El Payaso

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  1. Wouldn't call it a nice goal and nothing to do with who scores or concedes. Definitely not one that you would score IRL. This in not exactly a quick break with good movement and you are highly shorthanded when attacking and still the defensive side manages to lose their players and in the end the two centre backs quite well fold from the ball when they are clearly ahead. That's why I have never used or ever will use the 3D.
  2. The End Thank you for all the comments and for reading. I think that I have grown a bit out of this save and maybe from FM too. Will be creating a new thread if I will start an interesting save again.
  3. Is there any chance to revive a 25-year-old trouble maker's career? I am talking about Ravel Morrison. He has balanced personality and am not expecting much from him. But basically is there any chance that he improves mentally and actually becomes useful player?
  4. My Birmingham side also fell down in our Championship title race. Were playing fantastically well and then the media started putting on some pressure on us, couple of badly chosen answers in press conferences and our performances went really bad. Would hope that it was like this throughout the season: hard to make the team to perform. In the end of the season we got results that the team should have been only capable of during the whole season.
  5. August 2018 Predicted to finish last so no pressure on us. No surprise that we don't have any players in that dream team. I think we can do better than this prediction. Something like 13-15 should be achievable with a good season and with avoiding injuries. Our journey in the Premier league would start at the New White Hart Lane with really tough hosts. After that yet another London club would visit at St. Andrew's and the light month would end against Cardiff in the League Cup 2nd round tie again at St Andrew's. Tottenham (A) We wanted to show immediately that we are in the right league and can make things difficult even for the biggest teams. This was almost the ultimate test. It took us only 43 seconds to concede the first Premier league goal of the season. It was that type of goal where Kyle Walker overlapped down the right flank and put in a decent ball into the penalty area. Stephens was ideally positioned to deal with it but decided to walk away from the ball to allow Kane a tap in. Our gameplan was undone. Things didn't go better after that as we were two down after 18 minutes. Eriksen received the ball inside the penalty area and pulled both of our centre backs to close him down which was yet another mistake. Kane was again left free and he finished the easy chance. 2-0 at the break I only told the team to start trying. We were a good match for them during the second half and perhaps deservedly pulled one back with Jokelainen scoring from 20 yards out. There wasn't really a comeback though from us but we can take the second half as a positive sign. West Ham (H) Home games will always be the place where we need points. West Ham had started the season with a win and they do have a good side so we were not favorites. We were the better side though here. The amount of chances for both sides stayed limited for long time. It took a moment of magic for us to get ahead on 33rd minute. It was Ravel Morrison who picked the ball up in the midfield, ran at the defense before releasing a rocket from 25 yards out. The closing down on him was minimal and with his technique he can strike from there. The shot went in to the top corner and we were ahead. During the second half we had couple of decent chances to score another as West Ham played a more risky strategy. We didn't score but neither did they. A faultless defensive performance. Cardiff City (H) (EFL Cup 2nd Round) As expected we rotated almost the whole squad here. Only Stephens and Adams were starting from our regulars. Shouldn't be expecting too much with that kind of squad. We were good though as we carved Cardiff open with slow tempo. They just didn't get hold of our slick attacking players and we were always one step ahead. It was the first start for James Wilson as a Blue and he sealed the performance on 51st minute by escaping through on goal and finishing well. After that he was subbed off and Gilardino came on. We should have scored more here and especially Capristo had many chances to score. We had to settle for yet another 1-0 victory though. On 3rd Round we will meet Leeds United at home.
