become proficient in other areas also gives them good versatility so one game my RPM could be playing as a F9 if he’s needed and my IWs are then filling in for him. It’s definitely needed with a small squad! The aim of this save is to get from the Vanarama North to the Premier League whilst spending no more than £1m in total. In 6/7 seasons I’ve currently just spent £240k but I’m sure that will get harder if I go up this season! I think with City you will always be the favourite which is probably why you’ll struggle to get teams to come out they park the bus. At 0-0 that is a pretty good scoreline for the majority of your opponents I would imagine! Maybe you could try and do it with a smaller team? 😉
  8. This topic has really helped me piece together a decent tactic for my Kettering side. Last season we finished 20th in League 1 (2025/26) and I couldn’t get anything working consistently. Unbelievably I just avoided the sack! After reading this thread it made me want to try and make this type of system work with a weaker team. I have a really average team and my wage budget is only £31k p/w (Twice as low as the 23rd lowest wage budget in the league!) so I’ve had to build a squad of quality rather than quantity and from frees/loans/youth. The thing I’ve found that makes this work is retraining strong CMs into BPDs. The way I see it, if the team dominates possession then they won’t need to do that much defending. Seems to work pretty well. Also for the full backs I’m retraining players from Wingers to CWBs, and they are offering way more going forward. My CM pairing lack any defensive quality, the DM is probably the best defensive player in the team. My main striker is formerly an AMC with playmaking ability and the IWs are the biggest goal threats - I’ve found retraining advanced forwards as IWs has been really effective. Only 15 games into the new season with my squad of only 18 first team players (which is making rotation and keeping players healthy pretty difficult!) but we are at the top of the league, also knocked Premier League Norwich out of the league cup and took Bournemouth to penalties (should have won in 90min!). Against teams that press us high ive found reducing both LOEs to standard helps. When in the lead I’ve also found that bringing the LOEs down a notch, playing narrower and removing offside trap works well to restrict the opposition. Thanks for the thread!!
  9. Bonnin looks like a player to build a team around for years to come! I think he would be incredible as the covering CB in the middle of a back 3... Never have I ever seen Sheffield United do anything but yo-yo!
  10. Brilliant! This thread just typifies everything that is wrong with the modern game In reality i'm sure the penalties for such ridiculous spending would be far greater!
  11. 2021/22 SEASON Another big round up of events that occurred during the season that's just gone by. I mentioned that business was concluded in the last post, but this was a lie. I managed to bring in a couple more players just to bolster the squad. Hernan Lopez Munoz was a last minute signing for £5.5m. I thought he looked class, and could potentially play up front as an out and out finisher. At that price, I had to sign him up. Lacking in a few key areas, but hopefully we can improve things. Not seen many players aged 16 that are as good as Hannant, certainly believe that for £1m he could prove to be a good investment in the long term for us. After a long season, this is how the Premier League table looks; The media thought we'd finish rock bottom again... we gazumped everyone and landed in a comfortable mid table position. Defensively we were much improved - Zoet keeping 16 clean sheets, the joint third most in the division. The investment in him was really worthwhile. Player performance has been good. Olaza with the most assists with 8. Goals were spread out once again throughout the team. Almada with 8, Millot, who has dramatically improved this season with 7 from CM and Munoz with 5 were our top scorers. In Almada we have a player to build the team around. I'm happy with the majority of the squad and the fact that the young players are still developing nicely and getting plenty of game time. One lad that shone out a little this year is Zouaoui. Scoring for fun in the youth teams so I decided to give him a crack in the first team in some of the cup games and also in the league. He didn't disappoint and whilst he's still got a long way to go, he should hopefully be close to first team football. One downside is that West Ham came in for him (lowballed me) and he kicked up a fuss. He was happy that we will only accept bids of £21.5m or more though, so if anyone wants to offer that, i'm all ears. There are 21 (twenty one) teams that currently want him! Let's see what the summer brings. Finances are looking good, therefore i've asked the question of the board RE upgrading the facilities. They accepted pretty much all of my suggestions, so we're also making good progress off the pitch too. They've recently offered me £55m transfer budget, and I know it's famous last words and all that, but I don't want to spend anywhere near that much this season. I'm planning on sticking with this group. If someone wants to leave then so be it, but I don't plan on going mad spending to replace them. Oh and another little positive - The Blades and Leeds are back in the big time next season too. YORKSHIRE!!
  12. Yeah you could swap them round I guess. Lot of flexibility in there depending on what you want them to do. I tried Norwood as a DLP(d) but I found he didn't drop deep enough to support the lone CB and it left me exposed. Even as a HB I've found that if the player has the attributes he will still try to control the game as a DLP would but will be a bit more disciplined defensively. I abandoned the tactic for a while to be honest, but the more stuff i've been reading about how to prevent being exploited by the long balls and applied this to my other tactics, the more I think that it could work with this one. I always felt that playing with a lower line and lower pressing made my teams a bit more passive but i think there's definitley a way to balance things out. I will certainly give it a go anyways!
  13. I've tried to replicated it by having one CB(c) and then players in the RB/LB as IWB(s) and RWB/LWB positions as CWB(a). Found that you have more versatility with IWBs than CBs and can ask them to do more things. To complete the midfield, there's a HB(d) in the deep midfield role (Norwood comes as deep as Egan at times), with a BBM(s) (Fleck's role) and a MEZ(s) Lundstram. F9 (McGoldrick) and PF(a) (Mousset) up front. The positives are that you can produce overloads down the flanks, with the WBs, IWBs, and left/right sided midfielder down each side. The F9 provides an extra man in midfield. The downside is that i've struggled to defend effectively - but i'm putting this down to playing far too aggressively and leaving loads of space in behind. Might work well if you play with a cautious mentality but with a high line and not too aggressive pressing? Certainly doesn't work with counter pressing. I think it could be balanced out quite nicely though with the correct TIs, I just haven't found them yet.
  14. Cheers. Yeah it felt like a drag at times, hopefully though it will be more entertaining next season! Once we've got a side that I feel confident is good enough to hold it's own in the PL, I might consider moving on to another club.
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