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DizzyPenguin

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  1. Thank you! Will give this a go now.
  2. I use the cut-out player faces megapack and in older editions of FM I used to add my own headshot in and update the config file to get my manager picture. Of me... Now, the 3D generated thing is a fairly cool feature but I've tried everything and it never looks a thing like me. Is there a way I can add a photo rather than see the 3d generated image every time? I've tried my old method (above) and it doesn't work now - the 3d generated image overrides it! Any help appreciated, thanks.
  3. Good luck. Ironically, Stirling were my Beta save! (They'll take anyone don't you know) All the best in your career! Quick question... how do you post screenshots that are of reasonable size with a "Click to enlarge" option? Thanks
  4. Thanks for the comment. I agree the playoffs would be brilliant, I think it's the best we can hope for. Just got to keep it up! Haha! I'm not the best at that stuff, I tend to stay away from all the comments in the media and getting under other peoples skin. I may well start though if we put them under enough pressure in the second half of the season. But putting in offers and declaring interest in their players would only unsettle my own, surely?! Confession: I don't actually attend press conferences at the moment... that might come later in my career but Steve Watson is doing a good job.
  5. November 2016 An extremely creditable draw! We outplayed our Football League opponents for large parts of the game, but it was against the run of play when Ollie Norburn gave us the lead, making it 2 for the season and they’ve both come in the FA Cup. From that point on we had a real grip on the game and could easily have doubled the lead with a bit more composure, particularly from Danny Whitaker who missed a couple of clear cut chances. We paid the price for that late on when Crawley equalised, just after we’d decided to shut up shop and waste a bit of time. A corner was met by a header which hit the crossbar and the rebound fell to a Crawley player who poked the ball in giving our goalkeeper Frazer Siddall no chance. It finished in a draw and it’s a replay at home. The good news about that is it’s been picked for TV coverage, presumably as TV bosses can smell an upset. Let’s hope they’re right! Most importantly though, the match being televised is seeing us net around £35,000. That’s virtually double the £18k we’d have received in prize money for winning 1-0. Every cloud, eh! Oh dear. We were taught a football lesson today, by frankly a much better team, and I personally was taught a lesson in tactical naivety. When Forest Green went down to 10-men early in the second half, with us already a goal down, I decided to go for it. I even brought on Lee Trundle for only his third appearance of the season in a bid to get as many strikers as possible on the pitch. Perhaps it was too early on to take the game to a team running amock at the top of the table, because they hit us with two counter-attack goals in as many minutes to completely crush any hopes we had of getting something out of the game. In front of our own fans, I was disappointed more than angry. I was probably more to blame than the players, the way I had them bombing forward thinking that with the extra man we’d easily get back in it. Fact is, 10 Forest Green players are better than 11 Macclesfield ones. So I was calm in my assessment of the match. It’s my job now to pick the lads up before the Cup replay against Crawley. In some better news I’ve now completed my coaching course and now hold a Continental C Licence. The Macclesfield board have refused to allow me to work towards my Continental B Licence however, citing the clubs current financial situation as good enough reason. That’s probably fair enough, but I’m still a little miffed. I wish I could fork out for it myself out of my own wages... seems that’s not an option. Anyway.... We were a match for Crawley today. What won them the game was switching from 4-2-3-1 to mirror our 4-1-2-2-1 formation. From that point they scored 2 goals in quick succession and then saw out the game comfortably. We’re on a bad run of form at the moment, before which we hadn’t gone more than 2 matches without winning but that’s a run that now stretches to 4 games. But we mustn’t forget we’ve played Crawley twice in that time, a team from the Football League, a division above us and who are 2nd in their table. And Forest Green Rovers, a team who are running away with our own division. It’s not the