  6. Outs As expected there were exits for many of our previous years' first teamers. First one to go was David Cotterill, whose attitude towards everything I did was too negative. We also had good deals from Grounds, Spector and Gleeson. All of them went through on same day as we offered them out and got deals sorted out quickly. We were also expecting to lose Niklas Jokelainen who was demanding a new contract which we couldn't give as his agent demanded a laughable minimum fee release clause. In came Newcastle who offered also a laughable £1.2M which the board for some reason accepted. There was a meeting after this with the board: do it and I am out. They backed down on this and surprisigly we still had him. We had to tie him with a new contract also which includes a £3.2M release clause. This deal though pulled us clear from the chasing group for at least one transfer window and before Christmas we can hopefully pull a new deal for him without release clause. Fingers crossed. Our out going loan deals were good I think. Joel McKenna and Reece Brown will play in the Championship, Quitongo in the Scottish Premier league and so on. Ins As expected many players joined the club. In the first day of the domestic window we brought in for example Demarai Gray that cut out most of our transfer budget. It was an expensive return for the young winger but he was one that we definitely wanted. The hard Brexit outcome limited our possibilities as we didn't get work permits for most of our targets. I think that the most exciting signings for bigger audiences will be Ravel Morrison, who returns also to Birmingham City after couple of years. It is highly unlikely that at the age of 25 he will revive his career here but we will give him a chance. Rob Holding is our long term centre back project, Henri Lansbury adds quality and experience to the midfield, Daniel Bentley is our new starting goalkeeper and James Wilson hopefully can score the goals for us. The left back area is once again our main problem as Ben Chilwell will be the option number one. He is good in the future but has to take major steps forward in here to provide solidity to our backline. Other deals were bargains that hopefully keep us in the Premier league. The First Team Squad I feel that this is a solid duo. Both of them are big keepers that can claim crosses. Kuszczak plays a dual role in the club as he is playing his final season. He is both U-18s goalkeeping coach and a player. Well it is an area where we need to take strides forward for sure. We are not in the position where we can attract big names so we will have to just try our best to develop what we have. Stephens and Holding need to take big steps forward during the season and same goes with Chilwell. Adam Smith down the right hand side is a quality signing and a finished product with plenty of Premier league experience. Morrison and Caddis can cover the starters quite well. I think that we are strong in the midfield once again and growing. Molina and Fabbrini are question marks. Can they take the step to the Premier league and perform? Lansbury has one season of experience here but he comes from a relegated club. Demarai Gray never quite made it for Leicester but is now a key player for our side. He should have opted to stay in Birmingham after all. Morrison gets his chance in the Premier league. I doubt that he will provide anything but we always have hope. Capristo will be an interesting one and one for the future. Same goes with highly talented Dan Crowley. In defensive midfield we have many decent options in Thompson, Stewart and even Anderson. Quite poor area to be fair. Two young and developing players and one veteran. Will be interesting to see if any of them can actually score at this level. Wilson sadly suffered an injury in pre-season so we will have to start the season with match fit Niklas Jokelainen. Pre Season
  7. Josh Cogley is actually called Dacres-Cogley in real life. He has been included in the first team this season so his CA has increased. In the game his potential is quite low I think and he doesn't have even Championship level potential. Also I don't understand why Reece Brown's potential is basically gone in the game. He hasn't proven it yet but he still has the potential to be a quality player. They wouldn't have given him a new contract if his potential now was to be a League 1 level player.
  8. April 2018 This is the final push. Six games during the month. To be honest we should be able to pull it off here. Only Burnley and Hull are in advance those that are in the same level or above compared to us. Three teams still are chasing the trophy. Hull City (H) Only two days break between Brentford and Hull games. Rotation was a must here. The result was quite expected. A dull nil nil where neither of the teams produced anything special. The only thing to mention here was Robertson's sending off in second half which we couldn't really profit from. A clean sheet and point was decent. Wigan Athletic (A) Bottom of the table club Wigan were really struggling so even though it was an away game we were expecting to do well. It only took us a moment to get ahead as Fabbrini won the ball back high up the pitch, burst into the penalty area and set up Gilardino for a tap in. Five minutes before the break it was Quitongo who did the same and Gilardino had his first half brace. Wigan pegged one back from distance in 45th minute to make the second half more interesting. We were more nervy now like we usually are in second halfs. Gilardino had a chance to score his hattrick from a penalty in 65th minute but he hit the post. Fabbrini though was first to the rebound and he set up Capristo for an open goal. 3-1 and we were five points ahead of QPR and only point behind Brighton. Burnley (A) This was going to be a tough one. Would still consider Burnley a lot bigger club than we are. We were hit by an early pressure which almost saw Andre Gray scoring from a low cross. Kuszczak kept us in the game with a fine stop. The game got more even after the first 15 minutes and on 32 minutes we were ahead as Jay Rodriguez made a shocking decision to head the ball back to the danger area when one of our free kicks was played in. Gilardino was there to thank and score to an open goal. During the second half the rush from Burnley just didn't come and once again just after hour of play of play we were one man up as Walker-Peters was sent off. We didn't want to take risks even after that and were very nearly carved open as Patrick Roberts hit the post in the dying seconds. We took away 1-0 