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Everything posted by robterrace

  1. So far, I've made a couple of small signings compared to how I normally go, as most of my business has been setup for a bit. In comes, perhaps a massive signing for the Championship, on a free, which allows me a little leeway with the wages. Also paid £300k, for this lad I was watching at the U20 World Cup. We also lose Jordan Storey, who heads off to the Premier League with newly promoted Bristol City for £8.75m, in to replace him, whilst the youngsters in my squad are getting experience, comes Uruguayan, Emiliano Velazquez. The 29 year old brings some experience to the backline alongside Ben Davies, and also has a bit of physicality as well. He fits the new club philosophy as well, which allows me to sign players up to 30 years of age, but still develop the youth. Another area we lacked in was in defensive midfield, as if Ben Pearson was out, it meant that Solskjaer had to drop back. The free transfer market was used again, with Montenegrin international Ilija Vukotic joining on a 4 year contract from Benfica. Again he offers a nice balance for the base of midfield, and also is good in the air if needed. That concludes the business for the summer, unless a stupid offer comes in for a player, or we're offered something special coming in.
  2. So. A run of form that sees us only lose 3 games in the 2nd half of the season propels us into the Playoff places. Last game of the season coming up. Made even more fun by this fixture... A 4-0 victory for us wasn't enough, as Brentford won at Doncaster, leaving us to play against Reading over 2 legs. A repeat of the last fixture of the season, with West Brom seeing off Forest over 2 legs. We never really recovered from letting slip a 2-0 lead, and although Alan Browne scored a deserved equaliser, we ran out of steam. Our player of the season, was Stephen Duffy, with 42 goals in 48 games (40 in the League), so, if we can keep hold of him in the summer, we stand a good chance of doing something next season. Honourable mentions to Noah Solskjaer and Alan Browne who were almost metronome like in the centre of midfield, with Caoimhin Kelleher keeping 19 clean sheets (and making a total of 227 saves) in his 48 appearances (including playoffs).
  3. Must do. To be honest, I need him to go, as the money from the sale will cover my 'warchest' for next season. Although, if Stephen Duffy keeps up this form, he may go for a silly price. Getting offered a new contract which, gives me 2 seasons to get promoted after this season is also fun. And, since I told him to start placing his shots, Duffy is a bit unstoppable
  4. This young lad is ridiculous. Accepted an offer of £15m for him, and he turned down the move. Accepted £18m a fortnight later, and he turned down the move again. Its probably going to take nearer £25m to get him to go
  5. They're packs created by - https://twitter.com/chilled_moose
  6. I'm lining up a raid on Cambridge again. At the end of the first season, I spotted a young Swedish midfielder with a few decent attributes, and brought him to Cambridge on a free. He needed to learn the game, and develop physically. Hes developed physically since I've left Cambridge, however, hes not played in the first team there, and the scout reports coming back on him are pretty optimistic. So, for £500k (£250k up front, plus some installments and a sell on), hes coming to me at the end of the season. I've also, thanks to a recommendation from my Argentinian U18 manager, got an Argentinian goalkeeper coming in. He has the potential to be a Jose Luis Chilavert type for me
  7. The season I'm in now, the 2022/23, has the Qatar World Cup, so, we started less than 6 weeks after the end of our last season. On the same day that we signed Alexis Sanchez (who, has been a bit of a dead ball specialist for us, swinging freekicks in from the left wing, a couple of which have been headed in by the first attacker, but others go in with the following up player), we completed deals for a youngster from the Welsh League who will offer us something in the future. Young full back, Aaron Ferguson had been at TNS, and had come onto our radar during a loan spell at Barry Town last season. A physical specimen, he can go up and down the wing all day, but needs some work on the technical aspects of the game. Our first choice right back, Alpha Dionkou has gone down with a hamstring injury, and is set to miss a few games, so, Ferguson may get his chance soon. In terms of performances, we have drawn far too many games so far, which has seen us sitting 6th as a result. Several signings have been made, in preparation for the opening of the transfer window, in January, the key one being young winger, Amadou Traore from Lille. He will come in as a potential replacement for Tom Barkhuizen, who has attracted scouts from the lower half of the Premier League with his performances this season, but, should the South African not leave, the competition for places hots up. Arriving from Cork City, will be full back Darren Murphy. Philip Heise, who was our backup left back, departed in August to Heidenheim for £2m, and Murphy was a player that had appeared on scout reports as a possible replacement. He has gone from strength to strength this season, playing in Europe for his club side, and breaking into the Irish U21 squad. Another U21 player arriving, albeit, a Northern Irish U21, is Christopher Ferguson, from Cliftonville. Also coming over from the Emerald Isle, Northern Irish youth international, Joel Hegarty. The last youth signings we're making this coming window (and, that should also be our transfer activity complete, pending any outgoing transfers), are a player from French Guiana, who is a bit of a risk, and a young Austrian striker, who may have something about him. Neveu came to light when I was watching a Barbados player in a match, and he ran the game and scored the winner. I was unable to scout him, so based the signing on the couple of other international matches I watched. Hes a risk, but, he may work out. Austrian youngster Robert Huth is also on his way from Bergenland in the Austrian Junior leagues. He has decent mental and physical attributes where needed, and can afford a little bit of time to 'grow' into his new club. Lastly, in 'Duffywatch', he missed the first few games due to injury, but seems to have found his stride a bit now.