end of the world. But none-the-less, we need to stop the rot before it develops into a lack of team morale and cohesion – which I’m worried it might be doing. I’m demanding a result at Aldershot. We need to get back to winning ways, and sharpish. That’s five without a win now. Something’s not right in the Macclesfield camp! We weren’t helped today by going down to 10 men but admittedly it was a bad performance. The only consolation today is Coogans ended his goal drought. That was his first goal in 10 games. After this game I held a team meeting and told the lads altough things haven’t been going out way of late, it’s important we keep our heads up. A plus from today is two long term absentees – Paul Lewis and Jack Sampson – were back to play the final few minutes. They’re contenders to start the next match. The return of Lewis and Sampson – with a bang! Paul Lewis started the match, scored a goal and lasted 66 minutes, going off wit a 8.3 rating. while Jack Sampson came on as a 76th minute sub, made an instant impact and got a 7.3 rating. It was much better from us today, particlarly going forward, although I am a bit concerned that after such a solid start to the season defensively, we’ve now gone 6 games without a clean sheet. But don’t get me wrong. After our recent form, I’d rather a shaky 4-2 win than a solid 0-0 draw! Before this match, I noted that two of my central midfielders Kingsley James and Ollie Norburn were one yellow card away from suspension. But with Danny Whitaker failing to impress me lately, I’d intended to give both James and Norburn starting roles in the centre mid positions. I thought about scrapping that and having Norburn on the bench, to limit the chances of them both getting booked today, but then decided I should still go with what I thought would be today’s strongest eleven, and just hope they’re not senseless enough to both get carded. Less than 10 minutes into the game, James not only went in hard on a Dover player but it was reckless, and the ref gave a straight red card. Ouch! I immediately shouted the lads to soak up a bit of pressure and look to counter Dover, and it paid off as Danny Racchi finished off a superb counter-attacking move by lashing the ball into the top corner to put us ahead. Annoyingly, and you might say somewhat inevitably, Ollie Norburn then got booked, which means both he and James will be missing for the midweek televised game at home to Barrow. I can’t say I was dwelling on that though, and neither were then players, who were too busy being brilliant. Liam Coogans doubled our lead just before half-time! And Danny Whitaker – on as a sub – scored a penalty in the second half to put us 3-0 up and in control. Even as I gave Kingsley James a warning for such a stupid sending off so early in a game, inside I’m beaming after this result. This was a great result for us today. Going into the game we were one place and one point above Barrow, so it can be deemed a “6 pointer” at this stage of the season. This weekends matches takes the National League to the half-way point with most teams having played 23 games out of the 46. We’ve now followed three successive defeats with three successive victories, and it’s enough to put us 2nd in the table going into December. I passionately praised the whole team after the win today, but spared some special thanks to the defence who helped secure today’s result against a very good Barrow side. Frazer Siddall saved a penalty in the first-half and the back 4 were superb, as well as youngster John Roberts who stepped up to the plate in defensive mid following Ollie Norburn’s suspension. Fixtures/Results A month of two halves. Although funnily enough the draw away at Crawley was actually a very good start to the month. They’re not only a League Two side, but they’re 2nd in League Two and have won all but one game at home. It was no great shock that we went out in the replay, and it was good that we pocketed £35,000 for that replay being shown on telly. The loss to Forest Green wasn’t as comprehensive as it sounds; we learnt some valuable lessons about how not to play against 10 men. Aldershot was a disgraceful performance, but we’ve turned round our form following a team meeting and end the month with 3 wins on the bounce. League Table Halfway point. We’re 2nd in the table with a 6 point cushion in the play-off zone. Exceeding expectations so far. Finances Sorry to bang on about it, but the Cup replay being shown on TV has helped massively. It would’ve been brilliant for finances to get through to round two but we didn’t and we’ll now almost certainly end the season in the red.