victory and as Brighton were held to a draw by Bolton, we were top of the table. QPR lost to Wolves and were out of this race. Cardiff City (H) As Brighton had lost to Middlesbrough just a day earlier we had this thing in our hands. A good performance here, a win and we would be five points clear. Something clearly went wrong in our match preparation as we were not looking like ourselves. Cardiff were controlling the game and looking dangerous throughout the whole first half. Neither team produced a proper scoring chance throughout the 90 minutes. The most remarkable thing in this 0-0 was our passing stats that dropped to half of what they had been. I struggle to believe that this was down to our style of play. We just weren't here mentally. We march on. Barnsley (A) Revenge was definitely on cards here but I was worried about our mental state: we had so badly frozen against Cardiff in a game we should have been the better side. We started really brightly here and the team absolutely was absolutely rampart during the first 30 minutes: dispossessing, tackling, running. News came from Brighton where the home team had taken an early lead against Fulham. Immediately after that we made that one mistake: a long ball behind the defense, cross to the box and boom again Bradshaw scored. I just knew that we would lose after that. We sure did, without being able to provide anything from anywhere and with one single mistake. Brighton 3 and Fulham 0. This thing would go down to the last two rounds. We were up though as QPR had fallen 8 points behind with two to go. Burton Albion (A) We had been given two set points already which we had played really badly. The pressure was on for the team again as Brighton were equal in points and playing at home against Sheffield Wednesday. Burton opted to play a narrow 4-2-3-1 so that meant that we needed to be extra careful down the middle. So basically along with an anchor man we had to use one of our more advanced midfielders on defending duty so that we wouldn't be that prone to concede through the middle. The betting companies had us as clear favorites but we weren't that actually: the team was out of confidence and already failed twice to take pole position for the title. As long as nothing massive happened, we were fine. That was my initial thought here. In 18 minutes we won the ball back deep inside our own half and had space to break through the middle. Fabbrini fed Jokelainen who ran from 30 yards out to the edge of the penalty area and put in a rocket that went in. We were goal up. 45 minutes in and news from Brighton: Sheffield Wednesday had scored through Gary Hooper. We were also one nil up at the break. Just after the break we had a corner that we wasted away. It looked like Burton were going to break but Stephens won the ball from Bennett inside our own half. We lost it again in the midfield with Molina. Bennett started their break down the right flank where Caddis won the ball back for us and released Quitongo down the left with a long ball. He went byline, beat Ebanks-Landell with pace and got in a pull back for Jokelainen who had an easy job to make it 2-0. On 67th minute Caddis was beaten down the flank by Gianni Zuiverloon. He put in a free cross for Bennett who had an easy job to... put the ball wide at the near post. 10 minutes later again news from Brighton: Woodburn had made it 2-0 for Sheffield Wednesday. Surely now we were Champions. These were the final results and after 45 rounds we were three points clear with superior goal difference. May 2018 Huddersfield Town (H) Even though the title was virtually ours we weren't expecting much: the team clearly didn't handle the late season pressure well so we could be seeing 'nervous' players here again. I decided to give Cotterill his final outing at St. Andrew's in front of our fans and probably Gilardino also played his final game as he might retire at the end of the season. We certainly didn't produce a good performance once again. Most of the players looked nervous and that means a bad performance. We lost possession on 18th minute high up the pitch and Huddersfield executed the break with perfection. Scannell got the finishing touch. All I could say after the half that the performance was awful. Generally we managed to put in a even performance and finally pulled ourselves back to the game through a Molina free-kick at 81st minute. The season was over and we were the champions. Season summary We didn't expect to win the title but we sure did. I am not going to write anything long about the season: we played fairly even season without any big slumps if you exclude the end of the season where we were absolutely frozen for some reason. I guess that some teams handle the pressure well and some do it like we did: really badly. Fans voted Caddis as their player of the season and Stephens was the young player of the season. The summer 2018 sadly needs to be a summer of overhaul: our team on paper was barely good enough for mid-table in the Championship so we need to ship in some players to make us avoid relegation in the Premier league. I think that many of our younger players will spend the next season on loan as the step to the Premier league will be too big. Something like Championship level of football for Reece Brown, Ibrahima Sy, Jai Quitongo and Josh Cogley would be ideal. Hopefully we can seal good deals for them and all of them can challenge for the first team in future. We also need to get rid of older players that are not up to this level. Cotterill, Grounds and Spector are players that we will look to sell. What we need to bring in is a new goalkeeper to either play or act as a backup for Kuszczak. A quality centre back to at least challenge Morrison and Stephens. A starting left back and his backup as we currently have zero players for this area. Maybe a starting right back. A really good defensive minded midfielder to keep the pack together. A winger because Cotterill will be gone. And finally a Premier league level of striker. It's a long list but hopefully after completing this one we can have seasons ahead without signing anyone as we have plenty of talent coming through from our U-23s and U-18s. They simply aren't ready for this level yet and our main priority must be to stay up. Jonathan Spector, Louis Thompson and Dave Cotterill will feature in the World Cup. Leicester City, Norwich and Nottingham are down from the Premier league. Demarai Gray is definitely a player that we will go for during the summer. Otherwise with those budgets we will be relying on bargains and see what we can do.