  8. I enjoyed my save on the Beta with Brentford. Theres something about them.
  9. So, 11th after 6 games, which, is exactly where the board expect me to be, and I get this. All because I've drawn a few games.
  10. Couldn't avoid that one. If he pulls the strings a little bit, then hes done his job
  11. Also, this is the first time I've seen this.. Bloody Man United. Although, I do like this.. And, a 33 year old Alexis Sanchez in the Championship
  12. Coming up to the start of the new season, we're making a few moves in, and a few moves out. Departing at the start of July, will be Patrick Bauer. The German centre half is out of contract in June 2023, and his demands for wages were well above what I wanted to pay. He heads back to Germany and Werder Bremen for £7.5m. Also departing, is Vaclav Hladky. Again, he was out of contract in 2023, and, his demands were above what I wanted to pay him. He goes to Millwall for £1.9m. We also got just under £2m in for selling a couple of clauses to do with the Adam O'Reilly sale. The replacement for Bauer comes in from Portugal, where he'd been playing at Braga, but had spent last season on loan at Penafiel. He is quick and has the height to cover balls over the top as well, and for £300k, is a decent purchase. The replacement for Hladky, which, in the long term, will be Vladan Dekic, whom I'm trying to send out on loan to get a bit more experience, is Caoimhin Kelliher, who arrives from Liverpool for a fee of £450k. He has spent a season on loan in Cyprus at APOEL, and a season in League One at Doncaster. He is a well rounded keeper, and has a decent level of determination so will want to do well. A further defensive signing was made, with 23 year old Scot, Tom McIntyre signing from Reading for £75k. A left footed centre back, he will initially back up Ben Davies. Moves have also been made to strengthen the options in midfield, with some going into the Under 23s to develop, and others coming to provide some competition. First is French Congolese midfielder, Durel Avounou, who joins on a free transfer from Caen of Ligue 2 in France. The energetic centre midfielder will offer a different option for us. Next to arrive, also on a free, from within the setup at PSG is playmaking midfielder, Adil Aouchiche. The 19 year old French Algerian lacks experience at any level, and will head out on loan until December to get experience. 22 year old Irish midfielder Kian Flanagan comes in from Crystal Palace on a free. Hes spent a couple of seasons on loan in League One and Two, as well as time in Ireland at Dundalk. Theres stuff to like about him, but, again, he needs some work. Coming in specifically to play in the U23s is Diogo Teixeira, who arrives from Rio Ave in Portugal. The 23 year old attacking midfielder, who can play anywhere in midfield, is 'middle of the road' in terms of talent, and will need nurturing if hes to make it in England. The last signing of this bunch, is a player I've been watching for a couple of seasons, but, hes developed so well this last season, I've jumped in to sign him on a free. Dave Ward is a Welsh U19 international, who has been a regular at Connahs Quay Nomads in the Cymru Premier. Quick, and good in the air, hes definitely one for the future. Theres also this lad, whos just agreed a deal with me for January, although, I don't think I'll use him at centre half due to his size.
  13. So, the season has ended at Preston, having taken over in December with us in 15th, I wanted to maintain the position, then build onwards. Lots of victories, and some rather disappointing defeats at times. Stephen Duffy, my signing from Cambridge, won the clubs signing of the season, as he scored 6 in 11 in the run in, he has shown improvements in most areas, so, will only get better. The one thing that was highlighted, however, was we were lacking a playmaker/ballplayer in the centre of midfield, as we had a lot of possession, but, didn't use it well, and, from watching the games back, a lot of that was because the final ball was missing. So far, we've agreed 6 signings coming in this summer, with another 5 coming from abroad in 2023, joining on their 18th birthdays. The first signing coming in is Scottish midfielder Liam Burt. At 23, hes towards the top end of the age range I want to work with, but, he's a little project at no cost, and may make money in the future. The next is big centre half, Chris Bennett, who will cost us £250k from Middlesbrough. Technically, hes a little lacking, but, with some work, he'll fulfil a role for me. Alen Hari was found in the Under 18s at FC United, and whilst low in determination, has decent Flair, First Touch, and Teamwork, as well as technique, so may find more of a home at the base of midfield. North Macedonian U21, Aleksandar Krstevski was playing in Serie B in Italy, and, is a natural striker or left winger. Hes got some very good attributes in most areas, but just needs a bit more in terms of acceleration and his decision making. Another player whose low determination has seen his scout report slew towards a lower number, Anestis Touloupakis may find his feet further forward in midfield, however, he will develop in the U23s for the future. The last of our free signings for next season, is Portuguese midfielder, Bernardo Sousa. Having been released from Sporting last summer, he dropped down to play for Amora in the Portuguese third division, finishing as the stand out player for them, with 16 goals and 7 assists in 31 matches. This doesn't translate completely to Championship football, but, he is a well rounded player, with attributes that don't need a great deal of work, and all being well, will be our playmaker this next season. ------- There is some interest in a couple of our long standing players, so, should an offer come in that matches our valuations of them, we can work along those lines, and look to strengthen from our scouting reports.