  6. October 2016 Another win and we were happy with this one having gone a goal down early on. Danny Whitaker levelled it up with a stunning long-range effort that flew into the net. A pleasing goal for him having just come back from a long injury. Incidentally I keep getting bombarded with news items that Whitaker is close to breaking our all-time league goalsoring record, which stands at 50. This was his 41st league goal for us, and at 35 years old I privately doubt he'll make 50 let alone 51, and even if he does I wouldn't say he's close to it. He is our penalty taker though so maybe... if we're lucky. There's every chance he'll break our league appearances record this season though. Anyway, it was that man Liam Coogans who won this match for us with an 84th minute strike. I'm tempted to write he was my finest summer signing, but that may be unfair to goalkeeper Frazer Siddall who's been excellent and my reliable right back Richard Eckersley who is solid as a rock as a defensive full-back. Coogans, though, was some find! As you can see from the last league table above, Barrow are in good form this season. Particularly at home; they’ve won all but one at Holker Street. Pleasingly that became all but two today, as we frustrated them to earn a creditable 1-1 draw. This was, at least as far as the league table is concerned, a bit of an upset. But the word ‘upset’ didn't do my feelings afterwards any justice. 'Angry' would be more accurate. Angry at such a sub-standard performance against a team we should be beating, and I let the players know just how I felt about it. Credit where it's due, we've made a great start to the season, but we can't rest on our laurels and I’d want to see a big improvement after this. That improvement came in this game as we beat York 1-0 away to get into the FA Cup first round proper! Ever-present midfielder Ollie Norburn picked a good time to score his first of the season. This was easily our best performance of the season. Dagenham & Redbridge were relegated from the Football League only in May, and I believe their lowly league position belies the strength of their squad. But we dominated the game from start to finish, taking the lead on 24 minutes and never looking like letting them back into the game. The two second half goals were a long time coming but in truth we cruised through this game. Three consecutive wins (in all comps) for the first time this season. This was a strange game... we continued where we’d left off against Daganham but for all our battering on the barn door we couldn’t knock it down! As the game was nearing it’s end, for the first time this season I pushed three up-front and really went for it, deploying tactics and shouts that you’d usually save for when you’re a goal or two down late on. But the way I saw it, we’d played so well that a draw would have felt like a loss today, so I decided to go for it. Part of me thought that I'd pay the price for tactical naivety in that respect, but thankfully my decision paid off when Chris Holroyd slammed in a winner on 87 minutes. We’re hitting some really fine form now. Think I spoke too soon. Think I allowed myself a bit of complacency. Think the players did too. A dreadful performance this one, conceding a goal in each half to go down to a Maidstone side who, admittedly, have picked up of late and find themselves on a bit of a run. It doesn’t feel good to be their latest victims! Liam Coogans had chances to get us back in this game but failed to take any. He’s on a bit of a goal drought by his standards at the moment having not netted since the first day of the month, and he has scored just 2 in 11 games. Although his overall stats still read well given his emphatic start to the season. I’ll be having an encouraging word and keeping the faith for now. Fixtures/Results It was disappointing to suffer two defeats in October, but for all intents and purposes it has still been a good month. We won half of the league games we played, including a fantastic 3-0 win away at Dagenham & Redbridge, and we’re through to the first round proper of the FA Cup, where by the way we’ve been drawn away to Crawley. This was a disappointing draw for us because their ground is actually even smaller than York’s, so I can’t see us making much in the way of gate receipts. It’s just one of those not very exciting and also not very rewarding games. Crawley are in the automatic promotion spots in League Two and are unbeaten at home so far this season, so it will be a tough game to boot. League Table Despite those two defeats we’re now up to 3rd in the table. Our next league game is against Forest Green Rovers, who are looking exceptional this season and sit four points clear at the top. But they’ve not won in their last 2 games and got their first defeat in that time so maybe, perhaps, fingers crossed, it’s a good time to play them... Finances Oh dear, this is starting to look really bad. Truth be told we could really do with getting through to the FA Cup third round and drawing Arsenal away!!