  9. I don't know why you have to get stuck into examples that have happened in every single one of my saves. The deal is that they are transferred to one of the big teams while IRL Griezmann is not looking to move at the moment. The only thing he has stated is that he'll probably play in England at some point but currently isn't looking to move. This isn't replicated well in the game as when you want to buy someone and have cash to spend you will get that player. IRL there are rumors of Chelsea for example wanting Verratti this January but how likely it is to actually happen in January or ever? IRL teams face much more trouble in signing players: selling teams not willing to sell or the players opting to stay put. Didn't know that the shortlist thing works that way. Would really expect for the AI to actually sign more players that they actually need and also to notice the potential they have in the squad currently better instead of just aimlessly buying shortlisted players. Chelsea for example have no need for Fred as they already have Cesc, Matic, Kante, Mikel etc. and Loftus-Cheek and Chalobah both have the ability and potential to play at least the rotation role.
  10. Would like a feature that would make the transfer market less predictable. Currently Conte always signs Fred while there are no rumors of that IRL and also Griezmann always goes to United in summer 2017 even though he has said that he isn't planning to move currently because he likes it in Madrid. Many illogical moves would be prevented if we had the option to delete them.
  11. He played as a right winger on season 1 as I used Fabbrini as a striker, inside forward and CM. Cotterill became a rotation option in season two as he is a balanced personality and was kicking off for everything and was extremely inconsistent. Scored a handful of important goals though.
  12. How about down the flank or in attack as a rotation option for Adams? He is worth almost 10M on my save and hot most assists in season 2. Very few of them from crosses as I had him as a playmaker down the right flank and he proved to be able to pick that right pass. In season three he will be fighting for his place in the team. Tesche and Storer basically did nothing for me so nice to see you getting something out of them.
  13. Fabbrini has been easily the best player for me in the first two seasons. If he has space to run into, he will work like Messi with the ball. Will be interesting to see whether he can make the jump to the Premier league. That is a solid start. Interesting to see how a different style works for the team. The AI often seems really fragile with 4-4-2 but for human player it might be more safe.
  14. Nice, another Birmingham career. Good luck with this. It is extremely fun save.
  15. March 2018 I would call this March as our Super Month. We started the month with the Second City Derby, which was followed with a top of the table clash against Brighton and the month ending with yet another Derby against Wolves. MK Dons and Bournemouth could be a bit of 'meh' for bigger audience but there are six points to be shared there also and we have had really poor record against Bournemouth. Aston Villa (H) Three different Villa managers have suffered defeat against us so far and now it is time to meet the fourth. With Aitor Karanka Villa have been starting their climb but they need to play a really good end of the season just to stay up. Villa are unbeaten in four while our streak has gone to 12 already. Birmingham City (4-5-1): Kuszczak; Caddis, Stephens, Morrison, Kane; Thompson, Molina, Gleeson; Capristo, Fabbrini; Gilardino Aston Villa (4-4-1-1): Gollini; Amawi, De Laet, Elphick, Bacuna; Grealish, Westwood, Jedinak, Crivellaro; Veretout; McCormack We were in control of the first half since the beginning. Villa were here just to defend but never looking like holding firm. We had a couple of chances through the Italian trio for the first 30 minutes without success. On 33 minutes we were one nil up though as it was Thompson who finished from good set up provided by Fabbrini. We should have killed the game off in first half but when you don't do, then the opposition usually pegs you back at some point. It was on 44th minute through a throw in where our marking just wasn't happening inside the area. Grealish set up Veretout who was unmarked at 10 meters and finished easily. This just didn't feel good today. We controlled the second half and got one man advantage already on 57th minute as Westwood fouled Molina and deserved his second booking. After that it was us always on attack but surprisingly we now couldn't create the easy chances that we would have needed. Frustrating for sure: 17 shots against their 4. On the other hand Villa were good in defending when most needed and it seems that they still have the chance to stay up. Early signs on Harley Black and Jack Storer are promising: both players are well suited for League 1 and have started progressing. Milton Keynes Dons (A) Media was predicting an easy away game here but the only bet I would place is that we won't