  14. I have seen that, its a little concerning, but, not surprising.
  15. Don't know whether to do Ireland, or Northern Ireland. Will do an introduction of the new Irish talents I'm after soon.
  16. That part of the plan is coming. Got several youngsters coming over from Ireland.
  17. Thanks. The squad is thinner on the ground than I thought it was, as Preston are operating without an Under 23 side, which, is something I'll rectify in the off season. I've lost 3 academy prospects, all of whom have gone out for about £250k each, with future fees taking them over £1m, and I've also lost Adam O'Reilly to Leicester for £3.5m, going up to £6m. The O'Reilly sale I'm really happy with, as I didn't see him being a first team player for a couple of seasons, and didn't want to send him out on loan. Two signings, both midfielders came in from the proceeds of O'Reilly. The first Mateo Tomic, joins from Istra in Croatia, he had a dozen other English clubs after him, and was happy enough to come over and go back out on loan, 3 clubs in Croatia have made offers to take him, and he'll go out to the end of the season. The second signing, and our last of the window, comes over from Croatia as well, where he started his career at HNK Gorica. There were a couple of Italian clubs looking at him, but he also had a release clause to foreign clubs of £1m, so, that was activated, and he came to us. Another player for a couple of seasons time. As for league performance, we're plodding along in 15th, which is about where I want to finish the season, it gives us a chance to build for next season.
  18. The beginning of the transfer window always sees a team I'm in charge of make some moves, and, that was the case this time. My Scandinavian scout, who had come with me from Cambridge, had earmarked a couple of youngsters who had the potential to fit into the Preston side, and possibly straight away. One was available immediately, as his contract was ending at his current club. Enter, Noah Solskjaer. At 21 years old, he fits the profile of players the board want me to buy, and, he knows the game in England, as his father is Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian U21 joins on a 3 year deal, and slots straight into the side in the centre of midfield. The second signing comes from a little bit closer to home. with Polish U21, Lukasz Bejger joining for £300k from Manchester United. He'd been at the Premier League club since 2018, after leaving his homeland and Poznan, to move to Old Trafford. He came highly rated by scouts, having initially been a target of mine at Cambridge, however, he didn't want to move to League One at the time. Convincing him to move for Championship football was easier, and the rangy centre back, who has been likened to former Poland captain Tomasz Waldoch, arrives on a 2 and a half year deal. Also coming in, from Inter, is 22 year old goalkeeper, Vladan Dekic. He'll backup Hladky this season, as he needs some work on his physical attributes, and hopefully get a few games under his belt, before I try and move him into the team next season. Someone with that free kick rating as well.. I'm seriously tempted. Joining for £90k from Bayern Munchen, is Swedish U21, Alex Timossi Andersson. Definitely one for the future, he can also offer something now, although, he will need to work on his crossing a bit. The other side of Manchester also gets raided, with Spanish/Senegalese full back, Alpha Dionkou joining for £275k from Manchester City. The 20 year old has made a handful of cup appearances for the club, however, he was deemed surplus to requirements. He has the pace and stamina to go up and down the wing all day, and, if Andersson is in the side, will provide some potent pace down the right flank. We go back across Manchester for the next signing, as young left winger, Anthony Elanga joins from United. Again, he is very quick, and will offer something down the left flank. Hes not got a fantastic deal of experience, but, on a 3 year contract at Deepdale, he'll get it here. The last player to join us, also comes via Old Trafford, although, he has spent this season on loan at Charlton already. Reece Devine, a 20 year old left back, who again, is blessed with pace, but also has the determination to succeed. He'll slot into the first team straight away. The loan deals for Ganea and Diaz have been terminated, as the money spent on the wages for those two (£25k p/w) would cover most of the incoming signings, and Troy Parrott has also returned to Spurs after a serious knee injury finished his season. Theres still some spaces in the squad, but, for the moment, I don't want to create too much turmoil by buying any more. The youth intake also looks interesting.