  7. Thanks I can't see us lasting the season with only 4 defeats, but yeah if we can turn some of the draws into wins then we should do well. Not sure about the title... there's a growing gulf between Forest Green and the rest of the league! Cheers
  8. September 2016 We went into this game attempting to make it a hat-trick of league wins, and it was very evenly contested match. It was Woking who landed the first punch with a goal on the hour mark. We tried to maintain our composure and keep playing how we had been, but on 73 minutes we were dealt another blow as a fizzing left-wing cross was turned into our net by Pilkington. Nothing he could’ve done about it to be fair. Heads didn’t go down though and leading scorer Liam Coogans was at it again almost instantaneously, and that gave the whole place a lift! We’d looked to win this game but were now looking to salvage it, and we did just that when Coogans popped up in the right place at the right time yet again and kept his composure to make it 2-2! Woking held on for a point. Here we go again.... another 0-0. Not much to say about this game but we’re still unbeaten. Go us!! This was always going to be a tough one but hang on, less than 20 minutes gone and we’re 2-0 up! We learnt lessons from the Lincoln match and came out for the second half playing the same way, not shifting to a more defensive shape too soon, and it worked as we played out the rest of the match comfortably and got a deserved 3 points. Danny Racchi was pleased to get his first goal for the club! The fans were unsure about him and I had a private word with him last week to try and pay back the faith I’ve shown in him, and he didn’t let me down today. So that’s what defeat feels like. Hard to take when we play an excellent defensive game against the league leaders only to lose it with two minutes to spare. I told the players they did very well and to keep their heads up. We go again! Guiseley are bottom of the league and without a win, so in that sense it was a good fixture to have follow our first loss of the season, to try and get back to our winning (or at least out not losing) ways! It was a blow to go a goal behind on 17 minutes, but attacking midfielder Paul Lewis – who has been impressing me in training and looks a good young player for us – levelled the score 7 minutes later. The game stayed 1-1 for almost an hour before Lewis scored again to give us the lead, and Guiseley were rattled. On 81 minutes Danny Racchi all but sealed the win, although we were given a late scare by another Guiseley goal. Mixed feelings after this one but ultimately a win is a win. It’s good to score 3 goals in a game but it’s not good that it’s the first time it’s happened this season. That being said, it’s only the second time we’ve conceded twice in a game so there’s reason to be happy with the lads. Fixtures/Results So we may have suffered our first defeat of the season but I think we can be very pleased with how September went. We won twice, drew twice, and lost once. October sees us enter the FA Cup at the 4th Qualifying round stage, and we’ve got fellow National League side York City away. We’ll be taking it very seriously. Thinking romantically, the FA Cup is the FA Cup and I absolutely love the competition. Thinking practically, it’s also a very good opportunity for some bonus income if you can advance through the rounds and get gate receipts/prize money. We’ve also got another match being shown on TV which is good, this time away at Barrow. It’s a much busier month than September, with an extra league game plus the Cup match meaning we have 7 matches. League Table We remain 5th in the league and are surpassing expectations so far. Five of our six league games coming up in October are against bottom half teams – but we know that doesn’t count for much if we don’t put in a performance. “No easy games” and all that jazz. Finances It looks like the televised game against Wrexham did us good as we’re back above the red at the end of September. Actually, I’m not sure how this all works out, because we were in the red at the end of August, and apparently have lost a further £7,383 in the last month, so how have we now got £8,131 in the bank? It’s a bit strange, but I’ll let the accountants deal with it and concentrate on the football side of things!!