get a clean sheet. It's starting to get boring to always talk about bad luck with the team but really that was the story once again: we should have won this. Especially during the first half we were dominating. We just don't currently have a player that finishes chances. Cotterill had two easy chances and Gilardino hit the post once and missed a decent chance from a narrow angle. We were really close to concede again. This time from a break but for once I have to give credit on how Morrison played inside the area: he stayed close enough to his man inside the area and was able to make a strong block. My bet for the game got all wrong. The only positive thing here was the clean sheet we got. This was a logical move for Maghoma. When fit, he did the job for us but he rarely was. You can guess which one of our players became unhappy with this... Brighton & Hove Albion (H) Top of the table clash and what did we do here? Decided to play the youngsters instead of underperforming experienced players: in came Jokelainen for Gilardino, Quitongo for Fabbrini and Capristo for Cotterill, also in defense we opted to use Cogley instead of Grounds down the left flank side. What a first half it was. We were goal down early through Tomer Hemed's header, equalized immediately through Jokelainen, got ahead on 13th minute through Morrison's corner goal and ten minutes later LuaLua equalized for them. On second minute of stoppage time in first half Capristo scored our third from a really nice build up. The second half was a polar opposite: we had been dominating the first and now it was Brighton pulling the strings here. They had couple of good chances especially from set pieces and crosses but couldn't finally break Kuszczak down. Shots 22-21, possession 58-42 and scoring chances 5-2. Crazy game. Wolverhampton Wanderers (A) The interesting month continued with yet another Derby as we met with McDermott's Wolves. The last outing was epic with us edging the 1-0 victory at St. Andrew's. Last season at Molineux we were absolutely destroyed. This was yet another classic I tell you. McDermott had his team lined up with 4-2-3-1 so we went on with counter attacking 4-5-1 and before the game we already knew that this was going to be a good one. The possession was really even as was the game. We went knocking on the door twice in the first 30 minutes as Jokelainen and Quitongo had chances from narrow angles but failed to convert. 30 minute mark and it was Jack Price that scored the first one of the game: 30 yards out to top corner. Take a bow. We had been better side for the first half and deserved our equalizer at 38th minute. Really unlike source as it was Fabbrini who fed Jonathan Grounds down the left flank, Grounds got space inside the area and buried the ball in from narrow angle. Have no idea why he had joined the attack but he sure did well there. Wolves didn't create anything during the second half and we started edging the game as it progressed. Molina especially was creating so many chances that we lost count of that. We just didn't have that red hot player to finish them. Quitongo had three chances. We deserved more than just a point. It was already 87 minutes gone and Crowley was all alone attacking from the left flank. The midfielder took a shot from 25 yards which dflected in from Romain Saïss and went in. Lucky, but deserved. For a moment we were top of the table but Brighton won their game very next day so we were sitting second after the round. Karanka had meanwhile guided Aston Villa to 20th position. They were unbeaten for eight games. Brentford (H) Brentford are a team that we haven't liked to face. I think we lost twice to them last season and in this season we lost 2-0 away. Time to set this record straight? Start for the game was once again really crazy as we could have been three goals down already in five minutes. We conceded after 35 seconds from a far post cross where the ball bounced to their full back who put in a free cross and Alan Judge had a tap in at far post. The next two chances we escaped with luck but what on earth were the players doing? We bounced back to the game as Molina scored a free kick which took his tally up to 5 goals this season in Championship. Not really the expected amount but better late than never. The rest of the half we looked like in control and the beginning seemed to be just a lapse. The lapse repeated though at the beginning of the second half. This time Crowley fell asleep in his marking and Maxime Colin's free cross somehow got in and it was counted as Kuszczak's own goal. The craziness continued after just hour as Gilardino stepped up to the game: first he scored on 61st minute and just two minutes later got fouled inside the area. Caddis buried this one and we were 3-2 up. Five minutes later we had the game in bed as Molina scored his second from a defensive mistake. We put the record straight by this but the wide area defending both teams produced was absolutely shocking. It's no wonder that we never get clean sheets. Youth intake Once again brilliant job from Speakman.