  19. The job in hand at Preston is a bit interesting, when taking them over, they were 14th, with the expectation to avoid relegation. With Parrott being injured, they're left with Maguire and Tom Barkhuisen to plough away up front, so, desperately need a new striker or two. This is where Cambridge United come in. One of the younger strikers at the club, Stephen Duffy, had been getting scouted by Championship clubs all season, as his performances in the U18 setup and U23s had been eye opening in terms of goalscoring. He'd been the subject of several bids, all of which had been turned down, and in the end, Preston, now with me at the helm, came knocking. Before making the move, I had scouted him (most of my scouting team moved with me from Cambridge), and he got a 93 rating. Theres still some weak spots in his game, but, at 18 years old, he will develop as the 2nd or 3rd striker in this team. For £1.2m (the lowest I could get to, thanks to a release clause in his contract), he joins on a 4 year deal on January 1st. One thing Preston have done well in recent years, is plucking players from the League of Ireland and making solid EFL players out of them. In the current side, there was Sean Maguire, Alan Browne and Graham Burke, and in the past, the likes of Daryl Horgan have all made the move across the Irish Sea to Preston, to varying success. The next one to make that move was 21 year old striker, Glen McAuley, joining on a free from St. Pats Athletic, of Dublin. A product of Liverpools youth academy, McAuley had left Anfield in June 2019, making the move back to his home city, In the 2 and a half seasons since his move, he had picked up 27 goals in 82 games for the side, as they finished 4th, 8th and 4th again in the league. With 9 goals in 35 games this season, spent mainly out on the right wing, he hasn't been prolific, but, presents a bit of a rough diamond to try and make something from. Another area I'm looking at, is goalkeeper, as whilst Hladky is a good keeper, I need a long term prospect to come in. On top of that, I need a left winger who can come in and compete.
  20. So. The move has been made. This is where we stand in terms of squad make up, with 5 players on loan (Including Troy Parrott, which gives me something to 'play' with) The aims are pretty solid, and what I worked with at The Abbey Stadium, so, they're not too bad. So, introducing the squad. Goalkeepers Vaclav Hladky is the first choice when I arrive, with 19 appearances this season, having joined at the start of the 2020/21 season from St Mirren. Connor Ripley is an adequate backup, and his contract expires at the end of this season. Corcoran and Booth look good for the future, but, theres stuff to work on. Defenders Patrick Bauer and Ben Davies are the first choice centre half pairing with loanees Lee O'Connor, and Christian Ganea filling in on both sides. Philip Heise can also play at left back, and the highly rated Jordan Storey will also fit in on the right side of the centre back pairing when required. Midfielders Preston always seem to do well in the midfield department, with Ben Pearson and Alan Browne performing well in the engine room in the centre of midfield. Tom Barkhuisen and Sonny Lo-Everton will provide some width, although, I may need to look within the squad to see if theres better options on the left flank. Attackers Up front we have loanee Troy Parrott, who is top scorer this season with 7 in his 19 appearances, (although, he got injured between me accepting the job and moving) and Sean Maguire, who has provided cover from the bench. Other than those, we have no natural goalscorers in the squad, so, priority has to go to find another striker to play, as Parrott is out long term.
  21. So. This has happened. Since the last update at the end of August 2021, we've lost 2 games, one at Sunderland, and a really disappointing defeat at Wycombe. It really is a home fortress for us. Theres been a few times where we've really struggled to score, but, we're still 2nd top scorers in the division. Valentino Cernaz has more than made up for the departure of Symons, by scoring 10 goals in 20 appearances, at an average of 126 minutes per goal. All in, he has 52 goals in 124 games for the club, and is the top goalscorer in League One this season. Dimitar Mitov is the top goalkeeper in the division in terms of clean sheets, keeping 12 in his 22 games, the Bulgarian getting to the verge of a call up for his national side. Looking at how the team have performed, however, we top the division in possession, successful passes, and pass completion ratio (59%, 8379, over 700 more than the 2nd placed team, and 80%). This is what I wanted to do when I took over the club, play attractive, passing football, and this season has seen us go from strength to strength in that regard. Its going to be interesting to see if I can replicate that success at Preston, as, they were promoted from League One last season, and , the Championship is a far more competitive division. Looking at the squad I'm inheriting will come in the next post.
  22. Hmmm.. Although, I have just been offered an interview at Bristol City, who are 21st in the Championship, and Preston who are 14th, so, clubs are circling.
  23. That was Andre Telles, the Portuguese midfielder who I got for £10k. The ball to the left wing was a belter as well.
  24. This may just be one of the best volleys I've ever seen scored in FM.
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