  9. August 2016 My first competitive game as a manager brings a victory! The goal comes from a long-ball forward by centre back Neill Byrne, which puts Jack Sampson in behind the defence. He’s a picture of calmess as he clips the ball over the diving goalkeeper and it nestles in the net to the delight of our 1516 supporters at Moss Rose! We hold on for a decent win against a good team. York are another good team in this division, they were only relegated from the football league last season. It’s another solid defensive performance from us and we did well on the counter too but failed to score. York’s goalkeeper gets a 7.1 rating and their defender Danny Barbir gets man of the match which tells you we did well enough going forward. I’m happy with the performance and, I suppose, happy enough with the result. Well, I’m quickly creating a reputation for being a manager who can bore the fans to death. This one was slightly more disappointing than the York match, because Braintree offered nothing at all and we should have taken all 3 points. It looks like we need to spend some time coaching our attacking movement. Defensively though, that’s 1 goal conceded in 7 games! It looked for all the world like we were heading for a hat-trick of goalless draws. That was until Liam Coogans turned in from a tight angle to give us an 87th minute lead! We instantly went defensive and I instantly learnt that might not be such a wise move, as Southport equalised on 89. Into injury-time then, and refusing to beat myself up about it until the final whistle had gone, I encourage the lads to get forward and re-take the lead, and Liam Coogans almost delivered as we entered injury-time but his shot was turned behind by the goalkeeper. A Mitch Hancox corner was swung in and... a push on our captain George Pilkington... that has to be a ... yes, PENALTY!!! Coogans stepped up and wrong-footed the keeper to make it 2-1 and send the fans (and ok, me too) absolutely wild. Southport’s kick-off was the last kick of the game, and it was 3 points for us! What for long periods was a slow crawl akin to a snail trying to pull us along on a skateboard, turned into a rollercoaster ride at the very end. Some of our fans were still queueing for their pre-match pies when Sutton took the lead in this match. If you count the last few minutes of our last game, we’d seen 4 goals in 5 minutes of football! Entertaining enough, but right now I think I preferred the bore draws and 1-0 wins. This game looked like it was peetering out for us as well, but Coogans found the net (again) in the 87th minute (again) and we take a point back with us up with M6. This had “tough game” written all over it. Lincoln were so far doing very well in the league and in Theo Robinson have one of the paciest and best strikers in the division. We started like a house on fire though, and after just over half an hour were deservedly 2-0 up. Coogans was at it again, and Warren Clarke also scored with a decent strike on 33 mins. Lincoln’s team-talk at the break fired them up and within 5 minutes they had pegged one back, but we played out the rest of the game brilliantly and held on for what was a very good 3 points. We end the month of August with 2 wins on the bounce, and it was Captain Pilkington who scored the only goal of the game late on, prodding in after a muddle in the box following a corner. Our first away win of the season and it felt good. Fixtures/Results So the first month of the season is over and, even including pre-season games stretching back to July, I’m unbeaten as a football manager. This feels good! There are some tough games coming up in September, 4 out of the 5 matches are against teams in the top half of the table. I’m pleased to get our first televised game though as Wrexham’s visit to the Moss Rose will be shown on BT Sport. League Table Only title favourites Forest Green Rovers share our unbeaten record at this stage, and we have the joint best defensive record as well. It’s been a good start to the season for us, but there are areas for improvement, particularly in attack. I mean, the team rock bottom of the table and without a win have scored more goals than us! Finances This isn’t pretty looking. We did actually sell someone in August as Jack Mackreth moved to Guiseley on a free, but we’re still spending above our wage budget and the gate receipts barely cover the wage costs. As it stands, the finances will only go downhill from here. Work to be done!
  10. Pre-season 2016/17 We started away at Blyth Spartans and it took only 6 minutes for me to experience a team I manage scoring a goal. And wow what a feeling! Whether it’s a pre-season friendly at Blyth or a Champions League final at the San Siro... I’m not sure that feeling can get much better. (Ok, I’m pretty sure it can.) Anyway, defensive midfielder Kingsley James was the unlikely scorer and we held the lead until half-time. We looked to control second half but were pegged back just 10 minutes into it and the game was a bit of a bore after that as neither side created much more. If the second-half of the Blyth game was a bore, this match was a labotomy for the supporters. Luckily only 80 of our fans made the short trip to Congleton to see a Drab match with a capital D. Wa-heyyyy, our first win! It might only be agfainst Derby’s youngsters but they had a few experienced pros in the team such as striker Darren Bent who played the first half. It was good that we kept him quiet – he’s a man who’s been sold for a combined total of £57million throughout his career and who has scored 168 league goals. The man on loan from Sheff Wed scored our goal, looping in a header from a Chris Sutherland cross. Another bore-draw. We actually played ok in this game and should have won it, but we’ll lessons out of it, and if I’m honest it’s pleasing that we’ve only coneded one goal in four pre-season matches. We must be getting something right.
  11. Tactics I start the season with two initial tactics. The one on the left (4-1-2-2-1) is my preferred one, starting most matches with a Standard approach as we look to see how the setup is faring before deciding whether to try and take control of the game or sit back and play counter attacking football. The second tactic (4-2-3-1) is for games where I want us to take control from the kick-off. It’s also something we might transition to in other games, if I feel we’re well on top without creating much, or if it’s looking like the game may be getting away from us. Let me stress one thing; I’m a manager who wants to win every game – I’ll never be one who says “I’ll take a draw today” – but at the same time I’m aware that whoever you manage in football there will be games where a draw is a good result. It would be naive to think otherwise! Transfers I’ve made quite a number of free transfer signings. I’ve brought in goalkeeper Frazer Siddall with the intention of him being our number one this season, but it depends on how pre-season goes. Defender Richard Eckersley brings experience plus hopefully some solidity at the back. I’m surprised he’s still only 27 years old, it’s a name I’ve been familiar with for a long time since back when he made a couple of Premier League appearances for Man Utd in the mid-noughties. Midfielders Danny Racchi and Warren Clarke (the latter on-loan from Sheffield Wednesday) will be key players for us without doubt and should make the wide midfield positions their own. And I’ve brought in two strikers as it’s an area I feel we have no depth, with only Chris Holroyd and Jack Sampson able to play there. Lee Trundle is somebody who has been around the block for sure. He definitely knows where the goal is, and will bring a wealth of experience, but it’s a one-year contract only as will shortly be 40 years old. Liam Coogans is half his age, and there was a fair amount of interest in him including from Football League sides so I’m hoping he can live up to the hype. Yvan Wassi is a versatile player who will provide back-up options in a number of defence & midfield positions, while Liam Graham is a defender bought in from Chesterfield on a short-term loan deal following a pre-season injury to my centre back John McCombe. I’ve not yet sold or released anybody so financially we’ll struggle until I address that....
  12. Behind The Scenes My assistant manage is Steve Watson, someone we know all about from his distinguised Premier League career playing right-back for Newcastle, Aston Villa, Everton and West Brom before moving to Sheffield Wednesday. He spent 9 years at Newcastle where he played alongside midfielder Lee Clark, and it was Clark that got Watson into coaching by taking him on as a coach at Birmingham in 2012. Two years later and Clark was sacked, and Watson left with him. A 2-year break from football followed before he went to Macclesfield as Assistant Manager. I wonder how he feels about an unknown like myself usurping him to the hot-seat! I get on well with Steve though and am happy to keep him on. Annoyingly I’ve lost a physio to Burnley (can’t blame him making the leap to the Premier League) and a goalkeeping coach too, so I’ve brought in Gill Holt and Ron Hillyard to fill the respective gaps. Working Hard My previous job was non-football related, but I’ve always dreamt of working in football, so I took several evening and weekend courses to earn the national coaching badges, and now that I’ve landed a job in football management, I’ve decided to start my studies for the Continental licences. Call it optimistic if you will, but I’m dreaming of a big future and am going to try my very best to achieve my ambitions! This is a step in the right direction, and I’m thankful for the Macclesfield board, who are hardly rolling in it, to pay for me to attend the 4-month course for the Continental C Licence.
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